History of England (Froude)/Chapter 27
THE REFORMED ADMINISTRATION.
THE fall of the Protector was a signal for revived hope among the Catholics. Bonner, at the close of a process in which the forms of law were little observed, and the substance of justice not at all, was not only imprisoned, but had been in September deprived of his bishopric by a sentence of Cranmer. In times of religious and political convulsion, to be opposed to the party for the moment in power is itself a crime; and Bonner, sensual, insolent, and brutal, retained, nevertheless, the virtue of honesty. The See of London, therefore, had been required for more useful hands. But there was a general impression that the recovery of authority by the executors would now lead to a change of policy. In Oxford mass was again celebrated in the college chapels. Both Bonner and Gardiner appealed against the oppression to which they had been subjected. The Bishop of Winchester, congratulating the council on their success and courage, entreated that his conduct might be again inquired into, and that he should not be confined any longer on the unauthorized warrant of a subject like himself. November.Those who had been active in Bonner's persecution anticipated unpleasant consequences to themselves. Hooper, one of the most prominent among them, writing to Bullinger, said that, 'Should the Bishop be restored to his office, for himself he doubted not he would be restored to his Father in heaven.' The Emperor shared the expectation, or so far considered the reaction possible, as to make it a condition of the alliance which the English council so much desired. He received the message sent him through Sir Thomas Cheyne graciously. He would make no promises without conditions, but he intimated that a return to orthodoxy would be rewarded by a return of his friendship.
There was a time, perhaps, when the direction which things would assume was uncertain. Southampton, Shrewsbury, and Arundel had taken part in the deposition of Somerset, the first and last being distinctly, the second moderately, Catholic; the Earl of Warwick himself was untroubled with religious convictions of any kind, and might take either side with equal unconscientiousness; and the executors, acting as a body, would have relapsed into the groove which Henry VIII. had marked for them. But equality of influence could not co-exist with inequality of power. The part which Warwick had taken in putting down the insurrection had given him for the moment the control of the position; and Warwick, whose single and peculiar study was the advancement of himself and his family, determined, it may be after some hesitation, to adhere to the party of which he could be the undisputed chief. Had he brought the conservatives into power, he must have released the Duke of Norfolk from the Tower, and Gardiner with him. Shrewsbury, Oxford, Rutland, Derby, the lords of the old blood, would have reappeared in public life; and in such a circle Lord Warwick must soon have sunk to the level of his birth. It was more tempting for him to lead those who had made their way into rank through the revolution, or had still their fortunes to make, than to sink into a satellite of the Howards, the Stanleys, and the Talbots.
Southampton, therefore, retired again into obscurity, and soon died. A charge of peculation was brought against Arundel, who was removed from his office of Lord Chamberlain, and fined 12,000l., and the petitions of the imprisoned bishops remained unnoticed. Gardiner wrote a second time more formally, 'which the Lords took in good part, and laughed very merrily at, saying he had a pleasant head;' but they preferred to leave him where he was. A third letter met the same neglect, written in a tone of dignified and large moderation, which would have earned some respect for Gardiner, had not he too, in his turn of authority, violated the principles to which he appealed. Finally, he prepared a petition to Parliament, on its assembling in November, which the council would not permit to be presented.
The measures brought forward by the Government in the session which followed close upon the change, left no doubt indeed that, with respect to religion, the policy of the past three years would be continued and carried further.
A violent Act was passed against images and paintings in the face of the conservative opposition in the House of Lords. No statues or figures of any kind were to remain in the parish churches except, as the statute scornfully said, 'the monumental figures of kings or nobles who had never been taken for saints;' and the Prayer-book being the only religious service necessary or tolerable—'antiphones, missals, scrayles, processionals, manuals, legends, portuyses, primers, in Latin or English, cowchers, journals, ordinals,' and similar books, were to be taken away, burnt, or otherwise destroyed.
The other business of the session was not of particular consequence. A riot Act, not unnecessarily harsh, was a natural consequence of a summer of rebellion. The peculiar feature of it was that the privy council were placed under the protection of the high treason laws. From experience of failure, the Slave Statute of the preceding session was repealed; the vagrancy Acts of Henry were restored, and labourers refusing to work were to be punished as vagabonds. The sick and aged were to be relieved in convenient cottages at the expense of their town or parish; children carried about begging were to be allotted as apprentices to any one who would bring them up in an honest calling, and the magistrates were to protect them from ill-usage.
Public morality was reported to be disordered. The sudden emancipation from the control of the Church courts had led to license, and both the religious parties desired alike a restoration of discipline. On the 14th of November the bishops presented a complaint in the House of Lords that their jurisdiction was despised and disobeyed, that they could cite no one and punish no one—they could not even compel those who were disinclined to appear in their places in church. The peers listened with regret, and the prelates were invited to prepare a measure which would meet the necessity. After four days they produced something which to them was satisfactory, but it was found to savour too strongly of their ancient pretensions. The motion led only to the reappointment of the commission of thirty-two, who were long before to have reformed the canon law; and the fruit of their exertions, when at last it seemed to have acquired vitality, dropped to the ground unripe. The time was passed when the English laity would submit their private conduct to ecclesiastical discipline, whether it was Catholic or whether it was Genevan.
January.In the beginning of January an account was tendered to Parliament of the proceedings against the Duke of Somerset. The offences, the substance of which was contained in the letter to the Emperor, were drawn out into twenty-nine articles, in which, after allowing for legal harshness of form, his errors were not exaggerated. A committee of council carried the articles to the Tower, where they were submitted to the Duke for signature. He made no difficulty, but threw himself on the mercy of the Crown; and the accusations, with his signature attached to them, were laid before the House of Lords on the 2nd of January. The Lords did not affect to doubt that the subscription was authentic, and had been freely given; but in a matter which might be used as a precedent, too great caution could not be observed, and the Earls of Bath and Northumberland, Lord Cobham and Lord Morley, with four bishops, went to the Tower to examine him in the name of the House. He pleaded guilty to each separate article. On the 14th of January he was deposed by Act of Parliament from the Protectorate, and sentenced to be deprived of estates which he had appropriated to the value of 2000l. a year. On the 6th of February he was released from confinement, giving a bond for his good behaviour, and being forbidden to approach the Court without permission.
Had the full penalty been enforced, it would scarcely have been severe. In three months, however, such of his lands as had not in the mean time been disposed of, were restored; Somerset himself returned to the privy council; and the fortune which he still possessed enabled him to maintain a princely establishment. No English minister had ever descended against his will from so high a station with a fall so easy. Sir Thomas Smith and Sir Michael Stanhope were made to refund 3000l. each of public money which they had embezzled; Sir John Thynne as much as 6000l.
Before Parliament rose, Sir William Paget was called to the Upper House as Lord Paget of Beaudesert, Lord Russell was made Earl of Bedford, and Lord St John of Basing Earl of Wiltshire.
Meanwhile affairs at Boulogne approached a crisis. The Rhinegrave in January brought five thousand men between Boulogne and Calais. Huntingdon, Sir James Crofts, Sir Edward Hastings, and Sir Leonard Chamberlain carried reinforcements to the garrison almost as large. But on the part of England this display of force was continued only to avoid a dishonourable close to the now fast approaching siege. The drain of Boulogne on the exchequer was incessant and exhausting; and if reasonable terms could be obtained from France, the council had made up their minds to purchase them with a surrender. The first active move towards an arrangement came through an Italian resident at Paris. Antonio Guidotti, a Florentine merchant, offered himself as an instrument of communication, and was permitted to suggest, as a fitting close to the long quarrel, that, Mary Stuart being no longer accessible, an alliance might be effected for Edward with the Princess Elizabeth of France.
The Boulogne question, however, had first to be set at rest. Guidotti having passed and repassed between London and Paris, Lord Bedford, Paget, Petre, and Sir John Mason crossed in February, to treat with February. the French commissioners who would be sent to meet them. Time pressed for England. 'The misery, wants, and exclamations' of Lord Huntingdon were 'very great.' Sixteen hundred pounds of arrears were due to the crews of the ships in Calais harbour, and thirteen hundred to the English infantry. Six thousand pounds a month was 'all too little' for the Lanzknechts in the English pay at Calais and Boulogne, and 800l. was the whole sum which was to be found in the Calais treasury. At Boulogne the beer was gone, there was bread for but six days, and the troops were on short allowance, Lord Clinton faring like his men. It was only by constant and expensive exertions that supplies of any kind could be thrown in.
The conference was held beyond the river opposite Boulogne. The French were entirely aware of the difficulties of the English, and intended to take advantage of them. The English, flattering themselves with the presence of their troops, intended to ask for the pension which Francis had agreed to pay to Henry VIII., for the arrears of their debts, and for the Queen of Scots, and to accept as much or as little as they could get.
On the 20th of February a truce of fifteen days was concluded. The commissioners met, and the French came at once to the point. The English asked for the pension. The French, 'precise and imperious,' asked in return if they thought 'France would be tributary to England.' For the debts, they had been made to spend more in the wars than the debts amounted to, and they held themselves acquitted. 'Pensions they will pay none,' the English commissioners reported, 'nor debts none, nor reason will they have none. They have prescribed, as it were, laws, which they call overtures, that we should make white and relinquish old matters, as well pensions, debts, arrearages, and other quarrels, for which and for Boulogne they say they will give a reasonable recompense in money.'
Paget, in a private letter to Warwick, explained distinctly that the tone which the French had assumed arose from no desire to protract the war: they knew merely that Boulogne was in their power, and they intended to exact the conditions which their strength enabled them to impose.
'These Frenchmen,' he wrote, 'ye see how lofty they be, and haultaine in all their proceedings with us. And no marvel, for so they be of nature; and our estate, which cannot be hidden from them, encreaseth their courage not a little. They will have Boulogne, they say, by fair means or by foul. They will no longer be tributaries, as they term it. They set forth the power of their King, and make of ours as little as they list, with such bragging and braving terms and countenances, as, if your lordship had seen Rochpot, ye would have judged him a man more meet to make of peace a war than of war a peace. Debt they will recognize none, for they say, though they say untruly, that you have made them spend, and have taken upon the seas of theirs, ten times as much as the debt cometh to. Nevertheless, say they, let us have Boulogne, and wipe away all pretences that you make to us, and ask a reasonable sum, and we will make you a reasonable answer; or, if you will not, in respect of your master's young age, acquit his pretences, let us have Boulogne: we will agree with you for it upon a reasonable sum. Reserve you to your master the droicts that he pretendeth, and we to ours his defence for the same and so to make a peace; and if you afterwards demand nothing of us, we demand nothing of you. Keep you within your limits, which God hath given you, enclosed with the seas—saving your Calais, whereunto ye have been married these two or three hundred years, and therefore God send you joy with it—and we our limits upon the land, and we shall live together in peace. Other bargains than this we will not make.'
Paget expostulated, entreated, threatened. They ought to have been persuaded, but they were dense and resolute. They stood to their demands, and required an immediate answer.
Paget did not hesitate to say that England must yield.
'Lo, sir,' he went on to Warwick, 'thus standeth the case. Their orgueil is intolerable, their disputations be unreasonable, their conditions to us dishonourable, and, which is worst of all, our estate at home is miserable. What, then! of many evils let us choose the least. First, we must acknowledge what he cannot deny—the evil condition of our estate at home, which recognizance is the first degree to amendment. The next is to know the cause of the evil, and that is war, supposed to be, if not the only cause, at least one of the chiefest among many great. How many—how great occasions of mischief the war hath engendered to England? Ill money, whereby outward things be dearer, idleness among the people, great courages, dispositions to imagine and invent novelties, devices to amend this and this, and a hundred mischiefs which make my heart sorry to mark—these be the fruits of war. Then, if the disease will not be taken away, let the cause be taken away; and war, which is one chief cause, must be taken away. But that shall not be taken away, say the French, save upon this condition—they will have Boulogne for a sum of money, and make peace. Well, what moveth us to stick? Consider if we be able to keep it maulgre the French. Rochpot saith and braggeth that their King is not a King John, but a French King such as conquered Rome, and been feared of the rest, and will have Boulogne again, whosoever saith nay; and telleth us how we are in poverty and mutinies at home—beset all about with enemies, having no friend to succour us, destitute of money to furnish us, and so far in debt as hardly we can find any creditors. It is good to consider whether it be better to let them have Boulogne again, and to haye somewhat for it, and to live in peace.
'The pension is a great matter. It is true, they say, the pension was granted; but the time is turned. Then was then and now is now. It was granted by the French King that dead is to the King of England that dead is, and we will use it as you did when the time served you, for we know your estate, and that you are not able to war with us.'
March.'Then was then and now is now'—that was the exact truth of the position; and there was nothing to do but to yield handsomely. Parliament had broken up hastily. The Lords and gentlemen had been dispersed in haste to their counties on a menace of fresh insurrection. It had been even found necessary to relinquish a portion of the subsidy granted in 1548. 'Then was then and now is now.'—The Government was in no condition to carry on a war with an empty treasury, forfeited credit, and a disaffected people; and considering the circumstances, the terms which Paget obtained were not unreasonable. On the 24th March 24.of March a treaty was concluded, by which the English, within six weeks of the day of signature, were to evacuate Boulogne, leaving the fortifications, new and old, intact, and all the cannon and ammunition which had been found in the town at its capture by Henry VIII. The French would pay down for it four hundred thousand crowns, half upon the spot and half in the ensuing August, leaving other claims to stand over. The Scots were included in the peace. The few small forts remaining to the English on the northern side of the Border were to be razed and occupied no more. The war was over, and the excuse for English disorders was at an end.
