Henry VIII,the Reign
Thomas Cromwell's Attainder in Full from Burnett
In their most humble-wise shewing to your most Royal Majesty, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and all your most loving and obedient Subjects, the Commons in this your high Court of Parliament assembled; That where your most. Royal Majesty, our Natural Sovereign Lord, is justly and lawfully, really entituled to be our sole Supreme Head and Governor? of this your Realm of England, and of the Dominions of the same; to whom, and to none other under God, the Kingly .Direction., Order, and Governance of your most loving and obedient Subjects, and People of this your Realm, only appertained and belongeth And the which your most loving and obedient Subjects your Highness prudently and quietly, without any manner of disturbance by a long time most graciously hath preserved sustained and defended.
And your Highness, for the Quietness, Wealth, and Tranquillity of your said humble and obedient Subjects, hath made, and ordained, divers and many most godly, virtuous and wholesome Laws; and for due execution of the same, hath not desisted to travel in your own most Royal Person, to support and maintain, as well the Laws or Almighty God, as the Laws by your Highness made and ordained, by due and condign Execution of the same Laws upon the Transgressors offending contrary to the same: And your Majesty hath always most virtuously -studied and laboured, by all ways, and alt means, to and for the setting forth thereof, in such wise as might be most to the Honour, Glory, and Pleasure of Almighty God and for the common accord and wealth of this your Realm, and other your Dominions
And for the true execution of the same, hath elected, chosen and made divers, as well of your Nobles as others, to be of your most Honourable Council, as to the Honour of a Noble Prince appertained. And where your Majesty hath had a special Trust and Confidence in your said most trusty Coun¬sellors, that the same your Counsellors, and every of them, had minded and intended, and ‘finally purposed to hare followed and pursued your most Godly and Princely Purpose, as of truth the more number hath most faithfully done; Yet nevertheless Thomas Cromwell, now Earl of Essex, whom your Majesty took and received into your trusty Service, the same Thomas then being a Man of very base and low degree, and far singular Favour Trust and Confidence, which your Majesty bore and had in him, did not only erect and advance the same Thomas unto the state of an Earl, and enriched him with manifold Gifts, as well of Goods, as of Lands and Offices, but also him, the said Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, did erect and make one of your most trusty Counsellors, as well concerning your Grace’s Supreme Jurisdictions Ecclesiastical, as your most high secret Affairs Temporal Nevertheless your Majesty now of late hath found, and tried, by a large number of Witnesses, being your faithful Subjects, and Personages of great Honour, Worship, and Discretion, the said Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, contrary to the singular trust and confidence which your Majesty had in him, to be the most false and corrupt Traitor, Deceiver, and Circumventor against your most Royal Person, and the Imperial Crown of this your Realm, that hath been known, seen, or heard of in all the time of your most noble Reign.
Insomuch that it is manifestly proved and declared, by the Depositions of the Witnesses aforesaid. That the same Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, usurping upon your Kingly Estate, Power, Authority, and Office; without your Grace’s„ Commandment or Assent, hath taken upon him to set at liberty divers Persons being convicted and attainted of Misprision of High Treason; and divers other being apprehended, and in Prison, for Suspicion of High Treason; and over that, many and divers Times, at sundry Places in this your Realm, for manifold Sums of Money to him given, most traitorously hath taken upon him, by several Writings, to give and grant, as well unto Aliens, as to your Subjects, a great Number of Licenses for conveying and carrying of Money, Corn, Grain, Beans, Beer, Leather, Tallow, Belli;, Metals, Horses, and other Commodities of this your Realm, contrary to your Highness’s most Godly and Gracious Proclamations made for the Commonwealth of your People of this your Realm in that behalf, and in Derogation of your Crown and Dignity, And the same Thomas Cromwell, elated and full of Pride, contrary to his most bounden Duty, of his own Authority and Power, not regarding your Majesty Royal.
