Life and Letters of Thomas Cromwell, Vol. 1 of 2 Life, Letters to 1535 by Merriman, Roger Bigelow


Transcriber’s Notes

Hyphenation and punctuation have been corrected and standardised. Cromwell’s letters, however, have been fully retained according to the original text; no changes in spelling have been applied here.

Numbered ranges have been expanded in full, i.e. 1595-6 is now 1595-1596. Dittoes in the Table of Contents have been eliminated by insertion of appropriate text. Internal references have been adapted to match the numbering scheme used in this electronic version.

The following passages have been changed:

p. 28: 'England and Francis' → 'England and France' Footnote 240: 'Harl. MSS 6, 148' → 'Harl. MSS 6,148'

Underscores have been used to highlight _italic_ text. The caret symbol (^) represents superscript characters; multiple characters have been grouped using a pair of curly brackets (^{text}).


[Illustration: THOMAS CROMWELL









This book is an attempt to present the life of Thomas Cromwell as a statesman, and to estimate his work without religious bias. Though it would certainly be difficult to overrate his importance in the history of the Church of England, I maintain that the motives that inspired his actions were invariably political, and that the many ecclesiastical changes carried through under his guidance were but incidents of his administration, not ends in themselves. Consequently any attempt to judge him from a distinctively religious standpoint, whether Catholic or Protestant, can hardly fail, it seems to me, to mislead the student and obscure the truth. I cannot agree, on the other hand, with those who have represented Cromwell as a purely selfish political adventurer, the subservient instrument of a wicked master, bent only on his own gain. It seems to me as idle to disparage his patriotism and statesmanship, as it is to try to make him out a hero of the Reformation. He merits a place far higher than that of most men of his type, a type essentially characteristic of the sixteenth century, a type of which the Earl of Warwick in England and Maurice of Saxony on the Continent are striking examples, a type that profoundly influenced the destinies of Protestantism, but to which theological issues were either a mere nothing, or else totally subordinate to political considerations.

It has been justly said that Cromwell’s correspondence is our chief source of information for the period immediately following the breach with Rome. To transcribe _in extenso_ the letters he received would be almost the task of a lifetime; for they form the bulk of the enormous mass of material with which the editors of the Calendars of State Papers for the years 1533-1540 have had to deal. But the number of extant letters he wrote is, comparatively speaking, extremely small; it has therefore been possible to make full copies of them in every case, and I trust that the many advantages--linguistic as well as historical--that can only be secured by complete, and as far as possible accurate transcriptions of the originals, will be accepted as sufficient reason for editing this collection of documents, twenty-one of which have neither been printed nor calendared before. The rules that have been observed in transcription will be found in the Prefatory Note (vol. i. p. 311). The Calendar references to the more important letters received by Cromwell, where they bear directly on those he wrote, are given in the notes at the end of the second volume.

My warmest thanks are due to Mr. F. York Powell, Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford, who has guided me throughout in matter, form, and style; and to my friend and master Mr. A. L. Smith, Fellow of Balliol College, whose advice and encouragement have been an inspiration from first to last. It is not easy for me to express how much I have depended on their suggestions and criticism. I am indebted to Mr. Owen Edwards, Fellow of Lincoln College, for indispensable help in the early stages of my work. The main plan of this book is in many respects similar to that of his Lothian Essay for the year 1887, which I regret that he has never published. My grateful acknowledgements are also due to Mr. James Gairdner of the Public Record Office for information about Cromwell’s early life; to Professor Dr. Max Lenz, of the University of Berlin, for helpful suggestions in connexion with the Anglo-German negotiations in the years 1537-1540; and to Mr. G. T. Lapsley, of the University of California, for similar services in regard to the Pilgrimage of Grace, and the reorganization of the North after the suppression of the rebellion.

I beg to express my appreciation of the kindness of the Duke of Rutland, the Marquess of Salisbury, Earl Spencer, Lord Calthorpe, William Berington, Esq., and Alfred Henry Huth, Esq., in giving me access to the manuscripts in their private collections.

In conclusion, I wish to thank the officials of the Public Record Office, British Museum, Heralds’ College of Arms, and Bodleian Library, for facilitating my work in every way; more especially Messrs. Hubert Hall, R. H. Brodie, E. Salisbury, and F. B. Bickley, who have repeatedly aided me in my search for uncalendared letters and continental documents, and in deciphering the most difficult manuscripts I have had to consult.

R. B. M.

BALLIOL COLLEGE, OXFORD. _February, 1902._

































PORTRAIT OF THOMAS CROMWELL _Frontispiece to_ vol. i





The manor of Wimbledon comprises the parishes of Wimbledon, Putney, Roehampton, Mortlake, and East Sheen, and parts of Wandsworth and Barnes[1]. In West Saxon times it was one of the estates of the see of Canterbury, but after the Conquest it was seized by Odo, the high-handed Bishop of Bayeux: in 1071, however, it was recovered by Lanfranc, and with one trifling interruption in the reign of Richard II., it remained in the possession of the archbishopric until 1535. In that year Cranmer surrendered it to Henry VIII. in exchange for the priory of St. Rhadegund in Dover, and a little later the King granted it to Thomas Cromwell[2], who was born there some fifty years before, the son of a well-to-do blacksmith, brewer, and fuller. The early history of the manor of Wimbledon is almost unknown, for we do not possess its Court Rolls prior to the year 1461: they were probably lost or destroyed during the Wars of the Roses. After 1461, however, they are continuous, with the exception of the years 1473 and 1474.

An entry in these rolls, written in the year 1475, states that ‘Walter Smyth and his father keep thirty sheep on Putney Common, where they have no common[3].’ A number of subsequent mentions of this same Walter Smyth shows that he was also called Walter Cromwell. The name Walter Cromwell occurs more than ninety times in the rolls, and the name Walter Smyth at least forty times. That both these names stand for the same person is proved by one entry written, ‘Walter Cromwell alias Walter Smyth,’ by two written, ‘Walter Smyth alias Cromwell,’ and by five written, ‘Walter Cromwell alias Smyth.’ Who then was this Walter Cromwell, whence did he come, and how did he acquire this double name?

The Cromwell family did not originate in Wimbledon. An entry in the Close Roll of Edward IV. states that in the year 1461 John Cromwell, son of William Cromwell, late of Norwell in Nottinghamshire, surrendered his right in Parkersplace, Kendalsland and other property there to Master John Porter, prebendary of Palishall[4]. Mr. John Phillips of Putney further informs us that nine years before John Cromwell gave up his lands in Norwell, he was granted the twenty-one years’ lease of a fulling-mill and house in Wimbledon by Archbishop Kempe, lord of the manor, and had moved there with his family[5]. It would be interesting to know what Mr. Phillips’ authority for this statement is: unfortunately he has given no reference for it. But whatever the precise date and circumstances of their change of home, there can be little doubt that the Cromwells migrated to Wimbledon from Norwell some time before 1461. There is plenty of evidence in the Court Rolls to show that Walter Smyth alias Cromwell was the son of John Cromwell, and the entry of 1475 proves that they were both in Wimbledon in that year. The family in Nottinghamshire from which they sprung was well-known and well-off; both John Cromwell’s father William and his grandfather Ralph were persons of wealth and position there[6].

Several entries in the Court Rolls indicate that John Cromwell’s wife was the sister of a certain William Smyth, who is often mentioned as ‘William Smyth armourer,’ and sometimes as ‘William Armourer.’ It seems probable that this William Smyth came with John Cromwell to Wimbledon from Norwell, and the entries in the manorial records show that he lived there with his brother-in-law. There is also reason to believe that the latter’s son Walter was apprenticed to him during his younger days, and so acquired the name Smyth.

Walter Cromwell grew up as a brewer, smith, and fuller in Putney. He had an elder brother named John, who moved to Lambeth and settled down there to a quiet and prosperous life as a brewer, later, according to Chapuys, becoming cook to the Archbishop of Canterbury[7]. Walter, however, remained in Wimbledon, and appears to have been a most quarrelsome and riotous character. Most of the entries in the Court Rolls concerning him are records of small fines incurred for petty offences. Forty-eight times between 1475 and 1501 was he forced to pay sixpence for breaking the assize of ale. In order to prevent the sale of bad beer in those days, an ale-taster was appointed to pass, or condemn as unfit, all brewing in the parish. Walter Cromwell did not go to the ale-taster before he drew and sold his beer, and for failing so to do was fined as aforesaid. There is also record that he was not seldom drunk. In 1477 a penalty of twenty pence was inflicted on him for assaulting and drawing blood from William Michell, and he and his father were very often brought before the court on the charge of ‘overburthening’ the public land in Putney with their cattle, and cutting more than their share of the furze and thorns there[8]. But in spite of all these petty misdemeanours, Walter Cromwell appears to have been a man of property and influence in Wimbledon, and the Court Rolls in 1480 show that he then possessed two virgates of land in Putney parish. To these were added six more virgates in 1500 by grant of Archbishop Morton[9]. Walter Cromwell was also made Constable of Putney in 1495[10], and his name constantly occurs in the Court Rolls as decenarius and juryman[11]. Towards the end of his life, however, his character appears to have become so bad that he forfeited all his position and property in Wimbledon. In 1514 he ‘falsely and fraudulently erased the evidences and terrures of the lord,’ so that the bedell was commanded ‘to seize into the lord’s hands all his copyholds held of the lord and to answer the lord of the issue[12].’ This is the last mention of the name of Walter Cromwell in the Wimbledon Manor Rolls.

Walter Cromwell’s wife was the aunt of a man named Nicholas Glossop, of Wirksworth in Derbyshire[13]. Mr. Phillips gives no reference for his statements that she was the daughter of a yeoman named Glossop, and that she was residing in Putney at the house of an attorney named John Welbeck, at the time of her marriage with Walter Cromwell in 1474[14]; but we have no evidence that these assertions are incorrect. At least two daughters and one son were born to Walter Cromwell. He may have had other children, but as there was no registration of births, marriages, or deaths in England until 1538, we can only be certain of these three, of whom there are mentions in the Court Rolls and in other contemporary records. The eldest daughter Katherine, who was probably born about the year 1477, grew up and married a young Welshman named Morgan Williams[15], whose family had come to Putney from Llanishen in Glamorganshire. The Williamses were a very important family in Putney, and John, the eldest of them, was a successful lawyer and accountant, and steward to Lord Scales, who was then in possession of a residence and some land in Putney parish. The youngest daughter of Walter Cromwell was named Elizabeth. She married a sheep-farmer named Wellyfed, who later joined his business to that of his father-in-law[16]. Christopher, the son of Elizabeth Cromwell and Wellyfed, grew up and was later sent to school with his cousin Gregory, son of his mother’s brother Thomas[17]. We are now in a position to examine the many conflicting statements concerning the son of Walter Cromwell, the subject of this essay.

The traditional sources of information about Thomas Cromwell’s early life are the characteristic but somewhat confusing stories of the martyrologist Foxe, founded to some extent upon a novel of the Italian author Bandello, the meagre though probably trustworthy accounts contained in Cardinal Pole’s ‘Apologia ad Carolum Quintum,’ a letter of Chapuys to Granvelle written November 21, 1535, and a few scattered statements in the chroniclers of the period. To these were added in 1880 and 1882 the results of the researches of Mr. John Phillips in the Wimbledon Manor Rolls[18]. Mr. Phillips has certainly brought to light a large number of interesting facts about the ancestry and family of Thomas Cromwell: it is the more unfortunate that he should have gone so far astray in some of his statements concerning the man himself. He is surely correct in assuming Thomas to be the son of Walter Cromwell; the evidence afforded by the State Papers leaves no doubt of this. He is also right in stating that the name Thomas Cromwell does not occur in the Court Rolls. But it is more difficult to believe the theory which Mr. Phillips has evolved from these data. As he finds no entry concerning Thomas Cromwell in the manorial records, he seeks for some mention of him under another appellation, and hits upon that of Thomas Smyth as the most likely, owing to the fact that his father was called by both surnames. He finds two entries in the Court Rolls concerning Thomas Smyth, and assumes that they refer to Thomas Cromwell. These entries occur in the records of Feb. 26, 1504, and of May 20 in the same year. The first states that ‘Richard Williams came to the court and surrendered into the hands of the lord two whole virgates of land in ‹Roe›hampton, one called Purycroft and the other called Williams, to the use of Thomas Smyth, his heirs and assigns’; the second, that ‘Richard Williams assaulted Thomas [Smyth] and beat the same Thomas against the peace of the lord the King,’ and further that ‘Thomas Smyth came to the court and surrendered into the hands of the lord two whole virgates of land in Roehampton, one called Purycroft and the other called Williams, to the use of David Doby, his heirs and assigns[19].’ Mr. Phillips has made these entries the basis for an attack on the veracity of many of the best-known stories of Bandello and Foxe concerning the early life of our subject, but his whole case hangs on the assumption that Thomas Smyth and Thomas Cromwell were one and the same man, and until he can prove this ingenious but somewhat improbable theory his arguments cannot be supported. He discusses at length the two entries in the Court Rolls, adducing them as a proof of the falsity of the accounts which assert Cromwell to have been in Italy previous to 1504, but concluding that the record that Thomas Smyth disposed of his lands in Putney in May of that year indicates that Thomas Cromwell left England at that time. To corroborate this last theory he refers to the story of Chapuys that Cromwell was ill-behaved when young, and was forced after an imprisonment to leave the country, and also asserts, in order still further to strengthen his case, that ‘the Court Rolls contain nothing more respecting Thomas Cromwell than what we have already stated[20].’

It seems very extraordinary that Mr. Phillips should make this last statement in view of his readiness to jump at the conclusion that Thomas Smyth and Thomas Cromwell are identical. ‘Thomas Smyth,’ as a very cursory examination of the Court Rolls will show, is mentioned therein every year from 1493 to 1529 (inclusive), except in 1494 and 1516. As there is certain evidence that Thomas Cromwell was in other places during many of the years that Thomas Smyth was in Wimbledon, it is clear that the two names cannot always stand for the same man. The question which now arises is this: were there two Thomas Smyths, one of them Thomas Cromwell and the other some other member of the Smyth family, perhaps a descendant of William Smyth, armourer? Or is the Thomas Smyth mentioned in the Court Rolls one man, and not Thomas Cromwell at all?

The second theory seems on the whole more probable than the first. There are no contradictory statements about Thomas Smyth in the rolls, nor is the name mentioned twice in any of the lists of the Homage or Frank Pledge. Moreover had there been two Thomas Smyths, one of whom was entitled to the name Cromwell, he would almost certainly have been called so, in order to avoid confusion. On the other hand, it scarcely seems likely that the son of Walter Cromwell should not be mentioned at all in the Court Rolls. But this may be partially explained by Chapuys’ account of his youthful wildness and early imprisonment; it seems quite probable that he was a mere boy when he left his home. The evidence which we possess certainly seems to strengthen the conclusion that there was but one Thomas Smyth: the man mentioned in the Court Rolls by that name was probably a descendant of William Smyth, armourer[21]. Surely none of the entries in the manorial records concerning Thomas Smyth can be said to prove anything conclusive concerning the early life of the subject of this essay. It has been the fashion to decry Bandello and Foxe and to disbelieve all their stories, because of the undoubted confusion of dates which vitiates their testimony. But if no reliance can be placed on them, or on Pole, Chapuys, and the chronicles of the period, must we not confess that our knowledge of the early years of our subject’s life must reduce itself to an interrogation point? Let us guard ourselves against accepting with implicit faith the statements of these authors, but let us not cast them aside as utterly worthless. Let us rather recognize that they still remain our most trustworthy sources of information concerning the early life of Thomas Cromwell, and therefore make a careful attempt to glean from their very confusing statements the more probable facts concerning him.

None of the different accounts sheds any light upon the date of Cromwell’s birth, but it is doubtful if it occurred later than 1485, in view of his probable age at the time of his sojourn abroad. That he had a quarrel with his father seems very likely: Bandello’s statement that he came to Italy, ‘fleeing from his father,’ and Chapuys’ assertion that he was ill-behaved when young, together with the many entries in the rolls concerning the tempestuous and disorderly conduct of Walter Cromwell, all point to the truth of this story[22]. Foxe moreover asserts that Cromwell told Cranmer in later years ‘what a ruffian he was in his younger days.’ Pole informs us that he soon became a roving soldier in Italy, a statement which is borne out by the tales of Bandello and Foxe that he was at the battle on the Garigliano (Dec. 28-29, 1503), in the service of the French army[23]. The well-known story of the Italian novelist about Cromwell and Frescobaldo the Florentine merchant, may well have some foundation in fact: there are several mentions of Frescobaldo in the State Papers of the years 1530-1540, which prove that Cromwell was intimate with an Italian of that name[24]. Some scholars have gone so far as to refuse to believe that Cromwell ever went to Italy at all; but this must be the incredulity of madness in face of the fact that all our contemporary witnesses agree that he went there, and of the evidence afforded by his wide acquaintance with Italians, and by his knowledge of their language and literature.

From the date of the tale of Bandello up to 1512, the most probable story concerning Cromwell’s life is that contained in Pole’s Apologia. It is there stated that after his brief military career he became a merchant, but did not remain a merchant long; and that he later attached himself as accountant to a Venetian, whom Pole knew very well. Bandello informs us that Cromwell returned to England after his stay in Florence; it seems more probable, however, that he first went to Antwerp and engaged in trade there; for Foxe and Chapuys both agree that he was in Flanders, and the former asserts that he was in the service of English dealers in the Flemish marts. Another singular but characteristic and not improbable story of the martyrologist strengthens the theory that Cromwell was in Antwerp some time after the battle on the Garigliano. One Geoffrey Chambers was sent to Rome as a representative of the Gild of Our Lady in St. Botolph’s Church in Boston, to obtain from the Pope certain pardons or indulgences by which the severe rules concerning Lenten observances might be relaxed; and passing through Antwerp he fell in with Cromwell, whom he persuaded to accompany him. The latter entered into the spirit of the enterprise; arrived at Rome, he procured some choice sweetmeats and jellies, and armed with these lay in wait for the Pope on his return from hunting. The delicacies were offered, Julius was delighted with them, and granted the desired indulgences without delay. Foxe states that this episode took place about the year 1510[25].

This story seems to indicate that Cromwell went to Italy a second time. It fits in well with Pole’s statement that after his military experience he became first a merchant, and then a clerk to a Venetian trader. The absence of any trustworthy chronology, however, prevents us from regarding any of the accounts of these different writers as really historical; and when at last we meet with a date on which we can rely, it is most tantalizing to find that the evidence which is afforded us in connexion with it is of such a nature as to leave us almost as much in the dark as before. In a letter written in June, 1536, a certain mercer, by name George Elyot, addresses Cromwell as follows[26]: ‘Ryght onourabyll sir my dewty Consethered as to youre Masterscheppe apertayneth that hyt may plece your Masterscheppe For the love off god to Exceppe my Rewd Maneres in thes behalf of wrytyng vnto you butt hyt ys onely to schowe yowre Masterscheppe my pore mynd furste for the onour of god & secondly For the god love & trew hartt that ‹I› have howtt vnto you sensse the syngsson Martt at medelborow in anno 1512.’ This quotation does not prove that Cromwell was at the Syngsson Mart at Middelburg in 1512, nor does it shed much light on the position he occupied at that time; still the probabilities strongly favour the conclusion that he was either a merchant or a clerk to a merchant in the Low Countries in 1512: the accounts of Foxe and Chapuys agree that he was in the Netherlands in his younger days, and the letter of the mercer seems to fix the date. We have also reason to believe that he was in London soon after this practising as a solicitor. There exists in the Record Office a document dated November, 1512, and endorsed, in a hand which certainly resembles that of Cromwell’s later correspondence, ‘The tytle of the manour Whityngham for Mr. Empson[27].’ The endorsement may of course be of a very different date from that of the document itself; still the evidence which it affords is not utterly valueless, especially as another reason for supposing that Cromwell returned to England in 1512, or soon after, is afforded by the fact that his marriage must have taken place about this time: the age of his son Gregory being such that it could scarcely have occurred much later. The State Papers of 1512 give us more information concerning the early life of Thomas Cromwell than those of any other year up to 1523. The sum total of the evidence which they afford seems to indicate that he was in England and in the Netherlands, that he was occupied both as a merchant and as a solicitor, and that he was married in that year or soon afterwards.

Cromwell’s wife, to whom Chapuys refers as the daughter of a shearman, was Elizabeth Wykys, descended from one of an ancient family of esquires, who was gentleman-usher to Henry VII[28]. A reference in Cromwell’s will of July 12, 1529, to one ‘Mercye Pryo_ur_’ as his mother-in-law[29] has led some writers to suppose that he married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Pryor, and widow of Thomas Williams, a Welsh gentleman; but a letter to Cromwell from one Harry Wykys of Thorpe, near Chertsey, dated November 2, 1523[30], disproves this theory, and corroborates the other. The most probable explanation of the entry in the will is that Mercy Pryor married twice, and that she was the mother of Elizabeth Wykys by her first husband[31]. Cromwell’s wife was probably a woman of some property. He was exactly the sort of man who would seek a wife with an eye to the financial advantages of the match, and the theory that Elizabeth Wykys was rich fits in well with the evidence that her mother was married a second time. Moreover Cromwell’s property increased so fast during his years of service under Wolsey, that even his notorious accessibility to bribes could not account for it, had it not been augmented from some outside source.

Chapuys goes on to say that for some time after his marriage Cromwell kept servants in his house, carrying on the business of his father-in-law; a statement corroborated by his correspondence, which shows that he plied his trade as a cloth and wool merchant at least as late as 1524. There can be little doubt, however, that he continued his business as a solicitor at the same time, for it would be impossible to explain his sudden advance in legal prominence in the years 1520 to 1525, if he had not had long practice in the law beforehand. The strange combination of employments in which Cromwell was engaged fitted in well with the peculiar versatility of the man, and brought him into close contact with diverse sorts of men, in diverse conditions of life. A more detailed account of his career during the seven or eight years which followed his probable return to England it is impossible to give, for between 1512 and 1520 there occurs another extraordinary gap in the life of Thomas Cromwell, during which we do not possess a single trustworthy contemporary record concerning him. In 1520 there is certainly evidence that he was known to Wolsey, but precisely how or when his connexion with the Cardinal began, it is impossible to tell.

The statement in the Dictionary of National Biography that Wolsey appointed Cromwell collector of his revenues in 1514 is apparently unfounded[32], and no reference is given for the assertion in Singer’s Cavendish[33] that the Cardinal first met his future servant in France. Another unverified story is that Lord Henry Percy, who had been an intimate of the Cardinal’s household in his early years, borrowed money from Cromwell, and conceiving a high opinion of his creditor, introduced him to Wolsey[34]; while Mr. Phillips informs us that Robert Cromwell (the son of Walter Cromwell’s brother John), who was vicar of Battersea under the Cardinal, gave to his cousin Thomas the stewardship of the archiepiscopal estate of York House, after Wolsey had been made archbishop there. Though Mr. Phillips has again failed to cite his authority for this last statement, it is but fair to say that the probabilities are strongly in its favour: the theory that Cromwell owed his appointment as Wolsey’s servant to his cousin Robert seems particularly plausible, as the latter was certainly well known to the Cardinal. It is possible that the origin of the connexion had something to do with the young Marquis of Dorset, who later became Cromwell’s patron. Wolsey had long been acquainted with the Marquis; he had been the friend and tutor of his father when he was principal of Magdalen School, and had been given the living of Limington in Somerset by a still older member of the family in 1500[35]. The date of the origin of Cromwell’s connexion with Wolsey must remain as much a matter of conjecture as its cause. It seems probable that those historians who have placed it as far back as 1513 or 1514 have been at fault, for had Cromwell entered the Cardinal’s service as early as that there would almost certainly have been more entries in the State Papers to show it. As it is, we possess only one piece of evidence in contemporary records to show that he was known to Wolsey before October, 1520, and that is of such a nature that little reliance can be placed on it. On the back of a letter, written in August, 1514, by the Abbot of Winchcomb to Wolsey[36], are some lines in a hand which bears some resemblance to Cromwell’s, apparently intended as an exercise in penmanship; the similarity of the handwritings, however, is not so striking that it can be regarded as affording any very conclusive proof: moreover as the words on the back have no connexion with the letter itself, it is quite likely that they were written at a much later date. It is safe to say that the lack of information on the subject in the State Papers makes it probable that if Cromwell’s connexion with Wolsey began much before 1520, it was certainly of very minor importance.

In the autumn of that year, however, we possess a record which leaves little doubt that Cromwell had at least become known to the Cardinal. An appeal had been made to the Papal Court at Rome against the sentence of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, in a suit between the vicar of Cheshunt and the Prioress of the nunnery there. Wolsey, as Papal Legate, soon afterwards received a copy of the citation and inhibition ‘with other information by the letters of Thomas Cromwell,’ making clear the rights and wrongs of the case, and the best method of handling it[37]. No other mention of Cromwell in connexion with the Cardinal occurs until 1523, when he drafted a petition to Wolsey in Chancery for a certain John Palsgrave[38]. But these two records are enough to prove that he was known to the Cardinal in the capacity of a solicitor and clerk from a period at least as early as 1520. The gap between that date and 1512 is more difficult to fill. The supposition that Cromwell was in Wolsey’s service as early as 1513 is perhaps the easiest method of disposing of these years, but it certainly cannot be regarded as more than a theory, unless some new document is found which corroborates it.

Most of the letters addressed to Cromwell during this period from 1520 to 1524 concern themselves with legal business, and request his aid as a practised lawyer in some suit for the collection of debts or the decision of a title to lands[39]. In August, 1522, he acted as an ‘indifferent person’ in a dispute between Richard Chauffer, alderman of Calais, and Lord Mountjoy. In December, 1523, he served on the inquest of wardmote in the ward of Bread Street. But it is also evident from his correspondence that he had by no means lost interest in his business as a cloth merchant and wool-dyer[40]. It may have been in this capacity that he first became known to the family of the Marquis of Dorset. The ‘old lady Marques’ writes to him in August, 1522, as her ‘sonne marquys s_er_v_au_nt,’ and desires him to send in haste ‘the trussynn bed of cloth of tyssewe and the fether bed wyth the fustyons, and amateras longyng to the same wyth the cownterpoynt ... tentes pauylyons & hales[41].’ There is also record that Cromwell was a great lender of money at high rates of interest. His friendship and reputation with foreign merchants brought him an enormous amount of business, and his property increased to a great extent. The training he received during and after his journey on the Continent was probably the best that he could have had to fit him for the difficult life-work that was given him to perform. The spirit of the Italy of Machiavelli and Caesar Borgia stamped itself deeply upon his youthful character. It gave him his ideas, his theories. The hard school of adversity (at first almost a struggle for existence), through which he passed during his early years, afforded him the intimate knowledge of men and things, the wonderful insight into human nature, and the ability to turn every event to the advancement of his own purposes, that enabled him at a later day to mould the destinies of the English nation.

‘And my experience happily me taught Into the secrets of those times to see, From whence to England afterward I brought Those slights of state deliu’red vnto mee, In t’which were then but very few that sought, Nor did with th’umour of that age agree, After did great and fearful things effect, Whose secret working few did then suspect.’

Michael Drayton. The Legend of Great Cromwell, p. 13.




‘M^e Cremuel ... est filz dung poure marechal lequel en son vivant se tenoit en vng petit villaige pres dici dune lieue et demye et est sepulture au cemetiere de lad. parroiche dud. villaige de plus pouurement que soient la son oncle[43] pere dung syen cousin qui‹l›a desia fait fort riche estoit cousinier du feu euesque de Conturberi led. Cremuel en sa jeunesse fust assez mal condicionner, et apres quelque emprisonnement il fut contrainct vuider le pays et senpasser en flandres et dois la en rome ou et ailleurs en italie il demeura quelque temps, estant de retour il se maria a la fille dung tondeur de draps, et tint quelque temps en sa maison seruiteurs exercent led. art apres il devint solliciteur de causes et par ce moyen se feit congnoistre au cardinal de york, lequel congnoissant la vigilance et diligence dud. Cremuel et habilite et promptitude tant a mal que a bien, il le tint on nombre de ses serviteurs, et l’employa principalement quant il fut question de ruyner et demoler cinq du[44] six bons monasteres. Venant a descherir led. cardinal il ny eust personne que saquittast myeulx enuers led. cardinal que luy. Apres le decez dud. cardinal maistre valloup a present ambassadeur en france le poursuyuant de injures et menasses le plus fort du monde, et non voyant autre reffuge ne remede que de recourir au roy, il fait tant par prieres et presens quil eust audience dud. roy auquel il deust promettre de le faire le plus riche que oncques fut en angleterre, et luy parla si bien et beaul qui le retint des lors de son conseil, sans autre aduis et ne le decouurit led. roy a personne des siens deans quatre moys apres Maintenant il a empiete de telle sorte quil a baille le bout a toute la reste ‹si› ce nest a la dame, et le tient tout le monde auoir plus de credit auprez de son maistre, que neust oncques le cardinal du temps duquel en y auoit questoient en concurrence de credit comme maistre Conton[45] et le duc de suffocq et autres, mais maintenant il n’y a personne que face riens que luy, et ne sert le chancellier synon pour mynistre et organe dud. Cremuel, lequel jusques yci na voulu accepter led. office de chancellier, mais lon pense bien tost il se layra persuader de lempoigner. Il est home bien parlant en sa langue et mediocrement en la latyne francoyse et italyenne, home de bonne chiere liberal et de ses biens et de bonnes et gracieuses parolles, home manifique en trayn et batissement...’



‘Sic ergo, si tale nomen quaeratur, Cromvellum eum appellant, si genus, de nullo quidem ante eum, qui id nomen gereret, audivi. Dicunt tamen, viculum esse prope Londinum, ubi natus erat, & ubi pater ejus pannis verrendis victum quaeritabat, sed de hoc parum refert. Nunc si conditio quaeratur, sic quidem de eo intellexi, aliquem in Italia fuisse gregarium militem, fuisse etiam mercatorem, nec tamen longius progressum in mercatura fuisse, quam ut scriba esset mercatoris, & libros rationum servaret, optime vero novi illum mercatorem, qui Venetus erat natione, cui operas suas locabat. Tandem hujus conditionis pertaesus, domum reversus, causidicis se immiscuit, his qui jura Regni profitentur. In quo eo magis se proficere sperabat, quod versuti & callidi ingenii sibi conscius esset ad defendendum tam iniquum, quam aequum, quod ex externorum commercio valde acuerat, cum nostrorum hominum ingeniorum simplicitatem semper contemneret. Nec tamen in hoc genere valde crevit, antequam ad Monasteriorum ruinam perventum est. Quod incoepit vivente adhuc Cardinali Eboracense, dum Monasteria quaedam pene a suis deserta, & illorum bona ac praedia in subsidium pauperum, qui in Gymnasiis literis operam dabant, essent conversa. Hic vero notus esse coepit, idque ostendit ad hanc artem solam se natum fuisse, ad ruinam & vastationem, id quod crebra aliarum artium mutatio declaravit, in quibus nihil crevit, in hac vero statim celebris esse coepit, & pluribus notus, ita tamen in illis initiis hujus suae artis notus, ut cum Cardinalis, cujus assecla fuit, & ex cujus authoritate et imperio illam suam artem exercebat, ab administratione Reipublicae remotus esset, et dignitate privatus, ipse omnium voce, qui aliquid de eo intellexerant, ad supplicium posceretur. Hoc enim affirmare possum, qui Londini tum adfui, & voces audivi, adeo etiam ut per civitatem universam rumor circumferretur, eum in carcerem fuisse detrusum, & propediem productum iri ad supplicium. Nec vero populus ullum spectaculum libentius expectabat, nec ille rumor ex alia re nascebatur, nisi quod omnes eum sciebant omni supplicio dignum ...’



‘Francesco Frescobaldi fa cortesia ad uno straniero, e n’è ben rimeritato, essendo colui divenuto Contestabile d’Inghilterra.’

‘Ne la famiglia nobile et antica de i Frescobaldi in Firenze fu, non sono molti anni, un Francesco, mercadante molto leale et onorevole, il quale, secondo la costuma de la patria, essendo assai ricco, trafficava in diversi luoghi e faceva di gran faccende, e quasi per l’ordinario dimorava in Ponente, in Inghilterra, e teneva la stanza in Londra, ove viveva splendidissimamente et usava cortesia assai; non la veggendo sì per minuto come molti mercadanti fanno, che la contano fin a un picciolo quattrino, come intendo dire che fa Ansaldo Grimaldo Genovese, che tien conto fin d’un minimo foglio di carta e d’un palmo di cordella da legar i pacchetti de le lettere. Avvenne un giorno che essendo Francesco Frescobaldi in Firenze, se gli parò dinanzi un povero giovine, e gli domandò elemosina per l’amor di Dio. Veggendolo il Frescobaldo sì mal in arnese e che in viso mostrava aver del gentile, si mosse in pietà, e tanto più, quanto che lo conobbe esser Inglese; onde gli domandò di che contrada di Oltramontani fosse. Egli gli rispose che era Inglese; e chiedendogli alcune particolarità, il Frescobaldo, d’Inghilterra, come colui che assai pratico n’era, il giovine molto accomodatamente al tutto sodisfece, dicendogli: Io mi chiamo Tomaso Cremonello, figliuolo di un povero cimatore di panni, che fuggendo da mio padre son venuto in Italia col campo de i Francesi, che è stato rotto al Garigliano, e stavo con un fante a piedi, portandoli dietro la picca. Il Frescobaldo la menò in casa molto domesticamente, e quivi alcun dì se lo tenne per amor de la nazione Inglese, de la quale egli aveva ricevuti di molti piaceri; lo trattò umanamente, lo vestì, e quando volse partirsi per ritornar ne la patria, gli diede sedici ducati d’oro in oro fiorentini et un buon ronzino. Il giovine veggendosi esser stato messo in arnese sì bene, rese al Frescobaldo quelle grazie che seppe le maggiori, e se n’andò ne l’isola a casa.’

* * * * *

[The next four pages are devoted to a more or less accurate account of Cromwell’s life in London, his connexion with Wolsey, and his entrance into the King’s service. The events narrated in the following passage may be supposed to have taken place about 1535 or 1536.]

* * * * *

... ‘Dico adunque che in quei dì che il Cremonello era padrone e governatore de l’isola, che Francesco Frescobaldo si ritrovava in Italia, ove, come spesso a mercadanti interviene, avendo patiti molti disastri e di gran danni ne la perdita de le sue mercadanzie, restò molto povero; perciò che essendo uomo leale e da bene, pagò tutti quelli a cui era debitore, e non puotè ricuperar ciò che da gli altri gli era dovuto. Veggendosi egli ridutto a così povero stato, e fatto i suoi conti e benissimo calculati, trovò che in Inghilterra aveva crediti per più di quindici migliaia di ducati; onde si deliberò passar quindi, e veder di ricuperar più che gli fosse possibile, e mettersi a viver il rimanente de la sua vita quietamente. Così con questo pensiero passò d’Italia in Francia, e di Francia in Inghilterra, e si fermò in Londra, non gli sovvenendo perciò mai del beneficio che egli fatto già in Firenze aveva al Cremonello; cosa veramente degna d’un vero liberale, che de le cortesie che altrui fa, memoria mai non tiene, scolpendo in marmo quelle che riceve, per pagarle ogni volta che l’occasione se gli offerisce. Attendendo adunque in Londra a negoziar i fatti suoi, e caminando un giorno in una contrada, avvenne che il Contestabile passava anch’egli per la strada medesima, venendo a l’incontro del Frescobaldo. Così subito che il Contestabile lo vide e gli ebbe gli occhi fermati nel viso, si ricordò costui certamente esser quello, dal quale così gran cortesia aveva in Firenze ricevuta, et essendo a cavallo, dismontò, e con meraviglia grandissima di quelli che seco erano, chi v’erano più di cento a cavallo de i primi del regno che gli facevano coda, l’abbracciò con grande amorevolezza, e quasi lagrimando gli disse: Non sete voi Francesco Frescobaldo Fiorentino? Sì sono, signor mio, rispose egli, e vostro umil servidore. Mio servidore, disse il Contestabile, non sete già voi nè per tal vi voglio, ma bene per mio grande amico, avvisandovi che di voi ho giusta ragione di molto dolermi, perchè sapendo voi ciò che io sono e dove era, devevate farmi saper la venuta vostra qui; che certamente io averei pagato qualche parte del debito che confesso aver con voi. Ora lodato Iddio che ancor sono a tempo; voi siate il benissimo venuto. Io vado ora per affari del mio Re, e non posso far più lunga dimora vosco, e m’averete per iscusato; ma fate per ogni modo, che in questa mattina vegnate a desinar meco, e non fate fallo. Così rimontò il Contestabile a cavallo e se n’andò in Corte al Re. Il Frescobaldo, partito che fu il Contestabile, s’andò ricordando che cotestui era quel giovine Inglese che egli già in Firenze in casa sua raccolse, e cominciò a sperar bene, pensando che il mezzo di così grand’uomo molto gli giovarebbe a ricuperar i suoi danari. Essendo poi l’ora di desinare, se n’andò al palazzo del Contestabile, e quivi nel cortile poco attese che egli rivenne. Il quale smontato che fu, di nuovo amicabilmente riabbracciò il Frescobaldo, e volto a l’armiraglio, et ad altri prencipi e signori che con lui erano venuti a desinare, disse: Signori, non vi meravigliate de le amorevoli dimostrazioni che io faccio a questo gentiluomo Fiorentino, perchè queste sono parte di pagamento d’infiniti obblighi che io conosco e confesso di avergli, essendo nel grado che sono per mezzo suo, et udite come. A l’ora, a la presenza di tutti, tenendo sempre per mano il gentiluomo Fiorentino, narrò loro in che modo era capitato a Firenze, e le carezze che da lui aveva ricevute; e così tenendolo sempre per mano, se ne salirono le scale, e giunti in sala si misero a tavola. Volle il Contestabile che il Frescobaldo gli stesse appresso, e sempre l’accarezzò amorevolissimamente. Desinato che si fu e quei signori partiti, volle il Contestabile saper la cagione, per la quale era il Frescobaldo ritornato a Londra. Narrogli a l’ora tutta la sua disgrazia il Frescobaldo, e che non gli essendo rimaso, de la casa in fuori in Firenze et un podere in contado, quasi niente, se non quei quindeci mila ducati che in Inghilterra deveva avere, e forse duo mila in Ispagna, che per ricuperargli s’era ne l’Isola trasferito. Or bene sta, disse il Contestabile. A le cose passate, che fatte non sieno, non si può trovar rimedio; ben mi posso con voi dolere de gl’infortunii vostri, come con il core faccio; al rimanente si darà tal ordine, che voi ricuperarete tutti i vostri danari che qui devete avere, e non vi si mancherà di quello che io potrò, assicurandovi, che la cortesia che m’usate, non mi conoscendo altramente, mi vi rende di modo ubbligato che sempre sarò vostro, e di me e de le mie facultà potrete disporre come io proprio, e non lo facendo, il danno sarà vostro, nè più farò offerta alcuna, parendomi che sarebbe superflua. Basti che questo vi sia ora per sempre detto. Ma leviamoci et andiamo in camera, ove il Contestabile serrato l’uscio, aperse un gran coffano pieno di ducati, e pigliandone sedeci gli diede al Frescobaldi, e gli disse: Eccovi, amico mio, i sedeci ducati che mi donaste al partir di Firenze, eccovi gli altri dieci che vi costò il ronzino che per me comperaste, et eccovene altri dieci che spendeste in vestirmi. Ma perchè essendo voi mercadante, non mi par onesto che i vostri danari debbiano esser stati tanto tempo morti, ma s’abbiano guadagnato, come è il costume vostro, eccovi quattro sacchetti di ducati, in ciascuno de i quali sono quattro mila ducati. Voi in ricompensa de i vostri ve gli pigliarete, godendogli per amor mio. Il Frescobaldo, ancor che da grandissime ricchezze fosse caduto in gran povertà, nondimeno non aveva perduto la sua generosità d’animo, e non gli voleva accettare, ringraziandolo tutta via di tanta sua cortesia; ma a la fine astretto per viva forza dal Contestabile, che gli desse tutti i nomi in nota de i suoi debitori; il che Frescobaldo fece molto volentieri, mettendo il nome dei debitori e la somma che gli devevano. Avuta questa cedula, chiamò il Cremonello un suo uomo di casa, e gli disse: Guarda chi sono costoro, che su questa lista sono scritti, e fa che gli ritrovi tutti, siano dove si vogliano in questa isola, e farai loro intendere che se fra quindici giorni non hanno pagato tutto il lor debito, che io ci porrò la mano con lor dispiacere e danno, e che facciano pensiero, che io sia il creditore. Fece l’uomo il comandamento del suo padrone molto diligentemente, di maniera che al termine statuito furono ricuperati circa quindici mila ducati. E se il Frescobaldo avesse voluto gl’interessi, che in così lungo tempo erano corsi, tutti gli averebbe avuti, fin ad un minimo denaio; ma egli si contentò del capitale, nè volse interesse alcuno, che di più in più gli acquistò credito e riputazione appresso tutti, massimamente sapendosi già da ciascuno de l’isola il favore che egli aveva appresso la persona del Contestabile. In questo mezzo, fu di continovo esso Frescobaldo commensale del Cremonello, il quale di giorno in giorno si sforzava d’onorarlo quanto più poteva. E desiderando che di continovo egli rimanesse in Londra, piacendogli molto la pratica sua, gli offerse di prestargli per quattro anni sessanta mila ducati, a ciò che mettesse casa e banco in Londra e gli trafficasse, senza volerne profitto d’un soldo, promettendogli oltra questo ogni favore ne le cose de la mercadanzia. Ma il Frescobaldo che desiderava di ritirarsi a casa, e viver il resto de la sua vita in quiete et attender solamente a se stesso, infinitamente lo ringraziò di tanta suprema cortesia, e con buona grazia del Contestabile, rimessi tutti i suoi danari in Firenze, a la desiderata patria se ne ritornò, dove essendo ritornato assai ricco, si mise a viver una vita quietissima. Ma poco tempo visse in quiete, perchè quell’anno istesso che da Londra era partito, in Firenze se ne morì.’

* * * * *



‘Thomas Cromwell although born of a simple Parentage and House obscure, through the singular excellency of Wisdom and dexterity of Wit wrought in him by God, coupled with like industry of mind, and deserts of life, rose to high preferment and authority;’

* * * * *

‘First as touching his Birth, he was born at Putney or thereabout, being a Smiths Son, whose Mother married after to a sheerman.’

* * * * *

‘As touching the order and manner of his coming up, it would be superfluous to discourse what may be said at large: only by way of story it may suffice to give a touch of certain particulars and so to proceed.’ ... ‘Nothing was so hard which with wit and industery he could not compass. Neither was his capacity so good but his memory was as great in retaining whatsoever he had attained. Which well appeareth in canning the text of the whole new Testament of Erasmus Translation without Book, in his journey going and coming from Rome, whereof you shall hear anon.’

‘Thus in his growing years, as he shot up in age and ripeness, a great delight came in his mind to stray into forreign Countries to see the World abroad, and to learn experience, whereby he learned such Tongues and Languages as might better serve for his use hereafter.’

‘And thus passing over his youth being at Antwerp, he was there retained of the English Merchants to be their Clerk or Secretary, or in some such like condition placed pertaining to their affairs.’

‘It happened the same time that the Town of Boston thought good to send up to Rome for renewing of their two pardons, one called the great pardon and the other the lesser pardon. Which thing although it should stand them in great expences of money (for the Popes Merchandise is always dear ware) yet notwithstanding such sweetness they had felt thereof, and such gain to come to their town by that Romish Merchandise (as all Superstition is commonly gainful) that they like good Catholick Merchants and the Popes good customers, thought to spare for no cost, to have their leases again of their pardons renewed, whatsoever they paid for the fine. And yet was all this good Religion then, such was the lamentable blindness of that time.’

‘This then being so determined and decreed among my Countrymen of Boston to have their pardons needs repaired and renewed from Rome, one Geffery Chambers, with another Champion was sent for the messengers, with writings and money, no small quantity, well furnished, and with all other things appointed necessary for so chargeable and costly exploit. Who coming in his journey to Antwerp, and misdoubting to be too weak for the compassing of such a weighty piece of work, conferred and perswaded with T. Cromwel to associat him in that legacy, and to assist him in the contriving thereof. Cromwel although perceiving the enterprise to be of no small difficulty to traverse the Popes Court, for the unreasonable expences amongst those greedy Cormorants, yet having some skill of the Italian Tongue, and as yet not grounded in the judgement of Religion in those his youthful days, was at length obtained and content to give the adventure, and so took his journey towards Rome. Cromwel loth to spend much time, and more loth to spend his money; and again perceiving that the Popes greedy humour must needs be served with some present or other (for without rewards there is no doing at Rome) began to cast with himself what thing best to devise wherein he might best serve the Popes devotion.’

‘At length having knowledge how that the Popes holy tooth greatly delighted to new fangled strange delicates and dainty dishes, it came in his mind to prepare certain fine dishes of gelly, after the best fashion, made after our Countrey manner here in England, which to them of Rome was not known nor seen before.’

‘This done, Cromwell observing his time accordingly, as the Pope was newly come from hunting into his pavillion, he with his companions approached with his English presents brought in with a three mans song (as we call it) in the English tongue and after the English fashion. The Pope suddenly marvelling at the strangeness of the song, and understanding that they were English men, and that they came not empty handed, willed them to be called in. Cromwel there shewing his obedience, and offering his jolly junkets, such as Kings and Princes only, said he, in the Realm of England use to feed upon, desired the same to be accepted in benevolent part, which he and his companions, as poor suters unto his Holiness had there brought and presented, as novelties meet for his recreation etc.’

‘Pope Julius, seeing the strangeness of the dishes, commanded by and by his Cardinal to take the assay. Who in tasting thereof liked it so well, and so likewise the Pope after him, that knowing of them what their sutes were, and riquiring them to make known the making of that meat, he incontinent, without any more adoe, stamped both their pardons as well the greater as the lesser: ... it seemeth that Cromwell obtained this Pardon aforesaid about the year of our Lord, 1510.’...

[The rest of the story deals for the most part with Cromwell’s career in the service of the Cardinal and of the King. Historically it is almost worthless--nearly every paragraph contains statements which the more trustworthy sources prove to be impossible. A curious legend of Cromwell’s saving the life of the Earl of Bedford at Bologna is followed by a more plausible account of the latter afterward commending his preserver to the King. Foxe also states that Sir Christopher Hales, a violent papist, but a friend of Cromwell’s, took an opportunity to say a good word for him to Henry after Wolsey’s fall, that the King at last had an interview with his future minister in Westminster Gardens, and was advised by him to shake off the yoke of Rome. The latter part of this story follows closely the account of Cardinal Pole (see chapter vi. p. 92). Foxe goes on to an exhaustive defence of Cromwell’s actions during his ministry, especially the suppression of the monasteries and the measures adopted for the promotion of the new religion. The story of the loss of Cranmer’s Book Against the Six Articles at the bear-baiting on the Thames (see chapter xiii. p. 255) and the account of Frescobaldo’s kindness to Cromwell in Florence are related at length. Many other minor incidents of Cromwell’s life are also recorded: we are told how he stopped a skirmish in Paternoster Row, how he prevented a friar from wearing his cowl in the streets, how he imprisoned a ruffian with long hair, and how he aided a poor man whose father had once befriended him in distress. The story closes with an account of Cromwell’s fall, sentence and execution, and gives the speech and prayer he is supposed to have made on the scaffold. (See Appendix at the end of chapter xiv.)]



The heavy veil that shrouds in mystery the early life of Thomas Cromwell is not completely lifted until after he becomes counsellor to the King, but even before and during his service with Wolsey, we catch several interesting glimpses of him. Especially important is the information we possess concerning the part he played in the Parliament of 1523. We have no means of knowing how he obtained a seat there, but there are fortunately preserved two documents of undoubted authenticity that shed much light on the attitude he assumed towards the problems which came up for discussion. The first is a speech which exists to-day at the Public Record Office in the hand of one of Cromwell’s clerks, and contains a distinct and careful enunciation of the policy which the future minister actually pursued in after years. The second is a letter from Cromwell to a friend, John Creke, in Biscay, in which he tells how he ‘amongyst other indured a parlyament[46].’ This epistle is in itself an excellent index to the character and political ideals of its author. Cromwell’s ill-concealed contempt for the vague discussions and fruitless arguments of the Commons, who finally in disgust left off where they began, his evident disappointment that the ‘right large subsydye’ had been granted in spite of his disapproval, and his sneering statement that this Parliament had failed as signally as its predecessors had, to do anything of real practical value to King or realm, but had wasted its time in foolish theorizing and useless debate--all are perfectly consistent with the characteristics revealed by his later policy and actions.

In order to understand the speech which Cromwell wrote to deliver in this Parliament, a preliminary survey of some of the business that lay before the House may be helpful. The period immediately previous to the session of 1523 had been occupied by Henry and Wolsey in sending messages to the powerful and traitorous Duke of Bourbon, to obtain from him a recognition of the King’s title to the throne of France. The breach between England and France was becoming wider every day. Charles V. had of course seized the favourable opportunity to ally himself with Bourbon and Henry, and had as usual succeeded in making the latter do the lion’s share of the work, and pay practically all the bills. Loans to the Emperor and to the Duke, and the expense of keeping up the defences in the north, where Scotland daily threatened to break out into open war, had drained the country’s resources to their lowest ebb.

Under these circumstances Henry thought it fit to summon a Parliament, the first since December, 1515. The policy of Wolsey, in regard to the great legislative body of the kingdom, had up to this time been very closely followed. He had not reached the point which Cromwell at a later day was destined to attain; that is, he had not so completely obtained the upper hand of the Commons that he could use them as a tool to accomplish his will. He rather regarded Parliament as a dangerous power to be suppressed at all costs, than as a means to attain his own ends. Consequently it had not met for nearly eight years. But the present crisis was one which called for more than the ordinary resources of the nation; nothing could be accomplished against France unless an enormous subsidy was granted; that subsidy could only be granted by Parliament, and Wolsey, rather unwillingly, was forced to consent to the King’s summoning it, relying on Henry’s great personal popularity, and the peculiarly bitter national hatred of France, to make it accomplish for him what he could not do for himself[47].

Sir Thomas More was chosen Speaker, probably because of his high favour with Henry, who did not scruple to give Parliament broad hints of his pleasure in all matters in which he was interested, and though, as Roper says, More was ‘very loath to take this room upon him[48],’ yet the King would not consent to his resignation. And the story goes on to tell how Wolsey ‘found himself much grieved with the burgesses of this Parliament, for that nothing was so soon done or spoken therein but that it was immediately blown abroad in every ale-house[49],’ and how, fearing that the subsidy bill might not pass, he determined to be present at the debate himself, and was received, at Sir Thomas More’s suggestion, ‘with all his pomp, with his maces, his pillars, his poleaxes, his crosses, his hat, and his great seal too.’ But Wolsey need not have been so anxious about the passage of his bill. Though at first the House would not deign to consider the subsidy in his presence, alleging that ‘there was not so much money out of the King’s hands in the whole realm,’ it had been out of practice too long to realize its own power, and after a great deal of haggling and fruitless endeavours by the members to beg off for less than the £800,000 at first demanded, Wolsey carried his point[50], and by the end of June was able to announce to Henry that there was no further hindrance to the proposed invasion of France.

While the debate was in progress, however, Cromwell was one of the strongest opponents of the Cardinal’s scheme. The following speech, which he wrote to deliver on this occasion[51], clearly reveals his attitude on the questions before the House.

‘To recou_er_ agayne by the sworde the Realme of Fraunce, belongyng to o_ur_ most Redowbtid Souerayne by good and iuste tytle, and to chaunge the Sums of monay whiche we haue in sundrey yeres Receyued from thens into the hole and iust Reuenues that myght there from yere to yere be Leuyed yf we did peasibly enioye the same, who ys here present that wold not gladly dispend not oonly all his goodys but also his lyffe yf euery of vs had ten thowsand lyues to help to obtayne vnto o_ur_ most benygne souerayne and his most noble Succession besydys the high honour and wyde spredyng of his most glorious fame, whiche while this world endured shuld euer be had in memory, suche yerely reuenues and wellyng spryngg_es_ as[52] treasure as shuld by thyse means contynually be browght into this Realme, Whereoff there were no dowte but that ryght haboundant stremys shuld from his most liberall magnyfysence be dereuyed into eu_er_y parte of this his Realme to the grete Inryching and enprosperyng of vs and all suche as hereafter showld lyue vnder hys obeysaunce and subieccion. And that this high and Magnanyme ent_er_pryse ys at this p_re_sent by o_ur_ saide Souerayne not only in secret wyse in his high cowrage conceyued, but also vttred to his most prudent counsayll, and at sundrey tymes by his grace and them rypely dygested debated ye and fynally concluded as the thyng by his most high wysdome and thens thowg_ht_ not only possible but also very apparaunt and lykely, all reasonable dowt_es_ auoyded, we All haue clerely persayued as well by the mowth and reporte of my lorde legatt_es_ good grace as by the Recapitulacion of the Right w_or_shipfull best Assuryd and discrete Speker, in so moche that we haue ben_e_ adu_er_tised of the Indentures all reddy passed bytwene o_ur_ said most noble Souerayne and the Emparo_ur_s Magesty, conteynyng not oonly the nombre of horseme_n_ and Fotemen, estemed sufficient for the saide enterpryse, but also the day p_re_fixid for the Arryuall beyond the see of the saide Army. Whyche thyng sythyns o_ur_ most Redowbted Souerayne hathe so depely myndyd, that for the more effectuall puttyng in execucion of the same, his high enterpryze, he hathe promysed in the saide endentures, to goo ou_er_ in his owne noble p_er_sone Whoo ys here p_re_sent in this ryght w_or_shipfull assemble, or any other his subiet Whatsoeuer he be whiche to the vtterest of his power wold not payne and endeu_er_ hymself, that this so glorious, so profyttable and so wysshefull an enterpryse myght properously be atcheuyd and o_ur_ souerayne w_i_t_h_ assuryd hono_ur_ to Reto_ur_ne agayne after this grete acte well and victoryously p_er_fynysshed. But for somoche As yt hathe pleased o_ur_ most Redowbtid Souuerayne of his most high and haboundant goodnes, to declare vnto vs by the mowthe of my saide Lorde Cardinallis grace, not only this his purpose, but also the manyfold p_ro_uocacions and hainous iniures done aswell to his noble highnes, as to his most dere sist_er_ the quene Douriere of Fraunce, in wrongus[53] w_i_t_h_holding of her Dowre, and also the grete vexacion of his subiect_es_ by robbyng and spoylyng of them, to theire vtter vndoyng, by Francoys now raynyng there, and on the other side the manyfold policies and gracious meanes studied by o_ur_ saide most noble Souuerayne, and hys Counsayll, to establysshe a generall peace amongyst all Crysten Prync_es_ and to stay the saide Frauncoys yf yt had bene possible by ma_n_nys industry from his synyster wayes and disturbyng of all Regions abowte hym. Me semyth that his highnes hathe heryn Declared vnto vs the grettest loue that eu_er_ did noble prynce vnto his humble and obeysaunt subiect_es_, seyng that his high wysdome doth not disdayne to co_m_municate and declare vnto vs his waighty entrepases and affayres, in this autentyk man_er_ assemblyd by the mowthe of so notable a p_er_sonage, beseching god of his haboundant goodnes and ynfynyte m_er_cye whiche w_i_t_h_drawyth not his lyght from the poore and low estate but vnto humble hartt_es_ departyth of his grace, that this notable benygnete of o_ur_ saide Souerayne be not amongyst vs all frustrate, but that sum of vs here p_re_sent may say in this weyghty matier the thyng vaylable and worthye in his most highe Juggement to be regarded whiche by the Mowthe and report of the ryght wyse dyscrete and excellently lettred speker may be benyng Interpretacion And as we meane cu_m_ vnto his most g_ra_cious Erys. Whiche my p_er_fyte trust ys that his noble grace wyll not so vtterly regecte, but that yt may oons entre into his noble harte byfore the tyme come that he shall put hys high entrepryse in execucio_n_ seyng yt ys yet oon hole yere therunto and all thowgh I reckyn myselff of all other the most vnworthy to haue in the awdience of so many sauge and notable p_er_sons, any mann_er_ saiyngg_es_, especially in this weighty mattier whiche makyth me to tremble, for fere, whan I thyncke upon hyt and represent vnto my fantasy How the thre gou_er_no_ur_s of Crystendom, accompanyed w_i_t_h_ so grete nomb_re_ of prync_es_ noble men and other their Subgiett_es_ shuld after so manyfold p_ro_uocacions of dedely hattred encounter togyder w_i_t_h_ theire Swordys in theire hand_es_, to trye where the pleasure of god shalbe to stryke, and shew his indignacion, Of whiche slawghter, most nedis ensue, the moste Lamentable cryes, and sorowfull wryngyng of handys, that hath happened in Cristendome many yeres. Neu_er_thelesse after my symple and yngnorant man_er_, I shall humbly beseche yow all of yo_ur_ benygne Supportacion that I may here w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ fauo_ur_s vtter my poore mynde whose intent ys no_ne_ other but to geue vnto yow, whiche be of far more assuryd Wysdom, Lernyng and experience then I, occasion to vtter yo_ur_ wyse counsayll_es_, for yn myself I know well ys nought ell_es_ but the intent of good wyll, and entier desyre, of the Contenuaunce yn p_ro_sp_er_ite of my most redowtyd souerayne, with the most frutefull cons_er_uacion of the polytyk weall of this his noble Realme, and the good fertheryng of all the enterprysys and affayres in any wyse belongyng to the same.

‘To speke of peace certeynly as now hit ys no tyme, Albe hit that I doo in my hart therfore ryght sore lament, but want of trowth ys so depely in the Frenche Nacion enrotid, and theire insaciable apetite to extent theire bond_es_ and to accroche from other their Domynyons and possessions to the grete molestyng and trowbelyng of all the nacions abowte theym, ys so manyfest and notorys to all the word[54], w_i_t_h_oute any regarde hauyng ether to godde or Justyce, that thowgh we Hadde for o_ur_ owne p_ar_ticuler causes no mann_er_ quarell_es_ vnto them, yet cowld we not but haue in detestacion their false and fleyghty Dealyng Wherw_i_t_h_ other Cristened prync_es_ be by them so sore molestyd. But now ys hyt soo that our most Drad Souerayne ys soo notably prouoked by the manyfold Iniuryes done aswell to hymself as to his most derest Syster, and sundrey his Subiect_es_ that me thynckyth, there be none, his true and faythefull Subiett_es_, that can refrayne to bere toward_es_ them a worthy haatred and fast inpryntyd groutche, as vnto the nacion, whiche eu_er_ ys onrestful, And of suche malicious nature that there ys no remedy, but other they most be skowrgyd or ellys they wyll suerly be a skowrge to other, and other their possessions must be ruffilled and dymynysshed or ellys they wyll not cesse to Dymynysshe and take away from other their possessions, of whiche Arogant Nacion thowgh we haue of o_ur_ self_es_ by goddys Ayde and suffer_au_nce ben the Chastners and terryble stronge yet at this p_re_sent tyme Allmyghty god ys so benygne vnto vs that we haue now a muche grete aduauntage to compell them not oonly to syt in rest but also gladly to com_e_ to Reason seyng that by theyre sayde mysprowde arregancy the[55] Haue in so sundry Wayes prouoked the saide Emparo_ur_s magestye vnto iust hatered and dyspleasure agaynst them w_i_t_h_ whome o_ur_ most Redowbted Souerayne ys most assurydly co_n_federate and alied, Whose high and myghty power ys so great that Joyned vnto owers they be enverouned on eu_er_y syde wyth the nacions, whiche by goddes grace shall afflycte them and abate their pryde. Whiche thyng the emparo_ur_s maiesty hath full well for his partie shewyd in Recoueryng agayne of Nauerne Where they had no smale ou_er_throw and also by Wynnyng from theym the Cytte of To_ur_ney and the hole Countrey Tornasyes adiacent therunto, and farthermore to the more sorar encresyng of their A_n_guysshefull abasshement and shame haue dryuen them quyte owte of Ittaly and dispossessed them of the noble Dowchye of Millayne, the gettyng and defendyng wherof hath ben_e_ so maruaylous chargeable vnto theym and also to the Cyttyes of Genes w_i_t_h_ the Terretoryes therunto belongyng. And we for o_ur_ partye haue spoyled and brent Morkesse, Destroyed also a grete Contrey w_i_t_h_ sundry villag_es_ and Townes therin, and to the grete and high hono_ur_ of o_ur_ soueraigne and his valiaunt nacion, and the grete Lawde and Prayse of the well fortunate and sawge Capetayn, the yerle of Surrey, whiche taryed in the Domynyons of the saide Francoyse w_i_t_h_ a smale Nombr_e_ of men in comparyson by the space or vj or vij wekys where all the power of Fraunce durst not geue hym battayll whiche sayde valiant Capeteyne, I trust by goddes help, shall ou_er_throw and subdue also the Skott_es_, whome the Frenche men haue so custuously intertayned, and of so long tyme mayntayned agaynst vs, whiche thingg_es_, yf almyghty god of his goodnes, wyll suffre to contynue this a while, there ys no dowte but that their hawlte and mysprowde Cowrage shall or owght long abate, and that we shall constrayne theym to be glad to entret for pease as men dryuen in to grete and extreme Dyspayre, seing their pec_es_ whiche they haue bene so long in gettyng bene so valiauntly and w_i_t_h_owt any hardynesse in theym to make Resystance pullid away from theym, and they dare not trye hyt by the sworde, nother w_i_t_h_ vs, nor w_i_t_h_ the saide Emparo_ur_s Subiect_es_ for whan soeu_er_ they so doo, they wyn nowght ellys but a shamefull overthrow, as we all know, by good experyence. But now myght yt be in questyon whyther hyt showld be for the more aduaunsyng of o_ur_ most Rodowtyd Souerayns Hono_ur_ and the Empero_ur_s Mageste also, and more vayllable for the spedy acheuyng of bothe their desiryd purposys other to contynew styll thys kynde of warre whyche hytherto god be thancked hathe so prosperously succedyd or ellys to chaunge o_ur_ warre in to another kynde, more sharper, more violent and also more terable, that is to say, where he hathe not bene so hardy as to mete A meane Armyee, other of owers or of the Empero_ur_s, to conuey now in to hys Realme on eyther of o_ur_ sydys, so grete and myghty a puyss_au_nce as shalbe able by goddys ayde, clerely to vanquysshe hym vtterly and to subdue hym.

‘To this question I beseche god that sum sauge and well experte man here amongyst vs p_re_sent may say the thyng that may be honorable to o_ur_ most Redowted souerayne and proffyttable this to his noble Realme, As for myne owne partye knowyng my most redowtyd Souerayns high pleasure Whereof we haue all by my saide lorde Cardinall_e_s grace ben_e_ so clerely enfo_ur_med, I am at a poynt suche as dothe becom_e_ an humble and obeysant subiect to be, beyng adu_er_tisid of his Souerayns most redowtyd pleasure, especially by the mowthe of hys most nere and cheffest Counsaylo_ur_, declaryd, oonly oon thyng there ys whiche puttyth me in no small agonye, me thowght I harde my lorde Cardynall_e_s grace say that o_ur_ most gracious Souuerayne, more derer vnto any of hys Subiect_es_ that hathe any man_er_ zele to o_ur_ co_m_men welthe then hys owne propre lyfe, indendyth to go ou_er_ in his Royall p_er_sone, Whyche thyng I pray god for my partie I neu_er_ lyue to see, Most humbly beseching hys haboundant and tendre benygnyte of m_er_cy and p_ar_done of this my saiyng, for the humble and obeysant loue I ow vnto his noble p_er_son, causyth me in this case to forget obeysance, and I cannot consent to obey vnto this hys pleasure wheryn lyith the hazardyng of this his noble Realme, and apon the whiche myght follow (whiche god defend) the grettyst Calamyte and afflation[56] that eu_er_ happynned ther vnto by cause I am desyrous to be owte of all dowtt_es_ that I may all my lyfe dayes hereafter be his humble and obeisant subiet, and see w_i_t_h_ the prosperite and suretye of his noble parson, his Realme and power subiect_es_ to lyue assuryd in tranquylyte and to be reconforttid w_i_t_h_ his noble p_re_sence, whose welthe and prosperyte ys so vrgently necessary vnto vs all that I am sure their ys no good Englysshe man whiche can be mery the day whan he happenyth to thynk that his grace myght p_er_ch_au_nce be dystemp_er_id of his helthe so that albe hyt I say for my partie, I stomak as a sory Subiect may doo, the high Iniures done by the saide Francoys, vnto his most dere souerayne, yet rather then the thyng shuld goo so ferre forth I cowld for my partie be contented to forget altogyther soo that I may know the parson of my souerayne to be yn helthe, and suretye owte of the thowsand Daungiers whiche chaunce in warre, and lyue at his high Pleasure and assuryd myrth for yf the Frenche men haue establysshed an orden_au_nce amongyst theym that their kyng in hys owne p_er_sone shall neu_er_ com_e_ in Raungyd Battayll agay_n_st o_ur_ nacion bycawse of the sundry hazardys that their saide prync_es_ haue suffred in their owne parsons, notw_i_t_h_standyng their maruelous pollecy deuysed amongest them for the certayn and the establysshid succession of their Crowne, how neidfull ys hyt for us consideryng in what case we be to make the humblest sewyt that eu_er_ did pore Subiect_es_ to theyre Souuerayne, that he wyll for o_ur_ sak_es_ and specially for the tendre and Fathyrly loue he beryth to his most dere and oonly dowghter upon whose wele and sircumspecte bestowyng next his noble parson dependyth all o_ur_ welthis som_e_thyng to Reffrayne his high magnanyme Courage and for o_ur_ assuryd welthe and quyet and specially of her noble p_er_son desyst from that Dawngerows entrepryse, And whereas his highnes hath the Reno_u_m to be the most faythefull and substauncyall prynce, Crystayned yn the trew p_er_fo_ur_myng of all his promyses that hyt may lyke his grace to lay the wyte on vs his poore Subiect_e_s thowgh that he breke in that poynt the tenour of his Indenture, For yf his highnes wold so farre presse vs by o_ur_ allegence that he wold nedys cary ou_er_ w_i_t_h_ hym the Armay in the same Endentures expressed, I am suer there showld not be oon amongest them all that had any reason in his hed but he shuld be more metar to wayle and wryng hys hand_e_s than assuryd to fyght, whan he consydered that yf otherwyse then well showld fortune to that prescious Juell whiche he had for hys partye, in custody, yt were more metar for hym to departe in to Turkey than to Reto_ur_ne agayne in to his naturall Contray to hys wyffe and chyldren. And now as yt fortunyth naturally where as a man ys fully p_er_swadyd in any matter as I am trewly that o_ur_ most Redowtid soueraygne showld in no wyse passe the Sees in his owne noble p_er_son consideryng the thyng_es_ aforsaide to fayne Reasons to make for His purpose, soo doo I now Fantasye syns I am so extremely desyrows that the noble parson yf[57] my saide Prynce showlde tarry withyn Hys Realme that hit were better to trayne owre warre and by lyttyll and lyttyll to attempte wery the saide Francoys then at oons to send ou_er_ agaynst hym the power Royall of this noble Royalme.

‘In the reasonyng of whiche matter I shall but vtter myne ygnoraunce afore Hanyball as o_ur_ ryght wyse spekar rehersid now of late, but syns I am wadyd thus far vnder yo_ur_ benygne supportacion I shall here vtter my pore mynde yf thys grete and puysaunt armaye of xxx Thowsand foteme_n_ and ten Thowsand horsemen showld be co_n_ueyed in to the partyes of beyond see I ymagyn w_i_t_h_ myself whiche wayes they myght take to noy o_ur_ enemyes most Consideracion fyrst had vnto their owne saufegarde, How they myght suerly be victualled and thus I reason yf they shuld so invade Fraunce that they myght eu_er_ w_i_t_h_ suretye haue victayles owte of the Archedukedome, than put I no dowbt_es_ but they showld saufely Reto_ur_ne agayne, for any daungyer that showld com_e_ vnto theym by their enemyes, for synse they durst not this yere last past set vpon the Hardy and valiaunt Capetayn the Yerle of Surr_ey_ notw_i_t_h_standyng any prouocacions that he Cowld by hys exp_er_te wysedome in the Featt_es_ of warre Imagyn to bryng them thervnto how moche more wold they beware to mete w_i_t_h_ so howge an Armye whose bruit I suppose god beyng indyfferent the poore of Fraunce were not hable to susteyne, but by this meanes lyke as o_ur_ saide Armye shuld be in saftye soo showld the harme whiche they showld doo to the Realme of Fraunce be nothyng so moche as the harmys whiche we o_ur_selff_es_ showld susteyn in sowldyng of so great an army which were hable or iii Somers were expyred to exhawste and vtterly consume all the Cogne and bolyon w_i_t_h_yn this Realme whiche I coniecture can not passe moche aboue a Million For yf all the valew of the hole Realme excede not iiii Millions as my lorde Cardinall_e_s grace Declaryth playnly vnto vs all of whiche the possessions were estemyd to amount to oone Hole Million, me thynkyth that there ys no dowbte but that the Cornes, Cattall_es_ o_ur_ owne Co_m_modeties vtensill_es_ Apparayll for man and women whiche was neu_er_ soo sumptuo_u_s and also the wares not oonly made of o_ur_ owne co_m_modetyes but also conveyed from the partyes of beyond the see Hyther wherof was neu_er_ so grete Haboundaunce Dothe amount at the lest vnto other ij Millions This yf we showld take thys way or eu_er_ we showld doo to o_ur_ enemy any hurt that were worthy to be regardid we showld be brought in to that case that we showld neu_er_ be hable neu_er_ to hurt hym ne none other, nor to help o_ur_ Prynce, nor this his noble Realme What adu_er_syte soeu_er_ shuld fortune to Hap ye and what showld we then Doo, but sit in peace w_i_t_h_ the highest ignomine and Desperat confusion that eu_er_ did nacion and be constraynyd for the maynten_au_nce of co_m_mutacion and biyng and sellyng amongyst o_ur_selffes to koyne lether agayne, lyke as we oons haue done, whiche as for me I could well ynowgh be content with but yf yt showld fortune o_ur_ most Redowtyd Souerayne, yf he wold nyedys go ou_er_ yn hys owne p_er_sone to happyn by any adu_er_se fortune, whiche almyghty god defend to cum into the hand_es_ of o_ur_ enemyes, how shuld we then be hable to Redeme hym agayne yf they wyll nought for their wynes but golde they wold thynck grete skorne, to take lether for o_ur_ prynce, ye and how moche the Inhabitaunt_es_ of the saide Archedukedome be desirows to haue moche of o_ur_ monaye for Lytyll of their victuaylis whiche showld the sonner bryng this inconuenyence to passe, we haue hadde ryght good experyence aswell whan o_ur_ moste Redowbtid Souerayne last went ou_er_ in His owne Royall parson as in the last yere, whan my lorde of Surrey was sent by o_ur_ saide Souerayne in to those parties whose Soldyers at their Retto_ur_ne made of the raryte and high prysed victuales no lytyll complaynt. But yf we nedys wold conuaye o_ur_ armye by their possessions and to make o_ur_ way as short as myght be, to goo the most nere and dyrect way to Parrys where vndowbtyd were no small spoylle to be gotten and in mann_er_ the place self not hable in strength to kepe vs owte Assone as eu_er_ we were Dep_ar_tyd owte of the Marchys of the saide Archedukedome, we showld then clerely p_er_sayue whatt mann_er_ warre the Frenche men wold vse ayenst vs whiche neu_er_ wyll offer to medyll w_i_t_h_ o_ur_ Armye, but lye yn wayte yf any of o_ur_ saide Armye happened to straye or stragle abrode or to destroye the Conducto_ur_s of o_ur_ victuayle. And as for victuaylys in o_ur_ waye we shuld be sure none to fynde that other hadde legges to convey hyt sylf from vs or elles by the diligence of the paysans myght convaide[58] to the next strong holdys and then myght we p_er_ch_au_nce (whiche god defend) p_er_sayue what high daunger to leue any strong holdys behynde vs, whiche the most Saugge and Poletyke Prynce Kyng Henry the vij^{th} of gracious memory thowght not best to doo. For when he passed the Sees to wyn the ryght in Fraunce he began fyrst to lay Seige to Bolayn, or eu_er_ he wold enter anye farther in to the land. And o_ur_ most Redowtyd souerayne now raynyng beyng in purpose as I harde reportid goo as farre as Parres after the occupacion of his sawge Counsayle began Fyrst at Tyrouenne and the Empero_ur_s mageste Imployed A whosoeu_er_ be in To_ur_nay bycawse yt was thowght to his high wysedome and hys noble councellers euydently dawngerous yf he wold at any tyme hereafter passe any farder by that way in to Fraunce, to leue suche strong hold in the possession of his enemyes behynde hym at hys bakke, and soo yf we showld for any dyspleasure done vnto vs ammuse o_ur_ Coscions armye abowte the wynnyng of any those holdys, what maruelous Inconuenyenc_es_ Let of purpose and Importable Charg_es_ we showld sustayn therbye o_ur_ most drad souerayne lorde hathe theryn to good experyence in the wynnyng of Tyrouen which cost his highnes more then xx^{ti} suche vngracious Dogholes cowld be worthe vnto hym But yf we wold vtterlye leue this waye, and Determyn to Invade Normandie Bretayn or sum other Contraye in the possession of his enemye vpon the Ryvage of the see and make o_ur_ preparacions here w_i_t_h_yn this noble Realme suche as showld be thowght conuenable for suche an armye Royall Thys thyng passith the streche of my pore wyt to speke for oon_e_ thing I suppose, besid_es_ the Inestymable molestacion and charge whiche I ymagyn this noble Realme showld sustayne for theyr p_re_paracion for ware I can se nothyng but manyfest dawngier on eu_er_y syde to be toward_es_ the saide Armaye not onely at their Arryvall amongest their enemyes at all tymes and so long as they shall there tarry Whiche to shew theym their saide enemyes showld have no smale aduauntage, and that in sundry wyse, but also how they should surely be victayled for thowgh we made here neu_er_ so good dylygence to prepare victailes for them in due tyme yet stode bothe we and they in daungier of the wynde in whose oncerteynte god defend that the Flower, nay in mann_er_ the hole Chyualry of this noble Realme showld so be hazardid for thereby myght Chaunce the most lamentable losse ye and w_i_t_h_out Recou_er_y that eu_er_ heretofore to me happenyd For thowgh we be indowtyd ryght sore dymynysshed of o_ur_ Treasure, We haue yet a farr gretar want of defensable men whiche to any good Englysshe man that ys not affeccionat to his owne pryuat lucre but w_i_t_h_ good harte and true zele louyth the Commen wele ys to moche manyfest at the yee, and hyt pleasid god of the contrary Wherby Supposid that Almyghty god sent o_ur_ souerayne his desiryd purpose how showld we be Able to possede the large Cuntreye of Fraunce whiche haue o_ur_ owne Realme so meruelous rarely storyd of inhabytaunt_es_ and hable men, but there paraadventure yt myght be saide vnto me Why puttyst thow so many dowtt_es_ ayenst this my most redowtyd souerayns enterpryse, he beyng so high in courage of maruelous wysdome and well tryed experyence in all m_ar_ciall Condutt_es_ seyng other his progenito_ur_s of farre lesse graces w_i_t_h_ an handfull of men in comparyson to his armye haue geuyn them soo notable ou_er_throwes To thys question breuely to show my pore mynde Trewly the manyfold victoryes that we haue had ayenst theym bryngyth theym in playne dyspayre to trye hyt anye more w_i_t_h_ vs In raunged battayll and to the experyence that they haue of o_ur_ Condicions bothe in warre and pease hathe geuyn the saide Francoys hardynes thus haynowsly to prouoke o_ur_ Souerayne as he doyth for lyke as he knowyth that in Armys o_ur_ nacion ys ynvincible so knowyth he o_ur_ Impacience to Contynew in warre many yeres and in especiall in wynter for we desier nowght elles but to trye hyt w_i_t_h_ o_ur_ hand_es_ at ones and that the Maruelous charge far aboue any other nacion that we most nedys co_n_tinually be at for victuayles and other necessaryes ys so grete that at the length we most nedys wery o_ur_self as oftyn as we be assemblyd to fyght yf We soo togyther assemblyd long contynew thowgh none other nacion fyght w_i_t_h_ vs I cowld here also towche what polecye we haue to kepe thing_es_ when we haue gottyn theym, but I let that passe and wyll now shew the notable adu_au_ntag_es_ that our sou_er_ayns progenito_ur_s had ou_er_ that we haue now, the mean warre ayenst Fraunce yn tymes past we had eu_er_ plac_es_ surlye to Lond in other of o_ur_ owne, or of o_ur_ assured confederatt_es_ and alies as Gascoyne Gwyen Bretayn and sumtyme Normandie and at the lest we had Sum assuryd freynd_es_ there whiche wern grete men of power and furthermore their Townes and holdes were nothyng of the m_er_uelous strength that they be of at this p_re_sent but now all thyse thynges be chaunged places. We haue none to lond in any of the saide Countrays but suche as we may be sure to haue allema_n_n_er_ dyspleasure shewyd vnto vs that they dare or may doo and as for any frend_es_ We haue that I dare not p_re_sume to speke in, but as ferre as my pore coniecture ledyth me there was neu_er_ nacion more maruaylusly Lynkyd togyder then they be amongyst theymself_es_ nor more sundry prouysyons found how suche A[59] nature hath made of high courage beyng borne amongyst them myght be prouyded of welthful lyuynges vnder their obeysaunce to consent to any Dysturbyng of their Co_m_men Welth thowgh he showld for that intent be offeryd a great and notable Treasoure But how by[60] Coruptable all the worlde w_i_t_h_ the m_er_uelows sleyght_es_ in excessyff gyft_es_ the Empero_ur_s maiestye hathe for his partie had of late ryght euydent experyence, For whyle he was here in thise parties occupied abowte the wynnyng of To_ur_ney and other his affayres they had corrupted iij or iiij of the grettest nobles of Spayne, apon whiche parsonages for their euydent ontrewth the Empero_ur_s Magestye was constraynyd to do Justyce at his Reto_ur_nyng thyther, whiche was no small losse onto hym yf they had lyke trew subgiett_es_ accordyngly regarded their allegiaunce and that is to be m_er_uayled at my lorde of Sheuerys[61] the most bounden creature of the sayde Emparo_ur_s Maieste that eu_er_ was subiect to his Souuerayne, me thowght I harde my lorde Cardinall_es_ grace reporte, that he was also by their m_er_uelous subtyle pollice and gyft_es_ corrupt, and also yt ys euyde_n_t that synse the saide Empero_ur_s Maiestie Reto_ur_nyd in to Spayne agayne the gou_er_no_ur_s of his Archedukedome haue grauntyd dyu_er_s of safecondut vnto m_er_ch_au_nt_es_ of the Frenche nacion ye and for their Sakys vnto Skott_es_ also, whiche ys a maruelous hyndraunce after my pore Jugeme_n_t to o_ur_ souueraynes and the saide Empero_ur_s warres. For yf o_ur_ co_m_modeties had aswell ben_e_ kepte from theim as their co_m_modeties be from vs many a thowsand artyfycer lyuyng vnder the saide Francoys Domynyon whiche hathe none other lyuyng but by workyng of o_ur_ wollys haue ben_e_ constrayned to haue made to their kyng lamentable sute for peace, as people browght to extreme distresse and not wottyng how to lyue.

‘Thus haue I here vttred my pore and symple mynde ryght hartylly thanckyng yow all of yo_ur_ benygne Supportacion and how that yow haue Wytsaufe to here so pacientlie my ignorance most humbly beseching the tender benygnyte of my most dere and most redowtyd souuerayn whiche w_i_t_h_drawyth hys m_er_cifull yee from Wylfull offenders yf they humbly make sute vnto his grace for pardon, that he wyll of his haboundaunt goodnes wytsaufe to take me as I meane whiche am as desyrous that all his most noble entrepases should prosperously go forward as any symple creature that eu_er_ was borne vnder his obeisaunce thinckyng after my Ignorant Jugement that yf yt wold please his magnanime Courage to conuert Fyrst and chief his hole intent and purpose not only to the ouer ro_n_nyng and subduyng of Skotland but also to Joyne the same Realme vnto his, Soo that both they and we myght lyue vnder oone Bessaunce Law and Pollecy for eu_er_. He shold therby wyn the highest honour that eu_er_ dyd any noble p_ro_genito_ur_s synse thys Iland was fyrst Inhabyt to Joyne vnto his noble Realme so populus a Cuntray wherby his strength shold be of no small parte e_n_cresid and of this acte should follow the highest abasshement to the saide Francoys that eu_er_ happened to hym or any his p_ro_geneto_ur_s afore hym not oonly for that he Left the saide Skott_e_s his auncie_n_t allies and which haue for hys and their Sak_es_ p_ro_uokyd o_ur_ nacion so notably heretofore at thys tyme vndefended by reason of o_ur_ souerayns naiuye whiche he dare not encounter w_i_t_h_ nor neu_er_ dare send theim soco_ur_ so long as he shall know the narrow sees substansially to be kept, but also for somoche as he shall vnderstand that we haue chaunged o_ur_ ma_n_n_er_ of warre, whiche were wont nought else to doo but to skore the nacions abowt, but whan he shall p_er_sayue that by the hygh and pollytyk wysdome o_ur_ saide most redowtid Souerayne they be Joyned vnto vs in oone politik boddye what fere shall we then stand in to Lose his possessions w_i_t_h_out any hope of Recou_er_e agayne, and thowgh hit be a co_m_men sayng that yn Skotland ys nought to wyn but strokes, for that I alledge another co_m_men sayng, who that entendyth Fraunce to wyn w_i_t_h_ Skotland let hym begyn, Whiche enterpret thus truely hyt ys But a Symplenesse for vs to thyncke to kepe possessions in Fraunce, ‹which› ys seuowryd from vs by the ocean see, and suffre Skotland Joyne‹d› vnto vs by nature all in oon Iland, vnto which we may haue Reco_ur_se at all tymes whan we woll, whiche also to subdue, god beyng indiffere_n_t lyeth eu_er_ in o_ur_ hand to lyue vnder a nother pollecy and to Recognyse another Prynce send god that o_ur_ most Redowty Souuerayne ‹may conquer Scotland› whiche whan we haue ones Joyned vnto o_ur_ polecy as a memb_re_ by nature dyscendyng apon the hole, than shall we therby have the experyence how to wyn and kepe other possessions of o_ur_ most redowtyd souerayne of due ryght and enherytaunce belonging to his noble Crowne whiche we ‹have› in the parties of beyond the see in whyche entrepryses I beseche god send o_ur_ most dere and most redowtyd souuerayn prosperous Succession and fortunat atcheuyng of all this his noble entrepryse.’

There is no record that this speech was ever delivered; even if it was, it certainly had no effect in this unwieldy and unpractical session of Parliament. But the accuracy and force of the speaker’s reasoning were destined to be proved by the subsequent course of events. For the student of the present day, who is enabled to glance at the whole picture from a distance, so that the various facts assume more or less their proper proportion and perspective, Cromwell’s words on this occasion will always remain as one of the strongest proofs of his political wisdom and foresight.

After touching on the subject of the war, and assuring the House of his conviction that any one present would give goods and life ten thousand times over to recover France for the King (a shrewd beginning, for if Henry was not present in person, no one knew better than Cromwell how accurately every word spoken in the Parliament would be reported to him, and how important it was for one who would gain the royal favour to put his loyalty to the Crown first of all), he goes on, after a few commonplace remarks about the war’s being waged with energy, to crave the pardon of the House for addressing so noble an assembly. This preface is eminently characteristic of the speaker. When not perfectly certain of his ground, and in the presence of those whom he wished to conciliate, none could be a more adroit flatterer than he; it was only when he was completely master of the situation (and he had a peculiar gift of discovering just what his position was in relation to other people) that he became contemptuous, overbearing, and cruel.

But not even yet had he said enough to prove his loyalty to the King. He agrees that war is inevitable, and that the question now is how it may be most effectually carried on, but when he foresees that the King will go in person, he is greatly distressed. He talks loudly about the danger of the King being killed, hints that Henry possessed a courage and a self-sacrifice to the interests of England which would render him impervious to any argument about personal risk, and then launches himself into the heart of his discourse. The King is an absolute necessity to the welfare and progress of the State. If the King were removed, the country would probably be brought face to face with the horrors of a civil war. Cromwell thus brings his hearers to the first great principle of the policy that he was destined later to pursue, namely, concentration of power in the hands of the Crown, as a _sine qua non_ of unity at home and safety abroad. This principle he enforces with many other arguments. The danger from the hostility of Scotland was enormous; let the King ‘Reffrayne his high magnanyme Courage’ and remaining at home, so direct the movements of his forces, that England and Scotland may together move as a unit. France has bought off many who may seem to be England’s allies on the Continent. The consequence of an invasion of France would be the scattering of the army; it might be cut off in an attempt to capture Paris, and England would be left to the mercy of its first invader. The country must make sure of its own safety, before entering upon a war of aggression.

He brings up other points to prove his case, and here speaks against the proposed subsidy. He saw, as a merchant, that the amount proposed was excessive; his fear was that all the coin and bullion in the realm would be exhausted by three summers of fruitless warring, so that the nation would be forced ‘to koyne lether agayne,’ as it had done once before. His appreciation of the importance of sound finance, and the evils of a depreciated currency show a knowledge of economic principles far in advance of his time. ‘Yf yt showld fortune o_ur_ most Redowtyd Souerayne, yf he wold nyedys go ou_er_ yn hys owne p_er_sone to happyn by any adu_er_se fortune, whiche almyghty god defend to cum into the hand_es_ of o_ur_ enemyes,’ says Cromwell, ‘how shuld we then be hable to Redeme hym agayne yf they wyll nought for their wynes but golde they wold thynck grete skorne, to take lether for o_ur_ prynce.’ Cromwell had early learned the lesson that money and brains were rapidly becoming far more important factors in winning battles, than mere superiority in brute strength or numbers. In his ingenious argument against the subsidy, he had pleaded the cause of the poor people, on whom the taxes fell most heavily, and had at the same time avoided arousing the opposition of the other party, by his adroit flattery at the outset.

His appreciation of the increased difficulty of waging war abroad compared with that in previous ages, because of lack of bases of supplies and friendly towns on the Continent, which before had been numerous, betokens great foresight and knowledge of details. Though he expressly declares, at the beginning of his speech, his intention to leave to ‘sage persons’ the task of deciding how the war should be carried on, he hints that it would be better to play a waiting game and weary the French, while things were consolidated at home, than to try to conquer France by invasion. His attitude about Scotland is repeated with great vigour at the close of his speech. For the King to unify England and Scotland would secure him greater honour than his predecessors had ever attained, and would in the end prove a much more telling blow against France, than a direct invasion. The question of gaining possessions across the sea is of secondary importance: the first thing is to obtain control of a country which belongs to the same island.

Thus Cromwell succeeded in clearly enunciating the main principles of the policy by which he was so soon to guide the affairs of England, while he so flattered King, nobles, and people, that he made many friends, and avoided the enmity of those opposed to him. The man who could make such a speech as this, would not be likely to escape the notice of such an astute man as Henry VIII. It was probably within the walls of this Parliament, that Cromwell laid the first stone of his future greatness as servant and counsellor of the King.



After the year 1524, there is no further mention of Thomas Cromwell as the cloth-merchant and wool-dyer. He probably realized that his business as a lawyer brought him into much more prominence as a public man, but his term in Parliament doubtless aroused in him a desire for even greater things than the life of a successful solicitor. His advance in legal prominence, however, is marked by his admittance in 1524 as a member of Gray’s Inn, and by his appointment in the same year as one of the Subsidy Commissioners for the Hundred of Ossulton in Middlesex[62]; but such petty distinctions fade into the background in the face of a matter of far more absorbing interest, that is, his rapidly growing favour and intimacy with Cardinal Wolsey.

During the years 1524-1525 he was actively engaged in the Cardinal’s service, and received many letters on legal business which he transacted for his master[63]. Seekers for Wolsey’s mercy or patronage invariably came to him, as a likely means of getting their wishes granted. In several cases requests to the Cardinal are addressed directly to the ‘right worshipful Mr. Cromwell.’ It is evident from the tone of the letters which he received, that to obtain his favour was the first and most important step towards gaining that of his master. He was usually spoken of as ‘Councillor to my Lord Legate,’ and was pre-eminent above all the rest of Wolsey’s advisers. It has been thought by some that the Cardinal employed him in connexion with his political schemes, but this is an error. Cromwell began modestly, as befitted his lowly birth and humble origin, and at this time, at any rate, was employed merely as an agent, chosen for his wonderful knowledge of human nature and his great capacity for business.

In the beginning of 1525, however, Wolsey felt that he had in Cromwell a servant sufficiently capable to be trusted with the performance of a work which was nearest the Cardinal’s heart, namely the destruction of some of the smaller monasteries to furnish funds for the building of his college at Oxford. So on the 4th of January of that year, he commissioned Sir William Gascoigne, William Burbank, and Thomas Cromwell, to survey the monasteries of Tykford, Raveneston, Poghley, Medmenham, Wallingford, and Fynchingbroke and their possessions, and on the same day he appointed Thomas Cromwell and John Smyth as attorneys for the site and circuit of Thoby, Blakamore, Stanesgate, and Tiptree, which had been granted to John Higden, Dean of Cardinal’s College[64].

It may seem strange that Wolsey’s suppression of the smaller religious houses brought him so much unpopularity. It was certainly true that the monasteries had long since ceased to observe the strict traditions of religious asceticism, which had been the watchword of their foundation. Some of them had become resorts of the idle and worthless, who were permitted by supine or indulgent superiors to exchange a life of monastic discipline for one of luxury and indolence, if not of downright vice. But there were a few, seemingly unimportant facts, which outweighed all these charges. In the first place the monks were the easiest of landlords. In their practically defenceless state, it was surely for their advantage to conciliate their fellow men in every way, and to avoid disputes at any cost. They consequently suffered themselves to be imposed upon by their neighbours and tenants, in preference to risking their popularity by asserting themselves. So Wolsey’s measures, which brought in stricter landlords, increased rents, and did away with the good old slipshod management of so many years’ standing, met with ill-concealed dislike. The monks, moreover, were the most hospitable of people; the poor were never turned away unfed, the traveller could always find shelter beneath their roof, and this fact, coupled with the rooted opposition of the less educated class to any sweeping measure of reform adopted apparently without reason, while the old system appeared to all intents and purposes to work well, explained the rest. Wolsey’s measures to suppress the smaller monasteries, and confiscate their possessions to the use of his own colleges, may justly be described as universally unpopular[65].

The first requisites for the accomplishment of such a design as the suppression of the monasteries were an intimate knowledge of law, especially as related to lands and property, and a far-seeing, harsh, and rather unscrupulous nature. These qualities Cromwell possessed in the very highest degree, and as he had been eminently successful in carrying on all Wolsey’s legal business up to this time, and as the Cardinal was too busy with his foreign policy to give his own attention to this favourite scheme, it is no wonder that he chose Cromwell to supervise it for him. The work consisted in surveying and estimating the value of the property of the condemned monasteries, making careful inventories thereof, and finally in stripping them of all their transportable riches, which usually meant altars, furnishings, bells, and tapestry, while their lands and permanent possessions were sold or leased on the spot. The transfer of property, settlements with tenants, and adjustment of claims were a task of far greater intricacy than Wolsey had expected, and Cromwell’s success in carrying it out was little short of marvellous. He was usually present in person at the surrenders and dissolutions; when this was impossible one of his many and faithful agents sent him an exact account of the proceedings in his absence. The number of monks and nuns that were suddenly turned out upon the world with small and irregularly paid pensions was not the least evil feature of the ruthless way in which the suppressions were carried on; but it was nothing to what was to follow a decade later[66].

In addition to surveying and confiscating monastic property, Cromwell was employed directly in connexion with the new buildings at Oxford and Ipswich. He drew up all the necessary deeds for both foundations, and was appointed receiver-general of Cardinal’s College by Wolsey in 1527. He kept account of all the incomes from the suppressed houses and all the expenses incident to the building of both colleges. He was continually superintending the workmen at Oxford and Ipswich, and reported their progress to his master. The Dean of the college at Ipswich wrote to the Cardinal, Sept. 26, 1528, how Cromwell came thither with copes, vestments, and plate, and took great pains to see all the stuff carried in safely, and to prepare hangings and benches for the Hall. Long lists of the manors and monasteries, the incomes of which were devoted to the building and establishment of the two colleges, are to be seen to-day at the Record Office, and attest the gigantic amount of labour that he performed[67].

Cromwell’s efficiency in carrying on this work was only equalled by his notorious accessibility to bribes and presents in the disposal of monastic leases. Adding to this the fact that the measure was radically unpopular in itself, and that when no bribes were offered, Cromwell and most of Wolsey’s other agents were harsh and overbearing in the extreme, the reader ceases to wonder at the outburst of popular indignation. The minute Wolsey’s back was turned Cromwell and his companion Dr. Alen, a hard and grasping man equally well trained in business, proceeded to use the power given into their hands to enrich themselves by every possible means, some of which were utterly unjustifiable. The monastery which could pay a large bribe was often left untouched; of those that were suppressed, probably a certain proportion of the spoils was never employed at Oxford or Ipswich, but went straight into the pockets of the suppressors[68]. Petitions to save farms for poor people, or to get benefices for those whose property was gone, were answered by Cromwell favourably, if granting them meant a substantial reward for him; unfavourably, if the reverse. He became so generally hated that in August, 1527, it was said that a ‘sanctuary man’ lay in wait to slay him, and Cardinal Pole, who was then in London and knew him well, informs us that it was commonly reported that he had been sent to prison, and would be punished for his crimes as Wolsey’s agent[69].

But in spite of all this, instead of being removed from his important post, Cromwell kept on rising to higher favour and more importance. In April, 1527, Henry Lacy writes to congratulate him on his promotion through Wolsey’s favour. In May of the same year he is mentioned as a granter of annuities. His position brought him a great amount of patronage. In 1528 Richard Bellyssis promises him a good gelding, if he will prefer a friend to the position of mint-master in Durham. A merchant requests him to get his son a promotion from the Cardinal. He received many petitions from poor men, who feared they would lose house and home through the dissolution of the monastery from which they were held. But the noble and great, as well as the lowly and humble, were his correspondents and suitors. The Abbot of York writes his heartfelt thanks for his kindness in speaking well of him and his monastery to Wolsey, and Lord Berners begs for his aid in his dealings with the Cardinal[70].

By far the greater portion of Cromwell’s correspondence during the years 1525-1529 is connected with the suppression of the monasteries or the foundation of Wolsey’s colleges. Reports and receipts of money from his agents who visited the religious houses in various parts of the country at his orders, or who superintended the works at Ipswich and Oxford, crowd in upon him with great frequency. Deeds of the sale of castles and manors, valuations and inventories of the property of various monasteries, are received by him in large numbers[71]. In these letters we frequently meet with the names of William Brabazon and Ralph Sadler, who were destined in the near future to become so well known as his agents and commissioners when he entered the King’s service. Before this period he had made the acquaintance of Stephen Vaughan, his friend and correspondent in later years, who figured in connexion with Tyndale in the Low Countries. Vaughan was certainly known to Cromwell at least as early as 1523[72]; and in 1526 was employed by the Cardinal’s servant in connexion with the college at Oxford. In April, 1527, we find Cromwell helping his friend in the recovery of certain goods lost on the sea, and in the following year Vaughan addresses a cordial letter to his benefactor, reporting various things of interest in London, and announcing that he has found so strong a chain for the wicket of Cromwell’s house at Austin Friars Gate, that it will be impossible for any one to enter by force[73]. A year later he was employed as Cromwell’s agent in the Netherlands.

Though mainly occupied with Wolsey’s affairs, Cromwell’s correspondence during the years 1524-1529 shows that he still kept up his business as a lawyer independently. William Bareth writes in November, 1525, that he trusts he will solicit his matter to Mr. Rowe, and sends his wife six plovers ‘for to drynke a quart of wyn w_i_t_h_all[74]’; in August, 1526, George Monoux, alderman, promises Cromwell that if his ‘grete matier’ is brought to a safe conclusion, he shall have twenty marks[75]. A ‘lovyng l_ette_re’ from the Aldermen of our Lady’s Gild in Boston, in Dec. 1528, shows that Cromwell still retained the friendship which he probably made years before by obtaining for them the indulgences from the Pope by the offer of choice sweetmeats. It was doubtless through him that the Gild gained the privilege of supplying rare and delicate fowls for the Cardinal’s sumptuous table[76]. Cromwell also found time to correspond with Miles Coverdale, who was then at Cambridge, and who writes with enthusiasm of the pleasures of a visit to his friend in London[77].

It is probable that the terrible sweating sickness which ravaged England from 1527 to 1528 carried off Cromwell’s wife Elizabeth, as there is no further mention of her in his later papers and correspondence, except in his will of July, 1529, where she is referred to as his ‘late Wyff[78].’ She left him one son, Gregory, who appears to have been a dull and plodding lad, and who, after his mother’s death, was sent with his very precocious cousin, Christopher Wellyfed, and several other boys, to be put under the care of a tutor at Cambridge, John Chekyng by name, whose correspondence with Cromwell about the progress of ‘his scolers’ is very interesting and entertaining[79]. Chekyng seems at the very outset to have been unfavourably impressed with Gregory’s talents, declares that he has been so badly taught that he could hardly conjugate three verbs when committed to his care, and reports that he is now studying ‘the things most conducive to the reading of authors,’ and spends the rest of the day in forming letters; while Christopher does not require ‘much stirring up.’ A little later he sends word that Gregory is getting on well in learning under his care, and desires his father to send five yards of ‘marble frieze,’ for his winter ‘galberdyne’; and again, in 1530, he declares that he has been so successful in his teaching, that Gregory will be ‘loadyd with Latyne’ before he comes home again; but it is evident throughout that Chekyng considers every step in advance to have been due to the excellence of his own tuition, rather than to the aptitude of his pupil. If the tone of Gregory’s letters to his father be taken as a criterion of the boy’s character, he must indeed have been stupid and slow beyond belief[80]. But Cromwell was too much occupied with his own affairs, to pay much attention to the remarks of honest John Chekyng. Indeed there is reason to think that his grasping disposition showed itself in small ways to such an extent that he did not always pay the very moderate bills that the tutor sent in for Gregory’s board, lodging, and tuition; but instead taunted Chekyng with not having done well with his ‘folks.’ To these insults Chekyng replied that he had brought up six M.A.’s and fellows of colleges, and that the least Cromwell could do was to pay for the furniture which his scholars had ruined; he then goes on to tell how Christopher ‘dyd hynge a candel in a playt to loyk apone hys boyk and so fell ascleype and the candell fell into the bed strawe’ and there were burnt the bed, bolster, ‘three overleydes and a sparver[81].’

In spite of his niggardly treatment of John Chekyng, it is certain that Cromwell was in very comfortable circumstances during his years of service under Wolsey. An inventory of his goods at his house at Austin Friars, dated June 26, 1527[82], which exists to-day at the Public Record Office, proves that his dwelling was furnished handsomely if not luxuriously, while a draft of his will, written July 12, 1529[83], indicates that his property at that time was by no means inconsiderable. It is to this document that we owe the greater part of our present information concerning Cromwell’s family. It is written in the hand of Cromwell’s chief clerk, and was altered at a later date by Cromwell himself[84]. The document is for the most part self-explanatory, but there are a few interesting facts to be especially noted in connexion with it. The bequests to Cromwell’s daughters ‘Anne and Grace’ and to his ‘litill Doughter Grace’ are our only proof that he had other children than Gregory; and the fact that both these items were crossed out after the year 1529 possibly indicates that the daughters died when young. We also learn that Cromwell’s nephew Richard, the son of Katherine Cromwell and Morgan Williams, had followed in his uncle’s footsteps, and was ‘s_er_u_au_nt w_i_t_h_ my lorde Marques Dorssett’ at the time that the will was first composed; but he certainly received other employment soon afterwards, for the name of his master was scored through in the will by Cromwell at a later date, and we also know from other sources that Richard Williams entered his uncle’s service and was active in suppressing the monasteries and in subduing the Pilgrimage of Grace, during the year 1536 and afterwards[85]. Before this date he had changed his name to Cromwell, and later became great-grandfather to the Protector[86]. His mother died before 1529, for Cromwell in his will refers to Elizabeth Wellyfed as his ‘onlye Suster.’ Cromwell’s wife, as we have already seen, had also died before the will was made; her sister Joan married a certain John Williamson, an old friend of Cromwell’s, who later figured prominently in the latter’s service. We also meet with many of the other names mentioned in this will, in Cromwell’s later correspondence. Nearly all the friends of his earlier days were employed by him in one capacity or another as spies, agents, or even minor ambassadors to foreign Courts, after he had entered the King’s service.



R.O. Cal. iv. 5772 (1)

In the name of god Amen The xij^{th} Daye of Iulie in the yere of our lorde god MCCCCCxxix^{ti}[87] and in the xxj^{ti} yere of the Reigne of our Souereigne Lorde king Henry the viij^{th} I Thom_a_s Crumwell of london gentilman being hole in bodie and in good and parfyte memorye Lauded be the holie Trynytee make ordeyn and Declare this my p_re_sent testament conteyning my last will in man_er_ and ‹fourme› Folowing. FURSTE I bequethe my Sowle to the grete god of heuen my maker Creato_ur_ and Redemer beseching the most gloryous virgyn o_ur_ blessed ladie Saynct Mary the vyrgyn and Mother w_ith_ all the holie companye of heuen to be Medyatours and Intercessours for me to the holie trynytee So that I may be able when it shall please Almightie god to call me out of this miserable worlde and transitorie lif to inherite the kingdome of heuen amongst the nomber of good christen people. And whan so eu_er_ I shall departe this present lif, I bequethe my bodie to be buryed where it shall please god to ordeyn me to die and to be ordered after the discression of myn executours vndernamed And for my good_es_ which our lorde hathe lent me in this Worlde I will shalbe ordered and disposed in man_er_ and fourme as hereafter shall insue. Furst I gyue and bequethe vnto my Soon Gregory Crumwell Syx hundreth threscore Syx poundes thirten shelynges foure pens[88] of lawfull money of Englonde W_ith_ the Whiche Syx hundreth threescore Syx powndes xiij^s foure pens[89] I will myn executours vndernamed ymediatlye or assone as they conuenyently may after my Decesse shall purchase lond_es_ tenement_es_ and hereditament_es_ to the clere yerelye value of xxxiij^{li} vj^s viij^d[90] by the yere aboue all charges _and_ reprysys to thuse of my saide Soon Gregorye for terme of his lif And after the Decesse of the saide Gregorye to the heyres Males of his bodie lawfully to be begotten And for lacke of heires Males of the bodie of the saide Gregory lawfully to be begotten to the heires generall of his bodie lawfully begotten. And for lacke of suche heires to the right heires of me the saide Thomas Crumwell in Fee. I will also that ymedyatly and assone as the saide lond_es_ ten_emen_t_es_ and hereditament_es_ shalbe so purchased after my deth as is aforsaide by myn executours that the yerelie proffyt_es_ thereof shalbe hollie spent and imployed in and about_es_ the educacyon and fynding honestly of my saide Soon Gregory in vertue good lerning and Maners vntill such tyme as he shall cu_m_ to the full age of xxij yeres. During Which tyme I hertely desir _and_ require my saide executours to be good vnto my saide Son Gregory and to see he do lose no tyme but to se him v_er_teously ordered & brought vp according to my trust It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my saide Soon Gregorie When he shall cu_m_ to his full age of xxiiij yeres Twoo[91] Hundreth pound_es_ of lawfull ynglissh money to order then as _our_ lorde shall gyue hym grace and discression Which cc^{li} I will shalbe put in suertie to thintent the same may cu_m_ to his hand_es_ at his saide age of xxiiij^{ti} yeres. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my saide Soon Gregory of such houseold stuf as god hathe lent me Three[92] of my best Fetherbedd_es_ w_ith_ thayr bolsters ij^o the best[93] payre of blankett_es_ of Fustyan my best Couerlet of Tapistrye and my Quylte of yelow Turquye Saten, x payre of my best Shet_es_ foure[94] pillowes of downe w_ith_ iiij payre of the best pillowe beres foure[95] of my best table clothes, foure of my best towell_es_ Twoo dosen[96] of my Fynest Naptkynnes and ij^o dozen of my other Naptkynnes, ij^o[97] garnyssh of my best vessell, iij of my best brasse pottes, iij of my best brasse pannes, ij^o of my best kettilles, ij^o of my best Spitt_es_, My best ioyned bed of Flaunders wo_ur_ke w_ith_ the best Syler and tester and other thapp_ur_ten_au_nc_es_ therto belonging My best presse caruen of Flaunders wo_ur_ke and my best Cupbourde caruen of Flaunders wo_ur_k w_ith_ also vj Joyned Stoles of Flaunders wo_ur_ke and vj of my best Cusshyns It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my saide Soon Gregorye A Bason w_ith_ a Lewer p_ar_cell gilte my best Salt gilt my best Cup gilt, Three[98] of my best goblettes gilt three other of my best goblettes p_ar_cell gylt, Twelue of[99] my best Syluer spones, Three of[100] my best Drynking ale pot_es_ gilt. All the which p_ar_cell_es_ of plate and houseold stuf I will shalbe savelye kept to thuse of my saide Soonne Gregorye till he shall cu_m_ to his saide full age of xxij^{ti} yeres and all the which plate household stuf Naperye and other the p_re_misses I will myn executo_ur_s do put in saufe keping vntill my saide Soon shall cu_m_ to the saide yeres or age of xxij^{ti}. And if he die before the age of xxij^{ti}[101] Then I will all the saide plate vessell and houseold stuf shalbe sold by myn executours And the money thereof cum_m_yng to be gyuen and equallie Deuyded amongst my poure kynnesfolk_es_. That is to say amongst the children as well of myn owne Susters Elizabeth and Katheryn as of my late Wyff_es_ Suster Johane Wif to John Willyamson, And if it happen that all the children of my saide Susters and Suster in law Do dye before the particyon and deuysion be made and none of them to be lyuyng Then I will that all the saide plate vessell and houseold stuf shalbe solde and yeuen to other my poure kynnesfolk_es_ then being on lyue and other poure and indigent people in Deades of charytee for my Sowle my Father and Mother their Sowles, and all _Christ_en Sowles[102] Item I gyue and bequethe vnto my Suster Elizabeth Wellyfed Wif to Wyllyam Wellyfed xl^{li}[103] iij Goblett_es_ w_ith_out a Cou_er_[104] a Macer, And A Nutt Item I gyue and bequethe to my nephew Rycharde Wyllyams[105] lxvj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d[106] sterling_es_ my best[107] gowne Doblett and Jaquet It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my nepue _Christ_ofer Wellyfed my nephe xl^{li}[108] my v^{th} gowne doblett and Jaquett It_em_ I gyue and bequethe to my nephew Wyllyam Wellyfed the Yonger xx^{li}[109] Item I gyue and bequethe to my nece Alice Wellyfed to her Maryage xx^{li} And if it happen her to Dye before maryage then I will the saide xx^{li} shall remayne to her brother _Christ_ofer And if it happen him to Dye the same xx^{li} to remayne to Willyam Wellyfed the yonger his brother. And if it happen them all to Dye before their lawfull age or maryage, then I will that their part_es_ shall remayne to Gregory my Soon. And if it happen him to Dye before them then I will all the said p_ar_t_es_ shall remayn to Rychard Wyll_ia_ms and Water Will_ia_ms my nephews[110] And if it happen them to Dye then I will that all the said part_es_ shalbe Distributed in Dead_es_ of charytee for my Sowle my Father and Mothers Sowles and all christen Sowles. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my Mother in law Mercye Pryo_ur_ xl^{li} of lawfull ynglissh money and her ch_a_umber w_ith_ certen houseold stuf, That is to saye A Fetherbed, a Bolster ij pillowes w_ith_ their beres vj payre of Shet_es_ A payre of blankettes, A garnyssh of vessell, ij^o pott_es_, ij^o pannes, ij^o Spyttes w_ith_ such other of my houseold stuf as shalbe thought mete for her by the Discression of myn executours And suche as she will reasonablye Desire not being bequethed to other vses in this my p_re_sent testament and last will. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my said mother in law a lytill Salt of Syluer a Maser, vj Silu_er_ Spones and a drinking pot of Syluer And also I charge myn executours to be good vnto her duryng her lyffe. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my brother in law Willya_m_ Wellyfed xx^{li} my thurde gown Jaquet and Doblet. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to John Wyllyamson my brother in law c m_ar_k_es_[111] a gown a Doblet and a Jaquet, A Fetherbed, A bolster vj payre of Shet_es_ ij^o table clothes, ij^o Dozen Naptkynnes, ij^o towell_es_ ij^o brasse pott_es_, ij^o brasse pannes, a Sylu_er_ pott A Nutte p_ar_cell gilt, and to Iohan_e_ his wyf x^{li}[112]. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to Johane Wyllyamson their Doughter to her maryage xx^{li} and to eu_er_y other of their children vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d[113]. It_e_m I bequethe to Walter Wyllyams my nephue[114] xx^{li} It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to Rafe Sadleyer my s_er_u_au_nte cc[115] Mark_es_ of lawfull ynglissh money my Seconde[116] gowne Jaquet and Doblet and all my bok_es_ It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to Hugh Whalley my Seru_au_nt vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to Stephen Vaughan sumtyme my s_er_u_au_nte c m_ar_k_es_[117] a gowne Jaquet and Doblet. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to Page my Seru_au_nte otherwise called John du Pount vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d[118] and also to Thom_as_ Auerey my s_er_u_au_ntt vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d[119]. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to John Horwood vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d[120] It_e_m that the rest of myn apparell before not gyuen ne bequethed in this my testament and last will shalbe yeuen and equally Departed amongst my Seru_au_ntes after the order and discression of myn executours It_e_m I will also that myn executours shall take the yerely profytt_es_ aboue the charges of my Ferme of Canberye and all other thing_es_ Conteynyd w_ith_in my sayd lease of Canberye in the Cowntye of Middelsex[121] And w_ith_ the proffyt_es_ thereof[122] shall yerelie paye vnto my brother in law Will_ia_m Wellffe‹d› and Elysabethe his wyffe myn onlye Suster Twentye powndes duryng thayr lyves and the longer of them and after the discease of the sayd Will_ia_m and Elysabeth the proffett_es_ of the sayd Ferme ou_er_ _and_ aboue the yerlye Rentt to be kept to the vse of my Son gregorye tyll he Cu_m_ to the age of xxij^{ti} and at the yeres of xxij^{th} the sayd lease _and_ Ferme of Canberye I do gyue and bequethe to my sayd Son gregorye to haue the same to hym his executors and assignes[123] and if it Fortune the saide Gregorye my Soon to dye before he shall cu_m_ to the age of xxij[124] yeres My sayd bruthure_n_ in lawe and syster being dede Then I will my Cosyn Rychard Will_ia_ms shall ‹haue› the Ferme w_ith_ the appurten_au_nc_es_ to hym and his executors _and_ assignes and yf it happen my sayd Brother in law my Suster[125] my Son gregorye _and_ my sayd Cosyn Rycharde to dye before the accoumplyshement of this my wyll touching_e_ the sayd Ferme then I wyll myn executors shall Sell the sayd ferme and the moneye therof Cummyng to Imploye in ded_es_ of charyte to praye[126] for my Sowle and all _Christe_n Sowles. It_e_m I will that myn executours shall conducte and hyre a pryest being an honest p_er_son of contynent and good lyuyng to Syng for my Sowle by the space of vij[127] yeres next after my deth and to gyue him for the same Fortye Syx pownd_es_ thertene sheling_es_ Foure pens that ys to saye vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d yerlye for his stypend[128]. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe toward_es_ the making of high wayes in this Realme where it shalbe thought most necessary[129] xx^{li} to be Disposed by the Discression of myn executours. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to eu_er_y of the v orders of Freers w_ith_in the Cytee of London to pray for my Soule xx^s[130]. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to lx poure Maydens Maryages xl^{li}[131] That is to saye xiij^s iiij^d[132] to eu_er_ye of the saide poure Maydens to be gyuen and Distributed by the Discression of myn executours. It_e_m I will that there shalbe Delt and yeuen after my decesse amongst poure people howseholders to pray for my Sowle xx^{li}[133]. It_e_m I gyue and bequeth to the poure p_ar_ochians Suche as by myn executors shalbe thowght most needffull of the p_ar_oche Where god shall ordeyn me to haue my dwelling place at the tyme of my Deth x^{li}[134] to be trewlye Distributed amongst them by the Discression of myn executours[135] It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to the poure prysoners of Newgate Ludgate Kynges benche and Marshall See to be equallye Distributed amongst them x^{li} Wylling charging and desiring myn executo_ur_s vnderwrytten that they shall See this my Will p_er_fourmed in euery poynte according to my trew meaning and intente as they will answer to god and discharge their consciences.

