FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
subject of the divorce. On the twentyfifth of June, the crier again made the hall ring with the summons, "Katherine, Queen of England, come into court ;" but as tbe Queen neither appeared in person nor by her attorney, she was declared contumacious. The proceedings of the court were in Latin ; and as beyond an appeal to the Pope, which was read in court, nothing further was offered on the part of the Queen, the evidence and arguments were all on the King's side. But withal, the bishops were by no means eager to untie the marriage knot of the monarch, who by the exercise of threats, promises, and every means in his power during the trial, could obtain nothing from the prelates more potent than letters patent from the Bishops of London, Rochester, Carlisle, Ely, Exeter, St. Asaph, Lincoln, Bath and "Wells, stating, that the King having scruples concerning his marriage, had consulted them, the Cardinal of York, and other livines, and having sent to them a book written by himself on the subject, had requested their counsel to remove bis scruples, and establish the tranquillity of his mind, the health of his body, and the right of succession ; therefore, they had come to the conclusion that he was not uneasy without good and weighty reason, and that he ought, in the first place, to consult the Pope. This precious document was dated on the first of July, and so disappointed and annoyed the King, that he sent for Wolsey, and for an hour roundly rated him for his not having yet procured the desired verdict. At length Wolsey retired, and entered his barge at Blackfriars. The Bishop of Carlisle, who was waiting there for him, remarked that it was hot weather ! "Yea, my lord," replied Wolsey, "i f you had been as severely chafed as I have within this last hour, you would indeed say it was hot." On reaching his palace at Westminster, he retired to rest ; but he had been in bed scarcely two hours, when tbe father of Anne Boleyn called him up, and told him that it was the King's pleasure that he should instantly go along with Campeggio to the Queen, who then resided in Bridewell, and urge her to comply with his
will, without further disgrace or litiga
The two Cardinals accordingly repair
ed to the palace at Bridewell, and when
the gentleman usher introduced them,
Katharine rose up with a skein of white
silk on her neck, for she and her maids
were busy at needlework, and said :
"Alack, my lords ! I am sorry you
should be troubled to wait upon me, but
pray speak your pleasure."
" If it please your grace," answered
Wolsey, " to go into your privy cham
ber, we will shew you the cause of our
"My lord," returned the Queen, "if
you have anything to say, speak it with
out reserve before all these folk, for I
fear nothing that can be brought against
me; but 1 would all the world should
see and hear it, therefore I beg you will
speak your mind openly."
Then the Cardinal began to address her in Latin. "Nay, my good lord," interrupted the Queen, " speak to me in English, for I can, I thank God, both speak and understand English, although 1 understand some Latin."*
"Eorsooth," proceeded tbe Cardinal, "if it please your grace, we have come to learn how you are disposed to act in this matter between yourself and the King, and for the very zeal and obedience we bear you, to advise you therein, being authorized by his Highness to offer you riches and honour for yourself, and the next place in succession for your daughter Mary, if you will consent to the divorce."
" My lord, I thank you for your good will," replied the Queen ; " butl cannot so suddenly answer your request, for I was sitting amongst my maids at work, little expecting your visit ; and in this case, which touches me so near, I need counsel ; but for counsel or friendship that I can find in England, they are not for my profit. Think you, raylord, any Englishman will counsel me against the King, whose subject lie is ? Nay, nay ; the only counsel Ï would trust are in my native Spain. In sooth, my lords, I am
* Katherine was an excellent Latin scholar, but she always spoke with modesty of her own acquirements.