History of England (Froude)/Chapter 32

CHAPTER XXXII.


RECONCILIATION WITH ROME.


MARY had restored Catholic orthodoxy, and her passion for Philip had been gratified. To complete her work and her happiness, it remained to bring back her subjects to the bosom of the Catholic Church. Reginald Pole had by this time awakened from some part of his delusions. He had persuaded himself that he had but to appear with a pardon in his hand to be welcomed to his country with acclamation: he had ascertained that the English people were very indifferent to the pardon, and that his own past treasons had created especial objections to himself. Even the Queen herself had grown impatient with him. He had fretted her with his importunities; his presence in Elanders had chafed the Parliament and made her marriage more difficult; while he was supposed to share with the English nobles their jealousy of a foreign sovereign. So general was this last impression about him, that his nephew, Lord Stafford's son, who was one of the refugees, went to seek him in the expectation of countenance and sympathy: and, further, he had been in correspondence with Gardiner, and was believed to be at the bottom of the chancellor's religious indiscretions.[1] Thus his anxiety to be in England found nowhere any answering desire; and Renard, who dreaded his want of wisdom, never missed an opportunity of throwing difficulties in the way. In the spring of 1554 Pole had gone to Paris, where, in an atmosphere of so violent opposition to the marriage, he had not thought it necessary to speak in favour of it. The words which Dr Wotton heard that he had used were reported to the Emperor; and, at last, Renard went so far as to suggest that the scheme of sending him to England had been set on foot at Rome by the French party in the Consistory, with a view of provoking insurrection and thwarting the Imperial policy.[2]

The Emperor, taught by his old experiences of Pole, acquiesced in the views of his ambassador. If England was to be brought back to its allegiance, the negotiation would require a delicacy of handling for which the present legate was wholly unfit; and Charles wrote at last to the Pope to suggest that the commission should be transferred to a more competent person. Impatient language had been heard of late from the legate's lips, contrasting the vexations of the world with the charms oi devotional retirement. To soften the harshness of the blow, the Emperor said that he understood Pole was himself weary of his office, and wished to escape into privacy.

The respect of Julius for the legate's understanding was not much larger than the Emperor's; but he would not pronounce the recall without giving him an opportunity of explaining himself. Cardinal Morone wrote to him to inquire whether it was true that he had thought of retirement; he informed him of the Emperor's complaints; and, to place his resignation in the easiest light (while pointing, perhaps, to the propriety of his offering it), he hinted at Pole's personal unpopularity, and at the danger to which he would be exposed by going to England.

But the legate could not relinquish the passionate desire of his life; while, as to the marriage, he was, after all, unjustly suspected. He requested Morone, in reply, to assure the Pope that, much as he loved retirement, he loved duty more. He appealed to the devotion of his life to the Church as an evidence of his zeal and sincerity; and, although he knew, he said, that God could direct events at his will and dispense with the service of men, yet, so long as he had strength to be of use, he would spend it in his Master's cause. In going to England he was venturing upon a stormy sea; May 8.he knew it well;[3] but, whatever befell him, his life was in God's hands.

May 25.A fortnight after, he wrote again, replying more elaborately to the Emperor's charges. It was true, he admitted, that in his letters to the Queen he had dwelt more upon her religious duties than upon her marriage: it was true that he had been backward in his demonstrations of pleasure, because he was a person of few words. But, so far from disapproving of that marriage, he looked upon it as the distinct work of God; and when his nephew had come with complaints to him, he had forbidden him his presence. He had spoken of the rule of a stranger in England as likely to be a lesson to the people; but he had meant only that, as their disasters had befallen them through their own King Henry, their deliverance would be wrought for them by one who was not their own. When the late Parliament had broken up without consenting to the restoration of union, he had consoled the Queen with assuring her that he saw in it the hand of Providence; the breach of a marriage between an English king and a Spanish princess had caused the wound which a renewed marriage of a Spanish King and an English Queen was to heal.[4] The defence was elaborate, and, on the whole, may have been tolerably true. The Pope would not take the trouble to read it, or even to hear it read;[5] but the substance, as related to him by Morone, convinced him that the Emperor's accusations were exaggerated: to recall a legate at the instance of a secular sovereign was an undesirable precedent;[6] and the commission was allowed to stand. Julius wrote to Charles, assuring him that he was mistaken in the legate's feelings, leaving the Emperor at the same time, however, full power to keep him in Flanders or to send him to England at his own discretion.

Pole was to continue the instrument of the reconciliation; the conditions under which the reconciliation could take place were less easy to settle. The Popes, whose powers are unlimited where the exercise of them is convenient for the interests of the Holy See, have uniformly fallen back upon their inability where they have been called on to make sacrifices. The canons of the Church forbade, under any pretext, the alienation of ecclesiastical property; and until Julius could relinquish ex animo all intention of disturbing the lay holders of the English abbey lands, there was not a chance that the question of his supremacy would be so much, as entertained by either Lords or Commons.

The vague powers originally granted to the legate were not satisfactory; and Pole himself, who was too sincere a believer in the Roman doctrines to endure that worldly objections should stand in the way of the salvation of souls, wrote himself to the Holy See, entreating that his commission might be enlarged. The Pope in appearance consented. In a second brief, dated June 28th, he extended the legate's dispensing powers to real property as well as personal, and granted him general permission to determine any unforeseen difficulties which might arise.[7] Ormaneto, a confidential agent, carried the despatch to Flanders, and on Ormaneto's arrival, the legate, believing that his embarrassments were at last at an end, sent him on to the Bishop of Arras, to entreat that the perishing souls of the English people might now be remembered. The Pope had given way; the Queen was happily married, and the reasons for his detention were at an end.[8]

Both Arras and the Emperor, however, thought more of Philip's security than of perishing souls. Arras, who understood the ways of the Vatican better than the legate, desired that, before any steps were taken, he might be favoured with a copy of these enlarged powers. He wished to know whether the question of the property was fairly relinquished to the secular powers in England, and whether the Church had finally washed its hands of it;[9] at all events, he must examine the brief. July.On inspection, the new commission was found to contain an enabling clause indeed, as extensive as words could make it; but the See of Rome reserved to itself the right of sanctioning the settlement after it had been made;[10] and the reservation had been purposely made, in order to leave the Pope free to act as he might please at a future time. Morone, writing to Pole a fortnight after the date of the brief, told him that his Holiness was still unable to come to a resolution;[11] while Ormaneto said openly to Arras, that, although the Pope would be as moderate as possible, yet his moderation must not be carried so far as to encourage the rest of Christendom in an evil example. Catholics must not be allowed to believe that they could appropriate Church property without offence, nor must the Holy See appear to be purchasing by concessions the submission of its rebellious subjects.[12]

August 3.This language was not even ambiguous; Pole was desired to wait till an answer could be received from England; and the Emperor wrote to Renard, desiring him to lay the circumstances before the Queen and his son. He could believe, he said, that the legate himself meant well, but he had not the same confidence in those who were urging him forward, and the Pope had given no authority for haste or precipitate movements.[13]

August 6.The Emperor's letter was laid before a Council of State at Windsor, on the 6th of August; and the council agreed with Charles that the legate's anxieties could not for the present be gratified. He was himself attainted, and Parliament had shown no anxiety that the attainder should be removed. The re-imposition of the Pope's authority was a far more ticklish matter than the restoration of orthodoxy,[14] and the temper of the people was uncertain. The Cardinal had, perhaps, intelligence with persons in England of a suspicious and dangerous kind, and the execution of his commission must depend on the pleasure of the next Parliament. He was not to suppose that he might introduce changes in the constitution of the country by the authority of a Papal commission, or try experiments which might put in peril the sacred person of the Prince.[15]

Once more the cup of hope was dashed to the ground, and Reginald Pole was sent back to his monastery at Dhilinghen like a child unfit to be trusted with a dangerous plaything. In times of trial his pen was his refuge, and in an appeal to Philip he poured out his characteristic protest.

'For a whole year,' he wrote, 'I have been now knocking at the door of that kingdom, and no person will answer, no person will ask, Who is there? It is one who has endured twenty years of exile that the partner of your throne should not be excluded from her rights, and I come in the name of the vicar of the King of kings, the Shepherd of mankind. Peter knocks at your door; Peter himself. The door is open to all besides. Why is it closed to Peter? Why does not that nation make haste now to do Peter reverence? Why does it leave him escaped from Herod's prison, knocking?

'Strange, too, that this is the house of Mary. Can it be Mary that is so slow to open? True, indeed, it is, that when Mary's damsel heard the voice she opened not the door for joy; she ran and told Mary. But Mary came with those that were with her in the house: and though at first she doubted, yet, when Peter continued knocking, she opened the door; she took him in, she regarded not the danger, although Herod was yet alive, and was King.

'Is it joy which now withholds Mary, or is it fear? She rejoices, that I know, but she also fears. Yet why should Mary fear now when Herod is dead? The providence of God permitted her to fear for awhile, because God desired that you, sire, who are Peter's beloved child, should share the great work with her. Do you, therefore, teach her now to cast her fears away. It is not I only who stand here—it is not only Peter—Christ is here—Christ waits with me till you will open and take him in. You who are King of England, are defender of Christ's faith; yet, while you have the ambassadors of all other princes at your Court, you will not have Christ's ambassador; you have rejected your Christ.

'Go on upon your way. Build on the foundation of worldly policy, and I tell you, in Christ's words, that the rain will fall, the floods will rise, the winds will blow, and beat upon that house, and it will fall, and great will be the fall thereof.'[16]

The pleading was powerful, yet it could bear no fruits—the door could not open till the Pope pronounced the magic words which held it closed. Neither Philip nor Mary was in a position to use violence or force the bars.

After the ceremony at Winchester, the King and Queen had gone first to Windsor, and thence the second week in August they went to Richmond. The entry into London was fixed for the 18th; after which, should it pass off without disturbance, the Spanish fleet might sail from Southampton Water. The Prince himself had as yet met with no discourtesy; but disputes had broken out early between the English and Spanish retinues, and petty taunts and insolences had passed among them.[17] The Prince's luggage was plundered, and the property stolen could not be recovered nor the thieves detected. The servants of Alva and the other lords, who preceded their masters to London, were insulted in the streets, and women and children called after them that they need not have brought so many things, they would be soon gone again. The citizens refused to give them lodgings in their houses, and the friars who had accompanied Philip were advised to disguise themselves, so intense was the hatred against the religious orders.[18] The council soon provided for their ordinary comforts, but increase of acquaintance produced no improvement of feeling.

The entry passed off tolerably. Gog and Magog stood as warders on London Bridge, and there were the usual pageants in the city. Renard conceived that the impression produced by Philip had been rather favourable than otherwise; for the people had been taught to expect some monster but partially human, and they saw instead a well-dressed cavalier, who had learnt by this time to carry his hand to his bonnet. Yet, although there were no open signs of ill-feeling, the day did not end without a disagreeable incident. The conduit in Gracechurch Street had been newly decorated: 'the nine Worthies' had been painted round the winding turret, and among them were Henry VIII. and Edward. The first seven carried maces, swords, or poleaxes. Henry held in one hand a sceptre, in the other he was presenting a book to his son, on which was written Verbum Dei. As the train went by, the unwelcome figure caught the eye of Gardiner. The painter was summoned, called 'knave, traitor, heretic,' an enemy to the Queen's Catholic proceedings. The offensive Bible was washed out, and a pair of gloves inserted in its place.[19]

Nor did the irritation of the people abate. The Spaniards, being without special occupation, were seen much in the streets; and a vague fear so magnified their numbers that four of them, it was thought, were to be met in London for one Englishman.[20] The halls of the city companies were given up for their use; a fresh provocation to people who desired to be provoked. A Spanish friar was lodged at Lambeth, and it was said at once he was to be Archbishop of Canterbury; September.at the beginning of September twelve thousand Spanish troops were reported to be coming to 'fetch the crown.' Rumour and reality inflated each other. The peers, who had collected for the marriage, dispersed to their counties; and on the 10th of September, Pembroke, Shrewsbury, and Westmoreland were believed to have raised a standard of revolt at York. Frays were continually breaking out in the streets, and there was a scandalous brawl in the cloisters at Westminster. Brief entries in diaries and council books tell continually of Englishmen killed, and Spaniards hanged, hanged at Tyburn, or hanged more conspicuously at Charing Cross; and on the 12th, Noailles reported that the feeling in all classes, high and low, was as bad as possible.

There was dread, too, that Philip was bent on drawing England into the war. The French ambassador had been invited to be present at the entry into London; but the invitation had been sent informally by a common messenger not more than half an hour before the royal party were to appear. The brief notice was intended as an affront, and only after some days Noailles appeared at Court to offer his congratulations. When he came at last, he expressed his masters hope to Philip that the neutrality of England would continue to be observed. Philip answered with cold significance, that he would keep his promise and maintain the treaties, as long as by doing- so he should consult the interests of the realm.[21]

Other menacing symptoms were also showing themselves: the claim for the pensions was spoken of as likely to be revived; the English ships in the Channel were making the neutrality one-sided, and protecting the Spanish and Flemish traders; and Philip, already weary of his bride, was urging on Renard the propriety of his hastening, like an obedient son, to the assistance of his father. Under pretence of escort he could take with him a few thousand English cavalry and men-atarms, who could be used as a menace to France, and whose presence would show the attitude which England was about to assume. Sick, in these brief weeks, of maintaining the show of an affection which he did not feel, and sick of a country where his friends were insulted if he was treated respectfully himself, he was already panting for freedom, and eager to utilize the instruments which he had bought so dearly.[22]

Happily for the Queen's peace of mind, Renard was not a man to encourage impatience. The factions in the council were again showing themselves; Elizabeth lay undisposed of at Woodstock. Pomfret, Belgium, even Hungary, had been thought of as a destination for her, and had been laid aside one after the other, in dread of the people. If she was released, she would again be dangerous, and it was uncertain how long Lord Howard would endure her detention. A plan suggested by Lord Paget seemed, after all, to promise the best—to marry her to Philibert of Savoy, and thus make use of her as a second link to connect England with the House of Austria. But here the difficulty would be with the Queen, who in that case would have to recognize her sister's rank and expectations.

The question ought in Renard's opinion to be settled before Philip left England, and he must have faced Parliament too, and, if possible, have been crowned. If he went now, he could never come back; he must court the people; he must play off the working classes against the Lords; there was ill blood between the rich and poor, let him use the opportunity.

The state of public feeling did not improve when, at the end of September, Bonner commenced an inquisition into the conduct and opinions of the clergy of his diocese. In every parish he appointed a person or persons to examine whether the minister was or ever had been married; whether, if married and separated from his wife, he continued in secret to visit her; whether his sermons were orthodox; whether he was a 'brawler, scolder, hawker, hunter, fornicator, adulterer, drunkard, or blasphemer;' whether he duly exhorted his parishioners to come to mass and confession; whether he associated with heretics, or had been suspected of associating with them; his mind, his habits, his society, even the dress that he wore, were to be made matter of close scrutiny.

