Henry VIII 1491-1547, king of England, was the second son of Henry VII, by his queen, Elizabeth of York [qv.]. He was born at Greenwich on 28 June 1491. When little more than three years of age he was, 12 Sept. 1494, appointed lieutenant of Ireland, with Poynings as his deputy. On 31 Oct. following his father dubbed him knight of the Bath, and next day created him Duke of York. In 1495 he was admitted into the order of the Garter, and installed on 17 May. In 1501 a marriage was proposed between him and Eleanor, daughter of the Archduke Philip, but the project was soon dropped. After the death of his brother Arthur (1486-1502) [qv.] he was created Prince of Wales on 18 Feb. 1503, and soon after contracted to his brother's widow, Catherine of Arragon [qv.]. A dispensation was granted for the match by Julius II on 26 Dec. 1503, and was sent by Ferdinand of Spain to England in 1504. But on 27 June 1505, being then close upon the age of puberty, he protested that the contract made during his minority was against his mind, and that he would not ratify it (Collier, Eccl. Hist., ed. 1852, ix. 66). This, however, was merely a device of his father to keep himself free from any engagement to Ferdinand until the latter should send to England Catherine's stipulated dowry, only part of which had been paid [see under Henry VII]. Owing to the dispute on this subject, Henry VII to the close of his reign would not allow his son to proceed to the completion of this marriage, and young Henry himself was not impatient for it. Rumours were even spread that his father intended to marry him to Margaret, sister of Francis, count d'Angoulême, afterwards Francis I, a match first suggested by Cardinal d'Amboise. In 1506 Philip, king of Castile, who was driven by storms to land in England on his way from the Netherlands to Spain, conferred upon young Henry the order of the Toison d'Or.
From his earliest boyhood he was carefully educated. Erasmus, who visited the royal household when he was nine (or more probably only eight) years old, was struck even then with a sort of royal precocity of intellect which he combined with a highly polished manner. Boy as he was, he wrote during dinner a note to the great scholar requesting to be favoured with some production of his pen, which Erasmus gave him three days after in the form of a Latin poem (Prefatory epistle to Botzheim, in Catalogo Erasmi Lucubrationum, Basle, 1523). Nor was he less devoted to bodily than to mental exercises. At seventeen he was daily to be seen tilting at the ring with friendly rivals. At twenty-nine, when he had been some years king, and was the handsomest prince in Europe, he could tire out eight or ten horses in the course of a day's hunting, mounting each successively after one was exhausted. His tennis playing also excited the admiration of the Venetian ambassador Giustinian. Added to these gifts was a great delight in music, and a devout observance of religious ordinances.
On 22 April 1509 he was called to the throne by his father's death, and on 11 June following he married Catherine of Arragon. They were both crowned together at Westminster on the 24th. His father had been on ill terms with his father-in-law for some time before his death. But now many things were changed. A general pardon had been proclaimed at his accession; many debtors of the crown were released from their engagements; Empson and Dudley were thrown into the Tower, and were next year beheaded. Young Henry was at peace with all the world, and the first two years of his reign went merrily in pageants and festivities. On 1 Jan. 1511 a prince was born, in whose honour a tournament was held on 12 Feb.; but on 22 Feb. he was dead. In March Henry, having resolved to aid his father-in-law against the Moors in Barbary, appointed Thomas, lord Darcy [qv.], to take the command of the expedition. In July the king, at the request of Margaret of Savoy, regent of the Netherlands, sent a body of fifteen hundred archers to her aid against Gueldres. On 13 Nov. Henry entered the league, concluded 4 Oct. by Pope Julius II, Ferdinand, and the Venetians against France, and a special treaty with Ferdinand was signed at Westminster on 17 Nov., arranging among other things for a joint attack on France from the Spanish frontier to recover Guienne for the king of England. Early in May 1512 accordingly a force was despatched from Southampton under Thomas Grey, second marquis of Dorset [qv.], and landed in Biscay on 7 June. But no provision had been made for their arrival. The troops began to mutiny, and at a council of war on 28 Aug. the army resolved to return home even without orders. Henry was intensely angry at their return. Meanwhile some notable naval actions took place under Admiral Sir Edward Howard [qv.] off Brittany and his elder brother, Lord Thomas Howard, third duke of Norfolk [qv.]. The latter in 1511 defeated and took prisoner Andrew Barton [qv.], the celebrated Scotch naval officer. In an action conducted by the former off Brest on 10 Aug. 1512 the English ship Regent was burned. To repair his loss, the king caused to be built the Henry Grace de Dieu, the largest vessel that had been seen afloat. In May 1513 an army of fourteen thousand men was sent over to Calais in two detachments, the first commanded by George Talbot, fourth earl of Shrewsbury, the second by Lord Herbert, which, after making a show of marching upon Boulogne, sat down before Thérouanne. The king soon followed. Accompanied by the queen he left Greenwich on 15 June, and by short journeys reached Dover. On the 30th he arrived at Calais. On 3 July he ratified some articles of agreement with the emperor in St. Mary's Church there, and for some days was occupied in receiving embassies. On the 21st he left Calais with a magnificent army, augmented by eight thousand German mercenaries. Heavy rains fell that afternoon and night, and the tents were scarcely a protection. The king did not put off his clothes, but rode about the camp at three in the morning comforting the watch. On the 25th he entered the French territory near Ardres, and had continual skirmishes with the enemy till 4 Aug., when he joined the besieging army before Thérouanne. He had a timber house with an iron chimney, and for his other lodging he had great and goodly tents 125 feet long. On the 11th, the Emperor Maximilian having come to Aire, Henry met him between that town and Thérouanne, but had only a brief interview on account of the bad weather. Maximilian and his company, however, took service under Henry, and accepted wages from him in the war. Next evening a herald delivered a letter from James IV of Scotland (dated 26 July), threatening war against Henry if he did not desist from the invasion of France. On the 16th took place the battle of Spurs, when the king, hearing of a large force coming to victual Thérouanne, removed his camp to Guinegates, pursued the relieving force six miles, and took prisoners the Duke of Longueville and other distinguished persons. On the 22nd Thérouanne agreed to surrender; the garrison left next day, and the king and emperor marched in on the 24th. On the 26th they left again, and the king caused the fortifications to be demolished. On 12 Sept. he arrived at Lille, where he paid a three days' visit to Margaret of Savoy and young Prince Charles of Castile. On the 15th he came before Tournay, where he received news of the defeat and death of James IV at Flodden on the 9th. After about a week's siege Tournay surrendered, and he entered it on the 25th. The mayor and citizens came before him, and swore allegiance to him in his tent on 29 Sept. On 11 Oct. he received Prince Charles and Margaret of Savoy in the city, and on the 18th held a grand tournament before them. They took leave on the 20th, and soon after the king himself departed, leaving the city under the command of Sir Edward Poynings. His conquest being secure for the winter, he returned to Calais, and crossed to England in the end of October, but not before his ambassadors had concluded at Lille (17 Oct.) a new treaty with Maximilian and Ferdinand of Spain for a joint invasion of France in the following year.
Ferdinand had derived little satisfaction from the successes of his son-in-law. He had made a separate truce with France as early as 1 April, and immediately afterwards sent his secretary Quintana thither on a secret mission to convert it into a peace; but as soon as he saw that Henry was likely to win victories without his aid he sent a special ambassador to him to excuse his conduct, and to further either a war or a peace policy according to the event. He declined, however, to ratify the treaty of Lille without some modifications, and was evidently willing that Henry should sustain the burden of a little more fighting single-handed, while he was once more secretly negotiating with France. Henry saw through all this duplicity, and found means ere long to requite it. The war was resumed by sea in the spring of the following year. Meanwhile a sword and a cap of maintenance, sent by the new pope Leo X to the king, were received in London 19 May 1514, and presented on Sunday the 21st in St. Paul's Cathedral.
After a futile attempt in June to recover ground in Picardy, the French made secret overtures for peace, to which Henry was all the more willing to listen because both Ferdinand and Maximilian had deserted him. In February he had sent over a commission to Flanders to levy men in the emperor's dominions according to treaty. He had an attack of small-pox at the time, from which he soon recovered, eager as ever to continue the war. Soon after he notified to the council of Flanders his readiness to fulfil the long-standing marriage contract of his sister Mary and Charles, prince of Castile, and send the former over to the Low Countries. He was met by excuses and delays on both subjects. The alliance against France had in fact already been broken up by Ferdinand's subtle policy, and Henry was loud in his indignation. But France was now willing to come to terms with him, and Louis XII, now a widower, having made an offer for Mary's hand, the contract with Charles was broken off. The Duke of Longueville, Henry's prisoner of war, assisted in the negotiations, and before Ferdinand or Maximilian were aware of what was going on peace was proclaimed in London on 7 Aug. Next month Henry conducted his sister to Dover on her way to France, and she was married to Louis XII at Abbeville 9 Oct. The cordiality of the union between the two recent enemies astonished the world. But the world did not know how nearly it had become an offensive alliance against Ferdinand; for Henry actually made secret overtures to Louis to drive Ferdinand out of Navarre.
Louis died on 1 Jan. following (1515). Immediately afterwards the Duke of Suffolk [see Brandon, Charles] was sent over to Paris to congratulate the new king (Francis I) on his accession. Henry knew that Suffolk had loved his sister Mary even before she married Louis XII, and was now willing that he should marry her; but the young couple were so precipitate that they were secretly married before they left Paris. Henry's indignation was only appeased by the gift of his sister's plate and jewels and the surrender of her dowry. Francis, having secured peace with England by a new treaty (5 April), without caring to negotiate for the restitution of Tournay, started off on his first Italian campaign, and won the battle of Marignano in September. Henry would not at first believe the tidings, and when he received letters confirming it had great difficulty in suppressing tears.
