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

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 310



CONCLUSION. 3°4 tainder, trials in Star Chamber, and multiplication of treasons, form the dark side of the policy of Henry VII ; they come to full development under Henry VIII. Edmund de la Pole, Buckingham, Wolsey, Fisher, More, Anne Boleyn, Cromwell, the Marquess of Exeter, the Countess of Salisbury, Montacute, and last of all Surrey and his father, were victims of a system, of various contrivances but of one purport, for destroying without law, or without trial, or without defence, those whom the king determined, from whatever motive of policy or of caprice, of jealousy or of satiety, to sacrifice. Add to these the religious or ecclesiastical holocausts, and the number of inferior victims who were involved in the fall of the great ones, and for whom there was no need to violate laws that could so easily be manipulated. The liberty of the subject to act or speak, or even to think, was reduced to a minimum under an executive familiar with constructive treasons. j But it is time to close this part of our discussion; and I must leave some, especially of the legal measures of the reign which would most naturally have fallen in with the line of this lecture, for the more formal treatment, which I propose to take in the next lecture, of Henry's dealings with parliament. Perhaps when we have looked at these, iwe may find time to inquire to what extent he really fulsfilled the office of dictator, anticipated the line of history, 'or carried with him the wishes of the nation.


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