The points of inquiry were published in a series of articles which created an instantaneous ferment. Among the merchants they were attributed to the King, Queen, and Gardiner, and were held to be the first step of a conspiracy against English liberties. A report was spread at the same time that the King meditated a seizure of the Tower; barriers were forthwith erected in the great thoroughfares leading into the city, and no one was allowed to pass unchallenged.[23]

The Bishop of London was called to account for having ventured so rash a step without permission of crown or council. He replied that he was but doing his duty; the council, had he communicated with them, would have interfered with him, and in the execution of his office he must be governed by his own conscience.[24] But the attitude of the city was too decided even for the stubborn Bonner; he gave way sullenly, and suspended the execution of his order.

Worse clouds than these nevertheless had many times gathered over the Court and dispersed again. It was easy to be discontented; but when the discontent would pass into action, there was nothing definite to be done; and between the leading statesmen there were such large differences of opinion, that they could not co-operate.[25] The Court, as Renard saw, could accomplish everything which they desired with caution and prudence. The humours of the people might flame out on a sudden if too hastily irritated, but the opposite tendencies of parties effectually balanced each other; and even the Papal difficulty might be managed, and Pole might in time be brought over, if only there was no precipitation, and the Pope was compelled to be reasonable.

But prudence was the first and last essential; the legate must be content to wait, and also Philip October.must wait. The winter was coming on, and the Court, Renard said, was giving balls; the English and Spanish noblemen were learning to talk with one another, and were beginning to dance with each other's wives and daughters. The ill-feeling was gradually abating; and, in fact, it was not to be believed that God Almighty would have brought about so considerable a marriage without intending that good should come of it.[26] The Queen believed herself enceinte, and if her hopes were well founded, a thousand causes of restlessness would be disposed of; but Philip must not be permitted to harass her with his impatience to be gone. She had gathered something of his intentions, and was already pretending more uncertainty than in her heart she felt, lest he should make the assurance of her prospects an excuse for leaving her. In a remarkable passage, Renard urged the Emperor on no account to encourage him in a step so eminently injudicious, from a problematic hope of embroiling England and France. 'Let Parliament meet,' he said, 'and pass off quietly, and in February his Highness may safely go. Irreparable injury may and will follow, however, should he leave England before. Religion will be overthrown, the Queen's person will be in danger, and Parliament will not meet. A door will be opened for the practices of France; the country may throw itself in self-protection on the French alliance, and an undying hatred will be engendered between England and Spain. As things now are, prudence and moderation are more than ever necessary; and we must allow neither the King nor the Queen to be led astray by unwise impatient advisers, who, for the advancement of their private opinions, or because they cannot have all the liberty which they desire, are ready to compromise the commonwealth.'[27]

So matters stood at the beginning of October, when Parliament was about to be summoned, and the great experiment to be tried whether England would consent to be re-united to Catholic Christendom. The writs went out on the 6th, and circulars accompanied them, addressed to those who would have the conduct of the elections, stating that, whatever false reports might have been spread, no 'alteration was intended of any man's possessions.' At the same time the Queen required the mayors of towns, the sheriffs, and other influential persons to admonish the voters to choose from among themselves 'such as, being eligible by order of the laws, were of a wise, grave, and Catholic sort; such as indeed meant the true honour of God and the prosperity of the commonwealth.'[28] These general directions were copied from a form which had been in use under Henry VII., and the citizens of London set the example of obedience in electing four members who were in every way satisfactory to the Court.[29] In the country the decisive failure of Carew, Suffolk, and Crofts showed that the weight of public feeling was still in favour of the Queen notwithstanding the Spanish marriage; and the reaction against the excesses of the Reformation had not yet reached its limits. On the accession of Mary, the restoration of the mass had appeared impossible, but it had been effected safely and completely almost by the spontaneous will of the people. In the spring the Pope's name could not be mentioned in Parliament; now, since the Queen was bent upon it, and as she gave her word that property was not to be meddled with, even the Pope seemed no longer absolutely intolerable.

The reports of the elections were everywhere favourable. In the Upper House, except on very critical points, which would unite the small body of the lay peers, the Court was certain of a majority, being supported of course by the bishops,—and the question of Pole's coming over, therefore, was once more seriously considered. The Pope had been given to understand that, however inconsistent with his dignity he might consider it to appear to purchase English submission by setting aside the canons of the Church, he must consent to the English terms, or there was no hope whatever that his supremacy would be recognized. If in accepting these terms he would agree to a humiliating reconciliation, only those who objected on doctrinal grounds to the Papal religion were inclined to persist in refusing a return of his friendship. The dream of an independent orthodox Anglicanism which had once found favour with Gardiner was fading away. The indifferent and the orthodox alike desired to put an end to spiritual anarchy; and the excommunication, though lying lightly on the people, and despised even by the Catholic powers, had furnished, and might furnish, a pretext for inconvenient combinations. Singularity of position, where there was no especial cause for it, was always to be avoided.

These influences would have been insufficient to have brought the English of themselves to seek for a reunion. They were enough to induce them to accept it with indifference when offered them on their own conditions, or to affect for a time an outward appearance of acquiescence.

Philip, therefore, consulted Renard, and Charles invited Pole to Brussels. Renard, to whom politics were all-important, and religion useful in its place, but inconvenient when pushed into prominence, adhered to his old opinion. He advised the 'King to write privately to the Pope, telling him that he had already so many embarrassments on his hands that he could not afford to increase them;' 'the changes already made were insincere, and the legatine authority was odious, not only in England, but throughout Europe;' 'the Queen, on her accession, had promised a general toleration,[30] and it was useless to provoke irritation, when not absolutely necessary.' Yet even Renard spoke less positively than before. Oct. 15.'If the Pope would make no more reservations on the land question—if he would volunteer a general absolution, and submit to conditions, while he exacted none—if he would sanction every ecclesiastical act which had been done during the schism, the marriages and baptisms, the ordinations of the clergy, and the new creations of episcopal sees—above all, if he would make no demand for money under any pretence, the venture might, perhaps, be made.' But, continued Renard, 'his Holiness, even then, must be cautious in his words; he must dwell as lightly as possible on his authority, as lightly as possible on his claims to be obeyed: in offering absolution, he must talk merely of piety and love, of the open arms of the Church, of the example of the Saviour, and such other generalities.'[31] Finally, Renard still thought the legate had better remain abroad. The reconciliation, if it could be effected at all, could be managed better without his irritating presence.

Pole himself had found the Emperor more gracious. Charles professed the greatest anxiety that the Papal authority should be restored. He doubted only if the difficulties could be surmounted. Pole replied that the obstacles were chiefly two—one respecting doctrine, on which no concession could be made at all; the other respecting the lands, on which his Holiness would make every concession. He would ask for nothing, he would exact nothing; he would abandon every shadow of a claim.

If this was the case, the Emperor said, all would go well. Nevertheless, there was the reservation in the brief, and the Pope, however generous he might wish to be, was uncertain of his power. The doctrine was of no consequence. People in England believed one doctrine as little as another;[32] but they hated Rome, they hated the religious orders, they hated cardinals; and as to the lands, could the Church relinquish them?[33] 2 Pole might believe that she could; but the world would be more suspicious, or less easy to convince. At all events, the dispensing powers must be clogged with no reservations; nor could he come to any decision till he heard again from England.

The legate was almost hopeless; yet his time of triumph—such triumph as it—was had nearly arrived. The Queen's supposed pregnancy had increased her influence; and, constant herself in the midst of general indecision, she was able to carry her point. She would not mortify the legate, who had suffered for his constancy to the cause of her mother, with listening to Renard's personal objections; and when the character of the approaching House of Commons had been ascertained, she gained the consent of the council November. a week before the beginning of the session, to send commissioners to Brussels to see Pole and inspect his faculties. With a conclusive understanding on the central question, they might tell him that the hope of his life might be realized, and that he might return to his country. But the conditions were explicit. He must bring adequate powers with him, or his coming would be worse than fruitless. If those which he already possessed were insufficient, he must send them to Rome to be enlarged;[34] and although the Court would receive him as legate de latere, he had better enter the country only as a cardinal and ambassador, till he could judge of the state of things for himself.[35] On these terms the commissioners might conduct him to the Queen's presence.

The bearers of this communication were Lord Paget and Sir Edward Hastings, accompanied, it is curious to observe, by Sir William Cecil.[36]

They presented themselves to the Emperor, who, after the report which they brought with them, made no more difficulty. The enlarged powers had been sent for three weeks before; but there was no occasion to wait for their arrival. They might be expected in ten days or a fortnight, and could follow the legate to England.[37]

Nov. 11The effect on Pole of the commissioners' arrival 'there needed not,' as they said themselves, 'many words to declare.'[38] His eager temperament, for ever excited either with wild hopes or equally wild despondency, was now about to be fooled to the top of its bent. On the Pope's behalf, he promised everything; for himself, he would come as ambassador, he would come as a private person, come in any fashion that might do good, so only that he might come.

Little time was lost in preparation. Parliament met on the 12th of November. The opening speech was read, as usual, by Gardiner, and was well received, although it announced that further measures would be taken for the establishment of religion, and the meaning of these words was known to every one. The first measure brought forward was the repeal of Pole's attainder. It passed easily without a dissentient voice, and no obstacle of any kind remained to delay his appearance. Only the cautious Renard suggested that Courtenay should be sent out of the country as soon as possible, for fear the legate should take a fancy to him; and the Prince of Savoy had been invited over to see whether anything could be done towards arranging the marriage with Elizabeth. Elizabeth, indeed, had protested that she had no intention of marrying; nevertheless, Renard said, she would be disposed of, as the Emperor had advised,[39] could the Queen be induced to consent.

England was ready therefore, and the happy legate set out from Brussels like a lover flying to his mistress. His emotions are reflected in the journal of an Italian friend who attended him. Nov. 13.The journey commenced on Tuesday, the 13th; the retinues of Paget and Hastings, with the Cardinal's household, making in all a hundred and twenty horse. The route was by Ghent, Bruges, and Dunkirk. On the 19th the party reached Gravelines, where, on the stream which formed the boundary of the Pale, they were received in state by Lord Wentworth, the Governor of Calais. In the eyes of his enthusiastic admirers the apostle of the Church moved in an atmosphere of marvel. The Calais bells, which rang as they entered the town, were of preternatural sweetness. The salutes fired by the ships in the harbour were 'wonderful.' The Cardinal's lodging was a palace, and as an august omen, the watchword of the garrison for the night was 'God long lost is found.'[40] The morning brought a miracle. A westerly gale had blown for many Tuesday,
Nov. 20.
days. All night long it had howled through the narrow streets; the waves had lashed against the piers, and the fishermen foretold a week of storms. At daybreak the wind went down, the clouds broke, a light air from the eastward levelled the sea, and filled the sails of the vessel which was to bear them to England. At noon the party went on board, and their passage was a fresh surprise. They crossed in three hours and a half, and the distance, as it pictured itself to imagination, was forty miles.[41] At Dover the legate slept. Nov. 21.The next day Lord Montague came with the Bishop of Ely, bringing letters of congratulation from the Queen and Philip, and an intimation that he was anxiously looked for. He was again on horseback after breakfast; and as the news of his arrival spread, respect or curiosity rapidly swelled his train. The Earl of Huntingdon, who had married his sister, sent his son Lord Hastings, with his tenants and servants, as an escort. But there was no danger. Whatever might be the feelings of the people towards the Papal legate, they gave to Reginald Pole the welcome due to an English nobleman.

The November evening had closed in when the cavalcade entered Canterbury. The streets were thronged, and the legate made his way through the crowd, amidst the cries of 'God save your Grace.' At the door of the house—probably the Archbishop's palace—where he was to pass the night, Harpsfeld, the Archdeacon, was standing to receive him, with a number of the clergy; and with the glare of torches lighting up the scene, Harpsfeld commenced an oration as the legate alighted, so beautiful, so affecting, says Pole's Italian friend, that all the hearers were moved to tears. The Archdeacon spoke of the mercies of God, and the marvellous workings of his providence. He dwelt upon the history of the Cardinal whom God had preserved through a thousand dangers for the salvation of his country; and, firing up at last in a blaze of enthusiasm, he exclaimed, 'Thou art Pole, and thou art our Polar star, to light us to the kingdom of the heavens. Sky, rivers, earth, these disfigured walls—all things—long for thee. While thou wert absent from us all things were sad, all things were in the power of the adversary. At thy coming all things are smiling, all glad, all tranquil.'[42] The legate listened so far, and then checked the flood of the adoring eloquence. 'I heard you with pleasure,' he said, 'while you were praising God. My own praises I do not desire to hear. Give the glory to Him.'

From Canterbury, Richard Pate, who, as titular Bishop of Worcester, had sat at the Council of Trent, was sent forward to the Queen with an answer to her letter, and a request for further directions. The legate himself went on leisurely to Rochester, where he was entertained by Lord Cobham, at Cowling Castle. So far he had observed the instructions brought to him by Paget, and had travelled as an ordinary ecclesiastic, without distinctive splendour. On the night of the 23rd, however, Pate returned from the Court with a message that the legatine insignia might be displayed. A fleet of barges was in waiting at Gravesend, where Pole appeared early on the 24th; and, as a Saturday,
Nov. 24.
further augury of good fortune, he found there Lord Shrewsbury, with his early friend the Bishop of Durham, who had come to meet him with the repeal of his attainder, to which the Queen had given her assent in Parliament the day before.

To the fluttered hearts of the priestly company the coincidence of the repeal, the informality of an Act of Parliament receiving the royal assent before the close of a session, were further causes of admiration. They embarked; and the Italians, who had never seen a tidal river, discovered, miracle of miracles, that they were ascending from the sea, and yet the stream was with them. The distance to London was soon accomplished. They passed under the Bridge at one o'clock on the top of the tide, the legate's barge distinguished splendidly by the silver cross upon the bow. In a few minutes more they were at the palace-stairs at Whitehall, where a pier was built on arches out into the river, and on the pier stood the Bishop of Winchester, with the Lords of the Council.

The King and Queen, were at dinner, the arrival not being expected till the afternoon. Philip rose instantly from the table, hurried out, and caught the legate in his arms. The Queen followed to the head of the grand staircase; and when Pole reached her, she threw herself on his breast, and kissed him, crying that his coming gave her as much joy as the possession of her kingdom. The Cardinal, in corresponding ecstasy, exclaimed, in the words of the angel to the Virgin, 'Ave Maria gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus.'[43] The first rapturous moments over, the King, Queen, and legate proceeded along the gallery, Philip and Pole supporting Mary on either side, and the legate expatiating on the mysteries of Providence.

