Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature (Studies in Renaissance Literature, 25) 9781843841821, 1843841827

Sensitive readings of Renaissance texts offer new insights into the perception of imperialism in the sixteenth century.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature (Studies in Renaissance Literature, 25)
 9781843841821, 1843841827

Table of contents :
CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ABBREVIATIONS AND CONVENTIONS
INTRODUCTION: Empire and this ‘Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’
The ‘impery of Englande’ and the ancient British emperor-kings
Britain’s books, England’s Bible, and Bale’s ‘Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’
Part I EMPIRE
1 England’s empire apart: The entry of Charles V and Henry VIII (1522)
2 Royal Supremacy and the rhetoric of empire: Anne Boleyn’s 1533 entry
Part II NATION
3 Richard Morison: Rebellion and the rhetoric of nationhood
4 Enter England: John Bale’s King Johan
5 Commonwealth in crisis: Nicholas Udall’s Respublica
CONCLUSION: William Lightfoot and the legacy of England’s empire apart
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

Citation preview

Stewart Mottram

Studies in Renaissance Literature Volume 25

EMPIRE AND NATION IN EARLY ENGLISH RENAISSANCE LITERATURE

The complex topics of colonialism, empire and nation run throughout English Renaissance literature. Here, the author moves beyond recent work on England’s ‘British’ colonial interests, arguing for England’s self-image in the sixteenth century as an ‘empire of itself’, part of a culture which deliberately set itself apart from Britain and Europe. In the first section of the book he explores England’s self-image as empire in the Arthurian and classical pageants of two Tudor royal entries into the City of London: Charles V’s in 1522 and Anne Boleyn’s in 1533. Part Two focuses on the culture of English Bible-reading and its influence on England’s imperial self-image in the Tudor period. He offers fresh new readings of texts by Richard Morison, William Tyndale, John Bale, Nicholas Udall, and William Lightfoot, among other authors represented. Dr STEWART MOTTRAM is Research Lecturer, Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Aberystwyth University.

Studies in Renaissance Literature ISSN 1465–6310 General Editors David Colclough Raphael Lyne Sean Keilen

Studies in Renaissance Literature offers investigations of topics in English literature focussed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; its scope extends from early Tudor writing, including works reflecting medieval concerns, to the Restoration period. Studies exploring the interplay between the literature of the English Renaissance and its cultural history are particularly welcomed. Proposals or queries should be sent in the first instance to the editors, or to the publisher, at the addresses given below; all submissions receive prompt and informed consideration. Dr David Colclough, School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS Dr Raphael Lyne, New Hall, Cambridge, CB3 0DF Dr Sean Keilen, English Department, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187, USA Boydell & Brewer Limited, PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3DF Previously published volumes in this series are listed at the back of this volume

EMPIRE AND NATION IN EARLY ENGLISH RENAISSANCE LITERATURE

Stewart Mottram

D. S. BREWER

© Stewart Mottram 2008 All Rights Reserved. Except as permitted under current legislation no part of this work may be photocopied, stored in a retrieval system, published, performed in public, adapted, broadcast, transmitted, recorded or reproduced in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the copyright owner The right of Stewart Mottram to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998 First published 2008 D. S. Brewer, Cambridge ISBN 978–1–84384–182–1

Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view these images please refer to the printed version of this book.

D. S. Brewer is an imprint of Boydell & Brewer Ltd PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3DF, UK and of Boydell & Brewer Inc. 668 Mt Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620, USA website: www.boydellandbrewer.com A catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library This publication is printed on acid-free paper Printed in Great Britain by CPI Antony Rowe Ltd, Chippenham, Wiltshire

CONTENTS Acknowledgments Abbreviations and conventions Plate 1: Apollo and the Muses on Parnassus (1533), by Hans Holbein

Introduction: Empire and this ‘Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’ The ‘impery of Englande’ and the ancient British emperor-kings Britain’s books, England’s Bible, and Bale’s ‘Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’

vii ix xii

1 11 21

Part One: Empire 1 England’s empire apart: The entry of Charles V and Henry VIII (1522) 2 Royal Supremacy and the rhetoric of empire: Anne Boleyn’s 1533 entry

37 67

Part Two: Nation 3 Richard Morison: Rebellion and the rhetoric of nationhood 4 Enter England: John Bale’s King Johan 5 Commonwealth in crisis: Nicholas Udall’s Respublica

105 136 170

Conclusion: William Lightfoot and the legacy of England’s empire apart

209

Bibliography Index

223 239

For Bex

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This book has been evolving over the past six years, starting out life at the School of English, University of Leeds, and moving with me to Aberystwyth University in 2006. Friends and colleagues at both (and other) universities have helped shape my ideas and prune my prose. First and foremost to thank here is Professor David Lindley, from whose advice and support, so generously given, this project has immeasurably benefited. Also at Leeds, I am particularly grateful to Professor Andrew Wawn, for showing interest in this project from the outset, and for lending me his books on John Bale. At Aberystwyth I have been particularly fortunate to find in Dr David Shuttleton a colleague and friend always willing to discuss ideas and offer advice. I should also like to thank Dr Luke Thurston, for his suggestions on the wording of the final title. I am grateful to the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Aberystwyth, in which I am currently Research Lecturer, for affording me the time and resources to complete this project. A research grant from the Brotherton Library, Leeds, paid for research visits to Cambridge and London, and I should like to thank staff at the following libraries for their help and support: the Special Collections team at the Brotherton Library, Leeds; the manuscripts departments at Cambridge University Library and the British Library; Gill Cannell at the Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; and staff at the Hugh Owen Library, Aberystwyth, and the National Library of Wales. Much thanks, as always, goes to Dr Eric Langley. His long-standing friendship has shaped more than this project, but the book itself has also benefited from his cheerful willingness to read and make comment on earlier drafts. Thanks also to Professor Greg Walker for his enthusiasm and advice, and in particular for making suggestions about how I might shape the project for publication. I would also like to thank the anonymous readers of the typescript for Boydell and Brewer; their guidance and constructive criticism was gratefully received. My extended family – the Mottrams, Elsoueidis, Hands, Bacons, and Rayners – have all in one way or another given me their encouragement and support these past six years. I make especial mention here of my vii

Acknowledgments

parents, whose unflinching interest and faith in the project has meant so much to me. This book is dedicated to Rebecca Mottram; her love inspires me daily and quite simply makes everything possible. An earlier version of Chapter Three appeared as ‘Imagining England in Richard Morison’s pamphlets against the Pilgrimage of Grace’, in Comitatus, 36 (2005), 41–67. Portions of Chapter One and the Introduction have informed passages in two previous articles: ‘Reading the Rhetoric of Nationhood in two Reformation pamphlets by Richard Morison and Nicholas Bodrugan’, Renaissance Studies, 19.4 (2005), 523–40; and ‘Empire, Exile, and England’s “British Problem”: Recent Approaches to Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender as a Colonial and Postcolonial Text’, Literature Compass, 4.4 (2007), 1059–77.

viii

ABBREVIATIONS AND CONVENTIONS BL CCCC Coverdale Bible (1535) Coverdale Bible (1537) CSP (Edward VI)

CSP (Spanish)

CSP (Venetian)

CWE DNB

Douai

EETS

British Library Corpus Christi College, Cambridge Biblia: The Byble, that is, the holy Scrypture of the Olde and New Testament, faithfully translated in to Englyshe ([Southwark], 1535) Biblia: The Byble, that is the holy Scrypture of the Olde and New Testament, faythfully translated in Englysh, and newly ouersene & corrected (Southwark, 1537) Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series, of the Reign of Edward VI, 1547–1553, Preserved in the Public Record Office, ed. C. S. Knighton, rev. edn (London, 1992) Calendar of Letters, Despatches, and State Papers, Relating to the Negotiations Between England and Spain, Preserved in the Archives at Simancas and Elsewhere, ed. Gustav Adolph Bergenroth and others, 13 vols in 20 parts (London, 1862–1954) Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts, Relating to English Affairs, Existing in the Archives and Collections of Venice, and in other Libraries of Northern Italy, ed. Rawdon Brown and others, 38 vols (London, 1864–1947) The Collected Works of Erasmus, ed. R. J. Schoeck, B. M. Corrigan, and others, 86 vols (Toronto, 1974– ) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: From the Earliest Times to the Year 2000, ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison, 60 vols (Oxford, 2004) Douai Old Testament: The Holie Bible Faithfvlly Translated Into English, Ovt Of The Avthentical Latin [...] By the English College of Doway, 2 vols (Douai, 1609–10) Early English Text Society

ix

Abbreviations and Conventions

Geneva

The Bible and Holy Scriptures Conteyned in the Olde and Newe Testament: Translated According to the Ebrue and Greke, and conferred With the best translations in diuers langages (Geneva, 1560) Great Bible (1539) The Byble in Englyshe that is to saye the content of all the holy scrypture, both of ye olde and newe testament, truly translated after the veryte of the Hebrue and Greke textes, by ye dylygent studye of dyuerse excellent learned men, expert in the forsayde tonges ([Paris and London], 1539) Great Bible (1540) The Byble in Englyshe, that is to saye the conte[n]t of al the holy scrypture, both of ye olde, and newe testame[n]t, with a prologe therinto, made by the reuerende father in God, Thomas archbysshop of Cantorbury, This is the Byble apoynted to the vse of the churches ([London], 1540) LP Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII: Preserved in the Public Record Office, the British Museum, and Elsewhere in England, ed. J. S. Brewer and others, 21 vols of 35 parts (London, 1862–1910) Matthew Bible The Byble which is all the holy Scripture: in whych are contayned the Olde and Newe Testament truly and purely translated into Englysh by Thomas Matthew. M, D, XXXVII, Set forth with the Kinges most gracyous lyce[n]ce (Antwerp, 1537) NCE New Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. Thomas Carson and Joann Cerrito, 2nd edn, 15 vols (Detroit, 2003) ODP The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, ed. J. N. D. Kelly (Oxford, 1986) SP (Henry VIII) State Papers Published under the Authority of His Majesty’s Commission: King Henry VIII, 11 vols ([London], 1830–52) Statutes The Statutes of the Realm, 9 vols (London, 1810–28; repr. 1963) STC A Short-title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland & Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad, 1475–1640, ed. A. W. Pollard and G. R. Redgrave, 2nd edn, rev. W. A. Jackson, F. S. Ferguson, and Katharine Pantzer (London, 1976) x

Abbreviations and Conventions

TRP

TRP 2

Vulgate

Tudor Royal Proclamations: Volume 1, The Early Tudors (1485–1553), ed. Paul Hughes and James Larkin (New Haven, 1964) Tudor Royal Proclamations: Volume 2, The Later Tudors (1553–1587), ed. Paul Hughes and James Larkin (New Haven, 1961) Biblia (Venice, 1492)

Original spelling and punctuation have been retained in all quotations. Initial ff is reproduced as F, thorns as th, long s as s, yoghs as gh. Contractions have been expanded and enclosed within square brackets, interpolations of my own are bracketed and italicised. Five different versions of the complete English Bible were in print by the end of the period 1520–90 – the Coverdale, Matthew, Great, Geneva, and Bishops’ Bibles – each available in multiple editions. The multiplicity of Bible versions reflects the spirit of the age; never before had the task of translation been so highly confessionalised, so partisan in aim and approach. In view of this, I have found it disadvantageous to select a standard Bible version for the purpose of quotations. Chapters One, Two, and Five cite from the Vulgate (1492), with English translations from the Douai Old Testament (1609–10), the most Latinate of the early modern English translations. Chapters Three and Four cite from a range of English Bible translations and editions, as indicated in the footnotes to these chapters. The Conclusion cites from the Geneva Bible (1560), from which Lightfoot himself cites in his Complaint of England (1587). Bible chapters remained unversified in both Vulgate and English language versions until the introduction of verses into the Geneva Bible (1560). In the interests of clarity, however, I have expressed citations from biblical passages in chapter and verse throughout. Verse citations in the Conclusion refer to the text of the Geneva Bible; elsewhere they refer to the Douai (1609–10) and Rheims (1582) editions. Unless otherwise stated, all translations are my own.

xi

Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view the image on this page please refer to the printed version of this book.

Plate 1 Apollo and the Muses on Parnassus (1533), by Hans Holbein. Reproduced by permission of Staatliche Museen, Berlin, © bpk, Berlin, 2007

INTRODUCTION EMPIRE AND THIS ‘ENGLYSHE OR BRYTTYSHE NACYON’ This book explores England’s self-image in the earlier Tudor period as a sovereign realm, independent of Rome and the rest of Britain, ‘an Empire off hitselff’, as Cuthbert Tunstall called England in 1517, poised between the Holy Roman Empire under the Habsburgs, the Roman church under Leo X and his successor popes, and the British Empire that gathered steam under the ageing Elizabeth.1 It looks at the figures – both historical and rhetorical – that were used to write England’s evolving self-image as a sovereign realm, or empire, in seven principal texts – two pageant sequences, two plays, two pamphlets, and Leland’s Laboryouse Journey, the subject of this Introduction – all printed or performed between 1520 and 1553. Chapter One explores England’s relations with the Habsburg Empire under Charles V before the onset of the Break with Rome in the early 1530s. Its subject is the literature surrounding the visit of Charles V to England in 1522, in which England was in relation to the Habsburg Empire imagined as an ‘Empire off hitselff’. Chapters Two to Five focus on royalist literature written in the two decades after England’s Break with Rome, arguing that England was imagined in this literature as a sovereign political community, a ‘nation’ free to rein in royal power, but happy to consent to the imperial powers granted to Henry VIII and his successors, within the Royal Supremacy acts of 1532–34.2 The Conclusion, on William Lightfoot’s pamphlet The Complaint of England (1587), explores how 1

2

Original Letters Illustrative of English History, 1st ser., 3 vols, ed. Henry Ellis (London, 1824), I, 136. For the British context of Elizabeth’s last two decades as queen, and its impact on English literature, see Andrew Hadfield, Shakespeare, Spenser and the Matter of Britain (Basingstoke, 2004), chapters 8 and 10. Here defined as those acts that collectively severed England from Rome, and in its place established Henry VIII and his successors as supreme heads of the English church. These include the annates statutes of 1532 and 1534 (23 and 25 Hen. VIII, c. 20); the 1533 Appeals Act (24 Hen. VIII, c. 12); and the 1534 acts for the Submission of the Clergy (25 Hen. VIII, c. 19), Succession (25 Hen. VIII, c. 22), Supremacy (26 Hen. VIII, c. 1), and First Fruits (26 Hen. VIII, c. 3).

1

Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature

Lightfoot shares with other writers discussed in this study a central concern to imagine England as an ‘Empire off hitselff’, an empire apart from the world. Lightfoot’s vision of England as an ‘empire apart’ was all the more urgent because written at a time when England’s political independence was under threat from outside powers. The Complaint captures something of England’s paranoia in the months leading up to the Spanish Armada, and looks ahead to England’s subsequent role under James Stuart, as seat of a greater ‘British’ empire. By 1587, then, Lightfoot’s England was to some extent already a thing of the past, but did the independent empire extolled in the Complaint ever really exist outside the bounds of fiction, and beyond those texts that together form the subject of this study? After all, the fictions of popular sovereignty I explore in Part Two were just that, mere fictions designed to defend the Royal Supremacy against its detractors at home and abroad. The fact that England’s kings are in these texts imagined as ruling with popular consent does not to my mind imply that the early Tudor monarchy was in reality in any way consensual. Yet despite this disjunction between the actual and imagined communities of early Tudor England, the texts examined here do still offer important insights into the early Tudor political sphere. Behind their fantasies of popular support for the Royal Supremacy lurk the realities of popular resistance to its constitutional ‘reforms’; by approaching these texts as products of the political culture within which they were first written and received, my readings of them seek to uncover evidence of the popular grumblings and acts of more concerted political resistance that the texts themselves did their best to cover up and conceal. In this literature, then, the political ideal stands in for the real, popular assent for antipathy, and consensual government for tyranny. At the same time, though, the very fact that the political elite was investing in propaganda designed to court popular support for the Royal Supremacy speaks volumes for just how seriously royal advisors regarded popular political opinion at this time, and sought to steer the English commonwealth towards the political ideals being imagined in literature. Claire McEachern has read the ‘contours of a national ambition’ into literature designed to court popular support for the later Elizabethan and early Stuart polities, with McEachern’s ‘nation’ a byword for a political community shaped by the will of the people. ‘The point is not whether everybody really believed in a nation’, McEachern writes, ‘rather, the nation is the idea, hope, and fear that everybody does so believe’.3 The present work 3

Claire McEachern, The Poetics of English Nationhood, 1590–1612, Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture, 13 (Cambridge, 1996), p. 17.

2

Introduction

explores the extent of this ‘national ambition’ in earlier Tudor literature. It is a study of how the political ideal intersects with the real, and of how political fictions served as tools for Tudor governments – by seeking to popularise England’s self-image as empire, in the face of popular resistance, both actual and textual. Such a study still demands critical justification, for its claims about early modern nation-states in general, and early Tudor England in particular, seek to challenge several critical orthodoxies, whose arguments it will be necessary for me briefly to recapitulate here. First of all is my claim in the latter half of this study that the empire established under the early Tudors found representation in literature of this period in a form equivalent to what we nowadays would call a ‘nation’, that is a community of people enjoying ‘political self-determination’, or in other words the ability to shape how they are governed.4 Benedict Anderson built his idea of national identity around the cornerstone of popular consent.5 No community could call itself a nation, he claimed, unless it first had the freedom to express its political point of view. A nation might still have a reigning king or queen, but ‘nationhood’ prescribed that such a monarch should rule by the will of the majority, their rights and privileges no longer guaranteed by birth, but regulated by a democratic political constitution. As a part of the UK, the English nation is nowadays governed by a parliamentary democracy that regulates the power of the crown, but Anderson would argue that this was certainly not the case in early modern England, where a succession of Tudors and Stuarts tried to tyrannise parliament, unrestrained by the constitutional apparatus that would subsequently rein in monarchical power – the 1689 Bill of Rights, the 1701 Act of Settlement, and the 1911 Parliament Act.6 In the past two decades, Gerald Newman and Eric Hobsbawm have both distinguished between patriotism and nationalism, defining patriotism as an unthinking allegiance to the reigning monarch, and arguing that the movement between patriotism and nationalism charts a redistribution of power, from its embodiment in the person of the king to its existence in the consciousness of the people.7 It was on this basis that Newman, searching 4 5 6

7

McEachern, p. 1. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, rev. edn (London, 1991). 1 Gul. and Mary, Sess. 2, c. 2, in Statutes, VI, 142–45; 12 and 13 Gul. III, c. 2, in Statutes, VII, 636–38; 1 and 2 Geo. V, c. 13, in The Law Reports: The Public General Statutes Passed in the First and Second Years of the Reign of His Majesty King George the Fifth (London, 1911), pp. 38–40. Gerald Newman, The Rise of English Nationalism: A Cultural History, 1740–1830

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for evidence of national consciousness in Shakespeare’s history plays, argued that Shakespeare (and by extension, his contemporaries) was still exhibiting a ‘patriotic’ – what Andrew Hadfield has since called a ‘metonymic’ – identification between king and country, equating England with what Shakespeare’s John of Gaunt called its ‘royal throne of kings’.8 Anderson likewise defined the passage from empire to nation as a shift in the balance of power, dating the origins of the concept of nationhood to an ‘age in which Enlightenment and Revolution were destroying the legitimacy of the divinely-ordained, hierarchical dynastic realm’ (p. 7). For Anderson, the ‘eighteenth century marks […] the dawn of the age of nationalism’ in the West, and this is because the eighteenth century witnessed the political upheavals of the American and French Revolutions, which by dismantling the structures of the ancien régime gave striking confirmation of that shift in the balance of power between crown and country, between the whims of the king and the will of the people (p. 11). Anderson is by no means alone in dating the dawn of national consciousness to the period of the American and French Revolutions. Writing in 1960, Elie Kedourie claimed that ‘nationalism is a doctrine invented in Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century’, and Craig Calhoun, Michel Foucault, Ernest Gellner, and Jürgen Habermas, among others, have all subsequently agreed with Kedourie’s thesis that nations emerged to displace dynastic monarchies in this period of ‘Enlightenment and Revolution’.9 Underlying this critical consensus about the dating of nations is a shared assumption about how a nation’s political freedom should find expression. If a national community is free to have its say in the how and the whom of government, then surely this freedom needs to be written into the nation’s constitution, expressed in the form of charters and bills of rights? If so, then assigning a date to ‘the dawn of the age of nationalism’, as Anderson puts it, becomes a simple matter of determining which political community was the first to replace its monarch with a constitution guaranteeing

8

9

(London, 1987); Eric Hobsbawm, Nations and Nationalism Since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality (Cambridge, 1990). Newman, p. 53; Andrew Hadfield, Literature, Politics and National Identity: Reformation to Renaissance (Cambridge, 1994), p. 54; King Richard II, ed. Andrew Gurr (Cambridge, 2003), II.i, 40 (p. 96). Elie Kedourie, Nationalism, 4th edn (Oxford, 1993), p. 1; Craig Calhoun, Nationalism (Buckingham, 1997); Michel Foucault, ‘The Political Technology of Individuals’, in Technologies of the Self: A Seminar with Michel Foucault, ed. Luther H. Martin, Hick Gutman, and Patrick H. Hutton (Amherst, 1988), pp. 145–62; Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (Oxford, 1983) and Nationalism (London, 1997); Jürgen Habermas, ‘The Public Sphere’, New German Critique, 3 (1974), 49–55.

4

Introduction

political freedoms for all. In the contest for this distinction, early Tudor England definitely need not apply. A king such as Henry VIII, who in 1531 browbeat parliament into acknowledging him supreme head of the English church, and who – as Greg Walker has recently pointed out – was branded ‘tyrant’ even in his own lifetime, by writers on both sides of the confessional divide, could not by any reasonable stretch of the imagination be deemed monarch of a ‘nation’ wherein power was invested in the will of the people.10 That said, critics like Anderson who exclude Tudor England from the ‘age of nationalism’ inevitably overlook the significant number of texts from this period that all in various ways imagine England as a community built on the cornerstone of political consent. True, these imagined nations exist only in writing, much of it ‘literary’ in scope, but then they were written at a time when the very raison d’etre (or d’ecrire) of literature was to influence government policy and practice. As Walker argues, the idea of writing for the public good was ‘the cornerstone of late medieval and humanist literary theory’ (p. 179). Debora Kuller Shuger has noted how ‘with the advent of modernity the borders between both conceptual and national territories were redrawn as solid rather than dotted lines’, and it is perhaps telling that Anderson and others have dated the dawn of nationalism to the same period – the Enlightenment – that drew increasingly sharp divisions between conceptual disciplines, dividing politics from literature, and creating the conditions whereby scholars have dismissed as ‘mere fictions’ the evidence in Tudor literature for so-called ‘national’ sentiments, in its place demanding the more ‘empirical’ evidence provided in acts, charters, and bills of rights.11 But the study of Tudor literature should surely be alert to the cultural conditions within which that literature was produced. If it were, then all Tudor texts would be approached as political documents, read in relation to whatever we can glean about the author’s political leanings and client relationships, whatever we can surmise about their reasons for writing and intended readership. In other words, our readings of Tudor texts should take seriously their political content, because it was for their political content that the Tudors themselves read these texts. Central to Tudor literature, then, is its role within what Walker calls the Tudor ‘culture of counsel’ – a term that in this study will be extended beyond its primary

10 11

Greg Walker, Writing under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation (Oxford, 2005), pp. 5–9. Debora Kuller Shuger, Habits of Thought in the English Renaissance: Religion, Politics, and the Dominant Culture, The New Historicism: Studies in Cultural Poetics, 13 (Berkeley, 1990), p. 11.

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meaning of counsel offered to the king, queen, their councils, and protectors, to incorporate also official literature, countenanced by government, and designed in turn to counsel and persuade the general public. The past two decades have witnessed an outpouring of studies concerned to promote the role of literature in the Tudor political sphere, and in so doing to question critical orthodoxies that have hitherto dated ‘the dawn of nationalism’ to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Building on work in the late seventies and early eighties by Philip Edwards and Walter Cohen, Richard Helgerson has explored evidence in later Elizabethan literature for what he calls the ‘intense national self-consciousness of the younger Elizabethans’.12 Like Edwards and Cohen, Helgerson approaches nationalism as an emergent ideology, which ‘pushed claims that subverted the absolute claim of the crown’, and so strove to navigate the ‘passage from dynasty to nation’ (p. 10). Four years later, Claire McEachern toned down Helgerson’s radical readings of literature, but likewise found fictional alternatives to the realities of absolute rule under Elizabeth and James, in writing by Spenser, Shakespeare and Drayton. At the same time as Helgerson and McEachern were exploring fictional nations within literature, Andrew Hadfield was identifying literature itself as the site of the early modern political nation. Hadfield has applied to Tudor literature Jürgen Habermas’s concept of the ‘public sphere’, a forum for political debate which Habermas himself dates to the turn of the eighteenth century, and which claims to represent public interest, through public media of expression like newspapers and periodicals.13 In recent years, Cathy Shrank has returned to Hadfield’s focus on the earlier Tudor period, exploring England’s ambiguous relationship with Catholic Europe, and assessing its impact on English national identity, in literature written after the Break with Rome.14 Studies such as these have sought to complicate the notion that a nation’s political freedoms must be written into its constitution before we can legitimately begin to talk of an ‘age of nationalism’. The recognition of literature’s role in the Tudor political sphere has prompted scholars to reassess textual evidence of imagined political freedoms, no longer dismissing such texts as ‘mere fictions’ incidental to a discussion of politics, 12

13 14

Philip Edwards, Threshold of a Nation: A Study in English and Irish Drama (Cambridge, 1979); Walter Cohen, Drama of a Nation: Public Theater in Renaissance England and Spain (Ithaca, 1985); Richard Helgerson, Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England (Chicago, 1992), p. 10. Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. T. Burger and F. Lawrence (Cambridge, MA, 1989). Cathy Shrank, Writing the Nation in Reformation England, 1530–1580 (Oxford, 2004).

6

Introduction

but re-evaluating them as political documents in their own right, potentially as vital a barometer of England’s political climate at this time as the arguably more ‘empirical’ evidence provided by acts, proclamations, chronicles, and diplomatic correspondence. Tudor literature sought, not to preserve, but to persuade, not to record England’s political past, but to shape England’s political future. While the nations imagined in this literature may have borne no relation to the actual power structures enshrined in statute, they do bear out the existence at this time of a more dynamic, and more participatory political life than that recorded in the narratives of court and parliament. What Walker has called the ‘political nation’ (p. 11), then, extended far beyond Westminster and Whitehall, to include an elite community of writers and readers of both royalist and ‘radical’ political casts, whose humanist schooling combined with their professional interests and social positions to cause them to take an active interest in the affairs of church and state. Yet some early modern scholars still draw distinctions between text and context, between political fictions and the ‘facts’ of Tudor political life. While acknowledging literature’s potential political role as craftsman of the Tudor commonwealth, Philip Schwyzer has recently warned against reading too much into the commonwealths imagined in literature. ‘What we discern in some early modern texts’, Schwyzer writes, ‘is not the nation per se so much as the nation in potentia.’15 Schwyzer defines nationhood as a commitment to popular government that by necessity exists within the consciousness of the people. Such popular participation in and awareness of the affairs of state, Schwyzer argues, did not appear in the West until the era of the American and French Revolutions. Schwyzer’s subject, then, is the nation imagined in Tudor literature, a notional nation, which Schwyzer is careful to differentiate from the constitutional nations he dates from the later eighteenth century. When Schwyzer turns to the nation of Tudor literature, however, it turns out that this imagined nation is not England at all, but Britain. ‘The tendency of the English to lay claim to the historical and geographical attributes of Britain had been witnessed for centuries’, Schwyzer observes, ‘but this tendency was greatly intensified – indeed, it became an imperative – in the Tudor era’ (p. 5). For Schwyzer, Tudor England was from its outset British, its self-image silently incorporating Wales and Scotland, even as it spoke of itself (in the 1533 Appeals Act, for example) as independent of all foreign

15

Philip Schwyzer, Literature, Nationalism, and Memory in Early Modern England and Wales (Cambridge, 2004), p. 9.

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powers. Schwyzer talks of the prize and the price of England’s British identity in the sixteenth century; England gained an empire as Britain, but as Britain it also lost its identity as England (pp. 45–48). How did the Tudor English see themselves in relation to the rest of Britain? Was Britain in their minds really just England writ large, a ‘sceptered isle’ to be colonised, in fact as much as in fiction? Willy Maley writes that it was, arguing that England at this time reached beyond itself to ‘conquer others’, but that in the process it ‘made a shameful conquest of itself’ (to quote Shakespeare’s John of Gaunt), losing its self-image as England in the rush to reinvent itself as Britain.16 Maley describes Tudor England as a nation ‘nasty, British, and short’, its identity as England confined to England’s ‘postcolonial’ period, between the promulgation of the Appeals Act in 1533 and the accession of James I in 1603.17 The Appeals Act proclaimed England ‘an Impire’, independent of Rome; the accession of James I saw yet another foreign power – James VI of Scotland – take up rule in postcolonial England.18 Maley’s England is the meat in the sandwich, the fragile nation-state caught between a rock and a hard place, between the shadow of Rome and the spectre of Britain. For Maley, as for Schwyzer, England’s ‘shameful conquest of itself’ can be traced back to the very language of the Appeals Act, to this defining statement of England’s ‘postcolonial’ independence from Rome. By calling England an ‘empire’, Maley asks, does not the Appeals Act articulate England’s freedom from Rome in the imperial language of its former aggressor, emulating the ideology of the empire to which it had until so recently been bound? The irony of England’s decision in 1533 to articulate its freedom from foreign powers in the language of those powers has also been noted by Claire McEachern, who argues that England’s imperial self-image in the Appeals Act is ‘based as much in a competitive, mimetic resemblance to foreign authority as in a rejection of it’ (p. 2). According to Maley and Schwyzer, England had no sooner declared itself an empire when it began to make imperial conquests of its own, in 1536 extending to Wales the laws of England’s ‘Imperiall Crowne’, and throughout the 1540s attempting through pen and sword to marry Scotland to ‘the onely supreme seat of the[m]pire of greate Briteigne’, as the pamphleteer Nicholas Bodrugan (or Adams) described England in 1548.19 16 17 18 19

Richard II, II.i, 65, 66. Willy Maley, Nation, State and Empire in English Renaissance Literature (Basingstoke, 2003), pp. 31–44 (p. 35). 24 Hen. VIII, c. 12, in Statutes, III, 427–29 (p. 427). 27 Hen. VIII, c. 26, in Statutes, III, 563–69 (p. 563). Nicholas Bodrugan, An epitome of the title (London, 1548), sig. A5v. Stewart Mottram, ‘Reading the rhetoric of nationhood in

8

Introduction

Caught between a Roman rock and a British hard place, England never quite got off the ground in the sixteenth century. Or did it? England’s overarching Britishness in the Tudor period is a claim that this study certainly seeks to revise, for within it I argue that at this time there existed alongside the colonial model of England-as-Britain a much more inward-looking, but still very much imperial idea of England as an empire apart, both from Rome and the rest of Britain alike. Since its inception in 1975, the ‘new British history’ has sought holistic approaches to the subject, encouraging local exploration of the social and cultural impact of British state formation across communities in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Recent years have seen the application of this new British history to early modern English literature, with studies exploring Spenser and Shakespeare (in particular) from the perspective of England’s British colonial projects.20 From these we learn that England ‘invented’ Britain in the sixteenth century to serve its developing colonial agenda, both within and without the British Isles, and that this ‘British’ agenda clearly caused some writers to downplay England and English identity at this time. The present study does not deny the impact on English Renaissance literature of England’s British colonial projects in the sixteenth century, but it does question the extent to which England’s colonial agenda overtook its cultural self-image in the earlier Tudor period as an ‘empire apart’ from Britain and Europe. Like its relations to Rome and Catholic Europe, England’s relations in the sixteenth century to the rest of Britain were complex and nuanced, and can perhaps best be summed up in John Bale’s memorable description of England (or was that Britain?) in the late 1540s as ‘thys oure Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’: however proximate, early Tudor England stood apart from its British neighbours, as it stood apart from Rome, both before and after the English Reformation(s).21 Bale might here juxtapose, but he does

20

21

two Reformation pamphlets by Richard Morison and Nicholas Bodrugan’, Renaissance Studies 19.4 (2005), 523–40. For an introduction to ‘British’ perspectives on English Renaissance literature, see British Identities and English Renaissance Literature, ed. David J. Baker and Willy Maley (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 1–8. For Shakespeare and Britain, see Maley’s recent critical survey, ‘British Ill Done?: Recent Work on Shakespeare and British, English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Identities’, Literature Compass, 3.3 (2006), 487–512. For ‘British’ readings of Shakespeare and Spenser, see David J. Baker, Between Nations: Shakespeare, Spenser, Marvell, and the Question of Britain (Stanford, 1997); Andrew Hadfield, Spenser’s Irish Experience (Oxford, 1997) and Shakespeare, Spenser and the Matter of Britain; Schwyzer, Literature, Nationalism, and Memory; Willy Maley, Salvaging Spenser (New York, 1997) and Nation, State and Empire. John Leland, The laboryouse Iourney & serche of Johan Leylande, for Englandes

9

Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature

not fully elide the English and British nations, and it is precisely this interrelated, but by no means interchangeable, relationship between England and Britain that to my mind informs England’s cultural self-image in the sixteenth century. It is, then, a self-image both English and British, at once isolationist and expansionist, an England ‘that conquers others’, yet without involving any ‘shameful conquest of itself’. On one level, then, Bale’s Britain in the above quotation is England writ large, a prime example of what Schwyzer terms the ‘tendency of the English to lay claim to [...] Britain’. England’s colonising tendency is as apparent in English literature as in England’s British political policies in the sixteenth century, but one consequence of the recent critical attention on England’s ‘British’ identity at this time has been a tendency for critics to overlook that other of Bale’s two nations – the nation of England itself. This study reminds us that the term ‘imperial’ did not always connote colonial expansion in the sixteenth century, and that when some Tudor writers referred to England as an empire they were indeed referring to England, not Britain, to a sovereign realm, not a synecdoche for ‘the[m]pire of greate Briteigne’, as Nicholas Bodrugan would have had it. So this is a study of England’s ‘postcolonial’ self-image in earlier Tudor literature, of Tudor England’s portrayal in literature as ‘an empire of itself’. Its focus in Chapters Two to Five is on how writers responded to the Break with Rome by marketing England as ‘postcolonial’, and the Royal Supremacy as populist, at a time when England was in reality ruled by a tyrant king, who incorporated Wales into England, and sought to colonise and convert Scotland to the English religion – a policy that the government of his successor, Edward VI, also pursued, up to the signing of the Treaty of Boulogne in March 1550.22 England, then, was imagined as ‘postcolonial’ even as it pursued a British colonial agenda, just as its government could be imagined as populist when it was in reality decidedly autocratic. How do we reconcile England’s two-fold, bifurcated self-image as an ‘empire of itself’ on the one hand, and ‘the onely supreme seat of the[m]pire of greate Briteigne’ on the other? Let us turn to the text of the Laboryouse Journey, and to an exploration of how far ‘Britain’ has shaped the England imagined by its two authors, John Leland and John Bale. Leland’s England is an ambivalent empire, both colonial and postcolonial; an England that stands apart as a nation, even as it lays claim to the nations of others. England’s claim to Wales in particular is reflected in the ‘laboryouse journey’ of the

22

Antiquitees, geuen of hym as a newe yeares gyfte to Kynge Henry the viii. in the .xxxvii. yeare of his Reygne, rev. John Bale (London, 1549), sig. B3v. See Clare Kellar, Scotland, England, and the Reformation 1534–1561 (Oxford, 2003).

10

Introduction

title, which refers to Leland’s extensive tours around England and Wales between 1535 and 1543.23 Bale’s England is by contrast an empire apart, but here too, it seems, Britain is never far beneath the independent England of Bale’s imagination. The exact nature of this relationship between the two components of Bale’s ‘Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’ is the subject to which I will now turn attention.

The ‘impery of Englande’ and the ancient British emperor-kings The Laboryouse Journey is a co-authored text, written by John Leland in 1546 and enlarged extensively by John Bale between 1547 and its publication in 1549. From Bale’s additions emerge two inflected approaches to the task of marketing post-Supremacy England as an empire and nation – that is, as a realm independent of foreign powers, governed by an autocratic king for whom Bale claimed the fiction of popular support. Both Bale’s approaches have their roots in ancient British soil, but while one likens early Tudor England to the past British empires of Constantine and Arthur, in the other Bale’s attitude to the spiritual welfare of England under Edward VI is shaped by the response of Gildas (fl. C6th AD) to the iniquities of sub-Roman British society. One approach imagines early Tudor England in relation to ancient British empires, the other in relation to the ancient British church. This study is structured around exploration of these two approaches, and assessment of their respective impact on England’s representation in early Tudor literature. Chapters One and Two explore literature that looks back to the British emperor-kings Arthur and Constantine, Chapters Three to Five texts that identify ‘Englishness’ with an English Protestant community rooted in the early British church as described by Gildas. In what follows, I introduce the subject of each chapter through the lens of the Journey, its two approaches to early Tudor England, and their mutual fascination with all things ancient British. At the heart of the Journey is Leland’s ‘new year’s gift’ to Henry VIII, dateable from the title page to January 1546, and presented to the King as a progress report on Leland’s efforts thus far ‘to peruse and dylygentlye to searche all the lybraryes of Monasteryes and collegies of thys your noble realme’ (sig. B8r). Leland was an antiquarian, who in 1533 was apparently commissioned by the King to catalogue and collect together the works ‘of auncyent wryters’ (sig. B8r). If Leland’s commission did indeed come from 23

See The Itinerary of John Leland, in or about the Years 1535–1543, ed. Lucy Toulmin Smith, 5 vols (London, 1964).

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature

Henry VIII (and there is no evidence outside the text to substantiate this claim), then this commission formed part of the King’s wider aims around 1533 to dig deep into English history, and to pass off the Break with Rome, not as something new and hitherto unheard of, but as an ancient right and privilege, as old as the English monarchy itself. This elaborate sleight of hand had after all informed the wording of the Appeals Act, wherein the edifice of England’s independent ‘empire’ is in fact erected on the rather shaky historical foundations of (unnamed) ‘sundrie olde autentike histories and cronicles’.24 That the same political agenda underlay Leland’s ‘laboryouse journey’ soon becomes clear to his readers, as Leland goes on to point out to the King that profyte [which] hath rysen by the aforsayd iourneye, in bryngynge full manye thynges to lyght, as concernynge the vsurped autoryte of the Byshopp of Rome and his complyces, to the manyfest and vyolent derogacyon of kyngely dygnyte. (sig. C5r)

Thirteen years after the Appeals Act had trumpeted England’s independence from Rome, Leland seemed finally to be compiling the historical ammunition with which to lambaste papal claims to exercise power in England. Leland’s new year’s gift was published in 1549 as the Laboryouse Journey, with an introduction, extended commentary, and conclusion by John Bale. Bale praises Leland’s project from the point of view of its political agenda, commending the fact that Leland was by the discovery of these godly writers ‘occasyoned to write a great booke, called Antiphilarchia, agaynst the ambycyouse empyre of the Romysh byshop’ (sig. C6r). Leland’s anti-papal dialogue, the unpublished Antiphilarchia, was one outcome of Leland’s laborious journeys in search of England’s antiquities. In his treatise, Leland also speaks of works-in-progress: of a book describing the ‘mountaynes, valleys, mores, hethes, forestes, woodes, cyties, burges, castels, pryncypall manor places, monasteryes, and colleges’ of Henry’s realm (sig. D4v); of another book detailing ‘the auncyent names of hauens, ryuers, promontories, hilles, woodes, cities, townes, castelles, and varyete of kyndes of people’ in England and Wales (sig. D7v); of a fifty-volume history of the same; and of a six-volume description of the islands adjacent to England and Wales, among them the Isle of Wight [Vecta], Isle of Anglesey [Mona], and Isle of Man [Menavia] (sig. E2r). To these weighty works, Leland intended to add a map of England, engraved 24

Statutes, III, 427. See John Guy, ‘Thomas Cromwell and the Intellectual Origins of the Henrician Revolution’, in Reassessing the Henrician Age: Humanism, Politics and Reform 1500–1550, ed. Alistair Fox and John Guy (Oxford, 1986), pp. 151–78 (p. 163).

12

Introduction

in silver, and designed to appeal directly to Henry’s self-image as emperorking. ‘Thus instructed’, he wrote to Henry, I trust shortly to se the tyme, that like as Carolus Magnus had amo[n]g his treasures thre large and notable tables of syluer, rychely enameled, one of the syte and descripcion of Constantynople, an other of the site and figure of the magnificent citie of Rome, and the third of the descrypcion of the worlde. So shall your Maiestie haue thys your worlde and impery of Englande so sett fourthe in a quadrate table of syluer. (sig. D5v)

Leland’s search for England’s antiquities was intimately connected with the imperial agenda of the Appeals Act, his anti-papal Antiphilarchia responding directly to England’s need throughout the earlier Tudor period to identify itself (in Leland’s words) as a ‘worlde and impery’, an empire apart. Yet while Leland’s English empire in the above quotation appears defiantly postcolonial when set against its former aggressor, the ‘ambycyouse empyre’ of Rome, it nevertheless takes on a decidedly colonial inflection when set in the context of Leland’s mania for mapping and memorialising Wales. How do we interpret Leland’s English empire? Is it expansionist or isolationist, colonial or postcolonial, an ambitious empire or an empire apart? Leland’s lection is ambiguous, for his phrase ‘thys your worlde and impery of Englande’ might on the one hand seek to set England apart from Wales, on the other, to collapse Wales into England, just as the 1536 act of Anglo-Welsh union had extended to Wales the laws of England’s ‘Imperiall Crowne’.25 Leland’s interests in the history and geography of Wales alongside England clearly add a colonial inflection to his description of England as a ‘worlde and impery’, but it is one that sits comfortably – if somewhat ambiguously – alongside the emphasis throughout the Journey on England’s self-image as an empire independent of Rome and the rest of Britain alike, a self-image with roots in the Appeals Act. The concept of empire does not always signal colonial expansion. The Appeals Act teaches us to pay closer attention to the context within which the word ‘empire’ is being used. Despite its grandiose claims, its reference to chronicles sundry, authentic and old, the Appeals Act is a document driven by Henry’s desire for Anne Boleyn, its tone more romance than epic. By legislating in the Appeals Act against Catherine of Aragon’s appeal to Rome, Henry made his marriage problems a purely domestic affair, fit only to be tried by an English clergyman. The word ‘empire’ in the Appeals Act is a declaration, 25

Statutes, III, 563.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature

then, not of colonial intent, but of ‘postcolonial’ independence – Henry’s from Catherine and England’s from Rome. True, by 1536 the word ‘empire’ was being used to justify England’s expansion into Wales, and it would be used in similar colonial contexts throughout the sixteenth century. In the Appeals Act, however, empire signalled England’s independence from, not its pretensions to, foreign rule. This isolationist idea of empire also had currency in England throughout the sixteenth century, both before and after 1533. The Journey shares the concerns of the Appeals Act with the Royal (and not with world) Supremacy. After all, Leland’s journeys around England and Wales were inspired by the need to find historical support for England’s Break with Rome, for England’s claims in the Appeals Act to be free from ‘the anoyaunce aswell of the See of Rome as fromme the auctoritie of other foreyne potentates’.26 Yet the Journey is still a colonial text, and not just because of Leland’s interests in mapping Wales. Bale praises Leland’s search for the ‘Englyshe writers’ of history who support England’s self-image under the Tudors as an empire independent of Rome (sig. D2v). Yet some of these writers turn out on closer inspection to be, not English, but British, a term that Bale uses historically, not politically, to refer to the ancient British people, not to Bodrugan’s ‘e[m]pire of greate Briteigne’. Bale distinguishes ethnographically between the ‘Brytaynes vnder the Romanes & Saxons’ and ‘the Englyshe people vndre the Danes and Norma[n]nes’ (sig. B2r), and yet his reference to the ‘Englyshe writers’ in Leland’s four-volume bio-bibliography De uiris illustribus (published posthumously in 1709 as Commentarii de scriptoribus Britannicis) includes the names of many writers working in Britain before the Anglo-Saxon invasion. Leland tells us that the entirety of his first volume catalogues works dateable from this ancient British period, from the time of the Druids through to Augustine’s arrival in England in AD 597 (see sig. C8r). When in the Journey Bale turns attention to the works and writers he intends to include in revisions to his own bio-bibliography, the Summarium, Bale again lists ancient Britons under the title ‘A Regystre of the names of Englysh Wryters’ (sig. G2r).27 What do we make of this silent elision of the ancient British with the English? Unlike other writers from this period – writers like the Scottish asylum seeker in England, James Harrison – Bale does not argue for an ethnographic affinity between the English and ancient-British, nor even between the ancient British and Tudor Welsh. The Welsh gentry prided 26 27

Statutes, III, 427. John Bale, Illustrium Maioris Britanniae scriptorum … summariu[m] ([Wesel], 1548).

14

Introduction

themselves on their ability to trace their ancestry back to Cadwaladr and the ancient British kings, as evidenced in the countless genealogies and bardic poems [cywyddau] to come out of early Tudor Wales.28 In his 1547 Exhortacion to the Scottes, James Harrison had extended this kinship group to include ‘the most part’ of all Welsh, English, and Scottish inhabitants of sixteenth-century Britain, arguing from this for the desirability of a union between Scotland, England and Wales, and looking forward to the happy time when ‘we shal al agre on the onely title and name of Britons’.29 Bale does not speak for Harrison’s colonial agenda when he speaks of ‘thys oure Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’, and silently incorporates the names of ancient Britons into his register of English writers. The Journey is not, like Harrison’s Exhortacion, a pro-unionist text, neither is it concerned to justify England’s claims to Wales through the claim that the House of Tudor could trace their ancestry back to the ancient British line of kings.30 On the contrary, Bale distinguishes the ancient Britons from the Tudor English and Welsh alike, differentiating between the languages of ‘Brittyshe, Saxonyshe, Walshe, Englyshe, and Scottyshe’ (sig. B3r). ‘Britain’ is not, as Bale uses the term, a byword for England and Wales – evidence, that is, of England’s claims (as Schwyzer puts it) to the ‘geographical attributes of Britain’. But while Bale’s ‘Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’ does not look westwards towards Wales, Bale’s vision is still in one sense ‘colonial’, insofar as it looks outside of Tudor England, to identify as ‘English’ entire communities no longer living within its bounds – because buried beneath its ground. Bale differentiates ethnographically between the ancient Britons and Tudor English and Welsh, but seeks silently to incorporate the work of ancient British writers into the narrative of English history – ‘Englandes Antiquitees’ (sig. A1r) – that Bale, like Leland, is in the Journey so concerned to uncover. Bale’s ‘Bryttyshe nacyon’, then, lies beneath the ground, not beyond the Dee, its membership comprising long-dead ancient Britons, and its relation to Bale’s ‘Englyshe’ nation one of historical contiguity, not geographical proximity. Tudor England’s fascination with ancient British history, particularly the pseudo-history of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s twelfthcentury Historia regum Britanniae [History of the Kings of Britain], is the subject of recent studies by Curran and Hadfield.31 From Monmouth, the 28 29 30 31

Philip Jenkins, A History of Modern Wales 1536–1990 (London, 1992), pp. 62–66. James Harrison, An Exhortacion to the Scottes (London, 1547), sig. G5v. For this argument, see Schwyzer, Literature, Nationalism, and Memory, pp. 13–48. John Curran, Roman Invasions: The British History, Protestant Anti-Romanism, and the Historical Imagination in England, 1530–1660 (Newark, DE, 2002); Hadfield, Shakespeare, Spenser and the Matter of Britain.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature

Tudors learned of ancient British luminaries like Constantine the Great, the Roman Emperor who first extended tolerance to Christianity (through the Edict of Milan in AD 313). Constantine was proclaimed emperor when fighting in Britain in 306, but it is from Monmouth that Constantine acquired his British ethnicity, through the myth of his ‘British’ mother, Helena (whose place of birth has since been traced to modern-day Turkey).32 From Monmouth too came the Tudor tradition of King Arthur’s vast ‘British’ empire, which not only united the peoples of Britain and Ireland, but extended beyond the archipelago, to Iceland, Scandinavia, and Gaul. Arthur was even on his way to sack Rome, Monmouth writes, but was called back to Britain by news of the betrayal of his nephew, Mordred. Later versions of the legend, notably the version in John Hardyng’s fifteenth-century Chronicle, have Arthur, like his predecessor Constantine, crowned Emperor of Rome.33 Constantine and Arthur were attractive role models for the ambitious King Henry VIII, writes Schwyzer, stories of their rule in Britain and beyond serving to encourage Henry in his own attempts to colonise England’s British neighbours, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland (pp. 31–40). It was not only as role models that Henry VIII learned to identify with British emperor-kings like Constantine and Arthur. In the Historia, Geoffrey of Monmouth tells of how Cadwaladr, the last king of the Britons, was by an angel forbidden to return to Britain from Rome, ‘for that God had willed the Britons should no longer reign in Britain before that time should come whereof Merlin had prophesied unto Arthur’.34 The angel asked the Britons patiently to submit to Saxon rule, but prophesied their future deliverance by the mab darogan, or son of prophecy, a military leader who would free the Britons from their Saxon yoke, and who in Welsh bardic tradition was identified as a direct descendant of Cadwaladr. It was no accident, then, that in his bid to become king of England, the father of Henry VIII, Henry Tudor, chose to market himself as a direct descendant of Cadwaladr, commissioning a genealogy which traced his family tree through Cadwaladr to ‘the ancient kings of Brytaine and the Princes of Wales’.35 Nor was it coincidence that after Bosworth Henry Tudor bore with him to St Paul’s the standard of the red dragon that the 32 33 34 35

P. J. Casey, ‘Constantine I’, in DNB, XIII, 29–32. The chronicle of Ihon Hardyng, rev. Richard Grafton (London, 1543), sigs k3v-4r. Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain [Historia regum Britanniae], trans. S. Evans, rev. C. W. Dunn (London, 1963), p. 262. Caradoc of Llancarvan, The historie of Cambria, now called Wales, trans. Humphrey Llwyd, rev. David Powell (London, 1584), p. 391; cited in Schwyzer, Literature, Nationalism, and Memory, p. 21.

16

Introduction

prophet Merlin (according to Geoffrey of Monmouth) had identified with the Britons, and which wrestles in the Historia with the white dragon representing the Saxon invaders.36 Henry Tudor was very much aware of the role of the mab darogan in Welsh political prophecy, and in his self-presentation as king he shrewdly exploited its symbolism so as to win support from the Welsh for his claims to the throne, presenting his victory at Bosworth as a ‘British’ victory over the Saxon English. If Henry Tudor used British history to support his claim to the crown of England, his son, Henry VIII, fell back on British figures like Constantine and Arthur to support his imperial claims – as king of England – first to England and the English church, then to England’s British neighbours, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. By identifying himself as the direct descendant of Constantine and Arthur, Henry VIII could claim their ancient empires for his own rightful inheritance as king, thus adding serious gravitas to his self-image as emperor – the jewel, as it were, in Henry’s ‘Imperiall Crowne’.37 Philip Schwyzer uncovers a subtext of Tudor colonial ambition beneath texts by Polydore Vergil, Arthur Kelton, and John Leland, all of whom identify Henry VIII with one or more of the ancient British kings.38 So while Bale’s ‘Bryttyshe nacyon’ looks into the past, not beyond the rivers Severn and Dee, Schwyzer argues that this ancient British past was nevertheless put to colonial uses in the earlier Tudor period, that Henry VIII came to be identified with figures like Constantine and Arthur precisely in order to support his British colonial agenda. This is not to be denied, but neither is the fact that writers also made significant use of Monmouth’s British History to market the idea of England as an empire apart from Britain and Europe. Let us return for a moment to John Leland’s description of Henrician England as ‘a worlde and impery’, a description for which Bale finds precedent in past British emperor-kings. Referring to England, Bale writes in the Journey that: The empire therof is manifest in kinge Brennus, in great Constantyne, in Arthure, and in Edwarde the third. This bring I in here, that men should not disdaynously scorne, that they are yet ignoraunt of. (sig. D6v)

We have already looked briefly at Constantine and Arthur’s credentials as British-born emperor-kings. Like Constantine, Brennus too acquired a 36 37 38

Sydney Anglo, ‘The British History in Early Tudor Propaganda’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 44 (1961–62), 17–48 (pp. 38–39). Monmouth, pp. 138–41. Statutes, III, 427. Schwyzer, Literature, Nationalism, and Memory, pp. 13–75.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature

British ethnicity in the Tudor period, his reputation as a Gaulish war-lord repudiated by writers like the Welsh historian Humphrey Llwyd, within whose Breuiary of Britayne (as it was titled in the 1573 translation by Thomas Twyne) Brennus is described as ‘a perfect Britayne, and brother to kynge Belinus, and sonne to Dunwallus’ (sig. H5r).39 Why writers like Llwyd were so concerned to claim Brennus as British becomes clear once we turn the page of Twyne’s translation, to discover that Brennus and his brother Belinus ‘ranne ouer all Fraunce, and Italy, vanquished the Romans, and tooke the citie, and departed out of Italy’ (sig. H5v). Arthur was a British king who had reputedly conquered Rome, while Constantine was a Roman Emperor whose mother was reputedly British. A British Brennus, then, completes a triumvirate of ancient British kings who had either conquered or were in fact crowned Emperor of Rome. It is in relation to Rome that Bale’s reference to Edward III is also best understood. In 1338, Edward was made Vicar-General of the Holy Roman Empire, in an alliance with the Emperor Louis [Ludwig] IV against the French King Philippe VI.40 The link with Rome unites all four of Bale’s icons of empire, and is key to an understanding of the form of the empire to which Bale here refers. England had been defining itself in relation to Rome for some two decades before the Appeals Act had proclaimed England an ‘Impire’, an independent realm free from ‘the anoyaunce aswell of the See of Rome as fromme the auctoritie of other foreyne potentates’. Arthur, Brennus, Constantine, and Edward III might all in one way or another have ruled over Rome (or so it was claimed), but it was not in order to proclaim England’s rights to the Roman Empire that Bale here makes use of these historical figures – far from it. Rather, Bale was writing in a tradition that referred to the crowning in Rome of Constantine and Arthur, only to stake out a space for England as an empire apart. Bale’s reference to ancient British emperors of Rome serves, then, not as grounds for England’s imperial expansion within Britain and abroad, but as a reason why England should not be subject to Rome – to the Holy Roman Empire, that is, and then, from the 1530s onwards, also to the Roman church. Chapters One and Two explore the ways Arthur and Constantine were used in early Tudor literature, not as grounds for England’s colonial expansion within Britain and Ireland, but as icons of England’s self-image as ‘an Empire off hitselff’. The focus of Chapter One is the visit to England 39 40

Llywd’s original Latin text, Commentarioli Britannicae descriptionis fragmentum, was printed Cologne, 1572. W. M. Ormrod, ‘Edward II’, in DNB, XVII, pp. 837–49 (p. 841).

18

Introduction

of the Emperor Charles V, in May–June 1522. King Arthur informed the iconography of the pageants that greeted Charles and Henry on their joint entry into London on 6 June 1522. Arthur also informed the itinerary of the visit as a whole, which took Charles to all the key Arthurian sites in England, among them Dover and Winchester castles, homes of Sir Gawain’s skull and King Arthur’s Round Table respectively. The chapter approaches the Emperor’s visit to England from the perspective of its political backdrop, the Anglo-Imperial alliance against the French king, Francis I. Charles and Henry’s joint declaration of war, and the language of crusade within which their declaration was couched, explains the emphasis throughout the Emperor’s visit on his and Henry’s joint role as defenders of Christendom. This joint role serves in the iconography of the visit to justify Henry’s own self-image alongside the Emperor as ‘emperor’ of England, a title that implied no claim to the imperial crown of Charles V, but which – as Cuthbert Tunstall had explained to Henry VIII in 1517 – served only to separate ‘the Crown of Englond’ from the Holy Roman Empire.41 It is in relation to Charles and Henry’s equal status as emperors, of the Empire and of England respectively, that Arthur’s function in the iconography of the visit can be best understood. Arthur was a figure as familiar to the Habsburg emperors as to Henry VIII. By identifying Henry alongside Charles with this iconic emperor-king, I argue that the iconography of the Emperor’s visit seeks to identify Henry as himself an emperor, England as an ‘an Empire off hitselff’. It is with Constantine that Chapter Two is concerned, and with England’s relations, not to the Empire, but to the Church of Rome. The chapter focuses on another royal entry into London, this time the coronation entry of Anne Boleyn, on 31 May 1533. The Appeals Act had paved the way for Anne’s coronation as queen, and her entry took place less than two months after the passage of this act through parliament, on 7 April. The chapter approaches Anne’s entry in the light of the Appeals Act, arguing that its pageants echo England’s self-image within this act as an empire apart. The pageant sequence combines Christian iconography with classical motifs, and this has elicited a mixed reaction from critics, who either, with Anglo, uphold it as the first ‘truly classical’ pageant sequence in England, or else, like King, underplay its classical content, to emphasise instead the entry’s ‘conventional religious themes’.42 My reading of Anne’s 41 42

Original Letters I, 136. Sydney Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry, and Early Tudor Policy (Oxford, 1969), p. 248; John N. King, Tudor Royal Iconography: Literature and Art in an Age of Religious Crisis (Princeton, 1989), p. 50.

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entry is the first as far as I am aware fully to engage with its eclectic blend of the classical with the Christian, exploring parallels between the iconography of the pageant sequence and the interpretative practices of the fourth-century Christian writers Firmianus Lactantius and Bishop Eusebius Pamphili of Caesarea, both of whom had blended the classical with the Christian, in an attempt to convert to Christianity the still largely pagan population of the Roman Empire under Constantine. The entry identifies Anne Boleyn with the Virgin Mary on the one hand and the pagan goddess Astraea on the other. Lactantius, Eusebius, and even the Emperor Constantine himself, had all likewise identified Astraea with the Virgin Mary, arguing that Astraea’s golden age of justice had been fulfilled in the birth of Christ, which had coincided almost exactly with the rise of the Roman Empire under Caesar Augustus. The Roman Empire, for Eusebius, was a sacred institution, the birthplace of Christ and nursery of Christianity, a religion that flourished in Eusebius’s lifetime under its first Christian emperor, Constantine. Lactantius and Eusebius were both careful to distinguish the Empire under the Christian Constantine from the Empire under his pagan predecessors, from Caesar Augustus through to Constantine’s father Constantius. In Virgil’s fourth, or ‘messianic eclogue’, the goddess Astraea embodies Virgil’s hopes for a new golden age under the pagan Augustus. It is with Constantine’s Christian empire in particular, however, that Lactantius came to identify the golden age embodied in Astraea. No scholar since Yates has had cause seriously to doubt her claim that Astraea stood for empire in the sixteenth century, in Britain and mainland Europe alike.43 Nevertheless, it has been generally assumed that Astraea encodes an imperial idea modelled on Augustan Rome. By reading Anne’s entry in relation to other more overtly ‘political’ texts printed in England between 1531 and 1534, Chapter Two seeks to establish Constantine’s Christian empire as an alternative model for England’s ‘empire apart’ in the early 1530s. Constantine was an attractive figure for the scholars and statesmen tasked with justifying England’s Break with Rome, the myth of his British mother combining with his leadership of early church councils to give grist to Henry’s own self-image as head of the English church. Anne’s entry gave public affirmation to this identification between Henry and Constantine, England and Rome, an identification that for Henry implied, not a colonial, but a ‘postcolonial’ agenda – part of Henry’s efforts to free England from subservience to the papal see.

43

Frances A. Yates, Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century (London, 1975).

20

Introduction

Britain’s books, England’s Bible, and Bale’s ‘Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’ In the Journey, Leland and Bale both dig in pre-Saxon soil, uncovering material in Monmouth’s British History to shape Tudor England’s self-image as an empire apart. For Bale, Arthur and Constantine make ‘manifest’ the truth of Leland’s description of England as a ‘worlde and impery’; Arthur’s conquest of Rome, and Constantine’s rule over the Roman church, serve to justify the Royal Supremacy and Break with Rome. This much is clear from the Journey, and from the literature of the 1520s and early 1530s it is clear also that Bale was by no means alone in putting Arthur and Constantine into the service of the Tudor state. But there are other historical writers mentioned in the Journey, not all of whom wrote of the exploits of British emperor-kings. Let us turn again to the ‘Englyshe writers’ (sig. D2v) whom Leland lists in his four-volume De uiris illustribus, the first volume of which (according to Bale) catalogues writers working in pre-Saxon Britain, before Augustine’s arrival in England in 597, the second, writers working in Anglo-Saxon England, from the time of Augustine up to the Norman invasion in 1066. Leland’s title speaks volumes about the purpose of this collection, for De uiris illustribus is also the title of Jerome’s account (Bale writes) of ‘what writers there were in the prymatyue churche, & what frute spronge of their doctryne’ (sig. C8r). Bale goes on to compare Jerome with ‘Bedas in the Englysh churche’ (sig. C8v), for where Jerome’s De viris illustribus was the record of writers in the patristic church, Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica memorialised the AngloSaxon church, from the arrival of Augustine down to 731.44 So much for the efforts of Jerome and Bede, but the ancient Britons had also had a church, as they apparently had had illustrious emperor-kings. Where, Bale asks, is the bibliography of the ancient British church? ‘If any learned man hadde shewed thys ordre in the Brittyshe churche [...] tyll the commynge of Augustyne, we had knowne of their christianyte muche more than we now do’ (sigs C8r–v). Step forward John Leland, ‘with hys. iiii. bokes de uiris illustribus’, the saviour of ancient British ecclesiastical history. As Bale continues, [Leland] so abundauntlye wyll satisfye the hungry expectacyon of many, maye hys worke come ones to lyght, that muche more is not therin to be desyred. Blessed be that man, whyche shall set that worthy worke 44

J. Campbell, ‘Bede’, in DNB, IV, pp. 758–65 (p. 761).

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature abroade. And contrary wyse, cursed be he for euer and euer, that shall in sphyght of hys nacyon, seke therof the destruccyon. (sig. C8v)

By ‘setting works abroad’, Bale here refers to what he elsewhere in the Journey calls the ‘noble art of prentynge’ (sig. C3r). Printing is Bale’s one-stop solution to his two principal bugbears in the Journey, the fact that the dissolution of religious houses and libraries in the later 1530s had destroyed and displaced ‘the worthy workes’ therein ‘of men godly mynded’ (sig. A7v), and the fact that all this wanton destruction had earned Englishmen infamy overseas as ‘despysers of lernynge’ (sig. B2r). Printing, then, is about more than simply preserving the texts, or at very least the names, of manuscripts under threat from loss, damage or destruction. Bale’s England was counted a cultural backwater abroad. The aim of printing, as Bale sees it, is ‘to bewtyfie [the] contrey’, to dust off historical gems ‘kept longe in the darkenes’ (sig. B2v), and dangle them before ‘the proude Italyanes’, who ‘haue alwayes holde[n] vs for a Barbarouse nacyon’ (sig. C5r). But what was this ‘nacyon’ that the Italians accuse of barbarity, and whose countrymen Bale is ready to curse ‘for euer and euer’, should they seek ‘the destruccyon’ of Leland’s de uiris illustribus? Is it England, or Britain? Bale may make his countrymen custodians of the ancient British ecclesiastical history unearthed by Leland, but Bale is careful to distinguish between this British history and the English nation with which Bale himself identifies. Bale’s regard for all things ancient British seems to have had no bearing upon his identity as an Englishman – unlike the identity of his Scottish contemporary James Harrison, whom as we have seen sought to abandon ‘those hatefull termes of Scottes & Englishmen’, and in their place to uphold ‘the onely title and name of Britons’ (sig. G5v). Bale, by contrast, distinguishes between ‘the Brittyshe churche’ before Augustine, the subject of the first of Leland’s four-volume de uiris illustribus, and the ‘Englysh churche’ chronicled by Bede, dateable from after Augustine’s arrival in England, and the subject of the second of Leland’s four volumes. For all his digging into the ancient British past, Bale roots up for his Tudor contemporaries a ‘nacyon’ whose self-image is distinctly English, not AngloBritish. Neither does Bale make any colonial claim outside England’s borders, to the nation beyond the rivers Severn and Dee. Just as he distinguishes between the ancient British and English churches, so Bale also distinguishes in the Journey between the ‘Englysh man, and walshe man’ (sig. E1r). Philip Schwyzer discusses the ‘colonial archaeology’ practised in Anglo-Saxon England, and explored in four later medieval Christian texts 22

Introduction

by Matthew Paris, Gerald of Wales, and the author of the anonymous Middle English poem, St Erkenwald.45 Schwyzer reads these texts as inventiones, a sub-genre of the saint’s life that narrates the discovery (or excavation) of holy relics and miraculously uncorrupted human remains. All four texts, Schwyzer argues, share a common concern with the relics and remains of ancient Britons; in each, these ancient British artefacts are found to crumble and corrode upon contact with their Anglo-Saxon excavators. For Schwyzer, the message is clear: only by digging up and destroying the bodies of ancient Britons could the Anglo-Saxon colonisers of ‘England’ truly lay claim to the ground beneath their feet. Archaeology, then, can be a colonial act – an ‘assault on origins’, as Schwyzer describes it. In ‘colonial archaeology’, the processes of discovery and excavation go hand in hand with the processes of destruction and annihilation. ‘This’, writes Schwyzer, ‘is how one makes a homeland’ (p. 59). Yet while this relationship between colonialism, digging, and destruction certainly informs the later medieval inventiones that form the subject of Schwyzer’s analysis, the same cannot be said of early Tudor England in general, and the Journey in particular. Like Leland, Bale digs in ancient British soil, but his archaeological excavation implies no outright colonial agenda, no overt claim to the land inhabited by those with perhaps the greatest claim to kinship with the ancient Britons, the Tudor Welsh. Neither is Bale concerned to destroy the artefacts he uncovers, the historical accounts of the ancient British empire and church. Indeed, as Schwyzer elsewhere acknowledges, the culture of early Tudor England was concerned more to preserve, than to destroy ancient British artefacts (both textual and material).46 England’s efforts under the early Tudors to preserve and identify with the culture of the ancient Britons contrasts strongly with what Schwyzer argues was the late-medieval impulse to lay the foundations of an Anglo-Saxon identity upon the ruins of the ancient British past. So far from seeking to destroy ancient British culture, Bale even makes its preservation a benchmark for the English national character he outlines in the Journey, a nation predicated upon the willingness of its members to print and preserve writings both pre- and post-Saxon alike. Certainly anyone who seeks actively to destroy historical documents need not apply for Bale’s brand of English national identity. Writing of the ‘wyttie writers’ 45 46

Schwyzer, Archaeologies of English Renaissance Literature (Oxford, 2007), pp. 36–71. The idea that the Tudor English were concerned to memorialise and identify with ancient British culture forms the thesis of Schwyzer’s Literature, Nationalism, and Memory.

23

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who wrote in England as well ‘undre the Saxo[n]s, Danes, & Norma[n]nes’ as ‘vndre the Romane Emprours’ (ie before the Saxon invasion), Bale turns attention to the biblioclasts of his own generation, condemning their disregard for learning. A fylthy bastarde is he to Englande, and a moste cruell enemy to all good lernyng, that wyll now obscure their names and destroye their workes, to the landes perpetuall dyscommodyte. As some vnnaturall children haue done now of late, to serue their pryuate affeccyons more than the commen welthe. (sigs C7r–v)

For Bale, being English depends on what you do, not on who you are, on your attitude to learning, not on your ethnographic identity. The link between ethnography and national identity is of course implicit in the Latin root of ‘nation’ (from natio, or birth), and in the above quotation Bale pays lip-service to this relation between family and nation by imagining England as a mother, both of legitimate and illegitimate children. It is precisely through this use of prosopopoeia, though, that Bale parts company with the idea of Englishness as an ethnographic category, for ‘Mother England’ is here a friend ‘to all good lernyng’, her ‘legitimate’ children the ‘wyttie writers’ of history, whether of British, Saxon, Danish, or Norman descent. Bale’s generation too can claim kinship with Mother England, providing they, like Leland and Bale, take steps to safeguard the collective cultural heritage that Mother England represents. Such a lover of learning is the unnamed letter-writer who first asked Bale to publish Leland’s antiquarian research, ‘for the necessary knowledge of all men touchynge Antiquitees’. It is a letter from which Bale quotes at length in his preface to the Journey, the anonymous writer’s concern to preserve the ‘olde authors’ that Leland ‘hath gathered together into hys lybraryes’ clearly illustrative for Bale of how a ‘natural’ Englishman should behave (sig. B5v). ‘Thus am I not alone in opynyon concernyng Johan Leylande and such other for Antiquitees sake’, Bale writes with reference to the letter-writer, ‘but haue so manye more with their good willes to assiste me as naturallye fauoreth Englande’. (sig. B6r) Englishness, as Bale defines it, is an identity theoretically available to all lovers of learning, past and present, who had lived, or were living, within the geographical area of Britain known to Bale and his contemporaries as ‘England’. It is a national identity that cuts across ethnic groups as it cuts across history, its membership including ancient Britons, Saxons, Danes, and Normans – as well as the Tudor English themselves. Yet in the Journey, Bale does divide the sheep from the goats, the lovers of learning from the ‘bastarde’ biblioclasts, and it is a division he draws on distinctly 24

Introduction

confessional lines, accusing especially of destroying these ‘lyuelye memoryalles of our nacyon’ (sig. A7v) the ‘ydle headed prestes’ and ‘masmo[n]gers’ of the Roman Catholic Church (sigs B2r–v; B1v). In his ‘conclusyon’ to the Journey, Bale talks of past tyrants whose infamy was based, not only on their cruelty to people, but on their cruelty also to books (see sig. E7v). Bale lists the tyrants who had earned for themselves this ‘double note of tyranny’, among them Antiochus IV, defiler of the Second Temple in Jerusalem; Herod, the infanticide; and the Emperor Diocletian, whose persecutions of the early church are recorded in Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History (completed 324), the acknowledged model for Foxe’s Actes and Monuments.47 The first (1563) edition of Actes is dedicated to Elizabeth I, and in his epistle to the Queen, Foxe compares himself to Eusebius, the sufferings of the English church under Mary I to the ordeals of the early church under Diocletian.48 This comparison works tacitly to identify Elizabeth with Constantine the Great, who by extending tolerance to Christians in his Empire had put an end to the Diocletian Persecution, in much the same way as the Elizabethan Religious Settlement had ended the deaths of English Protestants under Mary I, by reversing the heresy laws that had allowed Mary to send around 290 men and women to their deaths between 1555 and 1558.49 But Foxe was not just meaning to flatter Elizabeth by this comparison between the religious persecutions in Tudor England on the one hand, and the Eastern Province of the ancient Roman Empire on the other. Also implicit here is a comparison between the religious convictions of the persecuted, between the beliefs of the English Protestants who suffered under Mary Tudor, and those held by the early Christians who perished under Diocletian. The whole of the Actes and Monuments (from the 1570 edition onwards) is in one sense merely an extension of this comparison between the patristic and English Protestant churches, a history of ‘English’ Protestantism, from Diocletian through to Mary I. By identifying as proto-Protestants the early Christians under Diocletian, Foxe took the long view on the confessional divisions of his day, rooting the Elizabethan 47

48 49

Antiochus IV also appears as iconoclast in Faerie Qveene, Book I, v.47, 8–9, where in the House of Pride lay ‘proud Antiochus, the which aduaunst | His cursed hand gainst God, and on his altars daunst’. (The Faerie Qveene, ed. A. C. Hamilton, rev. Hiroshi Yamashita and Toshiyuki Suzuki (Harlow, 2001), p. 80). John Foxe, Actes and Monuments (London, 1563), sigs B1r–2v. The late medieval heresy laws (5 R. II, st. 2, c. 5; 2 Hen. IV, c. 15; 2 Hen. V, st. 1, c. 7), reinstated in 1554–55 (1 and 2 Phil. and Mary, c. 6), were under Elizabeth immediately repealed, in the first act of the Elizabethan Settlement, 1 Eliz. I, c. 1. The number executed under these laws, in the three years between their reinstatement and repeal, has been estimated by Ann Weikel, ‘Mary I’, in DNB, XXXVII, pp. 111–24 (p. 121).

