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Habsburg power. He created a counterweight by forming a new alliance with Francis I. He met the King in Marseilles, gave him his niece Catherine de Medici for a daughter-in-law, and won the King over to voting against the idea of a Council. It is true that Francis persecuted the Calvinists in France but in Germany he supported the Protestants and was on the best of terms with Philip of Hesse, the Em- peror's enemy. It seemed that with a little pressure the Pope, who wanted to root out heresy with fire and sword, might himself have attempted to gain the support of the Lutheran princes.

Meanwhile letters heavy with fate had been exchanged between England and Rome. The desire of the English Church for inde- pendence had been in sharp antagonism to Roman claims since many a century. There the Gailican liberties had originated. Neverthe- less the Tudor who now wore the crown did not at the beginning seem destined to complete the breach with Rome. Yet this came closer now with rapidly increasing speed. Henry VIII had written a theological tract against Luther's heresy and had been given the Pope's approval as a reward. Soon, however, he looked upon the heresy with favour; for he quarrelled with Rome over a marriage deal involving Catherine of Aragon, his wife and the Emperor's aunt, and the lady-in-waiting whom he loved. The bloody, unhappy romance of his life occupied the centre of the European stage then and long thereafter. The Pope opposed the divorce which the King demanded. As things were after they had been expounded, twisted and turned by a host of theologians, scholars and politicians, the Pope could have blessed the King's passion, though of course it would only have been the first of many indulged by this insatiable cockerel. Campeggio, the Papal legate, had as a matter of fact crossed the Canal with powers, the latitude of which left nothing to be desired, in his pocket. But the issue was deter- mined by fear of the Imperial master of Italy. Clement declared that Henry's marriage with Catherine, the widow of Charles' brother, was valid and indissoluble. Schism was the King's answer. By the Act of Supremacy (1534) which the Pope did not live to hear of, Henry decreed that the King was the sole and highest head of the Church of Englahd and that the rights of the Pope were transferred in essence; and that whoever did not submit to the new order of tilings would be


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