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Alarm Of Catherine And The Growth Of Lutheranism

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

Anger Of Anne Boleyn And The Duke Of Norfolk

Anne Boleyn Chosen By Henry To Succeed Catherine

Unpopularity Of Anne Boleyn And Removal Of Catherine From The Court

The Divorce

The Court At Blackfriars

Danger Of Challenging The Papal Dispensing Power

Determined Attitude Of The Princess Mary

Illness Of The Pope



Least Viewed

Expectation That Henry Would Return To The Roman Communion

Intended Escape Of The Princess Mary Out Of England

Anne Sentenced To Die

Competition For Henry's Hand

Illness Of The Princess Mary

The Pope's Authority Abolished In England

Illness Of Queen Catherine

Coronation Of Anne Boleyn

Likelihood Of A Separation Of The King From Anne

Henry Advised To Marry Without Waiting For Sentence






Determined Attitude Of The Princess Mary








Pretenders to supernatural powers usually confine the display of their
skill to the presence of friends and believers. The exercise of such
powers to silence opponents or to convince incredulity may be alleged to
have existed in the past, or may be foretold as to happen in the future;
in the actual present prudent men are cautious of experiments which, if
they fail, bring them only into ridicule. Excommunication had real terrors
when a frightened world was willing to execute its penalties--when the
object of the censure was cut off from the services of religion and was
regarded as a pariah and an outlaw. The Princes of Europe had real cause
to fear the curse of the Pope when their own subjects might withdraw their
obedience and the Christian Powers were ready to take arms to coerce them.
But Clement knew that his own thunders would find no such support, and he
lacked the confidence of Dr. Ortiz that Heaven, if men failed, would
avenge its own wrongs. He had not been permitted even to invite the
Emperor formally to enforce the sentence which he had been compelled to
pronounce. Protestant Germany had been left unpunished in its heresy. The
curse had passed harmless over Luther and Luther's supporters. In England
he was assured that his authority was still believed in, and that the King
would be brought to judgment by his subjects. But there were no outward
signs of it. His Bulls could no longer be introduced there. His clergy
might at heart be loyal to him; but they had submitted to the Crown and
the Parliament. His name was struck out of the service-books, and the
business of life went on as if he had never spoken; the business of life,
and also the business of the Government: for, the Pope being disposed of,
the vital question of the succession to the Crown had still to be formally
arranged.

Since the Emperor would not act Chapuys had been feeling his way with the
Scotch. If James chose to assert himself, the Ambassador had promised him
the Emperor's support. "He might marry the Princess Mary, and the Emperor
would welcome the union of the crowns of Scotland and England." Had
Mary submitted to her father, her claim to a place in the line of
inheritance would not have been taken from her, for she had been born
bona fide parentum and in no reasonable sense could be held
illegitimate. But she had remained immoveable. In small things as well as
great she had been unnecessarily irritating. Her wardrobe had required
replenishing, and she had refused to receive anything which was not given
to her as Princess. Anne Boleyn accused her aunt of being too lenient,
Mrs. Shelton having refused to make herself the instrument of Anne's
violence. Chapuys feared the "accursed Lady" might be tempted into a more
detestable course. But, any way, the nation had broken with the Pope, and
Mary could not be left with the prospect of succeeding to the crown while
she denied the competency of the English Parliament and the English courts
of justice. A bill, therefore, was introduced to make the necessary
provisions, establishing the succession in the child, and future children,
of Anne.

Catherine could not yet believe that Parliament would assent. Parliament,
she thought, had never yet heard the truth. She directed Chapuys to apply
for permission to appear at the bar of the House of Lords and speak for
her and the Princess.

After the failure of the Nuncio with Convocation Chapuys had little hope
that he would be listened to; but Catherine insisted on his making the
attempt, since a refusal, she thought, would be construed into an
admission of her right.

The Ambassador wrote to the Council. They desired to know what he proposed
to say, and he was allowed a private interview with the Duke of Norfolk.
He told the Duke that he wished merely to give a history of the divorce
case and would say nothing to irritate. The Duke said he would speak to
the King; but the Emperor, considering all that the King had done for him,
had not treated him well; they would sooner he had gone to war at once
than crossed and thwarted them at so many turns. Chapuys protested that
war had never been thought of, and it was arranged that he should see the
King and himself present his request. Before he entered the presence
Norfolk warned him to be careful of his words, as he was to speak on
matters so odious and unpleasing that all the sugars and sauces in the
world could not make them palatable. The King, however, was gracious.
Chapuys boldly entered on the treatment of the Queen and Princess. He had
heard, he said, that the subject was to be laid before Parliament, and he
desired to present his remonstrances to the Lords and Commons themselves.