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church in a Protestant tradition as old as Christianity itself.50 From this perspective, then, Mary Tudor joined Diocletian in the long line of tyrants intent on undermining the ‘true’ Protestant church, and in its place upholding the power of those ‘popyshe bellygoddes’, the bishops of Rome (Journey, sig. A8r). Persecution also shaped Bale’s experience of Protestantism, and in the Journey he too turned to the example of Diocletian to give adequate expression to his outrage at enormities visited on books and other ‘lyuelye memoryalles’ in the England of his day. Setting aside his persecution of actual Christians, Bale writes that ‘the moste spyghtfull acte of the seyd Dioclecyane’, was his destruction of their books, a fact that Gildas Badonicus muche lamenteth in hys worke of the destruccyon of Brytayne, declarynge how he in the open streetes there, brent all the scriptures & godlye writynges that myghte anye where be founde.51

Gildas Badonicus was a British monk and writer of De excidio Britanniae [The Ruin of Britain], an account of sub-Roman Britain written in the late sixth century, at the time of the Saxon adventus into Britain.52 Bale, on the other hand, was an English ex-monk, editing the Laboryouse Journey almost a millennium after Gildas’s death. Bale’s affinity with this ancient British bibliophile nevertheless spans the historical and ethnic divide, its ties seemingly far stronger than those which bound Bale to some at least of his fellow inhabitants of early Tudor England. Benedict Anderson imagined ‘a deep, horizontal comradeship’ that binds national communities cohabiting a given space and time (p. 7). Bale’s own ‘deep comradeship’ lay buried deep in ancient British soil, while conversely his ‘horizontal’ community excluded some of his closest living neighbours. Bale writes how Gildas had lamented the destruction under Diocletian of ‘scriptures & godlye writynges’. The term ‘godly’ enjoyed a distinct Protestant inflection throughout the sixteenth century, and Bale’s use of this word with reference to Gildas is clearly deliberate, part of Bale’s wider strategy here to impose on Gildas, and on the ancient British church for whom Gildas 50

51 52

See Florence Sandler, ‘The Faerie Queene: An Elizabethan Apocalypse’, in The Apocalypse in English Renaissance Thought and Literature, ed. C. A. Patrides and J. Wittreich (Manchester, 1984), pp. 148–74 (pp. 158–60). Sigs E7v–8r; cp. Gildas, The Ruin of Britain, and other works, trans. Michael Winterbottom (London, 1978), p. 19. ‘Badonicus’ is a toponymic referring to the siege of ‘Mons Badonicus’, from around the time of which Gildas dates his birth. The date of the siege is disputed. Gildas claims to have been forty-three when he wrote De excidio. See François Kerlouégan, ‘Gildas’, in DNB, XXII, pp. 223–25 (p. 223).

26

Introduction

spoke, the Protestant beliefs that Bale shared with those other members of his ‘nacyon’, who ‘naturallye fauoreth Englande’ and her antiquities. We have already seen how Foxe identified the experience of English Protestants under Mary I with that of the early Christians under Diocletian. Gildas gave a peculiarly British inflection to the Diocletian Persecutions, his account of saints Alban, Aaron, Julius, and the other British martyrs who had suffered under Diocletian recorded in chapters nine to eleven of De excidio Britanniae.53 By identifying with Gildas, Foxe and Bale were able to root English Protestantism, not only in early Christian, but in specifically ancient British soil, in a church existing prior to Augustine’s arrival in England, and founded (so Bale alleges) in ‘the Apostles tyme by Joseph of Arymathie’ [i.e. Joseph of Arimathea] (sig. C8r). In so doing, these writers brought the full weight of history to bear on papist criticisms that the English church was simply a shrewd political manoeuvre, the means by which Henry VIII had been able to ‘divorce’ Catherine of Aragon and re-marry Anne Boleyn. First developed in his Image of both Churches (1545), Bale historicised the confessional divisions between Protestant and Catholic that grew out of the English Reformation, branding Catholicism the Saxon innovation while rooting English Protestantism in the ancient British church.54 Foxe wrote in praise of the English (and ancient British) men and women burnt alive for their ‘Protestant’ beliefs; Bale wrote to condemn the burning in early Tudor England of books and manuscripts, ‘the Antiquytees of thys oure Englyshe or Bryttyshe nacyon’ (sig. B3v). In the Journey, Bale rejoices that England had in Edward VI a truly godly king, a king whose heart ‘is clerelye auerted from the cruell Haman of Rome, and from hys dysgysed tormentours that so gredyly sought the innocent bloude of hys people’ (sig. F3r). But while Edward’s people might be safe, England’s books were certainly not. According to Bale, Edwardian England had many a Diocletian, all too willing to destroy its chronicles, histories, and ‘godlye writynges’ to boot. Now that Protestantism is under Edward restored to England, Bale writes, ‘that rable of papystes careth not now what becometh of thys realme’. ‘They muche reioyce whan the honour therof turneth to destruccyon, as in thys decaye of lybraryes’ (sigs F3r–v). By likening the destruction of books in Tudor England with Diocletian’s campaign systematically to destroy both the scriptures and practitioners of 53 54

Gildas, pp. 19–20. Glanmor Williams, ‘Some Protestant Views of Early Church History’, in his Welsh Reformation Essays (Cardiff, 1967), 207–19; Schwyzer, Literature, Nationalism, and Memory, pp. 90–96.

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early Christianity, Bale imparts a pointedly Protestant dimension to his campaign to preserve English and ancient British histories and chronicles. For Foxe, the books and bodies that Diocletian put to the torch together represent a chapter in the troubled history of the English Protestant church. Bale’s books also form part of that Protestant tradition, also tell the story of a persecuted church. Those who, like Bale, seek to preserve the books, or ‘lyuelye memoryalles of our nacyon’, do so, not only out of a love of learning, but out of a desire to preserve what Bale saw as England’s Protestant heritage, a heritage with its roots in the ‘godlye writynges’ of Gildas’s ancient British church. Bale’s ‘nacyon’, then, was not just a learned society, or community of antiquarians. Bale’s nation was the English Protestant church in history, the body of believers memorialised in works like Leland’s de uiris illustribus. It was a community living and dead; a writing community, and a community written about. History books were for this community as important as ‘the scriptures of the Byble’ and the martyrs who bore witness to Protestant readings of the Word (sig. C2v). Without them, the English Protestant church would slip its historical moorings, to emerge every bit the new-fangled heresy that the Counter-Reformation Catholic church was actually accusing it of being. Protestantism was a religion of the Word; yet for Bale, it was only by rooting Protestantism in history that Protestant readings of the Word acquired their power to convince. The history that Bale sought to safeguard was in effect a history of a community whom Bale believed had read the Bible in the way he and his fellow Protestants were reading the Bible in the England of Bale’s day. ‘In the middest of al darkenesse, haue some men by all ages, had the liuynge sprete of Goddes chyldre[n]’, Bale writes in the Journey, ‘what though that wycked Jezabel, the Romyshe churche [has] most cruelly sought their bloud’ (sig. C1v). These lights in the darkness together form the history that Bale is so anxious to conserve; they, Bale, and his fellow antiquarians are the English Protestant church around which Bale builds his idea of ‘nacyon’. It would, however, be wrong to imply that Bale identifies all Protestants as bibliophiles, all papists as Diocletian-like biblioclasts. Bale does (albeit rather grudgingly) acknowledge the part played by ‘popysh monkes and prestes’ in permitting books ‘a dwellynge place in their lybraryes’. Although admittedly buried ‘amonge wormes and dust’, the monks’s neglect of books in those ‘ydle tymes’ was at least more preferable to the enormities of the early Tudor present, Bale writes. Nowadays, he continues, ‘we’ seek actively to destroy our books; ‘we will not suffre them to abyde wythin our lande, but [...] sende them ouer the see, neuer to returne agayne’ (sig. E7r). Bale has no sympathy with papists, but nor is he 28

Introduction

naive enough to assume that Edwardian England is in reality the nation of book-loving Protestants he would like it to be. Bale’s fellow countrymen include many a prodigal son, papist, and Diocletian intent on destroying the books and libraries of England. These countrymen, however, are quite distinct from Bale’s ‘nacyon’ of fellow bibliophiles, those who ‘naturallye fauoreth Englande’, and who exist alongside, and in many cases lie beneath the feet, of the ‘we’ who inhabit ‘our lande’. So as Bale’s brand of Englishness excludes papists, it also excludes the many professed Protestants inhabiting early Edwardian England. It was something of a pastime among the Edwardian evangelical elite to condemn those Englishmen who, ‘pretending a zeal thereto in their lips, and not in their hearts [...] live after their own pleasure, like epicures’.55 If this ‘pretended zeal’ for Protestantism was anywhere near as rife in Edwardian England as some Protestant preachers were concerned to make out, then we should certainly not be surprised to find so many of Bale’s fellow Englishmen inhabiting the hinterland between the ‘monkes and prestes’ on the one hand, and the members of Bale’s bibliophile, Protestant nation on the other. By the time the Journey was printed in 1549, all Englishmen would theoretically have had access to at least one of the three versions of the English Bible – the Coverdale, Matthew, and Great Bibles – that had been circulating in England ever since James Nicolson first placed the Coverdale Bible in his Southwark bookshop early in 1536 (see below, pp. 127–29). Although Henry VIII had in 1543 prohibited Bible-reading for all but a minority of his subjects, Bible-reading was again allowed, indeed encouraged, under Edward VI, a move met with enthusiasm by members of England’s evangelical elite. As it had in the later 1530s, so under Edward VI Protestant England once again placed its hopes in the English Bible. Once again, however, the Bible failed to deliver. God’s Word appeared quite simply unable to convert a nation who ‘pretended zeal’ for Protestantism into a nation who were Protestants at heart. By 1549, Thomas Cranmer had conceded that England was full of hypocrites, who ‘with words approve’ the Bible message, but who in their ‘living clearly reject it’.56 The Journey also tells this tale of expectations unfulfilled. Within it, Bale paints England as a nation ‘unnatural’ in its rejection, not only of the scriptures, but of the English and ancient British chronicles to boot. After all, Bale writes, these

55

56

These words are taken from Cranmer’s sermon, preached at St Paul’s, 21 July 1549. See The Works of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1556, ed. John Edmund Cox, 2 vols, Parker Society Publications, 12, 24 (Cambridge, 1844–46), II, pp. 190–202 (p. 197). Works of Cranmer, II, 198.

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‘moste olde and autentycl Chronicles of our prouynce’ contained within them as much ‘wholsome veryte’ as was ‘to be sought in the scriptures’ themselves (sig. C2v). Those who destroyed the chronicles, who used their pages ‘to scoure theyr candelstyckes’ and ‘rubbe their bootes’ (sig. B1r), did deeds no less heinous than did Diocletian, who in Gildas’s lifetime had destroyed the ‘scriptures & godlye writynges’ of ancient Britain. Books were burning in Bale’s England as they had in Gildas’s Britain – and like Gildas before him, so Bale sat down and wept. In the royal entries that form the focus of Chapters One and Two, England is imagined as an empire that stands apart politically from Wales and the rest of Britain, but which is rooted culturally in the world that Geoffrey of Monmouth creates – the world of Constantine, Arthur, and the ancient British conquest of Rome. The texts discussed in Chapters Three to Five also root England in ancient British culture, but it is to Gildas, rather than to Monmouth, that their particular conception of England is indebted. Monmouth tells a tale of conquest, of a time when all Europe was reputedly under the sway of British emperors like Constantine and Arthur. Gildas writes of Britain’s ruin, of its conquest by the Romans. Britain rules Rome in Monmouth’s account; in Gildas’s, Rome crushes Britain. Monmouth’s heroes are conquering emperor-kings, Gildas’s the saints who suffer death under Diocletian. De excidio Britanniae, then, is a tale of quiet endurance in the face of crushing defeat, and this defeat is by Gildas cast as divine retribution for the sins of the ancient Britons, about whom Gildas might with Bale’s contemporary Thomas Cranmer have said that they ‘with words approve’ the Bible message, but in their ‘living clearly reject it’. Both Gildas and De excidio are mentioned by Bale in the Journey, but Gildas also influences the Journey in more fundamental ways than this, for like Gildas in De excidio, Bale’s focus in the Journey is on destruction – a destruction caused as much from within as from without the English church under Edward VI, as much by those who ‘pretend a zeal’ for Protestantism as by those who look beyond Edward VI to the Bishop of Rome. Rome in Gildas stood for the enemy without, but it was the enemy within, the ‘ungodly and impious’ Britons themselves, whom Gildas’s narrative makes clear were the true cause of Britain’s ruin under the Romans. For Bale too, the English have only themselves to blame for their reputation abroad as a ‘Barbarouse nacyon’ (sig. C5r). Neglect of England’s histories and chronicles was bad enough in the era of the ‘superstycyouse monasteryes’ (sig. A7v), Bale writes, but the atrocities that accompanied their dissolution under Henry VIII ‘hath made an ende both of our lybraryes and bokes’ (sig. A8r). All this, too, at a time when Englishmen really should have known better; a 30

Introduction

time when, with Bibles available in churches across the country, all Englishmen should have understood how highly the ‘buylders of lybraryes [are] commended in the scriptures’ (sig. A8v). Chapters Three to Five trace changing attitudes toward the English Bible, in two pamphlets and two plays written between 1536, the year the Coverdale Bible first came on sale in England, and 1553, by the end of which year Mary I had renounced her claims to the title ‘supreme head’ of the English church, the first step in the process that eventually saw England reunited with the Church of Rome, on 30 November 1554.57 The year 1536 is notable also for the great rebellions that spread across north-east England towards the end of that year. If they stood for anything, the Lincolnshire Uprising and Pilgrimage of Grace stood for the political and religious status quo, both movements objecting to the recent spate of reforms in church and state. It was in direct response to these uprisings that Richard Morison wrote his two pamphlets against rebellion, the Lamentation and Remedy for Sedition, which together form the focus of Chapter Three. Both pamphlets address the rebels directly, and in so doing both make use of prosopopoeia, a rhetorical device which ‘maketh [the] commonwealth to speake’, writes Henry Peacham, by giving physical embodiment to a political community – in this case to the nation of England.58 We have already seen how Bale makes use of prosopopoeia in the Journey. In that text, Bale’s England is a mother with both natural and unnatural children, and around this question of legitimacy Bale constructs a Protestant nation, built around the desire to memorialise the English Protestant church in history. Morison also imagines England as a mother, and in the Lamentation England addresses the rebels as her illegitimate children, while the true sons of Morison’s England turn out also to be ‘trewe subiectes’ to that ‘mooste noble and prudente prynce kynge HENRY the, VIII’.59 Morison’s England acts as mouthpiece for these subjects obedient to Henry VIII, his Break with Rome, and his right to reform the English church; in the Remedy for Sedition, England also speaks for the readers of the Coverdale Bible, a readership whose support for Henry’s headship of the church comes part and parcel of their evangelical beliefs – for scripture itself, so William Tyndale had written in The obedie[n]ce of a Christen man (1528), was said to command obedience to kings. Like Bale in the Journey, Morison imagines England as a Protestant nation, a nation of 57 58 59

For the 1553 dating, see David Loades, Mary Tudor: A Life (Oxford, 1989), p. 217. Henry Peacham, The Garden of Eloqvence (London, 1593), pp. 136–37. A Lamentation in VVhiche is Shevved what Ruyne and destruction cometh of seditious rebellyon (London, 1536), sigs A4r–v.

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Bible-readers whose respect for the Bible guaranteed their obedience to the king. That the Bible would have significant impact on English political allegiances and religious beliefs was something Bale himself had assumed in the later 1530s. In King Johan Bale echoes Morison’s pamphlets by casting in this play a character called ‘England’, a mother figure who, like Morison’s, embodies the English Bible-reading community. The earliest version of King Johan is dateable to 1538. This was the year Thomas Cromwell had commanded churchmen to purchase for their congregations a copy of the Great Bible, and the chapter reads the play in relation to these momentous events for the English laity and the English evangelical movement. In King Johan, Bale too makes Bible-reading the basis of English national identity. With Bibles about to become available in every parish church, the play looks forward to the establishment in England of a truly national community of Bible-readers, obedient both to God and the King. Bale’s optimism was short-lived, for in 1543 the King forbade most of his subjects to read that Bible which only five years earlier he had specifically sanctioned for their use. Upon his accession, Edward VI immediately revoked the laws prohibiting Bible-reading, and restored the Great Bible to its place in church. Nicholas Udall had been as optimistic about the restoration of the Great Bible in 1547 as Bale had been about its publication eight years beforehand. In his preface to the English translation of Erasmus’s Paraphrase (1548), Udall imagines England as a second Israel – a land flowing, not only with ‘mylke and honey’, but with ‘the free exercise of Goddes moste holy woorde’.60 Those who attended court during Mary’s first Christmas as queen in 1553 may also have attended the court performance that Christmas of Nicholas Udall’s play Respublica. Udall’s authorship of the play is disputed, not least because critics have had difficulty reconciling the play’s overt criticism of Edwardian England with Udall the editor of Erasmus’s Paraphrase, and enthusiast (in his preface to the Paraphase) for Edwardian religious reforms. Respublica is the subject of Chapter Five; within it, I offer a different reading of this Marian play, one that reconciles Udall’s authorship of Respublica with the play’s criticism of the Edwardian regime. It relates these criticisms to a mainstream Protestant tradition that since 1549 had sought actively to attack Edwardian government policy, in sermons preached before Edward VI and his court. 60

The first tome or volume of the Paraphrase of Erasmus vpon the newe testamente, ed. Nicholas Udall (London, 1548), sig. a6v.

32

Introduction

Preachers like Hugh Latimer and Thomas Lever had used the court pulpit in Lent 1549 and 1550 as a site from which to launch scathing attacks on England’s political elite and their programme of social reforms, reforms which to their mind simply veiled economic self-interest behind a thin veneer of Protestant zeal. Their extant sermons echo Bale’s own disillusionment in the Journey with the extent of England’s apathy towards the Protestant faith, its histories and chronicles, and its Bible. With a focus on Udall’s Respublica, Chapter Five explores England’s culture of apathy, from the point of view of the Edwardian preachers and playwrights who wrote to condemn it. Respublica, I argue, stages the demise of that promised land flowing with ‘the free exercise of Goddes moste holy woorde’ about which its author had written so enthusiastically five years earlier, in his preface to the Paraphrase. As Gildas had approached the ruin of sub-Roman Britain as divine retribution for the sins of his fellow Christians, so in Respublica Udall casts Mary I as Nemesis, the goddess of revenge come to redress Edwardian England’s complete lack of Protestant zeal. In the 1522 entry, England is likened to the Arthurian empire, reborn under Henry VIII; in Respublica, Udall identifies England with its Protestant church, a church whose members, Udall freely admits, are few and far between, surrounded as they are by the hypocrites and timeservers whose faith exists in word, not deed. Chapters One and Five represent extremes of the two very different ways of imagining England that are respectively the subject of this study’s two parts, with Part One exploring texts that identify England with its king, Part Two texts that identify England with its church. Whereas the entries of 1522 and 1533 each proclaim England an empire on the basis of its king’s descent from past British emperors, Morison, Bale, and Udall all turn to the Bible for evidence that the king of England has a right to his imperial crown – a right, that is, to rule over the English church, independently of Rome. This evidence they embody in a person – Mother England – who stands in for the English Protestant community of Bible-readers, and who speaks, not for the king, but for a community who consent to the Royal Supremacy on the basis that it comes with scriptural authority attached. Through their use of prosopopoeia, these writers seek to popularise the Royal Supremacy, not by demanding that Englishmen accept the king’s claims on pain of their allegiance as subjects, but simply by representing in the person of Mother England a Bible-reading community that has already given its free consent to these claims. These rhetorical communities constitute evidence, I argue, that there existed in early Tudor England a ‘national consciousness’, or 33

Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature

imaginative distance between crown and country, king and commonwealth. It is important to underline here how far the aims of this rhetorical nation, this imagined political community, were compatible with the aims of ‘empire’, with the absolutist claims made by Henry VIII: Morison, Bale, and Udall all imagined England as a political community apart from the crown, but in fact they did so the better to support Tudor imperial policy. For those critics who date to the eighteenth century ‘the dawn of the age of nationalism’ (to quote Benedict Anderson), nations and empires are mutually exclusive political categories, with the former the result of political revolutions that sought (metaphorically, and sometimes literally) to cut the heads off absolutist monarchs. Constitutional monarchies are not incompatible with the nation as Anderson defines it; absolutist kings certainly are. A tyrant like Henry VIII, with pretensions to absolute, imperial rule, would without question be persona non grata in any of Anderson’s modern-day nation-states. Henry coveted an imperial crown, and this study is about how writers found ways to accommodate his desire for absolute rule, how they went about transforming England into the empire Henry always believed it to be. The writers whose texts form the subject of this study all share a central concern with Tudor England’s self-image as ‘an Empire off hitselff’, but in what follows I argue that the need to write an empire was in the sixteenth century by no means incompatible with the ability to imagine a nation. The sort of rhetorical nations represented in early Tudor texts gave voice to a national consciousness that not only coexisted with, but actually gave support to Henry’s will to absolute power. England under the Tudors may have imagined itself an empire, but it was an empire mediated through the rhetoric of nationhood.

34

Part I EMPIRE Where by dyvers sundrie olde autentike histories and cronicles it is manifestly declared and exp[re]ssed that this Realme of Englond is an Impire […] gov[er]ned by oon Sup[re]me heede and King. Appeals Act (24 Hen. VIII, c. 12)

1 ENGLAND’S EMPIRE APART: THE ENTRY OF CHARLES V AND HENRY VIII (1522)

T

HE ENTRY into London of Charles V and Henry VIII took place on the evening of Friday 6 June 1522. According to Edward Hall’s account, Charles and Henry rode side-by-side in identical ‘Coates of Clothe of Golde, embraudered with Siluer’, and they were serenaded on their way towards Southwark by Sir Thomas More, who ‘made to theim an eloquent Oracion, in the praise of the twoo princes, and of the peace and loue betwene theim’.1 The procession met with the first pageant at the gate to London Bridge, which was flanked with the two giants Hercules and Samson. Between them they held aloft an iron chain, upon which was listed the lands and dominions over which Charles ruled as Emperor-elect. The list is included in the anonymous Descrypcion of the pageantes, a second, slightly variant account preserved on six manuscript folios contemporary with the entry, and now bound into Corpus Christi College Cambridge, MS 298.2 The second pageant had been erected on London Bridge itself. It depicted the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece. According to Hall, the armed figure of Jason stood behind the Golden Fleece and was flanked by the ‘fiery Dragon’ (sig. QQq6v) that legend has Phrixus deploy to guard the fleece, and by a ‘fayre mayde representyng the lady Medea’ (sig. RRr1r), the sorceress who helped Jason defeat the dragon and seize the fleece. A child

1 2

Edward Hall, The vnion of the two noble and illustrate famelies of Lancastre & Yorke (London, 1548), sigs. QQq6r–RRr2v (sig. QQq6v). ‘Descrypcion of the pageantes made in the Cyte of London att the recevyng of the most excellent pryncys Charlys the fyfte Emperour, & Henry the viij. kyng off englonde’, CCCC, MS 298, II, 8, pp. 132–42. An abridgement is printed in Robert Withington, English Pageantry: An Historical Outline, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA, 1918–26; repr. New York, 1963), I, pp. 174–79.

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explained to the Emperor that his coming to London had brought as much joy to its residents as had been brought to the citizens of Colchis by Jason’s conquest of the Fleece. From London Bridge, Charles and Henry rode through streets lined on their left-hand side by the livery companies, and on their right by the clergy, until they arrived at the third pageant at the Gracious, or Gracechurch Street Conduit. The author of the Descrypcion writes that Charlemagne was here depicted investing actors playing Henry and Charles with ‘ij swerdys and .ij. Crownys imperyall off gold’ (p. 135). According to Hall, Charlemagne had invested Charles with the sword of justice, Henry with the sword of triumphant victory. The fourth pageant had been erected outside the Leadenhall. It measured thirty-eight by eighty feet, and according to the Descrypcion consisted of a genealogical tree growing out of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and showing that Charles and Henry ‘doo descende and com[e] lynially owt off the howse off englonde from the seide Joh[a]n off gawnte’ (p. 136). Turning left onto Cornhill, the procession met with the fifth pageant at the Conduit. A pageant castle had been constructed across the street, with two towers emblazoned with the arms of England and the Empire, and filled with musicians playing on trumpets, shawms and sackbuts. Between them sat the ‘emprow[er] kynge Arthur w[i]t[h] a crowne imperiall’, writes the author of the Descrypcion, and ‘w[i]t[h] the rownde table before hyme’ (p. 138). After a child had compared the Emperor to Arthur, the procession passed on its way to the Cornhill Stocks. This depicted England as an earthly paradise, encompassed with ‘water full of Fyshe’, and ‘full of Roses, Lyllies & all other flowers curiously wrought, and byrdes, beastes and all other thynges of pleasure’, writes Hall (sig. RRr1v). According to the Descrypcion, the island was peopled with mechanical images of Charles and Henry bearing swords, which swords were cast away when Charles, Henry, and the rest of the procession approached. The two images then ‘embrasede eche other in tokennyng off love and pease’ (p. 139), and an image of God finally appeared above the stage to bless the peace-makers beneath him. A rose opened at the Great Conduit, Cheapside, to reveal ‘a goodly yong mayden’ inside (p. 140), who offered a white and red rose to Charles and Henry respectively. The scene was watched over by ladies representing the four Cardinal Virtues, Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance, each in one of four towers, and a child prayed that God might give the Emperor grace enough ‘to defende the trew cristen people agaynst the infidelys’ (p. 140). At the Standard in Cheapside was a second genealogical tree, this time tracing the lineage of Charles, Henry, his wife Catherine of Aragon, 38

England’s Empire Apart

and their daughter, the Princess Mary, to Alfonso the Wise, the thirteenthcentury king of Castile. The ninth and final pageant had been erected at the Little Conduit, Cheapside. Against the backdrop of a pageant heaven, with sun, moon, and stars shining, it enacted the Assumption of the Virgin, which according to the Descrypcion was ‘meruelous goodly co[n]veyde by a vyce and a clowde openyng w[i]t[h] Michael and Gabriel angellys knelyng and dyuers tymes sensyng’ (p. 142). Angels and the twelve apostles were joined on stage by Saints George and John the Baptist, and by a host of English saints – the Archbishops Dunstan and Thomas Becket, Bishop Erkenwald of London, and Kings Edmund and Edward the Confessor. Choristers sang psalms and hymns, and minstrels played the ‘swetyst musyke thatt cowed be devysede’ (p. 142). Charles and Henry then alighted in front of St Paul’s, and after hearing mass they continued on horseback to the Emperor’s lodging at Blackfriars. Charles visited England in summer 1522 to reaffirm his and Henry’s commitment to war with Francis I. Charles, who disputed Francis’s claims to Milan and Genoa, had since summer 1521 been attempting to win control over French-occupied northern Italy. In two treaties, signed August and November 1521, Henry had agreed to help the Imperial cause in exchange for a marriage alliance between Charles and the Princess Mary. Henry and Charles finalised the details of their combined assault against Francis in a third treaty, signed at Windsor on 16 June 1522, and it was as confederates in this war against the French king that they had entered London together just ten days beforehand on 6 June. Writing to his secretary Jean de la Sauche the day after the entry, Charles spoke of the ‘magnificent reception’ that he and Henry had received in London, and of the ‘solemn and costly pageants’ that had been erected in their honour; he also spoke with enthusiasm about Henry’s commitment to war with France. ‘A great number of English troops have already crossed to Calais to join the Emperor’s’, Charles reported, and ‘the King has also prepared a good army by sea, which will join the Emperor’s in eight days’.3 The entry was therefore occasioned by Charles and Henry’s confederacy against Francis, and it occurred against the backdrop of their preparations for a combined assault on the French king. The articles of the Angloimperial treaties attempt to justify this war with France by casting Charles and Henry as crusaders in a holy war against heresy, Francis as the heretic that this holy war aimed to suppress. This rhetoric also influenced the presentation of Charles and Henry in the pageants of the 1522 entry, and

3

LP, III.ii (1867), 977–78 (p. 977).

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this chapter explores the ways in which the entry echoes the Angloimperial treaties by presenting the campaign against Francis as a crusade against heresy. Apologists for Charles V had encouraged Charles to undertake a crusade against the Turk as part of his role as Holy Roman Emperor, and they had anticipated that the Emperor would through these holy wars establish a global empire on earth. This relationship in Habsburg apologetics between empire and crusade also finds reflection in the 1522 entry, which not only presents Henry and Charles as crusaders in a holy war with France, but which by virtue of their confederacy also identifies Henry alongside Charles as an emperor in his own right. Both Charles and Henry are invested with imperial crowns on the stage of the Gracechurch Street pageant; both are at the Cornhill Stocks identified with the pax Christiana that their joint crusade against Francis was expected to establish on earth. The rhetoric of the Anglo-Imperial alliance casts Charles and Henry as crusaders in a holy war with France, and in the entry they share the same role as emperors and crusaders alike. This chapter explores these parallels between the presentation of Charles and Henry as emperors on stage, but it also argues for a difference between the Habsburg and Tudor ideas of empire at this time. The title of emperor was originally devised for Charlemagne by Leo III, to reward his diligence in defending Leo’s position as pope against detractors at the Lateran who had tried to depose him in AD 799.4 Before acceding to the Frankish throne in AD 768, Charlemagne had pledged, alongside his brother, Carloman, and father, Pepin III, to protect the papal church as part of the ‘Donation of Pepin’, concluded AD 754. In recognition of this, Pope Stephen II chose to confer upon Pepin III and his sons the title patricius Romanorum, which ‘implied an imprecise obligation to serve as protector of Rome and the Romans’.5 Leo III’s subsequent decision to elevate Charlemagne to the imperial office was related to this, his role as defender of the Roman church. The title of emperor served to bestow upon Charlemagne a pre-eminence over other kings that would otherwise have been inadequately conveyed by Charlemagne’s existing title of ‘Patrician of the Romans’. Charlemagne’s successors to the imperial crown were also expected to defend the integrity of Christendom, and the ecclesiastical supremacy of the pope’s role within it as vicar of Christ. It was from this responsibility to protect the church that each emperor derived his political

4 5

ODP, pp. 97–99. NCE, III, pp. 421–28 (p. 421).

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power as ‘lord of Christendom, universal and omnipotent, the terrestrial agent of the divine Emperor, God’.6 The election of Charles V to the office of Holy Roman Emperor in June 1519 allied the German imperial principalities to the Habsburg duchies in Austria that Charles had in January of that year inherited from his paternal grandfather, Emperor Maximilian I. These territories enlarged Charles’s already extensive patrimony, encompassing the Burgundian territories, most of which Charles had directly inherited in 1506 from his father, Philip the Fair; the kingdoms of Castile and Navarre; and the Castilian conquests in the New World and along the North African coast. When his maternal grandfather, Ferdinand of Aragon, died in 1516, Charles was additionally bequeathed the kingdoms of Aragon, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia.7 So large was the landmass over which the newly-elected Emperor Charles V held sway that his contemporaries drew comparison between it and the Western Province of the ancient Roman Empire. Charles’s colonial possessions in the New World even went beyond these ancient Roman frontiers. The sheer scale of Charles’s empire gave concrete realisation to the nominal pretensions to world supremacy that he had inherited as one of the successors of Charlemagne to the title of emperor. Its size was no accident, wrote apologists at the court of Charles V, but served to identify Charles as the instrument of providence for the establishment of Christian peace on earth. ‘God the creator has given you this grace of raising you in dignity above all Christian kings and princes’, Charles’s grand chancellor Mercurino de Gattinara informed him, ‘by constituting you the greatest emperor and king who has been since the division of the empire’.8 Not since Constantine the Great himself, Gattinara here implies, has the empire that Constantine divided into its Eastern and Western Provinces witnessed so superlative an emperor as now appears in the person of Charles. Gattinara writes in Responsiva oratio that the empire under Charlemagne, or Charles the Great [Carolo magno], had remained divided because overrun by enemies of the Christian religion. He looks forward to the time when Charles V – Charles the Greatest [Carolo

6 7 8

NCE, VII, pp. 42–44 (p. 42). Frederick Barbarossa was the first emperor to style himself Dominus mundi [lord of the world]. William Maltby, The Reign of Charles V (Basingstoke, 2002), pp. 6–31. ‘Historia vite et gestorum per dominum magnum cancellarium’, ed. Carlo Bornate, Miscellanea di storia Italiana, 48 (1915), 233–568 (pp. 405–06). Translated in John M. Headley, ‘The Habsburg World Empire and the Revival of Ghibellinism’, in Theories of Empire, 1450–1800, ed. David Armitage, An Expanding World: The European Impact on World History 1450–1800, 20 (Aldershot, 1998), pp. 45–79 (p. 50).

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Maximo] – would succeed in reuniting the empire under the obedience of Christ.9 Like Gattinara, Charles’s confessor, Bishop Antonio de Guevara of Guadix, was also concerned to identify Charles as the global overlord ordained by providence to oversee the institution of Christian peace on earth. In his treatise El Relox de Principes, written between 1518 and 1524 and translated as The Diall of Princes in 1557, Guevara declares that God himself ‘willeth that there be but one Monarchyall kynge, and lorde of the worlde’, and that the designs of providence in this respect have converged in the person of Charles V.10 ‘For although your imperial estate is much, and your catholike perso[n]ne deserueth more’, Guevara writes to Charles, ‘your thoughtes are so highely bent vnto aduenturous deedes, & your harte so couragious to set vppon them, that your maiestie litle estemeth the inheritaunce of your predecessours, in respect of that you hope to gayne, to leaue to your successours’ (sig. b4r). For Guevara, Charles is intent on conquests beyond the contours of his already extensive empire. Guevara writes that he would applaud such ‘valiaunt deades’ if ‘warre is iustly begonne’ (sigs b3r–v), and his criteria for ‘just war’ are expounded later on in the Diall. ‘I commend, approue, and exalte princes,’ Guevara writes, ‘whiche are carefull and stoute, to keape and defende that, whiche their prodecessours lefte them’ (sig. K1r). Guevara here condones the defence of territories already acquired, but condemns conquest beyond these existing frontiers. His caveat of the ‘just war’ would seem in this respect to condemn the ‘aduenturous deedes’ of conquest to which he believes Charles aspires. In fact, as Lisa van Hijum has suggested, Guevara’s willingness to applaud wars of self-defence ‘provides a theoretical justification for Charles’s crusading politics’.11 This loophole allowing conquests undertaken in the name of crusade lies behind the crusading rhetoric of the Anglo-imperial alliance against France, concluded in 1521, and celebrated the following year in the London entry of Charles V and Henry VIII. The conflict between the Valois and Habsburgs arose from their rival claims to the duchies of Milan and Genoa.12 Louis XII of France seized Milan in 1499, but had been forced to surrender it to papal and Aragonese 9 10

11

12

Cited in Headley, p. 71, n. 15. The Diall of Princes: Compiled by the reuerende father in God, Don Anthony of Gueuara, Bysshop of Guadix, trans. Thomas North (London, 1557), sig. k1v. For the dating, see Guevara’s ‘Argument’ (sigs B6r–C2v). ‘Charles V and his Ideal: One Emperor, One Empire’, in The Propagation of Power in the Medieval West, ed. Martin Gosman, Arjo Vanderjagt, and Jan Veenstra, Mediaevalia Groningana, 23 (Groningen, 1997), pp. 129–42 (p. 138). Maltby, pp. 32–37; NCE, III, 430.

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forces in 1512. Immediately after his accession in 1515, Louis XII’s successor, Francis I, chose to re-invade Milan and annex Genoa. Habsburg claims to northern Italy followed Charles’s election to the Imperial office in 1519. Gattinara proposed strategic reasons for annexing Milan and Genoa, identifying northern Italy as a land corridor to link Habsburg territories in northern and southern Europe. His interests in the region were heightened by belief in the spiritual centrality of the Italian peninsula to the global empire Gattinara claimed Charles would establish on earth.13 Possessed with this sense of Milan’s two-fold importance as the spiritual heartland and strategic hub of the Habsburg Empire, Gattinara began in 1520 to negotiate a confederacy with the pope that would compel the French to retreat from northern Italy. Francis I reacted to rumours of this papalimperial alliance with a series of pre-emptive attacks in summer 1521 against Castilian Navarre and Charles’s Burgundian territories. The outbreak of war led to English involvement in autumn 1521 as arbiter between France and the empire at the Conference of Calais. Henry VIII had pledged perpetual friendship with Francis I in the Universal Peace Treaty of 2 October 1518, celebrated in June 1520 at the Field of Cloth of Gold.14 This bound England to side with France in its present conflict with the empire, and Henry VIII certainly paid lip service to the ideals enshrined in the 1518 treaty, sending Cardinal Wolsey to Calais with instructions to seek a truce between Charles V and Francis I. Yet Wolsey’s role as peacemaker was but a smokescreen for more underhand objectives. In fact, Wolsey went to Calais to negotiate a marriage between Charles V and the Princess Mary, and to offer as dowry the full support of England in the emperor’s quarrel with France.15 The Anglo-imperial alliance would shatter the pax Christiana that the 1518 Treaty of Universal Peace had sought tentatively to construct. In Querela pacis, first published in December 1517, Erasmus condemns ‘the disgraceful and frivolous pretexts’ that ‘Christian princes find for calling the whole world to arms’. Speaking of conflict between Christian nations, Erasmus laments that ‘the English are hostile to the French, for no other reason than that they are French’. ‘How can something so trivial weigh 13 14

15

Headley, pp. 59–68. LP, II.ii (1864), 1372–73. The treaty also included Leo X, Maximilian I, and Charles I of Spain as the other principal confederates. For its relation to the Field of Cloth of Gold, see Joycelyne G. Russell, The Field of Cloth of Gold: Men and Manners in 1520 (London, 1969), pp. 1–21; Sydney Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry, and Early Tudor Policy (Oxford, 1969), pp. 124–69. LP, III.ii, 585. For Wolsey’s embassy, see Greg Walker, John Skelton and the Politics of the 1520s (Cambridge, 1988), pp. 72–100.

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more with people than so many natural ties, and so many bonds in Christ?’, he asks. This pacifist appeal to the reconciliation of conflict within Christendom echoes the unitary rhetoric being promulgated at this time by Pope Leo X. Addressing Christian princes, Erasmus alludes to the fact that ‘great Leo, peacemaker and lover of peace, has raised his standard with a general call for peace, proving himself a true vicar of Christ’.16 For Leo X, peace in Christendom constituted a necessary prerequisite for crusade against the Ottoman Empire. In his letter to Henry VIII of 2 July 1517, Leo encourages Henry to take up arms against the Turk.17 Leo’s plea echoes an earlier appeal to Henry VIII made by Francis I, who according to the Venetian ambassador Sebastian Giustinian had written to Henry in January 1516 to suggest he ‘muster an army and march on the Infidel’. Far from countenancing Francis’s call to arms against the Turk, writes Giustinian, Henry had threatened to ‘go to war with France’, unless Francis stopped supporting the renegade Duke of Albany in his bid for the Scottish throne.18 ‘Why is this evil passion not let loose upon the Turks?’, Erasmus asks. Why are there ‘unholy conflicts’ within Christendom, but no holy war against the ‘common enemy’ without? By identifying a cause around which Christian nations can unite, Erasmus concludes that such a crusade would itself produce the pax Christiana that Leo X was hoping to establish in Europe.19 The clauses of the Treaty of Universal Peace reiterate the idea, espoused by Erasmus and Leo X, that peace in Christendom will lead to crusade against the Turk. This treaty committed England and France to just such a crusade, as principal confederates in an alliance supported by Leo X, the future Emperor Charles V, and his grandfather, Emperor Maximillian I.20 It seemed Henry was at last heeding the written advice of Leo X and Francis I. In a letter dated 5 October, the Venetian Signory instructed Giustinian to congratulate Henry VIII on his alliance with France, to resolve whether ‘the King of England purposes mentioning the Signory in any league against the Turks’, and, if so, ‘to represent to the King the readiness of the State to act for the benefit of the Christian commonwealth’.21 Writing to report the proclamation of Universal Peace at St Paul’s, Giustinian doubts if Venice would ever be asked to uphold its pledged commitment to crusade. His letter questions whether the elevated rhetoric of the Universal 16 17 18 19 20 21

CWE, XXVII (1986), pp. 289–322 (p. 305, p. 315, p. 321). CSP (Venetian), II, 396–97. CSP (Venetian), II, 279–80. CWE, XXVII, 314. CSP (Venetian), II, 467–68. CSP (Venetian), II, 463–64.

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Peace accompanied any concrete resolve to carry out the planned crusade. ‘After […] an elegant oration’, Giustinian recounts, the King, the Cardinal of York, and the French ambassadors proceeded to the high altar, where the articles of the peace were read, and sworn by both parties, but in a tone audible only to themselves, which was tantamount to their having cancelled the words of the preamble concerning the expedition against the Turks.22

The confederates of the Universal Peace never carried out their proposed expedition against the Turk. With the conclusion in autumn 1521 of the Anglo-imperial alliance against France, it seemed that Christendom was by this time on the brink of another ‘unholy conflict’, another war with itself. The crusading rhetoric of the Universal Peace nevertheless reappears in the clauses of the Anglo-imperial treaties of August and November 1521. The first treaty, signed at Bruges on 25 August, commits England and the empire to a combined offensive against France, beginning March 1523. Each confederate was to mobilise twenty thousand infantrymen and a ten-thousand-strong cavalry for a two-pronged assault upon northern France and its Italian dependencies. The second treaty, concluded at Calais on 24 November 1521, reiterates these resolutions, which were reaffirmed in the Treaty of Windsor, concluded on 16 June 1522 as part of Charles V’s visit to England.23 Each of these treaties bears a stylistic resemblance, both to each other, and to the preamble of the Treaty of Universal Peace. This preamble had itself echoed Querela pacis by identifying in crusade a common cause around which Christendom can unite. The clauses of the Anglo-imperial treaties similarly speak of holy war, but it is one directed, not at the Turk, but at the king of France. These treaties undermine the pax Christiana that the Universal Peace had aimed to establish, even as they appropriate its unitary rhetoric of crusade. The third article of the Treaty of Bruges mobilises the spiritual arm of Leo X alongside the armies of England and the empire, the sixth binds the Pope to issue bulls of interdiction against France. The seventh article alludes to the traditional office of the emperor as protector of the papal church, an office that the tenth article also extends to Henry VIII, in his role as confederate of the emperor in their ‘holy war’ with France. It condemns Francis as a heretic, and states that for this reason

22 23

CSP (Venetian), II, 462–63. LP, III.ii, 620–21, 760–61, and 983–84.

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‘it shall be lawful for the Pope, Emperor and king of England to turn their arms against the enemies of the Christian faith’.24 The Anglo-imperial treaties thus appropriate the crusading rhetoric of the Universal Peace, and they do so to identify Francis alongside the Turk as an ‘enemy of the Christian faith’. The treaties present an ‘unholy conflict’ with Francis as a holy war against heresy, and so pass off the Anglo-imperial alliance as part of Charles and Henry’s continuing commitment to the common cause of crusade. In a letter of 9 June 1522 to his secretary Jean de la Sauche, Charles V wrote from London about the ongoing success of the imperial campaign against Francis in Milan and Genoa, and about Henry VIII’s determination ‘to send still more men to Calais, to join the Emperor’s’. ‘Thus you will see the good condition in which we have set the affairs of the Church that were in danger’, Charles concludes.25 But for imperial apologists like Antonio Guevara, it was the emperor, and the emperor alone, whose role it was to protect the church against heretics and infidels. Guevara believed that Charles V would under the banner of ‘holy war’ establish himself as emperor of a global pax Christiana, that he would colonise in the name of crusade, rule the world the better to defend the faith. This relation between colonialism and crusade had been anticipated as early as 1516 in the iconography of the device commissioned that summer from the Milanese humanist Luigi Marliano to celebrate Charles’s recent accession (on 23 January 1516) to the crown of Aragon. Marliano’s device first appeared in October 1516, on Charles’s seat at the eighteenth chapter of the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece, the first chapter to be held since Charles’s coming of age in January 1515, and so the first over which Charles, in his majority as Duke of Burgundy, would preside as master. A panel containing a version of this painted device survives from the nineteenth chapter, convened at Barcelona in March 1519, in anticipation of Charles’s election to the imperial office that June. It consists of twin columns, each on islands circumvented by water. In between the columns is depicted a fire-steel and flint with a spray of sparks.26 According to Rosenthal, the fire-steel and flint refer back to the late-fourteenth-century device of the crusader John the Fearless, which depicted a carpenter’s plane and spray of wood shavings, and later

24 25 26

LP, III.ii, 620–21 (p. 621). LP, III.ii, 978–79; Maltby, pp. 34–35. The panel is reproduced in Earl E. Rosenthal, ‘The Invention of the Columnar Device of Emperor Charles V at the Court of Burgundy in Flanders in 1516’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 36 (1973), 198–230 (plate 31a).

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the sparks struck by the fire-steel and flint, in recognition of his pledge in 1396 to reduce the forces of Islam ‘little by little’. His son, Philip the Good, institutionalised his father’s crusading resolve by founding the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1430, for the purpose of defending Christendom against infidel attack.27 Marliano incorporated the sparks of John the Fearless in the device he designed for Charles as Master of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Rosenthal argues that by accepting this device, Charles ‘meant to recall the pledge of 1396 and to present himself as the descendant who would fulfil the sacred vow to retake the Holy Land’ (p. 205). The iconography of Charles’s device anticipates his commitment as emperor to the cause of crusade, and it is this relation between empire and crusade that Marliano chose to emphasise in the sermon he delivered before the eighteenth chapter of 1516. In this sermon, Rosenthal writes, Marliano had ‘envisioned a global empire, larger and more powerful than any previously known, under a single Christian ruler – the new Master of the Order of the Golden Fleece’ (p. 223). Marliano compares the onus of the imperial office being prepared for Charles with the burden of the tasks assigned to the legendary Hercules, and in so doing he alludes to the other element of Charles’s device, the twin columns that legend has Hercules place at the Straits of Gibraltar. These columns functioned in legend to delimit the western-most boundaries of the classical world. Their inclusion in Charles’s device alongside the crusading connotations of the fire-steel and flint identified Charles as the new Hercules who would redefine the contours of Christendom through crusade against the Turk. The device implies that Charles will as master of the Order of the Golden Fleece take up arms against the Ottoman Empire, and it celebrates the fact that in so doing he will ‘expand Christian rule’, writes Rosenthal, ‘ “beyond the Columns of Hercules”, east and west, to the ends of the earth’ (p. 230). We have seen how the Anglo-imperial alliance reflects this rhetoric of crusade by identifying Francis alongside the Turk as the ‘common enemy’ of Christendom. The rhetoric of the 1521 Bruges treaty was also echoed in the third article of the Treaty of Windsor, concluded 16 June 1522. This talks of an expedition against the Turk, but claims this can only be undertaken once peace has been established in Christendom. It was the ambition of Francis I that was undermining this pax Christiana, the article contends, and so England and the empire were therefore planning to wage holy war against Francis, to suppress his ambition and establish peace on earth.28 It 27 28

Rosenthal, pp. 199–211. LP, III.ii, 983–84.

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was in order to sign the Windsor Treaty that Charles visited England in 1522; like the treaty itself, the pageants that marked his entry into London on 6 June also spoke the language of conquest and crusade. Imperial apologists had identified Charles as a world ruler by virtue of his role as defender of the church. How did England’s participation in the emperor’s holy war impact upon Charles’s self-image as lord of the world? In his letter of 9 June 1522, Charles had affirmed ‘the good condition in which we have set the affairs of the Church that were in danger’. This letter involves Henry in the emperor’s crusade; might Henry also share with Charles the fruits that come from his defence of the church? Might he share with Charles the title of emperor, even the claims to world rule? That the Anglo-imperial alliance did in fact undermine the hierarchy upheld by imperial apologists between the emperor and other kings is implicit earlier on in Charles’s letter of 9 June 1522. ‘On the 6th entered London in great triumph,’ he writes, ‘not only like brothers of one mind, but in the same attire’.29 Like the alliance it celebrates, the 1522 entry presents this ‘unholy conflict’ with France as a holy war against heresy, casting Henry alongside Charles in the role of defender of the church. I want to argue that in so doing the rhetoric of the entry is also concerned to re-cast Henry as an emperor-king. We will see that Henry enters London alongside the emperor as a defender of the church, and that by virtue of this role he enters as an emperor in his own right, as an emperor of England. Aside from the accounts in Hall’s Vnion and the anonymous Descrypcion of the pageantes, two other documents associated with the 1522 entry are today extant. The London aldermen commissioned Latin verses from William Lily to accompany six of the nine pageants performed as part of the entry, and an anonymous English translation of these was printed with the Latin text in a pamphlet produced by Richard Pynson in 1522.30 Lily’s Latin verses were reprinted, with minor textual variants and deviations, in Hall’s Vnion. Hall omits Lily’s Latin Acclamatio to the emperor, and reproduces these verses without attribution to Lily.31 An anonymous and apparently contemporary draft-plan of the pageant sequence was reprinted from 29 30

31

LP, III.ii, 978. Of the tryu[m]phe/ and the v[er]ses that Charles themperour/ & the most myghty redouted kyng of England/ Henry the. viii. were saluted with/ passyng through London ([London], [1522]). For Lily’s commission, see C. R. Baskervill, ‘William Lily’s Verse for the Entry of Charles V into London’, The Huntington Library Bulletin, 9 (1936), 1–14 (pp. 3–4); Anglo, pp. 187–88. Jean Robertson, ‘L’Entrée de Charles Quint a Londres, en 1522’, in Fêtes et Cérémonies au Temps de Charles Quint, ed. Jean Jacquot (Paris, 1960), pp. 169–81 (pp. 172–73).

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an unidentified source in Lord Somers’s Tracts (1748). Entitled ‘The Entry of Charles I. into London’, it contains descriptions of each pageant, with some comments on their significance.32 The accounts in Hall and the Descrypcion are substantially consistent with each other, although there is a significant discrepancy in their descriptions of the seventh pageant at the Great Conduit, Cheapside. Both accounts describe a quadrant-shaped castle, with walls emblazoned with escutcheons depicting the arms and devices of England and the empire. The Descrypcion goes on to relate that a rose descended from the castle to reveal a maiden inside, whereas this detail is omitted in Hall. According to Hall, the four Cardinal Virtues stood in each of the four towers of the castle. In the Descrypcion, they stand at the castle gate.33 The account of this seventh pageant in the ‘Entry of Charles I’ agrees with the anonymous Descrypcion against Hall’s variant account, although its account of the second pageant on London Bridge, and of the eighth pageant at the Standard, diverge in other respects from both Hall and the anonymous Descrypcion. It is in this respect difficult to assess which of the accounts in the Vnion and Descrypcion is the more reliable, and the following discussion is sensitive to the discrepancies between each. The author of Pynson’s Tryumphe is concerned neither to describe the pageants, nor to transcribe the ‘prouerbes many folde’ that, he asserts, were ‘subtilly conueyed/ at eche place’ along the pageant route. ‘Why shulde one write/ that eche man with his eye¦Dyd welbeholde and se’, he asks (sig. A2r). The author translates Lily’s Latin verses into ‘rude englysshe’, verses spoken by children ‘in dyuers places’ along the entry route, but which had been intelligible to ‘fewe or none’ of the Londoners who had witnessed the entry (sigs. A2r–v). The first to be translated is Lily’s acclamation ‘To the moost highe and mighty emperour Charles’. ‘God gyue the grace/ long luckely to raigne’, Lily writes. That thou mayst with thy shelde of hye iustyce/ The christen people/ fortyfie and sustayne Agaynst false enemyes who alway deuyse Us to enuade/ after a moche cruell gyse Moores/ sarazins/ turkes/ people without pyte By thy mighty power/ subdued nowe may be. (sig. A3v)

32 33

A Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts, 2nd edn, rev. Walter Scott, 13 vols (London, 1809–15), I, pp. 32–33. Vnion, sig. RRr1v; cp. Descrypcion, p. 140.

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As had other apologists for Charles V, so Lily too equates colonialism with crusade, in this eulogy mapping the emperor’s ambitions to world rule onto his role as defender of Christendom. ‘With thy prowes Charles lyke a conqueroure¦The vnyuersall worlde/ thou doost illustrate’, Lily asserts (sig. A3v). For Lily, as for Guevara and Gattinara, it is the unprecedented size of the Habsburg Empire that identifies Charles as he whom God has ordained to establish Christian peace on earth. ‘Of Europe Charles/ the riche and great pusaunce’, Lily writes, kyngdomes/ cyties/ and townes without semblaunce Reioyse manyfolde/ to obey vnto the And that thou shuldest/ their lorde and captayne be. (sig. A3v)

The ideological consonance between Lily on the one hand, and Guevara and Gattinara on the other, occurs on the level of their common identification of Charles as a world ruler by virtue of his role as champion of the universal church. Other pageants in the entry also present Charles as defender of Christendom and Dominus mundi alike. Charles and Henry rode westwards from St George’s Bar and met the first of nine pageants in front of London Bridge. This was one of the three pageants for which no verse had been commissioned from Lily. Hall writes that the pageant was peopled by two giants, who respectively represented Samson, ‘with the Jawe bone of an Asse in his hande’, and Hercules, who held in his ‘a mightie Clubbe’. These figures bore a tablet between them, ‘in the whiche’, writes Hall, ‘was written in Golden letters, all the Emperours Stile’ (sig. QQq6v). Instead of a writing-tablet, the Descrypcion describes an iron chain, upon which ‘the namys off all the landys and domynyons wher the emperour is kyng and Lorde’ were similarly written in letters of gold, ‘in tokennyng thatt the emperour is able to holde all those domynyons by pour and strengyth as the seyd gyauntys holde the same cheyne by pouer and strengyth[e]’ (p. 133). This comparison between Hercules’s physical strength and Charles’s political power alludes to the iconography of Charles’s personal device. By incorporating the Herculean Columns into this device, Marliano had meant to imply that the Habsburg Empire was in size conterminous with the geography of the antique world. The device positions these columns on either side of a fire-steel and flint, elements associated with the Order of the Golden Fleece, and emblematic of its commitment to crusade. The entry likewise incorporates allusion to Hercules and the Order of the Golden Fleece. The subject-matter of its first two pageants seems deliberately imitative of the iconography of Charles’s device. The position of Hercules before London Bridge frames allusions to the Order of the Golden Fleece 50

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contained in the second pageant on the bridge itself, just as Charles’s device uses the Herculean Columns to frame the fire-steel and flint. The ‘Entry of Charles I into London’ describes Hercules and Samson positioned ‘at either side of the gate’ to London Bridge, over which the procession passed on its route from Southwark to Gracechurch Street.34 As they approached these two giants, therefore, Charles and Henry would have glimpsed the second pageant, which according to Hall was positioned ‘in the middes of the Bridge’ itself (sig. QQq6v). ‘Upon the draw-bridge’, the ‘Entry’ asserts, ‘shall be one pageant of Jason with the golden fleece; because the emperor giveth the golden fleece, as the king of England doth give the garter’.35 The allusions in this pageant to the legend of Jason at Colchis clearly point to the Order of the Golden Fleece over which Charles presided – and point moreover to the Order’s commitment to crusade. From the perspective of Charles and Henry as they processed towards London Bridge, these first two pageants were arranged in such a way as immediately to invite comparison with the iconography of Charles’s device. His device frames with the Herculean Columns the emblem of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and viewed in perspective from the south-side of London Bridge, these first two pageants similarly flank allusion in the second pageant to the legend of the Golden Fleece with the legendary figures of Hercules and Samson in the first. This resemblance could not have been purely coincidental, but suggests a conscious borrowing by the pageant devisers from Habsburg Imperial iconography. The fifth pageant, at the Cornhill Conduit, consisted of a mock castle with two towers, each emblazoned with the arms of England and the Empire. In between these towers, writes the author of the Descrypcion, a palace had been constructed, where satte the ryght noble and victorious emprow[er] kynge Arthur w[i]t[h] a crowne imperiall in complett harnes and a swerde in hys hande w[i]t[h] the rownde table before hyme. Whiche was accompanyed w[i]t[h] all the noble prynces that were vvnder his obeisaunce […] Also ther was a childe goodly apparelde whiche saluted the emprow[er] in laten v[er]sis laudyng & resemblyng hym in noblenes to the seyd Arthur. (p. 138)

An English translation of this child’s address to Charles V is printed in Pynson’s Tryumphe. It compares ‘the fame of worthy Arthure’ (sig. A5r) as a military conqueror with the similar reputation for war-like deeds enjoyed 34 35

Collection of Tracts, I, 32. Collection of Tracts, I, 32.

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by King David among the Israelites, Hannibal among the Carthaginians, Alexander the Great among the Greeks, and Cato (‘the Censor’) among the Romans.36 It is against the backdrop of this panoply of military heroes that Lily subsequently foregrounds the military prowess of Charles V himself. He foresees that Charles will through battle establish a pax Christiana on earth, an event that Lily relates directly to the Emperor’s role as champion of the church. So thou Charles/ thou Cesar armypotent Shalt cause thy fame and honour for to blowe Ouer all the worlde/ from Eest to Occydent That all folkes thy worthynesse shall knowe For the we shall to the hygh god/ our knees bowe Prayeng hym to sende the/ the hygh victory That peace in erthe/ may raigne unyuersally. (sig. A5r)

‘From Eest to Occydent’ here defines the compass of the empire that Lily expects Charles to establish on earth, and here too Lily’s verse looks to the iconography of Charles’s personal device. The columns with which Hercules had defined the western-most frontiers of the ancient world serve in this device to imply a point of departure from which the emperor could expand westwards, building on his existing Caribbean colonies to make conquests in South America itself. Yet while the Herculean Columns look westwards, they are in Charles’s device accompanied by the fire-steel and flint, which look eastwards towards the Ottoman Empire, inasmuch as they signal Charles’s commitment to crusade. Lily too looks in both directions, anticipating under Charles V a ‘peace in erthe’ that is the product both of conquest and crusade. The stagecraft of the entry therefore echoes propaganda produced at the court of Charles V, identifying the emperor with his role as defender of the Church, and mapping his role as crusader onto his colonial ambitions in Europe and beyond. This emphasis in the entry on the importance of the emperor’s role in bringing about Christian ‘peace in erthe’ is a far cry from the Treaty of Universal Peace, which pledged to establish the pax Christiana through a co-operative crusade involving all the major European powers. In a letter dated 5 June 1517, Erasmus had downplayed the

36

Lily’s reference to ‘Cato’ could refer to either of two Roman statesmen named Marcus Porcius Cato, but given the military context it is most likely that the reference is here to Cato ‘the Censor’, who according to Plutarch boasted in 196 BC that he had captured more towns than he had spent days in Spain. See Alan E. Astin, Cato the Censor (Oxford, 1978), pp. 28–50 (p. 47).

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importance of the empire, arguing that it existed ‘more in name than in reality’, and that ‘the world will not greatly feel the absence of such a monarch if Christian princes are united in concord among themselves’. The majesty of the ancient Roman Empire had ‘gradually faded in the brilliant light of the Gospel, as the moon fades before the brightness of the sun’. ‘Whether that ancient empire should be restored as it was once, is an open question’, Erasmus contends. ‘For my part’, he continues, ‘I do not think any intelligent man would desire this […] so far is it from seeming right to defend and revive an institution which for many centuries now has been largely outdated and non-existent’.37 Erasmus’s identification of the waning moon with the decline of empire implies allusion to the medieval commonplace of comparing the Roman church to the sun, the Holy Roman Empire to the moon.38 This comparison, first made by Pope Innocent III, in the context of the twelfth-century Investiture Struggle, is derived from the hierarchy between sun and moon in Genesis 1.16.39 Innocent interpreted Genesis 1.16 to mean that the temporal power borrows authority from the spiritual power in the same way as the moon borrows light from the sun. In Monarchia, Dante rejects this idea that the hierarchy between sun and moon can be taken as precedent for papal supremacy over the empire. Dante represents emperor and pope as equals, as the respective temporal and spiritual arms of Christendom.40 Erasmus eclipsed the majesty of the empire, encouraging all Christian princes to co-opt in a holy war against the Turk. Dante, by contrast, upholds the emperor of his day, Henry VII, as Dominus mundi, or lord of the world; his imperial ideology anticipates that espoused by apologists for Charles V like Guevara and Gattinara. ‘Furthermore’, writes Dante in Monarchia, the world is ordered in the best possible way when justice is at its strongest in it. Thus Virgil, wishing to praise the age which seemed to be emerging in his day, sang in his Eclogues: ‘Now the Virgin returns, the reign of Saturn returns’. For ‘the virgin’ was their name for justice, whom they also called ‘Astraea’; the ‘reign of Saturn’ was their name for the best of times, which they also called ‘golden’. Justice is at its strongest only under a monarch; therefore for the best ordering of the world there must be a monarchy or empire. (p. 23) 37 38

39 40

CWE, IV (1977), pp. 373–83 (pp. 381–82). See Dante, Monarchia, trans. Prue Shaw, Cambridge Medieval Classics, 4 (Cambridge, 1995), pp. xxvii–xxviii; Frances A. Yates, Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century (London, 1975), p. 10. NCE, VII, 42–44. Monarchia, pp. 107–13.

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Virgil’s vision in his fourth eclogue of a world restored to the peace and justice of the antique Golden Age is here likened to the age of Christian justice that Dante looks to the Holy Roman Emperor to establish on earth. Like Dante, Guevara also identifies imperial government as the best arena for the exercise of justice, and he too personifies imperial justice in the person of Astraea. Guevara writes that ‘betwene. 2. of the Zodaicall signes (Leo, and Libra) is a virgine named iustice: the whiche in times paste dwelled amonge men in earth, and after she was of them neclected, she ascended vp to heauen’ (sig. F4r). Following Virgil, Guevara asserts that the ‘olde worlde that ran in Saturnes dayes (otherwyse called the golden worlde)’ (sig. b6v) will be re-established on earth with the return of Astraea, this ‘virgine named iustice’ whom Guevara, like Dante, embodies in the Emperor of his day. ‘It is a great matter, that Prynces be pure in lyfe, and that theyr houses be well ordered, to the ende that theyr iustyce be of credyte’, Guevara admonishes Charles V. ‘For he whiche of him selfe is vntrustye, there is small hope, that an other at hys handes shoulde haue iustice’ (sig. F5r). In the political geographies of Dante and Guevara, it is the emperor – whether in the person of Henry VII or Charles V – who exercises justice single-handedly over a global Golden Age of Christian peace, a world restored to the justice that in Virgil’s fourth eclogue is embodied in the goddess Astraea. Guevara maps the antique Golden Age onto the empire of Charles V, something seen also in the sixth pageant of the 1522 entry, where the emperor appears on stage against a backdrop evocative of the Golden Age described by Virgil and Ovid. The sixth pageant at the Cornhill Stocks is unusual in two respects. It is one of the three pageants in the entry for which no verse was commissioned from Lily, and yet is also the only pageant in the sequence that has been identified as the work of a particular person, that of the London printer John Rastell.41 Both Hall and the Descrypcion give accounts of the pageant, and it is from the more detailed of these accounts, that of the Descrypcion, that I quote: Also att the Stockys ther dyd stand a pageaunte off an ylonde betokenyng the Ile off englonde compassede all abowte w[i]t[h] water made in siluer and byce lyke to waves off the see and rockys ionyng therto watelde abowte w[i]t[h] roddys off siluer and golde and wythyn them champion[e] contrey: mountayns and wooddys where were dyuers beste[s] goyng abowte the mountayns by vyces, and dyuers maner off trees herbys and flowres, as roses, dayses, gyloflowres, daffadeles and other so craftely

41

See Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry, and Early Tudor Policy, pp. 196–97; Baskervill, p. 4, n. 1.

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With its superabundance of flora and fauna, the geography of this ‘champion[e] contrey’ transforms the ‘Ile off englonde’ into the idylls of Ovid and Virgil. As this ‘Ile off englonde’ overflows with species of ‘trees herbys and flowres’, so ‘flowers [flores]’ likewise ‘sprang unplanted [natos sine semine]’ in the everlasting spring that Ovid describes.42 ‘The earth herself, without compulsion, untouched by hoe nor ploughed by plowshare, of herself gave everything [Ipsa quoq[ue] immunis: rastroq[ue] intacta: nec ullis | Saucia uomeribus: per se dabat omnia Tellus]’, Ovid asserts (fol. 8r). The production of crops without prior cultivation is not only a feature of the bygone era Ovid describes, but of the future idyll that Virgil foresees. Addressing the child who will be born to Astraea, and under whom a ‘golden race [gens aurea]’ will emerge on earth, Virgil prophesies that the earth ‘herself pours out for you a cradle of tempting flowers [ipsa tibi blandos fundent cunabula flores]’.43 In the ‘Ile off englonde’, it is Charles V who is cast into the role that Virgil here assigns to the son of Astraea. ‘And att the co[m]myng off the emprow[er] the bestys dyd move and goo, the fisshes dyd sprynge, the byrdes dyd synge reioysyng’, the Descrypcion recounts (p. 139). In this pageant, it continues, ther were ij goodly ymages one in a castell lyke to the emprow[er] in visage, and the other in an herbar wyth rosys lyke to the kynge[s] grace with ij swerdys nakyd in ther handys. Whiche castell, garden, and the ymages dyd Ryse by a vyce. The ymages dyd beholde eche other, and then cast away ther swerdys by a vyce, and w[i]t[h] another vyce ioyned eche to other and embrasede eche other in tokennyng off love and pease. (p. 139)

An ‘ymage off the father off hevyn all in burnyd golde’ (p. 139) appeared at this point above the stage, to praise the peace between England and the empire that is here betokened by the fact that both Charles and Henry discard their swords on stage. Written about this image of God were the words in Latin of the seventh Beatitude from Matthew 5.9, which the Descrypcion translates as ‘blessed be they thatt be the peaseable people for they shallbe callyd the very children off godde’ (p. 139). The swords that these images of Charles and Henry cast aside would have reminded the

42 43

Metamorphoseos Libri moralizati cum Pulcherrimis fabularum principalium figuris [Lyon, 1519], fol. 8r. ‘Ecloga IIII. Pollio’, in Virgil, Opera (Paris, 1532), sigs B2v–4v (sig. B3r).

