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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

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

Least Viewed

Expectation That Henry Would Return To The Roman Communion

Intended Escape Of The Princess Mary Out Of England

Competition For Henry's Hand

Anne Sentenced To Die

The Pope's Authority Abolished In England

Illness Of The Princess Mary

Coronation Of Anne Boleyn

Illness Of Queen Catherine

Likelihood Of A Separation Of The King From Anne

Warlike Resolution Of The Pope Restrained By The Cardinals

Henry Advised To Marry Without Waiting For Sentence

The Pope had promised Ortiz that nothing should be said of the intended
excommunication till the brief was complete. He betrayed the secret to the
English Agents, by whom it was conveyed to Henry. The French Ambassador
had advised the King to hesitate no longer, but to marry and end the
controversy. The Pope himself had several times in private expressed the
same wish. But Henry, in love though he is supposed to have been,
determined to see Francis in person before he took a step which could not
be recalled. He desired to know distinctly how far France was prepared to
go along with him in defying the Papal censures. An interview between the
two Kings at such a crisis would also show the world that their alliance
was a practical fact, and that if the Emperor declared war in execution of
the censures he would have France for an enemy as well as England.

The intended meeting was announced at the end of August, and, strange to
say, there was still a belief prevailing that a marriage would come of it
between the King and a French princess, and that Anne would be
disappointed after all. "If it be so," wrote Chapuys, "the Lady Anne is
under a singular delusion, for she writes to her friends that at this
interview all that she has been so long wishing for will be accomplished."
One thing was clear, both to the Imperial Ambassador and the Nuncio, that
the Pope by his long trifling had brought himself into a situation where
he must either have to consent to a judgment against Catherine or
encounter as best he could the combination of two of the most powerful
Princes in Christendom. The least that he could do was to issue an
inhibition against the King's marriage either with Anne or with the

The Pope's danger was real enough, but Anne Boleyn had nothing to fear for
herself. She was to form part of the cortege. She was to go, and to be
received at the French court as Henry's bride-elect, and she was created
Marchioness of Pembroke for the occasion. Queen Catherine believed that
the marriage would be completed at the interview with a publicity which
would make Francis an accomplice. The Emperor was incredulous. Reluctantly
he had been driven to the conclusion that Henry was really in earnest, and
he still thought it impossible that such an outrage as a marriage could be
seriously contemplated while the divorce was still undecided. Yet
contemplated it evidently was. Politically the effect would have been
important, and it is not certain that Francis would not have encouraged a
step which would be taken as an open insult by Charles. The objection, so
Chapuys heard, came from the lady herself, who desired to be married in
state with the usual formalities in London. Invited to the interview,
however, she certainly was by Francis. The French Queen sent her a present
of jewels. The Sieur de Langey came with special compliments from the King
to request her attendance. She had been a useful instrument in dividing
Henry from the Emperor, and his master, De Langey said, desired to thank
her for the inestimable services which she had rendered, and was daily
rendering him. He wished to keep her devoted to his interests. Wolsey
himself had not been more valuable to him. He had not to pay her a pension
of 25,000 crowns, as he had done to the Cardinal. Therefore he meant to
pay her in flattery and in forwarding the divorce at Rome.

In vain Catherine poured out to Clement her wailing cries for
sentence--sentence without a moment's delay. Less than ever could the Pope
be brought to move. He must wait and see what came of the meeting of the
Kings; and whether the Emperor got the better of the Turks. It was the
harder to bear because she had persuaded herself, and had persuaded Ortiz,
that, if the King was once excommunicated, the whole of England would rise
against him for his contumacious disobedience.

The interview which took place in October between the Kings of France and
England was a momentous incident in the struggle, for it did, in fact,
decide Henry to take the final step. The scene itself, the festivities,
the regal reception of Anne, the Nun of Kent and the discovery of the
singular influence which a hysterical impostor had been able to exercise
in the higher circles of English life, have already been described by me,
and I can add nothing to what I have already written. A more particular
account, however, must be given of a French Commission which was
immediately after despatched to Rome. Francis had not completely satisfied
Henry. He had repeated the advice of his Ambassadors. He had encouraged
the King to marry at once. He had reiterated his promises of support if
the Emperor declared war. Even an engagement which Henry had desired to
obtain from him, to unite France with England in a separate communion,
should the Pope proceed to violence, Francis had seemed to give, and had
wished his good brother to believe it. But his language had been less
explicit on this point than on the other.

