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The World's Greatest Books, Vol XI. by Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

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the kingdom there is not a single harsh or cruel action with which he
can be charged.

Such was the man who, seemingly in the fourth year of Eadward, in the
twenty-fourth of his own age, was invested with the rule of one of the
great divisions of England, who, seven years later, became the virtual
ruler of the kingdom; who, at last, twenty-one years from his first
elevation, received, alone among English kings, the crown of England as
the free gift of her people, and, alone among English kings, died axe in
hand on her soil in the defence of England against foreign invaders.

William of Normandy bears a name which must for ever stand forth among
the foremost of mankind. No man that ever trod this earth was endowed
with greater natural gifts; to no man was it ever granted to accomplish
greater things. No man ever did his work more effectually at the moment;
no man ever left his work behind him as more truly an abiding possession
for all time. In his character one feature stands out pre-eminently
above all others. Throughout his career we admire in him the embodiment
in the highest degree that human nature will allow of the fixed purpose
and the unbending will.

We are too apt to look upon William as simply the conqueror of England.
But so to do is to look at him only in his most splendid, but at the
same time his least honourable, aspect. William learned to become the
conqueror of England only by first becoming the conqueror of Normandy
and the conqueror of France. He found means to conquer Normandy by the
help of France, and to conquer France by the help of Normandy. He came
to his duchy under every disadvantage. At once bastard and minor, with
competitors for his coronet arising at every moment, he was throughout
the whole of his early life beset by troubles, none of which were of his
own making, and he came honourably out of all.

In 1052, William paid his memorable visit to England. At that time both
Normandy and England were at rest, enjoying peace. Visits of mere
friendship and courtesy among sovereign princes were rare in those days.
Such visits as those which William and Eustace of Boulogne paid at this
time to this country were altogether novelties, and unlikely to be
acceptable to the English mind. We may be sure that every patriotic
Englishman looked with an evil eye on any French-speaking prince who
made his way to the English court.

William came with a great following; he tarried awhile in his cousin's
company; he went away loaded with gifts and honours. And he can hardly
doubt that he went away encouraged by some kind of promise of succeeding
to the kingdom which he now visited as a stranger. Direct heirs were
lacking to the royal house, and William was Eadward's kinsman. The
moment was in every way favourable for suggesting to William on the one
hand, to Eadward on the other, the idea of an arrangement by which
William should succeed to the English crown on Eadward's death. The
Norman writers are full of Eadward's promise to William, and also of
some kind of oath that Harold swore to him. Had either the promise or
the oath been a pure Norman invention, William could never have paraded
both in the way that he did in the eyes of Europe. I admit, then, some
promise of Eadward, some oath of Harold. But when the time came for
Eadward the Confessor to make his final recommendation of a successor,
he certainly changed his purpose; for his last will, so far as such an
expression can be used, was undoubtedly in favour of Harold.

There is not the slightest sign of any intention on the part of Eadward
during his later years to nominate William to the Witan as future king.
The two streams of English and Norman history were joined together in
the year when the two sovereigns met for the only time in their reigns.
Those streams again diverged. England shook off the Norman influence to
all outward appearance, and became once more the England of AEthelstan
and Eadgar. But the effects of Eadgar's Norman tendencies were by no
means wholly wiped away. Normans still remained in the land, and
circumstances constituted secondary causes of the expedition of William.

It was in the year 1051 that the influence of strangers reached its
height. During the first nine years of Eadward's reign we find no signs
of any open warfare between the national and the Normanising parties.
The course of events shows that Godwine's power was being practically
undermined, but the great earl was still Jutwardly in the enjoyment of
royal favour, and his fast possessions were still being added to by
royal grants. But soon England began to feel how great is the evil when
a king and those immediately around him are estranged from the mass of
his people in feeling.

To the French favourites who gradually crowded the court of Eadward the
name, the speech, and the laws of England were things on which their
ignorant pride looked with utter contempt.

Count Eustace of Boulogne, now brother-in-law of the king of the
English, presently came, like the rest of the world, to the English
Court. The king was spending the autumn at Gloucester. Thither came
Count Eustace, and, after his satisfactory interview with the king, he
turned his face homewards. When a few miles from Dover he felt himself,
in a region specially devoted to Godwine, to be still more thoroughly in
an enemy's country than in other parts of England, and he and all his
company took the precaution of putting on their coats of mail.

The proud Frenchmen expected to find free quarters at Dover, and they
attempted to lodge themselves at their pleasure in the houses of the
burghers. One Englishman resisted, and was struck dead on the spot. The
count's party then rode through the town, cutting and slaying at
pleasure. In a skirmish which quickly ensued twenty Englishmen and
nineteen Frenchmen were slain.

Count Eustace and the remnant of the party hastened back to Gloucester,
and told the story after their own fashion. On the mere accusation of a
stranger, the English king condemned his own subjects without a hearing.
He sent for Godwine, as earl of the district in which lay the offending
town, and commanded him to inflict chastisement on Dover. The English
champion was then in the midst of a domestic rejoicing. He had, like the
king, been strengthening himself by a foreign alliance, and had just
connected his house with that of a foreign prince. Tostig, the third son
of Godwine, had just married Judith, the daughter of Baldwin of

Godwine, however, bidden without the least legal proof of offence, to
visit with all the horrors of fire and sword, was not long in choosing
his course. Official duty and public policy, no less than abstract
justice and humanity, dictated a distinct refusal. Now or never a stand
was to be made against strangers, and the earl demanded a legal trial
for the burghers of Dover.

But there were influences about Eadward which cut off all hope of a
peaceful settlement of the matter. Eustace probably still lingered about
the king, and there was another voice ever at the royal ear, ever ready
to poison the royal mind against the people of England and their leader.
It was the voice of a foreign monk, Archbishop Robert. Godwine and three
other earls summoned their followers and demanded the surrender of
Eustace, but the frightened king sent for the Northern Earls Siward,
Leofric, and Ralph, bidding them bring a force strong enough to keep
Godwine in check. Thus the northern and southern sections were arrayed
against each other.

There were, however, on the king's side, men who were not willing to see
the country involved in civil war. Leofric, the good Earl of Mercia,
stood forth as the champion of compromise and peace, and it was agreed
that hostilities should be avoided and that the witenagemot should
assemble at Michaelmas in London.

