History of England (Froude)/Chapter 19

CHAPTER XIX.


SOLWAY MOSS.


1540. July.CROMWELL had fallen: the shock which, at the news, once vibrated through Europe, the exulting hopes, the speculations, the terrors which that brief sentence stirred at every English fireside, we, who read of the catastrophe as but one event in a revolution, a fact long completed in the far-distant past, can never, except languidly, realize. Cromwell was the spirit of evil who had thrown a spell over the King, and entangled him in a war against Heaven. Cromwell was the upstart adventurer who had set his foot upon the necks of the Norman nobles. Cromwell was 'the hammer of the monks,' who had uncovered the nakedness of the abbeys, and had exposed the servants of God to ignominy and spoliation. And some few there were to whom he appeared as a champion raised up by Providence to accomplish a mighty work, and overthrown at last by the wiles of Satan. 'Now,' said Lord Surrey, 'is that foul churl dead, so ambitious of others' blood; now is he stricken with his own staff.'[1] A servant of Cromwell in the Exchequer had married a nun. The Duke of Norfolk met the man a few days after the execution: 'I know ye well enough,' the Duke said: 'by God's body sacred it will never out of my heart as long as I live.' The servant quoted Scripture. 'I never read the Scripture,' the Duke answered, 'nor never will read it: it was merry in England afore the new learning came up; yea, I would all things were as hath been in times past.'[2] 'I did ask of my friends,' said a Mr Lascelles, 'what news there were pertaining to God's holy Word. We have lost, I said, so noble a man, which did love and favour it so well. I supposed the ringleaders, as the Duke of Norfolk and my Lord of Winchester, not to lean that way; and I did advise that we should not be too rash and quick; for if we would let them alone, and suffer a little time, they would, I doubted not, overthrow themselves, standing manifestly against God and their prince.'[3]

These are specimens of the language used by different men, according to their sympathies, in the summer and autumn of 1540. August.Meanwhile, Anne of Cleves being pensioned off, the King married, without delay or circumstance, Catherine, daughter of Lord Edmund Howard. Three full years of unproductiveness had gone since Jane Seymour's death; and Henry's unpromising constitution was matter of calculation in Scotland.[4] If there were to be more children, the precious time might not be longer squandered. 'His Highness,' therefore, 'was earnestly and humbly solicited by his council and nobles of his realm to frame his heart to the love and favour of some noble personage, to be joined with him in lawful matrimony, by whom his Majesty might have some more store of fruit and succession to the comfort of the realm.' In compliance with the request, repeated as it had been with wearying frequency, 'upon a notable appearance of honour, cleanness, and maidenly behaviour, in Mistress Catherine Howard, his Highness was finally contented to honour that lady with his marriage, thinking in his old days, after sundry troubles of mind which has happened to him by marriage, to have obtained such a jewel for womanhood and very perfect love towards him as should not only have been to his quietness, but also have brought forth the desired fruits of marriage.'[5] October.The domestic arrangements were established at last, it was to be hoped, satisfactorily. Elsewhere the consequences of the change threatened to be considerable. The impression that the destruction of the Protestant alliance would place England on good terms with the Catholic powers was but partially true. The recovery of power by the conservative party implied of itself improved relations with the Empire. The English nobles were constant to the national traditions of enmity and friendship; the alliance of the French was a thing of yesterday; the princes of Spain and Burgundy had stood side by side with England for five generations. The interest rather perhaps than the sentiment of Charles V. taught him to respond to the feeling; he was gratified not a little by the sacrifice of Anne of Cleves; and in the concluding months of the year the renewal of the early engagement between himself and the Princess Mary was talked of openly both in Flanders and England.[6] The Duke of Cleves, on the other hand, on the verge of a quarrel with the Emperor for the Duchy of Gueldres, sought and obtained the support of France, cementing his alliance by a marriage with the daughter of the Queen of Navarre.

Indications were thus apparent of a change of partners preparatory to the opening of a new game: and little differences simultaneously arose between the Courts of London and Paris, which might easily haA 7 e been composed had there been a desire to settle them, but which, as easily, with the wind in the wrong quarter, might be fanned into a quarrel.

By the treaty drawn at Moor Park in 1525, and a second time ratified in London in 1532,[7] the French and English Governments had undertaken respectively to give neither shelter nor countenance to refugees. In virtue of this obligation Henry had demanded the capture and extradition of Reginald Pole; and now other persons, especially a pretender calling himself the White Rose, though with as little Plantagenet blood in him as was in Perkin Warbeck, were residing openly in Paris, circulating the libels against England with which the Catholic presses were teeming. The French Government, not unnaturally, declined to be bound by conditions regarding political offenders, into which they had entered while the contracting parties were alike in communion with Rome. Treason in an Englishman had become respectable; and a Catholic power could not consent to surrender to death or enforced apostasy men whose crime was fidelity to the Church. A formal demand for 'the White Rose' was evaded or refused.[8] The English minister was pressing. Francis was loud and peremptory. The scene between Wyatt and the Emperor in the similar instance of Brancetor all but repeated itself.

A bad spirit simultaneously showed itself on the Marches at Calais and Guisnes. The defensive works at both these places had been largely increased in the three last years. Additions, since the discovery of Botolph's plot, had been made to the garrisons, while in the late summer as many as sixteen hundred men had been employed in cutting trenches and throwing up batteries. The French had stationed a force at Ardes to watch these proceedings, and extend their own defences in proportion; and the boundary line not being rigidly defined, and Calais being the sensitive point of difference between the two countries, there had been quarrels among the opposition gangs of labourers. Trenches which had been cut by one party were filled in by the other; Lord Maltravers, the English deputy, was fired on by an ambuscade; and although officially the Governments affected to regret the unruliness of their subjects, neither would yield anything of their supposed rights.[9] Lord William Howard was sent to Paris to ascertain, if possible, the real feeling towards England, and at the same time to learn how matters stood between Francis and the Emperor. The Earl of Hertford went to Calais to arrange the disputes with a French commissioner, and with directions to hint that if treaties were systematically broken, 'if the French would omit to accomplish that whereunto they were bound, and sought daily to claim that whereunto they had no title, they might drive the King of England to seek and claim his right in some other things, and might hear that which should percase redound to their disadvantage.'[10] The 'some other things' referred to an old debt which had arrived at dimensions not easy to deal with. A series of money transactions, dating back into the fifteenth century, and complicated further by the war of 1513, by the redemption money which Francis had engaged to pay for the restoration of Tournay, and other intricacies, had been adjusted and simplified in the treaty of Moor Park. It was there agreed that France should pay to England two million crowns, at the rate of a hundred thousand crowns a year; that if Henry survived the completion of the payment, the annual hundred thousand crowns should be continued to him as a pension for his life; that, in addition, a perpetual pension should be paid to himself and his successors of fifty thousand crowns, with a further proportion of the salt duties.[11] Eight hundred thousand crowns had been since added to the principal, in two sums of three and five hundred thousand crowns each, which Henry had advanced to redeem the French princes when in prison in Spain; and another half million had been advanced for the expenses of the Italian campaign of De Lautrec, in 1528. Whether any, or if any, how much, of these additional debts, would be claimed, or were likely to be recovered, was an unsettled question. The light-hearted Francis held vague notions of pecuniary obligations. The original payments were already far in arrear; and for the last six years no money had been forthcoming, nor mention or promise of money. Henry being anxious, for many reasons, to keep on good terms with Francis, had not pressed his claims; but the twenty years were approaching their term. The composition had originally been more than favourable to France; November.and in fairness to his own heavily-burdened subjects the King would be forced to demand an explanation.

In so delicate a matter it was necessary to be cautious. The temper of the French Government was evidently uncertain. It appeared as if they were calculating on the known embarrassments of England; and a formal request for payment might be followed by repudiation, which it would be dishonourable to bear, and dangerous to resent. An opportunity must be taken when the improved relations with the Empire had assumed consistency, and Charles and Francis were on less amicable terms. The aspect of things had changed, but the change was recent. But a few months since the two Catholic princes had discussed an invasion of England, and Henry had attempted a combination to take Charles prisoner and deprive him of his Flemish provinces.

But the great powers were accustomed to varieties of attitude; and the insoluble Italian question remained still undigested. The English revolution had freed the Emperor from alarm of an Anglo-German confederacy; the retention of Milan was once more of greater importance than the friendship of Francis. He had held out hopes, it was true. He had used Milan as a bait, which Francis followed as often as it was thrown to him. Now, when he was pressed to convert his ambiguous promises into reality, he withdrew, much as he had done under similar circumstances five years before. In an interview with the Cardinal of Lorraine and with Montmorency, he said that he was so anxious to convert the truce into a peace, that he would do more than he had meant to do. He could not surrender a country which formed the connecting link between Spain, Italy, Germany, and the Low Countries; but he would make over in its place the province of Flanders. The offer might have tempted a prudent prince, and satisfied a reasonable one. On Francis the answer had its usual effect. 'He could take Flanders,' he said, 'at his pleasure.' He would have Milan or nothing.[12]

The Emperor was of course prepared for the reply, and thus, it was at least likely, intended to drift towards England. Henry, on the other hand, knowing accurately how slight thanks he owed to either of his brother princes for his present tenure of his throne, was entitled and able to take advantage of their necessities, and to choose the alliance which suited best with English interests.

Nevertheless, both at home and abroad, his course was still intricate, his position critical. Abroad, he knew himself to be dealing with Governments which convenience might make his allies, but could never make his friends. 1541. January.At home, the virulence of the ultra-reactionaries, which the sacrifice of Cromwell had for the moment appeased, recommenced as soon as it was found that the King was constant to his general policy; that the Bible was still to have its course; that the clergy were not to be liberated from their chains. Conspicuous persons who had been intimate with the fallen minister, became the objects of secret accusations; and the opening of the new year was signalized by the arrest, on a charge of treason, of Sir John Wallop and Sir Thomas Wyatt. The accuser of Wyatt was Bonner, now Bishop of London; his supposed offences were slanderous expressions used against the King at Nice, and a correspondence at the same place with Pole. Wallop had been informed against by a friend of the Duke of Norfolk, Richard Pate, the present English minister in Flanders—a disguised Romanist, who soon after showed his true colours.

An instance of unrelenting severity on the part of the King will be presently related: if he was inflexible where guilt had been ascertained, he was cautious, and even considerate, where there was only suspicion. Wallop, who had been superseded as ambassador at Paris in favour of Lord William Howard, was designed for the honourable and dangerous office of commandant at Guisnes. He was still in France; and the King wrote to Howard telling him that certain charges had been laid before him against his predecessor, and the second appointment must therefore, for a time at least, be suspended. 'Nevertheless, considering his long services done unto us,' Henry continued, 'and the place and office which he hath lately occupied for us, we have resolved, that before he shall be committed to any ward or prison, or that any such publication of his accusations shall be made as shall redound to his infamy and slander, he shall be familiarly conveyed by Sir Richard Long to our house in Southwark, and there secretly examined, to the intent he may know what is objected against him, and make such answer as he can: and if he can clear himself—whereof we would be very glad—then to be admitted to our presence, and so entertained as his accusation should not tend to his slander.'[13] Wyatt was for some reason sent to the Tower; but he, too, like Sir John Wallop, was informed privately of the charges against him, and had an opportunity of sending in his explanations.[14] In both instances the defence was accepted readily and warmly. March.After a few weeks' inconvenience, the late ambassador was at his post in command of the garrison at Guisnes, and Wyatt was indemnified for his brief imprisonment by the grant of an estate from the Crown.[15] Justice was the ruling principle of Henry's conduct; but it was justice without mercy. Ever ready to welcome evidence of innocence, he forgave guilt only among the poor and the uneducated; and for State offences there was but one punishment. A disposition naturally severe had been stiffened by the trials of the last years into harsher rigidity; and familiarity with executions, as with deaths in action, diminishes alike the pain of witnessing and of inflicting them. Loyalty was honoured and rewarded; the traitor, though his crime was consecrated by the most devoted sense of duty; was dismissed without a pang of compunction to carry his appeal before another tribunal.

April.The King, it was generally known, intended to go on progress in the approaching summer through the scenes of the great insurrection, and receive in person the apologies of his subjects. The Duke of Norfolk was on the Marches as lieutenant-general; and had received instructions to require from the Scottish sovereign the surrender of the refugee clergy who, four years previously, had escaped for shelter across the Border. These two facts, in combination with general fretfulness, may have formed the motives which induced a party of Yorkshire gentlemen to make another effort in the cause which had once promised so brilliantly among them. In April five priests and a few knights and squires rose in arms under Sir John Neville. They accomplished nothing. The movement was instantly suppressed; we do not learn that so much as a life was lost; but the rash agitators were taken, and sent to London and tried; and, on the 17th of May, Neville and nine others paid for their folly in the usual way.[16] The name of the leader and the date of the commotion connects an event otherwise too obscure to be of interest, with the fate of a noble lady whose treatment weighs heavily on the reputation of the King.

The Countess of Salisbury had remained under sentence of death by attainder for more than a year in the Tower. Her companion, Lady Exeter, had received a pardon, but had gone into freedom alone. An amnesty bad been proclaimed by Act of Parliament, but the motber of Reginald Pole bad been exempted by name from the benefit of it. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that, after so long a delay, her punishment should have been suddenly resolved upon without provocation either from the Countess or from her friends. It may have been that Sir John Neville was acting under instructions from her. It may have been that he had unwisely desired, of his own accord, to strike a blow for the Church and for the head of his family. The impulses, the desires, the secret communications which were circulating below the surface of society have left few traces by which to follow them. At any rate, as the 'manlike' Margaret Plantagenet would have disclaimed and disdained indulgence on the plea of her sex, so the treason of women in the sixteenth century was no more considered to be entitled to immunity than their participation in grosser crimes is held so entitled in the nineteenth. The Countess had written a letter to her son of professed disapproval of his conduct, under the direction of the Government. She had corresponded with him secretly in a far different tone; and she had darkened the suspicions against her by a denial of all knowledge of the conspiracies of Lord Montague and Sir Geoffrey Pole, where her complicity had been proved. The last provocation which sealed her fate was perhaps an act of her own—perhaps it was the precipitate zeal of her friends—perhaps, like her brother the Earl of Warwick, she had committed only the fresh crime of continuing to be dangerous. Be it as it may, May 27.on the day on which Sir John Neville suffered at York, and others among the conspirators at Tyburn, the grey head of the Countess of Salisbury fell upon the scaffold on the fatal green within the Tower.[17] To condemn is easy, instinctive, and possibly[18] right; to understand is also right, but is not easy. A settled age can imperfectly comprehend an age of revolution, or realize the indifference with which men risk their own blood and shed the blood of others when battling for a great cause. June.Another execution followed, which was as generally compassionated as Lady Salisbury's was regarded with indifference. The contrast of popular feeling may represent how vast has been the change, in the last three hundred years, in the comparative estimate of crime. The offence of the aged Countess, even though it could be proved to have been deliberate constructive treason, would appear still too little to palliate, or even explain, her death. A murder, though unpremeditated, remains among the few acts to which modern sentiment refuses indulgence.