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emperor and king, as they rode past this pageant at the Cornhill Stocks, of the swords with which actors playing their parts had been invested by the Emperor Charlemagne on the stage of the third pageant at the Gracechurch Street Conduit. Hall comments that a small fortress with three towers had been constructed at this Conduit. ‘In the middle tower’, he writes, was a clothe of estate, vnder whiche sat one representyng the Emperor, and in the third tower represe[n]tyng the kyng. And Charlemagne hauyng ii. swordes gaue to the Emperor the sworde of Iustice, and to the kyng the sworde of triumphant victory, & before him sat the Pope to whom he gaue the croune of thorne & thre nayles. About this pagiant were sette all the armes of the electors of thempyre. (sig. RRr1r)

Hall then transcribes, without authorial acknowledgment, Lily’s Latin verse for this pageant. The Tryumphe translates the first stanza as follows: Charles clere lampe/ of christen nacyon Of the it is spoken/ playnly in writyng Of great Charles/ to haue generacyon And eke thou Henry/ our souerayne lorde and kyng Thy great laude of swete virtue/ so bright shinyng Highe doctryne/ wysdome faythe/ and relygion Dothe excell the fortune/ of kynges echone. (sigs A4r–v)

Justice was for Guevara identifiable with the goddess Astraea, and in the Diall of Princes, Guevara had likened Charles V to Astraea’s son, his empire to the Golden Age that her son was destined to re-establish on earth. As deviser of the ‘Ile off englonde’, Rastell also casts the emperor into the role that Virgil had forecast for the son of this ‘virgine named iustice’. Charles’s role as embodiment of justice is reinforced by the fact that Rastell has the on-stage figure of the emperor hold a sword reminiscent of the ‘sworde of Iustice’ with which Charles had been invested at the Gracechurch Street Conduit. Yet whereas Dante and Guevara had identified the empire – and the empire alone – with the justice embodied in the goddess Astraea, Rastell does not focus exclusively in the ‘Ile off englonde’ on the emperor’s role as agent of justice. He also emphasises England’s instrumentality in bringing about the Christian Golden Age that the ‘Ile off englonde’ represents. Henry’s role as the emperor’s confederate in their ‘just war’ with Francis I is acknowledged by God himself, whose image in the ‘Ile off englonde’ appears in response to Charles and Henry’s embrace, and whose blessing identifies both confederates as ‘the peaseable people’ and ‘very children off godde’. It is also acknowledged in the placards that according 56

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to the Tryumphe were posted ‘at euery pagiant’ in the entry (sig. A3r). The same two verses were ‘writen in letters of golde’ upon every placard: ‘Carolus Henricus uiuant. Defensor uterq[ue] | Henricus Fidei. Carolus Ecclesiae’. A rather free translation is provided in the Tryumphe: God saue noble Charles/ and pusant kynge He[n]ry And gyue to the[m] bothe: good helth/ lyfe/ & long The one of holy churche defender right mighty The other of the faithe/ as cha[m]pions moost strong. (sig. A3r)

Charles and Henry, then, are both described as defenders, of the church and faith respectively. The placard celebrated the recent conferment upon Henry of the title ‘Fidei Defensor [Defender of the Faith]’, promulgated by Leo X in a bull dated 11 October 1521; it also sought to impress upon Charles that he and Henry were co-equals in their pretended ‘crusade’ against France, that far from being the emperor’s subordinate, Henry was like Charles a defender and champion of Christendom, like Charles charged with the task of cleansing Christendom of its ‘Turks’.44 The implications of England’s confederacy with the empire for the power relation between Henry and Charles is most marked on the stage of the Gracechurch Street pageant, as this pageant is described in the Descrypcion. This account differs somewhat from Hall’s, agreeing with Hall’s description of a tripartite stage peopled with Charlemagne, the pope, and actors playing Charles and Henry, but departing from Hall in its account of the gifts that Charlemagne gave to the emperor and king. ‘In the myddys’ of this pageant, the Descrypcion asserts, stood Charlemagne ‘holdyng in his hande ij swerdys and .ij. Crownys imperyall off gold, offeryng oon[e] to the emprow[er] and the other to the kyng[es] grace’ (p. 135). Hall writes that Charlemagne had at Gracechurch Street invested Charles and Henry with the swords of justice and triumphant victory respectively, but according to the alternative account in the Descrypcion, Charlemagne had also conferred imperial crowns upon the emperor and king. In the ‘Ile off englonde’, Rastell casts Henry alongside Charles as the son of Astraea, in recognition of England’s instrumentality in the crusade that promised to establish on earth the Christian Golden Age presented on stage. The 1522 entry invites its audience to read colonialism into its rhetoric of crusade, to see the ambitions of empire behind the myth of Astraea. As Henry and Charles were both defenders of the church, so both are by Rastell identified with Astraea’s son; both play their part in a Golden 44

Vnion, sig. PPp6v; Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry and Early Tudor Policy, pp. 173–74.

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Age that since Dante had been caught up in a discourse of empire. Rastell’s Golden Age imagery contains this tacit suggestion that Henry, as a crusader and son of Astraea, is as much an emperor as the emperor himself; this is made explicit at Gracechurch Street, where, according to the Descrypcion, Charlemagne conferred ‘Crownys imperyall’ upon Charles and Henry alike. Apologists for Charles V had celebrated the size of his empire, anticipating its further expansion beyond the Columns of Hercules to the four corners of the world. This expansionism found echo in the 1522 entry, where in his acclamation Lily compares Charles to ‘the vnyuersall worlde’, and at the Cornhill Conduit upholds Charles as a ‘Cesar armypotent’, whose fame will blow ‘ouer all the worlde/ from Eest to Occydent’. If it is the crown of this universal empire that Charlemagne confers upon the emperor at the Gracechurch Street pageant, then what sort of empire might the imperial crown that is here bestowed upon Henry betoken? Charles’s aspirations to world rule are in the entry related to his role as defender of the church. Does Henry too aspire to world rule as the emperor’s confederate in crusade? Does his imperial crown signal colonial ambitions beyond the realm of England? An imperial crown was again conferred upon Henry VIII in the Appeals Act, passed eleven years after the 1522 entry in April 1533. ‘Where by dyvers sundrie olde autentike histories and cronicles’, the Appeals Act began, ‘it is manifestly declared and exp[re]ssed that this Realme of Englond is an Impire […] gov[er]ned by oon Sup[re]me heede and King having the Dignitie and Roiall Estate of the Imperiall Crowne of the same’. Philip Grierson sees this term ‘Imperiall Crowne’ as a shorthand for describing the new, more extensive political powers that the Appeals Act invested in Henry VIII. The act made Henry ‘Sup[re]me heede’ over both the English church and state, over a political body divided ‘in termes and by names of Sp[irit]ualtie and Temporaltie’.45 In the rhetoric of the Royal Supremacy, then, the term ‘Imperiall Crowne’ stands for Henry’s newfound claims to empire in, or authority over, the English church; but the Royal Supremacy statutes were also accompanied by images of Henry wearing an actual imperial crown. The first of Henry’s great seals predates the Royal Supremacy and depicts Henry wearing the circlet-shaped open crown. Henry commissioned a further two seals during his reign, in 1532

45

24 Hen. VIII, c. 12, in Statutes, III, 427–29 (p. 427). Philip Grierson, ‘The Origins of the English Sovereign and the Symbolism of the Closed Crown’, The British Numismatic Journal, 33 (1964), 118–34.

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and 1542. Both depict Henry wearing a closed crown that consists of a circlet with two intersecting arched bands of metal. The closed crown first became symbolic of empire when it was adopted by Habsburg Holy Roman emperors in the mid-fifteenth century. Grierson dates to the accession of Henry VII in 1485 the rise in England of imperial discourses of power, although he notes that the Lancastrian kings of England had worn closed crowns as early as the late fourteenth century, not to signify imperial ambitions, but to distinguish the crown of England ‘from that worn by the kings of France’.46 According to Grierson, the minting of the first English sovereign in 1489 marks a watershed in the iconography of the closed crown in England. Henry VII was depicted on this coin wearing a closed crown identical to that worn by the Emperor Maximilian I on the Flemish real d’or, minted in 1487. Grierson reads resemblances between the designs of these two coins as a deliberate attempt by Henry VII to define himself in relation to the Holy Roman Emperor as an emperor in his own right. For Grierson, the incorporation of the closed crown on the 1489 sovereign, together with its introduction on groats issued around this time, represent ‘inconspicuous but not unimportant contributions to the development of the imperial idea in England in the Tudor period’ (p. 134). The closed crown imprinted on the 1489 English sovereign is of the same design as the crown borne by Henry VIII on his great seal of 1532. Grierson notes how both Henry VII and his son had in their iconography adopted the design of the Habsburg imperial crown, and he interprets their use of the closed crown as indicative of the development from 1485 of a Tudor imperial idea that would receive its fullest expression in the 1533 Appeals Act. Henry VII had harboured imperial ambitions to which the iconography of his 1489 sovereign gives expression, Grierson suggests; this early Tudor imperial idea had ‘prepared the way’ for Henry’s claims in 1533 to empire in the English church (p. 134). Grierson is not the only critic to assume that the ‘Imperiall Crowne’ of the Appeals Act evolved out of the imperial ambitions of Henry VII and the young King Henry VIII. Writing fifteen years after Grierson, Walter Ullmann asserted that ‘the substance of the Act in Restraint of Appeals merely spells out in detail what had been in Henry’s mind some twenty-four years earlier’, at the time of

46

Grierson, p. 129. Dale Hoak has more recently argued that the closed crown acquired imperialist connotations in England as early as the reign of Henry V (d. 1422). See ‘The Iconography of the Crown Imperial’, in Tudor Political Culture, ed. Dale Hoak (Cambridge, 1995), pp. 54–103.

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his coronation in 1509.47 Ullmann grounds his opinion on the evidence of an extant coronation oath corrected by the hand of Henry VIII. Henry appears to have revised this oath in the early 1530s, apparently to bring its content more into line with his new role as head of the church. Ullmann, on the other hand, argues that Henry made these autograph revisions in advance of his coronation; he claims that the oath’s imperial language shows evidence of continuity in Henry’s attitude towards the church in the two decades prior to the 1533 Appeals Act. In the oath he amended, Henry qualifies with the word ‘lawfull’ the rights and liberties that were traditionally granted the English church. Having originally inserted into his promise to uphold the freedoms of state the proviso that these do not prejudice ‘hys Iurysdyction and dygnite ryall’, Henry struck out this saving phrase and then reinserted it some lines above so as further to delimit the rights and liberties he grants ‘the holy chirche off ingland’. Henry then alters the wording of the oath’s original promise to ‘kepe the peace of the holie churche and of the clergie and of the people’, so that it reads to ‘kepe vnite in hys clergye and temporell subiectes’ – a pledge that echoes the wording of the Appeals Act, with its claim that Henry was ‘Sup[re]me heede’, both of ‘Sp[irit]ualtie and Temporaltie’. As this act had used the term ‘Imperiall Crowne’ as shorthand for the Royal Supremacy, so in the oath he amended, Henry also subordinates clergy and laity to the supreme headship of ‘hys crowne or Imperiall Iuris[diction]’.48 Ullmann explains how Henry’s ‘dissatisfaction with the traditional coronation promises’ had ‘made him order a new version’ prior to his coronation in 1509 (p. 183). Writing at the turn of the twentieth century, Legg also assumes that this oath had been especially composed for Henry VIII. Henry, he writes, had ‘ordered a new oath to be drafted’, but, he continues, this ‘new draft does not seem to have pleased him, and with his own hand he has corrected it so as to bring it into absolute accordance with his views’.49 In the 1930s, Schramm argued that the oath amended by Henry was much older than Legg had believed, and Ullmann would later assume. He points out that the revised oath was in fact a later fourteenthcentury variant of the oath originally compiled in 1308 for the coronation of Edward II.50 The four praeceptas of the 1308 oath had been expanded 47 48 49 50

Walter Ullmann, ‘This Realm of England is an Empire’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 30 (1979), 175–203 (p. 184). BL Cotton Tiberius E VIII, fol. 100r. English Coronation Records, ed. Leopold G. Wickham Legg (Westminster, 1901), pp. 240–41 (p. 240). See Percy Ernst Schramm, A History of the English Coronation, trans. Leopold G. Wickham Legg (Oxford, 1937), pp. 213–16. For Edward’s oath, see Schramm, pp. 75–79;

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after 1363 at the instigation of Abbot Nicholas Lytlington of Westminster, to include a fifth request obliging the monarch to uphold the rights and privileges of the church in England. It was the ‘Lytlington’ recension that had formed the basis of the oath sworn by Henry VII at his coronation in 1485, and according to Schramm, ‘no alterations except a few verbal improvements were made’ to this oath for the coronation of Henry VIII (p. 213). The oath amended by Henry was therefore based on a version of an oath that was itself superseded in the later fourteenth century by the Lytlington recension. Since the accession of Henry IV in 1399, the Lytlington recension had been recited at every coronation up until that of Henry VII in 1485.51 This fact alone argues against Ullmann’s assumption that the oath interlined by Henry had been revised for use in his coronation in 1509. The Lytlington rescension had been in use for over a century by the time of Henry’s accession in 1509, and it is therefore most unlikely, had Henry expressed a desire to amend the oath he was to recite at his coronation, that he would have been offered anything other than a copy of the Lytlington recension to correct. Not only was the oath that Henry amended obsolete, insofar as it was based on a recension that had been superseded over a century before Henry’s accession in 1509, it was also obscure, since as an ‘unofficial’ variant of the 1308 rescension, it had never before been recited at a coronation service, either before or after the introduction of the Lytlington rescension in 1399. ‘It was never authoritative’, Schramm asserts of the version of the oath revised by Henry VIII. It was an error to include it in a collection of statutes, but, as soon as it had appeared there, it was translated into English along with other texts. Hence the text which Henry VIII examined and found altogether inadequate for his ideas. (p. 216)

Schramm’s narrative of a chance find by Henry VIII of an obscure and obsolete oath upon which to exercise his pen certainly suggests a more plausible provenance for these revisions than does Ullmann’s suggestion that Henry revised the oath in preparation for his coronation in 1509. Writing fifteen years after Schramm, Tanner asserts that the oath was ‘altered by the King after his crowning’, and that Henry had done so ‘with the intention of bringing the oath into conformity with his later and altered views of his position as head of the Church’ (p. 23). These ‘later and

51

pp. 203–07; Lawrence E. Tanner, The History of the Coronation (London, 1952), pp. 15–24. Schramm, pp. 211–13.

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altered’ views arose, not in the context of Henry’s coronation, but in relation to what Archbishop Cranmer called his ‘great cause of matrimony’ – his convictions after 1527 that his eighteen-year marriage to Catherine of Aragon contravened the Levitical prohibitions against marriage to a deceased brother’s wife.52 The Appeals Act helped Henry VIII divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. In so far as it rejected the authority of any law court outside of England, its purpose was to block Queen Catherine’s appeal to Rome to have Pope Clement VII pass judgment on the sanctity of her marriage to Henry VIII. Henry was desperate for a divorce by the time the Appeals Act was passed in April 1533. He and Anne Boleyn had secretly married around three months earlier, and Anne was at that time already pregnant with the future Queen Elizabeth (she had conceived the previous December).53 By legislating in the Appeals Act against Catherine’s appeal to Rome, Henry made his marriage problems a purely domestic affair, a matter of English matrimonial law, fit only to be tried by an English clergyman. As self-styled head of the English church, Henry delegated the responsibility to the newly-appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer. Cranmer worked fast. The Appeals Act became law on 7 April, and by 28 May Cranmer had passed judgment on both Henry’s marriages – annulling his marriage to Catherine, blessing his marriage to Anne. On 16 April 1533, nine days after the passage of the Appeals Act through parliament, Eustace Chapuys, the emperor’s ambassador in England at this time, wrote to Charles V to report his latest audience with Henry on the subject of the Royal Supremacy. Chapuys had gone to court to complain that the Appeals Act clearly prejudiced Catherine of Aragon’s appeal to Rome. The King, Chapuys alleged, ‘wished to compel’ Catherine ‘to renounce her appeal, and leave her case to be decided by his subjects, who, through promises or threats, or from pure fear […] would only determine according to his fancy’.54 In his response, Henry affirmed that ‘the statute of prohibition had been passed by Parliament, which the queen, as a subject, was compelled to obey’. The emperor, he asserted, ‘had no right to 52

53

54

LP, VI (1882), 152. For the origins of Henry’s great cause of matrimony, see The Divorce Tracts of Henry VIII, ed. Edward Surtz and Virginia Murphy (Angers, 1988), pp. i–xliv; also, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer: A Life (New Haven, 1996), pp. 41–78. LP, VI (1882), 152. Edward Hall dates Henry’s marriage to Anne to 14 November 1532 (The vnion of the two noble and illustrate famelies of Lancastre & Yorke (London, 1548), sig. MMM5v). The Habsburg ambassador to England, Eustace Chapuys, dates it to 25 January 1532 (CSP (Spanish), IV.ii (1882), 674). See MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer, pp. 637–38. LP, VI, 163–69 (p. 165).

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interfere with his laws, and, whatever might be said of them, he would pass such laws in his kingdom as he liked’. Chapuys then explained that as ambassador he had been given ‘express power and command’ by the emperor ‘to treat of the affair of the Queen’s marriage […] and do all other things necessary for the preservation of the Queen’s right’.55 The emperor was Catherine’s nephew, and his interest in her appeal to Rome sprang from heartfelt desire to redress what he saw as the indignity of her treatment at the hands of Henry VIII. Charles V, then, had a personal interest in defending Rome as the only place with power to determine Henry’s ‘great cause of matrimony’. This role he played out through his ambassador, Chapuys, who on his visits to court found plenty of Englishmen eager to attack the pretended power of the Bishop of Rome. In his letter to Charles V dated 1 October 1530, Chapuys reports a conversation with Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, in which Brandon claimed that the English ‘care neither for Pope or Popes […] not even if St. Peter should come to life again’, and that this was because ‘the King was absolute both as Emperor and Pope in his own kingdom’.56 Brandon claims that Henry VIII acts as both emperor and pope in England, that his authority over the English church and state is equivalent to the combined power of the emperor and pope outside England. He uses the term ‘empire’ as shorthand for Henry’s will to power over the English church and state, and the same vocabulary would reappear three years later in the Appeals Act. The idea that ‘empire’ could signal self-government was entirely consistent with the Latin imperium, a term which in the Roman Republic had simply meant power exercised over a bounded territorial unit. This meaning of imperium then evolved under the Roman Empire; as the Empire expanded, so imperium took on the connotations of colonial power that are still current today.57 It was the colonial connotations of empire that informed the imperial ideology of Charles V, with its emphasis on expanding the empire to the ends of the earth. But the older meaning was still current in the sixteenth century, and it was this that informed England’s self-image in the Appeals Act as an empire, compact of church and state. Brandon’s use of the term ‘empire’ was influenced by a humanist sensitivity to the semantic range of imperium in late classical political discourse. He and the writer of the Appeals Act borrowed from the diction of the Roman Republic, to say something pithy about the extent of Henry’s 55 56 57

LP, VI, 166; 165; 207. CSP (Spanish), IV.i (1879), 734. David Armitage, The Ideological Origins of the British Empire, Ideas in Context, 59 (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 28–30.

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power in England, not to signal his aspirations to conquest abroad. As Richard Koebner explains, the Appeals Act referred to ‘imperium such as [it was] understood by humanists – a term expressive of dignity and splendour, but not of precedence of other kingdoms – not at all claiming world-supremacy’.58 This humanist language of empire had been current in England before the inception in 1527 of Henry’s ‘great cause of matrimony’, but its meaning altered after Clement VII proved unwilling to grant Henry his marriage annulment. In 1530, Brandon had used the language of empire to vaunt England’s independence from Rome, claiming that Henry was both pope and emperor in England by virtue of his claims to supremacy over the English church and state. Thirteen years earlier, another Englishman, Cuthbert Tunstall, the future Bishop of London and Durham, had also used ‘empire’ as a shorthand for England’s self-government. Tunstall, however, was concerned with England’s independence, not from the Roman church, but from the Holy Roman Empire of Maximilian I. The story goes that in 1517 Maximilian was planning to resign the Holy Roman Empire to Henry VIII. Rumours of this had reached Henry’s ambassador to Maximilian, Cuthbert Tunstall, and were relayed to Henry in a letter from Tunstall dated 12 February 1517. Maximilian himself seems to have shown little intention of securing the election of Henry VIII, however. His death in January 1519 seems rather to have cut short his efforts to have his grandson, the future Charles V, nominated as Holy Roman Emperor.59 Tunstall probably suspected the rumour to be a fiction cooked up at the imperial court; his letter to Henry seeks diplomatically to disabuse Henry VIII of what to the ambitious king must have seemed an attractive offer of assistance. It is Tunstall’s line of reasoning that interests us here. Tunstall writes that Maximilian could never successfully solicit Henry’s election as Emperor, since only princes of the empire were eligible to stand for election – ‘wheras your Grace’, Tunstall tells Henry, ‘is not, nor never sithen the Cristen faith the Kings of Englond wer subgiet to th’empire’. Henry could not be emperor because England was not of the empire. ‘But the Crown of Englond’, Tunstall asserts, is an Empire off hitselff, mych bettyr then now the Empire of Rome: for which cause your Grace werith a close Crown. And therfor yff ye were

58

59

Richard Koebner, ‘ “The Imperial Crown of this Realm”: Henry VIII, Constantine the Great and Polydore Vergil’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 26 (1953), pp. 29–52 (p. 51). Maltby, pp. 19–20.

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England’s Empire Apart chosen, sens your Grace is not off th’empire, the Election wer voide. And iff your Grace shuld accepte the said Election, therby ye must confesse your realme to be under subjection off th’empire to the perpetual prejudice off your successor.60

Divided from the Holy Roman Empire, England was ‘an Empire off hitselff’, a realm that stood apart from the rest of the world. Tunstall claims that the ‘close Crown’ of Henry VIII is symbolic of England’s empire apart, but this discourse of England’s self-government does not for Tunstall carry with it any implications for England’s relations with the Roman church. The term ‘Imperiall Crowne’ is used in the Appeals Act as shorthand for the authority it invests in Henry, as supreme head of the English church and state. Tunstall’s imperial, or ‘close Crown’ stands instead for Henry’s self-government over the state of, but not the church in England. The Tudor ideology of empire evolved in response to the inception in 1527 of Henry’s ‘great cause of matrimony’. For Tunstall, empire meant independence from the Holy Roman Empire; for Brandon, it meant independence from both the empire and church of Rome. Yet in so far as both uses identify empire with self-government, both depart in their understanding of empire from the expansionism of Guevara and Gattinara. While Charles V aspired to world rule, England stood apart. Writing with reference to the imperial crowns that Charlemagne conferred upon Charles and Henry at the pageant in Gracechurch Street, Dale Hoak asserts that ‘there can be little doubt that […] on the eve of Charles’s visit, Henry VIII thought of himself as very like an emperor, as much the “imperial” heir of Charlemagne as any wearer of the crown of the Holy Roman Empire’ (pp. 83–84). Henry’s self-image as emperor is in the entry articulated in a form identical to that within which the Holy Roman Empire receives expression on stage. In his acclamation to the emperor, Lily hopes that Charles, in his role as defender of Christendom, will with his ‘shelde of hye iustyce’ protect ‘christen people’ from invasion by ‘Moores/ sarazins/ turkes’, and other infidels. Apologists for Charles V had envisioned that the emperor would through crusade undertake to establish an era of Christian peace, and Guevara had likened this pax Christiana to the Golden Age, which according to Virgil would be re-established on earth under the son of Astraea. Charles is presented as the son of Astraea in the ‘Ile off englonde’ at the Cornhill Stocks, but the pageant also identifies Henry as 60

Original Letters Illustrative of English History, ed. Henry Ellis, 1st ser., 3 vols (London, 1824), I, pp. 134–38 (p. 136).

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Astraea’s son, in recognition of his role alongside the emperor as defender of Christendom against the Christian ‘Turk’ Francis I. By casting Charles and Henry as the sons of Astraea, and by conferring imperial crowns upon both emperor and king, the pageantry of the entry borrows from the rhetoric of apologists for Charles V. Imperial apologists had celebrated the size and scale of the Habsburg Empire; the entry appropriates their rhetoric to identify Henry alongside Charles as an emperor in his own right. Although Charles and Henry each receive identical expression in the rhetoric of the 1522 entry, the Tudor imperial idea current at the time of the entry was substantially different from the imperial ideology current at the court of Charles V. The imperial crown that Henry received from Charlemagne at the Gracechurch Street Conduit was the ‘close Crown’ that for Tunstall symbolised England’s independence from the Habsburg Empire, not the close crown that had been worn by Habsburg emperors since the end of the fifteenth century. Henry revised his imperial ambitions after 1527, in response to his ‘great cause of matrimony’. The meaning of ‘empire’ in the Appeals Act departs, not only from the Habsburg imperial ideology, but from the ideology current in England at the time of the emperor’s entry into London in June 1522. Despite this fact, apologists for Henry VIII still wrote in support of the Royal Supremacy using the metaphors and motifs familiar from the 1522 entry. The following chapter will focus on the London entry in 1533 of Henry’s new queen, Anne Boleyn, exploring its celebration of England’s self-image at this time as an empire compact of church and state. It will draw comparisons between the rhetoric of the 1522 and 1533 entries, arguing that their formal similarities undermined the function of the 1533 entry as Royal Supremacy propaganda.

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2 ROYAL SUPREMACY AND THE RHETORIC OF EMPIRE: ANNE BOLEYN’S 1533 ENTRY

A

NNE BOLEYN’S entry into London took place on Saturday 31 May r1533, the day before her coronation at Westminster Abbey on Whitsunday 1 June. Parliament had passed the Act in Restraint of Appeals less than two months earlier on Monday 7 April. The Appeals Act declared England an empire, autonomous of the Holy Roman Empire, but also independent of the See of Rome. By preventing Rome’s interference in what Archbishop Cranmer termed Henry’s ‘great cause of matrimony’, the act allowed Cranmer to annul Henry’s marriage with Catherine of Aragon, and to make lawful his clandestine marriage to Anne.1 Cranmer pronounced sentence on the validity of Anne and Henry’s marriage on 28 May, and the entry occurred in the happy aftermath of this verdict three days later.2 The passage of the Appeals Act had paved the way for Anne’s coronation, and the entry proved the first opportunity to give public expression to ‘empire’ as it had been defined in this act – an empire compact of church and state, and ‘gov[er]ned by oon Sup[re]me heede and King’.3 Where the Habsburg Empire was expansionist, the empire of the Appeals Act looked inwards. This chapter approaches the 1533 entry as propaganda for Henry’s imperial claims to power. It explores how these claims informed the stagecraft of Anne Boleyn’s entry, which cast Anne as Astraea, and identified England under Henry VIII with the Golden Age of Virgil’s fourth eclogue. The motifs of Astraea and the Golden Age had also appeared in the 1522 entry. Anne Boleyn’s entry recycles these motifs, even

1 2 3

LP, VI (1882), 152. Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer: A Life (New Haven, 1996), p. 94. 24 Hen. VIII, c. 12, in Statutes, III, 427–29 (p. 427).

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though the imperial idea they were used to celebrate had shifted since 1522 to take account of the king’s claims in the Appeals Act to empire in the English church. In what follows, I investigate formal similarities between the 1522 and 1533 entries, arguing that these served to confuse the audience at Anne Boleyn’s entry, and so to compromise its success as propaganda for England’s empire apart. The guilds of London accompanied Anne on her boat journey from Greenwich to the Tower on Thursday 29 May. ‘But for to speake of the people that stode on euery shore to beholde the sight’ that greeted Anne’s arrival at the Tower, writes Edward Hall, ‘he that sawe it not would not beleue it’.4 According to Hall, Anne rode up-river alongside ‘fiftie barges’, each belonging to a guild, and headed by a foist ‘full of ordinaunce’, with ‘a great Dragon continually mouyng, & castyng wyldfyer’ (sig. NNN2v). Ships anchored at shore so as not to obstruct the procession also fired ‘diuers peales of gunnes’ in honour of Anne (sig. NNN3r), and ‘great melody’ was heard as she landed at the Tower to be greeted with a kiss by the king (sig. NNN3v). According to Hall, Henry himself had commanded the London aldermen to ‘make preparacion, aswell to fetche her grace from Grenewyche to the Tower by water, as to see the citie ordered and garnished with pageau[n]tes in places accustomed, for the honor of her grace when she should be conueyed from the Tower to Westminster’ (sig. NNN2v). A ‘common counsail’ of aldermen was convened on Wednesday 14 May 1533, at which the aldermen agreed to stage three pageants on 31 May, ‘one at the ledenhill the second at the standerd yn chepe the thyrde at the litell conduyt in chepe’. ‘The sayd conduytes’ at the Leadenhall and in Cheapside were ‘to be goodly hangyd & garnysshed w[i]t[h] mynstralsy & chyldern syngyng’, while ‘wyne rennyng’ from the ‘standerd aforesayd’ was to greet Anne as her procession wended its way westwards along Cheap towards Westminster Hall.5 Four aldermen were tasked with submitting these proposals for approval to ‘the kynges most honourable Cownsayll’, and they were also to ask the council’s advice on a list of outstanding

4 5

Edward Hall, The vnion of the two noble and illustrate famelies of Lancastre & Yorke (London, 1548), sigs NNN2r–OOO1r (sig. NNN3v). ‘Repertories’, IX, Court of Aldermen, Corporation of London Record Office, fol. 1; cited in Gordon Kipling, ‘ “He That Saw It Would Not Believe It”: Anne Boleyn’s Royal Entry into London’, in Civic and Ritual Drama, ed. Alexandra F. Johnston and Wim Hüsken, Ludus: Medieval and Early Renaissance Theatre and Drama, 2 (Amsterdam, 1997), pp. 39–79 (pp. 45–46).

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concerns. ‘Plaisith you to knowe of the Duke of Norf[olk]’, the list begins, ‘whether the Clergie shall gyue attend[a]unce when the quenes grace shall come thorough london as they dyd when the Emp[r]our came into london’ in 1522. The second item asks whether Norfolk could induce the ‘estranngers enhabytyng w[ith]in thys Citie’ to ‘make of them selff[es] any pagent[es] or be contrybritares to the pageint[es] of the Citie’. Could he not also help obtain for the City the services of ‘the kyng[es] mynstrell[es] for the ffurnyssheyng of the pagent[es] and barges’, the list continues, as well as ‘some workemen out the kynge[es] work[es] for the pagiant[es] be cause the tyme is verye shorte’? The list concludes with a question concerning the three pageant devices that the aldermen had proposed for the entry: would ‘my seid lorde’ the Duke of Norfolk ‘haue eny other deuise then these’?6 Hall’s account of the entry indicates that Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, did indeed require more pageants than the three the aldermen had initially proposed. A total of six pageants were erected, along an entry route to Westminster Hall. These six pageants were interspersed with six additional attractions: two poetry readings, two choral recitals, and two decorated conduits flowing with wine. Anne met with the first of these additional attractions at Fenchurch. On a scaffold, writes Hall, stood children ‘apparelled like marchauntes’, and bidding Anne welcome to the city ‘with two proper preposicions, both in Frenche & Englishe’ (sig. NNN4v). From here, the procession continued along Fenchurch, until it came to the first of the six pageants at the corner of Fenchurch and Gracechurch Street. On a stage designed to represent Mount Parnassus sat an Apollo with lyre, a white marble representation of the fountain of Helicon running with ‘Rennishe wyne’ before him, and Calliope, eldest of the nine Muses, at his feet (sig. NNN4v). Her eight sisters, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania, were gathered on either side (see Plate 1, p. xii).7 The king’s council had evidently heeded the aldermen’s petition for help from ‘estranngers enhabytyng w[ith]in thys Citie’, for Hall writes that this second pageant had been made by the Easterlings, the Hanseatic merchants of the Steelyard. ‘The Londoners wish to make all the inhabitants contribute to the costs of the coronation’, Eustace Chapuys had remarked in his letter to Charles V of 18 May 1533, and ‘they compel even foreigners to contribute’. ‘The Easterlings, as being subjects of your Majesty, would like to be excused’, Chapuys continues, ‘but the great 6 7

BL Egerton 2623, fol. 5. The nine Muses are named in Hesiod’s Theogony, ll. 76–80, trans. Richard Caldwell (Newburyport, MA, 1987), pp. 31–32.

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privileges they enjoy here prevent them from objecting’.8 Chapuys may have been correct to assume that the Easterlings felt compelled against their will to participate in the entry, but the Gracechurch Street pageant they sponsored was nevertheless no piecemeal contribution to the pageantry of the day. According to Sydney Anglo, this was ‘the most important pageant of the series’, while Gordon Kipling has more recently noted that the Gracechurch Street pageant ‘rightly stands at the head of the series as a statement of the show’s theme’.9 From the pageant Of Apollo with the Muses, the procession continued up Gracechurch Street until it met with the second pageant Of the Progeny of St Anne at Leadenhall (sig. NNN3v). Hall writes that ‘a heauenly roffe’ had been constructed, over a stage on which was set a golden root ‘enuironed with red roses & white’. A mechanically controlled white falcon descended from the roof to perch on the root below: ‘and incontinent came doune an Angell with great melody’, Hall continues, ‘and set a close croune of golde on the Fawcons head’ – a gesture that anticipates Anne’s forthcoming coronation as queen, at the same time as it recreates on stage the elements of closed crown, falcon, tree stump, and white and red roses that made up Anne’s existing heraldic device as Marchioness of Pembroke.10 Hall writes that beneath the root sat St Anne, mother of the three Marys, ‘with all her issue beneth her’ (sig. NNN4v). From Leadenhall, the procession then turned left along Cornhill until it came to the Conduit, ‘where wer thre graces set in a throne afore who[m] was the spryng of grace continually ronnyng wyne’ (sig. NNN4v). The three Graces represent the ancient Greek charites, Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia, whom Hesiod identifies as the daughters of Zeus by Eurynome.11 Hall recounts how each of these goddesses ‘gaue to the queen a seueral gift or grace’, and that Anne had then departed from the Cornhill Conduit on her journey westwards along Cornhill, towards the Great Conduit and Standard in Cheap (sig. NNN4v). The Great Conduit, writes Hall, ‘was newly painted with armes of deuises: out of the whiche conduit by a goodly fountain set at the one end ra[n]ne continually wyne both white and claret all that after noone’ (sig. NNN4v). After she had received from the aldermen at the Cheap Cross ‘a thousand markes in golde in a Purse of golde’, Anne then continued along

8 9 10 11

LP, VI, 226. Sydney Anglo, Spectacle, Pageantry, and Early Tudor Policy (Oxford, 1969), p. 258; Kipling, ‘Anne Boleyn’s Entry’, p. 64. Anne was created Marchioness of Pembroke on 1 September 1532 (Vnion, sig. MMM2r). Theogony, ll. 907–09.

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Cheap to the fourth pageant at the Little Conduit (sig. NNN4v). Its scene was the Judgement of Paris, as recounted in Lucian’s Dialogues, for Hall writes that upon its stage had stood Mercury, accompanied by Juno, Venus, and Pallas.12 Paris, whom Lucian cast as the reluctant adjudicator of this classical beauty pageant, is absent from the scene that Hall describes. Lucian’s three goddesses compete for the golden apple, but all their rivalry was forgotten when Anne appeared at the Little Conduit, for Hall writes that the prize, which in Lucian is awarded to Aphrodite (i.e. Venus), was in the entry presented to Anne ‘in the name of the iii. goddesses’ (sig. NNN4v). Instead of a golden apple, Mercury presents to Anne ‘a balle of gold deuyded in thre, signifying […] wysedome, ryches and felicitie’ (sig. NNN4v–5r). A variant version of this pageant appears in a second, anonymous account of the entry, The noble tryumphaunt coronacyon, printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1533.13 Its account Of the Judgement of Paris restores Paris as adjudicator, and describes how Paris himself had presented the ‘ball of golde’ to Anne (sig. A4v), while children are mentioned ‘syngyng a balade to her grace/ & prayse to all her ladyes’ (sig. A5r). The discrepancies between this and Hall’s description Of the Judgement of Paris constitutes the first of several between two heretofore very similar accounts of the entry. The procession turned left after the Little Conduit to enter St Paul’s Precinct, where Anne met with the fifth and penultimate pageant at Paul’s Gate. On its stage, writes the anonymous author of the Coronacyon, sat .iij. fayre ladyes virgyns costly arayde with a fayre rou[n]de trone ouer their heedes / Where aboute was written this. Regina Anna prospere procede et regna/ that is in englysshe. Quene Anne prosper procede and reygne. The lady that sate in the myddes hauynge a table of golde in her hande wrytten with letters of asure. Ueni amica coronaberis. Come my loue thou shalbe crowned. And two au[n]gels hauyng a close crowne of golde bytwene their ha[n]des. And the lady on ye right hande had a table of syluer/ wherin was writte[n]. D[omi]ne dirige gressos meos. Lorde god dyrecte my wayes. The other on the lyfte hande had in another table of syluer written this. Co[n]fide in d[omi]no. Trust in god. And vnder theyr fete was a longe rol wherin was written this. Regina Anna nouu[m] regis de sanguine natu[m]/ cu[m] paries populis aurea secla tuis. Quene Anne whan y[ou] shalte beare a new sone of y[e] kynges bloode/ there shalbe a golden worlde vnto thy people. And so y[e] ladyes caste ouer her

12 13

Lucian: A Selection, trans. M. D. MacLeod (Warminster, 1991), pp. 34–53. The noble tryumphaunt coronacyon of quene Anne/ Wyfe vnto the moost noble kynge Henry the .viij. (London, [1533]).

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From the pageant at Paul’s Gate, the royal procession skirted the outermost limits of St Paul’s Precinct until it met with the fourth of the six attractions in the entry. Both Hall and the anonymous Coronacyon agree that a scaffold for two hundred school children had been erected at the ‘East ende of Paules Churcheyarde against the schole’, and that these children had recited before Anne a selection of eulogistic verses from Latin ‘Poetes translated into Englishe’.14 From thence, the procession moved out of Paul’s Precinct, and towards the fifth attraction at Ludgate, where ‘on the ledes of sainct Martyns Churche’, writes Hall, had ‘stode a goodly quere of singyng men and children whiche sang newe balades made in praise’ of Anne (sig. NNN5r). The paths of Hall and the Coronacyon again diverge in their descriptions of the sixth and final pageant at the Fleet Street Conduit. ‘Upon the Conduite’, writes Hall, was made a toune with iiii. Turrettes, and in euery Turret stode one of the cardinall vertues with their tokens and properties, whiche had seueral speches, promisyng the Quene neuer to leaue her, but to be aydyng and comfortyng her, And in the myddes of the tower closely was suche seueral solempne instrume[n]tes, that it semed to be an heauenly noyse, and was muche regarded and praised. (sig. NNN5r)

The Coronacyon replaces with inanimate ‘fanes’, or banners of metal, the players who in Hall represent the four Cardinal Virtues. In the Coronacyon, this pageant marks the end of the entry, which is played out to the tune of ‘swete instrumentes’ concealed inside the citadel at Fleet Street (sig. A5v). In Hall, Anne was again serenaded before her departure from the City by ‘diuers singyng men and children’ at Temple Bar. (sig. NNN5r) The entry was managed by members of the king’s council and court of aldermen, but a separate collaboration between John Leland and Nicholas Udall was responsible for much of its authorship and iconography. Leland, a former king’s scholar in Paris, was in all probability enlisted to compose verses for the entry by Thomas Howard, for Leland had acted as tutor in the early 1520s to the Duke’s sixth son, also called Thomas.15 In the later 1520s, Leland acquired positions at court as a royal chaplain and librarian, and he was presented with the Calais benefice of Pepeling in June 1530.16

14 15 16

Vnion, sig. NNN5r; cp. Coronacyon, sig. A5r. DNB, XXXIII, p. 297. LP, IV.iii (1876), 2919.

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He was evidently continuing to enjoy preferment at court at the time of the 1533 entry, for his name is mentioned alongside Thomas Cromwell’s in a list recording recipients of New Year’s gifts from the King in January 1533.17 While Leland’s standing at court recommended him as ‘an obvious choice for Norfolk to suggest as the deviser of the coronation pageants’, it was probably Leland himself who had acquired the commission for Nicholas Udall, his former Oxford friend.18 Just how much of the entry can be attributed to this collaboration between Leland and Udall is the subject of ongoing critical debate. Anglo argues that these ‘two classical scholars devised both pageants and speeches’ for the entry; both Ives and King agree, with Ives adding that ‘80 per cent of the work’ can be attributed to Nicholas Udall.19 Kipling disagrees. Where Ives identifies Leland and Udall as the ‘two “makers” of Anne’s six principal pageants’, for Kipling it is only the three pageants Of Apollo with the Muses, Of the three Graces and Of the Judgement of Paris that represent ‘exactly the sort of pageant that such classical scholars as Leland and Udall might have devised’.20 ‘The pageants do not speak in the hired voices of Udall and Leland alone’, Kipling asserts (p. 68). He approaches the pageants Of St Anne, Of the three Virgins, and Of the four Virtues as ‘citizen-devised traditional “core” pageants’, arguing that these were the three originally agreed upon by the aldermen at their meeting of 14 May (p. 69). In relation to these, the humanist contributions of Leland and Udall constitute ‘something of an afterthought imposed upon a series already designed’ (p. 61). Their three classical offerings, Kipling concludes, probably represent ‘the three additional pageants added to the City’s original scheme after [its] committee met with the Duke of Norfolk’ (p. 60). So whereas Anglo, Ives, and King attribute all six pageants to Leland and Udall, Kipling approaches the sequence as a synthesis of the ‘traditional’ and the classical, dividing its authorship equally between the aldermen and these two ‘classical scholars’. Neither standpoint has any basis in the only extant document to record Leland and Udall’s collaborative contribution to the entry, however. This consists of sixteen manuscript leaves of Latin and English verse. Of the 513 lines of Latin verse, 310 lines are in the manuscript attributed to Udall, and 203 to Leland. The manuscript attributes all

17 18 19 20

LP, VI, 14. Kipling, ‘Anne Boleyn’s Entry’, p. 50. Anglo, p. 248; cp. John N. King, Tudor Royal Iconography: Literature and Art in an Age of Religious Crisis (Princeton, 1989), p. 50; Eric Ives, Anne Boleyn (Oxford, 1986), p. 274. Ives, p. 274; Kipling, ‘Anne Boleyn’s Entry’, p. 60.

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221 lines of English verse to Udall’s authorship.21 Leland’s Latin verse is holograph; Udall’s Latin and English contributions are written in a second secretary hand that may or may not have been Udall’s own. It is in this second hand that the following descriptive title appears on the recto of the first leaf. Here aftir ensuethe a copie of diuers and sundry verses aswell in latin as in Englishe deuised and made partely by Ihon Leland and partely by Nicholas Vuedale where of sum were sette vp and sum other were spoken and pronounced vnto the moste high and excellente Quene the ladie Anne wif vnto our sou[er]ain lorde king Henry the eight in many goodly and costely pageauntes exhibited and shewed by the mayre and Citizens of the famous Citie of London at suche tyme as hir grace rode from the Towre of London through the said Citie to hir moste glorious Coronac[i]on at the monasterie of Westmynster on Whitson yeue, in the xxvti yere of the Reigne of our said souerain lorde/.22

The content of this manuscript provides our only concrete evidence concerning the extent of Leland and Udall’s contribution to the 1533 entry. The manuscript attributes authorship to Leland and Udall for the verse ‘spoken and pronounced’ at some of these pageants, but at no time does it imply that either of them had a hand in designing the pageants themselves. Neither Anglo’s assumption that Leland and Udall ‘devised both pageants and speeches’ for the entry, nor Kipling’s identification of ‘the sort of pageant’ that these ‘classical scholars […] might have designed’, thus amount to anything more than supposition, for neither assumption is in any way corroborated by the available evidence. There simply exists no basis for Kipling’s identification of the three ‘traditional’ pageants as ‘citizen-devised’, nor for his assumption that Leland and Udall had designed the three ‘classical’ pageants at Gracechurch Street, the Cornhill Conduit, and the Little Conduit in Cheap. Before we can claim these ‘classical’ pageants as afterthoughts ‘added to the City’s original scheme’ we must first identify the aldermen as authors of the three ‘traditional’ pageants Of St Anne, Of the three Virgins, and Of the four Virtues. But the subject-matter of these pageants bear no correspondence whatsoever with the ‘City’s original scheme’, as agreed by the aldermen at their meeting of 21 22

For line totals, see Ives, p. 274, n. 3. BL Royal 18 A LXIV, fol. 1r. The verse is reproduced with revised punctuation in Ballads from Manuscripts, ed. F. J. Furnivall, Ballad Society Publications, 1–3, 10, 2 vols of 4 parts (London, 1868–73), I (1868), pp. 378–401 (p. 378). The edition, which erroneously attributes to fol. 15v the eight lines of verse on fol. 16r, prints English paraphrases of Leland and Udall’s Latin verses on pp. 373–78.

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14 May, of ‘mynstralsy & chyldern syngyng’ at Leadenhall, the Standard in Cheap, and the Little Conduit in Cheap.23 Yet although unsubstantiated in the extant evidence, Kipling’s assumptions about the authorship of the three ‘classical’ and three ‘traditional “core” pageants’ at least represent an attempt to explain the apparent eclecticism of the entry, with its macaronic of Latin and English verse, and its mixture of allusions on stage to classical myths and Christian motifs. By contrast, Sydney Anglo, who dismissed the entry as ‘a dull, trite, and lamentably repetitious pageant series’, also chose to overlook its use of Christian iconography, for he heralded the entry as the first ‘truly classical’ pageant series in England – only to sneer at its ‘self-conscious Latinity’, and ‘thin veneer of commonplace literary allusions’ (p. 248). King’s appreciation of ‘the conventional religious themes’ in the entry represents the other extreme in this critical reluctance fully to engage with the entry’s eclectic blend of classical and Christian motifs (p. 50). King discusses Marian iconography in the pageants at Leadenhall and St Paul’s Gate, but he ignores altogether the use of classical myth in these and other pageants in the entry. Cohen writes that our critical reception of the Middle Ages continues to be governed by what he calls an ‘exclusionary model of temporality’, in which the Middle Ages are regarded as a cultural period of ‘undifferentiated alterity’ against which the epoch of the early modern is defined.24 In their reluctance to reconcile the entry’s classical with its Christian motifs, Anglo and King both assume that the early modern classical revival emerged from the ‘undifferentiated alterity’ of an alleged medieval preoccupation with all things Christian. The one-sidedness of their readings says more about where each critic is choosing to position the entry in relation to this perceived paradigm shift between medieval and early modern than it does about the hybrid iconography of the entry itself. These same assumptions also inform Roy Strong’s study of Art and Power in the Renaissance. Strong defines the ‘state entry in the Renaissance manner’ as a departure from the ‘wholly biblical’ iconography of the ‘medieval entry’.25 He argues that ‘images and ideas’ in the Renaissance entry were ‘derived from its rediscovery and study of the art, literature and

23 24 25

Kipling, ‘Anne Boleyn’s Entry’, p. 69; p. 60. Repertory, IX, fol. 1, cited in Kipling, pp. 45–46. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, ‘Introduction: Midcolonial’, in The Postcolonial Middle Ages, ed. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (Basingstoke, 2000), pp. 1–17 (p. 3). Roy Strong, Art and Power: Renaissance Festivals, 1450–1650 (Woodbridge, 1984), pp. 10–11.

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thought of the classical world’ (p. 6), and he claims that these classical images entirely ‘overlaid and transmuted’ (p. 6) the ‘remarkably consistent visual and iconographical vocabulary’ of the medieval entry (p. 7), in which ‘the king as Christ or one of his scriptural prototypes, takes possession of the New Jerusalem’, as part of a typological scheme that presents ‘the earthly state’ as ‘a mirror of the heavenly’ (p. 10). In Enter the King, Kipling also associates the medieval royal entry with a concern ‘to envision the medieval city in terms of the imagined landscapes of the Apocalyptic New Jerusalem’.26 Kipling writes that this medieval iconography was ‘Christian instead of classical’ (p. 12), and he argues that it endured unadulterated throughout northern Europe until ‘the royal entry experiences a revolution in emblematic form’ at some point ‘in the early to mid-sixteenth century’ (p. 2). Kipling’s approach to the three more ‘classical’ pageants of the 1533 entry, as afterthoughts ‘added to the City’s original scheme’, is clearly informed by his assumptions about the evolution of royal entry iconography more generally at this time. So how should we best approach the eclecticism of the 1533 entry? My own reading departs from past critical assumptions to identify a deliberately contrived aesthetic behind the entry’s ostensibly arbitrary blending of Christian and classical motifs. This aesthetic, I argue, was inspired by the Christianisation of classical myth in the early church under Constantine the Great. Writing under Constantine in the early fourth century AD, Christian apologists like Lactantius and Eusebius had blended the classical with the Christian, in an effort to convert to Christianity the still largely pagan population of Constantine’s empire. This blending also occurs in the 1533 entry, and I want to argue that these early Christian apologists influenced the verse that Leland and Udall composed for the entry. Both Lactantius and Eusebius wrote in praise of the Emperor Constantine; both upheld his empire as the divinely ordained setting for the establishment of Christian peace on earth. I argue that by borrowing from Lactantius and Eusebius, Leland and Udall sought to identify Henry VIII with Constantine, England with the empire that Constantine converted to Christianity. Udall, who attended Corpus Christi College, Oxford, between 1520 and 1529, would have had Latin copies of writings by Lactantius and Eusebius available to him in the college library.27 It cannot be proven that

26 27

Gordon Kipling, Enter the King: Theatre, Liturgy, and Ritual in the Medieval Civic Triumph (Oxford, 1998), p. 236. Lactantius’s Institutiones divinae (Corpus Christi College, Oxford, MS 51) was presented to Corpus Christi College Library by Richard Fox (d. 1528). For its date of acquisition, see J. R. Liddell, ‘The Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in the Sixteenth

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he and Leland were influenced by these fourth-century writers, but it is probable that Udall had access to texts by Lactantius and Eusebius before 1533, and that he had allowed their presentation of Constantine’s Christian empire to influence the verse he composed for Anne Boleyn’s entry. The following discussion therefore reads the 1533 entry in relation to writings by Lactantius and Eusebius. It argues that in the entry, Udall and Leland intended to identify England’s empire apart with the Christian empire under Constantine, and it goes on to explore other instances of this identification between Henry and Constantine in the literature of the Royal Supremacy. The Divine Institutes of Lactantius was completed after Constantine’s proclamation of the Edict of Milan in AD 313, and before Lactantius’s own death four years later in 317.28 Lactantius’s appeal was to a pagan audience schooled in the Hellenistic culture of the later Roman Empire. His writing sought to syncretise the classical with the Christian, taking the lessons of classical mythology and adapting them to a Christian world-view. It was in order to teach us how to live justly, Lactantius writes in Book Five of the Institutes, that Ovid had spoken in Metamorphoses about life in the Golden Age, before Saturn was banished by Jupiter, ‘and the virgin Astraea, last of the immortals, abandoned the blood-soaked earth [et uirgo cæde madentes | Vltima cœlestum terras Astræa reliquit]’.29 Lactantius explains that Ovid and other pagan poets ‘teach what it means to live justly’ through ‘examples of justice from the age of Saturn which they call “golden” ’. The myth of how Astraea, or justice, had abandoned the earth was based for Lactantius on a commonplace that Christians shared with pagans: that ‘justice was far removed from human matters’. Lactantius denies that Astraea was an actual goddess, but he argues for an allegorical interpretation of Astraea and the Golden Age that is consistent with Christian truth. ‘While Saturn was reigning, and the cults of the false gods had not yet been begun […] surely God was worshiped’, he writes (bk V, cap. 5 (p. 339)). Lactantius claims Ovid was wrong to have identified justice with

28

29

Century’, The Library, 4th ser., 18 (1937–38), 385–416 (p. 400). The manuscript is item 261 in the 1589 Corpus Christi College Catalogue, which Liddell reproduces pp. 403–16. A Latin edition of Eusebius’s Ecclesiastica historia (Paris, 1512) also appears in the 1589 Catalogue, no. 225. It was presented to the college by John Claymond, president of Corpus from its foundation in 1517 until his death in 1536 (see Liddell, p. 401). Firmianus Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, Books I–VII, trans. Mary Francis McDonald, The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation, 49 (Washington DC, 1964). For its dating, see McDonald’s introduction, pp. 3–10. Metamorphoseos Libri moralizati cum Pulcherrimis fabularum principalium figuris [Lyon, 1519], fol. 12r.

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Astraea, but he argues that Ovid’s concept of justice was nevertheless consistent with ‘a devoted and religious worship of the one God’, since in the Golden Age mythology the removal of justice from earth coincides with the beginning of the reign of the ‘false gods’ headed by Jupiter. God, writes Lactantius, has recently sent Christ ‘to lead back that old age and the justice that had been routed’ (bk V, cap. 7 (p. 343)), in fulfillment of the prophecy contained in Virgil’s fourth eclogue: ‘Iam redit & virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna [now the Virgin returns, the reigns of Saturn return]’.30 Christ has now re-established the Golden Age on earth, but Lactantius explains that it is inhabitable only by the baptised. ‘Put aside from your hearts all evil designs’, Lactantius counsels his pagan audience, ‘and immediately that golden time will return for you, which you cannot attain in any other way than by beginning to worship the true God’ (bk V, cap. 8 (p. 345)). For Lactantius, the justice that Astraea embodies is but an allegory of the justice that Christ has since restored to humankind. This blending of the classical with the Christian was also undertaken by that most celebrated of Lactantius’s Christian contemporaries, Constantine the Great. In his fourth eclogue, Virgil prophesied that Astraea would give birth to a boy who would restore the Golden Age to earth. Under this boy’s leadership, Virgil had sung, ‘the age of iron shall subside and a golden race arise throughout the world [ferrea primum | Desinet, ac toto surget gens aurea mundo]’ (sig. B3r). It was to these very lines that Constantine had alluded in his undated Good Friday ‘Oration to the Assembly of the Saints’, a copy of which was appended to the Life of Constantine, composed between AD 337 and 340 by his panegyrist Eusebius Pamphili, Bishop of Caesarea. ‘We perceive that these words are spoken plainly and at the same time darkly, by way of allegory’, Constantine wrote in his ‘Oration’. ‘Those who search deeply for the import of the words, are able to discern the Divinity of Christ.’ According to Constantine, Virgil was referring to the advent of Christ into the world when he sung of Astraea and her son. ‘Who, then, is the virgin who was to come?’, Constantine had asked his audience. ‘Is it not she who was filled with, and with child of, the Holy Spirit?’31 Constantine identified Astraea with the Virgin Mary, and interpreted as an allegory for the Immaculate Conception the miraculous birth that Virgil had foreseen. Constantine argued that it is not only Christians who are able to see the

30 31

‘Ecloga IIII. Pollio’, in Opera (Paris, 1532), sigs B2v–4v (sig. B2v). A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, ed. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff, 14 vols (Oxford, 1890–1900), I (Eusebius), pp. 561–80 (cap. 19 (p. 576)).

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Gospel truth that lies beneath Virgil’s pagan myth. Virgil, this ‘prince of Latin poets’ (cap. 19 (p. 575)), had himself been privy to ‘that blessed mystery which gave to our Lord the name of Saviour’, Constantine claims, but Virgil ‘intentionally obscures the truth’ in his fourth eclogue, ‘lest any of the powerful in the imperial city might be able to accuse the poet of writing anything contrary to the laws of the country, and subverting the religious sentiments which had prevailed from ancient times’ (cap. 19 (p. 576)). Constantine here approaches Virgil as proto-Christian, in an empire antagonistic to the Saviour who would shortly be born in its midst. Eusebius of Caesarea offers a more positive evaluation of the Roman Empire in the encomium he delivered before Constantine on the occasion of his tricennalia in AD 335. In this oration, Eusebius did to Roman political thought what Lactantius had done to pagan mythology. Lactantius had Christianised the pagan Astraea, approaching her as a type prefigurative of the advent of Christ; Eusebius, in turn, Christianised the pagan ideology of empire, equating it to the Christian theology of the ‘one God’. Eusebius points out that Christ had been born into the Roman Empire newly established under Augustus. ‘At the same time’, he wrote, one universal power, the Roman empire, arose and flourished, while the enduring and implacable hatred of nation against nation was now removed: and as the knowledge of one God, and one way of religion and salvation, even the doctrine of Christ, was made known to all mankind; so at the self-same period, the entire dominion of the Roman empire being vested in a single sovereign, profound peace reigned throughout the world. And thus, by the express appointment of the same God, two roots of blessing, the Roman empire, and the doctrine of Christian piety, sprang up together for the benefit of men.32

For Constantine, the Roman Empire had been as pagan as his predecessors, but for Eusebius the empire was from its outset a blessed institution, and not just because Christ had chosen to be born in its midst. Eusebius compares imperial ideology to Christian theology; as the Roman Empire invests power in a ‘single sovereign’, so Christianity teaches ‘the knowledge of one God, and one way of religion and salvation’. Eusebius claims that God is ‘the Author of empire itself’ (cap. 3, para. 8 (p. 585)), and it is ‘as interpreter to the Word of God’ that he approaches the Emperor Constantine, who with ‘powerful voice’ declares ‘the laws of truth and godliness to all who dwell on the earth’ (cap. 2, para. 4 (p. 583)). Lactantius

32

A Select Library, I, 581–610 (cap. 16, para. 4 (p. 606)).

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had likewise seen in Constantine an intermediary between the Empire and God, claiming that, as the first Christian emperor, Constantine was surpassing his pagan predecessors in the exercise of justice. ‘They were in their nature, perhaps, only like the just’, he writes, for one who knows not God, the Master of the universe, can attain a likeness of justice, but not justice itself. But you [i.e. Constantine], both by the innate sanctity of your manners, and by the knowledge of the truth of God, are fulfilling the works of justice in every action. (bk VII, cap. 27 (p. 538))

Like Constantine, Lactantius had interpreted Astraea and her son as types of the Virgin and Christ-child; here Lactantius identifies Constantine himself with the justice of Christ and the Christian church. The justice that pagan poets had embodied in Astraea was being fulfilled for Lactantius in every action of the Christian Constantine. It is with Constantine’s Christian empire that England is compared in the 1533 entry. Virgil had prophesied that a pagan Golden Age would be established under the leadership of Astraea’s son, and Constantine had interpreted this as an allegory for Christ, Mary, and the Immaculate Conception. Lactantius had gone on to identify Constantine’s empire as the proper setting for this Christian Golden Age, but it is with Anne, England, and the empire of the Appeals Act that the Golden Age is associated in the pageants of the 1533 entry. Its pageants emphasise Anne Boleyn’s roles as queen-consort and mother-to-be; it is in relation to these roles that the entry identifies Anne both with Astraea and the Virgin Mary, as a heaven-sent mediatrix destined to follow in the footsteps of her classical and Christian forebears, and to give birth to the child who would re-establish the Golden Age on earth. ‘Quam fausta illuxit, terra Brita[n]na, tibi! [How lucky for you, Britain!]’, chorus the nine Muses at the conclusion of the first pageant on the corner of Gracechurch Street. O te felicem tua si iam commoda nosses, Quae cum Regina lux ferat ista simul. Hac Domina ciues præsentia numina spondent Tempora pr[æ]teritis commodiora dare. Hac Domina haud vnq[uam] vanus promittit Apollo. Perpetuo vobis tempora l[æ]ta fore. Æterni iam veris honor, iam secla redibunt Qualia Saturni regna tenentis erant. Qu[æ]que sub Henrico fuit vrbs liberrima semper, Anna erit adiuncta coniuge liberior. Mox ea concipiet regni solatia vestri. 80

Royal Supremacy and the Rhetoric of Empire Filiolum, tanto qui patre dignus erit. Sumere et imperij qui sceptra ac iura paterni, Sed post Henrici tempora, sera queat. [O a favourable day already begins to dawn with your queen, if only you know the good things that she brings with her! Here Lady, citizens, the gods in person pledge to give more fully than to past times. At no time here, Lady, does Apollo make empty promises. The glad times for you are going to be forever. True honour now eternal, now the ages return such as had been kept in the reigns of Saturn. That which in Henry’s reign has always been the freest city, in Anne’s reign shall be yet freer. Soon she shall bear that solace of the realm and of you both – a little son, who shall be as great as the worthy father – and who moreover, after the times of Henry, shall be able to take up the rights and powers of his father’s empire.]33

Udall here invests England under Henry VIII with the same providential significance that Eusebius had accorded the Roman Empire under Augustus. Anne’s advent as Henry’s spouse is as heaven-sent for Udall as was the Roman Empire for Eusebius. As Eusebius had upheld this empire as the divinely intended setting for the Christian Golden Age, so Udall writes that the reigns of Saturn will return during Anne’s reign as queen-consort to Henry VIII. Udall presents Anne as instrumental to the re-establishment of the Golden Age on earth, and he further implies identification between Anne and Astraea by here emphasising Anne’s child-bearing role, as mother of ‘a little son’ and heir to Henry’s imperial crown. Anne’s role as royal child-bearer is also central to her presentation in the verse that Udall composed for each of the nine Muses. ‘May the heavenly ones who judge bless these nuptials [Connubia hæc, superi, qui statuere, probent]’ (fol. 4r), Cleio sings, so that soon Anne will prove herself ‘a fertile mother to bring forth manly offspring [sobolem parias mater f[æ]cunda virilem]’ (fol. 4v). Anne is urged by Polyhymnia ‘soon to bless the land with an heir [patriam mox prole beare]’ (fol. 7v), while her sister Thaleia again invokes heaven’s blessings on ‘a happy marriage, and that after your lifetimes your children shall seize the kingdom [Felicesque toros, et qui post s[æ]cula vestra | Regnum capessant liberos]’ (fol. 5r). Calliope calls on Londoners to pray that Henry and Anne beget ‘offspring worthy of their parents [pignora […] digna parentibus]’ (fol. 4v), while Melpomene and Erato hope that ‘in a short time this fruitful one shall bless her country and her prince with a son [breui tam patriam, quam

33

Royal 18 A LXIV, fols 7v–8r.

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principem, | Fœcunda prole mascula | Beet]’ (fol. 5r), and that ‘Henrico et Annæ’ may intertwine ‘with their fair heir [prole cum pari suis]’ as the elm and clinging vine (fol. 6r). As in the chorus of the Muses, Anne’s advent is identified as heaven-sent in the verse Udall assigns to Vrania: ‘Hanc o fausta Britannia, | Ortam syderibus […] tibi [She has sprung from the heavens for you, O happy Britain!]’ (fol. 6v). Hers is the only verse at this pageant to allude to the fact that Anne was already six months pregnant at the time of the entry. Already ‘Anne’s womb is swelling [Annæ vterus tumens]’, sings Vrania. Hæc mox iam meditabitur, Fœcundo sobolem gignere masculam Partu, quæ imperium regat, Vna cum senibus rite parentibus [Soon now a son shall be borne of this fruitful one, to rule the empire aright alongside his aged parents]. (fol. 6v)

Only in the verse that Udall composed for Terpsichore and Euterpe is there no allusion either to Anne’s child-bearing role, or to the better times that the birth of a royal heir could be expected to bring about. Anne is presented by Udall as a mother-to-be, a mediatrix whose child brings promise of better times to come. Like Udall’s verse, the stagecraft of this pageant is also influenced by Virgil’s fourth eclogue, and its prophecy that Astraea will return to re-establish the Golden Age on earth. The Coronacyon describes how Apollo and the nine Muses were arrayed on stage with ‘instrumentes & apparayle acordyng to the discrypcion of poetes/ and namely of Uirgyll’ (sig. A4r). The ascription here to Virgil of verse describing the appearance of Apollo and the nine Muses is misplaced. The description is in fact contained in the fourth-century mnemonic Catonis de Musis Versus by pseudo-Ausonius, wherein each muse is identified as patron of, and receives costume appropriate to, one of the nine modes of classical poetry.34 What does have its basis in Virgil’s fourth eclogue is the decision of the devisers of the Gracechurch Street pageant to position Calliope at the feet of Apollo. Upon its stage, writes Hall, had ‘satte Appollo and at his feete satte Calliope’. Her eight sisters, Hall continues, were seated below them, ‘on euery syde of the mountain’, and were playing ‘on seueral swete instrumentes’ (sig. NNN4v). Although Apollo’s association with the Muses can be traced back to the Homeric Hymn ‘To the

34

The Works of Ausonius, ed. R. P. H. Green (Oxford, 1991), pp. 676–77.

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Muses and Apollo’, which identifies Apollo and the Muses as the children of Zeus, it was Virgil who had implied that there was more than mere companionship between Calliope and Apollo.35 The poet alludes in passing to a sexual relationship when at the conclusion of his fourth eclogue he anticipates the verse that Astraea’s son will inspire within him. ‘Neither Thracian Orpheus nor Linus beats my songs’, Virgil writes, ‘although the mother gives help to one and the father to the other, Calliope to Orpheus, handsome Apollo to Linus [Non me carminibus vincet nec Thracius Orpheus, | Nec Linus, huic mater quanuis, atque huic pater adsit, | Orphei Calliopea, Lino formosus Apollo]’ (sig. B4r). Virgil’s fourth eclogue hints at an intimacy between Calliope and Apollo, and it is to this that the devisers Of Apollo with the Muses gave expression when they chose to position Calliope at Apollo’s feet on stage. The text of the eclogue contains a second allusion to the figure of Apollo that may have influenced the stagecraft of the entry on a more fundamental level. Having prophesied that Astraea and the other immortals would descend from the heavens, Virgil turns attention in the eclogue to the child destined to re-establish the Golden Age on earth. ‘Only you smile, chaste Lucina’, he writes, ‘on the new-born boy under whom the age of iron shall subside and a golden race arise throughout the world: your Apollo now reigns [Tu modo nascenti puero quo ferrea primum | Desinet, ac toto surget gens aurea mundo: | Casta faue Lucina: tuus iam regnat Apollo]’ (sig. B3r). Lucina, the Roman goddess of childbirth, can be associated with either Juno or Diana, but the epithet casta suggests it was the chaste Diana whom Virgil here intends. His use of the possessive tuus to describe the relationship between Lucina and Apollo further identifies Lucina with Diana, since Diana was Apollo’s twin sister by Latona and Jupiter. It is of course appropriate that it should here be Diana – the goddess of chastity and childbirth alike – who alone smiles on the birth of this immaculately conceived infant by the virgin Astraea. Yet Diana does not only smile on Astraea’s son because of his virgin birth; Virgil here implies the new-born’s resemblance to Diana’s twin brother Apollo, and this too gives Diana cause for joy. So it is to Apollo that Astraea’s child is compared in Virgil’s fourth eclogue; this comparison may well have inspired the subject-matter Of Apollo with the Muses. As Apollo is identified with Astraea’s son in the eclogue, so Apollo stands in for this child at Gracechurch Street. His

35

The Homeric Hymns, no. 25, ed. Thomas Allen and E. E. Sikes (London, 1904), pp. 280–81.

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presence on stage symbolises the dawn in England of the Golden Age that this child was destined to re-establish on earth. Apollo’s descent with the Muses to the streets of London also derives significance from Virgil’s allusion in the eclogue to the ‘new race being sent down from the high heaven [noua progenies cælo demittitur alto]’ to accompany Astraea on her return to earth (sig. B2v). The participation in the entry of these gods and goddesses serves to reinforce Anne’s identification as Astraea. ‘AEthereasque domos en magnus Apollo reliquit, | Vt te hic nobilis Anna salutet [Behold! Apollo has left the mighty ethereal house in order here to salute you, noble Anne]’, Polyhymnia sings. Iuno, Venus, Pallas, nos Musae, et Gratia triplex, Turba Deumque frequens aliorum, Debita cantantes Ph[œ]beo carmina iussu Huc tibi gratatu[m] Anna venimus. [Juno, Venus, Pallas, we Muses and the three Graces come hither by Phoebus’s [i.e. Apollo’s] command to rejoice. A general multitude of other gods sing songs in tribute to you Anne.]36

Virgil had prophesied that gods and goddesses would accompany Astraea on her descent to earth, and Polyhymnia points out that Apollo and the nine Muses have here congregated at Gracechurch Street to welcome Anne into London as queen. Polyhymnia not only draws Anne’s attention to the presence by Apollo’s command of her sister Muses at Gracechurch Street. Her verse also looks beyond the groves of Parnassus, to the goddesses gathered at Apollo’s behest at the conduits in Cornhill and Cheapside. Juno, Venus, Athena, and the three Graces all join with the Muses to welcome Anne as Astraea. Both the pageants Of the Judgement of Paris and Of the three Graces bear witness by their casts of goddesses to England’s Golden Age under Henry and Anne. It is as Anne’s celestial companions that the three Graces are presented at the Cornhill Conduit. ‘Thei attend with their contynuaall presence’, Udall writes in English verse ‘p[ro]nounced vnto the Queenes grace’ by a child at the Conduit. ‘While your grace is here, thei also here dwell. | About the pleasaunte brinks of this liue well’ (fols 11r–v). The three sister Graces, Aglaia, Thaleia, and Euphrosyne, pledge to endow Anne with the virtues that they each represent: ‘Hartie gladnes’, ‘stable honour’ (fol. 11v), and ‘contynuall successe’ (fol. 12r). It is with the gifts of the gods that Anne is

36

Royal 18 A LXIV, fol. 7r.

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likewise rewarded at the pageant Of the Judgement of Paris. Hall writes that Anne had here received ‘a balle of gold’ from Mercury, ‘in the name of the iii. goddesses’ Juno, Venus, and Pallas Athena (sig. NNN4v). This ball had been ‘deuyded in thre’, we are told, to signify the ‘thre giftes [the] which thre Goddesses gaue to her, that is to saye, wysedome, ryches and felicitie’ (sig. NNN5r). It is with a crown, not a ball, that Anne is rewarded by Paris in Udall’s play-text for this pageant, preserved in the ‘copie of diuers and sundry verses’, and comprising just twenty-one lines of English verse. The first half of the play forms a summary of the narrative contained in Lucian’s Dialogues. Jupiter’s messenger, Mercury, delivers a golden apple to Paris, with the command ‘to Iuge whiche is fairest of these ladies three’. Juno and Pallas each attempt to purloin the apple from Paris, enticing him with ‘riches, and kingdomes’, and ‘incomparable wisedome’ respectively. It is to Venus’s offer of ‘the fairest ladie that on the erthe is’ that Paris finally consents, however. Therefore ladie Venus, before bothe these twain your beautie moche exceding, by my sentence, Shall win and haue this aple.

So far, so Lucian. ‘Yet to bee plain’, Paris continues, Here is the fouerthe ladie now in presence, Moste worthie to haue it of due congruence, As pereles in riches, wit, and beautee, Whiche ar but sundrie qualities in you three. But for hir worthynes, this aple of gold Is to symple a reward a thousand fold. (fol. 13r)

The golden ball that Hall has Paris award to Anne was said to symbolise ‘wysedome, ryches and felicitie’. Yet in Udall’s play-text, Anne is already ‘pereles in riches, wit, and beautee’. Some other prize more appropriate than the ‘symple reward’ of the golden apple is in fact required. ‘Noo, noo’, writes Udall, an other rewarde there is Ordeined for the worthynes of hir grace, And not to bee disposed by you Paris, Nor to bee geven here in this place. Queene Anne, moste excellent that eu[er] was, ffor you is redy a Croun Imperiall, To your ioye, honour, and glorie ymmortall. (fol. 13v)

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Anne entered London as queen of England’s empire apart, and Udall here alludes to the imperial crown with which Anne was to be invested at her coronation the following day. A replica of this imperial crown appears on the stage of the Leadenhall pageant Of St Anne. Its English play-text, complete with two stage-directions, was also composed by Udall, as was the English ballad that Udall directed to be sung upon Anne’s departure from this pageant. Udall also composed for this pageant three stanzas of Latin verse in praise of ‘the progeny of St Anne [progeniem Diu[æ] Annæ]’, ‘the falcon descending from the cloud to the roses [falcone e nube delabente in rosas]’, and ‘the angel crowning the falcon [angelo falconem coronante]’, with Leland contributing a fourth stanza in Latin ‘on the same pageant [de eodem pegmate]’ (fol. 10r–v). Udall’s script, which consists of three speeches ‘pronounced vnto the quenes grace’ by three children, forms a comment on the action that unfolds on stage (fol. 8r). Both Hall and the author of the Coronacyon agree on the scene that greeted Anne at this pageant. Beneath a painted cupola of the heavens sat ‘saint Anne’, mother of the Virgin Mary and her two sisters Mary Cleophas and Mary Salome, herself mother to the apostles James and John. ‘The thre Marys’ sat beneath Anne, and beneath them sat Christ, James, John, and the four children of Mary Cleophas.37 Hall writes that one of Mary’s four children arose to make ‘a goodly Oracion to the quene of the fruitfulnes of saint Anne and of her generacion, trustyng that like fruite should come of her’.38 Anne was identified with her classical forebear Astraea in the pageant Of Apollo with the nine Muses. The pageant Of St Anne instead urges her to follow in the footsteps of her namesake, St Anne. ‘For like as from this deuout Saint Anne, | Issued this holy generacion’, Udall writes. First Christ, to redeme the soll of man, Then James thapostle, and theuangelist Jhon, […] Wee the Citizens, by you, in shorte space, hope suche issue, and descente to purchace, Whereby the same faith shalbee defended, And this Citie from all daung[er]s preserued. (fol. 8v)

St Anne takes the place of Astraea in the Leadenhall pageant, as the heaven-sent mediatrix with whom Anne Boleyn is here identified. As mother of the Virgin Mary, the figure of St Anne functions in the entry

37 38

Coronacyon, sig. A4r. Vnion, sig. NNN4v.