Before this unpleasant news he had been spending the summer agreeably in the west of England, visiting towns and castles, hearing the complaints of the people, hunting, and sending presents of venison. He was highly popular, not a little vain of his person, and pleased to learn from the Venetian ambassador that, though Francis was about as tall as himself, his legs were thin, and could not compare for a moment with his own sturdy calves. He had returned from his progress and was at Woking in September 1515, when Wolsey brought him the news of his own elevation to the cardinalate, which the pope had conceded at Henry's urgent request. Parliament met in November, and three days later the hat was received from Rome. During the war with France Henry had been indebted to Wolsey more than to all his other councillors for his practical sagacity and qualifications for business. He now made him lord chancellor, and was henceforth guided by his sole advice; though not without discussing questions as they arose and having a very clear conception of the policy to which he gave his sanction.
Richard Pace was sent over to Switzerland to engage Swiss mercenaries to serve against the French, in conjunction, it was hoped, with Maximilian, whose interests in Italy had been seriously impaired by the success of Francis. Galeazzo Sforza was to lead those bands, and England's hand in the matter was to be ignored. In a few months all was arranged. In March 1516 Swiss and imperialists were marching steadily upon Milan, and the French shut the gates in alarm. But the needy Maximilian, who had been trying to get the pay of the Swiss into his own hands, plainly told the English agents, Pace and Wingfield, on Easter Tuesday (25 March), that he must desist from the enterprise, as he could not give the Swiss in his own service their stipulated pay until the king's money should come. Regardless of his honour he recrossed the Adda and retired towards Germany, still pretending the utmost desire to prosecute the war, and even extorting sixty thousand florins from Pace on threat that he would otherwise be driven to make terms with France. The king, however, by Wolsey's advice, determined to overlook these irregularities and keep Maximilian still his friend without allowing him to dispose of his money further.
On 18 Feb. 1516 was born Mary, the only child of Henry's first marriage who survived infancy. On 3 May he met his sister Margaret, queen of Scots, at Tottenham, when she came to seek refuge at his court, after having been driven out of Scotland. She remained in England till May following, when an arrangement was made for her return to Scotland on condition that she took no part in the government.
In the same year (1516) Charles, prince of Castile, had become king of Spain by the death of Ferdinand, and, though anxious to keep on the best possible terms with England, negotiated secretly with Francis the treaty of Noyon. Maximilian in all his intercourse with England had professed himself anxious to avert this result, and to make his grandson Charles a party to the league against France. For this purpose he promised to come down to the Low Countries and remove the evil councillors who were leading his grandson Charles astray. He would meet Henry there and do everything to satisfy him; he would even resign the imperial crown to him (he had previously offered him the duchy of Milan); only he must have a little money for his journey. Henry cared little for these wild proposals, and he had not intended to give the emperor any money; but the latter, by acting on the weakness of the English ambassador Wingfield, contrived to divert to his own use some that had been destined for the Swiss. Henry, however, felt it important still to keep him in good humour, and even after the treaty of Noyon was concluded gave a willing reception to the cardinal of Sion, whom Maximilian sent to England in October, though the object of his mission was evidently to extract further contributions lest Verona should fall into the hands of the French. Sion's unblushing effrontery seems, once at least, to have made Wolsey intensely angry, but he was successful in obtaining forty thousand crowns for his master. By this Maximilian and Margaret of Savoy were so encouraged that they made yet further attempts on Henry's pocket later in the year, even when Maximilian himself had accepted the treaty of Noyon, and had surrendered Verona to the French for two hundred thousand ducats. But Henry was not so much deceived as he appeared to be. He accepted Maximilian's threadbare excuses, and appeared still to be on the best of terms with him, with the result that he brought the emperor into suspicion with his new ally Francis, and into contempt with the councillors of his grandson, Charles of Castile, who soon learned to look on Henry rather than Francis as their friend, and were able next year through his aid to secure their master in peaceful possession of his new kingdom.
In 1517 occurred the riot of Evil May-day in London. Henry was much displeased that none of the more substantial men of the city had interfered to stop the violence done to foreigners, and severely censured the city authorities for their remissness, while, at the same time, he pardoned all the rioters except one. The prisoners, over four hundred in number, were brought before him in Westminster Hall, with halters round their necks, and were told by Wolsey that they had merited death, but the lords interceded for them and they were pardoned. In the following summer the country suffered severely from the ravages of the sweating sickness, and the king passed about from place to place with few attendants to escape the danger.
In 1518 the pope sent Cardinal Campeggio to England as legate with a view to raising contributions for a crusade against the Turks. He was not admitted into the kingdom, however, until the pope had made Wolsey joint legate with him, after which he was received in great state. In September a great embassy arrived from France, and a peace was arranged with provisions for the re-delivery of Tournay, and for the marriage of the dauphin and the Princess Mary. Again the most cordial relations were established with France, and the renewal of the amity was celebrated with banquetings and rejoicings. For two years or more the two kings were to all appearance very good friends.
There was none the less a wide diversity of aim between them in European politics. The Emperor Maximilian died in January 1519, and his grandson, Charles of Castile, became at once a candidate for the succession. But Francis I was a formidable competitor, and Henry VIII, listening on this occasion to Richard Pace rather than to Wolsey, became secretly a candidate also, of course endeavouring to the utmost to counteract the designs and outbid the offers of his ally in Germany. Charles, however, was elected on 28 June, and Francis, although secretly indignant at Henry's perfidy, could not afford to quarrel with him. To outward seeming the two kings were more cordial in their relations with each other than ever, and proposals were favourably entertained on both sides for a personal interview which should dazzle the eyes of the world by its magnificence and place their friendship beyond all question. Yet it seems that French manners at court were not approved of by the more sober councillors, and acting on their advice Henry in May 1519 dismissed a number of favourites, who had been in France, and whose over-familiarity with himself was a subject of complaint. When the dignity of his crown was concerned Henry was never indifferent. In November he severely rebuked Sir William Bulmer, who was brought before him in the Star-chamber for having dared to forsake his service and enter that of the Duke of Buckingham; but after the offender had remained for a long time on his knees without any one daring to intercede for him, he at length forgave him.
The great interview at length took place at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in June 1520. 'Twixt Guynes and Arde the two kings met, and exchanged the most elaborate courtesies in a scene of splendour altogether unsurpassed. Yet it was essentially insincere, especially on the side of Henry. For months before he had been secretly negotiating with the new-made emperor another alliance, not indeed directly hostile to France, but incompatible with his previous engagements, inasmuch as it involved the transference of Mary's hand from Francis to Charles V. This was a mere move in the game, apparently intended to prevent Charles from committing himself to the proposal of a French wife, and Charles understood its value. He in like manner was afraid of a too close alliance between France and England, and when he saw that the interview of the two kings was to become a fact he was most anxious that an interview between Henry and himself should take place before it. He agreed to land on the English coast on his way from Spain to Germany, and visit Henry in his own kingdom. Henry contrived slightly to delay the French interview on other pretexts, in order to be able to receive the emperor in the end of May. Charles landed on the 26th at Dover, where Henry came to meet him and conducted him next day to Canterbury to see the queen, his aunt. On the 31st he took leave of the king, and embarked at Sandwich for Flanders the same day that Henry crossed to Calais. Another interview was arranged to take place at Gravelines after the meeting with Francis, and at Gravelines accordingly Henry met the emperor on 10 July. Next day the emperor returned with him to Calais, and there on the 14th the two princes signed a secret treaty by which each of them engaged not to make any closer alliance with France than he had done already.
In the spring of 1521 the world was startled by the arrest, trial, and execution (11 May) of the Duke of Buckingham for treason. As the crime imputed to him, even in the indictment, was mainly that he listened to prophecies of the king's death and his own succession to the crown, his fate proved the king's excessive jealousy and power. From that day the nobility were completely cowed.
Open war now broke out between Francis and the emperor, on which the king offered his services to both parties as a mediator, with what sincerity it is not difficult to judge. Strange to say, after some diplomacy they were accepted by both, and Wolsey was despatched to Calais to hear complaints on both sides, with power to settle them as arbitrator. But Henry's intention from the first was that Wolsey should find no arrangement possible, and that thereupon he should withdraw to the emperor and treat apart with him. Wolsey landed at Calais on 2 Aug. with separate commissions to settle the differences of the belligerents, to conclude the marriage of Mary to the emperor, and to make a new league with the emperor against France. He had also designedly illusory commissions for a closer amity with the French king, and for a general confederation of the pope, the emperor, and Francis. Wolsey performed his part with no small dexterity, and concluded the new alliance with the emperor at Bruges. He continued the conferences till November, when he returned to England, the war meanwhile continuing in Champagne and Picardy.
Hitherto Francis had really been anxious to preserve peace with England. He had even used his influence to keep Scotland quiet, and had given a secret undertaking to detain the regent, John Stewart, second duke of Albany, in France. Now Albany was allowed to return, and reached Scotland in November; and although he protested that he came for peace and desired a prolongation of the truce, Henry sent a message to the estates of Scotland (delivered 3 Feb. 1522) that he would listen to no such proposal until the duke left the country. The lords replied that he had come at their invitation, and that they would stand by him to the death. Neither party, however, was prepared to prosecute war in earnest, and the chief effect, as regards England, of Albany's return was to give Henry one slight addition to his flimsy pretexts of complaint against France. In March, however, Francis ordered the goods of Englishmen to be arrested at Bordeaux, and withheld the annual pensions that he had hitherto paid to England. Clarenceux was accordingly despatched to France, and on 29 May intimated to the French king at Lyons that Henry was his mortal enemy. Just at that time the emperor was paying a second visit to England. He reached Dover on the 26th, and the king soon after conducted him to London. On the way (5 June) they received news of Clarenceux's defiance of the French king. On the 19th he made a new treaty with Henry against France at Windsor, and after having fully arranged with him a plan of joint hostilities, on 6 July he sailed from Southampton for Spain.
