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1045 [1044]

K. H. 8. The mariage of Q. Anne.The kings mariage iudged vnlawful. The K. oratio.

gronyng hartes, the bitter afflictions of his oppressed flocke, his truth decayed, his Religion prophaned, the glory of his sonne defaced, his Church lamentably wasted: wherefore it was hygh time for his high maiestie to looke vpon the matter (as he did in deede) by a straunge & wonderous meanes, which was thorough the kynges diuorsement from Lady Katherine Dowager, and marying with Lady Anne Bullen, in this present yeare: which was the first occasion and beginnyng of all this publicke reformation, which hath folowed since in this Church of England to this present day, accordyng as ye shall heare.

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The mariage betwene kyng Henry viij. and Queene Anne Bullen, and Queene Katherine diuorced.

MarginaliaQueene Anne maryed, and Lady Katherine diuorced. IN the first entrey of this kynges reigne, ye heard before pag. 774. how after the death of Prince Arthur, the Lady Katherine Princes Dowager and wife to Prince Arthur, by the consent both of her father and of his, and also by the aduise of the nobles of this Realme, to the end her dowrie might remaine stil within the Realme, MarginaliaK. Henry maryeth his brothers wife. was espoused after the deceasse of her husband, to his next brother, which was this kyng Henry.

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This Mariage seemed very straunge and hard, for one brother to mary the wife of an other. But what can be in this earth so hard or difficulte, wherewith the Pope, the omnipotent Vicare of Christ, can not by fauour dispense, if it please him? MarginaliaThe Pope dispenseth for the brother to mary the brothers wyfe. The Pope which then ruled at Rome, was Pope Iulius the second, by whose dispensation, this Mariage, which neither sense of nature would admit, nor Gods law would beare, was cōcluded, approued and ratified, and so continued as lawfull, without any doubt or scruple, the space neare of xx. yeares, till about the tyme, MarginaliaThe Spanyardes first doubted of the kynges maryage. that a certaine doubt began first to be moued by the Spanyardes themselues of the Emperours counsaile. an. 1523. at what tyme Charles the Emperour beyng here in England promised to mary the Lady Mary daughter to the kyng of Englād, with the which promise the Spanyardes themselues were not well contented, obiectyng this amōg many other causes, that þe said Lady Mary was begotten of þe king of Englād by his brothers wife.

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Wherupon the Emperour forsakyng that Mariage, did couple himselfe with Lady Isabel, daughter to king Emanuell of Portugall. Which Mariage was done in the yeare of your Lord. 1526. After this Mariage of the Emperour, the next yeare folowyng, kyng Henry beyng disapoynted thus of the Emperour, entred talke, or rather was laboured too by the French Ambassadours, for the sayd Lady Mary to be maryed to the French kynges sonne, Duke of Orliance. Vpon þe talke wherof, after long debaytyng, MarginaliaThe second doubt whether the Ladye Mary was rightly borne. at length the matter was put of by a certaine doubt of the Presidēt of Paris, casting the like obiectiō as the Spanyardes had done before, that was, whether the Mariage betwene the kyng and the mother of this Lady Mary, whiche had bene his brothers wife before, were good or no. And so the Mariage twise vnluckely attempted, in like sorte brake of agayne and was reiected: whiche happened in the yeare of our Lord. 1527.

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The kyng vpon the occasiō hereof castyng many thyngs in his mynde, began to consider the cause more deepely, first with himselfe, after with certaine of his nearest counsaile, MarginaliaTwo perplexities in the kynges mynde. wherein two thynges there were which chiefly pricked his minde, wherof the one touched his conscience, the other concerned the state of his Realme. For if that Mariage with his brothers wife stode vnlawfull by the law of God, then neither was his conscience cleare in reteinyng the mother, nor yet the state of the Realme firme by succession of the daughter. MarginaliaCardinall Wolsey an helper to the kynges diuorce. It happened the same tyme, that the Cardinall, which was then nearest about þe kyng, had fallen out with the Emperour, for not helping hym to the Papacie, as ye before haue heard: for the which cause he helped to set the matter forward, by all practise he myght. Thus the kyng perplexed in hys conscience, and carefull for the common wealth, and partly also incited by the Cardinall, coulde not so rest, but inquired further, to feele what the worde of God and learnyng woulde say vnto it. Neither was the case so hard, after it began once to come in publicke question, but that by the word MarginaliaThe iudgementes of x. or. xij Vnieursities against the kynges mariage.
Orleance. Paris. Tolouse.
of God and the iudgements of the best learned clerkes, and also by the censure of the chiefe Vniuersities of all Christēdome, to the number of x. and moe, it was soone discussed to be vnlawfull.