The Government had now the ground open before them to show what they could do. While the negotiations at Boulogne were in progress, an appeal of Bonner was heard, and rejected by the privy council; he was left in the Marshalsea, and the Knight Marshal demanding a fee of him for some unnamed privilege, and being refused, revenged himself by depriving his prisoner of his bed, and leaving him to lie for a week upon the straw. Ridley, notorious as the opponent of the real presence, was translated from Rochester as his successor in the See of London; Heath, Bishop of Worcester, for his opposition to the Act against images, in Parliament, followed his friends to prison; while the person destined to take Gardiner's place at Winchester, as soon as he too should be deprived, was Ponet, canon of Canterbury, notorious as having married a woman who had a husband living. The See of Westminster, founded by Henry VIII., was dissolved and the jurisdiction reannexed to London; Thirlby, his conservative views being inconvenient so near the Court, was removed to Norwich; and under such auspices, the excellent Hooper and his Genevan friends, to whom, accurate doctrine was the alpha and omega, the one thing essential, began to see the Gospel more triumphant in England than in any corner of the world except Zurich. Warwick seemed to them a most brave and faithful soldier of Christ, 'a most holy and fearless instrument of the word of God.' John ab Ulmis, a refugee, assured Bullinger that the Earl of Warwick and Lord Dorset 'were the most shining lights of the Church of England;' 'they were, and were considered, the terrour and thunderbolt of the Roman bishops; and they alone had exerted themselves in the Reformation of the Church more than all the rest of the council.' To such men as these it was enough that a certain speculative system which they called the Gospel should be patronized and the opponents of it punished. They asked no more. But the Gospel, considered in its more homely aspect of a code of duty, was not so prosperous in England.
The effect upon the multitude of the sudden and violent change in religion, had been to remove the restraints of an established and recognized belief, to give them an excuse for laughing to scorn all holy things, for neglecting their ordinary duties, and for treating the Divine government of the world as a bugbear, once terrible, which every fool might now safely ridicule. Parliament might maintain the traditional view of the eucharist, but the administration had neutralized a respect which the Lords had maintained with difficulty. Since the passing of the Chantries and Colleges Act, the Government, under pretence of checking superstition, had appropriated all the irregular endowments at the Universities. They cancelled the exhibitions, which had been granted for the support of poor scholars. They suppressed the professorships and lectureships which had been founded by Henry VIII. The students fell off. 'Some were distracted, others pined away in grief, spent their time in melancholy, and wandered up and down discontentedly.' Some, and those the wisest among them, 'took upon them mechanical and sordid professions.' Degrees were held antichristian. Learning was no necessary adjunct to a creed which 'lay in a nutshell.' Universities were called 'stables of asses, stews, and schools of the devil.' While Peter Martyr was disputing on the real presence, and Lord Grey was hanging the clergy on their church towers, the wild boys left at Oxford took up the chorus of irreverence. The service of the mass was parodied in plays and farces, with 'mumblings,' 'like a conjuror's,' In the sermons at St Mary's, priests were described as 'imps of the whore of Babylon:'—an undergraduate of Magdalen snatched the bread from the altar after it had been consecrated, and trampled it under foot. Missals were chopped in pieces with hatchets; college libraries plundered and burnt. The divinity schools were planted with cabbages, and the Oxford laundresses dried clothes in the Schools of Arts. Anarchy was avenging superstition, again, in turn, to be more frightfully avenged.
In the country the patron of a benefice no longer made distinctions between a clergyman and a layman. If the Crown could appoint a bishop without the assistance of a congé d'élire the patron need as little trouble himself with consulting his diocesan. He presented himself. He presented his steward, his huntsman, or his gamekeeper. Clergy, even bishops, 'who called them Gospellers,' would hold three, four, or more livings, 'doing service in none;' or if, as a condescension, they appointed curates, they looked out for starving monks who would do the duty at the lowest pay—men who would take service indifferently under God or the devil to keep life in their famished bodies. 'You maintain your chaplains,' said the brave and noble Lever, face to face with some of these high offenders; 'you maintain your chaplains to take pluralities, and your other servants more offices than they can discharge. Fie! fie! for shame! Ye imagine there is a parish priest curate which does the parson's duty. Yes, forsooth—he ministereth God's sacraments, he saith the service, he readeth the homilies. The rude lobs of the country, too simple to paint a lie, speak truly as they find it, and say 'he minisheth the sacraments, he slubbereth the service, he cannot read the humbles.''
There is no hope that these pictures are exaggerated; and from the unwilling lips of the privy council comes the evidence of the effect upon the people. The cathedrals and the churches of London became the chosen scenes of riot and profanity. St Paul's was the stock exchange of the day where the merchants of the city met for business, and the lounge where the young gallants gambled, fought, and killed each other. They rode their horses through the aisles, and stabled them among the monuments. They practised pigeon-shooting with the newly introduced 'hand-guns,' in the churchyard and within the walls.
In the administration the investigations which followed Somerset's deposition revealed large fruits of carelessness. 'Whalley,' one of the late Protector's friends, Edward writes in his journal, 'being receiver-general of Yorkshire, confessed how he lent my money upon gain and lucre; how he had paid one year's revenue over with the arrearages of the last; how he bought my own land with my own money; how in his accounts he had made many false suggestions.'
'Beaumont, Master of the Rolls/ Edward records also, ' did confess his offences how in his Office of Wards he had bought land with my own money; had lent it and kept it from me, to the value of nine thousand pounds and above, more than this twelvemonth, and eleven thousand pounds in obligations; how he, being judge in the chancery between the Duke of Suffolk and the Lady Powis, took his title, and went about to get it into his hands, paying a sum of money, and letting her have a farm of a manor of his; and caused an indenture to be made falsely with the old Duke's counterfeit hand to it, by which he gave these lands to the Lady Powis.'
As to the mass of the people, hospitals were gone, schools broken up, almshouses swept away; every institution which Catholic piety had bequeathed for the support of the poor was either abolished or suspended till it could be organized anew; and the poor themselves, smarting with rage and suffering, and seeing piety, honesty, duty, trampled under foot by their superiors, were sinking into savages. From the coast of Sussex was reported the novel and yet unheard-of crime of wrecking. A corn-vessel was driven on shore in a gale; the crew escaped with their lives, and begged for help to save the cargo, but the famished peasants, without other care, plunged upon the corn-sacks. The people, it was said, 'did increase and grow too much disobedient, robbing, killing, hunting, without any fear, for lack of execution of the laws.' The ancient yeomanry were perishing under the new land system; the labourers, chafing on the edge of insurrection, starved, or lived by lawlessness.
The disorganization had penetrated among the traders and manufacturers. English cloth, like English coin, had, until these baneful years, borne the palm in the markets of the world. The Genoese and the Venetian shipowners took in cargoes of English woollens, in the Thames, for the East. English woollens were the staple with which the Portuguese sailed to Barbary and the Canaries, to the Indies, to Brazil and Peru. The German on the Rhine, the Magyar on the Danube, were clothed in English fustian. So it had been once—so it seemed it was to cease to be. The haste for riches, well-gotten or ill-gotten, was become stronger than honour, patriotism, or probity. The guilds were powerless when the officers of the guilds were corrupt. And now came from Antwerp the news that huge bales of English goods were lying unsold upon the wharves, 'through the naughtiness of the making;' and yet more shameful, that woollens, fraudulent in make, weight, and size, were exposed in the place of St Mark with the brand of the Senate upon them, as damning evidence of the decay of English honesty with the decay of English faith.
Such was the state of things which lay before the successors of Somerset. They were called upon to fight against a corruption which had infected the whole community, and among the rest, had infected themselves. It was easier and pleasanter to earn the title of ministers of God by patronizing teachers who insisted on the worthlessness of 'good works,' and could distinguish correctly between imputed and infused righteousness. Yet there were not wanting honest men who saw in what was round them not the triumph of the gospel, but the disgrace and dishonour of it. Latimer, not always practically wise, was consistent in his hatred of evil, and he was not afraid to speak the truth in the face of the world.
The preacher was closing the third course of sermons which he had delivered before the Court. The King was present, the privy council, and the household. He spoke of Nineveh and of Jonah. He sketched the condition of England, where profligacy was no longer held a crime, but something to be laughed at; where the law was so weak, that neither the gentlemen could be compelled to do their duty as landowners, nor the people be kept from rebellion; where avarice seemed to be the only spirit to which men any longer acknowledged obedience, and the officers of the 'Government set the worst and most glaring examples.
'And now,' he said, 'I will play St Paul, and translate the thing on myself. I will become the King's officer for awhile. I have to lay out for the King twenty thousand pounds—a great sum, whatsoever it be. Well, when I have laid it out, and do bring in mine account, I must give 300 marks to have my bills warranted. If I have done truly and uprightly, what should need me to give a penny to have my bills warranted? If I have done my office truly, and do bring in a true account, wherefore should one groat be given? No man giveth bribes for warranting his bills except the bills be false.'
'I speak to you,' he continued, 'my masters, minters, augmentationers, receivers, surveyors, and auditors. I make a petition unto you. I beseech you all be good to the King. He hath been good to you, therefore be good to him; yea, be good to your own souls. Ye are known well enough what ye were before ye came to your offices, and what lands ye had then, and what ye have purchased since, and what buildings ye make daily. Well, I pray you, so build that the King's workmen may be paid. They make their moan that they can get no money. The poor labourers, smiths, gumnakers, carpenters, soldiers, cry out for their dues. They be unpaid some of them three or four months, yea, some of them half a year. Yea, some of them put up their bills this time twelvemonths for their money, and cunnot be paid yet. They cry out for their money, and as the prophet saith, Clamor operariorum ascendit ad aures meas—the cry of the workmen is come up into mine ears. Oh, for God's love, let the workmen be paid if there be money enough, or else there will whole showers of God's vengeance rain down upon your heads. Therefore, ye minters, ye augmentationers, serve the King truly. So build and purchase, that the King may have money to pay his workmen. It seemeth ill-favouredly that you should have enough to build superfluously, and the King lack to pay his poor labourers. I have now preached two Lents. The first time I preached restitution. Restitution! quoth some; what should he preach of restitution? Let him preach of contrition, quoth they, and let restitution alone; we can never make restitution. Then I say, if thou wilt not make restitution, thou shalt go to the devil for it. Choose thou either restitution or else damnation.'
He mentioned a story of some one who, consciencestricken at one of his sermons, admitted that he had robbed the King, and at different times brought him above 500l., which he had paid over to the exchequer. He had said 'to a certain nobleman that was one of the council, if every man that had beguiled the King should make restitution after this sort, it would cough the King twenty thousand pounds.' 'Yea, that it would,' quoth the other, 'a hundred thousand pounds.' 'Alack, alack!' he concluded, 'make restitution. For God's sake make restitution. Ye will cough in hell else, that all the devils there will laugh at your coughing. There is no remedy but restitution, or else hell.'
Before the same high audience Lever, at Paul's Cross, attributed the sufferings of the country to the misappropriation of the chantry lands, which had been taken to serve the King in his necessary charges; while 'the King was disappointed,' 'the poor were spoiled,' 'learning decayed,' and the hangers-on upon the council only 'enriched.'
'Because ye have no eyes,' he said, 'ye shall hear it with your ears. You have deceived the King and the Universities to enrich yourselves. Before you did begin to be disposers of the King's liberality towards learning and poverty, there were in Cambridge two hundred students of divinity, which be now all clean gone, not one of them left. A hundred others that had rich friends, and lived of themselves in ostles and inns, be gone, or be fain to creep into colleges, and put poor men from bare livings. In the country, grammar schools, founded of godly intent to bring up poor men's sons in learning and virtue, be now taken away by reason of greedy covetousness in you that were put in trust by God and the King, to erect and make grammar schools. The alms yearly bestowed in poor towns and parishes, to the great displeasure of God, yea and contrary to God's Word and the King's laws, ye have taken away.
'The people of the country say that their gentlemen and officers were never so full of fair words and ill deeds as now they be. A gentleman will say he loveth his tenant, but he keepeth not so good a house to make him cheer as his father did; and he taketh more fines and greater rents than his father had. Another saith he would have an office to do good in his country; but as soon as he hath authority to take the fee to himself, he setteth his servants to do his duty, and instead of wages, he giveth them authority to live by pillage, bribery, and extortion.
'My lords of the laity and clergy, in the name of God I advertise you to take heed. When the Lord of Hosts shall see the flock scattered, spilt, and lost, if he follow the trace of the blood, it will lead him straightway unto this Court.'
There must have been good influence as well as bad in high places, or Latimer and Lever would not have been allowed to denounce to the world in such style the offences of Government officials. Perhaps the accusations were held to be retrospective, and reflected shame on the displaced Somerset. But this was not the whole.
A return of a nobler and also a wiser spirit began to show itself here and there among individuals. While the endowments of schools and hospitals were fraudulently made away with, and, in spite of the change of Government, continued to be pilfered, the Lord Mayor for the year 1549, Sir Rowland Hill, among other large charitable grants, founded and endowed a free school at Drayton, in Shropshire. Sir Andrew Judd, his successor in 1550, 'erected a notable free school at Tunbridge,' built a cluster of almshouses for poor men there, and left lands in trust to find a master and undermaster, and the necessary supplies for the pensioners; and the example was followed widely elsewhere.
More remarkable, because implying a vigorous originating understanding, was an attempt, commenced in London by William Cholmley, to create work on a large scale for the men whom the grazing sj^stem had thrown out of employment. Accepting the new condition of things, and assuming that thenceforward sheepfarming and cloth-making would form the chief occupations of the country, he set himself to turn the change to advantage with the instinct of a political economist.
English cloth had hitherto been carried to Holland and Belgium to be dyed, and hundreds of thousands of Flemings found lucrative employment in completing the manufacture before it was shipped from Antwerp for other parts of the world. Cholmley having found by experiment that Thames water was as good for dyeing purposes as the water of the Low Countries, imported Flemish workmen to teach his own English servants. Having mastered their secret, he offered his discovery, through the Government, as a free gift to his countrymen; and, in urging the council to take advantage of his proposal, he added a remarkable prophecy that, if England would develope its manufactures, and rely only upon itself for the completion of them, the trade of Antwerp would droop, and London become the mart of Europe.
