Biography of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey 1473-1530
Around 1150 Tiptree Priory [Map] was an Augustinian Priory founded by the local Tregoz family. The priory church was dedicated to Saints Mary and Nicholas. The Priory was suppressed in 1525 when it was granted to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey who granted it to Cardinal's College, Oxford (Christ Church College, Oxford University) and then to his college at Ipswich.
Around Mar 1473 Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was born.
Around 1509 Joan Larke (age 19) became the mistress of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 35).
Letters. 13 Jan 1513. Sir Richard Wingfield (age 44) to Wolsey (age 39). A boat of Dover bringing the budget was "upon the 12th day" taken by the Barke of Boulogne; but the budget had been previously cast overboard. Five Easterlings and two merchantmen of London were taken in her and remain prisoners in Boulogne. Thinks that more strict commands should be given for the keeping of the Narrow Seas, as many inconveniences have arisen. Calais, 13 Jan.
P.S.-The Lord Walayn has been slain at Brussells. Hopes the safe conduct Wolsey (age 39) promised to send him (Wingfield) has not been drowned with the budget. Signed.
Letters. 15 Jan 1513. Armour. Indenture, made 15 Jan. 4 Henry VIII., between Mr. Thomas Wolsy (age 39), clk., councillor, and John Daunce, in the King's name, on the one part, and Robert Bolte, of London, mercer, on the other part, for delivery of 3,000 harnesses (described), at 16s., by 30 April next, at the Tower. Signed at the head by the King and at the foot by Daunce.
In 1515 Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 41) received his Cardinal's hat at a ceremony attended by Richard Neville 2nd Baron Latimer of Snape (age 47) and Robert Radclyffe 1st Earl of Sussex (age 32) at Westminster Abbey [Map].
Giustiniani wrote on 17 Jul 1516 that Thomas Lovell had withdrawn himself from public affairs; probably as a consequence of Wolsey's (age 43) rise to power.
In Mar 1517 George Tailboys 9th Baron Kyme (age 50) became insane and placed under the care of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 44).
[MS. COTTON. CALIG. D. VII. fol. 105.]
[Pleasyth it youre] Grace to understand that the xxj th day of this moneth I wrote my last Lettres to your Grace, and as yesterday, which was our Lady's day, I was at Seynt Germayns, where the Quene and my Lady lyeth; but the King roode on our Ladye's even viij. leges hens, and as my Lady tellyth me it is in a dowte whether he cormyth ageyn before the Quene here be brought in bedde or nay; for she lookyth her tyme every howre. Also my Lady hath commaunded me, now while the great Master is away, that I shuld resorte to her for any thing that I shuld have to doo for the King my Master. And she hath, promysed me that she woll make me pryve of such newes as she shall here of from any place : and toold me that the King her sonne whan he departed willed her to shew me a Lettre that came now streyt out of Spayn from his Ambassadour there, and therewithall she called to her the tresourer Robertet and bad hym shewe me that Lettre, wherein was wrytten by the said Ambassador whose name is de la Roche Beauconot, that the King's Highnesse had late sent a Lettre to the King Catholique advertysyng hym how the King here had desired the King's Highnesse by his lettres to wryte to th'Ellectowrs of th'Empire in his favour, the rather to atteyn the dygnyte of th'Empire; the which the King's Highness hath refused bicause of the Amytie betwixt the Kings Grace and the King Catholique, and how the Kings Highnesse had rather that the King Catholique wer Emperowr than the King here; which Lettre he wryteth is in th'andes of the Bishop of Bourgesa oon of the great Counsell of Spayn. Whan I had redde this clawse in the Lettre sent out of Spayn, I prayed my Lady that she wold gyve noo credence to yt, and shewed her how I thought that the said Ambassador wrote this by Informacion of some maliciouse personne that wold sett discord bitwixt Princes; and that I assured her it was not trew. She toold me that she had soo perfecte trust in the Kyng my Master's honnor that she beleved, nor wold beleve, noo such thing; and no more she sayeth woll the King her sonne: sayeng that whan the King here redde the same clause in the Lettre wrytten to hym by his Ambassadour in Spayn he did but lawgh at it, and gave no credence thereto. And she saied it cowlde nat be trew, for the ... the Kyng's Highnesse desyring him to wryte to th ... th'Empire for hym. So that as farre as I can perceyve neyther my Lady nor the King her sonne gyve noo credence to yt. And as moch as I cowld instaunce her I have desired her not to beleve this nor noo such thing that shuld be contrary to any thing that the Kings Highnesse hath promysed or wrytten to the King her sonne. My Lady also desireth that likewise as I woll make me pryve of every thing that shall touch or arr ... to the Kings Grace to th'intent I shuld advertise the Kings Highnesse and your Grace. She likewise desireth to bee advertised of any thing apperteynyng to the King her sonne. She talked with me also of the Meeting of the Kings Highnesse and the King her sonne (which she moch desireth) wherein I shewed her according to myn Instructions that if it pleased her to m ... the King her sonne that he wold be content after they had mett a horsbak to repaire streyt to Calais where they myght be honourably receyved, well and easely lodged, it shuld be convenient for their estates. Whereto she aunswered that when they had oones mett, she putt noo dowtes but they shuld . . well enough, sayeng that after they had ones seen togyther his Highnesse shuld desire hym to nothing but he wold gyve thereto assent. She sayeng allwaies that it shalbe more .... and triumphant to be lodged in sommer in the fields in tents and pavilions than it shuld be in any Towne. She often ... b me of my Lady Princesse and of hir helth, if she hath been syck lately or not. Also Madame la Duchesse the Kings syster, the Duke of Alaunson's wief, lately hath been and yet is very sycke. When I shall have knowledge of any other Newes I shall ... to your Grace of them : beseching the holy Trinite long to preserve your Grace. From Poyssy a leege from Saint Germains this xxvjth day of March.
Yowres m ...
Note a. Burgos.
Note b. asked
[MS. COTTON. CALIG. D. VII. fol. 121. Orig.]
In a Letter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, dated Poissy, April 9th 1519, he says, he inquired of Francis the First when the Christening of his son should be, who answered " after Easter," because the child had a disease in his eyes: " and he sayeth, all his children have, shortly after they be borne; sayeng also yt was my lady his Mother's mynd, that the chyld shuld bee clene hole of any dysease afore the crystenyng; whos advyse he seyd ht should folow therein."a
In a succeeding Letter, Sir Thomas Boleyn gives an Account of a solempne procession at Court on April 15th "where went in the same the King, the Lady his Mother, with all the lords and ladys of the Court. The cause of this procession was, for to honnour the holy cordon or coorde that Our Lord was bounde to the Pyller with, and many other relyques, which wer sent to the Quene here from an Abbey in Poytow, and from dyvers other places, now when she was last delyuered of chyld."b
Pleasith yt youre .Grace to understand that the first day of this moneth I wrote my last lettres to your Grace; and on Sonday last past about x. of the clocke at nyght, the Kings yong sonne whos title is Henry of Seynt Germayn Duke of Orleans, was crystened, the Duke of Alaunson was the second godfather, and the duchesse of Denamours the god mother. And bicause York, this berar, was there present who can shewe your Grace all the maner and order of the crystenyng I leve to wry te to your Grace of the same; saving that according as your Grace hath here a fore tyme wryten to me I presented to the Quene here in the name of the Kings Highnesse the Salt, the Cuppe, and Layar of gold, which was very much praysed; and also the Quene and my Lady gave to the Kings Highnesse for the same their loving and harty thanks. And after all was doon the King came to me and sayd he thanked the King's Highnesse of the great honnor that he had doon hym in crystenyng of his chyld, sayeng that when so ever yt shall fortune the Kings Highnesse to have a Prince he shalbe glad to doo for hym in lyke maner, and that he is mynded after his said sonne shall come to age and be able to ... he purposyth to send hym to the Kings Grace into Englande to doo hym service.