The King replied civilly that, as Chapuys must be aware, his first
marriage had been judicially declared null; the Lady Catherine, therefore,
could not any longer be called queen, nor the Lady Mary his legitimate
daughter. As to Chapuys's request, it was not the custom in England for
strangers to speak in Parliament.

Chapuys urged that the Archbishop's sentence was worth no more than the
Bishop of Bath's sentence illegitimatising the children of Edward IV.
Parliament would, no doubt, vote as the King pleased; but, as to custom,
no such occasion had ever arisen before, and Parliament was not competent
to decide questions which belonged only to spiritual judges. The Princess
was indisputably legitimate, as at the time of her birth no doubt existed
on the lawfulness of her mother's marriage.

This was a sound argument, and Henry seemed to admit the force of it. But
he said that neither pope nor princes had a right to interfere with the
laws and institutions of England. Secular judges were perfectly well able
to deal with matrimonial causes. The Princess Elizabeth was next in
succession till a son was born to him. That son he soon hoped to have. In
short, he declined to allow Chapuys to make a speech in the House of
Lords; so Chapuys dropped the subject, and interceded for permission to
the Princess Mary to reside with her mother. He said frankly that, if harm
came to her while in the charge of her present governess, the world would
not be satisfied. Of course he knew that for all the gold in the world the
King would not injure his daughter; but, even if she died of an ordinary
illness, suspicions would be entertained of foul play. With real courage
Chapuys reminded Henry that the knights who killed Becket had been
encouraged by the knowledge that the king was displeased with him. The
enemies of the Princess, perceiving that she was out of favour, and aware
of the hatred felt for her by the Lady Anne, might be similarly
tempted to make away with her while she was in Mrs. Shelton's charge.

If Chapuys really used this language (and the account of it is his own),
Henry VIII. was more forbearing than history has represented him. He
turned the subject, and complained, as Norfolk had done, of the Emperor's
ingratitude. Chapuys said he had nothing to fear from the Emperor, unless
he gave occasion for it. He smiled sardonically, and replied that, if he
had been vindictive, there had been occasions when he could have revenged
himself. It was enough, however, if the world knew how injured he had
been. He then closed the conversation, dismissed his visitor, and told him
he must be satisfied with the patience with which he had been heard.

The Bill for the settlement of the crown was thus discussed without
Chapuys's assistance. The terms of it and the reasons for it are familiar
to all readers of English history. The King's efforts to obtain an heir
male had, so far, only complicated an already dangerous problem. Though
the marriage with Catherine had been set aside in an English court, the
right of such a Court to pronounce upon it was not yet familiar to the
nation generally. The Pope had given an opposite sentence: many of the
peers and commons, the Duke of Norfolk among them, though reconciled to
the divorce, had not yet made up their minds to schism; and Mary had
still many friends who were otherwise loyal to her father. But, after the
experience of the last century, Englishmen of all persuasions were
frightened at the prospect of a disputed succession, which only a
peremptory Act of Parliament could effectively dispose of. The Bill,
therefore, passed at last with little opposition. Cranmer's judgment was
confirmed as against the Pope's. The marriage with Catherine was declared
null, the marriage with Anne valid, and Anne's children the lawful heirs
of the crown. The Act alone was not enough. The disclosures brought to
light in the affair of the Nun of Kent, the disaffection then revealed,
and the rank of the persons implicated in it, necessitated further
precautions. Any doubt which might have existed on the extent and
character of the conspiracy is removed for ever by the Spanish
Ambassador's letters. The Pope was threatening to absolve English subjects
from their allegiance; how far he might be able to influence their minds
had as yet to be seen; a Commission, therefore, was appointed to require
and receive the oaths of all persons whom there was reason to suspect,
that they would maintain the succession as determined in the Act.

The sentence from Rome had not arrived when the Bill became law, and no
action was taken upon it till the terms in which Clement had spoken were
specifically known. Catherine, however, seemed to think that the further
she could provoke Henry to harsh measures, the nearer would be her own
deliverance. She had always persuaded herself that judgment once given at
Rome for her, the King would yield. The Act of Succession was thus
specially galling, and with the same violent unwisdom which she had shown
from the first, and against the direct advice of Chapuys, she had decided
that the time was come for Mary "to show her teeth to the King."