The country in due time would reap the fruits of the intellect and enterprise of Cholmley and others like him. The Government of Edward VI. could afford but small attention to such things. The council, September.had but one all-absorbing occupation—to find means, without sacrificing their own share of the public plunder, for paying the debts which Somerset had bequeathed them. The bills of the Flanders Jews, renewed half-yearly with interest at fourteen or fifteen per cent., and twelve per cent, deducted also on the exchange, were a frightful incubus. They must pay, or they must give bonds to pay, in sterling silver, while the Crown rents and the subsidies were paid in a currency which was but half its nominal value; and the problem taxed to the uttermost their financial ingenuity. The four hundred thousand crowns were paid by the French for Boulogne, and perhaps cleared off some trifle of the score; but the possession of so large a sum of money tempted the treasury into speculations which would kill or cure. Of the second payment of the French,' says Edward, 'ten thousand pounds were appointed to win money to pay the next year to outward countries, and it was promised that the money should double every month.' The fate of the ten thousand pounds need not be inquired into. The Flanders State Papers contain little at this time but monotonous repetitions of the spendthrift's story—bills renewed as they fell due, and fresh loans to pay the interest of the old.
The currency was the great resource; and a notable scheme was invented by which it was hoped the debts in England could be all cleared off. October.'It was agreed,' Edward wrote, 'that Yorke, Master of the Mint at the Tower, should make his bargain with me—viz., to take the profit of silver rising out of the bullion that he himself brought should pay all my debts to the sum of 120,000l. or above, and remain accountable for the overplus, paying no more but 6s. and 6d. the oz., till the exchange was equal in Flanders—also that he should declare all his bargains to any should be appointed to oversee him, and leave off when I would; for which I should give him 15,000l. in prest, and leave to carry 8000l. over sea to abase the exchange.'
From this scarcely intelligible entry it would be gathered only that some financial evolution was about to be practised which would make two shillings out of one, or something to that effect; and that the Crown was to commence with a sacrifice of 15,000l. The real nature of the project, however, with the probable effects to be expected from it, was explained a few weeks after, in a remarkable letter from a London merchant to Cecil; and it is well to see with contemporary eyes the extent and bearing of that deep evil which the Government, in despair perhaps of any better resource, persisted in inflicting upon the country—teaching the people to execrate, however unjustly, the very name of a Reformation which had brought so dark a curse upon them.
'Forasmuch,' wrote a certain William Lane to Cecil, 'as you be in place where matters concerning our commonwealth are many times talked of, and I in my heart wishing a redress of things that seemeth to me amiss, I am so bold as to utter to you my judgment in these cases following, without redress whereof our commonwealth shall run headlong into more misery; and for that I see a present mischief in hand or coming, I would it were prevented with speedy remedy.
'Of late not twelve days passed I talked with Mr Yorke of the mint, who showed me that he was in hand to make a new coin of fine silver that should be eleven oz. fine, and coined in pieces of two shillings the piece, whereof five pieces or a little more should make one oz.; whereof I made the reckoning that one oz. of silver fine being sold to the mint at 6s. 8d, being coined, should make eleven shillings to be paid out again, or little more or less. I said, although the silver were fine, yet was it too dear and the money naught. He answered, that it was richer than the other money late made, or now amaking, and much other communication we had not.
'Now, forasmuch as it is well known that the exchange between our realm and other foreign realms is the very rule that settleth the price (goods cheap or dear) of almost all things whereof is no scarcity, as well of the commodities and merchandise of this realm as of other foreign commodities brought hither, I will therefore declare what present mischief hath happened since my communication with Yorke, and in these six days hitherward. The exchange as well for Flanders as for France and Spain among the merchants has fallen about seven per cent, by reason of the news of the new coin coming forth, which the people will more better make the reckoning of, and understand the value of now in fine silver, than before in the mixture—which fall of the exchange cometh for fear of the littleness of our silver coin, and is the only cause that all we the merchants of England do rob England and carry away all the gold in the land to foreign realms, for that it is to a more profit than the exchange. And the like of this mischief happened here in England in the months of June, July, and August last, in the which three months were carried out of England not so little as 100,000l. of gold (and yet did silver come into England as fast and all for the private gain in coining the silver), for that the pound of gold is richer than the pound of white money; which mischief now present doth cause our gold to be bought up. And when of late the King did call the French crown from 7 shillings to 19 groats, they be now bought up for 7s. 3d. and 7s. 4d., to be carried away as all other gold; so that shortly we shall be quit of all our rich money for a base coin; and then shall follow a greater fall of the exchange, which is the father of all dearth of almost all things that man occupieth.
'If we in England should coin six years to come so much white money as we have done in six years past of the value that now goeth, the plentifulness of the money and the baseness thereof together should bring our commonwealth to that pass that, if you should give a poor man three shillings a day for his day's labour, yet you should scarce pay him such a hire as he might live thereof, which God defend should come to pass; and the private gain in coining silver is the cause of long continuance in coining still; which excess of gain in coining, and continuance of the same, shall bring to pass as is aforesaid, if speedy redress be not had in that behalf. And yet to new fine our base coin cannot be done without more charge than maybe borne of the King or the commons.
'Further, this said fall of the exchange within these four days hath caused, or will cause, cloth to be bought at 56l. the pack, which before would not have been bought for 52l. the pack; so that you may perceive that the exchange doth engender dear cloths, and dear cloths doth engender dear wool, and dear wool doth engender many sheep, and many sheep doth engender much pasture and dear, and much pasture is the decay of tillage, and out of the decay of tillage springeth the scarcity of corn and the people unwrought, and constraineth the dearth of all things. I have, for these six or eight years passed, perceived our commonwealth to be grown into such a costliness and chargeableness of living and expense of foreign commodities, a great part not needful, that the trial being made by the King's customs, you shall find that we spend and consume within this realm such sums and quantities of foreign commodities that all the wool, cloth, tin, lead, leather, coal, and other merchandise to be carried out of this realm, is not able to countervail, pay, or recompense for the said merchandise brought into the realm by one quarter part at least. And so long as the bringing in of superfluous commodities shall exceed in value the richness of our commodities carried out, so long and so much must you needs grant me, that our realm is impoverished, either in money or otherwise. That man which spendeth in a year more than the stynte of his lands and travail of his body doth gain, must needs decay and grow into debt, as doth our whole realm in this point. And yet of late days I understand that there is a restraint of lead not to be carried out of England, which, whosoever did invent, studied as much the hurt of the commonwealth as he that invented that no coals should be conveyed from Newcastle into any foreign port but in a French ship, which, although it is but a coal matter, is such a hindrance to a part of our commonwealth as is worthy of redress.
'And, forasmuch as I have spoken of coals, I will say a little more. If it were well-considered what was to be done in the coals of England for the benefit of our land, and an order therein set to the most commodity of this realm, it should be found much more beneficial to the commonwealth than it is now taken for; for it might well maintain in England three of our decayed towns or cities, besides the setting on work of three hundred ships daily more than it doth, and the mariners thereof.
'But in the mean time, and out of hand, for God's sake, sir, set forward some remedy for the other matter, that we the merchants carry not away all our rich money, and leave the base money here still. Once the excess of the private gain in coining to other men—supposed as to the King—may be taken away, and also our base coin of white money called down to fifteen shillings in the pound though it be not enough, yet will it do great service for the time, and keep many things at a stay which else will come to misery. And although this takes no place, for divers respects known to the rulers and not to me, yet I say there is many more reasons herein to be made which I omit. Sir, I most heartily desire you not to be offended with me for writing this my poor and simple judgment in matters of weight appertaining to councillors or other wise men; for God I take to record, my heart bleedeth in my body to see and perceive the things that be out of frame, and the misery coming towards us, if it be not prevented.'
Free English thought would reform in time the economy of the State, as well as the religion of it; but Governments are deaf to remedies of slow growth. Cecil preserved the letter among his papers—perhaps he submitted it to his chiefs, but to no present purpose.
The immediate scheme of the Master of the Mint came to nothing. His purchase of bullion in Flanders was interrupted by the authorities at Brussels. But the plate which England could supply travelled along the same bad road, and all the mints, through the whole year of 1550, plied their abominable trade. Zeal against superstition was the universal pretext for the pillage of the churches. The shrines and crucifixes were already gone. This year, 'the King's Highness having need of a mass of money,' an order of council went out for all the plate remaining in all the churches in England to be brought to the treasury. 'All the church plate in the Tower was to be melted into wedges' for the great cesspool; and so narrow was the gleaning, that 'the gold, silver, and jewels' were 'ordered to be stripped' from the mass books, legend books, and such like, in his Highness's library at Westminster. It is to be admitted that the public expenditure was slightly reduced, the debts partially paid off—but it was only by defrauding the public of the means—through the currency. To conceal the trick which they were practising, or to prevent the consequences of it, Warwick and his friends endeavoured to enforce violently an arbitrary system of prices. The harvest of 1550 was a bad one. The existing scarcity was aggravated by a failure of the crops. The magistrates were ordered to give the farmers everywhere a scale on which they were to dispose of their produce. If they would not sell, the constables were to enter into possession, to survey their yards, their cattlesheds, and their dairies, and to sell for them, at the official prices, whatever should appear to have been raised for the market, and not for consumption at home: the proclamation having been received with an outcry, the magistrates were to raise the force of the shires if necessary, to arrest and send to London any wanton or disobedient person who ventured to resist.
If it was so difficult, however, to enforce just prices against the opposition of self-interest, it was not to be supposed that English farmers would submit to have unjust prices forced upon them. The council quailed before the howl of indignation which rose over the country when force was threatened. In a few weeks they were compelled to confess their error, and 'from henceforth to suffer articles of food to be at liberty, and to be sold to no other than the buyers and sellers could reasonably agree upon.'
But it was a bad business—not to be forgotten, when we would explain to ourselves why the English nation acquiesced so readily in the reaction under their coming sovereign.
To return to more interesting subjects.
The Duke of Somerset, on the 18th of February, received a formal pardon. April.In the beginning of April he resumed his duties as a privy councillor. June.On the 3rd of June his reconciliation with Warwick was cemented by the union of Lady Anne Seymour with Lord Ambrose Dudley. The summer pageant of the marriage ceremony was at Shene upon the Thames. The King was present, and the French ambassadors also, who had arrived in England on the conclusion of the peace, and had been entertained by the lords in a series of gorgeous entertainments. On the 4th, the day following, Lord Robert Dudley (Earl of Leicester afterwards) was also married at the same place—the fact being chiefly memorable through its consequences—to the daughter of Sir John Robsart.
These scenes of brilliancy had followed close upon another scene which was not so brilliant. May.In May, Joan Bocher, a Kentish woman, who had been left in prison by Somerset's heresy commission, had been sent to the stake. She was a pious worthy woman, it appears, a friend of Anne Askew, who had died the same death a few years previously. Her crime was an erroneous opinion on the nature of the incarnation; and, inasmuch as the statute for the punishment of heresy by death had been formally repealed, the authorities were obliged to fall back upon the traditions of the common law—much as if a judge in these days was to order a man to be hanged for sheep-stealing, notwithstanding the alteration of the law, because hanging was the ancient traditionary treatment to which sheep-stealers were liable. Ridley reasoned with Joan the day before her execution: 'it was not long ago,' she said, 'since you burnt Anne Askew for a piece of bread, yet came yourselves to believe the doctrine for which you burnt her; and now you will burn me for a piece of flesh, and in the end you will believe this also.' She would not recant, and so she died, being one of the very few victims of the ancient hatred of heresy with which the Reformed Church of England has to charge itself. Yet, although Protestants were instinctively more susceptible of the altered feelings which the progress of time and of the world brings with it—although earlier than Catholics they awoke to a wiser judgment of the nature of theological errors—the doctrine of persecution is nevertheless an essential part of all dogmatic systems, and the causes which first compelled the Reformed Churches to toleration, have acted more slowly, but with equal effect, upon their rival. The Court of Rome could as little venture at the present day to send an unbeliever to the stake, as the Court of St James's; and the code of canon law for which the Reformers of the Church of England desired the sanction of Parliament, was no more tolerant of what the Church of England considers heresy, than the code of the Inquisition.
The council could prosecute heretics. They were earnest, too, in the purification of the faith from superstition. The conscientious acceptance of the Prayer-book was possible as yet to believers in transubstantiation. The Prayer-book, with the help of the foreign refugees, was about to be revised, and Ridley was no sooner settled in the See of London, than he undertook in his own diocese to anticipate the alterations. June 11.On the 11th of June, at night, the altar at St Paul's was taken down, and a table erected in its place, signifying in the change that the body of the Saviour was no longer broken and offered in the sacrament, but that human beings merely partook together of innocent bread and wine. The council followed up the Bishop, and directed the same change to be introduced throughout England. The Bishop of Chichester, hesitating to obey, was summoned to London, and shut up with Gardiner, Bonner, and Heath. The Bishop of Durham, who was also one of the recusants, being one of Henry's trustees, was less easy to deal with. A charge of conspiracy was brought against him; but it broke down for want of evidence, and for the present he was left at liberty. Dr Chedsey was sent to the Fleet for seditious preaching, and White, the warden of Winchester, for having in his possession anti-Protestant books.
The next movement—in the confidence that the Emperor was not in a situation to resent it—was against Mary; and the consequences were more serious than the council expected.