And the hundreth pounde that your Grace sent to gyve in reward, is bistowed as folowith. First the Noryce, oon hundreth crownes; to iiij. rockers of the yong Dukes chamber, ij. hundreth crownes; to iij. gentlewomen of the Quenes Pryve Chamber called femmes de Ret . a hundreth and fyfty crownes; and at the Offryng xx nobils, which amounteth in all to the some of oone hundreth pounds sterling and xv. crownes over. All which money was paid and delyvered by the hands of York this berar and Richmount, which can shewe your Grace well inough therof.
Furthermore, as this berar can shewe your Grace, there hath been with me at my lodging the Kings Porters, the T ... and Officers of Arrays which with importune manner asked reward saying that the Duke of Urbyn at the crystenyng of the Dolphyn rewarded them, and wyth the best answer that I could make them nothyng given they went away miscontent. Neverthelesse it is ... by honorabull folks here that the gyftes to the Quene, and the money that is gyven in rewardes was sufficiently honorable, and largely inough for the Kings honnor.
I have also laid out xjli. xijs. in sendyng dyvers tymes myn own folks and other that I have hired to your Grace in to England, and to Calais, with Lettres in post and otherwise, the which xjli xijs. and xv. crownes that I have layd out now more than hundreth poundes that your Grace sent me by York to gyve in reward, is owing me. And forasmoch as the last money that your Grace sent me for a hundreth dayes ended the xxviijth. day of May last past I besech your Grace both to send me such dyett money as shall best please your Grace, and that the said xjli xijs. and xv. crownes that is owing me may be also delivered to my prest which shall attend upon your Grace for yt.
Also I receyved yester evyn from your Grace, a Letter dated the xxviijth. day of May, concernyng the Marchaunts matiers and divers other things, whereof after I have spoken with the King, my Lady, or the Counsell here I shall wryte to your Grace such answer as I shall have of them with diligence.
Here is moch speking in the Court and more at Parys of many straunge bouts, whereof this berar can shewe your Grace by mowth as he hath hard, and as I have shewed hym. Besechyng the Holy Trinite long to preserve your Grace. From Poyssy this vijV 1 day of June
To my moste especial and singular Lord; my Lord Legat Cardinall, Chauncellar of England.
Note a. MS. Cotton. Calig. D. vn. fol. 108.
Note b. Ibid. fol. 110.
[MS. COTTON. CALIG. D. vii. fol. 104. Orig.]
This Letter, and the three which immediately follow it, relate to the preparations for the Interview between Henry the Eighth and Francis the First, which at last took place, within the English pale, between Guisnes and Ardres, on June 7th 1520. The manner of meeting, and the regulation of the ceremonial were confided by both Monarchs to Wolsey ; to whom three of these Letters are addressed.
Hall's account of this Interview in his Chronicle, and he was personally present at it, was drawn up by Henry's command. Another Journal of the Occurrences was also drawn up by order of Francis. This last was pub. lished by Montfaucon in his Monumens de la Monarchic Frangoise; together with a third Narrative by Robert de la Mark Mareschal de Florenges.
Francis was so gratified with the splendor of this Interview, that he ordered the cavalcade of the Monarchs at their first meeting on horseback, to be carved in Basso Relievo on five marble tables, and to be placed in front of the house of the procureur general at Rouen, where they still remain.
Henry directed the Interview, with its attendant circumstances, to be represented in a Picture, formerly at Windsor, but which by the munificence of his late Majesty now ornaments the Meeting Room of the Society of Antiquaries.
Barklay the black monk, who wrote "The Ship of Fools," was engaged by Wolsey to supply the mottoes and devices on the occasion.
The manner in which the nobility of the two countries vied with each other in this scene of grandeur, is described in warm colours. It appears to have been by far the most costly ceremonial known to our History. The English were said to have carried their manors, the French their forests, upon their backs : and the very plain on which the monarchs met, from the richness of the tents and pavilions, was thenceforward called Le Champ De Drap D'or.
Hall's description of the person of Francis the First, as he left the tent in which the monarchs had embraced, is worth transcribing. He was " a goodly Prince, stately of countenance, merry of chere, brown coloured, great eyes, high nosed, big-lipped, fair brested and shoulders, small legges, and long feet."
Pleasith it your Grace to understond that the xixth. day of this Moneth I wrote my last Lettres to your Grace. And as yestereven the Great Master supped here with me at my Lodging ; and this day he is ryden out of this Towne onward on his journay to Mount pelyer ward ; and this day or he tooke his hors, he sent for me to dyne with hym, and after dynner at my taking leve of hym, he first willed me, till he commyth ageyn, for all matiers that I shuld have to doo for the Kings Highnesse that I shuld resort all way to the King hym self, or els to my Lady, or to Robertet, and to non other. He also prayed me that I wold humbly and hartely recommend hym to your Grace, and willed me to wryte to you that as touching th'Entrevieu and Meting betwixt the King's Highnesse and the King here, though the King here commeth nat to Calais at the first, accordyng to the Kings Grace desire, wherin I have often spoken to hym according to myn Instruccions, he besechith your Grace that ye woll soo shew it to the King's Highnesse that it may be takyn in good part, and that it is for no mystrust nor diffidence that the King here hath to come to Calais, but he thinketh it is convenyent that they both (tyll the tyme of their meting) kepe somwhat to theymselfs, beyond and further, than that is agreed by there Counsells, to shewe more love, trust, and kindnesse ech to other, sayeng to me that he thinketh veryly after that both the Kings have mett and spoken to gyther, that the King here, within a day or two woll come secretly to Calais to doo the King's Grace more pleasure, or forther into England if the Kings Highnesse will desyre hym. He willed me also to wryt to your Grace of the great love, favour, and confidence that the King his master hath in your Grace, and the great desire that he hath to doo you pleasure ; and toold me it had not bee seen nor hard of oon man, being a Cardinall, to bee in soo great estime, trust, and reputacion of both the Kings of Englond and of France, as your Grace is. Wherfor he thinketh it is in your Grace to employe them both, after your wisdome, in any thing at your owne pleasure. He shewed me also for his part, that, if ther wer any thing that he may doo your Grace pleasure or service in, he will as gladly doo it, and with as good will and diligence as for any brother he hath : and that ye shuld well perceyve and know by th'experience whan so ever it shuld please your Grace to prove hym. He toold me furthermore that in any thing that shalbe owther treated or concluded ther as he goyth now, your Grace shalbe advertised of it, sayeng also that if their matiers framyd well betwixt Mons r . de Chieuvres and hym, he thought he shuld goo and see the King Catholique at Parpinyan. He hath with hym a great Trayn, so that he maketh his rekenyng to bee above a thowsand horsys : and hath with hym a garde of xxx li . archers in goldsyths work uppon their cootes both before and behind.
I send your Grace herein inclosed a Papir in French of his devis ...b the Meting and Entrevieu which Robertet hath delivered me by the ... c Master's commaundement ; and an other papir signed with Monsr. de F ... hand conteynyng the Articles of th'order for the redresse of the ma ... according to the forme of them your Grace wrote to me in Inglyshe : Whereto all the Counsell here is fully agreed as your Grace shall presently perceyve by the same Paper in French. Also where your Grace hath deputed the Master of the Holies and the Vice Admirall to examyn the Inglysh marchaunts robbed and spoyled in September and October ... they have deputed alonly Monsr. de Frayn here for thexaminacion of French men robbed within the said ij. monethes.
Also the Great Master hath advised me that incontinent, after his departure, I shuld make myn abode at a Vyllage called Poyssy, half a league from the Court. And so I purpose to goo thider to-morrow ; beseching the holy Trinitie long to preserve your Grace. From Parys this xxi l . h day of March.
Youres most bounden
Note a. Hall, edit. 1809. p. 610.
Note b. devise for.
Note c. Great.
Around 1522 George Cavendish (age 25) was appointed Gentleman Usher to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 48); he remained in his service until Wolsey's death in 1530.
Wriothesley's Chronicle. 09 Mar 1525. This yeare, the 9th day of Marche,c tidinges were brought to the Kinge (age 33) that Francis (age 30), the French King, was taken prisoner before the cittie Pavie, in Italie, by the Duke of Burbon (age 35), capteyn of the Emperoures (age 25) hoste,d and 14,000 French men slayne at the same feild.
