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England under the Tudors By Arthur D. Innes Characters: 34736

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:05


MARY (ii), 1555-58-THE PERSECUTION

Here we reach the turning point of the reign; the point at which the great persecution began. If anything like justice is to be rendered to the leading actors in the ensuing tragedy, it is necessary to differentiate between these two divisions of Mary's rule.

[Sidenote: Mary's policy, 1553-4]

We must remark that throughout these first eighteen months, Mary had proved herself to be the reverse of a vindictive woman. Her leniency in the case of Northumberland's accomplices had been almost unparalleled. A second rebellion when she had been barely six months on the throne was treated with no more than ordinary severity, though a very few of those implicated with Northumberland, who would otherwise have been spared, were executed in consequence. The advocates of the old religion had come into power, but their power had certainly not been used more oppressively than that of the opposition party under Warwick or even under Somerset: and there was more excuse for the treatment of Cranmer and Ridley at least than there had been for that of Gardiner and Bonner. If Latimer and Hooper, Ferrar and Coverdale, were imprisoned, it was no more than Heath and Day and Tunstal had suffered. The deprivation of the married clergy was certainly a harsh measure, since the marriages had been made under the aegis of the law; but that appears to be the one measure which had hitherto savoured of bigotry-at least, which had gone beyond the bounds of even-handed retaliation. What, then, was the change which now took place? And how may we account for it?

[Sidenote: 1555 The persecution]

The sanction of parliament had at last been obtained by the Acts just passed for the enforcement of the old religion by the old methods. There was nothing novel about the procedure or the penalties; but practically a reversion to the pre-latitudinarian line of demarcation between heresy and orthodoxy. All or very nearly all of the martyrs of the Marian persecution would have been sent to the stake under Henry for making the same profession of faith. The crucial question was acceptance of Transubstantiation, for the denial of which several victims had perished within the last twenty years, whose doom both Cranmer and Latimer had at the time held to be justified. But in the interval, the conditions had changed. A large proportion of the most learned scholars had adopted the new doctrine, and the legislature had sanctioned it. The methods which were usually efficacious in stamping out sporadic heresy, methods which only involved an execution here and there, lost their efficacy when the heresy had ceased to be sporadic. Hecatombs were required instead of occasional victims; and even the sacrifice of occasional victims had already begun to revolt the public conscience before Henry's career was closed. But this did not alter the vital postulate. Falsehood was none the less falsehood because it had been sanctioned for a time, none the less demanded drastic excision. Gardiner, standing for the old order, saw nothing revolting in applying again the principles which had been consistently applied before he became an old man. It is probable also that he expected immediate success to result from striking fearlessly and ruthlessly at the most prominent offenders-the rule of action habitually adopted by Henry and Cromwell-a rule generally maintained while Gardiner himself lived: that he never anticipated the holocaust which followed. It is remarkable that in his own diocese of Winchester there were no burnings. Mary had already sufficiently proved her own freedom from vindictiveness; it cannot fairly be questioned that she was moved entirely by a sense of duty however distorted.

[Sidenote: Whose was the responsibility?]

From the Spaniards [Footnote: See Renard's correspondence, passim. But the numerous citations therefrom alike in the Anti-Catholic Froude and the Catholic Stone (Mary I.) are sufficiently conclusive on the point.] there was no incitement to persecution, but the contrary-not that Philip had any abstract objection, but both he and Renard were concerned entirely with the present pacification of the country and its reconciliation to the Spanish marriage; both were aware that persecution would have the opposite effect. The demand for the suppression of heresy did not take its rise among the lay nobility, of whom the majority were prepared to accept whatever formulae might be most convenient. The theory [Footnote: Moore, p. 221, asserts this view.] that they rather than a section of the clergy were the moving cause has no foundation in the evidence, beyond the fact that the Council officially as a body urged Bonner and others forward. Paget and his associates certainly resisted the enactments at first. Still neither they nor the Commons can be freed from responsibility. The persecution was not however a move of one political party against the other; no section was so committed to protestantism as to be exposed to serious injury: no political motive can be even formulated. Vindictiveness, or a moral conviction of the duty of stamping out heresy, alone can make the proceedings intelligible. Of the former there is no fair proof, while the latter is entirely consistent with the prevailing spirit among the zealots on both sides, and with the known character of the persons who must be regarded as the principal instigators. Its source lay with Mary herself, a passionately devoted daughter of the old Church, and with a few ecclesiastics. Since there is no doubt that from the time of Pole's arrival, his influence predominated with her personally, he, more than Gardiner, must share with her the ultimate responsibility.

