Young Folks' History of England eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 165 pages of information about Young Folks' History of England.
it turned out ill for Wolsey and all besides, for no sooner had the notion of setting aside poor Katharine come into his mind, than the king cast his eyes on Anne Boleyn, one of her maids of honor—­a lively lady, who had been to France with his sister Mary.  He was bent on marrying her, and insisted on the pope’s giving sentence against Katharine.  But the pope would not make any answer at all; first, because he was enquiring, and then because he could not well offend Katharine’s nephew, the Emperor.  Time went on, and the king grew more impatient, and at last a clergyman, named Thomas Cranmer, said that he might settle the matter by asking the learned men at the universities whether it was lawful for a man to marry his brother’s widow.  “He has got the right sow by the ear,” cried Henry, who was not choice in his words, and he determined that the universities should decide it.  But Wolsey would not help the king here.  He knew that the pope had been the only person to decide such questions all over the Western Church for many centuries; and, besides, he had never intended to assist the king to lower himself by taking a wife like Anne Boleyn.  But his secretary, Thomas Crumwell, told the king all of Wolsey’s disapproval, and between them they found out something that the cardinal had done by the king’s own wish, but which did not agree with the old disused laws.  He was put down from all his offices of state, and accused of treason against the king; but while he was being brought to London to be tried, he became so ill at the abbey at Leicester that he was forced to remain there, and in a few days he died, saying, sadly—­“If I had served God as I have served my king, He would not have forsaken me in my old age.”

With Cardinal Wolsey ended the first twenty years of Henry’s reign, and all that had ever been good in it.

CHAPTER XXVII.

Henry VIII.  And his wives.  A.D. 1528—­1547.

When Henry VIII. had so ungratefully treated Cardinal Wolsey, there was no one to keep him in order.  He would have no more to do with the pope, but said he was head of the Church of England himself, and could settle matters his own way.  He really was a very learned man, and had written a book to uphold the doctrines of the Church, which had caused the people to call him the Defender of the Faith.  After the king’s or queen’s name on an English coin you may see F.D.—­Fidei Defensor.  This stands for that name in Latin.  But Henry used his learning now against the pope.  He declared that his marriage with Katharine was good for nothing, and sent her away to a house in Huntingdonshire, where, in three years’ time, she pined away and died.  In the meantime, he had married Anne Boleyn, taken Crumwell for his chief adviser, and had made Thomas Cranmer archbishop of Canterbury.  Then, calling himself the head of the Church, he insisted that all

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Young Folks' History of England from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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