And the Archbishop of Yorke (age 52), cardinall and legatt de latere, songe masse the same tyme in Paules churche [Map], in his "pontificalibus,"e and 11 bishopps and abbotts, with their miters, beinge present, the Duke of Northfolke (age 52) and the Duke of Suffolke (age 41), with all the nobles of the realme. And the saide Cardinall (age 52) grawnted the same to all manner of persons, beinge within the precinct of the churche in the tyme of the masse, plenary remission of their synnes, à pœná et culpá; and, after masse, Te Deum was sunge for the sayde victorie,a the Major,b Aldermen, with the head craftes of the cittie standinge in the bodie of the churche in theyr liveries; and that night great fiers were made in divers places of the cittie, with vessells of wyne at everie fier for the people to drincke.
Note c. Francis I was made prisoner on the 24th February.
Note d. Charles Duke of Bourbon (age 35), Constable of France, being persecuted by Francis I for refusing to marry Louisa of Savoy (age 48), the French King's (age 30) mother, sought the protection of the Emperor Charles V (age 25) by whom he was appointed his lieutenant in Italy.
Note e. After Wolsey (age 52) had been invested by Pope Leo X with the sole legatine power in England, he was wont to say mass on state occasions after the manner of the Pope himself.
Note a. The victory gained by the Imperialists over the French before Pavia so changed the aspect of affairs on the continent that Henry at first entertained a project forinvading France, and asserting his claim to that crown.
Note b. Sir John Allen.
In 1527 Trinity Hall, Cambridge University preached a series of sermons to which serious objection was taken. He was dragged from the pulpit while preaching in St George's Chapel, Ipswich, arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London [Map]. He was arraigned Wolsey (age 53) and William Warham (age 77), Archbishop of Canterbury, among others, at the chapter-house at Westminster Abbey [Map]. He was convicted of heresy, sentence being deferred while efforts were made to induce him to recant, which eventually he did.
In 1528 Elizabeth "Holy Maid of Kent" Barton (age 22) held a private meeting with Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 54) and with King Henry VIII of England and Ireland (age 36) thereafter. She also subsequently met with Thomas More (age 49). Thereafter, with the advent of Henry's having his marriage annulled and his supporting religious reform Barton prophesised that if Henry remarried, he would die within a few months.
My Lord, in my most humble wise I desire you to pardon me that I am so bold to trouble you with my simple and rude writing, proceeding from one who is much desirous to know that your Grace does well, as I perceive by this bearer. The great pains you take for me, both day and night, are never likely to be recompensed, "but alonely in loving you, next unto the King's grace, above all creatures living," as my deeds shall manifest. I long to hear from you news of the Legate, and hope they will be very good.
Added by the King:-The writer of this would not cease till she had called me likewise to set to my hand. Both of us desire to see you, and are glad to hear you have escaped the plague so well, trusting the fury of it is abated, especially with those that keep good diet, as I trust you do. The not hearing of the Legate's arrival in France causeth us somewhat to muse; but we trust by your diligence shortly to be eased of that trouble.
On 30 Jun 1528 William Compton (age 46) died of sweating sickness. His son Peter Compton (age 5) became a ward of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 55).. In his will he left Anne Stafford Countess Huntingdon (age 45) a life interest in property in Leicestershire and founded a chantry where prayers would be said daily for her soul.
Letters and Papers 1528. 30 Jun 1528. R. O. St. P. I. 303. 4438. Hennege to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 55).
The King (age 37) begs you to be of good comfort, and do as he does. He is sorry that you are so far off, and thinks that if you were at St. Alban's [Map] you might every hour hear the one of the other, and his physicians attend upon you, should anything happen. News is come of the death of Sir William Compton (age 46). Suits are made for his offices, and the King wishes to have a bill of them. All are in good health at the Court, and they that sickened on Sunday night are recovered. The King (age 37) is merry, and pleased with your "mynone house" here. Tuesday.
P.S.-I will not ask for any of those offices for myself, considering the little time I have been in the King's service. The King sent for Mr. Herytage today, to make a new window in your closet, because it is so little.
Is glad the King has escaped the plague. Has just heard of the death of Sir William Compton (age 46), and advises the King to stay the distribution of his offices for a time. Is sorry to be so far away from the King, but will at any time attend him with one servant and a page to do service in the King's chamber. Hampton Court [Map], 30 June. Signed.
Letters and Papers 1528. 30 Jun 1528. 4440. The young lady (age 27) is still with her father. The King (age 37) keeps moving about for fear of the plague. Many of his people have died of it in three or four hours. of those you know there are only Poowits (deceased), Carey (deceased) and Cotton (age 46) dead; but Feuguillem, the marquis [Dorset] (age 51), my Lord William, Bron (Brown), Careu, Bryan [Tuke], who is now of the Chamber, Nourriz (Norris), Walop, Chesney, Quinston (Kingston), Paget, and those of the Chamber generally, all but one, have been or are attacked. Yesterday some of them were said to be dead. The King (age 37) shuts himself up quite alone. It is the same with Wolsey (age 55). After all, those who are not exposed to the air do not die. Of 40,000 attacked in London, only 2,000 are dead; but if a man only put his hand out of bed during twenty-four hours, it becomes as stiff as a pane of glass.
Perceived by his letters that my Lord's pleasure is that Lady Margaret's secretaries should be with him on Friday morning. Tuke will be there, but is forbidden to ride, and will therefore go by water. Is to assure Wolsey (age 55) that Stephens' letters did not come in the packet, as the bishop of Bath stated; and therefore Tuke supposed they were either in Mr. Peter's (Vannes') packet, or the same as the letters in Latin to Wolsey (age 55). Doubts not that the Cardinal will find they were not sent in the packet Tuke had. Missed them as soon as he read the bishop of Bath's letters, expecting himself to have heard from Mr. Stephens. This is all he can say. Thinks they have been left out of the packet by inadvertence, or else that my Lord of Bath called Mr. Gregory's Mr. Stephens' letters. The bishop of Bath's packet came whole in a cover from the deputy of Calais, who said they had "flyen over the walls to him at 10 of the clock at night, and should fly over again to the post, to send them over incontinently; and with that packet was a truss in canvas, directed to my Lord's grace, which was not cast over the walls." The letters of sundry dates were put by Twichet into one packet. Sends various letters, and mentions others that came; some directed to the ambassador of Florence, others for Anthony Vivaldi, one to Nich. Carewe. Begs he may come on Friday, as, but for the King and Wolsey's (age 55) commandment, he would not stir from his chamber for £100, "till a thing that is amiss in my body be better amended, for stirring is the most dangerous thing I can do, and besides potions and other medicines I am anointed morning and evening, and have other things administered to me not meet to be used in Court." London, Corpus Christ evening, late.
Letters and Papers 1528. 11 Jun 1528. R. O. St. P. I. 289. 4356. Thomas Hennege to Wolsey (age 55).
Has received his letters, dated Durham Place, 15 May, desiring her to deliver to Sir Gilbert Tailbois (age 30), her son, lands to the yearly value of £100, the residue of those worth £200, appointed by Act of Parliament to him and his wife (age 30) after her husband's decease, an annuity of £40, and the money received from the lands from Mayday last. Will give him the lands, but begs to be excused from giving the money for the following reasons:-1. Since her husband's (age 61) visitation, when he was committed to Wolsey by the King, his rents have been employed for household expences and the marriages of his children, and not in wasteful expences. 2. There is now 150 marks owing of the marriage money of one of their children, for which her nearest friends are bound. 3. Her other son (age 26), brother to Sir Gilbert, has no assignment for his living, and must be provided for. 4. William Bongham, an old servant of her husband's (age 61), who was accustomed to provide wheat and grain for the household, has gone away with money enough to provide for the whole year, and she is obliged to make fresh provision with the rents of the lordships for which her son Sir Gilbert asks, and of other lands also. 6. There are 10 score wild beasts in the lordship of Kyme, from which they used to provide beef for the household, but from which they can now get no profit. Has had little comfort since her husband's (age 61) last visitation, "and for the pleasure of God I have yielded me thereunto," and now my husband (age 61) is aged it would be hard to live in penury, and be unable to discharge our friends of the sums in which they are bound for us. If my son obtain his demands, we shall be obliged to break up house and "sparpull" our children and servants. He has now in his hands lands worth £342 17s. 11¾d.,-more than she and her husband (age 61) have. Will do all she can for him when her children are provided for and her debts paid. Goltaght, 11 June. Signed.
