The negotiations of Thomas Woolsey, the great Cardinall of England containing his life and death, viz. (1) the originall of his promotion, (2) the continuance in his magnificence, (3) his fall, death, and buriall
Cavendish, George, 1500-1561?, Cavendish, William, Sir, 1505?-1557.

CHAP. VIII. Of the Cardinals magnificence in his houses.

HEe lived a long season Ruling all things in this Realme appertaining to the King by his wisedome, and all other matters of forraine Regions with whom the King had any occasion to meddle. All Ambassadours of forraine Potentates were ever disposed by the Cardinals wisdome to whom they had continuall accesse for their dispatch.

Page  20 His house was alwayes resorted unto like a Kings house with Noblemen and Gentlemen; And when it * pleased the Kings Majestie (as many times it did) hee would for his recreation resort unto the Cardinals house, against whose comming there wanted no preparation or goodly furnitures, with victuals of the finest sort that could be had for money or friendship.

Such pleasures were here devised for the Kings de∣light, * as could be invented or imagined; Banquets set with Masquers and Mummers, in such costly manner, that it was glorious to behold, there wanted no Dam∣sells meete to dance with the Masquers, or to garnish the place for the time with variety of other pastimes. Then was there divers kinds of Musick, and many choyce men and women Singers appointed to sing, who had excel∣lent voyces. I have seene the King come suddenly thi∣ther in a Masque, with a dozen Masquers all in garments like Shepheards made of fine cloth of gold and silver wyre, and six Torch-bearers, besides their drummers and others attending on them with Vizards, and clothed all in Sattin. And before his entring into the Hall, you shall understand that hee came by water to the water-gate without any noise, where were laid divers Chambers and Gunnes charged with shott, and at his landing they were discharged, which made such a rattling noyse in the Ayre, that it was like thunder; It made all the Noble∣men, Gentlemen and Ladies to muse what it should meane comming so suddenly, they sitting quietly at a Banquet. In this sort you shall understand, that the Ta∣bles were set in the Chamber of Presence covered, and my Lord Cardinall sitting under his cloth of State, and there having all his service alone; And then was there set a Lady and a Nobleman, a Gentleman and a Gentlewo∣man, throughout all the Tables in the Chambers on the one side, which were made all joyning, as it were, but one Table. All which order was done by my Lord Sands, then Lord Chamberlaine to the King, and by Sir HenryPage  21Guilford, then Comptroller of the Kings house.

Then immediatly after this great shot of Gunnes, the Cardinall desired the Lord Chamberlaine to see what it did meane, as though he knew nothing of the matter; They then looked out of the window into the Thames, and returning againe told him, that they thought they were Noblemen and strangers arrived at the Bridge, and comming as Ambassadours from some forraine Prince; With that said the Cardinall, I desire you, because you can speake French, to take the paines to goe into the Hall, there to receive them into the Chamber, where they shall see us, and all those Noble personages being merry at our Banquet, desiring them to sit downe with us, and take part of our Fare.

Then went they incontinently into the Hall, where * they were received with twenty Torches, and conveyed up into the Chamber with such a number of Drums and Flutes, as I have seldome seene together at one time and place.

Then at their arrivall into the Chamber, they went two and two together directly before the Cardinall where he sate, and saluted them very reverently; To whom the Lord Chamberlaine for them said; Sir, foras∣much as they are strangers, and cannot speake English, they have desired mee to declare unto you, that they ha∣ving understanding of this your triumphant Banquet, were assembled such a number of faire Dames, they could doe no lesse (under the supportation of your Grace) then to view as well their incomparable beauties, as to ac∣company them at Mumchance, and after that to dance with them, so to beget their better acquaintance.

And furthermore they require of your Grace, ly∣cence to accomplish this cause of their comming.

When the Cardinall said he was willing, and very well content they should doe so.

Then went the Masquers and first saluted all the * Dames, and then returned to the most worthiest, and Page  22 there opened the great Cup of gold filled with crownes, and other peeces to cast at.

Thus perusing all the Gentlewomen, of some they wonne, and to some they lost. And having viewed all the Ladyes, they returned to the Cardinall with great Reverence, pouring downe all their gold, which was above two hundred crownes. At all quoth the Cardi∣nall, and casting the Dye he wonne it, whereat was made * great joy.

Then quoth the Cardinall to my Lord Chamberlaine; I pray you goe tell them, that to me it seemeth that there should be a Nobleman amongst them, that better de∣serves to sit in this place then I, to whom I should glad∣ly surrender the same, according to my duty if I knew him.

Then spake my Lord Chamberlaine to them in French, declaring my Lord Cardinalls words, and they rounding him againe in the eare, the Lord Chamberlaine said unto my Lord Cardinall;

Sir (quoth he) they confesse that among them is such a Noble personage, whom if your Grace can point out from the rest, he is contented to disclose himselfe, and to ac∣cept of your place most willingly.

With that the Cardinall taking good advise, went a∣mongst them, and at the last (quoth he) it seemeth to mee, that the Gentleman with the blacke beard should be he, and with that he rose out of his Chaire, and offe∣red the same to the Gentleman with the blacke Beard, with the Cup in his hand; But the Cardinall was mista∣ken, for the person to whom he then offered his Chaire * was Sir Edward Nevill, a comely Knight, and of a good∣ly personage, who did more resemble his Majesties per∣son then any other in that Masque.

The King seeing the Cardinall so deceived in his choyce, could not forbeare laughing, but pulled downe his Vizard, and Sir Edward Nevills also, with such a plea∣sant countenance and cheere, that all the Noble Estates Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

[illustration] [portrait of Anne Boleyn]
Page  23 desired his Highnesse to take his place; To whom the King made answer, that he would first goe and shift him; And thereupon went into the Cardinalls Bedchamber, where was a great fire prepared for him, and there hee new apparelled himselfe with rich and Princely gar∣ments; And in the Kings absence, the dishes of the Ban∣quet was cleane taken away, and the Tables covered a∣gaine * with new and perfumed cloathes every man sitting still untill the Kings Majestie with his Masquers came in among them, every man new apparelled.

Then the King tooke his seat under the cloath of E∣state, commanding every person to sit still as they did be∣fore; And then came in a new Banquet before his Maje∣stie of two hundred dishes, and so they passed the night in Banquetting, and dancing untill morning, which much rejoyced the Cardinall, to see his Soveraigne Lord so pleasant at his house.