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alongside Astraea, as an appropriate vehicle through which to emphasise to Anne Boleyn the importance of her own role as child-bearer to Henry VIII. As mediatrix of the Christian era to which the Virgin Mary gave birth, St Anne’s presence at the Leadenhall complements the presence of the pagan goddesses stationed elsewhere in the entry. Anne Boleyn’s anticipated son was figured as Phoebus Apollo at Gracechurch Street, but it is with the light of Christian faith, and the rights of Christian justice, that he is identified at the Leadenhall pageant Of St Anne. Anne was not only identified with Astraea in her entry, but with St Anne, and with her daughter, the Virgin Mary. This blending of the classical with the Christian follows the interpretative strategies of early Christian writers like Lactantius, Eusebius, and Constantine himself, writers who brought Astraea into a Christian world-view, and who identified the Roman Empire as the site of the Christian Golden Age. Lactantius associated with the Emperor Constantine the justice embodied in Christ and the son of Astraea; the entry casts Anne Boleyn’s son into the role Lactantius had reserved for Constantine. The implication here is that England under Henry VIII shares in the destiny of Constantine’s empire; in Anne’s entry, England too becomes the divinely intended setting for the establishment of the Golden Age on earth. These parallels between the empires of Constantine and Henry VIII were not only confined to the 1533 entry. Constantine figured prominently in the campaign to win support for England’s Break with Rome, his presidency over church councils and synods serving as a useful precedent for Henry’s own claims to govern the English church. Behind the Break with Rome lurked Henry’s ‘great matter’, his conviction by 1527 that his eighteen-year marriage to Catherine of Aragon was immoral in the eyes of God. Catherine had been widowed in 1502 after only five months of marriage to Henry’s elder brother, Arthur. Assuming that Catherine’s marriage to Arthur had been consummated, and recognising that this related Henry to Catherine in the first degree of affinity, Julius II had in December 1503 granted a bull dispensing with this impediment to Henry’s marriage to Catherine. Henry and his team of theologians and canonists alleged that this bull contained errors invalidating its dispensation. This argument appears in a treatise prepared for the Blackfriars court, convened between May and July 1529 to hear the case for annulment.39 The bulk of this treatise develops a second, much more radical argument against the

39

Vnion, sig. HHH2r. The treatise itself is Trinity College Cambridge MS B.15.19. See The

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marriage. This cited passages from Leviticus that proscribe marriage to a deceased brother’s wife (Leviticus 18.6 and 20.21), arguing that no earthly power – not even Rome – could presume to dispense with divine laws like these. More, then, was at stake than disputes over the legality of the 1503 bull. On trial at Blackfriars was the wider question of whether divine law could be dispensed with by Rome. The Blackfriars court was being asked to pit the Bible against Rome, and to pass sentence on which power it thought had the most authority in this world. No wonder its judges moved to have the hearing (permanently) adjourned on 30 July 1529! This Blackfriars treatise, the ‘Henricvs octauus’, became more and more hardline in its support for the Bible over Rome as it evolved into the version printed with the determinations of the seven universities favourable to the annulment as Gravissimae […] Academiarum censurae in April 1531.40 Thomas Cranmer’s English translation, The Determinations, was printed seven months later in November.41 Censurae/ Determinations presents itself as an abstract treatise on the subject of marriage to a brother’s wife, on the divine laws against such a union, and on whether these laws were dispensable by Rome. Never once throughout its seven chapters does it mention Henry’s own marriage to Catherine of Aragon. That said, the treatise is written with Henry’s ‘great matter’ in mind, and cites a range of conciliar, patristic, and scholastic authorities in support of Henry’s case against the pope’s authority to dispense with divine law. Determinations concludes that it should ‘be the dutie’ of bishops (cap. 8 (p. 265)), and of ‘al other christian men/ be thei neuer so meane or of lowe degre’, to ‘withstande and resyste valiantly the Pope’ by breaking off ‘suche mariages, as be incest’ in the eyes of God (cap. 8 (p. 267)). For els howe shal these prelates do the dutie of bysshoppes and ouerseers, as they oucht to do, if that for the cruelte, & thretes of the popes, they shall not dare call backe theyr shepe in to the way of truthe, that be out of the wey and lost, for whom they shal gyue a compte in the terrible and dredefull iudgement of god? (cap. 8 (p. 265))

40

41

Divorce Tracts of Henry VIII, ed. Edward Surtz and Virginia Murphy (Angers, 1988), pp. v–xviii. Gravissimae, atcque exactissimae illustrissimarum totius Italiae, et Galliae Academiarum censurae (London, [1531]). Murphy (Divorce Tracts, pp. xxiv–xxxiii) identifies three extant variants of the treatise – evidence, she argues, that the ‘Henricvs octauus’ evolved into Censurae through three stages of redaction. The Determinations of the moste famous and mooste excellent vniuersities of Italy and Fraunce (London, 1531). Censurae and Determinations have been printed in parallel in Divorce Tracts. References are to this edition.

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Censurae/ Determinations urges bishops to subordinate canon to divine law, and to ignore any papal dispensation that rides roughshod over the Word of God. Its standpoint is supported in the text by appeal to precedents from the annals of ecclesiastical history. This challenge to Rome had become considerably more developed by the time Edward Foxe set out in 1534 to identify The true dyffere[n]s betwen [the] regall power and the Ecclesiasticall power, as his Latin treatise De Vera Differentia was titled in the 1548 translation by Henry, Lord Stafford.42 Written in the immediate aftermath of the passage of the Appeals Act through parliament, its enquiry into ecclesiastical authority has been read by John Guy as an attempt ‘to give the legislation of 1533 spurious historical force’.43 The Appeals Act alluded in general terms to the ‘dyvers sundrie olde autentike histories and cronicles’ that could corroborate its claim that England was an empire, independent of Rome and ‘the auctoritie of other foreyne potentates’ to boot.44 The text of De Vera/ dyfferens is more specific: it turns to the first Council of Nicæa for evidence that the English church had every right to determine homegrown ecclesiastical matters without interference from Rome. ‘[The] councel of Nycene hath ratyfied [that] causes shulde not be determyned out of [the] proui[n]ces where they began’, Foxe asserts (sig. E5v). A marginal comment on the same page points the reader to the source of this assertion – ‘Conci niceno cap. v’, that is the fifth Nicæan canon, wherein it is agreed that no excommunicate can be received into any other church province unless they first be reconciled to the province that had originally excommunicated them. Christians excommunicated in England, for example, must be reconciled to the church in England before they can take communion in, say, Rome.45 This canon was not the only precedent from Nicæa that Foxe cited in support of his argument against papal abuses of power. Foxe claims Nicæa had ‘counted of euery ma[n]’ there present ‘to be most holyest, and moost lawefully congregate’ (sig. E1r). Yf the bisshope of Rome ought bi [the] lawe of god to be taken hedde of [the] church, Foundacion of [the] churche, Chiffe of [the] churche, The

42

43

44 45

Edward Foxe, Opvs Eximivm. De Vera Differentia Regiæ Potestatis et Ecclesiasticæ (London, 1534). The true dyffere[n]s betwen [the] regall power and the Ecclesiasticall power, trans. Henry Stafford (London, [1548]). References are to the 1548 translation. John Guy, ‘Thomas Cromwell and the Intellectual Origins of the Henrician Revolution’, in Reassessing the Henrician Age: Humanism, Politics and Reform 1500–1550, ed. Alistair Fox and John Guy (Oxford, 1986), pp. 151–78 (p. 171). Statutes, III, 427. William Bright, Notes on the Canons of the First Four General Councils (Oxford, 1882), pp. 12–16.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature onlye & supreme vicarre of christe it is not credible those holye fathers to be so ignorant, [that] they knowe not what they ought to do Nor so vngodly [that] they wold not do that they ought to do. (sigs D8v–E1r)

The canons that came out of Nicæa, and the equality observed among the congregation of bishops there present, are used by Foxe to support England’s Break with Rome. If the Bishop of Rome had no authority over the other bishops at Nicæa, Foxe asks, then on what grounds does Rome now claim authority over the Archbishops of Canterbury and York? Rome has no power in England, Foxe claims, and for this reason ‘it shal not be lawful for Archebyshops, Byshops, nor othere persons of the realme, to goo oute of the Realme without licence of the Kynge’ (sigs L8r–v). Alongside the claim in the Appeals Act that England is an empire, independent of Rome, is the claim that it is an empire ‘gov[er]ned by oon Sup[re]me heede and King’, to whom both laity and clergy alike owe their obedience.46 As Foxe cites from Nicæa in support of the Break with Rome, so he uses Constantine’s presidency of the Council of Nicæa, and of other church councils and synods, as a precedent for Henry’s own claims to call himself ‘supreme head’ of the English church. ‘The churche of god was co[m]mytted by Christ to the princes or lordes that [they] shulde saue and defende it’, writes Foxe (sigs L4v–5r). As such, it is ‘the princes of the worlde’ who ‘are bounde to make Acounte to god for [the] churche which they toke of Chryst to gouerne and defend’. This, he concludes, ‘is the proper and chefe cure of pri[n]ces’ (sig. L5r–v). Censurae/ Determinations gave each bishop responsibility for the spiritual welfare of their see. It claimed it was English bishops, not the Bishop of Rome, who were ultimately answerable for the state of English souls. This spiritual responsibility shifts in the text of De Vera/ dyfferens to be invested in secular princes, the supreme heads of the church in their realms. It is in this role that Foxe identifies the Emperor Constantine. Foxe quotes from an epistle written by ‘Constantine to the bisshoppes assembled together in the Citie of Tiro [i.e. Tyre]’ (sig. L5v), and admonishing them ‘with al spede’ to ‘come before my magestye that ye maye certyfye & showe me your selues [the] verite of those thinges that ye haue done’ (sig. L6r).47 According to Foxe, Constantine wrote to the Council of Tyre in response to rumours that ‘in your troublos & hastie councell […] the trweth is

46 47

Statutes, III, 427. That is, the Council of Tyre [now Sûr, Lebanon], convoked in AD 335. See Encyclopedia of the Early Church, ed. Angelo di Berardino, trans. Adrian Walford, 2 vols (Cambridge, 1992), II, pp. 854–55.

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opprest and troden downe’ (sig. L5v). In commanding that these bishops appear before him, he assures them that he acts in accordance with his role as arbiter of God’s justice on earth. ‘I wyl labour with al my power that those thinges that be in [the] lawe of god maye be chefely obserued’, Foxe has Constantine declare, ‘and that al Enemyes of the lawe of god maye vtterli be dyspised distroyed and banished’ (sig. L7v). So it is not only the canons of Nicæa that justify England’s Break with Rome in the text of De Vera/ dyfferens. Also crucial to Foxe is Constantine’s role as president at Nicæa and at other councils of the fourth-century church, a role that for Foxe serves as precedent for Henry’s own self-image as ‘supreme head’ of the English church. Christ had entrusted his church to each and every bishop, not merely to the Bishop of Rome, and Foxe claims that it was secular rulers, not the apostolic see, to whom these bishops were ultimately answerable for their actions. Emperor Justinian, writes Foxe, ‘dyd make lawes & ordinau[n]ces of faith of Heritikes, of holye churches & of bysshoppes and clarkes of religiouse men’, after the example of his predecessor Constantine (sigs L7v–8r). Foxe claims that Henry VIII, and other ‘kinges of England’ before him, have likewise ‘ordered [the] Realme by the Imperiall power’ that Constantine wielded over the fourth-century church (sig. M1r). These allusions in the text of De Vera/ dyfferens to the prerogatives of Constantine and the precedents of Nicæa appear alongside other historical material supportive of the Royal Supremacy in the Collectanea satis copiosa, a ‘sufficiently abundant collection’ of sources compiled under the leadership of Foxe himself, following the breakdown of the Blackfriars hearing in July 1529.48 It was to the Collectanea that the Appeals Act also referred, when it spoke of the ‘dyvers sundrie olde autentike histories and cronicles’ that together declared England an empire, ‘gov[er]ned by oon Sup[re]me heede and King’. The Duke of Norfolk made use of material contained in Collectanea, when in conversation on 13 January 1531 he had defended Henry’s ‘right of empire’ in England before the Imperial ambassador, Chapuys. Norfolk, Chapuys writes, had said to him, that the Popes in former times had tried to usurp authority, and that the people would not suffer it, – still less would they do so now; that the King had a right of empire in his kingdom, and recognised no superior; […] that Constantine reigned here, and the mother of Constantine was English, &c. [That] he had lately shown the ambassadors of France the seal or the tomb of King Arthur (I did not know of whom he spoke,) in

48

‘Collectanea satis copiosa’, BL Cotton Cleopatra E VI, fols 16–139.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature which there was a writing, which I would see in a bill of parchment […]. This bill contained only the words ‘Patricius Arcturus, Brittaniæ. Galliæ, Germaniæ, Daciæ Imperator’. I said I was sorry he was not also called Emperor of Asia […] and if from this he argued that they might still make conquests like the said Arthur, let him consider what had become of the Assyrians, Macedonians, Persians, &c.49

‘Empire, Constantine, Arthur’, writes Richard Koebner on the historical precedents that Norfolk here rehearses. ‘These were the fragments which presented, if put together, a coherent texture of historical claims.’ According to Koebner, ‘Imperial greatness had been brought to England by Constantine being the son of a British mother. It had devolved on Arthur’, and, through Arthur, on Arthur’s dynastic successor, Henry VIII.50 When Norfolk claims that the ‘King had a right of empire in his kingdom, and recognised no superior’, his use of the word ‘empire’ signals Henry’s claims to unrivalled authority in England (‘in his kingdom’). But Norfolk’s understanding of empire is clearly lost on Chapuys, who rather misses the point of Norfolk’s reference here to the empires of Constantine and Arthur, assuming that Norfolk is here announcing an English colonial project to rival the worldly ambitions of Charles V. Norfolk’s empire anticipates the absolutism of the Royal Supremacy; for Chapuys, ‘empire’ translates as conquest abroad. This, then, is why Chapuys warns the English to consider the fates of other empire-builders (the Assyrians, Macedonians, Persians) before embarking on ‘conquests like the said Arthur’. Norfolk’s encounter with Chapuys serves to underscore the concurrence in the sixteenth century of the two ideas of empire outlined in Chapter One, but it also highlights the confusions inherent in this two-fold understanding of the term. It is worth noting here that Norfolk seems to have made no allowance for this potential for confusion when he chose to identify imperial England with the past empires of Constantine and Arthur. In his letter to Charles V, Chapuys freely confessed that he had never before heard of King Arthur. From the words Norfolk alleges were written on Arthur’s tomb (claiming Arthur as emperor of modern-day Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and Romania), it is nevertheless easy to see why Chapuys assumed that Norfolk was here announcing an English campaign to reclaim Arthur’s erstwhile empire overseas. Chapuys would

49 50

LP, V (1880), pp. 19–20. Richard Koebner, ‘ “The Imperial Crown of this Realm”: Henry VIII, Constantine the Great and Polydore Vergil’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 26 (1953), pp. 29–52 (p. 41).

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certainly have heard of Constantine the Great, but then this was because Charles V was himself identified with this Roman ruler of an empire that at its height had stretched from Lebanon in the east to Portugal in the west, and from the North African seaboard in the south to the Scottish borders in the north. When Charles was elected Holy Roman Emperor in June 1519, his Grand Chancellor, Mercurino de Gattinara, had been quick to identify Constantine’s with Charles’s empire (see pp. 41–2 above). The comparison, as we have seen in Chapter One, was not inaccurate. By June 1519, Charles ruled over most of modern day Spain, southern Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Low Countries. His colonies in Latin America even went beyond the boundaries of Constantine’s ancient empire, a fact that Charles’s motto, plus ultra [still further], strove to make clear.51 The Duke of Norfolk, then, had failed sufficiently to take his audience into account when he had spoken to Chapuys of Henry’s imperial aspirations, in the process identifying Henry’s English empire with the erstwhile empires of Constantine and Arthur. As ambassador to an emperor whose very motto spoke of territorial conquest, it was always likely that Chapuys would read a colonial subtext into Norfolk’s talk of empire; Norfolk’s allusion to Constantine, and his ill-judged reference to the inscription on Arthur’s tomb, must have tipped the balance firmly in favour of this misreading. For Chapuys, Constantine and Arthur were emblematic of empire as it was understood by the Habsburgs. Gattinara had likened the empire under Charles V to the empire under Constantine, and it was with Arthur that Charles had been compared in the 1522 entry, where at the Cornhill Conduit a child had reportedly ‘saluted the emprow[er]’ and compared ‘hym in noblenes to the seyd Arthur’.52 As had Foxe in De Vera/ dyfferens, Norfolk likened England’s empire apart to the empire under Constantine. Apologists for Constantine had cast his empire as a Christian Golden Age on earth, and the 1533 entry had imitated their language to liken Anne Boleyn with Astraea and St Anne. As England in the entry shares the destiny of Constantine’s empire, so Henry VIII shares with Constantine his role as God’s deputy on earth. Eusebius had claimed that Constantine ‘acts

51

52

For the motto, see Earl E. Rosenthal, ‘The Invention of the Columnar Device of Emperor Charles V at the Court of Burgundy in Flanders in 1516’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 36, (1973), 198–230. ‘Descrypcion of the pageantes made in the Cyte of London att the recevyng of the most excellent pryncys Charlys the fyfte Emperour, & Henry the viij. kyng off englonde’, CCCC, MS 298, II, 8, pp. 132–42 (p. 138).

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as interpreter to the Word of God’; his edicts aim at ‘declaring with powerful voice the laws of truth and godliness to all who dwell on earth’. Constantine is here cast as head of the church in his empire; this same ‘right of empire’ was claimed by Norfolk for Henry VIII, and it was a claim that reappeared in the Appeals Act and in Foxe’s De Vera/ dyfferens. The rhetoric of the 1533 entry can therefore be read in relation to other texts of the period that use the precedent of Constantine to popularise Henry’s ‘right of empire’ in England. Constantine and his Christian Golden Age inform the stagecraft Of Apollo with the Muses, just as Constantine and his presidency at Nicæa inform the argument of Foxe’s De Vera/ dyfferens. Henry’s understanding of ‘empire’ had evolved since 1522, but this semantic shift went unsignalled in the 1533 entry, for its comparison between England and the empire under Constantine was lost beneath the formal similarities between its stagecraft and that of the 1522 entry. England had been transfigured as the Golden Age in both entries; Anne was in her entry awarded the same imperial crown that eleven years earlier had been conferred by Charlemagne upon Henry VIII and Charles V. Astraea and the iconography of the imperial crown are used in both entries to emblematise different imperial ideologies. In 1522, England stood apart from the Habsburg Holy Roman Empire; in 1533, it stood apart from the Church of Rome. In both entries, moreover, England imagined itself as an empire ideologically distinct from the worldly empire of Charles V. It must have proved difficult, though, for spectators of the 1533 entry fully to comprehend the ideological agenda behind its stagecraft. The clarity of its standpoint on the Royal Supremacy was undermined by formal similarities between the 1522 and 1533 entries. These formal similarities opened up a space between the form and content of the 1533 entry that was quickly exploited by the imperial ambassador, Chapuys. In letters to the emperor, Chapuys read the pageant Of Apollo with the Muses in relation to the empire of Charles V, completely overlooking its support for Henry’s ‘right of empire’ in England. His response to this pageant is of a piece with his misreading of Norfolk’s allusion to Constantine. As they had with Constantine, so Habsburg writers also incorporated the imagery of the Golden Age into propaganda for Charles V; Charles was cast as the son of Astraea in Guevara’s Diall of Princes, as he was in the 1522 entry, in the ‘Ile off englonde’ pageant at the Cornhill Stocks (see pp. 56–8 below). Chapuys had not been ambassador in England in 1522, but his response to the 1533 entry was nevertheless to read into the stagecraft Of Apollo with the Muses the semantics of the Golden Age current at the court of Charles V. Chapuys approached this pageant as propaganda for the Habsburg Empire, exploiting its formal 94

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similarities with Habsburg propaganda to score an ideological victory for the emperor in his battle with the king’s ‘great cause of matrimony’. In letters to Charles V, Chapuys claimed that the English were sympathetic to the emperor’s own standpoint on Henry’s marriage to Anne. ‘The King in vain forbids’ the people to ‘be so bold as to murmur at his marriage’, Chapuys wrote to Charles on 27 April 1533, ‘as it only makes the people speak more against it in private, and these prohibitions only serve to envenom the heart of the people’.53 It was to add grist to these claims that Chapuys read Apollo with the Muses as a pageant supportive of the Habsburg Empire. ‘The time did not suffer, and still less the quality of the bearer of my letters of the 7th, to write at great length of the occurences here’, Chapuys complains to Charles V in his letter of 16 June 1533. This prevented me from making any mention of the entry of the King’s lady into this city and of her coronation, which was a cold, meagre, and uncomfortable thing, to the great dissatisfaction, not only of the common people, but also of the rest. And it seems that the indignation of everybody about this affair has increased by a half since the coronation. As it would be disagreeable to your Majesty to read the account of the said entry and coronation, I have written to Granvelle, to whom your Majesty can refer if you have leisure to waste.54

Chapuys here refers Charles to his account of the 1533 entry, and a fragment of an account opprobrious to the entry survives today. Although anonymous and undated, its description of how Anne had been insulted on the day of her entry can most likely be attributed to Chapuys, since it affirms what Chapuys had himself alleged about the ‘indignation’ of the English in the matter of Henry’s marriage to Anne. The writer of this fragment relates that, though it was customary to kneel, uncover, and cry ‘God save the King, God save the Queen’, whenever they appeared in public, no one in London or the suburbs, not even women and children, did so on this occasion. One of the Queen’s servants told the mayor to command the people to make the customary shouts, and was answered that he could not command people’s hearts, and that even the King could not make them do so. […] The letters H. A. were painted in several places, for Henry and Anne, but were laughed at by many.55

53 54 55

LP, VI, 179. LP, VI, 295. LP, VI, 266.

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It is more than probable that Chapuys had not even been present at the entry to witness the ‘cold, meagre, and uncomfortable’ affair that he describes in his letters to the emperor. Neither Hall nor the writer of the Coronacyon mentions his participation alongside the other ambassadors in the train of Anne’s procession through London.56 Chapuys had been reluctant to attend court in the month leading up to Anne’s coronation on 1 June, and he had even ‘thought it right to decline’ dinner at the Duke of Norfolk’s on Tuesday 14 May. Three days earlier, the English ecclesiastical court assembled at Dunstable Priory to hear the case for annulment had declared Catherine of Aragon contumacious by her non-appearance before them, and Chapuys had declined his dinner invitation in protest at this decision – so as ‘not to increase the suspicion that your Majesty has consented to this detestable proceeding’, he later explained to Charles V. Chapuys confessed himself ‘most devoted to the right of the Queen [i.e. Catherine]’, in a letter to the Emperor of Thursday 29 May.57 Catherine’s successor, Anne Boleyn, had been crowned queen three days later, and if Chapuys had declined Norfolk’s invitation out of sympathy for Catherine, he must have relished the opportunity to make a more public statement of his sympathies by opting out of Anne’s entry that weekend. In this letter of 29 May, Chapuys writes of Anne’s procession by barge from Greenwich to the Tower, which according to Hall had occurred ‘at one of the clocke’ that afternoon (sig. NNN2v). Chapuys claims Norfolk had invited him ‘secretly to see him in his chamber’ that morning, in anticipation of Norfolk’s departure for Nice the same afternoon. ‘The Duke left’ for Dover ‘two hours after I had returned’, writes Chapuys, ‘so that neither he nor his company […] have delayed one day to see the triumph in which the Lady has today come from Greenwich to the Tower’.58 Norfolk and his train had been unable – or perhaps unwilling – to attend Anne’s triumph due to the timing of their departure for France. Chapuys, by his own admission, had returned to his London lodgings a full two hours before Norfolk’s departure, and he therefore would have had ample opportunity to reach the Tower in time to witness the multitude of people, who according to Hall had ‘stode on euery shore to beholde the sight’ of Anne’s arrival there by barge (sig. NNN3v). The tone in which Chapuys reports Norfolk’s failure to delay even ‘one day to see the triumph’ – his readiness

56 57 58

Coronacyon, sigs A3v–A4r; cp. Vnion, sigs NNN4r–v. Both accounts mention the participation of the French and Venetian ambassadors. LP, VI, 223; 243. For the Dunstable court, see MacCulloch, pp. 92–94. LP, VI, 241; 243–44.

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to read this as a deliberate affront to Anne – argues that Chapuys had himself followed Norfolk in failing to join the throng of people at the Tower. Chapuys may not have been present at the Tower that Thursday, but nor was he willing to believe royalist accounts of how many had turned out to witness Anne’s entry into London by barge. ‘It passeth al mennes iudgementes to esteme the infinyte nombre of them’ who had ‘stode on the shore on bothe sydes of the ryuer’, wrote the author of the Coronacyon (sig. A2r). ‘He that sawe it not would not beleue it’, Hall had claimed (sig. NNN3v). Chapuys had probably not seen it, and neither was he willing to believe it. ‘The said triumph consisted entirely in the multitude of those who took part in it’, Chapuys wrote to Charles V on 29 May, ‘but all the people showed themselves as sorry as though it had been a funeral. I am told their indignation increases daily, and that they live in hope your Majesty will interfere’.59 When Chapuys spoke of ‘interference’, he spoke of war. In his letter to Charles of 26 May, Chapuys suggested that ‘the king of Scots might, without breach of faith, be the true intstrument to redress matters here’, and that in this war the Scots ‘might be aided by money from the Pope, whom the matter touches, and also from your Majesty’. ‘No doubt it would be better if all this could be avoided’, Chapuys concedes, but there is no hope of a remedy by gentleness; and even this people, who would suffer much if matters came to extremity, desire nothing better than that your Majesty should send an army hither. Your Majesty will doubtless judge of this by your immense prudence.60

Chapuys counsels Charles to intervene in English affairs, and he explains that his calls for ‘an enterprise against this kingdom’ merely echo the will of the English themselves, whose hearts, writes Chapuys, have been envenomed against the King by the ‘obstinacy’ of his decision to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Catherine had herself written to Charles to ask that he help ‘his Holiness […] slay the second Turk, which is the business of the King’. Like Chapuys, she too had claimed to speak for ‘all this kingdom and myself’ when expressing her indignation over the King’s great matter.61 When Chapuys wrote to Charles about Anne’s frosty, funeral-like entry into London, he wrote in support of his and Catherine’s claims to echo the

59 60 61

LP, VI, 244. LP, VI, 236. LP, VI, 150; LP, V, 641.

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murmuring of the English over the matter of Henry’s marriage to Anne. According to Chapuys, Londoners had been asked to contribute a total of ‘about 5,000 ducats’ towards the cost of the entry, ‘of which 3,000 are for a present to the Lady, and the rest for the ceremonial’. ‘Formerly there was no opposition to the said contribution’, Chapuys concedes to Charles on 18 May, but he explains that the increasing indignation of Londoners has meant that ‘now they compel even foreigners to contribute’. ‘The Easterlings, as being subjects of your Majesty, would like to be excused, but the great privileges they enjoy here prevent them from objecting’.62 The Easterlings, or merchants of the Steelyard, had, then, felt compelled to support Anne’s entry, as foreigners trading in England by royal consent. This tallies with what we know about the background to the entry, for at their meeting of 14 May the aldermen had agreed to ask the Duke of Norfolk whether the ‘estranngers enhabytyng w[ith]in thys Citie’ could be induced to ‘make of them selff[es] any pagent[es] or be contrybritares to the pageint[es] of the Citie’. Hall identifies Apollo with the Muses as the pageant ‘made by the marchauntes of the Styllyarde’, although Eric Ives has argued that Hall’s term ‘made’ should here ‘be read as no more than “paid for” ’, since authorship of the Gracechurch Street pageant can at least in part be attributed to Udall, as the sole composer of its surviving Latin verse.63 Chapuys assigns much more artistic licence to the Easterlings than Hall himself had allowed, however. His letter of 11 July informs Charles of how Anne ‘complains daily of the Easterlings, who on the day of her entry had set the imperial eagle predominant over the King’s arms and hers’. Three weeks later, on 30 July, Chapuys is again alluding to ‘the regret she [i.e. Anne] felt for the eagle which the Easterlings carried in triumph the day of her entry here’.64 The eagle to which Chapuys here refers is the two-headed eagle of the Habsburg coat of arms, arms that Charles V had inherited from his grandfather Maximilian I upon his election to the empire in 1519.65 For the Londoners at Anne’s entry, the two-headed eagle would have been synonymous, not only with the Habsburg Empire of Charles V, but with the merchants of the Steelyard themselves, who, as Chapuys pointed out to the emperor, professed themselves ‘subjects of your Majesty’. Chamberlain

62 63 64 65

LP, VI, 226. Egerton 2623, fol. 5; Vnion, sig. NNN4v; Ives, p. 276. LP, VI, 356; 397. Peter Burke, ‘L’image de Charles Quint: construction et interprétations’, in Charles Quint 1500–1558: L’empereur et son temps, ed. Hugo Soly (Arles, 2000), pp. 393–475 (p. 422).

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writes that the Habsburg two-headed eagle had even appeared in the early sixteenth century ‘carved in stone over the principal entrance to the Steelyard’.66 An eagle is included in a surviving sketch in pen and wash of the pageant Of Apollo with the Muses (see Plate 1). The sketch, attributed to Hans Holbein, depicts Apollo surrounded by the nine Muses, and seated in a bower surmounted by an eagle. Below the eagle, the scene is framed on either side by two candelabra, each bearing the royal arms and surmounted by imperial crowns, the same crowns displayed elsewhere in the entry, at the pageants Of St Anne and Of the Judgment of Paris. Anglo writes that this sketch ‘closely tallies with Hall’s description and Udall’s verses’; Kipling argues that the drawing ‘probably represents a preliminary design for a pageant suited to Leland’s and Udall’s iconographical scheme’.67 The parallels between Holbein’s design and Hall’s description of the Gracechurch Street pageant certainly seems to indicate that Apollo with the Muses was the product of close collaboration between Holbein, Udall, and the merchants of the Steelyard – although it is unclear from this whether ‘Holbein himself, no doubt, superintended the erection’ of the pageant on the day of Anne’s entry, as Chamberlain has argued (II, 31). Ives merely identifies Holbein as the artist ‘called in by the merchants to execute a design to a detailed English specification’ (p. 276). Neither Hall nor the author of the Coronacyon mention the appearance of the eagle in this pageant, but its inclusion on stage, atop Apollo’s bower, is implied by the parallels in all other respects between Holbein’s design and Hall’s description. Chapuys alleged that the Easterlings had set ‘the Imperial eagle predominant over the King’s arms’, and it is in this exact iconographical configuration that the eagle and royal arms appear in Holbein’s sketch. If this sketch describes the design of the pageant as it appeared in the entry, then it is easy to see why Anne interpreted the stagecraft Of Apollo with the Muses as an affront to her and her husband. This is certainly how Chapuys saw events. He identifies the Easterlings as authors of this insult to Anne, and he claims their insult was deliberate – clear evidence of their support for the emperor’s indignation over the king’s ‘great matter’. For Chapuys, the pageant Of Apollo with the Muses was of a piece with the snubs Anne had received elsewhere in her entry. Chapuys insinuates protest into the pageantry of the entry, and he does so to encourage the emperor to wage war against his former ally, the king of England.

66 67

Arthur Chamberlain, Hans Holbein the Younger, 2 vols (London, 1913), II, p. 33. Anglo, p. 250; Kipling, ‘Anne Boleyn’s Entry’, pp. 63–64.

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Chamberlain takes the content of Chapuys’s letters to Charles V at face value. He argues that ‘no doubt exists as to the use of the eagle on this particular occasion’, and he bases this on the evidence that Chapuys had written to Charles on 11 July, to report that the eagle had been ‘viewed with extreme distaste by the new Queen’ (II, 32). More recent criticism has approached the historical accuracy of Chapuys’s narrative with considerable scepticism, not least because Holbein’s drawing, as Anglo points out, ‘clearly shows a one-headed bird’ (p. 250, n. 2). Chamberlain admits that ‘the drawing is rubbed at the top’, but he argues that ‘there seem to be indications that the split or two-headed bird, which was then customary, was intended’ (II, 32). Ives agrees with Anglo that ‘the eagle in Holbein’s drawing is not the two-headed bird of the Habsburgs’. It was, he argues, improbable that the Easterlings should have planned ‘so offensive a gesture’ to Anne as to incorporate the Habsburg eagle into the stagecraft Of Apollo with the Muses. As Ives points out, these merchants were economic migrants in England, who ‘depended on the favour of the English crown’. Even if they had intended to snub Anne, however, Ives claims it would have been inappropriate for the Easterlings to have incorporated the Habsburg eagle into the iconography of a pageant concerned with Apollo. Ives approaches the imperial eagle as a gesture offensive, not only to Anne’s political, but also to her aesthetic sensibilities, and he argues that the stagecraft Of Apollo with the Muses was therefore its own guarantee against gestures hostile to Henry’s marriage with Anne. ‘The iconography of the tableau demands that the eagle be the one associated with Apollo’, he writes. ‘To have incorporated the imperial bird associated with Zeus, and without any justification in the text, would have been illiteracy of the first order’ (p. 277). Chapuys alleges that the Easterlings had snubbed Anne by incorporating the Habsburg eagle into their pageant Of Apollo with the Muses, but Ives argues that, as economic migrants, the Easterlings were unlikely to have affronted Anne in this way. The ideological agenda that underlies Chapuys’s accounts of the entry demands that we follow Ives in approaching with scepticism Chapuys’s reading Of Apollo with the Muses as a site of cultural contest. Nevertheless, it would seem that Ives rather misses the point in his reading of the imperial eagle as a symbol inappropriate to the iconography of this pageant. Ives approaches as a purely aesthetic event the depiction at Gracechurch Street of the groves of Parnassus, and it is aesthetic reasons that he offers for why the eagle associated with Zeus would have been inappropriate to its dramatisation of Apollo. This chapter has instead uncovered a distinct political agenda behind the 1533 entry in general, and the pageant Of Apollo with the Muses in particular. Its 100

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stagecraft, I have argued, formed part of a wider propaganda campaign, which used the precedent of Constantine to popularise Henry’s ‘right of empire’ in England. While it may have been implausible for the Easterlings to have wanted to insult Anne, it would not, I think, have been inappropriate for them to have introduced a political agenda into Apollo with the Muses. After all, the Golden Age had appeared in Habsburg alongside Tudor propaganda in the early sixteenth century, its landscape emblematic of empires both expansionist and isolationist, of empires that conquered others alongside Englands that stood apart. Parnassus could easily have been surmounted by the Habsburg eagle, because it was a scene contrived to serve a primarily political, not aesthetic agenda. The Golden Age was politically fecund, but it was also politically fickle. Co-opted as it was both by England and the empire, the Golden Age was made to stand for several distinct political agendas at this time: a symbolic economy that was, for this reason, always threatening to collapse in on itself. This economy is what Chapuys exploits when he interprets Apollo with the Muses as a pageant sympathetic to the emperor’s standpoint on Henry’s marriage to Anne. Chapuys reads the semantics of the Habsburg Empire into the symbolism of the 1533 entry; his ability to do so exposes shortfalls in the entry’s language of empire, its likening of Tudor England to Constantine’s Christian Golden Age. A new rhetoric was needed to popularise Henry’s ‘right of empire’ in England, one that could stand apart from Habsburg metaphors and motifs.

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Part II NATION If England coude speake might it not say thus? I am one, why doo you make me twayne? Richard Morison, A Lamentation (London, 1536)

3 RICHARD MORISON: REBELLION AND THE RHETORIC OF NATIONHOOD

E

NGLAND’S Break with Rome enriched the crown’s coffers with rrevenue from the sale of church lands, but these lands were purchased at a cost to Henry VIII, for with the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 came open rebellion at home and the threat of invasion from abroad. Henry paid a high price in October 1536 for his claims, in the Appeals Act, to be ‘Sup[re]me heede’ of an English empire compact of church and state.1 As head of the English church, Henry had in May 1536 adopted a policy of dissolving religious houses with an annual income of less than two hundred pounds.2 A government office – the court of augmentations – was set up to receive the treasures and charters of those monasteries earmarked for closure, and commissioners were dispatched to the shires, with orders to suppress religious houses, and to assess their market value for sale by the crown. It was news of these activities that prompted the people of Lincolnshire to rebel in early October, according to the account of the Imperial ambassador in England, Eustace Chapuys. ‘Five days ago in Lincolnshire’, Chapuys writes in his letter to Charles V of 7 October 1536, ‘a great multitude of people rose against the King’s commissioners, who levied the taxes lately imposed by parliament and put down the abbeys’.3 In depositions taken after the event, many of the rebels admitted their outrage upon learning that royal commissioners had been ransacking local monasteries, an outrage apparently fuelled by rumours that these same commissioners also intended to steal from parish churches in the nearby

1 2 3

24 Hen. VIII, c. 12, in Statutes, III, 427–29 (p. 427). 27 Hen. VIII, c. 28. LP, XI (1888), 229.

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area. ‘A month before the insurrection’, alleged one Philip Trotter under examination in the Tower of London, it was commonly bruited that all the abbeys in England should be suppressed except Westminster; that the jewels of the churches should be taken away, and chalices, crosses, and censers of tin put in their places, and that two or three parish churches should be put in one.4

Widespread belief in these rumours seems certainly to have prompted parishioners in Louth, Lincolnshire, to take matters into their own hands on Sunday 1 October, the day before John Raynes, the chancellor of Bishop John Longland of Lincoln, was expected in the parish to conduct the episcopal visitation. Hearing of the recent suppression of the nearby nunnery of Legbourne, and fearing for the removal by Raynes of their own church’s treasures, the parishioners seized those agents of Raynes who arrived the next day. By Tuesday, the rising had spread to nearby Horncastle, from whence the rebels first sent petitions to the King. Henry’s response was to direct the earls of Shrewsbury and Rutland to muster an army and march on Lincolnshire.5 Sir Richard Morison responded to news of the uprising in Lincolnshire by composing, apparently at Thomas Cromwell’s command, his Lamentation […] of seditious rebellyon, advocating obedience to Henry and his recent acts of parliament.6 For Morison, attacks on the Dissolution Act implied wider criticism of the Royal Supremacy in general, because rebels also undermined Henry’s position as head of the English church when they questioned his prerogative to legislate against English religious houses. Writing to appease those who were demanding that Henry stop meddling with religion, Morison makes the clash of swords in Lincolnshire echo the wider constitutional debate in England over the legitimacy of Henry’s claims to be styled ‘supreme head’ of the English church. Thus Morison attributes the cause of the Lincolnshire Uprising to papist undercurrents of disaffection, assuming that the rebellion had arisen out of sectarian

4 5

6

LP, XII.i (1890), 37. Charles Wriothesley, A Chronicle of England During the Reign of the Tudors, from AD 1485–1559, ed. William Hamilton, 2 vols, Camden Society Publications, n.s., 11, 20 (Westminster, 1875–77), I, pp. 56–57. A Lamentation in VVhiche is Shevved what Ruyne and destruction cometh of seditious rebellyon (London, 1536). Morison identifies himself as its author in an undated, holograph letter to Henry Philips (LP, XI, 584). For Morison and Cromwell, see Humanist Scholarship and Public Order: Two Tracts against the Pilgrimage of Grace by Sir Richard Morison, with Historical Annotations and Contemporary Documents, ed. David Sandler Berkowitz (Washington DC, 1984), pp. 23–32.

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support for Rome. ‘Theyr pope, their puppet, their idole, their romayn god wyll not out of their hartis’, Morison writes of the Lincolnshire rebels (sig. B2v). While Morison addresses the Lincolnshire rebels in the Lamentation, he does not specifically address their petition that Henry stop suppressing English religious houses. Morison dwells less on Henry’s right to close monasteries, and more on his right to do so as head of the English church. It is as propaganda for the Royal Supremacy that the Lamentation can best be approached, and it is as a mouthpiece for Henry’s claims to be head of the English church that Morison makes use in his pamphlet of the character Mother England, a prosopopœia who in the Lamentation speaks for the English empire imagined in the Appeals Act, an ‘Impire’ divided ‘in termes and by names of Sp[irit]ualtie and Temporaltie’, and yet ‘gov[er]ned by oon Sup[re]me heede and King’.7 Morison imagines Mother England intervening between the rebels and royalists at Lincolnshire. ‘If England coude speake’ to the Lincolnshire rebels, writes Morison, might [she] not say thus? I am one, why doo you make me twayne? Ye are all myne, howe canne any of you, where none ought so to do, seke the distruction of me, my mooste noble and prudente prynce kynge HENRY the, VIII. and his trewe subiectes? It is a shrewde hande that scratcheth out the eyen, a shreude fote, that for his faute puttith the necke in ieoperdy. Lincolneshire thou art a me[m]bre of myn […] Thus Englande myght say, and moche more, which I wyl say for her. (sigs A4r–v)

This chapter explores Morison’s use of Mother England in his two pamphlets against the rebellions of autumn 1536, the Lamentation and Remedy for Sedition. I argue that Morison introduces Mother England into his pamphlets to condemn the northern uprisings and in the same breath to urge the cause of Royal Supremacy upon those who, through rebellion, were seeking to question parliament’s fragile synthesis of church and state. Morison’s use of prosopopœia at this crisis point for the Royal Supremacy accords exactly with the ‘correct’ usage of this rhetorical figure, as set out by Henry Peacham in the 1593 edition of his Garden of Eloquence. Peacham wrote that prosopopœia ‘maketh [the] commonwealth to speake’, adding that it is ‘an apt forme of speech to complaine, to accuse, to reprehend’, but that it should not be used ‘without some vrgent cause’, and then only in order to ‘speake to the purpose of the matter propounded, and [to] giue

7

24 Hen. VIII, c. 12, in Statutes, III, 427.

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strength to the fainting cause’.8 Mother England speaks in the Lamentation as a mouthpiece for the English ‘empire’ of the Appeals Act, for a commonwealth of church and state, each equally answerable to their emperor-king. Her plea that the Lincolnshire rebels recognise the ‘prudente prynce’ Henry as head of the English church is in the above passage made all the more affective by her presentation as mother of the traitors to whom she makes her appeal. Morison’s use of prosopopœia here adds emotive force to his attempts elsewhere in the Lamentation to sell the Royal Supremacy to its opponents in the North – for Mother England asks the Lincolnshire rebels to obey the Royal Supremacy statutes, not out of loyalty to the king, but out of love for their mother country, their nation. Speaking as the English commonwealth, Mother England speaks for the king in the Lamentation, ‘giving strength’, in Peacham’s words, to the cause of Royal Supremacy by asking the rebels to obey English law out of love for their country, if not for their king. From a rhetorical point of view, Morison ‘makes the commonwealth speak’ in order more effectively to plead the cause of the king; however, his use of prosopopœia cannot but help foreground the commonwealth whose population Mother England claims to represent. At the same time as she promotes the Royal Supremacy as the form of political government best suited to the people of England, traitors and ‘trewe subiectes’ alike, Mother England also stands in for the English people, and for the nexus of political allegiances, religious beliefs, and cultural and regional identities that contributes to that people’s collective sense of themselves as a national community. While she speaks in the Lamentation for one particular political allegiance, allegiance to the king as supreme head of church and state, Mother England’s textual presence as England nevertheless serves rhetorically to divide king from country, and thereby to present readers of the Lamentation with two very distinct ways of imagining England as a commonwealth or political community. Morison’s use of Mother England as spokeswoman for the commonwealth in effect invites readers of the Lamentation to ask to whom they should owe their primary political allegiance, whether to the king as head of the political community, or whether to the political community itself, and to the form of government that seems best-suited to the interests of the commonwealth as a whole. This distinction between two political standpoints – on the one hand unquestioning obedience to the king, on the other a primary concern with the political well-being of the commonwealth, the people – is in the case of

8

Henry Peacham, The Garden of Eloqvence (London, 1593), pp. 136–37.

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the Lamentation purely academic. Mother England may stand in for the commonwealth but, speaking always for the king, she never sets obedience to the Royal Supremacy at variance with the interests of the English political community, never undermines the king’s right to assume control over the English church, to suppress monasteries and sell off their lands and goods. The interests of the English people are in the Lamentation only secondary to the interests of the king, but to what extent is Mother England’s staunch support for the Royal Supremacy representative of the general attitude in England at this time? The Royal Supremacy, it is clear, did not win the hearts and minds of all Morison’s contemporaries on whose behalf Mother England claims to speak. The circumstances in which the Lamentation was written are themselves testimony to the fact that many in England were at this time unwilling to accept without question the King’s claims to rule absolutely over the English church and state. This unwillingness is also reflected in the literature of the period, with writers like Thomas Elyot and Thomas Starkey attempting to regulate and rein in royal power, in treatises which, as Greg Walker notes, were ‘far from uncritically supportive of the Royal Supremacy’.9 Thomas Elyot’s standpoint on absolute power is discussed in more detail below. I want at this point to turn briefly to Thomas Starkey’s Dialogue between Reginald Pole and Thomas Lupset.10 Starkey’s subject is ‘the co[m]myn wele here in our owne natyon’ (p. 1), and his treatise sets out a scheme for reforming the church and state through the vehicle of a fictional dialogue between two of England’s leading humanist scholars in the years leading up to the Royal Supremacy: Reginald Pole, son of Margaret Plantagenet, the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, the brother of Edward IV; and Thomas Lupset, one-time member of Pole’s Paduan household. Lupset died young in 1530 at the age of thirty-five, and it was around this time that Starkey first began work on the Dialogue. The Dialogue’s most recent editor, Thomas Mayer, has used palaeographical evidence to date the composition of its single manuscript copy to no later than 1532, a terminus ad quem also borne out in the Dialogue itself, through biographical, bibliographical, and political references that all point to a date of composition in the early 1530s.11 The manuscript of the Dialogue is

9 10 11

Greg Walker, Writing under Tyranny: English Literature and the Henrician Reformation (Oxford, 2005), p. 150. Thomas Starkey, A Dialogue between Pole and Lupset, ed. Thomas F. Mayer, Camden Fourth Series, 37 (London, 1989). Thomas F. Mayer, ‘Faction and Ideology: Thomas Starkey’s Dialogue’, The Historical Journal, 28.1 (1985), 1–25.

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prefaced with a dedicatory letter to Henry VIII, written around 1532, which sets out Starkey’s credentials for a role in government. Originally written to persuade Pole to enter into English public life, it seems that by 1532 Starkey had other plans for the Dialogue, intending to use it in tandem with his treatise in favour of Henry’s proposed ‘divorce’ to secure for himself a place in the royal household. Upon his return to England from Padua in 1534, Starkey quickly found work for himself under Thomas Cromwell, and perhaps felt that the Dialogue had outgrown its usefulness as a tool to attract royal patronage. In any event, no fair copy of the Dialogue survives, and it seems never to have been formally presented to the King, although some later revisions to the manuscript suggest that Starkey was still toying with the idea of presenting the Dialogue even as late as 1535. The Dialogue does not condemn outright Henry’s plans to assume absolute power, but its support for the Royal Supremacy is, to say the least, lukewarm. In the Dialogue, Starkey pays lip-service to the reformist atmosphere at the royal court in the early 1530s, railing against the vices of the clergy, their idleness, avarice (pp. 57–58), and ignorance of the Gospel (pp. 87). His attacks on ‘byschoppys & prelates’ that ‘lokyth chefely to theyr owne profyte plesure & co[m]modyte’ extends also to the Bishop of Rome himself (p. 57), whose authority to dispense with ‘gen[e]ral lawys made by the church’ Starkey seeks to abolish (p. 83) – a direct comment in support of Henry’s case for the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which questioned Rome’s right to overturn biblical passages outlawing marriage to a brother’s wife (see above, pp. 87–8). Nevertheless, Starkey’s suggestion that appeals to Rome should be reined in but not abolished altogether indicates just how far Starkey was prepared to travel along the road of Royal Supremacy (pp. 83–84). His Dialogue also questions the legitimacy of Henry’s claim in the Appeals Act to rule absolutely over the English church and state. ‘That cu[n]trey ca[n] not be long wel gov[er]nyd nor maynteynyd wyth gud pollycy, where al ys rulyd by the wyl of one not chosen by electyon but [who] co[m]myth to hyt by natural successyon’, Starkey has Pole assert in the Dialogue (p. 68). Without the checks and balances of regulatory bodies like parliament and the king’s council, Starkey’s Pole continues, absolute power too often descends into tyranny: ‘For such prerogatyfe in powar grauntyd to pry[n]cys ys the destructyon of al lawys & pollycy’ (p. 69). Much of Pole’s criticism of the Royal Supremacy is in the Dialogue diluted through Lupset’s pro-royalist retorts, but while Starkey’s Pole eventually concedes to Lupset the necessity of royal power as a check against sedition, he does so only upon condition that a permanent parliamentary council be established, ‘to see that the kyng & hys pr[o]pur 110

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counsele schold do no thyng agayne the ordyna[n]ce of hys lawys & gud pollycy’ (pp. 112–13). Mayer analyses the dialogue form as one of several literary ‘modes of resistance’ available to Starkey and other writers opposed to the Royal Supremacy, among them the real-life Reginald Pole.12 Dialogue works by deflecting the opinions of its author upon what Richard Lanham calls ‘the rich confusion of the mixed self’.13 In the Dialogue, Starkey offsets Pole’s critique of absolute power with Lupset’s more royalist standpoint, ready to grant the king the power to ‘moderat al thyng accordy[n]g to hys plesure & wyl’ (p. 70). These differences of opinion act as a political smokescreen that safely conceals Starkey’s own attitude towards the Royal Supremacy behind the ‘mixed self’ that his two personae combine to create. Starkey, of course, could easily have passed off Lupset’s royalism as his own, had his Dialogue landed him in political hot water with Henry VIII. The dialogue form makes it difficult to disentangle Pole’s criticism from Starkey’s own attitude towards the Royal Supremacy. Yet it is surely telling that the Dialogue does not dismiss altogether Pole’s belief that absolute power is too often ‘p[er]nycyouse & hurtful to the co[m]myn wele’ (p. 70). When Pole argues that commonwealths should find for themselves the form of government that ‘for the most p[ar]te ys best’, Starkey’s Lupset can in defence of England’s hereditary monarchy offer nothing more compelling than ‘the man[er]ys custume & nature here of our pepul’ (p. 71). Neither Starkey nor his contemporaries sought to question the ‘manners and customs’ of monarchical government per se, but the Dialogue does advise caution about the direction of that government under Henry VIII, and its cautiousness was sounded by other writers critical of the Royal Supremacy, and anxious to rein in Henry’s new-found powers over the English church and state. Pole’s stated belief in the Dialogue that governments should serve the interests of the people, not people the interests of government, reflects the attitude to monarchy of the real-life Pole, as expressed in his De unitate of 1536–37: ‘therefore on account of the people, the king, not the people on account of the king’.14 This discourse of ‘the people’ served for Pole and others as a rhetorical check against the abuses of monarchical power, a timely reminder to Henry VIII – the intended

12

13 14

Thomas F. Mayer, ‘Nursery of Resistance: Reginald Pole and his Friends’, in Political Thought and the Tudor Commonwealth: Deep Structure, Discourse and Disguise, ed. Paul A. Fideler and Thomas F. Mayer (London, 1992), pp. 50–74 (p. 68). Richard Lanham, The Motives of Eloquence: Literary Rhetoric in the Renaissance (New Haven, 1976), p. 32, cited Mayer, ‘Nursery of Resistance’, p. 68. Cited and translated Mayer, ‘Nursery of Resistance’, p. 60.

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reader of De unitate – that the interests of a commonwealth should always outweigh the ambitions of a king. Recent scholarship has explored the imaginative distance between king and country that the idea of ‘the people’ opens up, with studies arguing for the existence in early Tudor England of what we would nowadays call a ‘popular politics’. As Tim Harris notes, ‘the fact that early modern England was not a democratic state should not lead us to conclude that it was non-participatory’.15 ‘The people’, then, were more than just a rhetorical stay on the excesses of power; actual people in this period were politically mobilised, and some at least expressed criticism about the direction of royal policy under Henry VIII. Among the educated elite in England in the 1520s and 1530s, Greg Walker has uncovered a ‘culture of enquiry and counsel’. This was a generation ‘naturally disputatious’, he argues, brought up on logic and argument at school and university, and whose members felt duty-bound to use their education in the service of commonwealth, and to communicate their differences of political opinion to the king (p. 20). For Geoffrey Elton, ‘popular politics’ penetrated deeper; his Policy and Police explores political activities among the lower strata of early Tudor society. More recently, Ethan Shagan reads popular political dissent into rumours and prophecies in the later 1530s concerning the King’s death. Shagan’s exploration of Protector Somerset’s response to the enclosure riots of 1549 (see below, pp. 191–3) seeks to show just how far ‘public opinion’ could influence government policy at this time.16 Starkey and Pole wrote of the commonwealth, or ‘the people’, as a community distinct from, but wedded to, the crown. The people had pledged themselves to the king, who in return had pledged to uphold a duty of care to the commonwealth. In this political marriage, moreover, the balance of power was tipped firmly on the side of the people. It was to the people that the crown was accountable, Pole had reminded Henry VIII; royal power was to be exercised responsibly, for the welfare of the commonwealth, not wielded absolutely by a petulant king. This theory of responsible government works to politicise the interests of the people; their contentedness becomes the criterion upon which royal power is judged, and absolute power reined in. In 1959, Eric Hobsbawm dismissed as

15 16

Introduction to The Politics of the Excluded, c. 1500–1850, ed. Tim Harris (Houndmills, 2001), pp. 1–29 (p. 11). G. R. Elton, Policy and Police: The Enforcement of the Reformation in the Age of Thomas Cromwell (Cambridge, 1972). Ethan Shagan, ‘Rumours and Popular Politics in the Reign of Henry VIII’, in The Politics of the Excluded, pp. 30–66, and ‘Protector Somerset and the 1549 Rebellions: New Sources and New Perspectives’, EHR, 114 (1999), 34–63.

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‘pre-political’ the motives behind early modern riots, rebellions, and other forms of ‘mob activity’.17 It seems Pole, Starkey, and other writers resistant to the Royal Supremacy sought rather to empower ‘the mob’, to give political resonance to mob interests and activities. The Dialogue defines a theory of responsible government that empowers ‘the people’ over and above the power it invests in the king. A king exists to safeguard the interests of commonwealth, Starkey argues, and his rule should reflect the welfare of the people entrusted to his care. It is this separation of king from commonwealth, this awareness of ‘the people’ as a political force set apart from the king, that for Benedict Anderson defines the birth of the nation as an ‘imagined political community’.18 Nations, for Anderson, are political communities with free responsibility for their form of government, with the freedom – in other words – to imagine themselves in whatever shape or form best befits their particular political needs. This principle of ‘best-fit’ does not debar kings or queens from ruling over nations, but it does mean that in a nation a monarch must rule responsibly, and with an eye to the interests of the people on whose behalf he or she exercises power. ‘What matters for the presence of an English nation’, to quote Claire McEachern, ‘is not that its political form is or isn’t monarchy […], but that monarchy is imagined to be the most appropriate form of English government’.19 Nations are forged in the fire of this debate about which form of government best befits a given political community, and it is a debate that Anderson dates in the West to the later eighteenth century. This, he argues, was a time of ‘Enlightenment and Revolution’ (p. 7), a time when entire political communities first became aware of themselves as ‘sovereign’, as free to choose how and by whom they were governed. Empires were overnight reborn as nations that questioned the legitimacy of the ‘hierarchical dynastic realm’ (p. 7). Absolutist rulers were deposed; in their place emerged the democracies and constitutional monarchies still familiar to us today. Early Tudor England was by no means democratic, nor did any act, constitution, or bill of rights stand between the king and his subjects. From the late 1520s onwards Henry VIII ran roughshod over the English

17

18 19

Eric Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Manchester, 1959), p. 7, cited The Politics of the Excluded, p. 2. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, rev. edn (London, 1991), p. 6. Claire McEachern, The Poetics of English Nationhood, 1590–1612, Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture, 13 (Cambridge, 1996), p. 11.

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constitution, and England in the latter half of his reign was very far from being the sort of ‘nation’ that Anderson defines. Yet as Walker argues in Writing under Tyranny, it was precisely this environment of heightened political oppression that prompted ‘poets, prose-writers, scholars, and dramatists’ to resist the King’s claims to absolute power, and to remind Henry of his responsibilities to the commonwealth (p. 2). Their writings did not seek to depose the king, nor to encourage the kind of regime change or ‘revolution’ that Anderson associates with the birth-pangs of a nation. Yet there is still good grounds to see in Pole’s rhetoric of ‘the people’, and in early Tudor theories of responsible government more generally, an image of the ‘nation’ as Anderson defines it. Writers who spoke of the king’s accountability to his people spoke of a national political community that reined in royal power. That there was a disparity between these rhetorical communities and the realities of England under Henry VIII is not to be denied; but it does not, I think, make the political ambition of these writers any less real. Philip Schwyzer also notes ‘sentiments that could be termed “nationalist” ’ in the pamphlets and specula principum of Starkey, Elyot, and others, but he approaches these as outpourings of a ‘small, economically and politically dominant sector of society’. These writers hardly spoke for the English vox populi, Schwyzer argues. As it was several centuries before this elite national consciousness filtered down to the ordinary man in the street, so the significance of the nations imagined in these texts should be taken with a good pinch of political salt. ‘To put it crudely’, he writes, ‘sixteenth-century nationalists talked the talk, but only after 1750 would whole nations walk the walk. What we discern in some early modern texts is not the nation per se so much as the nation in potentia’.20 Schwyzer makes evidence of mass participation in the American and French Revolutions the basis for his contention that whole nations did not walk the nationalist walk until after 1750. While it is true that political activism spread from France to England at the turn of the nineteenth century, recent studies by Shagan and others have also uncovered evidence of popular politics in early Tudor England. To make participation in acts of political unrest the yardstick for measuring the extent of national consciousness is surely to admit that such a consciousness did indeed exist among some sectors of the English political community in the sixteenth century. Did more people participate in the Peterloo Massacre than in the

20

Philip Schwyzer, Literature, Nationalism, and Memory in Early Modern England and Wales (Cambridge, 2004), p. 9.

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Pilgrimage of Grace? Perhaps; but then we will never know conclusively. The results of such a metric will always prove unsatisfactory; even if we were to know the numbers involved in a riot or rebellion, we could never presume to know the mindsets and motivations of each and every participant – or non-participant. ‘How do we measure the cultural penetration of an ideology?’, McEachern asks. ‘How deep is deep?’ (p. 16). With only a minority of insurgents ever recording their reasons for rebellion, court and government records inevitably prove an inadequate and unreliable yardstick for this type of measurement. In our search for evidence that there was widespread support for responsible government in early Tudor England, it seems we simply cannot afford to ignore literary and political writings reflective of this sort of national sentiment, this separation of commonwealth from king. But how many writers does it take to write a nation? – One? Two? Two thousand? For McEachern, the answer seems to be not less than three. Although arguing for ‘a national imagination’ in early modern England on the basis of three texts by Shakespeare, Spenser, and Drayton, McEachern denies to the early Tudors a share in this national moment, despite acknowledging that John Bale generated ‘one of the first prosopopoetic instances of the nation, in the sprightly “Widow England” of King Johan’ (p. 32). Why, McEachern asks herself, did she not write instead about John Bale, and argue for the existence of a Henrician or Edwardian nation? ‘I would have to reply’, she writes, ‘that one man, however prescient, does not a nation make’ (p. 32). No one single writer, it seems, can speak for their nation, but Bale was neither the only, nor even the first writer in the 1530s to make Mother England the mouthpiece of English national sentiment. This and the following two chapters focus on three writers who through prosopopœia claim to speak for England, who claim the support of the people when they speak in support of the crown. In the Lamentation, Morison makes use of prosopopœia to market the Royal Supremacy to English rebels, thereby lending to his support for the king the colour of popular consent. Morison chooses to downplay the royal prerogative, to make his case for the Royal Supremacy on the strength of popular opinion alone – a decision that reflects his awareness of, and receptiveness to, the extent of national sentiment among the rebels to whom his Lamentation was addressed. In its use of prosopopœia, the Lamentation reflects criticism of the Royal Supremacy, even though Mother England acts in this pamphlet as a mouthpiece for the absolutist claims of the king. By claiming to speak for the commonwealth in her support for the crown, Mother England pays lip-service to Pole’s discourse of ‘people’ and its empowerment of the vox 115

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populi. For Morison, England is an empire ‘governed by one supreme head and king’; Morison nevertheless conveys his support for that empire through a prosopopœia that in form reflects the rhetorical nations of Starkey and Pole. Writing propaganda for the Royal Supremacy, Morison here panders to the rhetoric of political resistance. Yet Mother England is Morison’s rhetorical tour de force, and this is precisely because she here represents the commonwealth that critics of the Royal Supremacy were accusing the king of abusing. Morison’s England is calculated to prove these critics wrong, since when she speaks for the people her words surprise by claiming the people’s support for absolute power. Morison takes on the rhetoric of resistance, then, not to echo its theory of responsible government, but to turn it against those who sought to rein in royal power. Mother England’s role in the Lamentation reflects the extent to which existing Royal Supremacy propaganda had failed sufficiently to popularise Henry’s claims to empire in the English church. Since the Appeals Act, printed propaganda in English and Latin – the Noble Tryumphaunt Coronacyon of Quene Anne (1533), Foxe’s De vera differentia (1534) – had sought to identify Henry as a descendant of Constantine the Great, to find in Constantine’s presidency over the councils of the early church a precedent for Henry’s pretensions to empire in the English church. Polydore Vergil’s Anglica historia (completed 1513, printed 1534) had claimed Constantine’s mother as British; as a Briton, Vergil writes, Constantine had bequeathed his imperial crown to the future kings of England. ‘Albeit the imperie remained not longe after in the stocke of Constantine’, Vergil had written, ‘the maiestie of his imperie coulde not perishe, sith that even at this presente the kinges of Englande, accordinge to the usage of their aunciters, doe weare the imperiall diademe as a gifte exhibited of Constantinus to his successors’.21 We saw in Chapter Two how this identification of Henry with Constantine had failed to convert the Imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys to the cause of Royal Supremacy. The Lincolnshire rebels to whom Morison addressed his Lamentation evidently remained equally unconvinced by these hereditary arguments for Henry’s claims to absolute power. In his Lamentation against the Lincolnshire Uprising, Morison responds to these shortfalls in Royal Supremacy propaganda, using the rhetoric of nationhood to sell England’s self-image as empire.

21

Polydore Vergil’s English History […] Containing the First Eight Books Comprising the Period Prior to the Norman Conquest, ed. Henry Ellis (London, 1846), pp. 98–99.

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* Eustace Chapuys had been hostile to Henry VIII ever since the onset in 1527 of his ‘great cause of matrimony’, his plans to annul his eighteen-year marriage to the emperor’s niece, Catherine of Aragon, and to take Anne Boleyn as his wife and queen. Time and again in 1533, Chapuys had encouraged the emperor to wage war on England and its schismatic king (see above, p. 97). When news reached him of the Lincolnshire Uprising, Chapuys once again set in motion the machinery of war, sending his nephew as emissary to Mary, Queen of Hungary to inform her of events in England, and persuade her, as niece of the late Catherine of Aragon, to support the rebellion against Catherine’s estranged husband, Henry VIII. In his despatch to the queen of Hungary, Chapuys’s nephew observes how, it appears to him [i.e. Chapuys] who has sent me to your Majesty, that […] the time is come (and no such opportunity could be looked for in 100 years) to take revenge upon the Schismatic for all his intrigues with the French against the Emperor, and the indignities he inflicted upon your aunt [i.e. Catherine of Aragon], and the innumerable iniquities he has committed against the patient Princess [Mary], to restore whom to her rightful estate would require but part of the army which was prepared in Zealand, and that it should land in the river which goes up to York with 2,000 arquebusiers and some ammunition, which is what they are most in need of.22

Chapuys’s efforts to muster support for the Lincolnshire rebellion came too late, however, for the uprising in that region was suppressed as swiftly as it had begun, with Lincoln and Louth capitulating in the face of the royal army on 13 October 1536.23 The speed with which the rebellion collapsed also rendered superfluous the admonitory prose of Morison’s address to the Lincolnshire rebels in his Lamentation. ‘I co[m]playned of Lincolne, but to late,’ Morison confessed. ‘I felt an other parte of my[ne] busy with me, or ever my Lamentacon cowd ever a brode’.24 The Lincolnshire Uprising had scarcely been suppressed before the spirit of its opposition to recent ecclesiastical reforms had spread to Yorkshire. The York civic authorities wrote to Henry on 14 October to report their city besieged by ‘the commons of Beverley, Cottyngham, Holdenshire, Marcheland,

22 23 24

LP, XI, 274; 275–76. Chapuys’s nephew arrived in Brussels on Sunday 14 October, travelling overland to Vienna. See Wriothesley’s letter to Cromwell, in SP (Henry VIII), I, 471–73. LP, XI, 559–60. See Gordon W. Zeeveld, Foundations of Tudor Policy (Cambridge, MA, 1948), p. 175, n. 49, and Berkowitz, p. 37.

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Richmondshire’. These rebels had assembled outside the city, their ringleader, Sir Robert Aske, wrote to the mayor of York, ‘because evil-disposed persons in the King’s Council intend to destroy the church and rob the whole body of the realm’. This claim constitutes the fourth of Aske’s five articles of rebellion. The fourth article goes on to identify ‘lord Cromwell and Sir Ric[hard] Riche, Chancellor of the Augmentations’ as ‘persons of low birth and small reputation’ ill-disposed to counsel the King, and it accuses them of having ‘procured […] for their own advantage’ the recent Act for the Dissolution of Lesser Monasteries.25 The repeal of this hated legislation heads the list of demands communicated to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, at the so-called Doncaster Bridge conference of 27 October. It was at Doncaster that a truce was negotiated which allowed for two representatives of the rebels to accompany Norfolk to Windsor, to communicate their collective grievances to the King.26 Henry conveyed his formal response to each of the demands of the Doncaster articles in a hand-written document delivered to the rebels on 5 November, and shortly thereafter published by the royal printer Thomas Berthelet as the Ansvvere Made by the Kynges Hyghnes to the Petitions of the rebelles in Yorkeshire. Only one of the several pamphlets written to echo Henry’s Answer and its rejection of the Doncaster articles also found its way into print at this time, and it was Berthelet who was again entrusted with its publication. This was Morison’s Remedy for Sedition.27 Like the Answer it accompanies, Morison’s Remedy appears to have been written in response to the receipt at court of the Doncaster articles on 2 November. The entire argument of the Answer is organised around these articles, but their influence on the Remedy is more understated, for the Remedy makes no mention of the Yorkshire rebels but instead invites readers to learn from past rebellions its lesson of obedience to the crown. Morison’s response to the immediate crisis of the Pilgrimage of Grace is diffused through discussion of political crises in ancient Judea, Greece, and Rome, and it is to the political philosophy of Plato’s Republic that the Remedy turns for intellectual ammunition against the Doncaster articles. In the Republic, Socrates structures the architecture of his ideal state around the principle that a just society must utilise the talents of its

25 26 27

LP, XI, 271–72. R. W. Hoyle, The Pilgrimage of Grace and the Politics of the 1530s (Oxford, 2001), pp. 282–305. A Remedy for Sedition, VVherin are Conteyned many thynges, concernyng the true and loyall obeysance, that comme[n]s owe vnto their prince and soueraygne lorde the kynge (London, 1536). For details of unpublished pamphlets, see LP, XI, 567; 595.

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members in ways best suited to the welfare of all.28 As the individual should subordinate to reason the impulses of their spirit and appetite, so Socrates argues that in the political constitution of the ideal state, the wisest individuals should exercise sovereignty over the two subordinate classes – the soldiers who embody the courage or spirit of the commonwealth, and the producers whose goods serve its needs and appetites. Since one man is more reasonable, another more impulsive than his neighbour, so the distribution of roles in society should reflect the uneven distribution of reason, spirit, and appetite among its members. Plato deemed philosophers the sagest members of society, and argued that it was therefore their duty to exercise political government within it.29 In the Remedy, Plato’s meritocracy is used to reinforce the royal prerogative, with Morison adapting Plato’s political architecture, not to argue that the cleverest person should be king, but that a sovereign should have the right to seek political counsel from his wisest subjects, irrespective of their social status at birth. The Doncaster rebels had demanded that the King remove Cromwell and other ‘persons of low birth’ from his council; in the Remedy, Morison answered the rebels by championing the King’s right to seek counsel from the wise alongside the well-born. ‘If we woll this to be our prince, heed, & gouernour’, he writes, ‘than we must also lette his grace gouern vs, by suche officers, as he shall knowe to be beste for vs, and not we to appoynte hym, suche as we shall thynke metest’ (sig. B3r). Morison agrees with Plato that ‘a comune welthe is lyke a body’ (sig. B3v), because in the same way as individual appetite should be subordinate to reason, so in the political constitution ‘the heed muste rule, if the body woll do well, and not euery man make hym selfe ruler’ (sigs B2v–3r). The ruling classes, Morison argues, should consist of those most able to subordinate appetite to the exercise of reason, for it is expedient that a commonwealth give ‘the chiefe and prime honour’ to ‘qualites of the mynde, the seconde to the bodye, the thyrde to external thynges, as nobilitie, possessions, and ryches’ (sig. B2r). ‘Trewe nobilitie is neuer, but where vertue is’, Morison writes (sig. B1v); it is therefore ‘moste necessary in a common welthe’ to assign rank according to reason, and to ‘set in hyghe dignitie’ those ‘that nature hath endewed with synguler vertues’ before those upon whom birth alone has bestowed the title of nobility (sig. A2v). ‘An order muste be hadde, and a waye founde, that they rule that best can’, he writes, while

28 29

Plato, The Republic, trans. Paul Shorey, rev. edn, 2 vols (London, 1963), 369B–370B and 519E–520A. Republic, 519C–520D.

