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1344 [1343]

K. Edw. 6. Troubles of the Duke of Somerset. Articles agaynst hym.

Marginalia1552. liberties, and among al other conditions this was one, that the king should not only graunt his pardon to the Lordes, but also to the citizens of London: the which was graunted, yea and the same was ratified by act of parlament. But what folowed of it? No surely, nor forgeuen neither, during the kinges life. The liberties of the citie were taken away, straungers appoynted to be our heades and gouernors, the Citizens geuen away bodye and goods and from one persecution to an other were most miserably afflicted. Marginalia[illegible text] Such is it to enter into the wrath of a prince, as Salomon saith: The wrath & indignation of a prince is death. Wherfore, for as much as this ayde is required of the kinges Maiestie, whose voyce we ought to hearken vnto, for he is our high Shepehearde, rather then vnto the Lordes, and yet I would not wishe the Lordes to be clearely shaken of: my counsell is that they with vs, & we with thē may ioyne in sute, and make our most humble petition to the kinges maiestie, that it would please his highnesse to heare suche complaynt agaynst the gouernement of the Lorde Protectour, as maye be iustly alleged and proued, and I doubt not, but this matter wyll be so pacified, that neyther shal the kyng, nor yet the Lords haue cause to seeke for further ayde, neyther we to offend any of them both.

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After this tale the Commons stayed, and the Lorde Maior and his brethren for that tyme brake vp, tyll they had further communed with the Lordes. To make short, I let passe what order by the Citie was taken. MarginaliaHere is to be noted that the Citie leuied 500 men, but they were not sent. But the conclusion was, that the Lordes (vppon what occasion I knowe not) satt the next daye in Counsaile in the Starre chamber, and frō thence sent Sir Phillip Hobby with their letter of credence to the kinges maiestie, beseeching his maiestie to geue credit to that which the said sir Phillip should declare vnto his maiestie in their names: 

Commentary  *  Close

Edward VI's letter, written in response to Sir Philip Hoby's mission, is printed in Troubles Connected with the Prayer Book of 1549, ed. Nicholas Pocock. Camden Society, First series, 38 (London, 1884), pp. 102-4.

and the king gaue hym libertie to speake, and most gently heard all that he had to say. Who so handled the matter, declaring his message in the name of the Lordes, that in the end the Lord Protector was commaunded from the kinges presence, MarginaliaThe Lord Protector committed to prison in Winsore Castle. & shortly was committed to ward in a tower within the Castle of Windsore, called Bewchamp Tower, 
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This took place on 11 October 1549.

and sone after were stayed 
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I.e., detained.

sir Tho. Smith, master Whalley, master Fisher, & many other Gentlemen that attended vpon the Lorde Protectour. The same day the Lordes of the Counsaile resorted to the king, MarginaliaThe Lorde Protector committed to the Tower. and the next day they brought from thence the Lorde Protector, and the other that were there stayed, and conueyed them through the citie of London vnto the Tower, and there leaft them. 
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This took place on 14 October 1549.

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Shortly after the Lordes resorted vnto the Tower and there charged the Lorde Protectour with sundry articles as folowe.

¶ Articles obiected agaynst the Lord Protectour. 
Commentary  *  Close

There are numerous varying versions of this document, some with 29, others with 31 articles. (For a discussion of this document, see William K. Jordan, Edward VI: the Young King (London, 1968), pp. 522-27). The version which Foxe used, and where he obtained it, remains unknown. However, his elimination of articles - assuming that he was not working from a faulty copy - appears not have been tendentious, but to eliminate repetition.

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MarginaliaArticles obiected agaynst the Lord Protectour. I I N Primis, you tooke vpon you the office of Protectour and Gouernour, vpon condition expressely and specially, that you woulde doo nothing in the kinges affayres, publikely or priuately, but by the assent of the late kinges executours.

2 Also you, contrary to the sayd condition, of your owne authoritie, dyd stay and let iustice and subuerted the lawes, as wel by your letters as by your commaundements.

3 Also, you caused diuerse persons being arested and imprisoned for treason, murder, manslaughter and felonie, to be discharged and set at large, against the kinges lawes, and statutes of this Realme.

4 Also, you haue made and ordeined Lieutenants for the kings armyes and other weighty affayers vnder your own writyng and seale.

5 Also, you haue communed with the ambassadours of other Realmes, discoursing alone with them the weightye causes of this Realme.

6 Also you haue sometime rebuked, checked and taunted, as wel priuately as openly, diuers of the kinges moste honourable Counsaylours, for shewing & declaryng their aduises and opinions against your purposes in the kynges weightye affayres, saying sometymes to them, that you neede not to open matters vnto them, and would therefore be otherwise aduised: and that you would, if they were not agreeable to your opinion, put them out, and take other at your pleasure.

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7 Also, you had and helde against the lawe in your owne house, a Court of Reare for their free holdes and goodes, and determined the same to the subuersion of the same lawes.

