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Edward HallRichard SampsonBridewell Palace
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Edward Hall

(1497 - 1547) [ODNB]

Lawyer and historian; BA Cambridge 1518; entered Gray's Inn by 1521; among those invited to Bridewell to hear Henry VIII's oration on his divorce; MP Much Wenlock 1529, 1536; MP (unknown) 1539; MP Bridgnorth 1542

When Queen Catherine learned from the legates that they had been deputed to determine the matter of a divorce between the king and her, she composed an answer to them. Campeggi wrote down her answer in French, which was then translated by Edward Hall. 1563, pp. 456-57; 1570, pp. 1193-94; 1576, p. 1022; 1583, p. 1050.

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Edward Hall reported that Pavier, the town clerk of the city of London, had said that if the king sanctioned an English edition of the scriptures and allowed people to read it, he (Pavier) would cut his throat. He later hanged himself. 1570, p. 1199; 1576, p. 1027; 1583, p. 1055.

Hall included an account of Sir Thomas More in his chronicle. 1570, p. 1217; 1576, p. 1042; 1583, p. 1069.

Hall spoke in favour of the Act of Six Articles in parliament. 1563, p. 660.

Edward Hall was named in a commission from Henry VIII to Edmund Bonner as one who was required to execute the Six Articles. 1570, p. 1375; 1576, p. 1173; 1583, p. 1202.

After Anne Askew had been examined by Bonner and Wymmesley, Christopher Brittayn brought Edward Hall and others, and Bonner urged them, as her friends, to get her to speak fully. 1563, p. 671; 1570, p. 1415; 1576, p. 1205; 1583, p. 1235.

Hall witnessed Anne Askew's confession. 1563, p. 673; 1570, p. 1416; 1576, p. 1207; 1583, p. 1237.

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Richard Sampson

(d. 1554) [ODNB]

Chancellor and vicar-general to Wolsey in Tournai (1513 - 17); ambassador at the imperial court (1522 - 25); dean of Windsor 1523; supported the king's divorce; dean of Lichfield 1533; bishop of Chichester 1536; bishop of Coventry and Lichfield 1543

Henry VIII and Queen Catherine were summoned to appear before the papal legates by Richard Sampson. 1570, p. 1194; 1576, p. 1022; 1583, p. 1050.

Sampson was one of the subscribers to the Bishops' Book. 1570, p. 1211; 1576, p. 1037; 1583, p. 1064.

Sampson attended a synod in 1537 with other bishops and learned men and with Thomas Cromwell as vicar-general. Sampson favoured retaining the seven sacraments. 1563, p. 594; 1570, p. 1351; 1576, p. 1153; 1583, p. 1182.

The musicians at Windsor College petitioned Sampson to have Robert Testwood join them, but Testwood's religious views were deemed too radical. 1570, p. 1386; 1576, p. 1182; 1583, p. 1211.

Damplip was brought before Thomas Cranmer, Stephen Gardiner, Richard Sampson and others and examined. 1563, p. 657; 1570, p. 1401; 1576, p. 1194; 1583, p. 1224.

Thomas Broke, Ralph Hare, James Cocke and James Barber were sent from Calais with their accusers to England to be examined by Cranmer, Gardiner, Sampson and other bishops. 1563, p. 661; 1570, p. 1401; 1576, p. 1195; 1583, p. 1224.

Letters were sent to Sampson, among others, accusing Thomas Broke, Ralph Hare, James Cocke and James Barber of Calais of heresy. 1563, p. 661; 1570, p. 1402; 1576, p. 1195; 1583, p. 1224.

John Butler and William Smith were brought for examination before John Clerk, Richard Sampson and William Rugg. 1570, p. 1403; 1576, p. 1196; 1583, p. 1226.

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Bridewell Palace

on the River Fleet, London

Residence of Henry VIII 1515 - 1523; leased to the French ambassador 1531 - 39; became a prison and hospital in 1556

1074 [1050]

K. Hen. 8. The kings Oration. The Cardinals sit vpon the kinges diuorce. Q. Katherine appealeth.

such other as fauoured the Queene, and talked their pleasure, were not stopped. MarginaliaEuill language of the people about the kinges diuorce.Wherefore, to satisfie the blinde surmises, and foolishe communication of these also, who seeing the comming of the Cardinalles, cast out suche leaude wordes, that the king woulde for his owne pleasure haue an other wife, with like vnseeming talke, he therefore willing that al men should know the truth of his procedings, caused all his Nobilitie, Iudges, and Counsaillors, wyth diuers other persons, to resort to his Pallace of Bridewel the 8. day of Nouemb. An. 1529. where he openly speaking in his great chāber, had these words in effect 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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The kings Oration to his subiects.