And further, taking upon him your Power, Sovereign Lord, in that behalf, divers and many times most. traitorously hath constituted, deputed and assigned, many singular Persons of your Subjects to be Commissioners in many your great, urgent and weighty Causes and Affairs, executed and done in this your Realm, without the Assent,Knowledge, or Consent of your Highness, And further also, being a Person of as poor and low Degree, as few be within this your Realm; pretending to have so great a Stroke about you, our, and his natural Sovereign Liege Lord, that he letted and Falsehoods, the said Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, being detestable Heretic, and being In himself utterly disposed to set and sow common Sedition and Variance among your true and loving Subjects, hath secretly set forth and dispersed into all Shires, and other Territories of this your Realm, and other your Dominions, great Numbers of false erroneous Books, whereof many were printed and made beyond the Seas, and divers other within this Realm, comprising and declaring, among many other Evils and Errors, manifest Matters to induce and lead your Subjects to diffidence, and refusal of the true and sincere Faith and Belief, which Christian Religion bindeth all Christian People to have, in the most Holy and Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and other Articles of Christian Religion, most graciously declared by your Majesty, by Authority of Parliament:
And certain Matters comprised in some of the said Books, hath caused to be translated into our Ma¬ternal and English Tongue ; And upon report made unto him by the Translator thereof, that the Matter so translated hath expressly been against the said most Blessed and Holy Sacra¬ment; Yet the same Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, after he had read the same Translation, most heretically hath affirmed the same material Heresies so translated, to be good; and further hath said, that he found no fault therein; and over that, hath openly and obstinately holden Opinion, and said, That it was as lawful for every Christian Man to be a Minister of the said Sacrament, as well as a Priest.
And where also your most Royal Majesty, being a Prince of Virtue, Learning, and Justice, of singular Confidence and Trust, did constitute and make the same Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, your High¬ness's Vicegerent within this your Realm of England; and by the same, gave unto him Authority and Power, not only to re¬dress and reform all, and all manner of Errors, and erroneous Opinions, insuring and growing among your loving and obe-dient Subject^ of this your Realm, and of the Dominions of the same, but also to order and direct all Ecclesiastical and Spiri¬tual Causes within your said Realm, and Dominions; the said Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, not regarding his Duty to Almighty God, and to your Highness, under the Seal of your Vicegerent, bath without your Grace's Assent or Knowledge, licensed and authorized divers Persons, detected and suspected of Heresies, openly to teach and preach amongst your most loving and obedient Subjects within this your Realm of England.
And under the Pretence and Colour of the said great Authorities and Cures, which your Majesty hath committed unto him in the Premises, hath not only, of his corrupt and damnable Will and Mind, actually, at some time, by his own Deed and Commandment, and at many other Times by his Letters expressly written to divers worshipful Persons,, being Sheriffs, in sundry Shires of this your Realm, falsely suggesting thereby your Grace’s Pleasure so to have been, caused to be set at large many false Here ticks, some being there indicted, and some other being thereof apprehended, and in Ward : and commonly, upon Complaint* made by credible Persons unto the said Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, of great and most detestable Heresies committed and sprung in many places of this your Realm, with Declaration of the Specialities of the same Heresies, and the Names of the Offenders therein, the same Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, by his crafty and subtle Means and Inventions, bath not only defended the same Heretics from Punishment and Reformation; but being a Fautor, Maintainer, and Supporter of Heretics, divers times bath terribly rebuked divers of the said credible Persons being their Accusers, and some others of them hath persecuted and vexed by Imprisonment and otherwise. So that thereby many of your Grace’s true and loving Subjects have been in much Dread and Fear, to detect or accuse such detestable known He re ticks; the Particularities and Specialties of which said abominable Heroics, Errors, and Offences, committed and done by the said Thomas Cromwell, being over-tedious, long, and of too great Number here to be expressed, declared, or written.
