THE MIRROVR OF VERTVE in Worldly Greatnes. OR THE LIFE OF SYR Thomas More Knight, sometime Lo. Chancellour of England.



RIGHT Ho­nourable,

It vvas my good happe not longe since, in a [Page] Friends House, to light vpon a briefe History of the Life, Arraignement, and Death of that Mir­rour of all true Honour, and Vertue Syr Thomas More, vvho by his Wis­dome, Learning, & San­tity, hath eternized his Name, Coūtrey, & Pro­fession, throughout the Christian World, vvith immortall Glory, and Renovvne.

Finding, by perusall [Page] therof, the same repleni­shed vvith incōparable Treasures, of no lesse Worthy, and most Chri­stiā Factes, then of Wise, & Religious Sentences, Apophthegmes, & Say­ings; I deemed it not only an errour to permit so great a light to ly bu­ried, as it vvere, vvithin the vvalls of one priuate Family: but also iudged it vvorthy the Presse, euē of a golden Character (if [Page] it vvere to be had) to the end, the vvhole World might receaue comfort and profit by reading the same.

Hauing made this Re­solution, a Difficultie presented it selfe to my Thoughts, vnder vvhose Shaddovv, or Patronage I might best shelter the Worke: vnto vvch strife, Your LADISHIP, occurring to my cogita­tions, put an end, vvith [Page] he BEAMS of your [...]VORTH, & HO­NOVR; so dazeling my [...]yes, as I could discerne [...]one other more [...], or VVorthy to imbrace, &c [...]rotect so Glorious and Memorable Examples.

Of vvhose GOOD­NES I am so confidēt, [...]at vvithout further de­ [...]te, [...]iudge, this Enter­ [...]ange of Friendshippe [...]ay vvorthily be made [...]etvveene the SAINT [Page] and YOU. YOU (Ma­dame) shal Patronize his HONOVR heere on Earth; and HE, shall be­come a Patrone, and In­tercessour for YOU in Heauen.

By him, that am your Ladiships profes­sed Seruant. T. P.

THE PREFACE of the Authour.

FORASMVCH, as Syr Thomas More Knight, so [...] ­tymes Lord Chancellour of England, a Man of singular Ver­ [...]ue, and of an vnspotted Conscience; & (as witnesseth Erasmus) more pure, and white then snowe: of so Angelicall a Wit (sayth he) [...]hat England neuer had the like before, nor euer shall againe: A Man (I say) vniuersally well studied, not only in the Lawes of our owne Realme (a Study able to occupy the whole life of a man) but also in all o­ther Sciēces both Humane & Diuine; was in his owne dayes (& much more [Page] deseruedly in these) esteemed worth [...] of perpetuall Memory: I Willia [...] Roper his most vnworthy Sonne-in [...] law (by Marriage of his eldest Dau­ghter) knowing no man liuing [...] this day, able to speake more of [...] Life and Conuersation, then my self who was continually resident in [...] House for the space of sixteeneye [...] ­res and more; haue at the request [...] diuers worthy friends, put downe wryting, such thinges, touching [...] same, as I can at this present well [...] to remembrance (hauing through [...] negligence, forgotten many other v [...] ­ry notable passages therof) to the [...] that all should not vtterly perish [...] posterity. The which I haue heere per­formed, to my ability, in a playne an [...] humble style; leauing the same as a [...] subiect to a more skillfull, and exqu [...]site Pen, when Tyme, and Occasio [...] shall offer themselues, to dilate therof

THE LIFE OF Syr Thomas More.

SYR Thomas More was borne in London of worshipfull Parents. His Father was a Stu­dent of Lincolnes Inne, and brought him vp in the Latin­tongue, at S. Antonyes Schoole in London, who was very shor­tly after, by his Fathers procure­ment, receiued into the hou [...] of that Worthy, and Learn [...] Prelate, Cardinall Mor [...]on; wher [...] [Page 2] though he was but younge in yeares, he would in the tyme of Christmas, suddainly steppe in amongst the Players, and there ex tempore, without any study of the Matter, or least stay, or stammering in his speach, make a part of his owne present wit, amongst them: which was more delightfull, and pleasing to the Nobles, & Gentlemen that vsed to be at Supper with the Cardi­nall, then all the premeditated parts of the Players.

This Cardinall tooke more delight in his wit, and toward­nes, then he did of any other temporall Matter whatsoeuer; & would often say of him, vn­to diuers of his familiar friends, who vsed dinner & supp [...]r with him: This Child heere, wayting-at [Page 3] the table, whosoeuer shall liue to see it, will proue a m [...]ruailous Man.

And for his better furthe­rance in learning, he placed him at Oxford; where when he was well instructed in the Greeke & Latyn tongues, he was then, for the Cōmon Lawes of the king­dome, put to an Inne of Chan­cery, called New Inne; where in small tyme he profited so well, that he was from thence admit­ted into Lincolnes Inne, with ve­ry small [...]llowance; continuing there his study, vntill he was made Barrister.

After this, to his high Com­mendations, he read for a good space, a publique Lecture of S. Augustine de Ciuitate Dei in the Church of S. Laurence in the Old [...]ewry in London, wherunto re­sorted [Page 4] one Doctor Corsin, an ex­cellent Scholler, and agreat De­uine, and all the chiefe learned in, and about the Citty of Lon­don.

Then was he made Reader of Furuiualls Inne, where he remay­ned for the space of aboue three yeares; and then he gaue him­selfe wholy to deuotiō & prayer in the Charter-house at Lon­don, lyuing there Religiously foure yeares without vow; du­ring which tyme he often resor­ted to the house of one M. Col [...] (a Gentleman in Essex) who v­sed many tymes to inuite him thither.

This M. Colt had three daugh­ters, whose honest and vertuous [...]ducations were the chiefe Mo­tiues, that induced him to place [Page 5] his affection there: and albeit his mynde was most inclyned towards the second Sister, for that he thought her the fayrest, and best fauoured: yet when h [...] considered, it would be both a great griefe, & some shame also to the eldest, to see her younger Sister preferred in Mariage be­fore her, he out of a kind of pit­ty, then framed his affection to­wards the eldest, and shortly af­ter maried her. After this he cō ­tinued his study of the Law at Lincolnes Inne vntill he was cal­led to the bench, and had there read twise, which is as often, as ordinarily any Iudge of the Law readeth. He dwelt all this whyle at [...]cklers-bury in Lon­don, where he had, by his wife three daughters, & one Sonne, [Page 6] all brought vp in vertue & lear­ning, from their very infancy: for he would alwayes exhort them, to take Vertue and Lear­ning for their meate, and Play for their sawce.

Before he had euer beene Rea­der in Court, he was in the la­ter tyme of King Henry the sea­uenth made a Burgesse of the Parlament: In which, was by the King demaunded three fif­teens for the Mariage of his el­dest daughter vnto the King of Scots. At the debating wherof he alleadged such arguments & reasōs agaynst the sayd demaū ­de, that the Kings expectation was vtterly ouerthrowne

Whereupon one M. Til [...]r a Gentleman of the Kinges priuy Chamber, being their present, [Page 7] with all speed carried word to the King from the Parlament­House, That a beardlesse boy, had disapoynted his Graces pur­pose. Vpon which reporte the King conceiued great displea­sure agaynst M. More, & would not rest satisfied, vntill vpon a pretended causelesse quarrell, his Father was committed to the Tower, and there kept pri­soner vntil he had payd an hun­dred pounds, for a fine.

Shortly heereupon it happe­ned, that M. More comming a­bout a suite to D. Fox, Bishop of Winchester, one of the Kings priuy Councell; the Bishop cal­led him a syde, and pretending great fauour towards him, pro­mised him, That if he would be ruled by him he would not fayle [Page 8] to restore him agayne into the Kings fauor; meaning forsooth, as he afterwards coniectured, to make him confesse a fault a­gaynst the King, whereby his Highnes might with the better colour take occasion of displea­sure agaynst him. As he came from the Bishop, by chance he met with one M. Whitford his familiar friēd, then the Bishops Chaplaine, but afterwards a Monke of Syon; and amongst o­ther talke M. More told him what the Bishop had sayd vnto him, desyring his opinion and aduise therein. Wherupon M. Whitford prayed him, for the passion of God, in no wise to follow the Bi­shops counsel: For my Lord my mayster (quoth he) to serue the Kings turne, will not sticke to [Page 9] [...]gree to the death of his owne Father. So M. More returned no more to the Bishop: and had not [...]he King soone after dyed, he [...]as purposed to haue left the [...]alme, and gone to some other [...]arts beyond the Seas, knowing [...]at being in the Kings displea­ [...]ure, he could not liue in En­ [...]and, without great daunger.

After this he was made one of the Vnder sheriffes of London, by which [...], and his learning [...], he hath been often [...]eard to say, that he gained, with [...]ut griefe of conscience, not so [...] as foure hundred pounds [...] the yeare: For that there was [...] matter of importance depen­ [...]ing at that tyme in controuersy [...] any of the Kings Courts, con­ [...]erning the lawes of the Realme, [Page 10] wherein he was not with one párty in counsell.

For his wisdome and learning he was held in such honour and esteeme, that before he came to the seruice of King Henry the Eight, at the suite and instance of our English Merchants, he was, with the Kinges consent, twise sent Embassadour, about certayne businesse in cōtrouersy betwixt them and the Merchāts of the Stilliard. Whose wise and discreete dealinges therein, to his high Commendatiōs, com­ming vnto the Kings ea [...]e, he called immediatlye vnto him Cardinall Wols [...]y, then [...]ord Chancellor, and willed him by all meanes to procure, & work [...] M. More into his seruice.

Whereupon the Cardinall ac­cordin [...] [Page 11] to the Kinges pleasure, earnestly laboured with him, & amongst many other his persua­siōs, he alleadged vnto him, how deere his seruice must needs be to the King, who could not out of Honour seeme to recompen­ce him with lesse, then he should otherwise yearely loose therby. Yet was he loath to change his estate, and made such meanes to the King, by the Cardinall, to the contrarye, that his Maiesty at that tyme, rested well satis­fied.

Shortly after, there happe­ned a great shippe of the Popes, to ar [...]ue at Southampton, which was claymed by the King as a forfayture. But the Popes Em­bassadour, by suite made vnto the King, obtayned, that he [Page 12] [...]he might for his Maister hau [...] Councell learned in the Lawes of this Realme, and the matter in his owne presēce (being him­selfe an excellent Ciuilian) to be openly hard and discussed in some publique place. At which [...]tyme there was none, for our Lawes, found more fit to be of Councell with the [...], then M. More, who could repor­te vnto him in Latyn, all the reasons and arguments on both sides alleadged.

Whereupon Councellors on both parties, in the presence of the Lord Chancellour, & other the Iudges of the Star-Chamber [...]ad audiēce accordingly where M. More declared vnto the Em­bassadour the whole effect of all [...]eyr opinions, and besides, in [Page 13] [...]efence of his Clyent argued so earnedly himselfe, that thereby [...]ot only the Forfaiture afore­ [...]aid was agayne restored vnto [...]is Holynesse, but also he him­ [...]elfe amongst all the Audience, [...]or his vpright and commenda­ [...]le demeanour, was so greatly [...]enowned, that the King from [...]enceforth by no meanes, or in­ [...]eaty would be moued to for­ [...]eare his seruice any longer.

Now, at his first entry into [...]he Kings seruice, his Maiesty [...]ade him Ma [...]er of Requests, [...]auing thē no better place voy­ [...]e, and within one moneth af­ [...]er he was knighted, & made of [...] priuy Councell. And so from [...]me to tyme did the King still. [...]duance him, to places of Ho­ [...]our; and he continued still in [Page 14] his fauour, and trusty seruice for more then twenty yeares. In which time the King vsed of­ten, especially vpon [...] dayes (after he had done his owne D [...]otions) to send for him into his owne Trauerse, and there in matters of Astronomy Geometry, Diuinity, and such like Faculties (yea and often ty­mes of his temporall astayres to sit, and confer with him. Many tymes also in the night the King would haue him vp into his lea­des, there to consider with him the diuers scituations, courses, motions, & apparitions of the Stars, & Planets. And for that he was euer of a merry & plea­sant disposition, it pleased the King and Queene very often to send for him, at tyme of dinne [...] [Page 15] [...]nd supper, as also many other [...]ymes, to come & recreate with [...].

But when he perceyued the King to take so much delight in [...]is company, & discourse, that [...] could not scarce once in a moneth get leaue to go home to [...] wife and children, nor that [...] could not be absent frō court two dayes togeather, without sending for agayne, he disliking this restraint of his liberty, did thereupon begin, somewhat to dissemble his merry nature, re­tyring himselfe by litle and litle from his accustomed mirth, so that he was from thenceforth, sent for orderly by the King, at such tymes as was conuenient.

In this meane tyme dyed one M. W [...]sto Treasurer of the Exche­quer, [Page 16] whose office after his de­cease, the King of his owne free gift, and offer, bestowed vpon Syr Thom [...]s Mor [...]. And in the fourteenth yeare of his Maie­styes raygne, there was a Parla­ment holden at Westmynster, whereof Syr Tho. More was cho­sen Speaker: who being very vnwilling to take that office vpon him, made an oration (not now extant) to the Kings Ma­iesty, for his discharge thereof. Wherunto wh [...] the King would not consent, he spake vnto his Maiesty in this forme, as fol­loweth.

