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The victory which the earl of Richmond gained at Bosworth was entirely decisive; being attended, as well with the total rout and dispersion of the royal army, as with the death of the king himself. Joy for this great success suddenly prompted the soldiers, in the field of battle, to bestow on their victorious general the appellation of king, which he had not hitherto assumed; and the acclamations of "Long live Henry VII.," by a natural and unpremeditated movement, resounded from all quarters. To bestow some appearance of formality on this species of military election, Sir William Stanley brought a crown of ornament, which Richard wore in battle, and which had been found among the spoils; and he put it on the head of the victor. Henry himself remained not in suspense; but immediately, without hesitation, accepted of the magnificent present which was tendered him. He was come to the crisis of his fortune; and being obliged suddenly to determine himself, amidst great difficulties which he must have frequently revolved in his mind, he chose that part which his ambition suggested to him, and to which he seemed to be invited by his present success.
There were many titles on which Henry could found his right to the crown; but no one of them free from great objections, if considered with respect either to justice or to policy.
During some years, Henry had been regarded as heir to the house of Lancaster by the party attached to that family; but the title of the house of Lancaster itself was generally thought to be very ill founded. Henry IV., who had first raised it to royal dignity, had never clearly defined the foundation of his claim; and while he plainly invaded the order of succession, he had not acknowledged the election of the people. The parliament, it is true, had often recognized the title of the Lancastrian princes; but these votes had little authority, being considered as instances of complaisance towards a family in possession of present power; and they had accordingly been often reversed during the late prevalence of the house of York. Prudent men also, who had been willing for the sake of peace to submit to any established authority, desired not to see the claims of that family revived; claims which must produce many convulsions at present, and which disjointed for the future the whole system of hereditary right. Besides, allowing the title of the house of Lancaster to be legal, Henry himself was not the true heir of that family; and nothing but the obstinacy natural to faction, which never without reluctance will submit to an antagonist, could have engaged the Lancastrians to adopt the earl of Richmond as their head. His mother indeed, Margaret, countess of Richmond, was sole daughter and heir of the duke of Somerset, sprung from John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster: but the descent of the Somerset line was itself illegitimate, and even adulterous. And though the duke of Lancaster had obtained the legitimation of his natural children by a patent from Richard II., confirmed in parliament, it might justly be doubted whether this deed could bestow any title to the crown: since in the patent itself all the privileges conferred by it are fully enumerated, and the succession to the kingdom is expressly excluded.[*] In all settlements of the crown made during the reigns of the Lancastrian princes, the line of Somerset had been entirely overlooked; and it was not till the failure of the legitimate branch, that men had paid any attention to their claim. And to add to the general dissatisfaction against Henry's title, his mother, from whom he derived all his right was still alive; and evidently preceded him in the order of succession.
     * Rymer, tom. vii. p. 849. Coke's Inst. iv. Inst. part i. p.
His title of the house of York, both from the plain reason of the case, and from the late popular government of Edward IV., had universally obtained the preference in the sentiments of the people; and Henry might ingraft his claim on the rights of that family, by his intended marriage with the princess Elizabeth, the heir of it; a marriage which he had solemnly promised to celebrate, and to the expectation of which he had chiefly owed all his past successes. But many reasons dissuaded Henry from adopting this expedient. Were he to receive the crown only in right of his consort, his power, he knew, would be very limited; and he must expect rather to enjoy the bare title of king by a sort of courtesy, than possess the real authority which belongs to it. Should the princess die before him without issue, he must descend from the throne, and give place to the next in succession; and even if his bed should be blest with offspring, it seemed dangerous to expect that filial piety in his children would prevail over the ambition of obtaining present possession of regal power. An act of parliament, indeed, might easily be procured to settle the crown on him during life; but Henry knew how much superior the claim of succession by blood was to the authority of an assembly,[*] which had always been overborne by violence in the shock of contending titles, and which had ever been more governed by the conjunctures of the times, than by any consideration derived from reason or public interest.
There was yet a third foundation on which Henry might rest his claim, the right of conquest, by his victory over Richard, the present possessor of the crown. But besides that Richard himself was deemed no better than a usurper, the army which fought against him consisted chiefly of Englishmen; and a right of conquest over England could never be established by such a victory. Nothing also would give greater umbrage to the nation than a claim of this nature; which might be construed as an abolition of all their rights and privileges, and the establishment of absolute authority in the sovereign.[**]
     *Bacon in Kennet's Complete History, p. 579.

     **Bacon, p. 579.
William himself, the Norman, though at the head of a powerful and victorious army of foreigners, had at first declined the invidious title of Conqueror; and it was not till the full establishment of his authority, that he had ventured to advance so violent and destructive a pretension.
But Henry was sensible that there remained another foundation of power, somewhat resembling the right of conquest, namely, present possession; and that this title, guarded by vigor and abilities, would be sufficient to secure perpetual possession of the throne. He had before him the example of Henry IV., who, supported by no better pretension, had subdued many insurrections, and had been able to transmit the crown peaceably to his posterity. He could perceive that this claim, which had been perpetuated through three generations of the family of Lancaster, might still have subsisted, notwithstanding the preferable title of the house of York, had not the sceptre devolved into the hands of Henry VI., which were too feeble to sustain it. Instructed by this recent experience, Henry was determined to put himself in possession of regal authority, and to show all opponents, that nothing but force of arms and a successful war should be able to expel him. His claim as heir to the house of Lancaster he was resolved to advance, and never allow it to be discussed; and he hoped that this right, favored by the partisans of that family, and seconded by present power, would secure him a perpetual and an independent authority.
These views of Henry are not exposed to much blame; because founded on good policy, and even on a species of necessity; but there entered into all his measures and counsels another motive, which admits not of the same apology. The violent contentions which, during so long a period, had been maintained between the rival families, and the many sanguinary revenges which they had alternately taken on each other, had inflamed the opposite factions to a high pitch of animosity, Henry himself, who had seen most of his near friends and relations perish in battle or by the executioner, and who had been exposed in his own person to many hardships and dangers, had imbibed a violent antipathy to the York party, which no time or experience were ever able to efface. Instead of embracing the present happy opportunity of abolishing these fatal distinctions, of uniting his title with that of his consort, and of bestowing favor indiscriminately on the friends of both families, he carried to the throne all the partialities which belong to the head of a faction, and even the passions which are carefully guarded against by every true politician in that situation. To exalt the Lancastrian party, to depress the adherents of the house of York, were still the favorite objects of his pursuit; and through the whole course of his reign, he never forgot these early prepossessions. Incapable from his natural temper of a more enlarged and more benevolent system of policy, he exposed himself to many present inconveniences, by too anxiously guarding against that future possible event, which might disjoin his title from that of the princess whom he espoused. And while he treated the Yorkists as enemies, he soon rendered them such, and taught them to discuss that right to the crown, which he so carefully kept separate, and to perceive its weakness and invalidity.
To these passions of Henry, as well as to his suspicious politics, we are to ascribe the measures which he embraced two days after the battle of Bosworth. Edward Plantagenet, earl of Warwick, son of the duke of Clarence, was detained in a kind of confinement at Sherif-Hutton, in Yorkshire, by the jealousy of his uncle Richard, whose title to the throne was inferior to that of the young prince. Warwick had now reason to expect better treatment, as he was no obstacle to the succession either of Henry or Elizabeth; and from a youth of such tender years no danger could reasonably be apprehended. But Sir Robert Willoughby was despatched by Henry with orders to take him from Sherif-Hutton, to convey him to the Tower, and to detain him in close custody.[*] The same messenger carried directions, that the princess Elizabeth, who had been confined to the same place, should be conducted to London, in order to meet Henry, and there celebrate her nuptials.
Henry himself set out for the capital, and advanced by slow journeys. Not to rouse the jealousy of the people, he took care to avoid all appearance of military triumph; and so to restrain the insolence of victory, that every thing about him bore the appearance of an established monarch, making a peaceable progress through his dominions, rather than of a prince who had opened his way to the throne by force of arms. The acclamations of the people were every where loud, and no less sincere and hearty. Besides that a young and victorious prince, on his accession, was naturally the object of popularity, the nation promised themselves great felicity from the new scene which opened before them.
      * Bacon, p. 579. Polyd. Virg. p. 565.
During the course of near a whole century, the kingdom had been laid waste by domestic wars and convulsions; and if at any time the noise of arms had ceased, the sound of faction and discontent still threatened new disorders. Henry, by his marriage with Elizabeth, seemed to insure a union of the contending titles of the two families; and having prevailed over a hated tyrant, who had anew disjointed the succession even of the house of York, and had filled his own family with blood and murder, he was every where attended with the unfeigned favor of the people. Numerous and splendid troops of gentry and nobility accompanied his progress. The mayor and companies of London received him as he approached the city; the crowds of people and citizens were zealous in their expressions of satisfaction. But Henry, amidst this general effusion of joy, discovered still the stateliness and reserve of his temper, which made him scorn to court popularity: he entered London in a close chariot, and would not gratify the people with a sight of their new sovereign.
But the king did not so much neglect the favor of the people, as to delay giving them assurances of his marriage with the princess Elizabeth, which he knew to be so passionately desired by the nation. On his leaving Brittany, he had artfully dropped some hints that, if he should succeed in his enterprise, and obtain the crown of England, he would espouse Anne, the heir of that duchy; and the report of this engagement had already reached England, and had begotten anxiety in the people, and even in Elizabeth herself. Henry took care to dissipate these apprehensions, by solemnly renewing, before the council and principal nobility, the promise which he had already given to celebrate his nuptials with the English princess. But though bound by honor, as well as by interest, to complete this alliance, he was resolved to postpone it till the ceremony of his own coronation should be finished, and till his title should be recognized by parliament. Still anxious to support his personal and hereditary right to the throne, he dreaded lest a preceding marriage with the princess should imply a participation of sovereignty in her, and raise doubts of his own title by the house of Lancaster.
There raged at that time in London, and other parts of the kingdom, a species of malady unknown to any other age or nation, the sweating sickness, which occasioned the sudden death of great multitudes; though it seemed not to be propagated by any contagious infection, but arose from the general disposition of the air and of the human body. In less than twenty-four hours the patient commonly died or recovered, but when the pestilence had exerted its fury for a few weeks, it was observed, either from alterations in the air, or from a more proper regimen which had been discovered, to be considerably abated.[*] Preparations were then made for the ceremony of Henry's coronation. In order to heighten the splendor of that spectacle, he bestowed the rank of knight banneret on twelve persons; and he conferred peerages on three. Jasper, earl of Pembroke, his uncle, was created duke of Bedford; Thomas Lord Stanley, his father-in-law, earl of Derby; and Edward Courtney, earl of Devonshire. At the coronation, likewise, there appeared a new institution, which the king had established for security as well as pomp, a band of fifty archers, who were termed yeomen of the guard. But lest the people should take umbrage at this unusual symptom of jealousy in the prince, as if it implied a personal diffidence of his subjects, he declared the institution to be perpetual. The ceremony of coronation was performed by Cardinal Bourchier, archbishop of Canterbury.
The parliament being assembled at Westminster, the majority immediately appeared to be devoted partisans of Henry; all persons of another disposition either declining to stand in those dangerous times, or being obliged to dissemble their principles and inclinations. The Lancastrian party had every where been successful in the elections; and even many had been returned who, during the prevalence of the house of York, had been exposed to the rigor of law, and had been condemned by sentence of attainder and outlawry. Their right to take seats in the house being questioned, the case was referred to all the judges, who assembled in the exchequer chamber, in order to deliberate on so delicate a subject. The opinion delivered was prudent, and contained a just temperament between law and expediency.[**] The judges determined, that the members attainted should forbear taking their seat till an act were passed for the reversal of their attainder. There was no difficulty in obtaining this act; and in it were comprehended a hundred and seven persons of the king's party.[***]
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 567.

     ** Bacon, p. 661.

     *** Rot. Parl. 1 Henry VII. n. 2, 3, 4-15, 17, 26-65.
But a scruple was started of a nature still more important. The king himself had been attainted; and his right of succession to the crown might thence be exposed to some doubt The judges extricated themselves from this dangerous question by asserting it as a maxim, "That the crown takes away all defects and stops in blood; and that from the time the king assumed royal authority, the fountain was cleared, and all attainders and corruptions of blood discharged." [*] Besides that the case, from its urgent necessity, admitted of no deliberation, the judges probably thought that no sentence of a court of judicature had authority sufficient to bar the right of succession; that the heir of the crown was commonly exposed to such jealousy as might often occasion stretches of law and justice against him; and that a prince might even be engaged in unjustifiable measures during his predecessor's reign, without meriting on that account to be excluded from the throne, which was his birthright.
With a parliament so obsequious, the king could not fail of obtaining whatever act of settlement he was pleased to require. He seems only to have entertained some doubt within himself on what claim he should found his pretensions. In his speech to the parliament, he mentioned his just title by hereditary right: but lest that title should not be esteemed sufficient, he subjoined his claim by the judgment of God, who had given him victory over his enemies. And again, lest this pretension should be interpreted as assuming a right of conquest, he insured to his subjects the full enjoyment of their former properties and possessions.
The entail of the crown was drawn according to the sense of the king, and probably in words dictated by him. He made no mention in it of the princess Elizabeth, nor of any branch of her family: but in other respects the act was compiled with sufficient reserve and moderation. He did not insist that it should contain a declaration or recognition of his preceding right; as, on the other hand, he avoided the appearance of a new law or ordinance. He chose a middle course which, as is generally unavoidable in such cases, was not entirely free from uncertainty and obscurity. It was voted, "That the inheritance of the crown should rest, remain, and abide in the king:" [**] but whether as rightful heir, or only as present possessor, was not determined.
     * Bacon, p. 581.

     ** Bacon, p. 581.
In like manner, Henry was contented that the succession should be secured to the heirs of his body; but he pretended not, in case of their failure, to exclude the house of York or to give the preference to that of Lancaster: he left that great point ambiguous for the present, and trusted that, if it should ever become requisite to determine it, future incidents would open the way for the decision.
But even after all these precautions, the king was so little satisfied with his own title, that in the following year, he applied to papal authority for a confirmation of it; and as the court of Rome gladly laid hold of all opportunities which the imprudence, weakness, or necessities of princes afforded it to extend its influence, Innocent VIII., the reigning pope, readily granted a bull, in whatever terms the king was pleased to desire. All Henry's titles, by succession, marriage, parliamentary choice, even conquest, are there enumerated; and to the whole the sanction of religion is added; excommunication is denounced against every one who should either disturb him in the present possession, or the heirs of his body in the future succession of the crown; and from this penalty no criminal, except in the article of death, could be absolved but by the pope himself, or his special commissioners. It is difficult to imagine that the security derived from this bull could be a compensation for the defect which it betrayed in Henry's title, and for the danger of thus inviting the pope to interpose in these concerns.
It was natural, and even laudable in Henry to reverse the attainders which had passed against the partisans of the house of Lancaster: but the revenges which he exercised against the adherents of the York family, to which he was so soon to be allied, cannot be considered in the same light. Yet the parliament, at his instigation, passed an act of attainder against the late king himself, against the duke of Norfolk, the earl of Surrey, Viscount Lovel, the lords Zouche and Ferrars of Chartley, Sir Walter and Sir James Harrington, Sir William Berkeley, Sir Humphrey Stafford, Catesby, and about twenty other gentlemen who had fought on Richard's side in the battle of Bosworth. How men could be guilty of treason by supporting the king in possession against the earl of Richmond, who assumed not the title of king, it is not easy to conceive; and nothing but a servile complaisance in the parliament could have engaged them to make this stretch of justice. Nor was it a small mortification to the people in general, to find that the king, prompted either by avarice or resentment could, in the very beginning of his reign, so far violate the cordial union which had previously been concerted between the parties, and to the expectation of which he had plainly owed his succession to the throne.
The king, having gained so many points of consequence from the parliament, thought it not expedient to demand any supply from them, which the profound peace enjoyed by the nation, and the late forfeiture of Richard's adherents, seemed to render somewhat superfluous. The parliament, however, conferred on him during life the duty of tonnage and poundage, which had been enjoyed in the same manner by some of his immediate predecessors; and they added, before they broke up, other money bills of no great moment. The king, on his part, made returns of grace and favor to his people. He published his royal proclamation, offering pardon to all such as had taken arms, or formed any attempts against him, provided they submitted themselves to mercy by a certain day, and took the usual oath of fealty and allegiance. Upon this proclamation many came out of their sanctuaries; and the minds of men were every where much quieted. Henry chose to take wholly to himself the merit of an act of grace so agreeable to the nation, rather than communicate it with the parliament, (as was his first intention,) by passing a bill to that purpose. The earl of Surrey, however, though he had submitted, and delivered himself into the king's hands, was sent prisoner to the Tower.
During this parliament, the king also bestowed favors and honors on some particular persons who were attached to him. Edward Stafford, eldest son of the duke of Buckingham attainted in the late reign, was restored to the honors of his family, as well as to his fortune, which was very ample. This generosity, so unusual in Henry, was the effect of his gratitude to the memory of Buckingham, who had first concerted the plan of his elevation, and who by his own ruin had made way for that great event. Chandos of Brittany was created earl of Bath, Sir Giles Daubeny, Lord Daubeny, and Sir Robert Willoughby, Lord Broke. These were all the titles of nobility conferred by the king during this session of parliament.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 566
But the ministers whom Henry most trusted and favored were not chosen from among the nobility, or even from among the laity. John Morton and Richard Fox, two clergymen persons of industry, vigilance, and capacity, were the men to whom he chiefly confided his affairs and secret counsels. They had shared with him all his former dangers and distresses; and he now took care to make them participate in his good fortune. They were both called to the privy council; Morton was restored to the bishopric of Ely, Fox was created bishop of Exeter. The former, soon after, upon the death of Bourchier, was raised to the see of Canterbury. The latter was made privy seal; and successively bishop of Bath and Wells, Durham, and Winchester. For Henry, as Lord Bacon observes, loved to employ and advance prelates; because, having rich bishoprics to bestow, it was easy for him to reward their services: and it was his maxim to raise them by slow steps, and make them first pass through the interior sees.[*] He probably expected that, as they were naturally more dependent on him than the nobility, who during that age enjoyed possessions and jurisdictions dangerous to royal authority, so the prospect of further elevation would render them still more active in his service, and more obsequious to his commands.
     * Bacon, p. 582.
In presenting the bill of tonnage and poundage, the parliament, anxious to preserve the legal, undisputed succession to the crown, had petitioned Henry, with demonstrations of the greatest zeal, to espouse the princess Elizabeth; but they covered their true reason under the dutiful pretence of their desire to have heirs of his body. He now thought in earnest of satisfying the minds of his people in that particular. His marriage was celebrated at London; and that with greater appearance of universal joy than either his first entry or his coronation. Henry remarked with much displeasure this general favor borne to the house of York. The suspicions which arose from it not only disturbed his tranquillity during his whole reign, but bred disgust towards his consort herself, and poisoned all his domestic enjoyments. Though virtuous, amiable, and obsequious to the last degree, she never met with a proper return of affection, or even of complaisance, from her husband; and the malignant ideas of faction still, in his sullen mind, prevailed over all the sentiments of conjugal tenderness.
The king had been carried along with such a tide of success ever since his arrival in England, that he thought nothing could withstand the fortune and authority which attended him.
He now resolved to make a progress into the north, where the friends of the house of York, and even the partisans of Richard, were numerous, in hopes of curing, by his presence and conversation, the prejudices of the malecontents. When he arrived at Nottingham, he heard that Viscount Lovel, with Sir Humphrey Stafford, and Thomas his brother, had secretly withdrawn themselves from their sanctuary at Colchester: but this news appeared not to him of such importance as to stop his journey; and he proceeded forward to York. He there heard that the Staffords had levied an army, and were marching to besiege the city of Worcester; and that Lovel, at the head of three or four thousand men, was approaching to attack him in York. Henry was not dismayed with this intelligence. His active courage, full of resources, immediately prompted him to find the proper remedy. Though surrounded with enemies in these disaffected counties, he assembled a small body of troops, in whom he could confide; and he put them under the command of the duke of Bedford. He joined to them all his own attendants; but he found that this hasty armament was more formidable by their spirit and their zealous attachment to him, than by the arms or military stores with which they were provided. He therefore gave Bedford orders not to approach the enemy; but previously to try every proper expedient to disperse them. Bedford published a general promise of pardon to the rebels, which had a greater effect on their leader than on his followers. Lovel, who had undertaken an enterprise that exceeded his courage and capacity, was so terrified with the fear of desertion among his troops, that he suddenly withdrew himself; and after lurking some time in Lancashire, he made his escape into Flanders, where he was protected by the duchess of Burgundy. His army submitted to the king's clemency; and the other rebels, hearing of this success, raised the siege of Worcester, and dispersed themselves. The Staffords took sanctuary in the church of Colnham, a village near Abingdon; but as it was found that this church had not the privilege of giving protection to rebels, they were taken thence; the elder was executed at Tyburn; the younger, pleading that he had been misled by his brother, obtained a pardon.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 569.
Henry's joy for this success was followed, some time after, by the birth of a prince, to whom he gave the name of Arthur in memory of the famous British king of that name, from whom it was pretended the family of Tudor derived its descent.
Though Henry had been able to defeat this hasty rebellion raised by the relics of Richard's partisans, his government was become in general unpopular: the source of public discontent arose chiefly from his prejudices against the house of York which was generally beloved by the nation, and which, for that very reason, became every day more the object of his hatred and jealousy. Not only a preference on all occasions, it was observed, was given to the Lancastrians, but many of the opposite party had been exposed to great severity, and had been bereaved of their fortunes by acts of attainder. A general resumption likewise had passed of all grants made by the princes of the house of York; and though this rigor had been covered under the pretence that the revenue was become insufficient to support the dignity of the crown, and though the grants during the later years of Henry VI. were resumed by the same law, yet the York party, as they were the principal sufferers by the resumption, thought it chiefly levelled against them. The severity exercised against the earl of Warwick begat compassion for youth and innocence exposed to such oppression; and his confinement in the Tower, the very place where Edward's children had been murdered by their uncle, made the public expect a like catastrophe for him, and led them to make a comparison between Henry and that detested tyrant. And when it was remarked that the queen herself met with harsh treatment, and even after the birth of a son, was not admitted to the honor of a public coronation, Henry's prepossessions were then concluded to be inveterate, and men became equally obstinate in their disgust to his government. Nor was the manner and address of the king calculated to cure these prejudices contracted against his administration; but had in every thing a tendency to promote fear, or at best reverence, rather than good will and affection.[*] While the high idea entertained of his policy and vigor retained the nobility and men of character in obedience, the effects of his unpopular government soon appeared, by incidents of an extraordinary nature.
     * Bacon, p. 583.
There lived in Oxford one Richard Simon, a priest, who possessed some subtlety, and still more enterprise and temerity. This man had entertained the design of disturbing Henry's government, by raising a pretender to his crown, and for that purpose he cast his eyes on Lambert Simnel, a youth of fifteen years of age, who was son of a baker, and who, being endowed with understanding above his years, and address above his condition, seemed well fitted to personate a prince of royal extraction. A report had been spread among the people, and received, with great avidity, that Richard, duke of York, second son of Edward IV., had, by a secret escape, saved himself from the cruelty of his uncle, and lay somewhere concealed in England. Simon, taking advantage of this rumor, had at first instructed his pupil to assume that name, which he found to be so fondly cherished by the public: but hearing afterwards a new report, that Warwick had made his escape from the Tower, and observing that this news was attended with no less general satisfaction, he changed the plan of his imposture, and made Simnel personate that unfortunate prince.[*] Though the youth was qualified by nature for the part which he was instructed to act, yet was it remarked, that he was better informed in circumstances relating to the royal family, particularly in the adventures of the earl of Warwick, than he could be supposed to have learned from one of Simon's condition: and it was thence conjectured, that persons of higher rank, partisans of the house of York, had laid the plan of this conspiracy, and had conveyed proper instructions to the actors. The queen dowager herself was exposed to suspicion; and it was indeed the general opinion, however unlikely it might seem, that she had secretly given her consent to the imposture. This woman was of a very restless disposition. Finding that, instead of receiving the reward of her services in contributing to Henry's elevation, she herself was fallen into absolute insignificance, her daughter treated with severity, and all her friends brought under subjection, she had conceived the most violent animosity against him, and had resolved to make him feel the effects of her resentment. She knew that the impostor, however successful, might easily at last be set aside; and if a way could be found at his risk to subvert the government, she hoped that a scene might be opened, which, though difficult at present exactly to foresee, would gratify her revenge, and be on the whole less irksome to her than that slavery and contempt to which she was now reduced.[**]
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 569. 570.

     ** Polyd. Virg. p. 570.
But whatever care Simon might take to convey instruction to his pupil Simnel, he was sensible that the imposture would not bear a close inspection; and he was therefore determined to open the first public scene of it in Ireland. That island, which was zealously attached to the house of York, and bore an affectionate regard to the memory of Clarence, Warwick's father, who had been their lieutenant, was improvidently allowed by Henry to remain in the same condition in which he found it; and all the counsellors and officers, who had been appointed by his predecessor, still retained their authority. No sooner did Simnel present himself to Thomas Fitzgerald, earl of Kildare, the deputy, and claim his protection as the unfortunate Warwick, than that credulous nobleman, not suspecting so bold an imposture, gave attention to him, and began to consult some persons of rank with regard to this extraordinary incident. These he found even more sanguine in their zeal and belief than himself: and in proportion as the story diffused itself among those of lower condition, it became the object of still greater passion and credulity, till the people in Dublin with one consent tendered their allegiance to Simnel, as to the true Plantagenet. Fond of a novelty which flattered their natural propension, they overlooked the daughters of Edward IV., who stood before Warwick in the order of succession; they paid the pretended prince attendance as their sovereign, lodged him in the Castle of Dublin, crowned him with a diadem taken from a statue of the Virgin, and publicly proclaimed him king, by the appellation of Edward VI. The whole island followed the example of the capital; and not a sword was any where drawn in Henry's quarrel.
When this intelligence was conveyed to the king, it reduced him to some perplexity. Determined always to face his enemies in person, he yet scrupled at present to leave England, where he suspected the conspiracy was first framed, and where he knew many persons of condition, and the people in general, were much disposed to give it countenance. In order to dis cover the secret source of the contrivance, and take measures against this open revolt, he held frequent consultations with his ministers and counsellors, and laid plans for a vigorous defence of his authority, and the suppression of his enemies.
The first event which followed these deliberations gave surprise to the public; it was the seizure of the queen dowager the forfeiture of all her lands and revenue, and the close confinement of her person in the nunnery of Bermondsey. The act of authority was covered with a very thin pretence. It was alleged that, notwithstanding the secret agreement to marry her daughter to Henry, she had yet yielded to the solicitations and menaces of Richard, and had delivered that princess and her sisters into the hands of the tyrant. This crime, which was now become obsolete, and might admit of alleviations, was therefore suspected not to be the real cause of the severity with which she was treated; and men believed that the king, unwilling to accuse so near a relation of a conspiracy against him, had cloaked his vengeance or precaution under color of an offence known to the whole world.[*] They were afterwards the more confirmed in this suspicion, when they found that the unfortunate queen, though she survived this disgrace several years, was never treated with any more lenity, but was allowed to end her life in poverty, solitude, and confinement.
     * Bacon, p. 583, Polyd. Virg. p. 571.
The next measure of the king's was of a less exceptionable nature. He ordered that Warwick should be taken from the Tower, be led in procession through the streets of London, be conducted to St. Paul's, and there exposed to the view of the whole people. He even gave directions, that some men of rank, attached to the house of York, and best acquainted with the person of this prince, should approach him and converse with him: and he trusted that these, being convinced of the absurd imposture of Simnel, would put a stop to the credulity of the populace. The expedient had its effect in England: but in Ireland the people still persisted in their revolt, and zealously retorted on the king the reproach of propagating an imposture, and of having shown a counterfeit Warwick to the public.
Henry had soon reason to apprehend, that the design against him was not laid on such slight foundations as the absurdity of the contrivance seemed to indicate. John, earl of Lincoln, son of John de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, and of Elizabeth, eldest sister to Edward IV., was engaged to take part in the conspiracy. This nobleman, who possessed capacity and courage, had entertained very aspiring views; and his ambition was encouraged by the known intentions of his uncle Richard, who had formed a design, in case he himself should die without issue, of declaring Lincoln successor to the crown. The king's jealousy against all eminent persons of the York party, and his rigor towards Warwick, had further struck Lincoln with apprehensions, and made him resolve to seek for safety in the most dangerous counsels. Having fixed a secret correspondence with Sir Thomas Broughton, a man of great interest in Lancashire, he retired to Flanders, where Lovel had arrived a little before him; and he lived during some time in the court of his aunt the duchess of Burgundy, by whom he had been invited over.
Margaret, widow of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, not having any children of her own, attached herself with an entire friendship to her daughter-in-law, married to Maximilian, archduke of Austria; and after the death of that princess, she persevered in her affection to Philip and Margaret, her children, and occupied herself in the care of their education and of their persons. By her virtuous conduct and demeanor she had acquired great authority among the Flemings and lived with much dignity, as well as economy, upon that ample dowry which she inherited from her husband. The resentments of this princess were no less warm than her friendships; and that spirit of faction, which it is so difficult for a social and sanguine temper to guard against, had taken strong possession of her heart, and intrenched somewhat on the probity which shone forth in the other parts of her character. Hearing of the malignant jealousy entertained by Henry against her family, and his oppression of all its partisans, she was moved with the highest indignation; and she determined to make him repent of that enmity to which so many of her friends, without any reason or necessity, had fallen victims.
After consulting with Lincoln and Lovel she hired a body of two thousand veteran Germans, under the command of Martin Swart, a brave and experienced officer; [*] and sent them over, together with these two noblemen, to join Simnel in Ireland. The countenance given by persons of such high rank, and the accession of this military force, much raised the courage of the Irish, and made them entertain the resolution of invading England, where they believed the spirit of disaffection as prevalent as it appeared to be in Ireland. The poverty also under which they labored, made it impossible for them to support any longer their new court and army, and inspired them with a strong desire of enriching themselves by plunder and preferment in England.
      * Polyd. Virg. p. 572, 573.
Henry was not ignorant of these intentions of his enemies, and he prepared himself for defence. He ordered troops to be levied in different parts of the kingdom, and put them under the command of the duke of Bedford and earl of Oxford. He confined the marquis of Dorset, who, he suspected, would resent the injuries suffered by his mother, the queen dowager; and, to gratify the people by an appearance of devotion, he made a pilgrimage to our lady of Walsingham, famous for miracles; and there offered up prayers for success, and for deliverance from his enemies.
Being informed that Simnel was landed at Foudrey in Lancashire, he drew together his forces, and advanced towards the enemy as far as Coventry. The rebels had entertained hopes that the disaffected counties in the north would rise in their favor; but the people in general, averse to join Irish and German invaders, convinced of Lambert's imposture, and kept in awe by the king's reputation for success and conduct, either remained in tranquillity, or gave assistance to the royal army. The earl of Lincoln, therefore, who commanded the rebels, finding no hopes but in victory, was determined to bring the matter to a speedy decision; and the king, supported by the native courage of his temper, and emboldened by a great accession of volunteers, who had joined him under the earl of Shrewsbury and Lord Strange, declined not the combat. The hostile armies met at Stoke, in the county of Nottingham, and fought a battle, which was bloody, and more obstinately disputed than could have been expected from the inequality of their force. All the leaders of the rebels were resolved to conquer or to perish; and they inspired their troops with like resolution. The Germans also, being veteran and experienced soldiers, kept the event long doubtful; and even the Irish, though ill-armed and almost defenceless, showed themselves not defective in spirit and bravery. The king's victory was purchased with loss, but was entirely decisive. Lincoln, Broughton, and Swart perished in the field of battle, with four thousand of their followers. As Lovel was never more heard of, he was believed to have undergone the same fate; Simnel, with his tutor, Simon, was taken prisoner. Simon, being a priest, was not tried at law, and was only committed to close custody: Simnel was too contemptible to be an object either of apprehension or resentment to Henry. He was pardoned, and made a scullion in the king's kitchen whence he was afterwards advanced to the rank of a falconer.[*]
     * Bacon, p. 586. Polyd. Virg. p; 574.
Henry had now leisure to revenge himself on his enemies. He made a progress into the northern parts, where he gave many proofs of his rigorous disposition. A strict inquiry was made after those who had assisted or favored the rebels. The punishments were not all sanguinary: the king made his revenge subservient to his avarice. Heavy fines were levied upon the delinquents. The proceedings of the courts, and even the courts themselves, were arbitrary. Either the criminals were tried by commissioners appointed for the purpose, or they suffered punishment by sentence of a court-martial. And as a rumor had prevailed before the battle of Stoke, that the rebels had gained the victory, that the royal army was cut in pieces, and that the king himself had escaped by flight, Henry was resolved to interpret the belief or propagation of this report as a mark of disaffection; and he punished many for that pretended crime. But such in this age was the situation of the English government, that the royal prerogative, which was but imperfectly restrained during the most peaceable periods, was sure, in tumultuous or even suspicious times, which frequently recurred, to break all bounds of law, and to violate public liberty.
After the king had gratified his rigor by the punishment of his enemies, he determined to give contentment to the people in a point which, though a mere ceremony, was passionately desired by them. The queen had been married near two years, but had not yet been crowned; and this affectation of delay had given great discontent to the public, and had been one principal source of the disaffection which prevailed. The king, instructed by experience, now finished the ceremony of her coronation; and to show a disposition still more gracious, he restored to liberty the marquis of Dorset, who had been able to clear himself of all the suspicions entertained against him.
     * Bacon, p. 586. Polyd. Virg. p; 574.



The king acquired great reputation throughout Europe by the vigorous and prosperous conduct of his domestic affairs; but as some incidents about this time invited him to look abroad, and exert himself in behalf of his allies, it will be necessary, in order to give a just account of his foreign measures, to explain the situation of the neighboring kingdoms, beginning with Scotland, which lies most contiguous.
The kingdom of Scotland had not yet attained that state which distinguishes a civilized monarchy, and which enables the government, by the force of its laws and institutions alone, without any extraordinary capacity in the sovereign, to maintain itself in order and tranquillity. James III., who now filled the throne, was a prince of little industry and of a narrow genius; and though it behoved him to yield the reins of government to his ministers, he had never been able to make any choice which could give contentment both to himself and to his people. When he bestowed his confidence on any of the principal nobility, he found that they exalted their own family to such a height as was dangerous to the prince, and gave umbrage to the state: when he conferred favor on any person of meaner birth, on whose submission he could more depend, the barons of his kingdom, enraged at the power of an upstart minion, proceeded to the utmost extremities against their sovereign. Had Henry entertained the ambition of conquests, a tempting opportunity now offered of reducing that kingdom to subjection; but as he was probably sensible that a warlike people, though they might be overrun by reason of their domestic divisions, could not be retained in obedience without a regular military force, which was then unknown in England, he rather intended the renewal of the peace with Scotland, and sent an embassy to James for that purpose. But the Scots, who never desired a durable peace with England, and who deemed their security to consist in constantly preserving themselves in a warlike posture, would not agree to more than a seven years' truce, which was accordingly concluded.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 575.
The European states on the continent were then hastening fast to the situation in which they have remained, without any material alteration, for near three centuries; and began to unite themselves into one extensive system of policy, which comprehended the chief powers of Christendom. Spain, which had hitherto been almost entirely occupied within herself, now became formidable by the union of Arragon and Castile in the persons of Ferdinand and Isabella, who, being princes of great capacity, employed their force in enterprises the most advantageous to their combined monarchy. The conquest of Granada from the Moors was then undertaken, and brought near to a happy conclusion. And in that expedition the military genius of Spain was revived; honor and security were attained; and her princes, no longer kept in awe by a domestic enemy so dangerous, began to enter into all the transactions of Europe, and make a great figure in every war and negotiation.
Maximilian, king of the Romans, son of the emperor Frederick, had, by his marriage with the heiress of Burgundy, acquired an interest in the Netherlands; and though the death of his consort had weakened his connections with that country, he still pretended to the government as tutor to his son Philip, and his authority had been acknowledged by Brabant, Holland, and several of the provinces. But as Flanders and Hainault still refused to submit to his regency, and even appointed other tutors to Philip, he had been engaged in long wars against that obstinate people, and never was able thoroughly to subdue their spirit. That he might free himself from the opposition of France, he had concluded a peace with Lewis XI., and had given his daughter Margaret, then an infant, in marriage to the dauphin; together with Artois, Franche Compte, and Charolois, as her dowry. But this alliance had not produced the desired effect. The dauphin succeeded to the crown of France by the appellation of Charles VIII.; but Maximilian still found the mutinies of the Flemings fomented by the intrigues of the court of France.
France, during the two preceding reigns, had made a mighty increase in power and greatness; and had not other states of Europe at the same time received an accession of force, it had been impossible to have retained her within her ancient boundaries. Most of the great fiefs, Normandy, Champagne, Anjou, Dauphny, Guienne, Provence, and Burgundy, had been united to the crown; the English had been expelled from all their conquests; the authority of the prince had been raised to such a height as enabled him to maintain law and order; a considerable military force was kept on foot, and the finances were able to support it. Lewis XI, indeed, from whom many of these advantages were derived, was dead, and had left his son, in early youth and ill educated, to sustain the weight of the monarchy: but having intrusted the government to his daughter Anne, lady of Beaujeu, a woman of spirit and capacity, the French power suffered no check or decline. On the contrary, this princess formed the great project, which at last she happily effected, of uniting to the crown Brittany, the last and most independent fief of the monarchy.
Francis II., duke of Brittany, conscious of his own incapacity for government, had resigned himself to the direction of Peter Landais, a man of mean birth, more remarkable for abilities than for virtue or integrity. The nobles of Brittany, displeased with the great advancement of this favorite, had even proceeded to disaffection against their sovereign; and after many tumults and disorders, they at last united among themselves, and in a violent manner seized, tried, and put to death the obnoxious minister. Dreading the resentment of the prince for this invasion of his authority, many of them retired to France; others, for protection and safety, maintained a secret correspondence with the French ministry, who, observing the great dissensions among the Bretons, thought the opportunity favorable for invading the duchy; and so much the rather as they could cover their ambition under the specious pretence of providing for domestic security.
Lewis, duke of Orleans, first prince of the blood, and presumptive heir of the monarchy, had disputed the administration with the lady of Beaujeu; and though his pretensions had been rejected by the states, he still maintained cabals with many of the grandees, and laid schemes for subverting the authority of that princess. Finding his conspiracies detected, he took to arms, and fortified himself in Beaugeune; but as his revolt was precipitate, before his confederates were ready to join him, he had been obliged to submit, and to receive such conditions as the French ministry were pleased to impose upon him. Actuated, however, by his ambition, and even by his fears, he soon retired out of France, and took shelter with the duke of Brittany, who was desirous of strengthening himself against the designs of the lady of Beaujeu by the friendship and credit of the duke of Orleans. This latter prince also, perceiving the ascendant which he soon acquired over the duke of Brittany, had engaged many of his partisans to join him at that court, and had formed the design of aggrandizing himself by a marriage with Anne, the heir of that opulent duchy.
The barons of Brittany, who saw all favor engrossed by the duke of Orleans and his train, renewed a stricter correspondence with France, and even invited the French king to make an invasion on their country. Desirous, however, of preserving its independency, they had regulated the number of succors which France was to send them, and had stipulated that no fortified place in Brittany should remain in the possession of that monarchy; a vain precaution, where revolted subjects treat with a power so much superior! The French invaded Brittany with forces three times more numerous than those which they had promised to the barons; and advancing into the heart of the country, laid siege to Ploerrnel. To oppose them, the duke raised a numerous but ill-disciplined army, which he put under the command of the duke of Orleans, the count of Dunois, and others of the French nobility. The army, discontented with this choice, and jealous of their confederates, soon disbanded, and left their prince with too small a force to keep the field against his invaders. He retired to Vannes; but being hotly pursued by the French, who had now made themselves masters of Ploermel, he escaped to Nantz; and the enemy, having previously taken and garrisoned Vannes, Dinant, and other places, laid close siege to that city. The barons of Brittany, finding their country menaced with total subjection, began gradually to withdraw from the French army, and to make peace with their sovereign.
This desertion, however, of the Bretons discouraged not the court of France from pursuing her favorite project of reducing Brittany to subjection The situation of Europe appeared favorable to the execution of this design. Maximilian was indeed engaged in close alliance with the duke of Brittany and had even opened a treaty for marrying his daughter; but he was on all occasions so indigent, and at that time so disquieted by the mutinies of the Flemings, that little effectual assistance could be expected from him. Ferdinand was entirely occupied in the conquest of Granada; and it was also known, that if France would resign to him Roussillon and Cerdagne, to which he had pretensions, she could at any time engage him to abandon the interests of Brittany. England, alone, was both enabled by her power, and engaged by her interests, to support the independency of that duchy; and the most dangerous opposition was therefore, by Anne of Beaujeu, expected from that quarter. In order to cover her real designs, no sooner was she informed of Henry's success against Simnel and his partisans, than she despatched ambassadors to the court of London, and made professions of the greatest trust and confidence in that monarch.
The ambassadors, after congratulating Henry on his late victory, and communicating to him, in the most cordial manner, as to an intimate friend, some successes of their master against Maximilian, came in the progress of their discourse to mention the late transactions in Brittany. They told him that the duke having given protection to French fugitives and rebels, the king had been necessitated, contrary to his intention and inclination, to carry war into that duchy; that the honor of the crown was interested not to suffer a vassal so far to forget his duty to his liege lord; nor was the security of the government less concerned to prevent the consequences of this dangerous temerity: that the fugitives were no mean or obscure persons; but among others, the duke of Orleans, first prince of the blood, who, finding himself obnoxious to justice for treasonable practices in France, had fled into Brittany; where he still persevered in laying schemes of rebellion against his sovereign: that the war being thus, on the part of the French monarch, entirely defensive, it would immediately cease, when the duke of Brittany, by returning to his duty, should remove the causes of it: that their master was sensible of the obligations which the duke, in very critical times, had conferred on Henry; but it was known also, that, in times still more critical, he or his mercenary counsellors had deserted him, and put his life in the utmost hazard: that his sole refuge in these desperate extremities had been the court of France, which not only protected his person, but supplied him with men and money, with which, aided by his own valor and conduct, he had been enabled to mount the throne of England; that France in this transaction had, from friendship to Henry acted contrary to what, in a narrow view, might be esteemed her own interest; since, instead of an odious tyrant, she had contributed to establish on a rival throne a prince endowed with such virtue and abilities; and that, as both the justice of the cause and the obligations conferred on Henry thus preponderated on the side of France, she reasonably expected that, if the situation of his affairs did not permit him to give her assistance, he would at least preserve a neutrality between the contending parties.[*]
     * Bacon, p. 589.
This discourse of the French ambassadors was plausible; and to give it greater weight, they communicated to Henry, as in confidence, their master's intention, after he should have settled the differences with Brittany to lead an army into Italy, and make good his pretensions to the kingdom of Naples; a project which, they knew, would give no umbrage to the court of England. But all these artifices were in vain employed against the penetration of the king. He clearly saw that France had entertained the view of subduing Brittany; but he also perceived, that she would meet with great, and, as he thought, insuperable difficulties in the execution of her project. The native force of that duchy, he knew, had always been considerable, and had often, without any foreign assistance, resisted the power of France; the natural temper of the French nation, he imagined, would make them easily abandon any enterprise which required perseverance; and as the heir of the crown was confederated with the duke of Brittany, the ministers would be still more remiss in prosecuting a scheme which must draw on them his resentment and displeasure. Should even these internal obstructions be removed, Maximilian, whose enmity to France was well known, and who now paid his addresses to the heiress of Brittany, would be able to make a diversion on the side of Flanders; nor could it be expected that France, if she prosecuted such ambitious projects, would be allowed to remain in tranquillity by Ferdinand and Isabella. Above all, he thought the French court could never expect that England, so deeply interested to preserve the independency of Brittany, so able by her power and situation to give effectual and prompt assistance, would permit such an accession of force to her rival. He imagined, therefore, that the ministers of France, convinced of the impracticability of their scheme, would at last embrace pacific views, and would abandon an enterprise so obnoxious to all the potentates of Europe.
This reasoning of Henry was solid, and might justly engage him in dilatory and cautious measures: but there entered into his conduct another motive, which was apt to draw him beyond the just bounds, because founded on a ruling passion. His frugality, which by degrees degenerated into avarice, made him averse to all warlike enterprises and distant expeditions, and engaged him previously to try the expedient of negotiation. He despatched Urswic, his almoner, a man of address and abilities, to make offer of his mediation to the contending parties; an offer which, he thought, if accepted by France, would soon lead to a composure of all differences; if refused or eluded, would at least discover the perseverance of that court in her ambitious projects. Urswic found the lady of Beaujeu, now duchess of Bourbon, engaged in the siege of Nantz, and had the satisfaction to find that his master's offer of mediation was readily embraced and with many expressions of confidence and moderation. That able princess concluded, that the duke of Orleans, who governed the court of Brittany, foreseeing that every accommodation must be made at his expense, would use all his interest to have Henry's proposal rejected; and would by that means make an apology for the French measures, and draw on the Bretons the reproach of obstinacy and injustice. The event justified her prudence. When the English ambassador made the same offer to the duke of Brittany, he received for answer, in the name of that prince, that having so long acted the part of protector and guardian to Henry during his youth and adverse fortune, he had expected from a monarch of such virtue more effectual assistance in his present distresses than a barren offer of mediation, which suspended not the progress of the French arms: that if Henry's gratitude were not sufficient to engage him in such a measure, his prudence, as king of England, should discover to him the pernicious consequences attending the conquest of Brittany, and its annexation to the crown of France: that that kingdom, already too powerful, would be enabled, by so great an accession of force, to display, to the ruin of England, that hostile disposition which had always subsisted between those rival nations: that Brittany, so useful an ally, which, by its situation, gave the English an entrance into the heart of France, being annexed to that kingdom, would be equally enabled from its situation to disturb, either by piracies or naval armaments, the commerce and peace cf England: and that if the duke rejected Henry's mediation, it proceeded neither from an inclination to a war, which he experienced to be ruinous to him, nor from a confidence in his own force, which he knew to be much inferior to that of the enemy; but, on the contrary, from a sense of his present necessities, which must engage the king to act the part of his confederate, not that of a mediator.
When this answer was reported to the king, he abandoned not the plan which he had formed; he only concluded that some more time was requisite to quell the obstinacy of the Bretons, and make them submit to reason. And when he learned that the people of Brittany, anxious for their duke's safety, had formed a tumultuary army of sixty thousand men, and had obliged the French to raise the siege of Nantz, he fortified himself the more in his opinion, that the court of France would at last be reduced, by multiplied obstacles and difficulties, to abandon the project of reducing Brittany to subjection. He continued, therefore, his scheme of negotiation, and thereby exposed himself to be deceived by the artifices of the French ministry; who, still pretending pacific intentions, sent Lord Bernard Daubigni, a Scotchman of quality, to London, and pressed Henry not to be discouraged in offering his mediation to the court of Brittany. The king, on his part, despatched another embassy, consisting of Urswic, the abbot of Abingdon, and Sir Richard Tonstal, who carried new proposals for an amicable treaty. No effectual succors, meanwhile, were provided for the distressed Bretons. Lord Woodville, brother to the queen dowager, having asked leave to raise underhand a body of volunteers, and to transport them into Brittany, met with a refusal from the king, who was desirous of preserving the appearance of a strict neutrality. That nobleman, however, still persisted in his purpose. He went over to the Isle of Wight, of which he was governor, levied a body of four hundred men; and having at last obtained, as is supposed, the secret permission of Henry, sailed with them to Brittany. This enterprise proved fatal to the leader, and brought small relief to the unhappy duke. The Bretons rashly engaged in a general action with the French at St. Aubin, and were discomfited. Woodville and all the English were put to the sword, together with a body of Bretons, who had been accoutred in the garb of Englishmen in order to strike a greater terror into the French, to whom the martial prowess of that nation was always formidable.[*] The duke of Orleans the prince of Orange, and many other persons of rank were taken prisoners; and the military force of Brittany was totally broken. The death of the duke, which followed soon after, threw affairs into still greater confusion, and seemed to threaten the state with a final subjection.
Though the king did not prepare against these events, so hurtful to the interests of England, with sufficient vigor and precaution, he had not altogether overlooked them. Determined to maintain a pacific conduct, as far as the situation of affairs would permit, he yet knew the warlike temper of his subjects, and observed that their ancient and inveterate animosity to France was now revived by the prospect of this great accession to her power and grandeur. He resolved, therefore to make advantage of this disposition, and draw some supplies from the people, on pretence of giving assistance to the duke of Brittany. He had summoned a parliament at Westminster;[**] and he soon persuaded them to grant him a considerable subsidy.[***] But this supply, though voted by parliament, involved the king in unexpected difficulties. The counties of Durham and York, always discontented with Henry's government, and further provoked by the late oppressions under which they had labored, after the suppression of Simnel's rebellion, resisted the commissioners who were appointed to levy the tax. The commissioners, terrified with this appearance of sedition, made application to the earl of Northumberland, and desired of him advice and assistance in the execution of their office. That nobleman thought the matter of importance enough to consult the king; who, unwilling to yield to the humors of a discontented populace, and foreseeing the pernicious consequence of such a precedent, renewed his orders for strictly levying the imposition. Northumberland summoned together the justices and chief freeholders, and delivered the king's commands in the most imperious terms which, he thought, would enforce obedience, but which tended only to provoke the people, and make them believe him the adviser of those orders which he delivered to them. [****]
     * Argentré Hist, de Bretagne, liv. xii.

     ** 9th November, 1487.

     *** Polyd. Virg. (p 579) says, that this imposition was a
     capitation tax; the other historians say, it was a tax of
     two shillings in the pound.

