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70 LIFE OF LORD CHANCELLOR GARDYNER.
of it, she said she would answer it with her own mouth. Accordingly, when the Speaker had read the address, and it was expected that the Chancellor, as usual, would answer in her name, she herself replied, “ that for their expressions of loyalty, and their desire that the issue of her body might succeed her on the throne, she sincerely thanked them; but in as much as they pretended to limit her in the choice of a husband, she thanked them not. The marriage of her predecessors had always been free, nor would she surrender a privilege which they had enjoyed."*
Finding her immovable, Gardyner took care that the articles of marriage should be as favourable as possible for the interest and security of England, by stipulating, that though Philip should have the title of King, the administration should be entirely in the Queen; that no foreigner should be capable of enjoying any office in the kingdom; that no innovation should be made in the Eng. lish laws, customs, and privileges; and that Philip should not carry the Queen abroad without her consent, nor any of her children, without the consent of the nobility. As soon as the treaty was signed, the Chancellor called a meeting of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and citizens of London, at Guildhall, and, in an eloquent discourse, explained to them the many and valuable benefits which he anticipated from an union between their Queen and a Prince, the apparent heir of so many rich and powerful states.
Parliament assembling, the Chancellor opened the session by a [APRIL 5, 1564.]
1564 , speech in which he dwelt on the Queen's he
007.] reditary title to the Crown, maintained her right of choosing a husband for herself,-observed how proper a use she made of that right by giving the preference to an old ally descended from the house of Burgundy,—and, remarking the failure of Henry VIII.'s posterity, of whom there now remained none but the Queen and the Lady Elizabeth, added, that in order to obviate the inconveniences which might arise from different pretenders, it was necessary to invest the Queen by law with a power of disposing of the Crown, and of appointing her successor, which had belonged to her father.
Both Houses ratified the articles of marriage, but they refused to pass any such law as the Chancellor pointed out to them, and it is supposed that he made the suggestion only to please the Queen; for the power might have been used not only by setting aside the Lady Elizabeth, at which he would have rejoiced, but by appointing Philip to succeed, to which he never would have consented.
The royal bridegroom at last arrived at Southampton, and in the (JULY, 1554.]
cathedral church of Winchester the Lord Chan4007) cellor himself celebrated the marriage between him and Mary, which he had done all in his power to prevent, and which turned out so inauspiciously. His power, however, was if possibly increased; for the Emperor Charles, having the highest opinion of his wisdom, had strongly exhorted Philip in all things to be guided by his counsels.
* Noailles, 269.
The passionate wish of the Court now was to consummate the reconciliation with Rome, and for this purpose a parliament was summoned to meet in November. To ensure a favourable House of Commons, Gardyner sent circulars in the Queen's name to the Sheriffs, who were all Catholics, desiring them to use their influence that no favourer of heresy might be elected
On the day of meeting there was a grand procession to Westminster Abbey, led by the Commons,—the Peers and Prelates following,—the Chancellor being last; then came Philip and Mary, in robes of purple, the King on a Spanish genet, richly caparisoned, attended by the Lords of his household, the Queen on a litter surrounded by her ladies of honour. A religious ceremony after the ancient fashion being performed, and all being duly ranged in the Parliament Chamber, the Chancellor from his place in front of the throne addressed the two Houses. “ The Queen's first parliament,” he said, “ had re-established the ancient worship,—the second had confirmed the Articles of her marriage,-and their Majesties expected that the third, in preference to every other object, would accomplish the re-union of the realm with the universal Church.”
