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Alarm Of Catherine And The Growth Of Lutheranism

Anger Of Anne Boleyn And The Duke Of Norfolk

Absolution Of Lord Thomas Fitzgerald For The Murder Of The Archbishop Of Dublin

Anne Boleyn Chosen By Henry To Succeed Catherine

The Court At Blackfriars

Unpopularity Of Anne Boleyn And Removal Of Catherine From The Court

The Divorce

Warlike Resolution Of The Pope Restrained By The Cardinals

Death Of Archbishop Warham And The Pope Urged To Excommunicate Henry But Refuses Angering The Queen

Danger Of Challenging The Papal Dispensing Power



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Expectation That Henry Would Return To The Roman Communion

Intended Escape Of The Princess Mary Out Of England

Illness Of The Princess Mary

Anne Sentenced To Die

Competition For Henry's Hand

The Pope's Authority Abolished In England

Likelihood Of A Separation Of The King From Anne

Illness Of Queen Catherine

Henry Advised To Marry Without Waiting For Sentence

Coronation Of Anne Boleyn






Coronation Of Anne Boleyn








If circumstances can be imagined to justify the use of the dispensing
power claimed and exercised by the Papacy, Henry VIII. had been entitled
to demand assistance from Clement VII. in the situation in which he had
found himself with Catherine of Aragon. He had been committed when little
more than a boy, for political reasons, to a marriage of dubious legality.
In the prime of his life he found himself fastened to a woman eight years
older than himself; the children whom she had borne to him all dead,
except one daughter; his wife past the age when she could hope to be again
a mother; the kingdom with the certainty of civil war before it should the
King die without a male heir. In hereditary monarchies, where the
sovereign is the centre of the State, the interests of the nation have to
be considered in the arrangements of his family. Henry had been married
irregularly to Catherine to strengthen the alliance between England and
Spain. When, as a result, a disputed succession and a renewal of the civil
wars was seen to be inevitable, the King had a distinct right to ask to be
relieved of the connection by the same irregular methods. The causa
urgentissima, for which the dispensing power was allowed, was present in
the highest degree, and that power ought to have been made use of. That it
was not made use of was due to a control exerted upon the Pope by the
Emperor, whose pride had been offended; and that such an influence could
be employed for such a purpose vitiated the tribunal which had been
trusted with a peculiar and exceptional authority. The Pope had not
concealed his conviction that the demand was legitimate in itself, or
that, in refusing, he was yielding to intimidation, and the inevitable
consequences had followed. Royal persons who receive from birth and
station remarkable favours of fortune occasionally have to submit to
inconveniences attaching to their rank; and, when the occasion rises, they
generally meet with little ceremony. At the outset the utmost efforts had
been made to spare Catherine's feelings. Both the King and the Pope
desired to avoid a judgment on the validity of her marriage. An heir to
the crown was needed, and from her there was no hope of further issue. If
at the beginning she had been found incapable of bearing a child, the
marriage would have been dissolved of itself. Essentially the condition
was the same. Technical difficulties could be disposed of by a Papal
dispensation. She would have remained queen, her honour unaffected, the
legitimacy of Mary unimpugned, the relations between the Holy See and the
Crown and Church of England undisturbed. The obstinacy of Catherine
herself, the Emperor's determination to support her, and the Pope's
cowardice, prevented a reasonable arrangement; and thus the right of the
Pope himself to the spiritual sovereignty of Europe came necessarily under
question, when it implied the subjugation of independent princes to
another power by which the Court of Rome was dominated.

Such a question once raised could have but one answer from the English
nation. Every resource had been tried to the extreme limit of forbearance,
and all had failed before the indomitable will of a single woman. A
request admitted to be just had been met by excommunication and threats of
force. With entire fitness, the King and Parliament had replied by
withdrawing their recognition of a corrupt tribunal, and determining
thenceforward to try and to judge their own suits in their own courts.

