free ebooks

A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

120 And however much the policy of the Pope might waver


was unable to realise the things that were happening around her. That she was expected to renounce her rank as Queen awoke in her quite as much astonishment as anger. 'For she had not come to England,' she said, 'on mercantile business at a venture, but according to the will of the two venerated kings now dead: she had married King Henry according to the decision of the Holy Father at Rome: she was the anointed and crowned Queen of England; were she to give up her title, she would have been a concubine these twenty-four years, and her daughter a bastard; she would be false to her conscience, to her own soul, her confessor would not be able to absolve her.' She became more and more absorbed in strict Catholic religious observances. She rose soon after midnight, to be present at the mass; under her dress she wore the habit of the third order of S. Francis; she confessed twice and fasted twice a week; her reading consisted of the legends of the saints. So she lived on for two years more, undisturbed by the ecclesiastico-political statutes which passed in the English Parliament. Till the very end she regarded herself as the true Queen of England.

Immediately after the sentence on Catharine followed Anne's coronation, which was performed with all the ancient ceremonial, all the more carefully attended to because she was not born a princess. On the Thursday before Whitsuntide she was escorted from Greenwich by the Mayor and the Trades of London, in

splendidly adorned barges, with musical instruments playing, till she was greeted by the cannon of the Tower. The Saturday after she went in procession through the City to Westminster. The King had created eighteen knights of the Order of the Bath. These in their new decorations, and a great part of the nobility, which felt itself honoured in Anne's elevation, accompanied her:[118] she sat on a splendid seat, supported by and slung between horses: the canopy over her was borne by the barons of the Cinque Ports; her hair was uncovered, she was charming as always, and (it appears) not without a sense of high good fortune. On Sunday she was escorted to Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury and six bishops, the Abbot of Westminster and twelve other abbots in full canonicals: she was in purple, her ladies in scarlet, for so old custom required; the Duke of Suffolk bore the crown before her, which was placed on her head by the hands of the archbishop. Nobles and commons greeted her with emulous devotion, the ecclesiastics joined in; they expected from her an heir to England.--Not a son, but a daughter, Elizabeth, did she then bear beneath her heart.

Anne's coronation was at the same time the complete expression of the revolt of the nation collectively from the Roman See: it is noteworthy that Pope Clement VII, in his all-calculating and temporising policy, even then reserved to himself the last word. As he had once yielded to the Emperor, to conclude his peace with him, so now again--for he did not wish to be entirely dependent on him--he had entered into close relations with King Francis, who on his side saw in the continuance of his union with England one of the conditions of his position in Europe. The political weight of England reacted indirectly on the Pope: he indeed annulled Archbishop Cranmer's decision, but he could not yet bring himself to take a further step, often as he had promised the Emperor and pledged himself in his agreements to do so.[119] Charles V supplied his ambassador at Rome with yet another means to advance (as he expressed himself) the decision of the proceedings with the Pope and with the Holy See--for he made a distinction between them. The Pope inquired of him what, after this had ensued, would then be done to carry it out. The Emperor answered, his Holiness should do what justice pledged him to do, what he could not omit if he would fulfil his duty to God and the world, and maintain his own importance; this must come first, the Church must use all its own means before it called in the temporal arm: but if the matter came to that point, he would not fail to do his part; to declare himself explicitly beforehand might excite religious scruples.[120] And however much the policy of the Pope might waver, there could be no doubt about the decision of the Rota. On the 23 March 1534 one of the auditors, Simonetta, bishop of Pesaro, made a statement on the subject in the consistory of the cardinals: there were only three among them who demanded a further delay: all the rest joined without any more consideration in the decision that Henry's marriage with Catharine was perfectly lawful, and their children legitimate and possessed of full rights. The Imperialists held this to be a great victory, they made the city ring with their cries of 'the Empire and Spain':[121] yet even then the French did not give up the hope of bringing the Pope to another mind. But meanwhile in England the last steps were already taken.

eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us