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.
Page  104

CHAP. 20. Of the Cardinals entertainment at the Earle of Shrewsburies, and of his death and buriall at Leicester.

AFter our departure from Cawood, we came to Doncaster, the third day wee came to Sheffield-parke, where my Lord of Shrews∣bury lived within the lodge, and the Earle and his Lady, and a great company of Gentlewomen and Servants stood without the Gate to attend my Lords comming; at whose alightning the Earle received him with much honour, and imbra∣ced him, saying these words; My Lord you are most heartily welcome to my poore lodge, and I am glad to see you.

Here my Lord stayed a fortnight, and was most nobly entertayned; he spent most of his time and ap∣plyed his minde to prayers continually in great devo∣tion. It came to passe as hee sate one day at dinner, I beeing there, perceived his colour divers times to change; I asked him if hee was not well; who an∣swered me with a loud voyce: I am suddenly taken with a Thing at my stomacke as cold as a Whet-stone, and am not well: Therefore take up the Table, and make a short dinner, and returne to mee againe sud∣dainly. I made but a little stay, but came to him a∣gayne, where I found him still sitting very ill at ease: Hee desired me to goe to the Apothecarie and aske him if hee had any thing would breake Winde upwards: Hee told me hee had: Then I went and shewed the Page  105 same to my Lord, who did command mee to give him some thereof, and so I did, and it made him breake winde exceedingly: Loe quoth he, you may see it was but winde, for now I thanke God I am well eased, and so he arose from the Table and went to praiers, as hee u∣sed every day after dinner.

In the afternoon my Lord of Shrewsbury sent for mee to him, to whom he said, forasmuch as I have always perceived you to be a man in whom your Lord putteth great affiance, and I my selfe knowing you to bee a man very honest, with many words of commendati∣ons and praise more then becommeth mee to rehearse, he said, your Lord and Master hath often desired me to write unto the King that he might answere his accusati∣ons before his enemies: And this day I have received Letters from his Majestie by Sir William Kingston whereby I perceive that the King hath him in good o∣pinion, and upon my request hath sent for him by the said Sr. William Kingston.

Therfore now I would have you play your part wise∣ly with him in such sort as he may take it quietly and in good part, for he is alwaies full of sorrow and much heavinesse at my being with him, that I fear he would take it ill if I bring him tidings thereof: And therein doth hee not well, for I assure you that the King is his very good Lord, and hath given me most hearty thanks for his entertainment: And therefore goe your way to him and perswade him I may find him in quiet at my comming, for I will not tarry long after you.

Sir quoth I, and if it please your Lordship I shall en∣deavor to the best of my Power, to accomplish your Lordships command: But Sir, I doubt when I name this Sir William Kingston, that he will mistrust some il, because he is Constable of the Tower, and Captaine of the guard, having in his company 24. of the Guard to Page  106 accompanie him: That is nothing quoth the Earle, what if he be Constable of the Tower and Captaine of the Guard? he is the fittest man for his wisedome and discretion to be sent about such a businesse, and for the Guard it is onely to defend him from those that might intend him any ill. Besides that, the Guard are for the most part such of his old servants as the King hath tooke into his service to attend him most justly. Well Sir quoth I, I shall doe what I can, and so departed and went to my Lord and found him in the Gallery with his Staffe and his Beades in his hands, and seeing mee come, he asked me what newes, forsooth quoth I, the best newes that ever you heard, if you can take it well I pray God it bee true then quoth hee; my Lord of Shrewsbury said, I your most assured friend, hath so provided by his letters to the King, that his Majestie hath sent for you by Master Kingston, and 24. of the Guard to conduct you to his Highnesse, Master King∣ston quoth hee, and clapped his hand on his Thigh and * gave a great sigh.