Lord Dacres of Hurstmonceaux, a young nobleman of high spirit and promise, not more than four-and-twenty years old, was tempted by his own folly, or that of his friends, to join a party to kill deer in the park of an unpopular neighbour. The excitement of a lawless adventure was probably the chief or only inducement for the expedition; but the party were seen by the foresters: a fray ensued in which one of the latter was mortally wounded, and died two days after. The bearings of the case were very simple. Deer- stealing, like cattle-stealing, was felony; and where the commission of one crime leads to another and a worse, the most lenient administration is usually severe. Had Lord Dacres been an ordinary offender, he would have been disposed of summarily. Both he and his friends happened to be general favourites. The privy council hesitated long before they resolved on a prosecution: and at last it is likely they were assisted to a resolution by the King. When the indictment was prepared, the peers by whom Lord Dacres was to be tried held a preliminary meeting to consult on the course which they would pursue. June 27.'I found all the lords at the Star Chamber,' Sir William Paget wrote to Wriothesley, 'assembled for a conference touching the Lord Dacres's case. They had with them present the Chief Justice, with others of the King's learned council, and albeit I was excluded, yet they spake so loud, some of them, that I might hear them, notwithstanding two doors shut between us. Among the rest that could not agree to wilful murder, the Lord Cobham, as I took him by his voice, was very vehement and stiff.'[19] They adjourned at last to the Court of King's Bench. The Lord Chancellor was appointed High Steward, and the prisoner was brought up to the bar. He pleaded 'not guilty;' he said that he had intended no harm; he was very sorry for the death of the forester, but it had been caused in an accidental scuffle; and 'surely,' said Paget, who was present, 'it was a pitiful sight to see such a young man brought by his own folly into so miserable a state.'[20] But a verdict of acquittal, or any verdict short of murder, was impossible. The lords, therefore, as it seems they had determined among themselves, persuaded him to withdraw his plea, "and trust to the King's clemency. He consented: and they immediately repaired to the Court to intercede for his pardon. Eight persons in all were implicated Lord Dacres and seven companions. June 29.The young nobleman was the chief object of commiseration; but the King remained true to his principles of equal justice; the frequency of crimes of violence had required extraordinary measures of repression; and if a poor man was to be sent to the gallows for an act into which he might have been tempted by poverty, thoughtlessness could not be admitted as an adequate excuse because the offender was a peer. Four out of the eight were pardoned. For Lord Dacres there was to the last some uncertainty. He was brought out to the scaffold, when an order arrived to stay the execution; probably to give time for a last appeal to Henry. But if it was so, the King was inexorable. Five hours later the sheriff was again directed to do his duty; and the full penalty was paid.[21]

Neither crimes nor the punishment of crimes are grateful subjects. The nation, grown familiar with executions, ceased to be disturbed at spectacles which formed, after all, but a small portion of their daily excitements and interests. The historian, whose materials are composed, in so large part, of those exceptional occurrences which men single out for mention and record, sickens over these perpetual entries in the register of death. Yet, on the whole, Providence gives little good in this world, for which suffering, in large measure or small, is not exacted as payment, and the King and the country alike had reason to be on the whole well satisfied. A revolution, as beneficent as it was mighty, had been effected in a series of rapid and daring measures. The nation had reeled under the impulse, but the shock had spent its force. The Pope was a name of the past. The idle monks were working for their bread. The idle miracles had ceased to deceive. An English Bible was in every church, and the contents of it were fast passing into every English mind, bringing forward, inevitably as destiny, those further changes for which only time was needed. The rebellion which had raised its head had drooped into submission. Conspiracies had bled to death, and the Emperor had ceased to threaten; and even James of Scotland, swayed as he was by alternate influences, had learnt something from Henry's success. Kirkaldy of Grange, the Lord Treasurer, a true friend to the English alliance, for the moment had gained the ears of the fickle prince; not, of course, without advice from London, he determined to use the occasion of the northern progress to bring James again to agree to the meeting with his uncle; and, leaving no time for the purpose to cool, so to order his arrangements that the resolution should be acted upon as soon as it was made, and should be kept concealed from the party of the Church till it was too late for them to interpose.

July 1.Henry set out, on the 1st of July, in high spirits, for the north, accompanied by the Queen and council. He went by Ampthill into Lincolnshire, and passed purposely through that part of the country where the commotion had been greatest. On the border of Yorkshire he was met by 'two hundred gentlemen of the shire in coats of velvet, and four thousand tall yeomen well horsed.'[22] Every man of the whole company had, doubtless, worn the pilgrim's badges, and had followed St Cuthbert's banner. They now presented themselves in an eager demonstration of loyalty, and made their submission on their knees. The clergy, whose guilt had been greater, hastened, with the Archbishop at their head, to show equally their repentance, with professions and presents. The King went forward, surrounded by expressions of good-will; and to make his presence welcomed as a reality as much as admired as a pageant, he sent out proclamations that 'whosoever among his subjects found himself grieved for lack of justice, should have free access to declare his complaints, and have right at the hand of his Majesty.'[23] He visited Wressel Castle. He went to Hull to inspect the fortifications. At the end of August he was at Pomfret, and here evidence appeared of the Lord Treasurer's success at Edinburgh. 'One of the King of Scots' most secret councillors' arrived at the Court to arrange a meeting between the sovereigns before Henry's return to London.[24] The utmost caution was observed; every person concerned in making arrangements was sworn to secrecy;[25] and, 'although the matter was uncertain, the interview was thought not unlikely to take effect. Safe-conducts were prepared by the Lord Chancellor for the Scotch train, and were despatched in haste. The King proceeded to York; September.and at York, in the middle of September, James was expected to present himself. He was expected, and it may be supposed that he had really intended to come; but the proposal had been urged upon him without the privity of a statesman whose influence was a fascination. At the critical moment Cardinal Beton discovered the scheme, and in an instant all was changed.

The condition of Europe made the Scotch alliance more than ever necessary to France; and the Cardinal, having successfully interposed for the moment, set off to the French Court for instructions and help. A new phase of complications was about to open, and the opportunity of injury was not yet to be taken from him.

The intentions of France, and the connection of Scotland with them, will be related in their turn. For the present the story follows the King.

The principal object of the northern progress had failed. October.In October, Henry came back to Hampton Court to find a fresh domestic calamity preparing for him. Thirteen months had passed since his marriage with his present Queen. The connection had not been on the whole an unhappy one; November.and on the 1st of November, a few days after his return from Yorkshire, 'receiving his Maker, the King gave Him most hearty thanks for the good life he led and trusted to lead with her;' and, also, he desired the Bishop of Lincoln, his ghostly father, 'to make like prayers and to give like thanks with him.'[26] 'The whole realm, in respect of the virtues and good behaviour which she showed outwardly, did her all honour accordingly.'[27] Though other trials might pursue Henry till his death, he believed himself secure of the attachment and uprightness of Catherine Howard. The day after he had thus warmly expressed his confidence, a letter was brought to him from Cranmer, revealing a story of profligacy necessary to be told, yet too hideous to dwell upon. I shall touch upon it but lightly, inasmuch as the entire body of evidence survives in its voluminous offensiveness, and leaves no room for the most charitable scepticism to raise questions or suggest uncertainties.[28]

During the King's absence a gentleman named Lascelles[29] came to the Archbishop and told him that his sister had been in the household of the Duchess of Norfolk, where the Queen had been brought up; that a short time previously he had advised her, on the plea of early acquaintance, to seek for a situation as maid of honour at the palace, and that she had replied that she would not take service under a mistress who, before her marriage, had disgraced herself. She was sorry to speak in such terms of the King's wife, but she mentioned the names of two gentlemen, one of them her cousin, Francis Derham, the other a person called Mannock, on the establishment of the Duchess, with whom her intimacy had been of the most unambiguous description.[30] The Archbishop, perplexed and frightened, consulted the chancellor and Lord Hertford, the only members of the council remaining in London. They agreed that Lascelles's story must be communicated to the King before any other step should be taken; and Cranmer, unable to summon nerve to speak on so frightful a subject, waited till the close of the progress, and wrote to Henry at Hampton Court.

The letter was received at first with utter incredulity. The King had seen nothing in his wife's character to lend credibility to so odious a charge. He laid the account which the Archbishop had sent, before such of his ministers as were in attendance; but he declared emphatically his conviction that the Queen was the object of a calumny. The story should be investigated, but with scrupulous secrecy, to protect her character from scandal. Lord Southampton was sent to London to see and examine the Archbishop's informant.

Finding Lascelles adhere to his story, the Earl cautioned him to be silent; and went down into Sussex, under pretence of joining a hunting party, in order to question the sister; while Mannock and Derham were in the mean time arrested, on the charge of having been concerned in an act of piracy in the Irish seas, and were privately examined by Sir Thomas Wriothesley. Wriothesley, of all the ministers next to Gardiner and the Duke of Norfolk, was most interested in finding the Queen to be innocent; he had attached himself decidedly to the Anglican interest, and had taken a prominent part in promoting the divorce of Anne of Cleves. But the case admitted of no self-deception; the inquiry resulted on both sides in the confirmation of the worst which Lascelles had stated. The two gentlemen confessed; and Southampton returned with the miserable burden of his discoveries to the Court. The King was overwhelmed; some dreadful spirit pursued his married life, tainting it with infamy. The council were assembled, and he attempted to address them. But it was long before he could speak; and his words, when they came at last, were choked with tears.[31] After a brief and miserable consultation, the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Sussex, the Lord Chancellor, and Cranmer were deputed to wait upon the Queen, and hear what she could say in her defence. The wretched lady at first attempted a denial; but from the questions which were put to her she discovered rapidly that too much was known; and after a fit of hysterics, and encouraged by promises of forgiveness, which Cranmer brought to her from the King on condition of a full confession, she acknowledged as much of her guilt as she saw that it was useless to disclaim. Foul as her behaviour had been before her marriage, Henry had as yet no reason to suppose that she had repeated her offences since she had been his Queen. Though she had disgraced herself as a woman, and had cruelly injured him as her husband, she had, as far as he knew, committed no crime against the State, and he allowed the Archbishop to quiet her alarms by a hope that her worst punishment would be the exposure of her shame.

But it usually happens in such cases that the first discovery is but the end of a clue which ravels out to unexpected issues. Seven or eight of the Queen's ladies were examined, and it was found that Francis Derham had been lately taken back into her service, and had been employed in a confidential office about her person; while a third Court gallant, Thomas Culpeper, who had accompanied the progress, had been admitted to interviews at midnight in the Queen's private apartments. Her establishment had been separate from the King's; at each house at which they had stayed, either she herself, or her chosen friend Lady Rochford, studied the positions of the staircases and postern doors; and the quarters assigned to her at Lincoln and Pomfret having offered especial conveniences, Culpeper had been introduced to the Queen's room, Lady Rochford keeping guard to prevent a surprise, and had remained with her in more than dubious privacy from eleven o'clock at night till three in the morning.

No reasonable doubt could be entertained that the King had a second time suffered the worst injury which a wife could inflict upon him; that a second adultery, a second act of high treason, must be exposed and punished.

The hand involuntarily pauses as it writes the words. In nine years two queens of England had been divorced: two had been unfaithful. A single misadventure of such a kind might have been explained by accident or by moral infirmity. For such a combination of disasters some common cause must have existed, which may be or ought to be discoverable. The coarse hypothesis which has been generally offered of brutality and profligacy on the part of the King, if it could be maintained, would be but an imperfect interpretation; but, in fact, when we examine such details as remain to us of Henry's relations with women, we discover but few traces of the second of the supposed causes, and none whatever of the first. A single intrigue in his early years, with unsubstantiated rumours of another, only heard of when there was an interest in spreading them, forms the whole case against him in the way of moral irregularity. For the three years that he was unmarried after the death of his third wife, we hear of no mistresses and no intrigues. For six months he shared the bed of Anne of Cleves, and she remained a maiden; nor had he transferred his affections to any rival lady. The anxiety of his subjects, so far from being excited by his disposition to licentiousness, was rather lest his marriages should be uniformly unfruitful. The vigour of his youth was gone. His system was infirm and languid; and whenever his wedded condition was alluded to by himself, by the privy council, or by Parliament, it was spoken of rather as a matter politically of importance to the realm than of interest individually to the King himself. Again, his manner to his wives seems to have been no less kind than that of ordinary men. A few stern words to Anne Boleyn form the only approach to personal harshness recorded against him; and his behaviour, when he first heard of the misconduct of Catherine Howard, was manly, honourable, and generous.

Extraordinary circumstances, and the necessity of arriving at a just understanding of a remarkable man, must furnish my excuse for saying a few words upon a subject which I would gladly have avoided, and for calling in question one of the largest historical misconceptions which I believe has ever been formed. It is not easy to draw out in detail the evidence on which we form, our opinion of character. We judge living men, not from single facts, but from a thousand trifles; and sound estimates of historical persons are pieced together from a general study of their actions, their writings, the description of friends and enemies, from those occasional allusions which we find scattered over contemporary correspondence, from materials which, in the instance of Henry VIII., consist of many thousand documents. Out of so large a mass tolerable evidence would be forthcoming of vicious tendencies, if vicious tendencies had existed. We rise from the laborious perusal with the conviction, rather, that the King's disposition was naturally cold. The indolence and gaiety of early years gave way, when the complications of his life commenced, to the sternness of a statesman engaged in incessant and arduous labours. He had no leisure, perhaps he had little inclination, to attend to the trifles out of which the cords of happy marriages are woven. A Queen was part of the State furniture, existing to be the mother of his children; and children he rather desired officially, than from any wish for them in themselves Except in the single instance of Anne Boleyn, whom he evidently loved, he entered marriage for the sake of the male heirs which he so passionately desired; while, again, he combined with much refinement and cultivation an absence of reserve on certain subjects, which is startling even in the midst of the plain speech of the sixteenth century. It was not that he was loose or careless in act or word; but there was a business-like habit of proceeding about him which penetrated through all his words and actions, and may have made him as a husband one of the most intolerable that ever vexed and fretted the soul of woman.

A small share of the misdemeanour of Catherine Howard, however, can be laid to the charge of the King. Every day brought to light some fresh scandal. It soon appeared that the old Duchess of Norfolk, Lord William Howard, the Countess of Bridgewater, and many other members of the family, had been acquainted with her misconduct as a girl, and had nevertheless permitted the marriage to go forward, and had even furthered and encouraged it.

