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