The Bishop of Tarbes, now Cardinal Grammont, was sent to Rome, with
Cardinal Tournon, direct from the interview, with open instructions to
demand a General Council, to inform the Pope that if he refused the two
Kings would call a Council themselves and invite the Lutheran Princes to
join them, and that, if the Pope excommunicated Henry, he would go to Rome
for absolution so well accompanied that the Pope would be glad to grant
it. If Catherine's friends in Rome were rightly informed, the
Cardinals had brought also a secret Commission, which went the full extent
of Henry's expectation. The Pope was to be required to fulfil at once the
promise which he had given at Orvieto, and to give judgment for the
divorce; "otherwise the Kings of France and England would abrogate the
Papal authority in their several realms." The Pope, confident that the
alternative before him was the loss of the two kingdoms, was preparing to
yield. Henry certainly returned to England with an understanding that
Francis and himself were perfectly united, and would adopt the same
course, whatever that might be. A report went abroad that, relying on
these assurances, he had brought his hesitation to an end, and immediately
after landing made Anne secretly his wife. The rumour was premature, but
the resolution was taken. The Pope, the King said, was making himself the
tool of the Emperor. The Emperor was judge, and not the Pope; and neither
he nor his people would endure it. He would maintain the liberties of his
country, and the Pope, if he tried violence, would find his mistake.

It is not easy to believe that on a point of such vast consequence Henry
could have misunderstood what Francis said, and he considered afterwards
that he had been deliberately deceived; but under any aspect the meeting
was a demonstration against the Papacy. Micer Mai, who watched the Pope
from day to day, declared that his behaviour was enough to drive him out
of his senses. Mai and Ortiz had at last forced another brief out of
him--not a direct excommunication, but an excommunication which was to
follow on further disobedience. They had compelled him to put it in
writing that he might have committed himself before the French Cardinals'
arrival. But when it was written he would not let it out of his hands. He
was to meet the Emperor again at Bologna, and till he had learnt from
Charles's own lips what he was prepared to do, it was unfair and
unreasonable, he said, to require an act which might fatally commit him.
He was not, however, to be allowed to escape. Catherine, when she heard of
the despatch of the Cardinals, again flung herself on her nephew's
protection. She insisted that the Pope should speak out. The French must
not be listened to. There was nothing to be afraid of. "The English
themselves carried no lightning except to strike her." Letters from
Ortiz brought her news of the Pope's continued indecision--an indecision
fatal, as she considered it, to the Church and to herself. Rumours reached
her that the King had actually married, and she poured out her miseries to
Chapuys. "The letters from Rome," she said, "reopen all my wounds. They
show there is no justice for me or my daughter. It is withheld from us for
political considerations. I do not ask His Holiness to declare war--a war
I would rather die than provoke; but I have been appealing to the Vicar of
God for justice for six years, and I cannot have it. I refused the
proposals made to me two years ago by the King and Council. Must I accept
them now? Since then I have received fresh injuries. I am separated from
my lord, and he has married another woman without obtaining a divorce; and
this last act has been done while the suit is still pending, and in
defiance of him who has the power of God upon earth. I cover these lines
with my tears as I write. I confide in you as my friend. Help me to bear
the cross of my tribulation. Write to the Emperor. Bid him insist that
judgment be pronounced. The next Parliament, I am told, will decide if I
and my daughter are to suffer martyrdom. I hope God will accept it as an
act of merit by us, as we shall suffer for the sake of the truth."

