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24–26. Wolsey's unlimited Power and Pride. He was the first
Confounder of Abbeys ; a Precedent quickly followed.
A.D. 1524. At this time, though king Henry wore the sword, cardinal Wolsey bore the stroke all over the land ; being legate de latere, by virtue whereof he visited all churches and religious houses, even the Friars Observants themselves, notwithstanding their stoutness and stubbornness, that first opposed him.* Papal and royal power met in him, being the chancellor of the land, and keeping so many bishoprics in commendam, his yearly income is said to equal, if not exceed, the revenues of the crown.
The more the pity, that, having of his own such a flock of preferment, nothing but the poor man's ewe-lamb would please him, 2 Sam. xii. 3 ; so that, being to found two colleges, he seized on no fewer than forty small monasteries, turning their inhabitants out of house and home, and converting their means principally to a college in Oxford. This alienation was confirmed by the present pope Clement VII. so that in some sort his Holiness may thank himself for the demolishing of religious houses in England.
For, the first breach is the greatest in effect; and abbeys, having now lost their virginity, diverted by the pope to other, soon after lost their chastity, prostituted by the king to ordinary, uses. And now the cardinal was busied in building his college, consisting of several courts, whereof the principal is so fair and large, it would have equalled any prince's palace, if finished according to the design, all the chambers and other offices being intended suitable to the magnificent hall and kitchen therein.
27–31. Wolsey a royal Harbinger. His vast Design, why
unknown. An over-tart Sarcasm ; a second somewhat
milder. Three Names to one College. Indeed, nothing mean could enter into this man's mind; but, of all things, his structures were most stately. He was the best harbinger that ever king Henry had, not only taking up beforehand, but building up beautiful houses for his entertainments, which, when finished, (as Whitehall, Hampton-Court, &c.) he either freely gave them to the king, or exchanged them on very reasonable considerations.
Some say, he intended this his college to be an university in an university, so that it should have therein by itself professors of all arts and sciences. But we may believe, that all these go but by guess, as not knowing the cardinal's mind, (who knew not his own,) daily
• Fox's “ Acts and Monuments."
embracing new designs of magnificence, on the emergency of every occasion. Yet let not the greatness of his buildings swallow up in silence the memory and commendable devotion of Simon Islip, archbishop of Canterbury, who founded Canterbury College, taken in with this cardinal's unfinished foundation.
However, too tart and bitter was the expression of Rodulphus Gualterus, a German ; who, comparing the cardinal's project with his performance, said of him, Instituit collegium et absolvit popinam, “ He began a college and built a kitchen.” For had he not been civilly defunct, before naturally dead, not a pane of glass nor peg of wood, had been wanting in that edifice.
More wit than truth was in another's return, who, being demanded what he thought concerning the ampleness of this foundation, made this homonymous answer, Fundatione nihil amplius, “ There is nothing more (or more stately) than this foundation;" whereas, indeed, had not he himself been unexpectedly stripped of his estate, he had left more and better lands to this House than king Henry conferred upon them, who, conceiving church-means fittest for Christ-church, exchanged many of their best manors for impropriations.
This college did thrice change its name in seven years, accounting it no small credit thereunto, that it always ascended, and was advanced in every alteration : First, called “ Cardinal's College : Then, “ King's College :" And, at last, “Christ's Church," which it retaineth at this day.
32. The Pride of the Cardinal humbled by others. King Henry took just offence that the cardinal set his own arms above the king's,* on the gatehouse, at the entrance into the college. This was no verbal but a real ego et rex mens, excusable by no plea in manners or grammar ; except only by that, (which is rather fault than figure,) a harsh down-right hysterosis. But, to humble the cardinal's pride, some afterwards set up, on a window, a painted mastiff-dog, t gnawing the spadebone of a shoulder of mutton, to mind the cardinal of his extraction, being the son of a butcher ; it being utterly improbable, (that some have fancied,) that that picture was placed there by the cardinal's own appointment, to be to him a monitor of humility.
Deans.-1. John Higdon ; 2. Dr. Moore ; 3. John Oliver ; 4. Richard Cox; 5. Richard Marshall; 6. George Carow ; 7. Thomas Samson ; 8. Thomas Goodwin ; 9. Thomas Cooper ; 10. John Piers; 11. Tobias Matthew ; 12. William James; 13. Thomas Ravis ; 14. John King ; 15. William Goodwin ; 16. Rex Platonicus, page 44.
| Idem, page 45.
Richard Corbet ; 17. Brian Duppa ; 18. John Fell; 19. Edward Reynolds ; 20. John Owen.
Bishops.-Richard Cox, bishop of Ely; Thomas Goodwin, bishop of Bath and Wells; Thomas Cooper, bishop of Winchester ; John Piers, archbishop of York; Herbert Westphaling, bishop of Hereford ; William James, bishop of Durham ; Thomas Ravis, bishop of London ; John King, bishop of London ; Richard Corbet, bishop of Norwich ; William Piers, bishop of Bath and Wells ; Brian Duppa, bishop of Salisbury.
BENEFACTORS.-Otho Nicholson, one of the examiners of the chancery, bestowed eight hundred pounds in building and furnishing a fair library.
LEARNED WRITERS. — Sir Philip Sydney, Sir Walter Raleigh, William Camden, Robert Gomersall, John Gregory, William Cartwright.
