M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

The history of England : written in French (Volume 1) online

. (page 296 of 360)
Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 296 of 360)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


multiplied them fo very faft, that hardly was there a va-
cant Bifhoprick but what they filled by way of Provifion.
Time and favorable junctures confirming them in this Pre-
rogative, there was no poftibility to wreft it from them.
Thus the Privilege of the Chapters was entirely de-
ftroyed.

Arundel, Archbifhop of Canterbury, dying in 141 3, the
Monks of St. Augujlin chofe Henry Chiche/ey, Bifhop of
St. David's. But Pope John XXIII, annulled the elec-
tion, declaring, that, for this turn, he had refolved to dif-
pofe of the Archbifhoprick by way of Provifion. How-
ever, to avoid difputes, he made choice of the fame Chi-
cheley ; preferving thereby his pretended right, without
detriment to the Perfon elected.

But Martin V, dealt not fo gently with England.
He was no fooner feated in the Papal Chair, than he
boldly difpofed of all the vacant Sees, without any regard
to the privilege of the Chapters. In two years only he
filled, by way of Provifion, thirteen Bifhopricks in the
Province of Canterbury, It was not only with refpect to
the Sees that England had caufe >io complain of the Pope ;
he difpofed likewife of all the other Benefices of the King-
dom, without troubling himfelf about the right of the
Patrons, or the inftruction of the People. The beft,pre-
ferments were generally conferred upon Foreigners, who
underftood not a word of Englijh, or refided not in Eng-
land, and fometimes even upon Children. P'or inftance,
he made Proffer Colonna, his Nephew, who was but four-
teen years old, Archdeacon of Canterbury. Henry V, a
high-fpirited Prince, fent Ambafladors to Rome to com-
plain both of thefe, and other grievances. But Martin V,
delayed his anfwer fo long, that the Ambaffadors told him,
the King their mafter, purely out of refpect to the Holy
See, had proceeded by way of requeft, to which he was
not obliged ; but for the future, he would ufe his Prero-
gative : That accordingly they had inftructions to make a
folemn proteftation before himfelf and the Conclave, if
his Holinefs would not give them immediate fatisfaction.
I know not what anfwer the Pope returned ; but not long
after Martin having tranflated the Bifhop of Lincoln to
the See of York, by way of Provifion, the Chapter re-
fufed to admit him, and the Pope was forced to revoke
his Bull.

In 1438, the Univerfity of Oxford complained, that
Church-Preferments were beftowed without any regard to
learning or merit : That the Colleges were thereby be- g„ sptinwr.
come empty, becaufe there was no need of ftudy or lear- Cone. T.lf.
ning, to be qualified for a Benefice. Whereupon the Con- P" 6 ' 5" 6 77-
vocation, to whom this complaint was addrefled, palled a
Canon, That none but Graduates in the Univerfities
fhould be capable of Benefices. But this was a weak fence
againft the Papal power.

Mean while, though the Court of Rome made the Apo-
ftolick authority found very high, the Popes now and then
met with mortifications. For example, in the Reign of
Henry IV, the Parliament ordered, that the Peter-Pence
fhould he depofited in the King's hands till the Schifm
was clofed.

In the Reign of Henry V, the Alien Priories were fup-
preffed without asking the Pope's confent.

Under Henry VI, Pope Nicholas V, demanding an ex-
traordinary Subfidy of the Clergy of England, for the Occafi-
ons of the Holy See, the King forbid the Clergy togrant it.

The



Book XIV.



The State of the Chuec h.



7CJ.



Cantili.
Spelman
Cone. T
f. 662,
ii~l, 712.



The like demand, made fome years after by Vicentini,
a Nuntio, was fharply denied by the Clergy. The Papal
power, formerly fo dreadful to the whole Church, and par-
ticularly to England, began to be lefs feared. The Schifms
did the Pope irreparable damage.