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‘those that are of the worser sort [should] be content, that the wyser reule and gouerne them’ (sig. A2v). Morison’s meritocracy is structured around the hierarchy that the ‘diuine Plato’ had proposed in his Republic (sig. A2r), but Morison writes that we must ‘suppose this done by the great prouydence of god’ that the sagest members of society be ‘set in hyghe dignitie’ in this respect (sig. A2v). ‘God’ also ‘maketh kynges, specyally where they reigne by successyon’, Morison continues, and ‘woll we be wyser than god?’, he asks. ‘Wol we take vpon vs, to know who ought to gouerne vs, better than god?’ (sig. B3r). Into the power relation of an English commonwealth ruled by reason, Morison here inserts at its apex the figure of the absolute king. ‘Let vs co[n]tent ourselfes, that he rule, whom god made our kynge’ (sig. B3r), Morison counsels, for monarchical government, he implies, is the proper, because divinely intended, vehicle by which the empire of England can assimilate itself to the architecture of the Platonic republic. Since ‘God toke awaye prynce Arthure, & wold king Henry the eyght, to be our heed’, so ‘we must also lette his grace gouern vs, by suche officers, as he shall knowe to be beste for vs’ (sig. B3r). ‘They must best be estemed’, Morison asserts, ‘that haue moost gyftes of the mynde, that is, they that do excell in wysedome, Iustice, temperauncy, and suche other vertues’ (sig. B2v). In Plato’s meritocracy, the wise govern regardless of social background. Morison applies this vision to the context of the Royal Supremacy, upholding Henry’s right as king to seek counsel from any individual, nobleman or otherwise, who puts his wisdom in the service of the public good. The rebels’ complaints against Cromwell and others ‘of low birth’ may have been what prompted Morison to bring Platonic philosophy to bear on his argument against sedition, but the Remedy was not the first product of Tudor political thought to synthesise England’s monarchy with Plato’s meritocracy. Starkey had done similar in the early 1530s, and so too had Thomas Elyot, who in 1531 had confessed himself unworthy ‘to write of the office or duetie of a soueraigne’ such as Henry VIII in his Boke named the Gouernour.30 ‘This present boke’, he explains in his proheme to that ‘victorious prince’, instead ‘treateth of the education of them/ that hereafter may be demed worthy to be gouernours of the publike weale vnder your hyghnesse’ (sigs a2r–v). Elyot affirms Henry’s right as king to seek counsel from whomsoever he may deem worthy to govern beneath him, and he upholds the rule of ‘one kynge or prince’ as ‘the best and most sure gouerna[n]ce’ for a commonwealth (sig. A7r). ‘For who can denie’, Elyot

30

(London, 1531), sig. B4v.

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asks, ‘but that all thynge in heuen and erthe is gouerned by one god/ by one perpetuall ordre/ by one puide[n]ce?’ (sig. A7v). Having professed his allegiance to the rule of one king, Elyot then imagines England as a political meritocracy with the king at its head. God gyueth nat to euery man like gyftes of grace/ or of nature’, Elyot asserts, ‘but to some more/ some lesse/ as it liketh his diuine maiestie’ (sig. A4r). In ‘as moche as vnderstandyng/ is the most excellent gyfte that man can receiue in his creation’ (sig. A4r), so ‘it is onely a publike weale/ where like as god hath disposed the saide influence of vnderstandyng/ is also appoynted degrees and places accordynge to the excellencie therof’ (sig. A5v). Like Plato, Elyot compares the architecture of ‘a publike weale’ to the physiognomy of the body. Plato had prescribed the rule of reason for the political as well as the physical body, and the ‘sondry astates and degrees of men’ that together constitute Elyot’s England also find themselves ‘gouerned by the rule and moderation of reason’ (sig. A1r). Plato had observed how some men are more able than others to subordinate their appetite to the rule of reason, and from this he had argued that one’s suitability to govern others should be measured by one’s ability to govern the self. Elyot also writes that ‘the powars and qualities of the soule and body/ with the disposition of reason/ be nat in euery man equall’ (sigs y7r–v), arguing that this hierarchy should be reflected in the architecture of state. God himself has ‘ordayned a diuersitie or preeminence in degrees to be amo[n]ge men’ (sig. y7v), and what is divinely ordained is also reflected in the natural world, which ‘ministreth to vs examples abundauntly’ of animals among whom ‘is a gouernour or leader’. If we thinke that this naturall instinction of creatures vnreasonable is necessary & also commendable/ howe farre out of reason shall we iudge them to be/ that wolde exterminate all superiorite/ extincte all gouernaunce and lawes/ and vnder the coloure of holy scripture/ whiche they do violently wraste [i.e. wrest] to their purpose, do endeuour them selfes to bryng the life of man in to a confusion ineuitable/ & to be in moche wars astate than the afore named beestes. (sig. y7v)

Elyot’s vision in the Gouernour is of a monarch-led meritocracy that mirrors the anatomy of the physical body in its subordination of appetite to the rule of reason. He seeks blueprints in nature for the architecture of his ‘publike weale’, and he rails against those who ‘wraste’ scripture from its intended meaning, and who against all reason ‘wolde exterminate all superiorite’ to uphold in its stead an egalitarian society in which ‘al me[n] must be of one degre & sort’ (sig. A2r). Elyot equates this egalitarian agenda with the evangelical movement in England, for he argues that it is 121

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‘euangelicall persones’ (sig. y8r) who wrest the meaning of scripture to ‘exterminate all superiorite’. In the year his Gouernour appeared in print Henry VIII appears to have afforded Elyot the opportunity to hunt down one of the most notorious evangelicals of his day. Elyot was sent to Brussels in autumn 1531, to serve as Henry’s ordinary ambassador at the court of Charles V. It was an office he was evidently reluctant to perform, and he was almost immediately recalled, for his replacement, the future archbishop, Thomas Cranmer, had already left England by the end of January 1532.31 ‘The King says the other ambassador was revoked at his wife’s request’, Chapuys writes to Charles V on 5 February. In a letter to Cromwell of 18 November 1532, Elyot confesses how he had been originally ‘loth to go’ abroad as ambassador, and complains of the debts he incurred in the course of his duty to the king. Eight months earlier, on 14 March, Elyot was with Cranmer in Regensburg, from whence Elyot conveyed his thanks to the Duke of Norfolk for having spoken with the King about his wish to return to England. Despite Norfolk’s best efforts, however, Elyot admits little hope of being able to return to England in the near future, for he explains he had recently received orders from the King to stay in Brussels ‘for the apprehension of Tyndall’, who, Elyot quips, ‘is as uncertain to come by as he is moveable in wit’.32 Elyot evidently had as much respect for Tyndale’s wit as he had had time in the Gouernour for ‘euangelicall persones’ whose egalitarian agenda, he had argued, was similarly ‘moued more by sensualite/ than by any good reason or inclinatio[n] to humanite’ (sig. A1v). Had Elyot been inclined to read a copy of Tyndale’s Obedie[n]ce of a Christen man before possession of it and all ‘other bokes in englisshe tonge printed beyonde the see’ were condemned by proclamation in June 1530, he would have noted that within it, far from wresting scripture to encourage sedition, Tyndale in fact cites scripture in support of a system of monarchy more absolute than Elyot himself was prepared to allow.33 In the Gouernour, Elyot commends as an aid to government the ‘thre noble counsayles of reason, societie & knowlege’ (sig. y4r). Reason bids us ‘do the same thinge to an other/ that thou woldest haue done to the’, society says

31

32 33

Elyot had received his ambassadorial commission around 10 September 1531, when Chapuys wrote to Charles V about the new ambassador ‘Master Vuylliot’ (LP, V (1880), 205). Chapuys’s letter of 21 January 1532 notes his recall (LP, V, 351). LP, V, 370; 652; 409. A proclamation […] for dampning of erronious bokes and heresies, and prohibitinge the hauinge of holy scripture, translated into the vulgar tonges of englisshe, frenche, or duche (London, 1530; TRP, no. 129), fol. 1r.

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‘loue thou thy neighbour/ as thou doest thy selfe’ (sig. y4v), and knowledge teaches us to ‘know thy selfe’ (sig. y5r). Self-knowledge induces humility in a governor, and Elyot writes that humility teaches those who ‘haste ouer other soueraygntie’ to recognise the ‘weighty’ responsibilities that comes with their cloak of office (sigs y5v–6r). Elyot argues that ‘the name of a soueraigne or ruler without actuall gouernaunce is but a shadowe’ (sig. y6r). Even princes should ‘knowe the bou[n]des of your autorite’, and that ‘as obedience is due vnto you/ so is your studie/ your labour/ your industrie with vertuous example due to them that be subiecte to your autoritie’ (sig. y6v). Elyot had accused ‘euangelicall persones’ of wresting scripture to support sedition and ‘exterminate all superiorite’, but although his Gouernour had advocated monarchical rule, it had nevertheless defined a theory of responsible government that sought implicitly to question the ethics of Tudor absolutism.34 In the Collectanea satis copiosa, completed autumn 1530, Henry had found arguments enough to feed his appetite for absolute power. To these, Starkey had reacted with caution, in his Dialogue seeking to rein in Henry’s new-found political powers. It was with similar reservation that Elyot himself greeted news of Henry’s plans to wrest control over the English church, in the Gouernour inviting Henry to ‘knowe the bou[n]des of your autorite’. The contrast with Tyndale’s standpoint on absolutism is particularly marked; two years before the compilation of the Collectanea, Tyndale was already enthusiastically advocating absolute rule in his Obedie[n]ce of a Christen man, first printed in Antwerp in October 1528. The same Antwerp press had five months earlier printed Tyndale’s Parable of the Wicked Mammon, and the Obedience complements and amplifies the argument of this earlier tract.35 The Obedience uses scripture, particularly Tyndale’s own English translation of Erasmus’s Greek New Testament, completed by early 1526, to undermine the authority of the apostolic see, and in its place to uphold the king as head of the English church.36 Tyndale reminds readers of the Obedience of St Paul’s admonition in Romans 13.1 that ‘every soule submit hi[m]sylfe vnto the auctorite off the hyer powers’ (sig. D5r), and he asserts that ‘no person nether anye degre maye be exempte fro[m] this ordinaunce of God’ (sig. D8v). ‘Nether ca[n] the profession of monkes and freres or anye thinge that the Pope or Bisshoppes ca[n] laie for the[m] selves/ 34 35 36

See Walker, pp. 150–61. William Tyndale, That fayth the mother of all good workes iustifieth us before we ca[n] bringe forth anye good worke [Parable of the Wicked Mammon] ([Antwerp], 1528). David Daniell, William Tyndale: A Biography (New Haven, 1994), p. 134.

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excepte them from the swerde of the Emperoure or kinges/ yf they breake the lawes’, he contends (sig. D8v). Since ‘there is no power but of God’, so God himself must have ordained the higher powers, to whose absolute authority St Paul here exhorts us all to submit (sig. D5r). Tyndale writes that it is within ‘ki[n]ges/ governers and rulers’ (sig. D6r) that God has invested this absolute authority, for he points out that Christ himself had commanded the pharisees to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s in Matthew 22.21 (see sigs D8r–v). He argues that scripture clearly identifies the ‘te[m]porall kinges and princes’ as the ‘hier powers’ unto whom every soul should submit (sig. E1r), but he asserts that there simply exists no scriptural foundation ‘for the popis false power’ (sig. E7v) – only admonitions that the pope follow the example of his apostolic predecessor, St Peter, whom Christ commanded to sheathe his sword in Matthew 26.51–52. ‘Yf Peter sinned in defendinge Christ agenste the temperall sworde’, Tyndale writes, then ‘who can excuse oure prelates of sinne which will obeye no man/ nether kinge nor Emperoure?’ (sigs E7v–8r). In Obedience, Tyndale cites from scripture to uphold Henry’s rights to absolute rule. From this it is clear that Elyot would have been doing Tyndale a gross injustice, had he intended to number him among the other unnamed ‘euangelicall persones’ whom he accuses of wresting scripture to ‘exterminate all superiorite’. Yet the Gouernour was by no means the only text in this period to have wrongly accused evangelicals of inciting sedition. In his prologue to Obedience, Tyndale writes that ‘it is no new thinge unto the worde of god to be rayled apon’, and that ‘oure holy prelates’, who ‘ought to defende Gods worde’, instead ‘speake evyll of it’, and say that ‘it causeth insurrection and teacheth the people to disobeye their heedes and governers’ (sig. C5r). Two years after publication of Obedience, Henry VIII would himself equate scripture with sedition, in his aforementioned proclamation against erroneous books and Bible translations. In this proclamation, Henry explained how his ‘primates’ and other ‘well lerned personages in diuinite’ had advised him to condemn certain ‘pestiferous englisshe bokes’ that had lately been ‘printed in other regions, and sent into this realme’. The proclamation actually names among these Tyndale’s translations of the ‘olde and newe testame[n]t’, in addition to his ‘boke named the Obedience of a Christen man,’ and his ‘boke entitled the wicked Mammona’ – all books which, according to the proclamation, seek to ‘stirre and increase [the people] to sedicion, and disobedience agaynst their princes, soueraignes, and heedes’.37

37

A proclamation […] for dampning of erronious bokes, fol. 1r.

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It is because ‘our holy prelates and oure gostly religious’ (sig. C5r) equate scripture with sedition that his own Bible translations are proscribed and their readers persecuted, Tyndale writes in his prologue to Obedience. He claims it is in the best interests of prelates to rail against God’s word and accuse its readers of sedition, for ‘Gods worde is hatefull and contrarie vnto them’, that ‘contrarie vnto all conscience and agenst all the doctrine of Christe’ have ‘usurped the righte of [the] emperoure’, and made of kings ‘but shadowes/ vayn names and thinges ydle/ havynge no thinge to doo in the worlde/ but when our holy father neadeth their helpe’ (sigs E6r–v). Tyndale writes that the Roman church sponsors a programme of university education in which Bible-reading is discouraged and students directed instead towards commentaries sympathetic to the pope’s usurped power. ‘Every man taketh a sondry doctoure’, he writes, and ‘to mayntene his doctoure with all/ corrupteth the scripture & facioneth it after his awne imaginacion as a Potter doeth his claye’ (sigs C2v–3r). Tyndale instead directs readers towards the ‘playne scriptures’. The Bible alone can function as a touchstone by which to try the truth of ‘all mens exposicion’ (sig. C2r), for ‘God is not mans imaginacion’; ‘God is but his worde’ (sig. C3v). Those who rail against Bible-reading, who ‘saye that it wold make them’ who read it ‘ryse ageynst the kinge’, are merely anxious to safeguard their own, pro-papist interpretations of scripture – ‘leste the temporall rulars shuld see their falsehod/ if the scripture cam to light’.38 It was precisely this desire to subject the glosses of ‘mens exposicion’ to the scrutiny of scriptural truth that had prompted Tyndale to English the New Testament in 1526. In his prologue to the 1530 edition of his translation of the Pentateuch, Tyndale turns upon those ‘malicious and wylye hypocrytes’ (sig. [A]1v) who have condemned his translations to date. They would rather have ‘a thousand bokes’ written ‘agenste their abhominable doynges and doctrine/ then that the scripture shulde come to light’. ‘For as longe as they may kepe that doune’, he continues, they will so darken the ryght way with the miste of their sophistrye/ and so tangle the[m] that ether rebuke or despyse their abhommations with argumentes of philosophye […]. And with wrestinge the scripture vnto their awne purpose clene contrarye vnto [the] processe/ order and meaninge of the texte […]. Which thinge onlye moved me to translate the new testament. Because I had perceaved by experience/ how that it was impossible to stablysh the laye people in any truth/ excepte [the]

38

[The Pentateuch] ([Antwerp], 1530), sig. [A]1v.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature scripture were playnly layde before their eyes in their mother tonge/ that they might se the processe/ ordre and meaninge of the texte. (sigs [A]2r–v)

Tyndale turns on its head the basic tenet of the argument against translating the Bible into English – that such a translation would encourage sedition among its readers. It was on the grounds that they ‘stirre and increase [the people] to sedicion’ that Henry had seen fit to ban Tyndale’s Bible translations in 1530, and the following year Elyot had likewise found cause to rail against those ‘euangelicall persones’ who ‘wraste’ holy scripture to ‘exterminate all superiorite’. For Tyndale, these arguments against the Englishing of scripture stem from churchmen whose outward support for the King belies their actual allegiance to ‘the popis false power’. They suppress the English Bible in order to safeguard their pro-papist interpretations of scripture from the censure of what Tyndale calls the ‘processe/ order and meaninge of the texte’. ‘Why shall I not se the scripture and the circumsta[n]ces and what goeth before and after’, Tyndale protests in his preface to Obedience, ‘that I maye know whether thyne interpretacio[n] be the right sence/ or whether thou iuglest and drawest the scripture violently vnto thy carnall and fleshly purpose?’ (sig. B6r). Far from it being seditious to translate the Bible into English, Tyndale argues that its suppression is itself an act of sedition, committed by prelates anxious to maintain their ecclesiastical liberties by glossing over biblical passages that grant to kings authority over the churches in their realms. Elyot had accused ‘euangelicall persones’ like Tyndale of wresting scripture to support sedition. In response, Tyndale turns to the syntax of scripture, to the process, order, and meaning thereof, uncovering evidence in the ‘playne scriptures’ of our duty to the powers that be. It is his own accusers who are in fact culpable of sedition, Tyndale asserts, for by ‘wrestinge the scripture vnto their awne purpose’ they seek to harbour rights that the papal church has unlawfully wrested from the crown. As Tyndale’s detractors argued that his translations of scripture would incite sedition, so Tyndale himself directs Bible-readers to those scriptural passages that command obedience to kings. ‘Sec[h]e therefore in the scripture as thou readest it first the law/ what god co[m]maundeth vs to doo’ (sig. [A]5v), he counsels readers of his 1530 Pentateuch. God has commanded every soul to submit to the powers that be, Tyndale argues in Obedience; this power, he claims, God has invested in princes alone. It is on the Word of God that Tyndale grounds his Cesaropapism, and his standpoint was enthusiastically echoed in the writings of his former amanuensis, Miles Coverdale. In 1529, Coverdale was in Hamburg helping Tyndale 126

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rewrite his English translation of the Pentateuch, the original version having perished with the wreck of the ship upon which Tyndale had earlier that year attempted to travel from Antwerp to Hamburg.39 Coverdale probably accompanied Tyndale on his return to Antwerp early in 1530 to supervise the printing of his completed manuscript. It was in Antwerp, in 1534, that Coverdale was commissioned by the reformist merchant Jacob van Meteren to himself translate the Bible into English. Completed in 1535, Coverdale’s Bible was by August being printed in Cologne, from whence Meteren exported its unbound pages to England, where they were bound in Southwark by his agent James Nicolson and placed in bookshops by early 1536.40 Nicolson wrote to Cromwell at the end of August 1535, enclosing for his perusal ‘as moche’ of the ‘hole byble’ ‘as ys yet come into englonde’, and petitioning him in particular to ‘visit the copie of the epistle dedicatorie for the bible to the kynge’, in the hope that Henry might grant to Coverdale’s translation a licence to ‘go forth unther the kynges prevelge’.41 Coverdale writes in his dedicatory epistle to Henry VIII that he has ‘faythfully translated’ his Bible ‘out of fyue sundry interpreters’.42 His text relies wherever possible on editions of Tyndale’s English translations of the Pentateuch (1530), Jonah (1531), and the New Testament (1534), collating these with readings from the Latin Vulgate, from the humanist Latin Bible of the Hebraist Sanctes Paginus (1528), and (most often) from the various editions of other contemporary vernacular translations undertaken by Luther and at Zurich.43 Signed ‘youre graces humble subiecte and daylye oratour, Myles Couerdale’, Coverdale takes pains in his dedicatory epistle to acknowledge Henry his ‘naturall soueraigne liege Lorde & chefe heade of [the] church of Englo[n]de’ (sig. †4r). His own profession of loyalty to the King, Coverdale implies, has been learned from his experience as translator of the very Bible that he here deems it his ‘dutye’ as a subject to dedicate ‘vnto youre hyghnesse’ (sig. †4r). For the scripture (both in the olde testament and in the new) declareth most abou[n]tdauntly that the office, auctorite and power geuen of God vnto kynges/ is in earth aboue all other powers: let them call the[m] selues Popes, Cardynalles, or what so euer they will […] who coulde than

39 40 41 42 43

J. F. Mozley, Coverdale and his Bibles (London, 1953), pp. 4–5. Mozley, pp. 72–74. Nicolson’s letter (LP, IX (1886), 75) is in part reproduced in Mozley, p. 111, from which I quote. Coverdale Bible (1535), sig. †4r. Mozley, pp. 78–100; Benson Bobrick, The Making of the English Bible (London, 2001), p. 143.

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Coverdale is here petitioning Henry to countenance the sale of his Bible, and he does so by alluding to the value of his translation as a weapon in the propaganda war against the Bishop of Rome. Applauding Henry’s new-found pretensions to empire in the English church, Coverdale goes on to enumerate the ‘vntollerable iniuries’ committed in England by ‘that Antychrist of Rome’, who until recently ‘dyd thrust his heade into [the] imperiall crowne of your hyghnes’, demanding payment of his ‘Peter pens’, deceiving the souls of the English ‘with his deuelyshe doctrynes’, and encouraging the disobedience of English bishops towards ‘your graces noble predecessours in tymes past’ (sigs †3r–v). ‘What is now the cause of all these vntollerable and nomore to be suffred abhominacions?’, Coverdale asks. ‘Truely euen the ignoraunce of the scripture of God’ (sig. †3v). License the Bible in English, Coverdale implies, and you license the means by which the Royal Supremacy will achieve popularity among the English people. Of course, Tyndale had similarly argued that the lessons of the Bible teach loyalty to kings, and had found his works condemned for inciting ‘disobedience agaynst […] princes’ in Henry’s proclamation against erroneous books. This, however, had been before Henry had found pressing need to find in propaganda a means of popularising his new self-image as ‘the onely supreme heed in erthe of the Churche of England’, and if he did not grant to Coverdale’s Bible the formal licence that its agent in England, James Nicolson, seems to have sought, at least he did not in 1535 find cause to condemn its publication, as five years earlier he had condemned the translations of Tyndale, upon which Coverdale’s Bible is in large part based.44 Writing in 1583, William Fulke recollects how, before Coverdale’s death in January 1569, he and ‘many hundreds beside’ had gathered to hear Coverdale deliver a sermon at Paul’s Cross, in which Coverdale had defended ‘his translation’ against the slanders of others by pointing out how Henry himself had found cause to countenance its publication. Henry, having committed the Coverdale Bible ‘to diverse bishops of that time to peruse’ and pass judgment on its translation, had been informed that ‘there were many faultes therein’.

44

26 Hen. VIII, c. 1, in Statutes, III, 492.

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Richard Morison Well said the King, but are there anye heresies maintayned thereby: They answered there was no heresies that they could finde, maintained thereby. If there be no heresies sayd the King, then in Gods name let it goe abroad among our people.45

Whether or not we take Fulke’s anecdote at face value, it is clear that Nicolson must have received some sort of favourable response to his petition to Cromwell that the Coverdale Bible be allowed to ‘go forth unther the kynges prevelge’, even if he did not in fact obtain formal licence to print such a legend on its title-page. Nicolson had been wise to seek Cromwell’s ‘helpynge handes’ in this matter.46 In his 1530 proclamation against erroneous books, Henry had promised punishment ‘to the terrible example of other lyke transgressours’ for any persons thereafter found to possess any ‘boke or bokes in the englisshe tonge, printed beyonde the see’.47 Having been scrupulous enough to have sought from Cromwell a licence for the Coverdale Bible, whose sheets had been printed ‘beyonde the see’ in Cologne, it seems improbable that Nicolson should have proceeded to put the book on the market without having first learned of Henry’s willingness to tolerate such an enterprise. The circulation of the Coverdale Bible in England by early 1536 therefore marks a watershed in Henry’s attitude towards the translation of scripture into English. Now he was prepared to countenance what he hitherto had been only too quick to condemn. Henry’s more tolerant approach to the English Bible certainly seems to have influenced Richard Morison’s answer in November 1536 to the petitions of the Yorkshire rebels. Coverdale had argued that the cause of rebellion was ‘truely euen the ignoraunce of the scripture of God’, and these same evangelical ideas find echo in Morison’s Remedy for Sedition. ‘And can not the knowlege of the worde of god’, he asks readers of the Remedy, ‘kepe christen men from contempning the iudgemente and lawes of god, frome undoinge theyr cou[n]trey, from fyghtyng against theyr prince?’ (sig. E1v). Both Morison and Elyot imagine England as a monarch-led meritocracy; both order the commonwealth around the rule of reason, arguing that reason is best exemplified in monarchical rule. Yet while Elyot writes to rein in royal power, Morison aims to quell rebellion against the Royal Supremacy, and effectively to sell the Break with Rome; he addresses

45 46 47

William Fulke, A Defense of the sincere and true Translations of the holie Scriptures into the English tong (London, 1583), sig. A2v. Cited in Mozley, p. 111. A proclamation […] for dampning of erronious bokes, fol. 1r.

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England’s discontents, and his use of Platonic political philosophy in the Remedy is decidedly more polemical than was Elyot’s in the Gouernour. For Morison, it was no longer sufficient simply to acknowledge the king as head of state, as we acknowledge the headship of reason in the self. With both church and state subsumed under the supreme headship of Henry VIII, Morison, like Tyndale and Coverdale before him, also had to teach his readers to recognise that ‘foreyne heed, that is in Rome’. ‘Alas’, Morison laments in the Remedy, ‘what greatter ignorauncye can there be, then to take hym for hede, that neuer was with the body? Hym for the heed, that hitherto hath done nothynge, but consumed the membres? The kyng is our heed, though popyshe say nay’ (sig. D3v). Morison turns again to the Platonic analogy between the physical and political bodies. As reason should be sovereign over self and state alike, so Morison here argues that it would be as unreasonable to recognise the authority in England of a ‘foreyne heed’ like Pope Paul III as it would be unnatural for the body of one person to take guidance from the head of another. Yet Morison evidently felt that this appeal to Platonic political philosophy was on its own insufficient to the task of reconciling the Yorkshire rebels to the Royal Supremacy. If reason alone does not permit our ‘sely braynes’ to discern our natural king from the ‘foreyne heede, that is in Rome’, then ‘might not we lerne so moche of Christis lawe’, Morison argues, ‘as were able to kepe vs from rebellion?’ (sig. D4v). ‘The preceptes of philosophie’ prompted ‘many of the Grecians, mo of the Romans’ to ‘dye for their cou[n]trey’ (sig. E1v). Why then, Morison asks, might we not also use ‘goddis lawes’ to teach us Christians to ‘abhorre sedycyon and rebellion’ (sig. E1r) against our lawful kings? ‘Goddis lawes’, he contends, shal neuer be so set by, as they ought, before they be well knowen. Howe shall poore men knowe them, except they be syncerely preached? We must fyrst lerne to kepe goddis lawes, or euer we ernestly passe of the kynges statutes. All be it he that kepeth the one, wyll also kepe thother. He that can fynde a better way, to auoyde sedition, than fyrst to brynge in the worde of god […] shall do ryght wel to shew it. (sig. E3r)

Morison ultimately finds his remedy for sedition in passages of scripture that direct obedience to kings. Plato alone is insufficient to the task of teaching the ‘sely braynes’ of rebellious people to recognise that the state, like the self, best serves reason when its members submit to one head. Morison therefore proposes sweeping educational reforms that emphasise the importance of preaching ‘Christis lawes’, in sermons before the masses (sig. E2r). ‘Maye not poore mennes chyldren come to the sermons?’, he asks. ‘Maye they not here preachers?’ (sigs D4v–E1r). Elyot, like Henry VIII 130

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himself, had in 1531 accused ‘euangelicall persones’ of sedition. Five years later, Morison sought actively to echo English evangelicals like Tyndale and Coverdale, in a treatise that prescribes the reading and preaching of scripture as the remedy for sedition, and which was not only printed with royal consent, but as propaganda against the Pilgrimage of Grace. In the Lamentation against the Lincolnshire Uprising, Mother England anticipates what Morison would later argue in the Remedy – that in the state, as in the self, ‘the heed muste rule, if the body woll do welle’. England in the Lamentation addresses ‘Lyncolneshire’ as ‘a me[m]bre of myn’, and having made this Platonic analogy between self and state she goes on to imply that sedition is as monstrous in the political body as a ‘hande that scratcheth out the eyen’ is unnatural in the physical. When England reappears in the Remedy, it is to register Morison’s own conclusion in this later treatise – that ultimately it was the precepts of scripture, not of Platonic political philosophy, that provided the most effective remedy for sedition, the most effective means of marketing the Royal Supremacy to its critics in the North. He is none of myne saythe Christe, nor worthy to be my seruaunt, that can not, if iuste cawse require hym so to do, forsake his father & mother to do me seruyce. He is none of myne saythe Englande, that canne not hate his father and mother, that canne not kyll them bothe, sooner than ones consente to my destruction. (sig. C2r)

It is Christ whom England echoes in this her admonition that we place loyalty to the motherland above love for our fathers and mothers. The England of the Lamentation had identified herself with rebel and royalist alike – ‘ye are all myne’, she had claimed. The England of the Remedy rejects as ‘none of myne’ any readers who refuse to pledge obedience to king and country. ‘Can not the knowlege of the worde of god kepe christen men from […] vndoinge theyr cou[n]trey, from fyghtyng against theyr prince?’, Morison asks elsewhere in the Remedy. Tyndale had answered in the affirmative, pointing to the clarity of those parts of the Bible that direct our obedience to kings. According to Tyndale’s Pentateuch, the ‘playne texte and literall sense’ of scripture (sig. [A]6r) would alone confound the ‘miste of […] sophistrye’, which sought in ‘sotle rydles’ to gloss over the ‘processe/ order and meaninge’ of biblical prose (sig. [A]2v). Morison, like Tyndale and Coverdale before him, also finds his remedy for sedition in the plain syntax of God’s Word well preached – it being well preached, he argues in the Remedy, ‘whan the preacher sayth as the gospel is, and doth as the gospell saith’ (sig. E2r). Morison invites readers of the Remedy to read the English Bible or to hear it being read aloud. This act of Bible-reading he 131

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identifies with Mother England, whom as we have seen echoes Christ’s words in her address to the Yorkshire rebels. In their use of prosopopœia, Morison’s two pamphlets against the Pilgrimage of Grace mark a sea-change in Royal Supremacy propaganda. Where texts had previously sought a dynastic foundation for Henry’s imperial ambitions in England, Morison’s pamphlets abandon history for rhetoric, seeking rather to persuade through fiction – the fiction that Mother England echoes public opinion in her support for Henry’s English empire – than to convince through ‘fact’ – the ‘fact’ that England had always been an empire, as witnessed by the empires of Constantine and Arthur, kinsmen, writers like Arthur Kelton would have us believe, of the ‘British’-born Tudors.48 Prosopopœia acts out community, a trope that signals the many as one. When Mother England speaks, then, she claims always to speak on others’ behalves; when she speaks in support of the Royal Supremacy, she does so from the standpoint of the people whose political opinions she claims to represent. In the Lamentation, Morison imagines a rhetorical political community. Embodied in Mother England, this community gives its consent to the absolute powers that Henry had claimed for himself. Mother England speaks in support of the Royal Supremacy, but still she rivals the crown on a representational, if not a political level, challenging the king’s right to speak for England by encouraging England’s discontents to identify, not with the crown, but with the political community that Mother England represents. ‘He is none of myne’, she claims, who would rebel against England and ‘consente to my destruction’. Morison here encourages readers to identify with their country, not their crown; while Mother England supports the king, still she stands apart from royal power. Prosopopœia works for Morison as a way of encouraging obedience to the king, but that obedience comes at a cost, for in Mother England Morison cannot but help represent a country set apart from its crown. This opens up a fissure that threatens the very foundations of monarchy – that questions the apparently natural elision between crown and country upon which the edifice of monarchical government is in large part based. Benedict Anderson writes that this fissure between crown and country is what distinguishes a nation from an empire. Nations for Anderson are plastic political communities that stand apart from any given system of

48

Arthur Kelton, A Chronycle with a Genealogie (London, 1547), sigs e9r–10r.

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government. Morison makes England speak in the Lamentation, and the nation she embodies is a nation also familiar to readers today, for while Morison’s England certainly speaks in support of the king, she speaks on behalf of a community set apart from the crown. This nation that Mother England embodies is, as we have seen, a rhetorical device designed to sell the Royal Supremacy to its discontents, through the claim that Henry’s ‘imperial’ policies had the public seal of approval. The fact that Morison imagined England as a place where public opinion could influence government does not of course imply that such an England existed in reality. Yet there is, I think, a case to be made for the existence in early Tudor England of an increasingly audible vox populi – a public voice able at once to question and to consent to Henry’s imperial powers over the English church and state. The evidence for this comes, not from the fictional community for whom Mother England claims to speak, but from the actual event that first prompted Morison to write his pamphlets – the Pilgrimage of Grace – and moreover the event whose cultural impact Mother England echoes in her address to the rebels – the publication and circulation in England of the Coverdale Bible. Beneath Mother England’s claim in the Lamentation to speak for the people when she speaks for the king lurks the much less reassuring subtext of a recent spate of protests and rebellions, the aims of which were to rein in Henry’s right to rule over the church in England. Morison’s England claims that Henry’s church policies have the support of his people, but this claim belies the very reasons why Morison was writing in the first place, belies the acts of rebellion that Mother England is in the Lamentation so quick to condemn. We have also seen evidence of this readiness to question abuses of power in Starkey’s Dialogue and Elyot’s Gouernour. Philip Schwyzer reminds us that we cannot simply extrapolate from the evidence of a few specula principum to speak of a nation-wide national consciousness in sixteenth-century England. Yet prosopopœia works differently from the specula principum, for it is to public expressions of political disquiet that Morison’s England specifically responds. The more England claims to speak for the people, the more doubtful her claims must appear. While Mother England represents a community that consents to absolute rule, her textual presence stands in for the absence of this consent, signals beyond itself to the discontents of those willing, with Starkey, Elyot, and other writers, openly to express their own opinions about the way England should be run. Behind the façade of the Royal Supremacy lurked fissures of discontent; to these Mother England herself bears witness by her very presence in the Lamentation. ‘If England coude speake’, writes Morison, ‘might it not say thus? I am one, why doo you make me twayne?’. 133

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Yet there is also evidence in Morison’s Remedy of a groundswell of popular support for Henry’s assumption of power over the English church. In his dedicatory epistle to the king, Coverdale explains how the Bible ‘declareth most abou[n]tdauntly that the office, auctorite and power geuen of God vnto kynges/ is in earth aboue all other powers’. Guided by its simple syntax and plain prose style, readers of the newly printed Coverdale Bible could expect to find revealed in certain of its passages the message that both clergy and laity alike owe their obedience to the crown. Morison clearly shared Coverdale’s optimism about the potential of the English Bible to alter attitudes towards Henry’s claims to absolute power, advising readers of his Remedy first to ‘lerne to kepe goddis lawes, or euer we ernestly passe of the kynges statutes’. The northern rebels would from the English Bible themselves learn obedience to the king, Morison had hoped, for it is the plain syntax of scripture that in 1536 appeared to offer the best remedy for sedition. The publication and sale of the Coverdale Bible earlier that year gave English readers access to those scriptural passages that command obedience to kings. It is among this Bible’s readership that we can see evidence of the actual existence in England of the sort of sovereign political community for whom Mother England claims to speak in the Lamentation. Like Mother England’s rhetorical community, Morison’s Bible-readers also stand apart from the crown. These readers owe their primary allegiance, not to the Royal Supremacy, but to the Word of God – Morison, we recall, asks them ‘fyrst […] to kepe goddis lawes’. The Bible directs their consent to absolute power, which consent comes from faith, not from political compulsion. Were the Bible to question obedience to the Royal Supremacy, then this same reading community would seek to rebel against perceived abuses of power; indeed, it was precisely this message of political resistance that the Swabian peasants had claimed to find in scripture, prompting the ill-fated Peasants’ War of 1524–26. Anderson writes that reading communities form ‘the embryo of the nationally imagined community’ (p. 44). Certainly this relationship between reading and national identity exists in Morison’s Remedy, where Mother England echoes Christ’s words in scripture, embodying an English identity based on familiarity with the English Bible. Whether or not the English Bible would also offer Morison his remedy for sedition depended entirely, of course, on whether scripture was found to be written in quite the transparent prose style praised by Tyndale, Coverdale, and Morison himself. The Peasants’ War sparked a history of alternative readings of the Bible’s standpoint on political obedience in this period, with the Bible made the basis of calls actively to resist tyrants by writers on both sides of the 134

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confessional divide. Although unnoted by Morison, scripture’s potential for semantic slippage also affects Mother England’s words in the Remedy, which offer an interpretation rather than an echo of Christ’s words in Matthew 19.16–30. In this passage, Christ assures his disciples that they who for love of him have forsaken family, lands, and property will in return receive the reward of everlasting life. When in the Remedy England threatens to disown readers who would for love of their parents forsake their motherland, her words misread this idea that we should forsake both land and family for love of Christ. Christ here commands us to love him above all else, England that we forsake all else, not for love of Christ, but for the motherland that Christ here asks his followers to lay aside. Morison’s England claims to echo the ‘playne texte and literall sense’ of scripture; this assumption that the Bible is simple to understand is precisely what informs Morison’s decision to make scripture the basis of his remedy for sedition. Yet while England’s words seek to remedy sedition, their inability to do so without wresting the meaning of this passage from Matthew 19 serves to question the clarity of Christ’s teachings on the subject of obedience. At stake here is the usefulness of scripture as a document that directs obedience to the crown; England’s misinterpretation of Matthew 19 opens up the possibility that scripture is more ambiguous than Tyndale, Coverdale, and Morison himself had supposed. Morison’s England embodies the many as one, and her advocacy of Bible-reading here signals beyond itself to the Bible-reading community for whom she claims to speak. In so far as he makes Mother England the mouthpiece for this Bible-reading community, Morison makes Bible-reading the cornerstone of the English nation he imagines in the Remedy. Yet whether scripture is in fact capable of directing obedience to the Royal Supremacy is something that the Remedy never adequately resolves. The following chapter continues to explore the impact of the English Bible on Royal Supremacy literature. Its focus is John Bale’s King Johan, a play that also claims to find a remedy for sedition in scripture’s apparently plain and simple prose.

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4 ENTER ENGLAND: JOHN BALE’S KING JOHAN

T

HE ‘particuler formes of gouerment […] are not determyned by God or nature’, the Jesuit Robert Parsons wrote in 1594. Instead, ‘euery nation and countrey’ should ‘chuse that forme of gouerment, which they shal like best, and think most fit for the natures and conditions of their people’.1 If we agree with Benedict Anderson that nations are born out of a desire for greater political freedoms, then Parsons words inevitably force us to question Anderson’s claim that national sentiment did not emerge in Western Europe until the eighteenth-century age of ‘Enlightenment and Revolution’.2 Parsons’s separation of king from commonwealth had found echo throughout the Tudor period, in writings by royalists and reactionaries alike. Thomas Starkey and Thomas Elyot both wrote specula principum in the 1530s that sought to rein in royal power. We have seen how Richard Morison exploited their language of commonwealth, not to argue with Parsons for elective models of government, but to support the king’s claims to supremacy in church and state. In Morison’s pamphlets, Mother England claims to speak for the majority of English people when she speaks in support of the king. Morison writes for his audience. Aware that the northern rebels were refusing to regard the Royal Supremacy as divinely ordained, he tailors his support for imperial government accordingly. Morison’s England speaks for the nation; although upholding the king’s claims to absolute power, she claims merely to be echoing the will of the majority, to speak for a national community wholeheartedly in support of the king. This support is in the 1 2

Robert Doleman [i.e. Robert Parsons], A conference abovt the next svccession to the crowne of ingland ([Antwerp], 1594), p. 9. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, rev. edn (London, 1991), p. 7.

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Remedy based on ‘knowlege of the worde of god’, and it is around the act of Bible-reading that Morison builds his imagined political community. Morison stresses that the Royal Supremacy was indeed God’s will, but by pointing to the English Bible as evidence for this, Morison also acknowledges the contentiousness of his claim, rejected as it was by the rebels for whom he was writing. If their rebellion was to be quelled and Henry upheld as head of the church, the rebels had to be encouraged actually to read the English Bible, and to take on board its command that every soul be subject to the superior powers (Romans 13). In this process, Mother England’s role in the Remedy is crucial. Speaking for a political community obedient to the king, England plays the same role in the Remedy as she does in the Lamentation, drumming up support for the Royal Supremacy by pointing to its popularity among the majority of English people. But Mother England also speaks in the Remedy for the popularity in England of the English Bible, insofar as her condemnation of rebels who would ‘consente to [her] destruction’ can be seen to echo Christ’s words in Matthew 19.3 The popularity of the Royal Supremacy – the benchmark for its legitimacy in the national community for whom Mother England speaks – is in other words made contingent in the Remedy on the popularity within that same national community of the printed English Bible. Providing it was interpreted correctly, therefore, the English Bible promised to end rebellion and to safeguard the future of the Royal Supremacy. Morison made Bible-reading the cornerstone for his construction of an English national identity based on popular support for the Royal Supremacy. In Bale’s King Johan, the character ‘England’ is again iconic of an imagined political community whose commitment to the Royal Supremacy is based on its reading of scripture. The dynamics of this relationship between the English Bible and English enthusiasm for the Royal Supremacy are by Bale explored further on stage, in dialogues between England, her son Commonalty, and the proto-Protestant King John. What follows will explore how the English Bible came to be seen as an instrument for political, as well as religious, reform in the later 1530s. I will be approaching the original version of King Johan, performed Christmas 1538–39, as one product of a culture optimistic about the usefulness of the English Bible in the battle to defend the Royal Supremacy against its opponents at home and abroad. I will then be comparing the original with the

3

A Remedy for Sedition, VVherin are Conteyned many thynges, concernyng the true and loyall obeysance, that comme[n]s owe vnto their prince and soueraygne lorde the kynge (London, 1536), sig. C2r.

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revised ending of King Johan, asking to what extent Bale’s revisions to his play-text reflect his revised attitude later on in life to the transparency of the English Bible’s teachings on political obedience. Morison himself may have confined his support for the Royal Supremacy to prose propaganda, but there exists in manuscript a treatise attributed to his authorship, and concerned primarily with promoting the reformation and Latinisation of English common law, that digresses at one point to propose the mobilisation in England of a more comprehensive anti-papal propaganda campaign.4 Alongside sermons and printed tracts that teach ‘the usurped power of the bisshoppe of Rome’, Morison endorses the institution of annual bonfires and processions, to celebrate ‘the distruction of the bisshop of Rome out of this Realme’ (p. 178). Writing to Henry VIII, he recommends in particular the production of ‘plaies’ that ‘set forthe and declare lyvely before the peoples eies the abhomynation and wickednes of the bisshop of Rome, monkes, ffreers, nonnes, and suche like’, and which ‘open to them thobedience that your subiectes by goddes and mans lawes owe unto your magestie’ (p. 179). Though willing in his Policy and Police to entertain the logic behind these ideas, Geoffrey Elton confesses himself relieved that Morison’s proposals went unheeded by the machinery of government, and ‘that the pre-history of the Elizabethan stage was not littered with pope-hunting plays commissioned by Thomas Cromwell’.5 Other critics have argued that Cromwell did in fact implement Morison’s proposals, and they have been quick to identify the plays of John Bale as exactly the sort of pope-hunting plays that the Cromwellian regime was keen to commission. ‘Morison’s own pamphlets’, writes Sydney Anglo, ‘were but part of a scheme organized by Cromwell who employed numerous other writers […], and who even appears to have comprehended the value of drama as a weapon for propaganda and to have encouraged the virulent productions of John Bale’.6 Paul Whitfield White goes further. Cromwell’s accounts record

4

5 6

‘A discourse touching the reformation of the laws of England’, BL Cotton Faustina C II, fols 15v–18v (LP, XVII (1900), 707). The ‘Discourse’ has interlineations in Morison’s hand, which for Sydney Anglo ‘tends to confirm his authorship’ (‘An Early Tudor Programme for Plays and other Demonstrations against the Pope’, Journal of the Warburg and Courthauld Institutes, 20 (1957), 176–79 (p. 177)). Anglo’s article reprints the anti-papal extract from the ‘Discourse’ on pp. 177–79, to which subsequent citations refer. G. R. Elton, Policy and Police: The Enforcement of the Reformation in the Age of Thomas Cromwell (Cambridge, 1972), p. 186. Anglo, p. 177.

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payment of forty shillings to ‘Bale and his fellows’ on 8 September 1538 for ‘playing before my Lord’ at ‘St Stephen’s beside Canterbury’, and payment of thirty shillings on 31 January 1539 for a second command performance before Cromwell at an unspecified location.7 White extrapolates from this evidence of Cromwell’s interest in Bale’s plays to argue for Cromwell’s direct involvement as patron of Bale’s company of players between 1537 and 1540. He identifies ‘Bale and his fellows’ with the troupe described in civic and other surviving records from this period as ‘Lord Cromwell’s Players’ and ‘the Lord Privy Seal’s Men’; on this basis he reconstructs routes for four provincial tours in England, which he asserts Bale and his company could feasibly have undertaken with Cromwell’s backing between these dates.8 Whether Cromwell confined his interest in Bale’s plays to the two command performances of 1538–39, or whether, as White suggests, these two performances themselves formed part of provincial tours commissioned by Cromwell, it is clear from the concrete evidence of Cromwell’s two payments to ‘Bale and his fellows’ that he, like Morison, was at least willing to endorse the mobilisation of drama as a medium for anti-papal propaganda. ‘Into the commen people thynges sooner enter by the eies, then by the eares’, Morison writes in the ‘Discourse’, ‘remembryng more better that they see then that they heere’ (p. 179). Just how effective at popularising the Royal Supremacy proved the sort of anti-papal plays proposed by Morison and composed by Bale can be ascertained from the depositions of John Alforde and Thomas Brown against a certain London shipman named Henry Totehill, accused of ‘naughty communication […] concerning the bishop of Rome and Thomas Beckett’.9 Both deponents had been ‘at my Lorde of Canterbury’s’ house during Christmas 1538–39 to hear ‘an enterlude concernyng King John’, and at some point thereafter, on the evening of either the second or third day of January 1539, they had talked with Totehill about the play performed. It was, Brown confessed, ‘one of the best matiers that ever he sawe, towching King John’, and though he had in the past heard ‘preistes and clerkes’ speak ill of King John, he ‘knew now that yt was nothing true’. The play had taught him that ‘King John was as noble a prince as ever was in England’, and ‘that he was the

7 8 9

LP, XIV.ii (1895), 337; 339. Paul Whitfield White, Theatre and Reformation: Protestantism, Patronage, and Playing in Tudor England (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 12–27. Enclosed in Cranmer’s letter to Cromwell of 11 January 1539; reproduced in The Works of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1556, ed. John Edmund Cox, 2 vols, Parker Society Publications 12, 24 (Cambridge, 1844–46), II (1846), 387–88.

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begynner of the puttyng down of the Bisshop of Rome’ – for which, he adds, ‘we myght be all gladd’. Alforde had wholeheartedly agreed. It was, he claimed, ‘a petie that the Bisshop of Rome should reigne any lenger, for if he should, the said Bisshop would do with our King as he did with King John’. Totehill had apparently answered these pro-supremacist sentiments with the observation ‘that it was petie and nawghtely don, to put down the Pope and Saincte Thomas’. ‘The Pope was a good man’, he argued, and moreover had been ‘made Pope by the clergie and by the consent of all the Kinges Christen’ (p. 387). Recent critics have found the similarities in subject matter between Bale’s King Johan and this ‘enterlude concernyng King John’ simply too compelling a coincidence, and have argued that these two plays are one and the same, and that Bale was author of the play performed ‘at my Lorde of Canterbury’s’ house at Ford, near Canterbury, over Christmas 1538–39. ‘For there to have been two anti-papal plays of King John circulating simultaneously would seem too unlikely a coincidence’, Greg Walker argues.10 Both Walker and White entertain the possibility that Cromwell’s second payment to Bale at the end of January 1539 represents remuneration for a Christmas performance at Cranmer’s Canterbury residence, although both admit this is entirely conjectural.11 Whether or not Cromwell paid for this Canterbury performance of the ‘enterlude concernyng King John’, it does at least seem sensible to entertain the idea that ‘Bale and his fellows’ were involved in the production of this play, and that the interlude to which Alforde and Brown were witness was indeed a version of Bale’s King Johan. It was perhaps the money he received from his several command performances before Cranmer and Cromwell that enabled Bale to pay for a scribe to make a fair copy of King Johan.12 That copy, now at the Huntington Library, California, is the only extant manuscript of the play.13 The composite nature of this manuscript presents problems for

10 11 12 13

Plays of Persuasion: Drama and Politics at the Court of Henry VIII (Cambridge, 1991), p. 173. Walker, p. 173; White, p. 194, n. 17. The Complete Plays of John Bale, ed. Peter Happé, Tudor Interludes 4–5, 2 vols (Cambridge, 1985–86), I, p. 10. The play remained unprinted until John Payne Collier’s 1838 edition for the Camden Society (Kynge Johan: A Play in Two Parts (London, 1838)). Barry Adams’s 1969 edition was the first since Collier’s to be based on the text of the manuscript itself (John Bale’s King Johan, ed. Barry Adams (San Marino, CA, 1969)). It has since been followed, but to my mind not surpassed, by the edition prepared by Peter Happé (The Complete Plays of John Bale, 2 vols (Cambridge, 1985–86)). Line references to the play cite from Adams’s edition.

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contextualised analysis, for while the Alforde deposition allows us with some certainty to pinpoint a performance context for King Johan at Cranmer’s Canterbury residence at Christmas 1538–39, the manuscript’s multiple revisions and excisions deprive us of a definitive play-text upon which to base our discussion of this performance. Two hands appear in Huntington HM3, which comprises twenty folio leaves, interleaved with fourteen of quarto and a single smaller slip. All of the folio, and all but two of the quarto leaves, have text on both recto and verso. The versos of two quarto leaves and the single smaller slip are blank.14 The first hand is scribal, and is dateable from 30 May 1538 from allusion in that part of the play written in this hand to a burning at Smithfield on that date.15 It occurs only on the folio component of the manuscript (the ‘A-text’). The second hand is Bale’s own. Bale makes several interlinear revisions to the A-text, and he is solely responsible for the text on the quarto leaves and slip (the ‘B-text’). These quartos contain a watermark with the date ‘1558’, and the B-text is therefore dateable from the beginning of this year until the year of Bale’s own death in 1563, although an apparent reference towards the end of the B-text to Elizabeth I’s proclamation against Anabaptists of 22 September 1560 may act as a terminus a quo for the composition of at least part of the B-text.16 It appears that Bale commissioned a scribe to make a fair copy of his play at some point after May 1538, and that the A-text produced represents an originally complete, if shorter, version of the play that survives today. Bale then revised the A-text in his own hand at some point after 1558, making excisions and interlinear revisions on the folio leaves, and inserting additional text on the rectos of a slip of paper and single quarto leaf. By the time Bale reached the nineteenth folio of the A-text (pp. *1–*2), his revisions had become so cumbersome that he decided to make a fair copy of his revised ending on thirteen additional quarto leaves (pp. 39–63). He retained thirty-four lines of the A-text on the recto of p. *1, and added new passages on the first of these thirteen quarto leaves (pp. 39–40), which he

14

15 16

Making a total of thirty-five leaves, and sixty-seven pages. Only twenty of the original twenty-two folio leaves are extant. Four leaves were missing when Collier prepared his 1838 edition of the play; although two were recovered in Collier’s own lifetime. At some point when all four folio leaves were still missing, the folio and quarto components were numbered sequentially from 1 to 63. The two found folio leaves have since been designated pp. *1–*4. The majority of these four pages have been cancelled, although thirty-four lines remain on p. *1. See Adams, pp. 1–17. Adams, p. 20; p. 172. ll. 2680–81; cp. TRP 2, no. 470. Adams, pp. 23–24; p. 196.

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marked with symbols for insertion into the dialogue of the A-text. Bale then cancelled the remaining lines of the A-text (pp. *1–*4). Two companion folio leaves, containing the conclusion of the A-text ending, were evidently discarded by Bale at the time, and have since remained unfound. While there is therefore good evidence to suggest that Bale’s King Johan was performed at Canterbury over Christmas 1538–39, only part of the play-text that may have been written for this performance is today extant. The Huntington manuscript is the product of more than one cultural moment, and while many of Bale’s later excisions from the A-text are still legible beneath his crossings-out, the entire A-text remains unrecoverable, because of the loss of the last two cancelled folio leaves. The extant A-text breaks off four lines into King John’s dying speech, at the foot of p. *4. Although it would theoretically have been feasible for the A-text version to have concluded some lines later with John’s death, Adams has argued for a closer resemblance between the A- and B-text endings. He points to the fact that there exists on p. *2 a stage direction instructing Cardinal Pandulphus to ‘go owt and dresse for Nobelyte’ (l. A45sd).17 Nobility does not thereafter appear on stage in the surviving A-text, but he does reappear after John’s death in the B-text version. Both Adams and Walker argue on the strength of this observation that the original A-text ending must have contained a truncated version of the scene involving Nobility with which the B-text ending is brought to a close.18 While the missing manuscript pages make it impossible fully to disentangle the A- from the B-text, these suppositions about the subject-matter of the lost conclusion at least allow us to piece together the recoverable portions of the A-text with some idea of how this play may have ended when performed at Canterbury before John Alforde and Thomas Brown. Few studies of the play have been based on the A-text uncoverable beneath Bale’s later revisions and excisions. Most follow the practices of the play’s modern editors, who without exception have made the B-text version the basis for their texts. As Happé notes, Bale ‘worked on the text for over twenty years’; it is therefore ‘reasonable to suppose that everything he allowed to stand has his approval’.19 Good editorial practice in this respect does not, however, reflect Bale’s original conception of the play at the time

17 18 19

Adams, pp. 5–6. Line references to cancelled material from pp. *1–*4 of the manuscript are by Adams prefixed with ‘A’. Adams, p. 15; Walker, p. 177. Complete Plays, I, 101.

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of its performance in 1538–39. To return to the A-text is to turn to the play-text transcribed in 1538, perhaps even in preparation for the command performance at Canterbury that Christmas. The following discussion of King Johan will therefore wherever possible confine its analysis of the play to the original A-text version. It does so in order to restore the play-text preserved in manuscript to something that more nearly resembles the version of the play performed at Christmas 1538–39. I approach the A-text performance that Christmas as a product of a particular cultural moment. The year 1538 witnessed the publication of injunctions ordering provision of an English Bible in every parish church, and it is to the implications of these injunctions that I argue the 1538 performance of King Johan responds, in its emphasis on the relationship between the English Bible and an English national identity based on obedience to the King. When I do move analysis to the conclusion of the B-text, it will be with reference to the later cultural moment in which Bale undertook to re-write the play’s ending – for I will argue that it is in the light of what occurred in the years after 1538 that the wording of Bale’s revised conclusion can best be interpreted. Sedition is the subject of King Johan, and Bale’s interest in the subject extends beyond his dramatisation of John’s death at the hands of a Cistercian monk. Bale’s play takes the long view on the subject, presenting John’s quarrel with the Canterbury clergy as but an example of sedition at work in the commonwealths of past and present. Bale’s dramatisation of John’s dealings with the church is drawn chiefly from the chronicle account in the English prose Brut.20 John’s struggles with the papacy stem in the Brut from the consequences of his defeats in France. Forced by 1205 to relinquish Normandy and Anjou, John demanded that the English clergy contribute a tenth of their livings to help finance a campaign to re-conquer these lands. When the clergy refused, John refused to recognise their appointment of Stephen Langton as archbishop of Canterbury. Hearing that the prior of Canterbury had against his own wishes sent to Rome to have Langton confirmed as archbishop, John angrily expelled the Canterbury clergy from England. When Innocent III placed England under an interdict in 1208, John retaliated by seizing the lands and properties of the English clergy, and of the Cistercian Order in particular. According to Brut, Innocent III had then sent the legates ‘Pandolf & Duraunt’, to

20

The Brut, or the Chronicles of England, ed. Friedrich W. D. Brie, 2 vols, EETS, o.s., 131 and 136 (London, 1906–08) I, pp. 154–70.

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demand that John desist upon pain of excommunication from his ongoing persecution of the church (I, 161). When he still refused to consent to Langton’s election as archbishop, the legates proceeded in 1209 to excommunicate John, and to command all Christendom to do battle with him, ‘as with him that is enemy to al holy cherche’ (I, 160). John finally caved in to Innocent’s demands, on hearing news that the French were about to invade England. He was compelled to swear allegiance to Innocent III, and to relinquish his crown for five days. Bale’s play borrows substantially from this account in Brut of John’s quarrels with Innocent III, but Bale also manipulates the Brut for his own ideological purposes. King Johan takes up the narrative of Brut at the point where John is beginning to seize church lands and property. In Brut, these actions form part of John’s retaliation for the interdict placed on England; in the play, they occur as part of John’s ongoing ecclesiastical policy. At the start of the play, the character England comes in complaining to John about her maltreatment at the hands of the clergy: ‘Alas, yowr clargy hath done very sore amys’ (l. 27), England laments to John, ‘For they take from me my cattell, howse and land, | My wodes and pasturs, with other commodyteys’ (ll. 62–63). Astonished by England’s altered condition, and promising ‘daye and nyght’ (l. 139) to defend this ‘pore wydowes cause’ (l. 129), John summons together the chief estates of his realm – Nobility, Clergy, and Civil Order – to command that they in future ‘loke to the state of Englond’, and ‘leate non enemy holde her in myserable bond’ (ll. 527–28). John undertakes to restore England’s lands and liberties through church reform, and it is in this context that we first hear of his refusal to acknowledge Stephen Langton as archbishop (see ll. 937–41). Thereafter, the play follows closely the account in Brut of John’s dealings with the church.21 As in Brut, it is news of invasion by ‘the french kyng’ (l. 1634) that forces Bale’s King John to surrender his crown to Pandulphus, and to swear allegiance to the papal church. Bale is more concerned than is the writer of Brut to implicate the church hierarchy in the plot to poison King John. Whereas John’s poisoner in Brut is assoiled in anticipation of his crime by the abbot of Swineshead Abbey, in King Johan it is from no less a person than the archbishop of Canterbury himself that Monastycall Devocyon receives his sentence of absolution ‘in nomine domini pape [in the lord pope’s name]’ (l. A79). The A-text breaks off abruptly four lines into John’s dying speech, and it is with the account of the regicide that the narrative of the English Brut is also brought to a

21

Adams, pp. 35–36.

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close. Into the B-text is introduced an episode of Bale’s own devising, involving two new characters, Verity and Imperial Majesty. The former enters to chastise the political estates for having sided with the papacy in its power struggle against King John, the latter to admonish that they henceforth pledge obedience to the King – for ‘he that a prynce resisteth doth dampne Gods ordynaunce’ (l. 2352). Bale recasts into a narrative of papal collusion against King John two apparently unrelated episodes in the Brut – John’s power struggle with the Roman church and, two years later, his death at the hands of an English monk. The Brut explains that John had wanted to raise the price of a loaf of bread from ‘an halpeny’ to twenty shillings (I, 169), and that the monk had killed John to prevent this from occuring. Bale incorporates this story into his play, but whereas the monk in Brut is genuinely outraged at John’s inflationary designs, the rumour that John would ‘haue mad a loffe worthe xx shelyng’ is in King Johan merely contrived to ‘colure’ the monk’s crime, which in truth occurs as part of the wider power struggle in the play between England and Rome (ll. A62–63). All Bale’s departures from Brut seem designed more deeply to implicate the papacy in John’s death, but this manipulation of his source material is not the only means by which Bale’s propagandist objectives are met in the play. In King Johan, Bale endorses Henry’s claims to supremacy in church and state by having John expound the scriptural origins of absolute kingship at the very start of the play. ‘Bothe Peter and Pawle makyth plenteosse vtterauns’, John asserts, ‘How that all pepell shuld shew there trew alegyauns | To ther lawfull kyng’ (ll. 4–6). As Norland notes, however, ‘John’s tragedy is that he cannot sustain this belief’, and this is because both Nobility and Civil Order are in the play coerced by Clergy to conspire with the church against their king.22 John ultimately fails in the play to implement his proposed reform of the ‘chyrches abusyons’ (l. 1502), and he does so because – as the play makes clear – his reforms could only have been carried out with the prior consent of Nobility, Clergy, and Civil Order. Bale anatomises England into her component political estates, in a play that juxtaposes concrete historical figures with abstract allegorical types. This abstraction serves to decontextualise the historical action on stage, inviting comparison between John’s battles with the papacy and the Henrician Break with Rome. Such at least was Thomas Brown’s response to the ‘enterlude concernyng King John’ he saw at Canterbury over Christmas

22

Howard B. Norland, Drama in Early Tudor Britain, 1485–1558 (Lincoln, NE, 1995), p. 196.

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1538–39. ‘King John’, he had declared, ‘was the begynner of the puttyng down of the Bisshop of Rome, and thereof we myght be all gladd’. However, John’s ability to cast down the Bishop of Rome is in Bale’s play made contingent upon the support of his political estates. By identifying John with Henry VIII, the play invites Bale’s contemporaries in the later 1530s to apply the lessons of John’s reign to the context of the Royal Supremacy. The play as staged in 1538–39 emphasised the importance of acquiring political support for religious and constitutional reforms; as such, it sought the support of its Canterbury audience for Henry’s own recent spate of reforms – his split with Rome and headship of the English church. The integration into a history play of morality play motifs also works the more fully to involve the papal church in the plot to poison King John. We have seen how Bale points his finger at the clergy, first by having the monk Monastycall Devocyon invent as an excuse for his crime the rumour, recorded as factual in Brut, that John intended to ‘haue mad a loffe worthe xx shelyng’ (l. A63), second by having him receive the blessings of the archbishop of Canterbury prior to the poisoning. Yet Bale is not content merely to implicate the most senior English churchman in John’s murder, by having Langton assoil Monastycall Devocyon of the sin of regicide. Bale uses morality play conventions to identify Langton with the vice character Sedition, and as Sedition it is implied that Langton’s actions will always tend towards revolt and rebellion. Sedition, the first of the five political vices to appear on stage, enters forty lines into the play to brag that ‘the pope ableth me to subdewe bothe kyng and keyser’ (l. 99). Left alone with John after England’s departure from the stage, Sedition makes light of England’s attack on clerical abuses, confessing that the English clergy, both regular and religious, pledge allegiance to the See of Rome, and bragging that, as ambassador of the pope, he has allied to ‘his holy cawse’ the other principal estates of England, Nobility and Civil Order (l. 218). Sedition, Bale makes clear, originates in Rome, and so long as the church in England remains answerable to Rome, so long will king and country alike remain vulnerable to its pernicious influences. By counterfeiting the appearance of holiness, sedition has spread unnoticed throughout the entire English church, the character Sedition confesses to John, so that now ‘in euery relygyon and mvnkysh secte I rayne’, he brags, ‘havyng yow prynces in scorne, hate and dysdayne’ (ll. 187–88). To explode the pious demeanour of the English clergy still further, Bale has Sedition meet with his ‘old aquentaunce’ Dissimulation (l. 667), a religious by appearance who admits that ‘thowgh I seme a shepe, I can play the suttle foxe’ (l. 714). Dissimulation is an emissary of the English clergy, and when he and 146

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Sedition encounter the two other main vice characters in the play – Private Wealth and Usurped Power – Dissimulation delivers up to Usurped Power the clergy’s written complaints about John’s resolve to ‘reforme the tythes and offrynges | And intermedleth with other spyrytuall thynges’ (ll. 910–11). Sedition then counsels Usurped Power to interdict England, excommunicate John and, ‘yf that wyll not stand, | Cawse other prynces to revenge the churchys wronge’ (ll. 977–78). Having resolved to put this plan into action, three of the vices then retire after line 983 to dress for their parts in the history play that thereafter begins to unfold on stage. Usurped Power returns some forty lines later as Pope Innocent III, Private Wealth as Cardinal Pandulphus, and Sedition as Stephen Langton. Dissimulation, who exits after line 1073, retains the costume of a ‘relygyose mann’ (l. A102), and it in this guise that he later appears to John as the murderous monk Monastycall Devocyon. Several topical allusions in the play to the suppression of religious houses under Henry VIII invite its audience again to identify John’s with Henry’s battle against the papal church, and to compare papal responses to John’s confiscation of church property with Rome’s response to the 1536 Dissolution Act (27 Hen. VIII, c. 28). In the play, Dissimulation approaches Sedition with complaints from the clergy in England about John’s confiscation of church property. John’s reforms appear to have stretched to the sort of systematic dissolution of monasteries that Henry himself undertook from 1536, for Dissimulation grumbles that ‘bothe chyrchys and abbeys he oppressyth more and more’ (l. 659). Sedition advises King John’s immediate excommunication – ‘Owte with the popys bulles, than, and cursse hym downe to hell’ (l. 661). Like John before him, Henry VIII was excommunicated from the papal church, in a bull dated 17 December 1538.23 Given the proximity to this date of the play’s performance at Canterbury over Christmas 1538–39, it seems safe enough to assume that Bale here intends a tacit allusion to Henry’s own recent excommunication at the hands of Paul III. By dressing up as Stephen Langton in the play, Sedition is at once positioned both in and outside of the play’s setting in thirteenth-century England. In his advice to Dissimulation about John’s excommunication, he engages in a form of doublespeak that allows his words to reverberate beyond their historical reference, to echo events of topicality to the John Alfordes and Thomas Browns in King Johan’s Canterbury audience.

23

Concilia Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae, ab Anno MCCCL ad Annum MDXLV, ed. David Wilkins, 3 vols (London, 1737), III, pp. 840–41.

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It is not only to Henry’s excommunication that Sedition makes reference in the play. His comments to Dissimulation also allude to the more populist responses in northern England to the 1536 Dissolution Act – the Lincolnshire Uprising and Pilgrimage of Grace. Usurped Power, Sedition brags to Dissimulation, ‘dothe fauer me of all men’ (l. 750), and he claims that this is because ‘whan prynces rebell agenste hys autoryte, | I make ther commons agenst them to be’ (ll. 752–53). Writing in response to the Pilgrimage of Grace, Richard Morison had propsed no ‘better way, to auoyde sedition, than fyrst to brynge in the worde of god’.24 It is to these same sentiments that King John gives expression in the opening lines of Bale’s play. To declare the powres and the strenght to enlarge The scriptur of God to flow in most abowndaunce; And of sophysteres the fantesyes to dyscharge Bothe Peter and Pawle makyth plenteosse vtterauns; How that all pepell shuld shew there trew alegyauns To ther lawfull kyng Christ Iesu dothe consent, Whych to the hygh powres were evere obedyent. (l. 1)

It was one thing for Morison to propose Bible-reading as a remedy for sedition. It was quite another for Bale to have his protagonist voice this same evangelical agenda, in a play that invites comparison between John and Henry VIII. In no part of the Remedy did Morison claim to speak for the King when claiming that ‘knowlege of the worde of god’ would ‘kepe christen men […] from fyghtyng against theyr prince’ (sig. E1v). Emboldened by Henry’s toleration of the Coverdale Bible, Morison had felt confident that the evangelical tone of the Remedy would cause no offence at court. He was, however, still cautious to present his claims for the Bible as his own, for if Henry had indeed countenanced the sale of the Coverdale Bible in England, as William Fulke would later assert, he certainly had not granted to it the formal licence to ‘go forth unther the kynges prevelge’ that its printer, James Nicolson, had been initially anxious to obtain.25 For Bale to have had a king of England commend Bible-reading on the stage of King Johan was therefore a significant advance on what had seemed admissible to Morison back in November 1536, when he had set out to write the Remedy. Bale effectively makes John a mouthpiece for the English

24 25

[Richard Morison], A Remedy for Sedition (London, 1536), sig. E3r. Cited in J. F. Mozley, Coverdale and his Bibles (London, 1953), p. 111.

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evangelical movement in the 1530s, and on more than one occasion in the play he even has John appear as apologist for the doctrines of that movement’s most infamous member, William Tyndale. John alludes in his opening speech (above) to how those same Bible passages that admonish our ‘trew alegyauns’ to kings also function as a touchstone with which to try ‘the fantesyes’ of ‘sophysteres’. In so doing, John implicates sophisters, or schoolmen, in a conspiracy to conceal with their own ‘fantesyes’ the ‘abowndaunce’ of scriptural passages that command obedience to kings. In the prologue to his 1530 Pentateuch, Tyndale had himself accused schoolmen of deliberately obscuring with a ‘miste of […] sophistrye’ the ‘processe/ order and meaninge’ of the biblical text. Their objective, he had claimed, was to ‘delude’ us in our understanding of scripture, by ‘descantynge vppon it with alligoryes/ and [by] expoundinge it in manye senses before the vnlerned laye people (when it hath but one symple litterall sense whose light the owles ca[n] not abyde)’.26 It is to the simple, literal sense of scripture that John also cleaves in the play. ‘Yt was neuer well’, he tells Clergy, syns the clargy wrowght by practyse And left the scriptur for menns ymagynacyons, Dyvydyng them selvys in so many congrygacyons Of monkes, chanons and fryers, of dyvers colors and facyons. (l. 334)

In the Obedie[n]ce of a Christen man, Tyndale also holds the church’s aberrant interpretations of scripture responsible for the diversification of its religious orders. No student of divinity actually studies scripture itself, he had claimed, but every man instead ‘taketh a sondry doctoure/ which doctours are as sondry and as dyvers […] as there are divers facions and monstrous shappes/ none lyke another/ amo[n]ge oure sectes of religio[n]’. ‘Of what texte’, he continues, ‘the grayefrere proveth [that] oure lady was without originall sinne/ of the same shall the blacke frere prove [that] she was conceyved in originall synne’.27 In the play, Clergy claims to find scriptural foundation for the proliferation of religious orders in Psalm 44.11 of the Vulgate, which he translates ‘A quene […] on thy ryht hond, lord, I se, | Apparrellyd with golde and compassyd with dyversyte’ (ll. 436–37). When John demands that he better elucidate this passage for the benefit of the audience, Clergy explains how ‘This quene ys the chyrch,

26 27

[The Pentateuch] ([Antwerp], 1530), sig. [A]2v. The obedie[n]ce of a Christen man ([Antwerp], 1528), sigs C2v–3r.

