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1262 [1262]

K. Henry. 8. The Oration of the kinges Ambassadour to the Emperour.

MarginaliaThe craftie packing of the Papistes.and disapoynte the kyngs succession by Queene Anne, 

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This refers to Anne's reputation as a friend of the reformation effort in England and to her tendency to promote evangelicals like Hugh Latimer and Thomas Goodrich.

whō they knew all to be a great enemy vnto the Pope, thinkyng thereby, that if that succession were diminished, the Popes kyngdome might soone bee restored agayne in England. MarginaliaThe Papistes frustrate of their purpose.But yet for all their vniust and crafty packyng, they were, through Gods prouidence, frustrate of their desired purpose. For although they so brought to passe the next yeare folowing, to adnulle the order of that succession by a contrary Parlamēt: 
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This refers to the second 'Succession Act of 1536' (28 Henry VIII, c.7), which invested the succession in the heirs of Henry by Jane Seymour.

yet neither did they so adnihilate it, but that both kyng Edward folowed, yea and also the same succession afterward by the sayd kyng and other Parlamentes was restored agayne, and yet (God be praysed hath hetherto reigned & doth yet florish in the realme of England.

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Now, as we haue declared the kynges doynges in the realme of Scotland and of Fraunce, procedyng further in the kynges procedinges with other Princes, let vs see how þe kyng defended hym self & hys cause before the Emperour, sendyng his Ambassadour vnto hym, vsing these words before his maiestie, as here foloweth.

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¶ The Oration of the kinges Ambassadour before the Emperour in defense of his cause.

MarginaliaThe Oration of the Ambassadour to the Emperor.SIr the kyng my maister takyng and reputyng you as hys perfite frend, confederate, and allye, and not doubtyng but you remembryng the mutuail kyndnes betwene you in tymes past, will shewe your selfe in all occurrentes to bee of such minde and dispositiō, as iustice, truth, and equitie doth require: hath willed me by his letters, to open and declare vnto you, what he hath done, and in what wise hee hath proceded concernyng such Mariage as by many yeares was supposed to haue bene betwene your Aunte & his grace. MarginaliaDiuisions consisting in ij. partes.In which matter beyng ij. principal pointes specially to be regarded and cōsidered: that is to say, the iustice of the cause, and the order of the processe therin, his highnes hath so vsed hym in both, as no man may rightwisely cōplaine of the same.

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MarginaliaThe iustnes of the kinges cause.Fyrst, as touching the iustnes of the cause, that is to say, of that Mariage betwene hym and your said Aunt to be nought, and of no moment ne effecte, but against the law of God, nature, and man, and indispensable by the Pope, and in no wyse vailable: hys hygnes hath done therin, asmuch as becometh hym for discharge of hys conscience, and hath founde so certain, so euident, so manifest, so open, and approued truth, as wherunto hys maiestie ought of good congruence to gyue place, & which by all other ought to be allowed & receyued, not as a matter doubtefull, disputable, or dependyng in question and ambiguitie: but as a playne determined and discussed veritie of the true vnderstanding of gods worde and lawe 

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It is very interesting (and not a little ironic given the king's conservative theology) to note that, as Henry's matrimonial solution (which had such a weak basis in canon law and a doubtful basis in theology) he increasingly turned (as did the reformers on the continent) to the stronghold of scriptural interpretation (which the Romans had obviously got so badly wrong over the centuries).

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, which all Christian men must folowe and obey, and before all other worldly respectes, preferre and execute. In attaynyng the knowledge wherof, if his hyghnes had vsed only his owne particular iugement and sentence, or the mynd only and opinion of hys owne naturall subiectes (although the same might in hys conscience haue suffised) hee woulde not much haue repugned, if some other had made difficultie to assent to him in þe same, tyll further discussion had bene made therupon. But now, forasmuche as besydes hys owne certain vnderstanding, and the agrement of hys whole Clergy to the same in both prouinces of hys realme 
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This refers to Canterbury and York provinces of the church.

