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A. D. 1527
on the word of a prince, I have asked counsel of the greatest clerks in Christendom; and for this cause I have sent for this legate, as a man indifferent, only to know the truth, and so to settle my conscience, and for none other cause, as God can judge. And as touching the queen, if it be adjudged by the law of God that she is my lawful wife, there was never thing more pleasant, or more acceptable to me in my life, both for the discharge and clearing of my conscience, and also for the good qualities and conditions which I know to be in her. For I assure you all, that beside her noble parentage of which she is descended (as you well know), she is a woman of most gentleness, of most humility and buxomness, yea, and in all good qualities appertaining to nobility, she is without comparison, as I, these twenty years almost, have had the true experiment; so that if I were to marry again, if the marriage might be good, I would surely choose her above all other women. But if it be determined by judgment, that our marriage was against God's law, and clearly void, then shall I not only sorrow the departing from so good a lady and loving companion, but much more lament and bewail my unfortunate chance, that I have so long lived in adultery, to God's great displeasure, and have no true heir of my body to inherit this realm. These be the sores that vex my mind, these be the pangs that trouble my conscience, and for these griefs I seek a remedy. Therefore I require you all, as our trust and confidence is in you, to declare to our subjects our mind and intent, according to our true meaning; and desire them to pray with us that the very truth may be known, for the discharge of our conscience, and saving of our soul: and for the declaration hereof I have assembled you together, and now you may depart.
talk with queen.
Shortly after this oration of the king, wherewith he stirred thc The hearts of a number, then the two legates, being requested of the legates king, for discharge of his conscience, to judge and determine upon the the cause, went to the queen lying then in the palace of Bridewell, and declared to her, how they were deputed judges indifferent, between the king and her, to hear and determine whether the marriage between them stood with God's law or not.
When she understood the cause of their coming, being thereat something astonied at the first, after a little pausing with herself, thus she began, answering for herself,
Queen Katharine's Answer to the Cardinals. Alas, my lords (said she), is it now a question whether I be the king's lawful wife or no, when I have been married to him almost twenty years, and in the mean season never question was made before? Divers prelates yet being alive, and lords also, and privy councillors with the king at that time, then adjudged our marriage lawful and honest ; and now to say it is detestable and abominable, I think it great marvel: and, in especial, when I consider what a wise prince the king's father was, and also the love and natural affection that king Ferdinand, my father, bare unto me, I think in myself, that neither of our fathers were so uncircumspect, so unwise, and of so small imagination, but they foresaw what might follow of our marriage; and in especial, the king my father sent to the court of Rome, and there, after long suit, with great cost and charge, obtained a license and dispensation, that I, being the one brother's wife, and peradventure carnally known, might, without scruple of conscience, marry with the other brother lawfully, which license, under lead, I have yet to show : which things make me to say, and surely believe, that our marriage was both lawful, good, and godly.
But of this trouble I may only thank you, my lord cardinal of York. because I have wondered at your high pride and vain glory, and abhorord cardina? your voluptuous life and abominable lechery, and little regarded your prer this sumptuous power and tyranny, therefore, of malice you have kindled this fire, divorce,
and why. and set this matter abroach ; and, in especial, for the great malice that you
(1) Ex E. Hallo. (pp. 754, 755. Edit. 1809.- ED.)
Henry bear to my nephew the emperor, whom I perfectly know you hate worse than VIII.
a scorpion, because he would not satisfy your ambition, and make you pope by A. D.
force: and therefore you have said more than once, that you would trouble him 1527
and his friends; and you have kept him true promise; for all his wars and to
vexations he may only thank you. And as for me, his poor aunt and kins1533. woman, what trouble you have put me to, by this new found doubt, God
knoweth; to whom I commit my cause, according to the truth.
The cardinal of York excused himself, saying, that he was not the beginner nor the mover of the doubt, and that it was sore against his will that ever the marriage should come in question ; but he said that by his superior, the bishop of Rome, he was deputed as a judge to hear the cause ; which he sware on his profession to hear indifferently. But whatsoever was said, she believed him not; and so the legates took their leave of her, and departed.
These words were spoken in French, and written by cardinal Campeius's secretary, who was present; and afterwards, by Edward Hall, translated into English.
* By these premises it is sufficient to judge and understand what the whole occasion was, that brought this marriage first into doubt, so that there needeth not any further declaration in words upon
this matter. But this one thing will I say, if I might be bold to speak what I think : other men may think what they list. This I suppose, that the stay of this marriage was taken in good time, and not without the singular favour of God's providence. For if that one child, coming of this aforesaid marriage, did so greatly endanger this whole realm of England to be entangled with the Spanish nation, that if God's mighty hand had not been betwixt, God only knoweth what misery might have ensued : what peril then should thereby have followed, if, in the continuance of this marriage, more issue had
sprung thereof !