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which thorow all Cristen regions | Ys beawtyfull, deckyd with many holy relygyons’ (ll. 439–40). John counters that this interpretation is contrary to the simple, literal sense of the scriptural passage in which it occurs. As he explains, Davyd meanyth vertuys by the same diversyte, As in the sayd psalme yt is evydent to se, And not mvnkysh sectes; but yt is euer yowr cast For yowr advauncement the scriptur for to wrast. (l. 463)

John here stresses the sufficiency for our understanding of scripture of the simple, literal sense – the sense that comes from reading a biblical passage in the context, Tyndale writes in the Obedience, of ‘what goeth before and after’ (sig. B6r). Like Tyndale, Martin Luther also prioritised the literal sense of scripture. Speaking in October 1540, Luther recollected that in his youth he had ‘dealt with allegories, tropologies, and analogies’, and that he had done ‘clever tricks with them’. ‘Now I’ve let them go’, he said, ‘and this is my last and best art, to translate the Scriptures in their plain sense’.28 The emphasis that reformers laid upon the straightforwardness of the scriptural message was itself contributory to their self-presentation as readers of the Word. ‘Man’s wisdome’, Tyndale writes in the Obedience, ‘scatereth/ divideth and maketh sectes’, for in nothing is man so liable to err from the truth ‘then to imagen of God after mans wisdome’. It is ‘folish wisdome’ that has led to the proliferation of religious orders in the papal church, for ‘God is not mans imaginacion’, Tyndale asserts, ‘God is but his worde’ (sigs C3r–v). For Tyndale, foolish wisdom is not only identifiable with papist methods of exegesis, but with papists themselves, and with the ‘divers facions and monstrous shappes’ of their many religious orders. It follows that Protestants must not only cleave to the Word when reading scripture, but that they must make its most simple, most literal sense the basis of their very identity as Bible-readers. Protestants questioned ‘man’s wisdome’ when as Bible-readers they prioritised the literality of the Word; this abasement of ‘man’s wisdome’ was more than just a reading practice, but tended towards the total effacement of a Bible-reader’s subjectivity and self-reliance on all reason and knowledge not contained in the Bible itself. For reformers like Bale and Tyndale, writes Andrew Hadfield, ‘scriptural authority constitutes the subjectivity of the individual’. ‘The literal, bared

28

Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan and others, 55 vols (St Louis and Philadelphia, 1955–86), LIV, Table Talk, ed. and trans. Theodore G. Tappert (Philadelphia, 1967), 406.

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self’ of the reformer, Hadfield continues, ‘exists as a concomitant […] of the expunction of metaphoricity’ from his method of exegesis.29 Michel Foucault has studied the centrality for Christianity of this act of self-abasement. As a salvation religion concerned with the paradox of life after death, Christianity is predicated on belief in our fallibility as humans, our fallen condition and propensity to sin. Its rituals of self-purification – penance, abstention, and mortification – are designed to exalt the spirit through abasement of the self. For Foucault, penance obliges that one ‘bear public or private witness against oneself’. ‘It’s a way to show that you are able to renounce life and self’, he argues, and it serves ‘to mark the refusal of the self’. Martyrdom represents the most extreme form of selfabasement: ‘The way the martyr faces death is the model for the penitent’, Foucault observes.30 In the Obedience, Tyndale also adopts this approach to martyrdom as a form of self-renunciation. For Tyndale, it is inevitable that Bible-readers will in this world suffer persecution at the hands of papists who ‘beare a rule in [the] worlde, and persecuteth [the] worde of God’. ‘The worlde loveth [that] which is his’, Tyndale writes, ‘and hateth that which is chosen out of the worlde to serve God in [the] spirite’ (sig. A2v). Be strong in adversity, he counsels, for adversity is but ‘an evidente token’ that one understands ‘the true worde of God’ (sig. A2r). Bible-readers should interpret tribulation in life as a sign of spiritual salvation, for according to Tyndale ‘the spirite thorow tribulacion purgeth vs and killeth oure fleshly witte/ oure wor[l]dly vnderstondinge and bely wisdome/ and filleth vs full of the wisdome of God’ (sig. A7r). To mortify the body is to glorify the soul, Tyndale argues, for only by suffering persecution can we purge ourselves of worldly wisdom and embrace the Word of God. Take comfort then in persecution, Tyndale exhorts readers of his Obedience, but neither despair if we, like Peter, at first find it all too easy outwardly to deny Christ and forsake our faith. For God oftimes taketh his strength eve[n] from his very electe/ whe[n] they other trust in their awne strength or are negligente to call to hym for his strength. And that doeth he to teach them and to make them feale that in [the] fyre of tribulacion for hys wordes sake nothynge ca[n] endure & abyde/ save his wor[d] & [that] strength only which he hath promysed

29

30

Andrew Hadfield, ‘Translating the Reformation: John Bale’s Irish Vocacyon’, in Representing Ireland: Literature and the Origins of Conflict, 1534–1660, ed. Brendan Bradshaw, Andrew Hadfield, and Willy Maley (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 43–59 (p. 46). Technologies of the Self: A Seminar with Michel Foucault, ed. Luther H. Martin, Hick Gutman, and Patrick H. Hutton (Amherst, 1988), p. 40; p. 43.

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Tyndale sets worldly wisdom against the Word of God, and he encourages us not only to interpret scripture in its simple, literal sense, but actually to internalise its precepts through self-renunciation, to inscribe its syntax upon the palimpsest of our former selves. Man’s ‘bely wisdome’ is fallible, and his flesh corruptible, Tyndale asserts, but the Word of God is immutable for it alone will endure the fires of our tribulation. It is with the experience of martyrdom that Tyndale particularly aligns this process of self-renunciation, but as the Obedience makes clear, the principle of exchanging selfhood for a subjectivity guided by scriptural precept is as much a part of the day-to-day life of reformers as it is central to their experience of suffering and death. There are ‘thre natures of men’, Tyndale writes in the Obedience (sig. E2r). The first are ‘all to gether beestly’, will ‘rise agenst princes & rulers when so ever they are able’, and will ‘in no wise receave the lawe in their hertes’ (sigs E2r–v). The second receive the law but ‘vnderstonde not [that] the lawe is spirituall a[n]d requireth the herte’. ‘They loke on the pleasure/ profit and promocion that foloweth the kepinge of the lawe/ and in respecte of the rewarde kepe they the lawe outwardly with workes/ but not in the herte’ (sig. E2v). Only the third nature of humankind is identifiable with Bible-readers, who for their faith are destined in life to suffer persecution at the hands of papists. The thred are spirituall and loke Moyses in the open face & are (as Paul saith the seconde to the Romans) a lawe vnto them selves and have the lawe writte[n] in their hertes by the spirite of God. Thes neade nether of kinge ner officers to drive the[m]/ nether that any ma[n] profer the[m] any rewarde for to kepe the lawe, for they do it naturally. (sig. E2v)

So whereas ‘the first worke for feare of the swerde’ and ‘the seconde for rewarde’, the third need neither incentive nor compulsion to comply with those precepts in scripture that demand obedience to kings (sig. E2v). ‘They co[n]sente vnto the lawe’, writes Tyndale, for no other reason than because ‘it is holy and iust’, and because ‘all men ought to doo what soever God commau[n]deth for no other cause/ but because God commaundeth it’ (sig. E3r). These spiritual types obey kings because this is what scripture demands of its readers, and their unremitting obedience to scripture represents a stage in that process of self-renunciation which for Tyndale finds its apotheosis in the happy endurance of adversity. The Word alone endures the fires of tribulation, he writes, for in resolving to die for their belief in the truth of God’s Word the Protestant martyr renounces life and self, only 152

Enter England

to cleave to the simple, literal sense of scripture. It is towards this internalisation of scriptural precept, towards the proper inscription of God’s law in their hearts, that Tyndale’s spiritual types likewise tend, when they allow scripture to shape their everyday beliefs and actions. Each act of conformity to scripture is contributory to this gradual process of self-effacement, and yet, as Tyndale explains in the Obedience, our desire wholeheartedly to embrace the Word must always do battle in life with our susceptibility to worldy temptations. Thes of the last sworte kepe [the] lawe of their awne accorde and that in the herte/ and have professed perpetuall warre agaynste the lustes and appetites of the fleshe/ tyll they be vtterly subdued: yet not thorow their awne strength/ but knowynge and knowlegynge their wekenes crye ever for strength to God which hath promysed assistence vnto all that call vpon him. (sig. E3r)

The observance of scriptural passages that command obedience to kings is thus for Tyndale part of a ‘perpetuall warre’ in life to replace one’s sinful self with a subjectivity determined entirely by scriptural precept. This process of self-renunciation reaches its apotheosis in the endurance of adversity, for Tyndale writes that the fire of tribulation ‘purgeth vs and killeth oure fleshly witte’. Whether it be in one’s attitude to life or in one’s approach to death, however, self-renunciation always for Tyndale begins with the reading of scripture in its simple, literal sense – for only by first rejecting ‘folish wisdome’ as an aid to exegesis can one begin to do battle more generally with the lusts and appetites of the flesh. It is with Bible-readers that Tyndale’s third nature of humankind is therefore identifiable. The equation in the Obedience between Bible-reading and self-renunciation is likewise apparent on the stage of King Johan. We have seen that Bale presents King John in the play as an apologist for the evangelical movement in England, and for the no-nonsense brand of Bible-reading advocated by the majority of English reformers. John’s attack on allegorical interpretations of scripture is in the play echoed by the character England, who enters with the king at the start of the play to complain to him about her mistreatment at the hands of the English clergy. ‘They are thy chylderne’, John remarks ‘thou owghtest to say them good’ (l. 68). In her response, however, England strenuously denies responsibility for parenting the clergy – ‘Nay, bastardes they are, vnnatvrall by the rood!’, she asserts (l. 69). ‘Sens ther begynnyng they ware neuer good to me’ (l. 70), England continues, because ‘lyke pyggys’ (l. 72) they have always followed ‘the wyld bore of Rome’ (l. 71). Asked why she compares the pope to a pig, England answers that it is because ‘he and his to such bestlynes inclyne’ (l. 78). 153

Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature They forsake Godes word, whych is most puer and cleane, And vnto the lawys of synfull men they leane. Lyke as the vyle swyne the most vyle metes dessyer And hath gret plesure to walowe them seluys in myre, So hath this wyld bore, with his church vnyversall. (l. 79)

By ignoring the simple, literal sense of scripture, the Bishop of Rome and his bestial brood have ‘clene exyled’ God from England (l. 107), England explains to John, for as ‘God is his word’ (l. 117), so God ‘abydyth not where his word ys refusyd’ (l. 116). ‘The popys pyggys’, she continues, may not abyd this word to be hard Nor knowyn of pepyll or had in anye regard. Ther eyes are so sore they maye not abyd the lyght. (l. 119)

The third nature of humankind, Tyndale had claimed, needed neither incentive nor compulsion to obey the powers that be. These spiritual types did so automatically, out of obedience to what God commands in scripture. It is with this brand of biblically inspired obedience to kings that the character England identifies herself in the play; in so doing, she is careful to contrast her own standpoint with the alternative adopted by the English clergy. The clergy are beast-like in England’s eyes for their wilful ignorance of God’s Word; they are also bastards – the ‘vnnatvrall’ progeny of the papal church, not the offspring of England’s own union with ‘God hym selfe, the spowse of euery sort | That seke hym in fayth to ther sowlys helth and comfort’ (ll. 109–10). England distances herself from the domestic clergy and the feeling turns out to be mutual, for it is obvious from those churchmen who appear in the play that the allegiance of the English clergy lies, not in England, but abroad in Rome. John reproaches Sedition, alias Archbishop Langton, for his slights against England: ‘I mervell thow arte to Englond so vnnaturall’, John remarks, ‘Beyng her owne chyld, thou art worse than beast brutall’. ‘I am not her chyld!’, Sedition replies, ‘I defye hyr, by the mass!’ (ll. 177–79). I her sonne, quoth he? I had rather she were hedlesse. Thowgh I sumtyme be in Englond for my pastaunce, Yet was I nowther borne here, in Spayne nor in Fraunce, But vnder the pope in the holy cyte of Rome. (l. 180)

England identifies the English clergy as the bastard offspring of the Bishop of Rome, and the clergy themselves concede this to be true. The bastardisation of the clergy begs the question of who in the play can be identified as the legitimate offspring of England’s union with God. Not 154

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surprisingly, considering the premium England herself places on Biblereading and the straightforwardness of scripture, Englishness is in the play identifiable with those Bible-readers who renounce their sinful selves for a subjectivity shaped by scriptural precept. England exits after line 154, and does not reappear on stage until after line 1533. John’s three principal estates, Clergy, Nobility, and Civil Order, have by this time abandoned the King, whom Cardinal Pandulphus has accursed for his battle with the church, and England enters again with the character Commonalty, onto a stage occupied by the solitary figure of King John. ‘How sayst thow, Commynnalte?’, John asks, ‘Wylt not thou take my parte?’ (l. 1556). A key impediment stands in the way of Commonalty’s allegiance to the King, however, for it becomes apparent that Commonalty suffers from a form of ‘spirituall blyndnes’ (l. 1554), brought on by ‘want of knowlage in Christes owne veryte’ (l. 1553). As England explains to John: His owtward blyndnes ys but a syngnyficacyon Of blyndnes in sowle for lacke of informacyon In the word of God, which is the orygynall grownd Of dyssobedyence, which all realmies doth confund. Yf yowr grace wold cawse Godes word to be tawght syncerly And subdew those pristes that wyll not preche yt trewly, The peple shuld know to ther prynce ther lawfull dewty; But yf ye permytt contynvance of ypocresye In monkes, chanons and pristes, and mynysters of the clargy, Yowr realme shall neuer be withowt moch traytery. (l. 1582)

It is the suppression of scripture that causes sedition, for England argues that people would learn their lawful duty to their prince, if only they were able to listen to its precepts in sermons. Morison too had made the English Bible the basis of his remedy for sedition. For Morison, obedience to the king also governs membership of the English political community embodied by Mother England, who in the Remedy rejects as ‘none of myne’ any English subject who questions Henry’s claims to supremacy in the English church (sig. C2r). Similarly in King Johan, Bale’s England threatens to disown Commonalty, should he follow in the footsteps of Clergy, Nobility, and Civil Order and renounce his allegiance to the King. John barely has time to respond to England’s petition that he permit ‘Godes word to be tawght syncerly’ before Cardinal Pandulphus enters to find Commonalty in company with the King. ‘What, Commynalte, ys this the [covenant] kepyng?’, he asks; ‘Thow toldyst me thou woldest take hym no more for thi kyng’ (ll. 1598–99). Pandulphus commands Commonalty to go and await the arrival in England of the ‘frenche kyng Phelype’ (l. 1605), 155

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who with the ‘powr of Fraunce’ is coming to help Nobility, Clergy, and Civil Order wage their holy war against the ‘herytyke’ King John (l. 1606). Commonalty then begins to exit the stage, for as he explains to John he ‘mvst nedes obbay whan holy chirch commandyth me’ (l. 1609). It is then that England turns to chastise her son Commonalty: ‘Yf thow leve thy kyng, take me neuer for thy mother’, she warns (l. 1610). The threat falls on deaf ears, however, for Commonalty has by this point already left the stage, never again to return. His defection is in the play directly attributable to his spiritual blindness, his ignorance of the Word of God. This blindness means that he ‘myght take with the pope | Soner than with yow’, Commonalty explains to King John; ‘For, alas, I can but grope,’ he continues, ‘and ye know full well ther are many nowghty gydes’ (ll. 1560–62). To be English in King Johan is to be loyal to the king. Bale’s England makes this explicit, in the play threatening to disown Commonalty, should he depart from King John. England’s ultimatum fails, however, to reconcile Commonalty with the King, for Commonalty abandons John anyway, in full knowledge of how his actions will affect his relationship as England’s son. Sedition denied his own kinship with England earlier on in the play, and Commonalty likewise forsakes king and country when he resolves to side with the other estates of England in their crusade against King John. The play certainly makes allegiance to the crown the criterion for its construction of Englishness, but it at the same time emphasises that this English national community is only ever an imaginary construct, for never does it become an actuality on stage. King John and England function for the other characters in the play only as constructs to abandon, overthrow, and define themselves against. Commonalty walks out of a play that is pessimistic about the prospect of ever being able to establish obedience to the king as the benchmark for English national identity. But the play’s outlook is not only pessimistic, for it makes clear that Commonalty could have been prevented from leaving the King, had John followed England’s advice and permitted ‘Godes word to be tawght syncerly’, in sermons before the people. England’s advice encapsulates Bale’s own vision of England as a nation of Bible-readers, a community shaped by scripture and identifiable with Tyndale’s third nature of humankind. In the Obedience, Tyndale writes that only he ‘that is renewed in Christe/ kepeth the lawe’ without ‘compulsion of any ruler or officer’. ‘Naturall man’, on the other hand, ‘is entised and moved to kepe the lawe carnally’, either through ‘worldly persuasions’, or else through ‘feare’: ‘Beate one’, Tyndale asserts, and ‘the rest wyll absteyne for feare’ (sig. E5v). King Johan enacts the failure of exacting obedience through enticement or fear, for in spite of England’s ultimatum that he either obey the King or 156

Enter England

find a new mother, Commonalty forsakes both king and country in the play. Only by licensing the English Bible, Bale here implies, will people learn obedience to kings, for obedience cannot be compelled in worldly terms but comes through knowledge of what God commands of us in scripture. Commonalty walks out of the play, we are told, because of his ‘lacke of informacyon | In the word of God’. Had he been able to hear the Word taught in sermons, England explains, then might he have learnt to obey the king for love of God and not through physical compulsion. England’s vision here of biblically inspired obedience to the king only exists in the world of the play as a hypothetical alternative to the outcome enacted on stage. We simply do not get to know whether Commonalty would have remained loyal to King John, had John earlier in the play licensed the preaching of scripture in English. However, England’s speech to John on the relation between the preaching of scripture and the prevention of sedition resonates well beyond the play’s historical moment in thirteenth-century England. To the likes of John Alforde and Thomas Brown, who saw King Johan at Canterbury over Christmas 1538–39, England’s petition that the King ‘cawse Godes word to be tawght syncerly’ would have been of particular topical significance. Only three months before this Christmastide performance, on 5 September 1538, Cromwell had exhibited a set of injunctions to the English clergy, in his capacity as the king’s vicegerent in matters spiritual.31 These ordered incumbents of parish churches to provide their parishioners with ‘one boke of the hole byble of the largyest volume in Englyshe’, to be ‘set vp in sum conuenient place wythin the said church’, for the purpose of allowing parishioners ‘moste comodiously [to] resorte to the same and reade it’. Cromwell directed that the cost of this Bible was to be split between the parson and his parishioners, with the parson contributing half the sum himself. ‘You shall discorage no man priuely or apertly from the readynge, or heryng of the sayde bible’, Cromwell continues. Indeed, he writes, incumbents should ‘expressely prouoke, stere and exhorte euery persone to rede the same, as that whiche is the very lyuely worde of god’. Cromwell even commands churchmen to ‘make or cause to be made in the sayde churche’ at least one sermon every quarter, and within it ‘purely, and syncerely [to] declare the very gospel of christe’. Here at last, then, in the cultural moment of the play’s composition, was

31

Iniunctions for the clerge (London, 1538), fol 1r. For the date of exhibition, see LP, XIII.ii (1893), 114.

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what the character England had so expressly asked of King John in the world of the play – official approval, if not from the king then from the king’s vicegerent, of the Bible in English. England had advised John to ‘cawse Godes word to be tawght syncerly’, and to ‘subdew those pristes that wyll not preche yt trewly’ (ll. 1586–87). Three months prior to the play’s Canterbury performance Cromwell had done exactly that, issuing injunctions that the Word be ‘purely and sincerely’ declared in sermons, and threatening ‘punyshment’ for their non-observance by the clergy. Cromwell had also directed each parish church to display a copy ‘of the hole byble of the largyest volume in Englyshe’. To which edition of the English Bible was Cromwell here referring? The Coverdale Bible had been circulating in England for over two years before Cromwell issued his injunctions in September 1538. James Nicolson, the binder and distributor of the original, quarto edition of the Coverdale Bible, printed 1535, had brought out a folio-sized edition of this Bible in 1537. By the summer of the same year, however, the Coverdale folio was being rivalled by the second folio edition of the English Bible to appear on the market. This was the Matthew Bible, printed in Antwerp, and so called because it claimed on its title-page to have been ‘truly and purely translated into Englysh by Thomas Matthew’.32 The claim is misleading, for the edition is in fact a collation, with minor revisions, of translations by Tyndale and, to a lesser extent, Coverdale.33 Thomas Matthew is identified by John Bale and John Foxe as John Rogers, chaplain of the English house in Antwerp from 1534 to 1540.34 The Matthew Bible was itself superseded shortly thereafter by the so-called Great Bible, a revision by Coverdale of the Matthew Bible, with new readings taken from the Hebrew-Latin Old Testament diglot of Sebastian Munster (1535), and from Erasmus’s Novum Testamentum (1516). It was commissioned by Thomas Cromwell, who appears to have sunk some £400 of his own money into the project.35 Printing was underway in Paris by June 1538, but met with considerable delay in December, when its sheets were confiscated by the French Inquisitor General. Printing was eventually resumed in London during March 1539, and the colophon of the first folio edition bears the date April 1539.36 On 32 33 34

35 36

Matthew Bible, sig. *1r. Mozley, pp. 148–56. John Bale, Illustrium Maioris Britanniae scriptorum […] summariu[m] ([Wesel], 1548), fol. 242r. John Foxe, The First Volume of the Ecclesiasticall history contaynyng the Actes and Monumentes of thynges passed in euery kynges tyme in this Realme (London, 1570), p. 1363; p. 1656. Mozley, p. 202. Great Bible (1539), sig. On2v.

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14 November 1539, Cromwell obtained a royal patent, granting him exclusive control over printing rights to the English Bible.37 This he used to protect the business interests of the printers Grafton and Whitchurch, who were effectively able to monopolise the Bible-buying market for the next two years, and who capitalised on their advantage in this respect by producing in rapid succession six further folio editions of the Great Bible between April 1540 and December 1541. It was to the Great Bible that Cromwell was referring when in September 1538 he ordered incumbents to purchase a Bible of ‘the largyest volume in Englyshe’ for use by their parishioners. This was the Bible that Cromwell had himself commissioned, and which he had helped to finance. A legend inserted into the title-page of the second and subsequent editions of the Great Bible informs its readers that ‘this is the Byble apoynted to the vse of the churches’.38 True, delays in printing the Great Bible from December 1538 had ultimately postponed its date of completion until April the following year, but these had been unforeseen at the time Cromwell issued his injunctions, ordering the Great Bible to be in parish churches by 1 November 1538.39 For some months after this date, clergymen who wished to comply with Cromwell’s injunctions would have been forced to purchase a folio edition of either the Matthew or Coverdale Bible – and there exists evidence in churchwarden’s accounts that these Bible editions were indeed purchased for use by the laity before the publication of the Great Bible itself in April 1539.40 The Canterbury performance of King Johan occurred in this interim period, between the date by when every parish was supposed to be in possession of a copy of the Bible, and the date, some months later, when the Great Bible itself was available for purchase. Those who attended the play were therefore attendant upon what promised to be a truly revolutionary occurrence for the English laity – unprecedented access, for the first time ever in English ecclesiastical history, to the entirety of the scriptures in English. ‘Yf any thynge be necessarye to be learned: of [the] holye scripture we maye learne it’, Thomas Cranmer writes in his preface to the Great Bible, first printed in the second edition of April 1540. ‘Herin’, he continues, ‘maye princes learne howe to gouerne their subiectes: Subiectes obedie[n]ce, loue & dreade to their princes’ (sig. †2r). Cranmer’s preface

37 38 39 40

LP, XIV.ii, 182; 223. Great Bible (1540), sig. *1r. For the date, see LP, XIII.ii, 114. Mozley, p. 173.

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here echoes England’s advice in the play that John ‘cawse Godes word to be tawght syncerly’, so that the people ‘know to ther prynce ther lawfull dewty’. Her advice may have come too late to have prevented Commonalty from abandoning the King, but to the likes of John Alforde and Thomas Brown, England’s words would doubtless have been taken as a reference to the era of the church Bible, which at Christmas 1538–39 was still in the process of unfolding. By the time of the Canterbury performance, Biblereading had been endorsed in the name of the king, and quarterly sermons on Christ’s gospel enforced upon his clergy. England’s assumptions about the impact of preaching on obedience were about to be put to the test, and as England attributes to his ignorance of the Word of God the fact that Commonalty abandons the King, so she clearly anticipates that an attitude of obedience to kings would accompany the introduction of the church Bible into the culture of the play’s composition. Having disowned her son Commonalty for his disobedience to King John, it is with the commonality beyond the stage – the John Alfordes and Thomas Browns in the Canterbury audience – that England ultimately identifies herself in the play. Speaking in anticipation of the publication of the Great Bible, England speaks on stage to an audience who at last have the opportunity to make Bible-reading the basis of their obedience to Henry VIII. Only by writing God’s laws in our heart, the play makes clear, by exchanging selfhood for scripture, can we remain loyal to king and country – can we become the true sons of England by virtue of our obedience to the crown. In King Johan, England eagerly anticipates the introduction into parish churches of the English Bible. The Bible encourages obedience to kings, England assures King John, and it is around the cornerstone of obedience that Bale, like Morison, builds his English national community. While the Bible is central to the cohesiveness of this community, its very centrality prompts us to question England’s own role in the play as embodiment of Bale’s Bible-reading nation. When the play was performed at Canterbury, the Bible was about to be placed in churches across the country. The play makes clear that the English Bible was on its own sufficient to elicit support for the Royal Supremacy. By contrast, Bale’s England failed to compel Commonalty’s obedience to King John. But Bible-readers needed no such compulsion; their exchange of selfhood for scripture guaranteed their obedience to the political powers that be. If we turn to the B-text ending of King Johan, we can see that England herself undergoes that process of self-renunciation described by Tyndale in the Obedience. England effectively effaces her individual identity to become a walking, talking embodiment of the English Bible itself. The extant A-text 160

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breaks off four lines into King John’s dying speech at the foot of the cancelled verso of the twentieth folio leaf (p. *4). This speech is enlarged by nineteen lines in the B-text ending, and John’s death comes five lines later, following a brief interjection from England, to which John replies with his dying breath. After a short speech lamenting the death of ‘so noble a kynge’ (l. 2187), England then bows out of the play for the final time, bearing with her the body of King John. Onto the empty stage enters a new character, Verity, who reproaches Nobility, Clergy, and Civil Order for their disobedience to King John. A new king, called Imperial Majesty, also enters the stage at this point. He thanks Verity for ‘refourmynge these men’ (l. 2336), and he asks him also to ‘call our commynalte | To true obedyence, as ye are Gods Veryte’ (ll. 2337–38). Verity duly resolves to ‘go preache Gods wurde your commens amonge’ (l. 2342), and to ‘shewe them their dewtye, in Gods name’ (l. 2363). He pauses briefly on his way out, only to remind those other renegade estates – Nobility, Clergy, and Civil Order – of scripture’s standpoint on the subject of political obedience. For Gods sake obeye lyke as doth yow befall, For in hys owne realme a kynge is iudge ouer all By Gods appoyntment, and none maye hym iudge agayne But the lorde hymself. In thys the scripture is playne. He that condempneth a kynge condempneth God without dought; He that harmeth a kynge to harme God goeth abought; He that a prynce resisteth doth dampne Gods ordynaunce And resisteth God in withdrawynge hys affyaunce. All subiectes offendynge are vndre the kynges iudgement; A kynge is reserued to the lorde omnypotent. He is a mynyster immedyate vndre God, Of hys ryghteousnesse to execute the rod. (l. 2346)

In his B-text revisions to King Johan, dateable to around 1558, Bale can be seen to reflect on the era of the church Bible that Cromwell’s injunctions to the clergy had inaugurated some twenty years beforehand. The character Verity is in effect the embodiment of this era, as England had imagined it in the A-text play performed at Canterbury twenty years before. Verity’s resolve to ‘go preache Gods wurde your commens amonge’ promises to give concrete realisation to the sort of scriptural sermons England had anticipated in the Canterbury play. The above passage itself exemplifies such a sermon; it is in fact a fairly literal paraphrase of a scriptural passage: Romans 13.1–4. Verity does more than simply speak God’s Word in the play, however; he is God’s Word, the Word imprinted in the English Bible, and in the hearts of those who came to read the Bible, or to hear it being read out in church sermons. As embodiment of the Word, Verity 161

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represents the sort of Bible-reader whose appearance in England had been eagerly anticipated by the character England in the A-text play. ‘Now that ye are sworne vnto me, your pryncypall’ (l. 2437), Imperial Majesty tells Nobility, Clergy, and Civil Order after Verity’s departure, I charge ye to regarde the wurde of God ouer all, And in that alone to rule, to speake and to iudge, As ye wyll haue me your socour and refuge. (l. 2438)

The straightforwardness of those scriptural passages that command obedience to kings was crucial to the utility of the English Bible as propaganda for the Royal Supremacy. Tyndale emphasised the lucidity of the simple, literal sense of scripture; in the prologue to his Pentateuch, he had been quick to contrast the clarity of scripture with the ‘miste of […] sophistrye’ that sought in ‘sotle rydles’ to confound scripture’s clear command that we obey the powers that be (sig. [A]2v). In the Obedience, Tyndale asks us to renounce ‘bely wisdome’ and to be guided in life by the authority of scripture alone (sig. A7r). This scriptural self freely obeys the king, and it is obedience to the king that is made the basis of English national identity in King Johan. To question, then, the clarity of the simple, literal sense of scripture, is to question the English identity with which King Johan presents its audience, in both the A- and B-text versions of the play. It is precisely with this question of the clarity of scripture that the B-text of King Johan is concerned, however, for when Verity reproaches Nobility, Clergy, and Civil Order for their desertion of King John, his support for the crown is based, not only on scripture, but on the classical authorities of Plato and Seneca. Plato thought alwayes that no hyghar loue could be Than a man to peyne hymself for hys own countreye. David for their sake the proude Phelistyan slewe, Aioth mad Eglon hys wyckednesse to rewe, Esdras from Persye for his owne contreys sake Came to hierusalem, their stronge holdes vp to make; But yow, lyke wretches, cast ouer both contreye and kynge. All manhode shameth to see your vnnaturall doynge. Ye wycked rulers, God doth abhorre ye all. […] Anneus Seneca hath thys most prouable sentence: The gentyll free hart goeth neuer from obedyence. (l. 2259; l. 2279)

Verity here alludes, first to Plato’s dictum that it is proper to devote oneself to one’s country, second to Seneca’s aphorism on the desirability of 162

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obedience to kings.41 These classical citations frame three allusions to episodes in the Old Testament – to David’s defeat of Goliath (I Kings 17); to the regicide by the Israelite Ehud (or Aioth) of Eglon, king of Moab and conqueror of Israel (Judges 3.12–31); and to Ezra’s return to Jerusalem in the aftermath of the Babylonian Captivity (I Esdras 7ff). The actions of David, Ehud and Ezra function as exempla illustrative of the sort of patriotic behaviour that Plato endorses in De officiis, but their relationship to Seneca’s aphorism on obedience to kings is more problematic. It is clear that Verity intended his biblical allusions to be taken as exempla of obedience to kings as well as countries, for why else would he have juxtaposed the actions of David, Ehud, and Ezra with his condemnation of the fact that Nobility, Clergy, and Civil Order have ‘cast ouer both contreye and kynge’? Verity asserts that these wretches have abandoned King John, and by contrasting their actions in this respect with those of David, Ehud, and Ezra, he seeks to uphold these Old Testament figures as paragons, both of patriotism and of allegiance to kings alike. The simple, literal sense of these biblical exempla fails, however, to support the interpretation that Verity here imposes upon them. The story of Ehud is particularly problematic as an exemplum of obedience to kings, for in order to emancipate Israel from eighteen years of thraldom to the Moabites, Ehud was himself forced to assassinate the Moabite king. True, King Eglon is represented as a tyrant in the Bible, but tyranny alone did not exonerate regicide in the eyes of sixteenth-century evangelicals. Tyndale writes that even tyrant-kings must be obeyed, for by their actions, he explains, God chooses to punish the sins of a political community. In the Obedience, Tyndale writes that tyrants ‘are but Gods scourge and his rodde to chastise vs’. As the ‘father hath allwaye in tyme of correccio[n] the rodde faste in his hande’, so ‘hath God all Tyrauntes in hys ha[n]de a[n]d letteth them not doo what so ever thei wolde/ but as moch only as he appointeth them to doo and as ferforth as it is necessary for vs’ (sig. B1v). For Tyndale, tyrant-kings represent the will of God, and he argues that subjects should endure their tyranny without protest – for to rebel against a tyrant is to rise up against God himself. It is as an act of divine providence that we are asked to interpret Eglon’s conquest of Israel, for it is written in Judges 3.12 that ‘the Lorde hardened Eglon […] agaynst the chyldren of Israell/ because they had comitted wyckednesse before the Lorde’.42 Eglon’s 41

42

Cicero attributes this dictum to Plato in De officiis, bk I, cap. 25, para. 86, trans. Walter Miller (London, 1913), pp. 86–89. Seneca, Moral Essays [Epistulae Morales], bk VII, cap. 15, para. 7, trans. John W. Basore, 3 vols (London, 1928–35), II (1932), pp. 140–41. Matthew Bible, sig. m5v.

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conquest of Israel, we are told, had been divinely ordained; readers of Tyndale might for this reason have interpreted Ehud’s killing of Eglon as committed in defiance of God, rather than in obedience to his will. It is to guide us away from the unsettling implications of the literal sense of Judges 3.12–31 that Verity here accompanies his citations from scripture with Plato’s and Seneca’s sententiae on the subject of patriotism and obedience to kings. As these sententiae literally frame Verity’s allusion to the exempla of David, Ehud, and Ezra, so they also frame our reading of the simple, literal sense of these three Old Testament episodes. Yet implicit in Verity’s use of classical sententiae as a supplement to the simple sense of scripture is the uncomfortable admission that some scriptural passages were simply more open to interpretation than reformers like Bale and Tyndale were willing to admit. In his Obedience, Tyndale had approached the literal sense of scripture as the touchstone with which to try the truth of man’s wisdom. ‘By the principles of the fayth’, he asserts, ‘and by the playne scriptures and by the circu[m]stances of the texte/ shulde we iudge all mens exposition and all mens doctrine/ and shulde receave the best and refuse the worst’ (sig. C2r). Writing over a decade later, in his prologue to the 1540 Great Bible, Cranmer too had been quick to contrast the lucidity of God’s Word with the obscurity of man’s wisdom. In scripture, Cranmer writes, ‘aswell publicanes, fysshers, & shepherders maye fynde theyr edifycacion, as greate doctoures their erudicion’ (sig. †1v). This, he explains, is because the books of the Bible were not made to vayne glorie, lyke as were the wryttinges of the gentyle philosophers & rethoricyans, to the entent the makers shulde be had in admiracion for their hye styles and obscure maner of wrytynge, wherof nothyng can be vndersta[n]de without a master or an expositoure. (sigs †1v–2r)

Scripture itself needs no master, he asserts, since the ‘aspostelles and prophetes wrote theyr bokes so, that theyr speciall ente[n]t & purpose myght be vnderstanded & perceaued of euery reader’ (sig. †2r). Later on in this same paragraph, however, Cranmer seems much less certain about the straightforwardness of the simple, literal sense of scripture. Cranmer encourages readers to ‘take the bookes’ of the Bible ‘into thyne ha[n]des’, and to ‘reade the hole storye, and that [thou] vnderstandest [to] kepe it well in memorye’. He nevertheless concedes that the meaning of some parts of scripture may prove less transparent than that of others. If a reader ‘vndersta[n]dest not’ a passage of scripture, then Cranmer urges him to ‘reade it agayne, & agayne’. If after repeated readings its meaning still 164

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remains unclear, however, Cranmer recommends that the frustrated reader resort ‘to thy curate and preacher’, and ‘shewe thy selfe to be desirous to knowe and learne’. And I doubte not, but God seinge thy diligence & redynesse (yf no man elles teache [thee]) wyll hym selfe vouchsaffe with his holy sprete to illuminate the, and to open vnto the that which was locked from the. (sig. †2r)

Other reformers were less willing to leave to the agency of the Holy Spirit the business of illuminating the minds of those unable on their own to grasp the simple, literal sense of scripture. The reader of the Matthew Bible would have found his understanding of the plain scriptures assisted on more than two thousand occasions by marginal comments of a linguistic, expository, and at times downright polemical nature. Like the biblical text it annotates, the majority of material in these marginalia comes secondhand, mainly from annotations included in the 1535 and 1534 editions of the French Bibles of Olivetan and Jacques Lefèvre d’Etaples respectively, although some can be attributed to Tyndale, some to Erasmus, and some twelve are taken from annotations in the Coverdale Bible. John Rogers, the editor of the Matthew Bible, has at times inserted his own observations into this borrowed material, although he makes a substantial contribution to no more than around ten per cent of all marginal comments.43 In King Johan, Verity combines the classical with the scriptural in an attempt to force our reading of Ehud’s assassination of King Eglon into the framework provided by Seneca’s aphorism on the desirability of obedience. The aphorism supplements our interpretation of this scriptural passage, inviting us to approach Ehud’s regicide as an example of obedience to God, rather than of disobedience to King Eglon. Rogers also supplemented the text of the Matthew Bible, inserting marginalia designed to assist understanding of the simple sense of scripture, to shepherd unlearned readers, and guide them away from the unsettling implications of the Bible’s more ambiguous passages. Rogers has inserted a lengthy comment in the left-hand margin of Judges 3, at exactly the point in the text where Ehud is about to assassinate King Eglon: And Ahud came in vnto [Eglon] into a somer parler […] and sayde: I haue a message vnto thee fro[m] God. And he arose out of his seate. And

43

Mozley, pp. 157–66.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature Ahud put forth hys lefte hande and toke the dagger from hys ryght thyghe and thrust it into hys belye.

A letter ‘c’ appears before the word ‘message’ in the text of the Matthew Bible. It refers to the following marginal note: To do this feate was Ahud appoynted of God/ & therfore had a message to him from god. Eglo[n] was fatte and stronge/ had his garde at hande. Ahud lyft handed and vnapt for fightinge. But yet go he boldely vnto his chambre to hym/ knowyng perfectly that God wolde strengthen hi[m] & heelpe hym/ & performe hys worde vnto hym.44

Rogers is careful here to exonerate Ehud from the crime of regicide, and he does so by pointing to subtleties in the text that imply Ehud had God on his side when he assassinated King Eglon. Like Verity’s references to Plato and Seneca in King Johan, its inclusion in the margins of the Matthew Bible implies that the meaning of scripture is not always as straightforward as some would have us suppose. These marginalia were outlawed in the Act for the Advancement of true Religion, passed with royal assent on 12 May 1543. The act commanded ‘everye p[er]sone or p[er]sones having any Bibles or newe Testament[es] with any suche annotac[i]ons or preambles [to] cut out or blot the same in suche wyse as they cannot be p[er]ceyved nor red’.45 In the Obedience, Tyndale had upheld the clarity of the ‘playne scriptures’ against the interpretations of schoolmen who ‘facioneth’ scripture ‘after [their] awne imaginacion as a Potter doeth his claye’ (sigs C2r; C3r). As had Tyndale, so the Act for Advancement of true Religion seems also to want scripture to speak for itself. The act condemns as ‘sedicious people’ those who in ‘sermons disputac[i]ons and argument[es]’, and also in ‘printed bokes printed balades playes rymes songes and other fantasies’, have sought to ‘subverte […] the saide Scripture, after theyre p[er]vers fantasies’, and ‘contrarye to the veraye sincere and godlye meaning of the same’. The only remedy, the preamble to this act concludes, is ‘to take awaie purge and clense this his Highnes Realme’ of ‘all suche bokes wryting[es] sermons’, and to establish in their place ‘a certaine forme of pure and sincere teaching, agreable with Godd[es] woorde’ (III, 894). Yet despite its apparently evangelical rhetoric, the Act for Advancement of true Religion in fact sought, not to further, but to obstruct the reformist

44 45

Matthew Bible, sig. m6r. 34 and 35 Hen. VIII, c. 1, in Statutes, III, 894–97 (p. 895).

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cause in England. As well as commanding the excision of annotations and preambles from Bibles, the act also outlawed ownership of ‘bookes and wryting[es] in the English tongue teaching or comprysing any matiers of Christen religion articles of the faithe or holye scripture […] contrarye to that doctryne whiche sithens the yere of our Lorde a thousande fyve hundred and fourtie is’ (p. 894). This ‘doctryne’ had been formulated in the so-called ‘King’s Book’, an overwhelmingly conservative doctrinal statement that rejected the central Protestant tenet of justification by faith alone. Entitled A Necessary Doctrine, printing on the King’s Book was already underway when parliament passed the Act for Advancement of true Religion in early May 1543.46 The act aimed to encourage the uptake in England of this conservative statement of belief, and it did so by outlawing those evangelical plays and printed works that contradicted the tenets of the King’s Book – Bale’s King Johan and Tyndale’s Obedience among them. While the act echoed the Obedience in its denunciation of teachings ‘contrarye to the veraye sincere and godlye meaning’ of scripture, its own ideas of what constituted ‘godlye meaning’ differed greatly from Tyndale’s own. In licensing the English Bible, Henry had opened a veritable Pandora’s Box of ‘variaunc[es] argument[es] tumult[es] and scismes’ (III, 894), and in the Act for Advancement of true Religion he seemed determined to silence differences of opinion once and for all. Henry, the act states, had ‘set foorthe the Byble and New Testament in the Englishe tongue’ so that his ‘loving Subject[es]’ might ‘the better knowe theyre duetie to Almightie God and to his Majestie’ (III, 896). It goes on to observe, however, that ‘a greate multitude of his saide subject[es], moste spe[c]iallie of the lower sorte’, had by their reading ‘fallen into greate dyvision and discenc[i]on’ (III, 896). Henry had been left with no other alternative but to prohibit Bible-reading – whether ‘pryvatelie or openlie’ – to all men ‘of the degrees of yeomen or undre’, and to all women other than gentle and noble women, who ‘maie reade to themselves alone and not to others’. Henry may ‘thinke good’ in future to ‘enlardge and give libertie for the reading of the same’, but not until he sees significant ‘reformac[i]on and amendement’ in the lives of the lower sort – ‘by the diligent and discrete reading and imprynting in theyre hartes of the moste blessed doctryne set foorthe or hereafter to be set foorthe by his saide Majestie’ (III, 896). English men and women were under the terms of this act effectively unable to read the Bible until they had first imprinted in their hearts the

46

A Necessary Doctrine and erudicion for any chrysten man (London, 1543).

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‘blessed doctryne’ of the King’s Book. Its prescriptions certainly stood in the way of establishing in England the sort of national community Bale envisions in King Johan – a community guided by God’s laws, by a collective identification with the Bible and its message of obedience to kings. Yet before the Act for Advancement of true Religion had deprived England of its Bible, the foundations of Bale’s Bible-reading community had already been undermined by the ambiguity of scripture itself, its cohesiveness riven by debates over the meaning of scripture’s ‘plain and simple’ prose. April 1539 witnessed the publication of the first edition of the Great Bible, but it also saw the preparation of a proclamation designed to suppress the great diversity of opinions and disputes that had arisen over the meaning of scripture. The proclamation, which was probably never published, is preserved in a manuscript containing Henry’s holograph corrections.47 Readers of the proclamation are reminded that Henry had not been ‘compelled by God’s word to set forth the Scripture in English to all his lay subjects’ (p. 286). He had licensed the Bible for their benefit, but it had since come to Henry’s attention that some Englishmen and women had in fact been using the Bible to ‘restore into this realm the old devotion to the usurped power of the Bishop of Rome’, still others ‘to subvert and overturn as well the sacraments of Holy Church as the power and authority of princes and magistrates’ (p. 284). In the proclamation, Henry announced his intention to proceed ‘to a full order and resolution to extinct all such diversities of opinions by good and just laws’ in parliament (p. 285). In the meantime, he warned that no person should ‘openly read the Bible or New Testament in the English tongue in any churches or chapels or elsewhere with any loud or high voices’. Henry would only permit his subjects ‘quietly and reverently [to] read the Bible and New Testament […] for their own instruction and edification, [and] to increase thereby godliness and virtuous living’ (p. 285). Already on the eve of the publication of the Great Bible, the reading of scripture had caused sufficient contention among Englishmen and women as to force Henry to issue a proclamation restricting its use. The proclamation stands as testament to the outbreak in England of exactly the sort of religious controversy that the marginalia of the Matthew Bible had tried expressly to prevent. Rogers had sought to avoid such contentions by guiding readers of the Matthew Bible towards a given interpretation of the text, but his marginalia had quite evidently failed to produce agreement of

47

BL Cotton Cleopatra, E V, fol. 311 (LP, XIV.i (1894), 403). References are to the text in TRP, no. 191 (pp. 284–86).

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opinion among Bible-readers – a fact indicative of the ambiguity of scripture, of its ability to uphold any number of religious and political identities, from reformist support for the Royal Supremacy, to papal claims to exercise power over the English church. King Johan also asks whether scripture was really as unambiguous as some had supposed. Like the marginalia of the Matthew Bible, Verity’s attempt in the B-text to guide our reading of Judges 3 serves to question the clarity of scriptural prose. The A-text performed at Christmas 1538–39 envisions England as a nation of Biblereaders, a community whose support for the Royal Supremacy is built around the cornerstone of scripture. The B-text King Johan questions scripture’s ability to shape the politics of a nation. In the play’s revised ending, Imperial Majesty guides our reading of Verity’s speech commanding obedience to kings: Of Verytees wurdes the syncere meanynge I grope; He sayth that a kynge is of God immedyatlye. Than shall neuer pope rule more in thys monarchie’. (l. 2384)

Back in 1538, the Bible had offered English reformers a way of popularising the Royal Supremacy. It was, after all, Commonalty’s ignorance of the Word of God that had caused him to abandon king and country in the A-text King Johan. Revised some twenty years later, the B-text is much less certain about the Bible’s role in royalist propaganda. The publication of the 1539 Great Bible had immediately sparked controversy over the ‘syncere meanynge’ of scripture – eroding belief in the straightforwardness of the Bible’s standpoint on political obedience, and in the face of this uncertainty causing the whole edifice of Bale’s Bible-reading nation to crumble.

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5 COMMONWEALTH IN CRISIS: NICHOLAS UDALL’S RESPUBLICA

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HE DEATH of Henry VIII, in the early hours of 28 January 1547, brought the downfall also of legislation prohibiting Bible-reading to all but his most privileged subjects. When the first parliament under Edward VI met in November 1547, it was to reverse the late king’s concessions to traditional religion by repealing all ‘Act[es] of p[ar]lament’ passed in Henry’s reign ‘concerninge doctryne and matters of Religion’. Alongside the conservative Six Articles Act, the 1547 Repeals Act singled out for particular mention the Act for Advancement of true Religion. Its proscriptions against the ‘reading preaching teaching or expownding of Scripture’, the Repeals Act asserted, ‘shall fromhensfurthe be repealed and utterlie voyde and of none effecte’.1 According to the Act for Advancement of true Religion, disputes over the meaning of scripture were to blame for the great ‘diversitie of opinions’ which had of late sprung up in England. Insofar as it condemns exegeses that contradict ‘the veraye sincere and godlye meaning’ of scripture, the act appears to uphold the idea, first espoused by Tyndale, that the meaning of scripture was self-evident, its prose accessible to all. This apparent faith in the straightforwardness of scripture is nevertheless undermined by the fact that, within the act, Henry had deemed it prudent firstly to ban the reading of the English Bible before proceeding with his plan to establish a ‘pure and sincere teaching, agreable with Godd[es] woorde’. Henry was attempting to direct interpretation of the Bible by depriving his subjects of the Bible itself – an admission of just how ambiguous that apparently self-evident message of scripture was proving in practice for Henry and his people. In his prologue to the 1540 edition of the Great Bible, Cranmer had

1

1 Edw. VI, c. 12, in Statutes, IV.i, 18–22 (p. 19).

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commended scripture for its simplicity of expression. By 1543, however, the same Bible was being blamed for the ‘ignoraunce fonde opynions errours, and blindenes of divers and soondrye’ in his realm.2 Underlying the repeal of the Act for Advancement of true Religion was a renewed optimism in what Cranmer had called the ‘largenes & vtilytie of the scripture’, its usefulness, not only as a means to faith, but as a manual for godly living.3 ‘Almaner of persons of what estate or co[n]dicyon soeuer they be’, Cranmer had written in his preface to the 1540 Great Bible, ‘maye i[n] thys booke learne all thynges what they ought to beleue, what they ought to do, & what they shulde not do, aswell concernyng almyghtye God as also co[n]cernynge themselues & all other’ (sigs †2r–v). Four months before parliament met in November 1547, the Edwardian protectorate had already made clear its intention to re-establish the reading of the English Bible as a legitimate preoccupation for the laity at large. On 31 July 1547, Richard Grafton, printer to the boy-king, Edward VI, had issued a series of royal injunctions ‘to all and singuler’ Edward’s ‘louinge subiectes, aswel of the clergie, as off the laietie’.4 Each of these thirty-six injunctions seeks to redress a range of perceived doctrinal, liturgical, and pedagogical abuses brought about by the religious conservatism of the later Henrician period. The seventh injunction is aimed at the clergy; within it, Edward asks incumbents to prouide, within three monethes, next after this visitacion, one boke of the whole Bible, of the largest volume in Englishe. And within one .xii. monethes, nexte after [the] sayd visitacio[n], the Paraphrasis of Erasmus also in Englishe vpon the Gospelles, and the same set vp, in some conuenient place within the sayd churche, that they haue cure of, wheras their parishyoners may moste co[m]modiously resorte vnto thesame, & reade the same. […] Wherby they may the better know their dueties to God, to their soueraine lorde the kyng, and their neighbour. (sigs a4v–b1r)

In his 1540 prologue, Cranmer had praised the usefulness of scripture as a manual for godly living. Here too in this injunction the assumption is that the laity may learn from the Great Bible to love their neighbour and obey their king, and this presupposes optimism in the clarity of those biblical passages that teach obedience to God and to kings. This optimism

2 3 4

34 and 35 Hen. VIII, c. 1, in Statutes, III, 894–97 (p. 894). Great Bible (1540), sig. †2r. Inivnccions geuen by the moste excellente Prince, Edwarde the. VI. (London, 1547; TRP, no. 287).

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also found echo in a sermon written to encourage the laity again to read the Bible that now under Edward was being restored to every church. This homily on Bible-reading has been attributed to Cranmer, on the basis of its similarity in style and content to his 1540 prologue.5 It constitutes the first of the twelve Sermons that were printed at the same time as the Inivnccions at the end of July 1547.6 The sermon echoes Cranmer’s earlier enthusiasm, in his prologue to the Bible, for the utility and clarity of scripture. ‘Those thinges in the scripture that be plain to vnderstande, and necessarie for saluacion, euery mans duetie is to learne them, to printe them in memorie, and effectually to exercise them’, Cranmer writes in his sermon on Bible-reading. As for ‘the obscure misteries’, this homily continues, ‘if we reade once, twise, or thrise, and vnderstande not, let vs not cease so, but still co[n]tinue readyng, praiying, askyng of other’ (sig. B3v). ‘The readynge of the whole, ought not to be set a parte’ because of ‘the difficultie of suche places’ (sig. B4r) – for ‘who soeuer geueth his mynde to holy scriptures […] it cannot be […] that he should be destitute of helpe’ (sig. B3r). God himself will ‘geue light vnto our mindes’ if else we ‘lacke a learned man’ to teach us ‘[the] true sense of the scripture’ (sig. B3v). Cranmer concedes that scripture may not have been written entirely in the plain and simple prose so celebrated by Tyndale, but in his homily on Bible-reading, Cranmer, like Tyndale, is nevertheless confident that scripture contains sufficient passages ‘plain to vnderstande’ as to enable the diligent reader ‘in hys hart to printe’ those precepts by which ‘hart and lyfe [be] altered and transformed into that thyng, whiche he readeth’ (sigs B1r–v). Writing to exhort the reading of scripture, Cranmer here resurrects the idea of the godly readership identifiable with Tyndale’s third, or spiritual, type of person – a readership embodied in Verity, in the B-text of King Johan. These spiritual types, Tyndale had written, were ‘a lawe vnto them selves’, because by constant reading of the Word they have had ‘the lawe writte[n] in their hertes by the spirite of God’.7 In his homily on Bible-reading, Cranmer relates the re-establishment of the English Bible in churches to the re-establishment in England of this English Biblereadership. For Cranmer, the straightforwardness of scripture enables us all to ‘laye vp (in the cheste of our hartes)’ those ‘holy rules, iniunctions,

5 6

7

Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer: A Life (New Haven, 1996), p. 372. Certayne Sermons, or Homelies, appoynted by the kynges Maiestie, to bee declared and redde, by all persones, Vicares, or Curates, euery Sondaye in their churches, where they haue cure (London, 1547). The obedie[n]ce of a Christen man ([Antwerp], 1528), sig. E2v.

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and statutes of oure Christian religion’ – to renounce our sinful selves for a selfhood guided by scriptural precept (sig. B4r). The era of the church Bible under Henry VIII had given the lie to Tyndale’s initially optimistic assessment of the clarity of scripture and universality of its appeal. Far from seeing its plain and simple prose imprinted in the hearts of readers, disputes over how best to interpret the Bible had instead fostered a great ‘diversitie of opinions’ among Bible-readers in the final years of Henry’s reign. In his homily on Bible-reading, Cranmer concedes that scripture contains ‘high hilles and mou[n]taines, which fewe men can ascende vnto’, as well as ‘plain waies’ that had proved ‘easie for euery man to vse’ (sig. B3r). He nevertheless remains optimistic enough about the straightforwardness of scripture to talk in language reminiscent of Tyndale about the godly readership that he believed would soon establish itself in England under Edward VI. Cranmer was not the only reformist in Edwardian England to have expressed optimism about the outcome of having the Great Bible again set up in churches. The same injunction that in 1547 had ordered provision of an English Bible in each parish had also directed incumbents to purchase one copy of ‘the Paraphrasis of Erasmus also in Englishe vpon the Gospelles’. The Englishing of Erasmus’s Paraphrase had begun in 1543, and was still underway when the Inivnccions were printed in July 1547. A collaborative translation funded by Queen Catherine Parr, the Paraphrase was printed at the end of January 1548 with a preface to the Christian reader and dedicatory epistles to Edward VI and the Queen Dowager – all written by Nicholas Udall, in his role as general editor of the enterprise.8 In his epistle to Edward VI, Udall also talks with enthusiasm about how ‘there is none so good, so sure, ne so readie a waie […] to engraue in men true loue & obedience towardes their Princes and rewlers’ than by feeding ‘their gredie houngre & thirst of Christes iustice with the Bible’ (sig. B5r). Like Cranmer before him, Udall here upholds the usefulness of scripture as a tool for social and political control. Cranmer had conceded that ‘obscure misteries’ lurk in the predominantly plain and simple prose of scripture. In his epistle to Edward, Udall is intent instead on making what Tyndale had termed the ‘miste of […] sophistrye’ the scapegoat for the obscurity of some of scripture’s more complex passages.9 In the Obedience, Tyndale had

8

9

The first tome or volume of the Paraphrase of Erasmus vpon the newe testamente (London, 1548). Stephen Alford, Kingship and Politics in the Reign of Edward VI (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 122–23. William Tyndale, [The Pentateuch] ([Antwerp], 1530), sig. [A]2v.

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argued that schoolmen conspire with the papacy to create a hermeneutics that ‘corrupteth the scripture’, with the intention of obscuring the meaning of those passages in the Bible that uphold the absolute authority of kings (sig. C3r). In his preface to the Paraphrase, Udall likewise accuses ‘the Romishe Nabugodonozor’ of ‘wrestyng & peruertyng [the] holy scriptures of God to [the] establishyng & mainteinaunce of his vsurped supremitee’ (sig. a3r). Henry – that ‘Englishe Dauid’ – had ‘out of the slyng of his Regall autoriteee cast the corner stone of Goddes woorde’, Udall explains to his dedicatee, Edward VI, ‘whiche lightyng vpon the forehead of the said Goliah, felled his papacie stone dead […] neuer to bee hable any more to noye or to face Englishe Israel’ (sig. a3v). Henry had ‘prouided the Bible to bee sette foorth in the Englishe toungue, and to bee sette vp in euerie churche where it might bee read of his people’, but Udall goes on to explain that the pope had ‘deuised all meanes possible to kepe his autoritee still in Englande’, so as to ‘staigh and lette the abolishyng of his vsurped power’ (sig. a4v). The pope ‘and his adhere[n]tes, moonkes, fryers and other cloistreers’ had found means ‘so ferre to abuse the credulitee of the simple ignoraunt people’ in England that they brought theim half in a detestation and hatered of Goddes woorde, and seduced theim to auenture with a litell blast of sedicion, to distourbe the cogitacions of suche a noble and a good kyng beeyng tha[n] moste earnestely, yea (I maie saie) onely sette in studiyng for the establishemente and continuacion of peace & tra[n]quillitee in this Royalme for euer. (sigs a4v–5r)

By ‘peruertyng the sense of scripture’ (sig. a4v), Udall argues in the Paraphrase, English papists had conspired to cause those ‘variaunc[es] argument[es] tumult[es] and scismes’ which the Act for Advancement of true Religion attributes to the ambiguity of the English Bible itself. It was papists, not the plain prose of scripture, who had fostered ‘diversitie of opinions’ in England, papists who had attempted to abuse ‘the simple people with all kyndes of delusion and iugleyng […] euen vnto [the] third heauen of sophisticall learnyng’ (sig. a4v). Henry had been an English Moses, whose ‘booke of Deuteronomie’ was the Bible he had ‘turned into Englishe’ for the use of the laity. But […] some of the priestes the soonnes of Leui had now in these last yeres through their iugleyng, their false packyng, and their plain sorcerie bewitched kyng Henry with a wrong persuasion, and had so craftily coumpaced and co[n]ueighed the matier, that vnder the pretense and coulour of religion thei kept the woorde of God from the yies and eares of 174

Commonwealth in crisis the people, beatyng his moste feithfull louyng subiectes from the knowelage therof […]. (sig. a6v)

Henry and his subjects had fallen victim in the latter years of his reign to these suppressors of the Bible and its simple command that both clergy and laity pledge obedience to kings. With ‘Englishe Israel’ at the time of Henry’s death left languishing in the wilderness without God’s Word, Udall approaches as an act of divine providence the happy accession of the boy-king, Edward, whom he compares with Moses’ successor, Josiah. ‘Ye are the Iosue’, Udall writes to Edward, whom God hath appuincted to bryng vs into the lande of promission, flowyng and rennyng with mylke and honey, and to sette vs Englishe me[n] in the lande of Canaan whiche is the syncere knowelage and the free exercise of Goddes moste holy woorde. (sig. a6v)

Udall, like Cranmer, expresses enthusiasm for the re-establishment under Edward of the English Bible in churches, but whereas Cranmer concedes that some passages in the Bible are more straightforward than others to comprehend, Udall is unwilling to allow this realisation to encroach upon his Utopian vision of an English Israel, flowing with the sincere knowledge and free exercise of God’s most holy Word. Udall blames papists entirely for the contentions caused by Bible-reading in the latter years of Henry’s reign. It was they who with their mists of sophistry were responsible for obscuring scripture’s plain and simple prose, Udall asserts, they who had used ‘plain sorcerie’ to persuade Henry to suppress the English Bible. Now that lay Bible-reading has been re-established under Edward, there is surely nothing to prevent the English people from making ‘a couenaunte […] with the Lorde that thei shall walke after the Lorde, & […] kepe his co[m]mau[n]dementes’ (sig. a6v). ‘Through this salue of Goddes woorde’, Udall writes, and other deuout weorkes for declaracion of thesame sette foorth to the people, if any shepe either bee scabbie, orels dooe yet renne a straigh: thesame shall by the right ledyng of the head belleweather their Prince, and by the whystle and voice of their good Pastours, bee reduced to suche a concorde and uniformitee, that thei will full and wholle goe[n] the streight pathwaie of Christes doctrine. (sig. B5r)

This same pastoral image reappears in Respublica, a political morality play attributed to Udall and intended, its prologue makes clear, as a ‘Christmas devise’ (l. 6).10 It is described in the title of the only surviving 10

Respublica: An Interlude for Christmas 1553, ed. W. W. Greg, EETS, o.s., 226 (London,

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manuscript copy as ‘a merye entrelude […] made in the yeare of oure Lorde .1553. and the first yeare of the moost p[ro]sperous Reigne of o[ur] moste gracious Soverainge Quene Marye the first’, and there exists some admittedly circumstantial evidence external to the manuscript itself which implies that the play was indeed performed at the Marian court during Christmas 1553–54. A royal warrant, issued to the revels office on 26 September 1553, refers to the postponement until Christmas of a play prepared for Mary’s coronation on 1 October by the gentleman and children of the chapel royal. A second, slightly later warrant, signed by Mary and dated 30 September 1553, directs the master of the great wardrobe to provide costumes ‘for a play to be playde before vs for the feastes of oure coronacion’. This second warrant names some of the characters for whom costumes are to be provided, and it is clear from those characters mentioned that this play to be performed before the Queen at her coronation is distinct from the ‘Christmas devise’ Respublica.11 In the introduction to his edition of the play, Walter Greg takes these two warrants to refer to two distinct plays, the first of 26 September to the ‘Christmas devise’ Respublica, the second of 30 September to the unnamed coronation play (pp. ix–x). The postponed play was identified with the children of the chapel royal in the warrant of 26 September, and Respublica too was composed as a ‘Christmas devise’ in 1553, and intended for performance, its prologue makes clear, by ‘we children to youe olde folke’ (l. 47). Greg Walker has recently questioned Walter Greg’s interpretation of the available evidence. Is it not more plausible, Walker asks, that both warrants referred to the unnamed coronation play? The later warrant for provision of costumes may have been written prior to the decision, communicated on 26 September, to postpone this coronation play until the Christmas season, but it was perhaps post-dated to, or sealed in error on, 30 September 1553. The possibility that it was the unnamed coronation play, not Respublica, which was postponed until the festive season does not, for Walker, rule out the probability that Respublica too was performed during Christmas 1553–54. ‘What we know of Christmas revels in other years suggests that a number of productions were usually offered’, Walker argues. That this was also the case at Christmas 1553–54 is implied, he asserts, by an entry in the revels accounts that records payments ‘to

11

1952 for 1946). All references are to this edition. In the interests of clarity and consistency, I have freely replaced Greg’s editorial conventions with my own. Albert Feuillerat, Documents Relating to the Revels at Court in the Time of King Edward VI and Queen Mary (Louvain, 1914), p. 149; p. 289. Cited in Respublica, pp. ix–x.

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furnysshe owt certen playes settfoorth by the gentilmen of the Chapell’ between 22 September 1553 and 6 January 1554.12 Walker questions whether these royal warrants can really be used as evidence for the performance of Respublica at the Marian court during Christmas 1553–54. If they cannot, then we must make a case for the Christmas performance on the balance of probability, and on the basis of evidence in the manuscript itself. There is, however, a further document to support the contention that this ‘Christmas devise’, dateable from the manuscript to 1553, was indeed performed at the Marian court in the year of its composition. This consists of a third royal warrant, dated 13 December 1554, and directing the revels office to deliver costumes to Nicholas Udall, who, writes Mary, ‘haith at sondry seasons convenient hertofore shewid and myndeth herafter to shewe his diligence in settinge forthe of dialogwes and Entreludes before vs’.13 Udall, it seems, had been diligently devising plays for performance before Mary prior to Christmas 1554–55. Were we able to attribute Respublica to Udall’s authorship, we might with some certainty claim this ‘Christmas devise’ for a court performance before Mary at Christmas 1553–54, as one of those ‘entreludes’ set forth by Udall in the first year of the new queen’s reign, and thanks to which he had evidently by early December 1554 acquired for himself something of a reputation as a dramatist at court. The manuscript itself does not identify the author of Respublica, but the case for Udall’s authorship has been convincingly made by Walter Greg in the introduction to his edition of the play.14 Greg cites numerous stylistic and linguistic similarities between the texts of Respublica and some of Udall’s other plays and prose translations, including Roister Doister and his translations of Erasmus’s Apophthegms (1542) and Paraphrase (1548), for which, we have seen, Udall acted as general editor, and to which he appears to have contributed the translation of the paraphrase on Luke. One linguistic parallel unnoted by Greg is the recurrence in Respublica of the pastoral trope found in Udall’s preface to the Paraphrase and quoted above. In his preface, Udall likens Edward’s ungodly subjects to ‘scabbie’ sheep who ‘yet renne a straigh’. The trope reappears in the final scene of Respublica, in the context of the trial by the goddess Nemesis of the play’s four political vices. Misericordia, who acts as advocate for the vices, is here

12 13 14

Greg Walker, The Politics of Performance in Early Renaissance Drama (Cambridge, 1998), pp. 170–71 (p. 170). Feuillerat, p. 290; in Respublica, p. x. Feuillerat, p. 159; in Respublica, p. viii. Respublica, pp. xi–xviii.

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pleading with ‘Ladie Nemesis’ to show leniency in her judgment against them. ‘Now have yee Occasion’, she claims, And matier to shewe youre commiseracion. [?It] is m[?uche m]ore glorie [and] standith w[i]th more skyll, Lo[?st]e shepe to recover, then the scabye to spill. (l. 1856)

While the recurrence in Respublica of this common pastoral trope does not in itself prove that a single author was responsible for preface and play, the coincidence in both of the adjective ‘scabbie’ is more striking and, when taken together with the numerous other parallels noted by Greg, strongly seductive as evidence for Udall’s authorship of the play. Yet a closer examination of the politics of this play would seem to argue against its attribution to Udall, for whereas Udall had in the Paraphrase expressed confidence in the English Bible as a catalyst for social reform, the author of Respublica expresses open contempt for the achievements of Edwardian social policy, in a play that approaches Mary’s accession as an act of divine providence, and Mary herself as an instrument ordained by God for the redress of moral corruption in government. The playwright identifies Mary with Nemesis, that character in the play responsible for meting out justice upon those scabby sheep who stray from ‘the streight pathwaie of Christes doctrine’; the political vices – Avarice, Insolence, Oppression, and Adulation – are in turn identifiable with specific members of the Edwardian governing elite. By having Nemesis condemn these political vices in the final scene of the play, the playwright therefore invites our condemnation of the real-life policies and personalities whom these vices represent. The English Bible is in this scene also put on trial, for we note it is the sovereign, not scripture, who here has power to reform and redress abuses of commonwealth. May actors and audience ‘Ioyne all togither to thanke god [and] Reioyce’ (l. 48), the speaker of the prologue to the play declares: That he hath sent Marye o[ur] Soveraigne [and] Quene to reforme thabuses which hithertoo hath been, And that yls whiche long tyme have reigned vncorrecte shall nowe foreu[er] bee redressed w[i]th effecte. She is oure most wise/ [and] most worthie Nemesis Of whome o[ur] plaie meneth tamende [that] is amysse. (l. 49)

On the one hand, then, we have Udall the editor of the Paraphrase and architect of the Utopian vision of an English Israel under the Josiah-like Edward. On the other, we have Udall the probable author of Respublica, a play that expresses contempt for that same Edwardian regime, and which 178

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characterises Mary as the divinely ordained instrument for the redress of abuses ‘which long tyme have reigned vncorrecte’. The author of the preface to the Paraphrase blamed papists entirely for the ‘tumult[es] and scismes’ that in the era of the church Bible under Henry VIII had caused the scripture to be suppressed by parliament. The author of Respublica on the other hand accuses the Edwardian government of impoverishing the English commonwealth – and this author looks, not to the English Bible, but to the avowedly pro-papist Mary for the redress of wrongs committed in the name of Edward VI. How do we reconcile the very different sentiments expressed in these texts with the stylistic evidence for their single authorship? Some critics have simply avoided the issue, either by avoiding mention of Udall’s earlier work when arguing for his authorship of Respublica, or else by avoiding the question of authorship altogether. Pat McCune, who approaches Respublica as ‘counter-Reformation propaganda’, attributes its authorship to Udall without explaining why this former apologist for Edwardian evangelical reforms should after the death of Edward VI have written a play condemning the abuses of the King’s council.15 Hans-Jürgen Diller is more forthright in his appraisal of Respublica as counter-Reformation propaganda; he is less forthcoming about the play’s authorship. Respublica, he asserts, is an anonymous ‘political-denominational propaganda piece that celebrates, under the schema of a morality play, the Roman Catholic restoration under Mary Tudor’.16 Unlike McCune and Diller, Howard Norland has at least attempted to engage with the question of why Udall might have written a play so antagonistic to the regime he had previously upheld. Norland notes Udall’s evangelical leanings, but he argues for his authorship of the play by playing down the idea that Respublica was written ‘from a militant Catholic position’.17 Udall, he asserts, was a temporising Protestant who in this play paid lip service to the new regime, as part of his public relations campaign to curry favour at the Marian court. My own reading of Respublica is also alive to the apparent incongruities of attributing to Udall a play that in its attitude to the Edwardian government differs starkly from the optimism expressed in Udall’s preface to the

15 16

17

Pat McCune, ‘Order and Justice in Early Tudor Drama’, Renaissance Drama, n.s., 25 (1994), 171–96 (p. 177). Hans-Jürgen Diller, ‘From Synthesis to Compromise: The Four Daughters of God in Early English Drama’, The Early Drama, Art, and Music Review, 18 (1996), 88–103 (p. 98). Howard B. Norland, Drama in Early Tudor Britain, 1485–1558 (Lincoln, NE, 1995), p. 207.

