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presented him to the lord-deputy Fitzgerald, by whom he was recognized as the son of the duke of Clarence, and proclaimed by the title of Edward VI. Having raised a small army, Fitzgerald and John De la Pole, earl of Lincoln, one of the princes of the blood, embarked with Simnel for England and landed in Lancashire, where they were joined by many of the ancient friends of the house of York; notwithstanding Henry took the most effectual means of convincing the people of the imposture by exhibiting the true earl of Warwick, who was now removed to Shene palace, where all who wished were permitted to approach and converse with him. The army continued to increase until it amounted to at least 10,000 men, of whom 2000 were veteran troops from Germany. A battle of a serious character was fought at Stoke, near Newark, where 4000 men are said to have been left dead on the field, amongst whom were the earl of Lincoln and the lord-deputy Kildare. The impostor himself being considered by Henry too mean an object for resentment was employed in the royal kitchen as a scullion. Although not cruel by nature, Henry was harsh and severe towards the nobles who joined in rebellion against him, and on this occasion 5000 persons were attainted, and their estates confiscated to the crown, a measure which largely contributed to restore the royal revenues.

This revolt was followed by another of a still more remarkable nature: the duchess of Burgundy finding that her former scheme had been so far successful, devised the plan of counterfeiting the duke of York, who was supposed to have been murdered in the Tower with his brother Edward V., but whom she asserted to have escaped to the continent and to be then at her court: some traditional circumstances connected with the murder of the young princes by their uncle served to lend credibility to these rumours; and when Perkin Warbeck, the son of a Jewish merchant of Tournay, assumed the name and character of the duke of York, a party was formed in his favour by sir Simon Mountford, Robert Ratcliffe, and William Daubeney: their designs, however, were disclosed by sir Robert Clifford, and they were taken and executed, together with sir William Stanley, who had saved the king's life at the battle of Bosworth. Failing in his first attempt in England, Perkin Warbeck went to Flanders, where he assumed the title of Richard IV., and was acknowledged by the duchess of Burgundy as her "dear nephew" and the "White Rose of England." Again collecting a few followers, Warbeck landed at Cork, but the Irish were slow to join his standard, recollecting the disastrous fate of Lambert Simnel, and the injuries they had themselves suffered in that rebellion. Finding that nothing could be done in that country, Warbeck

crossed over to Scotland, where he was joyfully entertained by James IV., who had long been distrustful of Henry's good-will. By his means a serious rebellion was excited throughout England: while the Scots invaded the borders, the men of Devon and Cornwall, who were discontented at the weight of the taxes, marched under the guidance of Warbeck to Exeter; failing, however, to take the town, they broke and dispersed before the approach of the royal army, and Warbeck was made prisoner at the sanctuary of Beaulieu in the New Forest, whither he had fled for shelter. Henry at first treated him with apparent generosity and permitted him to reside at court, but being discovered in an attempt to make his escape, he was brought back and committed to the Tower, where he entered into a correspondence with the earl of Warwick for effecting their joint escape. This unfortunate nobleman having been detained in close confinement the greater part of his life, was unable to judge of the correctness of Warbeck's pretensions, and believing him to be the veritable duke of York who was supposed to have been murdered in the Tower, he formed a scheme for their joint release. This was discovered to the king, who caused both Warwick and Warbeck to be tried and executed for treason: thus perished the last male of the line of Plantagenet. It should here be observed that the real character and pretensions of Warbeck still remain uncertain: notwithstanding the evidence of contemporary history, it has long been a matter of doubt whether Warbeck was an impostor or the veritable duke of York. Carte and Guthrie incline to the latter supposition, and have collected various arguments to support this hypothesis; but the discovery of two skeletons answering to those of the princes beneath the Tower stairs leading from the royal apartments to the chapel, in 1674, while the workmen were making alterations in the Tower, seems to be decisive that Warbeck was an impostor.

Henry now endeavoured to strengthen his family interest by matrimonial alliances with the continent, and procured for his son Arthur, prince of Wales, the hand of the infanta Catharine; his eldest daughter, Margaret, he gave in marriage to James II. king of Scotland, which originated the claims of the house of Stuart to the English throne; Arthur soon after dying, the king, desirous not to lose the Spanish match and the 200,000 crowns which had been promised as the dower of the princess, obtained a dispensation from the pope for the infanta to be united to his second son Henry, now heir to the English throne.

