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1080 [1079]

K. Henry. 8. Defence of Queene Anne. The kinges protestation against the Pope.

Woodstoke, nor enter into the town of Oxford, at last thorough the Christian and faythfull counsayle of that Quene he was so armed agaynst all infidelitie, that both he hunted in the foresayd parke, and also entred in the towne of Oxford, and had no harme. But because touchyng the memorable vertues of this worthy Queene, partly we haue sayd some thyng before, partly because more also is promised to be declared of her vertuous life (the Lord so permittyng) by other who thē were about her: I will cease in this matter further to proceede.

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This I can not but meruayle, why the Parlament holden this yeare, that is, the. xxviij. yeare of the kyng, (which Parlament three yeares before had established and confirmed this Mariage as most laufull) MarginaliaStatut. A. 28. Hen. n cap. 7. should now so sodeinly and contrary to their owne doynges, repeale and disable the sayd Mariage agayne as vnlawfull, beyng so lawfully before contracted. MarginaliaParlamentes not alwayes constant. But more I meruaile, why the sayd Parlament, after the illegittimation of the Mariage enacted, not contented with that, should further proceede, and charge her with such carnall desires of her body, as to misuse her selfe with her own naturall brother the Lord Rochford, and others, beyng so contrary to all nature that no naturall man will beleue it.

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But in this Acte of Parlament dyd lye (no doubt) some great mistery, which here I will not stand to discusse, but onely that it may be suspected some secrete practising of the Papistes here not to be lackyng, consideryng what a myghty stoppe she was to their purposes and proceedynges, and on the contrary side, what a strong Bulwarke she was for the mainteynaunce of Christes Gospell and syncere religiō, which they then in no case could abyde. By reason wherof, it may easily be considered that this Christian and deuoute Debora could lacke no enemies amongest such a number of Philistians, both with in the realme and without.

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Agayne, neither is it vnlyke but that Steuen Winchester, beyng then abroad in Ambassie, was not altogether a sleepe. The suspition wherof may be the more coniecturall, for that Edmund Boner Archdeacon of Leycester, and thē Ambassadour in Fraūce succeeding after Steuen Winchester, dyd manifestly detect him of playne Papistry, as in the sequele of their stories, when we come to the time, more ample (the Lord grauntyng) shall be expressed.

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MarginaliaThe lawfulnes of Queene Annes succession defended. And as touchyng the kyngs mynde and assent, although at that tyme through crafty setters on, he seemed to be sore bent both agaynst that Queene and to the disherityng of hys owne daughter: yet vnto that former wil of the kyng so set agaynst her thē, I will oppose agayne the last will of the kyng, wherein expressely and by name he dyd accept, and by playne ratification dyd allow the succession of this Mariage to stand good and lawfull.

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MarginaliaDefence of Queene Anne agaynst priuie backbyters. Furthermore, to all other sinister iudgementes and opinions, what soeuer can be conceiued of man agaynst that vertuous Queene: I obiect and oppose agayne (as in stede of aunswere) the euident demonstration of Gods fauour, in mainteyning, preseruyng, and aduansing the offspryng of her body, the Lady ELIZABETH, now Queene, whom the Lord hath so meruailously conserued from so manifold daungers, so royally hath exalted, so happely hath blessed wt such vertuous patience, & with such a quyet reigne hetherto, that neither the reigne of her brother EDVVARD, nor of her sister Mary, to her is to be compared, whether we consider the number of the yeares of their reignes, or the peaceablenes of their state. In whose royall and florishyng regiment we haue to behold, not so much the naturall disposition of her mothers qualities, as the secret iudgement of God in preseruyng and magnifying the fruite and offspryng of that godly Queene.

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And finally, as for the blasphemous mouth both of Cardinall Poole, and of Paulus Iouius, that Popish Cardinall, who measuryng belike other women by his curtesans of Rome, MarginaliaPaulus Iouius can finde no whoredome in all Rome, but must come and pike matter where none is, in England. so impudently abuseth his penne in lying and rayling agaynst this noble Queene: to aunswere agayne in defence of her cause to that Italian, I obiect and oppose the consent and iudgement of MarginaliaThe protestantes of Germanie forsake kyng Henry for the death of Queene Anne. so many noble Protestantes and Princes of Germany, who beyng in league before with kyng Henry, and myndyng no lesse but to haue made hym the head of their confederation, afterward hearyng of the death of this Queene, vtterly brake from him and refused him, onely for the same cause.

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MarginaliaThe wyly practises of the Papistes. But all this seemeth (as is sayd) to be þe drift of the wylie Papistes, who seyng the Pope to be repulsed out of England by the meanes chiefly of this Queene, and fearyng alwayes the succession of this Mariage in tyme to come: thought by sinister practise to preuente that perill before, whisperyng in the kynges eares, what possibly they could, to make that Matrimonie vnlawfull, and all for the disheretyng of that succession.