[136]It_e_m I gyue and bequeth to Will_ia_m brabason my s_er_u_au_nt xx^{li} st_erling_ A gowne A dublett A Jaquet and my second gelding.

It_em_ I gyue and bequeth to John averey yoman of the bottell w_ith_ the kyng_es_ highnes vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d, and doublet of Saten.

It_e_m I bequeth to thurston my Coke vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d.

It_e_m I gyue _and_ bequethe to Will_ia_m bodye my s_er_u_au_ntt vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d.

It_e_m I gyue _and_ bequeth to Peter mewtes my s_er_u_au_ntt vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d.

It_e_m I gyue _and_ bequeth to Rychard Swyft my s_er_u_au_ntt vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d.

It_e_m I gyue _and_ bequeth to george Wylkynson my s_er_u_au_ntt vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d.

It_e_m I gyue _and_ bequeth to my Frend Thomas alvard x^{li} _and_ my best gelding.

It_e_m I gyue _and_ bequeth to my frend Thom_a_s Russhe x^{li}.

It_e_m I gyue _and_ bequeth to my s_er_u_au_ntt John Hynde my horsekep_er_ iij^{li} vj^s viij^d.

It_em_ I wyll that myn executors shall Saluelye kepe the patentt of the Mano_ur_ of Rompney to the vse of my Son gregorye and the money growing therof tyll he shall Cu_m_ to his lawfull Age to be yerely Retayned to the vse of my sayd Son and the hole revenew therof Cumyng to be trewlye payd vnto hym at suche tyme as he shall Cu_m_ to the age of xxj yeres.

The residue of all my good_es_ catall_es_ and debtt_es_ not bequethed my Funerall_es_ and buryall p_er_fourmed which I will shalbe Don w_ith_out any erthelye pompe and my Dett_es_ payed, I will shalbe sold And the money thereof cu_m_myng to be Distributed in wo_ur_k_es_ of charytee and pytee after the good Discression of myn executours vndernamed whom I make and Ordeyn Stephyn Vaugh_a_n[137] Rafe Sadleyer my s_er_u_au_ntt_es_ and John[138] Wyllyamson my brother in law. Prayeng and Desiring the same myn executours to be good vnto my Soon Gregorye[139] and to all other my Frend_es_ poore kynsfolk_es_ and Seruaunttes before named in this my testament And of this my p_re_sent testament and last Will I make Roger More myn Ouerseer Vnto whom and also to eu_er_y of the other myn executours I gyue and bequethe vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d[140] for their paynes to be taken in the execucyon of this my last will and testament ou_er_ and aboue suche legacies as herebefore I haue bequethed them in this same my testament and last will. In Wytnes Wherof to this my p_re_sent testament and last will I haue sett my hand in eu_er_y lefe conteyned in this Boke the day and yere before lymyted

p_er_ me Thomam Crumwell[141]

_Endorsed._ Thomas Crumwell a Copy of my M_aster_ his Will And bookes of debt_es_ owinge to him.



In October, 1529, Cardinal Wolsey lost the King’s favour, and fell into disgrace. He was forced to give up the Great Seal, sign an indenture acknowledging that he had incurred the guilt of Praemunire, forfeit most of his lands, possessions, and offices, and retire to his seat at Esher[142]. His faithful biographer, Cavendish, gives a very touching account of the Cardinal’s surrender of his goods, his removal from the scene of his labours, and his enforced living in ‘estraunge estate[143].’ Few fallen ministers have ever been in a more pitiful position. To have incurred the ill-will of his master, as he had done, meant certain ruin in those days; and besides this he had turned the people against him by the part he had taken in the divorce. Anne Boleyn, whose influence at the Court was at its height, detested him for his failure to bring it about; the clergy and common people hated him for attempting it. The few friends who retained their fidelity to him in his trouble were prevented from showing it by their consciousness of the royal and popular displeasure.

As Wolsey’s servant, counsellor, and friend, Cromwell naturally felt the keenest anxiety lest he should be involved in his master’s ruin. It has been already shown that his action in suppressing the monasteries had made him very generally hated; and now that the prop that had supported him in his difficult and unpopular task was gone, he had great need to look to himself, if he did not wish to fall with the Cardinal. That he was perfectly well informed of the position in which he was placed is proved by a letter which he received from his friend Stephen Vaughan, written at Antwerp, October 30, 1529, which tells him that he is more hated for his master’s sake than for anything which he has wrongfully done to any man[144]. Another letter from his companion in Wolsey’s service, Sir Thomas Rush, who was employed with him at Ipswich, gave him further warning of the evil reports that were circulated about him[145]. It is no wonder that he was seriously alarmed.

Modern investigation has made it certain that there is but little historical foundation for the touching pictures drawn by Cavendish, Shakespeare, and, at a later day, Froude, which represent Cromwell as the faithful servant of his fallen master, unselfish, and exclusively devoted to his interests[146]. There is no reason to think that Cavendish, whose testimony is most valuable as that of an eye-witness of the scenes he describes, wilfully distorted the facts, but it is certain that his directness and simplicity often prevented him from drawing just conclusions from them, when he had to do with such astute men as Wolsey and Cromwell. By comparing his story with the events which followed, we shall see that while Cromwell kept up the appearance of spending all his time in helping Wolsey in his disgrace, he really was occupied in serving his own ends, and in regaining the favour he had lost as the Cardinal’s agent. Though he carefully abstained from doing or saying anything prejudicial to Wolsey’s cause, for fear of alienating people by laying himself open to the accusation of faithlessness to his master, he really did nothing to the Cardinal’s advantage that did not redound, in an infinitely greater degree, to his own profit and advancement. Let us follow the letters of Cromwell, the narrative of Cavendish, and the records of the Parliament of 1529, for our facts, but let us draw our own conclusions from them.

‘It chanced me upon All-hallowne day,’ says Cavendish, ‘to come into the Great Chamber at Assher in the morning, to give mine attendance, where I found Mr. Cromwell leaning in the great windowe with a Primer in his hand, saying our Lady mattens: which had bine a strange sight in him afore.--Well, what will you have more? He prayed no more earnestly, than he distilled teares as fast from his eyes. Whom I saluted and bad good-morrowe. And with that I perceived his moist chekes, the which he wiped with his napkine. To whom I saide, “Why, Mr. Cromwell, what meaneth this dole? Is my lord in any danger that ye doe lament for him? or is it for any other losse, that ye have sustained by misfortune?” “Nay,” quoth he, “it is for my unhappy adventure. For I am like to lose all that I have laboured for, all the daies of my life, for doing of my master true and diligent service.” “Why Sir,” quoth I, “I trust that you be too wise to do anything by my lord’s commaundement otherwise than ye might doe, whereof you ought to be in doubt or daunger for losse of your goods.” “Well, well,” quoth he, “I cannot tell; but this I see before mine eyes, that everything is as it is taken; and this I knowe well, that I am disdained withal for my master’s sake; and yet I am sure there is no cause, why they should do soe. An evill name once gotten will not lightly be put away. I never had promotion by my lord to the encrease of my living. But this much I will saye to you, that I will this afternoone, when my lord hath dined, ride to London, and to the courte, when I will either make or marre, or ever I come againe. I will put myself in prease, to see what they will be able to lay to my charge.” “Mary,” quoth I, “then in so doing you shall doe wisely, beseeching God to send you good lucke, as I would myselfe[147].”’

Cromwell performed his promise well. He dined with Wolsey on that All-hallowne Day, and later helped him to discharge his servants, causing his chaplains to pay part of the yeomen’s wages, in return for the benefices and livings which they had received from the Cardinal; setting an example himself, with unusual liberality, by a contribution of five pounds to this end. He then desired of Wolsey leave to go to London, which was granted, and he departed immediately with Ralph Sadler, his clerk.

No one knew better than Cromwell that the best place for him to ‘make or marre’ the Cardinal’s fortunes and his own, was in the Parliament which was to meet November 3 (two days later), and, ‘being in London, he devised with himself to be one of the burgesses[148].’ He sat as a member from Taunton, as the records of Parliament attest[149], but there are very contradictory reports about the way in which he obtained his seat. According to Cavendish ‘he chaunced to meete with one Sir Thomas Rush, knighte, a speciall friend of his, whose son was appointed to be a burgess, of whome he obtained his rome, and so put his fete into the parliament house.’ This may possibly be true, but it is not the whole truth, for a letter of November 1, from Sadler to Cromwell, the genuineness of which it is impossible to doubt, hints at a good deal more than is to be found in Cavendish’s account, which must have been made from Cromwell’s own story about his proceedings[150]. This letter reads as follows:--

‘Wo_ur_shipfull S_ir_ it may please you to be adu_er_tised that a litle before the receipte of yo_ur_ l_ette_re I cam from the courte where I spake w_i_t_h_ Mr. Gage and according to your co_m_maundement moved him to speke vnto my lorde of Norffolk for the burgeses Rowme of the parlyament on yo_ur_ behalf And he accordingly so dyd w_i_t_h_out delay lyke a faythfull Frende, wherevppon my saide lorde of Norffolk answered the saide Mr. Gage that he had spoken w_i_t_h_ the king his highnes and that his highnes was veray well contented ye should be a Burges So that ye wolde order yo_ur_self in the saide Rowme according to suche instructions as the saide Duke of Norff_olk_ shall gyue you from the king Adu_er_tesing you ferther that the saide Duke in any wise willeth that ye do speke w_i_t_h_ his grace to morow for th[at] purpose. In token whereof his grace sent you by mr. Ga[ge] yo_ur_ Ryng w_i_t_h_ the turques, Whiche I do now sende you by this berer. As touching mr. Russhe I spake w_i_t_h_ him also at [the] courte if I then had knowen yo_ur_ pleasure I could now haue sent you answere of the same. Howbeit I will speke w_i_t_h_ him this night god willing and know whether ye shalbe Burges of Oxforde or not And if ye be not elect there I will then according to yo_ur_ ferther co_m_maundement repayre vnto Mr. paulet and requiere him to name you to be one of the Burgeses of one of my lordes townes of his busshopriche of Wynchester accordingly. S_ir_ me thinketh it were good, So it may stonde w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ pleasure, that ye did repayre hither to morowe assone as ye conuenyently may for to speke with the Duke of Norff_olk_ by whom ye shall knowe the king his pleasure how ye shall order yo_ur_self in the parliament house Assuring you that yo_ur_ Frend_es_ wolde haue you to tary w_i_t_h_ my lorde there as litle as might be for many considerac_i_ons as Mr. Gage will Shew you who moche desireth to speke w_i_t_h_ you. the king his grace wilbe to morow at night at yorke place. Other newes at the courte I here none but dyu_ers_ of my lorde his s_er_u_au_nt_es_ as Mr. Aluarde Mr. Sayntclere Mr. Forest, Humfrey lisle Mr. Mores & other ben elect and sworne the king his s_er_uaunt_es_. Mr. Gifforde & I cam from the courte togither but when we cam into london he departed from me I knowe not whither. Newes I inquiered of him but he sayed he knew none other then as I haue wrytten you here, which Mr. Gage also shewed him. Humblie beseching you, if it be yo_ur_ pleasure, to make spede hither. And thus I most hertely beseche o_ur_ lorde god to sende you yo_ur_ hert_es_ Desire and to induce and bring all yo_ur_ good purposes and affairees to good effecte. From london in haste this p_re_sent all Saynct_es_ Day at iiij of the clocke after none by

Your most humble S_er_u_au_nte


From this letter then it seems probable that Cromwell obtained his seat in the Parliament of 1529 through the influence of the Duke of Norfolk. He was keen-sighted enough to see that at Wolsey’s fall all the royal favour had been transferred to this man and to Gardiner. Both of these were Wolsey’s enemies, and Cromwell, whose name was coupled everywhere with that of the Cardinal, saw that to gain influence at Court, it was necessary at all costs to do away with their hostility, which he must have incurred as Wolsey’s agent. Thus Cromwell’s first move at the time of his master’s disgrace was to take steps to get himself into favour with Norfolk. Cavendish’s account is explained by the fact that Cromwell would not have been very likely to tell Wolsey how he had gone straight over to his bitterest enemy, but far more probably sent back to Esher the incomplete tale about Rush and his son, which the honest and simple-minded biographer probably never suspected for an instant. One can hardly doubt that Cromwell would not have been elected to this Parliament had he not secured the consent of the Cardinal’s worst foe. He had thus killed two birds with one stone; he had gained his position in the House of Commons where his influence would be felt, and he had successfully escaped the odium of the chief person at the Court, which would have naturally fallen upon him as Wolsey’s servant, and turned it into at least a temporary friendship.

From the contents of the letter above quoted, we may also suppose that Cromwell’s doings in the Parliament of 1529 were ‘ordered’ by the King. The bill of attainder or ‘boke of artikels’ against the Cardinal was the first business that lay before the House. It had passed the Lords and was sent down to the Commons, but it was so violent and so false, that even Henry and Norfolk relented. It had probably been very clearly hinted to the Parliament that the King did not wish it to pass, and royal ‘hints’ at this period of English history were generally respected and obeyed. Cavendish tells us that when Cromwell had obtained his seat in Parliament, and the attainder was brought forward, he consulted with Wolsey ‘to know what answer he might make in his behalf; insomuch that there was nothing alleadged against my lord but that he was ready to make answer thereto,’ and he inveighed against the bill ‘so discreetly and with such witty persuasions and depe resons that the same could take none effect,’ so that ‘at length his honest estimation and earnest behaviour in his master’s cause grewe so in every man’s opinion, that he was reputed the most faithful servant to his master of all other, wherein he was greatly of all men commended[151].’

This is all doubtless true, but whether or not he was alone in the stand he made against the bill is quite another question. Henry was perfectly satisfied with humbling the Cardinal to the extent that he had already done, and did not wish him to suffer any more; in fact the opposition, consisting of most of the nobles led by Norfolk and Anne Boleyn, were in constant fear up to the day of Wolsey’s death, lest he should regain the King’s favour. If Cromwell had gone openly over to the other side at this juncture, he would have gained nothing, and incurred the odium due to a deserter. He took the only generous and right side, but in serving his master he served himself far more[152]. Wolsey, as we have seen, had made a written confession of all his misdeeds as soon as the first blow had been struck against him[153]. This confession was produced by Cromwell, and it gave the proposers of the bill of attainder an excuse for dropping it. Cromwell supplied the pretext for abandoning a measure displeasing to the King, and consequently impossible to carry through this very subservient Parliament; by so doing he gained the praise of a saviour of his master in his extremity.

This was the first step: the second was to win the favour of other nobles, while still preserving the appearance of loyally serving his fallen master. It was scarcely less important than the first, and was carried through by Cromwell with the greatest rapidity and success. His method of accomplishing it, however simple, was eminently characteristic, and merits description.

It has already been shown how thoroughly Cromwell realized the importance of money as a political force. Though the traditional reproach of parsimony and stinginess so often cast at Henry VII.[154] is in great measure unmerited, it is undeniable that his careful financial management and accurate audits had served to surround his government with an atmosphere of ostensible frugality. Henry VIII., on the contrary, delighted in outward splendour and magnificence; his Court was by far the most brilliant that England had ever beheld, and nobody could play his part there who was not prepared to lavish vast sums upon his outfit. But the greater part of the nobles were quite unable to do this. It had been an important part of the plan of Henry VII. for establishing a strong kingship to keep all possible rivals of the Crown in a state of financial dependence. Many items in the State Papers of his son’s reign bear witness to the complete success of these schemes of impoverishing the nobility[155]. Only by pawning and selling lands, estates, goods and chattels could the nobility obtain sufficient sums to make a good appearance at the brilliant Court of Henry VIII.

Such a state of affairs was a golden opportunity to a man in Cromwell’s position and of Cromwell’s talents. To Wolsey, whose mind had been intent on the larger schemes of his foreign policy, the notion of staving off the hatred of the influential people about the King by gifts of money, would never have occurred. Cromwell hit upon the scheme in a moment, as the only sure road to favour at the Court[156]. Now that Wolsey had surrendered himself almost wholly to the counsels of his painstaking, watchful, close and wholly unscrupulous adviser, Cromwell immediately persuaded him to grant annuities to the Court favourites. The casual reader must not deceive himself into thinking that this was done at Wolsey’s own suggestion; the measure was too evidently Cromwellian to leave any room to doubt its originator, and if any further proof be needed, it is furnished by evidence in the Cardinal’s papers. In a letter to Cromwell written in December, 1529, Wolsey says, ‘Yf the desspleasure of my lady Anne be [some]what asswagyd, as I praye God the same maye be, then yt shuld [be devised t]hat by sume convenyent meane she be further laboryd [for th]ys ys the only helpe and remedy. All possyble meanes [must be used for] atteynyng of hyr favor .......... I comyt me to yower wyse handling[157].’ In the same month Cromwell made out the draft of a grant by Wolsey to George Boleyn, Knight, Viscount Rochford, son and heir apparent of Thomas Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond, bestowing on him an annuity of £200 out of the lands of the bishopric of Winchester, and a similar gift of £200 out of the abbey lands of St. Albans[158]. Another letter from Wolsey to Cromwell in January, 1530, says that, according to his servant’s advice, he has had Mr. Norris’s fee increased from £100 to £200, and would like to have Sir John Russell’s annuity of £20 made 40 or 50, if Cromwell thinks it expedient[159].

It is thus clear that these and other similar gifts were bestowed at Cromwell’s advice and suggestion, and that the inevitable consequence was that the advantage resulting from them accrued to a far greater extent to the Cardinal’s agent than to the Cardinal himself. Wolsey, in his confinement at Esher, was forced to trust himself implicitly to the shrewd and selfish counsellor, who moved about among those whom it was most important for him to propitiate, and soon found means to make it appear that Wolsey’s favours in reality emanated from him. Cromwell’s selection of those to whom the presents were made seems also to hint that he was working in his own interest more than in his master’s. He must have known that the members of the Boleyn party, to whom the greater part of the grants were made, hated Wolsey himself too thoroughly to permit them to forget their grudge for the sake of a few hundred pounds, but the sums bestowed were sufficiently large to make the recipients of them very friendly to the Cardinal’s agent, who to all intents and purposes appeared to be the real giver. Hints of all this must indeed have reached Wolsey’s ears. Though throughout all the period of the attainder his gratitude, as expressed in his many letters, was, in view of the real facts, most unnecessarily effusive[160], he later writes to Cromwell that he hears ‘he has not done him as good offices as he might, in connexion with his colleges and his archbishopric.’ But Cromwell had by this time got everything into his own hands, so that Wolsey was forced to do exactly as he was bidden. Whenever the Cardinal undertook anything on his own responsibility, without asking his servant’s advice, it was greatly resented. If Wolsey dared to hint that Cromwell was not wholly devoted to his interests, the latter sent back a complaining and half-threatening reply[161]. The Cardinal was even forced to write a humble apology to his agent for sending Edmund Bonner on some mission without his advice[162]. The less able Wolsey became to help himself, the more harsh and imperious was his all-powerful counsellor. With the whole control of his master’s interests at the Court in his own hands, it was exceedingly simple for a man of Cromwell’s peculiar talents to dispose the funds committed to his care in such ways as tallied best with his own interests, while casual onlookers simply regarded him as an honest servant of his fallen master; and Wolsey, unable to learn the true state of affairs at Court, was kept practically ignorant of his real designs. Cromwell had thus succeeded in attaining a most enviable position, which was aptly described in a letter which he received from Stephen Vaughan, who took the opportunity to congratulate him, and also to warn him against over-confidence in the following words:--‘A mery semblance of wether often thrustithe men into the Daungerous sees, not thinking to be sodaynly opprest wythe tempest when vnwar_es_ they be preuented and brought in great ieop_ar_die. The Wynd_es_ arn mutable vnsure and will not be caryed in mennys hand_es_ to blow at a becke. Parell euerywhere followithe men, from the birthe to the Dethe, And more thretenethe them whiche entreprise Difficult and vrgent matters, then those whiche only sekethe easy and light matters ye thoughe they have great apparance of vertue, such is thinstabilitie of the worlde, wher we find undiq_ue_ miseriam[163].’

A final opportunity was given to Cromwell to ingratiate himself with King and nobles when Henry took into his hands the revenues of St. Albans and Winchester, and of the colleges at Oxford and Ipswich. In this, even honest Cavendish could see that ‘Cromewell perceyved an occasion given him by time to helpe himselfe.’ The intricacies of the law of the period were such that annuities and fees out of the revenues of these colleges, granted by the King, after he had seized them, could only be good while Wolsey was living, because the King, having obtained his right to them by Wolsey’s attainder in the praemunire, could not retain that right after the Cardinal’s death[164]. Thus, to have the grants secure during the lifetimes of the recipients, ‘there was none other shifte but to obtaine my lord’s confirmation of their patents. Then began every man both noble and gentleman who had any patents out of Winchester and St. Albans to make suite to Mr. Cromwell to solicit their cause to my lorde to get therin his confirmation, and for his paines therin bothe worthily to reward him and every man to shewe him such pleasures as should be at all times in their small powers, whereof they assured him.... Now began matters to worke to bringe Master Cromwell into estimation in suche sorte as was muche hereafter to his increase of dignity; ... and having the ordering and disposition of the landes of these colleges he had a great occasion of suitors, besides the continual access to the King, by meanes whereof and through his witty demeanour he grewe continually into the King’s favour[165].’

It is hard to realize how deeply Wolsey felt the seizure of his two colleges. They had been the pride and joy of his declining years. Instead of working earnestly to avert their surrender into the King’s hands, as a true servant would have done, Cromwell permitted and almost welcomed it, as a means to give him a chance to further his own ends, and wrote empty, and, it would seem, almost contemptuous letters of consolation to the Cardinal, of which that of August 18 is an excellent example[166]. Instead of going to his master in his sorrow and disgrace, as Wolsey repeatedly requested him to do, he held himself aloof, and under the pretext of looking after the Cardinal’s interests at Court, contrived for his own rise and advancement. It is true that he stood by Wolsey in the parliamentary crisis in 1529, and that it was largely through his efforts that Wolsey obtained his temporary pardon in February, 1530; but when, at the last, the Cardinal’s enemies turned against him a second time and secured his complete downfall, there is no record of Cromwell’s saying a word or doing a thing in his behalf. On November 29, 1530, Wolsey died, shattered and disgraced.

It is very unfortunate that there still exist so few of Cromwell’s letters during the last two years of Wolsey’s life. There are preserved at present only twelve letters from him during this period[167], seven of which are addressed to Wolsey. In none of them does he give evidence of a sincere desire to serve his master at all costs; the dominant note of the greater part of them is one of selfish and rather supercilious advice; of a morality easy and cheap, because the preacher of it evidently felt himself beyond the possibility of its ever being applicable in his own case. There is also very little trustworthy information about the means he employed to introduce himself to the King, except what has already been mentioned in connexion with Wolsey’s fall. Foxe asserts that Sir Christopher Hales, Master of the Rolls, commended him to Henry, and further affirms that Sir John Russell said a good word for him, in return for Cromwell’s saving his life at Bologna, so that the latter was enabled to have a private conversation with the King in Westminster Gardens[168]. Part of this story is obviously false; Cromwell could not have been at Bologna when Sir John Russell was (between 1524 and 1528), because he was occupied in England at that time, as his correspondence shows. To judge from this, little reliance can be placed on the rest of Foxe’s tale; and there are no contemporary documents that bear out his statements. Another story, which is perhaps more probable, is that of Chapuys[169], who states that at Wolsey’s death Sir John Wallop attacked Cromwell with insults and threats, so that the latter for protection procured an audience with Henry, whom he promised to make the richest king that ever was in England. Henry, it appears, was so struck with this offer, that he immediately made Cromwell a member of his Council, but told nobody about it for four months. This tale is in many respects similar to the account contained in Pole’s Apologia: but the story of the Cardinal does not mention the quarrel with Wallop, and the report of Chapuys does not say a word about the plan for the solution of Henry’s ‘grete matier’ by which Cromwell, according to Pole, completely fascinated the King. All the accounts, however, seem to agree that by some means he managed to secure an interview with Henry soon after Wolsey’s death, at which he clinched everything that he had already gained, and obtained the favour of the King by one master-stroke. Pole’s story of this interview contains information which leads us into the thick of Cromwell’s political career. Before we proceed to examine it in detail a brief chapter must be devoted to a description of the actors and past events of the great political drama in which Cromwell was to play a part, and to a further analysis of his own character and ideals.



The condition of England at the time of Wolsey’s death was in many ways an extraordinary one. At home and abroad she had already begun to reap glorious fruits from the untiring efforts and masterful policy of the first Tudor. United under a powerful monarchy, which had strengthened itself at the expense of every other institution in the realm, she rested secure in the enjoyment of internal peace and of a high degree of estimation and respect in foreign lands. That she had lost nearly all those continental possessions which had been the proudest boast of Edward III. and Henry V. now proved an inestimable advantage. The wise Cardinal had made use of England’s insular position to such good advantage, that she had been able, at least up to the time when the political situation had been complicated by the question of the divorce, to keep the Emperor and the King of France in a state of constant anxiety concerning her real attitude, and often to force the two rivals to bid against each other for her alliance. In 1521 Henry had dedicated to Leo X. a treatise which he had written against the heresies of Luther, and had been rewarded with the proud title of ‘Defensor Fidei.’ Success abroad meant popularity at home, at least for the King, whose enthusiasm and winning manners endeared him to his subjects, and who usually contrived to shift the blame for the unwelcome measures of his government on to the shoulders of the Cardinal. As long as the national honour was upheld on the Continent without draining too deeply the resources of the people at home, the country seemed quite willing to trust the King to the full and to allow him to rule as well as govern.

Such was the bright side of the picture, the side which first claims the attention of the casual observer. A more critical examination of the state of the country, however, reveals an undercurrent of discontent, which was almost lost in the crowning years of Wolsey’s greatness, but which did not fail to make itself felt at a later day, when the allegiance of so large a part of the people had been alienated by the affair of the divorce. The surest proof that Henry and Wolsey were aware of this latent hostility is afforded by the infrequent assemblings of Parliament. Seldom did the King dare to face the representatives of the nation with the demand for a subsidy; he preferred to veil his oppressive financial exactions under the name of an Amicable Loan. The poverty of the nobles was notorious; and the distress of the poor people daily increased owing to a succession of bad seasons, thin harvests, and a few outbreaks of a devastating plague. Economic and agrarian changes contributed to swell the universal discontent[170]. The break-up of the old manorial system, the increase of enclosures for pasturage, and the substitution of convertible husbandry for the old three-field system all served to displace labour, and so temporarily to diminish the demand for it. Great distress among the agricultural poor was necessarily the first result of these changes: unfortunately economic science was not sufficiently advanced to enable men to discern that it was but a passing phase, and that as soon as labour had adjusted itself to the new conditions permanent advantages to it were bound to ensue. The country-folk contrasted their own wretched condition with the many reports which reached them of Henry’s sumptuous and luxurious Court: small wonder if the government was wrongly blamed for a large share of the misery which was inevitably the first consequence of sudden and great economic development. Finally all malcontents were united in opposition to the King’s attempts to gain a divorce from his first wife, during the closing years of Wolsey’s ministry; so that the maintenance and further strengthening of the powerful monarchy established at the accession of the House of Tudor promised in the near future to afford a problem of even greater difficulty than before.

To turn for a moment to the situation on the Continent. The House of Hapsburg, under Charles V., seemed to have attained the acme of its greatness, but its power was not by any means as real as it appeared. The Emperor’s insatiable desire for foreign conquest had caused him to neglect affairs in Spain and in the Empire, and to overtax his powers and drain his resources by continual struggles with his great rival the King of France. The bone of contention was ostensibly Italy; perhaps a truer cause of the struggles of the two sovereigns is to be found in the geographical position of the countries over which they ruled. The newly-consolidated realm of France divided the dominions of the Emperor into two parts: the dream of Charles was to connect them; the object of Francis was to forestall him. Northern Italy belonged to neither, but it was a rich prize and a fighting-ground easily accessible to both the combatants, and so it very naturally became the field of war. Soon after the Imperial election of 1519 the tide began to set slowly but surely against Francis; he was a true soldier, and was not a man to submit to any encroachment without a struggle; still he fought at a terrible disadvantage, betrayed as he was by the Duke of Bourbon, and in 1525 he was forced to acknowledge a thorough defeat, at the fatal battle of Pavia[171].

Although the first idea that occurred to Henry and Wolsey after the news of Charles’ great victory had reached them was a plan for the conquest and subdivision of the kingdom of Francis, they soon came to the conclusion that such a scheme would render the Emperor far too powerful. Charles himself, moreover, had received with little favour the extravagant proposals for an invasion of France which England had sent him as soon as the result of Pavia was known, and had consistently refused to allow Henry any share in his triumph. The Pope also, who had watched with terror the victorious march of the Imperial army, ventured for the last time to present himself as the centre of the opposition to Charles V., and strove in every way to reconcile England and France. The obstinate resistance that the Commissioners for the collection of the Amicable Loan had encountered in the spring of 1525 was certainly no encouragement for undertaking a war of aggression, and Henry and Wolsey soon determined to abandon all plans of invasion, and to pursue the wiser policy of maintaining neutrality between the two great continental powers. With this thought in mind a treaty of peace was made with Francis in August, and after the escape of the French King from captivity in January, 1526, the two continental rivals were once more placed on an even footing. With this restoration of equality Henry was perfectly satisfied, and he took good care to avoid committing himself permanently to Francis, by refusing openly to join the League of Cognac in the following spring. At this juncture the matter of the divorce began to occupy his exclusive attention, and the foreign affairs of the next three years were left almost entirely in Wolsey’s hands.

Circumstances now drove the Cardinal temporarily to lose sight of the policy which he had pursued for the most part up to this time--that of strict neutrality--and to attempt to convert the peace with France into a permanent alliance. And certainly the events of 1527 seemed to give him every justification for this new departure. The sack of Rome appeared to put Italy at the mercy of the Imperialists, and now the difficulties connected with Henry’s matrimonial affairs pointed to the need of securing a firm ally who would aid him in persuading the captive Pontiff to consent to the divorce in opposition to the wishes of his jailor the Emperor. With all his experience the Cardinal had hardly learned how rapidly the diplomatic combinations of Europe could change. The last great venture of his foreign policy resulted in disaster: the French alliance utterly failed to accomplish what was expected of it. At first indeed it seemed that the matrimonial projects which formed the basis of it would succeed, but the crafty policy of Francis ruined all. His war with the Emperor broke out again, as was to be expected, immediately after his release from captivity, but secret negotiations for peace were soon set on foot, and finally, in 1529, took shape in the treaty of Cambray--the news of which came as a stunning blow to Wolsey’s dearest hopes. The lesson which the Cardinal learned at the expense of his office was by no means lost on his master. Absorbed in the attempt to obtain a divorce from Katherine, Henry possibly had not been able to foresee the course of events abroad any better than his minister; but when, in 1529, the news of the treaty of Cambray aroused him to a true appreciation of the state of affairs, he at once realized how dangerous any permanent alliance with either Francis or Charles would be, as long as the situation on the Continent remained so uncertain. He resolved that, as soon as he could rectify the Cardinal’s false step, nothing should tempt him again to abandon the only safe policy--that of strict neutrality between the two great European powers--as long as the two rivals remained nearly equal. This point has been purposely dwelt upon here as a foreshadowing of what was to happen to Cromwell a few years later. Departure from the policy of neutrality between France and Spain helped to ruin Wolsey: a similar blunder in foreign affairs was destined to lead his successor to destruction.

The entire attention of England was now turned to the absorbing question of the divorce. The history of Wolsey’s failure to bring about the separation of Henry and Katherine of Aragon, does not belong to the ground covered by this essay. Suffice it to say that the Cardinal’s ineffectual attempts to satisfy Henry’s chief desire, coupled with the obvious error in his foreign policy, sealed his doom and gave Cromwell his opportunity. There is little need to dwell upon the way in which the attempt to divorce the Queen was regarded abroad. Henry was looked upon as the disturber of Christian unity, not only by the Emperor, but also by all continental Europe[172]. Charles, of course, was the obvious person to avenge the wrongs of his aunt, but he was far too busy just then with his schemes for suppressing the Protestants in Germany and of checking the advance of the Turk into the borders of Christendom, seriously to contemplate an invasion of Henry’s dominions. It was not the only time that England’s fortunes were saved by the turn of affairs in distant lands.

It now remains only to say a few words about the chief persons at the Court of Henry VIII., preliminary to a description of Cromwell himself. Foremost among these was of course Anne Boleyn. Born probably in 1507 of a good English family, a niece of the Earl of Surrey, she had spent a good part of her early life in France, as ‘one of the French queen’s women,’ and returned to England in the latter part of the year 1521[173]. At Henry’s exceedingly corrupt Court she did not want for admirers and suitors, foremost among whom was the King himself, who had formerly been in intimate relations with her sister Mary. Henry’s passion for her is sufficiently attested by a succession of royal grants and favours to her father, beginning only two months after her arrival in England, and continuing for over three years[174]. How far Anne was responsible for causing Henry to take steps to divorce Katherine, and how far he was moved thereto by a conscience that became over-sensitive at suspiciously short notice, or by more legitimate political considerations, it is not our business now to inquire; our best sources of information are the grants to her father, above mentioned, and a most remarkable series of love-letters[175]. Though she temporarily had the King at her feet, no woman of Henry’s Court was really to be less envied. Katherine and Mary, and, in consequence, the majority of the people, were her bitter foes; to protect herself against the popular odium, she gathered round her a following, known at Court as the Boleyn faction, the chief person of which was her uncle, now Duke of Norfolk.

Norfolk was fifty-seven years old when Cromwell came into power. He was a Catholic and against the New Faith. He had received in his younger days a thorough military and diplomatic training, and in 1531 was characterized by the Venetian ambassador, Falieri, as ‘prudent, liberal, affable, and astute; associating with everybody ... and desirous of greater elevation.’ This is a very flattering description of this crafty and ambitious statesman. The chief traits that characterized him were a cringing subservience to the will of the King, and a bitter hatred of any rival to his influence with Henry; a hatred which first directed itself against Wolsey, for whose downfall he laboured incessantly, and later against Cromwell, whose opponent he was during the decade of the former’s greatness. He was the equal of neither of these two as a statesman; but his utter lack of honour and consistency, and his willingness to break promises in order to please the King, rendered him an invaluable servant of the Crown at a period when one startling change followed on the heels of another. He threw himself heart and soul into the interests of his niece when Henry’s love for her was increasing; and yet when the royal passion waned, and Anne was accused in 1536, he was not ashamed to preside at her trial and sentence her to death[176].

The other important person at the Court was Stephen Gardiner, who in 1531 became Bishop of Winchester. Ten years Norfolk’s junior, he was introduced into political and diplomatic life by the Duke, and spent a large part of his early life as Wolsey’s servant and ambassador. He did not cherish any lasting friendship for the Cardinal, however, and he seems to have been an adherent of the Boleyn faction at Wolsey’s fall; we find Anne writing to him when the struggle between the two parties was at its hottest, to thank him for his ‘wylling and faythefull mynde[177].’ Still he took more or less a middle course on the divorce question, and pleaded warmly, though vainly, for the restitution of Wolsey’s colleges. But when the Cardinal’s fate was settled he certainly expected that his old master’s favour with the King would be transferred to himself, and when he was disappointed in this by Cromwell’s stepping in, he developed a hatred for him which he never abandoned. He was less active than Norfolk in his opposition to Rome, and though he lacked the Duke’s subserviency, he was fully as able a diplomat. Neither of the two men could have played the rôle of Cromwell: the scope of their talents was more limited; they were merely exceedingly able politicians, but as such they were by no means to be despised. When, however, they united to procure their rival’s ruin it was difficult to resist them[178].

Thus when at Wolsey’s fall Cromwell entered the King’s service, the situation of England both at home and abroad was critical in the extreme. The relations of the government with Rome were strained, owing to Henry’s proceedings in the divorce; his ‘grete matier’ was unpopular with the country at large; France and Spain were both of them very doubtful quantities, and might become friends or foes at any moment. At the Court, various factions with different aims were disputing for the precedence, and the best course to be steered by one who was about to enter the King’s service, after leaving that of a fallen minister, was not an easy thing to decide. Before inquiring into Cromwell’s action at this crisis, a brief description of the person and of the character of the man himself at this time will not be out of place.

Cromwell was a short, strongly-built man, with a large dull face. He was smooth-shaven, with close-cropped hair, and had a heavy double chin. His mouth was small and cruel, and was surmounted by an extraordinarily long upper lip, while a pair of grey eyes, set closely together, moved restlessly under his light eyebrows. He had an awkward, uncouth gait which lent itself well to the other peculiarities of his personal appearance, and gave one the idea that he was a patient, plodding, and, if anything, a rather stupid sort of man. But this was all merely external. According to Chapuys, who knew him well, he possessed the most extraordinary mobility of countenance, so that when engaged in an interesting conversation, his face would suddenly light up, and the dull, drudging, commonplace expression give way to a subtle, cunning, and intelligent aspect, quite at variance with his ordinary appearance. His conversation at such moments was witty and entertaining to the last degree, and the Spanish ambassador notes that he had the habit of giving a roguish oblique glance whenever he made a striking remark. This extraordinary power of facial control, according to the circumstances in which he was placed, merely reflects one of the dominant characteristics of the man. He obviously had remarkable power of quickly adapting himself to his surroundings. He rarely failed to realize immediately his relation to those with whom he came in contact, and his manner, behaviour, and expression varied accordingly. No one knew better how or when to flatter than Thomas Cromwell; on the other hand no one could be more harsh and cruel than he, when he was in a position to dictate. He had thoroughly learned the lesson

‘To beguile the time Look like the time.’

There are many evidences of his good taste and love of beautiful things[179]. A long and complicated correspondence with his friend Stephen Vaughan about an iron chest of very curious workmanship, which he wanted for his house at Austin Friars, of such expense that Vaughan was almost afraid to buy it, is not without interest. There is record of his purchasing a globe, with a set of explanatory notes, and the only two ‘Cronica Cronicarum cum figuris’ that could be found in all Antwerp[180]. Especially great was his love of Italian things. His stay in Italy was of sufficient duration to steep him in the spirit of the Renaissance; he read and studied his Machiavelli, so that it was a guide to his future political career; we can well imagine him repeating to himself the sentence in chapter xviii of The Prince which begins ‘Ma è necessario questa natura saperla bene colorire, ed essere gran simulatore e dissimulatore[181],’ or the passage in chapter xvii of the same, ‘Deve pertanto un principe non si curare dell’infamia di crudele per tenere i sudditi suoi uniti ed in fede[182].’ He doubtless possessed many of the important Italian books in print at that time. In April, 1530, Edmund Bonner writes to him to remind him of his promise to lend him the Triumphs of Petrarch and the Cortigiano, and to make him a good Italian[183].

Of his social gifts and of his charm as a host there is no room to doubt. There are many proofs that he was a most magnificent entertainer, and that his personal attraction, when he wished to make himself agreeable, was such that no one could resist it. The letters of Chapuys inform us that even the most careful and experienced politicians were often completely put off their guard by Cromwell’s pleasing presence and address; and more than once were induced to say things which should not have escaped them.

But all these manners and externals were simply disguises to hide the real inward character of the man. The whole essence of Cromwell’s personality consists of different manifestations of one fundamental, underlying trait, which may perhaps be best expressed by the common phrase ‘a strict attention to business.’ Cromwell worshipped and sought after the practical and the useful only, and utterly disregarded everything else. The first evidence of this quality has been already noticed, as coming in the shape of a contempt for the vague generalizations of the Parliament of 1523, which beat about the bush for an entire session without ever coming to the point[184]. Here it assumes a somewhat negative form. Another striking instance of it occurs in the conversation which Pole relates as having taken place between himself and Cromwell, at Wolsey’s house, concerning the proper duty of a true servant of a Prince[185]. Pole as usual began theorizing about the best way to bring honour to one’s master, when he was rudely interrupted by Cromwell, who advised him in few words to forsake the remote learning of the schools, and devote himself to reading a new book which took a practical view of the case, and which Pole later found was the adviser’s favourite Prince of Machiavelli. Cromwell at the same time took occasion to tell Pole that the great art of the politician was to penetrate through the disguise which sovereigns are accustomed to throw over their real inclinations, and to devise the most specious expedients by which they may gratify their appetites without appearing to outrage morality or religion[186]. It is not astonishing that Pole realized that it was dangerous for him to remain in England, when Cromwell came into power.

Another more positive and striking way in which this characteristic stood forth, was in his utter lack of emotion. It was this quality which enabled Cromwell to tick off in his memoranda the lives of human beings, as if they were items in an account; or to send people to trials, of which the verdicts had been determined beforehand, as ‘the Abbott of Redyng to be Sent Down to be tryed & excecutyd at Reding[187].’ He totally disregarded the justness or morality of any action; its utility was for him its morality, and created its justification. He never struck at his victims in a moment of passion, uselessly or capriciously; no personal feeling of hatred mingled with his crime. On the other hand, had the sacrifice of one of his nearest or dearest friends been necessary to the accomplishment of his purposes, he would hardly have hesitated a moment. Any means that could bring about the ends he sought were _ipso facto_ for him justifiable. Whether his desires were attained by fair means or foul, mattered little to him: he kept his eyes steadily fixed upon the goal; the smoothness or roughness of the road to it was of no consequence in his eyes[188].

Finally, and perhaps most important of all, Cromwell never lost anything that might be turned to good account. It has been shown how he not only succeeded in freeing himself from any ill-name at Wolsey’s fall, but also actually used his master’s overthrow to further his own ends, and make himself known and popular at Court. But this is only a slender hint of what was to follow. It was precisely from this same practical utilitarian standpoint, that he regarded and made use of to his own ends the King’s amours, the suppression of the monasteries, the Reformation. Catholicism and Protestantism passed over his head; he was not touched by either of them. He simply used them as pieces in the great game which he was playing.

Such was the man who, for the next ten years, was to have almost the sole guidance of the course of English history. As was his purpose when he rode on the afternoon of All Hallows Day to London to look after his own interests and those of his master, so was his mission as minister and counsellor of the King, ‘to make or to marre.’



The decade which followed Cromwell’s appointment as counsellor to Henry VIII. witnessed some of the most striking changes that have ever taken place in England. The question which must obviously occur to every student of the period, is whether the King himself, or his new minister, was the real cause of the secular and religious revolution of the years 1530 to 1540. The difficulty of the problem is increased by the fact that Henry and Cromwell made every effort to conceal their traces; scarcely any information can be gleaned from their correspondence. We are therefore forced to draw our conclusions for the most part from external evidence and the reports of contemporary writers.

It may be justly said that in general the probabilities point to Cromwell as the true originator of the startling changes which occurred soon after his accession to power. The fact that the ultimate object of all these changes was the concentration of power in the hands of the Crown is not in itself of great value in determining the identity of their originator; for the strengthening of the monarchy was an end which both King and minister always kept in view: in the methods by which this object was attained, however, we have a most valuable clue to aid us in the solution of our problem. These methods were all intensely Cromwellian: their directness and efficiency are essentially and distinctively characteristic of the King’s new minister. In the contrast between the dawdling ineffectiveness of Wolsey’s device for solving the problem of the King’s divorce, and the summary, revolutionary process by which it was finally secured after the Cardinal’s fall, lies our strongest ground for supposing that it was at Cromwell’s instance that the decisive step was taken. It seems almost impossible that Henry, after having suffered himself to be guided so long by Wolsey, in the management of his ‘grete matier’ should have adopted at the Cardinal’s death a plan to secure his wishes, so thoroughly repugnant to the principles of his old adviser, unless the idea had been put into his head by another. When the King had once determined to break with Rome, it followed as a matter of course that the advice of the minister who had suggested the first step, should be adopted in devising measures to secure the King in the new position which he had assumed. The means employed to attain this end--the intimidation of the clergy and the suppression of the monasteries, the attacks on the independence of Parliament, the ruthless execution of those who opposed the late innovations--all bear the stamp of the sinister genius of Cromwell as unmistakably as the great revolution that rendered them necessary. Documentary evidence too comes in to help us here; scarcely an important Act was passed in Parliament between the years 1533 and 1540, of which there is not some previous mention in Cromwell’s papers and memoranda. Against these reasons it may be urged that none of the foreign ambassadors at the English Court mentions Cromwell as an important factor in the government until three years after he entered the King’s service, and that the country in general certainly regarded the events of the years 1530 to 1533 as the work of Henry alone; and that these facts are strong testimony that the King’s new minister did not attain any high degree of prominence until the crucial period of the struggle with Rome had passed. But this paucity of contemporary information concerning Cromwell’s earlier years in the King’s service may be better explained in another way. If Henry’s new minister was the true author of all the revolutionary measures of this period, it was certainly most unlikely that he should be paraded before the eyes of the people as such; it was, on the contrary, to his own interest, and also to the King’s, that he should be kept in the background. By permitting the people to think that Henry was the real originator of all the new schemes for establishing the Royal Supremacy in Church and State, the suddenness of the transition between Wolsey’s ministry and that of his successor was disguised. Moreover, had the people known that Cromwell was at the bottom of these changes, which were universally unpopular, nothing would have saved him from their revenge. As long as the new measures were attributed to the King, respect for the royal name was enough to prevent a revolt. Cromwell, on the contrary, who was not even of noble birth, could not have struck a blow in his own defence, had the people fastened upon him as the cause of the hated innovations. It was necessary to keep him concealed until his position was so secure that the popular odium could not shake him from it. When, in 1533, the mask was finally thrown off, Chapuys and the other foreign ambassadors realized all at once that Cromwell’s sudden burst into prominence would have been quite impossible, had not the ground been thoroughly prepared for it by important services rendered during the first years of his ministry.

Such, then, are the general reasons for thinking that Cromwell was the man who planned out and carried through the various measures which have rendered famous the period of his ministry. In examining separately the different events which took place, we shall meet with other evidence which points to the same conclusion. Most important is the account contained in Pole’s Apologia ad Carolum Quintum, which describes at length Cromwell’s first measure, his plan to secure Henry’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon; a scheme by which he won the confidence of the King and irrevocably committed himself and his master to the policy which he followed to the end of his days. Henry, it seems from Pole’s story, had become utterly discouraged at the time of Wolsey’s death concerning the prospect of ever obtaining a separation from his first wife. He had vainly attempted to get an encouraging reply from the English clergy, and his failure in this added to his despondency; his council, which lacked all initiative, could only rejoice that he intended to abandon his efforts. At this juncture the _Satanae Nuncius_, as Pole names Cromwell, solicited and obtained an audience with the King, and proposed a plan by which Henry could free himself from Papal restrictions, marry Anne, divorce Katherine, and yet ostensibly remain true to the Catholic Faith.

Cromwell introduced himself with his usual tact and skill. In a few modest and carefully selected sentences he excused himself for daring to offer an opinion on a subject of which he felt himself to be so very ignorant--but, he continued, his loyalty to the King would not permit him to be silent when there was the smallest chance of his being able to serve his sovereign at this momentous crisis. He was certain, he said, that the King’s troubles were solely due to the weakness of his advisers, who listened to the opinions of the common herd, and did not dare to act upon their own responsibility. All the wise and learned were in favour of the divorce; the only thing lacking was the Papal sanction; was the King to hesitate because this could not be obtained? It would be better to follow the example of the Lutherans, who had renounced the authority of Rome. Let the King, with the consent of Parliament, declare himself Head of the Church in England, and all his difficulties would vanish. England was at present a monster with two heads. If the King should take to himself the supreme power, religious as well as secular, every incongruity would cease; the clergy would immediately realize that they were responsible to the King and not to the Pope, and would forthwith become subservient to the royal will. Henry may have been surprised by the audacity of Cromwell’s scheme, but he was also much pleased, as it promised to satisfy all his dearest wishes. The _Satanae Nuncius_ received his hearty thanks, and was further rewarded by a seat in the Privy Council[189].

Cromwell must have realized from the first, that the adoption of his scheme to throw off the Papal authority in England would encounter the greatest opposition from the clergy, but he had already devised a plan by which every objection could be silenced and the refractory ecclesiastics overawed. His whole policy in this crisis was based on the knowledge that the position of the clergy since Wolsey’s fall was completely altered. They were no longer in any sense popular. The State Papers of the period contain many lists of the grievances of the Commons against them[190]. They had received a severe lesson from the Parliament of 1529; they were now isolated, timid and demoralized. Cromwell was the first to perceive and make use of their changed condition. At the same time he realized how completely the House of Austria had possessed itself of the Papacy; the failure of Wiltshire’s embassy to the Emperor in Bologna, in 1530[191], assured him, if he needed any assurance, that the day of compromise with the Pope was passed, and that no divorce would ever come from the Vatican; he saw that if a separation of Henry and Katherine was to be secured at all, the battle-ground on which it was to be won was not the Papal Curia at Rome, but the Houses of Convocation and Parliament.

So it was conveniently discovered that Wolsey’s guilt was shared by Convocation, the Privy Council and the Lords and Commons, and indirectly by the nation itself; as all these had recognized the Cardinal in his capacity of legate, and so had become, by language of the statute, his ‘fautors and abettors.’ Again conveniently, but also most unreasonably, while the laity, who had eagerly availed themselves of the Cardinal’s jurisdiction, were tacitly passed over, the clergy who had been the only ones to make a stand in opposition to the legatine authority, were included in the Praemunire. So in December, 1530, as Holinshed quaintly puts it, ‘the kings learned councell said plainlie’ that the ‘whole cleargie of England ... were all in the premunire[192],’ and the Attorney-General was instructed to file a brief against the entire body in the Court of King’s Bench. The clergy then assembled in Convocation, ‘and offered the King 100,000 pounds to be their good lord, and also to give them a pardon of all offences touching the Praemunire, by act of Parliament.’ To their surprise and dismay, however, Henry refused the bribe, unless, in the preamble to the grant, a clause were introduced making him ‘to be the Protector and only Supreme Head of the Church and clergy of England[193].’ The whole plot on the part of the King and the Privy Council was conducted with the greatest possible secrecy, and their real motives were probably not guessed at by the world outside. Even the astute Chapuys was completely deceived respecting the King’s actual intention. In his letters of the 23rd and 31st of January, 1531, he informs the Emperor that ‘when the King has bled the clergy, he will restore to them their liberties, and take them back into his favour,’ and later declares that ‘the whole thing was done to bring about a union between the clergy and the nobles[194].’ It was not until the 14th of February, when the entire affair had been carried through, that the Spanish ambassador really understood what was happening, and discovered that it was all something more than a striking exhibition of Tudor avarice[195].

In the meantime a number of Latin manifestoes appeared favouring the King’s divorce, and inveighing against the Papal Supremacy[196]. But in spite of all these intimidations, the clergy though weak did not intend to surrender without a struggle. We are told that ‘ille de suprematu regis conceptus haud bene placuit praelatis et clero, inde eum modificari voluerunt. Per tres itaque sessiones cum consiliariis regiis (among whom Cromwell doubtless was most prominent) ratio inita fuit quomodo regis animum flectere possent ad mollioribus verbis exprimendum articulum illum[197].’ At first Henry announced to the clergy through Rochford that the only alteration he would accept would be the insertion of the words ‘post Deum.’ In the end, however, he yielded in this point, and consented to an amendment moved by Archbishop Warham, so that in its final form the clause read ‘Ecclesiae et cleri Anglicani, cujus singularem protectorem, unicum et supremum dominicum, et quantum per Christi legem licet etiam supremum caput ipsius majestatem recognoscimus.’ Both the Canterbury and York Convocations hastened to accept this compromise, and the latter voted an additional grant of £18,000. The only bishop who raised the slightest objection to the royal demand was Cuthbert Tunstall, of Durham. It is obvious that if the famous ‘quantum per Christi legem licet’ was really enforced, the victory which the King’s party had gained was but an empty one: the amendment has been characterized as ‘a clause by which all practical value was taken out of the act[198].’ But Henry certainly had no idea of permitting a restriction as vague as this seriously to interfere with his schemes; if the qualification became really troublesome he was quite prepared to have it expunged. For the moment he had been willing tacitly to acknowledge that there was some force in the clause in order to overcome the obstinacy of his opponents, but Chapuys was certainly not far wrong in saying that it was ‘all the same as far as the King is concerned as if they had made no reservation, for no one will now be so bold as to contest with his lord the importance of this reservation[199].’ The long-deferred pardon was at last granted: though when it was first sent down from the Lords, the Commons discovered that the laity were not mentioned and so were still in the Praemunire: a deputation from the Lower House, however, waited upon the King and expressed their doubts, and though at first Henry treated them harshly, he finally succumbed, and the laity were included in the pardon[200].

But the struggle was not yet over. The following year witnessed a continuation of the attacks on the independence of the clergy. This time, however, Henry and Cromwell had determined that the brunt of the battle should be borne by Parliament, which responded to the mandates of the King and his minister with gratifying celerity. Shortly after the opening of the session, in January, 1532, there appeared in the Lower House that famous document, which is usually known as the ‘Supplication of the Commons against the Ordinaries[201].’ The designation is certainly misleading: so preponderant was the part played by one of the Commons in the preparation of this memorable petition, that it cannot be fairly regarded as the work of them all. The nature of the charges of which the ‘Supplication’ was composed, its phraseology and the handwritings in the various drafts of it which are preserved to us to-day[202] leave little doubt that it was originally devised by the genius of Cromwell. It was in fact the first of a number of measures ostensibly emanating from Parliament, but in reality prepared by the King’s minister and forced by him upon the very tractable Lords and Commons. The purport of the supplication was, in brief, to accuse the clergy of making laws and ordinances without the assent of the King or his lay subjects, of demanding excessive fees, of dealing corruptly and unfairly, especially with cases of heresy, and to request the King to take measures for the remedy of these abuses. The Ordinaries, to whom the petition was delivered from the King on April 12, at once composed a temperate and dignified reply, in which the injustice and unreasonableness of the charges preferred against them were courteously but plainly pointed out[203]. Parliament in the meantime had been prorogued for three months, but as soon as it had reassembled it was forced to take up the cudgels again[204]. The clergy had stated their case so well that Henry, in dread lest the faint-hearted Commons should abandon too soon a quarrel into which his minister had led them, thought it advisable to intervene himself in the dispute. A short interview between the King and the Speaker was enough to reanimate the drooping spirits of the House: Henry was even spared the trouble of a frank avowal of his attitude in words--a gracious promise to be ‘indifferent’ between the disputants was quite sufficient to ensure the continuance of the struggle. The Ordinaries were not slow to discover that their first reply had been totally ineffectual, and hastened to compose a second which, though maintaining in general the position which had originally been assumed, contained a concession that no new laws should be published without the royal consent[205]. A good deal more haggling, however, was necessary before the final compromise was reached[206]. In fact matters moved so slowly that the King was obliged to make (or let Cromwell make for him) another of his suspiciously timely discoveries to the effect that his sovereign rights as Supreme Head were not clear, because every bishop at his consecration had made an oath of allegiance to the Pope. The Commons were asked to rectify this, and were about to pass severe censure on the bishops, when they were prorogued once more on account of the ragings of the plague. Before he let them go, however, the King had probably ascertained that the clergy intended to submit. Threatened on all sides, Convocation on the 16th of May finally agreed not to pass any more new regulations without the King’s licence, and to examine and revise, according to the royal wishes, the canons already made[207]. The most important result of the controversy for us to notice is that the King, acting (as he evidently did) on the advice of Cromwell, had succeeded in reducing Convocation to complete subjugation, and in making Parliament pliant to his will, as it had never been before. The scheme of controlling the clergy is doubly significant, first, as the cause of a great change in itself; second, as the first step of the dominant policy of the next ten years, for establishing the Royal Supremacy in Church and State. It must not be forgotten however that Cromwell’s action, in defiance of Papal authority at this juncture, arose from no hate of the Romish dogmas nor from any love of the new religion. He carried out all his schemes solely from political motives; the religious, the emotional side left him absolutely untouched; the practical, the politically serviceable aspect of the case, alone appealed to him.

Popular as Henry doubtless was, Cromwell must have realized, when he thus threw himself heart and soul on the King’s side in the divorce case, that he had staked everything on the continuance of the royal favour. The best of the clergy were strongly against the cause of Anne Boleyn, and there were but few who disagreed with them. The general sympathy of the nation for Katherine was greater than ever. Chapuys tells us that Henry was urged by the crowd in the streets to take back the Queen, and that Anne Boleyn was not infrequently publicly insulted[208]. The mob, and still more the friars, spoke of her openly as a common prostitute, who ‘ruled the King and beggared spiritualty and temporalty also.’ A letter of the imperial ambassador tells us that the provincial of the Friars Observants at Greenwich (better known as Friar Peto) preached before the King, and told him that ‘the unbounded affection of princes and their false counsellors deprived them of their knowledge of the truth, and that Henry was endangering his crown by his marriage, for great and little were murmuring at it.’ The King concealed his vexation as best he could, but later ordered one of his chaplains to preach there in his presence, and contradict all that Peto had said. At the end of this sermon the warden arose, and answering for his minister in his absence, dared to say in Henry’s presence that the royal chaplain had lied. The King was very angry and had the warden and preacher both arrested[209]. Most of the Greenwich friars were eager to stand by their brethren, but some proved less incorruptible, and gave secret information against the steadfast ones.

The result of all these murmurings among commons and friars was that Cromwell was kept very busy in finding out and extirpating ‘sedycyous opynyons’ as they were termed. In order to clinch the advantages that were to accrue to Henry as a result of his newly-assumed ecclesiastical position, it was as necessary to discover and either destroy or convert the laymen opposed to it, as it was to keep in submission the clergy from whose hands it had been snatched. Henry could have probably found no abler man in the realm to accomplish this purpose than his new minister. Early in 1532 Cromwell began to create a system of espionage, the most effective that England had ever seen, that in a short time was to render unsafe the most guarded expression of dissent in politics or religion. The success which this organized method of reporting treason later obtained, is one of the most striking proofs of the relentless energy of its originator. But Cromwell’s efforts to extirpate sedition, and to encourage the new ecclesiastical system, were not confined to England alone during these first years of his ministry. The years 1531 and 1532 must not be passed over without some slight reference to his connexion with William Tyndale. There was no counsellor about the King, upon whom Cromwell could rely as an intelligent and consistent ally, to help him carry out his schemes of ‘political Protestantism.’ In this dilemma he turned to William Tyndale, who was at that time in the Low Countries. The theory of ‘one King, one law in the realm; no class of men exempt from the temporal sword, no law except the law of the land’ advocated in ‘The Obedience of a Christian Man,’ doubtless struck Cromwell, if he read the book. It was perhaps the nearest approach he had yet found in writing to the policy he was steadily pursuing; he immediately desired to induce the reformer to return to England and to enlist him in the defence of his great cause. The fact that Cromwell was able to persuade the King to permit him to attempt this is a good proof of his influence with Henry. In May, 1530, Tyndale had been denounced as a perverter of God’s word[210]; but so great was the change which the new minister’s accession to power had wrought in the royal policy, that Henry now allowed Cromwell to write to his old friend Stephen Vaughan in the Netherlands[211], and commission him to try and discover where Tyndale was, and induce him to return to England. To this request Vaughan sent a double reply to Henry and Cromwell, informing them that he had written to the reformer (three separate letters to different places, not knowing where he was) and had received his answer, in which Tyndale said that the news of what had lately happened in England made him afraid to go there[212]. In a confidential postscript to the letter to Cromwell, Vaughan writes in most glowing terms about the reformer, saying that he was of far greater knowledge than the King’s Highness took him for, as plainly appeared by his works. ‘Would God he were in England.’ As usual Vaughan’s enthusiasm had run away with his discretion. He was the exact opposite of Cromwell in this respect; he was ever full of emotion and feeling, while his master was to the last degree practical and calculating.

In spite of his first rebuff, Vaughan persevered in his attempts, and on the 25th of March sent Cromwell another letter, in which he expressed a little more hope of getting Tyndale to go to England[213]. Three weeks later his efforts received some more substantial reward, for on the 18th of April he wrote to Henry[214], that he had at last obtained an interview with the reformer, and that though the latter still refused to comply with his request, his words had been such as to arouse the enthusiasm of Cromwell’s agent more than ever. With this letter Vaughan sent to Henry the manuscript of Tyndale’s new book against Sir Thomas More, called the Answer, which the reformer did not wish to put in print till Henry had seen it, because the latter had been displeased at the hasty and unlicensed printing of his former work, The Practise of Prelates. The letter and the book were not destined, however, to have the desired effect on the King. The Answer was sufficiently plain to indicate that Tyndale’s religious beliefs were not of the sort that would ever be serviceable to Henry; the reformer was altogether too full of Protestantism for its own sake, to suit either the King or his counsellor. For once Cromwell had mistaken his man. To say that the King was thoroughly vexed and annoyed, when he had perused Vaughan’s letter, and the enclosed work, is a mild statement of the facts. The original letter which Vaughan wrote is not extant, but there is a copy of it in the British Museum which ends most abruptly with the words ‘To declar_e_ to yo_ur_ Magyste what In my pore Judgement I thynke of the man, I ass_er_teyne yo_ur_ grace I haue not co_m_munyd w_i_t_h_ A man[215]’; a fact which suggests the possibility that the irritable King vented his anger on the unoffending sheet of paper, and tore it in two. The letter with which Cromwell, at the King’s direction, replied to Vaughan, is a still surer index to the impression which the latter’s report had produced on the King. What with the precipitation of his emotional, enthusiastic, and unpractical friend, Cromwell must have been placed in a very awkward position. The many corrections and interlineations in the draft of the letter he wrote in reply to Vaughan, sufficiently reveal his great perplexity and bewilderment[216]. The subject-matter of the letter will speak for itself. The rage of the King is vividly described, and Vaughan is repeatedly warned to abandon the reformer: but in spite of everything he continued to attempt to persuade Tyndale to return. He had two more fruitless interviews with the latter, described in his letters to Henry of the 20th of May, and to Cromwell on the 19th of June[217], and after that came back to England for the summer. In November he returned to the Netherlands, and wrote again to Cromwell warmly on Tyndale’s behalf, but not a word did he receive in reply[218]. In the meantime Henry and Cromwell had dispatched Sir Thomas Elyot to arrest the reformer and bring him home[219]. Vaughan finally saw the danger he ran in advocating the cause of the author of the ‘venemous and pestif_er_ous work_es_,’ and dared say no more. The rest of his letters during these two years do not even once mention him. The whole Tyndale episode is noteworthy as the nearest approach to a mistake in Cromwell’s internal policy. Henry’s anger probably gave him a clear warning that many more such would bring him to certain ruin. He was saved from serious consequences in this case, only because he had amply atoned for it by his brilliant success in obtaining the submission of the clergy.

Cromwell was also occupied, during these two years, in re-establishing Wolsey’s foundation at Oxford, under the new name of King Henry the Eighth’s College. He was appointed receiver-general and supervisor of all the lands belonging to it; and the adjustment of claims, transfer of property, new foundation and charter kept him very busy, and gave him an excellent opportunity to display his legal talent. He also superintended the building of a new palace at Westminster, regulated the wages of the men working on the fortifications at Calais, and was also busy with minor duties in the King’s own household--the care of the royal plate and jewels, and even the drawing of patterns for Henry’s robes of state[220]. From the close of the year 1529 until his fall, the best index to the various occupations in which he was engaged is afforded by his famous ‘remembrances.’ These consist largely of short and usually incomplete sentences, sometimes even single words, jotted down at odd moments by Cromwell or his chief clerk, on loose sheets of paper--often on the backs of letters and drafts of important documents. They are for the most part absolutely disjointed and unconnected in matter, form, and handwriting. Sandwiched in between apparently careless phrases which later expand into the most drastic of parliamentary enactments, we find minute details concerning the wages of labourers, the cost of New Year’s presents at the Court, or even matters of a private nature: next to a memorandum for the signing of a letter for some Spaniards occur the significant words, ‘To Remembre the Auncyent Cronycle of magna Carta and how _libera sit_ Cam into the Statute[221].’ The less important items are of course by far the more numerous, especially in the first six years when the King loaded his new minister with details of the greatest variety and complexity. Towards the last the ‘remembrances’ are fewer in number, and deal less extensively with minor matters; but even up to the very end we find ample evidence that the King’s minister carried in his head an amount of detail of a comparatively unimportant nature, which would have been quite impossible for a man like his predecessor. The Cardinal, absorbed in studying the great diplomatic combinations of continental Europe, had shamefully neglected minor affairs at home. Cromwell, in his ten years of power, not only atoned for the errors of Wolsey, but also familiarized himself with every detail of domestic administration to an extent that no King or minister had ever done in England before. It would have been almost impossible to carry through the tremendous changes which had followed the divorce, without the aid of a counsellor of the peculiar talents of Thomas Cromwell.

The thread of our narrative now becomes so complicated, when the new minister is at last fully installed in the King’s service, that it will be necessary to depart from the chronological order of events hitherto followed, and to treat separately each phase of Cromwell’s policy, up to the reaction of 1539. The Internal and Foreign Administration, Suppression of the Monasteries, of the Pilgrimage of Grace, &c., all move on hand in hand, and in order to understand their bearing on one another, it is only needful to remember that they were all the work of one man, and were proceeding in general at the same time.



Four drafts of this petition exist to-day in the Public Record Office. One of them is written in a hand which may be recognized in the greater part of Cromwell’s correspondence of the time, and which is probably that of his chief clerk; it is corrected and revised by Cromwell himself. Of the other three, one, which is uncorrected and probably a final draft, is also written by the clerk--and the other two, chiefly in a strange handwriting, are filled with interlineations by Cromwell. The following copy was made from the first of these drafts (Cal. v, 1016 (4)). The words in brackets are crossed out in the original manuscript: the words in italics are inserted between the lines. All the corrections are in Cromwell’s hand.

‘To the King our Sovereigne Lorde

In most humble Wise Shewen vnto yo_ur_ excellent highnes and most prudent wisedom your faithfull louyng and most humble and obedient Subiect_es_ The Co_m_mons in this your p_re_sente parliament assembled That where of late aswell thorough new fantasticall and erronyous opynyons growen by occasion of Frantike sedycious and ou_er_thwartly Framed bokes compiled imprynted publisshed and made in the englishe tong contrarie and ayenst the veray trew catholique and Cristen Faith as also by the {vnreasonable and} extreme {rygour vndiscrete} _and vncharytable_ behaueour and dealing of dyuers ordynaries _Ther Co_m_myssaryes and Substytuttes_ which haue heretofore had and yet have thexamynacion in and vppon the saide errours and hereticall opynyons moche discorde varyaunce and debate hathe rysen and more and more daylie is like to encrease and insue emonges the vniu_er_sall sorte of your saide Subiect_es_ aswell sp_iri_tuall as temporall either ayenst other in most vncharitable man_er_ to the grete inquietacion vexacion and breche of your peax w_i_t_h_in this your most catholik realme. The speciall perticuler greues whereof which most principally concerne your saide Co_m_mons and lay Subiect_es_ and whiche ar (as they vndoubtedlie suppose) the veray chief Founteyns occasions and causes that daylie bredeth Fostereth Norissheth and maynteneth the saide sedycions factyons dedelie hatered and most vncharitable parte taking_es_ either parte and sorte of your saide Subiect_es_ spirituall and temporall ayenst thother hereafter Folowinglye Do ensue.

Furst where the prelat_es_ and sp_iri_tuall Ordynaries of this your most excellent Realme of Englonde and the clergie of the same haue in their conuocac_i_ons heretofore made and caused to be made and also daylie do make dyuers and manye _Facyons of_ lawes constytuc_i_ons and orden_au_unc_es_ w_i_t_h_out your knowlege or most royall assente and w_i_t_h_out the assent and consent of any your lay Subiect_es_ vnto the whiche lawes your saide lay Subiect_es_ haue not onelie heretofore and daylie be {boundene} _constraynyd to obbeye_ aswell in their bodies goodes and possessions But also ben compelled daylie to incurre into the censures of the same and ben contynuallie put to importable charges and expens_es_ ayenst all equytee right and good conscience. And yet your saide humble subiect_es_ ne their predecessours coulde eu_er_ be pryuey to the saide lawes Ne any of the saide lawes haue ben declared vnto them in thinglisshe tong or otherwise _publysshed_ By knowlege whereof they might haue extued the daungiers censures and penaltees of the same Which lawes so made yo_ur_ saide most humble and obedyent subiect_es_ vnder the supportacion of your Maiestee Suppose to be not onelie to the dymynucyon and derogacion of your imperyall iurisdiction and prerogatif royall But also to the grete preiudice inquietacion and damage of all your saide Subiect_es_ And also where now of late there hathe ben deuysed by the most Reuerende father in god Wyllyam Archebusshop of Caunterburie that in the Court_es_ whiche he callith his Courtes of the Arches and Audience shalbe but onelie Ten proctours at his deputacion which be sworn to p_re_ferre and promote the onelie iurisdiction {and preferrement} of the saide Court_es_. By reason whereof if any of your lay Subiect_es_ shoulde haue any lawfull cause ayenst the Judge of the saide Court_es_ or ayenst any docto_ur_ or proctour of the same or any of their Frend_es_ or adherent_es_ they can ne may in any wise haue indifferent counsaill. And also all the causes depending in any of the saide court_es_ may by the confederacie of the saide Few proctours be in suche wise tracted and delayed as your Subiect_es_ suing in the same shalbe put to importable charges costes and expenc_es_. And in case that any matiers there being p_re_ferred shoulde touche Your Crowne Regallie Jurisdiction and p_re_rogatif royall yet the same shall not be disclosed by any of the saide procto_ur_s for fere of losse of their offices. Wherefore your saide most obedient Subiect_es_ vnder the protexion of yo_ur_ maiestee Suppose that your highnes should haue the nomynacion of som conuenyent nombre of proctours to be alwayes attendaunt in the saide court_es_ of tharches and audience there to be sworne aswell to the preferrement of your iurisdiction and prerogatif royall as to thexpedyc_i_on of all the causes of your Lay Subiectes repayring and suing to the same.

And Where also many of your saide most humble and obedient subiect_es_ and specyallie those that be of the pourest sorte w_i_t_h_in this your Realme ben daylie conuented and called before the saide sp_iri_tuall Ordynaries their Co_m_missaries and Substytut_es_ ex officio somtyme at the pleasures of the saide Ordynaries and Substytut_es_ for malice w_i_t_h_out any cause and sumtyme at the onelie p_ro_mocyon and accusement of their {false} Somoners and apparitours being veray light and vndiscrete persons w_i_t_h_out any lawfull cause of accusacion or credible fame proued ayenst them and w_i_t_h_out any presentement in the vysitacion ben inquieted disto_ur_bed vexed troubeled and put to excessiue and importable charges for them to bere and many tymes be suspended and exco_m_munycate for small and light causes vppon thonelie certificat of the proctours of the adu_er_saries made vnder a fayned Seale which eu_er_y procto_ur_ hathe in his keping where as the partie suspended and exco_m_munycate many tymes neu_er_ had any warning and yet when he shalbe absolued if it be out of the courte he shalbe compelled to pay to his owne procto_ur_ xxd and to the procto_ur_ which is ayenst him other xxd and xxd to the Scribe besid_es_ a pryuey rewarde that the Judge shall haue to the grete impouerysshing of your saide poure Lay Subiect_es_.

Also Your saide most humble and obedient subiect_es_ Fynde them greued w_i_t_h_ the grete and excessyue Fees taken in the said sp_iri_tuall court_es_ and in especiall in the saide Court_es_ of tharches and audience where they take for euery Cytacyon ii^s vi^d for eu_er_y Inhibycyon vj^s viij^{d}, for euerie proxie xvj^d for eu_er_y certificat xvj^{d}, for eu_er_y Libell iij^{s}. iiij^{d}., for eu_er_y answer to any Lybell iij^s iiij^{d}, for eu_er_y acte if it be but two woord_es_ to the Register iiij^_d_, for eu_er_y personall Cytacion or decree iij^s iiij^{d}. for euery sentence or iudgement to the Judge xxvi^{s}. viij^{d}, for eu_er_y testi_m_onyall vppon any suche sentence or iudgement xxvj^{s}. viii^d for eu_er_y significauit xij^_s_. for eu_er_y co_m_myssion to examyn wytnes xij^s Which is thought to be importable to be borne by your saide Subiect_es_ and veray necessarie to be refo_ur_med.

And Furthermore Where the saide spyrytuall Ordynaries {many tymes purposedlie to revenge their inwarde greves and displeasures and to put their saide lawes in execucion} _theyr Co_m_myssaryes & Substytuttes_ sumtyme _for thayr own pleasures Su_m_tyme_ by the Synister procurement of other sp_iri_tuall p_er_sons vse to make out proces ayenst dyu_er_s of your saide Subiect_es_ and thereby compell them to appere before themselff_es_ to answer at a certen day and place to suche articles as by them shalbe of office afore themselff_es_ then purposed _and that Secretlye and not in oppen places_ and fourthw_i_t_h_ vppon their apparaunce w_i_t_h_out cause or any declaracion then made or shewed co_m_mytt and sende them to warde Where they remayne w_i_t_h_out bayle or mayneprise sumtyme half a yere and somtyme a hole yere and more or they may in any wise knowe either the cause of their imprysonement or any name of their accuser and fynallie their grete cost_es_ charges and expenc_es_ therin when all is examyned and nothing can be proued ayenst them but they clerelie Innocente for any Faute or cryme that can be layed vnto them in that parte ben set ayen at large w_i_t_h_out any recompence or amend_es_ in that behalf to be toward_es_ them adiudged.

And also if percase vppon the saide proces and apparaunce any p_ar_tie be vppon the saide matier cause or examynacion brought Fourth and named either as p_ar_tie or wytnes and then vppon the proffe and tryall thereof not able to prove and verefie his saide accusacion or testymonye ayenst the p_ar_tie so accused to be trew then the person so causeles accused is {clerely} _for the more parte_ w_i_t_h_out any remedie for his charges and wrongful vexacyon to be {in that parte} toward_es_ him adiuged and recouered.

Also vppon thexamynacion of the saide accusacion if heresie be ordynarylie layed vnto the charge of the p_ar_tie so accused then the saide ordynaries or their ministres vse to put to them suche subtile interrogatories concerning the high misteries of our feith as ar able quyckelye to trappe a simple vnlerned or yet a well wytted lay man w_i_t_h_out lerning and bryng them by suche sinyster introduction sone to his owne confusion And Fourthw_i_t_h_ if there chaunce any heresie to be by suche subtill polycie by him confessed in wo_ur_d_es_ and yet neu_er_ co_m_mytted nor thought in dede, then put they _with_out ferther fauour the saide person either to make his purgacion and so thereby to lose his honestie and credence for eu_er_ orell_es_ as som simple sely Sowle precyselie stonding to the clere testymonye of his owne well knowen conscience rather then to confesse his innocent trouth to abyde {thextreme examynacion of deth by the Fyer} _thextremyte in that behalf_ and so is vtterly distroyed.

And if it fortune the saide partie so accused to denye the saide accusacion and so put his aduersarie to proue the {false} same vntrewlie forged and ymagened ayenst him then for the more parte suche wytnesses as ben brought fourth for the same be they but ij in nombre neuer so sore diffamed of litle trouth or credence adu_er_saries or enemies to the p_ar_tie yet they shalbe allowed and enabeled _onlye by Discrecyon of the sayd ordenaryes ther Co_m_myssaryes & Substytuttes_ and therevppon sufficient cause to procede to iudgement to delyu_er_ the p_ar_tie so accused either to the seculer hand_es_ {and so to be burned} after abiuracion w_i_t_h_out remedie and afore if he Submytte himself to compell him when best happeneth to make his purgacion and bere a Fagotte to his extreme shame and vtter vndoing.

In Consideracyon whereof most gracious Souereigne Lorde And Forasmoche as there is at this present tyme and by a Few yeres past hathe ben outrageous vyolens on thone p_ar_te and moche defaulte and lacke of pacyent sufferaunce charitee and good will on thother p_ar_te, A meruelous Disorder of the godlie quyet peax and tranquillyte that this your realme heretofore eu_er_ hitherto hathe ben in thorough your poletique wisedom in most hono_ur_able fame and catholik feith invyolablye p_re_serued. It may therefore most benigne Souereigne lorde lyke your excellent goodnes for the tender and vnyuersallye indyfferent zele benigne loue and fauour that your highnes berith towarde both the saide p_ar_ties, the saide articles if they shalbe by your most clere and p_er_fite iudgement thought any instrument_es_ or causes of the saide variaunce and disorder or those and all other occasions whatsoeu_er_ accompted by your highnes to make toward_es_ the saide factions depelie and weightylie after your accustomed weyes and man_er_ serched weyed and considered graciouslie to prouyde all vyolence on both sides vtterlye and clerelie set a parte some suche necessarie and behofull remedies as may effectuallie reconsile and bryng in perpetuall vnytee your saide Subiect_es_ sp_iri_tuall and temporall. And for thestablisshing thereof to make and ordeyn on both sid_es_ suche straite lawes ayenst the brekers transgressours and offendours as shalbe to hevye daungerous and weightie for them or any of them to bere suffer and susteyne. Whereunto Your saide Comons most humblie hertelie and entierlie beseche your grace as the onely hed Sou_er_eigne lorde protectour and Defendour of bothe the saide p_ar_ties in whom and by whom the onelie and sole redresse reformacion and remedie herein absolutely restith and remayneth. By occasion whereof all your saide Comons in their conscience surelye accompt that beside the meruelous Feruent loue that yo_ur_ highnes shall thereby ‹gain› and engendre in their hart_es_ toward_es_ Your grace Ye shall do the most pryncelie Feate and shew the most honourable and charitable president and Mirrour that eu_er_ did Souereigne lorde vppon his subiect_es_ and therew_i_t_h_all merite and deserue of our mercyfull lorde eternall blisse Whose goodnes graunt your grace in most godlie pryncelie and honourable astate long to reigne prosper and contynew as the Souereigne lorde ou_er_ all your saide most humble and most obedyent Subiect_es_.

[_Two blank pages here._]

And Where _also_ the said prelatis and ordinaries daily do p_er_mytte and suffer the parsons vicars Curates p_ar_ishe prest_es_ and other sp_iri_tuall parsons hauing Cure of soule w_i_t_h_in this your Realme Ministring {vnto yo_ur_ said loving subgiett_es_} _to exact and take of yo_ur _humble & obedyent Subiect_es _dyuers Su_m_mys of money for_ the Sacrament_es_ & sacramentall_es_ of holy churche {as the holy sacrament of the Aulter Baptyme, Matrimonye Confession, buriall weddyng churching_es_ and suche other} _Sumtyme denying the same w_i_t_h_out they Fyrst be payd the sayd Su_m_mys of money_ {& _to take_ for the ministracion of the same of yo_ur_ said Subiect_es_ diuers and certen so_m_mes of money allegging the same to be their dueties.} Whiche sacrament_es_ and sacramentall_es_ yo_ur_ saide most humble & obedient subiectes vnder the protection of yo_ur_ highnes doo suppose & think ought to be in most Reuerent charitable & goodlie wise freely mynystred vnto them at all tymes requisite w_i_t_h_oute denyall or {any maner so_m_me or} _exaccyon of any man_er so_m_mes of money {or other duetie or contribucion to be asked demaunded or required for the same} _to be demaundyd or askyd for the same_ And also where in the sp_iri_tuall court_es_ of the said Prelatis & ordinaries ben lymyted and appoynted for many Judges Scribes Apparito_ur_s Som_on_ers praysours and other ministres for the approbacion of testament_es_ Whiche coveting somoche theire owne priuate Lucres and satisfaccion of the appetit_es_ of the said prelat_es_ and Ordinaries that when any of your said loving subiect_es_ do Repaire to any of the said Courtis for the probate of any testamentes they do in suche wise {extorte and} _make long delays or_ excessively take of theym so large fees and Reward_es_ for the same as is Importible for theym to beare directly against all Justice lawe equite and goode conscience

{And also where most gracious soueraigne the Judges Constituted and appoynted by the said sp_iri_tuall Ordinaries in their said Court_es_ to here and determyne causes there, do in likewise daily take many grete and excessive fees and rewardes of your said pore subiect_es_ having any cause or matier depending before theym as is aforsaid And ou_er_ that when any Judgement or sentence by the said Judge shalbe yeven before them wille also have grete so_m_mes of money for the same. So that no thing is or can be obteyned in any of the said Court_es_ w_i_t_h_oute money.}

_Wherfor_ Your said most humble and obedient subiect_es_ do therfore vnder yo_ur_ gracious correction and supportacion suppose it were veray necessary that the said ordinaries in the deputacion of suche Judges shulde be bounde to appoynte and assigne suche discrete gravous and honest p_er_sons having sufficient Lernyng witte discrecion & vnderstonding and also being indewed w_i_t_h_ such sp_iri_tuall promocions stipend and salarye as they being Judges in their said Court_es_ myght and may mynystre to eu_er_y parson repairing to the same Justice w_i_t_h_oute taking any man_er_ fee or Rewarde for any maner sentence or Judgement to be yoven before theym. And also where as diu_er_se sp_iri_tuall p_er_sons being p_re_sented aswell by yo_ur_ highnes and by other patrons w_i_t_h_in this yo_ur_ Realme to {any} _dyuers_ benefices or other sp_iri_tuall promocion. The said ordinaries and there mynystres do not onely take of theym for theyr L_ette_res of Institucion and Induction many grete and {excessive} _large_ so_m_mes of money & Reward_es_ But also do pact and couen_au_nte w_i_t_h_ the same, taking sure bond_e_s for their indempnite to aunswer to the said ordinaries the first frutes of the said benefices after their Institucion so as they being ones p_re_sented or promoted as is aforesaid ben by the said ordinaries veray {extremely} _vncharytablye_ handled to their no litle hynderaunce & impou_er_isshement whiche yo_ur_ said subgiett_es_ suppose not onely to be against all lawes right & good consciens but also to be Symony and contrary to the Lawes of god.

And also where as the said sp_iri_tuall Ordinaries do daily conferre and geve sundry benefices vnto certen yong folkes calling them their Nephews _or Kynsfolkes_ being in their mynorite and w_i_t_h_in age not apt ne able to S_er_ue the Cure of any suche benefice Wherby the said ordinaries do kepe and deteyn the frutes & p_ro_fittes of the same benefices in their owne handes and therby accumulate to themselff_es_ right grete and large so_m_mes of money & yerely p_ro_fittes to the most p_er_nicious exsample of all yo_ur_ said lay subiect_es_ and so the Cures & other promocions youen vnto suche Infant_es_ ben onely {youen but} _Imployed_ to {enriche} _thenryching of_ the said ordinaries & the pore sely soules of yo_ur_ people and subiect_es_ whiche shulde be taught in the paroches yoven as aforsaid for lak of good curates do perisshe w_i_t_h_oute doctrine or any good teaching.

And also where a grete nombre of holy daies whiche nowe at this p_re_sent tyme w_i_t_h_ veray smalle Devocion be solempnised and kept thorough oute this yo_ur_ Realme vppon the whiche many grete abhomynable and execrable vices idle and wanton sportes ben vsed and ex_er_cised whiche holy daies if it may stond w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ gracious pleasure _and specyall suche as Fall in the heruest_ myght by yo_ur_ maiestie by thadvice of yo_ur_ most honourable counseill prelates and ordinaries be made fewer in nombre and those that shall herafter be ordeyned to stond & contynue myght and may be the more Devoutely religiously & reu_er_ently obs_er_ued to the Laude of almyghty god and to thencrease of your high hono_ur_ & fame.’

_Endd._ ‘A boke ayenst the clergy for takyng excessyve Fees’



From the close of the year 1532 until his fall, the entire domestic administration of England was in Cromwell’s hands. From the moment that he entered the King’s service he had definitely committed himself to the policy which he was to follow till the end of his days. His own theories of internal government, the traditions of the Tudor monarchy, and the situation of the realm at the time of his accession to power, combined to convince him that the maintenance of an all-powerful kingship was indispensable to England’s safety; the nature of the proposal by which he first won Henry’s confidence was tantamount to an irrevocable declaration of that principle, and a promise that it should be the guiding thought of his entire administration. The revolt from Rome was an incident rather than an aim of his policy. He had suggested it at first as offering the only possible solution of the immediate difficulties of the Crown, and as affording golden opportunities for the increase of the power of the monarchy; but as soon as the decisive step had been taken, he saw that the security of his own position had become conditional upon the permanence of the new ecclesiastical system, which in turn could only be ensured if the King, for whose sake it had been created, was rendered supreme in Church and State. Cromwell’s very existence had thus become dependent on the success of his endeavours to maintain and carry further the policy initiated by Henry VII., and to elevate the Crown to sovereign power above every other institution in the realm. Perhaps no minister has ever had more varied problems to confront him, than those which Cromwell had to deal with during these eight years; and yet his action in every case is a logical, intelligent application of the theory of internal government, which he believed was the only sure road to national greatness. With this great principle firmly borne in mind, the history of Cromwell’s domestic administration becomes comparatively simple.

A further assertion of the Supremacy of the Crown in ecclesiastical affairs was necessary, before Cromwell could attempt to strengthen its already predominant position in the State. The chief object of the more important measures of the years 1533 and 1534 was to utilize the consequences of the breach with Rome for the benefit of the monarchy, and to provide that none of the power of which the Pope had been deprived should be permitted to escape the King. During the year 1532 Henry had deluded himself with hopes that his first attack on the liberties of the English clergy might frighten Clement into acquiescence in the divorce, but at last his patience came to an end, and he surrendered himself entirely to the guidance of Cromwell, who had been persuaded from the first that nothing further was to be obtained from the Pope. In January, 1533, the King was secretly married to Anne Boleyn; on the 10th of May Cranmer, who had lately been raised to the see of Canterbury, opened his archiepiscopal court at Dunstable[222]. With a promptitude which must have been highly satisfactory to Henry after the delays of the previous proceedings at Rome, the sentence of divorce was pronounced. There can be little doubt that Cromwell gave efficient aid in hastening the verdict[223]; but what is far more important, he took effective measures, even before it was rendered, to prevent its revocation. Parliament had been in session during the three months previous to the assembling of the court at Dunstable: in anticipation of the coming sentence, it had been induced to pass an Act[224] to deprive Katherine of the only hope that remained to her by forbidding appeals to Rome, and by ordaining that the decision of an archiepiscopal court should be final, except in cases where the King was concerned, when appeal might be made to the Upper House of Convocation. A notable effort was made to conceal the obvious and immediate purpose of this statute under a shroud of pious and patriotic verbiage. The life of the Act, however, was but short. Though it had dealt the death blow to the jurisdiction of the Pope in England, it had not made adequate provision for the maintenance of the Supremacy of the Crown; so in 1534 the statute of the previous year was superseded by a new one[225], which enacted that an appeal might always be made from an archbishop’s court to the King’s Court of Chancery, the decision of which was to be final. The abolition of the Annates (which will be considered in another place) occurred at the same time. The effect of these two measures was to complete the work begun in 1530, and to sever the last links of the chain which bound the Church of England to Rome.

In the meantime the famous Act of Succession[226], bastardizing the Princess Mary and establishing the offspring of Anne Boleyn as lawful heirs to the throne of England, had also been passed in Parliament, and before the year had closed a new statute[227] had formally recognized the King’s ecclesiastical supremacy for the third time; for Henry was not satisfied with the acknowledgements he had wrung from the clergy in 1531 and 1532, nor with the express assertion that the King was on earth Supreme Head of the Church of England, contained in the oath to the new succession, which Cromwell’s commissioners began to administer throughout the realm in the summer of 1534. The last vestige of the independence of the English bishops was also removed in the course of this memorable year, by certain provisions of the final Act for the restraint of Annates[228]. It had not been necessary, however, to introduce any very radical innovation here. The bishops were already virtually in the King’s hands, for the elections by chapters had long been a mere farce, and the royal nominee had been almost invariably chosen. So the Act had aimed at a legalization of the _status quo_--merely adding a few new provisions to strengthen the King’s hold on the Church. All relations with the Pope were of course to cease; the bishops were to be consecrated by virtue of a royal commission; and if the chapter failed to elect within twelve days, the King was empowered to fill the vacancy by letters patent. But even this does not seem to have been enough to satisfy Cromwell. A letter of Chapuys in the early part of 1535 informs us that the King’s Secretary called some of the bishops before the Council to ask them if the King could not make and unmake them at pleasure: ‘they were obliged to say yes, else they should have been deprived of their dignities: as the said Cromwell told a person, who reported it to me, and said that the Council had been summoned only to entrap the bishops[229].’ Cromwell followed this up, later in the year, by causing a Prohibitory Letter to be sent out in the King’s name, forbidding the bishops to visit any monastery or to exercise any right of jurisdiction during the visitation of the religious houses then in progress[230]. It appears that even Cromwell, with all his audacity, was at a loss to devise a means to silence the objections which were raised against this high-handed measure. He was not ashamed to take a hint from the fertile brains of his two blood-hounds, Legh and Ap-Rice, who suggested an ingenious argument to crush all opposition, the gist of which is contained in the following quotation from a letter which they wrote to Cromwell, Sept. 24, 1535[231]:--

‘Yf they (the bishops) had any Jurisdiction, they muste ned_es_ haue receued ‹it› either by the lawe of god or by the busshop of Romes Authoritie or els by the King_es_ grace permission. Which is no sufficient discharge ageinst the statute.

‘Yf they saye by the Lawe of god, Lett theym bring foorth sc_ri_ptur but I thinke theym not so impudent as to saye so.

‘Yf they saye by the busshop of Romes Authoritie. Lett theym exercise it still, yf they thinke it mete.

‘Yf they saye by the Kinges permission why be they more discontent that the king shuld call agein nowe to his hand_es_ that which came from hym to theym, than they wolde haue ben_e_ yf he had never graunted it theym. And surely they are not able to iustifie thexercise of their iurisdiction hetherto.’ Fortified by such reasoning as this did the Royal Supremacy pass into effect.

Having thus obtained the complete submission of the greater lights of the Church, Cromwell consistently pursued his relentless policy with the humbler orders of friars and monks. His method of dealing with the latter did not differ materially from his policy with the former, except that it was perhaps more sanguinary. Priors Lawrence and Webster, two Carthusians who denied the validity of the King’s new title, were examined by Cromwell, and when they stubbornly refused to retract their assertions, they were promptly sentenced and executed[232]. Three others, Houghton, Hale, and Reynolds, suffered death a little later, and the latter dared to tell Cromwell that in spite of the terror he had caused by his late proceedings, all good men in the kingdom really held the same opinion, that the Headship of the Church was not the King’s[233]. But notwithstanding the wide popular dissatisfaction at the new measures, most malcontents, both lay and spiritual, kept their thoughts to themselves. Men were beginning to discover how dangerous it was to criticize the doings of the King and his minister. The elaborate system of espionage and the commissions to seek out and punish treason, which Cromwell had so laboriously established all over the country in 1532, had now begun to bear fruit. It was impossible to tell who the government spies were: impossible to know when or against whom the next accusation would be made. The words which men spoke in the bosom of their families or to their most intimate friends and neighbours were as likely to be laid to their charge as their utterances in public: harmless, obscure and ignorant country folk were brought before the magistrates as often as those of higher degree. Edmond Brocke, husbandman, eighty years of age, of Crowle in Worcestershire, was walking home in the rain from Worcester market on the Saturday before St. Thomas’ Day, in company with Margaret Higons. ‘Yt ys long of the Kyng that this wedre is so troblous or vnstable,’ he said, ‘and I wene we shall nevir haue bett_er_ wedre whillis the Kinge Reigneth, and therefore it makith no matt_er_ if he were knocked or patted on the heed[234].’ These facts were declared on August 12, 1535, before John Russell Esq., Justice of the Peace, by Richard Fulke, husbandman, and Joan Danyell of Crowle. Brocke confessed that he had said ‘that it was a hevy and grevous wether and that there was neuyr good wedring_es_ sithins the King began this busines,’ but what he meant by ‘busines’ he could not tell: as to the rest of his words, he said, he was mad or drunk if he spoke them--more than this he would not answer. William Ferrall, of Eastbourne in Sussex, deposed before Sir John Gage on August 14, 1536, that Sir William Hoo, vicar of Eastbourne, and suffragan of the diocese of Chichester, walking with him in the churchyard, said that ‘they that rule about the King make him great bankett_es_ and geve him swete wynes and make him dronke,’ and that then ‘they bring him byllis and he puttyth his sign to them whereby they doo what they will and no man may Correcte them[235].’ Margaret Chanseler, of Senklers Bradfeld in Suffolk, spinster, was forced to confess before Sir Robert Drury in February, 1535, that, when drunk and under the influence of an evil spirit, she had said, in presence of Edmond Tyllet and Anthony Harward, ‘that the quenes g_ra_ce had on_e_ child by our sou_er_eigne lorde the Kynge, which the seid ‹child› was ded borne, & she p_ra_yed god that she myght neuer haue other; also that the quen_e_s g_ra_ce was a noughtty hoore & that the Kyng_es_ grace ought not to mary within his realme.’ Tyllet and Harward, when summoned, made the matter somewhat worse. They declared that the spinster had called the Queen ‘a goggyll yed hoore,’ and that she had added ‘God save queen Katteryn for she was ryghtuous queen, & that she trusted to see her queen Ageyn & that she should warrant the same[236].’ All the magistrates before whom these depositions were laid, received ample instructions from Cromwell how to deal with every case; if the accusation was very heavy, the offender was usually sent up to the minister himself, to answer for his misdeeds at head quarters. The punishments in these cases were very severe: there are almost no records of the penalties inflicted on those against whom the depositions were brought, but there is reason to believe that comparatively slight misdemeanours were not seldom rewarded with death.

But of all the devices ‘For the putting the Kyng_es_ subiect_es_ and other in more terroure,’ as Cromwell once expressed it[237], the most ruthless remains to be mentioned. The execution of the Carthusians had had its effect, but Cromwell was persuaded that more blood would have to be spilled before his victory could be considered complete. As was usual with him, he laid the axe at the root of the tree, and chose as his victims the noblest and foremost in the land. The opinions of Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More were well known to be opposed to the Royal Supremacy, and as such they carried enormous weight. Cromwell must have seen that it would be impossible to establish the King in his new position with any security, until these two men were either converted or destroyed. So, never once swerving from his purpose, nor letting the rank and position of these distinguished men change or deter him, he set about the business of ‘making or marring,’ with his usual directness and method. If he knew More and Fisher at all well, he must have been reasonably certain that he could never alter their convictions, so it became necessary for him to look for some adequate pretext for getting rid of them. Such a pretext soon presented itself.

In July, 1533, occurs the first mention of serious disturbance due to the visions and prophecies of Elizabeth Barton, better known as the Nun of Kent[238]. Her reputation for holiness and for divine inspiration was so high throughout the land, that her mad follies were everywhere regarded with almost superstitious reverence. Cromwell, at the King’s command, caused her to be examined by Cranmer, but apparently did not succeed in eliciting the information he desired, for the investigation was continued by other interrogators who were less leniently disposed than the Archbishop[239]. The Nun was finally obliged to confess that ‘she nev_er_ Hadd Vision in all her Lyff, but all that ever she said was fayned of her owne ymagynac_i_on, only to satisfie the Myndeis of theym Whiche Resorted vnto her, and to obtayn worldly prayse[240].’ She and her accomplices were forced to read their public confessions on a scaffold erected at Paul’s Cross, while a sermon was preached in denunciation of the fraud. In the following spring she was condemned to death in Parliament, and in April she was executed with some of her accomplices at Tyburn[241].

But the destruction of the Nun was only of secondary importance for Cromwell’s plans; he was mainly looking for some mesh in which he could entrap others of whom he was in much more fear than Elizabeth Barton. Every effort appears to have been made to elicit from her a confession of communication with the divorced Queen, but without success. More and Fisher, however, were not destined to escape so easily. Because the Bishop of Rochester, after several interviews with the unhappy woman, had not reported to Henry her disloyal prophecies (which the Nun had already made in presence of the King himself), it was taken as a sign of treason and neglect of duty to the sovereign. The long letter which Cromwell wrote to Fisher in February, 1534, gives a detailed account of the numerous and unfounded charges against him[242]. This letter impresses the reader as having been written _pro forma_ only. Cromwell must have realized that he could never hope to overcome two men who were so much his intellectual superiors as More and Fisher, in an argument. He therefore carefully avoided having any conversation with them, and wrote to them only in order to have some slight outward justification for his arbitrary action. Fisher sent pathetic letters to the King and the Lords, when Cromwell refused to accept his excuses or listen to his arguments, but in vain. His name was included in the Act of attainder of Elizabeth Barton and her accomplices which was passed in March, 1534, but his life was spared until the King could find a more valid pretext for actually destroying him[243].

The accusations in the case of Sir Thomas More were even more groundless than in Fisher’s. The only charges that could be proved against him were an unimportant interview with the Nun herself, a letter which he confessed to have written to her, warning her to leave political subjects entirely alone, and an insignificant conversation about her with a certain father Resbye, Friar Observant of Canterbury[244]. So much was made of these slight accusations, however, that More was forced to write a long letter of excuse to Cromwell. His explanations about the Nun and about his attitude on the Papal Supremacy appear to have been satisfactory; when he was examined by Cromwell and Audeley, all the inventiveness of his accusers seemed to be used to no purpose. ‘As the King did not find,’ says Chapuys, ‘as it seems he hoped, an occasion for doing him more harm, he has taken away his salary[245].’ But this unfortunately was not destined to be the end of the affair; if the King was not determined on the ex-Chancellor’s destruction, his Privy Councillor was; but Cromwell was forced to bide his time and wait for a better opportunity, so that further proceedings were stayed until the following April.

In the meantime the new Act of Succession had been passed in Parliament, and the oath of allegiance which it required was promptly tendered to More and Fisher, who finally consented to swear to the statute itself but not the preamble[246]. They were unwilling to give their reasons for rejecting the latter, but Cranmer cannot have been far wrong when he wrote to Cromwell that the cause of their refusal to accept it lay in its attacks on the authority of the Pope and the validity of the King’s first marriage[247]. The Archbishop, ever on the side of humanity, urged the King’s minister to accept the compromise which More and Fisher offered, but in vain. The ex-Chancellor and the aged bishop were committed to the Tower, which they never quitted again. For more than a year they remained there subjected to every sort of indignity, until on May 5, 1535, they were summoned by the King, and told that unless they swore to the Act of Succession and the Royal Supremacy, they would be treated no better than the Carthusian monks who had lately been executed[248]. They were allowed six weeks for reflection, but they replied that they would not change their opinion in six hundred years, if they lived so long. So strong was the popular feeling however, that it is doubtful if Henry would have dared to execute Fisher, simply because he said that ‘the King, our sovereign Lord, is not Supreme Head of the Church of England’; but when it was announced that the Pope, at a consistory held May 20, had created him a Cardinal, the King was so enraged that he threw all caution to the winds. He declared in his fury that ‘he would give Fisher another hat, and send his head to Rome for the Cardinal’s hat afterwards,’ and ordered both his prisoners to swear to his ecclesiastical headship before St. John’s Day, or suffer punishment as traitors[249]. Cromwell had endeavoured from the beginning to keep up the appearance of being reluctant to punish the aged bishop and his noble companion, and there is record that when he heard of the latter’s first refusal to abandon his beliefs, ‘he sware a great oath[250].’ But in spite of this there is every reason to think that he was the true cause of the ex-Chancellor’s death. It is not likely that Henry would have consented to the execution of a man whom he had formerly loved and respected as much as More, unless his counsellor had poisoned his heart against him. Moreover, the mentions of More and Fisher in Cromwell’s ‘remembrances’ are so frequent and of such a character, as to leave little doubt that he had determined to ruin them from the first. They both suffered death by beheading in the summer of 1535[251]. It was a terrible evidence of the ruthlessness of the forward policy to which Henry had now committed himself by the advice of his new minister. The most brilliant and cultivated Englishman of the time had been brought to the block to bear testimony to the King’s relentless anger; the gentleness and humility of the oldest prelate in the realm had not shielded him from Henry’s wrath and the swift, passionless blow of his all-powerful agent. Terror had mastered the country, and men wondered what the end would be[252].

But though Cromwell’s truculent measures had gained the day in England, they excited the anger and horror of continental Europe. Sentence of excommunication had been passed on Henry in the summer of 1534; public opinion would not have permitted the Pope longer to postpone the final blow, even if he had wished to do so. It now became more than ever necessary to defend the position of the King, and Cromwell was busily occupied in filling the pulpit at Paul’s Cross with preachers who were willing and able to expound the word of God to Henry’s profit and advantage[253]. In this he was greatly helped by Bishop Rowland Lee of Coventry and Lichfield, who later played such an important part in connexion with the subjugation of Wales. In seeking means to defend the Royal Supremacy Cromwell’s knowledge of the law stood him in good stead. In a letter written in the year 1538, Sir Thomas Denys tells how Cromwell three years earlier had advised him to ‘rede in a boke called Bratton[254] nott vnwrittyn this cccc yer_es_ where he doth call the King_es_ Grace _Vicarius Christi_, ... wherfor,’ he continues, ‘I do rekyn a papiste and a traito_ur_ to be one thing[255].’ But the most drastic of the measures which Cromwell adopted to strengthen the power of the Crown was the famous Act about Proclamations, which he was able to force the Lords and Commons to pass in 1539. By this statute, all Proclamations made by the King and Council were given the force of Acts passed in Parliament, save when they touched the subject’s lives, lands, goods, or liberties, or infringed the established laws; and these exceptions were expressly declared inapplicable to those who should disobey proclamations concerning heresy. Cromwell had planned for the passage of this statute from a period at least as early as 1535. A letter[256] which he wrote to Norfolk in July of that year affords us interesting information concerning the origin of the measure. In a controversy about the best means of preventing the export of coin from the realm, the Chief Justice had delivered the opinion that ‘For the avoyding of any suche daungers ... proclamacyons and polyces so deuysyd by the King & his cownsayll for any such purpose sholde be of as good effect as Any law made by parlyament or otherwyse[257].’ The Chief Justice probably came to this decision at a hint from Cromwell; in any case the latter saw that the good work which had been already begun could not be considered complete until the opinion expressed had been given legal form. From this time onward there occur in his ‘remembrances’ frequent mentions of an Act to be passed in Parliament to this effect, but the measure proposed was so radical, that with all his energy and unscrupulousness, it was four years before he was able to carry it through[258].

It is scarcely necessary to state that a legislative body which could be forced to consent to such a statute as this retained in practice but few traces of that independence of the Crown which it theoretically possessed. The passage of the Act about Proclamations marks the culmination of a process begun long before Cromwell came into power, but only perfected at the close of his ministry, by which the subserviency of Parliament to the royal will was secured. But though the system did not reach its highest development until 1539, the earlier years of Cromwell’s administration show such an advance over that of his predecessor in this particular, that we are justified in regarding the entire period of his ministry as the golden age of Tudor despotism. From the time that the Commons permitted the King and his counsellor to force on them the petition against the clergy in 1532, it is scarcely too much to say that the sole function of Parliament was to register the decrees which emanated from the royal council chamber.

Of course in order to render Parliament as ‘tractable’ as it was, it became necessary for Cromwell to regulate the choice of members for the King’s profit, and the success of his endeavours in this direction is little short of marvellous. Royal interference in elections was certainly not unknown before his time, but it had not attained the proportions which it was destined to assume under Cromwell, and it was often strongly resented by the people. It was only with ‘much difficulty,’ that Henry VII., in the year 1506, succeeded in forcing the citizens of London to abandon the right to elect their own sheriff, which had been granted them by the charter of Henry I.[259], and to accept the royal nominee to that office[260]. But thirty years later, the Crown had carried its encroachment on the popular liberties so far that it seemed to be usually regarded as a matter of course that a royal nomination should take the place of a fair election. If any protest was raised against Henry’s palpable infringement of ancient rights--and this was very rarely the case--the King and his minister affected to regard the complaint with a sort of indignant amazement. Let us examine the details of an election in Canterbury, which took place when Cromwell was at the height of his power. Writs had been issued for the choice of two members to Parliament from that city in early May, 1536. Between eight and nine in the morning of the eleventh of that month, the sheriff, John Hobbys, caused the commonalty of Canterbury to assemble in the accustomed place, where John Starky and Christopher Levyns were duly elected burgesses. After the voters had dispersed, about noon-time, John Alcok, the mayor of Canterbury, came to Sheriff Hobbys in great perplexity, with a letter from Cromwell and Audeley, which desired, on the King’s behalf, that Robert Derknall and John Bryges ‘shulde fulfill the seid rom_es_.’ On the following morning the sheriff directed a humble letter to Cromwell[261], stating the facts, and begging that the election of Starky and Levyns might be allowed to stand, as the King’s wishes were not known until too late; ‘if your seid l_ette_re had come to me byfore the seid eleccion,’ he pleaded, ‘I wolde haue done the best that had been in my powr to ‹have› Accomplished our Souereigne lord the King_es_ pleasure and yo_ur_s in the p_re_mysses.’ But the King’s minister gave no heed to the representations of John Hobbys: the fact that an election had already been held did not trouble him in the least: the King’s will was to be accomplished at all costs. On May 18 he addressed a significant letter to the Mayor and Burgesses of Canterbury, which was quite sufficient to induce the recipients to nullify their former proceedings. The phraseology of the letter is noteworthy: the King’s minister did not discuss the fact that his first message had arrived too late. He simply reminded the burgesses that the King’s pleasure had been signified to them, and that they ‘the same litle or nothynge regardynge but rather co_n_temny_n_g’ had elected their own candidates, according to their ‘owne wylles and myndes co_n_trarie to the king_es_ plesure and comandeme_n_t in that behalfe.’ This of course was a thing whereat the King did ‘not a lytell marvell,’ and the burgesses were admonished ‘notwythstondynge the seyd elecc_i_on’ to ‘p_ro_cede to a new and electe thosse other, accordyng to the tenure of the former l_ette_res’: they were also desired to notify Cromwell at once ‘if any p_er_sone wyll obstynatly gaynsay the same,’ so that the King’s minister might deal with the refractory burgess according to his master’s pleasure. Two days later Mayor Alcok replied with the following dutiful letter. ‘In humble Wise certefie you that the xx^{th} Day of this p_re_sent monyth of Maye at vi of the Clok in the mornyng I John Alcok mayre of Cauntebury receyved your lette_re_ Dyrected to me the seid mayre Sheryf and Comynaltie of the seid Citie sygnyfying to vs therby the kyng_es_ plesure and co_m_maundement is that Robert Darknall and John Bryges shoulde be burgesses of the P_ar_lyament for thesame Citie of Cauntebury by Vertue wherof accordyng to our bounde Dutye immedyatly vppon the syght of your seid l_ette_re and conten_tes_ thereof p_er_ceyved caused the Comynaltye of the seid Citie to Assemble in the Court Hall ther wher appered the nombre of Fower score and xvii p_er_sones Citizens and Inhabit_au_nt_es_ of theseid Citie And accordyng to the Kyng_es_ plesure and Co_m_maundement frely with one voyce and w_i_t_h_out any contradiccon haue elected and chosen the fore-seid Robert Darkenall and John Bryges to be burgesses of the p_ar_lyament for thesame Citie which shalbe duly certefied by Indenture vnder the seales of the seid Citizens and Inhabytaunt_es_ by the grace of the blyssyd Trynyte Who p_re_s_er_ue you...[262].’ Such was the calm way in which parliamentary suffrage rights were made of no effect and the King’s pleasure enforced. It is important to notice in this connexion how careful Henry and Cromwell were to cloak their most unwarrantable proceedings by the preservation of ostensible constitutionalism. Never was the now farcical form of a fair election abandoned; never did the King fail outwardly to observe those legal restrictions by which the Crown was supposedly fettered, and the liberties of the nation theoretically preserved. The autocracy which Cromwell had done so much to establish was carried on ‘within and upon the already existing constitution,’ and the public protest was thus in great measure disarmed.

It is no wonder that the invaluable services which Cromwell rendered to the Crown were rewarded by an almost exclusive enjoyment of the royal confidence, which enabled him soon to do almost what he pleased with his two great rivals, Norfolk and Gardiner. At first he had cautiously held himself aloof from these men, but now that he had outstripped them in the King’s favour, his bearing towards them altered accordingly. It is a very significant fact that in his ten years of service, he never left the King for any considerable length of time, but often contrived to get Norfolk and Gardiner sent away--the one to cope with internal troubles, the other to act as ambassador to France. Cromwell succeeded in harassing them both while they were at Court, and in making them abandon every pretence to consistency. Chapuys, in a letter of December 9, 1533, tells us that Norfolk, hitherto the most pronounced of Catholics, uttered ‘a thousand blasphemies’ against the Pope, even more shocking than those of the King, calling him ‘an unhappy whoreson, a liar, and a wicked man; and that it should cost him (Norfolk) wife and children ... and all that he possessed, or that he would be revenged on him. He has a good deal changed his tune, for it was he ... who favoured most the authority of the Pope; but he must act in this way not to lose his remaining influence, which apparently does not extend much further than Cromwell wishes; for which reason, I understand, he is wonderfully sick of the Court[263].’ In the spring of 1535 the Duke was forced to surrender entirely, and retire to his estate at Kenninghall. Gardiner had to abandon the Secretaryship in 1534 in Cromwell’s favour. The new minister tantalized him in much the same way as he did Norfolk, and doubtless increased the enmity of the Bishop of Winchester, which he had first incurred at the time of Wolsey’s fall, and which five years later was to be such an important factor in effecting his own destruction.