Of this truce King Eadward and his foreign advisers took advantage to
collect an army, at the head of which they appeared in London. Godwine
and his son Harold were summoned to the gemot, but refused to appear
without a security for a safe conduct. The hostages and safe-conduct
were refused. The refusal was announced by Bishop Stigand to the earl as
he sat at his evening meal. The bishop wept; the earl sprang to his
feet, overthrew the table, leaped on his horse, and, with his sons, rode
for his life all that night. In the morning the king held his
witenagemot, and by a vote of the king and his whole army, Godwine and
his sons were declared outlaws, but five days were allowed them to get
out of the land. Godwine, Swegen, Tostig, and Gyrth, together with Gytha
and Judith, the newly-married wife of Tostig, set sail for Bruges in a
ship laden with as much treasure as it would hold. They reached the
court of Flanders in safety, were honourably received by the count, and
passed the whole winter with him.

Two of Godwine's sons, however, sought another refuge. Harold and his
younger brother Leofwine determined on resistance, and resolved to seek
shelter among the Danish settlers in Ireland, where they were cordially
received by King Diarmid. For the moment the overthrow of the patriotic
leaders in England was complete, and the dominion of the foreigners over
the feeble mind of the king was complete. It was while Godwine dwelt as
an exile at Bruges, and Harold was planning schemes of vengeance in the
friendly court of Dublin, that William the Bastard, afterwards known as
William the Conqueror, paid his memorable visit to England, that visit
which has already been referred to as a stage, and a most important one,
among the immediate causes of the Norman Conquest.

Stirring events followed in quick succession. General regret was felt
among all patriotic Englishmen at the absence of Godwine. The common
voice of England soon began to call for the return of the banished earl,
who was looked to by all men as the father of his country. England now
knew that in his fall a fatal blow had been dealt to her own welfare and
freedom. And Godwine, after sending many petitions to the king, vainly
petitioning for a reconciliation, determined to return by force,
satisfied that the great majority of Englishmen would be less likely to
resist him than to join his banners.

Harold sailed from Ireland to meet his father by way of the English
Channel. Godwine sailed up the Thames, and London declared for him.
Panic reigned among the favourites of King Eadward. The foreigners took
to flight, among the fugitives being Archbishop Robert and Bishop Ulf.
The gemot met and decreed the restoration of the earl and the outlawry
of many Normans. The king yielded, and accorded to Godwine the kiss of
peace, and a revolution was accomplished of which England may well be

But a tragedy soon followed, in the death of the most renowned
Englishman of that generation. During a meal at the Easter festival
Godwine fell from his seat, and died after lying insensible for three
days. Great was the grief of the nation. Harold, in the years that
followed, became so increasingly popular that he was virtually chief
ruler of England, even before the death of Eadward, which happened on
January 5, 1066. His burial was followed by the coronation of Harold.
But the moment of struggle was now come. The English throne had become
vacant, and the Norman duke knew how to represent himself as its lawful
heir, and to brand the king of the nation's choice as an usurper. The
days of debate were past, and the sword alone could decide between
England and her enemy.

William found one Englishman willing to help him in all his schemes, in
the person of Tostig, Harold's brother, who had been outlawed at the
demand of the nation, owing to his unfitness to rule his province as
Earl of Northumberland. He had sunk from bad to worse. Harold had done
all he could for his fallen brother, but to restore him was impossible.
Tostig was at the Norman court, urging William to the invasion of
England. At his own risk, he was allowed to make an incursion on the
English coast. Entering the Humber, he burned several towns and slew
many men. But after these ravages Tostig repaired to ask help of Harold
Hardrada, whom he induced to prepare a great expedition.

Harold Hardrada and Tostig landed and marched towards York. A battle was
fought between the Mercians and Norwegians at Fulford, in which the
former were worsted, but Harold was marching northward. In the fearful
battle of Stamford Bridge both Harold Hardrada and Tostig were slain,
and the Viking host was shattered. The victorious English king was
banqueting in celebration of the great victory, when a messenger
appeared who had come at fleetest pace from the distant coast of Sussex.

One blow had been warded off, but another still more terrible had
fallen. Three days after the fight at Stamford Bridge, William, Duke of
the Normans, once the peaceful guest of Edward, had again, but in quite
another guise, made good his landing on the shores of England. It was in
August 1066 that the Norman fleet had set sail on its great enterprise.
For several weeks a south wind had been waited for at the mouth of the
River Dive, prayers and sacred rites of every kind being employed to
move Heaven to send the propitious breeze. On September 28 the landing
was effected at Pevensey, the ancient Anderida. There were neither,
ships nor men to resist the landing. The first armed man who set foot on
English ground was Duke William himself, whose foot slipped, so that he
fell with both hands on the ground.

A loud cry of grief was raised at the evil omen. But the ready wit of
William failed him not. "By the splendour of God," he cried, "I have
taken seizin of my kingdom; the earth of England is in my hands." The
whole army landed in order, but only one day was spent at Pevensey. On
the next day the army marched on eastward and came to Hastings, which
was fixed on as the centre of the operations of the whole campaign.

It was a hard lot for the English king to be compelled to hasten
southward to dislodge the new enemy, after scarcely a moment's rest from
the toils and glories of Stamford Bridge. But the heart of Harold failed
him not, and the heart of England beat in unison with the heart of her
king. As soon as the news came, King Harold held a council of the
leaders of Stamford Bridge, or perhaps an armed gemot. He told them of
the landing of the enemy; he set before them the horrors which would
come upon the land if the invader succeeded in his enterprise. A loud
shout of assent rose from the whole assembly. Every man pledged his
faith rather to die in arms than to acknowledge any king but Harold.

The king thanked his loyal followers, and at once ordered an immediate
march to the south, an immediate muster of the forces of his kingdom.
London was the trysting-place. He himself pressed on at once with his
immediate following. And throughout the land awoke a spirit in every
English heart which has never died out to this day. The men from various
shires flocked eagerly to the standard of their glorious king. Harold
seems to have reached London on October 5, about ten days after the
fight at Stamford Bridge, and a week after the Norman landing at
Pevensey. Though his royal home was now at Westminster, he went, in
order to seek divine help and succour, to pray at Waltham, the home of
his earlier days, devoting one day to a pilgrimage to the Holy Cross
which gave England her war-cry.

Harold and William were now both eager for the battle. The king set out
from London on October 12. His consummate generalship is nowhere more
plainly shown than in this memorable campaign. He formed his own plan,
and he carried it out. He determined to give battle, but only on his own
ground, and after his own fashion. The nature of the post shows that his
real plan was to occupy a position where the Normans would have to
attack him at a great disadvantage.

