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very direction which the Translator had so long pointed out ; no object appearing to himself, even as a politician, of greater importance. He is now, however, soon to be called away from the field of action, leaving the cause to that unseen hand which had guided it from the beginning, and which will employ or overrule others, as it had done himself. Crumwell's energetic influence is not, however, yet paralyzed. He has six months to live, and the Bible, printed still more magnificently, will be in circulation before then. In common justice, therefore, to the only Vicegerent that Henry ever had, and with regard to any of those volumes already published on English ground, including the Bible which was nearly finished in Paris, it should be observed, that when Cranmer's name has been associated with them, in any degree, whether as to preparation or printing, this appears to have been historically incorrect. We have seen him, for the first time, engrossed with one book, but the publication of it belongs to next year.
POLITICAL AFFAIRS-HENRY'S FOURTI MARRIAGE-JEALOUSY OF FRANCIS
-ALLIANCE WITH THE EMPEROR-GARDINER AGAINST
GARRET-PARLIAMENT OPENED_CRUMWELL NOW EARL OF ESSEX-THE USE ALL ALONG MADE OF HIM BY HENRY-CRUMWELL'S LAST DEMANDS IN PARLIAMENT AND CONVOCATION-HENRY HAS TAKEN OFFENCE CRUMWELL APPREHENDED-PARTIES OPPOSED TO HIM-CRANMER'S LETTER—FIRST CHARGES—BILL OF ATTAINDER-HENRY'S FOURTH MARRIAGE ANNULLED-FINAL CHARGES AGAINST CRUMWELL-HIS DEATH
AND CHARACTER-THE KING AND HIS TWO VICARS-GENERAL IN REVIEW
- MORE EXECUTIONS—HENRY'S FIFTH MARRIAGE—THE OLD LEARNING
PARTY IN TRIUMPH.
RETROSPECT_COMMON MISTAKE AS TO THE CROWN-THE LARGE FOLIO
BIBLES, IN SIX EDITIONS—THE FIRST OF CRANMER'S—A DIFFERENT EDITION—THE SECOND OF CRANMER'S—THE THIRD PREPARING, TO BE ISSUED NEXT YEAR, BUT WITH A DIFFERENT TITLE-ONE IN FIVE VOLUMES, SMALL SIZE-QUARTO NEW TESTAMENT.
THE second series of Bibles and Testaments, commencing with the first of Cranmer's editions, will reach to the end of the reign of Edward the Sixth, embracing the next twelve years and a half, to July 1553. At the best, it will be a strange and varied scene; but at present our attention must be confined to the first of those eventful years. It was the year of Crumwell's downfall and death, a subject which has been allowed to pass without due investigation, and, consequently, has been misunderstood. In these circumstances, to see the cause of Divine Truth still triumphant, and in such progress, will be far more impressive, after we have carefully observed the general course of secular and political affairs.
Possessed of absolute or uncontrolled authority, the victim, in quick succession, of contending passions, of avarice and profusion, caprice and obstinacy, Henry the Eighth stood but ill prepared for any vexatious circumstances to increase his natural impetuosity ; and, yet, the first six months of this year, he spent in a state of almost constant irritability. At the close of last year he seems to have been in fear of his personal safety ; for, knowing what enemies he had abroad, and how discontented certain individuals were at home, he had renewed his personal guard of fifty gentlemen-pensioners—a precaution with which he had dispensed for thirty years, or since the first of his reign.
