Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ could not prevail, then the King took him in “ Hand, hoping perhaps to have the Honour of con“ verting an Heretick, when the Bishops could not “ do it; and withal promised him Pardon, if he would

recant: But all would not do, for he remained ob“ ftinate ; the King missed his Honour, and the De

linquent his Pardon, being shortly after drawn to " Smithfield, and burnt.” Two others also were burnt for the same Cause much about the fame Time. Preferments

It was now a Thing grown common heaped on

for the King to raise Persons up to great Cromwell. Honour, that their Fall might be the 1537

greater. Cromwell was created a Baron, next Lord Privy Seal, and Earl of Essex, Knt. of the Garter, Vice-regent-general of the King's Authority in Ecclefiaftical Affairs, sitting in Convocation among the Bishops, and ever presiding over them ; though he was a mighty Promoter of the ReThe Monasie- formation, and, perceiving the King had ries suppressed. a mind to suppress all the Monasteries in

general, (not so much out of Zeal for Religion as for the Lucre of their Revenues) he countenanced him in it. As the King and his Minister found, from the Rebellions that had arisen on the Suppresfion of the lefser Monasteries, that the Nation was generally disturbed, though the King had got an Act of Parliament for what he had in View, Cromwell advised his Majesty not to take that Way at first, but to proceed upon a general Visitation of them. This being approved of, Commissions issued accordingly, and few were found fo guiltless as to dare to withstand their Proceedings, and the Licentiousness of the rest was so artfully divulged, that at last they were every where rendered so odious to the People, that never any Undertaking of so great Consequence, and so full of Hazard, was so easily accomplished, as his general Subversion of our English Monasteries.



Cromwell further prevailed with the King to suppress the Worshipping of Images, whereby, he said, God was robbed of his due Honour, which the pious King would by no means suffer ; yet, on the other hand, nothing but Persecutions were for some time carried on against such as did not affent to the new Establishment ; for this Year was principally employed in burning Protestants and hanging Papists, who refused complying there with.

The following Year our unhappy Country was likewise sprinkled with the Blood of several

Marquis of worthy Men, and the Marquis of Exeter, Exeter and othe Earl of Devonshire, and Lord Monta- thers beheadcute, a Knight, with two Priests and a Mariner were condemned, and all execut

1539. ed for Treason ; but Sir Geoffrey Pool found Means to obtain a Pardon, which was a Favour the King rarely granted to those that transgressed his new Law. The last Executions had not been over

Sir Nicholas long before Sir Nicholas Carew, Knt. of the Carew beGarter, and one that had been a great Favou- headed. rite with our Monarch, suffered the unhappy Fate of the above Lords, being beheaded for Treason: And the next Man that fell a Victim to his Master's Passion was Cromwell himself, though he continued to do every thing he thought would please the King.

Notwithstanding immense Sums had been brought into the King's Coffers from the Destruction of the Religious Houses, our open-fifted Prince did not keep it long there, for he was as lavish in squandering it away, as he had been eager in having it collected, and, as the King conceived he had but little Occasion for Cromwell, he suffered him to be arrested

Cromwell at the Council-table, and carried to the committed to Tower, to the great Rejoicing, says a Per- the Tower. son of Honour, of the Popish Party, and most of the Nobility, who bated him, because, from a Ссс 2



mean Original the King bad advanced him to so great Honour. But Cromwells Crime was that of dalhing againit the Rock on which two before had split ; the King, pretending more than ordinary Love for Queen Jane, had not so toon provided himself with another Wife as he had been used to do; and Cromwell, willing to strengthen the Reformation, advised the King to marAnn of Cleve, ry Ann, the Siiter of the Duke of Cleve, the King's 4th which Marriage took at first; but, after Wife. fix Months Cohabitation, this Lady was

