State of feeling in England -- Clergy and laity -- The Clergy in a Præmunire -- The Royal Supremacy -- Hesitation at Rome -- Submission of the Clergy -- The meaning of the new title -- More and Fisher -- Alarm of the Emperor -- Appeal of Catherine to him -- Unpopularity of Anne Boleyn -- Threats of excommunication -- Determination of Henry -- Deputation of Peers to Catherine -- Catherine's reply -- Intolerable pretensions of the Emperor -- Removal of Catherine from the Court.
A STRUGGLE was now inevitable between the King and the Pope, and the result of it would depend on the sentiments of the English nation. Chapuys and the Nuncio believed the majority of the people to be loyally attached to the see of Rome. To the Pope as pope the King and Council were willing to submit; but a pope who was the vassal and mouthpiece of another secular sovereign, they believed the country would support them in refusing to acknowledge. Was Chapuys right or was the King? The Parliament about to open would decide. In the clergy of England the Pope had a ready-made army completely at his devotion. In asserting their independence of civil control the clerical order had been conscious that they could not stand alone, and had attached themselves with special devotion to their Spiritual Sovereign at Rome. They might complain of annates and firstfruits and other tributes which they were made to pay; but the Pope's support they knew to be essential to the maintenance of their professional privileges;