It was not for her to expose her daughter to perils which she professed to
believe were threatening the lives of both of them. But Mary obeyed her
but too well. While the Succession Bill was before the two Houses, Anne,
probably at Henry's instance, went to Hatfield to invite her to receive
her as Queen, promising, if she complied, that she should be treated
better than she had ever been. Mary's answer was that she knew no Queen
but her mother; if the King's mistress, so she designated Anne, would
intercede with her father for her she would be grateful. The Lady, Chapuys
heard, had said in a rage that she would put down that proud Spanish blood
and do her worst with her. Nor was this all. The determined girl refused
to be included in Elizabeth's household, or pay her the respect attaching
to her birth. Elizabeth soon after being removed from Hatfield to the
More, Mary declined to go with her, and obliged the gentlemen in
attendance to place her by force in Mrs. Shelton's litter. The Ambassador
felt the folly of such ineffectual resistance. Never, he said, would he
have advised her to run such a risk of exasperating the King, while the
Lady Anne was never ceasing day or night to injure her. His own advice had
been that when violence was threatened she should yield; but he had been
overruled by Catherine.

Chapuys's intercourse with the Court was now restricted. He was received
when he applied for a formal interview; but for his information on what
was passing there, he was left to secret friends or to his diplomatic
colleagues. He asked the French Ambassador how the King took the Pope's
sentence. The ambassador said the King did not care in the least, which
Chapuys was unable to believe. The action of the Parliament alarmed and
shocked him. Among the hardest blows was the taking from the Bishops the
powers of punishing heretics--a violation, as it appeared to him, of
common right and the constitution of the realm. The sharp treatment of
Bishop Nixe he regarded as an outrage and a crime. The Easter preachers
were ordered to denounce the Pope in their sermons. Chapuys shuddered at
their language. "They surpassed themselves in the abominations which they
uttered." Worse than sermons followed. On the arrival of the "sentence,"
the Commission began its work in requiring the oath to the Succession Act.
Those whose names had been compromised in the revelation of the Nun were
naturally the first to be put to the test. Fisher, who had been found
guilty of misprision of treason, had so far been left unpunished. It is
uncertain whether the Government was aware of his communications with
Chapuys, but enough was known to justify suspicion. The oath was offered
him. He refused to take it, and he was committed to the Tower in earnest.
He had been sentenced to imprisonment before, but had been so far left at
liberty. Sir Thomas More might have been let alone, for there was no fear
that he would lend himself to active treason. He, too, however, was
required to swear, and declined, and followed Fisher to the same place.
The Pope had declared war against the King, and his adherents had become
the King's enemies. Chapuys himself was suspected. His encouragement of
disaffection could not have been wholly concealed. He believed that his
despatches had been opened in Calais, and that Cromwell had read them.
There had been a Scotch war. As the Emperor was disinclined to stir,
Chapuys had looked on James as a possibly useful instrument in disturbing
Henry's peace. A Scottish Commission was in London to arrange a treaty,
"as they had found England too strong for them alone." The Ambassador,
more eager than ever, tried his best to dissuade the Chief Commissioner
from agreeing to terms, pointing out the condition of the kingdom and the
advantage to Scotland in joining in an attack on the King. The Scotchman
listened, and promised to be secret. Chapuys assured him of the Emperor's
gratitude, and, though the treaty was concluded, he consoled the
Ambassador by saying "that the peace would not prevent his master from
waging war on the English. Pleas in plenty could easily be found."

Ireland was a yet more promising field of operations. On the first rumour
of the divorce the Earl of Desmond had offered his services to the
Emperor. Chapuys discovered a more promising champion of the Church in
Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, whom he described as "a youth of high promise."
If the Pope would send the censures to Dublin, he undertook that Lord
Thomas would publish them, and would be found a useful friend.

Again, in spite of refusal, he urged the Emperor to take action himself.
Harm, he said, would befall the Queen and Princess, if there was longer
delay; Mrs. Shelton had told Mary that she would lose her head if she
persisted in disobedience; the people loved them well, but were afraid to
move without support. The Lutherans were increasing, and would soon be
dangerously strong. The present was the time to act. The King thought he
could hold the recusants down by obliging them to swear to his statute;
but if the chance was allowed, they would show their real minds.

