forty-four articles of impeachment. His gross arbitrary outrages upon the constitution were wholly overlooked in this attainder; for these were not the offences a parliament of Henry dared to punish, or that would incur his resentment; and the charges are chiefly against the abuses of his legatine authority, and his haughty deportment in the council. He was charged with having been the first to receive letters from the king's ministers abroad (a curious charge against a prime minister!); with having named himself along with the king, as if he had been his fellow (the ego et rex meus charge, which only betrays its framer's ignorance of the Latin idiom); with having whispered in the king's ear, whilst he laboured under a particular disease; with consuming too much time with a fair tale in the council; with allowing no opposition, and overwhelming it with "his accustomed words," so that the members were better hold their peace than speak; with having greatly overshadowed, for a long season, the king's honour; and with many other offences equally indicative of his prosecutors' malevolence, and of the impression which his pride and haughtiness had made on his contemporaries. The bill flew through the lords, by whom the cardinal was hated to a man; and was thrown out of the commons, as the reader of history is aware, through the zeal, eloquence, and honourable exertions of Cromwell. It was after the failure of this parliamentary impeachment that he was prosecuted, as we have narrated, under the Statute of Provisors.



One honourable trait in the character of Wolsey, which should have atoned for much of his sufferings, was brought into relief by the privations which he now endured at Esher-his affability and kindness to his servants and followers. Unable to pay them the usual stipend, he begged of them to provide themselves with a new master till fortune should have proved more auspicious. With tears most of them refused to leave " kind a master" in his adversity. In this emergency, Cromwell suggested an expedient, of which he set the first example. He proposed a subscription among the chaplains and others whom the cardinal had provided with livings. A common fund was immediately subscribed, which enabled him to pay off most of the arrears of his domestics' wages. This incident speaks volumes in favour of Cromwell's heart, and of his benefactor's natural disposition.

The health of Wolsey at length began to sink under his anxieties and privations, and the king was informed of his condition. Henry immediately sent his own physician to attend upon him. It was soon clear to Dr. Butt, (the physician's name) that unless he could "minister to a mind diseased," his skill would be fruitless; and he accordingly informed the king that the sunshine of the royal countenance would tend more to restore the patient than all the drugs in his dominions.

"How doth yonder man, have you seen hum 'Yea, sir,' quoth he.-'How do you like him? quoth the king.-'Forsooth, sir,' quoth he, 'if you will have him dead, I warrant your grace he will be dead within these four days, if he receive no comfort from you shortly, and mistress Anne.''Marry,' quoth the king, 'God forbid that he should die. I pray you, good master Buttes, go again unto him, and do your cure upon him; for I would not lose him for twenty thousand pounds.'— 'Then must your grace,' quoth master Buttes, 'send him first some comfortable message, as shortly as is possible.'-'Even so will I,' quoth the king, 'by you. And therefore make speed to him again, and ye shall deliver him from me this ring for a token of our good will and favour towards him (in the which ring was engraved the king's visage within a ruby, as lively counterfeit as was possible to be devised.) This ring he knoweth very well; for he gave me the same; and tell him, that I am not offended with him in my heart nothing at all, and that shall he perceive, and God send him life, very shortly. Therefore bid him be of good cheer, and pluck up his heart, and take no despair. And I charge you come not from him, until ye have brought him out of all danger of death. And then spake he to mistress Anne, saying, 'Good sweetheart, I pray you at this my instance, as ye love us, to send the cardinal a token with comfortable words; and in so doing ye shall do us a loving pleasure.' She being not minded to disobey the king's earnest request, whatsoever she intended in her heart towards the cardinal; took incontinent her tablet of gold hanging at her girdle, and delivered it to master Buttes, with very gentle and comfortable words and commendations to the cardinal. And thus master Buttes departed, and made speedy return to Asher, to my lord cardinal; after whom the king sent doctor Clement, doctor Wotton, and doctor Cromer the Scot, to consult and assist master Buttes for my lord's health."

The influence of these cheering messages had very soon a salutary effect on the cardinal's indisposition. He was also allowed, for change of scene, to reside in the palace of Richmond, which the king gave him, in return for his magnificent present of Hampton Court, and some of his furniture and other property was returned to him. This was the last gleam of Henry's kindness for his favourite.

