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1071 [1038]

K. Henry. 8. The Kinges message to the Emperour in defence of his Mariage.

red by the meanes of the French Kyng, to the Pope beyng then in Fraunce, for right and iustice to be done, for the dissolution and nullitie of hys first pretensed matrimony with his brothers wife. Which when it coulde not be attayned at the Popes hands, vnles the kyng would recompence and requite the same by reuocating of such statutes as were made and enacted here in the hygh Courte of Parlament, for the suretie of succession and stablishment of the Realme: what the kyng thereunto aunswered agayne, ye heard, declaryng that to be a farre vnequall recompence and satisfaction for a thing which ought of right and iustice to be ministred vnto hym, that a kyng therefore should reuocate and vndoe the Actes and statutes passed by a whole Realme, contrary to hys owne honour, and weale of hys subiectes. &c.

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Where is moreouer to be vnderstanded, how that the Pope with all hys Papistes, and the French kyng also, & peraduenture Stephen Gardiner too, the kinges own Ambassadour, had euer a speciall eye to disproue MarginaliaThe craftie packing of the Papistes. and disapoint the kinges succession by Queene Anne 

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This refers to Anne's reputation as a friend of the reformation effort in England and to her tendency to promote evangelicals like Hugh Latimer and Thomas Goodrich.

, whom they knew all to be a great enemy vnto the Pope, thinkyng thereby, that if that succession were diminished, the Popes kyngdome might soone be restored againe in England. MarginaliaThe Papistes frustrate of their purpose. But yet for all their vniust and crafty packing, they were through Gods prouidence, frustrate of their desired purpose. For although they so brought to passe the next yeare folowing, to adnulle the order of that succession by a cōtrary Parlamēt: 
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This refers to the second 'Succession Act of 1536' (28 Henry VIII, c.7), which invested the succession in the heirs of Henry by Jane Seymour.

yet neither did they so adnihilate it, but that both king Edward folowed, yea and also the same succession afterward by the sayd kyng and other Parlaments was restored againe, and yet (God be praised hath hetherto reigned and doth yet florishe in the Realme of England.

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Now, as we haue declared the kynges doinges in the Realme of Scotland and of Fraunce, proceeding further in the kinges procedings with other Princes, let vs see how the king defended himself & his cause before the Emperour, sending hys Ambassadour vnto him, vsing these words before his maiestie, as here foloweth.

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¶ The Oration of the kinges Ambassadour before the Emperour in defence of his cause.

MarginaliaThe Oration of the Ambassadour to the Emperour. SIr the kyng my maister taking and reputing you as his perfect frende, confederate, and allye, and not doubtyng but you remembring the mutuail kyndnes betwene you in tymes past, will shew your self in all occurrērtes to be of such mynde and disposition, as iustice, truth, and equitie doth require: hath willed me by hys letters, to open and declare vnto you, what he hath done, and in what wyse he hath proceeded concernyng such Mariage as by many yeares was supposed to haue bene betwene your Aunte and hys grace. MarginaliaDiuisions consisting in ii. partes. In which matter being two principall pointes specially to be regarded and considered: that is to say, the iustice of the cause, and the order of the processe therein, his highnes hath so vsed him in both, as no man may right wysely complayne of the same.

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MarginaliaThe iustnes of the kings cause. First as touching the iustnes of the cause, that is to say, of that Mariage betwene him and your sayde Aunte to be nought, and of no moment ne effect, but agaynst the lawe of God, nature, and man, and indispensable by the Pope, and in no wise vailable: hys hignes hath done therein, asmuch as becommeth him for discharge of hys conscience, and hath founde so certaine, so euidēt, so manifest, so open, and approued truth, as wherunto his maiestie ought of good congruence to geue place, & which by all other ought to be allowed and receiued, not as a matter doubtfull, disputable, or depēding in question and ambiguitie: but as a playne determined and discussed veritie of the true vnderstanding of Gods word and lawe 

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It is very interesting (and not a little ironic given the king's conservative theology) to note that, as Henry's matrimonial solution (which had such a weak basis in canon law and a doubtful basis in theology) he increasingly turned (as did the reformers on the continent) to the stronghold of scriptural interpretation (which the Romans had obviously got so badly wrong over the centuries).

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, which all Christian men must followe and obey, and before all other worldly respects, preferre and execute. In attayning the knowledge whereof, if his hyghnes had vsed onely his owne particular iugement & sentence or the mynde only & opinion of his own natural subiectes (although þe same might in his conscience haue suffised) would not much haue repugned, if some other had made difficultie to assent to him in the same, till further discussion had bene made thereupon. But now, forasmuch as besides hys owne certaine vnderstāding, and þe agreemēt of this whole Clergie to the same in both prouinces of his realme 
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This refers to Canterbury and York provinces of the church.