I must again review briefly the state of things on the Continent. 1549
Nov. 10.On the 10th of November, 1549, the chair of St Peter fell vacant. Paul III. had ended his pontificate—broken-hearted, it was said, at the revolt of his grandson Octavio; but his age (he was 82), and the anxieties and labour of the fifteen years of his reign, would rather cause surprise at the strength which had endured so long. Men who have spent their lives in political battles, who have had some years' experience of the dispositions of their fellow-creatures, do not die of small disappointments, and the intellectual sinew of Paul would not have been broken by the disobedience of a boy. Yet, if by such a cause his last hours were embittered, he was punished in his solitary weakness of affection for his kindred. If consistency and dauntless bearing command respect wherever they are found, Paul III., as a ruler of men, may claim a place among the politically great. On the death of Clement VII. the Papacy was dying, the human life was gone from it. But the phantom had risen from the grave, and was again towering up over Europe in menacing grandeur. Scotland had been saved; France, which was trembling on the edge of revolt, had returned to partial allegiance; the Smalcaldic League was broken; and, in dying, Paul might feel that the Reformation had spent its force, that the worst was over. But who was to succeed? France had its nominee, and the Empire had its nominee. Reginald Pole offered himself in the interests of religion. An Italian faction, under the young Cardinal Farnese, Octavio's brother, held the balance among the rival parties, and Farnese was said to be Imperial. It was reported at Brussels that he had promised Charles twenty voices in favour of any one that he might name; and scandal added that, to settle all questions, Charles might perhaps nominate himself. Such a solution of European difficulties would have been as complete as it was, unfortunately, impossible. The cardinals went to work at the end of December, and the first favourite was Pole. Farnese was personally for him, the Imperialists were not against him, and Pole at one time was so confident of success, that he composed an oration to the conclave to be delivered on his election. But the Italians generally were lukewarm, and the French were hostile. Once, at a midnight meeting, if we may believe a theatrical story of Beccatelli, there was a moment when the feeling was so far in his favour that he might have been chosen on the spot by adoration. But the opportunity, if it existed, was allowed to pass. Morone, a decided Imperialist, was proposed next, and proposed by Pole himself; but the French were able to keep out Morone, though unable to carry their own candidate Salviati; and, in the end, Farnese brought forward the president of the council at Bologna, Cardinal del Monte; del Monte having privately promised that, if elected, he would forsake France, no longer oppose the Emperor, restore Parma to Octavio, and reunite the council at Trent.
Easy, timid, and self-indulgent, Cardinal del Monte was a neutral character on which opposing factions could agree. On him the choice fell at last; and under the name of Julius III. he occupied (his dwarfed dimensions could not fill) the vacant throne of Paul III. His first act showed the conduct which was to be looked for from him. A Pope, on his election, was allowed by custom to bestow the red hat which he vacated at his own private pleasure. Julius III. raised to the high dignity of a cardinal a favourite and beautiful page who had the care of his Holiness's monkey. The new Jupiter, the irreverent world exclaimed, had taken up into heaven a second Ganymede.
So much for the Papacy. The Emperor now supposed that his difficulties would be at an end. The council would collect again at Trent, and the Germans would be compelled to submit to it. The Diet was summoned to meet at Augsburg at midsummer; Prince Philip was sent for from Spain; and theological and political questions merging into one, the representatives would be invited, not only to give their allegiance to the council, but to make the Empire hereditary, and to nominate Philip as Charles's successor. Ferdinand, King of the Romans, and presumptive successor, had promised, it was said, to relinquish his pretensions in Philip's favour; and though Ferdinand disclaimed any such engagement, and his son Maximilian had no inclination to make way for his cousin, the Emperor believed that he could bear down opposition. The Pope was in his interests, and the Catholic States of Germany would act as the Pope wished; while they were secretly promised that the Lutheran divines should appear at the council, not as members upon equal terms, but as accused persons, upon their trials.
Magdeburg continuing to hold out against the Interim, was declared under the ban of the Empire. The London council having followed in the ways of Somerset, there was no longer a question of a renewal of intimacy with England. After a quarter of a century of patience Charles imagined at last that he could declare himself openly as the enemy of heresy in all its forms.
On the 29th of April, before leaving Brussels for the Diet, he issued an edict for the government of the Netherlands, which bore in time its fatal fruit in the Alva persecutions. He had done his best, he said, by moderate measures to keep his subjects to the true faith. He had learnt, to his sorrow, that not only were they infected too deeply to be cured by moderate means, but that foreigners who traded amongst them (he alluded particularly to the English), were systematically spreading contagion in their towns. Be the consequences what they might, heresy should now come to an end; heretical books should circulate no longer in his dominions; he would have no conventicles, no re-baptizings, no conspiracies, no disputings on doubtful passages in Scripture. The saints should receive their honours; the municipal liberties of the towns should no longer protect evil deeds and evil doers; and he would trifle no longer in inflicting punishment.
'Men and women,' said the Emperor, 'who disobey my command shall be punished as rebels and disturbers of public order. Women who have fallen into heresy shall be buried alive, and men shall lose their heads, even if they desist from their errors; if they continue obstinate, they shall be burnt; and whichever be their punishment, their goods shall be forfeited: they shall be incapable of making a will: from the moment of their proved delinquency, their acts as citizens shall be null and void: if man or woman be suspected of heresy, no one shall aid, protect, or shelter him or her; they shall be denounced to the nearest inquisition. Those who have fallen into heresy, who of their own accord have repented and been received to grace, if they again reason or argue on the subject of their errors, shall be punished as relapsed: those who are suspected, although there be no proofs against them, shall abjure and do penance; no honour, public office, or dignity whatsoever, shall be conferred on any man who has once been tainted: no stranger shall be admitted to a lodging in any inn or private house unless he bring with him a testimonial of orthodoxy from the priest of the place where he has resided. The inquisitor-general shall have power to examine into the belief of every man, from the highest to the lowest, and all and any officers of all kinds shall assist the inquisitor, at their peril if they neglect or refuse; those who know where heretics are concealed, shall denounce them, or shall suffer as heretics themselves: those who give up heretics to justice shall not be liable to punishment, though they be themselves heretics, if they will for the future conform. And the penalties hereby threatened shall be inflicted, and shall not be relaxed; and judges who neglect their duty shall not escape unpunished. Those who are cited and do not appear shall be assumed to be guilty, and treated as guilty; those who intercede for offenders shall suffer as abettors of heresy.'
The circumstantial minuteness of the edict carried terror into every town in the Low Countries. Orthodoxy was no security, unless accompanied with the extinction of all human charity. From city and village streams of refugees poured out toward the ports, and on board vessels bound for England. England became the island of refuge to which the exiled Flemings brought, with them their arts and industry; and, as forlorn and naked they set foot upon the British shores, the honourable humanity with which they were received, sheltered, and sustained must be counted among the not too many virtues of Edward's ministers. Austin Friars was made over to those who remained in London, with lands and farms to support their clergy; and the clergy themselves were enrolled as a body corporate and exempt from the Bishop's jurisdiction. The Duke of Somerset at his own expense established a colony of Walloon weavers among the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey.
The Emperor meanwhile went resolute to Augsburg, where he carried a vote in the Diet binding Germany to submit to the Council of Trent. The Duke of Mecklenburg entered the territory of the Magdeburgers. They made a sortie upon him, and were defeated utterly, with the loss of their artillery. The fate of Lutheranism appeared to be sealed; yet the Magdeburgers still would not surrender. Surrender, they said grandly, implied the mass, and the mass they would receive never. But they could die without difficulty; they made up their minds to the worst; and the news of the edict in the Low Countries did them service, bringing the old soldiers of the Landgrave and the Elector to their aid in thousands. In all reasonable probability, however, their resistance was hopeless. The Diet voted a force, the command of which they petitioned the Emperor should be given to Duke Maurice. The Emperor, who, notwithstanding the Duke's resistance to the Interim, and his suspicious absence from Augsburg (he had been represented there by deputy), either trusted him or did not choose to appear to distrust him, consented; and Maurice relieved the Duke of Mecklenburg, took the field in November, and laid formal siege to the city.
It was at this moment, when the Emperor was at the height of his confidence, and England was harassed, distracted, and impoverished, that the opportunity was taken to withdraw the privilege from the Princess Mary of using her own religion, and of compelling her to submit to the Act of Uniformity, April 15.When a hint of what was intended went abroad, the Imperial ambassador made a formal request that she should not be interfered with. He was met with a direct refusal; and although no immediate steps were taken, yet Mary had reason to know that before long constraint would be used towards her, July.and arrangements were contrived between herself and the Regent of the Low Countries for her escape to Antwerp. The Flemish admiral, Skipperus, was on the coast of Essex, and had been inspecting the landing-places. The princess was to ride down some night, under cover of the darkness, from her house at New Hall, and Skipperus would be in the way to carry her off. The project was not new. On her mother's death, fifteen years before, a similar escape had been contemplated, and had been relinquished, perhaps out of dread of Henry's resentment. The difficulty was now less considerable. Mary was older and more experienced. Her escape, it was thought, would be easy, and when accomplished, would be followed by war and insurrection. The peers of the old blood, more than ever discontented at the aspect of public affairs, had withdrawn in displeasure to their estates; and as Warwick attached himself more and more to the ultra-Protestants, a second schism was making itself felt among the council. A State paper, unfortunately imperfect, reveals the opinion of Sir William Cecil on the seriousness of the situation.
'The Emperor,' says this paper, 'is aiming at the sovereignty of Europe, which he cannot obtain without the suppression of the Reformed religion; and unless he crushes the English nation, he cannot crush the Reformation. Besides religion, he has a further quarrel with England on account of the Lady Mary, and the Catholic party will leave no stone unturned to bring about our overthrow. We are not agreed among ourselves. The majority of our people will be with our adversaries; and it is reasonable to think that, although so long as all is quiet the Crown can maintain tranquillity, should war break out, they will listen rather to what they will consider the voice of God calling on them to restore the Papacy, than to the voice of the King calling on them to obey. The great body of the peers—some of the council—all the bishops except three or four—almost all the judges and lawyers—almost all the justices of the peace—the priests and vicars—will be on the same side; and the commons are in such a state of irritation, that they will rise at a word.'
To add to the peril, there seemed a danger of a fresh rupture with France. In the late peace all questions save that of Boulogne had been reserved for future settlement, and among these were many which could not be allowed to lie over. In the anomalous character of the war, during its earlier stages, merchant ships had been taken on both sides by privateers, and it was uncertain whether they were lawful prizes. The French desired that a joint commission should sit to settle all maritime claims. The English council said that they had no power by law to consent to such a commission; their own Admiralty Court had been constituted for the express purpose of dealing with maritime questions, and dealing with them by the civil law of Europe, not by the common law of England. The complaints of French merchants against English cruisers must be heard there or nowhere.
Another cause of difference was the Calais frontier. On the edge of the Pale an abbey had stood called Sandingfeldt, which, in old times, with the estates attached to it, had, as Church property, been neutral ground. The abbey had been suppressed, and the land secularized, but the rights over it asserted by the English were denied by the French. They, too, on their side, entered into possession, built farms, and broke the ground, and a series of petty collisions had followed between the labourers.
On the part of the English Government, a third grievance appeared, which seemed as if it was caused by a feeling of revenge for their bad success in Scotland. The natural route from Paris to Edinburgh lay through London. The Archbishop of Glasgow, returning out of France, neglected to apply for a passport; he was taken prisoner, and held to ransom; and Lord Maxwell, who did apply, was refused. The prisoners taken at St Andrew's, though still detained in France, had been released from, the galleys and prisons at the peace, through English intercession. The French Court desired that the Archbishop and other Scotch prisoners in England should be set at liberty in return. Mason, instructed by the council, said that, if the Scots might go where they pleased, the Archbishop should go also. Henry answered good-humouredly, but nothing was concluded.
Two factions continued to divide the Paris Government. The Ultramontanes, the Guises, and Catherine de' Medici, were for peace and alliance with the Emperor. They hated England; they desired to follow up at Calais their success at Boulogne, and they made the most of these petty disagreements. Montmorency and the King inclined to the older anti-Austrian policy, and the tone of the Court changed from day to day.
The English council, on mature thought, released the Archbishop, and Henry released the Scots; but Mason wrote that he had no confidence, and knew not what would happen. 'Trust them,' he said, "as you will best trust to yourselves; and the best trusting of another is so to trust him as, if he would deceive, he shall not be able to bring his deceitful intent to pass.'
Owing to cross influences and want of will, the other differences could not be arranged. The Constable and the King declared privately their own desire that peace might be maintained, but with an evident doubt if it would be possible. 'Means might be found,' they hinted, that is to say, the English might, if they liked, relinquish formally their claims on the Queen, of Scots, and accept a French princess for Edward in her place. That would be something, but without it the Guises' influence would probably prevail.
DecemberAt length, Mason wrote, in the last week of December, 'in a great assembly at the Court, some one,' probably the Duke of Guise himself, 'in a studied oration persuaded the war against England, and to declare the likelihood of good success therein, he set forth the lack of government, of captains, of victuals, money, and munition; and the people,' he said, 'were so ill-contented, as never looked the lark so much for the day as they did for the entry of some foreign prince; so was it the easiest thing in the world not only to annoy England, but de nous emporter de tout, and now was the time to recover all the dishonour that France had in times past sustained by that peevish isle.'
Indeed, the ambassador said, something must be done, and done quickly; 'were it nothing more than the stay of our own people at home; we are at this present so loose with all the world, that our surety hangeth as it were but in the wind; a strait league with a notable knot would restore unto us our reputation abroad, which undoubtedly is not undecayed.'
Never perhaps was England in a position which demanded greater skill, wisdom, and energy; and what were her statesmen doing? and what had they been doing? June.They had prevented Mary's escape; and they had not as yet forcibly altered the service in her chapel. They had taken precautions also for their own personal security; a hundred yeomen had sufficed to guard the Court in the stern times of Henry VIII.; in the era of liberty it was necessary to raise them to a thousand. For the rest, they were engaged on two matters of grave magnitude—the prosecution of Gardiner, and the great vestment controversy.
