« ForrigeFortsæt »
Clergyman of that Age.'-The great Lord BACON does not, in his Hiftory of Henry the VIIth, mention Wolfey's Parents; but only fays, Wolfey was Chaplain, and employed by Henry the VIIth. The various Accounts, that have been given of Wolfey's Original, occafioned one of our English Poets to make the following witty Remark :
• Great Prieft, whoever was thy Sire by Kind, • Wolfey of Ipfwich ne'er begot thy Mind.
The SECRET HISTORY of the CARDINAL, by GEORGE CAVENDISH, Efq; his GentlemanUsher.
CHA P. I.
From the CARDINAL's Birth, to the Death of King HENRY the VIIth.
RUTH it is,
County of Suffolk, and there born, who, being but a Child, was very apt to learn; wherefore, by means of his Parents, and other his good Friends, he < was maintained at the Univerfity of Oxford, where in a fhort time he profpered fo 'well, that in a fmall time (as 'he told me with his own 'Mouth) he was made a Batch
elor of Arts when he was but 'fifteen Years of Age, and was ⚫ most commonly called the Boy. Batchelor. Thus, profpering * in Learning, he was made Fellow of Magdalen College in
Oxford, after that he was made • Mafter of Magdalen School, at 'which time were the Lord Marquefs of Dorfet's Sons there at School, committing unto him as well their Education as their Inftruction and Learning.
It pleafed this Lord Marquefs against Christmas, to fend as well for the School-mafter as for the Scholars home to his House, for their Recreation in that pleasant and honourable Foreft. They being a while there, the Lord Marquess their Father perceiving them to be well improved in Learning for the Time, he was fo well contented, that he, having a Be nefice in his Gift, (being at that prefent void) gave the School-mafter the fame, in regard of his Diligence. After • Chriftmas
The Authors we have mentioned having not agreed what Wolfey's Father's Profeffion or Bufinefs was, it will be neceffary to pursue our Enquiry farther.
Dr. Fiddes, who wrote the Cardinal's Life, admits the common Tradition, that Wolfey was the Son of a Butcher; but he avers he can difcover no more authentick Grounds for fuch a Tradition, than for the other Report, that his Parents were in mean and indigent
had not been long there, but one Sir Amias Pawlet, Kt. dwelling in the Country thereabouts, took an Occafion of Difpleafure against him, but upon what ground I know not; infomuch that Sir Amias was fo 'bold as to lay the School-master by the Heels during his Difpleasure, which Affront was afterwards neither forgotten, nor forgiven; for when the School⚫ maiter mounted fo high as to be • Lord Chancellor of England, he was not forgetful of his old Difpleafure, moft cruelly minittred unto him by Sir Amias,, but fent for him, and after a very harp Reproof, enjoined him not to depart out of London, without Licence first ob
wards lay in the Gate-house next the Stairs, which he re'edified, and fumptuously beautified the fame all over on the Outfide, with the Cardinal's Arms, his Hat, his Cógnizance and Badges, with other Devices, in fo glorious a man'ner, as he thought thereby to have appealed his old Displea fure.
This may be a good Precedent for Men in Authority, which work their own Wills ⚫ without Wit, to remember that. • Greatness may decay. And those whom they do punish,
more of Humour than Juftice, may afterwards be advanced to great Honour, (as this Cardinal was) and they abafed as low as this Sir Amias was, which feek Revenge. Who would have thought, that when Sir Amias Pawlet punished this poor
School-mafter, that ever he fhould have mounted to fo great a Dignity as to be Chancellor of England, confidering his · mean Parentage and Friends? These be the wonderful Works ' of God's Providence. And I would wifh, that all Men in Authority would fear God in all Ages in the Time of their Triumph and Greatnefs; con⚫ fidering
• tained; fo that he continued in the Middle-Temple the fpace of
< five or fix Years; who after
gent Circumftances; notwithstanding feveral Authors have related it, yet that learned Divine does not inform us what Bufinefs Wolfey's Father followed, or profeffed, fave what he gathered from fome of the before-mentioned Authors.
Still it is allowed, the Doctor has gone farther than any other Author, in refpect to his oppofing what
of his faid Mafter; infomuch, that for his Wit and Gravity he committed all the Care and Charge of his faid Office to his faid Chaplain. And, as I urderftand, his Office was the Treasurership of Calais, who, in regard of his great Age, fhortly after was dilcharged of his faid Office, and fo returned into England, intending to live a more private Life. But, through his inftant Labour and good Favour, his Chaplain was preferred to be the King's Chaplain: And when he had once caft Anchor in the Port of Promotion, how he then beftirred himself I fhall now declare. 'He having then juft Occafion to be daily in Sight of the King in his Chofet, not spending the reft of the Day in Idleness, would attend thofe Men whom he thought to bear mot Rule in the Council, and were most in Favour with the King, which at that time was Dr. Fox, Bishop of Winchester, and Lord Privy-Seal; and alfo Sir Thomas Lovell, Kt. a very fage and wife Counsellor, being Mafter of the Wards, and • Conftable of the Tower.
