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1277 [1276]

K. Henry. 8. Appendix. The order and maner of kyng Henries death.

also of sufficient witnesses requisite in that behalfe accordynglye.

¶ The death of K. Henry the viii with the maner therof.

MarginaliaThe order & maner of the kings death. ANd thus closing vp 

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Death of Henry VIII

Foxe completely rewrote his conclusion of Henry VIII's reign between his 1563 and 1570 editions. (Interestingly, Foxe said nothing about the death of the king, nor did he offer final thoughts on his reign, in the Rerum). In 1563, Foxe began with thoughts on the futility of persecution and then procceeded to remark on the importance of good councillors to guide a monarch. He claimed that Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell, Archbishop Cranmer, Sir Anthony Denny (the Chief Gentleman of the Privy Chamber) and Dr. William Butts, Henry's physician, were able to often guide Henry into serving the True Church. (Although only Cromwell and Cranmer could qualify as royal councillors in the strictest sense of the word, most scholars are agreed in seeing Anne Boleyn, Butts and Denny as both staunch evangelicals and individuals with considerable personal access to Henry which these used to further evangelical causes). Foxe then bewailed the increasing loss of influence that these good councillors had on Henry, and opined that Henry, goaded on by his bishops, would have continued persecuting the True Church, had his reign not been cut short by his death (1563, pp. 681-2). Foxe then described how the persecutions of Henry VIII's reign led many prominent evangelicals to recant, even though they later served God and even, in some cases, suffered martyrdom.

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In 1570, Foxe dropped all of this material. There were three basic reasons for this. The first is that Foxe had acquired important new information about the death of Henry VIII and the monarch's attitudes toward religion in general, and Stephen Gardiner in particular, at the time of his death. Even a cursory glance through this material indicates that - unless Foxe invented these anecdotes - the source for this was Cranmer. Since we know that Ralph Morrice, Cranmer's secretary supplied Foxe with material for the 1570 edition, it would seem reasonable to infer that he was Foxe's source for these narratives as well. Moreover, Morrice is cited by Foxe as his informant (Morrice having heard Sir Anthony Denny relate it to Cranmer) for the famous anecdote of Henry declaring that he eliminated Stephen Gardiner from the list of executors to his will, because the king believed that the other executors would not be able to control Gardiner as he had done.

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But Foxe also eliminated the previous account because his views on Elizabeth I had changed and this affected his treatment of Henry. As Foxe grew impatient with the failure of Elizabeth to reform the English Church, he omitted his strictures on the need for good counsel and also the relatively benign portrait of Henry with which he had closed Book 8 in his first edition (in the 1563 edition, Foxe claims that only death prevented Henry from launching a more severe persecution of evangelicals. In the 1570 edition, he dropped this material and replaced it with an account of how Henry VIII was on the brink of sweeping evangelical reforms when he died.). This was replaced by an account which was much more critical of Henry for failing to complete the Reformation he had begun and which also implicitly suggested that it was Elizabeth's duty to finish the final uprooting of Catholicism begun by her father and brother.

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Thomas S. Freeman

this eight booke with the death of Kyng Henry the 8. I will now (the Lorde Christ assistyng me with hys grace) procede next to the tyme & reigne of Kyng Edward hys sonne, after that fyrst I shall intermitte a fewe wordes touchyng the death of the sayde Kyng Henry his father, and the maner of the same. Who after lōg languishyng, infirmitie growyng more and more vpon hym lay from S. Steuens day 
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I.e., 26 December.

(as is aboue mentioned) to the latter end of Ianuary. His Phisicians at length perceiuing that he woulde away: and yet not daryng to discourage him with death, for feare of the Act past before in Parliament, MarginaliaOf the Acte that none should speak of the kings death. vid. Stat. an. Henr. 8. that none shoulde speake any thing of the kynges death (the Acte beyng made only for Southsayers and talkers of prophesies) moued them that were about the kyng to put hym in remembraunce of his mortall state and fatall infirmitie. Which when the rest were in dread to doe, M. Denye who was specially attendant vpon hym, 
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Sir Anthony Denny was the Chief Gentleman of the Privy Chamber and thus in charge of the attendants who waited on the king.

boldly commyng to the king: told him what case he was in, to mans iudgement not lyke to lyue, and therfore exhorted hym to prepare him selfe to death, calling hym selfe to remembraunce of his former lyfe, and to call vpon God in Christ betime for grace & mercy, as becommeth euery good Christian man to do.

