M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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cially towards the end of his reign, his infatiable avarice,
his haughtinefs, his pride, and his dark and referved tem-
per, were no proper qualities to win the affection of his

He never opened his mind to any man, except perhaps
to one or two of his Minifters. As for the reft, he fet
them to work without their knowing themfelves the mo-
tives of their own proceedings. The World was fo per-
fuaded, he had always fome hidden defign even in his
moft indifferent adtions, that what was only a pure effect
of chance, was often afcribed to his policy.

His Spies in foreign Courts gave him an extenfive
knowledge of all that paffed there. On the other hand,
his Ambailadors were always charged to inform themfelves
by all forts of ways, of the fecrets of i ] e Princes to whom
they were fent. Very often this was the principal article
of their inftruftions. By this means he made fuch difco-
veries as enabled him to convince the foreign Minifters
refiding at his Court, of his great infight into their
Matter's affairs. Hence he reaped many confiderable ad-
vantages, chiefly in that the Princes of Europe fearing his
abilities, were very forward to live in good underftanding
with him. His ftrict fnendfhip with Ferdinand King of


fij Sir Tbomai Kneftaortb, Mayor in 150^, and both his Sheriffs, were impiilbned for abufes committed in the Execution of their Offices; and not re-
leafed, but upon paying fourteen hundred Pounds- Sir Laurence Aylmer, Mayor in 1507, and both his Sheriffs, were fined a thou lard Pounds, and Sir Lau-
rmct lmprtfontd tor refilling to pay his Fine. Alderman Hatvit was put to trouble, and died with vexation, before his bufinefc was decided, blow, p. 4^5*
Bacon, p. 635.

(2) This year the Sweating Sicknefs r.iged again in England. Ha//, fol. 59. And alio this year died Giles Lord oVAuheney. Tmltngjbtad, p. 795.

(3) Henry was fa pleafed with this Alliance, that in a Letter tn the City of London, he exprdTes himfelf as if he thought he had built a Wall of Erafs
about his Kingdom, in having for his Sons-in-law a King of Scotland) and a Prince of Caflife and Burgundy, Bacon, p. 635.

4 There is in the Fosdera the Inventory of the Jewels contained in the rich Fl-so/cr-dc-lucc, which weighed, in Gold and precious Stones, 211 Ounces
and a half. Tom. XIII. p. 241.

! Ie hid four Sons- The fourth, born in February 1500, was named Edioard, Hollir.gjht-ad, p. 7S8.
[6} Their Names were Ekxabctb and Catherine. Satidford, p. 477, ^\i.

< 1 Hall gives however this ioftince of his Generofity, That hj lent Merchants a great deal of Money, without gain or profit,- in order to encourage Trade.
ft 1. 6 1.

His ufual Preface w his Treaties was, That ivbsn Chrift cam into tbt World, Peace wastfung ; and wben bt went out of the W»rtd, Pjace was bequeathed.
B-i r } p. 635.

3 Arrogant

Book XIV.



1509. Arragon, a Prince of much tic fame character, was ex-
tremely ufeful to him. Probably, it hindered the Court
of France from interpofing more in the affairs of England,
and was one of the principal caufes of his conftant Peace
with his Neighbours.

Inftcad of increafing the credit of the Nobility, he
took all poflible care to leffen it. His Council was al-
moft wholly com pb fed of Churchmen and Lawyers, who
bt-ing devoted to him, and aiming only to plcafc him,
never oppofed his Will. This unlimited compliance of
his Council, was the caufe of his entirely addicting him-
felf to his natural paffion of heaping up money, there be-
ing no Perfon about him, that had boldnefs or confidence
enough to give him good advice upon that head. This
conduct drew upon him the hatred of the Englijh, which
at firft made him fomething uncafy, but when he had
furmounted all his troubles, he regarded it not. On the
contrary, he affected to rule with an abfolute power, mak-
ing of his Council a Court of Juftice, where all the Pleas
of the Crown were decided, which had never been feen