'High thanks, indeed,' he exclaimed, 'your Majesty owes to the favour of the Almighty, seeing that, while he permits you to bring your godly desires to perfection, he has united at this moment in your favour the two mightiest powers upon earth—the Majesty of the Emperor represented in the King your husband, and the Pope's Holiness represented in myself.' The Queen, as she walked, replied 'in words of sweet humility,' pouring out gentle excuses for past delays. The legate, still speaking with ecstatic metaphor, answered that it was the will of God; God waited till the time was mature, till he could say to her Highness, 'Blessed be the fruit of thy womb.'[44]

In the saloon they remained standing together for another quarter of an hour. When the Cardinal took his leave for the day, the King, in spite of remonstrance, re-attended him to the gate. Alva and the Bishop of Winchester were in waiting to conduct him to Lambeth Palace, which had been assigned him. for a residence. The See of Canterbury was to follow as soon as Cranmer could be despatched.

Arrived at Lambeth, he was left to repose after his fatigues and excitements. He had scarcely retired to his apartments when he was disturbed again by a message from the Queen. Lord Montague had hurried over with the news that the angelic salutation had been already answered. 'The babe had leapt in her womb.'[45] Not a moment was lost in communicating the miracle to the world. Letters of council were drawn out for Te Deums to be sung in every church in London. The next day being Sunday, every pulpit was made to ring with the testimony of Heaven to the truth.

On Monday the 26th the Cardinal went to the palace for an audience, and again there was more matter for congratulation. As he was approaching the King's cabinet, Philip met him with a packet of despatches. The last courier sent to Rome had returned with unheard-of expedition, and the briefs and commissions in which the Pope relinquished formally his last reservations, had arrived. Never, exclaimed the Catholic enthusiast, in a fervour of devout astonishment—never since the days of the apostles had so many tokens of divine approbation been showered upon a human enterprise. The moment of its consummation had arrived.[46] Since the thing was to be, no one wished for delay. Three days sufficed for the few necessary preparations, and the two Houses of Parliament were invited to be present unofficially at Whitehall on the afternoon of Wednesday the 28th. Nov. 28.In the morning there was a procession in the city and a Te Deum at St Paul's. After dinner, the Great Chamber was thrown open, and the Lords and Commons crowded in as they could find room. Philip and Mary entered, and took their seats under the cloth of state; while Pole had a chair assigned him on their right hand, beyond the edge of the canopy. The Queen was splendidly dressed, and it was observed that she threw out her person to make her supposed condition as conspicuous as possible.[47] When all were in their places, the chancellor rose.

'My Lords of the Upper House,' he said, 'and you my masters of the Nether House, here is present the Right Reverend Father in God, the Lord Cardinal Pole, come from the Apostolic See of Rome as ambassador to the King's and Queen's Majesties, upon one of the weightiest causes that ever happened in this realm, and which pertaineth to the glory of God and your universal benefit; the which embassy it is their Majesties' pleasure that it be signified unto you all by his own mouth, trusting that you will accept it in as benevolent and thankful wise as their Highnesses have done, and that you will give an attent and inclinable ear to him.'

The legate then left his chair and came forward. He was now fifty-four years old, and he had passed but little of his life in England; yet his features had not wholly lost their English character. He had the arched eye-brow, and the delicately-cut cheek, and prominent eye of the beautiful Plantagenet face; a long, brown, curling beard flowed down upon his chest, which it almost covered; the mouth was weak and slightly open, the lips were full and pouting, the expression difficult to read. In a low voice, audible only to those who were near him, he spoke as follows:—'My Lords all, and you that are the Commons of this present Parliament assembled, as the cause of my repair hither hath been wisely and gravely declared by my Lord Chancellor, so, before I enter into the particulars of my commission, I have to say somewhat touching myself, and to give most humble and hearty thanks to the King's and Queen's Majesties, and after them to you all—which of a man exiled and banished from this commonwealth, nave restored me to be a member of the same, and of a man having no place either here or elsewhere within this realm, have admitted me to a place where to speak and where to be heard. This I protest unto you all, that though I was exiled my native country without just cause, as God knoweth, yet the ingratitude could not pull from me the affection and desire that I had to your profit and to do you good.

'But, leaving the rehearsal hereof, and coming more near to the matter of my commission, I signify unto you all, that my principal travail is for the restitution of this noble realm to the antient nobility, and to declare unto you that the See Apostolic, from whence I come, hath a special respect to this realm above all others; and not without cause, seeing that God himself, as it were, by providence hath given to this realm prerogative of nobility above others, which to make plain unto you, it is to be considered that this island first of all islands received the light of Christ's religion.'

Going into history for a proof of this singular proposition, the legate said that the Britons had been converted by the See Apostolic, 'not one by one, as in other countries, as clocks denote the hours by distinction of times,' 'but altogether, at once, as it were, in a moment.' The Saxons had brought back heathenism, but had again been soon converted; and the Popes had continued to heap benefit upon benefit on the favoured people, even making them a present of Ireland, 'which pertained to the See of Rome.' The country had prospered, and the people had been happy down to the time of the late schism; from that unhappy day they had been overwhelmed with calamities.

The legate dwelt in some detail on the misfortunes of the preceding years. He then went on: 'But, when all light of true religion seemed extinct, the churches defaced, the altars overthrown, the ministers corrupted, even like as in a lamp, the light being covered yet it is not quenched—even so in a few remained the confession of Christ's faith, namely, in the breast of the Queen's Excellency, of whom to speak without adulation, the saying of the prophet may be verified, ecce quasi derelicta, and see how miraculously God of his goodness preserved her Highness contrary to the expectation of men, that when numbers conspired against her, and policies were devised to disinherit her, and armed power prepared to destroy her, yet she, being a virgin, helpless, naked, and unarmed, prevailed, and had the victory of tyrants. For all these practices and devices, here you see her Grace established in her estate, your lawful Queen and governess, born among you, whom God hath appointed to govern you. for the restitution of true religion and the extirpation of all errors and sects. And to confirm her Grace more strongly in this enterprise, lo how the providence of God hath joined her in marriage with a prince of like religion, who, being a King of great might, armour, and force, yet useth towards you neither armour nor force, but seeketh you by way of love and amity; and as it was a singular favour of God to conjoin them in marriage, so it is not to be doubted but he shall send them issue for the comfort and surety of this commonwealth.

'Of all princes in Europe the Emperor hath travailed most in the cause of religion, yet, haply by some secret judgment of God, he hath not obtained the end. I can well compare him to David, which, though he were a man elect of God, yet for that he was contaminate with blood and wars, he could not build the temple of Jerusalem, but left the finishing thereof to Solomon who was Rex pacificus. So it may be thought that the appeasing of controversies of religion in Christendom is not appointed to this Emperor, but rather to his son; who shall perform the building that his father had begun, which Church cannot be builded unless universally in all realms we adhere to one head, and do acknowledge him to be the vicar of God, and to have power from above—for all power is of God, according to the saying, non est potestas nisi in Deo.

'All power being of God, he hath derived that power into two parts here on earth, which is into the powers imperial and ecclesiastical; and these two powers, as they be several and distinct, so have they two several effects and operations. Secular princes be ministers of God to execute vengeance upon transgressors and evil livers, and to preserve the well-doers and innocents from injury and violence; and this power is represented in these two most excellent persons the King's and Queen's Majesties here present. The other power is of ministration, which is the power of keys and orders in the ecclesiastical state; which is by the authority of God's word and example of the apostles, and of all holy fathers from Christ hitherto attributed and given to the Apostolic See of Rome by special prerogative: from which See I am here deputed legate and ambassador, having full and ample commission from thence, and have the keys committed to my hands. I confess to you that I have the keys—not as mine own keys, but as the keys of him that sent me; and yet cannot I open, not for want of power in me to give, but for certain impediments in you to receive, which must be taken away before my commission can take effect. This I protest before you, my commission is not of prejudice to any person. I am come not to destroy, but to build; I come to reconcile, not to condemn; I am not come to compel, but to call again; I am not come to call anything in question already done; but my commission is of grace and clemency to such as will receive it—for, touching all matters that be past, they shall be as things cast into the sea of forgetfuliiess.

'But the mean whereby you shall receive this benefit is to revoke and repeal those laws and statutes which be impediments, blocks, and bars to the execution of my commission. For, like as I myself had neither place nor voice to speak here amongst you, but was in all respects a banished man, till such time as ye had repealed those laws that lay in my way, even so cannot you receive the benefit and grace offered from the Apostolic See until the abrogation of such laws whereby you had disjoined and dissevered yourselves from the unity of Christ's Church.

'It remaineth, therefore, that you, like true Christians and provident men, for the weal of your souls and bodies, ponder what is to be done in this so weighty a cause, and so to frame your acts and proceedings as they may first tend to the glory of God, and, next, to the conservation of your commonwealth, surety, and quietness.'

The speech was listened to by such as could hear it with profound attention, and several persons were observed to clasp their hands again and again, and raise them convulsively before their faces. When the legate sat down, Gardiner gave him the thanks of Parliament, and suggested that the two Houses should be left to themselves to consider what they would do. Pole withdrew with the King and Queen, and Gardiner exclaimed: A prophet has 'the Lord raised up among us from among our brethren, and he shall save us.' For the benefit of those who had been at the further end of the hall, he then recapitulated the substance of what had been said. He added a few words of exhortation, and the meeting adjourned.

Nov. 29.The next day, Thursday, Lords and Commons sat as usual at Westminster. The repeal of all the Acts which directly, or by implication, were aimed at the Papacy, would occupy, it was found, a considerable time; but the impatient legate was ready to accept a promise as a pledge of performance, and the general question was therefore put severally in both Houses whether the country should return to obedience to the Apostolic See. Among the Peers no difficulty was made at all. Among the Commons, in a house of 360, there were two dissentients—one, whose name is not mentioned, gave a silent negative vote; the other, Sir Ralph Bagenall, stood up alone to protest. Twenty years, he said, 'that great and worthy Prince, King Henry,' laboured to expel the Pope from England. He for one had 'sworn to King Henry's laws,' and, 'he would keep his oath.'[48]

But Bagenall was listened to with smiles. The resolution passed, the very ease and unanimity betraying the hollow ground on which it rested; and, again, devout Catholics beheld the evident work of supernatural agency. Lords and Commons had received separately the same proposition; they had discussed it, voted on it, and come to a conclusion, each with closed doors, and the messengers of the two Houses encountered each other on their way to communicate their several decisions.[49] The chancellor arranged with Pole the forms which should be observed, and it was agreed that the Houses should present a joint petition to the King and Queen, acknowledging their past misconduct, engaging to undo the anti-papal legislation, and entreating their Majesties, as undefiled with the offences which tainted the body of the nation, to intercede for the removal of the interdict. A committee of Lords and Commons sat to consider the words in which the supplication should be expressed, and all preparations were completed by the evening.

Nov. 30.And now St Andrew's Day was come; a day, as was then hoped, which would be remembered with awe and gratitude through all ages of English history. Being the festival of the institution of the Order of the Golden Fleece, high mass was sung in the morning in Westminster Abbey; Philip, Alva, and Ruy Gomez attended in their robes, with six hundred Spanish cavaliers. The Knights of the Garter were present in gorgeous costume, and nave and transept were thronged with the blended chivalry of England and Castile. It was two o'clock before the service was concluded. Philip returned to the palace to dinner, and the brief November afternoon was drawing in when the Parliament reassembled at the palace. At the upper end of the great hall a square platform had now been raised several steps above the floor; on which three chairs were placed as before; two under a canopy of cloth of gold, for the King and Queen; a third on the right, removed a little distance from them, for the legate. Below the platform, benches were placed longitudinally towards either wall. The bishops sat on the side of the legate, the lay peers opposite them on the left. The Commons sat on rows of cross benches in front, and beyond them were the miscellaneous crowd of spectators, sitting or standing as they could find room. The Cardinal, who had passed the morning at Lambeth, was conducted across the water in a state barge by Lord Arundel and six other peers. The King received him at the gate, and, leaving his suite in the care of the Duke of Alva, who was instructed to find them places, he accompanied Philip into the room adjoining the hall, where Mary, whose situation was supposed to prevent her from unnecessary exertion, was waiting for them. The royal procession was formed. Arundel and the Lords passed in to their places. The King and Queen, with Pole in his legate's robes, ascended the steps of the platform, and took their seats.

When the stir which had been caused by their entrance was over, Gardiner mounted a tribune; and in the now fast waning light he bowed to the King and Queen, and declared the resolution at which the Houses had arrived. Then turning to the Lords and Commons, he asked if they continued in the same mind. Four hundred voices answered, 'We do.' 'Will you then,' he said, 'that I proceed in your names to supplicate for our absolution, that we may be received again into the body of the Holy Catholic Church, under the Pope, the supreme head thereof?' Again the voices assented. The Chancellor drew a scroll from under his robe, ascended the platform, and presented it unfolded on his knee to the Queen. The Queen looked through it, gave it to Philip, who looked through it also, and returned it. The Chancellor then rose and read aloud as follows:—

'We, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons of the present Parliament assembled, representing the whole body of the realm of England, and dominions of the same, in our own names particularly, and also of the said body universally, in this our supplication directed to your Majesties—with most humble suit that it may by your gracious intercession and means be exhibited to the Most Reverend Father in God the Lord Cardinal Pole, Legate, sent specially hither from our Most Holy Father Pope Julius the Third and the See Apostolic of Rome—do declare ourselves very sorry and repentant for the schism and disobedience committed in this realm and dominions of the same, against the said See Apostolic, either by making, agreeing, or executing any laws, ordinances, or commandments against the supremacy of the said See, or otherwise doing or speaking what might impugn the same; offering ourselves, and promising by this our supplication that, for a token and knowledge of our said repentance, we be, and shall be always, ready, under and with the authority of your Majesties, to do that which shall be in us for the abrogation and repealing of the said laws and ordinances in this present Parliament, as well for ourselves as for the whole body whom we represent. Whereupon we most humbly beseech your Majesties, as persons undefiled in the offences of this body towards the Holy See—which nevertheless God by his providence hath made subject to your Majesties—so to set forth this, our most humble suit, that we may obtain from the See Apostolic, by the said Most Reverend Father, as well particularly as universally, absolution, release, and discharge from all danger of such censures and sentences as by the laws of the Church we be fallen in; and that we may, as children repentant, be received into the bosom and unity of Christ's Church; so as this noble realm, with all the members thereof, may, in unity and perfect obedience to the See Apostolic and Pope for the time being, serve God and your Majesties, to the furtherance and advancement of his honour and glory.'[50]

Having completed the reading, the Chancellor again presented the petition. The King and Queen went through the forms of intercession, and a secretary read aloud, first, the legate's original commission, and, next, the all-important extended form of it.

