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England under the Tudors By Arthur D. Innes Characters: 32674

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:05


HENRY VIII (iv) 1529-33-THE BREACH WITH ROME

[Sidenote: 1529 No revolt as yet]

It will have been observed that when Wolsey found that the divorce was inevitable, his energies were concentrated on the single purpose of securing it under papal authority. For this he had two reasons-one, that without that authority the King's act would appear in all its arbitrariness, causing grave scandal: the other that if that authority were refused, he foresaw the cleavage between England and Rome which did eventually take place. Apart however from the divorce, there had not been up to the time of Wolsey's fall any hint of an opinion in high places that such a cleavage was per se desirable or desired-although both Wolsey himself and Gardiner had given Clement fair warning that Henry was likely to reconsider the papal claims altogether unless the Pope complied with his wishes. The revocation of the cause to Rome immediately brought the execution of this threat into the sphere of practical politics.

In the second place there had been no tendency to encourage or allow deviations from recognised orthodox doctrine. The new criticism had been so far admitted as to produce a rigid section and a liberal section among the orthodox, such leading prelates as Wolsey himself, Warham, Fox, Fisher, and Tunstal, all favouring the new learning in various degrees, and being supported therein by such learned laymen as Sir Thomas More. Their toleration however had not extended to anything censurable as heresy, and their attitude had been somewhat stiffened by the course of the Lutheran revolt on the Continent. The increased licence within the Empire, following the edict of Spires in 1528, led to an increased activity in the suppression of heretics and heretical publications in England, first under Wolsey and then under his successor in the Chancellorship.

[Sidenote: Growth of anti-clericalism]

In a third direction however, though not much had been done in the way of measures, an anti-clerical party had been growing up: a party which sought to diminish clerical jurisdiction, clerical privileges, and clerical emoluments. Among the ecclesiastics themselves there were not a few who desired to improve clerical administration from within, but without diminution of ecclesiastical authority; the anti-clericals were laymen who wished the reforms to be forced on the Church from outside, reducing ecclesiastical authority in the process. These two policies were in direct opposition, seeing that antagonism to Wolsey-emphatically a reformer of the prior class-was the leading motive with the nobility who headed the second class; while the Commons in general desired primarily to be freed from the exactions by which the clergy benefited, and from which they did not believe the clergy would of their own initiative cut themselves off. Wolsey had begun the internal amendment, by his visitation and suppression of the smallest monasteries and the appropriation of ecclesiastical property to educational purposes, and by some substitution of the superior organisation of the legatine court for that of the Ordinaries; but the latter step had been cancelled by his fall and by the ominous appeal to the statute of Praemunire against legatine jurisdiction. On the other hand, the anti-clerical action had been practically confined so far to the modifications as to Benefit of Clergy; unless we include the publication of pamphlets and rhymes attacking the ecclesiastical body in general, or Wolsey in particular as the incarnation of their shortcomings.

Some years were still to elapse before any material changes from orthodox theological doctrine were to be entertained. But in 1529, the suspension of the Trial was forthwith followed by the adoption of a policy-as yet only provisional-setting aside the Pope's authority; and the assembly of Parliament in November was marked by an immediate attack on ecclesiastical abuses.

[Sidenote: Thomas Cranmer]

In the last six months of this year the King discovered two instruments consummately adapted for executing his will. It appears that the idea of obtaining the opinions of the Doctors at the English Universities had already been mooted, and that one of those selected [Footnote: Strype, Memorials of Cranmer. Hook, Life of Cranmer.] at Cambridge was Thomas Cranmer, a learned and amiable divine with marked leanings towards the New Learning; who in his early graduate days had fallen under the influence of the teaching at Cambridge of Erasmus; in scholarship subtle and erudite, in affairs guileless and easily swayed; timorous by nature, but capable of outbreaks of audacity as timid persons often are: a gentle and lovable man, but lacking in that robust self-confidence needed by one who would take a resolutely independent line; a man intended to be a student and forced by an unkind fate to assume the role of a man of action. Such a character, brought under the direct influence of a powerful will and a magnetic personality, is readily led to see everything as it is desired that he should see it, and at the worst to differ from the master-mind only with submission.