And to the Intent to have those damnable Errors and Heresies, to be inculcated impressed, and infixed in the Hearts of your Subjects, as well contrary to God's Laws, as to your Law* and Ordinances. Most Gracious Sovereign Lord, the same Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, hath allured and drawn unto him by Retainours, many of your Subjects sunderly inhabiting in every of your said Shires and Territories, as well erroneously persuading and daring to them the Contents of the false erroneous Books, above written to be good, true, and best standing with the most Holy Word and Picture of God; as other his false and heretical Opinions and Errors; whereby, and by his Confederacies there-in, he hath caused many of your faithful Subjects to be greatly infected with Heresies, and other Errors, contrary to the right Laws and Pleasure of Almighty God. And the same Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, by the false and traitorous Means above-written, supposing himself to be fully able, by Force and Strength, to maintain and defend his said abominable Treasons, Heresies, and Errors, not regarding his most bounden Duty to Almighty God, and his Laws, nor the natural Duty of Allegiance to your Majesty, in the last Day of March, in the 30 Year of your most gracious Reign, in the Parish of St, Peter the Poor, within your City of London, upon Demonstration and Declaration then and there made unto him, that there were certain new Preachers, as Robert Barnes Clerk, and other, whereof part were committed to the Tower of London, for preaching nod teaching of loud learning against your Highness’s Proclamations the same Thomas affirming the same preaching to be good most detestably, arrogantly, erroneously, wilfully, maliciously, and traitorously expressly against your Laws and Statutes, then and there did not let to declare, and say, these most traitorous and detestable Words ensuing, amongst other Words of like Matter and Effect.
That is to say, That if the King would turn from it, yet would not turn; dud if the King did turn, and all his People, I would fight in the Field in mine own Person, with my Sword hi my Hand against him and all others; and then, and there, most traitorously milled out his Dagger, and held it on high, saying these Words, Or else this Dagger thrust me to the Heart, if I would not die in that Quarrel against them all: And I trust if I live one Year or two, it shall not lie in the King’s Power to resist or lett if if he would. And further, then and there swearing by a great Oath, traitorously affirmed the same his traitorous Saying and Pronunciation of Words, saying, I will do so indeed extending up his Arm, a$ tho he had had a Sword in his Hand; to the most perilous,grievous, and wicked Example of all oilier your loving, faithful and obedient Subjects in this your Realm, and to the Peril of your most Royal Person.
And moreover, our most gracious Sovereign Lord, the said Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, hath acquired and obtained into his Possession, by Oppression, Bribery, Extort, Power and false Promises made by him to your Subjects of your Realm, innumerable Sums of Money and Treasure ; and being so enriched, hath had your Nobles of your Realm in great Disdain, Derision, and Detestation, as by ex¬press words by him most opprobriously spoken hath appeared. And being put in remembrance of others, of his Estate, which your Highness hath called him unto, offending in like Treasons, the last Day of January, in the 31 Year of your most noble Reign, at the Parish of St. Martins in the Field, in the County of Middlesex, most arrogantly, willingly, maliciously, and traitorously, said, published, and declared, That if the Lords would handle hint $of that he would give them such a Breakfast as never was made in England, and that the proudest of them should know to the great Peril and Danger, as well of your Majesty, as of your Heirs and Successors: For the which his most detestable and abominable Heresies and Treasons, and many other his like Offences and Treasons over-long here to be rehearsed and declared.
Be it Enacted, Ordain fed, and Established by your Majesty, with the Assent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, 'Hint the said Thomas Crom¬well, Earl of Essex, for his abominable and detestable Heresies and Treasons, by him most abominably, hectically, and traitorously practised, committed, and done, as well against Al¬mighty God, as against your Majesty, and this your said Realm, shall be, and stand, by Authority of this present Parliament, convicted and attainted of Heresies and High-Treason, and be adjudged an abominable and detestable Heretick and Traitor; and shall have and suffer such Pains of Death, Losses, and For¬feitures of Goods, Debts, and Chattels, as in eases of Heresies and High-Treason, or as in cases of either of them, at the Plea¬sure of your most Royal Majesty. And that the same Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, shall, by Authority above said, lose,end forfeit to your Highness, and to your Heirs and Successor all such his Castles, Lordships, Manors, Messuages, Lands, Tenements, Rents, Reversions, Remainders, Services, Possessions, Offices, Rights, Conditions, and all other his Hereditaments, of what Names, Natures, or Qualities so ever they be, which he the said Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, or any other to his Use had, or ought to have had, of any Estate of Inheritance, in Fee-Simple or Fee-Tail, in Reversion or Possession, at the said last Day of March, in the said thirtieth Year of your most Gracious Reign, or any time sith or after, as in Cases of High-Treason.
