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m< ■■■*————— WOLSEY, TU *CARDINAL-CHANCELLOR…
m< ■ —— — —— WOLSEY, TU CARDINAL-CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND, I AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE, f( — |- J fALt. BIGHTS RB8MRVSB.] The Cardinal, when not at Richmond, made white- his home, which as yet had not been taken from 1IiIa. It was while walking up and down the river terrace of the "Improved Old Manor House," now his abocle-t-ut which was insignificant as compared with llampton Court-tbat Wolsey charged Cromwell to jpiake the best place he could for himself in the WWo good graces. Chap 30 "1 have watched the conduct of our royal master fft feme tune," said the Cardinal, and have seen else gradual development of qualities which in their corrupting influence, are likely to dominate, if not to wholly overthrow that magnanimity of nature and bad candour, hitherto characteristic of the King." 44 The lady Anne," interposed Cromwell, "stems sway his highness, almost at will." f For the present she will control him," the Cardinal "marked, Is but only for a brief space of time. They who use the sword may expect to perish by the jnrord, and the means which Anne hath taken to win -op K* from his wife an of so dubious a kind as to I warrant the assumption that the, in turn, will luff- from reprisals." Chap 35 "The Lady Anne is not without mental gifts, Bethinks," said Cromwell, "and hath a strong will." « The King Is stronger-far stronger; but he has effected weakness, and been complaisant for his pur- pose, was the reply; 11 nothing so disgusts his higb- B09S as the pretence to wisdom on her part. In his I he despises the woman, and by the mass!" ex- claimed the Cardinal in a sudden burst of indignation, 41 ignorance can take no more offensive form than when it masquerades in the garb of knowledge. The King laughs at her in his sleeve "Is it love, then, your grace, that prompts the alliance ?" inquired the secretary. M Love cried the Cardinal; Henry of England IlId Cupid are not more likely to assimilate than oil and water. No, my good Cromwell, it is not love, but lust which rules the King. We will, however, change the subject. My star is on the wane, and yours is in the ascendant. When my old college companion, the Rector of Farleigh, sent thee to me, it was not until he found that the planet under which thou wast born was in the ascendant. We both saw (bee, Cromwell, in the crowd at Tournay." M Your grace astounds me-" « Keep silence, I pray thee, and hear what I have to say. I also consulted thy horoscope, and with him came to the conclusion that thy services might be turned to excellent account. At my desire be 1 caused an > e to be kept on thee, and but for the waywardness of thy nature, thou hadst entered my Service long before the message respecting the gipsy funeral, and the dispensation the Rector required brought thee once more under my notice." I am amazed, your grace," exclaimed Cromwell, evidently surprised. fl When thou hast had some experience of authority, which implies responsibility in respect of little as well fus of great things, thou wilt cease to wonder that ambitious men climbing high should bold emissaries Of various kinds in their service. They are the nerves Of great men, and are all essential to success on the part of ruling and guiding spirits. Knowledge is power, and its right application ensures that potent influence for which the lordly intellect craves with as much earnestness as fire ascending from the earth seeks the sun. Tools of every description are abso- lutely essential to the achievement of greatness." Your grace has many agents, whom I well wot of," said Cromwell, "but- ff The Church," the Cardinal went on to observe, as it not noticing the interruption, "is a network of most subtle texture, and deftly woven with consum- mate skill. It includes all kinds of Ash, both large and small. The confessional alone enables the priest- hood to hold the strongest of her sons in bondage! Through the meshes of that net methinks I can already See the King intends to break. He aims at becoming jupreme head of the Church, and with the monasteries Suppressed, a task scarcely yet commenced, but to be parried out by thee fl By me I" exclaimed Cromwell. Aye, marry, I said so, by thee!" added Wolsey with emphasis Reformation even more remarkable than that in course of achievement by the monk Luther in Germany will be brought about in England. The King will be glad of thy service, especially in his negotiations with the Holy Father. I have told his bighness what thou hast been to me, and it were well pow that another master claimed thy devotion." My desire is to remain associated with your grace," said Cromwell. of That may not be," replied the Cardinal; and thou canst serve me. as well as thyself, in the Court of the King. Mark my words, Cromwell, give good beed to them. Thou art a layman, and must needs look upon the Church with