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1395 [1395]

K. Henry. 8. The storye and life of the Lorde Thomas Cromwell.

MarginaliaD. Cranmers booke agaynst the vj. Articles deliuered to a Popishe Priest.cretary could come to land, he had deliuered the booke to a Priest of hys owne affinitie in Religion standyng on the bancke, who readyng in the booke and perceyuyng that it was a manifest refutation of the vj. Articles, made much a do & told the Beareward that whosoeuer claymed the booke, shoulde surelye bee hanged. Anone the Secretary came to the Beareward for hys booke. What quoth the Beareward, dare you chalenge this booke? Whose seruaunt bee you? I am seruaunt to one of the Counsaile, sayd the Secretarie, and my Lord of Cāterbury is my maister. Yea mary, quoth the Beareward, I thought so much. You bee lyke I trust, quoth the Beareward, to be both hanged for this booke. Well (sayd hee) it is not so euill as you take it, and I warrant you my Lorde will auouch the booke to the kynges maiestie. But I pray you let me haue my booke, and I will giue you a crowne to drinke. If you would giue me v.C. crownes, you shal not haue it, quoth the Beareward. With that the Secretary departed from hym, and vnderstādyng the malicious frowardnes of the Beareward, he learned that Blage the Grocer 

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John Blagg, a wealthy grocer who was Cranmer's business agent in London. Not to be confused with the courtier George Blage.

in Cheapeside might do much with the Beareward, to whō the Secretary brake this matter, requiryng him to send for the Beareward to supper, and hee would pay for þe whole charge therof, and besides that, rather then he woulde forgoe hys booke after this sort, the Beareward should haue xx. shyllynges to drincke. The supper was prepared. The Beareward was sent for, and came. After supper the matter was entreated of and xx. shyllynges offered for the booke. But do what coulde bee done, neither frendshyp, acquayntaūce, nor yet reward of money could obteine the booke out of his handes, but that þe same should be deliuered vnto some of the Counsaile that would not so sleyghtly looke on so waightye a matter, as to haue it redemed for a supper or a peece of money. The honest man M. Blage with many good reasons would haue persuaded hym not to be stiffe in hys owne conceite, declaryng that in the ende hee should nothyng at all preuaile of hys purpose, but bee laught to scorne, gettyng neither peny nor prayse for hys trauayle. He hearyng that, rushed sodenly out of the doores from his frend M. Blage without any maner of thankes giuing for his supper, more lyke a Beareward then lyke an honest man. When the Secretary sawe the matter so extremely to bee vsed agaynst hym, hee then thought it expedient to fall from any farther practysing of entreatie with the Beareward, as with him that semed rather to be a beare hym selfe then the master of the beast, determining the next morning to make the L. Cromwel priuie of the chaūce that happened.