William constrained Harold to fight, but Harold, in his turn,
constrained William to fight on ground of Harold's own choosing. The
latter halted at a point distant about seven miles from the headquarters
of the invaders, and pitched his camp upon the ever-memorable heights of
Senlac. It was his policy not to attack. He occupied and fortified a
post of great natural strength, which he speedily made into what is
distinctly spoken of as a castle.

The hill of Senlac, now occupied by the abbey and town of Battle,
commemorates in its later name the great event of which it was the

The morning of the decisive day, Saturday, October 14, at last had come.
The duke of the Normans heard mass, and received the communion in both
kinds, and drew forth his troops for their march against the English
post. Then in full armour, and seated on his noble Spanish war-horse,
William led his host forth in three divisions. The Normans from the hill
of Telham first caught sight of the English encamped on the opposite
height of Senlac.

First in each of the three Norman divisions marched the archers,
slingers, and cross-bow men, then the more heavily-armed infantry,
lastly the horsemen. The reason of this arrangement is clear. The
light-armed were to do what they could with their missiles to annoy the
English; the heavy infantry were to strive to break down the palisades
of the English camp, and so to make ready the way for the charge of the

Like the Normans, the English had risen early. The king, after exhorting
his troops to stand firm, rode to the royal post; he there dismounted,
took his place on foot, and prayed to God for help. The battle began at
nine in the morning--one of the sacred hours of the church. The trumpet
sounded, and a flight of arrows from all three Norman divisions--right,
centre, and left,--was the prelude to the onslaught of the heavy-armed
foot. The real struggle now began. The French infantry had to toil up
the hill, and to break down the palisade, while a shower of stones and
javelins disordered their approach, and while club, sword and axe
greeted all who came within the reach of hand-strokes.

Both sides fought with unyielding valour. The war-cries rose on either
side. The Normans shouted "God help us!" the English called on the "Holy
Cross." The Norman infantry had soon done its best, but that best had
been in vain. The choicest chivalry of Europe now pressed on to the
attack. The knights of Normandy and of all lands from which men had
flocked to William's standard, now pressed on, striving to make what
impression they could with the whole strength of themselves and their
horses on the impenetrable fortress of timber, shields, and living

But all was in vain. The English had thus far stood their ground well
and wisely, and the tactics of Harold had so far completely answered.
Not only had every attack failed, but the great mass of the French army
altogether lost heart. The Bretons and the other auxiliaries on the left
were the first to give way. Horse and foot alike, they turned and fled.
The whole of William's left wing was thrown into utter confusion.

The strong heart of William, however, failed him not, and by his single
prowess and presence of mind he recalled the fleeing troops. Order was
soon restored, and the Norman host pressed on to a second and more
terrible attack. The duke himself, his relics round his neck, sought out
Harold. A few moments more, and the two might have come face to face,
but Gyrth, the noble brother of the English king, hurled a spear at
William. The missile narrowly missed the duke, but slew the Spanish
steed, the first of three that died under him that day. But William
could not fight on foot as well as on horseback. He rose to his feet,
pressed straight to seek the man who had so nearly slain him, and the
earl fell, crushed beneath the blow of William's mace. Nor did he fall
alone, for his brother, Earl Leofwine, was smitten to the earth by an
unknown assailant.

The second attack, however, failed, for the English lines were as
unyielding as ever. Direct attack was unavailing. In the Norman
character fox and lion were equally blended, as William now showed. He
ventured on the daring stratagem of ordering a pretended flight, and the
unwary English rushed down the slope, pursuing the fugitive with shouts
of delight. The error was fatal to England. The tide was turned; the
duke's object was now gained; and the main end of Harold's skilful
tactics was frustrated. The English were no longer entrenched, and the
battle fell into a series of single combats. As twilight was coming on
an arrow, falling like a bolt from heaven, pierced Harold's right eye,
and he sank in agony at the foot of the standard. Round that standard
the fight still raged, till the highest nobility, the most valiant
soldiery of England were slaughtered to a man.

Had Harold lived, had another like him been ready to take his place, we
may well doubt whether, even after Senlac, England would have been
conquered at all. As it was, from this moment her complete conquest was
only a matter of time. From that day forward the Normans began to work
the will of God upon the folk of England, till there were left in
England no chiefs of the land of English blood, till all were brought
down to bondage and sorrow, till it was a shame to be called an
Englishman, and the men of England were no more a people.

* * * * *


History of England

James Anthony Froude was born at Darlington, England, April
23, 1818, and died on Oct. 20, 1894. He was educated at
Westminster, and Oriel College, Oxford. Taking Holy Orders, he
was, for a time, deeply influenced by Newman and the
Tractarian movement, but soon underwent the radical revolution
of thought revealed by his first treatise, the "Nemesis of
Faith," which appeared in 1849, and created a sensation. Its
tendency to skepticism cost him his fellowship, but its
profound pathos, its accent of tenderness, and its fervour
excited wide admiration. Permanent fame was secured by the
appearance, in 1856, of the first two instalments of his
magnificent work, "The History of England, from the Fall of
Wolsey to the Defeat of the Armada," the last volume appearing
in 1870. This treatise on the middle Tudor period is one of
the most fascinating historical treatises in the whole range
of literature. It is written in a vivid and graphic prose, and
with rare command of the art of picturesque description.
Froude never accepted the doctrine that history should be
treated as a science; rather he claimed that the historian
should concern himself with the dramatic aspect of the period
about which he writes. The student may disagree with many of
Froude's points of view and portraitures, yet his men and
women breathe with the life he endows them, and their motives
are actuated by the forces he sets in motion. Of his
voluminous works perhaps the most notable, with the exception
of the "History," are his "History of Ireland in the
Eighteenth Century," 1871-74, and his "Short Studies on Great
Subjects," the latter aptly exhibiting Froude's gifts of
masterful prose and glittering paradox.

_I.--The Condition of England_

In periods like the present, when knowledge is every day extending, and
the habits and thoughts of mankind are perpetually changing under the
influence of new discoveries, it is no easy matter to throw ourselves
back into a time in which for centuries the European world grew upon a
single type, in which the forms of the father's thoughts were the forms
of the son's, and the late descendant was occupied in treading into
paths the footprints of his ancestors.

So absolutely has change become the law of our present condition, that
to cease to change is to lose place in the great race. Looking back over
history, we see times of change and progress alternating with other
times when life and thought have settled into permanent forms. Such was
the condition of the Greeks through many ages before the Persian wars,
and such, again, became the condition of Europe when the Northern
nations grafted religion and the laws of the Western empire on their own
hardy natures.