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Although þe king was loth to heare any mention of death yet perceiuyng the same to rise vppon the iudgement of hys Phisicians and feeling his owne weaknes, he disposed hym selfe more quietly to harken to the woordes of his exhortation, and to consider hys life past. Whiche although he much accused, yet (sayde he) is the mercy of Christ able to pardon me all my sinnes, though they were greater then they bee. M. Denye being glad to heare him thus speake, required to knowe hys pleasure, whether hee woulde haue any learned man sent for to conferre withall, and to open his minde vnto. MarginaliaThe king at his death chuseth to talke wyth Cranmer. To whom the kyng aunswered againe, that if he had anye, he woulde haue D. Cranmer, who was then lying at Croydon. And therfore M. Denye askyng the kyng whether he would haue hym sent for, I will first said the kyng take a litle sleepe, and then as I feele my selfe, I will aduise vpon the matter.

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After an houre or two, the kinge awakyng and feelyng feeblenes to encrease vpon him commaunded D. Cranmer to be sent for: but before he could come, þe king was speachles, and almost senseles. MarginaliaD. Cranmer commeth to the kyng. Notwithstanding perceiuyng D. Cranmer to be come, he reachyng his hande to D. Cranmer dyd hold hym fast, but could vtter no woorde vnto hym and scarse was able to make any signe. Then the Archbyshop exhortyng him to put hys trust in Christe, and to call vpon his mercy, desired him, though he could not speake, yet to geue some token with hys eyes, or with hande, as he trusted in the Lord. Then the king holding him with his hand did wryng his hand in his, as hard as he coulde & so shortly after departed, 

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Henry VIII died on 28 January 1547.

after hee had reigned in this land the terme of 37. yeares and 9. monethes, MarginaliaThe kinges children. leauyng behinde hym 3. children, Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth.

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MarginaliaTalke betwene Tho. Cranmer Archb. of Cant. and the Duke of Suffolke about Ste. Gardiner. Moreouer for so much as mention is inserted in this place of þe good inclination of kyng Henry in hys latter dayes to the reformation of religion, by the occasion hereof it commeth also to minde, somewhat likewise to adde by way of appendix touching the talke betwene the Archbyshop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, and the Duke of Suffolke Charles Branden, as concerning the kynges purpose and intent conceaued agaynst the Byshop of Winchester Steuē Gardiner, in that he could neuer allowe any reformation in religion in this realme, and namely being offēded with this that men should vse in their talke, The Lord, aswell as Our Lord. The sayd Duke sayd vnto the sayd Archbyshop: We of the counsell had hym once at a good lift, and should well haue dispatched hym from his authoritie, if the kynges Maiestie our Maister had stayed hymselfe from admitting hym to hys presence, as then hys highnes was content that we should throughly haue sifted and tried hym, It was my Lord (quoth the Duke to the Archbyshop) at that tyme, when Gardiner hys Secretary 

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In other words this incident took place around the time of Germain Gardiner's arrest in 1544. Germain Gardiner and John Lark were executed for alledgedly conspiring with Reginold Pole, whilst in reality, their executions were part of the factional struggles at Court in 1543-44. John Heywood (More's brother-in-law) was condemned with them but he was later reprieved when he recanted on the way to the scaffold. The episode, as described, is clearly exaggerated, but it is plausible that Gardiner may well have been in disfavour with Henry, and to have had to make his peace with the king, in the aftermath of the Prebendaries' Plot and Germain Gardiner's downfall.

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was attached and suffred for defending the Popes authoritie. For thē I and certaine of the Counsell hauing conference with the kynges Maiestie for that matter, his highnesse was fullye perswaded that the Byshops Secretary being in such speciall fauour wyth his Maister, would neuer stand so stiffe in defence of the Bishop of Romes vsurped power and authoritye, without his sayd maisters both aduise, knowledge, and perswasion. For already, quoth the King, he playd but a homely part with me, when he was Ambassadour to the Pope MarginaliaSte. Gardiner appointed by the king to be had to the Tower. cōcerning my cause of diuorce. And therfore (quoth the king to me) sende for hym my Lorde incontinently and by assistance of two or three moe of the Counsel whom you thinke good, let him bee committed to the Tower, to aunswere to such thinges as may be obiected agaynst him. This communicatiō was in the euening, so that: we purposed to haue executed the kinges pleasure and commaundement the next mornyng. How be it our talke was not so secrete, but that some of hys friendes of the priuy chamber then, suspecting the matter (wher he had many frēndes( sent him woord therof. MarginaliaSte. Gardiner priuely commeth to the kyng. Who incontinently repayred to the kinges presence, and finding some matter to minister vnto the king, hys hyghnes said to the bishop: We do maruail that your Secretary hath thus notoriously offended against vs and our lawes. It is surely thought that you are not all cleare MarginaliaK. Henry layeth to Winchesters charge. in thys offence, but that you are of the same opinion with him, and therfore my Lord be playne with me, and let me know if ye be þt waye infected or no. If you will tell me the truth, I will rather pardon the fault, but if you halt or dissemble with me, looke for no fauour at my hand.

