Page:Henry VIII and the English Monasteries.djvu/63

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Cardinal Wolsey and the Monasteries

'that he would rather give unto your grace the abbey of St. Albans than to any monk.'"[1] Thus at the cardinal's petition the revenues of the premier abbey were given in reward for secular services.

At the commencement of the year 1524, Clerk, the cardinal's agent in Rome, wrote that he was "almost at a point with the pope about Wolsey's matters." Clement VII. was "contented to confirm the legateship," he said, "with all faculties for life, which was never heard before." Further, that "the ordering of Frideswide's in Oxford was also at Wolsey's pleasure."[2]

Later on the agents report further attempts to obtain extended powers from Clement VII. The pope appeared willing, but said, "what a business other men made" about it. They conclude their communication by a significant hint to their master. It would be well, they think, for him to secure a pension out of the revenues of the bishopric of Worcester for one of the pope's officers who has been "good to him."[3] By this time, however, Wolsey had obtained the bull which enabled him to dissolve the monastery of St. Frideswide's at Oxford and apply its property to the foundation of his college.[4] The document had been sent off from Rome by the end of April. It had been procured at the earnest request of the cardinal's agents, yet they made it appear to be the result of Clement's own desire. It was not exactly such a faculty as they had wished to obtain. Still, it contained, as they said, "the clause motus proprii" and they trusted that it might be made more advantageous. In fact, Clerk altered the document in this sense without asking the pope; but at the last moment he found that the enlarged faculties would not be granted. The agent again concluded his communication by saying that Ghiberto, one of the pope's officials, "openly will not be known," but he has done his best, and he thinks that he is waiting to see whether he gets the pension from the See of Worcester. This Clerk advises Wolsey not to refuse, "as he may be useful."

For the next few months great pressure was put upon the Holy Father to grant permission for further suppressions in order to help out the cardinal's design at Oxford. The

  1. Calendar, iii. No. 1759.
  2. Ibid., iv. No. 15, Jan. 9, 1524.
  3. Ibid., No. 252.
  4. The king's " inspeximus" is dated May IO, and the bull April 3, 1524.