According to the purpose he expressed in his last letter to Wolsey, sent to Mr. Treasurer (age 38) to know if he should repair to the King. His messenger found Mr. Treasurer (age 38) sick of the sweat at Waltham [Map], and the King (age 36) removed to Hunsdon [Map], whither he followed him, and delivered him Wolsey's letters to the Bishop of London and Tuke, Tuke's to the Bishop, his answer and Tuke's to the Treasurer. The King asked the messenger what disease Tuke had. The messenger told him wrong; and the King bade Tuke come, though he had to ride in a litter, offering to send him one. Rode thither on his mule at a foot pace, with marvellous pain; for on my faith I void blood per virgam. Arrived yesterday afternoon. The King seemed to be satisfied in the matter of the truce, for which he said he at first sent for him, but now he must put him to other business, saying secretly that it was to write his will, which he has lately reformed.
As to the truce, he said the Spaniards had a great advantage in the liberty to go to Flanders, but the English had not like liberty to repair to Spain; and he also complains that my Lady Margaret is not bound to make restitution for injuries done by Spaniards out of the property of other Spaniards in Flanders. Answered that the liberty to go to Flanders was beneficial to England, which would thus obtain oil and other Spanish merchandise; and, besides, English cloths, which would have been sent to Spain, can now be sent to Flanders. Showed him also the advantage that French or English men-of-war might have, in doing any exploits beyond the French havens; for directly they have returned to safety on this side the Spanish havens, the Spaniards are without remedy, as all hostilities must cease in the seas on this side.
Told him how glad the French ambassadors were when Wolsey, with marvellous policy, brought the secretaries to that point. Assured him "it was tikle medeling with them, seeing how little my Lady Margaret's council esteemed the truce," by which the French were enabled to strengthen themselves in Italy, and their cost in the Low Countries was lost. The King doubted whether the Spaniards would be bound by my Lady Margaret's treaty. Told him she had bound herself that the Emperor should ratify it, and that she would recompence goods taken by Spaniards; adding that if this order had not been taken by Wolsey, the King's subjects passing to Flanders, Iceland, Denmark, Bordeaux, &c. would have been in continual danger of capture. "His highness, not willing to make great replication, said, a little army might have served for keeping of the seas against the Spaniards; and I said, that his army royal, furnished as largely as ever it was, could not save his subjects from many great harms in the length between Spain and Iceland."
The King, being then about to sit down to supper, bid Tuke to rest that night at a gentleman's place near at hand, and return to him this day, when he would speak with him about the other secret matter of his will. "And so, willing to have rewarded me with a dish, if I had not said that I eat no fish," took his leave, and departed two miles to the lodging. On his return this morning, found the King going into the garden, who, after his return, heard three masses, and then called Tuke to the chamber in which he supped apart last night. After speaking of the advantages of this house, and its wholesome air at this time of sickness, the King delivered to him "the book of his said will in many points reformed, wherein his Grace riped me," and appointed Tuke a chamber here, under his privy chamber, bidding him send for his stuff, and go in hand with his business. Expects, therefore, to be here five or six days at least, though he has only a bed that he brought on horseback, ready to lay down anywhere. Must borrow stuff meanwhile, and is disappointed of the physic which he had ordered at his house in Essex, whither he sent a physician to stay with him for a time, promising him a mark a day, horse meat and man's meat. Must bid him return till he has leave to depart, when he begs Wolsey to let him attend on his physician for eight or ten days; "else I shall utterly, for lack of looking to at this begining, destroy myself for ever." The King is expected to remain here eight or ten days. Hunsdon, Sunday, 21 June 1528.
Will of Sir William Compton, made on 8 March 1522, 14 Henry VIII. Desires to be buried at Compton Wynyates [Map] in Warwickshire, beside his ancestors: That is if his wife (age 28) die before he return home from his journey, she be afterwards brought to Compton and buried there. Bequeaths to his wife (age 28) movables at Bettyschorne, and at the great park of Windsor, and the plate which belonged to Francis Cheyny, "my predecessor." If his wife be delivered of a son, bequeaths to him all his household stuff at Compton, with the plate which was given him by the French king in a schedule. His wife to have the control of it till the child be of age. If he have a son, bequeaths to each of his daughters 1,000 marks for their marriages, and 100 marks in plate. Wills that 40 pair of vestments be made of one suit, to be distributed to the parish churches in the counties of Warwick and Worcester, adjoining to Compton. All his apparel to be used in making vestments and other works of charity. Bequeaths to the abbey of Winchcomb his wedding gown of tynsen satin, to make a vestment that they may pray for the souls of his ancestors. Wills his executors to release to the monastery of Denny all the debts they owe him, and bequeaths to them £10 for an obit. Bequeaths goods to the value of 200 marks to be distributed to poor householders, and to the marriages of poor maids in the counties of Warwick and Worcester. Wills that a tomb of alabaster be prepared for his father, with his arms graven upon it. Bequeaths to the King (age 37) his little chest of ivory with gilt lock, "and a chest bourde under the same, and a pair of tables upon it," with all the jewels and treasure enclosed, now in his wife's custody; also "certain specialties to the sum of 1,000 marks, which I have of Sir Thomas Bullen (age 51), knight," for money lent to him. Wills that his children have their plate on coming to their full ages; i.e., on the males coming to the age of twenty-one, and the females to the age of eighteen.
Bequests to his sister [Elizabeth] Rudney, and his cousin John Rudney, her son. Wills that his mother's body be taken up and buried at Compton Wynyates [Map]. Bequest to the daughter of his aunt Appulby. £20 to be put in a box at the abbey of Winchecombe, to make defence for all such actions as may be wrongfully taken against his wife or his executors. Two chantries to be founded in his name at Compton Wynyates [Map], to do daily service for the souls of the King, the Queen, my Lady Anne Hastings (age 45), himself, his wife and ancestors. The priests to be appointed by the Abbot of Winchecombe, or, failing him, the Abbot of Evesham. 5 marks a year to be paid to the parson of Compton to keep a free grammar school. £100 a year to be paid to his wife during her life, for her jointure, besides her inheritance in Barkeley's lands. Bequests to the monasteries of Evesham, Hayles, Winchecombe, Worcester, Croxton, the charterhouses of Henton and Coventry, for obits; to Sir William Tyler, Sir Thomas Lynne, Thomas Baskett and George Lynde; to his servants who happen to be with him this journey; to John Draper, his servant, and Robert Bencare, his solicitor; to Griffin Gynne, now with Humphrey Brown, serjeant-at-law, for his learning; and to Lady Anne Hastings (age 45). Executors appointed: Dame Warburgh my wife (age 31), the bishop of Exeter (age 66), Sir Henry Marney, Lord Privy Seal, Sir Henry Guildford (age 39), Sir Richard Broke, Sir John Dantsy, Dr. Chomber, Humphrey Brown, serjeant-at-law, Thomas Leson, clk., James Clarell and Thomas Unton. Appoints my Lord Bishop of Canterbury (age 78) supervisor of his will. Gifts to the executors.
3. Bargain and sale by Sir Henry Guildford (age 39), Humphrey Brown, Thomas Hunton and Thomas Leeson, as executors of Sir William Compton, to Sir Thomas Arundell, of certain tenements in St Swithin's Lane [Map], [London,] lately in the possession of Lewis... and Humphrey... as executors of Sir Richard Wingfield.
4. Inventory of the goods of Sir William Compton in his house in London.
Ready money, gold and silver, 1,£338 7s. 0½d. Jewels of gold and silver, £898 6s. 2d. Gilt plate, £85 5s. 3d. Parcel gilt plate, £31 12s. 2d. White plate, £90 0s. 3½d. Silks, £210 13s. 6d.=2,£654 4s. 5d.