different feelings to those which animate an ecclesiastic. The bishops and dignitaries who rejoice over my disfavour with the King are short-sighted, and little know that when I fall the whole fabric of the institution to which they belong-abbeys, monasteries, priories—will totter to their foundations. More than once have I beard the King declare that it was time the revenues of the Church were placed at the disposal of the State; and when he hath been speaking of the corruption pre- valent in too many quarters-the vices of the priest- hood and the nuns in religious houses-often hath his fiighness declared that the only way to get rid of the toul birds was to destroy their nests. That have I averted for some time past without appearing opposed to the King's designs. With the Lady Anne ever at his side, he will no longer be deterred from currying out the plans which he hath at heart." It The spirit of Luther is abroad in the land," inter- posed Cromwell, in a deferential tone. And should be crushed!" exclaimed the Cardinal. ff Once admit the right of private judgment and the IDburch is lost!" Wolsey fell into a reverie, and his secretary, accord- ing to wont, kept silence until his master chose to break it. Thou knowest the girl Eva, now in the nunnery Of Staplehurst ?" said the Cardinal. fl Marry, I remember her right well," was the reply At the secretary. "Provision hath been made for her by me," his master remarked; and, as thou lovest me, see to it that no harm befall her." 0 1 Printing of every Description 0"' I promise, your grace, to watch over her with jealous care, she J MI know what thou would'st say," the Cardinal remarked, suddenly interrupting him; thou hadst some fondness for her. It must be that of a brother for a sister—nothing more." No other feeling hath place in my breast, may it please your grace," said the secretary, with some warmth. Listen," whispered the Cardinal; walls and trees have ears. The young man Carlo, her husband, according to the custom of the Zingarees, like herself, is of noble blood. Be thou silent on what I shall trust to thee. He is none other than the Rector of Farleighle son!" I am confounded, my lord!" exclaimed Cromwell. Priests are only human," was the laconic reply; and it was when travelling in Italy together, as mere youths, that illicit acquaintance made by me with Zara of the Colonna family led to the birth of Eva, and that association on the part of my com- panion with a Neapolitan damsel, by name Carlotta Fezzi, resulted in a son being bom to him. He had only recently taken orders while I was still a layman. Consult with the Rector on the point at thy con- venience, and hand to him these papers; they contain instructions and advice. Act on my wishes, nay commands, good Cromwell, when thy master hath passed away, to be arraigned before a tribunal the Judge of which hath all hearts within his ken, to whom all desires are known, and from whom no secrets are hid." The Cardinal place I in Cromwell's hand a sealed packet, saying with emphasis: «« Be faithful to thy trust!" Chap 30 It was not a little singular that Thomas Cromwell, who was Henry's chief agent in effecting the dissolu- tion of the monasteries-and obtained among other things the manor of Wimbledon, where he was born, as his share of the plunder—should have been fol- lowed a century after by Oliver Cromwell-believed to be a descendant in the work of destruction. The former was content for the most part to appropriate the revenues of the Church, while the latter seems to have taken intense delight in overthrowing what re- mained in his day of the material fabric of abbeys and conventional institutions. The site of Thomas Cromwell's birthplace, as pointed out by tradition, it is said, agrees with a survey of the manor taken in 1617, which describes upon the same spot "an ancient cottage called the I Smith's Shop,' lying west of highway leading from Putney to the Upper Gate, and on the south side of the road from Richmond to Wandsworth, being the sign of the Anchor." According to some particulars recently published by Mr. J. Phillips, the well-known antiquarian, Thomas Cromwell, who had spent his early life ia travel, returned from Antwerp about the year 1514; that he then settled as a wool and cloth merchant, subsequently practised as a lawyer, accountant, and scrivener, by Fenchurch, in Fenchurch-street, London. This Thomas Cromwell's wife was the widow of a Thomas Williams, of Llanishen, in Gla- morganshire, but members of the family had been long connected with Wimbledon and Putney. From 1492 to 1502, when he died, a John Williams was overseer and collector of the revenues of Wimbledon Manor, His father was an attorney in the parish of St. Helens, Bishopgate, and was buried in the church there, where his effigy in brass may still be seen in the chapel south of the chancel. The likeness of him depicted on the brass resembles the portraits of Oliver Cromwell, who a hundred and fifty years after