     **** Bacon, p. 595.
They flew to arms, attacked Northumberland in his house, and put him to death. Having incurred such deep guilt, their mutinous humor prompted them to declare against the king himself; and being instigated by John Achamber, a seditious fellow of low birth, they chose Sir John Egremond their leader, and prepared themselves for a vigorous resistance. Henry was not dismayed with an insurrection so precipitate and ill supported. He immediately levied a force, which he put under the command of the earl of Surrey, whom he had freed from confinement and received into favor. His intention was to send down these troops, in order to check the progress of the rebels; while he himself should follow with a greater body, which would absolutely insure success. But Surrey thought himself strong enough to encounter alone a raw and unarmed multitude; and he succeeded in the attempt. The rebels were dissipated; John Achamber was taken prisoner, and afterwards executed with some of his accomplices; Sir John Egremond fled to the duchess of Burgundy, who gave him protection; the greater number of the rebels received a pardon.
Henry had probably expected, when he obtained this grant from parliament, that he should be able to terminate the affair of Brittany by negotiation, and that he might thereby fill his coffers with the money levied by the imposition. But as the distresses of the Bretons still multiplied, and became every day more urgent, he found himself under the necessity of taking more vigorous measures, in order to support them. On the death of the duke, the French had revived some antiquated claims to the dominion of the duchy; and as the duke of Orleans was now captive in France, their former pretence for hostilities could no longer serve as a cover to their ambition. The king resolved therefore to engage as auxiliary to Brittany; and to consult the interests, as well as desires of his people, by opposing himself to the progress of the French power. Besides entering into a league with Maximilian, and another with Ferdinand, which were distant resources, he levied a body of troops, to the number of six thousand men, with an intention of transporting them into Brittany.
Still anxious, however, for the repayment of his expenses, he concluded a treaty with the young duchess, by which she engaged to deliver into his hands two seaport towns, there to remain till she should entirely refund the charges of the armament.[*]
     * Du Tillet, Recueil des Traités.
Though he engaged for the service of these troops during the space of ten months only, yet was the duchess obliged, by the necessity of her affairs, to submit to such rigid conditions, imposed by any ally so much concerned in interest to protect her. The forces arrived under the command of Lord Willoughby of Broke; and made the Bretons, during some time, masters of the field. The French retired into their garrisons; and expected by dilatory measures to waste the fire of the English, and disgust them with the enterprise. The scheme was well laid, and met with success. Lord Broke found such discord and confusion in the counsels of Brittany, that no measures could be concerted for any undertaking; no supply obtained; no provisions, carriages, artillery, or military stores procured. The whole court was rent into factions: no one minister had acquired the ascendant: and whatever project was formed by one, was sure to be traversed by another. The English, disconcerted in every enterprise by these animosities and uncertain counsels, returned home as soon as the time of their service was elapsed, leaving only a small garrison in those towns which had been consigned into their hands. During their stay in Brittany, they had only contributed still further to waste the country; and by their departure, they left it entirely at the mercy of the enemy. So feeble was the succor which Henry in this important conjuncture afforded his ally, whom the invasion of a foreign enemy, concurring with domestic dissensions, had reduced to the utmost distress.
The great object of the domestic dissensions in Brittany was the disposal of the young duchess in marriage. The mareschal Rieux, favored by Henry, seconded the suit of the lord D'Albret, who led some forces to her assistance. The chancellor Montauban, observing the aversion of the duchess to this suitor, insisted that a petty prince, such as D'Albret, was unable to support Anne in her present extremities; and he recommended some more powerful alliance, particularly that of Maximilian, king of the Romans.
This party at last prevailed; the marriage with Maximilian was celebrated by proxy; and the duchess thenceforth assumed the title of queen of the Romans. But this magnificent appellation was all she gained by her marriage. Maximilian, destitute of troops and money, and embarrassed with the continual revolts of the Flemings, could send no succor to his distressed consort; while D'Albret, enraged at the preference given to his rival, deserted her cause, and received the French into Nantz, the most important place in the duchy both for strength and riches.
The French court now began to change their scheme with regard to the subjection of Brittany. Charles had formerly been affianced to Margaret, daughter of Maximilian; who, though too young for the consummation of her marriage, had been sent to Paris to be educated, and at this time bore the title of queen of France. Besides the rich dowry which she brought the king, she was, after her brother Philip, then in early youth, heir to all the dominions of the house of Burgundy; and seemed in many respects the most proper match that could be chosen for the young monarch. These circumstances had so blinded both Maximilian and Henry, that they never suspected any other intentions in the French court; nor were they able to discover that engagements, seemingly so advantageous and so solemnly entered into, could be infringed and set aside. But Charles began to perceive that the conquest of Brittany, in opposition to the natives, and to all the great powers of Christendom, would prove a difficult enterprise; and that even if he should overrun the country and make himself master of the fortresses, it would be impossible for him long to retain possession of them. The marriage alone of the duchess could fully reannex that fief to the crown; and the present and certain enjoyment of so considerable a territory, seemed preferable to the prospect of inheriting the dominions of the house of Burgundy; a prospect which became every day more distant and precarious. Above all, the marriage of Maximilian and Anne appeared destructive to the grandeur and even security of the French monarchy; while that prince, possessing Flanders on the one hand, and Brittany on the other, might thus, from both quarters, make inroads into the heart of the country. The only remedy for these evils was therefore concluded to be the dissolution of the two marriages, which had been celebrated, but not consummated; and the espousal of the duchess of Brittany by the king of France.
It was necessary that this expedient, which had not been foreseen by any court in Europe, and which they were all so much interested to oppose, should be kept a profound secret, and should be discovered to the world only by the full execution of it. The measures of the French ministry in the conduct of this delicate enterprise were wise and political. While they pressed Brittany with all the rigors of war, they secretly gained the count of Dunois, who possessed great authority with the Bretons; and having also engaged in their interests the prince of Orange, cousin-german to the duchess, they gave him his liberty, and sent him into Brittany. These partisans, supported by other emissaries of France, prepared the minds of men for the great revolution projected, and displayed, though still with many precautions, all the advantages of a union with the French monarchy. They represented to the barons of Brittany, that their country, harassed during so many years with perpetual war, had need of some repose, and of a solid and lasting peace with the only power that was formidable to them: that their alliance with Maximilian was not able to afford them even present protection; and, by closely uniting them to a power which was rival to the greatness of France, fixed them in perpetual enmity with that potent monarchy: that their vicinity exposed them first to the inroads of the enemy; and the happiest event which, in such a situation, could befall them, would be to attain a peace, though by a final subjection to France, and by the loss of that liberty transmitted to them from their ancestors: and that any other expedient, compatible with the honor of the state and their duty to their sovereign, was preferable to a scene of such disorder and devastation.
These suggestions had influence with the Bretons: but the chief difficulty lay in surmounting the prejudices of the young duchess herself. That princess had imbibed a strong prepossession against the French nation, particularly against Charles, the author of all the calamities which, from her earliest infancy, had befallen her family. She had also fixed her affections on Maximilian; and as she now deemed him her husband, she could not, she thought, without incurring the greatest guilt, and violating the most solemn engagements, contract a marriage with any other person.
In order to overcome her obstinacy, Charles gave the duke of Orleans his liberty; who, though formerly a suitor to the duchess, was now contented to ingratiate himself with the king, by employing in his favor all the interest which he still possessed in Brittany. Mareschal Rieux and Chancellor Montauban were reconciled by his mediation; and these rival ministers now concurred with the prince of Orange and the count of Dunois, in pressing the conclusion of a marriage with Charles. By their suggestion, Charles advanced with a powerful army, and invested Rennes, at that time the residence of the duchess; who, assailed on all hands, and finding none to support her in her inflexibility, at last opened the gates of the city, and agreed to espouse the king of France, She was married at Langey, in Touraine; conducted to St. Denis, where she was crowned; thence made her entry into Paris, amidst the joyful acclamations of the people, who regarded this marriage as the most prosperous event that could have befallen the monarchy.
The triumph and success of Charles was the most sensible mortification to the king of the Romans. He had lost a considerable territory, which he thought he had acquired, and an accomplished princess, whom he had espoused; he was affronted in the person of his daughter Margaret, who was sent back to him, after she had been treated during some years as queen of France; he had reason to reproach himself with his own supine security, in neglecting the consummation of his marriage, which was easily practicable for him, and which would have rendered the tie indissoluble: these considerations threw him into the most violent rage, which he vented in very indecent expressions; and he threatened France with an invasion from the united arms of Austria, Spain, and England.
The king of England had also just reason to reproach himself with misconduct in this important transaction; and though the affair had terminated in a manner which he could not precisely foresee, his negligence, in leaving his most useful ally so long exposed to the invasion of superior power, could not but appear on reflection the result of timid caution and narrow politics. As he valued himself on his extensive foresight and profound judgment, the ascendant acquired over him by a raw youth, such as Charles, could not but give him the highest displeasure, and prompt him to seek vengeance, after all remedy for his miscarriage was become absolutely impracticable. But he was further actuated by avarice, a motive still more predominant with him than either pride or revenge; and he sought, even from his present disappointments, the gratification of this ruling passion. On pretence of a French war, he issued a commission for levying a "benevolence" on his people;[*] a species of taxation which had been abolished by a recent law of Richard III.
     * Rymer, vol. xii. p. 446. Bacon says that the benevolence
     was levied with consent of parliament, which is a mistake.
This violence (for such it really was) fell chiefly on the commercial part of the nation, who were possessed of the ready money. London alone contributed to the amount of near ten thousand pounds. Archbishop Morton, the chancellor, instructed the commissioners to employ a dilemma, in which every one might be comprehended: if the persons applied to lived frugally, they were told that their parsimony must necessarily have enriched them; if their method of living were splendid and hospitable, they were concluded to be opulent on account of their expenses. This device was by some called Chancellor Morton's fork, by others his crutch.
So little apprehensive was the king of a parliament on account of his levying this arbitrary imposition, that he soon after summoned that assembly to meet at Westminster; and he even expected to enrich himself further by working on their passions and prejudices. He knew the displeasure which the English had conceived against France on account of the acquisition of Brittany; and he took care to insist on that topic, in the speech which he himself pronounced to the parliament. He told them, that France, elated with her late successes, had even proceeded to a contempt of England, and had refused to pay the tribute which Lewis XI had stipulated to Edward IV.: that it became so warlike a nation as the English to be roused by this indignity, and not to limit their pretensions merely to repelling the present injury: that, for his part, he was determined to lay claim to the crown itself of France, and to maintain by force of arms so just a title, transmitted to him by his gallant ancestors: that Crecy, Poictiers, and Azincour were sufficient to instruct them in their superiority over the enemy; nor did he despair of adding new names to the glorious catalogue; that a king of France had been prisoner in London, and a king of England had been crowned at Paris; events which should animate them to an emulation of like glory with that which had been enjoyed by their forefathers: that the domestic dissensions of England had been the sole cause of her losing these foreign dominions; and her present internal union would be the effectual means of recovering them: that where such lasting honor was in view, and such an important acquisition, it became not brave men to repine at the advance of a little treasure: and that, for his part, he was determined to make the war maintain itself; and hoped by the invasion of so opulent a kingdom as France, to increase rather than diminish the riches of the nation.[*]
     * Bacon, p. 601.
Notwithstanding these magnificent vaunts of the king, all men of penetration concluded, from the personal character of the man, and still more from the situation of affairs, that he had no serious intention of pushing the war to such extremities as he pretended. France was not now in the same condition as when such successful inroads had been made upon her by former kings of England. The great fiefs were united to the crown; the princes of the blood were desirous of tranquillity; the nation abounded with able captains and veteran soldiers; and the general aspect of her affairs seemed rather to threaten her neighbors, than to promise them any considerable advantages against her. The levity and vain-glory of Maximilian were supported by his pompous titles; but were ill seconded by military power, and still less by any revenue proportioned to them. The politic Ferdinand, while he made a show of war, was actually negotiating for peace; and rather than expose himself to any hazard, would accept of very moderate concessions from France. Even England was not free from domestic discontents; and in Scotland, the death of Henry's friend and ally, James III., who had been murdered by his rebellious subjects, had made way for the succession of his son, James IV., who was devoted to the French interest, and would surely be alarmed at any important progress of the English arms. But all these obvious considerations had no influence on the parliament. Inflamed by the ideas of subduing France, and of enriching themselves by the spoils of that kingdom, they gave into the snare prepared for them, and voted the supply which the king demanded. Two fifteenths were granted him; and the better to enable his vassals and nobility to attend him, an act was passed, empowering them to sell their estates, without paying any fines for alienation.
The nobility were universally seized with a desire of military glory; and having credulously swallowed all the boasts of the king, they dreamed of no less than carrying their triumphant banners to the gates of Paris, and putting the crown of France on the head of their sovereign. Many of them borrowed large sums, or sold off manors, that they might appear in the field with greater splendor, and lead out their followers in more complete order. The king crossed the sea, and arrived at Calais on the sixth of October, with an army of twenty-five thousand foot and sixteen hundred horse, which he put under the command of the duke of Bedford and the earl of Oxford: but as some inferred, from his opening the campaign in so late a season, that peace would soon be concluded between the crowns, he was desirous of suggesting a contrary inference. "He had come over," he said, "to make an entire conquest of France, which was not the work of one summer. It was therefore of no consequence at what season he began the invasion; especially as he had Calais ready for winter quarters." As if he had seriously intended this enterprise, he instantly marched into the enemy's country, and laid siege to Boulogne: but notwithstanding this appearance of hostility, there had been secret advances made towards peace above three months before; and commissioners had been appointed to treat of the terms. The better to reconcile the minds of men to this unexpected measure, the king's ambassadors arrived in the camp from the Low Countries, and informed him, that Maximilian was in no readiness to join him; nor was any assistance to be expected from that quarter. Soon after, messengers came from Spain, and brought news of a peace concluded between that kingdom and France, in which Charles had made a cession of the counties of Roussillon and Cerdagne to Ferdinand. Though these articles of intelligence were carefully dispersed throughout the army, the king was still apprehensive lest a sudden peace, after such magnificent promises and high expectations, might expose him to reproach. In order the more effectually to cover the intended measures, he secretly engaged the marquis of Dorset, together with twenty-three persons of distinction, to present him a petition for agreeing to a treaty with France. The pretence was founded on the late season of the year, the difficulty of supplying the army at Calais during winter, the obstacles which arose in the siege of Boulogne, the desertion of those allies whose assistance had been most relied on: events which might, all of them, have been foreseen before the embarkation of the forces.
In consequence of these preparatory steps, the bishop of Exeter and Lord Daubeney were sent to confer at Estaples with the mareschal de Cordes, and to put the last hand to the treaty. A few days sufficed for that purpose: the demands of Henry were wholly pecuniary; and the king of Franco, who deemed the peaceable possession of Brittany an equivalent for any sum, and who was all on fire for his projected expedition into Italy, readily agreed to the proposals made him. He engaged to pay Henry seven hundred and forty-five thousand crowns, near four hundred thousand pounds sterling of our present money; partly as a reimbursement of the sums advanced to Brittany, partly as arrears of the pension due to Edward IV. And he stipulated a yearly pension to Henry and his heirs of twenty-five thousand crowns. Thus the king, as remarked by his historian, made profit upon his subjects for the war, and upon his enemies for the peace.[*] And the people agreed that he had fulfilled his promise, when he said to the parliament that he would make the war maintain itself. Maximilian was, if he pleased, comprehended in Henry's treaty; but he disdained to be in any respect beholden to an ally, of whom, he thought, he had reason to complain: he made a separate peace with France, and obtained restitution of Artois, Franche Compte, and Charolois, which had been ceded as the dowry of his daughter when she was affianced to the king of France.
     * Bacon, p. 605. Polyd Virg. p. 586.
The peace concluded between England and France was the more likely to continue, because Charles, full of ambition and youthful hopes, bent all his attention to the side of Italy, and soon after undertook the conquest of Naples; an enterprise which Henry regarded with the greater indifference, as Naples lay remote from him, and France had never, in any age, been successful in that quarter. The king's authority was fully established at home; and every rebellion which had been attempted against him, had hitherto tended only to confound his enemies, and consolidate his power and influence. His reputation for policy and conduct was daily augmenting; his treasures had increased even from the most unfavorable events; the hopes of all pretenders to his throne were cut off, as well by his marriage as by the issue which it had brought him. In this prosperous situation, the king had reason to flatter himself with the prospect of durable peace and tranquillity; but his inveterate and indefatigable enemies, whom he had wantonly provoked, raised him an adversary, who long kept him in inquietude, and sometimes even brought him into danger.
The duchess of Burgundy, full of resentment for the depression of her family and its partisans, rather irritated than discouraged by the ill success of her past enterprises, was determined at least to disturb that government which she found it so difficult to subvert. By means of her emissaries, she propagated a report that her nephew, Richard Plantagenet, duke of York, had escaped from the Tower when his elder brother was murdered, and that he still lay somewhere concealed: and finding this rumor, however improbable, to be greedily received by the people, she had been looking out for some young man proper to personate that unfortunate prince.
There was one Osbec, or Warbec, a renegade Jew of Tournay, who had been carried by some business to London in the reign of Edward IV., and had there a son born to him. Having had opportunities of being known to the king, and obtaining his favor, he prevailed with that prince, whose manners were very affable, to stand godfather to his son, to whom he gave the name of Peter, corrupted, after the Flemish manner, into Peterkin, or Perkin. It was by some believed that Edward, among his amorous adventures, had a secret commerce with Warbec's wife; and people thence accounted for that resemblance which was afterwards remarked between young Perkin and that monarch.[*]
     * Bacon, p. 606.
Some years after the birth of this child, Warbec returned to Tournay; where Perkin, his son, did not long remain, but by different accidents, was carried from place to place, and his birth and fortunes became thereby unknown, and difficult to be traced by the most diligent inquiry. The variety of his adventures had happily favored the natural versatility and sagacity of his genius; and he seemed to be a youth perfectly fitted to act any part, or assume any character. In this light he had been represented to the duchess of Burgundy, who, struck with the concurrence of so many circumstances suited to her purpose, desired to be made acquainted with the man, on whom she already began to ground her hopes of success. She found him to exceed her most sanguine expectations; so comely did he appear in his person, so graceful in his air, so courtly in his address, so full of docility and good sense in his behavior and conversation. The lessons necessary to be taught him, in order to his personating the duke of York, were soon learned by a youth of such quick apprehension; but as the season seemed not then favorable for their enterprise, Margaret, in order the better to conceal him, sent him, under the care of Lady Brampton into Portugal, where he remained a year unknown to all the world.
The war, which was then ready to break out between France and England, seemed to afford a proper opportunity for the discovery of this new phenomenon; and Ireland, which still retained its attachments to the house of York, was chosen as the proper place for his first appearance.[*] He landed at Cork; and immediately assuming the name of Richard Plantagenet, drew to him partisans among that credulous people. He wrote letters to the earls of Desmond and Kildare, inviting them to join his party: he dispersed every where the strange intelligence of his escape from the cruelty of his uncle Richard: and men, fond of every thing new and wonderful, began to make him the general subject of their discourse, and even the object of their favor.
The news soon reached France; and Charles, prompted by the secret solicitations of the duchess of Burgundy, and the intrigues of one Frion, a secretary of Henry's, who had deserted his service, sent Perkin an invitation to repair to him at Paris. He received him with all the marks of regard due to the duke of York; settled on him a handsome pension, assigned him magnificent lodgings, and in order to provide at once for his dignity and security, gave him a guard for his person, of which Lord Congresal accepted the office of captain. The French courtiers readily embraced a fiction which their sovereign thought it his interest to adopt: Perkin, both by his deportment and personal qualities, supported the prepossession which was spread abroad of his royal pedigree: and the whole kingdom was full of the accomplishments, as well as the singular adventures and misfortunes, of the young Plantagenet. Wonders of this nature are commonly augmented at a distance. From France the admiration and credulity diffused themselves into England: Sir George Nevil,[*] Sir John Taylor, and above a hundred gentlemen more, came to Paris, in order to offer their services to the supposed duke of York, and to share his fortunes: and the impostor had now the appearance of a court attending him, and began to entertain hopes of final success in his undertakings.
     * Polyd Virg. p. 589.
When peace was concluded between France and England at Estaples, Henry applied to have Perkin put into his hands; but Charles, resolute not to betray a young man, of whatever birth, whom he had invited into his kingdom, would agree only to dismiss him. The pretended Richard retired to the duchess of Burgundy, and craving her protection and assistance, offered to lay before her all the proofs of that birth to which he laid claim. The princess affected ignorance of his pretensions; even put on the appearance of distrust: and having, as she said, been already deceived by Simnel, she was determined never again to be seduced by any impostor. She desired before all the world to be instructed in his reasons for assuming the name which he bore; seemed to examine every circumstance with the most scrupulous nicety; put many particular questions to him; affected astonishment at his answers; and at last, after long and severe scrutiny, burst out into joy and admiration at his wonderful deliverance, embraced him as her nephew, the true image of Edward, the sole heir of the Plantagenets, and the legitimate successor to the English throne.
She immediately assigned him an equipage suited to his pretended birth; appointed him a guard of thirty halberdiers; engaged every one to pay court to him; and on all occasions honored him with the appellation of the White Rose of England. The Flemings, moved by the authority which Margaret, both from her rank and personal character, enjoyed among them, readily adopted the fiction of Perkin's royal descent: no surmise of his true birth was as yet heard of little contradiction was made to the prevailing opinion: and the English, from their great communication with the Low Countries, were every day more and more prepossessed in favor of the impostor.
It was not the populace alone of England that gave credit to Perkin's pretensions. Men of the highest birth and quality, disgusted at Henry's government, by which they found the nobility depressed, began to turn their eyes towards the new claimant; and some of them even entered into a correspondence with him. Lord Fitzwater, Sir Simon Mountfort, Sir Thomas Thwaites, betrayed their inclination towards him: Sir William Stanley himself, lord chamberlain, who had been so active in raising Henry to the throne, moved either by blind credulity or a restless ambition, entertained the project of a revolt in favor of his enemy.[*]
     * Bacon, p. 608.
Sir Robert Clifford and William Barley were still more open in their measures: they went over to Flanders, were introduced by the duchess of Burgundy to the acquaintance of Perkin, and made him a tender of their services. Clifford wrote back to England, that he knew perfectly the person of Richard, duke of York, that this young man was undoubtedly that prince himself, and that no circumstance of his story was exposed to the least difficulty. Such positive intelligence, conveyed by a person of rank and character, was sufficient with many to put the matter beyond question, and excited the attention and wonder even of the most indifferent. The whole nation was held in suspense; a regular conspiracy was formed against the king's authority, and a correspondence settled between the malecontents in Flanders and those in England.
The king was informed of all these particulars; but agreeably to his character, which was both cautious and resolute, he proceeded deliberately, though steadily, in counterworking the projects of his enemies. His first object was to ascertain the death of the real duke of York, and to confirm the opinion that had always prevailed with regard to that event. Five persons had been employed by Richard in the murder of his nephews, or could give evidence with regard to it; Sir James Tyrrel, to whom he had committed the government of the Tower for that purpose, and who had seen the dead princes; Forrest, Dighton, and Slater, who perpetrated the crime; and the priest who buried the bodies. Tyrrel and Dighton alone were alive, and they agreed in the same story; but as the priest was dead, and as the bodies were supposed to have been removed by Richard's orders from the place where they were first interred, and could not now be found, it was not in Henry's power to put the fact, so much as he wished, beyond all doubt and controversy.
He met at first with more difficulty, but was in the end more successful, in detecting who this wonderful person was that thus boldly advanced pretensions to his crown. He dispersed his spies all over Flanders and England; he engaged many to pretend that they had embraced Perkin's party; he directed them to insinuate themselves into the confidence of the young man's friends; in proportion as they conveyed intelligence of any conspirator, he bribed his retainers, his domestic servants, nay, sometimes his confessor, and by these means traced up some other confederate; Clifford himself he engaged, by the hope of rewards and pardon, to betray the secrets committed to him; the more trust he gave to any of his spies, the higher resentment did he feign against them, some of them he even caused to be publicly anathematized, in order the better to procure them the confidence of his enemies: and in the issue, the whole plan of the conspiracy was clearly laid before him; and the pedigree, adventures, life, and conversation of the pretended duke of York. This latter part of the story was immediately published for the satisfaction of the nation: the conspirators he reserved for a slower and surer vengeance.
Meanwhile he remonstrated with the archduke Philip, on account of the countenance and protection which was afforded in his dominions to so infamous an impostor; contrary to treaties subsisting between the sovereigns, and to the mutual amity which had so long been maintained by the subjects of both states. Margaret had interest enough to get his application rejected; on pretence that Philip had no authority over the demesnes of the duchess dowager. And the king, in resentment of this injury, cut off all commerce with the Low Countries, banished the Flemings, and recalled his own subjects from these provinces. Philip retaliated by like edicts; but Henry knew, that so mutinous a people as the Flemings would not long bear, in compliance with the humors of their prince, to be deprived of the beneficial branch of commerce which they carried on with England.
He had it in his power to inflict more effectual punishment on his domestic enemies; and when his projects were sufficiently matured, he failed not to make them feel the effects of his resentment. Almost in the same instant he arrested Fitzwater, Mountfort, and Thwaites, together with William Daubeney, Robert Rateliff, Thomas Cressenor, and Thomas Astwood. All these were arraigned, convicted, and condemned for high treason, in adhering and promising aid to Perkin. Mountfort, Ratcliff, and Daubeney were immediately executed: Fitzwater was sent over to Calais, and detained in custody; but being detected in practising on his keeper for an escape, he soon after underwent the same fate. The rest were pardoned, together with William Worseley, dean of St. Paul's, and some others, who had been accused and examined, but not brought to public trial.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 592.
Greater and more solemn preparations were deemed requisite for the trial of Stanley, lord chamberlain, whose authority in the nation, whose domestic connections with the king, as well as his former services, seemed to secure him against any accusation or punishment. Clifford was directed to come over privately to England, and to throw himself at the king's feet while he sat in council; craving pardon for past offences and offering to atone for them by any services which should be required of him. Henry then told him, that the best proof he could give of penitence, and the only service he could now render him, was the full confession of his guilt, and the discovery of all his accomplices, however distinguished by rank or character. Encouraged by this exhortation, Clifford accused Stanley, then present, as his chief abettor; and offered to lay before the council the full proof of his guilt. Stanley himself could not discover more surprise than was affected by Henry on the occasion. He received the intelligence as absolutely false and incredible; that a man, to whom he was in a great measure beholden for his crown, and even for his life; a man, to, whom, by every honor and favor, he had endeavored to express his gratitude; whose brother, the earl of Derby, was his own father-in-law; to whom he had even committed the trust of his person, by creating him lord chamberlain: that this man, enjoying his full confidence and affection, not actuated by any motive of discontent or apprehension, should engage in a conspiracy against him. Clifford was therefore exhorted to weigh well the consequences of his accusation; but as he persisted in the same positive asseverations, Stanley was committed to custody, and was soon after examined before the council.[*] He denied not the guilt imputed to him by Clifford; he did not even endeavor much to extenuate it; whether he thought that a frank and open confession would serve as an atonement, or trusted to his present connections and his former services for pardon and security. But princes are often apt to regard great services as a ground of jealousy, especially if accompanied with a craving and restless disposition in the person who has performed them. The general discontent also, and mutinous humor of the people, seemed to require some great example of severity. And as Stanley was one of the most opulent subjects in the kingdom, being possessed of above three thousand pounds a year in land, and forty thousand marks in plate and money, besides other property of great value, the prospect of so rich a forfeiture was deemed no small motive for Henry's proceeding to extremities against him.
     * Bacon, p. 611 Polyd. Virg. p. 593.
After six weeks' delay, which was interposed in order to show that the king was restrained by doubts and scruples, the prisoner was brought to his trial, condemned, and presently after beheaded. Historians are not agreed with regard to the crime which was proved against him. The general report is, that he should have said in confidence to Clifford, that if he were sure the young man who appeared in Flanders was really son to King Edward, he never would bear arms against him. The sentiment might disgust Henry, as implying a preference of the house of York to that of Lancaster; but could scarcely be the ground, even in those arbitrary times, of a sentence of high treason against Stanley. It is more probable, therefore, as is asserted by some historians, that he had expressly engaged to assist Perkin, and had actually sent him some supply of money.
The fate of Stanley made great impression on the kingdom, and struck all the partisans of Perkin with the deepest dismay. From Clifford's desertion, they found that all their secrets were betrayed; and as it appeared that Stanley, while he seemed to live in the greatest confidence with the king, had been continually surrounded by spies, who reported and registered every action in which he was engaged, nay, every word which fell from him, a general distrust took place, and all mutual confidence was destroyed, even among intimate friends and acquaintance. The jealous and severe temper of the king, together with his great reputation for sagacity and penetration, kept men in awe, and quelled not only the movements of sedition, but the very murmurs of faction. Libels, however, crept out against Henry's person and administration; and being greedily propagated by every secret art, showed that there still remained among the people a considerable root of discontent, which wanted only a proper opportunity to discover itself.
But Henry continued more intent on increasing the terrors of his people, than on gaining their affections. Trusting to the great success which attended him in all his enterprises, he gave every day more and more a loose to his rapacious temper, and employed the arts of perverted law and justice, in order to exact fines and compositions from his people. Sir William Capel, alderman of London, was condemned on some penal statutes to pay the sum of two thousand seven hundred and forty-three pounds, and was obliged to compound for sixteen hundred and fifteen. This was the first noted case of the kind; but it became a precedent, which prepared the may for many others. The management, indeed, of these arts of chicanery, was the great secret of the king's administration. While he depressed the nobility, he exalted, and honored, and caressed the lawyers; and by that means both bestowed authority on the laws, and was enabled, whenever he pleased, to pervert them to his own advantage. His government was oppressive; but it was so much the less burdensome, as, by his extending royal authority, and curbing the nobles, he became in reality the sole oppressor in his kingdom.
As Perkin found that the king's authority daily gained ground among the people, and that his own pretensions were becoming obsolete, he resolved to attempt something which might revive the hopes and expectations of his partisans. Having collected a band of outlaws, pirates, robbers, and necessitous persons of all nations, to the number of six hundred men, he put to sea, with a resolution of making a descent in England, and of exciting the common people to arms, since all his correspondence with the nobility was cut off by Henry vigilance and severity. Information being brought him that the king had made a progress to the north, he cast anchor on the coast of Kent, and sent some of his retainers ashore, who invited the country to join him. The gentlemen of Kent assembled some troops to oppose him; but they purposed to do more essential service than by repelling the invasion: they carried the semblance of friendship to Perkin, and invited him to come himself ashore, in order to take the command over them. But the wary youth, observing that they had more order and regularity in their movements than could be supposed in new levied forces who had taken arms against established authority, refused to intrust himself into their hands; and the Kentish troops, despairing of success in their stratagem, fell upon such of his retainers as were already landed; and besides some whom they slew, they took a hundred and fifty prisoners. These were tried and condemned and all of them executed, by orders from the king, who was resolved to use no lenity towards men of such desperate fortunes.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 595.
This year a parliament was summoned in England, and another in Ireland; and some remarkable laws were passed in both countries. The English parliament enacted, that no person who should by arms, or otherwise assist the king for the time being, should ever afterwards, either by course of law or act of parliament, be attainted for such an instance of obedience. This statute might be exposed to some censure, as favorable to usurpers; were there any precise rule, which always, even during the most factious times, could determine the true successor, and render every one inexcusable who did not submit to him. But as the titles of princes are then the great subject of dispute, and each party pleads topics in its own favor, it seems but equitable to secure those who act in support of public tranquillity, an object at all times of undoubted benefit and importance. Henry, conscious of his disputed title, promoted this law, in order to secure his partisans against all events; but as he had himself observed a contrary practice with regard to Richard's adherents, he had reason to apprehend that, during the violence which usually ensues on public convulsions, his example, rather than his law, would, in case of a new revolution, be followed by his enemies. And the attempt to bind the legislature itself, by prescribing rules to future parliaments, was contradictory to the plainest principles of political government.
This parliament also passed an act, empowering the king to levy, by course of law, all the sums which any person had agreed to pay by way of benevolence; a statute by which that arbitrary method of taxation was indirectly authorized and justified.
The king's authority appeared equally prevalent and uncontrolled in Ireland. Sir Edward Poynings had been sent over to that country, with an intention of quelling the partisans of the house of York, and of reducing the natives to subjection. He was not supported by forces sufficient for that enterprise: the Irish, by flying into their woods, and morasses, and mountains, for some time eluded his efforts; but Poynings summoned a parliament at Dublin, where he was more successful. He passed that memorable statute, which still bears his name, and which establishes the authority of the English government in Ireland. By this statute, all the former laws of England were made to be of force in Ireland; and no bill can be introduced into the Irish parliament, unless it previously receive the sanction of the council of England. This latter clause seems calculated for insuring the dominion of the English; but was really granted at the desire of the Irish commons who intended, by that means, to secure themselves from the tyranny of their lords, particularly of such lieutenants or deputies as were of Irish birth.[*]
     * Sir John Davis, p. 236.
While Henry's authority was thus established throughout his dominions, and general tranquillity prevailed, the whole continent was thrown into combustion by the French invasion of Italy, and by the rapid success which attended Charles in that rash and ill-concerted enterprise. The Italians, who had entirely lost the use of arms, and who, in the midst of continual wars, had become every day more unwarlike, were astonished to meet an enemy that made the field of battle, not a pompous tournament, but a scene of blood, and sought, at the hazard of their own lives, the death of their enemy. Their effeminate troops were dispersed every where on the approach of the French army: their best fortified cities opened their gates: kingdoms and states were in an instant overturned; and through the whole length of Italy, which the French penetrated without resistance, they seemed rather to be taking quarters in their own country, than making conquests over an enemy. The maxims which the Italians during that age followed in negotiations, were as ill calculated to support their states, as the habits to which they were addicted in war: a treacherous, deceitful, and inconsistent system of politics prevailed; and even those small remains of fidelity and honor, which were preserved in the councils of the other European princes, were ridiculed in Italy, as proofs of ignorance and rusticity. Ludovico, duke of Milan, who invited the French to invade Naples, had never desired or expected their success; and was the first that felt terror from the prosperous issue of those projects which he himself had concerted. By his intrigues, a league was formed among several potentates, to oppose the progress of Charles's conquests, and secure their own independency. This league was composed of Ludovico himself, the pope, Maximilian, king of the Romans, Ferdinand of Spain, and the republic of Venice. Henry too entered into the confederacy; but was not put to any expense or trouble in consequence of his engagements. The king of France, terrified by so powerful a combination, retired from Naples with the greater part of his army, and returned to France. The forces which he left in his new conquest were, partly by the revolt of the inhabitants, partly by the invasion of the Spaniards, soon after subdued; and the whole kingdom of Naples suddenly returned to its allegiance under Ferdinand, son to Alphonso, who had been suddenly expelled by the irruption of the French. Ferdinand died soon after, and left his uncle Frederick in full possession of the throne.



After Perkin was repulsed from the coast of Kent, he retired into Flanders; but as he found it impossible to procure subsistence for himself and his followers while he remained in tranquillity, he soon after made an attempt upon Ireland, which had always appeared forward to join every invader of Henry's authority. But Poynings had now put the affairs of that island in so good a posture, that Perkin met with little success; and being tired of the savage life which he was obliged to lead, while skulking among the wild Irish, he bent his course towards Scotland, and presented himself to James IV., who then governed that kingdom. He had been previously recommended to this prince by the king of France, who was disgusted at Henry for entering into the general league against him; and this recommendation was even seconded by Maximilian, who, though one of the confederates, was also displeased with the king, on account of his prohibiting in England all commerce with the Low Countries. The countenance given to Perkin by these princes procured him a favorable reception with the king of Scotland, who assured him, that, whatever he were, he never should repent putting himself in his hands:[*] the insinuating address and plausible behavior of the youth himself, seem to have gained him credit and authority. James, whom years had not yet taught distrust or caution, was seduced to believe the story of Perkin's birth and adventures; and he carried his confidence so far as to give him in marriage the lady Catharine Gordon, daughter of the earl of Huntley, and related to himself; a young lady too, eminent for virtue as well as beauty.
     * Bacon, p. 615. Polyd. Virg. p. 596, 597.
There subsisted at that time a great jealousy between the courts of England and Scotland; and James was probably the more forward on that account to adopt any fiction which he thought might reduce his enemy to distress or difficulty. He suddenly resolved to make an inroad into England, attended by some of the borderers; and he carried Perkin along with him, in hopes that the appearance of the pretended prince might raise an insurrection in the northern counties. Perkin himself dispersed a manifesto, in which he set forth his own story, and craved the assistance of all his subjects in expelling the usurper, whose tyranny and maladministration, whose depression of the nobility by the elevation of mean persons, whose oppression of the people by multiplied impositions and vexations, had justly, he said, rendered him odious to all men. But Perkin's pretensions, attended with repeated disappointments, were now become stale in the eyes even of the populace; and the hostile dispositions which subsisted between the kingdoms, rendered a prince supported by the Scots but an unwelcome present to the English nation. The ravages also committed by the borderers, accustomed to license and disorder, struck a terror into all men, and made the people prepare rather for repelling the invaders than for joining them. Perkin, that he might support his pretensions to royal birth, feigned great compassion for the misery of his plundered subjects, and publicly remonstrated with his ally against the depredations exercised by the Scottish army;[*] but James told him, that he doubted his concern was employed only in behalf of an enemy, and that he was anxious to preserve what never should belong to him. That prince now began to perceive that his attempt would be fruitless; and hearing of an army which was on its march to attack him, he thought proper to retreat into his own country.
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 598.
The king discovered little anxiety to procure either reparation or vengeance for this insult committed on him by the Scottish nation: his chief concern was to draw advantage from it, by the pretence which it might afford him to levy impositions on his own subjects. He summoned a parliament, to whom he made bitter complaints against the irruption of the Scots, the absurd imposture countenanced by that nation, the cruel devastations committed in the northern counties, and the multiplied insults thus offered both to the king and kingdom of England. The parliament made the expected return to this discourse, by granting a subsidy to the amount of one hundred and twenty thousand pounds, together with two fifteenths. After making this grant, they were dismissed.
The vote of parliament for imposing the tax was without much difficulty procured by the authority of Henry but he found it not so easy to levy the money upon his subjects. The people, who were acquainted with the immense treasures which he had amassed, could ill brook the new impositions raised on every slight occasion; and it is probable that the flaw which was universally known to be in his title, made his reign the more subject to insurrections and rebellions. When the subsidy began to be levied in Cornwall, the inhabitants, numerous and poor, robust and courageous, murmured against a tax occasioned by a sudden inroad of the Scots, from which they esteemed themselves entirely secure, and which had usually been repelled by the force of the northern counties. Their ill humor was further incited by one Michael Joseph, a farrier of Bodmin, a notable prating fellow, who, by thrusting himself forward on every occasion, and being loudest in every complaint against the government, had acquired an authority among those rude people. Thomas Flammoc, too, a lawyer, who had become the oracle of the neighborhood, encouraged the sedition, by informing them that the tax, though imposed by parliament, was entirely illegal; that the northern nobility were bound by their tenures to defend the nation against the Scots; and that if these new impositions were tamely submitted to, the avarice of Henry and of his ministers would soon render the burden intolerable to the nation. The Cornish, he said, must deliver to the king a petition, seconded by such a force as would give it authority; and in order to procure the concurrence of the rest of the kingdom, care must be taken, by their orderly deportment, to show that they had nothing in view but the public good, and the redress of all those grievances under which the people had so long labored.
Encouraged by these speeches, the multitude flocked together, and armed themselves with axes, bills, bows, and such weapons as country people are usually possessed of. Flammoc and Joseph were chosen their leaders. They soon conducted the Cornish through the county of Devon, and reached that of Somerset. At Taunton, the rebels killed, in their fury, an officious and eager commissioner of the subsidy, whom they called the provost of Perin. When they reached Wells, they were joined by Lord Audley, a nobleman of an ancient family, popular in his deportment, but vain, ambitious and restless in his temper. He had from the beginning maintained a secret correspondence with the first movers of the insurrection, and was now joyfully received by them as their leader. Proud of the countenance given them by so considerable a nobleman, they continued their march, breathing destruction to the king's ministers and favorites, particularly to Morton, now a cardinal, and Sir Reginald Bray, who were deemed the most active instruments in all his oppressions. Notwithstanding their rage against the administration, they carefully followed the directions given them by their leaders; and as they met with no resistance, they committed, during their march, no violence or disorder.
The rebels had been told by Flammoc that the inhabitants of Kent, as they had ever, during all ages, remained unsubdued, and had even maintained their independence during the Norman conquest, would surely embrace their party, and declare themselves for a cause which was no other than that of public good and general liberty. But the Kentish people had very lately distinguished themselves by repelling Perkin's invasion; and as they had received from the king many gracious acknowledgments for this service, their affections were by that means much conciliated to his government. It was easy, therefore, for the earl of Kent, Lord Abergavenny, and Lord Cobham, who possessed great authority in those parts, to retain the people in obedience; and the Cornish rebels, though they pitched their camp near Eltham, at the very gates of London, and invited all the people to join them, got reënforcement from no quarter. There wanted not discontents every where, but no one would take part in so rash and ill-concerted an enterprise; and besides, the situation in which the king's affairs then stood discouraged even the boldest and most daring.
Henry, in order to oppose the Scots, had already levied an army, which he put under the command of Lord Daubeney, the chamberlain; and as soon as he heard of the Cornish insurrection, he ordered it to march southwards and suppress the rebels. Not to leave the northern frontier defenceless, he despatched thither the earl of Surrey, who assembled the forces on the borders, and made head against the enemy. Henry found here the concurrence of the three most fatal incidents that can befall a monarchy; a foreign enemy, a domestic rebellion, and a pretender to his crown; but he enjoyed great resources in his army and treasure, and still more in the intrepidity and courage of his own temper. He did not, however, immediately give full scope to his military spirit. On other occasions, he had always hastened to a decision; and it was a usual saying with him, "that he desired but to see his rebels:" but as the Cornish mutineers behaved in an inoffensive manner, and committed no spoil on the country; as they received no accession of force on their march or in their encampment, and as such hasty and popular tumults might be expected to diminish every moment by delay; he took post in London, and assiduously prepared the means of insuring victory.
After all his forces were collected, he divided them into three bodies, and marched out to assail the enemy. The first body, commanded by the earl of Oxford, and under him by the earls of Essex and Suffolk, were appointed to place themselves behind the hill on which the rebels were encamped: the second, and most considerable, Henry put under the command of Lord Daubeney, and ordered him to attack the enemy in front, and bring on the action. The third he kept as a body of reserve about his own person, and took post in St. George's Fields; where he secured the city, and could easily, as occasion served, either restore the fight or finish the victory. To put the enemy off their guard, he had spread a report that he was not to attack them till some days after; and the better to confirm them in this opinion, he began not the action till near the evening. Daubeney beat a detachment of the rebels from Deptford bridge; and before their main body could be in order to receive him, he had gained the ascent of the hill, and placed himself in array before them. They were formidable from their numbers, being sixteen thousand strong, and were not defective in valor; but being tumultuary troops, ill armed, and not provided with cavalry or artillery, they were but an unequal match for the king's forces. Daubeney began the attack with courage, and even with a contempt of the enemy which had almost proved fatal to him. He rushed into the midst of them, and was taken prisoner; but soon after was released by his own troops. After some resistance, the rebels were broken and put to flight.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 601.
Lord Audley, Flammoc, and Joseph, their leaders, were taken, and all three executed. The latter seemed even to exult in his end, and boasted, with a preposterous ambition, that he should make a figure in his tory. The rebels, being surrounded on every side by the king's troops, were almost all made prisoners; and immediately dismissed without further punishment: whether, that Henry was satisfied with the victims who had fallen in the field, and who amounted to near two thousand, or that he pitied the ignorance and simplicity of the multitude, or favored them on account of their inoffensive behavior; or was pleased that they had never, during their insurrection, disputed his title, and had shown no attachment to the house of York, the highest crime of which, in his eyes, they could have been guilty.
The Scottish king was not idle during these commotions in England. He levied a considerable army, and sat down before the Castle of Norham, in Northumberland; but found that place, by the precaution of Fox, bishop of Durham, so well provided both with men and ammunition, that he made little or no progress in the siege. Hearing that the earl of Surrey had collected some forces, and was advancing upon him, he retreated into his own country, and left the frontiers exposed to the inroads of the English general, who besieged and took Aiton, a small castle lying a few miles beyond Berwick. These unsuccessful or frivolous attempts on both sides prognosticated a speedy end to the war; and Henry, notwithstanding his superior force, was no less desirous than James of terminating the differences between the nations. Not to depart, however, from his dignity, by making the first advances, he employed in this friendly office Peter Hialas, a man of address and learning, who had come to him as ambassador from Ferdinand and Isabella, and who was charged with a commission of negotiating the marriage of the Infanta Catharine, their daughter, with Arthur, prince of Wales.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 603.
Hialas took a journey northwards, and offered his mediation between James and Henry, as minister of a prince who was in alliance with both potentates. Commissioners were soon appointed to meet and confer on terms of accommodation. The first demand of the English was, that Perkin should be put into their hands: James replied, that he himself was no judge of the young man's pretensions; but having received him as a supplicant, and promised him protection, he was determined not to betray a man who had trusted to his good faith and his generosity. The next demand of the English met with no better reception: they required reparation for the ravages committed by the late inroads into England: the Scottish commissioners replied, that the spoils were like water spilt upon the ground, which could never be recovered; and that Henry's subjects were better able to bear the loss, than their master to repair it. Henry's commissioners next proposed, that the two kings should have an interview at Newcastle, in order to adjust all differences; but James said, that he meant to treat of a peace, not to go a begging for it. Lest the conferences should break off altogether without effect, a truce was concluded for some months; and James, perceiving that while Perkin remained in Scotland he himself never should enjoy a solid peace with Henry, privately desired him to depart the kingdom.
Access was now barred Perkin into the Low Countries, his usual retreat in all his disappointments. The Flemish merchants, who severely felt the loss resulting from the interruption of commerce with England, had made such interest in the archduke's council, that commissioners were sent to London, in order to treat of an accommodation. The Flemish court agreed, that all English rebels should be excluded the Low Countries; and in this prohibition the demesnes of the duchess dowager were expressly comprehended. When this principal article was agreed to, all the other terms were easily adjusted. A treaty of commerce was finished, which was favorable to the Flemings, and to which they long gave the appellation of "intercursus magnus," the great treaty. And when the English merchants returned to their usual abode at Antwerp, they were publicly received, as in procession, with joy and festivity.
Perkin was a Fleming by descent, though born in England; and it might therefore be doubted whether he were included in the treaty between the two nations: but as he must dismiss all his English retainers if he took shelter in the Low Countries, and as he was sure of a cold reception, if not bad usage, among people who were determined to keep on terms of friendship with the court of England, he thought fit rather to hide himself during some time in the wilds and fastnesses of Ireland. Impatient, however, of a retreat which was both disagreeable and dangerous, he held consultations with his followers, Herne, Skelton, and Astley, three broken tradesmen: by their advice he resolved to try the affections of the Cornish, whose mutinous disposition, notwithstanding the king's lenity, still subsisted after the suppression of their rebellion. No sooner did he appear at Bodmin, in Cornwall, than the populace, to the number of three thousand, flocked to his standard, and Perkin, elated with this appearance of success, took on him, for the first time, the appellation of Richard IV., king of England. Not to suffer the expectations of his followers to languish, he presented himself before Exeter; and by many fair promises invited that city to join him. Finding that the inhabitants shut their gates against him, he laid siege to the place; but being unprovided with artillery, ammunition, and every thing requisite for the attempt, he made no progress in his undertaking. Messengers were sent to the king, informing him of this insurrection: the citizens of Exeter meanwhile were determined to hold out to the last extremity, in expectation of receiving succor from the well-known vigilance of that monarch.
When Henry was informed that Perkin was landed in England, he expressed great joy, and prepared himself with alacrity to attack him, in hopes of being able, at length, to put a period to pretensions which had so long given him vexation and inquietude. All the courtiers, sensible that their activity on this occasion would be the most acceptable service which they could render the king, displayed their zeal for the enterprise, and forwarded his preparations. The lords Daubeney and Broke, with Sir Rice ap Thomas, hastened forward with a small body of troops to the relief of Exeter. The earl of Devonshire, and the most considerable gentlemen in the county of that name, took arms of their own accord, and marched to join the king's generals. The duke of Buckingham put himself at the head of a troop, consisting of young nobility and gentry, who served as volunteers, and who longed for an opportunity of displaying their courage and their loyalty. The king himself prepared to follow with a considerable army; and thus all England seemed united against a pretender who had at first engaged their attention and divided their affections.
Perkin, informed of these great preparations, immediately raised the siege of Exeter, and retired to Taunton. Though his followers now amounted to the number of near seven thousand, and seemed still resolute to maintain his cause, he himself despaired of success, and secretly withdrew to the sanctuary of Beaulieu, in the new forest. The Cornish rebels submitted to the king's mercy, and found that it was not yet exhausted in their behalf. Except a few persons of desperate fortunes, who were executed, and some others who were severely fined, all the rest were dismissed with impunity Lady Catharine Gordon, wife to Perkin fell into the hands of the victor, and was treated with a generosity which does him honor. He soothed her mind with many marks of regard, placed her in a reputable station about the queen and assigned her a pension, which she enjoyed even under his successor.
Henry deliberated what course to take with Perkin himself. Some counselled him to make the privileges of the church yield to reasons of state, to take him by violence from the sanctuary, to inflict on him the punishment due to his temerity, and thus at once to put an end to an imposture which had long disturbed the government, and which the credulity of the people and the artifices of malcontents were still capable of reviving. But the king deemed not the matter of such importance as to merit so violent a remedy, He employed some persons to deal with Perkin, and persuade him, under promise of pardon, to deliver himself into the king's hands.[*] The king conducted him in a species of mock triumph to London. As Perkin passed along the road and through the streets of the city, men of all ranks flocked about him, and the populace treated with the highest derision his fallen fortunes. They seemed desirous of revenging themselves, by their insults, for the shame which their former belief of his impostures had thrown upon them. Though the eyes of the nation were generally opened with regard to Perkin's real parentage, Henry required of him a confession of his life and adventures; and he ordered the account of the whole to be dispersed soon after, for the satisfaction of the public. But as his regard to decency made him entirely suppress the share which the duchess of Burgundy had had in contriving and conducting the imposture, the people, who knew that she had been the chief instrument in the whole affair, were inclined, on account of the silence on that head, to pay the less credit to the authenticity of the narrative.
     * Polyd. Virg. p. 606.
But Perkin, though his life was granted him, was still detained in custody; and keepers were appointed to guard him. Impatient of confinement, he broke from his keepers, and flying to the sanctuary of Shyne, put himself into the hands of the prior of that monastery. The prior had obtained great credit by his character of sanctity; and he prevailed on the king again to grant a pardon to Perkin. But in order to reduce him to still greater contempt, he was set in the stocks at Westminster and Cheapside, and obliged in both places to read aloud to the people the confession which had formerly been published in his name. He was then confined to the Tower, where his habits of restless intrigue and enterprise followed him. He insinuated himself into the intimacy of four servants of Sir John Digby, lieutenant of the Tower; and by their means opened a correspondence with the earl of Warwick, who was confined in the same prison. This unfortunate prince, who had from his earliest youth been shut up from the commerce of men, and who was ignorant even of the most common Affairs of life, had fallen into a simplicity which made him susceptible of any impression. The continued dread also of the more violent effects of Henry's tyranny, joined to the natural love of liberty, engaged him to embrace a project for his escape, by the murder of the lieutenant; and Perkin offered to conduct the whole enterprise. The conspiracy escaped not the king's vigilance: it was even very generally believed, that the scheme had been laid by himself, in order to draw Warwick and Perkin into the snare; but the subsequent execution of two of Digby's servants for the contrivance seems to clear the king of that imputation, which was indeed founded more on the general idea entertained of his character than on any positive evidence.
Perkin, by this new attempt, after so many enormities, had rendered himself totally unworthy of mercy; and he was accordingly arraigned, condemned, and soon after hanged at Tyburn, persisting still in the confession of his imposture.[*] 1 It happened about that very time that one Wilford, a cordwainer's son, encouraged by the surprising credit given to other impostures, had undertaken to personate the earl of Warwick; and a priest had even ventured from the pulpit to recommend his cause to the people, who seemed still to retain a propensity to adopt it. This incident served Henry as a pretence for his severity towards that prince. He was brought to trial, and accused, not of contriving his escape, (for as he was committed for no crime, the desire of liberty must have been regarded as natural and innocent,) but of forming designs to disturb the government, and raise an insurrection among the people. Warwick confessed the indictment was condemned, and the sentence was executed upon him.
     * See note A, at the end of the volume.
This violent act of tyranny, the great blemish of Henry's reign, by which he destroyed the last remaining male of the line of Plantagenet, begat great discontent among the people, who saw an unhappy prince, that had long been denied all the privileges of his high birth, even been cut off from the common benefits of nature, now at last deprived of life itself, merely for attempting to shake off that oppression under which he labored. In vain did Henry endeavor to alleviate the odium of this guilt, by sharing it with his ally, Ferdinand of Arragon, who, he said, had scrupled to give his daughter Catharine in marriage to Arthur while any male descendant of the house of York remained. Men, on the contrary, felt higher indignation at seeing a young prince sacrificed, not to law and justice, but to the jealous politics of two subtle and crafty tyrants.
But though these discontents festered in the minds of men, they were so checked by Henry's watchful policy and steady severity, that they seemed not to weaken his government; and foreign princes, deeming his throne now entirely secure, paid him rather the greater deference and attention. The archduke Philip, in particular, desired an interview with him; and Henry, who had passed over to Calais, agreed to meet him in St. Peter's church, near that city. The archduke, on his approaching the king, made haste to alight, and offered to hold Henry's stirrup; a mark of condescension which that prince would not admit of. He called the king "father," "patron," "protector;" and by his whole behavior expressed a strong desire of conciliating the friendship of England. The duke of Orleans had succeeded to the crown of France by the appellation of Lewis XII.; and having carried his arms into Italy, and subdued the duchy of Milan, his progress begat jealousy in Maximilian, Philip's father, as well as in Ferdinand, his father-in-law. By the counsel, therefore, of these monarchs, the young prince endeavored by every art to acquire the amity of Henry, whom they regarded as the chief counterpoise to the greatness of France. No particular plan, however, of alliance seems to have been concerted between these two princes in their interview: all passed in general professions of affection and regard; at least, in remote projects of a closer union, by the future intermarriages of their children, who were then in a state of infancy.
The Pope, too, Alexander VI., neglected not the friendship of a monarch whose reputation was spread over Europe. He sent a nuncio into England, who exhorted the king to take part in the great alliance projected for the recovery of the Holy Land, and to lead in person his forces against the infidels. The general frenzy for crusades was now entirely exhausted in Europe; but it was still thought a necessary piece of decency to pretend zeal for those pious enterprises. Henry regretted to the nuncio the distance of his situation, which rendered it inconvenient for him to expose his person in defence of the Christian cause. He promised, however, his utmost assistance by aids and contributions; and rather than the pope should go alone to the holy wars, unaccompanied by any monarch, he even promised to overlook all other considerations, and to attend him in person. He only required, as a necessary condition, that all differences should previously be adjusted among Christian princes, and that some seaport towns in Italy should be consigned to him for his retreat and security. It was easy to conclude that Henry had determined not to intermeddle in any war against the Turk; but as a great name, without any real assistance, is sometimes of service, the knights of Rhodes, who were at that time esteemed the bulwark of Christendom, chose the king protector of their order.
But the prince whose alliance Henry valued the most was Ferdinand of Arragon, whose vigorous and steady policy, always attended with success, had rendered him in many respects the most considerable monarch in Europe. There was also a remarkable similarity of character between these two princes; both were full of craft, intrigue, and design: and though a resemblance of this nature be a slender foundation for confidence and amity, where the interests of the parties in the least interfere, such was the situation of Henry and Ferdinand, that no jealousy ever on any occasion arose between them. The king had now the satisfaction of completing a marriage, which had been projected and negotiated during the course of seven years, between Arthur, prince of Wales, and the infanta Catharine, fourth daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella; he near sixteen years of age, she eighteen. But this marriage proved in the issue unprosperous. The young prince, a few months after, sickened and died, much regretted by the nation.
Henry, desirous to continue his alliance with Spain, and also unwilling to restore Catharine's dowry, which was two hundred thousand ducats, obliged his second son, Henry, whom he created prince of Wales, to be contracted to the infanta. The prince made all the opposition of which a youth of twelve years of age was capable; but as the king persisted in his resolution, the espousals were at length, by means of the pope's dispensation, contracted between the parties; an event which was afterwards attended with the most important consequences.
The same year another marriage was celebrated, which was also, in the next age, productive of great events; the marriage of Margaret, the king's eldest daughter, with James, king of Scotland. This alliance had been negotiated during three years, though interrupted by several broils; and Henry hoped, from the completion of it, to remove all source of discord with that neighboring kingdom, by whose animosity England had so often been infested. When this marriage was deliberated on in the English council, some objected, that England might, by means of that alliance, fall under the dominion of Scotland. "No," replied Henry, "Scotland, in that event, will only become an accession to England."
Amidst these prosperous incidents, the king met with a domestic calamity, which made not such impression on him as it merited: his queen died in childbed; and the infant did not long survive her. This princess was deservedly a favorite of the nation; and the general affection for her increased, on account of the harsh treatment which it was thought she met with from her consort.
The situation of the king's affairs, both at home and abroad, was now in every respect very fortunate. All the efforts of the European princes, both in war and negotiation, were turned to the side of Italy; and the various events which there arose, made Henry's alliance be courted by every party, yet interested him so little as never to touch him with concern or anxiety. His close connections with-Spain and Scotland insured his tranquillity; and his continued successes over domestic enemies, owing to the prudence and vigor of his conduct, had reduced the people to entire submission and obedience. Uncontrolled, therefore, by apprehension or opposition of any kind, he gave full scope to his natural propensity; and avarice, which had ever been his ruling passion being increased by age and encouraged by absolute authority broke all restraints of shame or justice. He had found two ministers Empson and Dudley, perfectly qualified to second his rapacious and tyrannical inclinations, and to prey upon his defenceless people. These instruments of oppression were both lawyers; the first of mean birth, of brutal manners, of an unrelenting temper; the second better born, better educated, and better bred, but equally unjust, severe, and inflexible. By their knowledge in law, these men were qualified to pervert the forms of justice to the oppression of the innocent; and the formidable authority of the king supported them in all their iniquities.
It was their usual practice, at first, to observe so far the appearance of law as to give indictments to those whom they intended to oppress; upon which the persons were committed to prison, but never brought to trial; and were at length obliged, in order to recover their liberty, to pay heavy fines and ransoms, which were called mitigations and compositions. By degrees, the very appearance of law was neglected: the two ministers sent forth their precepts to attach men, and summon them before themselves and some others, at their private houses, in a court of commission, where, in a summary manner, without trial or jury, arbitrary decrees were issued, both in pleas of the crown and controversies between private parties. Juries themselves, when summoned, proved but small security to the subject; being browbeaten by these oppressors; nay, fined, imprisoned, and punished, if they gave sentence against the inclination of the ministers The whole system of the feudal law, which still prevailed, was turned into a scheme of oppression. Even the king's wards, after they came of age, were not suffered to enter into possession of their lands without paying exorbitant fines. Men were also harassed with informations of intrusion upon scarce colorable titles. When an outlawry in a personal action was issued against any man, he was not allowed to purchase his charter of pardon, except on the payment of a great sum; and if he refused the composition required of him, the strict law, which in such cases allows forfeiture of goods, was rigorously insisted on. Nay, without any color of law, the half of men's lands and rents were seized during two years, as a penalty in case of outlawry. But the chief means of oppression employed by these ministers were the penal statutes, which, without consideration of rank, quality, or services, were rigidly put in execution against all men: spies, informers, and inquisitors were rewarded and encouraged in every quarter of the kingdom: and no difference was made, whether the statute were beneficial or hurtful, recent or obsolete, possible or impossible to be executed. The sole end of the king and his ministers was to amass money, and bring every one under the lash of their authority.[*]
Through the prevalence of such an arbitrary and iniquitous administration, the English, it may safely be affirmed, were considerable losers by their ancient privileges, which secured them from all taxations, except such as were imposed by their own consent in parliament. Had the king been empowered to levy general taxes at pleasure, he would naturally have abstained from these oppressive expedients, which destroyed all security in private property, and begat a universal diffidence throughout the nation. In vain did the people look for protection from the parliament, which was pretty frequently summoned during this reign.
That assembly was so overawed, that at this very time, during the greatest rage of Henry's oppressions, the commons chose Dudley their speaker, the very man who was the chief instrument of his iniquities. And though the king was known to be immensely opulent, and had no pretence of wars or expensive enterprises of any kind, they granted him the subsidy which he demanded. But so insatiable was his avarice, that next year he levied a new benevolence, and renewed that arbitrary and oppressive method of taxation.
By all these arts of accumulation, joined to a rigid frugality in his expense, he so filled his coffers, that he is said to have possessed in ready money the sum of one million eight hundred thousand pounds; a treasure almost incredible, if we consider the scarcity of money in those times.[**]
     * Bacon, p. 629, 630. Holingshed, p. 504. Polyd. Virg. p.
     613, 615.