During the whole XVth Century, it does not appear
that any National Councils were held in England, but
' only Convocations of the Clergy, in the two Ecclefiaftical
Provinces of Canterbury and York. The condemnation of
the Lollards was almoft the fole bufinefs of thefe Convo-
cations. As for National Synods, they were become ufe-
lefs, fince the Popes had engrofled the Cognisance of all
Ecclefiaftical Affairs. Befides, the leaft appejjPto the Pope
was fufficisnt to annul all the Canons of a Council. On
the other hand, the Popes had fo managed, that no Na-
tional Synods could be hdd without their Licence. Now,
as in thefe Synods there vas but too frequent occafion to
inquire into the extent o' the Papal authority, they werd
grown fo odious to the Court of Rome, that the ufe of
them was infenfibly lad afidc. At this very day, in
the States which have rot yet received the Reformation,
National Councils are no more talked of, or, at leaft, fo
very rarely, that it is (ilain the Popes allow them with
reluctance and very great difficulties. Of this we have
in France a late remarkable inftance, in the transactions
concerning the famous Constitution Unigenitus of Cle-
ment XI. King Lewis XIV, though powerful and
formidable, could never obtain the Pope's leave to call
a National Council , except on fuch terms as rendered
the thing impracticable , though that Monarch's fole



Aim was to caufc the Conftitutioc b m appro
The Article of the eminent Men, who flourifl
the Church of England during this Century, will noi
detain us. Indeed, there were Cardinals, Archbii

Bifhops, and other Clergymen , very famous, but it n -
neither for their piety nor learning. Their poll
their Embaffies, intrigues of the Cabinet, and fliarc rh the
Revolutions in the Court and Kingdom, were the
things by which they were diftinguHhed. Henry
cheley, Archbifhop of Canterbury was one of the heft.
For which reafon he obtained not the honour of the 1 -
dinalate, lavifhly beftowed upon Henry Beaufort, B
of Wtnchejler, upon Kemp, Bourchier, Morton, whi 1
lefs worthy of it than he, if true merit hnd been regard-
ed. But Chicheley wanted one indifpenfuble quality of a
Cardinal; namely, to be entirely devoted to the Holy
Sec ( 1 ).

If there were any learned Men befides, they were fo
with refpccl to the time they lived in, when true learn-
ing was not much in vogue. And therefore it would be
very needlefs to fpeak of each in particular, fmcc their
fame hardly out-lived them. Some were noted for (heir
great animofity againft the Lollards, and amongrt the
reft, Arundel Archbifhop of Canterbury. This Prelate, in
his Funeral Sermon for Ann of Luxemburg}}, Richard the
fecond's Queen, highly commends her for fpending her
time in reading the Holy Scriptures in the vulgar tongue ;
And yet, fome years after, in the Reign of Henry IV, he
condemned in Convocation the tranflations of the Bible,
as very pernicious (2 j.



(1) In 1439, he ordained, That Vicarages mould not be endowed with a lefs Sum than twelve Marks a year. Spe.'man Cone. Tom. II. p. 6Sg.

(2) As there was a fcareity of Perfuns eminent in other parts ot" Learning in this rude and illiterate Century, io was thcie likewife of Hiftonans. The molt
noted were :

Sir John Froissart, who wrote a General Hiftory of the Affairs of France, Spain, &c. but chiefly of England. He was a FrmcSnun born but
was brought up in his Youth in the Court of Edward III, and familiarly converfant in that of Richard II. He wrote in his own Tongue, which v.
the Court Language of England. In the Enghjh Edition, publifhed by Sir John Bourchier, at the command of Henry VIII, the miftakes that had crept into
the French Copies are corrected. His account of matters fcems to be plain and honert ; and perhaps none gives a better of the affairs of Edward III and
Richard II. Rapin has made good ufe of him.

Encuerrand de Monstrelet, and Philip Dt Commines, may not improperly be called Froijfart'% Continuators. They give a faithful
and complete account of the Affairs of Enghnd, as far as they are intermixed with, or have any relation to thofe of France, Burcundy, Sec.

Thomas Walsingham, a BcncdiSine Monk of Si. Albans. His H.JIoria Brew's [or fliort Hiftory] begins at the CjncTufion of Henry Ill's Rei-n
where Matthew Paris ended his. The account he gives is well enough ; and we are indebted to him for many things not taken notice of by any other Writer
of thofe times. His Tpodigma Neuftrix (as he calls it) gives an account of Normandy, from the time it came firft into the hands of Roll} and his Danes
down to the fixth year of Henry V, wherein the Readers will find many occurrences not elfcwhere to be met with. Both thefe Works were publifti.-J by Arch-
bi/hop Parker, in 1574, and reprinted at Francfhrt in 1603.

