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when he was indicted for the offence, he refused to plead the royal permission, through motives of prudence, and suffered judgment to pass against him. On the ground of his conviction it was now argued, that the clergy were liable to the same penalties by admitting his jurisdiction. The attorney-general was accordingly instructed to file an information against the whole body in the Court of King's Bench. The Convocation assembled in great alarm (January, 1531), and offered £100,000 in return for a full pardon; but Henry demanded that in the preamble to the grant, a clause should be inserted acknowledging him to be "the Protector and only Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy of England." For three days the clergy debated on this unex-· pected proposition. Many were opposed to it; but the majority, dreading the King's violence, were inclined to agree to it, Debate in on condition that the clause " as far as the law of Christ convocation will allow" should be appended (February 10th, 1531). spiritual After a short display of violence, Henry agreed to the supremacy. limitation; for though he was prepared to resist the papacy, he was not inclined to separate from the church of Rome; and in demanding the acknowledgment of his supremacy, he probably intended nothing further than to intimate to the Pope, that little regard would be paid to his authority if he delayed the divorce any longer. The new title, however, so pregnant with pretension, soon crept from the petitions of the convocation into the hearts of acts of parliament, and it became established "amidst the ancient formularies and solemn phraseology consecrated by the laws, and used by the high assemblies of the commonwealth."*
46. Abolition of Annates and of the legislative power of the Convocation. Clement's breve had now been published, and in order to counteract the influence it might have upon the popular mind, the answers of the universities were read publicly in parliament, and the members ordered to return to their homes and tell their constituents how just and righteous the King's cause
A deputation was then sent to the Queen, requesting her to refer the matter to the decision of four temporal and four spiritual peers; but she refused, on which she was commanded to leave Windsor. She retired first to the Moor, in Hertfordshire, a manor belonging to the Archbishop of York, and then repaired to Ampthill, where she continued to reside (July, 1531).
The Pope still made overtures for a reconciliation, but as he insisted upon Henry taking his wife back, and putting away "a
*Mackintosh, II, 171.
certain Lady Anne," they were angrily rejected, and further measures adopted to intimidate the church.
Annates, or first fruits, the first year's income of vacant bishoprics, were paid to Rome from most European nations, and they formed the chief fund from which the cardinals who attended upon the Pope derived their revenues. A bill was now brought into parliament and passed for their abolition, on condition that if the Pope did not either abolish them, or reduce them to a moderate burden before the next session, the act should be enforced.
This measure was immediately followed up (May, 1532), by a decree, based upon an address from parliament, by which the clergy in convocation were disabled from enacting, publishing, or enforcing their constitutions without the royal authority and assent; and that they should submit all those now in force to the consideration of a committee of laymen and clergymen, which should have the power to determine what constitutions should be abolished and what retained. These proceedings were all communicated to the Pope by Carne, the English ambassador at Rome.
47. Henry's marriage with Anne Boleyn. "Henry was now on the brink of an open breach with the apostolic see, and was about to appear as the first great monarch, since the extinction of the race of Constantine, who had broken asunder the bonds of Christian union. At the next step he might perhaps find no footing." He.therefore paused, and before he proceeded further, was anxious to strengthen his alliance with France. For this purpose he held interviews with Francis at Calais and Boulogne (October, 1532); but the only business that was done, was an agreement by which Francis undertook to invite the Pope to a conference at Marseilles, and to espouse the cause of Henry if Clement did not pronounce the divorce.
Henry did not wait the result of his ally's application, and on the 25th of January, 1533, at an early hour before dawn, he was privately married to Anne Boleyn by Dr. Lee, one of the royal chaplains, and afterwards Archbishop of York, in a room in the west turret of Whitehall. To prevent any embarrassment, Viscount Rochford, Anne's brother, was sent to Francis to announce the event, and to make explanations; and Henry promised to keep the matter secret till the following May, by which time it was expected that the conference at Marseilles would be over, and the papal intentions known. But the meeting was postponed, and
* Mackintosh, II., 173.
circumstances compelled Henry to acknowledge the marriage in April.
48. Cranmer appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. The necessity of having the divorce pronounced was now obvious, and Henry, therefore, determined to leave the matter no longer to the Pope, but to have a decision made within his own realm. For this purpose he resolved to promote Cranmer to the see of Canterbury, which had been vacant since the death of Archbishop Warham (August 23rd, 1532).
For some time Cranmer, who was then ambassador at the imperial court of Vienna, refused to accept the proffered dignity, alleging his own unworthiness for so great a charge. But there were other and greater obstacles which must have burdened his conscience, though he eventually broke through them.
(1) He had embraced the doctrines of Luther, and on some points surpassed that great reformer in his opposition to Rome.
(2) He entertained seruples regarding the oath of fealty to the Pope which was exacted of every prelate at his presentation.
(3) And more than all, he was married.
These were serious obstacles in the mind of a King like Henry, who still respected the church of Rome in spiritual matters, and who, though he had assumed the title of head of the church, still acknowledged the papal supremacy. But Cranmer was too necessary for the King's policy, to allow Henry to regard the scruples which stood in the way of his appointment; the requisite applications were made to the Pope for the bull and pallium; Cranmer was duly consecrated on the 30th of March, 1533, and he took the usual oaths of canonical obedience to the Pope. He had, however, previously protested in public, in the chapter house of St. Stephen's, Westminster, "that he did not admit the Pope's authority any farther than it agreed with the express word of God," and that he should consider it lawful to expose the errors of Rome as occasion required, and to make those reforms in the church of England which he judged might be useful and necessary.