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So on the next day, as the Lord Cromwell went to the Court, the Secretary declared the whole matter vnto hym, and how he had offered hym xx. s. for the findyng therof. Where is the felow, quoth þe Lord Cromwell? I suppose, sayd the Secretary, that hee is now in the Court attendyng to deliuer the booke vnto some of the Counsaile. Well sayd the Lord Cromwell, it maketh no matter: go with me thether and I shal get you your booke agayne. MarginaliaThe Bereward wayting to geue Cranmers booke to the Counsell.When the Lord Cromwell came into the halle of the Court, there stoode the Bearewarde with the booke in hys hand, wayting to haue deliuered the same vnto syr Anthonie Browne, or vnto the Byshoppe of Winchester, as it was reported. To whome the Lorde Cromwell sayd, come hether fellowe. What booke hast thou there in thy hand? MarginaliaThe Lorde Cromwell getteth the booke frō the Bereward.and with that snatched the booke out of his hand, and lookyng in the booke, he sayde, I knowe this hande well enoughe. This is your hand, sayd he to the Secretary. But where haddest thou this booke, quoth þe L. Cromwell to the Beareward? This Gentleman lost it two dayes ago in the Thamys sayd the Beareward. Doest thou know whose seruaunt he is, sayd the Lord Cromwell? He sayth, quoth the Beareward, that he is my L. of Canterburyes seruaunt. Why thē diddest not thou deliuer to hym the booke, when he required it, sayd the L. Cromwel. Who made thee so bold as to deteine and withhold any boke or writing frō a Coūselers seruaūt, specially being his Secretary? It is more meter for thee to medle with thy Beares then with such writyng, & it were not for thy mastres sake, I would set thee fast by the feete, to teach such malapert knaues to medle with Counsellers matters. Had not money bene well bestowed vpon such a good felow as this is, that knoweth not a Coūcellers man from a Coblers man? And with those woordes the Lord Cromwell went vp into the kynges chamber of presence and the Archbyshops Secretarye with him, where hee founde in the chamber the Lord of Canterbury. To whom he sayd, MarginaliaThe wordes of the Lorde Cromwell to the Archbyshop Cranmer.My Lord I haue found here good stuffe for you (shewyng to hym the paper booke that he had in his hand) ready to bryng both you and this good felowe your man to the halter, namely if the knaue Beareward, now in þe hall, might haue wel cōpassed it. At these words the Archb. smiled and sayd, he that lost þt booke is lyke to haue the worse bargayne, for besides that he was well washed in the Thamys, he must write the booke fayre agayne: and at those wordes þe L. Cromwell cast the booke vnto þe Secretary saying, I pray thee Morice, go in hād therwith by and by with all expedition, for it must serue a turne. Surely my Lord, it somwhat reioyseth me, quoth the L. Cromwell, that þt verlet might haue had of your mā xx. s. for the booke, and now I haue discharged that matter with neuer a peny. And shaking him wel vp for hys ouermuch malipartenes, I know þe felow well enough (quoth hee) there is not a rancker Papist within this realme, then he is, most vnworthy to be seruaunt vnto so noble a Princesse. And so after humble thankes giuē to the Lord Cromwel, the sayd Morice departed with hys booke, whiche when hee agayne had fayre written, was deliuered to the kyngs Maiestie by the sayd Lord Cromwell, within iiij. dayes after.

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¶ The Lord Cromwell not forgetting his old frendes, and benefactours.

MarginaliaThe gentle behauiour of the Lord Cromwell, in remembring hys old frends.IT is cōmonly sene, that mē aduaūced once frō base degree, to ample dignities, do rise also with fortune into such insolencie & exaltation of mynd, that not onely they forget them selues what they were, and from whence they came, but also cast out of remēbraunce all their old frendes and former acquayntance, whiche haue bene to them before beneficiall. From which sort of men, how farre the curteous condition of this Christen Earle did differre, by diuers examples it may appeare. As by a certein poore woman kepyng some tyme a vitaylyng house about Hownslow, to whom the sayd Lord Cromwell remained in debt for certein old rekenings, to the summe of xl.s. It happened that the Lord Cromwell with Cranmer Archbyshop of Canterbury rydyng throughe Cheapside towarde the Court, in turnyng his eye ouer þe way, and there espeyng this poore woman, brought now in nede and miserie, eftsoones caused her to be called vnto hym. Who beyng come, after certeine questions, asked of her if she were not such a woman, & dwelling in such a place. At last he demaūded, if he were not behynde for a certeine payment of money betwene hym and her. To whom she with reuerent obeysance, confessed that hee ought her money for a certeine old rekenyng whiche was yet vnpayed, wherof she stoode now in great necessitie, but neuer durst call vpon hym, nor could come at hym for to require her right. MarginaliaExample of a gratefull debter.Then the Lorde Cromwell sendyng the poore woman home to his house, and one of his seruauntes withall, that the porter shoulde let her in, after hys returne from the Court, not onely discharged the debt whiche he ought, but also gaue her a yearlye pension of foure poundes, and a lyuery euery yeare while she lyued.

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