[Sidenote: Appeal to the universities]

When Campeggio suspended the sittings of the Commission the, King withdrew to Waltham Cross. Steven Gardiner and Foxe the King's almoner, who were in his suite, met Cranmer who had left Cambridge on account of an outbreak of the sweating sickness. They had, as was natural, a conversation on "the King's affair"; when Cranmer propounded the theory that if the Universities of Europe-that is, the qualified divines-gave it as their opinion that the union with Katharine had been contrary to the Divine Law, the King might follow the dictates of his conscience and pronounce the marriage null without recognising Papal jurisdiction. This was clearly quite a different thing from producing the judgment of the Doctors merely as an expert opinion which must carry weight with the Judge at Rome. It was practically an assertion that the Pope's judgment was not of higher authority than the King's; an answer to a question as to jurisdiction; a suggestion of replying to the Pope's revocation of the case by a counter-revocation. Foxe reported the conversation to Henry, who caught at the new method of giving a constitutional colour to an arbitrary proceeding. Cranmer was summoned to court, attached to the Boleyn household, set down to write a thesis on the point of conscience, and sent off early in 1530 in the train of the Earl of Wiltshire (to which dignity Sir Thomas Boleyn-had been raised) on an embassy to the Emperor at Bologna. Moreover his plan for consulting the Universities was actively taken in hand.

[Sidenote: The new Parliament]

In the meantime, in November, Henry's most famous Parliament had opened session. The last, called six years before under Wolsey's regime to obtain supplies, had shown a qualified submissiveness. The new one, whether packed or not, displayed prompt signs of activity. Known to fame as the "Seven Years'" or "Reformation" Parliament, it consistently displayed three characteristics: it was anti-papal and anti-clerical; it endorsed the Royal will; but it refused dictation where its pocket was concerned. Its first session lasted only a few weeks, but was marked by an attack on clerical abuses, and by the sudden prominence achieved by Thomas Cromwell.

[Sidenote: Thomas Cromwell]

Concerning Cromwell's early years, much is reported and little is known. The common rumour declared that he was the son of a blacksmith-as it declared Wolsey to be the son of a butcher. He is said to have tried various trades, among others those of man-at-arms in the mercenary troop of an Italian nobleman, wool-merchant and usurer at Antwerp, usurer and petty attorney in England. On all these points the evidence is scanty and inconclusive. About 1520, he found his way into Wolsey's entourage, and was a member of the 1523 parliament. Wolsey found him an apt man of business, and entrusted him with a good deal of the financial management of his educational schemes; in the course of which it is at least probable that he applied the twin practices of bribery and blackmail, which not without reason were attributed at a later date to his servants. Yet, however unscrupulous he may have been in his dealings with others, to the master whose service he had followed he was always loyal. Wolsey made him his secretary; and when the Cardinal fell, the secretary's position seemed exceedingly precarious. Whether from an admirable fidelity or through amazingly astute hypocrisy, he boldly and openly took up the cudgels in parliament on behalf of the stricken minister, apparently challenging imminent ruin for himself. Action so courageous won him applause and good-will instead of present hostility. More than that, it immediately marked him in the eyes of the King-an exceedingly shrewd judge of men-as an invaluable prospective servant for himself. A combination of audacity and fidelity with shrewdness, resourcefulness, and unscrupulosity, was precisely what he wanted and precisely what he had found. The Cardinal's secretary became the King's secretary, and forthwith identified himself with the policy of establishing the Royal autocracy in a stronger form than it had ever before assumed in England. Whether or no Thomas Cromwell learnt his political principles as an adventurer in Italy, he became himself the living embodiment of those doctrines of state-craft which were systematised by Macchiavelli in his treatise "The Prince".

[Sidenote: Pope, Clergy and King]

In the reconstruction of the relations between Church and State which covers more than nine-tenths of the Reformation under Henry VIII. there were three parties concerned; the Pope, the Sovereign, and the Clerical Organisation in England. From time immemorial, Popes and Kings had striven periodically with each other in asserting antagonistic control over the ecclesiastical body; and the ecclesiastical body had made common cause, now with the Pope and now with the King, in resisting encroachments by the rival authority. If the clergy submitted to one or the other, it was always with a reservation that submission to physical force could not impair the inherent rights of the successors of the Apostles. Similarly, if the Pope gave way to the King or the King to the Pope, their respective successors regarded the claims surrendered as rights not cancelled but in abeyance. The prevailing conditions at any given time were always looked upon as a modus vivendi liable to readjustment when any of the three parties felt impelled to claim a larger freedom of action or a larger power of control. In the past however the Spiritual Powers had drawn effectively upon their armoury of excommunications and interdicts in the conflict; it was now to be seen whether these ancient weapons had become obsolete. If they could be defied with comparative impunity, there could be but one end to a struggle between the Spiritual and the Temporal forces.