A condition of things differing alike both inwardly and outwardly from
that into which a happier fortune has introduced ourselves, is
necessarily obscure to us. In the alteration of our own characters we
have lost the key which would interpret the characters of our fathers.
But some broad conclusions as to what they were are, however, at least
possible to us. A rough census taken at the time of the Armada shows
that it was something under five millions.

The feudal system, though practically modified, was still the organising
principle of the nation, and the owner of land was bound to military
service at home whenever occasion required. All land was held upon a
strictly military principle. The state of the working classes can best
be determined by a comparison of their wages with the price of food.
Both were as far as possible regulated by Act of Parliament. Wheat in
the fourteenth century averaged 10d. the bushel; beef and pork were
1/2d. a pound; mutton was 3/4d. The best pig or goose could be bought
for 4d.; a good capon for 3d.; a chicken for 1d.; a hen for 2d.
Strong-beer, which now costs 1s. 6d. a gallon, was then a 1d. a gallon,
and table beer was less than 1/2d.

A penny at the time of which we write must have been nearly equal in the
reign of Henry VIII. to the present shilling. For a penny the labourer
could buy as much bread, beef, beer, and wine as the labourer of to-day
can for a shilling. Turning then to the question of wages, by the 3d of
the 6th of Henry VIII., it was enacted that the master, carpenters,
masons, bricklayers, tilers, plumbers, glaziers, joiners, and others,
employers of skilled workmen should give to each of their journeymen, if
no meat and drink was allowed, sixpence a day for the half year,
fivepence a day for the other half; or fivepence-half penny for the
yearly average. The common labourers were to receive fourpence a day for
the half year; for the remaining half, threepence.

The day labourer received what was equivalent to something near twenty
shillings a week, the wages at present paid in English colonies; and
this is far from being a full account of his advantages. The
agricultural labourer held land in connection with his house, while in
most parishes there were large ranges of common and unenclosed forest
land, which furnished fuel to him gratis, where pigs might range, and
ducks and geese, and where, if he could afford a cow, he was in no
danger of being unable to feed it; and so important was this privilege
considered, that when the commons began to be largely enclosed,
Parliament insisted that the working man should not be without some
piece of ground on which he could employ his own and his family's

By the 7th of the 31st of Elizabeth it was ordered that no cottage
should be built for residence without four acres of land at lowest being
attached to it for the sole use of the occupants of such cottage.

The incomes of the great nobles cannot be determined for they varied
probably as much as they do now. Under Henry IV. the average income of
an earl was estimated at L2,000 a year. Under Henry VIII. the great Duke
of Buckingham, the wealthiest English peer, had L6,000. And the income
of the Archbishop of Canterbury was rated at the same amount. But the
establishments of such men were enormous. Their retinues in time of
peace consisted of several hundred persons, and in time of war a large
share of the expenses was paid often out of private purses.

Passing down to the body of the people, we find that L20 a year and
heavy duties to do for it, represented the condition of the squire of
the parish. By the 2nd of Henry V. "the wages" of a parish priest were
limited to L5 6s. 8d., except in cases where there was a special license
from the bishop, when they might be raised as high as L6. Both squire
and priest had sufficient for comfort. Neither was able to establish any
steep difference between himself and the commons among whom he lived, so
far as concerned outward advantages.

The habits of all classes were free, open, and liberal. In frank style
the people lived in "merry England," displaying the "glory of
hospitality," England's pre-eminent boast, by the rules according to
which all tables were open to all comers without reserve. To every man,
according to his degree, who chose to ask for it, there was free fare
and free lodging. The people hated three things with all their
hearts--idleness, want, and cowardice.

A change, however, was coming upon the world, the meaning and direction
of which even still is hidden from us, a change from era to era.
Chivalry was dying; the abbey and castle were soon together to crumble
into ruins; and all the forms, desires, beliefs, and convictions of the
old world were passing away never to return. A new continent had arisen
beyond the western sea. The floor of heaven, inlaid with stars, had sunk
back into an infinite abyss of immeasurable space; and the firm earth
itself, unfixed from its foundations, was seen to be but a small atom in
the awful vastness of the universe. In the fabric of habit which they
had so laboriously built for themselves mankind were to remain no

_II.--The Fall of Wolsey's Policy_

Times were changed in England since the second Henry walked barefoot
through the streets of Canterbury, and knelt while the monks flogged him
on the pavement in the Chapter House, doing penance for Becket's murder.
The clergy had won the battle in the twelfth century because they
deserved it. They were not free from fault and weakness, but they felt
the meaning of their profession. Their hearts were in their vows, their
authority was exercised more justly, more nobly, than the authority of
the crown; and therefore, with inevitable justice, the crown was
compelled to stoop before them.

The victory was great, but, like many victories, it was fatal to the
conquerors. It filled them with the vanity of power; they forgot their
duties in their privileges, and when, a century later, the conflict
recommenced, the altering issue proved the altering nature of the
conditions under which it was fought. The nation was ready for sweeping
remedies. The people felt little loyalty to the pope. The clergy pursued
their course to its end. They sank steadily into that condition which is
inevitable from the constitution of human nature, among men without
faith, wealthy, powerful, and luxuriously fed, yet condemned to celibacy
and cut off from the common duties and common pleasures of ordinary

Many priests spent their time in hawking or hunting, in lounging at
taverns, in the dissolute enjoyment of the world. If, however, there
were no longer saints among the clergy, there could still arise among
them a remarkable man. In Cardinal Wolsey the king found an adviser who
was essentially a transition minister, holding a middle place between an
English statesman and a Catholic of the old order. Under Wolsey's
influence, Henry made war with Louis of France in the pope's quarrel,
entered the polemic lists with Luther, and persecuted the English

Yet Wolsey could not blind himself to the true condition of the church,
before which lay the alternative of ruin or amendment. Therefore he
familiarised Henry with sense that a reformation was inevitable.
Dreaming that it could be effected from within, by the church itself
inspired with a wiser spirit, he himself fell the first victim of a
convulsion which he had assisted to create, and which he attempted too
late to stay.

Wolsey talked of reformation, but delayed its coming. The monasteries
grew worse and worse. Favoured parish clergy held as many as eight
benefices. Bishops accumulated sees, and, unable to attend to all,
attended to none. Wolsey himself, the church reformer (so little did he
really know what a reformation means), was at once Archbishop of York,
Bishop of Winchester and of Durham, and Abbot of St. Albans. Under such
circumstances, we need not be surprised to find the clergy sunk low in
the respect of the English people.