Pole's share of the ceremony was now to begin.

He first spoke a few words from his seat: 'Much indeed,' he said, 'the English nation had to thank the Almighty for recalling them to his fold. Once again God had given a token of his special favour to the realm; for as this nation, in the time of the Primitive Church, was the first to be called out of the darkness of heathenism, so now they were the first to whom God had given grace to repent of their schism; and if their repentance was sincere, how would the angels, who rejoice at the conversion of a single sinner, triumph at the recovery of a great and noble people.'

He moved to rise; Mary and Philip, seeing that the crisis was approaching, fell on their knees, and the assembly dropped at their example; while, in dead silence, across the dimly-lighted hall came the low, awful words of the absolution.

'Our Lord Jesus Christ, which with his most precious blood hath redeemed and washed us from all our sins and iniquities, that he might purchase unto himself a glorious spouse without spot or wrinkle, whom the Father hath appointed head over all his Church—he by his mercy absolves you, and we, by apostolic authority given unto us by the Most Holy Lord Pope Julius the Third, his vicegerent on earth, do absolve and deliver you, and every of you, with this whole realm and the dominions thereof, from all heresy and schism, and from all and every judgment, censure, and pain for that cause incurred; and we do restore you again into the unity of our Mother the Holy Church, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'

Amidst the hushed breathing every tone was audible, and at the pauses were heard the smothered sobs of the Queen. 'Amen, amen,' rose in answer from many voices. Some were really affected; some were caught for the moment with a contagion which it was hard to resist; some threw themselves weeping in each other's arms. King, Queen, and Parliament, rising from their knees, went immediately—the legate leading—into the chapel of the palace, where the choir, with the rolling organ, sang Te Deum; and Pole closed the scene with a benediction from the altar.

'Blessed day for England,' cries the Italian describer, in a rapture of devotion. 'The people exclaim in ecstasies, we are reconciled to God, we are brought back to God: the King beholds his realm, so lately torn by divisions, at the mercy of the first enemy who would seize upon it, secured on a foundation which never can be shaken: and who can express the joy—who can tell the exultation of the Queen? She has shown herself the handmaid of the Lord, and all generations shall call her blessed: she has given her kingdom to God as a thank-offering for those great mercies which He has bestowed upon her.'[51]

And the legate;—but the legate has described his emotions in his own inimitable manner. Pole went back to Lambeth, not to rest, but to pour out his soul to the Holy Father.

In his last letter he said 'he had told his Holiness that he had hoped that England would be recovered to the fold at last; yet he had then some fears remaining, so far estranged were the minds of the people from the Holy See, lest at the last moment some compromise might ruin all.'

But the godly forwardness of the King and Queen had overcome every difficulty; and on that evening, the day of St Andrew—of Andrew who first brought his brother Peter to Christ—the realm of England had been brought back to its obedience to Peter's See, and through Peter to Christ. The great act had been accomplished, accomplished by the virtue and the labour of the inestimable sovereigns with whom God had blessed the world.

'And oh,' he said, 'how many things, how great things, may the Church our mother, the bride of Christ, promise herself from these her children? Oh piety! oh! antient faith! Whoever looks on them will repeat the words of the prophet of the Church's early offspring; This is the seed which the Lord hath blessed.' How earnestly, how lovingly, did your Holiness favour their marriage; a marriage formed after the very pattern of that of our Most High King, who, being Heir of the world, was sent down by his Father from his royal throne, to be at once the Spouse and the Son of the Virgin Mary, and be made the Comforter and the Saviour of mankind: and, in like manner, the greatest of all the princes upon earth, the heir of his father's kingdom, departed from his own broad and happy realms, that he might come hither into this land of trouble, he, too, to be spouse and son of this virgin; for, indeed, though spouse he be, he so bears himself towards her as if he were her son, to aid in the reconciliation of this people to Christ and the Church.[52]

'When your Holiness first chose me as your legate, the Queen was rising up as a rod of incense out of trees of myrrh, and as frankincense out of the desert. And how does she now shine out in loveliness? What a savour does she give forth unto her people. Yea, even as the prophet saith of the mother of Christ, 'before she was in labour she brought forth, before she was delivered she hath borne a man-child.' Who ever yet hath seen it, who has heard of the similitude of it? Shall the earth bring forth in a day, or shall a nation of men be born together? but Mary has brought forth the nation of England before the time of that delivery for which we all are hoping!'

Unable to exhaust itself in words, the Catholic enthusiasm flowed over in processions, in sermons, masses, and Te Deums. Gardiner at Paul's Cross, on the Sunday succeeding, confessed his sins in having borne a part in bringing about the schism. Pole rode through the city between the King and Queen, with his legate's cross before him, blessing the people. When December.the news reached Rome, Julius first embraced the messenger, then flung himself on his knees, and said a Paternoster. The guns at St Angelo roared in triumph. There were jubilees and masses of the Holy Ghost, and bonfires, and illuminations, and pardons and indulgences. In the exuberance of his hopes, the Pope sent a nuntio to urge that, in the presence of this great mercy, peace should be made with France, where the King was devoted to the Church; the Catholic powers would then have the command of Europe, and the heretics could be destroyed.[53] 1 One thing only seemed forgotten, that the transaction was a bargain. The Papal pardon had been thrust upon criminals, whose hearts were so culpably indifferent that it was necessary to bribe them to accept it; and the conditions of the compromise, even yet, were far from concluded.

The sanction given to the secularization of Church property was a cruel disappointment to the clergy, who cared little for Rome, but cared much for wealth and power. Supported by a party in the House of Commons who had not shared in the plunder, and who envied those who had been more fortunate,[54] the ecclesiastical faction began to agitate for a reconsideration of the question. Their friends in Parliament said that the dispensation was unnecessary. Every man's conscience ought to be his guide whether to keep his lands or surrender them. The Queen was known to hold the same opinion, and eager preachers began to sound the note of restitution.[55] Growing bolder, the Lower House of Convocation presented the bishops immediately after with a series of remarkable requests. The Pope, in the terms on which he was reinstated, was but an ornamental unreality; and the practical English clergy desired substantial restorations which their eyes could see and their hands could handle.

They demanded, therefore, first, that if a statute was brought into Parliament for the assurance of the Church estates to the present possessors, nothing should be allowed to pass prejudicial to their claims 'on lands, tenements, pensions, or tythe rents, which had appertained to bishops, or other ecclesiastical persons.'

They demanded, secondly, the repeal of the Statute of Mortmain, and afterwards the abolition of lay impropriations, the punishment of heretics, the destruction of all the English Prayer-books and Bibles, the revival of the Act De Hæretico Comburendo, the re-establishment of the episcopal courts, the restoration of the legislative functions of Convocation, and the exemption of the clergy from the authority of secular magistrates.

Finally, they required that the Church should be restored absolutely to its ancient rights, immunities, and privileges; that no Premunire should issue against a bishop until he had first received notice and warning; that the judges should define 'a special doctrine of Preinunire,' and that the Statutes of Provisors should not be wrested from their meaning.[56]

The petition expressed the views of Gardiner, and was probably drawn under his direction. Had the alienated property been no more than the estates of the suppressed abbeys, the secular clergy would have acquiesced without difficulty in the existing disposition of it. But the benefices impropriated to the abbeys which had been sold or granted with the lands, they looked on as their own; the cathedral chapters and the bishops' sees, which had suffered from the second locust flight under Edward, formed part of the local Anglican Church: and Gardiner and his brother prelates declared that, if the Pope chose to set aside the canons, and permit the robbing of the religious orders, he might do as he pleased; but that he had neither right nor powers to sanction the spoliation of the working bishops and clergy. Thus the feast of reconciliation having been duly celebrated, both Houses of Parliament became again the theatre of fierce and fiery conflict.

There were wide varieties of opinion. The lawyers went beyond the clergy in limiting the powers of the Pope; the lawyers also said the Pope had no rights over the temporalities of bishops or abbots, deans, or rectors; but they did not any more admit the rights of the clergy. The English clergy, regular and secular, they said, had held their estates from immemorial time under the English Crown, and it was not for any spiritual authority, domestic or foreign, to decide whether an English King and an English Parliament might interfere to alter the disposition of those estates.

On other questions the clerical party were in the ascendant; they had a decided majority in the House cf Commons; in the Upper House there was a compact body of twenty bishops; and Gardiner held the proxies of Lord Rich, Lord Oxford, Lord Westmoreland, and Lord Abergavenny. The Queen had created four new peers; three of whom, Lord North, Lord Chandos, and Lord Williams, were bigoted Catholics; the fourth, Lord Howard, was absent with the fleet, and was unrepresented. Lord North held the proxy of Lord Worcester; and the Marquis of Winchester, Lord Montague, and Lord Stourton acted generally with the chancellor. Lord Russell was keeping out of the way, being suspected of heresy; Wentworth was at Calais; Grey was at Guisnes; and the proxies of the two last noblemen, which in the late Parliament were held by Arundel and Paget, were, for some unknown reason, now held by no one. Thus, in a house of seventy-three members only, reduced to sixty-nine by the absence of Howard, Russell, Wentworth, and Grey, Gardiner had thirty-one votes whom he might count upon as certain; he knew his power, and at once made fatal use of it.

For two Parliaments the liberal party had prevented him from recovering the power of persecution. He did not attempt to pass the Inquisitorial Act on which he was defeated in the last session. But the Act to revive the Lollard Statutes was carried through the House of Commons in the second week in December; on the 15th it was brought up to the Lords; and although those who had before fought the battle of humanity, struggled again bravely in the same cause, this time their numbers were too small; they failed, and the lives of the Protestants were in their enemies' hands.[57] Simultaneously Gardiner obtained for the bishops' courts their long-coveted privilege of arbitrary arrest and discretionary punishment, and the clergy obtained, as they desired, the restoration of their legislative powers. The property question alone disintegrated the phalanx of orthodoxy, and left an opening for the principles of liberty to assert themselves. The faithful and the faithless among the laity were alike participators in Church plunder, and were alike nervously sensitive when the current of the reaction ran in the direction of a demand for restitution.

Here, therefore, Paget and his friends chose their ground to maintain the fight.

It has been seen that Pole especially dreaded the appearance of any sort of composition between the country and the Papacy. The submission had, in fact, been purchased, but the purchase ought to be disguised. As soon, therefore, as the Parliament set themselves to the fulfilment of their promise to undo the Acts by which England had separated itself from Rome, the legate required a simple statute of repeal. The Pope had granted a dispensation; it was enough, and it should be accepted gratefully; the penitence of sinners ought not to be mixed with questions of worldly interest; the returning prodigal, when asking pardon at his father's feet, had made no conditions; the English nation must not disfigure their obedience by alluding, in the terms of it, to the Pope's benevolence to them.

The holders of the property, on the other hand, thinking more of the reality than the form, were determined that the Act of Repeal should contain, as nearly as possible, a true statement of their case. They had made conditions, and those conditions had been reluctantly complied with; and, to prevent future errors, the nature of the compact ought to be explained with the utmost distinctness. They had replaced the bishops in authority, and the bishops might be made use of at some future time, indirectly or directly, to disturb the settlement. A fresh Pontiff might refuse to recognize the concessions of his predecessors. The Papal supremacy, the secularization of the Church property, and the authority of the episcopal courts should, therefore, be interwoven inextricably to stand or fall together; and as the lawyers denied the authority of the Holy See to pronounce upon the matter at all, the legal opinion might be embodied also as a further security.

After a week of violent discussion, the lay interest in the House of Lords found itself the strongest. Pole exclaimed that, if the submission and the dispensation were tied together, it was a simoniacal compact; the Pope's Holiness was bought and sold for a price, he said, and he would sooner go back to Rome, and leave his work unfinished, than consent to an Act so derogatory to the Holy See. But the protest was vain; if the legate was so anxious, his anxiety was an additional reason why the opposition should persevere; if he chose to go, his departure could be endured.[58]

So keen was the debate that there was not so much as a Christmas recess. Christmas-day was kept as a holyday. On the 26th the struggle began again, and, fortunately, clouds had risen between the House of Commons and the Court. Finding more difficulty than he expected in embroiling England with France, Philip, to feel the temper of the people, induced one of the peers to carry a note to the Lower House to request an opinion whether it was not the duty of a son to assist his father. An answer was instantly returned that the question had been already disposed of by the late Parliament in the marriage treaty, and the further discussion of it was unnecessary.[59] Secretary Bourne, at the instigation of Gardiner, proposed to revive the claims on the pensions; but he met with no better reception. And the Court made a further blunder. Mary had become so accustomed to success, that she assured herself she could obtain all that she desired. The object of the Court was to secure the regency for Philip, with full sovereign powers, should she die leaving a child; should she die childless, to make him her successor. The first step would be Philip's coronation, which had been long talked of, and which the House of Commons was now desired to sanction. The House of Commons returned a unanimous refusal.[60]

The effects of these cross influences on the Papal statute, though they cannot be traced in detail, must have been not inconsiderable. 1555
January 4.
At length, on the 4th of January, after passing backwards and forwards for a fortnight between the two Houses, the Great Bill, as it was called, emerged, finished, in the form of a petition to the Crown:—

'Whereas,' so runs the preamble,[61] 'since the 20th year of King Henry VIII., of famous memory, much false and erroneous doctrine hath been taught, preached, and written, partly by divers natural-born subjects of this realm, and partly being brought in hither from sundry foreign countries, hath been sown and spread abroad within the same—by reason whereof as well the spirituality as the temporality of your Highness's realm and dominions have swerved from the obedience of the See Apostolic, and declined from the unity of Christ's Church, and so have continued until such time as—your Majesty being first raised up by God, and set in the seat royal over us, and then by his divine and gracious Providence knit in marriage with the most noble and virtuous prince the King our Sovereign Lord your husband—the Pope's Holiness and the See Apostolic sent hither unto your Majesties, as unto persons undefiled, and by God's goodness preserved from the common infection aforesaid, and to the whole realm, the Most Reverend Father in God the Lord Cardinal Pole, Legate de Latere, to call us again into the right way, from which we have all this long while wandered and strayed; and we, after sundry and long plagues and calamities, seeing, by the goodness of God, our own errours, have knowledged the same unto the said Most Reverend Father, and by him have been and are (the rather at the contemplation of your Majesties) received and embraced into the unity of Christ's Church, upon our humble submission, and promise made for a declaration of our repentance to repeal and abrogate such Acts and Statutes as had been made in Parliament since the said 20th year of the said King Henry VIII., against the supremacy of the See Apostolic, as in our submission exhibited to the said most Reverend Father in God, by your Majesties appeareth—it may like your Majesty, for the accomplishment of our promise, that all such laws be repealed. That is to say:—

'The Act against obtaining Dispensations from Rome for Pluralities and non-Residence.[62]

'The Act that no person shall be cited out of the Diocese where he or she dwelleth.[63]

'The Act against Appeals to the See of Rome.[64]

'The Act against the Payment of Annates and First-fruits to the See of Rome.[65]

'The Act for the Submission of the Clergy.[66]

'The Act for the Election and Consecration of Bishops.[67]

'The Act against Exactions from the See of Rome.[68]

'The Act of the Royal Supremacy.[69]

'The Act for the Consecration of Suffragan Bishops.[70]

'The Act for the Reform of the Canon Law.[71]

'The Act against the Authority of the Pope.[72]

'The Act for the Release of those who had obtained Dispensations from Rome.[73]

'The Act authorizing the King to appoint Bishops by Letters Patent.[74]

'The Act of Precontracts and Degrees of Consanguinity.[75]

'The Act for the King's Style.[76]

'The Act permitting the Marriage of Doctors of Civil Law.'[77]

In the repeal of these statutes the entire ecclesiastical legislation of Henry VIII. was swept away; and, so far as a majority in a single Parliament could affect them, the work was done absolutely and with clean completeness.

