The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon: The Story as Told by the Imperial Ambassadors Resident at the Court of Henry VIII

By J. A. Froude | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XIII.

The King's claim -- The obstinacy of Catherine -- The Court at Dunstable -- Judgment given by Cranmer -- Debate in the Spanish Council of State -- Objections to armed interference -- The English opposition -- Warning given to Chapuys -- Chapuys and the Privy Council -- Conversation with Cromwell -- Coronation of Anne Boleyn -- Discussions at Rome -- Bull supra Attentatis -- Confusion of the Catholic Powers -- Libels against Henry -- Personal history of Cromwell -- Birth of Elizabeth -- The King's disappointment -- BishopFisher desires the introduction of a Spanish army into England -- Growth of Lutheranism.

IF circumstances can be imagined to justify the use of the dispensing power claimed and exercised by the. Papacy, Henry VIII. had been entitled to demand assistance from Clement VII. in the situation in which he had found himself with Catherine of Aragon. He had been committed when little more than a boy, for political reasons, to a marriage of dubious legality. In the prime of his life he found himself fastened to a woman eight years older than himself; the children whom she had borne to him all dead, except one daughter; his wife past the age when she could hope to be again a mother; the kingdom with the certainty of civil war before it should the King die without a male heir. In hereditary monarchies, where the sovereign is the centre of the State, the interests of the nation have to be considered in the arrangements of his family. Henry had been married irregularly to Catherine to strengthen the alliance between England

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