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1160 [1160]

K. Henry. 8. The pompe and pride of Cardinall Wolsey.

Gentlemen, all richlye apparelled, and in the waye hee was brought into a riche tent of cloth of golde, where he shifted him selfe into a Cardinalls robe, furred with Ermines, & so tooke hys Mule riding toward London. Now marke the great humilitie in thys church of the Pope, and compare the same with the other church of the Martyrs, and see which of thē is more Gospell like.

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MarginaliaAmbition and pompe in the Cardinall.Thys Campeius had viij. mules of hys owne, laden with diuers farthells and other preparation. The Cardinall of Yorke, thinkyng them not sufficient for hys estate, the nyght before he came to London, sent him xij. mules more, with emptie cofers couered with red, to furnishe hys cariage withall. The next day, these xx. mules were lead through the Citie, as though they had bene loden with treasures, apparell and other necessaryes, to the great admiratiō of all mē, that they should receiue a Legate as it were a God, with such & so great treasure, & riches. For so þe cōmon people doth alwayes iudge & esteeme, the maiestie of the clergie, by no other thyng then by theyr outward shewes & pompe: but in þe middest of thys great admiration, there happened a ridiculous spectacle, to the great derision of theyr pride & ambition. For as the Mules passed through Cheapeside, and the people were pressing about them, to beholde and gase (as the maner is) MarginaliaHow God confoūdeth the pride and pompe of men.it happened that one of the Mules breaking his coller that he was led in, ran vpon the other Mules, wherby it happened, that they so running together, & theyr girthes being losed, ouerthrewe diuers of theyr burthens, and so there appeared the Cardinalls gaye treasure, not without great laughter and scorne of many, & specially of boyes and gerles, MarginaliaThe Cardinalls xx. great Mules loden with rosted egges, and rotten shoes, and such other treasure.wherof some gathered vp pieces of meate, other some, pieces of bread and rosted egges, some foūd horse shoes, and olde bootes, with such other baggage: crying out, beholde, here is my Lord Cardinalls treasure. The Muliters being therwithall greatly ashamed, gathered together theyr treasure agayne as well as they could, and went forward.

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About three of the clocke at after noone, the xxix. day of Iulie, the Cardinall hym selfe was brought through the Citie, with great pompe and solemnitie, vnto Paules Church, wheras, when he had blessed all men with the Byshops blessing (as the maner is) hee was guided forth vnto the Cardinall of Yorkes house, where as he was receaued by the sayd Cardinall, and by hym, on the next day being sondaie, was conducted vnto the kyng, to fulfill hys Ambassade agaynst the Turke, which myght haue destroyed all Hungarie, in the meane tyme whiles they were studying with what solemnitie to furnishe out theyr Ambassade. MarginaliaEx Edouar. Hallo.

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When the Cardinall of Yorke was thus a Legate, he set vp a Courte, & called it the Court of the Legate, and proued testamentes, and heard causes, to the great hinderaunce of all the byshops of the realme. He visited Byshops and all the clergie, exempt and not exempt: and vnder colour of reformation, he gotte much treasure, and nothing was reformed, but came to more mischiefe: for by example of hys pride, priestes and all spirituall persons waxed so proud, that they ware veluet, and silke, both in gounes, Iackets, dublets, and shoes, kept open lecherye, & so highly bare them selues, by reason of hys authorities and faculties, that no man durste once reproue any thing in them, for feare to bee called hereticke, and then they would make hym smoke or beare a fagotte. And the Cardinall him selfe was so elated, that he thought him selfe equall with the kyng: and whē he had sayd Masse, he made Dukes & Earles to serue hym of wyne with a say taken, and to holde the bason at the Lauatories.

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MarginaliaEx Paralip. Abb. Vrsp.Furthermore, as hee was Ambassadour sent to the Emperour at Bruxels, he had ouer with hym the great Seale of England, and was serued there with hys seruitours kneeling on their knees, and many noble men of England wayting vpon him, to the great admirati-on of all the Germains that behelde it: such was hys monstrous pompe & pride. Ex Paralip. Abb. Vrspur. 