One difficulty remained in the way of action. The Pope, though he had
given judgment, had not yet called in the secular arm which was supposed
to be necessary as a preliminary, and all parties, save Catherine and her
passionate advisers, were unwilling that a step should be taken from which
there would be no returning. The Emperor did not wish it. Francis,
irritated at the refusal to listen to Du Bellay, told the Pope that he was
throwing England away. "The Pope," wrote the Cardinal of Jaen to Secretary
Covos, "is restive. If we push him too hard he may go over to the
enemy." Charles ordered Cifuentes to keep strictly to his
instructions. The evident hesitation amused and encouraged the English
Cabinet. "Which Pope do you mean?" said the Duke of Norfolk to the Scotch
Ambassador, who had spoken of Clement as an arbiter on some point in
dispute, "the Pope of Rome or the Pope of Lambeth?" Henry, finding Francis
had not wholly deserted him, "praised God" at a public dinner for having
given him so good a brother in the King of France.

Under these circumstances, the Catholic party in England were alarmed and
perplexed. Catherine had been undeceived at last in her expectation that
the King would submit when the Pope had spoken. She informed Chapuys that
she now saw it was necessary to use stronger remedies. What these
remedies should be Chapuys said she dared not write, lest her letters
should be intercepted. She was aware, too, that the Emperor knew best what
should be done. Something must be tried, however, and speedily; for the
King was acting vigorously, and to wait would be to be lost. A startling
difference of opinion also was beginning to show itself even among the
Queen's friends. Some might turn round, Chapuys said, as they feared the
Emperor, in helping her, would set up again the Pope's authority, which
they called tyrannical. It was the alarm at this which enabled the King
to hold his subjects together.

Though Mary had "shown her teeth" at her mother's bidding, she had not
provoked her father to further severities. He asked Mrs. Shelton if her
pride was subdued. Mrs. Shelton saying there were no signs of it, he
ordered that she should be more kindly treated; and he sent her a message
that, if she was obedient, he would find some royal marriage for her. She
answered that God had not so blinded her that she should confess that her
father and mother had lived in adultery. The words, perhaps, lost nothing
in the repeating; but the King said, and said rightly, that it was her
mother's influence. Catherine had persuaded her that his kindness was
treachery, and that there was a purpose to poison her.

A serious question, however, had risen about the Statute of Succession.
The oath had been universally taken by everyone to whom it had been
offered save More and Fisher. The reason for demanding it was the
notorious intention of the Catholic party to take arms in Catherine's and
Mary's interests. Were others to be sworn, and were the two ladies chiefly
concerned to be exempted? Catherine, in ceasing to be queen, might be held
to have recovered her rights as a foreigner. But she had remained in
England by her own wish, and at the desire of the Emperor, to assist in
fighting out the battle. Mary was undoubtedly a subject, and Catherine and
she had both intimated that if the oath was demanded of them they would
not take it. The Peers and Bishops were called together to consider the
matter, and, as Catherine was a Spanish Princess, Chapuys was invited to
attend.

The council-room was thronged. The Ambassador was introduced, and a copy
of the statute was placed before him. He was informed that English
subjects generally had voluntarily sworn to obey it. Two ladies only,
Madam Catherine and Madam Mary, had declined, and the pains and penalties
were pointed out to him which they might incur if they persisted.

Chapuys had been refused an opportunity of speaking his opinion in
Parliament. It was now spontaneously offered him. He might, if he had
pleased, have denounced the hardship of compelling the Queen and her
daughter to assent personally to a statute which took their rights from
them. The preamble declared the King's marriage with Catherine to have
been invalid, and in swearing to the Act of Succession she would be
abandoning her entire plea. There was no intention, however, of forcing
the oath upon the mother. Mary was the person aimed at; and Mary might
have been spared also, if she had not "shewn her teeth" so plainly.
Chapuys, however, spoke out boldly on the whole question. The King, he
said, could not deprive the Princess of her place as heir to the crown,
nor was the English Parliament competent to decide as to the validity of a
marriage. The preamble of the statute was a lie. He would have proved it
had he been permitted to speak there. People had sworn because they were
afraid, and did not wish to be martyrs; and the oath being imposed by
force, they knew that it could be no more binding than the oaths which he
had lately taken to the Pope had bound the Archbishop of Canterbury. For a
general answer, he produced the Pope's sentence. The obstinacy which they
complained of, he said, was in them, and not in the ladies. He could not
persuade the ladies to swear; if he could, he would not, unless under
orders from the Emperor; and he warned the Council that if they tried
further violence they must be prepared to find the Emperor and Ferdinand
their open enemies; the Emperor regarded the Queen as his mother, and the
Princess as his sister; and, though he allowed that he was speaking
without instructions, he intimated distinctly that the Emperor would not
fail to protect them, and protect the cause of the Church, which had been
intertwined with theirs.