Thus, on the 10th of May, Cranmer, with three Bishops as assessors, sate
at Dunstable under the Royal licence to hear the cause which had so long
been the talk of Europe, and Catherine, who was at Ampthill, was cited to
appear. She consulted Chapuys on the answer which she was to make. Chapuys
advised her not to notice the summons. "Nothing done by such a Court could
prejudice her," he said, "unless she renounced her appeal to Rome." As she
made no plea, judgment was promptly given. The divorce was complete
so far as English law could decide it, and it was doubtful to the last
whether the Pope was not at heart a consenting party. The sentence had
been, of course, anticipated. On the 27th of April Chapuys informed the
Emperor how matters then stood.

"Had his Holiness done as he was advised, and inserted a clause in the
Archbishop's Bulls forbidding the Archbishop to meddle in the case, he
would have prevented much mischief. He chose to take his own way, and thus
the English repeat what they have said all along: that in the end the Pope
would deceive your Majesty.... The thing now to be done is to force from
the Pope a quick and sudden decision of the case, so as to silence those
who affirm that he is only procrastinating till he can decide in favour of
the King, or who think that your Majesty will then acquiesce and that
there will be no danger of war.... I have often tried to ascertain from
the Queen what alternative she is looking to, seeing that gentleness
produces no effect. I have found her hitherto so scrupulous in her
profession of respect and affection for the King that she thinks she will
be damned eternally if she takes a step which may lead to war. Latterly,
however, she has let me know that she would like to see some other remedy
tried, though she refers everything to me."

The proceedings at Dunstable may have added to Catherine's growing
willingness for the "other remedy." She was no longer an English subject
in the eye of the law, and might hold herself free to act as she pleased.
Simultaneously, however, a consultation was going forward about her and
her affairs in the Spanish Cabinet which was not promising for Chapuys's
views. The Spanish Ambassador in London, it was said, was urging for war
with England. The history of the divorce case was briefly stated. The
delay of judgment had been caused by the King's protest that he could not
appear at Rome. That point had been decided against the King. The Pope
had promised the Emperor that he would proceed at once to sentence, but
had not done it. Brief on brief had been presented to the King, ordering
him to separate from Anne Boleyn pendente lite, but the King had paid no
attention to them--had married the Lady and divorced the Queen. The
Emperor was the Queen's nearest relation. What was he to do? There were
three expedients before him: legal process, force, and law and force
combined. The first was the best; but the King and the realm would refuse
the tribunal, and the Pope always had been, and still was, very cold and
indifferent in the matter, and most tolerant to the English King. Open
force, in the existing state of Christendom, was dangerous. To begin an
aggression was always a questionable step. Although the King had married
"Anne de Bulans," he had used no violence against the Queen, or done
anything to justify an armed attack upon him. The question was "a private
one," and the Emperor must consider what he owed to the public welfare.
Should the third course be adopted, the Pope would have to pronounce
judgment and call in the secular arm. All Christian princes would then be
bound to help him, and the Emperor, as the first among them, would have to
place himself at the head of the enterprise. "But would it not be better
and more convenient to avoid, for the present, harsh measures, which might
bring on war and injure trade, and insist only on further censures and a
sentence of deposition against the King? Should the Pope require to know
beforehand what the Emperor would do to enforce the execution, it would be
enough to tell the Pope that he must do his part first; any further
engagement would imply that the sentence on the principal cause had been
decided beforehand. Finally, it would have to be determined whether the
Queen was to remain in England or to leave it."

These were the questions before the Cabinet. A Privy Councillor, perhaps
Granvelle (the name is not mentioned), gave his own opinion, which was
seemingly adopted.

All these ways were to be tried. The Pope must proceed with the suit.
Force must be suspended for the present, the cause being a personal one,
and having already begun when peace was made at Cambray. The Pope must
conclude the principal matter, or at least insist on the revocation of
what had been done since the suit commenced, and then, perhaps, force
would not be required at all. The advice of the Consulta on the answer to
be given to the Pope, should he require to know the Emperor's intentions,
was exactly right. Nothing more need be said than that the Emperor would
not forget the obligations which devolved on him, as an obedient son of
the Church. The Queen, meanwhile, must remain in England. If she came
away, a rupture would be inevitable.

The speaker advised further that a special embassy should be sent to
England to remonstrate with the King.

This, however, if unsuccessful, it was felt would lead to war; and
opposite to the words the Emperor himself wrote on the margin an emphatic
No.