May it please your Grace (quoth I) I would you would take all things well, it would be much better for you, content your selfe for Gods sake, and thinke that God and your good friends have wrought for you, according to your own desires: And (as I conceive) you have much more cause to rejoyce then lament or mis∣trust the matter, for I assure you that your friends are * more affraid of you then you need be of them: And his Majestie to shew his love to you, hath sent Master Kingston to honour you, with as much honour as is your Graces due, and to convey you in such easie jour∣neys as is fitting for you, and you shall command him to do, and that you shall have your request. And I humbly entreat you to imprint this my perswasion in your Highnesse discretion and to be of good cheere, Page  107 wherewith you shall comfort your selfe, and give your frinds and poore servants great comfort and content.

Well quoth he, I perceive more then you can ima∣gine, or doe know, presently after came my Lord to acquaint him with that I had so lately related, my L. Cardinall thanked the Earle for his great love, and called for Master Kingston who came to him presently, and kneeling down before him saluted him in the kings * behalfe, whom my Lord bareheaded offered to take up, but he would not, then quoth my Lord, Master Kingston I pray you stand up and leave your kneeling to me, for I am a wretch repleat with misery, not estee∣ming my selfe, but as a meere abject utterly cast away, but without desert God he knowes, therefore good Master Kingston stand up.

Then Master Kingston said, the Kings Majestie hath him commended unto you. I thanke his Highnesse quoth my Lord, I hope he is in good health. Yea quoth Master Kingston, and he hath him commended unto you, and commanded me to bid you be of good cheere, * for hee beareth you as much good will as ever hee did.

And whereas Report hath been made unto him, that you should commit against his Majestie certain heynos crimes which he thinketh to be, but yet hee for mini∣stration of Justice in such Cases requisite, could doe no lesse then send for you that you might have your triall, mistrusting nothing your truth and wisedome, but that you shall be able to acquit your selfe of all complaints and accusations extended against you: And you may take your journey to him at your pleasure, commanding me to attend you.

Master Kingston quoth my Lord, I thanke you for your good newes: And Sir hereof assure your selfe, if I were as able and lusty as ever I was to ride, I would Page  108 goe with you post: But alas I am a diseased man having a sluxe (at which time it was apparant that he had poi∣soned himself) it hath made me very weake, but the Comfortable news you bring is of purpose (I doubt) to bring me into a fooles Paradise, for I know what is provided for me. Notwithstanding, I thanke you for your good will, and paines taken about mee, and I shall with speed make readie to ride with you.

After this I was commanded to make all things rea∣die for our departure the morrow after.

When my Lord went to bed, he fell very sick of the Laske, which caused him to goe to stoole from time to * time all that night, insomuch that from that time till morning, hee had 50. stooles: And the mat∣ter that he voided was very blacke, which the Physi∣tians called Adustine, whose opinions were that he had not above 4. or 5. daies to live.

Notwithstanding, he would have ridden with Mr. Kingston the next day, had not the Earle of Shrewsbu∣ry advised him to the contrarie, but the next day hee took his journey with Master Kingston, and them of the Guard, who espying him could not abstaine from wee∣ping, considering he was their old Master, and now in such a miserable case, whom my Lord tooke by the hand, and would as hee rode by the way sometimes talke with one, and sometimes with an other, till he came to a house of my Lords standing in the way called Hardwick hall, where he lay all that night very ill at case. The next day he came to Nottingham, and the next day to Leicester abbey, and the next day he waxed very sick that he had almost fallen from his horse, so that it was night ere he got to Leicester abbey, where at his comming in at the Gates, the Abbot with all their Co∣vent met him with many lighted Torches, whom they ho∣nourably received and welcommed with geat reverence.

To whom my Lord said, Father Abbot, I am come toPage  109 lay my bones amongst you, riding still on his mule till he came to the stairs of his Chamber where hee alighted: Master Kingston holding him by the arme led him up the staires, who told me after∣wards that he never felt so heavie a burthen in all his life, and as soone as he was in his Chamber he went straight to bed, this was upon Satterday, and so he continued.