Chapuys was bold, bolder perhaps than the Council had expected. The Bishop
of Durham rose after a short pause. He had been Catherine's advocate,
and, as Chapuys said, was one of the most learned and honest prelates in
the realm. But he, too, had come to see that the cause now at issue was
the independence of England. He said that the statute had been well
considered. It had been passed for the quiet of the realm, and must be
obeyed. On Chapuys rejoining that the quiet of the realm required the
King's return to his wife, Tunstall mentioned the promises which had been
made at the beginning of the suit, and produced the decretal which the
Pope had given at Orvieto, declaring the marriage with Catherine invalid.
Chapuys, in his answer, admitted, unconsciously, the justice of the
English plea. He said the decretal had been issued when the Pope had just
escaped from St. Angelo, and was angry and exasperated against the
Emperor. As to other promises, he might or might not have made them. If he
said he would give judgment in the King's favour, he might have meant
merely such a judgment as would be good for the King; or perhaps he was
doing as criminal judges often did--holding out hopes to prisoners to
tempt confessions from them. Such practices were legitimate and laudable.

The English argument was that a judge such as Chapuys described was not to
be trusted with English suits. Henry himself could not have put the case
more effectively. The Bishop of London spoke, and the Archbishop of York,
and then Sampson (the Dean of the Chapel Royal), who affirmed bluntly that
the Pope had no inherent rights over England. Man had given him his
authority, and man might take it from him. Chapuys replied that the King
had found it established when he came to the throne, and had himself
recognised it in referring his cause to the Pope. Cranmer was present,
but took no direct part. He brought out, however, the true issue, by
suggesting, through Tunstall, that the Pope had incapacitated himself by
submitting to be controlled by the Emperor. This was the point of the
matter. To allow an English suit to be decided by Charles V. was to make
England a vassal state of the Empire. To this Chapuys had no valid answer,
for none could be given; and he discreetly turned the argument by
reflecting on the unfitness of Cranmer also.

So far the laymen on the Council had left the discussion to the Bishops,
and the Ambassador thought that he had the best of it. The Duke of
Norfolk, he imagined, thought so too; for the Duke rose after the taunts
at the Archbishop. The King's second marriage, he said, was a fait
accompli, and to argue further over it was loss of time. They had passed
their statute, and he, for one, would maintain it to the last drop of his
blood. To refuse obedience was high treason; and, the fact being so, the
ladies must submit to the law. The King himself could not disobey an Act
which concerned the tranquillity of the realm.

Chapuys would not yield. He said their laws were like the laws of
Mahomet--laws of the sword--being so far worse, that Mahomet did not make
his subjects swear to them. Not with entire honesty--for he knew now that
Catherine had consented to the use of force--he added, that they could
have small confidence in their own strength if they were afraid of two
poor weak women, who had neither means nor will to trouble them.

The Council said that they would report to the King, and so the
conversation ended. Chapuys spoke afterwards privately to Cromwell. He
renewed his warning that, if violence was used, there would be real
danger. Cromwell said he would do his best. But there was a general fear
that something harsh would be tried at the instigation of the "accursed
Concubine." Probably the question would be submitted to Parliament, or as
some thought the Queen and Princess would be sent to the Tower.
Conceiving extremities to be close, Chapuys asked the Scotch Ambassador
whether, if a mandate came from the Pope against England, the Scots would
obey it. Certainly they would obey it, was the answer, though they might
pretend to regret the necessity.