His enemies, however, were apprehensive of the possible consequences of proximity to the royal residence, and therefore obtained an order for him to repair to his see of York, which he had never once visited since his consecration. The cardinal, accordingly, by slow journeys, proceeded to his archbishopric, and sojourned at Southwell, near Newark, while Cawood castle, the archiepiscopal palace, was undergoing repair. For the first time in his life, Wolsey now conducted himself in a manner worthy of a Christian clergyman.

ad gave to church dignitaries “a right good example how they might win men's hearts." He interested himself deeply in the concerns of the poor, reconciled their dissensions, and healed their resentments; and enforced the preaching of sermons adapted in their tone to their wants and feelings. To the gentry he was courteous and hospitable; to the lower classes kind and charitable; and, as a just consequence, reaped the invariable reward of such conduct, in the love and gratitude of the one, and the unfeigned respect and esteem of the other. This popularity hastened, if it did not occasion, his final ruin.

The cardinal was preparing for his installation on the morrow. About noon, just after he had himself dined, a tumult was heard in the hall of Cawood castle. He was informed by a domestic, that the hall was filled by the armed retainers of the earl of Northumberland, his former pupil, and of sir Walter Walshe, one of the gentlemen of the king's privy chamber, and that the tumult was occasioned by his porter's refusing to give up to the earl the keys of the castle, which he demanded in the king's name. The cardinal affected to consider the visit as one of hospitality, and meeting his supposed guests on the great stairs, chided them for taking him by surprise. The table was ordered to be replenished with such provisions as the castle afforded. The earl, confounded, and perhaps awed by his former habits of reverence, at length made himself up to say, in a faint and trembling voice, "My lord, I arrest you of high treason." The cruelty of this last attack was too much for the shattered frame of the cardinal-it killed him.

that lay between London and his residence at Esher.

The narrative of Cavendish, who stayed with his master till his last moments, from this point to the conclusion, is full of deep moral pathos. Before Wolsey set out for his trial, he was kept in close confinement in his own castle; and Cavendish alone was admitted to hold communication with him. The cardinal, on seeing him, fell into a passion of tears, which, says he, "would have caused the flintiest heart to have relented and burst for sorrow." His progress to Doncaster bore testimony to the excellence of his brief archiepiscopal administration: his domestics, and the poor along the road, shed tears as he approached; and on their knees invoked blessings on his head, and vengeance on his enemies. He was so weak and spirit-broken, that he was obliged to rest eighteen days at Sheffield-park, where he was most humanely treated by its owner, the earl of Shrewsbury. He was there informed that sir William Kingston, the constable of the Tower, was coming to conduct him to London. On hearing the name of "Kingston" Wolsey was overcome by grief and consternation; for his mind, weakened by disease and calamity, and imbued with a portion of the superstitious spirit of the age, instantly saw in the name the fulfilment of a prophecy, that he should end his days near "Kingston;" on which account henever would pass through the town of Kingsten,

The remainder of his story is quickly told. By great care he was brought to the abbey of Leicester, which he entered by torch-light, observing, with a true presentiment, to the abbot and monks, who received him with great reverence, "Father abbot, I am come hither to lay my bones among you." He was immediately placed in bed, whence he never rose. His death was expected that night; but he rallied in the morning, and foretold, with the prophetic accuracy of the dying, that he should expire at eight o'clock that ev evening.

"Upon Monday in the morning, as I stood by his bed-side, about eight of the clock, the windows being close shut, having wax lights burning upon the cupboard, I beheld him, as me seemed, drawing fast to his end. He perceiving my shadow upon the wall by his bed-side, asked who was there? 'Sir, I am here,' quoth I.-' How do you?' quoth he to me.- Very well, sir,' quoth I, 'if I might see your grace well.'-'What is it of the clock?' said he to me.- Forsooth, sir,' said I, 'it is past eight of the clock in the morning.'-' Eight of the clock?' quoth he, that cannot be ;' rehearsing divers times, 'eight of the clock, eight of the clock; nay, nay;' quoth he at last, 'it cannot be eight of the clock: for by eight of the clock ye shall lose your master: for my time draweth near that I must depart out of this world.' With that master doctor Palmes, a worshipful gentleman, being his chaplain and ghostly father, standing by, bade me secretly demand of him if he would be shriven, and to be in a readiness towards God, whatsoever should chance. At whose desire I asked him that question. What have you to do to ask me any such question?' quoth he, and began to be very angry with me for my presumption; until at the last master doctor took my part, and talked with him in Latin, and so pacified him."