The mention of the peace of Cambray is important. The divorce had reached
an acute stage before the peace was concluded. It had not been spoken of
there, and the Emperor was diplomatically precluded from producing it as a
fresh injury. Both he and the Council were evidently unwilling to act. The
Pope knew their reluctance, and did not mean, if he could help it, to
flourish his spiritual weapons without a sword to support them.

The King wrote to inform Charles of his marriage. "In the face of the
Scotch pretensions to the succession," he said, "other heirs of his body
were required for the security of the Crown. The thing was done, and the
Pope must make the best of it." This was precisely what the Pope was
inclined to do. Cifuentes thought that, though he seemed troubled, "he was
really pleased." "He said positively that, if he was to declare the
King of England deprived of his crown, the Emperor must bind himself to
see the sentence executed." Charles had no intention of binding
himself, nor would his Cabinet advise him to bind himself. The time was
passed when Most Catholic Princes could put armies in motion to execute
the decrees of the Bishop of Rome. The theory might linger, but the facts
were changed. Philip II. tried the experiment half a century later, but it
did not answer to him. A fresh order of things had risen in Europe, and
passionate Catholics could not understand it. Dr. Ortiz shrieked that "the
King, by his marriage, was guilty of heresy and schism;" the Emperor ought
to use the opportunity, without waiting for further declarations from the
Pope, and unsheath the sword which God had placed in his hands.
English Peers and Prelates, impatient of the rising strength of the
Commons and of the growth of Lutheranism, besieged Chapuys with entreaties
for an Imperial force to be landed. They told him that Richard III. was
not so hated by the people as Henry; but that, without help from abroad,
they dared not declare themselves. Why could they not dare? The King
had no janissaries about his throne. Why could they not stand up in the
House of Lords and refuse to sanction the measures which they disapproved?
Why, except that they were not the people. Numbers might still be on
their side, but the daring, the intellect, the fighting-strength of
England was against them, and the fresh air of dawning freedom chilled
their blood. The modern creed is that majorities have a right to rule. If,
out of every hundred men, four-fifths will vote on one side, but will not
fight without help from the sword of the stranger; and the remaining fifth
will both vote and fight--fight domestic cowards and foreign foes
combined--which has the right to rule? The theory may be imperfect; but it
is easy to foresee which will rule in fact. The marriage with Anne was
formally communicated in the House of Lords. There were some murmurs. The
King rose from the throne and said it had been necessary for the welfare
of the realm. Peers and Commons acquiesced, and no more was said. The
coronation of the new Queen was fixed for the 19th of May.

If the great men who had been so eager with Chapuys were poltroons,
Chapuys himself was none. Rumours were flying that the Emperor was coming
to waste England, destroy the Royal family, and place a foreign Prince on
the throne. The Ambassador addressed a letter to Henry, saying that he
held powers to take action for the preservation of the Queen's rights; and
he gave him notice that he intended to enter immediately on the duties of
his office. Henry showed no displeasure at so bold a communication,
but sent Thomas Cromwell to him, who was now fast rising into consequence,
to remind him that, large as was the latitude allowed to Ambassadors, he
must not violate the rights of the Crown, and to warn him to be careful.
He was then summoned before the Privy Council. Norfolk had previously
cautioned him against introducing briefs or letters from the Pope, telling
him that if he did he would be torn in pieces by the people. The Council
demanded to see the powers which he said that he possessed. He produced
directions which he had received to watch over the Queen's rights, and he
then remarked on the several briefs by which the King was virtually
excommunicated. Lord Wiltshire told him that if any subject had so acted
he would have found himself in the Tower. The King wished him well; but if
he wore two faces, and meddled with what did not concern him, he might
fall into trouble.

Chapuys replied that the Council were like the eels of Melun, which cried
out before they were skinned. He had done nothing, so far. He had not
presented any "Apostolic letters." As to two faces, the Earl meant, he
supposed, that he was about to act as the Queen's Proctor as well as
Ambassador; he was not a lawyer; he had no such ambition. Then, speaking
in Latin, because part of the Council did not understand French, he dwelt
on the old friendship between the Emperor and the King. He said that the
part which the Emperor had taken about the divorce was as much for the
sake of the King and the realm as for the sake of the Queen, although the
Queen and Princess were as a mother and a sister to him. He went through
the case; he said their statutes were void in themselves, and, even if
valid, could not be retrospective. The Archbishop had been just sworn to
the Pope. He had broken his oath, and was under excommunication, and
was, therefore, disqualified to act. He reminded the Council of the Wars
of the Roses, and told them they were sharpening the thorns for fresh
struggles.