Violence such as Chapuys anticipated was not in contemplation. The opinion
of Europe would have been outraged, if there had been no more genuine
reason for moderation. An appeal was tried on Catherine herself. The
Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Durham, both of whom had been her
friends, went down to her to explain the nature of the statute and
persuade her to obedience. Two accounts remain of the interview--that of
the Bishops, and another supplied to Chapuys by the Queen's friends. The
Bishops said that she was in great choler and agony, interrupted them with
violent speeches, declared that she was the King's lawful wife, that
between her and Prince Arthur there had been never more than a formal
connection. The Pope had declared for her. The Archbishop of Canterbury
was a shadow. The Acts of Parliament did not concern her. Chapuys's
story is not very different, though two elderly prelates, once her staunch
supporters, could hardly have been as brutal as he describes. After
various rough speeches, he said that the Bishops not only referred to the
penalties of the statute (they themselves admitted this) but told her that
if she persisted she might be put to death. She had answered that if any
of them had a warrant to execute her they might do it at once. She begged
only that the ceremony should be public, in the face of the people, and
that she might not be murdered in her room.

The mission had been rather to advise than to exact, and special demands
were rather made on Catherine's side than the King's. Not only she would
not swear herself to the statute, but she insisted that her household
should be exempted also. She required a confessor, chaplains, physician,
men-servants, as many women as the King would allow, and they were to take
no oath save to the King and to her. Henry made less difficulty than might
have been looked for--less than he would have been entitled to make had he
known to what purpose these attendants would be used. The oath was for his
native subjects; it was not exacted from herself, or by implication from
her confessor, who was a Spaniard, or from her foreign servants. If
she would be reasonable he said that some of her requests might be
granted. She might order her household as she pleased, if they would swear
fidelity to him, and to herself as Princess Dowager. But he could not
allow them to be sworn to her as Queen.

Chapuys's business was to make the worst of the story to the Emperor. The
Court was at Richmond. Chapuys went thither, presented a complaint to the
Council, and demanded an interview with the King. Henry would not see him,
but sent him a message that he would inquire into what had passed, and
would send him an answer. Chapuys, who had been for two years urging war
in vain, exaggerated the new injuries. Others, and perhaps he himself,
really believed the Queen's life to be in danger. "Every one," he wrote,
after describing what had taken place, "fears that mischief will now
befall her; the concubine has said she will never rest till she is put out
of the way. It is monstrous and almost incredible, yet such is the King's
obstinacy, and the wickedness of this accursed woman, that everything may
be apprehended." Anne, it is likely, was really dangerous. The King,
so far as can be outwardly traced, was making the best of an unpleasant
situation. The Council promised Chapuys that his remonstrances should be
attended to. The Queen was left to herself, with no more petty
persecutions, to manage her household in her own way. They might swear or
not swear as pleased themselves and her; and with passionate loyalty they
remained devoted to her service, assisting her in the conduct of a
correspondence which every day became more dangerous.

The European sky meanwhile was blackening with coming storms. Francis had
not forgotten Pavia, and as little could allow England to be conquered by
Charles as Charles could allow France to be bribed by the promise of
Calais. His Agents continued busy at Rome keeping a hand on the Pope; a
fresh interview was proposed between the French King and Henry, who was to
meet him at Calais again in the summer; and an aggressive Anglo-French
alliance was a possibility which the Emperor had still to fear. He had
small confidence in the representations of Chapuys, and had brought
himself to hope that by smooth measures Henry might still be recovered. A
joint embassy might be sent to England from himself and the Pope to
remonstrate on the schism. If nothing else came of it, their own position
would be set right before the world and in the eyes of English opinion.
Clement, however, now made difficulties, and had no desire to help Charles
out of his embarrassments. Charles had forced a judgment out of him
without promising to execute it. Charles might now realise the
inconvenience of having driven him on against his own inclination.
Cifuentes had again received instructions to delay the issue of the Brief
of Execution, or the calling in the secular arm. The Pope felt that he had
been made use of and had been cheated, and was naturally resentful.
Cifuentes made his proposal. Clement, "with the placid manner which he
generally showed when a subject was disagreeable to him,... said that the
embassy might go if the Emperor wished.... It would not be of the
slightest use ... but it might do no harm. He must, of course, however,
first consult the King of France." Cifuentes not liking the mention of
France, the Pope went on maliciously to say that, if he had not gone to
Marseilles, France would certainly have broken with the Church, as England
had done, and would have set up a Patriarchate of its own. Indeed he was
afraid it might yet come to that. The King of France had told him how he
had been pressed to consent, and had made a merit of refusing. Cifuentes
could but remark on the singular character of the King of France's
religious convictions.