Kingston entered, and bade him good morning. "I tarry, master Kingston, but the will and pleasure of God, to render unto him my simple soul into his divine hand." After a pause, and after having explained the fatal nature of his disease, dysentery, he addressed himself again to Kingston as follows:

"Master Kingston, my disease is such that I cannot live; I have had some experience in my disease, and thus it is: I have a flux with a continual fever; the nature whereof is this, that if there be no alteration with me of the same within eight days, then must either ensue excoriation of the entrails, or frenzy, or else present death; and the best thereof is death. And as I suppose, this is the eighth day: and if ye see in me no alteration, then there is no remedy (although I may live a day or twaine) but death, which is the best remedy of the three.'-'Nay, sir, in good faith,' quoth master Kingston, 'you be in such dolor and pensiveness, doubting that thing that indeed ye need not to fear, which maketh you much worse than


ye should be. Well, well, master Kingston,' quoth he, 'I see the matter against me how it is framed; but if I had served God as diligew' I have done the king, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs. Howbeit, this is the just reward that I must receive for my worldly diligence and pains that I have had to do him service; only to satisfy his vain pleasure, not regarding my godly duty. Wherefore I pray you, with all my heart, to have me most humbly commended unto his royal majesty; beseeching him in my behalf to call to his most gracious remembrance all matters proceeding between him and me from the beginning of the world unto this day, and the progress of the same: and most chiefly in the weighty matter yet depending (meaning the matter newly began between him and good queen Katherine); then shall his conscience declare, whether I have offended him or no. He is sure a prince of a royal courage, and hath a princely heart; and rather than he will either miss or want any part of his will or appetite, he will put the loss of one half of his realm in danger. For I assure you I have often kneeled before him in his privy chamber on my knees, the space of an hour or two, to persuade him from his will and appetite: but I could never bring to pass to dissuade him therefrom. Therefore, master Kingston, if it chance hereafter, you to be one of his privy council, as for your wisdom and other qualities ye are meet to be, I warn you to be well advised and assured what matter ye put in his head, for ye shall never put it out again.

"And say furthermore, that I request his grace, in God's name, that he have a vigilant eye to depress this new pernicious sect of Lutherans, that it do not increase within his dominions through his negligence, in such a sort, as that he shall be fain at length to put harness upon his back to subdue them; as the king of Bohemia who had good game, to see his rude commons (then infected with Wickliffe's heresies) to spoil and murder the spiritual men and religious persons of his realm; the which fled to the king and his nobles for succour against their frantic rage; of whom they could get no help of defence or refuge, but (they) laughed them to scorn, having good game at their spoil and consumption, not regarding their duties nor their own defence.

"Master Kingston, farewell. I can no more, but wish all things to have good success. My time draweth on fast. I may not tarry with you. And forget not, I pray you, what I have said and charged you withal: for when I am dead, ye shall peradventure remember my words much better.' And even with these words he began to draw his speech at length, and his tongue to fail; his eyes being set in his head, whose sight failed him. Then we began to put him in remembrance of Christ's passion; and sent for the abbot of the

*The reader will perceive how closely Shakspeare has adhered to the text of the chronicler. But this fidelity is characteristic of all his historical plays.

place to anneal him, who came with all speed, and ministered unto him all the service to the same be. longing; and caused also the guard to stand by, both to hear him talk before his death, and also to witness of the same; and incontinent the clock struck eight, at which time he gave up the ghost, and thus departed he this present life."

He expired, as he had predicted, as the clock struck eight, on the 28th of November, 1530, in the 60th year of his age.

It is not easy, such is the force of the compassion that the sight of the sufferings of fallen greatness awakes in our bosoms, to regain the calm impartiality which the dignity and use of biography, and the interests of truth and justice, require. But our task of reprobation is rendered the less difficult, by having been in a great degree anticipated; for we have endeavoured to hold up Wolsey to the moral gaze of the reader as a man selfish, vain-glorious, mean, haughty, and inordinately ambitious; as a statesman, arbitrary, self-centred, and unprincipled; and as a churchman, arrogant and dissolute. It remains, therefore, but to direct the reader's attention to the merits and less unfavourable points of Wolsey's character, and to those circumstances which may be deemed palliative of his vices and failings.