Doctor Foxe (the King's Almoner, afterwards bishop) replied that the King
could not live with his brother's wife without sin, and therefore left
her. It was a fact accomplished, and no longer to be argued. To challenge
the action of the Archbishop was to challenge the law of the land, and was
not to be allowed. The Pope had no authority in England, spiritual or
temporal. The introduction of bulls or briefs from Rome was unlawful, and
could not be sheltered behind immunities of ambassadors. Chapuys was the
representative of the Emperor, not of the Pope, and Foxe cautioned him
against creating disturbances in the realm.

To this Chapuys quietly answered that he would do his duty, let the
consequences be what they might. Being again warned, he said he would wait
for two or three days, within which he looked for a satisfactory reply
from the King.

In leaving the council-room, he said, in imperious fashion, as if he was
addressing a set of criminals, that reports were current about the Emperor
which he desired to notice. Some declared that he had consented to the
marriage with the Lady Anne. Others that he meant to make war. Both
allegations alike were false and malicious. So far from wishing to injure
England, the Emperor wished to help and support it, and could not believe
that he would ever be obliged to act otherwise; and as to consenting to
the divorce, if the Pope declared for it he would submit to the Pope's
judgment; otherwise the world would not turn him from the path which he
meant to follow. He was acting as the King's best friend, as the King
would acknowledge if he could forget his passion for the Lady and consider
seriously his relations with the Emperor. He begged the Council,
therefore, to prevent such rumours from being circulated if they did not
wish Chapuys to contradict them himself.

The Ambassador was keeping within the truth when he said that Charles was
not meditating war. Chapuys's instructions when first sent to England had
been not to make matters worse than they were, not to threaten war, nor to
imply in any way that there was danger of war. He had himself,
however, insisted that there was no alternative. He had encouraged
Catherine's friends with hope of eventual help, and continued to convey to
the Emperor their passionate wish that "his Majesty's hand would soon
reach England," before "the accursed woman" made an end of the Queen and
of them--to tell him that, were his forces once on land, they might raise
as many men as they pleased, and the London citizens would stand by, "keep
the enlistment money," and wait to see which party won. As long, however,
as his master was undecided he would not, he said, take measures which
would do no good, and only lead to inconvenience. He had merely given the
Council "a piece of his mind," and had said what no one else would say,
for fear of Lady Anne.

The answer to his letter which he expected from the King did not arrive,
but instead of it an invitation to dinner from the Duke of Norfolk, which
he refused lest his consent should be misconstrued. Ultimately, however,
Cromwell came to him with the King's permission. Cromwell, strange to say,
had been a strong advocate for the Imperial alliance, in opposition to the
French, and with Cromwell the Ambassador's relations were more easy than
with the Duke. Their conversations were intimate and confidential. Chapuys
professed a hope that the King's affection for the Lady would pass off,
and promised, for himself, to pour no more oil on the fire till he
received fresh orders. If they wished for peace, however, he said they
must be careful of their behaviour to the Queen, and he complained of the
removal of her arms from her barge in the river. Such petty acts of
persecution ought to be avoided. The removal of the arms was the work of
some too zealous friend of Anne. Cromwell had not heard of it, and said
that the King would be greatly displeased. Meanwhile he trusted that
Spanish notions of honour would not interfere with a friendship so useful
to both countries. If it came to war, England would not be found an easy
conquest. He defended the King's action. The Pope would not do him
justice, so he had slapped the Pope in the face. No doubt he had been
influenced by love for the Lady. Neither the King himself, nor all the
Preachers in the world, would convince him that love had nothing to do
with it. But the King was well read in the canon law, and if his
conscience was satisfied it was enough.

