Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism

Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism is in Tudor Books.

Rise And Growth Of The Anglican Schism. By Nicolas Sander, D.D. Sometime Fellow Of New College, Oxford. Published A.D. 1585, With A Continuation Of The History, By The Rev. Edward Rishton, B.A., Of Brasenose College, Oxford. Translated with an Introduction by By David Lewis, M.A. 1877.

Rise and Growth of the Anglican Schism Chapter V

Sir Thomas Boleyn — Sir Francis Bryan — Education Of Anne Boleyn.

Anne Boleyn was the daughter of Sir Thomas Boleyn's wife; I say of his wife, because she could not have been the daughter of Sir Thomas,1 for she was born during his absence of two years in France on the king's affairs.2 Henry VIII. sent him apparently on an honourable mission in order to conceal his own criminal conduct; but when Thomas Boleyn, on his return at the end of two years, saw that a child had been born in his house, he resolved, eager to punish the sin, to prosecute his wife before the delegates of the archbishop of Canterbury, and obtain a separation from her. His wife informs the king, who sends the marquis of Dorset3 with an order to Thomas Boleyn to refrain from prosecuting his wife, to forgive her, and be reconciled to her.

Note 1. Sir Thomas Boleyn or Bullen was made viscount Rochford, June 18, 1525 ; earl of Wiltshire in England, and earl of Ormond in Ireland, Dec. 8, 1529. He died in 1538, having seen the dishonoured rise and the disgraceful ruin of his family.

Note 2. "In Francia legatum agente." Acting as ambassador, but not ne cessarily an ambassador ; and the document, printed for the first time by Mr. Pocock, Records of the Refor mation, ii. p. 573, agreeing substan tially with this history, has the words : "A ce fois aux garres en France pourle roy." Here in the mar gin of the original is a note in these words : "Hæc narrantur a Gulielmo Rastallo, judice, invita Thomse Mori." William Rastall was a nephew of Sir Thomas More, and in the reign of Mary one of the puisne judges of the King's Bench.

Note 3. Thomas Grey, son of the first marquis of Dorset, and the father of Henry Grey, who was made duke of Suffolk. This duke of Suffolk married Frances, daughter of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, and of Mary, sister of Henry VIII. Thomas Grey died in 1530, and all the honours of his family were forfeited by his eldest son, the duke of Suffolk.

Sir Thomas Boleyn saw that he must not provoke the king's wrath, nevertheless he did not yield obedi ence to his orders before he learned from his wife that it was the king who had tempted her to sin, and that the child Anne was the daughter of no other than Henry VIII. His wife then entreated him on her knees to forgive her, promising better behaviour in the future. The marquis of Dorset and other personages, in their own and in the king's name, made the same request, and then Sir Thomas Boleyn became reconciled to his wife, and had Anne brought up as his own child.

But his wife had borne Sir Thomas another daughter before this one, named Mary. Upon her the king had cast his eyes when he used to visit her mother, and now, after the return of Sir Thomas, he had her brought to the court, and ruined her. The royal household consisted of men utterly abandoned — gamblers, adulterers, panders, swindlers, false swearers, blasphemers, extor tioners, and even heretics ; among these was one distinguished profligate, Sir Francis Bryan,1 of the blood and race of the Boleyn. This man was once asked by the king to tell him what sort of a sin it was to ruin the mother and then the child. Bryan replied that it was a sin like that of eating a hen first and its chicken afterwards. The king burst forth into loud laughter, and said to Bryan, ' ' Well, you certainly are my vicar of hell." The man had been long ago called the vicar of hell on account of his notorious impiety, henceforth he was called also the king's vicar of hell. The king, who had sinned before with the mother and the elder daughter, turned his thoughts now to the other daughter, Anne.

Note 1. His office at court was master of the king's henchmen, i.e., the king's pages. Le Grand (Histoire du Divorce, i. p. 79) thus writes of him : "Neveu de Norfolc, et cousin germain d'Anne de Boulen. On crût qu'avec cet apuy, il ne manqueroit pas de s'elever, et on le considera pendant quelque terns comme un favory naissant, mais il ne put se soutenir. II ainioit a boire et etoit fort suiet a mentir."

"Nephew of Norfolc, and first cousin of Anne de Boulen. It was believed that with this support, he would not fail to rise, and for some time he was considered a budding favorite, but he could not sustain himself. He began to drink and was very prone to lying."