Sith I perceyue (most vn­doubted Soueraygne) that it stā ­deth not with your high Plea­sure to reforme this my Electiō, and cause it to be changed, but [Page 17] [...]aue by the mouth of the most [...]euerend Father in God, your [...]ighnesse Chauncellour, there­ [...]nto giuen your Royall assent, [...]nd of your gracious benignity [...]etermined, far aboue that I am [...]le to beare, to strengthen me, [...]nd repute me fit for this office, [...]s chosen thereūto by your Cō ­ [...]ons; I am therfore now, and [...]wayes shalbe ready obediently [...] conforme my selfe to the ac­ [...]omplishment of your high Cō ­ [...]aundement, in most humble [...]ise. Yet with your Graces fa­ [...]our, before I further enter [...]erinto, I make humble inter­ [...]ssion vnto your Highnes, for [...]o lowly Petitions: The one [...]iuatly concerning my self, the [...]her concerning your whole [...]sembly of Commons in Par­lament. [Page 18] For my selfe (Graci­ous Soueraygne) that if it sha [...] happen me to mistake, in an [...] thinge, on the behalfe of you [...] Cōmōs in your highnes [...] or for want of good vtterāce [...] rehearsal of things, to preuert o [...] impayre their prudent instru­ctions; It may then like you [...] most Royall Maiesty, with you [...] aboundant grace, in the Eye o [...] your accustomed Pitty, to [...] my simplicity, giuing me leau [...] to repayre agayne vnto the Cō ­mon House, there to conferre [...] new with them, and take the [...] more substantiall aduice, wh [...] thing, and in what wise, I sh [...] on their behalfe vtter & speak [...] before your M [...]esty, to the in [...]tent theyr prudent aduises an [...] [...] be not by my simplicit [...] [Page 19] [...]d folly hindred or impayred. [...]hich thing, if it should hap­ [...]n vnto me (as it is not vnlike­ [...] if your Gracious Benignity [...]lieued not my ouersight ther­ [...], it could not but during my [...] be a perpetuall grudge and [...]uines vnto my hart. And this my first petition vnto your [...] Maiesty.

My other suite (most Excel­ [...]t Prince) is, that for asmuch there be of your Commons [...] assen [...]led in Parlament, [...] your high commandement, [...]ynber, which after the ac­ [...] manner, are appoyn­ [...]d by the common House, to [...]t and aduise of the common [...]yres apart, amongst them­ [...]: And albeit (most Liege [...]d) that according to your [Page 20] most prudent aduice, by yo [...] Honorable Writs, euery whe [...] declared, there hath beene a d [...] diligence vsed in sending vp [...] your Highnes Court of Parl [...] ­ment, the most discreet person [...] out of euery quarter, esteem [...] most fit therto, whereby the [...] is gathered, no doubt, a ver [...] substantiall Assembly of righ wise and politique Persons: Y [...] (most vertuous Prince) sith [...] ­mongst so many, euery man [...] not alike witted, or so well spo­ken, as other; and it often hap­peneth, that much folly is vtte­red, in a paynted speach; As l [...] kewise, many that are boyst [...] rous & rude in language, do y [...] giue right good substātiall Coū ­sell; And moreouer in matters [...] greate Importance, the myn [...] [Page 21] happeneth to be so busied, that often tymes a man studieth ra­ther what to say, then how to speake, by reason whereof the wisest man, & best speaker in a whole Countrey, fortuneth so­metymes (his mynd being fer­uent in the matter) to speake in such wise, as he would afterwar­des wish, to haue beene other­wise spoken, and yet no worse will had he, when he spake it, then he hath, when he would so gladly chaunge it: Therefore (most gracious Soueraigne) considering that in your High Court of Parlament nothing is treated of, but matter of weight & importance, and which doth chiefly, & meerly concerne this your most [...]ourishing Realme, and your owne Royall Estate, [Page 22] it would please your Royall Ma­iesty, out of your aboūdant Cle­mency and fauour, to giue to all your Cōmons here assembled, your most gracious licence, and pardon, freely, without feare of your high displeasure, euery mā to discharge his Conscience, & boldly, in euery thing incident amongst vs, to declare his ad­uice. And whatsoeuer any man shall happen to say, that it may like your Royall Maiesty, of your inestimable Goodnes, to take all in good part, interpre­ting euery mans wordes (how vnwisely soeuer they be spo­ken) to proceed of good zeale towardes the profit of your Re­alme, & dignity of your Royall Person; the prosperous Estate & preseruatiō wherof (most dread [Page 23] Soueraigne) is the thing which [...]l we your most hūble, & louing [...]ubiects, according to the boū ­ [...]n duty of our naturall Alle­ [...]iance, most highly desire, and [...]ray for.

At this Parlament Cardinall [...]olsey foūd himselfe much grie­ [...]d with the Burgesses thereof, [...]or that nothing was either [...]oken, or done in the Parla­ [...]ent house, but was immediat­ [...]y blowne abroad in euery Ale­ [...]ouse and Tauerne. It fortuned [...]lso at this Parlament, that a ve­ [...]y great Subsidie was demaun­ [...]d, which the Cardinall fea­ [...]ing would [...]t [...] the Lower [...], did [...] [...] [...]or the furtherance thereof, to [...] there personally present. Against whose comming, after [Page 24] lōg debate there made, whether it were better to receaue him, but with a few of his Lords, or with his whole trayne: Maister [...] (quoth Syr Thomas More) for a [...] much, as my Lord Cardinall (ye wot well) lately layd to our charge, the lightnes of our ton­gues, for thinges vttered out of this house, therfore in my mind it shall not be amisse to receiue him with all Pompe, with his Maces, his Pillars, his Pollaxes, his Crosses, his Hat, & the great Seale too, to the intent, that if he find the like fault with vs hereafter, we may be the bolde [...] from our selues to lay the blam [...] vpon himselfe, and those fol­lowers which his Grace brin­geth hither with him. Where­vnto the whole House agreed [Page 25] [...]nd receiued him accordingly.

After he was come & recea­ [...]ed in manner aforesayd, the whole house of Parlamēt sitting [...]till in silence, and answearing [...]othing to what he demaūded, [...]ut rather contrary to his expe­ctation, seemed not any way to [...]nclyne to his Request, he said vnto them: Maisters, you haue [...]re many wise & learned men amongst you, and sith I am sent [...] from the Kinges owne Person, for the preseruation of your selues, and all the Realme, me thinkes you should giue me [...]ome reasonable answere. Whe­ [...]at euery man continuing si­ [...]nt; then began he to speake to [...]ne M. Warney, who making him no answere neither, he se­ [...]erally asked the same Question [Page 26] of diuers others that were ac­compted the wisest men of the house: To whome when none of them all would answere so much as a word, it being before agreed among them, to answere only by theyr speaker: Maisters (quoth the Cardinall) vnlesse it be the custome of your howse, as of likelyhood it is, by the mouth of your speaker, whome you haue chosen for trusty and wise (as indeed he is) in such ca­ses to vtter your mindes, with­out doubt heere is a meruailous obstinate silence, and thereupon he required answere of M. Spea­ker. Who first reuerently vpon his knees excusing the silence of the Howse, abashed at the pre­sence of so Noble a Personage, able to amaze the wisest & best [Page 27] learned in a kingdome; & after by many probable arguments prouing that for them to make answere, was neither expedient nor agreable with the ancient Liberty of the House; in con­clusiō for himselfe shewed, that although they had with all their voyces chosen and trusted him to speake, yet except euery one of thē could put into his owne head all their seuerall wittes, he alone in so weighty a matter, was far vnmeete to make his Grace answere.

Whereupon the Cardinall dis­pleased with Syr Thomas More (who had not in this Parlament satisfied his desire) suddenly a­rose and departed. And after the Parlament was ended, at his House in the Gallery at Whit [...] [Page 28] Hall in Westminister, he vttered vnto him his griefes, saying: I would to God M. More, you had beene at Rome when I first made you Speaker of the Parlament­Howse. Your Grace not offen­ded, I would I had beene there my Lord (quoth Syr Thomas.) And to wynd these quarrels out of the Cardinalls head he began to commend that Gallery, and said: I like this Gallery of yours my Lord, much better thē your Gallery at Hampton-Court; wherewith he so wisely brake off the Cardinalls displeasant talke, that the Cardinall at that [...]yme, as it seemed, knew not what more for the present to [...]ay vnto him.

But yet for a Reuenge of his displeasure, the Cardinall coun­selled [Page 29] the king to send Syr Tho­ [...]is More Embassadour ouer in­ [...] Spayne, commending vnto [...] his wisdome, learning, & [...]tnes for the voyage; and fur­ [...]er told the King that the diffi­ [...]ulty of the cause considered; [...]ere is none (quoth the Cardi­ [...]all) so meete, or able to per­ [...]rme your Maiestyes seruice [...]rin, as he. Which when the [...]ing had broken to Syr Thomas More, and that he had satisfied [...]is Maiesty how vnfit a voyage [...] was for him, the nature of the [...]ountrey, and disposition of his [...]omplexion considered, that he [...]hould neuer be able, nor likely [...]o do his Grace acceptable serui­ [...]e there, knowing right well, [...]hat if his Maiesty sent him thi­ [...]her, he should send him to his [Page 30] Graue; yet shewing himselfe [...]uerthelesse ready, according [...] his duty, although it were wi [...] the losse of his life, to fullfill [...] Graces pleasure in that behalf [...] the King well allowing of h [...] answere said vnto him. It is n [...] our meaning M. More, to [...] you the least hurt, but rather th [...] best good; we will therefore f [...] this purpose deuise vpon som [...] other, and imploy your serui [...] otherwise.

And indeed such entire aff [...] ction did the King at that tym [...] beare vnto him, that he mad [...] him Chancellour of the Duch [...] of Lancast [...]r, vpon the death [...] Syr Richard Wingfield, who ha [...] that Office before. And the kin [...] tooke so much pleasure in hi [...] company, that oftentymes [...] [Page 31] Maiesty would on the suddaine go vp to his howse at Chelsey, to be merry with him; whither on a tyme comming to dynner, he walked in Syr Thomas Mores garden by the space of an houre, and held his arme about Syr Tho­mas Mores necke.

As soone as his Maiesty was gone, M. William Roper, a Gent­leman of Grayes Inne, who had married Syr Thomas Mores el­dest daughter said vnto him: Fa­ther, how happy a man are you, whome the King hath thus fa­miliarly entertayned (for he ne­uer was seene to do the like vnto any man, except Cardinall Wol­s [...]y, with whome the King did often walke arme in arme:) I thanke our Lord God, Sonne Roper (quoth he) I find his Gra­ce [Page 32] my very good Lord indeed. And I thinke he doth as singu­larly fauour me, as any subiect within this Realme; Howbeit, Sonne Roper, I may tell thee, [...] haue no great cause to be proud thereof. But if my Head could wyn his Maiesty a Castle in France (for then there was war­re with France) it should not fayle to goe.

Amongst many other his vertues he was of such M [...] ­kenes, that if he happened to enter into argument, or dispute with any learned man resorting to him from Oxford, Cambridge, or other place (as there did di­uers, some for desyre of his ac­quaintāce, some for the famous report of his wisdome and lear­ning, and some about suites for [Page 33] [...]he Vniuersityes) although very few were comparable vnto him as well witnesseth Erasmus:) & [...]f [...] discourse, he so pressed [...]hē that they cold not well hold [...] it longer disputation agaynst [...]im; then least he should discou­ [...]age thē (as one that sought not [...]is owne Glory) he wold seeme [...]onquered, & by some wise de­ [...]se, courteously breake off into [...]me other matter, & giue ouer. Of whome for his wisdome and earning the king had such an o­ [...]ion, that at such tymes as he [...]ttended his person, in his pro­ [...]resse either to Oxford, or Cam­ [...]ridge, where he was receiued with very eloquent Orations, [...]is Maiesty would alwayes as­ [...]gne Syr Thomas More, as one [...]rompt, and ready therein, to [Page 34] make Answere thereunto, ex tempore.

His custome also was, that whēsoeuer he came to any Vni­uersity, eyther heere or beyond the Seas, not only to be present at Disputations and Readinges, but also to dispute very learned­ly himselfe, to his high Com­mendations, and generall ap­plause of all the assembly.

During the tyme of his Chaū ­cellorship for the Duchy of Lan­caster, he was sent twice Embas­sador, ioyned in cōmission with Cardinall Wolsey, once vnto the Emperour Charles into Flanders, the other tyme vnto the French King at Paris.

About this tyme, it hapned that the Water-bayly of London who had somtimes byn Syr Tho­mas[Page 35] Mores seruant, hearing cer­tayne Merchants to speake so­ [...] what lauishly agaynst his old [...], was so displeased ther­at, that he came with all speed to [...] [...] More, & told him what he h [...] heard, & of whom. Sy [...] (quoth he) if I were in such [...] and authority with my Pr [...]ce, as you are, such men as these should not surely be [...], so vncharitably & falsly to misreport & s [...]under me. Wher­fore I with you to call thē befor you & punish them. Syr Thomas [...] smyling vpon him sayd: Why, M. Water-bayly, would you haue me punish them, by whome I receyue more benefit then by all you, that are my [...]riends? Let them a Gods Name [...]peake as lewdly of me as they [Page 36] list, and shoote neuer so many darts at me. So long as they do not hit me, what am I the wor [...]? But if they should once hit me, then would it not indeed a little trouble me: Howbeit I trust by Gods helpe, there shall none of them all be able to touch me. Therefore I haue more cause, [...] assure thee M. Water-baily to pitty, th [...]n to be angry with them. Such sruitefull commu­nication would he often tymes haue with his familiar Friends.

So on a tyme walking a lōg the Thames syde at Chels [...]y, with his Sonne in law M. Roper, and discoursing of many things, a­mongst other speaches he sayd thus vnto him: Now I would to our Lord God, Sonne Roper, that three things were well establi­shed [Page 37] in Christendome, vpon cō ­ [...]itiō that I were heer presently [...]ut into a sacke, & cast into the [...] of the Thames. What great [...]hings be those Sir (quoth M. Ro­ [...]er) that moue you so to wish? [...]ouldest thou know Sonne Ro­ [...]er, quoth he? May it so please [...]ou Syr, with a very good will, [...]yd M. Roper. In [...]ayth Sonne [...], they be these: First, that where the most parte of Chri­ [...]tian Princes are now at mortal [...]arres, I would they were all [...]tan vniuersall peace. The secōd [...], that where the Church is at [...]his present, sore afflicted with Errors & Heresyes, that it were [...]etled in a perfect vniformity [...]f Religion. The third is, that where the Kings matter of his [...]arriage is now come into que­stion, [Page 38] I wish it were, to the glo­ry of God, and [...] of all parties, brought to a good con­clusion. By which three things (as M. Rop [...] supposed) he [...] ­ged, that there would be a great disturbance, through the mo [...] pa [...] of [...] [...].

