The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon

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The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon  (1891) 
by James Anthony Froude












[All rights reserved]

Copyright, 1891,

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A.
Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Company.


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Prospects of a disputed succession to the crown—Various claimants—Catherine incapable of having further children—Irregularity of her marriage with the King—Papal dispensations—First mention of the divorce—Situation of the Papacy—Charles V.—Policy of Wolsey—Anglo-French alliance—Imperial troops in Italy—Appeal of the Pope—Mission of Inigo de Mendoza—The Bishop of Tarbes—Legitimacy of the Princess Mary called in question—Secret meeting of the Legates' court—Alarms of Catherine—Sack of Home by the Duke of Bourbon—Proposed reform of the Papacy—The divorce promoted by Wolsey—Unpopular in England—Attempts of the Emperor to gain Wolsey 21
Mission of Wolsey to Paris—Visits Bishop Fisher on the way—Anxieties of the Emperor—Letter of the Emperor to Henry VIII.—Large offers to Wolsey—Address of the French Cardinals to the Pope—Anne Boleyn chosen by Henry to succeed Catherine—Surprise and displeasure of Wolsey—Fresh attempts of the Emperor to bribe him—Wolsey forced to continue to advocate the divorce—Mission of Dr. Knight to Rome—The Pope at Orvieto—The King applies for a dispensation to make a second marriage—Language of the dispensation demanded—Inferences drawn from it—Alleged intrigue between the King and Mary Boleyn 41
Anxiety of the Pope to satisfy the King—Fears of the Emperor—Proposed alternatives—France and England declare war in the Pope's defence—Campeggio to be sent to England—The King's account of the Pope's conduct—The Pope's distress and alarm—The secret decretal—Instructions to Campeggio 62
Anne Boleyn—Letters to her from the King—The Convent at Wilton—The Divorce—The Pope's promises—Arrival of Campeggio in England—Reception at the Bridewell Palace—Proposal to Catherine to take the veil—Her refusal—Uncertainty of the succession—A singular expedient—Alarms of Wolsey—The true issue—Speech of the King in the City—Threats of the Emperor—Defects in the Bull of Pope Julius—Alleged discovery of a brief supplying them—Distress of Clement 70
Demands of the Imperial Agent at Rome—The alleged Brief—Illness of the Pope—Aspirations of Wolsey—The Pope recovers—Imperial menaces—Clement between the anvil and the hammer—Appeal of Henry to Francis—The trial of the cause to proceed—Instructions to Campeggio—Opinion at Rome—Recall of Mendoza—Final interview between Mendoza and the King 86
The Court at Blackfriars—The point at issue—The Pope's competency as judge—Catherine appeals to Rome—Imperial pressure upon Clement—The Emperor insists on the Pope's admission of the appeal—Henry demands sentence—Interference of Bishop Fisher—The Legates refuse to give judgment—The Court broken up—Peace of Cambray 99
Call of Parliament—Wolsey to be called to account—Anxiety of the Emperor to prevent a quarrel—Mission of Eustace Chapuys—Long interview with the King—Alarm of Catherine—Growth of Lutheranism—The English clergy—Lord Darcy's Articles against Wolsey—Wolsey's fall—Departure of Campeggio—Letter of Henry to the Pope—Action of Parliament—Intended reform of the Church—Alienation of English feeling from the Papacy 110
Hope of Wolsey to return to power—Anger of Anne Boleyn and the Duke of Norfolk—Charles V. at Bologna—Issue of a prohibitory brief—The Pope secretly on Henry's side—Collection of opinions—Norfolk warns Chapuys—State of feeling in England—Intrigues of Wolsey—His illness and death 131
Danger of challenging the Papal dispensing power—The Royal family of Spain—Address of the English Peers to the Pope—Compromise proposed by the Duke of Norfolk—The English Agents at Rome—Arrival of a new Nuncio in England—His interview with the King—Chapuys advises the King's excommunication—Position of the English clergy—Statute of Provisors—The clergy in a Præmunire—Remonstrances of the Nuncio—Despair of Catherine—Her letter to the Pope—Henry prepares for war—The introduction of briefs from Rome forbidden—Warnings given to the Spanish Ambassador and the Nuncio 141