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Paraphrase. In spite of this, I too intend to uphold Udall as author of the play, but I want to do so without simply dismissing Respublica, as does Norland, as merely ‘part of Udall’s campaign to gain favour with Mary’s court’ (p. 209). The play’s criticism of Edwardian social policy, and its contempt for the government of the Edwardian regime, is, I argue, perfectly consistent in tone with the content of sermons preached at Edward’s court, by such luminaries of the Edwardian church as Hugh Latimer and Thomas Lever. Latimer used the court pulpit in Lent 1549 and 1550 as a site from which to launch scathing attacks on the covetousness of the leaders assembled before him, and I believe it is in the light of such sermons that the play can best be approached, as an offshoot of what MacCulloch calls the ‘genre of criticizing magisterial conduct’ at the Edwardian court, rather than of the counter-Reformation culture at the court of the conservative Queen Mary.18 Udall’s disillusionment in Respublica with the direction of government policy under Edward VI was therefore in tone consistent with sermons preached by Protestant churchmen before Edward and his court. The contempt that Udall and others expressed for those entrusted with government during Edward’s minority does not necessarily compromise their own confessional commitment to the cause of church reform, but I argue that it does question their belief in the utility of the English Bible as an instrument for social reform. By accusing the Edwardian political elite in Respublica of exploiting the commonwealth for their own selfish ends, Udall was undermining his opinion, as expressed in the Paraphrase, that the English Bible would forever banish from the commonwealth the sins of ‘blasphemie, periurie, mourdre, thefte, whooredome, makyng of affraies, & other abominacio[n]s’ (sig. B5r). In King Johan, Bale’s England had spoken on the eve of the era of the church Bible to express the hope that her own standpoint on political obedience would soon find echo among English Bible-readers across the country. Respublica asks if the Biblereadership embodied by ‘England’ in King Johan could ever be truly realised in the England off-stage, if the Bible alone can reform those vices who in Respublica prey on Udall’s godly commonwealth – on the character Respublica herself. The play opens with the entry of Avarice, who contrives to dissemble as Policy. He does so in order to gain opportunity ‘to feather [his] neste’ (l.

18

MacCulloch, p. 436. Much of the Edwardian religious legislation was repealed in autumn 1553; see 1 Mary, st.2, c. 2, in Statutes, IV.i, 202.

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88) with the goods of ‘our greate graund Ladie mother | Noble dame Respublica’ (ll. 91–92). His accomplices – Oppression, Insolence, and Adulation – enter next, and agree that Insolence might ‘Rewle all the whole lande’ (l. 140) if guided by the ‘Counsaile of o[ur] fownder Avaryce’ (l. 150), who at this point re-enters complaining that he has ‘fownde knaves abowte my howse readye me to Robbe’ (l. 158). Avarice already knows about their plans to advance Insolence to high estate, for ‘I laie in yo[ur] bosoms’, he concedes ‘when ye spake the worde’ (l. 218). Guided by Avarice, the vices resolve ‘dame Respublica tassaille | and so to crepe in to bee of hir Counsaille’ (ll. 251–52). Each of them takes on a counterfeit identity in order that they might better delude this ‘ladie of Estate’ (l. 237). Avarice directs that from henceforth Insolence shall be known as Authority, Oppression as Reformation, and Adulation as Honesty, while it is in his guise as Policy that Avarice first appears to Respublica, who agrees to put herself wholly into his hands – ‘metall, graine, cataill, treasure, good[es] [and] land[es]’ (l. 500) – and also to set up Honesty, Authority, and Reformation as rulers. A sixth character – People – then enters on stage, and he does so to petition that Respublica ‘lette poore volke ha zome p[ar]te’ in the commonwealth (l. 647), for People perceives that there is no dearth of ‘corne [and] cattall’ (l. 666), and so cannot understand why ‘the price of everye thing is zo dere | as thoughe the grounde dyd bring vorth no suche thing no where’ (ll. 670–71). ‘Ill ordering tis, hath made bothe youe and wee threde bare’ (l. 675), People explains to Respublica, and he goes on to accuse the vices Adulation, Oppression, and Insolence of crimes against the commonwealth. All three, he continues, are ruled by the vice Avarice, who ‘hathe suche a policate wytte, | That he teacheth them to rake and scrape vp eche whytt’ (ll. 697–98). That these vices contrive to steal from the commonwealth is more than adequately illustrated in the next three scenes, where first Avarice enters hauling heavy ‘bags of golde’ (l. 751), and then Oppression, boasting about how he has obtained for himself ‘so manye haulfe bisshoprikes’ (l. 781) through the seizure of episcopal estates that he now ‘maie [wear] myters fowre or fyve’ (l. 780). Insolence, who has himself gained ‘whole townes [and] castells’ (l. 834), is last to enter, and, eyeing the ‘bags of money’ borne by Avarice (l. 829), he asks that Avarice explain how he has gained so much gold. There follows from Avarice a litany of crimes against the commonwealth, as he identifies the ill-gotten gold in each of his thirteen bags with the abuses of encroachment, usury, perjury, bribes, extortion, smuggling, the selling of benefices, seizure of church plate, and the unlawful enclosure of tenants’ farms and common lands. It is unsurprising that Respublica enters thereafter to complain of her impoverished condition, and to cast 181

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doubt upon the integrity of the four men in whom she has placed her trust. Far from feeling any redress from ‘his former sors [and] […] rufull distresse’ (l. 982), People too is feeling ‘wurse [and] wurse’ (l. 990). ‘Vive or zixe yeare ago’, he complains to Avarice, alias Policy, he had kept four cows, but he claims that ‘att this p[re]zent houre [I am] scarce woorthe a good cowe taile’ (ll. 1021–22). The scene is set for the entry in the fifth and final act, first of Misericordia, and then of Veritas, Iusticia, and Pax, four ‘ladies from heaven’ (l. 1924) who embrace each other on stage in fulfilment of Psalm 84.11: ‘Misericordia et veritas obuiauerunt sibi: iusticia & pax osculate sunt’ [Mercie and truth haue met each other: iustice and peace haue kissed]’.19 Veritas reveals how Respublica has ‘been abused’ (l. 1369) by ‘vices to be refused’ (l. 1370), and Respublica resolves to oust Avarice and his companion vices from office. Misericordia and the others then fetch for the ‘goddesse Nemesis’ (l. 1781), that ‘mooste highe goddesse of correccion’ (l. 1782), who ‘hathe powre from godde all practise to repeale | w[hi]ch might bring Annoyaunce to ladie comonweale’ (ll. 1786–7). She appears in the final scene, to condemn Avarice as ‘the plague of Comonweales’ (l. 1893) who ‘muste bee plucked vpp een by the veraie roote’ (l. 1895). He is delivered to the head officer to be pressed of his ill-gotten gains ‘as men doo presse a spounge’ (l. 1903), while Insolence and Oppression are incarcerated until ‘the tyme maie serve/ texamine [and] trie their cause’ (l. 1918). Only Adulation is pardoned, on condition that he henceforth practise ‘p[er]feicte honestee’ (l. 1889). With Respublica restored to ‘tholde goode eastate’ (l. 1922), and left in the capable hands of the four daughters of God, the play ends with a prayer that Mary’s ‘reigne mooste graciouslye begonne’ may for long years endure (l. 1934), and that ‘hir Counsaile’ also enjoy ‘long life [and] healthe’ (l. 1936), to serve the Queen, and ‘mainteine Comonwealthe’ (l. 1937). Like Avarice and his confederates, the political vices in King Johan had also seen fit to adopt a more politic guise before proceeding to interdict England and excommunicate its king. When in Bale’s play Usurped Power dresses as Innocent III and Private Wealth as Cardinal Pandulphus, it works to reveal the hypocrisy of the papal church, whose counterfeit holiness, we are told, merely dissembles its desire for material power and profit. Bale typecasts these characters, not just as political, but as specifically papist vices, and he does so in order to heap blame on the Roman

19

Vulgate, sig. gg. 6v; Douai, II, 159. Udall himself cites the Vulgate Psalm 84.11 in the play. See l. 1284 and ll. 1449–50.

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church, which he claims has suppressed scripture’s message of monarchical obedience in order to move the estates of England to rise up against King John. In his preface to the Paraphrase, Udall likewise blames papists for conspiring to corrupt the sense of scripture, and to seduce ‘the simple ignoraunt people’ to adventure ‘a litell blast of sedicion’ against Henry VIII (sig. a5r). In King Johan and the Paraphrase respectively, Bale and Udall identify papists as enemies of the English Bible, and as adversaries of the godly commonwealth that they imply would be established among its readers, if only the English Bible were itself to be set up in churches around the country. The papists on the stage of King Johan are presented as the sole cause of sedition and other abuses of commonwealth, because by suppressing Bible-reading, we are told, these papists suppress the very means by which political abuses can achieve proper redress. What is significant about Avarice and his confederates in Respublica is their absolute neutrality of presentation, as political, certainly, but not specifically papist vices. So sharply delineated were the confessional identities of the vices in King Johan that the character England was left in no doubt about their animosity towards the King, and his claims to exercise authority over the English church. Not so in Respublica, where the vice characters manage to deceive the eponymous ‘ladie of Estate’ precisely because they stand outside this polemical tradition. It is as Policy that Avarice first appears to Respublica in Act II, Scene 2, and he exits to fetch Honesty, Authority, and Reformation, leaving Respublica temporarily alone on stage. ‘I like well this trade of Administrac[i]on’ (l. 525), Respublica concedes to herself: policie for to devise for my Comoditie no p[er]sonne to be advaunced but honestye, then Reformacion good holsome lawes to make And Auctorytie see the same effecte maie take what comon weale shall then bee so happie as I? (l. 526)

As lay Bible-reading had held out the promise for Udall of a ‘lande of promission’, flowing with the knowledge and free exercise of God’s most holy Word, so Avarice-as-Policy likewise promises to refashion Respublica as a Utopian commonwealth, wherein ‘good holsome lawes’ are advanced, and abuses suppressed. In the following scene, Respublica asks the vices to destroy Avarice, exile Insolence, and ‘vanquishe Oppression and Adulacion’ (l. 576). It is, of course, to those very same vices that Respublica here addresses her request, but this irony goes unnoticed by Respublica, because at this point in the play she has had no reason to distrust the Utopian vision that Policy holds up before her and pledges to fulfil. By 183

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promising this Utopia to Respublica, the vices exploit her optimism in the belief that ‘good governemente’ of a commonwealth may ‘att ons recover all’ (l. 460), and the play goes on to stage the betrayal by the vices of that confidence which had been initially placed in them by Respublica. As its author, Udall uses this narrative of optimism abused to express his own disillusionment with the Edwardian regime that he had once so enthusiastically compared to the land of Canaan under a Josiah-like king. Not only is the timescale of the action in the play concomitant with the six-year duration of Edward’s reign; Avarice and his companions are themselves identifiable with members of the Edwardian political elite, and their actions with the direction of Edwardian social policy under Seymour’s protectorate and Dudley’s privy council. Udall did not strait-jacket his vices into the papist roles so familiar to audiences of King Johan precisely because he creates for them an entirely different confessional guise – as those governors of Edwardian England who had appeared initially committed to the cause of evangelical reform, but who by their actions, the play asserts, had revealed themselves to be vices dressed up as virtues, avarice dissembling as good policy. After Iusticia and her sisters in the play have restored Respublica to her former health, and revealed Avarice and his companions to be vices ‘cloked […] with a vertuous name’ (l. 1378), Respublica goes on to ask People about whether or not he has himself found any financial redress. ‘All beginneth now to come gailie well to passe’ (l. 1596), he replies: And Isthanke god [I have] in my purse a zilver grote. I wis iche cowlde not zo zai these zixe yeares afore. who ever cawsed yt, ill thanke have they therefore. (l. 1600)

People claims he has not had a silver groat in his purse these past six years, and there is an obvious parallel here between the period of People’s impoverishment and the duration of Edward’s reign. The mention of a silver groat in particular implies a more specific allusion to Edwardian social policies. Seymour’s protectorate had found in successive debasements of the coinage so convenient a means to fund its wars in France and Scotland that by the time the Treaty of Boulogne brought both wars to an end in March 1550 the groat then current contained only half as much silver as it had when introduced under a new stamp on 16 May 1544.20 The groat had under Henry VIII been valued at 4d., but a proclamation dated 30 April 1551 announced that it would be devalued to 3d.

20

TRP, no. 228. Michael L. Bush, The Government Policy of Protector Somerset (London, 1975), pp. 41–42.

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from the end of August that year. This proclamation explains that Henry had devised in 1544 ‘to abace, and diminishe the goodnes of the Coyne’ to support his war with Scotland. Edward was minded to reform the coinage to reduce inflation, but he cannot begin to do so until the ‘grotes coyned both by his maiesty, and by the king his father’ be ‘rated at a value, more nere vnto the goodnes and finenes of thesame, then now they be rated at’.21 By reducing its value from 4d. to 3d., the proclamation implies that the silver content of the groat was in 1551 three quarters what it had been in 1544. A second proclamation, dated 16 August 1551, claims to be more accurate in its assessment of the goodness of the groat at that time. This contains provision for ‘the speedy reducing of the said coin more near his just fineness’, and it announces that the groat be valued at 2d. with immediate effect.22 The implication is that the actual silver content of the groat had by the early 1550s been reduced by as much as half what it had been when the new groat was introduced back in 1544. Even if People had earned enough under the Edwardian regime to pocket a ‘zilver grote’, therefore, it would have been questionable whether ‘silver’ was quite the right adjective to describe the constitution of this coin. In the play, Oppression alludes to these proclamations for the reform of the coinage as an example of the benefits he and his companions have introduced into the commonwealth. ‘The coigne eke is chaunged’, he protests. ‘Yea from zillver to drosse’ (l. 1075), People retorts: (twas tolde vs) vor the beste: but poore wee bare the losse. whan [I had] w[i]th zwette of browes got vp a fewe smale crumes att paiing of my debt[es] ich coulde not make my sommes. my landlorde vor my corne/ paide me zuche sommes [and] zuche whan he should hate vor rent, yt was but haulfe zo muche. zix pence in eche shilling was I strike quite awaie zo vor one piece iche tooke, [I was] vaine to paie him twaie. (l. 1076)

The wording of the proclamation of 16 August 1551 claimed Edward was devaluing the coin out of esteem for ‘the honor and estimation of the realm and the wealth and commodity of his highness’ most loving subjects’. Disregarding ‘the great profit which by the basenesss of the coin did and should continually have grown unto his majesty’, Edward and his

21 22

A proclamation […] for the valuacion of the Shillinges and grotes to a meaner and lower value and rate ([London], 1551; TRP, no. 372), fol. 1r. TRP, no. 379, pp. 529–30 (p. 530).

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council insisted that they were undertaking this coinage reform, not for their own financial benefit, but in order to help ‘the poorer sort’ (p. 530). Oppression likewise passes off the ‘change’ or reform of the coinage as a purely altruistic act, but People responds by asserting that coinage reform had in fact left the poor more destitute than ever. People explains that he had sold his crop of corn before the date of the devaluation of the groat from 4d. to 2d., and that he had received for it sufficient money to pay his rent to the landlord. His rent had not been demanded until after the date of devaluation, however, so that when People had gone to pay it, he had found that his profit was worth only half as much as it had been before. A full sixpence had been shaved off the market value of every shilling, he asserts, and so for every shilling that his landlord had paid him for his corn, he had had to pay back to the same landlord the equivalent of two shillings in rent. By identifying the actions of Oppression and his companions with the direction of fiscal policy under the Edwardian regime, the play invites us to identify the vice characters themselves with those members of the Edwardian ruling elite responsible for debasing and devaluing the coinage. No secret is made in the play of exactly which members of government are being held accountable for the policy decisions that People so condemns. As author, Udall associates the vice Avarice in particular with the two most powerful members of the Edwardian regime – the King’s uncle, Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset and lord protector, until ousted from office in the coup of October 1549, and John Dudley, earl of Warwick and leader of the coup against Seymour, who by the end of November 1549 had himself assumed power over the privy council, and who was created duke of Northumberland in October 1551. In Act V, Scene 4 of the play, Respublica confronts Avarice about his crimes against the commonwealth, and announces her determination to see him and his companions cast out of office. In his response, Avarice expresses sorrow that he will not now have opportunity to accomplish the ‘wonderous feat[es]’ that he had had planned for Respublica (l. 1552). ‘Youe shoulde have seen, how I woulde have youe compacte’, he boasts to her (l. 1545). I woulde have browght haulfe kent into Northumberlande [and] Somersett shiere should have raught to Cumberlande, Than woulde I have stretched the countie of warwicke vppon tainter hook[es], [and] made ytt reache to Barwicke. (l. 1547)

Avarice here has plans to enlarge the very counties associated with Seymour and Dudley’s baronial titles, as duke of Somerset, and as earl of 186

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Warwick and duke of Northumberland respectively. The implication, of course, is that these two leading figures of Edwardian government were just as motivated by avarice and self-interest in office as were Avarice and his companion vices in the play.23 Writing at the time of Seymour’s protectorate, and for a courtly audience that included King Edward, Hugh Latimer had also accused Seymour of avarice. His court sermon of 8 March 1549 took pains to single out the Protector’s policy on coinage debasement for particular condemnation. ‘We haue nowe a prety litle shillyng’, preached Latimer. ‘I haue but [one] I thynke in my pursse, and the laste daye I had put it awaye almoste for an olde grote, and so I truste sume wyll take them’.24 The shilling was valued at 12d., and had been introduced less than two months earlier on 24 January 1549 to replace the teston, a coin also valued at 12d., and originally issued at the same time as the groat back in May 1544.25 By confusing the shilling with the groat, Latimer questions whether the new coin contains sufficient silver to warrant its current market value, implying that at 4d. the value of the groat may in fact be a more accurate approximation of what the metal in the new shilling is actually worth. ‘The fynes of the siluer I can not se’, he continues, ‘but therein is prynted a fyne sentence: that is. Timor domini fons Vite vel sapientie. The feare of the Lorde is the fountayne of lyfe or Wysdome’ (sig. C5v). Latimer wishes that this sentence were also imprinted in the hearts of Edward’s councillors. In truth, he argues, the debasement of the coinage is but one example of how covetousness has caused market prices to rise so excessively ‘that poore menne […] can not wyth the swete of their face haue a liuinge, all kinde of viteles is so deare’ (sig. D3r). It is covetousness that has prompted some landlords to raise rents out of all proportion with inflation, Latimer contends, and covetousness also that has motivated others to enclose common land, evict tenant farmers, and cause ground used for growing grain to be converted into parks and pasture for the rearing of deer, sheep, and other animals. If ‘it is [the] kinges honour that the commen welth be [advanced]’, Latimer reasons, then these grasiers, and inclosers, rentrearers, are hindrers of the kings honour. For where as haue bene a great meany of householders and inhabitaunce, ther is nowe but a shepherd and his dogge, so thei hynder the kinges honour most of al. (sigs D4r–v)

Latimer’s words here echo the wording of a proclamation issued 1 June 23 24 25

Walker, p. 184. The fyrste Sermon of Mayster Hughe Latimer (London, 1549), sig. C5v. TRP, nos 321 and 227.

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1548, establishing a commission to inquire into all who unlawfully ‘hath made Enclosures and Pastures, of that whiche was arable ground’. Notwithstanding that ‘diuerse and sundery lawes and actes of Parliaments’ have attempted to stem abuses of enclosure, the proclamation asserts that many in England have nevertheless of late ‘been driuen to extreme pouertie’, and that they have been ‘compelled to leaue the places where thei were borne, and to seke […] liuynges in other countreis’. So great, indeed, is this impoverishment of people and places that in some parts of the realm, where ‘C. or CC. christian people’ have hitherto ‘kept houshold’, there is now ‘nothyng kepte, but shepe or bullockes’. ‘All that lande’, the proclamation continues, is now gotten, by insaciable gredines of mynde, into one or twoo mennes handes, and scarsely dwelled vpon with one poore Shephard: So that the realme thereby, is brought to a meruelous desolacion, houses decayed, parishes diminished […] and Christian people by the gredy coueteousnes of some men, eaten vp and deuoured of brute beastes, and driuen from their houses by Shepe and Bullockes.26

Somerset no doubt shifted uncomfortably in his seat when Latimer had scrutinised the silver content of his new shilling and implied that, just as covetousness was responsible for rent rises, enclosures, and the conversion of arable land into pasture, so too had this eagerness to debase the coinage proceeded from avarice and self-interest on the part of the Protector. Seymour was certainly to blame for the debasement of the coinage, but he surely had reason enough to consider himself excluded from Latimer’s condemnation of ‘grasiers, and inclosers, rentrearers’. Latimer’s comments in March 1549 on the decay of husbandry had after all echoed the wording of the proclamation issued June 1548, establishing a commission into abuses of enclosure – a commission that Somerset had according to the proclamation expressly advised Edward to instigate, and which minded to take the poor man’s part in his battle with ‘the gredy coueteousnes of some men’. To this end, the proclamation encouraged subjects to ‘geue informacion […] to the kynges Maiesties Commissioners on anyone who hath made Enclosures and Pastures, of that whiche was arable ground’ (fol. 1v). For all its high-flown rhetoric, however, the enclosure commission of June 1548 failed to redress any of the agrarian abuses identified in the

26

A Proclamacion […] against enclosures, lettyng of houses to decaie, and vnlawfull conuertyng of arable ground to pastures, the first daie of Iune in the second of his maiesties moste gracious reigne (London, [1548]; TRP, no. 309), fols 1r–v.

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proclamation. The commission was only ever carried out in the Midlands, and not one of the landlords there indicted was ever formally charged. Seymour had done nothing to instigate the other regional commissions, against the advice of his chief commissioner, John Hales.27 Latimer knew of Seymour’s negligence in this respect, and in his sermon of 8 March 1549 he points out that words alone would not redress the damage covetousness had done to the countryside. ‘But let the preacher preach til his tong be worne to the stompes, nothing is amended’, Latimer observed. We haue good statutes made for the co[m]me[n] welth, as touching comeners, enclosers, many metinges and Sessions, but in the end of the matter, their co[m]meth nothing forth. (sig. D6r)

Somerset evidently had not paid attention to Latimer’s condemnation of coinage debasements, for the privy council did not proceed with their plans for coinage reform until almost two years after the collapse of the protectorate in October 1549. The impact on the Protector’s social conscience of Latimer’s Lenten sermon against enclosure abuses was by contrast almost immediate. Latimer had demanded that the Protector take proper action against unlawful enclosures on 8 March, and Somerset duly issued a second proclamation denouncing enclosure a month later, on 11 April 1549. This proclamation claims to respond to the findings of the 1548 enclosure commission, which, it alleges, had uncovered widespread agrarian abuses. It orders the King’s officers, and all others ‘to whom by statute or otherwise the redress or repressing of such offenses may appertain’ (p. 453), to inquire into and indict those landlords guilty of enclosing, emparking, or of otherwise converting from tillage to pasture any land hitherto owned by the commons or leased to tenants. Exactly who had been empowered by this proclamation to redress and repress enclosure offences proved a matter of some contention, however, so much so that Somerset felt compelled to clarify the April proclamation in a further proclamation issued 23 May 1549. This alleged that the April proclamation had only intended to give warning ‘to the offenders to redress and amend their offenses in that behalf before a certain day’. However, it explained, it has since come to the attention of King and council that certain nombers of disobedient and sedicious persones, assemblyng theimselfes together vnlawfully, in some partes of the realme, haue moste arrogantly and disloyally vnder pretence of thesaied Proclamacio[n], taken vpon theim his Maiesties aucthoritie, presumed to plucke his 27

Bush, p. 45.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature highnes sworde, out of his hande, and so gone about to chastice and correct whom thei haue thought good: in pluckyng doune Pales, Hedges, and Ditches, at their will and pleasure, contrary to their dueties of allegeaunce, and to the daunger of his maiestie, and al other his highnes good and louyng subiectes.28

A letter of 11 June from Somerset to the Leicestershire noblemen Henry Grey and Francis Hastings gives some indication of just how widespread were the enclosure assemblies condemned in the proclamation of 23 May 1549. Somerset admits that ‘in most parts lewd men have attempted to assemble’, and he urges his addressees to ‘be ready with the Leicestershire gentleman to repress any attempts in the beginning’. His letter is endorsed three times with the words ‘Haste, for life’, and it advises that Grey and Hastings ‘have the enclosure proclamation published by the sheriff’ of Leicestershire, Sir Ambrose Cave, in the hope that this might silence ‘evil rumours’, and so discourage the commons of Leicestershire from ‘seeking redress of enclosures’ by means of riot and rebellion.29 Wriothesley chronicles riots in Somerset, Lincolnshire, Bristol, ‘and diuers other shires’ during the month of May. The county of Surrey remained ‘in a quavering quiet’, Henry Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, wrote from Guildford on 29 June, but early July saw a spate of uprisings across the home counties in Essex, Kent, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire.30 Rebels at Wymondham in Norfolk began to break down enclosures on 8 July, and the following day they had encamped at Mousehold Heath outside Norwich, where they remained until finally defeated at Dussin’s Dale on 27 August, by a royal army under the command of the earl of Warwick. By 14 July, three other rebel camps had been established elsewhere in East Anglia, at Downham Market, Ipswich, and Bury St Edmunds.31 ‘The revolt of the peasants has increased and spread’, the imperial ambassador in England François Van der Delft noted in his letter to Charles V dated 19 July 1549,

28 29 30

31

A Proclamacion […] for the repressyng of certain Sedicious and Disobedient persones (London, 1549; TRP, no. 333), fol. 1r. CSP (Edward VI), no. 273 (p. 110). CSP (Edward VI), no. 292 (p. 117). For uprisings in the South-East, see Ecclesiastical Memorials, ed. John Strype, 2 vols in 4 parts (Oxford, 1822), II.i, 260–61. For those in the Midlands, see CSP (Edward VI), nos 301 and 306; also Troubles Connected with the Prayer Book of 1549, ed. Nicholas Pocock, Camden Society Publications, n.s., 37 (Westminster, 1884), nos 14 and 15. Diarmaid MacCulloch, ‘Kett’s Rebellion in Context’, in Rebellion, Popular Protest and the Social Order in Early Modern England, ed. Paul Slack (Cambridge, 1984), pp. 39–62 (pp. 42–43). For Dussin’s Dale, see Frederic William Russell, Kett’s Rebellion in Norfolk (London, 1859), pp. 143–49.

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Commonwealth in crisis so that now they have risen in every part of England, asking for things both just and unjust: that they may enjoy the land that used to be public property once, that all victuals shall be sold at reasonable prices, and that the land hired out to them on leases shall be considered to be of the same value now as in the time of King Henry VII. […] In Kent and Essex the risings had subsided because victuals had been taxed at a reasonable price, and the King’s proclamation to that effect printed and posted up, with a pardon for past offences; but they have risen again now […] and they seem more dangerous than before.32

The rebels, writes Van der Delft, demand an end to unlawful enclosures, to unreasonably high prices, and to rent rises out of all proportion with inflation, and it is noticeable that all three of these complaints found echo in Latimer’s first Lenten sermon of 8 March 1549. Latimer maintained that rent rises and unlawful enclosures had forced tenants off arable land, forcing up food prices by causing crop yields to fall. ‘God doeth sende vs plentifullye the fruites of the earth’, he asserts, but landlords who raise rents and convert arable land to pasture ‘causeth suche dearth’ of crops that ‘all kinde of viteles is so deare’ (sig. D3r). Latimer blamed the covetousness of the ruling classes for these price increases, and when the commons rose up to demand redress some months later in May 1549, it is perhaps not surprising that some at court, while condemning the rebellion, were at least prepared to concede that the rebels had cause for complaint. Indeed, Van der Delft wrote to Charles V on 13 June, whisperers at court were alleging that Somerset himself was sympathetic to the rebels’ requests, for he had reportedly declared to the Council as his opinion, that the peasants’ demands were fair and just; for the poor people who had no land to graze their cattle ought to retain the commons and the lands that had always been public property, and the noble and the rich ought not to seize and add them to their parks and possessions.33

One might have reason to question the credibility of the hearsay that Van der Delft picked up at court, but other evidence would seem to confirm the fact that a clear shift in Somerset’s attitude towards the enclosure rioters occurred around mid-June. On 14 June 1549, the day after Van der Delft wrote to the emperor, Somerset issued a proclamation pardoning all who ‘of their awne hed and aucthoritie’ had ‘assembled theimselfes,

32 33

CSP (Spanish), IX (1912), 405. CSP (Spanish), IX, 395.

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plucked doune mennes Hedges, disparked their Parkes’, and generally taken into their own hands ‘the Kynges royall power and sworde’ for the redress of agrarian abuses.34 The granting of a pardon does not in itself imply Somerset’s sympathy with the cause of rebellion – Bush writes that royal pardons were in Tudor England ‘the traditional means of bringing the peasantry to order’ – but the Protector is certainly more magnanimous in his attitude towards the rebels in this particular pardon, the first of three issued over the forthcoming month, than he had been in his proclamation against the enclosure rioters of 23 May.35 The May proclamation had condemned the rioters as ‘disobedient and sedicious persones’, who ‘vnder pretence’ of the April proclamation against unlawful enclosures had ‘presumed to plucke his highnes sworde, out of his hande’. By June, however, the bulk of the rebels were being dismissed as merely ‘rude and ignoraunt people’, their riots excused as ‘doone, rather of foly and of mistakyng thesaid Proclamacion […] then of malice or any euill will’ borne towards ‘his highnes or to the quiet of this realme’ (fol. 1r). If by the middle of June Somerset was no longer condemning the riots as acts of treason, by early July he had begun to accede to the rioters’ demands, instructing John Hales, the chief commissioner of the 1548 enclosure commission, to resume his inquiry into agrarian abuses in the Midlands.36 Commissioners for other regions in England also appear to have been appointed at this time. The Essex gentlemen Sir Thomas Darcy and Sir John Gates certainly received the set of instructions that Somerset circulated to commissioners on 8 July, for a letter from them dated two days later confirmed that they had ‘perused the commission and instructions to us and others concerning decay of houses and husbandry, enclosures, parks and other articles’.37 With these instructions, Somerset circulated a letter urging commissioners to make haste with their inquiries. It also exhorted ‘those of you who are within any of the cases to be reformed’ to ‘begin with reformation of yourselves, as an example’.38 With peasants across the country presuming to pluck down hedges and pull down parks in the name of agrarian reform, Somerset no longer needed Latimer to preach to him against unlawful enclosures, and to condemn him for his own failure in 1548 to establish a country-wide commission for

34 35 36 37 38

A Proclamacion […] concernyng certain Riotes and vnlawfull assembles, for the breakyng vp of Enclosures (London, [1549]; TRP, no. 334), fol. 1r. Bush, p. 87. Other pardons were issued on 12 and 16 July 1549 (TRP, nos. 340 and 341). See Bush, p. 46. CSP (Edward VI), nos 307; 321 (pp. 125–26). CSP (Edward VI), no. 308 (p. 125).

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the redress of abuses. Now in July 1549 Somerset attempted to appease the rioters, reviving the commission he had disbanded the previous summer. Somerset does not condone rebellion, but neither does he dismiss the cause for which the rebels claim to fight. By directing the commissioners to amend unlawful enclosures of their own, Somerset is at pains to point out to the rebels that the new enclosure commission is no piecemeal concession to their demands for agrarian reform, but rather a comprehensive indictment of the very abuses they themselves were attempting with violence to amend. It is not the injustice of unlawful enclosures that is in question, Somerset asserts, but the lawfulness of the means by which the rebels seek redress, and this concern to condemn the act, but not the cause of rebellion was also uppermost in the mind of Archbishop Cranmer, when on Sunday 21 July 1549 he delivered a sermon against the enclosure riots at St Paul’s.39 Cranmer here identifies sin as the cause of all the commotions that have lately ‘so troubled, so vexed, so tossed and deformed’ the English commonwealth (p. 190). The ‘scourge of sedition’, he argues, is the rod with which God has chosen to chastise us for the ‘perjury, blasphemy, and adultery, slandering and lying, gluttony and drunkenness’ that has for far too long gone unpunished in England (p. 191). Cranmer writes that ‘we have offended God both high and low’, and he points out that one sin common to governor and governed alike is the sin of covetousness, for it is covetousness that has led landlords to join ‘land to land, and inclosures to inclosures’, and covetousness also that has caused the people ‘wronged and oppressed’ by unlawful enclosures to muster themselves ‘in unlawful assemblies and tumults’, and ‘spoil and rob and take from others’ (p. 192). Cranmer concedes that ‘the gentlemen have done the commons great wrong, and things must needs be redressed’, but he argues that it is an even greater wrong for the commons to have taken the law into their own hands, and with violence to have attempted ‘to redress one injury with another’. ‘Is it the office of subjects, to take upon them the reformation of the commonwealth?’, Cranmer asks his audience. ‘To whom hath God given the ordering and reformation of realms? To kings or to subjects?’ (p. 193). Covetousness is crime enough, he contends, but sedition is to be condemned above all, and by plucking down hedges in the name of reform, these ‘unlawful assemblers’ (p. 196) have earned for themselves greater indignation in the eyes of God and the King than have those landlords, who for their own profit go about to enclose common land: 39

In The Works of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1556, ed. John Edmund Cox, 2 vols, Parker Society Publications, 12, 24 (Cambridge, 1844–46), II, pp. 190–202. All references are to this edition.

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Empire and Nation in Early English Renaissance Literature But let us now compare these two destructions of the commonweal together, the covetous men, which (as they say) do inclose and possess unjustly the commons, and these mutineers, which rashly and without all reason will be both the hearers, judgers, and reformers of their own causes […]. Which of these two is the greater injury? […] Foolishness is not healed by madness, theft is not amended with spoil and ravine; neither is the commonwealth stayed or made strong by the breach of laws, orders, and states. (p. 196)

Like Somerset, Cranmer condemns the act of rebellion, but not the cause for which these rioters had taken up arms against the King. Neither ruler nor rebel is innocent in the eyes of God, Cranmer asserts, for while the covetousness of the former had given the commons just cause for redress, the commons combine avarice with sedition when with ‘spoil and robbery’ they seek amends outside the law (p. 194). In part, at least, Cranmer blamed the enclosure riots on the covetousness of the ruling classes, but he singled out a much more familiar scapegoat when assigning blame for that other popular uprising of summer 1549, the so-called Prayer Book Rebellion. Its origins can be traced to the Devonshire village of Sampford Courtenay, whose parishioners objected to the introduction on Whitsunday (9 June 1549) of the reformed liturgy prescribed in the first English Book of Common Prayer. What began as rearguard action against early Edwardian religious innovations would over the following weeks come to threaten the stability of the Edwardian regime itself, as traditionalists throughout Devon and Cornwall joined forces with the villagers of Sampford to march on Exeter, laying siege to the city on 2 July, where they remained until forced to retreat five weeks later by government troops under Lord Russell’s leadership.40 It was during the first week of their siege of Exeter that the rebels drew up and dispatched their demands to the King.41 A copy of their fifteen demands was printed with a letter written by a Devonshire loyalist, and dateable on internal evidence to around 16 July 1549.42 All but two of these articles petition the protectorate to reverse Edwardian religious reforms 40 41 42

MacCulloch, Cranmer, pp. 429–31. Russell routed the Exeter rebels on 5 August 1549, writes Wriothesley (Chronicle, II, 20). Edward’s answer is dated 8 July 1549 in CSP (Edward VI), no. 302. A Copye of a Letter contayning certayne newes, & the Articles or requestes of the Deuonshyre & Cornyshe rebelles (London, 1549). The letter-writer refers to the martial law proclamation of 16 July, which ‘I haue not yet sene’, he writes, ‘but by youre nexte letters trust to receiue’ (sig. B2v). Martial law was also declared in a proclamation dated 14 June (TRP, no. 334), but it is clear the writer here refers to the July proclamation, since allusions elsewhere in his letter to the rebels that ‘lye stil nere Exceter’ (sig. A8r) indicate that it was written some time after the Exeter siege began on 2 July 1549.

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and reinstate traditional religious beliefs and practices. The first article demands observation of ‘all the general counsell & holy decrees of our for[e] fathers’ (sig. B6r), the second and third restoration of the Act of Six Articles and Latin mass, and the fourth that the host be reserved ‘as it was wount to be’, in the pyx above the altar in church (sig. B6v). The seventh and ninth call for the reinstatement of images and prayers for the dead, the eighth and tenth for the destruction of the English Bible and English Book of Common Prayer, while the fifth and sixth articles concern the ministration of the Eucharist and of baptism. The three other religious articles demand that the King grant livings to traditionalist priests, that he pardon Cardinal Pole and promote him to the privy council, and, finally, that he re-establish religious houses and endowments across England. Although concurrent with uprisings elsewhere in England during summer 1549, contemporary observers were careful to distinguish between the aims of the enclosure riots and the predominantly religious nature of the demands being made by the rebels at Exeter. ‘The moneth of Julie’, Wriothesley wrote in his Chronicle, witnessed ‘ensurrections against enclosures’ by ‘the commons of Essex and Kent, Sufforke and Norfolke’. He noted that ‘the Devonshire men and Cornish men’ had also ‘made insurrections’ that month, but that where the enclosure rioters had sought the redress of agrarian abuses, the rebels who had ‘camped about the citie of Exceter’ had minded instead ‘to mayntayne the masse and other ceremonies of the Popes law’.43 This distinction between the aims of the two uprisings was also drawn by members of the king’s council, influencing their attitude towards the enclosure rioters on the one hand, and the West Country rebels on the other. A government spokesman like Cranmer identified covetousness at the root of the enclosure riots; he blamed papists entirely for inciting the Prayer Book Rebellion. In his surviving notes for the address he delivered against enclosure assemblies at St Paul’s, Cranmer has in his own hand penned certain observations on the subject of rebellion, apparently to serve as an aide-mémoire in the composition of the sermon itself.44 Many of these observations reappear in the structure of the final sermon; one exception to this is a comment on how the enclosure riots had first come about. ‘And these tumults’, Cranmer had originally proposed to argue, ‘first were excitated by the papists and others which came from the western camp, to the intent, that by sowing division among ourselves we should not be able to impeach them’ (p. 189). When Cranmer came to compose his sermon against rebellion, he 43 44

Wriothesley’s Chronicle, II, 15. Reproduced in Works of Cranmer, II, pp. 188–89.

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evidently thought better of blaming the enclosure assemblies on those same papists whom he holds responsible for the Prayer Book Rebellion, and his sermon is as we have seen concerned instead to hold covetous landlords accountable for the abuses for which the enclosure rioters had sought redress. This distribution of responsibility for the two uprisings of summer 1549, with the enclosure assemblies blamed on covetous landlords, the Western Rebellion on papist priests, is reflected also in Copye of a Letter. Its writer had at first assumed that the ‘vprores of the Deuonshyremen’ proceeded from the same ‘wyldenes’ and ‘ignorance’ responsible for causing enclosure assemblies elsewhere in England. ‘But the matters of Deuonshyre nowe shewes furthe the rotes of treason’, he continues, ‘the buddes of rebellion, and the fructe of fylthye poperye’ (sig. A2v). The devil himself, he contends, has ‘taughte the Priestes and theyr Captaynes’ at Exeter ‘to cal the people together to defende theyr olde fayth’ (sig. A3r). These same priests had apparently also tried to deceive those who had ‘gathered them selues together in other partes of the Realme, for pluckynge downe enlosures, & enlargyng of comme[n]s’ (sig. A4r). ‘The Kentysh Essex, Suffolke, and speciallye Hampshire’ men, however, had vtterly dyffyed and abhorred the Deuonshyreme[n], protestyng euen in theyr moste disorder, that they wolde spende theyr lyues agai[n]st all suche rancke rebelles traytours & papistes. (sig. A4v)

The writer of this letter is, like Cranmer, concerned to differentiate the cause of the Prayer Book Rebellion from the concerns shared by rioters elsewhere in England in 1549. The West Country rebels, he asserted, were papists and traitors who sought to overthrow ‘the kynges holsome doctrine’ by demanding that Edward restore the religion of their forefathers (sig. B2v). The enclosure rioters, on the other hand, had been ‘people forgetfull, not obstynate traytours by construccyon of Law’ (sig. B2r). Their requests ‘could not reasonable be reiected’ by the King, the writer asserts, because they had but sought the ‘reformacion of diuers abuses in the comu[n]e wealth’, not ‘the bri[n]ging in of the Romish aucthoryte agaynst the kyng, & hys Royall Croune’ (sig. B1r). The enclosure rioters had certainly assembled unlawfully to pluck down hedges, but we are told that they had done so, not to oppose government policy, but to implement those agrarian reforms to which the government had shown itself committed, in its April proclamation against unlawful enclosures. Those who besieged Exeter were rebels and traitors; those who plucked down pales and hedges elsewhere in England were merely over-enthusiastic implementers of government policy. It is with these enclosure rioters, rather than with the rebels assembled at 196

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Exeter, that the character People in Respublica can be identified. As the enclosure assemblies had sought redress for agrarian abuses caused by avarice in the ruling classes, so People’s criticism of Avarice and his companion vices on stage is aimed, not at the Edwardian religious reforms to which the West Country rebels had so objected, but at the unlawful enclosures for which Avarice and his companions are in the play made responsible. In his court sermon of 8 March 1549, Latimer had blamed enclosure of arable land for the then excessive rate of inflation in England. The covetousness of landlords ‘causeth suche dearth’, he had asserted, that ‘all kinde of viteles is so deare’ (sig. D3r). It is to the vice Avarice that unlawful enclosures are likewise imputed in the play. Avarice enters in Act III, Scene 4 bearing thirteen bags of gold, and, asked by his companion vices how he had come by so much wealth, he boasts that ‘this thirteenth’ bag was ‘filled throughe facing owte of dawes | bothe from landes and goodes by pretence of the lawes’ (ll. 879–80). Avarice here claims to have bullied ‘dawes’, or fools, off their lands, but his actions have not gone unnoticed by People, who himself represents the ‘ignoram [i.e. ignorant] people’ impoverished by unlawful enclosures (l. 665). In Act IV, Scene 4, immediately after accusing Oppression of abasing coins ‘from zillver to drosse’ (l. 1075), People turns to the subject of agrarian abuses. The same landlords who had demanded that People pay rents amounting to double the price he had received for his corn have according to People also increased food prices by enclosing arable land for use as pasture. ‘Their great grazing hath made fleshe so dere I wotte’, People complains to Respublica, ‘that poore volke att shambles [i.e. meat markets] cannot bestowe their grotte’ (ll. 1097–98). In the only sermon he preached at Westminster in Lent 1550, Latimer agreed with what Cranmer had said about the enclosure assemblies in his sermon at St Paul’s the previous summer. Covetous landlords had that summer given the commons just cause for complaint, Latimer conceded, but this did not condone the actions of rioters, who had sought redress by stealing from their landlords. ‘The Commons thought they had a right to the thynges that they inordinately sought to haue’, Latimer contended: But what then, they must not come to it that way. Nowe on the other side the gentlemen had a desyre to kepe that they had, and so they rebelled too agaynste the kynges commaundeme[n]t, and agaynst such good order as he and hys councel woulde haue set in the realm. And thus both parties had couetousnes, and bothe parties dyd rebell.45 45

A Moste faithfull Sermo[n] ([London], 1550), sig. B5v.

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The play also blames landlords as well as tenants for the enclosure assemblies of 1549, rebuking landlords for causing the riots by enclosing common land, but also condemning tenants for their acts of rebellion. Udall has Avarice boast to his companion vices about the money he has made from unlawful enclosures, and he does so to implicate avarice in the actions of landlords, whose ‘great grazing’, People complains to Respublica, has made the price of ‘fleshe so dere’. As parallels between the actions of Avarice in the play and the direction of fiscal policy in Edwardian England had implied condemnation of Seymour’s abasements of the coinage, so the identification of Avarice with People’s unscrupulous landlord similarly condemns those landlords off stage who had impoverished Edward’s people by enclosing arable land. While the play makes Avarice party to unlawful enclosures both on and off stage, it is nevertheless also careful to condemn as unlawful the enclosure riots themselves. After Nemesis has in the final scene of the play ordered Avarice to make restitution for his ill-gotten gains, she commands that People ‘take this felowe’ (l. 1902), That he maie bee pressed, as men doo presse a spounge that he maie droppe ought teverye man hys lotte, to the ytmooste ferthing that he hath falslie gotte. (l. 1903)

People volunteers himself to ‘squease hym as drie as A kyxe’ (l. 1906), but Nemesis is quick to curb this reforming zeal. ‘Naie’, she commands him, ‘thowe shalte deliver hym to the hedd Officer | which hathe Authoritee Iustice to mynister’ (ll. 1908–09). Cranmer had in his sermon against enclosure assemblies condemned rebels, who with robbery and riot sought to make themselves ‘the hearers, judgers, and reformers of their own causes’ (p. 196); Nemesis too commands that People put away his sword, and be content to see wrongs redressed by an officer of the law. Like Cranmer, then, the play condemns the vigilantism of the enclosure riots, but also concedes that the rioters had had just cause for complaint. When Peace confronts Avarice in the play’s penultimate scene, he assures her that ‘wee have been long in peace’ (l. 1688). ‘Cale ye it peace’, she rejoins, whan brother [and] brother, cannot bee content to live one by an other, whan one for his howse, for his lande, yea for his grote is readie to strive, [and] plucke owte an others throte? (l. 1689)

While Peace does not condemn Avarice for the riots themselves, it is surely significant that the crimes for which Avarice is blamed in the play – coinage abasements, unlawful enclosures – are crimes which in Edwardian 198

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England led to the sort of civil unrest that Peace here describes. By identifying the cause of civil strife with Avarice – the avarice that had led landlords to enclose arable lands, and caused Somerset to debase the groat – Peace implies identification between this battle for land and livelihood and the enclosure assemblies of 1549. Of the twenty-nine articles drawn up at the rebel encampment outside Norwich at Mousehold Heath, over half concerned the redress of unlawful enclosures and other agrarian abuses.46 The third article demanded ‘that no lord of no mannor shall comon uppon the Comons’ (p. 48), the fifth that rents for ‘Redeground and medowe grounde’ be ‘at suche price as they wer in the first yere of Kyng henry the vijth’ (p. 49). In the play, Peace makes no mention to Avarice of the religious grievances that had on the other hand so exercised the West Country rebels; neither had the Mousehold rebels petitioned Edward to reverse religious reforms, as had the rebels at Exeter. Where the Mousehold Articles do mention religion, it is to encourage further evangelical reforms, not, as had been the case at Exeter, to demand a return to traditional religious beliefs and practices. The eighth Mousehold article, for example, petitions ‘that [priests] or vicars’ who ‘be [not able] to preche and sett forth the woorde of god to hys parisheners’ be ‘putt from hys benyfice’ (p. 49). Whether this complaint is directed at ill-educated or absentee incumbents is unclear, but in either case it can be seen to echo the government’s own concern in the 1547 Inivnccions to redress the problem of pluralism and ignorance in the clergy, for the fourteenth injunction had penalised absent incumbents by demanding that they give forty per cent of their livings to the poor of the parish, while the twentieth had directed all incumbents under the degree of Bachelor of Divinity to ‘diligently studye’ the English New Testament and Paraphrase of Erasmus (sig. B4r). Like the civil violence to which Peace alludes in the play, the enclosure assemblies of 1549 had sought redress for the agrarian and economic grievances caused by unlawful enclosures and coinage abasement. ‘There is no mention of religion made among them’, Van der Delft informed the Emperor on 19 July 1549, ‘except in Cornwall and Norfolk, where they are in greater numbers’.47 In the play, People acts as spokesperson for those ‘ignoram people’ who according to Peace have been striving to safeguard house, land, and groat. While much of People’s complaints to Avarice and his companion vices concern abuses of enclosure and coinage abasement, People also airs religious grievances that echo the tone of the Mousehold

46 47

Reproduced in Russell, pp. 48–56. CSP (Spanish), IX, 405.

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articles, insofar as they seek to accelerate, rather than reverse, the pace of evangelical reform. When in Act IV, Scene 4 Oppression boasts that the ‘coigne eke is chaunged’ (l. 1075), it is not the only beneficial act he alleges for himself and his companions that is met with derision by People. Asked by Respublica earlier on in this scene to explain the benefits he has brought to the commonwealth while in government, Oppression begins with the trump card of clerical reform. ‘Firste youre priestes [and] bisshops have not as thei have had’ (l. 1069), he claims. Throughout the 1540s and early 1550s, the government had systematically deprived bishops of their most lucrative episcopal estates, in a series of enforced ‘exchanges’ for ex-monastic property acquired in the Dissolution that were designed to profit secular leaders at the expense of their spiritual counterparts.48 In his sermon of 8 March 1549, Latimer was quick to point out to courtiers that covetousness was behind the seizure of episcopal estates, as it was equally to blame for unlawful enclosures of land. ‘We of the cleargy had too much’, Latimer conceded, ‘but that is taken away, and nowe we haue too litle’ (sig. D4v). Latimer agrees that bishops were once too wealthy, but he attributes the extremity of the recent episcopal exchanges to the covetousness of council members rather than to their zealousness for clerical reform. ‘It is the kynges honour […] that all hys prelates and Cleargie be set about their worke in preaching & studieng, and not to be interrupted from their charge’ (sigs D3v–4r), Latimer asserts, and yet he knows of one incumbent whose income has been so reduced ‘that of this pension he is not able to bie him bokes, nor geue hys neighboure dryncke, al the great gaine goeth another way’ (sig. D5r). ‘Suche procedynges’, according to Latimer, ‘do intend plainly, to make the yoma[n]ry slauery, and the Cleargye shauery’ (sig. D4v). ‘Grasiers, and inclosers’ are ‘hindrers of the kings honour’ (sig. D4r), but for Latimer so too are those secular rulers who seek to profit from ‘these appropriacions’, these ‘greate reformacions’ of the clergy (sig. D5r). As Latimer had denounced the excesses of clerical reform, so in the play both Respublica and People react with derision to news that Oppression has been depriving the clergy of their former wealth. To Oppression’s boast that ‘priestes [and] bisshops have not as thei have had’ (l. 1069), Respublica rejoins,

OPPRESSION

48

[?whan they] had theire lyving[es] men were bothe fedde and cladde. yea, but they ought not by scripture to be calde lord[es].

See Walker, The Politics of Performance in Early Renaissance Drama, pp. 181–82.

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That thei rewle the churche w[i]th scripture well accord[es]. Thei were prowde and covetous/ [and] tooke muche vppon theim. but they were not covetous that tooke all from theym. (l. 1070)

Oppression here claims scriptural authority for his expropriation of episcopal land, and while Respublica and People concede that bishops should ‘rewle the churche w[i]th scripture’, both contend that Oppression’s enthusiasm for episcopal reform has merely redressed one injury with another, replacing the covetousness of the clergy with the avarice of secular leaders. Respublica and People do not condemn the idea of making the Bible the basis for clerical reform, but they do question the extent of Oppression’s own commitment to the evangelical cause, and their comments can in this respect be seen to mirror the tone of the religious grievances expressed at Mousehold, and in Latimer’s sermon of March 1549. The rebels at Mousehold criticised the church, only to accelerate the pace of its Protestant reforms. This evangelical agenda was also noted among enclosure rioters elsewhere in England, outside of Devon and Cornwall. Cranmer exploited this in his sermon at St Paul’s so as to shame the rioters into submission, claiming that their actions threatened the stability of the reformed English church, to which both ruler and rioter alike had pledged themselves committed. ‘Doth it […] become the lower sort of the people to flock together against their heads and rulers?’, he asks. Sedition, always abhorrent, is specially now at this time in the king’s majesty’s tender age, when we be round about environed with other enemies; outward with Scots and Frenchmen, and among ourselves with subtle papists, who have persuaded the simple and ignorant Devonshire men, under pretence and colour of religion, to withstand all godly reformation. Shall we now destroy our realm, and make it a prey to our adversaries? […] What joy is this to the bishop of Rome, to hear that the blood of Englishmen (for the which he hath so long thirsted) is now like to be shed by their own brethren and countrymen! (p. 193)

The enclosure rioters claim to share Cranmer’s commitment to godly reformation, but Cranmer asserts that their recent acts of rebellion have caused him to question the strength of the beliefs that they outwardly confess. ‘There be many among these unlawful assemblies that pretend knowledge of the gospel, and will needs be called gospellers’, he writes, ‘but if they will be true gospellers, let them be obedient, meek, patient in 201

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adversity and long-suffering, and in no wise rebel against the laws and magistrates’ (p. 195). The covetousness of landlords has given the commons just cause for complaint, Cranmer concedes, but they are hypocrites who, pretending knowledge of the gospel, themselves go about to commit covetousness and sedition, with robbery and riot in the name of agrarian reform. ‘The gospel of God now set forth to the whole realm […] sustaineth much injury and reproach’ by those rioters who claim to ‘have received the same, and [who] would be counted to be great favourers thereof’, Cranmer laments. For the great number of them, pretending a zeal thereto in their lips, and not in their hearts, counterfeiting godliness in name, but not in deed, live after their own pleasure, like epicures, and so ungodly as though there were no God. (p. 197)

This hypocrisy, or counterfeit godliness, is not only apparent among the ‘lower sort’ who gather in God’s name to redress unlawful enclosures with unlawful rebellion. Cranmer writes that ‘we have offended God both high and low’ (p. 192), and he identifies the enclosure assemblies as God’s chosen method of punishing England for the sins of rulers and rebels alike. ‘All these seditions and troubles, which we now suffer’, he asserts, constitute ‘the very plague of God’ sent to punish ‘the rejecting or ungodly abusing of his most holy word, and to provoke and entice every man to […] receive the gospel’, not ‘feignedly and faintly as many have done’, but ‘with all humbleness and reverence’ (p. 199). The Bible, Cranmer continues, ‘if it be godly received, and with all the heart embraced’, is ‘most comfortable, of most efficacy, strength and virtue’. [But] if it be trodden under foot, rejected, and despised, or craftily under the cloke of dissimulation and hypocrisy received, it is a compendious and a short way unto destruction, it is an instrument whereby the punishment and displeasure of God is both augmented and also more speedily and sooner brought upon us, as we have most justly deserved. (pp. 198–99)

Most Englishmen nowadays profess piety, writes Cranmer, but ‘this christian profession’ is for the majority but a cloak of dissimulation that belies their ‘unchristian living’ (p. 191). The English Bible is now under Edward ‘every where set abroad’ (p. 199), but its commands that Englishmen obey the king and love their neighbour are almost everywhere ignored. It is to punish hypocrisy that God has sent an epidemic of enclosure riots, Cranmer tells his congregation at St Paul’s, but England can ‘appease God’s wrath’ if as a nation we effect a ‘true and godly repentance’ 202

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(p. 200) for our ‘great looseness of living’ (p. 201), our great contempt for God’s Word. Referring to the English Bible, Cranmer asked his audience ‘why […] we with words approve it […] and take it as a thing most true, wholesome, and godly, and in our living clearly reject it?’ (p. 198). Cranmer preached this sermon against enclosure assemblies in July 1549, two years to the month after the publication in the Sermons of his homily on Bible-reading. In this earlier homily, Cranmer had enjoined churchgoers to read the Bible, and in their lives to rehearse what was written therein. Two years later, Cranmer had been forced to acknowledge the minimal impact that Bible-reading had actually had on people’s lives. True, the sermon against enclosure assemblies is an indictment on the hypocrisy of English Bible-readers, not on the utility of the English Bible itself, but implicit in Cranmer’s barrage of condemnations and calls for repentance is the tacit admission that scripture had not proved so useful a tool for social reform as two years earlier he had hoped it might. ‘Herin maye princes learne howe to gouerne their subiectes’, Cranmer had written in his preface to the 1540 Great Bible, ‘subiectes obedie[n]ce, loue & dreade to their princes’ (sig. †2r). The Great Bible had again been established in churches by July 1549, but with rioters across England seeking unlawful redress for unlawful enclosures, it was clear that neither ruler nor rebel could at that time have claimed to live by its precepts. Cranmer condemns counterfeit gospellers, who conceal a ‘greedy desire and […] worshipping of riches’ beneath cloaks of piety and godliness. This charge of hypocrisy can equally be extended to the actions of the vice characters in Respublica. It is because they too dissemble impiety with a ‘counterfaite gravitee’ (l. 418) that Avarice and his companion vices achieve political advancement in the play at the hands of ‘ladie Respublica’ (l. 614). Avarice counsels his companions to wear ‘other garment[es]’ (l. 417), and he himself resolves to ‘tourne my gowne in [and] owte’ (l. 420), so that ‘theise gaping purses maie in no wyse be seen’ (l. 421). The guise that the vices adopt in the play is, moreover, that of the counterfeit godliness so condemned by Cranmer in his sermon. Oppression pleads scriptural precedent when his seizure of episcopal lands come under attack from People and Respublica, and Avarice in particular is in the play identifiable with Somerset, who as protector had led the godly reformation during the first two years of Edward’s reign, but who, we have seen, was condemned by Latimer for his ‘ungodly’ actions – for his fiscal policy, and for his failure to censure unlawful enclosures in 1548. Like Cranmer, Latimer saw the enclosure riots as ‘the very plague of God’, as God’s punishment for England’s hypocrisy. Speaking some months before the outbreak of the enclosure assemblies themselves, 203

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Latimer urges his court audience to repent before God visits this plague upon them. Yet the plague Latimer envisions is not the epidemic of enclosure assemblies that some months later would form the subject of Cranmer’s sermon, but the death of Edward and accession of his sisters Mary and Elizabeth. ‘Oh what a plage were it, that a strange kynge of a strange land, and of a strange religion shulde rayne ouer vs’, Latimer asserts: Where nowe we be gouerned in the true religion, he shuld extirpe and pluke away all to gether, and then plante again all abomynacion, and popery, God kepe suche a kynge from vs. Well the kynges grace hath systers, my Ladye Mary, and my Lady Elyzabeth, which by successio[n] and course are inheritours to the crowne. Who yf she shulde mary with a straunger, what shoulde ensue God knoweth. But god grau[n]t they neuer come vnto curssyng nor succedyng. Therefore to auoyd this plage, let vs amende oure lyues and put awaye al pryde […], all coueteousnes where in the maiestrates and riche men of this realme are ouerwhelmed. (sigs B7r–8r)

Latimer foresees Mary’s accession as God’s punishment for the covetousness of the Edwardian ruling classes, and it is as divine punishment for the crimes committed by Avarice and his companions in the play that Mary’s accession is likewise presented on the stage of Respublica. Mary is explicitly identified in the prologue with the goddess Nemesis, who, we are told, ‘hathe powre from godde all practise to repeale | w[hi]ch might bring Annoyaunce to ladie comonweale’ (ll. 1786–87). It is Nemesis who descends in the final scene to condemn Avarice as the ‘plague of Comonweales’ (l. 1893) and at the end of the play to command that Respublica give thanks ‘to godde and yo[ur] Soveraigne w[hi]ch doo youe thus relieve’ (l. 1929). The play ends, then, by celebrating the new queen’s accession, but it is as Nemesis that Mary actually appears on stage; her role as arbiter of God’s will is in other words emphasised over and above her role as queen. Latimer and Udall were by no means the only Protestants to (fore)see Mary’s accession as a form of divine punishment. In his court sermon of 9 March 1550, Thomas Lever praises the King and council assembled before him for their attempt to reform the English church, but warns that they take heed when ‘chasyng the wylde fox of papisticall supersticion, that the gredye wolfe of couetous ambicion, do not creepe in at your backes’.49

49

A Sermon preached the thyrd Sondaye in Lente (London, 1550), sigs A5r–v.

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Among the ruling classes, he asserts, are some that be ‘sheppeheardes in dede’, and some others that ‘haue shepe skynnes, and be raueninge wolues’. ‘The one taketh paynes in doyng of hys dutye’, Lever quips, ‘and the other seketh gaynes in professyng of hys duty’ (sig. B7v). Many of those assembled before him have secretly profited from the ‘landes of Abbeys, Coliges and Chauntries’, Lever contends, although they had openly pretended that ‘the King should be enryched, learnynge mayntayned, pouertye relieued, and the co[m]mune wealthe eased’ with the spoils of the Dissolution (sig. C8r). These hypocrites are wolves clothed in ‘shepe skynnes’ (sig. E7r), Lever asserts, and he urges that the privy council ‘pulle the shepes skinnes ouer the wolfes eares, and hang theyr carcases vpon the pales’ (sig. E7v). Should they fail, he warns, ‘God wyll not longe suffer you to be [the] hedshepherds, & gouernours, & feders of hys la[m]bes’, but ‘wyll plucke you downe wyth some sodein mischiefe, rather then mainteine or suffer you in so hygh authorytye’ (sigs E7v–8r). It was to the likes of Latimer and Lever that the putative ‘Poore Pratte’ was no doubt referring when he wrote to his friend Gilbard Potter in July 1553. ‘For we haue had manye Prophetes & true preachers’, Pratte notes, whiche did declare vnto vs, [that] oure kinge shalbe taken awaye from vs, & a tirant shal reygne, the Gospel shal be plucked awaye, the right heyre shalbe dispossessed, & al for our vnthanckfulnes, & thinkest thou not (Gilbard) [the] world is now come? Yea truely. And what shal folow yf we repente not in tymes. The same God wil take fro[m] vs the vertuouse Lady Mary oure lawfull quene, & send such a cruel Pharao as the ragged beare, to rule vs, which shal pul & pol vs, spoyle vs, & vtterly destroy vs, & bring vs in great calamities and miseries. And this god will send vs, & all for our iniquities.50

Pratte’s Letter to Gilbard Potter was printed on 1 August 1553, a week after John Dudley and his supporters had been sent to the Tower, to await trial for treason. Potter, a London drawer by trade, had achieved notoriety in the short reign of Jane Grey when imprisoned ‘for words speaking at time of the proclamation of lady Iane’.51 Pratte had apparently written the letter to comfort his friend in prison, and to support his standpoint on the subject of the accession. ‘Rather then […] consente to their false & trayterouse proclamation for Jane’ (sigs A3r–v), Pratte writes, Potter had

50

51

The copie of a pistel or letter sent to Gilbard Potter in the tyme when he was in prison, for speakinge on our most true quenes part the Lady Mary before he had his eares cut of (London, 1553), sigs A4v–5r. John Stow, The annales of England (London, 1592), p. 1031.

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‘in the proclamation tyme’ (sig. A2v) chosen to risk death rather than ‘denye our vertuouse Mary to be quene’ (sig. A3v). According to Stow, Potter had received public punishment for his offence on 11 July 1553, the day after Jane had been proclaimed queen in London. Both his ears had been nailed to the pillory in Cheapside, and then ‘cleane cut off’ in the presence of one of the London sheriffs (p. 1031). The city authorities had evidently decided to make an example of the unfortunate Potter, to deter others from voicing similar objections to the accession of the Lady Jane. According to Pratte, his friend Potter had not been the only Londoner to have questioned the lawfulness of Jane’s pretensions to the throne. ‘Ther were thousandes more then thy selfe’, Pratte assures his friend, ‘yet durst they not (suche is [the] fragility & weakenes of the flesh) once moue their lippes to speake [that], whiche thou did speake’ (sig. A2v). Both the printer and putative author of this letter were evangelicals who had evidently felt able to reconcile their sympathies for Mary’s claims to the throne with their support for the beliefs and practices of the Edwardian church. Hugh Singleton was known as a reformist printer, while ‘Poore Pratte’ makes clear his own evangelical leanings in the above quotation, which alludes to the ‘true preachers’ who had prophesied that Edward would die and the Gospel ‘be plucked awaye’ as punishment for the sins of the English commonwealth. ‘For truely’, Pratte asserts, ‘god is displeased w[ith] vs many wayes’ (sig. A5r). Edward’s death was a sign of God’s displeasure, he argues, although he feels sure that Mary is ‘more sorowful for [the] death of king Edwarde her brother, then she is glad [that] she is quene’ (sig. A5v). The worst fears of Latimer, Lever, and other ‘true preachers’ at the Edwardian court have now been realised, Pratte argues, but worse is yet to come, ‘yf we repente not in tymes’. The same sins which have conspired to cause Edward’s death already threaten to dispossess ‘oure lawfull quene’ Mary, writes Pratte, for in her place ‘the great deuell Dudley ruleth, Duke I shuld haue sayde’ (sig. A7v). Pratte condemns Dudley for his efforts to have Jane proclaimed queen, but he also concedes that Dudley, like Mary, is but an instrument for God’s punishment of the sins of the English commonwealth. Englishmen, he argues, should follow in the footsteps of the Ninivites, who in Jonah 3 appeased God’s wrath by heeding Jonah’s call to repentance. They ‘clothed them selues in sackecloth, caste duste vpon their heades, repe[n]ted, & bewailed their manifold sinnes and offences’, Pratte writes. ‘So shulde we now not cease praying to God to send vs quietnes, & that the lady Mary might enioye [the] kingdo[m]’ (sig. A4v). Both Latimer and Lever forewarned that God would destroy the Edwardian evangelical regime; Mary’s accession is presented as the fulfilment of 206

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these prophecies in Pratte’s Letter and Udall’s Respublica alike. As Nemesis, ‘the mooste high goddesse of correccion’ (l. 1782), Mary descends in the final scene of the play to condemn the vices of the Edwardian government, just as Latimer had in his sermons censured the sins of Protector Somerset, and Poore Pratte those of ‘the great deuell Dudley’. Like Poore Pratte, Udall was an evangelical; like Cranmer, Udall too had been optimistic at the beginning of Edward’s reign about the usefulness of the English Bible as an instrument for social reform. In his 1547 sermon on Bible-reading, Cranmer had exhorted churchgoers to learn, print in memory, and effectually to exercise ‘those thinges in the scripture that be plain to vnderstande’ (sig. B3v). By the time he preached at St Paul’s in July 1549, Cranmer had been forced to concede that England was full of counterfeit gospellers, who ‘with words approve’ the Bible message, but who in their ‘living clearly reject it’ (p. 198). Respublica is also an indictment on the hypocrisy of the Edwardian godly commonwealth. Its concern to depict Somerset’s protectorate in particular as Avarice dressed as Policy, vice cloaked with a virtuous name, echoes the censures Somerset received, not only from evangelical preachers like Latimer and Lever at court, but also from the ordinary people who had risen in summer 1549 to redress the damage that covetousness unchecked by government had caused to English agrarian life. In his preface to the English Paraphrase, Udall had upheld Edward as the king whom God had appointed ‘to sette vs Englishe me[n] in the lande of Canaan whiche is the syncere knowelage and the free exercise of Goddes moste holy woorde’ (sig. a6v). It is only counterfeit gospellers who inhabit the landscape of Udall’s Respublica, however, and in the final scene of the play their hypocrisy is punished in exactly the way Latimer and Lever had predicted. The English Bible is made the basis of England’s support for the Royal Supremacy in Morison’s Remedy and Bale’s King Johan. In the era of the church Bible, Bale anticipates that the English will learn to live by the Word, will come to identify themselves, not as individuals, but collectively as Bible-readers. The action of Udall’s Respublica takes place after the accession of Edward VI, in the era of the church Bible that Edward had licensed for use by the laity in his Inivnccions of July 1547. With the Bible under Edward VI re-established in parish churches across the country, England promised again to flow with ‘the free exercise of Goddes moste holy woorde’, promised in reality to become ‘the lande of promission’ that Udall had so enthusiastically imagined in his preface to the Paraphrase. In this English Israel there would be no need for prosopopoeia, no need for Mother England to encourage popular support for the Royal Supremacy – 207

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and indeed Mother England is absent from Respublica, as she is absent also from the B-text of King Johan. Far from enacting the triumph of the English Bible, however, in Respublica the Bible fails spectacularly to elicit from Englishmen and women anything like the sort of response that Bale and Udall had initially imagined. It was papists whom Morison and Bale had held accountable for political unrest in England, papists who according to Bale had been responsible for suppressing the English Bible, and its command that subjects obey the king. In Respublica, Udall is careful instead to characterise Avarice and his companions as counterfeit gospellers, and to identify People with the evangelicals who in 1549 rose up to redress agrarian abuses – not with the papists who that same year had assembled at Exeter to demand a return to traditional religious beliefs and practices. Respublica is, like King Johan, a play peopled with vice characters and their victims, and yet, unlike King Johan, it is a play where both vice and victim profess knowledge of the gospel. In condemning the hypocrisy of Avarice and his companions, Udall echoes the censure that counterfeit gospellers had received in sermons at the Edwardian court, and his play enacts the sort of divine punishment that the likes of Latimer and Lever had forecast for these wolves in sheep’s clothes, these vices cloaked with virtuous names. For Protestants like Latimer and Udall, Mary’s accession was a sign of God’s impatience with the hypocrisy of English Bible-readers, with their failure to exercise the sort of piety and obedience that scripture asked of them, but which they in their lives rejected and with words alone upheld. By Christmas 1553, Mary had already renounced her rights, as daughter of Henry VIII, to be styled ‘supreme head’ of the English church. In his ‘Christmas device’ for that year, Udall is just as dismissive about the prospect of ever establishing in England a nation of Bible-readers, obedient to God and the crown.