Catherine might say, and might mean, that she did not wish to be the cause
of a war. But unless war was to be the alternative of her husband's
submission, the Papal thunders would be as ineffectual as she supposed the
English to be. The Emperor had not decided what he would do. He may still
have clung to the hope that a decision would not be necessary, but he
forced or persuaded the Pope to disregard the danger. The brief was
issued, bearing the date at which it was drawn, and was transmitted to
Flanders as the nearest point to England for publication.

In removing the Queen from his company without waiting for the decision of
his cause, and cohabiting with a certain Anne, Clement told the King that
he was insulting Divine justice and the Papal authority. He had already
warned him, but his monition had not been respected. Again, therefore, he
exhorted him on pain of excommunication to take Catherine back as his
Queen, and put Anne away within a month of the presentation of the present
letter. If the King still disobeyed, the Pope declared both him and Anne
to be, ipso facto, excommunicated at the expiration of the term fixed,
and forbade him to divorce himself by his own authority.

It might seem that the end had now come, and that in a month the King, and
the subjects who continued loyal to him, would incur all the consequences
of the Papal censures. But the proceedings of the Court of Rome were
enveloped in formalities. Conditional excommunications affected the
spiritual status of the persons denounced, but went no further. A second
Bull of Excommunication was still requisite, declaring the King deposed
and his subjects absolved from their allegiance, before the secular arm
could be called in; and this last desperate remedy could not decently be
resorted to, with the approval even of the Catholic opinion of Europe,
until it had been decided whether Catherine was really legal queen. The
enthusiastic Ortiz, however, believed that judgment on "the principal
cause" would now be immediately given, and that the victory was won. He
enclosed to the Empress a letter from Catherine to him, "to be preserved
as a relic, since she would one day be canonised." "May God inspire the
King of England," he said, "to acknowledge the error into which the Enemy
of Mankind has led him, and amend his past conduct; otherwise it must
follow that his disobedience to the Pope's injunction and his infidelity
to God once proved, he will be deprived of his kingdom and the execution
of the sentence committed to his Imperial Majesty. This done, all those in
England who fear God will rise in arms, and the King will be punished as
he deserves, the present brief operating as a formal sentence against him.
On the main cause, there being no one in Rome to answer for the opposite
party, sentence cannot long be delayed."

Ortiz was too sanguine, and the vision soon faded. The brief sounded
formidable, but it said no more than had been contained or implied in
another which Clement had issued three years before. He had allowed the
first to be disregarded. He might equally allow the last. Each step which
he had taken had been forced upon him, and his reluctance was not
diminished. Chapuys thought that he had given a brief instead of passing
sentence because he could recall one and could not recall the other; that
"he was playing both with the King and the Emperor;" and in England, as
well as elsewhere, it was thought "that there was some secret intelligence
between him and the King." The Pope and the Emperor had met at Bologna and
Charles's language had been as emphatic as Catherine desired; yet even at
Bologna itself and during the conference Clement had assured the English
Agents that there was still a prospect of compromise. It was even rumoured
that the Emperor would allow the cause to be referred back to England, if
securities could be found to protect the rights of the Princess Mary; nay,
that he had gone so far as to say, "that, if the King made a suitable
marriage, and not a love-marriage, he would bring the Pope and Catherine
to allow the first marriage to be annulled."

In London the talk continued of the removal of the suit from Rome to
Cambray. The Nuncio and the King were observed to be much together and on
improved terms, the Nuncio openly saying that his Holiness wished to be
relieved of the business. It was even considered still possible that the
Pope might concede the dispensation to the King which had been originally
asked for, to marry again without legal process. "If," wrote Chapuys, who
thoroughly distrusted Clement, "the King once gains the point of not being
obliged to appear at Rome, the Pope will have the less shame in granting
the dispensation by absolute power, as it is made out that the King's
right is so evident; and if his Holiness refuses it, the King will be more
his enemy than ever. A sentence is the only sovereign remedy, and the
Queen says the King would not resist, if only from fear of his subjects,
who are not only well disposed to her and to your Majesty, but for the
most part are good Catholics and would not endure excommunication and
interdict. If a tumult arose I know not if the Lady, who is hated by all
the world, would escape with life and jewels. But, unless the Pope takes
care, he will lose his authority here, and his censures will not be

