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person north of Trent should be brought to London upon any law-suit, ... the repeal of certain acts, the restoration of the Papal authority, of the Princess Mary to her right of succession, and of the suppressed Convents; the removal of Cromwell and of the Chancellor ; the punishment of the Lutherans, and also of two of the visitors for bribery and extortion. These demands being rejected, they prepared to enforce them by advancing, and Norfolk represented to the King that some concession ought to be made, for they were greatly superior to him in strength. He was authorized, therefore, to offer a general pardon, and promise that a Parliament should soon be called, in which their demands should be considered. A second rising of the river Don, which again prevented them from crossing it, intimidated them, as an interposition of Providence on the King's behalf; they gladly accepted these terms, and the pardon was signed, on condition that they submitted and returned to their obedience. clamation accompanied the pardon, in which the King justified the measures of his government, and expressed his wonder that they, who were but brutes, should think they could better judge than himself and his whole Council, who should be his counsellors. Just complaints he was ready to hear and satisfy; but he would bear with no such interference. And he required them to revoke the oaths by which they had bound themselves to this rebellion, to swear obedience, to apprehend seditious persons, and remove the Monks, Nuns, and Friars, whom they had re-established. He ordered them also to send Aske and Lord Darcy to Court. The latter was imprisoned ; his case, indeed, was different from that of the insurgents.
Aske was favourably received; but when an attempt was made to surprise Carlisle, and several partial insurrections broke out, he hastened again to bear part in what he deemed a religious cause; and being made
was put to death. Lord Darcy was brought to trial, and, in his defence, accused Norfolk of having encouraged the rebels to persist in their demands. The Duke offered to prove his innocence by combat ; but Henry gave no ear to the accusation, and Darcy, whose former services were thought to deserve consideration, and whose great age excited compassion, was beheaded. Many suffered by martial law; and some of the great
abbots were attainted and executed for the part they had taken in abetting the insurrection.
This unsuccessful struggle hastened the dissolution of those Monasteries which had hitherto been spared. It was pretended that, by this measure, the King and his successors would be so greatly enriched, that the people would never again be charged with taxes; and that the revenue thus obtained, would suffice for supporting forty Earls, sixty Barons, three thousand knights, and forty thousand soldiers, with their captains; for making better provision for the poor, and giving salaries to ministers who should go about and preach the Gospel. The manner in which many Convents were surrendered, shows how weary the members were of their way of life; some gave as a reason, their conviction that the ceremonies to which they were bound were superstitious and useless ; others confessed shame and repentance for the frauds which they had practised, and the vices in which they had indulged. But there were some cases in which the neighbourhood petitioned that a religious house might not be suppressed, and the visitors themselves represented it as a blessing to the country. Latimer, with his honest earnestness, entreated that two or three in every shire might be continued, not in Monkery, he said, but as establishments for learned men, and such as would go about preaching and giving religious instruction to the people, and for the sake of hospitality. The University of Cambridge expressed their desire and hope that the monasteries, which had hitherto been, not merely unprofitable to religion, but even pernicious, might be converted into Colleges for students and preachers.
The King's purpose was, to appropriate 18,0001. a year, in Church lands, for the endowment of eighteen new Bishoprics. The proportion would have been iniquitously small; for the yearly revenues of which he thus became possessed, exceeded 130,0001., . .. but a third part only of what he purposed performed. The rest of the property was squandered by prodigal grants among his rapacious favourites ; by such sales or exchanges as were little less advantageous than grants to the favoured subject; and no trifling part the King gambled away, ... settầng, sometimes, an estate, and sometimes a peal of Church
of a curse upon
bells upon a cast. The deeds by which lands were conveyed to a religious house, usually concluded with the solemn imprecation
those persons who should either withhold or wrest them from the pious uses to which they were consecrated; that curse, the Abbey-lands were believed, and not by the Romanists alone, to carry with them; and it fell heavily upon many of those who partook most largely in the spoil. The feeling of the people, upon this subject, was a just and natural one. The first religious house which was demolished was that of Christ Church in London, which had been given to the Chancellor Sir Thomas Audley; and when he offered the materials of the priory, church, and steeple, to any who would take them down, no man would accept the offer: ... a fact most honourable to the Londoners. This
proper feeling soon yielded to cupidity, aided as that was by indignation at the enormities which the visitors brought to light, and the juggling tricks which were now exposed. The simplest persons perceived what frauds had been practised concerning relics, when more pieces of the true Cross were produced than would have made a whole one; and so many teeth of Saint Apollonia, which were distributed as amulets against tooth-ache, that they filled a tun. The abominable frauds of the Romish Church hastened its downfal now, more than they had promoted its rise. A vial was shown at? Hales in Gloucestershire, as containing a portion of our blessed Saviour's blood, which suffered itself to be seen by no person in a state of mortal sin, but became visible when the penitent, by his offerings, had obtained forgiveness. It was now discovered, that this was performed by keeping blood, which was renewed every week, in a vial, one side of which was thick and opaque, the other transparent, and turning it by a secret hand, as the case required. A trick of the same kind, more skilfully executed, is still annually performed at Naples. There was a Crucifix at Boxley, called the Rood of Grace, which was a favourite object of pilgrimage, because the image moved its head, hands, and feet, rolled its eyes, and made many other gestures, which were represented as miraculous, and believed to be so. The mechanism whereby all this was done was now exposed to the public, and the Bishop of Rochester, after preaching a
| Fuller, b. vi. Hist. of Abbeys, p. 307. ? Ibid. p. 323. Burnet, i. p. 243.