Thus di [...] Sy [...] Th [...]. More thro­ugh the whole course of his li [...], by his ac [...]ons make it appe [...]e, that all hi [...] [...] and pay [...], without thought of earth [...] [...] [...]ther to himselfe or any of his, were only for the seru [...] of God, his King and the Com­mon Wealth, wholy bestowed & [...]mployed. And he was often­tymes, in his latter dayes heard to say, That he neuer asked of the King for himselfe, the value of one Penny. [Page 39] His dayly custome was, if he were at home, besides his pri­ [...]ate prayers with his wife, chil­ [...]ren, and family, often to retyre [...]lone, and excercise himselfe in [...]riuate, and godly deuotions: as iso euery night before he went [...]o bed, he vsed to go to his chap­ [...]ell with his whole Family a­ [...]oresaid, & there vpon his knees [...]euoutly to say, certayne Le­ [...]yes, Psalmes & Collects with them.

And because he was alwayes [...]yrous of priuate Exercise, & [...]hat he might the better with­draw himselfe from wordly cō ­ [...]any, he built himselfe a lodging a good distance from his Man­ [...]ion house, called the New Buil­din [...], wherein he placed a Chap­pell, Library, and a Gallery to [Page 40] walke, spending many dayes in the weeke in P [...]ayer, and Study togeather. And allwayes on the [...]day, he did vsually [...] there frō Morning vntill Night, be [...]owing hi [...] tyme only in me­ [...]ation, reading, and such [...] ­ly [...].

And the more to stir vp & [...] his wife, and children, to the [...]yre of heauēly things, he would oftentymes vse these speaches vnto thē: It is no ma [...] ­stery for you, my Children to go to heauen; for euery body gi­ueth you good counsell, and li­kewise many shew you good Examples. You see Vertue re­warded, and Vice punished; so that you are carryed vp to hea­uen, euen by the chynne: But if you liue to the tyme, that no [Page 41] [...]an will giue you good coun­ [...]ell, nor shew you good exam­ [...]le; when you shall see Vertue [...]unished, and Vice rewarded; if [...]hen you will stand fast & sticke [...]irmely vnto God; vpon payne [...]f my life, though you be but [...]alfe good, yet God will allow [...]ou for wholy good.

If his wife, children, or any [...]f his How should, had beene [...]cke, or troubled at any tyme with any infirmity, he would [...]y vnto thē: We may not looke [...]t our pleasure to go to Heauen [...] feather beds; it is not the way: [...]or our Blessed Lord himselfe went thither with great payne, [...]nd by many Tribulations; and [...]ard was the path-way wherein he so walked: Nor may the Seruant, looke to be in better [Page 42] case, then his Maister.

And as he would in this man ner alwayes perswade them t [...] take their paines and sicknes pa­tiently, so would he in like for [...] teach them to withstand the d [...] ­uell, & his temptations valiant [...] ly saying: Whosoeuer shall mar [...] well the diuell and his tempta­tiōs, shall find him therein muc [...] like vnto an Ape. For as an Ap [...] not well looked vnto, will b [...] busy, and bold to do shrewd tur­nes, and being espied will sud­denly leape backe, and aduen ture no further so the diuell fi [...] ding a man idle, sloathfull, an [...] without resistance, ready to r [...] ceiue his temptations, waxeths [...] hardy, that he will not sticke t [...] continue still with him, vntill [...] hath wrought him througly [...] [Page 43] his purpose. But on the contra­ry side, if he see a man with dili­gence perseuere to preuent, and withstand his temptations, he waxeth so weary, that in the end [...]e vtterly forsaketh him. For as [...]he diuell by disposition is a spi­ [...]it of so high a Pride, that he can­ [...]ot abide to be mocked; so is he [...]f nature so Enuious, that he [...]eareth to assault a vertuous man, least he should thereby not [...]nly catch a fou [...]e fall himselfe, [...]ut also minister vnto the man, [...]ore matter of merit.

Thus he euer delighted, not [...]nly to busy himself in vertuous [...]xercises, but also to exhort his [...]ife, children, and how shold to [...]brace, and follow the same. [...] who me for his notable ver­ [...]es, God shewed, as it seemed, a [Page 44] miraculous and manifest token of his loue, and fauour towardes him, at such tyme, as his daugh­ter Roper lay dangerously sicke of the sweating sicknes (as ma­ny others did that yeare) and continued in such extremity of that disease, that by no skill of Phisicke, or other art in such ca­se [...] commonly vsed, (although she had diuers both expert and learned Phisitians continually attendant about her) she could be kept from sleeping, so that the Phisitians themselues vtterly despayred of her recouery, and quite gaue her ouer. Her Father Syr Th [...], More, as one that m [...] intierely loued and tendred he [...] being in great griefe and hea­ [...], and seeing all human [...] helps to fa [...]le, determined t [...] [Page 45] haue recourse to God by prayer for remedy. Whereupon going vp after his accustomed maner, into his aforesaid New Building, he there in his Chappell, vpon his knees with teares, most de­uoutly besought Almighty God, that it would please his diuine Goodnes, vnto whome nothing was impossible, if it were his bles­sed will, to vouchsafe graciously to heare his humble petitiō. And suddenly it came into his mynd, that a Glister might be the only way to help her; of which when he had told the Phisitians, they all instantly agreed, that if there were any hope of remedy, that was the most likelist; and mer­uayled much, that themselues had not before remembred the same. Then was it instantly mi­nistred [Page 46] vnto her sleeping, & af­ter a while she awaked, and con­trary to all their expectations immediatly began to recouer, & in short tyme was wholy re­stored vnto her former health. Whome, if it had pleased God to haue taken away, at that time, her Father sayd, that he would neuer after haue medled with worldly businesse.

Now whilst Syr Tho [...]as More was Chaūcellour of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Sea of Rome chaunced to be voyd, by the death of Pope Leo the X. which was the cause of much trouble; for that Cardinall Wol [...]y a man of a very high and ambitious spi­rit, aspiring vnto that sea & dig­nity, was therein crost and pre­uented by the Emperour Charles [Page 47] [...] fifth, who had commended [...] Cardinall Adrian (some­ [...]me his Schoole-maister) vnto [...] Conclaue of Cardinalls in [...]ome, at the tyme of election, & [...] highly praysed him for his [...]orth and Vertue, that he was [...]ereupon chosen Pope. Who [...]mming from Spayn [...] (where [...] was then resident) to Rome, [...]tred into the Citty towardes [...] Pallace barefooted with such [...]umility, that all the people [...]ad him in very great Reue­ [...]ence.

Vpon this & other like occa­ [...]ons, Card. Wolsey enraged with [...]nger, studied all the wayes he [...]ould deuise to be reuenged of [...]e Emperour, which as it was [...]he beginning of a most lamen­ [...]ble Tragedy, so some part ther­of, [Page 48] not impertinent to my pr [...] ­sent purpose, I haue thought [...] heere to insert.

The Cardinall, not ignorant o [...] King Henries inconstant & mu­table disposition, vsed all meaned [...] to auert his Maiesty, from hi [...] wife Queene Katherine, the Em­perours Aunt, well knowing he would easily inclyne to tha [...] motion vpon any sleight occa­sion. And so meaning to mak [...] the Kings flexible Nature, th [...] instrument to bring about hi [...] vngodly purpose, he deuised to allure his Maiesty (who was al [...] ready, contrary to the Cardina [...] mynd, and knowledge, fallen i [...] loue with the Lady Anne Bullen to affect the French Kings Sister Which thing, because of th [...] wars, and hatred that was the [...] [Page 49] [...]etweene the French King, and [...]e Emperour (whome the Car­ [...]inall now mortally hated) he ery [...] earnestly indeauoured to [...]rocure. And for the better fur­ [...]ering this his purpose, he re­ [...]uested one Langland, Bishop of [...]incolne, and Ghostly Father to [...]. Hen [...]y, to put a scruple into [...]he K. head; that it was not law­ [...] for him to mary his Brothers [...]ife; which thing the King (not [...]ry to heare of) related first to [...] Thomas More, & required his [...]ounsell therein, and with all [...]ewed himsome places of Scri­ture which seemed somewhat [...] serue his purpose. Syr Thoma [...] [...]ore: perusing the said places, [...]ereupon (as one that had ne­ [...]r professed Diuinity) excused [...]mselfe vnto his Maiesty, and [Page 50] said, he was farre vnfit to meddle with such affaires.

The King not satisfied with this answere, pressed and vrged him the more; which he percea­uing said vnto his Maiesty: that for asmuch as such a busines re­quired good aduise and delibera­tion, he besought his Highnes to giue him sufficient respit to cōsi­der aduisedly of the same. Wher­with the King well contented, replyed, That Tonstall & Clark, Bishops of Durham & Bath, with others learned of his priuy Coū ­sell should also be dealers therin.

So Syr Thomas More depar­ted, and conferred those places of Scripture with the Exposi­tions of diuers of the ancient Fathers, and Doctours of the Church, and at his comming to [Page 51] Court & talking with the King of the aforesaid matter, he said: To be playne with your Grace, neither my Lord of Durham, nor my Lord of Bath, though I hold [...]hem to be both learned. ver­ [...]uous, & holy Prelates, nor my [...]elfe, with any other of your Counsell (being all your Maie­ [...]ties owne seruants, & so great­ [...]y bound vnto you for your ma­ [...]ifold benefits dayly bestowed vpon vs) be in my iudgment fit Counsellors for your Grace he­ [...]ein. But if your Maiesty desyre [...]o vnderstand the Truth, such Counsellors may be found, as [...]either for respect of world­ [...] commodity, nor for feare of [...]our Princely authority, will [...]ny way be drawne to deceiu [...] [...]ou. And then he named vnto [Page 52] the King S. Hierome, S. Augustine and diuers others auncient Fa­thers & Doctors of the Church, both Greeke an Latin; and fur­ther shewed his Maiesty, what authority he had gathered forth of them: of which although the King (as not fitting to his pur­pose) did not very well like, yet were they by Syr Thomas More [...] so wisely alleaged, and so tem­pred with discretion, that the King at that tyme, tooke it in good part, and had oftentimes conference with him againe, a­bout the same matter.

After this there were certay­ne questions propounded to th [...] Kings Counsell whether in this case the King needed to haue any scruple at all; and if he had, what was the best way to fre [...] [Page 53] him of it? The greater part of the Counsell were of opinion, that there was good cause of scruple, and that for his Maiesties dis­charge therin, it was fit suite should be made vnto the Sea of Rome, where the King thought that by his liberality, he might with ease obtayne his purpose.

Thē was there procured from Rome a commission for the try all of this Mariage, wherein Cardi­nall Campegius, and Cardinall Wol­sey were ioyned commissioners, who for the determination ther­of, sate at the Blacke-Fryers in London, where a Libell was put in for the anulling of the said M [...]triomony, affirming the Ma­riage betweene the King and Q [...]eene to be vnlawfull. Then againe, for proofe therof to be [Page 54] lawfull, there was produced [...] dispensation, in which (after di­uers disputations thereupō hol­den) there appeared an imper­fection; which notwithstanding by an other instrument, or Breu [...] found out vpon search, in th [...] Treasury of Spayne, & sent oue [...] to the commissioners in Englād [...] was supplyed; & so should iudg­mēt haue ben giuen by the Pop [...] accordingly, had not the King vpon intelligence therof befor [...] the same Iudgment, appealed to a Generall Coūcell. After whose Appellation, the Cardinalls sat [...] no more vpon that businesse.

It happened, before the sa [...] matter of Mariage brought in Question, that M. Roper being one day in discourse with Sy [...] Tho. More, did with a kind of [Page 55] [...]oy, congratulate with his said Father, for the happy Estate of the Realme that had so Catho­ [...]ique a Prince, as no Heretique durst shew his face, so vertuous and learned a Clergy, so graue and sound a Nobility, and so lo­ [...]ing and obedient Subiects, all [...]n one fayth agreeing togeather. Troth, it is so indeed, Sonne Ro­ [...]er (quoth he:) and then com­mended all degrees and estates of the same, far beyond M. Roper. And yet Sonne Roper (quoth he) I pray God, that some of vs (as high as we seeme to sit vpon the Mountaynes, treading Hereti­ [...]ques vnder our feete like Ants) [...]ue not to see the day, when we gladly would wish to be in lea­gue and composition with those whome you call Heretiques, & [Page 56] to let them haue their Church [...] quietly to themselues, vpon cō [...] dition, that they would be con­tent to let vs haue ours, quie [...] to our selues.

Then M. Roper produce [...] many reasons to the contrary & saw no cause why any shoul [...] say so. Well, well. Sonne Rop [...] (quoth he) I pray God some [...] vs liue not till that day, and [...] no more. To whome M. [...] replyed, By my troth Syr, th [...]s [...] desperatly spoken, seeming [...] be halfe angry with Syr [...] More: who perceiuing the [...] said merily vnto him: Well, [...] Sōne Rop [...]r, It shall not be then since you will not haue it so [...] Thus was he of so excellent [...] temper, that those who liued, & were cōtinually cōuersant with [Page 57] him in his house, for the space [...] twenty yeares and vpwardes, [...]ould neuer perceiue him to be [...]nce moued, or to make the [...]ast shew of anger.

But to returne agayne where [...]eft. After the supplying of the [...]spensation, sent vnto the com­ [...]ioners into England, as is [...]efore rehearsed, the King ta­ [...]ng the businesse to himselfe, as [...]t then mynding to proceed [...]y further in the matter, assi­ [...]ed the Bishop of Durham and [...] Thomas More to go Embassa­ [...]urs to Cambray (a place nei­ [...]er Imperiall, nor French) to [...]eat a Peace betweene the Em­ [...]rour, the Frēch King, & him­ [...]fe; in the concluding wherof [...]r Tho. More so worthily man­ [...]ged the busines, that he pro­cured [Page 58] therby much more bene­fit for the Kingdome, then was at that tyme by the King and his Coūsell thought possible could be cōpassed. For whose good ser­uice in that Embassy, the King (when he after made him Lord Chauncellour) caused the Duke of Norfolke, to declare openly to the people, how much all [...]ng­land was bounden vnto him, as you shall see hee [...]after more [...] large.