1540. repudiated; and, instead of the Title of Queen, was forced to be contented with that of the King's adopted Sister. The Cause for the Divorce of this Lady was divertly spoken of, but three in particular forwarded it much : First, The King, having taken her unseen, found himself mistaken in her Beauty, Does not like

for, it seems, Nature in that respect had not been very bountiful to her. Se

condly, Some natural Defect in this Lady was a Bar to Enjoyment, which seems probable from her own Confessions ; for in a Letter, wherein she submits herself to the Judgment of the Parliament, she affirms, the King never knew her carnally. Thirdly, The King had another in his Eye, which he fancied better, who was the Lady Catherine Howard. Now Cromwell, having been the Promoter of the Match with tinn, and the King having a mind to Catherine, who, locking upon Cromwell as a Hindrance to her Advancement, became his Enemy, and persuaded the King to get rid of him ; and, though the

Crimes objected against him were caCromweil impital, yet, not being permitted to speak peached.

for himself, the Proceedings against him cannot but be thought extreamly rigorous. In short, the Accusations against him were chiefly for an Ufurpation of Power, in setting at Liberty certain Persons not entitled to it; granting certain Licences, and making several Commillions in high Affairs,



without the King's Knowledge; of being an Heretick, and a Favourer of them ; but that the Head of the Church, the Vicegerent in spiritual Affairs, should be an Heretick seems very inconsistent : Though these were only pretended Crimes, to put the better Colour on the King's Injustice, his Mistress hated him, and the King resolved he should die ; ac

And beheaded. cordingly he was beheaded on Tower-bill on the 28th of June, 1540: Dying with great Presence of Mind, professing himself upon the Scaffold a true Catholick Christian, which being a general Term, it is uncertain whether he meant of the Romis or Reformed Communion. However, the King carried his Refentment no further ; for, before the End of the Year, he created Cromwell's Son a Lord, and restored his Father's Eftate to him. On the 30th of July six Priests were

More Execu. drawn upon Hurdles to Smithfield, where three were burnt, being charged with Heresy; and the other three, being charged with Treason, were hanged, drawn and quartered.

Soon after the Lord Leonard Gray, who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was recalled from thence, fent to the Tower, and the next Year was beheaded for Treason.

On the 4th of August no less than seven Persons were executed, for denying the King's Supremacy.

Blood and Lust went hand in hand; for, whilst these Executions were carrying on, the King Catherine married the Lady Catherine Howard, and Howard, the on the 8th of August she was publickly King's 5th shewed as Queen, which Honour she neither enjoyed long; for, on the 12th of February, 1541, she was likewise beheaded Adultery

. for Adultery, which she confessed.

So that the Reader may here observe, Some Reflecthat Catherine and Ann were the Ruin of

tions on what þoth Master and Servant ; that in less than pelled.



Executed for

ten Years Henry had five Wives ; and, what is more remarkable, that Anna Bulleyn, who was the Ruin of Cardinal Wolsey, Cromwell's Master, was afterwards brought to the Block ; that Catherine Howard, who was the Ruin of Cromwell, met with the same Fate, being accused, condemned, and executed for the same Crime, though perhaps not both equally guilty. Another Insur

The Severities that had been shewn rection,

to both Papists and Protestants raised a ge

neral Discontent throughout the Kingdom, which caused a Revolt in Yorkshire ; but it was foon quelled, and, Sir John Nevill, with several other Gentlemen and Yeoman, were executed at York.

But this did not satisfy the King, for Countess of Salisbury butch- he caused the aged Countess of Salisbury ered.

to be sent to the Tower, it being Crime fufficient for her to be of the House of York, though she was attainted of Treason, yet beheaded without

being heard.

Notwithstanding all this the King's An odd Act of Parliament.

Mind still run upon marrying again ; but, 1542.

as he had such bad Luck with his Wives,

the Parliament took the same into Consideration ; and, to prevent any more such Disasters, they caused it to be enacted, “ That, if the King " should happen to marry a Woman that had been be“ fore incontinent, if the concealed the same, it should be deemed High Treason.” But this Act, however well intended, did the King a Diskindness; for (so few chofe

to run the Hazard of entering into the The Ladies highly displea

Bands of Matrimony with him, who had sed at it.

got such a Knack of diffolving them,

knowing in what a slippery State they must be in, if he, after receiving them to his Bed, should, through any Mistake, declare them no Maids) our Ladies at home refused his Courtship ; however, the King wanting a Wife, he was pleased to look A


« ZurückWeiter »