As Cromwell was so frank, Chapuys asked him when and where the marriage
with Anne had been concluded. Cromwell either would not or could not tell
him, saying merely that Norfolk had not been present at the ceremony, but
others of the Council had, and there was no doubt that it had really taken
place.

So matters stood in England, every one waiting to learn how the Emperor
would act. Anne Boleyn was duly crowned at Whitsuntide--a splendid
official pageant compensating for the secrecy of her marriage. The streets
were thronged with curious spectators, but there was no enthusiasm. The
procession was like a funeral. The Pope was about to meet the King of
France at Nice. Norfolk was commissioned to attend the interview, and, as
Henry still hoped that the Duke would bring back an acquiescence in his
wishes from Clement, Chapuys saw him before his departure. The Duke said
the peace of the world now depended on the Emperor. He repeated that his
niece's marriage had been no work of his. Her father and he had always
been against it, and, but for them, it would have happened a year before.
She had been furious with both of them. She was now enceinte, and had
told her father and himself and Suffolk that she was in better plight than
they wished her to be. To attempt to persuade the King to take Catherine
back either by threat or argument would be labour thrown away, such "were
his scruples of conscience and his despair of having male succession by
her."

At Cromwell's intercession, the Bishop of Rochester was now released from
confinement, and politics were quiet, till the effect was seen of the Nice
conference. Anxious consultations were held at Rome before the Pope set
out. The Cardinals met in consistory. Henry's belief had been that Francis
was prepared to stand by him to the uttermost, and would carry Clement
with him. He was now to find, either that he had been misled or had
wilfully deceived himself. Cardinal Tournon, who was supposed to have
carried an ultimatum from the meeting at Calais, had required the Pope to
suspend the process against Henry: if the Pope replied that the
offence was too great, and that he must deprive him, Francis did not say
that he would risk excommunication himself by taking an open part, but had
directed the Cardinal to urge the removal of the suit to a neutral place,
as had been often proposed. The Pope told the Count de Cifuentes that this
suggestion had been already discussed with the Emperor, and that the
Emperor had not entirely disapproved; but the cunning and treacherous
Clement had formed a plan of his own by which he thought he could save
England and punish Henry. Francis being less firm than he had feared, he
thought that, by working on French ambition, he could detach Francis
completely from his English ally. The French were known to be eager to
recover Calais. What if Calais could be offered them as a bait? They might
turn their coats as they had so often done before. Cunning and
weakness generally go together. It was an ingenious proposal, and throws a
new light on Clement's character. Nothing came of it, for the Emperor,
with a view to the safety of Flanders and the eventual recovery of the
English alliance, declined to sanction a change of ownership on his own
frontier. Finding no encouragement, Clement relapsed into his usual
attitude. The Imperialists continued to press for the delivery of
sentence before the Pope should leave Rome. The Pope continued to insist
on knowing the Emperor's intentions.

A Spanish lawyer, Rodrigo Davalos, had been sent to Rome to dissuade the
Pope from the Nice interview, and to quicken the action of the Rota.

"Queen Catherine's suit," he said, "had been carried on as if it were that
of the poorest woman in the world. Since Cifuentes and he had been there
the process had been pushed on, but the Advocates and Proctors had not
received a real. Their hands required anointing to make them stick to
their business. The Cardinals were at sixes and sevens, and refused to
pull together, do what Davalos would."

Davalos, being a skilful manipulator and going the right way to work,
pressed the process forward in the Rota without telling the Pope what he
was doing, since Clement would have stopped it had he not been kept in
ignorance. But, "God helping, no excuse was left." The forms were all
concluded, and nothing remained but to pass the long-talked-of sentence.
The Pope was so "importuned" by the French and English Ambassadors to
suspend it till after the meeting at Nice that Davalos could not say
whether he would get it, after all; but he told the Pope that further
hesitation would be regarded by the Emperor as an outrage, and would raise
suspicion through the whole world. The Pope promised, but where goodwill
was wanting trifles were obstacles. Davalos confessed that he had no faith
in his promise. He feared the Pope must have issued some secret brief,
which stood in his way.