But to return again to our matter concerning the whole process and discourse of this divorcement, briefly to comprehend in few words, that which might be collected out of many: after this answer was given of the queen, and her appeal made to the pope, the king, to try out the matter by Scriptures and by learning, sent first to the pope, then to most part of all universities, to have it decided to the uttermost.
In the next year ensuing, A.D. 1530, at the Black Friars of
London was prepared a solemn place for the two legates : who, legates: coming with their crosses, pillars, axes, and all other Romish and queen ceremonies accordingly, were set in two chairs covered with cloth of
gold, and cushions of the same. When all things were ready, then the king and the queen were ascited by Dr. Sampson to appear before the said legates the 28th day of May; where (the commission of the cardinals first being read, wherein it was appointed by the court of Rome, that they should be the hearers and judges in the cause between them both) the king was called by name, who appeared by two proctors. Then the queen was called, who being accompanied with four bishops, and others of her council, and a great company of ladies, came personally herself before the legates ; who there, after her
(1) For this passage between asterisks see Ed. 1563, p. 457.- ED. (2) These four bishops were Warham of Canterbury, West of Ely, Fisher of Rochester, Standish of St. Asaph.
cited before them.
obeisance, with a sad gravity of countenance, having not many words Henry with them, appealed from the legates, as judges not competent, to the court of Rome, and so departed. Notwithstanding this appeal, A.D. the cardinals sat weekly, and every day arguments on both sides 1530 were brought, but nothing definitively was determined.
As the time passed on, in the month of June, the king being desirous to see an end of the controversy, and hear the determination of the matter, came to the court, and the queen came also, where he, appealeth standing under his cloth of estate, uttered these or like words, cardinals *which can best declare his own mind, and which here I thought to notify, that they who have not the chronicles present, may here read his mind, and the better understand the matter.*
to the pope
The King's Oration to the Legates. My lords, legates of the see apostolic, who be deputed judges in this great and weighty matter, I most heartily beseech you to ponder my mind and intent, which only is to have a final end for the discharge of my conscience. For every good christian man knoweth what pain and what unquietness he suffereth, who hath his conscience grieved. For I assure you, on my honour, that this matter hath so vexed my mind, and troubled my spirits, that I can scantly study anything which should be profitable for my realm and people : and to have a quietness in body and soul is my desire and request, and not for any grudge that I bear to her that I have married; for I dare say, that for her womanhood, wisdom, nobility, and gentleness, never prince had such another: and therefore, if I would willingly change, I were not wise. Wherefore my suit is to you my lords at this time, to have a speedy end, according to right, for the quietness of my mind and conscience only, and for no other cause, as God knoweth.
When the king had thus said, the queen departed without saying The any thing. The queen again, on the other part (who had before appealed to the pope), assisted with her councillors and doctors, who by her
appeal. were four bishops, that is Warham of Canterbury, West of Ely, Fisher of Rochester, Standish of St. Asaph, with other learned men whom the king had licensed her to choose, * was called to know whether she would abide by her appeal, or answer there before the legates. Her proctor answered, that she would abide by her appeal. That notwithstanding, the councillors on both sides every day almost met, and debated this matter substantially, so that at last the divines were all of opinion that the marriage was against the law of God, if she were carnally known by the first brother, which thing she clearly denied. But to that was answered, that prince Arthur her husband confessed the act done, by certain words spoken ; which, being recorded in other chronicles, I had rather should there be read, than by me here uttered. Furthermore, at the time of the death of prince Arthur, she thought and judged that she was with child, and for that cause the king was deferred from the title and creation of the prince of Wales almost half a year: which thing could not have been judged, if she had not been carnally known.
Also she herself caused a bull to be purchased, in the which were these words : 'vel forsan cognitam,' which is as much to say as, 'peradventure carnally known ;' which words were not in the first bull granted by July, at her second marriage to the king. Which second bull, with that clause, was only purchased to dispense with
(2) See Edition 1563, p. 458.-ED.
(2) See Edition 1563, p. 458.-ED.
Henry the second matrimony, although there were carnal copulation before :
which bull needed not to have been purchased, if there had been no A. D. carnal copulation, for then the first bull had been sufficient.
Moreover, for the more clear evidence of this matter, that prince Arthur had carnal knowledge of the said lady Katharine his wife, it appeareth in a certain book of records which we have to show touching this marriage, that the same time when prince Arthur was first married with this lady Katharine, daughter to king Ferdinand, certain ambassadors of Ferdinand's council were then sent hither into England for the said purpose, to see and to testify concerning the full consummation of the said matrimonial conjunction ; which councillors here resident, being solemnly sworn, not only did affirm to both their parents, that the matrimony was consummated by that act, but also did send over into Spain, to her father, such demonstrations of their mutual conjunction as here I will not name, sparing the reverence of chaste cars. Which demonstrations otherwise, in those records being named and testified, do sufficiently put the matter out of all doubt and question.