The misfortune was trebled in weight; and it was trebly necessary to act in the matter with entire openness, owing to so many questionable antecedents. No disgrace, however shameful, could be concealed. Circulars, detailed and explicit, were sent to the foreign ambassadors, and to the English ministers in Paris, Brussels, and Spain. The writs went out for a Parliament, to meet in January, and in the mean time, on the 12th of November, 'His Majesty's councillors of all sorts, spiritual and temporal,' were assembled, 'with the judges and learned men of the council,' when 'the lord chancellor declared unto them the abominable demeanour of the Queen, that the world might know that which had been hitherto done to have a just ground and foundation.'[32]

The offending lady herself was removed to Sion House, where she was confined to three rooms, and, with Lady Rochford, waited for the judgment of Parliament upon her.[33] Derham and Culpeper were left to the ordinary course of justice. On the ist of December they were tried in the Guildhall before a special commission. They pleaded guilty; and twelve days after they were hanged at Tyburn. In the world the King had many enemies, who of course made use of the opportunity of scandal; but Francis, although on doubtful terms with England, sent a warm and generous message. 'He was sorry,' he said, 'to hear of the displeasure and trouble which had been caused by the lewd and naughty demeanour of the Queen;' 'albeit, knowing his good brother to be a prince of prudence, virtue, and honour, he did require him to receive and shift off the said displeasures wisely, temperately, and like himself, not reputing his honour to rest in the lightness of a woman, but to thank God of all, comforting himself in God's goodness.'[34]

1542. January.In England the feeling seems to have been January. unm ixed compassion for Henry; and the meeting of Parliament made an opportunity for the country to offer him some compensation, by acknowledging in an emphatic manner their sense of his services, and showing him the affection with which his subjects regarded him. The scene at the opening of the session was a very remarkable one, almost equally remarkable, whether we are to regard the emotion which was displayed as an exhibition of genuine feeling, or as affected sycophancy. When the Commons had answered to their names, and the Lords were in their places, the King passed up the middle of the great chamber, and took his seat upon the throne. The chancellor then rose and spoke for an hour; and the clerks of the House, having been unable to take down his words, an epitome was supplied for insertion in the Journals.

'King David,' Lord Audeley said, 'when called to reign over Israel, sought not of the Lord either honour or riches; but he prayed, as it is written in the Psalms, that God would grant him understanding, that he might keep his law. He asked for wisdom as the thing most necessary both for princes and people. In like manner, from the time when he came first to the throne of that country, his most sacred Majesty had sought of the Lord the same two things, understanding and wisdom.' As the King's name was mentioned, every peer rose from his seat and bowed.[35] The chancellor went on with a sketch of the reign to illustrate in how large measure these gifts had been bestowed upon him. He described the wars with which it had opened; the thirty years of quiet which had been enjoyed by England while Europe elsewhere was wasted with war; the victory over the Goliath at Rome, whom Henry, like David, had smitten down with a sling and a stone—with the sling of his councillors and the stone of the Word of God. He touched upon the northern insurrection, which had threatened to become so dangerous, but had been composed almost without bloodshed. He pointed to the reduction of Ireland from a state of anarchy, and to the defences of the country, which was now secured from invasion. Much had been done, he said, but much remained to be done; and on them and on their assistance the King relied. New opinions in matters of religion were continually rising: it would be their duty to determine how much that was new should be received and adopted; how much that was effete should be laid aside. Justice, again, was ill administered. There were good laws; but good laws, if ill observed, were worse than none; and the measure was not even between the rich and the poor. Men in authority abused their powers; farms continued to be engrossed; the price of provisions was raised by artificial monopolies; the weak were oppressed, and were driven from their holdings: these were points which required attention and speedy remedy. Yet, when all was said—when England as it stood was compared with England as it had been—no king had yet reigned over her to whom she owed so large a debt of gratitude as to his present Majesty.[36]

The Lords and Commons, as the chancellor concluded, again rose and bowed to the ground, 'as if acknowledging the truth of his words, and giving thanks to Almighty God, who had allowed so great a prince so long to remain among them.' The King descended from the throne, and left the house. Although no allusion had been made to the Queen, her behaviour was the first subject which came under discussion. Jan. 21.In the first days of the session a bill of attainder was brought in against Catherine Howard and Lady Rochford, and read a first time on the 21st of January. Saturday, Jan. 28.On the 28th, when, in the common pourse of business, it would have been proceeded with, the chancellor stopped its progress, and said that, in consideration of the rank of the Queen, and that no pretences might be hereafter raised of precipitate or unfair dealing, precautions greater than usual must be observed. The facts had been proved; but it was possible that something might be urged in extenuation of the crime, or at least in mitigation of punishment. The laws were just: the King was anxious, if possible, to show mercy. It would be well if the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke of Norfolk, and Lord Southampton should visit her in private to hear if she could say anything to improve her case; or at all events to bring back a statement of some kind, no matter what, provided it was true.[37]

It is clear, from what subsequently passed, that the chancellor was acting under directions from the King; and that the object was, if possible, to prevent the completion of the attainder, and escape another execution. The peers at first acquiesced cordially; but as they had been responsible for the marriage, so especially they resented its consequences; the privy council Monday, held a meeting on Sunday: Monday, Jan. 30.on Monday a resolution was passed in the Upper House to wait upon the King with a request, or rather with a demand,[38] that the prosecution should be left to themselves and the Commons. They would implore his Highness to consider, with his general good sense, the liability of all men to misfortune, to remember the importance of his life to the realm, and not permit his distress to prey upon his health. Finally, should the bill be passed after hearing the Queen's defence, they would desire him to spare himself the trouble of appearing in person to listen to the recitation of it; and to convey his assent by letters patent under the great seal.[39]

The Commons, meanwhile, had petitioned for permission to discuss freely the history of the adultery, and from time to time to have access to his Majesty's person, to submit their opinions to him.[40] The King had acquiesced; but he had requested, in turn, that he might not be molested by visits from the whole House; they must content themselves with communicating with him through a deputation. February.When the Peers carried their address to the palace, therefore, the Commons, who were acting in concert, sent with them a number of members to endorse the supplication. The two parties were admitted separately. The King thanked them for their anxiety, and consented to what they proposed; but before they returned, he called them together into his presence, and took the opportunity of suggesting that they were assembled neither for their own purposes nor for his, but for the interests of the commonwealth. They must remember that they were the representatives of the people: he desired that they would be more regular in their attendance, more diligent in discussing the measures which might be laid before them; and that in matters of difficulty the two Houses should hold more frequent conferences.[41] He was anxious, perhaps, to forget his misfortune in the business of the State. The Houses determined that the issue of it should not long remain in uncertainty. They could now dispose of the Queen in their own way. The attainder bill was read a second and third time on the 7th and 8th of February. On the 11th the Commons were invited to the Upper House. The Duke of Suffolk, in the name of the committee who had waited upon Catherine, declared that she had confessed the crime which she had committed against God, the King, and the English nation; that she implored God's forgiveness, and only entreated that her faults might not be imputed to her family. Saturday, Feb. 11.Lord Southampton added a few words, which are not preserved; the bill was declared to be passed, and the King's signature was produced and attached.[42]

Four days later the following letter was written by a gentleman in London to his brother at Calais.

Monday, Feb. 13.'According to my writing on Sunday last, I saw the Queen and Lady Rochford suffer within the Tower the day following; whose souls I doubt not be with God, for they made the most godly and Christian end that ever was heard tell of, I think, since the world's creation, uttering their lively faith in the blood of Christ only; and with goodly words and steadfast countenances they desired all Christian people to take regard unto their worthy and just punishment with death for their offences against God heinously from their youth upwards in breaking all his commandments, and against the King's royal Majesty very dangerously; wherefore, they being justly condemned, as they said, by the laws of the realm and Parliament to die, required the people to take example at them for amendment of their ungodly lives, and gladly to obey the King in all things, for whose preservation they did heartily pray, and willed all people so to do, commending their souls to God, and earnestly calling for mercy upon Him, whom I beseech to give us grace, with such faith, hope, and charity, at our departing out of this miserable world, to come to the fruition of his Godhead in joy everlasting.'[43]

Thus was the symmetry complete. The King, professing to be acting upon principle alone, had divorced a Catholic princess to make way for a friend of the Reformation. The sense of duty had been real, but it had been tainted with private inclination; and he had been rewarded with dishonour. The Protestants had supported him, because they saw a triumph for their party in a breach for any cause with the Papacy; and they were disgraced in the shameful catastrophe with which ihe marriage which they had encouraged had closed. The tide had turned. It was now a Protestant princess who had been divorced; and her place had been taken by a representative of a party who, if not Romanists, yet rivalled them in hatred of the Reformers. Again there had been something of justice in the King's motives. Again there had been something which was unsound. Again a great religious faction had endeavoured to serve their cause by paltering with equity; and again the same ignominy overtook both prince and party. Of the work which was done in both movements the goodremained, the corrupt perished. The high purposes of Providence were not permitted to be disfigured with impunity by the intermixture of worldly intrigues; and a signal and tremendous retaliation, perhaps greater than the measure of the offence, followed on the rashness which dared to serve Heaven with impure instruments.

But the retribution was now over. Once more the King ventured into marriage. Catherine, widow of Lord Latimer, his last choice, was selected, not in the interest of politics or religion, but by his own personal judgment; and this time he found the peace which he desired. The number of his children, indeed, had been completed; neither son nor daughter was to increase further the family of the Tudors. The last of the race had been already long in the world. But he had chosen at least an honourable and prudent companion; and this forlorn chapter of Henry's life may be considered as closed. We turn gladly its last page, and pass to the outward business of life, where nature had better qualified him to play his part successfully.

In spite of his exhortation to the Houses, and the hints in the speech at the opening, the remainder of the session was not distinguished by any very serious measures. An Act against witchcraft is noticeable, as illustrating the intellectual condition of the time.

March.By the 8th of the 33rd of Henry VIII. it was enacted that 'whereas divers and sundry persons unlawfully have devised and practised invocations and conjurations of spirits, pretending by such means to understand and get knowledge for their own lucre, in what places treasures of gold or silver should or might be found or had in the earth or other secret places; and also have used and occupied witchcrafts, enchantments, and sorceries, to the destruction of their neighbours' persons and goods; and for the execution of the said false devices and practices have made or caused to be made divers images and pictures of men, women, children, angels or devils, beasts or fowls; and also have made crowns, sceptres, swords, rings, glasses, and other things, and giving faith and credit to such fantastical practices, have digged up and pulled down an infinite number of crosses within this realm, and taken upon them to declare and tell where things lost or stolen should be become; which things cannot be used and exercised, but to the great offence of God's law, hurt and damage of the King's subjects, and loss of the souls of such offenders, to the great dishonour of God, infamy and disquietness of the realm: for reformation thereof, if any person or persons use, practise, or exercise any invocation or conjuration of spirits, witchcrafts or sorceries, to the intent to get or find money or treasure, or to waste, consume, or destroy any person in his body, members, or goods, or to provoke any person to unlawful love; or by occasion or colour of such things, or any of them, or for despite of Christ, or for lucre or money, dig up or pull down any cross or crosses, or by such invocations take upon them to declare where goods stolen should become, every such offence shall be considered felony; and every such offender shall suffer death as a felon, without benefit of clergy.'[44]

Another statute throws additional light on the difficulty of dealing with the sanctuaries. When the number was restricted, Manchester, which, even then was celebrated for its woollen cloths and linen fabrics, was one of the favoured places which retained its privilege, and had, in consequence, been converted into a paradise of thieves. Goods were stolen, country houses were broken open, trade was destroyed. The Irish flax growers, who had been in the habit of supplying the raw material upon credit, would furnish it no longer owing to the losses which they had sustained, and the inhabitants, half ruined, implored the legislature to relieve them from their undesirable distinction. The request was granted, but the obstinacy of the superstition made the relief of Manchester possible only at the expense of Chester, to which the sanctuary men were transferred. Even with such an evidence before the world of the working of the system, it was not yet within the power of Parliament to abolish it for ever.[45]

But the most important event which distinguished the concluding weeks of the session was a question of privilege.

George Ferrars, lately elected member for Plymouth, had become a security for a debt owing by a Mr Weldon of Salisbury to a man named White. Weldon failing to produce the money at the time appointed, White brought an action against Ferrars, and, obtaining a judgment, demanded his arrest. The immunities of members of Parliament were insisted on by themselves, but as yet were imperfectly acknowledged by the municipal authorities. The Plymouth burgess was taken by the officers of the city of London, and imprisoned in the Compter. Sir Thomas Moyle, the Speaker, laid the matter before the House of Commons; the House, indignant and unanimous, sent the sergeant-at-arms into the City to require the immediate release of the prisoner. But within the liberties of the city of London it was declared loudly that no extraneous officials had right or jurisdiction. The clerk of the Compter refused to receive the order. High words were exchanged; and words were followed quickly by blows. The officers at the prison attempted to expel the sergeant. The sergeant defended himself with the mace; and in the scuffle the 'crown' was struck away. Hearing of the disturbance, the sheriffs hastened to the scene, with the City constables; but their sympathies were naturally municipal. The guard of the house was driven off the field, and the sergeant-at-arms returned to Westminster to communicate his failure.

The Commons were in full session, waiting for the appearance of their officers. On learning what had passed, they repaired in a body to the House of Lords, to lay their complaint before the judges. It was a case of contempt, and 'a very great one.' The judges decided, without hesitation, that the arrest was illegal; and although the chancellor proposed to soften the difficulty by granting a writ for the person of Ferrars, the Commons would not hear of a compromise. They would have him out by their own authority—'by show of the mace;' and the law, it was admitted, would bear them out; they might inflict, at their discretion, whatever punishment they pleased on the municipals of the City. The sergeant-at-arms was sent again to the prison; and this time the sheriffs, who were alarmed at what they had done, gave way. Ferrars was set at liberty; and the sheriffs themselves were ordered to appear at eight o'clock the following morning at the bar of the House of Commons, bringing with them the clerk of the Compter and his servants, with the creditor at whose suit the arrest had been made.

March 28.The City was afraid to resist. The offending parties appeared at the hour prescribed, and the Speaker charged them with a misdemeanour, and required them to answer for their behaviour on the spot, without the assistance of counsel. The recorder, Sir Roger Cholmoiidley, interposed, but was ordered to be silent; and finally, the sheriffs and the creditor White were sent to the Tower, the clerk of the prison to a place expressively called 'Little Ease,' and five of the constables who had taken part in the attack upon the sergeant, to Newgate. For three days they were left to consider themselves, March 30.and were then, 'at the humble entreaty of the Mayor,' set at liberty.