The Earl of Surrey was despatched to sea with a squadron, as if to accompany the emperor and secure his safety; but he made for Brittany, sacked the town of Morlaix, and set it and the shipping on fire. Shortly afterwards the king sent him with an army to ravage Picardy. To support these operations the king called upon his subjects for a loan, assessed by commissioners throughout the country, of one-tenth of each man's income. A few months later, when parliament met (in April 1523), this was supplemented by a four years' subsidy, made up of a graduated income and property tax, which pressed with unexampled severity, and was voted with extreme reluctance. The war then went on more vigorously than ever, both with France and Scotland. Surrey was now sent against the latter country, while Suffolk took his place in France.
But Henry's generals spent his treasure without profit, and it became manifest that the emperor, who alone derived benefit from these operations, gave no very energetic assistance. Francis was not deterred from invading Italy to secure the duchy of Milan, but in February 1525 was himself taken prisoner at Pavia. It was at once obvious that the emperor had gained all that he could possibly hope for from war, and that England would be left in the lurch. Wolsey had, however, to some extent provided against even such an unexpected issue as this by underhand negotiations with France, which might either serve to keep the emperor in check, or be disowned if necessary. And when the imperial ambassador's suspicions were aroused, Wolsey with sublime audacity caused his despatches to be intercepted, and having read their contents (expressing a strong opinion of his own duplicity), got the king to write with his own hand to the emperor demanding the punishment of an agent who had expressed sentiments so destructive of a good understanding between allied princes. This was just before the capture of Francis. But, unexpected as was his good fortune, the emperor could not afford to quarrel with England. He was afraid that the secret negotiation between England and France would develope (as it subsequently did) into an alliance against himself.
The capture of Francis, if the emperor had meant to keep faith with his ally, presented an excellent opportunity for extorting from France concessions of territory alike to the emperor and to England. Henry accordingly made offers for a joint invasion, declaring that his army was ready, and he himself would lead it over in person; that he expected, after a triumphant campaign, to accompany the emperor to Rome; and that Charles, with his prospective marriage to the Princess Mary, would then be master of all Christendom. Charles in reply was obliged to confess that he was in no condition to prosecute the war, and that unless Mary were sent over to Spain at once with a dowry of four hundred thousand ducats, and Henry (to whom he was deeply in debt already) would contribute half as much again to the expenses of the war, he was not prepared to take action. These demands were only intended to cover the emperor's secret purpose to break off his engagement with Mary, marry Isabella of Portugal, and leave Henry to make war on his own account, so as to enhance the terms he himself might exact from Francis for a separate peace. Wolsey, however, not only saw through this policy, but told the imperial agents in England plainly that he could checkmate the emperor by offering Mary to the Dauphin, and allying England not only with France, but even with the Turk. The warning passed unheeded.
Meanwhile it was given out in England that the king would personally invade France, and as this was presumed to be in the highest degree expedient, commissions were sent out in March over all the kingdom demanding an immediate advance of money to the king at the rate of 3s. 4d. in the pound on the higher incomes according to the valuations already made, and on smaller incomes at lower rates. The demand took the nation by surprise. In some places it was grudgingly conceded; elsewhere it was resisted as intolerable. The clothworkers of the eastern counties, who did not dare oppose it, were, however, obliged to dismiss their men, telling them they had no longer money to pay their wages. Serious riots took place in consequence, which the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk had great difficulty in suppressing. But the opposition raised in the city of London caused the ultimate withdrawal of the demand. On 26 April 1525 Wolsey sent for the mayor and aldermen, and informed them that the king would be satisfied with what they were pleased to give of their own benevolence. But even this was objected to as contrary to the statute of Richard III, by which benevolences were abolished, and finally it was left to every man to ‘grant privily what he would,’ without being called before aldermen or commissioners of any kind.
In the course of the summer it was intimated that the king had received from France very advantageous offers for peace, which would probably make the proposed expedition unnecessary. In fact, on 13 July a forty days' truce was agreed to with the French envoy, De Vaux, and immediately after Brion arrived in London with a commission from Louise of Savoy, regent of France during the imprisonment of her son, Francis I. Henry notified to the emperor that, as he was unable to co-operate with him in the war, he thought it unadvisable to reject the very favourable offers of the French, and before the emperor could reply a new alliance was formally signed on 30 Aug. at Moor in Hertfordshire. On 8 Sept. it was proclaimed in London. The pope and other princes of Italy at once hailed it as a very desirable counterpoise to the growing power of the emperor; but the ratification of Francis could not be obtained so long as he was a prisoner. Charles, on the other hand, was in a position to exact his own terms. On 14 Jan. 1526 his prisoner was driven to sign the treaty of Madrid, giving up Milan, Naples, and Burgundy, and much else besides. Two months later he was restored to his kingdom, leaving his two sons as hostages in Spain. But when pressed to confirm the treaty of Madrid he declined, declaring that it had been wrung from him by compulsion. He was encouraged by the pope, the Venetians, and other Italian powers, who immediately formed a league with him at Cognac (22 May) to protect themselves against Charles, which Henry was earnestly solicited to join. But though glad to see so much opposition to the emperor, Henry had no occasion to enter into war in behalf of the confederates, and preferred to offer his services as a mediator. Nor did his sympathy with the Italian powers lead him to depart from the line of strict neutrality, even when the imperialists, having already made a truce with the pope, perfidiously swooped down upon Rome.
But England still drew nearer to France, or, it might rather be said, contrived to draw France nearer to herself. The great object of Francis now was to secure the deliverance of his sons on as easy terms as possible, and the hard conditions of the treaty of Madrid could only be mitigated by the influence of England, or by a new arrangement with the emperor, including his own marriage with the emperor's sister Eleanor. To prevent his too easy adoption of the latter alternative, Wolsey had been careful to suggest to him that England could offer him a younger and more attractive bride in the Princess Mary. The possibility of such an alliance was a quite sufficient lure to draw the French into rather lengthy negotiations, and a great embassy was sent over to England in the end of February 1527. Under Wolsey's skilful diplomacy France was compelled to offer a very high price for the support of England, in the shape of pensions and tribute; but when it was desired that Mary should be sent over to France as security for the marriage taking effect when she came of age (for otherwise Francis felt it would be unadvisable to give up Eleanor), the request was refused, and it was suggested that Mary's marriage with the second son of Francis would do equally well as a guarantee for the alliance. Thus the bait was withdrawn for the sake of which Francis had already made very large concessions.
The sack of Rome by the imperial troops in May 1527 only added strength to the Anglo-French alliance. It no doubt cowed the pope, and broke up the Italian league, but it exasperated Francis against the emperor, and threw him more than ever into the arms of England. Henry, too, had reasons of his own, quite apart from the political advantages of such an alliance¾which in themselves were very great indeed¾for desiring to make as much of it as possible; and in July he sent Wolsey over to France, with a splendid train, as his lieutenant, to cement the new alliance by arranging with Francis the terms to be offered to the emperor, and communicating to him a very precious secret¾the possibility of the king's divorce from Catherine of Arragon.
Henry had certainly not been a devoted husband. Ten years after his marriage he had a child by Elizabeth Blount, one of the queen's waiting-women, a lad called Henry Fitzroy (1519-1536) [q.v.], whom in 1525, when he was only six years old, he created Duke of Richmond. At the same time honours began to be showered upon the Boleyn family. It was only, however, at the time of Wolsey's embassy to France, in 1527, that the rumour got abroad of a divorce being in contemplation, and when it first arose it was jesuitically denied. The king, it was admitted, had been led to entertain some doubts as to the legality of his marriage, doubts which, as he falsely pretended, had been insinuated by the French ambassador, and which he himself was anxious to see removed. But in truth the king had already, in May 1527, made one effort to get rid of Catherine by a collusive suit begun in secret before Wolsey; and though this process was shortly after laid aside, he never from that time desisted from the attempt to get his marriage declared invalid, as having been contracted with his deceased brother's wife. [For a more detailed account of the divorce question see Catherine of Arragon.]
The great alliance with France, of which Wolsey had been the chief promoter, was regarded by the king as an important means of obtaining his own objects in this matter by keeping the emperor in check. He moreover thought he could take advantage of the pope's imprisonment by sending a confidential messenger to Rome while Wolsey was in France, with instructions to which the cardinal was not privy. Here, however, his eagerness made him underestimate difficulties. Dr. Knight, the agent in question, just reached Rome when the pope had made his escape to Orvieto, and, pursuing him thither, flattered himself soon after that he had procured by a little pressure from his holiness a sufficient commission for Wolsey to hear the cause, and a dispensation for Henry to marry Anne Boleyn after the sentence. The documents in fact turned out to be worthless, for the drafts drawn up in England had been scanned by the practised eyes of Italian diplomatists and corrected so as to be made quite innocuous. The pope was only put upon his guard, and the king's object was further off than before. Early in 1528, accordingly, Edward Foxe, the king's almoner, and Stephen Gardiner, then Wolsey's secretary, were sent to Rome to repair the blunder. But their diplomatic ability only succeeded in obtaining another commission and dispensation, which, though effective in some respects, did not supply everything that was wanted. The commission was to Wolsey and Campeggio to hear the cause together in England.