The bills brought in for this purpose passed the Lords unanimously, and were opposed only by two Members of Nov 15511 the House of Commons. Cardinal Pole, whose attainder had been reversed, having been appointed Archbishop of Canterbury and Legate à latere from the Pope, had a few days before arrived in England, and on his landing had been received with great distinction by the Chancellor. His attainder being reversed, he was now introduced into parliament, and the King and Queen being present the Chancellor spoke as follows. :
" My Lords of the Upper House, and you my masters of the Nether House here present, the Right Reverend Father in God, my Lord Cardinal Pole, Legate à latere, is come from the Apostolic See from Rome as ambassador to the King's and Queen's Majesty upon one of the weightiest causes that ever happened in this realm, and which pertaineth to the glory of God and your universal benefit. The which ambassade their Majesties' pleasure is to be signified unto you all by his own mouth, trusting that you receive and accept it in as benevolent and thankfulwise as their Highnesses have done, and that you will give attentive and inclinable ears unto his Grace, who is now ready to declare the same.'*
The Cardinal, after saying that “ the cause of his repair hither had been most wisely and gravely declared by my Lord Chancellor delivered a long oration on the sin of schism and the wicked
* 1 Parl. Hist. 618.
ness of the proceedings in England, which had brought about the disruption from the true Church, and proclaimed his readiness, on due submission, to restore them to her bosom.
Both Houses agreed in an address, expressing their deepest contrition for what they and their fathers had done against the Pope, and praying that his supremacy might be re-established as the true successor of St Peter and Head of the universal Church.
On the feast of St. Andrew, the Queen having taken her seat on the throne, the King seated on her left hand, the Legate, at a greater distance and a degree lower, on her right, the Chancellor read the address, and the Cardinal, after a speech of some duration, absolved “ all those present and the whole nation, and the dominions thereof, from all heresy and schism, and all judgments, censures, and penalties for that cause incurred, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” The Chancellor called out Amen! and this word resounded from every part of the hall.*
The Legate making his public entry into the City, the Lord Chancellor preached at Paul's Cross, and lamenting in bitter terms his own misconduct under Henry VIII., exhorted all who had fallen through his means to rise with him and seek the unity of the Catholic Church.
Had Gardyner died that night, he would upon the whole, have left a fair fame to posterity; he would have been the unqualified boast of the Roman Catholics : and Protestants could not have refused to do honour to his firmness and courage,-making due allowance for the times in which he lived, and comparing him with Cranmer, their own hero who had been much more inconsistent, and almost as vindictive ;-hut his existence being unfortunately prolonged for another year, during which, under his direction, the fires blazed without intermission in Smithfield, and the founders of the reformed church in England suffered as martyrs, –Roman
a Catholics are ashamed of him, and his name coupled [A. D. 1555.]
0.] with that of Bonner, whom he employed as his tool, is still used to frigthen the children of Protestants.
He deliberately formed the plan of entirely crushing the Reformation in England, by using the necessary degree of force for that purpose. However much we may abhor the cruel and relentless disposition evinced by such a plan, we ought not, from the event, rashly to condemn it as foolish. The blood of martyrs is said to be the seed of the Church; nevertheless persecution, in a certain proportion to the numbers and spirit of those who are to be subdued, may prove effectual. Thus the Lutheran heresy was completely suppressed in Spain and in Italy by the Inquisition. In England the higher ranks and the great bulk of the nation had so easily conformed to the religious faith or ecclesiastical caprice of the Sovereign for the time being, that a reasonable expectation
* This precedent is now probably frequently consulted by those who wish to bring about a similar reconciliation.
might be entertained that there would be a general acquiescence in the renewed connection with Rome, and that strict inquiry into the profession of heretical opinions, with some terrible examples of severity when they were obstinately adhered to, might, in a short time, produce uniformity of faith throughout the realm. Cardinal Pole, though a much more sincere believer than Gardy. ner, took the opposite side, and wished that reason and persuasion only should be used to bring about the return to the Church of those who had erred.
The matter being debated in the Council, and the conflicting opinions being submitted to Mary,—after she had consulted with Philip, she returned to the Chancellor the following answer, which was a warrant to him, under very easy conditions, to proceed to any extremities :-" Touching the punishment of heretics, we think it ought to be done without rashness,—not leaving in the mean time to do justice to such as by learning would seem to deceive the simple, and the rest so to be used that the people might well perceive them not to be condemned without just occasion; by which they shall both understand the truth, and beware not to do the like. And especially within London I would wish none to be burnt” (how mild and merciful!)—" without some of the council present, and both there and every where good sermons at the same time.”