It was true that Anne was ill liked in England, and the King, in choosing
her, was testing the question of his marriage in the least popular form
which it could have assumed. The Venetian Ambassador mentions that one
evening "seven or eight thousand women went out of London to seize
Boleyn's daughter," who was supping at a villa on the river, the King not
being with her. Many men were among them in women's clothes. Henry,
however, showed no sign of change of purpose. He had presented her to the
French Court as his intended Queen. And on such a matter he was not to be
moved by the personal objections of his subjects. The month allowed in the
brief went by. She was still at the court, and the continued negotiations
with the Nuncio convinced Catherine's friends that there was mischief at
work behind the scenes. Their uneasiness was increased by the selection
which was now made of a successor to Archbishop Warham.

Thomas Cranmer had been Lord Wiltshire's private chaplain, and had at one
time been his daughter's tutor. He had attended her father on his Embassy
to the Emperor, had been active in collecting opinions on the Continent
favourable to the divorce, and had been resident ambassador at the
Imperial court. He had been much in Germany. He was personally acquainted
with Luther. He had even married, and, though he could not produce his
wife openly, the connection was well known. Protestant priests in taking
wives were asserting only their natural liberty. Luther had married, and
had married a nun. An example laudable at Wittenberg could not be
censurable in London by those who held Luther excused. The German clergy
had released themselves from their vows, as an improvement on the
concubinage which had long and generally prevailed. Wolsey had a son and
was not ashamed of him, even charging his education on English benefices.
Clerical marriages were forbidden only by the Church law, which Parliament
had never been invited to sanction, and though Cranmer could not introduce
a wife into society he was at least as fit for archi-episcopal rank as the
great Cardinal. He was a man of high natural gifts, and ardent to replace
superstition and corruption by purer teaching. The English Liturgy
survives to tell us what Cranmer was. His nomination to the Primacy took
the world by surprise, for as yet he had held no higher preferment than an
archdeaconry; but the reorganisation of the Church was to begin;
Parliament was to meet again in February, and the King needed all the help
that he could find in the House of Lords. The Bishops were still but half
conquered. A man of intellect and learning was required at the head of
them. "King Henry loved a man," it was said. He knew Cranmer and valued
him. The appointment was made known in the first month of the new year.
Before the new Primate could be installed a Bull of Confirmation was still
legally necessary from Rome. The King was in haste. The annates due on the
vacancy of the see of Canterbury were despatched at once, the King himself
advancing the money and taking no advantage of the late Act. Such unusual
precipitancy raised suspicions that something more was contemplated in
which Cranmer's help would be needed.

The knot had, in fact, been cut which Henry had been so long struggling to
untie. The Lady Anne had aspired to being the central figure of a grand
ceremony. Her nuptials were to be attended with the pomp and splendour of
a royal marriage. Public feeling was in too critical a condition to permit
what might have been resented; and, lest the prize should escape her after
all, she had brought down her pride to agree to a private service. When it
was performed, and by whom, was never known. The date usually received was
"on or before the 25th of January." Chapuys says that Cranmer himself
officiated in the presence of the lady's father, mother and brother, two
other friends of the lady, and a Canterbury priest. But Chapuys was
relating only the story current at the time in society. Nothing authentic
has been ascertained.... The fact that the marriage had taken place was
concealed till the divorce could be pronounced by a Court protected by Act
of Parliament, and perhaps with the hope that the announcement could be
softened by the news that the nation might hope for an heir.

Dispatch was thus necessary with Cranmer's Bulls. He himself spoke without
reserve on the right of the King to remarry, "being ready to maintain it
with his life." Chapuys and the Nuncio both wrote to request the Pope not
to be in a hurry with the confirmation of so dangerous a person. The
Pope seemed determined to justify the suspicions entertained of him by his
eagerness to meet Henry's wishes. It is certain that the warning had
reached him. He sent the Bulls with all the speed he could. He knew,
perhaps, what they were needed for.

