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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 332



secular and the ecclesiastical assemblies : the divorce and the abolition of appeals to Rome. In parliament the divorce business proceeded slowly ; the king visited it more than once with a view to expediting that, and the provision of an army against the Scots ; but the month of February passed over without any real business being done. At last Henry resumed the plan by which he had succeeded in 1532, putting the initiation of his own measures in the mouth of a private member of the Commons; on the 15th of March a London member was found to propose that the judges of the divorce should be appointed in England. Immediately after this Cran mer was consecrated, and he undertook to deal with convocation. In convocation the two questions on which the divorce turned were debated in the manner of University disputations ; the theologians disputed as to the dispensability of a marriage with a brother's widow, the canonists on the facts of Arthur's marriage with Katharine : there were formal divisions, but the conclusion was foregone, the bishop of Rochester was the only steady opponent. In the same way the York convocation was dealt with by Archbishop Lee. Notwithstanding the acquiescence of convocation, the Commons as late as April 10 were still reluctant. We are told that one of the members for London offered to raise £200,000 if the king would refer the question of the divorce to a general council. But in vain. The servility of Cranmer and Lee had provided a short and easy method; on the 23rd of May, at Dunstable, Cranmer, on the strength of the opinions thus obtained, pronounced in favour of the divorce and the Boleyn marriage ; and on the ist of June Anne Boleyn was crowned; parliament having adjourned from April 12 to June 7. The other great act of the year was the statute of Appeals, of the discussion of which we have few data. On the 14th of


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