He has been extremely praifed for the good Laws made
in his reign, as if he had been the fole Legiflator, and his
Parliament no ways concerned. Hence perhaps was given
him the glorious name of the Solomon of England, though
he much more rcfembled that Prince in the heavy yoke
he laid on his People. But if thefe Laws are carefully
examined, it will doubtlefs be found that the King's inte-
reft was the true motive, tho' in appearance they fcemed
to be made for the good of the People. Thus did IViUiam
the Conqueror formerly act, whom our Henry refembled in
fo many things, that they may be very juftly compared. In
fhort, Henry's moft diftinguifhing character was, that he
lived entirely for himfelf, confidered things only with ref-
pect to his own private intereft, and regarded not any af-
fairs where that was not concerned. Indeed, fuch a cha-
racter is not uncommon among Princes. But he had this
in particular, that whereas the intereft of other Prfnces is
ufually divided into feveral branches, Henry's was in a man-
ner contained in one lingle branch, namely, to have al-
ways full Coffers.

He was extremely fufpicious, as are generally thofe who
act by fecret ways, becaufe they think all the World like
themfelves. The Houfe of York's title, and the People's
opinion concerning it, filled his mind with fears and fuf-
picions, with which he was continually racked. It is true
he took great care to conceal his uneafinefs. But his con-
duct and precautions plainly demonftrated, his mind was
not as he would have had it thought to be, at reft. This
perpetual diftruft led him inceffantly to feek means to pre-
vent the dangers, in which he was not always fuccefsful.
Witnefs the report he caufed to be fpread that the Duke
of York was alive, which had a quite contrary effect to
what he expected. His genius was but mean. He faw
better near than at a diftance, and his wifdom conlifted
more in extricating himfelf out of difficulties, than in
finding means to avoid them. The chief troubles of his
leign may be faid to happen by his fault. However, he
acquired, by a long experience, qualities which by nature
he had not.

It is not furprizing that a Prince always intent upon
preventing the Rebellion of his Subjects, and continually
employed in heaping up money, fhould have performed
nothing glorious for himfelf or the Kingdom. Conquerors
do not always make the greateft Kings. On the con-
trary, Peace would have been very advantageous to the

Englijh, had it rendered them happy. But it was ftili more ' 509.
fatal to them than War it felt, fine* the King's ii.fatiable
avarice inceffantly carried him to devife means to accu-
mulate riches, which could be done only at their expence.
There are Princes that heap up money folely to difperfd
it; but Henry kept it carefully in his Coffers, without
any communication. Liberality was a virtue he did no-
pretend to. If he made any piefcnt-:, it was only to Spies
or Informers.

As for his Religion and Morals, nothing certain car. be
affirmed, by reafon of the contrarieties which met in him.
He was chafte, temperate, an enemy to open and fcanda-
lous vices, conftant in the exercifes of'devotion, and obferv-
ing ftrict juftice where his intereft was not concerned.
But on the other hand, his extreme avarice made him
commit many injufticcs, and the fear of lofins his Crown,
caufed him to conlider as lawful, all means" which could
free him from that danger, how unjuft foever they in
be in other refpects. The Kail of Warwick's death v. , II
be an cverlafting ftain to his memory. His making a
jelt of Religion, in caufing a folemn proccflion to be 1
on purpofe to fhew that Prince to the Pople, and the
Excommunications he ordered to be pronounced a^ainft
his own Spies, are clear evidences that his Religion was not
proof againft his intereft.

In general, it cannot be denied, this Prince had great
abilities. But as thefe abilities centered only in himfelf,
they would have been more valuable in a private Perfon
than a great Monarch. Though all his projeds weie
crowned with fuccefs, his reign cannot be faid to be hap-
py, either for himfelf or for England. He lived under con-
tinual fears and fufpicions, and his Subjects were always ex -
pofed either to domeftick troubles or oppreffion. One'thin-r
rendered this reign remarkable, namely, that by Henry's
abilities, the Civil Wars, which had fo long afflicted Eng-
land, were at length happily ended. I fay happily, fince
it was very indifferent, with refpect to the welfare of the
Englijh, whether the Kingdom was governed by a Prince
of the Houfe of Lancajler, or a Prince of the Houfe of