Cromwell was perhaps the only man at the Court who, in the early days of his ministry, had the least suspicion that Anne Boleyn might sometime lose the royal favour. He was able to comprehend the King’s love for her better than anyone else, and to discern that when the royal passion had been satisfied, Henry’s affection for his second wife would be a thing of the past. The King’s chagrin that Anne had not brought him a male child, and the rage awakened by her subsequent miscarriage could not have escaped him. From thenceforth he must have become convinced that her ruin was ultimately certain, and he began to throw out hints that he no longer wished to be reckoned among her adherents. In April, 1536, it was notorious that there was a marked coolness between them, and a month later a very unexpected turn in foreign affairs brought matters to a head and forced him to take active measures against her, in order to save his own reputation with the King[264]. There is reason to think that he was the prime mover in the plot which led to her arrest. He certainly worked against her at her trial, and was present at her execution; in fact he took every possible step to forestall all chances of being included in her fall. His sudden abandonment of one whom a few years before he had done so much to support, should be enough to confute those who have seen in his previous devotion to the cause of Anne Boleyn an evidence that he favoured the Reformed faith. Anne was certainly a professed Protestant; she possessed the English Bible and read it; but it was only because her Protestantism was temporarily useful to Cromwell’s designs, which were to obtain for his master a divorce from Katherine, that he identified himself with her party during the first years of his ministry. When the divorce had been secured, and Henry had been declared Supreme Head of the Church of England; when the love which Anne had once enjoyed had been transferred to Jane Seymour, and Cromwell saw that to favour the cause of the unhappy Queen in opposition to the King might mean ruin and disgrace, he deserted her at once.

Nor can the fact that Cromwell’s name figures prominently in connexion with the publication of the Ten Articles of 1536 be justly urged as a reason for ascribing to him any real devotion to the cause of Protestantism. Now that the severance from Rome was complete, the King and his minister saw that a definition of the faith of the Church of England had become necessary, in order that the unity of the new ecclesiastical system might be preserved. The Ten Articles of 1536 were adopted to make good this deficiency. Circumstances had rendered them inevitable, and the fact that Cromwell presented them to Convocation, and signed them first of all the members proves nothing, except perhaps the importance of his ecclesiastical office. The Ten Articles declared the Bible and the three Creeds to be the only Rule of Faith: Penance, Baptism, and the Eucharist were kept as sacraments: the veneration of saints, soliciting of their intercession, use of images, and the usual ceremonies in the service, though still held to be highly profitable, and as such worthy to be retained, were pronounced in themselves powerless to justify the soul[265]. But though the main aim of these Articles was doubtless to preserve the integrity of the Church of England at home, the time and circumstances under which they were published seem to indicate that they were also intended to serve a purpose abroad. We shall hear of them in this connexion in another chapter.

Cromwell’s zeal for the publication of the Bible in English, and also his injunctions to the clergy[266], must in the same way be attributed to political rather than to religious motives. He saw what a powerful weapon the Bible had become in the hands of the German Reformers, and soon succeeded in forcing Convocation, on December 19, 1534, to present a petition to the King for the suppression of treasonable books in the vulgar tongue, and for a translation of the Scriptures into English[267]. Less than two years later Cromwell’s efforts were rewarded by the appearance of an edition of the Scriptures patched together ‘out of Douche[268] and Latyn’ by his friend Miles Coverdale. There seems to have been a very general impression current that all passages which might have been interpreted in favour of Katherine, had purposely been rendered in the opposite sense[269]. But this version was soon destined to be superseded. The following year witnessed the appearance of the edition which is usually known as Matthew’s Bible, and which consisted of a combination of the translations of Tyndale and Coverdale. It received the official sanction of Cromwell and Cranmer, but its life was almost as short as that of its predecessor. In the autumn of 1537 Grafton and Whitchurch, two London printers whose names had been connected with the previous editions, received a licence from the King to publish a new version of the Bible at Paris, where the facilities for carrying on their trade were better than in England[270]. At first the work seems to have progressed with great success, and in September, 1538, the King’s minister, in anticipation of its speedy completion, issued injunctions that a copy of it should be placed in every church at the cost of the parson and the parishioners, and that no one was to be discouraged from reading it: he advised, however, that ‘the explication of obscure plac_es_’ be referred ‘to men of higher iugement in scripture[271].’ But Cromwell was a little premature with his injunctions. An unforeseen event occurred, which made the immediate publication of the new edition impossible. The Royal Inquisition had apparently got wind of the doings of Grafton and Whitchurch at Paris, and just as the task was approaching completion, they and all their subordinates, and the French printer at whose house the work was being carried on, were suddenly cited to appear before the Inquisitor-General for the realm of France[272]. The Englishmen made haste to escape, without even waiting to collect the implements of their trade or the Bibles that had already been printed. Cromwell, on hearing of the disaster, went with a piteous tale to the French ambassador, telling him that he himself had contributed 600 marks towards the publication of the Bible in Paris, and begging him to ask his master to permit the work to be continued there, or at least to allow the copies already finished to be sent to England safely, and not to suffer the Inquisition to confiscate them. But Francis replied that good things might be printed in England as well as in France, but that bad things should never be permitted to be printed in Paris, and he further refused to deliver up the copies already completed. He was unable, however, to prevent the final accomplishment of the work in London in 1539[273]. The new version, commonly known as the Great Bible, was the last authorized translation completed in the reign of Henry VIII., but apparently great efforts had to be made to prevent the publication of unlicensed editions. It was not long before a royal commission was issued to Cromwell, commanding him, in order to avoid diversity of translations, to see that no man printed any English Bible during the next five years except persons deputed by himself[274].

Perhaps the strongest point of Cromwell’s domestic administration was his financial policy. He never forgot the promise he had made on entering the King’s service to make Henry ‘the richest king that ever was in England,’ for he was shrewd enough to see that a full treasury was the first essential to the attainment of the larger aim of his policy, the establishment of a royal despotism. He skilfully contrived that many of the measures of the earlier years of his ministry, primarily intended to cut the bonds which held England to Rome, should also serve to increase the wealth of the Crown. The most noteworthy and successful of these measures was the abolition of the Annates. There can be little doubt that it was through Cromwell’s agency that a supplication was addressed to the King early in the year 1532[275] urging him to arrest the payment of First Fruits to the Papacy: ‘bokes of annates’ and remembrances concerning them are to be found in large numbers among the minister’s letters and papers[276], and the petition by which the measure to abolish the First Fruits was initiated was a method especially characteristic of him, reminding us in many respects of the way in which the independence of the clergy had been attacked but a short time before. But the King was very cautious in granting the request, which had thus been laid before him. He had not yet given up all hope of a peaceful solution of his difficulty with the Pope, and was not yet prepared, as Cromwell was, openly to defy the Holy See. So at first he determined to try the effect of a threat. The immediate result of Cromwell’s efforts was the passage in Parliament of an Act[277] which abolished Annates, but preserved to the Holy See certain payments on bulls obtained for the election of bishops: the ratification of this statute by the Crown, however, was expressly withheld, and the Act consequently remained inoperative, while a post was sent to Rome ‘to frighten the Pope about the Annates[278].’ But this plan failed: Clement refused to be terrorized into submission; the King became convinced that a complete break was inevitable, and, in July, 1533, the Act was ratified and declared in force by letters patent[279]. The following year saw the passage of another statute, which abolished all the payments preserved by the exceptions to the Act of 1532[280], and a little later Parliament completed the work which Cromwell had forced it to undertake by annexing the Annates to the Crown[281]. Supplementary to these statutes was the Act concerning Peter’s Pence and Dispensations[282], by which the Pope was deprived of all contributions that had not already been arrested by the Acts about Annates. The use to which the rescued funds were put is aptly described by a significant ‘remembrance’ of Cromwell’s to the effect that ‘thenhabitaunt_es_ and peple of this realme shall pay yerely vnto the kyng for ever, in lieu or stede of smoke pence, whiche they were wont to pay to the busshop of rome, for eu_er_y hed or house a certayne small thyng for and toward_es_ the defense of thys Realme, whiche may be ymployed in makyng of forteresses throughout the Realme[283].’ Another significant paragraph, from a letter of Chapuys to Charles V., of Dec. 19, 1534, reads as follows: ‘The King, besides the 30,000 pounds which he newly obtained from the clergy, and an ordinary fifteenth from the laity, which was granted him last year, and which may amount to 28,000 pounds, has just imposed a tax by authority of Parliament, of the twentieth penny of all the goods of his subjects, and that foreigners shall pay double, which will amount to a great sum. These are devices of Cromwell, who boasts that he will make his master more wealthy than all the other princes of Christendom: and he does not consider that by this means he alienates the hearts of the subjects, who are enraged and in despair, but they are so oppressed and cast down, that without foreign assistance it is no use their complaining, and it will not be Cromwell’s fault, if they are not oppressed further[284].’

The King’s minister also appears to have been much occupied with the coinage. He was constantly present at ‘assayes’ of gold and silver, and further took active steps to stamp out the counterfeiters, of whom there appear to have been a great number[285]. He caused a proclamation to be issued ‘for the false and clipped Coyne going in this Realme with a greate punyshment to euery person that is founde with any false or counterfeit moneye.’ The systematic debasement of the currency that disgraced the reign of Henry VIII. had begun under Wolsey, but appears to have ceased entirely during Cromwell’s ministry: it began again after Cromwell’s death, assuming far greater proportions than before, and continued till the end[286]. That the King did not need to resort to such costly methods of replenishing his treasury while Cromwell was in power, bears eloquent testimony to the wisdom and success of his minister’s finance. The latter’s efforts to prevent the ‘conveying of coyne out of the realme’ shows that he saw the importance of securing plenty of good coin for English trade, and that he did not want to create an artificial cheapness. The statutes of Henry VII. forbidding the export of precious metals had been renewed by his son in an Act passed in 1511, but this law had run out in 1523, and from that time onward there was no legal hindrance to the practice, though the statutes enacted previous to Tudor times were still considered in force[287]. The result was that the earlier laws began to be transgressed, and Cromwell, in devising methods to prevent further infringements of them, hit upon the expedient of a royal proclamation, as we have already had occasion to notice.

Another most important measure passed during Cromwell’s ministry, was the so-called Statute of Uses[288]. It was at the same time a legal and a financial reform. In order to evade the common law, which prohibited testamentary disposition of landed property and rendered it strictly subject to primogeniture, the custom had long been prevalent that the owner should name before or at his death certain persons to whose ‘use’ his lands should be held. These persons became to all intents and purposes the true devisees; for though the trustee, or ‘feoffee to uses,’ alone was recognized by the common law, the beneficiary or ‘cestui que use’ soon began to receive strong support through the equitable jurisdiction of the Chancellor, and so was often able actually to enforce claims which originally had rested merely on moral obligation. This was the usual method of circumventing the laws of the realm, in order to make provision by will for younger children. In this particular it was perhaps legitimate, but at the same time it opened the way to a great number of abuses, which are stated at length in the preamble to the statute just mentioned. The chief of these were the extraordinary complication of titles to land, which resulted from the secret methods of devising it, and the loss to the King and the great lords of the feudal dues on successions, wardships, and marriages. Two ineffectual attempts had been made to remedy these evils in the reigns of Richard III. and Henry VII.[289], and at Cromwell’s accession to power the subject was brought up again. There is reason to think that the Statute of Uses was under consideration as early as 1531, and the main principle of it bears a close resemblance to the measure devised in the reign of Richard III. A mention of it occurs in Cromwell’s ‘remembrances’ of the year 1535[290], but it was not finally passed until 1536, probably on account of the popular opposition, which, according to Chapuys, was very pronounced. The upshot of the statute was, that all right to the estate was taken from the grantee to uses and vested in the beneficiary, and the distinction between legal and beneficial ownership was thus entirely destroyed. The ostensible tenant was made in every case the legal tenant; those entitled to the use of land became the actual holders of it. The Act further was intended to abolish the right to create further uses in the future: the power of disposing of interests in land by will was thus removed, and the King was restored to the enjoyment of his ancient feudal dues.

Beyond the casual mention in his ‘remembrances[291]’ there is no precise record of Cromwell’s connexion with this important measure. It is worthy of note, however, that the attainments needed to plan and draft such a statute were precisely those which Cromwell possessed in the very highest degree--intimate knowledge of the law, and great shrewdness in finance. The bold and effective way in which the measure struck at the root of the evil, and caused the extra-legal practice which had grown up to become its own ruin, is very characteristic of him. Furthermore, Cromwell was certainly believed to be the originator of the measure by the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace, which was partially caused by it, and as such his death was demanded. It therefore seems highly probable that it was he who devised this scheme in order to deal the death blow to a very annoying practice of evading the law, and to enrich the royal treasury. The statute, however, was not entirely successful in attaining the ends at which it aimed, for by a strained interpretation of the letter of the Act, the courts managed to evade the spirit of it, so that it failed to do away with the old distinction between beneficial and legal ownership, which it had been intended to destroy. In addition to this, the popular outburst of indignation aroused by the Statute of Uses was so strong that a few months before Cromwell’s death he saw the actual right of at least partial testamentary disposition of landed property obtained by the people. The Act concerning the willing of land by testament[292], passed in the spring of 1540, gave to every tenant in fee simple the right to bequeath at his pleasure all lands which he held by socage tenure, and two-thirds of the lands which he held by knight-service. The force of usage was such that when the King and Cromwell attempted to abolish a practice, which had rendered the willing of land possible under another name, the actual right to bequeath landed property without circumventing the law was wrested from them.

The King was glad to entrust his capable adviser with the preservation of that advantageous commercial position which had been won for England through the masterful policy of Henry VII. Cromwell’s varied experience in foreign markets and his intimate knowledge of all the details of the wool-trade, which was by far the most important element of English commerce, had taught him in his earlier years many lessons of which the whole nation was to reap the benefit. In general his administration witnessed but few departures from the highly successful commercial policy inaugurated by the first Tudor. His aim was rather to strengthen the advantages already gained, and to increase the security of English commerce and industry against the competition of continental rivals, than to attempt any radical innovations. The monopoly of the trade in the Mediterranean which Venice had enjoyed in Lancastrian times, had been a serious menace to the interests of the English merchants; but the Italian wars had now almost totally deprived the Republic of that prominent political position which she had occupied at the beginning of the century, and with the loss of her national greatness her commercial supremacy fell. The ancient privileges which had been granted to Venetian merchants and galleys previous to Tudor times, had been exchanged for a set of stringent enactments, which dealt a heavy blow to her trade and shipping during the reign of Henry VII. Cromwell followed the same policy, and further seized the favourable opportunity afforded by Venice’s decline to foster the interests of English merchants in other parts of the Mediterranean[293]. With the towns of the Hanseatic League the case was slightly different. The extensive privileges the merchants of the North German cities had enjoyed in earlier times, had raised them to such a commanding position that the growth of English commerce in the north was rendered well-nigh impossible. Henry VII.’s aim had been to overthrow the supremacy of the Hanseatic League, by a gradual withdrawal of the concessions which it had wrung from his predecessors. The early part of his son’s reign had witnessed a continuation of this wise policy, but during Cromwell’s ministry an alliance which the threatening situation on the Continent had led England to conclude with Lübeck, necessitated a temporary cessation of the process of curtailing the privileges of the Hanse merchants[294]. But the loud outcries of the people against the destructive competition of the Germans were sufficient to prevent Cromwell from making any permanent stand in their favour. Political necessity alone had induced him to postpone the complete withdrawal of their privileges: he knew that the tendency of the times was irresistibly against the Hanseatic towns, and he was perhaps the more willing to grant them a few temporary concessions in that he realized that nothing could ever raise them again to the position of dangerous rivals to English trade. His foresight was justified by the event; the process which Henry VII. had begun was completed by the fall of the Steelyard in the reign of Elizabeth. A more difficult problem was presented by the Netherlands. England and the Low Countries were commercially indispensable to each other; the English wool-market in Flanders was the centre of the mercantile interests of both nations. The merchants of the Netherlands, however, had contrived to get the better of their English neighbours until the accession of the house of Tudor; but the concessions which resulted from the temporary removals of the English wool-mart from Antwerp to Calais by Henry VII., and the enormously advantageous commercial treaty which that King was able to wring from the Archduke Philip when fortune had thrown the latter into his hands in 1506, had completely altered the situation to England’s profit[295]. The efforts of Henry VIII. and Wolsey had been directed towards preserving the provisions of the agreement of 1506, the validity of which the Netherlanders were of course unwilling to acknowledge. Cromwell went further than this; his administration witnessed not only the maintenance and increase of all the advantages which his predecessor had secured, but also the discussion of a plan for attaining complete commercial independence of the Low Countries, by bringing home the English wool-mart to London[296]. This scheme was not carried through, owing to the unwillingness of the King to offend the Emperor; but the news of the proposals for it was soon known in the Netherlands, and was not without its effect there. The merchants of the Low Countries were greatly alarmed lest they should lose the English trade, and instead of opposing every move which their rivals made, now began to grant them all possible concessions. The Emperor’s dread of alienating Henry also contributed to force them to adopt a more conciliatory attitude than ever before, and it may be justly said that at the close of Cromwell’s administration the mercantile relations of England and the Netherlands were so regulated as to secure every advantage for the former. Cromwell’s whole commercial policy was strongly influenced by his desire to increase and improve English shipping, especially at the last, when an invasion was threatened from the Continent[297]. His ‘remembrances’ are filled with items for appropriations for building and rigging vessels of various kinds, and for making and improving harbours[298]. He did his utmost to clear the Channel of pirates, and was diligent in writing letters to demand restitution of goods taken from English merchants at sea[299]. In 1540 he caused an Act to be passed for the ‘maintenance of the navy[300]’: one of its provisions restricted the privileges conferred on all foreign merchants by a proclamation in the previous year[301] to those who transported their wares in English ships.

Throughout Cromwell’s ‘remembrances’ occur countless minor items dealing with miscellaneous questions of internal reform. Memoranda for the building and improvement of roads and highways, for bettering the state of the coast defences, and for the regulation of the rates of wages, are especially numerous. In 1538 he aided Norfolk in suppressing a sort of strike among the Wisbech shoemakers, who had agreed to stop work unless their wages were raised from 15_d._ to 18_d._ per dozen boots sewed[302]. It is perhaps unnecessary to state that this strike was regarded as a revolt against authority, and that the masters gained an easy victory over the men. Among Cromwell’s injunctions to the clergy in 1538 is an order to keep parish registers of births, marriages, and deaths[303]. Apparently this measure was intensely unpopular, especially in the south-west of England, where people seem to have got the notion that ‘some charges more than hath been in time past shall grow to them by this occasion of registering of these things[304].’ Precisely what the immediate object of the injunction was it is difficult to say, though there is little reason to think that the fears it aroused among the people of Cornwall and Devonshire were realized. It has been grudgingly applauded by one writer, and characterized as ‘an inadequate attempt to supply the loss of the registers of various kinds which had been kept by the monks[305]’; but its inadequacy, however great, might well pass unmentioned, in the face of the many benefits which later resulted from it. However unpopular the measure may have been at the time, its author certainly deserves the thanks of posterity for preserving a vast amount of valuable information which would otherwise have been lost.

A few words remain to be added concerning Cromwell’s zeal for the advancement of learning. As his political schemes had caused him incidentally to take sides with the Reformation, his object was to strengthen those who favoured the new religion and opposed Rome. Education is necessary to reform; and Cromwell did not intend to leave to ignorant men the task of carrying on the work he had begun. He therefore took steps to see that the opportunities for learning were improved. Among the injunctions which he issued to the clergy in 1536[306], is a clause providing for an increased number of exhibitions at the schools and the Universities, ‘to thintent that lerned men maye hereafter spring the more.’ His dealings with Oxford and Cambridge do not seem to have been very important, although in June, 1535, he was appointed Chancellor of the latter in place of Fisher. He appears to have been much occupied in suppressing the various quarrels that constantly took place between the students and the townspeople, and the letters which he wrote to the Magistrates of Cambridge deal for the most part with this problem[307]. In October, 1535, the King appointed him Visitor to the University, and at the same time promulgated nine injunctions in which he directed the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of Cambridge to abandon the ‘frivolous questions and obscure glosses’ of the schoolmen, to read and teach the Scriptures, and to swear to the Royal Supremacy and the new Succession[308]. Henry’s minister, as usual, was the instrument employed to see that the injunctions were enforced. Of Cromwell’s relations to Oxford still less remains to be said. There are letters from him concerning the admission of a President of Magdalen in 1535[309], and the election of a Master of Balliol in 1539. The latter appears to have been a most disreputable character, and Cromwell’s assertion that he was chosen without ‘any parcyalyte or corruptyon’ was certainly false[310]. A very interesting but comparatively well-known report from the pen of Dr. Layton gives us a vivid picture of the state of the University in 1535, and tells of the foundation of several new lectures at the various colleges[311].

As a reward for his success in the management of domestic affairs, the King conferred on him the many dignities and titles which, in 1536, marked the height of his power. He had been raised to the offices of Privy Councillor, Master of the Jewels, Clerk of the Hanaper, and Master of the King’s Wards in 1531 and 1532. The Chancellorship of the Exchequer had followed in 1533. He became Principal Secretary to the King in 1534, Master of the Rolls in the same year, Vicar-general and Visitor-general of the Monasteries in January, 1535, Lord Privy Seal, Vicegerent of the King in Spirituals[312] in July, 1536. He was also created Baron Cromwell of Okeham in the same month, and Knight of the Garter in August, 1537. During the last seven years of his ministry he was granted no less than nineteen minor offices, through which his income must have been very greatly increased[313]. Just prior to the outbreak of the Pilgrimage of Grace, Cromwell’s position was almost that of a despot. He was supreme in Convocation, Privy Council, and Parliament; he enjoyed paramount authority in the direction of internal affairs, and next to the King was by far the most important man in the realm.

A letter of Chapuys in the summer of 1536[314], soon after Anne Boleyn’s execution, tells us that it was even rumoured that Cromwell might marry the Princess Mary, but the Imperial ambassador himself was too shrewd to be misled by such an improbable report[315]. Had Cromwell seriously entertained the idea of a union with the daughter of the divorced Queen, he would scarcely have permitted himself to be made use of by the King as an instrument for breaking down her resolution: he could scarcely have written her such a brutal letter as that of June 10, 1536[316]. But the inequality in rank is certainly in itself sufficient proof of the absurdity of the proposition. Cromwell was about the last man in the world to become reckless with success; he never for a moment forgot his low birth, and the imprisonment of the brother of his rival the Duke of Norfolk for presuming to wed the King’s niece was a warning of the danger of such a proceeding, which could not have been lost on him[317]. If such a proposition were put forward at all, and we cannot believe that it was, it could only have been as a pretext to prevent the Princess from leaving the realm and joining with her cousin the Emperor in an attempt to dethrone the King.

Cromwell was certainly shrewd enough to see that he could never hope to marry into a reigning house himself, but he was none the less anxious that his son Gregory should wed such a wife as would enable him to found a noble family. In April, 1533, Gregory had been taken from Cambridge, and sent to live with his father’s friend Dr. Rowland Lee, with whom he appears to have spent a summer in hunting[318]. In 1535 he came out into public life, and in 1539 he was summoned to Parliament as a peer of the realm. Two years earlier he had been able to contract an advantageous marriage with the widow of Sir Anthony Ughtred, sister of Jane Seymour[319]. This fortunate match must be attributed to his father’s influence, for Gregory seems to have been entirely without ambition, and such an idea would never have entered his mind; his father, on the contrary, was precisely the man to think of it. The number of grants either made jointly to Cromwell and his son, or providing for the succession of the latter at his father’s death[320], corroborates the theory that the King’s great minister wished Gregory to be the heir of all his possessions and emoluments as far as might be, and desired to raise his family to a permanent position among the English nobility.

Of course Cromwell was obliged in large measure to abandon his private business after he definitely entered the King’s service, but his new position brought him far greater riches than he could possibly have amassed in his old occupations. The various inventories of his goods indicate great wealth and prosperity. He gave costly New Year’s presents at the Court, and owned several houses, all of them magnificently furnished[321]. After October, 1534, when he was made Master of the Rolls, his correspondence shows him to have been constantly in residence at the Rolls House, where he held his Court. Writing in 1535, the Prioress of Little Marlowe complained that so great was the crowd of his visitors there, that it was impossible to gain access to him[322].



Though Cromwell was so busily occupied in England itself, he was far from neglecting the adjoining countries. The subjugation of Ireland, the pacification of Scotland, and the reform of Wales and Calais, played a very important part in his political programme. He plainly saw that the English King’s position could not be regarded as secure while these countries remained in the state in which they were at Wolsey’s fall, and he determined as soon as possible to deal with them in such a way that they should cease to be a menace to the English Crown in the future.

When he entered the King’s service he probably found little difficulty in persuading Henry that, in order firmly to establish his supremacy, he must take Ireland in hand as he had never done before. Throughout Wolsey’s administration the tranquillity of the country had been continually disturbed by the feuds of two rival Anglo-Norman families, the Fitzgeralds under the Earl of Kildare, and the Butlers under the Earl of Ormond. To repress these quarrels the Cardinal had taken the office of Lord Deputy from the young Earl of Kildare, and created the Earl of Surrey Lord Lieutenant. After a year’s hard service in Ireland, however, Surrey was recalled at his own request, and the Deputyship devolved on Sir Piers Butler. He in turn was forced to resign his office to his rival Kildare, who passed it on to Sir William Skeffington of Leicestershire, just at the time of Wolsey’s fall[323].

The affairs of Ireland had naturally been thrown into confusion by these numerous changes, and Cromwell became convinced that subjugation by the sword was absolutely essential, before any attempt could be made to govern the country, or to draw revenues from it. This policy brought him into collision with his rival Norfolk, but he seems to have succeeded in convincing the King of the superiority of his plan to that of the Duke, whose idea had been to conciliate the Irish chieftains, and to pacify rather than subjugate the country[324].

During his first two years in the King’s service, Cromwell was so busy in establishing the Royal Supremacy, that he could not pay much attention to Irish affairs. The three years of Skeffington’s administration, moreover, appear to have been fairly quiet. In 1532, however, a change came. The Earl of Kildare, by craftily misrepresenting Skeffington’s doings at the English Court, secured the latter’s recall, and obtained for himself the post of Lord Deputy for the third time[325]. On regaining the coveted office, however, he returned to Ireland, and instead of following out the King’s instructions, proceeded to stir up his adherents into open rebellion, and neglected the English at Dublin. Unmindful of his ‘hole duetie to the Kingis Highnes,’ he used the royal authority deputed to him, ‘as a cloke or habyte to cover his cruele persecutions, mynding utterly to extynguyshe the fame and honor of any other noble man within that lande[326].’ It is possible that he thus served Henry’s and Cromwell’s ultimate purpose of subjugation better than he knew, as he certainly weakened the power of many of the wildest clans, who hated the English rule as much as his. But his use to the Crown in this direction, if it amounted to anything, was only temporary, and things became ripe for his dismissal. Continual complaints of him reached the King and Cromwell. Dublin was almost the only place in the country, which remained perfectly loyal to England. The neighbouring tribes were so hostile, that the citizens were hard put to it for food, and its inhabitants almost perished from starvation. John Deythyke, a priest, wrote sarcastically to a friend in the autumn of 1533, that although it was the custom to refrain from meat on Wednesdays as well as Fridays, provisions were so scarce that people had become more devout still, and abstained also on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. ‘This is a very sore abstenaunce ... the country is so quiett that they dare nott ryde one myle owte of the towne, to by any maner of vytteyles; and they make there complaynt to the Deputie and the wynde hath blowen hym soo in the erys that he can nott here them. But yt is a comon sayinge “whoo is so defe as he that lyst not to here[327].”’ Things went on from bad to worse, and finally John Alen, Master of the Rolls in Ireland, was sent over by the Council there to report Kildare’s doings at the English Court, and further to submit to the King a set of articles for the reformation of the abuses which had become prevalent in the country[328]. Alen finally succeeded in procuring Kildare’s recall; and the Deputy arrived in London in April, 1534, having left his eldest son, Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, in his place. Efforts were made to induce the young man to come to England also; and when he persistently refused to put himself into the King’s hands, his father was arrested and sent to the Tower. These vigorous measures, according to Chapuys, were due to Cromwell; they were the beginnings of his policy of subjugation[329].

The arrest of Kildare, coupled with a premature report of his death, set half Ireland aflame, and his son, making up a slight quarrel he had had with his kinsmen the Desmonds threw off his allegiance. All the English were ordered out of the Geraldines’ land before a certain day. The Archbishop of Dublin attempted to flee the country, but encountering a storm, was driven back on the Irish coast, fell into young Thomas’ hands, and was murdered with most of his following[330]. A formidable revolt against the royal authority was evidently pending. Henry and Cromwell were seriously alarmed, and the extraordinary popularity of the rebellion among the people in England, who, as Chapuys said, thought it ‘a very good beginning to remedy matters at home,’ greatly increased their fears[331]. Cromwell had to bear the brunt of all the blame, and the Duke of Norfolk seized the opportunity to speak ill of his successful rival. According to Chapuys, the Duke had ‘left the Court to be away when the affairs of Ireland were discussed, and this out of disdain that the King despised his advice, and at the suggestion of Cromwell and Skeffington had ill-treated the earl of Kildare, and ruined the affairs of Ireland. On this subject the Duke and Cromwell had reproached each other with many things ... which shows the ill-will they have borne each other a long time, however much they have dissembled it[332].’ But Norfolk’s efforts to undermine the influence of his rival were as yet unavailing. The time for pacific measures had now passed; Henry would have been only too glad to grant Kildare peace on any terms, but the latter refused every offer. Skeffington, who was Cromwell’s friend, was sent over again as Deputy to quell the rebellion. After many delays he crossed on the 14th of October, with troops which the King had secretly raised for him[333].

Meantime the rebels had gained a decisive victory, and were just outside the walls of Dublin. Piteous entreaties from the inhabitants, begging him to come to the relief of the beleaguered city, reached Skeffington, and after some delay he advanced. His arrival made the rebels retreat, but instead of pursuing them vigorously, and striking a telling blow, he remained at Dublin, and wasted time in trying to get a sentence of excommunication passed against the murderers of Archbishop Alen[334]. But in spite of the Deputy’s dallying inefficiency, the superiority of Cromwell’s policy to Norfolk’s was destined to be made evident by succeeding events. A new complication in Irish affairs arose when young Kildare, taking advantage of Skeffington’s inactivity, sent an embassy to the Emperor, promising to hold Ireland as a fief of the Holy See, on condition that he would offer him protection against the English schismatics[335]. An ambassador, Dominick Power by name, was sent by Charles to Ireland and Scotland, but Henry soon discovered it, and complained[336]; Charles was not quite ready as yet to do anything active in aid of the rebels, and so the affair came to nothing. Meantime, at the request of Cromwell, Skeffington was induced to shake off his apathy, leave Dublin and Drogheda, and move after the rebels[337]. The Lord Privy Seal’s boast that the young Kildare would soon be a prisoner in the Tower, was not as empty as Chapuys thought. Maynooth Castle, a rebel stronghold, was besieged and taken[338]; many rebels were executed, others fell away from Kildare, the young Earl finally surrendered, and was sent a prisoner to London. Two years later he was hanged with five uncles at Tyburn[339]. With his surrender other chieftains came to terms; many districts became comparatively quiet, and by the end of 1535 Ireland seemed further on the road to tranquillity than she had been for some time. This was a significant triumph for Cromwell’s policy over that of Norfolk, and did much to increase his influence with the King. On the last day of December, 1535, Skeffington died, and Lord Leonard Grey was made Deputy in his place[340].

Before Cromwell could hope to derive much benefit from Ireland, it was necessary to establish some sort of government in the country, as well as to subjugate it. To this intent, Lord Grey summoned a Parliament, which met at Dublin in the spring of 1536[341]. Its first act was to pass a bill securing the succession of Anne Boleyn’s issue: the report of this came to Cromwell in London in June, two weeks after Anne’s execution[342]. He must have been somewhat puzzled, when he heard the news; events were moving so rapidly, that even an ‘ordered’ Parliament could not keep pace with them. He finally wrote back that in case the act for the succession was not ‘passed thoroughly’ they were to ‘staye the same tyl further knowleage of his grac_es_ pleasure[343].’ It was too late, however, to do this; but when the report came that Anne had been executed, and that Jane Seymour had become Queen, the Parliament was ready enough at once to rescind the old statute, and pass a new one in favour of the issue of Henry’s third wife. Later there were enacted a series of measures to loosen the bonds that held the Irish Church to Rome[344], and George Browne, Provincial of the Austin Friars, who had already made himself useful in forcing the oath of succession on his brethren in the south of England, was nominated in 1535, by Cromwell’s influence, to succeed Alen as Archbishop of Dublin. The Deputy meantime carried on the subjugation steadily and consistently in the wilder portions of the country.

Everything in Ireland was now proceeding to the complete satisfaction of Henry and Cromwell, except the finances. Few could equal Cromwell’s ideal, or satisfy Henry’s avarice in this respect. Ireland had never paid its expenses before; and it was largely in the hope of deriving revenue from a land which had hitherto been only a burden, that the King and his minister had undertaken to subjugate it. A letter from Henry to the Deputy and Council in 1537 blames them for taking excessive fees, thinking only of private gain, and not taking care of the royal income[345]. To remedy this Cromwell appointed and sent over Commissioners, who were ordered to try to reduce expenses and increase revenue, and, to this end, to inquire into the conduct of every royal officer in Ireland, learn all the particulars of the local government, and cut down the retinue of the Deputy and Treasurer to 340 men[346]. In the list of Commissioners occurs the name of William Brabazon (Cromwell’s old friend and fellow servant under Wolsey), who later attained a very important position in Irish affairs. The extant letters of Cromwell to the Commissioners deal for the most part with the adjustment of petty land claims. The most interesting of them is the one concerning the policy to be pursued towards ‘that traytor Bryan Oconor[347].’

There are significant depositions against some of these Commissioners who dared to murmur at Cromwell’s notorious accessibility to bribes, which seems to have been more noticeable in his dealings with Ireland than anywhere else. He appears to have received enormous sums from the rich and powerful family of the Butlers, kinsmen of Anne Boleyn and of the Duke of Norfolk, in return for a promise to protect their castles from the search of the royal agents. There was a great deal of discontent among the Commissioners on account of his rapacity, and though they openly flattered him, they continually spoke ill of him behind his back. ‘My Lorde Pryvee Seale hathe wrought to his awne confusion and dethe,’ said one, ‘and of late tyme was veray nere the same, and escapid veray narrowly ... noo lorde or gentilman in Englande berith love or favor to my Lorde Pryvee Seale by cause he is soo great a taker of money, for he woll speke, solicite, or doo for noo man, but all for money.... I wold not be in his case for all that ever he hathe, for the King beknaveth him twice a weke, and sometyme knocke him well aboute the pate; and yet when he hathe bene well pomeld about the hedde, and shaken up, as it were a dogge, he will come out into the great chambre, shaking of the bushe with as mery a countenaunce as thoughe he mought rule all the roste[348].’ We may well believe that Henry was willing that Cromwell should make some private gains, provided he brought money to the royal treasury as well.

The subjugation of the country, however, had not yet been thoroughly accomplished. Though 1537 was comparatively quiet, the following year witnessed a fresh outbreak. Taking advantage of the precarious condition of England’s foreign affairs at the time, young Gerald, brother of the late Earl of Kildare, and heir to his power, stirred up various chieftains, and baffled all the attempts of the Deputy to lure him into the King’s hands. Letters for aid were written to the Pope and to Cardinal Pole, and were sent by a certain monk, as the safest means of transmitting them to their destination[349]. The monk sailed from Scotland in a French ship, which was blown ashore on the English coast at South Shields; the messenger was captured, and the letter intercepted[350]. In September, 1539, there were several skirmishes between the various forces of the rebels and the Deputy; but the latter was generally victorious, and another crisis was tided over[351]. Young Gerald was forced to flee into Brittany, and the rebels were left without a leader. The Deputy, Lord Grey, appears to have become very unpopular during his term of service, however, and in the spring of 1540 he was recalled[352], on the accusations of violence to the King’s Council, extortion, injustice, and maintaining the King’s enemies. Affairs were in a bad state after he left; Scotch intrigues, even an invasion of the country by James, were rumoured[353], and Sir William Brereton, who temporarily filled Grey’s place, had a very hard time. Grey was finally condemned and executed a year after Cromwell’s fall, and Sir Anthony St. Leger, ‘the discreet,’ who had been the Chief of Commissioners of 1537, was sent over as Deputy in 1541[354].

It may be said that from 1534 until his fall, Cromwell was the virtual ruler of Ireland. His significant triumph over Norfolk and his policy of pacification, mark the beginning of his influence. From that time onward the King left to him the entire direction of Irish affairs; he appointed the officers, regulated the revenues, and in short managed everything connected with the country until 1540. From the instructions which the Commissioners received in 1537, we gather that the main object of the Crown was to get a revenue from Ireland, and the plan which Cromwell pursued in order to attain this end is noteworthy, in that it differed so entirely from his policy in all the rest of England’s dependencies. Realizing that the country was worse than useless to the King, while it remained in the state in which it was when he came into power, he saw that it was so wild and disorganized, that subjugation by force would be possible and profitable, if attempted vigorously, and in time. He therefore pursued a most aggressive policy, which in Scotland, for instance, where the conditions were so different, he would never have dared to adopt.

In Wales he was confronted with a problem of a very different nature. What was needed there was thorough legal reform. The country was not large enough to render an insurrection there very formidable, but the wild and lawless state of the Welsh Marches, which afforded hiding-places for criminals of all kinds, was a source of much evil. One Thomas Philips wrote to Cromwell in May, 1532[355], that the whole country was in great decay, and that the King’s representatives there took fines for felony and murder, and used the money for their own purposes; he begged that such a council might soon be established in Wales, that the best officer should ‘quake,’ if found in fault. The Bishop of Exeter, who was President of the Marches, was an inefficient ruler and took no pains to remedy the existing evils. The crimes of making and uttering counterfeit money seem to have been extremely common[356]. Cromwell saw that it was high time measures were taken to rectify this lawlessness, and his ‘remembrances’ are full of items for the reform of Wales. He replaced the Bishop of Exeter by his own friend Rowland Lee, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, who in his younger days had served with him under Wolsey[357]. Lee’s energetic and business-like methods rendered him a fit man for the place, and he set about reorganizing and reforming Wales in earnest. It was probably at his instance that Cromwell devised several Acts, passed in the Parliament of 1534, to establish justice and maintain order[358]. As the King’s writ did not run in Wales, it was next to impossible to get a case fairly heard there; so Royal Commissioners were sent thither, with authority to punish crimes and felonies (which were to be tried in the next English court), and to establish Justices of the Peace. Chapuys, in a letter written in December, 1535, describes the distress of the Welsh at these measures as incredible, saying that Parliament ‘has just taken away their native laws, customs, and privileges, which is the very thing they can endure least patiently[359].’ He further states that the Welsh were violently in favour of the cause of Katherine and Mary, and longed for an opportunity to declare themselves. A rising was probably prevented by the fact that the King himself was of Welsh descent. Cromwell was exceedingly active in his endeavours to stamp out all sedition of this sort, and was ably seconded by Lee, who, when the clergy in 1535 were required to preach in favour of the Royal Supremacy, and against the power of the Pope, declared himself ready to ride into his diocese in his own person and carry out the decree, though, as he confessed, he had never before been in a pulpit[360]. But Lee adopted other measures to extirpate sedition, far more vigorous than preaching in favour of the Royal Supremacy; he never failed to enforce his words by deeds. He hung and beheaded offenders and criminals right and left, and sent full reports of his doings to Cromwell, who must have rejoiced to find an agent whose energy corresponded so closely to his own[361].

But in spite of Lee’s goodwill, the state of Wales was not satisfactory, until Cromwell’s great statute of 1535 was passed[362]. By this Act, Wales was formally declared to be incorporated with England, to be entitled to the same privileges, and to be subject to the same laws. The Marches were declared to be in disorder, and were annexed or divided into shires. The King was further empowered by the Act to erect courts in Wales every five years. These fundamental reforms laid the basis for an entirely new method of administration of justice there, and the country henceforth ceased to cause anxiety to its prince.

In striking contrast to Cromwell’s vigorous policy in Ireland and Wales, was his conciliatory attitude towards Scotland. The strength and proximity of this country, and the weak defences of the northern marches of England, were a constant source of alarm, which was rather increased than diminished by Henry’s strained relations with those continental powers who were on the best of terms with James. It was obvious that in case of a foreign invasion of England from the Continent, the enmity of Scotland would be the only thing lacking, to render disaster certain. It is also not improbable that an attack from the north would have been welcomed by some of Henry’s more disaffected subjects. In his speech in the Parliament of 1523 Cromwell had advocated a policy of unification with Scotland: from this principle he never departed, but he saw that it was now no time to gain his ends by force. He therefore adopted a pacificatory attitude towards Scotland at the opening of his ministry, and consistently followed it until the end. He began by persuading his master to make every effort to strengthen the rather precarious truce which, owing to French mediation, had been concluded between the Commissioners of the two countries upon the Borders, Oct. 1, 1533[363]. Anxious to show all possible courtesy to the Scottish delegates who were finally sent to London to open negotiations, the King prepared for them a house, which had been occupied by the Grand Master of France, and, contrary to his custom with most ambassadors, supplied it with choice wines and provisions[364]. The Scots were not slow to realize the strength of their position, and in proportion as Henry’s desire to conclude a permanent peace increased, their movements grew more and more deliberate. After long delays, which exasperated the King greatly, an alliance was finally made, to continue during the joint lives of the two sovereigns, and one year longer. During the two following years Henry continued his pacific policy by making James a Knight of the Garter, and by sending an embassy to induce him to abandon the Pope. The latter plan was doubtless a suggestion of Cromwell’s; a mention of the ambassadors Barlow and Howard occurs in his ‘remembrances,’ and Barlow later wrote him continual reports of his progress. The mission was unsuccessful in attaining its purpose; but there were no signs that James’ leaning to Rome would render him an active enemy of England[365].

The year 1537 brought with it new developments of Scottish policy. James had gone abroad to marry Madeleine of Valois, an alliance highly displeasing to Henry, after all his efforts to counteract his nephew’s tendency to lean upon the goodwill of Francis. The King proceeded to express his vexation in an emphatic manner, and, contrary to the advice of his Council, refused to permit James to return to Scotland from France through England[366]. James’ marriage and Henry’s outspoken wrath stultified all Cromwell’s efforts to bring about a cordial personal feeling and a lasting peace between the two sovereigns. The Scots’ King was forced to travel by sea; but events took place on the voyage which filled Henry with suspicion. Twelve Englishmen boarded the Scottish ship when it touched at Scarborough for provisions, welcomed James, and promised their aid if he invaded England. This episode was repeated at another town further north, and it was even reported that the Scottish King had boasted, that if he lived a year longer, ‘he would himself break a spear on one Englishman’s breast[367].’ Such incidents must have been unpleasant, coming as they did just after a serious northern revolt had with difficulty been quelled, and while the Borders were still in a wild and lawless state. But any thoughts James may have entertained of an invasion were interrupted by the sudden death of his young French Queen. Henry perhaps had hoped that his nephew would come to him with offers of peace and a petition for the hand of the Princess Mary, but, if so, he was rudely disappointed. In October it was announced that James was engaged to marry a second French wife, Mary of Guise[368]; and though Henry, at that time a widower, made every effort to prevent the match by putting himself forward as a rival to his nephew, his proposals were courteously set aside[369]. That the King of France should have distinctly preferred a Scottish to an English alliance when the choice lay open, stung Henry to the quick; but he was quite aware that he could not afford just then to quarrel with Francis or James, and he may have regretted that he had not taken his minister’s advice to conciliate the latter. The history of Henry’s relations with his nephew from this time until Cromwell’s fall, yields ample proof of the complete triumph of the English minister’s pacificatory policy. Attempts made in the past to stir up Border jealousies were completely abandoned, and England seemed almost suspiciously desirous to show every courtesy to her troublesome northern neighbour. A letter of Cromwell to Sir Thomas Wharton[370], deputy Warden of the West Marches, directs him to hand over to the Scottish officers an arrant traitor who had made his escape to England, even if the Scots failed to ‘doo the semblable.’ Actions as gracious as this were a new thing on the Borders: the usual policy in the past had been for each nation to give shelter to the outlaws who had fled to it from the other. The news that David Beton, Abbot of Arbroath, had been raised by the Pope to the cardinalate and was working at the Scottish Court in the interests of Rome, made Henry still more anxious to preserve friendship with his nephew, and to preclude all chances of his being induced to join a continental league against England[371]. So in January, 1540, we find him sending Ralph Sadler, Cromwell’s old friend, to James, to counteract, if possible, the effect of the visit of Beton[372]. By the capture of certain letters in a Scottish ship which had been wrecked on the Northumbrian coast, Henry had been furnished with the means of misrepresenting the objects of the Cardinal at his nephew’s Court. Sadler was instructed to hint that Beton was plotting to usurp all the authority of the King of Scotland, and to advise James to be on his guard. The ambassador was further directed to conciliate the Scottish King by a present of six geldings, to assure him of Henry’s friendship, and to suggest that James augment his revenue by suppressing the monasteries in his kingdom as his uncle had done in England. Finally Sadler was to represent to the Scots’ King the advantages of an alliance with England over one with France, and to request him to ponder on the desirability of eradicating the ancient enmity of the two peoples, especially in view of the fact that he might some day himself succeed to his uncle’s crown. The result of the mission taken as a whole was satisfactory. Though James refused to accede to any of Henry’s more definite requests, and would not listen to any proposals to abolish the old religion or to suppress the monasteries, he still assured Sadler that no alliance he made on the Continent would lead him to break with England, and further enlarged on the benefits that would result from a meeting with his uncle, though he puzzled the envoy by suggesting that Francis should also be present[373]. The mission of Sadler marks the last stage of the relations of England and Scotland during Cromwell’s ministry; and the fact that war between the two countries broke out so soon after his fall, furnishes a final reason for believing that it was by the able and unceasing efforts of the Privy Councillor that an open rupture was so long averted.

Lastly, a few words remain to be said on the subject of the government of Calais. If the name of that town were graven on the heart of Mary Tudor at her death, from the grief which its loss during her reign caused her, it must have been also graven upon the minds of her father and his minister, from the trouble its maintenance gave them during the last seven years of the latter’s power. In March, 1533, Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle, was nominated successor to that learned soldier, Lord Berners, as Deputy there, and took the oaths at the town, on the 10th of June[374]. The choice was certainly unfortunate, and Lisle’s unfitness for his new position was destined soon to be made evident. He seems to have been a man completely lacking in the qualities necessary for a good ruler of such a place as Calais was in those days: he possessed small discrimination in judging what things he could deal with by his own authority, and what things it was necessary to report to head quarters. Hence there are many mild rebukes among Cromwell’s letters to him[375], in some of which he chides him for bothering the King about such a trivial thing as a private quarrel between two minor officials in Calais, while in others he ‘mervayles not a litel’ that he should be so negligent as not to make immediate report of sacrilegious preaching. Calais was by no means an easy post to manage; Henry and Cromwell kept its officers and garrison exceedingly short of money; the soldiers wrangled and mutinied, and religious conferences amongst the townspeople sometimes took most violent forms, and not seldom resulted in dangerous riots. Placed as a sort of spy on the movements of Francis and the Emperor, in a town, the government of which on a small scale presented all the difficulties of that of a great kingdom, the Deputy was in a position which demanded resources greater than his own.

The first part of Lisle’s administration seems to have been comparatively uneventful. Cromwell, always keenly alive to the necessity of having the country in an adequate state of defence, at once caused him to repair all breaches in the ramparts, a task which Lisle set about without competent men or supplies; and the immediate result of his ill-judged attempts to lay a new foundation for one of his walls was the fall of the small part of the old fortification which was yet standing[376]. Lisle was of course continually busied in preventing his neighbours, French and Flemish, from meddling with the King’s Pale, especially throughout the year 1536, when the war between Francis and the Emperor broke out afresh[377]. He tried to keep the town well victualled and in good defence, and was zealous to do as he was bidden by Cromwell, though seldom successful, for he lacked ability. After 1537 he was confronted with a new and more difficult problem.

In the spring of 1538, Cranmer heard that there were seven or eight persons in Calais, who manifestly denied Christ. His Commissary there, John Butler, asserted that this report was false, but in a later epistle advised the Archbishop that there were three papists in the town, who slandered those who applied themselves to God’s word; the letter went on to suggest that Cromwell be requested to write to Lisle to have them punished[378]. The minister, however, had heard of the existence of ‘certayn Sacramentaryes’ or deniers of transubstantiation there, before this report arrived, and had written the Deputy a severe reproof for not informing him about them[379]. The state of foreign affairs at that moment was such as to render it indispensable for the King to preserve the appearance of being zealous for orthodoxy, and he had called on his efficient minister to aid him in his attempts to extirpate heretical doctrines. The rebuke which the latter had administered to the Deputy seems in this case to have been undeserved, for Lisle, who apparently was more on the watch than usual this time, had certainly sent home information about the Sacramentaries before he received Cromwell’s epistle: the two letters perhaps crossed on the way. That of the Deputy reported the arrival in Calais of a young English priest, lately come from Germany, who had uttered opinions about the Eucharist which the King would not tolerate, and which had shocked the good people of Calais beyond measure. This young priest can have been none other than Adam Damplip, originally a strong papist, who (according to Foxe) had been chaplain to Fisher, and at the Cardinal’s execution had left England and travelled in France, Germany, and Italy. His sojourn in foreign lands must have altered his opinions completely, for when he came to Calais his doctrines were so ‘advanced’ and heretical, that as a result of a warning of Cromwell’s, in his letter to Lisle of May 14[380], a decree was made out by the Council of the town that Butler, the Commissary who had given Damplip licence to preach, would be held responsible for any false opinions that the priest expressed[381].

Determined as he was to extirpate unlawful and treasonable doctrines both at home and abroad, Cromwell was too much absorbed in the maintenance of his foreign policy, and the prevention of the pressing dangers which threatened the country from without, to pay much attention to Damplip at Calais during the latter part of 1538 and 1539. He was far more anxious to have the town well victualled and defended, in case of a sudden attack from France or Spain. Damplip himself, however, had gone over to England to answer to the charges brought against him before Cranmer[382]. The result of the examination seems to have been very favourable to him, and the Archbishop, in a letter to Cromwell about it, supported the position which the priest had taken up in only denying Transubstantiation while admitting the Real Presence[383]. But the accusations from Calais against the Sacramentaries did not cease. Lisle and the Council, now thoroughly roused, kept sending in depositions against Damplip, until Cromwell, in May, 1539, rebuked them for uncharitable behaviour, saying that the affair was being made too much of, and that the King was busy about other things[384]. Exhortations to ‘charyte and myld handeling’ were not Cromwell’s usual style; and in this case at least they were superseded within ten days by instructions of a very different nature. The cause of the sudden change is doubtless to be found in the debate on the Six Articles, just then at its height. Cromwell saw the trend things were taking, and understood that as the doctrine of Transubstantiation was evidently about to be confirmed at home, it would be extremely dangerous for him to urge leniency towards those who opposed it at Calais. He consequently sent another letter to Lisle[385], in which he retreated from his former position, and ordered the Commissary and the parish priest of Our Lady Church to be sent in custody to England. The subsequent appearance of these men before the Privy Council seems to have resulted in their acquittal, and a public recantation in the Market Place at Calais was deemed sufficient to prevent a recurrence to the heresy. The recall of Lord Lisle in the spring of 1540 was probably less due to his inefficiency in handling the affair of the Sacramentaries, than to the many proofs he had given of general incompetence. He was committed to the Tower, where he remained a close prisoner till January, 1542, when a message was sent to him that he was pardoned and restored to favour. The story is that his joy at hearing this news was so great, that he died of excitement that same night[386].

That Calais was not lost to England under the incompetent management of Lisle (whose actions from first to last were too much influenced by the whims of a foolish wife), was solely due to the guidance which he received from Cromwell. The brilliant success of the great minister’s administration in England was fully equalled by the wisdom and skill of his dealings with her immediate neighbours and dependencies. In every case the dominant principle of his policy had been the same; the completion of the work begun by Henry VII.--the elevation of the Crown to absolute power on the ruins of every other institution which had ever been its rival. In attaining this end, which (as we must not forget) was one that commended itself to most patriotic Englishmen of the time, Cromwell had been confronted by a multitude of problems of great difficulty and infinite diversity: he handled them all with uniform success; and the monarchy, under his guidance, passed safe through one of the gravest crises in the history of the realm, finally to emerge triumphant, absolute, supreme in Church and State.



The suppression of the English monasteries, though in one sense but a single branch of Cromwell’s internal administration, still deserves to be considered in a separate chapter. Of all the changes that followed the breach with Rome, none bears as plainly as this the stamp of Cromwellian origin. The sinister genius of the King’s minister particularly fitted him for this task of destruction, and his title of _malleus-monachorum_ is thoroughly well deserved. Cromwell’s intent in suppressing the monasteries was obviously, like that of all the rest of his internal administration, the strengthening of the Crown: how far his measures were successful in accomplishing what was expected of them must be determined not only from their immediate effects, but also from the developments which later resulted from them.

It has been pointed out in an earlier chapter that the state of the lesser monasteries was far from satisfactory in Cromwell’s time; but that in spite of this, when Wolsey’s agents suppressed a few of them in order to convert their revenues to the use of the Cardinal’s cherished colleges, a loud cry of indignation was immediately raised among the rural population. During his first few years in Wolsey’s service Cromwell had acquired sufficient experience to master at least the elementary principles of monastic confiscation, but before he had gone half as far as he had probably intended, his master’s attainder and his own consequent change of life had temporarily interrupted the work. We have seen that as soon as the King had arbitrarily assumed the Headship of the Church of England, Cromwell immediately cast about for means to secure him in his new position. To this end he had weakened the bishops and also the lesser clergy; the dissolution of the monasteries immediately presented itself to him as a consistent method of following up these measures. It all tended in the same direction of severing England’s connexion with Rome and of establishing the Royal Supremacy. The scheme of suppressing the monasteries also promised great things from a financial point of view; Cromwell could have hit upon no better plan than this to aid him to fulfil his promise to make Henry ‘the richest King that ever was in Christendom.’ If the idea of dissolving the religious houses in order to increase the wealth of the Crown, had occurred to Henry during Wolsey’s administration, he would hardly have dared to carry it out while there was any chance of avoiding a breach with the Pope; but now the course of events had converted the only objection to the plan into an argument in its favour. There was certainly nothing in the conscience of the King or of his minister to deter them from such a step, when so much advantage both political and financial promised to result from it.

In January, 1535, two documents appeared--the first, a royal commission to Thomas Cromwell authorizing him as the King’s Vicar-general to undertake a general visitation of churches, monasteries, and clergy, and to depute others to act as his agents; the second consisting of a series of formal inquiries to be made concerning the state of the religious houses, and royal injunctions for their reform. The latter is written in a strange hand, copiously interlined and corrected by that of the King’s minister[387]. The decrees were quickly put in operation. By the month of August in the same year Cromwell’s two agents, Legh and Ap-Rice, were hard at work among the Wiltshire monasteries, and sent in their reports to their master full of ludicrously pathetic lamentations, when unable to trump up any plausible charges against the monks[388]. Doctor Richard Layton, who had come under Cromwell’s notice at the time of the trials of More and Fisher, sent him a request for employment on the same mission, and eventually got permission to go to Gloucestershire[389]. He had made a preliminary visitation at Bath and Farley, and while there had aroused the jealousy and hatred of Legh, who wrote to Cromwell complaining that he was not sufficiently severe, and urging the necessity of uniformity of action[390]. A great many grumbling letters of this kind were sent to Cromwell by his visitors. Layton and Ap-Rice were not slow to revenge themselves on Legh by reporting to the Vicar-general the pride, arrogance, ‘sumptuus vsage, and roughe fasshyon’ of their hated colleague[391].

The bad character of Cromwell’s agents, and the devices to which they were forced to have recourse in order to extort from the monks the information they desired, furnish ample proof of the unfairness of many of the reports which they made. The ‘Commissioners found means,’ as it has been significantly stated, ‘to make divers monasteries obnoxious[392].’ Cromwell had taken special pains that the efforts of his agents should not be hindered by any external interference: it was to this end that he had issued the Prohibitory Letter to the bishops in the month of September[393]. Legh, Layton, and Ap-Rice were left a perfectly clear field, and devoted themselves to examining into the monastic discipline, and to inducing discontented monks to accuse their fellows. The arrogant Legh was especially efficient in this particular, as is shown by the letters Cromwell received from the monasteries he had visited. One monk wrote to the Vicar-general that the inmates of his house cared nothing for true religion, but came to mattins ‘as dronck as myss and [played] sume at cardes, sume at dyyss[394]’--and finally imparted the significant piece of information that Cromwell’s visitors had ordered him to write these opinions to head quarters. Another, John Placett by name, sent cringing letters to the Vicegerent, begging that his zeal in advancing the new doctrines and in reporting those who opposed them, might be rewarded by official exemption from rising at midnight and from observing the customary fasts[395]. Epistles of this sort form the bulk of Cromwell’s correspondence during the years 1535 and 1536. The chief reason why the Vicar-general did not protest against this flood of defamatory information, which through the efficiency of the zealous Legh continually poured in upon him, lay probably in the fact that along with these reports there came also letters of a somewhat different nature which afforded him excellent opportunities for private gain. ‘I submytt myselfe,’ wrote the Abbot of Rewley, ‘fulle and holle to your mastershipp, as all my refuge, helpe, and socor is yn yow, glad of my voluntarye mynde to be bounde in obligacion of one hunderd powndes to be payed to your mastershipp, so that our house may be savyd[396].’ We may well believe that this proposal did not fall on deaf ears. Though we do not possess the reply of Cromwell in this particular case, the letters which he sent to the Priors of St. Faith’s and of Coxford in the same year, indicate that he was as willing to accept bribes from the heads of monasteries as from any one else[397].

Less crafty but scarcely less efficient than the untiring Legh was his brutal colleague Layton. The Sussex monasteries which he visited in October, 1535, were so unfortunate as to incur his particular displeasure. He does not appear to have troubled himself, like Legh, with devising means to make the monks accuse one another: he reported everything to head quarters on his own responsibility, and wrote to Cromwell how at one place he found the abbot the ‘varaste hayne betle and buserde and the aranttes chorle’ he ever saw, while at another he swore that his master would scarcely believe ‘quanta sit spurcities.’ He concluded with two philosophic reflections that ‘sacerdotes omnes non creati ex natura angelica, sed humana,’ and ‘that the blake sort of dyvelisshe monkes ... be paste amendment[398].’ He possibly bore a personal grudge against these southern houses; at least this seems a likely explanation of the fact that later investigation showed them to be no worse than ordinary, and especially popular with their neighbours[399]. Layton, however, found willing listeners to his accusations in the King and Cromwell, and a commission was sent down to confiscate the property of the monasteries of Dover, Langdon, and Folkestone, and to take the surrender of these houses into the King’s hands. It was the first step of the great devastation which was to ensue during the following four years.

The next scene of the visitors’ operations was in the northern counties. Early in 1535 Layton had taken occasion to inform Cromwell that he and Legh were particularly competent to carry on the work there. ‘Ther ys nother monasterie, selle, priorie, nor any other religiouse howse in the north,’ he wrote, ‘but other doctor Lee or I have familier acqwayntance within x or xii mylles of hit.... We knowe and have experiens bothe of the fassion off the contre and the rudenes of the pepull ... ther is matter sufficient to detecte and opyn all coloryde sanctitie, all supersticiouse rewlles of pretensyde religion, and other abusys detestable of all sorttes[400].’ Cromwell certainly had no reason to be dissatisfied with the results which his agents had already accomplished, and doubtless welcomed their zeal to continue their labours in a new field. With most astounding rapidity the visitation was carried through: all the houses in the north had been reported on by the end of February. There was certainly an object in having the work completed so quickly, for Parliament had already met, and was prepared to take action on the ‘comperta’ or catalogue of offences sent in by Cromwell’s agents. The extraordinary hurry in which the latter part of their task was accomplished, and the suspicious uniformity of the offences reported, furnish a last and most cogent reason for doubting the truth of the statements of the visitors. There must of course have been some immorality in the monasteries: the abbots and heads of houses were elected by the monks themselves, who were sure to have an eye to their own ease, and would tend to choose those whose discipline was lax. But it must be a prejudiced person indeed who will accept word for word the catalogues of the religious persons reported guilty of the lowest and most degrading forms of vice, which Legh and Layton seemed to delight in sending to their master. Parliament, however, was too completely in Cromwell’s hands fairly to judge of the character of the visitors, or of the circumstances under which they drew up their ‘comperta,’ and the report was strong and clear; so it was not long before the first Act for the dissolution of the smaller monasteries was passed. The statute declared that ‘all Relygeous Houses of Monkes Chanons and Nonnes, whiche may not dyspend Manors, Landes, Tenementes, & Heredytamentes above the clere yerly Value of ij C li. are geven to the Kinges Highnes, his heires and successours for ever[401].’ Another Act was passed at the same time establishing a Court of Augmentations of the King’s revenue[402]. Power was given to this court to collect the spoils, lands, and buildings of the suppressed abbeys, and dispose of them in the way most profitable to the Crown. It consisted of a chancellor, treasurer, solicitor, and thirty subordinates. The chief persons in it were friends and hirelings of Cromwell’s. In April commissions were sent to the principal men in every county[403], authorizing them to inquire further into the state of each house, to make inventories and estimates of their property, and to ascertain the number of monks who desired ‘capacities’ for entering secular life, and the number who intended to remove to some other religious house. It is significant that the reports of these men, concerning the character and morality of the inmates, are uniformly of a more favourable description than those of Layton and Legh.

The process of the surrender immediately followed the first visit of the Commissioners. They sent in their report to the Court of Augmentations, which then issued its final orders for the dissolution of the house, and its conversion to the King’s use. A ‘receiver’ was appointed to plunder the church, and sell the lead, bells, &c. An interesting letter, from an agent of Cromwell’s to his master, sheds some light on the usual methods of these officials. ‘We ar pluckyng down an hygher vaute,’ writes the receiver, ‘borne up by fower thicke and grose pillars xiiij fote fro syde to syde, abowt in circumference xlv fote ... we browght from London xvij persons, 3 carpentars, 2 smythes, 2 plummars, and on that kepith the fornace. Euery of these attendith to hys own office: x of them hewed the walles abowte, amonge the whych ther were 3 carpentars: thiese made proctes to undersette wher the other cutte away, thother brake and cutte the waules[404].’ Coupled with reports like this, came curiously confused accounts of the saleable articles of the house, which had been disposed of, such as

_Item_ ij brasse pottes sold to Edward Scudamor iiij^s

_Item_ a vestment and ij tynakles of old prest velvet sold to Johan Savage baylyf xiij^s iiij^d

_Item_ ij pannes vi^d

_Item_ a cope of tawny damaske xij^d

_Item_ a image of Seynt Katerine sold to Lee vj^d

_Item_ sold to John Webbe the tymber worke of the hyegh quyer, and a auter of alablaster in the body of the churche ix^s viij^d[405].

It will be noticed that the sums for which these articles were sold, were very small. It is said that not more than £100,000 were obtained from the sale of the jewels, plate, lead, bells, and other valuables, which were seized in the first suppression of the monasteries. The annual incomes of the three hundred and seventy-six houses which were suppressed, however, probably amounted to about £32,000, a sum which was quite sufficient to render the measure a successful one from a financial point of view.

In spite of the Act of Parliament, which declared that the monks were either to be pensioned, or else moved to some other religious house, there is no doubt that great misery and wretchedness invariably accompanied the dissolutions. Chapuys writes: ‘It is a lamentable thing to see a legion of monks and nuns, who have been chased from their monasteries, wandering miserably hither and thither, seeking means to live, and several honest men have told me, that what with monks, nuns, and persons dependent on the monasteries suppressed, there were over 20,000, who knew not how to live[406].’ The Act for the protection of the exiled inmates cannot have been at all strictly enforced, and there were certainly many monks, to whom no homes or means of living were assigned. Sir Henry Ellis has printed a document, concerning the dissolution of some of the monasteries, which was written in 1591 by one whose father and uncle witnessed the scenes he describes. It tells how ‘it would have made an heart of flint to have melted and wept to have seen the breaking up of the House, and their sorrowful departing; and the sudden spoil that fell the same day of their departure from the House. And every person had everything good cheap; except the poor Monks, Friars, and Nuns, that had no money to bestow of any thing.’ The people entered the church, ‘and took what they found, and filched it away.... It would have pitied any heart to see what tearing up of the lead there was, and plucking up of boards, and throwing down of the sparres; ... and the tombs in the Church (were) all broken, ... and all things of price either spoiled, carped away, or defaced to the uttermost[407].’ Nor is this tendency of the people of the neighbourhood to plunder in the least to be wondered at. They knew that as the monasteries were to be pulled down they would lose all the old charities, easy rents, and other advantages to which they had so long been accustomed, and they naturally wished to make good the loss. Cromwell probably did not object to this ruthless waste as much as one would expect, for he saw that if he attempted to stop it, the feeling against the suppression would be so strong, that it would be impossible to continue it. As it was, the famous rebellion of the Pilgrimage of Grace, which broke out in the northern counties, just as the first houses were being suppressed, gave him a terrible warning of the general unpopularity of the change. The insurrection, however, was soon quelled, and Cromwell’s genius was able to turn it to his own advantage, and make it the pretext for carrying out the scheme which had probably been part of his original plan, namely the suppression of all the monasteries; a step which, without some valid excuse, he would have hardly dared to take.

In 1537 the visitors began to go to the larger monasteries, and intimidate their inmates into surrender, mainly by threatening them with punishment for complicity in the rebellion which had just been put down. An excellent example of the way in which this was done, is given by the story of the suppression of the two large Cistercian abbeys in Lancashire, Whalley and Furness[408]. John Pasleu, Abbot of Whalley, had been executed in March, 1537, by the Earl of Sussex for his treason in taking part in the Pilgrimage of Grace. The Earl was commended for this action by the King, who further desired him with ‘good dexteritie’ to ‘laye unto the charges of all the monkes there their grevous offences, ... and therwith assaye their myndes, whither they woll conforme themselfes gladly for the redubbing of their former trespaces to goo to other houses of their cote ... or rather take capacities and soo receyve seculer habite[409].’ The Abbot of Furness was doubtless threatened with death if he refused to surrender his house, for a month after the execution of his brother at Whalley, he signed a document, by virtue of which he handed over to the King his abbey, and all its lands and possessions, ‘knawyng the mysorder and evyll liff both unto God and our prynce of the bredren of the said monasterie[410].’

Another method of intimidation was to threaten punishment for superstition and image worship. Against the latter Henry’s minister was particularly zealous. Some of the images were very valuable, and could be sold for a high price. Two of the most extraordinary of the venerated relics found in the ‘defacement’ of the monasteries have become famous to posterity, under the names of the Rood of Grace, and the Blood of Hailes. The former was a wonder-working crucifix, held in great veneration at Boxley Abbey, which Geoffrey Chambers[411], an agent of Cromwell’s, found full of ‘certen ingynes and olde wyer wyth olde roton stykkes in the backe of the same, that dyd cause the eyes of the same to move and stere in the hede thereof lyke unto a lyvelye thyng[412].’ It was seized and exhibited, first in Kent, and then in London, and the ‘abusion thereof dyvulged.’ The Blood of Hailes was a phial of liquid, which a tradition of three centuries asserted to have been the blood of the Saviour[413]. The head of the monastery brought it to Cromwell in great perplexity, swearing that he was willing to suffer the most shameful death, if the phial had been meddled with in his day. A commission, appointed to inquire into it, took the liquid out of the phial, and found it to be a thick, red, sticky substance. They then gave it back to the abbot, to keep until he heard the King’s pleasure concerning it. Meantime Bishop Hilsey had preached a sermon in denunciation of the fraud, in which he asserted that a former abbot had told his paramour that the phial contained only drake’s blood; but he was later compelled to take back this last statement, as a result of the Commissioners’ inquiry. What ultimately became of the Blood of Hailes has remained a mystery, but it is noteworthy that Cromwell was so annoyed, at having unearthed a relic which proved valueless from a financial point of view, that when the ‘bluddy abbot,’ as Latimer called him, came to consult him about it, he was forced to pay £140, his best mitre, cross, and ‘another thyng or two,’ to make good the amount which Cromwell had expected to obtain from the relic. The iconoclastic zeal of the Vicar-general varied in proportion to the value of the image[414].

The first Act of dissolution had only given to the King the monasteries of which the annual income was less than £200. But now that Cromwell, on the plea of complicity in the late rebellion, had contrived to bring in all the larger religious houses, so that a general suppression had in fact begun, a fresh Act was needed to legalize his proceedings. So in the spring of 1539, a new statute was passed for the dissolution of all monasteries and abbeys[415]. But long before this the main part of the work had been accomplished. When the monks refused to be terrorized into submission, attainder and death invariably followed. It is but justice to Cromwell’s agents to say, however, that their methods of intimidation were so highly effectual that attainder was the exception, and surrender the rule. The Commissioners may well have been surprised that any of the abbots dared to stand out against them.

From 1537 to the end of 1539, the story of the suppression of the monasteries is simply a catalogue of houses surrendered or confiscated, on more or less unjust pretexts. So rapidly and thoroughly did Cromwell and his Commissioners accomplish the work, that by the end of December no monastery in the country had been left untouched, except Westminster Abbey, and a few other larger houses. The climax of cruelty and injustice was reached in the executions of the Abbots of Glastonbury and Reading. Cromwell’s famous remembrance concerning the latter was literally obeyed. There was no pretence of a fair hearing of his case. He was sent down ‘_to be tryed and excecutyd_,’ as Cromwell had ordered it[416]. The punishment of the Abbot of Glastonbury was, if possible, even more unjust. Though weak and broken with age and illness, he was arrested and sent up to the Tower, simply on the charge of having in his monastery a book against the King’s divorce, divers pardons and bulls, and a printed life of Becket[417]. It is stated that on examination Cromwell discovered that he had lent money to the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace, but it mattered little whether this serious charge was proved or not. His execution was determined on long beforehand, and his rich and ancient abbey was plundered immediately after his arrest. His fate was sealed long before his mock trial at Wells took place; the verdict of the ‘worshypfull jury’ was of course ‘guilty,’ and he was executed two days later on Glastonbury Tor[418].

Hand in hand with the suppression of the monasteries came the fall of the various houses of the friars. This had probably been a part of Cromwell’s scheme from the very first; it will be remembered that several houses suffered in the early part of his ministry, as a penalty for permitting their inmates to preach against the King’s divorce. A sort of preliminary visitation had been carried on in 1534, at Cromwell’s command, by his agents Browne and Hilsey[419]: but a far more energetic person was found in Richard Ingworth, Bishop of Dover, who, on the 6th of February, 1538, was commissioned by the Vicar-general to carry on a second investigation, in which he was to visit all the houses of the various orders of friars in England, to examine into and correct abuses, and to expel and punish the guilty inmates[420]. As he refers to the King’s Vicegerent, as his ‘synguler helper for XII yeres past[421],’ there is reason to think that he had been an intimate of Cromwell’s before the latter had entered the royal service: it is possible that they had worked together in the suppression of the monasteries which furnished funds for Wolsey’s colleges. A greater traveller than Ingworth could scarcely have been found in those days. The number of houses he visited during the first six months of 1538 is perfectly amazing, but with all his energy, Richard of Dover was far less efficient than his terrible master. When he hesitatingly wrote to Cromwell to ask whether he should meddle with the White Friars of Winchester, he received a smart rebuke for his doubts, and was told that though he had changed his friar’s habit, he had not changed his friar’s heart[422]. The Vicar-general found it necessary to give him a coadjutor, and chose a singularly apt man for his purpose in Dr. John London, Warden of New College, Oxford, who received a special commission with the mayor and two others to ‘loke vpon’ the friars of that town[423]. The friars gave the Commissioners more trouble than the monks. They seemed to have secret ways of learning when the visitors were going to arrive, and either carefully hid, or else sold all their valuables beforehand, a fact which affords the most probable explanation of the amount of poverty reported by the visitors. Still the houses fell without ceasing; if not by voluntary surrender, by compulsion. Nor did the visitors hesitate in the case of nunneries, to resort to the most shameful devices to elicit a surrender. London’s conduct was so disgraceful, that Cromwell was obliged to recognize the justice of the complaints of the Abbess of Godstow against him, and ‘steye his procedinges[424].’ ‘Doctor Londone,’ wrote the abbess to the Vicar-general, ‘whiche ... was ageynste my promotyon and hathe ever sence borne me greate malys and grudge like my mortall enmye, is sodenlie cummyd unto me withe a greate rowte with him, and here dothe threten me and my susters, sayeng that he hathe the kynges commyssyon to suppres the house spyte of my tethe[425].’ It appears that London himself wrote to Cromwell the day after to beg him to favour the abbess and her sisters[426]. Did he perhaps feel that he had gone too far, or are we to infer that his usual methods were even more brutal than this?

And thus the work was finished. Within five years of the time that the first visitation of the monasteries had begun, a complete devastation of all the religious houses had been accomplished, and a torrent of wealth had been poured in upon the Crown, ‘such,’ says Hallam, ‘as has seldom been equalled in any country, by the confiscations following a subdued rebellion[427].’ The suppression which included the larger houses was evidently a far greater financial success than the first. A new device for gaining revenue had been invented, and put in operation during the last few years. It consisted in imposing a fine on every place in which a religious house had existed, ‘for the toleracyon and contynuaunce of the monastery ther[428]’; an ingenious device, which yielded a most substantial income. ‘The King had then in his hand,’ says Burnet, ‘the greatest opportunity of making royal and noble foundations that ever King of England had. But whether out of policy, to give a general content to the gentry by selling to them at low rates, or out of easiness to his courtiers, or out of an unmeasured lavishness of expense, it came far short of what he had given out he would do.... He designed to convert £18,000 into a revenue for eighteen bishoprics and cathedrals. But of these he only erected six.... Great sums were indeed laid out on building and fortifying many ports in the Channel, and other parts of England[429].’

Lacking any evidence from the sources on the subject of the use to which the revenues from the suppression of the monasteries were put, one must judge from this passage, and from subsequent events. An Act giving Henry the power to erect bishoprics by letters patent, was passed in Parliament, May 23, 1539[430]. It was by the authority of this statute, that the King founded the six new bishops’ sees above mentioned, and also converted some of the old houses, such as Beverley, Ripon, and Manchester, into collegiate churches. But the passage in Burnet also hints at other methods of employing the money gained from the suppression of the monasteries, which it seems likely that Cromwell suggested. The use of the funds to strengthen the coast defences along the Channel was always one of his favourite schemes; it is probable that he found no difficulty in persuading the King how necessary such a precaution was, in view of the danger of foreign invasion, which threatened England at the close of 1539. But the plan of selling the lands of the confiscated houses to the nobles at low prices, is even more Cromwellian. It immediately reminds the reader of the course which Wolsey, ten years before, had pursued at his servant’s advice, when he bought off the popular hatred by grants out of his own lands and revenues. Cromwell plainly saw that after the suppression, steps must be taken to ensure the permanence of the reform he had effected. By judicious grants he turned aside the hatred of some of the rural gentry, who were at first opposed to the destruction of the monasteries, and thus, by rendering the work popular at home, he secured himself and it from the attacks of Catholic potentates abroad. But his action at this juncture had another more subtle and more important result. For by the grants which he made to the rural gentry, he laid the basis for the foundation of a territorial aristocracy, destined at a later day to wrest from the Crown the power which he had wrung from the older nobility, lay and clerical. This after-effect of Cromwell’s policy, which was in direct opposition to the aims of his government, did not take place till long after his fall. It was rendered possible solely by the movement of events over which he had no control, and he could have scarcely anticipated it. But it is only fair to mention it here, in order that we may be able to look on the suppression of the monasteries and its after-effects as a connected whole. If we do this, the cruelty and treachery of Cromwell and his agents in gaining their ends will not make us blind to the fact, that in the end the destruction of the religious houses in England certainly accomplished other and better results than those it was originally intended to compass.



When Cromwell entered the King’s service, it was inevitable that the policy he adopted should force him to abandon all hope of popularity with the people at large, as soon as his real position became generally known. The efforts Henry and his minister made to conceal the identity of the true author of the sweeping changes of the years 1530-1534, bear testimony to the fact that they were both perfectly well aware of the opposition the new measures must arouse in the minds of those who were outside the Court circle and consequently could not see the reason of them. For a long time these efforts were crowned with success. We have seen that it was not until the year 1535 that those who were in close proximity to the King discovered what a power Cromwell had become in Church and State. It was even longer before the country people began to realize the true state of affairs. News of the extraordinary revolution in ecclesiastical matters, of the King’s divorce and second marriage, of the packed Parliaments, and of the ruthless execution of so-called heretics, slowly spread among the rural population. The changes were certainly unwelcome, but they were universally thought to be the work of the King alone, and traditional English respect for royalty was sufficient to check any serious outbreak. The common people contented themselves with vague murmurings and disloyal speeches which were soon suppressed through the efficiency of Cromwell’s agents; and by the opening of the year 1535 the King and his minister began to hope that the crisis had been tided over.

But they were destined to be disappointed. At the very moment when he began to think himself secure in his almost exclusive enjoyment of his master’s favour, Cromwell took a measure which was destined to conduce directly to the formidable rising that nearly hurled him from his hard-won place. The moment the Vicar-general sent out his agents to visit the monasteries, the Englishman of the country began to realize that the puzzling changes, of which he had hitherto understood so little, were going to have an important and also a disagreeable effect on his own life. Up to this time he had been unwilling actively to express his dissatisfaction at the new measures, because they had seemed but remotely connected with his own fortunes: but now there came an evidence to the contrary which he did not fail to appreciate. The army of outcast monks and nuns, from whom in old days he had been accustomed to receive every sort of kindness, now passed his door, begging for food and shelter. The spoil which he had perhaps filched from the monastery suppressed near by, had not been sufficient to repay him for the injury to the inmates whom he had been taught to love and respect. His griefs are vividly described in the following verses of a song written for the Yorkshire rebels in the autumn of 1536:

1. Crist crucifyd for thy wound_es_ wide vs co_m_mons guyde which pilgram_es_ be thrughe god_es_ grace for to purchache olde welth & peax of the sp_irit_ualtie.

2. Gret god_es_ fame doith church p_ro_clame now to be lame and fast in bound_es_ robbyd spoled & shorne from catell & corne and clene furth borne of howsez & land_es_.

3. alacke alacke for the church sake pore comons wake & no m_er_vell for clere it is the decay of this how the pore shall mys no tong can tell.

4. for ther they hade boith ale & breyde at tyme of nede and succur grete in alle distresse and hevynes * * * * and wel intrete.

5. In troubil & care where that we were in man_er_ all bere of o_ur_ substance we founde good bate at churche me_n_ gate without checkmate or vary_au_nce[431].

Such were the complaints which arose among the country folk as a result of the suppression of the monasteries. And just at the moment that this intensely unpopular measure began to be carried out in earnest, and largely as a result of it, the veil which had hitherto prevented the people from recognizing the true author of the hated innovations was torn away, and a pretext was offered for a revolt, which had it been directed against the King, would have been no better than treason. The people fastened on Cromwell as the author of all their troubles; and the thought that a man whom they knew to be low-born, of no better or more noble origin than themselves, had been able to cause them such misery, was enough to kindle a smouldering fire of discontent into a brilliant blaze. A crusade against Cromwell, they argued, could not be regarded as a revolt against the royal authority. They had no complaint against the King, or even against any of the nobles, but they were determined to rid themselves at one blow of the plebeian minister whom they thoroughly detested and whom they had no cause to respect: with the destruction of Cromwell and his agents, they were certain that the good old days would return. The last verse of their war-song contained a frank avowal of their object:

‘Crim[432] crame[433] & riche[434] w_i_t_h_ thre lll[435] and _th_e liche[436] as sum me_n_ teache god theym amend And that aske may w_i_t_h_out delay here make A stay and well to end[437].’

The reasons why the rising against the authority of Cromwell, known to posterity by the suggestive name of the Pilgrimage of Grace, was organized, and set afoot in the northern counties, are not far to seek. In the first place devotion to the Old Faith, and to the cause of Queen Katherine, was far stronger in the north than in the south of England. A comparison of the ‘comperta’ of the northern and southern monasteries, or of the details of the different visitations, will easily convince the reader of this discrepancy. In the south occur constant complaints by the monks that their superiors failed to observe the canons of religious asceticism; and on the other hand, whenever an abbot refused to acknowledge the Royal Supremacy, his subordinates were always sure to report him to head quarters, in the hope of gaining favour with the King or Cromwell[438]. The letters of Dr. Legh from the south of England contain frequent reports of ‘towardness’ among the inmates, and willingness to adopt the New Faith[439]. In the north one finds none of this. The reports concerning the monasteries there are of a very different sort: immorality and unnatural crimes are the principal charges against the inmates[440]. There is scarcely a record of apostasy; scarcely a case of mutual accusation among the monks. The abbots and their subordinates almost invariably supported each other, and their loyalty to the Old Faith and their hatred of those who tried to disestablish it, gave the Commissioners a far harder task in the north than in the south. There is also reason to think that Cromwell’s spy system operated less perfectly there, partly owing to this spirit of conservatism and love of the old usages permeating every sort and condition of life, and partly owing to the great spaces of wild, uninhabited land.

This is only the religious side. But there were other almost equally valid reasons for the localization of the revolt in the north. The south was thickly populated, and to a certain extent commercial; the north sparsely populated, and for the most part pastoral and agricultural. Cromwell had done everything that he could to facilitate trade, and his efforts in this direction had been rewarded by comparative popularity in the commercial counties. The discontent in the agricultural north, however, was most pronounced. The Statute of Uses had not been in all cases correctly interpreted. It was said that the King made such laws that when a man died his wife and children had to go a-begging[441]. Lastly, the proximity of the Scottish Borders, which were in a continual state of disorder, offered great encouragement for undertaking a rebellion in the north. Cromwell was constantly occupied with the suppression of minor disturbances there[442], owing to the very lax administration of the Courts and Wardens of the three Marches, while across the Tweed an attitude of more or less active hostility to the English government was always maintained. There was every probability that a revolt in the northern counties of the realm would receive substantial aid from Scotland.

But though the Pilgrimage of Grace was locally restricted to the northern counties, it embraced all classes, animated by the most varied interests[443]. The objects of the insurgents were secular and religious, their mottoes conservative and progressive. On their banners were borne the emblems of the five wounds of Christ, a chalice and a host, a plough, and a horn. The first of these symbols indicated that the insurrection had been undertaken for the defence of the faith; the second was to remind the commons of the spoils of the Church. The plough was to encourage the husbandmen, and ‘the horn was in token of Horncastle’: for the banner ‘was brought among the rebels by the commons of Horncastle[444].’ The watchwords of the rebels were of the very most diverse nature. Some of them cried out for the restoration of the suppressed monasteries; others for the renewal of guarantees against exorbitant taxation, for remedies for the agrarian discontent, or for legal permission to leave land by will to daughters and younger sons. All of them united in demanding the destruction of Cromwell, whom the people regarded as the cause of all their woes[445]. The leaders and participants in the revolt were not of any one rank or station in life; the popular and aristocratic elements were almost equally mixed. It is no wonder that a rising, supported by men of such various classes, which aimed at the extirpation of abuses of so many different sorts, and which yet was united by the feeling that all these abuses were due to one man alone, was regarded as ‘the daungerest insurrection that haith ben seen[446].’

On September 29, 1536, when the Commissioners for the suppression of the monasteries came to Hexham in Northumberland, they were rudely surprised by finding the house there fortified, and prepared to defend itself to the last. The Commissioners left the town and reported the affair to the King, who ordered them to assemble all the forces they could muster, and if the monastery did not yield, to treat the monks like arrant traitors[447]. But scarcely was this danger past when news came that the Commissioners for levying the lay subsidy, the collection of which was superintended by Cromwell, had met with a similar experience at Caistor in Lincolnshire. It seems they had feared some disturbance at their arrival, and had invited several country gentlemen to join them in case of any danger. A large force had meantime assembled to resist the payment of the subsidy. The country gentlemen were pursued, taken, and forced to write to Lord Hussey at Sleaford, to summon him to join the rebel commons, unless he wished to be treated as an enemy, and also to send to the King to seek a general pardon[448]. Hussey promptly reported the state of affairs to Cromwell, and though he put a bold face on the matter in presence of the rebels, it is evident that he was seriously alarmed[449]. The King meantime himself received the letter the captured gentlemen had been forced to send him, caused the bearers of it to reveal the names of the ringleaders, and wrote to the Commissioners for levying the subsidy, expressing his distress at the ‘vnnatural vnkyndness’ of his subjects, and marvelling ‘that he that is worth xx li sholde rebell for the payment of x s[450].’ But this sort of letter of mild surprise, with which Henry had sometimes successfully warded off pressing danger, did not prove to be sufficient in this case. He was relieved from any apprehension on his own account; the rebels had expressly denied any desire to be disloyal to the King: they only wished that the Church of England should have its old privileges, ‘without any exaction,’ that the suppressed houses of religion be restored, and that they should not be taxed, except for defence of the realm in time of war. Again and again did they repeat their demands for the surrender or banishment of Cromwell, Audley, Cranmer, Riche, and others of the Privy Council. That the King did not throw over his ministers in their hour of need, surely shows that Henry was committed to them and to their policy, and believed in it.

The situation was certainly alarming. It was very fortunate that at the time of the outbreak the position of the King was otherwise so strong, and England’s foreign affairs in such good condition, that every effort could be centred on the suppression of the revolt. The insurgents evidently meant business. Sir Christopher Ascugh, gentleman usher to the King, wrote to Cromwell, October 6, ‘The rebels ar in nombre of men of armys well harnesyd x or xii m spars and bows; & xxx m other sum harnesyd and sum not harnesyd ... and all the contrey Rysys holly as they goo before them.... Mellessent your s_er_u_au_nt they have hanged & Baytyd Bellowe to deth wyth Dogg_es_ wyth a bull skyn vpon his bake wyth many Regorous word_es_ agaynst your lordeshepp[451].’ Letters were sent to the principal men in the county, asking them to use all their efforts to check the revolt, and the King later declared his intention to take the field himself[452]. Cromwell’s nephew Richard[453] got all the arrows and implements of war out of the Tower, and dispatched a number of men to Lincolnshire, among them sixty or eighty masons and carpenters, who were at work on his uncle’s house. Cromwell himself was in great fear. The Imperial ambassador informs us[454] that the whole blame for the insurrection was laid on him. Norfolk was recalled to the Court, whence he had been banished at Cromwell’s suggestion, and the Duke arrived at London, happy as he had never been before in the thought that the first step towards the ruin of his rival had been taken. But in this he was doomed to disappointment, for Cromwell retained his ascendancy; the King, according to Chapuys, had been very reluctant to send for the Duke, and when the latter was dispatched again to raise men and prevent the spreading of the revolt, he was overtaken by a most ‘discomfortable’ message from the Court, ordering him to send his son in his place while he himself remained at home[455]. Cromwell had not only succeeded in getting him away from the Court, but had also prevented his having a hand in the suppression of the rebellion. The Lord Privy Seal himself was content with maintaining his position at the King’s side. It would have been sheer madness for him to have marched against the rebels in person. If the Lincolnshire men could have murdered him, they probably would have been induced to return quietly to their homes. Nor did Cromwell even dare to give orders at arm’s length, or in any way to undertake the management of the royal forces. He kept himself consistently in the background; almost all our information concerning the rebellion is contained in the correspondence of the King with Norfolk and Suffolk. The few letters which Cromwell did write in connexion with the Pilgrimage of Grace are quite unimportant[456]. They consist for the most part of messages of profuse and almost hysterical thanks to the leaders of the King’s party for their loyal service. It was not until the revolt had been thoroughly suppressed that Cromwell ventured again to assume the general direction of public affairs.

Meantime the Duke of Suffolk and the Earl of Shrewsbury had been sent against the rebels, who were waiting in Lincolnshire for the King’s answer to their first letter. Richard Cromwell had found great difficulty in conveying to the scene the arms and artillery he had got out of the Tower, because the people were at first unwilling to furnish the requisite number of horses, owing to sympathy with the insurgents, if one may believe the report of Chapuys’ nephew[457]. Finally, however, he succeeded in overtaking the Duke of Suffolk, who was marching with an army against the rebels from the south, at Stamford on October 10. The Earl of Shrewsbury, according to the King’s orders, was advancing at the same time from Nottingham. Caught between two armies supplied with the ordnance which the insurgents so much dreaded, the Lincolnshire men, further frightened by a proclamation from the Earl of Shrewsbury transmitted to them by one Thomas Miller, Lancaster Herald, began to lose heart and finally consented to surrender, on condition that they should receive assurance of merciful treatment. The King was pleased, ordered the rebels to deliver up their arms, and commanded Shrewsbury and Suffolk to examine the country gentlemen who had aided them, and report to him[458]. He further wrote an answer to the insurgents, calling them the ‘rude commons of one shire, and that one of the most brute and beestelie of the hole realme[459],’ expatiating on the trouble he had given himself in their defence, and assuring them that they had no grounds to complain of any of the new measures, either secular or religious. He was just thinking that the worst part of the danger was over, when suddenly news came from Lord Darcy, who was the chief person in the north, that all Yorkshire had risen in a similar way[460].

The news of this outbreak was even more disquieting than that of the first. Besides being much further from London, where the King’s armies could only reach them with great difficulty, the Yorkshire rebels were nearer the lawless and hostile Scottish borders. They had from the very first been in sympathy with their neighbours in the south, and had communicated with them by means of beacons burned on the banks of the Humber[461]. The same motives had prompted them to rise in arms. They elected as captain a young barrister named Aske, who issued a proclamation for all men to assemble on Skipworth Moor, and take oath to be faithful to the King’s issue and noble blood, to preserve the Church from spoil, and be true to the commonwealth--a clever euphemism for demanding the death of Cromwell and his adherents. The Yorkshiremen had gone about their revolt with far more method and system than the Lincolnshire rebels. The latter had been easily conquered, mainly because they lacked a head; but the Yorkshiremen promised to give far more trouble. They made musters by scrolls and bills nailed to the door of every church in the county, and proclaimed that any one who refused to take their oaths and rise with them should be put to death, whether he was lord or peasant. It was even rumoured that they intended to send an embassy to Flanders, to ask for aid in money and armed men, and to petition the Pope for absolution for all offences committed in the course of their holy pilgrimage[462].

The King replied at once to Darcy’s letter, commanding him to arrest all seditious persons, and promising so to treat the originators of the revolt in Lincolnshire that all York should soon learn that they had got their deserts[463]. Darcy wrote to the Lord Mayor of York, warning him to be prepared to resist the insurgents, while he himself proceeded to Pomfret Castle to hold it against the rebels, and there awaited further instructions from the King[464]. He succeeded in maintaining his position at Pomfret for only ten days however, for on October 20 he surrendered the town to the rebel army under the leadership of Aske, and together with the Archbishop of York, who had sought refuge there, swore to take part with the insurgents[465]. At his trial in the following year he pleaded that he was unable to hold out any longer because the provisions had run short, and further stated that he had been compelled to side with the rebels under pain of death. He also alleged as an excuse for his conduct that he thought that if he got in touch with the insurgents, he could the more easily induce them to lay down their arms. How loyal he really was to the King must remain a matter of conjecture, but there is strong reason to think that he had much sympathy with the revolt[466].

For a time the rebels seemed to carry all before them. Shrewsbury had been ordered to go to Yorkshire and engage the insurgents there, now that Lincolnshire was regarded as safe. Meantime Thomas Miller, Lancaster Herald, who had been so successful in obtaining the submission of the Lincolnshire men, was sent by the King from Scrooby, on October 21, to read a royal proclamation to the rebels at Pomfret, upbraiding them for their conduct, but promising them pardon on condition that they should immediately disperse. When he arrived at his destination the town had been surrendered. Aske, although he treated the royal envoy with all due respect, entirely refused to let him read his proclamation in public, and sent him away with two crowns and his errand unaccomplished[467].

Meantime the Duke of Norfolk, who two weeks before had returned sadly to Kenninghall with all his hopes of regaining the royal favour blighted, had been hurried to and fro in the south of England by a continued stream of conflicting orders from Cromwell and the King, until he finally heard of the disturbances in Yorkshire from Shrewsbury[468]. He immediately turned his steps with a small company of men towards Doncaster, in the hope of regaining the King’s favour by a prompt suppression of the new outbreak. So anxious was he to recommend himself to Henry, that he spent £1,500 of his own in paying the wages of the King’s soldiers; and when this was not sufficient, and Henry refused to advance any money, he asked for a loan to meet the expenses, and took the responsibility for its payment upon himself[469]. Norfolk’s whole proceeding in this crisis was eminently characteristic. He never hesitated to spend money or to tell lies, if he thought that by so doing there was any possibility of gaining the royal favour. He assured the King that, in treating with rebels, he would pay no respect to what others might call his ‘honour distayned,’ for he considered it perfectly permissible to break promises in order to serve the Crown[470]. Henry, it would seem, did not take Norfolk’s treacherous proposals to sacrifice his own honour in the royal service in as good part as the Duke had hoped, and wrote back hinting that if Norfolk made promises to the rebels that he could not keep, he must make them on his own responsibility, and take great care that the King’s name remained unsullied.

When the Duke arrived in the rebel country he issued a proclamation to the insurgents, commanding them in proud and haughty terms to submit, and promising to be an intercessor for them with the King. This was on October 27. But the very next day he wrote to Henry that he had been forced to declare to the insurgents the royal pardon, in order to ‘sparple’ them, and get them to return to their homes[471]. It is evident that in the meantime a meeting must have taken place between the Duke and the rebels, in which the latter succeeded in convincing their enemy that they, and not he, were in the position to dictate terms. A general truce was arranged, and Lord Darcy was ordered to cease to molest the insurgents[472]. The dread with which Norfolk awaited his first interview with the King is vividly described in the letter in which he announced to the Council his prospective return to the Court. ‘I come,’ wrote the Duke, ‘w_i_t_h_ my hert nere bresten ... inforced to appoynt with the rebell_es_ ... and fearing how his maieste shall take the dispeachyng of our bande[473].’

Norfolk finally arrived at Windsor with two emissaries from the insurgents, who were to report their grievances and receive the King’s answer. Henry was just composing his reply when news came that Aske had attempted to stir up the rebels in the other northern counties. Norfolk wrote to Darcy that the King suspected him of treachery in delivering up Pomfret to Aske, and advised him to do his best to ‘extinct the ill bruit,’ by taking the rebel leader dead or alive[474]. Meantime the King detained Ellerker and Bowes, the two rebel envoys, as hostages, while Darcy attempted to allay any fears of a third outbreak. The King in fact was so seriously alarmed at the danger in the north, that he dreaded that his letter to the Lincolnshire men in early October might not prove sufficient to prevent their joining a new revolt, if such occurred. So seeing their ‘maner, implieng a great repentance,’ and contrasting it with the rebellious attitude of the Yorkshiremen, he sent them on the 14th of November a full pardon[475]. Meantime the report of the probability of a fresh insurrection passed by, and Ellerker and Bowes returned with the King’s answer, with which Henry had taken much trouble, and had endeavoured to disguise the fact that he was really suing for peace, by promising to pardon those who were truly penitent. A conference for discussion of terms was arranged to assemble at Doncaster on the 5th of December, in which Lords Scrope, Latimer, Lumley, Darcy, and others were to represent the rebels, and Norfolk, Suffolk, Shrewsbury, Rutland, and their subordinates the King[476].

Henry laid his plans carefully in preparation for this meeting. He instructed Shrewsbury to do his utmost to prevail upon Aske and Darcy to betray the rebels, upon promise of a free pardon for themselves. He also ordered the Duke of Suffolk to hold himself in readiness with a large force in case of another outbreak[477]. There was probably far less danger that the truce would be broken by the rebels than by the King; but the former certainly had no intention of returning to their homes without at least an assurance of a general amnesty. Henry soon realized that they were in earnest, and reluctantly instructed Suffolk, in a second letter, to yield to their demands for a free pardon and a Parliament as a last resort, if all other expedients to induce them to disperse should fail[478]. The conference at Doncaster lasted four days, but in the end the rebels were successful in gaining their wishes, and the desired pardon was proclaimed on the 9th of December[479]. Henry had never before been forced to acknowledge such a complete check at the hands of his subjects, and the sensations of the proud King must have been as disagreeable as they were novel. Still it was impossible for him to give vent to his rage until he had once more obtained the upper hand.

So he wrote to Aske requesting an interview with him in London. The tone of the letter is noteworthy. Though evidently beaten, Henry spoke as if he were master of the situation, and began by stating that he had learned that Aske was sorry for his offences in the late rebellion. The King also did his utmost to stop any rumours on the Continent which might give the impression that the rebels had come off victorious. He instructed Cromwell to write a full account of the revolt to Gardiner and Wallop at the French Court, ordering them to tell all people that though at first the insurgents ‘made petic_i_on to haue obteyned certain articles, ... in thende they went from all and remytted all to the king_es_ highnes pleasure only in moost humble and reuerent sorte desiring their p_ar_don, w_i_t_h_ the greatest repentance that could be deuised[480].’ But Henry was a little premature with his boasts that peace had been concluded on terms so favourable to himself. Aske indeed came up to London, had what certainly appeared to be a most successful interview with the King, and returned to the North, January 5, 1537, to confirm the royal pardon, and to promise that all reasonable petitions should be heard by Parliament[481]. But the other rebels did not seem by any means as sure of Henry’s good faith. Aske wrote to the King a letter containing six ‘marvilus congectures’ of the people, among which were the dread with which they regarded the fortifying of strongholds, and their distrust that Cromwell and his adherents were as high in favour as ever[482]. Henry of course paid no attention to these complaints, with the result that many of the insurgents, who ‘saw plainly,’ as the Court historian writes, ‘that the King did constantly follow the reformation of the abominable Church ... incontinently renewed the old practice of rebelling again[483].’ A plan was evolved by Sir Francis Bigod and a certain John Hallam, to attack and take both Hull and Scarborough: the whole country was ready to rise again, and they anticipated an easy victory[484]. But the success of this last outbreak was very short-lived. The attempt which Hallam made against Hull failed, owing to the fact that the plot had been reported to the mayor there, and Hallam himself was captured[485]. At Scarborough Bigod was scarcely more fortunate. He had succeeded in calling out the people of the East Riding, and had harangued them; ‘Ye are deceaued by a colo_ur_ of a pardon,’ he said, ‘for it is called a pardon that ye haue, and it is none But a p_ro_clamacion.’ The commons responded to his words with a great shout, and he marched off with a large following to repair his comrade’s disaster at Hull, leaving the son of Lord Lumley with a handful of men to attack Scarborough[486]. But Lumley deserted his post, abandoning the command to two subordinates, who attempted to lay siege to the castle of Scarborough in the absence of its keeper, Sir Ralph Evers; the latter, however, soon returned, and they gave up the enterprise, only to be captured and imprisoned. Bigod’s second attempt on Hull had meantime also failed, and Bigod himself fled[487].

Meantime the Duke of Norfolk had returned into the north, no longer as a peace commissioner, but as a messenger of death and destruction[488]. Now that the tide of affairs had turned and the rebels were weakened, the King thought it at last safe to inflict the long-deferred punishment on the leaders of the revolt. It is true that Norfolk was accompanied by a few persons, who together with certain gentlemen in the north were to compose a council to aid him in carrying out a general pacification: this arrangement, however, was obviously temporary, and it was soon to be replaced by a more stable form of government. The true mission of the Duke was to do ‘dreadful execution.’ Before a permanent reorganization of the north could be attempted, it was absolutely essential that the chief rebels should be dealt with in such a way as would deter others from attempting a fresh insurrection. The situation demanded severity, and there can be no doubt that the inclination of the King tallied closely with the dictates of political expediency. Norfolk justified to the full the confidence that Henry reposed in his ruthlessness. He reported that he thought that so great a number had never before been put to death at one time, and confessed that had he proceeded by jury, not one in five would have suffered[489]. All the rebel leaders were taken and sent up to London, and by the end of July, 1537, Aske, Darcy, Hussey, Bigod, and many others had been condemned to death as traitors. Darcy at his mock trial had dared to tell Cromwell: ‘It is thow that art the verey originall and chif causer of all thies rebellyon and myschif ... and dust ernestly travell to bring vs to owr end and to strik of our hedd_es_ and I trust that ... thought thow woldest procure all the nobell mens hedd_es_ within the Realme to be striken of, yet shall ther one hedde remayn that shall strike of thy hede[490].’ But the Lord Privy Seal was still in too secure a position to be harmed by any such words as these. He seemed in higher favour than ever. If Norfolk had entertained the notion that he had begun to supplant his rival in the royal favour, when the King chose him rather than Cromwell to carry out the ‘dreadful execution,’ he was again doomed to disappointment. The reason why the King had not been willing to employ his favourite instrument of destruction in this case, lay for the most part in the fact that he needed his aid in a far more important task, to which Norfolk’s proceedings were merely a necessary preliminary. For the moment had now arrived for the long-contemplated reform of the government of the north, a matter in which the Duke vainly attempted to give advice. His proffered counsel was consistently rejected: in dealing with this problem the King preferred to consult Cromwell.

The Border Counties of England had never been governed like the rest of the kingdom[491]. The institution of the three Scottish Marches, which at first included the greater part of Northumberland and Cumberland, took its rise as early as the middle of the thirteenth century. Each of these three Marches was placed in charge of a Warden, who, aided by a special court, exercised general authority, judicial, military, and administrative, according to his commission. There appears also at a very early date a kind of informal conference or Council of the Marches, composed of the ordinary March authorities, sitting in conjunction with local magnates. When the war with Scotland broke out at the end of the thirteenth century, the King attempted through the Privy Council to increase his personal influence in the north. He did not disturb the existing organization however. By special commissions he strengthened the power of the Wardens, and later gave the government of the Marches a definite head in an officer called the Lieutenant of the North, who represented the King’s interest, and derived his authority from the Crown and Council and not from Parliament. The Border Counties were thus placed under a special jurisdiction and outside the ordinary administration of the kingdom. The tendency of the Privy Council to mingle in the affairs of the north increased during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and (as a result of the strained relations between England and Scotland in the early part of the reign of Henry VIII.) reached its culmination under Wolsey. The Lieutenant’s control had meantime been extended southward into Yorkshire.

It may perhaps seem strange that the Tudors, with their special genius for centralization and conciliar government, had not yet succeeded in rendering the condition of the north more satisfactory, when its administration lay so completely in their own hands. But the ever-threatening danger of a raid from the Scots, coupled with the bitter feuds of the local baronage, tended so far to disorganize the region that the problem of the north had remained unsolved. The attempt of Wolsey to reform the government of the Border Counties had consisted in a thorough rehabilitation of the old Council of the Marches. He replaced the ill-defined, loosely-constructed body which had hitherto done service by a secret, permanent organization, composed principally of northern gentlemen, but still entirely dependent on the Privy Council. His reluctance to grant the local organ a sufficient degree of autonomy was the cause of the failure of his plan. The renovated Council of the Marches was forced to confess itself incompetent to deal with even the simplest problems which presented themselves for solution, and the old unsatisfactory state of affairs continued with little change, until after the Pilgrimage of Grace.

The problem of the reorganization of the north was now vigorously attacked by Henry and Cromwell during the absence of Norfolk. The question which presented itself after the suppression of the revolt was whether it would be better to create an entirely new form of government for the north, or to reconstruct, readapt, and strengthen the old. The principle of control by a permanent local council, first definitely established by Wolsey, was essentially characteristic of the Tudor policy, and Henry and Cromwell saw no reason to depart from it. It had been one of the chief sources of the strength of their rule, that though they never shrank from any change, however radical, which the demands of a royal despotism in Church and State rendered necessary, they carefully avoided any gratuitous innovations which they knew would be unwelcome to the people at large. An entirely fresh organization of the north would have been exceedingly unpopular, especially in that most conservative portion of England: it was far less obnoxious, and equally effective, to infuse new life into the old régime, by granting the Council of the Marches a sufficient degree of independence, and above all by changing its composition. The problem was in many respects similar to that with which Cromwell had been confronted in connexion with the election of bishops. No radical innovation was needed in either case; the _status quo_, when fortified by official sanction, was perfectly satisfactory, save for a few trifling readaptations. It was on this basis accordingly, that Henry and Cromwell resolved to reconstruct the government of the Border Counties. The old forms were retained though under different names. The jurisdiction of the Council of the North (merely a new version of the old Council of the Marches) was extended so as to include the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, York, and Durham. It was given wider competence in general administration, and its judicial authority in certain cases was so strengthened as to exclude that of the ordinary courts in the districts in which it exercised its functions[492].

Far more interesting for our purpose than the jurisdiction of the newly-organized Council, is its composition, especially as revealing the identity of its originator. It seems that the new body was largely composed of men of low birth, a certain indication that Cromwell’s was the guiding hand in its organization[493]. The ‘base-born knave’ at whose feet England lay had succeeded in proving to the King, that he and others of humble origin had as much power and willingness to serve the Crown as any nobleman in the land. Moreover the personal character of many of the members of the new Council was not above reproach, and though this fact does not seem to have disturbed the King, a bitter protest was evoked from Cromwell’s rival, the Duke of Norfolk, who, from his isolated position in the north, had watched with increasing impatience the success of the Lord Privy Seal in maintaining his influence at Court, and in organizing a body obviously intended to supplant the temporary council composed in the previous January. Norfolk’s anxiety to recommend himself to the King had alone induced him to take upon himself the task of punishing the revolt; now that he discovered that with all his subserviency Cromwell had again stepped into the place which he had coveted for himself, his enthusiasm for executing rebels gave place to petitions to be permitted to return to Court. But Cromwell was strong enough to keep him in the north till September, and the Duke was forced to content himself with writing letters to the King and Council, to complain of the new arrangements for the government of the Borders which had been made in his absence[494]. He and Cromwell came into collision here, just as they had done before over Irish affairs: each had his own idea as to the best method of government in both cases, and the antagonism of the two men was the sharper in that each knew that his favour with the King depended on the success of his plan of administration. The Duke from the very first was convinced that ‘the wylde peple of all the Marches wolde not be kept in order vnles one of good estimacion and nobilitie have the ordering therof,’ while Cromwell and the Council asserted that the King had already been ill served on the Borders ‘by _th_e reason of controversy & variaunce depending between _th_e great men _tha_t ly upon _th_e same’; but, they continued, ‘if it shal please his M_ajesty_ to appoynt _th_e meanest man ... to rule & govern in _tha_t place; is not his Graces aucthoritie sufficient to cause al men to serve his Grace under him w_i_thout respect of _th_e very estate of _th_e personage?[495]’ The dispute on this point began in early February, when Norfolk wrote to protest against certain names in a list of officers for the north which the Privy Council had sent him. ‘More arraunt thev_es_ and murderers be not in no Realme,’ asserted the Duke, ‘then they haue of Long tyme been and yet ar ... and the same shall not only cause Light p_er_soun_es_ to saye and beleve that the King_es_ Highnes is fayne to Hire with Fees the moost malefactors ‹in order› to syt in rest, but also not to Loke vppon theire most detestable offenc_es_[496].’ An animated correspondence on this topic continued for several months, the dispute finally centering about the Presidency of the new Council and the Wardenships of the three Marches; Norfolk insisted that only noblemen were fitted to hold these offices[497]. In May the discussion was finally closed by the King, who had steadily supported the position adopted by Cromwell and the Council. Henry now took the matter into his own hands, and sent a peremptory letter to the Duke. ‘We doo accept in good p_ar_te,’ wrote the King, ‘the declarac_i_on of yo_ur_ opinion for the March_es_. Neuertheles we doubt not but you woll both conforme yo_ur_ owne mynde to fynde out the good order whiche we haue therin determyned and cause other by your good meane to p_er_ceyve the same. For surely we woll not be bounde of a necessitie to be s_er_ued there with lord_es_, But we wolbe s_er_ued with such men what degre soeuer they be of as we shall appointe to the same[498].’ The Presidency of the Council was finally conferred on Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham. The death of the Earl of Northumberland in June, 1537, served as a convenient pretext for the suppression of the Lord Wardenship of the East and Middle Marches, which that nobleman had previously enjoyed; and the Earl of Cumberland, who had hitherto held a similar office on the West Marches, was not permitted long to retain it. Three Deputy Wardens, Sir William Evers, Sir John Witherington, and Sir Thomas Wharton, were appointed in their places by the King and Cromwell[499]; the three March Courts were revived, and exercised concurrent jurisdiction with the new Council[500], which was also composed as Henry and his minister had originally planned it[499]. In every point the advice of Cromwell had been taken in preference to that of Norfolk, and when the Duke finally obtained leave to return to Court in September, it must have been with the feeling that he had again suffered defeat at the hands of his plebeian rival. The rebellion, which eleven months before had threatened to hurl Cromwell from his place, had been completely quelled, and the country had been again reduced to internal quiet. The danger while it lasted had indeed been pressing, but so firmly had Cromwell been established as the King’s chief minister by the events of the years 1530 to 1536, that the storm passed over him and left him scathless. The failure of the Pilgrimage of Grace and the process of reconstruction which followed it, bore witness to the thoroughness with which he had carried out his main aim in internal government, and to the security of the position to which he had elevated himself by his temporary success in establishing a royal despotism.



The story of the life of Reginald Pole and of the destruction of his illustrious family will always be inseparably bound up with the history of Thomas Cromwell. It affords the most striking example of the unscrupulous policy of the King’s minister towards those who stood in the way of the royal despotism in Church and State. It forms moreover a valuable connecting link between the internal and foreign administration of the time, as it concerns itself with nearly all the great problems which Cromwell had to face.

To turn for a moment to the earlier history of Pole; he was born in March, 1500, the fourth son of Sir Richard Pole, and his wife Margaret, Countess of Salisbury[501]. In his youth Henry had helped him forward in his education, paying twelve pounds for his maintenance at school, and later obtaining for him a pension from the Prior of St. Frideswide’s, while he was an undergraduate at Magdalen College[502]. Subsequently, by the royal munificence Pole was enabled to go to Italy, where he worked with the foremost scholars of the time[503]. He returned to England in 1527 and there received many marks of distinction, but wishing to continue his studies, he soon removed to Paris. Henry was particularly anxious that the University there should pronounce in favour of the divorce, and with some difficulty induced Pole to carry on negotiations with it to that intent. When the University finally came to the decision that the King desired, Pole received a hearty letter of commendation and was subsequently induced to return to England[504].

Henry now urged him openly to support the divorce, and offered him as an inducement the archbishopric of York, which had been left vacant at Wolsey’s death, but in vain. Pole firmly refused to approve of the King’s new measures, saying that to do so would be inconsistent with his principles[505]. A little later he witnessed the concessions wrung from the clergy concerning the Royal Supremacy, and was not slow to perceive that it was by Cromwell’s agency that the entire ecclesiastical system of the country had been overthrown. He called to mind the conversation he had held years before with the ‘Satanae Nuncius,’ when the latter had dared to uphold the superiority of Machiavelli’s doctrines to the scholastic learning, and soon became convinced that England was not a safe place for a man of his ideas, while such a person as Cromwell was in power. He accordingly requested leave to continue his study of theology abroad, and obtained Henry’s consent[506].