Now vpon the cōming home of the Bishop of Durham, and Sy [...] Thomas More from Cambray afor­sayd, the King began to rene [...] agayne his old suite, and wa [...] very earnest in persuading Sy [...] Thomas More to agree vnto th [...] matter of his marriage, vsin [...] all the wayes, and meanes [...] [Page 59] could deuise to draw him to his part, and as it was thought did the rather for that end soone af­ [...]er create him Lord Chauncel­ [...]our of England. And the King said further vnto him, that al­ [...]hough at his going to Cambray, he was in vtter despaire to ob­ [...]ne dispensation thereof; yet [...]ow he had conceiued some go [...]d hope to cōpasse the same; [...]eaging, that albe [...]t his Mar­ [...]iage, as being agaynst the posi­ [...]ue Law of the Church, & the [...]itten Law of God, was hol­ [...]en by the dispensation; yet is [...]here another thing found out [...]flate (quoth the King) wherby [...]his Marriage appeareth so dire­ [...]tly agaynst the law of Nature, [...]hat it can in no wise, by the Church be dispensable, as Do­ [...]or [Page 60] Stokesley (whome he had then preferred to the Bishop­ricke of London) can well in­struct you, with whome, vpon this point, I would haue you to confer.

So they conferred togeather [...] But for all this Conference, Syr Thomas More could not be induced to change his opinion therein: Yet notwithstanding did the Bishop in his Report o [...] him to the King, affirme falsely that he found Syr Thomas More, in the Kings cause, very for­ward, as being desirous to find some good matter, wherewith he might serue the Kings con­tentment, in that case.

Now, this Bishop Stokesley ha­uing a litle before, byn by Car­dinall Wolsey openly rebuked in [Page 61] the Sarre-chamber, & awarded [...] the Flecte, he not well broo­ [...]ing this contumelious vsage; [...]nd knowing that forasmuch [...] the Cardinall, for his backe­ [...]ardnes in pursuing the Kings [...]uorse, was falling out of his [...]ghnes fauour; and that he had [...]ow espied a fit opportunity to [...]euenge his quarell agaynst the [...]ardinall, and to incense the [...]ing further agaynst him; at [...]ast preuayled so far, that the Cardinall was soone after dis­ [...]laced from his office of high Chancellorship, and the same was conferred vpon Syr Thomas [...]ore, hoping therby so to win [...]im to his syde, that he would [...]ield his consent for the matter [...]f diuorse.

Then was Syr Thomas More [Page 62] betweene the Dukes of [...] and N [...]rfolke, brought throug [...] [...] Hall, to his place [...] the Chancery, and the Duke [...] Norfolk [...] in the audience of [...] the people there assembled, [...] wed, that he was from the [...] himselfe straitley charged [...] speciall commi [...]ion, to [...] the [...]e openly in the presence [...] them all, how much all [...] was beholding to Syr [...] [...], for his good seruice: an [...] how worthily he de [...]erued th [...] highest roome in the Kingdom and further how deere his Ma­iesty loued & trusted him; wher [...] ­in (quoth the Duke) he hat [...] great cause to reioyce, & prays [...] Almighty God.

Whereunto Syr Thomas Mor [...] (amongst diuers other wise and [Page 63] [...]arned speches) made answere [...]nd replyed, that allthough he [...]ad good cause to take comfort [...] his Highnes singular fauour [...]wards him, to whome there­ [...]ore he acknowledged himselfe [...]ost deeply bounden; yet ne­ [...]erthelesse he must for his owne [...]art needes confesse, that in all [...]ose things, by th [...] Duks Grace [...]here alleaged, he had done no­ [...]hing, but what was his duty. [...]nd furthermore said, That he [...]as very vnfit for that dignity, [...]herein (considering how wise [...]nd worthy a Prelate, had lately [...]efore taken so great a fall) he [...]aid he had no great cause to re­ [...]oyce. And as they had before in [...]he Kings behalfe, charged him [...] minister Iustice vprightly & [...]ndifferētly to the people, with­out [Page 64] corruption or affection: [...] did he likewise charge them a­gayne, that if they saw him, at any time to digresse, in the least thing, touching any part of hi [...] duty, in that honourable Offi­ce, euen as they would discharg their owne duty and fidelity [...] God and the King, they would not fayle to decla [...]e the same to his Ma [...]esty; who otherwise, might haue iust caùse to lay the fault wholy vpon them, and to their charge.

Now, when he was Lord Chauncellour, on a tyme being at leasure (as seldome he was) a Sonne in law of his, who had marryed one of his daughters, spake merrily vnto him saying: When Cardinall Wolsey was Lord Chancellour, not onely [Page 65] [...]iuers of his priuy Chāber, but [...]uch also as were but his very [...]oor-keepers got much proffit: [...]nd now sith I haue maryed one [...]f your daughters, and giue my [...]ayly attendance vpon you [...], I [...]hinke I might of reason looke [...]or [...] [...] [...] [...]oyle all [...], [...] [...] you be so [...] [...] [...] to heare euery [...] [...] p [...]re as rich; & be­ [...] [...] [...] no doores shut [...] [...], which is to me no [...] [...] and discoura­ [...]ēt; whereas otherwise some [...]or friendshippe, some for kyn­ [...]red, but most for profit, would [...] glad to haue my furtherance [...] bring them to your presence. And now as the case stands, if [...] should take any thing of them, know I should do them much [Page 66] wrong, for that they may do [...] much for themselues, as I [...] able to do for thē. Which thin [...] though it be in you very com [...] mendable, yet to me your Son [...] I find it nothing profitable.

You say well, Sonne (quo [...] Syr Thomas More) I do not m [...] like that you are so scrupulo [...] of conscience, for there be m [...]ny other wayes, wherein I ma [...] both do you good, and pleasur [...] your friend also; for sometym [...] may I by my word stand yo [...] friend insteed, and sometim [...] I may by my letters help hi [...] or if he haue a cause dependi [...] before me, at your request I m [...] heare him before another; o [...] his cause be not altogether [...] the best, yet may I moue the pa [...] tyes to fall to some reasonab [...] [Page 67] end, or compound by arbitre­ment: Howbeit this one thing Sonne, I assure thee, on my Fayth, that if the parties will at my hands call for iustice, then if [...]it were my Father that stood on the one side, and the Diuell on the other side, his cause being good, the Diuell surely should haue right.

So offered he to his Sonne as much fauour as he thought he could in reason require. And that he would for no respect di­gresse neuer so litle frō iustice, did plainely appeare by another of his Sonns in law, one M. Giles H [...]ron, who had a sorry suite de­pending before him in the Chā ­cery, yet presuming much vpon his Fathers fauour, would in no wayes be perswaded by him to [Page 68] come to an indifferent compo­sitiō with his aduersary; where­vpon in triall of the matter, Syr Thomas M [...]re pronounced sen­tence agaynst him.

He vsed euery afternoone to sit in his open Hall, to the end, that whosoeuer had any suit vn­to him, they might the more boulder come to his presence, and there to open theyr Com­playints before him. Also his manner was, to read euery Bill himselfe, before he would grant any Sub poena, and hauing read it, he would either set his hand vnto it, or else cancell it.

Whensoeuer he passed throgh Westminster Hall, to his place in Chancery, by the Court of Kings Bē [...]h, if his Father (one of the Iudges therof) had bin there [Page 69] set before he came, he would go into the same Court, & there most reuerently vpon his knees before the whole Assembly, aske his Father blessing. As likewise, if his Father and he chanced to meet at the Lecture in Lincolnes In [...]e (as oftentymes they did) yet, notwithstanding his high place & Office, would he offer in Argument, the preheminence vnto his Father; nor would him­selfe accept thereof, vntill his Father had refused it.

And for further declaration of his naturall affection, & loue towardes his Father, when he lay sicke vpon his death bed, he did not only (according to his duty) oftentymes come and vi­sit him, with all manner of com­fort, but also at his departure [Page 70] out of the world, he tooke him about the Necke, kissed, & im­braced him, commending his soule into mercyfull hands of Almighty God, and so departed.

Whilest he was Lord Chan­cellour, he graunted but few Iniunctions; yet were they by some of the Iudges of the Law misliked, which M. Roper vnder­standing, declared the same vn­to Syr Thomas More, who answe­red, that they should haue litle cause to find fault with him therfore. Whereupon he caused one M. Crooke, chiefe of the six Clarkes to make a Docket con­teyning the whole number and causes of all such Iniunctions, as either in his tyme had alrea­dy passed, or at the present de­pended in any of the Kings [Page 71] Courts at Westminster before [...]im; which done, he one day in­ [...] all the Iudges to dinner with him in the Counsell Chā ­ [...]er at Westminster, and after [...]ynner, when he had broken with them, what cōplaynts he had heard of his Iniunctions, & moreouer had shewed them the [...]umber and causes of euery one [...]n order, truly & playnely, they were all inforced to confesse, [...]hat themselues in like cases could haue done no otherwise. Then made he this offer vnto [...]hem, That if the Iudges of eue­ [...]y Court (vnto whome the re­formation of the rigour of the Law, by reason of their Office most especially appertayned) would vpon reasonable consi­derations in their owne discre­tions [Page 72] (as he thought they wer [...] bound to do in conscience) mi­tigate, and reforme the rigor of the law themselues, there should from thenceforth be no more Iniunctions graunted out by him. Whereunto when they re­fused to condescend, then said he vnto them: For asmuch as your selues (my Lordes) force me to that necessity, of granting out Iniunctions, for reliefe of the peoples iniuries, you cannot hereafter any more iustly blame me.

After that, he spake priuatly to M. Roper saying: I perciue why they liked not so to do, for they see that they may by the verdict of the Iury, cast all quarrels v­pon those whome they account their chiefe defence, and there­fore [Page 73] am I compelled, to abide the aduenture of all such Re­ports.

Now in the tyme of his Chan­cellourshippe, allthough he had but litle leasure, to busy himselfe in the study of holy Scriptures and Controuersies in Religion, with other such like Exercises, being in a manner continually imployed about the affaires of the King and Kingdome; yet did he take many watchfull pai­nes in setting forth diuers profi­table workes, in the defence of Christian Religion, agaynst He­resies, that then were blowne abroad. In so much that the Bi­shops, to whose Pastorall care that Reformation chiefly belō ­ged, seeing themselues, by his trauell (wherein by their owne [Page 74] confession, they were not any way able to compare with him) in great part discharged of the [...]r dutyes in that behalse; & consi­dering, that for all the Princes fauor, & his great Office he was no rich man, nor had in yearly reuenewes aduāced himselfe as his worthynes deserued, there­fore at a Conuocation, holden amongst themselues, and others of the Clergy, they agreed to recompence him with a summe of fiue thousand pounds, for his paynes taken in their behalfe.

To the payment wherof eue­ry Bishop, Abbot, and others of the Clergy, according to the ra­tes of their abilityes, became li­berall Contributaries; hoping that this their liberality would giue him good content. Where­vpon [Page 75] Bishop Tonstall of Durhā, Bi­shop Clarke of Bath, & D. Voysey Bi [...]hop of Exceter repayred vnto [...] Tho. More, declaring how [...]hankefully, to their discharge [...]n Gods cause, they reckoned [...]hemselues vnto him; and albeit [...]hey could, not according to his deserts, so worthily requite his [...]ours, & therefore must refer [...]he same to Gods gracious good­ [...]esse: yet for a small gratuity, in [...]espect of his Estate so vneqúall [...]o his Worth, in the Name of their whole Conuocation, they presented vnto him the forsaid [...]umme, desiring him to accept of it in good part. But Syr Tho­ [...]as More refusing this their ten­ [...]er, said vnto them: That, as it was no small comfort vnto him [...]hat so wise and learned men ac­cepted [Page 76] of his weake labours, for which he neuer intended to re­ceiue any other reward, but at the hands of God, to whome a­lone all the thankes therof were chiefly to be ascribed: So gaue he most humble thankes vnto all their Honours, for their so friendly and honourable consi­deration, and earnestly intrea­ted them to returne euery man his money agayne.

Wherfore when after much pressing him to accept therof, & cold not preuaile, they besought him, that they might bestow it vpon his Wife, and Children Not so my Lords (quoth he,) had rather see it cast into the Thames, then either I, or any [...] myne should haue the value [...] one penny therof. For, my Lor­des, [Page 77] though your offer indeed be very fayre and friendly, yet set I so much by my pleasure, & so litle by my profit, that I would not, in good fayth, for so much, and much more, to haue lost so many a good nights sleepe, as I spent vpon the same. And yet I would wish, for all that, vpon conditiō that Heresies were sup­pressed, that all my Bookes were burned, & my labour lost. Thus departed they from him, and were driuen to returne euery man his owne money agayne.

This Lord Chancellour, al­though he was well knowne, both to God and the world to be a man of most eminent Ver­tue, though not so considered of euery man; yet for the auoyding of singularity would he appeare [Page 78] to the ey of the world no other­wise then other men, as well in his apparell, as behauiour. And albeit he appeared outwardly Honourable, like to one of his Dignity & Calling, yet inward­ly did he esteme all such thing [...] for meere vanity: for next to hi [...] naked body he wore almost cō ­tinually a shirt of hayre; the [...] a young Gentlewoman, named M. rs More, by chance on day [...] pying as he sat in his doublet & hose at dynner in the sōmer ty­me, and seemed to smile therat, his daughter Roper perceiuing the same (being not ignorant of this his austerity) gaue him priuate notice thereof, and he did presently amend the fault, seeming withall sorry, that she had feene it. He also wore ano­ther [Page 79] playne course shirt without ruffe or collar, vpon his shirt of hayre; And many tymes he li­kewise punished his body with whips, made of knotted cor­des; the which thing was only knowne to his daughter Roper, who for her secresy, aboue all the r [...]st he especially trusted, for that as need required she did al­wayes wash & mend his shirt of hayre, which he would not dis­couer vnto any other what­soeuer.

Now, in this meane space, whilst he was Lord Chācellour of England, the King did one day greatly moue him, & desire him, well to weigh and consider of his great matter, concerning his diuorce. Syr Thomas More falling vpon his knees, most [Page 80] humbly besought his Maiesty to stand still his gratious Souerai­gne, as euer since his entry in­to his Royall Seruice, he had found him; and said, that there was nothing in the world more grieuous to his hart, then that he was not able with the losse of one of his lymbes, to find any thing for that matter, wherby he might with safe conscience serue his Maiesties turne. And that he had alwayes borne in mynd the most Godly wordes, that his Highnesse spake vnto him, at his first comming into his Royall seruice (the most ver­tuous Lesson, that euer Prince taught a Subiect) to wit, that he should first looke vnto God, & after God, vnto his King: as in good fayth (said he) I haue [Page 81] [...]ost sincerely done, or els might your Grace accompt me a most [...]nworthy seruant.

