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ART. X.-- Calendar of Letters, Despatches, and State Papers,
relating to the Negotiations between England and Spain, preserved in the Archives at Simancas and elsewhere. Vol. IV. Part I. Henry VIII. 1529–1530. Edited by PASCUAL DE GAYANGOS. Published by the authority of the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, under the direc
tion of the Master of the Rolls. London: 1879. THIS This volume of the Calendar of Spanish Papers,' though issued only as Part I. of Vol. IV., runs into more than
It refers to a period of twenty months from May 7, 1529, to December 20, 1530, and forms a most interesting supplement to the third part of the fourth volume of
English and Foreign Despatches,' issued by Mr. Brewer in the same series of Calendars just four years ago. Mr. Brewer's work (unfortunately now concluded) embraces a few months more, as it begins from January 1, 1529, and ends with the conclusion of the following year. We must confess that, upon the appearance of that volume, we fancied that no new light would have been thrown upon the celebrated case for the divorce of Katharine of Aragon, which is a prominent feature in both these works. Mr. Brewer not only ransacked the libraries of England, in order to procure manuscript documents, but also inserted numerous epitomes of letters which have already appeared in print, and even anticipated the editor of the Spanish Calendar by analysing the transcripts sent home from Simancas. Notwithstanding all this, the present volume contains an immense amount of new information, derived chiefly from the despatches of Eustace Chapuys, the Imperial Ambassador in England. Don Pascual de Gayangos, who succeeded to the post so ably occupiel by the late M. Bergenroth, has considerably extended the sphere of his operations, and has included documents in his collection, the originals of which are at Paris, Brussels. Vienna, and elsewhere. By far the most important papers are those preserved at Vienna ; and the most curious point of all is, that we are indebted to a foreign repository for minute and accurate information as to the details of the intercourse between Henry and Katharine on the one hand, and between the King and Anne Boleyn on the other, such as will be in vain sought for in any English letters or papers of the period.
Before proceeding to notice these despatches, we may be permitted to make a few remarks on the general style in
which the editor has performed his task; and we regret to say that in this respect the work does not come up to what we expected, and indeed falls far short of the standard, either of Mr. Brewer's volumes or the volumes of the Venetian Calendar published by Mr. Rawdon Brown. The narrow limits to which the prefaces to these volumes have been restricted by order of the Master of the Rolls do not allow the editor to propound theories, either true or false, such as his predecessor indulged in, and we have no particular fault to find with the eight-and-twenty pages of preliminary matter, which are chiefly occupied with brief but useful accounts of the writers of the different despatches calendared in the body of the work. Some of these names will be entirely new to English readers, and it is a great advantage to those who are not familiar with the original documents of the time, to be put in possession of such information as the editor could glean of such diplomatists as Micer Miguei Mai, and Giovan Antonio Muscetola, or Muxetula, as his name is more frequently spelt, to say nothing of Dr. Garay, Dr. Ortiz, and others who are even less known in history than the two able ambassadors who conducted the case for the Queen at Rome under the Emperor's instructions. The remainder of the preface gives us some account of the repositories of the documents and of their past history, and especially of one volume of Berzosa's collection, now at Simancas. This volume seems wholly taken up with the divorce, and it is much to be regretted that the editor has given so meagre an explanation of the nineteen documents contained in it. We observe that all through the work he fails to notice whether a given document has been printed or not, and in this respect again there is a marked contrast between these volumes of Spanish papers and Mr. Brewer's valuable collection. Indeed, there are many blots in this Calendar. Not only are the explanations of names and circumstances alluded to much wanting in uniformity, but there is a considerable number of absolute mistakes; such, for instance, as giving the Bishop of London's name as Tunstall instead of Stokesley, and the name of Cranmer for that of Warham as Archbishop of Canterbury. Moreover, the editor has frequently misunderstood the meaning of a French sentence, and, in one instance at least, has blundered in rendering a Spanish document. We shall have occasion to notice some of these errors as we proceed. We may add that there are several suspicious spellings of Latin words, which are not rendered the less suspicious by the fact that in some cases attention is called to the mistakes by the insertion of a sic;
and in others no notice whatever is taken, so as to leave us quite in doubt whether it is a blunder of the original scribe, or of the editor, or of his amanuensis; or, again, whether it is a mere error of press. Even of this latter class of errors there are more than there ought to have been in a volume printed in so handsome a type and at the public expense.
Enough, however, of fault-finding. We proceed to notice the interesting documents which appear, analysed at considerable length, in this volume. But to be intelligible we must first give a brief account of the state of affairs in May, 1529, when the Calendar begins.
