History of England (Froude)/Chapter 24

CHAPTER XXIV.


THE PROTECTORATE.


1547. January.IT has been said that, in the selection of his executors, Henry VIII. was guided by the desire to leave a Government behind him in which the parties of reaction and of progress should alike be represented, and should form a check one upon the other. No individual among them was given precedence over another, because no one could be trusted with supreme power. On both sides names were omitted which might naturally have been looked for. Gardiner was struck from the list as violent and dangerous; Lord Parr the Queen's brother, Lord Dorset who had married Henry's niece, were passed over as sectarian or imprudent; and, whatever further changes the King might himself have contemplated, he may be presumed to have desired that the existing order of things in Church and State should be maintained as he had left it till Edward's minority should expire.

In anticipation of the contingency which had now arrived, an Act of Parliament had been passed several years before, empowering sovereigns who might succeed to the crown while under age, to repeal by letters patent all measures which might have been passed in their names; and this Act, without doubt, was designed to prohibit regents, or councils of regency, from meddling with serious questions.[1] But the King did not leave the world without expressing his own views with elaborate explicitness. He spent the day before his death in conversation with Lord Hertford and Sir William Paget on the condition of the country. He urged them to follow out the Scottish marriage to the union of the Crowns, and by separate and earnest messages he commended Edward to the care both of Charles V. and of Francis I.[2] So much they communicated to the world; with respect to the rest they kept their secret. It is known only that the King continued his directions to them as long as he could speak, and they were with him when he died.

Whatever he said, however, the Earl of Hertford never afterwards dared to appeal to the verbal instructions of Henry as a justification of the course which he intended to follow. He had formed other schemes, and he had determined in his own mind that he was wiser than his master. The Earl of Hertford, ardent, generous, and enthusiastic, the popular successful general, the uncle of Edward, was ill satisfied with the limited powers and the narrow sphere of action which had been assigned him. He saw England, as he believed, ripe for mighty changes easy of accomplishment. He saw in imagination the yet imperfect revolution carried out to completion, and himself as the achiever of the triumph remembered in the history of his country. He had lived in a reign in which the laws had been severe beyond precedent and when even speech was criminal. He was himself a believer in liberty; he imagined that the strong hand could now be dispensed with, that an age of enlightenment was at hand when severity could be superseded with gentleness and force by persuasion.

But, to accomplish these great purposes, he required a larger measure of authority. Before the King's body was cold, in the corridor outside the room where it was lying, he entreated Paget to assist him in altering the arrangements, and Paget, with some cautions and warnings, and stipulating only that Hertford should be guided in all things by his advice, consented.[3]

It was now three o'clock in the morning of the 28th of January. The King had died at two, and after this hurried but momentous conversation, the Earl hastened off to bring up the Prince, who was in Hertfordshire with Elizabeth. In his haste he took with him the key of the will, for which Paget was obliged to send after him. In returning it, he recommended that for the present some caution should be used in communicating the contents to the world.[4] The world should experience the benefit of the alterations before it was made aware of the nature of them.

In the afternoon of Monday the 3ist he arrived at the Tower with Edward. The death of Henry had been formally made known only in the morning of that day. The council was in session, and Paget had already proposed a protectorate. Lord Wriothesley, the chancellor, spoke earnestly in opposition. Protectorates, especially when they had been held by the uncles of kings, had been occasions of disaster and crime; the Protector in the minority of Henry VI. had ruined the finances and lost France; Edward V. had been murdered by the Duke of Gloucester. But Paget's influence was stronger than Wriothesley's, and the chancellor reluctantly acquiescing, the form of Government as disposed by Henry, was modified on Hertford's appearance in the following instrument.

'We, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Lord Wriothesley, Chancellor of England, William Lord St John, John Lord Russell, Edward Earl of Hertford, John Viscount Lisle, Cuthbert Bishop of Durham, Anthony Browne, William Paget, Edward North, Edward Montague, Anthony Denny, and William Herbert, being all assembled together in the Tower of London the last day of January, have reverently and diligently considered the great charge committed to us, and calling to Almighty God for his aid and assistance, have resolved and agreed with one voice to stand to and maintain the last will and testament of our late master in every part and article of the same.

'Further, considering the greatness of the charge, the multitude of business, the number of executors appointed with like and equal charge, it should be more than necessary, as well for the honour, surety, and good government of the most royal person of the King our sovereign lord that now is, as for the more certain and assured direction of his affairs, that some special man of the number aforesaid should be preferred in name and place before other, to whom, as to the head of the rest, all strangers and others might have access, and who for his virtue, wisdom, and experience in things were meet and able to be a special remembrancer, and to keep a most certain account of all our proceedings, which otherwise could not choose within short time but grow into much disorder and confusion—

'We, therefore, the Archbishop and others whose names be hereunto subscribed, by our whole consent, concord, and agreement, upon mature consideration of the tenderness and proximity of blood between our sovereign lord that now is, and the said Earl of Hertford, by virtue of the authority given unto us by the said will and testament of our said late sovereign lord and master for the doing of any act or acts that may tend to the honour and surety of our sovereign lord that now is, or for the advancement of his affairs, have given unto him the chief place among us, and also the name and title of the Protector of all the realms and dominions of the King's Majesty, and governor of his most royal person, with the special and express condition that he shall not do any act but with the advice and consent of the rest of the executors, in such manner, order, and form as in the will of our late sovereign lord is appointed and prescribed, which the said Earl hath promised to perform accordingly.'[5]

The Protectorate had been gained with little difficulty; the conditions with which it was fettered could in due time be disposed of.

The other provisions, in the will fell next under consideration. A clause directed that all provisions made by the King in his lifetime should be fulfilled by the executors. February.On Sunday, the 6th of February, Paget said that a few weeks previously Henry had spoken to him of the decay of the English nobility. Many peerages had become extinct, 'some by attainder, some by misgovernance and riotous living, some by sickness and other means.' The order required refreshment with new blood, and Paget had been requested to make a 'book of names' of persons whom it was desirable to advance. A list had been drawn, in which Hertford had been named for a dukedom, Parr for a marquisate, Lisle,[6] St John,[7] and Russell for earldoms, Sir Thomas Seymour, Sir Thomas Cheyne, Sir Richard Rich, Sir William Willoughby, Sir R. Arundel, Sir Edward Sheffield, Sir John St Leger, Sir — Wymbish, Sir Christopher Danby, and Vernon of the Peak, for baronies. The King entered opposite to each name the grants which should accompany the titles; and Paget had then submitted the Royal intentions to the different candidates.

Some of these gentlemen, however, were unambitious; others, perhaps, considered the estates allotted them too small to maintain an increased rank. There was a general expression of dissatisfaction, and the King hesitated what to do. Paget was directed to make another list, entering himself the endowments which would be thought adequate. A dukedom he again fixed for Hertford, and an earldom for his son, 'with 800 pound lands, and 300 pound of the next bishop's lands which should fall vacant.' Sir Thomas Seymour should be Lord Seymour of Sudleye, with 500l. lands; and he suggested grants on a similar scale for all the rest of the executors except for himself. The new schedule was read over to Henry in the presence of Sir William Herbert and Sir Anthony Denny.

'Mr Secretary has remembered all men save one,' said Herbert. 'You mean himself,' replied the King. 'I remember him well enough, and he shall be helped.'

But no distinct conclusion was arrived at. The grants were profuse and the Crown was in debt. Henry 'put the book in his poke,' and died without returning to the subject.[8]

The silence, however, was construed favourably, The hypothetical bequests in their own favour which the will did not contain the executors held themselves bound to accomplish. The legacies in money which were specially named they held it prudent to suspend, although, indeed, considerable sums were left to themselves. France might go to war with them to recover Boulogne. 'Their imperfect friend the Emperor' might go to war with them to reimpose the authority 'of the Bishop of Rome.' It would be unsafe to empty the treasury of coin, and 'leave the realm impoverished.' Making a merit of their virtue, they would wait with the other legatees for a more convenient season.

Another matter of importance was put off for the same reason. The will ordained that the Crown debts should have preference over every other disposition, and the encumbrances left by the war were still undischarged. The King had set the dangerous example of taking up money at interest from the Fuggers at Antwerp. Owing to the change of habits in the higher classes and to other causes, the annual expenses of the household, which at the beginning of Henry's reign had been but 14,000l., had slowly and gradually risen. In the last year they had made a sudden violent start, in consequence of the rise of prices which attended the infection of the currency, and the charges for the last six months had reached 28,000l. Much of this was still unpaid, and again there were the loans from the Mint, met hitherto by the expedient of depreciation, which required an instant remedy. In the last four years, 24,000 lb. weight of silver had been coined, mixed on an average with an equal quantity of alloy.[9] The gain to the Crown from this dangerous source had been 50,000l. The duty of the executors was to call in the impure coin. The estates which they divided among themselves to support their new honours might have been sold for five times the amount which in this early stage of the disease would have been required.

But Henry himself had been, perhaps, unaware of the peril of meddling with the currency. It seems not to have occurred to the council—perhaps it did not occur to him—that where a small quantity of debased coin is thrown into the midst of a circulation generally pure, the good will inevitably sink to the level of the bad. The money of the State could not be wasted in the payment of debts either to the Fuggers or to the Mint. In the large schemes which the Protector was meditating, the currency might prove a convenient resource. With the appropriation of the estates followed the distribution of honours and dignities. On the 16th of February it was ordered in council that Hertford should be Duke of Somerset, and that his brother should be Lord Seymour of Sudleye; Lord Parr was to be Marquis of Northampton, Lisle and Wriothesley Earls of Warwick and Southampton. The patents were made out the next day at the Tower,[10] and the will of Henry was thus disposed of.

The next step was to show the bishops that the change of rulers had not restored their liberty. They were to regard themselves as possessed of no authority independent of the Crown. They were not successors of the apostles, but merely ordinary officials; and, in evidence that they understood and submitted to their position, they were required to accept a renewal of their commissions. Cranmer set the willing example, in an acknowledgment that all jurisdiction, ecclesiastical as well as secular, within the realm, only emanated from the sovereign.[11] The other prelates consented, or were compelled, to imitate him.[12]

But for the measures which the reforming party meditated, the Protector was not yet wholly in the position which he or they desired. He was hampered by a council of which the chancellor was a member; and so long as he could do nothing without the council's consent, he could but walk in the track which Henry had marked for him. Wriothesley, however, by a fortunate want of judgment, gave Somerset an opportunity to shake him off. There was a jealousy of old standing in the profession to which he belonged between the civilians and the common law lawyers. The sympathies of the chancellor were with the former, and believing that he held his office irresponsibly and irremoveably, and finding his occupation at the council-board interfere with his duties as a judge, he made out a commission in the King's name to the Master of the Rolls and three civilians, empowering them to hear and determine causes in the Court of Chancery as his representatives. The students at the inns of court complained to the council. The judges being consulted, reported unanimously that the issue of a commission under the great seal without sanction from the Crown was an offence by which, 'by the common law,' the chancellor had forfeited his office; and when first called to account, Wriothesley enhanced his misdemeanour by 'menacing divers of the learned men,' and 'using unfitting words to the Lord Protector.' The council 'considered what danger might ensue, if the great seal of England, whereby the King and the realm might be bound, should continue in the hands of so stout and arrogant a person as durst presume at his will to seal without warrant;' and they resolved, without a dissentient voice, that he should be deprived.[13] March.They came to their determination on the morning of Sunday, the 6th of March. The chancellor was ordered to remain a prisoner in the council chamber till the end of the afternoon sermon. In the evening he withdrew to his house, and resigned the seals into the hands of Lord Seymour and Sir Anthony Browne.

