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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 324



318 RECOGNITION OF SUPREMACY. [XII. Katharine; Anne Boleyn and her father were drawing to the Protestants, but their time was not yet come. AU the important business was done in convocation. Parliament, as the imperial envoy remarked, was employed on nothing more serious than cross-bows and hand-guns. But in the convocation matters were important indeed; the king was the only person who had the skill to understand, or the will to define, the doctrine of praemunire, and it was not by praemunire alone that he could manipulate the clergy; he tried to tamper with Warham, threatened intrigue with the German Protestants, or the restraint of mortmain, or the appointment of a council of heresy which would take that question out of the hands of convocation, and other things which, vague threats at first, became realities of oppression as soon as they were familiarised to his mind. By threats and blandishments he obtained the Recognition of his headship of the Church, and the payment of £100,000. It was not done all at once; the clergy kicked against the pricks very hard : they offered 160,000 ducats, the king insisted on 400,000 ; the papal nuncio was pressed into the service, and even forced his way into the lower house of convocation : but the clergy, following the example of the commons of 1523, stopped their ears, and bade him negotiate in the right way through the Archbishop: as yet there was no breach with Clement VII, and in the delay of the divorce both parties were for the moment at peace. At last the clergy granted the king's terms ; but they did not like the form of Recognition, and in the end it was passed by an evasion for which Warham must answer. He proposed the form suggested by Lord Rochford, and, in putting it to the vote, added, ' qui tacet consentire videtur.' The clergy by an anticipation of Jesuitic subterfuge, and by a practical Irish bull, cried out, ' Itaque tacemus omnes.' By this levity the great act was consummated, which was to be the fulcrum for the whole


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