But there remained two other Acts collaterally and accidentally affecting the See of Home; for the repeal of which the Court was no less anxious than for the repeal of the Act of Supremacy, where the Parliament were not so complaisant.

Throughout the whole reaction under Mary there was one point on which the laity never wavered. Attempts such as that which has been just mentioned were made incessantly, directly or indirectly, to alter the succession and cut off Elizabeth. They were like the fretful and profitless chafings of waves upon a rock. The two Acts on which Elizabeth's claims were rested[78] touched, in one or other of their clauses, the Papal prerogative, and were included in the list to be condemned. But, of these Acts, 'so much only' as affected the See of Rome was repealed. The rest was studiously declared to continue in force.

Yet, with this reservation, the Parliament had gone far in their concessions, and it remained for them to secure their equivalent.

They reinstated the bishops, but, in giving back a power which had been so much abused, they took care to protect—not, alas! the innocent lives which were about to be sacrificed—but their own interests. The bishops and clergy of the Province of Canterbury having been made to state their case and their claims, in a petition to the Crown, they were then compelled formally to relinquish those claims; and the petition and the relinquishment were embodied in the Act as the condition of the restoration of the authority of the Church courts.[79] In continuation, the Lords and Commons desired that, for the removal 'of all occasion of contention, suspicion, and trouble, both outwardly and inwardly, in men's consciences,' the Pope's Holiness, as represented by the legate, 'by dispensation, toleration, or permission, as the case required,' would recognize all such foundations of colleges, hospitals, cathedrals, churches, schools, or bishoprics as had been established during the schism, would confirm the validity of all ecclesiastical acts which had been performed during the same period; and, finally, would consent that all property, of whatever kind, taken from the Church, should remain to its present possessors—'so as all persons having sufficient conveyance of the said lands, goods, and chattels by the common laws, or acts, or statutes of the realm, might, without scruple of conscience, enjoy them without impeachment or trouble, by pretence of any general council, canon, or ecclesiastical law, and clear from all dangers of the censures of the Church.' The petitions, both of clergy and Parliament, the Act went on to say, had been considered by the Cardinal; and the Cardinal had acquiesced. He had undertaken, in the Pope's name, that the possessors of either lands or goods should never be molested either then or in time to come, in virtue of any Papal decree, or canon, or council; that if any attempt should be made by any bishop or other ecclesiastic to employ the spiritual weapons of the Church to extort restitution, such act or acts were declared vain and of none effect. The dispensation was pronounced, nor could the legate's protests avail to prevent it from appearing in the Statute. He was permitted, only in consideration of the sacrifice, to interweave amidst the legal technicalities some portion of his own feeling. The impious detainers of holy things, while permitted to maintain their iniquity, were reminded of the fate of Belshazzar, and were urged to restore the patines, chalices, and ornaments of the altars. The impropriators of benefices were implored, in the mercy of Christ, to remember the souls of the people, and provide for the decent performance of the services of the churches.[80]

Here the Act might have been expected to end. The nature of the transaction between the Parliament and the Pope had been made sufficiently clear. Yet, had nothing more been said, the surrender of their claims by the clergy would have implied that they had parted with something which they might have legitimately required. Under the inspiration of the lawyers, therefore, a series of clauses were superadded, explaining that, notwithstanding the dispensation, 'The title of all lands, possessions, and hereditaments in their Majesties' realms and dominions was grounded in the laws, statutes, and customs of the same, and by their high jurisdiction, authority royal, and crown imperial, and in their courts only, might be impleaded, ordered, tried, and judged, and none otherwise:' and, therefore, 'whosoever, by any process obtained out of any ecclesiastical court within the realm or without, or by pretence of any spiritual jurisdiction or otherwise, contrary to the laws of the realm, should inquiet or molest any person or persons, or body politic, for any of the said lands or things above specified, should incur the danger of Premunire, and should suffer and incur the forfeitures and pains contained in the same.'[81]

Vainly the clergy had entreated for a limitation or removal of Premunire. That spectre remained unexorcised in all its shadowy terror; and while it survived, the penitence of England went no deeper than the lips, however fine the words and eloquent the phrases in which it was expressed. As some compensation, the Mortmain Act was suspended for twenty years. Yet, as if it were in reply to Pole's appeal, a mischievous provision closed the Act, that, notwithstanding anything contained in it, laymen entitled to tithes might recover them with the same readiness as before the first day of the present Parliament.[82]

Such was the great statute of reconciliation with Rome, with which, in the inability to obtain a better, the legate was compelled to be satisfied, and to reconsider his threat of going back to Italy.

This first conflict was no sooner ended than another commenced. The Commons would not consent that Philip should be crowned; but, as the Queen said she was enceinte, provision had to be made for a regency, and a bill was introduced into the Upper House which has not survived, but which, in spirit, was unfavourable to the King.[83] Gardiner, in the course of the debate, attempted to put in a clause affecting Elizabeth,[84] but the success was no better than usual. The Act went down to the Commons, where, however, it was immediately cancelled. Though the Commons would give Philip no rights as King, they were better disposed towards him than the Lords; and they drew another bill of their own, in which they declared the father to be the natural and fitting guardian of the child. The experience of protectorates, they said, had been uniformly unfortunate, and should the Queen die leaving an heir, Philip should be Regent of the realm during the minority; if obliged to be absent on the Continent, he might himself nominate his deputy;[85] and so long as it should be his pleasure to remain in England, his person should be under the protection of the laws of high treason.

Taking courage from the apparent disposition of the House, the friends of the Court proposed that, should the Queen die childless, the crown should devolve absolutely upon him for his life.[86] But in this they were going too far. The suggestion was listened to coldly; and Philip, who had really calculated on obtaining from Parliament, in some form or other, a security for his succession, despatched Ruy Gomez to Brussels, to consult the Emperor on the course which should be pursued.[87] On the whole, however, could the bill of the House of Commons be carried, Renard was disposed to be contented; the Queen was confident in her hopes of an heir, and it might not be worth while to irritate the people unnecessarily about Elizabeth.[88] The clause empowering Philip to govern by deputy in his absence was especially satisfactory.[89]

But the peers, whom the Commons had refused to consult on the new form of the measure, would not part so easily with their own opinions; they adopted the phraseology of the Lower House, but this particular and precious feature in it they pared away. The bill, as it eventually passed, declared Philip Regent till his child should be of age, and so long as he continued in the realm; but, at the same time, fatally for the objects at which he was aiming, it bound him again to observe all the articles of the marriage treaty, 'which, during the time that he should hold the government, should remain and continue in as full force and strength, as if they were newly inserted and rehearsed in the present Act.'[90]

The disposition of the House of Lords was the more dangerous, because the bishops, of course, voted with the Government, and the strength of the opposition, therefore, implied something like unanimity in the lay peers. The persecuting Act had been carried with difficulty, and in the reconciliation with Rome the legate had been studiously mortified. On the succession and the coronation the Court had been wholly baffled; and in the Regency Bill they had obtained but half of what they had desired. At the least Mary had hoped to secure for the King the free disposal of the army and the finances, and she had not been able so much as to ask for it. Compelled to rest contented with such advantages as had been secured, the Court would not risk the results of further controversy by prolonging the session; and on the 16th of January, at four o'clock in the afternoon, the King and Queen came to the House of Lords almost unattended, and with an evident expression of dissatisfaction dissolved the Parliament.[91]

I have been particular in relating the proceedings of this Parliament, because it marks the point where the flood tide of reaction ceased to ascend, and the ebb recommenced. From the beginning of the Reformation in 1529, two distinct movements had gone on side by side—the alteration of doctrines, and the emancipation of the laity from Papal and ecclesiastical domination. With the first, the contemporaries of Henry VIII., the country gentlemen and the peers, who were the heads of families at the period of Mary's accession, had never sympathized; and the tyranny of the Protestants while they were in power had converted a disapproval which time would have overcome, into active and determined indignation. The Papacy was a mixed question; the Pilgrims of Grace in 1536, and the Cornish rebels in 1549, had demanded the restoration of the spiritual primacy to the See of St Peter, and Henry himself, until Pole and Paul III. called on Europe to unite in a crusade against him, had not determined wholly against some degree of concession. In the Pope, as a sovereign who claimed reverence and tribute, who interfered with the laws of the land, and maintained at Rome a supreme Court of Appeal—who pretended a right to depose kings and absolve subjects from their allegiance—who held a weapon in excommunication as terrible to the laity as Premunire was terrible to ecclesiastics—in the Pope under this aspect, only a few insignificant fanatics entertained any kind of interest.

But experience had proved that to a nation cut off from the centre of Catholic union, the maintenance of orthodoxy was impossible: the supremacy of the Pope, therefore, came back as a tolerated feature in the return to the Catholic faith, and the ecclesiastical courts were reinstated in authority to check unlicensed extravagance of opinion. Their restored power, however, was over opinion only; wherever the pretensions of the Church would come in collision with the political constitution, wherever they menaced the independence of the temporal magistrate or the tenure of property, there the progress of restoration was checked by the rock, and could eat no further into the soil. The Pope and the clergy recovered their titular rank, and in one direction unhappily they recovered the reality of power. But the temporal spoils of the struggle remained with the laity, and if the clergy lifted a hand to retake them, their weapons would be instantly wrenched from their grasp.

If the genuine friends of human freedom had acquiesced without resistance in this conclusion, if the nobility had contented themselves with securing their worldly and political interests, and had made no effort to restrain or modify the exercise of the authority which they were giving back, they might be accused of having accepted a dishonourable compromise. But they did what they could. They worked with such legal means as were in their power, and for two Parliaments they succeeded in keeping persecution at bay; they failed in the third, but failed only after a struggle. The Protestants themselves had created, by their own misconduct, the difficulty of defending them; and armed unconstitutional resistance was an expedient to be resorted to, only when it had been seen how the clergy would conduct themselves. English statesmen may be pardoned if they did not anticipate the passions to which the guardians of orthodoxy were about to abandon themselves. Parliament had maintained the independence of the English courts of law. It had maintained the Premunire. It had forbidden the succession to be tampered with. If this was not everything, it was something—something which in the end would be the undoing of all the rest.

The Court and the bishops, however, were for the present absolute in their own province. The persecuting Acts were once more upon the Statute Book; and when the realities of the debates in Parliament had disappeared, the Cardinal and the Queen could again give the rein to their imagination. They had called up a phantom out of its grave, and they persuaded themselves that they were witnessing the resurrection of the spirit of truth, that heresy was about to vanish from off the English soil, like an exhalation of the morning, at the brightness of the Papal return. The chancellor and the clergy were springing at the leash like hounds with the game in view, fanaticism and revenge lashing them forward. If the temporal schemes of the Court were thwarted, it was, perhaps, because Heaven desired that exclusive attention should be given first to the salvation of souls.

For all past political offences, therefore, there was now an amnesty, and such prisoners as remained unexecuted for Wyatt's conspiracy were released from the Tower on the 18th of January. On the 25th a hundred and sixty priests walked in procession through the London streets, chanting litanies, with eight bishops walking after them, and Bonner carrying the Lost. On the 28th the Cardinal issued his first general instructions. The bishops were directed to call together their clergy in every diocese in England, and to inform them of the benevolent love of the Holy Father, and of the arrival of the legate with powers to absolve them from their guilt. They were to relate the Acts of the late Parliament, with the reconciliation and absolution of the Lords and Commons; and they were to give general notice that authority had been restored to the ecclesiastical courts to proceed against the enemies of the faith, and punish them according to law.

A day was then to be fixed on which the clergy should appear with their confessions, and be received into the Church. In the assignment of their several penances, a distinction was to be made between those who had taught heresy and those who had merely lapsed into it.

When the clergy had been reconciled, they were again in turn to exhort the laity in all churches and cathedrals, to accept the grace which was offered to them; and that they might understand that they were not at liberty to refuse the invitation, a time was assigned to them within which their submissions must be all completed. A book was to be kept in every diocese, where the names of those who were received were to be entered. A visitation was to be held throughout the country at the end of the spring, and all who had not complied before Easter day, or who, after compliance, 'had returned to their vomit, would be proceeded against with the utmost severity of the law.[92]

The introduction of the Register was the Inquisition under another name. There was no limit, except in the humanity or the prudence of the bishops, to the tyranny which they would be enabled to exercise. The Cardinal professed to desire that, before heretics were punished with death, mild means should first be tried with them;[93] the meaning which he attached to the words was illustrated in an instant example.

The instructions were the signal for the bishops to commence business. Jan. 28.On the day of their appearance, Gardiner, Bonner, Tunstal, and three other prelates, formed a court in St Mary Overy's Church, in Southwark; and Hooper, and Rogers, a canon of St Paul's, were brought up before them.

Rogers had been distinguished in the first bright days of Protestantism. He had been a fellow-labourer with Tyndal and Coverdale, at Antwerp, in the translation of the Bible. Afterwards, taking a German wife, he lived for a time at Wittenberg, not unknown, we may be sure, to Martin Luther. On the accession of Edward, he returned to England, and worked among the London clergy till the end of the reign; and on Mary's accession he was one of the preachers at Paul's Cross who had dared to speak against the reaction. He had been rebuked by the council, and his friends had urged him to fly, but, like Cranmer, he thought that duty required him to stay at his post, and, in due time, without, however, having given fresh provocation, he was shut up in Newgate by Bonner.