The Duke of Somerset was again powerful. In the signatures of the council to public Acts his name once more headed the list. On the 28th of May he carried the nomination of Hooper to the bishopric of Gloucester, against a vehement opposition; and he showed a disposition to re-assert his old pretensions, which alarmed either the jealousy or the regard of Warwick. In some directions, however, he was inclined to use his recovered influence wisely. Ashamed perhaps of the part which he had himself borne in the treatment of the Bishop of Winchester, he moved in council, on the 8th of June, that, considering the Bishop's long imprisonment, if he would now conform himself and be obedient, he should be restored to his diocese. The Duke, Bedford, Northampton, Petre, and the Earl of Wiltshire, went to Gardiner to the Tower, taking with them a copy of the Prayer-book. If he would accept it without reserve, they told him he should be released. The Bishop said that he had been treated with injustice; but, for that matter, he was ready to let the past be the past: as to the Prayer-book, if he accepted it as a prisoner, it would seem as if he had accepted it under constraint; he desired them, however, to leave the book with him; he would examine it, and give them an answer. They complied, and after a few days they returned. The Bishop then told them that, if he had had the making of the book, he would not pretend that he would have made it as it was; but the doctrine of the real presence being recognized, his conscience was satisfied; he would obey the law, and do his best to make his clergy obey. This seemed to be enough. He was weary with his imprisonment, he said. They promised that it should not last any longer; in two days he should be free. The rumours of his approaching liberation spread over London; he himself gave his farewell dinner at the Tower; and the Duke of Somerset, had it rested with him, would have kept his word.
But it was the misfortune of Somerset that he could not do one thing at a time; or, perhaps, in making the promise, he had exceeded his powers. The connection of Warwick with the ultra-Protestants created on his part an extreme unwillingness to see Gardiner again at liberty. Somerset was exerting himself at the same time to obtain the pardon of two of the Arundels, who had been concerned in the Cornwall insurrection. He had taken the part of the Earl of Arundel, who was in disgrace and had been fined; and Warwick's faction suspected him of aiming at the recovery of the Protectorate. They determined to thwart him, therefore, in his attempt to undo his own early injustice; or if Gardiner was to be at large, he should be fettered with other conditions beyond a mere consent to the Prayerbook.
A month was allowed to pass. July 8.At the end of it, on the 8th of July, Warwick, Ridley, and Sir William Herbert carried to the Tower a set of articles for the Bishop's signature, in which he was required to admit the right of the council to exercise, during a minority, the powers of the head of the Church; in which he was to approve the repeal of the Six Articles Bill, with the disuse of fasting; and further, to confess that he had broken faith with the Government, had offended the law, and deserved his punishment. Gardiner signed the articles of faith; he would not degrade himself with signing a confession of fault. He had suffered wrong, but he had committed none, and he would rather, he said, 'tumble himself desperately in the Thames' than plead guilty when he knew that he was innocent. Even if he 'condemned himself,' he could feel no certainty that he would not be betrayed. The privy councillors were resolute on their side. The Bishop might make his submission in other words, if he preferred it; but he should admit himself in fault, or in the Tower he should remain. He begged, 'for the passion of God,' that, if he was guilty, he might be put on his trial, and his guilt proved. He exclaimed against the iniquity of a confinement to which no law had condemned him, and which no justice sanctioned. Ridley told him calmly, 'that it was the hand of God. He was there because he had so troubled other men.'
His subscription to the articles had given the council an advantage over him, and they pursued it. On the July 13.13th of July, besides the required admission of guilt, a fresh list was presented to him, containing propositions dogmatically Protestant, which he was not only required to sign, but to undertake to teach and preach.
He was weary of the Tower. He had surrendered himself to the hope that he was to be free, and he could not part with it. He refused to sign, and again demanded a trial; but he threw himself on the King's mercy; he would accept a pardon, he said, and in accepting it confess that he had offended. The council saw his weakness, and determined to trample on him. He was sent for on the iQth to the presence chamber. The articles were read over to him, and his signature demanded on the spot. He once more insisted that he should be tried. They said he should not be tried—he should submit unequivocally without further words. He was allowed three months to consider his answer; his bishopric, meanwhile, was pronounced sequestered; if at the end of that time he was still obstinate, he was to be deprived.
Remanding Gardiner to the Tower, they took the opportunity of inflicting a special wound on his supporter the Duke of Somerset. On the 18th October 18.of October, before Gardiner's answer was delivered, old Lady Seymour, Somerset's mother, died; and a State funeral would have been the natural and becoming privilege of the grandmother of the reigning sovereign. If she was buried privately, the Duke might have been accused of disrespect to the Crown. If he ordered a public solemnity on his own responsibility, it might provoke jealousy. If he appeared at Court in mourning, it would imply that the Court itself should be in mourning. He thought it prudent, therefore, to consult the council, and this was the result:—The Lords 'weighed with themselves that the wearing of doole and such outward demonstrations of mourning not only did not any ways profit the dead, but rather served to induce the living to have a diffidence of the better life to come to the departed in God by changing of this transitory life; yea, and divers other ways did move and cause scruple of coldness in faith unto the weak.' They reflected, 'besides, that many of the wiser sort, weighing the impertinent charges bestowed upon black cloth and other instruments of those funeral pomps, might worthily find fault with the expense thereupon bestowed.' 'Considering, therefore, how at this present the observation of the times of outward mourning and wearing of the doole was far shortened and omitted, even among mean persons, from that it was wonted to be; considering, further, how private men should reserve their private sorrows to their own houses, and not diminish the presence of their prince with doleful token,' the council, or 'the King,' for they used his name, 'did specially dispense with the said Duke for the wearing of doole either upon himself or upon any of his family, or the continuing of other personal observances such as heretofore were had in solemn use, as serving rather to pomp than to any edifying.'
So singular a theory of the duties of the living to the dead, if sincere, had been hastily adopted, and with equal haste was forgotten. On the 4th of August Lord Southampton had been buried with the usual solemnities, and the funeral sermon had been preached by Hooper. On the 7th of the ensuing March, Wentworth, the Lord Chamberlain, was interred in Westminster Abbey, when 'there was a great doole,' says Machyn, and 'a great company,' and 'Miles Coverdale did preach.'
The three months allowed to Gardiner had now expired, and, after all, for the sake of decency, a trial, and a very tedious one, was conceded to him. A court was formed at Lambeth, where Cranmer presided Ridley, Sir William Petre, Sir James Hales, and two other bishops sat as assessors.
Dec. 15.The case opened on the 15th of December, and the voluminous and weary proceedings were protracted through twenty-two sessions. The Lords of the Council, the officers of the Court, the clergy of Winchester, Gardiner's personal servants, in all more than eighty witnesses, were examined.
The Bishop was accused of having attempted to create a disturbance in his diocese. The charge broke down. He was accused of having armed his household. It was replied that, in common with other gentlemen, he had put his house in a state of defence, in consequence of the disorders of the country. He was convicted of having professed conservative opinions: he was proved to have been suspected by Henry VIII. of a tendency towards Rome, and his name had been therefore omitted from the list of executors. He had been concerned further, three years before Henry's death, in the prosecution of various members of the royal household, when his conduct had been especially displeasing to the King: and it was proved further that Henry believed he had held some secret communication with the Emperor, at the time of his last embassy, on the state of religion in England.
But for these offences he could not be plausibly punished. The prosecution, therefore, turned upon his sermon. He had complied inadequately with the royal injunctions. He had aggravated his offence by irreverent demeanour towards his judges. He was declared, therefore, to have been guilty of a misdemeanour against the commonwealth; and he was pronounced, on the 14th of February, by the president, to be deposed from his bishopric. When his sentence was read, he called his judges 'heretics and sacramentaries.' The council sat the day following to determine on his further punishment; and they decided not only that he should remain in the Tower, but, whereas up to this time he had resided in the King's gallery with some comfort, had been allowed the use of the Tower garden, and his friends had been permitted to visit him—he was now 'to be removed to a meaner lodging,' he was to hold no communication with any person out of doors, his books were to be taken from him, and 'henceforth he should have neither pen, ink, nor paper, to work his detestable purposes.'
Having seen that their orders were executed, the council transmitted an account of the proceedings to the ambassadors at foreign Courts, as something, on the whole, creditable to the Government of a great country.
Seeing that the two great military powers of the Continent were both of them threatening England, and a war with either would probably scatter the whole Protestant party to the winds, the other great question with which they were agitating themselves seems at such a time even more singular.
In the last Parliament a service for the consecration of bishops and priests had been added to the formularies, and had given offence to the ultra parties on both sides. The Anglican was frightened at the omission of the oil, which might impede the transmission of the apostolic powers. The Protestant was outraged at the continued use of 'vestments,' which marked the priesthood as a peculiar body; 'at' the oath 'by God, the saints, and the holy Gospels,' which bishops were to swear on admission to their sees, and at a use of the Bible, which savoured of magical incantation.
March 27.When the service was published, Hooper, the most prominent, but at the same time by far the best and most high-minded of the fanatical faction, denounced it in a lecture before the Court, as treason to the gospel. Cranmer complained of his language to the council, and Hooper was invited to explain himself. The Archbishop spoke with unusual vehemence; but Hooper, who tells the story, says 'that the end was to the glory of God.' His friends supported him, and he was dismissed unpunished.
After this it was no small triumph to his party that, on the death of Wakeman, Bishop of Gloucester, May.Hooper was nominated, by Somerset's influence, as his successor, in the teeth of the whole Episcopal bench. It was understood that in his own person the prelate elect intended to resist the idolatrous usages. 'Hooper,' wrote Christopher Hales to Gualter, 'was appointed Bishop of Gloucester two days since, but under godly conditions. He will not allow himself to be called my lord, as we are wont to say; he will not receive the tonsure; he will not be made a magpie of; nor will he be consecrated or anointed.' 'At his nomination,' said John ab Ulmis, 'a great struggle was made about the ceremonies and vestments of the Popish priests—say, rather, stage actors and fools; but Hooper was victorious.' It must be said that Hooper had not himself courted elevation. He was an unselfish agitator, and when the bishopric was first proposed to him he refused it. But he was the representative of a principle, and his narrow but conscientious inflexibility fitted him to be the champion of an opinion. Edward who was now fourteen, and was steadily taking a part in public business, was one of his chief admirers, and Edward, with Warwick's help, carried his point so far as the powers of the council extended. The abolition of the congé d'élire made the appointment a matter only of letters patent. The oath being to the Crown, the Crown could alter the form or dispense with it. When Hooper pointed out the objectionable name of 'the saints,' the young King flushed up indignantly zealous. 'What wickedness is this?' he said. He took a pen and scratched out the word. But the consecration service could not be so easily got over. It had been affirmed by Act of Parliament; and, although the bishops could have been forced to consecrate by a premunire, had the difficulty been on their side, a premunire could not compel a reluctant nominee to undergo a ceremony which he disapproved.
Cranmer, who had once maintained that the Crown alone could make a bishop, had modified his views. The bench was unanimous that the service must be maintained. As doggedly Hooper declared that he would wear no vestments, he would have no Bible on his neck, he would not change his coat for the best bishopric in England. Warwick interceded, and the boy King talked of putting out the power of the supremacy and dispensing. But Ridley would have no dispensation, and Hooper would have no surplice, and the public world of the Reformers was shaken to its base. The English divines in general took the side of the bishops; the foreign divines were expected to be on the side of the gospel; and Hooper turned first to Bucer, who was then lecturing at Cambridge. To the sad discouragement of the ultra party, Bucer believed that there were things in the world more important than vestments. He had expressed his opinion freely to the council on the condition to which they were reducing England. About the time when the Hooper controversy began, he had told Calvin that there was no religion at all in England. The bishops, he said, were snarling about their doctrines, the lords were appropriating the Church estates and plate, and in their hearts cared nothing for the Reformation at all; clergymen professing to be Evangelicals held four or five livings, and officiated in none; repentance, faith, and good works—the vital parts of religion—no one thought of at all; and unless God worked a miracle for the sake of the innocent King, some great catastrophe could not be far off. In such a disposition he could feel small sympathy with a fever about a white dress and a few gestures. To Hooper's appeal he replied coldly, that for himself he preferred simplicity, when simplicity could be had; but while the great men in England were giving benefices to their grooms—when the services in churches were left to be performed by men who could not read, and might as well be Africans or Hindoos as English—while congregations employed their time in laughing and storytelling, other things, he thought, should be first attended to: if earnest men would set themselves to contend against perjury, and adultery, theft, lying, and cheating, 'the very bones and sinews of Antichrist, whereof he altogether consisted,' the wearing of apparel would in all likelihood admit of settlement afterwards.
Finding no comfort from Bucer, the suffering Hooper turned to Oxford to Peter Martyr; to meet, however, with the same indifference. Peter Martyr told him, like Bucer, that the thing was of no consequence at all—that it was foolish and wrong to quarrel about it. When changes were being introduced of vital moment, the retention of outward forms was not only tolerable, but of high importance and utility; the imaginations of the people were not disturbed, their habits were not shocked; they would listen the more quietly to new doctrines, and the form in due time would follow the matter.
Strange it seemed to Hooper that such men could not see that the evils which they spoke of as of so much importance were the fruits of Antichrist, not the substance of him. It was the form which gave the soul to the matter. The surplice was, as it were, Satan's magic robe and enchanter's cloak of darkness—the secret of his strength and power. Alone he must fight the battle of the Lord, then. His pulpit rang, Sunday after Sunday, with invectives against disguised Popery. He became so violent at last, that he was inhibited from preaching, and commanded to confine himself to his house. His tongue being silenced, he wrote a pamphlet, in which he reflected upon the council; 1551
January.and on the 12th of January he was committed to the custody of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to be 'either reformed or further punished, as the obstinacy of his case required.' In the intervals of Gardiner's trial, Cranmer endeavoured to reason with him; but he found him 'coveting rather to prescribe order to others' than to obey; and to make an end of the matter, the council sent him to the Fleet.