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Agayne, Steuen Gardiner (who was a secret worker agaynst that mariage, and a perpetual enemy agaynst Lady Elizabeth) beyng then abroad with the French kyng and the great Maister of Fraunce, ceased not in his letters still to put the kyng in feare, that the foreine Princes and powers of the world, with the Pope, would neuer be reconciled to the kyng, neither should he be euer in any perfect securitie, vnlesse he vndyd agayne such actes before passed for the ratification of that succession. Which thyng when they had now brought to passe after their owne desire, that both now the Queene was beheaded, and Elizabeth the kings daughter dishereted, they thought all thynges to be sure for euer. MarginaliaGods prouidence still disappointeth the papistes. But yet Gods prouidence still went beyond them, and deceaued thē. For incontinently after the sufferyng of Queene Anne, MarginaliaThe king maryed Lady Iane. the kyng with in three dayes after, maryed Lady Iane Semer, of whom came kyng Edward, as great an enemy to Gods enemy the Pope, as euer his Father was, and greater too.

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In the meane tyme, as these troublous tumultes were in doyng in England, Paule the third Bishop of Rome, for his part was not behynd to helpe forward for his owne aduauntage. MarginaliaThe seate of the beast darckned, Apoc. 16. Who seyng his vsurped kingdome & seate to be darkened in the countreys of Germany and also in Englād, thought it hygh tyme to bestyrre him, and therfore, to prouide some remedy against further daungers, appointed a generall Councell at Mantua in Italy, requiryng all kynges and princes either personally to be there, or els to send their Ambassadours, vnder fayre pretenses, as to suppresse heresies and to restore the Church, and to warre agaynst the Turke, &c. This Bull was subscribed with the handes of 26. Cardinals, and set vp in diuers great Cities, that it might be knowen and published to the whole world. MarginaliaEx Ioan Sledano Lib. 10. Vnto the which Bull, first the Protestants of Germany do aunswere, declaring sufficient causes why they refused to resort to that Councell beyng indicted at Mantua in the Popes owne countrey. Whose declaration, with their causes graue and effectuall, beyng set forth in Printe and in the English toung, although they were worthy here to be inserted, yet for breuitie and more speede in our story, I will pretermit the same, and onely take the Oration or aunswere of our kyng here: Wherein he likewise rendereth reasons and causes most reasonable, why he refuseth to come or to send at the Popes call to his Councel, indicted at Mantua. Whose Oration or Protestation, because it conteineth matter of some weight and great experience, I thought here good to expresse, as foloweth.

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¶ A Protestation in the name of the kyng, and the whole Counsaile, and Clergy of England, why they refuse to come to the Popes Councell at his call.

MarginaliaThe kinges protestation why he sendeth not to the Popes Councell. SEyng that the Byshop of Rome calleth learned men frō all parties, cōductyng them by great rewardes, makyng as many of them Cardinals as he thinketh most meete and most ready to defend fraudes and vntrouthes: we could not but with much anxietie cast with our selues, what so great a preparūce of wittes should meane. As chaunce was, we gessed euen as it folowed. We haue bene so long acquaynted with Romaine subtilties and popish deceites, that we well and easely iudged the Byshop of Rome to intend an assemble of his adherents and men sworne to thynke all his lustes to be lawes. MarginaliaThe popes craftes espyed. We were not deceiued. Paule the Byshop of Rome hath called a Councell, to the which he knew wel either few or none of the Christen Princes could come. Both the tyme that he indicted it, and also the place where he appointed it to be, might assure him of this. But whether wādereth not these Popish Bulles? Whether go they not astray? what kyng is not cyted and summoned by a proude minister and seruaunt of kynges, to come to bolster vp errours, fraudes, deceites, and vntrouthes, and to set forth this feyned generall Councell? For who will not thinke that Paul the byshop of Rome goeth sooner about to make men beleue that he intendeth a generall Councell, then that he desireth one in deede: No, who can lesse desire it, then they that do dispayre of their cause, except they be iudges, & gyue sentence them selues agaynst their aduersaries? We, which very sore against our will, at any tyme leaue of the procurement of the Realme and cōmon weale, MarginaliaThe kyng not bound to come at the Popes call. neede neither to come our selues, nor yet to send our procuratours thether, no nor yet to make our excuse for either of both. For who can accuse vs, that we come not at his call, which hath no authoritie to call vs?

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But for a season let vs (as a sorte of blyndlynges do) graunt that he may call vs, and that he hath authoritie so to do: yet (we pray you) may not all men see, what auayleth it to come to this Councell, where ye shall haue no place, MarginaliaWho be they that haue place in the popes councell. except ye be knowen both willyng to oppresse truth, and also

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