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1335 [1335]

K. Henry. 8. The Acte of vj. Articles.

and to trayne þe kyng to their own purpose. Now what occasion this wylye Winchester founde out to worke vpon, ye shall heare in order as foloweth.

MarginaliaThe occasions which Winchester dyd worke vp.It happened the same tyme, that the Lord Cromwell for þe better establishyng of syncere religion in this Realme, deuised a mariage 

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Henry VIII's fourth and shortest marriage, to Anne of Cleves, remains a opaque episode. The fullest recent discussion - Retha M. Warnicke, The Marrying of Anne of Cleves (Cambridge, 2000) - provides useful detail, but the explanation of the marriage's failure which Warnicke advances has not proved persuasive. McEntegart, Henry VIII, the League of Schmalkalden and the English Reformation is invaluable on the diplomatic context. There is no serious case for believing Foxe's claim that Gardiner alienated the King from the marriage.

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for the kyng to be cōcluded betwene hym and the Lady Anne of Cleue, MarginaliaThis Lady Anne of Cleue was maryed to the king. an. 1540. whose other sister was already maryed vnto the Duke of Saxony. By this mariage it was supposed that a perpetuall league, amitie, and allye should bee nourished betwene this Realme and þe Princes of Germany, and so therby godly Religion might be made more strong on both parties agaynst the Byshop of Rome and his tyrannicall Religion. But the deuil euer enuying the prosperitie of the Gospel, layd a stumblyng blocke in that cleare way, for the kyng to stumble at. For when the parents of the noble Lady were commoned with all for the furtheraunce of the sayd Mariage, amonge others of her frendes, whose good will was requyred, the Duke of Saxony her brother in law misliked the Mariage, partly for þt he would haue had her bestowed vpō some Prince of Germanye more nigh vnto her sister, and partlye for other causes, whiche he thought reasonable. Whereupon it folowed that the slackenes of the Duke in that behalfe beyng espyed, crafty Winchester takyng good holdfast theron, so alienated the kynges mynde from the amitie, that semed nowe to begyn and growe betwene the Duke and the kyng, that by the occasion therof he brought the kyng at length cleane out of credite with that Religion and doctrine, whiche the Duke had then mainteyned many yeares before.

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Thus wily Winchester with his crafty fetches partly vpon this occasion aforesaid, and partly also by other pestilent persuasions crepyng into the kynges eares, ceased not to seeke all meanes how to worke his feate & to ouerthrow Religion, MarginaliaThe king brought out of credit with the doctrine of the Germayne Princes.first brynging him in hatred with the Germane Princes, thē puttyng him in feare, of þe Emperour, of þe French kyng, of þe Pope, of þe king of Scottes, & other foreine powers to rise agaynst him, MarginaliaThe wicked counsell of St. Gardiner, & other about the kyng.but especially of Ciuill tumultes and cōmotions here within this realme (which aboue all thinges hee moste dreaded) by reasō of innouatiō of religiō & dissoluing of Abbeys, and for abolishing of rites, & other customes of the Church, sticking so fast in þe mindes of þe people, þt it was to be feared, lest their hartes were or woulde bee shortly styrred vp agaynst him, vnlesse some spedye remedy were to þe contrary prouided: declaryng moreouer, what a daungerous matter in a common wealth it is to attempt new alterations of any thyng, but especially of Religion. Which beyng so, he exhorted þe king, for his own safegard and publicke quiet and tranquilitie of his Realme, to see betime howe and by what policie these so manifold mischiefes might be preuented. Agaynst whiche no other way nor shifte coulde better be deuised, then if he would shew him selfe sharpe and seuere agaynst these new Sectaries, Anabaptistes, and Sacramentaries 

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The pairing of Anabaptists and 'sacramentaries' (ie. those who denied the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, a group which included Reformed Protestants and most Lollards, but not Lutherans) is a typical Henrician touch: Henry VIII repeatedly bracketed these two groups together as those who profaned the two holiest Christian sacraments. The Act of Six Articles was indeed aimed principally at sacramentaries, who were then a minority amongst English evangelicals. See Ryrie, The Gospel and Henry VIII, pp. 34-6, 38-9, 138-43.

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(as they called them) and would also set forth such Articles, confirmyng the auncient and Catholicke fayth, as whereby he might recouer agayne his credence with Christen Princes, and whereby all the world besides, might see and iudge him to be a right and a perfect Catholicke.

