CHAP. II. Of the Cardinall his speedy dispatch in his first Ambassage to the Emperour Maximillian.
THe King being now resolved to imploy him in this Ambassage commanded him thereup∣on to prepare himselfe for his journey; and for his dispatch wisht him to repaire to his Grace and his Councell, of whom he should receive his Commission and instruction. By meanes whereof hee had then a fit occasion to repaire from time to time into the Kings presence, who had thereby daily experience of his singular wisedome and sound judge∣ment. Thus having his dispatch, he tooke his leave of the King at Richmond, about foure of the clocke in the after∣noone, where he lancheth forth in Graves-end Barge with a prosperous winde and tyde; and his happie speed was such, that hee arrived at Graves-end in little more then three houres: where he tarried no longer then the Post∣horses were provided, and he travelled so speedily, that he came to Dover the next morning, where the Passen∣gers were under saile to passe to Callis; So that long be∣fore noone he arrived there, and having Post-horses pre∣pared, departed from thence without tarrying, making such hastie speede that he was that night with the Empe∣rour: who understanding of the arrivall of the King of Englands Ambassadour, would in no wise delay time but sent for him incontinently, for his affection to the King of England was such, that he was glad of any opportuni∣tie to doe him a curtesie.
The Ambassadour declares the summe of his Embassie unto the Emperour, of whom he craved speedie expedi∣tion, which was granted him, so that the next day hee was clearely dispatched, and all the Kings requests fully accomplished and granted. At which time hee made no Page 6 further stay, but tooke Post-horses that night and rode without intermission to Callis, being conducted thither by divers Nobles appointed by the Emperour; and at the opening of the gates of Callis he came thither, where the Passengers were readie to returne for England: insomuch that he arrived at Dover betweene tenne and eleaven of the clock in the fore-noone.
And having Post-horses in a readinesse, came to the Court at Richmond that same night, where (taking his re∣pose untill morning) he presented himselfe unto his Ma∣jestie at his first comming out of his Bed-chamber to his Closet to Masse, whom when he saw he checked for that he was not in his journey.
Sir quoth hee, If it may please your Highnesse, I have alreadie beene with the Emperour and dispatched your affaires I trust to your Graces contentation; and there∣upon presented the King with his Letters of Credence from the Emperour. The King wondring at his speedie returne (he being so well furnished with all his procee∣dings) for the present dissembled his admiration and imagination in that matter, and demaunding of him whe∣ther he encountred with his Pursevant which he sent un∣to him with Letters, imagining him to be scarce out of London, which concerned very materiall passages which were omitted in their Consultation, which the King ear∣nestly desired should have been dispatched in his Ambas∣sage.
Yes forsooth (quoth he) I met with him yesterday by the way, and though I had no knowledge thereof, yet notwithstanding I have beene so bold (upon mine owne discretion) perceiving the matter to be very ne∣cessary, in that behalfe I dispatched the same. And for∣asmuch as I have beene so bold to exceede my Commis∣sion, I most humbly crave your Royall remission and par∣don.
The King inwardly rejoycing, replyed, We doe not onely pardon you, but give you our Princely thankes, Page 7 both for your good exploit and happie expedition. And dismissed him for that present, and bad him returne to him againe after dinner, for a further relation of his Am∣bassage, and so the King went to Masse.
It is not to be doubted but this Ambassadour had all this while visited his great Friends, the Bishop of Winchester, and Sir Thomas Lovell; to whom he had declared the ef∣fect of his Ambassage; and also his Majesties commen∣dations of him did not a little rejoyce the worthy Coun∣sellours, forasmuch as he was of their preferment. And shortly after the King gave him for his diligent service the Deanrie of Lincolne, which was in those dayes one of the greatest promotions that he gave under the degree of a Bishop. And he grew more and more in estimation and authoritie, and was afterwards promoted to be Almaner.
Now not long after when Death (that favoureth no Estates, nor King nor Kezar) had taken away the wise King Henry the Seaventh out of this present life; It was a wonder to see what practices and devices were then u∣sed about the young Prince Henry the Eight; The great provision that was then made for the Funerall of the one, and for the Coronation of the other, by the now-Queene Katharine, and Mother after the Queenes High∣nesse that now is, whose vertuous life Iesu long pre∣serve.
After the solemnizations and costly tryumphes, our naturall, young, couragious, lusty Prince, and Soveraigne Lord King Henry the Eight entring into his flower and lusty youth, tooke upon him the Royall Scepter and Im∣periall Diademe of this fertile Nation, the two and twen∣tieth of Aprill, Anno Dom 1509. which at that time flou∣rished with all abundance of riches, whereof the King was most inestimably furnished, called then the golden world.
Now shortly after the Almaner seeing he had a plaine path-way to promotion, behaved himselfe so politickly, that he was made one of the Kings Privie Councell, and Page 8 increased in favour daily: to whom he gave a house at Bridewell neer Fleete-street, where he kept his house for his family, and so he daily attended upon the King being in speciall favour.
His sentences in the Star-chamber were ever so pithie & wittie, that upon all occasions they assigned him for the fluent eloquence of his tongue, to be the Expositor to the King in all their proceedings. In whom the King recei∣ved so great content, that he called him still nearer to his person; and the rather because he was most ready to ad∣vance the Kings owne will and pleasure, having no re∣spect to the Case.
Now the King being young, and much given to his pleasure, his old Councellors advised him to have recourse sometimes to the Councell about his weightie affaires; but the Almaner on the contrary, perswaded him to mind his pleasure, and he would take his care and charge upon himselfe, (if his Majestie would countenance him with his authoritie) which the King liked well. And thus none was like to the Almaner in favour with the King.