The complaint of the students and the entries in the Council Register contain the only surviving account of this transaction, and from an ex parte statement no conclusion can be drawn on the fairness of Wriothesley's treatment. The Protector, however, was conveniently freed from his ablest opponent, and he was enabled to make a more considerable innovation in the structure of the Government. A week after he took out a new patent for the Protectorate, which was drawn in Edward's name. The executors were left as his advisers; but, probably under the pretence that the chancellor's conduct made it necessary that their position should be more distinctly defined, they were now represented as the nominees of Edward, and no longer as guardians appointed by his father. The Protector might accept their advice, or might neglect it, at his own pleasure. He might act with all of them, or with 'so many as he pleased to call to his assistance.' He might choose others, should he desire the help of others. In fact, he might 'do anything which a governor of the King's person, or Protector of the realm, ought to do,' and was left to his own unfettered discretion to decide what his obligations might be.[14]

The Duke of Somerset had now obtained the reality of power. His precautions in withholding such parts of the will of the late King as he desired to conceal prevented the nation from being aware generally of the extent to which he had transgressed it. He was Edward's uncle; he had the art of popularity, and the factions opposed to him were disheartened and disunited. His virtual sovereignty was submitted to, it would seem, without outward complaint or opposition. Only he was bound to remember that jealous eyes were ever on the watch upon power illegitimately obtained; that, as he had taken the Protectorate on his own responsibility, so, for such errors as he might fall into, he would be called on to give a strict account. At the very outset he was not without warning that he was on dangerous ground. His new commission was countersigned only by seven of his co-executors. The names of all the rest, and among them that of the Earl of Warwick, were significantly withheld.

If Somerset was ambitious, however, it was only (as he persuaded himself) to do good. He commenced his administration with a prayer, in which he spoke of himself as called to rule by Providence; in which he described himself as a shepherd of God's people, a sword-bearer of God's justice; in which he asked prosperity, wisdom, and victory for the great things which God was to enable him to do.[15] Nevertheless, such language was better suited to a prince than, to a subject. His own intrigues, and not the will of Heaven, had placed him in the position which he had achieved. In a letter to the King of France he so curiously forgot himself that 'he called his Majesty brother,' and Dr Wotton, the ambassador, was requested to remind him who and what he was.[16] Such assistance as Heaven would grant him in the task which he had undertaken of governing England, he was likely to require. Of the religious factions at home, it was essential to the welfare of the country that neither should be allowed to prevail. With foreign powers there was peace, but it was a peace which had been dearly bought, and which the most delicate skill could alone succeed in maintaining.

The difficulty of the situation will be best seen in a review of the general condition of Europe.

1545And first for the Council of Trent.

From the commencement of the Reformation a general council had been in the mouth of the Christian world. All parties in turn had clamoured for it, all parties in turn had opposed it, as the predominant influence under which, if it assembled, it was likely to fall, varied between the great powers of Europe, the peoples, and the Papacy. So long as the Emperor was entangled in the war with France, he was compelled to temporize with the Protestant States of Germany, and the Germans pressed a council upon him which should be held within the frontiers of the Empire, where they could themselves be freely represented and freely heard. Such a council the Popes had as loudly deprecated, and Charles, embarrassed on one side with the necessity of conciliating the Diet, on the other with his loyalty to Catholicism, had again and again declared that a council was chiefly valuable as a possibility—as a threat—as a cannon to be kept loaded—minatory, but never to be discharged. There were books enough, he said, to determine the Catholic doctrines, codes and law courts to enforce Catholic discipline. Fresh definitions and fresh polemical organizations would only sharpen the edge of the schism and bring about a violent collision.[17] While the war continued the Popes consented readily to a delay, which was of most advantage to themselves. Without the united support of the two great Catholic monarchies they distrusted their powers of overbearing opposition. The peace of Crêpy had for the first time presented the conditions which the Court of Rome desired. Paul III., to lose no more time, sent Cardinal Farnese to the Emperor to entreat his consent. He could keep his promises to the Lutherans in the letter, if not in the spirit, by appointing for the place of assembly a city within the German frontier, where the Italian and Papal influences would, nevertheless, effectively predominate.

Charles, still anxious to put off an open rupture with Germany, hesitated. The Bishop of Arras replied for him, that if a council met, summoned by the Pope, the Protestants, assured of their intended condemnation, would take up arms. The Catholic States in Germany could not be relied upon, and the Elector and the Landgrave, as the best means of defending themselves, might perhaps carry the war into Italy, and dictate terms in the citadel of religion itself. The Pope would have to rely upon his own resources to protect himself; the Imperial treasury was exhausted, and, though his master would give his life, he could give no more.

With some doubt of the sincerity of these objections, Paul III. for the moment gave way to them. A few cardinals and bishops had collected at Trent to arrange preliminaries. They were instructed to wear away the time in a show of making preparations, and the Pope tried to persuade himself that the difficulty with Charles was really and truly, as he pretended, a want of power that when opportunity should offer, he would draw the sword with effect.[18]

In August the Emperor met the German Diet at Worms, when he again held out hopes of a satisfactory settlement. But he satisfied the Pope behind the scenes with private assurances, although he had alarmed the fathers at Trent by the vagueness of his language.[19]

So matters stood when the Duke of Orleans died. The war was likely to revive, and the Pope determined that he would wait no longer. He must make the best of the occasion while it endured, and in December, 1545; the Council of Trent was opened for despatch of business. The Emperor, dragged into a reluctant approval, permitted the attendance of the bishops of Spain, partly to gratify the Pope, partly to control the Italians; and so welcome were they, and so doubtful had been their coming, that when they arrived, the cardinals, legates, and prelates went out to receive them at the gates, and a special seat of honour was assigned to the Archbishop of Toledo as the Imperial representative.[20]

1546. January.If prudence was still important, the presence of some one in authority who could keep his judgment cool was not unnecessary. The zealous fathers desired at once to draw the sword and pass a censure on the Germans before Charles was ready for the struggle for which he was obliged in haste to prepare himself. The Archbishop of Toledo interposed. In spite of a querulous murmur, he contrived for the time to turn the heat of discussion into less dangerous channels.[21] Original sin was brought forward, and next a fertile discussion on the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin.[22] And when on this point the fiery conflict had burnt out, the Bishop of Fiesoli threw in the inexhaustible and yet more agitating question, What was the Pope's authority, and what was a bishop's authority? How far could one bishop overrule another bishop in his own diocese? Here the strife of tongues, once kindled, raged without ceasing till Midsummer, 1546, when the Emperor was ready to take the field; and then at last the Council were allowed to approach subjects which would bring them in collision with the Reformers. An article was brought forward on the heresy of justification by faith: a league was concluded between Charles and Paul; and a holy war was proclaimed.

This is not a place to describe the campaign which closed at Muhlberg in the following spring, so disastrously for the Lutherans. The Pope undertook to provide an Italian contingent, and for a supply of funds he allowed the Emperor to sequestrate half the revenue of the Church of Spain, and to sell church lands to the value of a half-million crowns. But the Emperor's misgivings had not deceived him as to the strength of the enemy. The Elector of Saxe and the Landgrave of Hesse took the field at the head of an army far superior to the Papal Imperial troops in number, in equipment, in commissariat. Their artillery doubled the Emperor's: the people were on their side; they possessed every advantage, except in the one point of a divided command and inferiority of military skill.[23]

The result of the conflict seemed at one time so uncertain, that the fathers at the council were thrown into the utmost agitation. Some ferocious Protestant leader might stoop down upon them out of the mountains, lying out as they were exposed upon the frontier; they desired to flutter off to some safer residence;[24] and so much disturbed were they, that in the heat of their alarm they forgot the plainest proprieties of decorum. In an excited session one venerable prelate clutched another by the beard, and plucked out his hoary hair in handfuls;[25] and they would have broken up and dispersed on the spot, had not the Emperor sent a message, that if they were not quiet, he would have some of them flung into the Adige.

Finding himself meanwhile too weak to risk a battle, Charles had recourse to intrigue. The Protestant leaders used their strength unskilfully, and the summer had passed without an action. With the winter, Duke Maurice of Saxe, the Landgrave's son-in-law, and, if the family of John Frederick failed, the heir of the electorate, deserted his party, and came over to Charles, bringing with him the Duke of Wurtemberg and half the military power of the reforming States. The religious aspect of the war was thus exchanged for a political one. The reforming princes, in joining the Emperor, imagined that they were tying his hands, and it is true that the connection had its embarrassments for him. But the League of Smalcalde was broken up. The Landgrave and the Elector were placed under the ban of the Empire, and Saxony was bestowed on Maurice as a reward of his treachery. 1547. March.Paul III., indignant at the return of a carnal policy, withdrew his contingent, discontinued his supplies of money, and cancelling his sanction for the appropriation of the Spanish benefices, began to look in despair towards France; France in turn began to meditate supporting the Elector, in order to prevent Charles from conquering Germany; and it was at this crisis, as all things appeared to be relapsing into confusion, that Henry VIII. died—'The most miserable of princes,' says Pallavicino; 'cursed in the extinction of his race, as if God would punish those distracted marriages, from which, in spite of fortune, he laboured to beget sons to succeed him; cursed in his country, which ever since has been an Africa, fertile only in monsters.'[26]

In the autumn, while the league was yet unbroken between the Pope and the Emperor, Henry had offered to join the Protestants. The Elector, confident in his own strength, and over-hopeful of France, had evaded or declined the conditions on which the alliance was proposed to him, and the last directions of the King to his executors were unfavourable to further interference. The struggle was altering its character; Charles was again in connection with a section of the Lutherans, and Edward was especially recommended to the Imperial protection.

But if Henry had no longer a desire that England should interfere on the Continent, the Pope snatched at the opportunity of the departure of his dreaded enemy to revenge himself on England. Laying aside his immediate grounds of complaint against Charles, he wrote to urge upon him the duty of at once asserting by arms the right of the Princess Mary to the crown. Edward having been born in schism, was not to be recognized as legitimate; the daughter of Catherine was the only child of Henry whose rights could be admitted by Catholics.

Had there been a corresponding movement in England, had Surrey been alive or his father at liberty, it is likely that Paul would not have entreated in vain; the war might have been suspended in Germany, and the invasion so long threatened have become a fact. But, after a consultation at Brussels, it was decided that the Emperor should wait to see what the conduct of the new Government would be. To interfere without the support of a party in the country would be dangerous, and might cost Mary her life.[27]

A smart reply was despatched, therefore, to the Pope's request, that the time was unsuited for the move which he proposed, and that the Holy See must be more constant in its alliances, if it looked for help in services of danger. The refusal filled the cup of the Papal displeasure; the panic revived at Trent with augmented force, as the frightened ecclesiastics saw themselves with open enemies and ambiguous friends in so dangerous a position; and at last, in an ecstasy of terror, they rose with scream and cry into the air, like Homer's birds from the banks of the Cayster, and alighted only within the safe precincts of Bologna. The Emperor was furious; the œcumenical council of Christendom was thus converted into a private Pope's council, to which it was idle to hope that the Germans would submit. He sent imperative orders to the Spanish bishops to remain at their posts; but over the rest his anger was powerless; they were gone, and refused to return.

So long as this state of affairs continued, England had nothing to fear from Charles. It seemed, however, not impossible that England might be forced itself to take the initiative in a quarrel. The personal dislike of the Elector of Saxe for Henry VIII. had been the real ground for the rejection of the alliance when it was offered. No sooner was the King gone than John Frederick became as eager as he had been before unwilling. He sent commissioners to England to beg for assistance, and a State paper of Sir William Paget's remains to show that the acutest of English statesmen hesitated as to the course which it would be prudent to pursue.

The French, Paget said, were sore at the loss of Boulogne, which they were bent on recovering. The Pope desired to recover the allegiance of England; and the Emperor, in spite of appearances, would help him as soon as he could, 'partly moved by a corrupt conscience, partly by ambition to reign alone, besides old grudges and displeasures.' The first necessity, therefore, was quiet, and the re-establishment of the finances at home; the second, effective alliances abroad. At home all promised to go well; as a foreign ally, the safest would be either Francis or Charles; Francis, if he would wait the eight years for Boulogne; Charles, if he would detach himself conclusively from the Holy See.