Henry VII was of a ferious temper, ever thoughtful
and intent upon his affairs, without being diverted by his
pleafures, to which he was little addicted. He had a Book
wherein he marked down with his own hand, the qua-
lities and characters of the Perfons he knew, in order to
employ them upon occafion. A Monkey ( 1 ) that he kept
in his Chamber, having one day tore this Note-Book
all to pieces, he appeared grieved as at fome very Teat

He was of ftature taller than the common fort. His
face was long, thin, and lean, like the reft of his Body,
but withal very grave, which made people (peak to him
with fear. He could however be affable when his affairs
required it. He was rather ftudious than learned. What
he read in his leifure hours was generally in French, tho'
he underftood Latin too.

He founded a Chapel at Windfor, for which he obtained Aft. Pub.
of the Pope privileges and indulgences. He turned into m £ > & i'
an Hofpital the Palace of the Savoy, built [by Peter Earl 6-2! H '
of Savoy] in the reign of Henry 111. He founded likewifeXHI. P .6o.
feveral Convents of Dominicans and Francifcans(z). ButS°jr
of all his Structures, that which did and ftill does him the Aft. Pub."
greateft honour, is his Chapel in IVcJhninJler- Abbey, which XIII. p.100,
gives not place in any refpect to the moft ftately Chapels loz "
in Chrijlendom (3). There he was buried (4), and there
the Bodies of his Succeffors lie with his (5}.


(1) Set on, as it was thought, by one of his Chamberlains. Bacon, p. 637.

(2) He built three Houfes for Framifcans called Obfervants, at Richmond, Greenwich, and Newark $ and three others for Francifcant, called Conientuais t
at Canterbury, Netvcajlle, and Southampton. Stow, p. 486 1 -He alfo new built Baynard's Caftle, and enlarged Greenwich, calling it Placcr.tia. HJ-
lingjhead, p. 796.

(3) In the iSth year of his Reign, the Chapel of our Lady above the Eafl: fide of the High-Altar at Wejlminfter Abbey Church, with a Tavern near adjoining,
called the White Rofe, were taken down, and in their room was built King Henry Vllth's famous Chapel. Stvm t p. 4S4. Holltngjbcad, p. 79c, 797.

{4) May 11. Stow, p. 486.

( SJ In the fifth year of King Henry the Vllth it was ordained, That the: Mayors of London mall have Confervation of the River Thames, from Staines-
Bridge to the Waters of Veujdale and Medivay. In his eighteenth year, King Henry being himfelf a Brother of the Tayhr % s Company, as feveral Kln^s had
been before him, namely, Richard III, Edward IV, Henry IV, V, VI, and Richard II, bsfides Dukes eleven, Earls twenty eight, Lords forty eight, he
gave them the name of Mtrcbaut-Tayhrt. Hollingjhead, p. 790. In his thirteenth year, was the Patfage to the Soft-Indies round the Cape of Good Upt
difcovered, by Vafco de Gama a Portuguefc. In his tenth year, the Body of Alice Hackney is faid to be found, in the Church of St. Mary-HAl, London, w hole
of Skin, and the Joints of the Arms pliable, after having b?en buried a hundred and feventy five years. In this Reign John Collet Dean of St. Paui\ founded
Paul'% School in the Church-yard. The Colleges founded in the two Univerfities in this King's Reign, were, CbrijVs College, and St. Jcbn\ in Cambridge,
by Margaret Cnuntefs of Richmond, the King's Mother. Jefus College in the fame Univerfity, by John Aback, BiJhop of Ely ; Corpus Cbrifli in Oxford, by
Richard Ffl-v, Bilhup of Wir.cbcjhr j and Braxin-Nofe College, by William Smith, Biihop of Lincoln. Rymer\ F*ed. Tom. XII. p. 653. Stow, p. 482.