The ends which Wolsey had in view throughout his career were many of them laudable, and few of them blamable: so that, if we consider them only without taking the means he employed into account, we shall arrive at the conclusion that he is well entitled to the admiration of posterity. On the other hand, he was ever regardless of the means through whose agency he attained, or might attain, the object of his ambition; so that if our estimate of his claims to our favourable suffrages be determined by them alone, without looking to the end he may have had in view, his memory will be justly regarded with detestation. In the outset of his career, we saw him fraudulently apply the funds of his college to a use different from that for which they were intended; but then, it might be said, his end was to adorn and dignify that college by ornamenting its chapel with a tower. He simulated and dissimulated, and fawned himself into power; but then he was urged by the infirmity of noble minds, ambition, and would wield that power advantageously for his country. He involved England in constant war, regardless of its interests, and of the real grandeur of his master; but then his end was the popedom, and, like the cardinal Amboise, he persuaded himself that when he had reached that summit of his ambition, he would promote the welfare of his native country, and evince his gratitude to his sovereign. He oppressed and pillaged the poorer and defenceless monks; but it was only to encourage literature and check immorality. He was rapacious, but not to hoard; profuse, but only in order that he might support the dignity becoming his station. Arbitrary laws checked the freedom of the lower or

ders in the most ordinary occurrences of life; but the end was public order, and their own good. And if he levied heavy loans and benevolences, and imposed taxes without the consent of parliament, it was to prevent his great designs for the general weal from being abandoned before their beneficial results were made manifest.

In this spirit have his more zealous admirers endeavoured to vindicate his conduct, forgetful that the same sort of reasoning would furnish an apology for the foulest outrages upon the rights of a free people that are recorded in history. The best apology that can be offered for the personal vices of Wolsey was his lowly origin and defective moral education, and consequent absence of true dignity of character. To these may be ascribed his love of ostentatious pomp, and vindictiveness* in his prosperity, his meanness in the reverse of his fortunes, and the absence of the

-"High disdain from sense of injured merit," and of the

"Unconquerable will, And courage never to submit or yield," which have flung somewhat of the glory of the "Archangel ruined" over the fall of the haughty Strafford.

* His treatment of sir Amias Paulet, and his allowing his resentment to aid in causing the death of Buckingham, are in themselves examples of the vindictiveness of Wolsey's temper. But there are others of a still more ignoble cast, such as the unrelenting rigour with which he persecuted the poet-laureate Shelton, for inditing of some stupid satirical lines on the cardinal's birth and pompous bearing, and his imprisonment of one John Roo, the author of a disguising" enacted by the young lawyers of Gray's Inn, which, though written upwards of twenty years, gave offence to Wolsey by its allusion to state affairs.



The best apology for the arbitrariness of his government is the disposition of his master, who, relieved by his death from one that "kneeled before him for three hours together, to persuade him from his will and appetite," became daily more ferocious, tyrannical, and blood-thirsty, affording a striking contrast in favour of Wolsey's ascendency and administration. Had the cardinal had the inestimable advantage of a sound moral education, and, as a consequence, had his ambition been directed by a spirit more worthy of the true dignity of human nature, his labours might have conferred incalculable benefits on his country; for he lived in an age which his enlightened views far outstepped, and which presented an ample and fruitful soil for the employment of his various and splendid abilities. To him, however, England is indebted for the first notion of a vigorous policeof a simple and regular administration of justice. The superiority of her navy also is much indebted to his sagacity in directing the attention of Henry VIII. to the "empire of the sea;" and, notwithstanding his questionable principles of economy, his name should be held in respect as one of the earliest cultivators of our commercial pre-eminence. In him literature and learned men ever found a generous and a munificent patron; and the College of Physicians to this day bears testimony to his well-intentioned zeal the improvement of medical science, and through it of the general well-being.

To conclude, had the moral man been less defective, Wolsey might have been regarded as a benefactor of his species; as it is, regard to truth compels us to say, in the words of his biographer -"Here is the end and fall of pride and arrogancy."


THOMAS CRANMER, the first archbishop of Canterbury that "made a defection from the papal chair," was the son of a gentleman of" right ancient family" in Nottinghamshire, and was born in Aslacton, in that county, on the 2d of July, 1489. He received his early education at what we may call the grammar-school of his native village, under a "rude and severe parish clerk, of whom he learned little, and endured much;" a circumstance that may help to explain to us much of the timid flexibility of his character in after-life. At the age of fourteen he was entered of Jesus College, Cambridge, of which he in time became a fellow, and

* Strype's Memorials of T. Cranmer, which we have chiefly fellowed in the text.

