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secure Wolsey's election, the opposition of the French cardinals was so great, and the Emperor's influence so coldly, if at all, given; while the turbulence of the Roman populace at the notion of another barbarian pontiff being elected was so furious, that the conclave elevated Guilio de Medici, nephew of Leo X., to the vacant throne. He had, on the former election, proposed Adrian, whom he now succeeded by the title of Clement VII. (November 18th, 1523.)
Clement VII. elected Pope.
The new pontiff was young and vigorous, so that Wolsey could hardly flatter himself this time with another chance. He therefore affected to perceive for the first time, the Emperor's dissimulation, and he resolved to resent the injury done to him, and break off altogether from so faithless an ally. Neither of the continental sovereigns could seriously intend to make an English minister their minister, or indeed, to throw the scarcely shaken power of the papacy into the hands of a turbulent and ambitious man. Henry himself, who, in his moments of facility or impetuosity, had promoted his minister's project, was too acute not to perceive, in his calmer moods, the peril of placing such Wolsey's a spiritual sovereign over his head. Had Wolsey been t successful, we now see how vainly he must have struggled against the current of human affairs. He would have withstood it manfully; but he must have fallen after more bloodshed than that unavailing struggle actually cost, for he was bolder than most men; he held the necessity of general ignorance to good government; and he, doubtless, would have punished heretics with more satisfaction in defence of his own authority, than he had done in defending that of others.*
25. The Battle of Pavia. Alliance between England and France. The course of events which immediately followed, in Italy, tended to confirm Wolsey's resolution of deserting the Emperor. The army which Francis was prevented from leading into Italy, by the treason of Bourbon, was entrusted to the command of Admiral Bonnevet. His operations were unsuccessful; the imperialists, under Bourbon and the Marquis de Pescara, pursued him beyond the Alps, and laid siege to Marseilles (November, 1523, to August, 1524). The citizens bravely defended their city, and Francis having collected a large army at Avignon, drove the besiegers back across the Alps, and pursued them to the walls of Milan. Instead of continuing the pursuit, he turned aside to besiege the strong city of Pavia. For three months he conducted the siege with varied success; but he then imprudently detached a part Mackintosh, II., 127; See Froude, I., 111-120.
of his army to invade Naples, on which the imperial army returned to raise the siege, and a great battle took place (February 24th, 1525), in which the French, who left their intrenchments, were defeated with immense loss, and Francis, after fighting with the gallantry of the ancient chivalry, was taken prisoner.
Henry affected joy at the victory of his ally, and again entertaining his favourite idea of asserting his claim to the French throne, he demanded the aid of Charles, and in return offered to complete the nuptials of the Emperor with his daughter Mary, which had been stipulated long before. But Charles paid little attention to his uncle's proposals; and his cold and supercilious tone, together with the pecuniary difficulties which harassed Henry, induced the latter to break off his alliance, and enter into negotiations with France. A league was therefore at once made with that country (August, 1525), in which the Pope and the states of Italy which still remained independent joined; and soon after Francis was released from captivity on agreeing to the of Madrid. treaty of Madrid, 1526. The conditions were, that Francis should renounce all claims on Italy, and the sovereignty of Flanders and Artois; that the duchy of Burgundy should be ceded to Charles, and that Francis should give his two sons as hostages, and marry Eleanor, the Emperor's sister. As soon as Francis was at liberty, he refused to fulfil the treaty, and the war was therefore renewed.
II. THE PROCEEDINGS
CONNECTED WITH HENRY'S
DIVORCE FROM QUEEN CATHERINE. 26. Motives which probably influenced Henry in seeking the divorce. The vexed question of Henry's divorce has received a new colour since the publication of Froude's History. When Henry was betrothed to his brother's widow, some objections were raised to the union, and the dispensation was reluctantly granted by the Pope, and not eagerly accepted by the English ministry. But when the King came to the throne, the council unanimously advised him to marry the princess. He did so, and for many years all went well; opposition was silenced, and the original scruples were forgotten. Though the marriage was dictated by political convenience, Henry was, on the whole, faithful to his
wife; and if his sons had lived to grow up around his fears as to throne, the divorce would probably never have been agitated. But none of his sons had lived, and his disappointment was intense, in proportion to the interests which were at issue. These were chiefly with regard to the succession, for
there still existed a political prejudice against the reign of a woman. If the Princess Mary, whose health was weak from her childhood, lived, there would be a temptation to insurrection; if she did not live, and the King had no other children, a civil war was inevitable. Such a difficulty at the present day would be disposed of by simply referring to the collateral branches of the royal family. But at that time, if this rule had been recognised and acted upon, it would only have increased the difficulty, for the next heir in blood was James of Scotland; and in the existing mood of the people, the very stones in London streets, it was said, would rise up against a King of Scotland who claimed to enter it as a sovereign. Even the parliament itself declared it would resist him to the uttermost. The prospect in another direction was quite as discouraging. The elements of the old factions of the White and Red Roses were dormant, but still smouldering; and the sister of the murdered Earl of Warwick, the Countess of Salisbury, mother of Reginald Pole, inherited in no common degree the fierce nature of the Plantagenets, as well as the blood of the House of York. Born to command, she rallied round her the Courtenays, the Nevilles, and all the powerful kindred of Richard the King Maker, her grandfather. Her Plantagenet descent was purer than the King's; and, on his death, without a male child, half England was likely to declare for her or for one of her sons. The Dukes of Buckingham, Suffolk, and Norfolk, were also mentioned as having each of them hopes of the crown. Buckingham had lost his life for meddling prematurely in the dangerous game; but his death had strengthened the chance of Norfolk, who had married his daughter. Suffolk was Henry's brother-in-law, and the ablest soldier of his day. Lady Margaret Lennox, also, daughter of the Queen of Scotland by her second marriage, was an object of intrigue; and, as she was born in England, it was held in parliament that she stood next to the Princess Mary. Such were the evil prospects of a succession, in the event of Henry leaving a daughter to succeed him. But, independent of these, he had yet another powerful motive to urge him in effecting a divorce from his Queen. He had contracted His passion a violent passion for Anne Boleyn, a beauty who was Boleyn. either so moral, or so proud, as to resist his dishonourable suits.
