M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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

. (page 338 of 360)
Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 338 of 360)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the publication and the fentence. However this be, Henry
defpairing to prevail with the Pope, and not much fearing
him, thought to have no farther regard either for him or
the Publick, being almoft allured of fucceeding in what-
ever he undertook, confidering how the People ftood af-
Cranmcr fected. In fhort, being fully determined to end the affair,
'"" ,bc . he fo ordered, that the Archbifhop of Canterbury de-
~^,""ber manded his leave to fummon Queen Catherine. Before
n« appear- ] le came to this extremity, he tried more than once to per-
'V P "■ fwade the Queen to confent to the Divorce. But all his
endeavours proving ineftecfual, he granted the Archbifhop
Heibrt. the leave he deli red. The Queen was therefore cited to
Hil'"' appear at Dnnjlable, in the neighbourhood of the place
Aa.Pub. where fhe refided, the 20th of May (1). But as fhe re-
Xiv.p.462. j u | e j to appear, the Archbifhop gave Sentence the 23d
of the fame month, declaring the King's Marriage with

Catherine mil], as being contrary to the Law of God. On 1535.
the 28th [at Lambeth] by another Sentence, he confirmed ard «»)?"*»
the King's Marriage with Ann Bullen, and on the ift of b e Jgi%ii ar ,
'June the new Queen was crowned. nage.

Thus ended this famous Procefs, the iffue whereof af- R,f e a;cms
forded no lefs matter for divers reflections than the be- °n the King's
ginning, every one reafoning, as fwayed by prejudice or £jf?"
intereft. Thofe who were againft the King took notice
of his error in efpoufing a fecond Wife, before his firft
Marriage was legally diffolved. They faid moreover,
that of all the Prelates in England, Cranmer was the laft
that fhould have been chofen for Judge, fince he had fo
openly declared againft the firft Marriage. That his par-
tiality was apparent, not only in his hafte to give Sen-
tence, but alfo in his confirming the King's fecond Mar-
riage, which had been confummated whilft the firft ftill

Thofe who were for the King, affirmed, the Sentence «"/>»'"'-
was but a mere formality, which rendred not the Mar- 'jJ'gJZ,
riage void, but only declared it fo. That it fufficed, the
Sentence was conformable to the determinations of the
Englijh Clergy, and all the Univerlities in Europe, and
to the fentiments of the Pope himfelf, who would have
nulled the Marriage, had he not been biaffed by worldly
confiderations. They juftified Cranmer, by allcdging,
that having changed his Character iince his declaring
for the Divorce, that declaration ought not to hinder him
from being Judge, no more than a Lawyer when he comes
to fit on the Bench is debarred the trying of Caufes in
which he formerly gave Cour.fel. That though there
were fome default in the Form, it could not be denied,
the Sentence was juft in itfelf, which was fufficient to
quiet the King's Confcience, who alone was concerned in
the affair. As for the new Queen, no fault could be
found with her conduct, fince fhe proved not with Child
till after her Marriage, whether the King efpoufed her
in November laft year, or in the January following. As
for Queen Catherine, it could not be thought ftrange that
fhe fhould maintain the validity of her fecond Marriage.
But it was juftly wondered at, fhe fhould fo obftinately
deny the Confummation of the firft, which was proved by
all pofTible evidence. But as moft people were then bi-
affed on one fide or other (3), we are not to judge of this
affair by what was publifhed in thofe days, but by Rea-
fon and Equity. Let us therefore briefly confider it in
that view, independently of the prejudices caufed by the
confequences. It will not perhaps be unacceptable to the
Reader, to fee here a fhort Recapitulation of the conduct
of the chief A&ors in this Scene. I fhall confine my felf
to this, without fully examining the Procefs, which is not
fo much the bulinefs of a Hiftorian as of a Divine or

