M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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the reft had hardly courage enough to make a fruitlefs re-
fiftance (;).

The firft Suppreffion of the leffer Monafteries was done
by Act of Parliament. But the King was pleafed this
fhould appear to be entirely voluntary, as if the Abbots,
Priors and Monks had been induced of themfelves to fur-
render their Houfes. A thing however fo notorioufly falfe,
that not a Soul cou'd be ignorant how forced thefe furren-
ders were. It muft be confeffed , that herein Henry
ftrangcly abufed the abfolute power he had acquired over
his Subjects, of whom not a Man dared publickly to find
fault with his conduit, and ftill lefs, openly to oppofc his
Will. However he ufed artifice to make this fuppreflion
of the Monafteries to be received with lefs concern.
Whilft the Commiffioners were receiving the Surrenders, Tbt Ct%\
he called a Parliament for the 28th of April. At the fame*"/""**
time, he ca ufed a report to be fprcad that the Kingdom ' c „\ "eui-j^'
was going to be invaded (6). He confirmed the report by Hall,
going in perfon to vilit the Coafts, by commanding Forts ( "' -3*»*3S-
and Redoubts to be built in feveral places (7), and by giv- Hollinglh.
ing preffing orders to fit out a Fleet, and keep the Troops B.rn«.
in a readinefs to march upon the firft notice. The intent Hu '-* n '
of all thefe proceedings was, to let the People fee that the
Parliament would be obliged to lay heavy taxes to refift
the pretended Invafion ; but that the King acquiring a
large revenue by the fuppreffion of the Monafteries,
would have no occafion for a Subfidy. The yearly value Revenues tf
of the Religious Houfes amounted to one hundred fixty <b<S u ft"b T ' i
one thoufand [one hundred] Pounds Sterling, according to $~J
the rate they had been laft farm'd at (8). But it muft be p. 801.
obferved, the Abbots and Priors forefeeing the impending !l" r ?" -
ftorm, had fet the yearly rents very low, and raifed the r .",$,"
Fines very high, that they might have wherewithal to
fubfift when they fhould be out of their Houfes (9). The
King pretended not to mind it, being on the contrary
very glad, the People were not acquainted with the whole
profit which accrued to him from thefe Suppreflions. Be-
fides the rents of the Lands belonging to the Monafteries,
the King had moreover a very confiderable Sum arifing
from the Church-Ornaments, [Plate] Goods, Lead, Bells,
Materials, which he thought not proper to have valued,
but it may be judged of by this tingle article, namely,
that in the Abbey of St. Edmundsbury alone there was
found five thoufand Marks of Gold and Silver in Bul-
lion (10).

The ruin of the Monks was a great occafion of joy Henry/z>««
and triumph to thofe who had already embraced the Re- h ' ""' r ^'
formation, or who wifhed it could be embraced without tuHrin.
danger. But they had not caufe long to rejoice. Henry Rwnet.
refolving to fhew, that in abolifhing the papal Authority, He •'' ,CTt •
and deftroying the Monafteries, he had not changed his
Religion, gave very foon an unqueftionable proof of it.
The Parliament meeting the 28th of April, immediately Tie Parlia-
made, by the direction of the Court, a Law, entitled, ££JJ"
An Aoi for abtlijhing diverfity of opinions in certain Articles
concerning Chrijlian Riligion. This is the Law that is The t.'xJj
more commonly known by the name of the bloody Sta- •$'.■«•"•
tute. The penalty of burning or hanging was enacted 3gainft

I. Who by word or writing denied Tranfubftantia-

II. Who maintained that Communion in both kinds
was neceffary.

III. Or that it was lawful for Priefts to marry.

IV. Or that Vows of Chaftity may be broken.

(1) Though great Faults were difcovered by the Vifitors, yet it is certain, that they were themfelves guilty of great Ails of Violence and Injuftice.
They embezzled moft part of the Plate and Furniture that was found in the Monafteries, Doctor London, one of the Vifitors, corrupted feveral of the
Nuns belonging to Cbefjlcta ; and generally it was cried out, that unJer-hand and ill practices were ufed. Therefor* to quiet thele reports, and 10 give
fome colour to what was done, all the foul Stories that could be invented, were publilhed to defame the vilited Monafteries. Burnet, T. I. p. 241.