[Sidenote: Double campaign opens]

By the appeal to the Universities, Henry gave warning of a possible anti-papal campaign: in which he could look for a considerable degree of clerical support up to a certain point, more particularly because the clergy generally were ready to be released from the financial exactions of the Holy See, as well as from its practical exercise of patronage. Parliament opened an anti-clerical campaign, but its measures at first were confined to dealing with almost indefensible and obvious abuses. Bishop Fisher recognised the familiar thin end of the wedge, and charged the Commons with desiring "the goods, not the good" of the Church; but the opposition was slender. In the six weeks of the first session, there were passed, the Probate and Mortuaries Acts, abolishing, reducing, or regulating fees, and the Pluralities Act, forbidding the clergy in general to hold more than one benefice, and requiring Residence-a very inconvenient arrangement for papal nominees. The general value of the Act however was impaired by a schedule of exemptions. Fisher's protest had its counterpart in the protest of Convocation, not against the avowed objects of this legislation but against Parliament as its source: the position being that Convocation was itself preparing legislation with the same ends in view, and was the proper body to do so.

[Sidenote: 1530 Answers of the Universities]

During 1530, Parliament remained inactive. The Earl of Wiltshire's embassy to Bologna, of which the object was to induce Charles to withdraw his opposition to the divorce, naturally proved abortive. The consultation of the Universities however went on apace. The theory propounded for their acceptance was that Katharine had been in actual fact the wife of Henry's brother; that this being so her marriage with Henry was contrary to the Law of God; and that by consequence the second contract was actually not only voidable but void, the dispensation being under those circumstances a dead letter. On the other side it was maintained that whatever validity there might be in this argument, it fell to the ground if-as was asserted on the Queen's behalf-her first marriage had been ceremonial only. The answers of the Universities were inconclusive, some declaring the marriage valid, others declaring it void, and others, including Oxford and Cambridge, declaring that it was against the Law of God without pronouncing the dispensation of Julius ipso facto invalid. Moreover, had the opinions given been decisive in themselves, the method by which they were obtained would have destroyed their moral value. Francis, finding that England's friendship was in the balance, dictated a favourable reply to the French Universities. Those in England knew they were not free agents. Clement professed to give those in Italy a free hand, but in that country Charles was the dominant power. In Germany the Lutherans were hostile to Henry personally on account of his own anti-Lutheran pronouncements. Nowhere was a judgment on the simple merits of the case procurable.

[Sidenote: Preoccupation of the Clergy]

In the meantime, the clergy in England had been mainly occupied with a campaign against heresy, and with the suppression of dangerous literature; [Footnote: According to Mr. Froude, Henry only assented with reluctance to the suppression of Tindal's Testament on condition of the preparation of an authorised version being agreed to. But even Hall, whom he cites, only says that both proposals were adopted after long debate.-Froude, i., p. 298 (Ed. 1862).] but willingly or not found themselves committed to approving the preparation of an authorised translation of the Scriptures-the one movement under Henry which tended definitely, in effect though not of set purpose, to a revision of Doctrine.

[Sidenote 1: Menace of Praemunire]

[Sidenote 2: 1531 "Only Supreme Head"]

[Sidenote 3: Proceedings in Parliament]

In December of 1530, however, the Church was to receive a rough reminder that the Defender of the Faith was a stickler for the rigidity of the statutes. He had already struck at Wolsey because, urged thereto by himself, the Cardinal had obtained and exercised legatine powers contrary to the Statutes of Praemunire. Such was the King's reverence for the Law that after it had been transgressed with his sanction for ten years he felt it his duty to penalise the transgressor. After another twelve-month, he felt it his further duty to penalise all who had submitted to the illegal authority. The clergy were informed that they lay one and all under the royal displeasure for breach of praemunire (of which they had in fact been technically guilty), and could only hope for pardon by purchasing it for something over £100,000-practically equivalent to about a couple of millions now. Convocation, alive to the futility of resistance, apologised for its iniquity and admitted the justice of the punishment. Thereupon, in the preamble to the bill by which they were to mulct themselves, the King required the insertion of a clause which designated him "Protector and Only Supreme Head of the Church and Clergy in England". This roused general resistance. Convocation proposed conferences, and sought some compromise which they coul