[Sidenote: Comparison with other persecutions]

Of old, an occasional example had sufficed to hold heresy in check; the changed conditions were not now realised. The case had ceased to be one of checking; nothing short of up-rooting would now be of any avail. For Mary, with her intense conviction of the soul-destroying effect of heresy, no sufferings in the flesh would have seemed too severe to inflict if thereby souls might be saved. But a persecution such as she initiated was absolutely the most fatal of all courses for the end she had in view. Tens of thousands among her subjects had assimilated the new ideas, and were prepared to die rather than surrender their hope of Heaven. These the martyrdom of a few hundreds could not terrify; and the heroic endurance of the martyrs changed popular indifference into passionate sympathy. Applied on this scale, the theory of conversion by fire, hitherto generally acquiesced in, brought about its own condemnation. Such a persecution, on the simple issue of opinion, has never again been possible in England. Catholics or Covenanters might be doomed to death, but the excuse had to be political. Religious opinions as such might be penalised by fines, imprisonment, the boot or the thumbscrew, the imposition of disabilities; still the ultimate penalty had to be associated at least with the idea of treason. In Mary's time, heresy as such was the plain issue. The status of all but some half dozen of the early clerical victims precludes any other view: and the first movement against the heretics in January 1555 was contemporaneous with an amnesty for the surviving prisoners of the Wyatt rebellion. The immediate practical effect was that every martyrdom brought fresh adherents to protestantism, and intensified protestant sentiment while extending the conviction that persecution was part and parcel of the Roman creed. That any of those responsible, from Mary down, took an unholy joy in the sufferings of the victims, appears to be a libel wholly without foundation; for the most part they honestly believed themselves to be applying the only remedy left for the removal of a mortal disease from the body politic; Bonner, perhaps the best abused of the whole group, constantly went out of his way to give the accused opportunities of recanting and receiving pardon. The fundamental fact which must not be forgotten in judging the authors of the persecution is, that the general horror of death as the penalty for a false opinion was not antecedent to but consequent upon it. What they did was on an unprecedented scale in England because heresy existed on an unprecedented scale; and the result was that the general conscience was awakened to the falseness of the principle. The same ghastly error for which Christendom has forgiven Marcus Aurelius was committed by Mary and endorsed by Pole, both of them by nature little less magnanimous and no whit less conscientious than the Roman emperor, though the moral horizon of both was infinitely more restricted.

[Sidenote: Gardiner]

The Marian persecution lasted for nearly four years. During that time, the number of victims fell little if at all short of three hundred, of whom one-fourth perished in the first year. The striking feature of the year is the distinction of the sufferers. One only of high position went to the stake after Gardiner's death-which took place only a few days after the burning of Ridley and Latimer, in November-that one, the highest of all, the whilom head (under the King) of the English Church. And he had then already been doomed. These facts point to the definite policy pursued by the Chancellor-the application of the principles which had proved so effective under Henry and Cromwell. Every prominent leader of the Reformation party who had not elected to conform was either dead or doomed or in exile within a twelve-month of the revival of the Heresy acts. After his time there was no process of selection; the victims were simply taken as they came. To find a sort of excuse in the conviction of an imperative duty to crush out the poison of heresy at any cost is in some degree possible. The attempt to explain the matter as in fact a crusade against Anabaptism [Footnote: Cf. Moore, P. 220.] as a social and political crime makes the thing not better but incomparably worse; while the endeavour to compare it with any other persecution in England is absurd. Henry before and Elizabeth afterwards could be ruthless; but while one reigned thirty-eight years and the other forty-five, yet in neither reign was the aggregate of burnings or executions for religion so great as in these four years of Mary's.