became Lord Protector. Chap 30 "This may well be so," says Mr. Phillips, for he was great-uncle to Morgan Williams, who was the great-grandfather of the Protector Oliver. In Wales Le was culled Morgan ap William, and was brought up there to his father' profession as a lawyer and accountant, but became an ale brewer with his uncle John Morgan, of Cardiff." chap 30 In 1487. when Wolsey was sixteen years of age and at Oxford, John Morgan was induced to start two ale breweries on Wimbledon Manor at Mortlake and Putney, for the purpose of supplying with. good sound ale the King's household, yeomen of the guard, and their families, nearly all of whom, like the King himself. were Welsn, and who resided at Richmond, ShfeD, Mortlake. and Putney. Morgan Williams also had a brewery and inn. called the Crooked Billet, at the south-west part of Wimbledon Green." In 1516, he surrendered his property to Walter Cromwell. Three tenements with ^aniens now occupy the site of the cottage on Wimbledon Green, given to Walter Cromwell by his son-in-law, Morgan Williams." When a lad, Thornaa Cromwoll astended a school at Putney, and in his fourteenth year was articled to John Williams, of Wimbledon, to be brought up as a lawyer, accountant, and steward, or manager of estates. He was an erratic youth and took to travel with singular avioity. His lather was a brewer, smith, fuller, and sheep farmer in Putney, and held a hundred and twenty acres of land, so that his position was one of considerable influence. John Williams lived at Mortlake, in a house now standing, just above the spot where the University Boat Race ends. This place was long known as Cromwell House." Thomas Cromwell," gays the antiquarian already quoted, would probably have succeeded his father quoted, would probably have succeeded his father in time, as Overseer of the Manor, but he met with 1 some mishap, for which he was put into prison for a ttaa". Probably the youth got into bad company and lost, or was robbed of the Manor rents which he had been out collecting. Whatever the mistake was, it caused a bitter feud between him and his father, which the latter never forgave." r Cromwell d s»ppeared tr m the scene of his dis- grace, and when his father died, he failed to claim the property left him, nor did he ever return thither until his character had been redeemed, and as secretary to Wolsey he had attained to considerable power. That wayward youth, who had been sent to gaol for losing money entrusted to him, and who fled from his home in sore disgrace, returned Lord of the Manor of Wimbledon, Baron of Okeham in Rutland- shire, Earl of Essex, and Lord High Chamberlain of England. Another tap on the kaleidoscope of fortune, and the combinations of form and colour change! The whirling of time brings in its revenges; he feels like his master the Cardinal, how wretched is the man that hangs on princes' favours within twelve months after receiving his earldom, he is arrested on a charge of high treason; a bill of attainder is passed against him by a servile Parliament at the bidding of a tyrannical king; his confiscated estates are settled on Catherine Parr destined to survive her royal husband and the head of the Putney blacksmith and brewer, tool and instrument of spoliation in the hands of Henry, rolls from the block on the floor of the scaffold, under the axe of the headsman in front of the Cburcta 01 St Peter on tfaeTowjNf Green, I d-4" Executed at the "Chronicle" Office, Penarth. CHAPTER XXXI. With age, with cares, with maladies opprened, He geeks the refuge of monastic rest; Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings, And his last sighs reproach the faith of kingø! —JOHNSON. Tii princely residence of York Pace, better known perhaps as Whitehall, had excited the envy of the covetous Henry, and it was while the Cardinal was sojourning there, engaged in affairs of State, that the King sent the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk to demand from Wolsey the return of the Great Seal entrusted to him. Tell his Highness," was the Cardinal's reply, "that as neither your grace of Norfolk nor your grace of Suffolk ha.th brought a written order or voucher of any kind in support of your demand, I decline to place the Seal in your hands. I received it from my honoured master, and to him in person, or on his written and undoubted authority alone, wW I render it into the hands of a messenger." The King's emissaries went their way, but on the- morrow returned with Henry's written commands to the effect that the Chancellor was to send back the, Great Seal, and retire forthwith to Esher. Meanwhile articles of impeachment were prepared against Wolsey, and he was declared to have incurred the pains and penalties of a praemunire, in that he had exercised legatine powers within the realm, contrary to an old statute. His goods and chattels were declared to have lapsed to the Crown, and little was now left to him but his robe and his integrity to