(2) During the year I53S, there were twenty one Manafteiies luppreffcd, and in 1539, a hundred and one. See the Names of them in Rymer's Feci.
Tom. XIV. p. 590, &c. and Burmt, T. I. Colled, p. 144, 145.

(3) The general Form in which moft of the Surrenders begin, is, " That the Abbot and Brethren, upon full Deliberation, certain Knowledge, of their
" own proper Motion, for certain juft and reafonable Caufes, elpecially mnving them in their Souls and Conferences, did freely, and of thek own accord,
" give and grant their Houfes to the King." See Rymer's Faid. Turn. XIV. p. 604. Burnet, Tom. I. p. 238.

(4) The Vifitors found fuch Depredations committed in the rich Abbey of St. Albans, that an Atbot could not fubfift any longer, the Rents being fo
Jew. Burnet, T. I. p. 236, CSV.

(?) Bcfides Promiies and Threat?, the King had another way of gaining the Abbots to his Will. Upon a Vacancy, an Abbot was put in only to refign
up the Houfe. For after the King' s Supremacy was eftablifhed, the Abbots formerly confirmed by the Pope, were placed in this manner. The King granted
a Conge a" elirt to the Prior and Convent, with a miflive Letter, declaring the name of the Perfon whom they fljnuld chufe ; then they returned an Elec-
tion to the King, who, upon that, gave his Affcnt to it by a Warrant under the Great Seal, which was certified to the Vicegerent ; who thereupon con-
firmed the Election, and returned him back to the King to take the Oaths ; upon which the Temporalities were reftored. Thus all the Abbots were
now placed by the King, and were generally pickt out to ferve this Turn. Burnet, Tom. I. p. 236.

(6) By feveral Princes, who were ftirred up by the Pope and Cardinal Pool. Stoiv, p. 576.

(7) Many of which we have at this Day. He built particularly Dover-Peer. Stryfe's Mem. Tom. I. p. 306. Herbert, p. 2T7.

(5) They were given in at one hundred and fifty two thoufand five hundred and feventeen Pounds, eighteen Shillings, and ten Pence. Stevens's Hlfl. cf
Taxes, p. 215. The number of Monafteries fuppreffed firft and laft in England and Wala, according to Camden, were fix hundred forty three, trgethcr
with ninety Colleges, two thoufand three hundred and feventy four Chantries, and free Chapels, and one hundred and ten Hofpitals. Herbert, p. 21S.

(9) This had been the Praftice all along, as well as juft before the Diffclution of the Abbies. The Abbots were wont to hold the Leafes low,
and raife great Fines; by that" means they were not obliged to entertain a geatex Number in their Houfe, and fo enriched themiclves and their Biethren
by the faid Fines. This turned greatly to the King's Advantage. Burnet.

(10) As this was the laft Parliament the Abbots were fummoned to, it will not be amifs to infert the Names and Number of the Mitred or Parliamen-
tary Abbots, who in the Journals of Parliament in this Reign had their Writs, being twenty eight ; Abbingt-.n, St. Albans, St. AJie's Canterbury, Battel,
St. Bennet's in the Halm, Berdeney, Cirentefttr, Cclcbej!er, Coventry, Cref/and, St. Edmundsbury, Evejkam, Ciaffenbury, Gbuctfter, Hide, MatirJkuy, St. Ma-
ry's in Tork, Peterborough, Ramfey, Reading, Selbv, Shrnultntry, Taveflotk, le-wkcjbury, Tborney, IVa'.tbam, ll'ejlminjier, WtT.ikdnmb ; to whom the Prior of
St. John may be added. Burnet, Tom. I. p. 268.

No. XLII. Vol. I.

V. Or



7b f Laws

■' ' ' ' I

r •-'.
if-. r« i"/i-

/ . /.. -


Jlutbor of
tbt Six Ar-


Vol. I.