Here, at last, he recovered his senses. The King excused him the oath. He himself agreed to wear the Nessus garment during the few hours of consecration, if he might tear it off before it had poisoned him, and in his own diocese might wear it or not wear it, as he pleased.
So closed this child's battle, leaving us at no loss to understand how before long England might weary of such men and such men's teaching.
The dispute with the Emperor was now threatening to precipitate itself. The council having forbidden Mary her mass, and haying prevented her from escaping out of England, Chamberlain, the English resident at Brussels, wrote on the 12th of January to say that, contrary to the privilege of his office, he had been interdicted in return from using the English communion service. The Flemish ambassador was sent for, and was told that, if Chamberlain was interfered with at Brussels, the council would be obliged to withdraw his own license in England. He said he would report their message; meanwhile in his master's name he repeated the demand which he had presented in the last year, that the. Princess Mary should be allowed to continue in the religion in which she had been educated. When the English Court desired the Emperor's alliance against France, they had given him to understand that the license which she then had should be continued. They had given a promise, in fact, and the promise must be fulfilled.
The council replied that there had been no promise; there had been a conditional toleration for a time, but circumstances had altered, and it was withdrawn. The ambassador answered peremptorily that there had been a promise; and that it had been made to the Emperor himself. The council said it was impossible; no one among them had authority to make any such engagement; and for the thing itself, 'the example was too perilous in any commonwealth to grant a subject license to violate the law;' 'it was too dangerous for a Christian prince to grant a liberty that one of his subjects should use a religion against the conscience of the prince.'
Feb. 22Chamberlain was ambassador in the Low Countries. Sir Richard Morryson was attached to the Court of Charles, and followed him wherever he moved. Through Morryson, therefore, the direct communications of the council were transmitted. They on their side sent their account to him of what had passed. The Flemish ambassador sent his. Morryson reported that the Emperor had received both versions with the greatest displeasure. As to Chamberlain or himself, no services, Charles swore, should be used in his dominions by any foreigners, ambassadors or otherwise, except the ancient services of Christendom. If his own ambassador was interfered with in England, he had orders to leave the country in an hour. Let the council meddle with him if they dared.
The council were too obstinate to yield, too cowardly to persevere: for the moment they did nothing; but they made use of the opportunity of an accidental change of residence, on the part of Mary, to excite suspicion against her, and call out a popular demonstration of patriotism which would strengthen their hands. They issued a circular, expressing a fear that she was in correspondence with foreign powers who contemplated an invasion of England, and they called upon her to appear at the Court and explain herself. Mary obeyed. In the midst of a demonstration indeed, but not such as the Lords had hoped and desired, she rode into London surrounded by a retinue of peers, knights, and gentlemen, every one ostentatiously wearing a chain of beads. March.After resting two days at a house at St John's, she went in the same state through Fleet-street and the Strand to Whitehall, amidst the benedictions of tens of thousands of people. To the fevered imaginations of the citizens, the earth appeared to shake. 'Men in harness' were seen sitting in the air, who 'came down to the ground and faded away.' 'Three suns appeared, so that men could not discern which was the true sun.' The Princess alighted at the palace gate. She was first introduced to the King, and afterwards she went at his side to the council chamber. 'It was then declared to her how long her mass had been suffered in hope of her reconciliation;' as that hope had ceased, it was to be suffered no longer. What was said of her supposed intrigues, or if anything was said, is not certain. The mass was the great question on which all else was turning.
Mary, whose will had never yielded to man, except it was her father, replied that her soul was God's. She would not change her faith, nor would she 'dissemble her opinions with contrary doings.' The council told her that no constraint was laid upon her faith. She must conform her practice. She was not a king to rule, but a subject to obey the laws. Her example might breed inconvenience.
Consistent, however, to her plea, that laws made in a minority were no laws, she would neither admit their argument, nor flinch in her own resolution. The interview led to no results. Mary left the presence, and returned to the house in Essex, from which her removal had been made the pretext of agitation.
The council took no further steps for the next two days. On the 19th the 'Emperor's ambassador' 'came with a short message from his master of war'—the liberty which he demanded for the Princess Mary or war—and Cecil's expectation seemed to be on the edge of fulfilment.
'The Earl of Warwick,' Sir Richard Morryson writes, in describing his conduct on this occasion, 'had such a head, that he seldom went about anything but he conceived first three or four purposes beforehand.' Warwick was meditating an alliance with France, could it be effected. But it might not be effected, and Edward's health was precarious, and he was unwilling therefore to come to an open breach with the Emperor, or to make an irreconcilable enemy of Mary. At the same time he had cast in his lot with the extreme Protestants, to whom Edward was more and more attaching himself. He must therefore keep friends with all, 'that he might, as time should teach him, allow whether of them he listed, and fall in with him that might best serve his practices.'
On the delivery of the Emperor's message, when the councillors were looking in one another's faces, he suggested they were inadequate judges in a case of conscience, and they should consult the bishops. Cranmer, Ridley, and Ponet were sent for. 'The realm, the bishops were told, was in great peril, and like to be utterly undone, if either the Emperor would take no nay or the King would give him no yea;' in such extremity, was it lawful to yield?
The bishops asked if war was inevitable, should the King persist? Being told that there was no hope of escaping it, they begged for a night to consider their answer. The following morning they gave an opinion, as the result of their deliberation, that—
'Although to give license to sin was sin, yet if all haste possible was observed, to suffer and wink at it for a time might be borne.'
The King's attendance was then requested. As Edward entered, the Lord Treasurer (Paulet, Earl of Wilts) fell on his knees, and told him that he and they and the realm were about to 'come to naught.' They must give way, pacify the Emperor, and let the Princess do as she desired; the bishops said that it might be done.
'Are these things so, my Lords?' said Edward, turning to them. 'Is it lawful by Scripture to sanction idolatry?'
'There were good kings in Scripture, your Majesty,' they replied, 'who allowed the hill altars, and yet were called good.'
'We follow the example of good men,' the boy answered, 'when they have done well. We do not follow them in evil. David was good, but David seduced Bathshebah and murdered Uriah. We are not to imitate David in such deeds as those. Is there no better Scripture?'
The bishops could think of none.
'I am sorry for the realm, then,' the King said, 'and sorry for the danger that will come of it; I shall hope and pray for something better, but the evil thing I will not allow.'
So Morryson tells the story, to set off the noble nature of Edward. If Edward, however, was as unreasonable, and the bishops were as absurd, as Morryson describes, wiser arguments proved more conclusive in favour of moderation. To gain time, the council delayed their answer to the ambassador. They determined, not, for the moment, to put a stop to the Princess's mass, but to punish all who attended it except herself; and when the ambassador became pressing, they promised to send a special commissioner to the Emperor, who, it was hoped, would satisfy him. Forced into prudence at last by the peril of the situation to which they had brought themselves, they sent Sir William Pickering at the same time in haste to the Court of France, to ascertain if, on the terms which Henry had hinted to Mason, they could strengthen themselves with some kind of alliance.
If England, however, was still saved from the consequences of the incapacity of its rulers, it again owed its preservation to fortune. The events of Europe had turned the scale at Paris against the schemes of the Guises, and the recovery of Calais was postponed for a few more years. Octavio Farnese, with his duchy of Parma, had been driven backwards and forwards in the eddies of Italian politics. He had been Imperialist when Paul III. kept him from his possessions; he had been reinstated by Julius; but Julius, now on good terms with the Emperor, had attempted again to eject him; and, to save himself, he had thrown himself upon France. Gonzaga still held Piacenza. A French garrison was in Parma. The Pope, to settle the differences between the great Powers, proposed that the duchy should be reannexed to the States of the Church. To this, however, Octavio refused to agree. The French said they would evacuate Parma if Gonzaga would evacuate Piacenza; April.but neither would begin, and each considered the presence of the other a ground for war. The dispute would have come to nothing had there been no other provocation; but the promised return of the council to Trent, with the attempts of Charles to convert the Empire into a despotic sovereignty which he could transmit to his son, roused in Henry of France the spirit of his father; and the unexpected resistance of the Free Towns held out a prospect of reviving his father's policy in supporting the Germans.
Magdeburg would not fall. The siege had been formed in November, 1550. In January the Magdeburgers made a sortie happier than their first, cutting to pieces the Mecklenburg troops and taking the Duke prisoner. Maurice of Saxe, instead of reducing the city, was complaining to Charles of the continual captivity of the Landgrave of Hesse, and attempting some kind of compromise. But the Magdeburgers would hear of no compromise. They would have their freedom—either that or death. Their sacrilegious hands had melted their church bells into cannon, and torn up tombstones for fortifications; yet the cannon did their work, and the fortifications were none the weaker for the material of which they were made. The Elbe was open, and provisions were introduced in abundance. Hamburg and Bremen declared on their side, and the Lutherans in Maurice's army refused to serve against the champions of liberty. The siege made no progress; and if one city could resist successfully, all Protestant Germany would recover heart at the example. The old combination of Francis I. therefore threatened to revive. Henry sent money to Magdeburg. He renewed his alliance with the Turks. The council of Trent was to meet in May; but a separate Gallican synod was again talked of, and letters were actually issued for the assembly of the French bishops. Henry protested, indeed, that he would merely consult his prelates on the repression of heresy; but his excuses were but half believed; it was much doubted whether France would be represented at Trent; and the French ambassadors at Rome were instructed to tell the Pope that the attendance of the Galilean bishops might depend on the admission of the Lutherans.
It was at this conjuncture that the English difficulty came to a point with the Emperor. Warwick had been already corresponding privately with the French Court, and the result of Sir William Pickering's mission was the immediate arrival in London of an agent of Henry. The terms of alliance could not be settled on the spot, but an understanding was arrived at sufficiently clear for present purposes; and on the 10th of April the council were in a position to take up the gauntlet which Charles had flung before them. Doctor Wotton was despatched to Brussels with instructions to say that 'the form of prayer, or usage of the communion, was a thing established by law by consent of Parliament, by which the whole estate of the realm and the King's person were ruled, being such an universal and high court as there was none in all English policy to be compared to it, and therefore supreme over all persons in the realm:' that the Lady Mary was a subject of the realm, and must submit, like others, to the law. As to the ambassadors, if Sir Thomas Chamberlain was allowed to use the English communion in Flanders, the Flemish ambassador might use the mass in England, and if not, not. Friendship could not exist without equality, and the reciprocity which England demanded was no more than was conceded to Turks in Christendom and to Christians in Turkey. Immediately after, Doctor Mallet, one of Mary's chaplains, was arrested and sent to the Tower. Pickering was appointed resident ambassador at Paris, and the Garter was sent to Henry.
Irritated and baffled, Charles turned his first indignation upon the Pope, who, he affected to believe, had been dealing underhand with the French. But the suspicion, if sincere, was without ground. The Pope was innocent of fault, unless incapacity was a fault. He summoned Octavio to appear in Rome within thirty days, and answer for his disobedience; if he failed to present himself, he, his adherents, and abettors were declared excommunicate.
'How shall your King do now?' said Morryson to the French ambassador at Augsburg. 'The Bishop of Rome hath excommunicated all such as give aid to Octavio. Doth he not excommunicate your master, his council, his soldiers, yea, and his horses too?'
'Ma foye,' said the ambassador, 'his words are very large, and perhaps he may stir hornets so long, that the sting will stick, when he shall not be able to pull it out.' And Maurice once more attacked Magdeburg and failed, 'and waxed annoyed with his evil luck,' and began also to correspond with France; and the German Diet refused to nominate Philip as the heir of the Empire, and Gonzaga laid siege to Parma, and the Italian war began again.
Sadly and sullenly Charles rode through Augsburg on the afternoon of the 25th of May. He passed John Frederick, who, on the wayside with his guard, 'made low obeisance.' 'The Emperor cast up his eye, and put his hand towards his cap,' and went on silent, moody, and stern.
END OF VOL. IV.
- Stumphius to Bullinger: Epistolæ Tigurinæ
- John Hooper, whose father, a yeoman perhaps, was still living in Somersetshire, had been brought up at Oxford. He had left England on the passing of the Six Articles' Bill, and had resided in Switzerland, where, as the friend of Bullinger, he had become a strong Genevan. On Edward's accession he came back to London, and was now rising rapidly into notoriety as a preacher.
- Hooper to Bullinger: Epistolæ Tigurinæ.
- I shall pray you, after my hearty commendation to the King and council, to desire both him and them to have matters of religion first recommended, to the end we may be at length all of one opinion; till when, to speak plain unto you, I think I can neither so earnestly nor so thoroughly assist my good brother as my desire is.'—Cheyne to the Council: Strype's Memorials, vol. iii.
- Privy Council Records, MS. 'Plucking down bolts and bars at Westminster, and giving away the King's stuff,' is the vague account which Edward gives in his journal of the charges against Arundel, which, however, he says that Arundel confessed.
- 'I renew my suit unto your lordships, instantly requiring you that I may he heard according to justice, and that with such speed as the delay of your audience give not occasion to such as be ignorant abroad of my matter, to think that your lordships allowed and approved the detaining of me here; which, without hearing my declaration, I trust ye will not, but will have such consideration of me as mine estate in the commonwealth, the passing of my former life among you, and other respects, do require; wherein you shall bind me, and do agreeably to your honour and justice, the free course whereof you have honourably taken upon you to make open to the realm without respect, which is the only establishment of all commonwealths. And therefore the zeal of him was allowed, that said, fiat justitia ruat mundus, signifying, that by it the world is kept from falling indeed, although it might seem otherwise in some respects, and some trouble to arise in doing it. And this I write because in the late Lord Protector's time there was an insinuation made unto me, as though I was kept here by policy, which, with the violation of justice, never took good effect, as I doubt not of your wisdom you can and will consider and do accordingly.'—Gardiner to the Council: Stow.
- Report of the Proceedings against Gardiner: Foxe, vol. vi.