'But we see either of them,' he continued, 'so affected in his own opinion, and by daily experience we know so little faith to be given in either of their promises when the breach of the same may serve to their purpose, as to have cause to be at point to despair to find friendship in either of them longer than they may not choose.'

There remained the present overture from the Elector, which it might be equally dangerous to accept or to refuse. To accept would in all likelihood unite the Catholic powers in a league against England, and war would follow with all its risk and cost. To refuse was either to leave the Protestants to be crushed, or to alienate them probably for ever—to throw them into the arms of France; while France, thus strengthened, might drive the English from Calais as well as from Boulogne.

On the side of France he concluded that the danger was most immediate. The problem, therefore, was to keep on terms, if possible, both with the Emperor and with the Protestants—if possible to reconcile them; at any rate, to give a gentle answer to the Elector's invitation.[28]

The position was a difficult one. The privy council, not to send back John Frederick's emissaries with words only, gave with them a present of 50,000 crowns; but they added a stipulation that the liberality should be kept a secret.[29] More directly important and more menacing were, as Paget said, the relations of the country with France.

Francis himself had had enough of wars. The exequies of Henry VIII., which had been neglected at Brussels, were celebrated in Notre Dame, in defiance of the Papal authorities; and so long as Francis lived, peace was in no seeming danger. March 22.But on the 22nd of March Francis followed Henry to the grave. The Dauphin had been the leader of the party most opposed to England, and the consequences of the change were immediately felt. The frontier line of the tract of land surrendered with Boulogne had been left undetermined at the peace. Commissioners on both sides had been employed upon the survey, and had almost agreed upon a settlement, when the new King made difficulties, refused to ratify their arrangement, and while he professed to have no sinister intentions, persisted in keeping open an uncertainty which at any time might be the occasion of a quarrel. The Protector replied by a direct violation of the treaty. In the eight years during which Boulogne was to be in the hands of the English, they were to build no fresh fortifications there. An expensive and elaborate embankment was run out towards the sea; avowedly for the protection of the harbour, but in fact to carry cannon and command the approaches.[30]

April.A yet more critical occasion of quarrel was the condition of Scotland. The treaty of 1543, by which the Scotch Assembly had promised their young Queen to Edward, was still legally uncancelled. The influence of France had interrupted the fulfilment of it, and Cardinal Beton and the Church party had dragged the country into war instead of marriage; but at the close of the struggle, Henry VIII. had insisted successfully that the Scotch should reaccept their engagements; and there was still a party in Scotland sufficiently wise and farsighted to prefer the alliance of England to that of France. It was not to be doubted, however, that the compliance of the French Government had been extorted rather than given, and unless the Courts of London and Paris could arrive at some amicable understanding, by intrigue or force there would soon be fresh interference. But, on the other hand, 'the Italian question' was as far from settlement as ever. The death of the Duke of Orleans had broken up the arrangement by which it was to have been set at rest, and that quarrel would sooner or later break into flame again. The wisdom after the event which determines what ought to have been done in this or that embarrassment, is usually good for little; but it seems certainly that England having Boulogne and the Boullonnaise in its hands, and being still the creditor of the French Government for a heavy sum of money, political skill might have turned such advantages to some account, and by the immediate surrender of territory, which must, at all events, have soon been parted with, might have induced Henry to leave Scotland to itself. It is possible that the country would not have listened to prudence in a point which touched its pride; it is possible that, if such an overture had been made, it would not have been accepted. It can only be said with safety, that when Somerset took possession of the Protectorate, the state of things was generally dangerous; that, if he left his relations with the European powers to accident, and trusted merely to force to accomplish the Scottish marriage, he would find himself before long at war certainly with France, and possibly with France, Scotland, and the Empire united; and it may be affirmed with equal certainty that with these outstanding difficulties, the opportunity was not the best for a religious revolution at home.

In Scotland itself the position of things was as follows:—

The Castle of St Andrews continued to be held by the party who had put to death Cardinal Beton. The Parliament at Edinburgh divided among themselves, and paralyzed by the loss of the one man of pre-eminent ability that they possessed, could neither resolutely condemn his murder nor resolutely approve it. The deed was done in May 1546. It was not till the last of July that the perpetrators were called on formally to surrender the castle. When they refused, 300l. a month was voted to enable the Regent to besiege it, and Leslie, Kircaldy, and the other conspirators were attainted. But the question, after all, was considered to touch the clergy more than the nation. For the first two months the money was to be found by the 'kirkmen.'[31]

1546. August.In August the Earl of Arran, appeared under the walls, and attempted feebly to take possession. But the sea was open; a covered way was constructed from the castle to the water's edge, by which the English cruisers threw in supplies; and the desultory and heartless efforts of the Regent were without result. In January the siege was raised, and an agreement was made that Norman Leslie and his companions should keep the fortress till absolution for the murder could be obtained from Rome; that they should suffer no penalty in life or lands; and that Arran's eldest son, who was a prisoner in the castle, should remain a hostage till the composition was concluded.

So palpable an evidence of weakness in the anti-English faction showed how great was the discouragement into which the loss of Beton had thrown them; and the honour of the English Government required the maintenance at all costs of the men who had made so bold a venture in their interests. The common sense of the Scottish laity, the appetite of the lords for the Church lands, and the growing spirit of the Reformers, had only, it seemed, to be left to themselves, and the counter-influence of France and the Papacy would die a natural death. 1547. January.Balnavis, one of the St Andrew's party, was in London on a commission from Leslie at the time of the King's decease. Henry had directed that the leaders should be pensioned, and a sum be set apart to maintain a garrison in the castle. The privy council accepted the obligation and discharged it.[32] It would have been well, both for England and for Scotland also, if in this direction they had continued their watchfulness, and left the natural tendencies of interest, right, and good sense, to do their work.

February.But time was too slow an agent for the eager ambition of Somerset, and the fate of a single castle and a handful of men was insignificant in the schemes which he was contemplating. Henry VIII. in the height of his power had refused to call in question the feudal independence of Scotland. He had rights, he had said, which he might have advanced, had he desired; but those rights he was contented to waive. The Duke of Somerset resolved to distinguish his Protectorate by reviving the pretensions and renewing the policy of Edward I., by putting forward the formal claim of England to the dominion of the entire island. To Balnavis he does not seem to have hinted his intentions. Indentures were drawn between the party in the castle and the English Government, in which Leslie and his friends promised to support the Protector in the enforcement of the execution of the marriage treaty;[33] but in none of these was the free sovereignty of Scotland called in question; it was rather admitted and confessed on the grounds which the Scots alleged for their conduct. 'If the present chance was lost,' they said, 'for the determination of a perpetual peace, with amity and love between the kingdoms, the semblable was never likely to ensue hereafter, to the displeasure of Almighty God, and to the eternal condemnation of the workers of the same in hatred, rancour, malice, and vengeance, the one against the other.'

But, although the Scots were comprehended in the treaty with France, the Protector permitted the Borders to be wasted, and fire and sword carried to their homesteads, as if they were rebels; and he communicated his more ambitious views to the French ministers, requiring them formally to abstain from interference. The reply was prompt and stern. They answered, that 'they had no concern with pretensions revived after two centuries of abeyance.' 'Their King, being such a great prince, might not suffer the old friends of France to be oppressed and alienated from him;' nor would he suffer it to be written in books and chroniques that the Scots, who had ever been faithful friends to France, and whom his ancestors had ever defended, should in his reign be lost, and of friends made enemies.'[34]

As if this matter did not threaten sufficient complications, the Protector found leisure simultaneously to proceed with religious reforms. The ultra-Protestants, whom Henry had held sternly in hand, at once upon his death began to take the bit between their teeth. On the 10th of February the wardens and curates of St Martin's in London, 'of their own authority pulled down the images of the saints in the church.' The paintings on the walls were whitewashed, and the royal arms, garnished with texts, were set in the place of the crucifix on the roodloft. Being called before the council to answer for themselves, the parish officers protested that they had acted with the purest horror of idolatry; but the council, as yet unpurged of its Catholic elements, would not accept the excuse; the over-zealous curates were committed to the Tower, and the churchwardens were bound in recognizances to 'erect a new crucifix, within two days, in its usual place.'[35] But as soon as the Protector, and those who went along with him, had shaken off inconvenient restraints, the rising spirit was encouraged to show itself. March.The sermons at Paul's Cross breathed of revolution. Barlow, Bishop of St David's, whose indiscretion had already assisted to ruin Cromwell, preached on the most inflammable points of controversy.[36] Ridley, Principal of Pembroke Hall at Cambridge, then first emerging into prominence, denounced the use of holy water and the presence of images in churches, loudly and violently. When Lent opened, a Doctor Glazier affirmed that fasting had no divine sanction, that it was 'a politic ordinance of men.' and might therefore be broken by men at their pleasure:[37] and in a manuscript contemporary diary by some unknown writer, I find the significant entry, that 'this year the Archbishop of Canterbury did eat meat openly in Lent, in the Hall of Lambeth, the like of which was never seen since England was a Christian country.'[38]

The Bishop of Winchester who, when in a minority, understood the merits of moderation, ventured, though excluded from the council, to advise some caution. He entreated Somerset to forget his elevation for a moment, and listen to him as a friend. He implored him not 'to trouble the realm with novelties' in religion, so long as the King was a child. The political position of things was embarrassing enough to task all his energies; and the country was full of speculations, not merely on points of difference between Catholics and Protestants, but on the Divinity of Christ himself. The late King had introduced reforms, but cautious and moderate reforms, which had given quiet and satisfaction; and for himself he 'would rather be wrong with Plato than right with others.' It was said that Henry VIII. 'had but one eye,' and 'saw not God's truth perfectly:' 'Gardiner said he had rather go to heaven with one eye after him, than travel for another eye with danger to lose both.'

May.The remonstrance was not recommended by the maker of it, but it was none the less wise in itself. To Ridley also Gardiner wrote in a similar strain. He might say what he pleased of the Papacy of Home and Roman pardons, but the objects against which he was now declaiming were in use in the earliest ages of the Church; and he would be using his talents better if he had shown how things like holy water and images might continue to be used without offence, than by railing at them with 'light rash eloquence,' which, after all, was easy.[39]

But it was a time, as such times will come, and perhaps ought to come, when passion had more weight with men than understanding. The spirit of iconoclasm spread fast. The inhabitants of Portsmouth cleared their churches. The chapter of Canterbury, in need of money to repair the cathedral, sent a crucifix and a pix to the Mint. The crucifix was melted into coin, the pix was arrested by order of council for a time only, before it followed the same route. Portsmouth was in the diocese of Winchester, and the Bishop thought at first of sending preachers there to check the people; but he would not, he said, make preaching an occasion of further folly. He appealed again to the Protector; and the Princess Mary, who, as heir-presumptive, was entitled to speak authoritatively, united with him to entreat, on grounds as well of legality as of prudence, that the settlement left by Henry should be for the present undisturbed. 'I see my late sovereign slandered,' said Gardiner, 'religion assaulted, the realm troubled, and peaceable men disquieted. I dare not desire your Grace to look earnestly to it, lest I should seem to note in you that which becometh me not.'

Somerset, however, had chosen his course, and an inability to comprehend objections which he did not himself perceive, was part of his nature. He made a point against Gardiner with replying that it was not worse to destroy an image than to burn a Bible; every day people were doing the latter, pretending to dislike the translation, and he had made no objection; 'but let a worthless, worm-eaten image be so disposed, and men exclaimed as if a saint were cast into the fire.'[40] Mary's complaints, the Protector supposed, had originated with some naughty, malicious persons, who had suggested them to her; and as to the late King's intentions, he was fulfilling them better in carrying out the Reformation, than she was fulfilling them by resisting it.