Gardyner having got all the old laws against Lollardy and the denial of transubstantiation revived,-vigorously began his great enterprise. For the trial of heretics under these statutes he constituted a Court, of which he, as Lord Chancellor, was made the presiding Judge.
On the 22d of January, 1555, he mounted his tribunal assisted by thirteen Bishops and a crowd of Lords and Knights, and he ordered to be placed at the bar Hooper, the deprived Bishop of Gloucester,—Roger, a prebendary of St. Paul's, -Saunders, rector of Allhollows, in London,--and Taylor, rector of Hadley, in Suffolk,-all charged with denying the Papal supremacy now re-established by law. They tauntingly replied, that the Lord Chancellor, before whom they were tried, had himself taught them to reject the authority of the Bishop of Rome, in his unanswerable treatise “ De verâ Obedientiâ,” which had been so much approved of by the Queen's royal father, that renowned sovereign, Henry VIII. This argumentum ad hominem did not prevail, and the Lord Chancellor said they ought to have been reconverted by his subsequent treatise entitled “ Palinodia dicti Libri,” which he now recommended to their perusal; and a delay of twenty-four hours was given them for consideration. At the end of that time, as they stuck to the text of the Lord Chancellor's earlier work, they were condemned to the flames. He, with professions of mercy, made out a conditional pardon for each of them, under the Great Seal, to be offered them on recantation at the stake. Those protomartyrs of the Reformed Church of England all displayed an
equal constancy, and scorned to purchase the continuance of life by feigning an assent to doctrines which they did not believe.
Gardyner did not personally preside at the subsequent trials; but he felt no hesitation in persevering in the line of policy he had adopted, and (perhaps with a view to a favourable contrast) he was represented in Court by Bonner, Bishop of London, the most brutal and bloody persecutor who ever appeared in this island; but the Chancellor himself actively directed almost all the arrests, examinations, and punishments of the Protestants. Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer now suffered under circumstances familiar to us all from early infancy; and in the course of a few months, by Gardyner's orders, there perished at the stake, as heretics, in different parts of England, above seventy persons, some of them of the softer sex, and some of tender years.
Not satisfied with punishing those who taught, or openly dog. matised contrary to the established creed, men's thoughts were scrutinised; and, to do this more effectually, Gardyner issued a commission, bearing a close resemblance to the Spanish Inquisition, authorising twenty-one persons, or any three of them, “ to search after all heresies, the bringers in, the sellers, and the read. ers of all heretical books, to punish all persons that did not hear mass or come to their parish church to service, or that would not go in processions, or would not take the holy bread or holy water. and to force all to make oath of such things as ought to be discovered, and to put to the torture such obstinate persons as would not confess.”*
While these atrocities were going forward, an occurrence took place, of which Gardyner took immediate advantage to further his designs. Mary, supposing herself pregnant, he pronounced the prospect of an heir to be the reward of Heaven for her piety; and as she fancied that she felt the infant stir in her womb when the Pope's Legate was introduced to her, he compared it to what happened to the mother of John the Baptist at the salutation of the Virgin. The Chancellor, with nine others of the Cabinet Council, immediately addressed a letter to Bonner, as Bishop of London, ordering “ Te Deum” and masses to be celebrated on the occasion; he sent messengers to foreign courts to announce the event; and he settled the family of the young prince, as he confidently predicted the child would be a male. Some have said that he was aware from the beginning that Mary's infirmities rendered her incapable of having children, and that he resorted to a political artifice for the purpose of strengthening his power. He certainly kept up the delusion in the nation long after the physicians had declared that her Majesty's increased size arose from a dropsy. It was probably a knowledge of her real condition which induced him very readily to oblige her, by bringing in and supporting a bill constituting Philip, in case of her death, unlimited Regent during
* Burnet, vol. iii. p. 243. 246.