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Sir Thomas Boleyn, a young lady who had been A. C. 1527.
educated in France; and was at this juncture a
maid of honour to queen Catherine. They like-
wile have, with great virulence, endeavoured to de.
preciate her person and her morals; and, in the
course of their contumely, fallen into divers in-
consistencies, which have been detected and exposed
by authors of more credit and veracity. These have
not only refuted her calumniators, but also proved Herbert.
that Henry was determined upon the divorce before
Anne Boleyn returned to England. The king had
an ingredient of superstition in his character, and
could not help imputing the death of his two sons
to the displealure of God Almighty, at his incestu-
ous marriage with his brother's widow. He was
extremely desirous of male issue, that all disputes
about the succession might be prevented. He was
startled at the observation of the bishop of Tarbe,
who expressed some doubts about his daughter's
legitimacy: he was tired of poffeffing Catherine,
who was not mistress of many personal attractions :
he was a prince of impetuous passions, and longed
to be united with a lady of more endearing qualifi-
cations, by whom he might be blesed with male
issue, against whose legitimacy no plausible excep-
tions could be taken. His scruples of conscience,
first raised by the writings of Thomas Aquinas,
were encouraged by Wolsey, who hated the queen,
because she had expressed her disapprobation of
his loose and libertine way of living; and he was
actuated by revenge against her nephew the em-
peror, who had twice baffled him in his designs
upon the papacy. Henry thought he could never
find a more favourable conjuncture to sue for a di-
vorce than the present; when the emperor's power
was become formidable to all the princes in Chrif-
tendom, and the pope's deliverance depended in a
peculiar manner upon the asistance and interpofi-


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He solli-
cites a di-
vorce from

A. C. 1527. tion of England and her allies : perhaps too his

conduct was influenced by the beauty of Anne Boleyn, who now began to be distinguished above all ker cotemporaries.

Be that as it may, he himself profeffed fcruples

of conscience, and desired, that archbishop Warhis wife Ca- ham, who had at first declared againft the mar. therine. riage, should consult the bishops of England upon

the subject. The prelate complied with his request; and presented him with a writing, in which they condemned the marriage as a contract contrary to public decency, and the divine law. This declaration was subscribed by all the prelates, except Fisher bishop of Rochester, whose name is said to have been counterfeited by cardinal Wolsey. The writings of Luther had by this time produced such a spirit of inquiry in England, that the people openly affirmed, the dispensation for the marriage granted by pope Julius II. could never justify, or consoli. date a marriage so notoriousy opposite to the law of God. This would have been a very sufficient reason for diffolving the match in the eye of equi. ty; but, it would have been a very imprudent step in Henry, to solicit a favour of the court of Rome, by seeking to invalidate the authority of a Roman pontiff: he therefore endeavoured to find nullities in the bull of Julius, by which it would be rendered revocable by the maxims of the holy see. The bull been had founded on the request of Henry and Catherine, on the fuppofition, that their marriage was necessary to preserve peace between Spain and England. Now Henry, being then but twelve years of age, could not be supposed to have such politic viewss whence it was inferred, that he was not really author of the request. Besides, the situation of affairs at that time was such, as proved the marriage was unnecessary for the preservation of the peace between


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England and Spain ; consequently, pope Julius A. C. 152=
had been deceived: and lastly, it was follicited as
the means of maintaining a good understanding,
between Ferdinand and Isabella, and Henry VII.
whereas, at the consummation, Isabella and Henry
VII. were not alive. It was moreover, alledged,
that Henry VIII. in having protested against his
marriage before it was consummated, gave up the
liberty granted to him by the bull; and therefore
another was necessary to render his marriage valid.
The king having found these subterfuges to serve
as a pretext for Clement to revoke the dispensa-
tion of his predecessor, sent Knight his secretary to
Rome, with four papers to be signed by his holi-
ness. The first was a commission to cardinal
Wolsey, to judge and determine the affair, in
conjunction with some English bishops. The fe-
cond was a decretal bull, annulling the marriage
between the king and Catherine, as the nuptials of
that princess with his brother Arthur had been
previously consummated. The third contained a
dispensation for Henry's marrying another wife.
And in the fourth, the pope engaged never to re-
voke the other three. Knight, at his arrival in
Rome, being denied admittance to the pope, who
was strictly guarded by a Spanish captain, found
means to convey a memorial, containing the heads
of his commission, to his holiness, .who returned a
favourable answer, though the emperor had already
desired he would take no step in that affair without
first imparting it to his minifters. Cardinal Wol-
sey, in a letter to Gregorio Casali