Meanwhile, on 22 Jan. 1528 a French and an English herald presented a joint defiance to the emperor at Burgos. But war with the emperor was against all the traditions of English policy, and was exceedingly unpopular. The interruption of commerce even with Spain was serious; with the Netherlands it was intolerable. A crisis took place at home; the clothiers in Suffolk again found it necessary to discharge their workmen when they had no vent for their cloths in the Belgian markets. Nor did the Flemings on their side suffer less inconvenience. An eight months' truce with the Low Countries was presently agreed to, while the war with Spain continued.
About the same time the sweating sickness reappeared in England with greater virulence than before. Anne Boleyn caught the infection. Henry kept moving about with few attendants, made his will, and took the sacrament in fear of death, while writing the most tender letters to Anne Boleyn. He was most solicitous also for the preservation of Wolsey's health. As Campeggio was on the way to England he seems to have persuaded himself that his divorce and second marriage were now on the eve of accomplishment. Campeggio did not, owing to his ill-health, arrive in England till October. Soon after Henry gave Anne apartments in his palace at Greenwich separate from those of the queen, with whom he appeared to be still living on the ordinary terms of married life. But the trial before the legates was for a long time deferred. Campeggio in the first place vainly strove to induce Catherine to enter a nunnery. Afterwards the king himself feared to proceed too hastily, learning that there was a second brief of dispensation in Spain which he had not known about. At last the court was opened on 31 May 1529, and, after hearing much evidence as to Catherine's cohabitation with Arthur, was on 23 July suspended by Campeggio till October, in accordance with the Roman practice of keeping summer holidays. Meanwhile the pope had revoked the cause to Rome, where, as Henry knew very well, it was absolutely hopeless to look for a decision in his favour.
The inevitable consequence was the fall of Wolsey, who had seen all along that his only chance of safety lay in a desperate effort to satisfy the king's wishes. His failure had been anticipated by many enemies, who had already prepared a number of charges against him which they could now bring forward with safety. On 17 Oct. he was deprived of the great seal, and on the 25th Sir Thomas More was made chancellor in his place. The king's chief advisers now were the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk and the Boleyns; but they were soon superseded by Thomas Cromwell [q.v.].
Parliament met on 3 Nov. 1529. The immediate object the king had in view in summoning it seems to have been to get himself exonerated from repayment of the forced loan levied a few years before. An act for this purpose he soon obtained from a House of Commons who were his own nominees, for there was no freedom of election in his day. The commons, however, were encouraged to complain freely of any kind of extortion except the king's, and they attacked the spiritual courts for levying exorbitant fines on probates, and the clergy for mortuaries, for pluralities and non-residence, and for occupying grazing farms. Acts were passed on all these subjects, not without a remonstrance in the House of Lords from Bishop Fisher, who had already incurred the king's displeasure by daring to oppose him on the divorce question. These things were but a faint foreshadowing of the great revolution this parliament effected in later sessions in the relations of church and state; but they bore fruit at once in disputes between the two houses (encouraged no doubt by the king's agents), in which the king himself was called in to arbitrate.
As to his projected divorce Henry was now pursuing the policy suggested by Cranmer [q.v.] of taking the opinions of universities on the validity of his marriage. A judicial decision was not necessary if he could only procure opinions in his favour of sufficient weight. For this purpose bribes and intimidation were necessary even in the case of Cambridge and Oxford, and a little cajolery besides. But the opinions of foreign universities were more sought after, as seemingly more impartial, and Henry's chief reliance was upon France, where Francis, having now redeemed his children after making peace with the emperor at Cambray, was quite willing to favour his policy underhand. Henry sent Reginald Pole to Paris to influence the divines of the Sorbonne, and in the spring and summer of 1530 other agents were busy corrupting the universities of northern Italy. In the end the king obtained, besides a multitude of individual opinions, no fewer than eight decisions under the seals of learned corporations in France and Italy against the validity of marriage with a brother's wife, and against the competency of the pope to dispense in such a case. At the same time he got a large number of the peers of his own realm, including Wolsey, Archbishop Warham, and four other bishops, and twenty-two abbots, to join in a memorial to the pope urging him to comply, without further delay, with his request for a dissolution of his marriage.
The opinions of the foreign universities were read in the House of Commons 30 March 1531, at the close of the parliamentary session, and ‘above an hundred books drawn by doctors of strange regions’ were exhibited to the like effect; after which More, as lord chancellor, had the ungrateful task imposed upon him of telling the members to report to their constituencies what they had seen and heard, so that it might appear that the king's proceedings were due merely to conscientious scruples. Meanwhile the king's agents were watching the cause at Rome, and Henry was procuring further opinions from various universities to show that he was not bound to obey the pope's citation. He had procured opinions in Rome itself declaring that Rome was not a safe place in which to deliver judgment. On 31 May, by his direction, more than thirty lords waited upon the queen at Greenwich, and informed her that he was displeased with her for having caused him to be cited to Rome. The lords at the same time urged her to allow the matter between them to be settled by arbitration. This appeal was ineffectual, and in July following Henry finally parted company with her, leaving her at Windsor without saying adieu while he went on to Woodstock.
Very important proceedings had meanwhile taken place in that sitting of parliament (January-March 1531) in which the opinions of the universities were read. Before the opening of the session the attorney-general had begun to take action against the bishops, on the ground that the whole body of the clergy had incurred the penalties of præmunire by acknowledging the legatine jurisdiction of Cardinal Wolsey. It seemed strange to punish these submissive sheep when the king himself had sent for another legate from Rome on his own special business. Logically, too, it was seen that a host of laymen who had brought or responded to suits in the legatine court were just as amenable to the statute as the clergy. The latter, however, it was expected, would for peace sake be glad to compound for their offences, and the commons were to give their assistance to bring them to their knees. The convocation of Canterbury did, in effect, offer no less than 100,000l. to the king under the name of a free gift, in the hope that he would stay proceedings. The king intimated that he would accept the gift, and grant them a pardon of the præmunire only on condition that they acknowledged him as supreme head of the church of England. The clergy at once withdrew their offer. After long debates, however, and frequent messages from the king, they at length agreed to accept a pardon with the acknowledgment required, qualifying, however, the title of ‘supreme head’ by the words ‘quantum per Christi legem licet.’ Parliament was then asked to confirm the pardon; but the commons took alarm at finding that the spiritualty were pardoned and the laity still liable to penalty. The speaker was sent to make strong remonstrances to the king, who replied that he would not be dictated to, as he might have pardoned the clergy himself without consulting them. The king presently appeased the ferment by sending a separate pardon for the laity.
The convocation of York sat a little later, and with much reluctance agreed to buy the king's pardon and to recognise his headship in the same manner as that of Canterbury had done, though on the latter subject Bishop Tunstall of Durham protested, at least as to the ambiguity of the title, lest it should be supposed to confer spiritual jurisdiction on the king. Henry took this remonstrance in good part, and wrote to Tunstall in answer to his objections, hinting, however, that the bishop, who on the subject of the divorce had advised him to conform his conscience to that of the majority, might on the same principle have acquiesced in the resolution of the convocation of Canterbury. It was characteristic of Henry thus to meet argument by argument; but his intention was to subdue all spirit of resistance in the church, and it was by his secret instigation next year that the House of Commons were encouraged to prefer to him their celebrated ‘supplication against the ordinaries.’
This was a complaint of the mode of procedure in spiritual courts, of the excessive fees taken for probates, and of the uncharitable demeanour of some of the bishops, with a petition that they should be made to submit their laws to the king and ask his assent to them. It was presented to the king on 18 March 1532, accompanied by another petition, which was much more genuine and spontaneous, desiring that he would now dissolve parliament and let the members return to their own homes. The king replied gravely that on the question between them and the prelates he would hear both sides; but it was very inconsistent to ask for immediate release when they were petitioning for redress of grievances. Moreover, he had sent them a bill concerning wards and primer seisin, to mitigate the loss of feudal dues sustained by the crown through the legal device called ‘uses’ for willing away lands, which bill he expected them to pass, otherwise he would ‘search out the extremity of the law,’ and not offer again so favourable a compromise. In spite of this threat the commons rejected the bill. They were, however, compelled to sit again after Easter, while Henry referred their ‘supplication’ to the bishops in convocation, who returned a very temperate reply. Parliament was at the same time asked for aid to fortify the borders against the Scots, on which two members gave expression to the general discontent, declaring that the Scots could do no harm without foreign aid, and that if the king would take back his wife and cultivate friendly relations with the emperor the peace of the country was secure. Henry was much displeased, rebuked the commons for meddling with the divorce question, which was purely a matter of ecclesiastical law, and hinted that it depended upon him to redress their grievances against the church. On 30 April he sent for the speaker, and handed him the answer of the bishops for the house to consider, saying that he thought it would hardly satisfy them.
On 11 May he again sent for the speaker and twelve of the commons, and expounded to them a new grievance he had discovered against the church. Spiritual men were but half his subjects; they took an oath of obedience to the pope as well as to himself, and the two oaths were inconsistent with each other. He had already taken one step the day before to remedy the matter by laying before the convocation of Canterbury certain articles designed to deprive the church thenceforth of all power of synodical action without his express permission. And as the House of Commons was thus instigated to interfere with their liberties the clergy saw that it was useless to resist. On the 15th they made a full submission, and thus the freedom of the church of England came to an end. More, who had long been dissatisfied with the king's proceedings, straightway resigned the great seal and retired from public life.