At last he gave the popular movement the formal sanction of the Government. Injunctions were issued for the general purification of the churches. From wall and window every picture, every image commemorative of saint, or prophet, or apostle, was to be extirpated and put away, 'so that there should remain no memory of the same.'[41] Painted glass survives to show that the order was imperfectly obeyed; but, in general, spoliation became the law of the land—the statues crashed from their niches, rood and roodloft were laid low, and the sunlight stared in white and stainless upon the whitened aisles; 'the churches were new whitelimed, with the Commandments written on the walls,' where the quaint frescoes had told the story of the gospel to the eyes of generation after generation.[42] The superstition which had paid an undue reverence to the symbols of holy things, was avenged by the superstition of as blind a hatred.[43]

The passiveness with which the people appeared to submit encouraged the Government to go further. On the 4th of May a royal visitation, after the pattern set by Cromwell, was announced as to take effect throughout England. The country was divided into six circuits; a Book of Homilies as a guide to doctrine, a body of instructions for the ordinaries, and of injunctions for the clergy, were drawn up simultaneously under the direction of Cranmer, and the bishops were suspended from their functions until their duties should recommence under a new system.

The Crown visitors were to inquire how far the bishops had obeyed the orders of the late King; whether the English Litany had been in due use; whether the Pope's authority had been preached against; whether the old scandals of the bishops' courts continued, 'the commuting of penance for money,' and 'the excommunication for lucre;' whether 'excessive sums were taken' for 'religious services,' for the 'concealment of vice,' or 'for induction into benefices;' whether the long-standing grievance was yet abandoned of summoning persons ex officio suspected of heresy, and putting them to the shame of purgation. All this was well. Inveterate evils could be extirpated only with watchfulness and habitual investigation. Further, there might be instances remaining of immorality among the clergy requiring to be looked into. Fresh care was to be taken that copies of the Bible were accessible in the parish churches, and translations of Erasmus's Paraphrase of the New Testament were provided as a commentary. There was no objection, either, to touching, if the hand was delicate, the local practices—half-superstitious, half-imaginative—in use among the people. Customs which arise out of feeling become mischievous when made a law to the understanding, and there was reason in the general warning which the visitors were to enforce, 'that, while laudable ceremonies might decently be observed, they might be abused to the peril of the soul'—as, for instance (and the list throws an interesting light on ancient English usages), 'in casting holy water upon the beds, upon images, and other dead things; or bearing about holy bread, or St John's Gospel, or keeping of private holydays, as bakers, brewers, smiths, shoemakers, and such others do, or ringing of holy bells, or blessing with the holy candle, to the intent to be discharged of the burden of sin, or to drive away devils, or put away dreams and fantasies.'[44]

The spirit of the innovations, however, was destructive merely, and customs which were interwoven in the details of common life could not rudely be torn away with impunity. To most men habit is the moral costume which saves them from barbarism; and although there are costumes which may be worse than nakedness, it is one thing to do what is right—it is another to do it rightly and at the right opportunity.

The Book of Homilies was a further element of discord. It was a perilous risk to throw abroad upon the world, as authoritative, a body of doctrine sanctioned neither by Convocation nor by Parliament. The Protector would have done better if he had waited till the political horizon was less clouded before he threw fresh fuel on the doctrinal controversies; and two calamities in the first half-year of his government, one of which it was his immediate duty to have attempted to avert, had not improved the prospects of the well-wishers of the Reformation.

April 21.On the evening of the 21st of April Charles V., with his Spanish infantry, was on the banks of the Elbe at Muhlberg. The Elector, who had driven Maurice out of Saxony in March, was across the river falling leisurely back upon Wittenberg, while the rafts and barges which had formed the floating bridge were drifting in flames down the stream, and the water was between himself and the enemy. John Frederick pitched his camp at a few miles' distance with no thought of danger. In the darkness the Castilians swam after the blazing boats, quenched the fire, and secured them, and before dawn there was again a bridge passable for artillery. The Emperor, on his bay horse, glittering in gilded armour, rode breast-high through the river, and caught the Protestants in their sleep. By the evening they were a rout of scattered fugitives, and the Elector was a prisoner.

If Somerset thought the English but lightly concerned in the catastrophe, there were those whom he ought to have feared who thought of it far differently. The fathers at Bologna offered up their thanksgivings. The Pope forgave the carnal policy which he had condemned in his joy at its success, and sending a legate with his congratulations, suggested again that now was the time for the 'expedition into Britain.'[45]

No effort, however, which the English Government could have made would have averted the defeat of the Lutherans. The other misfortune was as easy to have been prevented as its consequences were ruinous. June.On the 21st of June, while the Protector was reforming the Church, and the English fleets were loitering in harbour, twenty-one French galleys, escorting transports loaded with French troops and French artillery, sailed up the Channel, and appeared under the walls of St Andrews. By the last agreement with the Regent the garrison were to remain in possession until absolution could be obtained for them from Rome. It was brought in language enigmatic as the answers from the Delphic tripod; Remittimus irremissibile—we pardon the act which admits of no pardon. With this they were required to be contented, and when they refused, the siege was commenced.

Among the fugitive Protestants who had taken refuge there were two preachers—Rough, who was afterwards burnt by Bonner, and John Knox, who in that wild scene and wild company commenced his ministry. July.The garrison looked for help from England. Knox, with a shrewd insight which never failed him, told them that they should not see it. They talked of their walls. Their walls, he said, would be 'as egg-shells' against French cannon. The galleys fired on the castle from the sea: the batteries fired from the trenches and from the tower of the abbey. Heat and confinement brought the plague; and on the last of July, after six weeks' resistance, the defenders surrendered, under promise only of life, to the French commander. They were carried prisoners on board the galleys, while the castle itself, as the scene of a legate's murder was razed to the ground.

Without an effort to save them, the Scots, who had delivered England from the most dangerous and most successful of her enemies, were permitted to be overcome, not by a sudden attack, but by a long siege deliberately commenced and deliberately maintained; not at a place far inland and difficult of access, but on the sea, where the English affected a superiority, and at least could have forced a battle.

The attack, if not provoked, had been hastened by the injudicious pretensions which Somerset had advanced; and by his neglect he taught the Scottish Protestants that they could have no reliance upon him. The great families who had been gained over to the English interest, continued a pretended good feeling, but were alienated at heart; and no one any more would risk the odium of espousing so thankless a cause.

The hope of accomplishing the marriage otherwise than by force had now to be deliberately abandoned. At this conclusion the Protector had already arrived, and it was on this account that he had abandoned St Andrews to its fate. Careless of small things, and weary of the tedious labour of gaining over Scotland by supporting an English faction, he had resolved upon a gigantic invasion, which once and for ever should terminate the difficulty. In deference to the French menaces, he disavowed, indeed, his claims to the Scottish crown; and as the Scots were comprehended in the treaty of peace, an excuse was necessary for attacking them. But a pretext was found easily in the perpetual skirmishes which distracted the Borders—the English laying the fault upon the Scots, the Scots complaining that, without provocation, their homesteads were burnt over their heads.

War with France might or might not follow. The Protector was confident and indifferent. The Bishop of Winchester cautioned him in private.[46] The council, it is likely, disclaimed a share of the responsibility;[47] but he had chosen his course, and would follow it. The first intention was to follow the precedent of 1544, and send an army by sea to Leith. But a comparative estimate of expenses showed but a small balance in favour of water transport, while the havoc which would be inflicted by the march of a large force would more than compensate for the loss. It was determined to advance from the Border to Edinburgh along the coast, a fleet with the baggage and the commissariat reserve accompanying the march. There was no thought of permanent occupation. The Protector's aim was to strike a blow with all his might, which should bring the country stunned upon its knees; he was going to enter Scotland at the head of 18,000 men, go as far as he could, and inflict as much injury as he could in three weeks or a month, and then return. August.The necessary stores were collected in August at Berwick.[48] The daily consumption of food calculated for every soldier being two pounds of meat, a pound of bread or biscuit, and a pint of wine imperial measure. If the fighting of the troops depended on their stomachs, good precaution had been taken to secure a victory. The command in chief was held by Somerset in person, supported by Warwick and Grey. The fleet was assigned to Lord Clinton.

The effect of these preparations in Scotland was, as might have been foreseen, to unite all ranks and all opinions in the national cause. Beton was gone, and the Regent was feeble, but Scotland rose of herself, unsolicited. Although the affectation of a correspondence might still be maintained, the English party had, in fact, perished in the abandonment of St Andrews. The Douglases and the Reformers were as forward to take the field as the Hamiltons and the priests. The fiery cross sped north and south, east and west. The Scots of the Isles brought up four thousand Irish archers. Priest and prelate and preacher buckled on his armour; and the baron from his Lowland castle, the Highland chief from his home among the crags of the Grampians, the trader from his desk, the night rider of the Border from his tower and peel, hurried to the gathering of the nation. Feuds of clans and enmities of creeds were no longer felt in the overpowering peril of Scottish freedom; there was one people with one cause; and the crowds who had listened to Wishart, and the kinsmen of those who were carried off prisoners for revenging his murder, were content to fight behind a banner on which a lady representing the Catholic Church was kneeling to Christ, and praying Him to save her from heresy.

In the last week in August, Somerset reached Berwick. He had sent before him a letter to the Scottish lords, repeating the language which he had learnt from his master, insisting on their promises, and urging the common interests of both nations in the marriage.[49] On Friday, the 2nd September, he put out a proclamation, though too late to undo his former errors, in which he said that he was not come to rob Scotland of her independence, but to compel her, in spite of herself, to accomplish the engagements of her Parliament.[50]

Sunday, Sept. 4.Waiting till Sunday, for Sunday was his favourite day—on a Sunday he announced to Edward that he was King, on a Sunday he accepted from the council his dukedom and his lands, on a Sunday the seals were taken away from his rival Wriothesley, on a Sunday the commission was dated which made him Protector by the grace of the King—waiting, therefore, till Sunday, and invoking on his enterprise the blessing of the Almighty, he crossed the Tweed with fifteen cannon, fourteen thousand foot, and four thousand horse.[51] Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday he marched steadily forward, keeping the sea-road with the fleet in sight of him, demolishing such small fortresses as lay in his route, but turning neither to the right nor the left. Sept. 7.Wednesday he passed Dunbar within long cannon range, but without waiting to attack it; and that night he halted at Seton Castle. Sept. 8.Thursday he again advanced over the ground where fourteen years later Mary Stuart, the object of his enterprise, practised archery with Bothwell, ten days after her husband's murder. The route lay along a ridge, with the sea on one side on the other a low range of marshy meadows; nothing happening of consequence on that day, except that an English officer, observing a party of the enemy hiding in a cave, stopped the opening, threw in fire, and smothered them. The march was short. Soon after the Protector had passed Prestonpans, famous also in Stuart history, he came in sight of the whole Scottish army, encamped on the slopes of Musselburgh, the English vessels lying in the Forth just out of gunshot of their tents.

In numbers the Scots almost doubled the English. Sept. 9.The following morning Clinton sent boats on shore to communicate. Fifteen hundred Scotch cavalry and a few hundred pikemen came out to cut off the landing party, and provoke a skirmish. Sir Ralph Bulmer and Lord Grey, with some companies of Italians in the English service, dashed forward to engage them, and after a sharp scuffle of three hours, the Scots were driven back. In these bloody combats neither party cared to encumber themselves with prisoners, except where there was a likelihood of ransom, and thirteen hundred bodies were left dead upon the ground. The Duke, when the skirmish was ended, rode forward to examine the enemy's position. The sea was on their left, on their right a deep impracticable marsh. Between the two armies ran the Esk, low and half dry after the summer heat, but with high steep banks, and passable for horse or cannon only by a bridge, distant something less than a quarter of a mile from the mouth. Across the bridge, from camp to camp, there ran a road thirty feet wide, enclosed between turf hedges, along which Somerset advanced with his escort. The Scots fired upon him, and killed the horse of an aide-de-camp at his side; but he crossed the bridge, rode within two bowshots of the Scottish lines, and was returning at his leisure, when he was overtaken by a herald bringing him a challenge from the Earl of Huntley to fight out the quarrel either by themselves alone, or ten to ten, or twenty to twenty.