The idea of obtaining a divorce from Queen Katharine was then more than two years old. The first judicial proceedings had been taken before Cardinal Wolsey, at his house in Westminster, on May 17, 1527. How much earlier it had suggested itself to the King's mind will never now be known for certain ; but if the letter to Anne, which speaks of Henry's love for her having existed more than a year, is rightly placed in December of this year or the January following, we may suppose the commencement of the affair to have been some time in the year 1526. The winter of 1527 and the spring of 1528 had been spent in ineffectual attempts to induce the Pope to pronounce against the validity of the dispensation which Julius. II. had given for the marriage of Henry with his brother's widow. Wolsey, who at first had ardently promoted the cause of the divorce, for the purpose of an alliance with a French princess, believing, probably, that Anne Boleyn would soon follow in the wake of her elder sister Mary, and be discarded and married to some nobleman about the Court, had now resolved to face the inevitable, and was doing his best to further his master's wishes and to obtain a divorce from Rome, to enable him to marry Anne Boleyn. The exact relation in which the two lovers stood to each other it is impossible absolutely to determine; but the despatches of which we are going to give some account throw more light upon this point than any documents that have yet been published.
Clement VII., weak and vacillating, afraid alike of the King of England and the Emperor, had delayed the cause, till at length, in the summer of 1528, he commissioned Campeggio and Wolsey to hold a legatine court in England to try it. Campeggio, however, was instructed to prolong the matter as much as possible, and not to give a final judgment with. out consulting the Pope himself. The legate did not arrive in England till October, and in the following month the proceedings were further complicated by the Queen's producing
a breve, dated on the same day as the bull of dispensation for the marriage, differing, however, from the bull in that it provided for the case of the actual consummation of the previous marriage, which had been stated as a doubt in the bull. The virginity of the Queen at the time of her second nuptials, which had been believed by everybody from the first, is now established by abundant testimony, and became a turning-point in the case, though it would have been difficult to prove the fact after an interval of twenty years by any conclusive evidence. As yet the plea of conscience had been persistently urged by Henry. He had, in November, 1528, declared to the assembled nobles, councillors, aldermen, and principal citizens of London, that there was no one whom he would prefer to Katharine for a wife if their marriage was consistent with the law of God; but this plea, which was allowed in all conversations between the King and foreign ambassadors on the subject, was laughed to scorn by all Englishmen, though they could not have known that, at the very time of making it, Wolsey had been instructed to inform the Pope that the King had resolved to abstain from the company of his wife because of certain incurable maladies that he attributed to her. Englishmen in general disbelieved the plea, and Englishwomen were for the most part enthusiastic in their partisanship for the Queen, and infuriated against the woman who they saw was designed to supplant her.
Once in the course of the year 1529 a gleam of light had shone upon the case for the King and his advisers. Pope Clement nearly died, and so certainly was his death expected that
every effort was made to secure the election of Wolsey to the papacy. It was probable that Wolsey himself did not care
. to be pope, except for the purpose of effecting the divorce and securing England to the papal obedience. But Clement's recovery left the case as it was before, and at the period when this volume commences, people were anxiously expecting the first session of the Legatine Court, which it was fondly thought would bring the case to a conclusion before the vacation.
When the case came on it was of the last importance to Wolsey and the King that the breve produced by the Queen should be proved to be a forgery. Though this breve is now known to have been genuine, and was already shrewdly suspected to be so by Wolsey, yet the English ambassadors were instructed to use their utmost endeavour to dispute its authenticity. There was much suspicion attaching to it; but, though a solution of all the difficulties connected with it can now be given, there was good ground for disputing its genuineness when first it was produced. Those who are curious on the point may see the account of the whole matter in the preface to the · Records of the Reformation, published at Oxford in 1870. The third document in this volume is a long despatch from Mai to the Emperor, written at the moment when Gardiner, Bryan, Casale, and Vannes were doing all they could to induce the Pope to pronounce against the breve, and the Imperial ambassadors, Mai and Muxetula, were urging Clement to call up the cause to Rome. The recriminations of the Imperial and English ambassadors, which took place in the audience of the Pope, went beyond the utmost bounds of courtesy, and the Pope himself was treated by both parties in a style which can only be described by the term · badgering,' Mai and an English lawyer, whom the editor need not have doubtfully suggested to be Dr. Stephen Gardiner, for it certainly was he, being the principal disputants. The timidity of Clement seems quite to justify Mai's opinion of him that he was very low-minded. It was upon the matter of the disputed breve that Chapuys was deputed on his mission to the Court of England. The draft of his commission is not dated, but it must have been made out about the end of May, 1529. Meanwhile the proceedings of the Legatine Court in England were brought to an abrupt termination by Campeggio's averring at the end of July that nothing more could be done till the following October, as the Roman vacation had commenced. Don Inigo de Mendoza had quitted England more than two months before, and writes from Brussels on July 30 that his successor as ambassador at the English Court had not yet appeared in Flanders. Of the trial itself the documents in this volume are consequently entirely silent. There was no one in England to detail its proceedings to the Emperor. But fortunately they are minutely related elsewhere, and that from a quarter whence they would not have been expected. In addition to all that we learn from Campeggio's diary, which has been published by Theiner from the original at the Vatican, all the particulars are contained in the despatches of the Venetian ambassador, and may be read in Mr. Rawdon Brown's Calen
· ‘dar of Venetian Despatches.' We need not refer further to them here. It is sufficient to observe that, though Wolsey believed that he and his colleague were acting bonâ fide, and that a decision would be come to, Campeggio had been secretly instructed by the Pope that no judgment was to be pronounced. In the ciphered despatch from Sanga to Campeggio of May 29 the following words occur:
* You may rest assured that the citation of the cause hither, which