Henry meanwhile was preparing to meet the Parliament, when the secret
would have to be communicated to the world. The modern reader will
conceive that no other subject could have occupied his mind. The relative
importance of things varies with the distance from which we view them. He
was King of England first. His domestic anxieties held still the second
place. Before the opening, as the matter of greatest consequence, a draft
Act was prepared to carry out the object which in the last year he had
failed in securing--"an Act to restrain bishops from citing or arresting
any of the King's subjects to appear before them, unless the bishop or his
commissary was free from private grudge against the accused, unless there
were three, or at least two, credible witnesses, and a copy of the libel
had in all cases been delivered to the accused, with the names of the
accusers." Such an Act was needed. It was not to shield what was still
regarded as impiety, for Frith was burned a few months later for a denial
of the Real Presence, which Luther himself called heresy. It was to check
the arbitrary and indiscriminate tyranny of a sour, exasperated party, who
were pursuing everyone with fire and sword who presumed to oppose them.
More, writing to Erasmus, said he had purposely stated in his epitaph that
he had been hard upon the heretics. He so hated that folk that, unless
they repented, he preferred their enmity, so mischievous were they to the

The spirit of More was alive and dangerous. To Catholic minds there could
be no surer evidence that the King was given over to the Evil One than
leniency to heretics. They were the more disturbed to see how close the
intimacy had grown between him and the Pope's representative. The Nuncio
was constantly closeted with Henry or the Council. When Chapuys
remonstrated, he said "he was a poor gentleman, living on his salary, and
could not do otherwise." "The Pope had advised him to neglect no
opportunity of promoting the welfare of religion." "Practices," Chapuys
ascertained, were still going forward, and the Nuncio was at the bottom
of them. The Nuncio assured him that he had exhorted the King to take
Catherine back. The King had replied that he would not, and that
reconciliation was impossible. Yet the secret communications did not
cease, and the astonishment and alarm increased when the Nuncio consented
to accompany the King to the opening of Parliament. He was conducted in
state in the Royal barge from Greenwich. Henry sate on the throne, the
Nuncio had a chair on his right, and the French Ambassador on his left.
The object was to show the nation how little was really meant by the
threat of excommunication, to intimidate the Bishops, and to make the
clergy understand the extent of favour which they could expect from the
Nuncio's master. The Nuncio's appearance was not limited to a single
occasion. During the progress of the Session he attended the debates in
the House of Commons. Norfolk gave him notice of the days on which the
Pope would not be directly mentioned, that he might be present without
scandal. The Duke admitted a wish for the world to see that the King and
the Court of Rome understood each other. "By this presumption," said
Chapuys, "they expect to make their profit as regards the people and the
prelates who have hitherto supported the Holy See, who now, for the above
reason, dare not speak, fearing to go against the Pope."

The world wondered and was satisfied. The Opposition was paralysed. The
Bishop of Rochester complained to the Nuncio, and received nothing but
regrets and promises which were not observed. Again, a council was held
of Peers, Bishops, and lawyers to consider the divorce, when it was agreed
at last that the cause might be tried in the Archbishop of Canterbury's
court, and that the arrival of the Bulls would be accepted as a sign of
the Pope's tacit connivance. Chapuys had failed to stop them. "The Queen,"
he said, "was thunderstruck, and complained bitterly of his Holiness. He
had left her to languish for three and a half years since her appeal, and,
instead of giving sentence, had now devised a scheme to prolong her misery
and bastardise her daughter. She knew the King's character. If sentence
was once given there would be no scandal. The King would obey, or, if he
did not, which she thought impossible, she would die happy, knowing that
the Pope had declared for her. Her own mind would be at rest, and the
Princess would not lose her right. The Pope was entirely mistaken if he
thought that he would induce the King to modify his action against the
Church. The Lady and her father, who were staunch Lutherans, were urging
him on. The sentence alone would make him pause. He dared not disobey, and
if the people rose the Lady would find a rough handling." This, Chapuys
said, was the Queen's opinion, which she had commanded him to communicate
to the Emperor. For himself, he could only repeat his request that the
Bulls for Canterbury should be delayed till the sentence was ready for
delivery. If the Pope knew Cranmer's reputation as a heretic, he would be
in no haste to confirm him.