Meantime, the question was raised in the House of the original debt. The Commons were contented with asserting their privileges, and did not desire to press them into injustice; and the person of Ferrars having been once taken in execution, and released by Parliament, he was not any more legally answerable, and the creditor was without remedy, either against him or against his principal, Weldon. This intricate point was discussed for nine or ten days; at the end of which it was decided that the claim should be revived by Act of Parliament against the original debtor. A further proposal, that Ferrars, after the dissolution, might again be held to his security, was negatived by a majority of fourteen.

So far the Commons had acted on their own authority; and the Long Parliament, in the zenith of its glory, could not have been more absolute or peremptory. The King must have been aware of the transaction, for Ferrars was one of his household.[46] He had not interfered, however, and pretended to no jurisdiction in a question which was purely Parliamentary. Now that the field was won, a formal communication was made by the Lower House of their conduct, and the King expressed his emphatic approbation of every step which they had taken. The creditor, he said, had been properly punished for his presumption. It was not necessary, nevertheless, that he should lose his debt; and he commended the equity of the resolution which enabled him to recover it. April.On the general point of immunity from arrest, and of the position of the House of Commons under the constitution, he added these remarkable words:—

'I understand that you, not only for your own persons, but also for your necessary servants, even to your cooks and housekeepers, enjoy the said privilege; insomuch as my Lord Chancellor here present hath informed us that he, being Speaker of the Parliament, the cook of the Temple was arrested in London, and in execution upon a statute of the staple; and for so much as the said cook during all the Parliament served the Speaker in that office, he was taken out of execution by privilege of Parliament. And further, we be informed by our judges that we at no time stand so highly in our estate royal as in the time of the Parliament, wherein we as head and you as members are conjoined and knit together in one body politic, so as whatsoever offence or injury during that time is offered to the meanest member of the House, is to be judged as done against our person and the whole court of Parliament; which prerogative of the court is so great, as all acts and processes coming out of any inferior courts must for the time cease, and give place to the highest.'[47]

The despotism of Henry was splendidly veiled when he could applaud so resolved an assertion of the liberties of the House of Commons, and could acknowledge that any portion of his own power was dependent on their presence and their aid.

From domestic incidents, intricate in themselves, and more intricate from the imperfect light in which we see them, 1541.the story now turns to a series of events brought complete before the eye in a steady stream of information, where the last years of this perplexed and stormy reign will appear in fairer colours. England at home, and viewed from the inner side, was full of passion, confusion, and uncertainty; the Church anchorage no longer tenable in the change of wind, and the new anchorage in the Bible as yet partially discovered and imperfectly sounded. But she reserved her weakness for her own eyes. The inhabitants of but a part of a small island provoked the envy of the world by their wealth, and the jealousy of the world by their freedom from the scourge of war, which, lacerating all other nations, left them alone unscathed. Torn as they were by dissensions, they appeared an easy and a tempting prey; but when the cloud gathered to overwhelm them, it displayed, on its rising, not a prostrate victim appealing for mercy, but a proud and powerful people asserting over sea and land their lordly preeminence, and, in the bitter words of Pole, 'shaking their drawn swords in the face of all opponents.'

It was not from traditionary policy, or the indulgence of petulant humour, that the Government of Paris was so eager to prevent a union between Henry and James of Scotland. Francis, disappointed once more of Milan, was determined upon war, and weary of the change of partners among the European powers, sa often tried, so barren of results, had resolved at last upon introducing a fresh player upon the stage. The King of England would encourage his ambition only on condition of his parting from the Papacy. But fleets might issue from the Dardanelles which would sweep the Spanish galleys from the Mediterranean; and Barbarossa would be contented with the sport of the game and the pleasure of the spoil. Hundreds of thousands of the Moslem would pour themselves into Hungary, desiring nothing but to gratify their hatred of Christianity, and to plant the crescent on the towers of Vienna. To the fils aîné de l'Eglise it was nothing that Germany should be wasted by barbarians, if Northern Italy could be secured as a province of France. To the Father of Christendom, irritated by the languid zeal of the Emperor, a Turkish conquest appeared a slighter evil than the success of heresy. Three times Charles had disappointed his darling project upon England. He had allowed the Pilgrims of Grace to recant their oath or die on the scaffold; the Marquis of Exeter had perished in a vain dependence upon him; the Conference of Paris had passed away and borne no fruit; and now, under his eyes and with his sanction, the Diet of Ratisbon had closed with the virtual triumph of the Protestants. The edicts of persecution were suspended. July.Hopes had been held out in spite of the entreaties of Cardinal Contarini, that if the general council, so often talked of, was delayed longer, the disputes in Germany might be settled by the Germans themselves.[48] Though he still laboured at intervals in the old work of reconciliation, each day he saw his hopes of success grow less; and if compelled to choose between the two, Francis, even encumbered with a dubious alliance, now promised better in the eyes of the passionate Paul than the Emperor.

Yet, again, if Francis took the field, with the Turk for his right arm, and countenanced in so audacious an innovation by the Papacy, the Emperor would be thrown upon England. England, in its present humour, would meet him half-way, and the pension and the frontier quarrels might then lead to a collision. It was necessary to be prepared for so dangerous a possibility, and therefore, at all hazards, the friends of France must continue to be strengthened at Edinburgh, and James must be prevented from falling under his uncle's influence. Beton had succeeded in preventing the York meeting. He crossed in September to the Continent, to consult with the French ministers, and afterwards with the Pope,[49] and the King of Scotland was left during his absence under the tutelage of Mary of Guise. August.Once more, in the Cardinal's absence, Kirkaldy made August. an effort to recover the ascendency, and in the winter the interview was for a last time suggested.[50] 'But the clergy of Scotland,' says Knox, 'promised the King mountains of gold, as Satan their father did to Christ Jesus if He would worship him. Rather they would have gone to hell or he should have met King Henry, for then they thought, Farewell, our kingdom! Farewell, thought the Cardinal, his credit and glory in France.'[51]

The fortunes of Europe were still hanging in uncertainty, and Francis was feeling his way towards an outbreak, when the Marquis de Guasto, the Imperial commander-in- chief in Milan, caught two French emissaries on their road to Constantinople[52] with despatches. There was still peace with France; but the nature of the mission was palpable, and, careless of their privileges as ambassadors, De Guasto put them to death as traitors against the peace of Christendom. A third messenger soon after shared the same fate; and at the same time came the news of the defeat of the army of Ferdinand by the Turks in Hungary. The Emperor, determined to make a great effort to save Europe from the danger which threatened it, had sent his brother to recover Buda, while he himself was preparing an expedition into Africa. The plague had broken out among the German troops before the fortress could be taken. They attempted to retreat across the Danube into Pesth; but the operation was a critical one, and before it was half accomplished they were attacked by an overwhelming force. Those who were left beyond the river were cut in pieces on the spot; the remainder fled in panic, leaving their artillery, their military chests and stores. The Turks passed the Danube in pursuit, seized Pesth, and hung in the rear of the retreating army till the remnant were sheltered in Vienna. Twenty thousand men were reported to have been killed, and the whole of Hungary was lost.[53]

The defeat was a victory for France. September.It was followed by another yet more considerable. Algiers, since the capture of Tunis, had become the stronghold of the Mediterranean pirates, and the head-quarters of the Sultan's corsair-admiral, Barbarossa. If Algiers could be destroyed it would compensate in some measure for the disasters in Hungary, and might at least prevent the dominancy of a Turko-gallic fleet in the Mediterranean in the ensuing summer. The season was late. October.It was not till October that Charles was able to sail; but he gathered confidence from his success six years before in a similar expedition; and if the attempt was imprudent, it was also necessary. The force which had been collected seemed adequate to overbear all anticipated opposition. A hundred and fifty armed vessels, with as many transports, carried an army of twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse.

A landing was effected, not without difficulty, at some distance from the town. The troops were on shore, the stores were still in the transports, when, on the second night after their arrival, a hurricane arose so desperately violent, that before morning the wrecks of half the fleet were strewed along the beach, and the Arabs were murdering the crews. The remainder had cut their cables and escaped destruction, but were driven into an anchorage three days' march from the unprovided army. Charles had no alternative but to follow them. In a hostile country, without food, and surrounded by swarms of light-armed Moorish cavalry, who made foraging parties impossible, and ran their lances through every weary loiterer who dropped behind the ranks, he secured the retreat of a fraction of his followers, and in December he was again in Spain, crippled by the expense of the fruitless effort, and weakened even more by the moral effects of his misfortune.

Francis, on the receipt of the happy intelligence, was more than ever satisfied that he might venture on the plunge, dare the world's opinion, and make allies of so fortunate auxiliaries. In spite of De Guasto, he had established safe communication with Constantinople. 1542, January 4.In the beginning of January Sir William Paget wrote from Paris that he was raising money and hastening his preparations for war;[54] Jan. 24and on the 24th of the same month there came intelligence of an event in the Adriatic significant of an immediate explosion. 'It may like your Majesty,' Paget again informed the King, 'to understand that in Friola, a province of Italy, not far from Venice, there is a haven town called Maran,[55] which standeth in the heart of the province, and is an entry into all places in Italy, and a way also into Almayn. The town is impregnable but by treason. In the haven may float three or four hundred galleys. Which town was some time the Venetians', and since by practice hath come to the Emperor's hands, who, after he had brought it to such a force and strength, gave it to his brother King Ferdinand. The French King hath a servant in Friola, a gentleman of the best house in that country, called Signer Germanico, who, with another captain called Turchetto, the 12th day of this present month, having intelligence with some of the same town, came into the haven with certain vessels charged with wood and coals above, and having underneath three hundred men bestowed. The next day after, at twelve o'clock at noon, by means of them in the town, they entered the castle, and killed the captain and eighteen soldiers which were within with him, and by-and-by the town yielded unto them; wherein they have abatred King Ferdinand's arms, and set up the French King's arms, displaying banners with white crosses, and have sent hither to the French King one called Spagnoletto, with letters signifying unto him that the town is at his commandment. This Spagnoletto arrived here upon Saturday at night; and upon Sunday, after dinner, the French King sent for the Emperor's ambassador, for the ambassador of Venice, and the Bishop of Rome's ambassador, and, calling them together, said he had received letters from Turchetto signifying this enterprise, and that they within the town were contented to surrender the town unto him; so he would certify them of his contentation therein before a certain day, and that otherwise they would surrender the town to the Grand Signor. And then the French King excused himself, protesting it was done without his knowledge, and that he was sorry therefor. Nevertheless, the case standing thus, he desired their advice, whether he should take it or no, or else suffer them to give it to the Grand Signor. The ambassadors of Venice and Rome said it were better that his Highness took it. The Emperor's ambassador answered that he should do well first to hang him that brought the letter, and then to do what he could to hang them that took the town like thieves, and to cause the same to be restored to their right owners. Tout beau, M. l'Ambassadeur! quotes the King. I may not kill ambassadors as your master doth; and as for hanging them that be in the town, I should reguerdon them well for the service they intended to do me.'[56]

Francis solved the difficulty by sending five hundred men into Marano for a garrison. His hostile intentions were thus revealed beyond a doubt, and to appearance every advantage was on his side. The Emperor, in his present condition, would be little able to send help into Lombardy, if attacked simultaneously in Spain and the Low Countries. The Venetians were on the side of the French. March.On the 11th of March an Italian renegade, the Capitan Pollino, arrived in Paris from Constantinople, with presents, and with a message from Solyman, that when summer came he would enter Germany with two hundred thousand men, and a fleet of four hundred sail should pass the Dardanelles.[57] The messenger, on his way, passed through Venice, and the Imperial ambassador required the council, in his master's name, to arrest him. But at the moment, the pleasure of Francis was of more importance to the Signory than the fear of the Emperor. Pollino walked insolently into the senate house. He called the ambassador a traitor in the face of the assembly, and passed on upon his way. Charles, so lately the dictator of Europe, would find himself attacked by a coalition which threatened to be irresistible, and unless Henry would assist him, he in his turn would be left without an ally.

And to Henry he looked, without doubt, most anxiously, as Henry looked to him. But the King of England was publicly excommunicated, banned, and cut off from the Church; and Charles was, or wished to be, a pious Catholic. He might relinquish active enmity, he might cast on Cromwell the blame of the past, but he hesitated at a positive alliance which, possibly, might compromise his orthodoxy, and necessarily would bring the Papal censures into contempt. He felt his way, as he had done before, to win back the erring sheep to the fold. He undertook to bring about a reconciliation without compromising Henry's consistency. He even promised that the Pope himself should sue for it.[58] This, however, being decisively and for ever impossible, the Emperor for the moment hung back;[59] and Henry, to whom the alliance of either of the rival powers was almost equally welcome, almost equally indifferent, whose only object was to take advantage of the shifting gales to navigate his own vessel securely, listened, so long as they were offered, to counter-overtures from France. The French Court was divided into two factions, one of them the Ultramontanists, the party of the Constable Montmorency, the Chancellor, and the Guises, hating England and the Reformation, inclined to the Pope, and opposed to the war with the Empire; the other the party of the Admiral de Bryon, the Queen of Navarre, and the Duchess d'Estampes, who were more than inclining to Protestantism, and would have had Francis follow the example of Henry, and declare the independence of the Gallican Church. Francis alternately gave his ear to one set of advisers or the other, as suited his convenience, reserving his own opinions and playing upon theirs. He used the Catholics to keep England separate from Scotland, to protect Romanist refugees, to shuffle over his debts, to 'engrieve' the petty differences at Calais; but the Catholics discouraged his designs on Milan, and therefore it was necessary to goad them forward with dread of worse evil than a breach with Charles; and their liberal opponents were permitted to suggest to Henry a marriage between the Lady Mary and the Duke of Orleans.

When a scheme bears no fruit we can but conjecture whether fruit was seriously expected from it: yet, the proposals for this marriage were laid out with a show of serious intentions; the conditions were discussed; April.the English privy council applied to the King to learn whether the separation of France from the See of Rome was to be insisted upon;[60] the Admiral of France held out more than hopes that, although not to be demanded as a preliminary, it would follow as a consequence.[61] As before, when the Spanish treaty was in contemplation, there was a provision that Mary's illegitimacy should be corrected by Act of Parliament.[62] The only point remaining to be settled, it seemed, was the dowry, and here no great difficulty was anticipated. But the shadowy nature of the prospect disclosed itself when the French ambassador communicated the expectation of his Government on the point of money. It was nothing more than a relmquishment of the entire arrears which were owing to England, and a transfer of the two pensions as a marriage portion to the Duke of Orleans.

Seeing that the sum so quietly asked for amounted to a million crowns, the pension to a hundred and fifty thousand annually, and that the largest dowry for which there was a precedent as having been given on similar occasions was four hundred thousand crowns, the request was less than decent: May.nor did it receive a better complexion when, in defence of his exorbitancy, Francis undervalued his own security, and threw a doubt upon his liability to pay. When the English ambassador proposed, as a fairer sum, three hundred thousand crowns, the King of France, in profound astonishment, exclaimed that the Pope had offered him as much as that with his niece, 'in ready money.'[63] He began to raise questions on the debt itself, to imagine conditions in the treaty of Moor Park which he pretended that Henry had not fulfilled. While he did not deny his obligations, he would not acknowledge them. 'There were knots,' he said, in the claims upon him. The King of England ought to have sent him assistance when the Emperor invaded Provence. It would be better to prevent disputes by a clearance of the score.

