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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 365

appearances and the opinions of the vulgar. The learned and the universities have pronounced in favour of the divorce, only the approbation of the Pope is wanting, and though that approbation might be useful to cheek the resentment of the Emperor, surely there is no need for your Grace to forego your rights on that account. Rather let your Majesty imitate the Princes of Germany, who have thrown off the yoke of Rome, and, with the authority of Parliament, declare yourself the head of the church within your own realm of England, which at present is a monster with two heads. But were your Grace to take into your own hands the authority now usurped by the Pope, every enormity would be rectified, the present difficulties would vanish, the royal coffers would be filled to overflowing, and the clergy, sensible that their lives and fortunes were at your disposal, would become the obsequious ministers of your will." Henry was pleased with this advice. It flattered not only his passion for Anne Boleyn, but his thirst for wealth and greediness for power. To put it in practice, he made Cromwell one of his privy council ; and, on the death of Archbishop Warham, elevated that esteemed divine, Thomas Cranmer, to the archbishopric of Canterbury, in October, 1532. He next had an interview with the King of France, but finding that monarch disinclined to effectually further his measures for a total separation from Rome, he concluded a treaty of amity with him ; and about the period of January, 1533, the precise date being questionable, espoused the woman who had so long possessed his affections,* His next object was to proceed with the divorce. To shake the resolution and weaken the power of Katherine, an act of Parliament was passed, in Febru * Henry justified his second marriage, before the divorce was pronounced, by declaring that he had examined the cause in the court of his own conscience, which was enlightened and directed by the Spirit of God, who possesseth and directeth the hearts of princes, and BO he was convinced that he was at liberty to exercise and enjoy the benefit of God for the procreation of children, in the lawful use of matrimony, and no man ought to inveigh at this his doing. I ary, forbidding, under the penalty of premunire, appeals from the spiritual judges in. England to the courts of the Pontiff. At the same time, the Convocations of Canterbury and York were assembled, and required to give opinions on the following questions : Whether or not the dispensation granted by Pope Julius rendered the marriage of Henry and Katherine binding and valid ? and whether or not the consummation of Arthur's marriage had been rendered apparent ? The convocations, having no desire to displease the King, declared that the Pope had no power to grant dispensations contrary to the law of God, and that the consummation of the first marriage had been as fully proved as the nature of the case would admit. These measures taken, Cranmer, as if ignorant of the object for which he had been made archbishop, addressed two letters to the King, begging permission to hear the cause of divorce in the archiépiscopal court. The last of these- letters proceeds :— " It may please, therefore, your most excellent Majesty (considerations had to the premises, and to my most bounden duetie towards your Highness, your realme, succession, and posteritie, and, for the exoneration of my conscience towardesAlmightieGod), to licence me according to myn office and duetie to procede to the examination, fynall determination, and judgment in the saide grete cause touching your Highness." As a matter of course, the King assented to his request, and Katherine was cited to appear before Cranmer, at Dunstable, four miles from her residence at Ampthill. On the eighth of May, the primate opened the court, and, lest the Queen should appear, and, regardless of the late statute, put in an appeal from him to the Pope, the trial wa's hastened, and his instructions to give judgment kept a profound secret. Two days afterwards, being Saturday, the citation was proved, and Katherine, as she did not appear, was pronounced " contumacious." On the following Monday, she again not appearing, was pronounced "verily and manifestly contumacious," and the court proceeded with the case without

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