     ** Silver was during this reign at thirty-seven shillings
     and six pence a pound, which makes Henry's treasure near
     three millions of our present money. Besides, many
     commodities have become above thrice as dear by the increase
     of gold and silver in Europe. And what is a circumstance of
     still greater weight, all other states were then very poor,
     in comparison of what they are at present. These
     circumstances make Henry's treasure appear very great, and
     may lead us to conceive the oppressions of his government.
But while Henry was enriching himself by the spoils of his oppressed people, there happened an event abroad which engaged his attention, and was even the object of his anxiety and concern: Isabella, queen of Castile, died about this time and it was foreseen that by this incident the fortunes of Ferdinand, her husband, would be much affected. The king was not only attentive to the fate of his ally, and watchful lest the general system of Europe should be affected by so important an event; he also considered the similarity of his own situation with that of Ferdinand, and regarded the issue of these transactions as a precedent for himself. Joan, the daughter of Ferdinand by Isabella, was married to the archduke Philip, and being, in right of her mother, heir of Castile, seemed entitled to dispute with Ferdinand the present possession of that kingdom. Henry knew that, notwithstanding his own pretensions by the house of Lancaster, the greater part of the nation was convinced of the superiority of his wife's title; and he dreaded lest the prince of Wales, who was daily advancing towards manhood, might be tempted by ambition to lay immediate claim to the crown. By his perpetual attention to depress the partisans of the York family, he had more closely united them into one party, and increased their desire of shaking off that yoke under which they had so long labored, and of taking every advantage which his oppressive government should give his enemies against him. And as he possessed no independent force like Ferdinand, and governed a kingdom more turbulent and unruly, which he himself by his narrow politics had confirmed in factious prejudices, he apprehended that his situation would prove in the issue still more precarious.
Nothing at first could turn out more contrary to the king's wishes than the transactions in Spain. Ferdinand, as well as Henry, had become very unpopular, and from a like cause, his former exactions and impositions; and the states of Castile discovered an evident resolution of preferring the title of Philip and Joan.
In order, to take advantage of these favorable dispositions, the archduke, now king of Castile, attended by his consort, embarked for Spain during the winter season; but meeting with a violent tempest in the Channel, was obliged to take shelter in the harbor of Weymouth. Sir John Trenchard, a gentleman of authority in the county of Dorset, hearing of a fleet upon the coast, had assembled some forces; and being joined by Sir John Cary, who was also at the head of an armed body, he came to that town. Finding that Philip, in order to relieve his sickness and fatigue, was already come ashore, he invited him to his house; and immediately despatched a messenger to inform the court of this important incident. The king sent in all haste the earl of Arundel to compliment Philip on his arrival in England, and to inform him that he intended to pay him a visit in person, and to give him a suitable reception in his dominions. Philip knew that he could not now depart without the king's consent; and therefore, for the sake of despatch, he resolved to anticipate his visit, and to have an interview with him at Windsor. Henry received him with all the magnificence possible, and with all the seeming cordiality; but he resolved, notwithstanding, to draw some advantage from this involuntary visit paid him by his royal guest.
Edmond de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, nephew to Edward IV. and brother to the earl of Lincoln, slain in the battle of Stoke, had some years before killed a man in a sudden fit of passion, and had been obliged to apply to the king for a remission of the crime. The king had granted his request; but, being little indulgent to all persons connected with the house of York, he obliged him to appear openly in court and plead his pardon. Suffolk, more resenting the affront than grateful for the favor, had fled into Flanders, and taken shelter with his aunt, the duchess of Burgundy; but being promised forgiveness by the king, he returned to England, and obtained a new pardon. Actuated, however, by the natural inquietude of his temper and uneasy from debts which he had contracted by his great expense at Prince Arthur's wedding, he again made an elopement into Flanders. The king, well acquainted with the general discontent which prevailed against his administration neglected not this incident, which might become of importance, and he employed his usual artifices to elude the efforts of his enemies. He directed Sir Robert Curson, governor of the castle of Hammes, to desert his charge, and to insinuate himself into the confidence of Suffolk, by making him a tender of his services. Upon information secretly conveyed by Curson, the king seized William Courtney, eldest son to the earl of Devonshire, and married to the lady Catharine, sister of the queen; William de la Pole, brother to the earl of Suffolk; Sir James Tyrrel, and Sir James Windham, with some persons of inferior quality; and he committed them to custody. Lord Abergavenny and Sir Thomas Green were also apprehended; but were soon after released from their confinement. William de la Pole was long detained in prison: Courtney was attainted, and, though not executed, he recovered not his liberty during the king's lifetime. But Henry's chief severity fell upon Sir James Windham and Sir James Tyrrel, who were brought to their trial, condemned, and executed: the fate of the latter gave general satisfaction, on account of his participation in the murder of the young princes, sons of Edward IV. Notwithstanding these discoveries and executions, Curson was still able to maintain his credit with the earl of Suffolk: Henry, in order to remove all suspicion, had ordered him to be excommunicated, together with Suffolk himself, for his pretended rebellion. But after that traitor had performed all the services expected from him, he suddenly deserted the earl, and came over to England, where the king received him with unusual marks of favor and confidence. Suffolk, astonished at this instance of perfidy, finding that even the duchess of Burgundy, tired with so many fruitless attempts, had become indifferent to his cause, fled secretly into France, thence into Germany, and returned at last into the Low Countries; where he was protected, though not countenanced, by Philip, then in close alliance with the king.
Henry neglected not the present opportunity of complaining to his guest of the reception which Suffolk had met with in his dominions. "I really thought," replied the king of Castile, "that your greatness and felicity had set you far above apprehensions from any person of so little consequence: but, to give you satisfaction, I shall banish him my state." "I expect that you will carry your complaisance further," said the king; "I desire to have Suffolk put into my hands, where alone I can depend upon his submission and obedience." "That measure," said Philip, "will reflect dishonor upon you as well as myself. You will be thought to have treated me as a prisoner." "Then the matter is at an end," replied the king; "for I will take that dishonor upon me; and so your honor is saved."[*] The king of Castile found himself under a necessity of complying; but he first exacted Henry's promise that he would spare Suffolk's life. That nobleman was invited over to England by Philip; as if the king would grant him a pardon, on the intercession of his friend and ally. Upon his appearance, he was committed to the Tower; and the king of Castile, having fully satisfied Henry, as well by this concession as by signing a treaty of commerce between England and Castile, which was advantageous to the former kingdom,[*] was at last allowed to depart, after a stay of three months.
     * Bacon, p. 633.

     ** Rymer, vol. xiii. p. 142.
He landed in Spain, was joyfully received by the Castilians, and pit in possession of the throne.
He died soon after; and Joan, his widow, falling into deep melancholy Ferdinand was again enabled to reinstate himself in authority, and to govern, till the day of his death, the whole Spanish monarchy.
The king survived these transactions two years; but nothing memorable occurs in the remaining part of his reign, except his affiancing his second daughter, Mary, to the young archduke Charles, son of Philip of Castile.
He entertained also some intentions of marriage for himself, first with the queen dowager of Naples, relict of Ferdinand; afterwards with the duchess dowager of Savoy, daughter of Maximilian, and sister of Philip. But the decline of his health put an end to all such thoughts; and he began to cast his eye towards that future existence which the iniquities and severities of his reign rendered a very dismal prospect to him. To allay the terrors under which he labored, he endeavored, by distributing alms and founding religious houses, to make atonement for his crimes, and to purchase, by the sacrifice of part of his ill-gotten treasures, a reconciliation with his offended Maker. Remorse even seized him at intervals for the abuse of his authority by Empson and Dudley; but not sufficient to make him stop the rapacious hand of those oppressors. Sir William Capel was again fined two thousand pounds under some frivolous pretence, and was committed to the Tower for daring to murmur against the iniquity. Harris, an alderman of London, was indicted, and died of vexation before his trial came to an issue. Sir Laurence Ailmer, who had been mayor, and his two sheriffs, were condemned in heavy fines, and sent to prison till they made payment. The king gave countenance to all these oppressions; till death, by its nearer approaches, impressed new terrors upon him; and he then ordered, by a general clause in his will, that restitution should be made to all those whom he had injured.
He died of a consumption at his favorite palace of Richmond, after a reign of twenty-three years and eight months, and in the fifty-second year of his age.[*]
     * Dagd. Baronage, ii. p. 237.
The reign of Henry VII. was, in the main, fortunate for his people at home, and honorable abroad. He put an end to the civil wars with which the nation had long been harassed, he maintained peace and order in the state, he depressed the former exorbitant power of the nobility, and, together with the friendship of some foreign princes, he acquired the consideration and regard of all. He loved peace without fearing war though agitated with continual suspicions of his servants and ministers, he discovered no timidity, either in the conduct of his affairs, or in the day of battle; and though often severe in his punishments, he was commonly less actuated by revenge than by maxims of policy. The services which he rendered the people were derived from his views of private advantage, rather than the motives of public spirit; and where he deviated from interested regards, it was unknown to himself, and ever from the malignant prejudices of faction, or the mean projects of avarice; not from the sallies of passion, or allurements of pleasure; still less from the benign motives of friendship and generosity. His capacity was excellent, but somewhat contracted by the narrowness of his heart; he possessed insinuation and address, but never employed these talents, except where some great point of interest was to be gained; and while he neglected to conciliate the affections of his people, he often felt the danger of resting his authority on their fear and reverence alone. He was always extremely attentive to his affairs; but possessed not the faculty of seeing far into futurity; and was more expert at providing a remedy for his mistakes than judicious in avoiding them. Avarice was, on the whole, his ruling passion;[*] and he remains an instance, almost singular, of a man placed hi a high station, and possessed of talents for great affairs, in whom that passion pre-dominated above ambition. Even among private persons, avarice is commonly nothing but a species of ambition, and is chiefly incited by the prospect of that regard, distinction, and consideration, which attend on riches.
     * As a proof of Henry's attention to the smallest profits,
     Bacon tells us, that he had seen a book of accounts kept by
     Empson, and subscribed in almost every leaf by the king's
     own hand. Among other articles was the following: "Item.
     Received of such a one five marks for a pardon, which if it
     do not pass, the money to be repaid, or the party otherwise
     satisfied." Opposite to the memorandum, the king had writ
     with his own hand, "Otherwise satisfied." Bacon, p. 630.
The power of the kings of England had always been somewhat irregular or discretionary; but was scarcely ever so absolute during any former reign, at least after the establishment of the Great Charter, as during that of Henry Besides the advantages derived from the personal character of the man, full of vigor, industry, and severity, deliberate in all projects, steady in every purpose, and attended with caution as well as good fortune in every enterprise; he came to the throne after long and bloody civil wars, which had destroyed all the great nobility, who alone could resist the encroachments of his authority; the people were tired with discord and intestine convulsions, and willing to submit to usurpations, and even to injuries, rather than plunge themselves anew into like miseries: the fruitless efforts made against him served always, as is usual, to confirm his authority: as he ruled by a faction, and the lesser faction, all those on whom he conferred offices, sensible that they owed every thing to his protection, were willing to support his power, though at the expense of justice and national privileges. These seem the chief causes which at this time bestowed on the crown so considerable an addition of prerogative, and rendered the present reign a kind of epoch in the English constitution.
This prince, though he exalted his prerogative above law is celebrated by his historian for many good laws, which he made be enacted for the government of his subjects. Several considerable regulations, indeed, are found among the statutes of this reign, both with regard to the police of the kingdom, and its commerce: but the former are generally contrived with much better judgment than the latter. The more simple ideas of order and equity are sufficient to guide a legislator in every thing that regards the internal administration of justice: but the principles of commerce are much more complicated, and require long experience and deep reflection to be well understood in any state. The real consequence of a law or practice is there often contrary to first appearances. No wonder that during the reign of Henry VII.[*,] these matters were frequently mistaken; and it may safely be affirmed, that even in the age of Lord Bacon, very imperfect and erroneous ideas were formed on that subject.
Early in Henry's reign, the authority of the star chamber, which was before founded on common law and ancient practice, was in some cases confirmed by act of parliament: [*] 2 Lord Bacon extols the utility of this court; but men began even during the age of that historian, to feel that so arbitrary a jurisdiction was incompatible with liberty; and in proportion as the spirit of independence still rose higher in the nation, the aversion to it increased, till it was entirely abolished by act of parliament in the reign of Charles I., a little before the commencement of the civil wars.
     * See note B, at the end of the volume.
Laws were passed in this reign, ordaining the king's suit for murder to be carried on within a year and a day.[*] Formerly it did not usually commence till after; and as the friends of the person murdered often in the interval compounded matters with the criminal, the crime frequently passed unpunished. Suits were given to the poor "in forma pauperis," as it is called; that is, without paying dues for the writs, or any fees to the council:[**] a good law at all times, especially in that age, when the people labored under the oppression of the great; but a law difficult to be carried into execution. A law was made against carrying off any woman by force.[***] The benefit of clergy was abridged;[****] and the criminal, on the first offence, was ordered to be burned in the hand with a letter denoting his crime; after which he was punished capitally for any new offence. Sheriffs were no longer allowed to fine any person, without previously summoning him before their court.[v] It is strange that such a practice should ever have prevailed. Attaint of juries was granted in cases which exceeded forty pounds' value; [v*] a law which has an appearance of equity, but which was afterwards found inconvenient. Actions popular were not allowed to be eluded by fraud or covin. If any servant of the king's conspired against the life of the steward, treasurer, or comptroller of the king's household, this design, though not followed by any overt act, was made liable to the punishment of felony.[v**] This statute was enacted for the security of Archbishop Morton, who found himself exposed to the enmity of great numbers.
There scarcely passed any session during this reign without some statute against engaging retainers, and giving them badges or liveries; [v***] a practice by which they were in a manner enlisted under some great lord and were kept in readiness to assist him in all wars, insurrections, riots, violences, and even in bearing evidence for him in courts of justice.[v****]
     *      3 Henry VII. cap. 1.

     **     11 Henry VII. cap. 12.

     ***    3 Henry VII. cap. 2.

     ****   4 Henry VII. cap. 13.

     v      11 Henry VII. cap. 15.

     v*     11 Henry VII. cap. 24.

     v**    19 Henry VII. cap. 3.

     v***   3 Henry VII. cap 13.

     v****  3 Henry VII. cap 1 and 12.
This disorder, which had prevailed during many reigns, when the law could give little protection to the subject, was then deeply rooted in England; and it required all the vigilance and rigor of Henry to extirpate it. There is a story of his severity against this abuse; and it seems to merit praise, though it is commonly cited as an instance of his avarice and rapacity. The earl of Oxford, his favorite general, in whom he always placed great and deserved confidence, having splendidly entertained him at his castle of Heningham, was desirous of making a parade of his magnificence at the departure of his royal guest, and ordered all his retainers, with their liveries and badges, to be drawn up in two lines, that their appearance might be the more gallant and splendid. "My lord," said the king, "I have heard much of your hospitality, but the truth far exceeds the report. These handsome gentlemen and yeomen, whom I see on both sides of me, are no doubt your menial servants." The earl smiled, and confessed that his fortune was too narrow for such magnificence. "They are most of them," subjoined he, "my retainers, who are come to do me service at this time, when they know I am honored with your majesty's presence." The king started a little, and said, "By my faith, my lord, I thank you for your good cheer, but I must not allow my laws to be broken in my sight. My attorney must speak with you." Oxford is said to have paid no less than fifteen thousand marks, as a composition for his offence.
The increase of the arts, more effectually than all the severities of law, put an end to this pernicious practice. The nobility, instead of vying with each other in the number and boldness of their retainers, acquired by degrees a more civilized species of emulation, and endeavored to excel in the splendor and elegance of their equipage, houses, and tables. The common people, no longer maintained in vicious idleness by their superiors, were obliged to learn some calling or industry, and became useful both to themselves and to others. And it must be acknowledged, in spite of those who declaim so violently against refinement in the arts, or what they are pleased to call luxury, that, as much as an industrious tradesman is both a better man and a better citizen than one of those idle retainers who formerly depended on the great families, so much is the life of a modern nobleman more laudable than that of an ancient baron.[*]
But the most important law, in its consequences, which was enacted during the reign of Henry, was that by which the nobility and gentry acquired a power of breaking the ancient entails, and of alienating their estates.[*] By means of this law, joined to the beginning luxury and refinements of the age, the great fortunes of the barons were gradually dissipated, and the property of the commons increased in England. It is probable that Henry foresaw and intended this consequence; because the constant scheme of his policy consisted in depressing the great, and exalting churchmen, lawyers, and men of new families, who were more dependent on him.
This king's love of money naturally led him to encourage commerce, which increased his customs; but, if we may judge by most of the laws enacted during his reign, trade and industry were rather hurt than promoted by the care and attention given to them. Severe laws were made against taking interest for money, which was then denominated usury.[*] 3 Even the profits of exchange were prohibited, as savoring of usury,[**] which the superstition of the age zealously proscribed. All evasive contracts, by which profits could be made from the loan of money, were also carefully guarded against.[***] It is needless to observe how unreasonable and iniquitous these laws, how impossible to be executed, and how hurtful to trade, if they could take place. We may observe, however, to the praise of this king, that sometimes, in order to promote commerce, he lent to merchants sums of money without interest, when he knew that their stock was not sufficient for those enterprises which they had in view.[****]
Laws were made against the exportation of money, plate, or bullion: [v] a precaution which serves to no other purpose than to make more be exported.
     * See note C, at the end of the volume.

     ** 4 Henry VII. cap. 24. The practice of breaking entails by
     means of a fine and recovery was introduced in the reign of
     Edward IV.: but it was not, properly speaking, law, till the
     statute of Henry VII.; which, by correcting some abuses that
     attended that practice, gave indirectly a sanction to it.

     ***  3 Henry VII. cap. 5.

     **** 3 Henry VII. cap. 6.

     v    7 Henry VII. cap. 8.
But so far was the anxiety on this head carried, that merchants alien, who imported commodities into the kingdom, were obliged to invest in English commodities all the money acquired by their sales, in order to prevent their conveying it away in a clandestine manner.[*]
It was prohibited to export horses; as if that exportation did not encourage the breed, and render them more plentiful in the kingdom.[**] In order to promote archery, no bows were to be sold at a higher price than six shillings and fourpence,[***] reducing money to the denomination of our time. The only effect of this regulation must be, either that the people would be supplied with bad bows, or none at all. Prices were also affixed to woollen cloth,[****] to caps and hats:[v] and the wages of laborers were regulated by law.[v*] It is evident, that these matters ought always to be left free, and be intrusted to the common course of business and commerce. To some it may appear surprising, that the price of a yard of scarlet cloth should be limited to six and twenty shillings, money of our age; that of a yard of colored cloth to eighteen; higher prices than these commodities bear at present; and that the wages of a tradesman, such as a mason, bricklayer, tiler, etc., should be regulated at near tenpence a day; which is not much inferior to the present wages given in some parts of England. Labor and commodities have certainly risen since the discovery of the West Indies; but not so much in every particular as is generally imagined. The greater industry of the present times has increased the number of tradesmen and laborers, so as to keep wages nearer a par than could be expected from the great increase of gold and silver. And the additional art employed in the finer manufactures has even made some of these commodities fall below their former value. Not to mention, that merchants and dealers, being contented with less profit than formerly, afford the goods cheaper to their customers. It appears by a statute of this reign,[v**] that goods bought for sixteenpence would sometimes be sold by the merchants for three shillings.
     *    3 Henry VII cap. 8.

     **   11 Henry VII. cap. 13.

     ***  3 Henry VII. cap. 12.

     **** 4 Henry VII. cap. 8.

     v    4 Henry VII. cap. 9.

     v*   11 Henry VII. cap. 22.

     v** 4 Henry VII. cap. 9.
The commodities whose price has chiefly risen, are butcher's meat, fowl, and fish, (especially the latter,) which cannot be much augmented in quantity by the increase of art and industry. The profession which then abounded most, and was sometimes embraced by persons of the lowest rank, was the church: by a clause of a statute, all clerks or students of the university were forbidden to beg, without a permission from the vice-chancellor.[*]
One great cause of the low state of industry during this period, was the restraints put upon it; and the parliament, or rather the king, (for he was the prime mover in every thing,) enlarged a little some of these limitations; but not to the degree that was requisite. A law had been enacted during the reign of Henry IV.,[**] that no man could bind his son or daughter to an apprenticeship, unless he were possessed of twenty shillings a year in land; and Henry VII., because the decay of manufactures was complained of in Norwich from the want of hands, exempted that city from the penalties of the law.[***] Afterwards the whole county of Norfolk obtained a like exemption with regard to some branches of the woollen manufacture.[****] These absurd limitations proceeded from a desire of promoting husbandry, which, however, is never more effectually encouraged than by the increase of manufactures. For a like reason, the law enacted against enclosures, and for the keeping up of farm houses,[v] scarcely deserves the high praises bestowed on it by Lord Bacon. If husbandmen understand agriculture, and have a ready vent for their commodities, we need not dread a diminution of the people employed in the country. All methods of supporting populousness, except by the interest of the proprietors, are violent and ineffectual. During a century and a half after this period, there was a frequent renewal of laws and edicts against depopulation; whence we may infer, that none of them were ever executed. The natural course of improvement at last provided a remedy.
     *    11 Henry VII. cap. 22.

     **   11 Henry VII. cap. 11.

     ***  4 Henry VII. cap. 19.

     **** 4 Henry VII. cap. 17.

     v    12 Henry VII. cap. 1.
One check to industry in England was the erecting of corporations; an abuse which is not yet entirely corrected. A law was enacted, that corporations should not pass any by-laws without the consent of three of the chief officers of state.[*] They were prohibited from imposing tolls at their [**] The cities of Glocester and Worcester had even imposed tolls on the Severn, which were abolished.[***]
There is a law of this reign,[****] containing a preamble, by which it appears, that the company of merchant adventurers in London had, by their own authority, debarred all the other merchants of the kingdom from trading to the great marts in the Low Countries, unless each trader previously paid them the sum of near seventy pounds. It is surprising that such a by-law (if it deserve the name) could ever be carried into execution, and that the authority of parliament should be requisite to abrogate it.
It was during this reign, on the second of August, 1492, a little before sunset, that Christopher Columbus, a Genoese, set out from Spain on his memorable voyage for the discovery of the western world; and a few years after, Vasquez de Gama, a Portuguese, passed the Cape of Good Hope, and opened a new passage to the East Indies. These great events were attended with important consequences to all the nations of Europe, even to such as were not immediately concerned in those naval enterprises. The enlargement of commerce and navigation increased industry and the arts every where; the nobles dissipated their fortunes in expensive pleasures: men of an inferior rank both acquired a share in the landed property, and created to themselves a considerable property of a new kind, in stock, commodities, art, credit, and correspondence. In some nations, the privileges of the commons increased by this increase of property: in most nations, the kings, finding arms to be dropped by the barons, who could no longer endure their former rude manner of life, established standing armies, and subdued the liberties of their kingdoms: but in all places, the condition of the people, from the depression of the petty tyrants by whom they had formerly been oppressed rather than governed, received great improvement, and they acquired, if not entire liberty, at least the most considerable advantages of it. And as the general course of events thus tended to depress the nobles and exalt the people, Henry VII., who also embraced that system of policy, has acquired more praise than his institutions, strictly speaking, seem of themselves to deserve on account of any profound wisdom attending them.
     * 19 Henry VII. cap. 7 gates.

     ** 19 Henry VII. cap. 8.

     *** 10 Henry VII. cap. 18.

     **** 12 Henry VII. cap. 6.
It was by accident only that the king had not a considerable share in those great naval discoveries, by which the present age was so much distinguished. Columbus, after meeting with many repulses from the courts of Portugal and Spain sent his brother Bartholomew to London, in order to explain his projects to Henry, and crave his protection for the execution of them. The king invited him over to England; but his brother, being taken by pirates, was detained in his voyage; and Columbus, meanwhile, having obtained the countenance of Isabella, was supplied with a small fleet, and happily executed his enterprise. Henry was not discouraged by this disappointment: he fitted out Sebastian Cabot, a Venetian, settled in Bristol, and sent him westwards in 1498, in search of new countries. Cabot discovered the main land of America towards the sixtieth degree of northern latitude: he sailed southwards along the coast, and discovered Newfoundland and other countries; but returned to England without making any conquest or settlement. Elliot and other merchants in Bristol made a like attempt in 1502.[*] The king expended fourteen thousand pounds in building one ship, called the Great Harry.[**] She was, properly speaking, the first ship in the English navy. Before this period, when the prince wanted a fleet, he had no other expedient than hiring or pressing ships from the merchants.
     * Rymer, vol. xiii. p. 37.

     ** Stowe, p. 484.
But though this improvement of navigation, and the discovery of both the Indies, was the most memorable incident that happened during this or any other period, it was not the only great event by which the age was distinguished. In 1453, Constantinople was taken by the Turks; and the Greeks, among whom some remains of learning were still preserved, being scattered by these barbarians, took shelter in Italy, and imported, together with their admirable language, a tincture of their science, and of their refined taste in poetry and eloquence About the same time, the purity of the Latin tongue was revived, the study of antiquity became fashionable, and the esteem for literature gradually propagated itself throughout every nation in Europe. The art of printing, invented about that time, extremely facilitated the progress of all these improvements: the invention of gunpowder changed me whole art of war: mighty innovations were soon after made in religion, such as not only affected those states that embraced them, but even those that adhered to the ancient faith and worship; and thus a general revolution was made in human affairs throughout this part of the world; and men gradually attained that situation, with regard to commerce, arts, science, government, police, and cultivation, in which they have ever since persevered. Here, therefore, commences the useful, as well as the more agreeable part of modern annals; certainty has place in all the considerable, and even most of the minute parts of historical narration; a great variety of events, preserved by printing, give the author the power of selecting, as well as adorning, the facts which he relates; and as each incident has a reference to our present manners and situation, instructive lessons occur every moment during the course of the narration. Whoever carries his anxious researches into preceding periods, is moved by a curiosity, liberal indeed and commendable; not by any necessity for acquiring knowledge of public affairs, or the arts of civil government.



THE death of Henry VII. had been attended with as open and visible a joy among the people as decency would permit; and the accession and coronation of his son, Henry VIII., spread universally a declared and unfeigned satisfaction. Instead of a monarch jealous, severe, and avaricious, who, in proportion as he advanced in years, was sinking still deeper in those unpopular vices, a young prince of eighteen had succeeded to the throne, who, even in the eyes of men of sense, gave promising hopes of his future conduct, much more in those of the people, always enchanted with novelty, youth, and royal dignity. The beauty and vigor of his person, accompanied with dexterity in every manly exercise, was further adorned with a blooming and ruddy countenance, with a lively air, with the appearance of spirit and activity in all his demeanor.[*] His father, in order to remove him from the knowledge of public business, had hitherto occupied him entirely in the pursuits of literature; and the proficiency which he made gave no bad prognostic of his parts and capacity.[**] Even the vices of vehemence, ardor, and impatience, to which he was subject, and which afterwards degenerated into tyranny, were considered only as faults incident to unguarded youth, which would be corrected when time had brought him to greater moderation and maturity. And as the contending titles of York and Lancaster were now at last fully united in his person, men justly expected, from a prince obnoxious to no party, that impartiality of administration which had long been unknown in England.
     * T. Mori. Lucubr. p. 182.

     ** Father Paul, lib. i.
These favorable prepossessions of the public were encouraged by the measures which Henry embraced in the commencement of his reign. His grandmother, the countess of Richmond and Derby, was still alive; and as she was a woman much celebrated for prudence and virtue, he wisely showed great deference to her opinion in the establishment of his new council. The members were, Warham, archbishop of Canterbury and chancellor; the earl of Shrewsbury, steward; Lord Herbert, chamberlain; Sir Thomas Lovel, master of the wards and constable of the Tower; Sir Edward Poynings, comptroller; Sir Henry Marney, afterwards Lord Marney; Sir Thomas Darcy, afterwards Lord Darcy; Thomas Ruthal, doctor of laws; and Sir Henry Wyat.[*] These men had long been accustomed to business under the late king, and were the least unpopular of all the ministers employed by that monarch. But the chief competitors for favor and authority, under the new king, were the earl of Surrey, treasurer, and Fox, bishop of Winchester, secretary and privy seal. This prelate, who enjoyed great credit during all the former reign, had acquired such habits of caution and frugality as he could not easily lay aside; and he still opposed, by his remonstrances, those schemes of dissipation and expense, which the youth and passions of Henry rendered agreeable to him. But Surrey was a more dexterous courtier; and though few had borne a greater share in the frugal politics of the late king, he knew how to conform himself to the humor of his new master; and no one was so forward in promoting that liberality, pleasure, and magnificence, which began to prevail under the young monarch.[**] By this policy, he ingratiated himself with Henry; he made advantage, as well as the other courtiers, of the lavish disposition of his master; and he engaged him in such a course of play and idleness as rendered him negligent of affairs, and willing to intrust the government of the state entirely into the hands of his ministers. The great treasures amassed by the late king were gradually dissipated in the giddy expenses of Henry. One party of pleasure succeeded to another: tilts, tournaments, and carousals were exhibited with all the magnificence of the age; and as the present tranquillity of the public permitted the court to indulge itself in every amusement, serious business was but little attended to. Or, if the king intermitted the course of his festivity, he chiefly employed himself in an application to music and literature, which were his favorite pursuits, and which were well adapted to his genius.
     * Herbert, Stowe, p. 486. Holingshed, p. 799.

     ** Lord Herbert.
He had made such proficiency in the former art, as even to compose some pieces of church music, which were sung in his chapel.[*] He was initiated in the elegant learning of the ancients. And though he was so unfortunate as to be seduced into a study of the barren controversies of the schools, which were then fashionable, and had chosen Thomas Aquinas for his favorite author, he still discovered a capacity fitted for more useful and entertaining knowledge.
The frank and careless humor of the king, as it led him to dissipate the treasures amassed by his father, rendered him negligent in protecting the instruments whom that prince had employed in his extortions. A proclamation being issued to encourage complaints, the rage of the people was let loose on all informers, who had so long exercised an unbounded tyranny over the nation: [**] they were thrown into prison, condemned to the pillory, and most of them lost their lives by the violence of the populace. Empson and Dudley, who were most exposed to public hatred, were immediately summoned before the council, in order to answer for their conduct, which had rendered them so obnoxious.
     * Lord Herbert.

     ** Herbert, Stowe, p. 486. Holingshed, p. 799. Polyd. Virg.
     lib, xxvii.
Empson made a shrewd apology for himself, as well as for his associate. He told the council, that so far from his being justly exposed to censure for his past conduct, his enemies themselves grounded their clamor on actions which seemed rather to merit reward and approbation: that a strict execution of law was the crime of which he and Dudley were accused; though that law had been established by general consent, and though they had acted in obedience to the king, to whom the administration of justice was intrusted by the constitution: that it belonged not to them, who were instruments in the hands of supreme power, to determine what laws were recent or obsolete, expedient or hurtful; since they were all alike valid, so long as they remained unrepealed by the legislature: that it was natural for a licentious populace to murmur against the restraints of authority; but all wise states had ever made their glory consist in the just distribution of rewards and punishments, and had annexed the former to the observance and enforcement of the laws, the latter to their violation and infraction; and that a sudden overthrow of all government might be expected where the judges were committed to the mercy of the criminals, the rulers to that of the subjects.[*]
Notwithstanding this defence, Empson and Dudley were sent to the Tower, and soon after brought to their trial. The strict execution of laws, however obsolete, could never be imputed to them as a crime in a court of judicature; and it is likely that, even where they had exercised arbitrary power, the king, as they had acted by the secret commands of his father, was not willing that their conduct should undergo too severe a scrutiny. In order, therefore, to gratify the people with the punishment of these obnoxious ministers crimes very improbable, or indeed absolutely impossible, were charged upon them: that they had entered into a conspiracy against the sovereign, and had intended, on the death of the late king, to have seized by force the administration of government. The jury were so far moved by popular prejudices, joined to court influence, as to give a verdict against them; which was afterwards confirmed by a bill of attainder in parliament,[**] and, at the earnest desire of the people, was executed by warrant from the king, Thus, in those arbitrary times, justice was equally violated, whether the king sought power and riches, or courted popularity.
     * Herbert, Holingshed, p. 804.

     ** This parliament met on the 21st January, 1510. A law was
     there enacted, in order to prevent some abuses which had
     prevailed during the late reign. The forfeiture upon the
     penal statutes was reduced to the term of three years. Costs
     and damages were given against informers upon acquittal of
     the accused: more severe punishments were enacted against
     perjury: the false inquisitions procured by Empson and
     Dudley were declared null and invalid. Traverses were
     allowed; and the time of tendering them enlarged. 1 Henry
     VIII. c. 8, 10, 11, 12.
Henry, while he punished the instruments of past tyranny, had yet such a deference to former engagements as to deliberate, immediately after his accession, concerning the celebration of his marriage with the infanta Catharine, to whom he had been affianced during his father's lifetime. Her former marriage with his brother, and the inequality of their years were the chief objections urged; against his espousing her but, on the other hand, the advantages of her known virtue, modesty, and sweetness of disposition were insisted on; the affection which she bore to the king; the large dowry to which she was entitled as princess of Wales; the interest of cementing a close alliance with Spain; the necessity of finding some confederate to counterbalance the power of France; the expediency of fulfilling the engagements of the late king When these considerations were weighed, they determined the council, though contrary to the opinion of the primate, to give Henry their advice for celebrating the marriage. The countess of Richmond, who had concurred in the same sentiments with the council, died soon after the marriage of her grandson.
The popularity of Henry's government, his undisputed title, his extensive authority, his large treasures, the tranquillity of his subjects, were circumstances which rendered his domestic administration easy and prosperous: the situation of foreign affairs was no less happy and desirable. Italy continued still, as during the late reign, to be the centre of all the wars and negotiations of the European princes; and Henry's alliance was courted by all parties; at the same time that he was not engaged by any immediate interest or necessity to take part with any. Lewis XII. of France, after his conquest of Milan, was the only great prince that possessed any territory in Italy; and could he have remained in tranquillity, he was enabled by his situation to prescribe laws to all the Italian princes and republics, and to hold the balance among them. But the desire of making a conquest of Naples, to which he had the same title or pretensions with his predecessor, still engaged him in new enterprises: and· as he foresaw opposition from Ferdinand, who was connected both by treaties and affinity with Frederick of Naples, he endeavored by the offers of interest, to which the ears of that monarch were ever open, to engage him in an opposite confederacy. He settled with him a plan for the partition of the kingdom of Naples, and the expulsion of Frederick; a plan which the politicians of that, age regarded as the most egregious imprudence in the French monarch, and the greatest perfidy in the Spanish. Frederick, supported only by subjects who were either discontented with his government or indifferent about his fortunes, was unable to resist so powerful a confederacy, and was deprived of his dominions: but he had the satisfaction to see Naples immediately prove the source of contention among his enemies. Ferdinand gave secret orders to his general, Gonsalvo, whom the Spaniards honor with the appellation of the "great captain," to attack the armies of France, and make himself master of all the dominions of Naples. Gonsalvo prevailed in every enterprise, defeated the French in two pitched battles, and insured to his prince the entire possession of that kingdom. Lewis, unable to procure redress by force of arms, was obliged to enter into a fruitless negotiation with Ferdinand for the recovery of his share of the partition; and all Italy, during some time, was held in suspense between these two powerful monarchs.
There has scarcely been any period when the balance of power was better secured in Europe, and seemed more able to maintain itself without any anxious concern or attention of the princes. Several great monarchies were established; and no one so far surpassed the rest as to give any foundation or even pretence for jealousy. England was united in domestic peace, and by its situation happily secured from the invasion of foreigners. The coalition of the several kingdoms of Spain had formed one powerful monarchy, which Ferdinand administered with arts, fraudulent indeed and deceitful, but full of vigor and ability. Lewis XII., a gallant and generous prince, had, by espousing Anne of Brittany, widow to his predecessor, preserved the union with that principality, on which the safety of his kingdom so much depended. Maximilian, the emperor, besides the hereditary dominions of the Austrian family, maintained authority in the empire, and, notwithstanding the levity of his character, was able to unite the German princes in any great plan of interest, at least of defence. Charles, prince of Castile, grandson to Maximilian and Ferdinand, had already succeeded to the rich dominions of the house of Burgundy; and being as yet in early youth, the government was intrusted to Margaret of Savoy, his aunt, a princess endowed with signal prudence and virtue. The internal force of these several powerful states, by balancing each other, might long have maintained general tranquillity, had not the active and enterprising genius of Julius II., an ambitious pontiff, first excited the flames of war and discord among them. By his intrigues, a league had been formed at Cambray,[*] between himself, Maximilian, Lewis, and Ferdinand; and the object of this great confederacy was to overwhelm, by their united arms, the commonwealth of Venice.
     * In 1508.
Henry, without any motive from interest or passion, allowed his name to be inserted in the confederacy. This oppressive and iniquitous league was but too successful against the republic.
The great force and secure situation of the considerable monarchies prevented any one from aspiring to any conquest of moment; and though this consideration could not maintain general peace, or remedy the natural inquietude of men, it rendered the princes of this age more disposed to desert engagements, and change their alliances, in which they were retained by humor and caprice, rather than by any natural or durable interest.
Julius had no sooner humbled the Venetian republic, than he was inspired with a nobler ambition, that of expelling all foreigners from Italy, or, to speak in the style affected by the Italians of that age, the freeing of that country entirely from the dominion of barbarians.[*] He was determined to make the tempest fall first upon Lewis; and in order to pave the way for this great enterprise, he at once sought for a ground of quarrel with that monarch, and courted the alliance of other princes. He declared war against the duke of Ferrara, the confederate of Lewis. He solicited the favor of England, by sending Henry a sacred rose, perfumed with musk and anointed with chrism.[**] He engaged in his interests Bambridge, archbishop of York, and Henry's ambassador at Rome, whom he soon after created a cardinal. He drew over Ferdinand to his party, though that monarch at first made no declaration of his intentions. And what he chiefly valued, he formed a treaty with the Swiss cantons, who, enraged by some neglects put upon them by Lewis, accompanied with contumelious expressions, had quitted the alliance of France, and waited for an opportunity of revenging themselves on that nation.
     * Guicciard. lib. viii.

     ** Spel. Concil. vol. ii. p. 725.
While the French monarch repelled the attacks of his enemies, he thought it also requisite to make an attempt on the pope himself, and to despoil him as much as possible of that sacred character which chiefly rendered him formidable. He engaged some cardinals, disgusted with the violence of Julius, to desert him; and by their authority he was determined, in conjunction with Maximilian, who still adhered to his alliance, to call a general council, which might reform the church, and check the exorbitances of the Roman pontiff. A council was summoned at Pisa, which from the beginning bore a very inauspicious aspect, and promised little success to had adherents. Except a few French bishops, who unwillingly obeyed the king's commands in attending the council, all the other prelates kept aloof from an assembly which they regarded as the offspring of faction, intrigue, and worldly politics. Even Pisa, the place of their residence, showed them signs of contempt; which engaged them to transfer their session to Milan, a city under the dominion of the French monarch; Notwithstanding this advantage, they did not experience much more respectful treatment from the inhabitants of Milan; and found it necessary to make another remove to Lyons.[*] Lewis himself fortified these violent prejudices in favor of papal authority, by the symptoms which he discovered of regard, deference, and submission to Julius, whom he always spared, even when fortune had thrown into his hands the most inviting opportunities of humbling him. And as it was known that his consort, who had great influence over him, was extremely disquieted in mind on account of his dissensions with the holy father, all men prognosticated to Julius final success in this unequal contest.
The enterprising pontiff knew his advantages, and availed himself of them with the utmost temerity and insolence. So much had he neglected his sacerdotal character, that he acted in person at the siege of Mirandola, visited the trenches, saw some of his attendants killed by his side, and, like a young soldier, cheerfully bore all the rigors of winter and a severe season, in pursuit of military glory:[**] yet was he still able to throw, even on his most moderate opponents, the charge of impiety and profaneness. He summoned, a council at the Lateran: he put Pisa under an interdict, and all the places which gave shelter to the schismatical council: he excommunicated the cardinals and prelates who attended it: he even pointed his spiritual thunder against the princes who adhered to it: he freed their subjects from all oaths of allegiance, and gave their dominions to every one who could take possession of them.
     * Guicciard. lib. x.

     ** Guicciard. lib. ix.
Ferdinand of Arragon, who had acquired the surname of Catholic, regarded the cause of the pope and of religion only as a cover to his ambition and selfish politics: Henry, naturally sincere and sanguine in his temper, and the more èo on account of his youth and inexperience, was moved with a hearty desire of protecting the pope from the oppression to which he believed him exposed from the ambitious enterprises of Lewis.
Hopes had been given him by Julius, that the title of "most Christian king," which had hitherto been annexed to the crown of France, and which was regarded as its most precious ornament, should, in reward of his services, be transferred to that of England.[*] Impatient also of acquiring that distinction in Europe, to which his power and opulence entitled him, he could not long remain neuter amidst the noise of arms; and the natural enmity of the English against France, as well as their ancient claims upon that kingdom, led Henry to join that alliance which the pope, Spain, and Venice had formed against the French monarch. A herald was sent to Paris, to exhort Lewis not to wage impious war against the sovereign pontiff; and when he returned without success, another was sent to demand the ancient patrimonial provinces, Anjou, Maine, Guienne, and Normandy. This message was understood to be a declaration of war; and a parliament, being summoned, readily granted supplies for a purpose so much favored by the English nation.[**]
     * Guicciard. lib. xi. P. Daniel, vol ii. p. 1893. Herbert.
     Holingshed, p. 831.