[Sidenote: Some characteristics]

In London itself, in Essex, and in the dioceses of Norwich and Canterbury, many informations were laid. Some five-sixths of the deaths were suffered within this restricted area, nearly half of these falling under the jurisdiction of Bonner; so that he was naturally looked upon as the moving spirit, and his conduct was imagined in the most lurid colours. As a matter of fact there is little sign that he initiated prosecutions-indeed he received a fairly strong hint from the Queen and Council that he was less active than he might have been; he certainly tried hard to persuade the accused to recant and escape condemnation; in several cases where he had hopes he deferred handing them over to the secular arm. But protestants were very disproportionately numerous in his diocese; if the accepted principle were sound at all, he of all men was most bound to strictness with the persistently recalcitrant, and that fact of itself sufficed to encourage heresy-hunters. Moreover in London, it must also be remarked, heresy was particularly defiant and audacious, and was not infrequently accompanied by acts of gross public disorder which merited the sharpest penalties quite apart from questions of orthodoxy. Acts of ruffianism were done in the name of true religion, [Footnote: E.g. the notorious cases of William Branch or Flower, and John Tooley.] and the doers thereof were enrolled among the martyrs. Moreover among the genuine martyrs for conscience' sake-by far the majority of those who suffered-not a few were zealots who took up their parable against the judges when under examination in a fashion calculated to enrage persons of a far less choleric disposition than the bishop of London. In short if once the postulate be granted that to teach persistently doctrines regarded by authority as false is deserving of the death penalty, the manner [Footnote: The popular impression is derived mainly from accounts based on Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Stripped of picturesque adjectives and reduced to a not superfluously accurate statement of facts resting on easily accepted stories by a strongly biased reporter, his evidence against Bonner and Gardiner is not very damnatory.] in which Bonner and his colleagues conducted their task is not to be greatly censured. In Ireland, and in several English dioceses, there were no actual martyrdoms.

[Sidenote: The first Martyrs]

The new year, 1555 had barely begun before the revived heresy laws were set in operation. For Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, all now at Oxford, there was to be some delay; for the chief prisoners elsewhere there was none. These were headed by Hooper and Ferrar, both bishops; Rogers, commonly identified with the "Matthew" of Matthew's Bible; Rowland Taylor of Hadley, a man generally beloved; Bradford, who had begun life as a rogue, but becoming converted, had lived to make restitution, so far as was possible, for the wrong doings of his youth, a very genuine instance of a striking reformation. Most of them belonged to the school of Ridley rather than of Hooper; but on the question of Transubstantiation, all were equally firm-and all were now in the eye of the law undoubtedly heretics. Had they recanted, they would have suffered but lightly. They were urged to do so, but steadfastly refused. It must even be admitted that they challenged martyrdom, for before they were brought to trial, the London group, including most of those above named, had issued an appeal which was practically a solemn reproof to those whose opinions differed from their own. Rogers was the first to suffer; after brief intervals all of those named went to the stake.

[Sidenote 1: Trial of Cranmer (Sept.)]

[Sidenote 2: Martyrdom of Ridley and Latimer (Oct.)]

Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, were all condemned as a result of the disputation held at Oxford in 1554: but since this preceded the reconciliation with Rome, it was not accounted sufficient. On the old Catholic theory, the Metropolitan of England could only be condemned by the authority of the Pope himself-direct, or delegated ad hoc. The first move was made against him in September, before a court whose business was not to adjudicate, but to lay its conclusions before the Pope himself. Cranmer declined to recognise the authority, answering the charges brought against him not as a defendant on trial but as making a public profession of his views. Judgment however could not be passed till the results were submitted to the Pope. In the meantime, Ridley and Latimer were condemned under legatine authority, and were burnt at Oxford in November. Cranmer is said to have witnessed the martyrdom from his prison. The aged Latimer's exhortation to his companion at the stake rang like a trumpet note through the Protestant world. Ridley was the learned theologian and keen controversialist who more than any other man had moulded the plastic mind of the Archbishop since he had been released from the thraldom of Henry's moral and intellectual domination: who had led the campaign against "idolatry" but stood fast against the extravagances of the Nonconformists: who had without hesitation opposed Mary's accession. No one could have murmured against his punishment for treason two years before; but he died a martyr, for denying Transubstantiation and the Papal authority. Latimer was no theologian; but he was a pulpit orator of extraordinary power, an enthusiastic if erratic moralist, who had suffered for his own freely expressed opinions in the past and shown scant consideration for false teachers-a quixotic but heroic figure.

[Sidenote: Fate of the Archbishop 1555-56]

The condemnation by the court which tried the Archbishop carried with it no penalty; that was reserved for the Pope to pronounce-by implication, in handing him over to the secular arm, and explicitly by sentence of degradation, which was notified in December. Until this time Cranmer remained steadfast; but about the new year, he displayed signs of wavering, and was said to have been influenced by the arguments of a Spanish friar, Garcia. Possibly he attended Mass; certainly, about the end of January and beginning of February (1556) he wrote three "submissions" recognising the papal authority. These did not avail to save him from public degradation, in the course of which ceremony he produced a written appeal to a General Council, which was ignored. Two more "submissions" followed, but in neither did he go beyond the admission that the papal authority was now valid, since the Sovereign had so enacted. Nevertheless, on February 24th the writ committing him to the flames was issued. There is no reason to suppose that the idea of sparing him was ever entertained; but, wherever the blame lay, he was led to believe that a recantation might save him; and he did now at last break down utterly, and recant in the most abject terms. Had this won a pardon, the blow would have been crushing; the Court in its

blindness suffered him to retrieve the betrayal. His doom was unaltered. While the fagots were prepared, he was taken to St. Mary's Church to hear his own funeral sermon and make his last public confession; but that confession, to the sore amazement and dismay of the authorities, proved to be the cry of the humble and self-abasing sinner repenting not his heresies but his recantations. And in accordance with his last utterance, when he came to the fire he was seen to thrust forth his right hand into the flame, crying aloud "this hand hath offended"; and so held it steadfastly till it was consumed. The chief prelate of the English Church was struck down at the bidding of a foreign Ecclesiastic; the recusant had been gratuitously glorified with the martyr's crown. It is likely enough that he won less personal popular sympathy than his fellows; but the moral effect must have been tremendous.

[Sidenote: Cranmer's record]

It is natural but hardly just that Cranmer should be judged on the basis of the impression created by his last month of life. That the protagonist in a great Cause should recant in the face of death seems to argue an almost incredible degree of pusillanimity, and suggests that pusillanimity and subservience are the key to his career. Nevertheless, but for that short hour of abasement nobly and humbly retrieved, the general judgment would probably be altogether different. And that breakdown does not appear to have been characteristic. Twice in the reign of Henry he had bowed to the King's judgment, acknowledging that Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell must be guilty since Henry was convinced: but there was no man in the country who took the part of either. To have defied the King would have been heroic, and there is a wide interval between failing of heroism and being pusillanimous. He withdrew his resistance to Northumberland's plot; but he resisted on the ground that it was illegal and withdrew only when he was assured that the Judges had unanimously affirmed its legality. He changed his views on Transubstantiation; but to surrender an abstruse dogma is not a crime. He repeatedly maintained opinions in opposition to Henry as well as to Mary at the risk of losing royal support and favour-which loss would certainly have meant delivering himself into the hands of his enemies. In practice he conformed to the restrictions laid upon him, but it was only on points of expediency that he personally gave way, though he would fain have allowed to others a larger latitude of opinion than he required for himself.

[Sidenote: His character]

Yet the virtues of Thomas Cranmer fail of recognition. The extreme Anglican joins with the Roman Catholic in condemning the ecclesiastical leader of the Schism; the puritan condemns the advocate of compromise; and the advocate of compromise, at least within the clerical ranks, condemns the Erastian cleric. In his day, and in Elizabeth's, the lay statesmen were Erastians to a man; that is forgiven to them; but the ecclesiastic who adopts and preaches without reservation the theory that the Church-its organisation, its administration, even its doctrines-is ultimately subject to the secular sovereign, essentially and not owing to the accidental sanction of force-such a one is inevitably regarded as a traitor to his order; that he was guided by honest conviction seems incredible. Cranmer was a man of peace, driven to do battle in the front rank; an academic, forced to take a leading part in exceedingly practical affairs; a student, compelled so far as he might to control a revolution. Yet to him, more than any other single man, it is due that the Church of England allows a larger latitude of opinion within her borders than any other, and that she possesses a liturgy of unsurpassed beauty. A man so weak, so lacking in self-reliance, can hardly be called great; yet one who, despite his weakness, has carved himself so noble and so lasting a monument can hardly be denied the epithet.

For the rest of the persecution it is sufficient to say that year by year the number of victims did not diminish; neither sex nor age brought immunity; but as they were of less standing, an attempt was made to intensify the effect by putting them to death in larger batches-which increased the horror. The laymen of station, it may be remarked, with one accord conformed, at least outwardly.

[Sidenote: 1555 Philip's policy]

The Parliament which passed the Heresy Acts was dissolved before the end of January. Rogers was burnt some three weeks later. Symptoms of unrest were quickly apparent, and Philip felt it necessary to dissociate himself publicly from the persecution. On this point Renard was urgent, and he was also anxious about the succession. If the Queen's hopes of a child should be disappointed, neither Mary Stewart nor Elizabeth would be satisfactory. The only thing to be done was to secure a convenient husband for the latter, and a project was on foot (not with her approval) for marrying her to the Prince of Savoy, which might incidentally make the English more disposed to join in the war with France, which was in occupation of Savoy. But by April the belligerents were thinking of holding a conference to discuss terms of peace, with an English Commission to mediate.

[Sidenote 1: Pope Paul IV.]

[Sidenote 2: Mary has no child]

The death of Pope Julius, however, promptly followed by that of his immediate successor Marcellus, caused the election of the Cardinal Caraffa who became Paul IV. On both occasions, Reginald Pole had been perhaps the favourite candidate: but the election of Paul was a victory for the French, the new Pope being an austere zealot with a violent anti-imperial prejudice. Having thus secured the papal alliance, Henry of France was by no means disposed to so easy a compromise as had been looked for. The conference collapsed. If Philip really had hoped, as rumour said, to be enabled by the peace to introduce Spanish troops into England for his own ends, he was doomed to disappointment. So it was also with his hopes of an heir to secure him the English succession. Mary had been misled partly by the symptoms of what proved to be a fatal disease and partly by hysterical hallucinations. It became certain that there was no prospect of her ever having a child at all; which necessitated a complete reconsideration of the Spanish prince's policy. Possibly also the expectation that the Queen's life could not be a long one led the nobles with protestant inclinations to acquiesce in the prolonged persecution rather than countenance a danger of civil war. Neither they nor Elizabeth could be implicated in any of the abortive conspiracies which cropped up periodically during the remainder of the reign.

[Sidenote: Effect on Philip]

In August, Philip left the country, not to return again till more than eighteen months had passed; and then only for a very brief sojourn. Already his father was meditating abdication in his favour, and Philip was pondering how he might secure at least a preponderating influence with Elizabeth, whose ultimate accession he regarded as inevitable. Thus the Spanish counsels were now directed largely to securing favourable treatment for her-a complete reversal of Renard's earlier policy. It may be that the idea of marrying her himself after her sister's death was even now present in Philip's mind.

[Sidenote: Oct. A new parliament]

In October, about the time of the martyrdom of Ridley and Latimer at Oxford, a fresh parliament was summoned, which was called upon to grant a subsidy. The diminution in the royal revenues from normal sources, which had been growing steadily more serious throughout the last twenty years, made the appeal necessary; the more so as the Queen had been honestly struggling to pay off the debts bequeathed to her. The subsidy was granted in part at least owing to the exertions of Gardiner, who in spite of mortal illness attended the opening of parliament.

[Sidenote: Nov. Gardiner's death and character]

It was his last public act. A few days later he followed Ridley and Latimer to the grave; dying stoutly, in harness almost to the last. He was of the old school of ecclesiastical statesmen. Five and twenty years before, he had been statesman first, churchman afterwards; but when he found that the ecclesiastical organisation as well as the Pope was the objective of Henry's attack, he took his stand by his Order, though stubbornly loyal to the King. In Henry's later years, he tried a fall with Cranmer and was worsted through the King's favour. All through the reign of Edward, he watched with continual protest-mostly from prison-the toppling over of the fabric which Henry had established; himself, as he judged, the victim of unconstitutional oppression. Released and restored to power by Mary, he repented what he conceived to have been his initial error, the repudiation of Roman authority, and was not averse to exacting the full penalty from those who had dealt hardly with him; was zealous to restore the power of the Church and to stamp out heresy. But to the last, he stood for the Law, and for English freedom from foreign domination, and to the last he fought for his Queen. His wildest panegyrist would not call him a saint; but according to his lights he was rarely cruel or even unjust, though often harsh; the records of his life have been written almost entirely by bitterly hostile critics; [Footnote: This applies not only to the Protestant historians, but also to the correspondence of Renard (on account of the Chancellor's anti-Spanish attitude), and of Noailles who detested him personally.] and his name deserves more honour and less obloquy than is usually attached to it.

[Sidenote: Mary's difficulties]

An embassy to Rome earlier in the year, which had been charged with the formal announcement of the reconciliation, had also intimated Mary's intention of restoring to the Church such of the alienated property as still remained in the hands of the Crown. The new Pope was with difficulty restrained from demanding more. Parliament however, when a bill was proposed for the restoration of "first-fruits and tenths" displayed so much resentment at the suggestion that it was so modified as only to authorise the Queen to dispose personally of the "tenths" actually remaining in her hands. Even this was not carried without vehement opposition. An impoverished exchequer which required replenishment by a subsidy could not afford to surrender a solid portion of revenue to Rome. The hostility to any such tribute was no less active than it had been twenty-five years ago: and the Pope's attitude served only to intensify the feeling, and to stir up general animosity towards the Papacy. The Opposition was so outspoken that some of the members were sent to the Tower. Parliament was dissolved before Christmas.

[Sidenote: 1556; The Dudley conspiracy; Foreign complications]

In January, Charles abdicated-his Burgundian possessions he had resigned to his son three months before-and Philip became King of Spain. Next month, the peace of Vaucelles was signed between France and Spain; but with a consciousness that war was likely to be renewed at the first convenient opportunity. Philip's hands were full, and the French King did not cease from intrigues in England, while French soil continued to be an asylum for English conspirators. In March, Cranmer closed the tragedy of his life, and Pole, who had long ago been nominated to the Archbishopric, was immediately installed. Before Easter, a plot on the old lines was discovered. Elizabeth was to be made Queen and married to Courtenay (now in Italy where he died soon after); France was to help. A number of the conspirators were taken and put to death after protracted examination; others escaped to France, including a Dudley, a connexion of the dead Northumberland, who gave his name to the plot. Most of them were hotheaded young men, who did not appreciate, as did their shrewder elders, the danger of relying on French assistance which would only be granted for ulterior ends. As the year went on, the violent temper of Paul IV. involved him in war with Philip; France naturally took up his cause; and it was more difficult than ever for Mary to escape being dragged into the imbroglio-a singularly painful position for so fervent a daughter of Rome; while the English refugees checkmated their own party at home by their readiness to pay any price-even to the betrayal of Calais-for French support. But for timely reinforcements, the English foothold in France would probably have been captured by a coup de main before the close of 1556. Meantime in England the severity of the persecutions was increased.