And that all the said Castles, Lord¬ships, Manors, Lands, Messuages Tenements, Rents, Reversions, Remainders,, Services, Possessions, Offices, and all other the Premises forfeited, as is above said, shall he deemed, in-vested, and adjudged, in the lawful, real, and actual Possession of your Highness, your Heirs and Successors for ever in the same, and in such Estate, Manner and Form, as if the said Castles, Lordships, Man dots, Messuages, Lands, Tenements, Re tits, Reversions, Remainders, Services, Possessions, Offices, and other the Premises, with their Appurtenances, and every of them, were especially or particularly founden, by Office or Offices, Inquisition or Inquisitions, to be taken by any Eschceator or Escheators, or any other Commissioner or Commissioners, by Virtue of any Commission or Commissions to them or any of them, to he directed in any County or Counties, Shire or Shires, within this your Realm of England, where the said Castles, and other the Premises, or any of them, been, or do lye, and returned Into any of your Majesty's Courts.
Saving to all and singular, Person and Persons, Bodies politick and corporate, their Heirs and Successors and their Successors and Assignees of every of them, other than the said Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex, and his Heirs, and all and every other Person and Persons, claiming by the same Thomas Cromwell, and to his Use, all such Right, Title, Entry, Possessions, Interest, Reversions, Remainders, .Lease, Leases, Conditions, Fees, Offices, Rents, Annuities, Commons, and all other Commodities, Profits, and Hereditaments whatsoever they or any of them might, should or ought to have had, if this Act had never been had or made. Provided always, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that this Act of Attainder, ne any Offence,, ne other thing therein contained, extend not unto the Deanery of Wells in the County of Somerset; nor to any Manors, Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments thereunto belonging; nor be in any wise prejudicial or hurtful unto the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Nor to the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of St, Andrew of Wells, nor to any of them, nor to any of their Successors; but that the said Bishop, Dean, and Chapters, and their Successors, and every of them, shall and may have, hold, use, occupy, and enjoy, all and singular their Titles, Rights, Manors, Lands, Tenements, Rents, Reversions, and Services, and all and singular other their Hereditaments, Commodities, and Profits, of what nature, kind, or quality, or condition so ever they be, in as ample and large manner and form, as tho’ this Act of Attainder, or any Offence therein mentioned, had never been had, committed, nor made; and that from henceforth the Dean, and his Successors, Deans of the said Cathedral Church that hereafter shall be perfected, elected, and admitted to the same, Shall, by the Authority aforesaid, be Dean of the said Cathedral Church, fully and wholly incorporated with the Chapter of the same, in as ample, large, and like manner and form, to all intents and purposes, as the Deans before this time hath been and used to be, with the said Chapter of the said Cathedral Church of Wells. And that the same Dean and Chapter, and their Successors, shall have, occupy, and enjoy, all and singular their such Possessions, Manors, Lands. Tenements Rents, Reversions, and Services, and all and singular their Hereditaments, of what nature, kind, name or names they be called or known. And shall be adjudged and deemed in actual and real Possession and Seizin of, and in the same Premise^ to all intents and purposes, according to their old Corporation, as tho' this Act of Attainder, or anything, clause, or matter therein contained had never been had, com¬mitted, nor made. This said Act of Attainder, or any other Act, Provision, or anything heretofore had or made to the contrary notwithstanding.