It is almoft impoffble to know pofitively, whether Remark! v p.
Henry, when he undertook the affair of the Divorce, was cn tl " Pr -
convinced that his Marriage was contrary to the Law of oimra
God, or at leaft, really troubled in Confcience upon that and the
account. All that can be faid in his favour, is, that he c^ 1 "?? •f
himfelf affirmed as much, and none but the fearcher of all pj,™'
hearts can know, whether he thought as he fpoke. It Upm the
cannot be denied, that the fole confideration of fuch a *"*■
Marriage is of itfelf capable of breeding fuch fcruples,
efpecially as the King's might be confirmed by the Arch-
bilhcp of Canterbury's, and the Bifhop of Lincoln's his
Confeflbr. But, on the other hand, it may be conjec-
tured from feveral circumffances, that it was only a pre-
tence to put away Catherine, and marry Ann Bullen. In
the firft place, he had lived eighteen years with the Queen,
without fhowing any fcruple. In the fecond place, if he
was not in love with Ann Bullen, when his fcruples firft.
feized him, it cannot be denied, he was very much fo, whea
he moft ardently prelied the aftair of the Divorce. So,
it may be conjectured, that his love might turn into belief,
what at firft was only a doubt. In the third place, very
probably it was Cardinal IVolfey that infpired, by himfelf
or another, the King with thefe fcruples, to be revenged
of the Emperor and the Queen. This bold and daring
Minifter imagined, either the aftair would eafily fucceed,
confidering his great credit at the Court of Rome , or
in cafe of oppofition, it would be no more difficult on this
than on feveral other occafions, to caufe the King to alter
his mind. But Henry's Love unexpectedly happening,
Jl'cljey found he had taken wrong meafures. Befides, the
determinations of the Univerlities did not a little con-

(1) This Proteftation imported, That he did not intend by that Oalh, to reftrain himfelf from any thing that he was bound to, either by his Duty to
God, to the King, or the Country ; anil that he renounced every thing in it tint was contrary to any of thofe. Burnet, T. r. p. laa.

1 The Archbifhop went to Durable (about fix Miles fr; m Ampthill where the Queen was) acenmprnied with Gw.lr.tr Bifhop o( rVintiefttr, anj
the Bifhops of London, Batb, and Lincoln, and fate in Court on the loth of May, the K.ng appearing by Proxy, but the Queen not at all. Upon whK.li
(he was declared contumaciam, and a fecond and third Citation were ilTucd out. Then the Evidences that had been brought before the Lrga'es cf the
Confummation ot the Marriage with Prince Arthur were read. After that, the Determinations of the Univerlities, Divines, and Canonills, with the
Judgments of the Convocations of both Provinces were produced, and the whole Merit of the Caufc was opened. And then on the 23d, w;ih the Advice
of all that were prefent, it was declared, that the Marriage had been only de falh, and not de jure, and confequently null from the beginning. On:
thing is tu be obferved, that the Archbifhop is called in rhe Sentence, the Legate ef the Apotlchcjl See. Whether this went of courf'e as one of bis
Titles, cr wrs put in to make the Sentence firmer, the Reader may juage. Burnet, T. I. p. "31. Hall, fol. 11a,

■ The Men generally fpake in behiif of the King, and the Women took the Queen's part, tiail, fol. 199.

4. Vlbdts

Book XV.




