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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Are combined with the religious under Henry VIII


The

characteristic of his government consists in the mixture of spiritual and temporal interests, the union of violence with fostering care. The family enmities, which Henry VII had to contend with, are combined with the religious under Henry VIII, for instance in the Suffolk family: as William Stanley under the father, so Fisher and More under the son, perished because they threw doubt on the grounds for the established right, and still more because they challenged that right itself. It raised a cry of horror when it was seen how under Henry VIII Papists and Protestants were bound together and drawn to the place of execution together, since they had both broken the laws. Who would not have been sensible of this? Who would not have felt himself distressed and threatened? Yet at the opening of the Session of 1542, after the Chancellor had stated in detail the King's services (who had taken his place on the throne), Lords and Commons rose and bowed to the sovereign in token of their acknowledgment and gratitude. In the Session of 1545 he himself once more took up the word. In fatherly language he exhorted both the religious parties to peace; a feeling pervaded the assembly that this address was the last they would listen to from him; many were seen to burst into tears.

For his was the strong power that kept in check the fermenting elements and set them a law that might not be broken. On their antagonism, by favouring or restraining them, he established

his strong system of public order. In Henry VIII we remark no free self-abandonment and no inward enthusiasm, no real sympathy with any living man: men are to him only instruments which he uses and then breaks to pieces; but he has an incomparable practical intelligence, a vigorous energy devoted to the general interest; he combines versatility of view with a will of unvarying firmness. We follow the course of his government with a mingled sense of aversion and admiration.

NOTES:

[123] Papiers d'etat du Cl. de Granvelle ii. 147, 210.

[124] Documents in the Corpus Reformatorum ii. 1032, iii. 42.

[125] Henry VIII to the judges--in Halliwell i. 342 (25 June 1535).

[126] Burnet, History of the Reformation i. 213. Soames, History of the Reformation ii. 157.

[127] Seckendorf, Historia Lutheranismi iii. 13, xxxix. p. 112: my German History iv. 46.

[128] Injunctions given by the authority of the King. Burnet's Collection p. 160.

[129] Prior of Charterhouse (Houghton), Speech, in Strype i. 313.

[130] Froude, History of England iii. 104.

[131] 'The people were unsatisfyed that the parliament was not held at York; but our King alledged that since they had not restaured all the religious houses [as they had promised] he was not bound strictly to hold promise with them.' Herbert, Henry VIII, p. 428.


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