OVr trustie & welbeloued subiects, both you of the nobility, & you of the meaner sort, it is not vnknowē both how that we, both by Gods prouision and true and lawfull inheritaunce, haue raigned ouer this realme of England, almost the terme of 20. yeares. During whiche time, we haue so ordered vs, thanked be God, that no outward enemy hath oppressed you, nor taken anye thing from vs, nor we haue inuaded no realme, but we haue had victory & honor, so that we think that you nor none of your predecessors neuer liued more quietly, more wealthely, nor in more estimation vnder any of our noble progenitors. But when we remēber our mortality, and that we must die, then we think that all our doings in our life time, are clearely defaced, & worthy of no memory, if we leaue you in trouble at the time of oure deathe, for if our true heir be not known at the time of our death, see what mischiefe and trouble shall succeede to you and to your children. The experience thereof some of you haue seene after the death of our noble grandfather, king Edward 4. and some haue heard what mischief and manslaughter continued in this realme betwene the houses of Yorke and Lancaster: by the which dissention, this realme was like to haue bene clearely destroyed.

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And although it hath pleased almighty God to send vs a faire daughter of a noble woman, and of me begotten, to our greate comfort and ioy, yet it hath bene tolde vs by diuers great Clearks that neither she is our lawfull daughter, nor her mother our lawfull wife, but that we liue together abhominably and detestably, in open adulterie: in somuch, that when our Ambassade was last in France, and motion was made that the Duke of Orelance should marry our sayde daughter, one of the chiefe Counsailours to the French king, sayd: It were well done, to know whether she be the king of Englands lawfull daughter or not, for well knowen it is, that he begot her on his brothers wife, which is directly againste Gods law and his precept. Thinke you my Lords, that these words touch not my body and soule? Thinke you that these doings doe not daily and hourely trouble my cōscience, and vexe my spirits? Yes we doubt not, but and if it were your cause, euery man wold seeke remedy, when the pearil of your soule, and the losse of your inheritance is openly laide to you. For this onely cause, I protest before God, and in the word of a Prince, I haue asked councell of the greatest Clearkes in Christendome, and for this cause I haue sent for this Legate, as a manne indifferent onely to knowe the truth, and so to settle my conscience, and for none other cause, as God can iudge. And as touching the Queene, if it be adiudged by the law of God that she is my lawfull wife, there was neuer thing more pleasant nor more acceptable to me in my life, both for the discharge and clearing of my conscience, and also for the good qualities and conditions the which I know to be in her. For I assure you all, that beside her noble parentage of the which shee is descended (as you well know) she is a woman of most gentlenesse, of moste humilitie and buxumnesse, yea and of all good qualities appertaining to nobilitie, she is without comparison, as I this 20. yeares, almoste haue had the true experiment: so that if I were to mary againe, if the marriage might be good, I would surely chose her aboue all other women. But if it be determined by iudgement that our mariage was against Gods law and clearely voyde, then I shall not onely sorowe the departing from so good a Ladie and louing companion, but much more lamēt and bewaile my infortunate chance that I haue so long liued in adultery to Gods great displeasure, and haue no true heire of my body to inherite thys Realme. These be the sores that vexe my minde, these be the pāgs that trouble my conscience, and for these greeues I seeke a remedy. Therefore I require of you all, as our trust and confidence is in you, to declare to our subiects our minde and entent, according to our true meaning, and desire them to pray with vs that the very truth may be knowen for the discharge of our conscience and sauing of our soule, and for the declaration hereof I haue assembled you together, and now you may depart.

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MarginaliaThe legates talke with the Queene.Shortly after this Oration of the king, wherewith he stirred the harts of a number, then the two Legates, being requested of the king for discharge of his conscience, to iudge and determine vpon the cause, went to the Queene 

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Foxe's analysis of the reception of the oration, and the events that followed it was substantially changed in between the 1563 and the 1570 and later editions. In 1563, Foxe placed the emphasis on the Queen's reaction. As Foxe says in 1563, 'herepon word was sent not longer after to the Quene, by the cardinal, & certen other messengers'. In reality, delegations of the great and the good were sent to Queen Catherine a number of times over the course of the marriage trial, with the objective of ending her obstructionism. The latest delegation (for which, see L&P, iv:iii, no.739), perhaps that one referred to here, consisted of Thomas Howard (Duke of Norfolk), Edward Lee and Richard Sampson, Longland and Stokesley, and they addressed theology, canon law and civil political issues. The cardinal referred to here is Cardinal Lorenzo (var: 'Lawrence') Campeggio (who was also for a time Cardinal Protector of England and bishop of Salisbury). The legatine trial at Blackfriars (31 May - 23 July 1529) over which Campeggio presided with Wolsey, was actually his second legatine appearance in England, having been sent in 1518 as Leo X's nuncio (to secure men and funding for a projected crusade). Campeggio was deprived of Salisbury via act of parliament (11 March 1535) (see Edward V Cardinal, Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio, Legate to the Courts of Henry VIII and Charles V (Boston, 1935)].