tribute, without doubt, to confirm the King in his opi-
nion. However, without farther inquiry whether Henry
was fatisfied of the juftice of his Caufe, let us confider, in
few words, how he behaved in fo nice an afFair. He
fuppofed, that Julius II could not grant a difpenfation for
his Marriage, and confequently the Marriage was void of
itfelf. And yet, he thought he wanted Clement VII's
Bull to declare it fo. Herein was a contradiction which
could not but greatly cmbarafs him. If Julius's difpenfa-
tion was null by the Law of God, it was ncedlcfs to re-
voke it ; and if a revocation was neceffary, confequently
it was good till revoked. Thus, Henry was bound, till
the Pope fhould plcafe to decide the point. Wherefore,
when Cranmer had given him another notion of this
affair, by intimating to him, that, independently of the
power affirmed by the Pope, the chief thing was to be
allured of the Right, by the opinions of the Learned, he
cried out in a tranfport of joy, He had got tit lajl the right
Sow by the ear ; that is, he found in Cranmer s advice a
Solution of the difficulties, he could not get clear of, in
following the doubtful Principle of the Pope's power, be-
caufe its extent was not fettled. He refolved therefore to
procure the opinions of the Univerfities. But at length,
weighing the confequenccs of a rupture with Rome, he
refumed the firft way, and applied again to the Pope.
By this he wronged his Caufe very much ; for in taking
the Pope for Judge, it was no longer in his power to li-
mit the authority he was willing to acknowledge. But
he was cxcufable, fince it was hardly poflible to throw off
at once his prejudice with refpect to the Papal power,
whereof he had not at firft fo clear an Idea as afterwards.
Then, finding the Pope acted only from worldly confi-
derations, which hindered him from giving him the fa-
tisfaction he required, he returned to the way he had left.
So, proceeding upon his own conviction, and the deter-
minations of the Univerfities, he caufed his Marriage to
be declared null, without regarding the Pope's authority,

Rtwerkt s
the Pcfe.

As for the Emperor, he undoubtedly a£fed in this ar- 1 c ; t
fair from motives of Honour, Intereft, and Policy, with- p <~
out Juflice or Religion being concerned in his Proceed- tbt L ' l
ings. He looked upon the Queen of England, his Aunt's
Divorce, as a difhonnr, which, added to his interefi to
create Henry troubles, who wa, in ftrict alliance wi:h
France, was but too capable of inducing him to obfti
it to the utmolt of his power.

As for Queen Catherine, very probably, fke acted with
Sincerity. As flic believed the Pope's a ithority unli- <■•! h
tnited, fhc thought herfelf the King's lawful Wife, and
in that belief, did not think herfelf obliged to refign hei
Right to another, on pretence of the King her Hu
fcruples, which, in her opinion, were groundlefs. Be-
fides, /he could not own her Marriage null, with
greatly injuring her Daughter the Princefs Mm . Though
fhe had been convinced her Marriage was lawful in itfi I
fhe believed the Pope had power to render it valid, be
ready however to fiibmit to the fame authority as foon ■
it fhould be declared. Neverthelefs, fhe may be juftly
fufpedted of having taken a fallc Oath, to make her cau'e

Much has been (aid againft Ann Jiullen. But without t/fm Am
infilling upon Sanders's Invectives, which have been fuffi- tull«>'
ciently refuted (1), fhe can be charged, before Marriage,
but with one (ingle Fault, namely, her yielding to the
King before his Marriage with Catherine was nulled. But
it was very difficult for a young Lady of her rank, to
have refolution enough to rcfift the temptation of bt
a Queen, if fhe could be fo lawfully, as it is likely the
King made her believe. It cannot however be faid, file
yielded to the King's defires before her Marriage. He
efpoufed her at the latcft in January, and fhe was not
brought to bed till September (2). So there is nothing in
that winch can give occalion for any fufpicion.

As for the reft who were concerned in this affair, nt'^A
the Cardinals, and the King's, and the Emperor's Mi- '

which he was refolved to forfake. I omit the Reafons he nifters, it may be affirmed, they acted only from worldlv , ,"'/'.)'"

views, without any regard to Religion. • ■,,;,,*:,.

It cannot be faid, the Univerfities of France and Eng- ,. , ; .
land decided the r ,)oellions propofed with entire freedom, Univtrjiia.
fince it is known what an influence Sovereigns have np-
on the actions of their Subjects, when they are concerned.
As to the Univerfities of Italy, both Parties accufed one

alledged to prove the neceflity of his Divorce. That of
Confcience was doubtlefs the beft, if fincere. That re-
lating to the uncertainty of the Succeffion was proper
to demand a Sentence, but not to ground the Divorce up-
on ; becaufe the Divorce fuppofed the Marriage void,
which was to be judged.