It will be remembered that, in September last, his Majesty had ordered Crumwell to “put all other matters out of his head, saving only the negotiations for that great affair—his marriage;" and, since then, his impatience for the approach of his intended Queen had risen to its utmost height. The Lady Anne of Cleves having arrived in England, had reached Rochester on the 31st of December. Upon New Year'sday, therefore, Henry, and actually in disguise, set off to obtain a sight of his intended consort. The first glance was enough. He chose to express himself as disgusted. It was, woe that ever she came into England," and he began to ruminate whether or how he could break off his engagement. “But, considering again,” says Lord Herbert, “ that this would make a ruffle in the world, and drive the Duke, her brother, into the Emperor's, or French King's hands,” he said, “ it was too far gone.” Had it not been for this apprehension, Henry would have immediately sent her back. On the 6th of January, therefore, after expressing, repeatedly, the strongest reluctance, he was married by Cranmer at Greenwich ; having resolved to confederate with the Princes of Germany. The ceremony once performed, as if in judgment,” it has been said, “ for his cruel and capricious conduct to his first and second Queens, Henry was now linked to one whom he abhorred,” with only this one feeling to counterbalance his emotion-a persuasion that he had at least taken a step to secure himself against the Emperor's power. We shall see, presently, whether he was correct in his calculation.
While Henry ever had his eye on the Continent, he must have been conscious that he was watched in return; and one singular movement of the Emperor's at this period, had excited such apprehension, that it probably hastened the Royal nuptials. Last year the citizens of Ghent, revolting against the government of Charles, offered to place the city under the sovereignty of Francis. He declined this offer; and the Emperor had resolved to reduce the people of his native city to subjection. From fear of the German States, he could not pass through in that direction, and the fleets of Henry deterred him from hazarding a passage by sea. The only other road was through France ; and upon Charles proposing this route, the liberty was at once granted by the French monarch. Ever since their interview at Aigues Mortes in 1538, Charles had not failed to court the King of France, and even held up the prospect of one day investing him, or one of his sons, with the Dutchy of Milan ; a mere stroke of policy, to prevent alliance with Solyman, the Grand Seignior. In the vain hope that he should now gain over the Emperor, he was received by the King, and conducted through France with the greatest splendour. They entered Paris in procession together, on the first of January; so that Charles was there at the moment when Henry was allied to his despised consort, an event by no means acceptable to the Emperor, and one of which he was not unmindful throughout this journey.
Sir Thomas Wyatt, the English ambassador, following the Spanish Court, writes, on the 7th of January, from Paris to his royal Master : “ The Emperor's demeanour has changed.” One Robert Brancetour, who had thrown himself on the imperial protection, was demanded by Wyatt as a traitor ; but Charles would not deliver him up, saying he knew of no treason of which he had been guilty, except it were
his going along with Cardinal Pole !” and when Sir Thomas complained of certain preachers who had defamed the King and the English nation, the only reply was—“ Kings be not Kings of tongues ; and if men give cause to be spoken of, they will be spoken of.” After declaring the Emperor's concealed designs, Wyatt tenders his opinion as to what Henry should best do.
Very impatient to be gone, Charles remained only seven days in the French capital, and left it early in January, proceeding by Chantilly, St. Quintin, and Valenciennes, to Brussels, having at once gained his purpose, and completely deceived both Francis and his Ministers as to Milan. Whether it was owing to Wyatt's advice or not, the Emperor had no sooner left Paris than the King of England, all impatient to
1 Harl. MS., No. 282, leaf 83.
prevent the consequences of this supposed friendship and alliance, despatched the Duke of Norfolk in embassy to France. ? His Grace was to offer Francis assistance for the recovery of Milan—to offer the remission of all the arrears of pensions due to his royal Master, as well as of the salt-money due annually–he was to employ all his powers in exciting the jealousy of Francis as to the Emperor's ambition, and proposing a strict league to the exclusion of the Pontiff; he was to inform the French Monarch not only of his alliance with the Duke of Cleves, but his expected one with Saxony and other German States. Norfolk went, but all his representations were in vain. Charles had not as yet thrown off his mask, and plainly said, as he did afterwards, that the promise made respecting Milan he never meant to fulfil ; Francis, therefore, at this moment, was not to be moved, and the Duke returned to England by the end of February.