Anne Boleyn was rather tall of stature, with black hair, and an oval face of a sallow complexion,1 as if troubled with jaundice. She had a projecting tooth under the upper lip, and on her right hand six fingers.2 There was a large wen [small cyst]3 under her chin, and therefore to hide its ugliness she wore a high dress covering her throat. In this she was followed by the ladies of the court, who also wore high dresses, having before been in the habit of leaving their necks and the upper portion of their persons uncovered. She was handsome to look at, with a pretty mouth, amusing in her ways, playing well on the lute, and was a good dancer. She was the model and the mirror of those who were at court, for she was always well dressed, and every day made some change in the fashion of her garments. But as to the disposition of her mind, she was full of pride, ambition, envy, and impurity.

Note 1. "Colore subflavo." Simon Grynæus, quoted below, says she was "fuscula," and George Wyatt seems to admit the fact, when he says in the passage, part of which is given in the following note, "She was taken at that time to have a beauty not so whitely as clear and fresh above all we may esteem, which appeared much more excellent by her favour passing sweet and cheerful."

Note 2. Mr. Singer, in his edition of Cavendish, has printed a memoir of Anne Boleyn by George Wyatt, the grandson of Sir Thomas Wyatt, mentioned in this history, who admits this deformity in the following cautious and inconsistent terms: "There was found, indeed, upon the side of her nail, upon one of her fingers, some little show of a nail, which yet was so small, by the report of those that have seen her, as the workmaster seemed to leave it an occasion of greater grace to her hand, which with the tip of one of her other fingers might be and was usually by her hidden without any least blemish to it. Likewise there were said to be upon some parts of her body certain small moles incident to the clearest complexions."

Note 3. Sanders makes a mistake here. Rather than a "cyst" it a ppears to be a swelling: "sub mento etiam succrescebat turgidum nescio quid, cuius deformitatis tegendae causa, tam ipsa, quam ad illius imitationem , reliquae regiae ancillae, colli & pedtoris superiora, quanti nuda gestabant operire coeperunt" i.e. "under the chin also grew a turgid, I do not know what, for the purpose of covering its deformity, both she and in imitation of it, the rest of the royal maids began to cover the upper part of the neck and upper body, as much as they wore naked". "Turgidum" meaning turgid, swollen, inflated, distended.

At fifteen she sinned first with her father's butler, and then with his chaplain, and forthwith was sent to France, and placed, at the expense of the king, under the care of a certain nobleman not far from Brie.1 Soon afterwards she appeared at the French court, where she was called the English mare, because of her shameless behaviour; and then the royal mule, when she became acquainted with the king of France. She embraced the heresy of Luther to make her life and opinions consistent,2 but nevertheless did not cease to hear mass with the Catholics, for that was wrung from her by the custom of the king and the necessities of her own ambition.

Note 1. Blackwood (Martyre de la Royne d'Ecosse, p. 7. Anvers, 1588) says that the nobleman was a friend of Sir Thomas Boleyn: "Amy de ce pbre putatif."

Note 2. Sleidan, bk. ix. p. 170, Bohun's Translation.

On her return to England she was taken into the royal household, and there easily saw that the king was tired of his wife. She also detected the aims of Wolsey, how much the king was in love with herself, and how quickly he changed in his lawless affections. Not to speak of strangers to her family, she saw how her mother first, and then her sister, had been discarded by the king. What was she, then, to hope for in the end if she did not take care of herself at first? She made up her mind what to do. The more the king sought her, the more she avoided him, sanctimoniously saying that nobody but her husband should find her alone ; nevertheless she did not think there was any want of modesty in talking, playing, and even in dancing with the king. In this way she so fed the fires of the king's passion that he became more and more determined to put away Catherine his wife, and to put a woman of such admirable modesty in her place.1 The news was carried over into France, and there it became a common report that the king of England was going to marry the mule of the king of France.

Note 1. The author is more generous to Anne Boleyn than the Protestants were who strove to advance her. Simon Grynæus, an agent of the king, thus writes to Bucer (Original Letters, ed. Parker Society, Letter cclvi.): "Whether she has children by the king I do not know. She has not any acknowledged as such: they may probably be brought up in private, which, if I am not mistaken, I have heard more than once, though there are those who positively deny that the king has any intercourse with her, which in my opinion is not at all likely. But she is young, good-looking, of a rather dark complexion, and likely enough to have children."