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CONCLUSION WILLIAM LIGHTFOOT AND THE LEGACY OF ENGLAND’S EMPIRE APART When in December 1553 Mary I renounced her title ‘supreme head’ of the English church she brought to an end a unique period of English constitutional history, a period begun almost exactly two decades earlier with the passage of the Appeals Act through parliament in April 1533. As the subject of Chapter One revealed, the Appeals Act was not the first text to use the word ‘empire’ as a shorthand for England’s political independence, but it was the first to include the English church within England’s empire apart, to separate England from Rome as well as from Britain and the rest of Europe – or as the wording of the Appeals Act put it, from ‘the anoyaunce aswell of the See of Rome as fromme the auctoritie of other foreyne potentates’.1 Mary’s efforts to reconcile England with Rome succeeded in closing this chapter of English constitutional history. From this perspective, then, the court festivities at Christmas 1553 provide a fitting terminus to this study of early Tudor England’s self-image as empire. Yet for the Royal Supremacy, Mary’s reign turned out to be less a terminus than a caesura, for in 1559 the Elizabethan Supremacy Act restored to the ‘Imperiall Crowne of this Realme’ its full responsibility for the governance of the English church.2 This revival under Elizabeth of England’s former ecclesiastical independence also revived an interest at this time in Tudor England’s literary portrayal as an empire apart, with Elizabethan writers borrowing from the lexicon of their predecessors, to identify England with the English church and English Bible. The Introduction alluded to John Bale’s influence upon the writings of John Foxe, who – like Bale before him – had sought specifically to stress the links between English Protestantism and the ancient British church. That Bale had such an influence on Foxe may of course come as no great

1 2

24 Hen. VIII, c. 12, in Statutes, III, 427–29 (p. 427). 1 Eliz. I, c. 1, in Statutes, IV.i, 350–55 (p. 350).

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surprise. Bale was Foxe’s senior by only twenty years; both had sought patronage from members of England’s Protestant elite under Edward VI, and circumstance had contrived to throw them together on several occasions. Bale’s lifelong influence on Foxe began when they first met in spring 1548, at the London residence of Mary Fitzroy, dowager duchess of Richmond.3 Both were in Frankfurt in summer 1555, when the so-called Prayer Book Controversy split the English exile community and led to Foxe’s departure for Basel, where he was joined by Bale later that autumn. Foxe may have written and published under Elizabeth, but he belonged to a generation that came of age in the latter half of the reign of Henry VIII. Like Bale, then, Foxe had experienced at first hand Protestant persecutions under an ageing Henry VIII, and during the reign of his daughter, Mary. Like Bale, Foxe rooted these traumatic events within a tradition of Christian suffering that stretched back to the apostolic church. Foxe brought comfort and solace to an Elizabethan Protestant readership still coming to terms with the aftermath of persecution. He also lent significance to recent events, mapping these and other acts of persecution, past and present, onto the prophecies contained in John’s Apocalypse, to form what Florence Sandler has called an ‘apocalyptic interpretation of the English Reformation’.4 Pioneered by Bale in the Image of Both Churches (1545), this hermeneutic took the long view on acts of persecution under Henry VIII, approaching these as but chapters in the unfolding narrative of Christian suffering, a narrative that for Protestant writers seemed uncannily to resemble the persecutions foretold in the Book of Revelation. In Actes and Monuments, John Foxe used this point-for-point comparison between the events of church history and the narrative of the Apocalypse implicitly to identify the Protestants executed for heresy under Mary I with the saints ‘killed for the worde of God’ in Revelation 6.9–11.5 Like these saints, Foxe implied, the Marian martyrs were witnesses to the Word; like them, they too would have their deaths avenged on the Day of Judgement. Foxe was writing for a church traumatised by the experience of persecution under Mary, and in the Actes and Monuments he applied Bale’s ‘apocalyptic interpretation’ of the Reformation to his own reading of recent events. The literary afterlives of Bale and of other writers explored in this study extended well beyond the immediate aftermath of the Marian

3 4

5

T. S. Freeman, ‘John Foxe’, in DNB, XX, 695–709 (p. 696). Florence Sandler, ‘The Faerie Queene: An Elizabethan Apocalypse’, in The Apocalypse in English Renaissance Thought and Literature, ed. C. A. Patrides and J. Wittreich (Manchester, 1984), pp. 148–74 (p. 158). Geneva, fol. 116v.

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persecutions, however. In what follows I explore briefly a little-known later sixteenth-century text that adapts the early Tudor rhetoric of nationhood for the purpose of identifying Elizabethan England with its Protestant church. The author of The Complaint of England (1587), William Lightfoot, was not even born when the accession of Elizabeth in 1558 brought an end to the persecutions under Mary. The cultural memory of suffering nevertheless shapes Lightfoot’s characterisation of the Elizabethan church, as does the cultural significance of the English Bible, and the willingness of its readers on the one hand to suffer persecution, on the other to support the crown’s claims to supremacy in church and state. The Complaint celebrates England’s empire apart in the face of papist plots that threatened the integrity of England’s political and ecclesiastical isolation under Elizabeth. Writing to defuse these threats, Lightfoot follows Bale and Foxe by reading the Marian persecutions alongside the narrative of the Book of Revelation. But Bale and his contemporaries influenced Lightfoot in a more fundamental way than this, for their use of prosopopoeia for the purpose of popularising Tudor imperial policy also has its parallel in the Complaint. Here too Mother England appears, and as she had in Morison’s pamphlets and Bale’s King Johan, so Lightfoot’s England also cites from the Bible in support of England’s empire apart. The Complaint of England is a quarto pamphlet of sixty-eight pages, printed in London in 1587 by John Wolfe. The title page unveils a three-fold purpose for the work, which aims first to reprove ‘the practices of Traitrous Papists against the state of this Realme’; then to excuse as necessary for England’s political well-being ‘the late proceeding in iustice’ against these papists; and finally to offer a ‘friendly warning to seditious Papists for their amendment’. It is unclear exactly when in 1587 the pamphlet was printed, but a veiled allusion in the text to the death of Mary, Queen of Scots would seem to point to a date after her execution, on 8 February.6 Mary, Queen of Scots was convicted of treason on the basis of her correspondence with Anthony Babington, whose plot ‘to change religion, to inuade the realme by forren power, to dispossesse the queene of England, and to proclame the Scotish queene, and set hir in hir place’ is recorded in the continuation of Holinshed’s Chronicles.7 The Complaint was written in

6

7

Lightfoot writes that Elizabeth, unlike Saul (1 Samuel 15.9–11), had refused to spare her own Agag, ‘the professed aduersarie of Gods people’, and from the context identifiable as Mary, Queen of Scots (sig. C1r). Raphael Holinshed, The Third Volume of Chronicles, beginning at duke William the Norman, commonlie called the Conqueror; and descending by degrees of yeeres to all the

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the aftermath of the trial and brutal executions of Babington, the priests John Ballard and John Savage, and their eleven co-conspirators, which took place late September 1586. Like The Complaint, the revised Chronicles were printed in 1587, and both works adopt a similar tone towards Babington and his fellow conspirators – at once quick to condemn ‘their diuelish deuises’ (p. 1570) and at the same time to condone the brutality of their deaths, arguing that for ‘treasons of such danger […] it seemeth conuenient that their executions should be with more seueritie, than the common iudgement of traitors’ (p. 1572). Far from being triumphalist in their treatment of the Babington Plot, each text emphasises the severity of the punishments meted out to the Babington plotters, not to gloat over their downfall, but rather to remind readers of the severity of the threat Babington had posed to Elizabeth and her church. Babington was already dead by 1587, but the shockwaves his plot had sent rippling throughout England were still being felt at the time The Complaint and Chronicles were published later that year. Both texts were written in the atmosphere of anxiety and paranoia that the Babington Plot had produced in England; both saw the Babington Plot, not as an isolated incident, but as a manifest sign of ‘these dangerous times’ (Complaint, sig. A3v) – as part of the pernicious threat to Protestant England being posed by ‘seditious papists’ in English seminaries abroad. The subject of The Complaint, then, is ‘treason […] coloured with religion’ (sig. A4r), is the ongoing threat of rebellion and overseas invasion, all undertaken in the name of Roman Catholicism, and with the aim of deposing Elizabeth, the excommunicate queen. No mere retrospective on the events of September 1586, The Complaint also looks ahead to autumn 1588 – to England’s maritime war with the Spanish Armada. In their depositions, the Babington plotters had made no secret of their dealings with the Spanish ambassador to France, Barnardino de Mendoza. We learn from the Chronicles that Mendoza had apparently guaranteed the conspirators the full support of the Spanish king Philip II, promising them ‘such forces & warlike preparations, as the like was neuer seene in these parts of christendome’, and willing them ‘to stirre the people, and worke the meanes to make some faction to giue them landing & interteinment at their comming’ (p. 1577). The threat of Spanish invasion lingered long after Babington’s demise; indeed, if anything English paranoia increased with the passage of time. ‘Inuasion of the Spaniard is the meanes’,

kings and queenes of England in their orderlie successions, rev. John Hooker, alias Vowell, and others (London, 1587), pp. 1571–72.

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Lightfoot writes in The Complaint, ‘aduancing of Papistrie is the end’ (sig. G2v). Lightfoot is here addressing himself, not to the actions of the Babington plotters in particular, but to ‘the practises of Traitrous Papists’ in general – a much less concrete, much more pernicious kind of threat. It is these ‘traitrous papists’ whom Lightfoot turns to address in The Complaint, defending England against enemies real and imagined with an arsenal of exempla discouraging rebellion (drawn largely from the Old Testament and ancient history), combined with invectives against the ambition, brutality, and tyranny of Spain and the See of Rome. Little is known of Lightfoot himself, whose name appears at the end of the dedicatory epistle addressed to the mayor and aldermen of the City of London (sig. A4r). He is probably the William Lightfoot who attended Corpus Christi, Cambridge in the late 1570s, and who gained his BA in 1579. Born at St Albans in July 1560, he was ordained deacon in London on 21 December 1583. A William Lightfoot also matriculated at St John’s, Cambridge in 1569, moving on to the Inns of Court in 1573. The former Lightfoot seems the more likely candidate, however, since the author’s clear familiarity with the Bible, his knowledge of ancient and ecclesiastical history, and his closing prayer ‘for the preseruation of her maiestie and continuance of the gospel’ (sig. I2r) all point towards a ministerial career.8 Other internal evidence marks out Lightfoot as a man of the cloth, and one moreover with a particularly evangelical persuasion. John Wolfe, printer of The Complaint, was a name associated with sermons, Bible translations, and anti-papal invectives. Of the other eight works Wolfe printed in 1587, two are Bible translations – of the Psalms and Book of Jeremiah – and two Protestant polemics, the first aimed at French Catholics, the other at the Holy League. As an anti-papal polemic that makes frequent reference to scripture, Lightfoot’s Complaint sits comfortably with the aims of Wolfe’s other publications that year. Yet Lightfoot does not just make use of the Bible as a source book of exempla on the subject of obedience. Lightfoot writes that the Bible is itself the means by which Protestant England could free itself from the threat posed by ‘English enemies’ (sig. A3r), but he explains that churchgoers must first of all be willing to learn from the Bible, and to practise its teachings. ‘I am assured’, he writes, ‘that England shall haue rest fro[m] all her enimies so long as Gods holy word shalbe sincerely preached & dilige[n]tly followed’ (sig. H3v).

8

Alumni Cantabrigienses: Part I, from the Earliest Times to 1751, ed. J. Venn and J. A. Venn, 4 vols (Cambridge, 1922–27), III (1924), 84–85; Athenae Cantabrigienses, ed. C. H. Cooper and T. Cooper, 3 vols (Cambridge, 1858–1913), II (1861), 85.

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God himself has been busy safeguarding England from its enemies at home and abroad, Lightfoot writes, and it is God whom England has to thank for its ongoing stability and security. Yet Lightfoot warns that God might easily withdraw His favour from England, were the English to turn their ‘stiffnecked and uncircumcised harts’ away from the Bible (sig. H3v), ignoring its commandments and neglecting its teachings. ‘I feare’, Lightfoot continues, ‘least Gods comming vnto vs be in the winter of our faith, and the summer of our pride: and least hee thrust the sickle of his vengeance into the full haruest of our iniquities’ (sig. H4r). The sickle of God’s vengeance here threatens to fall on England in the shape of ‘traitrous papists’ eager to depose the queen. Lightfoot attributes England’s woes directly to England’s neglect of the Bible, and this attitude we have encountered before, in Udall’s Respublica, and in the Lenten sermons of Hugh Latimer and Thomas Lever. For Lightfoot, as for Udall, Latimer, and Lever, rebellion is a sign of corruption in the commonwealth, a canker caused by the sins of the English themselves, by those who claim knowledge of the Bible, but who ‘neither haue thankfully receiued [God’s] truth, nor yeelded obedience vnto [the] same’ (sig. H3v). Lightfoot approaches seminary priests and other ‘seditious papists’ as the sickles of God’s vengeance upon the iniquities of the Elizabethan church; similarly in Respublica, Udall identifies Mary I as Nemesis, the goddess of revenge and agent of God’s wrath visited upon the sins of Edwardian England. Lightfoot condemns the ‘stiffnecked’ English for their neglect of God’s Word, but he has no time either for papists who sought to depose Elizabeth, dismantle her religious settlement, and reunite England with the papal see – papists like the English Jesuit William Allen, whose True, Sincere, and Modest Defence was printed in 1584, three years before the publication of The Complaint. Allen had argued for Elizabeth’s deposition, on grounds that she had broken her coronation promises to defend the Catholic faith and protect the liberties of the church in England.9 For Allen, the coronation oath was the core of a social contract by which the sovereign was bound to uphold certain rights and privileges in return for the loyalty of their subjects. Elizabeth was a heretic and tyrant, Allen argued, who in breaking her coronation oath had released English men and women from their obligations of loyalty to the queen. The English Catholics whom Allen addressed in the Modest Defence are

9

A Trve, Sincere, and Modest Defence of English Catholiqves that Svffer for their Faith both at home and abrode ([Rouen, 1584]). See Peter Holmes, Resistance and Compromise: The Political Thought of the Elizabethan Catholics (Cambridge, 1982), pp. 147–60.

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also those to whom Lightfoot directs the bulk of his Complaint. Yet while Allen and Lightfoot write with the same readership in mind, their reasons for writing could not be more dissimilar. For Allen, England’s queen rules with the consent of her subjects; for Lightfoot, she rules by divine right. Allen’s monarchy is consensual, Lightfoot’s absolute. Allen divides queen from country, absolving England of its allegiance to Elizabeth; Lightfoot divides England from the world, upholding England’s status under Elizabeth as an ‘empire of itself’. Two very different versions of England, and of England’s relation to its queen, emerge out of the Modest Defence and Complaint. Whereas Allen sets England apart from Elizabeth, Lightfoot’s England is reminiscent of the nation imagined by Morison and Bale – a nation autonomous of, but obedient to the crown and its claims to rule absolutely over the English church and state. In his two pamphlets against the Pilgrimage of Grace, Morison reproved those who had rebelled against the Royal Supremacy, against the king’s right to his ‘imperial crown’. Morison’s ‘Mother England’ was a rhetorical flourish, a way of amplifying his condemnation of rebellion to a national level. The Complaint too was written at a time of rebellion, and in order to condemn ‘the practises of Traitrous Papists against the state of this Realme’ (sig. A1r). As had Morison, so Lightfoot likewise makes use of prosopopoeia, speaking for England when he speaks out against those who sought to resist England’s queen. The words ‘England speaketh’ appear at the head of The Complaint proper, on the recto of signature B1. England then continues to speak for the remaining sixty pages, right up until the closing prayer that God give strength to Elizabeth in this her time of adversity, so that from the garden of England ‘she may weed out the aduersaries of [God’s] truth’ (sig. I2v). The bulk of The Complaint, then, is an extended prosopopoeia, a diatribe against sedition spoken by ‘England’, the mother of all who are as quick as Lightfoot to condemn the treasons ‘lately practised for the working of [England’s] ruine’ (sig. B1r). Elizabeth’s loyal subjects are the true sons of England; seminary priests and other ‘seditious papists’ are prodigals, born to England, but ‘English’ only by default of their birthplace and domicile. ‘How can I but blushe to call them sonnes’, England asks of these traitors, ‘who violating the sacred laws of nature, haue sought to prefer an vniust stepdame before their most louing mother’ (sig. B1v)? Prosopopoeia is, as we have seen, an emotive form of rhetoric. Through it, Lightfoot does his best to dissuade England’s ‘disobedient sonnes’ from committing treason, and he does so by appealing, not to reason, but to the emotions of shame and fear (sig. B2r) – ‘by manifesting the dangers annexed to their proceedings’, as Lightfoot explains in his dedicatory epistle to the mayor and aldermen of London (sig. A4r). ‘I haue small hope 215

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by my perswasions to restraine them from trecherous and desperate enterprises’, England admits, but it is possible that the regard of theyr owne safetie, may be verie forcible to stirre up in them some relenting motions, though the head-strong fury of their resolution will not giue them leaue to consider the heynousnesse of theyr purpose, nor to harken to the iustnesse of my complaint. (sig. B1v)

The Complaint is full of anecdotes designed to strike fear into the hearts of would-be traitors. We learn of the unspeakable atrocities committed by the Spanish in the Low Countries, in South America, and in Naples; we marvel at those popes who had ‘presumed to co[n]troll the mightie kings of England’ (sig. G1r), threatening them with excommunication, and extorting from them money, lands, even the very crowns they wore. The Babington Plot had aimed to bring the Spanish into England, and through them to restore England to Rome. Lightfoot writes that the success of such a plot would have brought misery to all Englishmen and women, however, Catholics and Protestants alike. Any papist who would return England to Rome, he asserts, simply ‘laboureth to inthronise [a] bloodsucking Canniball, [a] brocher of quarrelles, [a] patrone of heresies, [a] robber of churches, [a] controller of Princes, [an] enemy of Christ’ (sig. G2v). As for Philip of Spain, Lightfoot asks his readers to ‘consider what he hath done in the kingdome of Naples and in the [West] Indies, and [to] trust him accordingly’ (sigs G2v–3r). According to Lightfoot, then, ‘seditious papists’ sign their own death warrants, no matter what the outcome of their ‘monstrous and mercilesse intentions’ against England (sig. B1v). Should they fail, their weapons will in justice be turned against them, will ‘be sheathed in theyr proper intrailes’ (sig. B1r); should they succeed, then they expose themselves and all England ‘to such tyrannie, as doth […] exercise butcherlie massacres on the bodie’ politic (sig. B2r). Yet far worse than the fear of death is the spiritual cost of sedition, the certainty – in England’s eyes at least – that these ‘seditious papists’ will suffer eternal damnation for their efforts to overthrow Elizabeth I. Lightfoot’s England turns to the Bible in an effort to convince readers of God’s standpoint on the subject of rebellion. ‘What shall I thinke, what may I hope, or what must I not feare’, England asks her would-be traitors, if these examples drawne out of holy scriptures, worke not in you proportionall effect? If the word of God […] wound not your thoughts […] then needes must my wits be wrapped vp in amazement, & my smiling hope be changed into cheerless feare. (sig. D2v)

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If the Bible does not instil fear into England’s ‘disobedient sonnes’, then nothing else will. Speaking on the nation’s behalf, Lightfoot’s England speaks for the same Bible-reading community that Morison and Bale were imagining fifty years before the publication of The Complaint. ‘We know’, Lightfoot’s England remarks of this community, ‘that in mainetaining Gods truth, & obeying our soueraigne we shall do a worke acceptable to him’. On the contrary, England continues, ‘they and you’ – her would-be rebels and readers, that is – ‘will make worke daungerous to your soules [and] damageable to your countrie’ (sig. I2r). The Catholic readers addressed in The Complaint may well see England as their ‘countrie’ of birth, yet ‘they’ are not the ‘we’ for whom England here claims to speak. ‘They’ who have rejected ‘the sweet yoke of dutifull subiection’ must learn from the Bible their obedience to the reigning king or queen. Only then will Lightfoot’s England consent to ‘call them sonnes’ (sig. B1v). Lightfoot’s England resembles Morison’s and Bale’s both in terms of its morphology and meaning – to the extent, that is, that Lightfoot, like his predecessors, makes use of prosopopoeia to give expression to a nation built around the English Bible and its message of obedience to kings. For Lightfoot too, England is a nation set apart from its crown, with Lightfoot’s ‘England’ standing in for the people she represents. Yet while the representational emphasis in The Complaint falls on the country, not the crown of England, Englishness is for Lightfoot, as it is for Morison and Bale, an identity linked inextricably to one’s loyalty to the reigning king or queen. Lightfoot’s England may speak for the people, but her words encourage allegiance to the crown. Yet despite the many similarities she shares with the ‘England’ of Morison’s pamphlets and Bale’s King Johan, Lightfoot’s prosopopoeia differs from both in her identification with the martyrs memorialised in Foxe’s Actes and Monuments. Speaking of that ‘sauage Antichrist’ the pope, Lightfoot’s England invites her readers to ‘fasten your eyes vpon me a while’. There ‘in my forehead’, she continues, ‘ye might […] easilie reade what woulde be your own destinies vnder his gouernment’ (sig. E3v). Written on England’s forehead are the ‘skars and blemishes’ of ‘the wounds with which [the pope] despitefully mangled my body’ – wounds which refer the reader back to the events of recent history, to the fates of the three hundred or so English Protestants condemned for heresy under Mary I. ‘There yet liueth many a one, whose father, mother, brother, sister, kinsman or friend, this sauage Antichrist hath wrongfully murthered’, England remarks. ‘When I look back to the calamity of those times, I feele my poore hart begin to resolue into streams of blood.’ (sig. E3v) England’s aim here is to remind would-be traitors of the violence so recently 217

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committed in England, in the name of he whom some ‘seditious Papists’ strive to reconcile with the English church. This violence would redound on their own heads too, England warns her readers, were they to succeed in their efforts once again to unleash in England this ‘monster and astonishment of nature’. For good measure, though, England warns ‘seditious papists’ of the spiritual, as well as physical cost of siding with the pope, identifying the papacy with that ‘abhominable strumpet’ – the Whore of Babylon – who in Revelation 18.3 is responsible for seducing ‘the kings and inhabitants of the earth’ (sig. E3v). Bearing scars and blemishes upon her bruised and mangled body, England’s role in this, her imagined Apocalypse is clear: If the pope sides with Satan, then England identifies herself with those white-robed saints ‘killed for the worde of God’, in Revelation 6.9. And how can I but reioyce with trembling before my Lord God, who hath take[n] off my purple garment, and clothed me with a white robe, who hath wiped away the teares from mine eies, and crowned me with ioy and gladnes? (sig. E4r)

England’s identity in The Complaint as a reader of the Protestant Bible is, then, not only apparent from her readiness to quote verbatim from the Geneva translation, and from her eagerness to make scripture the basis of her allegiance to the crown. England’s identity as a Bible-reader can, quite literally, be read in the scars and blemishes that disfigure her body, that mark her out as martyr, as a witness to God’s word. Like all texts, The Complaint is a cultural product, and its presentation of England-as-martyr harkens back to the tradition represented by texts like Bale’s Image of Both Churches and Foxe’s Actes and Monuments – texts written in the aftermath of periods of persecution, and which in aim and approach bear the psychological scars and blemishes of a traumatised Protestant church. It is to these scars and blemishes that Lightfoot returns, resurrecting the narrative of England’s persecuted past, and mapping that narrative onto the events foretold in John’s Apocalypse. For Bale and Foxe, the bloodshed of the recent past served to confirm that the prophecies foretold in the Apocalypse were being fulfilled in the here and now, that Antichrist had been unleashed upon the world and was operating in early Tudor England. In The Complaint, Lightfoot adds to this list of Antichrist’s activities in the world the plots of Anthony Babington and of other papists intent on deposing Elizabeth and returning England to Rome. Printed in the aftermath of the Babington Plot, and in anticipation of the Spanish Armada, The Complaint writes Elizabethan England into the narrative of the Apocalypse, interpreting recent acts of sedition as prophecies fulfilled, as verses 218

Conclusion

written into the Book of Revelation. England herself is imagined as a Bible-reader willing to die for her belief in God’s Word. Dressed in the white robes of martyrdom, England’s condemnation of would-be traitors mingles with the reproaches of the saints in Revelation, who call on God to ‘iudge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth’.10 ‘Seditious papists’ should take note, Lightfoot implies, for their actions are as offensive to God as to England, and so jeopardise both body and soul. Lightfoot belongs to a generation of writers born in the 1550s and 1560s, and including among them such luminaries as Spenser, Shakespeare, and Michael Drayton. Around this generation of writers (Richard Helgerson dubs them the ‘younger Elizabethans’) hung ‘an intense national selfconsciousness’, Helgerson tells us, the product of their struggle with the political status quo, their frustration with ‘Tudor absolutism’, and hence their desire to push ‘claims that subverted the absolute claim of the crown’. For Helgerson, English Renaissance literature, broadly conceived, was at the epicentre of this struggle between the competing claims of crown and country, the very stage upon which this tense political drama was being played out. In texts such as Spenser’s Faerie Queene, or Shakespeare’s Histories, Helgerson writes, we ‘find traces of the difficult and, in England at least, never quite complete passage from dynasty to nation’.11 But if in such works we can detect signs of a ‘national selfconsciousness’, an awareness of England as something other than its king or queen, then it is a self-consciousness that Helgerson confines to the literature of this ‘generational project’, which he locates in texts printed from the late 1580s onwards (p. 1). The England that Helgerson claims was imagined by Spenser and Shakespeare was apparently born in a vacuum, the product of a collective critique by these ‘younger Elizabethans’ of the absolutist monarchy that Henry VIII had first created back in the early 1530s. England’s political sovereignty, its isolation from Rome and the rest of Europe, put a greater burden on its cultural image, Helgerson writes, as England’s claims to be called an empire were held up to the close critical scrutiny of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. As Helgerson puts it, ‘England was now calling itself an empire. Where were the signs of imperial stature?’ (p. 4). Writers like Spenser and Shakespeare were part of a generation intent on (re)writing England, Helgerson argues, on responding critically to England’s self-image as an ‘empire’ by focusing attention in part on 10 11

Rev. 6.10, in Geneva, fol. 116v. Richard Helgerson, Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England (Chicago, 1992), p. 10.

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the crown, in part on institutions that rivalled ‘the monarch as the fundamental source of national identity’ (p. 10) – institutions like the English nobility, church, land, or legal system. It is not that I would want to disagree with Helgerson’s claim to find evidence of a national self-consciousness in texts that bring into a creative tension the crown’s relationship to the English church (e.g. Hooker’s Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity), to English common law (e.g. Coke’s Institutes of the Laws of England), and even to the land of England itself (e.g. Drayton’s Poly-Olbion). My contention is with Helgerson’s dating of nationhood, his assumption that the English nation he explores had no precedent in earlier Tudor literature. This study has maintained that the later Elizabethans were not the first in the Tudor period to have identified England with institutions other than the crown. In so far as they question whether Elizabeth alone should stand in and speak for England, Helgerson writes that the ‘younger Elizabethans’ were in effect guilty of ‘lèse-majesté’, the crime of insulting or undermining the crown’s authority (p. 10). Writing some fifty years before this generation of writers, Morison and Bale both wrote explicitly in support of Henry VIII and his supremacy in church and state. Both, however, saw fit to imagine England as something more than its king, to focus attention on the English Bible-reading community, and through prosopopoeia to allow this community to stand in and speak for a commonwealth which they clearly felt to be inadequately represented by Henry’s ‘Imperiall Crowne’ alone. If, as Helgerson argues, Hooker’s Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity focuses on the church as ‘the fundamental source of national identity’, then so too, I would suggest, do texts like Morison’s pamphlets and Bale’s King Johan. Standing alongside the king on the stage of King Johan, the character England stands in and speaks for the nation she embodies, effectively silencing King John’s claims to represent his own realm. Yet before we accuse Bale, alongside Shakespeare and his contemporaries, of the crime of lèse-majesté, it is worth pointing out what I see as the fundamental difference between the national communities imagined by Bale on the one hand and the ‘younger Elizabethans’ (as Helgerson defines them) on the other. Bale’s England may rival the monarch on a purely representational level, but although she speaks for a community beyond that represented by the crown, she does so only to affirm that community’s political loyalty to the king. In Bale’s play, then, King John loses his right to speak for England, but in so doing he gains the loyalty of the community for whom the character ‘England’ herself claims to speak. Lightfoot’s Complaint is an example of a later Elizabethan text that follows Bale and Morison, writing England in such a way as to compete 220

Conclusion

with the crown on a representational, but by no means political level. In Shakespeare’s King John (c. 1590) we see a different process at work, with ‘England’ here a concept that rivals John’s claims, not only to represent the realm, but also to rule that realm absolutely.12 Shakespeare’s King John is an altogether more unsettling interpretation of the chronicles than that staged in Bale’s version of this play, one that resists Bale’s easy equation between Englishness and allegiance to the reigning monarch. It is papists, both in- and outside of England’s borders, who in Bale’s play threaten the stability of John’s realm, and who eventually persuade England’s entire political community – Nobility, Clergy, Civil Order, and Commonalty – to collectively abandon their king. That said, it is important to realise that in the allegory of Bale’s play the character ‘England’ always remains loyal to King John, always supportive of John’s claims to rule absolutely over the English church and state. ‘England’, for Bale, is a political constant – even if no member of King John’s political community is in the play willing to join with the character ‘England’ in her support for the king. Not so in Shakespeare’s King John, where ‘England’ slips its semantic moorings, at times to be identified with King John, at times with Arthur as rival claimant to the throne, and at times with England’s political estates, the church, nobility, and commons. Bale’s England always represents allegiance to the reigning monarch; Shakespeare’s stage is on the other hand a representational minefield, where characters and communities vie with each other, not only for control over the realm of England, but over the very word ‘England’ itself – over the ability, that is, to speak on England’s behalf. When at the end of Shakespeare’s King John the Bastard Falconbridge voices the hope that ‘this England’ from henceforth remain ‘to itself […] but true’ (5.7.112; 118), the audience might justifiably want to ask, to which England is Falconbridge here referring? Is it the ‘mouth of England’ with which King John claims to speak (3.1.152), or the ‘crown of England’ whose rightful claimant the citizens of Angiers hold in dispute (2.1.273)? Is it the ‘England’ which Hubert takes up in his arms when he bears away the body of John’s rival, Arthur, or the ‘England’ that three lines later has come to represent a country at war with itself, the ‘England [that] now is left | To tug and scramble and to part by th’teeth | The unowed interest of proud-swelling state’ (4.3.142, 145)? Shakespeare’s England is a tug-o-war, with England’s political estates all jostling for representation alongside the two rival claimants to the throne.

12

King John, ed. L. A. Beaurline (Cambridge, 1990). For the date of composition, see pp. 194–210.

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John’s political isolation is in Shakespeare’s play accompanied by the loss of his representational control over the meaning of England. Although Bale’s King John also finds himself abandoned by the allegorical representatives of church, nobility, and commons, England in Bale’s play (to adapt the desideratum of Shakespeare’s Bastard) always remains ‘to its king but true’. Like Shakespeare’s, Bale’s England is a community that rivals the king’s claims to represent his realm. Yet whereas Shakespeare’s England is a semantically unstable, potentially radical political concept (shades of Helgerson’s lèse-majesté), Bale’s ‘Mother England’ never makes claims that subvert ‘the absolute claim of the crown’, never speaks for anything other than the right of the reigning monarch to rule absolutely over the English church and state. In their use of prosopopoeia to identify England with its Protestant church, Morison, Bale, and Udall all share with Lightfoot, Shakespeare, and other writers of Shakespeare’s generation a common concern to represent England in ways other than through the person of its reigning king or queen. These similarities are no mere coincidence, but evidence, I would suggest, of a cultural legacy that links the writing of the ‘younger Elizabethans’ to the texts that have formed the focus of this study. Claire McEachern is one of several recent scholars concerned to attribute to England’s political isolation after 1533 the growth among Shakespeare’s generation of that ‘national self-consciousness’ we have been exploring here. ‘In 1533, Henry VIII founded an English nation’, McEachern writes, ‘sixty-odd years later, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and Michael Drayton write one’.13 That this lag of ‘sixty-odd years’ separated England’s constitutional from its literary self-image as ‘nation’ is an assumption that McEachern also shares with Helgerson. Why it took six decades for the cultural fallout from the Appeals Act to affect the way England was imagined in literature is something that neither McEachern nor Helgerson are able adequately to explain. This study has argued that the cultural impact of the Royal Supremacy was in fact more or less immediate, and that from the later 1530s onwards writers responded quite self-consciously to the Break with Rome, using the rhetoric of nationhood to sell England’s self-image as an empire apart.

13

Claire McEachern, The Poetics of English Nationhood, 1590–1612, Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture, 13 (Cambridge, 1996), p. 1.

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Bibliography Watson, Andrew, ed., Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts, c. 435–1600, in Oxford Libraries, 2 vols (Oxford, 1984) White, Paul Whitfield, ‘Drama “in the Church”: Church-Playing in Tudor England’, Medieval & Renaissance Drama in England, 6 (1993), 15–35 ———, ‘Patronage, Protestantism, and Stage Propaganda in Early Elizabethan England’, Yearbook of English Studies, 21 (1991), 39–52 ———, Theatre and Reformation: Protestantism, Patronage, and Playing in Tudor England (Cambridge, 1993) Wilkinson, Bertie, The Coronation in History, The Historical Association, gen. ser., 23 (London, 1953) Williams, Glanmor, ‘Some Protestant Views of Early Church History’, in Welsh Reformation Essays (Cardiff, 1967), 207–19 Withington, Robert, English Pageantry: An Historical Outline, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA, 1918–26; repr. New York, 1963) Womack, Peter, ‘Imagining Communities: Theatres and the English Nation in the Sixteenth Century’, in Culture and History 1350–1600: Essays on English Communities, Identities and Writing, ed. David Aers (Hemel Hempstead, 1992), pp. 91–145 Wood, Charles T., ‘Guenevere at Glastonbury: A Problem in Translation(s)’, in Glastonbury Abbey and the Arthurian Tradition, ed. James P. Carley (Woodbridge, 2001) Yates, Frances A., Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century (London, 1975) Zeeveld, Gordon W., Foundations of Tudor Policy (Cambridge, MA, 1948)

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INDEX (Page numbers in bold type refer to illustrations) Act declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject (1 Gul. and Mary, Sess. 2, c. 2), 3 Act for Laws and Justice to be ministered in Wales in like form as it is in this Realm (27 Hen. VIII, c. 26), 8, 13 Act for the Advancement of true Religion (34 and 35 Hen. VIII, c. 1), 166–8, 170–1, 174 Act for the further Limitation of the Crown (12 and 13 Gul. III, c. 2), 3, 25 Act for the Repeal of certain Statutes (1 Edw. VI, c. 12), 170 Act of Settlement see Act for the further Limitation of the Crown Act of Six Articles (31 Hen. VIII, c. 14), 170, 195 Act restoring to the Crown the ancient Jurisdiction over the State Ecclesiastical and Spiritual (1 Eliz. 1, c. 1), 209 Acts of Welsh Union see Act for Laws and Justice to be ministered in Wales in like form as it is in this Realm Adams, Barry, 140 n.13, 142 aldermen see under City of London Alexander the Great, 52 Alfonso X (the Wise), king of Castile and Leon, 39 Alforde, John, 139–40, 142, 157, 160 Alighieri, Dante, 53–4, 56, 58 Allen, William, 214–15 American Revolution, 4, 7, 114 anabaptists, 141 Anderson, Benedict, 3, 4, 26, 34, 113, 114, 132–3, 134, 136 Anglo, Sydney, 19, 70, 73–4, 75, 99–100, 138 Anjou, 143 Anne, Saint, 70, 86 Antiochus IV, king of the Hellenistic Syrian kingdom, 25

Antwerp, 123, 127, 158 Aphrodite see Venus Apollo, 69, 82–4, 87, 99–100 Appeals Act see Act in Restraint of Appeals under Royal Supremacy statutes Aragon, 41 Arthur, king of Britain, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 30, 38, 51–2, 91–3, 132 King Arthur’s Roundtable see Winchester Castle Arthur, prince of Wales, 87 Aske, Sir Robert, 118 Astraea, 20, 53–8, 65–6, 77–84, 87, 94 Athena see Pallas Athena Augustine, first archbishop of Canterbury, 14, 21 Austria, 93 Babington, Anthony Babington Plot, 211–12, 216, 218 Babylonian Captivity, 163 Badonicus, Gildas see under Gildas Baker, David, J., 9 n.20 Bale, John, 9–10, 17–18, 21–2, 23–30, 31, 33, 34, 138–9, 140, 156, 158, 160, 209–10, 211, 215, 220 Illustrium Maioris Britanniae scriptorum … summarium, 14 Image of Both Churches, 27, 210, 218 King Johan, 115, 135, 137–8, 140–50, 153–8, 159–69, 172, 180, 182–3, 184, 207–8, 220–2 manuscript of, 140–3, 144–5, 160–2, 169 Laboryouse Journey, 10–15, 17, 21–2, 23–30, 33 Ballard, John, 212 Barbarossa, Frederick, Holy Roman emperor, 41 n.6 Basel, 210 Baskervill, C. R., 48 n.30

239

Index Becket, Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, 39, 139–40 Bede, the Venerable, 21 Berthelet, Thomas, 118 Bible I Esdras, 163 I Kings, 163 Apocalypse see Revelation Deuteronomy, 174 Genesis, 53 in English, 131–2, 195 Coverdale Bible, 29, 31, 127–9, 133, 148, 158, 159, 165 Geneva Bible, 218 Great Bible, 29, 32, 158–60, 168, 169, 203 Matthew Bible, 29, 158, 159, 165–6, 168–9 in Latin Erasmus’s Novum Testamentum, 158 of Sanctes Paginus, 127 of Sebastian Munster, 158 Vulgate, 127 in vernaculars other than English, 127, 165 interpretation of, 121–4, 125–6, 131–2, 134–5, 149–51, 153–5, 162–9, 170, 172–3, 174–5, 183 Jeremiah, 213 Jonah, 206 Judges, 163–4, 165–6, 169 Leviticus, 88, 110 Luke, 177 Matthew, 55, 123, 135, 137 Psalms, 149–50, 182, 213 reading thereof discouraged or prohibited, 29, 122, 124–5, 126, 166–8, 170 reading thereof encouraged, 157–60, 164, 170–5, 203, 207 relation to civil obedience, 152–4, 156–7, 161–3, 167, 169, 173, 202, 213–14, 216–17 relation to nationhood, 31–2, 134–5, 137, 156, 160, 162, 168, 169, 208, 213, 217–19, 220 relation to social reform, 171–2, 178, 180, 202–4, 207 Revelation, 210, 211, 218–19 Romans, 123–4, 137, 161 Bill of Rights see Act declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject Bishop of Rome see Roman church Blackfriars see under City of London

Bodrugan, Nicholas, 8, 10 Boleyn, Anne, queen of England, second consort of Henry VIII, 13, 27, 117 compared to Astraea, 20, 67, 80–2, 84, 93 compared to Saint Anne and Virgin Mary, 20, 80, 86–7, 93 coronation, 19, 67, 70, 86, 96 created marchioness of Pembroke, 70 entry into London (1533), 19–20, 66, 67–77, 94 attitude of public towards, 95, 97–8, 99 boat journey from Greenwich, 68, 96–7 entry pageants of Of Apollo with the Muses, xii, 69–70, 73, 80–4, 86, 94, 95, 98–101 Of St Anne, 70, 73, 74, 75, 86–7, 99 Of the Judgment of Paris, 71–2, 73, 84–5, 99 Of the three Graces, 70, 73, 84 Of the three Virgins, 71–2, 73, 74, 75 Of the four Virtues, 72, 73, 74 marriage, 62, 67, 81, 101 attitude of public towards, 95, 97–8 pregnant with Elizabeth, 62, 81–2 Book of Common Prayer (1549), 194–5 Bosworth Field, battle of, 16–17 Brandon, Charles, first duke of Suffolk, 63–4 Break with Rome, 1, 10, 14, 20, 21, 62–4, 87, 90, 105, 138, 145–6, 222 see also Royal Supremacy Brennus, 17–18 Brown, Thomas, 139–40, 142, 145–6, 157, 160 Brussels, 122 The Brut, or the Chronicles of England, 143–6 Bury St Edmunds, 190 Cadwaladr, king in Wales, 15, 16 Calhoun, Craig, 4 Castile, 41 Catherine of Aragon, queen of England, first consort of Henry VIII, 13, 27, 38–9, 67, 96–7, 110, 117 marriage to Prince Arthur, 87 Cato the Censor, 52 Cave, Sir Ambrose, 190 Cesaropapism, 126 see also Royal Supremacy Chamberlain, Arthur, 98–100 chantries see religious houses chapel royal, 176–7 Chapuys, Eustace, 62–3, 69–70, 91–101, 105, 116–17, 122 Charites see the three Graces

240

Index Charlemagne, Holy Roman emperor, 38, 40–1, 56, 57, 58, 65, 94 Charles V, Holy Roman emperor, 1, 44, 45, 46–8, 50–1, 52, 54, 55–8, 65–6, 92, 94–101, 105, 122, 190–1, 199 Anglo-imperial alliance of 1522, 39–40, 42–6, 47–8, 55, 56–8, 66 as duke of Burgundy, 46 as king of Aragon, 46 compared to King Arthur, 52, 93 compared to Constantine the Great, 41, 93–4 compared to Hercules, 47, 50–1, 58 election to office of emperor (1519), 41, 43, 46, 64, 93, 98 entry into London (1522) see under entry of Charles V and Henry VIII (1522) intervenes on behalf of Catherine of Aragon, 63, 97, 99, 101, 117 marriage alliance with Princess Mary, 39, 43 visit to England in 1522, 19, 48, 69 Cheapside see under City of London Christ, Jesus, 86, 131–2, 135 as subject of Virgil’s fourth eclogue, 77–9 Christianity, 151 church in England, 58–66, 89–91, 105–7, 180, 201, 209, 220 and clerical reform, 110, 128, 144, 171, 199–201 and English Bible, 157–9, 160, 171–2, 173–5 origins in ancient British church, 25–8, 209 under Elizabeth I, 209, 211 Cicero, 163 Cistercian order at Canterbury, 143–4 City of London, 69, 158 aldermen of, 68–70, 72, 73, 74–5, 98, 213 Blackfriars, 39 legatine hearing at (1529), 87–8, 91 Cheapside, 38–9, 68, 70–1, 74, 75, 206 Cornhill, 38, 70, 74 Fenchurch, 69 Fleet Street, 72 Gracechurch Street, 38, 51, 69, 70, 74, 80–1, 83, 100 see also Of Apollo with the Muses under Boleyn, Anne, queen of England, entry pageants of guilds, 68 Leadenhall, 38, 68, 70, 75 London Bridge, 37 St Martin’s Church, Ludgate, 72

St Paul’s Cathedral, Cross, and churchyard, 39, 71–2, 75, 128, 193, 202 Temple Bar, 72 Tower of London, 68, 96–7, 106 Clement VII, pope, 62, 64 Cleophas, Mary, 86 Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome, 75 Cohen, Walter, 6 coinage, 59, 184–7, 188 Coke, Sir Edward, 220 Collectanea satis copiosa, 91, 123 Collier, John Payne, 140 n.13, 141 n.14 Cologne, 127, 129 colonialism, 40, 41–2, 46–8, 50, 52, 53–4, 57–8, 63–6, 92–4, 101 see also in relation to rest of Britain under England common law, 138 Conference of Calais (1521), 43 Constantine I (the Great), Roman emperor, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19–20, 21, 30, 76–7, 91–4 , 101, 132 as author, 78–80, 87 as Christian emperor, 79–80, 90–1, 116 mother of, 116 Constantius I, Roman emperor, 20 Cornhill see under City of London Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 213 Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 76–77 council of Nicæa, 89–91, 94 council of Tyre, 90–1 court of augmentations, 105 Coverdale, Miles, 126–31, 134–5, 158 see also Coverdale Bible under Bible, in English Cranmer, Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, 29, 30, 62, 67, 122, 139–40, 175 and prologue to Great Bible, 159–60, 164–5, 170–1, 172 as author of Certayne Sermons, or Homelies, 172–3, 203, 207 as translator of Gravissimae … Academiarum censurae, 88 Canterbury residence at Ford used as venue for Bale’s King Johan, 139–41, 142, 147, 157, 158 sermon against 1549 enclosure riots, 193–4, 195–6, 198, 201–2, 203, 207 Cromwell, Thomas, earl of Essex, 32, 73, 106, 110, 118, 119, 120, 122, 127, 129, 138–9, 140 and Great Bible, 158–9

241

Index Cromwell, Thomas (cont.) Iniunctions for the clerge, 157–60, 161 crusade, 39–40, 42, 44–8, 50, 52, 53, 57–8, 65 Curran, John, 15 cywyddau [bardic poems], 15 Dante see Alighieri, Dante Darcy, Sir Thomas, 192 David, king of Israel, 52, 162–3, 164 Dee, River, 17, 22 Descrypcion of the pageantes, 37–9, 48–9, 51, 54–5, 57–8 dialogue, 111 Diana, 83 Diller, Hans-Jürgen, 179 Diocletian, Roman emperor, 25, 27–8, 30 Diocletian persecutions see under persecutions Doleman, Robert see Parsons, Robert dominus mundi see colonialism Dover Castle, 19 Drayton, Michael, 6, 115, 219, 220, 222 Dudley, John, duke of Northumberland, 184, 190, 207 see also Edwardian protectorate as vice character in Respublica, 184, 186–7, 203 charged with treason, 205 Dunstable Priory, 96 Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury, 39 Dussin’s Dale see riots, at Mousehold Heath under enclosure Easterlings, 69–70, 98–101 edict of Milan, 77 Edmund, king of the East Angles, 39 Edward II, king of England and lord of Ireland, 60 Edward III, king of England and lord of Ireland, 17–18 Edward IV, king of England and lord of Ireland, 109 Edward VI, king of England and Ireland, 27, 210 accession, 175, 207 as dedicatee, 173–4 council of, 179, 187, 189, 195, 204 death of, 179 regarded as sign of God’s dissatisfaction with English church, 204, 206 identified with Josiah, 175, 178, 184 injunctions of, 171, 173 parliaments under, 170

policy towards Bible-reading, 29, 32, 170–2, 175, 202, 207 policy towards France, 184 policy towards Scotland, 10, 184 sermons at court of, 32–3, 180, 187–9, 191, 204–5, 206, 208 Edwardian protectorate, 171, 194–5 collapse of, 189 religious reforms, 199–201, 203, 204–5 criticism of, 194–5, 197, 199, 200–1, 208 social policies, 184, see also enclosure coinage reform, 184–7, 188, 189, 198–9, 200, 203 criticism of, 178–80, 186–9, 197–8 Edward the Confessor, king of England, 39 Edwards, Philip, 6 Eglon, king of Moab, 162–4, 165 Elizabeth I, queen of England and Ireland, 25, 141, 204, 210, 220 accession of, 211 resistance to, 211–13, 214–15, 216, 218–19 regarded as sign of God’s dissatisfaction with English church, 214 Elton, Sir Geoffrey, 112, 138 Elyot, Sir Thomas, 109, 114, 121–2, 124, 126, 136 Boke named the Gouernour, 120–3, 129–31, 133 enclosure abuses of, 187–9, 191–4, 195, 197–200, 202, 207–8 commission for, 187–90, 192–3 riots (1549), 112, 189–99, 201–4, 207–8 at Mousehold Heath, 190, 199–201 distinguishable from Prayer Book Rebellion, 195–7, 201–2 extent of, 190–1, 195 England ancient British heritage, 11, 14–15, 22–3 and British Empire, 8, 10, 22 Anglo-Saxon heritage, 14, 22–3 as commonwealth, 108–14, 119–22, 206, 220 as empire apart, see as sovereign realm; in relation to rest of Britain; relations with Holy Roman Empire; relations with Roman Church all under England as Golden Age, 67, 80–2, 84, 87, 94, 101 as Israel, 175, 178, 184, 207 as prosopopoeia, 33, 115, 132–3, 136–7, 207–8, 217, 220, 222 in Complaint of England, 211, 215–19

242

Index in King Johan, 32, 115, 137, 144, 153–8, 160–1, 180, 183, 217, 220–2 in Laboryouse Journey, 24, 31 in Lamentation, 31, 107–8, 115–16, 131, 132–3, 215, 217 in Remedy for Sedition, 131, 134–5, 155, 215, 217 as martyr, 217–19 as nation, 11, 22, 24–5, 26–9, 31–2, 33–4, 108, 133, 135, 143, 155–6, 160, 211, 215, 217, 220 as sovereign realm, 1, 10, 18, 63–6, 67, 94, 116, 209, 211, 219, 220, 222 impact on English Renaissance literature, 9 in relation to rest of Britain, 7–10, 13, 15, 16, 30, 209 in Shakespeare’s King John, 221–2 relations with Holy Roman empire, 1, 18–19, 39–40, 55, 56–8, 62–6, 94, 219 relations with Roman church, 9, 13, 18, 19, 24–5, 62–3, 65, 67, 89–92, 94, 143–6, 209, 211–16, 219 reputation abroad as barbarous nation, 22, 30 English church see under church in England Enlightenment, 4, 5, 113 ‘Entry of Charles I. into London’, 48–9, 51 entry of Charles V and Henry VIII (1522), 19, 33, 37–40, 48, 57, 58, 66, 67–8, 69, 94 pageants at Cornhill Conduit, 38, 51–2, 58, 93 Cornhill Stocks, 38, 40, 54–7, 65, 94 Gracechurch Street Conduit, 38, 40, 56, 57–8, 65–6 Great Conduit, Cheapside, 38, 49 Leadenhall, 38 Little Conduit, Cheapside, 39 London Bridge, 37–8, 49, 50–1 Standard, Cheapside, 38–9, 49 Erasmus, Desiderius, 32–3, 43–4, 45, 52–3, 123, 158, 165 Apophthegms, 177 Novum Testamentum, 158 Paraphrase, 173 Erkenwald, bishop of the East Saxons, 39 see also St Erkenwald Eurynome, 70 Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, 20, 87 Ecclesiastical History, 25 Life of Constantine, 76–9, 81, 93–4 evangelical movement, 121–3, 131, 148–9, 150, 153, 163, 166–7, 201 excommunication, 216

of King John, 144, 147, 182 of Henry VIII, 147, 148 of Elizabeth I, 212 Exeter, siege of (1549), 194–5, 196, 199, 208 Fenchurch see under City of London Ferdinand V, king of Aragon and Castile, 41 Field of Cloth of Gold, 43 Fitz Alan, Henry, 12th earl of Arundel, 190 Fitzroy, Mary, duchess of Richmond, 210 Fleet Street see under City of London Foucault, Michel, 4, 151 Foxe, Edward De Vera differentia, 89–91, 93, 94, 116 Foxe, John, 209–10, 211 Actes and Monuments, 25–6, 158, 210, 217, 218 Francis I, king of France, 19, 39, 43, 44, 45–6, 47–8, 56, 66 Frankfurt-am-Main, 210 French Revolution, 4, 7, 114 Fulke, William, 128–9, 148 Gates, Sir John, 192 Gattinara, Mercurino de, 41–2, 43, 50, 53, 65, 93 Gellner, Ernest, 4 Genoa, duchy of, 39, 42–3, 46 Geoffrey of Monmouth, 17, 30 Historia Regum Britanniae, 15–17, 21 George, duke of Clarence, 109 George, Saint, 39 Gerald of Wales, 23 Germany, 93 Gildas, 11, 28, 30, 33 De excidio Britanniae, 26–7, 30 Giustinian, Sebastian, 44–5 golden age, 53–8, 65, 77–8, 81–2, 87, 94, 101 Gracechurch Street see under City of London Graces see the three Graces Gracious Street see Gracechurch Street Grafton, Richard, 159, 171 Gravissimae … Academiarum censurae, 88–90 Greenwich, 68, 96 Greg, Walter, 176–8 Grey, Henry, 190 Grey, Lady Jane, proclaimed queen of England, 205–6 Grierson, Philip, 58–9 Guevara, Antonio de, bishop of Guadix, 42, 46, 50, 53, 54, 56, 65, 94 Guildford, 190 Guy, John, 89

243

Index Habermas, Jürgen, 4 and public sphere, 6 Habsburg eagle, see imperial eagle of under Habsburg, house of Habsburg empire see Holy Roman empire Habsburg, house of, 42–3, 59, 66 imperial eagle of, 98–101 Hadfield, Andrew, 1 n.1, 4, 6, 9 n.20, 15, 150–1 Hales, John, 189, 192 Hall, Edward account of 1522 entry, 37–8, 48–9, 50–1, 54, 56, 57 account of 1533 entry, 68–72, 82, 85, 86, 96–7, 98, 99 Hamburg, 126–7 Hannibal, general of Carthaginian army, 52 Happé, Peter, 140 n.13, 142 Hardyng, John, 16 Harris, Tim, 112 Harrison, James, 14, 15, 22 Hastings, Francis, 190 Helgerson, Richard, 6, 219–20, 222 ‘Henricus octauus’, 87–8 Henry IV, king of England and lord of Ireland, 61 Henry VII, Holy Roman emperor, 53, 54 Henry VII, king of England and lord of Ireland accession, 59 coronation, 61 relations with Holy Roman empire, 59 self-image as mab darogan [son of prophecy], 16–17 Henry VIII, king of England and Ireland, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 48, 51, 55–7, 58–66, 67, 68, 73, 81, 87, 94, 106, 111, 112, 117, 138, 173–5, 179, 183, 184–5, 191, 210 Anglo-imperial alliance of 1522 see under Charles V, Holy Roman emperor as author, 118, 167–8 as dedicatee, 127–8, 134 as supreme head of English church, 5, 34, 58–60, 62–6, 67, 87, 90–2, 94, 105–9, 116, 123, 128, 130, 145–6, 219, 220 attitude towards Bible-reading, 29, 32, 122, 124, 125–6, 128–9, 130–1, 148 coronation oaths of, 60–1 death of, 170 entry into London (1522) see entry of Charles V and Henry VIII (1522) ‘great matter’, 61–3, 87–9, 95, 97–8, 110, 117

great seals of, 58–9 identified with Constantine the Great, 17, 76–7, 87, 91–4, 101, 116 identified with King Arthur, 17, 91–3 identified with King David, 174 identified with Moses, 174 policy towards Scotland, 10, 185 policy towards Wales, 10 privy council, 68–9, 72, 118 regarded as tyrant, 5, 34, 110, 113–14 resistance to, 106–7 royal court under, 110 Hercules, 37, 47, 50–1, 52, 58 Herod I (the Great), king of Judaea, 25 Hesiod, 70 Hijum, Lisa van, 42 Hoak, Dale, 65 Hobsbawm, Eric, 3, 112–13 Holbein, Hans, xii, 99–100 Holinshed, Raphael, 211–12 Holy League, 213 Holy Roman empire, 1, 40–2, 50, 52–3 The Homeric Hymns, 82–3 Hooker, Richard, 220 Horncastle (Lincolnshire), 106 Howard, Thomas, 3rd duke of Norfolk, 69, 72–3, 91–4, 96–7, 98, 118, 122 Hungary, 93 ‘Ile off englonde’ see Cornhill Stocks under entry of Charles V and Henry VIII (1522), pageants at imperial eagle, see under Habsburg, house of imperium, 63–4 Innocent III, pope, 53, 143–4 as character in King Johan, 147, 182 Inns of Court, 213 interdiction, 143–4 investiture struggle, 53 Ipswich, 190 Italy, 93 Ives, Eric, 73, 98–9, 100 James V, king of Scotland, 97 James VI and I, king of Scotland, England, and Ireland, 2, 8 Jason, 37–8, 51 Jerome, Saint, 21 John, king of England and lord of Ireland, 139–40, 143–6 as character in Bale’s King Johan, 137, 142, 144–50, 153–8, 159–61, 162, 163, 182–3, 220–2

244

Index as character in Shakespeare’s King John, 221–2 John of Gaunt, duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster, 38 John the Baptist, 39 John the Fearless, 2nd duke of Burgundy, 46–7 Joseph of Arimathea, 27 Julius II, pope, 87 Juno, 71, 84–5 Jupiter, 70, 77–8, 83, 85, 100 Justinian II, Byzantine emperor, 91 Kedourie, Elie, 4 Kelton, Arthur, 17, 132 King, John N., 19, 73, 75 ‘King’s Book’, see as author under Henry VIII, king of England and Ireland Kipling, Gordon, 70, 73–6, 99 Koebner, Richard, 64, 92 Lactantius, Firmianus, 20, 76–80, 87 Langton, Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, 143–4, 146 as character in King Johan, 146–7, 154 Lanham, Richard, 111 Latimer, Hugh, bishop of Worcester, 33, 180, 192–3, 206, 207–8, 214 fyrste Sermon (1549), 187–9, 191, 200–1, 203–4 A Moste faithfull Sermon (1550), 197 Latona, 83 Leadenhall see under City of London Lebanon, 93 Legbourne (Lincolnshire), 106 Legg, Leopold G. Wickham, 60 Leland, John, 17, 72–4, 76–7, 99 Antiphilarchia, 12–13 commission from Henry VIII, 11–12 De uiris illustribus, 14, 21–2, 28 ‘diuers and sundry verses’ for 1533 entry (BL Royal 18 A LXIV), 74, 86 Itinerary, 11 The Laboryouse Journey, 10–15, 17, 21–2, 23–30 Leo III, pope, 40, 57 Leo X, pope, 44, 45 Leto see Latona Lever, Thomas, 33, 180, 204–5, 206, 207–8, 214 Lightfoot, William, 211, 213 Complaint of England, 1–2, 211–19, 220, 222

Lily, William, 48–50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 65 Lincoln, 117 Lincolnshire uprising, 105–8, 116–17, 148 see also Pilgrimage of Grace Llwyd, Humphrey, 18 London see City of London London Bridge see under City of London Longland, John, bishop of Lincoln, 106 Lord Cromwell’s Players, 139 Lord Privy Seal’s Men, see Lord Cromwell’s Players Louis (Ludwig) IV, Holy Roman emperor, 18 Louis XII, king of France, 42–3 Louth (Lincolnshire), 106, 117 Low Countries, 93, 216 Lucian, 71, 85 Lucina see Diana Lupset, Thomas, 109–11 see also Dialogue between Pole and Lupset under Starkey, Thomas Luther, Martin, 150 Lytlington, Nicholas, abbot of Westminster, 61 mab darogan [son of prophecy], 16 MacCulloch, Diarmaid, 180 Maley, Willy, 8, 9 n.20 Marliano, Luigi, 46–7, 50 martyrdom, 25–8, 151–3, 210, 217–19 see also persecutions Mary, Virgin see under Virgin Mary Mary I, queen of England and Ireland, 25–6, 33, 182 accession of, regarded as act of providence, 178–9, 204–8 as Nemesis in Respublica, 33, 178–9, 204, 207, 214 as princess, 38–9, 43, 62–3, 117 coronation, 176–7 council of, 182 entertainments at royal court of, 176–7, 180, 209 Protestant exiles under, 210 renounces titles ‘supreme head’, 31, 208, 209 reunites England with Rome, 31, 179, 209 Mary, queen of Scots see Stewart, Mary, queen of Scots Matthew, Thomas, see Rogers, John Maximilian I, Holy Roman emperor, 41, 44, 59, 64, 98 Mayer, Thomas, 109, 111 McCune, Pat, 179

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Index McEachern, Claire, 2, 6, 8, 113, 115, 222 Mendoza, Barnardino de, 212 Mercury, 71, 85 Meteren, Jacob van, 127 Milan, duchy of, 39, 42–3, 46 monarchical power, 110–12, 132 theories of, 215 monasteries see religious houses morality plays, 145–6 More, Sir Thomas, 37 Morison, Sir Richard, 33, 34, 134–5, 136, 148, 160, 215, 220, 222 ‘Discourse touching the reformation of the laws of England’, 138–9 Lamentation, 31, 106–9, 115–18, 131–4, 137 Remedy for Sedition, 31, 107, 118–20, 129–32, 134–5, 136–7, 148, 155, 207 Mother England see as prosopopoeia under England Munster, Sebastian see under Bible, in Latin Muses, 69, 80–4, 99 Naples, 41, 216 nationalism as distinct from empire, 4, 34, 113, 132–3, 219–20 as distinct from patriotism, 3–4 extent of in early modern era, 3–7, 114–15, 133, 136, 220, 222 its relation to political freedom, 3–7, 113–15, 136 theories of, 3–6, 7, 113–15, 134 Navarre, 41, 43 ‘new British history’, 9 Newman, Gerald, 3–4 Nicolson, James, 29, 127, 129, 148, 158 Noble tryumphaunt coronacyon, 71–2, 82, 86, 96–7, 99, 116 Norland, Howard B., 145, 179–80 Normandy, 143 northern rebels see Pilgrimage of Grace; Lincolnshire uprising Order of the Golden Fleece, 46–7, 50–1 Ottoman empire, 44–6, 47, 52, 53 Ovid, 54–5, 77–8 Padua, 110 Paginus, Sanctes see under Bible, in Latin Pallas Athena, 71, 84–5 Pamphili, Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea see under Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea

Pandulphus, cardinal, 143–4 as character in King Johan, 147, 155–6, 182 Paris (France), 158 Paris (of Troy), 71, 85 Paris, Matthew, 23 Parliament Act (1 and 2 Geo. V, c. 13), 3 Parnassus, Mount, 69, 100, 101 Parr, Catherine, queen of England and Ireland, 6th consort of Henry VIII, 173 Parsons, Robert, 136 Paul III, pope, 130, 147 Peacham, Henry, 31, 107–8 Peasants’ War, 134–5 Pepeling (Calais), 72 Pepin III, king of Franks, 40 persecutions under Diocletian, 25–7 under Henry VIII, 210 under Mary I, 25–7, 210–11, 217 Peterloo Massacre, 114 Philip II, king of England and Ireland, consort of Mary I, and king of Spain, 212, 216 Philip III (the Good), 3rd duke of Burgundy, 47 Philip IV and I (the Fair), king of France and Navarre, 41 Pilgrimage of Grace, 31, 115, 117–18, 119, 129, 130–1, 132, 133, 134, 148 Doncaster articles, 118, 119, 129 Doncaster Bridge conference, 118 Plantagenet, Margaret, see Pole, Margaret Plato, 130, 162–3, 164, 166 Republic, 118–21 plus ultra [still further], 93 Pole, Margaret (née Plantagenet), countess of Salisbury, 109 Pole, Reginald, cardinal and archbishop of Canterbury, 109–15, 195 De unitate, 111–12 ‘Poore Pratte’, 205–7 popular politics, 112–15, 133 Portugal, 93 Potter, Gilbard, 205–6 Prayer Book controversy (1555), 210 Prayer Book rebellion (1549), 194, 197, 199 articles of, 194–5 widely regarded as papist uprising, 195–6, 208 preaching, 131, 156–8, 160, 161, 180, 213 proclamation ‘for damning of erronious bokes’ (1530), 122, 124, 128–9 prosopopoeia see under England

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Index Protector Somerset see Seymour, Edward, duke of Somerset pseudo-Ausonius, 82 Pynson, Richard, 48–9, 51–2 Rastell, John, 54, 56, 57, 58 Raynes, John, 106 Regensburg, 122 religious houses, 195, 205 dissolution of, 22, 30, 105–7, 109, 200 libraries of, 11, 28–9 religious orders, 149–50 responsible government, 112–14, 123 revels office, 176 Rich, Richard, 1st Baron Rich, 118 Rogers, John, 158, 165–6 Roman church, 153–4 see also relations with Roman church under England and Henry VIII’s ‘great matter’, 87–8, 110 and King John, 144–6 attitude towards Bible, 125, 174–5, 182–3 see also sophistry identified with Whore of Babylon, 218 relation to Holy Roman empire, 53 relation to other church provinces, 90–1 support for, in Reformation England, 106–7, 139–40, 194–6, 212, 213, 216 see also Babington Plot under Babington, Anthony; Pilgrimage of Grace; Prayer Book rebellion; seminary priests Roman empire, 53, 77, 87 under Augustus, 20, 79, 81 Roman republic, 63–4 Rosenthal, Earl E., 46–7 Royal Supremacy, 58–60, 62–6, 92, 146, 209 see also Break with Rome resistance to, 2–3, 106–8, 110–14, 116, 130, 131, 133–4, 136–7 propaganda in support of, 2–3, 10, 33, 66, 87, 91–4, 101, 107–9, 115–16, 128–31, 132–3, 136–7, 138–40, 146, 220, 222 use of scripture in support of, 122–31, 134–5, 137–8, 155, 159–62, 167, 169, 174, 207–8, 211 Royal Supremacy statutes, 58, 108 Act concerning Payment of First Fruits (26 Hen. VIII, c. 3), 1 n.2 Act in Restraint of Appeals (24 Hen. VIII, c. 12), 1 n.2, 7–8, 12, 13–14, 58–60, 62–4, 66, 67, 89, 90, 91, 105, 107–8, 110, 115, 116, 209, 222

Act of Royal Supremacy (26 Hen. VIII, c. 1), 1 n.2 Act for the Dissolution of lesser Monasteries (27 Hen. VIII, c. 28), 105–6, 118, 147–8 Act for the Submission of the Clergy (25 Hen. VIII, c. 19), 1 n.2 Act for the Succession (25 Hen. VIII, c. 22), 1 n.2 Acts in Restraint of Payment of Annates (23 and 25 Hen. VIII, c. 20), 1 n.2 Salome, Mary, 86 Sampford Courtenay (Devonshire), 194 Samson, 37, 50–1 Sandler, Florence, 210 Sardinia, 41 Saturn, 77–8 Sauche, Jean de la, 39, 46 Savage, John, 212 schoolmen see sophistry Schramm, Percy Ernst, 60–1 Schwyzer, Philip, 7–8, 10, 15 and n.30, 16, 17, 22–3, 23 n.46, 114–15, 133 Scotland, 8, 15 self-renunciation, 151–3, 160, 162, 173 seminary priests, 214, 215 see also Babington Plot under Babington, Anthony Seneca, 162–3, 164, 166 Severn, River, 17, 22 Seymour, Edward, duke of Somerset, 112, 184, 188–90, 207 see also Edwardian protectorate as vice character in Respublica, 184, 186–7, 203, 207 shift in policy towards enclosure riots, 191–3 Shagan, Ethan, 112, 114 Shakespeare, William, 4, 6, 115, 219, 222 King John, 221–2 Richard II, 4, 8 Shrank, Cathy, 6 Shuger, Debora Kuller, 5 Sicily, 41 Singleton, Hugh, 206 sophistry 149, 162, 173–4, 175 Southwark, 37, 51, 127 Spain, 93 Spanish Armada, 1, 212–13, 218 Spenser, Edmund, 6, 115, 222 Faerie Queene, 25 n.47, 219 Stafford, Henry, 10th Baron Stafford, 89 Starkey, Thomas, 116, 120, 136

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Index Starkey, Thomas (cont.) Dialogue between Pole and Lupset, 109–14, 123, 133 St Albans, 213 St Erkenwald, 23 St John’s College, Cambridge, 213 St Martin’s Church, Ludgate see under City of London St Paul’s Cathedral, Cross, and churchyard see under City of London St Stephen’s Church, Canterbury, 139 Steelyard see Easterlings Stephen II, pope, 40 Stewart, Mary, queen of Scots, 211 Stow, John, 206 Strong, Roy, 75–6 Stuart, James see James VI and I, king of Scotland, England, and Ireland Supremacy Act see Act restoring to the Crown the ancient Jurisdiction over the State Ecclesiastical and Spiritual Swineshead Abbey, 144

Udall, Nicholas, 32–3, 34, 72–4, 76–7, 99, 207, 222 Apophthegms, 177 ‘diuers and sundry verses’ for 1533 entry (BL Royal 18 A LXIV), 74, 80–2, 84–6, 98 Paraphrase of Erasmus, 32–3, 173–5, 177, 178–9, 180, 183, 207 Respublica, 32–3, 177–87, 196–201, 203, 204, 207–8, 214 authorship of, 175, 177–80 staging, 175–7 Roister Doister, 177 Ullmann, Walter, 59–61

Tanner, Lawrence E., 61–2 Temple Bar see under City of London the three Graces, 70, 84 ‘To the Muses and Apollo’ see The Homeric Hymns Totehill, Henry, 139–40 Tower of London see under City of London Treaty of Boulogne (1550), 10, 184 Treaty of Bruges (1521), 45–6, 47 Treaty of Calais (1521), 45 Treaty of Universal Peace (1518), 43–6, 52 Treaty of Windsor (1522), 39, 45, 47–8 Trotter, Philip, 106 The true dyfferens see De Vera differentia under Foxe, Edward Tudor, house of, 15, 132 Tunstall, Cuthbert, 1, 19, 64–5, 66 Twyne, Thomas, 18 Tyndale, William, 122, 126–7, 128, 130, 134–5, 158, 165, 170, 172–3 Obedience of a Christen man, 31, 122–6, 149–54, 151–3, 154, 156, 160, 162, 163–4, 167, 173–4 Parable of the Wicked Mammon, 123, 124 Pentateuch, 124, 125–6, 127, 131, 149, 162 translation of Jonah, 127 translation of New Testament, 123, 124, 125, 127

Wales, 13 and ancient British heritage, 14–15 annexed to England, 8, 10 literature of, 15 Welsh language, 15 Walker, Greg, 5, 7, 112, 114, 140, 142, 176–7 West Country rebellion see Prayer Book rebellion Westminster Abbey, 106 Westminster Hall, 68, 69 Whitchurch, Edward, 159 White, Paul Whitfield, 138–9, 140 Winchester Castle, 19 Windsor, 118 Wolfe, John, 211, 213 Wolsey, Thomas, cardinal and archbishop of York, 43, 45 Worde, Wynkyn de, 71 world supremacy see colonialism Wriothesley, Charles, 190, 195 Wymondham (Norfolk), 190

Valois, house of, 42–3 Van der Delft, François, 190–1, 199 Venice, 44 Venus, 71, 84–5 Vergil, Polydore, 17, 116 Virgil, 20, 53–6, 65, 67, 78–80, 82–4 Virgin Mary, 20, 39, 78, 80, 86

Yates, Frances, 20 York, 117–18 Yorkshire rebels see Pilgrimage of Grace Zeus see Jupiter

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Volume 1: The Theology of John Donne Jeffrey Johnson Volume 2: Doctrine and Devotion in Seventeenth-Century Poetry: Studies in Donne, Herbert, Crashaw and Vaughan R. V. Young Volume 3: The Song of Songs in English Renaissance Literature: Kisses of their Mouths Noam Flinker Volume 4: King James I and the Religious Culture of England James Doelman Volume 5: Neo-historicism: Studies in Renaissance Literature, History and Politics Edited by Robin Headlam Wells, Glenn Burgess and Rowland Wymer Volume 6: The Uncertain World of Samson Agonistes John T. Shawcross Volume 7: Milton and the Terms of Liberty Edited by Graham Parry and Joad Raymond Volume 8: George Sandys: Travel, Colonialism and Tolerance in the Seventeenth Century James Ellison Volume 9: Shakespeare and Machiavelli John Roe Volume 10: John Donne’s Professional Lives Edited by David Colclough Volume 11: Chivalry and Romance in the English Renaissance Alex Davis Volume 12: Shakespearean Tragedy as Chivalric Romance: Rethinking Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear Michael L. Hays Volume 13: John Donne and Conformity in Crisis in the Late Jacobean Pulpit Jeanne Shami Volume 14: A Pleasing Sinne: Drink and Conviviality in Seventeenth-Century England Adam Smyth

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Law and Poetry in Early Modern England ANDREW ZURCHER

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Devil Theatre

Demonic Possession and Exorcism in English Renaissance Drama, 1558-1642 JAN FRANS VAN DIJKHUIZEN

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