Henry VIII and the English Reformation

By Arthur J. Slavin | Go to book overview

THE ROYAL REFORMER: AN APOLOGY

EDWARD HALL

The contemporary historian of Henry VIII's reign, Edward Hall, was born late in the fifteenth or early in the sixteenth century. From Eton he went to King's College, Cambridge, where he took a B.A. in 1518. He read law at Gray's Inn and served as a common serjeant-at-law and a member of parliament. He also was a commissioner to inquire into abuses of the Six Articles between 1541 and 1544. His work The Union of the Noble and Illustre famelies of Lancaster and York dates to 1542 and is often informed about affairs in which Hall played an active part. Followed closely by Shakespeare, prohibited by Queen Mary, it come to be recognized as a valuable, if partisan, source, especially after being reprinted early in the nineteenth century. Hall died in 1547.

THE xxiiii. day of December, the kinges majestie came into the parliament house, to geve his royal assent, to suche actes as there had passed, where was made unto him by the Speaker, an eloquent oration, to the which it hath ever ben accustomed, that the lord Chauncellor1 made answere, but at this time it was the kynges pleasure, that it should be otherwyse, for the kyng himself made him answer, as foloweth worde for worde, as nere as I was able to report it.

"Although my Chauncelor for the time beyng, hath before this time used, very eloquently and substancially, to make answer to suche oracions, as hath bene set furth in this high court of Parliamente, yet is he not so able to open and set furth my mynd and meanyng, and the secretes of my hart, in so plain and ample maner, as I my selfe am and can do: wherfore I taking upon me, to answer your eloquent oracion maister Speaker, say, that wher you, in the name of our welbeloved commons hath both praysed and extolled me, for the notable qualities, that you have conceived to be in me, I most hartely thanke you all, that you have put me in remembraunce of my dutye, whiche is to endevor my self to obtein and get suche excellent qualities, and necessary vertues, as a Prince or governor, should or ought to have, of which giftes I recognise my self, bothe bare and barrein: but of suche small qualities, as God hathe endued me withal, I rendre to his goodnes my moste humble thankes, entendyng with all my witte and diligence, to get and acquire to me suche notable vertues, and princely qualities, as you have alleged to be incorporate in my persone: These thankes for your lovyng admonicion and good counsaill firste remembred, I eftsones thanke you again, because that you consideryng our greate charges (not for our pleasure, but for your defence, not for our gain, but to our great cost) whiche we have lately susteined, aswell in defence of our and your enemies, as for the conquest of that fortresse, which was to this realme, moste displeasaunt and noysome, and shalbe by Goddes grace hereafter, to our nacion moste profitable and pleasaunt, have frely of youre awne mynde, graunted to us a certain subsedy, here in an act specified, whiche verely we take in good part, re

____________________
From Edward Hall, Henry VIII ( London, 1904), pp. 354-58.
1
Thomas Lord Wriothesley, who succeeded Sir Thomas Audley May 3, 1544, and, as the Earl of Southampton, was relieved March 7, 1547.

-7-

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Henry VIII and the English Reformation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • An Extraordinary Pretext 1
  • The Royal Reformer: An Apology 7
  • By a Just Judgment of God 10
  • Arbiter of Christendom 13
  • The Scourge of Popery 17
  • The Image of God upon Earth 21
  • The Judgment upon His Motives and Actions 27
  • If a Lion Knew His Own Strength 33
  • The Tyranny of Tudor Times 39
  • The English Schism: Occasion and Cause 45
  • Tudor Humanism and Henry VIII 52
  • King or Minister? 57
  • Wolsey: Prelude to a Revolution 65
  • The Fate of the Monasteries 70
  • The Origins of Protestantism in English Society 81
  • Introduction 81
  • O the Great Judgments of God! 91
  • Suggestions for Additional Reading 100
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