Hooper, when the unfortunate garment controversy was brought to an end, had shown by his conduct in his diocese that in one instance at least doctrinal fanaticism was compatible with the loftiest excellence. While the great world was scrambling for the Church property, Hooper was found petitioning the council for leave to augment impoverished livings out of his income.[94] In the hall of his palace at Gloucester a profuse hospitality was offered daily to those who were most in need of it. The poor of the city were invited by relays to solid meat dinners, and the Bishop with the courtesy of a gentleman dined with them, and treated them with the same respect as if they had been the highest in the land. He was one of the first persons arrested after Mary's accession, and the cross of persecution at once happily made his peace with Ridley. In an affectionate interchange of letters, the two confessors exhorted each other to constancy in the end which both foresaw, determining 'if they could not overthrow, at least to shake, those high altitudes' of spiritual tyranny.[95] The Fleet prison had now been Hooper's house for eighteen, months. At first, on payment of heavy fees to the warden, he had lived in some degree of comfort; but as soon as his deprivation was declared, Gardiner ordered that he should be confined in one of the common prisoners' wards; where 'with a wicked man and a wicked woman' for his companions, with a bed of straw and a rotten counterpane, the prison sink on one side of his cell and Fleet ditch on the other, he waited till it would please Parliament to permit the dignitaries of the Church to murder him.[96]

These were the two persons with whom the Marian persecution opened. On their appearance in the court, they were required briefly to make their submission. They attempted to argue; but they were told that when Parliament had determined a thing, private men were not to call it in question, and they were allowed twenty-four hours to make up their minds. As they were leaving the church Hooper was heard to say, 'Come, brother Rogers, must we two take this matter first in hand and fry these faggots?' 'Yea, sir, with God's grace,' Rogers answered. 'Doubt not,' Hooper said, 'but God will give us strength.'

They were remanded to prison. {{left sidenote|Jan. 29.||The next morning they were brought again before the court. 'The Queen's mercy' was offered them, if they would recant; they refused, and they were sentenced to die. Rogers asked to be allowed to take leave of his wife and children. Gardiner, with a savage taunt, rejected the request. The day of execution was left uncertain. They were sent to Newgate to wait the Queen's pleasure. On the 30th, Taylor of Hadley, Laurence Sandars, rector of All Hallows, and the illustrious Bradford, were passed through the same forms with the same results. Another, a notorious preacher, called Cardmaker, flinched, and made his submission.

Rogers was to 'break the ice,' as Bradford described it.[97] Monday,
Feb. 4.
On the morning of the 4th of February the wife of the keeper of Newgate came to his bedside. He was sleeping soundly, and she woke him with difficulty to let him know that he was wanted. The Bishop of London was waiting, she said, to degrade him from the priesthood, and he was then to go out and die. Rubbing his eyes, and collecting himself, he hurried on his clothes. 'If it be thus,' he said, 'I need not tie my points.' Hooper had been sent for also for the ceremony of degradation. The vestments used in the mass were thrown over them, and were then one by one removed. They were pronounced deposed from the priestly office, incapable of offering further sacrifice—except, indeed, the only acceptable sacrifice which man can ever offer, the sacrifice of himself. Again Rogers entreated permission to see his wife, and again he was refused.

The two friends were then parted. Hooper was to suffer at Gloucester, and returned to his cell: Rogers was committed to the sheriff, and led out to Smithfield. The Catholics had affected to sneer at the faith of their rivals. There was a general conviction among them, which was shared probably by Pole and Gardiner, that the Protestants would all flinch at the last; that they had no 'doctrine that would abide the fire.' When Rogers appeared, therefore, the exultation of the people in his constancy overpowered the horror of his fate, and he was received with rounds of cheers. His family, whom he was forbidden to part with in private, were waiting on the way to see him—his wife with nine little ones at her side and a tenth upon her breast—and they, too, welcomed him with hysterical cries of joy, as if he were on his way to a festival.[98] Sir Robert Rochester was in attendance at the stake to report his behaviour. At the last moment he was offered pardon if he would give way, but in vain. The fire was lighted. The suffering seemed to be nothing. He bathed his hands in the flame as 'if it was cold water,' raised his eyes to heaven, and died.

The same night a party of the royal guard took charge of Hooper, the order of whose execution was arranged by a mandate from the Crown. As 'an obstinate, false, and detestible heretic,' he was to 'be burned in the city 'which he had infected with his pernicious doctrines;' and 'forasmuch as being a vain-glorious person, and delighting in his tongue,' he 'might persuade the people into agreement with him, had he liberty to use it,' care was to be taken that he should not speak either at the stake or on his way to it.[99] He was carried down on horseback by easy stages; and on the forenoon of Thursday the 7th, he dined at Cirencester, 'at a woman's house who had always hated the truth, and spoken all evil she could of him.' This woman had shared in the opinion that Protestants had no serious convictions, and had often expressed her belief that Hooper, particularly, would fail if brought to the trial. She found that both in him and in his creed there was more than she had supposed; and 'perceiving the cause of his coming, she lamented his case with tears, and showed him all the friendship she could.'

At five in the evening he arrived at Gloucester. The road, for a mile outside the town, was lined with people, and the mayor was in attendance, with an escort, to prevent a rescue. But the feeling was rather of awe and expectation, and those who loved Hooper best knew that the highest service which he could render to his faith was to die for it.

A day's interval of preparation was allowed him, with a private room. He was in the custody of the sheriff; 'and there was this difference observed between the keepers of the bishops' prisons and the keepers of the Crown prisons, that the bishops' keepers were ever cruel; the keepers of the Crown prisons showed, for the most part, such favour as they might.'[100] After a sound night's rest, Hooper rose early, and passed the morning in solitary prayer. Feb. 8.In the course of the day, young Sir Anthony Kingston, one of the commissioners appointed to superintend the execution, expressed a wish to see him. Kingston was an old acquaintance, Hooper having been the means of bringing him out of evil ways. He entered the room unannounced. Hooper was on his knees, and, looking round at the intruder, did not at first know him. Kingston told him his name, and then, bursting into tears, said:—

'Oh, consider; life is sweet and death is bitter; therefore, seeing life may be had, desire to live, for life hereafter may do good.'

Hooper answered:—

'I thank you for your counsel, yet it is not so friendly as I could have wished it to be. True it is, alas! Master Kingston, that death is bitter and life is sweet; therefore I have settled myself, through the strength of God's Holy Spirit, patiently to pass through the fire prepared for me, desiring you and others to commend me to God's mercy in your prayers.'

'Well, my Lord,' said Kingston, 'then there is no remedy, and I will take my leave. I thank God that ever I knew you, for God appointed you to call me, being a lost child. I was both an adulterer and a fornicator, and God, by your good instruction, brought me to the forsaking of the same.'

They parted, the tears on both their faces. Other friends were admitted afterwards. The Queen's orders were little thought of, for Hooper had won the hearts of the guard on his way from London. In the evening the mayor and aldermen came, with the sheriffs, to shake hands with him. 'It was a sign of their good will,' he said, 'and a proof that they had not forgotten the lessons which he used to teach them.' He begged the sheriffs that there might be 'a quick fire, to make an end shortly;' and for himself he would be as obedient as they could wish.

'If you think I do amiss in anything,' he said, 'hold up your fingers, and I have done; for I am not come hither as one enforced or compelled to die; I might have had my life, as is well known, with worldly gain, if I would have accounted my doctrine falsehood and heresy.'

In the evening, at his own request, he was left alone. He slept undisturbed the early part of the night. From the time that he awoke till the guard entered, he was on his knees.

Feb. 9.The morning was windy and wet. The scene of the execution was an open space opposite the college, near a large elm tree, where Hooper had been accustomed to preach. Several thousand people were collected to see him suffer; some had climbed the tree, and were seated in the storm and rain among the leafless branches. A company of priests were in a room over the college gates, looking out with pity or satisfaction, as God or the devil was in their hearts.

'Alas!' said Hooper, when he was brought out, 'why be all these people assembled here, and speech is prohibited me?' He had suffered in prison from sciatica, and was lame, but he limped cheerfully along with a stick, and smiled when he saw the stake. At the foot of it he knelt; and as he began to pray, a box was brought, and placed on a stool before his eyes, which he was told contained his pardon if he would recant.

'Away with it!' Hooper only cried; 'away with it!'

'Despatch him, then,' Lord Chandos said, 'seeing there is no remedy.'

He was undressed to his shirt, in the cold; a pound of gunpowder was tied between his legs, and as much more under either arm; he was fastened with an iron hoop to the stake, and he assisted with his own hands to arrange the faggots round him.

The fire was then brought, but the wood was green, the dry straw only kindled, and burning for a few moments was blown away by the wind. A violent flame paralyzed the nerves at once, a slow one was torture. More faggots were thrown in, and again lighted, and this time the martyr's face was singed and scorched; but again the flames sank, and the hot damp sticks smouldered round his legs. He wiped his eyes with his hands, and cried, 'For God's love, good people, let me have more fire!' A third supply of dry fuel was laid about him, and this time the powder exploded, but it had been ill-placed, or was not enough. 'Lord Jesu, have mercy on me!' he exclaimed; 'Lord Jesu, receive my spirit!' These were his last articulate words; but his lips were long seen to move, and he continued to beat his breast with his hands. It was not till after three quarters of an hour of torment that he at last expired.

The same day, at the same hour, Rowland Taylor was burnt on Aldham Common, in Suffolk. Laurence Sandars had been destroyed the day before at Coventry, kissing the stake, and crying, 'Welcome the cross of Christ! welcome everlasting life!' The first-fruits of the Whitehall pageant were gathered. By the side of the rhetoric of the hysterical dreamer who presided in that vain melodrama, let me place a few words addressed by the murdered Bishop of Gloucester to his friends, a week before his sentence.

'The grace of God be with you, amen, I did write unto you of late, and told you what extremity the Parliament had concluded upon concerning religion, suppressing the truth, and setting forth the untruth; intending to cause all men, by extremity, to forswear themselves; and to take again for the head of the Church him that is neither head nor member of it, but a very enemy, as the word of God and all ancient writers do record. And for lack of law and authority they will use force and extremity, which have been the arguments to defend the Pope and Popery since their authority first began in the world. But now is the time of trial, to see whether we fear more God or man. It was an easy thing to hold with Christ whilst the Prince and the world held with him; but now the world hateth him, it is the true trial who be his.

'Wherefore in the name, and in the virtue, strength, and power of his Holy Spirit, prepare yourselves in any case to adversity and constancy. Let us not run away when it is most time to fight. Remember, none shall be crowned but such as fight manfully; and he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Ye must now turn your cogitations from the perils you see, and mark the felicity that followeth the peril—either victory in this world of your enemies, or else a surrender of this life to inherit the everlasting kingdom. Beware of beholding too much the felicity or misery of this world; for the consideration and too earnest love or fear of either of them draweth from God. Wherefore think with yourselves as touching the felicity of the world, it is good; but none otherwise than it standeth with the favour of God; it is to be kept, but yet so far forth as by keeping it we lose not God. It is good abiding and tarrying still among our friends here, but yet so that we tarry not therewithal in God's displeasure, and hereafter dwell with the devils in fire everlasting. There is nothing under God but may be kept, so that God, being above all things we have, be not lost. Of adversity judge the same. Imprisonment is painful, but yet liberty upon evil conditions is more painful. The prisons stink; but yet not so much as sweet houses, where the fear and true honour of God lack. I must be alone and solitary; it is better so to be, and have God with me, than to be in company with the wicked. Loss of goods is great, but loss of God's grace and favour is greater. I am a poor simple creature, and cannot tell how to answer before such a great sort of noble, learned, and wise men. It is better to make answer before the pomp and pride of wicked men than to stand naked, in the sight of all heaven and earth, before the just God at the latter day. I shall die by the hands of the cruel men; but he is blessed that loseth this life full of miseries, and findeth the life of eternal joys. It is pain and grief to depart from goods and friends; but yet not so much as to depart from grace and heaven itself. Wherefore there is neither felicity nor adversity of this world that can appear to be great, if it be weighed with the joys or pains in the world to come.'[101]

Of five who had been sentenced, four were thus despatched. Bradford, the fifth, was respited, in the hope that the example might tell upon him. Six more were waiting their condemnation in Bonner's prisons. The enemies of the Church were to submit or die. So said Gardiner, in the name of the English priesthood, with the passion of a fierce revenge. So said the legate and the Queen, in the delirious belief that they were chosen instruments of Providence.

So, however, did not say the English lay statesmen. The first and unexpected effect was to produce a difference of opinion in the Court itself. Philip, to whom Renard had insisted on the necessity of more moderate measures, found it necessary to clear himself of responsibility: and the day after Hooper suffered, Alphonso a Castro, the King's chaplain, preached a sermon in the royal presence, in which he denounced the execution, and inveighed against the tyranny of the bishops. The Lords of the Council 'talked strangely;' and so deep was the indignation, that the Flemish ambassador again expected Gardiner's destruction. Paget refused to act with him in the council any more, and Philip himself talked more and more of going abroad. Renard, from the tone of his correspondence, believed evidently at this moment that the game of the Church was played out and lost. He wrote to the Emperor to entreat that when the King went he might not himself be left behind: he was held responsible by the people for the Queen's misdoings; and a party of the young nobility had sworn to kill him.[102]

Among the people the constancy of the martyrs had called out a burst of admiration. It was rumoured that bystanders had endeavoured to throw themselves into the fire to die at their side.[103] A prisoner, on examination before Bonner, was asked if he thought he could bear the flame. You may try me, if you will, he said. A candle was brought, and he held his hand, without flinching, in the blaze.[104] With such a humour abroad, it seemed to Renard that the Lords had only to give the signal and the Queen and the bishops would be overwhelmed.

He expected the movement in the spring. It is singular that, precisely as in the preceding winter, the deliberate intentions of moderate and competent persons were anticipated and defeated by a partial and premature conspiracy. At the end of February a confederate revealed a project for an insurrection, partly religious and partly agrarian. Placards were to be issued simultaneously in all parts of the country, declaring that the Queen's pregnancy was a delusion, and that she intended to pass upon the nation a supposititious child; the people were, therefore, invited to rise in arms, drive out the Spaniards, revolutionize religion, tear down the enclosures of the commons, and proclaim Courtenay King under the title of Edward VII.[105] In such a scheme the lords and country gentlemen could bear no part. They could not risk a repetition of the popular rebellions of the late reign, and they resolved to wait the issue of the Queen's pregnancy, while they watched over the safety of Elizabeth. The project of the Court was now to send her to Flanders, where she was to remain under charge of the Emperor; if possible, she was to be persuaded to go thither of her own accord; if she could not be persuaded, she would be otherwise removed Lord William Howard, her constant guardian, requested permission to see and speak with her, and learn her own feelings. He was refused; but he went to her notwithstanding, and had a long private interview with her; and the Court could only talk bitterly of his treason among themselves, make propositions to send him to the Tower which they durst not execute, and devise some other method of dealing with their difficulty.[106]

Meantime, Philip, who had pined for freedom after six weeks' experience of his bride, was becoming unmanageably impatient. A paper of advice and exhortation survives, which was addressed on this occasion by the ambassador to his master, with reflections on the condition of England, and on the conduct which the King should pursue.