Here I omit the many eminent writers still surviving : Dr. Meric Casaubon, and Dr. George Morley, both no less eminent for their sound judgments, than patient sufferings ; Dr. Barton Holiday, and Dr. Jasper Main, who have refreshed their severer studies with poetry, and sallies into pleasant learning ; with many more in this numerous foundation. Beholding, as for his wealth, to king Henry VIII. so for a great part of the wit and learning thereof to his daughter queen Elizabeth, whose schoolboys at Westminster become as good schoolmen here, sent hither, as to Trinity college in Cambridge, by her appointment; so that lately there were maintained therein, one Dean, eight Canons, three public Professors of Divinity, Hebrew, and Greek, one hundred Students, eight Chaplains, eight Singing-men, an Organist, eight Choristers, twenty-four Almsmen; at this present Students of all sorts, with Officers and Servants of the foundation, to the number of two hundred twenty-three.
33–35. Persecution in the Cardinal's College. Christ Church
a Colony of Cambridgemen. Wolsey's Pride in his
Servants. Know, that John Higdon, first dean of this college, was a great persecutor of poor Protestants, as by the ensuing catalogue will appear: John Clark, John Frith, Henry Sumner, — Baley, John Fryer, Goodman,+ Nicholas Harmar, + Michael Drumme,+ William Betts,
Lawney, Richard Cox, Richard Taverner.* questioned for their religion, 7 being cast into a prison, in a deep cave under ground, where the salt fish of the college was kept ; the
• Such whose names are noted with a cross (after them) did afterwards turn zealous papists. † Fox's “ Acts and Monuments," page 1032.
All these were
stench whereof made some of them to die soon after, and others escaped with great difficulty. Taverner was excellently skilled in music; on which account he escaped, though vehemently accused, the cardinal pleading for him, that he was but a musician, though afterward he repented to have set tunes to so many popish ditties.
We must not forget that all in the foresaid catalogue, whose Christian names are expressed, were originally Cambridge-men,* and invited by the cardinal, on promise of preferment, to plant his new foundation ; besides Florence, a Dominican, John Akers, and many more famous for their learning, which at this time removed to Oxford, seasoned both with good learning and true religion.
Know also this, John Higdon, first dean, was he, of whom cardinal Wolsey, when fallen into distress, did borrow two hundred pounds, there with to pay and reward some of his poorest servants, giving them money on this condition,—that hereafter they should
rve no subject, but only the king himself;t as if this had been suscipere gradum Simeonis, for those who so long had attended on a lord cardinal. But this happened many years after ; we return to this proud prelate, while lie flourished in the height of his prosperity. 36–38. Wolsey turns his Waiting into Revenge. The Scruple
of the King's Marriuge. The King willingly embraceth the
Motion. Their heads will catch cold which wait bare for a dead pope's triple crown. Wolsey may be an instance hereof, who, on every avoidance of St. Peter's chair, was sitting down therein, when suddenly some one or other clapt in before him! Weary with waiting, he now resolved to revenge himself on Charles the emperor, for not doing him right, and not improving his power in preferring him to the papacy, according to his promises and pretences. He intends to smite Charles through the sides of his aunt, Catherine queen of England, endeavouring to alienate the king's affections from her. And this is affirmed by the generality of our historians, though some of late have endeavoured to acquit Wolsey, as not the first persuader of the king's divorce.
Indeed, he was beholding for the first hint thereof to the Spaniards themselves. For, when the lady Mary was tendered in marriage to Philip, prince of Spain, the Spanish ambassadors seemed to make some difficulty thereof, and to doubt her extraction, as begotten on a mother formerly married to her husband's elder brother. Wolsey now put this scruple into the head of bishop Longland, the king's confessor, and he insinuated the same into the king's conscience : • Calos De Antiq. Cant. Acad.
† Rex Platonicus, page 43. VOL. II.
advising him hereafter to abstain from the company of his queen, to whom he was unlawfully married; adding moreover, that, after a divorce procured, which the pope in justice could not deny, the king might dispose his affections where he pleased. And here Wolsey had provided him a second wife : namely, Margaret duchess of Alençon, sister to Francis king of France ; though heavens reserved that place, not for the mistress, but her maid, I mean Anna Bullen, (Boleyn,] who (after the return of Mary the French queen for England) attended in France for some time on this lady Margaret.
Tinder needs no torch to light it; the least spark will presently set it on flame. No wonder if king Henry greedily resented the motion. Male issue he much wanted, and a young female more on whom to beget it. As for queen Catherine, he rather respected than affected, rather honoured than loved her. She had got a habit of miscarrying, scarce curable in one of her age, intimated in one of the king's private papers, as morbus incurabilis. Yet publicly he never laid either fault or defect to her charge ; that, not dislike of her person or conditions, but only principles of pure conscience, might seem to put him upon endeavours of a divorce.
39, 40. The Pope a Captive. The Character of Campegius.
A.D. 1528. The business is brought into the court of Rome, there to be decided by pope Clement VII. But the pope at this time was not sui juris, being a prisoner to the emperor, who constantly kept a guard about him. So that one wittily said, it was now most true, Papa non potest errare, “ The pope could not wander,” as cooped up and confined. Yet, after some delays, the pope at last, to satisfy the king, and clear his own credit, dispatched a commission to two cardinals, Wolsey, and Campegius an Italian, at London, to hear and determine the matter.
Campegius was the junior cardinal, and therefore the rather procured by Wolsey to be his colleague in this business, —whose pride would scarce admit an equal, but abhorred a superior,—than any foreign prelate should take place of him in England. As Wolsey's junior, so was he none of the most mercurial amongst the conclave of cardinals, but a good heavy man, having ingenium par negotio, “neither too much, nor too little, but just wit enough for the purpose the pope employed him in.” Wolsey might spur Campegius, , and Campegius would bridle Wolsey, keeping them both strictly to the letter of their instructions. Wolsey, hearing Campegius was come to Calais with an equipage not so court-like as he could have desired, and, loath that his own pomp should be shamed by the