5. Names of the officers upon the lands late Sir William Compton's.
[Note. Lots of names of Steward and Bailiffs and values.].
6. Inquisition taken in Middlesex on the death of Sir William Compton, 20 Henry VIII.
Found that Richard Broke, serjeant-at-law, [Walter Rodney] [Names in brackets crossed out], William Dyngley and John Dyngley, now surviving, with [Sir Rob. Throgmerton and William Tracy,]* deceased, were seized of the manors of Totenham, Pembrokes, Bruses, Daubeneys and Mokkyngs, with lands in Tottenham, Edelmeton and Enfeld, to Compton's use; and that George Earl of Shrewsbury (age 60), Henry Earl of Essex, John Bourchier Lord Bernes (age 61), [Sir Rob. Ratclyf,]* Rob. Brudenell (age 67), justice of the King's Bench, Richard Sacheverell (age 61) [and Thomas Brokesby],* now surviving, with [Sir Ralph Shyrley,]* deceased, were seized of the manor of Fyncheley and lands in Fyncheley and Hendon to his use. His son, Peter Compton (age 5), is his heir, and is six years old and over.
7. Citation by Wolsey (age 55), as legate, of Sir William Compton, for having lived in adultery with the wife (age 45) of Lord Hastings (age 41), while his own wife, dame Anne Stafford Countess Huntingdon (age 45), was alive, and for having taken the sacrament to disprove it.
4443. Sir William Compton.
Inventory of the goods of Sir William Compton at his places in London, Compton, Bittisthorne, the Great Park of Windsor, Sir Walter Stoner's place. Total of moveables, 4,£485 2s. 3½d. "Sperat dettes," estimated at 3,£511 13s. 4d. "Chatell Royall," £666 13s. 4d.
Wards.-One ward that cost £466 13s. 4d.; another of 500 marks land; the third, "Sir George Salynger's son and his heir." There is at Windsor Great Park plate embezzled to the value of £579 2s. 6d., as appears by a bill found in Sir William's place at London. Desperate debts estimated at 1,£908 6s. 8d. Debts owing by him estimated at £1,000
Letters and Papers 1528. 30 Jun 1528. 4440. So they do need patience; but I would sooner endure that than what is inflicted on me, for it does not last so long. But, with your aid, or even without it, I mean to be off. After my protests for the last four months, no one will be able to blame me. Let those who have the charge look to it. Moreover, in choosing the persons, you had better not send an Italian, for Wolsey (age 55) will not have one. Some days ago he told me he would not trust them for their partiality; besides, a man who speaks Latin is required, and he has often been in terrible difficulty for want of it; but you have plenty of bishops and others who will do. In any case, don't send a man who will not spend money, else matters will not mend. I do not speak without reason.
As Wolsey told me he would cause the money of the contribution to be paid to me for you, I spoke to a merchant that it might be paid you at Lyons. Let me know how much is due to you at the end of July, if, as I suppose, it begins on the first day of this month.
Wolsey is informed of great overtures made by the Emperor to the Venetians and duke of Bari, which he thinks they will accept, and that the Duke's ambassador had yielded to the Emperor the investiture of Milan, pretending he had been forced to do so.
The King and Wolsey wish a confirmation by France of the privileges of the isles of Guernsey [Map],-a sort of neutrality which they obtained long ago from the Pope. Such a confirmation was made by Louis XI. London, 30 June.
Letters and Papers 1528. 30 Jun 1528. Le Grand, III. 143. 4440. Du Bellay to Montmorency.
Such conversations as he has had with Wolsey (age 55) he has pretty well foreseen. Will not presume to say things are going wrong, but if they go on, you will not gain much. I protest, if I have not my recall, I will go without it; and whoever would whip me, not being my master, shall find I fear less 100 deaths than one dishonor. Job would have lost patience in my place. Whatever you have done, I hear from Richard d'Albene that he has not a crown, and I am sure if my man had one, he has given it him. He would have spent 1,000 crowns in nine months in that stupid way;-a good thing to resolve me, seeing I had assigned all my property to bankers and bull-brokers before my departure.
[MS. COTTON. OTHO. C. X. fol. 218. Orig.]
Fiddes, at the end of his Life of Wolsey, has printed this and another Letter to the Cardinal from Anne Boleyn previous to her marriage. He has indeed printed three Lettersa; but the second of the three, as appears from its contents, must have been addressed to archbishop Cranmer.
The mention of the Sweating Sickness in the Letter immediately before the Reader, as well as the anxiety it expresses for the coming of Campegius and the hastening of his decision, show that it must have been written in the autumn of 1528. It is here introduced to prepare the Reader more regularly for the perusal of those Letters which describe Anne Boleyn's advancement to the Throne and her Catastrophe.
This Letter, since Fiddes saw it, has suffered materially in the fire which injured the Cottonian Library in 1731. The words in brackets have been supplied from Fiddes's copy.
MY Lord, in my most, humblyst wyse that my powuer hart can thynke I do thanke your Grace for your kynd Letter, and for youer rych and goodly present, the whyche I shall never be able to desarve wyth owt your gret helpe, of the whyche I have hetherto hade so grete plente that all the dayes of my lyfe I am moaste bownd [of] all creators next the Kyngs Grace to love and serve your Grace, of the whyclie I besyche yo[u never] to dowte that ever I shalle vary fromc this thought as long a[s ony bre]the is in my body. And as tochyng your Graces troble with the Swet [I thanke o]wer Lorde that them that I desyerd and prayed for ar sca[pyd, and th]at is the Kyng and you. Not doughthyng bot that God [has preserjvyd you bothe for grete cawsys knowen allonly of his hy[gh wysdom]e. And as for the commyng of the Legate, I desyer that moche; [and yf it be Godds] pleasor I pray hym to send this matter shortly to [a good ende]: and then I trust my Lord to recompence part of your grfete panys the whych] I must requyer you in the meane tyme to excepte [my good wyll in t]he stede of the power, the whyche must prosede partly f[rom you as ower Lo]urd knoweth to whom I be syche to sende you lon[ge lyfe with continew]ance in honor. Wrytten wyth the hande of her th[at is most bound to be]
You[r humble and] obed[yent servante]
[Anne Boleyn (age 27).]
Note a. Fiddes's Life of Card. Wolsey, fol. Loud. 1726. Collect, p. 204, 205.
The other Letter which Fiddes has printed, and which is still preserved in the Cottonian Volume Vcspas. F. XIII. fol. 55, is stronger in expressions of thankfulness toward Wolsey than this.
Both Letters indeed contain such assurances of regard, that Anne Boleyn has heen charged with ingratitude for not aiding Wolsey in his declining fortune. Though with how little propriety the reflecting reader will determine for himself, who remembers that Wolsey, after separating Lord Percy from Anne Boleyn's affections, would have married Henry to a foreign Princess.
WnBMRjQeMS. COTTON. VESP. F. xiii. foL J6. Orig.
The Letter here presented to the reader was printed some years ago, by the Editor of the present Volumes, in the Archaeologia of the Society of Antiquaries.
Wolsey, who knew the talents of Cromwell, seems to have placed great reliance on his integrity and affection. Cromwell, according to Cavendish in his life of Wolsey, became a member of the lower House of Parliament in the month of November 1529, within a short time from which the present Letter must have been written. He appears to have protected his master in the Lower House with great dexterity and address.
Fox, in his Acts and Monuments, has related an anecdote of Cromwell which may be worth introducing here. It occurred in 1540, at the table of Archbishop Cranmer, when certain guests were making a comparison of the qualities of the two prelates Cranmer and Wolsey. " The Lord Cromwell being somewhat touched to hear the Cardinal's service cast in his teeth," said " that he could not deny but he was servant sometime to Cardinal Wolsey, neither did repent the same, for he received of him both fee, meate, and drinke, and other commodities : but yet he was never so farre in love with him as to have waited on him to Rome if he had been chosen Pope."