Cra timer


againjl them


t, jj n.

Tie VarUa-

Tr.ent grants
tbe Lands of
tbe Monafte-
ries to tbe
He is em-
powered to
erect new

Jin extra-
trditaty Atl
frr increajing
tit Royal
f wer.

V. Or that private Mafies are unprofitable.

VI. Or laftly, That Auricular Gonfeffion is not necef-
fary to Salvation ( i ).

By this and fome form? r Laws, which fettled what
was to he believed in matter of Religion, all theSubjefts
were almoft equally liable to the pains enacted therein.
Indeed, this laft Law with thole that were made before
againft the Pope's authority, contained the King's belief,
but not the Nation's. There was hardly a Perfon in the
Kingdom but what believed either more or lefs, and yet
no one dared openly to fwerve from it either to the right
or left. The Reformed however were the greateft fuf-
feicrs by it, and indeed it was levelled againft them. Gar-
diner Bilhop of JVincheJler was the real Author of it. He
had intimated to the King, that it was the only means to
hinder a League from being formed againft him. That
what he had abolifhed not being efiential to Religion, nor
confidered as fuch by the generality of Chriftians, no
Man of found judgment could deem him Heretical, fo
long as he maintained thefe fix Articles, which entirely
diftinguifhed true Catholicks from Sectaries and Innova-
tors. This was really taking the King by his weak fide.
But, befides this motive, the King had another which was
no lefs powerful ; namely, by adding this Law to thofe
already made againft the Pope, he rendered his Subjects
fo dependent upon him, that there was fcarcc a Man but
what was obnoxious to be called to an account. So the
Pope's friends and the Reformed were equally in his power.
Confequently they were equally concerned not to difpleafe
him in any thing, but rather blindly to fubmit to his Will.
Cranmer alone ventured publickly, and for three days
tot-ether, to argue againft the Bill before it palled.
But as foon as it had received the Seal of the publick
authority, he fent away his Wife into Germany till better
times (2).

By another Act the Parliament granted to the King the
Lands of the religious Houfes, which were fuppofed to
have been freely furrendered to him. So, this Statute was
rather a confirmation of what had been done, than an or-
dinance for the fuppreffion of the Monafteries (3). As the
King had intimated that he intended to employ the Re-
venues, he had acquired, in ufeful foundations, the Par-
liament palled a Bill for giving him power to ereft new

Never was Parliament more devoted to the King's
will. They were not fatisfied with approving whatever
the King had done, but alfo whatever he might do for
the future. It was enacted this Seflion, That the fame
obedience mould be paid to the King's Proclamations, or
to the orders of the Council during a minority, as to the
Acts of Parliament. It was pretended, that cafes might
happen where the King had not time to call a Parliament,
and yet it was neceflary for the good of the Realm that
his orders fhould be executed, otherwife there might be
danger of falling into great inconveniencies. Thus to
avoid a poiTible, but withal an uncommon inconvenience,
another much more confiderable was run into, by giving
the Sovereign a defpotick power. For if his orders wera
to be obeyed without the concurrence of the Parliament,
lie had no occafion to call one if he did not think it

proper. It is true, there were fome limitations in this 155?.
Aft, as that no Perfon fhouid be deprived of Life or
Eftate by virtue of the King's Proclamation, nor any
Laws or Cuftoms broken or fubverted thereby. But thtfe
reftriftions were fo ambiguoufly exprelTed, that it was eafy .
for the King to evade them. Upon this aft were ground-
ed the great changes of Religion in the Non-age of Ed-
ward VI.

In this fame Seflion the Parliament pafled an Aft to re- ^"'■' i ' r
gulate the precedency of the Officers of State ; by which dsnc
Cromwell, the King's Vice-gerent in Ecclefiaftical affairs, Sotut. 10,
though a Lock-Smith's Son, had the precedence of. all Per-
fons next the Royal Family (4).

