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I. i. 76-80. for the most part such, etc. This speech' is marked by the incoherence of anger. Such is the object of the verb papers; letter is the subject of the verb must fetch; such is the antecedent of him. The meaning is: generally he lists (papers) such persons as he both wishes to tax heavily and at the same time give little honor to, and his own handwriting (letter) cheats them into incurring this expense, now that the Board of the Council is out of the way. By putting this passage into blank verse the authors cannot be said to have improved upon the clarity of Holinshed:
“The peeres of the realme receiuing letters to prepare themselues to attend the king in this iournie, and no necessarie cause expressed, why nor wherefore; seemed to grudge, that such a costlie iournie should be taken in hand to their importunate charges and expenses, without consent of the whole boord of the councell.' Holinshed (1587), p. 855.
I. i. 86. minister communication. These speeches of Buckingham seem to be derived from the passage from Holinshed continuing that quoted in the preceding note:
‘But namelie the duke of Buckingham, being a man of a loftie courage, but not most liberall, sore repined that he should be at so great charges for his furniture foorth at this time, saieng; that he knew not for what cause so much monie should be spent about the sight of a vaine talke to be had, and communication to be ministred of things of no importance. Wherefore he sticked not to saie, that it was an intollerable matter to obeie such a vile and importunate person.'
I. i. 90. hideous storm. Holinshed (1587), p. 860: ‘On Mondaie, the eighteenth of June, was such an hideous storme of wind and weather, that manie coniectured it did prognosticate trouble and hatred shortlie after to follow between princes.'
I. i. 95. For France hath flaw'd the league. Holinshed (1587), p. 872:
Many complaints were made by the merchants to the king and his councell of the Frenchmen, which spoiled them by sea of their goods. The sixt of March, the French king commanded all Englishmens goods being in Burdeaux to be attached, and put under arrest. The king, understanding how his subiects were handled at Burdeaux by the French kings commandement, in breach of the league, the French ambassadour was called before the councell. ... As this was March, 1522, and Buckingham was executed on Friday, May 17, 1521, the authors of the play have muddled their dates.
I. i. 97. Th' ambassador is silenc'd. Holinshed (1587), p. 873:
"The ambassadour in words so well as he could excused his master, but in the end hee was commanded to keepe his house.'
I. i. 115. The Duke of Buckingham's surveyor. Holinshed (1587), p. 862:
The cardinall boiling in hatred against the duke of Buckingham, and thirsting for his bloud, deuised to make Charles Kneuet, that had beene the dukes surueior, and put from him (as ye haue heard) an instrument to bring the duke to destruction.'
Holinshed borrowed this explanation of Buckingham's fall from Polydore Vergil, a personal enemy of Wolsey. Modern investigation has shown that Wolsey's hatred was not the chief cause of the tragedy.
I. i. 120. This butcher's cur. Wolsey's father sold meat among other things. His will shows him to have been a successful retail grocer and butcher, and the Ipswich town records prove that he was not overscrupulous. Wolsey was often taunted with his lowly origin.
'How be it the primordyall
Skelton's Why Come Ye not to Court. I. i. 138. Ipswich. Ipswich was Wolsey's birthplace.
I. i. 172. count-cardinal. The title is hyphenated because a secular title is joined to an ecclesiastical one. Wolsey was both Archbishop of York and Count of Hexamshire.
I. i. 176. Charles the emperor. Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Spain. His mother, Joanna, was a sister of Katharine of Aragon, wife of Henry VIII. He landed at Dover, May 26, 1520. The real and pretended motives for this visit are taken from Holinshed.
I. i. 183. He privily. He was omitted in the First Folio, but supplied in the Second.
I. i. 197 S. d. Enter Brandon. A Sir Thomas Brandon is mentioned by Holinshed as Master of the King's Horse. Yet, according to Holinshed, the arrest was made by Sir Henry Marny, Captain of the King's Guard. There is no dramatic reason for this change of persons; it merely shows that the dramatists worked up the material for the play rapidly.
I. i. 200. Hereford. The Folio misprints Hertford.
I. i. 204-206. I am sorry, etc. Two coördinate clauses. I am sorry to see that you are taken prisoner and to be an eye-witness to the event.
I. i. 211. Lord Abergavenny. The Folio spells the name Aburgany, a spelling that indicates the pronunciation. The fact of the arrest is taken from
Cf. n. o
Holinshed, ‘and so likewise was lord Montacute, and both led to the Tower.'
I. i. 218. John de la Car. Taken from Holinshed, 'maister John de la Car alias de la Court.' John Delacourt acted as the intermediary between the Duke and Nicholas Hopkins, the Carthusian monk. I. i. 221.
I. i. 219. One Gilbert Peck, his chancellor. Both Folios here read 'councellour.' This was corrected by Theobald from Holinshed. But there was a double error, since the name of the Duke's chancellor given by Holinshed is Gilbert Perke. Apparently ‘Peck' is a misprint for Perk. Really the chancellor was Robert Gilbert. This mistake probably arose from the fact that in one of the state papers he is called ‘Robert Gilbert clerk, then his chancellor.' Hall mistook clerk' for a name, and misprinted it Perke. Holinshed copied Hall, and the dramatists followed Holinshed. But a few paragraphs farther on, Holinshed gives both the name and title correctly: the said duke had sent his chancellour Robert Gilbert chapleine.' This is another indication that the dramatists had not read Holinshed carefully.
I. i. 221. Nicholas Hopkins. The Folios read Michaell. Theobald corrected this to Nicholas, following Holinshed. Hopkins, a monk of the Charterhouse at Henton, was a religious enthusiast, with gift of prophecy. Unintentionally he brought the Duke into danger and died broken-hearted.
I. i. 225. instant. These lines, 224-226, develop an elaborate meteorological figure. This very instant, eclipsing the clear sun of my prosperity, throws a cloud upon my figure and makes me only the shadow of what I was.
I. i. 226. My lord. The Folio, which reads lords, is obviously incorrect, because, as Abergavenny is arrested with him and Brandon accompanies him, there is only one person, Norfolk, left on the stage.
I. ii. S. d. The Council Chamber. These locations of the scenes are later additions. On the Elizabethan stage there was no front curtain and ordinarily no intermission. As Buckingham and Abergavenny are led off at one side, with Norfolk following, trumpets are heard and the King enters from the other side. Sir Thomas Lovell was the Constable of the Tower. The scene follows the long account of the charges against Buckingham as given in Holinshed, with the important exception that the petition of Katharine and her attack upon Wolsey are the creation of the dramatists.
I. ii. 8 S. d. Suffolk. Charles Brandon, created Duke of Suffolk in 1514, married Mary Tudor, Henry's sister, the dowager Queen of France.
I. ii. 8 S. d. King riseth from his state. The 'state' was a raised throne with a canopy. This had been brought on by stage hands after the end of the first scene.
I. ii. 20. there have been commissions. This account is taken from Holinshed (1587), p. 891. But the chronology is confused. The commissions were sent in March, 1525, four years after Buckingham's death. But for this there is the dramatic reason that antedating these events enables Katharine to plead both for the people and for Buckingham, and by so doing to intensify Wolsey's dislike of her.
I. ii. 129. Stand forth. J. S. Brewer comments on this scene as follows:
'It will be remembered that in Shakespeare's play the Duke is declared guilty by the King at a meeting of the Privy Council, even before his regular trial had taken place ;-a process altogether informal. In the Council Chamber in which Queen Katharine and Wolsey are present, the King is represented as conducting the examination of the Duke's surveyor,