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MarginaliaWinchester confesseth his popery before the kyng. With this monition Winchester fell down vpon his knees and besought his Maiesty of mercy and pardon, manifestly confessing that he of long time had been of that opiniō with his sayd Secretary: and there bewayling himselfe, promised from that day forward to reforme his opinion, and become a new man. Well (quoth the king) this way you haue of mee, that which otherwise you should neuer haue obtayned. I am content to remitte all thinges past, and pardon you vpon your amendement.

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The next morninge I had word how the matter was handeled, wherupon I came to his highnes and said: Youre Maiestie hath preuented our commission, which I and other had from your grace concerning my Lord of Winchesters cōmitting to the tower. Wot you what quoth the K.? he hath confessed himselfe as giltye in this matter as hys man, and hath with much sorrowe and pensiuenes sued for my pardon: MarginaliaK. Henries nature to pardon them that come to him and confesse their faulte. And you know what my nature and custome hath bene in such matters, euermore to pardon thē that will not dissemble but confesse their faulte.

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Thus wilily and politicklye he got him selfe out of our handes. But if I had suspected this, I woulde haue had him in the Tower ouer night and stopped his iorney to the Court. Well sayd my Lord of Caunterbury hee was euermore to good for you all.

Moreouer as touching this forsaid bishop of Winchester for so much as he in King Edwardes time bragged somuch of his olde master of famous memory King Henry 8. 

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More precisely, Gardiner's position was that the religious legislation of Henry VIII was valid, as Henry was legitimately the Supreme Head of the English Church. However, the religious legislation of the Edwardian Church was invalid, as Edward VI, was a minor and thus not legitimately the Supreme Head of the English Church.

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to the entent that the glorious vanitie of this bishop, and of all other like vnto him, more notoriously may appeare to all mē, here is to be noted by the testificatiō as well of master Deny, as also of Sir Henry Neuell, who were there presente witnesses of the matter, whose recorde is this, 
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Historians have questioned the degree to which Henry's religious policies were shifting in the closing months of his reign. For a discussion of this point and the argument that they were indeed moving in a direction favourable to the evangelicals see Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer (New Haven, CT, 1996), pp. 356-60.

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That K. Henry before the time of his sicknes, taking his horse vpon the tarras at Windsore to ride out on hauking, saw standinge before him the Lord Wryothesley Lord Chancelor with diuers other Counsellors, and amongest them the Bishop of Winchester. MarginaliaWinchester commaunded no more to come in the kinges syght. Wherupon he called the Lord Chauncelor and sayd: Did not I commaund you he should come no more amongest you (meaning the Bishop?) Wherunto the Lord Chancelor answered, that his comming was to bring hys maiesty word of a beneuolence geuen vnto him by the cleargye. Whereat the king sayd: Ah, let him come hether. And so hee dyd hys Messuage, And the Kinge went staighte away:

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Item an other time the king immedyatly after his repair to Londō fel sicke, and caused dyuers times his whole counsell to come vnto him about his will & other his graue affayres: MarginaliaWinchester though he were excluded yet would seeme still to be of the kinges Counsell. At what tyme the Bishop also would come vp with them into the vtter priuy Chamber, and there remayne vntill the Counsell came from the king, and then go down with thē again, to the ende (as then was thought) to blinde the world withall. MarginaliaWint. excluded out of the kinges will.

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Furthermore, as the king grew more in sicknes, he considering vpon his will and testament made before at his going ouer to Bullein, willed the same a new to be drawē out again with leauing out and exluding the Bishop of Winchester by name from amongst his Executors. 

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As Glyn Redworth has observed, Gardiner remained in favour with Henry well in the autumn of 1546. What led to Gardiner's exclusion from the executors of Henry's will was that the bishop with admirable courage and a deplorable sense of timing declined , at the November, to agree to an exchange of episcopal properties with Crown lands. (In theory, these exchanges were equal, in practice they always favoured the Crown). Henry was irate and Gardiner was in disfavour at the crucial time when Henry died. (See Glyn Redworth, In Defence of the Church Catholic: The Life of Stephen Gardiner [Oxford, 1990], pp. 237-40 and Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer [New Haven, CT, 1996], p. 359).

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Which being to him no small corsey, 
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I.e., an irritant or vexation.

and a cutting of of all their purposes, a way was found, MarginaliaSyr Anthony Browne a great frend to Wint. that Sir Anthony Brown a princypal pillar of Winchesters side, pretending vnto the king, as thoughe by the negligence of the writer the Bishops name had been left out of the kinges will, kneeled downe to the kinges maiestye, lying in his bed, and sayd: My Lord of Winchester I thinke by negligence is left out of your Maiesties wil, who hath done your highnes most paynfull, long, and notable seruice, and one without whom the rest shall not be able to ouercome your great and weyghty affayres committed vnto them.

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Holde
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