John Harding comes next, a northern Engli/hman, and an inveterate Enemy to the Scots. He collected whatever might tend to the Proof of the an-
cient Vaffalage of Scotland to the Crown of England; and hearing of an old Record in that Kingdom which put the Matter pall difpute, he went in difcuife
with much ado brought it away, and (hewed it to Henry V, Henry VI, and Edward IV. To the laft of thefe he dedicated his two Books of Chrmiclts in
Englijk Rhime. Printed at London, 1543.

William Caxton was a menial Servant for thirty years together to Margaret, Duchefs of Burgundy, (Sirt»r to Edward IV.) in Flanders. Findin?
as he fays, after his return to England, an imperfect Hiftory, he continued it in Enghfo, under the Latin Title of Frucius Temporum. It begins with the first
inhabiting of this Illand, and ends (the laft year of Edward IV.) 1483. Folio, printed 1515.

John Rosse, or Rous, travelled over the greateft part of England; and having made large Collection! cat of the Libraries where he came, he writ
the Hiftory of our Kings, which is ftill extant in MS in the Cottovitn Library, He died in 1491.




N° XXXVI. Vol.1.



8 P



THE




THE

HISTORY of ENGLAND.

BOOK XV.

The Reign of Henry VIII j Containing the Space of Thirty Seven Tears and Nine Months'.



20. HENRY VIII.




//.i Educa-
tion,



E NR T VIII, Son and Sutceffor
of Henry VII, came to the Crown
at the age of eighteen years, want-
ing a few months ( 1 ). The Lord
Herbert, his Hiftorian, fays, the
King his P'ather defigned him at
firft for the Archbifhoprick of
Canterbury, becaufe having an elder
Son, there was no likelihood that
This would afcend the Throne. And therefore, continues
he, care was taken to inftruct him in all the parts of
Learning neceffary for a Prince that was one day to be
a Churchman. He would have fpoken more juftly, if he
had only faid, that Henry VII had fuch a defign when
he firft put him upon his Studies. But as the young
Prince was become his Heir-apparent at the age of eleven
years, it could not be with the fame view, that he caufed
him to purfue the Study of fuch parts of Learning as
were proper for a Clergyman. It is more likely there-
fore, that the King his Father kept him to his Studies,
for fear his aftive and fiery Spirit fhould carry him to
more dangerous employments. He was only Son of Queen
Elizabeth, Heirefs of the Houfe of Xork. Confequently
he might have given the King his Father fome trouble,
had he thought of afferting his right as Heir to his Mo-
ther. However this be, Henry having taken a relifh for
Learning in his younger years, preferved it ever after.
He always delighted in perufing good Books, and con-
vening; with the- Learned, even when the multitude of
his affairs fecmed to divert him from fuch kind of em-
ployments. By this means he made advances in the Sci-
ences very uncommon to great Princes. Francis I, his
Cotemporary, ftiled by the French Hiftorians, the Father
cf the Mufes, was in learning much his inferior. He
fpoke French and Latin very well and readily. He was
perfectly sLilled in Mufick, as two entire Maffes compofed
Hollinjifli. fey himfelf, and often fung in his Chapel, do abundantly
fs. He was exercifed in the moft abftrufe points of



Herleit.



Witnels.

(il He whs tern June ?S. 1491, aad raroe to the CroWn djfrit u. 1509.

(-) £> Rotterdam came over into England in 149-*, and ftudied iome time in Oxf,-<t mi Cambridge*

raing, and partieulailj the Knowledge of tl-.e Grtek Tongue.
6



the Arijlotelian Philofophy, which alone was in vogue in 150(3.
thofe days. But he applied himfelf chiefly to the ftudy
of Divinity, as it was then taught in the Univerf.ties, all
fluffed with ufelefs queftions. Thomas Aquinas 's Summary
was his favorite book.