3 Fuller, b. vi. Hist. of Abbeys, p. 333.
sermon upon the occasion, broke the rood to pieces in their sight. Henry failed not to take advantage of the temper which such disclosures excited. Shrines and treasures, which it might otherwise have been dangerous to have invaded, were now thought rightfully to be seized, when they had been procured by such gross and palpable impositions. The gold from Becket's shrine alone filled two chests, which were a load for eight strong men. Becket was unsainted, as well as unshrined, by the King, who, taking up the cause of his ancestor, ordered his name to be struck out from the Kalendar, and his bones burnt. Another fraud was then discovered, ... for the skull was found with the rest of the skeleton in his grave, though another had been produced, to work miracles, as his, in the Church.
The Pope had long threatened to issue a Bull of Deposition, but had hitherto delayed it, because of the displeasure which he knew it would occasion in other Sovereign Princes. The manner in which Becket had been uncanonized put an end to this suspension, and the Bull was now fulminated, requiring the King and his accomplices to appear at Rome, and there give an account of their actions, on pain of excommunication and rebellion ; otherwise the Pope deprived him of his Crown, and them of their estates, and both of Christian burial. He interdicted the kingdom: absolved his subjects and their vassals from all oaths and obligations to him ; declared him infamous; called upon all Nobles and others in his dominions to take arms against him; and required all Kings, Princes, and military persons, in virtue of the obedience which they owed the Apostolic See, to make war against him, and make slaves of such of his subjects as they could seize. In his letters to the different Potentates, which accompanied the Bull, he called Henry a heretic, a schismatic, a manifest adulterer, and public murderer; a rebel convicted of high treason against his Lord the Pope, ... and he offered his dominions to the King of Scotland, if he would go and take them.
But the throne of England was no longer to be shaken by such thunders. Even the Romish Bishops joined in the declaration which Henry set forth, that Christ had forbidden his Apostles or their successors to take to themselves the power of the sword, or the authority of kings; and that if the Bishop of Rome, or any other bishop, assumed any such power, he was a tyrant and
usurper of other men's rights, and a subverter of the kingdom of Christ. The prelates, who were most devoted to the Papal cause, deemed it politic for that cause, rather to assent to the King's measures, than to oppose him; nor was there any one at this time who defended all his proceedings, even those which were least defensible, more obsequiously than Gardiner, who of all men was at heart most inimical to the Reformation. This man, of odious memory, is supposed to have been the natural son of a Bishop of Salisbury, who was brother to Edward the Fourth’s Queen; by the half-blood he was, therefore, cousin to Henry's mother. His countenance indicated capacity of mind, and strength of character, but it was strongly marked also by craft and implacable severity; . . . deep dissembler as he was, nature had made his features incapable of dissimulation. The son and biographer of good John Fox has well described him as "a man whose abilities qualified him for any employment, but who alway, as he grew elder, grew worse: haughty and cruel in bearing those honours which his deserts had won; and in regaining any that he had lost, able to weary any man with submission and humility.”
Gardiner understood the King's temper, and knew when it was necessary to yield to him, and by what means at other seasons he might be guided. The Reformation had been advancing rapidly. The translation of the Bible, which Tindal began, had been completed by Miles Coverdale ; and the whole work having been printed on the Continent, at the cost of Richard Grafton and his friends, was licensed in England under the privy seal, and ordered to be provided in all parish churches, for the use of the parishioners, the price of the book to be borne half by them, and half by the incumbent. Another circumstance, not less favourable to the Reformers, was the birth of Prince Edward ; their work they well knew would be undone if Mary should succeed to the throne. The birth of a son, therefore, who would be trained up in their principles, was of the utmost importance, though their joy was abated by the death of Queen Jane in childbed.
The writers who supposed that, by blackening the character of Henry, they might injure the Protestant cause, represented her life as having been sacrificed to his desire of issue, affirming that, upon the alternative of losing wife or child,