Laftly, The Parliament confirmed the fentence of death Catena
palled upon the Marquils of Exeter and the reft who had iijrijfs'of
been executed for holding a correfpondence with Cardinal Exeter, <sv.
Pole. Moreover for the fame reafon, they attainted the " c c u '^T' d F '
Countefs of Salisbury, the Cardinal's Mother, and the sammaW
Marchionefs of Exeter, without bringing them to a Trial. Mar,bion r ft
This laft Aft met with great oppofition in the Parlia- ? ^ Exet "

1 1 r, i_ J attainted.

ment, many objecting, that to condemn Perfons unheard, Heibert.
was a breach of the moll facred and unalterable rules of Burnet,
juftice. But Cromwell having fent for the Judges to his l - l -l' 1 #»
Houfe, asked them, whether the Parliament had power to
condemn Perfons accufed, without a hearing? The Judges
replied, it was a nice and dangerous queiiion ; thatEquity,
Juftice, and all forts of Laws required that the accufed
fhould be heard ; that however, the Parliament being the
fupreme Court of the Realm, from which there could be
no appeal, the validity of their fentences, of what nature
foever they were, could not be queftioned. This was
faying in other words, that the Parliament would therein
commit an injuftice, for which they could not be called to
an account. Cromiuell having reported to the Parliament
the opinion of the Judges, the two Ladies of the Blood-
Royal were condemned to die, by a Sentence which
eftablifhed a precedent the moft pernicious that had ever
been feen in England, and which proved fatal to its Au-
thor, as will appear. Mean while the King granted a &&• Puk
full pardon to the Marchionefs of Exeter, and a reprieve Decern.' 2 1."
to the Countefs of Salisbury, who was not executed till two Habere,
years after. Thus the King daily acquired fome frefh .
degree of authority. It might be faid, he ufurped it not,
fince it was given him by the Parliament, if the circum-
ftances of the times had not rendered the very Parliament
flaves to his Will.

Cranmer had ftrenuoufly oppofed the Law of the fix rhl ^'"Z
Articles, and fuch an oppofition would have infallibly '° m '^"" t
ruined any other Perfon but that Prelate. But the King Cranmer.
had an efteem for him which could not be eafily changed, Burnet,
becaufe he was perfuaded the Archbilhop afted according
to the diftates of his confeience, whereas he had a quite
contrary notion of the reft of his Minifters and Courtiers.
Their blind compliance ferved only to make him defpife
them, though he liked to reap the advantage of their bafe-
nefs. So having a real efteem and fincere affeftion for
Cranmer, and imagining, he muft have been extremely-
mortified that the Aft had pafled contrary to his opi-
nion, and even apprehenfive of having difpleafed him
by his oppofition, he fent the Duke of Norfolk to
encourage him, and aflure him of his conftant kindnefs.


(1) There was firft a committee appointed for examining the different Opinions, and drawing up Arfcles for an Agreement, confuting of Cromwell, thetwe*
Archbimops, the B.fhops of Durban,, Bath and Welh, Ely, Bangor, Car/ijle and Wmcejlcr. But having (pent eleven days in Debates, the Duke ot Norfolk on the
fixteenth of May told the Lords, that the Committee had made no Progreis, not being of one Mind. Theretorc he offered fome Articles to their Conlidera-
tion, that they might be examined by the whole Houfe, and a perpetual Law made for the Observation of them. Thefe were the fix Articles above. Cran-
mer argued acainft them three Days together, though his Arguments are loft, there b«mg nothing remaining of what paffed in the Houfe, but what is convey-
ed to us in the Journal, which is '(hurt and defeaive. On the twenty fourth of May, the Parliament, for what Reafon is not known, was prorogued to the
thirtieth. When being met, the Chancellor moved in the Kine/s Name, that a Bill might be brought in tor punilhing fuch as offended againft thele Arti-
cles. Whereupon a Bill drawn ur. by the Archbilhop of Tork, was after long Conteft brought to the Houfe the feventh of June ; it was read a fecond time
on the ninth, and on the tenth it was engrolfcd, and read the third time. When it palled, the King defired Cranmer to go out of the Houie, fince he could
not give his Confent to it ; but he humbly exculed himfelf, for he thought he was bound in Confeience to ftay and vote againft it. On the twenty eighth,
after palling in the Houfe of Commons, it had the Royal All'ent. Behdes the fix Articles, " All the Marriages of Priefts are declared void, and it a Prieft:
'• lived with a Woman as his Wife, he was to be judged a Felon ; and if as h s Concubine, upon the firft Conviction to torfcit all his Benefices, 8r>. and upon
«• I cond Convi£Uon to Gaffer as a Felon. The Women fo offending were to be punifhed in the fame manner. For the Execution of this Aft, Commif-
'■ lions were to he iffued out to all Archbiihops, B.lhops, their Chancellors and Commiffaries, and fuch others as the King mail name, to hold their Sellions
" qu irteriv or oftner, and to proceed ucon Preientments by a Jury." Burnet, Tom. I. p. 257, <S?c. '