     ** Herbert. Holingshed, p. 811.
Buonaviso, an agent of the pope's at London, had been corrupted by the court of France, and had previously revealed to Lewis all the measures which Henry was concerting against him. But this infidelity did the king inconsiderable prejudice, in comparison of the treachery which he experienced from the selfish purposes of the ally on whom he chiefly relied for assistance. Ferdinand, his father-in-law, had so long persevered in a course of crooked politics, that he began even to value himself on his dexterity in fraud and artifice; and he made a boast of those shameful successes. Being told one day, that Lewis, a prince of a very different character, had complained of his having once cheated him: "He lies, the drunkard!" said he; "I have cheated him above twenty times." This prince considered his close connections with Henry only as the means which enabled him the better to take advantage of his want of experience. He advised him not to invade France by the way of Calais, where he himself should not have it in his power to assist him: he exhorted him rather to send forces to Fontarabia, whence he could easily make a conquest of Guienne, a province in which it was imagined the English had still some adherents. He promised to assist this conquest by the junction of a Spanish army. And so forward did he seem to promote the interests of his son-in-law, that he even sent vessels to England, in order to transport over the forces which Henry had levied for that purpose. The marquis of Dorset commanded this armament, which consisted of ten thousand men, mostly infantry; Lord Howard, son of the earl of Surrey, Lord Broke, Lord Ferrars, and many others of the young gentry and nobility, accompanied him in this service. All were on fire to distinguish themselves by military achievements, and to make a conquest of importance for their master. The secret purpose of Ferdinand, in this unexampled generosity, was suspected by nobody.
The small kingdom of Navarre lies on the frontiers between France and Spain; and as John d'Albert, the sovereign, was connected by friendship and alliance with Lewis, the opportunity seemed favorable to Ferdinand, while the English forces were conjoined with his own, and while all adherents to the council of Pisa lay under the sentence of excommunication, to put himself in possession of these dominions. No sooner, therefore, was Dorset landed in Guipiscoa, than the Spanish monarch declared his readiness to join him with his forces, to make with united arms an invasion of France, and to form the siege of Bayonne, which opened the way into Guienne:[*] but he remarked to the English general how dangerous it might prove to leave behind them the kingdom of Navarre, which, being in close alliance with France, could easily give admittance to the enemy, and cut off all communication between Spain and the combined armies. To provide against so dangerous an event, he required that John should stipulate a neutrality in the present war; and when that prince expressed his willingness to enter into any engagement for that purpose, he also required that security should be given for the strict observance of it.
     * Herbert, Holingshed, p. 813.
John having likewise agreed to this condition, Ferdinand demanded that he should deliver into his hands six of the most considerable places of his dominions, together with his eldest son as a hostage. These were not terms to be proposed to a sovereign; and as the Spanish monarch expected a refusal, he gave immediate orders to the duke of Alva, his general, to make an invasion on Navarre, and to reduce that kingdom.
Alva soon made himself master of all the smaller towns; and being ready to form the siege of Pampeluna, the capital, he summoned the marquis of Dorset to join him with the English army, and concert together all their operations.
Dorset began to suspect that the interests of his master were very little regarded in all these transactions; and having no orders to invade the kingdom of Navarre, or make war any where but in France, he refused to take any part in the enterprise. He remained therefore in his quarters at Fontarabia; but so subtle was the contrivance of Ferdinand, that even while the English army lay in that situation, it was almost equally serviceable to his purpose, as if it had acted in conjunction with his own. It kept the French army in awe, and prevented it from advancing to succor the kingdom of Navarre; so that Alva, having full leisure to conduct the siege, made himself master of Pampeluna, and obliged John to seek for shelter in France. The Spanish general applied again to Dorset, and proposed to conduct with united counsels the operations of the "holy league," (so it was called,) against Lewis: but as he still declined forming the siege of Bayonne, and rather insisted on the invasion of the principality of Bearne, a part of the king of Navarre's dominions which lies on the French side of the Pyrenees, Dorset, justly suspicious of his sinister intentions, represented that, without new orders from his master, he could not concur in such an undertaking. In order to procure these orders, Ferdinand despatched Martin de Ampios to London; and persuaded Henry that, by the refractory and scrupulous humor of the English general, the most favorable opportunities were lost; and that it was necessary he should on all occasions act in concert with the Spanish commander, who was best acquainted with the situation of the country, and the reasons of every operation. But before orders to this purpose reached Spain, Dorset had become extremely impatient; and observing that his further stay served not to promote the main undertaking, and that his army was daily perishing by want and sickness, he demanded shipping from Ferdinand to transport them back into England. Ferdinand, who was bound by treaty to furnish him with this supply whenever demanded, was at length, after many delays, obliged to yield to his importunity; and Dorset, embarking his troops, prepared himself for the voyage. Meanwhile the messenger arrived with orders from Henry, that the troops should remain in Spain; but the soldiers were so discontented with the treatment which they had met with, that they mutinied, and obliged their commanders to set sail for England. Henry was much displeased with the ill success of this enterprise; and it was with difficulty that Dorset, by explaining the fraudulent conduct of Ferdinand, was at last able to appease him.
There happened this summer an action at sea, which brought not any more decisive advantage to the English. Sir Thomas Knevet, master of horse, was sent to the coast of Brittany with a fleet of forty-five sail; and he carried with him Sir Charles Brandon, Sir John Carew, and many other young courtiers, who longed for an opportunity of displaying their valor. After they had committed some depredations, a French fleet of thirty-nine sail issued from Brest, under the command of Primauget, and began an engagement with the English. Fire seized the ship of Primauget; who, finding his destruction inevitable, bore down upon the vessel of the English admiral, and grappling with her, resolved to make her share his fate. Both fleets stood some time in suspense, as spectators of this dreadful engagement; and all men saw with horror the flames which consumed both vessels, and heard the cries of fury and despair which came from the miserable combatants. At last the French vessel blew up; and at the same time destroyed the English.[*] The rest of the French fleet made their escape into different harbors.
The war which England waged against France, though it brought no advantage to the former kingdom, was of great prejudice to the latter; and by obliging Lewis to withdraw his forces for the defence of his own dominions, lost him that superiority which his arms in the beginning of the campaign had attained in Italy. Gaston de Foix, his nephew, a young hero, had been intrusted with the command of the French forces; and in a few months performed such feats of military art and prowess, as were sufficient to render illustrious the life of the oldest captain.[**] His career finished with the great battle of Ravenna, which, after the most obstinate conflict, he gained over the Spanish and papal armies. He perished the very moment his victory was complete; and with him perished the fortune of the French arms in Italy.
     * Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii. Stowe, p. 490. Lanquet's Epitome
     of Chronicles, fol. 273.

     ** Guicciard. lib. x.
The Swiss, who had rendered themselves extremely formidable by their bands of disciplined infantry, invaded the Milanese with a numerous army, and raised up that inconstant people to a revolt against the dominion of France. Genoa followed the example of the duchy; and thus Lewis in a few weeks entirely lost his Italian conquests, except some garrisons; and Maximilian Sforza, the son of Ludovic, was reinstated in possession of Milan.
Julius discovered extreme joy on the discomfiture of the French; and the more so as he had been beholden for it to the Swiss, a people whose councils he hoped he should always be able to influence and govern. The pontiff survived this success a very little time; and in his place was chosen John de Medicis, who took the appellation of Leo X., and proved one of the most illustrious princes that ever sat on the papal throne. Humane, beneficent, generous, affable; the patron of every art, and friend of every virtue;[*] he had a soul no less capable of forming great designs than his predecessor, but was more gentle, pliant, and artful in employing means for the execution of them. The sole defect, indeed, of his character was too great finesse and artifice; a fault which, both as a priest and an Italian, it was difficult for him to avoid. By the negotiations of Leo, the emperor Maximilian was detached from the French interest; and Henry, notwithstanding his disappointments in the former campaign, was still encouraged to prosecute his warlike measures against Lewis.
Henry had summoned a new session of parliament,[**] and obtained a supply for his enterprise. It was a poll-tax, and imposed different sums, according to the station and riches of the person. A duke paid ten marks, an earl five pounds, a baron four pounds, a knight four marks; every man valued at eight hundred pounds in goods, four marks. An imposition was also granted of two fifteenths and four tenths.[***] By these supplies, joined to the treasure which had been left by his father, and which was not yet entirely dissipated, he was enabled to levy a great army, and render himself formidable to his enemy. The English are said to have been much encouraged, in this enterprise, by the arrival of a vessel in the Thames under the papal banner. It carried presents of wine and hams to the king and the more eminent courtiers; and such fond devotion was at that time entertained towards the court of Rome, that these trivial presents were every where received with the greatest triumph and exultation.
     * Father Paul, lib. i.

     ** November 4, 1512.

     *** Stowe.
In order to prevent all disturbances from Scotland while Henry's arms should be employed on the continent, Dr. West, dean of Windsor, was despatched on an embassy to James, the king's brother-in-law; and instructions were given him to accommodate all differences between the kingdoms, as well as to discover the intentions of the court of Scotland.[*] Some complaints had already been made on both sides. One Barton, a Scotchman, having suffered injuries from the Portuguese, for which he could obtain no redress, had procured letters of marque against that nation; but he had no sooner put to sea than he was guilty of the grossest abuses, committed depredations upon the English, and much infested the narrow seas.[**] Lord Howard and Sir Edward Howard, admirals, and sons of the earl of Surrey, sailing out against him, fought him in a desperate action, where the pirate was killed; and they brought his ships into the Thames. As Henry refused all satisfaction for this act of justice, some of the borderers, who wanted but a pretence for depredations, entered England under the command of Lord Hume, warden of the marches, and committed great ravages on that kingdom. Notwithstanding these mutual grounds of dissatisfaction, matters might easily have been accommodated, had it not been for Henry's intended invasion of France, which roused the jealousy of the Scottish nation.[***]
     * Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii.

     ** Stowe, p. 489. Holingshed, p. 811.

     *** Buchanan, lib. xii. Drummond in the Life of James IV.
The ancient league which subsisted between France and Scotland was conceived to be the strongest band of connection; and the Scots universally believed, that were it not for the countenance which they received from this foreign alliance, they had never been able so long to maintain their independence against a people so much superior. James was further incited to take part in the quarrel by the invitations of Anne, queen of France, whose knight he had ever in all tournaments professed himself, and who summoned him, according to the ideas of romantic gallantry prevalent in that age, to take the field in her defence, and prove himself her true and valorous champion. The remonstrances of his consort and of his wisest counsellors were in vain opposed to the martial ardor of this prince. He first sent a squadron of ships to the assistance of France; the only fleet which Scotland seems ever to have possessed. And though he still made professions of maintaining a neutrality, the English ambassador easily foresaw that a war would in the end prove inevitable; and he gave warning of the danger to his master, who sent the earl of Surrey to put the borders in a posture of defence, and to resist the expected invasion of the enemy.
Henry, all on fire for military fame, was little discouraged by this appearance of a diversion from the north; and so much the less, as he flattered himself with the assistance of all the considerable potentates of Europe in his invasion of France. The pope still continued to thunder out his excommunications against Lewis and all the adherents of the schismatical council: the Swiss cantons made professions of violent animosity against France: the ambassadors of Ferdinand and Maximilian had signed with those of Henry a treaty of alliance against that power, and had stipulated the time and place of their intended invasion: and though Ferdinand disavowed his ambassador, and even signed a truce for a twelvemonth with the common enemy, Henry was not yet fully convinced of his selfish and sinister intentions, and still hoped for his concurrence after the expiration of that term. He had now got a minister who complied with all his inclinations, and flattered him in every scheme to which his sanguine and impetuous temper was inclined.
Thomas Wolsey, dean of Lincoln, and almoner to the king, surpassed in favor all his ministers, and was fast advancing towards that unrivalled grandeur which he afterwards attained. This man was son of a butcher at Ipswich; but having got a learned education, and being endowed with an excellent capacity, he was admitted into the marquis of Dorset's family as tutor to that nobleman's children, and soon gained the friendship and countenance of his patron.[*] He was recommended to be chaplain to Henry VII.; and being employed by that monarch in a secret negotiation, which regarded his intended marriage with Margaret of Savoy, Maximilian's daughter, he acquitted himself to the king's satisfaction, and obtained the praise both of diligence and dexterity in his conduct.[**]
     * Stowe, p. 997.

     ** Cavendish. Fiddes's Life of Wolsey. Stowe.
That prince, having given him a commission to Maximilian, who at that time resided in Brussels, was surprised, in less than three days after, to see Wolsey present himself before him, and supposing that he had protracted his departure, he began to reprove him for the dilatory execution of his orders. Wolsey informed him that he had just returned from Brussels, and had successfully fulfilled all his majesty's commands. "But on second thoughts," said the king, "I found that somewhat was omitted in your orders; and have sent a messenger after you with fuller instructions." "I met the messenger," replied Wolsey, "on my return: but as I had reflected on that omission, I ventured of myself to execute what I knew must be your majesty's intentions." The death of Henry soon after this incident retarded the advancement of Wolsey, and prevented his reaping any advantage from the good opinion which that monarch had entertained of him: but thence forwards he was looked on at court as a rising man; and Fox, bishop of Winchester, cast his eye upon him as one who might be serviceable to him in his present situation.[*] This prelate, observing that the earl of Surrey had totally eclipsed him in favor, resolved to introduce Wolsey to the young prince's familiarity; and hoped that he might rival Surrey in his insinuating arts, and yet be contented to act in the cabinet a part subordinate to Fox himself, who had promoted him.
     * Antiq. Brit. Eccles. p. 309. Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii.
In a little time, Wolsey gained so much on the king, that he supplanted both Surrey in his favor, and Fox in his trust and confidence. Being admitted to Henry's parties of pleasure, he took the lead in every jovial conversation, and promoted all that frolic and entertainment which he found suitable to the age and inclination of the young monarch. Neither his own years, which were near forty, nor his character of a clergyman, were any restraint upon him, or engaged him to check, by any useless severity, the gayety in which Henry, who had small propension to debauchery, passed his careless hours. During the intervals of amusement, he introduced business, and insinuated those maxims of conduct which he was desirous his master should adopt. He observed to him that while he intrusted his affairs into the hands of his father's counsellors, he had the advantage indeed of employing men of wisdom and experience, but men who owed not their promotion to his favor, and who scarcely thought themselves accountable to him for the exercise of their authority: that by the factions, and cabals, and jealousies which had long prevailed among them, they more obstructed the advancement of his affairs, than they promoted it by the knowledge which age and practice had conferred upon them: that while he thought proper to pass his time in those pleasures to which his age and royal fortune invited him, and in those studies which would in time enable him to sway the sceptre with absolute authority, his best system of government would be, to intrust his authority into the hands of some one person who was the creature of his will, and who could entertain no view but that of promoting his service: and that if this minister had also the same relish for pleasure with himself, and the same taste for science, he could more easily, at intervals, account to him for his whole conduct, and introduce his master gradually into the knowledge of public business; and thus, without tedious constraint or application, initiate him in the science of government.[*]
     * Cavendish, p. 12. Stowe, p. 499.
Henry entered into all the views of Wolsey; and finding no one so capable of executing this plan of administration as the person who proposed it, he soon advanced his favorite, from being the companion of his pleasures, to be a member of his council; and from being a member of his council, to be his sole and absolute minister. By this rapid advancement and uncontrolled authority, the character and genius of Wolsey had full opportunity to display itself. Insatiable in his acquisitions, but still more magnificent in his expense: of extensive capacity, but still more unbounded enterprise: ambitious of power, but still more desirous of glory: insinuating engaging, persuasive; and, by turns, lofty, elevated, commanding: haughty to his equals, but affable to his dependants: oppressive to the people, but liberal to his friends; more generous than grateful; less moved by injuries than by contempt; he was framed to take the ascendant in every intercourse with others, but exerted this superiority of nature with such ostentation as exposed him to envy, and made every one willing to recall the original inferiority, or rather meanness, of his fortune.
The branch of administration in which Henry most exerted himself, while he gave his entire confidence to Wolsey, was the military; which, as it suited the natural gallantry and bravery of his temper, as well as the ardor of his youth, was the principal object of his attention. Finding that Lewis had made great preparations both by sea and land to resist him, he was no less careful to levy a formidable army and equip a considerable fleet for the invasion of France. The command of the fleet was intrusted to Sir Edward Howard; who, after scouring the Channel for some time, presented himself before Brest, where the French navy then lay; and he challenged them to a combat. The French admiral, who expected from the Mediterranean a reënforcement of some galleys under the command of Prejeant de Bidoux, kept within the harbor, and saw with patience the English burn and destroy the country in the neighborhood. At last Prejeant arrived with six galleys, and put into Conquet, a place within a few leagues of Brest; where he secured himself behind some batteries, which he had planted on rocks that lay on each side of him. Howard was, notwithstanding, determined to make an attack upon him; and as he had but two galleys, he took himself the command of one, and gave the other to Lord Ferrars. He was followed by some row-barges and some crayers under the command of Sir Thomas Cheyney, Sir William Sidney, and other officers of distinction. He immediately fastened on Prejeant's ship, and leaped on board of her, attended by one Carroz, a Spanish cavalier, and seventeen Englishmen. The cable, meanwhile, which fastened his ship to that of the enemy, being cut, the admiral was thus left in the hands of the French; and as he still continued the combat with great gallantry, he was pushed overboard by their pikes.[*] Lord Ferrars, seeing the admiral's galley fall off, followed with the other small vessels; and the whole fleet was so discouraged by the loss of their commander, that they retired from before Brest.[**] The French navy came out of harbor, and even ventured to invade the coast of Sussex. They were repulsed, and Prejeant, their commander, lost an eye by the shot of an arrow. Lord Howard, brother to the deceased admiral, succeeded to the command of the English fleet; and little memorable passed at sea during this summer.
     * It was a maxim of Howard's, that no admiral was good for
     any thing that was not brave even to a degree of madness. As
     the sea service requires much less plan and contrivance, and
     capacity, than the land, this maxim has great plausibility
     and appearance of truth; though the fate of Howard himself
     may serve as a proof, that even there courage ought to be
     tempered with discretion.

     ** Stowe, p. 491. Herbert.

     *** Holingshed, p. 816.
Great preparations had been making at land, during the whole winter, for an invasion on France by the way of Calais; but the summer was well advanced before every thing was in sufficient readiness for the intended enterprise. The long peace which the kingdom had enjoyed had somewhat unfitted the English for military expeditions; and the great change which had lately been introduced in the art of war, had rendered it still more difficult to inure them to the use of the weapons now employed in action. The Swiss, and after them the Spaniards, had shown the advantage of a stable infantry, who fought with pike and sword, and were able to repulse even the heavy-armed cavalry, in which the great force of the armies formerly consisted. The practice of firearms was become common; though the caliver, which was the weapon now in use, was so inconvenient, and attended with so many disadvantages, that it had not entirely discredited the bow, a weapon in which the English excelled all European nations. A considerable part of the forces which Henry levied for the invasion of France consisted of archers; and as soon as affairs were in readiness, the vanguard of the army, amounting to eight thousand men, under the command of the earl of Shrewsbury, sailed over to Calais. Shrewsbury was accompanied by the earl of Derby, the lords Fitzwater, Hastings, Cobham, and Sir Rice ap Thomas, captain of the light horse. Another body of six thousand men soon after followed under the command of Lord Herbert the chamberlain, attended by the earls of Northumberland and Kent, the lords Audley and Delawar, together with Carew, Curson, and other gentlemen.
The king himself prepared to follow with the main body and rear of the army; and he appointed the queen regent of the kingdom during his absence. That he might secure her administration from all disturbance, he ordered Edmond de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, to be beheaded in the Tower, the nobleman who had been attainted and imprisoned during the late reign. Henry was led to commit this act of violence by the dying commands, as is imagined, of his father, who told him that he never would be free from danger while a man of so turbulent a disposition as Suffolk was alive. And as Richard de la Pole, brother of Suffolk, had accepted of a command in the French service, and foolishly attempted to revive the York faction, and to instigate them against the present government, he probably by that means drew more suddenly the King's vengeance on this unhappy nobleman.
At last, Henry, attended by the duke of Buckingham and many others of the nobility, arrived at Calais, and entered upon his French expedition, from which he fondly expected so much success and glory.[*] Of all those allies on whose assistance he relied, the Swiss alone fully performed their engagements. Being put in motion by a sum of money sent them by Henry, and incited by their victories obtained in Italy and by their animosity against France, they were preparing to enter that kingdom with an army of twenty-five thousand men; and no equal force could be opposed to their incursion. Maximilian had received an advance of one hundred and twenty thousand crowns from Henry, and had promised to reënforce the Swiss with eight thousand men, but failed in his engagements. That he might make atonement to the king, he himself appeared in the Low Countries, and joined the English army with some German and Flemish soldiers, who were useful in giving an example of discipline to Henry's new-levied forces. Observing the disposition of the English monarch to be more bent on glory than on interest, he enlisted himself in his service, wore the cross of St. George, and received pay, a hundred crowns a day, as one of his subjects and captains. But while he exhibited this extraordinary spectacle, of an emperor of Germany serving under a king of England, he was treated with the highest respect by Henry, and really directed all the operations of the English army.
     * Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii. Bellarius, lib. xiv.
Before the arrival of Henry and Maximilian in the camp, the earl of Shrewsbury and Lord Herbert had formed the siege of Terouane, a town situated on the frontiers of Picardy; and they began to attack the place with vigor. Teligni and Crequi commanded in the town, and had a garrison not exceeding two thousand men; yet made they such stout resistance as protracted the siege a month; and they at last found themselves more in danger from want of provisions and ammunition than from the assaults of the besiegers. Having conveyed intelligence of their situation to Lewis, who had advanced to Amiens with his army, that prince gave orders to throw relief into the place. Fontrailles appeared at the head of eight hundred horsemen, each of whom carried a sack of gunpowder behind him, and two quarters of bacon. With this small force he made a sudden and unexpected irruption into the English camp, and, surmounting all resistance, advanced to the fosse of the town, where each horseman threw down his burden. They immediately returned at the gallop, and were so fortunate as again to break through the English and to suffer little or no loss in this dangerous attempt.[*]
But the English had, soon after, full revenge for the insult. Henry had received intelligence of the approach of the French horse, who had advanced to protect another incursion of Fontrailles; and he ordered some troops to pass the Lis, in order to oppose them. The cavalry of France, though they consisted chiefly of gentlemen, who had behaved with great gallantry in many desperate actions in Italy, were, on sight of the enemy, seized with so unaccountable a panic, that they immediately took to flight, and were pursued by the English. The duke of Longueville, who commanded the French, Bussi d'Amboise, Clermont, Imbercourt, the chevalier Bayard, and many other officers of distinction were made prisoners.[**] This action, or rather rout, is sometimes called the battle of Guinegate, from the place where it was fought; but more commonly the "battle of spurs," because the French that day made more use of their spurs than of their swords or military weapons.
     * Hist. de Chev. Bayard, chap. 57. Mémoires de Bellai.

     ** Mémoires de Bellai, liv. i. Polyd. Virg. liv. xxvii.
     Holingshed, p. 822. Herbert.
After so considerable an advantage, the king, who was at the head of a complete army of above fifty thousand men, might have made incursions to the gates of Paris, and spread confusion and desolation every where. It gave Lewis great joy when he heard that the English, instead of pushing their victory, and attacking the dismayed troops of France, returned to the siege of so inconsiderable a place as Terouane. The governors were obliged soon after to capitulate; and Henry found his acquisition of so little moment, though gained at the expense of some blood, and what, in his present circumstances, was more important, of much valuable time, that he immediately demolished the fortifications. The anxieties of the French were again revived with regard to the motions of the English. The Swiss at the same time had entered Burgundy with a formidable army, and laid siege to Dijon, which was in no condition to resist them. Ferdinand himself, though he had made a truce with Lewis, seemed disposed to lay hold of every advantage which fortune should present to him. Scarcely ever was the French monarchy in greater danger, or less in a condition to defend itself against those powerful armies which on every side assailed or threatened it. Even many of the inhabitants of Paris, who believed themselves exposed to the rapacity and violence of the enemy, began to dislodge, without knowing what place could afford them greater security.
But Lewis was extricated from his present difficulties by the manifold blunders of his enemies. The Swiss allowed themselves to be seduced into a negotiation by Tremoille, governor of Burgundy; and without making inquiry whether that nobleman had any powers to treat, they accepted of the conditions which he offered them. Tremoille, who knew that he should be disavowed by his master, stipulated whatever they were pleased to demand; and thought himself happy, at the expense of some payments and very large promises, to get rid of so formidable an enemy.[*]
The measures of Henry showed equal ignorance in the art of war with that of the Swiss in negotiation. Tournay was a great and rich city, which, though it lay within the frontiers of Flanders, belonged to France, and afforded the troops of that kingdom a passage into the heart of the Netherlands. Maximilian, who was desirous of freeing his grandson from so troublesome a neighbor, advised Henry to lay siege to the place; and the English monarch, not considering that such an acquisition nowise advanced his conquests in France, was so imprudent as to follow this interested counsel. The city of Tournay, by its ancient charters, being exempted from the burden of a garrison, the burghers, against the remonstrance of their sovereign, strenuously insisted on maintaining this dangerous privilege; and they engaged, by themselves, to make a vigorous defence against the enemy.[**] Their courage failed them when matters came to trial; and after a few days' siege, the place was surrendered to the English. The bishop of Tournay was lately dead; and as a new bishop was already elected by the chapter, but not installed in his office, the king bestowed the administration of the see on his favorite Wolsey, and put him in immediate possession of the revenues, which were considerable.[***]
     * Mémoires du Mareschal de Fleuranges. Bellarius, lib. xiv.

     ** Mémoires de Fleuranges.

     *** Strype's Memorials, vol. i. p. 5, 6.
Hearing of the retreat of the Swiss, and observing the season to be far advanced, he thought proper to return to England; and he carried the greater part of his army with him. Success had attended him in every enterprise; and his youthful mind was much elated with this seeming prosperity, but all men of judgment, comparing the advantages of his situation with his progress, his expense with his acquisitions, were convinced that this campaign, so much vaunted, was, in reality, both ruinous and inglorious to him.[*]
     * Guicciardini.
The success which, during this summer, had attended Henry's arms in the north, was much more decisive. The king of Scotland had assembled the whole force of his kingdom; and having passed the Tweed with a brave, though a tumultuary army of above fifty thousand men, he ravaged those parts of Northumberland which lay nearest that river, and he employed himself in taking the Castles of Norham, Etal, Werke, Ford, and other places of small importance. Lady Ford, being taken prisoner in her castle, was presented to James, and so gained on the affections of that prince, that he wasted in pleasure the critical time which, during the absence of his enemy, he should have employed in pushing his conquests. His troops, lying in a barren country, where they soon consumed all the provisions, began to be pinched with hunger; and as the authority of the prince was feeble, and military discipline during that age extremely relaxed, many of them had stolen from the camp, and retired homewards. Meanwhile, the earl of Surrey, having collected a force of twenty-six thousand men, of which five thousand had been sent over from the king's army in France, marched to the defence of the country, and approached the Scots, who lay on some high ground near the hills of Cheviot. The River Till ran between the armies, and prevented an engagement: Surrey therefore sent a herald to the Scottish camp, challenging the enemy to descend into the plain of Milfield, which lay towards the south; and there, appointing a day for the combat, to try their valor on equal ground. As he received no satisfactory answer, he made a feint of marching towards Berwick; as if he intended to enter Scotland, to lay waste the borders, and cut off the provisions of the enemy. The Scottish army, in order to prevent his purpose, put themselves in motion; and having set fire to the huts in which they had quartered, they descended from the hills. Surrey, taking advantage of the smoke, which was blown towards him, and which concealed his movements, passed the Till with his artillery and vanguard at the bridge of Twisel, and sent the rest of his army to seek a ford higher up the river.
An engagement was now become inevitable, and both sides prepared for it with tranquillity and order.[*] The English divided their army into two lines: Lord Howard led the main body of the first line, Sir Edmond Howard the right wing, Sir Marmaduke Constable the left. The earl of Surrey himself commanded the main body of the second line, Lord Dacres the right wing, Sir Edward Stanley the left. The front of the Scots presented three divisions to the enemy: the middle was led by the king himself; the right by the earl of Huntley, assisted by Lord Hume; the left by the earls of Lenox and Argyle. A fourth division under the earl of Bothwell made a body of reserve. Huntley began the battle, and, after a sharp conflict, put to flight the left wing of the English, and chased them off the field: but on returning from the pursuit, he found the whole Scottish army in great disorder. The division under Lenox and Argyle, elated with the success of the other wing, had broken their ranks, and, notwithstanding the remonstrances and entreaties of La Motte, the French ambassador, had rushed headlong upon the enemy. Not only Sir Edmond Howard, at the head of his division, received them with great valor, but Dacres, who commanded in the second line, wheeling about during the action, fell upon their rear, and put them to the sword without resistance. The division under James and that under Bothwell, animated by the valor of their leaders, still made head against the English, and throwing themselves into a circle, protracted the action, till night separated the combatants. The victory seemed yet undecided, and the numbers that fell on each side were nearly equal, amounting to above five thousand men: but the morning discovered where the advantage lay. The English had lost only persons of small note; but the flower of the Scottish nobility had fallen in battle, and their king himself, after the most diligent inquiry, could nowhere be found. In searching the field, the English met with a dead body which resembled him, and was arrayed in a similar habit; and they put it in a leaden coffin, and sent it to London. During some time it was kept unburied; because James died under sentence of ex-communication, on account of his confederacy with France, and his opposition to the holy see:[**] but upon Henry's application, who pretended that this prince had, in the instant before his death, discovered signs of repentance, absolution was given him, and his body was interred.
     * Buchanan, lib. xiii. Drummond. Herbert. Polyd. Virg. lib.
     xxvii. Stowe, p. 493. Paulus Jovius.

     ** Buchanan, lib. xiii. Herbert.
The Scots, however, still asserted that it was not James's body which was found on the field of battle, but that of one Elphinston, who had been arrayed in arms resembling their king's, in order to divide the attention of the English, and share the danger with his master. It was believed that James had been seen crossing the Tweed at Kelso;* and some imagined that he had been killed by the vassals of Lord Hume, whom that nobleman had instigated to commit so enormous a crime. But the populace entertained the opinion that he was still alive, and having secretly gone in pilgrimage to the Holy Land, would soon return and take possession of the throne. This fond conceit was long entertained among the Scots.
The king of Scotland and most of his chief nobles being slain in the field of Flouden, (so this battle was called,) an inviting opportunity was offered to Henry of gaining advantages over that kingdom, perhaps of reducing it to subjection. But he discovered on this occasion a mind truly great and generous. When the queen of Scotland, Margaret, who was created regent during the infancy of her son, applied for peace, he readily granted it; and took compassion of the helpless condition of his sister and nephew. The earl of Surrey, who had gained him so great a victory, was restored to the title of duke of Norfolk, which had been forfeited by his father for engaging on the side of Richard III.
Lord Howard was honored with the title of earl of Surrey. Sir Charles Brandon, the king's favorite, whom he had before created Viscount Lisle, was now raised to the dignity of duke of Suffolk. Wolsey, who was both his favorite and his minister, was created bishop of Lincoln. Lord Herbert obtained the title of earl of Worcester; Sir Edward Stanley, that of Lord Monteagle.
Though peace with Scotland gave Henry security on that side, and enabled him to prosecute in tranquillity his enterprise against France, some other incidents had happened, which more than counterbalanced this fortunate event, and served to open his eyes with regard to the rashness of an undertaking, into which his youth and high fortune had betrayed him.
Lewis, fully sensible of the dangerous situation to which his kingdom had been reduced during the former campaign, was resolved, by every expedient, to prevent the return of like perils, and to break the confederacy of his enemies. The pope was nowise disposed to push the French to extremity; and provided they did not return to take possession of Milan, his interests rather led him to preserve the balance among the contending parties. He accepted, therefore, of Lewis's offer to renounce the council of Lyons; and he took off the excommunication which his predecessor and himself had fulminated against that king and his kingdom. Ferdinand was now fast declining in years, and as he entertained no further ambition than that of keeping possession of Navarre, which he had subdued by his arms and policy, he readily hearkened to the proposals of Lewis for prolonging the truce another year; and he even showed an inclination of forming a more intimate connection with that monarch. Lewis had dropped hints of his intention to marry his second daughter, Renée, either to Charles, prince of Spain, or his brother Ferdinand, both of them grandsons of the Spanish monarch; and he declared his resolution of bestowing on her, as her portion, his claim to the duchy of Milan. Ferdinand not only embraced these proposals with joy, but also engaged the emperor Maximilian in the same views, and procured his accession to a treaty which opened so inviting a prospect of aggrandizing their common grandchildren.
When Henry was informed of Ferdinand's renewal of the truce with Lewis, he fell into a violent rage, and loudly complained, that his father-in-law had first, by high promises and professions, engaged him in enmity with France, and afterwards, without giving him the least warning, had now again sacrificed his interests to his own selfish purposes, and had left him exposed alone to all the danger and expense of the war. In proportion to his easy credulity, and his unsuspecting reliance on Ferdinand, was the vehemence with which he exclaimed against the treatment which he met with; and he threatened revenge for this egregious treachery and breach of faith.[*] But he lost all patience when informed of the other negotiation, by which Maximilian was also seduced from his alliance, and in which proposals had been agreed to for the marriage of the prince of Spain with the daughter of France. Charles, during the lifetime of the late king, had been affianced to Mary, Henry's younger sister; and as the prince now approached the age of puberty, the king had expected the immediate completion of the marriage, and the honorable settlement of a sister for whom he had entertained a tender affection. Such a complication, therefore, of injuries gave him the highest displeasure, and inspired him with a desire of expressing his disdain towards those who had imposed on his youth and inexperience, and had abused his too great facility.
     * Petrus de Angleria, Epist. 545, 646.
The duke of Longueville, who had been made prisoner at the battle of Gumegate, and who was still detained in England, was ready to take advantage of all these dispositions of Henry, in order to procure a peace, and even an alliance, which he knew to be passionately desired by his master. He represented to the king, that Anne, queen of France, being lately dead, a door was thereby opened for an affinity, which might tend to the advantage of both kingdoms, and which would serve to terminate honorably all the differences between them: that she had left Lewis no male children; and as he had ever entertained a strong desire of having heirs to the crown, no marriage seemed more suitable to him than that with the princess of England, whose youth and beauty afforded the most flattering hopes in that particular: that though the marriage of a princess of sixteen with a king of fifty-three might seem unsuitable, yet the other advantages attending the alliance were more than a sufficient compensation for this inequality; and that Henry, in loosening his connections with Spain, from which he had never reaped any advantage, would contract a close affinity with Lewis, a prince who, through his whole life, had invariably maintained the character of probity and honor.
As Henry seemed to hearken to this discourse with willing ears, Longueville informed his master of the probability which he discovered of bringing the matter to a happy conclusion; and he received full powers for negotiating the treaty. The articles were easily adjusted between the monarchs. Louis agreed that Tournay should remain in the hands of the English; that Richard de la Pole should be banished to Metz, there to live on a pension assigned him by Lewis; that Henry should receive payment of a million of crowns, being the arrears due by treaty to his father and himself; and that the princess Mary should bring four hundred thousand crowns as her portion, and enjoy as large a jointure as any queen of France, even the former, who was heiress of Brittany. The two princes also agreed on the succors with which they should mutually supply each other, in case either of them was attacked by an enemy.[*]
In consequence of this treaty, Mary was sent over to France with a splendid retinue; and Lewis met her at Abbeville, where the espousals were celebrated. He was enchanted with the beauty, grace, and numerous accomplishments of the young princess; and being naturally of an amorous disposition, which his advanced age had not entirely cooled, he was seduced into such a course of gayety and pleasure, as proved very unsuitable to his declining state of health.[**]
     * Du Tillet.

     ** Brantome, Eloge de Louis XII.
He died in less than three months after the marriage, to the extreme regret of the French nation, who, sensible of his tender concern for their welfare, gave him with one voice the honorable appellation of "father of his people."
Francis, duke of Angoulême, a youth of one and twenty, who had married Lewis's eldest daughter, succeeded him on the throne; and, by his activity, valor, generosity, and other virtues, gave prognostics of a happy and glorious reign. This young monarch had been extremely struck with the charms of the English princess; and even during his predecessor's lifetime, had paid her such assiduous court, as made some of his friends apprehend that he had entertained views of gallantry towards her. But being warned that, by indulging this passion, he might probably exclude himself from the throne he forbore all further addresses; and even watched the young dowager with a very careful eye during the first months of her widowhood. Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, was at that time in the court of France, the most comely personage of his time, and the most accomplished in all the exercises which were then thought to befit a courtier and a soldier. He was Henry's chief favorite; and that monarch had even once entertained thoughts of marrying him to his sister, and had given indulgence to the mutual passion which took place between them. The queen asked Suffolk, whether he had now the courage, without further reflection, to espouse her; and she told him that her brother would more easily forgive him for not asking his consent, than for acting contrary to his orders. Suffolk declined not so inviting an offer; and their nuptials were secretly celebrated at Paris. Francis, who was pleased with this marriage, as it prevented Henry from forming any powerful alliance by means of his sister,[*] interposed his good offices in appeasing him: and even Wolsey, having entertained no jealousy of Suffolk, who was content to participate in the king's pleasures, and had no ambition to engage in public business, was active in reconciling the king to his sister and brother-in-law; and he obtained them permission to return to England.
     * Petrus de Angleria, Epist. 544.



The numerous enemies whom Wolsey's sudden elevation, his aspiring character, and his haughty deportment had raised him, served only to rivet him faster in Henry's confidence; who valued himself on supporting the choice which he had made, and who was incapable of yielding either to the murmurs of the people or to the discontents of the great. That artful prelate, likewise, well acquainted with the king's imperious temper, concealed from him the absolute ascendant which he had acquired; and while he secretly directed all public councils, he ever pretended a blind submission to the will and authority of his master. By entering into the king's pleasures, he preserved his affection; by conducting his business, he gratified his indolence; and by his unlimited complaisance in both capacities, he prevented all that jealousy to which his exorbitant acquisitions and his splendid ostentatious train of life should naturally have given birth. The archbishopric of York falling vacant by the death of Bambridge, Wolsey was promoted to that see, and resigned the bishopric of Lincoln. Besides enjoying the administration of Tournay, he got possession, on easy leases, of the revenues of Bath, Worcester, and Hereford, bishoprics filled by Italians, who were allowed to reside abroad, and who were glad to compound for this indulgence, by yielding a considerable share of their income. He held "in commendam" the abbey of St. Albans, and many other church preferments. He was even allowed to unite with the see of York, first that of Durham, next that of Winchester; and there seemed to be no end of his acquisitions. His further advancement in ecclesiastical dignity served him as a pretence for engrossing still more revenues: the pope, observing his great influence over the king, was desirous of engaging him in his interests, and created him a cardinal. No churchman, under color of exacting respect to religion, ever carried to a greater height the state and dignity of that character. His train consisted of eight hundred servants, of whom many were knights and gentlemen; some even of the nobility put their children into his family as a place of education; and in order to gain them favor with their patron, allowed them to bear offices as his servants. Whoever was distinguished by any art or science paid court to the cardinal; and none paid court in vain. Literature, which was then in its infancy, found in him a generous patron; and both by his public institutions and private bounty, he gave encouragement to every branch of erudition.[*] Not content with this munificence, which gained him the approbation of the wise, he strove to dazzle the eyes of the populace by the splendor of his equipage and furniture, the costly embroidery of his liveries, the lustre of his apparel. He was the first clergyman in England that wore silk and gold, not only on his habit, but also on his saddles and the trappings of his horses.[**] He caused his cardinal's hat to be borne aloft by a person of rank; and when he came to the king's chapel, would permit it to be laid on no place but the altar. A priest, the tallest and most comely he could find, carried before him a pillar of silver, on whose top was placed a cross: but not satisfied with this parade, to which he thought himself entitled as cardinal, he provided another priest of equal stature and beauty, who marched along, bearing the cross of York, even in the diocese of Canterbury; contrary to the ancient rule and the agreement between the prelates of these rival sees.[***] The people made merry with the cardinal's ostentation; and said, they were now sensible that one crucifix alone was not sufficient for the expiation of his sins and offences.
     * Erasm. Epist. lib. ii. epist. i.; lib. xvi. epist. 3.

     ** Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii. Stowe, p, 501. Hollingshed, p.

     *** Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii.
Warham, chancellor and archbishop of Canterbury, a man of a moderate temper, averse to all disputes, chose rather to retire from public employment, than maintain an unequal contest with the haughty cardinal. He resigned his office of chancellor; and the great seal was immediately delivered to Wolsey. If this new accumulation of dignity increased his enemies, it also served to exalt his personal character, and prove the extent of his capacity. A strict administration of justice took place during his enjoyment of this high office and no chancellor ever discovered greater impartiality in his decisions, deeper penetration of judgment, or more enlarged knowledge of law and equity.[*]
The duke of Norfolk, finding the king's money almost entirely exhausted by projects and pleasures, while his inclination for expense still continued, was glad to resign his office of treasurer and retire from court. His rival, Fox, bishop of Winchester reaped no advantage from his absence; but partly overcome by years and infirmities, partly disgusted at the ascendant acquired by Wolsey, withdrew himself wholly to the care of his diocese. The duke of Suffolk had also taken offence, that the king, by the cardinal's persuasion, had refused to pay a debt which he had contracted during his residence in France; and he thenceforth affected to live in privacy. These incidents left Wolsey to enjoy without a rival the whole power and favor of the king; and they put into his hands every kind of authority. In vain did Fox, before his retirement, warn the king "not to suffer the servant to be greater than his master." Henry replied, "that he well knew how to retain all his subjects in obedience;" but he continued still an unlimited deference in every thing to the directions and counsels of the cardinal.
The public tranquillity was so well established in England, the obedience of the people so entire, the general administration of justice, by the cardinal's means,[**] so exact, that no domestic occurrence happened considerable enough to disturb the repose of the king and his minister: they might even have dispensed with giving any strict attention to foreign affairs, were it possible for men to enjoy any situation in absolute tranquillity, or abstain from projects and enterprises however fruitless and unnecessary.
The will of the late king of Scotland, who left his widow regent of the kingdom, and the vote of the convention of states, which confirmed that destination, had expressly limited her authority to the condition of her remaining unmarried;[***] but, notwithstanding this limitation, a few months after her husband's death, she espoused the earl of Angus, of the name of Douglas, a young nobleman of great family and promising hopes. Some of the nobility now proposed the electing of Angus to the regency, and recommended this choice as the most likely means of preserving peace with England; but the jealousy of the great families, and the fear of exalting the Douglases, begat opposition to this measure.
     * Sir Thomas More. Stowe, p. 504.

     ** Erasm. lib. ii. epist. i. Cavendish. Hall.

     *** Buchanar, lib. xiv. Drummond. Herbert.
Lord Hume in particular, the most powerful chieftain in the kingdom, insisted on recalling the duke of Albany, son to a brother of James III. who had been banished into France, and who, having there married, had left posterity that were the next heirs to the crown, and the nearest relations to their young sovereign. Albany, though first prince of the blood, had never been in Scotland, was totally unacquainted with the manners of the people, ignorant of their situation, unpractised in their language; yet such was the favor attending the French alliance, and so great the authority of Hume, that this prince was invited to accept the reins of government. Francis, careful not to give offence to the king of England, detained Albany some time in France; but at length, sensible how important it was to keep Scotland in his interests, he permitted him to go over and take possession of the regency: he even renewed the ancient league with that kingdom, though it implied such a close connection as might be thought somewhat to intrench on his alliance with England.
When the regent arrived in Scotland, he made inquiries concerning the state of the country, and character of the people; and he discovered a scene with which he was hitherto but little acquainted. That turbulent kingdom, he found, was rather to be considered as a Confederacy, and that not a close one, of petty princes, than a regular system of civil polity; and even the king, much more a regent, possessed an authority very uncertain and precarious. Arms, more than laws, prevailed; and courage, preferably to equity or justice, was the virtue most valued and respected. The nobility, in whom the whole power resided, were so connected by hereditary alliances, or so divided by inveterate enmities, that it was impossible, without employing an armed force, either to punish the most flagrant guilt, or give security to the most entire innocence. Rapine and violence, when exercised on a hostile tribe, instead of making a person odious among his own clan, rather recommended him to their esteem and approbation; and by rendering him useful to the chieftain, entitled him to a preference above his fellows. And though the necessity of mutual support served as a close cement of amity among those of the same kindred, the spirit of revenge against enemies, and the desire of prosecuting the deadly feuds, (so they were called,) still appeared to be passions the most predominant among that uncultivated people.
The persons to whom Albany, on his arrival, first Applied for information with regard to the state of the country, happened to be inveterate enemies of Hume;[*] and they represented that powerful nobleman as the chief source of public disorders, and the great obstacle to the execution of the law; and the administration of justice. Before the authority of the magistrate could be established, it was necessary, they said, to make an example of this great offender; and, by the terror of his punishment, teach all lesser criminals to pay respect to the power of their sovereign. Albany, moved by these reasons, was induced to forget Hume's past services, to which he had in a great measure been indebted for the regency; and he no longer bore towards him that favorable countenance with which he was wont to receive him. Hume perceived the alteration, and was incited, both by regard to his own safety and from motives of revenge, to take measures in opposition to the regent. He applied himself to Angus and the queen dowager, and represented to them the danger to which the infant prince was exposed from the ambition of Albany, next heir to the crown, to whom the states had imprudently intrusted the whole authority of government. By his persuasion Margaret formed the design of carrying off the young king, and putting him under the protection of her brother; and when that conspiracy was detected, she herself, attended by Hume and Angus, withdrew into England, where she was soon after delivered of a daughter.
     * Buchanan, lib. xiv. Drummond.
Henry, in order to check the authority of Albany and the French party, gave encouragement to these malecontents, and assured them of his support. Matters being afterwards in appearance accommodated between Hume and the regent, that nobleman returned into his own country; but mutual suspicions and jealousies still prevailed. He was committed to custody, under the care of the earl of Arran, his brother-in-law; and was for some time detained prisoner in his castle. But having persuaded Arran to enter into the conspiracy with him, he was allowed to make his escape; and he openly levied war upon the regent. A new accommodation ensued, not more sincere than the foregoing; and Hume was so imprudent as to intrust himself, together with his brother, into the hands of that prince. They were immediately seized, committed to custody, brought to trial, condemned and executed. No legal crime was proved against these brothers: it was only alleged, that at the battle of Flouder they had not done their duty in supporting the king; and as this backwardness could not, from the course of their past life, be ascribed to cowardice, it was commonly imputed to a more criminal motive. The evidence, however, of guilt produced against them was far from being valid or convincing; and the people, who hated them while living, were much dissatisfied with their execution.
Such violent remedies often produce for some time a deceitful tranquillity; but as they destroy mutual confidence, and beget the most inveterate animosities, their consequences are commonly fatal, both to the public and to those who have recourse to them. The regent, however, took advantage of the present calm which prevailed; and being invited over by the French king, who was at that time willing to gratify Henry he went into France, and was engaged to remain there for some years. During the absence of the regent, such confusions prevailed in Scotland, and such mutual enmity, rapine, and violence among the great families, that that kingdom was for a long time utterly disabled both from offending its enemies and assisting its friends. We have carried on the Scottish history some years beyond the present period; that, as that country had little connection with the general system of Europe, we might be the less interrupted in the narration of those more memorable events which were transacted in the other kingdoms.
It was foreseen, that a young, active prince, like Francis, and of so martial a disposition, would soon employ the great preparations which his predecessor before his death had made for the conquest of Milan. He had been observed even to weep at the recital of the military exploits of Gaston de Foix; and these tears of emulation were held to be sure presages of his future valor. He renewed the treaty which Lewis had made with Henry; and having left every thing secure behind him, he marched his armies towards the south of France; pretending that his sole purpose was to defend his kingdom against the incursions of the Swiss. This formidable people still retained their animosity against France; and having taken Maximilian, duke of Milan, under their protection, and in reality reduced him to absolute dependence,—they were determined, from views both of honor and of interest, to defend him against the invader.[*] They fortified themselves in all those valleys of the Alps through which they thought the French must necessarily pass; and when Francis, with great secrecy, industry, and perseverance, made his entrance into Piedmont by another passage, they were not dismayed, but descended into the plain, though unprovided with cavalry, and opposed themselves to the progress of the French arms. At Marignan, near Milan, they fought with Francis one of the most furious and best contested battles that is to be met with in the history of these later ages; and it required all the heroic valor of this prince to inspire his troops with courage sufficient to resist the desperate assault of those mountaineers. After a bloody action in the evening, night and darkness parted the combatants; but next morning the Swiss renewed the attack with unabated ardor; and it was not till they had lost all their bravest troops that they could be prevailed on to retire. The field was strewed with twenty thousand slain on both sides; and the mareschal Trivulzio, who had been present at eighteen pitched battles, declared that every engagement which he had yet seen was only the play of children; the action of Marignan was a combat of heroes.[**] After this great victory, the conquest of the Milanese was easy and open to Francis.
The success and glory of the French monarch began to excite jealousy in Henry; and his rapid progress, though in so distant a country, was not regarded without apprehensions by the English ministry. Italy was, during that age, the seat of religion, of literature, and of commerce; and as it possessed alone that lustre which has since been shared out among other nations, it attracted the attention of all Europe, and every acquisition which was made there appeared more important than its weight in the balance of power was, strictly speaking, entitled to. Henry also thought that he had reason to complain of Francis for sending the duke of Albany into Scotland, and undermining the power and credit of his sister the queen dowager.[***] The repairing of the fortifications of Terouenne was likewise regarded as a breach of treaty. But, above all, what tended to alienate the court of England, was the disgust which Wolsey had entertained against the French monarch.
     * Mémoires du Bellai, lib. i. Guicciard. lib. xii.

     ** Histoire de la Ligue de Cambray.

     *** Père Daniel, vol. iii. p. 31.
Henry, on the conquest of Tournay had refused to admit Lewis Gaillart, the bishop elect, to the possession of the temporalities, because that prelate declined taking the oath of allegiance to his new sovereign; and Wolsey was appointed as above related, administrator of the bishopric. As the cardinal wished to obtain the free and undisturbed enjoyment of this revenue, he applied to Francis, and desired him to bestow on Gaillart some see of equal value in France, and to obtain his resignation of Tournay. Francis, who still hoped to recover possession of that city, and who feared that the full establishment of Wolsey in the bishopric would prove an obstacle to his purpose, had hitherto neglected to gratify the haughty prelate; and the bishop of Tournay, by applying to the court of Rome, had obtained a bull for his settlement in the see. Wolsey, who expected to be indulged in every request, and who exacted respect from the greatest princes, resented the slight put upon him by Francis and he pushed his master to seek an occasion of quarrel with that monarch.[*]
Maximilian, the emperor, was ready to embrace every overture for a new enterprise; especially if attended with an offer of money, of which he was very greedy, very prodigal, and very indigent. Richard Pace, formerly secretary to Cardinal Bambridge, and now secretary of state, was despatched to the court of Vienna, and had a commission to propose some considerable payments to Maximilian:[**] he thence made a journey into Switzerland; and by like motives engaged some of the cantons to furnish troops to the emperor. That prince invaded Italy with a considerable army; but being repulsed from before Milan, he retreated with his army into Germany, made peace with France and Venice, ceded Verona to that republic for a sum of money, and thus excluded himself in some measure from all future access into Italy. And Henry found, that after expending five or six hundred thousand ducats, in order to gratify his own and the cardinal's humor, he had only weakened his alliance with Francis, without diminishing the power of that prince.
     * Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii.