The time was passing away when disputes of nations could be settled by duels: Somerset's courage was unimpeachable, but he refused: the Earl of Warwick offered to take his place, but it could not be; the herald retired, and as the night closed, the English artillery was ordered forward to command the road. The enemy's position was dangerously strong; the morning would show if there was a practicable mode of assaulting it; but if the Scots had sat still to receive the attack, the defeat of Flodden might, perhaps, have been revenged at Musselburgh. As soon, however, as they had ascertained the extent of the force which the Protector had brought with him, confident in their numbers, their cause, and their enthusiasm, they began to think less of defeating the English than of preventing their escape. They persuaded themselves that, conscious of their inferiority, the invaders thought only of retreat, and that the fleet was in attendance to take them on board. Sept. 10.When the day broke Somerset found them already across the water, their tents thrown down that not a loiterer might remain concealed there; the main body covering the hills between himself and the land to the south, the four thousand Irish archers in front of him towards the sea. The latter, as soon as daylight permitted, were fired into from the ships, and were rapidly scattered. The Scots on the other side pushed on in force, intending, evidently, to seize the ridges in the rear, where they would have the advantage of ground, wind, and sun, and, if victorious, would destroy the entire English army.

Their horses they had left behind, their heavy guns they had dragged up by hand, and they were moving with the greatest speed that they could command; but the Protector was in time to alter his dispositions, and secure the hills immediately behind him. His cannon was brought back and placed to cover the ground over which the Scots would pass to attack the camp, and Grey, with the English horse, prepared to charge. The Earl of Angus, with 'the professors of the Gospel,' the heavy pikemen of the Lowlands, eight thousand strong, was leading; Arran was behind on the low ground with ten thousand more; and Huntley, with eight thousand Highlanders and the remains of the Irish, towards the stream, out of range from the fleet. On Angus the brunt of the battle was first to fall. He halted when he discovered that the English intended not to fly but to fight; but he could not fall back; the ground was unfavourable for cavalry—a wet fallow recently turned—and the pikemen formed to receive the charge, the first rank kneeling. Down upon them came Grey, with a heavy plunging gallop, but the horses were without barbs, and the lances were shorter than the Scottish pikes. Down as they closed rolled fifty men and horses, amidst the crash, of breaking spears. Grey himself was wounded in the mouth; Sir Arthur Darcy's hand was disabled, and the English standard was saved only by the flight of the bearer. The men turned, reeled, scattered, and rallied only when Grey and Lord Edward Seymour fought back their way to them out of the m{{{1}}}elée. They might as well charge, they said, upon a wall of steel.

But the line of the Scots which the enemy could not break was broken by victory. As they saw the English fly they rushed on in pursuit, and found themselves face to face with Warwick, the men-at-arms, and the Italian musketeers. Checked by the volleys of the matchlocks, and thrown into confusion, they were assailed next by the archers, and forced to cross the fire of the artillery; and the cavalry, once more forming, swept again upon their disordered lines, and drove the struggling mass back upon their comrades. Ill trained and undisciplined, the reserves were seized with panic; Arran and Huntley turned bridle and rode for their lives, and the whoops and yells of the Irish increased the terror; there was no thought of fighting more—it was only who could fly first and fly fastest. They flung away their arms: swords, pikes, and lances strewed the ground where they had been drawn up, 'as thick,' it was said, 'as rushes in a chamber.'[52] Some crept under the willow pollards in the meadows, and lay concealed like otters with their mouths above the water; some made for Edinburgh, some along the sands to Leith under the fire of the fleet, some up the river-side towards Dalkeith; some lay as if dead and let the chase pass by them. The Highlanders held together and saved themselves with an orderly retreat, but the crowd fell unresisting victims under the sabres of the avenging cavalry. It was a massacre more than a battle; for, of the English, at most, not more than two hundred fell, and those chiefly at the first charge under the lances of the pikemen; the number of Scots killed was from ten to fourteen thousand. Two causes provoked the English, it was said, to an especial vindictiveness; they resented ungenerously their own first repulse; but the chief reason was the treacherous surprise at Ancram Muir, and the death of Lord Evers, the hero of the Border troopers. Fifteen hundred prisoners were taken, but in general no quarter was given Gentlemen might have been spared for their ransoms; but, for some unknown cause, the noble and the peasant were dressed alike in white leather or fustian; there was little to distinguish them, and they were cut down in indiscriminate heaps along the roads and fields to the very walls of Edinburgh. Multitudes of priests, at one time, it was said, as many as four thousand, were among the slain. The banner of the kneeling Lady was taken amidst the scorn of the victors; and when at last the retreat was sounded, and the pursuers, weary with killing, gathered again into their camp, they sent up a shout which legend said was heard in Edinburgh Castle. The day closed with one more act of barbarity. A detachment of Scots had been stationed with cannon in a small fort overlooking the field, and had given some trouble. When the battle was lost, they were left behind and unable to fly; they silenced their guns, therefore, and concealed themselves, intending to withdraw in the night. But they were discovered and surrounded; they were not offered the alternative of surrender; the place was set on fire, and they were destroyed.

In this deed of savageness closed the battle of Musselburgh, otherwise called Pinkie Cleugh or Slough; the last stricken field between Scot and Saxon before the union of the Crowns, the last and also the most piteous. A battle loses its terrors when a great cause is contended for, when it is a condition under which some interest or principle makes its way and establishes itself. But of Pinkie Cleugh the result was unmixed evil to both countries. The marriage of Mary and Edward was an object which England and Scotland ought to have equally desired. Yet England sought it by means which made it impossible, and the Scotch command more sympathy in the disaster brought upon them by their national pride than the conquerors command admiration either for their cause or for their courage. National qualities are not to be measured by single consequences, and while indignation only can be felt at the crooked tricks of Beton, but for which the union would have been peaceably effected, the spirit which rose up against the invasion of Somerset had its source in the noblest instincts of the Scottish character. The Protector had gained a great battle, and by his victory he only renewed the lease of enmity which had almost expired. The Scots forgot their own differences in a great hatred of England, and the hearts of all parties among them turned passionately to France. Although the available military strength of the nation was for the moment annihilated, the conquerors could not follow up their success. The Queen was withdrawn to Stirling, and they could not reach her. They had brought supplies with them for a month only, and so long and no longer could they remain; neither force nor payment could extract the means of subsistence from a country where it did not exist; there were no more stores in readiness to be brought up from England, and Scotland, unsuccessful in her arms, drove the invaders back by her hardy poverty.

Sept. 11.Leith was again burnt—so much of it as would burn: the ships in the harbour were taken and destroyed; two islands in the Forth were fortified, and small garrisons left there; a few castles were dismantled. These alone were the tangible fruits of the bloody inroad of the Duke of Somerset.

But at least he had surrounded himself with glory. He did not return with the Queen of Scots, but he had fought and won a great battle. He was the hero of the hour, and while the hour lasted, he could work his will in Church or State without fear of opposition.

When he set out for Scotland, the ecclesiastical visitors were in full activity. From the people, wherever they went, they met with no open opposition; in London they were indisputably popular. In London, the old, the timid, the superstitious, the imaginative, prayed in secret to the saints to deliver them from evil; but the industrious masses had caught the spirit of the age, and gave the changes cordial welcome. So it had been at Portsmouth; so it was in the towns generally, especially in the towns along the coast, where activity and enterprise shook the minds of men out of the control of routine. So, however, it was not in the country, as events came in time to show. As with the first spread of Christianity, so with the spread of the Reformation, the towns went first, and the country lagged behind reluctantly. The life of towns was a life of change; the life of the country was a life of uniformity, where sons walked in the ways of their fathers, and each day and season brought with it its occupation, its custom, or its ceremony, unaltered for tens of generations. The fall of the abbeys had given the first shock to the stationary spirit, but the crimes of the monks were half forgotten in the sadness of their desolate homes. It was no light thing to the village peasant to see the royal arms staring above the empty socket of the crucifix to which he had prayed, the saints after which he was named in his baptism flung out into the mud, the pictures on the church walls daubed with plaster, over which his eyes had wandered wonderingly in childhood.

Other changes added to his restlessness. The Acts of Parliament which forbade enclosures and the amalgamation of farms were less and less observed; the peasant farmers were more and more declining into labourers, rents were rising, and the necessaries of life were rising, and, in the experience of the agricultural poor, an increase of personal suffering was the chief result of the so-called Reformation.

Yet for the moment loyalty was stronger than discontent. If the country people murmured, they submitted, and the visitors met with important resistance only from the notorious Bishops of Winchester and of London. To Bonner they brought their injunctions and homilies at the end of August. He accepted them, but he accepted them with a protest; he could observe them, he said, only if they were not contrary to God's law and the ordinances of his Church, and he required the visitors to enter his conditions in the register. His answer was reported to the council, and was held to be to the evil example of such as should hear it, and to the contempt of the authority which the King justly possessed as head of the Church of England.[53] The Bishop of London was committed to the Fleet,[54] where, after eight days' meditation, he repented. A form of submission was drawn up for him peculiarly ignominious; he signed it, and was released.[55]

The resistance of Gardiner was more skilful and more protracted. Up to the Protector's departure he had continued an anxious correspondence with him. Unlimited license had been allowed both to pulpit and printing press; John Bale, the noisiest, the most profane, the most indecent of the movement party, had been pouring out pamphlets and plays.[56] Gardiner wrote in protest to Somerset against the toleration by the Government of the insolence and brutality of him and others like him. He remonstrated also against the sudden alteration of doctrine contemplated in the homilies; and three weeks before the visitors were coming to Winchester, he was invited, at his own earnest request, to state his views to the council. 'If he could have written with the blood of his heart,' he told the Protector, 'he would have done it, to have stayed the thing till it had been more maturely digested.'[57] The whole proceedings on the visitation, he said, were illegal. No royal commission could have place against an Act of Parliament;[58] and even in the late King's reign, he said the prerogative had more than once come in collision with the law, and had been worsted by it.[59]

The council permitted him to speak; but his plea of the law they set aside by the plea of their consciences; and they required him categorically to say whether he would or would not submit to the visitors. He said that he had three weeks in which to decide before they would come to him. At present he believed he could not submit, but he might change. The servant in the parable refused to do his master's will, and yet afterwards did it. It was hard to treat him as a criminal for an offence which, if offence it was, he had not yet committed, and might not commit.

October.But Cranmer chose to be obeyed. He summoned Gardiner privately before him at the deanery of St Paul's, and he told him that, if he would comply, he should be restored to the council, where his assistance would be welcomed. But Gardiner was unable to give the required promise, and was committed, like Bonner, to the Fleet. 'I have held my office sixteen years,' he wrote to Sir John Godsalve, who was one of the visitors; 'I have studied only how I may depart with it without offence to God's law; and I shall think the tragedy of my life well passed over, so I offend not God's law nor the King's; I will no more care to see my bishopric taken from me than myself taken from my bishopric; I am by nature already condemned to die, which sentence no man can pardon.'[60]

Gardiner had endeavoured to destroy Cranmer. It was no more than retaliation that he suffered a small injustice in his turn at Cranmer's hand. But injustice it was; his arbitrary committal had no pretext of law for it; nor, it seems, were he and Bonner the only sufferers. On the return of the Protector from Scotland, the imprisoned Bishop appealed to him in language which was not the less just because it was used by one who, when in power, knew as little what justice meant.