(2j He' married a Kinfwomaa of OJ,andtr\ the Divine of Noretr.berg daring his Embaffy with the Emperor, about the Year 1532. Herbert,

("-) This Acl paffed in the Houfe of Peers without any Proteftation made by any of the Abbots, though it appears by the Journal, that at the fiift
reading of it, there were eighteen Abbots prefent, at the fecond twenty, and feventeen at the third. It was foon dilpatched by the Commons, and
to the Royal Affent. By it no rclieious Houfes were fuppreffed, as is generally taken for granted, but only the Surrenders that either had been, or
were to be made, were confirmed. The laffProvifo in it fir annulling all Exemptions of Churches and Chapels, had been a great Happmefs to the Church,
if it h-d n t been for the Claufe, Tbat tbe King might appoint others to ilifil them. For many of thofe Who purchafed thele Lands with the impropriated
T Acs rot this lilccw.l'c in their Grants, that they mould be the Vifitors of the Churches formerly exempted, from whence great dilorders have (ince follow-
ed: for the Incumbents being under no reftraints, have often been fcandalous to the Church. This abufc, which firft Iprung Irom the ancient Exemptions
.. , h „ See of R me, has not vet met with an effectual remedy. It was queftioned, whether the Lands belonging to the Abbies ought to have
tp the Founders and Dour is by way of Reverter, or to have fallen to the Lords of whom the Lands were holdcn by way a tjebeat, or to have
,. The Endowments of the Heathanifh Temples were, in Iteuhfittsfs time, after a mature debate, adjudged to the Emperor s Exchequer,
b reafon that bv the Will of the Donors they were totally alienated from them and their Heirs. But in England it went otherwile, for when the
Order of the Knights-Templar' was diffolved, it was then judged in favour of the Lord by El'cheat. And tins muft have held good, it thofe Alienations
1 been abl'olute without any condition. But the Endowments being generally made in conlideration of 10 many Malic to be faid for
n it v^ as moft juft, that upon a Non-performance of the Condition, and when the Cheat which the Monks had put upon the World was dif-
hould have returned to the Founders, ana their Hens and succeffors. Now was there any grounds tor the Lords to pretend to them
' -at," efpecially where their Anceftors had confented and confirmed thofe Endowments ? Therefore there was no need of excluding them by any fpeclal
I 1 >. But for the Founders and Donors, certainly if there had not been a particular Provilb made againft them, they might have rec-vred the Lands
irerftirioufly given awav, and the Surrenders to the Crown could not have cut off their Title. But this Afl did that efteilml.y. It is
true, many of them were of Royal Foundation, and thefe would have returned to the Crown without difpute. See Burnet, Vol. I. p. 162.

(a) By this Act, it was ordered, I. That no Perfon of what ftate, degree, or condition foever, except only the King's Children, ihall [henceforward fit at
any fide of the Cloth ■ :" Eftate in the Parliament Chamber (as the two Archuifli ■>ps uied to du. See Ftddu't Lift tf IVdfej, p. 302.J 2. That


Book XV.




lU C'd'i

him to i •v
l :r r rtaferi.