• These ancient and grave Counsellors, in Process of Time,
what has been fo often advanced by different Historians, as to Wolfey's Father being a Butcher and poor, and for that End he mentions a Will, faid to be made by Robert, the Father; the Subftance of which here follows, • Item,
perceiving this Chaplain to be · a Man of a very acute Wit, thought him a meet Inftrument to be imployed in greater • Affairs.
Not long after it happened, that the King had an urgent Occafion to fend an Embaffador to Maximilian the Emperor, who lay at that present in the Low Countries at Flanders, and not far from Calais.
in truft with Matters of great" er Confequence.
The King, being now refolved to imploy him in this Embaffage, commanded him thereupon to prepare himself for his Journey; and, for his Dispatch, wished him to re'pair to his Grace and his Council, of whom he should receive his Commiffion and Inftruction. By means whereof he had then a fit Occafion to repair from ⚫ time to time into the King's Prefence, who had thereby daily Experience of his fingular Wifdom and found Judgment. Thus having his Difpatch, he took his Leave of the King at Richmond, about Four of the 'Clock in the Afternoon, where
Now the Bishop of Winchefter, and Sir Thomas Lovell, whom the King most esteemed, as the chiefeft of his Council, one Day, advifing and debating ⚫ with themselves upon this Embaffage, and by this time they faw they had a convenient Occafion to prefer the King's Chaplain, whofe excellent Elo-he quence and Learning they highly commended unto the King's Highness, who giving ear unto them, and being a • Prince of an excellent Judgment and Modefty, he commanded them to bring his Chaplain (whom they fo commended) be'fore his Grace; and, being come, his Majefty (to prove his Ability) entered into Difcourfe with him, concerning Matters of State, whereby the King had fo well informed himfelf, that he found him to be a Man of a fharp Wit, and of fuch excellent Parts, that he thought him worthy to be put
launcheth forth in a Gravesend Barge with a profperous. • Wind and Tide; and his happy Speed was fuch, that he arrived at Gravesend in a little more than three Hours, where he ' tarried no longer than the Pofthorfes were provided, and he travelled fo fpeedily, that he came to Dover next Morning, where the Paffengers were under Sail to pafs to Calais; fo that long before Noon he arrived there, and, having Posthorfes prepared, departed from thence without tarrying, making fuch hafty Speed, that he was that Night with the Emperor Who, understanding of the
Item, will, that if Thomas my Son be a Priest within a Dear nert after my Decease, then I will that he sing for me and my Friends by the Space of a year, and he to have for his Salary ten Marks; and if Thomas my Son be not a Priest, then I will that another honest Priest sing for me and my Friends for the Term aforesaid, and he to have the Salary of ten Marks.
Item, will that Joan my Bife have all my Lands and Te nements in the Parish of St. Nicholas in Ipfwich, and my free and Bond Lands in the Psiche of St. Stoke. The Residue of my Goods, not bequeathed, I give and bequeath to Joan mp Dife, Thomas my Son, and Thomas Cady, who I make Executors of this my Testament, and do oder Richard Farrington Supervisos thereof.
And, having Post-horses in a Readiness, came to the Court at Richmond that fame Night, where (taking his Repofe until Morning) he prefented himself unto his Majesty at his firft coming out of his Bed-chamber to his Clofet to Mafs, whom, when he faw, he checked for ⚫that he was not in his Journey.
Sir, (quoth he) If it may pleafe your Highness, I have already been with the Emperor, and difpatched your Affairs, 1 truft to your Grace's Contentation: And thereupon prefented the King with his Letters of Credence from the Emperor. The King wondering at his fpeedy Return, (he being fo 'well furnished with all his Proceedings) for the prefent diffembled his Admiration and Ima· gination in that Matter; and demanding of him, whether he encountred with his Purfuivant, which he fent unto him with Letters, imagining him to be fcarce out of London, which concerned very material Pala B 4
< the Arrival of the King of England's Embaffador, would in
no wife delay Time, but fent for him incontinently; for his • Affection to the King of England was fuch, that he was glad of any Opportunity to do him a Courtefy.
The Embaffador declares the Sum of his Embaffy to the Em'peror, of whom he craved fpeedy Expedition, which was granted him; fo that the next Day he was clearly dispatched, and all the King's Requests fully accomplished and granted. At which Time he made no further Stay, but took Pofthorfes that Night, and rode without Intermiffion to Calais, being conducted thither by divers Nobles appointed by the Emperor; and at the opening of the Gates of Calais he " came thither, where the Paffengers were ready to return for England; infomuch that he arrived at Dover between Ten and Eleven of the Clock in the * Forenoon.