With the advance of age and infirmity, the irritability of the king's temper increased; his frugality, which had been one of the virtues of his early life, degenerated into avarice, and his unscru

pulous ministers Dudley and Empson incurred the displeasure of the people by the revival of fines, and the renewal of claims which the crown had long ceased to urge. The nobles bitterly complained of the Statute of Retainers, which, by prohibiting them from granting their liveries and protection to independent citizens, greatly decreased their political influence; while the additional powers with which the parliament invested the court of Star Chamber, in order to repress the various abuses of the nobles, so extended its jurisdiction as to threaten the personal liberty of the subject, and endanger the fabric of the constitution.

The most remarkable feature of Henry VII.'s government was the severity which he exercised towards the nobles. Most of the ancient families had suffered greatly during the civil wars, and it was the policy of the Tudors to prevent them from regaining that ascendency which they had formerly enjoyed. To effect this, the tribunal of the Star Chamber was especially adapted; its irresponsible power, and its freedom from the ordinary restraints of law, rendered it a ready engine of attack; while its secrecy and despatch defied opposition. "Not only," says lord Brougham, "did the Plantagenets and the Tudors commit to prison or ransom for heavy fines those against whom they conceived an illwill, thus depriving them of the protection of the common law, and signally violating the most remarkable provision of the Great Charter, but they exercised a like control over members of parliament who had offended them, and jurors who had given verdicts displeasing to them; committing such members and jurors, interrogating them, sentencing them to imprisonment, and only releasing them on payment of heavy fines. A capital jurisdiction was never exercised by them, at least directly, but it really amounted to the same thing, whether they sentenced obnoxious men to death, or compelled timid jurors to find them guilty, through dread of personal consequences. It was in this council that all the sovereign's more violent acts were performed, because he was thus covered over with an apparent authority by the concurrence of an ancient body." *

Whilst such was the tendency in regard to the civil government, a directly opposite movement was taking place in the church. The doctrines of Wickliffe had engendered in England a spirit of opposition to the gross abuses and absurdities of the Romish church, which was further increased by the attempts of the pope to interfere with the patronage of benefices; and thus the monasteries and clergy were looked up to with less deference than in former times, the commons even threatening to bring in a bill to secularize a great portion of the church property.

* Brougham, On the British Constitution, chap. v. p. 68.

Simultaneously with this decline of church influence, the study of classical literature and philosophy became more general. The works of Gower and Chaucer were read with avidity, and the multiplication of books by Caxton's press enabled the higher classes to possess libraries of their own, a luxury unknown in preceding ages. The art of printing introduced a vast alteration in the English language; instead of continually varying in its orthography and inflexion, it became fixed, and even some approach to uniformity of spelling was observed. So far back as the 36th of Edward III., the first instances of the popular dialect being used in parliamentary proceedings occur; the statutes however still continued to be entered on the rolls in Latin or French, and the answers to the bills were invariably returned in the latter language; but after the first two parliaments of Henry VII., English became the universal language, not only of debate but of the statutes themselves, and thus ended with the accession of the house of Tudor the last badge of the Conquest.

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Causes of the high prerogative of the crown-Henry's popularity-Attempt to levy taxes without consent of parliament-Disgrace of Wolsey--Separation from the Romish church-Dissolution of the monasteries-Effect on society-Religious persecution-Tyrannical acts of Henry's parliaments-Vigorous administration-Foreign policy--Unwise restrictions on trade-Accession of Edward VI.-Duke of Somerset chosen protector--Progress of the Reformation-Emendation of the treason laws-Revival of parliamentary influence-Invasion of Scotland--Battle of Pinkie --Martyrdom of Joan Bocher and Van Parr-Causes of discontent--Insurrection of the peasantry-Statute of mendicity-Intrigues of Warwick-Somerset's arrest and execution-Attempt to restrict the succession-Legal proceedings-Edward's death.

HENRY VIII. A. D. 1509-1547.

FROM the accession of Henry VI. there had been a retrograde tendency towards absolute monarchy, and the succession of a vigorous prince like Henry VIII. was by no means calculated to lessen the danger. The influence of the commons had considerably increased during this period, but not sufficiently to compensate for the authority which the nobles had lost; for by the civil wars and the numerous executions which had taken place, the noble families of England were too much reduced to offer any effectual resistance to the crown; thus the king's will was almost absolute. In this state of affairs Henry, a youth of eighteen years of age, ascended the throne; he was vigorous and accomplished, and his engaging manners rendered him exceedingly popular with the mass of the people. The trial of Empson and Dudley, the unscrupulous ministers of Henry VII., gave general satisfaction; and as the enormous treasure in the exchequer enabled him to govern without over-taxing his people, the prospects of his reign seemed unusually bright. His first expedition, however, against France was unsuccessful, and although the battle of Flodden, in which the flower of the Scottish nobility perished, restored the honour of the English arms, Henry's increasing expenditure and heavy exactions cooled the ardour of his popularity, and an attempt of Wolsey's to levy a

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