'Your Majesty must remember,' said Renard, 'the purpose for which you came to England. The French had secured the Queen of Scotland for the Dauphin. They had afterwards made an alliance with the late King, and spared no pains to secure the support of England. To counteract their schemes, and to obtain a counter-advantage in the war, the Emperor, on the accession of the Queen, resolved that your Highness should marry her. Your Highness, it is true, might wish that she was more agreeable;[107] but, on the other hand, she is infinitely virtuous, and, things being as they are, your Highness, like a magnanimous prince, must remember her condition, and exert yourself, so far as you conveniently may, to assist her in the management of the kingdom.

'Your Highness must consider that your departure will be misrepresented, your enemies will speak of it as a flight rather than as a necessary absence. The French will be busy with their intrigues, and the Queen will not be pleased to lose you. The administration is in confusion, the divisions in the council are more violent than ever. Religion is unsettled; the heretics take advantage of these late barbarous punishments to say, that they are to be converted by fire, because their enemies are unable to convince them by reason or example. The orthodox clergy are still unreformed, and their scandalous conduct accords ill with the offices to which they are called.[108]

'Further, your Highness will do well to weigh the uncertainty of the succession. Should the Queen's pregnancy prove a mistake, the heretics will place their hopes in Elizabeth: and here you are in a difficulty whatever be done; for if Elizabeth be set aside, the crown will go to the Queen of Scots; if she succeed, she will restore heresy, and naturally attach herself to France. Some step must be taken about this before you leave the country; and you must satisfy the Queen that you will assist her in her general difficulties, as a good lord and husband ought to do.[109]

'The council must be reformed, if possible, and the number diminished; those who remain must be invited to renew their oaths to your Majesty. Regard must be had to the navy, and especially to the admiral Lord William Howard; and above all there must be no more of this barbarous precipitancy in putting heretics to death. The people must be won from their errors by gentleness and by better instruction. Except in cases of especial scandal, the bishops must not be permitted to irritate them by cruelty, and the legate must see that a better example is set by the clergy themselves.[110] The debts of the Crown must be attended to; and your Majesty should endeavour to do something which will give you popularity with the masses. Before all things, attend to the succession.

'You cannot set aside the dispositions of King Henry in favour of Elizabeth without danger of rebellion. To recognize her as heir-presumptive without providing her with a husband, who can control her, will be perilous to the Queen. The mean course between the extremes will be, therefore, for your Highness to bring about her marriage with the Prince of Savoy. It will please the English, provided that her rights of inheritance are not interfered with; and although they will not go to war for our quarrel, they will not in that case be unwilling to assist in expelling the French from Piedmont.

'If your Majesty approve, the thing can be done without delay. At all events, before you leave the country, you should see the Princess yourself; give her your advice to be faithful to her sister, and, on your part, promise that you will be her friend, and assist her where you can find opportunity.'

  1. Renard.
  2. Que pourroit estre l'on auroit mis en avant au consistoire cette commission par affection particulière pour plustôt nuire, que servir aux consciences; attendu qu'ilz sont partiaulx pour les princes Chrestiens, et souvent meslent les choses séculières et prophanes avec les conseils divins et ecclésiastiques.—Renard to Philip: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
  3. He begged Morone not to suppose him ignorant, 'quale sia il mare d'Inghilterra nel quale io ho da navigare et che fortuna et travagli potrei haver a sostinere per condurre la navi in porto.'—Pole to Morone; Epist. Reg. Pol. vol. iv. I have not seen Morone's first letter. The contents are to be gathered, however, from Pole's answer, and from a second letter of apology which Morone wrote two months later.
  4. Scrissi alla Regina non la volendo contristare condolermi di cio, che io interpretava et intendeva che questa tardita non venisse tanto da lei quanto delle Providentia di Dio, il qual habbia ordinato che si come per discordia matrimoniale d'un Re Inglese et d'una Regina Hispana fu levata l'obedientia della chiesa de quel Regno cosi dalla concordia matrimoniale d'un Re Hispano et d'una Regina Inglese ella vi doversc ritornare.—Pole to Morone: Epist. Reg. Pol. vol. iv.
  5. E benchè S. Sanctità non havesse patienza secundo l'ordinario suo di leggere o di udir la lettera, nondimeno le dissi talraente la summa che mostro restate satisfattissima, e disse esser più che certa che quella non haveva dato causa ne all' Imperatore ne ad altri d'usar con lei termini cosi extravaganti.—Morone to Pole: Burnet's Collectanea.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Powers granted by the Pope to Cardinal Pole: Burnet's Collectanea.
  8. Charles V. to Renard: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
  9. Che gran differenza sarebbe se fosse stata commessa la cosa o al S. Cardinale, o alli Serenissimi Principi.—Ormaneto to Priuli, Jnly 31: Burnet's Collectanea.
  10. Salvo tamen in his, in quibus propter rerum magnitudinem et gravitatem hæc sancta sedes merito tibi videretur consulenda, nostro et præfatæ sedis beneplacito et confirmatione.—Powers granted by the Pope to Cardinal Pole: Ibid.
  11. Nondimeno non si risolveva in tutto, com anco non si risolveva nella materia delli beni ecclesiastici, sopra la qual sua Sanctità ha parlato molte volte variamente.—Morone to Pole, July 13: Ibid.
  12. Il Sçauroit bien user de modération quant aux biens occupez; mais que toutesfois il fauldroit que se fust de sorte que la reste de la Chrestienté n'en prînt malvais exemple; et signarnment que aucuns Catholiques qui tiennent biens ecclésiastiques soubz leur main ne voulsissent pretendre d'eulx approprier avec cest exemple; et que de vouloir laisser les biens à ceulx qui les occupent, il ne conviendroit pour ce qu'il sembleroit que ce seroit racheter, comme à deniers comptans l'auctorité du siége apostolique en ce coustel-lá.—The Emperor to Renard: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. pp. 282, 283.
  13. Nous sçavons que le dict Cardinal n'a commission de presser si chauldement en cette affaire—ains avons heu soubz main advertissement du nunce propre de sa Saincteté que la résolution de la commission dudict Cardinal est que toutes choses se traictent comm'il nous semblera pour le mieulx et qu'il tienne cecy pour régle.—Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
  14. Trop plus chastolleux que celuy de la vraye religion.—Renard to the Emperor: Ibid. p. 287.
  15. Renard to the Emperor: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 287.
  16. Pole to Philip: Epist. Reg. Pol. vol. iv.
  17. Avecques d'aultres petits depportements de mocquerie qui croissent tous les jours d'ung cousté et d'aultre.—Noailles to the King of France, August 1.
  18. Noailles, and compare Pole to Miranda, Oct. 6: Epist. Reg. Pol. vol. v.
  19. Chronicle of Queen Mary. Contemporary Narrative: MS. Harleian, 419.
  20. Chronicle of Queen Mary.
  21. Tant et si longuement que se seroit l'utilité et commodité de ce dict Royaulme d'Angleterre.—Noailles to the King of France.
  22. Renard to Charles V., Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 294.
  23. Renard to the Bishop of Arras: Granvelle Papers, p. 330.
  24. Same to the Emperor: Ibid. p. 321.
  25. Entre les seigneurs et gens de la noblesse et de credit et administration, il y a telle partialité que l'un ne se fie de l'autre.—Ibid.
  26. Les choses se vont accommoder à quoy sert la saison de l'hiver et ce que en la court l'on y danse souvent; que les Espaignolz et Angloys commencent à converser les ungs avec les aultres … et n'y a personne qui puisse imaginer que Dieu ait voulu ung si grand marriage et de telz princes, pour en esperer sinon ung grand bien publique pour la Chrestienté, et pour restablir et asseurer les estatz de vostre majesté troublez par ses ennemis.—Renard to the Emperor; Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 319.
  27. Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 320.
  28. Royal Circular; printed in Burnet's Collectanea.
  29. Les lettres de la convocation du parlement sont esté pourjectées sur la vieille forme dont l'on usoit au temps du Roy Henry septième pour avoir en icelluy gens de bien Catholiques: et à propos et selon ce ceulx de Londre en publique assemblée ont choisiz quatre personnaiges que l'on tient estre fort saiges et modestes.—Renard to the Emperor: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 324.
  30. Le mandement et declaration que vostre Majesté a faict publier sur le point de la religion, laissant la liberté à ung chacun pour tenir quelle religion l'on vouldra.—Renard to Philip and Mary: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 327.
  31. Et que sa Saincteté le fonde in pietate Christianâ et ecclesiasticâ quia nunquam Ecclesia claudit gremium, semper indulget exemplo Salvatoris, et Evangelium semper consolatur, semper remittit, et sur plusieurs aultres fondemens generaulx.—Ibid. p. 326.
  32. Perciocche quanto alla Doctrina disse che poco se ne curavano questo tali non credendo ne all' una ne all' altra via.—Pole to the Pope, October 13: Burnet's Collectanea.
  33. Disse anche che essendo stati questi beni dedicati a Dio non era da concedere cosi ogna cosa a quelli che le tenevano.—Ibid.
  34. The greatest and only means to procure the agreement of the noblemen and others of our council was our promise that the Pope's Holiness would, at our suit, dispense with all possessors of any lands or goods of monasteries, colleges, or other ecclesiastical houses, to hold and enjoy their said lands and goods without any trouble or scruple; without which promise it had been impossible to have had their consent, and shall be utterly impossible to have any fruit and good concord ensue. For which purpose you shall earnestly pray our said cousin to use all possible diligence, and say that if he have not already, he may so receive authority from the See Apostolic to dispense in this manner as the same, being now in good towardness, may so in this Parliament take the desired effect; whereof we see no likelihood except it may be therewithal provided for this matter of the lands and goods of the Church.—Instructions to Paget and Hastings, November 5; Tytler, vol. ii. p. 446.
  35. Tytler, vol. ii. p. 446.
  36. Cecil had taken no formal part in Mary's Government, but his handwriting can be traced in many papers of State, and in the Irish department he seems to have given his assistance throughout the reign. In religion Cecil, like Paget, was a latitudinarian. His conformity under Mary has been commented upon bitterly; but there is no occasion to be surprised at his conduct—no occasion, when one thinks seriously of his position, to blame his conduct. There were many things in the Catholic creed of which Cecil disapproved; and when his opportunity came, he gave his effectual assistance for the abolition of them; but as long as that creed was the law of the land, as a citizen he paid the law the respect of external obedience.

    At present religion is no longer under the control of law, and is left to the conscience. To profess openly, therefore, a faith which we do not believe is justly condemned as hypocrisy. But wherever public law extends, personal responsibility is limited. A minority is not permitted to resist the decisions of the legislature on subjects in which the legislature is entitled to interfere; and in the sixteenth century opinion was as entirely under rule and prescription as actions or things. Men may do their best to improve the laws which they consider unjust. They are not, under ordinary circumstances, to disobey them so long as they exist. However wide the basis of a Government, questions will ever rise between the individual and the State—questions, for instance, of peace or war, in which the conscience has as much a voice as any other subject; where, nevertheless, individuals, if they are in the minority, must sacrifice their own opinions; they must contribute their war taxes without resistance; if they are soldiers, they must take part as combatants for a cause of which they are convinced of the injustice. That is to say, they must do things which it would be impious and wicked in them to do, were they as free in their obligations as citizens as they are now free in the religion which they will profess.

    This was the view in which the mass was regarded by statesmen like Cecil, and generally by many men of plain straightforward understanding, who believed transubstantiation as little as he. In Protestantism, as a constructive theology, they had as little interest as in Popery; when the alternative lay between the two, they saw no reason to sacrifice themselves for either.

    It was the view of common sense. It was not the view of a saint. To Latimer, also, technical theology was indifferent—indifferent in proportion to his piety. But he hated lies—legalized or unlegalized—he could not tolerate them, and he died sooner than seem to tolerate them. The counsels of perfection, however, lead to conduct neither possible, nor, perhaps, desirable for ordinary men.

  37. Charles was particular in his inquiries of Mary's prospect of a family. He spoke to Sir John Mason about it, who was then the resident ambassador:—

    'Sir, quoth I,' so Mason reported the conversation, 'I have from herself nothing to say, for she will not confess the matter till it be proved to her face; but by others I understand, to my great joy, that her garments wax very straight. I never doubted, quoth he, of the matter, but that God, that for her had wrought so many miracles, would make the same perfect to the assisting of nature to his good and most desired work: and I warrant it shall be, quoth he, a man-child. Be it man, quoth I, or be it woman, welcome it shall be; for by that we shall be at the least come to some certainty to whom God shall appoint by succession the government of our estates.'—Mason to the King and Queen, November 9: Tytler, vol. ii. p. 444.

  38. Paget and Hastings to the Queen: Ibid. p. 459.
  39. Neantmoins il sera necessaire achever avec elle selon l'advis de vostre Majesté.—Renard to the Emperor: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
  40. Dio gran tempo perduto e liora ritrovato.—Descriptio Reductionis Angliæ: Epist. Reg. Pol. vol. v.
  41. Imbarcatosi adunque sua S. R. ad un hora di giorno, passo a Doure nell' Isola in tre hore et mezza che fu camino di quaranta miglia fatto con extraordinaria prestezza.—Epist. Reg. Pol., vol. v.
  42. 'Tu es Polus, qui aperis nobis Polum regni cælorum. Aer, flumina, terra, parietes ipsi, omnia denique te desiderant. Quamdiu abfuisti omnia fuerunt tristia et adversa. In adventu tuo, omnia rident, omnia læta, omnia tranquilla.' I have endeavoured to preserve the play on the word Polus, altering the meaning as little as the necessities of translation would allow. It has been suggested to me that the word 'parietes' implies properly internal walls, and the allusion was to the defacement of the cathedral.
  43. 'Cardinalis cum reginam salutaret, nec ulla humana verba occurrerent tali muliere digna, Sanctis Scripturarum verbis abuti non verebatur, sed in primo congressu iisdem quibus matrem Dei salutavit Angelus, Reginam Polus ulloquitur, Ave Maria,' &c.—Salkyns to Bullinger: Epistolæ Tigurinæ, p. 169.
  44. 'Il Signor Legato rispose che Dio havea voluto, che fusse tardato a tempo più maturo, perchè egli havesse potuto dire a sua Altezza come diceva, Benedictus fructus ventris tui.'—Descriptio Reductionis Angliæ.
  45. Descriptio Reductionis Angliæ.
  46. The Queen's assurances respecting her child were so emphatic, that even Noailles believed her. Profane persons were still incredulous. On Sunday the 25th, the day after the Te Deums, Noailles says, 'S'est trouve ung placard attaché à la porte de son palais, y estant ces mots en substance: 'serons nous si bestes, oh nobles Angloys, que croy renotre reyne estre enceinte si non d'un marmot ou d'un dogue?
  47. Contemporary Diary: MS. Harleian, iv. 19.
  48. The writer of the Italian 'Description' says that Bagenall gave way the next day. The contemporary narrative among the Harleian MSS. says that he persisted, and refused to kneel at the absolution.
  49. 'Mentre la casa alta mandava a far sapere la sua conclusione alla casa bassa, la casa bassa mandava anch' ella per fare intendcrc il medesimo alla casa alta, sicché i messi s' incontrarono per via; segno evidentissimo che lo Spirito di Dio lavorava in amendue i luoghi in un tempo i di una medesima conformita.'—Descriptio Reductionis Angliæ.
  50. Foxe, vol. vi. p. 571. The petition was in Latin; but, as I have nowhere seen the original, I have not ventured to interfere with Foxe's translation. Foxe, who could translate very idiomatically when he pleased, perhaps relieved his indignation on the present occasion by translating as awkwardly as possible.
  51. Descriptio Reductionis Angliæ: Epist. Reg. Pol. vol. v.
  52. This amazing comparison (for one cannot forget what Philip had been, was, and was to be) must be given in the original words of the legate:

    'Quam sancte sanctitas vestra omni auctoritate studioque huic matrimonio favit; quod sane videtur præ se ferre magnam summi illius regis similitudinem, qui mundi hæres a regalibus sedibus a patre demissus fuit, ut esset virginis sponsus et filius, et hâc ratione universum genus humanum consolaretur ac servaret. Sic enim hic rex maximus omnium qui in terris sunt hæres, patriis relictis regnis de illis quidem amplissimis ac felicissimis in hoc turbulentum regnum de contulit, hujusque virginis sponsus et filius est factus; ita enim erga illam se gerit tanquam filius esset cum sit sponsus, ut quod jam plane perfecit sequestrem se atque adjutorem ad reconciliandos Cbristo et Ecclesiæ hos populos præberet.'—Pole to the Pope: Epist. Reg. Pol. vol. v.