To this the King replyed; [...]hat if he could not therein with [...]is conscience serue him, he was well content to accept of his [...]eruice otherwise, and vse the [...]duice of some others of his pri­ [...]y Counsell, whose conscien­ [...]es would agree well inough [...]herewith, nor would he neuer­ [...]helesse discōtinue his gracious [...]auour towards him, nor trou­ [...]le his conscience any further with that matter, for the tyme [...]orward.

But Syr Thomas More per­ [...]eiued by little and little, that [...]he King fully determined to [...]roceede in his Marriage with Queene Anne, when he, with [Page 82] the Bishopps and Nobles of the Higher House of Parlament, were for the furtherance of that matter, cōmanded by the King to go vnto the Commons of the lower House, & shew vnto them, what the Vniuersities as­well of other parts beyond the seas, as of Oxford, and Cambridge had done in that behalfe, testi­fiyng the same with their seales and subscriptions. All which things (at the Kinges request, not shewing of what mynd he was therein himselfe) he opened to the Lower House of Parla­ment.

Neuerthelesse doubting great­ly, lest further inconueniences might follow, into with (con­trary to his conscience) by rea­son of his Office, he was likely [Page 83] to be fall, he made humble suite to the Duke of Norforke (his sin­gular deare friend) to be a mea­nes vnto the King, that he might, with his Graces fauour, be discharged from his Office of Chancellourship, in which for certayne infirmityes of his bo­dy, he pretended himselfe not a­ble any longer to serue.

This good Duke of Norfolke comming on a tyme to Chelsey to dyne with Syr Thomas More, found him in the Church, sin­ging in the Quier, with a Sur­ [...] on his backe: to whome (after Masse was done) as they went towardes his house, to­gether arme in arme, the Duke [...]aid: Gods body, Gods body, my Lord Chancellour, what turned [...]arish Clarke? You dishonor th [...] [Page 84] King and his Office very much. Nay (quoth Syr Thomas More smyling vpon the Duke) your Grace may not thinke, that the King your Maister and myne wilbe offended with me for ser­uing God his Maister, or therby accompt his Seruice any way dishonoured.

Now, when the Duke (at the speciall intreaty and importu­nate suite of Syr Thomas More) had obtayned of the King, that he should be discharged of his Chancellorship, at a conuenien [...] tyme appointed by the King, he repayred vnto the Court, to yield vp the great Seale, which his Maiesty receaued of him with prayse, and thankes for hi [...] good seruice done to his perso [...] and the Realme in that Office. [Page 85] And he further sayd vnto him in a gracious manner, that if in any suite he should heerafter haue vnto him, that either con­cerned his Honour (for that word it pleased the King to vse vnto him,) or appertayned to his profit, he should euer find his Highnes, a very good, and gra­cious Lord.

After he had thus resigned the Office, and Dignity of the Chancellorship, and placed all his Gentlemen & Yomen with Bishops and Noble men, and his eight Watermen with the Lord Audley (who succeded him in his Office) to whome also he gaue his great Barge; he then called al his children vnto him, & asked their aduises how he might now in the decay of his ability, which [Page 86] by the surrender of his Office was so impayred, that he could not, as he was wont, maintayne them to liue al togeather, accor­ding to his desyre; wherat when he saw them all silent, & vnwil­ling in that case to shew their opinions vnto him: Why then will I (quoth he shew vnto you my poore mynd.

I haue beene brought vp, (said he) at Oxford, at an Iune of Ch [...]ncery, at Lincolnes Inne, and also in the Kings Courtes, and so forth, from the lowest degree to the highest; and yet I haue in yearly Reuenewes, left me at this present, little aboue a hundred poundes by the yeare. So that now, we must hereafter if we will liue together, be con­tent to become Contributours [Page 87] to ech other; but by my coun­sell it shall not be best for vs, to fall to the lowest fare first. We will not therefore descend to Oxford fare, nor the fare of New [...]nne; but we will begin with Lincolnes Inne dyet, where ma­ny right Worshipfull of good yeares do liue full well; which if we find not our selues the first yeare able to mayntayne, then will we the next yeare go one steppe downe to New-Inne fare, wherewith, many an honest man is well contented. Then, if that exceed our abilityes, will we the next yeare after descend to Oxford fare, where many gra­ue, learned, & ancient Doctours be continually resident; which if our powers be not able to mayntayne neyther, then may [Page 88] we yet with bagges and wallets go a begging togeather, hoping that for pitty some good people will giue vs their Charity, at their doore, to sing Salue Regi­na, and so still may we keepe company togeather, and be as merry as Beggars.

And whereas you haue heard before, that he was by the King, taken from a very good liuing, and aduanced to his Maiesties seruice, wherein he spent with paynfull cares and trauels, as­well beyond the Seas, as within the Kingdome, in a manner the whole substance of his life: yet with all the gayne that he got thereby (being neuer wastfull spender) he was scarce able, af­ter the Resignation of his office of Chancellorship, for the main­taynance [Page 89] of himselfe, and such [...] necessarily belonged vnto [...]im, sufficiently to find meat [...] [...]rinke, apparell, and other such [...]ecessaryes; all the land which [...] euer purchased (which he [...]id also, before he was Lord Chancellour) not amounting [...] aboue the value of Twenty [...]arkes a yeare. And after his [...]ebts payd, he had not (his Chayne only excepted) in gold [...]nd siluer, left him the worth of [...] hundred pounds.

In the tyme of his Chancel­ [...]rship, vpon the Sundayes and [...]oly daies, when Masse, or Euē ­ [...]nge were ended, one of his Gentlemen did vsually go to his [...]dyes Pew in the Church, & [...] vnto her: Madame, my Lord [...]gone. The next Sunday after [Page 90] thé surrender of his Office, & departure of his Gentlemen, he went vnto his Ladyes pew himselfe, and with his Cap in hand, he made her low Cour­tesy, saying vnto her; Madame My Lord is gone.

In the tyme, before his trou­bles, he would talke with hi [...] Wife and Children of the ioyes of heauen, & the paynes of hel [...] & of the liues of the Holy Mar­tyrs, of their grieuous Martyr­domes, of their meruailous Pa­tience, and of their sufferings & deathes, & that they died mos [...] willingly rather thē they woul [...] offēd God: also what a happy & blessed thing it was for the lou [...] of God to suffer losse of goods imprisonment, losse of life, an [...] landes. Moreouer he would f [...]r [Page 91] ther say vnto them, That vpon his Fayth, if he could but per­ceiue, that his wife & Children would encourage him to dye in a good cause, it would be such a comfort vnto him, that for very ioy therof he would runne mer­rily to his death. By this dis­course, and other such like, he gaue them feeling what trou­bles might afterwardes chance to happen vnto him, wherby he had so farre encouraged them before the tyme, that afterwar­des when th [...]y happened vnto him indeed, they seemed a great deale the lesse.

Now after the Resignation of his Office, there came vnto him to Chels [...]y, M. Thomas Cromwell (then in the Kings his fauour) with a message from his Maie­sty, [Page 92] about which when they had fully cōferred togeather priuat­ly; M. Cromwell (quoth Syr Tho­mas More) you are now newly entred into the [...]eruice of a mos [...] Royals, Wise, & liberall Prince and if you follow my poore ad­uise, you shall in your Counsell [...] giuing, euer tell him what h [...] ought to do, but neuer what h [...] is able to do. So shall you shew your selfe a true and faythful seruant, & a right worthy Coū sellour: for if a Lyon knew hi [...] owne strength, it were hard fo [...] any man to rule him.

Within a short tyme afte [...] his, there was a Commissio [...] graunted forth, and directed [...] M. Cranmer (then Archbishop [...] Canterbury) to determyne th [...] matter of the Mariage between [Page 93] the King, & Queene Katharine, at S. Albans. Where at last, it was fully determined, and con­cluded, according to the Kings desire: and then began he to cō ­playne, that since he could haue no Iustice at the Popes handes, he would therfore from thence­forth separate himselfe from the Sea of Rome, and thereupon he presently maried the Lady Anne Bullen.

Which, when Syr Tho. More vnderstood, he sayd to M. Ro­per; God graunt, God graunt. Sonne Roper, that these matters within a while, be not confir­med by Oath.

About this tyme, Queene Anne was to passe through London frō the Tower to West­minster, to her Coronation, & [Page 94] some few dayes before, Syr Tho­mas More receiued a letter fr [...] the Bishops of Durham, Bath, & Winchester requesting him, both to keep them company from the Tower to Westminster to the said Coronation, and withall to accept of Twenty Poundes, which by the Bearer thereof they had sent vnto him to buy him a gowne; which he thank­fully receiued, but yet went not, staying still at home vntill the Coronation was past. At his next meeting with the said Bi­shops, he spake merrily vnto them, saying; My Lordes, by the letter which you sent lately vn­to me, you required of me two things, one wherof since I was well contented to graunt, there­fore I thought I might be the [Page 95] boulder to deny you the other: [...]nd also, because I tooke you [...]r no Beggars, and my selfe I [...]ow to be no rich man, I [...]ought I might the rather ac­ [...]pt of your liberality with the [...]ore honesty. But indeed your [...]her Request put me in mynd [...] a certaine Emperour (I haue [...]ow forgotten his name) that [...]ade a law, that whosoeuer cō ­ [...]itted a certayne offēce (which do not now neyther remem­ [...]er,) should suffer death, by be­ [...]g deuoured of wild beastes, ex­ [...]ept it were a Virgin that of­ [...]ended against the same, such [...]euerence did he beare vnto Vir­ [...]inity. Now, it so fell out, that [...]he first who committed the of­ [...]ence, was indeed a Virgin, [...]her of the Emperour hearing, [Page] [...] [...] [Page] [...] [...]

[Page 98] ruption, by doing wrong, or ta­king bribes; it would without doubt in this so troublesome a tyme, of the Kings displeasure agaynst him, haue beene deeply layd to his charge, therby to haue found any the least hole in his coate. But he alwayes kept himselfe so cleare, euen of suspi­tion of any such thing, that no man was once able therwith to blemish him; although the same was shrewdly many times at­tempted, specia [...]y in the case of one Parne [...], against whome Syr Thomas More whilst he was Lord Chancellour, in the suite of one Vaugham (Parnels aduer­ary) had passed a sentence or de­cree, by way of Iustice.

Whereupon Parnell made a most grieuous complaynt vnto [Page 99] the King, that Syr Thomas More [...], for passing of the forsaid [...], taken from the said Vau­ [...] vnable for the Gowte to trauell abroad himselfe) by the handes of his wife, a fayre great gilded cup for a bribe. Vpō this a [...]ulation Syr Thomas More was by the Kings appointment, cal­led before the whole body of the Counsell, where this matter [...] heynously laid to his char­ge. He forthwith confessed, that for asmuch as that cup was lōg after the passing of a foresaid decree, brought vnto him for a new yeares gift, he at the Gent­lewomās importune pressing it vpon him, of courtesy refused not to-receiue it.

Then the Earle of Wiltshire, Syr Thomas Bullen, Father to [Page 100] Queene Anne, a verý great enemy to Syr Thomas M [...]re, and chiefe complayner of this bu­sines agaynst him to the King, with much reioycing said vnto the Lords there present: Loe, did I not tell you, my Lordes, that you shold find this matter true?

Whereupon when Syr Thomas More had stood silent a while, smyling vpon the Lord of W [...] ­shire, he at length earnestly de­sired their Lordships, that as they had courteously heard him tell the one part of his Tale, so they would be pleased to vouch­safe him the indifferent hearing of the other.

Then he further declared vn­to their Honours, That albert indeed, he had with much in­treaty receyued the cup, yet im­mediatly [Page 101] thereupon he caused his Butler to fill it with wyne, and of that cup he dranke vnto her, and she pledged him. Then as freely as her husband had gi­uen it vnto him, euen so, freely gaue he the same backe agayne to her, to giue vnto her husband for his New-yeares gift, which at his request (though much a­gainst her will) she receyued agayne; as herself and diuers o­thers there present, were depo­sed before them. So was this great Mountayne, was turned presently into Molehill.

So likewise at another time, vpon a New yeares day, there c [...]me vnto Syr Thomas More one [...] Croker a rich widdow, for whome with no small paynes, he had passed a Decree in the [Page 102] Chauncery, agaynst the Lord Arundell, to present him with a payre of gloues, and fourty poūds in Angells within them for a New yeares gift. Of whom he thankefully receiuing the Gloues, but refusing the money said vnto her: Mistresse, sin [...] [...] were agaynst good manners to refuse a Gentlewomans New­yeares gift, I am content to take your Gloues, but for your Mo­ney I vtterly refuse it; & much against her mynd, he restored her the Gold backe agayne.

Another tyme also one [...] Gresham hauing a cause [...] ­ding before him in the Ch [...]n­cery, sent him for a New [...] gift a fayre Gilded cup: The [...] ­shon whereof he very well [...] ­king, caused one of his owne [Page 103] cups (though not to his mynd of so good a fashon, yet much better in value) to be brought forth of his Chamber, which he willed the Messenger in recom­pence to redeliuer vnto his Mi­stresse, for with other condition he would in no wise receiue it.

Now when the King plainly saw, that he could not by any meanes wyn Syr Thomas More to his syde, he went about by terror, and threates to inforce him thereunto; the beginning wherof, was occasioned, in this manner. There was a certayn [...]. Nunne dwelling in Canterbury, commonly called The holy Mayd [...] [...], who for the exteriour shew of her Vertue, and Holi­n [...]e, grew into great esteeme amongst the common People [Page 104] first, and then amongst others and for that cause many Reli­gious persons, many Doctors of Diuinity, and diuers others of very great accompt of the Lay­ty vsed to resort vnto her. This holy woman affirmed, to haue had a Reuelation from heauen, to giue the King warning of his wicked life, and of the abuse of the Sword and Authority com­mitted vnto him by God; and vnderstanding, the Bishop of Rochester, Doctour Fisher, to be a man of notable vertuous life & great learning, she repayred to Rochester, and there disclosed to him her sayd Reuelation, de­siring his aduice and counsell therein; which the Bishop well perceiuing might stand with the lawes of God, and holy Chu [...]h, [Page 105] [...]uised her (as she before inten­ [...]ed, and had warning to do to [...] vnto the King herselfe, and [...]are vnto him, all the cir­ [...]stances therof. Whereupon [...] w [...]nt, and told vnto his Ma­ [...] her said Reuelation, and so [...] home to Cant [...]rbury.