'Whatever become of me,' he said, 'I would your Grace did well; men be mortal, and deeds revive: and methinketh my Lord of Canterbury doth well thus to entangle your Grace with this matter of religion, and to borrow of your authority the Fleet, the Marshalsea, and the King's Bench, with prisonment in his house, wherewith to cause men to agree to that it pleaseth him to call truth in religion, not stablished by any law in the realm. A law it is not yet, and before a law made I have not seen such an imprisonment as I sustain. Our late sovereign lord, whom God pardon, suffered every man to say his mind without imprisonment, till the matter was established by law. If my Lord of Canterbury hath the strength of God's Spirit, with such a learning in his laws, as to be able to overthrow with that breath all untruth, and establish truths, I would not desire the let of it by your Grace, nor the work of God's truth any way hindered; in which case it shall be easy to reprove me in the face of the world with the sword of God's Scriptures, which he should rather desire to do, than borrow the sword your Grace hath the rule of, which is a mean to slander all that is done.'[61]

But Parliament was now to meet. The Protector came back from Scotland surrounded with a halo of splendour; London proposed to receive him with a triumphal procession; and, although he declined this excess of honour, the mayor and aldermen met him on Finsbury fields in their robes, and formed his escort to the palace. Fresh distinctions were heaped on him by the council; his designation in future was to run in royal phrase—Edward, by the grace of God, Duke of Somerset, Protector of the Realm.[62] An order was issued in the name of the boy King that 'our uncle shall sit alone, and be placed at all times, as well in our presence at our court of Parliament, as in pur absence, next on the right hand of our seat royal in our Parliament chamber.'[63]

In the midst of the sunshine, a few motes indeed were visible besides the imprisonment of Gardiner. Memoranda appear, in the council books and official papers, of complaints in the fleet on account of unpaid wages. The bills of the Antwerp money dealers, instead of being paid, had been renewed on interest, and fresh loans contracted. The bad money had not only not been called in, but more had been coined, and still the exchequer was running low. Lists were drawn of all gentlemen in England with, lands over forty pounds a year who had not compounded for their knighthoods, with a view to a levy of fines;[64] and a commission was designed to examine how far the Crown had been rightly dealt with in the disposition of confiscated estates.

These matters, however, were behind the scenes. Nov. 4.Parliament assembled at Westminster on the 4th November, and Musselburgh was a sufficient guarantee that Somerset's influence would be omnipotent. The spirit of the hour was of universal benevolence. The Six Articles Bill was repealed. The Bills of Henry IV. and Henry V. against the Lollards were repealed. England had entered a golden age, when there was to be no more treason, no more conspiracy, no more hankering after the Pope or foreign invaders. And as, in the words of the Parliament, 'in tempest or winter one cover and garment was convenient, in calm or warm weather a more liberal case and lighter garment both might and ought to be used, the severe laws made by the King's Highness's father, good and useful as they had been in the past bad times, were held to be needed no longer. The Act of Words, and the sharper clauses of the Act of Supremacy, were blotted out of the statute book; and offences under those, or any other Acts which in the late reign had been raised into treason or felony, not having been treason or felony before, fell back into misdemeanours.[65] Gardiner was in the Fleet, but Gardiner was an exception, and persecution as such was to be at an end.[66]

'The King,' nevertheless, 'desired unity and concord in religion;' and although 'he wished the same to be brought to pass with all clemency and mercy, and although he wished that his loving subjects should study rather for love than for fear to do their duties to Almighty God;'—there were yet profanities which could not wholly be tolerated, and those who spoke irreverently and profanely of the Eucharist might be punished with fine and imprisonment.[67] The concluding clause of this statute enjoined communion in both kinds[68] on laity as well as clergy; and in jealousy of the abused power of excommunication, the parish priest was prohibited from refusing the sacrament to any one who reverently desired it. The congé d'élire was next abolished in the election of bishops. There was to be no longer any affectation or delusion as to their position. They held their commissions under the Crown; they were nominated by the Crown; the supposed choice by a dean and chapter was a hypocritical fiction, and should exist no longer, and like institutions and processes in the spiritual courts, their appointments were to run for the future in the name of the King.[69]

Lest the validity of these changes should be questioned on account of the King's minority, the Act giving him power of repealing them on coming of age was reviewed and altered. All laws passed during a minority were declared good and valid for the time being; and although the King himself might reconsider, at a later period, the legislation which had been conducted in his name, the power was not to extend to his successor, should he die meanwhile.[70]

While Parliament was thus employed, Convocation had assembled as usual. The clergy were disconcerted to find that, slight as had been the respect with which they had been treated in the late reign, they were treated with less in the present. Questions, not only of Church policy, but of doctrine, were discussed and disposed of by the laity without so much as the form of consulting those to whom, until these late times, they had exclusively belonged; while the submission of the clergy to Henry VIII. precluded them from holding discussions in their own houses without license from the Crown. Discontented, not unnaturally, with the shadowy vitality which remained to them, they petitioned Cranmer, first briefly, then at elaborate length, that statutes concerning matters of religion and ecclesiastical ordinances might not pass without their consent; and finding their complaints treated with indifference, or anticipating the neglect of them, they repeated the attempts which had been made unsuccessfully by the Irish clergy a few years before. In the writs of summons addressed to Bishops at the opening of Parliament, the clause 'Præmonentes'[71] implied that deans, archdeacons, and the proctors of the clergy were an integral part of the legislature. They petitioned that they might now be 'associated with the Commons in the nether House of Parliament.'

The letter of the writs was on their side, but precedent was against their claim, and that precedent had been set by themselves. In the days of their power the clergy had divided themselves from Parliament, claiming a right to assemble at their own time and by their own authority, and to legislate separately at their own pleasure. Their ambition recoiled upon themselves. As they had constituted themselves a separate body, a separate body they should continue—or, rather, a disembodied ghost. They were not permitted to fall back upon privileges which they had voluntarily abandoned;[72] the Lords and Commons continued to do their work for them; and, amongst other things discussed, was a question in which, if in any, they might in reason expect to have been consulted. Dec. 20.The Lower House, on the 20th of December, sent up a bill 'that lay and married men might be priests and have benefices.'[73] Consenting reluctantly to innovation where custom and prejudice had so strong a hold, it would seem that the first measure of relief which they contemplated was a compromise. Laymen having wives already might be ordained; those who were ordained while unmarried, would still remain single. Dec. 21.The bill, however, was unsatisfactory. In the Lords it was read once, on the 21 st December: Parliament was prorogued a few days after, and it was dropped.

Two other measures which were passed in this session require attention. The vagrancy laws of the late reign were said to have failed from over-severity. Although whipping, branding, or even hanging were not considered penalties in themselves too heavy for the sturdy and valiant rascal who refused to be reformed; yet through 'foolish pity of them that should have seen the laws executed,' there had been no hanging and very little whipping, and vagrancy was more troublesome than ever. Granting that it was permissible to treat the vagabond as a criminal in an age when transportation did not exist, and when public works on which he could be employed at the cost of Government were undertaken but rarely, the question what to do with him in such a capacity was a hard one. The compulsory idleness of a life in gaol was at once expensive and useless; and practically the choice lay between no punishment at all, the cart's tail, and the gallows. The Protector, although his scheme proved a failure, may be excused, therefore, for having attempted a novel experiment, for having invented an arrangement, the worst feature of which was an offensive name; and which, in fact, resembled the system which, till lately, was in general use in our own penal colonies.

The object was, if possible, to utilize the rascal part of the population, who were held to have forfeited, if not their lives, yet their liberties. A servant determinately idle, leaving his work, or an able-bodied vagrant, roaming the country without means of honest self-support and without seeking employment, was to be brought before the two nearest magistrates. 'On proof of the idle living of the said person,' he was to be branded on the breast, where the mark would be concealed by his clothes, with, the letter V, and adjudged to some honest neighbour, as 'a slave,' 'to have and to hold the said slave for the space of two years then next following;' 'and to order the said slave as follows:' that is to say, 'to take such person adjudged as slave with him, and only giving the said slave bread and water, or small drink, and such refuse of meat as he should think meet, to cause the said slave to work.' If mild measures failed, if the slave was still idle or ran away, he was to be marked on the cheek or forehead with an S, and be adjudged a slave for life. If finally refractory, then and then only he might be tried and sentenced as a felon. Twenty years before, when vagrancy was less excusable, and the honest man could honestly maintain himself in abundance, such a measure might have worked successfully—supposing only that the word slave had been exchanged for some other expression which grated less harshly in English ears. In the condition of things which was now commencing, as will presently be shown, neither this nor any other penal Act against idleness could be practically enforced. Penal laws were rather required at the other extremity of the social scale. The measure failed, and in two years was withdrawn.[74]

Another measure however did not fail, unless indeed to accomplish unmixed evil be to fail. It has been mentioned that the year before the death of Henry, the remaining property of all ecclesiastical and semi-ecclesiastical foundations, the lands, the rentcharges, the miscellaneous donations for the support of universities, colleges, schools, hospitals, alms-houses, or parochial charities, for chantries, trentals, obits, masses, for stipendiary priests in family or other chapels, for religious services of different kinds, for candles, offerings, ornaments of churches, and other useful or superstitious purposes, were placed by Parliament in the hands of the King, to receive such 'alterations' as the change of times required. The task of dealing with complicated property where the use and the abuse were elaborately interwoven, was at once a difficulty and a temptation. What was good ought to be maintained and extended; increased provision should be made for the poor, for the students at the Universities, for all general objects which the interests of the commonwealth required: endowments for purposes wholly effete or mischievous might be confiscated, and the funds applied to redeem the expenses of the late war. The Parliament had hesitated before they placed so large a trust in the hands of Henry VIII., who had specially thanked the two Houses for so signal an evidence of confidence. But the grant was to himself alone. He had power to appoint commissioners to take possession of the property and make the desired changes, but for the term 'of his natural life' only. The Protector's Government applied for a renewal of the same trust, and obtained it.

The preamble of the new Act, more explicit than that of the Act under Henry, stated that, in times of superstition, when the perfect method of salvation was not understood, when men held vain opinions of purgatory and masses satisfactory, they had established chantries and such other institutions, thinking to benefit their souls. The funds so misapplied might be converted to good and godly uses; additional alms-houses, grammar-schools, and hospitals might be founded, the number of clergy might be increased in populous parishes, and funds might be provided further for the repair of harbours, piers, embankments, and other public works. The details of the intended alterations, however, could not in the present Parliament be conveniently brought forward, and the council requested that the uncontrolled confidence which had been reposed in Henry should be extended to them.[75]

Cranmer, who foresaw the consequences, opposed the grant to the extent of his power. He was supported by Tunstal and six other bishops, but he failed. The two Universities, Winchester, Eton, and St George's at Windsor were exempted from the operation of the Act. Cathedral chapters, too, were excepted, unless they maintained obits or chantries. But the whole of the rest of the property was made over to the council; and, as one of the immediate effects, the 'priory and convent of Norwich,' converted by Henry VIII. in 1538 to a chapter, were required, under pretence of some informality, to make a fresh surrender, and they were reincorporated only with a loss of manors and lands, worth 300 marks a year.[76] The shrines and the altar-plate at York Cathedral were sent to the Mint, to be issued in base coin; and the example being contagious, parish vestries began to appropriate the chalices, jewels, bells, and ornaments in the country churches, and offer them publicly for sale.[77] The carcase was cast out into the fields, and the vultures of all breeds and orders flocked to the banquet.