A month before this Friar Peto had preached before Henry at Greenwich, warning him that he was imperilling his crown by putting away his wife and endeavouring to marry Anne Boleyn. To correct the mischief one of the royal chaplains was set to preach in the same place next Sunday, and contradicted Peto. On this another friar named Elstowe at once replied in Peto's behalf, and in Henry's presence denied the statement that all the universities were in favour of his divorce. Henry was intensely angry, and had both the friars arrested. But although he had his own preachers to set forth the nullity of marriage with a brother's widow, he did not convert the people to his views. When he moved about they would clamorously urge him to take back Catherine, and the women spoke insultingly of Anne Boleyn. The pope, too, was taking notice of his scandalous proceedings, and, not content with two briefs already issued to restrain him from a second marriage while his suit remained undecided, sent him yet a third, dated 15 Nov. 1532, commanding him to desist from cohabiting with Anne, as he was then doing, and to take back Catherine, on pain of excommunication. But Henry, wishing to show the pope that he had a strong ally in Francis, arranged for an interview at Calais and Boulogne in October, and when they met, Francis agreed to remonstrate with his holiness. Anne Boleyn, too, now created Marchioness of Pembroke, was at this interview, and it was feared by some that Henry would have married her at once.
The death of Archbishop Warham in August 1532 had, indeed, made Henry's object somewhat easier of attainment. The king nominated a pliable successor, Cranmer, and, in spite of the disregard he had so persistently shown for the holy see, ventured to request the pope to pass the new archbishop's bulls without insisting upon payment of first-fruits. He had, however, a practical argument in favour of the request, which was of considerable weight. Parliament had already decreed that all payment of first-fruits to Rome should cease. This was a measure passed ostensibly in the interests of the bishops and clergy, to relieve them from grievous impositions at the very time when other enactments were passed to restrain their liberties. It went easily through the lords, but was strongly objected to in the commons, where it narrowly escaped shipwreck, though the Duke of Norfolk endeavoured to persuade the papal nuncio that it had been passed entirely against the king's will, to prevent a mass of treasure going yearly out of the realm. Its operation, however, was to be suspended during the king's pleasure, and a continuance of the payment might still be permitted if the pope's conduct gave the king satisfaction. Henry's demand was much debated in the papal court; but at length (22 Feb. 1533) the bulls were sped in the way that he desired.
Just before this, on 25 Jan., Henry had secretly gone through the ceremony of marriage with Anne Boleyn, a fact which was not divulged till Easter, when she was known to be with child. On 5 April a decision was obtained in convocation (not carried, however, without some dissent) against the power of dispensing for marriage with a brother's widow. Parliament was also induced, after considerable opposition, to pass an act abolishing appeals to the court of Rome. The commons were afraid if the kingdom were laid under interdict that the wool trade with the Low Countries would be stopped; but their scruples were got over, and they passed the bill. Cranmer then, as archbishop, obtained leave to determine the king's matrimonial cause, and on 23 May at Dunstable he declared Henry's marriage with Catherine to be invalid. Five days later, at Lambeth, he gave sentence that the marriage already contracted between the king and Anne Boleyn was valid. Anne was then crowned as queen on Whitsunday, 1 June. Thereupon sentence of excommunication was passed against Henry at Rome, 11 July, while he, having nothing more to expect from the pope, had two days before confirmed the act abolishing annates by letters patent. He moreover caused Bonner to intimate to his holiness, who was then in France, an appeal to the next general council, although he had hitherto treated with contempt the pope's own intimation of such a council. He called Catherine ‘Princess-dowager of Wales,’ and when Anne Boleyn, in September, gave birth to a daughter (afterwards Queen Elizabeth), he deprived his other daughter, Mary, of the title of princess, treating her as a bastard. In November he caused Elizabeth Barton [q.v.], the ‘Nun of Kent,’ as she was popularly named, to be arrested, along with several others who had listened to her denunciations of his conduct towards Catherine and her hostile prophecies; and though his own judges declined to find them guilty of treason, he had an act of attainder passed against them in parliament early next year.
Anticipating now an adverse decision at Rome in the long-pending divorce suit, Henry endeavoured to neutralise its effect beforehand by repudiating the authority from which it came. His council decreed that henceforth the pope should be called only ‘bishop of Rome,’ and parliament, having reassembled in January 1534, arranged a new scheme for the appointment of bishops without reference to the holy see, together with a new system of ecclesiastical appeals, which were to be heard in the last instance by the court of chancery or commissioners appointed under the great seal. Other acts followed for the abolition of all imposts levied by the see of Rome and for the complete abrogation of the pope's authority. The last of these enactments had not yet passed the House of Lords when the pope on 23 March at length pronounced the marriage with Catherine valid, and all the proceedings before Cranmer null. But the sentence came too late to affect either legislation or judicial acts in England. Another most important statute passed was the act of succession, entailing the crown upon the children of Henry and Anne Boleyn, and compelling all the king's subjects to swear to its tenour. About a fortnight after its enactment this oath was refused by More and Fisher, who were thereupon committed to the Tower, the latter having just before been attainted by parliament of misprision in connection with the Nun of Kent. Along with them also was imprisoned Dr. Nicholas Wilson, formerly the king's confessor.
Even yet the severance from Rome was not complete, and before the news of the papal sentence arrived a desperate effort seems to have been made in parliament to induce the pope still further to defer its issue. All the enactments against the papal authority were to be provisional, so far that the king might annul or modify them before Midsummer day if the pope did what was desired of him. With this proviso parliament was prorogued on 30 March to meet again in November and complete the work. Meanwhile the king did his best to strengthen his alliance with France, and to strike terror into his subjects at home by the execution of the Nun and her adherents (20 April). Even Bishops Gardiner and Tunstall and Archbishop Lee expected to be committed to the Tower. Preachers were appointed to revile the pope and exalt the king's cause, and all other political preaching was silenced, while every clergyman in the land and every monk within his monastery was compelled to sign a declaration that the ‘bishop of Rome’ had no more authority in England than any other foreign bishop. And lest the religious orders, whose members had nothing to lose, should prove intractable, all the four orders of friars were placed by royal authority under the control of two men who could be depended on as visitors, Dr. George Browne [q.v.], prior of the Augustinian hermits, and Dr. John Hilsey [q.v.], provincial of the Black Friars.
Mere suasion and sophistry, however, were not enough. In June two cart-loads of friars were packed off to the Tower, and later in the year it was found advisable to suppress one order of friars entirely, the reformed order of Franciscans called the Observants. The recusants were transferred to other houses, locked up as prisoners, and placed in chains. Even Queen Catherine and the Princess Mary were warned that they stood in danger of death if they refused to acknowledge the statute which made the one a widow and the other a bastard; but neither would obey, and against them at least the king did not dare carry out his threats. In November parliament met again, and first of all confirmed the act of convocation declaring the king supreme head of the church, a title which was on 15 Jan. following formally added to the royal style. The oath taken to the succession act was ratified, and penalties inflicted on refusal. Those first-fruits and tenths of benefices which had been withheld from the pope were granted to the king, and a complete valuation of ecclesiastical property was ordered to secure their due exaction. A very severe law was passed against treason, which was made to include calling the king heretic, and even wishing to deprive him or Anne Boleyn or their heirs of the royal dignity. Henry was also voted a new subsidy, and bills of attainder against Fisher, More, and the Earl of Kildare became law.
Next year (1535) all this legislative tyranny came into full operation. So insupportable was the prospect that secret messages were sent by leading noblemen to the imperial ambassador to tell him that thousands would welcome an invasion by the emperor to relieve the country from oppression. The emperor, however, did not see his way to interfere, and in April the first judicial proceedings were taken against deniers of the royal supremacy. Prior Houghton of the London Charterhouse, with the heads of two other houses of the same order, a monk of Sion named Dr. Reynolds, and John Hale, vicar of Isleworth, were condemned and butchered with a brutality even beyond that of ordinary executions for treason. A few weeks were allowed to elapse to see what impression their fate would make on Fisher and More and the other monks of the London Charterhouse. The two former were questioned in the Tower whether they would accept the royal supremacy, and were arraigned for refusing. Three of the Charterhouse monks tried along with Fisher were hanged and quartered on 19 June; Fisher himself was beheaded on 22 and More on 6 July. The bishops were at the same time enjoined to preach the royal supremacy every Sunday and feast day and to cause the pope's name to be erased from books of every kind.
Fisher had been created a cardinal by the new pope, Paul III, shortly before his death, and his execution was the worst affront Henry had given to the holy see. The pope immediately wrote to the different princes of Europe intimating his intention to deprive Henry of his kingdom, and asking their aid to give effect to the sentence. His anger, however, was ineffectual. Francis I fully acknowledged Henry's impiety and barbarity, but could not afford to give up such an ally until he had recovered Milan. The emperor, then engaged in the conquest of Tunis, knew too well that any action on his part would make England combine with France against him. Henry, whose diplomacy had taught both princes to recognise the need of his friendship, was meanwhile anxious to win over the protestants of Germany, and invited Melancthon to England. He would certainly have come, as Luther advised him to do, notwithstanding the disgust with which even protestants regarded Henry's acts, but he was forbidden by the elector of Saxony. Henry accordingly sent over divines to Germany to see how far united action was possible on matters of religion between him and the Smalcaldic League. Events, however, in the course of a few months enabled him to dispense with their assistance.