, MarginaliaVniuersities standing with the kings cause hys maiestie hath also for hym the determinations 
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The university of Bologna decided in the king's favour on 10 June 1530, followed shortly by the university of Padua on 1 July 1530.

of the most famous Vniuersities of Christendome, and most indifferent to pronounce and geue iudgement in this case, and among them, the Vniuersitie of Bonony, (all feare of the Pope set apart) concluding agaynst his power: and also Padua (the Venetiās threates not regarded) geuing their sentence for the truth & euident wordes of Gods law: there should no man, as seemeth to hym, gaynsay or withstand, eyther in worde or deede, the truth thus opened, but for his honor and duetie to the obseruation of Gods lawe, willingly embrace and receaue the same.

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According whereunto his grace perceiueth also aswell in his realme, as els where, a notable consent and agreement amongest all Diuines, and such as haue studyed for knowledge of of Gods lawe without contradiction of any number, vnles it be such as applying their minde to the maintenaunce of worldly affections, doe either in defence of such lawes as they haue studied, eyther for satisfaction of their priuate appetite, forbeare to agree vnto þe same. The number of whō is so small, as in the discernyng of truth it ought not to be regarded in a case so playnely described and determined by Gods word, as this is.

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And if percase your maiestie here not regarding the number, but the matter, shall seeme to consider in thys case, not so much who speaketh, as what is spoken, to aunswere thereunto, I say: Syr the kyng my maister is of the same mynde, for his owne satisfaction, and taketh hymselfe to be in the right, MarginaliaBoth the number and matter maketh with the kyng. not because so many sayth it, but because he being learned, knoweth the matter to be right. Neuerthelesse, reason woulde, and enforceth also, that straungers to the cause and not parties therein, should be induced to beleue that to be truth, that such a number of Clerkes do so constantly affirme, specially not beyng otherwise learned to be Iudges of their sayinges, as your maiestie is not. And if you were, then could your highnes shewe such reasons, authorities, and groundes as cannot be taken away, and be so firme & stable, as they ought not of Christen men in any part to be impugned, lyke as hath bene partly heretofore shewed by his sundry Ambassadours to your, Imperial maiestie, and should eftsoones be done, were it not too great an iniurie to that is already passed in the realme, to dispute the same againe in any other countrey: which beyng contrarious to the lawes and ordinaunces of hys realme, he trusteth your prudencie will not require, but take that is past, for a thyng done, and iustly done: and as for Gods part, to leaue his conscience to himselfe, qui domino suo stat aut cadit: and for the world, to passe ouer as a frende, that which nothing toucheth you, and not to meruayle though the sayd kyng my maister regarding þe wealth of hys soule principally, with the commoditie of his person, and so great benefite and quiet of hys Realme, haue percase done that he for hys priuate fantasie, woulde not had chaunced: lyke as hys highnes also would wishe it had not happned that such cause had bene geuen vnto him to compell hym so to do.

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MarginaliaThe second part of his Oration touching the maner of the kinges procedinges. But these things in their outward visage be but worldly, and inwardly touch and concerne the soule. Quid autem prodest homini si vniuersum mundum lucretur, animæ vero suæ detrimentum patiatur. Primun quærite regnū Dei. &c. And yet neither is hys highnes ignoraunt what respect is to be had vnto the worlde: and how much he hath laboured and trauayled therin, he hath sufficiently declared and shewed to the world in his actes and proceedinges. For if he had vtterly contempned the order and processe of the world, or the frendship and amitie of your maiestie: he needed not to haue sent so often and sundry Ambassates to the Pope, and to you both, nor continued and spent his tyme in delayes, as he hath done hetherto, but might many yeares past, haue done that he hath done now, if it had so liked him, and with as litle difficultie then as now, if he woulde haue without such respect, folowed his pleasure in þt behalfe. But now I doubt not, your maiestie doth wel remember how often the kyng my maister hath sent vnto your highnes, and that your maiestie hath heard also what sutes he hath made to the Pope, MarginaliaHow the pope dalyed with the by delayes. and how the sayd Pope hath hādled him agayne only in delay and dalyaunce, with open commission 

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This refers to the secret decretal commission which allowed cardinals Wolsey and Campeggio to decide the matrimonial case in England. It was destroyed before it could be seized and published.

geuen to hys Legates to determine and geue sentence for hym by a commission decretall, and secretly to geue them instructions to suspend and put ouer the same. By which meanes and other semblable, he perceiued playnely hymselfeto be brought in such a labirinth as going forwarde that way, he were like to come to no end, and was therfore compelled to steppe right forth at once to the mazes end, there to quiet and repose himselfe at the last.

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And is it not tyme to haue end in seuen yeare, or els to seeke for it an other way? The Pope hath shewed himselfe both vnwilling to haue an ende, and also so ready and prone to do him iniurie, as well in cityng him to Rome, as also sending forth certeine breues to his grace sclaūderous, and for the iniustice and iniquitie of them, to himselfe dishonorable: as he gaue his highnes good and iust cause to suspect, least any ende to be made at his hand (if any he would make) might be in hys conscience receiued and folowed. For the Pope doyng iniurie in some point, why shoulde he be thought conuenient Iudge, not vsing hymselfe indifferently in the matter, (as many moe particularities may be shewed and declared) considering, there is a generall

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