Clement knew well enough what Cranmer was, and the Bulls had been
despatched promptly before the Emperor could interfere. The King
meanwhile had committed himself, and now went straight forward. He allowed
his marriage to be known. Lord Wiltshire had withdrawn his opposition to
it. Lord Rochfort, Anne's brother, was sent at the beginning of March
to Paris, to say that the King had acted on the advice given him by his
good brother at their last interview. He had taken a wife for the
establishment of his realm in the hope of having male issue. He trusted,
therefore, that Francis would remember his promise. In citing him to Rome
the Pope had violated the rights of sovereign Princes. It touched them
all, and, if allowed, would give the Pope universal authority. The time
was passed when such pretensions could be tolerated.

At home he prepared for the worst. The fleet was further increased, new
ships were put on the stocks; the yeomanry were armed, drilled, and
equipped, and England rang with sounds of preparation for war; while in
Parliament the famous Act was introduced which was to form the
constitutional basis of national independence, and to end for ever the
Papal jurisdiction in England. From the time that Convocation had
acknowledged the King to be the Head of the Church the question of appeals
to Rome had been virtually before the country. It was now to be settled,
and English lawsuits were henceforth to be heard and decided within the
limits of the empire. The Sibyl's pages were being rent out one by one.
The Praemunire had been revived, and the Pope's claim of independent right
to interfere by bull or brief in English affairs had been struck rudely
down. Tribute in the shape of annates went next; the appellate
jurisdiction was now to follow. Little would then be left save spiritual
precedence, and this might not be of long continuance. There had been
words enough. The time had come to act. On the introduction of the Act of
Appeals the King spoke out to Chapuys as if the spirit of the Plantagenets
was awake in him. "He said a thousand things in disparagement of the Pope,
complaining of the authority and power he unduly assumed over the kingdoms
of Christendom. He professed to have seen a book from the Papal library,
in which it was maintained that all Christian princes were only
feudatories of the Pope. He himself, he said, intended to put a remedy to
such inordinate ambition, and repair the errors of Henry II. and John, who
had been tricked into making England tributary to the Holy See." "The
Emperor," he said, "not only demanded justice, but would have justice done
in his own way, and according to his own caprice. For himself, he thought
of resuming to the Crown the lands of the clergy, which his predecessors
had alienated without right." Chapuys advised him to wait for a General
Council before he tried such high measures. "But the King could not be
persuaded" that a council was needed for such a purpose.

The Act of Appeals touched too many interests to be passed without
opposition. Private persons as well as princes had appealed to the Roman
law-courts, and suits pending or determined there might be reopened at
home and produce confusion unless provided for. However complacent the
Pope might appear, it could not be supposed that he would bear patiently
the open renunciation of his authority. Excommunication was half perceived
to be a spectre; but spectres had not wholly lost their terrors. With an
excommunication pronounced in earnest might come interdict and stoppage of
trade, perhaps war and rebellion at home; and one of the members for
London said that if the King would refer the question between himself and
the Queen to a General Council, the City of London would give him two
hundred thousand pounds. The arrival of Cranmer's Bulls, while the Act was
still under discussion, moderated the alarm. The Pope evidently was in no
warlike humour. At the bottom of his heart he had throughout been in
Henry's favour; he hoped probably that a time might come when he could say
so, and that all this hostile legislation would then be repealed. When the
excitement was at its hottest, and it was known at Rome, not only that the
last brief had been defied, but that the King was about to marry the lady,
the Pope had borne the news with singular calmness. After all, he said to
the Count de Cifuentes, if the marriage is completed, we have only to
think of a remedy. The remedy, Cifuentes said, was for the Pope to do
justice; the King had been encouraged in his rash course by the toleration
with which he had been treated and the constant delays. Clement answered
that he would certainly do justice; but if the marriage was "a fact
accomplished," he wished to know what the Emperor meant to do. Cifuentes
told him that his Holiness must do his part first, and then the Emperor
would "act as became a powerful and wise Prince."