This knowledge, which was confidered as a great ac- Henry has
complifhment, even in ordinary Perfons, had upon the S"" 1 c f cal
young Prince an effedt which is not unufual. It gave'' ""■'■'"
him a good opinion of himfelf, which had but too much
influence upon all the actions of his Life. The exceflive
commendations bellowed upon him by all, helped to
confirm him in this conceit. When he was yet unex- it, is cfim
perienced in the affairs of the State, he fancied himfelf l "'H' d "f "'
very able ; and this prefumption was the caufe of his be-
ing often the Dupe of thofe Princes with whom he was
concerned, as will more amply appear in the fequel of his
Reign.

But in remarking that this Prince had a great deal of His gml
feff-conceit, I don't pretend to rob him of, or any ways '-si- '■■""'•
leffen the noble qualities he had from Nature or Educa-
tion. In his youth he was very handfome, and expert in
all bodily exercifes, as much as, or more than any Prince
of his time. Accordingly, he was paftionately fond of
all thofe diverfions which gave him an opportunity Ui
fhew his activity. He was couragious without Orienta-
tion, of a free and open Temper, an enemy to Fraud
and Inlmcerity, fcorning to ufe indirect means to compafs
his ends. His Liberality perhaps was as much too great,
as the King his Father's Avarice. Henry VII feeaied to
have been follicitous to accumulate riches, only to afford
his Son the pleafure to fquander them away without any
difcretion.

As Henry VIII, when he mounted the Throne, was little Sis pi I
experienced in the affairs of the Government, he made ufe
at firft of the King his Father's Minifters and Counfellors. Hollingih.
The principal were, William IVarham Archbifhop of Can- Heibert.
tcrbury, [and Lord Chancellor of England] of whom 1>o1, ^ '*
honorable mention is made by Erafmus (2) fome where in



II,; Inftru&ions mightily cromoted the
his



Book XV.



20. HENRY VIIL



103



Funeral.

H.lll.

Hi.llinpfli

Scow.
Herbert.



1509. liis Writings; Richard Fcx Bifliop of IVinchefler, [Secre-
tary and Lord Privy-Seal,] who had been employed, in
the late Reign, in the niceft affairs ; Thomas Howard
Earl of Surrey, [Lord-Treaftirer of England] Son of the
Duke of Norfolk, flain at Bofworth Field, fighting for
Richard III ; George Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord
Steward of the King's Houfhold ; Thomas Ruthal, Doctor
of Law ; Sir Edward Poynings, Knight of the Garter,
[Controller,] whofe name is ltill famous for a Statute
enacted in Ireland in the former Reign, whilft he had
the Government of that Ifland ; Sir Charles Somcrft,
Lord Herbert, [of Goiver, Chepjlow and Rag/and,] Lord
Chamberlain ( 1 ).
Henry ytl'a Henry VII's Funeral was celebrated with great magni-
ficence a few days after his death. His body was inter-
red at Wefiminjler in the Chapel built by himfelf, and
for the adorning whereof he had fpared no coft. This
Chapel pafled then for one of the ffatelieft in Chrijlcndcm.
Henry VII, covetous as he was, laid out fourteen thou-
fand, fome fay, twenty thoufand pounds Sterling, a very
conliderable Sum in thofe days, when Money was much
(career in Europe that at preferit (2).
Hubert. While the obfequies were preparing, the new King pri-

vately retired from his Palace of Richmond, to the Tower
of London (3), under colour of withdrawing on account
of the King his Father's death. But it was rather to
fettle with his Minifters fome affairs which would not
ibtLo-d admit of delay. Whilft he was thought in his retirement
utbcTwir. to De employed in devotion, he ordered Henry Lord Staf-
Hall. fird, Brother of the Duke of Buckingham, to be appre-

hended, probably, upon fome groundlefs Sufpicion, which
foon vanifhed, fince, fhortly after, he was created Earl of
IVillJhhe.
Ruthal is The See of Durham,, vacant by theTranflationof Chri-

»/dui ham J^°P^ a ' BambriJge, to the Archbifhoprick of Fork, was con-
Ad. Pub. (erred on Thomas Ruthal, Doctor of Law, and one of the
XlII.p.256, Privy-Council (4).