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All these censures, bookes, and writinges of so many Doctors, Clerkes, and Vniuersities sent from all quarters of Christendome, to the kyng, albeit they might suffice to haue full resolued and did in deede resolue the kynges conscience touching this scruple of his mariage: yet would not 

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Foxe is being very subtle here. Henry was allied with Charles V at this point against France and could not yet afford to forgo this arrangement. Foxe is also not mentioning that the pope was in the emperor's power, since Rome had been sacked by imperial troops on 6 May 1527.

he streight way vse that aduauntage which learnyng Marginalia Angiewe. Bononye. Padua. The Facultie of Paris. Bitures. Oxforde. Cambridge. did geue hym, vnles he had withall the assent as well of the Pope as also the Emperour: wherein he perceaued no litle difficultie. For the Pope, he thought, seeing the mariage was authorised before, by the dispensation of hys predecessour, would hardly turne his keyes about, to vndoe that which the Pope before him had locked: & much lesse would he suffer those keyes to be foyled, or to come in any doubt, which was like to come, if that maryage were proued vndispensable by Gods word, which his predessour, through his plenary power had lycenced before. Agayne, the Emperour, he thought, would be no lesse hard for his part on the other side, for as much as the sayd Lady Katherine was the Emperours neare Aunte and a Spanyard borne. Yet neuertheles hys purpose was to proue and feele what they both would say vnto it, and therfore sent Steuē Gardiner to Rome 
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Gardiner and Edward Foxe were sent to Rome (more precisely to Orvieto where the pope was then residing) in February 1528.

, to waye wyth Pope Clement. To þe Emperour was sent Syr Nicolas Heruy knyght, Ambassadour in the Court of Gaunt. 
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Foxe is here referring to Sir Nicholas Harvey who was Henry VIII's ambassador to the emperor in 1530. The imperial ambassador in England, Eustace Chapuys, suggested that Harvey was also a partisan of Anne Boleyn (for which, see Calendar of State Papers, Spain, iv/i, p.586). Harvey left England in late June 1530, arriving in Augsburg (8 July) in the midst of the famous Luther trial.

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MarginaliaCampeius the Popes Legate. First Pope Clement, not weying belike, the full importaunce and sequele of the matter, sent Cardinall Campeius (as is said) into England, ioyned with the Cardinall of Yorke.

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MarginaliaThe kinges persuasion to the Legate. At the commyng of which Legates, the king first opening vnto them the griefe of hys conscience, seemed with great reasons and persuasions, sufficiently to haue drawen the good will of those two Legates to his side. Who also of their owne accorde, pretended no lesse but to shewe a willing inclination to further the kynges cause. MarginaliaEuill language of the people about the kinges diuorce. But yet the mouthes of the common people, and in especiall of women, and such other as fauoured the Queene, and talked their pleasure, were not stopped. Wherfore, to satisfie the blinde surmises, and foolishe communication of these also, who seeing the commyng of the Cardinalles cast out such leaude wordes, that the kyng woulde for hys own pleasure haue an other wyfe, with lyke vnseeming talke, he therfore willyng that all men should know the truth of his proceedinges, caused all hys Nobilitie, Iudges, and Counsaillours, with diuers other persons, to resort to hys Pallace of Bridewel the viij. daye of Nouember. an. 1529. where he openly speaking in hys great chamber, had these wordes in effecte as followeth. 