Ft appears by an Indenture of the 9th of Henry VII, that a Piund Weight of Gold, of the old Standard, was coined ints as many, and the fame
Pieces, as in the 5th of Edward IV. (See the Coin-Note, at th-: end of that King's Reign.) The Gold Coins of ffenrj VII were a Soveraign,
half Sovereign j Ryal, half Ryal, aad quarter Ryal ; Angel, and half Anz^l. His Silver Mjaey vtM } Groats, half Grafts or Two-Penny Piecea,




Vol. I.

TESTATE of /fcCHURCH of the

Fifteenth Century.

S'ati *f the

Affdiri of
the Cbmcb
in the xvro


H E Chriftian Church had never been in fo
deplorable a ftate as in the XVth Century.
God's Juftice and Mercy, and Chrift's meri-
torious death, were fcarce any more the object
of a Chriftian's Faith. Moft people's religion confifted in
Pilgrimages, and the worfhip of the blefled Virgin, Saints
and Relicts. As for the Clergy, their whole care was
confined to the fupporting themfelves in that height of
Grandeur and Power they had enjoyed for feveral Cen-
turies, and to the feeing that no Man prefumed to difpute
their Immunities. Difcipline was never more remifs.
The Clergy feemed to look upon their Spiritual Power
and Jurifdiciion, only as a means to prevent the violation
of their Temporal Privileges. Provided their rights were
untouched, every one might do what feemed good in his
own eyes. The authority of the Church was become
the capital point of Religion.

The Papal power had ftrangely increafed every Cen-
tury, each Pope having made it his bufinefs to enlarge it
as much as poffible. They were come at length to dif-
pofe of all the Church-Preferments in Chrijlendom, and
to be the fupreme Judges in all Caufes Ecclefiaftical.
National Synods were no longer held. And indeed, of
what ufe would they have been, fince the Court of Rome
claimed the Cognizance of all Church-matters ? In a
word, the Pope was become the Centre of Religion, to
which every thing was to tend. The privileges of
Churches, the prerogatives of Sovereigns, were all annul-
led by the Non-objiante Claufe, ufually inferted in every
Ball. But it was not only over Spirituals that the Popes
had ftretched their authority ; they pretended alfo to ex-
tend it over Temporals, under colour that Religion was
concerned in all affairs. Kings themfelves were not out
of their reach. In all the Marriages of Princes there was
occafion for the Pope's Difpenfation : Neither Peace nor
Truce of any moment was concluded without the Pope's
mediation or guaranty. Some Popes were feen to carry
their pretenfions fo far, as to enjoin Peaces or Truces
without the confent of the parties. In fhort, it is ex-
tremely probable, they would have wholly engroffed the
Temporal Power as well as the Spiritual, if the Schifms
of the XVth Century had not caufed them to lofe ground.
The Revolutions of the following Century made them
lofe ftill more. However this be, the Popes were become
real Sovereigns, not only with refpect to the power they
had affirmed, but alfo with regard to the immenfe riches,
which through numberlefs Channels flowed into the vaft
Ocean of the Apoftolick Chamber. Tenths, Firft-fruits,
Taxes for the fervice of the Chamber, Difpenfations for
all forts of Cafes, as well contrary to the Law of God,
as to the Canons ot the Church, Subfidies exacted from
time to time from the Clergy, for the occafions of the
Holy See, Crufades, Benefices which are feldom bellowed
without a previous bargain with the Apoftolick Chamber;
in a word, Simony openly practifed by many Popes, fome
of whom were accufed and convicted, were inexhauftible
Fountains which maintained the Affluence and Luxury
of the Court of Rome. It was almoft impoffible, that
purity*of Life and true religious Principles mould be pre-
served undefiled, amidft fo much Grandeur and Riches.
On the contrary, the Popes were the more liable to make
an ill ufe of their power, as moft of them were not born
for fo high a Station. Accordingly we find in Hiftory,
that Rome and Avignon were the Centre of Pride, Ava-
rice, Luxury, Senfuality, and all the moft fcandalous Vi-
ces. The Popes were neither learned nor religious.
Hardly was there one to be found that might pafs for an

honeft Man, even according to the maxims of the world.
And yet, all the preambles of their Bulls were only ex-
preflions of their Zeal, their Charity, their Humility,
their Juftice ; whilft for the moft part what they enjoin-
ed was an authentick proof of their Pride and Tyranny.
This is no aggravation, for the Authors who writ before
the Reformation, have faid a hundred times more. Nay,
it has even been publickly preached before the Coun-