He settled down at Padua, and there lived the quiet life of a scholar until 1535, when the King determined to find out about him. He sought information concerning Pole and his beliefs from one Thomas Starkey, who had long been an intimate of the future Cardinal. In answer to the King’s inquiries Starkey sent back an imaginary dialogue between Pole and his companion Lupset, in which the former was represented as opposed on principle to a royal despotism, but still personally faithful to Henry VIII. The King, however, was not contented with this vague and half-contradictory reply, and caused Starkey to write again to Pole and ask him honestly to express his views about the divorce and the Royal Supremacy[507]. To this Pole responded in May, 1536, with a letter enclosing his famous treatise, ‘De Unitate Ecclesiae,’ which he sent by his faithful servant Michael Throgmorton[508]. This work fulfilled all too perfectly Henry’s request for a candid opinion; so plain were its expressions of disapproval, that even Starkey himself felt obliged to write to the King to say how much he had been shocked by its violence[509]. Henry dissembled his anger, and sent Throgmorton back to Pole with a message urging him to come home in order that he might talk with him more fully. The King took good care to make Throgmorton himself promise to return in any case[510]. Coupled with the King’s message came a letter of reproof from Pole’s mother, which had evidently been written at Henry’s command[511]. This letter aroused Pole’s suspicions and he refused to return, alleging as his excuse the fact that the King enforced with ‘sore severitie’ a law by which any man who would not consent to his supremacy was declared a traitor. It appears from Pole’s reply that Cromwell had also written to him, ‘to styrr hym the more vehemently.’ If the letter of the King’s minister was half as savage and threatening as those which he later wrote, it is no wonder that Pole was alarmed.

On the 22nd of December, 1536, Pole much against his will was created Cardinal at Rome, and two months later was appointed Papal legate to England[512]. It appears that in spite of the Ten Articles the Pope had not yet given up all hope of re-establishing his power in Henry’s dominions, and had determined to make use of Pole as the most likely means of accomplishing this end. The news of the latter’s new dignity and of the Papal intentions against England was received with dread at the King’s Court. It was remembered that as far back as 1512 a prophecy had been made to the effect, ‘that one with a Red Cap brought up from low degree to high estate should rule all the land under the King, ... and afterwards procure the King to take another wife, divorce his lawful wife, Queen Catherina, and involve the land in misery’; and that further ‘that divorce should lead to the utter fall of the said Red Cap ... and after much misery the land should by another Red Cap be reconciled, or else brought to utter destruction[513].’ We are told that Cromwell knew this prophecy well, and that he often discussed it, and sought to learn whether the last part of it should some day come to pass, as he had seen the first fulfilled in his own time. Had Pole been able to arrive in England promptly, so that he could have taken advantage of the disturbance caused by Bigod’s rebellion, it is possible that Cromwell’s fears might have been realized before his death, and that a reconciliation with Rome might have taken place in 1537 instead of in 1554. But the bull of legation was unaccountably delayed till the 31st of March[514]. Meantime the northern revolt had been crushed, Francis and Charles were still at war, and Pole’s chance had gone. By this time Henry had doubtless perceived that the new-made Cardinal could never be induced to support his cause, but would certainly oppose it as long as he lived. As reconciliation seemed impossible, the King turned his thoughts to arrest or execution. The foreign affairs of England at that juncture were in such a favourable condition that Henry felt strong enough to dictate both to the Emperor and to the King of France. Informed by the latter (who was just then in terror of losing England’s friendship because of his war with Charles) that Pole was coming through France with money to help the northern rebels, Henry was bold enough to demand in answer that he should not be received as a legate, and also that he should be extradited as a traitor; he also wrote to Gardiner at Paris to keep ‘good espyall’ on his movements[515]. A letter from Sir Thomas Palmer, a somewhat quarrelsome knight at Calais, would seem to indicate that a plot to apprehend or assassinate Pole had been set on foot as early as the spring of 1537, and Cromwell in a letter to Gardiner of May 18 further discusses the matter[516]. Pole, however, had been advised of these treacherous schemes, and had escaped first to Cambray and later to the palace of the Cardinal of Liège, where he remained, grieved and mortified at the failure of his mission, but perfectly safe from Cromwell’s assassins[517]. Returning thence to Rome at the Pope’s command, he reported the unsuccessful result of his journey in October.

Meantime in January, 1537, Michael Throgmorton had fulfilled his promise and returned to England[518]. If Henry had once thought that Pole’s servant would put his loyalty to the Crown before his faithfulness to his master[519], he must have been convinced of his mistake by this time; but Throgmorton was saved from punishment for the present by Henry’s temporary failure to subdue the Pilgrimage of Grace, and anxiety lest fresh hostility should be aroused abroad; and was soon sent back to carry to his master a final warning to desist from attacking the Royal Supremacy[520]. From this errand Throgmorton did not return; it would have been the act of a madman to do so, considering the way in which events were moving. Instead, he wrote two long and conciliatory letters to Cromwell, one from Rome on February 15, the other from Liège on August 20[521]. In the first he attempted to appease the anger of the King, which had been aroused by Pole’s acceptance of the Cardinalate. In the second he insisted that Pole had always done his utmost for the advancement of the King’s honour and good name, except in matters which concerned the unity of the Church. Furthermore he pointed out that though Henry had treated him as a rebel and put a price upon his head, the Cardinal had shown great forbearance in not leaving his book against the King in the hands of the Pope, who would infallibly have published it, and in refusing the exercise of certain censures which had been prepared against Henry in Rome. Throgmorton added, moreover, that the Pope had just called Pole back to Italy to take part in the General Council appointed for the following November, at which it was inevitable that strong measures would be taken against England. He assured Cromwell that if the King desired to avoid this danger it would be indispensable for him to become reconciled to Pole, on whose attitude at the Council so much depended. Throgmorton appears to have supplemented this letter with a verbal suggestion that a conference should be arranged between the King’s chaplain Dr. Wilson and the Cardinal, before the latter’s departure for Rome, in the hope that some final agreement might be reached. He promised to use his own efforts to induce Pole to do his part, and seized the opportunity to excuse himself for not returning to England, by observing in this connexion that he could best further the King’s interests by tarrying with his master. At first the plan which Throgmorton proposed seems to have found acceptance with Henry. A favourable reply was drawn up by Cromwell, and Dr. Wilson and his companion, Dr. Nicholas Heath, received instructions preparatory to a conference with Pole[522]. But though Henry, discouraged as he was by his failures to kill or capture the Cardinal, appears to have been momentarily persuaded that Throgmorton’s suggestion was feasible, his minister from the first was strongly opposed to it. The first draft of the reply to the letter of Pole’s servant bears every evidence of having been written under compulsion, and Cromwell must have succeeded, before it was actually sent, in persuading the King that a mission which was to meet the Cardinal on his own ground could only result in failure, and that the sole thing to do was openly to menace Pole and his family with assassination. Such at least seems the most probable explanation of the fact that Wilson and Heath never started on their errand, and of the singularly abusive and malevolent letter with which Cromwell finally replied to that of Throgmorton[523]. The last hope of reconciliation with the Cardinal had vanished; not he alone, but also his aged mother and brother in England, had been threatened with destruction. Another obstacle to Henry’s despotism was to be annihilated, as every attempt to surmount it had failed.

Pole meanwhile remained in Italy, assured of his personal safety but grieved to the heart that his mother and brother were still in England, where the King could take vengeance on them for his own alleged treason. In August, 1538, his brother, Sir Geoffrey Pole, was arrested and placed in the Tower, where he was examined on the charge of having had treacherous correspondence with his brother Reginald, and having interfered with the King’s endeavours to arrest him[524]. His replies to the questions put to him implicated many others, and before the close of the year the heads of the powerful families of Montague, Courtenay, Delawarr, and Nevill had been arrested and sent to the Tower[525]. There is reason to believe that the confessions of Sir Geoffrey Pole were extorted from him by threats of torture, to serve as an excuse for the arrest of these noblemen, and a letter of Castillon to Montmorency asserts that their destruction had been decided on long before, on account of their connexion with the Yorkist dynasty[526]. Cromwell’s activity in procuring matter for the various indictments is sufficiently attested by an enormous number of notes of evidence and memoranda for prosecution in the hand of his chief clerk. The apparent difficulty which he had in trumping up any plausible charges against his victims, would seem to show that no adequate proof of any really disloyal intent could be found. Indeed, in order to have any sort of excuse for the arrests of the Marquis and Marchioness of Exeter, Cromwell had to exhume a long forgotten episode, and accuse the latter of having ridden in disguise three years before to confer with the Holy Maid; while it was remembered that the Marquis had been put in the Tower in 1531 on the charge of assembling the commons of Cornwall for an insurrection, with intent to depose the King. An unfortunate remark of Courtenay’s that ‘Knavys rule about the Kyng,’ and that he hoped ‘to gyue them a buffet oone day,’ was brought up against him as a treasonable sentence; it certainly could not have been pleasing to Cromwell, who was doubtless the arch-‘knave’ referred to[527]. But it is very unlikely that any of the unfortunate noblemen had been guilty of crimes which could fairly be interpreted as treason. The French ambassador had hit upon the real secret of their offences when he remarked that they all were adherents of the White Rose[528]. In fact the whole plot against Pole may in one sense be regarded as preparatory to a final attack on the Yorkist nobles, whose position had never been secure since the accession of the House of Tudor. Blow after blow had been struck against them by Henry VIII. and his father, but still some vestige of them seemed always to remain, to threaten the King’s position and endanger his succession. There can be no doubt that Cromwell, whose action in the case was certainly influenced more than usual by personal animosity, found little difficulty in persuading the King that the existence of Courtenay was a serious menace to the security of the reigning dynasty, on account of the claim that he had to the throne as grandson of Edward IV. At any rate, Henry seemed resolved on a wholesale destruction of all nobles who could possibly be regarded as rivals of the Crown, and the relationship of most of his victims to the family of the persecuted Cardinal afforded him a pretext of which he did not fail to take advantage. Exeter, Montague, and Nevill were beheaded in December, on Tower Hill, while Sir Geoffrey Pole, who had been tried and condemned with them, was spared, mainly, as Cromwell frankly told Castillon at the end of December, because the King expected to get something more out of him[529]. He was ultimately pardoned, but passed the rest of his life in musing, ‘going about,’ says a contemporary writer, ‘like one terror-stricken all his days[530].’

The Marchioness of Exeter and the Countess of Salisbury were meantime held prisoners in the Tower. On May 12, 1539, ‘the moste tractable parlament’ that Henry ever had passed a sweeping bill of attainder, to legalize the wanton massacres of the preceding year and to destroy the victims who still remained[531]. The Marchioness of Exeter was subsequently pardoned, but the Countess dragged on a miserable existence in prison for more than two years after her attainder. The only evidence of her treason was a cloth which had been found in her house, embroidered on one side with the arms of England and on the other with the five wounds of Christ, the emblem carried by the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace. Still execution was delayed, and it was not until the spring of 1541, almost a year after the death of Cromwell, that an insurrection in Yorkshire under Sir John Nevill sealed her fate, and she was barbarously beheaded by a clumsy executioner on May 28[532].

Meantime the Cardinal at Rome, powerless as he was to prevent the ruin of his family, was contriving in some way to humble the arrogant King and the ruthless minister who had caused him so much woe. The Pope saw that what Henry dreaded most of all was a coalition of Francis and Charles, and as there was a good prospect of this event at the close of 1538, he sent Pole to each of these two sovereigns to urge them to agree to stop all trade with England and lay the foundation for a continental league against her. Pole gladly accepted the task, and careless of his own safety, though he knew that his path would be full of Henry’s hired assassins, he set out for Spain and reached the Emperor’s Court at Toledo in safety in February, 1539. When the King heard of his arrival there, he wrote to Charles in very much the same way that he had addressed Francis two years before, accusing Pole as a traitor, and demanding his extradition as such, or at least insisting that Charles should not grant him an audience[533]. But unfortunately Henry was now no longer in a position to dictate, and the Emperor, realizing this, saw no reason to accede to his request, and answered, as Cromwell later wrote to Wriothesley, that if Pole ‘wer_e_ his owne trayto_ur_, co_m_myng from that holy father’ he could not refuse him audience[534]. But in spite of all this, the Cardinal’s mission was a failure. Charles for the present was content with the slight rebuke that he had given Henry for his bullying ways; cautious as ever, he did not propose to put himself in a position from which he could not retreat until he was sure of his ground, and intimated to the legate that the Pope had made a great mistake in publishing censures which he could not enforce. Pole could not obtain his consent to the Papal proposals and left Toledo much discouraged[535]. He was also exceedingly suspicious of some design of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s to cause his assassination, and mentioned it in a later letter to Cardinal Contarini[536]. That his fears were not entirely groundless is shown by a cipher letter from Wyatt to Cromwell containing many passages pregnant with hidden meaning which can only be explained if such a design is premised[537]. Pole soon betook himself to his friend Sadolet at Carpentras, whence he sent a messenger to Francis on the same errand as that on which he himself had gone to Charles. The French King’s reply was as unsatisfactory as the Emperor’s had been, and in 1540 the Cardinal returned to Rome with his mission unaccomplished, and deriving only small consolation from the thought that he had been successful in baffling the attempts of Henry’s and Cromwell’s assassins.

The story of Pole’s life between 1535 and 1540 is the thread which binds together the foreign and domestic, secular and religious history of Cromwell’s administration. The Cardinal’s attempts to make the King renounce his title of Supreme Head and the other insignia of the despotism to which Cromwell had raised him at home were an absolute failure, and were punished with the shockingly unjust and cruel destruction of his family. Still his efforts to thwart the main aim of the foreign policy of the time, namely the separation of the interests of France and Spain, though not directly successful, were instrumental in bringing about the fall of his arch-enemy Cromwell. For the endeavours of the Cardinal were one of a number of things which combined to persuade the minister that the catastrophe which seemed imminent throughout the year 1539 could not be averted without external aid, and thus to induce him to take a step on his own responsibility which soon led him into disastrous conflict with the King.



During the ten years of Cromwell’s ministry, the relations of England with the great continental powers presented a problem fully as difficult as that afforded by the course of events at home. Cromwell’s efforts to cope with the dangers which threatened England from without were far less successful than his internal administration: in the latter he never failed to render invaluable service to the Crown, while in the former he made the mistake which finally lost him the royal favour and brought him to the block. As the results of the minister’s external policy thus led directly to his fall, we may now return to the chronological order of events, which was abandoned while the various phases of his home government were under consideration.

Cromwell had entered the King’s service in 1530 with training and talents which rendered him far more competent to undertake the domestic administration of the country than to guide its foreign affairs. His acquaintance with different trades, his legal ability, and his experience in the suppression of the smaller monasteries for Wolsey’s purposes were of inestimable value to him throughout his ministry in dealing with problems at home. But in the management of affairs abroad he was still very inexperienced. He had borne no part in the great schemes of external policy which had occupied the Cardinal, and though his speech in the Parliament of 1523 showed a very just appreciation of the situation of England abroad, he had had no opportunity to put his ideas into practice. Thus at the outset we find him cautiously remaining in the background and awaiting the development of the King’s foreign policy. In this he was wise, for at Wolsey’s fall Henry had resolved to take the external administration of England into his own hands. We have seen that the Cardinal’s failure had taught him the danger of concluding any definite alliance with either France or Spain, while the two great continental rivals remained at war. He had learned that England’s best security lay in maintaining a position of neutrality between Charles and Francis, and in balancing one against the other, while all disputes between them were encouraged under cover of offers of mediation. It was along these lines that Henry had determined to guide the foreign affairs of England, as soon as order could be brought out of the chaos caused by the divorce. How correct his decision was is proved by the utter collapse of the Imperial alliance of 1543, the only really permanent departure from the policy of neutrality which Henry ever made after the death of Wolsey. A complete change of the political horizon led him into it, only to be left in the lurch by the Emperor at the peace of Crêpy[538] in the same way that he had been abandoned before by Francis at the treaty of Cambray. But during the life of Cromwell the King made no such blunder as this. Though he sometimes wavered, he never definitely renounced the policy of neutrality, although his minister, who sometimes doubted its efficacy, made several efforts to induce him to abandon it. There can be no doubt that, from the very first, Cromwell over-estimated the danger of a foreign invasion and failed to appreciate the real strength of England’s isolated position: he was deceived by constant menaces which never really bore fruit. A more intimate acquaintance with the practical and calculating nature of Charles V. would certainly have convinced the King’s minister that however much the Emperor threatened, he would never actually embark on the somewhat remote project of a crusade against England, until a great many affairs in his own scattered dominions on the Continent had first been settled to his satisfaction. But Cromwell’s inexperience in the management of foreign affairs blinded him to this important fact: and his over-eagerness to seek means for England’s defence proved his ultimate ruin. After successfully co-operating with Henry for seven years on the basis of maintaining strict neutrality between France and Spain, and of encouraging all disputes between them, he abandoned the wise policy of his master in favour of an alliance in Germany which, in one form or another, had been under consideration on several occasions before, but which had been abandoned every time as unnecessary. This new alliance turned out disastrously. At the moment of its completion, the situation on the Continent which had called it into existence suddenly changed; it was thrown over, together with the minister who had originated it. Such is the outline of the history of England’s foreign affairs from 1530 till Cromwell’s fall. We can now take up the very complicated story in detail.

Although Henry ardently desired at once to put in practice the policy of neutrality which he had learned from Wolsey’s failure, the affair of the divorce had thrown everything into such confusion that an immediate application of the new principle was impossible. In fact it was not until the beginning of the year 1536 that the King was able to assume the position he desired in his relations with France and Spain. The alliance with France which Wolsey had bequeathed to Henry was so close that the King saw that he must at least partially withdraw from it, before he could hope to come to such terms with the Emperor as would enable him to act the part of a neutral and benevolent mediator between the foreign powers. But at this juncture the King’s anxiety to obtain a legal justification for his second marriage was paramount in his mind. In fact it almost seems to have blinded him temporarily to the policy that he doubtless intended ultimately to pursue. His energies were all bent towards securing the aid of Francis in his ‘grete matier’; and for the moment he postponed his policy of conciliating the Emperor, who was of course at that time in league with the Pope. Each pair of allies had interviews and counter-interviews, but with very different results. While Henry and Francis were at first most cordial, Clement counted Charles’ proffered friendship as of slight weight, against the prospect of losing the support of the two most powerful kings of Christendom, and of being forced to submit to the summoning of the General Council by which the Emperor proposed to rectify the abuses which had crept into the Holy Church[539]. The visit at Bologna of Francis’ ambassadors, Cardinals Tournon and Grammont, undid all that Charles’ threats had accomplished[540], and Clement, although he feebly menaced Henry with excommunication in case he proceeded with his second marriage[541], refused to accede to the Emperor’s wishes that he should take more active measures against England. Meantime Henry had endeavoured to come to an understanding with the See of Rome concerning the hearing of his case before a Council, in the hope that by giving the Pope fair words, he might still obtain a favourable decision[542]. The King’s confidence in the ultimate success of his efforts was so high at the opening of the year 1533, that he dared to give it expression by increasingly harsh treatment of Katherine. She was moved further away from the Court than ever before, and hardly a day passed without seeing her subjected to some new indignity. Every effort which her friends made on her behalf seemed unavailing. As petitions to Henry himself were unanswered, Chapuys in despair turned to Cromwell, whom he had by this time recognized as the man who managed all the King’s affairs[543]. But Cromwell succeeded in evading the demands of the Imperial ambassador also; in fact he displayed such ability in ‘beknaving’ Chapuys that Henry always employed him in future to answer the perfectly justifiable complaints of the Spanish representative. Cromwell delayed the interview which the ambassador had requested until he had had time to consult with the King[544]: and when he finally met Chapuys, he spent much time in applauding all the efforts that had been made to maintain friendly relations between Spain and England. But when urged to do his best to protect the Queen and Princess from the ignominies to which they were subjected, Cromwell’s replies were evasive, if not absolutely untruthful. Chapuys was so exasperated at the cool way in which his claims to justice had been set aside, that he took occasion to hint that Charles and Francis might some day join forces against England, to ‘which Cromwell assented, but showed no great joy thereat.’ The threat, however, had no lasting effect. The treatment of the Queen went on from bad to worse, and two months later the same conversation took place all over again, with the same unsatisfactory result[545]. As long as Cromwell consented to obey his master’s commands implicitly, and to devote himself solely to finding means to carry out the plans which the King’s riper experience told him were feasible, without trying to take the lead himself, the two were an almost invincible combination.

But the time was soon to come when Chapuys’ prophecy of a coalition of France and Spain seemed more likely to be fulfilled. Henry’s impatience to conclude his matrimonial troubles finally led him to throw caution to the winds. He had, as we have already seen, postponed the application of his wise policy of neutrality in the hope of obtaining aid from France. But the French King did not move quickly enough to suit him, and in the summer of 1533 he committed such a breach of diplomatic courtesy that he completely alienated his ‘nere and dere brother.’ He had overtaxed his friendship with the King of France by requiring him to support every move he made, and to threaten the Pope, if his Holiness refused to do the same. Francis only partially acceded to Henry’s wishes. Meantime all hope of obtaining the divorce from Rome had been abandoned owing to Cromwell’s advice; the affair was tried in England, and Anne Boleyn was publicly proclaimed Queen. A provisional sentence of excommunication was passed on Henry in July, giving him till September to decide whether he would take Katherine back or not. A few months before, Francis and Henry had together endeavoured to win over the Pope against the Emperor: now that the bull of excommunication had come, Francis continued his good offices by offering to mediate for Henry with the Holy See. Henry, however, blusteringly assured him that he was not in need of any mediation--he hoped that Francis would not trouble himself[546]. But the latter would not take the hint that England’s policy towards the See of Rome had changed from conciliation to open hostility, and invited Clement to meet him at Marseilles, to see if he could not bring about an agreement. The Pope, who needed Francis’ aid in the furtherance of his own plans for the prevention of the dreaded Council, readily accepted the opportunity which had been offered[547]. Henry was of course unable to prevent an interview between the two potentates, but he attempted to throw cold water on the whole affair by sending an embassy to Clement while the latter was the guest of the King of France, to announce to his Holiness that he intended to appeal against his sentence to the very General Council which the Pope was attempting to forestall. The chief result of this extraordinary proceeding was simply to deprive the King of the only ally that he had. Francis was naturally exceedingly angry, and flatly refused to fight Henry’s battles for him any more[548]. Such was the reward reaped from the alliance which Wolsey six years before had been at such pains to bring about, in the hope of obtaining much-needed support in the matter of the divorce[549]!

So far it certainly seemed as if Henry’s foreign policy, instead of gaining him his desired position as neutral and pretended mediator between France and Spain, had only served to alienate both. As his cruel treatment of Katherine and Mary had not improved his position with Charles, he had to cast about for other allies to counterbalance the effect of his tiff with Francis. It is at this juncture that Cromwell first steps into prominence in connexion with foreign affairs. There can be little doubt that the negotiations with the Lutheran princes, which began in July, 1533, were planned by him. It is of course natural to look to the man, whose name six years later became inseparably associated with a German alliance, as the originator of the scheme; in addition to this there is documentary evidence. A letter which Chapuys wrote to the Emperor, July 30, 1533, informs us that two of Cromwell’s men (one of whom later turned out to be his trusty Stephen Vaughan) had been sent to Germany presumably ‘to embroil’ all they could[550]; and on August 3, a letter reporting the progress of the ambassadors was written by them to Cromwell from Antwerp[551]. Vaughan and his companion, a certain Christopher Mont, arrived in Nürnberg on the 22nd, whence they sent home minute accounts of the state of religion in Germany; the one observing, with apparent regret, that the country was not nearly as disturbed as had been thought, while the other assured Cromwell that he had never seen a land whose towns were so much divided[552]. Some time in the autumn Cromwell sent a reply to Mont, praising his diligence, and urging him above all things to discover the state of feeling in Germany towards the King of England and the Emperor[553]. The envoy appears to have returned from his preliminary tour of investigation before the close of the year, for in January, 1534, he was sent back again to Germany, this time accompanied by Nicholas Heath, with instructions to convey to the Lutheran princes the sympathy of the King of England, as being also an enemy of the Pope, and to express his willingness to unite with them for the extirpation of false doctrines[554]. England’s overtures, however, were not received with as much enthusiasm as Henry perhaps had expected, and nothing definite resulted from the mission of Heath and Mont for a long time. The Germans probably had serious misgivings about the genuineness of Henry’s Protestantism, and their suspicions of his sincerity were confirmed by a new development of England’s foreign policy in the same year.

As one of the consequences of an unwarrantable act of piracy near the English coast in the autumn of 1533, Henry had been able to get hold of a prominent young man of the violently Protestant town of Lübeck, by name Mark Meyer. At London he was treated with the greatest courtesy by the King and Cromwell, and returned to his native city invested with the honour of knighthood[555]. Such bounty was seldom showered on anybody by Henry VIII. without some ulterior purpose, and Meyer’s case was no exception to the general rule. It soon transpired that proposals had been made for a close alliance between England and Lübeck[556]. Ever since the peace of Stralsund in 1370, the cities of the Hanseatic League had claimed a decisive voice in the affairs of the neighbouring realm of Denmark[557]: the death of the king of that country in April, 1533, had left the throne vacant, and Lübeck was at this moment bent on obtaining the disposal of it. Henry signified his willingness to aid the Lübeckers in this enterprise, on condition that they would promise that if they were successful they would be guided by him in the final bestowal of the Danish crown. In May, 1534, the Lübeckers sent an embassy to England[558], and the proposals of the previous year were accepted.

The new alliance had a very important bearing on the larger issues of Henry’s foreign policy. The social and political revolution which had been in progress in Lübeck since 1530 had placed the power in the hands of a party whose anti-papal tendencies were fully as violent as those of the Wittenberg theologians, and whose conscientious scruples were of less weight, when thrown into the scales of political expediency[559]. The treaty concluded with England contained certain doctrinal statements which lay suspiciously close to the needs of Henry’s immediate position[560], and the King must have been at least temporarily convinced that he had obtained a valuable ally against the See of Rome. The treaty with Lübeck was also a very distinct move against the Emperor, for an Imperial candidate had been proposed for the vacant throne of Denmark, and by supporting the Lübeckers Henry necessarily opposed Charles. But the new alliance failed to accomplish what was expected of it: in fact it actually worked to England’s disadvantage. Before its conclusion, George Wullenwever, the demagogue whom the recent upheaval had rendered temporarily supreme in Lübeck, had offered to support the claims of the Lutheran Duke of Holstein to the Danish throne; but when Holstein, unwilling to gain his ends by force, prudently refused the proffered aid, the friendship of the Lübeckers was converted into bitter enmity. They soon invaded his lands, but were repulsed and besieged in turn in their own city: a peace of a most extraordinary nature finally resulted, by which an agreement was reached in regard to the affairs of Holstein, though both parties reserved the right of continuing the war for the disposal of the crown of Denmark. That country in the meantime, seeing that its sole chance of safety lay in obtaining a strong and capable leader, elected the Duke of Holstein to the vacant throne, under the title of Christian III.--a severe blow to the pretensions of the Lübeckers, who were now robbed of their best excuse for interference in Danish affairs, namely their professed desire to introduce pure religion there[561]. Lübeck, however, had now gone too far to draw back, and prepared to attack the new King in connexion with England. Henry must have been much annoyed at the complication into which his new alliance had led him--it seemed doubly foolish, in view of his attempts to conciliate the German Protestants, that he should get himself entangled with the enemies of those whom he wished to make his friends. But though the King was advised by Dr. Barnes, the English ambassador at Hamburg, to drop Lübeck and conciliate Christian[562], he was as usual too proud to acknowledge that he had made a mistake. He soon reaped the reward of his obstinacy, as the Lübeckers, in their new attempt to overthrow Christian, were again completely defeated. Henry had aided them with the services of two skilled engineers, and the Danish King sent an embassy to demand an explanation of his conduct[563]. Christian’s envoy was treated with scant courtesy by the King and Cromwell, the latter vainly attempting to conceal his master’s anxiety by several preposterous lies[564]. But still the King was unwilling to consent to a complete reversal of his Lübeck policy, and finally sent the ambassador home with an answer which Chapuys characterizes as ‘obscure and ambiguous.’ Several subsequent victories of Christian, in which certain English ships which had been sent to aid the Lübeckers were captured, were sufficient however to convince Henry that he had unduly despised the power of the new Danish King; and though his relations with Lübeck continued to be friendly, he carefully abstained from any further active measures on her behalf. But he had already done enough at least temporarily to alienate his Lutheran friends, who were shocked at the way in which the King of England attached himself to people whose religious principles were as extreme as those of the Lübeckers, and who had dared to attack one of their own number.

Thus each of the two alliances with which Henry had sought to fortify himself against France and Spain had rendered the other worthless. The King probably bitterly regretted that his matrimonial difficulties had led him to stray so far from the policy which he originally intended to pursue. Had he been able to secure his desired position as neutral and pretended mediator between France and Spain, he could have relied on this eminently advantageous situation alone to secure safety for England abroad, without troubling himself about any outside alliance. But to attain this position was impossible, as we have seen, until he became reconciled to Charles, and reconciliation with Charles was out of the question as long as Katherine remained subjected to such indignity. Here lay the key to the whole situation. The treatment of the divorced Queen was the sole hindrance to a cordial relation between Spain and England, and consequently to the final application of the policy which Henry so ardently desired. But there could be no hope of an alleviation of her sufferings, for the King and Cromwell were by this time irrevocably committed to a brutal attitude towards Katherine and her daughter by the course of events since the first trial of the divorce. The inference was obvious. As long as Katherine lived, a reconciliation with Charles, with all its attendant benefits, was impossible: her death alone could pave the way for it. That these thoughts had already taken shape at least in Cromwell’s mind is proved by a hint which the King’s minister dropped in Chapuys’ presence in August, 1534, to the effect that the death of the Queen and Princess would remove all occasion for a quarrel between their masters[565].

But the autumn of 1534 saw several events which served to encourage the King and his minister, and seemed temporarily to postpone the necessity of coming to terms with the Emperor. The first of these events was the death of the Pope in September, an occurrence which, according to Chapuys, caused Henry and Cromwell such joy that the latter was ‘unable to refrain from saying several times in public that this great devil was dead, and it seemed as if he was very sorry that he could find no worse name for him than devil[566].’ Francis moreover, solely on account of his very strained relations with Charles, had slowly begun to recover from the effects of Henry’s discourtesy at Marseilles, and had made fresh efforts to come to terms with England again; while Henry, unwilling as yet to proceed to extremities in order to gain the friendship of Charles, welcomed the prospect of a renewal of amity with France. But the satisfaction which the King derived from the attitude of Francis was rudely dispelled in a few months. Several interviews which had been arranged between the two sovereigns had failed, for various reasons, to take place, but the Emperor meantime had not been idle. Imbued with the idea of vindicating the rights of the Princess Mary by some decisive stroke, he had actually sent the Count of Nassau to the French Court to suggest that Francis should ask Henry to give her to the Duke of Angoulême[567]. Francis considered the Emperor’s plan worth a trial, and in October sent over an embassy under Admiral de Brion to propose it to the King of England. Henry had little idea of the unpleasant surprise that was in store for him, and made great preparations for the reception of the Frenchmen, and Cromwell sent for a number of beautiful young ladies to come to the Court to entertain them[568]. There seems to be some doubt whether de Brion first proposed that Mary should be given to the Duke of Angoulême or to the Dauphin[569], but both suggestions were equally disagreeable to Henry. An acceptance of either proposal would of course involve retracting his declaration that Mary was illegitimate, and annulling his hard-earned invalidation of his first marriage, and yet he dared not insult Francis a second time. His first reply, according to Chapuys, was that he would agree to give Mary to Angoulême if both would make a solemn renunciation of all claims that they could bring forward to the English throne[570]. But the Spanish ambassador seemed to think that this proposal would not prove satisfactory, and we gather from the official report of Henry’s answer that the suggestion was dropped. Instead, however, the King finally replied that if Francis could obtain from the new Pope a decision that the sentence of Clement was void, he might be induced to renounce his claim to the French throne in exchange for certain lands and titles in the Netherlands, and further hinted that it might be possible to arrange a match between Elizabeth and the Duke of Angoulême[571]. But this proposal amounted to little more than a diplomatic refusal of Francis’ request. De Brion went away disappointed, and forgetting his usual caution, and the fact that England was still in a stronger position than France, determined to avenge himself for the failure of his mission by parading before the eyes of Cromwell and his master the probability of the dreaded alliance of France and Spain, in much the same way that Chapuys had done in the previous year. When Cromwell appeared in the great hall to make the farewell present, the Admiral disengaged himself from the crowd, and came to the Imperial ambassador with the greatest civility, expressing his regret at not having seen the Princess Mary, ‘the principal gem of the kingdom,’ and finally declaring that if he and Chapuys could only bring their masters to accord, all would go well[572].

In spite of Cromwell’s boasting, we may well believe that de Brion had succeeded in making Henry feel very uncomfortable. The inferences which the King must have drawn from the conduct of the ambassador at his departure were further confirmed by the ominous silence from France which followed the Admiral’s return. But Francis himself was in too precarious a position to afford to throw away any chances, so after a couple of months’ delay, he pocketed his pride and sent over another embassy under Palamedes Gontier, Treasurer of Brittany, to continue negotiations on the basis of a marriage between Elizabeth and the Duke of Angoulême. Henry was all the more annoyed that Francis should take him at his word, and entertain seriously the somewhat chimerical proposal with which he had dismissed de Brion; and the mission of Gontier failed as signally as its predecessor had done, in coming to any definite conclusion[573]. But Henry had chosen a very poor moment to administer this final rebuff; for the Emperor had departed on an expedition against Tunis, and thus left Francis a comparatively free hand on the Continent. The advantage of position had hitherto lain with England, but the absence of Charles totally altered the aspect of affairs. The French King felt himself once more master of the situation, and was not slow to inform Henry that he did not propose to be dallied with any longer. The reconquest of Milan was at this moment his heart’s desire; to accomplish it he needed English aid. So he commissioned the Bailly of Troyes to convey to Henry a Papal brief which had been sent to the French Court, and which required all Christian princes to cease to hold intercourse with the heretical King of England; he further instructed his ambassador to make it clear that the sole consideration which would induce the King of France to disregard the brief, would be a liberal contribution of English gold, whenever he saw fit to make war on the Emperor. This announcement, which was practically an ultimatum, took Henry completely by surprise: angry words passed between him and the French envoy, but there was no use disguising the fact that Francis had the upper hand[574]. The King finally sent Gardiner to Paris to answer the French claims; the instructions which the ambassador received reveal a much more conciliatory attitude than Henry had yet adopted towards France[575]. The gravity of the situation was further confirmed by the seizure and detention at Bordeaux of several English ships, for the recovery of which Cromwell kept writing urgent letters to the Bishop of Winchester[576]. It was at this juncture that the King and his minister made a feeble effort to reap some reward from the mission of Heath and Mont to the Lutherans in the preceding year. Attempts were made to bring the reformer Melancthon to England, or at least to prevent his going to Francis, who had sent for him in order to obtain the support of his followers against Charles[577]. The latter effort was superfluous; the former failed. Melancthon had no intention of going to France, but the King and Cromwell could not persuade him to come to England either. Henry’s agent, Dr. Barnes, however, informed the Lutherans that the King would not refuse to join in an alliance with them for the defence of the Gospel, provided they would support him against the Pope, and he promised them that another ambassador, the Bishop of Hereford, would come and talk further with them[578]. At the close of the year the envoy was received in Germany. Long negotiations followed, at first with some hope of success. A request by the English ambassador that the Germans would unite with his master in a refusal to recognize a General Council convoked by the Pope, was favourably received; and the plenipotentiaries of the Lutherans drew up a response in which they expressed themselves as entirely in accord with Henry in regard to the See of Rome, and offered the King of England the proud title of Defender and Protector of their league. As long as the Bishop of Hereford restricted himself to theological discussion and abuse of the Pope all went well, but when he made the more practical demand for aid to his master in money and ships in case of an invasion, the Germans drew back: they were not prepared to go as far as this until a more complete agreement had been reached in matters of religion. Trouble arose also over the question of the King’s divorce: the Lutherans acknowledged that marriage with a brother’s widow was wrong, but they refused to admit, if such a union had taken place, that it was right to break it[579]. The news of the executions of More and Fisher, moreover, had caused great consternation in Germany, where every effort was being made to introduce the new doctrines without bloodshed; and the Bishop of Hereford was finally sent away empty-handed, the negotiations having resulted in a failure which plainly foreshadowed the events of 1538 and 1539. Taken as a whole, the year 1535 had simply been occupied in playing over again the game of 1534. Twice had the French alliance been tested, and it had failed. Twice had Henry and Cromwell sought security in a league with the Lutherans--without success. Two proofs had been afforded that a reconciliation with Charles was the surest road to England’s safety; and this time the alternative of a closer alliance with France, which, in 1534, had offered the King and his minister a temporary escape from an ultimately inevitable conclusion, was out of the question. But a reconciliation with the Emperor, as we have already seen, was impossible during the lifetime of Katherine.

Under these circumstances then, we can scarcely wonder that the Imperial ambassador reported to his master that the death of the Queen, which occurred on January 7, 1536, was due to foul play[580]. Chapuys also possessed other evidence, which tended to strengthen him in this conclusion. He had not forgotten the sinister hint which Cromwell had let fall in his presence in August, 1534; and he had apparently discovered that in November, 1535, the King had plainly told his most trusted counsellors that he must be rid of the Queen and Princess at the next Parliament[581]. Nor did Henry’s unseemly conduct when he received the news of the death of his first wife escape the notice of the Imperial ambassador. Chapuys wrote to Charles how the King clothed himself in yellow from head to foot, and spent the day in mirth and revelry. ‘God be praised,’ had Henry exclaimed, ‘that we are free from all suspicion of war[582].’ The ambassador also dwelt at length on the suspicious secrecy and almost indecent haste with which the body of the Queen was opened, embalmed, and enclosed in lead; on the very significant testimony extracted from the chandler of the house who did the work, and on the statements of the doctor and of the Queen’s confessor. The verdict of the best modern medical authorities on the post-mortem examination as reported by the chandler strongly favours the conclusion that Katherine was not poisoned[583], but died of a disease called melanotic sarcoma, or, more popularly, cancer of the heart: the testimony of a sixteenth-century artisan, however, is but a poor basis for a modern scientific investigation. If the Queen was murdered, there is every reason to think that Cromwell was chiefly responsible for the crime. To a man of his character and training such a step would have been far less repugnant than to Henry, had he once assured himself that it was indispensable to his purposes. He had had sufficient experience of the Italy of Alexander VI. and Caesar Borgia to render him quite callous to the ordinary sentiments of humanity in such matters. He had never fully realized the innate strength of England’s isolated position; he was always alarmed by the danger of foreign invasion far more than his master, and consequently was more ready to adopt desperate measures to avert it. It does not seem likely that the more experienced Henry would have originated the plan of murdering his wife, until the crisis in foreign affairs had become far more acute. Though he fully comprehended the many advantages of a closer alliance with Charles, he must have been reasonably certain that he had little cause to fear a direct attack in the immediate future, especially as the death of the Duke of Milan in the end of October had opened glorious possibilities for a renewal of the quarrel between Francis and Charles. Of course it is mere folly to suppose that Cromwell would have attempted to murder the Queen without the King’s full consent. It is more than probable however that--if poison it was--it was he who put the idea into Henry’s mind, and took the responsibility for its execution upon himself.

In any event the death of Katherine, whether due to natural causes or ‘advancé sinistrement’ as Chapuys expressed it, was the means by which Henry was at last enabled to attain the position in foreign affairs that he had aimed at since the fall of Wolsey, and to put in practice a policy which, combined with a fortunate turn of events abroad, was destined, for two years, to lead to the most glorious results. It removed the chief cause of jealousy between England and the Emperor[584], and enabled Henry to point out to Francis, who as we have seen had of late been taking a very haughty tone with him, that the situation of the two countries had again been reversed, and that France was no longer in a position to dictate. This task Cromwell performed for him three days after the Queen’s death, with his usual directness and efficiency. The King’s minister wrote to Gardiner and Wallop on January 8, indicating that the death of Katherine had removed ‘the onelie matier of the vnkyndenes’ between his master and the Emperor, and instructing the ambassadors in their ‘conferenc_es_ and procedyng_es_ w_i_t_h_ the frensh kyng and his counsaile’ to keep themselves ‘the more aloof and be the more Froyt and colde in relentyng to any their ou_er_tur_es_ or request_es_[585].’ A comparison of this letter with one which Cromwell had written to the Bishop of Winchester two months earlier[586] reveals a very striking change of tone, which nothing else than the death of Katherine could have rendered possible.

The King’s secretary was no less prompt in pointing out to the Imperial ambassador the bearing of the decease of the divorced Queen on England’s relations with Spain. He was not ashamed to remark to one of Chapuys’ men that the Emperor had the greatest cause to be thankful for the death of Katherine, which in his judgement was the very best thing that could have happened for the preservation of the amity between Henry and Charles, as it completely removed the sole cause of jealousy between them[587]. The Emperor was too hard-headed a politician not to see the force of Cromwell’s words. We cannot doubt that he was exceedingly angry at the death of his aunt, which he certainly believed was due to foul play; but his situation was such that revenge was impossible, and with characteristic calmness and self-control he determined to conceal his resentment and conciliate Henry. It was doubtless with his full sanction that Chapuys welcomed all Cromwell’s proposals, which looked towards a more cordial relation between England and Spain. Meantime Francis had not been slow to take the hint which Gardiner, at Cromwell’s command, had given him, and was again using every effort to regain Henry’s favour. The breach between the two continental sovereigns was, to the King’s intense joy, becoming wider every day, with the result that each was making frantic attempts to outbid the other for England’s friendship. Henry’s position was for the moment almost ideal. All he needed to do was to keep the two rivals just evenly balanced. But precisely at this critical juncture, Cromwell for the first time in his ministry made a move without the King’s leave, which, had it not been instantly forestalled, would have completely upset the beautiful equilibrium which Henry had laboured so hard to establish. The King had doubtless ordered him to be cordial to Chapuys, in order to counterbalance the effects of the warmth of Francis; but he had not the least idea of entering into any definite agreement, which might lose him his precious position of neutrality. But Cromwell did not see this. He exceeded his instructions, was voluble in his disparagement of the French in Chapuys’ presence, and finally brought matters to such a point that he went with Chapuys to the King to propose an Imperial alliance[588]. It was the most open avowal he had yet made of a leaning towards Spain, that he had doubtless cherished for a long time. Born among the common people, Cromwell’s early life had been spent in that atmosphere of bitter hatred of France, which for generations had been one of the most predominant characteristics of the lower classes in England. In the first half of the sixteenth century, hatred of France meant friendship with Spain, and from the first years of the reign of Henry VIII. one encounters at every turn evidences of the devotion of the common people to the Imperial cause. Wolsey’s policy of peace with France had won him almost as many enemies among the lower classes as his reputation as originator of oppressive financial measures. Cromwell had determined not to make the same mistake that his predecessor had, but he was foolish enough to err on the opposite side. During the year 1535 he had given hints that he was no friend of France[589]. His rudeness to the French ambassadors on more than one occasion had convinced Chapuys that he favoured the Emperor, but as yet he had not gone far enough to bring himself into collision with the King. But this time he had forgotten his previous caution, and his rashness resulted in his first serious quarrel with his master. Henry may well have been furious that his minister’s recklessness had threatened to destroy the whole fabric of a policy which he had been at such pains to put in operation. The Imperial ambassador gives us an amusing account of a scene which ensued in the Privy Chamber when he came with Cromwell to propose an alliance between England and Spain. After Chapuys had propounded the terms of a possible treaty, Henry called Cromwell and Audeley to him and retired to another part of the room. ‘They talked together,’ writes Chapuys, who kept a vigilant eye upon the gestures of the King and those with him. ‘There seemed to be some dispute and considerable anger, as I thought, between the King and Cromwell; and after a considerable time Cromwell grumbling left the conference in the window where the King was, excusing himself that he was so very thirsty that he was quite exhausted, as he really was with pure vexation, and sat down upon a coffer out of sight of the King, where he sent for something to drink.’ Henry soon came to Chapuys, and after being as rude as possible, reproaching the Emperor with past ingratitude, and asserting that Milan rightfully belonged to the French, waived the point at issue entirely, and was with difficulty persuaded to look over the treaties at a later time. ‘At this slender and provoking answer,’ writes Chapuys, ‘I left the Court, and went to wait on Cromwell,’ whose regret was so great ‘that he was hardly able to speak for sorrow, and had never been more mortified in his life, than with the said reply[590].’

Ample justification was soon afforded for Henry’s strict adherence to the policy of neutrality, for events on the Continent had moved rapidly forward, and Charles and Francis were at last at open war. By restraining Cromwell from making the mistake of cementing an alliance with the Emperor, and by guarding himself against a too close intimacy with Francis, the King had succeeded in placing England in such a position that the two great continental powers were forced to grovel at her feet. From the beginning of 1536 until the autumn of 1537, when the truce between France and Flanders (forerunner of the peace of Nice in the summer of 1538) was concluded, the history of the foreign policy of England is as simple as it is glorious and triumphant. Henry, constantly pretending to be desirous of arbitrating between France and Spain, ‘for the peax and weale of Christendome,’ as he elegantly put it, was in reality solely occupied with the endeavour to embroil them the more. Alternately encouraging and repelling advances from both sovereigns, by judiciously proposing and then retreating from alliances with each of them, he succeeded admirably in keeping Charles and Francis in a constant state of anxiety, as regarded his true position. Cromwell’s letters tell the story of the time very clearly. ‘An answer soo general that it doth neither refuse their alliance, ne moche encorage them, to co_n_ceyue that they maye w_i_t_h_out difficultie obteyn their desire’ was the reply which the English ambassadors were ordered to give at the French and Spanish Courts[591]. So secure did Henry feel himself abroad that he dared to issue a manifesto in contempt of the General Council[592], which the Pope had summoned to meet at Mantua, and to publish the Ten Articles of 1536, which, while primarily intended to serve another purpose, were politically useful as a formal refusal to respect it. It was very fortunate for England that her affairs abroad were so prosperous at this juncture, as the end of 1536 and the beginning of 1537 were full of anxiety at home, owing to the outbreak of the rebellion in the North.

This happy state of affairs however was not destined to endure, for Francis and Charles soon tired of their strife, and in the autumn of 1537 there were signs of a reconciliation. Francis, moreover, had strengthened his position by a league with the Turk, and began to feel powerful enough to make a move without Henry’s leave. The first intimation of this unpleasant fact came to Henry in the shape of a refusal of a matrimonial offer. The death of Queen Jane had left him free to marry again, and so gave him an excellent opportunity once more to mix in continental affairs, which he did not permit to escape him. Cromwell wrote a letter for him to Lord William Howard and Gardiner, artfully instructing them to feel the way for a possible alliance with Mme. de Longueville, who had just been affianced to James of Scotland. It was too much of a favour to ask Francis to put aside the claims of a sovereign who had always been his true friend, to make way for those of the more powerful but perfidious King of England, and Henry’s offers were, after some negotiations, politely but firmly declined, to the latter’s intense chagrin[593]. An almost equally ominous note of warning came from Spain at the same time. Sir John Dudley, ambassador to announce the death of the Queen at the Spanish Court, had expressed to the Emperor the King’s sorrow that his repeated offers of mediation with France had been set aside, whereupon Charles turned on him, and informed him that negotiations with France were already set on foot, though he relieved Henry’s anxiety a little by assuring him that no actual treaty should be made without the King of England’s being included as a ‘premier contrahent,’ a promise which Cromwell was continually harping upon a year later, when the situation had entirely changed[594].

Thus the year 1538 opened rather darkly for England. The dread with which Henry watched the increasing signs of good-feeling between Charles and Francis led him into ridiculous and undignified action. As soon as it was settled that Mary of Guise was to become James’ wife, Henry literally scoured the continent of Europe in search of an alliance for himself or his daughters, which would strengthen his position and avert the impending crisis. A somewhat confusing set of double instructions from Cromwell to his friend Philip Hoby, instructing him to negotiate for possible marriages with the younger sister of James’ wife, with the daughter of the Duke of Lorraine, and also with the Duchess of Milan, and to obtain their portraits, is not without interest as revealing Henry’s state of mind[595]. The first two of these unions, if accomplished, would of course have rendered him safe from France; the other would have put him on friendly terms with Spain; but none of them was destined to succeed. The King even went so far as to permit Sir Francis Brian, his agent at the French Court, to suggest that various suitable ladies should be brought to Calais for his inspection, that he might be sure that he made no mistake. Henry’s proceedings evoked such ridicule and derision in continental Europe, that Castillon, the French ambassador, contrived to convey to him the general feeling with such directness and force that he actually drew a blush from the King himself[596]. Finding that his endeavours to obtain a suitable wife for himself were abortive, Henry looked about for an advantageous marriage for his daughter Mary. By alternately holding out to the Emperor a prospect of a match for her with the Infant of Portugal, and pretending to accept a proposition of the French representative, Castillon, that she should marry the Duke of Orleans, he contrived to lay the basis for a continental quarrel. But his success in this scheme was very short-lived. The only person that he could deceive at all was Castillon. It seems that Cromwell, who again at this crisis took the opportunity to show his decided leaning towards Spain, had openly disapproved of the proposed French alliance, and when Castillon complained of this, Henry turned fiercely upon his minister and reprimanded him, saying that he was a good manager, but not fit to intermeddle in the affairs of kings, and finally Norfolk was sent for. Cromwell’s ‘great Spanish passion,’ as Castillon called it, had got him into trouble again, and the French ambassador was delighted, thinking that he had at last obtained the upper hand. But Castillon’s delusions were rudely dispelled three weeks later, when he learned that the King and Council were resolved ‘to withdraw from the French match,’ on account of offers which the Emperor had made, and when Francis wrote that the King’s proceedings only proved that he was jealous of the negotiations for peace[597]. It is needless to state that neither of the proposed unions ever took place, and Henry’s frantic endeavours to frustrate the steadily increasing amity of France and Spain were entirely unavailing.

Matrimonial agitations being found useless to serve his purpose, Henry had recourse to other methods to stir up suspicions between Charles and Francis, and to prevent the dreaded peace. Whatever malicious tale-bearing and false representations could accomplish was used to the full by the King and his minister. Cromwell wrote to Sir Thomas Wyatt at the Spanish Court, directing him to ‘declare how the frenche men show themself_es_ so ernest to put al in the king_es_ hand _tha_t they offer vpon any significac_i_on _tha_t themp_er_o_ur_ woll make ... to condescende to the same,’ and telling how the French ambassador had promised that Henry ‘shuld for the French king_es_ p_ar_te haue the hole and entier manyeng of the Peax betwen him and Themper_or_[598].’ If Henry could not obtain the ‘hole and entier manyeng of the Peax,’ he did his best to convince Charles and Francis separately that his own friendship was more valuable to each of them than that of the other. Furthermore he took pains to assure each one of the two rivals apart, that the other prized England’s amity so much that great concessions would be necessary to regain it.

But in spite of all Henry’s efforts to avert it, the news of the truce between Charles and Francis and of their subsequent interview at Aigues Mortes reached England in July, 1538[599]. Still so confident was the King in the wisdom of his original policy of strengthening England solely by attempts to embroil these two powerful sovereigns under cover of offers of mediation, that he refused definitely to abandon it, in spite of the threatening outlook on the Continent. He remembered that the situation there had often changed before, and saw that it would probably do so again. He encouraged himself with hopes that in spite of the failure of his attempts to contract a marriage in France, he might still gain the hand of the Duchess of Milan, and with the reflection that the inroads of the Turk into the Emperor’s dominions would be a serious hindrance to any direct attack upon England. He was unwilling to seek security in an outside alliance, for fear of imperilling his hard-won position as a neutral between France and Spain. He wished still to rely solely on judicious interference in the affairs of Charles and Francis for England’s safety.

But with Cromwell the case was very different. The closing months of the year 1538 were the turning-point in his career, for they saw him take a step which was destined to bring him into collision with the King, and later to lead him to his death. The original difference of opinion between King and minister, which first came to the fore in the quarrel of 1536, now broke forth again under a slightly altered form, which it was destined to maintain till the end. At first we saw that Cromwell vented his distrust of the policy of neutrality in favouring a definite alliance with Spain. The changed situation on the Continent rendered a league with Charles impossible now, so that the only refuge that remained for England, if the policy which had been so successful in 1536 and 1537 really broke down, was to court an alliance with some power outside the two great continental rivals. And Cromwell, inexperienced, and overestimating the danger of foreign invasion, certainly believed that Henry’s efforts to maintain his old position between France and Spain were now doomed to inevitable failure. He did not see, as the King did, that the friendship of Charles and Francis was but temporary, and that the old quarrels were ultimately certain to break forth afresh. He looked the situation as it was squarely in the face, abandoned once and for all the policy of seeking safety by playing on the mutual jealousies of Charles and Francis; he frankly recognized the probability of war, and deliberately courted an outside league for England’s defence. As he had always considered the friendship of the Emperor more valuable than that of Francis, so he considered his enmity, which he now regarded as inevitable, as more to be feared. Consequently, in looking about for an alliance to fortify England, he sought one which could be most effectively directed against Charles.

It will be remembered that in order to guard against the danger of a possible coalition of the Emperor and the King of France in 1533 and 1534, some proposals had been made for a league with the Protestant princes of Germany; but that owing to theological differences, the Lübeck affair, and the death of Katherine and its results, the scheme had been abandoned as useless. As long as the interests of France and Spain were separated, the value of the German alliance as a defensive measure was of course lost, and England thought no more of it. But now that the news of the interview of Aigues Mortes had persuaded Cromwell that mere meddling in the affairs of France and Spain was not sufficient to prevent a coalition against England, he turned to his forsaken friends in Germany once more. Cromwell must have had great difficulty in bringing Henry to sanction a move to seek friendship with the Lutherans, but so hopeless did the King’s efforts to prevent a cordial relation between Charles and Francis appear, that he was at last induced to consent to the experiment, though, as we shall soon see, his acquiescence was only temporary. The opportunity for an alliance with the Germans was in many respects most favourable. The proclamation which Henry had put forth to show his contempt of the Papal authority to convoke a General Council, coupled with the Ten Articles of 1536, had called forth the most hearty approbation of the Lutheran princes. An elaborate set of instructions in the hand of one of the King’s secretaries directed Christopher Mont to go to the Germans again, and tell them how nearly Henry’s theological views coincided with their own, and to request them to send representatives to discuss with him points of faith[600]. The fact that the proposals for the German alliance ostensibly emanated from the King, is no sign that Cromwell was not the real originator of it. An invitation to send ambassadors could scarcely proceed from any other source than the Crown, so that the evidence afforded by the authorship of the instructions to Mont is of small weight; whereas the course of events in 1539 and 1540 leaves little doubt that the guiding hand throughout was that of the King’s minister. Henry’s name really appeared as little as possible in connexion with the Lutheran alliance from first to last, and only in the most formal manner. Cromwell’s was the moving spirit in it throughout, and Henry really never cordially supported him, but regarded the measure in the light of a disagreeable necessity, temporarily forced upon him by the apparent failure of his own plans.

But the outside world of course knew nothing of the difference of opinion between King and minister, and had no suspicion that the foundations were being laid here for the quarrel which was later to bring Cromwell to disaster. The Lutherans were greatly flattered by the proposals that had been made to them, and in May an embassy, headed by Franz Burckhard, Vice-Chancellor of Saxony, arrived in England. But in spite of all the trouble that had been taken, the plans of the King’s minister were not destined to bear fruit, for the only result of the Lutheran embassy was procrastination which seemed little better than failure. Theological differences were the ostensible reason for inability to conclude an agreement, but not the real one. The Protestantism of the Lutherans differed from that of Henry and Cromwell in much the same way as that of Tyndale, years before: they cared for their theology for its own sake, and not, like Henry, as a means to an end, as a stepping-stone to political greatness. A theological _entente_, however, would have been possible, had Cromwell and Henry united to bring it about; but they did not. The true reason for the failure to conclude an agreement was the obstinacy of the King, which asserted itself at the very moment that his minister had hoped to gain his complete consent to the proposed alliance. In the midst of the negotiations with the Lutherans, Henry’s faith in his old policy had been suddenly revived by the news that the extensive preparations of the Emperor, which he at first had feared were to be aimed at England, were in reality directed against the Turk[601]: the King was at least persuaded that he had no cause to fear an attack in the immediate future. Gardiner in Paris, moreover, had been steadily working to defeat the plans of Cromwell[602], and at the crucial moment his efforts appear to have borne fruit. The King refused to commit himself any further to the policy to which he had given his temporary sanction, but which, if definitely adopted, would have seriously hampered his own schemes. The most that Cromwell could do was to persuade the King to keep up the appearance of amity, and not to cut himself off from all chances of returning to his Lutheran friends at a later date. So the envoys were sent home in October, with a letter to the Elector of Saxony, telling him that his representatives had given assurance of such sound erudition and Christian piety, as would certainly lead to the best results; but as the matter of the negotiations concerned the glory of Christ and the discipline of religion, it required much more mature deliberation, and that a second embassy would have to be sent over before matters could be concluded[603]. For Cromwell, the dismissal of the Lutherans amounted to a second rebuke from the King, for meddling in foreign affairs; but this time the minister did not humbly accept the rebuff as he had done before, but continued to oppose his schemes to those of his master.

Thus at the close of the year 1538, England was trembling at the prospect of a coalition of France and Spain against her. The outlook was certainly alarming, and demanded united action at home. But at this very moment the King and his minister could not agree on the best method of averting the peril which was threatening. Each adopted his own way of meeting it, and the history of the year 1539 is the story of the varying success of the two methods when brought into conflict. We shall see that fortune twice inclined to favour Cromwell, only to desert him, after he had become so hopelessly committed to the policy which he had adopted in face of the opposition of the King, that there was no drawing back, and he paid the penalty for his rashness with his life.



The first few months of the new year brought no improvement in the state of England’s foreign affairs. Having postponed the Lutheran alliance which Cromwell had so strongly advocated in the end of 1538, for fear of losing his position of neutrality between France and Spain, Henry was driven back on his own policy of seeking safety for England in direct negotiations with Charles and Francis. Matrimonial agitations had failed--malicious tale-bearing had not borne fruit, so the King took the more straightforward course of making direct complaints that he was spoken of with too little respect in foreign parts. He sent grumbling letters to his neighbours, accusing them of permitting evil reports to be circulated about him. He caused the President of the Council of the North to request James of Scotland to suppress and punish the authors of several ‘spyttfull ballades,’ which had been published about the wrongfully usurped authority of the King of England, and also wrote to Wyatt in Spain, commanding him to protest against the malicious and unreasonable lies of the ‘barking prechers ther’ who slandered him behind his back[604]. But these petty remonstrances had no effect in diminishing the growing cordiality of Francis and Charles, or their hatred of England: in fact the two continental sovereigns seemed better friends than ever. On January 12, representatives of both monarchs met at Toledo and concluded an agreement not to make any new alliances, either political or matrimonial, with the King of England, without each other’s consent[605]. The news of this treaty was a deathblow to Henry’s hopes; and the King was reluctantly forced to admit that his minister’s scheme of a German alliance offered better chances of safety for England than any other. So he again gave his consent to a renewal of negotiations for an outside league, though, as we shall soon see, it was on a basis somewhat different from that of the previous ones.

Disappointed by the King’s refusal definitely to accept the alliance for which he had laboured so hard, Cromwell had meantime been amusing himself with a very feeble plan for gaining friends against the Pope, the chimerical nature of which was quite at variance with the direct and practical character of most of his schemes. He had proposed a league of England with the Dukes of Ferrara, Mantua, and Urbino against his Holiness, who had just challenged the title of the latter to the dukedom of Camerino. An interesting set of instructions to Cromwell’s friend Edmund Harvell at Venice tells the story of this negotiation very vividly[606]. But the princes of northern Italy were too weak and the scheme itself was too remote and far-fetched to promise any real advantage, and Cromwell doubtless lost all interest in it as soon as the King again consented to approach the Germans. The fact that three months had been suffered to elapse since the return of the envoys in 1538, without an acceptance of the King’s invitation to send other representatives to discuss theological points, simply proves that Henry’s treatment of the first embassy had not been such as to encourage the Lutherans to persevere[607]. But now that the King had again veered round to Cromwell’s policy, he ‘mervayled not a litel’ at the slowness of the Germans, and sent Christopher Mont over to the Court of the Elector of Saxony on January 25 to discover the feelings of John Frederic and the Landgrave of Hesse, the leaders of the Schmalkaldic League, towards the Emperor, to inquire further into their attitude on the tenets about which they had so fruitlessly disputed with the English bishops in the preceding summer, and finally to learn whether the Duke of Cleves and his son were of the ‘old popisshe fasshyon’ or no[608]. Appended to these very non-committal injunctions are certain others from Cromwell himself of quite a different nature[609]. Completely dodging the theological issue, which he wisely left entirely in the King’s hands, Cromwell took up the question of the German alliance from a new and far more practical side, the matrimonial. He instructed Mont to suggest to the Vice-Chancellor Burckhard the possibility of two marriages; one between the young Duke of Cleves and the Princess Mary, and the other between Anne, the elder of the two unmarried daughters of the old Duke, and the King himself[610]. It appears that Cromwell had already discussed the feasibility of the first of these two matches with the Vice-Chancellor, when the latter had been in England in the previous summer, and John Frederic had subsequently written to the King’s minister that the plan met with his entire approval. The proposal for Henry’s marriage, on the contrary, was now brought forward for the first time. We shall soon see why it was that Mont was sent to the Elector of Saxony, rather than to the Duke of Cleves himself, to feel the way for these two alliances.

In order to understand the precise bearing on the foreign affairs of England of the two marriages which Cromwell proposed, and of the political league which would naturally go with them, we must make a slight digression here and examine the very peculiar position in which the Duke of Cleves found himself at this juncture. Various political considerations, above all an increasing jealousy of the power of the House of Saxony, had led the Emperor Maximilian in 1496 to declare Maria, the only child of the Duke of Juliers and Berg, to be the lawful heiress of these two provinces; a step which was in direct contravention of a grant which Maximilian, at his election as King of the Romans, had made to Frederic the Wise of the reversion of Juliers and Berg in case of failure of male heirs in the ducal line there. This grant was definitely revoked in various documents of the years 1508 and 1509; and Duke John of Cleves, who in the meantime had married the heiress Maria of Juliers and Berg, was permitted to unite these three rich provinces in his own hand, and to establish a strong power on the Lower Rhine which prevented undue preponderance of the House of Wettin, and furnished a useful support for the Hapsburgs in the western part of the Empire[611]. The peace-loving Duke John lived and died in friendship with Maximilian and his grandson, although his desire to see a reform in the Church had prevented his definite acceptance of the Imperial invitation to join a Catholic League against the Schmalkaldner in 1537. Instead he devoted himself to strengthening his power in his own possessions by a series of wise and prudent measures, through which he welded the three component parts of his dominions into one[612]. But during the last year of his life (which ended on February 6, 1539, while Mont was on his way to the Saxon Court) affairs took a turn which was destined to bring his son and heir William into direct conflict with the Empire. In June, 1538, the warlike Duke Charles of Gelderland, whose possessions lay next to the province of Cleves on the north, died leaving no children. His life had been spent in a struggle against the pretensions to his hereditary dominions brought forward by the Emperor as heir of Charles the Bold, and in order to prevent the substantiation of the Imperial claims at his death he had planned to leave his lands to the King of France[613]. This scheme however had encountered strong opposition from the estates of Gelderland, who regarded with little favour a proposal so threatening to their comparatively independent position, and Duke Charles was finally forced, much against his will, to designate young William of Cleves as his successor. The latter, though by nature weak and irresolute, was not in a position to refuse the chance which fortune had thrown in his way: he accepted the proffered inheritance, and the death of his father soon after left him in full possession of the four rich provinces[614].

The result was that he immediately became involved in a serious quarrel with the Emperor, who realizing how dangerous a rival to his own power had been created by the events just recounted, reasserted his claims to Gelderland even more strongly than before. In looking for allies against Charles, Duke William naturally turned to the Elector of Saxony, whose rights to Juliers and Berg, once rudely revoked by Maximilian, had not been forgotten, but who seems to have preserved sufficiently friendly relations with the family in favour of which his claims had been set aside, to marry Sibylla, one of the sisters of the Duke[615]. Common enmity to Charles V. now drew them very close together, and at the Imperial Court it was actually thought that Cleves had been formally admitted to the Schmalkaldic League[616]. This however was a mistake. Though Duke William was certainly not opposed to the Lutheran doctrines, he had not as yet made open confession of the Protestant faith; and for that reason the Elector and the Landgrave had steadily refused to make a political alliance with him[617]. Still he was on very intimate terms with John Frederic, who had promised, when he wedded Sibylla of Cleves, to advance money for the marriage of her sisters, and thus had a certain right to be consulted when husbands were to be chosen for them. Henry was doubtless well aware of all this, and it was consequently at the Saxon Court that Mont was instructed to obtain information about the Duke of Cleves, and if possible to pave the way for the two matrimonial alliances from which Cromwell hoped so much.

Having completed this preliminary survey of the position of the Duke of Cleves, we are enabled to make some interesting observations on the instructions to the English ambassador. It is very significant that the inquiries which Mont was ordered to make concerning the religious tendencies of Duke William were concerned only with his attitude towards the Pope. Of course the King could not consistently ally himself with firm adherents of the Holy See after the events of the past ten years; but it is also of the utmost importance to notice that he apparently preferred a league with powers which he knew had not definitely committed themselves to the New Faith to an alliance with the Schmalkaldner. Else why did he rather seek to unite with Cleves than with Saxony? Both were politically valuable, as enemies of the Emperor; the only difference was that Cleves was not as yet avowedly Protestant, and Saxony was. It is possible that the idea which bore fruit five months later in the Six Articles had already taken shape in Henry’s mind; at least it seems certain that he was determined to keep a perfectly free hand in religious affairs, so as not to be hampered in his political relations with France and Spain. Thus when Cromwell at last succeeded in persuading him reluctantly to return to a German alliance, it was really only half a victory for the minister. There was this great difference between the league with the Lutherans which Cromwell had proposed and which never succeeded, and the Cleves alliance which was now sought. The one would have been necessarily both political and religious (for we have seen that the Lutherans had always refused to join with England until a satisfactory theological agreement could be made), while the other was solely political. It was simply another expression of the old disagreement between Henry and Cromwell. The King, always looking for a chance of reconciliation with Charles and Francis, refused to enter an alliance the religious conditions of which would greatly enhance the difficulty of a return to his favourite scheme. He was only induced to enter a purely political league, which he doubtless felt he could throw over at any moment if he wished to do so; an agreement both political and religious he might have found it more difficult to escape from. Cromwell on the other hand, having definitely given up all ideas of direct negotiations with France and Spain, wished to plunge headlong into the Lutheran alliance, caring little what he was committed to provided he gained solid support. But, as we have seen, the King would not agree to this, and the alliance with Cleves can thus only be regarded as a compromise between the royal and Cromwellian policies, which the King could abandon whenever affairs in France and Spain took a more favourable turn. Later events in the same year furnish further proofs of this most important fact.

Furthermore the King had contrived that the responsibility for the proposed league with Cleves should fall almost entirely on his minister’s shoulders, in order that he himself might the more easily renounce it if occasion served. The fact that the new alliance, if accomplished, would from its very nature commit him to far less than the Lutheran league which he had put off in 1538, was not enough for Henry; he must needs have other safeguards, and determined to make Cromwell his scapegoat. All the practical and important parts of the instructions to Mont were given by the King’s minister. The conciliatory expressions with which Henry had directed the ambassador to sound the Elector of Saxony and the Landgrave of Hesse on the question of theology were merely empty words, as is proved by the utter failure of an attempted agreement four months later. Their sole object was to induce John Frederic more favourably to receive the practical proposals which followed. But the King purposely left to Cromwell the task of framing the vital part of the message, and it is evident that he gave his consent to the proposals it contained only in the most guarded and non-committal manner. We are merely told that as regards the match proposed for the Princess Mary, Cromwell perceived ‘the king_es_ hieghnes ... by his grac_es_ counten_au_nce and exterior Visage ... to be of good Inclinac_i_on[618].’ On the more vital question of the King’s attitude concerning his own marriage, the instructions of Cromwell to Mont give us even vaguer information. The fact was that the King was willing definitely to bind Cromwell, but not himself, to a plan which he had resolved to abandon the moment that any favourable alteration should take place in his relations with France and Spain. From the day that Mont departed on his mission, the fate of the alliance with Cleves and the fate of Thomas Cromwell were joined together beyond the possibility of separation.

We unfortunately do not possess the letter in which Mont and his companion, a certain Thomas Paynell, reported their first reception at the Saxon Court, but the reply of Cromwell on March 10 gives us considerable information about the success of the ambassadors[619]. John Frederic had apparently welcomed the prospect of the two marriages by which Henry proposed to bind himself to Cleves, and had promised, through Burckhard, to do his best to bring them about. Cromwell’s letter goes on to direct Mont to follow up the advantage already gained by telling bad stories about Charles, and to ‘inculcate and p_er_suade vnto the said duke and landisgrave the moment & i_m_porta_n_ce of that grudge, which the_m_pero_ur_ doth beire, for the Bishop of Rom_es_ pleas_ure_ against them and oth_e_r of the avangelik sorte, which they may nowe easely p_er_ceive by that he worketh and goeth aboute.’ At the same time, another embassy, headed by a certain Dr. Nicholas Wotton, was sent to Cleves to obtain confirmation of the promises of Burckhard, and further to carry on negotiations for a supply of gunners and artillerymen to be furnished to Henry in case he should need them; and finally to signify the King’s willingness to make an offensive and defensive league with Duke William[620]. The latter was at first less eager to accept the alliance which England offered than his brother-in-law was to promote it: he wanted to postpone a definite answer in the hope that he might yet come to a peaceful solution of his difficulty with the Emperor[621]. But as this prospect daily grew more and more remote, he became correspondingly willing to entertain Henry’s proposals, and the outlook for the accomplishment of the practical part of Cromwell’s plan seemed very favourable. The comparatively unimportant overtures for theological reconciliation with the Elector and the Landgrave were apparently at first received with less enthusiasm by the Lutherans, who had already had some experience of the King’s vacillating policy and evidently thought it a little suspicious that Henry had suddenly become so very urgent. We have seen that the King’s proposals for a religious agreement were chiefly intended as a blind to cover the more practical matrimonial proposals which had followed, but Cromwell evidently thought it worth while to keep up the deception as a precaution. A second letter from the King’s minister directs Mont and Paynell to continue to urge on the Elector and Landgrave the importance of theological unity, and to ‘conduce to haue them somw[hat reproved for] ou_er_sight & slakenes, in shewing [so little] gratuite, and by that for to pryk th[em to] redubb the same and give you more f[avourable] a_n_swer.’

And at first Cromwell’s eagerness for the alliance with Cleves seemed to have every justification, for Henry’s policy in other parts of Europe appeared to have failed even more completely than before. Ominous letters were received from Wriothesley, the ambassador in the Netherlands, who did not hesitate to express his fear that war would soon come and that his retreat to England would be cut off[622]. At the same time Chapuys received orders to return to the Court of the Queen Regent, and Cromwell consequently instructed Wriothesley to demand leave to depart[623]. The exchange was finally effected, but that there was deep distrust on both sides is proved by Cromwell’s orders for the detention of Chapuys at Calais, until the safety of Wriothesley was assured, and by the instructions of the Queen Regent to the Provost of Mons to follow the English ambassador to Gravelines[624]. But fortunately these precautions were unnecessary; no open act of hostility took place, and the crisis seemed at least temporarily tided over by the arrival of the Dean of Cambray in London to replace Chapuys, and by the reception of Stephen Vaughan at Brussels in Wriothesley’s stead[625]. But the attitude of France was more disquieting. On February 5 Castillon was recalled, and though he made a vague promise at his departure that another should be sent in his place, the anxiety at the Court was but little relieved thereby. The most that Cromwell could do, was to take care that the French ambassador should carry back to his master full accounts of the excellence of England’s defences, and her readiness for war. So he took him, as he later wrote to the King, to his armoury, showing him a ‘store of harneys and wepens ... the whiche he semed to esteme moche,’ and telling him that there were twenty more armouries in the realm as well or better equipped; ‘wherat he woundred and sayd that he thought yo_ur_ grace the prince best furnished thereof in Chr_ist_endom[626].’

But though Cromwell may have exaggerated the security of England’s fortifications, his words to Castillon were by no means empty. Though the King and his minister may have had differences of opinion in regard to the conduct of foreign affairs, in the internal management of the kingdom they were, as always, united. Here Henry suffered himself to be guided at all points by Cromwell. And at no time is the masterfulness of the latter’s domestic administration better exhibited, than by his action at home the moment the first rumours of an invasion reached England. Countless memoranda, lists of men fit for military service, arms, ammunition, provisions, and other necessaries of warfare, all in his hand, or in that of one of his clerks, attest his industry and ability in preparing the country to repel the dreaded invasion. All reports of the state of the coast defences at various places were sent to him. General musters were ordered throughout the realm; every precaution was taken to fortify all vulnerable points. Beacons were placed upon all the hills, and no detail that could add to the strength and efficiency of the defences was left out[627].

But just at this very moment, when everything seemed to point to an open rupture with Charles and Francis, when the schemes which Cromwell had opposed to those of the King seemed to have every justification, an event occurred which totally changed the aspect of affairs, and restored Henry’s badly shaken confidence in his own ability to stave off the threatened crisis without the aid of outside alliances or an appeal to arms. This event was the arrival in England on March 28 of a new French ambassador, Charles de Marillac, who had come to replace Castillon. So long a time had elapsed since the departure of the latter that Henry had probably given up all hope of the fulfilment of the vague prospects that had been held out that a successor might be appointed. But the unexpected appearance of Marillac at once revived the King’s drooping spirits. The letters in which the ambassador reported his reception at the English Court to Francis and Montmorency give us a vivid picture of the universal joy with which this apparent reassurance of friendship with France was hailed[628]. Henry was delighted, and his satisfaction was increased when Marillac, at his master’s command, followed up the advantage already gained by renewed assertions of the cordiality of France. The whole Court seemed ‘to wear a new aspect and to be quite delighted[629].’ Had Henry seen the letter of instructions which Marillac received from the French Court, he would have realized that Francis was only endeavouring ‘to keep him in good humour[630],’ while making a little more certain of his own relations with Charles; and he might have been less encouraged. But Marillac’s cordiality seems to have put him off his guard, and he was led, in his exultation, to welcome the apparent friendship of Francis in ways which very nearly resulted in the permanent stultification of all the laborious efforts of Cromwell to maintain amicable relations in Germany. The events which took place in England in the three months following the arrival of the French ambassador furnish ample proof of this new departure in the royal policy.

On April 28 Parliament had met, its assembling being indispensable to carrying on the ‘Kinges busynes.’ Cromwell had practically appointed every member, in order that Henry might have a ‘tractable’ House. His usual methods of ‘ordering’ the elections of members have already been described; suffice it to say that in this case he had completely outdone himself; the Parliament of 1539 was undoubtedly his masterpiece[631]. It will be remembered that it was in this session that he first succeeded in forcing the Lords and Commons to sanction the statute by which royal proclamations were given the force of laws. Cromwell’s ‘remembrance’ for other Acts to be passed in the Parliament of 1539 is also noteworthy. It makes casual mention of the attainders of Exeter, Salisbury, and Pole, of plans for the fortification of the coast, and then designates the scheme out of which the Six Articles were later evolved as ‘A devise in the parliament for the vnitie in religion[632].’ It is very improbable that Cromwell had any really accurate information concerning the King’s real intentions in connexion with this last item. Henry had purposely concealed them under a very non-committal statement. Doubtless the King had long cherished the idea of making use of a declaration that in matters of doctrine England still adhered to the Old Faith, to facilitate a reconciliation with Charles and Francis; for such a statement would remove the main pretext of the Emperor and the French King for an attack on him, namely that they were undertaking a crusade to suppress heresy. But so hopeless had been the outlook in the early part of the year, that Henry had not had the courage to try this experiment. He was rather led to shun all moves which would imperil his friendly relations with Germany, so that he had scrupulously avoided any direct statement which could lead to the belief that a Catholic reaction was possible. But the assurances of Marillac had revived all his enthusiasm for his old policy. He now abandoned all caution, and promptly proceeded to disclose his real ideas in regard to the ‘vnitie in religion.’ When Cromwell discovered the true state of affairs he must have been dismayed; he probably already felt how deeply he had become involved in the German alliance, and saw that the new trend which things had taken boded no good to him. His position was now a very uncomfortable one, and the fact that a committee of bishops under his superintendence was utterly unable to cope with the difficulties of the newly presented religious problem, is very significant. Henry was not to be balked however. He quickly took the matter out of the hands of the incompetent bishops, and placed it before the Lords; finally, to make assurance doubly sure, he came to them in person, ‘and confounded them all with Goddes Lerning[633].’ Henry’s theology was of course as unimpeachable as it was confounding, and his energy was rewarded before the middle of June by the definite passage in Parliament of the Statute of the Six Articles. The doctrine of Transubstantiation was confirmed, communion in both kinds was pronounced unnecessary, the marriage of priests was forbidden, all vows of chastity were to be strictly observed, and private masses and auricular confession were adjudged meet and expedient[634].

In spite of the radically Catholic nature of the doctrines proclaimed in this Act, however, Henry took good care that there should be no mistake about his attitude towards the Pope. He was committed to hostility to the See of Rome beyond the possibility of escape, and he knew it. Though political expediency, internal and foreign, had led him to proclaim the catholicity of the Church of England in matters of doctrine, no consideration whatever could induce him to make the least concession to the Papacy. In fact he took measures to show, simultaneously with the passage of the Six Articles, that his contempt of the See of Rome was stronger than ever. Marillac wrote that on June 15 there was played on the river in the King’s presence ‘a game of poor grace, much less invention, of two galleys, one carrying the King’s arms, the other the Pope’s, with several Cardinals’ hats (so he was told, for he would have deemed it contrary to duty to be a spectator). The galleys fought a long time, and ultimately those of the King were victorious, and threw the Pope and Cardinals and their arms into the water, to show people that this King will entirely confound and abolish the power of the Holy Father[635].’ Demonstrations like this were of course mainly intended to impress people at home. Let us now examine the effect of the Six Articles abroad, first in Germany, and then in France and Spain.

The rather large hopes of a religious agreement which Henry had held out to the leaders of the Schmalkaldic League early in the year, merely as a bait to induce them to favour the political alliance with Cleves, had finally, owing to Cromwell’s representations, been accepted in all seriousness by John Frederic of Saxony and Philip of Hesse. They soon sent over another embassy under the leadership of Burckhard and Ludwig von Baumbach, a councillor of the Landgrave, which arrived in London on April 23. Henry was not yet quite sure of his ground with Marillac, and had not fully decided what note should be struck in the ‘devise in the parliament for the vnitie in religion,’ so at first he received the Germans cordially[636]. On April 29 they were granted an audience, in which Henry, though he carefully avoided committing himself to any definite promises of an alliance, spoke in the warmest terms of the Elector and Landgrave, cautioned the Lutherans against the treachery of the Emperor, and boasted long and loud because of the recent collapse of an expedition against England which, according to Wriothesley’s report, had been preparing in Flanders since the previous February[637]. A subsequent interview of the ambassadors with Cromwell and other members of the Privy Council was equally satisfactory, and Burckhard and Baumbach were convinced that their mission would ultimately be crowned with success. Had they understood the meaning of the many excuses which were offered for the failure to begin definite negotiations at once, the opening of Parliament and the difficulty of gaining access to the King, they might have been less encouraged. Henry merely wished to detain them until he had made perfectly sure that they could be of no more use to him. His relations with France were improving every day, but he had not yet made sure of the state of affairs in the dominions of the Emperor. On February 24, at Frankfort, the Electors of Brandenburg and the Palatinate had opened negotiations with the Imperial plenipotentiary, the Archbishop of Lund, in the hope of mediating between Charles and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League[638]; Henry had determined to learn the result of this meeting before giving the ambassadors a definite answer. The news of the truce concluded between the Emperor and the Lutherans on the 19th of April was finally announced in London towards the middle of May: it at once decided the King to send the envoys home empty-handed again, for it was obviously useless to continue negotiations for an alliance, which was primarily to have been directed against the very power with which the Schmalkaldner had just made a temporary peace. So much had Henry been encouraged by the favourable signs of the past few weeks, that he would probably have succeeded in finding an excuse for dismissing Burckhard and Baumbach, even if the result of the negotiations between the Emperor and the Schmalkaldner had been reversed; as it was he was spared the trouble of exercising much ingenuity, for, most unfortunately for the ambassadors, one of the clauses in the Frankfort agreement contained a provision which in itself was quite sufficient to stultify all their efforts. In the seventh article of their treaty with the Emperor, the Schmalkaldner had agreed not to admit any new members into their league during the period of the truce. There is every reason to think that this provision was especially directed against the English negotiations, for both Brandenburg and the Count Palatine had always looked with disfavour on the attempts of Saxony and Hesse to gain the alliance of Henry, and doubtless availed themselves of this opportunity to persuade the Schmalkaldner to put an end to them. In any case the King lost no time in acting upon the intelligence he had received, and at once complained to Burckhard and Baumbach, whose excuses and explanations were of no avail. Wearisome disputes and attempts at a compromise ensued: the question of reciprocity was discussed at length; the envoys insisting that England was sure to derive quite as much benefit from the proposed alliance as the Lutherans, the King and his ministers in turn demanding concessions which they knew that the ambassadors were not authorized to grant. So reluctant were the latter to return without having accomplished anything however, that it was only with the utmost difficulty that Henry finally succeeded in getting rid of them. To a blunt request that they depart the envoys only replied with continued petitions for a more favourable answer to their demands: finally, with pleasing frankness, they begged that His Majesty would let himself be guided by the truth alone in directing the religious controversies then in progress in Parliament. Henry made no effort to conceal from Burckhard and Baumbach the anger which this ill-timed and incautious request aroused in him, for he probably realized that his best chance of hastening the departure of the Lutherans lay in involving himself in some sort of an altercation with them. We are not surprised to read that both parties immediately became engaged in a violent discussion concerning the celibacy of the clergy--in the midst of which the ambassadors apparently beat a somewhat precipitate retreat: they seem at last to have had the wit to realize that they had to do with a theologian, with whom it was extremely dangerous to disagree. A fruitless interview with Cromwell followed, and on May 31 the envoys finally departed[639]. In the meantime the Elector and the Landgrave had continued to show touching but unwarranted confidence in the sincerity of Henry’s professions, and had remained in utter ignorance of the true state of affairs in England. Their hopes of a speedy settlement of religious differences had doubtless received considerable encouragement through the efforts of Dr. Barnes, who had been earnestly labouring to remove the disagreeable impression which Henry had made on Christian III. by his blundering Lübeck policy in 1534. Barnes had been sent to Hamburg for this purpose early in the year. He was himself an ardent Protestant who never once suspected the possibility of a Catholic reaction in England; and as his zeal more than supplied the lack of diplomatic skill, his efforts seem to have met with great success[640]. The King of Denmark was now in close alliance with John Frederic, and Barnes was soon enabled to persuade them to arrange to send a joint embassy to the King of England to treat of the political league which was to follow a theological agreement[641]. But at this juncture Burckhard and Baumbach returned with a very discouraging report, which obtained full confirmation by the news which arrived a week later, that the Six Articles had actually been passed[642]. The enthusiasm of the Lutherans was of course considerably dampened, and they wrote to Henry that if a league was to be treated of at all, he would have to be the one to send ambassadors; they could not themselves venture to visit England because of the machinations against the Evangelical cause there[643]. Even in Cleves, where Henry and Cromwell had sought an alliance of a purely political nature, unhampered by religious restrictions, the news of the passage of the Six Articles created profound distrust, and we may well believe that John Frederic discouraged his brother-in-law from continuing negotiations with England, after the proof of Henry’s perfidy that he had just received. We are not surprised to find that the matrimonial projects which formed the basis of the alliance with Cleves came to a complete standstill during the month of July. The proposals for a match between Duke William and the Princess Mary had apparently never been very popular: they were now definitely abandoned and never revived. To the other plan, for a marriage of Henry and the Duchess Anne, an unexpected objection had arisen. It appears that ever since 1527 a plan for a marriage between the King’s intended bride and the son of Duke Anthony of Lorraine had been under discussion. For twelve years the form of continuing the negotiations for this union had been kept up on both sides, with the idea of bringing pressure on the Emperor, though all hope of an actual completion of the match must have been abandoned long before this time. But now that the union with England seemed less desirable, the Duke of Cleves of course made the most of the opportunity of evading the requests of Henry that was afforded by the Lorraine affair. The claims of Duke Anthony and his son would have to be satisfied, he said, before his sister could be offered to Henry[644].

Altogether it looked as if the German alliance would be abandoned, and Cromwell, who of all people was most deeply involved in it, must have been roused to a sense of his danger. But the threatened reversal of his policy was destined to be postponed once more. For it soon appeared that the exultation of the King at the apparent success of his own plans was premature. We have seen that it was largely in the hope of conciliating Francis and Charles by removing their main pretext for an attack on England that Henry had caused the Six Articles to be passed. But the Act did not accomplish what was expected of it. The courtesy of Marillac had given Henry a very exaggerated idea of the cordiality of France. He did not see that Francis was merely dallying with him, and had no idea of a permanent friendship. The fact that Charles had refused to listen to the proposals of Cardinal Pole had also been regarded as a good omen[645]. But when it appeared that dread of the Turks, who had advanced up the Adriatic, was the sole cause of the Emperor’s apparent unwillingness to offend England, and it was rumoured that there was immediate prospect of another interview between him and Francis, Henry discovered his mistake[646]. All the fair hopes he had entertained of preventing the dreaded coalition against England were apparently blasted. The doctrinal statement from which he had expected so much had proved but a feeble weapon with which to arrest the current of continental politics. He could consider himself fortunate if the Six Articles and his own personal rudeness to the German ambassadors had not been sufficient to preclude all hope of a return to the alliance, which a few months before he had abandoned as useless, but which now seemed to offer the one chance for England’s safety. Once more the policy of Cromwell seemed justified, and Henry was forced to acknowledge it.

Fortunately for England, the situation, alarming as it was, had even more terrors for the Duke of Cleves than for Henry. Charles’ refusal to ratify the treaty of Frankfort had once more blighted the hopes of a peaceful solution of the difficulties in Germany[647]; in May the outbreak of a serious rebellion in Ghent made it imperative for the Emperor to appear in person in the Netherlands, and in early August Francis sent him an invitation to pass through France on his way to the Low Countries. The prospect that Charles, in close alliance with his former rival, would soon be brought within striking distance of Gelderland, was by no means agreeable to Duke William. It was fairly obvious that Charles would bend his energies to punishing the Duke of Cleves for his contempt of the Imperial authority, before attempting to chastise the King of England for the general weal of Christendom. The Duke of Cleves was much more practical than his brother-in-law: like Henry he never let religious considerations or conscientious scruples weigh against the dictates of political expediency. As soon as the news of the Emperor’s invitation from Francis was confirmed, Duke William’s doubts concerning the pre-contract of his sister Anne and the son of the Duke of Lorraine were cleared up with gratifying celerity. He probably had some difficulty in obtaining the consent of the more scrupulous John Frederic to a renewal of the negotiations with England, but his urgency was such that he triumphed over every obstacle. A messenger from Burckhard to Cromwell in the end of August was followed in early September by four ambassadors from Cleves and Saxony who were authorized to conclude the match[648]. The King must have been greatly relieved at the arrival of the envoys. Since May 3 he had heard nothing from his friends in Cleves except for the famous description of his intended bride, which his ambassador Wotton had sent him, for lack of other news. Anne appears to have been of very ‘lowly and gentle conditions.... She occupieth her time most with the needle, wherwithall she ... She canne reede and wryte her [own tongue but of] Frenche Latyn or other langaige she [knows no]ne, nor yet she canne not synge nor pleye ... enye instrument, for they take it heere in Germanye for a rebuke and an occasion of lightenesse, that great ladyes shuld be lernyd or have enye knowledge of musike ... your Graces servant Hanze Albein hathe taken theffigies of my lady Anne and the ladye Amelye and hath expressyd theyr imaiges verye lyvelye[649].’ In the end it proved unfortunate for Cromwell that this letter, and the portrait which Holbein made[650] were not sufficient to turn the King against her, without the need of further confirmation. But even if Wotton’s description had been far less flattering, it is doubtful if he could have persuaded Henry to abandon the Cleves marriage at this crisis. The King was now as reckless in accepting the alliance as he had been a few months before in refusing it. He perhaps forgot that though his zeal for the national welfare had never been hampered by religion or conscience, he had not yet put his patriotism to the more practical test of a sacrifice of matrimonial bliss. So the preliminaries of the match were hurried through with a speed quite as remarkable as the delays in the previous negotiations with the Lutherans. The ambassadors departed on October 6 to return to Cleves and conduct Anne to Calais, where a noble company assembled to welcome her, Gregory Cromwell being among the number[651]. Such were the delays of travelling in those times (Wotton wrote to Cromwell that the lady’s party could only make five miles a day[652]) that Anne of Cleves did not arrive at Calais until December 11, and there she waited till the 27th, for weather sufficiently favourable for her crossing[653].

Having landed, she proceeded to Canterbury, where Cranmer welcomed her with due pomp and ceremony. He had received from Cromwell fifty sovereigns to be presented to her on her arrival, and promised to do his best to induce the townspeople to give her fifty angels more[654]. From Canterbury Anne journeyed on to Sittingbourne and Rochester, where she was received on December 31 by the Duke of Norfolk, with a great company of nobles[655]. When Henry heard of her arrival there he determined to visit her in disguise, and, accompanied by eight persons of his Privy Chamber, he rode down to Rochester on New Year’s Day and saw for the first time his intended bride[656]. It is unfortunate that we possess no trustworthy information concerning the impression which Anne made on Henry at this first meeting. A letter which Cromwell wrote to the King, six months later, from the Tower states that when Henry, on his return from Rochester, was asked how he liked the Queen, he had answered ‘hevelye And not plesantlye “nothing so well as She was spokyn of”,’ and had added that had he known as much as he then knew ‘she shold not haue Commen w_i_t_h_in this Realme[657].’ It will be seen in a later chapter, however, that Cromwell wrote this letter under circumstances which rendered it very improbable that he told the exact truth: there is every reason to think that he greatly exaggerated the aversion which Henry first conceived for Anne of Cleves. In any case if Henry felt any such disgust as Cromwell described, he succeeded admirably in dissembling his feelings. Two days after the meeting at Rochester, he rode in state to meet his bride at Greenwich, and on January 6 he married her. ‘The sonday after,’ Hall adds, ‘there were kepte solempne Justes, ... on whiche daie she was appareiled after the Englishe fassion, with a Frenche whode, whiche so set furth her beautie and good visage, that euery creature reioysed to behold her[658].’

It is important to notice that even in this hour of national peril, Henry did not make any overtures to the Elector of Saxony or the Landgrave of Hesse. Not even the immediate prospect of war with France and Spain could induce him to go as far as this and to bind himself by ties religious as well as political. Even Cromwell had by this time discovered the uselessness of endeavouring to persuade the King to return to an alliance of which he had never really approved; more than this, he at last seemed to realize, that as advocate of a policy which his master had definitely abandoned, he ran great danger of losing his influence if not his life. It was rather late for him to attempt to break away from a plan with which his name had become identified; but he saw that he must purchase safety at the cost of consistency, and he took care in future to discourage all efforts of the Lutherans to come to an agreement. The reception accorded to an embassy which the firm but persistent Schmalkaldner sent to England in January 1540, and the words which Cromwell spoke to the ambassador on that occasion give us a very clear insight into the attitude of the King’s minister[659]. It was the last attempt which the Lutherans made to treat with England during Cromwell’s ministry, and its failure marks the end of the negotiations which had begun with the mission of Vaughan and Mont in 1533. Philip of Hesse had sent his councillor, Ludwig von Baumbach, to Henry’s Court once more, with instructions to express to the King his sorrow at the passage of the Six Articles, and his hope that they would not lead to any action contrary to the word of God and the truth of the Gospels. The Landgrave also trusted that the King would not suffer the negotiations with the Lutherans to drop, but the ambassador was to make it clear that a political alliance would be conditional, as always, on religious agreement[660].

Baumbach arrived early in January and immediately betook himself to Cromwell, whom he evidently considered the best friend the Lutherans had at the English Court. But this time he met with a cold reception[661]. The minister kept asking him if he had power to conclude a political alliance--a perfectly safe question, for no one knew better than Cromwell that the Lutherans would insist on doctrinal reconciliation in the first place. Baumbach tried to give an evasive answer, but was soon summoned to Henry, who repeated his minister’s demand with still greater directness. The ambassador could only reply that he must consult with Burckhard, who having returned with Anne of Cleves to England, was still in London. On January 12 the two Lutherans had a conversation with Cromwell, in which the latter defined his position with absolute clearness. He told the ambassadors that the King desired a political alliance with them, but that this must come first; the religious question could be settled later. Baumbach and Burckhard answered that this was impossible; nothing could be done until a theological agreement had been concluded. At this Cromwell could contain himself no longer. With almost pathetic frankness he turned to the Lutherans and told them that he plainly saw what they wanted in regard to religion; but, as the world stood then, that he must hold to the same belief as his master, even if it cost him his life[662]. Such was the faith of the man who six months later was brought to the block on the charge of counter-working the King in matters of religion! There is little need to dwell on the rest of Baumbach’s stay in England. He had another interview with Henry, who, angered at the firmness of the Lutherans on the religious question, now took occasion to throw contempt on their usefulness as political allies. He told some preposterous lies to Baumbach, informing him that he had heard nothing of the danger of the coalition of Charles and Francis of which the envoy talked so much, although he had faithful ambassadors at both Courts. Even if he were attacked, he said, he was fully able to defend himself, owing to England’s insular position and strong navy, which was well manned by his own subjects. German soldiers, on the contrary, would be of little use to him as sailors, for they would certainly be always seasick. After making a few counter-proposals which he knew would never be accepted, he dismissed Baumbach with a polite but non-committal message to the Landgrave, and Cromwell, who bade the envoy farewell on January 21, followed suit. But though the minister had used this last mission of the Lutherans mainly as an opportunity to break away from the policy which he had hitherto advocated, but which he now realized the danger of being connected with, his efforts to save himself were too late. We shall see in the next chapter that the events of the previous years had so thoroughly identified him with the Lutheran alliance in the minds of the people, that his enemies were enabled to make use of his supposed adherence to it, as a pretext for conspiring his ruin.

The Lutherans did not send another embassy to England for a long time. Negotiations were not resumed until more than four years later, when the situation had entirely changed, and even then they failed as signally as before. But though Henry had thus dealt the death blow to the hopes of the Schmalkaldner, he did not suffer the year 1539 to close without attempting to form an alliance of a very different sort with another prince of the Empire. As soon as he had heard of the failure of the plan for the marriage of the Princess Mary and the Duke of Cleves, Henry began to look about for another German husband for his daughter. It was doubtless with the royal authority that Christopher Mont had let fall a casual hint in conversation with a certain Nürnberg merchant named Gundelfynger, that Henry would gladly see Mary wedded to a prince of the Empire. The merchant responded by proposing Duke Philip of Bavaria as a suitable candidate for her hand. This prince was a member of the Palatinate branch of the Wittelsbach family, and a nephew of the Elector Louis. He had been a faithful servant of the Emperor and his brother Ferdinand in the first outbreaks of the religious strife after the formation of the Schmalkaldic League, and had been severely wounded in a brave attempt to oppose the Hessian lanzknechts at the battle of Laufen[663]. In spite of the fact that he belonged to a notoriously wavering family, he appears to have been a firm adherent of the Old Faith, at least at the time of which we are speaking. But on the other hand he was certainly loyal to every tradition of Wittelsbach impecuniosity. He had sacrificed all his property in the Emperor’s service, and Charles had characteristically refused to make good his losses, and had also insulted him by opposing his suit for the hand of the Duchess of Milan. A financially successful marriage seemed to offer Philip the only chance of recovering his lost fortunes, and it was at this juncture that the possibility of a match with the daughter of the rich King of England was opened to him. The proposal of Gundelfynger seems to have met with Henry’s approval, and he soon signified to Philip his desire that the latter should visit him in England. The Duke jumped at the chance to conclude a marriage which promised so many pecuniary advantages, and his anger at the ingratitude of Charles certainly did not make him any less anxious to listen to Henry’s proposals. He arrived in London on December 8[664], and at first the negotiations for the match proceeded with unexpected rapidity. Against two points on which Henry insisted, however, Philip raised strong objections[665]: the first was that he should take Mary as a bastard, ‘incapable by the laws and statutes of the realm of claiming any succession or title by right of inheritance,’ The second was the King’s refusal to except the name of the Pope from the list of those against whom the financial and political agreement which was to accompany the marriage was to be concluded: Philip, as a faithful Catholic, was apparently at first unwilling to enter a league which might bring him into conflict with the See of Rome. But the firmness of the King, coupled with the great financial profits which the match promised to Philip, finally triumphed over the religious scruples of the Wittelsbacher, and on January 24 he signed a treaty in which he accepted the marriage and the compact under the conditions on which Henry insisted: the agreement, however, was not to be considered binding unless Philip could get it ratified by his relatives in Germany before Whitsuntide, 1540. He left England, January 27, for this purpose, but his attempts were unsuccessful, and the proposal came to nothing. It was taken up a second time at a later date, and again abandoned. But though the scheme finally fell through there are a few interesting things to be noticed in connexion with the negotiations for it, which serve to make clear the trend things were taking at the time of Philip’s visit in London.

The whole affair was carried on so secretly, and we have so little documentary evidence, that it is very difficult to form any certain conclusions concerning this attempted compact. The name of Cromwell figures prominently in connexion with it; we find Duke Philip consulting with the minister at his house, and visiting the Princess Mary in his company[666]; but it is pretty obvious that all the negotiations were conducted throughout with the full approval of the King, and not, as was the case with the Lutheran affair, partially in opposition to the royal wishes. For the scheme was radically different from the proposed Lutheran alliance which had failed, and not exactly similar to the union with Cleves which had just been completed. It was far more cautious and non-committal than either of them, and it was for this reason that Henry liked it. In the first place, Philip was a Catholic, so that an agreement with him involved no contradiction to the doctrines proclaimed in the Six Articles. In the second place, he was ostensibly a close ally of the Emperor’s and a member of the Imperial Order of the Golden Fleece[667], though, as we have seen, the ingratitude of Charles after his services in Germany must necessarily have tended to make their relations less cordial. Henry was doubtless accurately informed of all this, and saw in an agreement with a member of this powerful though vacillating Wittelsbach family, an opportunity to gain valuable aid in case he were really attacked, without ostensibly committing himself to a policy which would at any time prevent a return to cordial relations with France and Spain. In the next chapter we shall see that it was precisely during Philip’s visit at the English Court that Henry’s hopes of staving off the dreaded coalition of Charles and Francis against him were once more revived in a most unexpected way. The terms of the agreement which he attempted to conclude with the Duke may thus be regarded as the first intimation of the complete reversal of England’s foreign policy which was witnessed by the first six months of the year 1540. According to the draft of a treaty drawn up in England to be presented to Philip for his approval, the Duke was to send to the King’s assistance the number of ---- horse and foot if Henry was attacked by any prince or private person, and was further to aid the King if he made war for the recovery of any right of which he was defrauded[668]. We unfortunately do not possess the original copy of the treaty signed on January 24, but in an account of Philip’s life by his brother Ottheinrich, it appears that the final agreement was that the Duke should furnish the King with 1,000 horsemen and 4,000 foot-soldiers against everyone except the Roman Empire[669]. The exception of the ‘Roman Empire,’ which was probably introduced at Philip’s request, was a provision of so vague a nature that it could not bind either party very strictly; it certainly could not have applied to a coalition of Charles and Francis, which was all that Henry wanted, and it had the additional advantage that it made it appear that the compact was not especially directed against the Emperor, and so could not be resented by him. On the subject of the Pope and the illegitimacy of Mary, the King, as we have seen, had remained firm: to yield to Philip on these two points would simply have been to stultify all the work of the previous ten years, a step which Henry, even in the gravest peril, was not prepared to take. But the other terms of the agreement were precisely to his taste. The new treaty could be very useful if the crisis came, and yet it was so arranged that with his well-known ability for quibbling, the King could easily throw it over, if his hopes of a change for the better in his relations with France and Spain were actually fulfilled. It thus stands out in sharp contrast to the Lutheran alliance which Cromwell had advocated, and which, if it had been accomplished, would have irrevocably committed England to permanent hostility to Charles. The terms of the treaty with Philip were cautious, carefully guarded, and strictly non-committal; the Lutheran alliance, had it been carried through, would have been rash, definite, and irrevocable. The contrast between the two schemes is the contrast between the policies of Henry and Cromwell. Though the treaty with Philip was never ratified and the agreement which it proposed was thus never destined to succeed, the fact that so many efforts were made to accomplish it at the very moment that the negotiations with the Lutherans, of which Cromwell had been the chief supporter, were finally abandoned, is very significant in revealing the relative positions of King and minister at the opening of the year 1540.

Briefly to review the state of affairs at this critical juncture. The dread of an attack by the joint forces of France and Spain, which had hung over England for more than a year, seemed to call for a defensive league with some outside power. But even in this hour of national peril the King did not forget the lesson that he had learned at Wolsey’s fall: he remembered that the situation on the Continent had often changed before and was likely to do so again, and therefore in his search for a foreign alliance he took the greatest pains to keep his hand free. Cromwell, on the contrary, was now too far advanced in the policy he had followed since the summer of 1538 to be able to retreat from it, though the warning conveyed by the reaction of June, 1539 had certainly opened his eyes to the dangers of the course he pursued. But it was in vain that he attempted to persuade his master to sanction an alliance with the Lutherans. Henry refused to consent to any move which would bind him as permanently as this. Instead the King directed his efforts towards concluding an agreement of a very different nature with Duke Philip of Bavaria, but his demands were so great that this scheme also failed, owing to the unwillingness of the other members of the Wittelsbach family to ratify the treaty. The only alliance which did materialize was that with Cleves. It was a sort of compromise between the Lutheran and the Bavarian plans; it committed England less definitely than the one, though more so than the other. But the responsibility for it had been made to rest entirely on Cromwell’s shoulders, and the minister must have realized that his safety depended on its success. While it was under negotiation, the danger from France and Spain seemed so threatening that the policy of Cromwell was apparently justified. Almost at the moment of its completion, however, events took place which totally changed the aspect of affairs, called for the abandonment of the alliance with Cleves, and led to the ruin of the man whose fortunes were identified with it. What these events were will be seen in the succeeding chapter.




‘S_um_marie bericht vnd verzeichnisz der gepflog_en_ handelu_n_ge in Engelant anno d_omi_ni 1539[670].’

Nachdem die gesant_en_ desz churf. zu Saxsen _etc_ vnd la_n_tgraue_n_ zu Hesse_n_ vnser g. vnd g. hern rethte den viij tag aprilisz zu Franckfort abgeraist sint sie den 23 deszselbig_en_ monatz zu Lond_on_ anko_m_me_n_ vnd nachdem die kon_igliche_ may_estä_t dazumal nicht dess orczt sondern auff eynem schloisz Riczmu_n_t genant nicht fast verne von Lunden gewest haben sie sich nichtsz destowinger biem hern Crumello, kon_iglichen_ may_estä_t zu engelant obersten vnd gehey_m_bsten raidt anczaig_en_ lassen. Als hat derselbige ob er wol etwas die cziet myt schwachait belad_en_ solchsz kon_iglichen_ may_estä_t von stond_en_ an zu erke_n_nen geben hat auch den gesant_en_ vo_n_ wege_n_ kon_iglichen_ may_estä_t eyn_e_ herberge vorordent vnd inen kon_iglichen_ may_estä_t forderliche zukunff vormeld_en_ lassen mit anczaigu_n_ge_n_ dasz sie kon_iglichen_ may_estä_t gancz wilcku_m_me_n_ were_n_ vnd dasz die kon_igliche_ may_estä_t auff den nest_en_ sontag wilcher der 25 aprilisz gewest der gesant_en_ werbu_n_ge genedicklich zu horen erpottick. Esz ist auch der ko_nig_ myt den 26 aprilisz obgemeltz monatz gege_n_ Lond_on_ in ir_en_ pallast zu Westmo_n_ster kome_n_ und nachdem eyn parlame_n_t beschriben gewest wilchesz auff de_n_ 28 aprilisz angefang_en_ hat sich die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t desz vorczoigksz halben entschuldig_en_ lassen vnd den 29 tag aprilisz der gesant_en_ werbu_n_ge anzuhoren besty_m_met wie dan geschehen. Vnd hat die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t denselbig_en_ tag der gesant_en_ werbu_n_ge gehort die sie vormoge irer entpfa_n_en instrucion gethan. Alsz hat sich die kon_igliche_ may_estä_t genedicklich_en_ darauff vorne_m_me_n_ lassen mit f.[671] dangsagu_n_ge_n_ gege_n_ den churf. zu Saxsen vnd lantgraue_n_ zu Hessen mit dem anhangk dasz ir_e_ may_estä_t hern Crumello vnd eczlich andere_n_ vnd vorne_m_misten vnd geheimste_n_ ir mai_estä_t rethte befelich thon wolt_en_ mit den gesanten von eyner erlichen trostlichen vorste_n_nisse zu handeln habe_n_ sich auch hoich gege_n_ vnsere g.g. hern erpotten vnd von der franckfordissen fridszhandellu_n_ge_n_ allerlii gefragk auch v.g.h. von Gulich vnd Geldern gedacht, vnd in latinisser vnd franczosser sprach sich mit de_n_ gesante_n_ in gespreche ingelassen darauff die gesante_n_ siner mai_estä_t allenthalben nach gelegenheit nottorfftig_en_ bericht gethan. Es hat ko_nigliche_ mai_estä_t in sondernhait erinneru_n_ge gethan dasz sich obgemelte vnsere g.g. hern mit gut_en_ worten nicht wolten vorfuer_en_ lassen dan sine m_aiestä_t wuste dasz man allerley wider ir ch. vnd f. g. vnd der vorste_n_ vorwanten vorhette allein dasz ine_n_ bys anhere an forteil gemangeldt, darauff sie dan tag vnd nacht traichten vnd bedorffte_n_ vlissigesz auffsehensz etc.

Es were auch gewisz dasz man sine m_aiestä_t hette mit den schiffen in Selant vberfallen wollen aber Got lobp sine m_aiestä_t hette ire prachticke vorno_m_men vnd were_n_ durch gute frunde vorwarnnet word_en_ hatten sich auch alszo zur gegenwere gestellet vnd die vorsehu_n_ge in irer may_estä_t kon‹ig›rich thon lassen dasz sie vor inne_n_ vnerschrocken weren vnd wolte gerne dasz sie sich etwasz tetlichesz vnderstand_en_ dan sie alszo entpfanen wurde_n_ dasz sie den schimp gerucht solte haben etc. Item es hat sine ko_nigliche_ mai_estä_t angeczaigk dasz sie gewisz kunschafft hette wie dasz der kayser driemalhundert thusent gulde_n_ iczt oister_n_ vorschier_en_ in Duczlant etliche krigsvolck domit anzune_m_men vorordent darumb solte ma_n_ nicht zu vil vortruen vnd die dinge in guter achtu_n_ge haben vnd nachde_m_ here Crumello duezumall etwasz schwach gewest hat die ko_nigliche_ m_aiestä_t begerdt eyn_e_ kleynne cziet gedult zu trag_en_ dan s. m_aiestä_t wolt_en_ die saiche szo mogelich zu fordern beuelen vnd sindt alszo daszmal die gesant_en_ von ko_niglicher_ may_estä_t abgeschaide_n_.

Den andern tag desz monacz maij sindt die gesante_n_ in hern Cru_m_mello hausz zu Lond_on_ erfordert do dan ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t rethte alsz ne_m_melich die bayde herczogen Norfoick vnd Soyffoick desz richsz engelant cantzeller der oberste a_m_merall her Crumell_us_ vnd der bisschoff von Derm Tu_n_stalli_us_ genant Wilche erstliche_n_ desz ma_n_datetsz halben allerley disputacionesz inngefort darauff inn_en_ vorlegunge vnd bericht darmit sie dozumall zufried_en_ gewest von d_en_ gesant_en_ geschehen vnd zu_m_ ander_n_ haben sie sich mit den gesante_n_ der condicio_n_ halben vnd wilcher gestaldt die confederacio_n_ auffzuricht_en_ auch wasz ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t vor gege_n_hulff zu gewarte_n_ vntteredet denen die gesant_en_ inhalcz irer instrucio_n_ nach der lenge bericht vnd anczaigu_n_ge vorgewant dasz dan die rethte mit flissz angehort vnd der ding allenthalben ko_niglicher_ may_estä_t zu berichten auff sich genno_m_men v_nd_ ist gebetten die saichen so vil mogelich zu fordern domit kein vorczoigk erfolge.

Nach disser vnderredu_n_ge vnd handelu_n_ge haben sich die dinge etliche tage vorczug_en_ ausz vrsach dasz ko_niglicher_ may_estä_t rethte obgemelt teglich insz parlament haben sin mossen vnd auff den xvi tag maij sindt kon_iglicher_ may_estä_t rethte vnd die gesant_en_ yn kon_iglicher_ may_estä_t pallast zu sent Jocop beim hern Cru_m_mello zu_m_ ander_n_ male bie eynnander gewest, vnd haben die konnigliche rethte angeczaigk wie dasz der ko_niglichen_ may_estä_t vor gewissz ausz Franckrich vnd Flander_n_ geschriben dasz der churf. zu Saxsen vnd lantgraue zu Hessen sampt irer chf. vnd f. g. relionszvorwant_en_ sich in der gepflog_en_ fridez handellu_n_ge zu Franckfort vorpflicht forder in cziet desz anstansz nimancz in buntnissz zu ne_m_me_n_ wilchsz der ko_niglichen_ may_estä_t fast befromdlich vnd beschwerlich ‹wird› vnd darauff bericht begerdt etc. Alsz haben die gesantten vormoge irer bieinstrucion dissesz puncktsz halben vnd sonderlichen auch auff dasz schriben szo inen vom churf. ‹zu› Saxsen irem g. h. desz fordern tagesz zuko_m_me_n_ war den bericht vorgewant dasz die kon‹ig›lich_en_ rethte daran gut_en_ genug_en_ gehaipt vnd sich erpotten der koniglichen mayestät solchsz zu_m_ forderlichest_en_ zu vormelden auch die saichen irsz vormogensz zu fordern helff_en_ v_nd_ darbie esz daszmalsz blieben vnd haben die gesant_en_ angehalt_en_ domit sie nicht lenger auffgehalt_en_ mocht_en_ werd_en_.

Den xviij tag maij sindt die koniklichen rethte vnd die gsanten zu_m_ dritten male in obgemelt_en_ ko_niglicher_ may_estä_t pallast zu sent Jocop zusame_n_ kome_n_ vnd haben die kongissen rethte nach lenge erczelet dasz sie kon_iglicher_ may_estä_t alle handelu_n_ge mit vlisz bericht gethan esz wusten sich auch ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t der gesant_en_ werbu_n_ge selbst zu erinner_n_ were_n_ auch geneigk sich in eyn erlich glichmessig vnd trostlich vorstentnissz mit ire_n_ her_n_ sampt derselbig_en_ relionszvorwant_en_ irem vorigen erbitten nach inzulassen aber die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t kont nicht befind_en_ dasz sulchesz vorstentnisz der geg_en_ hulff halben deren sich die chur vnd fursten sampt iren relionszvorwantt_en_ erbiten theten die glichait oder reciprocu_m_ mit sich breichte derhalben were der ko_niglichen_ may_estä_t genedigesz beger_en_ ob die gesant_en_ nach ferner befelich hetten der gege_n_hulff oder reciproci halben dasz sie sich desz wolten vnbeschwerdt vorne_m_me_n_ lassen.

Item die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t vormyrck dasz dasz ma_n_dat sere enge vnd restringirt were wilchsz auch allerlij nachdencken hette bie siner ko_niglichen_ may_estä_t vnd ob die gesant_en_ vmb ferner befelich vnd volkommener mandat schriben wolten.