Fish's famous pamphlet shows the spirit that was seething. He spoke of
what he had seen and knew. The monks, he tells the king, "be they that
have made a hundred thousand idle dissolute women in your realm." But
Wolsey could interfere with neither bishops nor monks without a special
dispensation from the pope. A new trouble arose from the nation in the
desire of Henry to divorce Catherine of Aragon, who had been his
deceased brother's wife, was six years older than himself, and was an
obstacle to the establishment of the kingdom. Her sons were dead, and
she was beyond the period when more children could be expected. Though
descent in the female line was not formally denied, no queen regent had
ever, in fact, sat upon the throne; nor was the claim distinctly
admitted, or the claim of the House of York would have been
unquestionable. It was, therefore, with no little anxiety that the
council of Henry VIII. perceived his male children, on whom their hopes
were centred, either born dead, or dying one after another within a few
days of their birth.

The line of the Princess Mary was precarious, for her health was weak
from her childhood. If she lived, her accession would be a temptation to
insurrection; if she did not live, and the king had no other children, a
civil war was inevitable. The next heir in blood was James of Scotland,
and gravely as statesmen desired the union of the two countries, in the
existing mood of the people, the very stones in London streets, it was
said, would rise up against a king of Scotland who entered England as

So far were Henry and Catherine alike that both had imperious tempers,
and both were indomitably obstinate; but Henry was hot and impetuous,
Catherine cold and self-contained. She had been the wife of Prince
Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII., but the death of that prince occurred
only five months after the marriage. The uncertainty of the laws of
marriage, and the innumerable refinements of the Roman canon law,
affected the legitimacy of the children and raised scruples of
conscience in the mind of the king. The loss of his children must have
appeared as a judicial sentence on a violation of the Divine law. The
divorce presented itself to him as a moral obligation, when national
advantage combined with superstition to encourage what he secretly

Wolsey, after thirty years' experience of public life, was as sanguine
as a boy. Armed with this little lever of divorce, he saw himself in
imagination the rebuilder of the Catholic faith and the deliverer of
Europe from ecclesiastical revolt and from innovations of faith. The
mass of the people hated Protestantism as he, a true friend of the
Catholic cult, sincerely detested the reformation of Luther. He believed
that the old life-tree of Catholicism, which in fact was but cumbering
the ground, might bloom again in its old beauty. But a truer political
prophet than Wolsey would have been found in the most ignorant of those
poor men who were risking death and torture in disseminating the
pernicious volumes of the English Testament.

Catherine being a Spanish princess, Henry, in 1527, formed a league with
Francis I., with the object of breaking the Spanish alliance. The pope
was requested to make use of his dispensing power to enable the King of
England to marry a wife who could bear him children. Deeply as we
deplore the outrage inflicted on Catherine, and the scandal and
suffering occasioned by the dispute, it was in the highest degree
fortunate that at the crisis of public dissatisfaction in England with
the condition of the church, a cause should have arisen which tested the
whole question of church authority in its highest form. It was no
accident which connected a suit for divorce with the reformation of

_Anne Boleyn_

The Spanish emperor, Charles V., gave Catherine his unwavering support,
and refused to allow the pope to pass a judicial sentence of divorce.
Catherine refused to yield. Another person now comes into conspicuous
view. It has been with Anne Boleyn as with Catherine of Aragon--both are
regarded as the victims of a tyranny which Catholics and Protestants
unite to remember with horror, and each has taken the place of a
martyred saint in the hagiology of the respective creeds. Anne Boleyn
was second daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn, a gentleman of noble family.
She was educated in Paris, and in 1525 came back to England to be maid
of honour to Queen Catherine, and to be distinguished at the court by
her talents, accomplishments, and beauty.

The fortunes of Anne Boleyn were unhappily linked with those of men to
whom the greatest work ever yet accomplished in this country was
committed. In the memorable year 1529, after the meeting of parliament,
events moved apace. In six weeks, for so long only the session lasted,
the astonished church authorities saw bill after bill hurried up before
the lords, by which successively the pleasant fountains of their incomes
would be dried up to flow no longer. The Great Reformation had commenced
in earnest.

The carelessness of the bishops in the discharge of their most immediate
duties obliged the legislature to trespass in the provinces most purely
spiritual, and to undertake the discipline of the clergy. Bill after
bill struck hard and home on the privileges of the recreant clergy. The
aged Bishop of Rochester complained to the lords that in the lower house
the cry was nothing but "Down with the church." Yet, so frightful were
the abuses that called for radical reform, that even persons who most
disapprove of the reformation will not at the present time wonder at
their enactment, or disapprove of their severity. The king treated the
bishops, when they remonstrated, with the most contemptuous disrespect.
Archbishop Cranmer now adopted a singular expedient. He advised Henry to
invite expressions from all the chief learned authorities throughout
Europe as to the right of the pope to grant him a dispensation of
dissolution of his marriage. The English universities, to escape
imputations of treasons and to avoid exciting Henry's wrath, gave
replies such as would please him, that of Oxford being, however, the
more decided of the two. Most of the continental authorities declined to
pronounce any dictum as to the powers of the pope.

_The Fall of the Great Chancellor_

The fall of Wolsey was at hand. His enemies accused him of treason to
the constitution by violating a law of the realm. He had acted as papal
legate within the realm. The parliaments of Edward I., Edward III.,
Richard II., and Henry IV. had by a series of statutes pronounced
illegal all presentations by the pope to any office or dignity in the
Anglican Church, under a penalty of premunire. Henry did not feel
himself called on to shield his great minister, although the guilt
extended to all who had recognised Wolsey in the capacity of papal
legate. Indeed, it extended to the archbishops, bishops, the privy
council, the two houses of parliament, and indirectly to the nation
itself. The higher clergy had been encouraged by Wolsey's position to
commit those acts of despotism which had created so deep animosity among
the people. The overflow of England's last ecclesiastical minister was
to teach them that the privileges they had abused were at an end.

In February, 1531, Henry assumed the title which was to occasion such
momentous consequences, of "Protector and only Supreme Head of the
Church and Clergy of England." The clergy were compelled to assent.
Further serious steps marked the great breach with Rome. The annates, or
first fruits, were abolished. Ever since the crusades a practice had
existed in all the churches of Europe that bishops and archbishops, on
presentation to their sees, should transmit to the pope one year's
income. This impressive impost was not abrogated. It was a sign of the
parting of the ways.