d reconcile with their consciences. The King would have no compromise, demanding instant submission. At last Warham hit upon the expedient of one of those saving phrases which might mean everything or nothing, and yet could not be objected to on the face of it; inserting the words "so far as the laws of Christ permit": the precise degree to which the said laws did permit being susceptible of unlimited argument, as the royal claims or the clerical conscience might respectively demand. Even so had Becket in the past shielded himself with the words "Saving the rights of my Order". For the time being, this diplomatic evasion or pitiful subterfuge, as the advocates and contemners of the clergy respectively call it, saved the situation. At the time, it must be remarked, Henry did not intend the title to be read as repudiating the Papal Supremacy, which had not hitherto been formally called question. On the face of it, it looks like a touch of Cromwell's; in a thing designed to force the hand of the Clergy in the future if the Papal Supremacy should be directly challenged. The clause was accepted (for the Province of Canterbury) on March 22nd; six weeks later it was also accepted by the Convocation of York, with a protest from Tunstal, now bishop of Durham, who had been distinguished by his diplomatic services under Wolsey's régime. During the corresponding session (January-March 1531) no anti-clerical measures were introduced in Parliament; which registered the Royal pardon and received the formal announcement of the decision of the Universities. The "stern and lofty moral principles" [Footnote: Froude, i., 307, 310 (Ed. 1862). The historian's enthusiasm may seem to require some qualification. The retrospective creation of crimes is a dangerous practice: and the penalty applied might even be considered savage.] of the nation were however vindicated, in consequence of the wholesale poisoning of the bishop of Rochester's household, attributed to an attempt to make away with Fisher himself. By a special enactment, the essentially un-English practice of poisoning was retrospectively classified as high treason, and the criminal sentenced to death by boiling.

[Sidenote: 1532 Parliament]

In the beginning of 1532 the campaign was renewed with vigour; whether from the laudable desire of reforming abuses, or with the object of terrorising the Church into complete subservience. Incidentally it is to be observed that so far as the activity of the Commons was directed against the payment of extortionate fees, the Church had a part only, not the whole, of their opposition. They logically and manfully resisted a "Bill of Wards" legalising claims of the Lords in sundry cases of the marriage of wards. This has been jibed at [Footnote: Moore (Aubrey), Hist. of the Reformation, 103.] as showing that they cared for cash and not for principle. As a matter of fact it appears to prove the first, but to have no bearing on the second. It also proves that when they did care, they could be obstinate, for the Bill was dropped: which illustrates the tact with which the King could yield on a point unimportant to him personally.

In especial however this session was signalised by three Acts, dealing with

Mortmain, Benefit of Clergy, and Annates: and by the "Supplication against

the Ordinaries" which took partial effect in the "Submission of the

Clergy".

[Sidenote: Supplication against the Ordinaries]

The Supplication [Footnote: Mr. Froude, i., 211 (Ed. 1862), dates this 1529, but without apparent reason. Cf. Dixon, i., 77, note.] was in effect a statement of grievances, directed against the powers of Convocation in the way of ecclesiastical legislation, and the conduct of the ecclesiastical Courts and their fees. Under this second head it was simply the expression of a popular outcry, which had already begun to take effect in the legislation of 1529; an outcry so far justified that the clergy themselves met it, in part, by declaring that they were giving independent attention to the abuses complained of. As an indictment its weakness lay in the inadequate support by specific instances of the general charges of miscarriage of justice. Under the first head it has the appearance of being inspired by Cromwell, of whose policy a main feature was the concentration of all effective legislative power in the King.

[Sidenote: Resistance of Clergy]

The Supplication was presented, and laid before Convocation for an answer. The answer was given on the lines that, as concerned the grievances in general, so far as they were real they were in process of removal, and that as concerned miscarriage of justice it was impossible to answer effectively unless the charges were made specific. As to ecclesiastical legislation it was replied that this was a function of the Clergy, and that their canons were in accord with Scripture and therefore not antagonistic to the Civil Law; to which was added an appeal to the King as the Protector of the Faith. They were informed that this answer was "too slender"; so sent a second in which appeal was made to Henry's own book against Luther, and an offer was added that they would publish no ordinances without the royal assent excepting on matters of faith. In both answers Gardiner, now bishop of Winchester, is reputed to have been the guiding spirit-thereby showing that Henry could not count upon his assistance in reducing his Order to subservience.