The Emperor, with his brother Ferdinand, King of the Romans, were then about to leave Brussels for Ghent. From the former city, on the 25th, Wyatt writes again, inclosing a letter respecting the affairs of Germany, where many false rumours were afloat as to his Majesty and his recent proceedings, and suggesting that a refutation, in German, should be dispersed. Twelve days more only pass away, when by his next letter from Ghent, dated 9th of March, Wyatt hints that some designs were hatching between Charles and Francis against his master -that Ferdinand was advising the Duke of Cleves to submit to the Emperor, and it was said that the Duchess of Milan would then be given to him in marriage. He adds, however, that for a long time there had been an affection between her and the Prince of Orange, the son of Francis ; congratulating Henry, at all events, on his escape from that princess. On the 12th, he modifies this intelligence, by informing the King, that the countenance shewn to Cleves, was only a stroke of feigned policy, to separate him from the other German States, and reduce him to obedience.5
By this time, without any prospect of alliance with either of the great powers, what must have been the feelings of the haughty English monarch, as to his recent alliance with this petty German State ; and more especially when, only two days after, tidings still more vexatious arrived !
On the 14th, Sir Thomas wrote to the following purport—" That the French King had communicated to the Emperor what the Duke of Norfolk had proposed to him, and what were his replies—that this token of amity had greatly delighted the Emperor, who had dreaded the effect of Norfolk's negotiation—that the amity between Charles and Francis still stood, without the Emperor's parting with Milan—that the Germans were said to be about agreement with the Emperor; which, if concluded without comprehending his Majesty and the Duke of Cleves in the same, might prove prejudicial to them both, and especially to the Duke his ally—that a force of Spaniards and Italians were coming into Flanders, and that possibly the Pontiff and the Germans might be reconciled, if the former will own his power not to be absolute and usurped by Scripture, but taken as by consent."6
3 Harl. MS., No. 282, leaf 113.
4 Idem, 121.
5 Idem, 126.
Had Sir Thomas sat down to invent a communication, he could scarcely have succeeded in sending one more unwelcome to his already discontented master. Some time also elapsed before Wyatt wrote again. But, in the meanwbile, no intelligence could be more acceptable to the gentlemen of the “old learning.” And as Norfolk and Gardiner were now at the King's ear, and ever busy, no doubt the juncture was improved in practising on his feelings and apprehensions.
At last, however, by the 5th of April there was intelligence from Wyatt, and addressed to Crumwell, who, by this time, must have been more ill at ease than even bis capricious master. The Pontiff, in needless anxiety, had written to the Emperor respecting his promised donation of Milan to the French ; and Sir Thomas thinks the Emperor will never part with it, but spend the year in “ practices” with the French, the Duke of Cleves, and others ; while the Prince of Salerno, one of the chief persons from Naples, was desirous of proceeding into England to see the King."7 Crumwell, of course, immediately despatched this letter to the King, and he received an instant reply, through Sadler, his secretary. His Majesty was relieved, and “liked well” this intelligence; and as Wyatt had expressed a wish to return home in company with this Italian, Henry approved of his coming, and ordered Mr. Richard Pate to be despatched as his successor.8
Here then was at least an opening for some change of policy. For years it had been Crumwell's aim to keep Henry and Charles apart, that he might, in alliance with France and the German States, pursue his own policy. Now, however, Henry was abundantly disgusted with Francis, and no less so with his German marriage ; for all along his Majesty had not the slightest natural leaning towards these German Confederates, except for political purposes. Parliament and the Convocation were about to meet, when, with all accustomed form, Henry can easily relieve himself of his Queen ; and as for the Emperor, we shall
l find the gentlemen from his court feasting at Westminster, even before this present Parliament is prorogued !
Foreign affairs had not been the only source of anxiety to both the King and Crumwell. During all this spring, matters
6 Harl. MS., No. 282, leaf 128.
7 Idem, 243. & Gov. State Papers, Sadler to Crum well, i., p. 024.