During the latter half of 1535 Henry vindicated his new supremacy over the church by appointing a royal visitation of the monasteries, of the universities, and of the church at large, inhibiting the bishops at the same time from exercising their functions until each had obtained from him a license to discharge them. The studies at Oxford and Cambridge were remodelled, and a mass of information, of very doubtful credibility, was collected as to the filthy and abominable lives of the inmates of a large number of the monasteries, as well as the superstitions which they encouraged. Strict injunctions, quite impossible of observance, were also laid down by the visitors (whose own characters would not bear much inspection) for the future regulation of these houses, with the express object of compelling applications to Thomas Cromwell [q.v.], as the king's vicegerent, for dispensations. In the following spring the parliament, which had first met more than six years before, signalised its last session by giving the king the possessions of every monastery which did not possess a revenue of 200l. a year.
On 8 Jan. 1536 Catherine of Arragon died, and Henry, who had been seriously afraid that the emperor would make war on England in her behalf, expressed his delight at the event by dressing in yellow. Anne Boleyn did likewise. Fears were now entertained for the Princess Mary, who was hated by Anne Boleyn, besides being in danger of the law for refusing to acknowledge the statute whereby she was made a bastard; and secret plans were laid by the imperial ambassador, in concert with persons in the Netherlands, for enabling her to escape abroad. Anne Boleyn's influence, however, was already on the wane. On 2 May she was arrested, and a jury of peers found her guilty of incest with her own brother and criminal intercourse with other courtiers. She was beheaded on the 19th, and her supposed accomplices two days before [see Anne, 1507-1536]. Her removal was expected to lead to the restoration of the Princess Mary to her place in the succession. On the day (20 May) after Anne's execution the king was formally betrothed to Jane Seymour; the marriage was privately performed ten days later. As for the Princess Mary, the king agreed to take her again into favour only on condition that she would acknowledge the nullity of his marriage to her mother, and ask his pardon humbly for having so long withstood him. These repulsive conditions the unhappy young woman felt compelled to accept.
On 8 June a new parliament met and finally extinguished papal authority in England. A new act of succession was also passed, declaring the issue of both Henry's former queens illegitimate, and entailing the crown upon his issue by Jane Seymour. A most unusual provision was added, enabling the king himself, in default of such issue, to dispose of the crown by will, and it was said that he intended putting his bastard son, the Duke of Richmond, into the succession before Mary. The duke, however, died on 23 July 1536, five days after that brief parliament had been dissolved. Convocation at the same time drew up a set of articles of religion, and declared against the right of the pope to summon a general council without the assent of Christian princes.
In the beginning of October 1536 a rebellion broke out in Lincolnshire, when the commissioners for levying the subsidy came to Caistor. Hatred of oppressive taxation was joined to dislike of innovation in religion and of the suppression of monasteries, which had already made some progress. The Duke of Suffolk was sent down in haste to Lincolnshire, while the Earl of Shrewsbury, anticipating the king's commands, ordered loyal subjects to meet him at Nottingham and march against the rebels. The king himself also proposed to take the field. The rebels, after being warned by Lancaster herald to disband, showed a disposition to submit, and the muster which the king had intended to take at Ampthill had been already countermanded, when it was found that the insurrection, now called ‘the Pilgrimage of Grace,’ had spread in a more threatening shape to Yorkshire [see Aske, Robert]. The Duke of Norfolk, who had been sent northwards, felt it necessary to make terms with the rebels on 27 Oct., and promise them a hearing for their complaints on their sending up two deputies to the king. Henry received these men, and after much delay dismissed them with a diplomatic answer, and a conference of the leaders on both sides was arranged at Doncaster for 5 Dec. There also the northern clergy assembled in a sort of convocation to consider the state of religion. The king was warned both by Norfolk and Suffolk that it would be absolutely necessary to grant a general pardon, and while he complained of their timid counsels, he authorised them to proclaim one. He also invited Aske to confer with him.
Aske came to court on assurance of pardon, and on representing to the king the causes of discontent, was dismissed with a promise that Henry would go down to the north, have the queen crowned at York, and cause a free parliament to be held there at Whitsuntide for the redress of grievances, while convocation should sit at the same time to settle questions affecting the church. With this message Aske endeavoured to pacify the people. They, however, had grave doubts of the king's good faith, and in January 1537 Sir Francis Bigod [q.v.] and John Hallam [q.v.] conspired to seize both Hull and Scarborough. The attempt was a failure, but new commotions broke out in Westmoreland. These disturbances, which were crushed out one by one, gave the king an excuse for recalling his offered pardon, and very many were executed. Henry and his council then drew up a scheme for keeping the borders more thoroughly under control, and giving pensions to men who might be trusted to repress disorders. Norfolk was shocked to find on the list the names of some notorious thieves and murderers; but he received a reprimand for his scruples from the king, who said he was surprised the duke was more opposed to thieves and murderers than to traitors when the former had done good service to the king.
In February Thomas Fitzgerald, tenth earl of Kildare [q.v.], and his five uncles, taken in Ireland, were hanged together at Tyburn, and in the course of the year Norfolk's brother Thomas Howard died in the Tower of London, to which he had been committed for having made a secret contract of marriage with the king's niece, Lady Margaret Douglas, afterwards the mother of Darnley.
On 12 Oct. Queen Jane gave birth to a prince, afterwards Edward VI, and died on the 24th at Hampton Court. Henry remained a widower for the unusual period of more than two years, but not without frequent talk of marrying a fourth wife. At first he seemed anxious to wed Mary of Guise, and was angry when he was told that she had been already given to his nephew, James V of Scotland. Afterwards he had some thoughts of Christina, duchess of Milan, whose portrait he commissioned Holbein to paint for him. These, however, were but political devices to preserve the balance of power between the two rivals, Charles V and Francis I, lest they should combine with the pope against him. The state of his health, which at least in the spring of 1538 was already serious, might have afforded sufficient reason for avoiding another marriage. He had a fistula in one leg, his face at times growing quite black and he himself speechless from pain. His illness, no doubt, was aggravated by anxieties both domestic and foreign; for if other princes should be banded against him the loyalty of his own subjects was not to be depended on. And Francis I and Charles V were at that very moment drawing towards each other. By the mediation of the pope they made a ten years' truce together in June 1538, and had a personal interview in the following month.
Whatever he might do to meet the danger, Henry certainly had no thought of endeavouring to propitiate the see of Rome. He caused images and shrines everywhere to be demolished and pilgrimages to be suppressed. He moreover resumed the work of dissolving the monasteries, which he had no difficulty in carrying beyond the limit authorised by parliament. For a moment, too, he showed again some inclination to an alliance with the German protestants, whose usefulness in case the emperor should think of attacking him was evident, and some of their divines came to England in the summer on his invitation, to discuss matters of faith with a view to a common agreement. But nothing came of these conferences, and Henry showed himself every day more zealous for ancient doctrine. In November 1537 he issued a proclamation for anabaptists to quit the kingdom. In the same month he signally illustrated his position as head of the church by hearing personally an appeal from the Archbishop of Canterbury by a heretic named John Lambert [q.v.], otherwise called Nicholson, who denied the corporeal presence in the Sacrament. From the account of an eye-witness, preserved, and certainly not weakened in effect, by Foxe (Acts and Monuments, ed. Townsend, 1838, v. 230-6), he seems to have shamefully browbeat the accused. Cromwell, on the other hand, in a contemporary despatch, reports with admiration ‘how benignly his Grace essayed to convert the miserable man’ (Collier, Eccl. Hist., ed. 1852, iv. 428). Neither report can be regarded as altogether trustworthy. The hearing lasted five hours, and several of the bishops argued with the accused from noon till the debate closed by torchlight. At last the king bade Cromwell, as his vicegerent, pronounce sentence, and within a few days the man was burned in Smithfield.
Towards the close of the year Henry's anxieties increased. The spoliation of the rich shrine of St. Thomas of Canterbury had renewed the indignation felt against him at Rome, and Charles V and Francis I being now at amity, the pope at length fulminated, or at all events signed, the sentence of excommunication against him, which had been three years suspended. Henry, however, had already taken measures in anticipation of this blow to secure himself against such of his own subjects as might possibly be put in his place if he were deprived of the kingdom. Henry Pole, lord Montague, was grandson and eldest representative of George, duke of Clarence. Henry Courtenay, marquis of Exeter [q.v.], was a grandson of Edward IV. They were both arrested; found guilty of treason by a jury of their peers for having corresponded with Montague's brother, Cardinal Reginald Pole [q.v.], and were beheaded (9 Dec. 1538). Sir Geoffrey Pole, another brother of Montague's, also thrown into prison, bought his pardon by a confession which involved his family. The Countess of Salisbury, Lord Montague's mother, was thrown into the Tower, to undergo two years later a barbarous execution. Sir Nicholas Carew [q.v.] was also arrested, and was executed on 3 March 1539. Parliament, which met on 28 April, soon followed up these cruelties by a sweeping act of attainder against many other persons.
The king still felt far from secure, and ordered all possible precautionary measures against invasion. The people, on the other hand, were assured that old principles of religion stood in little danger, when parliament to maintain them passed the severe penal statute of the Six Articles, which caused Latimer and Shaxton to resign their bishoprics. But Cromwell was already planning a new way to secure the king, not by the preservation of old principles of religion, but by Henry's marriage to Anne of Cleves [q.v.]. Although a theological agreement with the German protestants had not been established, a political alliance between them and the king of England promised advantage to both sides as a means of holding the emperor in check, and the match with Anne of Cleves was by Henry's own confession accepted by him simply and solely to defeat the threatened combination against him.