Henry laid his conduct open to the world, declaring truly what he
desired, and seeking it by open means. He was determined to proceed with
the divorce, and also to continue the reformation of the English church.
And he was in no small measure aided in the former resolve by the
recommendation of Francis, for the French king advised him to act on the
general opinion of Europe that his marriage with Catherine, as widow of
his elder brother Arthur, was null, and at once made Anne Boleyn his
wife. This counsel was administered at an interview between the two
kings at Boulogne, in October, 1532.

The pope had trifled for six years with the momentous question, and
Henry was growing old. At the outset of the discussion the pope had
said: "Marry freely; fear nothing, and all shall be arranged as you
desire." But the pontiff, reduced to a dilemma by various causes, had
fallen back on his Italian cunning, and had changed his attitude,
listening to the appeals of Catherine and her powerful friends. And now
he threatened Henry with excommunication.

Henry entered privately into matrimonial relations with Anne in
November, 1532, and the marriage was solemnly celebrated, with a
gorgeous pageant, at Westminster Abbey in the following January. On July
24 the people gathering to church in every parish read, nailed to the
church doors, a paper signed Henry R., setting forth that Lady Catherine
of Spain, heretofore called Queen of England, was not to be called by
that title any more, but was to be called princess dowager, and so to be
held and esteemed. The triumph of Anne was to last but three short


Wycliffe's labour had left only the Bible as the seed of a future life,
and no trace remained in the sixteenth century of the Lollardry of the
fourteenth. But now Protestantism recommenced its enterprise in the
growing desire for a nobler, holier insight into the will of God. In the
year 1525 was enrolled in London a society calling itself "The
Association of Christian Brothers." Its paid agents went up and down the
land carrying tracts and Testaments with them, and enrolling in the
order all who dared risk their lives in such a cause.

The Protestants thus isolated were waiting for direction, and men in
such a temper are seldom left to wait in vain. Luther had kindled the
spark, which was to become a conflagration in Germany, at Wittemberg, on
October 31, 1517, by his denunciation of indulgences. His words found an
echo, and flew from lip to lip all through Western Europe. Tyndal, an
Oxford student, went to Germany, saw Luther, and under his direction
translated into English the Gospels and Epistles. This led to the
formation of the "association" in London. The authorities were alarmed.
The bishops subscribed to buy up the translations of the Bible, and
these were burned before a vast concourse in St. Paul's Churchyard. But
Wolsey had for two years been suppressing the smaller monasteries.
Simultaneously, Protestants were persecuted wherever they could be
detected and seized. "Little" Bilney, or "Saint" Bilney, a distinguished
Cambridge student, was burnt as a heretic at the stake, as were James
Bainham, a barrister of the Middle Temple, and several other members of
the "association." These were the first paladins of the reformation, and
the struggle went bravely forward. They were the knights who slew the
dragons and made the earth habitable for common flesh and blood.

As yet but two men of the highest order of power were on the side of
Protestantism--Latimer and Cromwell. These were now to come forward,
pressed by circumstances which could no longer dispense with them. When
the breach with the pope was made irreparable, and the papal party at
home had assumed an attitude of suspended insurrection, the fortunes of
the Protestants entered into a new phase. The persecution ceased, and
those who were but lately its likely victims, hiding for their lives,
passed at once by a sudden alternation into the sunshine of political

Cromwell and Latimer together caught the moment as it went by, and
before it was over a work had been done in England which, when it was
accomplished once, was accomplished for ever. The conservative party
recovered their power, and abused it as before; but the chains of the
nation were broken, and no craft of kings or priests or statesmen could
weld the magic links again, Latimer became famous as a preacher at
Cambridge, and was heard of by Henry, who sent for him and appointed him
one of the royal chaplains. He was accused by the bishops of heresy, but
was on trial absolved and sent back to his parish. Soon after the tide
turned, and the reformation entered into a new phase.

Thomas Cromwell, like Latimer of humble origin, was the "malleus
monachorum." Wolsey discovered his merit, and employed him in breaking
up the small monasteries, which the pope had granted for the foundation
of the new colleges. Cromwell remained with the great cardinal till his
fall. It was then that the truly noble nature which was in him showed
itself. The lords had passed a bill of impeachment against
Wolsey--violent, vindictive, and malevolent. It was to be submitted to
the commons. Cromwell prepared an opposition, and conducted the defence
from his place in parliament so skilfully that he threw out the bill,
saved Wolsey, and gained such a reputation that he became Henry's
secretary, representing the government in the House of Commons, and was
on the highroad to power.

The reformation was blotted with a black and frightful stain. Towards
the end of April, 1536, certain members of the Privy Council were
engaged in secretly collecting evidence which implicated the queen in
adultery. In connection with the terrible charge, as her accomplices
five gentlemen were arrested--Sir William Brereton, Mark Smeton, a court
musician, Sir Henry Norris, Sir Francis Weston, and, the accusation in
his case being the most shocking, Lord Rochford, the queen's brother.
The trial was hastily pushed forward, and all were executed. The queen,
who vehemently and piteously appealed to Henry, passionately protesting
that she was absolutely innocent, was also condemned, and was beheaded
in public on Tower Hill.

Henry immediately after the tragedy married Jane, daughter of Sir John
Seymour. The indecent haste is usually considered conclusive of the
cause of Anne Boleyn's ruin. On December 12, 1537, a prince, so long and
passionately hoped for, was born; but a sad calamity followed, for the
queen took cold, and died on October 24.

In 1539 monastic life came to an end in England. The great monasteries
were dissolved; the abbey lands were distributed partly amongst the old
nobility and partly amongst the chapters of six new bishoprics. On
January 6, 1540, was solemnised the marriage of Henry with Anne,
daughter of the Duke of Cleves, and sister-in-law of the Elector of
Saxony. This event was brought about by the negotiations of Cromwell.
The king was deeply displeased with the ungainly appearance of his bride
when he met her on her landing, but retreat was impossible. Though Henry
was personally kind to the new queen, the marriage made him wretched.

Cromwell's enemies speedily hatched a conspiracy against the great
statesman. He was arrested on a charge of high treason, was accused of
corruption and heresy, of gaining wealth by bribery and extortion, and,
in spite of Cranmer's efforts to save him, passed to the scaffold on
July 28, 1540. For eight years Cromwell, who had been ennobled as Earl
of Essex, was supreme with king, parliament, and convocation, and the
nation, in the ferment of revolution, was absolutely controlled by him.