- Dissentients the Earl of Derby, Lords Morley, Stourton, Windsor, and Wharton; the Bishops of Durham, Lichfield, Carlisle, Worcester, Westminster, and Chichcster.—Lords Journals, 3 and 4 Edward VI.
- 3 and 4 Edward VI. cap. 10.
- Ibid. cap. 5.
- Non sine mærore.—Lords Journals, 3 and 4 Edward VI.
- Proceribus eo quod episcopi nimis sibi arrogare videbantur non placuit.—Ibid.
- Printed by Stow and by Foxe.
- Cotton. MSS. Caligula, E. iv.
- Commissioners to the Council: Cotton. MS. Caligula, E. iv.
- One of the French commissioners.
- Paget to Warwick: Lansdowne MSS. 2.
- Correspondence of the Commissioners with the Earl of Warwick: Cotton. MSS. Caligula, E. iv.
- 3 Edward VI. cap. 23.
- Privy Council Records, MS. Edward VI.
- Grey Friars' Chronicle, p. 65.
- She was the wife of a butcher of Nottingham, to whom during his lifetime she was obliged to make an allowance. Ponet in 1551 was divorced from her, and married again. Under the date of July 27, 1551, Machyn says (Diary, p. 8), 'The new Bishop of Winchester was divorced from the butcher's wife with shame enough.' The Grey Friars' Chronicle (p. 70) more explicitly says, 'The 27th day of July, the Bishop of Winchester that then was, was divorced from his wife in Paul's, the which was a butcher's wife in Nottingham, and gave her husband a certain money a year during his life, as it was judged by the law.'
- Hooper to Bullinger, March 27. 1550: Epistolæ Tigurinæ.
- Same to the Same, June 29: Ibid.
- John ab Ulmis to Bullinger, March 25, 1550: Epistolæ Tigurinæ. Warwick is generally said to have been the originator and contriver of Somerset's deposition. John ab Ulmis says, on the other hand, 'These men'—Warwick and Dorset—'exerted their influence and good offices on behalf of the King's uncle who had been plotted against, and restored him from danger of life out of darkness to light.'
- Annals of Anthony Wood. Petition of St John's College to the Duke of Somerset, printed by Wood. Lever's sermon at Paul's Cross, 1550.
- Bucer to Hooper: printed in Strype's Cranmer.
- Bucer to Calvin: Epistolæ Tigurinæ.
- Sermon of Lever: printed in Strype's Memorials, vol. iii.
- Proclamation for Reform of Quarrels and like Abuses in Churches: Cotton. MSS. Titus, B. 2.
- Grey Friars' Chronicle.
- King Edward's Journal: printed in Burnet's Collectanea.
- Lord Delaware to the Council: MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. xi. State Paper Office.
- Quod omnium miserrimum est nobile illud decus, et robur Angliæ, nomen inquam yomannorum Anglorum fractum et collisum est.—Petition of St John's College to the Duke of Somerset: Wood's Annals.
- Report and Suit of a Truehearted Englishman: printed in the Camden Miscellany.
- Harvel to the Council: Venice MSS. State Paper Office.
- Latimer's Sermons before the King.
- Sermon of Thomas Lever, preached at Paul's Cross: Strype's Memorials, vol. iii.
- Request and Suit of a Truehearted Englishman: Camden Miscellany.
- Journal of Edward VI.: Burnet's Collectanea.
- i. e., to the Jews at Antwerp.
- Edward's Journal: Burnet's Collectanea.
- William Lane, Merchant of London, to Sir William Cecil: MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. xiii. State Paper Office.
- Privy Council Records, Edward VI. MS.
- Owing to the carelessness with which the public accounts were kept, it is difficult to ascertain to what the debts of the Crown really amounted at any given time. Bills were renewed as they fell due, and the calculation of money to be provided at any given time only touched what was immediately necessary. It will be seen, however, that, on the whole, Warwick would have accomplished something, had not the remedy which he employed been worse than the disorder to be cured.
- MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. xi.
- MS. Ibid.-Sir John Mason, writing to Cecil, condemned the conduct of the Government as utterly wrong and useless. 'Nature will have her course,' he said, 'and never shall you drive her to consent that a pennyworth shall he sold for a farthing.'—Tytler, vol. i. p. 341.
- Edward's Journal.
- The panegyrists of Edward VI. have described his pathetic agony at signing the death warrant. The entry in his Journal on the subject shows no particular emotion. It is a notice of the punishment of a criminal for an offence for which he certainly had no sympathy.
'Joan Bocher, otherwise called Joan of Kent, was burnt for holding that Christ was not incarnate of the Virgin Mary, being condemned the year before, but kept in hope of conversion—the 30th April the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Ely were to persuade her. but she withstood them, and reviled the preacher that preached at her death.'—Edward's Journal: Burnet's Collectanea, p. 208.
- Strype, Memorials, vol. iii.
- Cranmer and the other authors of the Reformatio Legum, include, in a list of heresies, 'The denial of the inspiration of the Bible,' or 'of the inspiration of the Old Testament,' or 'of the two natures in Christ.' For the way in which these opinions were to be dealt with, they say: 'Fideles omnes in nomine Dei et Domini nostri Jesu Christi obtestamur ut ab his opinionibus pestilentissimis se longissime abducant. Et ab illis etiam vehementer contendimus qui rempublicam et ecclesiam administrant ut istas hæreses ex regno nostro penitus evellendas et radicitus extirpandas quantum in se est curent.'
A heretic was to be tried by a bishop. From a bishop he might appeal to the Court of Arches, and from the Court of Arches to the King's Bench.
'Qui vero,' the proposed law continued, 'qui vero nec admonitionem nec doctrinam ullâ ratione admittuut sed in Hæresi prorsus induraverunt, primum hæretici pronuntientur. A judice deinde legitimæ feriantur excommunicationis supplicio. Quæ sententia cum lata fuerit, si infra spatium sexdecim dierum ab hæresi recesserint, primum exhibeant publice manifesta pœnitentiæ indicia. Deinde solenniter jurent in illâ se nunquam hæresi rursus versaturos. Tertio contrariæ doctrinæ publice satisfaciant, ac his omnibus impletis absolvantur—Cum vero penitus insederit error … tum consumptis omnibus aliis remediis ad extremum ad civiles magistratus ablegetur puniendus, etc.'—Reformatio Legum.
- Strype, Burnet, Stow. Grey Friars' Chronicle.
- Records of Privy Council, MS.
- MS. Ibid: Strype's Cranmer.
- Clarissimæ memoriæ Princeps … arma sæpius moverat adversus Christi hostes, Catholico sanguine a se nunquam respersa. Inchoaverat diuque promoverat concilium ex obstaculis perarduum, ex rebus in eo agitatis amplissimum, et ad reparandam disciplinam prævalidum, inter reliqua, quæ unquam in ecclesiâ coaluissent. Immoderato suam erga stirpem amore se honiinem prodidit. De reliquo herois nomen apud ecclesiam nactus est.—Pallavicino.
Of the personal character of Paul III. strange stories were afloat. Before his death a pamphlet appeared dedicated to one of the Colonnas, and ascribed to Bernard Ochin—(the account of it is given by Sleidan)—charging Paul with crimes which the annals of the Borgias would not parallel. The writer, with circumstantial minuteness, declares that the Pope in his youth had been imprisoned for two murders—that he had poisoned his mother and one of his nephews—that he had poisoned a sister whom he had first corrupted, &c.
The probability is immeasurably great, that all charges produced long after date against persons who have excited the animosity of a theological or political faction are lies.
- Sir Thomas Cheyne to the Council: Strype, vol. iii. p. 298.
- Gratiani: quoted in Pye's Life of Pole.
- Sir John Mason to the Council: Tytler, vol. i. p. 296.
- J'ordonne que ceux qui agiront contre ces défenses soient punis comme seditieux et perturbateurs du repos public, et je condamne les femmes à être enterrées toutes vives, et les hommes à perdre la tête en cas qu'ils désistent de leurs erreurs, mais tous à être brûlés s'ils y demeurent obstinés, et à la confiscation de leurs biens quelque supplice qu'ils subissent.—Sleidan, vol. iii. p. 64.
- MS. Domestic, Edward VI. State Paper Office.
- Edward's Journal, July 13; Burnet's Collectanea, p. 21.
- The plan is detailed in a long letter from the French Ambassador to Charles V., dated Feb. 17, 1536, among the archives at Brussels. The ambassador's alarm for himself is expressed with much emphasis. 'S'il estoit question d'entendre et procéder a l'exemtion de la dicte enterprise, il ne seroit Thonneur de votre Majesté que je restasse icy: car tout le raonde ne sauroit oster de crédulité à Roy par quelque couleur on couverture que l'on y sçait donner, qui ne tint que fusse l'inventeur et promoteur du tout: et par conséquent chose du monde ne me pouvoit eschapper qu'il ne me fit passer le pas. Car en ce comme autres choses voudroit il montrer sa grandeur et donne d'entendre qu'il n'a respect ne crainte de personne.
- There came divers advertisements from Chamberlain, ambassador with the Queen of Hungary, that their very intent was to take away the Lady Mary and so to begin an outward war and an inward conspiracy.—Edward's Journal, August 14.
- Argumenta periculi nisi curâ divertatur, imminentis.—In Cecil's handwriting: MS. Germany, bundle 15, State Paper Office.
- 'Non consentimus inter nos ipsos, neque major multitudo defensare est hanc causam sed potius susceptare adversariorum causam. Major pars magnatum qui absunt ab aulâ, et aliqui eorum qui hic etiam agunt, Episcopi omnes præter tres aut quatuor, judices et legisperiti pæne omnes, justiciariorum pæne omnes, presbyteri et sacrificuli qui suam [agunt] plebem movere possunt in quâvis parte; quia universa plebs irritatur adeo ut facile velit sequi mutationes quascumque.' This paper has a date upon it of November, 1551. But the date on papers of loose notes cannot always be depended on, and internal evidence would refer it rather to November, 1550. By the next year there were more than three or four bishops on the Reforming side.
- Nam ut aliqua æstimatio habeatur cogitandum est quamdiu princeps quietum habeat regnum, tamdiu legibus possit suos regere. Sed si in arma ob defensionem causæ forte fuerint vocati, tum dubium est velintne audire principis vocem, an ut illi indicant Dei pro restaurando Papismo.
- 'As concerning the commissions, answer has been made that in all the Parliaments and generally in the courts of France where law is ministered, though some places have their particular customs, the law civil is observed, kept, and practised, and so it is likewise in the great courts of Brabant, Flanders, and Malines. So that it is easy enough, either for the French King or the Emperor, to appoint persons in any of the said courts or Parliaments to hear any cause that the princes shall think good to appoint and commit unto them. But throughout all this realm of England, in all the courts of justice, are observed the laws of the realm, and all causes and controversies judged by the same, so as no other laws have place—which laws of the realm are not the civil laws, nor are grounded upon them, nor have no conformity unto them, so as the knowledge of the civil law serveth nothing at all for the understanding or exercising of them. Wherefore the King's Highness can appoint none out of his ordinary courts of this realm to hear any kind of causes unless the said causes be judged and determined by the laws of the realm, and not the civil law. And we think the French King's subjects, being ignorant of the said laws of the realm, would not gladly have their causes and matters judged thereby.… Thus it is that forasmuch as strangers are not acquainted with our laws, to shew them favour, the King's Highness's progenitors have thought good to erect and set up a court of matters chanced upon the seas or out of this realm; in the which court process is made and justice is minstered according to the law civil, the which court is called the Admiralty Court; where the said strangers' causes are examined, whether the controversy be between themselves or against the King's subjects. And to the intent that strangers should have the better expedition of their causes, it is ordained that in the said court that process be made summarie et de pleno. And for because that the chief resort of all strangers in this realm is London, therefore the said admiral hath set up his court at London. These things considered, we cannot see nor devise how the French King's subjects' causes may be discussed more for their ease and commodity than in the said Admiral's Court.'—The Council to Sir John Mason, September, 1550: MS. France, bundle 9, State Paper Office.
- MS. France, bundle 9, State Paper Office.
- The council gave a curious reason for their refusal. 'The common passage of Scots and Frenchmen through the realm,' they said, 'is so cumbrous and hurtful to the King's Majesty's subjects, that therein is daily complaints made of the outrages and evil usages of the King's subjects by such Scots and French as daily pass through the realm by post. And yet because we would not seem ungrateful, we have licensed such Frenchmen as come expressly from the French King, or that be commanded by their ambassadors here. And certainly there is double more passage of the French King's servants through this realm than is of the King's Majesty's own—insomuch as for the ease of the people no Englishman here is suffered to ride by post, but upon his own horse.'—Council to Mason: MS. France, bundle 9, State Paper Office.
- 'I have, at your request,' said the French King to Mason, 'set at liberty the Scots, which else, by yon sun, should have rotted in their prisons, so cruel was their murder. By my troth, I cannot tell how to answer the world for lack of justice—one good turn deserves another.'—Mason to the Council, July 20: MS. Ibid.
- Doctor Wotton, writing to Cecil, said: 'The danger is lest our trusty and well-beloved, I dare not say right trusty and well-beloved, friends of France, will use the occasion when she serveth for their purpose; and knowing the great desire that they have to live at peace with us—that is to say, to have Calais again—(for the keeping thereof, they say, is the only cause of any war betwixt us, and they having recovered that once from us, would not fail ever after to live in peace with us), an orator of less eloquence than Tully might peradventure persuade me that our said friends, having such occasion, would have as much respect to their commodity as to their promises.'—Wotton to Sir William Cecil; MS. France, bundle 9, State Paper Office.
- Mason to the Council, November 3: MS. Ibid.
- Mason to the Council: MS. France, bundle 9, State Paper Office.
