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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Including the possessions of monastic foundations


could set over the others and

trust with the supreme rule of affairs in complete confidence. This was Cardinal Pole, who after Cranmer's death received the Archbishopric of Canterbury, long ago bestowed on him at Rome, and was released from the duty of again returning to the Roman court. He was descended from the house of the Yorkist Suffolks, persecuted by the earlier Tudors with great severity; but how completely did this family difference recede before the world-wide interests of religion! He served with the most entire devotion a queen of the house of Lancaster-Tudor who on her side reposed in him unlimited reliance: she wished to have him about her for hours every day. Reginald Pole was a man of European and general ecclesiastical culture; he shared in a tendency existing within Catholicism itself, which approached very nearly to Protestantism on one dogmatic question: we also hear that he would gladly have moderated the persecution;[173] but when it is said, that the obstinacy of the Protestants hindered him in this, all that can be implied is, that they held fast to a confession which was now absolutely condemned by the hierarchic laws, while he was bound and resolved to carry these laws into effect. His chief care was above all not to be involved in English party-divisions: he therefore usually worked with a couple of Italian assistants who shared his sentiments and his plans. The union of the ecclesiastical and temporal authority is seen once more in Pole, as it had been in Wolsey: he combined the
powers of a legate with the position of a first minister. His distinguished birth, his high ecclesiastical rank, the confidence of the King and Queen, enhanced by completely blameless personal conduct,[174] procured him an authority in the country which seemed almost that of the sovereign.

A singular government this, composed of an absent king, who however had to be consulted in all weighty matters, a cardinal, and a dying queen who lived exclusively in church ideas. Difficulties could not be wanting: they arose first in church matters themselves.

We know how much the recognition of the alienation of the church property, to which Julius III was brought to consent by the Emperor, contributed to the restoration of church obedience; among the English nobility it formed the main ground of its submission. But in May 1555 Pope Paul IV ascended the Papal throne, in whom dislike of the Austro-Spanish house was almost a passion, and who wished to base his ecclesiastical reputation on the recovery of the alienated church property. His third Bull orders its restoration, including the possessions of monastic foundations, and the revenues hitherto received from them. The English ambassadors who had been sent to Rome under wholly different conditions, to announce the restoration of obedience, found this Pope there on their arrival. When they mentioned the confirmation of the alienation of the monastic property, he answered them in plain terms: for himself he would be ready to consent, but it lay beyond his power; the property of the church was sacred and inviolable, all that belonged to it must be restored to the uttermost farthing. And so ecclesiastically minded was Queen Mary that she in her heart agreed with the Pope. The monasteries in particular she held to be an indispensable part of the church-system, and wished for their restoration. Already the fugitive monks were seen returning: a number of Benedictines who


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