Within a short tyme after, this [...] [...] [...]oly Nunne, made a [...]orney to the Monastery of Sion [...] vpō the Thames, a litle [...] [...], & by meanes of [...] M. R [...]old, a Father of the [...]ame house, [...] the Religious [...]erof. At which tyme it hap­ [...] Syr Thomas More to be at [...] visiting some of his aquain­ [...]ance there, & talking with the [...]nne about some of her Re­ [...]lations, especially that which did concerne the Kings Supre­macy [Page 106] and Marriage: which he said) he might freely and safely do, without any daunger of the law, by reason the same was then neither established by Sta­tute, nor confirmed by Oath, as he himselfe had lōg before pro­gnosticated, neuerthelesse in all the discourse, and passages of speach which he had with the said Nunne (as it after ward ap­peared) he had carried himselfe so discreetly, that he rather de­serued cōmendatiōs, thē blame.

At the Parlament following, there was a bill put vp for the attaynting of the forsaid Nunne of Cant [...]ury, & of some other Monasticall persons, of High Treason: as also Bishop Fish [...] of [...], S [...]r Thomas More and diuers others, of [...] of [Page 107] Treason. With which the King veri [...]y thought Syr Thomas More would be so terrified, that it would inforce him to relent, & cōdescend to his purpose; wher­in as it seemed, his Grace was much mistaken.

To this Bill, Syr Thomas More was s [...]ter to be receiued perso­n [...]ly to make answere for him­ [...] in his owne defence. But the King not liking that, assi­gn [...]d the Bishop of Canterbury, [...] Lord Chācellour, the Duke of No: folke, and M. Cromwell at a day, and place appoynted, to [...] Syr Thomas More before them. At which tyme M. Roper thinking his Father had now fit opportunity, aduised him to la­bour th [...]se Lordes for the help of his discha [...]ge, forth of the [Page 108] Parlament Bill, who answered M. Roper, that he would

At his comming before the Lordes, according to theyr ap­poyntment, they interta [...]ned him very [...]iendly, and willed him to [...] downe with them, which in no wise he would [...] began the Lord Chancellour to declare vnto him, how many wayes the [...]ing had shewe [...] his loue and fauour towards him; how gladly he would haue had him continue in his Office; and how willing he would haue ben to haue heaped more Benefits vpon him; how he could aske no worldly Honour, or Profit at the Kings handes, that was li­kely to be [...]enyed him; hoping by this declaration of the Kin [...] fauours towards him, to [...] [Page 109] [...]im to fauour his Highnes bu­ [...] of the mariage. And lastly he requested his consent vnto no more, but what the Parla­ment, the Bishops, and [...] had allready admitted, and [...].

To this Syr T [...]omas M [...]re [...] ma [...]e answere, s [...]ying; There is no man liu [...]ng, my Lordes that would with better will, do the thing that might be a [...]table to the Kings High­nes then my selfe, who nee [...]es must cōfesse his manifold goo [...] ­nesse, and bountifull benefits, m [...]st [...] bestowed vpon me: Howbeit I verily thought, that I should neuer haue heard more of this matter, conside­ring, that from time to time, euen from the first beginning [Page 110] heer of I haue declare [...] my mind playnly & truly to his [...] which his [...]ighnes eue [...] [...] to me, like a most graciou [...] [...], very well to a [...]ept, [...]uer mynding as he said) to [...] me further therewith. [...]nce [...] tyme I could neu [...]r [...] further matter, that was [...] to moue me to any other [...]; wh [...]ch if I could, there is n [...]t a man in all the word that would haue b [...]ne more glad th [...]of, then my selfe.

M [...]ny thinges more, of like sort, were heere vttered on both sides: and in the end when they saw they could not by any man­ner of persuasion, remoue him from his former determination; then they began to touch him more ne [...]rely, telling him, that [Page 111] [...]he Kinges Maiesty had giuen [...]hem in commandemet, [...] they [...] by no gentle mean [...]s wyn [...], to charge him in his Name with great [...]gratitude, & that [...]here was neuer found seruant [...]o his Soueraigne so vngrate­ [...], nor subie [...]t to his Prince so [...] as he: for t [...]at by his [...] & sinister [...] he had mo [...]t vnnaturally vrged, & pro­cu [...]ed his [...] to set forth [...]a Booke, Of the Asertion of the [...] [...], and mayn­ [...]nance of the Popes Authori­ [...] and therby caused him, to [...] great dishonour throughout [...], to put a sword into the Pop [...]s handes, to fight agaynst himselfe.

Now wh [...]n th [...]y had thus laid [...] these, and all other such [Page 112] like terrours & [...] which they cold imagine ag [...]ynst him; My Lordes quoth he these be but Bugbeares, only to [...] Children, and not me B [...]t to answere that, wherewith you do [...] accuse me, I [...] [...] that the Kings [...], out of his Honour, wil [...] [...]euer lay any [...] [...] to my ch [...]r­ge; for th [...]e is no man in the world, th [...]t can in that [...], s [...]y [...] in my excuse, th [...]n his [...] himselfe who knoweth right well, that [...] uer was his procurer, or Counsellour there­vnto, but after it was fi [...]ished by his H [...]hnes appoyntment, and consent of the makers therof, I only was made vse of, as a setter out, or a placer of some princi­pall matters therein contayned; [Page 113] wherein, when I found the Po­pes Authority so highly aduan­ced, and with so strong Argu­ments mightily defended, I said vnto his Grace: I must put your Highnes in remēbrance of one thing, and that is this, The Pope as your Highnes well knoweth is a Prince as you are, & in lea­g [...]e with all other Christian P [...]nces, it may hereafter so fall o [...]t, that your Highnes and he may vary vpon some poynts of league, whereupon may grow br [...]ch of amity yea and warrs betwixt you; I thinke it ther­fore best that, that place be a­mended, & his Authority more aduisedly touched. Nay quoth the King) that shall it not, for we are so much bound to the S [...]a of Rom [...], that we cannot do [Page 114] to much honour thereunto Thē did I further put his Mai [...]sty in remembrance of the Statute of [...], wherby a great p [...]t of the Popes Prouisions, were pared away. To that his Maiesty answered, that whatsoeuer im­pediment were to the contrary, yet should his Authority be set forth to the v [...]ermost: for (q [...]oth he, we receiued frō that Sea, this our Crowne Imperiall; of which th [...]ng vntill his Gra­ce told me with his own mouth I neuer heard before. So that I trust when his Maiesty sha [...]be once truly informed of this, [...]nd call to remem [...]rance my pla [...]ne an [...] honest d [...]ling therein, [...] [...] will neuer speake of it [...], but [...]ather quite [...] me thereof himselfe. Thus [...] ­ded [Page 115] the Assembly for that tyme, & the Lords soin what displea­santly departed.

Then tooke Sy [...] Thom [...]s More h [...]s boat hom wards to his house [...] [...], togeather with M. Ro­ [...], and bv the way was very [...]easant. Which M. R [...]per see­ [...], was very glad therof, ho­ [...] that he had gotten himselfe [...] [...] [...]: of the [...] [...]. [...] [...] was [...], and [...] [...] to h [...]s ho [...]se, they we [...]t [...] [...] G [...]den, and there walked to [...] a g [...]od wh [...]le. No [...] [...] [...] [...] very [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...], [...] [...]: I trust [...], all [...] well, be­cause you are so [...]. It is so in [...]eed [...] [...] (qu [...]th he, I [...] our L [...]rd God Are you then put out of the Parl [...]ent [Page 116] bill Syr (quoth M. Roper?) By my troth sonne R [...]per (quoth he, I neuer rem [...]mbred it. Neuer re­membred it, Syr, (quoth M. R [...] ­per) a matter that touch [...]th your selfe so neere, & all vs for your sake. Truly Syr, I am ve [...]y sorry to heare it, for I v [...]ly hoped, when I saw you so merry, that all had ben well. Well, well Sonne Roper (quoth he) wilt thou know why I was so mer­ry indeed? That would I glad­ly Syr, said M. Roper. In good Fayth, Sonne Roper, I reioyce [...] that I had giuen the Deuill a [...] fall, and that with these Lordes, I had gone so farre, as without great shame I could not go backe agayne. At wh [...]h wo [...]des M Rop [...]r waxed sad, and then they went both in.

[Page 117]Now, vpon the report made by the Lord Chancellour, and the other Lords, to the King of their former discourse, and pro­ce [...]dings with Syr Thomas More, the King was so highly offended with him, that he playnly told them, he was fully purposed that the aforesaid Parlament­B [...]ll shold proceed forth agaynst him. To whome the Lord Chā ­cellour, and the rest of the Lor­des said, they perceiued the vp­per House so precisely bent to heare him spake for himselfe & to make answere in his owne defence that if he were not put out of the bill, it would without fayle be reiected of all. But for all this, the King would needes haue his owne will therein, or else (quoth he) at the passing [Page 118] therof, I will my selfe be perso­nally present. Then did [...] Lord Chancellour, and the rest (seeing him so vehemently ben [...] therein) vpon their knees, be­seech his Grace in most hum­ble wise, to for beare the same considering, that if he shoul [...] [...] his owne presence receiue [...] ouerthrow, it would not only encourage his Subiects euer [...]: to contemne him; but [...] throughout all Christendome redound to his great dishonour Adding thereunto, that they doubted not in tyme, to find some other matter against him which might serue his Maiestie purpose far better; for in th [...] former busines, especially tha [...] of the Nunne, he is accompted (quoth they) so innocent and[Page 119] cleare, that he is iudged of most m [...]n, rather worthy of praise, then reprehension. Whereupon at length, through their earnest perswasions the King was con­tented to yield himselfe to their counsell.

On the Morrow after, M. Cromwell meeting with M. Ro­ [...] in the Parlament house, wil­led him to tell his Father, that he was put out of the Parlament Bill; which newes M. Roper sent home immediatly to his wife, willing her to make the same knowne to her Father. Whereof when he heard: In good fayth Megge (quoth he) Quod differtur, non aufertur. After this it happe­ned that the Duke of Norfolke & Syr Tho. More met togeather, and falling into familiar talke, [Page 120] the Duke said vnto him: By the Masse M. More, it is perilous stri­uing with Princes, & therefore I would wish you somewhat to inclyne to the Kings pleasure: For by Gods body, M. More, In­dignatio Pri [...]cipis Mors est. Is that all my Lord (quoth he?) Then in good Fayth, there is no more difference betweene your Grace and me, but that I may dye to day, & you to morrow.

In this Parlament was a sta­tute made for the Oath of Su­premacy, and lawfulnes of the Kings Marriage; and within a while after all the Priests of Lō ­don, and Westminster, & with them Syr Thomas More only, & no lay man besides, were cited to appeare at Lambeth, before the Bishop of Canterbury, the [Page 121] Lord Chancellour, and Secreta­ry Cromwell, Commissioners, ap­poynted there to tender the Oath vnto them.

Vpon this strange citation Syr Tho. More, as his accustomed mā ­ner euer was, alwayes before he entred into any busines of im­portance (as when he was first chosen of the Kings priuy Coū ­cell, when he was sent Embas­sador, appoynted Speaker of the Parlament-House, created Lord Chancellour, or when he tooke any weighty matter vpon him) prepared himselfe to Confes­sion, heard Masse, and was hou­sled, in the Morning, the selfe same day that he was to appear [...] before the Lordes at Lambeth.

And as he vsed often at othe [...] tymes of his departure from hi [...] [Page 122] wife and Children (whome he tenterly loued) to haue them bring him to his boate, & there to kisse them all, and bid them farwell; at this tyme he would not suffer any of them to fol­low him further then his gate, where with a heauy hart (as by his countenance appeared) he tooke his leaue of them, & with M. Rop [...]r and foure seruants en­tred into his boate, towardes Lambeth: wherein sitting still sadly for a while, at last he roun­ded M. Roper in the eare, & said: Sonne Roper, I thanke our Lord God, the field is wōne. What he ment by that, they did not well vnderstand, yet loath to seeme ignorant, M. Roper said; Syr, I am very glad thereof. And as they after cōiectured, it was for [Page 123] that the loue he had to God, wrought in him so effectually, that it vtterly conquered all his [...]arnall affections.

At his comming to Lam­bet [...], he behaued himselfe so dis­creetly before the Commissio­ners, at the ministration of the forsaid Oath, (as may be seene at large in certayne Letters of his sent to Roper, extant in a printed volume of his works) as they had litle, or nothing to lay vnto his charge; yet durst they not, as it seemed, dismisse him, but cōmitted him to the cu­ [...]tody of the Abbot of Westmin­ster for 4. or 5. dayes; during with tyme the King consulted with his Counsell, what order were best to be taken with him. [...]nd albeit in the beginning, it [Page 124] was resolued that he should vpō his oath be discharged; yet did Queene Anne, through her importunate clamours, so farre preuaile with the King against him, that contrary to the Com­missioners expectation, he was committed to the Tower.

Now, as he was conducted thitherward by water, wearing (as he commonly did) a chayne of gold about his N [...]cke, M. [...] ­chard Cr [...]mwell, who had the charge of conueying him to pri­son, aduised him to send home his Chayne to his wife, or to some of his Childrē. Nay (quoth he) that will I not, for if I were taken in the field by myne ene­my, I would he should fare som­what the better for me. At his landing at the Tower gate, M. [Page 125] Lieutenant was ready there to receiue him, where the Gentle­man Porter demanded of him his vpper garmēt Why heere it is (quoth he) & presently tooke o [...]f his Cap, and deliuered it vn­to him, saying; I am very sorry M. Porter, that it is no better for you. Nay (quoth the Porter) I must haue your Gowne Syr. OI cry you mercy, good M. Porter, for now indeed I remember, that my Cappe is not my vp­per garmēt, but only the thatch of my poore old Tenement.

So then was he by M. Lieute­nant conueyed to his Lodging, where he called vnto him one Iohn Wood his owne seruant, ap­poynted there to attend him, who could neither write nor reade, and swore him before [Page 126] the Lieutenant, that if he should heare or see at any time, his Mai­ster write, or speake any man­ner of thing agaynst the King, Councell, or State of the land, he should reueale it to the Lieu­tenāt, that the Lieutenāt might make the same knowne to the Counsell.