Meanwhile the Catholic party at Paris were not idle. They, too, desired to clear the score, but to clear it by a quarrel; and, if war followed, they had no objection. French pirates were again robbing in the Channel. A sailor named De Valle had laid before the Government a project for the occupation of Canada. He was supplied with ships and stores, and had been allowed to empty the prisons to provide colonists for his intended settlement. When he found himself in command of a fleet manned by these promising crews, he hung about the English coasts, pillaging every vessel that came in his way.[64] Part of the gang haunted the Isle of Wight; others seized Lundy Island and waylaid the Bristol traders. The party at Lundy were accounted for by the Clovelly fishermen, who, after sufficient experience of the character of the party, went off in their boats, burnt a pirate ship, and made some end or other of the crew.[65] But this just and necessary exercise of justice was seized upon as a fresh pretext for dispute. It was represented to Francis that his innocent subjects had been causelessly attacked and destroyed by the English.[66] The prospect of the marriage grew daily weaker; the probabilities of a rupture grew daily stronger; while the question of the debt had been complicated, as had been long feared, by the hint of repudiation. The pretext was idle. At the invasion of Provence Francis had professed himself satisfied, and even gratefully thankful, by a remission of the payment only during the continuance of the pressure upon him. His own letters were extant, emphatically committing him; but the more trivial the excuse, the greater the difficulty of enduring the fault.

The Admiral and the Queen of Navarre would not yet relinquish their hopes; and it seemed, indeed, as if the object was not really to induce Henry to surrender his debt, but to consent to an alteration in the map of Europe for the benefit of France. To the French proposal the King replied at once that it was 'too unreasonable.' If such a demand 'had been made when the Emperor and the French King were so great that all the world thought them one,' he would not have listened to it. The shuffling about the money he received so haughtily, that the French ambassador in London attempted an apology.[67] De Bryon entered with Paget more fully into details. The money question ought to be settled, he said; what would the King of England accept? or would he accept anything? Paget was not a man to commit himself, still less to commit his country; but he hinted that the Calais boundary was a difficulty. If Ardes could be surrendered to England; if the frontier could be extended so as to make the towns and garrisons independent of supplies from home; it would be something—he could not tell. Francis must be explicit. In that case he could perhaps give an answer. The Admiral could not offer an extension of territory at the expense of France; but the boundary might be extended in another direction. 'To speak frankly,' he said, 'will you enter the war with us against the Emperor, and be enemy to enemy, the King your master to set upon land in Flanders ten thousand Englishmen, and we ten thousand Frenchmen; pay the wages of five thousand Almains, and we as many; find two thousand horses and we three thousand; find a certain number of ships, and we as many? Of such lands as shall be conquered, the pension first to be redoubled, and the rest divided equally. What a thing will it be to your master to have Gravelines, Dunkirk, Burburg, and all those quarters joining Calais!' 'M. Admiral,' Paget replied, 'these matters be too great for my wits. I know no quarrel that my master hath against the Emperor.' 'God!' cried the Admiral, 'why say ye so? Doth he not owe your master money? Hath he not broken the league with him in six hundred points? Did he not provoke us and the Pope also to join in taking of your realm from you in prey for disobedience? A pestilence take him, false dissembler, saving my duty to the majesty of a King. If he had you at such advantage as you may now have him, you should well know it at his hand.'[68]

A partition of the Netherlands had been discussed too often to sound either strange or startling. Two years before Henry had suggested it to Francis, and Francis had then betrayed the intention to the Emperor. But times were changed. Charles had given up his ambition of invading England; and the English Government was at leisure to calculate which of the two powers was most likely to observe its engagements. From the good feeling of neither had Henry much to expect. One prince had intended to dethrone him; the other now wished to cheat him out of his money. But the commerce between Flanders and England had survived the dissensions between their sovereigns, and the revenues of the Low Countries depended on the prosperity of their trade. As the summer drew on, Charles's embarrassments were known to be increasing, and his scrupulousness must proportionately diminish. The Admiral's proposals sounded well; but experience had proved that the Reforming faction at Paris were too weak to control permanently the direction of French policy, while if Charles was laid under obligations to England, and on the other side appeared an unnatural and monstrous combination between Francis, Paul, and Solyman, it was possible that the difficulties of Europe might be settled at last by Henry's favourite project—a council under the auspices of himself and the Emperor, where England and Germany might be freely represented. On this side the balance seemed to incline; and the course which the different Courts would pursue was anticipated by the instinct of popular judgment, before overt acts had declared it to the world. In the middle of May rumours were flying in Paris of a war with England. June 13.In June the belief was general in Europe that the Emperor had privately married the Princess Mary.[69] The debt to England, the impossibility of paying it, and the consequent reasonableness of a quarrel, was in every Frenchman's mouth.[70] The Orleans marriage was no more alluded to. The anti-English party were in the ascendant, and gave the tone to public feeling. Cardinal Beton was again at the Court, and in Beton's presence the Archbishop of Paris affected to complain to Paget of the eagerness of the people.

'It were alms to whip them,' he said. 'But the devil cannot stop them but they will be in the midst of the King's council, and say we shall have war with the Emperor, and the King of England will take the Emperor's part; but if he do, we shall send thither the Scots, the Danes, and the Swedes to eat up all the Englishmen in four days.'

'Englishmen,' replied Paget, quietly, 'be not easy morsels to swallow; and their operation is such that, if any man take upon him to eat them, they will cause him with the sight thereof straight to burst.' 'The Scots know it well enough,' he added, for the Cardinal's benefit; 'and as for the Danes and Swedes, they be wise fellows, and know that they that come into England cannot depart thence without license and passport of the King's Majesty.'[71] This was but the play of wit upon the surface; but it indicated the direction of the current, and the substantial fact became every day more visible, that the French would neither pay the arrears of their debts nor continue the pension. They were confident of Scotland. The will of James was the will of David Beton, and if Henry 'made any business with France, the Scottish King would straight molest him.'[72] 'As touching the pension,' Paget wrote again in August to the King,[73] August.'they love not to hear of it, and that I note, not only now and heretofore, both by words and countenance in all my conferences, as well with the admiral as with the French King, and from the Cardinal Tournon's mouth, by the report of his secretary, that the French King thought none other but that your Majesty would join with the Emperor against him, but also by the report of the ambassador of Ferrara, who said to me, discoursing with me of the world, that he would that the marriage between the Duke of Orleans and your Majesty's daughter had gone forward; and when I answered that so would I, but that the demand was too unreasonable, he answered, it had been as good to have quit the debt that way as never to have it paid. Why should it never be paid? quoth I. Marry, quoth he, for the French King saith that you have broken league with him, and therefore he may with honour break league with you. I marvel he would say so, quoth I, for we have broken no league with him. I assure you, quoth he, whensoever you shall ask your pension earnestly, look to make a breach with them.'

By this time hostilities with the Empire had commenced. Francis, to gain the advantage of the surprise, had, as usual, struck the first blow, without observing trifling formalities and declaring war. M. de Vendosme entered the Low Countries in July. Monterey and Tourneham fell to him immediately, and he would have taken Dunkirk but for fear of the interference of the English. De Rieulx, the Imperialist commander, was able only to act on the defensive; and the Flemish troops, who, as Sir John Wallop said, 'were nothing worth,' offered but a feeble opposition. The Piedmont army was reinforced to move upon Lombardy; French galleys were reported as having gone up to Constantinople to quicken the movements of Barbarossa;[74] and Francis prepared in person, with the flower of his troops, to cut his way into Spain. The Emperor 'was in great agony and trouble of mind, heing vexed in so many parts.' Secret communications had been for some months in progress, with a view to a treaty with England. But, besides the broad fact of the excommunication, a difficulty had occurred when the conditions came under discussion that the two sovereigns should declare themselves friends to friends and enemies to enemies. There were temporal enemies and there were spiritual enemies; and that the Pope, who was essentially both, might not escape inclusion, Henry had stipulated for the employment of the word 'spiritualis.'[75] Notwithstanding the good-will on both sides, and the necessity on one, Charles was embarrassed with the dilemma, and shrank from it: but in the mean time the old treaties were still nominally in force, by which, in the event of invasion, England and the empire were mutually bound to assist each other. As Francis had invaded the Netherlands without notice, England might reasonably dispense with forms, as the French King had done, and send a few thousand men to the assistance of De Rieulx; or, if more feasible, might effect a diversion by seizing Mottreul.[76] Both proposals were seriously considered. On the whole, however, it was thought better to proceed more regularly. Resentment was fast bringing Charles into a humour which would not halt at minor difficulties, especially as the Pope was declaring more and more obviously in favour of France; and a remarkable despatch of Bonner, the minister in residence at the Imperial Court,[77] written on the 9th of September, describes the state of feeling into which the Emperor had worked himself; while the hope which the perusal of Bonner's letter excited in Henry, may be traced also in the side notes and pen marks which he left upon the paper.

{{left sidenote|'The Emperor,' wrote the Bishop, 'suffereth much and says little touching the Bishop of Rome, knowing how necessary he is for him, if he may have him, and also how expedient it is for him to keep him from joining with the French King. But of truth[78] I think, an the Emperor once do break with the Bishop of Rome, which, if this war with France hold on, will shortly appear, he will be to him acerrimus hostis.[79] Here of late came a post from Rome, passing by France, bringing letters to the Nuntio, wherein teas contained that the Bishop of Rome, to pacify this war beticeen the Emperor and the French King, had determined to send two cardinals, the one, Contarini, to the Emperor, the other, Sadoletto, to the French King. The said post is returned again by sea, and with letters from the Emperor to the Bishop of Rome, that he shall not trouble of himself with sending of any cardinal to him,[80] for he is determined, seeing the French King hath begun, to make an end, and to proceed against him as extremely as he can.'[81] In a letter four days later to the Bishop of Westminster, Bonner related an interview with Granvelle, in which the difficulties in completing the alliance had been under debate. As Henry had required a rupture with the Pope, so it seemed that the Pope, on his side, had protested against a confederacy with a heretic. But the minister assured him that their patience was exhausted, and their hesitation was at an end. The Emperor felt towards England nothing but goodwill, and although it was 'not convenient' openly to break with the Pope, they 'had no great cause to love him or to trust him, and the English Government, ere it was long, would see what they would do against him.' They held his Holiness entirely responsible for the rupture, which he might have prevented had he desired; and Granvelle went so far as to say, that the Cortes were so much irritated as lately to have told the Papal Nuntio, 'that if the Pope would not better do his office, they would conjoin and combine themselves with his adversaries in Almayne; yea, cum Lutheranis, and have a council.'[82] Granvelle was the most unscrupulous of liars, and the Emperor had, perhaps, no objection to the employment of salutary falsehood. From himself, however, Bonner was less successful in extracting any such positive expression. 'I provoked him,' said the ambassador, 'to have uttered somewhat of his stomach against the Bishop of Rome, telling him that the French King never would have gone about this war if the Bishop of Rome had seriously forbidden him; and the said Bishop deserved small thanks of his Majesty for casting bones before princes, that he himself might reign.' Charles listened, but said nothing. 'He is very close,' the baffled Bishop added, 'and rather contented to do things than to utter them.'[83]

So far, however, there was no doubt that he had resolved to displease the Pope by an alliance with Henry; and by this time, on all sides, his prospects were brightening. De Vendosme, in fear of Sir John Wallop, had made no further progress in Belgium. The Emperor, with infinite exertion, had reinforced his Italian army, and De Guasto not only had lost no ground, but had invaded Piedmont, and had come off with the honours of the campaign. The great enterprise conducted by Francis in person had failed scarcely less completely than the Spanish invasion of Provence in 1536. The intention was to enter Spain at the eastern extremity of the Pyrenees; but the Duke of Alva had thrown himself into Perpignan, which commanded the pass. The position could not be turned, and the nature of the country, and the form of Alva's lines, made a blockade impossible. Francis sat down before the place in July. He attempted to storm; but the veterans opposed to him, though inferior in numbers, were among the finest troops in Europe, and had the advantage of the ground. He tried a bombardment; but the Spanish artillery was heavier and better served than his own, and his siege guns were dismounted. The garrison was relieved, or reinforced at pleasure, from the rear; the communication could not be broken; and while his own camp was suffering from want of provisions, he had the mortification, day after day, of seeing the cattle grazing in the meadows below the walls, under the protection of Alva's batteries.

Two months were wasted over a project which was hopeless from the beginning; and at last, on the 24th of September, Francis retired, with the discredit of defeat.

On all sides but one the events of the summer had been unfavourable to the French. In Hungary the Turks had again triumphed; and Solyman's success might once more be counted as a doubtful victory for his allies. October.Ferdinand, with the aid of the German diet, had collected a hundred thousand men to retrieve the disasters of the past year. They had advanced from Vienna, full of hope and crusading enthusiasm. Pesth and Buda were to be retaken; they would drive the Crescent from the Danube, perhaps out of Europe. The expedition was accompanied by a party of English gentlemen—Sir Thomas Seymour among the number—either with commissions from the King, or led thither by their own desire for adventure. Never was the uncertainty of war more signally exemplified. Ferdinand had the advantage of a good cause. He had numbers, courage, confidence on his side. The European, in fair battle, man to man, was more than a natch for the Asiatic; yet the campaign was a complete and ruinous failure. He attacked Pesth; but the German troops were beaten back in the assault, and suffered, though but slightly, in a series of insignificant skirmishes. They were disheartened, not by defeat, but by the absence of success, and by a consciousness of Ferdinand's bad generalship. They became disorganized, they broke in pieces, scattered, and retreated in a panic.[84]

The success of his confederate enabled Francis to endure more composedly his own disappointment. He had done little that summer, he said, for want of funds, and want of preparation; when the next year came, with the help of the Turkish fleet, he would carry the world before him. Every day his relations with England were becoming more inimical; but he was in his reckless mood, defiant and indifferent. 'He would give his daughter to be strumpet to a bordel,' he said, 'to be sure of the encounter with the Emperor;'[85] as to Henry, it was enough that he was secure of Beton, and a Scottish army had but to cross the border to arouse a fresh Pilgrimage of Grace.