Clement, however, was driven on in spite of himself. Judgment on the
principal cause could not be wrung from him. Cardinal Salviati was of
opinion that they would never give it till the Emperor would promise that
it should be executed. But a Brief super Attentatis, which was said
to be an equivalent, Clement was required to sign, and did sign--a Bull on
which Charles could act if occasion served, the Pope himself swearing
great oaths that Henry had used him ill, and that he would bribe Francis
to forsake him by the promise of Calais.

One more touch must be added to complete the comedy of distraction. A
proposal of the Spanish Council to send a special embassy to London to
remonstrate with the King had been definitely rejected by the Emperor. It
was revived by Chapuys, with whom it had probably originated. He imagined
that the most distinguished representatives of the Spanish nation might
appear at the English Court and protest against the ill-usage of the
daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella. If the King refused them satisfaction,
they might demand to be heard in Parliament. The King would then be placed
in the wrong before his own people. The nobles of Aragon and Castile would
offer their persons and their property to maintain the Queen's right; and
Chapuys said, "Not a Spaniard would hesitate if they were privately
assured first that they would not be taken at their word."

Leaving the Catholic Powers in confusion and uncertainty, we return to
England. Catherine had rejected every proposal which had been made to
her. There could not be two queens in the same country, and, after Anne's
coronation, a deputation waited upon her to intimate that her style must
be changed. She must now consent to be termed Princess Dowager, when an
establishment would be provided for her as the widow of the King's
brother. Her magnificent refusal is well known to history. Cromwell spoke
with unbounded admiration of it. Yet it was inconvenient, and increased
the difficulty of providing for her, since she declined to accept any
grants which might be made to her under the new title, or to be attended
by any person who did not treat her and address her as queen. It would
have been better if she had required to be allowed to return to Castile;
but both the Spanish Council and the Emperor had decided that she must
remain in England. The Princess had been allowed to rejoin her. The mother
and daughter had made short expeditions together, and had been received
with so much enthusiasm that it was found necessary again to part them.
Stories were current of insulting messages which Catherine had received
from the Lady Anne, false probably, and meant only to create exasperation.
The popular feeling was warmly in her favour. She was personally liked as
much as Anne was hated; and the King himself was not spared. As a specimen
of the licence of language, "a Mrs. Amadas, witch and prophetess, was
indicted for having said that 'the Lady Anne should be burned, for she was
a harlot. Master Norris (Sir Henry Norris, Equerry to Henry) was bawd
between her and the King. The King had kept both the mother and the
daughter, and Lord Wiltshire was bawd to his wife and to his two
daughters.'" In July the news arrived from Rome of the Brief de
Attentatis, and with it the unpleasant intelligence that Francis could
not be depended on, and that the hopes expected from the meeting at Nice
would not be realised. The disappointment was concealed from Anne, for
fear of endangering the expected child. Norfolk, who had waited in Paris
to proceed in the French King's train, was ordered to return to England.
Henry was not afraid, but he was discovering that he had nothing to rely
upon but himself and the nation. The terms on which France and the Empire
stood towards each other were so critical that he did not expect the
Emperor to quarrel with England if he could help it. Chapuys seemed
studiously to seek Cromwell. Of Cromwell's fidelity to himself Henry was
too well assured to feel uneasy about their intimacy, and therefore they
met often and as freely exchanged their thoughts. Chapuys found Cromwell
"a man of sense, well versed in affairs of State, and able to judge
soundly," with not too good an opinion of the Lady Anne, who returned his
dislike. Anne was French; Cromwell was Imperialist beyond all the rest of
the Council.

"I told him," wrote the Ambassador to Charles, after one of these
conversations, "I often regretted your Majesty had not known him in
Wolsey's time. He would have been a greater man than the Cardinal, and the
King's affairs would have gone much better. He seemed pleased, so I
continued. Now was the time for him to do his master better service than
ever man did before. Sentence had been given in Rome against the King, and
there was no further hope that your Majesty and the Pope would agree to
the divorce. I presumed that the King being so reasonable, virtuous, and
humane a prince, would not persist longer and blemish the many gifts which
God had bestowed on him. I prayed him to move the King. He could do more
with him than any other man. He was not in the Council when the accursed
business was first mooted. The Queen trusted him, and, when reinstated,
would not forget his service. Cromwell took what I said in good part. He
assured me that all the Council desired your Majesty's friendship. He
would do his best, and hoped that things would turn out well. If I can
believe what he says there is still a hope that the King may change. I
will set the net again and try if I can catch him; but one cannot be too
cautious. The King is disturbed by what has passed at Rome. He fears the
Pope will seduce the French King from him."