Convocation had already dissolved the marriage of Henry and Anne,
setting both free to contract and consummate other marriages without
objection or delay. The queen had placidly given her consent. Handsome
settlements were made on her in the shape of estates for her maintenance
producing nearly three thousand a year. In August of the same year the
King married, without delay of circumstance, Catherine, daughter of Lord
Edmond Howard. Brief, indeed, was her reign. In November, 1541, she was
charged with unfaithfulness to her marriage vows. The king was
overwhelmed. Some dreadful spirit pursued his married life, tainting it
with infamy.

Two gentlemen confessed their guilty connection with the queen. They
were hanged at Tyburn, and the queen and Lady Rochford, who had been
her confidential companion, suffered within the Tower. Once more the
king ventured into marriage. Catherine, widow of Lord Latimer, his last
choice, was selected, not in the interest of politics or religion, but
by his own personal judgment; and this time he found the peace which he

The great event of 1542 was the signal victory of the English over a
Scottish army of ten thousand men at Solway Moss. King James of Scotland
had undertaken, at the instigation of the pope and of the King of France
to attack the English as heretics. The Scottish clergy were ready to
proclaim a pilgrimage of grace. But the English borderers, though only
shepherds and agriculturists, as soon as they mounted their horses, were
instantly the finest light cavalry in Europe. They so disastrously
defeated the Scots that all the latter either perished in the morass by
the Solway, or were captured.

Henry died on January 28, 1547. He was attended in his last moments by
Cranmer, having sent specially for the archbishop.

The king did not leave the world without expressing his views on the
future with elaborate explicitness. He spent the day before his death in
conversation with Lord Hertford and Sir William Paget on the condition
of the country. By separate and earnest messages he commended Prince
Edward to the care both of Charles V. and of Francis I. The earl, on the
morning of Henry's death, hastened off to bring up the prince, who was
in Hertfordshire with the Princess Elizabeth, and in the afternoon of
Monday, the 31st, he arrived at the Tower with Edward. The Council was
already in session, and Hertford was appointed protector during the
minority of Edward. Thus, the reforming Protestant party was in full
power. Cranmer set the willing example, and the other prelates
consented, or were compelled to imitate him, in an acknowledgment that
all jurisdiction, ecclesiastical as well as secular, within the realm,
only emanated from the sovereign. On February it was ordered in council
that Hertford should be Duke of Somerset, and that his brother, Sir
Thomas Seymour, should be Lord Seymour of Sudleye; Lord Parr was to be
Marquis of Northampton; Lord Wriothesley, the chancellor, Earl of
Southampton; and Viscount Lisle was to be Earl of Warwick. The Duke of
Somerset was the young king's uncle, and the real power was at once in
his hands. But if he was ambitious, it was only--as he persuaded
himself--to do good.

_Edward's Guardian_

Under his rule the spirit of iconoclasm spread fast, and the reformation
proceeded to completion. Churches were cleared of images, and crucifixes
were melted into coin. Somerset gave the popular movement the formal
sanction of the Government. Injunctions were issued for the general
purification of the churches. The Book of Homilies was issued as a guide
to doctrine, care was taken that copies of the Bible were accessible in
the parish churches, and translations of Erasmus's "Paraphrase of the
New Testament" were provided as a commentary.

Somerset was a brave general as well as a great statesman. He invaded
Scotland during the first year of his protectorate, on account of the
refusal of the Scottish government to ratify the contract entered into
with Henry VIII., by which it was agreed that Mary Queen of Scots should
marry Edward. At the memorable battle of Pinkie, on September 10, 1547,
the Scots were completely beaten. But Somerset was hastily summoned
southward. His brother, Lord Seymour, had been caballing against him,
and was arrested, tried, and beheaded on Tower Hill, on March 20, 1549.
But the fall of the protector himself was not long delayed, for under
his administration of three years his policy gradually excited wide
discontent. In various parts of the country insurrections had to be
suppressed. The French king had taken away the young Scottish queen, the
king's majesty's espouse, by which marriage the realms of England and
Scotland should have been united in perpetual peace. Money had been
wasted on the royal household. The alliance with Charles V. had been
trifled away. The princely name and princely splendour which Somerset
affected, the vast fortune which he amassed amidst the ruin of the
national finances, and the palace--now known as Somerset House,
London--which was rising before the eyes of the world amidst the
national defeats and misfortunes, combined to embitter the irritation
with which the council regarded him.

His great rival, John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, by constant insinuations
both in and out of parliament, excited the national feeling against him
to such a degree that at length the young king was constrained to sign
his deposition. He seems to have entertained no strong attachment to his
uncle. On December I, 1551, he was tried before the lords for high
treason and condemned. He was beheaded on Tower Hill on January 22,
1582. The English public, often wildly wrong on general questions, are
good judges, for the most part, of personal character; and so
passionately was Somerset loved, that those who were nearest the
scaffold started forward to dip their handkerchiefs in his blood. Before
this event, Dudley, by whose cruel treachery the tragedy had been
brought about, had been created Duke of Northumberland. The great aim of
this nobleman was to secure the succession to the throne for his own
family. With this purpose in view he married his son, Lord Guildford
Dudley, to Lady Jane Grey, daughter of the Duchess of Suffolk, to whom,
by the will of Henry VIII., the crown would pass, in default of issue by
Edward, Mary, or Elizabeth.

In April, 1553, Edward, who had been removed to Greenwich in consequence
of illness, grew rapidly worse. By the end of the month he was spitting
blood, and the country was felt to be on the eve of a new reign. The
accession of Mary, who was personally popular, was looked forward to by
the people as a matter of course. Northumberland now worked on the mind
of the feeble and dying king, and succeeded in persuading him to declare
both his sisters incapable of succeeding to the crown, as being
illegitimate. The king died on July 6. The last male child of the Tudor
race had ceased to suffer.

When Lady Jane was saluted by Northumberland and four other lords, all
kneeling at her feet, as queen, she shook, covered her face with her
hands, and fell fainting to the ground. The next Monday, July 10, the
royal barges came down the Thames from Richmond, and at three in the
afternoon Lady Jane landed at the broad staircase of the Tower, as
queen, in undesired splendour. But that same evening messages came
saying that Mary had declared herself queen. She had sent addresses to
the peers, commanding them on their allegiance to come to her.