Myn owne enterly belouyd Cromwell, I beseche yow, as ye loue me and wyl euyr do any thyng for me, repare hyther thys day as sone as the Parlement ys brokyn vp, leyng aparte all thyngs for that tyme; for I wold nut onely commynycat thyngs vnto yow wherin for my comfort and relief I wold haue your good, sad, dyscret aduyse and counsell, but also opon the same commytt sertyng thyngs requyryng expedicion to yow, on my behalf to be solycy tyd : this, I pray yow therfor, to hast your commyng hyther assafore, with owt omyttyng so to do as ye tendyr my socor, reliff, and comfort, and quyetnes of mynde. And thus fare ye wel : from Asher, in hast, thys Satyrday, in the mornyng, with the rude hande and sorowfull hert of your assuryd louer
T. CARLIS EBOR.
I haue also serteyn thyngs consernyng yowr sylf wych I am suere ye wolbe glad to here and knowe : fayle not therfor to be here thys nygth, ye may retorne early in the mornyng ageyn yf nede shul so requyre. Et iterum vale.
Mr. Agtlsteyna shewyd me how ye had wryttyn onto me a Lettre wherin ye shuld adu'tyse me of the commyng hyther of the Duke of Norfolke: I assure yow ther cam to my hands no suche Lettre.
Note a. Augustinus de Augustinis, or Mr. Augustine as he is more usually called, was the Cardinal's Physician. In the Cottonian Manuscript Titus B. I. fol. 365. there is a Letter of his, to Thomas Cromwell, in Italian, requiring speedy medical assistance. apparently tor Cardinal Wolsey. It it dated Asher, Jan. 19th 1529-30.
[MS. LANSDOWNE BRIT. Mus. 1296. art 12. Orig.] [Around Nov 1528]
Wolsey, in the fatal reverse of his fortunes was entirely deserted by the Nobility. In his elevation he had treated them with scorn and rudeness; and the consciousness of this added much to his dejection. When the blow of adversity first fell upon him he seems to have believed that no friends were left to him in the world but CROMWELL and GARDENER.
Skelton has enlarged upon his treatment of the Nobility in his "Why come ye not to Courte :"
The Erie of Northumberland
Dare take nothing on hand.
Our barons be so bolde,
Into a mouse hole they wold
Runne away and creep,
Like a mainy of sheep:
Dare not loke out a dur
For drede of the maystife cur,
!For drede of the boucher's dog.
"For and this curre do gnar,
They must stande all afar
To holde up their hand at the bar.
For all their noble bloude
He pluckes them by the hood,
And shakes them by the eare,
And bryngs them in such feare;
He bayteth them lyke a beare,
Like an Ox or a Bul;
Their wittes he sayth are dul;
He sayth they have no brayne
Their estate to maintaine:
And make to bowe the knee
Before his Majestie."
But Wolsey carried his hauteur even further than this; as another extract from Skelton will show, respecting the waiting of persons who attended him on business:
"My Lord is not at layser.
Syr ye must tary a stound
Tyl better layser be found;
And Syr ye must daunce attendance.
And take patient sufferaunce,
For my Lords Grace
Hath now no time nor space
To speak with you as yet,
And thus they shal syt,
Chuse them syt or flit,
Stand, walke, or ride
And his laiser abide
Parchaunce half a yere,
And yet never the nere."
And that this Picture is not overcharged appears from a letter of Thomas Allen chaplain to the Earl of Shrewsbury, a copy of which has been preserved by bishop Kennett in one of the Volumes of his Manuscripts now in the Lansdowne Collectiona . The original was written about the month of April 1517.
"Pleseth your Lordship to understande upon Monday was sennight last past I delivered your Letter with the examinacyon to my Lord Cardynall at Guilford, whence he commanded me to wait on him to the Court; I followed him, and there gave attendance, and could have no aunswer. Upon Friday last he came from thence to Hampton Court, where he lyeth. The morrow after I besought his Grace I might know his plesure; I could have no answer. Upon Mondaye last as he walked in the parke at Hampton Court, I besought his Grace I might knowe if he wolde command me anye service. He was not content with me that I spoke to hym. So that who shall be a suitour to him may have no other busynesse but give attendance upon his plesure. He that shall so doe, it is nedefull should be a wyser man then I am. I sawe no remedy, but came without answere, excepte I wolde have done as my Lord Dacre's servaunt doth, who came with Letters for the Kynges service five moneihs since and yet h?.th no answere : and another Servaunt of the Deputy of Calais likewyse who came before the other to Walsingham I heard, when he aunswered them, If ye be not contente to tary my leysure, departe when ye wille." This is truthe. I had rather your Lordship commaunded me to Rome then deliver him letters, and bring aunswers to the same. When he walketh in the parke he will suffer no servaunt to come nyghe him, but commands them awaye as farre as one might shoote an arrowe."
After this statement, no one will wonder that Wolsey should have been forsaken by the nobility and courtiers. Even Cavendish says, " I assure you. in his time he was the haughtiest man in all his proceedings alive,"
The bishoprick of Winchester, which is more than once mentioned in these Letters, and which the King suffered him nominally to retain, was one of the last of the numerous preferments which Wolsey accumulated before his fall. The temporalities were restored to him as late as the 6th and he was installed in it on the 11th. of April 1529.
My owne goode Mastyr Secretary, aftyr my moste herty recommendacions, with lycke thanks for your goodness towards me, thes shalbe to advirtyse yow that I have beyn informyd by my trusty frende Thomas Crowmuell (age 43) that ye have sygnyfied unto hym to my synguler consolacions howe that the Kyngs Hyghnes (age 37), mouyd with pity and compassyon, and of his excellent goodnes and cheryti consyderyng the lamentable condicion and stat that I stand yn, hath wyllyd yow with other lords and mastyrs of hys honorable Cownsell to intende to the perfygttyng and absolvyng, without further tract or delay, of myn end and appoyntment, and that my pardon shulde be made in the most ample forme that my cownsell cowde devyse; for thys the Kyngs moste gracyous remembraunce, procedyng of hymsylf, I accompte my sylf not onely moste bowndyn to serve and pray for the preservation of hys moste Royal Majeste, but also thancke God that ye have occasyon govyn unto you to be a sollycyter and setter forth of such thyngs as do and shall conserve my said ende, in the makyng and compownyng whereof myn assuryd trust ys that ye wele shewe the love and affeccion wych ye have and bere towards me your old lover and frende. So declaryng your sylf therin that the world may perceive that by your good meanys the Kyng ys the better goode Lorde unto me; and that, nowe, newly in miiner commyng to the world, ther may be such respect had to my poore degre, olde age, and longe contyrtuyd servys, as shal be to the Kyngs hygh honor and your gret prayse and laude, wych undowttydly shal folowe vf ye extende yowr beny volence towards me and mine, perceiving that by your wysdom and dexteryte I shalbe releuyd and in this my calamyte holpyn. At the reverens therfor of God, myn owne goode M. Secretary and refuge, nowe set to your hande that I may come to a laudable ende and reposse; seyng that I may be furnyshyd aftyr suche a sorte and maner as I may ende my short tyme and lyff to the honor of Cryst's Churche and the Prince. And, besydys my dayly prayer and true hert, I shal so requyte your kyndnes as ye shal haue cause to thyncke the same to be wel imployed, lycke as my seyde trusty frende shal more amply shewe unto yow to whom yt may please yow to give for me credens and loving audience : and I shall pray for the increase of your honor. Wryttyn at Asher with the tremylling hand and hevy hart of your assuryd lover and bedysman.
T. CARLIS EBOR.
To the rygth honorable and my synguler goode frende Master Secretary.
Note 1. MS, Lansd. Brit. Mus. 978. fol. 213.
Wriothesley's Chronicle. Aug 1529. This yeare, in August 1529, Thomas Wolsey (age 56), legatt de latere, Cardinall and Archbishopp of Yorke, was takend at Yorke Place [Map] in Westminstre, and all his goodes were seased into the Kinges handese and he deprived from the Chauncellorshipp of Englande, for certayne articles of treasona alledged [to hare been committed]b by him againste the Kinge and the realme.
Note e. Wolsey's personal estate was yalued at half a million of crowns; this immense sum he transferred by deed to the King, "his gracious master," only praying to be allowed to retain his rank and property in the Church.