"Who was this Cromwell that had grown to such importance?" Granvelle had
asked. "He is the son," replied Chapuys, "of a farrier in Chelsea, who is
buried in the parish church there. His uncle, father of Richard Cromwell,
was cook to the Archbishop of Canterbury. This Thomas Cromwell was wild in
his youth, and had to leave the country. He went to Flanders and to Rome.
Returning thence he married the daughter of a wool merchant, and worked at
his father-in-law's business. After that he became a solicitor. Wolsey,
finding him diligent and a man of ability for good or ill, took him into
service and employed him in the suppression of religious houses. When
Wolsey fell he behaved extremely well. The King took him into his secret
Council. Now he is above everyone, except the Lady, and is supposed to
have more credit than ever the Cardinal had. He is hospitable and liberal,
speaks English well, and Latin, French, and Italian tolerably."

The intimacy increased. Cromwell, though Imperial in politics and no
admirer of Anne Boleyn, was notoriously Henry's chief adviser in the
reform of the clergy; but to this aspect of him Chapuys had no objection.
Neither the Ambassador nor Charles, nor any secular statesman in Europe,
was blind to the enormities of Churchmen or disposed to lift a finger for
them, if reform did not take the shape of Lutheranism. Charles himself had
said that, if Henry had no objects beyond the correction of the
spiritualty, he would rather aid than obstruct him. Between Chapuys and
Cromwell there was thus common ground; and Cromwell's hint that the King
might perhaps reconsider his position may not have been wholly groundless.

The action of the Rota, pressed through by Davalos, had taken Henry by
surprise. He had not expected that the Pope would give a distinct judgment
against him. He had been equally disappointed in the support which he
expected from Francis. That he should now hesitate for an instant was
natural and inevitable; but the irresolution, if real, did not last.
Norfolk wrote to the King from Paris "to care nothing for the Pope:" there
were men "enough at his side in England to defend his right with the
sword." Henry appealed to a General Council, when a Council could be
held which should be more than a Papal delegacy. The revenues of the
English sees which were occupied by Campeggio and Ghinucci he
sequestrated, as a sign of the abandonment of a detestable system.

His own mind, meanwhile, was fastened on the approaching confinement of
Anne. With the birth of a male heir to the Crown he knew that his
difficulties would vanish. Nurses and doctors had assured him of a son,
and the event was expected both by him and by others with passionate
expectation. A Prince of Wales would quiet the national uncertainty. It
would be the answer of Heaven to Pope and Emperor, and a Divine sanction
of his revolt. There is danger in interpreting Providence before the
event. If the anticipation is disappointed the weight of the sentence may
be thrown into the opposing scale.

To the bitter "mortification of the King and the Lady, to the reproach of
physicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and sorceresses who affirmed that the
child would be a male," to the delight of Chapuys and the perplexity
of a large section of the English people who were waiting for Providence
to speak, on the 7th of September the girl who was afterwards to be Queen
Elizabeth was brought into the world.

This was the worst blow which Henry had received. He was less given to
superstition than most of his subjects, but there had been too much of
appeals to Heaven through the whole of the controversy. The need of a male
heir had been paraded before Christendom as the ground of his action. He
had already discovered that Anne was not what his blindness to her faults
had allowed him to believe; he was fond of the Princess Mary, and Anne had
threatened to make a waiting-maid of her. The new Queen had made herself
detested in the Court by her insolence; there had been "lover's
quarrels," from which Catherine's friends had gathered hopes, and
much must have passed behind the scenes of which no record survives. A
lady of the bed-chamber had heard Henry say he would "rather beg from
door to door than forsake her;" on the other hand, Anne acknowledged
afterwards that his love had not been returned, and she could hardly have
failed to let him see it. Could she be the mother of a prince she was
safe, but on this she might well think her security depended. All Henry's
male children, except the Duke of Richmond, had died at the birth or in
infancy; and words which she let fall to her sister-in-law, Lady Rochford,
implied a suspicion that the fault was in the King. It is not without
significance that in the subsequent indictment of Sir Henry Norris it was
alleged that on the 6th of October, 1533, less than a month after Anne's
confinement, she solicited Norris to have criminal intercourse with her,
and that on the 12th the act was committed. But to this subject I shall
return hereafter.