The Scots, it seemed, were of the same opinion. Already, at the close of the summer, before the harvest had been gathered in, the depredations began on a scale which was the prelude of war. Nor, indeed, if James obtained access to the secrets of the English council, was the attack wholly unprovoked. Being satisfied, at last, that as long as the Scottish King avoided the interview, he could not liberate him from Beton's control, Henry, since a free visit could not be arranged, had thought of employing some gentle constraint. James was in the habit of going at night on secret expeditions of a character questionable or unquestionable, with few attendants. Sir Thomas Wharton, the Warden of the West Marches, suggested that, if he watched his opportunity, he might contrive to stoop down upon the adventurous prince unexpectedly, snatch him over the Border, and escort him thus to his uncle's presence. Henry listened not unfavourably; but he would hardly sanction such an enterprise on his own authority, and referred it to the council, who saw difficulties, and even were something scandalized. The warden might fail. James might be hurt; perhaps might be killed in the scuffle. They would not hear of it, and almost reproached the King for inviting them to consider a proposition so out of all order.[86] Henry would not act against their opinion. Wharton's zeal was not encouraged; and James, it is likely, never heard that the suggestion had been made. But whether he knew it, or was merely obeying his destiny, he allowed himself to become the instrument of the crooked policy of Francis; and, to his misfortune, he was encouraged at the outset by a gleam of success. Lord Maxwell, the Scottish warden, having been in vain called upon to keep the Borderers quiet, Sir Robert Bowes crossed the Marches in pursuit of a party of them, and, August 24.falling into an ambuscade at Halydon Rigg, was taken prisoner with a number of other gentlemen. War was now unavoidable.

James, elated at his victory, sent a messenger with a report of it to the French Court. In crossing the Channel the petty skirmish grew into a great action, at which a thousand English had been killed,[87] and Francis himself spoke without reserve of the King of England's approaching destruction. 'Your Majesty,' so Paget reported him as saying, 'had begun with the Scots, and the Scots had given you your hands full. He did understand that you would make war upon him; he feared you nothing at all. You were able to do him no hurt; for you had against you the Pope; the Emperor was not your assured friend; you had made the Scottish King your enemy; your own people loved you not; and you had against you God and all the world. This should be your Majesty's ruin. He had done much for you, and you little for him; and when Pope, and Emperor, and all the world would have had him to overrun you and your realm, he withheld himself, and stayed them all.'[88] Paget said his heart 'throbbed with anger,' at this most audacious speech. Francis owed his release from a Spanish prison to Henry's interference; he owed the recovery of his children to Henry's money; and he had repaid him with promises, broken as easily as they were made; with intrigues in Scotland, ceaseless and mischievous; with the breach of a series of engagements which had run parallel to the quarrel with the Papacy; and now, at last, with the repudiation of his debts. If England was not invaded in 1539, her escape was not due to the King of France, but to the cannon which guarded the English shores, and the nerve with which English conspiracies had been crushed. Henry had ample cause of quarrel with every Catholic sovereign in Europe, had he cared to insist upon it. Francis believed that he would have God and the world against him, and that his ruin was near. Francis was an unskilful astrologer; and the English, as Paget said, were morsels less easy to swallow.

The Scots desired war, and war they should have. Halydon Rigg had been taken by the Scottish clergy as an earnest of instant triumph and an evidence of Divine favour. 'All is ours,' was the cry among them. 'The English are but heretics. If we be a thousand, and they ten thousand, they dare not fight. France shall enter on one part, and we on the other; and so shall England be conquered within a year.'[89] In reply to these loud menaces the Duke of Norfolk moved forward from York, where his troops had collected; and Henry at the same time issued a manifesto of the causes by which he was compelled to take a course that 'he so much abhorred.'

October'Being now enforced to the war,' he said, 'which we have always hitherto so much fled, by one who, above all others, for our manifold benefits towards him, hath most just cause to love us, honour us, and rejoice in our quietness, we have thought good to notify unto the world his doings and behaviour in the provocation of this war, and likewise the means and ways by us used to eschew and avoid it; and by utterance and divulging of that matter to disburden some part of our inward displeasure and grief. The King of Scots, our nephew and neighbour, whom we in his youth and tender age preserved and maintained from the great danger of others, and by our authority conduced him safely to the real possession of his estate, he now compelleth and forceth us, for the preservation of our honour and right, to use our power against him. The like unkindness hath been heretofore showed in other semblable cases against God's law, man's law, and all humanity; but the oftener it chanceth, the more it is to be abhorred.

'It hath been very rarely and seldom seen before that a king of Scots had had in marriage a daughter of England. We cannot, we will not reprehend the King our father's act therein; but lament and be sorry it took no better effect. The King our father minded love, amity, and perpetual friendship between the posterity of both, which how soon it failed, the death of the King of Scots, as a just punishment of God for his invasion into this our realm, is and shall be a perpetual testimony. And yet in that time could not the unkindness of the father extinguish in us the natural love of our nephew his son, being then in the miserable age of tender youth; but we then, forgetting the displeasure that should have worthily provoked us to invade that realm, nourished and brought up our nephew to achieve his father's Government, wherein he now so unkindly behaveth him towards us. Our chief grief and displeasure is that, under a colour of fair speech and flattering words, we be indeed so injured, contemned, and despised, as we ought not with sufferance to pass over. Words, writings, letters, messages, embassies, excuses, allegations could not be more pleasantly, more gently, nor more reverently devised and sent than hath been made on the King of Scots' behalf to us; and ever we trusted the tree would bring forth good fruit, that was of the one part of so good a stock, and continually in appearance put forth so fair buds, and therefore would hardly believe or give ear to others that ever alleged the deeds of the contrary, being nevertheless the same deeds so manifest as we must needs have regarded them had we not been loath to think evil of our nephew. And thereupon, having a message sent unto us the year past from our said nephew, and a promise made for the repairing of the King of Scots unto us to York, and after great preparation on our part made therefore, the same meeting was not only disappointed, but also an invasion was made into our realm, declaring an evident contempt of us.

'We were yet glad to impute the default of the meeting to the advice of his council, and the invasion to the lewdness of his subjects; and albeit the King of Scots having, contrary to the article of amity, received and entertained such rebels as were of the chief and principal in stirring the insurrection of the north against us, with refusal beforetime, upon request made, to restore the same; yet, nevertheless, we were content to forbear to press them over extremely in the matter of the rebels, and gave a benign audience to such ambassadors as repaired hither, as if no such cause of displeasure had occurred.

'In the mean time of these fair words the deeds of the Borders were as extreme as might be, and our subjects spoiled; and in a raid made by Sir Robert Bowes, for a revenge thereof, the same Sir Robert Bowes, with many others taken prisoners, are yet detained in Scotland, without putting them to fine and ransom, as hath ever been accustomed. And being at the same time a surceaunce made on both sides, for the settlement of these matters of the Border, by commissioners appointed therefor,[90] the Scots ceased not to make sundry invasions into our realm, in such wise as we were compelled to forget fair words, and only to consider the King of Scots' deeds, which appeared to us of that sort as they ought not for our duty in defence of our subjects, and could not in respect of our honour, be passed over unreformed; and therefore we put in a readiness our army as a due mean whereby we might attain such peace as for the safeguard of our subjects we be bound to procure.

'We have patiently suffered many delusions; but should we suffer our people to be so often spoiled without remedy? This is done by the Scots, whatsoever their words be. Should we suffer our rebels to be detained, contrary to the leagues? This is also done by them, whatsoever their words be. Should we suffer our land to be usurped,[91] contrary to our most plain evidence? This is done by them, whatsoever their words be. Yet, in the intreating of this matter, if we had not evidently perceived the lack of such affection as proximity of blood should require, we would much rather have remitted these injuries of our nephew than we did heretofore the invasion of his father. But, considering we be so surely ascertained of the lack thereof, and that our blood is there frozen with the cold air of Scotland, there was never prince more violently compelled to war than we be, by the unkind dealing, unjust behaviour, unprincely demeanour of him that in nature is our nephew, and in his acts and deeds declareth himself not to be moved therewith.

'The present war hath not proceeded of any demand of our right of superiority, which the kings of Scots have always knowledged by homage and fealty to our progenitors; but it hath been provoked and occasioned upon present matter of displeasure, present injury, present wrong. If we had minded the possession of Scotland, and by the motion of war to attain the same, there was never king of this realm had more opportunity in the minority of our nephew. Law and reason serveth that passing over of time is not allegeable in prescription for the loss of any right. For which cause, nevertheless, we do not enter this war, ne minded to demand any such matter, now being rather desirous to rejoice and take comfort in the friendship of our neighbour than to move matters unto him of displeasure. But such be the works of God, superior over all, to suffer occasions to be ministered whereby due superiority may be known, demanded, and required, to the intent that, according thereunto, all things governed in due order here, we may to His pleasure pass over this life to His honour and glory; which He grant us to do in such rest, peace, and tranquillity as shall be meet and convenient for us.'[92]

A protracted invasion, so late in the season, was, for many reasons, undesirable. No force large enough to penetrate into the country with safety could maintain itself more than a few days. The Borderers had been the chief offenders; and the campaign was to be a Border foray on a vast scale. On the 2ist of October Norfolk entered Scotland with twenty thousand men, and remained in the Lothians for nine days. The harvest had been newly gathered in: it was reduced to ashes. Farms, Tillages, towns, abbeys, went down in blazing ruins; and having fringed the Tweed with a black broad mourning rim of havoc, fifteen miles across and having thus inflicted a lesson which, for the present season at least would not be forgotten, he then withdrew. Fifteen thousand Scots hung upon his skirts, but would not venture an engagement; and he returned in insolent leisure to Berwick. Here, owing to a want of foresight in the commissariat department, he found the supplies inadequate to the maintenance of his followers, and with some misgiving lest the enemy might attempt a retaliation which, with reduced numbers, he might find a difficulty in preventing, he left in garrison for the winter a fifth only of his army, and, sending the rest to their homes, he rejoined the council at York.

November.In a despatch to Sir T. Wriothesley, on the 9th of November, he confessed his surprise at the Scottish inaction, and attributed it justly to disagreement among themselves, and want of ability in their leaders.[93] A further conjecture, that 'the King would gladly agree with England, but his council would not suffer him,'[94] was less well founded. James was present in person with the Scottish force; and hot spirited, and perhaps the more passionate from a latent knowledge of the unwisdom of his course, he had longed for the excitement of a battle. He would have attacked Norfolk while within his frontier; he would have pursued his retreat; he desired afterwards to carry fire and sword into Northumberland. But the Scottish lords, either retaining a wholesome memory of Flodden, or from some other cause, refused to follow. James exploded in anger. He called them traitors, cowards, unworthy of their ancestors;[95] but to no purpose. Some were kinsmen of the Douglases, and still resented their exile; some hated the clergy, and carried on their hatred to the war which the clergy had promoted. Deaf to entreaties and indifferent to taunts, they watched the English across the Tweed, and dispersed to their homes.

The King, deserted by his subjects, returned sullenly to Edinburgh. Such members of the council as shared his disappointment, and would humour his mood, were called together, and Beton played upon his irritation to strike a blow which he had long meditated, and had once already attempted in vain. The absorption of the Church lands by the English laity had not been without an effect upon their northern neighbours. In the first panic, when the idea was new, and the word sacrilege was sounded in their ears, the Scottish noblemen had united in the clamours of the clergy, and had expected some great judgment to mark the anger of Heaven. But years had passed on without bringing the threatened punishments. England was standing prouder and stronger than ever; and even such good Catholics as the Irish chiefs had commenced a similar process of deglutition, much to their comfort. The double example brought with it a double force. Many worthy people began to think it might be wisely imitated; and the suspected of the Church were among the late recusants in the army. Beton drew up a list of more than a hundred earls, knights, and gentlemen, whom he represented to be heretics, and to meditate a design of selling their country to England. To cut them off would be a service to Heaven; and their estates, which would be confiscated, would replenish the deficiencies in the treasury.[96] The first time this pretty suggestion had been made to James he had rejected it with fitting detestation; now he told Beton that 'he saw his words were true,' and that 'his nobles desired neither his honour nor his continuance.'[97] If the Cardinal and the clergy would find him the means of making his raid into England without them, and revenge their backwardness by a separate victory, he would devote himself heart and soul to the Church's cause, and Beton should be his adviser for ever.

The secret was scrupulously guarded. Letters were circulated privately among such of the nobles as were of undoubted orthodoxy among the retainers and connections of the bishops and abbots, and among those whose personal loyalty would outweigh either prudence or any other interest. The order was to meet the King at Lochmaben on the night of the 24th of November. No details were given of the intended enterprise. A miscellaneous host was summoned to assemble, without concert, without organization, without an object ascertained, or any leader mentioned but James.

Ten thousand men gathered in the darkness under this wild invitation. The Western Border was feebly defended. The body of the English were at Berwick. The Scots found that they were expected on the instant, before warning could be given, to cross into the Marches of Cumberland, to waste the country in revenge for the inroad of Norfolk, and, if possible, surprise Carlisle. The Cardinal and the Earl of Arran would meanwhile distract the attention of the troops at Berwick by a demonstration at Newark.

At midnight, more like a mob than an army, they marched out of Lochmaben. James alone could have given coherence to their movements, for in his name only they were met. James, for the first and last time in his life, displayed either prudence or personal timidity, and allowed them to advance without him. Each nobleman and gentleman held together his personal followers; but no one knew in the darkness who was present, who was absent. A shadow of imagined command lay with Lord Maxwell as Warden of the Marches; but the King of Scots, jealous ever of the best-affected of his lords, intended to keep the credit of the success, yet without sharing in the enterprise. He had therefore perilously allowed the expedition to go forward with no nominal head; and as soon as the border was crossed, Oliver Sinclair, one of those worthless minions with which the Scottish Court, to its misfortune, was so often burdened, was instructed to declare himself the general-in-chief in the King's name.

The arrangements had been laid skilfully, so far as effecting a surprise. The November night covered the advance, and no hint of the approach of the Scots preceded them. They were across the Esk before daybreak, and the Cumberland farmers, waking from their sleep, saw the line of their corn-stacks smoking from Longtown to the Roman wall. The garrison of Carlisle, ignorant of the force of the invaders, dared not, for the first hours of the morning, leave the walls of the city and there was no other available force in readiness. The Scots spread unresisted over the country, wasting at their pleasure.