- Among the Cotton MSS. Vespasian, D. 18, is a paper on the state of public affairs by William Thomas, clerk of the council, addressed to Edward, to whom at this time he was acting as a sort of political tutor. It is headed, 'My private opinion touching your Majesty's outward affairs at the present,' and has been printed by Strype: Memorials, vol. iv. p. 382. The following extract is the sketch of the position of England:—'Time was, in the days of your father of famous memory, that this estate, being dreaded of all neighbours, needed not to esteem any of them more than itself was esteemed; but now the case is so altered, that, because we are both hated and contemned of them all, we must either redeem our estimation or else perish. One of two things must be won—either friendship to help us, or time to make ourselves strong. As for friendship, I see not which way any is to be gotten without either an extreme disadvantage or the denying of our faith, neither of which is tolerable. And as I believe it is impossible we should have any perfect amity with any foreign prince that dissenteth from us in religion, so, because we have no neighbour of uniform religion, we can find no friend whose amity is to be trusted. Wherefore we must of force turn unto time, to see how much we may win thereof, and what we may win withal; and because neither is our force so ordered that we may trust thereby to win time, nor our treasure such as may purchase it, therefore our extremest shift is to work by policy. We have two puissant princes to deal withal—the French King, a doubtful friend; the Emperor, a dissembling foe. The one hnth done us already displeasure; the other we are sure will do it if he can. For what quarrel hath he to the Germans but religion, wherein he hath sworn rather to spend his life than not to reduce it to his own manner? and when he shall have overcome those few that rest, which are of small account in respect of his power, where shall he end his fury but against us? I wot well that some are of opinion that Magdeburg with the confederate cities shall keep him occupied a while. Some others add that the Germans are not yet won to the Papistical sect; and some others reckon upon the Turks coming into Hungary. But I am persuaded the Emperor estimates this matter of Magdeburg very little, and much less the German Protestants, and least of all the Turks; and we have great cause to mistrust both his purposes and himself. On the other side, the French King is already in possession of Scotland, and practiseth in Ireland amongst a people that loveth liberty, and for every small hope of gain will be ready to revolt, wherein, if he should prevail, we might reckon ourselves besieged, and in manner environed of enemies.
'So, when time shall draw either of their swords, and we unprovided, as presently we are, then must we either perish or be a prey to the one of them, or, at the best, receive intolerable conditions. For, say what men will, our power without some friendship is of small substance—yea, though we were all as good subjects as Edward III. had, whereas now I fear me there be as well hollow as whole hearts to be found.'
- This day it was debated whether it was convenient that the King's Majesty should have a number of men at arms in ordinary, as well for the safety of his Majesty's person as for the stay of his unquiet subjects, and for other service at all events, which, after long disputation, was thought and concluded upon as a thing very necessary.'—Privy Council Records, MS. February 25, 1550–51. From the accounts of subsequent musters and reviews, nine hundred or a thousand seems to have been the number of men maintained.
- John ab Ulmis to Bullinger: Epistolæ Tigurinæ.
- Whalley to Cecil, June 26, 1550: MS. Domestic, vol. x. State Paper Office. This letter has been printed by Mr Tytler, and introduced by him into his defence of Somerset; but he has mistaken the date by a year, and on the date his argument turns.
- Council, Records, MS.
- 'My Lord of "Warwick is a most dear and faithful friend unto my Lord's Grace (of Somerset). His whole nature was vehemently troubled with his Grace's proceedings of late. Sundry times overcome with the full remembrance thereof, he showed the inward grief of his heart with not a few tears.
' The sum of all was, that my Lord's Grace hath so unadvisedly attempted the enlargement and delivery of the Bishop of Winchester and the Arundels, as also his Grace's late conference, as he taketh it, with my Lord of Arundel, it pleased him, I say, to be so plain with me as he letted not to say the whole council doth much dislike his late attempts.'—Whalley to Cecil: June 26, 1550; misdated by Tytler, June 26, 1551. MS. Domestic, Edward VI. State Paper Office.
- 'Whereas I, Stephen Gardiner, have been suspected as one too much favouring the Bishop of Rome's decrees and ordinances, and as one that did not allow the King's Majesty's proceedings in alteration of certain rites in religion, and was convented before the King's Highness's council and admonished thereof: and having certain things appointed for me to do and preach, have not done as I ought to do, although I promised to do the same, whereby I have not only incurred the King's Majesty's indignation, but also divers of his Highness's subjects have by my example taken encouragement, as his Grace's council is certainly informed, to repine at his Majesty's most godly proceedings; I am right sorry, therefore, and acknowledge myself condignly to have been punished, and do most heartily thank his Majesty that of his great clemency it hath pleased his Highness to deal with me, not according to rigour, but mercy; and to the intent that it may appear to the world how little I repine at his Majesty's doings, which be in religion most godly, and to the commonwealth most prudent, I do affirm, and say freely, without any compulsion, as ensueth.'—Privy Council Records, MS. Printed in the account of the proceedings against Gardiner in Foxe, vol. vi.
- 'Although I did more esteem liberty of body than defamation of myself, yet, quoth I, when I had so done, yet was I not assured to come out; for when I was by mine own pen made a naughty man, I might only have locked myself more surely in.'—Gardiner's Statement on his Trial: Foxe, vol. vi.
- 1. That King Henry, for good reason, suppressed the monasteries, and released monks and nuns from their vows.
2. That all persons might lawfully marry within the Levitical degrees.
3. That pilgrimages and image worship were justly put away.
4. That the counterfeiting St Nicholas, St Clement, St Catherine, and St Edmund, by children, heretofore brought into the church, was a mockery and foolishness.
5. That the Bible in English was good for every man to read, and whoever would hinder the reading did evil and damnably.
6. That the chantries were justly suppressed.
7. That the mass was a fiction of the Bishop of Rome.
8. That Communion in both kinds was to be approved.
9. That the priest should receive for the congregation was an invention of man.
10. That the elevation of the Host had been justly and wisely prohibited.
11. That the King had done well in removing the images from churches.
12. That the King and Parliament had done well in abolishing mass books, grayles, &c.
13. That bishops and priests may lawfully marry.
14. That the laws prohibiting their marriage had been justly repealed.
15. That the doctrine of the homilies was good and wholesome.
16. That the book of the consecration of bishops, priests, and deacons was godly and wholesome.
17. That the Minores Ordines were wisely disused.
18. That Holy Scripture contained all things necessary to salvation.
19. That it had been well done to set up the Paraphrase of Erasmus in the parish churches.
- The account of Gardiner's treatment is taken from the Register of the Privy Council and from his own narrative, printed by Foxe (vol. vi.), and from the story told by Foxe himself, who disguised and apologized for nothing, regarding the whole proceedings, in fact, as most exemplary and just.
- Doubtless there was reason to distrust Somerset's intentions, and he had not forgotten his overbearing ways. Being desirous of adding to his property in Somersetshire the episcopal palace at Wells, in this same July he required the Bishop (Barlow) to surrender it. Barlow hesitating to give away the property of the See, the Duke threatened, if he would not go, 'to push him out headlong.'—MS. Domestic, Edward VI. vol. x.
- Privy Council Records, MS. Edward VI.
- Machyn's Diary, March, 1551.
- His past history was searched with the most zealous scrutiny. Every expression which Henry ever used in his disfavour had been treasured up, and was produced against him. It is quite certain, therefore, that, if there had been so much as a basework of truth for the Protestant legend of his attempt to destroy Catherine Parr, it would have been made the most of on this occasion. I look on that story, not as exaggerated reality, but as pure unadulterated fable.
- The whole account of the proceedings, with the depositions of the witnesses, is in the sixth volume of Foxe.
- Privy Council Records, MS. Edward VI.
- The archbishop, after consecration by the imposition of hands, was to place the Bible ua the neck of the new bishop. The agitation of the Protestants prevented them from being able to describe accurately what was required of them. Burcher, telling Bullinger of the ceremony, says: 'The Bishop create must carry the Bible on his shoulders, put on a white vestment, and thus habited, and bearing the book, he is to turn himself round three times.'—Burcher to Bullinger: Epistolæ Tigurinæ.
- Hooper to Bullinger: Ibid.
- Non vult pica esse—to be dressed in black and white, and chatter by rule.—Hales to Gualter, May 24: Epistolæ Tigurinæ.
- John ab Ulmis to Bullinger, May 28: Ibid.
- Hooper to Bullinger, June 29: Ibid.
- John ab Ulmis to Bullinger, August 22: Epistolæ Tigurinæ.
- Res Christi hic geritur ut nisi Dominus innoccntissimum et religiosissimum regem atque alios aliquot pios homines singulari respiciat clementiâ, valde verendum sit ne horrenda Dei ira brevi in hoc regnum exardescat. Inter Episcopos hactenus de Christi doctrinâ convenire non potuit, multo minus de disciplinâ—paucissimæ parochiæ idoneos habent pastores: pleræque venumdatæ sunt nobilibus: sunt etiam ecclesiastico ordine atque ex iis quoque qui Evangelici videri volunt qui tres aut quatuor atque plures parochias tenent nec uni ministrant, sed sufficiunt sibi eos qui minimo se conduci patiuntur, plerumque qui nec Anglice legere possunt quique corde puri Papistæ sunt. Primores regni multis parochiis præfecerunt eos qui in cænobiis fuerunt ut pensione eis persolvend((a^}}, se liberarent qui sunt indoctissimi et ad sacrum ministerium ineptissimi. Hinc invenias parochias in quibus aliquot annis nulla sit habita concio.
Cum de hâc tam horrendâ ecclesiarum deformitate querelæ deferuntur a sanctis hominibus ad regni proceres dicunt his malis mederi esse episcoporum. Cum deferentur ad episcopos evangelium pridem professos respondent illi se ista emendare non posse, &c.—Bucer to Calvin, Whitsuntide, 1550: Epistolæ Tigurinæ, p. 356.
- Bucer to Hooper: printed in Strype's Memorials. In the same spirit Bucer wrote to Alasco the Pole, who was President of the foreign congregation at Austin Friars.
'The more diligently,' he said, 'I weigh and consider both what fruit we may gather by this controversy of vestures, and also what Satan goeth about thereby to work, I would have wished before the Lord that it had never once been spoken of; but rather that all men of our function had gone stoutly forward, teaching true repentance, the wholesome use of all things, and the putting on the apparel of salvation.
'I see in many, marvellous diligence in abolishing Amalek concerning stocks and stones, vestures, and things without us, when in their acts and lives they maintain the whole Amalek still. I know that some help forward this strife, so that in the mean time the chief essentials may be less regarded, the staying of sacrilege, and the providing decent ministers in the parishes.
'In all outward things the churches should be left free. If white dresses can be abused, they can also be used innocently. Let the white dress be taken to signify the purity of the Christian life. There can be no offence then; and officers of all kinds must wear something to distinguish them, that their office may be known and respected.'—Bucer to Alasco: Epistolæ Tigurinæ.
Bucer died a few months after; his companion, Fagius, was already gone; good men both of them, Bucer especially, who at such a time could be ill spared.
- Peter Martyr to Hooper: Strype's Cranmer.
- Privy Council Records, MS.
- Privy Council Records, MS.
- The Council to Sir Richard Morryson: MS. Germany, bundle 1, State Paper Office.
- 'This her doing' (her change of residence from Essex to Hertfordshire) 'we be sorry for, both for the evil opinion the King's Majesty our master may thereby conceive of her, and for that by the same doth appear manifestly the malicious rancour of such as provoke her thus to breed and stir up, as much as in her lyeth, occasions of disorder and unquiet in the realm, wherein we know there lacketh not both labour and means of those that be strangers to this realm, and would gladly have the realm so disordered in itself, that it might be a prey to the foreign nations; which thing, as God hath hitherto defended, so we nothing doubt but that, through his grace conserving us by obedience to our master in concord, we shall always, as true and mere Englishmen, keep our country to bo England, without putting our heads under Spaniards' or Flemmings' girdles, as their slaves and vassals. It is not unknown to us, but some near about the Lady Mury have very lately, in the night season, had privy conference with the Emperor's ambassador here being, which counsels can in no wise tend to the weal of the King's Majesty our master in his realm, nor to the nobility of the realm. Wherefore, since these be the unseemly proceedings of the Lady Mary, and as it should appear, set forward by strangers to make some disorders of the people in the realm, knowing how of late years the base sort of people have been evil-inclined to rebellion, we do, in the King's Majesty's behalf, most earnestly desire you to see to the order of your counties, and prevent any disturbance arising among the people. The effect whereof, if her councillors should procure, as it must be to her Grace and to all other good Englishmen therein seduced, damnable, so shall it be most hurtful to the good subjects of the country.'—Circular of the Lords of the Council: MS. State Paper Office, March, 1551.
- Machyn's Diary: Grey Friars' Chronicle.
- Edward's Diary.
- Edward's Journal, March 19, 1551.
- Discourse of Sir Richard Morryson: MS. Harleian, 353.
- Compare Morryson's Discourse with Edward's Journal, March 20, 1551.
- Edward's Journal, March 21.
- Mason to the Council, April 18: MS. France, State Paper Office.
- Morryson to the Council, April 2: MS. Germany, State Paper Office.
- Council to Morryson, April 6: MS. Germany, Edward VI. State Paper Office.
- Instructions to Doctor Wotton: MS. Germany, Edward VI. State Paper Office. Compare Edward's Journal, April, 1551.
- The Emperor snuffeth at the alteration of Parma, but he turneth all his outward displeasure towards the Pope, who he will not believe but hath been a worker therein, and in his choler he said lately—Si je me demasque je le montreray que je ne suys personage a qui il se doibt jouir.'—Mason to the Council: Tytler, vol. i. p. 356.
- 'I do know,' Morryson adds, 'the ambassador understandeth the chief points of religion well, and would, I think, be glad it were lawful in France for bishops to be honest men. Certain I am, he is not a little nettled that the Bishop should extend his excommunication so far.'—Morryson to the Council. May 5: MS. Germany, Edward VI. Ibid.
- Morryson to the Council, May 26: MS. Ibid.