The honesty of this proceeding has often been questioned, and it must be allowed that it presents some symptoms of a mind yet scarcely escaped from the dangerous casuistry of the Roman Catholic doctors, some touch of that jesuitical spirit against which even the native integrity of the single-hearted Cranmer was not altogether proof. How Clement agreed to ratify the election of a man with whose character and opinions he must have been well acquainted is not difficult to understand. Clement had no choice, and he felt that he had none; he knew with whom he had to deal, and that to withhold his bull at a time when even its necessity
was disputed, would be only to hasten the crisis which he had too much reason to think was in any case at hand-the loss of his supremacy.*
49. Cranmer pronounces judgment in the divorce, which the Pope declares to be null and void. The purpose of Cranmer's appointment was soon manifest, and arrangements were immediately made for proceeding with the divorce. First, an act was passed in parliament, forbidding, under the penalty of præmunire, appeals from the spiritual judges in England to the papal courts in Rome. Then the convocation was divided into two classes of theologians and canonists, and answers obtained from both favourable to the King's cause (April 2nd, 1533). After this, Cranmer, in obedience to the King's orders, wrote two letters to Henry (the first of which did not please the King), requesting permission to hold a court, in which the divorce might be heard and determined. The request was granted, and the archbishop cited Catherine to appear before him in St. Peter's Priory, Dunstable, within four miles of Ampthill. But the Queen took no notice of the citation, on which she was pronounced "verily and manifestly contumacious." On the 23rd of May, fifteen days after the court had opened, Cranmer pronounced his judgment, declaring the alleged marriage between the King and the Lady Catherine of Castile, to have been null and void. The primate then returned to Lambeth, where he held another court (May 28th), and declared that the King's marriage with the Lady Anne was lawful. Four days later (June 1st), the new Queen was crowned with unusual magnificence. On the 7th of September, she gave birth to a daughter, the Princess Elizabeth, to Henry's inexpressible disappointment. These proceedings were soon known all over Europe; and, on the 11th of July, Clement annulled the judgment given by Cranmer, and published his bull of excommunication against Henry and Anne. In England, the general feeling was in favour of Catherine; while abroad, her fate was the object of universal commiseration. In October, the interview The Con- between Francis and the Pope took place at Marseilles ; Marseilles. and Henry, who still hesitated to break off entirely his relations with Rome, was induced to send two ambassadors to the conference. But while the negotiations were pending, Bonner arrived, and in Henry's name, appealed from the Pope to a general council. This proceeding rudely put an end to the negotiations; but, at the request of Francis, Henry agreed to renew them at Rome; and he despatched the Bishop of Paris, who was formerly
* Blunt's Reformation, 125.
Bishop of Bayonne and French ambassador in England, to the papal court for that purpose. Both Henry's friends, and those of Catherine, were sanguine of a decision in their favour; and, at their solicitation, a consistory was held (March 23rd, 1534), and out of 22 cardinals present, 19 decided for the validity of Catherine's marriage, and 3 proposed a further delay. The Pope accordingly pronounced a definitive sentence, declaring the marriage of Henry and Catherine lawful and valid, condemning the proceedings against Catherine, and ordering the King to take her back as his legitimate wife. Clement, through fear, did not publish the decree before Easter; but it mattered little whether he pronounced for or against Henry. The die was already cast; the moment the Bishop of Paris departed, violent counsels began to prevail in the English cabinet, and a resolution was taken to erect a separate and independent church within the realm. Acts derogatory from the papal claims were passed in parliament; and the kingdom was severed, by legislative authority, from the communion of Rome, long before the judgment given by Clement could have reached the knowledge of the King. Had the Pope conducted himself with ever so great moderation and temper, it is improbable that he would have regained, at least during Henry's lifetime, his authority and influence in England. Henry was impetuous and obstinate-he had proceeded too far in throwing off the papal yoke-to think of again bending his neck to it; the people had been prepared for this great revolution; each session of parliament had attacked the power of the Pontiff; general councils were considered to be superior to the Pope; it was taught at Paul's Cross, every Sunday, that the Pope had no authority beyond his own diocese; and the statutes which parliament now passed, showed that they had adopted this opinion.*
50. The Statutes by which the English Church was separated from Rome. These acts were framed and conducted through the two houses by the policy of Cromwell, who had now been made chancellor of the exchequer.
(1) The provisions of the late statute, prohibiting appeals to Rome, in certain cases (24 Henry VIII., c. 2), were extended to all cases whatsoever; and appeals ordered to be made from the archbishop's court to the King in chancery, who should appoint commissioners to determine the cause finally. The commissioners thus appointed formed the tribunal called the Court of Delegates.
(2) The abolition of the legislative authority of the convocation was confirmed and established, by act of parliament. (25 Henry VIII., c. 19.)
(3) Bishops were to be elected and consecrated under the sole authority of the
* Hume, III., 195.