After he had remayned in the Tower about a moneth, his daughter Roper (hauing greatly desired to see her Father) made earnest suite, & got leaue to vi­sit him: at whose cōming after the saying of the seauen Psalmes & Letanyes, which he was euer accustomed to say with her) be­fore they fell into discourse of any other matter, among other speaches he said vnto her: I be­lieue Megge, that they who haue [Page 127] put me heere, thinke they haue done me a great displeasure: But I assure thee on my fayth (myne owne good daughter) if it had not ben for my wife & you my Children, whome I accōpt the chiefe part of my charge, I would not haue failed long ere now, to haue inclosed my selfe in a straiter roome then this. But since I am come hither, without myne owne desert, I trust that God of his goodnes will disburden me of my care, and with his gracious help sup­ply my want amongst you. And I find no cause (I thanke God Megge) to reckon my selfe in worse case heere, then in myne owne house. For me thinkes in this case, God maketh me euen a wanton, setting me vpon his [Page 128] knee, and dandling me.

Thus by his patient suffering, and cheerfull demeanour in all his tribulations and disasters, it plainly appeared, that nothing seemed painfull vnto him, but rather a profitable Exercise, for the good of his soule. Then whē he had questioned a while with his daughter about his wife Children, and houshold state in his absence, he asked her how Queene Anne did? Neuer better Father (quoth she.) Neuer better Megge (quoth he:) Alas, alas, it pittieth me to remember into what misery (poore Soule) she will shortly come.

After this, M. Lieutenant cō ­ming one to day his chamber to visit him, & recoūting the many courtesies, and benefits that he [Page 129] had heertofore receiued at his hands, and therfore how much the more bound he was to en­t [...]ertayne him friendly, & make him good chere, which, the case standing as it did, he could not (as he would) do, without the Kings high displeasure, & ther­fore hoped he would accept of his good will and of such poore cheere as he had. Ma [...]ster Lieu­ [...]nant (quoth Syr Thomas More) now verily I belieue, all you haue said to be true, for which I do most hartily thanke you. And assure your selfe, M Lieu­tenant, when you see me mislike my cheere, then thrust me out of your doores, as a very vn­thankefull Guest.

Now wheras the Oath aboue mentioned made to confi [...]me [Page 130] the K. Supremacy & mariage, was cōprised in very few wo [...] ­des, the Lord Chaunc [...]llour & Secretary Cromw [...] [...] of [...] owne heads, adde more wo [...]s v [...]to it, to make it appea [...]e of more force, and to [...] bet­ter in the Kings eare: whi [...]h Oath so amplified, they had cau­sed to be ministred to Sy [...] T [...] ­mas More, & to al others throgh­out the Kingdome. The which Syr Thomas More perceiuing said one day to his daughter Roper: I may tell thee M [...]gge, they that committed me hither for refu­sing the Oath, not agreable to the Statute, are not by their own law able to iustify my impriso­ment. And surely Daughter, it is great pi [...]y, that any Christiā Prince should, by so flexible a [Page 131] Counsell ready to follow his af­fe [...]tions, & by so weake a Cler­gy wanting grace to stand con­stantly to their Religion, with [...]attery be so gros [...]ely abused. But at length the Lord Chan­cellour, & M. Secretary espying their owne ouersight in that be­halfe, were glad afterwards to sind a meanes that another Sta­ [...] should be made for the con­ [...]mation of the sayd Oath so amplifyed, with theyr addi­tions.

And wheras Syr Thomas More had made a conueyance for the disposing of his lādes, reseruing onely vnto himselfe, an estate for terme of life, and after his descease some part therof to his wife & children, & other some to his Sonne Ropers wife, for a [Page 132] ioynture, in consideration she was an [...] in [...] of more then a hundred [...] by the yeare: And like [...]se o­ther some to M. [...] & [...] [...] in recompence of then [...] money, with diuer [...] [...] [...] ouer and besides: All which cō ­ueyances and as [...]urances, being made and finished longe before any matter (wherof he was at­taynted) could be made an of­fence: yet by Statute were they now all clearely auovded, and all the lan [...]s that he had in such sort assured vpon his wife and children by the sayd [...] (cōtrary to order of the lawes) taken from them, and forfay­t [...]d into the Kings handes, ex­cept only that po [...]tion which he had [...] [...] [...]. [...] & his [Page 133] wife, by reasō that after the [...] conueyāce, which was [...] to [...]selfe for the terme of his life, he had, vpon further con­sideration, w [...]thin two [...]ayes af [...]r, by another conu yance giuen the same immediatly to M. [...] and his w [...]e, in pre­sent posse [...]on. So as the Sta­ [...] had only auoyded the fi [...]st c [...]nueyance, for fa [...]ting no more vnto the King thē had byn pas­sed ther [...]n and the seco [...]d con­neyance passed to M. [...] and his wife (being dated two da [...]es after) falling without the com­passe of the law, was ad [...]dged good, and valide.

Syr Thomas More being now prisoner in the Tower, and one day looking f [...]th at his win­dow, saw a Father of Syon (na­med [Page 134] M. R [...]ynolds) and three monkes of the Ch [...]rter house, going out of the Tower to ex [...]cution, for that they had refused the Oath of Suprema [...]: wherupo, he lan­gui [...]hing it were with desyre to beare them comp [...]ny say [...] vn­to his da [...]ghter [...] then pre­ [...]nt: Loo [...]e [...], [...] thou not see that these blessed Fathers be now going as cherefully to their deathes, as B [...]degromes to their marriages? By whi [...]h thou m [...]yst see (myne owne d [...]re daughter) what a great dif­feren [...]e there is between s [...]ch as haue spent all theyr dayes in a religious, h [...]rd, and penitentiall life, and such as haue, in this world, like wretches (as thy poore Father heere hath done) consume all their tyme in plea­sure [Page 135] and ease For which God, o [...]t of his gracious Goo [...]nes w [...]l [...] [...] them to remay [...]e [...] in this vale of misery a [...]d [...], but wi [...]l speed [...]y [...] them hece into the [...] of his euer lasting D [...]ty W [...]r­as [...]ny si [...]ly Fathe [...], [...], who [...] a mo [...]t wicke [...] [...] hath [...] the whole course of his [...]serable life most [...] God t [...]king him not worthy to [...] so [...]oone thereunto, l [...]ueth here him [...] the world, to be furth [...]r tryed, plunge [...], & and turmoyled in misery.

Within a why [...]e after, M. Secretary came to him from the King, and pretending much friendship towardes him said, that the Kings Highnes was his good and gracious Lord, not [Page 136] mynding any matter thence for­ward, wherein he should haue cause of scruple to trouble his cons [...]ience. As soone as [...]. [...] was departed to expresse what comfo [...]t the [...] of his speaches, he tooke a coale (for pen & inke t [...]en he had none) & wrote the [...]e lynes following.

[...], [...], looke [...] [...] [...],

Nor [...] [...] pleasantly, begin to [...],

As [...] thou wouldst my ruines all [...];

During my life thou shalt not me [...].

Tru [...]t I shall, God, to enter in a while Thy [...] of Heauens, sure and vniforme.

Eu [...]r after a calme, looke I for a sterme.

[Page 137]Now Syr Thomas More, had continued almost six weekes in the Tower, before the Lady his wife could obteyne licence to visit him. Who at her first com­ming to him (like a good sim­ple worldly woman) bluntly sa­luted him in this manner: What a good-care M. More, I mer­ua [...]le that you, who haue ben al­wayes hitherto taken for so wise a man, will now so play the foole to ly here in this close fil­thy prison, and be content to be thus shut vp amongst mice and rats, when you m [...]ght be abroad at your liberty, with the fauour and good will both of the King and his Counsell, if you would bu [...] do as all the Bishops, & best lea [...]ned of the Realme haue do­ne? And since you haue at Chel­sey [Page 138] a right fayre house, your Li­brary, your Bookes, your Gar­den, your Orchard, & all other necessaryes hādsome about you where also you might, in the cōpany of me your wife, Chil­dren and houshold be merry; [...] muse what a Gods Name you meane thus fōdly to tarry here?

After he had a while quietly heard her, with a cheerefull coū ­tenance he said vnto her. I pray thee good [...] Alice tell me one thinge. What is that, quoth she? Is not this house as neere Hea­uen as myne owne? whereto af­ter her accustomed homely fa­shion not liking such spea [...]hes she answered: Tille-valle, [...] ­valle. How say you [...]. [...], is it not so (quoth he?) [...] Deus, bone [...], man, will your [Page 139] old Tricks neuer be left (quoth she againe?) Well then Alice, said he, if it be so, it is very well; for I see no great cau­se, why I should ioy much either in my gay house, or in any thing belonging thereunto, when as if I should but liue seauen yeares vnder ground, and then rise a­gaine and come thither, I should not fayle to find some dwelling therein, that would bid me get out of doores, & tell me it were [...] [...] myne. What cause then haue I to loue such a house, as would so soon [...] forget his old Master? So as her perswasions moued him nothing at all.

Not lōg after this there came vnto him, the Lord Chancel­lour, the Dukes of Norfolke, and Su [...]folke, with Maister Secretary, [Page 140] and diuers of the priuy Coun­sell, at two seuer all tymes, wh [...] vsed all possible policy to pro­cure him either precisely to cō [...]fesse the Supremacy, or direct­ly to deny it. Whereunto ( [...] appeareth by the booke of hi [...] Examinations) they could ne uer bring him, or iustly taxe him for the contrary.

Shortly heereupon, one M [...] (created after wardes Lor [...] Rich) that then was newly mad [...] the Kings So [...]citour, Syr Ri­chard Southwell, & one M. Pa [...] ­mer seruant to the Secretary; were sent vnto Syr Thomas More vnder colour of fetching hi [...] Bookes away from him. An [...] whilst Syr Richard Southwell, an [...] M. Palmer were busy in p [...] ­king them vp, M. Rich preten­ding [Page 141] friēdly discourse with him, amogst other things (of set pur­pose as it seemed) said thus vn­to him: For as much as it is well knowne M. More, that you are a man both wise, and well lear­ned, aswell in the lawes of the Realme, as otherwise, I pray you therefore, let me in cour­tesy, and good will be so bold to put you this case. Admit there were Syr (quoth he) an Act of Parlament, that all the King­dome should take me for King, would not you then M. More, take me for King? Yes marry, (quoth Syr Thomas More) that would I Then I put case further (quoth M. Rich: Admit there were an Act of Parlament, that all the Realme should take me for Pope, would not you the [...] [Page 142] M. More take me for Pope? For answere (quoth Syr Thomas More) to your first case, the Parlament may well (M. Rich) meddle with the state of tempo­ral Princes; but to make answere to your later case: Suppose the Parlament would make a law, that God should not be God: would you M. Rich, then say, that God were not God? No Syr (quoth he) that would I not. No more (quoth Syr Thomas More) as M. Rich after reported of him, could the Parlament make the King supreme head of the Church. And so M. Rich, with the rest departed.

Now vpon the only report of this speach Syr Thomas More was indited of Treason, vpon the Statute, whereby it was made [Page 143] Treason to deny the King to be supreme head of the Church: into which Inditement, were put these heynous words, [...], Traitrously, and [...]. Whereupon presently after he was brought frō the Tower [...] answere the Inditement at the Kings Bench barre; & being there arraigned before the Iud­ges, he openly told thē; That he could be content to haue abid­den the rigour of the law by this their inditement, but then he should therby be driuen to confesse falsely of himselfe the matter indeed, which was the deny all of the Kings Suprema­cy, and which he protested was most vntrue. Wherefore he plea­ded ther to not guilty, and so re­serued vnto himselfe aduantage [Page 144] to be taken of the body of the matter, after verdict, to auoyd that Inditement. And moreouer he added; That if these only o­dious tearmes Maliciously, Tray­terously, & Diabolically were left out of the Inditement, he saw nothing therin, wherwith iu­stly to charge him.

Then for proofe alleaged vn­to the Iury, that Syr Thomas More was guilty of this Treason, M. Rich was called forth, to giue euidence vpon his Oath, as he did against him. To whome, ha­uing thus sworne, Syr Thomas More spake in this wise: If this Oath of yours be true M. Rich, then I pray God, that I may ne­uer see him in the face in his Kingdome; which I would not say, were it otherwise, to gayne [Page 145] the whole world. Then recoun­ted he to the Court, the whole discourse, of all their Confer­rence, and putting of Cases in the Tower, according to the Truth. And turning to M. Rich he said: In good fayth M. Rich, I am more sory for your Periury then for myne owne perill. And besides, you shall vnderstand, that neither I, nor any man else to my knowledge, euer tooke you to be a man of such credit, as to communicate vnto you any matter of importance; and (you well know) I haue ben ac­quainted with you no small while, and haue knowne you, & your Conuersation from your very youth; for we dwelled lōg together in one Parish, where, as your selfe can tell best, (I am sory you compell me so to say) [Page 146] you were esteemed very light of your tongue, a great Dicer, and of no commendable Fame, or Name: Can it therefore seeme likely to your Lordships, that I would in so weighty a matter, so vnaduisedly ouershoote my selfe, as to trust M. Rich (a man reputed alwayes by me, and o­thers for one of litle truth, as your Lordships haue [...], so farre, aboue my Soueraigne the King, or aboue any of his noble Counsellours, that I would vt­ter vnto him the secrets of my Conscience, touching the Kings Supremacy? The speciall poynt and only marke so long aymed at in all my actions? The thing which I neuer did, or euer wold offer to the Kings Maiesty him­selfe; or to any of his Honou­rable Counsell, as it is not vn­knowne [Page 147] vnto your Honours, who sundry tymes haue byn sent vnto me, into the Tower from his Highnes owne person, for no other purpose. Can this in your Iudgments, my Lords, seeme to stand with truth, in any likely hood? And yet if I had so said indeed (my Lordes) as M. Rich hath falsly sworne, since it was spoken, as he sayth, in fa­miliar talke, affirming nothing, and only in putting of cases, without other displeasant cir­cumstances, it cannot iustly be taken to be spoken Maliciously, and where there is no Malice, there can be no Offence.