Besides that, in the same records appeareth that both he and she not only were of such years as were meet and able to explete the consummation hereof, but also they were and did lie together both here and in Wales, by the space of three quarters of a year.'
Thus, when the divines on her side were beaten from the ground, for queen then they fell to persuasions of natural reasons, how this should not
be undone for three causes. One was, because, if it should be broken, the only child of the king should be a bastard, which were a great mischief to the realm. Secondly, the separation should be cause of great unkindness between her kindred and this realm. And the third cause was, that the continuance of so long space had made the marriage honest. These persuasions, with many others, were set forth by the queen's council, and in especial by the bishop of
Rochester, who stood stiff in her cause. But yet God's precept was
of Roches not answered; wherefore they left that ground, and fell to pleading,
that the court of Rome had dispensed with that marriage. To this kathacen some lawyers said, that no earthly person is able to dispense with the
positive law of God, *whereunto all things must give place: that it had not been hard for the legates speedily to have defined this matter, if they had had the word of God before their eyes, more than respect of man. But the subtle legates, understanding another thing lying in this matter, what derogation might ensue hereby to the court of Rome, and to the blemish of their dignity, if the pope's dispensation should not be maintained as forcibly in that, as in any other case : therefore, with crafty delays, dissimuled the matter, and tracted the time, and drew off the king with many fair words, but performing nothing, notwithstanding the king's earnest suit and request made to them to make a speedy end, and to give some judgment for the quieting of his conscience. Whatsoever it were, he would accept it. Yet they, neither following the cause, nor tendering the king, but only respecting their own gain and glory,
(1) Out of a written book of records, containing certain conferences between the cardinal and queen Katharine's alioner about this matter, remaining in our custody to be seen.
(2) See Edition 1563, pp. 458, 459.-ED.
from month to month protracted the matter to the beginning of Henry August. Whereupon the king, taking it not well, so to be used at their hand, especially in such a matter, being so full of disquietness A. D. in itself, sent the duke of Norfolk and the duke of Suffolk to the 1530 court where the legates were, requiring them to hasten to the final end of the matter (what end soever it were), and to defer it no longer.
Now here appeared the false crafty packing of these carnal merchants. It is the manner and custom of Rome about the beginning of August, during the space of the dog-days, to have a solemn vocation, as they call it, in which time neither schools be used, nor any term kept. Campeius the cardinal therefore, pretending the order of the court of Rome, whereof he was a member, answered, that he neither would nor could go against the ordinance of the court, whereunto he was bound; so that before October he would proceed no further in the cause. The dukes, hearing the cardinal's words, and perceiving their pretensed excuses, seeing that by no ways they would be entreated, burst out in manner of open defiance, as no great marvel was, insomuch that Charles, duke of Suffolk, clapping his hand upon the table, and swearing by the mass, said these words, That as yet there never came legate or cardinal from Rome that ever did good in England. And so with him all the temporal lords departed in anger from the cardinals, leaving them to look one upon another. The king yet notwithstanding, for quietness of his troubled mind, abiding the cardinal's leisure, was content to wait their assigned month of October. But before October came, Campeius the cardinal was called home by letters from the pope, whereby the matter was left undiscussed, or rather deluded, to verify the duke of Suffolk's saying, That no cardinal came yet from Rome, that ever did good in England. The king, seeing himself so deluded, or rather abused, although justly provoked, yet patiently forbearing, ceased not his suit, but sent again to Clement the pope, then lying in Bologna, desiring to have an answer of his case according to right and justice.
The pope, content to hear the message, but unwilling to satisfy the request, said he would take a pause till he came to Rome; where, after consultation had, he would send an answer agreeing to right and equity. This done, the king sendeth incontinent to all the most famous universities abroad, to hear a resolute answer touching the state and condition of his marriage, whether it could stand by God's word or no.
To this the universities, to the number of twelve, agreeing in uniform consent, make answer again in due form of writing to the king, affirming plainly his marriage, in case as it standeth, both to be unlawful, and repugnant to the express word of God; and that no man is able to dispense with the In the mean time nothing yet is heard from Rome. Wherefore the king, assembling his parliament the next year following, which was 1531, in the month of March, sent into the commons' house the lord chancellor, and divers lords of the spiritualty and temporalty to the number of twelve, where the lord chancellor, speaking unto the whole house, had these words in effect as followeth: