o be made on the occation, and heralds were sent to proclaim with brazen trumplets through all the principal cities of Europe, that, on a certain day, the Kings of France and England, as companions and brothers in arms,
each attended by 18 followers, would hold a tournament against all knights who might choose to come.
Charles, a new Emperor of Germany (the old one being dead), wanted to prevent that aliance between the two sovereigns, and came over to Eng-
land and secured Wolseys interest by promising that his influence should make him Pope when the next vacancy occured. On the day when the Em-
peror left England, the King and the Court went over to Calais, and thence
to the place of meeting, commonly called the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
There were sham castles, temporary chapels, fountains running wine, great cellars full of wine free as water to all comers, silk tents, gold lace and gilt lions, and such things without end. And, in the midst of all, the rich Cardinal outshone and outglittered all the noblemen and gentlemen assembled. After a treaty had been made between the two Kings with as much solemnity as if they had intended to keep it, the lists - 900 feet long,
and 320 broad - were opened for the tournament. Then, for ten days, the
two sovereigns fought five combats every day, and always beat their polite adversaries.
Of course, nothing came of all these fine doings but a speedy renewal of the war between England and France, in which the two Royal com-panions longed very earnestly to damage one another. But, before it broke out again, the Duke of Buckingham was shamefully executed on Tower Hill, on the evidence of a discharged servant - really for nothing, except the folly of having believed in a friar of the name of Hopkins, who had pretended to be a prophet, and who had mumbled and jumbled out some nonsense about the Dukes son being destined to be very great in the land. It was believed that the unfortunate Duke had given offence to the great Cardinal by expressing his mind freely about the expense and absurdity of the whole business of the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
The new war was a short one, though the Earl of Surrey invaded France again, and did some injury to that country. It ended in another treaty of peace between the two kingdoms, and the discovery that the Emperor of Germany was not such a good friend to England in reality, as he pretend-ed to be. Neither did he keep his promise to Wolsey to make him Pope, though the King urged him. So the Cardinal and King together found out that the Emperor of Germany was not a man to keep faith with. They broke off a projected marriage between the Kings daughter Mary, Prin-cess of Wales, and that sovereign, and began to consider whether it might not be well to marry the young lady, either to Francis himself, or to his eldest son.
There now arose at Wittemberg****, in Germany, the great leader of the mighty change in England which is called The Reformation*****, and which set the people free from their slavery to the priests. This was a learned Doctor, named Martin Luther******, who knew all about them, for he had been a priest, and even a monk, himself. The preaching and writing of Wickliffe******* had set a number of men thinking on this subject, and Luther, finding one day to his great surprise, that there really was a book called the New Testament which the priests did not allow to be read, and which contained truths that they suppressed, began to be very vigorous agains the whole body, from the Pope downward. It happened, while he was yet only beginning his work or awakening the nation, that a friar named Tetzel came into his neighbourhood selling what were called Indulgences, by wholesale, to raise money for beautifying the St. Peters Cathidral at Rome. Those who bought an Indulgence of the Pope were supposed to buy themselves from the punishment of Heaven for their offences. Luther told the people that Indulgences were worthless bits of paper.
The King and the Cardinal were mightly indignant at this presumption; and the King (with the help of Sir Thomas More********, a wise man, whom the afterwards repaid by striking off
his head) even wrote a book about it, with
which the Pope was so well pleased that he
gave the King the title of Defender of the
Faith. The King and Cardinal also issued
flaming warnings to the people not to read
Luthers books, on pain of excommunica-
tion. But they did read them for all that; and
the rumour of what was in them spread far
When this great change was thus going
on, the King began to show himself in his
truest and worst colours. Anne Boleyn, the pretty little girl who had gone abroad to France with her sister, was by this time grown up to be very
beautiful, and was one of the ladies in attendance on Queen Catherine. Queen Catherine was no longer young or pretty, and it is likely that she was not particularly good-tempered, having been always rather melan-choly, and having been made more so by deaths of four of her children when they were very young. So, the King fell in love with the fair Anne Boleyn. He wanted to get rid of his wife and marry Anne.
Queen Catherine had been the wife of
Henrys brother Arthur. So the King called
his favourite priests about him, and said
that he thought that it had not been lawful
for him to marry the Queen.
They answered that it was a serious busi-
ness, and perhaps the best way to make it
right, would be for His Majesty to be de-
vorced. That was the answer the King was
pleased with; so they all went to work.
Many intrigues and plots took place to
get this devorce. Finally, the Pope issued
a commission to Cardinal Wolsey and Cardinal Campeggio (whom he sent over from Italy for the purpose), to try the whole case in England. It is supposed that Wolsey was the Queens enemy, because she had reproved him for his manner of life. But, he did not at first know that the King wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, and when he did know it, he even went down on his knees, in the endeavour to dissuade him.
The Cardinals opened their court in the Convent of the Black friars, in
London. On the opening of the court, when the King and Queen were call-
ed on to appear, that poor lady kneeled at the Kings feet, and said that she had come, a stranger, to his dominions, that she had been a good and true wife for him for 20 years, and that she could acknowledge no power in those Cardinals to try whether she should be considered his wife after all that time, or should be put away. With that, she got up and left the court, and would never afterwards come back to it.
It was a difficult case to try and the Pope suggested the King and Queen to come to Rome and have it tried there. But by the good luck for the King , word was brought to him about Thomas Cranmer, a learned Doctor of Cambridge, who had prospered to urge the Pope on, by referring the case to all the learned doctors and bishops, and getting their opinions that the Kings marriage was unlawful. The King, who was now in a hurry to marry Anne Boleyn, thought this such a good idea, that sent for Cranmer.
It was bad for cardinal Wolsey that he had left Cranmer to render this help. It was worse for him that he had tried to dissuade the King from marrying Anne Boleyn. Such a servant as he, to such a master as Henry, would probably have fallen in any case; but he fell suddenly and heavily. Soon he was arrested for high treason, and died on his way to Tower. Sir Thomas More was made Chancellor in Wolseys place.
Meanwhile, the opinions concerning the divorce, of the learned doctors
and bishops and others, being at last collected, were forwarded to the Pope, with an entreaty that he would now grant it. The unfortunate Pope, who was a timid man, was half distracted between his fear of his authority being set aside in England if he did not do as he was asked, and his dread of offending the Emperor of Germany, who was Queen Catherines neph-ew. In this state of mind he still evaded and did nothing. So, the King took the matter into his own hands, and made himself a head of whole Church.
However, he recompenced the clergy by allowing Luthers opinions. All these events made Sir Thomas More, who was truly attached to the Church, resign.
Being now quite resolved to get rid of Queen Catherine, and marry Anne Boleyn without more ado, the King made Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury, and directed Queen Catherine to leave the Court. She obeyed. but replied that wherever she went, she was Queen of England still, and would remain so, to the last. The King then married Anne Boleyn priva-tely, and the new Archbishop of Cantebury, within half a year, declared his marriage with Queen Catherine void, and crowned Anne Boleyn Queen.
She might have known that no good could ever come with such wrong, and that the King who had been so faithless and so cruel to his first wife, could be more faithless and more cruel to the second. But Anne Boleyn knew that too late, and bought it at dear price. Her marriage came to its natural end. However, its natural end was
not a natural death for her. The Pope was
thrown into a very angry state of mind when
he heard of the Kings marriage. Many of
English monks and friars did the same, but
the King to