« PreviousContinue »
" What the whole body of the Kingdom hath “ suffered,” says Sir Henry, “ since these acts " of confiscation of the Monasteries and their “ Churches, is very remarkable. Let the Monks “ and Fryers shift as they deserved, the good (if “ you will) and the bad together, my purpose is “ not to defend their iniquities; the thing I la“ ment is, that the wheat perished with the dar“ nel; things of good and pious institution with “ those that abused and perverted them ; by “ reason whereof, the service of God was not " only grievously wounded, and bleedeth at this 6 day, but infinite works of charity (whereby “ the poor were universally relieved through the “ kingdom) were utterly cut off and extin“ guished; many thousand masterless servants “ turned loose into the world, and many thou“ fands of poor people, who were actually fed, “ clad, and nourished by the Monasteries, now 6 like young ravens feek their meat from Heaven.
“ have any thing that I require of them? If there be abuses “ in any Monafteries, I will reform them. There he still “ many that are very good.” Bishop Latimer, who sat in the Parliament that dissolved Monasteries, gave it as his opinion, that two or three of the greater Abbies should be preserved in every County of England for pious and charitable purposes. “ This,” says Spelman, “ was a wise and " a godly motion, and was perhaps the occasion that King “ Henry did convert some (in part) to good uses."
66 Every “ Every Monastery, according to its ability, had " an Ambery, (greater or less,) for the daily re- lief of the poor about them. Every principal " Monastery an hospital commonly for travellers, 6 and an infirmary (which we now call a Spital) 6 for the sick and diseased persons, with officers " and attendants to take care of them. Gen6 tlemen and others having children without “ means of maintenance, had them here brought “ up and provided for. These and such other mi“ series falling upon the meaner sort of people, “ drove them into so many rebellions as we spake “ of, and rung such loud peals in King Henry's " ears, that on his death-bed he gave back the « Spital of St. Bartholomew's in Smithfield, and “ the Church of the Gray Friars, with other “ Churches, and 500 marks a-year added to them, 66 to be united, and called Christ Church founded “ by King Henry the Eighth, and to be Hospitals “ for relieving the poor; the Bishop of Roches" ter declaring his bounty at St. Paul's Cross on “ the third day of January, and on the twenty“ eighth day following the King died.”
" What in Henry the Seventh,” says Lord Herbert, 6 is called covetousness by some per“ fons, was a royal virtue ; whereas the excessive “ and needless expences of Henry the Eighth “ drew after them those miserable consequences « which the world hath often reproached. How
66 beit, 66 beit, here may be occasion to doubt whether " the immense treasure which Henry the Seventh co left behind him was not accidentally the cause • of those ills that followed; while the young 6 Prince his son, finding such a mass of money, “ did first carelessly spend, and after strive to “ supply as he could.”
66 One of the liberties," says Lord Herbert, co which our King took at his spare time, was to “ love. For as recommendable parts concurred “ in his person, and they again were exalted in e his high dignity and valour, so it must seem « less strange, if amid the many faire Ladies “ which lived in his Court he both gave and “ received temptation."
Puttenham, in his “ Art of Poetry,” gives the following account of a visit this Prince paid to some Lady of his Court :
“ The King (Henry the Eighth),” says Puttenham, “ having Sir Andrew Flamack his 66 standard-bearer (a merry-conceited man, and 6c apt to scoffe) with him in his barge, passing " from Westminster to Greenwich, to visit a fair « Lady whom the King loved, and who was “ lodged in the tower of the park; the King “ coming within sight of the tower, and being 66 disposed to be merry, said, Flamack, let us
s rhyme. As well as I can, said Flamack, if it “ please your Grace.
“ The King began thus :
Within this towre
“ That hath my hart.”
66 Flamack answered,” adds Puttenham, “ in 6 so uncleanlie terms as might not now become “ me by the rules of decorum to utter, writing " to so great a Majestie (Queene Elizabeth); but “ the King took them in so evil part, as he bid “ Flamack, Avaunt, varlet! and that he should “ be no more neere unto him.”
“ Her Majesty's noble father,” says Puttenham, speaking of Henry the Eighth, father of Queen Elizabeth, “ caused his own head and all “ his courtiers to be polled, and his beard to be “ cut short. Before that time,” adds he, “ it
was thought more decent both for old and
young to be all shaven, and to weare long “ haire, either rounded or square. Now again “ at this time the young Gentlemen of the Court “ have taken up the long haire trayling upon “ their shoulders, and think it more decent; for “ what respect I should be glad to knowe.”
• According to Hollinshed, this Prince thus addressed the Court at Black Fryers, on his conjugal scruples:
“ YE REVEREND FATHERS, “ I have in marriage a wyfe to me most deere, « & entirely beloved, both for hyr singular vir6 tues of mynde, & also for her nobilities of “ birth. But sith I am the king of a mightie “ kingdom, I must provide that it may be law66 ful for me to lye with hyr duely, lawfully, 66 & godlye, & to have children by her, unto " the whiche the inheritance of the kingdome “ maie by righte mofte justlie descend; which 6 two things shall follow, if you by juste judge" ment approve our marriage lawful : if there “ be any doubte, I shall desyre you by your au« thoritie to declare the same, or so to take it " awaie, that in this thing both my conscience “ & the mynds of the people may be quieted 6 for after."
" After this,” adds Hollinshed, “ cometh the “ Queen, the which there, in presence of the 66 whole Court, accuseth the Cardinal of un“ trouth, deceit, wickednesse & malice, which 6 had fowen dissention betwixt her & the King “ her husbande, & therefore openly protested 6 that she did utterly abhorre, refuse, and for“ fake such a judge as was not only a most ma