But the English Borderers were not the men to stand by quietly as soon as they had recovered from their first alarm. There were no men-at-arms at hand; but the farmers and their farm-servants had but to snatch their arms and spring into their saddles, and they became at once 'the Northern Horse,' famed as the finest light cavalry in the known world.[98] As the day grew on they gathered in tens and twenties. Nov. 25.By the afternoon, Sir Thomas Wharton, Lord Dacres, and Lord Musgrave had collected three or four hundred, who hovered about the enemy, cutting off the stragglers, and driving the scattered parties in upon the main body. Being without organization, and with no one to give orders, the Scots flocked together as they could, and their numbers added to their confusion. The cry rose for direction, and in the midst of the tumult, at the most critical moment, Oliver Sinclair was lifted on spears and proclaimed through the crowd as commander. Who was Sinclair? men asked. Every knight and gentleman, every common clan follower, felt himself and his kindred insulted. The evening was closing in; the attacks of the English became hotter; the tumult and noise increased, 'every man calling his own slogan;' and a troop of Cumberland horse showing themselves in the dusk on an unexpected side, a shout was raised that the Duke of Norfolk was upon them with the army of the Tweed. A moment's thought would have shown them that Norfolk could not be within thirty miles of Carlisle; but his name caused a panic, and reflection was impossible. Few or none in the whole multitude knew the ground, and ten thousand men were blundering like sheep, in the darkness, back upon the Border.

But here a fresh difficulty rose. The tide was flowing up the Solway. They had lost the route by which they had advanced in the morning, and had strayed towards the sea. Some flung away their arms and struggled over the water; some were drowned; some ran into the ruins of the houses which they had burnt, and surrendered themselves to women when there were no men to take them. The main body wandered at last into Solway Moss, a morass between Gretna and the Esk, where Wharton, who knew where he was, had them at his mercy, and substantially the whole army were either killed or made prisoners. Intending to remain for several days in England, they had brought tents and stores. They had twenty- four cannon, with carts and ammunition. All were left behind or taken. Lord Maxwell refused to turn his back, and fell early in the evening into the hands of the English. 'Stout Oliver was taken without stroke, flying full manfully.'[99] In the morning Wharton sent a list of captures to the King, with the names of the Earls of Cassalis and Glencairn, Lords Maxwell, Fleming, Somerville, Oliphant, and Grey, Sir Oliver Sinclair, and two hundred gentlemen. Never, in all the wars between England and Scotland, had there been a defeat more complete, more sudden and disgraceful. More lives were lost at Flodden; but at Flodden two armies had met fairly matched, and the Scotch had fallen with their faces to their enemies. At Solway Moss ten thousand men had fled before a few hundred farmers, whom they had surprised in their homes. 'Worldly men say that all this came by misorcler and fortune,' said Knox; 'but whoever has the least spunk of the knowledge of God, may as evidently see the work of his hand in this discomfiture as ever was seen in any of the battles left to us in register by the Holy Ghost.' The folly of venturing such an expedition without order or leader may account for the failure; but who shall account for the folly? The unlucky King was given over to believe a lie. 'The Cardinal had promised heaven for the destruction of England;' and the Cardinal had mistaken wholly the intentions of Heaven upon the matter. In the dead of the night stragglers dropped into Lochmaben, with their tale of calamity. The King had not slept. He had sat still, watching for news; and when the tidings came they were his deathblow. With a long, bitter cry, he exclaimed, 'Oh! fled Oliver! Is Oliver taken? Oh! fled Oliver!' And, muttering the same miserable words, he returned to Edinburgh, half paralyzed with shame and sorrow. There other ominous news were waiting for him. An English herald had been at the Court for a fortnight, with a message from Henry, to which he expected a reply. The invasion was the answer which James intended, and on the fatal night of the march the herald was dismissed. On the road to Dunbar, two of the northern refugees who had been out in the rebellion overtook and murdered him. A crime for which the King was but indirectly responsible need not have added much to the weight of the lost battle; but one of the murderers had been intimate with Beton. To kill a herald was, by the law of arms, sacrilege, and fresh disgrace had been brought upon a cause of which his better judgment saw too clearly the injustice. The Cardinal came back from the Border to. concert measures to repair the disaster of the Solway; but his presence was unendurable. James, as well as Knox, saw in the overwhelming calamity which had prostrated him the immediate judgment of the Upper Powers, and in a dreamy, half-conscious melancholy, he left Holyrood, and wandered into Fife to the discarded minister whose advice he had so fatally neglected, the old Lord Treasurer. Kirkaldy himself was absent from home. His wife received the King with loyal affection; but he had no definite purpose in going thither, and he would not remain. The hand of death was upon him, and he knew it, and he waited its last grasp with passive indifference. 'My portion in this world is short,' he said to her; 'I shall not be with you fifteen days.' His servants asked him where he would spend his Christmas. 'I cannot tell,' he said; 'but this I can tell on yule day ye will be masterless, and the realm without a king.'

Two boys whom Mary of Guise had borne to him had died in the year preceding. The Queen was at Linlithgow, expecting every day her third confinement. But James was weary of earth and earthly interests. He showed no desire to see her. He went languidly to Falkland; and there, on the 8th of December, came tidings that there was again an heir to the crown; that a princess, known afterwards as Mary Stuart, had been brought into the world. But he could not rally out of his apathy. He only said, 'The deil go with it. It will end as it begun. It came from a lass, and it will end with a lass.' And so, falling back into his old song, 'Fie! fled Oliver! Is Oliver taken? All is lost!' in a few more days, Dec. 18.he moaned away his life. In the pocket of his dress was found Beton's scroll, with the list of names marked for destruction.

To such end had the blessing of Paul III., and the cap, and the sword, and the midnight mass, brought at last a gallant gentleman.

  1. Deposition of Sir Edward Knyvet: MS. State Paper Office Domestic. Knyvet answering that 'it was sin to say ill of dead men,' Surrey replied, ' These new-created men would by their wills leave no nobleman in life.'
  2. Papers endorsed Lascelles and Smithwick: MS. State Paper Office, Domestic.
  3. MS. ibid.
  4. 'The Laird of Grange did say, that King Henry, being corpulent and fat, there was small hopes of his having heirs,' &c.—Memoirs of Sir James Melville.
  5. The Privy Council to Sir William Paget; Acts of the Privy Council, vol. vii. p. 352.
  6. State Papers, vol. viii.
  7. Rymer, vol. vi. part 2, p. 171.
  8. Wallop to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. viii. p. 436.
  9. Maltravers to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. viii. p. 460; Wallop to Henry VIII.: ibid.
  10. Henry VIII. to Hertford: State Papers, vol. viii. p. 523.
  11. Rymer, vol. vi. part 2, p. 21, &c.
  12. Lord Herbert, p. 225; State Papers, vol. viii. p. 641.
  13. Henry VIII. to Lord William Howard: State Papers, vol. viii. p. 530.
  14. The scruple which was so careful of the reputation of a probably innocent gentleman has in Wallop's case prevented even the nature of the accusations from surviving. Sir Thomas Wyatt's supposed crimes are known only from his own defence. He was charged with having communicated secretly with Pole; with having said, when the pacification of Nice was concluded, that 'he feared the King should be cast out of the cart's tail, and by God's blood, if he were so, he was well served, and he would he were;' and, again, with having spoken against the Act of Supremacy. The first point was the misinterpretation of Bonner's malice. He had 'practised' to gain intelligence from Pole of the intentions of the Pope. He supposed that he had but discharged his duty in doing so. He had spoken loosely of the prospects of the King, he admitted. It was a fashion of speech, and not a good one; but that he had expressed his expectations in the form of a hope he denied utterly. Of the Act of Supremacy he allowed that he had said it would be sore rod in evil hands; and he supposed he had been right in saying so.'—Nott's Wyatt.
  15. The privy council, writing to Howard an account of this aifair, said that Wallop at first denied having given any ground for suspicion; 'Whereupon the King's Majesty of his goodness caused his own letters written to Pate, that traitor, and others, to be laid before him, which when once he saw and read, he cried for mercy, knowledging his offences, with refusal of all triai, and only yielding himself to his Majesty's mercy; whereupon his Majesty, conceiving that he did not deny his transgressions with any purpose to cloke and cover the same, but only by slipperness of memory, and taking his submission, being surely both sorrowful and repentant, his Highness having also most humble suits and intercessions made unto him, both for him and for Wyatt, by the Queen, adding hereunto respect for his old service, hath forgiven him; so as, to be plain with you, we think he is at this present in no less estimation with his Majesty than he was before.'

    'Now to Wyatt,' they added: 'He confessed, upon his examination, all the things objected to him; delivering his submission in writing, but with a like protestation that the same proceeded fromhim withoutspot of malice. In contemplation of which submission, his Highness hath given him his pardon in as large and ample a sort as his Grace gave to Sir John Wallop.'—The Council to Lord William Howard: State Papers, vol. viii. p. 545. It is clear that neither Wallop nor Wyatt were tried. The 'oration' of the latter, therefore, printed by Mr Nott, and described by him as addressed to a jury after the indictment and the evidence, was composed only, but not delivered. The prudence of a later age has wisely discontinued the practice of secret examinations previous to trial, as admitting of being alarmingly abused. Cases, however, like the present sometimes occurred when it furnished the readiest method of disposing of calumny.

  16. Hall, p. 841; Lord Herbert.
  17. Lord Herbert, without mentioning his authority, says that, 'when commanded to lay her head on the block, she refused, saying, 'So should traitors do; I am none.' Turning her head every way, she told the executioner, if he would have it, he must get it as he could.' I am unable to see in this story the dignity admired by Lingard; and unless it rests on the evidence of eye-witnesses, I am not inclined to give it credit. Cardinal Pole says that her last words were, 'Blessed are those who suffer persecution for righteousness' sake.'—Epist. Reg. Pole, vol. iii. p. 76.
  18. I say 'possibly,' for if we do not know that Lady Salisbury had given fresh provocation, as little do we know that she had not; while this much indisputably had been proved against her, that while her son was engaged in a course of actions which the laws of all countries regard as the most criminal which a subject can commit, Lady Salisbury encouraged him in treason; and she encouraged, if she did not actively participate in, the conspiracy at home, which was designed to act in concert with an invasion.
  19. Paget to Sir Thomas Wriothesley: MS. State Paper Office.
  20. Ibid.
  21. For the account of this trial see the letter of Sir William Paget in the State Paper Office. The Baga de Secretis, pouch 12; Hall, p. 841; and Holinshed, vol. iii. p. 821.
  22. Hall.
  23. Acts of the Privy Council, vol. vii. p. 245.
  24. Henry VIII. to the Lord Chancellor: State Papers, vol. i. p. 680.
  25. Ibid. 681.
  26. Acts of the Privy Council, vol. vii. p. 352.
  27. Ibid.
  28. The evidence forms a volume among the Domestic MSS. in the State Paper Office.
  29. Perhaps the same person who had regretted Cromwell's loss so deeply: see p. 446.
  30. Acts of the Privy Council, vol. vii. p. 353.
  31. The Privy Council to Sir William Paget: Acts of the Privy Council, vol. vii. p. 352. My authorities for the general story are the Privy Council Records, with the Appendix to the seventh volume, the printed letters upon the subject in the first volume of the State Papers, the volume of Depositions in MS. in the State Paper Office, the Journals of the House of Lords, the Act of Attainder of Catherine Howard in the Statute Book, and the Indictments against her paramours in the Baga de Secretis.
  32. Friends of the Queen had attempted to discover that she had been 'precontracted with Derham,' in which case she, like Anne Boleyn, would never have been lawfully married to the King, and might thus escape conviction for high treason. The King would not hear of the excuse, or allow it to be mentioned. Cranmer was directed to assemble the ladies and gentlemen of the royal household and tell them what had happened, 'foreseeing always,' the council wrote to him, 'that you make not mention of any precontract; but, omitting that, to set forth such matters as might engrieve and confound the misdemeanour, and, as truth doth indeed truly bear, declare and set forth the King's Majesty's goodness, most unworthy to be troubled with any such mischance.'—The Council to Cranmer: State Papers, vol. i. p. 693.
  33. Chapuys, the Imperialist ambassador, who might have been expected to be favourable to the Queen, betrays no interest in her fate. Nor does he affect to believe in the innocence of a person who fully admitted her own guilt. 'The Queen,' he wrote, on the 29th of January, to Charles, 'is still at Syon, very cheerful and more plump and pretty than ever: she is as careful about her dress, she is as imperious and wilful, as at the time when she was with the King; notwithstanding that she expects to be put to death, that she confesses that she has well deserved it, and asks for no favour except that the execution shall be secret and not under the eyes of the world. Perhaps, if the King does not mean to marry again, he may show mercy to her; or if he find that he can divorce her on the plea of adultery, he may take another thus. The question, I am told, has been already debated among the learned theologians, although, so far, there is no appearance that the King thinks of any further marriage or of any other woman.'
  34. State Papers, vol. i. p. 718. Sir William Paget's account of a conversation with the Queen of Navarre shows how necessary it was for Henry to have no concealment. 'After she had used a long discourse,' he said, 'of sundry matters, she entered on purpose of the Queen. And when I had made a declaration to her of the whole matter, so far forth as I knew of it, she said, with solemn addition in many words, how well she was affected towards your Majesty; that she was very sorry, as she knew the King her brother was, that your Majesty should be thus disquieted, and was nevertheless glad that she knew the truth of the matter at length, to the intent she might declare the same when time and place required; 'for,' said she, 'there hath been (and named the constable), and yet be (and named the cardinal, and the chancellor, who gaped to be a cardinal) in this Court that be the gladdest of men in the world to deprave the King's Majesty's your master's doings; and to tell you,' quoth she, 'franchement, the King my brother hath been too much abused with them, and so,' quoth she, 'I have told him not long ago.''—Paget to Henry VIII.: ibid. vol. viii. p. 636.
  35. In progressu orationis, quoties mentio obvenerat regiæ Majestatis, id quod sæpe accidit, illico ad unum omnes humi tantum non prosternebant, quasi agnoscentes vera esse omnia quæ diccret orator in laudem principis simulque Deo optimo Maximo gratias agentes qui tali rege hoc regnum tam diu sustinuerit; communibus denique votis obscerantes ut pro immensâ ejus misericordiâ erga illam Rempublicam in longævam ætatem talem principem producere dignaretur.'—Lords Journals, vol. i. p. 164.
  36. Lords Journals, 33 Henry VIII.
  37. Lords Journals, vol. i. p. 171. After the Act was passed, the King again made an effort in the Queen's favour. 'The King, after the vote of Parliament in her condemnation, wishing to proceed more humanely and more according to forms of law, sent some of his council with a deputation from the Houses to propose to her to come to the Parliament chamber to defend herself. She refused, however; she submitted herself to the King's mercy and good pleasure, and confessed that she had deserved to die.'—Chappuys, Feb. 25, 1542.
  38. 'Quædam alia minime contemnenda eorum animis occurrerunt regiæ itidem majestati exponenda, aut potius a suâ Majestate omnino flagitanda.'—Lords Journals, ibid.
  39. 'Ne nova tam flebilis historiæ et nefandi secleris commemoratio si coram fiat jam bene sopitum dolorem renovet in animo Principis.'—Lords Journals, vol. i. p. 171.
  40. Ibid. p. 167.
  41. 'Quos omnes simul præsentes sua Majestas gravissime admonuit, ut maxima sit cura de bonis condendis legibus, de justâ legum observatione, ut nemo arbitretur suam rem agi solam in parliamento aut sui commodi gratiâ se illuc vocari; sed reipublicæ negotium agi et unumquemque patronum præstare debere absentis multitudinis. Quapropter oportet magnates et communes unanimes esse, sæpius convenire et colloqui de præsentibus negotiis, de propositis statutis sen Billis ut vocant; alioqui futurum id quod autehac usu venisse sæpenumero sua Majestas audivit et ægre tulit, ut alii aliorum Billas rejicerent tanquam inutiles omnino et incommodas reipublicæ ob hoc solum, quia rationes et fundamenta hujusmodi Billarum neque per se nôrunt, neque hi qui rejiciunt dignentur sermones commiscere cum alterâ parte, ut oranes omnium rationes et sensus perspiciant, quo fieri posset ut multæ bonæ billæ legis vigorem obtinerent, quæ nunc frustra proponuntur.'—Lords Journals, vol. i. p. 172.
  42. Lords Journals, p. 176.
  43. Otwell Johnson to his brother John Johnson: Ellis, first series, vol. ii. p. 128.