Darauff ist den konigissen rethten geantwortt dasz esz die chur vnd fursten dar aichten die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t alsz eyn vortrefflicher berumpter richer konig wurde esz in solchen erlichen cristlichen saichen wider desz romissen bisschoff prachticke vnd tiranni an eyner tapffern su_m_ma geldesz zur defension nicht mangeln lassen ob sich auch ire ch. vnd f. g. der gege_n_hulff halben nichtsz sonderlichesz erbiten tedten v_nd_ aber nichtsz desto winger hetten sich ire ch. vnd f.g. vorne_m_men lassen siner ko_niglichen_ may_estä_t im fall der nottorfft do solchsz sin_e_ ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t begeren worde eczliche thuse_n_t zu fuessz vnd etliche hundert zu rosz _etc_ zu zu schicken wilchsz kriegszvolck ire ch. vnd f. g. anne tappern vnkosten nicht word_en_ vorgadern vnd auff eynn monsterplacz bring_en_ lassen mog_en_. V_nd_ domit sulchsz do da_n_nen forder s. may_estä_t zugeschickt wurde vnd im fall dasz esz die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t darvor aichte dasz solchsz geg_en_ der su_m_ma geldesz szo die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t erleg_en_ solte nicht szo gancz glich ader re_ci_procu_m_ were szo hetten doch sine ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t zu bedenck_en_ dasz esz siner ko_niglichen_ may_estä_t selbst zu_m_ besten gereichte allesz waisz ire ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t den chur. vnd f. sampt ire_n_ vorwanten gucz erczaigkt dan der romisz bisschoff vbete sine prachtike nicht winger wider sine ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t dan ire ch. vnd f. g. vnd ier ch. vnd f. g. mitvorwante_n_ vnd do innen etwasz widerwertigsz wilchsz der almechtige wend_en_ wolt begegen solte worde darnach s. kon_igliche_ may_estä_t solchsz auch zu gewarte_n_ haben etc. Desz mandacz halb_en_ ist inne_n_ die anczeige geschehen dasz sie desz puncksz zufriede_n_ gewest vnd die ding ko_niglicher_ may_estä_t zu berichten auff sich geno_m_men alsz ist deszmalsz nicht witter gehandelt vnd auff den 26 tag maij habe_n_ die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t die gesant_en_ wiedervmb erforder_n_ lassen vnd inne_n_ selbst angeczeigt desz[672] sie allenthalben vorno_m_men wasz sich vor handelu_n_ge czuissen siner m_aiestä_t rethten vnd den gesant_en_ zugetrag_en_ vnd wiewole sine m_aiestä_t gancz geneigk sich in buntnisse mit den churf. zu Saxsen vnd lantgrau_en_ zu Hessen sampt ir_en_ relionszvorwant_en_ ainzulassen szo vormirck doch ir_e_ ko_nigliche_ m_a_i_estä_t dasz die vorgeschlagene condicion der geg_en_hulff nicht dergestaldt reciproce were wie sich ire ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t vorsehen hetten vnd esz auch billich in confederaci_on_ sin solt dan seine ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t begert eyn rumelich erlich vnd baidersicz trostlich vorstentnisse vnd confederacio_n_ myt ire_n_ chur vnd f. g. vnd iren relionsz vorwant_en_ auffzurichten vnd diewil die gesant_en_ keine_n_ witter_n_ oder ferner_n_ befelich hetten dan wie sie hie zuvor angeczeig[t] szo muste esz seine ko_nigliche_ m_aiestä_t dasz malsz auch darbie wend_en_ lassen vnd wusten witer darauff mit ine_n_ nicht zu handeln, sondern wolten ine_n_ hiemit genedicklich wiedervmb erlaubt haben. Auch wolte sine ko_nigliche_ m_aiestä_t iren chur vnd f. g. schrifflich ire gemut anczaigen vnd do sie iren chur und f. g. sunste_n_ fruntlichen willen erczaigen konte wolten ire ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t alleczeit willig befonden werd_en_ wie sie sich auch in glichnisse herwider vorsehen theten. Alsz haben die gesant_en_ irer ko_niglichen_ may_estä_t hinwider angeczaigk dasz sie sich von weg_en_ irer g. vnd genedigen hern nicht vorsehen hetten seine ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t worde sie nicht gancz vorgebelich abschaid_en_ lassen wil ire may_estä_t wmb disse schicku_n_ge bei iren g. vnd genedig_en_ hern ansuchu_n_g auch trostlich erbitu_n_ge gethan esz worden sich auch ire chur vnd f. g. vile winger solchsz abschaidsz vorsehen vnd were disse kegenhulff nicht szo geringe wie sie ire ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t achten _etc_ Aber wie denn szo must_en_ sie esz darbie wend_en_ lassen vnd wolten ire g. vnd genedige hern aller handelu_n_ge zu_m_ vnderthenigst_en_ vnd truelichest_en_ wilsz Got zu irer widerkumpfft bericht_en_ vnd worden sich demnach ire ch. vnd f. g. geg_en_ seiner ko_niglichen_ may_estät_ irer nottorfft nach zu halt_en_ vnd zu vorne_m_me_n_ lassen wissen vnd nachdem vil reden gewest dasz die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t etczliche artikel der relion im parlament handeln lassen alsz ne_m_melich von dem hoichwurdig_en_ sacrame_n_t desz liebesz vnd bludez unsersz her_n_ Cristi it_em_ von der prister ehe haben die gesant_en_ gebetten seine ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t alsz die die warhait liebte wolte in dissen groswichtig_en_ saichen alleyne die warhait forder_n_ vnd hanthaben _etc_ Darauff dan die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t in eyne hefftige disputacio_n_ desz artikelsz die pristerehe belang_end_ mit den gesant_en_ kome_n_ die seiner may_estä_t nottorfftig_en_ bericht vnd anczaige gethan vnd darnach ire_n_ abschaidt von irer may_estä_t geno_m_men _etc._ Vnd nachdem ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t schrifft_en_ an hoichgemelte vnsere g. vnd g. hern vorfertiget vnd den gesant_en_ durch hern Cru_m_mello zugesteldt haben sie gebetten sich zu berichten wesz doch ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t maynunge sie der confederacio_n_ halb_en_ vnd wesz seine ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t vor condicio_n_ ader geg_en_hulff oder reciprocu_m_ begerte darauff der here Crummellus angeczaigt dasz die ko_nigliche_ may_estä_t eyne tapffere su_m_ma geldesz zu erlegen willig aber der gestalt dasz solche geldt bayd_en_ teilen alsz seyner koko_niglichen_ may_estä_t vnd vnsern g. vnd g. hern vnd iren relionszvorwant_en_ zuglich zum besten kome vnd wilchsz tail eher angriffen ‹wurde› dasz daszselbige solche geldt zu gebrauchen haben solte etc. Vnd do iren ch. vnd f. g. sulchesz a_n_nemlich ‹wäre› woste eher[673] dasz die ko_nigliche_ mai_estä_t an eyner tapffern su_m_ma geldesz niederzuleg_en_ nicht erwind_en_ lassen etc. Alsz haben die gesant_en_ diewil sie dissesz artickelsz halben zu handeln ader zu schlissen kein_en_ befelich gehaipt sich erbotten daszselbige iren chur. vnd f. g. zu irer widerkunfft mit gotlicher hulff vnderthenichlich_en_ auch zu berichte_n_ vnd alszo irn abschaidt den leczten tag maij geno_m_men anno vt supra.

Franciscus Burchart



Ludowic_us_ de Baumbach


_Endd._ ‘Relation Ludwigs von Baumbach vnd Mgr. Frantz Burghardi von weg_en_ der sendung in Engellandt.’



Auff donstag nach triu_m_ regu_m_ byn ich myt gottesz holff zu Lond_on_ ankomen vnd mich bye dem Hern Crumello ansagen Lassen hat er mich auff den freitag morg_en_ frue alszo balde gefordert vnd holen Lassen vnd mich allerleii gefraugk wie esz im thucz_en_lant stehe vnd ab ich nicht macht ader befelich habe dasz buntnisz myt ko. may_estä_t zu schlissen etc.

Dar auff ich geantwort ich habe eyn credencz an die ko. may_estä_t vnd eyne werbunge im geheym vnd vortruen syner may_estä_t anzusag_en_ vnd derhalp dem h. crumello gebetten myr forderlich zu sin dasz ich auff dasz erst szo mogelich von sin_er_ may_estä_t gehort moge werd_en_.

Dar auff der H. Crumellus geantwort er werde esz der ko. may_estä_t zu forderlichesten ken grunewicz zu wyssen thon vnd vorsehe sich ir may_estä_t werde mich zu forderlichesten hore_n_ diewil ir may_estä_t mich ke_n_nen.

Auff den sonnobent byn ich von Cristoffel mo_n_t beschick vnd bericht die ko. may_estä_t habe befolen ich solt auff den sonntag morg_en_ frue zu ix vr_en_ zu grunewicz sin do wolle ir may_estä_t mich ghoren vnd ir may_estä_t sie my_n_ner ankonfft wole zufried_en_.

Die ko. may_estä_t hat mich auff den sontag durch den hern Crumellu_m_ in s. may_estä_t innerst gemach fordern vnd fuer_en_ Lassen vor der messe_n_ da habe ich nach dem die ko. may_estä_t die credencz erbrochen vnd vorlesen allesz waisz myr befolen ist gewest nach der lenge myt besten flissze erczalet vnd bericht dar auff ir may_estä_t myt flisse gehort vnd alle wort zweygefraugk vnd alsz balde ich auszgeredt Hat s. may_estä_t geantwort ich habe lange desz ko vom franckrichsz gemudt gesport vnd vorno_m_me_n_ vnd er wolde eyn_e_ botschaffe sich der dinge zu erko_n_ne_n_ thon vnd mich gefraugk ab ich solchsz auch lied_en_ moge sonst wolle s. may_estä_t niemancz nicht meld_en_ dar auff ich s. may_estä_t geantwort dasz moge ich wole lied_en_ szo verne niemancz genent von wem s. may_estä_t disze dinge vorstand_en_ vnd mich gefraugk ab ich keine befelich habe die buntnisz myt s. may_estä_t zu schlyssen habe ich geantwort nein sonder_n_ s. may_estä_t zu raid_en_ dasz sich ir may_estä_t irsz gemucz entlichen vorne_m_me_n_ Lasse vnd zu_m_ forderlicheste_n_ die bontnisz schlisse ehe esz zu kriege ko_m_me dar auff ir may_estä_t gesag m. h. habe im geschriben ich solde eyn_e_ zeitlangk bie s. may_estä_t blieben dar auff ich geantwort desz habe ich von m. g. h. keynen befelich.

Dar nach ir may_estä_t allerleii gemeine rede gehaipt vnd alsz balde in die kirche_n_ gang_en_ vnd alsz balde ir may_estä_t in ir. kapellen kome_n_ vnd mich gesehen haben ir may_estä_t myr gewinckt vnd angesprochen vor allen here_n_ vnd gsaugk er habe my_nem_ g. g. hern geschriben vnd sie haben im keyne antwort dar auff ggeben, vnd alsz witter gefraugk ab ich keynen befelich habe witter myt s. may_estä_t der buntnisz halber zu red_en_ dar auff ich geantwort von dem schriben habe ich keine wisse der bontnisz halber wolle ich mich eyn kleinsz bedencke_n_ vnd mych myt dem Sexsissen vice canczeller vnderreden vnd sine may_estä_t beantworten.

Auff den dienstag darnach hat der H. Crumellus den vice canczeler vnd mich gefordert vnd allerleii myt vnsz bayden geredt vnd gesaugk s. h. der ko_n_nig sie geneigk sich myt vnsren h. zu vorbind_en_ vnd darnach von der relionsz saich_en_ zu red_en_ angefang_en_ dar auff myr[675] baide der vice canczeller auff latin vnd ich auff franczossiscz geantwort esz were gotelichen vnd erlichen dasz s. may_estä_t sich zu vor vnd ehe die pontnisz geschlossen myt vnsren g. h. desz gottlichen worcz vorgliche dar nach worde got genade vorliehen dasz alle saichen gudt word_en_ dar auff der. h. Crumellus gesaugkt er siehe vnser maynu_n_ge den glauben betreffen aber wie die weldt iczt stehet wesz sich sin her der ko_n_nig halte desz wolle er sich auch halt_en_ vnd solte er darumb sterben er rade aber dasz die pontnisz beschlossen vnd dar nach von bayderseicz gelarten zusam_en_ komen lasze vnd sich der schrifft vnd gotlichesz worcz vorglichen lasse wilche teil dan recht behalt dasz dem dan dasz ander teile folge vnd szo wyr myt s. h. dem ko. der saichen halber zu red_en_ kem_en_ szo wolt er vnsz geraid_en_ haben dasz wyr sidick vnd nicht zu hart myt s. may_estä_t reden wolt_en_ etc. da myt s. may_estä_t nicht zue vngenad_en_ vnd vngeduld_en_ erregt werde.

Dar nach von stonde an ist der H. crumellus zu dem ko_n_nige gang_en_ vnd alsz balde mich allein zu_m_ konnige zu kom_en_ gefordert vnd hat s. may_estä_t angefang_en_ vnd gesaugk die dinge die ich s. may_estä_t erczaldt habe nem_en_ s. may_estä_t wonder dasz dasz vorhand_en_ sin solte vnd solte im szo lange vorschwig_en_ blieben sin in ansehu_n_ge dasz er syne am_m_asatten an bayd_en_ ort_en_ habe, zu dem szo ko_n_ne_n_ sie sich in ile szo starck nicht rusten er koncz in ile erfar_en_ vnd szo sie den kreigk myt ime anfahen szo sollen sie entpfanen werd_en_ dan s. konrich sie nicht eyn lant wie die lande in thuczlant dan esz sie myt wasser vmbethom_me_ beflossen vnd konnt niemancz zu im kom_en_ dan zu schiff.

Da habe ich die sachen der massen myt ploichehausern vnd polwercken auch myt schiffen bestaldt vnd vor wart dasz sie entpfanen sollen werd_en_ szo habe ich gudte schucz_en_ vnd habe die von Lond_on_ hart bie myr vnd sonsten ey_ne_ stedt ist myr zu ne_n_ne_n_ vorgessen da kan ich in ile eyn czemelich volck auffbring_en_ auch szo habe ich die vorretter gemeinklichen richten vnd die koppe abschlag_en_ Lassen dasz myr niemancz lichlich eyn_en_ auffrure wirdt anrichten dasz magestu dyne_m_ hern sag_en_ aber ich bedanck mich kegen din_en_ h. wie gehort vnd ich vorstehe die sache nicht anderst dan dasz er die saichen trueliche vnd gudt myt myr maynt.

Vnd szo vile den ko_n_nig von dennemarck betrifft da habe ich nicht myt zu schaffen ich waiss auch kein bontnisz myt im zu machen dan er hat den alten konig nach gefang_en_ dasz isst wieder den pfalzgrau_en_ vnd myt ‹welchem› byn ich in willensz eyn fruntschaffe eynsz hiracz zu machen etc.

Auch szo dynen myr die lanczknecht nicht dan alsz balde sie auff dasz mere kome_n_ szo werd_en_ sie krancg vnd sint desz mersz nicht gewont wie my_ne_ luede sint aber dasz wil ich rad_en_ dasz dyne hern der chur f. zu saxsen my_n_ brueder der herzoig von klefa vnd gelderln vnd die andern fursten in der bontnisz sampt hanburgk vnd bremen vnd nicht vile vberlendisse stedt eyn erlichs bontnisz in allen gemeynen sachen beschloss_en_, were von den selbig_en_ vberzog_en_ worde dasz im die andern alle holff_en_ most_en_ vnd eynsz sachen aller andern sachen sin most szo wil ich pfalcz auch dar zu bring_en_ dasz sie vnsersz teilsz sin sollen.

Dan die Vberlendisse stedt haben sich nit witter dan wasz die relion betrifft keigen eubere hern vorbond_en_ vnd ab der kaiser eyn ander vrsach zu eubern h. suchen ‹werde› szo word_en_ sie in kein_en_ biestandt thon. gedenck an mich vnd due magest dym h. solchesz wolle sag_en_ dar auff ich s. may_estä_t geantwort ich habe die vorschribu_n_ge der bontnisz wie weidt sie sich streckt nicht gelesen der halp ich s. may_estä_t keyne_n_ bericht dar von thon konde dar auff ir may_estä_t gesaugk esz ist gudt vnd genugk darvonn geredt vnd myr die hant gebotten vnd my_n_ abschaidt ggeben vnd der bontnisz nach malsz wie vor begerdt dar auff ich siner may_estä_t geantwort Ich wolle die dinge my_nem_ g. f. vnd h. szo verne mich got gesunt frist zu myner wieder ankonff myt flissz berichten vnd zwifel nicht vnd zwifel nicht[676] s. f. g. werd_en_ sich gancz frundelich alsz siner may_estä_t frundt vnd der s. may_estä_t ere vnd gucz gunne von vor wisslichen vorne_m_me_n_ Lassen vnd byn do myt von s. may_estä_t abgeschaiden.

Auff dinstag nach sebastians vnd fabianes hat myr der H. crumellus my_ne_ abschaidt der massen ggeben dasz im s. h. der konnig befolen myr an zu sag_en_ my_nem_ g. h. sonderliche_n_ dangk zu sagen vnd sien ir may_estä_t my_nem_ g. h. myt allem fruntliche_n_ willen auch allesz dasz zu thon dasz my_nem_ h. zu ere_n_ vnd guttem kome zu willefare_n_ hoich geneigk vnd ir. may_estä_t habe die saichen nicht anderst dan truelich_en_ von myr vorstand_en_ vnd ir. may_estä_t sie myr vor myne p_er_son myt allen genad_en_ geneigk dar auff gancz myn_en_ abschaidt geno_m_me_n_. geschechen auff die tage wie ob stehet anno etc. xl in vrkunt my_ne_ hant


Luodewig von baumbach zu bynsfort sst.

_Endd._ ‘Relation Ludove. von baumbachs aus Engelland vff d. gesheene ve_r_warnung.’



While Henry and Cromwell had been occupied in negotiations with various German princes, the Emperor and the French King had not been idle. Every day seemed to bring some fresh confirmation of the unwelcome news that the two monarchs were again on the most friendly terms. By the middle of December the anxiety of England reached the highest pitch, for the report came that Francis and Charles had actually met at Loches, and that their first interview had been marked by every demonstration of cordiality[677]. The French King accompanied the Emperor on his journey northward, and on New Year’s Day they entered Paris together amid great rejoicing. For eight days the Louvre saw a succession of balls, fêtes, and jousts. It is said that Jean Cousin was ordered to make a bust of the Emperor[678].

But if the meeting of Charles and Francis and their apparently perfect amity were the cause of profound alarm in England, the proximity of the two rivals furnished at the same time an admirable opportunity for a last attempt to stir up jealousy between them. The King, who as we have seen had never even in his most anxious moments abandoned the hope of fomenting discord between the two sovereigns, was not the man to permit this chance to escape him. Sir Thomas Wyatt, who had been recalled from Spain a short time before, was now sent back to Paris to co-operate with Bonner, the ambassador to France, in the endeavour to make use of the situation for Henry’s purposes[679]. His instructions to express the King’s joy at the prospect of a renewal of amity between Francis and Charles were of course merely a blind to cover his real intentions. It was not long before the character of the latter was made plainly evident. Wyatt wrote a full account of his proceedings to Henry on January 7, 1540[680]. In his letter he did not say whether he paid any attention to the written instructions which the King had previously given him or not, but reported his endeavours to obtain the arrest of one Brancetour, an Englishman in the Emperor’s train, whom the Act of Attainder of 1539 had condemned. From Wyatt’s account, however, it appears that the actual taking of Brancetour was a matter of secondary importance, compared to the possibility it opened of stirring up a quarrel between Francis and Charles. The two ambassadors had waited upon the French King, and had readily obtained his consent to the arrest. Brancetour was taken, but insisted that he acknowledged no master except the Emperor, and was consequently not amenable to English law. He applied to Charles, who of course refused to give his servant up; the matter was again brought before the French King, who, being far more anxious to secure the good will of the Emperor than that of Henry, gave orders for the prisoner’s release. At first it seemed as if the efforts of the two ambassadors had merely resulted in drawing Charles and Francis closer together. Chagrined at the failure of his efforts, Bonner had made matters worse by rudely remonstrating with the French King for permitting Brancetour to be restored to liberty. The chief result of this proceeding was that the English ambassador became so generally hated at the French Court on account of his bluntness and discourtesy, that Henry felt obliged to recall him in favour of Sir John Wallop[681].

With the ground cleared by the retirement of his unpopular colleague, Sir Thomas Wyatt was able to display to far greater advantage that wealth of tact and diplomatic talent, which had rendered him such an invaluable servant to Henry at the Emperor’s Court. He immediately saw that it was useless to blame Francis, as Bonner had done, for an act which the situation had forced upon him, and he forbore to mention the affair of Brancetour again in the presence of the French King. Instead he addressed himself to Charles, and in the most careful and guarded phrases insinuated that the Emperor had shown ingratitude to Henry, in obtaining the Englishman’s release[682]. Wyatt’s action throughout was characterized by an external courtesy quite as remarkable as the previous rudeness of Bonner, and his efforts were finally rewarded in a manner which exceeded the King’s highest expectations. He had caught the Emperor off his guard, and the first result of his representations was to cause the usually imperturbable Charles completely to lose his temper. The Emperor in his vexation let several words escape him, of which Wyatt was prompt to take advantage. When reproached with ingratitude, Charles had turned sharply on the ambassador with a few angry words, which implied that it was impossible for him to be ‘ingrate’ to Henry, on account of the superiority of his own Imperial rank. The Emperor confessed that ‘the inferyour’ might be ‘ingrate to the greter,’ though the term was ‘skant sufferable bytwene lyke[683],’ but hinted that an accusation of ingratitude from the petty King of England against himself, the acknowledged head of Christendom, was entirely out of place. All this was reported at the English Court in early February. The use which Henry made of the information is remarkable. As a result of Wyatt’s communications, the Duke of Norfolk was sent with a special message to Francis[684]. He was ordered to quote all the conversation between Charles and Wyatt, but so to distort the meaning of the Emperor’s angry words as to make it appear that Charles was using Francis’ friendship merely as a stepping-stone to an ulterior purpose, and perhaps to a plan for the domination of Europe. Charles’ unfortunate slip about superiors and inferiors lent itself well to such an interpretation. On February 15 the Duke arrived at the French Court, of which Charles had already taken leave, and was immediately received by Francis[685]. From Norfolk’s own report it is evident that he had at last succeeded in creating serious distrust of the Emperor in the mind of the French King, and he reported to Henry that by Francis’ countenance he ‘dyd conjecte He was not content with thEmperours wordes[686].’

Of course the intrigues of Norfolk and Wyatt were only one of a number of things which contributed to cause the quarrel between Charles and Francis to break out afresh. The ground had been pretty well prepared for it by a series of petty but annoying occurrences, which had taken place during the Emperor’s visit[687], and the efforts of the English ambassadors were substantially aided by Charles’ flat refusal to fulfil his promises to Francis about the Low Countries and Milan, after the subjugation of the revolt in Ghent had once more left him a free hand. But the part which England played in accelerating the rupture was in itself by no means inconsiderable, and it is of the most vital importance for our purposes here, to notice that the name of Cromwell scarcely appears once in connexion with it. It is true that after Norfolk had succeeded in driving in the first wedge which started the breach between Charles and Francis, the King’s minister wrote two letters to Wallop[688], directing him to follow up the advantage already gained, but they were evidently dictated by Henry, and seem to have been a necessity forced upon Cromwell by the action of his rival. The fact was that Cromwell’s identification with the German alliance had cut him off from bearing a hand in any other part of the foreign policy, and that his place as a negotiator with France and Spain had been usurped by his bitterest enemy, the Duke of Norfolk. The latter’s success at the French Court had proved that the policy to which the King had always pinned his faith, in opposition to Cromwell’s advocacy of an outside alliance, had not lost all its efficacy, and the rapidly widening breach between Charles and Francis showed that the league with Cleves was not indispensable for England’s safety. More than this, it now looked as if the treaty with Duke William, far from being an advantage, would become a positive burden. Cromwell had sought the alliance in the hope of gaining valuable aid in case England was attacked: it had not occurred to him that some day the positions might be reversed, and that England might be expected to give aid, rather than to receive it. The fact that Charles, instead of planning an invasion of England with Francis, had gone straight from Paris to the Low Countries[689] and did not disguise his intention of regaining Gelderland, rendered this disagreeable turn of affairs distinctly probable. Worst of all, the King’s disgust for Anne of Cleves had increased so rapidly, that it was useless to attempt to conceal it. Henry might pardon a political blunder alone, but when combined with a matrimonial misfortune, it was more difficult to forgive. Everything seemed to unite to call for a reversal of the Cromwellian policy. The King’s minister had abandoned as hopeless a scheme which his rival had been able to show was still feasible; he had sought a cure before he was certain that prevention was impossible: the cure he had prescribed, besides being unnecessary, had actually proved dangerous, and lastly, the matrimonial alliance which formed the basis of it had turned out a complete failure.

It was certainly the most favourable opportunity that had yet presented itself for Cromwell’s enemies to compass his ruin, and Norfolk and Gardiner, the most inveterate of his foes, were not slow to realize it. The latter, ever since his recall from France in 1538, had used every effort to undermine the influence of the man who had stepped into the place which he had coveted for himself at Wolsey’s fall. In alliance with Norfolk, who returned from his errand to the French King in March, 1540, he now succeeded in gathering to himself all the influential persons at the English Court who desired the downfall of their plebeian rival. It did not take very long to discover that Henry was ready to abandon Cromwell, and as soon as his enemies were certain of this fact, they saw that all that was necessary for the accomplishment of their designs was to devise a pretext for the minister’s destruction, more plausible than an accusation of advocating a useless alliance and an unfortunate marriage. So faithfully had Cromwell served the King’s interests, however, that at first it seemed almost impossible to find such a pretext, but the astute Gardiner was soon able to discover the one weak spot in his rival’s armour. It is hardly necessary to state what this was. The only occasions on which Henry and Cromwell had been brought into collision were disputes over questions of foreign policy, and the Bishop of Winchester saw that the minister’s reputation as advocate of an alliance with the Lutherans in opposition to the King’s wishes, furnished the basis for a charge of supporting their religious principles in defiance of the doctrines proclaimed in the Six Articles. No accusation against Cromwell could have been more unjust than this. We have seen that the minister himself had abandoned the Lutherans by this time; moreover even in the days when he had urged an alliance with them, he had never made the least concession to their religious tendencies. We call to mind at once the significant words that he had spoken to Baumbach in the previous January, when he had declared that his theological beliefs were identical with those of the King. Cromwell’s religion had always been dictated by political expediency; he certainly had no sympathy for Protestant theology in itself, or indeed for theology of any kind which did not lead to practical results. But unfortunately the mass of the people were totally unable to see this fact, and he was commonly looked upon as the greatest friend and helper that the Protestants had. As opposition to the Pope had given him his political greatness, the Reformers had flocked to him for protection when the Six Articles were passed, and their trust in him was further strengthened by the inferences which they drew from his foreign policy. The Bishop of Winchester was perfectly well aware of the actual state of affairs, and also of the gross misconception of Cromwell’s true theological position which existed in the minds of the people. If he could only catch his rival in some definite act which would justify a distinct accusation of opposing the King in matters of religion, he saw that the ground was already well prepared for the success of his plot. The opportunity which he sought was soon to present itself.

It will be remembered that in the early part of the year 1539 Henry had sent Dr. Barnes to Germany to conciliate the King of Denmark and the Elector of Saxony. At the news of the passage of the Six Articles, which of course stultified all his efforts, Barnes had come back to England, profoundly disgusted at the King’s vacillating policy. Henry felt so certain of his ground at the time of his ambassador’s return, that in spite of the requests of Cromwell, he contemptuously refused to grant him a hearing[690]. The King’s minister was either unable or unwilling to take the hint, which his master had given him, that Barnes was no longer in favour, and he was rash enough to attempt to console the envoy for the ill-success of his mission, by promoting him to the prebend of Lanbedye[691]. Cromwell had thus played into his enemy’s hand by an action which lent itself to the precise interpretation which Gardiner was seeking. It was now an easy matter to hold the minister responsible for any rash act which his protégé might commit, and Barnes, who was one of the very extreme Lutherans, did not take long to fulfil the hopes which the Bishop of Winchester had entertained of his recklessness. He was foolish enough to take violent exception to a sermon which Gardiner had preached at Paul’s Cross, in which the latter had denounced certain Protestant doctrines. Preaching in the same pulpit two weeks later on the same text, Barnes denied all that Gardiner had said, insulted him openly, and finally threw down his glove to the people, as a defiance against the Bishop[692]. Barnes had doubtless presumed on Cromwell’s protection to support him in this tirade, for it seems that the year before, when his position had been much stronger, the King’s minister had successfully defended his friend against a charge of heresy by Gardiner, and had actually been able to remove the latter from the Privy Council in revenge for his attack on the Lutheran[693]. But this time Barnes had gone too far, and Cromwell, whose influence was by no means what it had been, was unable to save him again. The Bishop of Winchester complained to the King, who was scandalized, and ordered Barnes to be examined before him; the Lutheran was utterly worsted in a theological discussion; he was forced to recant and beg Gardiner’s pardon. This he did with such ill grace and so many contradictions that he was arrested and placed in the Tower with the others who had supported him.

All this happened in the last week of March. It was perfectly obvious to those who had any real knowledge of the trend things were taking, that Gardiner had made his complaint far more with the idea of harming Cromwell, than of injuring Barnes himself, and the fact that the minister had not been able to rescue his friend a second time led many to predict his speedy downfall[694]. But Cromwell managed to stave off the ultimately inevitable catastrophe for two months more, and to maintain his ascendancy until the end of May. He certainly had no delusions as to the gravity of the situation in which he found himself, and he fully realized that his best chance of safety lay in making a humble acknowledgement of his error in favouring the Lutheran preacher. Though there is no actual record that he apologized to the Bishop of Winchester, there is every internal evidence of it. That at least a temporary reconciliation took place between him and Gardiner is proved by a letter of Sir John Wallop which informs us that on March 30 the Bishop of Winchester dined at London with the Lord Privy Seal, and that they ‘were more than iiij hour_es_ and opened theyre hart_es_ and so concluded that and therbe truthe or honesty in them not only all displeasures be forgotton, but also in thayre hert_es_ be now perfight intier frend_es_[695].’ It would have been hardly possible to bring about even a temporary truce between these two men without an apology on one side or the other, and it is not likely that Gardiner, backed as he was by the King, would have been the one to make it. In order to maintain his very precarious position, Cromwell had been forced to grovel before a man, whom two years before he could have ordered about to his heart’s content.

But it had been one of the greatest secrets of Cromwell’s success that he had never been too proud to take any step, however humiliating, which he deemed necessary for his profit or safety. Nevertheless it is doubtful if his apology to the Bishop of Winchester, unaided by any outside occurrence, would have been sufficient to prevent his immediate overthrow. The month of April, however, saw two events, one at home and the other abroad, which further raised his hopes and encouraged him to renewed efforts to regain his influence. The first of these was the assemblage of Parliament, an occasion on which Cromwell had always been able to make himself particularly useful to the King. He was not slow to realize the opportunity that was offered him, and he laboured with all his might for the passage of the measures which he knew his master desired. He made an opening speech in the House of Lords, in which he said that the King wished concord above all things and desired to suppress all dissension concerning religious doctrines: and he emphasized his words by providing for the appointment of a commission to correct all abuses and enforce respect for the Scriptures[696]. What was accomplished in this direct endeavour to extirpate heresy is less important than a move of a more practical nature, which bears every evidence of being planned by Cromwell. The ancient military and religious order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem was the sole remaining stronghold of monasticism in England that had been suffered to escape the onslaught of the King’s minister. To complete the work of destruction which he had begun their downfall was essential, and an Act to abolish them and confiscate their property finally passed both Houses after a prolonged debate[697]. A complicated Taxation Bill, which was carried through at the same time, seemed also to bear the stamp of Cromwellian genius. Such services to the Crown had not been suffered to go unrewarded, for on April 18 those who had prophesied the ruin of the King’s minister were amazed by his being created Earl of Essex and Great Chamberlain of England[698]. The French ambassador, who only seven days before had reported to Francis that Cromwell was tottering to his fall, now confessed that the new-made Earl ‘was in as much credit with the King as ever he was, from which he was near being shaken by the Bishop of Winchester and others.’

The other event which gave Cromwell a momentary ray of hope was the arrival of a piece of news from France, which at first looked like a vindication of his foreign policy as against that of the King. Early in April it was rumoured in London that the French were fortifying Ardres, and the King’s minister wrote a letter to Wallop on the twelfth instructing him to demand an explanation from Francis[699], who (according to the ambassador’s report) replied that ‘He knewe not but that He myght aswell buyld there or fortefye uppon his borders as the Kinges Highnes dothe at Callais, Guysnes, and other his fortresses[700].’ These words, though spoken ‘very gently and nothing in collour,’ appear to have caused profound anxiety at the English Court, and Henry’s faith in the success of his plans of fomenting discord between Charles and Francis received a rude shock. Everything which tended to justify the alliance with Cleves as a defensive measure was of course welcome news to Cromwell, who privately must have been as much encouraged by the messages from France as others were dismayed by them. But the satisfaction which he derived from the report of the fortifications at Ardres was only of short duration. There were no further hostile developments for the present, and an announcement was soon received from the Netherlands which offered reasons for the abandonment of the alliance with Cleves far more cogent than those which the news from France furnished for its continuance. It was reported that the Emperor, immediately after the subjugation of the revolt of Ghent, had repeated his demands for the cession of Gelderland[701] by Duke William, and there seemed every probability that in case of refusal he would enforce them by the sword. The bearing of this move on the alliance of England with Cleves has been already indicated. We have seen that when Charles first turned his steps from Paris to the Low Countries, Cromwell probably realized for the first time that the league on which he had based all his hopes might actually work to England’s disadvantage, and that Cleves might be the sole gainer from it. The news from the Netherlands was virtually a confirmation of the minister’s gravest fears. The prospect that he would soon be called upon to defend an ally whom he had expected to defend him, and for whom he had no real regard, must have been intolerable to Henry, and the state of his relations to Anne of Cleves at the time tended of course to increase rather than to diminish his vexation. Add to this the fact that tidings of a somewhat disquieting nature kept coming in from Scotland and Ireland, the blame for which could easily be made to fall on Cromwell, and one can well believe that any gains the King’s minister may have made in the Parliament which had met in April were more than counterbalanced by the losses he had sustained in the course of affairs abroad. Norfolk and Gardiner probably siezed this favourable opportunity to weave further plots against their hated rival, and to devise fresh measures to poison the King’s ear against him[702]. But even had the enmity of these men been turned into friendship, Cromwell’s political blunders had got him into a position from which nothing could extricate him. He had incurred the enmity of a master who never forgave, and his ultimate ruin could only be a question of time.

The events of the month of May were but foreshadowings of the end. On the ninth the King summoned Cromwell to a council, at which the definite abandonment of the minister’s policy must have been openly discussed[703]. Records of the conference are not preserved to us, but the result of it was that two days later Cromwell was forced much against his will to write a letter to Pate, the new ambassador to the Emperor, directing him to take steps to conciliate Charles and hinting that the alliance with Cleves might be thrown over at any moment[704]. The latter part of the month brought with it further confirmation of the minister’s impending fate. Duke William had sent ambassadors to the English Court, to ask the advice of his powerful ally in regard to the answer he should give to the Emperor’s demands for the cession of Gelderland. Henry treated the envoys with marked coldness, and replied to their requests in the most non-committal manner: he could do nothing for the Duke of Cleves, he said, until he had more explicit information concerning the rights and wrongs of the case[705]. The ground on which Cromwell’s feet rested was being cut away on all sides, and yet Marillac, in a letter of the first of June, seemed to think that the arrest of Dr. Wilson for having ‘Popish leanings’ was an indication that the minister and his few remaining adherents still retained some influence. He acknowledged, however, that things changed so rapidly that no person could tell what was going to happen, only he was certain that one party or the other must presently succumb[706].

The catastrophe came like a thunderbolt, less than two weeks after Marillac had written this letter. An entry in the Journal of the House of Lords on June 10 reads: ‘Hodie Vicegerens Regius ... Comes Essex in hora pomeridiana per Dominum Cancellarium et alios Dominos in Arcano Domini Nostri Regis Consilio, ex Palatio Regio Domini Regis _Westm._ hora tertia pomeridiana super Accusationem Criminis lese Majestatis missus est in Arcem _Londinens_[707].’ This bald statement is confirmed by letters from Marillac to Francis and Montmorency at the time[708], but a much more striking account of the arrest is contained in another letter from the French ambassador to the Constable, written two weeks later. It tells us that ‘as soon as the Captain of the Guard declared his charge to make him prisoner, Cromwell in a rage cast his bonnet on the ground, saying to the Duke of Norfolk and others of the Privy Council assembled there, that this was the reward of his services, and that he appealed to their consciences as to whether he was a traitor: but since he was treated thus he renounced all pardon, as he had never thought to have offended, and only asked the King not to make him languish long. Thereupon some said he was a traitor, others that he should be judged according to the laws he had made, which were so sanguinary that often words spoken inadvertently with good intention had been constituted high treason. The Duke of Norfolk, having reproached him with some “villennyes” done by him, snatched off the order of St. George, which he bore on his neck, and the Admiral, to show himself as great an enemy in adversity as he had been thought a friend in prosperity, untied the Garter. Then by a door which opens upon the water, he was put in a boat and taken to the Tower, without the people of this town suspecting it, until they saw all the King’s archers under Mr. Cheyney at the door of the suspected prisoner’s house, where they made an inventory of his goods which were not of such value as people thought, although too much for a “compaignon de telle estoffe.” The money was £7,000, equal to 28,000 crs., and the silver plate, including crosses, chalices, and other spoils of the Church, might be as much more. These moveables were before night taken to the King’s treasury, a sign that they will not be restored[709].’

On the day of the arrest, a royal messenger was sent to the French ambassador, to tell him that he must not be amazed at what had happened, for though common ignorant people spoke of it ‘variously,’ the King said that he was determined that Marillac should know the truth. Henry stated that while he was trying ‘by all possible means to lead back religion to the way of truth, Cromwell, as attached to the German Lutherans, had always favoured the doctors who preached such erroneous opinions, and hindered those who preached the contrary, and that recently warned by some of his principal servants to reflect that he was working against the intention of the King and of the Acts of Parliament, he had betrayed himself and said he hoped to suppress the old preachers and have only the new, adding that the affair would soon be brought to such a pass that the King with all his power could not prevent it, but rather his own party would be so strong that he would make the King descend to the new doctrines even if he had to take arms against him[710].’ From this and from another letter written by the council to Wallop at the same time[711] it appears that the King had been able to devise no more plausible pretext for the destruction of his minister than that which had been suggested by the Bishop of Winchester, a pretext which as we have seen was false and unjust in every respect, but convenient in many ways, especially as it was sure to win the approval of the mass of the people, who looked upon Cromwell as a true Protestant and hated him as such, not being able to see that it was solely owing to political motives, that he had been connected with the Reformers[712]. But the fact that the charge on which he was convicted was totally unjustifiable does not in any way imply that Cromwell was wrongly condemned. There were other perfectly valid reasons for his punishment, which, however, it was quite impossible to bring forward against him, simply because the King had shared his guilt. If the number of innocent persons, whom the minister’s influence had brought to the block, be not a sufficient warrant for his conviction and execution, it would be difficult to find a character in English history who merited the death penalty. But all these crimes could not be laid to his charge because the King had supported him in them, and he was arrested instead on the false accusation of opposition to the master to whose service he had devoted his life.

Cranmer was the only man who dared to say a word to the King on Cromwell’s behalf. He wrote a pathetic letter to Henry the day after the arrest, expressing his wonder and distress that one whom he had deemed so good and so faithful, should be accused of treason, but in vain[713]. The fallen minister was not even permitted a trial in which he could be heard in his own defence. That terrible engine of extra-legal destruction, the attainder, by which so many of his own enemies had been annihilated, was used as a swifter and surer means to bring him to the block. The Act of Parliament which attainted him was read in the House of Lords just one week after his arrest[714]: it simply enumerated various acts and speeches which had been laid to his charge, as indicating that he had plotted to make himself more powerful than the King in matters both religious and political, and stated that he had thus incurred the charge of high treason, for which he was condemned to die. He was to suffer as a heretic or a traitor at the King’s pleasure, and forfeit all property held since March 31, 1538. That Cromwell was deprived of all titles and prerogatives on the day of his arrest, and was called only ‘Thomas Cromwell, shearman,’ and that his servants were forbidden to wear his livery, led Marillac to think that he would not be beheaded, as befitted a lord, but would be ‘dragged up as an ignoble person, and afterwards hanged and quartered[715].’ This impression was current two weeks later, for Norfolk told Marillac on July 6, that Cromwell’s end would be ‘the most ignominious in use in the country[716].’ It was not until the day of his execution that ‘grace was made to him upon the method of his death,’ and beheading was substituted for a more painful and ignominious penalty[717]. For though his arrest had been immediately followed by his attainder, execution was delayed for six weeks more, in order that the King might make use of him for a last time, to gain an end which Cromwell had successfully secured for him once before, namely a divorce from a hated Queen.

From the day of his arrest, his execution had been a foregone conclusion; there was no chance of ultimate salvation for the fallen minister. But as a drowning man clutches at a straw to save himself from death, so Cromwell, at Henry’s request, wrote a letter, which he must have known would be useless, to say what he could on his own behalf[718]. The letter speaks for itself: its denials of the charges are not as frequent as the acknowledgements of guilt and pleas for mercy, but it produced no effect on the angry King. What the injudicious words spoken before Throgmorton and Riche were, it is impossible to tell; they were probably simply sentences into which a treasonable intent was read, as into those mentioned in the attainder; the ‘secrete matier’ which Cromwell was accused of revealing without leave may well have been a project of Henry’s to get rid of Anne, which for many reasons it was expedient for him to keep secret, until he was certain that he could free himself by one blow from the marriage which by this time had become intolerable to him. To this purpose all the King’s energies were now bent, and conscious that his fallen minister had known more of his relations with Anne than any other, he sent him in the end of June a list of questions on the subject, couched in such judicious language, that if Cromwell gave the replies he confidently looked for, they would supply cogent reasons for his divorce[719]. He was sure, he said, that now that Cromwell was condemned to die, he would tell the truth and not damn his soul also, by bearing false witness at the last[720]. Whether Henry’s assumption here was correct or not, it is impossible to tell. Cromwell knew of course that his chance of pardon was almost nothing, but he was not so foolish as to throw it away absolutely; he also knew that the King’s heart’s desire was a divorce from Anne, and he saw that his only hope lay in aiding Henry to his utmost to free himself from her. Nor was Cromwell the sort of man to whom dying with a lie on his lips would mean very much; his whole interest was absorbed in the endeavour to make the most of the one very faint chance of escape that was offered to him. Hence it is possible that the testimony he bore in this case may not have been strictly true. He appears to have written two letters in answer to the King’s interrogatories; one of them is in the library of the Marquis of Salisbury at Hatfield House; the other, badly mutilated, in the British Museum[721]. Both of them are filled with abject pleas for mercy, and one of them, which was carried to the King by Cromwell’s faithful Ralph Sadler, moved Henry so much, that it is said that he commanded it to be read to him thrice[722]. The two letters tell the same story in slightly different words: they give a full account of everything that Cromwell had seen of Henry’s relation to Anne, since they first met at Rochester. They dilate on the King’s disgust at the first sight of the ‘great Flanders mare,’ tell how he endeavoured to put off the wedding, alleging as his excuse the previous engagement of Anne and the Duke of Lorraine’s son, and finally quote a conversation of Henry and Cromwell, the day after the marriage, in which the King appears to have informed his minister that consummation had not followed. The truth of this last statement is apparently corroborated by a letter which Anne sent to her brother a few days later[723]. Experience of the very unscrupulous methods of Henry VIII., especially when matrimonial issues were at stake, leads the reader, however, at least to recognize the possibility that Anne may have written this letter under compulsion and the threat of death if she refused. The testimony with which the King had armed himself for the struggle he anticipated over gaining a divorce from his fourth wife, was thus all of it obtained under circumstances that certainly cast grave suspicions on its veracity; and the modern student may well be excused for refusing to accept it with that pleasingly implicit faith which the Convocations and Parliaments of this period almost invariably placed in the statements of the sovereign[724].

Certainly there was little cause for Henry to doubt his own ability to wrest a decision of the nullity of his marriage from clergy, Lords, and Commons. Ten years of Cromwell’s masterfulness had been enough to convince them of the absolute futility of opposing the King in any matter on which he had set his heart. The evidence wrung from the fallen minister almost under the shadow of the scaffold, and the confirmatory letter elicited from Anne, coupled with a ‘breve trew and parfaict declarac_i_on’ from the King himself[725], were quite sufficient to cause Convocation after three days of debate finally to agree on the judgement that the union was unlawful, and to send their decision to Parliament on July 12. An Act to proclaim the marriage null and void from the beginning was hurried through the Houses with all possible speed, and on the 14th it was passed[726]. From that time onward the ‘lady Anne was treated as a sister by the King’; she was suffered to live in retirement, adequate lands and money were apportioned to her, and she remained in England, contented and happy that execution had not been substituted for divorce[727]. The Duke of Cleves was naturally enraged at the treatment of his sister, and resolutely refused to acknowledge that she had been honourably dealt with; but he knew that he was too weak to avenge the insult, and coldly promised that the nullification of the marriage would not cause him to ‘departe from his devotion leage and amytie’ with the King of England[728].

The story of Cromwell’s arrest, followed by the report of the divorce of Anne of Cleves, was also immediately communicated to France and Spain. Francis appears to have received the news of the first with unfeigned joy, and was not slow to signify to Henry his satisfaction at the unexpected turn of affairs[729]. He wrote again to the King a little later, asserting that Cromwell had adjusted a dispute over some prizes taken by the ships of the governor of Picardy, the Sieur de Rochepot, in such a way that he had derived personal gain from the transaction; this complaint was sent to Cromwell in the Tower, and drew from him the reply contained in the last existing letter which he wrote[730]. Francis’ enthusiasm at the ruin of a minister whom he had such reason to hate, seems to have been somewhat diminished when he learned that Anne’s marriage had been dissolved, as he naturally saw that this step would immediately put England and Spain on a better footing. An interesting account of the ambassador Carne’s breaking the news to Francis, is given in a letter of Wallop’s to Henry of July 10. Francis, as it appears, ‘fett a gret sighte,’ as if reflecting on the vacillating methods of his ‘nere and dere brother,’ but finally assented that Henry’s ‘owne conscience shuld be judge therein[731].’ The French King, though he greatly rejoiced in Cromwell’s fall, was evidently somewhat taken aback by the first result of the consummation of his hopes. Charles showed none of the same outward enthusiasm, when Pate declared to him the news of Cromwell’s arrest; he did not even send a message, but left the ambassador in a later letter to the King to supplement his silence with his own approval. His replies to the news of the divorce of Anne were likewise calm, but he certainly was much relieved by what he had heard[732]. The common opinion which the sudden reversal of Cromwell’s policy had caused on the Continent seems to have been, as Pate wrote to Norfolk on July 31, that Henry had ‘lost the hartes of the Electors of thEmpire’ but had ‘contravailed thEmprour or the Frenche King in there places[733].’

On July 27 the Parliament closed, having finished the work that the King had mapped out for it. Since Cromwell’s arrest it had practically undone all that his foreign policy of the two past years had accomplished, by nullifying the marriage of Henry and Anne. The rest of its proceedings are unimportant, except perhaps the attainder of Barnes, Garret, and Jerome, the Lutheran preachers, who were convicted of heresy and sentenced to die at the stake[734]. With the divorce from Anne secured, and those whom the minister had favoured at home condemned, there was now no longer any impediment to the completion of the final act of the tragedy, and on July 28 ‘Thomas Cromwell, shearman,’ was led forth to execution. In a letter to Francis, Marillac simply mentions the fact of his death[735], but a more complete account of the end of the great minister is fortunately preserved to us in the chronicles of Holinshed and Hall, and the history of Foxe[736].

From the stories of all these chroniclers it appears that Cromwell on the scaffold made an address to the people, declaring the faith in which he died. That his speech was printed and publicly circulated is attested by Pole; and the fact that Holinshed, Hall, and Foxe give it in almost exactly the same words corroborates the truth of the Cardinal’s statement. Pole, however, goes on to say that though at first he accepted the printed speech as a true version of Cromwell’s words, he later learned from trustworthy persons that what Cromwell had actually said was something very different[737]. The words of the speech certainly have the appearance of being composed beforehand and forced upon Cromwell’s dying lips. He confessed that he had done wrong, asked forgiveness of his King, and finally asserted that he died in the Catholic Faith, not doubting in any article of his faith, ‘no nor doubting in any Sacrament of the Church[738].’ This last statement was certainly untrue; nor would it have been in any way less false, if Cromwell had said that he died a true Protestant[739]. His religious beliefs were, as far as can be discovered, absolutely nothing when disconnected from practical ends, and he probably made his last speech at the King’s command, either to save himself from a more shameful death than beheading, or else, as is quite probable, to avert the ruin of his son Gregory, who he perhaps feared would fall with him. On this point, however, he need not have had any apprehension; Gregory Cromwell, perhaps on account of his fortunate marriage with the aunt of Prince Edward, appeared to be in as high favour as ever[740], and the title of Baron Cromwell, which his father forfeited at his attainder, was regranted to the young man by patent, Dec. 18, 1540[741].

Besides this speech, which has given historians so much trouble, Hall makes mention of the fact that Cromwell ‘made his praier, which was long, but not so long as both Godly and learned[742].’ This prayer is given in full in Foxe, and, as it reads there, it certainly justifies the use of the epithets that Hall applied to it[743]. Whether Foxe’s words were Cromwell’s words, or whether Cromwell’s words were his own, and not those of the King which were given him to speak, is however entirely another matter. It is unfortunate that we have no more credible authority than the martyrologist on this point. Cromwell’s prayer, as he gives it, was certainly that of a man who humbly acknowledged his faults, and threw himself solely on the mercy of God; but the words which he spoke are suspiciously devout, for those of a man to whom religion mattered so little.

‘And thus,’ says Foxe, ‘his Prayer made, after he had godly and lovingly exhorted them that were about him on the Scaffold, he quietly committed his Soul into the hands of God, and so patiently suffered the stroke of the Ax, by a ragged and butcherly Miser, which very ungodly performed his Office[744].’



Vol. ii. p. 433.

‘A true Christian confession of the L. Cromwel at his death.’

‘I am come hither to die, and not to purge my self, as some think peradventure that I will. For if I should so do, I were a very wretch and a Miser. I am by the Law condemned to die, and thank my Lord God, that hath appointed me this death for mine Offence. For sithence the time that I have had years of discretion, I have lived a sinner, and offended my Lord God, for the which I ask him heartily forgiveness. And it is not unknown to many of you, that I have been a great Traveller in this World, and being but of a base degree, was called to high estate, and sithence the time I came thereunto I have offended my Prince, for the which I ask him heartily forgiveness, and beseech you all to pray to God with me, that he will forgive me. And now I pray you that be here, to bear me record, I die in the Catholick Faith, not doubting in any Article of my Faith, no nor doubting in any Sacrament of the Church. Many have slandered me and reported that I have been a bearer of such as have maintained evil Opinions, which is untrue. But I confess, that like as God by his holy Spirit doth instruct us in the Truth, so the Devil is ready to seduce us, and I have been seduced; but bear me witness that I die in the Catholick Faith of the holy Church; and I heartily desire you to pray for the Kings Grace, that he may long live with you in health and prosperity; and that after him his Son Prince Edward that goodly Impe may long Reign over you. And once again I desire you to pray for me, that so long as life remaineth in this flesh, I waver nothing in my Faith.’

‘The Prayer of the Lord Cromwel at his Death.’

‘O Lord Jesus, which art the only health of all men living, and the everlasting life of them which die in thee; I wretched sinner do submit my self wholly unto thy most blessed will, and being sure that the thing cannot Perish which is committed unto thy mercy, willingly now I leave this frail and wicked flesh, in sure hope that thou wilt in better wise restore it to me again at the last day in the resurrection of the just. I beseech thee most merciful Lord Jesus Christ, that thou wilt by thy grace make strong my Soul against all temptations, and defend me with the Buckler of thy mercy against all the assaults of the Devil. I see and knowledge that there is in my self no hope of Salvation, but all my confidence, hope and trust is in thy most merciful goodness. I have no merits nor good works which I may alledge before thee. Of sins and evil works (alas) I see a great heap; but yet through thy mercy I trust to be in the number of them to whom thou wilt not impute their sins; but wilt take and accept me for righteous and just, and to be the inheritor of everlasting life. Thou merciful Lord wert born for my sake, thou didst suffer both hunger and thirst for my sake; thou didst teach, pray, and fast for my sake; all thy holy Actions and Works thou wroughtest for my sake; thou sufferedst most grievous Pains and Torments for my sake; finally, thou gavest thy most precious Body and thy Blood to be shed on the Cross for my sake. Now most merciful Saviour, let all these things profit me, which hast given thy self also for me. Let thy Blood cleanse and wash away the spots and fulness of my sins. Let thy righteousness hide and cover my unrighteousness. Let the merit of thy Passion and blood shedding be satisfaction for my sins. Give me, Lord, thy grace, that the Faith of my salvation in thy Blood waver not in me, but may ever be firm and constant. That the hope of thy mercy and life everlasting never decay in me, that love wax not cold in me. Finally, that the weakness of my flesh be not overcome with the fear of death. Grant me, merciful Saviour, that when death hath shut up the eyes of my Body, yet the eyes of my Soul may still behold and look upon thee, and when death hath taken away the use of my Tongue, yet my heart may cry and say unto thee, Lord into thy hands I commend my Soul, Lord Jesus receive my spirit, Amen.’



It is inevitable that there should be the widest divergence of opinion concerning every great figure in Reformation history, and it is idle to attempt to form an estimate of the character and work of Thomas Cromwell that will satisfy those who take different views of the great struggle during which his life was lived. But Catholics and Protestants must agree on the fundamental and permanent nature of the changes which he wrought: whether his work was good or bad, no one can deny his success in fulfilling his life’s aim as declared to Cavendish on the All Hallows Day when he rode forth to London ‘to make or to marre.’ He was the first chief minister that England had ever had, who was base-born and yet not a cleric. He stood completely outside the great religious movement of his time, and only made use of it to further his own political ends. He came at a time when things were in an unsettled state and ready for a change: his personality, emotionless, practical, stern, impressed itself on every phase of the national life. It was not alone in Parliament, Convocation, or Privy Council that he reigned supreme; on every department of the government service the stamp of his individual genius remains indelibly fixed. The permanence of his work was largely due to the way in which he clinched every reform which he introduced. He followed up the separation from Rome by attacking in turn the bishops, clergy, and friars, and by suppressing the monasteries. He obtained the support of the King in almost every measure which he invented, and then forced Parliament formally to legalize it. His action was in no case ineffective; the immediate result of it was almost always the attainment of the goal at which he aimed.

To the student of the present day, however, who is enabled to survey the decade of Cromwell’s rule after a lapse of more than three and a half centuries, the immediate effects of his measures fade into the background and lose their importance, in the face of later and far greater developments. The latter were not always the results Cromwell wished to attain; in many cases they were ends which, if he could have foreseen, Cromwell would have been the last person to promote. They came years later, indirectly, as it were, and were rendered possible only by the lapse of time, the influence of other statesmen, and the growth and progress of civil and religious liberty, but none the less were they due to the impulse of Thomas Cromwell. By following out the effect of a few of the more important steps of his policy, it will not be difficult to see what some of these later developments were.

Let us take in the first place his action in rejecting the authority of the See of Rome. Cromwell advised the King to shake off his allegiance to the Pope, solely because he saw that a divorce from Katherine of Aragon could never be obtained from Clement VII., as long as the latter was in the power of Charles V. His aim was to please the King by enabling him to divorce Katherine, so that he might marry Anne Boleyn; he realized that his desire could not be accomplished while the country remained true to the Old Faith; he cut the bonds that held England to Rome, and gained what Henry wished. The direct result, the only thing he cared about, was accomplished; but far more important than that, it was by Cromwell’s means that Protestantism gained a footing in England, which even the Six Articles and the terrible persecution under Mary could not shake. To guard against the return of the Papal power, and the annulling of the divorce, Cromwell attacked and subdued the clergy, and negotiated with the Protestants on the Continent. His immediate object was solely political safety; the ultimate result was the loosening of some of the strongest bonds of Romanism, and the opening of the road for the incoming of the new religion. Thus out of moves first made to attain and ensure a questionable end, grew consequences so great and so far-reaching that it is only with difficulty that one can trace their origin.

The same remark will be found to hold true of the results of the suppression of the monasteries[745]. The main object of the King’s Vicegerent in destroying them was undoubtedly to fill the royal treasury with the spoils of the Church, and to clinch the advantages gained by the separation from Rome. But the later result of his measures was actually to undo much of the work which they were first intended to perform. For though they had weakened religious opposition to the Crown, they strengthened the secular element in its later struggle against the royal autocracy which Cromwell had laboured to establish. We have seen that the lands of the suppressed houses had been either given away, or else sold at exceedingly low prices to the impoverished nobles by Cromwell’s advice, in order to ward off the opposition aroused by their destruction. This measure certainly attained its immediate purpose, but it also laid the foundation for the growth of an extremely powerful territorial aristocracy, that later on was to use its influence to oppose the royal prerogative and pave the way for modern constitutionalism. While Cromwell, in his attacks on the older nobility, thought that he was removing the last impediments to absolute monarchy, he really, by enriching and strengthening this new aristocracy, was rearing an infinitely more potent enemy to the kingship for which he had sacrificed everything. It is well known that such families as the Russells, Seymours, and Cavendishes, who later figured most prominently in opposition to the Crown, owed their power to gifts out of the revenues of the suppressed monasteries. The smaller gentry also claimed a share in the general advancement to wealth and prosperity among the landed proprietors, and a sudden burst of political activity in the Lords and Commons bore witness to the fact that the Houses had once more asserted their right to govern.

This brings us to Cromwell’s relations with Parliament. It is here that we find the most striking instance of the contradiction between the immediate and the permanent effects of the changes he wrought. We have seen how his attitude towards Parliament differed from that of his predecessor. We have seen how Wolsey had looked upon the national assembly as a great force which continually hampered his schemes, so that his dislike of it led him to summon it as infrequently as possible, and only when it was absolutely necessary. We have seen how Cromwell was destined to go one step further, and how by packed elections, fraud, and violence, he succeeded in converting it into an utterly subservient instrument of the royal will. It was now no longer a power to be feared, but one to be relied on; a firm ally that consistently obeyed the slightest hint of the wishes of the Crown. Consequently instead of rarely assembling as under Wolsey, it was being constantly summoned, as a necessary means to accomplish the designs of Henry and his minister. While the latter lived, everything worked exactly as he had intended, and the Parliament remained ‘tractable.’ But when after his death the idea of autocracy had passed away, and England had begun to recover from the terror Cromwell’s ministry had inspired, Parliament suddenly realized that it had a power of its own. Its frequent assemblings which of course had helped the Crown, as long as under Cromwell the Houses had remained subservient, now began to work just the other way, and aided it in shaking off the fetters that bound it to the King. It had been Cromwell’s plan that it should keep up the forms of constitutional liberty, as a sort of sop to the popular feeling, while in reality all its legislative vigour was lost. Now that the pressure of his hand was removed, the animating spirit revived, and finding all the old traditionary customs still intact began to infuse itself into Lords and Commons. The earlier independence of the Houses returned and increased, so that the final result of the work of Cromwell was on the one hand to thwart all efforts to compass the omnipotence of the Crown, and on the other to lay the basis for a constitutional government.

Had the English character been one that could permanently suffer any form of tyranny or absolute monarchy; had the ends the great minister aimed at been such that when the temporary madness and terror inspired by his own personality had passed by, they could have aroused one spark of enthusiasm in the English heart, Cromwell’s would have been the grandest figure in his country’s history. But it was not destined to be so. The national drift was throughout bitterly opposed to him and to the ideas for which he stood, so that much of his policy was reversed in the years that followed his death. There can be, it seems to me, no doubt that Cromwell was perfectly sincere in his attempt to establish an all-powerful kingship under the forms of ostensible constitutionalism. He did it not from selfish motives, but because he believed it to be the only sure road to national greatness. The crimes that marred his career cannot be excused, but may be palliated by this consideration, and by his dauntless courage in resolutely destroying the Curial control of the English courts and English Church; on this side of his work he was the true successor of Wyclif, the true predecessor of his own great kinsman. Cromwell lived in an age when a wave of monarchical enthusiasm swept over the entire west of Europe: a belief in the absolute power of kings was the most salient characteristic of the political atmosphere of his day. He was essentially a man of his time in his faults and in his virtues, and could scarcely have anticipated modern constitutionalism. Thus his policy perished with him, but his work remained and was permitted by change and reaction finally to attain results far more glorious and lasting than he had hoped for. The despotism of the Tudors fell with their dynasty, the liberties of the nation survived.



Here follow a complete collection of the letters of Thomas Cromwell arranged as nearly as possible in chronological order, an itinerary, and a list of his minor preferments. The letters have been copied from the original manuscripts, save in a few cases duly noted, when transcripts have been made from the official copies at the Public Record Office, from Strype and Ribier, or from the collections of Sir Henry Ellis. The spelling follows the original, all contractions are extended but italicized: the original punctuation, paragraphing, and use of capitals are preserved.

But (1) I have disregarded ‘unintelligent’ or faulty marks of contraction, occurring in words in which no letter is omitted. (2) I have not italicized uncontracted letters inserted above the line. For example: the name ‘Thomas’ is almost always written ‘Thom^{a}s’ in the original: I have transcribed it ‘Thomas’ and not ‘Thom_a_s.’ On the other hand, the word ‘your’ is usually written ‘yo^r’ in the manuscript: in this case I have taken the superior ‘r’ as a contracted form of ‘ur,’ and so have transcribed it ‘yo_ur_.’ (3) In the originals the same script form is used for ‘I’ and ‘J’; I have followed the modern use. (4) The bracket [ ] signifies that the words or letters enclosed would have been in the manuscript had it not been injured. The bracket ‹ › signifies that the word or words enclosed have been inserted by me to complete the sense. The parenthesis ( ) signifies that the enclosure is bracketed in the original. (5) Sentences and words crossed out or underlined in the manuscript have been set below, except when evident mistakes of the writer. The letters ‘_c.o._’ signify that the passage against which they are written was crossed out or underlined in the original.

In dating letters, I have followed the modern use, and have taken the first of January and not the twenty-fifth of March as the beginning of the year. I have used the bracket ‹ › in the headings to indicate that the name or date enclosed has not been given in the letter itself, but has been found from external or internal evidence. Letters which bear no indication of the day and month in which they were written are placed at the end of the year to which they apparently belong. The abbreviations ‘R.O.’ and ‘B.M.’ refer to the Public Record Office and British Museum respectively throughout the collection.



R.O. Cal. iii. 3249. Aug. 17 ‹1523›.

A letter of friendship, containing an account of the proceedings of the Parliament of 1523, in which Cromwell sat. News concerning Creke’s friends in England.

Maister Creke as hertelye as I can I co_m_mende me and in the same wise thanke yow [for your] gentill and louyng l_ette_res to me at sundrye tymys Sent and wher as I accordinglye haue not in lyke wise remembrid and rescribid it hath bene for that I haue not hade anything to wryt of to yo_ur_ adu_au_ncement. Whom I assure yow yf it were in my lytyll power I coulde be well contentyd to p_re_ferre as ferre as any on_e_ man lyuyng. But at this p_re_sent I being at Sum layser entending to remembre and also remunerate the olde acquayntaunc_es_ and to renew o_ur_ not forgoten Sundrye co_m_munycacions Supposing ye desyre to know the new_es_ curraunt in thes p_ar_tyes for it is said that new_es_ refresshith the spy[rit] of lyffe, wherfor ye shall vnderstonde that by long tyme I amongist other haue Indured a p_ar_lyament which contenwid by the space of xvij hole wek_es_ wher we co_m_munyd of warre pease Stryffe contencyon debatte murmure grudge Riches pouerte penurye trowth falshode Justyce equyte discayte opprescyon Magnanymyte actyuyte force attempraunce Treason murder Felonye consyli ... and also how a co_m_mune welth myght be ediffyed and a[lso] contenewid w_i_t_h_in o_ur_ Realme. Howbeyt in conclusyon we haue d[one] as o_ur_ p_re_d_e_c_e_ssors haue been wont to doo that ys to say, as well as we myght and lefte wher we begann. ye shall also vnderstond the Duke of Suthffolke Furnysshyd w_i_t_h_ a gret armye goyth ou_er_ in all goodlye hast [whit]her I know not, when I know I shall aduertyse yow. Whe haue in o_ur_ p_ar_lyament grauntyd vnto the King_es_ highnes a right large Subsydye, the lyke wherof was neuer grauntyd in this realme. all yo_ur_ frend_es_ to my knowlage be in good helth and specially thay that ye wott of: ye know what I meane. I thinke it best to wryt in parables becaus[e] I am In dowt. Maister Vawhan Fareth well and so doth Maister Munkcaste[r]. Maister Woodall is merye w_i_t_h_owt a wyffe and co_m_mendyth hym to yow: and so ys also Nych_ol_as longmede which hath payd Will_ia_m Wilfforde. And thus as well f[are] ye as I woolde do my Self At london the xvij daye of August by yo_ur_ Frende to all his possible power


_Add._ To his [esp]ecial and entyrelye belouyd Frende John Creke be this youyn Bylbowe in Biscaye.


Ellis’ Letters, 2nd Ser. ii. 125; Cal. iv, App. 57. Nov. 29 ‹1525›.

Sends her a doe. Desires that Richard Swift resort to him at Begham or Tonbridge. Asks for news.

Elyzabeth I commend me unto you and have sente you by this berer a fatt doo, the one half whereof I pray you may be delyvered unto my gossyp mastres Smyth, and with the rest to use your pleasure. And further yf Richard Swifte be cum home or fortune to cum shortly, I will that he resorte to me at Begham or Tonbridge with all dylygence. Such news as ye have in those partyes I pray you sende me parte by this berer. At Begham the xxix^{th} day of November. And farther I pray you sende me word in wryting who hathe resorted unto you syns my departuer from you to speke with me.

Per your husbend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my well beloved wyf Elyzabeth Crumwell agenst the Freyers Augustines in London be this given.

3. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. iv. 955 (3). ‹1524 or 1525.›

Desires that the lands of John Fleming, who has broken covenant with Cromwell, be put in execution.

Syr in my most herty mann_er_ I co_m_mend me vnto yow aduertesing yow that after knowlege hade of yo_ur_ dep_ar_ture In to the north partyes was veray sorye that my chaunce was not so happye to haue spokyn w_i_t_h_ yow befor wheruppon I was constrayned for the Singuler trust and conffydence which by long co_n_tenuaunce hath Succedyd & ben approuyd In yow toward_es_ yo_ur_ Frend_es_ and louers to wryt vnto yow[746] Syr So hyt is that on_e_ John Flemyng of Crofton in the Countye of Yo_ur_ke in the moneth of may last passid Solde vnto Rob_er_t Bolt Certayn land_es_ Tenementt_es_ & heredytamentt_es_ to the Clere yerlye valew of Nyntene pound_es_ and xvi d. of good and lawffull monaye of Ingland to myn_e_ vse to the S_u_m of ccclxxxj^{li} vj^s viij^d wheroff the sayd John Flemyng resayuyd In p_ar_tye of payment on_e_ hundereth fortye eight pownd_es_ nyne sheling_es_ & Syx pence and the rest of the sayd S_u_m which amountyth vnto ccxxxij^{li} xvij^s ii^d was put in the Saffe custodye and keping of yo_ur_ Frend Maister Butrye ther to remayn vntyll Suche tyme the sayd John Flemyng sholde haue p_er_formyd all his couen_au_ntt_es_ according vnto a payre of Indentures For the which Su_m_mys of Monaye and for the non p_er_form_au_nce of the sayd Couen_au_ntt_es_ the sayd John Flemyng standyth bounden to the sayd Rob_er_t Bolt In a statute of the Staple of Westm_inster_ in on_e_ thousand mark_es_ payable in the Fest of Saynt Bertholomew the appostill last past the date wherof is the xx^{th} daye of Maii in the xv^{th} yere of o_ur_ souerayng lord kyng henrye the viii^{th}, and forasmoche as the said Flemyng hath brokyn Couen_au_ntt w_i_t_h_ me In eu_er_ye poynt I am Compellyd to take the execucyon vppon my statute which by this bringer I haue sent vnto yow desyring and her[tely] praying yow that ye will be so Frendlye vnto me yf it be possyble beffore yo_ur_ retorn hetherward_es_ to make Suche Instaunce vnto the Shereffe of Yorkeshyre that the sayd execucyon may be taken[747] and that all suche land_es_ as the sayd John Flemyng hathe within Yorkshyre maye be put in execucyon and extendyd befor yo_ur_ retorne owte of Yo_ur_kshyre and that the wryt of execucyon may be reto_ur_nyd and what so eu_er_ charge shalbe For the Furnysshyng of the same I promyse yow and bynde me by this my l_ette_re to Satysfye and Ferther to reco_m_pence yo_ur_ paynys in suche wyse I trust that ye shalbe contentyd. Syr I hertelye desyre and praye yow to haue me excusyd that I sholde be so bolde to requere yow to take Suche payn for me howbeit the experyence which I haue in yo_ur_ good and gentyll approuyd humanyte makyth me the more bolde w_i_t_h_ yow hauyng no dowbt but that ye will accept & take vppon yow as moche payne For yo_ur_ Frend as any man lyuyng Ferther Syr ye shall vnderstonde

_On the dorse_

A fragment of a document containing indentures and agreements concerning the manor of Kexby.

The manor of Kexby--

her after shall Inswe the abredgment of certayn Indentures evydence charters ded_es_ esc[riptes] and Mynument_es_ concernyng the manno_ur_ of Kexbye w_i_t_h_ the appertena_n_ces w_i_t_h_in the Countye of Yorke Delyuery[d] ... by Iohn Aleyn Cytizen and Altherman of London to the hand_es_ of Sundrye Right worsshypfful and discret p_er_sons Councello_ur_s vnto the most reue[rent] Father in god Thomas lorde Cardenall legate de latere archbusshop of Yo_ur_ke pry ... and chaunceler of Inglonde to the vse of the sayd most Reuerend Father in god the datt_es_ of the whiche Indentures evydenc_es_ charters ded_es_ escript_es_ & Mynimentt_es_ cons_er_nyng the sayd Manno_ur_ w_i_t_h_ p_ar_te of the effect_es_ conteynyd [in] the same mor playnlye herafter shall appere


R.O. Cal. iv. 3053 (ii). April ‹1527›.

Reports a letter received from ‘my lorde’ and addressed to her ladyship, and encloses the copy of another from ‘my lord George,’

Pleasyth it yo_ur_ good ladyship my specyall dewtes fyrst remembred that as vppon Wensdaye being the xvij^{th} daye of Aprell I resayuyd from my lorde a l_ette_re directyd vnto yo_ur_ good ladyship w_i_t_h_ also all his honourable aduenture In to Scotland[748] theffect wherof yo_ur_ ladyship shall resayue in yo_ur_ l_ette_res Ferther I resayuyd the same daye a l_ette_re from my lord George the teno_ur_ and Copye wherof I haue sent yow herin Inclosyd Madame as ye shall Thinke by yo_ur_ good and vertuese discresyon it may please to adu_er_tyse my good lord which I thinke shalbe well takyn when he shall parsayue that ye doo and shall contenually studye for the aduansment of his honeur.


R.O. Cal. iv. 3741. ‹December, 1527.›

Legal information and advice concerning a suit in which Cromwell has been retained as counsel by the wife of Sir Robert Clere, the sister of Rochford.

Pleasyth it yo_ur_ good lordship to be adu_er_tysed howe that it hath pleasyd my ladye yo_ur_ sust_er_ wyff to S_i_r Rob_er_te Clere Knyght to requyre and desyre me to be of counsayll w_i_t_h_ the sayd S_ir_ Robert her husbande in a certayn[749] Matyer in varyaunce betwene the lady Feneux late the wyff of s_ir_ John Feneux Knyght cheffe Justyce[750] desseasyd of and For the deffence of a wrytt of extent of late passyd out of the Kyng_es_ hygh courte of the Chauncery dyrected vnto the Sheryff of Norffolke and Suffolke aswell for the extendyng of the land_es_ of the sayd s_ir_ Rob_er_te w_i_t_h_in the sayd countyes as alsoo For the puttyng in execution the bodye of the sayd s_ir_ Robert Clere for the satysfactyon and payment of Foure hundreth pound_es_ supposyd to be due to the sayd late cheff Justice disceasyd And For asmoche as by the reporte of my sayd lady yo_ur_ sust_er_ and alsoo by the syght of certayn Indentures of Couen_au_ntt_es_ & deffauntt_es_ made aswell bytwene s_ir_ John Paston Knyght disceasyd and the sayd S_ir_ Rob_er_te Clere as alsoo bytwene the sayd late cheff Justice and the sayd s_ir_ Robert yt maye appere that the sayd Statute of the Staple of cccc^{li} was made and delyu_er_ed to none other intente but onlye For the p_er_fformaunce of certayn couen_au_nt_es_ of Maryage For the assuraunce and onlye aduaunseme_n_t of a Joynter to be made to one Elyzabeth late the wyff off one Will_ia_m Clere disceasyd so_n_ne and heyre at that tyme to the sayd s_ir_ Rob_er_te whiche Elyzabeth ys nowe wydowe and was lately the wyffe of the sayd late lorde Feneux cheff Justice all whiche couen_au_nt_es_ of Maryage the sayd s_ir_ Robert Clere hathe always as I am Informyd bene redye and yet ys to p_er_fourme notw_i_t_h_standyng[751] that the sayd S_ir_ John Paston in hys lyffe nor s_ir_ Will_ia_m Paston nowe lyuyng so_n_ne and heyre of the sayd s_ir_ John wolde ne wyll not accordyng to suche couen_au_ntes[752] as the ‹same› be boundyn vnto paye vnto the sayd s_ir_ Roberte Clere cc^{li} Resydue of foure hundreth Mark_es_ for the sayd[753] assuraunce of the sayd Couenauntt_es_ of Maryage[754] yet dewe and vnpayd the none payment wherof ys A greate matyer and it were gret pytye and also ayenst bothe reson & Conscyens that the sayd s_ir_ Roberte shulde haue his land_es_ extendyd and be co_m_pellyd to paye the sayd so_m_me of foure hundreth pound_es_ consyderyng the sayd bounde was made but for the p_er_formaunce of the couen_au_ntes of Maryage whiche[755] the sayd Syr Robert was and ys Redye to performe and good Reason it were that the Couenauntt_es_ on the p_ar_tie of the sayd S_ir_ John Paston also sholde be p_er_formyd and the sayd cc^{li} payde. Neuertheles the sayd Syr Robert Clere ys vtterlye w_i_t_h_out Remedye by course of the co_m_mon lawe[756] to defende the execucyon of the sayd wrytt_es_ of extent so that the sayd cccc^{li} shalbe recou_er_yd of hys land_es_ and bodye onles yt may please yo_ur_ good lordeshyp to moue my lorde hys grace in Conscyens to graunt a wryt of Iniu_n_ctyon[757] to be dyrectyd ‹to› the sayd lady Elyzabeth Feneux Commandyng her by the same no ferther to prosecute thexecuc_io_n of the sayd wrytt_es_ of extent vppon the sayd statute of cccc^{li}. And alsoo ayenst the sayd S_ir_ Roberte as my sayde lord_es_ grace may gyue co_m_maundement[758] that no wrytt_es_ of liberata goo out of the sayd courte of Chauncerye vntyll suche tyme ‹as› the hole matyer tochyng the p_re_mysses may dulye and accordyng to conscyence be harde and examyned And yo_ur_ lordshype thus doing shall do the thing in my poore opynyon which shall ‹stand› w_i_t_h_ reason and good Conscyens as knowyth the holye Trynyte whom I most hertelye beseche to p_re_serue yo_ur_ lordshyp in long lyffe good helth and moche hono_ur_


R.O. Cal. iv. 4135. April 2, 1528.

Reports his proceedings in connexion with the monastery of Wallingford. Description of the progress of the Cardinal’s colleges. Desires the benefice of St. Florence for Mr. Birton.

Please it your grace to be aduertised how that I according to your most gracyous co_m_maundement haue repayred vnto the late monasterye of Wallingforde Where I founde aswell all the ornamentt_es_ of the churche as all other ymplementt_es_ of houseolde clerely conueyed awaye and nothing remayning. Sauyng only the euydences Which I sorted and conueyed vnto yo_ur_ colledge at Oxforde And the same delyvered vnto yo_ur_ Dean there. And afterward_es_ Mr. Croke and I surueyed amended and refourmed aswell the l_ette_res patent_es_ graunted by the king his highnes vnto yo_ur_ grace as also yo_ur_ gyftes and g_ra_untt_es_ made vnto yo_ur_ said colledge in suche wise I trust that no defaulte or omyssyon at this tyme is lefte vnrefourmed.

I haue also founde offyces aswell of the saide late monasterye of Wallingforde and of all the lond_es_ and tenementt_es_ belonging to the same w_i_t_h_in the Counties of Oxforde and Berk as also of suche omyssions as were omytted within the saide counties belonging to Frediswid_es_ and Lytlemore. And now I do repayre into the Counties of Buck and Bedforde for offyces to be founde there aswell of suche lond_es_ as apperteyne to the saide late monasterye of Wallingforde as also to the late monasterye of Praye besid_es_ saincte Albons.

The buyldinges of yo_ur_ noble colledge most prosperouslye and magnyfycently dothe arryse in suche wise that to euery mannes iudgement the lyke thereof was neu_er_ sene ne ymagened hauing consideracyon to the largeness beautee sumptuous Curyous and most substauncyall buylding of the same.

Your chapell w_i_t_h_in the saide colledge most deuoutely and vertuously ordered And the mynistres w_i_t_h_in the same not onely dyligent in the s_er_uyce of god but also the seruice daylie doon w_i_t_h_in the same so deuoute solempne and full of Armonye that in myne opynyon it hathe fewe peres.

There is a benefyce voyde w_i_t_h_in the dyoces of saincte dauyes in Wales which is of yo_ur_ gracyous gyfte by meane of the chauncelorship of Englonde. Yf it may please your grace to gyue the same to Mr. Byrton he shoulde be the more able to do your grace seruyce. The name of the saide benefyce is called sayncte Florence. I assure yo_ur_ grace the saide Mr. Byrton is a right honest man And by somme reporte right well lerned and shall do yo_ur_ grace good seruyce.

My besyness accomplisshed I shall according to my duetie repayre vnto yo_ur_ grace. Most humblye beseching the holie trynytee contynuallye to preserue the prosperous astate of the same in long lif and good helth. At Oxforde the Seconde day of Aprell.

Your most humble s_erua_unt THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my l...

_Endd._ M^r Cromewel ii^{da} Ap_ri_lis 1528


R.O. Cal. iv. 4441. June 30 ‹1528›.

Requests him to send information concerning Wolsey’s wishes about various matters in connexion with the Colleges at Ipswich and Oxford.

Right woorshipfull sir in my right hartie maner I commende me vnto youe, Aduertising the same, that I have receyued my lorde his gracious l_ette_res, wherin his grace commaundethe to be diligent in thexpedic_io_n of suche busynes as Do concerne the perfeccion of his colledge in Gypswiche, whiche I do intende (god willing) to put in execucion withe all spede, howbeit certeyne thing_es_ arn first to be knowen of my saide lorde his gracious pleasure, or euer the same can be perfected accordingly. Wherof one is, that it may please his grace to name the p_er_son that shalbe his Dean of his saide Colledge, And also to send to me ayen the Bille assigned of the licence graunted to his grace by the kyng his highnes to erect the saide colledge in Gipswiche, so that the signet and pryuye Seale may be made out vpon the same, And that we maye examyn the boke of erection which nowe must passe by my lorde his grace with the same bille signed in euery poynt. His gracious pleasure must also be knowen whether that (the Dean of his saide saide[759] colledge being Decessed, or by any other mean Depryued or amoued from the saide Deanrie) his grace then wille that thellection of a new Dean shalbe emong_es_ them of the colledge or whether his grace will remytt the same to be ordred by his Statutt_es_ by hym to be made accordingly. It maye please youe also to moue his grace whether he wille absolutelie haue a guyfte made to his colledge in Oxforde of the late Monasterie of Wallyngforde the p_ar_sonage of Rudbye, and suche other lond_es_ as his grace hathe purchased of s_ir_ Antonye and s_ir_ Roberte Ughtred in the Counties of Yorke and Lyncoln, or that he will haue the same Mon_asto_ri and other the premisses geuyn vpon condicion to his saide Colledge in Oxforde, to thyntent that they shall make a lyke guyfte of the lond_es_ apperteynyng to the late Mon_astor_is of Snape, Dodneshe, Wyk_e_ and Horkisley to his saide colledge in Gipswiche, whiche condicion in myn opynyon shulde well serue for all casualties, and compelle them of the colledge in Oxforde to make a guyfte of the same accordingly. One speciall thing ther is that ye must moue his grace in which is, that he maye not in any wise p_ro_cede to therrection of his saide colledge in Gipswiche, before the xxj. daye of Julye next comyng, for asmuche as thoffices in the Chauncerie shall not expire, vnto the full accomplishment of iij Monethes vntill the saide xxj Daye, nor his grace cannot haue the Syte and circuyte of the late Mon_asto_ri of Saynct Peter suppressed, vpon the whiche the saide colledge muste be erected by thordres of the lawe of thie londe before the saide xxi Daye. His gracious pleasure knowen in the premisses I trust by thassistence of my lorde chief Baron vnto whome I wille resorte from tyme to tyme for his good counsaile to perfo_ur_me fulfille and accomplisshe euery thing according to his said gracious pleasure, in suche wise that he shall therwithe be right well contented. Hartely Desiring youe to moue his grace for the signature of the l_ette_re for the poore man of Arragosco who lyeth here to his great and importunate cost_es_ and charg_es_ in maner to his vtter vndoyng, And also for the signature of one other l_ette_re in Frenche Directed to the gouernours of the Towne of Depe for the Delyuerie of certeyn Englisshe mennys good_es_ beyng marchauntt_es_ of London of late taken vpon the See by men of warr of the saide toune of Diepe. It maye also please youe to shew my lorde his grace this l_ette_re and that I maye haue answer of his gracious pleasure withe all spede, whiche shalbe a great furtheraunce to his busynes. The mynute of his erexion is all redye Drawen and shalbe p_er_fected vpon his answer And thus o_ur_ lorde preserue youe At London the xxx Daye of June.

At your co_m_maundement THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right woorshipfull maister Thomas Arondell be this youen.

_Endd._ From Mr. Cromwell the xxx day of Junii about the p_er_fectinge of the Cardynalls ij Colleg_es_ of Oxford and Ipswich.


R.O. Cal. iv. 4697. ‹Sept. 3, 1528.›

Details concerning the colleges at Oxford and Ipswich, and the revenues from the lands and monasteries appropriated for their use.

Please it your grace to haue in remembraunce yo_ur_ Fynours of Duresme whose contynuaunce here is not onely to their greate cost and losse of tyme but also to the greate hinderaunce of your werk_es_ ther, and also they be veray poore, your gracious pleasure therfore wold be knowen whether they shall resorte to yo_ur_ presence, or howe otherwise yo_ur_ grace will they shalbe ordred

I haue according to your moste gracious co_m_maundement sent herein inclosed the clere yerely valeurs of all suche lond_es_ as ye haue purchased in the Counties of Yorke and Buckingham, and also the clere yerely value of the late monasterie of Wallingforde

If it may stonde with yo_ur_ pleasure to appoynte in whose name yo_ur_ grace intendithe to dedicate your colledge in Gipswiche, and by what name the maister and fellowes shalbe called, the lycence of erexion, the l_ette_res patentt_es_, pryuate Seales and other thing_es_ necessarie for the same myght be put in a redynes so that no tyme shulde be loste

I haue caused suche bill_es_ as be allredie signed to passe the pryuy signet and pryuate Seale, and shall nowe put to wryting the l_ette_res patentt_es_ for the brode Seale, so that after the iii monethes expired yo_ur_ grace may geue the lond_es_ conteyned within the same according to youre moste gracious pleasure. It shalbe well done that yo_ur_ grace haue in remembraunce thapp_ro_p_ri_a_ci_on of the benefices to your colledge in Oxford, and that an ende maye be takyn withe all ordynaries which I thinke is not yet done

I haue spoken with maister Babington nowe lorde of Kylmayne for the exchaunge to be made bitwene yo_ur_ colledge in Oxforde and his religion for Saundforde, It may therfore please your grace that yo_ur_ pleasure may be knowen whether this vacacion yo_ur_ counsaile shall farther co_m_mune withe hym and other whiche haue auctoritie in that behalf, or not, whiche in myn opynyon shulde be well done, and will sett yo_ur_ purpose in a great forwardnes

It may also please yo_ur_ grace that these instruccions herein inclosed may be sent to maister Holgill for thordering of hymself in taking possession lyueraye and season at Rudby, whiche Instruccions were deuysed by the Judges, and it shalbe necessarie that he haue them withe spede.

Yo_ur_ gracious pleasure knowen touching the pr_e_miss_es_ I shall most humblie indeuoir myself according to my duetie to accomplisshe yo_ur_ most gracious co_m_maundement, As knowithe the holly trynytie vnto whome I shall daily during my lyfe praye for the p_ro_sperous conseruacion of yo_ur_ good grace

Your most humble s_er_v_au_nt THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my lorde his grace.

_Endd._ From Mr Cromwell touching rudby

Instruccions for Maister Willyam Holgill for posses_si_on lyueraye and season to be taken in the p_ar_sonage of Rudby in Clevelonde

First to cause my lorde Conyers to serche his euydence towching thaduowson of the patronage of Rudby, and to se whether it be aduowson appendaunte, that is to saye, apperteyning to a manor or to an Acre of londe, or that it be aduowson in grosse, that is to saye, aduowsonage onely appending to no manor ne yet to none Acre of londe, And to receyue the saide Euydence of the saide lorde Conyers concernyng the said aduowson

Itm to knowe whether the saide aduowson be intailed, and whether it be intailed to theires males, or to theires generall, and to receyue the dead_es_ of Intaile, or Fynes if any suche be, of the saide lorde Conyers

Itm that thattourneis named in the deade of Feoffement made to the saide Willyam Holgill and other, do enter into thacre of londe named in the saide deade of Feoffement, and delyuer season by a turfe, to the saide maister Holgill, and also to delyuer possession and season by the ryng of the churche dore

Itm after possession, lyueraye and season taken in the saide Acre of londe, and by the ryng of the churche doore as is aforsaide, that then the saide Attourneis do enter into the saide p_ar_sonage and also to delyuer possession lyueraye, and season in the p_ar_sonage vnto the saide maister Holgill, and that the deade of Feoffement be redd in all thre_e_[760] places, and to take at the leste xxx or xl witnesses, calling therto asmany yonge children as ye may


R.O. Cal. iv. 5186. Jan. 18 ‹1529›.

Has been unable to repair to the Cardinal, on account of the press of work in connexion with his colleges. Description of the damage done by the overflowing of the Thames.

Worshipfull S_ir_, after most hartie comendacyons it may please you to aduertise my lorde his grace that the cause Why I do not repayre thither at this present ys for that I haue certen bok_es_ to be don and accomplisshed concerning his colledge in Gipswich That is to say a deade of gyfte from his grace to his saide colledge of the late monasteryes of Felixstowe Rumburgh and Bromehill The King his l_ette_res patent_es_ of assent to the Suppression of the same late monasteryes, The King his l_ette_res patent_es_ of assent to the pope his bull of exempcyon of the saide colledge The King his l_ette_res patent_es_ of lycence for thimpropryac_i_on of the benefyces belongyng to the saide late monasteryes A deade of gyft from the Duke of Norff. to my lord his grace of the saide late monasterye of Felixstowe A relesse from the prior and conuent of Rochester of all theyr right tytle and patronage of in or to the same late pryory of Felixstowe A relesse from the abbot and conuent of Saynct Maryes in Yorke of all their right and tytle in or to the late pryory of Rumburgh A relesse from my lorde of Oxforde of all his right and tytle in the late pryory of Bromehill And a relesse from the Frenssh quene and the duke of Suffolk of all theyr right and tytle in the manours of Sayes courte and Byckeling and in the late pryorye of Snape. All which bok_es_ be not yet in a redynes ne parfyted vnto my mynde Intending assone as the same shalbe fynysshed and made parfyte, whiche I trust shalbe to morow at nyght or wenesday by none at the Ferthest to repayre vnto my lorde his grace, vppon his gracyous pleasure knowen for thinsealing of the same accordingly. It may also please you to aduertise my lorde his grace that Sythen his repayree to Rychmond I have ben at Lyesnes Where I saw one of the most pyteous and greuous sight_es_ that ev_er_ I saw which to me before the Sight of the same was incredyble concernyng the breche out of the Thamyse into the marsshes of Lyesnes which be all ouerflowen and drowned And that at the last chaunge the tyde was so high that there happened a new breche which hathe fordon_e_ asmoche worke there as will cost ccc^{li} the new making of the same In so moche that if my being there had not ben to haue incouraged the workemen and labourers I assure you all the labo_ur_ and money that hathe ben ther spent heretofore had ben clerely lost and cast away. And the workemen and labourers wolde haue departed and left all at chaunce whiche shoulde haue ben the gretest yuell that eu_er_ happened to the countrey ther. Nev_er_theles I w_i_t_h_ thaduyse of suche wyse men as ben in the countrey there haue set suche dyrectyon in the same that I trust all shalbe well and the work_es_ there ended w_i_t_h_ good spede god willing. For the furnyture and accomplisshment whereof there is a new assesse made and my lorde his colledge for theyr parte ben assessed at ccxx li which money of necessyte must be had out of hande Prayeng you so to solycyte my lord_es_ grace that the same money may be had incontynent Assuring you that his grace shall do as merytoryous a deade in the delyu_er_ing of the saide money for his colledge at this tyme as though he gaue so moche money for godd_es_ sake Considering the grete hurte myschief losses and inconuenyenc_es_ that is lyke to insue to the countrey there and to the King his streme and also the hurte that may insue to his colledge in the losse of suche grounde and land as they haue there Whereunto for the quantytee thereof ys none lyke to the same in that countrey ne few in any other countrey. Yf the saide breche be not shortly amended and spedely prouyded for I assure you suche inconuenyenc_es_ may insue that yt were to grete pytee. And to thintent that ye may be the more assured of the trewth in the pr_e_mysses I haue sent you a l_ette_re here inclosed which I receyued from one of the maisters of the said work_es_ ymedyatly after the wrytyng of this l_ett_re Intending to repayre vnto Lyesnes, w_i_t_h_ all spede for the redresse and fortheraunce of the p_re_misses asmoche as in me shalbe possible. Hertely beseching you to procure that I may haue answer of my lord_es_ pleasure in eu_er_y thing concerning the content_es_ forsaid by this berer my seru_au_nte. And thus o_ur_ lorde p_re_serue yo_ur_ long lyf At London the xviii day of Januarye.

Yours most bounden THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right wo_r_shipfull Maister docto_ur_ Gardyner be this yeuen w_i_t_h_ spede.

_Endd._ Letters from M. Cru_m_wel of the xviij daie of Januarij

10. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. iv. 5757 (ii). July ‹1529›.

Has written in favour of the chaplain. Requests the recipient to desire his wife to take the daughter of Cromwell’s sister, and bring her up. Promises to recompense him and his wife.

... C ... ert as hertelye as I can I co_m_mende me vnto you and m_er_vayle gretlye that ye haue made no better spede for yo_ur_ chaplayn In whos Fauours I haue wryten vnto Mr. Chaunceler of Wynchester trustyng that he wylbe good maister vnto hym For my sake I wooldbe veray lothe that ye sholde mysse yo_ur_ purpose Syr I praye you be so good vnto me as to lett me send my systers daughter vnto the Jentylwoman yo_ur_ wyff and that ye wyll on my behalf desyre her to take her and to bryng her vpp for the which her goodnes yf she wylbe content so to doo I shold rekyn my self moste bounden both to you and her_e_ and besyd_es_ the payment For her borde I wyll so content your wyff_e_ as I trust she shalbe woll pleasyd that I may know yo_ur_ answer herin I hertelye praye yow and thus hartelye Fare ye well.

At london the ---- daye of July.


R.O. Cal. iv. 5812. ‹July, 1529.›

Desires him to seek out all registers, and the bulls of the Cardinal’s legation, so that the same may be shown to the King’s attorney.

Maister Cleybroke this to adu_er_tise yow as ever ye inte_n_d to doo my lord pleasure or s_er_uyce that ye w_i_t_h_ all dylygens seke owt the register of Maister Tonneys and also all other registers w_i_t_h_ also the bullys of my lord_es_ legacye to thentent the same may be shewyd this nyght to the Kyng_es_ attorney for suche Causes as I declaryd vnto yow at my last spekyng w_i_t_h_ yow of answer by thys berer I praye yow that I may haue knowlege and fare ye woll.



R.O. Cal. iv. 6099. Dec. 19 ‹1529›.

Desires him to ride with Mr. Copeland to the north, and assist him with advice in his affairs there.

Willyam Brabazon I comende me vnto you And wolde if ye be at conuenyent leysour that ye do Ryde w_i_t_h_ Maister Cowplonde this berer into the North part_es_ and to assiste him w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ counsaill in suche matiers as he hathe there to do according to suche instruxions as I haue drawen and delyuered to the same Mr. Cowplande Not doubting but he will consider your paynes accordinglye And thus fare ye well. At London the xix^{th} day of December.

Your louyng maister THOMAS CRUMWELL.


MSS. Jesus Coll. in Bibl. Bodl. Oxon. c. 74, pp. 262 ff.; Cal. iv. 6076. ‹1530.›

Various items concerning the relations of Cromwell and Wolsey after the latter fell into disgrace. Cf. Letters 18, 19.

‘Crumwell to the Cardinal, July 12, ‹1530›.

‘As touching the p_ro_cesse ag_ains_t yo_ur_ Grace out of the Exchequer and all other matters and suites brought ag_ains_t yow I haue pleaded yo_ur_ pardon, w_hi_ch is allowed in all _th_e King’s Court_es_ and by the same yo_ur_ Grace discharged of all man_n_er Causes at the K^s suite.

Cromwell tells the Card^l this solliciting his Cause hath bin very chargeable to him and he can_n_ot susteine it any Longer without oth_er_ Respect then he hath had hertofore. I am 1000 l. worse than I was when yo_ur_ troubles began.

As touching yo_ur_ Colleges, the King is determined to dissolve them, and that new offices shall be found of all _th_e Lands belonging to them newly to intitle his Highnes w_hi_ch be allready drawn_e_ for this purpose. But wheth_er_ his Highnes, after the dissolution of them meane to revive _th_em againe and founde the_m_ in his owne name, I know not. Wher_e_fore I entreat your Grace to be content, and let yo_ur_ Prince execute his pleasure.’

‘Cromwell to the Cardinal, May 17, 1530.

‘That the King hath received his Lett_er_s and is very sorry _th_at he is in such necessity, yet that for Releefe his Ma^{ty} hath differed it till he speak w_i_th his Counsail. The D. of Norfolk p_ro_miseth you his best ayd but he willeth you for the present to be content and not much to molest the King (concerning payment of yo_ur_ Debts etc) for, as he supposeth, the time is not meet for it. His Grace (i.e. _th_e King) shewed me how it is come to his knowlege that yo_ur_ Grace should haue cert_e_in words of him and other Noblemen vnto my L^d of Norfolk since the time of yo_ur_ adversityes w_hi_ch words should sound to make sedition betwixt him and my Lord of Norfolk.

Mr. Page received yo_ur_ Lett_er_s directed vnto my Lady Anne, and delivered _th_e same. there is yet no answer. she gaue kind words, but will not p_ro_mise to speake to the K. for you.

Certein Doctors of both the Vniversityes are here for the suppression of the Lutheran opinions. The Kings H^{nes} hath caused the sayd doctors at divers times to assemble, and hath com_m_oned w_i_th them. The fame is that Luther is dep_ar_ted this Life. I would he had never bin borne.’

‘Cromwel writes to Card^l Wolsey, August, ‹1530›.

‘Intreating him to haue patience etc. that there shall be some offices sent into York and Nottinghamsh. to be found of yo_ur_ Lands, belonging to yo_ur_ ArchB_isho_prick. This will be very displeasant to you, but it is best to suffer it. for if they should not be found you could not howld yo_ur_ B_isho_prick quiet, notw_i_thstanding yo_ur_ p_ar_don: for yo_ur_ Restitution made by yo_ur_ Pardon is cleerly Voyd, for that the King did restitute yo_ur_ Grace before He was intitled by matter of Record. When these offices shall be found, yo_ur_ p_ar_don shall be good and stand in parfait effect.

He tells him that his modest behavio_ur_ and humility hath gayned him the Love and good report of the Country where he now Lives and allso in the Court, yet his Enemyes depraue all. S_ir_, some there be that do allege that yo_ur_ Grace doth keep too great a Howse and family and that you are continually a-Building--for the Love of God ther_e_fore haue a respect and refraine etc.’

‘Crumwell writes to _th_e Cardinal, Octob‹er, 1530›.

‘I am informed yo_ur_ Grace hath in me some diffidence as if I did dissemble w_i_th you or p_ro_cure anything contrary to yo_ur_ p_ro_fit and hono_ur_ I much muse that yo_ur_ Grace should so think or report it secretly considering the paines I haue taken etc. Wherfor I beseech you to speak w_i_thout faining if you haue such conceit, that I may cleere myself. I reckoned that yo_ur_ Grace would haue written plainly vnto me of such thing, rather than secretly to haue misreported me etc. But I shall beare yo_ur_ Grace no Lesse good will etc. Let God judge between Vs. Trewly yo_ur_ Grace in some things overshooteth your self; there is reg[ard] to be given what things ye vtter and to whom etc.’

‘I find by these Lett_re_s that Cramwel kept certein scholers in Cambrige, for he entreats _th_e Card^{l}. to p_re_ferre the_m_ to Benefices w_hi_ch should fall in his ArchB_isho_prick.’[761]


R.O. Cal. iv. 6368. May 5 ‹1530›.

Information concerning the progress of the Cardinal’s affairs at Court. Advises him to comply with the King’s requests.

After my right hartie Co_m_mendac_i_ons to yo_ur_ grace according to yo_ur_ desire specified in yo_ur_ L_ette_res of answer to the request made vnto youe by the King_es_ maiestie for the Treasourership of York I haue so solicited the matier bothe to his hieghnes and to docto_ur_ Leighton that bothe be content that your gift shall stande so as yo_ur_ grace do accomplishe the teno_ur_ of his hieghnes L_ette_res nowe eftsones directed vnto youe, whiche myn advise and counsail is that youe shall in any wise ensue, and that yo_ur_ chauncelo_ur_ shall do the semblable in another request made by his Maiestie vnto him w_i_t_h_out staye tract or further stycking. And in any thing ell_es_ wherin I maye do vnto your grace stede or pleasure I shalbe as glad to doo thoffice of a frend_e_ as you shalbe to require the same of me. Thus moost hartely Fare youe well. From St. James besid_es_ Westm_inster_ the v^{th} of Maye.


R.O. Cal. iv. 6431. June 3 ‹1530›.

Promises to send a full answer to his letters by Ralph Sadler. Recommends the bearer.

Please it your grace to be aduertised that I haue receyued your l_ette_res by Thomas Rawlyns and haue perceyued the content_es_ thereof and will make answer to the same p_ar_ticulerly by my seru_a_unt Rafe Sadleyr, who o_ur_ lorde willing shalbe w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ grace w_i_t_h_ all spede. Your grace I assure you is moche bounde to the gentilman this berer for his good reporte in eu_e_ry place who I assure yo_u_r grace hathe not lefte in eu_e_ry presence to say of you as by lykelohod ye haue gyuen him cause. I assure yo_ur_ grace he and such other haue don yo_ur_ grace moche good, it shalbe in myn opynion therefore right well don to give him thank_es_ accordingly, for by my faith he is right worthye. And thus the holie trynitee preserue your grace in long lyf good helth and moche hono_ur_. At london the iii^{rd} daye of June.

Your most humble s_er_u_au_nt THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ my lorde Cardinall‹s› grace.


B.M. Cott. App. L. 7; Cal. iv. 6482. June 30 ‹1530›.

Fragment of a letter, in answer to several minor requests of the Cardinal. Various details.

... as to send yo_ur_ grace any quayles it ys not possybyll For ther ys non that will Carye them as For Sedes I wyll Send yow by the next maister Stubbis Sayth he will p_ro_uyde baudekyn for yo_ur_ grace I am sorye for hym he ys Swed in a primineri by burges which was ons ellect p_re_sydent of Maudlen Colledge I thinke it wyll cost hym money or he get owt,[762] my lord chaunselo_ur_ hath p_ro_mysyd that Masteres lacye shall bere the Cost_es_ of them that shall bryng vp John lawrans and Robert Turner. I beseche yo_ur_ grace to be so good lorde as to send me A gelding and I trust shortlye after to se yo_ur_ grace by the assistens of o_ur_ lorde whom I most hertelye beseche to p_re_serue yo_ur_ grace in long lyffe good helth and moche hono_ur_ at london the last daye of June


R.O. Cal. iv. 6530. July 24 ‹1530›.

In favour of his kinsman Dr. Carbot; requests Wolsey to take him into his household and service.

After my most humble Recommenda_ci_ons w_i_t_h_ my dailie s_er_uice and contynuall praier May it pleas yo_ur_ grace to call to yo_ur_ good and most graceous remembraunce how that I being w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ grace in yo_ur_ gallerie at the Chartrehouse at Shene most humblie supplied[763] vnto the same for the acceptac_i_on of this berer Mr. doctour Carbot my kynsman vnto yo_ur_ s_er_uice At which tyme it pleased yo_ur_ grace beninglie to graunt me to accept hym promising both vnto him and me that ye wolde be his good and graceous Lorde vpon the which he hath tarried here in these p_ar_ties Contynuallye to his great cost Supposing that I sholde haue repared w_i_t_h_ him vnto yo_ur_ grace by meane wherof he thought the better to be esteemed But forasmoch as he now p_er_ceyueth that for dyuers causes I maye not he hath desired me to write vnto yo_ur_ grace in his fauo_ur_s Most humblie and effectuallye beseching your grace to receyue him into yo_ur_ house and s_er_uice Whome I trust yo_ur_ grace shall finde apte mete discrete dilligent and honest And suchon that Willinglie Louinglie and obedientlie shall and wilbe gladde to s_er_ue yo_ur_ grace in any thing that yo_ur_ pleaser shalbe to commaunde him Trusting fermlie that bye experience ye shall right well lyke him Eftsones most humblie and effectuallie beseching yo_ur_ grace to be his good and graceous Lorde for my sake and at this my poure and most humble sute and contemplac_i_on to take him w_i_t_h_owt reiection And thus the holie trenitie p_re_s_er_ue your grace in long lyf and good helth. At Londe‹n› the xxiiii^{th} daye of July.

Your most humble s_er_u_a_unt and bedysman THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ my lordes grace


R.O. Cal. iv. 6571. August 18 ‹1530›.

Information concerning the progress of the Cardinal’s affairs at Court and elsewhere. Begs him to cease building for a time, in order that his enemies may have no chance to accuse him of extravagance. News from England and the Continent. Cf. Letter 13.

Please it your grace to be adu_er_tised[764] that after the Receipt of yo_ur_ l_ette_res dated at Southwell on saynt Laurence Day I p_er_ceyued how that yo_ur_ grace remayned in som displeasure and anxietie of mynde for that I by my l_ette_res had before c_er_tefied you of the fynding certen offic_es_ concerning yo_ur_ busshopriche of Yorke The Fynding whereof as I p_er_ceyue by yo_ur_ l_ette_res ye do suppose should be moche to yo_ur_ dishono_ur_ & detriment For the which intent that yo_ur_ grace may put yo_ur_self in repose & quietac_i_on of mynde I haue sent vnto you this berer who shall at length declare vnto you besid_es_ the demonstracion of the copies of suche offic_es_ as be drawen for that purpose that the Fynding of the said offic_es_ savyng onelie that in the preamble of the same there is touched the conuiction of yo_ur_ grace in the p_re_munir_e_ which all the wo_ur_ld alredie knoweth shalbe for yo_ur_ good onelie proffit and availe And yet yo_ur_ pardon and restitucion stand in good & p_er_fite effecte So that yo_ur_ grace shal haue no nede nether to be in fere of losse of any your sp_irit_uall or temporall good_es_ or to be troubeled for the same ne also to be put to any new Sute in the obteyning of any other pardon or restitucion. And if in case yo_ur_ said pardon and restitucion were in any parte insufficient I assure yo_ur_ grace I know that the king_es_ highnes wold it should be made as good as by any counsaill it could be Devised And doubt ye not but his highnes is yo_ur_ gracyous and benigne Sou_er_eigne lorde and wold in no wise that ye should be greued molested or troubeled. Wherfore it may please yo_ur_ grace to quiet yourself and to take the fynding of these offic_es_ pacientlie and vppon the reto_ur_ne of the same there shalbe such orders taken that yo_ur_ grace shall not be interrupted in the receyuing of yo_ur_ reuenues ne otherwise be molested in any man_er_ case for any new sute As touching yo_ur_ colledges the offic_es_ shalbe founde houbeit the Deane and suche other as haue sued to the king_es_ highnes haue had veray good answer wherof I think they haue certefied yo_ur_ grace or this tyme. As touching the m^l mark_es_ of the reuenues of Wynchester I doubt not but it shalbe obteyned at the audite And conc_er_ning Batyrsey it may please yo_ur_ grace that such thing_es_ as ye haue sent me the copies of may be sent hither vnder seale for they woll trust no scrowes and also that Serche may be made for Busshop Bothes will concerning the same. Strangwissh continually cryeth and maketh exclamac_i_on in the courte of you insomoch that the lord_es_ of the counsaill haue determyned to wryte vnto you in that behalf wold to o_ur_ lorde your grace were rid of that man. As concerning the p_re_bends of Witwang doubt ye not but in that all thing is and shalbe ordered to yo_ur_ good contentac_i_on. Sir I assure yo_ur_ grace that ye be moch bounde to o_ur_ lorde god that in suche wise hath suffered you so to behaue and order yo_ur_self in thes p_ar_ties to atteyne the good myndes and hert_es_ of the people[765] there the reporte whereof in the courte and ell_es_where in these p_ar_ties is & hathe ben[766] to the aquyryng & augmentyng the good oppynyons of many p_er_sons toward_es_ yo_ur_ grace beseching your grace therfore to contynue[767] in the same after Suche a Sorte and Fashyon as ye may daylye increase not onlye in the Fauours of the pepull ther but also here and ell_es_where to the pleasure of god & the prynce And notwithstonding yo_ur_ good vertuous and charitable demeaning and vsing yo_ur_self[768] in thes p_ar_ties ys not by your enemies[769] interpretyd after the best Fashyon yet always Folow and p_er_seu_er_ ye attemperatelye in suche thing_es_ as yo_ur_ woorldlye affeccyons Sett apart Shall serue to stand best w_i_t_h_ the pleasure of god and the kyng S_ir_ som ther be that doth alledge in that yo_ur_ grace doth kepe to grete a house & famylie and that ye are contynually buylding for the loue of god therefore I eftesones as I often tymys haue done most hertelye beseche your grace to haue respecte to eu_er_y thing and consyderyng the tyme to refrangne your Self for a Season from all mann_er_ byldingg_es_ more than mere necessite requireth which I assure yo_ur_ grace[770] shall sease and putto Sylence Som p_er_sons that moche spekyth of the same. For the gelding_es_ which yo_ur_ grace Dyd send me I do most humblie & hertelie thank you beseching yo_ur_ grace to gyue Further Credens to this berer, who shall declare vnto your grace other thing_es_ not wryttyn[771] I do Relys your grace right happye that ye be now at libertye to s_er_ue god and to lern to experyment how ye shall banyshe and exyle the vayn desyrys of this vnstabyll warld, which vndowtydlye dothe nothing ell_es_ but allure eu_er_y person therin And specyally such as o_ur_ lorde hath most endewyd w_i_t_h_ his gyft_es_ to desyre[772] the affeccyons of theyr mynd to be satysfyed In Finding and Sekyng wherof most p_er_sons besyd the gret trauayll_es_ and afflyccyons that men Suffer daylye bene dryuyn to extreme Repentance and Serching for plesure and Felycyte Fynd nothing but So trowbyll Sorow anxyete and adu_er_syte Wherfor in myn oppynyon your grace being as ye ar I suppose ye woolde not be as ye werre to wyn a hundreth tymys as moche as ye were possessyd off the Busshop of Bayon_ne_ ys daylye lokyd For and my lord of Wyltshyre ys cu_m_myn home the Saying here is that the emperoure hathe good obbedyence of his Subiect_es_ in all thing sauyng that they wyll not discent from the lutheran sekt it ys also sayd that empro_ur_ doth mak musters for a gret army to be p_re_paryd agenst the turke to passe into Hungarye for the recou_er_ey of that Regyon And that the seconde Son of the emperour ys dep_ar_tyd this p_re_se_n_t lyffe the news here ys that the Germayns wyll medlye haue a gen_er_all Consaylle for the reformacyon of many thing_es_ the Florentynys doth styll contenew and defende the power of the pope and it ys Supposyd that they shall vynce by meane that ther ys a gret pestylence Fallen amongst them being in the Felde of the popis partye ther ys also a gret Carystye in Italye of all mann_er_ of grayn in so moche A quarter of whet ys worth generallye Fortye shelyngg_es_. they loke daylye for an ambassadour from the pope who at the Ferthest wilbe here w_i_t_h_ xiij dayes the kyng_es_ highnes is this nyght at amptell and ther wyll Contenew this xiiij dayes. it may please yo_ur_ grace to p_ar_don me that I do not repayre vnto yow at this tyme for vndowtydlye it ys not possyble as this berer shall Ferther Declare vnto yo_ur_ grace o_ur_ lord knowyth my wyll and mynde. and I trust verelye that yo_ur_ grace doth p_er_ffytlye think that I woolde be glade to see yow and vnfaynydlye I woolde haue sene yo_ur_ grace long er this yf I hadde not bene lettyd by Importune busynes wherfor I eftsones most humblye besech yo_ur_ grace of p_ar_don and though I am not w_i_t_h_ yow in p_er_son yet be ye assured I am and duryng my lyff shalbe w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ grace in hert spyryt prayer & s_er_uyce to the vttrest of my poore and symple power as knowyth o_ur_ lorde whom I most hertelye besech to p_re_serue yo_ur_ grace in long lyff good helth w_i_t_h_ thincreace of yo_ur_ hertys desyre. at london the xviij^{th} daye of August. I beseche yo_ur_ grace to depeche this berer whom I mygh‹t› evyll haue forbern at this tyme but onlye that I p_er_sayuyd by yo_ur_ l_ette_res that ye moche desyryd to be put in quyetacyon and that besyd myself I Coulde not send any that Coulde certefye yo_ur_ grace of the effect_es_ of such thing_es_ as ye desyre to be answeryd in But onlye he eftsonys beseching yo_ur_ grace spedlye to send hym home for my busynes ys such that I cannot lake hym.