[Sidenote 1: 1557, June: the War with France]

[Sidenote 2: 1558, Jan: The loss of Calais]

In the spring of 1557, France and Spain were again at open war, and Philip paid his last brief visit to his wife to obtain English co-operation. Anti-Spanish feeling was strong; but when one of the refugees, Sir Thomas Stafford, [Footnote: A grandson of Buckingham] starting from France, landed in Yorkshire, captured Scarborough Castle, and attempted to raise a rebellion, jealousy of French interference proved an effective counterpoise. The rebellion collapsed at once, and war with France was declared in summer. The success of Philip's troops, which included a considerable English contingent, at St. Quentin in Picardy compelled the French to withdraw from Italy; and the Pope, thus deserted, was forced to a reconciliation with Philip. His animosity however, now aroused against England, was not easy to remove: and it was an additional source of grief to Mary and a great vexation to the Cardinal that Paul deprived him of his Legatine authority. The contest between Philip and Henry of France continued. It is curious that after the experience of the previous year the English authorities still did not realise the precarious position of Calais, and allowed the garrison to be weakened again-though the strain of maintaining its strength with the depleted exchequer would have been almost impossible. The natural result followed. At the end of December, Guise appeared before its walls: on January 6th 1558 it surrendered. Calais was lost for ever. A fortnight later, Guisnes, after a desperate resistance by its commandant, Lord Grey de Wilton, was forced to surrender also.

[Sidenote: National depression]

Whatever else was won or lost in France, the maintenance of the English grip on Calais had been a point of military honour for centuries-like the retention of its colours by a regiment. Nothing substantial was lost with its fall; but the wound to the national honour was deep and bitter. For Mary herself it was the bitterest portion in a cup that was filled with little else than bitterness. Talk of recapture was vain. A subsidy was demanded and granted, but only on the theory that the whole was required not for expeditions but to set the home defences in order against invasion. More could not be done without taxation, which the country could not support. In the attempt to fulfil what Mary and Pole deemed a pious and supreme duty-the restoration to the Church of the property whereof it had been sacrilegiously robbed-political considerations had been ignored and the absolutely necessary expenditure on national objects had been diverted into ecclesiastical channels, at a time when the national revenue was already desperately impoverished. The loss of Calais was reckoned as one more item in the account against Rome.

[Sidenote: Mary's death Nov.]

The whole country was in fact in a condition of irritated despondency, sick of persecution, sick of disaster, disheartened by epidemics and bad harvests; without the spirit or the material means to attempt a whole- hearted prosecution of the war, yet too sore to be willing to make peace till Calais should be recovered. And so in despair and gloom dragged out the last months of Mary Tudor's life. The last message she received from her husband was to beg her to make no difficulties about the succession of the sister who, she knew, would seek to reverse her policy. It was not till November that she passed away-to be followed in a few hours by her one trused friend, Cardinal Pole: the most disastrous example on record of one who with conscientious and destructive persistence aimed at an ideal which her own methods made for ever impossible of attainment.

[Sidenote: and character]

From the time of her childhood she was exposed to unceasing harshness; a princess born, she was treated as a bastard; despite it all, her natural generosity survived. Royally courageous, loyal and straightforward; to her personal enemies almost magnanimous; to the poor and afflicted pitiful; loving her country passionately: she was blind to the forces at work in the world, obsessed with the idea of one supreme duty, and she set herself, as she deemed, to do battle with Antichrist by the only methods she knew, though they were alien to her natural disposition, facing hatred and obloquy. She whose life was one long martyrdom, for conscience' sake offered up a whole holocaust of martyrs: she who thirsted for love died clothed with a nation's hate. Where in all history is a tragedy more piteous than that of Mary Tudor?

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