heaven! In this terrible crisis of his fate, the Cardinal appears to have acted with magnanimity and resigna- I tion. The best qualities of his nature were displayed to advantage in adversity, and he maintained a dig- nified attitude to the last. Entering his barge from the stairs leading to the Thames, Wolsey, attended by his secretary and gentleman-usher, proceeded up the river as far as Putney. The rowers, twenty-one in number, and the helmsman, all of whom wore the Cardinal's livery of scarlet and gold, kept profound silence and refrained from singing as they had hitherto often done a cadence to the measured movement of their oars. Their faces were overshadowed with sorrow, for although IS yet his servants were unacquainted with the real position of affairs, enough was known to occasion them deep anxiety respecting the future of one who, despite his faults and failings, had been to those in his service a good, a noble, and a generous master. On reaching Putney, Wolsey landed, and rode leisurely to Esher." When near Kingston-on-Thames one of the officers of the Court, ridiag at high speed, with a message to the king, then at Hampton Palace, overtook the Cardinal and his attendants. Reining in his horses, the courtier, unlike many of the more important nobles, paid his Eminence customary homage, and bade him good den with a profound reference. « What news abroad ?" asked the fallen statesman,, in a calm voice. This, may it please your grace, that the stornv between you and the King I and the king- 'tis no longer, now;" muttered the Cardinal, interrupting the speaker. That the grievance between you and his highnecs is not destined to be of long duration," continued the young knight; and that the Cardinal-Chancellor of England stands as high as ever in his sovereign's favour." Alas!" said Wolsey; II thou knowest not, an yet. what hath taken place." The voice of all about the Court is, as I assure thee," said the messenger. May a fool speak ?" asked Patch, the jester, who,. privileged as he WAS, rode close to his master and overheard the conversation. "May a fool speak ?" "Marry, my good Patch, with right hearty will," the Cardinal replied. Then, send me to the King; make his highness a present of poor Patch. I'll warrant me that I tickle him into good humour, and laugh the Lady Anne out of her prejudices against your grace. P pray thee let me follow this young knight 11 Thoulrt welcome to join i my train," said the- courtier; thou wast wont to be a favourite with the King, Patch!" Besbrew me, then, I have a friend," exclaimed the jester; a fig for the proverb which saith a favourite hath no friends." 11 Thou wilt find that a fallen favourite, my good fool," said Wolsey iri a serious tone, hath none." Hope on, hope ever cried Patch; "still be thy noble self, my master; let me to the King I will keep thee in his memory what doth worthy Thomas A Kempis say? Why, that when a friend is out of sight, quickly also is he out of mind!" Thou shalt go, Patch be discreet; here is that will help thee -11 Nay, your grace, I have gold enough and in store- for my purpose," said the jester, as Wolsey held out to him a small pouch containing money; "I have enough and to spare. I'll touch the King's heart! Dost thou not remember that when the Lord Mayer's Fool, at the banquet given by Sir Samuel Cady to his highness, jumped according to custom into a large custard-bowl, with his clothes on, I followed his ex- ample so far as to leap, at the King's command, into a parlous bowl of claret? Here is the ring his high- ness gave me that day, and pledged himself by the token to do me any service I could ask him ? "That was for thine own advantage," said the, Cardinal, not for the benefit of another. Still, go. thy way, good Patch; the step may at least enable- thee to provide for thine own safety." With a respectful bow and a flourish of his cap and bells, Patch, without staying to hear another word, following the King's messenger, and was speedily out of sight. Faithful among the faithless, he," the Cardinal observed to Cromwell; an' he blunder not, the King may see his way to justice through folly; I fear me truth and wisdom have lost their influence upon his, highness." When the poor of Hampton, Teddington, Hampton Wick, and the adjacent places heard that the great Cardinal was on his way to Esber-or Asher, as it was then called-they turned out in large numbers from the villages, and by the time Wolsey, after tarrying for refreshment at Kingston, had reached Thames Ditton-for be took that route in preference to the road through Bushey-park, which ran closer to his palace of Hampton—he found a large con- course of men, women, and children assemb'ed, all humble folk, who had participated in his bounty, kneeling by the wayside and craving a blessing from him. Wolsey dismounted, and, extending his hands over them, said: Good people, I gladly bestow my benediction, upon you! May God have you ever in his safe and, Jaolz keeping.