Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 2.djvu/460

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and " tuckers." The state of matters became, in fact, intolerable, and a commercial truce was arranged with Flanders from the beginning of May to the end of February following.

The expedition of Lautrec and Jerningham in Italy, very successful in the spring, proved completely disastrous in the following summer. Plague carried off the two commanders, and the defection of Andrea Doria completed the ruin of the allied forces.

After Knight's failure Wolsey addressed himself to the real difficulty in attaining the King's object, and dispatched his secretary Stephen Gardiner with Edward Foxe to persuade the Pope to send a Legate commissioned jointly with Wolsey to try in England the question whether the dispensation to marry Catharine was sufficient. The commission desired was a decretal one, setting forth the law by which judgment should proceed, and leaving the judges to ascertain the facts and pass judgment without appeal. This was resisted as unusual, and the ambassadors were obliged to be satisfied with a general commission, which Foxe took home to England, believing it to be equally efficacious. His report seems to have convinced the King and Anne Boleyn that their object was as good as gained. But Wolsey saw that the commission was insufficient, and he instructed Gardiner to press again by every possible means for a decretal commission, even though it should be secret and not to be employed in the process; otherwise his power over Henry was gone and utter ruin hung over him as having deceived the King about the Pope's willingness to oblige him. Urged in this way, the Pope with very great reluctance gave for Wolsey's sake precisely what was asked for- a secret decretal commission, not to be used in the process, but only to be shown to the King and Wolsey, and then to be destroyed. He also gave a secret promise in writing not to revoke the commission which was not to be used. This secret commission was entrusted to Campeggio, the legate sent to England as Wolsey's colleague to try the cause, with strict injunctions not to let it go out of his hands.

Campeggio suffered severely from gout, and his progress to England was slow and tedious. He reached London on October 7, prostrated by illness; but he had the full command of the business, and Wolsey found, to his dismay, that he had no means of taking it out of his hands. Moreover, Campeggio had promised the Pope before leaving not to give sentence without reference to him. He tried first to dissuade the King from the trial; then to induce the Queen to accept an honourable release by entering a convent. Both attempts he found hopeless. The Queen was as determined as the King, and was supported by general sympathy out of doors, the women, particularly, cheering her wherever she went.

On November 8 the King declared to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen at Bridewell the reasons for his conduct, imputing, as before, to the French ambassadors the first doubts of his marriage. But before matters had come to a trial Catharine showed Campeggio a document