_Endd._ my lorde Cardenall.


B.M. Cott. App. L. 81; Cal. iv. 6699. Oct. 21 ‹1530›.

Begs the Cardinal’s favour for Doctor Carbot, Nicholas Gifford, and Cromwell’s scholars at Cambridge. News of the Emperor’s movements. Information concerning the Praemunire. Cf. Letter 13.

... eyen three monethis in Chaunserye, howbeit yo_ur_ grace shalbe so prouydyd for that ye shalbe owt of all dowtt_es_ for all the kyng_es_ offycers in the meane Season. I most humblye beseche yo_ur_ grace to be good lorde vnto my poore kynsman Docto_ur_ Karbott and let hym haue su_m_ lytyll offyce vnder yo_ur_ grace. I dowt not thoughe he be Sumwhat Symple in Aparence yet he shall discharge hymself yf ye put hym in trust and A lityll auctoryte. I beseche yo_ur_ grace [a]lso to be good lorde vnto yo_ur_ Seru_au_nt Nych_ola_s Gyfforde ... when Anything shall happen to Fall which may do ‹him› good to Remembre hym for my sake yo_ur_ grace shall [fin]de hym in myn oppynyon thoughe he be yong and [some]what wylde[773], on disspossyd bothe to trewthe [hone]ste and hardynes, and he ‹is one› that wyll loue yow [with] all his harte. yf any thing Falle I beseche yo_ur_ grace [to re]membre my scolers in Cambryge and bothe they [and I sha]ll pray to o_ur_ lord Jh_es_u Crist to preserue [you] in long lyff good helth w_i_t_h_ Increase of [honour. Th]emperour wyl be at Colayn In the Feaste of ... w_i_t_h_owt Faylle the P_ar_lyment ys prorogyd [vntil the] vi daye of January. The prelatt_es_ shalnot appere [in the] premunire. Ther ys Another way deuysyd in [place thereof] as yo_ur_ grace shall Ferther know. the prync_es_ of [Almayne] Can ne wyllnot Agree to emperowr and [I bese]che the holy trynyte preserue yo_ur_ grace ... [in] quyetnes and Contentacyon I beseche yo_ur_ ... for this l_ette_re ... Wrytyn for lake of ... [in] hast the xxi of octobre


R.O. Cal. iv. 6800 (i). ‹Dec. 1530.›

Desires to know if Borough wishes to buy a friend’s horse, which certain Frenchmen are anxious to purchase.

Mr. Borough in my most hartie wise I co_m_mende me vnto you And so yt ys that my frende Mr. So_m_mer may at this tyme sell his horse right well and proffutablye but forasmoche as he before this hath promised you that ye shall refuse him before any other he hathe desyred me to know yo_ur_ mynde So that yf ye will not medell he may do his best. for there be certeyn Frensshe men which moche desyreth to haue the saide horse Wherefore I hartely pray you that I may know yo_ur_ mynde by this berer in wrytyng what ye will do And this[774] hartely fare ye well At London this p_re_sent Saterdaye.

Assurydlye your frende. THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right worshipfull Mr. Henry Borough be this yeuen.


B.M. Galba B. x, 338; Cal. v. 248. ‹May, 1531.›

An account of the reception of William Tyndale’s book, _The Answer_, by Henry VIII., and of his anger at the opinions it advanced. Cromwell urges Vaughan to cease advocating Tyndale’s cause, and to request Frith to abandon him[775].

Stephen Vaughan I co_m_mende me vnto you And haue receyued your l_ette_res dated at Andwerpe the xviii^{th} day of Aprell w_i_t_h_ also that parte of Tyndall_es_ boke _Sewed and_ inclosed in lether which ye w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ l_ette_res directed to the king_es_ highnes After the recept whereof I dyd repayre vnto the courte and there presented the same vnto his royall maiestee who _after the recept thereof_ made me answer for that tyme that his highnes at oportun leyso_ur_ wolde vysite ouersee and rede the content_es_ aswell of you[r] l_ette_res as also the saide boke And at my next repayre thither it pleased his highnes to call for me declaring vnto me aswell the content_es_ of yo_ur_ l_ette_res as also moche of the matier conteyned in the saide boke of Tyndall_es_. And albeit that I might well perceyue that his maiestee was right well pleased and right acceptablie considered your diligence and payn[es] taken in the wryting and sending of the saide boke as also in the p_er_swading and exhorting of Tyndall to repayre int[o] this realme _in the accomplisshement of his high pleasure and comaundement yet I might coniecture by the ferther declaracyon of his high pleasure Which sayed vnto me that by your wryting it manyfestlie appered how moche_ {yet his highnes nothyng lyked the sayd boke being fyllyd w_i_t_h_ Scedycyous Slaunderous lyes and Fantastycall oppynyon‹s› Shewing therin nether lernyng nor trewthe and ferther Co_m_munyng w_i_t_h_ his grace I mygh‹t› well coniect that he though‹t› that ye bare moche} affection _and zele ye bere_ toward_es_ the saide Tyndall whom in his maners _modestie and Symplycytee_ {& knowlage in woordlye thing_es_} ye vndoubtedlie {in yo_ur_ l_ette_res} do moche _more_ allowe and co_m_mende _then his_ {whos} work_es being so replete w_i_t_h _lyes and most_ {_then the warke of hit Self is able to deserue_} {being replete w_i_t_h_ so} abhomynable Sclaunders {& lyes} Imagened and {onlye} fayned to infecte _and intoxicate_ {_as it semythe_} the peopull _may to indyfferent Judgement declarethe him, for the which your fauours Supposed to be born to the saide Tyndall (who assuredlie sheweth himself in myn opynyon rather to be replete w_i_t_h _venymous envye rancour and malice then w_i_t_h _any good lerning vertue knowlage or discression) hathe put the kinges highnes in suspectyon of you considering_ {dothe declare hym bothe to lake grace vertue lernyng discrecyon and all other good qualytes [n]othing [e]ll_es_ p_re_tending in all his work_es_ but [to] seduce [and d]yssayve} that _ye should_ {ye} in such wise {by yo_ur_ l_ette_res} _lene vnto and fau_our _the evill doctryne of so peruerse and malycyous a person and so moche prayse him_ {prayse Setforth and avaunse hym} {_bothe to lake lernyng_} {to be envyous and to lake lernyng gra[ce]} {_vertue and all good discrecyon_} _who nothing_ {_whiche nothing ell_es} {pretendyth[776]} _goeth about or pretendeth_ but[776] _onelie to Seduce deceyue and disquiet the people and comenwelth of this realme Whose_ {_Repayre thether ys to be estuyd_} _cummyng into Englonde the king_es _highnes can right well forbere and_ {and sowe sedycyon among the peopull of this realme. The king_es_ highnes therfor} hathe co_m_maunded me _exp_re_ssely to wryte vnto you_ {to adu_er_tyse you that is plesure ys} that ye should desiste and leve any ferther to persuade or attempte _him thereunto_ {the sayd tyndalle to Com into this realme} alledging that _his maieste so euydentlie_ {he} p_er_ceyuing the malycyous perverse vncharytable {and Indurate} mynde _and disposicyon of the saide Tyndall is rather veray glad that he is out of his Realme then_,[777] {_Joyous to haue his realme destytute_} ... {of the sayd Tyndalle ys in man_er_ w_i_t_h_owt hope of reconsylyacyon in hym and ys veray Joyous to haue his Realme destytute of Such a person for hys highnes right prudentlye consyderyth} if he were present by all lykelohod he wold shortelie (which god defende) do as moche as in him were to infecte and corrup[t] the hole realme {_which now ys so Indurate_} to the grete inquietacyon and hurte of the co_m_menwelth of the same. Wherfore {Stephen} I hertelie pray you _that fromhensfourth_ in all your doing_es and_ proceding_es_ and wryting to the king_es_ highnes ye do iustely trewlie and vnfaynedlie _shew yo_ur _self to be no Fauto_ur _vnto the saide_ {w_i_t_h_out dyssymulacyon Shew your self his trew louyng and obedyent Subiect beryng no mann_er_ Fauo_ur_ loue or affeccyon to the sayd} Tyndale ne to his wo_ur_k_es_ in any man_er_ of wise but _rather_ vtterlie to contempne and abhorre the same assuring you that {in so} doing _the contrary_ ye shall not oneli[e] cause the king_es highnes_ royall Maieste whose _highnes_ goodnes at this tyme is so benignelie and gracyouslie mynded toward_es_ you ([778]_as by your good dyligence and industrie to b_[_e_] _vsed to serue his highnes and extewing and avoyding_ [_to_] _favour and allow the saide Tyndale his erronyous workes and opynyons_) _ye are like shortelie to atteyne_ ([779]_So to prouyde for you So to aduise you_ So to Sett you forwardes as all yo_ur_ louers & frend_es_ shall haue gret consolacyon _in you_ of the same [_b_]_oth welth honestie and promocyon at his gracyous handes to the singuler ioy pleasure and comforte of all yo_ur _Frend_es) and by the contrarie _to_ {doing ye shall} acquire the indignacyon of god _and_ displeasure of yo_ur_ Sou_er_eigne lorde and by the same _compell_ {cause} yo_ur_ good Frend_es_ which haue ben euer glad prone and redie to _adu_au_nce_ {bryng} you _vnto the_ {into his gracyous} favours _of yo_ur _prynce_ to lamente and sorow that their sute in that behalf should {be frustrate and} not {to} take effecte according to their good intent and purpose, hauing therefore firme trust that for the {_Feare ye haue in god obedyens to yo_ur _souerayn lord_} loue ye owe to yo_ur_ self _me_ and _other_ yo_ur_ Frend_es_ ye _wilbe_ will beware _from hensfourth_ {and estew} to enter into any _such_ opynyons {_or to the prayse of any such p_er_son_} whereby any sclaunder dishonestie _or_ daungier {or Susspycyon} might insue toward_es_ you whereof I promyse you I wold be as sorie as yo_ur good_ {natural} father.

As touching Frith mencyoned in yo_ur_ saide l_ette_res the king_es_ highnes heryng tell of his towardenes in good l_ette_res and lernyng doth _Regrete and_ {moche} lament that he should in such wise as he doth Set fourth Shew and applye his lerning and doctrine in the semynacyon and sowing such euill seed_es_ of dampnable and detestable heresies mayntening bolstring and adu_au_ncyng the venemous and pestyferous wo_ur_kes erronyous and sedycyous opynyons of the saide Tyndale and other Wherein his highnes _as_ {lyke} a most vertuous and benigne pr[ince] and gou_er_no_ur_ hauing charge _commytted vnto him_ of his people and Subiect_es_ {&} being {veraye} sorie to here tell that any of the same should in suche wise Ronne hedling and digresse from th[e] lawes _and p_re_cept_es {_and holsom doctryns_} of almightie god {_and holye Fathers_} {and most holsom} _into suche dampnable_ {and most holsom doctryne of holye Fathers into suche dampnable} heresies and sedycyous opynyons _and_ being eu_er_ inclyned willi[ng] and gretelie desirous to forse and prouyde for the same {& moche desyryng the reconsylyacyon of the sayd Fryth} _and also_ fermelie trusting that _the said Frith_ {he} be not so far as yet inrouted in the evill doctryne of the saide Tind[all] {& oder} but that by the grace of god louyng charitable and frend[lie] exhortac_i_ons and adu_er_tisement_es_ of good people he may be _revoked and_ called agayne to the ryght way _wylleth_ {hath therefore} _and desireth you_ {wyllyd} {_and Co_m_maundyd_} {me to wryte vnto yow that ye} accordyng to his trust and expectacyon {will} w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ frendelie persuasions admonycyons and holsome exhortac_i_ons _to_ counsaill and aduyse the said Fryth if ye may conuenientlie speke w_i_t_h_ the same to lev[e] his wilfull opynyons and like a good Christien to reto_ur_ne _vnto o_ur _Saueour Christe and also_ into his natif cuntrey _So that by his proceding_es _as he begynneth there be no m_[_ore_] [_se_]_dycyous infections and heresies sowed amongst the kinges peopull_ {wher he assurydly shall Fynde the kyng_es_ highnes most m_er_cyffull and benygnlye vppon his conversyon disposyd _toward_es _hym_ to accept hym to his grace & m_er_cye} Wherefore eftesoones I _hertelie pray you and_ {exhort you} for the loue of god _do_ not onelie _exhorte you_ vtterlie to forsake leve and w_i_t_h_draw yo_ur_ affectyon from the saide Tyndale and all his secte but also as moch as ye can poletiquelie and charytablie to allure all {the said Fryth and other} suche p_er_sons _as ben_ {being in thes p_ar_tyes which in any wyse ye shall know or suppose to be} Fautours and assistent_es_ to the same from all their erronyous mynd_es_ and opynyons. In which doing ye shall not onelie highlie merite _of_ {in} Almightie god but also deserue high thank_es_ of the king_es_ royall maiestee who will not forgett yo_ur_ deuoyrs and labours in that behalf So that his maiestee may {evydentlye} p_er_ceyue that ye effectuallie {do} intende the same.

And as touching yo_ur_ diligent adu_er_tisement vnto the king_es_ highnes of the nombre of Shippes arryued w_i_t_h_ corne and grayn in those p_ar_ties he hathe co_m_maunded me on his behalf to gyue vnto you condigne thank_es_ for the same And being moche desirous to know and atteyne the trewth of that matier his grace hathe co_m_maunded me to wryte vnto you that by all good dexteritee polycie and meanes ye should indeuoyr yo_ur_self to atteyne to the knowlege of the Maisters, s_er_u_au_ntes owners or other that made sale of the saide grayn brought thither to thintent that by thexamynacyon of som his highnes might haue knowlege of the rest and that ye shall w_i_t_h_ all diligence aduertise h[is] highnes of their names, and in likewise of such other newes concerning themperours affayreses the discending of the turke into Germanye the preparacyons ayenst him the gifte of money in the low countreys to themp_er_o_ur_ the abyding of themperour in the low p_ar_ties the agremen[t] bytwen him and the prynces of Germanye as ye sha[ll] here by m_er_chaunt_es_ or otherwise most certeynlie to acertey[n] his grace by yo_ur_ l_ette_res w_i_t_h_ as moch dyligence as ye can. Prayeng you therefore substauncyallie and circumspect[lye] to indeuo_ur_ yo_ur_self to serue the king_es_ highnes herein effectuallie So that yo_ur_ towardenes good mynde duet[ie] of allegiaunce and seruice toward_es_ his royall maiest[ie] may be apparaunt and notoryous vnto the same. Which I doubt not shalbe to yo_ur_ singuler proffite and aduauncement.


R.O. Cal. v. 277. ‹May, 1531.›

Encloses a commission to survey the lands of the bishopric of Coventry and Lichfield, and to receive the rents for the King, and orders to cease collecting rents in Chester. Cf. Letter 43.

Mr. Strete after most hertie co_m_mendac_i_ons these shalbe to adu_er_tise you that by the berers hereof ye shall receyue the king_es_ comission and warraunte yeuyng you auctoryte to S_ur_uey the lond_es_ of the bisshopriche of Couentre and Lichfeld and to receyue the rent_es_ and p_ro_fites of the same to the king_es_ vse. And also ye shall receyue his gra_ci_ous l_ette_res directed to the Eschetor of the Countie palentyne of Chester vppon the sight whereof I doubte not but he will not onelie Surcease to medle any Ferther w_i_t_h_ the receipt of any rentes there but also in case he haue receyued any, will repay the same vnto yo_ur_ hand_es_ accordinglie. Not dowbting but ye will diligentlie effectuallie and trewly put in execuc_i_on the teano_ur_ and effecte of yo_ur_ saide Co_m_myssion in suche wise as shalbe most for your honestie & to the Kinges most p_ro_fite and adu_a_untage. And for yo_ur_ paynes and diligence alredy taken and susteyned aboute his affayres there his highnes hathe co_m_m_a_unded me to yeve vnto you his most hertie thankes. And trustith that ye will so indeuo_ur_ yo_ur_ self in the receipt of the said rent_es_ and reuenues as before the feaste of the Natyuyte of Saynt John Baptist next ye will bryng or send vp the hole half-yeres rent or the most p_ar_te of the same and that ye will have good awayte and regarde to his hauk_es_ in the Cauke there wherein ye shall do and admynister vnto his highnes right good and acceptable s_er_uyce.

And as touching the Catell at the pryorie of Calliche the king_es_ grac_i_ous pleasure is that ye shall suffer the berers hereof named Fyndern and Curson to haue the p_re_ferrement in the byeng of the same vppon suche reasonable prises as they may conuenyently lyve on taking of them som money in hande and such sufficient bonde and suertie for the residue as the king may be trewly answered of the same. And so Fare ye well &c.

Your mastership.


B.M. Vesp. F. xiii, f. 154; Cal. v. 302. June 18 ‹1531›.

Requests him to examine and correct the enclosed ‘Mynewte’ before presenting it to the King. Excuses himself for not coming in person.

Right honerable after due reco_m_mendac_i_ons may it please the same to be adu_er_tysed that I haue sent herein Inclosed the Mynewte with your Instruccions Beseching you to Survey the same and if ye shall fynde any erroure to order and correcte hit according to your wysdo_m_me and goodnes or eu_er_ ye shall p_re_sente the sight thereof vnto the King_es_ highnes which ons do_n_ne and his highe pleasure knowne I shall w_i_t_h_ dylygence cause it to be engrossed and sent I wold myself haue co_m_myn therew_i_t_h_ if other of the King_es_ Busines had not Lettid me, Beseching you to make myne excuse and to depeche this Berar And this the holy trenyte p_re_serue you in Long lief & good helth w_i_t_h_ thencrease of muche hono_ur_ at London this xviij day of June.

Yours most bounden THOMAS CRUMWELL.

24. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. v. 458 (i). Oct. 1 ‹1531›.

Requests, on the King’s behalf, the preferment of Thomas Beryer, warden of the Grey Friars of Blois, to be warden of the Grey Friars of Paris.

Right worshypffull after most hertye co_m_mendacyons this shalbe to adu_er_tyse you that the king_es_ plesure ys that ye on his gracyous behalf shall effectuallye move the Frenche kynge for[780] the p_re_ff_er_ment of on Frere Thomas Beryer which ys now gardyen of the grey Freers of Bloyse so that he at the co_n_templacyon of his highnes may be now elect to be gardyen of the grey Freers in parys for assurydlye his highnes desyrethe moche the adu_a_uncement of the sayd Freer and wooll that ye in most effectuous wyse do solycyt the same vnto ‹the› Frenche king_es_[781] requyryng the same on the his[782] graces behalf to move the gen_e_rall of the sayd relygyon now being at parys in the effectuall prefferment of the aboue sayde Freer and that ye Fayle not therof the kynges highnes requirythe yow. His Highnes also woll that ye shall moue the gret maister in that behalf For I assure you his maiestye moche tenderyth the adu_a_un_ce_ment & p_re_fferment of this Freer and thus hertelye Fare ye well.

At london the Fyrst daye of octobre.


R.O. Cal. v. 458 (ii). Oct. 3 ‹1531›.

Advises him to permit the bearer, Richard Johnson, to retain the farm granted him by Heron’s parents, as Heron’s interest in it comes from the King.

Maister Heron in my right[783] hertye wyse I co_m_mende ‹me› vnto youe and so it is that this berer whos name is Rychard Johnson hathe Supplyed[784] vnto the kyng_es_ highnes alledgyng that he being possessyd of a certayn Ferme being p_ar_cell of the manno_u_r of Highe Hall[785] of the dymyse and graunte aswell of yo_ur_ Father as also of[786] yo_ur_ mother late disceasyd whose sowlys o_ur_ lord pardon owt of the which as he affermyth ye wooll expel hym Syr my aduyse shalbe that ye according to Justyce do Suffr the sayd Johnson to occupye his Ferme, consyderyng that yo_ur_ Interest In the same C_u_mmyth of the kyng_es_ graunt for assurydlye his grace wyll thinke straunge yf ye sholde expell his s_er_u_au_nt hauyng a lawfful grante aswell of yo_ur_ Father as mother[787] as he affermyth. Wherffor methinkyth ye shall do well to let hym occupye his Ferme w_i_t_h_owt yo_u_r Interrupcyon, he paying For the same as to right appartaynyth For I woolde ye sholde not be notyd extreme in your p_ro_ceeding_es_ and specyallye agaynst yo_ur_ Felowes the Kyng_es_ s_er_u_a_unttes and thus hertelye Fare ye well at london the thyrde daye of Octobre

26. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. v. 458 (ii). ‹Oct. 1531.›

Advises him not to receive any of the King’s ‘courser men’ in his monastery.

My lord aftr right hertye reco_m_mendacyons this shalbe to C_er_tiffye yow of the receipt of yo_ur_ l_ette_re and being veray Sorye of molestacyon doo aduyse yow not to suffr anye of the kyng_es_ Courser men to lye w_i_t_h_ yow. For yo_ur_ monasterye vndowtydlye ys moche to small to Resayue the king_es_ Coursers.


R.O. Cal. v. 671. ‹1531.›

Thanks him for advice concerning a bargain that Cromwell is about to make for the manor of Belthrop in Yorkshire.

Woorshipfull S_i_r in my most hertye manner I co_m_mend me vnto yow and In the same wise thanke yow for yo_ur_ good and kynd chere made vnto my s_er_u_a_unt which that of late was w_i_t_h_ yow[788] my Sayd S_er_uaunt Informyd yow how that I hadde concludyd a bargayn with John Ardren of and For the Mano_u_r of Belthrop and ye then aduysyd my said Seru_a_unt to Adu_er_tyse me Substancyallye to loke vppon the sayd bargayn which aduertysment hath Sumwhat put me in dowt wherfor Syr I hertelye desyre and also pray yow that yff ye know anye manner dowt ambygwyte or Any acte done by the sayd John Ardren or anye other Wherby I myght Sustayn Any manner displeasure danger or losse conc_er_nyng the sayd Manno_ur_ or the purchasing of the same that I may be certeffye‹d› by this berer in evere poynt concernyng the same as my specyall trust is in yow and ye so doing shall bynd me

* * * * *

_The letter ends abruptly here, the bottom of the sheet being cut off._

On the dorse is the draft of part of a letter from the King concerning an intended invasion from Scotland by the Duke of Albany, aided by the King of France.


R.O. Cal. v. 723. ‹Jan. 1532.›

Sends news of the first reading of the Bill of Annates in the Lords. Has asked for money for Gardiner from the King, who grieves at Gardiner’s absence.

My lorde after myn humble and most hertie reco_m_mendac_i_ons these shalbe to adu_er_tise yo_ur_ lordeship how that I haue receyued your gentill l_ette_re to me dely_ue_red by thandes of Mr. Wrythesley And whereas I do p_er_ceyue by my kynnesman this berer that ye moche desire to here newes from hens I assure you that here be non but such as vndoubtedlie by a multytude of yo_ur_ Frend_es_ (which are Farre more secret and nerer the knowlege of the same then I am) be to yo_ur_ lordeship all redie related and knowen but yet to adu_er_tise of som parte that I know, as thys day was Redd in the higher house a bill touching the Annates of busshopriches fo_r_ what ende or effecte it will succede suerlie I know not. And as yesterday because I knew yo_ur_ lordeship not to be Furnisshed of all thing_es_ necessarie for yo_ur_ being there I moued the King_es_ highnes aswell for money to be defrayed in and about_es_ the furnyture of yo_ur_ purpose and affayres as also for yo_ur_ Reto_ur_ne hither sayeng that vppon myn owne coniecture yo_ur_ lordeship was wery of being there whereunto his highness answered me that you were not so wery of yo_ur_ being there but he was as sorie Sayeng by these word_es_ exp_re_sselie. (His absence is the lacke of my right hand for I am now so moche pestred w_i_t_h_ busynes and haue nobodie to rydde ne depeche the same) So that yo_ur_ lordeship may well know that yo_ur_ absence is not to you so moche paynefull and greuous as yo_ur_ p_re_sence here should be pleasaunt and comfortable to the King_es_ highnes and all other yo_ur_ poure Frend_es_ beseching therefore yo_ur_ lordeship to Fynde som meanes on yo_ur_ p_ar_te as moche as in you is that yo_ur_ Reto_ur_ne hither may be shortelie which is long loked and wisshed for As o_ur_ lorde knoweth etc.

_Endd._ A mynute of my mr.’s le_tt_re.


R.O. Cal. v. 1055. ‹May, 1532.›

Has had the news from Ratisbon translated into English. The English ambassadors are going to meet those of the Emperor at Dunkirk.

May hit please yo_ur_ most r_o_yall magestye to be adu_er_tysyd that of suche news as hathe Cum from Ratyspone I haue causyd the same to be translatyd owt of Italyon into Inglysshe and according to yo_ur_ high co_m_mawndment to me youyn yesterdaye haue Inclosyd them in this my l_ette_re, wherby yo_ur_ highnes shall and may woll p_er_sayue of what Importaunce they be of. I haue also resayuyd a l_ette_re from Stephyn Vawhan which ys of no gret weight but that he wrytythe that yo_ur_ gracyous ambasadours do now repayre to the emperours ambassadours to Dunkyrke affermyng them to be Suffycyentlye Furnysshyd to answer all thing_es_ layd by the co_n_trarye parte and nothing dowtyth but that they shall haue veray gud Successe in all yo_ur_ gracyous affayres and thys o_ur_ lord Jesu Crist preserue and continew the most Royall estate of yo_ur_ most Ryoyall magestye in long lyffe & good helthe


R.O. Cal. v. 1092. June 13 ‹1532›.

Sends the book that the Friar Carmelite brought him. Cannot yet inform the King of the conclusion of Ap Howell’s matter. News from Rome that the Turk is to invade Italy with a great army.

Pleasythit yo_ur_ most Royall mageste to be adu_er_tysyd how the Freer carmelyte browght vnto me this mornyng a boke willing me on yo_ur_ gracyous behalf w_i_t_h_ all spede to send the same vnto yo_ur_ highnes. Which I haue done accordinglye I cannot yet certeffye yo_u_r grace touching the Conclusyon of Jamys Gyrffyth ap Howell_es_ matyer for asmoche as yet I haue not spokyn w_i_t_h_ mayster Thesaurer of yo_u_r most honorable howshold who vndowtydly this daye wilbe at Westm. Strange news haue arryuyd here aswell from Rome as Venyse of the turk_es_ Repayre vnto and toward_es_ Italye w_i_t_h_ a m_er_velous puisauntt Armye what shalbe the Successe thereof o_ur_ lorde knoweth it ys Suppossyd that gret afflyccyon will Insew not onelye to the pope & the See of Rome but also to the emprour and his conffederatt_es_ wherfor it may please the holye trynytie in whos Inffinyte goodnes power & wyll Restyth the the[789] order and traunquylyte of all thing_es_ to bryng peax good oppynyon and quyetacyo_n_ amongyst Cristen pryncys and eu_e_r conserue preserue & kepe yo_ur_ highnes in long lyff good helthe w_i_t_h_ quyetacyon of yo_ur_ most vertuous most noble and most charytable mynde At london the xiii^{th} of June


R.O. Cal. v. 1106. June 19, 1532.

Notifies him that Sir William Wolff is discharged of his appearance before the council.

Master Maier I hartely recommende me vnto you And where for Certaine causes ye toke bounde of Sir Will_ia_m Wolff clerke somtyme chapplaine vnto Rice app Griff. Esquier disceased and of other suert[ies] with him by recognisaunce that the saide S_ir_ Will_ia_m shoulde k[epe] his personall apparaunce here in the Sterre chamber before the king_es_ most hono_ur_able counsaiell there for certayne causes to him to be obiecte on the king_es_ behaulf in this p_re_sent Terme as in the Condicion of the same Recognisaunce is comprisid. I doo you to vnderstonde that the saide S_ir_ Will_ia_m Wolff is clearly dischargyd of his saide apparaunce byfore the saide counsaill wherefore I praie you to cause the saide Recognisaunce withe the condicion [to be] made frustrate and Void. And thus Jhu kepe you writen the xix^{th} daie of June at London in the xxiiii yere of the Reigne of oure Sou_e_raien Lorde the Kinge Henry the Eight.

_Add._ To Maister maier of Harfford Weste this be deliu_er_ed.


R.O. Cal. v. 1185 (i). July 19 ‹1532›.

The King desires him to pay the bearer £5, to the use of the dean and canons of his college at Oxford, for the annual portion of his parsonage of Garsington, due to the late suppressed monastery of Wallingford.

Maister Rowland after my herty co_m_mendac_i_ons this shalbe to adu_er_tyse you that hitt is the king_es_ grac_es_ pleissuire and co_m_maundeme_n_t that ye shall paye i_m_mediately after the sight off theis my letters to the hand_es_ off Maister Herry Williams beyrrer heiroff Fyve pownd_es_ off good and lawfull money off Englonde to the behoiffe off the deanne and Canons off his grac_es_ Colledge in oxford now lately erected. The whiche saide su_m_me off Fyve pownd_es_ was deue to haue byn payed by yow att the Feiste off sayntte Michell tharchangell laste paste For thannuall porcio_n_ goyng owtt off yo_u_r p_ar_sonage off Garsinto_n_ vnto the late suppressed priore off Wallingford. And theis my letters shalbe vnto yow a suffici_en_t warrauntt & acquyttaunce For the paym_en_t off the Forsaide Fyve pownd_es_. Faill you nott thys to doo as ye tendre the king_es_ pleissuire and thus Faire ye well. In haist From london the xix^{th} daye off July.

33. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. v. 1184. July 19 ‹1532›.

Recommends Robert Hogan, the King’s chief cook.

Right worshipfull after moost hartie Reco_m_mendacions thiese shalbe to aduertise you that my louynge felowe and freende Robert Hogan Maister Coke to our sou_er_aigne Lorde the King_es_ grace hathe obteyned lycence of his grace to repaire into your p_ar_ties for suche his Affaires and busynes as he hath there to do. Whom I hartelie desire you to entreteigne and accepte in makinge and showinge vnto hym suche freendlie and louynge Chere and other pleasures for my sake, as ye wolde to me, yf I were there with you presente And in so doynge ye shall mynystre unto me a right singler good pleasure, not to be forgoten in tyme co_m_mynge in suche your Requestes and Affayres as ye shall haue here to do by the grace of god who euer kepe you. Att London the xix^{th} Daie of July.

34. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. v. 1185 (ii). July 20 ‹1532›.

Requests him to grant the farm of Myxberye in Oxfordshire to John Welsborne, one of the gentlemen of the King’s privy chamber.

My lorde after most hertye reco_m_mendacyons this shalbe to desyre and hertelye praye ‹you› to be so good at my poore Instaunce and request to graunte the Ferme of Myxberye vnto my veraye Frend and Felow Mr. John Welsborne on_e_ of the gentylmen of the Kynges preueye chaumbre in doing wherof besyd_es_ the good wyll ye shall obteyn of hym ye shalbynde me to ‹do› yow suche poore pleasures as shall lye in my lytyll power as knowyth o_ur_ lorde who eu_er_ p_re_serue yo_ur_ lordship wrytyn at londen the xx^{th} daye of July


R.O. Cal. v. 1340. Sept. 24 ‹1532›.

The King has directed his letters for the election to the abbacy of Bruton in Somersetshire of that person whom Lord Lisle and Fitz-James have recommended. Fitz-James may postpone the election for the trial of the King’s title if he sees fit.

My lorde after most hertie co_m_menda_ci_ons these shalbe to adu_er_tise yo_ur_ lordeship how that I haue receyued yo_ur_ l_ette_res and according to the contents of the same moued the King_es_ highnes concerning thelection of the Abbote of Bruton And like as I wrote vnto yo_ur_ lordeship in my last l_ette_res that ye should stay the saide election vntill the King_es_ title might be tryed So his high pleasure is that ye shall do if ye see good matier to bere it. Neu_er_theles his highnes at the sute of my lorde Lisle Supposing that he and you do both sue for the adu_a_uncement of one p_er_son to be Abbot of Bruton forsaid as my lorde playnlye affermyd to his grace hathe theruppon directed his grac_i_ous l_ette_res for that purpose whiche notw_i_t_h_standing his high pleasure is yf ye se cause that ye shall stay thelection vppon the tryall of his title, as is aforsaide And in case yo_u_r lordeship will haue that p_er_son p_ro_moted for whom he hathe written his grace is therew_i_t_h_ right well contented So that his highnes may ‹haue› me remembryd Sumwhat, lyke as yo_u_r lor_de_shyp wrot vnto me in yo_u_r last whyche he onelye Remyttythe to yo_ur_ wisedom and discrecyon for his highnes p_er_fectlye trustith that ye will substauncyallie loke thervnto, who woold as Fayne that ye were well neyhboryd as ye woold yo_ur_self, my lord in this and all other that shall lye in my Lytill power I shall allway_es_ do as I haue p_ro_mysyd and thus most hertelye Fare ye well at london the xxiiii^{th} daye off Septembre


R.O. Cal. v. 1298. ‹September, 1532.›

Reports the making of patterns for the King’s collar, and the accounts of the King’s jewels. Edmund Knightley has been committed to the Fleet for contempt of the King and his laws.

Please it yo_ur_ highnes to be adu_er_tised that according to yo_ur_ grac_i_ous co_m_maundement I haue caused patrons to be drawen after yo_ur_ grac_es_ Deuyse albeit I haue wyllyd yo_ur_ goldsmyth not to p_ro_cede to the making of any thing In p_er_ffeccyon vntill yo_ur_ grac_i_ous pleasure shalbe Ferther knowen for the which purpose both he and I shall repayre vnto yo_ur_ highnes on Saterday night or Sondaye in the morning and to the Intent yo_ur_ grace may determyn yo_ur_ pleasure I haue Sent by this berer the patron of yo_ur_ Coller of balasys and Dyamond_es_ drawn according to yo_ur_ graces fyrst deuyse touching a certen matier in varyaunce betwixt thexecutours of Sir[790] Will_ia_m Spencer disceasyd and[791] my ladye spencer whereas informacion was made vnto yo_ur_ highnes that grete Spoyle of the good_es_ of the saide _Sir_[790] Will_ia_m Spencer was made by the saide executours and how that the executo_ur_s wold haue put owt my ladye late the wyff of the sayd Will_ia_m from the execucyon of the testament the matier hath ben harde here before my lorde the kep_er_ of yo_ur_ grete seale S_ir_ Willya_m_ Poulet and me[792]. And as it appereth by thexamynacion as well of the executors as by Edmond Knyghtley and Rychard his brother the hole spoyle and eloyning[793] of the sayd goods & plate was made onely by the sayd Edmond Knyghtley his brother Rychard and the sayd ladye spencer thayr suster notw_i_t_h_stand_ing_ that ther was Agrement made betwene the executors and the ladye spencer that she sholde entyr into bargayn w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ highnes and also into the execucyon of the testament w_i_t_h_ them as an executrix which vndowtydly she hadde done yf Edmond Knyghtle hadde not bene Which Edmonde Knightley hathe not onelie trauayled asmoche as in him is to sett pyke betwene the sayd ladye and the executors and to defeate yo_ur_ grace of yo_ur_ title to the heire of the saide Spencer but also Justeffyed the same befor my sayd lorde kep_er_ of _th_e gret Seale wher on the other partye it was openlye p_ro_uyd that yo_ur_ grace hade good tytyll and all his allegacyon vntrew yet neuertheles for the reducing of the same his vntrew p_ur_pose to effecte and to the Intent to slaunder yo_ur_ gracys tytill and others he hathe caused to be made certen proclamacions in yo_ur_ Countyes of Warwyke leycest_er_ & Northampton in dyu_er_s of yo_ur_ highnes Towns there to the high contempte of yo_ur_ grace and yo_ur_ lawes For it hathe not ben seen nor herd that any Subiecte w_i_t_h_in this Realme sholde presume to make p_ro_clamacion w_i_t_h_in this yo_ur_ realme but onelie in yo_ur_ grac_es_ Name Wherefore for his offenc_es_ and other contempt_es_ ayenst yo_ur_ highnes in that behalf my lorde the kep_er_ of yo_ur_ grete ‹seal› takyng that matyer to be a greuous offens ayenst yo_ur_ Crown & Imperyall magestye hathe co_m_mytted the sayd Edmond Knyghtley to yo_ur_ pryson of the Flete where he now remayneth vntyll yo_ur_ high plesure shalbe Ferther knowen in that behalf. As touching the Cup of golde & Corporas Case I sent yo_ur_ highnes woorde by Thomas Alvard the treuthe whereof this berer Stevyn Vawhan can Informe yo_ur_ grace who hathe made p_er_fytte bokes aswell of the sayd Cuppe & Corporas Case as also of all other yo_ur_ highnes Jewell_es_ now being in the hand_es_ of Cornelys to be orderyd according to yo_ur_ grac_es_ plesure and thys the holye trynyte p_re_serue yo_ur_ most royall estate of yo_ur_ most excellent magestye


R.O. Cal. v. 1573. Nov. 24 ‹1532›.

Desires the farm of Harlowberry, in Essex, near Honysdon. Will do all he can for the monastery.

My lorde after my hartie man_er_ I com_m_ende me vnto you. Adu_er_tising you that for dyu_er_se considerac_i_ons I am verray desirouse To haue some house in essex nere vnto Honysdon. And forasmoche as yo_ur_ p_ar_sonage of Harlowebery shall shortly be in yo_ur_ Handes and Letting, By Reason that the lease whiche Malery and his Wyff hathe is nowe all moost expired, I shall desire and instantly pray you to lett yo_ur_ said Farme of Harlowebury vnto me by lease for terme of lx yeres for the same stokke Rent and Ferme that haithe byn of Olde tyme accustumyd paid and p_er_ceyuyd for the same. In doing whereof ye shall bynde me to do you and that yo_ur_ monastary suche pleasure as may ly in my Lytell power, in tyme to com. And what shalbe your towarde mynde herin I pray you to Adu_er_tise me in wrytyng by this berer my serv_a_unt. And as for the yeres that malery and his wyff haithe yitt to com ye shall vnderstaund that I haue Agred w_i_t_h_ theym for his lease Thus fare ye hartely well from Elth_a_m, the xxiiii day of Nouembre.

_Add._ To my Lord Thabbot of Seynt Edmound_es_ Bury geve this.


R.O.; not in Cal. ‹Dec. 1532.›

Congratulates him on the success of his last raid against the Scots, and assures him of the King’s favour. Urges him to keep on his guard against a surprise.

After myn humble co_m_mendacions please it yo_ur_ lordeship to be adu_er_tised that I haue receyued yo_ur_ l_ette_res the content_es_ wherof I haue right well p_er_ceyued And touching yo_ur_ prosperous fortune and victorie in yo_ur_ last rode agenst your enemyes Shewing therby yo_ur_ valiaunt courage glad hert and mynde to serue the King_es_ highnes and annoye his enemyes, I assure yo_ur_ lordeship there is no man lyuyng gladder to here thereof then I am yo_ur_ poure Frende, Wisshing to god that yo_ur_ lordeship did knowe and here as I do how louynglie and acceptablie the King_es_ highnes doth Regarde and take the same. which vndoubtedlie wold double the hardynes and courage of any man lyuyng to do his grace s_er_uice. And because it is to be thought that after this rode yo_ur_ enemyes the scottes will invente & studie to be reuenged to yo_ur_ like annoyance or more if they can, my poure aduise shalbe that by all the wayes meanes and polycies ye can, yo_ur_ lordeship do circumspectlie and w_i_t_h_ vigilant eye make such espialles and watches and so in most poletique and warlyke Facion will forsee studye and p_re_pare as in no wise by yo_ur_ saide enemyes ye be preuented But rather that yo_ur_ lordeship as ye alredy haue begon will so contynue endeuouring yo_ur_ self to greue and annoye yo_ur_ enemyes by doing of such valiant act_es_ and exploytt_es_ to thincrease of yo_ur_ high merite and worthie praise So as the Fame renowne and noble victorie which yo_ur_ lordeship hathe now won and obteyned be in no wise hurte blemisshed or defaced by any acte or exployte to be don hereafter for lacke of good forsight or p_re_uencyon Thus I am bolde to gyue your lordeship my poure frendely aduise beseching the same to excuse my boldenes and to thinke I do it onelie for that I bere unto yo_ur_ lordeship my hertie good mynde and will And no man more gladder then I to here tell of any thing which should sounde to yo_ur_ lordeshippes good Fame and hono_ur_, the increase and augmentacion whereof I doubt not but yo_ur_ lordeship will contynew to p_ro_cure w_i_t_h_ no lesse diligent propence glad hert and mynde to serue the king in his affairees there then as ye haue begon to the vtter grief displeasure and annoyaunce of yo_ur_ enemyes wherein I beseche o_ur_ lorde to sende you as p_ro_sperous fortune and good successe as yo_ur_ noble and valyaunt herte could wisshe or desire At london etc

_Endd._ mynute of a l_ette_re


R.O. Cal. v. 1719. ‹1532.›

Regrets to hear that he has detained several workmen in his district, in spite of the King’s need of them in London. Urges him to send them up at once.

My lorde after all dew reco_m_mendacyons this shalbe to adu_er_tise yo_ur_ lordshyp how that I and other hauyng charge aswell of the Kyng_es_ Bulding_es_ at his Towre of london as also at Westm. haue bene for lakke of masons Carpenters and other woorkmen compellyd to sende in to all the plases of this Realme For p_ro_uysyon of the same by the king_es_ co_m_myssyon and albeit that the king_es_ mesenger by the auctoryte of his Co_m_myssyon hathe repayryd into dyuers p_ar_tyes of Suffolke ther to execute the same and also to Burrye Saynt Edmond_es_ and therabowtt For to haue taken and prestyd masons For the accomplyshment of the kyng_es_ sayd woork_es_ ye lytell Regarding the kyng_es_ auctoryte and Co_m_myssyon have stayed dyuers masons and woorkmen abowte yow wherof I do moche m_er_vayle my lorde I woolde be loth and also veraye sorye the the[794] kyng_es_ highnes sholde be Informyd of yo_ur_ demeanure in that behalf For I dowt not though p_er_aduenture his highnes woolde esteme yow to be Abbot of his Monasterye of Burye, yet he woolde not forget that he ys yo_ur_ kyng and sou_er_ayng lorde, who p_er_case might thinke sum vnkyndenes and also p_re_sumpcyon in yow so to handell hym or his auctoryte w_i_t_h_in his owne Realme Wherffor my lorde I thinke it shalbe well done in aduoyding Further busynes to sende vpp those masons and not to Contend w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ prynce ne w_i_t_h_ his auctoryte I beseche yo_ur_ lordshyp to p_ar_don my playne wrytyng For assurydlye I woolde be veray lothe that the king_es_ highnes sholde haue Anye occasyon to thinke anye vnkyndnes or disobedyence in yow and thus the holye trynyte p_re_serue yo_ur_ lordshyp in long lyffe and good helthe


R.O. Cal. vi. 312. April 6 ‹1533›.

The King desires his presence at the next session of the Council, if his health will permit. Recommends the bearer Mr. Jones.

My specyall good lord after my most humble reco_m_mendacyons ‹it› may please the same to be adu_er_tysyd how that the kyng_es_ highnes hathe Co_m_maundyd me to gyue yow knowlage that yf ye may by any possyble meanys yo_ur_ helth and lyffe preseruyd Repayre hether this next terme yt sholde be moche to his gracyous contentacyon and Comfort to haue yo_ur_ presens and Cow_n_sayle in his affayres and his grace dowtyth not but ye wyll yf it be possyble for yow to trauayle accomplyshe all thing that maye be to the Satysfaccyon of his pleasure. I assure yo_ur_ lordshyp his grace hathe not a Few tymes lamentyd in the presens of yo_ur_ frend_es_ not onlye yo_ur_ absens but also yo_u_r Infyrmyte wherfor his grace hathe bene veraye Sorye. And my lord bycause this berer Maister Jonys dothe now repayre vnto your lordshyp for yo_u_r Fauours and goodnes to hym so shewyd toward_es_ his p_re_fferment vnto whom yt may please you at my poore Sute & medyacyon to be specyall good lorde Assuryng yo_ur_ lordeship that he ys a p_er_ffect honest gentylman and such on_e_ as ye shall neu_er_ Repent the thing that ye shall doo For hym as knowyth the holye trynyte who euer p_re_serue yo_ur_ lordshyp in long lyffe and good helthe At londen the vi^{th} daye of Aprell.


R.O. Cal. vi. 383. April 25 ‹1533›.

The King has received his letters, and is glad that he will let him have the manor of Pyssow in Hertfordshire. The King will give him good lands in exchange.

My specyall goode lorde after all dew Reco_m_mendacyons this shalbe to adu_er_tyse the same that the kyngys highnes right thankffullye dyd accept yo_ur_ l_ette_res to hym dyrected & delyuered by mr. chasye and his grace ys m_er_veylouslye well contentyd that yo_ur_ lordshyp wooll let his grace haue yo_ur_ mano_ur_ & p_ar_ke of Pyssow in exchaunge. Wherfor his Magestie hathe Co_m_maundyd me to Inserche for land_es_ for yo_u_r Recompens which I shall doo w_i_t_h_ all conuenyent spede and as to the rede howsys with the other thing_es_ mouyd to me by this berer yo_ur_ s_er_u_a_unt I wyll vndowtydlye doo my best so that yo_u_r lordeshyp by the next shalbe certeffyed of the kyng_es_ Full and determynate pleasure in all thing_es_ as knowethe o_ur_ lorde who eu_er_ p_re_serue yo_ur_ lordshyp in long lyffe & good helthe at london the xxv^{th} daye of Aprell.


R.O. Cal. vi. 415. April ‹1533›.

The King is pleased with his willingness to surrender his patent of Earl Marshal, which has been granted to the Duke of Norfolk. Suffolk is to have the Justiceship of the Forests on this side of the Trent for life, in exchange. Advises him to come to Court at once.

After my most humble Reco_m_mendacions it maye please yo_ur_ grace to Vnderstande that the King_es_ highnes hath been assuredlie aduertised howe that yo_ur_ grace is contente to surrendre yo_ur_ patente of the office of Therle Marshall into his hand_es_ Whervpon his Magestie hath graunted the same vnto my lorde of Norff_olk_ his grace Whose Auncestors of longe tyme hadd thesame vntill nowe of late. And his highnes is contente that yo_ur_ grace in the lewe and place therof shall haue his l_ette_res patent_es_ of the Justiceshipp of his Forest_es_ on thisside Trente for terme of yo_u_r lyfe. Assurynge yo_u_r grace his highnes doth not onlie repute moche hono_ur_ in yo_u_r grace for that ye soo kyndlie will dep_ar_te w_i_t_h_ the saide office of marshalshipp vnto my saide lorde of Norff_olk_ but also his magestie supposeth and p_er_fectlie p_er_cevith that yo_ur_ grace hath moche more estimacion and zele to Norisshe kyndenes and love bytwene my saide lorde of Norff_olk_ and you then ye haue to thatt or any other office whiche vndubtelie is highlie to his gracious contentacion to see and p_er_ce_i_ue so grate and honorhable p_er_sonages his subiect_es_ so lovynglie and Frendlie the on to love thother. Wherfore as he that always rekonith hymselfe [bou]nden vnto yo_u_r grace and beyng also ver[ayly] Joyouse to p_er_sayve howe pleasauntlie the king_es_ highnes taketh in gude parte and repute yo_u_r honorhable and moost gentill demeano_ur_s in this and all other yo_u_r procedyng_es_ thought I coulde no lesse doo then to adu_er_tise you therof to thintente that ye knowynge thesame myght and may determyn yo_ur_ self therafter. And amongest other thing_es_ as I can p_er_ceyue it shulde not be vnthankfullie taken toward_es_ the king_es_ highnes and yo_ur_ grace yf it were yo_u_r ease and pleasure to repayre to the Courte w_i_t_h_ Resonable spede consyderyng that shortlye my lorde of Norfolke dep_ar_tyth toward_es_ his gret Jorney in Ambassade. Beseching yo_ur_ grace to p_ar_don my bolde & Rude wryting whiche I am movyd vnto For the poore good wyll I b[ear] [yo_u_r] grace as knowyth the holye trynyte who preserue yo_ur_ grace in longue lyffe good helth w_i_t_h_ thincrease of moche hono_ur_ at London the ---- daye of Aprell.


R.O. Cal. vi. 645. June 14 ‹1533›.

Recommends various persons to receive the land, cattle, and corn of the late priory of Calwich in Staffordshire. Gives directions for the administration of Strete’s office. Cf. Letter 22.

Maister Strete as hertelye as I Can I co_m_mend me vnto yow and wher as by my last l_ette_res I wrott vnto yow in the Fauors of Curson and Fyndern to be p_re_fferryd vnto the Catell and Corn of late belongyng to the pryorye of Colwyche and Sythyn that tyme I wrotte vnto yow on the behalf of Mr. longford for his p_re_fferment vnto the demaynes of the sayd late pryorye so hit ys that now the sayd maister longford by his Father in law Mr. Fyzherbert moche desyryth to haue the Tythys and also suche Corn as at this tyme ys Sown vppon the demaynes of the sayd late pryorye for this yere whych tythe and Corn Sown vppon the demaynes I require yow that he may haffe at suche prysys as ye shall thinke convenyent and in such wyse as the kyng_es_ highnes may be Substauncyallye answeryd of the p_ro_ffytt_es_ growing of the same w_i_t_h_out any Fauo_ur_ to be born to anye othre p_ar_tye and wher as I wrott in myn other letter that Curson and Fyndern shold haue the p_re_ffermentt of the Catell and Corn I dyd not wrytt for anye Corne growing on the grownde ne yet for any tythys which in no wyse ye shall Suffer them to haue but to order hyt as ys afforsayd most to the kyng_es_ p_ro_ffytte & adua_u_ntage. I well p_er_sayue who grauntyth suchemen an Inche they wyll take an ell. I am Infformyd they avaunte them selfs to haue Co_m_myssyons and grauntt_es_ of the kyng which ys vntrew I praye yew aduyse them to vse no suche Facyons. Syr the kyng_es_ highnes trustyth that ye w_i_t_h_ all spede will bryng up the half yeres Ferme and Rentt_es_ of the Busshopryche which I praye yow may be here before his gracyous dep_ar_tyng in p_ro_gresse. and as to the Chanon off Colwyche ye may translate hym vnto Sum good howse of that relygyon being nere vnto yow and to gyue hym sumthing after yo_ur_ discrecyo_n_ suche as may stand w_i_t_h_ the kynges hono_ur_ and also to his honest Contentacyon and thus trustyng in yo_ur_ approuyd wysdom and experyence Co_m_mytt all the p_re_mysses vnto yo_ur_ discrecyon trustyng eu_er_ that ye wyll haue respect to yo_ur_ dew[tie] and charge and also that I may haue short answer of thes and other my l_ette_res and so Fare ye well at london the xiiii^{th} daye of June


R.O. Cal. vi. 706. June 26 ‹1533›.

Desires him to admit Bartholomew Peters as surgeon of Calais. Will do his best to obtain Lisle’s requests for the town.

My lorde after my right hertie reco_m_mendacions these shalbe to adu_er_tise [y]o_ur_ lordeship that where it hathe pleased the king_es_ highnes to gyve and [g]raunte to Bartholomew Petres the rowme of Surgeon in his grace ... w_i_t_h_in the towne of Calays, as by a bill signed for that purpose ... ye shall receyue of the saide Bartholomew more playnelie shall ... [a]ppere I shall therefore requyre yo_ur_ lordeship that insuing the teano_ur_ p_ur_port and effecte of the king_es_ saide g_ra_unte ye do see the saide Bartholomew admytted into the saide rowme when tyme shall requyre accordingly. And concerning suche matiers as ye latelie haue written in for the towne of Calays, I do not ne shall not cesse to do my best to reduce and bryng the same to suche good passe and effecte as shalbe thought most requysite and expedient. I trust to yo_ur_ good contentacion. And so o_ur_ lorde p_re_serue yo_ur_ lordeship in long lif and good helth w_i_t_h_ thincrease of hono_ur_. At London the xxvi day of June

Yo_ur_ lordshyppis assuryd THOMAS C[RUMWELL]

I wrytt to yo_ur_ lordeshyp For this berer by the King_es_ expresse Co_m_mandmentt.

_Add._ To the right hono_ur_able and his singuler good lorde my Lorde Lisle deputie to the King_es_ highnes of his town and m_ar_ches of Calays be this youen.


R.O. Cal. vi. 776. ‹June-July, 1533.›

Ordering him to repair to the Emperor’s Court and deliver the King’s letters to Dr. Hawkins there, with directions to turn them over to the Emperor. He is to return with the Emperor’s answer.

First the king_es_ highnes pleasure is that ye hauing receyued yo_ur_ packet of l_ette_res and instructions directed vnto Mr. docto_ur_ Hawkyns, shall ymediatelie put yo_ur_self in aredynes to dep_ar_te toward_es_ the p_ar_ties of beioynde the See, inserching by yo_ur_ polycie the nerest wayes to suche place where it shall happen the Emperour to lye.

Itm when ye shall repayre to themp_r_o_ur_s Courte ymmediatly to delyu_er_ the saide packet vnto the saide Mr. Hawkyns w_i_t_h_ hertie greting_es_ and salutacions from the king_es_ highnes adu_er_tesing him ferther that the king_es_ pleasure is that when tyme shall Requyre, he shall not onelie intymate declare and communycate the effect_es_ of suche l_ette_res and instructions conteyned in the saide packet, w_i_t_h_ themp_r_o_ur_, alwayes insuing the teano_ur_ purpose and meanyng of the same, But also after his accustomed wisedom dexterite and good polycie shall indeuo_ur_ himself so to propone handle and set fourth all thing_es_ as he by his good discression shall se tyme place and occasion So as the same may take effecte according to the King_es_ high trust and expectacion in that behalf.

Itm that after declaracion of the p_re_misses and co_m_munycac_i_on had at length w_i_t_h_ themp_er_o_ur_ in the same, the saide Mr. Haukyns shall then if he so thinke good, devise determyn_e_ and conclude w_i_t_h_ you for yo_ur_ depeche and reto_ur_ne hither w_i_t_h_ l_ette_res and instructions purporting suche answeres articles and allegacions as by themp_er_o_ur_ shalbe answered leyed and obiected to those thing_es_ which the saide Mr. Hawkyns shall intymate and declare as is aforsaide on the kyng_es_ behalf, which being don_e_ and accomplisshed the kyng_es_ gracious pleasure is that ye shall make all conuenyent haste spede and diligence to repayre hither to his grace w_i_t_h_ the same accordingly.


_Endd._ mynute.


R.O. Cal. vi. 698. ‹June, 1533.›

Requests them to continue and increase the annuity granted to Nicholas Glossop, servant of the late Archbishop Warham.

Right wellbeloued Frendes I recomend me hartly vnto yowe And where I am enfourmed that at the request of my late lorde of Caunterbury, whose sowle god pardon, ye graunted to his seru_a_unt Nicholas Glossop, an olde Auncient of youre Felisship of m_er_chaunt Taillours a certeyn Annuytie of xxvi s. viii d. toward the Sustentacion of his lyvyng for terme of his Naturall life. Wherof by his report, he hath be‹n› well and truly Answered of a long tyme. Howe be it nowe upon the deceas of his said maister, as it ys said, that ye entende to withdrawe From hym youre saide Benyuolence and graunte, which shulde be to his great Discomfort and Hyndraunce. And forasmoche as I bere good Mynde and Favo_ur_ towardes hym And it were more charitie rather to Augemente his lyving than to dymynysshe it or withdrawe the same, specially nowe in his great Age, whan he hath most nede of help and Socoure. I hertly desire yowe that for my sake ye wille not only contynue the payment of the said Annuytie to hym for terme of his life according to yo_ur_ said graunte, But also of youre larger Benyvolence and charitie to encreas the same xiii s. iiii d. more by yere. Wherby in myne opynyon, ye shall not only do the thyng whiche may be right meritorious to yowe, but also right honorable for youre said Felisship, and to me right great pleasure. and for the same doing He may hereafter do yowe pleasure And I shalbe glad to doo yowe pleasure or any good that I can for yo_ur_ Felowship at alle tymes As knoweth god who p_re_serue yowe. And Further I desire yowe of yo_ur_ good Answere in this behalf the morowe Folowing yo_ur_ next Courte Day by yowe to be holden at yo_ur_ halle

_Endd._ A l_ett_re for Nicholas glossop.


R.O. Cal. vi. 791. July 9 ‹1533›.

For failing to pay his debts to Cromwell, and to give sureties for the money his brother owes the King, Alen has forfeited 1000 marks to the Crown. Requests an answer by the bearer.

Maister Alen after right hertie co_m_mendac_i_ons these shalbe to aduertise you that long or this tyme I loked to haue harde from you and trusted not onelie to haue had and receyued from you now at Midsomer last passed my Hundreth pound_es_ which of gentilnes I lent you but also sufficient bondes and suertie for yo_ur_ brother tharchebisshop of Duntlyn concerning the payment of vii^c[795] mark_es_ which he oweth to the king_es_ highnes according to suche bonde as you and other w_i_t_h_ you stonde bounde in for the complement of the same. For lacke and defaulte whereof ye haue forfaited to the king_es_ highnes the So_m_me of one thousande mark_es_ which me thinketh ye ought substaunciallye to loke vppon for the king is no p_er_son to be deluded nor mocked w_i_t_h_ all. And considering that for yo_ur_ sake I so gentillie departed w_i_t_h_ my money me semeth that reason and good honestie requireth ye should se me payed ayen. prayeng you that I may be adu_er_tised by this berer what ye mean and intende to do in the premisses. And so hertelie Fare ye well. At London the ix^{th} day of Julie.

Yo_ur_ louyng Frend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To his louyng Frende Mr. Thomas Alen be this yeuen at Raylegh.


R.O. Cal. vi. 858. July 18, 1533.

Warrant for the delivery into the nearest prison of six men taken in the ship _Trinity_, of Hull. The goods and the ship are to be delivered to William Gonson.

Wellbelouyd we grete you well, and Where as Will_ia_m Gonson of london hathe shewed vnto vs an Indenture datyd the viii^{th} daye of June last, made betwene Edward Waters and you specyfyeng the deliu_er_auns of a Ship namyd the Trinite of Hull and lxiiii Hoggyshedes of gascon wyne w_i_t_h_ dyu_er_s other thing_es_ therin conteynyd to yo_ur_ Handes. We certefye yow that the Kyng his pleasure is that ye shall incontynent deliu_er_ or cause to be deliu_er_ed all thing_es_ conteanyd in the said Indentures to the said Will_ia_m Gonson or his assignes. and as towching the sixe pryson_er_s taken in the said Ship and lykewyse deliu_er_yd into your kepyng that ye deliu_er_ theim into the next pryson to you, ther to be surely kepte till the king_es_ pleasure be to you Further knowne wheche deliu_er_aunce of Ship and goodes & prysoners shall be vnto you a sufficyent dyscharge at all tymes herafter Wryton at London the xviii daye of July the xxv^{th} yere of the Reigne of our sou_er_aigne lorde kyng Harry the viii^{th}.


_Add._ To our Welbelouyd Will_ia_m Hawkyns and Will_ia_m Randall Baylyff_es_ of the towne of Waymowthe.


R.O. Cal. vi. 872. July 19 ‹1533›.

Requires him to delay the trial of a case which may be prejudicial to Cromwell, as the jury has been packed, and will be likely to give an unjust verdict.

After my right hertie co_m_mendacions Forasmoche as there is a Nisipri_us_ passed out to be tried before you at the next assises to be holden at Lyncoln concerning the tryall of the title of Anthony Stydolffe who is my warde Which Nisiprius is secretlie sued out and passed w_i_t_h_out my knowlege so as p_er_case the same may be moche p_re_iudiciall vnto me in that thing whereunto I haue good iust and lawfull title as ye shall apperceyue by suche deades and writing_es_ as my Frend this berer shall shew vnto you, I therefore considering yo_ur_ worshippes and good indifferencies, trusting that ye will do me none iniustice in this behalf Do most hertelie require and pray you to staye the tryall of the saide Nisiprius, Vntill ye shall haue Ferther knowlege of the matier, the rather for that I am crediblie infourmed that the enquest is alredie so parciallie impaneled that vndoubtedlie it is thought they will passe directlie ayenst the trowth. Eftesones therefore most hertelie requyring you to provyde and forsee myn indempnyte in this parte, And for the good acquytall of yo_ur_ gentilnes to be shewed vnto me herein if there be any thing wherein my poure powers can extende to do yow pleasure I shall not Faile godd willing to accomplisshe the same to the vtterest of my lytill power. And so most hertelie Fare ye well. At London the xix^{th} day of Julie.

It may please you to gyve firme credence vnto this berer in such thing_es_ as he shall declare vnto you on my behalf

Yo_ur_ assuryd Freend _Thomas Crumwell_.

_Add._ To the right worshipfull Mr. Anthony Fitzherberte knight one of the king_es_ iustic_es_ of his comen benche and to Mr. Walter Luke esquier and to either of them.


R.O. Cal. vi. 878 (ii). July 19 ‹1533›.

Desires him to permit the bearer to enjoy a lease of the farm of Brokesley.

Mast_er_ Mustiam I hartely co_m_mende me vnto you. And in the same wise beseching you at this my poure contemplac_i_on and request to be good master and Frende vnto ... berar hereof, in letting hym to opteyne, and peacably to occupie and enyoye the hole effect of a lease of the ferme or p_ar_sonage of Brokesley, in the p_ar_oche of Detford in the Countie of Kent to hym demysed by one Mr. Otywell of Westm_inster_ diseased w_i_t_h_out any yo_ur_ further let grief or disturbauns. Vntill suche tyme as ye shall knowe further of my will and pleasure, and inso doyng ye shall mynyster vnto me right singul_e_r pleas_ure_. And this hartely fare ye well At London this xix day of July


R.O. Cal. vi. 878 (ii). July 20 ‹1533›.

The bearer complains that Mustiam intends unjustly to take the tithe corn of Brokesley from him. Advises Mustiam not to do this.

Maist_e_r Mvstyam I hertelye co_m_mende me vnto yow adu_er_tysing the same that the poore man berer herof hathe shewyd me that ye do Intend to do hym wrong in takyng From hym the tythe Corn of Brokleye, other wyse wyse[796] Called west greenwyche whervnto I thinke ye haue no tytyll nor Interest, wherfor I shall aduyse yow to stay to doo any thing in the same vntyll suche tyme as ye shall be hable honestlye to to[797] Clayme therin and thus Fare ye well at london this xx^{th} daye of July


R.O. Cal. vi. 887. July 23 ‹1533›.

Reports the examination of certain Friars Observants, who have been taken by Cromwell’s spies. Two of them would certainly confess much if examined by torture. Desires instructions how to proceed. Has inquired of Cranmer about the men, as the King desired.

Please it your highnes to be aduertised that vppon myn arryuayle at London I receyued certen l_ette_res out of the North directed vnto your grace from the lorde Dacre. Which I haue sent to yo_ur_ maiestee herein closed w_i_t_h_ also certen l_ette_res and Newes sent vnto me from my Lorde Deputie of Calays. And touching the Freres obseruant_e_s that were w_i_t_h_ the prync_e_s dowagier, being subtillie conueyed from thens were first espied at Ware by suche espialles as I leyed for that purpose, and hauyng good awayte leyed vppon them were from thens dogged to London, and there (notw_i_t_h_stonding many wyles and cauteles by them invented to escape) were taken and deteyned till my cu_m_myng home. So as vppon my arryuayle here I called them before me and vppon examynacion of them coulde gather nothing of anye momente or grete importaunce, but entring into ferther co_m_munycac_i_o_n_ founde the one of them a veray sedycious person, and so co_m_mytted them vnto warde where they now do remayne till yo_ur_ gracious pleasure knowen. Ymmedyatelie afterward_es_ repayred vnto me the warden of the grey Freres of Grenewich who semeth veray desirous to haue the punycyon of the saide two Freres, being named Hugh Payne and Cornelius, and made grete intercession vnto me to haue them delyu_er_ed vnto him, Shewing unto me ferther that the mynyster and generall Co_m_myssarie of this prouynce of Englonde had made out certeyne co_m_maundement_es_ vnto the said Freers willing them by vertue of obedience to repayre vnto him to Rychemont to thintent they wold haue the correction of them accordinglie. Which co_m_maundement_es_ being conteyned in certen mynut_es_ of paper I haue sent to yo_ur_ grace herein closed. It semeth assuredlie that the saide mynyster is a right honest and discrete person and Fayne wolde haue prevented and taken the saide Freers if he had coulde by any meanes, Beseching yo_ur_ grace tha[t] I may knowe your gracious pleasure Whether I shall kepe and de[t]eyne them in warde and bring them w_i_t_h_ me at my repayree to the courte, or Whether yo_ur_ grace will haue them sent y_m_medyatelie to any other place or what other direction to be taken therein as shall and may stonde w_i_t_h_ your high pleasure. It is vndoubted that they haue intended and wolde confesse sum grete matier if they might be examyned as they ought to be that is to sey by paynes, for I perceyue the saide Hugh Payne to be a subtile Felowe and moche gyuen to sedycyon.

I haue also eftesones sent vnto my lorde of Caunterbury according to your grac_i_ous co_m_maundement touching the dissymuled holynes and supersticious demeanures of the Ipocryte Nunne, And haue declared yo_ur_ gracious pleasure vnto the Staple whom in man_er_ I do Fynde agreable to all thing_es_ according to yo_ur_ grac_es_ demaunde sauyng onelie they as yet requyre lenger dayes for the payment of the some of x m[798] pounds by them now graunted, and also fermely requyre that yo_ur_ highnes will graunt them their house for a reasonable so_m_me of money yerelie, which I do stycke w_i_t_h_ them in. and as to morowe they will gyve me a resolute answer in the hole.

And thus I shall daylie pray vnto almightie god for the prosperous conseruacion of yo_ur_ royall maiestee in long lif and good helth felyciouslie to indure. at London the xxiii day of Julie. Yo_ur_ highnes most humble subiectte and s_erua_unt


_Add._ To the king_es_ royall maiestee.


R.O. Cal. vi. 894. July 26 ‹1533›.

Desires him to permit the annuity of £20 which has just been granted to Stephen Vaughan to bear date from a year ago this summer, as there was already £20 due to Vaughan for one year’s service.

Right honourable syr after myn_e_ hartie commendac_i_ons. So it is that the king_es_ hieghnes hathe lately graunted Vnto a seruant of his named Stephen Vaughan a certeyne annuytie of xx li by yere to be paide from the faste of the natyuytie of saynt John Baptiste now last passed Vnto the whiche Stephen by cause there is owyng by the kyng_es_ hieghnes xx li for one yeres seruyce ended at Mydsomer now laste paste, therefore is it that by cause he hathe no waise to demaunde it of maister Tuke by patent or other sufficient warrant from his hieghnes. he hathe desyred me who vndoubtidly do know that his pleasure is that he shulde be payde the sayde xx li. to Requyre yow that when his annuytie co_m_mythe to the greate seale your pleasure maye be to suffer it to bere date from Mydsomer Was a yere and that he maye by force therof be payde the yere now passed. And doubte ye not thus to do. for the king_es_ pleasure is he shulde be paide the xx li due for the yere passed. And I shall alwayse warrant yow to be sufficiently discharged and to be blameles for so doyng. The saide Stephen had obteyned the king_es_ warrant for the same, oneles his highnes had now sent hym into Germany for thexpedicion of certeyn his affayres there. And thus the holy trynytie p_re_serue yo_ur_ lordeship in long lyfe goode healthe and much hono_ur_. from London the xxvi daye of Julye.

_Add._ To the right honourable S_ir_ Thomas Audley knyght lord chancello_ur_.


R.O. Cal. vi. 778. ‹July, 1533.›

Requests him not to maltreat the Abbot of Vawdy in Lincolnshire; has heard he intends to depose him. Desires him to cause Davys Edward, the monk of Vawdy, to amend his ways.

My lord aft_er_ my duetie reme_m_bred, soo it is that I am credibly enformed how that ye beryng inwarde grudge & disples_ure_ to my welbeloued Frend thAbbot of Vawdy entende studie & goo about_es_ by sinistre meanes to depose hyme from his abbacye for the p_ro_mocion therunto of oon of yo_ur_ awne monk_es_ being the cellerer of yo_ur_ house. My lord I pray you vse yo_ur_ selffe vnto my saide frende as accordeth to yo_ur_ religion, For I knowe certainly that he is a good religious man, And that his house wiche was in gret debt at the tyme of his p_ro_mocion, is nowe by his good policie reduced to good & welthy state and condic_i_on aswell in catoll as in corne furnisshed w_i_t_h_ other requisit_es_ & necessaries. Wherfor my lord my trust ys that ye wol circu_m_spectly loke therupon baring yo_ur_ good & lawfull fauo_ur_ unto hyme, like as good charitie requireth. And the rather at my disire & request ascertaynyng you that I haue at this tyme writen my semblable l_ette_res in the fauo_ur_ of my said frend vnto thabbot of fountayns not doubtyng but that he at my requisic_i_on wol lovingly vse and intreate my said frend in all his busuynes. And wher as ye haue w_i_t_h_ you a monk of the said house of Vawdy oon Dauys Edward Clerke, wiche ye knowe well haith gretely mysordred hymselff. I trust that ye woll instructe hyme soo fruteffully that he shall not nede to be further reconsiled to amend his lyvynge Wherby ye shall doo averay good & charitable dede as knoeth god who kepe yow

_Add._ To thabbot of Woborn

_Endd._ a l_ette_re for the abbot of Woborne


R.O. Cal. vi. 1064. Sept. 1 ‹1533›.

The King is displeased at Lisle’s desire for new arrangements for ‘the restraynyng of Corne.’ Lisle should not take every man’s or his own wife’s advice concerning things pertaining to his office.

After my right harty reco_m_mendation vnto your good lordship This shalbe to adu_er_tise the same that I have resceyved your l_ette_res wherein ye and the Mayer of Calays do desire to have newe p_ro_visions concernyng the restraynyng of Corne otherwise then hathe byn vsyd yn tymes past. I ensure yo_ur_ lordship the king_es_ highnes is not a litle displeased withe that your desire, but supposith yo_ur_ besynes to be veray small that will in any wise ymportune his highnes withe any soche matiers Sayeng that before this tyme the Towne and marches of Calays hathe ben well maynteynyd and prospered w_i_t_h_out any soche newe devises. And I assure your lordship as your frynd to my power that I have great m_er_vayll that ye will so sone enclyne to eu_er_y man_n_ys devise and ... specially in matiers of small ympor[t] ... ye and ... reportyd ... nite me on ... causes as me semythe ... nothyng ... ne gentilwymen, for although my lady be right hono_ur_able and wise yet yn soche causes as longithe to yo_ur_ auctoritie her advise and discresion can litle prevayle. Wherfore I pray yo_ur_ lordship to consider the same, and to ymportune the king_es_ highnes w_i_t_h_ none other matiers then of necessite ye ought to do. And thus the blessed Trynyte preserue you. At london the first day of September.

Your lordshyppis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my veray good lord my lord Vicount Lisley the king_es_ deputie at Calays be thus youen.


Huth Library; Cal. vi. 1128. Sept. 15 ‹1533›.

Reports the arrival of Danish and Norwegian ambassadors at the Court of the Queen Regent of the Netherlands to conclude an alliance.

Mons_ieur_ lambassade_ur_ Le Roy mon maistre a este aduerty par son agent estant en Flandres. Que puisnagueres les ambassadeurs de Danemarche Norwege & Holst au nom du conseil et Royaulme de Danemarche, sont arriuez a la court de la Royne douagiere de hung_i_erye regen_e_ deflandres auec le nombre de xxxii p_er_sonnes ou enuiron et co_m_me son d_it_ agent peult entendre avecques plain et suffisant pouuoir et auctorite A conclure et affermer vne bonne allyance et paix auecques l’empere_ur_ et tous ses pais & dominions tant defensiue que offensiue, Aussy autant qu’il peult entendre Lad_ite_ Royne & son conseil sont determynez a traiter et conclure auecques lesdits ambassade_urs_ auecques telle condition que quiconques sera eleu Roy par dela (l’election duquel est encore prolongee & differee po_ur_ l’espace dung an) Il Jurera ratifiera & confermera la_di_te allyance & Traycte de Paix. Desquelles choses le Roy mon d_it_ M_ais_tr_e_ ma co_m_mande vous aduertir affin que en c_on_uenient diligence vous en vuelles rescripre au Roy Tres chr_estie_n v_ost_re m_aist_r_e_ et Ladviser quil seroit bon de penser sur cest affaire et essayer sil Luy semble expedient a estoupper le_ur_s propoz et aultreme_n_t y po_ur_veoir ainsi quil Luy semblera conuenable. A tant Monsie_ur_ Lambassade_ur_ apres mestre affectueuseme_n_t Reco_m_mande a vous je prie n_ost_re seigneur quil vous ait en sa tressaincte & digne garde. Escript a Stepney le xv jour de Septembre

V_ost_re entier et parfaict amy THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ a mons_ieur_ Lambassade_ur_ du Roy Treschr_est_ien a Londres

_Endd._ de M^r. Craumeuelle


R.O. Cal. vi. 1141. Sept. 21 ‹1533›.

Requests him to permit the executors of Robert Baynham freely to administer his testament, notwithstanding his former letters to the contrary.

Aftre my right harty Commendac_i_ons to your lordshipp Whereas heretofore I addressed my l_ette_res vnto your lordshipp at the sute of my s_er_u_a_unt Bartholomew Bayneham concernyng the steye of such good_es_ as lately apperteyned to his Father Robert Baynam of Calaish vntil suche tyme as ye harde Further of my mynde in that behaulf. These shalbe most hertely to desyer and praye youe the rather at the contemplac_i_on hereof to suffre thexecuto_ur_s of his sayd Father Robert Baynam to execute and mynistre according to the meanyng of the Testament and last wyll of his sayd Father in as ample wise as heretofore they haue doon my sayd former l_ette_res notw_i_t_h_standing. And being enformed of your goodnes and also of my lad_es_ of late shewed vnto my sayd s_er_u_a_unt p_ar_tely as I take yt for my sake I thanke you most hertely for the same and though my lady for her p_ar_te might haue been better before yet I requyre you bothe for my sake ye nowe to contynewe the goodnes which youe doo presently extende Vnto him. Wherein ye shall admynystre Vnto me Veray acceptable pleas_ur_. And thus Fare you hertely well From Stepney the xxi^{th} day of Septembre

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my Veray good lorde my lorde the Viconte Lisle Deputie of the king_es_ Towne of Calaysh and Marches of the same.


R.O. Cal. vi. 1332. Oct. 24 ‹1533›.

The Lord Chancellor and Cromwell will sit on the dispute between them and Elizabeth Colcoke the Friday after All Hallowday.

I co_m_mend me vnto you. Adu_er_tising you that it is fully det_er_mynyd betwixt my lord Chaunceler and me that we will sitt vpon the mater in variaunce betwixt E_li_zabeth Colcoke widowe and you the Friday after Alhallow day. Wherfore I requyre you in any wise to be here the day before that ye may be redy for that purpose and that ye in no wise faill so to do vpon yo_ur_ peryll. And thus fare ye well. At london the xxiiii^{th} day of October.


_Add._ To my frynd_es_ Richard Haybourne and Will_ia_m Haybo_ur_ne be this youen.


R.O. Cal. vi. 1408. Nov. 8 ‹1533›.

Is surprised that they have not yet elected a new Abbot of Rievaulx as the King wished. Advises them to delay no longer.

After my full hertie man_er_ I recommende me vnto you. And where as it hathe pleased the king_es_ highnes to directe his moste grac_i_ous l_ette_res vnto you nowe at this p_re_sente tyme for the elecc_i_on of a newe Abbote of Ryvaulx wherein his grace hathe bene adu_er_tised ye haue not heretofore indevored youreself_es_ to thaccomplishemente of the same according to his said l_ette_res and co_m_maundemente (whereof I m_er_vaile not a little) that ye wold incurre his high displeasure for the none executing of the same. therefore I hertely requyre you and neu_er_thelesse doo advise you in exchewing of further Inconvenyenc_es_ and displeasures that maye thereby ensue (all affeccions sette ap_ar_te) ye doo accomplishe the said elecc_i_on according to the teno_ur_ and purporte of his moste grac_i_ous l_ette_res directyd vnto you and to the Convente of the same monastary in that behalf. And thereby ye shall not oonly des_er_ue the king_es_ moste grac_i_ous thank_es_, but alsoo haue me to doo for you in all yo_ur_ good causes the beste I can. As knowethe our Lorde who kepe you. Written at London the viii^{th} daye of Nouembre.

_Add._ To the right hono_ur_able in god my Lorde Abbote of Funtaunce and Bylande and to either of theym.


R.O. Cal. vi. 1413. Nov. 11 ‹1533›.

Has heard of the trouble that has arisen owing to the blow the knight porter has given to a ‘lewde Felowe.’ Thinks that there is no cause why the knight porter should be molested for his action.

My lorde after my right hertie co_m_mendacions I haue receyued your lordeshippes le_tte_res And haue p_er_ceyued by the same what contencion is arrysen there by meanes of a lewde Felowe for a stroke yeven vnto him by S_ir_ Cristofer Garnysshe the knight porter, Which matier hath ben debated here by the king_es_ counsaile who p_er_ceyuing the saide stroke was yeven but onelie for correction and for none entente to breke any law statute or ordenaunce of that towne of Calays, do thinke the same but a veray light matier to make any suche busynes of and no cause why the saide Sir Cristofer should be put to any molestacion for the same. Wherefore yo_ur_ lordeship may let it passe and wey it as it is And so o_ur_ lorde p_re_serue your lordeship in long lif and helth w_i_t_h_ moche hono_ur_ At London the xi day of Nouember.

[I] do also hertelie thanke yo_ur_ lordsship for yo_ur_ grete chere made to my s_er_uaunte [Will]yam Johnson and to this gentilman straungier for whom I do wryte vnto yo_ur_ lordeship at this tyme by myn other l_ette_res. And for all other yo_ur_ lordshippes gentilnes I do most hertelie thanke you trusting if I lyue to requyte the same if I can.

Yo_ur_ lordshyppis assuryd Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right hono_ur_able and his singuler good lorde the lorde vicount Lisle deputie to the king_es_ highnes of his towne and marcheis of Calays.

_Endd._ M. Cro_m_well the xi^{th} of nove_m_br


R.O. Cal. vi. 1502. Dec. 6 ‹1533›.

Desires him to grant his friend John Cooke a new lease for sixty years of Roydon farm near Southampton, as it lies by the sea and is convenient for Cooke in his office of the Admiralty there.

In my right hartie maner I co_m_mende me vnto your good lordship. And where as my frynd John Cooke the king_es_ graces s_erua_unt berer herof hath and holdeth a Ferme of yo_ur_s callid Roydon by lesse wherof the yeres in the same be almost expyred And forasmoche as your said ferme lieth nygh the see syde necessaryly for my saide frynd to serue the king_es_ highnes in his office of the admyraltie in those parties I hartely desyre you at the contemplacion of thies my l_ette_res that ye will graunte vnto the saide John Coke a newe lesse of the saide ferme vnder your Conventuall Seale for terme of lx yeres paying vnto you and yo_ur_ Successours the accustumable rent therof. And for your towardnes herin I shalbe glad to requyte the same to your good contentacion And farther I perceyve by the reporte of the same Cooke that ye have shewed vnto hym and other that hathe byn w_i_t_h_ hym to do the king_es_ highnes s_er_uice at the See muche Jentylnes and lib_er_alitie, for the whiche ye have deserved the king_es_ right harty thank_es_. And therfore I for my parte hartylye thanke you And of your conformable mynde herin I pray you to adu_er_tise me in wrytyng by this berer. And thus fare ye hartylye welle. At london the vi^{th} day of December.

Yo_ur_ lordshyppis Freend. THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the reu_er_end father in god the Abbot of letley[799] be this youen.


R.O. Cal. vi. 1625 (iii). (1533.)

The King wishes Robert Bonvell, merchant of Paris, to come to England with certain jewels, of which he desires a special account to be kept, for the payment of the duty.

In my Right harty manner I Co_m_mend me vnto you Adu_er_tis[ing] the Same that the king_es_ pleasure is that Robert Bonvell m_er_ch_au_nt of parys sholde Repayre into this Royalme Toward_es_ his highnes w_i_t_h_ c_er_teyn Juell_es_ wherfore his speciall Co_m_maundment is that ye seing the same Jewell_es_ do make Therof a Specyall note by byll_es_ Indentyd betwyxt you and the Seid m_er_chaunt mensyonyng eu_er_y p_ar_cell therof and what the Custom therof maye Amounte vnto, not chargyng hym For any Custom or other Charge due vnto his highnes For the same for hys grac_es_ pleasure ys that if he do sell any w_i_t_h_in this Royalm that he shall therfore paye Custom as Reason is and for that he Cannot Sell here to carry A waye w_i_t_h_ hym A gayne w_i_t_h_oute payeng therfore any Custom or other dut_es_ Wherfore I requyre you takyng Surety in case he do make Sale to paye the Custom accordyngly That ye do p_er_mytt & Suffer the same m_er_ch_a_unt w_i_t_h_ the Same Juell_es_ to disch_ar_ge And vnlade the Same Accordyng to the Effect_es_ hereof

The coppy of Mr. Crumwell_es_ l_ette_re Sygned w_i_[t_h_] hys hand.

63. Drafts of Portions of Cromwell’s Letters.

R.O. Cal. vi. 1625 (i). ‹1533.›

Thanks the recipient for sending news. Has presented his letters to the Duke of Norfolk as he desired.

After most hertye Salutacyons this shalbe ‹to› thanke yow of yo_ur_ exceding louyng kyndnes shewyd in the dylygent wryting to me of yo_ur_ newse and according to yo_ur_ request I presentyd yo_ur_ l_ette_res vnto my lorde of Norffolk_es_ grace who I assure yow ys singuler good lorde vnto yow and wher ye wryt in yo_ur_ Fyrst l_ette_res ...

Memorandum concerning the resignation of the chantry of Barking Church, in Essex.

M^{d} that maister Kendall Chauntrye preeste of the Chauntrye Foundyd in Barkyng Churche may optayne my lorde of londons Fauo_ur_ ‹in› the resignacyon of the sayd Chauntrye vnto S_ir_ Will_ia_m Cowplaunde my friend.

End of a letter, urging care and perseverance in reporting important matters, and promising favour.

... thus Fare ye hertelye well trusting that ye will p_er_seu_er_e as ye haue bego_n_n I meane so Freindlye and secretlye as thes thing_es_ that shall passe betwene vs may be p_ro_ffytable to vs bothe so that yo_ur_ wryting matyers of grauytie & Importaunce wherin maye be persayued good will myxyd w_i_t_h_ wisdom and trowthe I then[800] may haue Corage as an entyre frende[801] to p_ro_secute For yo_ur_ forderaunce & aduauncement with recuperacyon of that which I am sure ye most desyre which as I shall See opportunyte I will not undowtydlye forget and ons agayn Fare well[802] daylye lokyng For answer


R.O. Cal. vi. 1374. ‹1533.›

Encloses two letters from the King to the Dukes of Bavaria and Landgrave of Hesse, with copies. Urges Mont to discover the state of feeling in the Empire. Sends a bill of exchange for £30.

Felowe Cristofer I co_m_mende me vnto you And albeit sythen your departure ye haue not receyued any l_ette_res or instructions from the king_es_ maiestee concerning the execucion of suche his gracious affayrees as his highnes inco_m_mended to you at your departure Yet thinke ye not that your industrie labour travayle and diligence Vsed aswell in the setting fourth of his grac_es_ busynes, Whereof ye were sufficiently instructed at your saide departure as also in your diligent wrytyng often and Frequent aduertisement_es_ is put in any oblyuyon or forgotten But for the same his maiestee hathe co_m_maunded me to gyve vnto you his grac_es_ right hertie thank_es_. And in this packet ye shall receyue two L_ette_res addressed from the king_es_ maiestee vnto the Dukes of Bauarie and the Landegraue van Hesse, which his highnes willeth you to delyuer accordingly. the copies of whiche l_ette_res (to th’intent ye shalbe the more rype to answer if any thing shalbe obiected to you by the saide prynce) I haue sent you hereinclosed. Not doubting in your dexterytee good polycie and wisedom to propone and set fourth the effect_es_ of the same, as shall apperteyne. And forasmoche as here hathe ben the Secretarye of the duke of Bauarie who is named Mr. Hubertus Thomas by whom the king_es_ highnes hathe knowen and perceyued moche of the mynde and intent of the same Duke, ye shall not moche nede to travayle or enbusie yourself to procure answer other then of their owne mocyons they shall declare vnto you, But contynuallie indeauo_ur_ yo_ur_ self w_i_t_h_ all diligent Circumspection to explore enserche and knowe the state of the hole countrey of Germany and of their myndes intent_es_ and inclynacions toward_es_ the king_es_ highnes and this realme. And that also ye do by all the good meanes and polycies that ye can explore and enserche to knowe the myndes and intent_es_ of the prync_es_ of Germany and of the Germaynes how they be inclyned aswell toward_es_ thempero_ur_ as the king of Romaynes. Being contynuallie vigilant and diligent in wryting to the kyng_es_ maiestee of all thinges and occurraunt_es_ then according to his grac_i_ous trust and expectacion And because I wolde not haue you to lacke money ye shall receyue herew_i_t_h_ a bill of exch_a_unge for the some of xxx li.

_Endd._ A copy of a l_ette_re to Cristofer Mount.


R.O. Cal. vi. 1369. ‹1533.›

Sends news about the Nun, and proposes to apprehend two friars who have come into the realm with mischievous intent. Sends a receipt for 24,000 cr., the residue of the Emperor’s debt, for the King to sign.

Pleasythit yo_ur_ Royall magestye to be adu_er_tysyd how that reparyng homward_es_ oon_e_ of my lorde chauncelers s_er_u_au_nttes met w_i_t_h_ me and delyu_er_id me yo_ur_ warrauntt_es_ Signyd w_i_t_h_ the hande of the prynces dowager which warrauntt I do send to yo_ur_ grace herin Inclosyd what yo_ur_ plesure shalbe to haue done therin being ons known I shall right gladlye acco_m_plyshe I haue also Sythyn my repayre to london spokyn w_i_t_h_ Freer Lawraunce who hathe Sethens his Repayre to london herde dyuers thing_es_ touching the holye mayde which he wyll declare to yo_ur_ hygnes and to non other and he Shewyth me also that that[803] therbe ij^{o} strange Freers of the order of obs_er_uantt_es_ latelye repayryd into this Realme which ij^{o} Freers haue exploryd here For all suche bok_es_ centencys and determynacyons as hathe passyd touching yo_ur_ hygnes Matrymonye, which they Intend w_i_t_h_ other pryvey practysys to Convey w_i_t_h_ them, to Freer Petow who as I am Credyblye Informyd Sent them into this yo_ur_ Realme[804] the sayd ij^{o} Freers as I am acertaynyd haue browght w_i_t_h_ them pryuy l_ette_res to dyuers and now bene gone to the sayd[805] dowager. in my poore oppynyon it shalbe right well done that thaye might be sent For by Som_e_ trustye p_e_rson howbeit yt were best that theye Fyrste sholde be sufferyd to speke w_i_t_h_ her and suche other of hers as woolde p_er_aduenture delyu_er_ to them anything wherby theyr Ferther practysys myght be p_er_sayuyd and so thayr Cankeryd Intentt_es_ myght be therbye dyscyfferyd. I am also Infformyd that there ys A m_er_chant of london whiche dothe practyse w_i_t_h_ them in thes p_re_myss_es_ I shall goo veray nere to haue knowlage therein yf it be trew he ys worthye to Suffer to make other beware in tyme he ys of good Substaunce. I wooll thys daye goo abowt to know the trowthe, thes thing_es_ woold be met w_i_t_h_ all in tyme and the sonner the better. I trust yo_ur_ highnes wyll by this berer adu_er_tyse me in wrytyng what shalbe yo_ur_ plesure touching as well the sayd Falls Freers as also towching of the sayd dowager’s warrant_es_. I haue also Sent to yo_ur_ grace on_e_ acquytance to be assigned for the xxiiij^{ti} thousande Crowns dew to yo_ur_ highnes for the resedew of the emperowrs dett and also A warrant to yo_ur_ chanceler For the Sealyng of the same which warrantt and acquyt_au_nce it may please yo_ur_ magestye to assigne and to send the same by this berer to the Intent Robert Fowler may be depechyd. The rest of the acquyt_au_nces for yo_ur_ ordynarye pencyon and Sale ben allredye Signed and Sealyd. and this the Hollye trynyte to whom I shall contenewallye praye to p_re_serue yo_ur_ highnes in long lyff and most p_ro_sperous helthe and send the same the vyctorye w_i_t_h_ hono_ur_ over all yo_ur_ Enemyes.

_Endd._ ij mynut_es_ of my M_aste_rs letters w_i_t_h_ my lord chancelo_ur_s.


B.M. Harl. MSS. 6,148, f. 81; Cal. vii. 19. Jan. 5 ‹1534›.

The King desires Cranmer to send to him Mr. Heath, whom his highness wishes to employ as ambassador to the German princes.

By master Crumwell

After my moste humble co_m_mendac_i_ons yt may please your g_ra_ce to be aduertised that the kyng_es_ highnes hath comanded me to write vnto your g_ra_ce Requiryng the same w_i_t_h_ all co_n_veniente celeritie to send vp hither Mr. heth, whome for his Lerning, good gravitie and circu_m_spect[i]on the kyng_es_ highnes entendeth to send into the p_ar_ties of Garmany in Ambassade to treate ther with the princ_es_ of Germany, as well in the kyng_es_ great cause of Matrymony As in other causes p_er_teynyng to the Welth of this Realme And forasmoche as your g_ra_ce knoweth the grounde, veray iustnes, and equitie of the kyng_es_ said cause, his Highnes requereth you to instructe the said M_r_ Hethe in the same as he may be Ryppe and perfite in the knowlege of _th_e holle circumstaunc_es_ of the same And that for lake of inst[r]uct_i_on when tyme shall com to propone the matier it Appere not hym to be vnp_er_faite and remysse to do suche s_er_uice v_n_to the kyng_es_ Maiestie in that behalf as shalbe to his gracious truste and expectac_i_on which his highnes nothyng at all doubtith. Howbeit yo_ur_ g_ra_c_es_ adu_er_tisement and good instruct_i_on arrected vnto the said Maist_er_ Heth shall vndoubtedly make hym more rype and p_er_fite in the p_re_misses to do that thing that may be moche to your honour, his prayse and merite As knoweth o_ur_ Lorde, who send your grace Long Lyf and good helth at London the v. daye of January.

The kyng_es_ highnes also intendeth to practise certeyn thyng_es_ in the said p_ar_ties of Germany, concernyng the Auctoryte of the Bisshop of Rome.

Yo_ur_ gracys Bedisman THOMAS CRUMWELL.


R.O. Cal. vii. 73. January ‹1534›.

Reports the passage in the Commons of the Act forbidding any man to keep more than 2000 sheep, and requiring every farmer to put one-eighth of his land in tillage. If the Bill passes the Lords also it will be the most beneficial thing done ‘sythyn Brewtyse tyme.’

Pleasythyt yo_ur_ most Royall Mageste to be adu_er_tysyd how that according to yo_ur_ most highe pleasure and co_m_maundeme_n_t I haue made serche for suche patentt_e_s and grauntys as yo_ur_ highnes and also the most Famous kyng yo_ur_ father whos Sowle o_ur_ lorde p_ar_don haue grauntyd vnto s_ir_ Rychard Weston knyght yo_ur_ vndertesawrer of your exchequer and the same haue sent to yo_ur_ highnes herin closyd yt may also please yo_ur_ most Royall Mageste to knowe how that yesterdaye ther passyd yo_ur_ Co_m_mons a byll that no p_er_son w_i_t_h_in this yo_ur_ Realme shall herafter kepe and Noryshe aboue the Nombre of twoo thousand shepe and also that the eight parte of eu_er_ye mans lande being a Fermour shall for eu_er_ herafter be put in tyllage yerlye which byll yf by the gret wysdom vertuew goodnes and zerale[806] that yo_ur_ highnes beryth toward_es_ this yo_ur_ Realme might haue good Successe and take good effect Amongyst yo_ur_ lord_es_ aboue I doo Coniecture and Suppose in my pore Symple and vnworthye Judgement that yo_ur_ highnes shall do the most noble proffyttable and most benefycyall thing that eu_er_ was done to the Co_m_mone welthe of this yo_ur_ Realme and shall therby Increase suche welthe in the same amongyst the gret Nombre & multytude for yo_ur_ most louyng and obedye[nt] Subiectys as neu_er_ was Seane in this Realme Sythen Brewtyse tyme most humblye prostrate at the Fete of yo_ur_ Magnifycence beseche yo_ur_ highnes to p_ar_don my boldnes ‹in› this wrytyng to yo_ur_ grace which onlye p_ro_cedythe for the trowthe dewtye allegaunce and loue I doo bere to yo_ur_ mageste and the Co_m_mon welth of this yo_ur_ Realme as o_ur_ lorde knowyth vnto whom I shall as I am most bounden Incessantlye praye for the contenewans & p_ro_sperous cons_er_uacyon of yo_ur_ most excellent most Royall and Imperyall estate long to Indure


B.M. Cleop. E. iv, f. 101; Cal. vii. 238. ‹Feb. 1534.›

Reproves him at length for his communications with the Nun of Kent, and replies to seven reasons given by Fisher for not reporting her revelations to the King. Advises him to lay aside excuses, and beg the King’s mercy.

My lorde in my right hertie wise I co_m_mende me to yo_ur_ lordship doing you to vnderstand that I haue receyued yo_ur_ l_ette_res dated at Rochester the xviij^{th} of this moneth. In whiche ye declar_e_ what craft and cu_n_nyng ye haue to p_er_suade and to set a good countenau_n_ce vpon an yl mat_er_. Drawing som scriptur_es_ to yo_ur_ purpose whiche wel weyed acording to the plac_es_ whereof they be taken. make not so muche for yo_ur_ purpose as ye allege thaim for. And wher_e_ in the first lefe of yo_ur_ lett_er_s ye write that ye doubt nothing neither before god, nor befor the worlde if nede shal that requir_e_: so to declar_e_ yo_ur_self. whatsoeuer hath been said of you. that ye haue not deserued suche hevy word_es_ or terrible thret_es_ as hath been sent from me vnto you by yo_ur_ brother[807].

How ye can declare yo_ur_ self affor_e_ god and the world when nede shal requir_e_ I can not tell, but I think verely that yo_ur_ declaration made by thes l_ette_res is far insufficie_n_t to p_ro_ve that ye haue deserued no hevy word_es_ in this behalf and to sey playnly I sent you no hevy word_es_ but word_es_ of great co_m_fort wylling yo_ur_ brother to shewe you how benigne and m_er_ciful the prince was. And that I thoug[ht] it expedient for you to write vnto his highnes and to recognise yo_ur_ offence and desir_e_ his p_ar_don, whiche his grace wold not denye you now in yo_ur_ aige and sikkenes. Whiche my counsel I wold ye had folowed, rather than to haue writen thes l_ette_res to me excusing yo_ur_ self as thoughe there wer_e_ no maner of defaute in you. But my lord if it wer_e_ in an other mannys caas than yo_ur_ owne and out of the mater whiche ye fauor I doubt not but that ye wold think him that shuld haue doen as ye have doen non only worthy hevy word_es_ but also hevy dedys. For wher_e_ ye labor to excuse yo_ur_ self of yo_ur_ hering believing and co_n_celing of the nu_n_nys fals and faynid reuelations, and of yo_ur_ manyfold sending of yo_ur_ chapley[n] vnto her, by a certey_n_ intent whiche ye pretende yo_ur_self to haue had, to knowe by co_m_monyng w_i_t_h_ her or by sendi_n_g yo_ur_ chapellaine to her, whether her reuelations wer_e_ of god or no. alleging diu_er_se scriptures. that ye wer_e_ bound to p_ro_ve thaim, and not to reiecte thaim affor_e_ they wer_e_ p_ro_ued My Lord whether ye haue vsed a due meane to trie her and her reuelations, or no. It appereth by the p_ro_cesse of yo_ur_ owne l_ette_res. For wher_e_ ye write that ye had co_n_ceyuid a greate opinion of the holines of the woman for many considerations rehersed in yo_ur_ l_ette_res c_om_p_ri_sed in vi articles, whereof the first is grownde vpo_n_ the brute and fame of her, the secunde vpon her entreng into religion after her trauns_es_ and disfiguration, the third vpon rehersall that her gostly father being lerned and religious shuld testifie that she was a maide of greate holines. The fourth vpon the report that diuerse other vertuose prest_es_ me_n_ of good lernyng and reputation, shuld so testifie of her, w_i_t_h_ whiche gostly father and preest_es_ ye never spake as ye confesse in yo_ur_ lett_er_s. The fyveth vpon the prayse of my late lord of Cant_erbury_, which shewed you (as ye write) that she had many greate visions the sixt vpon this saing of the p_ro_phete Amos, No_n_ faciet d_om_in_u_s deus v_er_bu_m_, nisi reuelau_er_it secretu_m_ suu_m_ ad seruos suos p_ro_phetas by whiche co_n_siderations ye wer_e_ induced to the desir_e_ to know the very certente of this mater, whether the reuelations whiche wer_e_ p_re_tended to be shewed to her from god wer_e_ true reuelations or nott? yo_ur_ lordship in al the se_n_gle[808] of yo_ur_ l_ette_res shewe not that ye made no ferther trial vpo[n] the trueth of her and her reuelation, but only in co_m_monyng w_i_t_h_ her and sending yo_ur_ chapellaine to her, w_i_t_h_ Idle questions as of the thre mary magdalens. by whiche yo_ur_ co_m_mony[ng] and sending, ye tried out nothing of her falshed, nouther (as it is credibly supposed) entended to do, as ye myght haue doen many weyes mor_e_ easely than w_i_t_h_ co_m_monyng w_i_t_h_ her or sending to her; for litel credens was to be gyven to her affirmyng her owne fayned reuelations to be from god.

For if credence shuld be gyven to eu_er_y suche lewd p_er_son as wold affirme himself to haue reuelations from god what redyer wey wer_e_ ther_e_ to subuert al co_m_mon we[l]thes and good orders in the worlde.

Verily my lord if ye had entended to trie out the trueth of her and of her reuelations ye wold haue taken an other wey w_i_t_h_ you, first ye wold not haue been co_n_tented w_i_t_h_ the vayne voyc_es_ of the peple making brut_es_ of her traunses & disfiguratio_n_ But like a wise discrete and circumspect p_re_late ye shuld haue examined (as other haue) suche sad and credible p_er_sons as wer_e_ p_re_sent att her traunses & disfiguration_es_, not one or two, but a good nu_m_ber by whoes testimony ye shuld haue p_ro_ued whether the brut_es_ of her traunc_es_ and disfigurations wer_e_ true or not And likewise ye shuld haue tried by what craft and p_er_suasion she was made a religious woman. And if ye had been so desirous as ye p_re_tende to enquir_e_ out the trueth or falshed of this woman and of her reuelations, it is to be supposed ye wold haue spoken w_i_t_h_ her good religious and wel lerned gostly father (as ye cal him) or this tyme: and also w_i_t_h_ the vertuose, and wel lerned preest_es_ (as they wer_e_ estemed) of whoes reaport_es_ ye were informed by thaim whiche herd thaim speke[809] ye wold also haue been mynded to se the booke of her revelations whiche was offerd you. of whiche ye myght haue had mor_e_ trial of her and of her reuelations, than a hundred co_m_munications w_i_t_h_ her, or of as many sendings of yo_ur_ chapellen vnto her. As for the late lord of Cauntreburys seying vnto you that she had many greate visions, it ought to move you never a deale to gyve credence vnto her or her reuelations, For the said lord knew no mor_e_ certente of her or of her reuelations than ye dyd by her owne reaport. And as towching the saing of Amos the prophete, I thinke veryly the same moved you but a litell to herkyn vnto her, for sythe the co_n_su_m_mation and thende of thold testame_n_t and sythens the passion of Christ god hathe doen many greate and notable thing_es_ in the worl[d]e, whereof he shewed no thing to his p_ro_phet_es_ that hath co_m_men to the knowlege of men. My lord all thes thinges moved you not to gyve credence vnto her, but only the very mater whereupon she made her fals p_ro_ficyes to whiche mater ye were so affected (as ye be noted to be on al mat_er_s whiche ye enter ons into) that nothing could com amysse that made for that purpose

And her_e_ I appelle yo_ur_ conscience and instantly desire you to aunswer. Whether if she had shewed you as many reuelationsf or the co_n_firmation of the king_es_ grac_es_ marriage whiche he now enjoyeth as she did to the co_n_trary, ye wold haue gyven as muche credence to her as ye haue doen, and wold haue let the trial of her and of her reuelations to ou_er_passe thes many yer_es_, wher_e_ ye dwelt not from her but xx mylys, in the same shir_e_, wher_e_ her traunses and disfiguring_es_ and p_ro_phecyes in her traunses wer_e_ surmised and countrefeyd. And if p_er_caas ye wol sey (as it ‹is› not vnlike but ye wol sey mynded as ye wer_e_ wont to be) that the mat_e_rs be not like, for the Law of god in yo_ur_ opinion standeth w_i_t_h_ the one and not w_i_t_h_ thother. Suerly my lord I suppose this had been no greate cause mor_e_ to reiect the one than thother for ye know by histories of the bible that god may by his reuelation dispense w_i_t_h_ his owne Law, as w_i_t_h_ the[810] Israelit_es_ spoyling the egiptians and w_i_t_h_ Jacob to haue iiij wifes, and suche other[811].

Think you my lord that any indifferent man co_n_sidering the qualite of the mater and yo_ur_ affeccion, and also the negligent passing over of suche lawful triall_es_ as ye myght haue had of the said nu_n_ne and her reuelations, is so dull, that can not p_er_ceyue and discerne that yo_ur_ co_m_monyng and often sending to the said nu_n_ was rather to here and know mor_e_ of her reuelations, than to trie out the trueth or falshed of thes same And in this behalf I suppose it wol be hard for you to purge yo_ur_self bifor_e_ god or the worle, but that ye haue been in greate defaut hering beleuyng and co_n_celing suche thing_es_ as tended to the destruction of the prince And that her reuelations wer_e_ bent and purposed to that ende . it hathe been duely p_ro_ued, affore as greate assembly and cou_n_sel of the lord_es_ of this realme as hath been seen many yer_es_ heretofor_e_ out of a p_a_rliame_n_t. And what the said lord_es_ demed thaim worthy to suffer, whiche had beleued and co_n_celed thees fals reuelations be mor_e_ terrible than any thret_es_ spoken by me to yo_ur_ brother

And wher_e_ ye go abought to defende that ye be not to be blamed for co_n_celing her reuelations co_n_cernyng the king_es_ grace, bicause ye thought it not necessary to reherse thaim to his highnes. for vij causes folowing in yo_ur_ l_ette_res affor_e_ I shewe you my mynde co_n_cernyng thees causes, I suppose that albeit ye p_er_caas thought it not necessary to be shewed to the prince by you. yet that your thinking shal not be your triall, but the Law must diffine whether ye owghted to vtter it or not.

And as to the first of said vii causes. Albeit[812] she told youe that she had shewed her reuelations co_n_cernyng the king_es_ grace to the king herself, yet her seyng or others discharged not you but that ye were bound by yo_ur_ fidelite to shewe to the king_es_ grace . that thing whiche semed to co_n_cerne his grace and his reigne so nyghly . for how knew you that she[813] shewed thes reuelations to the king_es_ grace but by her owne seyng, to whiche ye shuld haue gyven no suche credence as to for_e_ber_e_ the utt_e_rance of so greate maters co_n_cernyng a king_es_ welth And why shuld you so sinisterly iudge the prince that if ye had shewed thees same vnto him, he wold haue thought that ye had brought that tale vnto him mor_e_ for the strenghing and co_n_firmatio_n_ of yo_ur_ opinion then for any other thing els. Veryly my lord what so eu_er_ yo_ur_ iudgeme_n_t bee . I se dayly suche benignite and excellent humanite in his grace that I doubt not but his highnes . wold haue accepted it in good part if ye had shewed the same reuelations vnto him as ye wer_e_ bounden to do by yo_ur_ fidelite.

To the secunde cause. Albeit she shewed you not that any prince or other t_em_poral lord shuld put the king_es_ grace in daing_er_ of his crowne yet there were weyes Inoughe, by whiche her said reuelations myght haue put the king_es_ grace in dainger, as the for_e_said counsel of lord_es_ . haue substancially and duely co_n_sidered And therefor Albeit she shewed you not the meanes whereby the dayng_er_ shuld ensue to the king_es_ [grace] yet . ye wer_e_ neverthelesse bounden to shewe him of the dainger.

To the third. Think you my lord, that if any p_er_son wold com vnto you and shewe youe that the king_es_ destruction wer_e_ co_n_spired against a certen tyme, and wold ferther shewe you, that he wer_e_ sent from his maist_er_ to shewe the same to the king and wol sey ferther vnto [you] that he wold go streyct to the king, wer_e_ it not yet your duety to certifie the king_es_ grace of the relation, but also to inquire whether the said p_e_rson had doen his for_e_said messaige or no, yes verely. And so wer_e_ ye bound, thoughe the nu_n_ne shewed youe, it was her messaige from god to be declared by her to the king_es_ grace.

To the iiii^{th} her_e_ ye translate the temporal duety that ye owe to yo_ur_ prince, to the spiritual duety of suche as be bounde to declar_e_ the worde of god to the peple, and to shewe vnto them the p_er_ill and punissheme_n_t of sy_n_ in an other worlde, the co_n_celeme_n_t whereof p_er_teyneth to the iudgeme_n_t of god, but the co_n_celeme_n_t of this mater p_er_teyneth to other iudg_es_ of this realme.

To the v^{th} ther could no blame be arrested to you if ye had shewed the nu_n_nys reuelations to the king_es_ grace, albeit they wer_e_ aft_er_ward found fals for no man owght to be blamed doing his duety And if a man wold shewe you secretly that there wer_e_ a greate mischief entended . against the prince, wer_e_ ye to be blamed if ye shewed him of it, albeit it wer_e_ a fayned tale, and the said mischief wer_e_ never Imagined.

To the sixt . co_n_cernyng an Imagination of mast_er_ Pacy. It was knowen that he was beside himself, and therefor_e_ they wer_e_ not blamed that made no report thereof, but it was not lik in this caas For ye toke not this nu_n_ne for a mad woman, for if ye had ye wold not haue gyven vnto her so greate credence as ye dyd.

To the final and vii^{th} cause wher_e_ ye lay[814] vnto the charge of o_ur_ sou_er_aine, that he hath vnkyndly entreacted you . w_i_t_h_ grevous word_es_ and terrible letters for shewing his grace trowthe in his greate mater, whereby ye wer_e_ disco_m_forted to shewe vnto him the nu_n_nys reuelations. I beleue that I know the king_es_ goodnes and natural gentilnes so well, that his grace wold not so vnkyndly handle you, as you vnkyndly write of him, onles ye gave him other causes than be expressed in yo_ur_ lett_er_s. And what so eu_er_ the king_es_ grace hath sayed or writen vnto you heretofore, yet that notw_i_t_h_stonden, ye wer_e_ neverthelesse bounden to vtt_er_ to him thees p_er_nicious reuelations.

Finally Wher_e_ ye desir_e_ for the passion of christ that ye be no mor_e_ quykkened in this mater for if ye be put to that straite ye wyl not lose yo_ur_ soule, but ye wyl speke as yo_ur_ co_n_science ledeth you w_i_t_h_ many moo word_es_ of greate curraige. My lord if ye had taken my counsel sent vnto you by yo_ur_ brother and folowed the same, submitting yo_ur_self by yo_ur_ letters to the king_es_ grace for yo_ur_ offenses in this behalf, I wold haue trusted that ye shuld never be quykkened in this mat_er_ mor_e_. But now wher_e_ ye take vpon you to defe_n_de the hole mater as ye wer_e_ in no default. I cannot so far p_ro_mise you[815]. And suerly my lord if the mat_er_ co_m_ to triall: yo_ur_ owne co_n_fession in thes l_ette_res besid_es_ the wittnes whiche be against you wolbe sufficient to co_n_demne you Wher_e_for my lord I wol eftsones aduise you that laying apart al suche excuses as ye haue alleged in yo_ur_ letters whiche in my_n_ opinion be of smal effect as I haue declared ye beseche the king_es_ grace by yo_ur_ lett_er_s to be yo_ur_ graciou[s] lord, and to remitte vnto you yo_ur_ negligence ouersight and offence co_m_mitted against his his[816] highnes in this behalf And I dar_e_ vndertake that his highenes shal benignely accepte you into his gracious fauor, al mat_er_s of displeasir_e_ past affor_e_ this tyme forgoten and forgyven.

[817]As towching the speking of yo_ur_ conscience, it is thought that ye haue writen and haue spoken as muche as ye can . and . many thing_es_ (as som right probably beleaue) against yo_ur_ owne co_n_science. And men report that at the Last conuocation ye spake many thing_es_ whiche ye could not wel defende. And therefor it is not greatly ferede what ye can sey or write in that mat_er_. howsoeu_er_ ye be quykkened or strayted And if ye had taken _etc._


R.O. Cal. vii. 383. Mar. 28 ‹1534›.

In order to prevent any infringement of the King’s rights in the lands of Sir John Dunham, lately deceased, the council considers it expedient that those persons who dwell near the lands should be impanelled to inquire for the King.

Maister Sheryff I co_m_mend me vnto yow and being Infformyd of the dethe of syr Jhon Dunham Knyghte whyche in his lyffe helde of the king_es_ grace certayne land_es_ and tenement_es_ in the County of Yorke In Capite. And by cause that the kyng_es_ righte shall not be hydde ne cloked It is therfor considered by the kyng_es_ most honorable counsell that suche persons who hath the most knowlege sufficient of freeholde and dwellys next vnto the Land_es_ of the saied syr John Donham be impanelled to inquyre for the kyng_es_ grace the namys of whom herein enclosyd I do send yow who are extemyd and reputed to be men of good worship and conscience as I am credably enformed Aduertysyng yow that vpon a precept to yow dyrected by the kyng_es_ excheto_ur_ ye do retourne a suffycient Inquest of the same persons to inquyre for the kyng_es_ grace of the tenure of the saied land_es_. And in yo_ur_ so doyng ye shall do the king_es_ grace a righte acceptable seruyce to his contentatyon And so fare ye well from London the xxviii^{ti} daye of march.

_Endd._ mynute of a l_ette_re.


B.M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 348; Cal. vii. 535. Apr. 24 ‹1534›.

Requests for a friend the advowson of the parsonage of St. John’s of Sherborne, in Hampshire, the yearly value of which is 10 or 11 pounds.

