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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 304

298 DOCTRINAL ATTITUDE. [XI. /^Henry evolved the idea of a regal papacy out of the royal supremacy. For some subordinate purposes, as for dispensations and faculties, he allowed the Archbishop of Canterbury to exercise a quasi-legatine authority under himself, and with a check in Chancery on his proceedings ; but in all such matters he was himself the fountain of power. The climax was reached when, by the appointment of Cromwell as Vicar-General, with an authority and precedence above all prelates and nobles, he emulated the papal assumption of exercising direct powers through a legate a latere. Unluckily for himself, and for Henry also, the royal legate a latere proved too great a power to manage ; meddled with too many things, provoked too much hostility, got his feet entangled in the marriage net he had provided for the old lion, and perished more sadly, because more ignominiously, than his predecessors in power and ruin. I have spoken thus far mainly of Henry's ecclesiastical measures as they affected endowments and jurisdictions ; but there is a side, the side of doctrine, which is not less important. He never forgot that he was the defender of the faith ; nor, whatever were his eccentricities and aberrations in minor particulars, does he seem ever to have gone in this region further in the direction of change than the more enlightened popes and cardinals of his own age would have gone. Wolsey would have agreed with him in the dissolution of the monasteries ; the convocation had petitioned for a translation of the Bible; the worship of the saints and the excessive devotions at their shrines had long been a burden to the souls of men, not merely men like Erasmus, but of far more unimpeachable orthodoxy. The supremacy of the chair of S. Peter was by no means as yet an article of unquestioning faith ; even the marriage of the clergy was a point not beyond discussion. But there were things which, quite irrespective of the pope and his claims, could not be

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