The embassy was not sent to England, and the Pope kept back his invocation
of the secular arm till a Prince could be found who would act. No one
would be the first to move, and the meeting of the two Kings at Calais was
indefinitely postponed. Francis complained of Henry's arbitrary manner,
"speaking to me at times as if I were his subject." The explanation given
to the world of the abandonment of the interview was that Henry found it
inconvenient to leave the realm. A letter of Chapuys explains where the
special inconvenience lay. The Lady Anne would be Regent in his absence,
and could not be trusted in her present humour. "I have received word from
a trustworthy source," he wrote on the 23d of June to the Emperor, "that
the concubine has said more than once, and with great assurance, that the
moment the King crosses the Channel to the interview, and she is left
Regent, she will put the Princess to death by sword or otherwise. Her
brother, Lord Rochford, telling her she would offend the King, she
answered she cared not if she did. She would do it if she was burnt or
flayed alive afterwards. The Princess knows her danger, but it gives her
no concern. She puts her trust in God."

Imperfect credit must be given to stories set current by malicious
credulity. But the existence of such stories shows the reputation which
Anne had earned for herself, and which in part she deserves. Chapuys
reiterated his warnings.

"Pardon my importunity," he continued, "but, unless your Majesty looks
promptly to it, things will be past remedy. Lutheranism spreads fast, and
the King calculates that it will make the people stand by him and will
gain the Germans. So long as danger is not feared from without, Parliament
will agree to all that he wishes. Were your Majesty even to overlook all
that he has done, he would persist in the same way. Good Catholics are of
opinion that the readiest way to bridle France and Germany is to begin in
England. It can be done with ease. The people only wait for your Majesty
to give the signal."

The inaction of the Emperor was incomprehensible to Catherine's friends.
To herself it was distracting. She had fed upon the hope that when the
Pope had given judgment her trial would be at an end; that the voice of
Catholic Europe would compel the King to submit. The Roman lightning had
flashed, but the thunderbolt had not fallen. The English laity, long
waiting in suspense, had begun to think, as Chapuys feared they would,
that the Pope was the shadow, and Cranmer the substance. Cut off from the
world, she thought she was forsaken, or that the Emperor's care for her
would not carry him to the point of interference. If no voice was raised
in her favour in her own Spain, the Spanish Ambassador might at least show
that her countrymen had not forgotten her. She sent pressing messages to
Chapuys, begging him to visit her; and Chapuys, impatient himself of his
master's hesitating policy, resolved to go. He applied for permission to
the Council. It was refused. But the Council could not forbid his making a
summer pilgrimage to our Lady of Walsingham, and the road lay near
Kimbolton. He wrote to Cromwell that, leave or no leave, he was going into
Norfolk, and meant to call there. The porters might refuse him entrance if
they pleased. He gave him fair notice. It should not be said that he had
acted underhand.

It was the middle of July. Making as much display as possible, with a
retinue of sixty horse, and accompanied by a party of Spaniards resident
in London, the Ambassador rode ostentatiously through the City, and
started on the great North Road. Spending a night on the way, he arrived
on the second evening within a few miles of Catherine's residence. At this
point he was overtaken by two gentlemen of the household, with an
intimation that he would not be admitted. He demanded to see their orders,
and, the orders not being produced, he said that, being so near the end of
his journey, he did not mean to turn back. He would have persisted, but a
message came to him from the Queen herself, or from one of her people, to
say that she could not receive him; he could proceed to Walsingham if he
pleased, but he must not approach within bowshot of the Castle. Some
peremptory command must have reached her. A second secret message
followed, that, although she had not dared to say so, she was grateful for
his visit; and, though he must not come on himself, a party of his suite
might show themselves before the gates.

Thus the next morning, under the bright July sky, a picturesque Spanish
cavalcade was seen parading under the windows of Kimbolton, "to the great
consolation of the ladies of the household, who spoke to them from the
battlements; and with astonishment and joy among the peasantry, as if the
Messiah had actually come." The Walsingham pilgrimage was abandoned, lest
it should be thought to have been the real object of the journey; and
Chapuys, with polite irony, sent the King word that he had relinquished it
in deference to his Majesty's wishes. He returned to London by another
road, to make a wider impression upon the people.

"The Emperor," he said, in relating his expedition, "would now see how
matters stood. The Queen might be almost called the King's prisoner. The
house," he said, "was well kept and well found, though there were
complaints of shortness of provisions. She had five or six servants, and
as many ladies-in-waiting, besides the men whom she looked on as her
guards."





Next: Intended Escape Of The Princess Mary Out Of England

Previous: The Pope's Authority Abolished In England



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