Let us now confider the Pope's condudl, where we another of having corrupted them, the one bv M

find nothing favoring of Chrift's Vicar. Clement VII
never examined the Cafe by the maxims of Religion,
Juftice, or Equity, but always with refpett to his own
or his Family's intereft. If he had attended to what
Religion required, he would have examined, whether Hen-
ry's Marriage was contrary to the Law of God, and
whether, in that cafe, a Pope had power to grant a dif-
penfation. If he had been convinced that Julius II af-
lumed a Right which belonged not to him, he fhould
have readily granted Henry the Bull he demanded. But
if, on the contrary, he was perfwaded, the Marriage was
agreeable to the divine Law, or not being fo, it was in
the power of a Pope to grant a difpenfation, he fhould
have confirmed it, and tried to remove the King's fcruples,
without feeking fo many evafions. That was the duty
of a Pope. But inftead of acting in this manner, he
confidered only what good or hurt might accrue to him
from the King's demand, independently of the juflice or
injuftice of the thing. Whilft he was Prifoner in the
Caftle of St. Angela, or Fugitive at Orvieto, and thought
he flood in need of Henry, he pofitively promifed to con-
tent him. Afterwards, he only amufed him, till, by
the Emperor's means, he had recovered Florence. As
foon as he was in pofieflion of that State, which he had
fo much defired, he avocated the Proccfs to Rome, but,
in all appearance, with intent never to decide it, if he
could help it; becaufe whilft the two Parties remained
uncertain of the deciiion, he made himfelf neceflary to
both-. Can it therefore be faid, there was any fign of
Juftice or Religion in his proceedings ? Certainly, if Henry
was to blame, as it is pretended, to feign fcruples on pur-
pole to gratify his paffion, Clement was no lefs fo, not to
try to reclaim him before the afFair was begun, or to
content him in cafe his fcruples were well-grounded.
Though Henry had acted only through paffion, which is
however very uncertain, he would have been much more
excufable than the Pope, who, in the Poft he filled,
ought to have proceeded upon very different Principles.

and the other by Threats. As for the Englijh Clergy,
they had lately received fuch a Check, that they had
reafon to dread giving the King a frefh occafion of an-
ger. But it cannot be thence inferred, that they de-
cided contrary to their Sentiments, fince it often happens,
the truth is not oppofite to our intereft. The fame mav u f n c " rl "
be faid of Cranmer, who being now tinctured with Lu-
ther's Doctrine, could not look upon Julius's difpenfation
as capable of rendering a Marriage valid, which in itfelf
was null and repugnant to the Law of God. Indeed,
he may have earneftly embraced this opportunity, to give
a mortal wound to the Papal Authority, in order to pro-
mote the Reformation. But it cannot be affirmed, that
he acted againft his knowledge, in pronouncing the Sen-
tence of Divorce. At leaft, his whole behaviour was di-
rectly oppofite to fuch obliquities.

By what has been faid, it may be eafily perceived, that
in this affair, which was properly a cafe of Con!cience,
very few of the Actors had any but political views, with-
out much regard to the precepts of Religion. Neverthe-
lefs, God who directs all the actions of Men, without
their knowing very often thcmfelves to what they may
tend, drew from the proceedings of Henry, Clement, and
Charles, the end he deligned, that is, the Reformation of
the Church of England, as will be feen in the fcquel.
If any one defires fullv to examine the cafe of Hemj
VIII's Divorce, he would do well to call off all prejudice,
and take care not to be milled by the Authors who have
writ on this fubject. But if a Man is contented with ex-
amining it hilroricallv, he is to confider only the political
views of the principal Aitors.