where he continued for sixteen years, a laborious student in the learning usually taught in the un. versities, and in the classic and sacred literature, which, by means of the lately invented art of printing, and the zeal of Erasmus, were just then making their way into our schools and colleges. Though he had devoted three years of this course of reading to the study of the Scriptures, it should seem that he was not originally intended for the church; for he is said to have excelled in the more profane accomplishments of a gentleman of that age, such as hunting and hawking; and he forfeited his fellowship by marrying shortly after he had taken his degree of master of arts. The Reformation had not yet received such countenance

in England-where the celibacy of the clergy was, long after its adoption, more or less strictly insisted upon-as to admit of the marriage of an ecclesiastic; nor did Cranmer possess the boldness of temper necessary to him who, unsupported by wealth or family influence, would take the lead in setting established rules and usages at defiance. The death of his wife, however, within a year after his marriage, enabled him to resume his fellowship; he having, in the interim, filled the common lectureship of Magdalen, then Buckingham, college, an office not incompatible with the state of wedlock. From this period he appears to have directed his views towards the church as a profession, encouraged, no doubt, by his deservedly high university reputation. In 1523 he received the degree of doctor in divinity; and soon after was ap pointed to the theological lectureship of his own college, and examiner of candidates for holy orders. The gentle affability of his manners, his moderation and disinterestedness, and the extent of his erudition, made Cranmer to be universally esteemed by all whom his new offices brought him in contact with; and he probably might have spent the remainder of his life in the privacy of his college-more congenial with his own retiring and studious disposition than the bustle and excitement of those momentous events which have made him a subject of history-but for one of those accidents which occur in the career of every man who rises eminently above his fellows.

In 1529 the "sweating sickness" having broken out in Cambridge, Cranmer retired to Waltham Abbey in Essex, to the house of a Mr. Cressy, whose sons were his pupils at the university. It happened that the king, Henry VIII.,—then returning from a progress which he had made accompanied by Anne Boleyn, soon after the adjournment of the legatine commission on the matter of the divorce to Rome,-at this time spent a night at Waltham. His suite, as usual, was billeted in the different houses in the neighbourhood by the customary authorities; his secretary, Gardiner, and his almoner, Fox, being allotted to Mr. Cressy's residence, where they met Cranmer at supper. The conversation turned upon the then absording topic of public conversation, the king's divorce, and Cranmer was pressed for his opinion. He replied, that it appeared to him the better and speedier mode, both to appease the king's conscience and to compel the pope into acquiescence would be to take the opinion of the learned of Europe on the main question-" Whether a man may marry his brother's wife or no?" by the authority of the Scriptures and the canon law. If the divines of the several universities throughout Christendom approved of the king's marriage with Catharine, his remorses would of course cease: if, on the other hand, they viewed the matter in the same light with Henry, and declared the marriage null and void, the pope would find it difficult to refuse the solicitation of so great a monarch,

and must needs give judgment in his favour. Henry was delighted with the proposal on its being next day communicated to him, and sent eagerly for Cranmer to come to court, observing, in his usual coarse appositeness of expression, "The man has got the sow by the right ear." This favourable impression was confirmed by the proofs of good sense and learning which Cranmer gave in his conference with the king on the feasibility of the plan which he had proposed to Waltham. He was commanded to put his arguments in favour of the divorce in writing; appointed one of the royal chaplains; and placed in the family of Thomas earl of Wiltshire, father of the ill-fated Anne Boleyn. He was now considered a “rising churchman," and as the probable successor to the influence and grandeur of Wolsey, then in the first stage of his fall.

Having finished his treatise on the divorce, which is mainly directed against the pope's power of granting a dispensation for the marriage of Henry with his brother's widow, Cranmer was employed by the king as the most fitting instrument to carry his own scheme into effect.The opinion of the learned on the main question of the divorce which he had recommended was ordered to be taken under his own inspection. He began his mission at his own university, but met with indifferent success, chiefly, according to Burnet, because his Lutheran bias was there best known: "besides that, Anne Boleyn had, in the duchess of Alençon's court (who inclined to the reformation), received such impressions as made them fear that her greatness and Cranmer's preferment would encourage heresy, to which the universities were furiously averse; and therefore they did resist all conclusions that might promote the divorce." He, however, met with better success in his consultations with the divines of France, Italy, and Germany, a majority of whom, by the force of his arguments and of those of the other agents in the embassy, and not improbably by bribes and promises when fair means would not avail, was induced to give an opinion favourable to the king's wishes.

Armed thus with the authority of the most learned men of the age, Henry sought the papal sanction for his intended divorce. The earl of Wiltshire, attended by Cranmer and a council of divines, was deputed to lay before the "Holy Father" the opinion of the chief universities of Europe in his master's favour, and to present to him a letter from the principal English nobility, recommending their sovereign's cause to his friendly decision, and threatening him with the loss of the allegiance of England to the see of Rome in the event of his refusal. At the same time Cranmer had his treatise against the validity of the marriage with Catharine presented to the pontiff, and offered to maintain its tenets, by fair argument, openly before the papal council against all comers; a proof of his zeal and boldness, to

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