The treaty for this marriage was signed at Windsor 24 Sept. 1539. The last strongholds of papal authority within the realm were a few of the remaining monasteries, and their suppression was nearly completed. During 1538 and 1539 almost all the great abbeys surrendered, and early in 1540 not a single monastery remained. Anne of Cleves landed at Deal on 27 Dec. 1539, and Henry with five of his privy chamber came to see her at Rochester on New-year's day, 1540. They were all in disguise, but the king showed her a token from himself and took a first embrace. He remained with her that day and till the following afternoon, when he returned by Gravesend and the river to Greenwich, where the marriage took place on 6 Jan. Charles V was at that very time the guest of Francis I at Paris, but the emperor stood now quite as much in fear of a protestant alliance against him as Henry had done of a catholic alliance against England. Nor would Henry perhaps have done much to disturb the relations between Charles and Francis by a mission of the Duke of Norfolk to France immediately after, but that the emperor, having reached his own countries, repudiated some important pledges to his ally and won the friendship of the Duke of Cleves by offering him the Duchess of Milan in marriage. Thus Henry's great object of keeping the two rivals on the continent at variance was attained once more, the policy of Cromwell was no longer serviceable, and within England itself a catholic reaction grew stronger every day.
The final results were the arrest and execution of Thomas Cromwell and the king's divorce from Anne of Cleves. Both events took place in July. On the 30th also Robert Barnes, D.D. [q.v.], Jerome, and Garrard were burned as heretics at Smithfield for their Lutheran tendencies, while Thomas Abell [q.v.], Richard Fetherstone [q.v.], and Powell were hanged, disembowelled, and quartered in the same place for the old offence of maintaining the validity of the king's first marriage. The parliament which sat, after prorogation from last year, from 12 April to 24 July, had attainted all the six. Its chief business besides was to grant the king, notwithstanding all the confiscations of monastic property, a very heavy subsidy, which it did with much reluctance.
Henry then married Catherine Howard [q.v.], who was shown as queen on 8 Aug. 1540. He was now free from serious anxieties, and his buoyant spirits returned. He adopted a new rule of life, rising even in winter between five and six, hearing mass at seven, and riding about on horseback till ten, by which he found himself much benefited in health. In the beginning of March following (1541) he was seized with a tertian fever, and the old fistula in his leg caused him some trouble, but he soon grew better and appeared as robust as usual. His spirits, however, were depressed by the discovery of a conspiracy for a new insurrection in the north, organised by Sir John Nevill. He declared that he had an unhappy people to govern, whom if he could he would reduce to such poverty that they should not be able to rebel. Some of the conspirators were hanged at Tyburn on 27 May, and the Countess of Salisbury was on the same day beheaded within the Tower. Sir John Nevill was sent down to York to suffer there.
Partly with a view to allaying sedition by his presence and partly in the hope of meeting James V of Scotland, whom he had invited to an interview at York, Henry now arranged a progress into the north. But before he set out the Tower was cleared of its prisoners, and a number of further executions took place, among the victims being Lord Leonard Grey [q.v.] and Thomas Fiennes, ninth lord Dacre of the South [q.v.]. Another prisoner, Arthur Plantagenet, viscount Lisle [q.v.], late deputy of Calais, was pardoned. The French ambassador, writing of this time of tyranny, says that men knew not of what they might be accused; they were condemned unheard; parliament had virtually made over all its functions to the king, and the leaders of parties plotted against each other.
Henry set out on his progress on 30 June. It was delayed by floods in Lincolnshire, and he only reached York in September. The different towns on his way vied with each other in offering him gifts and declaring their loyalty. But the Scottish king very prudently declined to meet him. On his return to Hampton Court in November he was shocked to learn that the queen had not been chaste before she married him, and that she had since been untrue to him even during the progress. Her accomplices were tried and executed before her in December, and she herself was brought to the block on 13 Feb. following (1542).
Parliament meanwhile had assembled, and among other things enacted that Ireland should be henceforth a kingdom. Henry was accordingly proclaimed king of Ireland as well as of England on 23 Jan. The island had by this time been brought into fairly complete subjection, almost all the Irish chieftains having made formal submission to the king, some of them in England in the king's own presence. With all this success, however, Henry continued to demand excessive subsidies or extortionate loans. He had also been nursing a quarrel with Scotland since the refusal of James to meet him at York, and things were tending to war both with that country and with France. Disturbances on the Scottish borders brought matters to a point; and Henry, issuing a long manifesto, in which he revived the claim of feudal superiority over the northern kingdom, sent Norfolk to invade it. Norfolk crossed the Tweed, 21 Oct., and laid waste the country till he was compelled for want of provisions to return to Berwick. Next month the Scots were routed at the Solway Moss, and James V died broken-hearted in December, leaving his infant daughter Mary heiress of the kingdom.
The prisoners taken at the Solway Moss, several of them noblemen of high standing, were sent up to London and paraded through the streets from Bishopsgate to the Tower. But on the news of King James's death Henry determined to make use of them to further a new policy in Scotland. He proposed to unite that country to the English crown by marrying his son Edward to the infant Mary as soon as the parties should be of sufficient age. The prisoners were accordingly treated with kindness, and allowed to return to their country on a solemn engagement to favour the treaty and to procure the delivery of Mary into Henry's hands to be brought up in England, or, if the Scottish parliament refused this, to assist Henry in subjugating their own country, or else to return to captivity. At the same time the Earl of Angus and Sir George Douglas, who had been many years resident in England, having been banished from Scotland as rebels, returned thither pledged to promote the same object. But the Scottish parliament, while agreeing to the marriage, refused to allow their queen to be brought up in England. By the skill of Sir George Douglas a compromise was effected, and treaties were actually drawn up on 1 July 1543 for the peace and marriage on terms ostensibly much more favourable to the Scots. But Scotland was unhappily rent by faction, and by the influence of Cardinal Beaton and the French party the treaties were soon set aside.
Meanwhile Henry had on 11 Feb. 1543 concluded an alliance with the emperor against France. Heretic as he was, and excommunicated by the pope, both Charles and Francis had, ever since Cromwell's fall, desired his friendship, each against the other; and though it had been apparent for years that he was inclining to the emperor rather than to France, yet until the emperor was willing to make a satisfactory alliance with him he had studiously affected friendship with the French, and pretended to be ready to marry the Princess Mary to the Duke of Orleans. Henry, however, now withdrew his ambassadors from France, and later in the year sent a detachment under Sir John Wallop in aid of the emperor, so that in the latter part of 1543 he found himself once more at war both with Scotland and France; and at war with both of them he remained till within a few months of his death.
In a brief interval of peace, however, he married, 12 July 1543, his last wife, Catherine Parr [q.v.]. On 7 July 1544 he made her regent in his absence, when on the point of crossing the Channel to conduct the war in person. His brief campaign was signalised by the capture of Boulogne (14 Sept.); immediately after which he was deserted by his perfidious ally the emperor, who made a separate peace with France on the 19th. Henry suspended operations for the winter, and recrossed the Channel on the 30th. England was now placed at a disadvantage in maintaining the war single-handed against France; but the national spirit rose with the danger, and though Henry's subjects were called upon for loans, subsidies, and benevolences with a frequency heretofore unknown, they contributed for the most part with little grudging. The king, moreover, adopted one of the worst means of lightening his financial burdens¾debasement of the currency, an evil which was not remedied till the days of Queen Elizabeth, and only partially then. But he also coined his plate and mortgaged his estates to meet the exigencies of a war which in two years cost him 1,300,000l. England, however, was unable to strike an effective blow at her enemy; and one of her finest vessels, the Mary Rose, sank by accident (20 July 1545) off Portsmouth under the king's own eyes, while the French, almost that very day, made good a temporary landing in the Isle of Wight. But, on the whole, nothing was gained by either side, and on 7 June 1546 France agreed to make peace with England, leaving her in possession of Boulogne for eight years longer, and agreeing to pay a large sum for arrears of past pensions and war expenses.
As for Scotland, the one constant enemy of Henry's policy in that country was Cardinal Beaton, and Henry favoured the plot which resulted in his assassination. In May 1544 an English force under the Earl of Hertford, supported by a fleet in the Firth of Forth, burned Leith and Edinburgh, and laid waste the neighbouring country. But this did not tend to make the Scots more tractable, and in the early part of 1545 a raid by Lord Evers on the Scottish border, in which he desecrated the tombs of the Douglases at Melrose, was revenged by the signal defeat of the invaders at Ancrum Muir (27 Feb.). In April Henry, through the Earl of Cassilis, again attempted to dictate a peace to the Scottish lords, but his terms were rejected, and in September Hertford laid waste the borders about Dryburgh and Melrose. At last, on 30 May 1546, Cardinal Beaton was murdered, and the castle of St. Andrews seized by conspirators in league with England; and as this gave Henry's party the command of a seaport and a strong castle, he had now a footing in Scotland from which he could not easily be driven.
The chief domestic matters of interest during those last years of his reign were matters of religion. Numerous colleges, chantries, and hospitals found it prudent to surrender, and in the session of November 1545 parliament placed the endowments of all such foundations at the king's disposal as an additional aid to meet his war expenses. A power of unlimited confiscation was thus placed in the king's hands; which, however, it seems he was expected to exercise with some regard for the interests of religion and learning. So Henry himself understood the matter, as he told parliament himself in a speech with which he closed the session on 24 Dec. 1545, and he thanked them for such a marked expression of their confidence. He then added that he could not but grieve that his subjects, who showed so much kindness towards himself, were not in charity with one another, but the names heretic, anabaptist, papist, hypocrite, and Pharisee were freely banded about, and he gave them a sort of sermon on the thirteenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians, urging them to amendment. Above all they must not judge their own causes, or rail at bishops, but if they knew that a bishop or preacher taught corrupt doctrine, ‘come,’ he said, ‘and declare it to some of our council, or to us to whom is committed by God the high authority to reform and order such causes.’