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MarginaliaThe king abused by wicked counsell.By these, and such lyke crafty suggestions, the kyng being to much seduced and abused, began to withdraw his defense from the reformation of true Religion, supposing therby to procure to him selfe more safetie both in his owne realme, and also to auoyde such daungers, whiche otherwise might happē by other Princes, especially seyng of late he had refused to come to þe generall Councel at Vincence, 

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Vicenza. In 1537, Pope Paul III's plan for a General Council at Mantua having failed, he translated the Council to Vicenza, intending it to open on 1 May 1538. This plan too failed, and after a series of further delays the Council finally assembled at Trent in 1545.

being therto inuited both by the Emperour, & other foreine potētates, as ye haue heard before. And therfore, although he had reiected the Pope out of his realme, yet because hee would declare him selfe neuerthelesse to be a good Catholicke sonne of the mother Churche, and a withstander of new innouati-ons and heresies (as the blynd opinion of the world did then esteme them) first he stretched out his hand to the cōdemnyng & burnyng of Lambert, 
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See 1563, pp. 527-569; 1570, pp. 1255-85.

then after, he gaue out those Iniunctiōs aboue prefixed: and now further, to encrease this opinion with all men, Marginalia1540.
The popes craftie factors in England.
in the yeare next folowyng, whiche was of the Lord. 1540 
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1539.

. through the deuise & practise of certeine of the Popes factors about him, he summoned a solemne Parlament to be holden at Westmynster the 28. day of Aprill, of all the states and Burgeses of the Realme: Also a Synode or conuocation of all the Archbyshops, Byshops, and other learned of the Clergie of this Realme, to bee in lyke maner assembled.

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¶ The Acte of vj. Articles.

MarginaliaThe vj. articles.In which Parlament, Synode or conuocation, certein Articles, matters, and questions, touching Religion, were decreed by certein Prelates, to þe nomber especially of. vj. comonly called the. vj. Articles (or the whyp with vj. strynges) to be had and receyued emonge the kynges subiectes, in pretense of vnitye. But what vnitye therof folowed, the groning hartes of a great number, and also the cruel death of diuers, both in the dayes of Kyng Henry, & of Queene Mary, 

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The mention of Mary is strictly inaccurate, for the Act was repealed in 1547 and never reenacted, but it demonstrates how the Act became a symbol of persecution of heresy more generally.

can so wel declare, as I pray God, neuer the lyke be felte hereafter.

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The doctrine of these wycked Articles in þe bloudye Acte conteyned, although it be worthye of no memorye amongest Christen men, but rather deserueth to bee buried in perpetuall obliuion, yet for that the office of historye compelleth vs therunto, for the more lyght of posterytye to come: faythfully, and truelye to comprise thinges done in the Church, as wel one as an other, this shalbe briefly to recapitulate the summe and effecte of the forsayd vj. Articles, in order as they were geuen out, and here vnder do folowe:

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The first Article. 
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The text of the articles is taken verbatim from the statute 31 Henry VIII c. 14 (Statutes of the Realm, vol. 3 (London 1817), pp. 739-40).

MarginaliaThe 1. article.
Transubstātiation. 

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Foxe notes quite correctly that this first article defends the full doctrine of transubstantiation. However, although the word itself had appeared in early drafts of the bill, it was deliberately omitted from the final Act. See Ryrie, The Gospel and Henry VIII, p. 36.

THe fyrst article, in this present Parlament accorded and agreed vpō, was this: that in the most blessed Sacramēt of the aulter, by the strength and efficacy of Christes mighty word (it being spokē by the priest) is present really, vnder the forme of bread and wyne, the naturall body and bloud of our Sauiour Iesus Christe, conceyued of the Virgin Marye, and that after the consecratiō there remayneth no substaunce of bread or wine, or any other substance, but the substaunce of Christ God and man.

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¶ The. 2. Article.

MarginaliaThe 2. article.
The Sacrament in both kindes excluded.
Secondly, that the communion in both kinds, is not necessary ad salutem, by the law of God to all persons: and that it is to be beleued and not doubted of, but that in the flesh, vnder fourme of bread, is the very bloud, and with the bloud, vnder fourme of wine, is the very flesh, as well apart, as they were both together.

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The. 3. Article.

MarginaliaThe third article.Thirdly, that Priests, after the order of priesthoode receued, as afore, may not mary by the lawe of God.

¶ The, 4. Article.

MarginaliaThe fourth article.Fourthly, that vowes of chastity or widowhead, by mā or woman made to God aduisedly, MarginaliaAduisedly, that is, made aboue the age of xxj. yeares, priestes onely excepted.ought to be obserued by the lawe of God: and that it exempteth them frō other liberties of Christen people, which without that, they might enioye.

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¶ The. 5. Article.

MarginaliaThe v. article.Fiftely, that it is mete and necessary, that priuate Masses bee continued and admitted in this Englishe Church and congregation, as wherby good Christen people, ordering them selfes accordingly, do receyue both godly and goodly consolations and benefites: MarginaliaBy these benefites of priuate masses, is ment, the helpyng of soules in Purgatorye.And it is agreable also to Gods lawe.

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¶ The. 6. Article.

MarginaliaThe vj. article.Sixtly, that auricular confessiō is expedient & necessarye to be reteyned, and continued, vsed and frequented in the Church of God.

After these Articles were thus concluded and consented vpō, the Prelates of the Realme craftilie perceyuyng that such a foule and violent acte coulde not take place or preuaill, vnlesse strait & bloudy penalties were set vpon them, they caused through theire accustomed

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