On Monday in the morning as I stood by is bedside about eight of the clock in the morning, the windowes being close shut, and having wax lights burning upon the Cupboard, I thought I perceived him drawing on towards death. Hee perceiving my shadow upon the bedside asked who was there. Sir quoth I, tis I, how doe you quoth he, well? I Sir quoth I, if I might see your Grace well, what is it a clock quoth hee? I an∣swered it was about eight of the Clock, quoth he that cannot be, rehearsing eight of the clocke so many times. Nay quoth he that cannot be, for at eight of the clock you shall see your masters time draw neere that I must depart this world: with that quoth Doctor Palmes a worthy Gentleman standing by, bid me aske him if hee would bee shriven to make him readie for God, what ever chanced to fall out, which I did: but he was ve∣ry angry with me, and asked what I had to doe to aske him such a question? till at the last Master Doctor took my part and talked with him in Lat∣tin and pacified him.

After dinner M. Kingston sent for me and said, Sir, The King hath sent unto mee Letters by Mr. Vin∣cent our old companion who hath bin in trouble Page  110 in the Tower for mony that my Lord should have at his departure: A great part of which money cannot bee found, wherefore the King at Master Vincents request for the declaration of the truth hath sent him hither with his Graces Letters, that I should examine my Lord & have your Counsell therein, that he may take it well and in good part. And this is the cause of my sending for you, there∣fore I desire your Counsel therein for acquitall of this poor Gentleman Master Vincent.

Sir quoth I, according to my duty you shall, and by my advise you shall resort unto him in your own person to visit him, and in communication breake the matter unto him: And if he will not tell you the truth therein, then may you certifie the King thereof; But in any case name not nor speake of my fellowe Vincent: Also I would not have you to detract the time, for hee is very sicke, and I feare that he will not live past a day or two, and accordingly Master Kingston went to my Lord and demanded the money, saying that my Lord of Northumberland found a book at Caywood-house that you had but lately borrowed 10000. pounds, & there is not so much as one penny to be found who hath made the King privie to the same, wherefore the King hath written to me, to know what is be∣come thereof, for it were pitty that it should bee holden from you both. Therefore I require you in the Kings name to tell me the truth, that I may make a just report thereof unto his Majestie of your answer?

With that quoth my Lord, oh good Lord, how much doth it grieve me that the King should think Page  111 any such thing in me, that I should deceive him of one pennie, seeing I have nothing nor never had (God be my Iudge) that I ever esteemed so much mine owne as his Majesties, having but the bare use of it during my life, and after my death to leave it wholy to him; wherein his Majestie hath pre∣vented mee. But for this money that you demand of me, I assure you it is none of my own, for I bor∣rowed it of diverse of my friends to bury me, and to bestow amongst my servants, who have taken great pains about mee, notwithstanding if it bee your pleasure to know, I must bee content, yet I beseech his Majestie to see it satisfied for the dis∣charge of my Conscience to them that I owed it to, who be they quoth Master Kingston? That shal I tell you quoth my Lord, I borrowd two hundred pounds of Iohn Allen of London, another 200. p. of Sir Richard Gresham, and 200. pound of the Master of the Savoy, and also 200. pound of Do∣ctor Highden Dean of my Colledge at Oxford, 200 pound of the Treasurer of the Church, and 200. pound of Master Ellis my Chaplain: And an other 200. pound of a Priest, I hope the King will re∣store * it againe, forasmuch as it is none of mine.

Sir quoth Master Kingston, there is no doubt in the King whom you need not distrust, but Sir I pray you where is the money quoth hee, I will not con∣ceale it I warrant you, but I will declare it unto you before I dye by the grace of God, have a litle patience with me I pray you, for the money is safe enough in an honest mans hands, who will not keep one penny thereof from the King.

So Master Kingston departed for that time, my Page  112 Lord being very weake, and about fowre of the clock in the next morning, as I conceived, I asked him how he did, well quoth he if I had any meate, * I pray you give me some.