Some doubt seems to be thrown on the authenticity of this speech by the fact that it is not recorded in the ‘Journals of the House of Lords;’ but it comes from Hall's ‘Chronicle,’ a source which can generally be relied on. It was Henry's last speech in parliament, where he never again appeared in person, and it seems too striking and characteristic to be an invention; but in any case it affords singular evidence of the utter inefficiency of the severe act of the Six Articles to effect its avowed purpose of ‘abolishing diversities of opinion.’ Persecutions and burnings for heresy were frequent during the next year, the last of Henry's reign [cf. Askew, Anne].
Henry's infirmities were now increasing. Heavy and unwieldy, he could no longer walk or stand, and the fistula in his leg had become more serious. All who stood near the throne foresaw his speedy death and the horrors of a minority, and were naturally anxious about their own position in the coming reign. Suddenly, on 12 Dec. 1546, the Duke of Norfolk and his son Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, the poet, were made prisoners. Evidence had been collected against them beforehand that they were speculating upon a regency, and gentlemen were despatched into Norfolk before his apprehension got wind to take possession of the duke's house at Kenninghall, and to examine his friends there. The duke confessed that he was guilty at least of technical treason, especially in not having revealed the conduct of his son, who had altered the quarterings of his shield in a manner suitable only to an heir-apparent of the crown. But a far more hideous charge was brought against Surrey himself¾that he had recommended his own sister, the Duchess of Richmond, the widow of the king's son, to become the king's mistress, by which she might obtain an influence in political matters similar to that of Madame d'Étampes in the court of Francis I. This charge seems to have been confirmed by the duchess herself, and is by no means the only evidence of the deep depravity of the court of Henry VIII. Parliament was summoned to meet in January 1547 for the purpose, among other things, of passing an act of attainder against Norfolk. On the 13th, the day before it met, Surrey was tried by a special commission at the Guildhall, and, being found guilty, was beheaded two days later on Tower Hill. Against Norfolk the bill of attainder passed both houses on the 27th, and was awaiting the royal assent when the king died at Westminster at midnight on 28 Jan. Henry, Foxe tells us, had been ‘loth to hear any mention of death.’ At the last Sir Anthony Denny obtained permission to send for Cranmer, but when the archbishop arrived the king was speechless. Cranmer asked him to give some token of his trust in Christ, and the dying man pressed his hand. Henry was buried at Windsor.
Henry's unique position among English kings is owing to the extraordinary degree of personal weight that he was able to throw into the government of the realm. Strictly speaking he was not an unconstitutional sovereign; all his doings were clothed with the form of legality. But the whole machinery of state, both legislative and executive, moved simply in accordance with his pleasure, and, however unpopular might be his government at home or his policy abroad, no one could venture to impugn his acts or could doubt his consummate statesmanship. The sentiment of loyalty, moreover, which was held to be superior to all ties of natural affection, was much stronger in those days than it has been in later times.
Besides the two leading acts of the Reformation, the establishment of the royal supremacy and the suppression of the monasteries, Henry was responsible for some smaller changes whose results were permanent. On Wolsey's fall he seized into his own hands the endowments of the cardinal's projected colleges at Ipswich and Oxford, completed the latter on a less munificent scale than was designed for it, and then assumed the honours of a founder, calling it Henry VIII's College instead of Cardinal's College. It is now known as Christ Church. Between 1540 and 1542 he erected six new bishoprics (Westminster, Oxford, Peterborough, Bristol, Gloucester, and Chester) out of some of the endowments of the suppressed monasteries. The first of these bishoprics continued only for ten years, and was dissolved by Edward VI. He also drew up a scheme, the draft of which remains in his own handwriting (MS. Cotton. Cleopatra, E. iv.), for a still further increase of the episcopate, and he obtained an act of parliament in 1536 for establishing a number of suffragans. In 1531 he began, for the gratification of Anne Boleyn, to lay out St. James's Park, which was approached by a long gallery across the street from Whitehall. This appears to have been done mainly by an exchange of lands with the abbey of Westminster and Eton College; but numbers of houses were demolished for the purpose without adequate compensation to the owners.
As an author Henry was by no means contemptible. His book against Luther (‘Assertio Septem Sacramentorum,’ published in 1521) was a scholastic performance of a rather conventional type; but it was the coinage of his own brain, and he had discussed its arguments, in the progress of the work, both with Wolsey and with More. It seemed, moreover, to Luther himself of sufficient weight to draw from him a somewhat angry though contemptuous rejoinder. Of course, in the composition of such a treatise Henry could easily command the aid of the best scholarship of the day, at all events to improve the style. To what extent he was thus aided we cannot tell. But we have the testimony of Erasmus to his own facility in Latin composition; and it is quite certain that in the numerous letters, manifestos, and treatises, both Latin and English, put forth in his name during his reign, his own hand is very often traceable. His skill in theological subtleties, no less than in threading the mazes of diplomacy, enabled him to take up a position that could not be successfully challenged, and secure himself alike against popes, emperors, and kings in the midst of a dangerous revolution stirred mainly by himself. The first articles of religion were printed in 1536 as ‘Articles devised by the King's Majesty.’ Next year appeared a more elaborate treatise entitled ‘The Institution of a Christian Man,’ often spoken of as ‘the bishops' book,’ in contradistinction to a later publication. It was indeed the fruit of much conference among the bishops; but the singular thing about it was the preface, which was really a petition from the divines who drew it up to Henry to revise and correct it and then suffer it to be printed. The king, however, kept it for six months, and then authorised its publication, declaring he had not had time to examine it as requested, but trusted to the divines that it was sound and scriptural. Later still in the reign (1543) appeared ‘A necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man,’ which was known as ‘the king's book,’ and which was, in the main, a revision of the bishops' book with a preface by the king himself.
Henry was personally little concerned in the publication of the first authorised English bible. A royal proclamation suppressed Tyndale's translation of the New Testament in June 1530, and held out a hope that a more scholarly version of the whole bible would be prepared by sound divines and published by royal authority. The king was in no haste to redeem the promise, but a few years later Miles Coverdale [q.v.] published abroad a complete translation, which in 1537 he reprinted in England with a dedication to the king and Queen Jane. Matthews's bible appeared in 1537 under Cranmer's auspices, with a dedication to the king, and was authorised by Cromwell; the clergy were enjoined in 1538 to have a copy in every church. This edition was called ‘the bible of the largest volume.’ A revised edition, published as Cranmer's bible in 1540, was the first distinctly authorised to be read in churches instead of being merely placed there for consultation [see Grafton, Richard, and Coverdale, Miles].
Henry's tall, thick-set form, large limbs, ruddy face, fleshy cheeks, and blue-grey eyes, are familiar to us from numerous portraits, several of them masterpieces of Holbein. The finest, on the whole, is that at Petworth, engraved in Lodge's ‘Portraits.’ A magnificent cartoon belonging to the Duke of Devonshire, representing Henry and his father and mother, and Jane Seymour as queen, is unfortunately somewhat worn and defaced. Several portraits, however, attributed to Holbein are by his successor Luke Hornebolt, representing the king in his last years, fat and bloated¾generally full-length portraits with legs astride. On the other hand, two early likenesses not by Holbein deserve especial mention¾one at Hampton Court, and a still more youthful portrait belonging to Earl Spencer at Althorp. There is also a fine image of the king seven inches high, very doubtfully said to have been carved by Holbein in hone stone, belonging to Mrs. Dent of Sudeley; and a miniature likeness of him playing the harp, with Will Somers his jester beside him, adorns his manuscript psalter in the British Museum. It is engraved in Ellis's ‘Original Letters’ (vol. i.).
The chief sources of information for the life and reign of Henry VIII are: State Papers published under the authority of his Majesty's Commission, 1830-52; Memorials of Henry VII and Letters and Papers of Richard III and Henry VII, both in Rolls Ser.; Cal. of Henry VIII; Cal. State Papers, Spanish and Venetian; Polydori Virgilii Historia Anglica; Chronicles of Hall, Holinshed, and Stow; Wriothesley's Chronicle (Camden Soc.); Harpsfield's Treatise on the Pretended Divorce between Henry VIII and Catherine of Arragon (Camden Soc.); Foxe's Acts and Monuments, ed. Townsend, 1843; Nic. Sanderi de origine ac progressu Schismatis Anglicani; Cal. of the Baga de Secretis in 3rd Rep. of the Deputy-keeper of the Public Records; Haynes's State Papers; Burnet's Hist. of the Reformation, ed. Pocock, and Records of the Reformation, by the same editor (Clarendon Press); Original Letters (Parker Soc.); Correspondance Politique de MM. de Castillon et de Marillac, 1537-42, and Correspondance Politique de Odet de Selve, 1546, &c., both published by the French government; Statutes; Journals of the House of Lords, vol. i.; Lord Herbert of Cherbury's Hist. of Henry VIII (written from original sources, some of which may not now be extant); and Rawdon Brown's Four Years at the Court of Henry VIII, containing translations of despatches by Sebastian Giustinian, though abstracts of these appear in the Venetian Calendar. Of modern works the most important are Lingard and Froude's Histories of England, Gasquet's Henry VIII and the English Monasteries, and Canon Dixon's Hist. of the Church of England. Brewer's Reign of Henry VIII reprints with slight alterations his prefaces to the Calendar. Some valuable tracts on Wolsey's policy have been printed in Germany by Dr. Wilhelm Busch. See also Henry VIII by A. F. Pollard, 1902, new edit. 1905.
Contributor: J. G. [James Gairdner]