[Sidenote: "Submission of the Clergy"]

This attitude however was by no means sufficient for Henry and Cromwell. It is in fact clear that they had made up their minds to put an end to an anomalous condition of affairs. Hypothetically, the Church and the State had been making laws independently of each other side by side. The two sets of laws might involve incompatibles; the King's lieges might be harassed by the canons of the Church, and loyal churchmen might be embarrassed by the laws of the realm. The time had come when one ultimate authority must be recognised. There was no manner of doubt which of the two that ultimate authority was to be. Yet for the attainment of this end, the Clergy must be required to surrender what they had always accounted a right inviolable, sacred, vested in them by divine commission. The Clergy had to surrender or take the risk of martyrdom: and they elected to surrender-in effect to recognise that they were beaten de facto if not de jure. They struggled hard for a compromise which would salve their collective conscience. Finally (May) they agreed to enact no new canons without the Kind's authority, and to submit to a commission such of the existing canons as were contravened. The wording of this "Submission of the Clergy," as it is called, does not leave it absolutely clear whether the entire canon law or only a portion was to be subjected to the revision of the commission-which was to consist of thirty-two members, half laymen and half clergy-but the balance of opinion is in favour of the partial theory. The defeat was a crushing blow to the aged Warham who never recovered from it and died three months later; and it caused the immediate resignation of the Chancellorship by Sir Thomas More-a rara avis among statesmen of the day, with whom conscience actually had the last word, not the King's will.

[Sidenote 1: Mortmain and Benefit of Clergy]

[Sidenote 2: Annates Act]

The other Acts referred to above were passed before the Submission of the Clergy was completed. The Mortmain and Benefit of Clergy Acts were respectively in limitation of bequests to the Church and of privileges of clerical criminals. They were merely normal steps in the reform of abuses. The Annates Act however demands closer attention. Every bishop on appointment to his see paid the first year's income to Rome-whether on an original appointment, or on translation from one see to another. Obviously this was a tremendous tax on the bishops and a source of large income to Rome. There had been frequent complaints, and suggestions that the Pope should reduce his claim. Very recently, Gardiner had been obliged to borrow heavily to meet the exaction on becoming bishop of Winchester. The Bill provided that five per cent. only should be paid, by way of compensation for expenses of papal Bulls, the ground taken up being that the papal claim was contrary to the ruling of the General Council of Basle, and that the payment, being an alienation of the property of the See, was contrary to the bishops consecration oath. The Bill was passed, the bishops-according to letters of the foreign ambassadors in London-dissenting; a course perfectly natural on their part as a protest, not in favour of the payment, but against the authority of the temporal power to intervene. Yet it is frequently stated as a matter of common knowledge that the clergy themselves were the prime movers, and that the Bill was brought in on their petition. This belief would seem to rest exclusively on the misinterpretation of a document attributed by a later historian [Footnote: Strype, Eccl. Memorials I., ii., 158. Froude, i., 361 ff. (Ed. 1862). But cf.. Gairdner, English Church, p. 116. The present writer fell into the usual error in a previous volume on Cranmer; and has to thank Mr. Tomlinson for correcting him.] to Convocation, but almost certainly of parliamentary origin.

The Act however was not put in immediate execution: but the English agents in Italy were instructed to hold it in terrorem over Clement's head.

[Sidenote: The European Powers and the Divorce]

The subsequent methods of procedure were largely the outcome of the diplomatic situation on the Continent. In the first place, the idea of calling an Oecumenical Council had been much in the air. Each of the three great monarchs was desirous of calling one, on his own terms; so were the Lutherans. But for each the terms must be such as should ensure practical subservience to his own dictation: while to the Pope the proposal, so long as it was hypothetical, was a thing he could produce as either a sop or a threat, as circumstances might commend. In the next place, for the time Charles dominated the Pope; but while he was making terms with the Lutherans, under pressure of the advance of the Turks on the east, whereby his loyalty to the papacy was made doubtful, he was also on the other hand, Katharine's unyielding champion. Thus any positive declaration on the divorce from Clement was tolerably certain to finally alienate either Charles or Henry. Now the rivalry of Charles was the great obstacle to Francis: whose object had come to be to utilise England so as to obtain for himself the concessions he wanted from the Emperor; extorting them as the result of joint pressure on the part of France and England or as the price of a separation between France and England. The thing he most feared was a compromise between Henry and Charles. Thus his policy was, by associating himself with Henry, to detach the Pope also from Charles, by the menace of a joint Anglo-French schism from the Roman obedience. Therefore in the summer and autumn of 1532 Francis was ostentatiously friendly to Henry and the cause of the Divorce. Conferences to which Henry was invited to bring Anne Boleyn as his Queen-elect were arranged, and took place at Calais and Boulogne. Henry thereafter made up his mind to a decisive step and on their return to England in November or perhaps in the following January he married Anne privately. Francis however had successfully avoided committing himself unequivocally to an uncompromising English alliance.