Sir quoth I, there is none ready, then he said (you are much too blame) for you should have al∣waies meate for me in readinesse, whensoever that my stomack serves me, I pray you get some ready for mee, for I meane to make my selfe strong to day to the intent I may goe to confession and make mee ready for God, quoth I, I will call up the Cookes to prepare some meate, And also I will call Master Palmer that he may discourse with you till your meate be ready, with a good will quoth my Lord, and so I called Master Palmer who rose and came to my Lord.

Then I went and acquainted Master Kingston that my Lord was very sicke and not like to live. In good faith quoth Master Kingston, you are much too blame to make him beleeve he is sicker then he is. Well Sir quoth I, you cannot say but I gave you warning as I am bound to doe, upon which words he arose and came unto him, but before he came my Lord Cardinall had eaten a spoonfull or two of Callis made of Chickin, and after that he was in his confession the space of an hower: And then Master Kingston came to him and bad him good morrow, and asked him how he did, Sir quoth he, I watch but Gods pleasure to render up my poore soule to him. I pray you have me heartily commended unto his Royall Majestie, and beseech him on my behalfe to call to his Princely remembrance all matters that have bin between us from the begin∣ning Page  113 and the progresse: And especially betweene good Queene Katherin and him, and then shall his Graces Conscience know whether I have of∣fended him or not.

Hee is a Prince of a most Royall carriage and hath a Princely heart, and rather then hee will misse or want any part of his will, he will endan∣ger the one halfe of his Kingdome.

I do assure you I have often kneeled before him sometimes three houres together to perswade him from his will and appetite, but could not pre∣vaile: And Master Kingston, had I but served God as diligently as I have served the King, he would not have given me over in my gray haires. But this is the just reward that I must receive for my diligent paines and studdy, not regarding my ser∣vice to God, but onely to my Prince, Therefore let me advise you, if you be one of the Privie Coun∣sell, as by your wisedome you are fit, take heede what you put in the Kings head, for you can never put it out againe.

And I desire you further to request his Grace in * Gods name, that he have a vigilant eye to suppresse the hellish Luthrans, that they increas not through his great negligence, in such a sort as he be com∣pelled to take up Armes to subdue them, as the King of Bohemia was; whose Commons being infected with Wickliffs heresies, the King was inforced to take that course.

Let him consider the Story of King Richard the Second, the second sonne of his Progenitor, who lived in the time of Wickliffs Seditions and here∣sies: Did not the Commons I pray you in his time Page  114 rise against the Nobilitie and chiefe governours of this Realme, and at the last some of them were put to death without Justice or mercie, and under pretence of having all things common, did they not fall to spoyling and robbing, and at last tooke the Kings person, and carried him about the Citie making him obedient to their procla∣mations?

Did not also the Trayterous Heretiques Sir Iohn Old-Castle, Lord Cobham pitch a field with Heretiques against King Henry the fourth, where the King was in person and fought against them, to whom God gave the victory?

Alas, if these be not plaine presidents and suf∣ficient perswasions to admonish a Prince: Then God wil take away from us our prudent Rulers, & leave us to the hands of our enemies. And then will ensue mischiefe upon mischiefe, Inconveni∣ences, Barrennesse and scarcitie for want of good Orders in the Common-wealth, from which God of his tender mercy defend us.

Master Kingston farewell, I wish all things may have good successe, my time drawes on, I may not tarry with you, I pray you remember my words.

Now began the time to draw neere, for hee drew his speech at length, and his tongue began to faile him, his eyes perfectly set in his head, his sight failed him. Then wee began to put him in minde of Christs passion, and caused the Yeoman of the Guard to stand by privately to see him dye, and beare witnesse of his words and his departure, who heard all his communications.

Page  115 And then presentlie the clocke strooke eight, at which time he gave up the Ghost, and thus de∣parted he this life, one of us looking upon an o∣ther, * supposing he prophesied of his departure.

