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

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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 

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 323



XII.] ROYAL MANIPULATION. 3 J7 reported it to the Commons. Fanning the flame of dissension, he then suggested that the Commons should pass the two most obnoxious bills, strike a blow at the bishops by the bill on probate, and at the parochial clergy by the bill against mortuaries. This was done. The other points, nonresidence, pluralities, and trading, were decided likewise : the lords spiritual by their majority in the upper house rejected the bills ; the Commons insisted on pressing them ; the king suggested a conference, in Star Chamber, of eight members from each house ; the lay lords on the committee voted with the Commons, and by this contrivance the bills were passed. This little trick shows that it was not by force alone that the parliament was manipulated to pass the king's bills. More as chancellor must, in this business, as in 1523, when he was Speaker, have acted as the king's agent, but the burden was already too heavy for his back. If I were now tracing the progress of the Reformation, I might say more on the antagonism thus established between the clergy and the commons ; it is enough however to observe that Henry had clearly got a parliament on which he could depend ; and that every point he now gained became a fresh vantage-ground from which he could grasp at more. In 1530 there was no parliamentary session ; the king and his agents were busily collecting opinions about the divorce ; and the constitutional struggle begins again in 1531. Not even now did the king think matters ripe for discussion of the divorce in parliament; and, in the council which was held preparatory to the session, it was determined that the queen's business should not be brought forward; the chief thing proposed was the exaction of money from the clergy under the threat of praemunire. The Duke of Norfolk, who was to all intents and purposes the prime minister, was negotiating with the emperor, and is said to have sworn that nothing in that parliament should be done against


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