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lying then in the place of Bridewell, and declared to her, how they were deputed iudges indiffercnt betwene þe king and her, to heare and determine, whether the mariage betwene them stoode with Gods law nor not. When she vn-derstoode the cause of their comming, being thereat some thing astonied at þe first, after a litle pausing with her selfe, thus she began, answering for her selfe. 
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In the 1563 edition, Foxe replicated in extenso the speech supposedly given in reply by Queen Catherine, which had appeared in Edward Hall's chronicle, The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancastre & York (London, 1547), fols.180B-81A. There is some question over whether she actually made it at all. Catherine claims that she was unaware of the king's doubts; either she had been kept in the dark about young Henry's protest or his doubts and confessions of 1518, or her Spanish servants had not been paying attention. She makes the valid point that some theologians who were now raising objections to the marriage had accepted it at the time. One such was William Warham; another was Richard Fox, the aged bishop of Winchester. Former servants and courtiers had been trotted out at the tribunals to speak on events of twenty years' earlier and pick over the bones of ill or half-remembered statements. She refers tellingly to the dispensation of Julius II (dated 26 December 1503). She reserved her strongest statements, however, for Cardinal Wolsey, convinced that he was behind the divorce issue. In 1515 Leo X had created Wolsey a cardinal and he hoped to negotiate this, and English diplomatic ties with the empire after 1519, into his own election as pope. Charles V, however, supported his tutor (Adrian Dedel or Adrian Florenszoon Boeyens) as Pope Adrian VI and later, Giulio di Giuliano de'Medici (as Clement VII), for which Wolsey never forgave him. Later, in the aftermath of the imperial troops sacking of Rome (6 May 1527), Wolsey had conceived a scheme by which he would be appointed (by the French cardinals) as vice-pope for the duration of the pope's captivity. Charles V once again foiled his efforts by allowing Clement to escape captivity. Catherine was convinced that Wolsey was pursuing his grudge against her (as the aunt of the emperor he could not touch), which may indeed have been a fair assessment of Wolsey's ways of behaving.

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Ex Edw. Hallo.

Queene Katherines aunswere to the Cardinalles.

ALas my Lorde (said she) is it nowe a question whether I be the kings lawfull wife or no, when I haue bene maried to hym almost 20. yeres, and in the meane season neuer question was made before? Diuers Prelates yet being aliue, and Lords also, and priuie coūsailors with the king at that time, then adiudged our mariage lawful and honest, and nowe to say it is detestable and abhominable, I thinke it great maruel: and in especiall when I consider what a wise prince the kings father was, & also the loue & natural affectiō, that K. Ferdinādo my father bare vnto me. I think in my self that neither of our fathers were so vncircumspect, so vnwise, & of so small imagination, but they foresaw what might folowe of oure Mariage, and in especiall the king my father sent to the Courte of Rome, and there after long sute, with great cost and charge obteined a licence and dispēsation, that I being the one brothers wife, and peraduenture carnally known, might without scruple of cōscience, mary with the other brother lawfully, which licēce vnder lead I haue yet to shewe, which things make me to say, and surely beleue, that our mariage was both lawful, good and godly. But of this trouble I only may thanke you my L. Cardinal of Yorke. MarginaliaThe Cardinall cause of this diuorce, and why? For, because I haue wondered at your high pride and vaineglory, and abhorred your voluptuous life and abhominable lecherie, & litle regarded your presumptuous power and tyrānie, therfore of malice you haue kindled this fire, & set this matter abroache, and in especiall for the great malice that you beare to my nephewe the Emperor, whom I perfectly know you hate worse then a Scorpion, because he woulde not satisfie your ambition, and make you Pope by force, & therfore you haue said more then once, that you wold trouble him and his frends: & you haue kept him true promise, for of all his warres & vexations, he onely may thanke you. And as for me his poore Aunt and kinswoman, what trouble you haue put me too by this newe found dout, God knoweth, to whō I commit my cause according to the truth. The Cardinal of Yorke excused himself, saying, that he was not the beginner nor the mouer of the doubt, and that it was sore against his wil that euer the mariage shuld come in question, but he sayd that by his superiour the B. of Rome, he was deputed as a iudge to hear the cause, which he sware on his profession to heare indifferently. But whatsoeuer was said, she beleeued him not, & so the Legates tooke their leaue of her & departed. These words were spoken in French, & wrytten by Cardinal Campeius Secretarie 
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According to Gairdner's research, the secretary's name was Florian - for which, see James Gairdner, 'New Lights on the Divorce of Henry VIII', in The English Historical Review, 12 (January, 1897), pp.1-16.

, which was present, and afterward by Edward Hall translated into English.