Note a. He was conricted of transgressing the atatnte of præsmunire by exercising the powers of legate.
Note b. These words hare evidently been aocidently omitted in MS.
Letters and Papers 1529. 25 Oct 1529. Rym. XIV. 349. 6025. Cardinal Wolsey (age 56).
Memorandum of the surrender of the Great Seal by Cardinal Wolsey, on 17 Oct., to the dukes of Norfolk (age 56) and Suffolk (age 45), in his gallery at his house at Westminster, at 6 o'clock p.m., in the presence of Sir William Fitzwilliam (age 39), John Tayler, and Stephen Gardiner (age 46). The same was delivered by Tayler to the King (age 38) at Windsor [Map], on the 20 Oct., by whom it was taken out and attached to certain documents, in the presence of Tayler and Gardiner, Henry Norris (age 47), Thomas Heneage (age 49), Ralph Pexsall, clerk of the Crown, John Croke, John Judd, and Thomas Hall, of the Hanaper.
On the 25th Oct. the seal was delivered by the King at East Greenwich to Sir Thomas More (age 51), in the presence of Henry Norres (age 47) and Chr. Hales, Attorney General, in the King's privy chamber; and on the next day, Tuesday, 26 Oct., More took his oath as Chancellor in the Great Hall [Map] at Westminster, in presence of the dukes of Norfolk (age 56) and Suffolk (age 45), Th. marquis of Dorset (age 52), Henry marquis of Exeter (age 33), John Earl of Oxford (age 58), Henry Earl of Northumberland (age 27), George Earl of Shrewsbury (age 61), Ralph Earl of Westmoreland (age 31), John Bishop of Lincoln (age 56), Cuthbert Bishop of London (age 55), John Bishop of Bath and Wells, Sir Rob. Radclyf, Viscount Fitzwater (age 46), Sir Tho. Boleyn, Viscount Rocheforde (age 52), Sir WilliamSandys, Lord (age 52) and others.
Close Roll, 21 Henry VIII. m. 19d.
On the receipt of your letter on Thursday the 21st, dated Piacenza, I sent to Windsor to ask for an audience. As the administration has fallen principally into the hands of the Duke of Norfolk (age 56), and the communication is more agreeable to him than that of the marriage, I hastened to visit him. The Cardinal (age 56), who was dis-evangelised on the day of St. Luke the Evangelist (18 Oct.), has been deprived of his offices. I was received by the Duke with great distinction, and expressed to him the regard in which you had always held him for his goodwill. He seemed highly pleased, and said that he and his family had always been attached to the house of Burgundy; that no one more lamented the late disagreements than himself, but that all the evil and misunderstanding ought to be attributed to those who formerly directed the King's councils, acting by their own will and authority, with which the King himself was often dissatisfied.
In reply to his remark that he should like to serve your Majesty against the Turk, I praised his virtuous feelings, and told him that was the main object of my communication; but for the better security of peace, which the King had done so much to establish, one unhappy difference between himself and the Queen remained to be settled. I told him that, however strongly he might feel from family considerations, he could not but feel as a true knight, nor act otherwise than if it had been his own daughter, and as conscience directed; and that your Majesty was convinced that he had not been the promoter of this step. He replied that he would sooner have lost one of his hands than that such a question should have arisen; but it was entirely a matter of law and conscience, and he had never been appealed to; that it had been submitted to ecclesiastics and doctors, who had pronounced against the validity of the marriage; that if the dispensation you held was illegal, the King would consider himself the most abused prince in Christendom; and that if you had not declared yourself in it so openly, it might have sooner been brought to a satisfactory issue. I explained to him the constraint under which you acted; and that, as to the king of England not having declared himself a party in the matter, it was clear that he had done so from the proceedings of the English ambassadors at Rome. Finding he remained thoughtful, I changed the subject. Shortly after he turned to me with a laugh, and said, "How glad the Emperor will be to hear of this fall of the Cardinal (age 56), and his loss of office?" I answered, I thought you would, but not from any hatred you had to the Cardinal (age 56); and that he could have done neither good nor ill to you, and was not of such importance as that you would care to be avenged, or trouble yourself about his disgrace; but what you rejoiced at was, that the king of England would now learn who had been his evil counsellors, and leave the management of affairs to men who from birth and circumstances were more competent. I told him that I was the first who had broken through the chain of paying court to the Cardinal (age 56), and addressed myself to him. He thanked me for my good intentions, and said that the government was managed not by an individual but by the Council, where he usually assisted, and would promote Your Majesty's interests.
In order to please the Duke (age 56) I asked him what I should do, although I had already sent one of my secretaries to the King. He told me that the King had ordered that application should be made direct to himself, before any other person was acquainted with the communication. He followed me to the hall, using very courteous language.
On the 22nd my secretary returned from Windsor, stating that the King would be at Greenwich on Saturday, and I was to go the day after. On my reaching Greenwich [Map] I found a civil gentleman, named Poller (Bollen?), sent by the King to conduct me to the palace. There I found the bishop of London (age 55), who led me to the King's antechamber, where the Court was assembled, and was received by two dukes and the archbishop of Canterbury (age 79). I conversed with these lords, waiting for the King to go to mass; and we talked of the conference at Bologna. The King, on going to mass, came directly to me, and taking me by the sleeve said, with the utmost graciousness, "You have news from my brother the Emperor." On answering Yes, he asked the date, and then said your Majesty was very careful to give him information. I assured him that you were anxious to make him partaker of all affairs, and thus show your brotherly affection. I then presented your letters, and, as to the particulars of my credentials, he said that the ambassadors in your court were authorised to treat about them. Speaking of your going into Italy I bespoke his good offices.
On his return from mass, he came up to me again, and resumed the subject. When we talked of the necessity of resisting the Turk, and of the Pope's arrival at Bologna on the 5th, I said I thought it advisable that he should commission his ambassadors with the Pope to treat; and I combated his remark that he could do but little against the Turk, seeing he was wealthy, and as absolute in his dominions as the Pope. He urged that this affair was chiefly yours, and if you wished to accomplish it you must make peace with the princes of Italy. I assured him you had never ceased from efforts in this direction. The conversation then turned on the duke Francesco Sforza; and I urged, in opposition to his remark, that your proceedings were as favorable to the Duke as could be. He objected to the cession of Pavia and Alexandria, alleging the cruelties which had taken place at Sienna. I told him Pavia was out of dispute, as it was already given up. "Between ourselves," said he, "I think it is a great shame that whilst the Turk is in Austria, the patrimony of the Emperor, he should not rescue it, but make war upon Christians." On my urging the danger that might be expected from Sforza and the Venetians if your troops were withdrawn, he urged that neither could do anything. Shortly after, changing his tone, he said, with some emphasis, "My brother the king of France has made your Emperor a marvellous offer." This he repeated three times. I said, if it were so, he had now done a virtuous part, and kept his professions. After various other topics it grew late. Not a word was said of the Queen. After dinner he asked me if I had anything more to say.
All here are satisfied with the treaty of Cambray. As for the observance of it, the Queen, as I have already written, has expressed her doubt of its duration. It is supposed to have cost this King 800,000 ducats. He is not therefore likely to break it. People here are not very anxious to repeat the dose, as it is not to their taste. At present they seem on good terms with the French. The ambassador has been only once at court with his brother since my arrival. He has been commanded to deliver his message to the Council, and abstain from communication with the Cardinal; at which he was greatly vexed. Various ambassadors are here. The most in favour is the Milanese, on whom the King has spent money. Those who are now in most credit are the dukes of Norfolk (age 56) and Suffolk (age 45). There is not a single person about the King who is not saturated with French money; and though they profess great affection to you, their affection for money is much stronger. I have submitted the proposition to the King respecting the sea being kept free from pirates. He has ordered a good reception for Mons. Rosymbez.