The fentencc of Divorce beine made publick. Henry
took care to acquaint Catherine with it, bv the Lord p-xMi.
Alountjoy, who tried in vain to perfwade her to fubmit. Burnet.
She ftill remained inflexible, affirming, flic would be the ., j"
King's Wife till the Pope had nulled the Marriage. . - , „ „/, e
This anfwer being brought to the King, he ordered her /'"'ft rnn.
to be filled only Princefs Dowager of J Vales. Bat file "f' D ™-


(1) Sanders has allured the World, That th" King liking her Mother, fent her Husband Sir Thomas Bullen Ambiffador to Fran:/, anj in h : s Ab'ence X
begot Ann Bullen upon his Wife. At his Return, he fued a Divorce againft her in the Arthbidi jp's Court, but the King leering him know (be was
with Chid by hitn, he was, upon the King's deiire, reconciled to his Wife. Thus Ann Bul.en, though (he went under the name of Sir TbemaVs Djugh-
ter, yet wis of the King's begetting. As he defcribes her, (he was ill-(hapcd and ug!y, hrd fix Fingers, a Gag- Tooth, and a Tumour under her Chin.
At fifteen Years of Age, he lays, both her Fjther's Butler and Chaplain iay with her ; and when in France (he led fuch a diibiule hie, that (he urn
called the En'liik Hackney. That the French King liking her, (he was called the Kint'i Mule. Fut returning to England, (he gained the Kn ; :'s
Affefiion by the appearance of a fevere Virtue with which (he difguifed herfelf. The fame Author adds, That ibt King bad litrw'fe enjtjei her Sifltr ,
with a great deal mare to the D lgrace of this Lady and her Family. Hence we miy fee to what a height of Rancour and Malice U^o:ry and blind
Zeal in religions Muters are cipible of carrying a Man ! Burnet, T. I. p. 41.

(1) Sfiemier 7, of the Prince£ Elizabeth, which afterwards mounted the Throne. Hall, fol, 117. Sttw, tic.





Vol. I.

: to be ferved by anv that would not treat her as
Queen, and the King thought not fit to remove fuch as
would ihow her that refpect (i ). Shortly alter, he notifi-
ed ids Divorce, and new Marriage to all the Sovereigns,
and particularly to the Emperor, who coldly told the
Englifl) Amballador (z J, he would eonfider what he was
to do in the cafe.

The news of" the King's Marriage, and the Archbifhop
, of Canterbury's Sentence having reached Rome, the Pope

Arebbifmpt , ■ , tt , i

was extremely angry with Henry, and the more, as a


Hearv *:
fits in

to tie £;*■

Tbt P:p0
nu lit the



fit to di fewer this fecret, demanding an Audience of the
Pope (8), acquainted him with the King his Matter's
Appeal to the next General Council, from the fentence
given or to be given againft him. The Pope told him,
before he declared himfelf, he would advife with the Car-
dinals that were with him. Some days after (9), having Tie Ptpi
fent for Bonner, he gave him for anfwer, that according rt}e3i ,1.
to the opinion of the Cardinals, the Appeal was unlaw-
ful. Bonner, without being furprifed at this anfwer, ac- Bonner ac-
quainted him in the fame manner with the like Appeal of ''J"' Cran -

- - - mer'i Ap-

Copy of his Book againft the Papal authority had now the Archbifhop of Canterbury, from the fentence which w

The Pope

%ifit a

t .ry Sen

The Pcffi
De/ign m
the Inter-
view of


ppeared in Rome itfelf. The Cardinals of the Imperial
Paction improving this occafion, very earneftly preiTed
him to give fentence againft the King , remonftrating
to him, that if he refented not fuch an affront, the autho-
rity of the Holy See would be at an end. Thefe Re-
monftrances produced their effedt. The Pope nulled the
Archbifhop's Sentence, and declared that the King him-
felf was liable to Excommunication, unlefs, by September
eeme jgmnft next, he reftored the Caufe to its former ftate (3). He
tee King, contented himfelf for this time with, only threatening
him, becaufe he did not yet defpair of reclaiming him
by the King of France's means, with whom he was go-
ing to confer at Marfeilles.