And besides this (my Lor­des,) I can neuer thinke, [...] [...] many worthy Bishops, so [...] honourable Personages; and [...] many other worshipfull; [...] [...] [Page 148] and well learned men, as were assembled at the making of that Law in the Parlament, euer meant to haue any man puni­shed by death, in whome there could be found no Malice: for if Malice be taken for Sinne ge­nerally, then is there no man that can excuse himselfe therof: Si [...], quòd peccatum non habemus &c. And as for the ter­me Maliciously, it is not in this Statute to be taken for Ma­teriall; as in like case you know the terme Forcible, is meant in Forcible Entry; by which Statute if a man enter patiently, and put not his Aduersary our forcibly, it is no offence: but if he put him out forcibly, by that Statute it is an Offence, and so shalbe punished by this Terme forcible.

[Page 149]Moreouer (my Lords) the manifold goodnes of the Kings Highnes himselfe, who hath ben so many wayes my singular good Lord, &c gracious soueray­gne, who hath alwaies so deerly affected me, and euen at my first coming vnto his Royal seruice, aduāced me to the dignity of his Honourable priuy [...], vouchsasing to admit me after­ward to [...] of great [...] and Honour, and lastly to [...] me to that weighty roome of his Maiestyes high Chauncellour, (the like whereof he neuer did to any temporal man his subiect before) next to his owne Royal person the highest Office in this noble kingdome, so farre aboue my merit or desert, and this for the space of aboue twenty years togeather, shewing his continu­all [Page 150] fauour towards me, vntill at myne owne poore suite (giuing me his gracious licence to be­stow the litle residue of my life, in the seruice of God, for the good of my soule) it pleased his Highnes of his especiall good­nes, to discharge and disburden me therof: now all this his high­nes fauour (Isay) thus boūtifully extended, & so long continued towardes m [...] considered, as it ought, in my mind is sufficient to cōuince this slaunderous sur­mise of M. Rich, so wrongfully sworne agaynst me.

When Syr Thomas More had thus spoken, M. Rich seing him­selfe so disproued, and his credit so fòuly disgraced, caused Syr Richard Southwell, & M. Palmer (who were also present at the time of their Conference in his [Page 151] Chamber) to be sworne, what wordes had passed betwixt thē. Whereupon M. Palmer vpon his deposition said; That he was so busy, in putting vp Syr Thomas Mores Bookes into a sacke, that he tooke no heed of their spee­ches. Syr Richard Southwell like­wise vpon his deposition said; That because he was only ap­poynted to looke vnto the con­ueyāce of his Bookes, he gaue no great eare vnto what they sayd.

After this, many other rea­sons & arguments were allead­ged by Syr Thomas More, in de­fence of his owne Innocency, & to the discredit of M. Rich, in the forsaid point; Notwithstanding all which, the Iury found him guilty, and immediatly vpon their verdict, the Lord Chaun­cellour (for that businesse there [Page 152] chiefe commissioner) beginning to proceed to Iudgment against him, Syr Tho. More said vnto him.

My Lord, when I my selfe was towardes the Law, the mā ­ner in such cases was, to aske the Prisoner before sentence of Cō ­demnatiō, why Iudgmēt should not be giuē agaynst him? Wher­vpon the Lord Chācellour stay­ing the sentence (wherein he had partly begun to proceed) de­maunded of him, What he was able to say for himselfe, to the contrary? Then Syr Tho. More, in this sort, most humbly made answere.

For asmuch as, my Lordes, (quoth he) this Iudgment is grounded vpon an Act of Par­lament directly repugnāt to the lawes of God & his holy Church the supreme gouernement of [Page 153] which, or any part thereof, no [...]emporall Prince may presume by a [...]y temporall law, to take vpo [...] him, as rightfully belon­gin [...] to the Sea of R [...]me; a spirt­tuall preheminenc [...] conferred, and granted, by the mouth of ou [...] sauiour himselfe, being per­sonally present vpon the Earth, only vnto S. Peter the Apostle, and his lawfull Successors, Bi­shops of the same Sea, by special prerogatiue; It is not therefore [...] inough for one Chri­stian Catholike man to charge, and conuince another Christian Catholike man, & say, that this Realme of England (being but a member, & a small part only of the Church of Christ) hath power and authority to make a particular law, disagreable to the generall law of Christs Vni­uersall [Page 154] Catholique Church; no more then the Citty of London, being but one poore member in respect of the whole Kingdome, might make a law agay [...]st an Act of Parlament, to b [...]nd the whole Realme. And further he shewed, that it was cōtrary both to the ancient Lawes, & Statu­tes of our owne Realme not thē repealled, as they might well see in Magna Carta; Quod [...] libera sit, & habeat omnia iura in­teḡra, & libertates suas [...]; and contrary likewise to that sacred Oath, which the Kings Highnes himselfe, and en [...]ry other Chri­stian Prince of this realme with great Solemnity, hath euer ta­ken at their Coronation. Allea­ging moreouer, that no more might this Realme of England refuse obedience to the Sea of [Page 155] R [...]me, then the child might re­fuse Obedience to his naturall Father: for as S. Paul sayth of the [...], I haue regenerated you my Children in Christ; so might holy S. Gregory Pope of Rome, of whome (by S. Augustine his messenger) we Englishmen first receiued the Christian fayth, truly say, You are my Children, be­ [...]caus [...] I haue giuen you euerlasting saluation (a farre, and better, & more noble Inheritance, then any carnall Father can leaue to his Children) & by regeneration made you my Children in Christ.

To this speach of Syr Thomas More the Lord Chancellor ans­wered; That seeing all the Bi­shops, Vniuersities, & best lear­ned of the Realme, had to this Act of Parlament agreed, it was very greatly to be admired, [Page 156] that he alone, agaynst them all, would so stifly sticke, and argue so vehemently against it.

To this Syr Thomas More a gaine replyed, saying: If the nū ­ber of Bishops and Vniuersities be so materiall, as your Lord­ship seemeth to take it; then I see little cause, my Lord, why that thing should make any change at all in my Cōscience. For I nothing doubt (though not in this Realme yet in Ch [...]i­stendome round about, the nū ­ber of learned men and Bishops to be farre greater, who will de­fend and maintayne the contra­ry; and therefore am I not boū ­den to conforme my cōscience to the Councell of one King­dome, against the generall Coū ­cell of Christendome.

Now, when Syr Thomas More [Page 157] for the auoyding of the Indite­ment had taken as many exce­ptions as he thought fit, the Lord Chancellour loath to haue the burden of that Iudgment wholy to depend vpon [...] ­fe there openly asked the aduise of the Lord Fitz-Iames (then Lord chiefe Iustice of the Kings B [...]nch and ioyned in commis­sion with him) whether this In­ [...] were [...] or no. Who, like a [...] man, ans­wered: My Lordes (quoth he) by S. [...] (that was euer his oath, I must needs cōfesse, that if the Act of Parlament be not vnlawfull, then is not the Indi­tement in my conscience insuf­ficient. Whereupon the Lord Chancellour said to the rest of the Commissioners; Loe my Lordes, you all heare what my [Page 158] Lord chiefe Iustice sayth, & so immediatly he gaue Iudgment. Which being done the commis­soners, yet further offered him curteously, all fauourable audi­ence, if he would speake: who answered; I haue no more to say my Lords, but that like as the Blessed Apostle S. Paul (as we read in the Acts of the Apo­stles was present, and consen­te [...] to the death of S. Stephen, & kept their clothes that stoned him to death, and are now both ho [...]y Saintes in heauen; so I ve­rily trust, and shall right hartily pray, that though your Lord­ships haue now heere in earth byn Iudges to my Condemna­tion, yet may we hereafter meete all togeather in euerla­sting glory.

After his condemnation he [Page 159] departed from the Barre towar­des the Tower agayne, led by Sir William Kingston a tall strong and comely knight) Constable of the Tower, & his very deere fri [...]d, who whē he had brought him a part of the way towardes the Tower, with a heauy heart, the teares running downe his cheekes, bad him farwell. The which Syr Thomas More see­ing, comforted him with as good words as he could, saying: Good M Kingston, trouble not your selfe, but be of good cheere, for I will pray for you, and my good Lady your wife that we may meete togeather in Heauē, where we shalbe merry for euer and euer. And a little after Syr William Kingstone meeting with M. Roper said: In good fayth M. Roper, I was ashamed of my selfe [Page 160] that at my departure from your Father, I found my selfe so fee­ble, and he so strong, that he was fayne to cōfort me, who should rather haue comforted him.

As Syr Th [...] More came neere vnto the Tower, his Daughter Roper desirous to see her Father once more before his death, and to receaue his last blessing, gaue attendance about the Tower­wharfe, where he was to passe, & so soone as she saw him, hast­ning vnto him, without respect or care of herselfe, pressed in a­mong the throng of the Guard, that with halbards went round about him, and there openly in the sight of all asking him bles­sing on her knees imbrac't him, tooke him about the necke, and kissed him. Who with a merry countenance, nothing at all [Page 161] deiected, gaue her his Fatherly blessing, with many Godly wor­des of comfort, & thē departed.

So remayned he in the Tower more then eight dayes after his condemnation, from whence, the day before he suffered, he sent his shirt of hayre (not wil­ling to haue it seene) to his said Daughter Roper, and a Letter written with a cole (printed in the aforesaid booke of his wor­kes) expressing playnly the fer­uent desyre he had to suffer on the Morrow, in these wordes following: I comber you, good Margaret very much, but I wold be sorry if it should be any lon­ge, then to Morrow; for to Morrow is S. Thomas of Can­terbury his Eue, & the Octaue of S. Peter, & therfore to Mor­row long I to go to God; it were [Page 162] a day very meete, and conue­nient for me. I neuer liked you manner better towardes me then when you last imbraced me, and when daughterly loue, and deare charity, haue no lea­sure to looke towards worldly courtesy.

Vpon the next Morrow, ac­cording as he wished, earely in the morning there came vn­to him Syr Thomas Pope, his sin­gular good friend, with a mes­sage from the King and Coun­sell, that he must before nine of the clocke, the same morning, suffer death, and that he should forth with prepare himself ther­to. M. Pope (quoth he) for your good tydings, I most hartily thanke you. I haue alwayes ben much bound to the Kings high­nes, for the many benefits, and [Page 163] honours that he hath still from tyme to tyme most bountifully heaped vpon me; especially that it hath pleased his Maiesty, to put me here in this place, where I haue had conuenient tyme and leasure to remember my last End; and now most of all am I bound vnto his Grace, that I shall be so shortly rid out of the miseries of this wretched life, & therfore will I not fayle to pray earnestly for his Grace, both heere & in the other world also.

The Kings pleasure is fur­ther (quoth Syr Thomas Pope) that at your execution you shall not vse many words. M. Pope (quoth he) you do well to giue me war­ning of the Kings pleasure, for otherwise I might haue of­fended his Maiesty agaynst my will. I had indeed purposed at [Page 164] that tyme, to haue spoken som­what, but of no matter of offec [...] to his Grace; neuertheles what­soeuer I intended, I am ready to conforme my selfe obediently to his commandement. And beseech you, good M. Pope, be a means vnto his Maiesty that my daughter Margaret may be at my Buriall. The King is contented already (quoth Syr Thomas Pope) that your wife, children, and o­ther of your Friends haue liber­ty to be present therat. O how much am I bound vnto his gra­ce quoth Syr Thomas More) that vouchsafeth to haue so gracious a consideration of my poore Bu­riall. Whereupō Syr Tho. Pope ta­king his leaue cold not forbeare weeping: which Syr Tho. More perc [...]yuing, comforted him in this wise. Q net your selfe good [Page 165] M. Pope, and be not discomfor­ted, for I trust we shall one day [...]e ech other in heauē, where we shal be sure to liue, and loue to­gether in ioyfull blisse eternally.

Vpon Syr Thomas Popes depar­ture, he changed himselfe into his best apparel, as one that had bin inuited to some solēne feast, which M. Lieutenant seing, adui­sed him to put it off, saying, that he that was to haue it, was but a Iauell. What M. Lieutenat (quoth [...]he) shall I accompt him a Iauell that shall do me this day so sin­guler a benefit? Nay I assure you were it cloth of Gold, I would accompt it very well bestowed vpon him, as S. Cyprian did, who gaue to his Executioner, thirty peeces of Gold. Yet through the Lieutenants persuasions he alte­red his Apparell, and after the [Page 166] Exāple of the forsayd holy Mar­tyr, he gaue that litle money he had left, to his Executioner, which was one Angell of Gold.

Then was he by M. Lieuetenāt broght out of the Tower, & frō thence led towards the place of Execution, vpon the Tower­hil, where going vp the Scaffold which was weake, & ready to fall, he said smilingly to M. Lieu­tenāt: I pray you, good M. Lieute­nāt see me safe vp, & for my co­ming downe let me shift for my selfe. Then desired he all the peo­ple about him to pray for him, & to beare witnesse, that he should now there suffer death in & for the fayth of the Holy Catholi­que Church. Which done he kneeled downe, and after his prayers sayd he turned to the Executioner, & with a chereful [Page 167] countenance spake thus merrily vnto him: Plucke vp thy spirits man, and be not afrayd to do thine Office: my necke is som­what short, therefore take heed thou strikest not awry, for sa­uing of thyne honesty: but if thou doest, vpon my word I wil not heerafter cast it in thy teeth. So, at one stroke of the Execu­tioner, passed Syr Thomas More out of this world, to God, vpon the same day, which himselfe had m [...] desired. 6. Iulij. 15 [...]5.

Soone after his death, intelli­gēce therof came vnto the Em­perour Charles the fifth, where­vpon he sent for Syr Thomas E­lio [...], then Embassadour there, & said vnto him: My Lord Embas­sadour, we vnderstand, that the King your M [...]ister hath put his faythfull seruant, & graue Coū ­ [...] [Page 168] [...] [...]eath, [...] Thom [...] [...] Whereunto Syr Thomas E­ [...] answered, that he had heard nothing thereof. Well (quoth the Emperour) it is too true, & [...] will I say, that if I had byn Maister of such a Seruant (of whose counsailes, and perfor­mance in State matters my selfe haue had th [...]se many yeares no small experience) I would ra­ther haue lost the best Citty of my dominions, thē such a wor­thy Counsellour. Whic [...] [...]peach of the Emperour was afterward related by Syr Thomas Eliot vnto M. William Roper, & his wife, be­ing with him at supper; in the presence of one M. Clement; [...]. H [...]ywood, and their wiues.


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