Happily, the conspiracy in favour of Lady Jane was crushed, without
bloodshed, although it had seemed for a time as if the nation, was on
the brink of a civil war. But, though Mary wished to spare Lady Jane and
her husband, her intentions were frustrated by the determination of
Renard, ambassador of the emperor. Northumberland was sent to the Tower,
and beheaded on August 22, and in the following November Lady Jane and
her husband were also condemned. Mary long hesitated, but at length
issued the fatal warrant on February 8, 1554, and four days later both
were executed. Lady Jane was but a delicate girl of seventeen, but met
her fate with the utmost heroism.

Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, became the chief instrument of
the restoration of the Catholic faith under Mary. His fierce spirit soon
began to display itself. In the fiery obstinacy of his determination
this prelate speedily became the incarnate expression of the fury of the
ecclesiastical faction, smarting, as they were, under their long
degradation, and under the irritating consciousness of those false oaths
of submission which they had sworn to a power they loathed. Gardiner now
saw his Romanising party once more in a position to revenge their wrongs
when there was no longer any Henry to stand between them and their
enemies. He would take the tide at the flood, forge a weapon keener than
the last, and establish the Inquisition.

_The Reign of Terror_

Mary listened to the worse counsels of each, and her distempered humour
settled into a confused ferocity. Both Gardiner and she resolved to
secure the trial, condemnation, and execution of her sister Elizabeth,
but their plans utterly miscarried, for no evidence against her could be
gathered. The princess was known to be favourable to the Protestant
cause, but the attempts to prove her disloyalty to Mary were vain. She
was imprisoned in the Tower, and the fatal net appeared to be closing on
her. But though the danger of her murder was very great, the lords who
had reluctantly permitted her to be imprisoned would not allow her to be
openly sacrificed, or indeed, permit the queen to continue in the career
of vengeance on which she had entered. The necessity of releasing
Elizabeth from the Tower was an unspeakable annoyance to Mary. A
confinement at Woodstock was the furthest stretch of severity that the
country would, for the present, permit. On May 19, 1554, Elizabeth was
taken up the river.

The princess believed herself that she was being carried off _tanquam
ovis_, as she said--as a sheep for the slaughter. But the world thought
she was set at liberty, and, as her barge passed under the bridge, Mary
heard with indignation, from the palace windows, three salvoes of
artillery fired from the Steelyard, as a sign of the joy of the people.
Vexations began to tell on Mary's spirit. She could not shake off her
anxieties, or escape from the shadow of her subject's hatred. Insolent
pamphlets were dropped in her path and in the offices of Whitehall. They
were placed by mysterious hands in the sanctuary of her bedroom.

Her trials began to tell on her understanding. She was ill with
hysterical longings; ill with the passions which Gardiner, as her
chancellor, had provoked, but Paget as leader of the opposing party, had
disappointed. But she was now to become the wife of King Philip of
Spain. Negotiations for this momentous marriage had been protracted, and
even after the contract had been signed, Philip seemed slow to arrive.
The coolness manifested by his tardiness did much to aggravate the
queen's despondency. On July 20, 1554, he landed at Southampton. The
atmospheric auspices were not cheering, for Philip, who had come from
the sunny plains of Castile, from his window at Southampton looked out
on a steady downfall of July rain. Through the cruel torrent he made his
way to church to mass, and afterwards Gardiner came to him from the
queen. On the next Sunday he journeyed to Winchester, again in pouring
rain. To the cathedral he went first, wet as he was. Whatever Philip of
Spain was entering on, whether it was a marriage or a massacre, a state
intrigue or a midnight murder, his first step was ever to seek a
blessing from the holy wafer. Mary was at the bishop's palace, a few
hundred yards' distance. Mary could not wait, and the same night the
interview took place. Let the curtain fall over the meeting, let it
close also over the wedding solemnities which followed with due
splendour two days after. There are scenes in life which we regard with
pity too deep for words.

The unhappy queen, unloved, unlovable, yet with her parched heart
thirsting for affection, was flinging herself upon a breast to which an
iceberg was warm; upon a man to whom love was an unmeaning word, except
as the most brutal of all passions. Mary set about to complete the
Catholic reaction. She had restored the Catholic orthodoxy in her own
person, and now was resolved to bring over her own subjects. But clouds
gathered over the court. The Spaniards were too much in evidence. With
the reaction came back the supremacy of the pope, and the ecclesiastical
courts were reinstated in authority to check unlicensed extravagance of

Gardiner, Bonner, Tunstal, and three other prelates formed a court on
January 28, 1555, in St. Mary Overy's Church, Southwark, and Hooper,
Bishop of Gloucester, and Canon Rogers of St. Paul's, were brought up
before them. Both were condemned as Protestants, and both were burnt at
the stake, the bishop at Gloucester, the canon at Smithfield. They
suffered heroically. The Catholics had affected to sneer at the faith of
their rivals. There was a general conviction among them that Protestants
would all flinch at the last; that they had no "doctrine that would
abide the fire." Many more victims were offered. The enemies of the
church were to submit or die. So said Gardiner, and so said the papal
legate and the queen, in the delirious belief that they were the chosen
instruments of Providence.

The people, whom the cruelty of the party was reconverting to the
reformation, while the fires of Smithfield blazed, with a rapidity like
that produced by the gift of tongues at Pentecost, regarded the martyrs
with admiration as soldiers dying for their country. On Mary, sorrow was
heaped on sorrow. Her expectation of a child was disappointed, and
Philip refused to stay in England. His unhappy wife was forced to know
that he preferred the society of the most abandoned women to hers. The
horrible crusade against heretics became the business of the rest of her
life. Archbishop Cranmer, Bishops Ridley and Latimer, and many other
persons of distinction were amongst the martyrs of the Marian
persecution. Latimer was eighty years of age.

Mary's miseries were intensified month by month. War broke out between
England and France. For ten years the French had cherished designs, and
on January 7, 1558, the famous stronghold fell into their hands. The
effect of this misfortune on the queen was to produce utter prostration.
She now well understood that both parliament and the nation were badly
disposed towards her. But her end was at hand. After much suffering from
dropsy and nervous debility, she prepared quietly for what she knew was
inevitable. On November 16, at midnight, taking leave of a world in
which she had played so evil a part, Mary received the last rites of the
church. Towards morning she was sinking, and at the elevation of the
Host, as mass was being said, her head sank, and she was gone. A few
hours later the pope's legate, Cardinal Pole, at Lambeth, followed her.
Thus the reign of the pope in England and the reign of terror closed

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