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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 361



who dare not disclose your will, nor act otherwise than you may desire. Therefore I humbly beseech you, in the name of charity, to spare me the sentence of this court, till I know what course my friends in Spain will advise me to take ; but if you will not, then let your pleasure be done.' " And with that she rose, made a low curtsey to the King, and sobbing bitterly, departed from thence, all the people thinking she would have returned again to her former seat ; but she went presently out of the court, leaning upon the arm of one of her servants, who was her general receiver, one Mr. Griffith. " The King seeing that she was leaving the court, commanded the crier to call her again, by these words, 'Kithe* rine, Queen of England, come into court.' With that, said Griffith, ' Madam, you are called again.' " " I hear it, but will note it not," re^ plied the Queen ; " on, on, speed you on, Mr. Griffith, this is no court of justice for me, therefore will I hasten from its partial judges, who sit here but to condemn me ;" then in a whisper, she continued, "I never before disputed the will of my husband, and shall take the first opportunity to ask pardon for this disobedience." And so she departed without any further answer that time, and never afterwards would appear in any court. When the crier had exhausted himself in vain endeavours to call her back, the King perceiving what a deep impression her pathetic appeal had made on the court, rose and said : " As the Queen is now gone, I will in her absence affirm that she lias been to me a most affectionate, true, and obedient wife ; she hath every virtue befitting a woman of her exalted dignity, or one of a meaner state, and as to birth, a more noble born woman cannot be found in Christendom." The King having set down,Cardinal Wolsey rose and addressed him as follows : " Sir, I must humbly require your Highness to declare before this audience whether or not I have been, as many suspect, the first or chief mover of this matter to your Majesty." "Marry," answered the King, " I can with a clear conscience declare that you, my Lord Cardinal, have discouraged my scruples and been against me in tempting to procure a divorce. In truth, the death of my darling boys, which I came in time to view as a just judgment for my wickedness in livingin incest, first prompted me in the matter; the compunctions of my conscience which increased with the increase of days, were confirmed by the Bishop of Tarbcs (one of the late embassy of France), I therefore mooted the subject to you, my Lord Lincoln, in confession, and by your advice asked the counsel of all my lords ; and here my Lord Canterbury," continued the King, holding1 a parchment in his hand, " is the license granted by you for this inquiry, and signed by aU the bishops." "That is true," rejoined the Archbishop of Canterbury ; " and doubtless all the bishops present will acknowledge the same." "Not so, under your correction," exclaimed the Bishop of Rochester, " for you have not mine." " Indeed," answered the King, shewing him the instrument; " is not this your hand and seal ?" "Certainly, your Highness, it is his hand and seal," interposed the Archbishop of Canterbury. " My Lord of Canterbury, you are in error," retorted Rochester, sharply; "you wished me to sign the license, but I refused, declaring that it was against my conscience." "Yes," urged the Archbishop, "but you afterwards resolved that I should subscribe your name and put your seal myself." " Under your correction, my lord," said Rochester, in a loud angry voice, "your statement is untrue; 1 call God to witness that I never have, nor never will, sanction these unjust proceedings." At this juncture several of the bishops interposed, and the King, to avoid the unpleasantness of a hot warfare of words, told Rochester that he would not stand arguing with him, as he was but one man, and then adjourned the court. During several weeks the Consistorial Court continued to meet and discuss the


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