     ** Petrus de Angleria, epist. 568.
There were many reasons which engaged the king not to proceed further at present in his enmity against France: he could hope for assistance from no power in Europe. Ferdinand, his father-in-law, who had often deceived him, was declining through age and infirmities; and a speedy period was looked for to the long and prosperous reign of that great monarch. Charles, prince of Spain, sovereign of the Low Countries, desired nothing but peace with Francis, who had it so much in his power, if provoked, to obstruct his peaceable accession to that rich inheritance which was awaiting him. The pope was overawed by the power of France, and Venice was engaged in a close alliance with that monarchy.[*] Henry, therefore, was constrained to remain in tranquillity during some time; and seemed to give himself no concern with regard to the affairs of the continent. In vain did Maximilian endeavor to allure him into some expense, by offering to make a resignation of the imperial crown in his favor. The artifice was too gross to succeed, even with a prince so little politic as Henry; and Pace, his envoy, who was perfectly well acquainted with the emperor's motives and character, gave him warning that the sole view of that prince, in making him so liberal an offer, was to draw money from him.
     * Guicciard. lib. xii.
While a universal peace prevailed in Europe, that event happened which had so long been looked for, and from which such important consequences were expected—the death of Ferdinand the Catholic, and the succession of his grandson Charles to his extensive dominions. The more Charles advanced in power and authority, the more was Francis sensible of the necessity he himself lay under of gaining the confidence and friendship of Henry; and he took at last the only method by which he could obtain success, the paying of court, by presents and flattery, to the haughty cardinal.
Bonnivet, admiral of France, was despatched to London, and he was directed to employ all his insinuation and address, (qualities in which he excelled,) to procure himself a place in Wolsey's good graces. After the ambassador had succeeded in his purpose, he took an opportunity of expressing his master's regret that, by mistakes and misapprehensions, he had been so unfortunate as to lose a friendship which he so much valued as that of his eminence. Wolsey was not deaf to these honorable advances from so great a monarch and he was thenceforth observed to express himself, on all occasions, in favor of the French alliance. The more to engage him in his interests, Francis entered into such confidence with him, that he asked his advice even in his most secret affairs; and had recourse to him in all difficult emergencies, as to an oracle of wisdom and profound policy. The cardinal made no secret to the king of this private correspondence; and Henry was so prepossessed in favor of the great capacity of his minister, that he said he verily believed he would govern Francis as well as himself.[*]
When matters seemed sufficiently prepared, Bonnivet opened to the cardinal his master's desire of recovering Tournay; and Wolsey immediately, without hesitation, engaged to effect his purpose. He took an opportunity of representing to the king and council, that Tournay lay so remote from Calais, that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, in case of war, to keep the communication open between these two places; that as it was situated on the frontiers both of France and the Netherlands, it was exposed to attacks from both these countries, and must necessarily, either by force or famine, fall into the hands of the first assailant; that even in time of peace it could not be preserved without a large garrison, to restrain the numerous and mutinous inhabitants, ever discontented with the English government; and that the possession of Tournay, as it was thus precarious and expensive, so was it entirely useless, and afforded little or no means of annoying, on occasion, the dominions either of Charles or of Francis.
These reasons were of themselves convincing, and were sure of meeting with no opposition when they came from the mouth of the cardinal. A treaty therefore was catered into for the ceding of Tournay; and in order to give to that measure a more graceful appearance, it was agreed, that the dauphin and the princess Mary, both of them infants, should be betrothed, and that this city should be considered as the dowry of the princess. Such kinds of agreement were then common among sovereigns; though it was very rare that the interests and views of the parties continued so steady as to render the intended marriages effectual. But as Henry had been at considerable expense in building a citadel at Tournay, Francis agreed to pay him six hundred thousand crowns at twelve annual payments, and to put into his hands eight hostages, all of them men of quality, for the performance of the article.[**] And lest the cardinal should think himself neglected in these stipulations, Francis promised him a yearly pension of twelve thousand livres, as an equivalent for his administration of the bishopric of Tournay.
     * Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii.

     ** Mémoires du Bellal, lib. i.
The French monarch, having succeeded so well in this negotiation, began to enlarge his views, and to hope for more considerable advantages by practising on the vanity and self-conceit of the favorite. He redoubled his flatteries to the cardinal, consulted him more frequently in every doubt or difficulty, called him in each letter "father," "tutor," "governor," and professed the most unbounded deference to his advice and opinion. All these caresses were preparatives to a negotiation for the delivery of Calais, in consideration of a sum of money to be paid for it; and if we may credit Polydore Virgil, who bears a particular ill-will to Wolsey, on account of his being dispossessed of his employment and thrown into prison by that minister, so extraordinary a proposal met with a favorable reception from the cardinal. He ventured not, however, to lay the matter before the council: he was content to sound privately the opinion of the other ministers, by dropping hints in conversation, as if he thought Calais a useless burden to the kingdom:[*] but when he found that all men were strongly riveted in a contrary persuasion, he thought it dangerous to proceed any further in his purpose; and as he fell soon after into new connections with the king of Spain, the great friendship between Francis and him began gradually to decline.
     * Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii.
The pride of Wolsey was now further increased by a great accession of power and dignity. Cardinal Campeggio had been sent as legate into England, in order to procure a lithe from the clergy, for enabling the pope to oppose the progress of the Turks; a danger which was become real, and was formidable to all Christendom, but on which the politics of the court of Rome had built so many interested projects that it had lost all influence on the minds of men. The clergy refused to comply with Leo's demands: Campeggio was recalled; and the king desired of the pope that Wolsey, who had been joined in this commission, might alone be invested with the legatine power, together with the right of visiting all the clergy and monasteries, and even with suspending all the laws of the church during a twelvemonth. Wolsey, having obtained this new dignity, made a new display of that state and parade to which he was so much addicted. On solemn feast-days, he was not content without saying mass after the manner of the pope himself: not only he had bishops and abbots to serve him; he even engaged the first nobility to give him water and the towel. He affected a rank superior to what had ever been claimed by any churchman in England. Warham, the primate, having written him a letter in which he subscribed himself "your loving brother," Wolsey complained of his presumption in thus challenging an equality with him. When Warham was told what offence he had given, he made light of the matter. "Know ye not," said he, "that this man is drunk with too much prosperity?"
But Wolsey carried the matter much further than vain pomp and ostentation. He erected an office which he called the legatine court; and as he was now, by means of the pope's commission and the king's favor, invested with all power, both ecclesiastical and civil, no man knew what bounds were to be set to the authority of his new tribunal. He conferred on it a kind of inquisitorial and censorial powers even over the laity, and directed it to inquire into all matters of conscience; into all conduct which had given scandal; into all actions which, though they escaped the law, might appear contrary to good morals. Offence was taken at this commission, which was really unbounded; and the people were the more disgusted, when they saw a man who indulged himself in pomp and pleasure, so severe in repressing the least appearance of licentiousness in others. But to render his court more obnoxious, Wolsey made one John Allen judge in it, a person of scandalous life,[*] whom he himself, as chancellor, had, it is said, condemned for perjury: and as it is pretended, that this man either extorted fines from every one whom he was pleased to find guilty, or took bribes to drop prosecutions, men concluded, and with some appearance of reason, that he shared with the cardinal those wages of iniquity.
     * Strype's Memorials, vol. i. p. 125.
The clergy, and in particular the monks, were exposed to this tyranny; and as the libertinism of their lives often gave a just handle against them, they were obliged to purchase an indemnity by paying large sums of money to the legate or his judge. Not content with this authority, Wolsey pretended, by virtue of his commission, to assume the jurisdiction of all the bishops' courts, particularly that of judging of wills and testaments; and his decisions in those important points were deemed not a little arbitrary. As if he himself were pope, and as if the pope could absolutely dispose of every ecclesiastical preferment, he presented to whatever priories or benefices he pleased, without regard to the right of election in the monks, or of patronage in the nobility and gentry.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii.
No one durst carry to the king any complaint against these usurpations of Wolsey, till Warham ventured to inform him of the discontents of his people. Henry professed his ignorance of the whole matter. "A man," said he, "is not so blind any where as in his own house: but do you, father," added he to the primate, "go to Wolsey, and tell him, if any thing be amiss, that he amend it." A reproof of this kind was not likely to be effectual: it only served to augment Wolsey's enmity to Warham: but one London having prosecuted Allen, the legate's judge, in a court of law, and having convicted him of malversation and iniquity, the clamor at last reached the king's ears; and he expressed such displeasure to the cardinal, as made him ever after more cautious in exerting his authority.
While Henry, indulging himself in pleasure and amusement, intrusted the government of his kingdom to this imperious minister, an incident happened abroad which excited his attention. Maximilian, the emperor, died; a man who, of himself, was indeed of little consequence; but as his death left vacant the first station among Christian princes, it set the passions of men in agitation, and proved a kind of era in the general system of Europe. The kings of France and Spain immediately declared themselves candidates for the imperial crown, and employed every expedient of money or intrigue, which promised them success in so great a point of ambition. Henry also was encouraged to advance his pretensions; but his minister Pace, who was despatched to the electors, found that he began to solicit too late, and that the votes of all these princes were already preëngaged either on one side or the other.
Francis and Charlea made profession from the beginning of carrying on this rivalship with emulation, but without enmity.
This whole narrative has been copied by all the historians from the author here cited: there are many circumstances, however, very suspicious, both because of the obvious partiality of the historian, and because the parliament, when they afterwards examined Wolsey's conduct, could find no proof of any material offence he had ever committed, and Francis in particular declared, that his brother Charles and he were, fairly and openly, suitors to the same mistress; the more fortunate, added he, will carry her; the other must rest contented.[*]
     * Belcario, lib. xvi. Guicciard. lib. xiii.
But all men apprehended that this extreme moderation, however reasonable, would not be of long duration; and that incidents would certainly occur to sharpen the minds of the candidates against each other. It was Charles who at length prevailed, to the great disgust of the French monarch, who still continued to the last in the belief that the majority of the electoral college was engaged in his favor. And as he was some years superior in age to his rival, and, after his victory at Marignan and conquest of the Milanese, much superior in renown, he could not suppress his indignation at being thus, in the face of the world, after long and anxious expectation, disappointed in so important a pretension. From this competition, as much as from opposition of interests, arose that emulation between those two great monarchs, which, while it kept their whole age in movement, sets them in so remarkable a contrast to each other: both of them princes endowed with talents and abilities; brave, aspiring, active warlike; beloved by their servants and subjects, dreaded by their enemies, and respected by all the world: Francis, open, frank, liberal, munificent, carrying these virtues to an excess which prejudiced his affairs: Charles, political, close, artful, frugal; better qualified to obtain success in wars and in negotiations, especially the latter. The one the more amiable man; the other the greater monarch. The king, from his oversights and indiscretions, naturally exposed to misfortunes; but qualified, by his spirit and magnanimity, to extricate himself from them with honor: the emperor, by his designing, interested character, fitted, in his greatest successes, to excite jealousy and opposition even among his allies, and to rouse up a multitude of enemies in the place of one whom he had subdued. And as the personal qualities of these princes thus counterpoised each other, so did the advantages and disadvantages of their dominions. Fortune alone, without the concurrence of prudence or valor, never reared up of a sudden so great a power as that which centred in the emperor Charles. He reaped the succession of Castile, of Arragon, of Austria, of the Netherlands: he inherited the conquest of Naples, of Grenada: election entitled him to the empire: even the bounds of the globe seemed to be enlarged a little before his time, that he might possess the whole treasure, as yet entire and unrifled, of the new world. But though the concurrence of all these advantages formed an empire greater and more extensive than any known in Europe since that of the Romans, the kingdom of France alone, being close, compact, united, rich, populous, and being interposed between the provinces of the emperor's dominions, was able to make a vigorous opposition to his progress, and maintain the contest against him.
Henry possessed the felicity of being able, both by the native force of his kingdom and its situation, to hold the balance between those two powers; and had he known to improve by policy and prudence this singular and inestimable advantage, he was really, by means of it, a greater potentate than either of those mighty monarchs, who seemed to strive for the dominion of Europe. But this prince was in his character heedless, inconsiderate, capricious, impolitic; guided by his passions or his favorite; vain, imperious, haughty; sometimes actuated by friendship for foreign powers, oftener by resentment, seldom by his true interest. And thus, though he exulted in that superiority which his situation in Europe gave him, he never employed it to his own essential and durable advantage, or to that of his kingdom.
Francis was well acquainted with Henry's character, and endeavored to accommodate his conduct to it. He solicited an interview near Calais; in expectation of being able by familiar conversation to gain upon his friendship and confidence. Wolsey earnestly seconded this proposal; and hoped, in the presence of both courts, to make parade of his riches, his splendor, and his influence over both monarchs.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. lib. xxvii.
And as Henry himself loved show and magnificence, and had entertained a curiosity of being personally acquainted with the French king, he cheerfully adjusted all the preliminaries of this interview. The nobility of both nations vied with each other in pomp and expense: many of them involved themselves in great debts, and were not able, by the penury of their whole lives, to repair the vain splendor of a few days. The duke of Buckingham, who, though very rich, was somewhat addicted to frugality, finding his preparations for this festival amount to immense sums, threw out some expressions of displeasure against the cardinal, whom he believed the author of that measure;[*] an imprudence which was not forgotten by this minister.
     * Polyd. Vii·g. lib. xxvii. Herbert. Holingshed, p. 855.
While Henry was preparing to depart for Calais, he heard that the emperor was arrived at Dover; and he immediately hastened thither with the queen, in order to give a suitable reception to his royal guest. That great prince, politic though young, being informed of the intended interview between Francis and Henry, was apprehensive of the consequences; and was resolved to take the opportunity, in his passage from Spain to the Low Countries, to make the king still a higher compliment, by paying him a visit in his own dominions. Besides the marks of regard and attachment which he gave to Henry, he strove by every testimony of friendship, by flattery, protestations, promises, and presents, to gain on the vanity, the avarice, and the ambition of the cardinal. He here instilled into this aspiring prelate the hope of attaining the papacy; and as that was the sole point of elevation beyond his present greatness, it was sure to attract his wishes with the same ardor as if Fortune had never yet favored him with any of her presents. In confidence of reaching this dignity by the emperor's assistance, he secretly devoted himself to that monarch's interests; and Charles was perhaps the more liberal of his promises, because Leo was a very young man; and it was not likely that for many years he should be called upon to fulfil his engagements. Henry easily observed this courtship paid to his minister; but instead of taking umbrage at it, he only made it a subject of vanity; and believed that, as his favor was Wolsey's sole support, the obeisance of such mighty monarchs to his servant was, in reality, a more conspicuous homage to his own grandeur.
The day of Charles's departure, Henry went over to Calais with the queen and his whole court; and thence proceeded to Guisnes, a small town near the frontiers. Francis, attended in like manner, came to Ardres, a few miles distant; and the two monarchs met, for the first time, in the fields, at a place situated between these two towns, but still within the English pale; for Francis agreed to pay this compliment to Henry, in consideration of that prince's passing the sea that he might be present at the interview. Wolsey, to whom both kings had intrusted the regulation of the ceremonial, contrived this circumstance, in order to do honor to his master. The nobility both of France and England here displayed their magnificence with such emulation and profuse expense, as procured to the place of interview the name of "the field of the cloth of gold."
The two monarchs, after saluting each other in the most cordial manner, retired into a tent which had been erected on purpose, and they held a secret conference together. Henry here proposed to make some amendments on the articles of their former alliance; and he began to read the treaty, "I Henry, king:" these were the first words; and he stopped a moment. He subjoined only the words "of England," without adding "France," the usual style of the English monarchs.[*] Francis remarked this delicacy, and expressed by a smile his approbation of it.
He took an opportunity soon after of paying a compliment to Henry of a more flattering nature. That generous prince, full of honor himself, and incapable of distrusting others, was shocked at all the precautions which were observed whenever he had an interview with the English monarch: the number of their guards and attendants was carefully reckoned on both sides: every step was scrupulously measured and adjusted: and if the two kings intended to pay a visit to the queens, they departed from their respective quarters at the same instant, which was marked by the firing of a culverin; they passed each other in the middle point between the places; and the moment that Henry entered Ardres, Francis put himself into the hands of the English at Guisnes. In order to break off this tedious ceremonial, which contained so many dishonorable implications, Francis one day took with him two gentlemen and a page, and rode directly into Guisnes. The guards were surprised at the presence of the monarch, who called aloud to them, "You are all my prisoners: carry me to your master." Henry was equally astonished at the appearance of Francis; and taking him in his arms, "My brother," said he, "you have here played me the most agreeable trick in the world, and have showed me the full confidence I may place in you: I surrender myself your prisoner from this moment." He took from his neck a collar of pearls, worth fifteen thousand angels;[**] and putting it about Francis's, begged him to wear it for the sake of his prisoner.
     * Mémoires de Fleuranges.

     ** An angel was then estimated at seven shillings,* or near
     twelve of our present money.
Francis agreed, but on condition that Henry should wear a bracelet of which he made him a present, and which was double in value to the collar.[*] The king went next day to Ardres without guards or attendants; and confidence being now fully established between the monarchs, they employed the rest of the time entirely in tournaments and festivals.
A defiance had been sent by the two kings to each other's court, and through all the chief cities in Europe, importing, that Henry and Francis, with fourteen aids, would be ready, in the plains of Picardy, to answer all comers that were gentlemen, at tilt, tournament, and barriers. The monarchs, in order to fulfil this challenge, advanced into the field on horseback, Francis surrounded with Henry's guards, and Henry with those of Francis. They were gorgeously apparelled; and were both of them the most comely personages of their age, as well as the most expert in every military exercise. They carried away the prize at all trials in those rough and dangerous pastimes; and several horses and riders were overthrown by their vigor and dexterity. The ladies were the judges in these feats of chivalry, and put an end to the rencounter whenever they judged it expedient. Henry erected a spacious house of wood and canvas, which had been framed in London; and he there feasted the French monarch. He had placed a motto on this fabric, under the figure of an English archer embroidered on it, "Cui adhæreo præest," He prevails whom I favor;[**] expressing his own situation, as holding in his hands the balance of power among the potentates of Europe. In these entertainments, more than in any serious business, did the two kings pass their time, till their departure.
     * Mémoires de Fleuranges.

     ** Mezeray.
Henry paid then a visit to the emperor and Margaret of Savoy at Gravelines, and engaged them to go along with him to Calais, and pass some days in that fortress. The artful and politic Charles here completed the impression which he had begun to make on Henry and his favorite, and effaced all the friendship to which the frank and generous nature of Francis had given birth. As the house of Austria began sensibly to take the ascendant over the French monarchy, the interests of England required that some support should be given to the latter, and, above all, that any important wars should be prevented which might bestow on either of them a decisive superiority over the other. But the jealousy of the English against France has usually prevented a cordial union between those nations; and Charles, sensible of this hereditary animosity, and desirous further to flatter Henry's vanity, had made him an offer, (an offer in which Francis was afterwards obliged to concur,) that he should be entirely arbiter in any dispute or difference that might arise between the monarchs. But the masterpiece of Charles's politics was the securing of Wolsey in his interests, by very important services, and still higher promises. He renewed assurances of assisting him in obtaining the papacy; and he put him in present possession of the revenues belonging to the sees of Badajoz and Paleneia in Castile. The acquisitions of Wolsey were now become so exorbitant, that, joined to the pensions from foreign powers which Henry allowed him to possess, his revenues were computed nearly to equal those which belonged to the crown itself; and he spent them with a magnificence; or rather an ostentation, which gave general offence to the people; and even lessened his master in the eyes of all foreign nations.[*]
     * Polyd. Virg. Hall.
The violent personal emulation and political jealousy which had taken place between the emperor and the French king, soon broke out in hostilities. But while these ambitious and warlike princes were acting against each other in almost every part of Europe, they still made professions of the strongest desire of peace; and both of them incessantly carried their complaints to Henry, as to the umpire between them. The king, who pretended to be neutral, engaged them to send their ambassadors to Calais, there to negotiate a peace under the mediation of Wolsey and the pope's nuncio. The emperor was well apprised of the partiality of these mediators; and his demands in the conference were so unreasonable as plainly proved him conscious of the advantage. He required the restitution of Burgundy, a province which many years before had been ceded to France by treaty, and which, if in his possession, would have given him entrance into the heart of that kingdom: and he demanded to be freed from the homage which his ancestors had always done for Flanders and Artois, and which he himself had by the treaty of Noyon engaged to renew.
On Francis's rejecting these terms, the congress of Calais broke up; and Wolsey soon after took a journey to Bruges, where he met with the emperor. He was received with the same state, magnificence, and respect, as if he had been the king of England himself; and he concluded, in his master's name, an offensive alliance with the pope and the emperor against France. He stipulated that England should next summer invade that kingdom with forty thousand men; and he betrothed to Charles the princess Mary, the king's only child, who had now some prospect of inheriting the crown. This extravagant alliance, which was prejudicial to the interests, and might have proved fatal to the liberty and independence, of the kingdom, was the result of the humors and prejudices of the king, and the private views and expectations of the cardinal.
The people saw every day new instances of the uncontrolled authority of this minister. The duke of Buckingham, constable of England, the first nobleman both for family and fortune in the kingdom, had imprudently given disgust to the cardinal; and it was not long before he found reason to repent of his indiscretion. He seems to have been a man full of levity and rash projects; and being infatuated with judicial astrology, he entertained a commerce with one Hopkins, a Carthusian friar, who encouraged him in the notion of his mounting one day the throne of England. He was descended by a female from the duke of Glocester, youngest son of Edward III.; and though his claim to the crown was thereby very remote, he had been so unguarded as to let fall some expressions, as if he thought himself best entitled, in case the king should die without issue, to possess the royal dignity. He had not even abstained from threats against the king's life; and had provided himself with arms, which he intended to employ, in case a favorable opportunity should offer. He was brought to a trial; and the duke of Norfolk, whose son, the earl of Surrey, had married Buckingham's daughter, was created lord steward, in order to preside at this solemn procedure. The jury consisted of a duke, a marquis, seven earls, and twelve barons; and they gave their verdict against Buckingham, which was soon after carried into execution. There is no reason to think the sentence unjust;[*] but as Buckingham's crimes seemed to proceed more from indiscretion than deliberate malice, the people, who loved him, expected that the king would grant him a pardon, and imputed their disappointment to the animosity and revenge of the cardinal.
     * Herbert. Hall. Stowe, p. 513. Holingshed, p. 862.
The king's own jealousy, however, of all persons allied to the crown, was, notwithstanding his undoubted title, very remarkable during the whole course of his reign; and was alone sufficient to render him implacable against Buckingham. The office of constable, which this nobleman inherited from the Bohuns, earls of Hereford, was forfeited, and was never after revived in England.



During some years, many parts of Europe had been agitated with those religious controversies which produced the reformation, one of the greatest events in history: but as it was not till this time that the king of England publicly took part in the quarrel, we had no occasion to give any account of its rise and progress. It will now be necessary to explain these theological disputes; or, what is more material, to trace from their origin those abuses which so generally diffused the opinion, that a reformation of the church or ecclesiastial order was become highly expedient, if not absolutely necessary. We shall be better enabled to comprehend the subject if we take the matter a little higher, and reflect a moment on the reasons why there must be an ecclesiastical order and a public establishment of religion in every civilized community. The importance of the present occasion will, I hope, excuse this short digression.
Most of the arts and professions in a state are of such a nature, that, while they promote the interests of the society, they are also useful or agreeable to some individuals; and, in that case, the constant rule of the magistrate, except, perhaps, on the first introduction of any art, is to leave the profession to itself, and trust its encouragement to those who reap the benefit of it. The artisans, finding their profits to rise by the favor of their customers, increase as much as possible their skill and industry; and as matters are not disturbed by any injudicious tampering, the commodity is always sure to be at all times nearly proportioned to the demand.
But there are also some callings which, though useful and even necessary in a state, bring no particular advantage or pleasure to any individual; and the supreme power is obliged to alter its conduct with regard to the retainers of those professions. It must give them public encouragement in order to their subsistence; and it must provide against that negligence to which they will naturally be subject, either by annexing peculiar honors to the profession, by establishing a long subordination of ranks and a strict dependence, or by some other expedient. The persons employed in the finances, armies, fleets, and magistracy, are instances of this order of men.
It may naturally be thought, at first sight, that the ecclesiastics belong to the first class, and that their encouragement, as well as that of lawyers and physicians, may safely be intrusted to the liberality of individuals, who are attached to their doctrines, and who find benefit or consolation from their spiritual ministry and assistance. Their industry and vigilance will no doubt, be whetted by such an additional motive; and their skill in their profession, as well as their address in governing the minds of the people, must receive daily increase from their increasing practice, study, and attention.
But if we consider the matter more closely, we shall find, that this interested diligence of the clergy is what every wise legislator will study to prevent; because in every religion, except the true, it is highly pernicious, and it has even a natural tendency to pervert the true, by infusing into it a strong mixture of superstition, folly, and delusion. Each ghostly practitioner, in order to render himself more precious and sacred in the eyes of his retainers, will inspire them with the most violent abhorrence of all other sects, and continually endeavor, by some novelty, to excite the languid devotion of his audience. No regard will be paid to truth, morals, or decency, in the doctrines inculcated. Every tenet will be adopted that best suits the disorderly affections of the human frame. Customers will be drawn to each conventicle by new industry and address, in practising on the passions and credulity of the populace. And, in the end, the civil magistrate will find, that he has dearly paid for his pretended frugality, in saving a fixed establishment for the priests; and that in reality the most decent and advantageous composition which he can make with the spiritual guides is to bribe their indolence, by assigning stated salaries to their profession, and rendering it superfluous for them to be further active than merely to prevent their flock from straying in quest of new pastures. And in this manner ecclesiastical establishments, though commonly they arose at first from religious views, prove in the end advantageous to the political interests of society.
But we may observe, that few ecclesiastical establishments have been fixed upon a worse foundation than that of the church of Rome, or have been attended with circumstances more hurtful to the peace and happiness of mankind. The large revenues, privileges, immunities, and powers of the clergy, rendered them formidable to the civil magistrate; and armed with too extensive authority an order of men who always adhere closely together, and who never want a plausible pretence for their encroachments and usurpations. The higher dignities of the church served, indeed, to the support of gentry and nobility; but by the establishment of monasteries, many of the lowest vulgar were taken from the useful arts, and maintained in those receptacles of sloth and ignorance. The supreme head of the church was a foreign potentate, guided by interests always different from those of the community, sometimes contrary to them. And as the hierarchy was necessarily solicitous to preserve a unity of faith, rites, and ceremonies, all liberty of thought ran a manifest risk of being extinguished; and violent persecutions, or, what was worse, a stupid and abject credulity, took place every where.
To increase these evils, the Church, though she possessed large revenues, was not contented with her acquisitions, but retained a power of practising further on the ignorance of mankind. She even bestowed on each individual priest a power of enriching himself by the voluntary oblations of the faithful, and left him still an urgent motive for diligence and industry in his calling. And thus that church, though an expensive and burdensome establishment, was liable to many of the inconveniences which belong to an order of priests, trusting entirely to their own art and invention for obtaining a subsistence.
The advantages attending the Romish hierarchy were but a small compensation for its inconveniences. The ecclesiastical privileges, during barbarous times, had served as a check on the despotism of kings. The union of all the western churches under the supreme pontiff facilitated the intercourse of nations, and tended to bind all the parts of Europe into a close connection with each other. And the pomp and splendor of worship which belonged to so opulent an establishment, contributed in some respect to the encouragement of the fine arts, and began to diffuse a general elegance of taste by uniting it with religion.
It will easily be conceived that, though the balance of evil prevailed in the Romish church, this was not the chief reason which produced the reformation. A concurrence of incidents must have contributed to forward that great revolution.
Leo X., by his generous and enterprising temper, had much exhausted his treasury, and was obliged to employ every invention which might yield money, in order to support his projects, pleasures, and liberalities. The scheme of selling indulgences was suggested to him, as an expedient which had often served in former times to draw money from the Christian world, and make devout people willing contributors to the grandeur and riches of the court of Rome. The church, it was supposed, was possessed of a great stock of merit, as being entitled to all the good works of all the saints, beyond what were employed in their own justification; and even to the merits of Christ himself, which were infinite and unbounded; and from this unexhausted treasury the pope might retail particular portions, and by that traffic acquire money to be employed in pious purposes, in resisting the infidels, or subduing schismatics. When the money came into his exchequer, the greater part of it was usually diverted to other purposes.[*]
It is commonly believed that Leo, from the penetration of his genius, and his familiarity with ancient literature, was fully acquainted with the ridicule and falsity of the doctrines which, as supreme pontiff, he was obliged by his interest to promote: it is the less wonder, therefore, that he employed for his profit those pious frauds which his predecessors, the most ignorant and credulous, had always, under plausible pretences, made use of for their selfish purposes. He published the sale of a general indulgence; [**] and as his expenses had not only exhausted his usual revenue, but even anticipated the money expected from this extraordinary expedient, the several branches of it were openly given away to particular persons, who were entitled to levy the imposition. The produce, particularly of Saxony and the countries bordering on the Baltic, was assigned to his sister Magdalene, married to Cibo, natural son of Innocent VIII.; and she, in order to enhance her profit, had farmed out the revenue to one Arcemboldi, a Genoese, once a merchant, now a bishop, who still retained all the lucrative arts of his former profession.[***] The Austin friars had usually been employed in Saxony to preach the indulgences, and from this trust had derived both profit and consideration: but Arcemboldi, fearing lest practice might have taught them means to secrete the money,[****] and expecting no extraordinary success from the ordinary methods of collection, gave this occupation to the Dominicans.
     * Father Paul and Sleidan.

     ** In 1517.

     *** Father Paul. Sleidan.

     **** Father Paul, lib. 1
These monks, in order to prove themselves worthy of the distinction conferred on them, exaggerated the benefits of indulgences by the most unbounded panegyrics; and advanced doctrines on that head, which, though not more ridiculous than those already received, were not as yet entirely familiar to the ears of the people.[*] 4 To add to the scandal, the collectors of this revenue are said to have lived very licentious lives, and to have spent in taverns, gaming-houses, and places still more infamous, the money which devout persons had saved from their usual expenses, in order to purchase a remission of their sins.[**]
All these circumstances might have given offence, but would have been attended with no event of any importance, had there not arisen a man qualified to take advantage of the incident. Martin Luther, an Austin friar, professor in the university of Wittemberg, resenting the affront put upon his order, began to preach against these abuses in the sale of indulgences; and being naturally of a fiery temper, and provoked by opposition, he proceeded even to decry indulgences themselves; and was thence carried, by the heat of dispute, to question the authority of the pope, from which his adversaries derived their chief arguments against him.[***] Still, as he enlarged his reading, in order to support these tenets, he discovered some new abuse or error in the church of Rome; and finding his opinions greedily hearkened to, he promulgated them by writing, discourse, sermon, conference; and daily increased the number of his disciples. All Saxony, all Germany, all Europe, were in a very little time filled with the voice of this daring innovator; and men, roused from that lethargy in which they had so long slept, began to call in question the most ancient and most received opinions. The elector of Saxony, favorable to Luther's doctrine, protected him from the violence of the papal jurisdiction: the republic of Zurich even reformed their church according to the new model: many sovereigns of the empire, and the imperial diet itself, showed a favorable disposition towards it: and Luther, a man naturally inflexible, vehement, opinionative, was become incapable, either from promises of advancement or terrors of severity, to relinquish a sect of which he was himself the founder, and which brought him a glory superior to all others—the glory of dictating the religious faith and principles of multitudes.
     * See note D, at the end of the volume.

     ** Father Paul, lib. i.

     *** Father Paul. Sleidan
The rumor of these innovations soon reached England and as there still subsisted in that kingdom great remains of the Lollards, whose principles resembled those of Luther, the new doctrines secretly gained many partisans among the laity of all ranks and denominations. But Henry had been educated in a strict attachment to the church of Rome; and he bore a particular prejudice against Luther, who, in his writings, spoke with contempt of Thomas Aquinas, the king's favorite author: he opposed himself, therefore, to the progress of the Lutheran tenets, by all the influence which his extensive and almost absolute authority conferred upon him: he even under took to combat them with weapons not usually employed by monarchs, especially those in the flower of their age and force of their passions. He wrote a book in Latin against the principles of Luther; a performance which, if allowance be made for the subject and the age, does no discredit to his capacity. He sent a copy of it to Leo, who received so magnificent a present with great testimony of regard; and conferred on him the title of "defender of the faith;" an appellation still retained by the kings of England. Luther, who was in the heat of controversy, soon published an answer to Henry; and, without regard to the dignity of his antagonist, treated him with all the acrimony of style to which, in the course of his polemics, he had so long been accustomed. The king, by this ill usage, was still more prejudiced against the new doctrines; but the public, who naturally favor the weaker party, were inclined to attribute to Luther the victory in the dispute.[*] And as the controversy became more illustrious by Henry's entering the lists, it drew still more the attention of mankind; and the Lutheran doctrine daily acquired new converts in every part of Europe.
     * Father Paul, lib. i.
The quick and surprising progress of this bold sect may justly in part be ascribed to the late invention of printing, and revival of learning: not that reason bore any considerable share in opening men's eyes with regard to the impostures of the Romish church; for of all branches of literature, philosophy had, as yet, and till long afterwards, made the most inconsiderable progress; neither is there any instance, that argument has ever been able to free the people from that enormous load of absurdity with which superstition has every where overwhelmed them; not to mention, that the rapid advance of the Lutheran doctrine and the violence with which it was embraced, prove sufficiently, that it owed not its success to reason and reflection. The art of printing and the revival of learning forwarded its progress in another manner. By means of that art, the books of Luther and his sectaries full of vehemence, declamation, and a rude eloquence, were propagated more quickly, and in greater numbers. The minds of men, somewhat awakened from a profound sleep of so many centuries, were prepared for every novelty, and scrupled less to tread in any unusual path which was opened to them. And as copies of the Scriptures and other ancient monuments of the Christian faith became more common, men perceived the innovations which were introduced after the first centuries; and though argument and reasoning could not give conviction, an historical fact, well supported, was able to make impression on their understandings. Many of the powers, indeed, assumed by the church of Rome, were very ancient, and were prior to almost every political government established in Europe: but as the ecclesiastics would not agree to possess their privileges as matters of civil right, which time might render valid, but appealed still to a divine origin, men were tempted to look into their primitive charter, and they could, without much difficulty, perceive its defect in truth and authenticity.
In order to bestow on this topic the greater influence, Luther and his followers, not satisfied with opposing the pretended divinity of the Romish church, and displaying the temporal inconveniences of that establishment, carried matters much further, and treated the religion of their ancestors as abominable, detestable, damnable; foretold by sacred writ itself as the source of all wickedness and pollution. They denominated the pope Antichrist, called his communion the scarlet whore, and gave to Rome the appellation of Babylon; expressions which, however applied, were to be found in Scripture, and which were better calculated to operate on the multitude than the most solid arguments. Excited by contest and persecution on the one hand, by success and applause on the other, many of the reformers carried to the greatest extremities their opposition to the church of Rome; and in contradiction to the multiplied superstitions with which that communion was loaded, they adopted an enthusiastic strain of devotion, which admitted of no observances, rites, or ceremonies, but placed all merit in a mysterious species of faith in inward vision, rapture, and ecstasy. The new sectaries seized with this spirit, were indefatigable in the propagation of their doctrine, and set at defiance all the anathemas and punishments with which the Roman pontiff endeavored to overwhelm them.
That the civil power, however, might afford them protection against the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, the Lutherans advanced doctrines favorable in some respect to the temporal authority of sovereigns. They inveighed against the abuses of the court of Rome, with which men were at that time generally discontented; and they exhorted princes to reinstate themselves in those powers, of which the encroaching spirit of the ecclesiastics, especially of the sovereign pontiff, had so long bereaved them. They condemned celibacy and monastic vows, and thereby opened the doors of the convents to those who were either tired of the obedience and chastity, or disgusted with the license, in which they had hitherto lived. They blamed the excessive riches, the idleness, the libertinism of the clergy; and pointed out their treasures and revenues as lawful spoil to the first invader. And as the ecclesiastics had hitherto conducted a willing and a stupid audience, and were totally unacquainted with controversy, much more with every species of true literature, they were unable to defend themselves against men armed with authorities, quotations, and popular topics, and qualified to triumph in every altercation or debate. Such were the advantages with which the reformers began their attack on the Romish hierarchy; and such were the causes of their rapid and astonishing success.
Leo X., whose oversights and too supine trust in the profound ignorance of the people had given rise to this sect, but whose sound judgment, moderation, and temper, were well qualified to retard its progress, died in the flower of his age, a little after he received the king's book against Luther, and he was succeeded in the papal chair by Adrian, a Fleming, who had been tutor to the emperor Charles. This man was fitted to gain on the reformers by the integrity, candor, and simplicity of manners which distinguished his character but, so violent were their prejudices against the church, he rather hurt the cause by his imprudent exercise of those virtues. He frankly confessed, that many abominable and detestable practices prevailed in the court of Rome; and by this sincere avowal, he gave occasion of much triumph to the Lutherans. This pontiff also, whose penetration was not equal to his good intentions, was seduced to concur in that league which Charles and Henry had formed against France;[*] and he thereby augmented the scandal occasioned by the practice of so many preceding popes, who still made their spiritual arms subservient to political purposes.
The emperor, who knew that Wolsey had received a disappointment in his ambitious hopes by the election of Adrian, and who dreaded the resentment of that haughty minister, was solicitous to repair the breach made in their friendship by this incident. He paid another visit to England; and besides flattering the vanity of the king and the cardinal, he renewed to Wolsey all the promises which he had made him of seconding his pretensions to the papal throne. Wolsey, sensible that Adrian's great age and infirmities promised a speedy vacancy, dissembled his resentment, and was willing to hope for a more prosperous issue to the next election. The emperor renewed the treaty made at Bruges, to which some articles were added; and he agreed to indemnify both the king and Wolsey for the revenue which they should lose by a breach with France. The more to ingratiate himself with Henry and the English nation, he gave to Surrey, admiral of England, a commission for being admiral of his dominions; and he himself was installed knight of the garter at London. After a stay of six weeks in England, he embarked at Southampton, and in ten days arrived in Spain, where he soon pacified the tumults which had arisen in his absence.[**]
     * Guicciard. lib. xiv.

     ** Petrus de Angleria, epist. 765.
The king declared war against France; and this measure was founded on so little reason, that he could allege nothing as a ground of quarrel, but Francis's refusal to submit to his arbitration, and his sending Albany into Scotland. This last step had not been taken by the French king, till he was quite assured of Henry's resolution to attack him. Surrey landed some troops at Cherbourg, in Normandy; and after laying waste the country, he sailed to Morlaix, a rich town in Brittany, which he took and plundered. The English merchants had great property in that place, which was no more spared by the soldiers than the goods of the French. Surrey then left the charge of the fleet to the vice-admiral; and sailed to Calais, where he took the command of the English army destined for the invasion of France. This army, when joined by forces from the Low Countries, under the command of the count de Buren, amounted in the whole to eighteen thousand men.
The French had made it a maxim, in almost all their wars with the English since the reign of Charles V., never, without great necessity, to hazard a general engagement; and the duke of Vendôme, who commanded the French army, now embraced this wise policy. He supplied the towns most exposed, especially Boulogne, Montreuil, Terouenne, Hedin with strong garrisons and plenty of provisions: he himself took post at Abbeville, with some Swiss and French infantry, and a body of cavalry: the count of Guise encamped under Montreuil with six thousand men. These two bodies were in a situation to join upon occasion; to throw supply into any town that was threatened; and to harass the English in every movement. Surrey, who was not provided with magazines, first divided his troops for the convenience of subsisting them; but finding that his quarters were every moment beaten up by the activity of the French generals, he drew together his forces, and laid siege to Hedin. But neither did he succeed in this enterprise. The garrison made vigorous sallies upon his army: the French forces assaulted him from without: great rains fell: fatigue and bad weather threw the soldiers into dysenteries: and Surrey was obliged to raise the siege, and put his troops into winter quarters about the end of October. His rear guard was attacked at Pas, in Artois, and five or six hundred men were cut off; nor could all his efforts make him master of one place within the French frontier.
The allies were more successful in Italy. Lautrec, who commanded the French, lost a great battle at Bicocca, near Milan; and was obliged to retire with the remains of his army. This misfortune, which proceeded from Francis's negligence in not supplying Lautrec with money,[*] was followed by the loss of Genoa. The castle of Cremona was the sole fortress in Italy which remained in the hands of the French.
      * Guicciard. lib. xiv.
Europe was now in such a situation, and so connected by different alliances and interests, that it was almost impossible for war to be kindled in one part, and not diffuse itself throughout the whole; but of all the leagues among kingdoms the closest was that which had so long subsisted between France and Scotland; and the English, while at war with the former nation, could not hope to remain long unmolested on the northern frontier. No sooner had Albany arrived in Scotland, than he took measures for kindling a war with England; and he summoned the whole force of the kingdom to meet in the fields of Rosline.[*] He thence conducted the army southwards into Annandale, and prepared to pass the borders at Solway Frith. But many of the nobility were disgusted with the regent's administration; and observing that his connections with Scotland were feeble in comparison of those which he maintained with France, they murmured that for the sake of foreign interests, their peace should so often be disturbed and war, during their king's minority, be wantonly entered into with a neighboring nation, so much superior in force and riches. The Gordons, in particular, refused to advance any farther; and Albany, observing a general discontent to prevail was obliged to conclude a truce with Lord Dacres, warden of the English west marches. Soon after he departed for France; and lest the opposite faction should gather force in his absence, he sent thither before him the earl of Angus, husband to the queen dowager.
Next year, Henry, that he might take advantage of the regent's absence, marched an army into Scotland under the command of Surrey, who ravaged the Merse and Teviotdale without opposition, and burned the town of Jedburgh. The Scots had neither king nor regent to conduct them: the two Humes had been put to death: Angus was in a manner banished: no nobleman of vigor or authority remained, who was qualified to assume the government: and the English monarch, who knew the distressed situation of the country, determined to push them to extremity, in hopes of engaging them, by the sense of their present weakness, to make a solemn renunciation of the French alliance, and to embrace that of England.[*] He even gave them hopes of contracting a marriage between the lady Mary, heiress of England, and their young monarch; an expedient which would forever unite the two kingdoms:[**] and the queen dowager, with her whole party, recommended every where the advantages of this alliance, and of a confederacy with Henry.
     * Buchanan, lib. xiv. Drummond. Pitscottie.

     ** Buchanan, lib. xiv. Herbert.

     *** Le Grand, vol. iii. p. 39.
They said that the interests of Scotland had too long been sacrificed to those of the French nation, who, whenever they found themselves reduced to difficulties, called for the assistance of their allies; but were ready to abandon them as soon as they found their advantage in making peace with England: that where a small state entered into so close a confederacy with a greater, it must always expect this treatment, as a consequence of the unequal alliance; but there were peculiar circumstances in the situation of the kingdoms, which, in the present case, rendered it inevitable: that France was so distant, and so divided from them by sea, that she scarcely could, by any means, and never could in time, send succors to the Scots, sufficient to protect them against ravages from the neighboring kingdom: that nature had, in a manner, formed an alliance between the two British nations; having enclosed them in the same island; given them the same manners, language, laws, and form of government; and prepared every thing for an intimate union between them: and that, if national antipathies were abolished, which would soon be the effect of peace, these two kingdoms, secured by the ocean and by their domestic force, could set at defiance all foreign enemies, and remain forever safe and unmolested.
The partisans of the French alliance, on the other hand, said, that the very reasons which were urged in favor of a league with England, the vicinity of the kingdom and its superior force, were the real causes why a sincere and durable confederacy could never be formed with that hostile nation: that among neighboring states occasions of quarrel were frequent, and the more powerful would be sure to seize every frivolous pretence for oppressing the weaker, and reducing it to subjection: that as the near neighborhood of France and England had kindled a war almost perpetual between them, it was the interest of the Scots, if they wished to maintain their independence, to preserve their league with the former kingdom, which balanced the force of the latter: that if they deserted that old and salutary alliance on which their importance in Europe chiefly depended, their ancient enemies, stimulated both by interest and by passion, would soon invade them with superior force, and bereave them of all their liberties: or if they delayed the attack, the insidious peace, by making the Scots forget the use of arms, would only prepare the way for a slavery more certain and more irretrievable.[*]
     * Buchanan, lib. xiv.
The arguments employed by the French party, being seconded by the natural prejudices of the people, seemed most prevalent: and when the regent himself, who had been long detained beyond his appointed time by the danger from the English fleet, at last appeared among them, he was able to throw the balance entirely on that side. By authority of the convention of states, he assembled an army, with a view of avenging the ravages committed by the English in the beginning of the campaign; and he led them southwards towards the borders. But when they were passing the Tweed at the bridge of Melross, the English party raised again such opposition, that Albany thought proper to make a retreat. He marched downwards, along the banks of the Tweed, keeping that river on his right; and fixed his camp opposite to Werkcastle, which Surrey had lately repaired. He sent over some troops to besiege this fortress, who made a breach in it, and stormed some of the outworks: but the regent, hearing of the approach of an English army, and discouraged by the advanced season, thought proper to disband his forces and retire to Edinburgh. Soon after, he went over to France, and never again returned to Scotland. The Scottish nation, agitated by their domestic factions, were not, during several years, in a condition to give any more disturbance to England; and Henry had full leisure to prosecute his designs on the continent.
The reason why the war against France proceeded so slowly on the part of England, was the want of money. All the treasures of Henry VII. were long ago dissipated; the king's habits of expense still remained; and his revenues were unequal even to the ordinary charge of government, much more to his military enterprises. He had last year caused a general survey to be made of the kingdom; the numbers of men, their years, profession, stock, revenue;[*] and expressed great satisfaction on finding the nation so opulent. He then issued privy seals to the most wealthy, demanding loans of particular sums: this act of power, though somewhat irregular and tyrannical, had been formerly practised by kings of England; and the people were now familiarized to it. But Henry, this year, carried his authority much further. He published an edict for a general tax upon his subjects, which he still called a loan; and he levied five shillings in the pound upon the clergy, two shillings upon the laity. This pretended loan, as being more regular, was really more dangerous to the liberties of the people, and was a precedent for the king's imposing taxes without consent of parliament.
     * Herbert. Stowe, p. 514.
Henry soon after summoned a parliament, together with a convocation; and found neither of them in a disposition to complain of the infringement of their privileges. It was only doubted how far they would carry their liberality to the king. Wolsey, who had undertaken the management of the affair, began with the convocation, in hopes that their example would influence the parliament to grant a large supply. He demanded a moiety of the ecclesiastical revenues to be levied in five years, or two shillings in the pound during that time; and though he met with opposition, he reprimanded the refractory members in such severe terms, that his request was at last complied with. The cardinal afterwards, attended by several of the nobility and prelates, came to the house of commons; and in a long and elaborate speech laid before them the public necessities, the danger of an invasion from Scotland, the affronts received from France, the league in which the king was engaged with the pope and the emperor; and he demanded a grant of eight hundred thousand pounds, divided into four yearly payments; a sum computed, from the late survey or valuation, to be equal to four shillings in the pound of one year's revenue, or one shilling in the pound yearly, according to the division proposed.[*] So large a grant was unusual from the commons; and though the cardinal's demand was seconded by Sir Thomas More the speaker, and several other members attached to the court, the house could not be prevailed with to comply.[**]
     * This survey or valuation is liable to much suspicion, as
     fixing the rents a great deal too high; unless the sum
     comprehend the revenues of all kinds, industry as well as
     land and money.

     ** Herbert. Stowe, p. 518. Parl. Hist. Strype, vol. i. p.
     49, 59.

They only voted two shillings in the pound on all who enjoyed twenty pounds a year and upwards; one shilling on all who possessed between twenty pounds and forty shillings a year; and on the other subjects above sixteen years of age, a groat a head. This last sum was divided into two yearly payments; the former into four, and was not therefore at the utmost above sixpence in the pound. The grant of the commons was but the moiety of the sum demanded; and the cardinal, therefore, much mortified with the disappointment, came again to the house, and desired to reason with such as refused to comply with the king's request. He was told that it was a rule of the house never to reason but among themselves; and his desire was rejected. The commons, however, enlarged a little their former grant, and voted an imposition of three shillings in the pound on all possessed of fifty pounds a year and upwards.[*] 5 The proceedings of this house of commons evidently discover the humor of the times: they were extremely tenacious of their money, and refused a demand of the crown which was far from being unreasonable; but they allowed an encroachment on national privileges to pass uncensured, though its direct tendency was to subvert entirely the liberties of the people. The king was so dissatisfied with this saving disposition of the commons, that, as he had not called a parliament during seven years before, he allowed seven more to elapse before he summoned another. And on pretence of necessity, he levied in one year, from all who were worth forty pounds, what the parliament had granted him payable in four years;[**] a new invasion of national privileges. These irregularities were commonly ascribed to the cardinal's counsels, who, trusting to the protection afforded him by his ecclesiastical character, was the less scrupulous in his encroachment on the civil rights of the nation.
     * See note E, at the end of the volume.