[Sidenote: 1533 The crisis arrives]

In December, the Pope and the Emperor both being at Bologna, Clement professed to the English agents a more amenable spirit, suggesting that the divorce should be held over for a General Council, or that Henry should agree to have the trial held outside his own realms; propositions, however, to neither of which the King could be lured to assent. But the year 1533 had hardly opened when Charles was enabled to publish a Papal warning of excommunication against Henry unless he restored Katharine to her full rights as his wife (Feb.); while he detached France from England by the promise of concessions restoring her position in Italy.

Clement might now defer a pronouncement in favour of Katharine; there was no practical room for hoping that he might still pronounce against her. Henry stood alone; if the Pope were finally driven to choose between defying the King or the Emperor there could be no doubt which of the two he would rather have for an enemy. It only remained for Henry to put it beyond question that the declaration must be made, and that his own enmity would take an energetic form. His reply to the Pope was decisive. Early in April, parliament passed the great Act in Restraint of Appeals, which was virtually the announcement of the repudiation of the Roman allegiance; before the end of May, the new Archbishop of Canterbury in his court pronounced the marriage with Katharine void ab initio, and the recent marriage with her rival valid.

[Sidenote: Restraint of Appeals]

In form, the Act in Restraint of Appeals was not a fresh piece of legislation but a declaration of the existing law; a flat assertion that any appeal to the jurisdiction of Rome from the English courts brought the appellant under the penalties of praemunire, the "spiritualty" of the country being competent to deal with spiritual cases, and the sovereign recognising no jurisdiction superior to his own. It did not raise the question of authority in matters of doctrine; nor was it a formal declaration of schism from Rome. Its meaning however was clear. The constitutional theory of independence, put forward on many occasions as the warrant for legislation, was henceforth to be acted upon in its most ample interpretation: though, as with the Annates Bill, the final confirmation was suspended to leave Clement a last chance of surrender. Taken on its merits the Act laid down principles entirely acceptable to all parties who claim or claimed independence of Rome: yet it was quite obviously issued with the direct purpose of setting aside the Pope's authority in a particular case already referred to him.

[Sidenote 1: Cranmer Archbishop]

[Sidenote 2: The decisive breach]

It is in fact doubtful whether Henry could have procured a judgment from Warham; but Warham was dead, and the successor appointed was Thomas Cranmer, who already before he had been dragged into public life had committed himself to the sufficiency of the judgment of the English courts. Since taking part in Wiltshire's embassy in 1531 he had been for the most part in Germany on diplomatic affairs, associating with Protestants and imbibing their views. The most pronounced and definite of his doctrines was that of the supremacy of the crown; and on his installation as Archbishop in March, he had qualified [Footnote: Moore (Aubrey), Hist. of Reformation, 109, finds a proof in this of "servility and dishonesty," which terms appear to be in his view equivalents of Erastianism.] his oath of allegiance to Rome accordingly. Other ecclesiastics, from Becket to Gardiner, had been appointed to bishoprics under the impression that they were going to support the secular arm against the claims of their Order, and had falsified expectation. Cranmer maintained as Archbishop the theories of clerical subordination which he had adopted as a University Doctor. Convocation was called on to express an opinion on the marriage; and whether from conviction or despair, it supported the King by a majority. The Archbishop obtained the royal licence to convene a court. Katharine, refusing to appear, was declared contumacious; and the Court pronounced her marriage void while confirming Anne's. The Pope rejoined by pronouncing the judgment void. Henry retorted by confirming the Acts in Restraint of Annates and Appeals; and himself appealed against the Pope to a General Council. Until, in March of the next year, Clement himself definitely pronounced judgment in favour of Katharine, there remained a shadow of a chance of a reconciliation tantamount to the submission of the Holy See; but the chance was not accepted. Practically the judgment of Cranmer's court marked the definite schism from Rome.

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