My Lord in my right hertie wise I co_m_mende me to you. And as I haue been, and wolbe glad and redy, to do you suche pleasir_e_ as I myght or may. so I desire you to graunt vnto me to the behoue of a dere frende of myne. the aduocation of the p_ar_sonaige of S. Jhons of [Shire]borne in hampshir_e_ being of yo_ur_ gift. whiche is of the yerely value of x or xj^{li} and not aboue (as I am informed) by the gyft whereof ye shal shewe vnto me a right acceptable pleasir_e_ . whiche I wol not forgete when I may in reco_m_pense thereof . do the thing that may be to your co_n_tentation. And of yo_ur_ beniuolent mynd in this behalf, I desir_e_ you not only to certifie me by yo_ur_ next w_ri_ting but also to direct yo_ur_ letters to yo_ur_ vicar gen_er_all and to the prio_u_r and co_n_uent of yo_ur_ churche . for thexpedition thereof to be made in due forme, and to be deliu_ere_d vnto me w_i_t_h_ suche spede as shall pleace you to co_m_maunde thaim . the xxiiij^{th} day of Aprile.

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd freei_n_d THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my verey loving Lord my lord of wynchester.

_Edd._ the xxiiij of Ap_ri_l Mr. Secretary


R.O. Cal. vii. 500. ‹Apr. 1534.›

The King considers it expedient that More and Fisher be compelled to swear to the preamble of the Act of Succession as well as to the Act itself: otherwise it might be taken as a confirmation of the authority of the Bishop of Rome.

My Lorde after myne humble co_m_menda_ci_ons it may please yo_ur_ grace to be adu_er_tesed that I haue receyued yo_ur_ l_ette_res and shewed the same to the king_es_ highnes who p_er_ceyuing yo_ur_ mynde and opynyon is that it were good that the bisshop of Rochester and Mr. More should be sworn to the acte of the king_es_ succession and not to the preamble of the same, thinketh that if their othe should be so taken it were an occasion to all men to refuse the hole or at the lest the lyke. For in case they be sworn to the succession and not to the p_re_amble it is to be thought that it might be taken not onelie as a confirmacion of the Bisshop of Rome his auctoryte but also as a reprobacion of the king_es_ second mariage wherefore to thintent that no such thing_es_ should be brought into the hedd_es_ of the people by the ensample of the saide Bisshop of Rochester and Mr. More the king_es_ highnes in no wise willeth but that they shalbe sworn aswell to the preamble as to the acte of Succession[818] in no man_er_ of wyse Wherfore his grace specyallye trustyth that ye wyll in no wyse Suppose attempt or move hym to the Contrarye For as hys grace Suppossyth that that man_er_ of Sweryng yf yt sholde be sufferyd myght be an vtter destruccyon to his hole Cause and Also to the effecte of the law made For the same

_Endd._ _m_ynute.


R.O. Cal. vii. 593. May 1 ‹1534›.

Desires them to grant to Thomas Lowley the lease of Okinbold farm, in Shropshire, at the rent which his father paid.

In myn harty maner I co_m_mende me unto youe And wheras ye haue nowe in yo_ur_ handes and disposic_i_on again, the ferme of Oxinbold belonging to that Mon_astery_. These shalbe to desire and hartely pray youe, for my sake to graunte a sufficient lease therof to my Freende Thomas Lowleye ser_ua_unt to Mr. Norreys vnder yo_ur_ convent seale for the terme of xl yeres yelding and payeng vnto yow suche rent for the same, as his father whiche was fermo_ur_ therof hertofore paid vnto your mon_astery_ at that tyme that he had it in ferme. Desiring you in noo wise to alienate it to any man but only to this tyl ye shal knowe further, in case ye shal not condescende to this my request, and to adu_er_tise me by yo_ur_ L_ette_res w_i_t_h_ spede of yo_ur_ proceding in this Behaulf And thus Fare you hartely well From Stepnaye the first daye of Maye


_Add._ To my loving freendes the prior and Convent of the Mon_astery_ of Wenlok.


R.O. Cal. vii. 655. May 13 ‹1534›.

Requires him to appoint a bishop to ‘execute’ at the Court, as the Bishop of Chester is unable to be present.

Mr. Deane, after my right hertie co_m_mendations Forasmoche as my lorde of Chester is not onelie destitute of Myter Crosier and other thing_es_ necessarie but also shall to morowe be enbusied and occupied about_es_ other the king_es_ affaires I shall therefore hertelie requyre you to appoynte som other Bisshop to execute to morowe before the king_es_ highnes at the Courte, till my saide Lorde of Chester shall be better Furnysshed as app_er_tyneth Wherein ye shall do him moche pleasure. And so Fare ye well. At Stepney the xiii day of Maye.

Your assuryd Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right wo_r_shipfull Mr. Docto_ur_ Sampson dean of the king_es_ chappell be this youen.


B.M. Vit. B. xxi, f. 107; Cal. vii. 707. May 24, 1534.

On behalf of William Gilbank, whose ship was captured near Sandwich and taken to Lübeck, with goods worth 53 pounds sterling.

{Henricus Dei gr_ati_a Rex Angliae, et Franciae, fidei defensor, ac D_omi_n_us_ Hiber[niae] ... Consulibus, et} Senator{ibus}es Ciuitatis Lubicen_sis_ _etc._ Amici{s} n_ost_ri{s} Car_issi_mi{s} {sal_utem_} plur_i_ma_m_ Sal_utem_ et Co_m_me_n_ ...

Nuper apud {nos} ... humilite_r_ conq[uestus est] ...s, ac fidelis {noster potentissimi n_ostr_i Regis} eius subditus Willelmus gylbanke q_uod_ quum superioribus mensibus nauis quaedam cui Hugo ship ... [prae]erat, ex harmywe Zelandiae vico hoc {n_ostr_um} inclytum Regnum uersus nauigatura soluerat, ac varij generis merces ad u[alorem] ... quinquaginta triu_m_ librar_um_ sterlingorum in ea onerasset, commercij gr_atia_ huc aduecturus, accidit, ut dicta nauis iam ... [n]auigationis cursu {et n_os_tr_u_m} in eiusdem ser_enissi_mi D_omini_ n_ostr_[i] Regis portu_m_ Sandwic_ensem_ ferme ingressa, a v_est_ra Classe quae belli praetextu, quod aduersus hollandos ... bat, per hoc {nostrum} mare excurrebat capta, et una cum dicti {n_ost_ri subditi} Will_el_mi bonis, ac mercibus in ciuitate_m_ istam v_estr_am ... abducta fuit; erit longe quidem praeter vetere_m_ mutuamq_ue_ {n_ost_ram} amicitiam cum Ser_enissi_ma hac Regia M_aiesta_te, et ingenti {eiusdem subditi n_ost_ri Will_el_mi eius subdi[ti]} prefati sui subditi detrimento, id q[u]od quum inscijs vobis a v_est_rae classis praefectis {commissum fuerit, voluimus} eadem Regia M_aies_tas co_m_missu_m_ fuisse plane credat, iussit ut suo no_m_i_n_e n_ostr_is his l_itte_ris hanc causam vobis imp_rese_ntia commendaremus: Vos igitur quos p_ro_ intimis amici[s] habet impense rogat, ut pro vest[ro] erga iustas quasq_ue_ causas studio, pro mutuaq_ue_ {n_ostr_a} secum coniunctione, v_estr_a authoritate efficere velitis q_uod_ praedicta bona sic ablat[a] eidem {n_ostr_o subdito} Will_e_lmo uel eius procuratori in integrum restitua_n_tur, id quod {ut nobis} ut [e]idem Regie M_aiesta_ti maxime gratum, et iustitiae consentane[um] erit, ita {nos} ipsam ad parem beneuolentiam erga subditos v_es_tros, data occasione, exhibendam propensior ardentiorque {efficiem[ur]} reddetur. Et bene valete. Ex Regia n_ostr_a Richemondiae Die xxiiij Maij MDXXXIIII.

De nobis v_er_o possunt v_estr_ates o_m_nes in iustis suis hic occurrentib_us_ negocijs ap_u_d ha_n_[c] Regia_m_ Ma_iesta_tem omne humanitatis officiu_m_ sibi polliceri quod suo loco et te_m_pore cumulate p_rae_stabim[u]s

Vester bonus amicus THOMAS CRUMWELL

_Add._ Mag_nifi_cis D_omi_nis Consulibus, et Senatoribus Ciuitatis Lubicen_sis_ _etc._ Amicis n_ostr_is C_arissi_mis.


R.O. Cal. vii. 790. June 4 ‹1534›.

Desires him to repair to London as soon as possible, as he is executor of Edw. Watson, deceased, who was in danger to the King.

Mr. Sapcott_es_ I co_m_mende me vnto you. And For as moche as ye were executour and admynistrato_ur_ of the good_es_ of Edwarde Watson decessed who was in daungier to the king_es_ highnes, I shall therefore aduertise and require you that vppon the sight of these my l_ette_res for that matier w_i_t_h_ other thing_es_ that I haue to sey vnto you ye do put yo_ur_ self in a redynes to repayre vnto me w_i_t_h_ all conuenie_n_t celeryte. And at your co_m_myng ye shall knowe Ferther of the king_es_ pleasure. So Fare ye well From my house at Canbery the iiii^{th} day of June


_Add._ To his louing frend Mr. Henry Sapcott_es_ be this youen at Lyncoln.


Ellis Letters, 2nd Ser. ii. 135; Cal. vii. 973. July 13 ‹1534›.

Thanks him for his zeal in apprehending a hermit, who has been examined, and is to be tried by the justices of assize, and punished according to the law.

After my right herty commendacions to your Lordship, I have by this bearer your servaunt, bailly of Chesterfeld, receyved your Lettres and the byll therin enclosed concernyng th’ Ermyte, the whiche being by me examyned, answered that he could not tell whither he spake ever the same trayterouse words or not. I have caused an Inditement to be drawen therupon whiche your Lordeship shal receyve herwith; and also I have thought convenient to retorn the said Hermite unto you agayn, there befor the Justices of Assise to be tryed and to th’exemple of all other to be punyshed according to right and the King’s lawes. I thank evermor your Lordeship for your good zele, diligence, and dexterate in repressing and apprehending suche perniciouse and detestable felons: and therof shal I not faile to make true raport to his Highnes who I am assure shal tak the sam in most thankfull part. Thus I beseche our holy Creator to sende you prosperite and long liffe. From Cheleshith this xiij^{th} of July.

Your lordshippis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my very good Lord Therle of Shrewesbury Lorde Stuarde to the Kings Ma^{tie}.

77. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. vii. 990. July 20 ‹1534›.

Orders him to arrest four murderers from Yorkshire, who first fled into Scotland, but have now returned to Durham, where they ride about at their pleasure.

In my Right harty man_er_ I co_m_mend me vnto you and where as I am enfourmed that one p_er_cyvall worme, wyll_ia_m Corneforthe John bygott and wyll_ia_m dobson lately co_m_mytted a detestable mourdo_ur_ in the Countye of Yorke and beyng Indyttyd _th_erof thei ther vpon flede into Scottlond where as _th_ei _th_er Remayned as yt ys thought tyll now of late, that thei lyttyll dreadyng god nor the lawes of this Realme arne comme into the byschopryche of Durh_a_m wher as thei doo Ryde in all plac_es_ therof at ther pleasures to the greate boldnes and p_er_yllous example of all other suche [ev]yll dysposed p_er_sonnes. And therfor my mynd ys that ye w_i_t_h_ dylygence do attach or cause the said p_er_sons to be Attachyd, And them to deteyne in pryson vntyll such tyme as thei schalbe by the order of _the_ lawes acquyted or otherwyse dyscharged as ye wyll aunswere to the kyng_es_ highnes at yo_ur_ p_er_yll. Wretyn at my house in london _th_e xx^{th} day of July.


R.O. Cal. vii. 1007. July 25 ‹1533[820]›.

Requests him to settle his differences with the bearer, whose father could have had many offices of the abbot and his predecessor. As the bearer has his brothers and sisters to support, the abbot ought to do as much for him as he would have done for his father.

My Lorde Abbot I reco_m_mende me vnto you etc. and where as George Goldwyn the bryng_er_ hereof hathe byn A continuall suto_ur_ vnto me A great tyme to haue A Warde made betwene you and hym[821] I shall hertelye desire & praye you vppon the sight hereof to take some reasonable waye with hym so that I be no longer molestyd by hym and his co_n_tynuall Sute and whereas his Father myght haue had[822] of yo_ur_ lordshyp & yo_ur_ predecesso_ur_ dyuers offers who alwayes refused them yet neu_er_theles me thinkyth yo_ur_ lordshyp now can no lesse doo then to graunte hym so moche in consciens[823] as ye woolde have yovyn his Father For he ys moche[824] chargyd w_i_t_h_ the dett_e_s of his Father as he affirmyth and also w_i_t_h_ the Fyndyng of his Brethern and sisterne[825]. Whereffor in myn oppynyon it shalbe well doon that ye take an ende w_i_t_h_ hym Yow know his Father dyed in pryson at yo_ur_ Sute and thus co_m_myttyng this matyer to god & yo_ur_ Conscyens & thanking yow For my hawke & bydde yow hertelye Fare well at london the xxv^{ti} daye of July

_Endd._ mynute of a l_ette_re.


B.M. Harl. MSS. 283, f. 203; Cal. vii. App. 33. July 30 ‹1534›.

Directions about the administration of ‘the farm of the parsonage.’ Promises to attend to the monks of which Cobham speaks, if he will send them up.

I commend me vnto yo_ur_ good lordship yn my right harty maner, Adu_er_tisyng you that I have receyvyd your l_ette_res and the Inventory accordyng to your wrytyng. And touchyng the ferme of the parsonage I desire your lordship to cause the corne and other dutyes to be getherd together, and as for the rent I will order your lordship therin at our metyng. And your Monk_e_s of whome ye write if ye send theym hither I wil be contentyd to co_m_mon w_i_t_h_ theym and to do therin as the case shall requyre. I pray yo_ur_ lordshyp to have me co_m_mendyd vnto my good lady in my right harty maner and so to geve hir thank_e_s for the foule that she hathe sent vnto me. And thus our lord have you yn his kepyng. At Stepenhey the xxx^{th} day of Julye.

Your lordshippis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL

_Add._ To my very good lord my lord Cobham this be delyu_er_yd.


R.O. Cal. vii. 1132. Sept. 4 ‹1534›.

Asks assistance for two men who are going into those parts on the King’s business.

I co_m_mend me vnto you. ‹and› Adv_er_tise you that the king_es_ highnes at this tyme dothe send George Whelpeley and John Brawne about certayne besynes geven vnto theym in charge to be done in those p_ar_ties, w_i_t_h_ soche spede and diligence as they convenyently may requyryng you and eu_er_y of you to p_er_mytt and suffer the same George and John to execute and do in eu_er_y thyng, as the kyng_es_ grace hath co_m_maundyd theym w_i_t_h_out any yo_ur_ ympedyment_es_ let or interupcion in and about the same. And in case any ill disposed p_er_sone or p_er_sones will disobey or gaynsay the same, I farther requyre you yn the kyng_es_ behalf to assiste ayde and counsaill theym in and about thexecucion of their purpose. As ye will advoyde the king_es_ high displeasure. And thus fare ye well. At london the iiii^{th} day of September.


_Add._ To the Mayres Sheriff_es_ and Bayliffes Custumers Comptrollers and Sercho_ur_s w_i_t_h_in the townes and port_es_ of Suthampton Portesmouthe and Pole and eu_er_y of theym and the Crek_es_ belongyng to theym and eu_er_y of theym this be youen.

_Endd._ My m^{re}. l_ette_re for George Whelpeley


R.O. Cal. vii. 1134. Sept. 6 ‹1534›.

The King desires them to repair to Cromwell to answer to the charges made against them.

I comend me vnto you And these shalbe to adu_er_tise you that the king_es_ pleasure is that ye y_m_mediately vppon the sight of these my l_ette_res shall repayre hither to answer vnto suche thing_es_ as then shalbe leyed and obiected to you on the king our saide sou_er_eigne lord_es_ behalf. Fayle ye not thus to do as ye will avoyde ferther perill and inconuenyence. So Fare ye well From my house at Canbery the vi^{th} day of Septembre.


_Add._ To Sir Roger Reynold_es_ priest M_aster_ of the Hospitall of Saynt Johns in Huntingdon Robert Wolf Baylif there and John Kytche and to eu_er_y of them be this youen.


R.O. Cal. vii. 1179. Sept. 21, 1534.

The King, hearing that the searchers of Calais are remiss, and permit things to be conveyed out of the realm contrary to law, has appointed Nicholas Caldwell and John Gough to aid them.

In my right herty man_er_ I co_m_mende me vnto yo_ur_ good Lordshipp_es_. So it is that the King_es_ Highenes is certaynly informyd that dyuers and many thing_es_ arne dayly conveyd ouit of this realme into the partyes of beyond the sees contrary to the statut_es_ and provisions in suche casse ordeinyd and provided. and for as muche as the s_er_chours in the towne and M_ar_chys of Calais arne remysse and negligent in thexamynacion of their offic_es_ his highenes therfor well considering the same, and also p_er_ceyving that his trusty s_er_vaunt_es_ Nicholas Caldwall and John Gowghe byn men of good circumspiccion meate to make s_er_che and fynde owt the same, hathe ordenyd and constitutyd them Joyntly and severallie to be attendant and vigilant abouit the serching of the same w_i_t_h_in the saide toune and m_ar_chys and the havon Longing to the same for this tyme. Wherfor adu_er_tesing yo_ur_ Lordshippes of the king_es_ ples_ur_ therin I requyre you in the king_es_ behalff to assist and ayde the same Nicholas & John and eyther of them in execucyon of this the king_es_ ples_ur_ and co_m_maundement as often and as the casse shall requyre as the king_es_ trust is in you. and thus the blyssed trinitie pres_er_ue yo_ur_ good Lordshipp_es_ at Candbery the xxi of Septembre

thus subscribyd Yo_ur_ Lordshipp_es_ assuryd Frynd THOMAS CROMWELL.

The sup_er_scripcio_n_. To the right hono_ur_able and my Veray good Lord_es_ my Lord Lyssle depute of Calas and my Lorde Edmonde Howard Comptroller ther and to eyther of them be this yeven

_Endd._ Copia of Mr. Cromwell_es_ L_ette_re for the s_er_che to John Gowghe and N. caldewall 22 Septembre. 1534.


R.O. (Museum) Cal. vii. 1271. Oct. 17 ‹1534›.

Asks them to give audience to the bearer, who can tell them much about the evil-disposed person apprehended on Sunday last. Advises that the said person be not put to death till he has made full confession.

My lord_es_ after my most affectuouse reco_m_mendac_i_on, This present berer my lord of York_es_ seruaunt is arryved nowe to me w_i_t_h_ l_ette_res bothe to me and to the king_es_ highnes. I haue remitted hym furthw_i_t_h_ to deliver his maiestes l_ette_res. And because he can fully Instructe yo_ur_ lordships and enfo_ur_me you of many thing_es_ I pray you to heare hym fauourably and to geve hym full audience for ye shal here of hym sundry notable thing_es_ and sp_ec_ially ayenst hym that was apprehended on Sondaye last whom I tak to be an veray evill disposed p_er_sone and the which if he be examyned according to the said berers relation ye shal knowe thing_es_ gretely to be marked & noted Therfor I beseche you to have this mater recommended And that the said p_er_son so apprehended be not put to deth tyll we may knowe the hoole and profound bothom of his cancred hert. I pray you to sende to me adu_er_tisseme_n_t howe ye shal fynde hym and knowlege of the veray mater And also of any suche thing_es_ As I can do here, any expe_dis_hon for the furthera_un_ce of any the king_es_ maters For I shal spaer no diligence. Thus o_ur_ blessed creato_ur_ have you in his tuition & keping From the Rooles this xvii^{th} of Octobr_e_.

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.


R.O. Cal. vii. 1328. Oct. 29, 1534.

Requests him to examine and reform the ‘anoysaunces’ made by Sir Robert Wingfield in the Marches of Calais.

In my right harty maner I co_m_mend me vnto yo_ur_ good lordship. And wher as of late the kinges highnes hathe directed his Co_m_myssion vnto yo_ur_ lordship and other for pullyng downe and reformacion of certayne anoysaunces made and done by Sir Robart Wyngfeld w_i_t_h_in the Marches of Calays, the kinges pleasure is that ye and thother Co_m_myssion_er_s shall circumspectly viewe and ou_er_see the same. And that that of necessite ought to be refourmyd for the welthe strengthe and co_m_modite of the sayd Towne and marches accordyng as it was thought at my last beyng ther to be amendyng, and the resydue that ‹neither› damagithe ne hurtithe the same Towne to stand still as ye see reasonable cause after yo_ur_ discresion. and as ye shall seme good. And thus the blessed Trenyte p_re_serue yo_ur_ lordship At london the xxix day of October.

Your lordshyppis assuryd Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the hono_ur_able and my veray good Lorde my lord Vicount Lisle the kyng_es_ Depute of Calais be this youen.

_Endd._ Maister Cromwell the xxix^{th} of Octobre 1534.


B.M. Vesp. F. xiii, 105 b; Cal. vii. 1415. Nov. 11 ‹1534›.

Desires him to send back by the bearer a true copy of the proclamation, which is to be printed by Bartlett the printer to-night.

Aftre my right harty co_m_mendac_i_ons to yo_ur_ lordship Forasmoche as it shalbe very necessary to haue some copies of the proclamac_i_on also printed this night to thintent the same maye be sent into sundry p_ar_ties w_i_t_h_ the bokes, of answer, These shalbe to desire and pray yo_ur_ Lordship to sende me by this berer a true copie of the same, and I shal sende for bartelet the printer, and first swere him, and thenne cause him to entende this night to the printing of the copies therof accordingly. And thus most hartely Fare you wel. From the Rull_es_ the xi^{th} of Nouembr_e_

I require yo_ur_ lordship to cause the proclamac_i_ons to be writen and sealed w_i_t_h_ suche expedic_i_on as you may take the payne to be here w_i_t_h_ them tomorowe by tenne of the clock where my lord of Norff_olk_ and I w_i_t_h_ others wil tary dyner tyl yo_ur_ cu_m_myng.

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

ADD. To my very good Lord my Lord Chauncello_ur_ delyu_er_ this w_i_t_h_ spede.

_Endd._ m^{r}. Lord my m^{r}. to my lord Chauncello_ur_, _etc._


R.O. Cal. vii. 1438. Nov. 17 ‹1534›.

A letter of gentle reproof for failing to discharge his office, as his duty to the King demands. Points out that his ‘excess of living’ has brought him into contempt.

My very good lorde aftre my right harty co_m_mendac_i_ons I am now enforced to write my mynde plainly vnto youe as to him the p_re_seruation of whose hono_ur_ I desire Bothe for the discharge of my dueuty to the king_es_ highnes, and for the declaration of myn hartye good will whiche I bere vnto you, and therfor I require you my lorde to take it in good p_ar_te. First I trust you consider what a charge you haue there vnder the king_es_ M_aies_tie and I woold youe should remember Both what besemeth a man to doo being in that place, and that the same conteineth in it no state of inheritaunce, ne terme for lief But vppon the good Behauio_ur_ of the p_er_sonne having it. Nowe if you shuld waye the thing and the nature of it indifferently, Wold you thinke it mete that a man shuld haue that charge, which wold Bring himself to suche necessitie that he shuld be constrayned to put all thing_es_ to sale, that be co_m_mytted vppon sp_ec_iall trust to his discreation, neglecting of thone p_ar_te the king_es_ highnes hono_ur_ to be p_re_serued in the satisfaction of his grauntt_es_, of thother p_ar_te as it were contempnyng all frieendeship in giving place to a litle Lucre. Surely my lorde suche a gouerno_ur_ as you Be shuld not Bynde himself at any manes request to p_er_forme that shall not p_er_case lye in him, ne by any his excesse in living make himself soo nedye, that whenne the present thing shuld happen, he shuld be forced to haue more estimac_i_on of money thenne regarde to the tayle it Bringeth w_i_t_h_ it. If I were not determyned to contynue yo_ur_ lordships assured Freende I wold not worke this plainly w_i_t_h_ you, neither thinke that I doo it vppon any affection, for I wold ‹do› that I maywil honestly. oon man I haue often tymes reco_m_mended that is the Surveyo_ur_ whom the King_es_ Ma_ies_te woold haue s_er_ued of foure men according to his graunte and Late co_m_maundement made for the same. But yet I write not this so moche for him alone as for others and chiefly for yourself, and after for the poore man that is berer herof who hathe yo_ur_ Bonde. Whiche yo_ur_ hono_ur_ shalbe to p_er_forme and accomplishe, and Bothe myn aduise and desire shal concurre w_i_t_h_ the same, lest it might be taken yvel where p_er_case you did it vppon an honest grounde. Finally my lorde I remayn_e_ yo_ur_ harty Freende, and desire you to expresse yo_ur_ Freendeship again toward_es_ me in yo_ur_ hono_ur_able proceeding_es_, and the helping of such as the king_es_ Ma_ies_te wold shuld be there preferred, among_es_ the Whiche the Surveyr is not the last, and yet I wold he shuld haue nothing onles his s_er_uice des_er_ue it. Thus most hartely Fare you wel From the Nete the xvii^{th} of Nouembr

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my very good Lorde the Viscounte Lisle Deputie ‹of› the king_es_ towne and the Marches of Calays.

_Endd. by Lisle._ Tochyng the gyft of romys


R.O. Cal. vii. 1448. Nov. 20 ‹1534›.

Denies the report that he is displeased with her. If she continues to act as she has, she will always find him a firm friend.

In my right harty maner I co_m_mend me vnto yo_ur_ good ladiship. And wheras I am infourmyd that reaport hathe been made vnto you that I shuld be displeasid w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ ladiship . Where of trouthe I knowe no cause wherfore I shuld so be, Wherfore I pray you geve no soche credence ne beleffe to any p_er_sone, for yo_ur_ good ladiship vsyng yo_ur_ selfe in all causes none otherwise then I here that ye do, and as I doubte not that ye will here after contynewe, shall fynd me as redy to do you any pleasure, that may lye in me to do as any frynd that ye have. And thus the blessed Trenyte pres_er_ue your good ladiship. At london the xx^{th} day of November.

Your louyng Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right hono_ur_able and my very good lady my lady lisle be this youen.


R.O. Cal. vii. 1613. ‹1534.›

Reports that Mr. Southwell is content to sell the manor beside East Yafford, in Yorkshire, and will show it to the King’s surveyor.

Pleasythit yo_ur_ highnes to be adu_er_tysyd how that Sythyn my repayre to london I haue[826] spokyn w_i_t_h_ Mr. Sowthwell to whom I haue declaryd yo_ur_ most gracyous pleasure touching the purchasing of his Manno_ur_ besyd_es_ est yafford who most humblye Submyttyth hym vnto the plesure of yo_ur_ magestye and ys right well content that yo_ur_ grace appoyntyng[827] Suche p_er_sons to vew the sayd manno_ur_ as shall ‹stand› w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ highe pleasure he wyll gyue his attendaunce to shew vnto them the same to thentent yo_ur_ highnes may be trewlye certeffyed vppon the vew of the Comodytes belongyng to the same. and that ons known, w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ most gracyous plesure, Further conclusyon to be takyn & Such as to yo_ur_ highnes shall Seme most mete. Wherfor and it might please yo_ur_ grace that I myght know yo_ur_ plesure who yo_ur_ highnes woolde appoynt to Survey the sayd Mano_ur_ I woolde then accordyngly[828] cause Instruccyons to be in Redynes For the same[829].

89. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. vii. 1614. ‹1534.›

Desires him to give Mr. Alen a lease of the farm of Canewood and Canefield, in Essex, without delay, and trusts he has made no promise which will prevent him from doing this.

My Lorde after my right hertie reco_m_mendac_i_ons where as I haue wrytten to you in the fauo_ur_s of my veraye Frend Mr. Alen for his p_re_ferrement to the Ferme of Canewod and Canefeld_es_ And hauing receyued yo_ur_ answer thereunto whereby I do p_er_ceyve yo_ur_ desire is to haue respite of yo_ur_ consent and gr_a_unnt_es_ in that behalf till yo_ur_ co_m_myng to London alledging that in the meantyme ye will do yo_ur_ possible to call agayn a form_er_ p_ro_mise by you thereof made to a nother p_er_son, My lorde I trust ye haue made no such p_ro_mise which in case ye haue, yet I doubt not ye will so compase it that my p_ur_pose be not Disapoynted by that meane. And therefore my lorde Forasmoche as I do so ernestly meane and intende the satisfacc_i_on of my saide Frend in that p_ar_te, I shall eftesones most hertelie requyre you indelayedlie to confourme yo_ur_ self to thaccomplisshme_n_t thereof, and all excuses set a p_ar_te, to make him out a lease of the said Ferme according to my form_er_ request, Which be ye assured in Few word_es_ I shall intend so to requyte as ye shall haue no cause to thinke the same bestowid vppon an ingrate p_er_son

90. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. vii. 1615. ‹1534.›

On behalf of Thomas Miller, an English subject, whose goods have been wrongly detained by James Sinclair, governor of the north of Scotland, and who cannot get redress.

After my right hertie co_m_mendac_i_ons it may lyke you to undrestonde that where A Shyp called the Andrewe ap_er_teynyng to one Thomas Miller beyng a Subiect to my most dreade sou_er_aigne Lorde Kyng and maister by chaunce of tempest or other mysfortune was ronne Aground in the north p_ar_ties of the Realme of Scotland. And yet neu_er_thelesse the most p_ar_te of alle the goodes and m_er_chandises in the said Shypp amountyng to the value of cclx li. sterling as I am enformed were there and then ‹saved› by the diligens and labours of the s_er_u_a_unt_e_s of the said Thomas they beyng taken owt and by them savely kepte to their saide maisters vse by the space of viii or ix dayes. Vnto suche tyme as one James Seyntcler governer and ruler in the said North p_ar_ties of Scotland vndre the Kynges grace yo_ur_ maister w_i_t_h_out any reasonable cause toke awaye the said goodes and m_er_chandises from the Servants of the said Thomas and so the same eu_er_ sens hathe kept and deteyned agaynst good equitie and consciens. And for as moche as at yo_ur_ last beyng in Englond ye gentilly p_ro_mised me that if I wrote vnto you for relief or necessitie of any the Subiect_e_s of Englande in cases or Justice, ye wolde the rather at my pore contemplacion put youre good endevor to accomplysshe my request. At whiche tyme also of yo_ur_ said beyng in England thys case was then by me and other the kyng my Maisters Counsayle mocioned, and declared vnto you, Whereapon ye p_ro_mised vs that yf the p_ar_tie damaged repayred to yo_ur_ p_ar_ties for Justice after yo_ur_ comyng home that then he shold be restored as to reason, right, and conscience shold app_er_teyne. And thys notw_i_t_h_stondyng albeit the said Thomas Miller by the late maister of the said Shipp hath made humble sut_e_s for Justice and Restitucion of hys said gooddes and m_er_chandises to hys greate cost_e_s and charges yet neu_er_thelesse he hath hitherto had nor can get any redresse. Wherefore at the desyre of the said Thomas I at thys tyme am bold to wryght vnto you, right hartely desiryng you that at the repaire of the said Thomas or eny of hys s_er_vants to you w_i_t_h_ these my l_ette_res that he may by yo_ur_ good favors and meanes so reasonably be ordered in thys case as he shall haue no cause reasonable to compleyn for lak of Justice, by whiche doyng_es_ I shall accompt my self bounden to reaquite yo_ur_ gentilnes w_i_t_h_ semblable pleasures for Any Frend or Neyghbour of yo_ur_s.

_Endd._ A Copie of a l_ette_re writen into Scotland in the favo_ur_ of one Thomas miller of london

91. CROMWELL TO ----.

R.O. Cal. vii. 1616. ‹1534.›

Desires him to restore the lands which he has wrongfully taken from Reginald Williams in the West Country.

After my right hertie co_m_mendac_i_ons Forasmoche as I haue bene sued vnto and requyred by my Freendes to adresse thiese my l_ette_res vnto you in the fauo_ur_ of one Reignolde Williams from whom as I am crediblie info_ur_med ye do deteyne and w_i_t_h_olde certeyne londes in the weste cuntrey contrary to all right and good equitie albeit the saide Reignalde Williams as manifestly appereth by his euydenc_e_s is nexte heire vnto the same lond_es_ I shall therfore hertely desyre you the rather at this my requeste and contemplacion that w_i_t_h_out any further molestation or truble in the lawe ye will calle togither yo_ur_ Freendes and after co_m_m_u_nication had in the mattier to conclude a Finall ende therin accordinge to equitie and co_n_sciens so that the saide Reignolde receyue no iniurye nor wronge at yo_ur_ hande[830], but also bynde me to shewe you lyke pleasures accordinglie. thus Fare ye well. At my howse of Stepneth


R.O. Cal. vii. 618. ‹1534.›

The King is displeased at hearing of the ill-treatment of the inhabitants of the town by the authorities of the University, and desires that amends be made.

I comend me vnto yow Aduertysing the same _tha_t wher the king_es_ hyghnes is crediblie infourmed of you_r_ abusions vsurpacyons & vngentill demeano_ur_ vsed toward_es_ the king_es_ highnes his subiect_es_ & inhabit_a_unt_es_ of _tha_t his towne of Oxforthe & subberb_es_ of the same I can not but mervaile _tha_t ye being men of Lerning & in whom shoulde remayne both wisedom & discressyon wille in suche wise demeane your self[831] not onelie in making of lawes & ordyn_a_unc_es_ Amongst your self to their hindrance hurt and preiudice but also c_on_trary to the king_es_ lawes whiche aperethe in you to haue proceded of nothing but mere malice Wherfor intending to co_n_duce & Allecte yow to som good conformyte & quyetnes the king_es_ hyghnes therfore hathe co_m_mandyd me to advise yow not onlie to restore all such persons as you haue discomoned p_er_mitting them to do & occupie as they did before, w_i_t_h_out mayntening or suffering any scoler or ser_ua_unt_es_ to occupie w_i_t_h_ in the toune or suburbe of _th_e same as a burgesse there dothe except he or they do agree there fore w_i_t_h_ the sayd burgesses But also that in no wise ye do vexe trouble or inquyete any of the saide inhabitaunt_es_ by suspension exco_m_munycaci_on_ discomonning banysshement or otherwise, vsing suche discression _tha_t all varyaunc_es_ may ceasse & be stayed amongst yow so as all malice and evill will being co_n_tempned & expulsed from yow, good amyte peax & quyetnes may take place accordynglie. And duobt ye not or it be long the King_es_ Counsaile by his grac_i_ous co_m_maundement will & haue determyned to set suche an ende & redresse amongst yow as god willing shall be an establisshing of a p_er_petuall peax good vnyte & accorde amongst yow for eu_er_ fayell ye not this to do as yow wyll answre vnto the kyng_es_ highnes & advoyde the daung_ier_ of his indingnacion & high displessur And so Fare ye well

_Add._ To the Ch_a_uncelour and comissarie w_i_t_h_ other the heddes & membres of the vnyversite of Oxforde be this youen

_Endd._ A copye of a l_ette_re to Oxforth


R.O. Cal. viii. 187. Feb. 8 ‹1535›.

The King has written to Lisle to give Ralph Hare the next vacant position at 8_d._ a day. Advises Lisle to follow the King’s orders.

In my most harty wise I co_m_mend me vnto your good lordship. And p_er_sayvyng that the king_es_ highnes hathe not only geven vnto Raufe Hare by sufficient writyng vnder the privey seale, the roume of eight pence sterling by the day whiche shall first and next fall voyde w_i_t_h_in that the towne of Calays, but hathe also writen vnto you his l_ette_res vnder hys signet confermyng thesame and mencionyng therby his pleasure and expresse co_m_maundment in that behalfe, these shalbe therfore as yo_ur_ lordshippes assured frynde to my power to advise you to folowe the kyng_es_ co_m_maundement therin for the satisfaction of his pleasure in that behalfe. Wherby ye shall not only des_er_ue the Kyng_es_ right harty and condigne thank_es_ but also admynyster and do vnto me and other of his frynd_es_ whiche dothe write vnto you also in his favour, great pleasure and gratuyte, the whiche god willyng shalbe on my part in semblable wise recompensed. And thus the blessed Trenyte p_re_serue yo_ur_ good lordship. At the Rolles the viii^{th} day of February.

Yo_ur_ lordshippis Freend assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right hono_ur_able and my synguler good lord the vicount lisle the kyng_es_ depute at Calays.

_Endd._ Mr. Secretoryes l_ette_re

Mr. Sekretarye the viii^{th} of Febrewary cons_er_ning raff Hare.


R.O. Cal. viii. 191. Feb. 10 ‹1535›.

The King desires the Prior personally to repair to Cromwell at once.

I Co_m_mende me vnto youe. Lating youe wit that for certain causes the p_ar_ticularities wherof ye shal knowe herafter The king_es_ pleasure and co_m_maundement is ye shal Imediatly vppon the sight herof all delayes and excuses setaparte p_er_sonally repaire vnto me wheresoeuer it shall chaunce me to be w_i_t_h_out faylling as ye wil answer to his grace at yo_ur_ extreme p_er_ill. From the Rulles the x^{th} of Februarye.


_Add._ To my Freende the prior of Dudleye yeve this w_i_t_h_ spede.


R.O. Cal. viii. 221. Feb. 15 ‹1535›.

Desires for Robert Baxter, a clerk of the Common Bench, the next vacancy in the clerkships of their court.

In my ryght harty wise I commend me vnto you & to eu_er_y of you And albeit I am many wise importune & bold apon you for my selff & my frend_es_ When cause & occasion hath so requyred. This shalbe to aduertise you that Robert Backster one of the Clarkes writers w_i_t_h_ John Joyner the kyng_es_ Preignetory of his grac_es_ comen bench at West_minster_ is very desyrous to be one of the Clarkes of your Courte & hath made instant peticion to me that by myne intercession to be made vnto youe in his fauo_ur_ he myght the rather & more effectuelly opteyne the same. And were as I am acerteynyd that the Rowmes of your foure Clarkes are now furnyshyd & non of theym voide. Wherefore I hertely desyre & p_ra_y you at the contemplacion of these my letters and for my sake wylbe content to graunt vnto the said Robert the next vacac_i_on of one of the iiii Clark_es_ of that your courte And I dare will undertake for hym that he shall at all tymes (yf he lyue to optayne the same) vse and behaue hymself like an honest officer. And for your goodnes herein to be shewed vnto hym (for my sake) ye shalbe well assured to fynd me as redy semably to requyte you of suche gratuite & pleasure as shall lye in me to shew vnto you. And thus fare ye well from the Rollys the xv day of february.

_Add._ To my veray good Lorde the Mayo_ur_ of the Citie of London and to his worshypfull Brethern thaldermen of the same & to euery of theym.

_Endd._ From Mr. Crumwelle.


R.O. Cal. viii. 239. Feb. 19 ‹1535›.

The King is informed that Burton has disturbed Lady Carew in her possession of a free chapel and ground, granted her by the King. Desires him to cease troubling her.

In my hartie maner I co_m_mende me vnto you, Aduertising the same that Whereas complaint hath nowe lately been made vnto the King_es_ Ma_ies_tie on the behalf of my Ladye Carewe howe that you haue made a wrongfull and riotouse entree into a certayn f_r_ee chapell and a litle close grounde abowt the same whiche chapell and grounde his hieghnes hath geven and graunted vnto her by his grac_es_ l_ette_res patent_es_ during her lief, the remayndre thereof to Fraunceys Carewe her sonne, and to the heyres masles of his bodye begoten, So that it seameth his maiestie hath the Reversion of the fee simple in him, his heyres and successo_ur_s. His Hieghnes willed me to signifie vnto you by these my l_ette_res his grac_es_ pleaso_ur_ and co_m_maundeme_n_t is that you do not onely permitte, and suffre the saied Ladye Carewe to enioye peaxably the possession of the premisses, and to restore suche thinges as you haue wrongfully taken owt of the chapell and grounde aforsaied, but also to cease yo_ur_ suete co_m_menced againste her at the co_m_men lawe vnto such tyme as both yo_ur_ titles maye be further examined and tryed by lerned and indifferent Counsaill, Not failing hereof as you tendere His Hieghnes pleaso_ur_, Thus fare you hertely well. From London the xix^{th} daie of Februarye.

Your louyng Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my Loving freende Henry Burton.

_Endd._ In the bahalf of the Ladye Carewe & her sonne Fraunceys.


Heralds’ Coll. of Arms, Shrewsb. MSS. A, f. 57; Cal. viii. 247. Feb. 20 ‹1535›.

Sends him a letter from the King. As for the farm of which the Earl wrote, Cromwell has discovered that his servant is not anxious to leave it, and he is unwilling to urge him.

After my right harty co_m_mendac_i_ons to yo_ur_ good lordshippe w_i_t_h_ semblable thank_es_ for yo_ur_ L_ette_res Lately addressed Vnto me The same shall herew_i_t_h_ receyue the King_es_ highnes L_ett_res of answer to suche credence as yow co_m_mytted to my Freende Maister Butt_es_ to be declared Vnto him. And albeit his Maiestie hathe not resolutely answered to the p_ar_ticular point_es_ of yo_ur_ credence aforsaid yet yo_ur_ lordshippe maye be assured at yo_ur_ cu_m_myng vppe to receyve suche answer in eu_er_y of the same as shalbe to yo_ur_ contentac_i_on. And vndoubtedly his grace woolbe as gladde to see yo_ur_ lordshippe as any man I suppose in his realme. Suche is his entier love and fauo_ur_ toward_es_ yowe. Whiche I am as gladde to p_er_ceyve and see as yo_ur_ self could desire the same. Touching the ferme wherof yo_ur_ lordshippe wrote vnto me I haue been in hande w_i_t_h_ my s_er_u_au_nt and like as I wold be lothe to constrayne him if I might otherwise chuse to forgoo it Soo I perceyve he woll not leave it onles it shalbe for advoyding of my displeasure, and again the man dothe me soo good s_er_uice that w_i_t_h_ equitie I canne presse him no further therin thenne I haue doon. Neuertheles if yo_ur_ lordshippe woll haue me eftsones to travail in it I shall doo asmoche more therin as yo_ur_ self shall at yo_ur_ cu_m_myng thinke mete for me. And thus moost hartely Fare yow well. From the Rull_e_s the xx^{th} of February

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my veray good Lorde Therle of Shrewisbury lord Steward of the King_es_ Houshold.


Bibl. Nat. de Paris, Fonds Moreau, 737, page 83; Cal. viii. 337. ‹Mar.› 4, 1535.

The report of the Treasurer of Brittany will assure him how desirous the King is to remain in friendship with the King of France. Urges de Brion to do all he can to strengthen and increase the amity.


J’ay receu les lettres qu’il vous a pleu m’escrire ensemble entendu vostre response, et charge de M^{r}. le Trésorier Palamédes, laquelle, selon sa très bonne manière de faire, et au très grand contentement du Roy, mon maistre, il a sceu trèsbien dire et déclarer, et pourtant que par la response qu’il emporte, vous pourrez clairement cognoistre la bonne constance et continuation d’amitié et vnion, en quoy le Roy mon dit maistre entend persister à tout iamais tant luy que sa postérité, sans aucunement varier, ains faire tout ce que avec son honneur et condescentement luy sera possible, au desir du Roy, son bon frère: pourtant aussy, que le dict Trésorier vous sçaura faire ample rapport de toutes choses;

Monseigneur, après vous avoir très affectueusement prié que veuilliés persuader, et si mestier est, inculquer à la ma^{té} du Roy V^e Maistre, la grandeur de leur amitié, et bonne intention de la dicte response et qu’il ne veuille presser ne desyrer le Roy de chose pourquoy l’on pense avoir suspicion ou coniecture qu’en l’amitié d’entr’eux y entre aucun respect de lucre ou proffit particulier: car ce n’est pas assez, comme vous sçavez trop mieux, que leur amitié soit cogneue et prinse pour ferme et establie par entr’eux et leurs amys, qui est à leur grand confort et encouragement: Mais aussy est très expédient de l’entretenir et conduire en sorte que leurs Ennemis et malveillans n’ayant cause d’y pouvoir penser, ne suspecter aucune interruption, qui sera à leur très grand esbahissement Confusion et desconfort: et ce faisant, comme bien gist en vous, le bien et plaisir, qui à tout le monde en adviendra, ne se sçavoir assez estimer, sans vous rescrire pour le présent plus au long, m’estre de très bon c[oe]ur recommandé à V^{e} Seigneurie et offert tout ce en quoi vous sçauray faire honneur et plaisir Je supplie nostre benoist Créateur, que, à vous Monseigneur, il veuille donner sa saincte et digne garde.

Signé, Vostre à commandement THOMAS CRAMWELL.

Escript à Londres, le iv iour de May[833]. 1534.

_Add._ A Monseigneur

Monseigneur l’Admiral de France.


R.O. Cal. viii. 419. Mar. 21 ‹1535›.

The King marvels at his delay in granting Thomas Appowell a position as soldier at Calais. Desires Lisle to give him the next vacant place.

After my right harty co_m_mendacions vnto yo_ur_ good lordship, thiese shalbe for asmoche as the king_es_ highnes before this tyme in consideracion of the good and acceptable s_er_uice done vnto his sayd highnes by his faythefull subgec[t] Thomas Appowell. Hathe geven and graunted vnto hym the roume of a Souldiour of the retynewe at Calays whiche first or next shuld fall and be voyde w_i_t_h_ the wag_es_ of viii d. a da[y] as by the king_es_ graunt therof made vnder his signet beryng date the second day of May in the xxiii^{th} yere of his reigne and other his sp_ec_iall l_ette_res sithens directed vnto you for that purpose it dothe more playnly appere. And that notw_i_t_h_standing, hitherto he hathe not been preferred to any suche roume, as he saythe wherat considering the kinges sayd graunt and l_ette_res seu_er_ally made for that purpose his highnes dothe not a litle marvaill. Wherfore I requyre and pray you for asmoche as thesayd Thomas hathe done good s_er_uice, and is right mete for that roume. And the rather for my sake and at the contemplacion of these my l_ette_res, to graunt vnto hym the next roume that shalbe voyde w_i_t_h_ thesayd wages, shewing vnto hym yo_ur_ lordshippes favo_ur_ in that behalf. Wherby besides that ye shall do a very good dede, ye shall admynyster and do vnto me right thankfull pleasu[re] the whiche god willyng I will in semblable wise requite. thus the blessed Trenyte preserue you. At the rolles the xxi day of Marche.

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my veray good lord the vicount lisle the King_es_ depute at Calays.


R.O. Cal. viii. 523. April 10, 1535.

The King is glad to hear that the Bishop of Rome begins to appreciate the justice of his cause. Urges that every effort be made to prevail upon the Pope to give formal sentence in favour of the divorce.

Mag_nifi_ce D_omi_ne Gregori salutem et commen_dacionem_ Complures post vestru_m_ hinc discessum, et uariis temporibus datas a vobis l_itte_ras accepi, quarum recensiores sub die xx februarii Romae scriptae sunt, quicquid uero de occure_n_tiis istis publicis, ac priuatis Regiae Ma_iesta_tis rebus in dictis l_itte_ris unquam significabatur sigillatim, ac diligenter id ipsi semper exposui, gratumq_ue_ et acceptum habet sedulu_m_ istud v_est_rum scribendi officium, nec ego antea v_est_ris l_itte_ris respondi, q_uod_ putaui, praeter istor_um_ successuu_m_ cognitione_m_ (quae sui nouitate grata semper est) non esse admodum multa, quibus particularius foret respondendum: Nunc autem Regia Ma_ies_tas quum v_estr_as tum ad se, tum ad me l_itter_as pressius, accuratiusq_ue_ perlegisset, illud inter coetera, mente adnotauit, Pontificem vobiscu_m_ loqui uoluisse, summa_m_q_ue_ praesetulisse Regiae Ma_iesta_ti gratificandi propensionem, et ob eam causam, duos accersisse ex hetruria iureconsultos cum primis eruditos, quorum doctrinae sanoq_ue_ iudicio potissimum fidat, eorumq_ue_ sententias, et opiniones pro Regiae Ma_iesta_tis causa stare, et eiusmodi esse v_est_ris vos l_itte_ris affirmatis ut pontifex ex officio debeat praesens matrimonium, etiam si de ualiditate dispensationis a Iulio factae constaret, approbare, Coeterum causa_m_ hanc, ut ueritatis fundamento totam innitentem, et si Regia Ma_ies_tas cum Deo satis firmatam habeat, et omni ex parte stabilitam, in hunc tamen sensum l_itte_ras v_estr_as interpretatur, Pontificem scilicet de eius rectitudine et aequitate cum sua Regia M_aiesta_te q_uam_ optime sentire, Proinde si amicum ac syncerum istud pectus erga Ser_enissi_mum Do_min_um meum Regem (quod vos scribitis) re uera habet, quin potius, ut bonum quenq_ue_ virum ab omni prorsus odio, et affectu liberum, et immunem in primis decet, si ueritati ex anima fauet, eius certe sunt partes, ut suam hanc erga Inuictissimum D_omi_num meum Regem in causa omnium iustissima bene affectam uoluntatem, suo etiam publico testimonio, et approbatione vniuersi orbi reddat perq_uam_ manifestam, suaq_ue_ sponte, innataq_ue_ animi probitate et solius ueritatis propagandae studio, nulla Regiae Ma_iesta_tis intercessione expectata, ad id adducatur, ut nullius metu, seu respectu a uero rectoq_ue_ deflectens de prioris matrimonii inualiditate, praesentisq_ue_ firmitate, et robore ingenue pronunciet, quem ad modum doctissimis illis viris, quos huius rei causa ab eo accersitos, istic adesse scribitis, maxime probari significatis, efficiet certe Pontifex rem suo munere, et officio dignam, Ser_enissi_mo D_omi_no meo Regi, qui suae causae iustitiam tot uigiliis, sumptibus ac laboribus diu quaesitam, et iam pridem cum Deo compertam habet, ueheme_n_ter gratam, sibiq_ue_ in primis, et pontificatui suo longe utiliorem, q_uam_ nunc demonstratione sit opus, Vos autem si hac in re nullo Regiae Ma_iesta_tis expectato mandato, nulloq_ue_ suo iussu (non enim firmiora suae causae q_uam_ nunc habet adiumenta aliunde sperat) quicq_uid_ profeceritis, ac Pontificem v_est_ra dexteritate ex vobis ad id quod scribitis adduxeritis, eiusdem Regiae Ma_iesta_tis expectationi quae no_n_ vana, aut victa officia, nec infructuosos rerum euentus de v_estr_is actionibus sibi pollicetur, procul dubio respondebitis, et haec a Pontifice beneuolentia et gratia ex officio proueniens eo no_m_i_n_e gratior, et acceptior erit, q_uod_ ueritatis ratio, deiq_ue_ respectus, sanaq_ue_ conscientia ad hoc eum mortaliu_m_ nemine procura_n_te, nunc commouerit. Et bene valete. Londini Die x Aprilis M.D. xxxv.

Vester bonus amicus THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ Mag_nifi_co Equiti, D_omi_no Gregorio Casalio etc. Amico car_issi_mo.


R.O. Cal. vii. 268[834]. ‹April 10, 1535.›

Draft in English of the preceding.

After my right ‹hearty› co_m_mendacions, Sithen yo_ur_ dep_ar_ture I haue receyued sundry of yo_ur_ l_ette_res whereof the last bere date at Rome the xx day of Februarie. And whatsoeu_er_ ye haue signefied vnto me by yo_ur_ saide l_ette_res aswell of the publique occurrant_es_ there as of the King_es_ highnes pryuate affairees I haue aliwayes intymated and declared the same to the king_es_ maiestie who right thankefully and acceptablie taketh and estemeth yo_ur_ diligence in wryting And now having p_er_vsed and redde both yo_ur_ l_ette_res addressed to his maieste and also to me his highnes hathe speciallie noted in the same amongst other that the bisshop of Rome speking w_i_t_h_ you shewed himself veray propice and desirous to gratefie his saide highnes And that he had sent for out of Ethrurie twoo Lawyers being singulerly well lerned in whose doctrine and good iudgement he hathe grete trust and confidence Whose sentenc_es_ and opynyons do stonde hollie w_i_t_h_ the king_es_ highnes cause Affirmyng (as ye wryte) that the saide Bisshop of Rome of his duetie and office ought to approbate and confyrme this p_re_sent matrymonie albeit it depended vppon the validite of the dispensacion made by Julius. So as Notw_i_t_h_stonding that the king_es_ maiestie having his saide cause sufficientlie diffyned and being himself in that behalf resolutely determyned and grounded as vppon the foundacion of veryte and trowth hathe discharged his conscience therein (like a good vertuous and catholique prynce) afore god and the worlde Yet his maieste dothe in suche sence interpretate yo_ur_ l_ette_res that (as appereth by the same) the saide bisshop of Rome begynneth now somwhat to sauo_ur_ and fele the iustnes and equyte of the saide cause and p_ar_telie to stande w_i_t_h_ the King_es_ maiestie in the same. Wherefore if the saide bisshop of Rome do in dede bere so frendelie and syncere good mynde and will toward_es_ the king_es_ highnes (as ye do wryte) or rather if he love the trewth as it beco_m_meth eu_er_y good man to do setting ap_ar_te all hatred and affection it is his parte to shew the same now to the vnyu_er_sall worlde in this most iust and rightcious cause by his owne publique testymonye and approbacion. And of his owne free will and w_i_t_h_out any sute or intercession of the king_es_ maiestie onelie adhering to the trewth and negle_c_ting all other respect_es_ to p_ro_nounce the invalidite of the first mat_ri_mony and the validite of the seconde according to the sentenc_es_ iudgement_es_ and diffynytions of the saide ii^{o} lerned men which as ye wryte the saide bisshop of Rome called and sent for vnto him for that purpose which if the saide Bisshop of Rome will, surely he shall do ‹a› thing wo_ur_thie his office and merite of god and the worlde and to the king_es_ highnes veray thankefull and acceptable pleasure, and also to him self and his see moche more p_ro_fite and good then now nedeth to expresse. And you for yo_ur_ p_ar_te if in this matier as of yo_ur_ self ye can any thing p_ro_fite or p_re_vaile by yo_ur_ good policie and dexteryte toward_es_ the conducyng of the saide Bisshop of Rome to that conformyte (as ye wryte in yo_ur_ saide l_ette_res) ye shall then vndoubtedlie answer to the king_es_ highnes expectac_i_on And the same p_ro_ceding of the beneuolence of the saide Bisshop of Rome and the zele that he hathe to the due execucion of his office and duetie shalbe the more grate and acceptable a grete dell to the King_es_ highnes and the hole wo_ur_lde, seeing that the mere veryte and the respecte that he hath to god and his owne conscience shall move him thereunto w_i_t_h_out any mortall mannes procurement

_Endd._ A Mynute of certeyn l_ette_res responsyve to on at Rome

A mynute of a L_ette_re to intymate to the Pope the King_es_ desyre to haue him condiscend to the dyvorce & to allowe the second maryage.


R.O. Cal. viii. 563. Apr. 20 ‹1535›.

Requests him to use his influence to induce Mr. Sinclair to cease suing Edward Campion, clerk of the peace in Essex.

After my m[ost] hertie maner I co_m_mende me vnto you, and evyn so I pray you at this my request and contemplac_i_on to be good Maister and frende vnto Edwarde Campion clerke of the peax w_i_t_h_in the shere of Essex of and in all suche his busynes towching the same his office and to be ameane for hym in the same unto Mr Sayntclere hym to desire to putt the said campion to no further vexacions and sut_es_ for the said office as he hath heretofore done. In doyng whereof you shall admynister vnto me right singul_e_r pleasure, which god willing . I shall not for get semblable to requyte as shall lye in my litill power. And this hertelye fare ye well. At london this xx^{th} day of Aprill

_Add._ To my lovyng frende Master Riche.

_Endd._ Mynute of l_ette_re.


B.M. Add. MSS. 6,416, f. 8; Cal. viii. 743. May 21 ‹1535›.

The King is informed that the town of Fowey is in a bad state, because the Prior, who has the liberties of the town in his hands, administers it so badly. Desires him to amend his ways.

M^{r} prio_ur_ as vnaccquanted I haue me co_m_mended vnto you, and whereas it is comen vnto the king_es_ highnes knowledge that the Towne of Fowey is sore decayed and thoccasion therof p_ar_tlie is that in the saide Towne is no order of Justice bicause the liberties concerninge the same graunted by the king_es_ highnes and his noble progenitours to your predecessours and by theime vnto the inhabitaunt_es_ of the saide Towne remayne in yo_ur_ handes and kepinge So that betwene you no maner good order equitie nor iustice is executed and vsed w_i_t_h_in the saide Towne. Wherfore I require you to condiscende and agree w_i_t_h_ the inhabitaunt_es_ of the saide Towne so that you hauynge yo_ur_ reasonable approued duties, they may haue theire liberties to be vsed and extended amongeste theime w_i_t_h_in the saide Towne to thincrease of good order w_i_t_h_in the same. And as ye shall agre therin to certifie me in writinge by Thomas Treffry berer herof. For his highnes thinketh that the saide porte of Fowey oweth to be his and to be holden of hime so that his grace entendeth from hensforth to haue it as well prouided for w_i_t_h_ good gouern_au_nce and of defence for vtter enemyes as other his townes and port_es_ be w_i_t_h_in those parties. Wherunto ye for yo_ur_ partie before this tyme haue had litle or no regarde neyther to the good order rule and defence therof ne yet to the good rule and gouernaunce of yourself yo_ur_ monasterie and religion as ye be bounde wherfore his highnes thinketh that ye be veray vnworthey to haue rule of any towne that cannot well rule yo_ur_self. And that I may haue aunswer as is afforesaide by this berer what ye intend to do I require you to thintente I maye certifie his highnes therof And thus fare ye well. At london the xxi^{th} daie of Maie


_Add._ To the priour of trewardreth in Cornewall be this youen.


R.O. Cal. viii. 790. May ‹1535›.

Desires them to request the fellows of Magdalen to admit Thomas Marshall as president of the college, on the resignation of the present president, who has already signified his willingness to give up his position.

In my right harty man_er_ I co_m_mende me vnto you. And where the Presedent of Mawdelyn College, as well by his seu_er_all l_ette_res as by mouthe (of his mere motion) at sundry tymes, myche co_m_mending the qualities of my Lord and frende master Thomas Marshal[l] g_ra_unted vnto me, that he wulde be contented to resigne that his Rowme to the same master Marshall, alledging that he was a man very apte & mete for the same, promysing further and nothing doubting, but in that behalf he bothe coulde & wolde fynde the meanes to obteyne the goode willes & myndes of the felowes of the said College. Neuertheles nowe of Late (to me no litle m_er_vaile) the saide presedent when I desired hym to accomplishe his saide promesse, alledged for his excuse that the goode willes of the saide felowes coulde not in that behalf be opteyned. Wherfore I hartely desire and pray you effectually in my name to solicite & entreate the saide felowes as by yo_ur_ wysdomes ye shall thinke most conuenient that they for my sake & at this my desire wilbe contented to conforme theym selves vpon the resignation of the said p_re_sedent to the admission of the saide master Marshall, or elles that contrary Wyse att the Leaste I may knowe by yo_ur_ writing in whome the mater sticketh. In doing wherof ye shall not only des_er_ue bothe Laude & prayse in the furderaunce of the saide master Marshall, whose ad_ua_uncement I hartely desire, but also I wille not faile to remembre yo_ur_ kyndnes in that I may doo you pleasure. And thus hartely fare ye well, from London the ---- daye of May.

_Endd._ The Copie of al_ette_re Sent to Mr. doctor London & Mr. Claymond.


B.M. Add. MSS. 12,097, f. 1; Cal. viii. 893. June 18 ‹1535›.

Requests him to discover and apprehend certain evil-disposed and riotous persons, who have unlawfully assembled in the county where the Earl lives.

After my right harty reco_m_mendacion vnto yo_ur_ good lordship, thiese shalbe tadu_er_tise the same that the king_es_ highnes hathe been adu_er_tised that diu_er_se riotous and ill-disposid p_er_sones of the p_ar_ties wher ye inhabite, or w_i_t_h_in you_r_ offices and roumes (as it is sayd) hathe lately vnlawfully assembled theymselfes together to no litle nombre in riotous maner to so_m_me lewde and vnthriftie intent and purpose. Wherfor his highnes myndyng the quietenes of his subiect_es_, and good rule and order to be maynteynyd and kepte w_i_t_h_in this realme Willithe and co_m_maundithe you and other of the Justices of his peax, furthew_i_t_h_ after the receyt herof to make inquisicion and serche, who and what nombre of the sayd p_er_sones hathe so assembled theymselfe, and for what cause intent and purpose they hathe so done And that ye also enquire who hathe beene the Capitall and cheffe doers in that partye. and further that ye cause theym to be apprehended and taken and sent hither w_i_t_h_ all convenyent spede together w_i_t_h_ all that ye shall fynd and knowe concernyng the premysses, and suche other offenders as ye shall not think good to be sent vp that yo_ur_ lordship cause theym to be put vnder sufficient suretyes for their good aberyng accordyng to his lawes, prayeng yo_ur_ lordship to adu_er_tise me of that ye shall do in the premysses by the berer herof w_i_t_h_ all convenyent spede. And thus the blessid Trenyte pres_er_ue you At the rolles the xviii^{th} day of June.

Your lordshyppis Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right hono_ur_able and my veray good lord the Erle of Cumberland be this youen.


Cooper’s Annals of Cambridge, i. 371; Cal. viii. 1036. July 14 ‹1535›.

Desires them to take measures to avoid any trouble with the members of the University at the approaching Stourbridge Fair.

After our hertye commendacions, wher variaunce debate and strif hath long depended betweene the Vycechauncellor of the Universite of Cambridge and the scolers of the same of the one partie, and you and the cominaltye of the towne of Cambridge on the ‹other› party, concernyng both your iurisdiccions and liberties. And albeit we, wyth others of the king’s counsaile by his graces commaundment, entended to have pacyfyed the sayd variaunce or this tyme; yet neverthelesse, for that we have had no convenient leasure for the same, the said variaunce as yet remaynith undetermyned. And forasmuche as Sturbridge fair is nowe nere at hand at whiche tyme it is thought verey like that variaunce and breche of the kings peax may happen betwixt you, bi reason of suche iurisdiccions as ether of you pretende to exercise in the same faire, if remedye were not provided for the same, we therfore, calling to rememberaunce that for the conservacion of the Kings peax an order was takyn the last yere at Lambeheth, before the most Reverend father in god the archebysshop of Canterbury and other the Kings Counsaile, what ether of you shuld exercise in the said faire without interrupcion of other, till the variaunce betweene you were fully determyned, Do nowe therfore advertise you that the Kings pleasure is that as well ye for your parts, as the said Vicechancellour and scolers for their parts, shall firmely for this faire tyme to cume this yere, observe and kepe the same order in every poynt without violacion therof: Signifying unto you that we have written our letteres to the said Vycechauncellour and scolers for the same cause, Putting you out of doubt that by the due keping of the said order, ye shall take no preiudice of eny your lawfull liberties that of right ye ought to have, uppon examynacyon and fynall determynacyon of ether your titles, To the proceeding in the finall order wherof, we will with all diligence (god willing) put our effectuall endevor this next terme, as the kings pleasure is we shuld do, requiring you to take pacyens in the meane season. And thus almyghtye Jhu have you in keping. Wrytten at London the xiiij^{th} daye of July.

Your frends, THOMAS AUDELEY Knt. Chauncell. THOM^{S}. CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the Maier and comynaltie of the Towne of Cambridg be this yeven.


B.M. Titus B. i, 318; Cal. viii. 1042. July 15 ‹1535›.

Sends a royal proclamation against conveying coin out of the realm, and a copy of the statute of 5 Richard II. to the same effect. The council gave its opinion that the King’s proclamation in this case should have the same force as a statute.

May hit please yo_ur_ grace to be Adu_er_tysyd that I haue resayuyd yo_ur_ l_ette_res[835] p_er_sayuyng by the Contentt_es_ therof that the Kyng_es_ highnes dothe moche m_er_veyle that I haue not adu_er_tysyde yo_ur_ grace what order my lord chauncelor and others of his Counceyll hath[836] takyn Concernyng the conveyaunce of Coyne owt of the realme. Syr according to your gracyous co_m_maundement vppon tewysdaye last Mr. Attorney and I bothe dyd Intymate & declare the King_es_ pleasure vnto my lorde Chauncelor who Immedyatlye Sent For My lorde cheffe Justyce of the kyng_es_ benche the cheffe Justyce of the Co_m_mon place the cheffe Barron and Mr. Fytzeherberd Mr. Attorney Mr. Solysytor and I being p_re_sent and the Case by my sayd lord Chauncelor openyd dyuers oppynyons ther were, but Fynally it was Concludyd that all the statuttes sholde be Inserchyd to See whether ther were anye Statute or lawe able to serue for the purpose and yf ther were it was thought good, that yf it sholde happen any accydent to be wherby ther myght Be any occasyon that the money sholde be conveyed owt of the realme that then proclamacyon sholde be made growndyd vppon the sayd Statute adding therunto poletyklye certayn thing_es_ For the putting the Kyng_es_ Subiect_es_ and other in more terroure ande Feare vppon which deuyse serche was made and a goode estatute Founde which was made in the Fyfte yere of Kyng Rychard the seconde the Copye wheroff translatyd[837] into Inglyshe I do sende vnto yo_ur_ grace drawne in mann_er_ of A proclamacyon by the aduyse of the Kyng_es_ lernyd Counsayle. But Amongyst all other thing_es_ I mouyd vnto my sayd lorde chauncelor my lorde cheffe Justyce and other that yf in Case ther were no law nor statute made alredye for any suche purpose what myght the Kyng_es_ hignes by the aduyse of his Counsaylle doo to w_i_t_h_stande so greate a daunger lyke as yo_ur_ grace alledgyd at my beyng w_i_t_h_ you to the which yt was answeryd by my lorde cheffe Justyce that the Kyng_es_ hyghnes by the aduyse of his Cownsayll myght make p_ro_clamacyons and vse all other polecyes at his pleasure as well in this Case as in Anye other lyke For the avoyding of any suche daungers and that the sayd proclamacyons and polyces so deuysyd by the King & his cownsayll for any such purpose sholde be of as good effect as Any law made by parlyament or otherwyse which oppy_nyo_n I assure yo_ur_ grace I was veray gladde to here[838] wheruppon[839] the sayd statute[840] was drawen in to a ‹copy› in forme as ‹a› p_ro_clamacyon I do now sende the same to yo_ur_ grace[840] and thus the holye trynyte p_re_serue yo_ur_ grace in long lyff good ‹health› w_i_t_h_ the Increase of moche honor at london the xv^{th} day of July.


Library of William Berington, Esq., of Little Malvern Court. Not in Cal. July 18 ‹1535›.

Desires them to examine the complaint of Robert Symonds, of Pershore, in Worcestershire, and see that justice is done if possible.

I co_m_mende me vnto you in my right hertie maner And by the tenure [of these letters] whiche I sende vnto you herin closid ye may p_er_ceue the complaynt of Robert Symond_es_ of p_er_shor in the countie of worcester wherfor I hartely desire and pray you groundly to consider and pounder the content_es_ of the same and callyng the p_ar_t_ies_ before you ye be soche waies and meanes as ye can best devise examyne the hole circumstaunce therof and sett a fynall ende therin if ye can And if through the obstinacie of either of the said p_ar_t_ies_ ye cannot convenyently so do then my further desire is that ye wryte vnto me the truthe and playnes of the mater w_i_t_h_ the circumstaunces therof to thintent I may therin cause some meanes to be founde as the [case] rightfully shall require wherby ye shall do a very good and meritorious dede. And thus fare ye hartely well at London the xviij^{th} day of July


_Add._ To my louyng frendes Sir John Russell Knyght Roger Wynter John Pakyngton and John Vampage Esquyres or to thre or two of them.


Library of William Berington, Esq., of Little Malvern Court. Not in Cal. July 20 ‹1535›.

Desires them to survey the possessions of the clergy in the Shire of Worcester according to the King’s commission, and to send an account of their value to London.

After our right hartye co_m_mendacyons where the Kyng_es_ Co_m_myssion was dyrectyd vnto you & other for the surveyng and taxacion of the clere yerely values of all the possessions of the clergie in the Shire of Worceter accordyng to a boke of Instruccyons assigned w_i_t_h_ the hand of the Kyng_es_ highnes annexed vnto the said Co_m_missyon we signyfie vnto you that the Kyng_es_ pleasure ys that ye callyng your fellowes Joyned w_i_t_h_ you in Co_m_myssion shall w_i_t_h_ all possible dylygens accomplysshe theffect_es_ therof And to sende to vs to london all the bokes taken by you of the vieu & value of the said possessions by one or two suche of your fellowes whiche were Audytours of the same before the xij^{th} day of Septembre next co_m_myng. Not faylyng this to do at your perill. And as ye entende to advaunce the Kynges pleasure in this behalf. And thus fare you well. At london the xx^{th} day of Julye


_Add._ To their loving freend_es_ S_ir_ John Russell the yonger Knight John pakington Esqu_ie_r and John Russell Esquier and to eu_er_y of theym be this yoven.

_Endd._ Wigorn.


Library of Lord Calthorpe. Not in Cal. July 23 ‹1535›.

Begs him to make speed in his journey. Bonner’s commission is ready, and Mr. Gostwick will deliver to him the Duke of Holstein’s letter.

Mr. Boner I co_m_mende me vnto you. Signefieng vnto the same that the Kyng_es_ pleasure is ye w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ college shall w_i_t_h_ all spede and possible haste set yo_ur_ selff_es_ forward toward_es_ thaccomplisshement of yo_ur_ io_ur_ney, and cause yo_ur_ Ship also to be rigged and made redy so as ye haue no cause of Delaye. Yo_ur_ co_m_mission I vnderstonde ye haue alredy made and sealed, and touching the Duke of Holst_es_ l_ette_re if ye haue not yet receyued it Mr. gostwike shall delyu_er_ it you or to Cauendish accordinglie. Prayeng you ones agayne to make all thacceleracion and hast forward_es_ that ye can possiblie as ye intende to please the King_es_ highnes. And so Fare ye well. At Wynchcombe the xxiii day of Julie


Maister Boner the King_es_ highnes nothing dowtyth in yo_ur_ wysedom polyce and discrecyo_n_ But that ye wooll Vse yo_ur_ Self according to his trust and expectacy_on_.

_Add._ To his louing frende Docto_ur_ Boner be this youen w_i_t_h_ spede.


R.O. Cal. viii. 1130. July 29 ‹1535›.

Desires him to express to the Duke of Suffolk the King’s displeasure at the ‘decay’ of certain places, which the Duke affirms he has repaired. Urges him to request the Duke to part with certain reversions which are desired by the King.

After my right hertie co_m_mendac_i_ons these shalbe to adu_er_tise you that the king_es_ highnes hauyng receyued yo_ur_ l_ette_res hathe youen me in co_m_maundement to make you answer as here insueth. First touching suche leases as it is supposed shoulde be made by the Duke of Suffolke, the king_es_ highnes seyeth that he knoweth not that the saide Duke or his officers haue made any lease syns the co_m_munycac_i_on had betwixt them of this bargayn, but his highnes is certenly info_ur_med that the saide Duke or his officers haue offered to make fourth certen leases syns the tyme of the saide co_m_munycac_i_on had. Whereof his maieste can not but mervaile and for the same conceyueth som ingratitude and vnkyndenes in the said Duke if it can so be proved. Secondely touching the Decay of Ewelme and Donyngton the king_es_ highnes answered that what soeuer the saide Duke hathe spent vppon them, it may well appere in what decay they stonde, and who soeu_er_ shall view them shall facilly p_er_ceyue that grete somes of money will not sufficientlie repaire them as his highnes himself w_i_t_h_ his eye hath vewed the saide Ewelme at his grac_es_ late being there. And for Donyngton the house is not onelie in decay but also the keper of the same Mr. Fetyplace hath both consumed and distroyed the Dere and game there and also wasted the wood_es_ in such wise as it is thought he hathe not onelie forfaited his patent but also right ill deserued to haue eyther fee or thanke for any good service he hathe don there. And semblablie the king_es_ highnes hauing ben at Hokenorton whiche his grace lyketh veray well can not perceyue ne also his Surueyo_ur_s sent thither can not see how that xv^{e} li should be employed there as it is affirmed by the saide Duke, so as it is not vnlike but that the saide Duke hathe ben deceyued by his officers. And whatsoeu_er_ hath ben spent there, yet will it requyre no small so_m_mes of money to repare and buylde it after the king_es_ mynde and pleasure whiche wilbe chargeable to his highnes. And touching the game of the red Dere at Hokenorton aforsaide, his maiestie Doubtith not but that the saide Duke will iustefie his couuen_au_nte and agrement w_i_t_h_ the keper for the keping of lxxx red dere there accordinglie. Thirdely concerning the reuersions of the lady Gordon and John Verney the king_es_ highnes p_er_ceyuing the conformyte of the saide Duke in that behalf and also yo_ur_ travaile and diligence in the same gyueth vnto him and you both therefore his grac_es_ hertie and condigne thank_es_. Trusting that like as his highnes hathe heretofore mynystered grete benefit_es_ and co_m_modytees vnto the saide Duke, who hathe atteyned this degree hono_ur_ and astate that he now is in by the meanes and onely ad_ua_uncement of the king_es_ saide highnes. So the saide Duke wilbe contented to departe w_i_t_h_ the saide reu_er_sions frankely and frely to his highnes of his mere lyberalite to extende toward_es_ him, and to permytte his maiestee to haue the saide reu_er_sions w_i_t_h_in his bargayn alredy made as his grace thought he had had, onely trusting to his grac_es_ bountie and goodnes for the recompence of the same. Wherein the king_es_ pleasure is ye shalbe playne w_i_t_h_ the saide Duke, vttering and declaring vnto him the good opynyon which the king_es_ highnes hathe conceyved in his conformyte toward_es_ all his gra_ci_ous request_es_ and affairees, and how he of all men is thereunto bounde if he do well consider the manyfold benefit_es_ that he hath receyued at the king_es_ hande. Wherefore ye may counsaile him not to gyue any cause or occasion in this behalf to the kyng_es_ highnes to conceyve any Jalousie or mistrust in him but that rather he will shew herein his frankenes and liberall herte toward_es_ his maiestie w_i_t_h_out stycking w_i_t_h_ his grace in so small a matier. And so doing let him be assured that like as the king_es_ highnes heretofore for lesse cause youen on the saide Duk_es_ p_ar_te, hathe ad_ua_unced him to this hono_ur_ and astate that he now is at, So shall his maiestee the rather now be Dryven to consider the frankenes and gentill liberalite of the saide Duke in this behalf if he frankely do com forward_es_ w_i_t_h_ the same. And Fynally I pray you on my behalf to say somwhat to the saide Duke in this matier alledging vnto him that as I am, alwayes haue be_e_n, and eu_er_ wilbe his grac_es_ poure frende so I requere him not to stycke w_i_t_h_ the king_es_ highnes in this matier, and pray his grace not to doubte but that the king_es_ highnes wilbe as good lorde to him in recompence of the saide reu_er_sions as if his highnes Did now parte and couue_na_unte w_i_t_h_ him for the same aforehand. Wherein eftesones I pray you shew him on my behalf that my poure and frendelie aduise is that his g_ra_ce shall liberally wryte to the king_es_ highnes in this matier so as his highnes may thereby p_er_ceyue the saide Duk_es_ gentill herte and naturall zele toward_es_ his maieste aswell in this as in all other thing_es_. Which be ye assured in myn opynyon shalbe more beneficyall vnto the saide Duke then x tymes so moche lande as the saide reuersions Do amount vnto. Requering you so to shew his grace fro me as from him that wold be as glad of his grac_es_ welth and p_ro_speryte as any one of his poure frend_es_. So knoweth o_ur_ lorde who send you well to fare. From the Monastery of Tewkesbury the xxix^{ti} Day of Julie.


_Add._ To his louyng Frende Mr. Ryche Solycyto_ur_ to the king_es_ highnes be this youen.


Belvoir Castle MSS. Not in Cal. Aug. 9 ‹1535›.

Desires him to examine a certain warden and his friars, and report the result of his investigation to the King. Requests him to apprehend Friar John Colsell, and detain him till further notice.

My lorde after my right hertie co_m_mendac_i_ons these shalbe to adu_er_tise yo_ur_ lordship that having receyued yo_ur_ l_ette_res and declared the effect_es_ of the same to the king_es_ highnes, who for yo_ur_ dyligent adu_er_tisement of suche thing_es_ as do touche his maiestie and for yo_ur_ good will shewed toward_es_ the correction of suche transgressones gyueth vnto you his grac_es_ hertie and condigne thank_es_, Forasmoche as the king_es_ highnes is adu_er_tesed that the warden of those Freres which haue spoken those sedicious wordes, is a right honest p_er_son and that it may be that he is accused by such light p_er_sons as p_er_case can not iustefie the same, the king_es_ highnes therefore requyreth yo_ur_ lordeship to call before you the saide warden and all other his Freers and to take som payne thoroughlie and exactely to here Debate and examyn_e_ the matier w_i_t_h_ them and their accusers, so as the trewth and the hole circumstaunc_es_ of the matier may trewlie and substauncyallie appere in suche wise as eu_er_y man may haue his merit_es_ and desert_es_ according to good iustice. And of yo_ur_ lordeshippes proceding_es_ in that behalf and what matier ye shall Fynde vppon the saide examynac_i_on it may please yo_ur_ lordeship to signefie the same w_i_t_h_ the circumstaunc_es_ to the king_es_ high_n_es or his counsaile, vppon the which adu_er_tisement yo_ur_ lordship shall knowe ferther of the king_es_ pleasure. Touching the other Frere named Frere John Colsell vsing the decitful arte of magike and astronomye, the king_es_ pleasure is that ye shall cause him to be taken and apprehended and deteyn him in warde vntill ye shall haue other knowlege and adu_er_tisement of the king_es_ pleasure in that behalf, and thus the holie trynytie p_re_serue yo_ur_ lordeship in long lif and helth w_i_t_h_ thincrease of hono_ur_ At Barklay hoornes the ix^{th} day of August.

Your lordeshyppes assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right hono_ur_able my lorde the Erle of Rutlande be this yeuen.


R.O.[841] Cal. ix. 157. August 23 ‹1535›.

Instructs him to justify to Francis the King’s doings, especially the executions of More and Fisher, and to request Francis to support Henry in all his actions against the Pope. The King is desirous that Melancthon should come to England.

Sir after my most hertie reco_m_mendacions these shalbe to adu_er_tise you that the xvii^{th} Day of this Moneth I receyued from you a packet of l_ette_res which indelayedlie I delyuered vnto the king_es_ highnes and conferred w_i_t_h_ his grace theffect_es_ both of your l_ette_res and all others w_i_t_h_in the saide packet being directed aswell to his highnes as to me. And after his highnes had w_i_t_h_ me p_er_vsed the hole content_es_ thoroughlie of yo_ur_ saide l_ette_res, p_er_ceyuing not onelie the lykelyhod of the not repairee into Fraunce of Philip Melanchton, but also yo_ur_ co_mmun_ica_ci_ons had w_i_t_h_ the frensh king vppon yo_ur_ Demaunde made of the king_es_ highnes pencions w_i_t_h_ also yo_ur_ Discrete answers and replicacions made in that behalf, for the which his maiestee gyueth vnto you his hertie and condigne thank_es_, Ye shall vnderstonde that his highnes co_m_maundid me to make you answer in this wise folowing First as touching the kyng_es_ money his highnes dowtith not but seeing bothe the Frensh king and also the grete Maister haue p_ro_mised you it shalbe depechid ye will as the case shall requyre not cease to call vppon them till it be Depeched And ferther considering that the saide frensh king vppon yo_ur_ saide Demaunde of the saide pensions so sodaynelye fell into co_m_munycacion w_i_t_h_ you aswell of his frendeship and humanyte shewed to the kyng_es_ highnes, alledging that he at all tymes hathe answered for the kyng_es_ highnes specyally being last at Marcell_es_ w_i_t_h_ Pope Clement w_i_t_h_ other thing_es_ as in your saide l_ette_res appereth, as also concernyng the execucions lately don_e_ here w_i_t_h_in this realme, The king_es_ highnes not a litle m_er_vaileth thereat, and thinketh it good that as of yo_ur_self ye take som occasion at conuenyent tyme and oportunyte to renovate the saide co_m_munycacyon both w_i_t_h_ the Frensh kyng or at the least w_i_t_h_ the grete Maister, sayeng vnto them, that where the saide Frensh kyng alledgeth that he hath at all tymes answered for the kyng_es_ highnes in his cause and specyally to the saide Pope Clement at Marcell_es_ affirmyng his p_ro_cedyng_es_ to be iust and vpright concernyng the Matrymony as ye do wryte, in that albeit the kyng_es_ highnes p_ro_ceding_es_ in all his affairees w_i_t_h_in this realme being of such equyte and iustnes of themself as they be, nedeth not any defence or assistence ayenst Pope Clement or any other foreyn power, having goddes worde and lawes onelie sufficient to defende him Yet in that that[842] the said frensh kyng hathe as he sayeth answered at all tymes on the king_es_ p_ar_te, he hathe don_e_ nothing but the p_ar_te of a brother in iustefieng and verefyeng the trewth, and so contynuyng shall Do as ap_er_teyneth to a prynce of hono_ur_ which the king_es_ highnes doubtith not he hath and will do onely in respecte to the veryte and trewth besid_es_ the amyte betwixt them both iustlye requyring the same. And concerning thexecuc_i_ons Don_e_ w_i_t_h_in this realme ye shall sey to the saide Frensh Kyng that the same were not so mervelous extreme as he alledgeth, for touching Mr. More and the Bisshop of Rochester w_i_t_h_ suche others as were executed here, their treasons conspiracies and practises secretely practised aswell w_i_t_h_in the realme w_i_t_h_out to move and styrre discension and to sowe sedycyon w_i_t_h_in the realme, intending thereby not onelye the distruction of the kyng but also the hole subuersion of his highnes realme being explaned and declared and so manyfestly proved afore them that they could not avoyde nor Denye it and they thereof openly detected and lawfully convicted adiudged and condempned of high treason by the Due order of the lawes of this realme, it shall and may well appere to all the worlde that they having such malice roted in their hert_es_ ayenst their prynce and Sou_er_eigne and the totall Distruction of the co_m_men weale of this realme, were well wo_r_thie if they had had a thousande lyves to haue suffered x tymes a more terrible Deth and execucion then any of them Did suffer. And touching suche word_es_ as the saide frensh kyng spake vnto you concernyng how Mr. More dyed and what he saied to his doughter going to his iudgement and also what exhortacions he shoulde gyue vnto the kyng_es_ subiect_es_ to be trew and obedient to his grace (assuring you that there was no such thing) whereof the gret M_aster_ promysed you a Double at length. In that the king_es_ pleasure is that ye shall not onelie procure the saide double and sende it hither but also sey vnto the saide frensh king that the kyng_es_ highnes can not otherwise take it but veraye vnkyndely that the saide frensh king or any of his counsaile at whose hand_es_ he hathe so moche meryted and to whom he hathe mynystered so many grete benefit_es_ pleasures and co_m_modytees shoulde so lightly gyue eare faith and credence to any such vayne brut_es_ and fleeng tales Not hauyng first knowlege or adu_er_tisement from the king_es_ highnes here and his counsaile of the veryte and trewth, Affirming it to be the office of a frende hering any suche tales of so noble a prynce rather to haue compressed the bruters thereof to sylence or at the leest not p_er_mytted them to haue dyvulged the same vntill such tyme as the king_es_ maiestee being so dere a frende had ben adu_er_tesed thereof and the trewth knowen before he shoulde so lightly beleve or allege any suche reporte which ingrate and vnkynde Demeanure of the saide frensh king vsed in this behalf argueth playneleye not to remayn in his brest such integryte of herte and syncere amyte toward_es_ the king_es_ highnes and his p_ro_ceding_es_ as his highnes alwayes heretofore hathe expected and loked for. Which thing Ye may propone and alledge vnto the saide frensh king and the grete Maister or to one of them w_i_t_h_ suche modestie and sobrenes as ye thinke they maye p_er_ceyue that the king_es_ highnes hathe good and iust cause in this p_ar_te somwhat to take their light credence vnkyndelye. And where as the saide frensh king sayeth that touching such lawes as the king_es_ highnes hathe made he will not medle w_i_t_h_all alledging it not to be mete that one prynce should desire a nother to chaunge his lawes sayeng that his be to olde to be ch_a_unged, to that ye shall sey that such lawes as the king_es_ highnes hathe made here be not made w_i_t_h_out substauncyall ground_es_ by grete and mature aduise counsaile and deliberacion of the hole polycie of this realme and are indede no new lawes but of grete antiquyte and many yeres passed were made and executed w_i_t_h_in this realme as now they be renovate and renewed onlye in respecte to the comen weale of the same. And it is not a litle to his highnes m_er_vaile that the saide frensh kyng eu_er_ wolde counsaile or aduyse him if in case hereafter any suche like offenders should happen to be in this realme that he should rather banyssh them then in suche wise execute them And specyallie considering that the saide frensh king himself in co_m_monyng w_i_t_h_ you at that tyme not onely confessed thextreme execucyons and grete Bruyllie of late don in his realme But also that he now intendeth to w_i_t_h_draw the same and to revoke and to call home agayn such as be out of his realme the king_es_ highnes therefore the more straungely taketh his saide aduise and counsaile Supposing it to be neyther thoffice of a frende nor of a brother that he wold Determyn himself to call home into his realme agayn his subiect_es_ being out of the same for speking ayenst the Bisshop of Romes vsurped auctoryte, and counsaile the kynges highnes to banysshe his traytours into straunge p_ar_tes where they myght haue good occasion tyme place and oportunyte to w_or_ke their feat_es_ of treason and conspiracie the better agaynst the king_es_ highnes and this his realme. In which p_ar_te ye shall somwhat engreve the matier after such sorte as it may well appere to the saide frensh king that not onelie the king_es_ highnes might take those his counsailes and co_m_munycac_i_ons both straungely and vnkyndely thinking the same not to procede of mere amyte and frendship, but also vsing such polycie and austeryte in proponyng the same w_i_t_h_ the saide frensh king and the grete Maister taking such tyme and oportunyte as may best serue for the same, as they may well p_er_ceyue the king_es_ highnes preceding_es_ here w_i_t_h_in this realme both concerning the saide execucyons and all other thing_es_ to be onely groundid vppon iustice and the equyte of his lawes which be no new lawes but auncyent lawes made and establisshed of many yeres passed w_i_t_h_in this realme and now renovate and renewed as is aforesaide for the better order weale and suretie of the same. And ye may ferther say that if the frensh king and his counsaile well consyder as they ought to do that it were moch better to adu_au_nce the punysshment of traito_u_rs and rebell_es_ for their offenc_es_ then to ponysshe such as do speke ayenst the vsurped auctoryte of the bisshop of Rome who Daylie goth about to suppresse and subdue kyng_es_ and prync_es_ and their auctorytee gyuen to them by goddes worde. All which matiers the kyng_es_ pleasure is that ye shall take tyme and occasion as ye talkyng agayn w_i_t_h_ the frensh king or the grete Maister may declare yo_ur_ mynde as before is p_re_scribed vnto you. Adding thereunto such matier w_i_t_h_ such reasons after yo_ur_ accustomed dexteryte & discression as ye shall thinke most expedyent and to serve best for the king_es_ purpose, Defence of his proceding_es_ and the profe of the frensh king_es_ ingratitude shewed in this behalf. Not Doubting in yo_ur_ wisedom good industrie and discrete circumspection for thordering and well handeling of the same accordinglye.

And touching Melanchton[843] considering there is no lykelihod of his repayree into Fraunce as I haue well p_er_ceyued by yo_ur_ l_ette_res, the kyng_es_ highnes therfore hath appoyntid Cristofer Mount indelaiedlie to take his io_ur_ney where Melanchton is and if he com_e_ to prevente Mouns_ieur_ de Langie in suche wise as the saide Melancton his repayre into Fraunce may be stayed and dyu_er_tid into Englond Not doubting but the same shall take effect accordynglie. And as to Mr. Heynes the kyng_es_ pleasure is that he shall go to Parys there to[844] lerne and dissiphre the opynyons of the lernid men and their inclynacions and affections aswell toward_es_ the kyng_es_ highnes p_ro_ceding_es_ as to the bisshop of Rome his vsurped power and auctoryte, after such sorte as the king_es_ saide highnes hathe now wrytten to him by his grac_i_ous l_ette_res addressed both to him and the saide Cristofer Mount[845]. Dyrecting them what they shall do in all thing_es_ comytted to their charge at this tyme As I doubt not they will put thereunto their devoires for the accomplisshment of the king_es_ pleasure as ap_er_teyneth. And thus makyng an ende prayeng you to vse yo_ur_ discression in the p_ro_poning of the p_re_misses to the Frensh king and the grete M_aster_ or the one or both of them vsing the same as a Medecyn and after suche sorte that as nere as ye can it be not moch displeas_a_untly taken Adu_er_tesing the king_es_ highnes from tyme to tyme of the successes thereof and of all other occur_a_unt_es_ as the case shall requyre, I shall for this tyme bid you most hertelie Fare well &c. Thornebery the xxiij day of August.

_Endd._ Fraunce


R.O. Cal. ix. 241 (i). Sept. 1 ‹1535›.

Desires him to give up all the possessions of the bishopric of Hereford to such persons as the Bishop-elect shall appoint.

In my harty wise I co_m_mend me vnto you. Aduertising thesame that for certayne causes the king_es_ highnes sp_ec_ially movyng, his graces pleasure is that ye shall surcease any farther to yntermedle w_i_t_h_ the possessions and land_es_ belongyng to the Busshopriche of Hereford but that ye suffer suche as the Busshop elect shall appoynt to haue the doyng of the same. And that ye farther suffer the officers appoynted by thesayd Busshop to resceyve aswell the next rent due at the Fest of thannu_n_ciacion of o_ur_ lady last past as all other rentes due sithe that tyme. And that ye fayll not thus to do as the king_es_ trust is in you . thus fare ye well. At Bromham the first day of September.

for Nicholas Oldisworthye.


R.O. Cal. ix. 271. Sept. 4 ‹1535›.

Desires her to act kindly towards his friend William Nevill in the matter of the lands belonging to her monastery. Nevill does not wish to sue her though he has good cause so to do.

Madame, after my right harty reco_m_mendations vnto you, thiese shalbe like as here tofore I have writen vnto you, to desire you to be good lady and frynd to my lovyng frynd will_ia_m Nevell about the Ferme of Chalke and do such reparacions as belongithe vnto the same according to yo_ur_ graunt therof made and that ye will suffer hym to have and enioy such copy holdes as he of right shuld have and holde of your Mano_ur_ of Seml_e_y belongyng to that yo_ur_ Monastery, as by sufficient writyng and copies therof it dothe more at large appere, in suche wise as he may have no cause farther to complayne ou_er_ you therfore. I cannot p_er_sayve any reason iust cause or meanes wherby[846] ye may or shuld deny hym thesame. he hathe been, and yet is all wayes redy to paye his rent and do that which ought or shuld[847] apperteyne vnto hym to do in that behalf according to his wrytyng therefore. Which ye refuse and will not suffer hym to do[848]. I p_er_sayve the honestie of the man to be suche, that he is veray lothe to vexe or sewe you by the order of the co_m_mon lawe or otherwise[849], although he hathe good cause even so to do, whiche if he wold he may do right well to yo_ur_ inquietacion for thadvoydyng [wher]of I desire you the rather at the contemplacion of thiese my l_ette_res and for[850] yo_ur_ owne quietenes and ease to g_ra_unt hym his right yn the premysses[851]. Wherby besid_es_ that ye shall shewe and declare yo_ur_ self to be one that will do no p_er_sone wronge, and kepe yo_ur_selfe in quyetenes and rest, ye shall admynester and do vnto me therby right thankfull pleasure. The whiche I will not forgete semblably to requyte. And thus fare ye hartely well. At Wolfall the fourthe day of September.


Cooper’s Annals, i. 372; Cal. ix. 278. Sept. 5 ‹1535›.

As Chancellor of the University desires that all differences between the town and the scholars may cease. Requests the Mayor to permit the University to continue in the enjoyment of its privileges.

After my moost harty commendacions, Understanding that the body of that the Universitie of Cambridge hath elected and chosen me to be their hed and Chauncelor, and that there is question at this tyme betwene you touching the exposition and qualifieng of the Decre made the last yeer by the kings counsail, for an order to be had without contencion betwene youe and the Universitee in Sturberige fayr, whiche decre ye have already commaundement for this yere to observe and kepe, contending on your part nothing to be comprehended under the name of Vitaill, but that whiche shuld be presently spent in the said faiier, and calling Salmon in barrel, musterde sede, fishe, and suche other, with an exempcon from the terme of vitaill by the name of merchandise, denyeing in like maner the said Universitie to appoint two of their body to ioyne with two of youe in the serche of merchandises there, sayeing ther shal non other serche this yere for their parte, but those that being of their congregacion the last yere were thenne appointed for that purpose, whiche be nowe departed from them and ioyned to youe in the libertie and freedom of the towne. Bicause ye knowe that I have been ever desirous to establish a quiet order betwene youe, and that with as moche favour towards your parte as I might with indifferency and justice, And that I doubt not but that ye will at my contemplacon remembre the preservacion of the Kings peax, and use suche a temperaunce in yo_ur_ procedings, as with the saufgards thereof I may have cause to rest in your love and kindness towards me, Being again for myn owne parte, moche desirous nowe at the entree to the said Chauncelorship (which office with the kings contentacion and pleasure I accepted not so moch upon any respecte as to be the rather a meane to set a quietnes betwene youe) to have al contencions and controversies ceasse on eyther side, tyl direction and final order may be taken therein, In the whiche I assure youe I shal with such celeritee and indifferency travyll, as ye shall not perceyve me a partie, but a personage holly bent without al respects to the advancement of the common weal; I have thought good to addresse my letteres unto youe and by the same to desire and praye youe, al vayne and frivolous qualificacons set aparte, to permyt and suffer the said Universitie for this yere, according to the mynde and entent of the said decre, to use and exersise their privileages in the things specified, and also to use at their libertie the comen prison of the Tolbothe as they have doon and as by their charters they clayme to doo, soo as their procede on yo_ur_ part no cause of breache of the peax, wherin ye shal serve the king as appertayneth, and administer unto me suche thankfull pleasure as I shall be gladde to deserve and requite towards youe, in like maner most hartely desiring and eftsones prayeing youe, touching their Civile courte to be kept in the fayr or any other thing that may com in to question, so to use yourself as I may perceyve you remembre yo_ur_ dueties towards the king in the keping of his peax, and shewe yo_ur_selves gladde to doo unto me gratitude and pleasure. And thus fare youe hartely wel. From Whofall the fifte day of September.

Your lovying freend, THOM^S CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my loving Frends the Mayre and his Brethern of the towne of Cambridge, and to every of them.


Vienna Archives; Cal. ix. 326. Sept. 10 ‹1535›.

Reports the joy of the King at hearing of the success of the Emperor in storming Tunis. Hopes on his return to give Chapuys satisfaction in his request to visit the Princess Mary. Cf. Letter 121.

Magnifice atque observande Domine orator plurimam salutem et commendationem. Quem admodum D. vestra, felices et christiano cuique principi speratos cesaree ma^{tis} successus non grauatur crebris suis litteris Serenissimo domino meo regi significare ita sepe antea ab eius regia ma^{te} conceptam toto pectore letitiam, suis nunc recentioribus litteris eadem vestra D. ingeminauit et quam pulcherrime adauxit. Ex lectione namque tum cesaree ma^{tis} tum domini de granuell litterarum, que toti christiano orbi saluberrimam diuinitusque concessam Tunisii expugnationem describebant tam solido gaudio inuictissimus dominus meus rex affectus est, ut si sue ipsi ma^{ti} gloriosa hec obuenisset victoria, maiori neutiquam affici potuisset nec alium vllum quam qui a deo nunc concessus est, tam sancte a cesare suscepte expeditionis euentu sibi vnquam pollicebatur. Hanc igitur victoriam omni quidem dignam laude, cesaree ma^{ti} iterum atque iterum gratulatur salutaremque rei publice christiane precatur, cui sic ex corde fauet, vt si vlla vnquam occasione, vllane sua opera, quicquam addi poterit, experietur cesarea ma^{tas} me nihil de Serenissimi domini mea regis in se affectu, amicoque animo meis antea litteris vestre D. frustra, aut parum sincere totiens affirmasse. Ad id vero quod in suarum litterarum calce vestra D. addidit, vt scilicet, quantum intelligo, bona regia Ma^{tis} venia, sibi liceat illic Dominam mariam inuisere iuxta regia pollicita impense rogo D. vestram, vt istud suum desiderium velit in meum reditum defferre, tuncque futurum spero quod tum hac in re, tum aliis omnibus presenti meo sermone vestre do^{is} expectationi plurimum satisfiet siue feliciter valeat. Ex aula regia apud Wolfal die x. septembris.

v. D. Ex animo amicissimus THOMAS CRUMUELL.

_Add._ Magnifico atque observando domino Eustachio Chapuysio Cesare ma^{tis} oratori.

118. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. ix. 470. Sept. 29 ‹1535›.

The King desires him to pay half the last year’s rent of the bishopric of Worcester to the Bishop, and the remainder to M. Gostwick for the King.

[853]I co_m_mend me vnto you. Adu_er_tisyng thesame, that the kyng_es_ pleasure and co_m_maundement is, that ye w_i_t_h_ convenyent spede after the receyt herof, shall content and pay vnto my lorde the Busshop of Wissetour the halfe yeres rent of the hole Busshopriche due this last yere, and the rest to retayne yn yo_ur_ owne hand_es_ to the kyng_es_ vse Wherfore I require you furthew_i_t_h_ so to do w_i_t_h_out any delay, as the kyng_es_ trust and expectacion is yn you. Thus fare ye hartely well. At Wynchester the xxix day of September.


I Co_m_mend me vnto yow aduertysing the same that the kyng_es_ highnes pleasure is that of the holle yeres Rent dew to his highnes and levyable at this Fest of Saynt Mychell of the yssews reuenews and p_ro_ffectt_es_ of the Busshoprych of Worcest_er_ ye shall Content and paye or Cause to be Contentyd ‹and› payde vnto my lorde the Busshop of Woorcest_er_ the hole half yeres proffytt_es_ evynlye to be deuydyd and the residew For the Fyrst hallffe yere to be payd to the hand_es_ of Maister gostwyke to the kyng_es_ vse and this ys expresslye the kyng_es_ plesure and so Fare ye well at Wynchest_er_


R.O. Cal. ix. 485 (i). Sept. 30 ‹1535›.

Desires her to restore Mr. Tirrell to the possessions from which she has wrongfully expelled him. The King wishes to have justice done in that cause.

In my most harty maner I co_m_mend me vnto yo_ur_ good ladishippe. And wher as ther hathe of long tyme depended betwene you and this berer Maister Tirrell certayne contrau_er_sies, aswell concernyng his clayme to the parke and Bailliswike of Camps, as a certayne copie Holde Whiche he bought in the same Towne, from all the whiche ye haue expulsed hym, I shall most hartely desire and pray you at the especiall contemplacion herof, to restore hym agayne to thesame. Whiche request I make not only vnto you bycause I thinke ye haue vpon displeasures conceyved agaynst hym, parcase in some part by the mysvsyng of hymselfe toward_es_ you, done vnto hym, in his expulsion from the same park Bailliwike and copie hold and yo_ur_ detynewe therof all togither wronge and Iniurye, but because it should be dishonourable to you, to haue the same in open Court of Audience tried agaynst you, and likewise displeasaunt to be, that way disapoynted of yo_ur_ will and pleasure, whiche as I nowe frendly and frankly write vnto you, bicause that I wold be glad, ye shuld w_i_t_h_out constraynt do as shall apperteyne to your hono_ur_, and iustice. So I am enforced to adu_er_tise you, as yo_ur_ poore frende, that the king_es_ highnes like a prynce of hono_ur_ is mynded to haue iustice p_ro_cede w_i_t_h_out respect in that cause, Eftesones therfore requyryng your good ladiship the rather for my sake w_i_t_h_out any extremyte to be good lady vnto hym, who I dare affirme wilbe glad to do vnto you during his liffe that s_er_uice and pleasure that shall lye in his litle power. As know_eth_ god who send yo_ur_ good ladiship long liffe and well to fare. From Wynchester the last day of September.

Your ladyshyppis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To the right hono_ur_able and my good lady my Lady Anne Countes of Oxford by this youen.

_Endd._ A l_ette_re directed from my m_aste_r to the Lady Anne Countes of Oxford.


R.O. Cal. ix. 486. Sept. 30 ‹1535›.

Requests him to allow John Crede to retain possession of certain lands in Cromwell’s manor of Rumney in Monmouth to which he has a deed, until reasonable cause can be shown for his ejection.

Dat_um_ p_er_ Copia_m_

I Commend me to yow. And for Asmoche As I haue seene the Deed made ‹to› John Crede for certeyn Land_es_ in my manno_ur_ of Rompney called the Splott_es_ And other Lond_es_ there. W_hich_ I take to be a goode Deade. And that Notw_i_t_h_standing the said Crede Saithe that ye entend to putt hym From the Same. Wherefore I Requyre you to p_er_mytt And Suffre hym to holde And kepe the possession thereof According to the tenno_ur_ of his Deade Vntill Suche tyme as Apon yo_ur_e Adu_er_tisement thereof I maie knowe A Reasonable Cause . Whie he shuld be putt from the same. Att Wynchester the Laste daie of September.

Yo_ur_ Loving maister THOMAS CRUMWELL.


Vienna Archives; Cal. ix. 484. Sept. 30, 1535.

Reports the King’s joy at the news of the Emperor’s success at Tunis. Desires Chapuys to postpone a little longer his visit to the Princess Mary. Cf. Letter 117.

Magnifice et observande domine orator plurimam salutem et commendationem. Litteras quas vestra D. antea ad me dedit grato hilarique semper animo accepi, non mediocremque animi letitiam ob id presertim semper attulerunt, quod cesaree ma^{tis} successus vt sperandum et christiano reipublice salutiferos, vberrime nunciabant; recentiores vero iste eo nomine gratiores acceptioresque extitere quod succinte atque distincte totius expeditionis rerum, temporum atque locorum seriem et euentum ab ipso initio in hunc vsque diem sic describunt et ob ipsos oculos ponunt vt eas legendo rebus gestis prope modum mihi videar interfuisse, tantaque Serenissimus dominus meus rex animi attentione de hiis me referentem audiebat vt fraternum eius erga cesaream ma^{tem} affectum et propensum quoddam erga publicam quietem Studium quam facile fuerit agnovisse. Ad id porro quod per ministrum suum vestra dominatio mecum agit et de quo statuendo iniectis comperendinationibus se protrahi suspicatur, non possum pro mutue nostre coniunctionis sinceriorisque amicitie vinculo, eam non summopere rogare, et pro innata sua prudentia et animi equitate, boni consulere velit, quicquid in hoc Dominationis vestre desiderio deffertur quum nihil interim omittatur quod ex Serenissimi domini mei regis honore et dignitate, simulque illustrissime domine marie securiori salubriorique educatione esse posse videatur, quum maiori cure nemini sit quam ipsi Serenissimo patri, qui regie sue humanitatis nimis esset oblitus nisi carissimam filiam paterno complecteretur affectu et aliorum vigilantia sibi in mentem redigi expectaret, quod salubritati, atque solatio filie esse posset. Itaque quam possum ex animo dominationem vestram obsecro, vt suum istud illustrissimam dominam mariam inuisendi desiderium ab amico pectore potius quam vlla necessitate profectum in aliud commodius tempus defferre non grauetur, et enim vt fieri facile potest de huius illustrissime domine neglecta valetudine falso aliquid ad vos deferri, ita a dominatione vestra peto, vt affirmanti mihi velit certam habere fidem nihil scilicet cure studii, atque diligentie omitti quod ad illustrissime domine Marie conseruationem expedire posse videatur. Pestis deinde sic londini, locisque vicinioribus seuit, vt inofficiosus videri posset, quicunque illinc veniens dominam mariam in aere alique temperie agentem, quam saluberrima, officii gratia nunc temporis vellet inuisere. Non grauetur itaque dominatio vestra hoc meum responsum benigne amiceque, vt solet interpretari nilque a me prospiciet pretermissum, quod ex huius regie ma^{tis} dignitate, Cesaris honore et domine marie conseruatione esse potuerit. Sed de hiis in proximum congressum colloquemur vberius, et felix valeat vestra dominatio cui ex animi sententia, optima queque euenire precor. wintonie die vltimo septembris 1535.

E. v. D. Ex corde amicus THOMAS CRUMUELL.

_Add._ Magnifico Domino Eustachio Chapuysio Cesaree ma^{tis} oratori plurimum observando.


R.O. Cal. ix. 240. Sept. 1535.

Explains, for the Pope’s benefit, the reasons for the executions of More and Fisher, and describes them as men proved guilty of high treason. Wonders at the Pope’s indignation at their just sentence.

Mag_nifi_ce D_omi_ne Gregori plurimam salutem et commen_dacionem_. Quae tum ex ferraria tum ex bononia v_est_ris l_ette_ris nuper ad me scripsistis, sigillatim omnia (ut mei est officii) Serenissimae Regiae Ma_iesta_ti significaui, in quibus, ut multa erant, publicarum rerum cognitionis gratia lectu non iniucunda, et v_es_tri cum D_omin_o Parisiensi habiti sermones ipsi probantur, ita non satis demirari potuit, Epi_scop_i Roffen_sis_ et Thomae Mori mortem, pontificis, illiusq_ue_ curiae animu_m_ adeo grauiter offendisse, ut ex hac re conceptam indignationem haud facile possint concoquere, licetq_ue_ Inuictissimae Regiae Ma_iesta_ti mortalium nemini, praeterq_ue_ Deo (cum quo actiones, consiliaq_ue_ sua habet q_uam_ maxime coniuncta) ulla sit factorum suorum reddenda ratio, ne tamen maleuolor_um_ calumniis, ac ueritatis obscuratione, Regium suum nomen istic traducatur, quid ea in re actu_m_ fuerit succincte ad vos perscribam: Postq_uam_ igitur Regia Ma_ies_tas bene fauente, ac promouente Deo, causam suam publicam eruditissimor_um_, probatissimoru_m_q_ue_ totius christianitatis viror_um_, qui nullis passionibus, seu affectibus essent obnoxii, consensu, et authoritate tandem terminasset, et ad ipsam ueritatem omni ex parte firmasset, coeperunt isti boni viri, quibus res praeter expectatione_m_ ceciderat, et spes moliendi noua (ut iam animo agitarant) praecisa fuerat, in alias cogitationes, syncere parum, animum intendere, quumq_ue_ optimus Rex ex uigilantissimi principis officio (quod a Deo acceptum sustinet in terris) sui Regni quieti, et commodo prospicere, hominumq_ue_ mores multa iam parte collapsos in melius corrigere conaretur, istud etiam publicum bonum, quoad fieri per eos potuit, simulatae integritatis praetextu adnissi[855] sunt, sed nullo cum fructu impedire, atq_ue_ praeuertere, huius eorum sceleris indicia Rex habebat perq_uam_ manifesta, sed ut vana semper floccifecit, et nihili habuit, sperans aliquando futurum q_uod_ hac sua indulgentia, hos viros (quos ut non penitus cognitos nonnunq_uam_ antea in precio habuisset) ad aliquam frugem, ac mentis sanitatem reuocaret, At ipsi, quibus genuina ambitio, sui ipsius amor et sapientia quaedam singularis diuersum persuaserat, optimi principis benignitate, ac mansuetudine pertinaciter sunt abusi, et ubi publicum Regni concilium (quod parliamentu_m_ uocant) pro Regni quiete stabilienda, ut ad certa tempora haberetur, indictum foret, ceperunt undecunq_ue_ sollicita cum sedulitate clanculu_m_ exquirere, qua de re tractari, quidq_ue_ in hoc parliam_en_to, ut expediens rei p_ubli_cae agi oporteret, quicquid uero alior_um_ delatu ex re praeterita rerum usu, uel coniectura usq_ue_ collegissent id statim communibus consiliis trutinabant, omnia secus interpreta_n_tes, q_ue_ Regni quies ac utilitas exposcebat, eo quidem argumentor_um_ et rationum apparatu, ut rudi plebeculae non multo cum labore potuisset imponi, quumq_ue_ ex conscientia parum sana, Regis animum sibi offensum suspicarentur, ueriti ne parum commode, audacterq_ue_, quod tacite animo moliebantur, tractare possent, ex hiis nonnullos delegerunt, quos audaculos aut linguae uelocitate promptiores, aut sui studiosos existimarunt cum his antiquioris amicitiae occasione ageba_n_t familiaribusq_ue_ colloquiis excipiebant, ac si quos morbo animi laborantes suae opinionis reperissent, in horum sinum iam antea conceptu_m_ pectore uenenum euomebant, suae erga claementissimum Regem fidei, et obseruantiae, atq_ue_ in ipsam patriam charitatis prorsus obliti, Haec dum in uulgus haberentur passimque sparsa promiscue essent, haud somnulenter solertissimus princeps perscrutari coepit, quibus fundame_n_tis tam impia coniuratio niteretur, quibusq_ue_ enutriretur authoribus, luce clarius perspexit, ab hiis integerrimis iuris tantam iniquitatem deriuari, quam redarguebant non obscuri testes, ultro, citroq_ue_ missa chyrographa, ipsorumq_ue_ oris confessio, haec et alia que multa iustissimu_m_ principem adegeru_n_t, ut hos rebelles, ac degeneres subditos, in patriam ingratos, communi bono aduersos, publicae pacis turbatores, tumultuosos, impios, seditiososq_ue_ viros in uincula carceresq_ue_ coniecerit, nec id praetermittere poterat, nisi patefacta iniquitate, sui officii consulto immemor permittere uoluisset, huius sceleris contagionem publica cum pernicie in q_uam_ multos transferri. Carceribus autem mancipati tractabantur humanius, atq_ue_ mitius q_uam_ par fuisset, pro eorum demeritis, per Regem illis licebat proximor_um_ colloquio, et consuetudine frui, ij fuerant illis appositi, praescriptiq_ue_ ministri, quos a uinclis immunes antea fidos charosq_ue_ habeba_n_t, id cibi genus eaq_ue_ condim_en_ta, et uestitus ei concedebantur, quae eorum habitudini, ac tuendae sanitati, ipsi consanguinei, nepotes atq_ue_ affines, et amici iudicabant esse magis accommoda, Coeteru_m_ tanta Regis mansuetudine, fides, obserua_n_tia, ueritas, amorq_ue_ recti apud rebelles istos, proditoresq_ue_ homines usq_ue_ adeo exoleuit, ut constanter iniqui esse maluerint, q_uam_ sui sceleris poenitentia Regis bonitatem atq_ue_ claementiam experiri, et enim postq_uam_ certae leges, statuta, atq_ue_ decreta, re prius multa deliberatione in omne_m_ partem discussa, publica parliame_n_ti authoritate, assensu atq_ue_ consensu condita praescriptaq_ue_ fuere, et ab omnibus nullo discrimine, repugna_n_te nullo, ut sancta necessaria toti Regno utilia, et cum uera christi religione potissimu_m_ consentientia admissa, atq_ue_ recepta sunt, soli isti repugnabant, suae impietatis praesidium semper aliquod fortuitum sibi ex tempore pollicentes, nonnunq_uam_ omissa rerum humanar_um_ cogitatione se totos diuinar_um_ contemplationi egregie simulabant addictos, interim studia, uigilias, cogitatusq_ue_, suos omnes utcunq_ue_ carceribus obnoxii eo intendebant, ut quibuscunq_ue_ possent fallaciis, praestigiosisq_ue_ argumentis tam sanctas Regni leges, tantaq_ue_ authoritate firmitas ac rectissime stabilitas, soli ipsi perniciosissimae seditionis principes in commune malum eluderent, refellerent, atq_ue_ turbare_n_t, huius autem tam impiae, perfidae ac iniquae affectae uoluntatis extant manifestissima indicia extant chyrographa ipsa eorum manu carbonibus, et creta (si quando deerat atrame_n_tum) depicta, ultro, citroq_ue_ clam ab ipsis destinata, neq_ue_ ipsi ibant inficias complures mutuo acceptas missasq_ue_ l_itter_as, fuisse in ignem coniectas ut tacitum, tutumq_ue_ suae iniquitatis seruatorem, aliud nihil hiis l_itte_ris conscriptum erat, q_uam_ quod ad publicam seditionem potissimu_m_ spectaret, sustinere diutius non potuit mitissimus Rex istorum culpam tam atrocem, legumq_ue_ examini publico foro et aperto iudicio illos commisit, Laesae Ma_iesta_tis, ac rebellionis rei reperti sunt, atq_ue_ damnati, supplicium de eis sumptum est longe quidem mitius q_uam_ leges, ac iudicia praescribebant aut eorum culpa exegisset, ex quor_um_ exemplo ad sanitatem, ad fidem q_uam_ multi rediere: Quicunq_ue_ sano defecatoq_ue_ est iudicio non obscure huic perspicere potest q_uod_ praecipitanter pontifex, et curia Romana ullam ex hac re animi offensionem conceperit, per Regiam M_aiesta_tem non stat, quominus pontifex in suos Car_dina_les Ep_iscop_os eosq_u_e omnes, in quos ius ullum sibi uendicat, iure suo utatur, non eorum causam suam aestimat, nec offenditur, si pontifex, aut quiuis alius chr_isti_anus princeps ullum de male mentis subditis aut rebellibus supplicium exigat: Iterum igitur, atq_ue_ iterum miratur, pontificem ex hac re tantum indignationis animo concepisse, sed hanc indignationem, quam tantopere exacerbare uidetur curia, tunc depositam iri putat, quum desierint maleuoli suggerere quae falsa su_n_t, quumq_ue_ mentiendi uia fuerit illis praeclusa, quibus quum nil aeque graue, atq_ue_ molestu_m_ sit, q_uam_ quod suor_um_ consilior_um_ tam strenua fundamenta deiecta fuerint, id operae precium non exiguum esse ducu_n_t, ut hoc uelamine suas technas callide contega_n_t priuatamq_ue_ offensionem, si quae sit, pontificis causam faciant. Non grauetur itaq_ue_ pontifex, si Regia M_aies_tas suo Regniq_ue_ sui iure, si quando expedit, uicissim utatur: Haec itaque omnia tum pontifici, tum coeteris omnibus, qui ex hor_um_ rebelliu_m_ suscepto supplicio quicq_uid_ offensionis concoeperint sedulo enarrabitis, ut quam ex falsa auditione animi molestiam imbiberu_n_t, hanc uera audiendo, multa mentis tranquillitate quandoq_ue_ deponant, nihilq_ue_ omittetis, in eorum qua superius commemoraui enarratione, etenim Regiae M_aiesta_ti gratissimu_m_ erit, ne ipsa ueritas, ut se habet, maleuolor_um_ calumniis obscuretur, q_uia_ si tantum increbuerit mendax paucorum delatio, ut nullus hac in re amplius apud illos sit locus ueritati relictus, falsas eoru_m_ calumnias quantu_m_ cum Deo poterit Regia M_aies_tas sustinebit, quae sic Regni sui statum, resq_ue_ omnes undequaq_ue_ firmitas, stabilitasq_ue_ habet, sic suorum fidem, pectora, et obseruantiam compertam tenet, ut iniuriam omnem, si qua alicunde inferatur, queat non multo cum labore deo bene iuuante, refellere et propulsare. Et bene valete. Ex Aula Regia apud Brumham Die Septembr_is_ MDXXXV.