27. Early History of Anne Boleyn. From her childhood, Anne Boleyn had been the object of the royal favour. She was born in 1507; and in 1514, at the early age of 7 years, was appointed maid of honour to Mary on the marriage of that princess with
*Froude I., 94-100.
Louis XII. After the second marriage of Mary with Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and her return to England, Anne was taken into the household of Claude, Queen of Francis I., where she remained till 1522, when the war broke out between England and France. On her return to England, she was appointed to the same situation in Catherine's court which she had previously held in that of Claude; and being in the flower of youthful beauty, and full of graces and accomplishments, which she had learnt in the polished court of Francis, she outshone all her companions, and attracted a crowd of admirers; among whom were Percy, son to the Earl of Northumberland, and the King, whose fierce, but not unsusceptible heart, had been touched by her beauty, and her gaiety and vivacity. The young Percy made her an offer of marriage, which she seems to have favourably received; but Henry hearing of it, caused the cardinal, in whose household Percy was employed, to separate the lovers, and the young nobleman was compelled to marry in the same year a daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury, 1523. This appears to have been the first hint which Anne received of the King's passion; but when she removed soon after with her father to Hever Castle, Kent, the King visited her; and when she was recalled to court, and her father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, made Viscount Rochford, and treasurer of the royal household, the impression she had made upon the King was fully revealed. Still, however, she repelled the royal advances, and told the King that his wife she could not be, because he had a Queen already; and his mistress she would not be. 'Lingard says that she had derived wisdom from the fate of her sister Mary, who had been formerly one of the King's mistresses, and he makes the statement on the authenticity of a private letter of Cardinal Pole to Henry, in 1535.* But Mackintosh observes that this assertion and others of a similar character are made "with a boldness equal to the total absence of every proof of truth." +
This conduct of Anne Boleyn revived in Henry's mind the objections which had formerly been raised to his marriage with Catherine; and in the company of his confidants he began to talk of his religious scruples, affecting to fear that he was living in a state of incest with his brother's widow. With whom the idea of a divorce originated is uncertain, but the royal wish was no sooner communicated to Wolsey, than he offered his the divorce, aid, and promised success. His views, however, were very different from those of his sovereign; he looked upon the
Wolsey's views regarding
* History, VI., 113, + History, II., 150.
matter only as a politician; he was ready to promote the divorce, because he was incensed against the Emperor, Catherine's nephew, and because he ardently wished to perpetuate the new alliance with France, by marrying the King to Renée, the daughter of Louis XII.
28. Renewal of the War in Italy. Position of the Pope. By the defeat of Francis at Pavia, Pope Clement found himself placed in a most delicate situation. Jealous of the great power which the Emperor had acquired by the expulsion of the French from Milan, the Italian states, who were thus cooped up between the kingdom of Naples, which belonged to Charles on the one side, and the newly conquered duchy on the other, had formed a league with France, at the head of which were the Pope and the Venetian Republic. But their measures were conducted with little union, and much less vigour, while Clement's embarrassments were multiplied by the irresolution of his own mind, and the insincerity both of his allies and his enemies. His dominions were exposed to the imperial troops from Naples on the south, and from Lombardy on the north, and he, therefore, concluded a separate treaty with Lannoy, Viceroy of Naples, on the payment of a considerable sum to the Emperor. But Charles refused to ratify the treaty, and, therefore, after the liberation of Francis, the Pontiff eagerly formed a confederacy with that monarch, with Sforza, Duke of Milan, and with the republics of Venice and Florence. This alliance was concluded at Cognac, May 22nd, 1526. The war into which the Pope thus entered has a claim upon our sympathy, because its object was to preserve the independence of Italy. There had arisen at that crisis a strong feeling of common interest throughout the peninsula. The arrogance and rapacity of the Spaniards were intolerable to the Italians, who considered all the nations beyond the Alps barbarians; and had they possessed The Pope, a temporal prince of sufficient decision of character to mischief. compete with the Emperor, they might then have emancipated themselves from foreign sway. But their leading prince was the Pope, a temporal as well as spiritual ruler, and it was because the interests of the papacy conflicted with the welfare of Italy, that the peninsula was subjected to the foreign yoke, from which, it is to be hoped, she has now for ever freed herself.*
The King of England was declared protector of this league, which was dignified with the name of holy; a principality A New in Naples was conferred upon him in return for his League. alliance, while Clement absolved Francis from his oath to observe
* Knight's Pop. Hist., II., 305; Ranke's Popes, I., 102.