Anyway, the King made the best of his misfortune. If the first adventure
had failed, a second might be more successful. The unwelcome daughter was
christened amidst general indifference, without either bonfires or
rejoicings. She was proclaimed Princess, and the title was taken away from
her sister Mary. Chapuys, after what Cromwell had said to him, trusted
naturally that the King's mind would be affected by his disappointment.
They met again. Chapuys urged that it would be easier to set things
straight than at an earlier stage. The King, being of a proud temper,
would have felt humiliated if he had been baffled. He might now listen to
reason. It was said of Englishmen that when they had made a mistake they
were more ready to confess it than other people; and, so far from losing
in public esteem, he would only gain, if he now admitted that he had been
wrong. The Emperor would send an embassy requesting him affectionately to
take Catherine back; his compliance would thus lose all appearance of
compulsion. The expectation was reasonable. Cromwell, however, had to tell
him in earnest language that it could not be; and the Catholic party in
England, who had hoped as Chapuys hoped, and found themselves only further
embittered by the exclusion of Mary from the succession, became desperate
in turn. From this period their incipient treason developed into definite
conspiracy, the leader among the disaffected and the most influential from
his reputed piety and learning being Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, whose
subsequent punishment has been the text for so many eloquent invectives.
Writing on the 27th of September to the Emperor, Chapuys says: "The good
Bishop of Rochester has sent to me to notify that the arms of the Pope
against these obstinate men are softer than lead, and that your Majesty
must set your hand to it, in which you will do a work as agreeable to God
as a war against the Turk." This was not all. The Bishop had gone on
to advise a measure which would lead immediately and intentionally to a
revival of the Wars of the Roses. "If matters come to a rupture, the
Bishop said it would be well for your Majesty to attach to yourself the
son of the Princess Mary's governess [the Countess of Salisbury, mother
of Reginald Pole], daughter of the Duke of Clarence, to whom, according to
the opinion of many, the kingdom would belong. He is now studying at
Padua. On account of the pretensions which he and his brother would have
to the crown, the Queen would like to bestow the Princess on him in
marriage, and the Princess would not refuse. He and his brothers have many
kinsmen and allies, of whose services your Majesty might make use and gain
the greater part of the realm."

The Bishop of Rochester might plead a higher allegiance as an excuse for
conspiring to dethrone his Sovereign. But those who play such desperate
games stake their lives upon the issue, and if they fail must pay the
forfeit. The Bishop was not the only person who thus advised Chapuys.
Rebellion and invasion became the settled thought of the King's opponents,
and Catherine was expected to lend her countenance. The Regent's Council
at Brussels, bolder than the Spanish, were for immediate war. A German
force might be thrown across the Channel. The Flemish nobles might
hesitate, but would allow ships to carry an army to Scotland. The army
might then march south; Catherine would join it, and appear in the
field. Catherine herself bade Chapuys charge the Pope in her name to
proceed to the execution of the sentence "in the most rigorous terms
of justice possible;" the King, she said, would then be brought to reason
when he felt the bit. She did not advocate violence in words, though what
she did advocate implied violence and made it inevitable. Fisher was
prepared for any extremity. "The good and holy Bishop of Rochester,"
Chapuys repeated, "would like your Majesty to take active measures
immediately, as I wrote in my last, which advice he has sent to me again
lately to repeat. Without this they fear disorder. The smallest force
would suffice."

Knowing Charles's unwillingness, the Ambassador added a further
incitement. Among the preachers, he said, there was one who spread worse
errors than Luther. The Prelates all desired to have him punished, but the
Archbishop of Canterbury held him up, the King would not listen to them;
and, were it not that he feared the people, would long since have
professed Lutheranism himself.





Next: The Pope's Authority Abolished In England

Previous: Henry Advised To Marry Without Waiting For Sentence



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