State of feeling in England—Clergy and laity—The Clergy in a Præmunire—The Royal Supremacy—Hesitation at Rome—Submission of the Clergy—The meaning of the new title—More and Fisher—Alarm of the Emperor—Appeal of Catherine to him—Unpopularity of Anne Boleyn—Threats of excommunication—Determination of Henry—Deputation of Peers to Catherine—Catherine's reply—Intolerable pretensions of the Emperor—Removal of Catherine from the Court 157
Proposals for the reunion of Christendom—Warning addressed to the Pope—Address of the English nobles to Queen Catherine—Advances of Clement to Henry—Embarrassments of the Pope and the Emperor—Unwillingness of the Pope to decide against the King—Business in Parliament—Reform of the English Chnrch—Death of Archbishop Warham—Bishop Fisher and Chapuys—Question of annates—Papal Briefs—The Pope urged to excommunicate Henry—The Pope refuses—Anger of Queen Catherine's Agent 175
Henry advised to marry without waiting for sentence—Meeting of Henry and Francis—Anne Boleyn present at the interview—Value of Anne to the French Court—Pressure on the Pope by the Agents of the Emperor—Complaints of Catherine—Engagements of Francis—Action of Clement—The King conditionally excommunicated—Demand for final sentence—Cranmer appointed Archbishop of Canterbury—Marriage of Henry and Anne Boleyn—Supposed connivance of the Pope—The Nuncio attends Parliament—The Act of Appeals—The Emperor entreated to intervene—Chapuys and the King 192
The King's claim—The obstinacy of Catherine—The Court at Dunstable—Judgment given by Cranmer—Debate in the Spanish Council of State—Objections to armed interference—The English opposition—Warning given to Chapuys—Chapuys and the Privy Council—Conversation with Cromwell—Coronation of Anne Boleyn—Discussions at Rome—Bull supra Attentatis—Confusion of the Catholic Powers—Libels against Henry—Personal history of Cromwell—Birth of Elizabeth—The King's disappointment—Bishop Fisher desires the introduction of a Spanish army into England—Growth of Lutheranism 218
Interview between the Pope and Francis at Marseilles—Proposed compromise—The divorce case to be heard at Cambray—The Emperor consents—Catherine refuses—The story of the Nun of Kent—Bishop Fisher in the Tower—Imminent breach with the Papacy—Catherine and the Princess Mary—Separation of the Princess from her mother—Catherine at Kimbolton—Appeals to the Emperor—Encouragement of Lutheranism—Last efforts at Rome—Final sentence delivered by the Pope—The Pope's authority abolished in England 243
The Papal curse—Determined attitude of the Princess Mary—Chapuys desires to be heard in Parliament—Interview with the King—Permission refused—The Act of Succession—Catherine loses the title of Queen—More and Fisher refuse to swear to the statute—Prospects of rebellion in Ireland—The Emperor unwilling to interfere—Perplexity of the Catholic party—Chapuys before the Privy Council—Insists on Catherine's rights—Singular defence of the Pope's action—Chapuys's intrigues—Defiant attitude of Catherine—Fears for her life—Condition of Europe—Prospect of war between France and the Empire—Unwillingness of the Emperor to interfere in England—Disappointment of Catherine—Visit of Chapuys to Kimbolton 260
Prosecution of Lord Dacre—Failure of the Crown—Rebellion in Ireland—Lord Thomas Fitzgerald—Delight of the Catholic party—Preparations for a rising in England—The Princess Mary—Lord Hussey and Lord Darcy—Schemes for insurrection submitted to Chapuys—General disaffection among the English Peers—Death of Clement VII.—Election of Paul III.—Expectation at Rome that Henry would now submit—The expectation disappointed—The Act of Supremacy—The Italian conjuror—Reginald Pole—Violence and insolence of Anne Boleyn—Spread of Lutheranism—Intended escape of the Princess Mary out of England 283