Cranmer (1) very tbar.1: fully recejved this Teftimony of
the King's efteem and goodnefs. Shortly after, the King
talked willi him himfelf concerning the Law of the fix
Articles, and was pleafed that he explained to hint the
reafons which led him to oppofe it. Nay, he ordered
him to put all his argument:, in writing, though by the


fir ttS">l ^ ;atutc it fclf, it was a crime worthy of burning.
./ . .'.• /' - ...... A:__ ... .1 v.. ' :... J_- .


T !. p.26

Cranmer, trailing to the King's equity, drew up a Me-
morial, which he intended to give him. This Writing
being accidentally loll, was found by one who was go-
ing to carry it to the King, if Cromwell had not pre-
vented him(i). Doctor Burnet rcprcfents this to be an
unexpected and happy etcape for Cranmer. But fince the
King himielf ordered him to compofe this Writing, the
danger does not fecm to be fo great, unlcfs it be fuppofed
the King would have condemned him unheard. But this
fuppofition deltroys itfelf, by the particular efteem the
King had foi him.
Stnxton and Shaxton Bifhop of Salisbury, and Latimer of Wore eft cr,

were not treated (o favorably. As they could not refolve

L Ltimi t

Sat "■•■''! to a PP rove of the Law of the fix Articles, they believed
are fent 10 that in refigning their Bifhopricks, they fhould be lefs ex-
i&t fiwer. p f e d to the attacks of their enemies. But they did not
X1 y L^comeofT fo eafily. They had no fooner put the inftru-



Inquiry cf
ibije nvvo
rfciej tl-e
Jix Aflicla





Ice KiVj






merits of Refignation into the King's hands, but they
were prefented as having fpoken againft the fix Articles,
and committed to the Tower.

When the Parliament broke up, the King fent Com-
miffioners into the feveral Counties, to make inquiry of
thofe who were againft the fix Articles, being deter-
mined rigoroufly to execute the Statute. As Cromwell
and Cranmer could not but be fufpedted in this affair,
the enemies of the Reformation eafily made the King
fenfible, that to leave to them the nomination of thefe
CommifTioners would be labouring in vain. And indeed,
Perfons who ftrongly oppofed the Act were very unfit to
fee it executed as the King defired. Some of the con-
trary Party therefore were appointed, who difcharged their
Commiffion with fuch immoderate zeal and pafTion, that
they fruftrated the defigns of thofe who employed them.
In the City of London alone, there were within few days
above five hundred Perfons thrown into Prifon, and in-
volved in the breach of the Statute. Nay, the King was
fhewM, that, contrary to his intention, the Commiffioners
had laid fnares for thefe Prifoners, to oblige them to dif-
cover opinions which they intended to conceal in obedi-
ence to the Laws. Befides, fince in fo fhort a fpace,
fuch numbers were imprifoned in London, it was eafy to
judge how many there might be in all the reft of the
Kingdom, and of what ill confequence to execute the
Law upon numberlefs Perfons of all Ages and Sexes.
This the Chancellor, who was no enemy to the Refor-
matio^ reprefented to the King, and prevailed with him
to pardon all the Prifoners. From this time to Crom-
well's death, the proceedings upon this A£t were fufpended,
though it itill fubfifted, and might have been executed if
the King had pleafed. Thus every thing was regulated
by the King's Will, who haftencd or retarded the exe-

cution of the Laws according to the times and Perfons. >539-
This gained him a blind condefcenfion from both Parties; ' *"■»«**
every one having to fear his own ruin according to thtbVTpTnia
King's humour and difpofition. It i; certain, thofe that/' '*' A> *>
defired a Reformation, were conitrained to feign an appro- ""*"•"• -
bation of many things which in their hearts they detefled, "
and that Cromwell and Cranmer who had molt accefs to
the King, dared to prefs him only indirectly to advance
the Work already begun. Hence they preferred their cre-
dit, and were enabled to do their Party fervice. Their
adverfarics took the fame courfe, and went ftill greater
lengths in their compliance, well knowing it was the only
way to gain the King's confidence. Bonner Bifhop of 8 ""*!

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