  53. Pallavicino.
  54. Renard to the Emperor: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
  55. 'It was this morning told me by one of the Emperor's council, who misliked much the matter, that a preacher of ours whose name he rehearsed, beateth the pulpit jollily in England for a restitution of abbey lands. It is a strange thing in a well-ordered commonwealth that a subject should be so hardy to cry unto the people openly such learning, whereby your winter work may in the summer be attempted with some storm. These unbridled preachings were so much misliked in the ill-governed time as men trusted in this good governance it should have been amended; and so may it be when it shall please my Lords of the Council as diligently to consider it, as it is more than necessary to be looked unto. The party methinketh might well be put to silence, if he were asked how, being a monk, and having professed and vowed solemnly wilful poverty, he can with conscience keep a deanery and three or four benefices.'—Mason to Petre: MS. Germany, bundle 16, Mary, State Paper Office. It is not clear who the offender was. Perhaps it was Weston, Dean of Westminster and Prolocutor of Convocation.
  56. Demands of the Lower House of Convocation, December, 1554: printed in Wilkins's Concilia.
  57. 'La chambre haulte y faict difficulté pour ce que l'auctorité et jurisdiction des evesques est autorizée et renouvellée, et que le peine semble trop griefve. Mais l'on tieut qu'ilz s'accorderont par la pluralité.'—Renard to the Emperor, December 21: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
  58. 'Le parlement faict instance que, en statut de la dicte obedience la dicte dispense soit inserée, ce que le dict cardinal ne veult admettre, á ce que ne semble la dicte obedience avoir este rachetée; et est passée si avant la dicte difficulté que le dict cardinal a déclaré qu'il retourneroit plutôt a Rome et delaisseroit la chose imparfaite que consentir á chose contre l'auctorité dudict S. Siége, et de si grande préjudice.'—Renard to the Emperor, December: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv.
  59. 'Ces jours passez, il y eust ung personnaige de la haulte chambre, auquel il sembla pour ne perdre temps debvoir porter, (comme il fist) un billette á, la basse par laquelle il mettait en advant s'il n'estoit pas raisonnable que le filz secourust le pére, voullant dire de ce roy a l'Empereur. Ce qui fut si bien recueilly du tiers estat, si promptment et avecques grande raison respondu, comme par le dernier parlement et le traité de mariaige d'entre ce roy et royne cela avoit esté et estoit tellement considéré, qu'il n'estoit plus besoign mettre telles cboses en advant pour les faire entrer á la guerre.'—Noailles to the King of France: Ambassades, vol. iv. p. 76.
  60. 'Je vous puis dire, Sire, que toutes ces choses ont passé bien loing de l'espérance qu'il avoit, puisqu'il s'attendoit de se faire couronner, comme despuis six jours il en avoit particulièrement faict rechercher ceulx de la basse chambre dudict parlement qui luy ont tous d'une voix rejetté.'—Noailles to the King of France: Ambassades, vol. iv. p. 137.
  61. 1 and 2 Philip and Mary, cap. 8.
  62. 21 Henry VIII. cap. 13.
  63. 23 Ibid. cap. 9.
  64. 24 Ibid. cap. 12.
  65. 23 Henry VIII. cap. 20. The Act was repealed, but the annates were not restored.
  66. 25 Henry VIII. cap. 19.
  67. 25 Ibid. cap. 20.
  68. 25 Ibid. cap. 21.
  69. 26 Ibid. cap. 1.
  70. 26 Ibid. cap. 14.
  71. 27 Ibid. cap. 15.
  72. 28 Ibid. cap. 10.
  73. 28 Ibid. cap. 16.
  74. 31 Ibid. cap. 9.
  75. 33 Ibid. cap. 38
  76. 35 Ibid. cap. 3.
  77. 37 Henry VIII. cap. 17.
  78. 28 Ibid. cap. 7; 35 Ibid. cap. 1.
  79. 'Albeit, by the laws of the Church, the bishops and clergy were the defenders and protectors of all ecclesiastical rights, and would therefore in nature be bound to use their best endeavours for the recovery of the lands and goods lost to the Church during the late schism, they, nevertheless, perceiving the tenures of those lands and goods were now complicated beyond power of extrication, and that the attempt to recover them might promote disaffection in the realm, and cause the overthrow of the present happy settlement of religion, preferring public peace to private commodity, and the salvation of souls to worldly possessions, did consent that the present disposition of those lands and goods should remain undisturbed. They besought their Majesties to intercede with the legate for his consent, and, for themselves, they requested, in return, that the lawful jurisdiction of the Church might be restored.'—1 and 2 Philip and Mary, cap. 8, sec. 31.
  80. 'Et licet omnes res mobiles ecclesiarum indistincte iis qui eas tenent relaxaverimus, eos tamen admonitos esse volumus ut ante oculos habentes divini judicii severitatem contra Balthazarem Regem Babylonis, qui vasa sacra non a se sed a patre a tcmplo ablata in profanos usus convertit, ea propriis ecclesiis si extant vcl aliis restituant, hortantes etiam et per viscera misericordiæ Jesu Christi obtestantes eos omnes quos hæc res tangit, ut salutis suæ non omnino immemores hoc saltem efficiant, ut ex bonis ecclesiasticis maxime iis quæ ratione personatuum et vicariatuum populi ministrorum sustentationi fuerint specialiter destinata, seu aliis cathedralibus et aliis quæ nunc extant inferioribus ecclesiis curam animarum exercentibus, ita provideatur, ut eorum pastores commode et honeste juxta eorum qualitatem et statum sustentari possint, et curam animarum laudabiliter exercere.'—1 and 2 Philip and Mary, cap. 8, sec. 31.
  81. 1 and 2 Philip and Mary, cap. 8, sec. 31.
  82. Ibid.
  83. 'It was suspected,' says Renard, 'que le dict act se proposoit á maulvais fin, qu'il estoit coutre les traictez et capitulation de marriage pour hereder la couronne qui venoit de maulvais auteurs quilz plustôt desiroient le mal dudict S. roy et inquietude dudict royaulme que le bien.'—Renard to the Emperor: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 347.
  84. Ibid. p. 348.
  85. 'Et que en son absence il y pourra nommer qui luy plaira.'—Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 348.
  86. 'Aulcuns particuliers proposaient en ladicte chambre basse que le dict S. roy deust demeurer roy absolut dudict royaulme mourant ladicte dame sans hoirs sa vie durant.'—Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 348.
  87. 'Ruy Gomez est allé vers l'Empereur pour faire entendre les difficultez qu'ilz trouvent de faire demeurer ceste couronne à son dict filz, au cas que la royne sa femme allast de vie à trespaz sans enfans, et d'aultant qu'ilz ont congneu la volunté de ceulx cy estre bien loin de leur intention; et pour ce scavoir par quelz moyens il sembiera bon audict Empereur qu'on puisse mettre cela en termes devant la fin de ce parlement.'—Noailles.
  88. 'Et quant à la declaration de bastardise l'on n'est d'opinion qu'elle se doige entamer aux dict parlement, puisque l'apparence d'heretier est certaine et pour l'evident et congneue contrarieté que seroit en toute le royaulme.'—Renard to the Emperor: Granvelle Papers, p. 348.
  89. Ibid.
  90. 1 and 2 Philip and Mary, cap. 10.
  91. 'Ilz sont pour cejourdhuy bien esloignez de ce qu'ilz pensoient faire il y a six sepmaines en ce parlement, ou ilz faisoient compte que ne pouvunt couronner ce roy ou luy faire succeder ce royaulme, à tout le moings de luy en faire tumber l'administration, avecques tel pouvoir sur les forces et finances qu il en eust peu disposer à sa volunté. Toutefois la chose a prins telle issue que pour ce coup il fault qu'il se contente à beaucoup moings qn'il ne s'attendoit.

    'Ce qui a tellement despleu à cedict roy et royne, que le 16 de ce mois ilz allerent par eau tous deulx clorre et terminer ledict parlement, sur les quatre heures du soir, assez petitement accompaignez et sans aulcune ceremonie, monstrans et faisans congnoistre à ung chascun avoir quelque grand mescontentement centre l'assemblé d'icelluy.'—Noailles to the Constable: Ambassades, vol. iv. p. 153.

  92. Instructions of Cardinal Pole to the Bishops: Burnet's Collectanea.
  93. The opinion of Pole, on the propriety of putting men to death for nonconformity, was strictly orthodox. He regarded heretics, he said, as rebellious children, with whom persuasion and mild correction should first be tried. 'Nec tamen, negârim fieri posse,' he continued, 'ut alicujus opiniones tarn perniciosæ existant, ipseque jam corruptus tam sit ad corrumpendos alios promptus ac sedulus ut non dubitârim dicere eum e vitâ tolli oportere et tanquam putridum membrum e corpore exsecari. Neque id tamen priusquam ejus sanandi causâ omnis leviter medendi tentata sit ratio.'—Pole to the Cardinal of Augsburg: Epist. Reg. Pol. vol. iv.
  94. Privy Council Register, Edward VI. MS.
  95. Correspondence between Hooper and Ridley: Foxe, vol. vi.
  96. Account of Hooper's Imprisonment, by himself: Ibid.
  97. Bradford to Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer: Foxe.
  98. 'Cejourdhuy a esté faicte la confirmation de l'alliance entre le Pape et ce Royaulme par ung sacrifice publique et solempnel d'ung docteur predicant nommé Rogerus, lequel a esté brulé tout vif pour estre Lutherien; mais il est mort persistant en son opinion, à quoy la plus grand part de ce peuple a prins tel plaisir qu'ilz n'ont eu craincte de luy faire plusieurs acclamations pour comforter son courage; et mesmes ses enfans y ont assistés le consolantes de telle façon qu'il sembloit qu'on le menast aux nopces.'—Noailles to Montmorency: Ambassades, vol. iv.
  99. Mandate for the execution of Hooper: Burnet's Collectanea.
  100. Foxe.
  101. Hooper to his friends: Foxe, vol. vi.
  102. 'L'évesque de Londres avec les autres évesques assembléez en ce lieu pour l'execution du statut conclu en dernier Parlement sur le faict de la religion, a fait brusler trois hérétiques; l'ung en ce lieu et les deux autres en pays; et sont après pour continuer contre les obstinez: dont les nobles et le peuple hérétique murmure et s'altère; selon que l'ay faict entendre an roy par ung billet par escript duquel la copie va avec les présentes; et la noblesse tousjours désire d'avoir occasion d'attirer le peuple et le faire joindre à révolte avec elle; et prévoys si Dieu n'y remédie, ou que telle précipitation ne se modère, les choses prendront dangereux succès, et signamment les partiaulx, contre le chancelier ne perdront ceste commodité de vengeance.… Les dictes conseilliers se retirent de négoces. Paget se voyant en la male grâce de la royne, et de la pluspart du conseil, se trouve souvent au quartier dudict Sieur roy … le peuple parle contre la royne estrangement … Comme j'entendz que l'on parle pour me faire demeurer, et séjourner par deça après le départ du roy, je n'ay peu délaisser de supplier très humblement vostre majesté me excuser … je suys certain l'on me tueroit incontinant après ledict parlement,' &c.—Renard to Charles V.; Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. pp. 400–402.
  103. 'Un bourgeois estant interrougé par ledict évesque de Londres se souffriroit bien le feug, respondist qu'il en fist l'expérience: et aiant fait apporter une chandelle allumée,
  104. 'Et a l'on dict que plusieurs … se sont voulu voluntairement mettre sur le bûche à costé de ceulx que l'on brusloit.'—Ibid. p. 404. il meit la main dessus sans la retirer ny se mouvoir.'—Renard to Charles V.: Granvelle Papers, vol. vi. p. 404. The man's name was Tomkins. Foxe, who tells the story as an illustration of Bonner's brutality, says that the Bishop himself held the hand. But Renard's is probably the truer version.
  105. Renard to Charles V.: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 403.
  106. Renard to Charles V.: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. pp. 404, 405.
  107. 'Et combien l'on pouvoit requérir plus de civilité en la Reyne.—Renard to Philip: Ibid. p. 394.
  108. 'Les gens d'église ne sont reformées, il y a plusieurs abuz qui donnent scandale et maulvaise impression, et ilz ne respondent aux offices auxquelz ilz sont appellez.'—Renard to Philip: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 395.
  109. 'Donner ce contentement à la royne d' avoir intention de asseurer et establir ses affaires et la secourir comme bon Seigneur et mari.'
  110. 'Que ès choses de la religion l'on ne use de précipitation par punition cruelle, ains avec la modération, et mansuétude requise, et dont l'église a tousjours usé; retirant le peuple de l'erreur par doctrine et prédication, et que si ce n'est un acte scandaleux l'on ne passe oultre en chastoy que puisse altérer le peuple et le désgouter, que la reformation requise pour le bon example, soit introduicte sur les gens de l'église comme le légat advisera pour le mieulx.'—Renard to Philip: Granvelle Papers, vol. iv. p. 395.