Vester bonus amicus THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ Mag_nific_o Equiti, D_omi_no Gregorio Casalio etc.

123. ‹CROMWELL› TO ----.

R.O. Cal. ix. 241 (ii). ‹Sept. 1535.›

The King thanks the recipient for his letter, and for the articles of the charge he has given to the inquests, and desires him to act further according to his discretion.

After right harty co_m_mendacion, ye shall vnderstand that I have resceyved yo_ur_ l_ette_re of the xxvi^{th} day of August w_i_t_h_ the articles of the charge that ye haue geven to thenquestes ther the whiche l_ette_re and articles I have at large shewed and declared vnto the king_es_ highnes who[856] consideryng yo_ur_ payne and travaill takyn therin right well allowithe and acceptithe yo_ur_ good procedyng_es_ and doyng_es_ in that behalfe, yevyng vnto you therfore right harty thank_es_, requyryng[857] the same farther like as ye have alredy begonne So to p_ro_cede therin withe suche acceleracion and spede as ye convenyently may do, accordyng to thexpectacion and trust that his highnes hathe in you. And touchyng the enquestes that ye have charged for that purpose all though they be the king_es_ s_er_u_a_unt_es_ and sworne for that purpose, yet for asmoche as many of theym in some poynt_es_ p_er_chaunce may be offendo_ur_s will therfore conceyll and not fynd the truthe in eu_er_y poynt. Wherfore the king_es_ pleasure is that ye well consideryng the same may order and devise eu_er_y thyng after yo_ur_ discresion, and as ye shall se cause besid_es_ theffect of the verdictes of thesame enquestes.


Cooper’s Annals, i. 373; Cal. ix. 615. Oct. 15 ‹1535›.

As the King has approved his election as Chancellor of the University, he desires them to appear at the two yearly leets held by the University, and not to deny to the University the use of the King’s prison called the Tolbooth.

In my right harty maner I commende me unto youe. And whereas it hath pleased the kings highnes, uppon an election passed by the universitie of Cambridge wherin they chose me to be their hedde and Chaunceler, to condescende that I shuld accepte and take the same, to the intent that all matiers depending betweene you and them, in contencon and variaunce, might be rather by my meane and mediacon be finished, and soo determyned, as eyther parte myght enjoye such privileages as shuld be thought conveniente for them, with the advauncement of justice, the quiet and tranquillitie of the common weale, Wherin I purpose with suche dexteritie to travayl, as y_ou_ shall have good cause to think that all respects and affecttions laide aparte, I only mynd that which appertayneth to the office of a faithfull counsailor. Ye shall understande, that forasmoche as I am credibly advertised, that notwithstanding the said universitie hath hertefor had not only the serche of vitail and the correccon of waightes and measures there, and may by the kings Charters (as they doo and of long tyme have doon) kepe two letes in the yere, to be furnyshed with the townesmen, for the punishment and amerciament of suche as shuld be founde offenders in that behaulf, but also the use of the kings prisonne there called the Tolbothe, for the punyshment of all such other offences, as they may by their said Charters correct and punish, the rather of perverse mynd than otherwise, doo from tyme to tyme, when the said letes be summoned, as wel make slender appearance in the same, ne being theer charged, present and amerce the offenders, as by virtue of yo_ur_ othe you be bounde, wherby the good order to be observed therin is utterly confounded, to the great detryment of the publique weale of the hole towne, with the inquietacon of the kings subgiectts abiding within the same, As utterly deny them the use of the said prisonne; I have thought good, by these my lettres, to desire and praye youe, and nevertheles on the kings behaulf for the better preservacion of his graces peax, to commaunde youe, not only to mak yo_ur_ due appearance in the said letes, and their to enquire, present, and amerce the offenders, as hath been accustomed, but also bothe to permytt and suffer them to have the correction of waightes and measures, and the use of the said prisonne at their liberties, as they have had, without yo_ur_ denyal or interrupcon to the contrary, untyl suche tyme as the kings highnes shal take finall order and direction in all things depending in variaunce or question betweene youe, whiche his Majestie wil not fayle to do with al speede and celeritie. And thus fare youe hartely well. From Stepnay, the 15th daye of Octobre.

Your lovyng freend, THOM_AS_ CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my hartely beloved Freendes the Mayre, Bailieffs, and Burgesses, of the towne of Cambridge, and to every of them.


B.M. Titus B. iv, ff. 114-115; Cal. ix. 647. Oct. 20, 1535.

Finds that Gostwick is charged with the sum of £16,032 16_s._ 8_d._ due to the King from divers persons, for conveying corn out of the realm. Desires him to collect as much of it as he can.

Mr Gostwyck. Where ye stande Charged in the Book_es_ of Specialties Betwene you & me made at your furst entrie into your Office subscribed w_i_t_h_ our hand_es_ for the Receipt of Sixtene Thousande thirty & two pound_es_ sixtene shilling_es_ and eight pence, due vnto the King_es_ Maiestie by diu_er_se & sundry p_er_sonnes, for the Conveyaunce of Corne & other thing_es_ out of this Realme contrary to the King_es_ Lawes, as appereth by the condic_i_ons of their obligac_i_ons, remaynyng in yo_ur_ Custodye, And forasmuche as I do vnderstande and perfitely knowe that a grete p_ar_te of the said su_m_me of xvi^{ml} xxxii li xvi s viii d ys vnlevyable, desperat & cannot be had nor recou_er_ed by reason that certain of the saide p_er_sonnes haue certificaths, so_m_me other fallen in vtter decay, by occasion of the grete losses & hynderaunc_es_ that they haue susteyned as well by See, as Lande, And so_m_me of theim dedde, & not knowing of whome to be aunswered Whereby I haue Considered the same to be mattier of Conscience, not intending nor mynding to charge you further than shall stande with the same, nor w_i_t_h_ nomore sume or su_m_mes than hath or herafter shall co_m_me vnto your hand_es_ Have therfore thought it good, aswell for your Discharge, and myne, As also for the spedy Recoueryng and Receipt of the Rest of the Money due by the saide sp_ec_ialties, this to devise & wryte, By the same in the King_es_ Maiesties name Auctorizing you, to call all the said p_ar_ties before you, w_i_t_h_ all seleritie & spede, And by yo_ur_ discresc_i_on, so to vse them, That the king_es_ highnes may be aunswered of the money, that by your saide discrescion shalbe thought of verey right & Conscience sufficient. Further in the king_es_ name Auctorizing you by vertue herof, to take newe composic_i_ons of suche as hath not their money in arredynesse. And also by the same to deliu_er_ all suche sp_ec_ialties vnto the parties or ther deputies, as shalbe p_ro_ved of right either to haue Certificate or other sufficient Discharge. And this Subscribed with my hande shalbe vnto you your heires executo_urs_ & deputies sufficient Discharge at all tymes hereafter, for your so doing. Wrytten the xx^{ti} day of Octobre the xxvii^{ti} yere of the Reigne of our Sou_er_aigne Lorde king Henry the eight.

_Endd._ A minute of a lettre to M^r Gostwyke, towching a newe ordre and composic_i_on to be taken w_i_t_h_ certayn p_er_sons standing chardged in grete so_m_mes of monaye vnto the king_es_ Ma_ies_tie whiche be vnleviable and desperate by reason the p_ar_ties by casualtes be brought to greate pou_er_tie


B.M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 110; Cal. ix. 848. Nov. 19 ‹1535›.

Urges him to work diligently in France for the delivery of the ships at Bordeaux. Sends a dozen of Gardiner’s orations and a dozen of those of the Dean of the Chapel Royal also, for him to distribute according to his discretion.

My veray good lorde aftre my moost harty co_m_mendac_i_ons by maister brian whom the king_es_ highnes at this tyme sendeth vnto his good brother the frenche king sufficiently instructed to certain purposes, as by his instructions wherunto ye shalbe p_ar_ticipant and make him again the semblable to yours, ye shal p_er_ceyve, ye shal receyve his highnes l_ette_res, touching matiers of importaunce, whiche as his grace doubteth not but ye wil setfurth w_i_t_h_ suche dexteritie as shal best conduce his desire to effecte Soo his pleasure is ye shal w_i_t_h_ suche stomak and courage travail w_i_t_h_ the frenche king and his counsail in that pointe touching the delyueraye of the shippes as ye maye not onely obteyne the same but also declare and shewe therw_i_t_h_ howe ingrately his highnes is handeled therin spe_ci_ally being at this tyme soo secrete and freendly treatie betwene him and his good brother as there is for matiers of soo high consequence, among_es_ whiche thing_es_ also his grace desireth youe to remembre the declarac_i_on of the french king of tharticles sent by Melancton, luthers epistle in the same, w_i_t_h_ thother circu_m_stances conteyned in the copies lately sent vnto you. Ye shall also receyve herw_i_t_h_ a dosen of yo_ur_ orations and another dosen of the deanes, whiche the king_es_ pleasure is ye shall by thaduise of Mr. brian and Maister Wallop destribute to suche p_er_sounes there as among_es_ youe ye shal think convenient. In whiche treatie to be had concernyng the shippes ye may not forget to inculce what Joye the subgiett_es_ here conceyved for his recou_er_ye in the procession, and howe they bee again sithens stayed vppon this staye of the shippes whiche hath indede soo contrary a counten_au_nce to o_ur_ doing_es_ as it is no m_er_vayl thoughe they be abasshed at it. And this matier the king_es_ highnes woll haue you chiefly prosecute, leving to Sir John Wallop only the sute for the moneye, bicause the p_ro_myse therof was made vnto him. And thus I pray god sende your lordshipp well to fare. From the Rulles the xix^{th} daye of Nouembre

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my veray good lorde my lorde of Winchestre the king_es_ highnes Ambassad_or_ at this tyme w_i_t_h_ the french king.

_Endd._ From the Roulles the xix^{th} of Novembre. Mr. Secretary


B.M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 232; Cal. ix. App. 8. Dec. 7 ‹1535›.

Desires them to discover the real inclination of the French King, and to ascertain whether they have any secret plans on foot. Gives a list of the sums of money due to the King.

Aftre my moost harty co_m_mendacions w_i_t_h_ like thank_es_ for yo_ur_ gentle l_ette_res and aduertisement_es_ of the Occurrant_es_ there, ye shal at this tyme receyve the king_es_ highnes l_ette_res answering to yo_ur_s of the xxviii^{th} of Nouembre The content_es_ wherof as his highnes doubteth not but ye wil duely consider and accomplishe temp_er_ing neu_er_theles the same in suche sorte, as yo_ur_ wisedomes shall think maye best s_er_ue to thentertaynement of thamytie betwene his grace and the frenche king, and the conducing of his graces desire to effecte. Soo his highnes spe_ci_ally desireth youe to endeuo_ur_ yo_ur_self_es_ by all the meanes ye canne possibly deuise and excogitate to explore serche and knowe the veray inclynac_i_on of the frenche king and whither the frenchemen haue any pryvie practises in hande, and of the lightlywod of the successes of the same w_i_t_h_ suche other occurrant_es_ as shall chaunce to co_m_me to yo_ur_ knowleage to aduertise his highnes, as I shal for my p_ar_te desire youe to doo to me the semblable as the tyme and hast of yo_ur_ dispeches wil give you leave. The treatie belli offensiui ratified at Amyans I sende vnto youe herw_i_t_h_, And as co_n_cernyng thaccompt of the money due to the king_es_ highnes First there is due to his grace 1M^{l}[858] crownes lent to the duke of Bavier for the whiche the frenche king standeth bounde by obligac_i_on. Item 1M^{l}[858] crownes lent at his request for the assistence of the duke of Wittenberge, for the whiche they haue non acquietance, but were bounde by promyse to repaye it in cace there ensued no good successe of themployment of the same whiche condition and conven_au_nt is w_i_t_h_out question determyned.

Item there is due vnto his grace the hole penc_i_on and salt moneye for the last yere ended at Nouembre.

And wheras the king_e_s highnes in these his l_ette_res nowe sent vnto youe hathe co_m_maunded youe Mr. wallop to presse themp_er_o_ur_s, Ambassado_ur_ for your declaration to the denyal of thouertures, like as I writing by his graces co_m_maundement vsed the same terme, for declarac_i_on of yo_ur_self, to thintent ye shal not thinke that anything is further ment therby thenne to haue youe vse that worde to him to extorte what ye canne in that matier, his highnes co_m_ma_u_nded me in this sorte to expounde the same vnto youe. And thus moost hartely fare youe well. From Richemont the vii^{th} of decembre.

The king_es_ highnes spe_ci_ally desireth youe to reme_m_bre his co_m_mandement touching the delyu_er_ance of the shippes

Yo_ur_ assuryd Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To myn assured frend_es_ My lorde of Winchestre and s_ir_ John Wallop knight the king_es_ Ambassado_ur_s in fraunce.

_Endd._ From Richemonde the vii^{th} of decembre. Mr. Secretary.


B.M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 234; Cal. ix. App. 9. Dec. 7 ‹1535›.

Has been unable to obtain a copy of the treaty which he promised to send, and thought it better to postpone sending it than to delay the bearer. The King desires him to labour for the delivery of the ships.

Aftre my moost harty co_m_mendac_i_ons to yo_ur_ lordshippe Thise shalbe to aduertise youe that Albeit in myn other l_ette_res writen ioyntly to youe and Maister Wallop I haue signified that ye shuld by this berer receyve the treaty belli offensiui whiche ye wrote for, yet having here suche busines that I could ‹not› dep_ar_te to london to cause the same to be copied, I thought it more expedient to differre the sending of it vntil we shal dispeche another curro_ur_ vnto youe, thenne to demore yo_ur_ s_er_u_au_nt here tyl I might haue goon to london for that p_ur_pose. And wheras yo_ur_ said s_er_u_au_nt hath declared vnto me yo_ur_ credence concernyng yo_ur_ necessitie of money, I shall not fayle by the next messanger to take suche direction w_i_t_h_ youe for the satisfaction of yo_ur_ desire in that p_ar_te as ye shall haue cause to be contented. The king_e_s highnes desireth youe to labo_ur_ effectually ‹for› the delyu_er_ance of the shippes at Burdeulx according to suche instructions as ye haue in that behaulf. And thus moost hartely Fare youe well. From Richemonte the vii^{th} daye of Decembre in hast

Your lordshippis assuryd Freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my veray good lorde my lorde of Wynchestre the king_es_ Ambassado_ur_ in fraunce.

_Endd._ From Richemonde the vii^{th} of decembre. Mr. Secretary.


Cooper’s Annals, i. 377; Cal. ix. 977. Dec. 15 ‹1535›.

Marvels that they have not complied with his requests that the University be permitted to use the Tolbooth, and desires them to delay no longer. Will see that justice is done in all respects.

In my right harty maner I comende me unto youe. Lating you wit that I cannot a little marvayle to understand that notwithstanding my sundrey lettres hertofor addressed unto youe, tuching the permission of the use of the Tolboth, the furniture of the Universitie leates, the advoyding of newe practises, usages, or imposicions, wherby might insewg debate and contencion betweene you and the said universitie, to yo_ur_ owne disquiet, with the offence of the kings peax, ye have both refused to doo and accomplish those things persuaded and enioined therin unto youe, and for the contynuance and nutryment of discorde and trouble amonge the kings subiectts, devised newe things and meanes to augment and engrece the same. The prysonne first is the kings, and seing his grace by his charters and grauntes hath ioyned the universitie with youe in the use therof, I cannot conceyve what ye meane to denye that whiche his grace hath graunted, and by vertue thereof, they have so long enjoyed, which expressly yo_ur_ baylie Ousburn did bothe to the procurators, and also to the vicechancelors deputie. A sergeant of yours also lately tok a peace of cloth from the stall of a commone minister of the Universities for non apparance in yo_ur_ Leate contrary to the comandment given at the tyme of Sturberige fayr, that ye shuld reyse no newe custome, or gather any newe exaction or imposiccon, uppon any scoler, his servaunt or their comone ministers; ye have also refused alonly this yere, to make a certain othe before the congregacion at Saint Maryes church, for the conservacion of the peax, and the presentement to the vicechauncelor of vagabundes and others, breakers and interrupters of the said peax. Nowe shal I, being only a Counsailor, and otherwise then honestie and justice wil no partie, whiche have not only proffessed to travayl for the quiet of both parties, but will devise and labor also to performe the same, desire youe to permytt them, first to have the free use of the tolboth as they have had: to see the cloth restored, taken violently awaye by your sergeant; To see their leats furnished, and to tak such othe, and use all suche things and custumes as ye have doon, untyl fynal direction may be taken betweene both parties. And yet I must ever saye, whiche ye shall also fynde true, that in cace ye shall doo any wrong, or not fulfill that ye be bound unto, wherby tumult and busines shuld rise amonge the kings people, though I do indede favor yo_ur_ cause, as appertayneth, and will also be gladde to doo therein what I canne for yo_ur_ comoditie, Yet in cace prayer and gentle entreatie cannot pull and allure youe awaye from the doing of wrong and iniury, both to the king and his subjectts, I will not fayle to advaunce, to the uttermost of my power Justice and to see punished with extremytie the interrupters thereof, to the example of other. And therfor eftsones, I most hartily praye youe to conforme yourselfs to quietnes in these pointes, and therein to performe that without contencon whiche the princes grauntes, ever to be reverently obeyed, doo require of youe, Ye shal by this waye and meane, doo your dueties, first toward his grace, to me administer most thankfull pleasure, and with your honesties provyde yourselfs quiet and rest, with a good end in all suche controversies as depende between youe and the said universitie. And thus fare youe hartely well. From Stepnaye, the xv^{th} daye of Decembre.

Your freend, THOM_AS_ CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my loving freendes, the Mayre, Aldermen and bailieffs of the towne of Cambridge.


B.M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 112; Cal. ix. 1010. Dec. 24 ‹1535›.

Thanks him for his letters, and promises to attend to Gardiner’s wants. The postscript of Cromwell’s other letter will inform Gardiner of Thwaites’ arrival here, and of the answers made to the letters he brought.

Aftre my moost harty co_m_mendacons to your lordshippe w_i_t_h_ like thank_es_ for yo_ur_ gentle l_ette_res by the post scripta in myn other l_ette_res nowe writen vnto youe by the king_es_ highnes co_m_maundement ye shal p_er_ceyve tharryval here of yo_ur_ s_er_u_au_nt Thwaytes, w_i_t_h_ the determynac_i_on for answer to be made to suche l_ette_res as he brought w_i_t_h_ him. I shall in the meane tyme so satisfie peter lark yo_ur_ s_er_u_au_nt touching yo_ur_ request for money that ye shall by the next post p_er_ceyve ye be not forgotten, but sufficiently and soo furnished as ye shall haue cause to be contented. Yo_ur_ doing_es_ be no lesse thankfully accepted, thenne yo_ur_ wisedom travail and diligence therin do require and for my p_ar_te if there be anything ell_es_ here that I may doo yo_ur_ pleasure in, vppon yo_ur_ aduertisement I shalbe glad w_i_t_h_ al my harte to satisfie youe in the same. And thus most hartely fare youe wel, from the Rulles the xxiiij^{th} of Decembre

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd freend THOMAS CRUMWELL.

_Add._ To my veray good lord my lord of Winchestre.

_Endd._ From the roulles the xxiiij of decemb_er_ Mr. Secretary.


B.M. Add. MSS. 25,114, f. 114; Cal. ix. 1039. Dec. 30 ‹1535›.

The King approves of his service, and assures him that he will be glad to welcome him on his return. Reports the illness of Katherine. Has arranged for his money with Peter Lark.

My veray good lord aftre my moost harty co_m_mendac_i_ons Thise shalbe taduertise youe that vndoubtedly the king_es_ highnes doth in soo thankfull sorte accepte your s_er_uice there doon vnto his maiestie, and in euery condic_i_on soo allowe approve and co_m_mende yo_ur_ wise substanciall and discreate proceding, as like as ye haue moche cause to reioyse therin, soo shall the same be certain meane and occasion, that ye shall assuredlye what ende soeuer yo_ur_ busines there shall take, returne to his highnes as hartely welcom and in as greate reputac_i_on as youe could yo_ur_self desire, wherof for my p_ar_te I am euen for many respect_es_ as gladde as ye canne be yo_ur_self. Touchyng his graces affayres I write nothing bicause the same be sufficiently touched in his highnes l_ette_res nowe addressed vnto youe, only for newes ye shal vndrestand that the douagier is in greate daunger whiche his Maiestie also willed me to signifie vnto youe, as by the copye of a l_ette_re sent from themp_er_o_ur_s Ambassador here touching her syknes ye shal p_er_ceyve. And as concernyng yo_ur_ money I haue taken ordre w_i_t_h_ yo_ur_ serv_au_nt peter lark, soo as ye shall I doubt ‹not› be shortly therin satisfied. And thus beseching god to sende youe a good newe yere, I bid youe as well to fare as I wold myself. From the Rulles the penultime of Decembre

Yo_ur_ lordshippis assuryd freend


_Add._ To my veray good lord, My Lord of Winchestre the King_es_ highnes Ambassado_ur_ in Fraunce.

_Endd._ From the Roulles the xxx^{th} of Decembre Mr. Secretary


R.O. Cal. ix. 1127. ‹1535.›

Has received his letters saying that a young person has made suit to obtain the lease after its expiration. The King is assured that he will not recommend any one to him who will not act honourably and for the King’s profit.

In my right hertie man_er_ I co_m_mende me vnto you Adu_er_tesing the same that I haue receyued your l_ette_res right well p_er_ceyuing the content_es_ of the same And where as ye write vnto me that a nother p_er_son of younger yeres should make sute for thopteyning of the lease after the yeres all redie g_ra_unted in the same being expired and determyned the truth is that there is labour made aswell vnto Mr. Norres as other which is not so vehement ne hastie But that it may be right well stayed. Neu_er_theles the king_es_ highnes hauing ferme trust in yo_ur_ dexteritie and wisedom must ned_es_ haue regarde and expectac_i_on in yo_ur_ l_ette_res. Doubting not but ye will not p_re_ferre any other vnto his highnes but suche as shalbe right mete to do that thing which shalbe most for their own honestie and will haue good regarde and aspect to the King_es_ most proffite.

133. ‹CROMWELL› TO ‹POLE›[859].

B.M. Cleop. E. vi, 371; Cal. viii. 220. ‹1535.›

Desires the recipient to answer the things contained in Starkey’s letter to him, which was written by the King’s express commandment.

Syr after my most harty reco_m_me_n_datyanys thys shalbe in few & short wordys to requyre you accordyng to the callyng that our lord Jh_es_u Chryst hath callyd & redemyd you that ys to say as wel wyth the gyft of gud l_ette_res and vnderstondyng, as wyth the most excelle_n_t gyft of jugeme_n_t in the same, ye wyl indeuur yourselfe to make answere vnto such thyngys as be co_n_tynyd in master starkeys l_ette_res to you wrytyn at thys tyme, by the kyng our masturys & soueraynys expresse cu_m_ma_n_deme_n_t & that the same answer may be such & of such gravyte, as the lyght & truthe therof may be to the honowre of god, & the satysfactyon of hys hyghnes. Wherof I assure you I wold be as glad as any pare_n_t or frend ye haue lyuy_n_g not dowtyng in your approuyd wysedome & jugeme_n_t but that ye wyl exte_n_d the gyftys gyue_n_ vnto you in such wyse as leuyng al your respectys or affectyon wole so inserch your co_n_scyence & jugeme_n_t for the truth as ye wole both dyscharge yourselfe agaynst god & your pry_n_ce, in dowyng wherof you shal assurydly dow the thyng much to thencrese of your meryte & fame, wherin as he that ys your assuryd frend to hys lytyl power I requyre you to haue indyffere_n_t co_n_syderatyon & so to ordur yourselfe therin as the expectatyon of your frendys wythe the jugeme_n_t of al me_n_ that knowyth you may be satysfyd in that behalfe & thus our lord send you no worse to fare than I wold ye dyd at london

_Add._ To my synguler frend Mayster Edmu_n_de Herwel marchant at Venyce


R.O. Cal. viii. 1122. ‹1535.›

In consideration of his willing mind, has obtained the King’s licence for him to resort to his manors near his monastery, provided that by so doing he causes no disturbance.

Ye shall vnderstand that I haue resceyved yo_ur_ l_ette_res[860], and touching that ye desire among_es_ other thing_es_ licence for yo_ur_ selfe and certayn of yo_ur_ bretherne to walke to yo_ur_ mano_ur_s and other places about yo_ur_ monastery. Ye shall understand that in considerac_i_on of the good and toward mynd that I have found yn you toward_es_ me and my s_er_uaunt_es_ diu_er_se ways I[861] have opteynyd licence of the king_es_ highnes for yo_ur_ selfe that ye may resorte vnto yo_ur_ maners and other convenyent walkes nygh vnto yo_ur_ monastery, so that no co_m_mon brute may be reysed therby, not doubtyng but ye will vse yo_ur_ selfe so (as for the good will and mynd I bere toward you) it may be to the good zele of religion and as I may therby resceyve no disworship therby. so that always yo_ur_ bretherne must ned_es_ use and order theymself_es_ accordyng to the Iniunccions in that case geven unto theym in that behalf.


Oxford: Printed at the Clarendon Press, by HORACE HART, M.A.


[1] Antiquarian Magazine, Aug. 1882, vol. ii. p. 57.

[2] Manning and Bray, History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey, vol. iii. p. 268.

[3] Court Rolls of Wimbledon Manor, 15 Edw. IV. These rolls are now in the possession of Earl Spencer, lord of the manor. They were made accessible to me through the courtesy of his steward, Mr. Joseph Plaskitt.

[4] The original entry reads: ‘Joh_ann_es Cromwell filius et heres W_ilelmi_ Cromwell nup_er_ de Northwell in com_itatu_ Nottingham remisit totum jus &c. in quodam mess_uagio_ vocat_o_ Parkersplace et in quodam tofto et v acris terr_a_e et in uno tofto cum crofto et vii acris terrae dudum nup_er_ voc_atis_ Kendalisland et in viii acris terrae et dimid_io_ jacent_ibus_ in villa et campis de Northwell mag_istro_ Joh_anni_ Porter prebendario prebende de Northwell voc_ato_ prebende de Palishall in eccl_e_sia colleg_ii_ b_eata_e Mari_a_e Suthwell et succ_essoribus_ suis’ (Dods. MSS. in Bibl. Bodl., vol. xxxvi. p. 97, 1 Edw. IV.)

[5] Antiquarian Magazine for August, 1882, vol. ii. p. 59.

[6] Dods. MSS., vol. xi. pp. 193a, 248a; vol. xxxvi. p. 103. Thorold Rogers, in his History of Agriculture and Prices, vol. iv. p. 3, refers to Ralph Lord Cromwell as ‘one of the richest men of the fifteenth century.’

[7] Cf. Appendix I. at the end of this chapter.

[8] The following are some of the more common entries concerning Walter Cromwell:--

‘P_resenta_nt q_uo_d Gualterus Cromwell est co_mmuni_s br_acia_tor de here et fregit ass_is_am’ and ‘q_uo_d Gualterus Cromwell et ... sunt co_mmun_es tipell_ari_i s_er_uisie et freg_eru_nt ass_is_am ideo ip_s_i in mi_sericordi_a vi d.’ (Court Rolls, 17 Nov., 10 Hen. VII.; 17 Oct., 15 Hen. VII.; 28 Oct., 17 Hen. VII.)

‘It_em_ p_resenta_nt q_uo_d Gualterus Smyth alias Crumwell nimis excess_iv_e supo_n_unt co_mmuna_m pas_tur_am d_omi_ni ... cum av_ii_s suis ad co_mmun_e nocument_um_ ideo ip_s_e in mi_sericordi_a vi d.

‘Item presentant q_uo_d { Gualterus { Johannes

Smyth de Puttenhith succid_un_t spinas in co_mmun_a p_astu_ra d_omi_ni apud Puttenhith. Ideo ip_s_i in mis_ericordi_a iiii d.’ (Court Rolls, 28 Oct., 17 Hen. VII.)

[9] Court Rolls, 20 Edw. IV. and 16 Hen. VII.

[10] According to the record of 20 May, 11 Hen. VII.: ‘Eleg_erun_t in offic_io_ constabul_arii_ de Puttenhith Gualterum Smyth qui jur_atus_ _est_ in eod_em_ offic_io_.’

[11] As by an entry of 20 May, 19 Hen. VII.: ‘Gualterus Smyth et ... ibid_em_ jur_ati_ p_re_sent_ant_ _om_nia bene.’

[12] The entry in full reads: ‘It_e_m p_re_s_entant_ q_uo_d W ... Crumwell al_ia_s Smyth false _e_t fraudulent_er_ rasuravit evidenc_es_ _e_t terrur_es_ d_omi_ni in div_ersi_s p_ar_cell_is_ ad p_er_turbac_i_o_n_em _e_t exheredac_i_o_n_em d_omi_ni _e_t tenenciu_m_ ejus ut plenius apparet in eisd_e_m. I_de_o co_n_solend_um_ _est_ cum do_mi_no et medio te_mpor_e pr_efatum_ est bidell_o_ seisir_e_ in manus d_omi_ni om_n_ia t_e_r_ras_ _e_t ten_ementa_ sua tent_a_ de d_omi_no p_er_ copiam, _e_t de exit_u_ eor_um_ d_omi_ni respon_dere_’ (Court Rolls, 10 Oct., 6 Hen. VIII.; also Extracts, p. 74).

[13] Cal. vi. 696.

[14] Antiquarian Magazine, vol. ii. p. 178.

[15] Cal. iv. 5772. Cf. also Noble, Memoirs, vol. i. pp. 4-5, 238-241. The statements in Noble about the Williamses and Cromwells are most confusing and contradictory. Except for the information afforded concerning Morgan Williams, they are without value, and for the most part have been superseded by documentary evidence, discovered at a later date.

[16] Court Rolls, 10 Oct., 5 Hen. VII., and Cal. iv. 5772.

[17] Cal. iv. 5757.

[18] Antiquary for October, 1880, vol. ii. p. 164. Antiquarian Magazine for August and October, 1882, vol. ii. pp. 56 and 178.

[19] The original entries read as follows:--

1. ‘Ad hanc cur_iam_ venit Ric_ard_us Williams et surs_um_ red_idit_ in man_us_ d_omi_ni duas i_n_tegras virgatas terrae in Hamptone ... quarum una vocata Purycroft ... et alia virgata vocata Williams ad op_us_ Thomae Smyth hered_um_ et assign_atorum_’ (Court Rolls, 26 Feb., 19 Hen. VII.)

2. ‘Ric_ard_us Williams fecit in_s_ul_tum_ Thomae [Smyth] et eundem Thomam verberavit c_ont_ra pac_em_ d_omi_ni Regis’ ... ‘Ad hanc cur_iam_ venit Thomas Smyth et surs_um_ redidit in man_us_ d_omi_ni duas i_n_tegras virgatas terrae in Rokhamptone ... quar_um_ una virgata vocata Purycroft et alia virgata vocata Williams ad op_us_ Davidii Doby hered_um_ et assign_atorum_’ (Court Rolls, 20 May, 19 Hen. VII.)

[20] Antiquarian Magazine for October, 1882, vol. ii. p. 183.

[21] It is possible that the Thomas Smyth, whose name occurs so frequently in the Court Rolls, was identical with a certain ‘tryumphant trollynge Thomas Smyth,’ who, in 1541, wrote several ballads ‘declaring the despyte of a secrete sedycyous person,’ by name William Graye, who had composed certain verses very derogatory to the memory of Thomas Cromwell. This Thomas Smyth describes himself as ‘servaunt to the Kynges royall Majestye, and clerke of the Quenes Graces Counsell, though most unworthy’; he had perhaps obtained his position through the influence of the King’s minister. He was supported in his tirade against Graye by ‘the ryght redolent and rotunde rethorician R. Smyth ... in an Artificiall apologie articulerlye answerynge to the obstreperous obgannynges of one W. G. evometyd to the vituperacyon of the tryumphant trollynge Thomas Smyth ... to thende that the imprudent lector shulde not tytubate or hallucinate in the labyrinthes of this lucubratiuncle.’ ‘R. Smyth’ was probably another member of the Smyth-Cromwell tribe. The name ‘Ric_ard_us Smyth’ occurs frequently in the Court Rolls (Cal. xvi. 423).

[22] See Appendices I. and III. at the end of this chapter.

[23] See Appendices II. and IV. at the end of this chapter. The suggestion of Mr. Galton (The Character and Times of Thomas Cromwell, p. 22) that ‘Garigliano’ may be a mistake for ‘Marignano’ is scarcely plausible. The great victory of Francis I occurred in 1515, when there is every reason to suppose that Cromwell was in England.

[24] Cal. v. 1197; vii. 923.

[25] The fact that this tale concerns itself with Foxe’s native town of Boston increases the probability of its authenticity. It was probably this same Geoffrey Chambers who in later years was so active as Cromwell’s agent, and as Surveyor-General of the King’s purchased lands. Cf. Cal. xii. (ii), 490, 783, 835, 852, 857, and Ellis, 3rd Series, vol. iii. p. 168.

[26] Cal. x. 1218.

[27] Cal. i. 3556.

[28] Appendix I. to this chapter; Antiquary for Oct. 1880, vol. ii. p. 164.

[29] Appendix to chapter iii. p. 59.

[30] Cal. iii. 3502.

[31] ‘Mr. Pryor’ and ‘Mistress Pryor’ both had rooms in Cromwell’s house, at Austin Friars Gate, where he lived after the year 1524. Before that date he resided near Fenchurch (Cal. iii. 2624; iv. 3197).

[32] Mr. Gairdner kindly informs me that he was misled by a record concerning Robert Cromwell (Cal. ii. (i) 1369).

[33] Singer’s Cavendish, vol. i. p. 193 _n._

[34] Ellis, Thomas Cromwell, p. 12.

[35] Life of Wolsey, Dictionary of National Biography, vol. lxii. p. 325.

[36] Cal. i. 5355.

[37] In the original document (Cal. iii. 1026) the name of the Cardinal is not expressly mentioned. The copy of the citation, however, was sent by his chaplain, Clerk, and can scarcely have been intended for any one but Wolsey, since the case had already reached the Papal Court.

[38] Cal. iii. 3681.

[39] Cal. iii. 1026, 1940, 1963, 2441, 3657.

[40] Cal. iii. 2624.

[41] Cal. iii. 2437.

[42] The original is in the Vienna Archives. This copy was made from the official Record Office transcript. Cf. Cal. ix. 862, and Thomas, The Pilgrim, p. 107.

[43] John Cromwell of Lambeth.

[44] _sic_, read ‘ou.’

[45] Sir William Compton. See Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xi. p. 453.

[46] Letters, 1.

[47] On this paragraph, cf. Creighton’s Wolsey, pp. 128-130.

[48] Roper, Life of More, pp. 34-35.

[49] Ibid., pp. 35-38.

[50] On the 29th of April Wolsey entered the House and proposed a subsidy ‘which he thought should not fall short of £800,000, to be raised by a tax of four shillings in the pound on all men’s goods and lands.’ The principal provisions of the Act to which the Commons were finally induced to give their consent were as follows: for two years ‘a rate of 5 per cent. was imposed on all lands and goods of the value of £20 and upwards; 2-1/2 per cent. on goods between £20 and £2; 1-2/3 per cent. on goods of 40s., or on yearly wages averaging 20s. In the third year 5 per cent. on all lands of £50 and upwards; and in the fourth and last year, 5 per cent. on personal property of £50 and upwards. These rates were doubled in cases of aliens. The Act was not to extend to Ireland, Wales, Calais, to the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, or Westmoreland, to Chester, to the bishopric of Durham, or to Brighton in Sussex.’ (Cf. Introduction to vol. iii of the Calendar, pp. 243, 253, 270.) Brewer informs us that ‘it had been computed that the subsidy granted by the Commons would produce £800,000,’ though he confesses that we are ignorant of the data on which this estimate was based. Lingard does not discuss the amount of the subsidy, but lays stress on the fact that the Commons asserted their right to debate on the measure alone. (Hist. of England, vol. vi. pp. 91-92.)

[51] Cal. iii. 2958. There can be no reasonable doubt concerning the authorship of this speech. Neither Brewer nor Gairdner question it, and Pauli, in an article on Wolsey and the Parliament of 1523 (Historische Zeitschrift for 1889, p. 52), says, ‘Die Rede selbst kann schlechterdings keinen anderen Urheber haben, und ist späterhin bei der Confiscation der Papiere Cromwell’s in das Staatsarchiv gekommen.’

[52] _sic_, for ‘of.’

[53] _sic_, for ‘wrongous’ or ‘wrong.’

[54] _sic_, for ‘world.’

[55] _sic_, for ‘they.’

[56] _sic_, for ‘affliction.’

[57] _sic_, for ‘of’?

[58] _sic_, for ‘be conveyed.’

[59] _sic_, for ‘as.’

[60] _sic_, for ‘be,’ possibly meaning ‘very.’

[61] William de Croy, Lord Chievres.

[62] Cal. iv. 969; Doyle’s Baronage, vol. i. p. 689.

[63] Cal. iv. 294, 388, 979, 1385-1386, 1620, 2347-2348, 2379.

[64] Cal. iv. 989, 990.

[65] Cf. Preface to volume iv of the Calendar, pp. 368-369.

[66] Cal. iv. 1833-1834, 2365, 5117, 5145.

[67] Cal. iv. 3461, 4778, 5330; Letters, 6, 8.

[68] Cal. iv. 3360.

[69] Cal. iv. 3334, and Appendix II. at the end of chapter i, p. 19.

[70] Cal. iv. 3079, 3119, 4201, 5169, 5365, 5456.

[71] Cal. iv. 3198, 3475, 3535, 3676, 4117, 4275, 4570, 4573, 5399, 5411.

[72] Letters, 1.

[73] Cal. iv. 2538, 3053, 4107.

[74] Cal. iv. 1768.

[75] Cal. iv. 2387.

[76] Cal. iv. 5080, 5141.

[77] Cal. iv. 3388.

[78] Cf. Appendix at the end of this chapter, p. 58.

[79] Cal. iv. 4560, 4837, 4916.

[80] Cal. iv. 4561.

[81] Cal. iv. 4433, 5757, 6219.

[82] Cal. iv. 3197.

[83] Appendix at the end of this chapter. The will is also printed in Froude, Appendix to chapter vi. The statement in a footnote that the names Williams and Williamson are used interchangeably is scarcely credible.

[84] Cf. footnote 87 in the Appendix, p. 56. The will was originally misdated, owing to an obviously careless error by the clerk, which was corrected by him at the time. The other corrections, by Cromwell, are written in a different-coloured ink; and the handwriting according to the Calendar (cf. footnote to vol. iv. no. 5772) indicates that they were made at a later date.

[85] Cal. xi. 1016; xii. (ii) 646.

[86] Cf. the genealogy in the Antiquary, vol. ii. pp. 164 ff.

[87] Altered at the time from:--‘MCCCCC xx viij^{ti}’ by the clerk. All the other changes are in Cromwell’s hand, and were probably made at a later date. Cf. footnote in the Calendar, vol. iv. pt. iii. p. 2573.

[88] Altered from:--‘Foure hundreth pownd_es_.’

[89] Altered from:--‘cccc^{li}.’

[90] Altered from:--‘xx^{li}.’

[91] Altered from:--‘one.’

[92] Altered from:--‘twoo.’

[93] These last six words are altered from:--‘a Bolster the best.’

[94] Altered from:--‘two.’

[95] Altered from:--‘ij^o.’

[96] Altered from:--‘One Dozen.’

[97] Altered from:--‘A.’

[98] Altered from:--‘iij.’

[99] Altered from:--‘vj of.’

[100] These last two words are altered from:--‘and.’

[101] Altered from:--‘xxiiij^{ti}.’

[102] Crossed out:--‘It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my Doughter Anne one hundreth Mark_es_ of lawfull money of Englond when she shall cu_m_ to her lawfull age or happen to be maryed And xl^{li} toward_es_ her Fynding vntill the tyme that she shalbe of lawfull age or be maryed. Which xl^{li} I will shalbe Delyuered to my Frend John Croke on of the Six clerk_es_ of the king his Ch_a_uncerie to thintent he may order the same and cause the same to be imployed in the best wise he can deuyse about the vertewous educacyon and bringing vp of my saide Doughter till she shall cu_m_ to her lawfull age or maryage. And if it happen my saide Doughter to Dye before she cu_m_ to her saide lawfull age or be maryed Then I will that the said c Mark_es_ and so moche of the said xl^{li} as then shalbe vnspent and vnimployed at the Day of the deth of my said Doughter Anne, I will it shall remayne to Gregory my Soon if he then be on lyue, And if he be Dede the same c Mark_es_ and also so moche of the saide xl^{li} as then shalbe vnspent to be departed amongst my Sustres children in man_er_ and fourme forsaid And if it happen my saide Sustres children then to be all Dede, Then I will the saide c Mark_es_ and so moche of the saide xl^{li} as then shalbe vnspent shalbe deuyded amongst my kynsfolk_es_ such as then shalbe on lyue.’

[103] Altered from:--‘xx^{li} I Saye Twentye pound_es_ st_er_ling’: and this is altered from:--‘xxx^{li} which she oweth me.’

[104] Crossed out:--‘and.’

[105] Crossed out:--‘s_er_u_au_nt w_i_t_h_ my lorde Marques Dorssett.’

[106] Altered from:--‘xl^{li}.’

[107] Altered from:--‘Fourth.’

[108] Altered from:--‘xx^{li}.’

[109] Altered from:--‘x^{li}.’

[110] Altered from:--‘shall remayne to Anne and Grace my doughters.’

[111] Altered from:--‘xl^{li}’: and this is altered from:--‘xx^{li}.’

[112] Altered from:--‘vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d.’

[113] Altered from:--‘iij^{li} vj^s viij^d.’

[114] Altered from:--‘Cosyn.’

[115] Altered from:--‘c.’

[116] Altered from:--‘Best.’

[117] Altered from:--‘x^{li}.’

[118] Crossed out:--‘It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to Elizabeth Gregory sumtyme my Seru_au_nt xx^{li} vj payre of Shet_es_ A Fetherbed A payre of blankett_es_ A Couerlet ij^o table clothes, One Dozen Naptkynnes ij^o brasse pott_es_, ij^o pannes, ij^o Spytt_es_.’

[119] Crossed out:--‘It_e_m I gyue _and_ bequethe to John Croke one of the vj clerk_es_ of the Ch_a_uncerye x^{li} my Second gowne Doblet and Jaquet. It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to Roger More Seruaunt of the king his bakehouse vj^{li} xiij^s iiij^d iij yard_es_ Saten and to Maudelyn his wyf iij^{li} vj^s viij^d.’

[120] Crossed out:--‘It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my litill Doughter Grace c Mark_es_ of lawfull ynglissh money when she shall cu_m_ to her lawfull age or maryage and also xl^{li} toward_es_ her exhibucyon and Fynding vntill suche tyme ‹as› she shalbe of lawfull age or be maryed Which xl^{li} I will shalbe delyuered to my brother in law John Willyamson to thintent he may order and cause the same to be imployed in and about_es_ the vertewous educacyon and brynging vp of my saide Doughter till she shall cu_m_ to her lawfull age or Maryage. And if it happen my saide Doughter to Dye before she cum to her lawfull age or maryage then I will that the saide c m_ar_k_es_ and so moche of the saide xl^{li} as then shalbe vnspent and vnimployed about_es_ the fynding of my saide Doughter at the Day of the Deth of my saide Doughter shall remayne and be Delyuered to Gregory my Soon if he then shall happen to be on lyue. And if he be Dede then the saide c Mark_es_ and the saide residue of the saide xl^{li} to be euenlye Departed amongst my poure kynnesfolk_es_, that is to say my Susters children forsaide.’

[121] The last seventeen words are altered from:--‘Sutton at Hone and Temple Dartford in the Countie of Kent And shall take the p_ro_ffyte of my Ferme of the p_ar_sonage of Sutton.’

[122] Crossed out:--‘cu_m_myng.’

[123] Crossed out:--‘in Dead_es_ of charytee ou_er_ and aboue the charges and reparac_i_ons gyue and Distrybute for my Soule quarterly xl^s amongst poure people vntill my Soon Gregorye shall cu_m_ to the age of xxv yeres if he so long do Lyue And then my saide Soon to haue my said Fermes During the yeres conteyned w_ith_in my leases.’

[124] Altered from:--‘xxv.’

[125] Crossed out:--‘and.’

[126] Crossed out:--‘my saide executours shall sell my said Fermes to the most proffyte and adu_au_ntage And the money thereof growing to bestowe in Dead_es_ of charytee vppon my poure kynnesfolk_es_ and other charytable Dead_es_ to pray.’

[127] Altered from:--‘iij.’

[128] The last eighteen words are altered from:--‘iij yeres xx^{li}.’

[129] Added and crossed out:--‘by the discression of myn executors.’

[130] Altered from:--‘xiij^s iiij^d.’

[131] Altered from:--‘xx^{li}.’

[132] Altered from:--‘vj^s viij^d.’

[133] Altered from:--‘x^{li}.’

[134] Altered from:--‘v^{li}.’

[135] Crossed out:--‘It_e_m I gyue and bequethe to my p_ar_oche churche for my tithes forgotten xx^s.’

[136] The last eleven bequests are added in Cromwell’s hand.

[137] Altered from:--‘John Croke one of the vj clerk_es_ of the king his Ch_a_uncerye.’

[138] The last four words are altered from:--‘my S_er_u_au_nt Iohn Smyth and John.’

[139] Crossed out:--‘and to my litill Doughters Anne and Grace.’

[140] Added and crossed out:--‘ou_er_ and aboue thayr legacyes beforsayd.’

[141] Every page, except the last two, is also signed by Cromwell.

[142] Cal. iv. 6017.

[143] Cavendish, pp. 160-166.

[144] Cal. iv. 6036.

[145] Cal. iv. 6110.

[146] Cavendish, pp. 175 ff.; Shakespeare, Henry VIII., iii. 2; Froude, vol. ii. pp. 112 ff.

[147] Cavendish, pp. 169, 170.

[148] Cavendish, p. 179.

[149] Parliamentary Papers, vol. lxii. pt. i. p. 370.

[150] Cal. iv. App. 238.

[151] Cavendish, pp. 179 ff.

[152] Cal. iv. 6098, 6203, 6249. Cf. also Dixon, vol. i. pp. 48-49 _n._ Stubbs’ Lectures, p. 315, and the Life of Cromwell in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xiii. p. 197.

[153] Cal. iv. 6017.

[154] Busch, pp. 288, 289.

[155] Cal. iii. 3694, and iv. 6216, 6792.

[156] Cf. Introduction to vol. iv of the Calendar, pp. 549, 550.

[157] State Papers, vol. i. p. 351.

[158] Cal. iv. 6115.

[159] Cal. iv. 6181.

[160] Cal. iv. 6098, 6181, 6204, 6249.

[161] Letters, 13.

[162] Cal. iv. 6203.

[163] Cal. iv. 6196.

[164] Introduction to vol. iv of the Calendar, pp. 584, 585.

[165] Cavendish, p. 198.

[166] Letters, 18.

[167] Letters, 9-20.

[168] Foxe, vol. ii. pp. 419 ff.

[169] See Appendix I at the end of chapter i, p. 17.

[170] Cf. Ashley, Economic History, vol. ii. pp. 259-304.

[171] On this and the succeeding pages, cf. Creighton’s Papacy, vol. vi. pp. 296-362, and Mignet, vol. ii. pp. 340-358.

[172] Cal. iv. 6521, 6691.

[173] For the date of the birth of Anne Boleyn see Friedmann, chap. i, and Note A in the Appendix; Round, The Early Life of Anne Boleyn; and Gairdner in the English Historical Review, vol. viii. p. 58, and vol. x. p. 104.

[174] Cal. iv. 1431 (8), 6083, 6163.

[175] Cal. iv. 4477, 4383, 4410, 3325, 3326, 3218-3221.

[176] Cf. the Life of Norfolk in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xxviii. p. 65.

[177] Cal. iv. 5422.

[178] Cf. the Life of Gardiner in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xx. p. 419.

[179] Cf. Pauli, Thomas Cromwell, p. 301.

[180] Cal. iv. 4613, 4884, 5034, 6429, 6744.

[181] Il Principe, chap. xviii, p. 304.

[182] Ibid., chap. xvii, p. 291.

[183] Cal. iv. 6346.

[184] Letters, 1.

[185] Pole, Apologia ad Carolum Quintum, chap. xxix.

[186] This account was drawn up by Pole in 1538. Canon Dixon (History of the Church of England, vol. i. p. 41) questions the truth of the story on the ground that The Prince was not published until 1532, several years after the reported conversation took place. The book, however, was written in 1513, as Canon Dixon admits, and there is every probability, especially in view of his early experiences in Italy, that Cromwell possessed a manuscript copy. Pole, moreover, expressly states that Cromwell offered to lend him the work, provided he would promise to read it.

[187] Cal. xiv. (ii) 399.

[188] The chronicler, John Stow, in his Survey of London, p. 180, gives the following anecdote, which proves that Cromwell was no less arbitrary as a man than as a minister:--

‘On the south side and at the west end of this church (the Austin Friars) many fayre houses are builded, namely in Throgmorton streete, one very large and spacious, builded in the place of olde and small Tenementes by Thomas Cromwell.... This house being finished, and hauing some reasonable plot of ground left for a Garden, he caused the pales of the Gardens adioyning to the north parte thereof on a sodaine to be taken downe, 22 foot to bee measured forth right into the north of euery man’s ground, a line there to bee drawen, a trench to bee cast, a foundation laid, and a highe bricke wall to bee builded. My father had a Garden there, and an house standing close to his south pale, this house they lowsed from the ground & bare vpon Rowlers into my Father’s Garden 22 foot, ere my Father heard thereof: no warning was given him, nor any other answere when hee spake to the surueyers of that worke but that their Mayster Sir Thomas commaunded them so to doe, no man durst go to argue the matter, but each man lost his land, and my Father payde his whole rent, which was vi^{s}. viii^{d}. the yeare, for that halfe which was left. Thus much of mine owne knowledge haue I thought good to note, that the suddaine rising of some men, causeth them to forget themselves.’

[189] Pole, Apologia ad Carolum Quintum, chap. xxix, and Lingard, vol. vi. p. 233. There is every reason to believe in the veracity of this report. Pole was in London at the time, and knew Cromwell intimately. He reiterates the truth of his tale in the following words:--‘Hoc possum affirmare nihil in illa oratione positum alicujus momenti quod non vel ab eodem nuncio (Cromwell himself) eo narrante intellexi, vel ab illis qui ejus consilii fuerunt participes.’ This interview was doubtless the one which Chapuys describes as due to the quarrel with Sir John Wallop. According to both accounts it ended by Cromwell’s becoming a Privy Councillor.

[190] As Cal. iv. 6183.

[191] Cal. iv. 6111, 6154-6155.

[192] Holinshed’s Chronicle, p. 766.

[193] There were to be in all five concessions, the first of which was the really important and crucial one--‘Ecclesiae et cleri Anglicani, cujus protector et supremum caput is solus est.’ Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 725.

[194] Cal. v. 62, 70.

[195] Cal. v. 105.

[196] Cal. v. 7, 9; vi. 416.

[197] Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 725.

[198] Friedmann, vol. i. p. 142.

[199] Cal. v. 105.

[200] Cal. v. 171.

[201] Hall, p. 784.

[202] See Appendix at the end of this chapter, p. 104.

[203] Wilkins, vol. iii. pp. 748, 750.

[204] Hall, p. 788; Cal. v. 989.

[205] Cal. v. 1018.

[206] Cf. Dixon, vol. i. pp. 74-111.

[207] Cal. v. 1023.

[208] Cal. v. 1202.

[209] Cal. v. 941.

[210] Demaus, p. 257.

[211] Demaus, p. 274.

[212] Cal. v. 65. Doubtless Vaughan referred to the steps taken by Bishop Stokesley and others to punish those who favoured the new religion. It was at this time that Tyndale’s brother John had been arrested in London for selling New Testaments received from abroad.

[213] Cal. v. 153.

[214] Cal. v. 201.

[215] British Museum, Titus B. vol. i. p. 67.

[216] Letters, 21.

[217] Cal. v. 246, 303.

[218] Cal. v. 533, 574, 618.

[219] Demaus, p. 307.

[220] Cal. v. 701, 1548, 1600, 1728; Letters, 36, 39.

[221] British Museum, Titus B. vol. i. p. 422.

[222] Cal. vi. 180, 461.

[223] Cal. vi. 461, 469, 496, 525, 526, 527.

[224] 24 Hen. VIII., c. 12.

[225] 25 Hen. VIII., c. 19.

[226] 25 Hen. VIII., c. 22. Mendez Silva, pp. 14 and 15, asserts that Cromwell was responsible for the passage of this statute. The King’s minister appeared in Convocation and Parliament, and made a speech in which he said that his master desired that Mary be excluded from the succession and Elizabeth received in her place, and that he was sure that they all loved His Majesty so much that they would not refuse to do his will. Clergy, Lords, and Commons, ‘al peligro de la conciencia ... se reduxeron facilmente.’

[227] 26 Hen. VIII., c. 1.

[228] 25 Hen. VIII., c. 20.

[229] Cal. viii. 121.

[230] Cal. ix. 517.

[231] British Museum, Cleop. E. vi 254; and Strype, Ecclesiastical Memorials, vol. i. pt. ii. p. 216.

[232] Cal. viii. 565, 895.

[233] Cal. viii. 609, 661.

[234] Cal. ix. 74.

[235] Cal. xi. 300 (2).

[236] Cal. viii. 196.

[237] Letters, 107.

[238] Cal. vi. 835.

[239] Letters, 52; Cal. vi. 967, 1445.

[240] British Museum, Harl. MSS. 6,148 f, 40 a.

[241] Cal. vii. 54 (31), 522.

[242] Letters, 68.

[243] Cf. Lewis, chap. xxxii.

[244] Cal. vii. 287.

[245] Cal. vii. 296.

[246] Cal. vii. 499, and Letters, 71.

[247] Strype, Cranmer, vol. i. p. 39; vol. ii. p. 693.

[248] Cal. viii. 666.

[249] Cal. viii. 742, 876. Cf. also Lewis, chaps. xxxiv, xxxv, and xxxvi.

[250] Cal. vii. 575.

[251] Lewis, chap. xxxvii; Roper, 55.

[252] ‘Obraua Cromuel, estas, y otras atrocidades libremente, dando á entender ser conueniencia del Principe, para la estabilidad de su Corona, sujecion, y terror en los vassallos.’ Mendez Silva, p. 13.

[253] Letters, 197.

[254] Henry de Bracton’s De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae.

[255] Cal. xiii. (i) 120.

[256] Letters, 107.

[257] The following passage from a letter which Gardiner wrote to the Protector Somerset in the reign of Edward VI. gives a slightly different account of the origin of the Act about Proclamations:--

‘Whether the King may command against the Common Law or an Act of Parliament there is never a Judge, or other man in the realm, ought to know more by experience of that the Lawyers have said, than I ... being of the Council, when many Proclamations were devised against the Carriers out of Corn; when it came to punishing the Offenders the Judges would answer, it might not be by the Laws, because the Act of Parliament gave liberty, Wheat being under a price: wherupon at the last followed the Act of Proclamations, in the passing whereof were many large words.’

It will be noticed that this account of the origin of the Act is in many ways similar to that contained in Cromwell’s letter: the chief difference being that according to the latter the measure was adopted to prevent the export of _coin_, while Gardiner informs us that the statute was devised to prevent the export of _corn_. It is possible that the Bishop of Winchester, writing so many years later, had forgotten the exact circumstances, and was really referring to the same incident as that described by Cromwell. Burnet has printed Gardiner’s letter in full (Collection of Records and Original Papers, &c., part ii, book i, no. 14), but he does not seem to have made use of the information it contains; for in another part of his work (part i, book iii, p. 423) he asserts that the Act about Proclamations was the result of the great exceptions made to the legality of the King’s proceedings in the articles about religion and other injunctions published by his authority, which were complained of as contrary to law. Hallam (vol. i. p. 35 _n._) apparently agrees with Burnet in this last statement, and ignores the evidence supplied by the letter of the Bishop of Winchester. It is probable that both writers have gone astray in this matter. The opposition aroused by the King’s ecclesiastical proclamations may have hastened the passage of the Act, but they can scarcely be regarded as its origin in the face of the testimony of Cromwell and Gardiner. Burnet and Hallam were perhaps led to ascribe the source of the statute to religious matters, by the fact that the Act was passed almost simultaneously with the Six Articles, and by the special provision which it contained concerning heretics.

[258] Canon Dixon (History of the Church of England, vol. ii. p. 129) sees in the Act about Proclamations ‘a timid attempt to draw the prerogative within the limits of regular legislation,’ and seeks to show that its true intent was to curtail, while legalizing, a power which the Crown had exercised hitherto illegally and without any restraint. It is doubtless true that the King had issued proclamations before, and had enforced obedience to them, without the sanction of law; and it is equally certain that the intent of this Act (like that of so many others which Cromwell devised) was to legalize a privilege of which the Crown had already made use. But it is more difficult to agree with the reasoning by which Canon Dixon attempts to show that the true purpose of this process of legalization was to restrict and not to confirm the power of the King. It is pretty certain that the practical value of these limitations was in reality far less than at first appeared; for, as Hallam and Burnet justly remark, the immediate effect of them was to confer great power on the judges, upon whom the duty of interpreting the statute devolved; and the judges--mere puppets in the hands of Henry and Cromwell--were sure to render every verdict in favour of the Crown. The exceptions in the Act about Proclamations may well be compared to the _Quantum per Christi legem licet_, which had been tacked on to the recognition of the King’s Supremacy. Both were concessions granted merely as a sop to the popular feeling: both were so guarded that they could easily be rendered nugatory. Finally, the fact that Cromwell himself was so active in assisting the passage of this statute should be a conclusive proof that its real aim was not to legalize and limit, but to legalize and confirm the power of the Crown. The straightforward verdicts of Hume and Hallam on the true significance of the Act are certainly correct: ‘The prerogative could not soar to the heights it aimed at, till thus imped by the perfidious hand of Parliament.’ The fact that the statute was repealed in the first year of Edward VI. simply proves that it was so unpopular that it was impossible to renew it, when the strong hand of Henry VIII. had been removed. Cf. Hume, vol. iii. pp. 255, 256; Hallam, vol. i. p. 35; and Blackstone, vol. i. p. 269. There is a curious passage in Beowulf (ll. 67-73), in which the King rules as he wills, saving his subjects’ lives and heritages, that is in striking congruence with this Act.

[259] Stubbs, Const. Hist., vol. i. p. 439.

[260] ‘William Copingar, Thomas Johnson, Sherifes. These Sherifes being on the morrow after Michaelmas day by the Maior and Aldermen presented before the Barons of the Exchequer, only William Copingar was admitted and sworne, but Thomas Johnson they woulde not admitte till they knew farther of the Kings pleasure. The x of October a commandment was brought from the King to the Lord Maior that he should cause an election to bee made for a new Sheriffe, at which day, came into the Guild Hall Mayster Edmond Dudley the Kings President, and there shewed the King’s letters, that his commons shoulde name for the Kings pleasure, William Fitz William, to bee Sheriffe for the peace ensuing, which with much difficulty at length was granted, which William Fitz William kept his feast the Sixteenth day of October.’ Stow’s Chronicle, p. 879.

[261] Cal. x. 852.

[262] The letter of Cromwell to the Mayor and Burgesses of Canterbury (Letters, 148) is now in the British Museum; it was put into my hands by the kindness of Mr. Brodie of the Public Record Office. It was overlooked at the time of the compilation of the tenth volume of the Calendar, and escaped the search of Froude and Friedmann, both of whom discuss the details of this election at some length. Its discovery throws much fresh light on the history of one of the most famous cases of arbitrary interference in the choice of members to Parliament that has come down to us from Tudor times. The reply of the Mayor (Cal. x. 929) is comparatively well known. Froude has printed it in full (vol. iii. p. 347), but has misread the name of one of the burgesses, which is ‘Darkenall’ or ‘Derknall,’ not ‘Sacknell.’

[263] Cal. vi. 1510.

[264] Cal. x. 351, 601, 1069, and footnote to page 232. Cf. also Froude, The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon, pp. 413-415.

[265] Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 817.

[266] Letters, 159, 266, 273.

[267] Cal. vii. 1555.

[268] ‘High Dutch’ not ‘Low Dutch.’

[269] Cal. x. 352, 698; xiv. (i) 186 (v).

[270] Cal. xii. (ii), Appendix 35, and xii. (ii) 593.

[271] Letters, 273.

[272] Cal. xiii. (ii) 1085.

[273] Cal. xiii. (ii) 1163; xiv. (i) 37, 371. Dixon, vol. ii. p. 77, and Eadie, vol. i. p. 360.

[274] Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 659.

[275] Wilkins, vol. iii. p. 760. It is not clear whether this petition was put forth in the name of Convocation or of Parliament. But the question is of minor importance: it is safe to say that neither body originated the Supplication, but that it was forced upon the Commons or the clergy by the King or his minister.

[276] Cal. vi. 299 (ix, x), 1381. In one place occurs the significant item ‘To Remembre to make a byll for the p_ar_lyament touching the augmentacyon of the Annatt_es_.’ British Museum, Titus B. i. 421.

[277] 23 Hen. VIII., c. 20.

[278] Cal. v. 879.

[279] Cal. vi. 793.

[280] 25 Hen. VIII., c. 20.

[281] 26 Hen. VIII., c. 3.

[282] 25 Hen. VIII., c. 21.

[283] Cal. ix. 725 (1).

[284] Cal. vii. 1554.

[285] Cal. vii. 1304; ix. 144, 183; x. 1170; xii. (ii), 1151.

[286] Schanz, vol. i. pp. 535-537.

[287] Schanz, vol. i. p. 518.

[288] 27 Hen. VIII., c. 10. Cf. also on this and the following pages Digby, pp. 267-280, and Reeves, vol. iii. pp. 275-289.

[289] 1 Rich. III., c. 1; 4 Hen. VII., c. 17.

[290] Cal. viii. 892.

[291] Cal. viii. 892; ix. 725.

[292] 32 Hen. VIII., c. 1.

[293] Schanz, vol. i. pp. 159, 160.

[294] Cf. Schanz, vol. i. pp. 224-227.

[295] Busch, vol. i. p. 149.

[296] Schanz, vol. i. pp. 76-86, 107-108.

[297] Schanz, vol. i. pp. 372-374.

[298] Cal. xiv. (i) 399, 655.

[299] Letters, 74, 190, 213.

[300] 32 Hen. VIII., c. 14.

[301] This proclamation, issued Feb. 26, 1539, decreed that for seven years ‘straungers shall paye like custome and subsidy as the kinges subiects.’ British Museum, Titus B. i. 572.

[302] Cal. xiii. (ii) 57, 84, 91.

[303] Letters, 273.

[304] Dixon, vol. ii. p. 83.

[305] Dixon, vol. ii. p. 83.

[306] Letters, 159.

[307] Letters, 106, 116, 124, 129, 186, 206.

[308] Cooper, vol. i. pp. 374, 375. In the Calendar, ix. 615, these injunctions are apparently attributed to Cromwell. But Cooper expressly states that the King promulgated them, while Strype (Ecclesiastical Memorials, vol. i. (i) p. 322, and vol. i. (ii) pp. 218, 219) seems to think that they were drawn up by Legh and Ap Rice, though he admits that they were issued in the King’s name. It seems very improbable then that Cromwell wrote them, and I have not placed them among the letters.

[309] Letters, 104, and Wilson, Magdalen College, p. 80.

[310] Letters, 325, 326. The name of the Master was George Cotes or Cootes, formerly of Magdalen. He was Proctor in 1529. Davis, Balliol College, pp. 82-86; Wood, Fasti Oxonienses, pt. i. p. 86.

[311] Cal. ix. 350.

[312] On the Commissions to Cromwell as Vicar-general and Vicegerent cf. Burnet, vol. i. pp. 292-293 _n._, 342-343 _n._; Collier, vol. ii. p. 104; Gutch, vol. ii. p. 192; Herbert, p. 202; Dixon, vol. i. pp. 244-247; Child, Church and State, pp. 78, 79. It is probable that the last writer has confounded the two commissions: certainly there is little reason to think that the title of Vicar-general was granted _later_ than that of Vicegerent.

[313] See vol. ii. p. 283.

[314] Cal. xi. 41.

[315] An event which took place in July, 1536, may possibly have been the source of this rumour. It appears that Cromwell had a gold ring made, with the figures of the Queen, King, and Princess carved on it, and the following Latin inscription:--

‘Obedientia unitatem parit, Unitas animi quietem et constantiam; Constans vero animi quies thesaurus inestimabilis. Respexit humilitatem Qui in Filio nobis reliquit Perfectum humilitatis exemplar. Factus est obediens Patri. Et ipsa etiam natura parentibus Et patrie obediendum docuit.’

This ring he intended to bestow on the Princess Mary, but apparently the King got wind of the plan and put a stop to it, taking the ring away from his minister, on the plea that he desired to have the honour of presenting it to his daughter himself. The episode should have been sufficient to show that even if Cromwell had any idea of marrying the Princess, the King’s opposition to the plan would prove insurmountable. The inscription on the ring, moreover, surely indicates that the gift was intended rather as a reminder to the Princess of her duty towards her father, than as a preliminary to a matrimonial proposal. Cal. xi. 148.

[316] Letters, 150.

[317] Cal. xi. 147.

[318] Cal. vi. 913, 981, 1011, 1014.

[319] Cal. xii. (ii) 423.

[320] As Cal. viii. 571.

[321] Cal. ix. 478, 862; xiv. (i) 5.

[322] Cal. viii. 108.

[323] Bagwell, vol. i. pp. 124-152.

[324] Cal. vii. 1141.

[325] Bagwell, vol. i. pp. 152-155.

[326] State Papers, vol. ii. p. 167.

[327] State Papers, vol. ii. p. 180.

[328] Cal. vi. 1586.

[329] Cal. vii. 957, 1141.

[330] Cal. vii. 1057.

[331] Cal. vii. 1095.

[332] Cal. vii. 1141.

[333] Cal. vii. 1193, 1257, 1366, 1389.

[334] Cal. vii. 1418.

[335] Bagwell, vol. i. p. 172.

[336] Cal. vii. 1297; viii. 140.

[337] Cal. vii. 1573, and Bagwell, vol. i. p. 173.

[338] Cal. viii. 448.

[339] Bagwell, vol. i. p. 180.

[340] Cal. x. 15 _n._

[341] Cal. x. 822.

[342] Cal. x. 897, 937.

[343] Letters, 179.

[344] Bagwell, vol. i. pp. 196, 197.

[345] Cal. xii. (i) 503.

[346] Cal. xii. (ii) 382.

[347] Letters, 198-205, 207, 208, 211, 212, 214, 215, 232.

[348] State Papers, vol. ii. pp. 551, 552.

[349] Cal. xiii. (ii) 999.

[350] Letters, 297, 298.

[351] Cal. xiv. (ii) 137.

[352] Cal. xv. 441.

[353] State Papers, vol. v. p. 178.

[354] Bagwell, vol. i. p. 249.

[355] Cal. v. 991.

[356] Ruding, vol. i. p. 308; Cal. vii. 1225.

[357] Cal. vi. 946; vii. 1026 (28).

[358] 26 Hen. VIII., c. 4, c. 6, c. 11, c. 12.

[359] Cal. vii. 1554.

[360] Cal. viii. 839.

[361] Cal. viii. 133, 195, 240, 509, 915, 1058.

[362] 27 Hen. VIII., c. 26.

[363] Cal. vi. 1196. Cf. also Hume Brown, vol. i. p. 381.

[364] Cal. vii. 296.

[365] Cal. ix. 178, 730; x. 75, 227, 482, 863, 944, and Pinkerton, vol. ii. pp. 327-328.

[366] Cal. xii. (i) 398, 399.

[367] Cal. xii. (i) 1286.

[368] Cal. xii. (ii) 829.

[369] Cal. xii. (ii) 1201.

[370] Letters, 330.

[371] Cf. Pinkerton, vol. ii. pp. 352-353.

[372] Cal. xv. 136.

[373] Cal. xv. 248. Cf. also Hume Brown, vol. i. pp. 388-389.

[374] Cal. vi. 300 (21), 619, and Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 452.

[375] Cf. Letters, 86, 260.

[376] Cal. x. 541.

[377] Cal. xi. 183.

[378] Cal. xiii. (i) 813, 934.

[379] Letters, 260.

[380] Letters, 263.

[381] Cal. xiii. (i) 1219.

[382] Cal. xiii. (i) 1446, 1464.

[383] Cal. xiii. (ii) 97.

[384] Letters, 312.

[385] Letters, 314.

[386] See Life of Arthur Lord Lisle in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xlv. p. 400.

[387] Cal. viii. 75, 76.

[388] Cal. ix. 139.

[389] Cal. viii. 822, 1127. The King and Cromwell were both absent on a tour in the west and south of England from the end of July until the beginning of October, 1535. Chapuys states that the object of this trip was to win the affection of the people on the Borders of Wales, and to enjoy the excellent hunting which that region afforded. It is probable that Henry and Cromwell were also desirous personally to inform themselves concerning the religious houses in the south and west counties, before permitting their agents to complete the visitation. Cal. ix. 58.

[390] Cal. ix. 138.

[391] Cal. ix. 621, 622.

[392] Herbert, p. 186.

[393] See ante, chap. vii, p. 115.

[394] Wright, p. 133. A tag of verse.

[395] Cal. ix. 321, 322.

[396] Wright, p. 73.

[397] Letters, 163, 180. Cf. also Gasquet, English Monasteries, vol. i. pp. 413, 421. Cromwell also took good care that some of the suppressed houses also should fall to his portion. He ‘appropriated to his own share the rich Priory of Lewes in Sussex (including its cell of Melton-Mowbray in Leicestershire), the Priory of Michelham in the same county, that of Modenham in Kent, of St. Osythe in Essex, Alceter in Warwickshire, Yarmouth in Norfolk, and Laund in Leicestershire. Sir Richard Cromwell, his nephew, and great-grandfather of Oliver, received Ramsey Abbey, Hinchinbrooke Nunnery, Sawtry Abbey, St. Neot’s Priory, and a house of Austin canons in Huntingdonshire, with Neath Abbey in Glamorganshire, and St. Helen’s Nunnery in London.’ Blunt, vol. i. p. 377. See also note 4 at the bottom of the same page.

[398] Cal. ix. 509, 632.

[399] Cal. ix. 829.

[400] Wright, p. 156.

[401] 27 Hen. VIII., c. 28.

[402] 27 Hen. VIII., c. 61.

[403] Cal. x. 1191.

[404] Wright, pp. 180-181.

[405] Wright, pp. 267-269.

[406] Cal. xi. 42.

[407] Ellis, 3rd Series, vol. iii. pp. 33, 34.

[408] Cal. xii. (i) 632, 668.

[409] State Papers, vol. i. p. 540.

[410] Wright, p. 153.

[411] This was perhaps the man whom Cromwell years before had helped to obtain from the Pope the indulgence for the Boston Gild.

[412] Ellis, 3rd Series, vol. iii. p. 168.

[413] Introduction to vol. xiii. of the Calendar, pp. 8-14; Wordsworth’s Cromwell, pp. 346-347 _nn._

[414] Wriothesley’s Chronicle, vol. i. pp. 76, 90. Cal. xiii. (i) 347; xiii. (ii) 186, 709-710.

[415] 31 Hen. VIII., c. 13.

[416] Cal. xiv. (ii) 399.

[417] Cal. xiv. (ii) 206.

[418] Cal. xiv. (ii) 530, 531. Cf. also Gasquet, The Last Abbot of Glastonbury, chaps. vi and vii.

[419] Cal. vii. 587 (18).

[420] Cal. xiii. (i) 225.

[421] Cal. xiii. (ii) 1021. Cf. also the Introduction to vol. xiii. of the Calendar, p. 23.

[422] Wright, pp. 195, 197.

[423] Cal. xiii. (i) 1335.

[424] Cal. xiii. (ii) 758, 911.

[425] Wright, p. 230.

[426] Cal. xiii. (ii) 767.

[427] Hallam, vol. i. p. 76.

[428] Cal. xiii. (ii) 457 (3).

[429] Burnet, vol. i. p. 431.

[430] 31 Hen. VIII., c. 9.

[431] Cal. xi. 786 (3).

[432] Cromwell.

[433] Cranmer.

[434] Richard Riche.

[435] The Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. Legh, and Dr. Layton.

[436] The Bishop of Lichfield.

[437] Cal. xi. 786 (3).

[438] Cal. ix. 314, 321, 322.

[439] Cal. ix. 694.

[440] Cal. x. 364.

[441] Cal. xi. 705, 780 (2); xii. (i) 70; xiii. (ii) 307.

[442] Letters, 105.

[443] Cal. xii. (i) 138, 786, 900. Cf. also A. L. Smith in Social England, vol. iii. pp. 21 ff.

[444] Cal. xii. (i) 70 (13).

[445] Cal. xii. (i) 163.

[446] Cal. xi. 585.

[447] Cal. xi. 504, 544.

[448] Cal. xi. 533-534, 536-539, 552-553, 567-568.

[449] Cal. xi. 547.

[450] Cal. xi. 569.

[451] Cal. xi. 567.

[452] Cal. xi. 579-580.

[453] The son of Morgan Williams and Katherine Cromwell. Cf. chap. iii, pp. 54-55.

[454] Cal. xi. 576.

[455] Cal. xi. 601-602.

[456] Letters, 165, 167, 169.

[457] Cal. xi. 714.

[458] Cal. xi. 674, 694, 706, 715, 717.

[459] State Papers, vol. i. p. 463.

[460] Cal. xi. 611.

[461] Cal. xi. 563, 622.

[462] Cal. xii. (i) 163, 259, 1080.

[463] Cal. xi. 611.

[464] Cal. xi. 627.

[465] Cal. xii. (i) 900, 944.

[466] Cal. xii. (i) 853, 1087.

[467] Cal. xi. 826.

[468] Cal. xi. 626, 671, 758.

[469] Cal. xi. 793, 800.

[470] Cal. xi. 864.

[471] Cal. xi. 887, 902.

[472] Cal. xi. 901.

[473] Cal. xi. 909.

[474] Cal. xi. 995.

[475] Cal. xi. 1061.

[476] Cal. xi. 957, 995, 1115, 1206.

[477] Cal. xi. 1224, 1225.

[478] Cal. xi. 1236.

[479] Cal. xi. 1276.

[480] Letters, 174.

[481] Cal. xii. (i) 44.

[482] Cal. xii. (i) 67.

[483] Thomas, The Pilgrim, p. 53.

[484] Cal. xii. (i) 201, 370.

[485] Cal. xii. (i) 104.

[486] Cal. xii. (i) 369.

[487] Cal. xii. (i) 234, 369 (p. 166).

[488] Cal. xii. (i) 86, 98.

[489] Cal. xii. (i) 498.

[490] Cal. xii. (i) 976.

[491] On this and the succeeding pages, cf. G. T. Lapsley, ‘The Problem of the North,’ in the American Historical Review for April, 1900, pp. 440-466.

[492] Cal. xii. (i) 595.

[493] Cal. xii. (ii) 914.

[494] Cal. xii. (i) 318, 319, 321, 594, 651.

[495] Cal. xii. (i) 594, 636.

[496] Cal. xii. (i) 319.

[497] Cal. xii. (i) 651, 667, 916, 919.

[498] Cal. xii. (i) 1118.

[499] Cal. xii. (ii) 254, 914.

[500] Cf. Gneist, pp. 513-514.

[501] Phillips, Pole, p. 3. _Cf._ also the genealogy at the beginning of the book.

[502] Cal. i. 4190.

[503] Cal. iii. 1544.

[504] Cal. iv. 6252.

[505] Poli Epistolae, i. 251-262.

[506] Cal. v. 737.

[507] Cal. viii. 217-219.

[508] Cal. x. 974-975.

[509] Cal. xi. 156.

[510] Cal. xi. 229.

[511] Cal. xi. 93.

[512] Cal. xi. 1353; xii. (i) 779.

[513] Cal. xiv. (i) 186.

[514] Cal. xii. (i) 779.

[515] Cal. xii. (i) 625, 939.

[516] Cal. xii. (i) 1219; Letters, 187.

[517] Life of Pole, Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xlvi. p. 38.

[518] Cal. xii. (i) 34, 249.

[519] There is reason to think that Throgmorton had promised to be a spy on Pole’s movements for the King. Cf. Letters, 218.

[520] Cal. xii. (i) 249, 296, 313.

[521] Cal. xii. (i) 429; xii. (ii) 552.

[522] Letters, 216-217.

[523] Letters, 218.

[524] Cal. xiii. (ii) 232 (p. 91).

[525] Cal. xiii. (ii) 695, 770, 771.

[526] Cal. xiii. (ii) 804, 805, 954-960.

[527] Cal. xiii. (ii) 802, 979 (7). It is said that Cromwell, in the course of these prosecutions, contrived to deprive the victims of all chance of escape by inquiring of the judges whether, if a man were condemned to death for treason in Parliament without a hearing, the attainder could ever be disputed. He finally succeeded in obtaining the reluctant but correct reply that ‘an attainder in Parliament, whether or not the party had been heard in his own defence, could never be reversed in a court of law.’ Cf. Hallam, vol. i. pp. 29-30. Coke, Fourth Institute, p. 38, adds, ‘The party against whom this was intended was never called in question, but the first man after the said resolution, that was so attainted, and never called to answer, was the said Earl of Essex (Thomas Cromwell): whereupon that erroneous and vulgar opinion amongst our historians grew, that he died by the same law which he himself had made.’

[528] Cal. xiii. (ii) 753.

[529] Cal. xiii. (ii) 986, 1163.

[530] Wriothesley’s Chronicle, vol. i. p. 92.

[531] Cal. xiv. (i) 867, c. 15.

[532] Cal. xvi. 868.

[533] Cal. xiv. (i) 279-280.

[534] Letters, 301.

[535] Cal. xiv. (i) 603.

[536] Cal. xiv. (ii) 212.

[537] Cal. xiv. (i) 560.

[538] Cf. Robertson, vol. ii. p. 135.

[539] Ranke, Popes, vol. i. p. 77.

[540] Cal. vi. 64, 92.

[541] Cal. v. 1545.

[542] Cal. vi. 110.

[543] Cal. vi. 465.

[544] Cal. vi. 508. Cromwell often begged to be excused from a promised interview on the plea of illness. Cf. Cal. vii. 959. Though it is certain that he suffered at times from violent attacks of ague, it is doubtful if it was always his ill-health which prevented him from fulfilling his engagements to the Imperial ambassador.

[545] Cal. vi. 918; viii. 263, 327, 355, 948; ix. 594.

[546] Cal. vi. 614, 641.

[547] Ranke, Popes, vol. i. p. 77.

[548] Cal. vi. 1426, 1427.

[549] Mr. Friedmann (Anne Boleyn, vol. i. pp. 225, 250 ff.) believes that this break with France was due to the influence of Cromwell, who had urged the King to strike out an independent policy as regards the Pope. M. Bapst (Deux Gentilshommes, pp. 97, 113), on the other hand, thinks that the King’s minister originally favoured the French alliance, and adhered to it until 1535. Neither writer produces any very conclusive evidence in support of his theory: but Mr. Friedmann’s view is certainly, on the face of it, the more plausible. It may be too much to say that it was by Cromwell’s advice that Francis was insulted at Marseilles, but it is certain that the King’s minister evinced a decided preference for an Imperial alliance long before the year 1535. Cf. Froude, The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon, p. 308.

[550] Cal. vi. 918.

[551] Cal. vi. 934.

[552] Cal. vi. 1039-1040.

[553] Letters, 64.

[554] Cal. vii. 21.

[555] Cal. vi. 1510.

[556] B.M. Nero B. iii, 105.

[557] Schäfer, p. 512.

[558] Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 539.

[559] Waitz, vol. i. p. 83.

[560] One of the provisions of the proposed agreement was: ‘Ducere uxorem fratris mortui sine liberis est jure divino et naturali prohibitum. Contra prohibitiones divinas invalida ac prorsus nulla est Romani pontificis vel cujuscumque alterius dispensatio.’ Entwurf eines Vertrags zwischen König Heinrich und Lübeck; Sommer, 1534. Transcribed from the original in the Archives at Weimar; Waitz, vol. ii. pp. 319-325.

[561] Ranke, vol. iii. pp. 406-425.

[562] Cal. vii. 970.

[563] Cal. viii. 72, 327.

[564] Cal. viii. 556, 1178.

[565] Cal. vii. 1095.

[566] Cal. vii. 1257.

[567] Cal. vii. 1060, and Baumgarten, vol. iii. pp. 145-146.

[568] Cal. vii. 1437.

[569] Cal. vii. 1483, 1554.

[570] Cal. vii. 1554.

[571] Cal. vii. 1483.

[572] Cal. vii. 1507.

[573] Cal. viii. 174, 557.

[574] Cal. ix. 148, 205, 594, 595.

[575] Cal. ix. 443.

[576] Letters, 126, 128, 135.

[577] Letters, 113.

[578] Cal. ix. 390, 1016.

[579] Cal. x. 771. Cf. also Corpus Reformatorum, vol. ii. pp. 1028 ff.; iii. pp. 46-50.

[580] Cal. x. 59.

[581] Cal. ix. 776, and Friedmann, vol. ii. pp. 169-173.

[582] Cal. x. 141. Cf. also Friedmann, vol. ii. p. 176.

[583] Cf. Dr. Norman Moore, on the Death of Katherine of Aragon, in the Athenaeum for Jan. 31 and Feb. 28, 1885.

[584] Robertson, vol. ii. pp. 40-41.

[585] Letters, 136.

[586] Letters, 126.

[587] Cal. x. 141.

[588] Cal. x. 351.

[589] Cal. viii. 948, 1018.

[590] Cal. x. 699. Mr. Friedmann points out that this quarrel of Henry and Cromwell about the Spanish alliance was intimately connected with the fate of Anne Boleyn. The Emperor, too cautious to express any indignation at the news of his aunt’s death, was still planning for the safety and, if possible, the succession of his cousin the Princess Mary. On hearing from Chapuys of the possibility of a renewal of cordial relations with England, he wrote back on March 28, 1536, a most diplomatic reply, in which he pointed out that it would be certainly for the interest of the Princess that Anne Boleyn should continue to be Henry’s wife; for should the King marry again, he might have male issue, which would succeed to the prejudice of Mary: there was, on the other hand, little probability that Anne would bear Henry another child, and the Emperor knew well that in the eyes of the nation his cousin’s right was far superior to that of Elizabeth. So, by a very extraordinary turn of affairs, the interests of Charles and of Anne had at least temporarily become identical. Cromwell probably had not perceived that this was the true state of affairs when he had his conversation with Chapuys; but the failure of his attempts to bring about a Spanish alliance must have opened his eyes to the fact that he had been working in the interests of one whose ruin had been certainly resolved on by this time. ‘He took to his bed out of pure sorrow’ for a few days as we are told; and when he returned to the Court, it was to labour with all his might for the ruin of Anne, which he saw was necessary to save his own credit with the King. Friedmann, Anne Boleyn, chapter xvi; Cal. x. 575, 700; also W. H. Dixon, History of Two Queens, vol. iv. pp. 262, 263.

[591] Letters, 170.

[592] Cal. xii. (i) 1310.

[593] Cal. xii. (ii) 1201.

[594] Cal. xii. (ii) 1053, 1285.

[595] Letters, 243. Cf. also Preface to vol. xiii. pt. i. of the Calendar, pp. 37-38.

[596] Cal. xiii. (i) 1355, 1405, 1451, 1496; xiii. (ii) 77, 232, 277.

[597] Cal. xiii. (i) 995, 1147, 1355.

[598] Letters, 244.

[599] Cal. xiii. (i) 1486.

[600] Cal. xiii. (i) 367.

[601] Baumgarten, vol. iii. pp. 343 ff.

[602] Burnet, vol. i. pp. 316, 409, 435.

[603] Cal. xiii. (ii) 165, 298, 497.

[604] Cal. xiv. (i) 92, 147.

[605] Cal. xiv. (i) 62.

[606] Letters, 286.

[607] John Lambert, moreover, had been tried and burnt, for denying the Real Presence, in November, 1538. The doctrines of the Lutherans in this matter were probably almost identical with those of the King at this time, but the Germans certainly disapproved of the violence of Henry’s measures for enforcing them.

[608] Cal. xiv. (i) 103.

[609] Letters, 287.

[610] Throughout the negotiations for the Cleves marriages Cromwell made desperate efforts to assert the dignity of the King, which he could not help feeling was a little lowered by approaching vassals of the Emperor with matrimonial offers. Mont was especially directed to confer with Burckhard about the sister of the Duke of Cleves, ‘not as demaunding her, but as geving them a prick to stirr them to offre her, as the noblest and highest hono_ur_ that could come into that noble house of Cleves, if they could bring it to passe.’ Of course nothing could induce the mighty King of England to demean himself by asking any favours of the petty princes of Germany; it was their place, not his, to be the suitor.

[611] Cf. Ulmann, vol. i. pp. 579, 580; Ranke, vol. i. pp. 226-229.

[612] Life of Duke John of Cleves in the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. xiv. p. 214.

[613] Ranke, vol. iv. p. 128; Heidrich, 1, 2.

[614] Heidrich, 21.

[615] Heidrich, 4.

[616] Ranke, vol. iv. p. 129.

[617] Heidrich, 34, 35. Driven by political necessity, William in 1543 finally took the decisive step, and declared himself ready to introduce the new religion into his dominions, in the hope of gaining aid from his brother-in-law against the Emperor. But the offer came too late. The political situation had changed once more, and the overcautious Elector now definitely and unconditionally refused the aid which he had before made dependent on William’s acceptance of Lutheranism. The lands of the Duke were invaded by the Imperial forces, and William was forced, at the treaty of Venlo, Sept. 7, 1543, to renounce all claims to Gelderland and Zutphen, to return to the Church of Rome, and to permit no religious innovations in Juliers and Berg. Subsequently, however, encouraged by the milder attitude of the Emperor Ferdinand towards the Reformers, he devoted himself with partial success to an attempt to effect a sort of compromise between the two faiths in his own possessions, and to establish there a purified and enlightened Catholic Church, ‘Erasmian’ in its tendencies, and in many respects approaching very closely to the tenets of the Augsburg Confession. Cf. Heidrich, 91-94, and the Life of William of Cleves in the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. xliii. pp. 107-113.

[618] Letters, 287.

[619] Letters, 295.

[620] Cal. xiv. (i) 489.

[621] Heidrich, 32.

[622] Cal. xiv. (i) 433, 440.

[623] Letters, 291, 301.

[624] Letters, 297; and Cal. xiv. (i) 584.

[625] Cal. xiv. (i) 570.

[626] Letters, 288.

[627] Cal. xiv. (i) 398-400, 529, 564, 615, 652-655.

[628] Cal. xiv. (i) 669-670.

[629] Cal. xiv. (i) 908.

[630] Cal. xiv. (i) 804.

[631] Cal. xiv. (i) 520, 573.

[632] Cal. xiv. (i) 655.

[633] Burnet, vol. iv. p. 499.

[634] 31 Hen. VIII., c. 14.

[635] Cal. xiv. (i) 1137. The martyrologist Foxe tells an amusing and characteristic story of Cromwell’s saving Cranmer from punishment for a book which he had written against the Six Articles. There appears to have been a bear-baiting on the Thames before the King, which Mr. Ralph Morice, Cranmer’s secretary, was watching from a small boat: and the secretary, it seems, had the Archbishop’s book in his girdle for safekeeping. The bear broke loose from the dogs and upset the wherry in which Morice was; in the tumult which ensued he lost the precious book. It was subsequently picked up by the ‘bearward,’ who perceiving what it was, and being himself a violent papist, gave it to a priest of his religion, who told the bearward that whosoever wrote it would be hanged if the King should see it. The bearward endeavoured to give it to some influential Catholic at the Court, utterly refusing to listen to Morice’s entreaties that he should return it to Cranmer. At this juncture Cromwell appeared upon the scene, and so ‘shaked up the bearward for his over-much malapertness’ that the latter was glad to return the book to the secretary, and so escape without further punishment. Foxe, vol. ii. p. 428.

[636] Appendix I. at the end of this chapter.

[637] Cal. xiv. (i) 208, 440.

[638] Bezold, p. 686.

[639] Cf. Appendix I. at the end of this chapter.

[640] Cal. xiv. (i) 441, 442, 955-958.

[641] Cal. xiv. (i) 1273.

[642] Cal. xiv. (i) 1278.

[643] Cal. xiv. (ii) 59.

[644] Cal. xiv. (i) 920; Heidrich, pp. 17, 18.

[645] Cal. xiv. (i) 603.

[646] Cal. xiv. (ii) 218, 300, 545.

[647] Bezold, p. 686.

[648] Cal. xiv. (ii) 63, 127, 128.

[649] Cal. xiv. (ii) 33. Minute inquiries and sometimes indelicately full replies concerning the appearance and bearing of intended brides seem to have been authorized by all Tudor traditions. The report of Wotton is but meagre in details when compared to that of the ambassadors of Henry VII. concerning Joanna of Naples, whom the English King had once thought of marrying in 1505. Anne of Cleves was certainly considered beautiful in Germany. Sleidan, vol. ii. p. 150, refers to her as ‘eleganti forma virginem.’

[650] Now in the Louvre.

[651] Cal. xiv. (ii) 664. Cf. also the Chronicle of Calais, pp. 167-179. In the latter, Gregory Cromwell’s name is erroneously written ‘George Crombwell.’

[652] Cal. xiv. (ii) 634, 677.

[653] Cal. xv. 14.

[654] Cal. xiv. (ii) 753.

[655] Cal. xv. 14.

[656] Hall, pp. 832 ff.

[657] Letters, 349-350.

[658] Hall, p. 837. It appears that the fashion changed in England at the time of the arrival of Anne. In telling of her wedding, the Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London (p. 43) informs us that ‘thene beganne alle the gentyl women of Yngland to were Frenche whooddes with bellementtes of golde.’

[659] Cf. Appendix II. at the end of this chapter.

[660] Lenz, vol. i. pp. 409-410, 420-421.

[661] Cf. Appendix II. at the end of this chapter.

[662] The truth of Baumbach’s statements is confirmed by Seckendorff, who obtained his information from the report of Burckhard on this same interview. Speaking of Cromwell Seckendorff says:--

‘Lutheranum fuisse Burnetus pro certo habet, nec dissentiunt Saxonicorum Legatorum de eo relationes. Ex iisdem tamen et historiarum documentis constat, hominem fuisse non saltem solida doctrina minime imbutum sed eius ingenii ut Regis favorem omnibus rebus anteponeret. Ultima sane Burcardi ex Anglia relatione de 11 Jan. scripta ... diserte dicitur, ilium de religione ita disseruisse ut se cum Evangelicis in Germania consentire non negaret, necessarium tamen sibi esse diceret ut Regis voluntati sese conformaret, etiam cum vitae suae periculo, id quod eventus paulo post comprobavit. Non est itaque, ut hunc pro martyre Evangelicae religionis habeamus, et ipse in loco supplicii mori se professus est in religione Catholica. Hoc, etsi ex D. Burneti sententia de Romana minime intellexerit, indicat tamen animum infirmum et aequivocationes sectantem.’ Seckendorff, s. lxxviii, p. 261; liber iii, sect. 21.

[663] Von Freyberg, vol. iv. p. 264. Cf. also Life of Philip of Bavaria in the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. xxvi. pp. 16 ff.

[664] Cal. xiv. (ii) 657.

[665] Life of Philip of Bavaria in the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. xxvi. p. 18.

[666] Cal. xiv. (ii) 719; xv. 76.

[667] Cal. xv. 177.

[668] Cal. xiv. (ii) 733, 737.

[669] The words, as given in the life by Ottheinrich, are: ‘Herzog Philipp soll dem khönig wider menigklich, ausgenommen wider das Römisch Reich, 1000 wohl geriste Pferdt Und 4000 wohl geriste fuesknecht zufiehren.’ Von Freyberg, vol. iv. p. 266.

[670] Transcribed from the original document in the Archives at Marburg.

[671] _sic_, for ‘freundlichen.’

[672] _sic_, for ‘dasz.’

[673] _sic_, for ‘er.’

[674] Transcribed from the original document in the Archives at Marburg.

[675] _sic_, for ‘wyr.’

[676] _sic._

[677] Cal. xiv. (ii) 717.

[678] Martin, vol. viii. p. 260. Cf. also Guiffrey, pp. 276-318.

[679] Cal. xiv. (ii) 524.

[680] Cal. xv. 38.

[681] Cal. xv. 186. Bonner and Wyatt moreover were on very bad terms at this time, owing to mutual jealousy. It would have been impossible for Henry to carry his intrigues very far, as long as the two rivals remained together at the French Court. Cf. Nott’s Wyatt, vol. ii. pp. 44-52.

[682] Cal. xv. 161.

[683] State Papers, vol. viii. p. 241.

[684] Cal. xv. 145, 202.

[685] Cal. xv. 222.

[686] State Papers, vol. viii. p. 257.

[687] Cf. Gaillard, vol. iii. pp. 77, 78.

[688] Letters, 338, 340.

[689] Bradford, pp. 515 ff.

[690] Cal. xiv. (ii) 400.

[691] Cal. xiv. (ii) 688.

[692] Cal. xv. 306.

[693] Cal. xiv. (ii) 750 (p. 279).

[694] Cal. xv. 486.

[695] Cal. xv. 429.

[696] Lords’ Journal, vol. i. p. 129.

[697] 32 Hen. VIII., c. 24.

[698] Cal. xv. 540, 541.

[699] Cal. xv. 543.

[700] State Papers, vol. viii. p. 323.

[701] Heidrich, p. 43.

[702] Soames, vol. ii. p. 408, informs us that ‘in order to fan the rising flame Gardiner invited the King to an entertainment at Winchester House. Katherine Howard was among the company assembled on this occasion, and she then achieved the conquest of her amorous sovereign’s heart.’

[703] Cal. xv. 658.

[704] Letters, 345.

[705] Cal. xv. 735.

[706] Cal. xv. 736, 737.

[707] Lords’ Journal, vol. i. p. 143.

[708] Cal. xv. 766, 767.

[709] Cal. xv. 804, and Kaulek, pp. 193, 194.

[710] Cal. xv. 766, and Kaulek, p. 189.

[711] This letter stated that Cromwell being put in great trust by the King in matters of religion had ‘not only of his sensual appetite, wrought clene contrary to this His Graces most godly entent, secretly and indirectly advauncing thone of thextremes and leaving the meane indifferent true and vertuous waye, which His Majestie sought and soo entierly desired; but also hathe shewed himself soo fervently bent to the mayntenaunce of that his oultrage, that he hath not spared most prively, most traitorously, to divise howe to contynue the same and plainly in termes to saye, as it hathe been justified to his face by good wittenes, that, if the King and all his Realme wold turne and vary from his opinions, he wold fight in the feld in his oune personne, with his sworde in his hande against Him and all other; adding that if he lyved a yere or two, he trusted to bring thinges to that frame, that it shuld not lye in the Kinges power to resist or let it, if He wold; bynding his wordes with such othes, and making suche gesture and demonstration with his armes, that it might wel appere that he had no lesse fyxed in his harte, thenne was uttered with his mouth.’ State Papers, vol. viii. pp. 349, 350.

[712] Henry, however, used every means in his power to support the main accusation, with other charges of a different nature, which if possible were even more unjustifiable. The King was not ashamed to write to Wallop in France to try and get confirmation of the old rumour (circulated on the Continent by a certain Portuguese ambassador two years before, and probably as a result of the letters of Chapuys) that Cromwell had intended to marry the Princess Mary and to make himself King. Cal. xv. 792, 801, 842.

[713] Cal. xv. 770.

[714] Lords’ Journal, vol. i. p. 145.

[715] Cal. xv. 804.

[716] Cal. xv. 847.

[717] Cal. xv. 926.

[718] Letters, 348.

[719] Cal. xv. 822.

[720] Cal. xv. 825.

[721] Letters, 349, 350.

[722] Foxe, vol. ii. p. 433. If this story be true, the interest which the King evinced in Cromwell’s letter is to be explained rather by his anxiety concerning his divorce, than by his sympathy for his fallen minister. Certainly there is no reason to think the closing scene of the ‘Life and Death of Thomas Lord Cromwell,’ in which a reprieve is brought from the King by Ralph Sadler after Cromwell’s head had fallen, has any foundation in fact.

[723] Cal. xv. 898.

[724] It is somewhat significant to note that in this case Henry had practically acknowledged facts considered by the canonists as ‘sufficient proof’ of consummation in the case of Arthur and Katherine, and that the King had been glad to accept as such at the time of the trial of his first divorce. This is merely one of those suspiciously convenient changes of opinion one encounters so often in dealing with the personal history of Henry VIII. Cf. Burnet, vol. i. pp. 163-164.

[725] Cal. xv. 825.

[726] Lords’ Journal, pp. 154, 155.

[727] Cal. xv. 899, 901, 953. Part of Anne’s income was derived from the manor of Canbery, previously owned by Cromwell, and at his attainder confiscated to the use of the Crown. Rymer, vol. xiv. p. 713.

[728] State Papers, vol. viii. p. 421.

[729] Cal. xv. 765, 792, 794, 841.

[730] Letters, 351.

[731] State Papers, vol. viii. p. 392.

[732] Cal. xv. 794, 811.

[733] State Papers, vol. viii. p. 412.

[734] Cal. xv. 498, p. 217.

[735] Cal. xv. 926.

[736] Holinshed, p. 817; Hall, p. 839; Foxe, p. 433.

[737] Cal. xvi. 40.

[738] Cf. Appendix at the end of this chapter.

[739] Cf. Collier, vol. ii. p. 181. ‘I readily grant Cromwell was no Papist at his Death. But then, it is pretty plain he was no Protestant neither.’

[740] Cal. xv. 940.

[741] Cal. xvi. 379 (34). Gregory Cromwell died in 1557, and was succeeded by his eldest son Henry. The latter’s grandson Thomas, fourth Baron Cromwell, was created Earl Ardglass in the Irish peerage, April 15, 1645. The earldom of Ardglass expired in 1687, and the barony of Cromwell became dormant in 1709. Life of Thomas Cromwell, in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xiii. p. 202.

[742] Hall, p. 839.

[743] Cf. Appendix at the end of this chapter.

[744] Foxe, vol. ii. p. 434. Cf. Mendes Silva, pp. 34, 35: ‘Acabadas de pronunciar estas palabras, se dispuso a morir, pidiendo al verdugo, llamado Gurrea, para no sentir dilatada pena, le cortasse la cabeça de vn golpe. Tendiose, pues sobre el madero, y recibiòle terrible, muriendo aquel que nunca deuiera nacer, por quien Inglaterra desde entonces se abrasa en infernal incendio de heregias.’

[745] Cf. for this and the following pages, Green, vol. ii. pp. 197-202.

[746] _c.o._ trustyng entyerlye In yow that ye will witsaffe as I may eu_er_ herafter ow vnto yow my Symple s_er_uyce or any pleasure that shalbe w_i_t_h_in my lytyll power

[747] _c.o._ before yo_ur_ Retorn to London

[748] _c.o._ I am ascertaynyd that yo_ur_ ladyship shall resayue

[749] _c.o._ case

[750] _c.o._ vnto the kyng_es_ highnes of hys benche

[751] _c.o._ yff yt soo had ben

[752] _c.o._ as was bytwene the sayd s_ir_ John and the sayd s_ir_ Roberte payd

[753] _c.o._ aduaunsement

[754] _c.o._ one to the sayd s_ir_ Roberte Clere in full co_n_tentac_io_n & payment of cccc Mark_es_ whiche cc^{li} ys yet vnpayd

[755] _c.o._ was and shulde haue ben accomplyshyd in eu_er_y poynte yff the sayd s_ir_ John Paston had accordyng to hys couen_au_nt_es_ payd the so_m_mes of money whiche he was bonde to paye by hys Indenture for the adu_au_ncement of hys sayd doughter. Neu_er_theles yt may please yo_ur_ lordeshypp to knowe the sayd s_ir_ Rob_er_te Clere

[756] _c.o._ but that the sayd foure hundreth poundes shalbe Reco_ue_red of hys landes

[757] _c.o._ to Inyoine

[758] _c.o._ in the courte of Chauncery

[759] _sic._

[760] _sic_, for ‘these.’

[761] This last sentence was added by the seventeenth-century scholar by whom the foregoing passages were transcribed, and who calls himself ‘Thomas Masters, Coll. Nov.’

[762] _c.o._ For our lordys loue what

[763] _sic_, for ‘applied.’

[764] _c.o._ that perceyuing by

[765] _c.o._ in the hole cuntrey

[766] _c.o._ yo_ur_ grete good

[767] _c.o._ after such sorte by yo_ur_ approuued high wisedom as ye lose not the wele & benefite of the same for

[768] _c.o._ there I assure yo_ur_ grace you haue

[769] _c.o._ which do & will not let to interprete all yo_ur_ doings not in the best parte Alledging that yo_ur_ onelie desire

[770] _c.o._ shalbe grete good vnto yo_u_rself

[771] _c.o._ Fynallie beseching almightie god to p_re_serue yo_ur_ grace in long lif & good helth w_i_t_h_ the full accomplisshment of yo_ur_ hert_es_ desire From london the xviii day of August

[772] _c.o._ and enter into blynde to satysfye

[773] _c.o._ a you[th]

[774] _sic_, for ‘thus.’

[775] The number of erasures and corrections in this letter is such that the use of an additional bracket is necessary, in order to render it precisely. Words enclosed thus {...} are inserted above the line in the original. Words printed in italics are crossed out.

[776] These words doubtless ought to have been crossed out in the MS.

[777] Here occur the following words _underlined_, not crossed out: ‘that [he] should retourne into the same there to manyfest his errours and sedycyous opynyons, which (being out of the Realme by his most vncharytable venemous and pestilent bok_es_ craftie and false persuasions) he hathe partelie don all redie’

[778] (...) underlined, not crossed out.

[779] (...) this passage is put in the margin.

[780] _c.o._ on the behalf of

[781] _c.o._ highnes

[782] _sic._

[783] _c.o._ most

[784] _sic_, for ‘applied.’

[785] _c.o._ which he helde For terme of yeres of his highnes and hauyng good and Suffycyent graunt In the same

[786] _c.o._ my ladye

[787] _c.o._ and hauing no Just Cause so to do

[788] _c.o._ and as concernyng the bargayn betwene me and John Ardren of and for the mano_ur_ of Belthrop w_i_t_h_ the apporten_au_nces which, as I am Informyd ye wer in mynde to haue bought S_i_r I woold I hadde bene made preuey to your mynd at whych tyme

[789] _sic._

[790] _c.o._ Thomas

[791] _c.o._ Mr. Edmonde Knightley

[792] _c.o._ w_i_t_h_ other of yo_ur_ grac_es_ counsaill

[793] _c.o._ as hathe ben had & made of the saide good_es_ and also such offenc_es_ as haue ben co_m_mytted in that behalf haue ben onelie don_e_ and executed by the saide Edmonde Knightley his Syster and suche other of that p_ar_te and none otherwise

[794] _sic._

[795] i.e. 700.

[796] _sic._

[797] _sic._

[798] i.e. 10,000.

[799] _sic_, see Notes.

[800] _c.o._ be the bolder, must ned_es_ be co_m_pellyd

[801] _c.o._ the more boldlye

[802] _c.o._ praying

[803] _sic._

[804] _c.o._ I trust to get owt the Roote of his practyse

[805] _c.o._ prynces

[806] _sic._

[807] _c.o. a marginal comment as follows_: I began to marke the notable poinct_es_ of his l_ette_res

[808] _sic._

[809] _c.o._ w_i_t_h_ whom ye never spake as in yo_ur_ lettres [ye say]

[810] _c.o._ Egiptians

[811] _c.o._ And suerly my lord what soeu_er_ ye sey or write for yo_ur_self, the begynning of yo_ur_ letters for your ... g

[812] _c.o._ it was told or els

[813] _c.o._ or any other

[814] _c.o._ muche

[815] _c.o._ albeit I wol speke for

[816] _sic._

[817] The last paragraph is written along the margin.

[818] _c.o._ For the conducing whereof to effecte the king_es_ highnes hath specyall trust and expectacion in yo_ur_ grac_es_ approved wisedom and dexteryte and thus the holie trynyte....

[819] This letter was evidently first written by the King, and later altered by Cromwell. The passages in brackets {...} are scored through in the original.

[820] _sic_, see Notes.

[821] _c.o._ which hath byn a great charge to the p_ar_ties wherfore

[822] _c.o._ and good

[823] _c.o._ to consider the said offers vnto his sone

[824] _c.o._ he is greatly charged w_i_t_h_ his Fathers Dett_e_s & also w_i_t_h_ his

[825] _c.o._ wh_ich_ ys a great charge vnto hym wherfore my Lorde in dischargyng of yo_ur_ consciens I p_ra_y you at my Desire to yeve vnto hym a c^{li}. whiche youe toke of his Father And ferder to yeve vnto hym some other Rewarde hereafter as you shall thynke in consciens mete for hym

[826] _c.o._ Surveyed and I Fynd I haue

[827] _c.o._ Indifferent

[828] _c.o._ to p_ro_cede

[829] _c.o._ yt may also ple

[830] _c.o._ And in thus doynge ye shall not oonlie do a thinge proffitable and right meritorious for yo_ur_ sowle

[831] _c.o._ to their hindrance hurte & p_re_iudice

[832] From the official Record Office transcript.

[833] The date ‘May’ is obviously a mistake; it should be ‘March.’ The dates of the embassy of Gontier and the itinerary of the King make it quite certain that the letter was written March 4, 1535, which, of course, was 1534 O. S. Cf. Cal. viii. p. 133 _n._

[834] This letter is obviously misplaced in the Calendar.

[835] _c.o._ this nyght at xii of the Cloke

[836] _c.o._ done and what order ys

[837] _c.o._ drawne

[838] _c.o._ Serche was made and

[839] _c.o._ the Copye of this

[840] _c.o._ to thentent the Kyng_es_ gracyous pleasure may be known drawen according to the sayd estatute made in the sayd Fyfte yere of Kyng Richarde the second as ys afforsayd and that was all that was done in that matyere by

[841] A copy of this letter is also to be found in Longleat House.

[842] _sic._

[843] _c.o._ &c. the kyng_es_ high

[844] _c.o._ reside and demoure

[845] _c.o._ whereby

[846] _c.o._ ye can haue to

[847] _c.o._ shall

[848] _c.o._ wherfore and for asmoche as

[849] _c.o._ whiche if he wold he may right well do and

[850] _c.o._ my sake

[851] _c.o._ in suche wise as he may haue no cause eftesones to complayne one you for this matier

[852] From the official Record Office transcript.

[853] _c.o._ In my right harty wise

[854] From the official Record Office transcript.

[855] _sic._

[856] _c.o._ for yo_ur_

[857] _c.o._ you even

[858] i.e. 50,000.

[859] This letter, though written in Starkey’s hand and addressed to Harvell, is believed by Mr. Gairdner to be a copy of a letter written by Cromwell to Pole, transcribed by Starkey on the inside of the cover of a letter to Harvell.

[860] _c.o._ w_i_t_h_ the ... and towching the content_es_ of the same ye shall vnderstand that I haue resceyued yo_ur_ l_ette_res

[861] _c.o._ am contented