  1. 28 Henry VIII. cap. 17.
  2. Memoranda of Directions to the Ambassadors in France and Flanders: MS. State Paper Office.
  3. Two years after, Paget reminded Hertford of their conversation, and of his own warnings. 'What seeth your Grace,' he wrote. 'Marry, the King's subjects all out of discipline, out of obedience, carrying neither for Protector nor King. What is the matter? Marry, sir, that which I said to your Grace in the gallery. Liberty! Liberty! and your Grace's too much gentleness, your softness, your opinion to be good to the poor—the opinion of such as saith to your Grace, 'Oh, sir, there was never man that had the hearts of the poor as you have.''—Paget to the Protector: MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. viii. State Paper Office.
  4. Hertford to Paget: Tytler's Edward and Mary, vol. i. p. 15.
  5. Records of the Privy Council: Edward VI. MS. Council Office.
  6. John Dudley, afterwards Duke of Northumberland.
  7. Paulet, afterwards Marquis of Winchester.
  8. Records of the Privy Council: Edward VI. MS. Council Office.
  9. Annals of the Coinage, vol. i. p. 176.
  10. Privy Council Records, Edward VI. MS.
  11. 'Quando quidem omnis jurisdicendi auctoritas atque etiam jurisdictio omni modo, tam illa quæ ecclesiastica dicitur quam sæcularis a Regiâ potestate velut a supremo capite ac omnium magistratuum intra regnum nostrum fonte et scaturigine primitus emanaverit.'—Cranmer's Renewal of his Commission: Burnet's Collectanea.
  12. Gardiner complained to Paget, holding Paget in some way as responsible. Paget replied, 'I malign not bishops, but would that both they and all others were in such order as might be most to the glory of God and the benefit of this realm: much less I malign your Lordship, but wish ye well; and if the estate of bishops is or shall be thought meet to be reformed, I wish either that you were no bishop, or that you could have such a pliable will as could bear reformation. Your Lordship shall have your commission in as ample a manner as I have authority to make out the same, and in as ample a manner as you had it before, which I think you may execute now with less fear of danger than you have had cause hitherto to do.'—Paget to Gardiner: Tytler, vol. i. p. 25.
  13. Privy Council Records, Edward VI. MS.
  14. Royal Commission for the Protectorate: Burnet's Collectanea.
  15. 'Thou, Lord, by thy Providence hast caused me to rule. I am, by thy appointment, minister for thy King, shepherd for thy people. By Thee kings do reign, and from Thee all power is derived; govern me as I shall govern,' &c.—Strype: Memorials, vol. iv. p. 311.
  16. MSS. France, Edward VI. bundle 1. State Paper Office.
  17. Pallavicino.
  18. 'Velle re verâ Cæsarem in hæresim ensem educere.'—Pallavicino.
  19. 'Eoque magis quod ipsos latuit quid auri sub eo Cæsaris consilio latuit, quamvis deformi scoriâ illius indulgentiæ contectum. Quod consilium fuisset patribus patefactum nisi consuevisset Pontifex literas peculiares haud cæteris communicandas perscribere.'—Ibid.
  20. 'Quod erat peculiars subsellium supra cunctos patres, quasi ex adverso Legatorum, cui adjectum erat scabellum duorum hominum capax.'—Pallavicino.
  21. 'Inter Patres querulus susurrus iucrebuit quasi Legati arbitratu suo semel in congregationibus statuta mutarent.'—Ibid.
  22. 'Hâc ratione voto Cæsaris consulebat, initâ siquidem a Patribus quæstione de articulo intra duas Catholicorum scholas casque doctrina pollentes strenue agitato, qui in præfervidum diuturnumque certamen abiturus erat.'—Ibid.
  23. A series of exceedingly valuable letters from the English ambassadors who followed the Imperial camp in the summer and autumn of, are printed in the eleventh volume of the State Papers of Henry VIII.
  24. 'Tridenti tamen adeo trepidatum fuerat ut episcopi fugere meditarentur.'—Pallavicino.
  25. 'The Bishop of Capua having expressed an opinion rather vehemently, the Bishop of Chæronea whispered to his neighbour that such folly and impudence were inexcusable. The first Bishop asked what he was saying. 'I said, my Lord,' replied the Bishop of Chæronea, 'that your folly and impudence were without excuse.' Then the other, as the wont is among men, overcome with anger, blazed out into revenge; laying his hand on the beard of his brother prelate, he did tear away many of the hairs thereof, and straightway went his way. As the assembly gathered about him, the Bishop of Chæronea did show no other sign of displeasure save that in a loud voice he repeated his words again; the fathers at the unseemly spectacle were disturbed incredibly.'—Pallavicino.
  26. 'Britannia postmodo tanquam in Africam conversa est monstrorum omnium feracem.'—Pallavicino.
  27. 'Il luy sembloit,' wrote the Bishop of Arras to Chancellor Granvelle (he was speaking of the Regent of the Netherlands), 'que l'on deut attendre jusques la conduite de la nouveaulx gouvernement se vit, et par icelle sur quoy l'on se debvroit fonder, et selon ce, ce que l'on y debvroit faire: et despuis que le Roy est mort, et le Duc de Norfolk (it was not known that Norfolk's life had been spared) et son filz le Conte de Surrey executiez, le jeune Roy qu'est ja couronné envoyoit vers l'Empereur pour l'advertir du trespas du feu Roy et couronnement du nouveaulx ung gentilhomme de la chambre dudit nouveaulx Roy, et il a semblé que les raisons allegués par Chappuys militent encores.'

    Her Majesty, he continued, is afraid of doing anything which might compromise Mary: 'Quia ubi opus est, comme vous dictes, ibi non verentur;'—those English will stick at nothing—and things being as they were, the Emperor would recognize Edward as king. Not to irritate the Pope, however, no funeral service should be said for Henry; 'S'il ne vous semble aultre chose l'on se resoult de ne faire exéques pour le Roy d'Angleterre, tant pour non irriter sa Sainctité que pour non se pouvoir faire avec bonne conscience: et que ceulx qui s'en mesleroyent seroient irreguliers étant nominativement excommuniés, et à l'instance mesme, comme il me semble, de sa Majesté.'—Arras to Granvelle, Feb. 12, 1546–7: Granvelle Papers, vol. iii. p. 245, &c.

    The allusion to the death of Surrey as affecting the resolution of the Imperial Government confirms and explains a remarkable passage in 'The Pilgrim,' a tract written in the spring of this year 1547 by an Englishman named William Thomas.

    'A poor soldier,' says that writer, 'that came even now from the Emperor's camp, told me in Florence, not four days gone, that he had heard a whispering among the soldiers, how that the said Earl of Surrey, at his being with the Emperor before Landrecy, was entered into intelligence with divers great captains, and had gotten promises of aid towards the furniture of his intent. Yea, said he, and farther, he should have been the Emperor's man from the selfsame purpose. I will not say, quoth he, that this is true; but when the private soldiers are grown so commonly to talk of these things, it is to be presumed that there should be something of importance, for without some fire there was never smoke.

    'It is possible enough, said a gentleman present, for I myself, who have been in the Emperor's camp, have heard much reasoning of the matter. It was doubted whether this young prince was legitimate or no.'—'The Pilgrim,' MS. Harleian, 355.

  28. 'Judgment of Sir W. Paget,' printed by Strype: Memorials, vol. iii.
  29. Records of the Privy Council, Edward VI. MS.
  30. Lord Grey, Sir T. and Sir H. Palmer were standing one day, in the middle of April, watching the workmen, when two French officers approached, and fell into conversation with them. 'Your fort advances apace,' said they. 'No fort,' said we [Lord Grey is reporting], 'but a jetty to amend the haven, to save both your ships and ours.' 'Yea,' said they, 'but you intend to place ordnance upon it.' 'To what end?' quoth we; 'whereunto should we shoot?' 'Well,' said they, 'seeing it is no fort, you may do what you will; but if it was a fortress, we neither might nor would in any case endure it. But what news,' said they, 'we pray you have you of the Protestants?' 'None other,' quoth we, 'but that we hear they have great hopes in your aid, and that they begin to gather men.' 'Will you go walk with us,' said they, 'and we will tell you more. The Protestants say they shall have, ere it be long, fifty thousand men in the field.' 'God send them well to do,' said we. 'And we also,' said they, 'desire no less, for there is no faith in that Emperor. The King that now is [Henry II.] saw enough by his father's time; and to be plain with you,' said they, 'intendeth to be revenged on him. Marry, not this year peradventure: but being once sure of you, yea, that you will but sit still, the next year at the farthest he will make him war. The Emperor,' they said, 'did seek to marry the daughter of England, to the intent he might have the better entry into our realm, and that now it appeareth well that the King of England, being of young years, had no such friend as the King his master; for the Emperor's drift is none other,' saith he, 'but seeing your prince young, the realm governed by divers heads, and tickle to stir upon small occasions, to take advantage of the time, with the credit of the daughter of the realm, and to be revenged for your opinions, whereof it behoveth you to have special regard, and wish good success to the Protestants; for if the Emperor have the overhand of them, he will think himself able to ask every man how he believeth, wherein it toucheth you to take heed more than we.'—Grey to the Council, from Boulogne, April 18: Calais MSS. State Paper Office, Edward VI.
  31. Acts of the Scotch Parliament, 1546.
  32. 'The late King having resolved, for various considerations, not only to give certain pensions to divers noblemen and others which keep and defend the Castle of St Andrews for his Majesty's service and for the advancement of the marriage, but also at his own cost and charge to entertain a hundred and twenty men for the more sure defence of the said castle against the King's Majesty's enemies in Scotland;' in consequence the privy council resolved 'that 1189l. 17s. 3d. should be paid to Sir Henry Balnavis for the affairs of Scotland, that is to say, for the wages of eighty men within the Castle of St Andrews at 6d. by the day for six months, the sum of 336l. sterling. For the wages of forty horse at 8d. the day, appointed to keep abroad for the more surety of the said castle, for six months, 224l. For the amity of the Master of Rothes, for one half year ending at Michaelmas last past, 125l. For the like to the Laird of Grange, 100l. For the like to David Moneypenny, 50l. For the like to Mr Henry Balnavis, of Halhill, 62l. 10s. For the like to John Leslie, of Parkhill, 62l. 10s. James Leslie, of Abdour, 50l. W. Kircaldy, son to the Laird of Grange, 50l., which sums make, on the whole, 1060l.; and on the exchange 1189l. 17s. 3d.Privy Council Records, Feb. 6, MS. Edward VI.
  33. Rymer, vol. vi. part 3, pp. 150–155.
  34. Wotton to the Council: MS. France, Edward VI. State Paper Office.
  35. Privy Council Records, Feb. 10, 1547, Edward VI. MS.
  36. I have not found a copy of the sermon, but the character of it may be gathered from a protest addressed by the Bishop of Winchester to the Protector; 'You need fear nothing,' wrote Gardiner, 'if quiet may be maintained at home, and at home, if the beginning may be resisted, the intended folly may easily be interrupted. But if my brother of St David's may, like a champion with a sword in his hand, make entry for the rest, the door of license is opened.'—Gardiner to the Protector, Feb. 28: Foxe, vol. vi.
  37. Stow.
  38. To four-fifths of the English world as agitating as if among ourselves the Opera House was to be opened on a Sunday and the Bishop of London to appear in a private box.
  39. He touched Ridley's dread of the supposed idolatry of images with some humour. After all, he said, there was not much real superstition connected with them. Men knelt before the silver crucifix, but the churchwarden who took it home from church, was not afraid, like a reasonable man, to drink a pot of ale while the precious thing was under his gown.—Gardiner to Ridley: Foxe, vol. vi.
  40. The Protector to Gardiner; Foxe, vol. vi.
  41. Injunction on images: printed in Jenkyns's Cranmer, vol. iii.
  42. Grey Friars' Chronicle.
  43. The Grey Friars' chronicler mentions, with evident satisfaction, that when the rood at St Paul's, 'with Mary and John,' was taken down, 'two of the men that laboured at it were slain, and divers hurt.' Stow also tells a story in connection with these scenes which must not be forgotten:—

    'Two priests were arraigned and condemned in the Guildhall for keeping of certain relics, amongst the which was a left arm and shoulder of a monk of the Charterhouse, on the which arm was written, it was the arm of such a monk which suffered martyrdom under King Henry VIII.'

  44. The various instructions for the visitation of 1547 are printed in Burnet's Collectanea, Fuller's Church History, Strype's Memorials of the Reformation, and Jenkyns's Cranmer.
  45. Pallavicino
  46. 'If I was sworn to say what I think of the world, I would for a time let Scots be Scots, with despair to have them unless it were by conquest, which shall be a goodly enterprise for our young master when he cometh of age, and in the mean time prepare him money for it, and set the realm in an order that it hath need of.'—Gardiner to the Protector: Foxe, vol. vi. p. 25.
  47. As much as this seems to be implied in a subsequent letter of Paget's, remonstrating with the Protector for refusing generally to listen to advice: 'Alas, sir, take pity of the King, and of the conservation and state of the realm. Put no more so many irons in the fire at once as you have had within this twelve-month—war with Scotland, with France, though it be not so termed, commissions out for that matter, new laws for this, proclamations for another. When the whole council shall join in a matter, and your Grace travel to outreason them in it, and wrest them by reason of your authority to bow to it, or first show your own opinion in a matter, and then ask theirs; alas, sir, how shall this gear do well?'—Paget to the Protector: MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. viii. State Paper Office.
  48. The estimate of the different things provided for the army is curiously illustrative of the nature of an English campaign in the sixteenth century.