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Henry VIII delivered this oration at Bridewell on 8 November 1529 (see Edward Hall, The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancastre & York (London, 1547) and it remained in all four editions. Henry VIII's sense of dynastic insecurity, more clearly expressed here than perhaps at any other moment of the reign, he was clearly referring to the 'Wars of the Roses', still within living memory. He refers to his own grandfather, Edward IV (of York), who had contested the throne with Henry VI (of Lancaster) between 1461 and 1471, and who ruled unopposed to 1483. Famously, his successor, Edward V was usurped (or perhaps legitimately replaced) by Richard III, who was himself removed by the successful rebellion of Henry Tudor (a distant Lancastrian candidate). Henry VII had married Elizabeth York and their heirs - Arthur, Henry, Mary and Margaret - had united the Plantagenet family. The 'fayre daughter' is, of course, Princess Mary (later Mary I), born 18 February 1516, the only child of Catherine and Henry to survive early childhood. The king emphasised the seriousness of the situation in which he might find himself, having 'so long lyued in adultery to Gods great displeasure, and haue no true heyre of my body to inherit this realme'. The king promised that 'I seke a remedy'. Already, two ecclesiastical tribunals had been assembled to hear the case, one at Westminster in 1527 and another at Blackfriars monastery in 1529. Moreover, Henry had also canvassed widely among the English theologians (e.g., John Fisher, John Stokesley) and canonists (e.g., Stephen Gardiner, William Warham) and assembled a group of scholars to examine the evidence from every conceivable angle (including such men as Richard Croke and Nicholas de Burgo). Henry's case revolved around the fact that Arthur and Catherine had consummated their marriage which had created insurmountable impediments between Catherine and himself. In essence he had married his genuine sister; his daughter was the product of an incestuous union, was illegitimate and, thereby, could not inherit. Henry's sincerity has been called into question by historians and chroniclers from the time of the speech itself, but there is no real reason to doubt his claims. One of the key characteristics of the Tudors, and Henry in particular, was their devotion to the veneer of legality for their acts. The question of legitimacy hung over the Tudors, and Henry was obsessed by the idea of a legitimate male heir and of avoiding a return to the bloodshed of the civil wars. By this point, of course, Henry had also been convinced that his marriage to Catherine was entirely illegitimate, so he has no real reason to dissemble with regard to Catherine's merits and his feelings toward her.

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MarginaliaThe kinges oration to his subiectes. Our trustie and welbeloued subiectes, both you of the nobilitie, and you of the meaner sorte, it is not vnknowen to you how that we, both by Gods prouision and true and lawfull inheritaunce, haue reigned ouer this realme of Englād, almost the terme of xx. yeares. During which time, we haue so ordered vs, thanked bee God, that no outward enemy hath oppressed you, nor taken any thyng from vs, nor we haue inuaded no realme, but we haue had victory & honour, so that we thinke that you nor none of your predecessours neuer lyued more quietly, more wealthely, nor in more estimation vnder any of our noble progenitours. But when we remember our mortalitie and that we must die, then we thinke that all our doings in our lyfe tyme, are clearely defaced, and worthy of no memory, if we leaue you in trouble at the time of our death. For if our true heyre be not knowen at the time of our death, see what mischiefe & trouble shall succeede to you and to your children. The experience therof some of you haue seene after the death of our noble grandfather, K. Edward. 4. and some haue heard what mischiefe & māslaughter cōtinued in this realme betwene the houses of Yorke & Lācaster: by the which dissension, this realme was like to haue bene clearely destroyed.

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And although it hath pleased almighty God to sende vs a fayre daughter of a noble woman, and of me begotten, to our great comfort and ioye, yet it hath bene tolde vs by diuers great Clarkes, that neither shee is our lawfull daughter, nor her mother our lawfull wyfe, but that we lyue together abominably and detestably, in open adulterie: in somuch, that whē our Ambassade was last in France, and motion was made that the Duke of Orleance shoulde marrye our sayde daughter, one of the chiefe Counsaillours to the French kyng sayde: It were well done, to knowe whether shee be the kyng of Englandes lawfull daughter or not, for well knowen it is, that he begotte her on hys brothers wyfe, which is directly agaynst Gods lawe and hys precepte. Thynke you my Lordes, that these wordes touch not my bodye and soule? Thynke you that these doynges do not dayly and hourely trouble my conscience, and vexe my spirites? Yes we doubt not, but and if it were your cause, euery man woulde seeke remedie, when the peril of your soule and the losse of your inheritaunce is openly layd to you. For thys onely cause, I proteste before God, and in the worde of a Prince, I haue asked counsell of the greatest Clarkes in Christendome, and for this cause I haue sent for this Legate, as a man indifferent onely to knowe the truth, and so to setle my conscience, & for none other cause, as God can iudge.

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