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MarginaliaThe vaine pompe of the Romish Legates. 

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Foxe's analysis of events after July1529 is congested and somewhat changed between the 1563 and 1570 editions. In 1563, Foxe mentions that Catherine appealed the projected decision of the legatine court to the pope on 16 June 1529 ('and her appeale made to the Pope'). Again, in the 1563 edition, he briefly alludes to the legatine trial at Blackfriars, which sat between 31 May and 23 July 1529 (about fourteen sessions) under the dual-authorities of cardinals Wolsey and Campeggio ('Fyrst the pope sendeth his two legates, Wolsey and Campeius, to here and decise the case…') noting the involvement of the king's proctor (chief legal advisor) John Bell (later bishop of Worcester), sometimes acting with Richard Sampson (later bishop of Chichester). The queen's proctor was John Clerk (bishop of Bath and Wells). He also refers to the preliminary meeting of 28 May 1529, at which the king and queen were to, officially, learn the reasons they were being summoned to appear before an ecclesiastical court. The other 'counsailors…learned men' assisting the queen mentioned by Foxe were William Warham, Nicholas West, John Fisher and Henry Standish. The queen had other supporters, including her chaplain Thomas Abel, Richard Featherstone, Peter Ligham, Edward Powell, Richard Gwent, her almoner Robert Shorton, her Spanish confessor George de Athequa (bishop of Llandaff) and John Talcarne, not all of whom were entirely to be trusted. Much of the actual chronology is skipped over. The court met in fourteen sessions - 31 May, 18, 21, 22, 25, and 28 June, 5, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, and 23 July. Foxe makes a reference to testimony on behalf of Prince Arthur (given on 19 July) meant to prove consummation of his marriage. This is rumour and hearsay evidence, of course. For example, when gentlemen of the prince's household joked with him over his need for a drink, Arthur reportedly replied: 'Marry, if thou haddest been as often in Spain this night as I have been, I think verily thou wouldest have been much drier.' (For a discussion of these reports, see Henry A Kelly, The Matrimonial Trials of Henry VIII [Stanford, 1976], pp.122ff) There is also reference made here to the Spanish brief (which had been secured for the dying Isabella on 26 December 1503 (and sent to Spain in autumn 1504) - common knowledge in England at the time [see, L&P, i, p.243] - although this fact seems to be often denied or conveniently forgotten by 1529.

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In the next yeare ensuing, an. 1530. at the blacke Fryers of London was prepared a solemne place for two Legates, who comming with their crosses, pillers, axes, and all other Romish ceremonies accordingly, were set in two chayres couered with cloth of gold, and cushiōs of þe same. MarginaliaThe king & Queene ascited before the Legates.When all things were ready, then the king & the Qeuene were ascited by Doct. Sampson, to appeare before the said Legates the 28. day of May: where (the commission of the Cardinals first being read, wherein it was appoynted by the Court of Kome, that they should be the hearers & iudges in the cause betweene them both) the king was called by name, who appeared by two Proctors. Then the Queene was called, who being accompanied with 4. Byshops, Marginalia* These 4. byshops were Warhā of Canterbury, West of Ely, Fysher of Rochester, Standishe of S. Assaph. and other of her counsayle, and a great company of Ladyes came personally her selfe before the Legates: who there after her obeysance, with a sadde grauitie of countenaunce, hauing not many wordes with them: MarginaliaThe Quene appealeth from the Cardinal to the Pope.appealed frō the Legates, as iudges not competent, to þe court of Rome and so departed. Notwithstanding this appeale, the Cardinals sate weekely, & euery day arguments on both sides were brought, but nothing definitiuely was determined.

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As the tyme passed on, in the month of Iune, the king being desirous to see an ende, came to the Courte, and the Queene also, where he standing vnder his cloth of estate, vttered these or like wordes in effect as followeth.

MarginaliaThe kinges oration to the Legates.MY Lordes Legates of the Sea Apostolicke, whiche be deputed iudges in this great and waighty matter, I most hartely beseech you to ponder my mynde and intent, whiche onely is to haue a finall ende for the discharge of my conscience: for euerye good Christen man knoweth what payne and what vnquietnesse he suffereth which hath hys conscience greeued. For I assure you on mine honour, that this matter hath so vexed my minde, and troubled my spirites, that I can scantly study any thinge, whiche should be profitable for my realme and people, and for to haue a quietnes of body and soule, is my desire and request, and not for any grudge that I beare to her that I haue maryed, for I dare say, that for her womanhooode, wisedome, nobilitie, and gentlenes, neuer Prince had such an other, and therefore if I woulde willinglye chaunge I were not wise. Wherefore my suite is to my Lordes at this time, to haue a speedie ende, according to right, for the quietnesse of my minde and conscience onely, and for no other cause, as God knoweth.

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