The Pope's aim in this Interview was, firft to cele-
brate the Nuptials between Catherine his Niece, and the
Duke of Orleans. In the next place, to devife with
Francis fome expedient to adjuft his differences with the
King of England, or if that could not be done, to dif-
ingage Francis from Henry's intereft. Francis wiftied with
all his heart, that fome way might be found to reconcile
them, becaufe he hoped to join in a League with both,
the more eafily to recover the Duchy of Milan. Henry
had ufed his utmoft endeavors to diflwade him from this
Interview, being apprehenfive it would produce between
Francis and Clement an Union which could not but be to
his prejudice (4). He had ever reckoned that Francis
would adf in concert with him to frighten the Pope,
and that their menaces would induce him at laft to give
him the fatisfadion he required. But perceiving he could
not prevail, he had publifhed his Marriage. From that
time, he was fully bent to widen the breach with Rome,
unlefs the Pope and the King of France fhould find, during
their Interview, fome fatisfadtory expedient, for which he
He fendi tte was vcr y willing to wait. Mean while, he fent the Duke
Norfolk to °'" Nor/alt (5) in Embaffy to Francis, with orders to ac-
company him to Marfeilles, and fee whether there was yet
any hopes of agreement.

The Duke of Norfolk coming to the French Court the
1 ft of July, waited upon the King who was then on his
Journey to Marfeilles (6), intending however to make
fome ftay in Languedoc, before he went to the Congrefs.
He accompanied him fome time, but hearing, the begin-
ning of Augujl, what was done at Rome againft the King
his Matter, would have returned, imagining his prefence
would be of little fervice at Marfeilles. Neverthelefs,
at the King of France's follicitation, he contented him-

Henry's De

M. lei lies.





He recall*


nulled his judgment for the Divorce. This put the Pope Tte Pope
into fuch a rage, that he talked of throwing Bonner into 'i'""""
a Cauldron of melted Lead (10). Guicciardini fays, Fran- Burnet.
cis was fo offended with Bonner's infolence, that he offer-
ed the Pope to do all that lay in his power to procure
him fatisfaiflion for this affront. But if this be true,
it was only a mere compliment.

Clement departed from Marfeilles the 1 2th of Novem- The Bijhop
ber, as much pleafed with the King of France as he was °l raris "
diflatisfied with Henry. Mean while, Francis not defpair- Henry with
ing yet to adjuft this affair, fent into England John defrejb Expe-
Bellay Bifhop of Paris, to propound new expedients to f.""?'
the King. This Prelate, who had refided fome time n7n" ac.
at the Court of England as Ambaffador, wrought fo with "p" them. '
Henry, that he perfwaded him at length to agree to an LurneU
expedient he propofed to him (11). So, pleafed with ha- The Bi&tp
ving obtained more than he durft have expected, he very g"> ">
readily undertook to carry the good news himfelf to the H on J°"
Pope, though it was then in the depth of Winter. He Burnet. '
found the Pope inclined to do what he could to end the
affair amicably, and drew from him a pofitive promife,
that the caufe fhould be judged at Cambray by fuch as the
King of England fhould have no reafon to except againft.
But Clement not trufting entirely to a verbal promife, de- Tte Pope
fired to have it under the King's own hand, that he ap- dtfimite
proved of what was concerted. Moreover, to avoid all p^fj^f'
delays and evafions, he fixed the day for the return of tenting.
the Courier, who was to be fent into England. Mc fi*'< 'it

This weighty affair being thus upon the point of con- //,-„, r r *
clufion, the Emperor's Agents were very urgent with the Tte Empc.
Pope to revoke his engagement ; but he told them he r " r ' A ~
had given his word. However, they repeated their in- g !t'ep?pe t*
fiances with fuch earneftnefs, that at length they got him retraa.
to promife, if Henry's anfwer came not by the time ap- £urneU
pointed, he fhould think himfelf difingaged. The Courier
not returning on the day appointed, the Imperialifts prefled
the Pope to give lentence againft Henry, reprefenting to
him that he was amufed, and threatning him with the
Emperor's refentment. In fhort, they fo ardently follici- Tit Popt

Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 338 of 360)