     ** Speed. Hall. Herbert.
That ambitious prelate received this year a new disappointment in his aspiring views. The pope, Adrian VI., died; and Clement VII., of the family of Medicis, was elected in his place, by the concurrence of the imperial party. Wolsey could not perceive the insincerity of the emperor, and he concluded that that prince would never second his pretensions to the papal chair. As he highly resented this injury, he began thenceforth to estrange himself from the imperial court, and to pave the way for a union between his master and the French king. Meanwhile he concealed his disgust; and after congratulating the new pope on his promotion, applied for a continuation of the legatine powers which the two former popes had conferred upon him. Clement, knowing the importance of gaining his friendship, granted him a commission for life; and, by this unusual concession, he in a manner transferred to him the whole papal authority in England. In some particulars Wolsey made a good use of this extensive power. He erected two colleges, one at Oxford, another at Ipswich, the place of his nativity: he sought all over Europe for learned men to supply the chairs of these colleges; and in order to bestow endowments on them, he suppressed some smaller monasteries, and distributed the monks into other convents. The execution of this project became the less difficult for him, because the Romish church began to perceive, that she overabounded in monks, and that she wanted some supply of learning, in order to oppose the inquisitive, or rather disputative humor of the reformers.
The confederacy against France seemed more formidable than ever, on the opening of the campaign.[*] Adrian before his death had renewed the league with Charles and Henry. The Venetians had been induced to desert the French alliance, and to form engagements for securing Francis Sforza, brother to Maximilian, in possession of the Milanese. The Florentines, the dukes of Ferrara and Mantua, and all the powers of Italy, combined in the same measure. The emperor in person menaced France with a powerful invasion on the side of Guienne: the forces of England and the Netherlands hovered over Picardy: a numerous body of Germans were preparing to ravage Burgundy: but all these perils from foreign enemies were less threatening than a domestic conspiracy, which had been formed, and which was now come to full maturity, against the French monarch.
     * Guicciard. lib. xiv.
Charles, duke of Bourbon, constable of France, was a prince of the most shining merit; and, besides distinguishing himself in many military enterprises, he was adorned with every accomplishment which became a person of his high station. His virtues, embellished with the graces of youth, had made such impression on Louise of Savoy, Francis's mother, that, without regard to the inequality of their years, she made him proposals of marriage; and meeting with a repulse, she formed schemes of unrelenting vengeance against him. She was a woman false, deceitful, vindictive, malicious; but, unhappily for France, had, by her capacity, which was considerable, acquired an absolute ascendant over her son. By her instigation, Francis put many affronts on the constable, which it was difficult for a gallant spirit to endure; and at last he permitted Louise to prosecute a lawsuit against him, by which, on the most frivolous pretences, he was deprived of his ample possessions; and inevitable ruin was brought upon him.
Bourbon, provoked at all these indignities, and thinking that, if any injuries could justify a man in rebelling against his prince and country, he must stand acquitted, had entered into a secret correspondence with the emperor and the king of England.[*] Francis, pertinacious in his purpose of recovering the Milanese, had intended to lead his army in person into Italy; and Bourbon, who feigned sickness in order to have a pretence for staying behind, purposed, as soon as the king should have passed the Alps, to raise an insurrection among his numerous vassals, by whom he was extremely beloved, and to introduce foreign enemies into the heart of the kingdom. Francis got intimation of his design; but as he was not expeditious enough in securing so dangerous a foe, the constable made his escape;[**] and entering into the emperor's service, employed all the force of his enterprising spirit, and his great talents for war, to the prejudice of his native country.
The king of England, desirous that Francis should undertake his Italian expedition, did not openly threaten Picardy this year with an invasion; and it was late before the duke of Suffolk, who commanded the English forces, passed over to Calais. He was attended by the lords Montacute, Herbert, Ferrars, Morney, Sandys, Berkeley, Powis, and many other noblemen and gentlemen.[***]
     * Mémoires du Bellai, liv. ii.

     ** Belcarius, lib. xvii.

     *** Herbert.
The English army, reënforced by some troops drawn from the garrison of Calais, amounted to about twelve thousand men; and having joined an equal number of Flemings under the count de Buren, they prepared for an invasion of France. The siege of Boulogne was first proposed; but that enterprise appearing difficult, it was thought more advisable to leave this town behind them. The frontier of Picardy was very ill provided with troops; and the only defence of that province was the activity of the French officers, who infested the allied army in their march, and threw garrisons, with great expedition, into every town which was threatened by them. After coasting the Somme, and passing Hedin, Montreuil, Dourlens, the English and Flemings presented themselves before Bray, a place of small force, which commanded a bridge over that river. Here they were resolved to pass, and, if possible, to take up winter quarters in France; but Crequi threw himself into the town and seemed resolute to defend it. The allies attacked him with vigor and success; and when he retreated over the bridge, they pursued him so hotly, that they allowed him not time to break it down, but passed it along with him, and totally routed his army. They next advanced to Montdidier, which they besieged, and took by capitulation. Meeting with no opposition, they proceeded to the River Oise, within eleven leagues of Paris, and threw that city into great consternation; till the duke of Vendôme hastened with some forces to its relief. The confederates, afraid of being surrounded, and of being reduced to extremities during so advanced a season, thought proper to retreat. Montdidier was abandoned; and the English and Flemings, without effecting any thing, retired into their respective countries.
France defended herself from the other invasions with equal facility and equal good fortune. Twelve thousand Lansquenets broke into Burgundy under the command of the count of Furstenberg. The count of Guise, who defended that frontier, had nothing to oppose to them but some militia, and about nine hundred heavy-armed cavalry. He threw the militia into the garrison towns; and with his cavalry he kept the field, and so harassed the Germans, that they were glad to make their retreat into Lorraine. Guise attacked them as they passed the Meuse, put them into disorder, and cut off the greater part of their rear.
The emperor made great preparations on the side of Navarre; and though that frontier was well guarded by nature, it seemed now exposed to danger from the powerful invasion which threatened it. Charles besieged Fontarabia, which a few years before had fallen into Francis's hands; and when he had drawn thither Lautrec, the French general, he of a sudden raised the siege, and sat down before Bayonne. Lautrec, aware of that stratagem, made a sudden march, and threw himself into Bayonne, which he defended with such vigor and courage, that the Spaniards were constrained to raise the siege. The emperor would have been totally unfortunate on this side, had he not turned back upon Fontarabia, and, contrary to the advice of all his generals, sitten down in the winter season before that city, well fortified and strongly garrisoned. The cowardice or misconduct of the governor saved him from the shame of a new disappointment. The place was surrendered in a few days; and the emperor, having finished this enterprise, put his troops into winter quarters.
So obstinate was Francis in prosecuting his Italian expedition, that, notwithstanding these numerous invasions with which his kingdom was menaced on every side, he had determined to lead in person a powerful army to the conquest of Milan. The intelligence of Bourbon's conspiracy and escape stopped him at Lyons; and fearing some insurrection in the kingdom from the intrigues of a man so powerful and so much beloved, he thought it prudent to remain in France and to send forward his army under the command of Admiral Bonnivet. The duchy of Milan had been purposely left in a condition somewhat defenceless, with a view of alluring Francis to attack it, and thereby facilitating the enterprises of Bourbon; and no sooner had Bonnivet passed the Tesin, than the army of the league, and even Prosper Colonna, who commanded it, a prudent general, were in the utmost confusion. It is agreed, that if Bonnivet had immediately advanced to Milan, that great city, on which the whole duchy depends, would have opened its gates without resistance: but as he wasted his time in frivolous enterprises, Colonna had opportunity to reënforce the garrison, and to put the place in a posture of defence. Bonnivet was now obliged to attempt reducing the city by blockade and famine; and he took possession of all the posts which commanded the passages to it. But the army of the league, meanwhile, was not inactive; and they so straitened and harassed the quarters of the French, that it seemed more likely the latter should themselves perish by famine, than reduce the city to that extremity.
Sickness, and fatigue, and want had wasted them to such a degree, that they were ready to raise the blockade; and their only hopes consisted in a great body of Swiss, which was levied for the service of the French king, and whose arrival was every day expected. But these mountaineers no sooner came within sight of the French camp, than they stopped, from a sudden caprice and resentment; and instead of joining Bonnivet, they sent orders to a great body of their countrymen, who then served under him, immediately to begin their march, and to return home in their company.[*] After this desertion of the Swiss, Bonnivet had no other choice but that of making his retreat as fast as possible into France.
     * Guicciard. lib. xv. Mémoires de Bellai, liv. ii.
The French being thus expelled Italy, the pope, the Venetians, the Florentines, were satisfied with the advantage obtained over them, and were resolved to prosecute their victory no further. All these powers, especially Clement, had entertained a violent jealousy of the emperor's ambition; and their suspicions were extremely augmented when they saw him refuse the investiture of Milan, a fief of the empire, to Francis Sforza, whose title he had acknowledged, and whose defence he had embraced.[*] They all concluded, that he intended to put himself in possession of that important duchy, and reduce Italy to subjection: Clement in particular, actuated by this jealousy, proceeded so far in opposition to the emperor, that he sent orders to his nuncio at London to mediate a reconciliation between France and England. But affairs were not yet fully ripe for this change. Wolsey, disgusted with the emperor, but still more actuated by vain-glory, was determined that he himself should have the renown of bringing about that great alteration; and he engaged the king to reject the pope's mediation.
     * Guicciard. lib. xv.
A new treaty was even concluded between Henry and Charles for the invasion of France. Charles stipulated to supply the Duke of Bourbon with a powerful army, in order to conquer Provence and Dauphiny: Henry agreed to pay him a hundred thousand crowns for the first month; after which he might either choose to continue the same monthly payments, or invade Picardy with a powerful army. Bourbon was to possess these provinces with the title of king; but to hold them in fee of Henry as king of France. The duchy of Burgundy was to be given to Charles; the rest of the kingdom to Henry. This chimerical partition immediately failed of execution in the article which was most easily performed: Bourbon refused to acknowledge Henry as king of France. His enterprise, however, against Provence still took place. A numerous army of imperialists invaded that country, under his command and that of the marquis of Pescara. They laid siege to Marseilles, which, being weakly garrisoned, they expected to reduce in a little time; but the citizens defended themselves with such valor and obstinacy, that Bourbon and Pescara, who heard of the French king's approach with a numerous army, found themselves under the necessity of raising the siege; and they led their forces, weakened, baffled, and disheartened, into Italy.
Francis might now have enjoyed in safety the glory of repulsing all his enemies, in every attempt which they had hitherto made for invading his kingdom; but as he received intelligence that the king of England, discouraged by his former fruitless enterprises, and disgusted with the emperor, was making no preparations for any attempt on Picardy, his ancient ardor seized him for the conquest of Milan; and notwithstanding the advanced season, he was immediately determined, contrary to the advice of his wisest counsellors, to lead his army into Italy.
He passed the Alps at Mount Cenis, and no sooner appeared in Piedmont than he threw the whole Milanese into consternation. The forces of the emperor and Sforza retired to Lodi; and had Francis been so fortunate as to pursue them, they had abandoned that place, and had been totally dispersed;[*] but his ill fate led him to besiege Pavia, a town of considerable strength, well garrisoned, and defended by Leyva, one of the bravest officers in the Spanish service. Every attempt which the French king made to gain this important place proved fruitless. He battered the walls and made breaches; but, by the vigilance of Leyva, new retrenchments were instantly thrown up behind the breaches: he attempted to divert the course of the Tesin, which ran by one side of the city and defended it; but an inundation of the river destroyed in one night all the mounds which the soldiers during a long time, and with infinite labor, had been erecting.
     * Guicciard. lib. xv. Du Bellai, lib. ii.
Fatigue and the bad season (for it was the depth of winter) had wasted the French army. The imperial generals meanwhile were not inactive. Pescara, and Lannoy, viceroy of Naples, assembled forces from all quarters. Bourbon, having pawned his jewels, went into Germany, and with the money, aided by his personal interest, levied a body of twelve thousand Lansquenets, with which he joined the imperialists. This whole army advanced to raise the siege of Pavia; and the danger to the French became every day more imminent.
The state of Europe was such during that age, that, partly from the want of commerce and industry every where, except in Italy and the Low Countries, partly from the extensive privileges still possessed by the people in all the great monarchies and their frugal maxims in granting money, the revenues of the princes were extremely narrow, and even the small armies which they kept on foot could not be regularly paid by them*[**missing period] The imperial forces, commanded by Bourbon, Pescara, and Lannoy, exceeded not twenty thousand men; they were the only body of troops maintained by the emperor, (for he had not been able to levy any army for the invasion of France, either on the side of Spain or Flanders.) Yet so poor was that mighty monarch, that he could transmit no money for the payment of this army; and it was chiefly the hopes of sharing the plunder of the French camp which had made them advance and kept them to their standards. Had Francis raised the siege before their approach, and retired to Milan, they must immediately have disbanded; and he had obtained a complete victory without danger or bloodshed. But it was the character of this monarch to become obstinate in proportion to the difficulties which he encountered; and having once said, that he would take Pavia or perish before it, he was resolved rather to endure the utmost extremities than depart from this resolution.
The imperial generals, after cannonading the French camp for several days, at last made a general assault, and broke into the intrenchments. Leyva sallied from the town, and increased the confusion among the besiegers. The Swiss infantry, contrary to their usual practice, behaved in a dastardly manner, and deserted their post. Francis's forces were put to rout; and he himself, surrounded by his enemies, after fighting with heroic valor, and killing seven men with his own hand, was at last obliged to surrender himself prisoner. All most the whole army, full of nobility and brave officers, either perished by the sword or were drowned in the river. The few who escaped with their lives fell into the hands of the enemy.
The emperor received this news by Pennalosa, who passed through France by means of a safe-conduct granted him by the captive king. The moderation which he displayed on this occasion, had it been sincere, would have done him honor. Instead of rejoicing, he expressed sympathy with Francis's ill fortune, and discovered his sense of those calamities to which the greatest monarchs are exposed.[*] He refused the city of Madrid permission to make any public expressions of triumph; and said that he reserved all his exultation till he should he able to obtain some victory over the infidels. He sent orders to his frontier garrisons to commit no hostilities upon France.
     * Vera. Hist. de Carl. V.
He spoke of concluding immediately a peace on reasonable terms. But all this seeming moderation was only hypocrisy, so much the more dangerous as it was profound. And he was wholly occupied in forming schemes how, from this great incident, he might draw the utmost advantage, and gratify that exorbitant ambition by which, in all his actions, he was ever governed.
The same Pennalosa, in passing through France, carried also a letter from Francis to his mother, whom he had left regent, and who then resided at Lyons. It contained only these few words: "Madam, all is lost, except our honor." The princess was struck with the greatness of the calamity. She saw the kingdom without a sovereign, without an army, without generals, without money; surrounded on every side by implacable and victorious enemies; and her chief resource, in her present distresses, were the hopes which she entertained of peace and even of assistance from the king of England.
Had the king entered into the war against France from any concerted political views, it is evident that the victory of Pavia and the captivity of Francis were the most fortunate incidents that could have befallen him, and the only ones that could render his schemes effectual. While the war was carried on in the former feeble manner, without any decisive advantage, he might have been able to possess himself of some frontier town, or perhaps of a small territory, of which he could not. have kept possession without expending much more than its value. By some signal calamity alone, which annihilated the power of France, could he hope to acquire the dominion of considerable provinces, or dismember that great monarchy, so affectionate to its own government and its own sovereigns. But as it is probable that Henry had never before carried his reflections so far, he was startled at this important event, and became sensible of his own danger, as well as that of all Europe, from the loss of a proper counterpoise to the power of Charles. Instead of taking advantage, therefore, of the distressed condition of Francis, he was determined to lend him assistance in his present calamities; and as the glory of generosity in raising a fallen enemy concurred with his political interests, he hesitated the less in embracing these new measures.
Some disgusts also had previously taken place between Charles and Henry, and still more between Charles and Wolsey; and that powerful minister waited only for a favorable opportunity of revenging the disappointments which he had met with. The behavior of Charles, immediately after the victory of Pavia, gave him occasion to revive the king's jealousy and suspicions. The emperor so ill supported the appearance of moderation which he at first assumed, that he had already changed his usual style to Henry; and instead of writing to him with his own hand, and subscribing himself "Your affectionate son and cousin," he dictated his letters to a secretary, and simply subscribed himself "Charles."[*] Wolsey also perceived a diminution in the caresses and professions with which the emperor's letters to him were formerly loaded; and this last imprudence, proceeding from the intoxication of success, was probably more dangerous to Charles's interests than the other.
Henry, though immediately determined to embrace new measures, was careful to save appearances in the change; and he caused rejoicings to be every where made on account of the victory of Pavia and the captivity of Francis. He publicly dismissed a French envoy, whom he had formerly allowed, notwithstanding the war, to reside at London;[**] but upon the regent of France's submissive applications to him, he again opened a correspondence with her; and besides assuring her of his friendship and protection, he exacted a promise that she never would consent to the dismembering of any province from the monarchy for her son's ransom. With the emperor, however, he put on the appearance of vigor and enterprise; and in order to have a pretence for breaking with him, he despatched Tonstal, bishop of London, to Madrid with proposals for a powerful invasion of France. He required that Charles should immediately enter Guienne at the head of a great army, in order to put him in possession of that province; and he demanded the payments of large sums of money which that prince had borrowed from him in his last visit at London. He knew that the emperor was in no condition of fulfilling either of these demands; and that he had as little inclination to make him master of such considerable territories upon the frontiers of Spain.
     * Guicciard. lib. xvi.

     ** Du Bellai, liv. iii Stowe, p. 221. Baker, p. 273.
Tonstal, likewise, after his arrival at Madrid, informed his master that Charles, on his part, urged several complaints against England; and in particular was displeased with Henry, because last year he had neither continued his monthly payments to Bourbon nor invaded Picardy, according to his stipulations. Tonstal added, that instead of expressing an intention to espouse Mary when she should be of age, the emperor had hearkened to proposals for marrying his niece Isabella, princess of Portugal; and that he had entered into a separate treaty with Francis, and seemed determined to reap alone all the advantages of the success with which fortune had crowned his arms.
The king, influenced by all these motives, concluded at Moore his alliance with the regent of France, and engaged to procure her son his liberty on reasonable conditions:[*] the regent also, in another treaty, acknowledged the kingdom Henry's debtor for one million eight hundred thousand crowns to be discharged in half-yearly payments of fifty thousand crowns; after which Henry was to receive, during life, a yearly pension of a hundred thousand. A large present of a hundred thousand crowns was also made to Wolsey for his good offices, but covered under the pretence of arrears due on the pension granted him for relinquishing the administration of Tournay.
     * Du Tillet, Recueil des Traités de Leonard, tom. ii.
Meanwhile Henry, foreseeing that this treaty with France might involve him in a war with the emperor, was also determined to fill his treasury by impositions upon his own subjects; and as the parliament had discovered some reluctance in complying with his demands, he followed, as is believed, the counsel of Wolsey, and resolved to make use of his prerogative alone for that purpose. He issued commissions to all the counties of England, for levying four shillings in the pound upon the clergy, three shillings and fourpence upon the laity; and so uncontrollable did he deem his authority, that he took no care to cover, as formerly, this arbitrary exaction, even under the slender pretence of a loan. But he soon found that he had presumed too far on the passive submission of his subjects. The people, displeased with an exaction beyond what was usually levied in those days, and further disgusted with the illegal method of imposing it, broke out in murmurs, complaints, opposition to the commissioners; and their refractory disposition threatened a general insurrection. Henry had the prudence to stop short in that dangerous path into which he had entered. He sent letters to all the counties, declaring that he meant no force by this last imposition, and that he would take nothing from his subjects but by way of "benevolence." He flattered himself, that his condescension in employing that disguise would satisfy the people, and that no one would dare to render himself obnoxious to royal authority, by refusing any payment required of him in this manner. But the spirit of opposition, once roused, could not so easily be quieted at pleasure. A lawyer in the city objecting the statute of Richard III., by which benevolences were forever abolished, it was replied by the court, that Richard being a usurper, and his parliament a factious assembly, his statutes could not bind a lawful and absolute monarch, who held his crown by hereditary right, and needed not to court the favor of a licentious populace.[*]
     * Herbert Hall.
The judges even went so far as to affirm positively, that the king might exact by commission any sum he pleased; and the privy council gave a ready assent to this decree, which annihilated the most valuable privilege of the people, and rendered all their other privileges precarious. Armed with such formidable authority of royal prerogative and a pretence of law, Wolsey sent for the mayor of London, and desired to know what he was willing to give for the supply of his majesty's necessities. The mayor seemed desirous, before he should declare himself, to consult the common council; but the cardinal required that he and all the aldermen should separately confer with himself about the benevolence; and he eluded by that means the danger of a formed opposition. Matters, however, went not so smoothly in the country. An insurrection was begun in some places; but as the people were not headed by any considerable person, it was easy for the duke of Suffolk, and the earl of Surrey, now duke of Norfolk, by employing persuasion and authority, to induce the ringleaders to lay down their arms and surrender themselves prisoners. The king, finding it dangerous to punish criminals engaged in so popular a cause, was determined, notwithstanding his violent, imperious temper, to grant them a general pardon; and he prudently imputed their guilt, not to their want of loyalty or affection, but to their poverty. The offenders were carried before the star chamber; where, after a severe charge brought against them by the king's council, the cardinal said, "that notwithstanding their grievous, offence, the king, in, consideration of their necessities, had granted them his gracious pardon, upon condition that they would find sureties for their future good behavior." But they, replying that they had no sureties, the cardinal first, and after him the duke of Norfolk, said that they would be bound for them. Upon which they were dismissed.[*]
     * Herbert. Hall. Stowe, p. 525. Holingshed, p. 891.
These arbitrary impositions being imputed, though on what grounds is unknown, to the counsels of the cardinal, increased the general odium under which he labored: and the clemency of the pardon, being ascribed to the king, was considered as an atonement on his part for the illegality of the measure. But Wolsey, supported both by royal and papal authority, proceeded without scruple to violate all ecclesiastical privileges, which, during that age, were much more sacred than civil; and having once prevailed in that unusual attempt of suppressing some monasteries, he kept all the rest in awe, and exercised over them an arbitrary jurisdiction. By his commission as legate he was empowered to visit them, and reform them, and chastise their irregularities; and he employed his usual agent, Allen, in the exercise of this authority. The religious houses were obliged to compound for their guilt, real or pretended, by paying large sums to the cardinal or his deputy; and this oppression was carried so far, that it reached at last the king's ears, which were not commonly open to complaints against his favorite. Wolsey had built a splendid palace at Hampton Court, which he probably intended, as well as that of York Place, in Westminster, for his own residence; but fearing the increase of envy on account of this magnificence, and desirous to appease the king, he made him a present of the building, and told him that, from the first, he had erected it for his use.
The absolute authority possessed by the king rendered his domestic government, both over his people and his ministers, easy and expeditious: the conduct of foreign affairs alone required effort and application; and they were now brought to such a situation, that it was no longer safe for England to remain entirely neutral. The feigned moderation of the emperor was of short duration; and it was soon obvious to all the world, that his great dominions, far from gratifying his ambition, were only regarded as the means of acquiring an more extensive. The terms which he demanded of his prisoner were such as must forever have annihilated the power of France, and destroyed the balance of Europe. These terms were proposed to Francis soon after the battle of Pavia, while he was detained in Pizzichitone; and as he had hitherto trusted somewhat to the emperor's generosity, the disappointment excited in his breast the most lively indignation. He said, that he would rather live and die a prisoner than agree to dismember his kingdom; and that even were he so base as to submit to such conditions, his subjects would never permit him to carry them into execution.
Francis was encouraged to persist in demanding more moderate terms by the favorable accounts which he heard of Henry's disposition towards him, and of the alarm which had seized all the chief powers in Italy upon his defeat and captivity. He was uneasy, however, to be so far distant from the emperor, with whom he must treat; and he expressed his desire (which was complied with) to be removed to Madrid, in hopes that a personal interview would operate in his favor, and that Charles, if not influenced by his ministers, might be found possessed of the same frankness of disposition by which he himself was distinguished. He was soon convinced of his mistake. Partly from want of exercise, partly from reflections on his present melancholy situation, he fell into a languishing illness; which begat apprehensions in Charles, lest the death of his captive should bereave him of all those advantages which he purposed to extort from him. He then paid him a visit in the castle of Madrid; and as he approached the bed in which Francis lay, the sick monarch called to him, "You come, sir, to visit your prisoner." "No," replied the emperor, "I come to visit my brother and my friend, who shall soon obtain his liberty." He soothed his afflictions with many speeches of a like nature, which had so good an effect that the king daily recovered;[*] and thenceforth employed himself in concerting with the ministers of the emperor the terms of his treaty.
     * Herbert. Le Vera. Sandoval.
At last, the emperor, dreading a general combination against him, was willing to abate somewhat of his rigor: and the treaty of Madrid was signed, by which, it was hoped an end would be finally put to the differences between these great monarchs. The principal condition was the restoring of Francis's liberty, and the delivery of his two eldest sons as hostages to the emperor for the cession of Burgundy. If any difficulty should afterwards occur in the execution of this last article, from the opposition of the states either of France or of that province, Francis stipulated, that in six weeks' time, he should return to his prison, and remain there till the full performance of the treaty. There were many other articles in this famous convention, all of them extremely severe upon the captive monarch; and Charles discovered evidently his intention of reducing Italy, as well as France, to subjection and dependence.
Many of Charles's ministers foresaw that Francis, how solemn soever the oaths, promises, and protestations exacted of him, never would execute a treaty so disadvantageous, or rather ruinous and destructive, to himself, his posterity, and his country. By putting Burgundy, they thought, into the emperor's hands, he gave his powerful enemy an entrance into the heart of the kingdom: by sacrificing his allies in Italy, he deprived himself of foreign assistance; and, arming his oppressor with the whole force and wealth of that opulent country, rendered him absolutely irresistible. To these great views of interest were added the motives, no less cogent, of passion and resentment; while Francis, a prince who piqued himself on generosity, reflected on the rigor with which he had been treated during his captivity, and the severe terms which had been exacted of him for the recovery of his liberty. It was also foreseen, that the emulation and rivalship, which had so long subsisted between these two monarchs, would make him feel the strongest reluctance on yielding the superiority to an antagonist who, by the whole tenor of his conduct, he would be apt to think, had shown himself so little worthy of that advantage which fortune, and fortune alone, had put into his hands. His ministers, his friends, his subjects, his allies, would be sure with one voice to inculcate on him, that the first object of a prince was the preservation of his people; and that the laws of honor, which, with a private man, ought to be absolutely supreme, and superior to all interests, were, with a sovereign, subordinate to the great duty of insuring the safety of his country. Nor could it be imagined that Francis would be so romantic in his principles, as not to hearken to a casuistry which was so plausible in itself, and which so much flattered all the passions by which, either as a prince or a man, he was strongly actuated.
Francis, on entering his own dominions, delivered his two eldest sons as hostages into the hands of the Spaniards. He mounted a Turkish horse, and immediately putting him to the gallop, he waved his hand, and cried aloud several times, "I am yet a king." He soon reached Bayonne, where he was joyfully received by the regent and his whole court. He immediately wrote to Henry; acknowledging that to his good offices alone he owed his liberty, and protesting that he should be entirely governed by his counsels in all transactions with the emperor. When the Spanish envoy demanded his ratification of the treaty of Madrid, now that he had fully recovered his liberty, he declined the proposal; under color that it was previously necessary to assemble the states both of France and of Burgundy, and to obtain their consent. The states of Burgundy soon met; and declaring against the clause which contained an engagement for alienating their province, they expressed their resolution of opposing, even by force of arms, the execution of so ruinous and unjust an article. The imperial minister then required that Francis, in conformity to the treaty of Madrid, should now return to his prison; but the French monarch, instead of complying, made public the treaty which a little before he had secretly concluded at Cognac, against the ambitious schemes and usurpations of the emperor.[*]
     * Guicciard. lib. xvii.
The pope, the Venetians, and other Italian states, who were deeply interested in these events, had been held in the most anxious suspense with regard to the resolutions which Francis should take after the recovery of his liberty; and Clement, in particular, who suspected that this prince would never execute a treaty so hurtful to his interests, and even destructive of his independency, had very frankly offered him a dispensation from all his oaths and engagements. Francis remained not in suspense; but entered immediately into the confederacy proposed to him. It was stipulated by that king, the pope, the Venetians, the Swiss, the Florentines, and the duke of Milan, among other articles, that they would oblige the emperor to deliver up the two young princes of France on receiving a reasonable sum of money; and to restore Milan to Sforza, without further condition or encumbrance.
The king of England was invited to accede, not only as a contracting party, but as protector of the "holy league,"—so it was called; and if Naples should be conquered from the emperor, in prosecution of this confederacy, it was agreed that Henry should enjoy a principality in that kingdom of the yearly revenue of thirty thousand ducats; and that cardinal Wolsey, in consideration of the services which he had rendered to Christendom, should also, in such an event, be put in possession of a revenue of ten thousand ducats.
Francis was desirous that the appearance of this great confederacy should engage the emperor to relax somewhat in the extreme rigor of the treaty of Madrid; and while he entertained these hopes, he was the more remiss in his warlike preparations; nor did he send in due time reënforcements to his allies in Italy.
The duke of Bourbon had got possession of the whole Milanese, of which the emperor intended to grant him the investiture; and having levied a considerable army in Germany, he became formidable to all the Italian potentates; and not the less so because Charles, destitute, as usual, of money, had not been able to remit any pay to the forces. The general was extremely beloved by his troops; and in order to prevent those mutinies which were ready to break out every moment, and which their affection alone for him had hitherto restrained, he led them to Rome, and promised to enrich them by the plunder of that opulent city. He was himself killed, as he was planting a scaling ladder against the walls; but his soldiers, rather enraged than discouraged by his death, mounted to the assault with the utmost valor, and entering the city sword in hand, exercised all those brutalities which may be expected from ferocity excited by resistance, and from insolence which takes place when that resistance is no more. This renowned city, exposed by her renown alone to so many calamities, never endured, in any age, even from the barbarians by whom she was often subdued, such indignities as she was now compelled to suffer. The unrestrained massacre and pillage, which continued for several days, were the least ills to which the unhappy Romans were exposed.[*] Whatever was respectable in modesty or sacred in religion, seemed but the more to provoke the insults of the soldiery. Virgins suffered violation in the arms of their parents, and upon those very altars to which they had fled for protection.
     * Guicciard. lib. xviii. Bellai. Stowe, p. 527.
Aged prelates, after enduring every indignity, and even every torture, were thrown into dungeons, and menaced with the most cruel death, in order to make them reveal their secret treasures, or purchase liberty by exorbitant ransoms. Clement himself, who had trusted for protection to the sacredness of his character, and neglected to make his escape in time, was taken captive; and found that his dignity, which procured him no regard from the Spanish soldiers, did but draw on him the insolent mockery of the German, who, being generally attached to the Lutheran principles, were pleased to gratify their animosity by the abasement of the sovereign pontiff.
When intelligence of this great event was conveyed to the emperor, that young prince, habituated to hypocrisy, expressed the most profound sorrow for the success of his arms: he put himself and all his court in mourning: he stopped the rejoicings for the birth of his son Philip: and knowing that every artifice, however gross, is able, when seconded by authority, to impose upon the people, he ordered prayers during several months to be put up in the churches for the pope's liberty; which all men knew a letter under his hand could in a moment have procured.
The concern expressed by Henry and Francis for the calamity of their ally was more sincere. These two monarchs, a few days before the sack of Rome, had concluded a treaty[*] at Westminster, in which, besides renewing former alliances, they agreed to send ambassadors to Charles, requiring him to accept of two millions of crowns as the ransom of the French princes, and to repay the money borrowed from Henry; and in case of refusal, the ambassadors, attended by heralds, were ordered to denounce war against him.
     * 30th April.
This war it was agreed to prosecute in the Low Countries, with an army of thirty thousand infantry and fifteen hundred men at arms, two thirds to be supplied by Francis, the rest by Henry. And in order to strengthen the alliance between the princes, it was stipulated, that either Francis, or his son, the duke of Orleans, as should afterwards be agreed on, should espouse the princess Mary, Henry's daughter. No sooner did the monarchs receive intelligence of Bourbon's enterprise than they changed, by a new treaty, the scene of the projected war from the Netherlands to Italy; and hearing of the pope's captivity, they were further stimulated to undertake the war with vigor for restoring him to liberty. Wolsey himself crossed the sea, in order to have an interview with Francis and to concert measures for that purpose; and he displayed all that grandeur and magnificence with which he was so much intoxicated. He was attended by a train of a thousand horse. The cardinal of Lorraine, and the chancellor Alençon, met him at Boulogne; Francis himself, besides granting to that haughty prelate the power of giving, in every place where he came, liberty to all prisoners, made a journey as far as Amiens to meet him, and even advanced some miles from the town, the more to honor his reception. It was here stipulated, that the duke of Orleans should espouse the princess Mary; and as the emperor seemed to be taking some steps towards assembling a general council, the two monarchs agreed not to acknowledge it, but, during the interval of the pope's captivity, to govern the churches in their respective dominions by their own authority. Wolsey made some attempts to get his legatine power extended over France, and even over Germany; but finding his efforts fruitless, he was obliged, though with great reluctance, to desist from these ambitious enterprises.[*]
     * Burnet, book iii. coll. 12, 13.
The more to cement the union between these princes, a new treaty was some time after concluded at London; in which Henry agreed finally to renounce all claims to the crown of France; claims which might now indeed be deemed chimerical, but which often served as a pretence for exciting the unwary English to wage war upon the French nation. As a return for this concession, Francis bound himself and his successors to pay forever fifty thousand crowns a year to Henry and his successors; and that greater solemnity might be given to this treaty, it was agreed that the parliaments and great nobility of both kingdoms should give their assent to it. The mareschal Montmorency, accompanied by many persons of distinction, and attended by a pompous equipage, was sent over to ratify the treaty; and was received at London with all the parade which suited the solemnity of the occasion. The terror of the emperor's greatness had extinguished the ancient animosity between the nations; and Spain, during more than a century, became, though a more distant power, the chief object of jealousy to the English.
This cordial union between France and England, though it added influence to the joint embassy which they sent to the emperor, was not able to bend that monarch to submit entirely to the conditions insisted on by the allies. He departed, indeed, from his demand of Burgundy as the ransom of the French princes; but he required, previously to their liberty, that Francis should evacuate Genoa, and all the fortresses held by him in Italy; and he declared his intention of bringing Sforza to a trial, and confiscating the duchy of Milan, on account of his pretended treason. The English and French heralds, therefore, according to agreement, declared war against him, and set him at defiance. Charles answered the English herald with moderation; but to the French he reproached his master with breach of faith, reminded him of the private conversation which had passed between them at Madrid before their separation, and offered to prove by single combat that he had acted dishonorably. Francis retaliated this challenge, by giving Charles the lie; and, after demanding security of the field, he offered to maintain his cause by single combat. Many messages passed to and fro between them; but though both princes were undoubtedly brave, the intended duel never took place. The French and Spaniards, during that age, zealously disputed which of the monarchs incurred the blame of this failure; but all men of moderation every where lamented the power of fortune, that the prince the more candid, generous, and sincere, should, by unhappy incidents, have been reduced to so cruel a situation, that nothing but his violation of treaty could preserve his people, and that he must ever after, without being able to make a proper reply, bear to be reproached with breach of promise, by a rival inferior to him both in honor and virtue.
But though this famous challenge between Charles and Francis had no immediate consequence with regard to these monarchs themselves, it produced a considerable alteration on the manners of the age. The practice of challenges and duels, which had been part of the ancient barbarous jurisprudence, which was still preserved on very solemn occasions, and which was sometimes countenanced by the civil magistrate, began thenceforth to prevail in the most trivial incidents; and men, on any affront or injury, thought themselves entitled, or even required in honor, to take revenge on their enemies, by openly vindicating their right in single combat. These absurd, though generous maxims, shed much of thee best blood in Christendom, during more than two centuries; and notwithstanding the severity of law and authority of reason, such is the prevailing force of custom, they are far from being as yet entirely exploded.



Notwithstanding the submissive deference paid to papal authority before the reformation, the marriage of Henry with Catharine of Arragon, his brother's widow, had not passed without much scruple and difficulty. The prejudices of the people were in general bent against a conjugal union between such near relations; and the late king, though he had betrothed his son when that prince was but twelve years of age, gave evident proofs of his intention to take afterwards a proper opportunity of annulling the contract.[*] He ordered the young prince, as soon as he came of age, to enter a protestation against the marriage;[**] and on his death-bed he charged him, as his last injunction, not to finish an alliance so unusual, and exposed to such insuperable objections. After the king's accession, some members of the privy council, particularly Warham, the primate, openly declared against the resolution of completing the marriage; and though Henry's youth and dissipation kept him, during some time, from entertaining any scruples with regard to the measure which he had embraced, there happened incidents sufficient to rouse his attention, and to inform him of the sentiments generally entertained on that subject. The states of Castile had opposed the emperor Charles's espousals with Mary, Henry's daughter; and among other objections, had insisted on the illegitimate birth of the young princess.[***] And when the negotiations were afterwards opened with France, and mention was made of betrothing her to Francis or the duke of Orleans, the bishop of Tarbe, the French ambassador, revived the same objection.[****] But though these events naturally raised some doubts in Henry's mind, there concurred other causes, which tended much to increase his remorse, and render his conscience more scrupulous.
     * Morison's Apomaxis, p. 13.

     ** Morison's Apomaxis, p. 13. Heylin's Queen Mary, p. 2.

     *** Lord Herbert, Fiddes's Life of Wolsey.

     **** Rymer vol. xiv. p. 192, 203. Heylin, p. 3.
The queen was older than the king by no less than six years; and the decay of her beauty, together with particular infirmities and diseases, had contributed, notwithstanding her blameless character and deportment, to render her person unacceptable to him. Though she had born him several children, they all died in early infancy, except one daughter, and he was the more struck with this misfortune, because the curse of being childless is the very threatening contained in the Mosaical law against those who espouse their brother's widow. The succession, too, of the crown was a consideration that occurred to every one, whenever the lawfulness of Henry's marriage was called in question; and it was apprehended, that if doubts of Mary's legitimacy concurred with the weakness of her sex, the king of Scots, the next heir, would advance his pretensions, and might throw the kingdom into confusion. The evils, as yet recent, of civil wars and convulsions arising from a disputed title, made great impression on the minds of men, and rendered the people universally desirous of any event which might obviate so irreparable a calamity. And the king was thus impelled, both by his private passions and by motives of public interest, to seek the dissolution of his inauspicious, and, as it was esteemed, unlawful marriage with Catharine.
Henry afterwards affirmed that his scruples arose entirely from private reflection; and that on consulting his confessor, the bishop of Lincoln, he found the prelate possessed with the same doubts and difficulties. The king himself, being so great a casuist and divine, next proceeded to examine the question more carefully by his own learning and study; and having had recourse to Thomas of Aquine, he observed that this celebrated doctor, whose authority was great in the church, and absolute with him, had treated of that very case, and had expressly declared against the lawfulness of such marriages.[*]
     * Burnet. Fiddes.
The prohibitions, said Thomas, contained in Leviticus, and among the rest that of marrying a brother's widow, are moral, eternal, and founded on a divine sanction; and though the pope may dispense with the rules of the church, the laws of God cannot be set aside by any authority less than that which enacted them. The archbishop of Canterbury was then applied to; and he was required to consult his brethren: all the prelates of England, except Fisher, bishop of Rochester unanimously declared, under their hand and seal, that they deemed the king's marriage unlawful.[*] Wolsey also fortified the king's scruples;[**] partly with a view of promoting a total breach with the emperor, Catharine's nephew; partly desirous of connecting the king more closely with Francis, by marrying him to the duchess of Alençon, sister to that monarch; and perhaps, too, somewhat disgusted with the queen herself, who had reproved him for certain freedoms, unbefitting his character and station,[***] But Henry was carried forward, though perhaps not at first excited, by a motive more forcible than even the suggestions of that powerful favorite.
Anne Boleyn, who lately appeared at court, had been appointed maid of honor to the queen; and having had frequent opportunities of being seen by Henry, and of conversing with him, she had acquired an entire ascendant over his affections. This young lady, whose grandeur and misfortunes have rendered her so celebrated, was daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, who had been employed by the king in several embassies, and who was allied to all the principal nobility in the kingdom. His wife, mother to Anne, was daughter of the duke of Norfolk; his own mother was daughter of the earl of Ormond; his grandfather, Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, who had been mayor of London, had espoused one of the daughters and coheirs of Lord Hastings.[****]
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 38. Stowe, p. 548.

     ** Le Grand, vol. iii. p. 48, 166, 168. Saunders. Heylin, p.

     ***Burnet, vol. i. p. 38. Strype, vol. i. p. 88.

     **** Camden's Preface to the Life of Elizabeth. Burnet, vol.
     i p. 44.
Anne herself, though then in very early youth, had been carried over to Paris by the king's sister, when the princess espoused Lewis XII. of France; and upon the demise of that monarch, and the return of his dowager into England, this damsel, whose accomplishments even in her tender years were always much admired, was retained in the service of Claude, queen of France, spouse to Francis; and after the death of that princess, she passed into the family of the duchess of Alençon, a woman of singular merit. The exact time when she returned to England is not certainly known; but it was after the king had entertained doubts with regard to the lawfulness of his marriage with Catharine, if the account is to be credited which he himself afterwards gave of that transaction. Henry's scruples had made him break off all conjugal commerce with the queen; but as he still supported an intercourse of civility and friendship with her, he had occasion, in the frequent visits which he paid her, to observe the beauty, the youth, the charms of Anne Boleyn. Finding the accomplishments of her mind nowise inferior to her exterior graces, he even entertained the design of raising her to the throne; and was the more confirmed in this resolution, when he found that her virtue and modesty prevented all hopes of gratifying his passion in any other manner. As every motive, therefore, of inclination and policy seemed thus to concur in making the king desirous of a divorce from Catharine, and as his prospect of success was inviting, he resolved to make application to Clement; and he sent Knight, his secretary, to Rome for that purpose.
That he might not shock the haughty claims of the pontiff, he resolved not to found the application on any general doubts concerning the papal power to permit marriage in the nearer degrees of consanguinity; but only to insist on particular grounds of nullity in the bull which Julius had granted for the marriage of Henry and Catharine. It was a maxim in the court of Rome, that if the pope be surprised into any concession, or grant any indulgence upon false suggestions, the bull may afterwards be annulled; and this pretence had usually been employed wherever one pope had recalled any deed executed by any of his predecessors. But Julius's bull, when examined, afforded abundant matter of this kind; and any tribunal favorable to Henry needed not want a specious color for gratifying him in his applications for a divorce. It was said in the preamble, that the bull had been granted upon his solicitation; though it was known that, at that time, he was under twelve years of age; it was also affirmed, as another motive for the bull, that the marriage was requisite, in order to preserve peace between the two crowns; though it is certain that there was not then any ground or appearance of quarrel between them. These false premises in Julius's bull seemed to afford Clement a sufficient reason or pretence for annulling it, and granting Henry a dispensation for a second marriage.[*]
     * Collier, Eccles. Hist. vol. ii p. 25, from the Cott. Lib.
     Vitel. p. 9
But though the pretext for this indulgence had been less plausible, the pope was in such a situation that he had the strongest motives to embrace every opportunity of gratifying the English monarch. He was then a prisoner in the hands of the emperor; and had no hopes of recovering his liberty on any reasonable terms, except by the efforts of the league which Henry had formed with Francis and the Italian powers, in order to oppose the ambition of Charles. When the English secretary, therefore, solicited him in private, he received a very favorable answer: and a dispensation was forthwith promised to be granted to his master.[*] Soon after, the march of a French army into Italy, under the command of Lautrec, obliged the imperialists to restore Clement to his liberty; and he retired to Orvietto, where the secretary, with Sir Gregory Cassali, the king's resident at Rome, renewed their applications to him. They still found him full of high professions of friendship, gratitude, and attachment to the king; but not so prompt in granting his request as they expected. The emperor, who had got intelligence of Henry's application to Rome, had exacted a promise from the pope, to take no steps in the affair before he communicated them to the imperial ministers; and Clement, embarrassed by this promise, and still more overawed by the emperor's forces in Italy, seemed willing to postpone those concessions desired of him by Henry. Importuned, however, by the English ministers, he at last put into their hands a commission to Wolsey, as legate, in conjunction with the archbishop of Canterbury, or any other English prelate, to examine the validity of the king's marriage, and of Julius's dispensation:[**] he also granted them a provisional dispensation for the king's marriage with any other person; and promised to issue a decretal bull, annulling the marriage with Catharine. But he represented to them the dangerous consequences which must ensue to him, if these concessions should come to the emperor's knowledge; and he conjured them not to publish those papers, or make any further use of them, till his affairs were in such a situation as to secure his liberty and independence. And his secret advice was, whenever they should find the proper time for opening the scene, that they should prevent all opposition, by proceeding immediately to a conclusion, by declaring the marriage with Catharine invalid, and by Henry's instantly espousing some other person. Nor would it be so difficult, he said for himself to confirm these proceedings, after they were passed, as previously to render them valid by his consent and authority.[***]
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 47.

     ** Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 237.

     *** Collier, from Cott. Lib. Vitel. b. 10.
When Henry received the commission and dispensation from his ambassadors, and was informed of the pope's advice, he laid the whole before his ministers, and asked their opinion in so delicate a situation. The English counsellors considered the danger of proceeding in the manner pointed out to them. Should the pope refuse to ratify a deed which he might justly call precipitate and irregular, and should he disavow the advice which he gave in so clandestine a manner, the king would find his second marriage totally invalidated; the children which it might bring him declared illegitimate; and his marriage with Catharine more firmly riveted than ever.[*] And Henry's apprehensions of the possibility, or even probability, of such an event, were much confirmed when he reflected on the character and situation of the sovereign pontiff.
Clement was a prince of excellent judgment, whenever his timidity, to which he was extremely subject, allowed him to make full use of those talents and that penetration with which he was endowed.[**] The captivity and other misfortunes which he had undergone by entering into a league against Charles, had so affected his imagination, that he never afterwards exerted himself with vigor in any public measure; especially if the interest or inclinations of that potentate stood in opposition to him. The imperial forces were at that time powerful in Italy, and might return to the attack of Rome, which was still defenceless, and exposed to the same calamities with which it had already been overwhelmed. And besides these dangers, Clement fancied himself exposed to perils which threatened still more immediately his person and his dignity.
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 51.

     ** Father Paul, lib. i. Guicciard.
Charles, apprised of the timid disposition of the holy father, threw out perpetual menaces of summoning a general council; which he represented as necessary to reform the church, and correct those enormous abuses which the ambition and avarice of the court of Rome had introduced into every branch of ecclesiastical administration. The power of the sovereign pontiff himself, he said, required limitation; his conduct called aloud for amendment; and even his title to the throne which he filled might justly be called in question. That pope had always passed for the natural son of Julian of Medicis, who was of the sovereign family of Florence; and though Leo X., his kinsman, had declared him legitimate, upon a pretended promise of marriage between his father and mother, few believed that declaration to be founded on any just reason or authority.[*] The canon law, indeed, had been entirely silent with regard to the promotion of bastards to the papal throne; but, what was still dangerous, the people had entertained a violent prepossession, that this stain in the birth of any person was incompatible with so holy an office. And in another point the canon law was express and positive, that no man guilty of simony could attain that dignity. A severe bull of Julius II. had added new sanctions to this law, by declaring that a simoniacal election could not be rendered valid, even by a posterior consent of the cardinals. But unfortunately Clement had given to Cardinal Colonna a billet, containing promises of advancing that cardinal, in case he himself should attain the papal dignity by his concurrence; and this billet Colonna, who was in entire dependence on the emperor, threatened every moment to expose to public view.[**]
While Charles terrified the pope with these menaces, he also allured him by hopes, which were no less prevalent over his affections. At the time when the emperor's forces sacked Rome, and reduced Clement to captivity, the Florentines, passionate for their ancient liberty, had taken advantage of his distresses, and revolting against the family of Medicis, had entirely abolished their authority in Florence, and reëstablished the democracy. The better to protect themselves in their freedom, they had entered into the alliance with France, England, and Venice, against the emperor; and Clement found that by this interest, the hands of his confederates were tied from assisting him in the restoration of his family; the event which, of all others, he most passionately desired. The emperor alone, he knew, was able to effect this purpose; and therefore, whatever professions he made of fidelity to his allies, he was always, on the least glimpse of hope, ready to embrace every proposal of a cordial reconciliation with that monarch.[***]
     * Father Paul lib. i.

     ** Father Paul, lib. i.

     *** Father Paul.
These views and interests of the pope were well known in England; and as the opposition of the emperor to Henry's divorce was foreseen, both on account of the honor and interests of Catharine, his aunt, and the obvious motive of distressing an enemy, it was esteemed dangerous to take any measure of consequence, in expectation of the subsequent concurrence of a man of Clement's character, whose behavior always contained so much duplicity, and who was at present so little at his own disposal. The safest measure seemed to consist in previously engaging him so far, that he could not afterwards recede, and in making use of his present ambiguity and uncertainty, to extort the most important concessions from him. For this purpose, Stephen Gardiner, the cardinal's secretary, and Edward Fox, the king's almoner, were despatched to Rome, and were ordered to solicit a commission from the pope, of such a nature as would oblige him to confirm the sentence of the commissioners, whatever it should be, and disable him on any account to recall the commission, or evoke the cause to Rome.[*]
But the same reasons which made the king so desirous of obtaining this concession, confirmed the pope in the resolution of refusing it: he was still determined to keep the door open for an agreement with the emperor; and he made no scruple of sacrificing all other considerations to a point, which he deemed the most essential and important to his own security, and to the greatness of his family. He granted, therefore, a new commission, in which Cardinal Campeggio was joined to Wolsey, for the trial of the king's marriage; but he could not be prevailed on to insert the clause desired of him. And though he put into Gardiner's hand a letter, promising not to recall the present commission, this promise was found, on examination, to be couched in such ambiguous terms, as left him still the power, whenever he pleased, of departing from it.[**]
     * Lord Herbert. Burnet, vol. i. p. 29, in the Collect. Le
     Grand, vol iii. p. 28. Strype, vol. i. p. 93, with App. No.
     23-24, etc.

     ** Lord Herbert, p. 221 Burnet, p. 59.
Campeggio lay under some obligations to the king; but his dependence on the pope was so much greater, that he conformed himself entirely to the views of the latter; and though he received his commission in April, he delayed his departure under so many pretences, that it was October before he arrived in England. The first step which he took was to exhort the king to desist from the prosecution of his divorce; and finding that this counsel gave offence, he said, that his intention was also to exhort the queen to take the vows in a convent, and that he thought it his duty previously to attempt an amicable composure of all differences.[* ]The more to pacify the king, he showed to him, as also to the cardinal the decretal bull, annulling the former marriage with Catharine; but no entreaties could prevail on him to make any other of the king's council privy to the secret.[**] In order to atone in some degree for this obstinacy, he expressed to the king and the cardinal the pope's great desire of satisfying them in every reasonable demand; and in particular, he showed that their request for suppressing some more monasteries, and converting them into cathedrals and episcopal sees, had obtained the consent of his holiness.[***]
These ambiguous circumstances in the behavior of the pope and the legate, kept the court of England in suspense, and determined the king to wait with patience the issue of such uncertain councils.
Fortune, meanwhile, seemed to promise him a more sure and expeditious way of extricating himself from his present difficulties. Clement was seized with a dangerous illness; and the intrigues, for electing his successor, began already to take place among the cardinals. Wolsey, in particular, supported by the interest of England and of France, entertained hopes of mounting the throne of St. Peter;[****] and it appears, that if a vacancy had then happened, there was a probability of his reaching that summit of his ambition. But the pope recovered, though after several relapses; and he returned to the same train of false and deceitful politics, by which he had hitherto amused the court of England. Be still flattered Henry with professions of the most cordial attachment, and promised him a sudden and favorable issue to his process: he still continued his secret negotiations with Charles, and persevered in the resolution of sacrificing all his promises, and all the interests of the Romish religion, to the elevation of his family. Campeggio, who was perfectly acquainted with his views and intentions, protracted the decision by the most artful delays; and gave Clement full leisure to adjust all the terms of his treaty with the emperor.
     * Herbert, p 225.