, the English am-
bassador at Rome, ordered him to second the en:
deavours of Knight ; and they waited on Clement
after his retreat to Orvietto. He promised to exert
himself for the satisfaction of the king; but, begged
the affair might not be precipitated. He was at Is amused
this juncture
uncertain, whether he should have oc- by the pope.


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A C 2527. casion for the altistance of Henry, or be able to ef. Guicciar- fect an accommodation with the emperor. He

therefore wanted toga in time, but was so hard preffed by the English envoy, to declare himself, that he promised to sign the acts, on condition that they should not be produced until after the departure of the French and Germans from Italy. Tho' this condition was accepted, he ftill protracted the affair, on pretence of consulting Lorenzo Pucci, cardinal Sanctorum Quatuor, who being secured by a largess of English gold, altered the legate's commillion, which had been defective ; and joined Knight and Cafali, in pressing Clement to sign it without further delay. Thus importuned, he put his hand to the commission, and the bull of dispensation for the king, promising to send the other de. cretal bull for diffolving the marriage, to England, after he should have considered the subject more maturely. But he dated those two acts at the time when he was prisoner in the castle of St. Angelo ; so that Henry did not choose to make use of them, left it should be objected, that the pope

had granted them merely with a view to obtain his liA.C. 1528.

berty by the allistance of England. Clement had by this time smarted so severely by his opposition to the emperor, that he absolutely refufed to re-engage in the league with France, England, and Venice. When pressed on this subject by the amnbassadors of those powers, he observed, that his junction with the league might expose him to new misfortunes, without procuring any real advantage to their cause, and that he was resolved to act as a mediator, rather than involve himself as a party. He had by this time formed the design of re-eltablishing the family of Medicis in Florence ; and foresaw that such a re-eftablishment could not be effected but by means of the emperor, because the Florentines had joined the allies; but, he would

not declare for Charles until he should see the suc. A, C. 1528. cess of the war between him and the confederates. Every thing now seenied to portend the effusion of blood, ruin, and defolation.

The ambassadors of France and England; resi- The French ding in Spain, desired permission to retires and and Englith next day Clarencieux and Güienne, the heralds of clare war ao Henry and Francis, pronounced a declaration of saint the war, in presence of the emperor, fitting on his emperor s throne, and surrounded by his grandees. In anTwer to Clarencieux, Charles complained, that the king of England wanted to join him in marriage with a princess whom he intended to bastardize, by obtaining a divorce from her mother : but he laid the whole blame on the excessive ambition of cardinal Wolsey, who was disgusted at the emperor, because he would not embroil Christendom by endeavouring to raise him to the papacy. He denied that he had ever refused to pay the debt he owed to Henry; but said, the English ambassadors who demanded the money, had no power to grant a discharge. With respect to the indemnity, he obferved, that the king of France had taken it upon himself in the treaty of Madrid. With regard to the sum of five hundred thousand crowns, which he had obliged himself to pay, in cafe he should refuse to wed the princess Mary, he declared, that he had demanded her by ambassadors; and that her father had not only refused to send her into Spain, but had even offered her in marriage to the king of Scotland: besides, Henry could not legally demand the sum, until after having proved, thac he had executed all the articles of the treaty of Windsor.

In his answer to the French herald, he loudly taxed Francis with breach of promise, and desired Guienne to remind his master of what he had

proposed by the archbishop of Bourdeaux, namely,


NO. 50.


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