General A few days after (5), the King confirmed his Father's

Pardon. General Pardon granted before his death (6). But all
Proclamation offenders had not the benefit thereof. A Proclamation
'be'p"i'Jf'ii quickly appeared, wherein the King faid, that being in-
ecmplaiti. formed, his good Subjects had been oppreffed under the
fpecious pretence of preserving the Prerogatives of the
Crown, he gave them leave to bring their Complaints,
and promifed them fatisfaction. The defign of this Pro-
clamation, was not to reftore to his Subjects the Sums un-
juftly extorted by the late King, but only to encourage
them to exhibit their Complaints againft Empfon and Dud-
ley, the lnftrumcnts made ufe of by Henry VII, and to
give them fome fort of fatisfaction, by punching thefe two
Minifters.

When this Proclamation was publifhed, numberlefs Pe-
titions were prefented againft them. This was what the
Couit wanted, not only becaufe thefe Men were odious
to the whole Nation, but moreover to fnew the people,
the new King intended to rule in a very different manner
Empfon ati from the King his Father. Upon all thefe Petitions,
ealMkfo'e E'"Pf°" an d Dudley were called before the Council, where
tie Council, they were briefly told the principal Articles alledged againft
Ernpfon'j them (7). Empfon anfwered for both, " That the Ac-
HeVb'-it. " cufation was of a very new and ftrange nature: That
Hali. " ufually Men were profecuted for acting againft the

Hollmgfli. « L aws or difobcyina; their Sovereign ; but for their
part, they were accufed by the people of executing the
" Laws of which they tliemfelves were the Authors :
" That on the other hand, the King called them to an
account for obeying his Father's exprefs orders, unheard
of Crime, the punifhment whereof would be apt to
" throw all his Subjects into rebellion: That if they
" muit be punifhed for fuch offences, he deftred it
" might not be divulged to foreign Nations, left they
" mould infer, that the final diffolution of the Englijh
" Government was approaching." To this it was briefly
Herbert. replied, " That he had fpoke with great freedom; but
" his Eloquence was fruitlefs and unfeafonable : That



Hollinglh,
Herbert.

Pol. Virg



" they were not accufed of executing the Laws, or of 1500.
« obeying the King, but of ftretching the Laws beyond

• their due bounds, and exceeding their Sovere
" Commiffion, which Accufations they had re'afon to feai
" were too well proved." Then they were both commit - ' , »«/««
ted to the Tower {H). The King was refolved to make'..'"''''"""'
them an example, in order to content the people who
were extremely incenfed againft them. Thu thei con- 1
demnation was refolved before their appearance, though it Hel ''
was not yet known on what to ground theii procefs. In
any other Country, an act of Severer J thefe

two Men to the Gallows, would l,.,\r ' , . , ,'
But it is not the fame in England, where the greateft
Criminals have privileges of which they cannot be debarred,
without giving the people occafion to think, the Court
is forming defigns againft Liberty. It was nccefTary there-
fore to fearch for fome expreft La* to condemn them.
But upon examining the Accufation already brought
againft them great difficulties occurred. It appeared, that
though they were accufed of numberlefs offences, nothing
could be proved but their mercilefs execution of the Laws.
But notwithstanding they had itretched thefe fame Laws
as far as the words would bear, it could not be charged
to them as a Crime, fince they had the King's Warrant,
in whom the execution of the Laws is lodged. It is true,
Henry VII, contrary to the Cuftom of his Predeceflbi ,
had acted according to the utmoft rigour of the Stal
But he might do it, and if the former Kings had done
otheiwife, it was more out of Condelccnfion than Juflicc.
Thefe two Minifters therefore could not be tried I
obeying him. Belides, to condemn them for exec u
their mailer's orders, was publickly to difiionour that
Prince's memory, and renew the remembrance of his
Severities upon his Subjects. It was refolved therefore to
put them to death upon a falfe Accufation, of intending
to withdraw their Allegiance from the King fince his Ac-
ceiTion to the Throne. It is evident, this Accufation was Mjjfa a
entirely groundlefs. For how could two perfons fo odiou
to the whole Nation, and deprived of all Credit by the n^ert
death of Henry VII, think of fuch a defign, and Kill lell Hollingin.
put it in execution (9). Mean while, it was not fcrupled Slow -
to take away their Lives for a forged Crime, becaufe they
were believed worthy of death, though not condemned by
the Letter of the Law. Upon this frivolous Accufation, Ti^y art an-
they were brought before their proper Judges, and found *«■»''»*»
guilty, whether falfe Witnefl'cs were fuborned againft them,
or by a mental refervation hitherto unknown in England,
in Judgments of this nature. Dudley was tiied at London
the 1 6th of July, but Empfon was not condemned till the
1 4th of Oclober (9) at Northampton. Henry, either out of 1 ^-
fcruple, or fome other motive, fufpended their execution
till the next year (11).

Whilft means were contriving to difpatch thefe two £«5«' - ahut
Minifters, the King and his Council had a much more'V'"*' 5
important affair to take into confederation. We have Si'
feen, in the former reign, Prince Arthur's Marriage with one °/Ar-
Catherine of Arragon ; that Prince's death without lfi'ue ; ™ p jj"
the reafons inducing Kino Henry VII' to defire, that
Prince Henry, become his Heir Apparent, mould marry
his Brother's Widow ; the confent of Ferdinand and Ifa-
bella, Father and Mother of the Princefs ; and PopeyV
lius's Difpenfation for the Maniage. The true reafon
w'hy Henry VII propofed this match, was, his unwilling'
nels to reftore the hundred thoufand Crowns received in
part of Catherine's Dower. He was alfo afraid of loiino-
the other half, wliich remained to be paid. In fhort, he
forefaw, that after the receipt of the whole, the Princefs
his Daughter-in-law would indifpenfably enjoy her Settle-
ment of the third part of the Revenues of the Piincipa-
lity of Wales, and the County of Cornwal. However,
as it was not decent to urge fuch a motive to the Pope,
to obtain a Difpenfation for fo ftrange a Marriage, which
could not but be deemed fcandalous, it was pretended to
be neceffary to preferve the Peace between Henry VII
and the King and Queen of Spain. That was the mo-



(1) To thefe the Lord Herbert adds, Sir Thomas Level, Mailer of the Wards, and Cnnflable of the Tower, Sir Hcnrf ,'",jf, Sir Henry Marts',, afterwards
('S3") Lord Marttty, Sir 'Thomas Darty, afterwards (151 1) Lord Barry. Thefe he fays were feleclcd out of thofe his Father molt trufted, by the Ci un-
tefs of Richmond his Grandmother, and farther obferves, that this Council was of Scholars chierly and of Soldiers, w ith^ut lb much as one Lawyer, which he
wonders at, p. 2.

(2) His Tomb, perftfled by his Executors 1 5 19, coft a thoufand Pounds, which, as Money went then, might bethought a fumptu.ais Mcnument. Herbert, p. 2.

(3) April the 23d. Hall, fol. 1.

(4) And Pope Julius lent him the Form of the Oath he was to take to the Holy See, of which, the curious Reader may fee a C py in Rymtr's Ford.
Tom. XIII. p. 256 About this time, the King confirmed to J .hn Earl of Oxjcrd the polTeflion of the Cattle of Ctbbefltr, gra

JeVere, by the Emprels Maud; and appointed Sir Edioard llczvard Standard-bearer, with a Sala y of fol J Pounds a year ; and Sir 'lbosmu .
Warden of the Exchange at Calais, with a Salary of thirty Pounds fix Shillings and Eight-pence. h:J. p. 251, ;-,S.

(5) April*-. Hall, fol. 1. Stoio, p. 486. Hcllingjhead, p. 799.

(6j Out of which were excepted all Perfons guilty of Murder, Fdcny, and Treafon. In the fame Pardon, all Vagabonds and fturdy Beg;:rs were ordered
to depart out oi^London, and repair to the feveral places where they were born. St?w, p. 486.

(7) See them in Hollingjleead, p. 804.

(8) Their Promoters and Inttruments were alfo apprehended, and put in the Pillory. Ball fol. 1. Styw, p. 487.

(9; They were accufed, as appears in their Indictments upon Record, of a Confpiracy againft the King and Mate, cf fummonirc, during the late King's
Sichnefs, certain of their Friends to be in Arms at an Hour's warning ; and upon the King's death to haften to Lindm, from whence it was inferred by the



Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 296 of 360)