    'An estimate for victuals for twenty-eight days, as well for bread and drink as provender for horses and beasts.

    '1. For 8 days' biscuit, 18,000 lbs. a day, is in 8 days 144,000 pounds weight, which will take in wheat meal 400 quarters.

    '2. Also in wine 110 tonne, after 200 gallons in a tonne.

    '3. Also provender for horses and beasts, 1420 quarters; all the which is ready at Berwick saving wine and baking of the biscuit, which wine must be sent to Berwick, and bakers for the biscuit.

    'There must be sent unto the Frith, for 20 days more, after the like rate and proportion:

    '1. Biscuit, 36,000 lbs., and 220 tonne of sweet wine; and in provender 3510 quarters; and as for flesh, it shall be taken out of the carriage.

    '2. And the carriage that must be provided by the King's Majesty for victual, provender, and ordnance is 262 carts, which may well be purveyed in York, where the great oxen be, and best wains.

    'All which biscuit will take 28 days, with the largess of wheat, 1510 quarters, which after the rate of 13 shillings and 4 pence the quarter, amounteth to 1000l.; and for sweet wine, which will take 560 butts, after six score gallons in a butt, and after 5l. the butt, amounteth to 2800l.; and for carriage of the same, 262 carts, which will cost, after 2 shillings a cart a day, by the space of 50 days coming and going, 1510l.

    'Whereof must be received for 18,000 men, after 2d. the man the day for bread and drink, 4200d. After 2½d. the man the day, 4914l.; after 3d. the man the day, 5944l.; so that after 2d. the man the day, the victual will be more than the receit 910l.; after 2½l., 196l. more than the receit; after 3d. there shall be more received than, the victuals draweth unto, towards the charge of bringing the victuals by sea, 834l.

    'Also for two pounds of flesh 1½d.: and so every soldier shall have for his 4½d. one pound of biscuit, a pottell of drink, and two pounds of flesh.'—MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. iii. State Paper Office.

  49. Hayward's Life of Edward VI.
  50. Holinshed.
  51. Somerset's being one of the disputed characters in history, everything is welcome which throws light upon his inner nature. In the prayers of men it is hard to tell how much is real—they often cannot tell themselves; nevertheless, one reads with interest,

    THE PRAYER OF THE PROTECTOR BEFORE THE SCOTTISH WAR.

    'Most merciful God, the granter of all peace and quietness, the giver of all good gifts, the defender of all nations, who hast willed all men to be accounted as our neighbours, and commanded us to love them as ourself, and not to hate our enemies, but rather to wish them, yea, and also to do them good if we can, bow down thy holy and merciful eyes upon us, and look upon the small portion of the earth which professeth thy holy name and thy Son Jesus Christ. Give to us all desire of peace, unity, and quietness, and a speedy wearisomeness of all war, hostility, and enmity to all them that be our enemies, that we and they may in one heart and charitable agreement, praise thy Holy Name, and reform our lives to thy godly commandment. And especially have an eye to this small Isle of Britain; and that which was begun by thy great and infinite mercy and love to the unity and concord of both the nations, that the Scottishmen and we might hereafter live in one love and amity, knit into one nation by the most happy and godly marriage of the King's Majesty our Sovereign Lord and the young Scottish Queen, whereunto provision and agreement hath been heretofore most firmly made by human order. Grant, oh Lord, that the same might go forward, and that our sons' sons, and all our posterity hereafter may feel the benefit and commodity thereof. Thy great gift of unity grant in our days. Confound all those that worketh against it. Let not their counsel prevail. Diminish their strength. Lay thy sword of punishment upon them that interrupteth this godly peace; or rather convert their hearts to the better way, and make them embrace that unity and peace which shall be most for thy glory and the profit of both the realms. Put away from us all war and hostility; and if we be driven thereto, hold thy holy and strong power and defence over us. Be our garrison, our shield and buckler; and seeing we seek but a perpetual amity and concord, and performance of quietness promised in thy name, pursue the same with us and send thy holy angels to be our aid, that either none at all, or else so little loss and effusion of Christian blood as can, be made thereby. Look not, oh Lord, upon our sins or the sins of our enemies what they deserve; but have regard to thy most plenteous and abundant mercy, which passeth all thy works, being so infinite and marvellous. Do this, oh Lord, for thy Son's sake Jesus Christ.'—MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. ii. State Paper Office.

  52. Holinshed, from the account of an eye- witness.
  53. Privy Council Records, MS. Edward VI.
  54. In the Protector's absence, Cranmer must be considered the person responsible for measures of this kind.
  55. 'Where I did unadvisedly make such a protestation, as now upon better consideration of my duty of obedience and of the ill example that may ensue to others thereof, appears to me neither reasonable, nor such as might stand with the duty of a subject; and forasmuch as the same protestation, at my request, was then by the registrar of that visitation enacted and put in record, I do now revoke my said protestation; and I beseech your lordships that this revocation may likewise be put in the same records for a perpetual memory of the truth.'—Bonner's Recantation, printed in Burnet's Collectanea.
  56. The character of which, and the writer's character, may he judged from the following specimen. In one of his farces a priest is introduced, who, on the stage, offers the following prayer:—

    'Omnipotens et sempiterne Deus, qui in usum nostrum formasti laicos, concede quaesumus ut eorum uxoribns et filiabus—' The reader must imagine, or had better not imagine, the rest.

  57. Gardiner to the Protector: MS. Harleian, 417. Printed by Foxe, vol. vi.
  58. It is to be remembered that, throughout the correspondence, Gardiner speaks as if the Protector was being dragged on by Cranmer against his will. The Protector had once, he said, promised him that 'he would suffer no innovations.' According to Gardiner, it was not the Protector who caused the deposition of Wriothesley: 'Your Grace,' he said, 'showed so much favour to him that all the world commended your gentleness.' 'For the visitation,' he added, 'I saw a determination to do all things suddenly at one time, whereunto, although your Grace agreed, yet of your wisdom I conjectured ye had rather had it tarry till your return if ye had not been pressed. That word 'pressed,' I noted in your letter to me, when ye wrote ye were pressed on both sides; and methought if, by bringing myself into most extreme danger in your absence, I could have stayed the matter, beside my duty to God and my Sovereign Lord, I had done you a pleasure.'—Correspondence of Gardiner with the Protector: Foxe, vol. vi. On the other hand, Paget, in the letter of remonstrance to which I have referred, speaks as if Somerset listened to no one whose views did not coincide with his own.
  59. He mentions curious instances;—'Whether a king may command against a common law or an Act of Parliament, there is never a judge or other man in the realm ought to know more by experience of that the laws have said than I.

    'First, my Lord Cardinal, that obtained his legacy by our late Sovereign Lord's requirements at Rome, yet, because it was against the laws of the realm, the judges concluded the offence of Premunire, which matter I bare away, and took it for a law of the realm, because the lawyers said so, but my reason digested it not. The lawyers, for confirmation of their doings, brought in the case of Lord Tiptoft. An earl he was, and learned in the civil laws, who being chancellor, because in execution of the King's commandment he offended the laws of the realm, suffered on Tower Hill. They brought in examples of many judges that had fines set on their heads in like cases for transgression of laws by the King's commandment, and this I learned in that case.

    'Since that time being of the council, when many proclamations were devised against the carriers out of corn, when it came to punish the offender, the judges would answer it might not be by the law, because the Act of Parliament gave liberty, wheat being under a price. Whereupon at last followed the Act of Proclamations, in the passing whereof were many large words spoken.'

    After mentioning other cases, he goes on:—

    'I reasoned once in the Parliament House, where there was free speech without danger; and the Lord Audely, to satisfy me, because I was in some secret estimation, as he knew, 'Thou art a good fellow, Bishop,' quoth he; 'look at the Act of Supremacy, and there the King's doings be restrained to spiritual jurisdiction; and in another Act no spiritual law shall have place contrary to a common law, or an Act of Parliament. An this were not,' quoth he, 'you bishops would enter in with the King, and by means of his supremacy order the laws as ye listed. But we will provide,' quoth he, 'that the Premunire shall never go off your heads.' This I bare away then, and held my peace.'—Gardiner to the Protector: MS. Harleian, 417; Foxe, vol. vi.

  60. Gardiner to Sir John Godsalve; Burnet's Collectanea.
  61. Gardiner to the Protector: Foxe, vol. vi.
  62. The Titles of the Protector: MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. i. State Paper Office.
  63. Place of the Protector in Parliament: MS. Ibid. vol. ii.
  64. Privy Council Memoranda: MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. ii. State Paper Office.
  65. 1 Edward VI. cap. 12. The repeal was not carried without a conference between the Houses, nor was it approved of as universally as we might expect. Sir John Mason found fault with the alterations in a remarkable compliment to the English people. 'In all other countries,' he said, 'speeches are at liberty, for such are the people's natures, as when they have talked they have done. In our country it is otherwise, for their talking is preparatory to doing; and the worst act that ever was done in our time was the general abolishing of the Act of Words by the Duke of Somerset, whereof we have already had some experience.'—Mason to the Council: MS. Germany, Bundle 16, Mary, State Paper Office.
  66. The popular party thought of Gardiner what the witty Duchess of Suffolk said to himself when she passed his prison and saw him at the window. 'Ah, Bishop,' she said, 'it is merry with the lambs when the wolves are shut up.'—Narrative of the Sufferings of Catherine Duchess of Suffolk: Holinshed.
  67. 1 Edward VI. cap. 1.
  68. The Act was entitled as 'Against such as irreverently speak against the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, commonly called the sacrament of the altar.' In the preamble of the Act the sacrament of the altar was again spoken of, but with the addition, 'called in Scripture the supper and table of the Lord.' The institution was carefully described; but the change in the elements was neither affirmed nor denied. It is curious to watch the slow steps by which the central mystery of Catholicism was invaded.
  69. 1 Edward VI. cap. 2.
  70. Ibid. cap. 11.
  71. Præmonentes Decanum et Capitulum ecclesiæ vestræ ac Archidiaconos totumque Clerum vestræ diœcesis quod iidem Decanus et Archidiaconi in propriis personis, ac dictum Capitulum per unum, idemque Clerum per duos Procurators idoneos plenam et sufficientem potestatem ab ipsis Capitulo et Clero divisim habentes, prædictis die et loco personaliter intersint ad consentiendum his quæ tum ibidem de Communi Consilio dicti Regni nostri divinâ favente clementiâ contigerit ordinari.
  72. Petitions of the Lower House of Convocation to the Archbishop of Canterbury: Burnet's Collectanea, pp. 264, 265.
  73. Lords Journals, December 20, 1547. One could wish that some draught of this bill had survived. It is difficult to make out the character of it from so brief a description. From the entries in the journals in the following session, however, it is plain that the question was much debated, that the measure of relief went through many forms before it was passed; and as the first form in which it was then brought up in the House of Commons—that laymen having wives may be priests, and have benefices—is open to no misconstruction, I conclude that the original bill was of the same kind.
  74. The details of Somerset's bill are curious. The children of beggars were to be taken from them and brought up in some honest calling. If no householder could be found to accept the charge of a slave, he was to be adjudged to his town or parish to work in chains on the highways or bridges. Collections were to be made in the parish churches every Sunday for the relief of the deserving poor. The slaves of private persons were to wear rings of iron on their necks, arms, or legs. As their crime was the refusal to maintain themselves, so if they could earn or obtain any kind of property, they were entitled to their freedom.
  75. Edward VI. cap. 14.
  76. Petition of Dean and Chapter of Norwich: Tanner MSS. Bodleian Library, 90.
  77. Tanner MSS. Ibid.