It may be eafily imagined, that fuch Popes did not take
much care to fill, what they called the facred College,
with pcrfons truly pious and devout. It is true, during
this Century, there were Cardinals of great repute, and.
eminent for their Wit, their Eloquence, their political Vir-
tues, and their capacity for temporal Affairs. But thefe,
for the moft part, were men governed by the maxims of
the world, and who confidered Religion but as a means
to eftablifh their fortune. The Legates, fent to the fe-
veral States of Chrijlendom, were fo many Incendiaries,
who fought only to fow difcord and divifion among Prin-
ces, or excite them to fhed the blood of their own Sub-
jects. In a word, they regarded only the Intereft of their
matter and the Roman See, making no Confcience to vio-
late all the rules of Religion and Equity, to accomplifh
their ends. •

The reft of the Clergy in general were not better.
Moft of the Bifhops were promoted to the Epifcopacv,
purely for having rendered themfelves commendable by
their attachment to the Interefts of the Court of Rome,
or for their fervices to Princes in their temporal concerns.
They were perfons educated at Court, and inftructed in
the maxims of the world. Cruelty, Injuftice, Difhonefty,
were but too common among them. Nay, they were
confidered as fo many Virtues, when employed in the
perfecution of fuch as were termed Heretlcks, efpecially of
thofe that dared to conteft any of the Pope's or the Cler-
gy's pretended rights.

As for real Learning, it was fcarce heard of in this
Century. School-Divinity, and the knowledge of the
Canon-Law made the whole merit of the Ecclefiafticks.
It was the only thing by which they could hope to arrive
at Church-Dignities. On the other hand, the Monks,
who were crept into moft of the ProfelToifhips in the
Univerfities , had overwhelmed Divinity and Philofophv
with fuch a heap of Jargon, as ferved only to give their
Difciples falfe notions of Learning, and teach them to

Such was in general the ftate of the Church in the
Century we are ("peaking of. As for the Civil Affairs of
Europe, they were in this and the following Centuries, as
in the foregoing. The Sovereigns divided among them-
felves by their different Interefts, thought only of fupplant-
ing one another, and making their neighbour's lofs turn
to their own gain. This drew them into bloody wars,
which rendered their people miferable, and fuffered nei-
ther Princes nor Subjects to attend to the breaches in the
Church, or think of means to heal them. Corruption
was fo great in the world, and in the Church, that God
feemed to have abandoned Men to a reprobate Senfe, i<i
blind and infenfible were they grown. We may add,
for the farther reprefentation of the fad cftatc of the
Church, the great progrefs of the Turks in Europe, dur-
ing this unfortunate Century. The Greek Empire entire-
ly deftroyed, and feveral other Chriftian States over-run
by the Infidels, were plain tokens of the divine wrath a-
gainft Chriftians, to move them to fearch after the Caufe.
But inftead of fecking the Lord, they perfecuted with fire