We sent for the Abbot of the house to annoint him, who speedily came as hee was ending his life, who said certaine praiers before that the life was out of his bodie:

Here is the end and fall of pride, for I assure you he was in his time the proudest man alive, ha∣ving more regard to the honour of his Person then to his spirituall function, wherein he should have expressed more meekenesse and humility: For Pride and Ambition are both linked together; and Ambition is like Choller, which is an humor that makes men active, earnest, and full of alacrity & stirring, if it bee not stopped or hindred in its course: But if it be stopped, and cannot have its way, it becommeth dust, and thereby maligne and venemous. So Ambitions and proud men, if they find the way open for their rising and advance∣ment, and still get forwards; they are rather busie then dangerous: But if they bee checked in their desires, they become secretly discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evill eye, and are best pleased when things goe backewards: but I forbeare to speake any further herein.

The Cardinall beeing departed, Master King∣ston sent post to London one of the Guard, then was Master Kingston and the Abbot in consultati∣on about the Funerall, which was solempnized the day after, for Master Kingston would not stay the returne of the Post.

Page  116 They thought good that the Major of Leicester and his Brethren should see him personally dead, to prevent false reports that hee was alive And in the Interim, whilst the Major was sent for, his Bones were laid in the Coffin, and his shirt of haire and his over shirt of fine holland were taken off and were put into the Coffin together, with all such ornaments wherewith he was invested, when hee was made Arehbishop, as Miter, Crosse, Ring and Pall, with all other things due to his orders.

Thus hee lay all that day with his Coffin opon and bare faced: that all that desired might see him. And about 3. of the Clock he was buried of the Abbot with great solemnity. And being in the Church, his corpes were set in the Ladies Chappel * with many Tapers or poor men about him holding Torches in their hands, who watched the Corps all that night, whilst the Canons sung divers dir∣ges and other divine Orisons.

And at 4. of the Clock the next morning, the Cardinalls servants and Master Kingston came to the Church to the execution of many Ceremonies in such manner as is usuall to Bishops burialls: And so he went to Masse, where the Abbot did of∣fer and divers others: And then went to burie the Corpes in the middle of the said Chappell, by this time it was fire of the Clocke, being St. An∣••••s day.

Then we prepared for our journey to the Court, where wee attended his Majestie, the next day I was sent for to the King, conducted by Master Norris, where the King was in his night gowne Page  117 of Rochet velvet furred with sables, before whom I kneeled the space of an houre, during which time his Majestie examined me of divers particulars concerning my Lord Cardinall wishing rather then twenty thousand pounds that he had lived.

He asked me concerning the fifteen hundred pounds which Master Kingston moved to my Lord. Quoth I, I thinke I can perfectly tell your Grace where it is and who hath it, can you quoth the K. I pray you tell mee, and you shall not bee unre∣warded.

Sir quoth I, after the departure of Master Ʋin∣cent from my Lord at Seroby, who had the custo∣dy thereof leaving it with my L. in divers baggs he delivered it to a certaine Priest safelie to bee kept to his use, is this true quoth the King? yea quoth I, without doubt, the Priest will not de∣nie it before mee, for I was at the deliverie there∣of, who hath gotten divers other rich Ornaments, which are not Registred in the book of my Lords inventorie or other writings, whereby any man is able to charghim there with but my selfe.

Then said the King, let me alone for keeping this secret between me and you. Howbeit three may keepe Counsell if two be away: And if I knew my Cap were privie to my Counsell, I would cast it in∣to the fire and burne it: And for your honesty and Truth, you shall bee our servant in our Chamber, as you were with your Master.

Therefore goe you your wayes to Sir Iohn Gage our Vice-Chamberlain, to whom wee have spoken alreadie, to admit you our servant in our Chamber, and then goe to the Lord of NorfolkePage  118 and hee shall pay you your whole yeares wages which is ten pounds, is not it so quoth the King? Yea forsooth and if it please your Grace quoth I. And withall said the King, you shall receive a re∣ward the Duke of Norfolke.

So I received tenne pounds of the Duke for my wages, and twenty pounds for my reward, and his Majestie gave me a Cart and six horses the best that I could chose out of my Lords horses to carry my goods and five marks for my charge home∣wards.

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