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No. I. Facsimile of Cranmer's earliest handwriting, from his
Letter to the Earl of Wiltshire in 1531.
No. II. Facsimile of Cranmer's latest handwriting, from his
Answer to the Devonshire rebels in 1549.
No. III. Facsimile of the handwriting of Cranmer's prin
L ETTER S.
I. TO THE EARL OF WILTSHIRE a.
IT may please your lordship to be advertised, that the Lansdowne King his Grace, my lady your wife, my lady Anne your fol. i. Oridaughter, be in good health, whereof thanks be to God. ginal, HoAs concerning the King his cause, Master Raynolde Poole
Strype, hath written a booke much contrary to the King his purpose, Crunmer, with such wit, that it appeareth that he might be for his
App. No.1. Todd, Life
of Cran. a [Thomas Boleyn, the father of Queen Anne Boleyn, created Earı mer, vol.i. of Wiltshire, Dec. 8, 1529.]
p. 31. b[This Letter seems to have been written in 1531, during an interval passed by Cranmer in England between his embassy to Rome when he presented his book on the divorce to the Pope, and his mission into Germany to the Emperor. He was probably residing at this time with the Boleyn family, as had been the case before he accompanied the Earl to Italy. See Todd, Life of Cranmer, vol. i. p. 30. where some errors of Strype respecting this Letter are corrected.]
· [This was doubtless the “book," which Pole some years afterwards said he had delivered to the King with “ secretness.” Burnet, Ref. vol.ii. App. B. ii. No. 51. This “ secretness” explains that silence of the historians, and even of his biographer Beccatelli respecting it, which led Anthony Wood to maintain that it was never written. Athena Oxon. vol. i. p. 122. Phillips relates, and his account, though it has been questioned, seems worthy of credit,) that Pole first declared his opinion on the divorce to Henry VIII. at a personal interview, and afterwards, with a view of softening the King's displeasure, “sent his “ reasons in writing, with an assurance, which he knew would be accept“able, that the purport of the letter had been communicated to no“ body.” Phillips,Life of Pole, p. 68. Mr. Todd objects to Phillips's term letter," as applied to what both Cranmer and Pole called a “ book :" but at that time the word “ book” was used indifferently for a volume or a single sheet. See Vocabulary to State Papers, vol. i.]
wisdom of the council to the King his Grace; and of such eloquence, that if it were set forth and known to the common people, I suppose it were not possible to persuade them to the contrary. The principal intent whereof is, that the King his Grace should be content to commit his great cause to the judgment of the Pope; wherein me seemeth he lacketh much judgment. But he suadeth that with such goodly eloquence, both of words and sentence, that he were like to persuade many, but me he persuadeth in that point nothing at all. But in many other things he satisfieth me very well. The sum whereof I shall shortly rehearse.
First, he showeth the cause wherefore he had never pleasure to intromit himself in this cause, and that was the trouble which was like to ensue to this realm thereof by diversity of titles; whereof what hurt might come, we have had example in our fathers' days by the titles of Lancaster and York. And whereas God hath given many noble gifts unto the King his Grace, as well of body and mind, as also of fortune; yet this exceedeth all other, that in him all titles do meet and come together, and this realm is restored to tranquillity and peace; so oweth he to provide, that this land fall not again to the foresaid misery and trouble ; which may come as well by the people within this realm, (which think surely that they have an heir lawful already, with whom they all be well content, and would be sorry to have any other, and it would be hard to persuade them to take any other, leaving her,) as also by the Emperor, which is a man of so great power, the Queen being his aunt, the Princess his niece, whom he so much doth and ever hath favoured.
And where he heard reasons for the King his party, that he was moved of God his law, which doth straitly forbid and that with many great threats, that no man shall marry his brother his wife: and as for the people, that longeth not to their judgment, and yet it is to be thought that they will be content, when they shall know that the ancient doctors of the Church, and the determinations of so many great universities be of the King his sentence: and as concerning