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This refers to the 'paralipomena' (Greek: 'supplement') of the Chronicon quo omnes fere veteres … a chronicle that ended in the thirteenth century, by Burchard, abbot of Uspergensis [Urspergensis = Ursperg, a monastery in Bavaria]), edited and published by the enthusiastic humanist and Augsburg antiquarian Conrad Peutinger in 1515. The first continuation was by Conrad of Lichtenau [Konrad von Lichtenau]. The second continuation, to which Foxe refers here, was that by Caspar Hedio, which took it to 1537, the year it was published.

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Thys glorious Cardinall in hys tragicall doinges, dyd exceede so farre all measure of a good subiecte, that he became more like a prince then a priest: MarginaliaThe climing of the Cardinall Wolsey.for although the kyng bare the sworde, yet he bare the stroke, making (in a maner) þe whole realme to bend at his becke, and to daunse after hys pipe. Such practises & fetches he had, that when he had well stored hys owne cofers, first he fetched the greatest part of the kinges treasure, out of the realme, in xij. great barells full of golde and siluer, to serue the Popes warres. And as hys auaritious mynde was neuer satisfied in getting, so his restles head was so busie, ruffling in publicke matters, MarginaliaCardinall Wolsey a great cause of warres.þt he neuer ceassed, before he had set both England, Fraūce, Flaunders, Spayne, and Italye, together by the eares.

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Thus thys Legate well following the steppes of hys maister the Pope, & both of thē well declaryng the nature of their religion: vnder the pretense of the church, practised great hipocrisie, MarginaliaThe pilling and polling of the Cardinall.& vnder the authoritie of the kyng, he vsed great extorsion, with excessiue taxes & lones, and valuation of euery mans substanes, so pilling the commons and Marchauntes, that euery man complayned, but no redresse was had. Neyther yet were the churchmen altogether free from the pillar, and pollar, from the pilling and pollyng (I meane) of thys Cardinall, who vnder hys power Legantine, gaue by preuentions, all benefices belonging to spirituall persons: by which hard it is to saye, whether he purchased to hym self, more riches then hatred, of þe spiritualtie. So farre his licence stretched, þt he had power to suppresse diuers Abbeyes, Priories, and Monasteryes, & so dyd: takyng from them, all theyr goods, moueables, & not moueables, except it were a little pension, left onely to the heades of certayne houses. By the said power Legantine, hee kept also generall visitations through the realme, sending Doct. Iohn Alein hys chaplein, rydyng in hys goune of Veluet, and with a great trayne, to visite all religious houses: MarginaliaThe Friers obseruauntes accursed of the Cardinall.wherat the Fryers obseruauntes much grudged, and would in no wyse condescend therunto: wherfore they were openlye accursed at Paules crosse, by Fryer Forest, MarginaliaOf Fryer Forest, vid. infra.one of the same order: so that the Cardinall at length, preuailed both agaynst them, and all other. Agaynst whom great disdaine arose among þe people, perceauing how he by visitations, makyng of Abbots, probates of testamentes, graunting of faculties, licences, and other polinges in hys courtes Legantine, MarginaliaEx Hallo, an. 19. Reg. Henric. 8.had made hys treasure equall with the kinges, and yet euery yeare he sent great summes to Rome. And thys was theyr daily talke agaynst the Cardinall.

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Beside many other matters and greuances whiche styrred the hartes of the commons agaynst the Cardinall, thys was one, which much pinched them, for that the sayd Cardinall had sent out, certayne straite commissions in the kinges name, that euery man shoulde pay the vj. part of his goods. Wherupon there folowed great muttering amongst the cōmons, in such sort, that it had almost growen to some riotous cōmotion or tumulte, especially in the partes of Suffolke, had not the Dukes of Northfolke and Suffolke, with wisedome and gentlenes, stept in and appeased the same.

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An other thing that rubbed the stomackes of many, or rather which moued them to laugh at the Cardinall, was thys, to see hys insolent presumption, so highly to take vpon hym, as the kings chiefe Counsailer, to set a reformation in the order of the kinges housholde, making and establishing new ordinaunces in the same. He likewise made newe officers, in the house of the Duke of Richmond, which was thē newly begonne. In like maner he ordayned a Coūsell, and established an other housholde for the Ladie Mary, then being Princes: so that all thing was done by hys consent, and by none other. All thys, with much more, tooke he vpon hym, making þe king beleue, that all should be to his honour, and

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that
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