The Pope had heard this language before. The Emperor was afraid of going
to war with England, and the Pope knew it. The alternative, therefore, was
either to make some concession to Henry or to let him go on as he pleased,
bringing the Holy See into contempt by exposing its weakness: and either
course would be equally dispiriting to the Queen and his own friends in
England. "Everybody," wrote Chapuys, "cries murder on the Pope for his
delays, and for not detaining the Archbishop's Bulls, till the definitive
sentence had been given. He was warned of the danger of granting them.
There is not a lord in the Court of either side who does not say publicly
his Holiness will betray the Emperor. The Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk
speak of it with more assurance, saying they know it well and could give
good evidence of it."

The Act of Appeals, though strongly resisted in the House of Commons for
fear of the consequences, was evidently to pass; and it was now understood
that, as soon as it became law, Cranmer was to try the divorce suit and to
give final judgment. The Pope's extraordinary conduct had paralysed
opposition. The clergy, like some wild animal hardly broken in, were made
to parade their docility and to approve beforehand the Archbishop's
intended action. It was to be done in haste, for Anne was enceinte. The
members of the Synod were allowed scant time, even to eat their dinners;
they were so harassed that no one opened his mouth to contradict, except
the Bishop of Rochester, and Rochester had no weight, being alone against
all the rest. So docile was the assembly and so imperious the King that
the Queen and all her supporters now regarded her cause as lost.
Ortiz wrote from Rome to Charles that, "though he was bound to believe the
contrary, he feared the Pope had sent, or might send, absolution to the
King." Something might be done underhand to revoke the last brief,
although the Pope knew what an evil thing it would be, and how ignominious
to the Holy See.

The reforming party in England laughed at the expected interdict. The
Pope, they said, would not dare to try it, or, if he did, Christian
princes would not trouble themselves about him. The King said,
significantly, to the Nuncio that he was only defending himself: "if the
Pope gave him occasion to reconsider the matter, he might undo what was
being aimed at his authority."

The Bill passed more rapidly through its later stages. The Papal
jurisdiction was ended. Anyone who introduced Briefs of Excommunication or
Interdict into the realm was declared guilty of high treason. The Bishop
of Rochester, becoming violent, was committed to friendly custody under
charge of Gardiner, now Bishop of Winchester. Appeals to the Pope on any
matter, secular or spiritual, were forbidden thenceforward, and the Act
was made retrospective, applying to suits already in progress. All was
thus over. The Archbishop's sentence was known beforehand, and Anne Boleyn
was to be crowned at Whitsuntide. Force was now the only remedy, and the
constitutional opposition converted itself into conspiracy, to continue in
that form till the end of the century. The King was convinced that the
strength and energy of the country was with him. When told that there
would be an invasion, he said that the English could never be conquered as
long as they held together. Chapuys was convinced equally that they would
not hold together. The clergy, and a section of the peers with whom he
chiefly associated, spoke all in one tone, and he supposed that the
language which they used to him represented a universal opinion.
Thenceforward he and his English friends began to urge on the Emperor the
necessity of armed intervention, and assured him that he had only to
declare himself to find the whole nation at his back.

"Englishmen, high and low," Chapuys wrote, "desire your Majesty to send an
army to destroy the venomous influence of the Lady and her adherents, and
reform the realm. Forgive my boldness, but your Majesty ought not to
hesitate. When this accursed Anne has her foot in the stirrup she will do
the Queen and the Princess all the hurt she can. She boasts that she will
have the Princess in her own train; one day, perhaps, she will poison her,
or will marry her to some varlet, while the realm itself will be made over
to heresy. A conquest would be perfectly easy. The King has no trained
army. All of the higher ranks and all the nobles are for your Majesty,
except the Duke of Norfolk and two or three besides. Let the Pope call in
the secular arm, stop the trade, encourage the Scots, send to sea a few
ships, and the thing will be over. No injustice will be done, and, without
this, England will be estranged from the Holy Faith and will become
Lutheran. The King points the way and lends them wings, and the
Archbishop of Canterbury does worse. There is no danger of French
interference. France will wait to see the issue, and will give you no more
trouble if this King receives his due. Again forgive me, but pity for the
Queen and Princess obliges me to speak plainly."