Pennies, Half-pence, and Farthings. Thofc old Pennies that bore divers Spurs, or the Mullet betwixt the Bars of the Crofs, were to go only for Half-
pennies. To avoid tlipp.n^ fir the future, the King caufed new Groats and Two-pcnces to be coined, having a circle round the outer part ; and 1 n
that the Gold hereafter to be earned, fhould have the whole Scripture, or Infcription, about every Piece. See Staf.it. 19 Hen. VII. c. 5. He was the firft th.'t
after Hmry 111 added the Number to his Name. He left off the Rofe that ufed to furround the King's Head, and inltead thereof, gives his Head with
a Side-Face, which was ufed before only on the Coins of William Riiftn ; but was continued by all his Succeflbrs. except on the had Money ot Hairy
VIII, andbelt of BdwardVl, and likewife crowned with an arched Crown; having this Infcription, HENRIC. VII. DI. GRA. REX. ANG. Z. FR.
leaving out on the lmaller Monies the Title of Frame. On the Reverfe, inltead of the inner Circle with the place of Coinage and the Pellets, ha
the Arms of Frar.ce and England quartered, which he the firlr of our En^lijh Monarchs ufed constantly, but retained the outer Circle and Mr .
POSVJ DEV. ADIVTORE MEV. except en the fmall Coins, whereon lometimes is the Place of Coinage. Of thefe, the Pennies exhibit the
King in his Robes upon the Throne, with Crown, Sceptre, and Ball : Reverie, the Keys, which difcover it to be of the Archbiihop's coining. Thefe are
the only Pieces that have not the Number, and are inferibed HENRIC. DI. GRA. REX- ANG. In his 20th year, there were fome few Shillings
■ !. '1, and they, (being only forty in a Pound of Silver) were fair and larae Pieces, a full third heavier thin ours at this day. They are now choice
in the Cabinets ot 'he Curious, Hi .: likewife laid to have csinsd lruall Pieces, called Dandy-Prats, but of what -Metal, Value, or Falhion,
1* unknown. A-.e. Brit. H$>


Rook XIV.

Hoe State of the Church.



ccur.t of the
Cwnc'll of


and fword fuch as fought God alone, and refufed to pay
divine worfhip to Cieatures.

To accomplifh a Reformation in the Church, which
was fo much wanted, all, or at lcaft the chief Princes of
Europe, fhould have joined their endeavours to promote
fuch a project. But how was it poflihle, that fo many
Sovereigns who had Religion fo little at heart, fhould fa-
crifice their paflions to fo great a good ? Or how could
fo many different Interefts be reconciled ? All Europe
paflionately wifhed that the Church were reformed. Se-
veral Bifhops appeared to have the fame defire. Nothing
was talked of in the Councils, but the Neceflity of exe^
cuting fo noble a defign. Nay, it feemed, that the
Councils of Conjlance and Bafil intended to fet about it
effectually. But the well-inclined had neither prudence
nor refolution enough, to oppofc the artifices and violence
of the contrary party. We fhall fee hereafter, that it was
the Popes, the Cardinals, and the principal Clergy who
oppofed, to their utmoft, the pi ejected Reformation, bc-
caufe they were fenfible it would prove prejudicial to their
temporal Intcrefts. On the other hand, when 'tis con-
fidered, with what eagernefs and animolity they laboured
to root out the pretended Herefies, which combated the
temporal Grandeur of the Clergy, no other Inference can
be made, than that they themfelves perceived the neceflity
of a Reformation which they would not admit, and that the
Fountain of Corruption was in the principal Members of
the Clergy, from whence it had but too great an Influ-
ence upon the reft.

To regrefent to the Life the ffate of the Church of the
XVth Century, and let it in its true Light, it would be
neceflary to give a particular account of what palled at the
Councils of Conjtance and Baf.l. But this detail would
lead me too far. Befides, the Hiftory of the firft of thefe
Councils is lately publifhed, and writ with that plainnefs,
circumfpection, and impartiality, that there is no room
to fufpeel that the Author (1) has fufFered himfelf to be
biaffed by paflion or prejudice. The Hiftory of the Coun-
cil of Baftl by the fame hand, is foon to appear (2). So,
referring the Reader to thefe two Hiftories, I fhall only
relate in few words, the molt remarkable paflages of thefe
Councils. This knowledge will be of ufe to underftand
the ftate of the Church of England, which I fhall prefently
fpeak of.

The Schifm, begun in 1378 by Urban VI, and Cle-
ment VII, was continued to the beginning of the xvth
Century, by Boniface IX, and Benedict XIII, their Suc-
ceflbrs, Boniface fucceeding Urban VI, redded at Rome,
and Benediel, Succeflbr of Clement VII, remained at Avig-

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