     ** Burnet, p. 58.

     *** Rymer, vol xiv. p. 270. Strype, vol.i. p. 110, 111. App.
     No 28

     **** Burnet, vol. i. p. 63.
The emperor, acquainted with the king's extreme earnestness in this affair, was determined that he should obtain success by no other means than by an application to him and by deserting his alliance with Francis, which had hitherto supported, against the superior force of Spain, the tottering state of the French monarchy. He willingly hearkened, therefore, to the applications of Catharine, his aunt; and promising her his utmost protection, exhorted her never to yield to the malice and persecutions of her enemies. The queen herself was naturally of a firm and resolute temper; and was engaged by every motive to persevere in protesting against the injustice to which she thought herself exposed. The imputation of incest, which was thrown upon her marriage with Henry, struck her with the highest indignation: the illegitimacy of her daughter, which seemed a necessary consequence, gave her the most just concern: the reluctance of yielding to a rival, who, she believed, had supplanted her in the king's affections, was a very natural motive. Actuated by all these considerations, she never ceased soliciting her nephew's assistance, and earnestly entreating an evocation of the cause to Rome, where alone, she thought, she could expect justice. And the emperor, in all his negotiations with the pope, made the recall of the commission which Campeggio and Wolsey exercised in England a fundamental article.[*]
     * Herbert, p. 225. Burnet, vol i. p. 69.
The two legates, meanwhile, opened their court at London, and cited the king and queen to appear before it. They both presented themselves; and the king answered to his name, when called: but the queen, instead of answering to hers rose from her seat, and throwing herself at the king's feet, made a very pathetic harangue, which her virtue, her dignity, and her misfortunes rendered the more affecting. She told him, that she was a stranger in his dominions, without protection, without council, without assistance; exposed to all the injustice which her enemies were pleased to impose upon her: that she had quitted her native country without other resource than her connections with him and his family, and had expected that, instead of suffering thence any violence or iniquity, she was assured in them of a safeguard against every misfortune: that she had been his wife during twenty years, and would here appeal to himself, whether her affectionate submission to his will had not merited better treatment, than to be thus, after so long a time, thrown from him with so much indignity: that she was conscious—he himself was assured—that her virgin honor was yet unstained when he received her into his bed and that her connections with his brother had been carried no further than the ceremony of marriage: that their parents, the kings of England and Spain, were esteemed the wisest princes of their time, and had undoubtedly acted by the best advice, when they formed the agreement for that marriage, which was now represented as so criminal and unnatural: and that she acquiesced in their judgment, and would not submit her cause to be tried by a court, whose dependence on her enemies was too visible, ever to allow her any hopes of obtaining from them an equitable or impartial decision.[*] Having spoken these words, she rose, and making the king a low reverence, she departed from the court, and never would again appear in it.
After her departure, the king did her the justice to acknowledge, that she had ever been a dutiful and affectionate wife, and that the whole tenor of her behavior had been conformable to the strictest rules of probity and honor. He only insisted on his own scruples with regard to the lawfulness of their marriage; and he explained the origin, the progress, and the foundation of those doubts, by which he had been so long and so violently agitated. He acquitted Cardinal Wolsey from having any hand in encouraging his scruples; and he craved a sentence of the court agreeable to the justice of his cause.
The legates, after citing the queen anew, declared her contumacious, notwithstanding her appeal to Rome; and then proceeded to the examination of the cause. The first point which came before them was, the proof of Prince Arthur's consummation of his marriage with Catharine; and it must be confessed, that no stronger arguments could reasonably be expected of such a fact after so long an interval. The age of the prince, who had passed his fifteenth year, the good state of his health, the long time that he had cohabited with his consort, many of his expressions to that very purpose; all these circumstances form a violent presumption in favor of the king's assertion.[**] Henry himself, after his brother's death was not allowed for some time to bear the title of prince of Wales, in expectation of her pregnancy: the Spanish ambassador, in order the better to insure possession of her jointure, had sent over to Spain proofs of the consummation of her marriage:[***] Julius's bull itself was founded on the supposition that Arthur had perhaps had knowledge of the princess: in the very treaty, fixing Henry's marriage, the consummation of the former marriage with Prince Arthur is acknowledged on both sides.[****]
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 73. Hall. Stowe, p. 543.

     ** Herbert.

     *** Burnet, vol. ii. p. 85.

     **** Rymer, vol. xiii. p. 81.
These particulars were all laid before the court; accompanied with many reasonings concerning the extent of the pope's authority, and against his power of granting a dispensation to marry within the prohibited degrees. Campeggio heard these doctrines with great impatience; and notwithstanding his resolution to protract the cause, he was often tempted to interrupt and silence the king's counsel, when they insisted on such disagreeable topics. The trial was spun out till the twenty-third of July; and Campeggio chiefly took on him the part of conducting it. Wolsey, though the elder cardinal, permitted him to act as president of the court; because it was thought, that a trial managed by an Italian cardinal would carry the appearance of greater candor and impartiality, than if the king's own minister and favorite had presided in it. The business now seemed to be drawing near to a period; and the king was every day in expectation of a sentence in his favor; when, to his great surprise, Campeggio, on a sudden, without any warning, and upon very frivolous pretences,[*] prorogued the court till the first of October. The evocation, which came a few days after from Rome, put an end to all the hopes of success which the king had so long and so anxiously cherished.[**]
During the time that the trial was carried on before the legates at London, the emperor had by his ministers earnestly solicited Clement to evoke the cause; and had employed every topic of hope or terror which could operate either on the ambition or timidity of the pontiff. The English ambassadors, on the other hand, in conjunction with the French, had been no less earnest in their applications, that the legates should be allowed to finish the trial; but though they employed the same engines of promises and menaces, the motives which they could set before the pope were not so urgent or immediate as those which were held up to him by the emperor.[***] The dread of losing England, and of fortifying the Lutherans by so considerable an accession, made small impression on Clement's mind, in comparison of the anxiety for his personal safety, and the fond desire of restoring the Medici to their dominion in Florence. As soon, therefore, as he had adjusted all terms with the emperor he laid hold of the pretence of justice, which required him, as he asserted, to pay regard to the queen's appeal; and suspending the commission of the legates, he adjourned the cause to his own personal judgment at Rome. Campeggio had beforehand received private orders, delivered by Campana, to burn the decretal bull with which he was intrusted.
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 76, 77.

     ** Herbert, p. 254.

     **** Burnet, vol. i. p. 75.
Wolsey had long foreseen this measure as the sure forerunner of his ruin. Though he had at first desired that the king should rather marry a French princess than Anne Boleyn, he had employed himself with the utmost assiduity and earnestness to bring the affair to a happy issue: [*] he was not, therefore, to be blamed for the unprosperous event which Clement's partiality had produced. But he had sufficient experience of the extreme ardor and impatience of Henry's temper, who could bear no contradiction, and was wont, without examination or distinction, to make his ministers answerable for the success of those transactions with which they were intrusted. Anne Boleyn also, who was prepossessed against him, had imputed to him the failure of her hopes; and as she was newly returned to court, whence she had been removed, from a regard to decency, during the trial before the legates, she had naturally acquired an additional influence on Henry, and she served much to fortify his prejudices against the cardinal.[**] Even the queen and her partisans, judging of Wolsey by the part which he had openly acted, had expressed great animosity against him; and the most opposite factions seemed now to combine in the ruin of this haughty minister. The high opinion itself, which Henry had entertained of the cardinal's capacity, tended to hasten his downfall; while he imputed the bad success of that minister's undertakings, not to ill fortune or to mistake, but to the malignity or infidelity of his intentions. The blow, however, fell not instantly on his head. The king, who probably could not justify by any good reason his alienation from his ancient favorite, seems to have remained some time in suspense; and he received him, if not with all his former kindness, at least with the appearance of trust and regard.
     * Collier, vol. ii. p. 45. Burnet, vol, i. p. 53.

     ** Cavendish, p. 40.
But constant experience evinces how rarely a high confidence and affection receives the least diminution, without sinking into absolute indifference, or even running into the opposite extreme. The king now determined to bring on the ruin of the cardinal with a motion almost as precipitate as he had formerly employed in his elevation. The dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk were sent to require the great seal from him; and on his scrupling to deliver it[*] without a more express warrant, Henry wrote him a letter, upon which it was surrendered; and it was delivered by the king to Sir Thomas More, a man who, besides the ornaments of an elegant literature, possessed the highest virtue, integrity, and capacity.
Wolsey was ordered to depart from York Place, a palace which he had built in London, and which, though it really belonged to the see of York, was seized by Henry, and became afterwards the residence of the kings of England, by the title of Whitehall. All his furniture and plate were also seized: their riches and splendor befitted rather a royal than a private fortune. The walls of his palace were covered with cloth of gold or cloth of silver: he had a cupboard of plate of massy gold: there were found a thousand pieces of fine holland belonging to him. The rest of his riches and furniture was in proportion; and his opulence was probably no small inducement to this violent persecution against him.
The cardinal was ordered to retire to Asher, a country seat which he possessed near Hampton Court. The world, that had paid him such abject court during his prosperity, now entirely deserted him on this fatal reverse of all his fortunes. He himself was much dejected with the change; and from the same turn of mind which had made him be so vainly elated with his grandeur, he felt the stroke of adversity with double rigor.[**] The smallest appearance of his return to favor threw him into transports of joy unbecoming a man. The king had seemed willing, during some time, to intermit the blows which overwhelmed him. He granted him his protection, and left him in possession of the sees of York and Winchester. He even sent him a gracious message, accompanied with a ring, as a testimony of his affection. Wolsey, who was on horseback when the messenger met him, immediately alighted; and, throwing himself on his knees in the mire, received in that humble attitude these marks of his majesty's gracious disposition towards him.
     * Cavendish, p. 41.

     ** Strype, vol. i. p. 114, 115. App. No. 31, etc.

     *** Stowe, p. 547.
But his enemies, who dreaded his return to court, never ceased plying the king with accounts of his several offences; and Anne Boleyn, in particular, contributed her endeavors, in conjunction with her uncle, the duke of Norfolk, to exclude him from all hopes of ever being reinstated in his former authority. He dismissed, therefore, his numerous retinue and as he was a kind and beneficent master, the separation passed not without a plentiful effusion of tears on both sides. [*] The king's heart, notwithstanding some gleams of kindness, seemed now totally hardened against his old favorite. He ordered him to be indicted in the star chamber, where a sentence was passed against him. And, not content with this severity, he abandoned him to all the rigor of the parliament, which now after a long interval, was again assembled. The house of lords voted a long charge against Wolsey, consisting of forty-four articles; and accompanied it with an application to the king for his punishment, and his removal from all authority. Little opposition was made to this charge in the upper house: no evidence of any part of it was so much as called for; and as it chiefly consists of general accusations, it was scarcely susceptible of any.[**] 6 The articles were sent down to the house of commons; where Thomas Cromwell, formerly a servant of the cardinal's, and who had been raised by him from a very low station, defended his unfortunate patron with such spirit, generosity, and courage, as acquired him great honor, and laid the foundation of that favor which he afterwards enjoyed with the king.
     * Cavendish. Stowe, p. 549.

     ** See note F, at the end of the volume.
Wolsey's enemies, finding that either his innocence or his caution prevented them from having any just ground of accusing him, had recourse to a very extraordinary expedient. An indictment was laid against him, that, contrary to a statute of Richard II., commonly called the statute of provisors, he had procured bulls from Rome, particularly one investing him with the legatine power, which he had exercised with very extensive authority. He confessed the indictment, pleaded ignorance of the statute, and threw himself on the king's mercy. He was perhaps within reach of the law but besides that this statute had fallen into disuse, nothing could be more rigorous and severe than to impute to him as a crime what he had openly, during the course of so many years, practised with the consent and approbation of the and the acquiescence of the parliament and kingdom. Not to mention what he always asserted,[*] and what we can scarcely doubt of, that he had obtained the royal license in the most formal manner, which, had he not been apprehensive of the dangers attending any opposition to Henry's lawless will, he might have pleaded in his own defence before the judges. Sentence, however, was pronounced against him, "That he was out of the king's protection; his lands and goods forfeited; and that his person might be committed to custody." But this prosecution of Wolsey was carried no further. Henry even granted him a pardon for all offences; restored him part of his plate and furniture; and still continued, from time to time, to drop expressions of favor and compassion towards him.
The complaints against the usurpations of the ecclesiastics had been very ancient in England, as well as in most other European kingdoms; and as this topic was now become popular every where, it had paved the way for the Lutheran tenets, and reconciled the people, in some measure, to the frightful idea of heresy and innovation. The commons, finding the occasion favorable, passed several bills restraining the impositions of the clergy; one for the regulating of mortuaries; another against the exactions for the probates of wills; [**] a third against non-residence and pluralities, and against church-men's being farmers of land. But what appeared chiefly dangerous to the ecclesiastical order, were the severe invectives thrown out, almost without opposition, in the house, against the dissolute lives of the priests, their ambition, their avarice, and their endless encroachments on the laity. Lord Herbert [***] has even preserved the speech of a gentleman of Gray's Inn, which is of a singular nature, and contains such topics as we should little expect to meet with during that period. The member insists upon the vast variety of theological opinions which prevailed in different nations and ages; the endless inextricable controversies maintained by the several sects; the impossibility that any man, much less the people, could ever know, much less examine, the tenets and principles of every sect; the necessity of ignorance and a suspense of judgment with regard to all those objects of dispute: and, upon the whole, he infers, that the only religion obligatory on mankind is the belief of one Supreme Being, the author of nature; and the necessity of good morals, in order to obtain his favor and protection. Such sentiments would be deemed latitudinarian, even in our time; and would not be advanced, without some precaution, in a public assembly.
     * Cavendish, p. 72.

     ** These exactions were quite arbitrary, and had risen to a
     great height. A member said in the house, that a thousand
     marks had been exacted from him on that account. Hall, fol.
     188 Strype, vol. i. p. 73.

     *** Page 293.
But though the first broaching of religious controversy might encourage the sceptical turn in a few persons of a studious disposition, the zeal with which men soon after attached themselves to their several parties, served effectually to banish for a long time all such obnoxious liberties.
The bills for regulating the clergy met with some opposition in the house of lords. Bishop Fisher, in particular, imputed these measures of the commons to their want of faith; and to a formed design, derived from heretical and Lutheran principles, of robbing the church of her patrimony, and over-turning the national religion. The duke of Norfolk reproved the prelate in severe, and even somewhat indecent terms. He told him, that the greatest clerks were not always the wisest men. But Fisher replied, that he did not remember any fools in his time who had proved great clerks. The exceptions taken at the bishop of Rochester's speech stopped not there. The commons, by the mouth of Sir Thomas Audley, their speaker, made complaints to the king of the reflections thrown upon them; and the bishop was obliged to put a more favorable construction on his words.[*]
Henry was not displeased that the court of Rome and the clergy should be sensible that they were entirely dependent on him, and that his parliament, if he were willing to second their inclinations, was sufficiently disposed to reduce the power and privileges of the ecclesiastics. The commons gratified the king in another particular of moment: they granted him a discharge of all those debts which he had contracted since the beginning of his reign,[**] and they grounded this bill, which occasioned many complaints, on a pretence of the king's great care of the nation, and of his regularly employing all the money which he had borrowed in the public service.
     * Parl. Hist. vol. iii. p. 59.

     **Burnet, vol. ii. p. 82.
Most of the king's creditors consisted of friends to the cardinal who had been engaged by their patron to contribute to the supply of Henry's necessities; and the present courtiers were well pleased to take the opportunity of mulcting them.[*] Several also approved of an expedient which, they hoped, would ever after discredit a method of supply so irregular and so unparliamentary.
     * Burnet, vol. ii. p. 83.
The domestic transactions of England were at present so interesting to the king, that they chiefly engaged his attention; and he regarded foreign affairs only in subordination to them. He had declared war against the emperor; but the mutual advantages reaped by the commerce between England and the Netherlands, had engaged him to stipulate a neutrality with those provinces; and, except by money contributed to the Italian wars, he had in effect exercised no hostility against any of the imperial dominions. A general peace was this summer established in Europe. Margaret of Austria and Louisa of Savoy met at Cambray, and settled the terms of pacification between the French king and the emperor. Charles accepted of two millions of crowns in lieu of Burgundy; and he delivered up the two princes of France, whom he had retained as hostages. Henry was, on this occasion, so generous to his friend and ally Francis, that he sent him an acquittal of near six hundred thousand crowns, which that prince owed him. Francis's Italian confederates were not so well satisfied as the king with the peace of Cambray: they were almost wholly abandoned to the will of the emperor, and seemed to have no means of security left but his equity and moderation. Florence, after a brave resistance, was subdued by the imperial arms, and finally delivered over to the dominion of the family of Medici. The Venetians were better treated: they were only obliged to relinquish some acquisitions which they had made on the coast of Naples. Even Francis Sforza obtained the investiture of Milan, and was pardoned for all past offences. The emperor in person passed into Italy with a magnificent train, and received the imperial crown from the hands of the pope at Bologna. He was but twenty-nine years of age; and having already, by his vigor and capacity, succeeded in every enterprise, and reduced to captivity the two greatest potentates in Europe, the one spiritual, the other temporal, he attracted the eyes of all men; and many prognostications were formed of his growing empire.
But though Charles seemed to be prosperous on every side, and though the conquest of Mexico and Peru now began to prevent that scarcity of money under which he had hitherto labored, he found himself threatened with difficulties in Germany; and his desire of surmounting them was the chief cause of his granting such moderate conditions to the Italian powers. Sultan Solyman, the greatest and most accomplished prince that ever sat on the Ottoman throne, had almost entirely subdued Hungary, had besieged Vienna, and, though repulsed, still menaced the hereditary dominions of the house of Austria with conquest and subjection. The Lutheran princes of the empire, finding that liberty of conscience was denied them, had combined in a league for their own defence at Smalcalde, and because they protested against the votes passed in the imperial diet, they thenceforth received the appellation, of "protestants." Charles had undertaken to reduce them to obedience; and on pretence of securing the purity of religion, he had laid a scheme for aggrandizing his own family, by extending its dominion over all Germany.
The friendship of Henry was one material circumstance yet wanting to Charles, in order to insure success in his ambitious enterprises; and the king was sufficiently apprised that the concurrence of that prince would at once remove all the difficulties which lay in the way of his divorce; that point which had long been the object of his most earnest wishes. But besides that the interests of his kingdom seemed to require an alliance with France, his haughty spirit could not submit to a friendship imposed on him by constraint; and as he had ever been accustomed to receive courtship, deference, and solicitation from the greatest potentates, he could ill brook that dependence to which this unhappy affair seemed to have reduced him. Amidst the anxieties with which he was agitated, he was often tempted to break off all connections with the court of Rome; and though he had been educated in a superstitious reverence to papal authority, it is likely that his personal experience of the duplicity and selfish politics of Clement had served much to open his eyes in that particular. He found his prerogative firmly established at home: lie observed that his people were in general much disgusted with clerical usurpations, and disposed to reduce the powers find privileges of the ecclesiastical order: he knew that they had cordially taken part with him in his prosecution of the divorce, and highly resented the unworthy treatment which after so many services and such devoted attachment, he had received from the court of Rome. Anne Boleyn also could not fail to use all her efforts, and employ every insinuation, in order to make him proceed to extremities against the pope; both as it was the readiest way to her attaining royal dignity, and as her education in the court of the duchess of Alençon, a princess inclined to the reformers, had already disposed her to a belief of the new doctrines. But notwithstanding these inducements, Henry had strong motives still to desire a good agreement with the sovereign pontiff. He apprehended the danger of such great innovations: he dreaded the reproach of heresy: he abhorred all connections with the Lutherans, the chief opponents of the papal power; and having once exerted himself with such applause, as he imagined, in defence of the Romish communion, he was ashamed to retract his former opinions, and betray from passion such a palpable inconsistency. While he was agitated by these contrary motives, an expedient was proposed, which, as it promised a solution of all difficulties, was embraced by him with the greatest joy and satisfaction.
Dr. Thomas Cranmer, fellow of Jesus College in Cambridge, was a man remarkable in that university for his learning, and still more for the candor and disinterestedness of his temper. He fell one evening by accident into company with Gardiner, now secretary of state, and Fox, the king's almoner; and as the business of the divorce became the subject of conversation, he observed that the readiest way either to quiet Henry's conscience, or extort the pope's consent, would be to consult all the universities of Europe with regard to this controverted point: if they agreed to approve of the king's marriage with Catharine, his remorses would naturally cease; if they condemned it, the pope would find it difficult to resist the solicitations of so great a monarch, seconded by the opinion of all the learned men in Christendom.[*] When the king was informed of the proposal, he was delighted with it; and swore, with more alacrity than delicacy that Cranmer had got the right sow by the ear: he sent for that divine; entered into conversation with him; conceived a high opinion of his virtue and understanding; engaged him to write in defence of the divorce; and immediately, in prosecution of the scheme proposed, employed his agents to collect the judgments of all the universities in Europe.
     * Fox, p. 1860 2d edit. Burnet, vol. i. p. 79. Speed, p.
     769. Heylin, p. 5
Had the question of Henry's marriage with Catharine been examined by the principles of sound philosophy, exempt from superstition, it seemed not liable to much difficulty. The natural reason why marriage in certain degrees is prohibited by the civil laws, and condemned by the moral sentiments of all nations, is derived from men's care to preserve purity of manners; while they reflect, that if a commerce of love were authorized between near relations, the frequent opportunities of intimate conversation, especially during early youth, would introduce a universal dissoluteness and corruption. But as the customs of countries vary considerably, and open an intercourse, more or less restrained, between different families, or between the several members of the same family, we find that the moral precept, varying with its cause, is susceptible, without any inconvenience, of very different latitude in the several ages and nations of the world. The extreme delicacy of the Greeks permitted no communication between persons of different sexes, except where they lived under the same roof; and even the apartments of a step-mother and her daughters were almost as much shut up against visits from the husband's sons, as against those from any stranger or more distant relation: hence, in that nation, it was lawful for a man to marry not only his niece, but his half-sister by the father; a liberty unknown to the Romans, and other nations, where a more open intercourse was authorized between the sexes. Reasoning from this principle, it would appear, that the ordinary commerce of life among great princes is so obstructed by ceremony and numerous attendants, that no ill consequence would result among them from marrying a brother's widow; especially if the dispensation of the supreme priest be previously required, in order to justify what may in common cases be condemned, and to hinder the precedent from becoming too common and familiar. And as strong motives of public interest and tranquillity may frequently require such alliances between the foreign families, there is the less reason for extending towards them the full rigor of the rule which has place among individuals.[*] 7
     * See note G, at the end of the volume.
But in opposition to these reasons, and many more which might be collected, Henry had custom and precedent on his side, the principle by which men are almost wholly governed in their actions and opinions. The marrying of a brother's widow was so unusual, that no other instance of it could be found in any history or record of any Christian nation; and though the popes were accustomed to dispense with more essential precepts of morality, and even permitted marriages within other prohibited degrees, such as those of uncle and niece, the imaginations of men were not yet reconciled to this particular exercise of his authority.
Several universities of Europe, therefore, without hesitation, as well as without interest or reward,[*] gave verdict in the king's favor; not only those of France, Paris, Orleans, Bourges, Toulouse, Angiers, which might be supposed to lie under the influence of their prince, ally to Henry; but also those of Italy, Venice, Ferrara, Padua; even Bologna itself, though under the immediate jurisdiction of Clement. Oxford alone[**] and Cambridge* made some difficulty; because these universities, alarmed at the progress of Lutheranism, and dreading a defection from the holy see, scrupled to give their sanction to measures whose consequences they feared would prove fatal to the ancient religion. Their opinion, however, conformable to that of the other universities of Europe, was at last obtained; and the king, in order to give more weight to all these authorities, engaged his nobility to write a letter to the pope, recommending his cause to the holy father, and threatening him with the most dangerous consequences in case of a denial of justice.[***] The convocations, too, both of Canterbury and York, pronounced the king's marriage invalid, irregular, and contrary to the law of God, with which no human power had authority to dispense.[****]
     * Herbert. Burnet.

     ** Wood, Hist. and Ant. Ox. lib. i. p. 225.

     *** Burnet, vol. i, p. 6.

     **** Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 405. Burnet, vol. i. p. 95.
But Clement, lying still under the influence of the emperor, continued to summon the king to appear, either by himself or proxy, before his tribunal at Rome; and the king, who knew that he could expect no fair trial there, refused to submit to such a condition, and would not even admit of any citation, which he regarded as a high insult, and a violation of his royal prerogative. The father of Anne Boleyn, created earl of Wiltshire, carried to the pope the king's reasons for not appearing by proxy; and, as the first instance of disrespect from England, refused to kiss his holiness's foot which he very graciously held out to him for that purpose.[*]
The extremities to which Henry was pushed, both against the pope and the ecclesiastical order, were naturally disagreeable to Cardinal Wolsey; and as Henry foresaw his opposition, it is the most probable reason that can be assigned for his renewing the prosecution against his ancient favorite. After Wolsey had remained some time at Asher, he was allowed to remove to Richmond, a palace which he had received as a present from Henry, in return for Hampton Court; but the courtiers, dreading still his vicinity to the king, procured an order for him to remove to his see of York. The cardinal knew it was in vain to resist: he took up his residence at Cawood, in Yorkshire, where he rendered himself extremely popular in the neighborhood by his affability and hospitality;[**] but he was not allowed to remain long unmolested in this retreat.
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 94.

     ** Cavendish. Stowe, p. 551.
The earl of Northumberland received, orders, without regard to Wolsey's ecclesiastical character, to arrest him for high treason, and to conduct him to London, in order to his trial. The cardinal, partly from the fatigues of his journey, partly from the agitation of his anxious mind, was seized with a disorder which turned into a dysentery; and he was able, with some difficulty, to reach Leicester Abbey. When the abbot and the monks advanced to receive him with much respect and reverence, he told them that he was come to lay his bones among them; and he immediately took to his bed, whence he never rose more. A little before he expired, he addressed himself in the following words to Sir William Kingston, constable of the Tower, who had him in custody. "I pray you have me heartily recommended unto his royal majesty, and beseech him on my behalf to call to his remembrance all matters that have passed between us from the beginning, especially with regard to his business with the queen; and then will he know in his conscience whether I have offended him.
"He is a prince of a most royal carriage, and hath a princely heart; and rather than he will miss or want any part of his will, he will endanger the one half of his kingdom.
"I do assure you, that I have often kneeled before him, sometimes three hours together, to persuade him from his will and appetite; but could not prevail: had I but served God as diligently as I have served the king, he would not have given me over in my gray hairs. But this is the just reward that I must receive for my indulgent pains and study, not regarding my service to God, but only to my prince. Therefore, let me advise you, if you be one of the privy council, as by your wisdom you are fit, take care what you put into the king's head; for you can never put it out again."[*]
     * Cavendish.

Thus died this famous cardinal, whose character seems to have contained as singular a variety as the fortune to which he was exposed. The obstinacy and violence of the king's temper may alleviate much of the blame which some of his favorite's measures have undergone; and when we consider, that the subsequent part of Henry's reign was much more criminal than that which had been directed by Wolsey's counsels, we shall be inclined to suspect those historians of partiality, who have endeavored to load the memory of this minister with such violent reproaches. If, in foreign politics, he sometimes employed his influence over the king for his private purposes, rather than his master's service, which, he boasted, he had solely at heart, we must remember, that he had in view the papal throne; a dignity which, had he attained it, would have enabled him to make Henry a suitable return for all his favors. The cardinal of Amboise, whose memory is respected in France, always made this apology for his own conduct, which was, in some respect, similar to Wolsey's; and we have reason to think, that Henry was well acquainted with the views by which his minister was influenced, and took a pride in promoting them. He much regretted his death, when informed of it, and always spoke favorably of his memory; a proof that humor, more than reason, or any discovery of treachery, had occasioned the last persecutions against him.
A new session of parliament was held, together with a convocation; and the king here gave strong proofs of his extensive authority, as well as of his intention to turn it to the depression of the clergy. As an ancient statute, now almost obsolete, had been employed to ruin Wolsey, and render his exercise of the legatine power criminal, notwithstanding the king's permission, the same law was now turned against the ecclesiastics. It was pretended, that every one who had submitted to the legatine court, that is, the whole church, had violated the statute of provisors; and the attorney-general accordingly brought an indictment against them.[*] The convocation knew, that it would be in vain to oppose reason or equity to the king's arbitrary will, or plead that their ruin would have been the certain consequence of not submitting to Wolsey's commission, which was procured by Henry's consent, and supported by his authority. They chose, therefore, to throw themselves on the mercy of their sovereign; and they agreed to pay a hundred and eighteen thousand eight hundred and forty pounds for a pardon.[**] A confession was likewise extorted from them, that the king was the protector and the supreme head of the church and clergy of England; though some of them had the dexterity to get a clause inserted, which invalidated the whole submission, and which ran in these terms: "in so far as is permitted by the law of Christ."
The commons, finding that a pardon was granted the clergy, began to be apprehensive for themselves, lest either they should afterwards be brought into trouble on account of their submission to the legatine court, or a supply, in like manner, be extorted from them, in return for their pardon. They therefore petitioned the king to grant a remission to his lay subjects; but they met with a repulse. He told them, that if he ever chose to forgive their offence, it would be from his own goodness, not from their application, lest he should seem to be compelled to it. Some time after, when they despaired of obtaining this concession, he was pleased to issue a pardon to the laity; and the commons expressed great gratitude for that act of clemency.[***]
By this strict execution of the statute of provisors, a great part of the profit, and still more of the power of the court of Rome was cut off; and the connections between the pope and the English clergy were in some measure dissolved. The next session found both king and parliament in the same dispositions. An act was passed against levying the annates or first-fruits,[****] being a year's rent of all the bishoprics that fell vacant; a tax which was imposed by the court of Rome for granting bulls to the new prelates, and which was found to amount to considerable sums.
     * Antiq. Brit. Eccles. p. 325. Burnet, vol. i. p. 106.

     ** Holingshed, p. 923.

     *** Hall's Chronicle. Holingshed, p. 923. Baker, p. 208.

     **** Burnet, vol. i. Collect. No. 41. Strype, vol. i. p.
Since the second of Henry VII., no less than one hundred and sixty thousand pounds had been transmitted to Rome on account of this claim; which the parliament, therefore, reduced to five per cent. on all the episcopal benefices. The better to keep the pope in awe, the king was intrusted with a power of regulating these payments, and of confirming or infringing this act at his pleasure; and it was voted, that any censures which should be passed by the court of Rome on account of that law, should be entirely disregarded, and that mass should be said, and the sacraments administered, as if no such censures had been issued.
This session, the commons preferred to the king a long complaint against the abuses and oppressions of the ecclesiastical courts; and they were proceeding to enact laws for remedying them, when a difference arose, which put an end to the session before the parliament had finished all their business. It was become a custom for men to make such settlements, or trust deeds, of their lands by will, that they defrauded not only the king, but all other lords, of their wards, marriages, and reliefs; and by the same artifice the king was deprived of his premier seizin, and the profits of the livery, which were no inconsiderable branches of his revenue. Henry made a bill be drawn to moderate, not remedy altogether, this abuse; he was contented, that every man should have the liberty of disposing in this manner of the half of his land; and he told the parliament in plain terms, "if they would not take a reasonable thing when it was offered, he would search out the extremity of the law; and then would not offer them so much again." The lords came willingly into his terms; but the commons rejected the bill; a singular instance, where Henry might see that his power and authority, though extensive, had yet some boundaries. The commons, however, found reason to repent of their victory. The king made good his threats: he called together the judges and ablest lawyers, who argued the question in chancery; and it was decided that a man could not by law bequeath any part of his lands in prejudice of his heir.[*]
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 116. Hall. Parl. Hist.
The parliament being again assembled after a short prorogation, the king caused the two oaths to be read to them, that which the bishops took to the pope, and that to the king, on their installation; and as a contradiction might be suspected between them, while the prelates seemed to swear allegiance to two sovereigns;[*] the parliament showed their intention of abolishing the oath to the pope, when their proceedings were suddenly stopped by the breaking out of the plague at Westminster, which occasioned a prorogation. It is remarkable, that one Temse ventured this session to move, that the house should address the king, to take back the queen, and stop the prosecution of his divorce. This motion made the king send for Audley, the speaker, and explain to him the scruples with which his conscience had long been burdened; scruples, he said, which had proceeded from no wanton appetite, which had arisen after the fervors of youth were past, and which were confirmed by the concurring sentiments of all the learned societies in Europe. Except in Spain and Portugal, he added, it was never heard of, that any man had espoused two sisters; but he himself had the misfortune, he believed, to be the first Christian man that had ever married his brother's widow.[**]
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 123, 124.

     ** Herbert. Hall, fol. 205.
After the prorogation, Sir Thomas More, the chancellor, foreseeing that all the measures of the king and parliament led to a breach with the church of Rome, and to an alteration of religion, with which his principles would not permit him to concur, desired leave to resign the great seal; and he descended from his high station with more joy and alacrity than he had mounted up to it. The austerity of this man's virtue, and the sanctity of his manners, had nowise encroached on the gentleness of his temper, or even diminished that frolic and gayety to which he was naturally inclined. He sported with all the varieties of fortune into which he was thrown; and neither the pride naturally attending a high station, nor the melancholy incident to poverty and retreat, could ever lay hold of his serene and equal spirit. While his family discovered symptoms of sorrow on laying down the grandeur and magnificence to which they had been accustomed, he drew a subject of mirth from their distresses; and made them ashamed of losing even a moment's cheerfulness on account of such trivial misfortunes. The king, who had entertained a high opinion of his virtue, received his resignation with some difficulty; and he delivered the great seal soon after to Sir Thomas Audley.
During these transactions in England, and these invasions of the papal and ecclesiastical authority, the court of Rome was not without solicitude; and she entertained just apprehensions of losing entirely her authority in England; the kingdom which, of all others, had long been the most devoted to the holy see and which had yielded it the most ample revenue. While the imperial cardinals pushed Clement to proceed to extremities against the king, his more moderate and impartial counsellors represented to him the indignity of his proceedings; that a great monarch, who had signalized himself, both by his pen and his sword, in the cause of the pope, should be denied a favor which he demanded on such just grounds, and which had scarcely ever before been refused to any person of his rank and station. Notwithstanding these remonstrances, the queen's appeal was received at Rome; the king was cited to appear; and several consistories were held, to examine the validity of their marriage. Henry was determined not to send any proxy to plead his cause before this court: he only despatched Sir Edward Karne and Dr. Bonner, in quality of excusators, (so they were called,) to carry his apology, for not paying that deference to the papal authority. The prerogatives of his crown, he said, must be sacrificed, if he allowed appeals from his own kingdom; and as the question regarded conscience, not power or interest, no proxy could supply his place, or convey that satisfaction which the dictates of his own mind alone could confer. In order to support himself in this measure, and add greater security to his intended defection from Rome, he procured an interview with Francis it Boulogne and Calais, where he renewed his personal friendship as well as public alliance with that monarch, and concerted all measures for their mutual defence. He even employed arguments, by which he believed he had persuaded Francis to imitate his example in withdrawing his obedience from the bishop of Rome, and administering ecclesiastical affairs without having further recourse to that see. And being now fully determined in his own mind, as well as resolute to stand all consequences, he privately celebrated his marriage with Anne Boleyn, whom he had previously created marchioness of Pembroke. Rouland Lee, soon after raised to the bishopric of Coventry, officiated at the marriage. The duke of Norfolk, uncle to the new queen, her father, mother, and brother, together with Dr. Cranmer, were present at the ceremony.[*]
     * Herbert, p. 340, 341.
Anne became pregnant soon after her marriage, and this event both gave great satisfaction to the king, and was regarded by the people as a strong proof of the queen's former modesty and virtue.
The parliament was again assembled; and Henry, in conjunction with the great council of the nation, proceeded still in those gradual and secure steps, by which they loosened their connections with the see of Rome, and repressed the usurpations of the Roman pontiff. An act was made against all appeals to Rome in causes of matrimony, divorces, wills, and other suits cognizable in ecclesiastical courts; appeals esteemed dishonorable to the kingdom, by subjecting it to a foreign jurisdiction; and found to be very vexatious by the expense and the delay of justice which necessarily attended them.[*] The more to show his disregard to the pope, Henry, finding the new queen's pregnancy to advance, publicly owned his marriage; and in order to remove all doubts with regard to its lawfulness, he prepared measures for declaring, by a formal sentence, the invalidity of his marriage with Catharine; a sentence which ought naturally to have preceded his espousing of Anne.[**]
The king, even amidst his scruples and remorses on account of his first marriage, had always treated Catharine with respect and distinction; and he endeavored, by every soft and persuasive art, to engage her to depart from her appeal to Rome, and her opposition to his divorce. Finding her obstinate in maintaining the justice of her cause, he had totally forborne all visits and intercourse with her; and had desired her to make choice of any one of his palaces, in which she should please to reside. She had fixed her abode for some time at Amphill, near Dunstable; and it was in this latter town that Cranmer, now created archbishop of Canterbury, on the death of Warham,[**] 8 was appointed to open his court for examining the validity of her marriage. The near neighborhood of the place was chosen, in order to deprive her of all plea of ignorance; and as she made no answer to the citation, either by herself or proxy, she was declared "contumacious;" and the primate proceeded to the examination of the cause.
     * 24 Henry VIII. c. 12.

     ** Collier, vol. ii. p. 31, and Records, No. 8.

     *** See note H, at the end of the volume.
The evidences of Arthur's consummation of his marriage were anew produced; the opinions of the universities were read, together with the judgment pronounced two years before by the convocations both of Canterbury and York, and after these preliminary steps, Cranmer proceeded to a sentence, and annulled the king's marriage with Catharine as unlawful and invalid. By a subsequent sentence, he ratified the marriage with Anne Boleyn, who soon after was publicly crowned queen, with all the pomp and dignity suited to that ceremony.[*] To complete the king's satisfaction on the conclusion of this intricate and vexatious affair, she was safely delivered of a daughter, who received the name of Elizabeth, and who afterwards swayed the sceptre with such renown and felicity. Henry was so much delighted with the birth of this child, that soon after he conferred on her the title of princess of Wales,[**] a step somewhat irregular, as she could only be presumptive, not apparent heir of the crown. But he had, during his former marriage, thought proper to honor his daughter Mary with that title; and he was determined to bestow on the offspring of his present marriage the same mark of distinction, as well as to exclude the elder princess from all hopes of the succession. His regard for the new queen seemed rather to increase than diminish by his marriage; and all men expected to see the entire ascendant of one who had mounted a throne from which her birth had set her at so great a distance, and who, by a proper mixture of severity and indulgence, had long managed so intractable a spirit as that of Henry. In order to efface as much as possible all marks of his first marriage, Lord Mountjoy was sent to the unfortunate and divorced queen, to inform her, that she was thenceforth to be treated only as princess dowager of Wales; and all means were employed to make her acquiesce in that determination. But she continued obstinate in maintaining the validity of her marriage; and she would admit no person to her presence who did not approach her with the accustomed ceremonial. Henry, forgetting his wonted generosity towards her, employed menaces against such of her servants as complied with her commands in this particular; but was never able to make her relinquish her title and pretensions.[***]
     * Heylin, p. 6.

     ** Burnet, vol. i, p. 134.

     *** Herbert, p. 326. Burnet, vol. i. p. 132.
When intelligence was conveyed to Rome of these transactions, so injurious to the authority and reputation of the holy see, the conclave was in a rage, and all the cardinals of the imperial faction urged the pope to proceed to a definitive sentence, and to dart his spiritual thunders against Henry. But Clement proceeded no further than to declare the nullity of Cranmer's sentence, as well as that of Henry's second marriage; threatening him with excommunication, if before the first of November ensuing he did not replace every thing in the condition in which it formerly stood.[*] An event had happened from which the pontiff expected a more amicable conclusion of the difference, and which hindered him from carrying matters to extremity against the king.
The pope had claims upon the duchy of Ferrara for the sovereignty of Reggio and Modena;[**] and having submitted his pretensions to the arbitration of the emperor, he was surprised to find a sentence pronounced against him. Enraged at this disappointment, he hearkened to proposals of amity from Francis; and when that monarch made overtures of marrying the duke of Orleans, his second son, to Catharine of Medicis, niece of the pope, Clement gladly embraced an alliance by which his family was so much honored. An interview was even appointed between the pope and French king at Marseilles; and Francis, as a common friend, there employed his good offices in mediating an accommodation between his new ally and the king of England.
     * Le Grand, vol. iii. p. 566.

     ** Burnet, vol. ii. p. 133. Guicciard.
Had this connection of France with the court of Rome taken place a few years sooner, there had been little difficulty in adjusting the quarrel with Henry. The king's request was an ordinary one; and the same plenary power of the pope which had granted a dispensation for his espousing of Catharine, could easily have annulled the marriage. But, in the progress of the quarrel, the state of affairs was much changed on both sides. Henry had shaken off much of that reverence which he had early imbibed for the apostolic see; and finding that his subjects of all ranks had taken part with him, and willingly complied with his measures for breaking off foreign dependence, he had begun to relish his spiritual authority, and would scarcely, it was apprehended, be induced to renew his submissions to the Roman pontiff. The pope, on the other hand, now ran a manifest risk of infringing his authority by a compliance with the king; and as a sentence of divorce could no longer be rested on nullities in Julius's bull, but would be construed as an acknowledgment of papal usurpations, it was foreseen that the Lutherans would thence take occasion of triumph, and would persevere more obstinately in their present principles. But notwithstanding these obstacles, Francis did not despair of mediating an agreement. He observed that the king had still some remains of prejudice in favor of the Catholic church, and was apprehensive of the consequences which might ensue from too violent innovations. He saw the interest that Clement had in preserving the obedience of England, which was one of the richest jewels in the papal crown. And he hoped that these motives on both sides would facilitate a mutual agreement, and would forward the effects of his good offices.
Francis first prevailed on the pope to promise, that if the king would send a proxy to Rome, and thereby submit his cause to the holy see, he should appoint commissioners to meet at Cambray, and form the process; and he should immediately afterwards pronounce the sentence of divorce required of him. Bellay, bishop of Paris, was next despatched to London, and obtained a promise from the king that he would submit his cause to the Roman consistory, provided the cardinals of the imperial faction were excluded from it. The prelate carried this verbal promise to Rome; and the pope agreed that, if the king would sign a written agreement to the same purpose, his demands should be fully complied with. A day was appointed for the return of the messengers; and all Europe regarded this affair, which had threatened a violent rupture between England and the Romish church, as drawing towards an amicable conclusion.[*] But the greatest affairs often depend on the most frivolous incidents. The courier who carried the king's written promise was detained beyond the day appointed: news was brought to Rome that a libel had been published in England against the court of Rome, and a farce acted before the king in derision of the pope and cardinals.[**]
     * Father Paul, lib. i.

     ** Father Paul, lib, i.
The pope and cardinals entered into the consistory inflamed with anger; and by a precipitate sentence the marriage of Henry and Catharine was pronounced valid, and Henry declared to be excommunicated if he refused to adhere to it. Two days after, the courier arrived; and Clement, who had been hurried from his usual prudence, found that though he heartily repented of this hasty measure, it would be difficult for him to retract it, or replace affairs on the same footing as before.
It is not probable that the pope, had he conducted himself with ever so great moderation and temper, could hope, during the lifetime of Henry, to have regained much authority or influence in England. That monarch was of a temper both impetuous and obstinate; and having proceeded so far in throwing off the papal yoke, he never could again have been brought tamely to bend his neck to it. Even at the time when he was negotiating a reconciliation with Rome, he either entertained so little hopes of success, or was so indifferent about the event, that he had assembled a parliament, and continued to enact laws totally destructive of the papal authority. The people had been prepared by degrees for this great innovation. Each preceding session had retrenched somewhat from the power and profits of the pontiff. Care had been taken, during some years, to teach the nation that a general council was much superior to a pope. But now a bishop preached every Sunday at Paul's Cross, in order to inculcate the doctrine that the pope was entitled to no authority at all beyond the bounds of his own diocese.[*] The proceedings of the parliament showed that they had entirely adopted this opinion; and there is reason to believe that the king, after having procured a favorable sentence from Rome, which would have removed all doubts with regard to his second marriage and the succession, might indeed have lived on terms of civility with the Roman pontiff, but never would have surrendered to him any considerable share of his assumed prerogative. The importance of the laws passed this session, even before intelligence arrived of the violent resolutions taken at Rome, is sufficient to justify this opinion.
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 144.
All payments made to the apostolic chamber, all provisions, bulls, dispensations, were abolished: monasteries were subjected to the visitation and government of the king alone: the law for punishing heretics was moderated: the ordinary was prohibited from imprisoning or trying any person upon suspicion alone, without presentment by two lawful witnesses; and it was declared, that to speak against the pope's authority was no heresy: bishops were to be appointed, by a congé d'élire from the crown, or, in case of the dean and chapter's refusal, by letters patent; and no recourse was to be had to Rome for pails, bulls, or provisions; Campeggio and Ghinucci, two Italians, were deprived of the bishoprics of Salisbury and Worcester, which they had hitherto enjoyed:[*] the law which had been formerly made against paying annates or first-fruits, but which had been left in the king's power to suspend or enforce, was finally established: and a submission which was exacted two years before from the clergy, and which had been obtained with great difficulty, received this session the sanction of parliament.[**] In this submission, the clergy acknowledged that convocations ought to be assembled by the king's authority only; they promised to enact no new canons without his consent; and they agreed that he should appoint thirty-two commissioners, in order to examine the old canons, and abrogate such as should be found prejudicial to his royal prerogative.[***] An appeal was also allowed from the bishop's court to the king in chancery.
     * Le Neve's Fasti Eccles. Angl.

     ** 25 Henry VIII. cap, 19.

     *** Collier, vol. ii. p. 69, 70.
But the most important law passed this session was that which regulated the succession to the crown: the marriage of the king with Catharine was declared unlawful, void, and of no effect: the primate's sentence annulling it was ratified: and the marriage with Queen Anne was established and confirmed. The crown was appointed to descend to the issue of this marriage, and failing them, to the king's heirs forever. An oath likewise was enjoined to be taken in favor of this order of succession, under the penalty of imprisonment during the king's pleasure, and forfeiture of goods and chattels. And all slander against the king, queen, or their issue, was subjected to the penalty of misprision of treason. After these compliances, the parliament was prorogued; and those acts, so contemptuous towards the pope, and so destructive of his authority, were passed at the very time that Clement pronounced his hasty sentence against the king. Henry's resentment against Queen Catharine, on account of her obstinacy, was the reason why he excluded her daughter from all hopes of succeeding to the crown; contrary to his first intentions, when he began the process of divorce, and of dispensation for a second marriage.
The king found his ecclesiastical subjects as compliant as the laity. The convocation ordered that the act against appeals to Rome, together with the king's appeal from the pope to a general council should be affixed to the doors of all the churches in the kingdom: and they voted that the bishop of Rome had, by the law of God, no more jurisdiction in England than any other foreign bishop; and that the authority which he and his predecessors had there exercised, was only by usurpation, and by the sufferance of English princes. Four persons alone opposed this vote in the lower house, and one doubted. It passed unanimously in the upper. The bishops went so far in their complaisance, that they took out new commissions from the crown, in which all their spiritual and episcopal authority was expressly affirmed to be derived ultimately from the civil magistrate, and to be entirely dependent on his good pleasure.[*]
The oath regarding the succession was generally taken throughout the kingdom. Fisher, bishop of Rochester, and Sir Thomas More, were the only persons of note that entertained scruples with regard to its legality. Fisher was obnoxious on account of some practices into which his credulity, rather than any bad intentions, seems to have betrayed him. But More was the person of greatest reputation in the kingdom for virtue and integrity; and as it was believed that his authority would have influence on the sentiments of others, great pains were taken to convince him of the lawfulness of the oath. He declared that he had no scruple with regard to the succession, and thought that the parliament had full power to settle it: he offered to draw an oath himself which would insure his allegiance to the heir appointed; but he refused the oath prescribed by law; because the preamble of that oath asserted the legality of the king's marriage with Anne, and thereby implied that his former marriage with Catharine was unlawful and invalid. Cramner, the primate, and Cromwell, now secretary of state, who highly loved and esteemed More, entreated him to lay aside his scruples; and their friendly importunity seemed to weigh more with him than all the penalties attending his refusal.[**] He persisted, however, in a mild though firm manner, to maintain his resolution; and the king, irritated against him as well as Fisher, ordered both to be indicted upon the statute, and committed prisoners to the Tower.
     * Collier's Eccles. Hist. vol. ii.