The downfall of the Cardinal (age 56) is complete. He is dismissed from the Council, deprived of the Chancellorship, and constrained to make an inventory of his goods in his own hand, that nothing may be forgotten. It is said that he has acknowledged his faults, and presented all his effects to the King. Yesterday the King returned to Greenwich by water secretly, in order to see them, and found them much greater than he expected. He took with him "sa mye" (his darling-Ann Boleyn (age 28)), her mother (age 49), and a gentleman of his chamber (Norris?) The Cardinal, notwithstanding his troubles, has always shown a good face, especially towards the town, but since St. Luke's Day all has been changed to sighs and tears night and day. The King, either moved by pity, or for fear if he should die the whole extent of his effects would not be found, sent him a ring for his comfort. He has withdrawn with a small attendance to a place ten miles off. They have sent for his son from Paris. People say execrable things of him, all which will be known at this Parliament. But those who have raised the storm will not let it abate, not knowing, if he returned to power, what would become of them. The ambassador of France commiserates him most. It was feared the Cardinal (age 56) would get his goods out of the country, and therefore a strict watch was kept at the ports, and the watch insisted on opening the coffers of cardinal Campeggio (age 54), notwithstanding his passport, and, on his refusal, broke open the locks. He said they had done him great wrong to suppose that he could be corrupted by the Cardinal, since he had been proof against the innumerable presents offered him by the King.
The Chancellor's seal has remained in the hands of the Duke of Norfolk (age 56) till this morning, when it was transferred to Sir Thomas More (age 51). Every one is delighted at his promotion, because he is an upright and learned man, and a good servant of the Queen. He was Chancellor of Lancaster, an office now conferred on the Sieur Villeury (Fitzwilliam). Richard Pace, a faithful servant of your Majesty, whom the Cardinal had kept in prison for two years, as well in the Tower of London as in a monastery (Syon House), is set at liberty. Unless his mind should again become unsettled, it is thought he will rise in higher favour at Court than ever.
There is a young man here, sent by the duke of Saxony, who has much business with the King and the bishop of London (age 55).
Of the King's affair there is nothing new to communicate, except what the bishop of London (age 55) has told me, that Dr. Stokesley (age 54) had been sent to France to consult the doctors of Paris. The Queen begs your Majesty will send some respectable person there to do the same, for without some definitive sentence the King will remain obstinate in his opinions. She thinks that delay will be more dangerous than profitable, and therefore we have thought it desirable not to consent to the postponement demanded. To avoid creating suspicion in the mind of the King, she thinks I had better cease to visit her, but she will provide means for my speaking with her in private. London, 25 Oct. 1529.
P.S.-Two days after I had written the above, the Cardinal (age 56) was definitively condemned by the Council, declared a rebel, and guilty of high treason for having obtained a legatine bull, whereby he had conferred many benefices in the King's patronage. He has been deprived of his dignities, his goods confiscated, and himself sentenced to prison until the King shall decide. This sentence was not given in his presence, but to his two proctors. This he will not find easy of digestion, but worse remains behind (mais encoures ne serat il quicte pour le prix).
Letters and Papers 1529. 29 Dec 1529. R. O. 6115. Cardinal Wolsey (age 56).
Grant by Wolsey to George Boleyn (age 26), knt., Viscount Rochford, son and heir apparent of Thomas Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond (age 52), of an annuity of £200 out of the lands of the Bishopric of Winchester, with power to distrain for nonpayment.
ii. Similar grant of an annuity of 200 marks out of the abbey lands of St. Albans.
In 1530 Robert Cheeseman (age 45) was one of the commissioners on an inquiry into the possessions of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 56) after he was attainted.
Thanks him for the gift of "this benefice for Mr. Barlow." However, it is not Tonbridge, Kent [Map] but Sonridge that she desires. The former is in her father's gift, and is not vacant. Will do all she can for those who have taken pains in the King's matter.
P.S.-Begs that for her sake he will remember the parson of Honey Lane [Farman].
On 04 Nov 1530 Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 57) was arrested by Henry Percy 6th Earl of Northumberland (age 28) on a charge of treason.
On 29 Nov 1530 Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (age 57) died in Leicester, Leicestershire [Map]. Just before his death he reputedly spoke these words: "I see the matter against me how it is framed. But if I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs".
Wriothesley's Chronicle. 29 Nov 1530. This yeare, on the even of St. Andrewe,d the Cardinall, Thomas Wolsey (age 57), died at Leicester, cominge to London to his indictment,e and there is buried in Our Ladies Chappell. Some recken he killed himselfe with purgations.f
Note d. November 29.
Note f. Wolsey (age 57) is generally believed to hare died of dysentery at Leicester Abbey, on the third day of his jourmey, about 8 o'clock in the morning of the 29th of November, being in the sixtieth year of his age. He was buried at midnight, without any solemnity, in Our Lady Chapel in the church of that monastery.
On Wednesday the said Duke (age 60), and the others of whom I wrote to Your Majesty in my last despatch, called upon the Queen (age 47) and delivered their message, which was in substance as follows: "She was to renounce her title of Queen, and allow her case to be decided here, in England. If she did, she would confer a great boon on the kingdom and prevent much effusion of blood, and besides the King (age 41) would treat her in future much better than she could possibly expect." Perceiving that there was no chance of the Queen's (age 47) agreeing to such terms, the deputies further told her that they came in the King's name to inform her that resistance was useless (quelle se rompist plus la teste), since his marriage with the other Lady had been effected more than two months ago in the presence of several persons, without any one of them having been summoned for that purpose. Upon which, with much bowing and ceremony, and many excuses for having in obedience to the king's commands fulfilled so disagreeable a duty, the deputies withdrew. After whose departure the lord Mountjoy (age 55), the Queen's (age 47) chamberlain, came to notify to her the King's intention that in future she should not be called Queen, and that from one month after Easter the King (age 41) would no longer provide for her personal expenses or the wages of her servants. He intended her to retire to some private house of her own, and there live on the small allowance assigned to her, and which, I am told, will scarcely be sufficient to cover the expenses of her household for the first quarter of next year. The Queen (age 47) resolutely said that as long as she lived she would entitle herself Queen; as to keeping house herself, she cared not to begin that duty so late in life. If the King (age 41) thought that her expenses were too great, he might, if he chose, take her own personal property and place her wherever he chose, with a confessor, a physician, an apothecary, and two maids for the service of her chamber; if that even seemed too much to ask, and there was nothing left for her and her servants to live upon, she would willingly go about the world begging alms for the love of God.
Though the King (age 41) is by nature kind and generously inclined, this Anne has so perverted him that he does not seem the same man. It is, therefore, to be feared that unless Your Majesty applies a prompt remedy to this evil, the Lady (age 32) will not relent in her persecution until she actually finishes with Queen Catharine (age 47), as she did once with cardinal Wolsey, whom she did not hate half as much. The Queen (age 47), however, is not afraid for herself; what she cares most for is the Princess (age 17).
Around 1590 based on a work of around 1520.Unknown Painter. French. Portrait of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.
Evelyn's Diary. 09 Aug 1654. To the old and ragged city of Leicester [Map], large and pleasantly seated, but despicably built, the chimney flues like so many smiths' forges; however, famous for the tomb of the tyrant, Richard III, which is now converted to a cistern, at which (I think) cattle drink. Also, here in one of the churches lies buried the magnificent Cardinal Wolsey. John of Gaunt has here also built a large but poor hospital, near which a wretch has made him a house out of the ruins of a stately church. Saw the ruins of an old Roman Temple, thought to be of Janus. Entertained at a very fine collection of fruits, such as I did not expect to meet with so far North, especially very good melons. We returned to my uncle's.
Evelyn's Diary. 08 Jul 1656. Hence to Ipswich, Suffolk [Map], doubtless one of the sweetest, most pleasant, well-built towns in England. It has twelve fair churches, many noble houses, especially the Lord Devereux's; a brave quay, and commodious harbor, being about seven miles from the main; an ample market place. Here was born the great Cardinal Wolsey, who began a palace here, which was not finished.
Letters and Papers 1528. This day, as the King came "towards evensong," the marquis of Exeter brought two great bucks from Burllyng [Map], the best of which the King sends to your Grace. This day the King has received his Maker at the Friars', when my Lord of Lincoln administered. On Tuesday the King goes to Waltham [Map]. Greenwich [Map], Corpus Christi Day. Signed.