Prospects of civil war—England and Spain—Illness of the Princess Mary—Plans for her escape—Spirit of Queen Catherine—The Emperor unwilling to interfere—Negotiations for a new treaty between Henry and Charles—Debate in the Spanish Council of State—The rival alliances—Disappointment of the confederate Peers—Advance of Lutheranism in England—Cromwell and Chapuys—Catherine and Mary the obstacles to peace—Supposed designs on Mary's life 301
Negotiations for a treaty—Appeal of Catherine to the Emperor—Fresh plans for the escape of Mary—Forbidden by the Emperor—The King and his daughter—Suggestion of Dr. Butts—The clergy and the Reformation—The Charterhouse monks—More and Fisher in the Tower—The Emperor in Africa—The treaty—Rebellion in Ireland—Absolution of Lord Thomas Fitzgerald for the murder of the Archbishop of Dublin—Treason of Lord Hussey—Fresh debates in the Spanish Council—Fisher created cardinal—Trial and execution of Fisher and More—Effect in Europe 318
Campaign of the Emperor in Africa—Uncertainties at Rome—Policy of Francis—English preparations for war—Fresh appeals to the Emperor—Delay in the issue of the censures—The Princess Mary—Letter of Catherine to the Pope—Disaffection of the English Catholics—Libels against Henry—Cromwell and Chapuys—Lord Thomas Fitzgerald—Dangerous position of Henry—Death of the Duke of Milan—Effect on European policy—Intended Bull of Paul III.—Indecision of Charles—Prospect of war with France—Advice of Charles to Catherine—Distrust of the Emperor at the Papal Court—Warlike resolution of the Pope restrained by the Cardinals 347
Illness of Queen Catherine—Her physicians' report of her health—Her last letter to the Emperor—She sends for Chapuys—Interview between Chapuys and Henry—Chapuys at Kimbolton—Death of Catherine—Examination of the body—Suspicion of poison—Chapuys's opinion—Reception of the news at the Court—Message of Anne Boleyn to the Princess Mary—Advice of Chapuys—Unpopularity of Anne—Court rumours 371
Funeral of Catherine—Miscarriage of Anne—The Princess Mary and the Act of Supremacy—Her continued desire to escape—Effect of Catherine's death on Spanish policy—Desire of the Emperor to recover the English alliance—Chapuys and Cromwell—Conditions of the treaty—Efforts of the Emperor to recover Henry to the Church—Matrimonial schemes—Likelihood of a separation of the King from Anne—Jane Seymour—Anne's conduct—The Imperial treaty—Easter at Greenwich—Debate in Council—The French Alliance or the Imperial—The alternative advantages—Letter of the King to his Ambassador in Spain 389
Easter at Greenwich—French and Imperial factions at the English court—Influence of Anne Boleyn—Reports of Anne's conduct submitted to the King—Flying rumours—Secret Commission of Enquiry—Arrests of various persons—Sir Henry Norris and the King—Anne before the Privy Council—Sent to the Tower—Her behaviour and admissions—Evidence taken before the Commission—Trials of Norris, Weston, Brereton, and Smeton—Letter of Weston—Trial of Anne and her brother—Executions—Speech of Rochford on the scaffold—Anne sentenced to die—Makes a confession to Cranmer—Declared to have not been the King's lawful wife—Nature of the confession not known—Execution 412
Competition for Henry's hand—Solicitations from France and from the Emperor—Overtures from the Pope—Jane Seymour—General eagerness for the King's marriage—Conduct of Henry in the interval before Anne's execution—Marriage with Jane Seymour—Universal satisfaction—The Princess Mary—Proposal for a General Council—Neutrality of England in the war between France and the Empire 436
Expectation that Henry would return to the Roman Communion—Henry persists in carrying out the Reformation—The Crown and the clergy—Meeting of a new Parliament—Fresh repudiation of the Pope's authority—Complications of the succession—Attitude of the Princess Mary—Her reluctant submission—The King empowered to name his successor by will—Indication of his policy—The Pilgrimage of Grace—Cost of the Reformation—The martyrs, Catholic and Protestant 450
Index 465

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.