8 Also, you being no officer, without the aduise of the Counsaile, or the more part of them, dyd dispose of the Of fices of the kinges gyfte, for money, and graunted Leases and Wardes of the kyngs, & gaue presentatiōs to the kings benefices & bishoprikes, hauing no authority so to do. And farther you did meddle with the sellyng of the kings lands.

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9 Also, you commaunded Multiplication and Alcumistrie to be practised, to abuse the kynges coyne. 

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This is a reference to Somerset's debasing the coinage.

10 Also, you caused a proclamation to be made concerning enclosures, wherby the cōmon people haue made diuers insurrections, & leuied open warre, and distreyned and spoiled diuers of the kinges subiects, which Proclamation went forth against the wyl of the whole Counsaile. 

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The aristocrats opposed to Somerset blamed his proclamation banning enclosures for triggering the 1549 rebellions. Ironically, the depiction of Somerset in these articles as a wild-eyed social reformer, was a keystone in the later image of him as a benevolent ruler.

11 Also, you haue caused a commission, with certayne articles thereunto annexed, to be made out concernyng enclosures of commons, high wayes, decaying of Cotages, and diuers other thynges, geuing the Commissioners authoritie to heare and determine the same causes, to the subuersion of the lawes and statutes of this Realme: whereby much sedetion, insurrection, and rebellion haue risen & growen among the kynges subiectes.

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12, Also, you haue suffered the rebels and traytors to assemble and to lie in campe and armour against the king, his Nobles and Gentlemen, without any speedy subduyng or repressing of them.

13 Also you did comfort and encourage diuers of the said rebels, by geuyng of them diuers summes of your own money, and by promising to diuerse of them, fees, rewards, and seruices.

14 Also, you in fauour of the said rebels, did against the laws, cause a proclamation to be made that none of the said rebels or traytors should be sued or vexed by any person for any their offences in the said rebellion, to the cleare subuersion of the same lawes.

15 Also, you haue said in the tyme of the rebellion, that you liked wel the doynges and proceedinges of the saide rebels and traitors, and said, that the couetousnes of the gentlemen gaue occasion to the common people to rise: saying also, that better it were for the Commons to dye, then pearishe for lacke of liuyng.

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16 Also you said that the Lords of the parlament were loth to encline them selues to reformation of enclosures and other things: therfore the people had good cause to reeforme the thinges themselues.

17 Also, you after the report and declaration of the defaultes and lackes reported to you by suche as dyd suruaye Bulleyne and the Peeces there, woulde neuer amende the same defaultes.

18 Also, you would not suffer the kinges Peeces beyond þe seas, called Newhauē, &Blacknest to be furnished with men and vittailes, although you were aduertised of the defaults therin by the captaines of the same Peeces & others, & were therto aduertised by the kinges Counsaile: wherby the French king being the kinges open enemie was encouraged & comforted to inuade & winne the said peeces, to the kinges great losse, and dishonour of his Realme.

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19 Also, you declared and published vntruely, as well to the kinges maiestie as other the young Lordes attendant vpon his graces person, that the Lordes of the Counsayle at Londen, mynded to destroy the king, & you required the king neuer to forget it, but to reuenge it: and likewise you required the young Lords to put the king in remembrance therof, to the entent to make sedition and discord betweene the king and his Lordes.

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20 Also, where the kynges maiesties priuie Counsaile of their loue and zeale that they dyd beare vnto the king and his Realme, dyd consult at Londō to haue communed with you, to the entent to moue your charitably to amend your doynges and misgouernmēt, you hearyng of their sayd assembly, dyd cause to be declared by letters in diuers places, the sayd Lordes to be high traytors to the king, to the great disturbance of the Realme.

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MarginaliaThe mercifull working of the Lord for the Lord Protector. And thus much hytherto concernyng the first trouble of the Lorde Protectour Duke of Somerset, with the crimes and articles obiected agaynst hym, with his prisonment also in the Tower, and the terrible proclamation giuen out against hym. All which purposes of man, though they seemed fully entended to no lesse, but to the spyllyng of his life: yet the Lord aboue, the onely disposer of all mens purposes, so ordered the matter by the meanes of the kyng labouryng for his Vncle, MarginaliaThe Lord Protector deliuered out of the Tower. that in short while after he was let out of the Tower, and the Proclamation, whiche before had made hym a traytour, within three dayes was called in agayne (a Domino factum est istud,) and commaundement geuen, none of them to be solde. And so the Duke of Somerset gratiously escaping this aduersitie, was againe restored, though not to his former office, yet vnto libertie: wherein he continued the space of two yeares and two dayes. 

Commentary  *  Close

Once again, Foxe's chronology is inaccurate. Somerset was released from the Tower on 6 February 1550; he was rearrested on 16 October 1551.

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MarginaliaThe second trouble of the Duke of Somerset After the which tyme of respite beyng expired, the said

Duke
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