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1463 [1463]

K. Henry. 8. The trouble of Queene Katherine Parre.

Counsell, but by especiall commaundement, resorted vnto hym, these onely except: who by reason of this practise, vsed oftener then of ordinarye to repayre vnto hym. Thys purpose so finely was handled, that it grew now within few daies of þe tyme appoynted for þe execution of the matter, & the poore Queene knewe not nor suspected any thyng at all: and therfore vsed after her accustomed maner, whē she came to visite the king, still to deale with him touchyng Religion, as before shee dyd.

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The kyng all this while gaue her leaue to vtter her minde at the full, without contradiction: not vpon any euill minde or mislykyng (ye must conceaue) to haue her speedy dispatch, but rather closely dissemblyng with them, to trye out the vttermost of Winchesters fetches. Thus after her accustomed conference with the kyng, when she had taken her leaue of hym (the tyme and day of Winchesters finall date approchyng fast vpon) it chaunced that the kyng of hym selfe vpon a certayne night after her beyng with hym, and her leaue taken of hym, in mislykyng her Religion, brake the whole practise vnto one of his Phisicians, either Doct. Wendie, or els Owen, but rather Wendy, as is supposed: pretendyng vnto hym, as though he intended not any lōger to be troubled with such a Doctresse as she was, and also declaryng what trouble was in workyng agaynst her by certayne of her enemyes, but yet charging hym withall vpon perill of his lyfe, not to vtter it to any creature liuyng: and therupon declared vnto hym þe parties aboue named, with all circumstances, and whē and what the finall resolution of the matter should be.

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The Quene all this while cōpassed about wt enemies & persecutours, perceaued nothing of al this, nor what was working against her, & what trappes were layde for her by Winchester & his felowes: so closely þe matter was conueyed. But see what þe Lord God MarginaliaThe wyles of thys Architophell Winchester dispatched.(who frō his eternall throne of wisdome, seeth and dispatcheth al the inuentions of Architophel, and comprehēdeth the wyly begily themselues) dyd for hys poore handmaiden, in rescuing her from the pyt of ruine, whereunto she was ready to fall vnawares.

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MarginaliaThe Articles drawē against the Queene, how they came to her handes.For as the Lord would, so it came to passe, that the bill of Articles drawen against the Quene, and subscribed with the kinges own hand (although dissemblingly ye must vnderstand) falling from the bosome of one of the foresayd Councellours, was founde and taken vp of some godly person, and brought immediately vnto the Queene. Who reading there the Articles comprised against her, and perceiuing the kinges owne hand vnto the same, for the sodayne feare thereof, MarginaliaThe Queene in an agonye.fell incontinent into a great melancholy and agony, bewailing and taking on in suche sorte, as was lamentable to see: as certayne of her Ladies and gentlewomen being yet alyue, which were then present about her, can testifie.

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The King hearing what perplexitie shee was in, almost to the peryll and danger of her lyfe, sent his Phisicions vnto her. Who traueling about her, and seing what extremitie she was in, did what they could for her recouerye. MarginaliaD. Wendy the kinges Phisicion sent to the Quene.Then Wendy, who knewe the case better then the other, & perceauing by her words what þe matter was, according to that þe king before had tolde him: for the cōforting of her heauye mynde, began to breake with her in secrete maner, touching the sayde Articles deuised agaynst her, which he him selfe (he sayd ) knew right well to be true: although hee stoode in daunger of his life, if euer he were knowē to vtter þe same to any liuing creature. Neuerthelesse, partly for þe safety of her life, and partly for the discharge of his own conscience, hauyng remorse to consent to the sheeding of innocent bloud, MarginaliaThe exhortation of D. Wendy to the Quene.he coulde not but geue her warning of that mischiefe that hanged ouer her head, beseeching her most instantly to vse al secrecie in that behalf, & exhorted her somwhat to frame and cōforme her self vnto the kings mynde, saying he dyd not doubt, but if she would so do, and shewe her humble submission vnto hym, shee shoulde finde hym gracious and fauourable vnto her.

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MarginaliaThe kings comming to the Queene to comfort her.It was not long after this, but the king hearing of the daungerous state wherein she yet styll remayned: came vnto her hym selfe. Vnto whom, after that shee had vttered her griefe, fearing lest his Maiestie (shee sayd) had taken displeasure with her, and had vtterly forsaken her: he like a louing husband with sweete and cōfortable wordes so refreshed and appeased her carefull mynde, that she vpon the same began somewhat to recouer, and so þe king after he had taryed there about the space of an houre, departed.

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After this the Queene remembryng with her selfe the wordes that M. Wendy had sayd vnto her, deuised how by some good oportunitie she might repayre to the kynges presence. And so first cōmaundyng her Ladyes to conuey away their bookes, which were agaynst the law, the next night folowyng after supper, shee (wayted vpō only by the Lady Harbert her sister and the Lady Lane, who caried the candell before her) went vnto the kynges bead chamber, whom she foūde sittyng and talkyng with certeine Gentlemē of his chamber. Whom whē the king did behold, very curteously he welcomed her, and breakyng of the talke, which before her commyng he had with the Gentlemen aforesayd, began of hym selfe, contrary to his maner before accustomed, to enter into talke of religiō: semyng as it were, desirous to be resolued by the Queene of certein doubtes which he propounded.

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The Queene perceiuyng to what purpose this talke did tende, not beyng vnprouided in what sorte to behaue her selfe towardes the kyng, with such aūsweres resolued his questions as the time and oportunitie present did require, myldly and with a reuerent countenaunce aunsweryng agayne after this maner.

MarginaliaThe Queenes politicke submission to the king.Your Maiestie (quoth she) doth right well know, neither I my self am ignoraunt, what great imperfection & weakenes by our first creation, is alotted vnto vs womē, to be ordeyned and appoynted as inferiour and subiect vnto man as our head, from whiche head all our direction ought to procede: and that, as God made man to his owne shape and lykenes, wherby he beyng endued with more speciall giftes of perfection, might rather bee stirred to the contemplation of heauenly thinges and to the earnest endeuour to obey hys commaundementes: euen so also made hee woman of man, of whom and by whom shee is to bee gouerned, commaunded and directed. Whose womanly weakenes and naturall imperfection, ought to be tolerated, ayded and borne withall, so that by his wisedome such thinges as be lackyng in her, ought to be supplyed.

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Sithence therfore that God hath appointed such a naturall difference betwene man and woman, and your Maiestie beyng so excellent in giftes and ornamentes of wisedome, and I a seely poore woman so much inferiour in all respectes of nature vnto you: how then commeth it now to passe that your Maiestie in such diffuse causes of Religion, will seme to require my Iudgemēt? Whiche when I haue vttered and sayd what I can, yet must I and will I referre my Iudgement in this and all other cases to your Maiesties wisedome, as my onely anker, supreme head, and gouerner here in earth next vnder God, to leane vnto.

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Not so by Saint Mary, quoth the King. You are become a Doctor, Kate, to instruct vs, (as we take it) and not to be instructed, or directed by vs.

If your Maiestie take it so (quoth the Quene) then hath your Maiestie very much mistaken me, who haue euer bene of the opinion, to thinke it verye vnseemely and preposterous for the woman to take vpon her the office of an instructer or teacher to her Lorde, and husband, but rather to learne of her husbande, and to bee taught by him. And where I haue with your Maiesties leaue, heretofore bene bolde to holde talke wyth your Maiestie, wherein some times in opinions there hath seemed some differēce, I haue not done it so much to maintaine opinion, as I dyd it rather to minister

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talke
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