The King could hardly be ignorant of the communications between the
disaffected nobles and the Imperial Ambassador, but no outward sign
appeared that he was aware of them. Lord Mountjoy, however, was sent with
a guard to watch Catherine's residence, and, the decisive Act being passed
through Parliament, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, with Lord Exeter and
the Earl of Oxford, repaired to her once more to invite her, since she
must see that further resistance was useless, to withdraw her appeal, and
to tell her that, on her compliance, every arrangement should be made for
her state and comfort, with an establishment suited to her rank. Chapuys
demanded an audience of the King to remonstrate, and a remarkable
conversation ensued. The Ambassador said he had heard of the proceedings
in Convocation and in Parliament. It was his duty to speak. If the King
had no regard for men whom he despised, he hoped that he would have
respect to God. "God and his conscience," Henry answered calmly, "were on
perfectly good terms." Chapuys expressed a doubt, and the King assured him
that he was entirely sincere. Chapuys said he could not believe that at a
time when Europe was distracted with heresies the King of England would
set so evil an example. The King rejoined that, if the world found his new
marriage strange, he himself found it more strange that Pope Julius
should have granted a dispensation for his marriage with his brother's
wife. He must have an heir to succeed him in his realm. The Emperor had no
right to prevent him. The Ambassador spoke of the Princess. To provide a
husband for the Princess would be the fittest means to secure the
succession. Henry said he would have children of his own, and Chapuys
ventured on more dangerous ground than he was aware of by hinting that he
could not be sure of that. "Am I not a man," the King said sharply, "am I
not a man like others? Am I not a man?" Thrice repeating the words. "But,"
he added, "I will not let you into my secrets." The Ambassador enquired
whether he intended to remain on friendly terms with the Emperor. The King
asked him with a frown what he meant by that. On his replying that the
Emperor's friendship depended on the treatment of the Queen, the King said
coldly that the Emperor had no right to interfere with the laws and
constitution of England.

Chapuys persisted.

The Emperor, he said, did not wish to meddle with his laws, unless they
personally affected the Queen. The King wanted to force her to abandon her
appeal, and it was not to be expected that she would submit to statutes
which had been carried by compulsion.

The King grew impatient. The statutes, he said, had been passed in
Parliament, and the Queen as a subject must obey them.

The Ambassador retorted that new laws could not be retrospective; and, as
to the Queen being a subject, if she was his wife she was his subject; if
she was not his wife, she was not his subject.

This was true, and Henry was to be made to feel the dilemma. He contented
himself, however, with saying that she must have patience, and obey the
laws of the realm. The Emperor had injured him by hindering his marriage
and preventing him from having male succession. The Queen was no more his
wife than she was Chapuys's. He would do as he pleased, and if the Emperor
made war on him he would fight.

Chapuys inquired whether, if an interdict was issued, and the Spaniards
and Flemings resident in England obeyed it, his statutes would apply to

The King did not answer; but, turning to someone present, he said: "You
have heard the Ambassador hint at excommunication. It is not I that am
excommunicated, but the Emperor, who has kept me so long in mortal sin.
That is an excommunication which the Pope cannot take off."

To the lords who carried the message to Catherine she replied as she had
always done--that Queen she was, and she would never call herself by any
other name. As to her establishment, she wanted nothing but a confessor, a
doctor, and a couple of maids. If that was too much, she would go about
the world and beg alms for the love of God.

"The King," Chapuys said, "was naturally kind and generous," but the "Lady
Anne had so perverted him that he did not seem the same man." Unless the
Emperor acted in earnest, she would make an end of Catherine, as she had
done of Wolsey, whom she did not hate with half as much intensity. "All
seems like a dream," he said. "Her own party do not know whether to laugh
or cry at it. Every day people ask me when I am going away. As long as I
remain here it will be always thought your Majesty has consented to the

Next: Coronation Of Anne Boleyn

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

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