Page:Henry VIII and the English Monasteries.djvu/79

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Cardinal Wolsey and the Monasteries

reported that the occasion thereof is, because the said Lord Cardinal hath taken such impositions of the rulers of the said houses, as well for his favour in making of abbots and priors as for his visitation by his authority legatine, and yet, nevertheless, taketh yearly of such religious houses such yearly and continual charges, as they be not able to keep hospitality as they were used to do, which is a great cause that there be so many vagabonds, beggars, and thieves."

The 14th article charges the cardinal with having raised the rents of the lands he received through the suppressions, and made it impossible for the tenants to farm them with profit.

The 19th says: "Also the said Lord Cardinal hath not only, by his untrue suggestion to the Pope, shamefully slandered many good religious houses and good virtuous men dwelling in them, but also suppressed, by reason thereof, above thirty houses of religion. And where, by the authority of his bull, he should not suppress any house that had more men of religion in number above the number of six or seven, he hath suppressed divers houses that had above the number, and thereupon hath caused divers offices to be found by verdict, untruly, that the religious persons so suppressed had voluntarily forsaken their said houses, which was untrue, and so hath caused open perjury to be committed, to the high displeasure of Almighty God."

In the 24th it is stated: "Also the same Lord Cardinal at many times, when any houses of religion hath been void, hath sent his officers thither, and with crafty persuasions hath induced them to 'compromit' their election in him, and before he named or confirmed any of them, he and his servants received so much great goods of them, that in a manner it hath been to the undoing of the house."

Lastly, the 25th says: "Also, by his authority legatine, the same Lord Cardinal hath visited the most part of the religious houses and colleges of this realm, and hath taken from them the twenty-fifth part of their livelihood, to the great extortion of your subjects and derogation of your laws and prerogative, and no law hath been to bear him so to do."[1] "Here," says Lord Herbert, "certainly began the taste

  1. Fiddes, Collect., p. 172 et seq.