    Chapuys adds some particulars. 'The Queen, after some resistance, and with some difficulty, was taken down the river to the Tower, preceded by a barge containing the Lord Privy Seal, several members of the council, and a number of servants. The Queen followed in a small close barge, with three or four men and as many women. The Duke of Suffolk came behind as a rear-guard, in a large boat crowded with his retinue.

    'When they reached the Tower stairs, the lords disembarked first, and afterwards the Queen, in a dress of black velvet. The same forms of respect were shown to her as when she was on the throne.

    'Two days after, being Sunday the 12th, in the evening, she was instructed to disburden her conscience; she was to die the following day. She desired that the block on which she was to be beheaded might be brought her, that she might learn how she was to place herself. This was done, and she made the experiment.

    'At seven o'clock the next morning, all the King's council, except the Duke of Suffolk; who was indisposed, and the Duke of Norfolk, presented themselves at the Tower, with a number of lords and gentlemen, amongst the rest being the Earl of Surrey, the Duke of Norfolk's son and the Queen's cousin. The Queen herself was shortly after beheaded, in the same place where Anne Boleyn suffered. A cloth was thrown over the body, which was taken away hy some ladies, and Lady Rochford was brought out, who seemed to be in a kind of frenzy till she died. Neither one nor the other said much except to confess their misdeeds, and to pray for the King's welfare.'

  44. 33 Henry VIII. cap. 8. Much of the monastic plate was buried or concealed in the ruins of the religious houses at the time of the dissolution, and as the conjurors and treasure-finders were often monks, we may believe that their arts were not always ineffectual. But the ensuing singular confession shows into what high quarters the superstitions detailed in the statute had spread. It is taken from a MS. in the Rolls House, Miscellaneous, second series, p. 64, and was addressed by a Benedictine monk to Wolsey.

    'And where your most noble Grace here of late was informed of certain things by the Duke's Grace of Norfolk as touching your Grace and him, I faithfully ascertain your noble Grace, as I shall answer to God and avoid your lordship's high displeasure, that the truth thereof is as hereafter followeth: that is to say, one Wright, servant to the said Duke, at a certain season shewed me that the Duke's Grace his master was sore vexed with a spirit by the enchantment of your Grace. To the which I made answer that his communication might be left, for it was too high a matter to meddle withal. Whereupon the said Wright went unto the Duke's Grace, and shewed him things to me unknown; upon the which information of Wright the Duke's Grace caused me to be sent for; and at such time as I was before his Grace I required his Grace to shew me what his pleasure was; and he said, I knew well myself; and I answered, 'Nay.' Then he demanded Wright, whether he had shewed me anything or nay; and he answered, he durst not, for because his Grace gave so strait commandment to the contrary. And so then was I directed to the said Wright unto the next day, that he should shew me the intention of the Duke's Grace; and so when we were departed from the Duke's Grace, the said Wright said unto me in this wise, 'Sir William, ye be well advised that I shewed you a while ago that I heard say my Lord's Grace here was sore vexed with the spirit by the enchantment of the Lord Legate's Grace; and so it is that I have enformed the Duke's Grace of the same, and also have borne him in hand that you, by reason of the cunning that you have, had and would do him much good therein. Wherefore my council and arede shall be this: the Duke's Grace favoureth you well, and now the time is come that you may exalt yourself, and greatly further your brother and me also. Wherefore you must needs feign something as you can do right well, that you have done his Grace good in the avoiding of the same spirit.' And then came my brother unto me, at the request of the said Wright, which in like wise instanced me to the same. And then I made answer to them that I never knew no such thing, nor could not tell what answer I should make: and then they besought me to feign and say something what I thought best. And so I, sore blinded with covetise, thinking to have promotion and favour of the said Duke, said and feigned unto him at such time as he sent for me again and gave me thanks, that I had forged an image of wax to his similitude, and the same sanctified; but whether it did him any good for his sickness or nay, I could not tell. Whereupon the said Duke desired that I should go about to know whether the Lord Cardinal's Grace had a spirit, and 1 shewed him that I could not skill thereof. And then he asked whether I ever heard that your Grace had any spirit or nay. And I said, I never knew no such thing, but I heard it spoken that Oberyon would not speak at such time as he was raised by the parson of Lesingham, Sir John Leister, and others, because he was enchanted to the Lord Cardinal's Grace. The which Duke then said that, if I would take pains therein, he would appoint me to a cunning man named Doctor Wilson. And so the said Doctor Wilson was sent for. And when the Duke's Grace and he were together, they came and examined me; and when I had knowledged to them all the premises, then the Duke's Grace commanded me that I should write all things; and so I did. And that done, he commended me to your noble Grace; without that ever I heard of any such thing concerning the Duke's Grace but only of the said Wright; and without that ever I made or can skill of any such causes; Wherefore, considering the great folly which hath rested in me, I humbly beseech your good Grace to be good and gracious lord unto me, and to take me to your mercy.'

  45. 33 Henry VIII. cap. 15.
  46. Acts of the Privy Council, vol. vii. p. 332.
  47. The authority throughout for this story is Holinshed, who professes to have taken pains to learn the exact details.
  48. Sleidan, vol. ii. pp. 140, 141.
  49. State Papers, vol. viii. p. 609.
  50. State Papers, vol. v. pp. 195–202.
  51. Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland, p. 26.
  52. State Papers, vol. viii. pp. 595–606.
  53. 'There remained of twenty-five thousand footmen of Ferdinand's but five thousand, all his artillery lost; quick there was taken six bundled, most part of them gentlemen, which being brought afore the Turk, he caused them to be headed, whereat all the noblemen of his host took great displeasure, saying that he should have ransomed them as the custom of the war is to do. The Turk then being angry with them, said these words, 'See how these dogs be now come witty.''—Howard to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. viii. p. 614; and see Heidcck to Henry VIII.: ibid. p. 625.
  54. 'They look immediately here for war, and (as I am informed of a credible person) it shall be begun suddenly and in sundry places, in Flanders, in Navarre, and Italy, which, the French King saith, he counteth his own, and to have the Bishop of Rome at least neuter. He amasseth great sums of money. All armourers and furbishers work day and night. The appearance of war is great.'—Paget to Henry VIII.; State Papers, vol. viii. p. 648.
  55. Marano, near Trieste.
  56. Paget to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. viii. p. 655.
  57. Ibid. p. 673.
  58. So at least it was believed in Paris. 'We know,' quoth the Admiral de Bryon, 'how the Emperor offereth your master to accord him with the Pope without breach of his honour, and that it shall be at the Pope's suit.'—Paget to Henry VIII.: Burnet's Collectanea, p. 508.
  59. 'Your master he will not join,' the admiral said to Paget, 'unless he will return again to the Pope, for so his nuntio told the chancellor (Poyet), and the chancellor told the Queen of Navarre, who fell out with him upon occasion of that conference. She told him he was ill enough before, but now, since he had gotten the mark of the beast, for so she called it because he was lately made a priest, he was worse and worse.'—Paget to Henry VIII. ibid.
  60. 'To know from his Highness whether his Highness's commissioners shall press the ambassador to bind the King his master to relinquish wholly the Bishop of Rome, or that he shall not meddle with the said Bishop in anything concerning the treaty of this marriage.'—Privy Council Memoranda: Rolls Souse MS.
  61. Paget saying to him that England never would return to the Pope—virtue and vice could not agree together—'Call you him vice?' the Admiral replied. 'He is the very devil; I trust once to see his confusion. Everything must have a beginning. I think ere it be long; the King my master will convert all the abbeys of his realm into the possession of his lay gentlemen, and so forth by little and little, if you will join us, to overthrow him altogether. Why may we not have a patriarch here in France?'—Paget to Henry VIII.: Burnet's Collectanea.
  62. State Papers, vol. viii. p. 676, &c.
  63. 'See you not,' said the King, 'this Pope, qui n'est qu'un petit prêtre in comparison of the King my brother, so audacieux as to send me word he was as well able to marry his niece with the house of France as Clement was; and if that I would join with him, he would give me 300,000 crowns in ready money; and the King my brother offereth me but as much, and that in such sort as he shall lay out never a penny for it. Whereunto I said your Majesty accounted the sum to be as ready money as the Bishop did his, for your Majesty thought the payment of it good.'—Paget to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. ix. p. 29.
  64. Paget to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. viii. p. 676.
  65. The Privy Council to Paget: ibid. vol. ix. p. 172.
  66. The right had not been always on the English side. An exploring vessel equipped from London for discoveries in North America, was delayed in Newfoundland, and almost starved there. When at the extremity of famine, a French ship arrived 'well furnished with victual, and such,' says Hakluyt, 'was the policy of the English that they became masters of the same, and changing ships and victualling them, they set sail to come into England.' Hakluyt disguises behind an ambiguous phrase, an act of open piracy. In excuse it could only be urged that the English had been reduced to devour more than one of their own crew. They returned safely, and 'certain months after,' the story continues, 'those Frenchmen came into England and made complaint to King Henry. The King causing the matter to be examined, and finding the great distress of his subjects, and the causes of the dealing so with the French, was so moved with pity that he punished not his subjects, but of his own purse made full a royal recompense unto the French.'—Hakluyt, vol. iii. pp. 169, 170.
  67. The Privy Council to Paget: State Papers, vol. viii. p. 708.
  68. Paget to Henry VIII.: Burnet's Collectanea, p. 505, &c.
  69. 'M. l'Ambassadeur,' quoth the Admiral to me, 'to be frank with you, I hear strange news, and by such credible report as me thinketh it cannot but be true.' 'What is that?' quoth I. 'Marry,' quoth he, 'by private letters I am informed that the Emperor hath married your daughter.' 'And if so be,' quoth I, 'would you not have my master marry his daughter but to whom ye will, and as you will?' 'Oui-dà,' quoth he, 'and it is already done.' 'I believe it not,' quoth I. 'Par Saint Jehan, il est vrai, da pour tant,' quoth he, 'for I have letters thereof out of Flanders, out of Spain, from Lyons, and from Rome; and the King your master will make war with the Emperor, and will lend him money,' &c.—Paget to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. ix. p. 47.
  70. 'I have noted in all my conference with these men, not only the fashion of ill debtors, that do neither intreat for respite nor yet be glad to hear of their debt, but also in a manner an unkind charging of your Majesty. Of their debts every man speaketh, and all the world knoweth they be not able to pay.'—Ibid.
  71. State Papers, vol. ix. p. 75.
  72. Ibid. p. 106; communicated in cypher.
  73. In cypher also; ibid. p. 115.
  74. Moslem fanaticism appeared for once to have been of some use to Europe. 'The Turk, it is affirmed, hath refused to imprest such money as he promised to the French King, alleging that his priests, whom he counselled upon the matter, hath concluded to be against their religion to loan money to Christian men. And to Polino, the ambassador, hath been declared that it were no use to send out any navy this present year, whereby the Frenchmen are deluded of the great expectation which they had.'—Harvel to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. ix. p. 154.
  75. Ibid. pp. 41, 66, 214, and 355.
  76. Ibid. pp. 90–96.
  77. Bonner's diplomatic ability was so great as to overweigh objections from his coarseness. He was also an accomplished Italian, and probably also a Spanish, scholar.
  78. The words in italics are those which are underlined by the King.
  79. Opposite these words stands a marginal note in Henry's hand Bene.
  80. Henry writes again, N. Bene.
  81. Bonner to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. ix. p. 157.
  82. Bonner to Thirlby: State Papers, vol. ix. pp. 163–169.
  83. Bonner to Thirlby: State Papers, vol. ix. pp. 163–169.
  84. Seymour to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. ix. p. 201; and see ibid. pp. 212–223.
  85. Paget assured the King that Francis 'used those words, and worse.'—Ibid. p. 182.
  86. 'As concerning the King of Scots, surely, sire, we take it to be a matter of marvellously great importance, and of such sort and nature, considering it toucheth the taking of the person of a King in his own realm, and by the subjects of his uncle, not being at enmity with him, that unless your Majesty had commanded us expressly to consider it, we would have been afraid to have thought on such a matter touching a King's person, standing the terms as they stand between you.'—Privy Council to the King: State Papers, vol. v. p. 204.
  87. Paget to Henry VIII.: Ibid, vol. ix. p. 174.
  88. La Planche, one of the French council, told Paget that James in his letter had complained that Henry went about without good cause to oppress him. 'To this,' said Paget, 'I answered, 'If the Scottish King had complained, I think he played the curst cat that scratted and cried, for I knew your Majesty to be of such virtue and knowledge that you would not make war upon him, being your nephew, without occasion.' 'Of one thing you may be sure,' quoth he, 'that a king of France will never suffer a king of Scotland to be oppressed:' which words were out or he was aware; and to amend the matter, he added, 'no more than a King of England will suffer an Emperor or a French King to be overcome one of another, but to keep them in an equality.''—Paget to Henry VIII.: State Papers, vol. ix. p. 179.
  89. Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland.
  90. I omit a technical detail of the precise point of dispute.
  91. Alluding to a strip of the debatable land.
  92. Declaration of the Cause of the War with Scotland: Hall, p. 846.
  93. 'To be plain with you, it is something strange to me to conject what it should mean that the Scots do nothing attempt against us, for though there is much scarcity of victual among them, yet being so furnished of multitude of men near to the Border as they are, I think, if they would, they might ere now have done some displeasures. Surely they lack good captains.'—Norfolk to Wriothesley: State Papers, vol. v. p. 221.
  94. Ibid.
  95. Buchanan, vol. ii. p. 169.
  96. Knox, Calderwood, and Buchanan.
  97. Knox.
  98. See State Papers, vol. is. p. 127; and the accounts of their value in the Irish campaigns: ibid. vols. ii. and iii.
  99. Knox