, MarginaliaVniuersities standing with the kinges cause.hys maiestie hath also for him the determinatiōs 
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The university of Bologna decided in the king's favour on 10 June 1530, followed shortly by the university of Padua on 1 July 1530.

of the most famous Vniuersities of Christendome, and most indifferent to pronounce and geue iudgement in this case, and amōg them, the Vniuersitie of Bonony, (all feare of the Pope set apart) concluding against his power: and also Padua (the Venitians threates not regarded) giuyng their sentence for the truth and euident wordes of Gods law: there should no man, as semeth to hym, gaynsay or withstand, either in worde or dede, the truth thus opened, but for his honor and duetie to the obseruation of Gods law, willingly embrace and receaue the same.

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Accordyng whereunto his grace perceiueth also aswell in his realme, as els where, a notable consent and agreement amongest all Diuines, and such as haue studied for knowledge of Gods law, without contradictiō of any nomber, vnles it be such as applying their mind to the mainteinaunce of worldly affections, do either in defence of such lawes as they haue studied, eyther for satisfaction of their priuate appetite, forbeare to agree vnto the same. The nomber of whom is so small, as in the discernyng of truth, it ought not to bee regarded in a case so plainely described and determined by Gods worde, as this is.

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And if percase your maiestie here not regardyng the number, but the matter, shall seme to consider in this case, not so much who speaketh, as what is spoken, to aunswere thereunto, I saye: Syr the kyng my master is of the same mynde, for his owne satisfaction, and taketh hym selfe to bee in the right, MarginaliaBoth the nūber and matter maketh with the kyng.not because so many sayth it, but because he beyng learned, knoweth the matter to be right. Neuerthelesse, reason would, and enforceth also, that straungers to the cause and not parties therein, should be induced to beleue that to be truth, that such a nūber of Clerkes do so constantlye affirme, specially not beyng otherwise learned to be iudges of their sayinges, as your maiestie is not. And if you were, then could your highnes shewe such reasons, authorities, and groundes as cannot be taken away, and be so firme and stable, as they ought not of Christen men in any part to be impugned, like as hath bene partly heretofore shewed by his sondry Ambassadours to your Imperiall maiestie, and should eftsoones bee done, were it not too great an iniurie to that is already passed in the realme, to dispute þe same agayne in any other countrey: whiche beyng contrarious to the lawes and ordinaunces of hys realme, he trusteth your prudencie will not require, but take that is past, for a thyng done, and iustly done: and as for Gods parte, to leaue his conscience to him selfe, qui domino suo stat aut cadit: and for the world, to passe ouer as a frende, that which nothing toucheth you, and not to meruaile though the sayd king my maister regardyng the wealth of hys soule principally, with the commoditie of his person, and so great benefite and quiet of his Realme, haue percase done that hee for hys priuate fantasie, would not had chaunced: lyke as hys hyghnes also would wishe it had not happened that such cause had bene giuen vnto hym to compell hym so to do.

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MarginaliaThe second part of hys Oratiō touching the maner of the kings procedinges.But these thinges in their outward visage be but worldly, & inwardly touch & concerne the soule. Quid autē prodest homini si vniuersum mundū lucretur, animæ vero suæ detrimētū patiatur. Primū quærite regnū Dei. &c. And yet neyther is hys hyghnes ignoraunt what respect is to be had vnto þe world: and how much he hath laboured & trauailed therin, he hath sufficiently declared & shewed to the world in his actes and procedinges. For if he had vtterly contempned the order and processe of the world, or the frendship and amitye of your maiestie: he needed not to haue sent so often and sundry Ambassates to the Pope, and to you both, nor continued and spent his tyme in delaies, as he hath done hitherto, but migth many yeares past, haue done that he hath done nowe, if it had so liked him, and with as litle difficultie then as nowe, if he would haue wtout such respect, folowed his pleasure in that behalf. But now, I doubt not, your maiestie doth well remēber how often the kyng my maister hath sent vnto your hyghnes, and that your maiestie hath heard also what sutes he hath made to þe Pope, MarginaliaHow the pope dalyed with the kyng by delayes.& how þe sayd Pope hath handled hym agayne only in delaye and dalyaūce, with open commission 

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This refers to the secret decretal commission which allowed cardinals Wolsey and Campeggio to decide the matrimonial case in England. It was destroyed before it could be seized and published.

gyuen to hys Legates to determine and gyue sentence for hym by a commission decretall, & secretlye to gyue them instructions to suspend & put ouer þe same. By which meanes & other semblable, hee perceyued playnly hymself to be brought in such a labirinth as going forward that way, he were like to come

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