     ** Burnet, vol. i. p. 156.
The parliament, being again assembled, conferred on the king the title of the only supreme "head" on earth of the church of England; as they had already invested him with all the real power belonging to it. In this memorable act, the parliament granted him power, or rather acknowledged his inherent power, "to visit, and repress, redress, reform, order, correct, restrain, or amend all errors, heresies, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, which fell under any spiritual authority or jurisdiction."[*] They also declared it treason to attempt, imagine, or speak evil against the king, queen, or his heirs; or to endeavor depriving them of their dignities or titles. They gave him a right to all the annates and tithes of benefices which had formerly been paid to the court of Rome. They granted him a subsidy and a fifteenth. They attainted More and Fisher for misprision of treason. And they completed the union of England and Wales, by giving to that principality all the benefit of the English laws.
     * 26 Henry VIII. cap. 1.
Thus the authority of the popes, like all exorbitant power, was ruined by the excess of its acquisitions, and by stretching its pretensions beyond what it was possible for any human principles or prepossessions to sustain. Indulgences had in former ages tended extremely to enrich the holy see; but being openly abused, they served to excite the first commotions and opposition in Germany. The prerogative of granting dispensations had also contributed much to attach all the sovereign princes and great families in Europe to the papal authority; but meeting with an unlucky concurrence of circumstances, was now the cause why England separated herself from the Romish communion. The acknowledgment of the king's supremacy introduced there a greater simplicity in the government, by uniting the spiritual with the civil power, and preventing disputes about limits, which never could be exactly determined between the contending jurisdictions. A way was also prepared for checking the exorbitances of superstition, and breaking those shackles by which all human reason, policy, and industry had so long been encumbered. The prince, it may be supposed, being head of the religion, as well as of the temporal jurisdiction of the kingdom, though he might sometimes employ the former as an engine of government, had no interest, like the Roman pontiff, in nourishing its excessive growth; and, except when blinded by his own ignorance or bigotry, would be sure to retain it within tolerable limits, and prevent its abuses. And on the whole, there followed from this revolution many beneficial consequences; though perhaps neither foreseen nor intended by the persons who had the chief hand in conducting it.
While Henry proceeded with so much order and tranquillity in changing the national religion, and while his authority seemed entirely secure in England, he was held in some inquietude by the state of affairs in Ireland and in Scotland.
The earl of Kildare was deputy of Ireland, under the duke of Richmond, the king's natural son, who bore the title of lieutenant; and as Kildare was accused of some violences against the family of Ossory, his hereditary enemies, he was summoned to answer for his conduct. He left his authority in the hands of his son, who, hearing that his father was thrown into prison, and was in danger of his life, immediately took up arms, and joining himself to Oneale, Ocarrol, and other Irish nobility, committed many ravages, murdered Allen, archbishop of Dublin, and laid siege to that city. Kildare meanwhile died in prison; and his son, persevering in his revolt, made applications to the emperor, who promised him assistance. The king was obliged to send over some forces to Ireland, which so harassed the rebels, that this young nobleman, finding the emperor backward in fulfilling his promises, was reduced to the necessity of surrendering himself prisoner to Lord Leonard Gray, the new deputy, brother to the marquis of Dorset. He was carried over to England, together with his five uncles; and after trial and conviction, they were all brought to public justice; though two of the uncles, in order to save the family, had pretended to join the king's party.
The earl of Angus had acquired the entire ascendant in Scotland; and having gotten possession of the king's person then in early youth, he was able, by means of that advantage, and by employing the power of his own family, to retain the reins of government. The queen dowager, however, his consort, bred him great disturbance. For having separated herself from him on account of some jealousies and disgusts, and having procured a divorce, she had married another man of quality, of the name of Stuart; and she joined all the discontented nobility who opposed Angus's authority. James himself was dissatisfied with the slavery to which he was reduced, and by secret correspondence he incited first Walter Scot, then the earl of Lenox, to attempt by force of arms the freeing him from the hands of Angus. Both enterprises failed of success: but James, impatient of restraint, found means at last of escape *ing to Stirling, where his mother then resided; and having summoned all the nobility to attend him, he overturned the authority of the Douglases, and obliged Angus and his brother to fly into England, where they were protected by Henry. The king of Scotland, being now arrived at years of majority, took the government into his own hands; and employed him self with great spirit and valor in repressing those feuds, ravages, and disorders, which, though they disturbed the course of public justice, served to support the martial spirit of the Scots, and contributed by that means to maintain national independency. He was desirous of renewing the ancient league with the French nation; but finding Francis in close union with England, and on that account somewhat cold in hearkening to his proposals, he received the more favorably the advances of the emperor, who hoped, by means of such an ally, to breed disturbance to England, He offered the Scottish king the choice of three princesses, his own near relations, and all of the name of Mary; his sister, the dowager of Hungary; his niece, a daughter of Portugal; or his cousin, the daughter of Henry, whom he pretended to dispose of unknown to her father. James was more inclined to the latter proposal, had it not, upon reflection, been found impracticable; and his natural propensity to France at last prevailed over all other considerations. The alliance with Francis necessarily engaged James to maintain peace with England. But though invited by his uncle Henry to confer with him at Newcastle, and concert common measures for repressing the ecclesiastics in both kingdoms, and shaking off the yoke of Rome, he could not be prevailed on, by entering England, to put himself in the king's power. In order to have a pretext for refusing the conference, he applied to the pope, and obtained a brief, forbidding him to engage in any personal negotiations with an enemy of the holy see. From these measures Henry easily concluded that he could very little depend on the friendship of his nephew. But those events took not place till some time after our present period.



The ancient and almost uninterrupted opposition of interests between the laity and clergy in England, and between the English clergy and the court of Rome, had sufficiently prepared the nation for a breach with the sovereign pontiff; and men had penetration enough to discover abuses which were plainly calculated for the temporal advantages of the hierarchy, and which they found destructive of their own. These subjects seemed proportioned to human understanding; and even the people, who felt the power of interest in their own breasts, could perceive the purpose of those numerous inventions which the interested spirit of the Roman pontiff had introduced into religion. But when the reformers proceeded thence to dispute concerning the nature of the sacraments, the operations of grace, the terms of acceptance with the Deity, men were thrown into amazement, and were, during some time, at a loss how to choose their party. The profound ignorance in which both the clergy and laity formerly lived, and their freedom from theological altercations, had produced a sincere but indolent acquiescence in received opinions; and the multitude were neither attached to them by topics of reasoning, nor by those prejudices and antipathies against opponents, which have ever a more natural and powerful influence over them. As soon, therefore, as a new opinion was advanced, supported by such an authority as to call up their attention, they felt their capacity totally unfitted for such disquisitions; and they perpetually fluctuated between the contending parties. Hence the quick and violent movements by which the people were agitated, even in the most opposite directions: hence their seeming prostitution, in sacrificing to present power the most sacred principles: and hence the rapid progress during some time, and the sudden as well as entire check soon after, of the new doctrines. When men were once settled in their particular sects, and had fortified themselves in an habitual detestation of those who were denominated heretics, they adhered with more obstinacy to the principles of their education; and the limits of the two religions thenceforth remained fixed and unchangeable.
Nothing more forwarded the first progress of the reformers, than the offer which they made of submitting all religious doctrines to private judgment, and the summons given every one to examine the principles formerly imposed upon him. Though the multitude were totally unqualified for this undertaking, they yet were highly pleased with it. They fancied that they were exercising their judgment, while they opposed to the prejudices of ancient authority more powerful prejudices of another kind. The novelty itself of the doctrines; the pleasure of an imaginary triumph in dispute; the fervent zeal of the reformed preachers; their patience, and even alacrity, in suffering persecution, death, and torments; a disgust at the restraints of the old religion; an indignation against the tyranny and interested spirit of the ecclesiastics; these motives were prevalent with the people, and by such considerations were men so generally induced, during that age, to throw off the religion of their ancestors.
But in proportion as the practice of submitting religion to private judgment was acceptable to the people, it appeared in some respects dangerous to the rights of sovereigns, and seemed to destroy that implicit obedience on which the authority of the civil magistrate is chiefly founded. The very precedent of shaking so ancient and deep-founded an establishment as that of the Romish hierarchy, might, it was apprehended, prepare the way for other innovations. The republican spirit which naturally took place among the reformers, increased this jealousy. The furious insurrections of the populace, excited by Muncer and other Anabaptists in Germany,[*] furnished a new pretence for decrying the reformation. Nor ought we to conclude, because Protestants in our time prove as dutiful subjects as those of any other communion, that therefore such apprehensions were altogether without any shadow of plausibility. Though the liberty of private judgment be tendered to the disciples of the reformation, it is not in reality accepted of; and men are generally contented to acquiesce implicitly in those establishments, however new, into which their early education has thrown them.
     * Sleidan, lib. iv. and v.
No prince in Europe was possessed of such absolute authority as Henry, not even the pope himself, in his own capital, where he united both the civil and ecclesiastical powers; [*] 9 and there was small likelihood, that any doctrine which lay under the imputation of encouraging sedition could ever pretend to his favor and countenance.
    * See note I, at the end of the volume.
But besides this political jealousy, there was another reason which inspired this imperious monarch with an aversion to the reformers. He had early declared his sentiments against Luther; and having entered the lists in those scholastic quarrels, he had received from his courtiers and theologians infinite applause for his performance. Elated by this imaginary success, and blinded by a natural arrogance and obstinacy of temper, he had entertained the most lofty opinion of his own erudition; and he received with impatience, mixed with contempt, any contradiction to his sentiments. Luther also had been so imprudent as to treat in a very indecent manner his royal antagonist; and though he afterwards made the most humble submissions to Henry, and apologized for the vehemence of his former expressions, he never could efface the hatred which the king had conceived against him and his doctrines. The idea of heresy still appeared detestable as well as formidable to that prince; and whilst his resentment against the see of Rome had corrected one considerable part of his early prejudices, he had made it a point of honor never to relinquish the remainder. Separate as he stood from the Catholic church, and from the Roman pontiff, the head of it, he still valued himself on maintaining the Catholic doctrine, and or guarding, by fire and sword, the imagined purity of his speculative principles.
Henry's ministers and courtiers were of as motley a character as his conduct; and seemed to waver, during this whole reign, between the ancient and the new religion. The queen, engaged by interest as well as inclination, favored the cause of the reformers: Cromwell, who was created secretary of state, and who was daily advancing in the king's confidence, had embraced the same views; and as he was a man of prudence and abilities, he was able, very effectually, though in a covert manner, to promote the late innovations: Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, had secretly adopted the Protestant tenets; and he had gained Henry's friendship by his candor and sincerity; virtues which he possessed in as eminent a degree as those times, equally distracted with faction and oppressed by tyranny, could easily permit. On the other hand, the duke of Norfolk adhered to the ancient faith, and by his high rank, as well as by his talents, both for peace and war, he had great authority in the king's council: Gardiner, lately created bishop of Winchester, had enlisted himself in the same party; and the suppleness of his character, and dexterity of his conduct, had rendered him extremely useful to it.
All these ministers, while they stood in the most irreconcilable opposition of principles to each other, were obliged to disguise their particular opinions, and to pretend an entire agreement with the sentiments of their master. Cromwell and Cranmer still carried the appearance of a conformity to the ancient speculative tenets; but they artfully made use of Henry's resentment to widen the breach with the see of Rome. Norfolk and Gardiner feigned an assent to the king's supremacy, and to his renunciation of the sovereign pontiff; but they encouraged his passion for the Catholic faith, and instigated him to punish those daring heretics who had presumed to reject his theological principles. Both sides hoped, by their unlimited compliance, to bring him over to their party: the king, meanwhile, who held the balance between the factions, was enabled, by the courtship paid him both by Protestants and Catholics, to assume an unbounded authority: and though in all his measures he was really driven by his ungoverned humor, he casually steered a course which led more certainly to arbitrary power, than any which the most profound politics could have traced out to him. Artifice, refinement, and hypocrisy, in his situation, would have put both parties on their guard against him, and would have taught them reserve in complying with a monarch whom they could never hope thoroughly to have gained;* but while the frankness, sincerity, and openness of Henry's temper were generally known, as well as the dominion of his furious passions, each side dreaded to lose him by the smallest opposition, and flattered themselves that a blind compliance with his will would throw him cordially and fully into their interests.
The ambiguity of the king's conduct, though it kept the courtiers in awe, served, in the main, to encourage the Protestant doctrine among his subjects, and promoted that spirit of innovation with which the age was generally seized, and which nothing but an entire uniformity, as will as a steady severity in the administration, could be able to repress. There were some Englishmen, Tindal, Joye, Constantine, and others, who, dreading the exertion of the king's authority had fled to Antwerp;[*] where the great privileges possessed by the Low Country provinces served, during some time, to give them protection. These men employed themselves in writing English books against the corruptions of the church of Rome; against images, relics, pilgrimages; and they excited the curiosity of men with regard to that question, the most important in theology, the terms of acceptance with the Supreme Being, In conformity to the Lutherans and other Protestants, they asserted that salvation was obtained by faith alone; and that the most infallible road to perdition[**] was a reliance on "good works;" by which terms they understood as well the moral duties as the ceremonial and monastic observances.
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 159.

     ** Sacrilegium est et impietas velle placere Deo per opera
     et non per solam fidem. Luther adversus regem. Ita vides
     quam dives sit homo Christianus sive baptizatus, qui etiam
     volens non protest perdere salutem suam quantiscunque
     peccatis. Nulla enim peccata possunt eum damnare nisi
     incredulitas. Id. de Captivitate Bábyloniea.
The defenders of the ancient religion, on the other hand, maintained the efficacy of good works; but though they did not exclude from this appellation the social virtues, it was still the superstitions gainful to the church which they chiefly extolled and recommended. The books composed by these fugitives, having stolen over to England, began to make converts every where; but it was a translation of the Scriptures by Tindal that was esteemed the most dangerous to the established faith. The first edition of this work, composed with little accuracy, was found liable to considerable objections; and Tindal, who was poor, and could not afford to lose a great part of the impression, was longing for an opportunity of correcting his errors, of which he had been made sensible. Tonstal, then bishop of London, soon after of Durham, a man of great moderation, being desirous to discourage, in the gentlest manner, these innovations, gave private orders for buying up all the copies that could be found at Antwerp; and he burned them publicly in Cheapside. By this measure he supplied Tindal with money, enabled him to print a new and correct edition of his work, and gave great scandal to the people, in thus committing to the flames the word of God.[*]
The disciples of the reformation met with little severity during the ministry of Wolsey, who, though himself a clergyman, bore too small a regard to the ecclesiastical order to serve as an instrument of their tyranny: it was even an article of impeachment against him,[**] that by his connivance he had encouraged the growth of heresy, and that he had protected and acquitted some notorious offenders. Sir Thomas More, who succeeded Wolsey as chancellor, is at once an object deserving our compassion, and an instance of the usual progress of men's sentiments during that age. This man, whose elegant genius and familiar acquaintance with the noble spirit of antiquity had given him very enlarged sentiments, and who had in his early years advanced principles which even at present would be deemed somewhat too free, had, in the course of events, been so irritated by polemics, and thrown into such a superstitious attachment to the ancient faith, that few inquisitors have been guilty of greater violence in their prosecution of heresy. Though adorned with the gentlest manners, as well as the purest integrity, he carried to the utmost height his aversion to heterodoxy; and James Bainham, in particular, a gentleman of the Temple, experienced from him the greatest severity. Bainham, accused of favoring the new opinions, was carried to More's house; and having refused to discover his accomplices, the chancellor ordered him to be whipped in his presence, and afterwards sent him to the Tower, where he himself saw him put to the torture. The unhappy gentleman, overcome by all these severities, abjured his opinions; but feeling afterwards the deepest compunction for his apostasy, he openly returned to his former tenets, and even courted the crown of martyrdom. He was condemned as an obstinate and relapsed heretic, and was burned in Smithfîeld.[***]
     * Hall. fol. 186. Fox, vol. i. p. 138. Burnet, vol. i p.

     ** Articles of impeachment in Herbert. Burnet.

     *** Fox. Burnet, vol i. p. 165.
Many were brought into the bishops' courts for offences which appear trivial, but which were regarded as symbols of the party: some for teaching their children the Lord's prayer in English; others for reading the New Testament in that language, or for speaking against pilgrimages. To harbor the persecuted preachers, to neglect the fasts of the church, to declaim against the vices of the clergy, were capital offences. One Thomas Bilney, a priest, who had embraced the new doctrine, had been terrified into an abjuration; but was so haunted by remorse, that his friends dreaded some fatal effects of his despair. At last, his mind seemed to be more relieved; but this appearing calm proceeded only from the resolution which he had taken of expiating his past offence by an open confession of the truth, and by dying a martyr to it. He went through Norfolk, teaching the people to beware of idolatry, and of trusting for their salvation either to pilgrimages, or to the cowl of St. Francis, to the prayers of the saints, or to images. He was soon seized, tried in the bishop's court, and condemned as a relapsed heretic; and the writ was sent down to burn him. When brought to the stake, he discovered such patience, fortitude, and devotion, that the spectators were much affected with the horrors of his punishment; and some mendicant friars who were present, fearing that his martyrdom would be imputed to them, and make them lose those alms which they received from the charity of the people, desired him publicly to acquit them[*] of having any hand in his death. He willingly complied; and by this meekness gained the more on the sympathy of the people.
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 164.
Another person, still more heroic, being brought to the stake for denying the real presence, seemed almost in a transport of joy; and he tenderly embraced the fagots which were to be the instruments of his punishment, as the means of procuring him eternal rest. In short, the tide turning towards the new doctrine, those severe executions, which, in another disposition of men's minds, would have sufficed to suppress it, now served only to diffuse it the more among the people, and to inspire them with horror against the unrelenting persecutors.
But though Henry neglected not to punish the Protestant doctrine, which he deemed heresy, his most formidable enemies, he knew, were the zealous adherents to the ancient religion, chiefly the monks, who, having their immediate dependence on the Roman pontiff, apprehended their own ruin to be the certain consequence of abolishing his authority in England. Peyto, a friar, preaching before the king, had the assurance to tell him, "that many lying prophets had deceived him; but he, as a true Micajah, warned him, that the dogs would lick his blood, as they had done Ahab's."[*] The king took no notice of the insult; but allowed the preacher to depart in peace. Next Sunday he employed Dr. Corren to preach before him; who justified the king's proceedings, and gave Peyto the appellations of a rebel, a slanderer, a dog, and a traitor. Elston, another friar of the same house, interrupted the preacher, and told him that he was one of the lying prophets, who sought to establish by adultery the succession of the crown; but that he himself would justify all that Peyto had said. Henry silenced the petulant friar; but showed no other mark of resentment than ordering Peyto and him to be summoned before the council, and to be rebuked for their offence.[**] He even here bore patiently some new instances of their obstinacy and arrogance: when the earl of Essex, a privy councillor, told them that they deserved for their offence to be thrown into the Thames, Elston replied that the road to heaven lay as near by water as by land.[***]
     * Strype, vol. i. p. 167.

     ** Collier, vol. ii. p. 86. Burnet, vol. i. p. 151.

     *** Stowe, p. 562
But several monks were detected in a conspiracy, which, as it might have proved more dangerous to the king, was on its discovery attended with more fatal consequences to themselves. Elizabeth Barton, of Aldington, in Kent, commonly called the "holy maid of Kent," had been subject to hysterical fits, which threw her body into unusual convulsions; and having produced an equal disorder in her mind, made her utter strange sayings, which, as she was scarcely conscious of them during the time, had soon after entirely escaped her memory. The silly people in the neighborhood were struck with these appearances, which they imagined to be supernatural; and Richard Masters, vicar of the parish, a designing fellow, founded on them a project, from which he hoped to acquire both profit and consideration. He went to Warham, archbishop of Canterbury, then alive; and having given him an account of Elizabeth's revelations, he so far wrought on that prudent but superstitious prelate, as to receive orders from him to watch her in her trances, and carefully to note down all her future sayings. The regard paid her by a person of so high a rank, soon rendered her still more the object of attention to the neighborhood; and it was easy for Masters to persuade them, as well as the maid herself, that her ravings were inspirations of the Holy Ghost. Knavery, as is usual, soon after succeeding to delusion, she learned to counterfeit trances and she then uttered, in an extraordinary tone, such speeches as were dictated to her by her spiritual director. Masters associated with him Dr. Bocking, a canon of Canterbury; and their design was to raise the credit of an image of the Virgin which stood in a chapel belonging to Masters, and to draw to it such pilgrimages as usually frequented the more famous images and relics. In prosecution of this design, Elizabeth pretended revelations which directed her to have recourse to that image for a cure; and being brought before it, in the presence of a great multitude, she fell anew into convulsions: and after distorting her limbs and countenance during a competent time, she affected to have obtained a perfect recovery by the intercession of the Virgin.[*] This miracle was soon bruited abroad; and the two priests, finding the imposture to succeed beyond their own expectations, began to extend their views, and to lay the foundation of more important enterprises. They taught their penitent to declaim against the new doctrines, which she denominated heresy; against innovations in ecclesiastical government; and against the king's intended divorce from Catharine. She went so far as to assert, that if he prosecuted that design, and married another, he should not be a king a month longer, and should not an hour longer enjoy the favor of the Almighty, but should die the death of a villain. Many monks throughout England, either from folly or roguery, or from faction, which is often a complication of both, entered into the delusion; and one Deering, a friar, wrote a book of the revelations and prophecies of Elizabeth.[**] Miracles were daily added to increase the wonder; and the pulpit every where resounded with accounts of the sanctity and inspirations of the new prophetess. Messages were carried from her to Queen Catharine, by which that princess was exhorted to persist in her opposition to the divorce; the pope's ambassadors gave encouragement to the popular credulity; and even Fisher, bishop of Rochester, though a man of sense and learning, was carried away by an opinion so favorable to the party which he had espoused.[***]
     * Stowe, p. 570. Blanquet's Epitome of Chronicler.

     ** Strype, vol. i. p. 181.

     *** Collier, vol. ii. p. 87
The king at last began to think the matter worthy of his attention; and having ordered Elizabeth and her accomplices to be arrested, he brought them before the star chamber, where they freely, without being put to the torture made confession of their guilt. The parliament, in the session held the beginning of this year, passed an act of attainder against some who were engaged in this treasonable imposture,[*] and Elizabeth herself, Masters, Bocking, Deering, Rich, Risby, Gold, suffered for their crime. The bishop of Rochester, Abel, Addison, Lawrence, and others were condemned for misprision of treason; because they had not discovered some criminal speeches which they heard from Elizabeth;[**] and they were thrown into prison. The better to undeceive the multitude, the forgery of many of the prophetess's miracles was detected; and even the scandalous prostitution of her manners was laid open to the public. Those passions which so naturally insinuate themselves amidst the warm intimacies maintained by the devotees of different sexes, had taken place between Elizabeth and her confederates; and it was found that a door to her dormitory, which was said to have been miraculously opened, in order to give her access to the chapel, for the sake of frequent converse with Heaven, had been contrived by Bocking and Masters for less refined purposes.
     * 25 Henry VIII. cap. 12. Burnet, vol. i. p. 149. Hall, fol.

     ** Godwin's Annals, p. 53.
The detection of this imposture, attended with so many odious circumstances, both hurt the credit of the ecclesiastics, particularly the monks, and instigated the king to take vengeance on them. He suppressed three monasteries of the Observantine friars; and finding that little clamor was excited by this act of power, he was the more encouraged to lay his rapacious hands on the remainder. Meanwhile he exercised punishment on individuals who were obnoxious to him. The parliament had made it treason to endeavor depriving the king of his dignity or titles: they had lately added to his other titles, that of supreme head of the church: it was inferred, that to deny his supremacy was treason; and many priors and ecclesiastics lost their lives for this new species of guilt. It was certainly a high instance of tyranny to punish the mere delivery of a political opinion, especially one that nowise affected the king's temporal right, as a capital offence, though attended with no overt act; and the parliament, in passing this law, had overlooked all the principles by which a civilized, much more a free people, should be governed: but the violence of changing so suddenly the whole system of government, and making it treason to deny what during many ages it had been heresy to assert, is an event which may appear somewhat extraordinary. Even the stern, unrelenting mind of Henry was at first shocked with these sanguinary measures; and he went so far as to change his garb and dress; pretending sorrow for the necessity by which he was pushed to such extremities. Still impelled, however, by his violent temper, and desirous of striking a terror into the whole nation, he proceeded, by making examples of Fisher and More, to consummate his lawless tyranny.
John Fisher, bishop of Rochester, was a prelate eminent for learning and morals, still more than for his ecclesiastical dignities, and for the high favor which he had long enjoyed with the king; When he was thrown into prison, on account of his refusing the oath which regarded the succession, and his concealment of Elizabeth Barton's treasonable speeches, he had not only been deprived of all his revenues, but stripped of his very clothes, and, without consideration of his extreme age, he was allowed nothing but rags, which scarcely sufficed to cover his nakedness.[*] In this condition he lay in prison above a twelvemonth; when the pope, willing to recompense the sufferings of so faithful an adherent, created him a cardinal though Fisher was so indifferent about that dignity, that, even if the purple were lying at his feet, he declared that he would not stoop to take it. This promotion of a man merely for his opposition to royal authority, roused the indignation of the king; and he resolved to make the innocent person feel the effects of his resentment. Fisher was indicted for denying the king's supremacy, was tried, condemned, and beheaded.
     * Fuller's Church Hist. book v. p. 203.
The execution of this prelate was intended as a warning to More, whose compliance, on account of his great authority both abroad and at home, and his high reputation for learning and virtue, was anxiously desired by the king. That prince also bore as great personal affection and regard to More, as his imperious mind, the sport of passions, was susceptible of towards a man who in any particular opposed his violent inclinations. But More could never be prevailed on to acknowledge any opinion so contrary to his principles as that of the king's supremacy; and though Henry exacted that compliance from the whole nation, there was as yet no law obliging any one to take an oath to that purpose. Rich, the solicitor-general, was sent to confer with More, then a prisoner, who kept a cautious silence with regard to the supremacy: he was only inveigled to say, that any question with regard to the law which established that prerogative was a two-edged sword; if a person answer one way, it will confound his soul; if another, it will destroy his body. No more was wanted to found an indictment of high treason against the prisoner. His silence was called malicious, and made a part of his crime; and these words, which had casually dropped from him, were interpreted as a denial of the supremacy.[*] Trials were mere formalities during this reign: the jury gave sentence against More, who had long expected this fate, and who needed no preparation to fortify him against the terrors of death. Not only his constancy, but even his cheerfulness, nay, his usual facetiousness, never forsook him; and he made a sacrifice of his life to his integrity, with the same indifference that he maintained in any ordinary occurrence. When he was mounting the scaffold, he said to one, "Friend, help me up; and when I come down again, let me shift for myself." The executioner asking him forgiveness, he granted the request, but told him, "You will never get credit by beheading me, my neck is so short." Then laying his head on the block, he bade the executioner stay till he put aside his beard: "For," said he, "it never committed treason." Nothing was wanting to the glory of this end, except a better cause, more free from weakness and superstition. But as the man followed his principles and sense of duty, however misguided, his constancy and integrity are not the less objects of our admiration. He was beheaded in the fifty-third year of his age.
     * More's Life of Sir Thomas More. Herbert, p. 393
When the execution of Fisher and More was reported at Rome, especially that of the former, who was invested with the dignity of cardinal, every one discovered the most violent rage against the king; and numerous libels were published by the wits and orators of Italy, comparing him to Caligula, Nero, Domitian, and all the most unrelenting tyrants of antiquity. Clement VII. had died about six months after he pronounced sentence against the king; and Paul III., of the name of Farnese, had succeeded to the papal throne. This pontiff, who while cardinal, had always favored Henry's cause, had hoped that personal animosities being buried with his predecessor, might not be impossible to form an agreement with England: and the king himself was so desirous of accommodating matters, that in a negotiation which he entered into with Francis a little before this time, he required that that monarch should conciliate a friendship between him and the court of Rome. But Henry was accustomed to prescribe, not to receive terms; and even while he was negotiating for peace, his usual violence often carried him to commit offences which rendered the quarrel totally incurable. The execution of Fisher was regarded by Paul as so capital an injury, that he immediately passed censures against the king, citing him and all his adherents to appear in Rome within ninety days, in order to answer for their crimes: if they failed, he excommunicated them; deprived the king of his crown; laid the kingdom under an interdict; declared his issue by Anne Boleyn illegitimate; dissolved all leagues which any Catholic princes had made with him; gave his kingdom to any invader; commanded the nobility to take arms against him; freed his subjects from all oaths of allegiance; cut off their commerce with foreign states; and declared it lawful for any one to seize them, to make slaves of their persons, and to convert their effects to his own use.[*] But though these censures were passed, they were not at that time openly denounced; the pope delayed the publication till he should find an agreement with England entirely desperate; and till the emperor, who was at that time hard pressed by the Turks and the Protestant princes in Germany, should be in a condition to carry the sentence into execution.
The king knew that he might expect any injury which it should be in Charles's power to inflict; and he therefore made it the chief object of his policy to incapacitate that monarch from wreaking his resentment upon him.[**]
     * Sanders, p. 148.

     ** Herbert, p. 350, 351.
He renewed his friendship with Francis, and opened negotiations for marrying his infant daughter, Elizabeth, with the duke of Angoulême, third son of Francis. These two monarchs also made advances to the princes of the Protestant league in Germany, ever jealous of the emperor's ambition; and Henry, besides remitting them some money, sent Fox, bishop of Hereford, as Francis did Bellay, lord of Langley, to treat with them. But during the first fervors of the reformation, an agreement in theological tenets was held, as well as a union of interests, to be essential to a good correspondence among states; and though both Francis and Henry flattered the German princes with hopes of their embracing the confession of Augsbourg, it was looked upon as a bad symptom of their sincerity, that they exercised such extreme rigor against all preachers of the reformation in their respective dominions.[*] Henry carried the feint so far, that, while he thought himself the first theologian in the world, he yet invited over Melaricthon, Bucer, Sturmius, Draco, and other German divines, that they might confer with him, and instruct him in the foundation of their tenets. These theologians were now of great importance in the world; and no poet or philosopher, even in ancient Greece, where they were treated with most respect, had ever reached equal applause and admiration with those wretched composers of metaphysical polemics. The German princes told the king, that they could not spare their divines; and as Henry had no hopes of agreement with such zealous disputants, and knew that in Germany the followers of Luther would not associate with the disciples of Zuinglius, because, though they agreed in every thing else, they differed in some minute particulars with regard to the eucharist, he was the more indifferent on account of this refusal. He could also foresee, that even while the league of Smalcalde did not act in concert with him, they would always be carried by their interests to oppose the emperor: and the hatred between Francis and that monarch was so inveterate, that he deemed himself sure of a sincere ally in one or other of these potentates.
     * Sleidan, lib. 10.
During these negotiations, an incident happened in England, which promised a more amicable conclusion of those disputes, and seemed even to open the way for a reconciliation between Henry and Charles. Queen Catharine was seized with a lingering illness, which at last brought her to her grave; she died at Kimbolton, in the county of Huntingdon, in the fiftieth year of her age. A little before she expired, she wrote a very tender letter to the king, in which she gave him the appellation of "her most dear lord, king, and husband." She told him that as the hour of her death was now approaching, she laid hold of this last opportunity to inculcate on him the importance of his religious duty, and the comparative emptiness of all human grandeur and enjoyment; that though his fondness towards these perishable advantages had thrown her into many calamities, as well as created to himself much trouble, she yet forgave him all past injuries, and hoped that his pardon would be ratified in Heaven; and that she had no other request to make, than to recommend to him his daughter, the sole pledge of their loves; and to crave his protection for her maids and servants. She concluded with these words: "I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things."[*] The king was touched, even to the shedding of tears, by this last tender proof of Catharine's affection; but Queen Anne is said to have expressed her joy for the death of a rival beyond what decency or humanity could permit.[**]
The emperor thought that, as the demise of his aunt had removed all foundation of personal animosity between him and Henry, it might not now be impossible to detach him from the alliance of France, and to renew his own confederacy with England, from which he had formerly reaped so much advantage. He sent Henry proposals for a return to ancient amity, upon these conditions:[***] that he should be reconciled to the see of Rome, that he should assist him in his war with the Turk, and that he should take part with him against Francis, who now threatened the duchy of Milan. The king replied, that he was willing to be on good terms with the emperor, provided that prince would acknowledge that the former breach of friendship came entirely from himself: as to the conditions proposed, the proceedings against the bishop of Rome were so just, and so fully ratified by the parliament of England, that they could not now be revoked; when Christian princes should have settled peace among themselves, he would not fail to exert that vigor which became him, against the enemies of the faith; and after amity with the emperor was once fully restored, he should then be in a situation, as a common friend both to him and Francis, either to mediate an agreement between them, or to assist the injured party.
     * Herbert, p. 403.

     ** Burnet, vol. i. p. 192

     *** Du Bellai, liv. v. Herbert. Burnet, vol. iii. in Coll.
     No· 60.
What rendered Henry more indifferent to the advances made by the emperor was, both his experience of the usual duplicity and insincerity of that monarch, and the intelligence which he received of the present transactions in Europe. Francis Sforza, duke of Milan, had died without issue; and the emperor maintained that the duchy, being a fief of the empire, was devolved to him, as head of the Germanic body: not to give umbrage, however, to the states of Italy, he professed his intention of bestowing that principality on some prince who should be obnoxious to no party, and he even made offer of it to the duke of Angoulême, third son of Francis. The French monarch, who pretended that his own right to Milan was now revived upon Sforza's death, was content to substitute his second son, the duke of Orleans, in his place; and the emperor pretended to close with this proposal. But his sole intention in that liberal concession was to gain time till he should put himself in a warlike posture, and be able to carry an invasion into Francis's dominions. The ancient enmity between these, princes broke out anew in bravadoes, and in personal insults on each other, ill becoming persons of their rank, and still less suitable to men of such unquestioned bravery. Charles soon after invaded Provence in person, with an army of fifty thousand men; but met with no success. His army perished with sickness, fatigue, famine, and other disasters; and he was obliged to raise the siege of Marseilles, and retire into Italy with the broken remains of his forces. An army of imperialists, near thirty thousand strong, which invaded France on the side of the Netherlands, and laid siege to Peronne, made no greater progress, but retired upon the approach of a French army. And Henry had thus the satisfaction to find, both that his ally Francis was likely to support himself without foreign assistance, and that his own tranquillity was fully insured by these violent wars and animosities on the continent.
If any inquietude remained with the English court, it was solely occasioned by the state of affairs in Scotland. James, hearing of the dangerous situation of his ally Francis, generously levied some forces; and embarking them on board vessels which he had hired for that purpose, landed them safely in France. He even went over in person; and making haste to join the camp of the French king, which then lay in Provence, and to partake of his danger, he met that prince at Lyons, who, having repulsed the emperor, was now returning to his capital. Recommended by so agreeable and seasonable an instance of friendship, the king of Scots paid his addresses to Magdalen, daughter of the French monarch; and this prince had no other objection to the match than what arose from the infirm state of his daughter's health, which seemed to threaten her with an approaching end. But James having gained the affections of the princess, and obtained her consent, the father would no longer oppose the united desires of his daughter and his friend: they were accordingly married, and soon after set sail for Scotland, where the young queen, as was foreseen, died in a little time after her arrival. Francis, however, was afraid lest his ally Henry, whom he likewise looked on as his friend, and who lived with him on a more cordial footing than is usual among great princes, should be displeased that this close confederacy between France and Scotland was concluded without his participation. He therefore despatched Pommeraye to London, in order to apologize for this measure; but Henry, with his usual openness and freedom, expressed such displeasure, that he refused even to confer with the ambassador; and Francis was apprehensive of a rupture with a prince who regulated his measures more by humor and passion than by the rules of political prudence. But the king was so fettered by the opposition in which he was engaged against the pope and the emperor, that he pursued no further this disgust against Francis; and in the end, every thing remained in tranquillity both on the side of France and of Scotland.
The domestic peace of England seemed to be exposed to more hazard by the violent innovations in religion; and it may be affirmed that, in this dangerous conjuncture, nothing insured public tranquillity so much as the decisive authority acquired by the king, and his great ascendant over all his subjects. Not only the devotion paid to the crown was profound during that age: the personal respect inspired by Henry was considerable; and even the terrors with which he overawed every one, were not attended with any considerable degree of hatred. His frankness, his sincerity, his magnificence, his generosity, were virtues which counterbalanced his violence, cruelty, and impetuosity. And the important rank which his vigor, more than his address, acquired him in all foreign negotiations, flattered the vanity of Englishmen, and made them the more willingly endure those domestic hardships to which they were exposed. The king, conscious of his advantages, was now proceeding to the most dangerous exercise of his authority; and after paving the way for that measure by several preparatory expedients, he was at last determined to suppress the monasteries, and to put himself in possession of their ample revenues.
The great increase of monasteries, if matters be considered merely in a political light, will appear the radical inconvenience of the Catholic religion; and every other disadvantage attending that communion seems to have an inseparable connection with these religious institutions. Papal usurpations, the tyranny of the inquisition, the multiplicity of holidays; all these fetters on liberty and industry were ultimately derived from the authority and insinuation of monks, whose habitations, being established every where, proved so many seminaries of superstition and of folly. This order of men was extremely enraged against Henry, and regarded the abolition of the papal authority in England as the removal of the sole protection which they enjoyed against the rapacity of the crown and of the courtiers. They were now subjected to the king's visitation; the supposed sacredness of their bulls from Rome was rejected; the progress of the reformation abroad, which had every where been attended with the abolition of the monastic orders, gave them reason to apprehend like consequences in England; and though the king still maintained the doctrine of purgatory, to which most of the convents owed their origin and support, it was foreseen, that, in the progress of the contest, he would every day be led to depart wider from ancient institutions, and be drawn nearer the tenets of the reformers, with whom his political interests naturally induced him to unite. Moved by these considerations, the friars employed all their influence to inflame the people against the king's government; and Henry, finding their safety irreconcilable with his own, was determined to seize the present opportunity, and utterly destroy his declared enemies.
Cromwell, secretary of state, had been appointed vicar-general, or vicegerent, a new office, by which the king's supremacy, or the absolute uncontrollable power assumed over the church, was delegated to him. He employed Layton, London, Price, Gage, Petre, Bellasis, and others, as commissioners who carried on every where a rigorous inquiry with regard to the conduct and deportment of all the friars. During times of faction, especially of the religious kind, no equity is to be expected from adversaries; and as it was known, that the king's intention in this visitation was to find a pretence for abolishing monasteries, we may naturally conclude, that the reports of the commissioners are very little to be relied on. Friars were encouraged to bring in informations against their brethren; the slightest evidence was credited; and even the calumnies spread abroad by the friends of the reformation, were regarded as grounds of proof. Monstrous disorders are therefore said to have been found in many of the religious houses; whole convents of women abandoned to lewdness; signs of abortions procured, of infants murdered, of unnatural lusts between persons of the same sex. It is indeed probable, that the blind submission of the people, during those ages, would render the friars and nuns more unguarded and more dissolute than they are in any Roman Catholic country at present; but still the reproaches, which it is safest to credit, are such as point at vices naturally connected with the very institution of convents, and with the monastic life. The cruel and inveterate factions and quarrels, therefore, which the commissioners mentioned, are very credible among men, who, being confined together within the same walls, never can forget their mutual animosities, and who, being cut off from all the most endearing connections of nature, are commonly cursed with hearts more selfish, and tempers more unrelenting, than fall to the share of other men. The pious frauds practised to increase the devotion and liberality of the people, may be regarded as certain, in an order founded on illusions, lies, and superstition. The supine idleness also, and its attendant, profound ignorance, with which the convents were reproached, admit of no question; and though monks were the true preservers, as well as inventors, of the dreaming and captious philosophy of the schools, no manly or elegant knowledge could be expected among men, whose lives, condemned to a tedious uniformity, and deprived of all emulation, afforded nothing to raise the mind or cultivate the genius.
Some few monasteries, terrified with this rigorous inquisition carried on by Cromwell and his commissioners, surrendered their revenues into the king's hands; and the monks received small pensions as the reward of their obsequiousness. Orders were given to dismiss such nuns and friars as were below four and twenty, whose vows were, on that account, supposed not to be binding. The doors of the convents were opened, even to such as were above that age; and every one recovered his liberty who desired it. But as all these expedients did not fully answer the king's purpose, he had recourse to his usual instrument of power, the parliament; and in order to prepare men for the innovations projected, the report of the visitors was published, and a general horror was endeavored to be excited n the nation against institutions, which, to their ancestors had been the objects of the most profound veneration.
The king, though determined utterly to abolish the monastic order, resolved to proceed gradually in this great work; and he gave directions to the parliament to go no further, at present, than to suppress the lesser monasteries, which possessed revenues below two hundred pounds a year.[*] These were found to be the most corrupted, as lying less under the restraint of shame, and being exposed to less scrutiny;[**] and it was deemed safest to begin with them, and thereby prepare the way for the greater innovations projected. By this act three hundred and seventy-six monasteries were suppressed, and their revenues, amounting to thirty-two thousand pounds a year, were granted to the king; besides their goods, chattels, and plate, computed at a hundred thousand pounds more.[***] It does not appear that any opposition was made to this important law: so absolute was Henry's authority[****] A court, called the court of augmentation of the king's revenue, was erected for the management of these funds. The people naturally concluded from this circumstance, that Henry intended to proceed in despoiling the church of her patrimony.[v]
The act formerly passed, empowering the king to name thirty-two commissioners for framing a body of canon law, was renewed; but the project was never carried into execution. Henry thought, that the present perplexity of that law increased his authority, and kept the clergy in still greater dependence.
Further progress was made in completing the union of Wales with England: the separate jurisdictions of several great lords, or marchers, as they were called, which obstructed the course of justice in Wales, and encouraged robbery and pillaging, were abolished; and the authority of the king's courts was extended every where. Some jurisdictions of a like nature in England were also abolished this session.
     * 27 Henry VIII. c. 28.

     ** Burnet, vol. i. p. 193.

     *** It is pretended, (see Holingshed, p. 939,) that ten
     thousand monks wore turned out on the dissolution of the
     lesser monasteries. If so, most of them must have been
     mendicants; for the revenue could not have supported near
     that number. The mendicants, no doubt, still continued their
     former profession.

     **** 27 Henry VIII. c. 27.

     v  27 Henry VIII. c. 4
The commons, sensible that they had gained nothing by opposing the king's will when he formerly endeavored to secure the profits of wardships and liveries, were now contented to frame a law,[*] such as he dictated to them. It was enacted, that the possession of land shall be adjudged to be in those who have the use of it, not in those to whom it is transferred in trust.
     * 27 Henry VIII. c. 10.
After all these laws were passed, the king dissolved the parliament; a parliament memorable, not only for the great and important innovations which it introduced, but also for the long time it had sitten, and the frequent prorogations which it had undergone. Henry had found it so obsequious to his will, that he did not choose, during those religious ferments, to hazard a new election; and he continued the same parliament above six years: a practice at that time unusual in England.
The convocation which sat during this session was engaged in a very important work, the deliberating on the new translation which was projected of the Scriptures. The translation given by Tindal, though corrected by himself in a new edition, was still complained of by the clergy as inaccurate and unfaithful; and it was now proposed to them, that they should themselves publish a translation which would not be liable to those objections.
The friends of the reformation asserted, that nothing could be more absurd than to conceal, in an unknown tongue, the word of God itself, and thus to counteract the will of Heaven, which, for the purpose of universal salvation, had published that salutary doctrine to all nations: that if this practice were not very absurd, the artifice at least was very gross, and proved a consciousness, that the glosses and traditions of the clergy stood in direct opposition to the original text, dictated by supreme intelligence: that it was now necessary for the people, so long abused by interested pretensions, to see with their own eyes, and to examine whether the claims of the ecclesiastics were founded on that charter which was on all hands acknowledged to be derived from Heaven: and that, as a spirit of research and curiosity was happily revived, and men were now obliged to make a choice among the contending doctrines of different sects, the proper materials for decision, and above all, the Holy Scriptures, should be set before them; and the revealed will of God, which the change of language had somewhat obscured, be again, by their means, revealed to mankind.
The favorers of the ancient religion maintained, on the other hand, that the pretence of making the people see with their own eyes was a mere cheat, and was itself a very gross artifice, by which the new preachers hoped to obtain the guidance of them, and to seduce them from those pastors whom the laws, whom ancient establishments, whom Heaven itself, had appointed for their spiritual direction: that the people were by their ignorance, their stupidity, their necessary avocations, totally unqualified to choose their own principles; and it was a mockery to set materials before them, of which they could not possibly make any proper use: that even in the affairs of common life, and in their temporal concerns, which lay more within the compass of human reason, the laws had in a great measure deprived them of the right of private judgment, and had, happily for their own and the public interest, regulated their conduct and behavior: that theological questions were placed far beyond the sphere of vulgar comprehension; and ecclesiastics themselves, though assisted by all the advantages of education, erudition, and an assiduous study of the science, could not be fully assured of a just decision, except by the promise made them in Scripture, that God would be ever present with his church, and that the gates of hell should not prevail against her: that the gross errors adopted by the wisest heathens, proved how unfit men were to grope their own way through this profound darkness; nor would the Scriptures, if trusted to every man's judgment, be able to remedy; on the contrary, they would much augment, those fatal illusions: that sacred writ itself was involved in so much obscurity, gave rise to so many difficulties, contained so many appearing contradictions, that it was the most dangerous weapon that could be intrusted into the hands of the ignorant and giddy multitude: that the poetical style in which a great part of it was composed, at the same time that it occasioned uncertainty in the sense, by its multiplied tropes and figures, was sufficient to kindle the zeal of fanaticism, and thereby throw civil society into the most furious combustion: that a thousand sects must arise, which would pretend, each of them, to derive its tenets from the Scripture; and would be able, by specious arguments, or even without specious arguments, to seduce silly women and ignorant mechanics into a belief of the most monstrous principles: and that if ever this disorder, dangerous to the magistrate himself, received a remedy, it must be from the tacit acquiescence of the people in some new authority; and it was evidently better, without further contest or inquiry, to adhere peaceably to ancient, and therefore the more secure establishments.
These latter arguments, being more agreeable to ecclesiastical governments, would probably have prevailed in the convocation, had it not been for the authority of Cranmer, Latimer, and some other bishops, who were supposed to speak the king's sense of the matter. A vote was passed for publishing a new translation of the Scriptures; and in three years' time the work was finished, and printed at Paris. This was deemed a great point gained by the reformers, and a considerable advancement of their cause. Further progress was soon expected, after such important successes.
But while the retainers to the new religion were exulting in their prosperity, they met with a mortification which seemed to blast all their hopes: their patroness, Anne Boleyn, possessed no longer the king's favor; and soon after lost her life by the rage of that furious monarch. Henry had persevered in his love to this lady during six years that his prosecution of the divorce lasted; and the more obstacles he met with to the gratification of his passion, the more determined zeal did he exert in pursuing his purpose. But the affection which had subsisted, and still increased under difficulties, had not long attained secure possession of its object, when it languished from satiety; and the king's heart was apparently estranged from his consort. Anne's enemies soon perceived the fatal change; and they were forward to widen the breach, when they found that they incurred no danger by interposing in those delicate concerns. She had been delivered of a dead son; and Henry's extreme fondness for male issue being thus for the present disappointed, his temper, equally violent and superstitious, was disposed to make the innocent mother answerable for the misfortune.[*] But the chief means which Anne's enemies employed to inflame the king against her, was his jealousy.
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 196.
Anne, though she appears to have been entirely innocent, and even virtuous in her conduct, had a certain gayety, if not levity of character which threw her off her guard, and made her less circumspect than her situation required. Her education in France rendered her the more prone to those freedoms; and it was with difficulty she conformed herself to that strict ceremonial practised in the court of England. More vain than haughty, she was pleased to see the influence of her beauty on all around her; and she indulged herself in an easy familiarity with persons who were formerly her equals, and who might then have pretended to her friendship and good graces. Henry's dignity was offended with these popular manners; and though the lover had been entirely blind, the husband possessed but too quick discernment and penetration. III instruments interposed, and put a malignant interpretation on the harmless liberties of the queen: the viscountess of Rocheford, in particular, who was married to the queen's brother, but who lived on bad terms with her sister-in-law, insinuated the most cruel suspicions into the king's mind; and as she was a woman of a profligate character, she paid no regard either to truth or humanity in those calumnies which she suggested. She pretended that her own husband was engaged in a criminal correspondence with his sister; and not content with this imputation, she poisoned every action of the queen's, and represented each instance of favor, which she conferred on any one, as a token of affection. Henry Norris, groom of the stole, Weston and Brereton, gentlemen of the king's chamber, together with Mark Smeton, groom of the chamber, were observed to possess much of the queen's friendship; and they served her with a zeal and attachment, which, though chiefly derived from gratitude, might not improbably be seasoned with some mixture of tenderness for so amiable a princess. The king's jealousy laid hold of the slightest circumstance; and finding no particular object on which it could fasten, it vented itself equally on every one that came within the verge of its fury.
Had Henry's jealousy been derived from love, though it might on a sudden have proceeded to the most violent extremities, it would have been subject to many remorses and contrarieties; and might at last have served only to augment that affection on which it was founded. But it was a more stern jealousy, fostered entirely by pride: his love was transferred to another object. Jane, daughter of Sir John Seymour, and maid of honor to the queen, a young lady of singular beauty and merit, had obtained an entire ascendant over him; and he was determined to sacrifice every thing to the gratification of this new appetite. Unlike to most monarchs, who judge lightly of the crime of gallantry, and who deem the young damsels of their court rather honored than disgraced by their passion, he seldom thought of any other attachment than that of marriage; and in order to attain this end, he underwent more difficulties, and committed greater crimes, than those which he sought to avoid by forming that legal connection And having thus entertained the design of raising his new mistress to his bed and throne, he more willingly hearkened to every suggestion which threw any imputation of guilt on the unfortunate Anne Boleyn.
The king's jealousy first appeared openly in a tilting at Greenwich, where the queen happened to drop her handkerchief, an incident probably casual, but interpreted by him as an instance of gallantry to some of her paramours.[*] He immediately retired from the place; sent orders to confine her to her chamber; arrested Norris, Brereton, Weston, and Smeton, together with her brother Rocheford; and threw them into prison. The queen, astonished at these instances of his fury, thought that he meant only to try her; but finding him in earnest, she reflected on his obstinate, unrelenting spirit, and she prepared herself for that melancholy doom which was awaiting her. Next day, she was sent to the Tower; and on her way thither, she was informed of her supposed offences, of which she had hitherto been ignorant: she made earnest protestations of her innocence; and when she entered the prison, she fell on her knees, and prayed God so to help her, as she was not guilty of the crime imputed to her. Her surprise and confusion threw her into hysterical disorders; and in that situation she thought that the best proof of her innocence was to make an entire confession; and she revealed some indiscretions and levities, which her simplicity had equally betrayed her to commit and to avow. She owned that she had once rallied Norris on his delaying his marriage, and had told him that he probably expected her when she should be a widow: she had reproved Weston, she said, for his affection to a kinswoman of hers, and his indifference towards his wife; but he told her that she had mistaken the object of his affection, for it was herself; upon which she defied him.[*] She affirmed that Smeton had never been in her chamber but twice, when he played on the harpsichord; but she acknowledged that he had once had the boldness to tell her that a look sufficed him. The king, instead of being satisfied with the candor and sincerity of her confession, regarded these indiscretions only as preludes to greater and more criminal intimacies.
     * Burnet, vol. i. p. 198.

     ** Strype, vol. i. p. 281.
Of all those multitudes whom the beneficence of the queen's tamper had obliged during her prosperous fortune, no one durst interpose between her and the king's fury; and the person whose advancement every breath had favored, and every countenance had smiled upon, was now left neglected and abandoned. Even her uncle, the duke of Norfolk, preferring the connections of party to the ties of blood, was become her most dangerous enemy; and all the retainers to the Catholic religion hoped that her death would terminate the king's quarrel with Rome, and leave him again to his natural and early bent, which had inclined him to maintain the most intimate union with the apostolic see. Cranmer alone, of all the queen's adherents, still retained his friendship for her; and, as far as the king's impetuosity permitted him, he endeavored to moderate the violent prejudices entertained against her.
The queen herself wrote Henry a letter from the Tower, full of the most tender expostulations and of the warmest protestations of innocence.[*] 10 This letter had no influence on the unrelenting mind of Henry, who was determined to pave the way for his new marriage by the death of Anne Boleyn. Morris, Weston, Brereton, and Smeton, were tried; but no legal evidence was produced against them. The chief proof of their guilt consisted in a hearsay from one Lady Wingfield, who was dead. Smeton was prevailed on, by the vain hopes of life, to confess a criminal correspondence with the queen;[**] but even her enemies expected little advantage from this confession; for they never dared to confront him with her; and he was immediately executed; as were also Brereton and Weston. Norris had been much in the king's favor, and an offer of life was made him, if he would confess his crime and accuse the queen; but he generously rejected the proposal, and said that in his conscience he believed her entirely guiltless: but for his part, he could accuse her of nothing, and he would rather die a thousand deaths than calumniate an innocent person.
     * See note K, at the end of the volume.

     ** Burnet, vol. i. p. 202.
The queen and her brother were tried by a jury of peers consisting of the duke of Suffolk, the marquis of Exeter, the earl of Arundel, and twenty-three more: their uncle, the duke of Norfolk, presided as high steward. Upon what proof or pretence the crime of incest was imputed to them, is unknown: the chief evidence, it is said, amounted to no more than that Rocheford had been seen to lean on her bed before some company. Part of the charge against her