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VI 6 

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Ncto gorft 

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All rights reserved 

••••• •• • V 

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Set up, electrotyped, and published January, 1904. 

KortoooQ ipresi 

J. S. Gushing & Co. — Berwick k Smith Co. 

Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 


TN accordance with the scheme of the Cambridge Modem History, this 
-*- volume takes as its main subject a great movement, the Reformation, 
and follows this theme to a fitting close in its several divisions. No 
attempt is made to fix a single chronological limit for the whole range 
of European history. In international politics the battle of Marignano 
made an appropriate close to our first volume; the Treaty of Cateau- 
Cambr^sis forms a still more conspicuous landmark for the conclusion of 
our second. The religious history of the Reformation period opens with 
the abortive Fifth Lateran Council, and Luther's Theses follow close. 
Some sort of religious settlement was reached in Germany by the Treaty 
of Augsburg, in England by the great measures of Elizabeth, for the 
Roman Church by the close of the Council of Trent; and the latter two 
events are nearly contemporaneous with the death of Calvin. Before his 
death Calvin had done his work, and the Reformed Church was securely 
established. On the other hand, the Religious Wars in France had just 
begun. Further developments of Lutheranism and Calvinism are left to 
be treated in subsequent volumes. 

In this period the scene of principal interest shifts from Italy to Ger- 
many and Central Europe. Geneva, very nearly the geographical centre 
of civilised Europe at the time, becomes also the focus of its most potent 
lehgious thought, supported by her like-minded neighbours, Zurich, Strass- 
burg, Basel, and the free imperial cities of southern Germany. As the 
scene shifts, the main stream of European life broadens out and embraces 
more distant countries, Scotland, Scandinavia, Poland. The Turkish 
danger, though still a grave preoccupation to the rulers of eastern Europe, 
had been checked; and limits had been set to the Ottoman advance. 

The main proportions preserved in this volume will be found, it is 
hoped, to correspond with the relative importance of the several tliemes. 
If English topics are here treated on a relatively liberal scale, the Editors 
cannot forget that this History in the first instance addresses itself to 
English readers, and they look for pardon if, upon the canvas of this 


vi Preface 

work, Henry VIII, the Protector Somerset, Northumberland, Mary, and 
Elizabeth occupy more space than strict historical symmetry would demand. 

The Editors have suffered many losses and disappointments. Chief 
among these is that of the chapter on the Council of Trent which Lord 
Acton had intended to write. No living historian could hope to bring 
to this task the wealth of accumulated knowledge that Lord Acton com- 
manded, or his special opportunities of insight. The lamented death of 
Professor Kraus has prevented the chapter on Medicean Rome from re- 
ceiving his final revision ; and the loss of his bibliography is particularly 
to be regretted. Lapse of time and fresh engagements have disturbed 
many of the arrangements which Lord Acton had concluded. Of the 
nineteen chapters comprised in this work, nine have, however, been written 
by the authors to whom he assigned them. 

In the original plan no provision had been made for the Reformation 
in Poland. This topic hardly seemed by its importance to deserve a 
separate chapter, and there were obvious reasons against including it in 
any of the others. On the other hand it could not be altogether neglected. 
A brief summary, compiled by one of the Editors, may serve to fill the gap. 

Moved by representations which have reached them from many quarters, 
the Editors have added to this volume, as to Volume vii, a chronological 
table of leading events. A similar table for Volume i is now also supplied. 

The thanks of the Editors are due to all the authors, who have spared 
no labour to perfect their several contributions, under conditions of time 
which were in many cases very burdensome. 

A. W. W. 
G. W. P. 

S. L. 


November, 1903. 




By the late Professor F. X. Kraus, of Munich 


Pontificate of Alexander VI 1 

Eariy ideas of Church reform. The House of the Medici aud the Re- 

naisBaDce 2 

Hie Renaissance in Italy. Reaction. Savonarola 8 

The PlatonistB at Florence • • / 4 

Adriano di Cometo and Julius II A 6 

St Peter's. Symbolical work of Michelangelo. Camera deJla Segnatura 

Wide conceptions of Julius II /I 7 

Attempt to harmonise modem culture with Christianity .... 8 

Tht Fifth Lateran CounciL Estimates of Julius II . X • • • ^ 

Giovanni de^ Medici elected as Pope I^eo X. EAtimates of Leo . . 10 

Bii character, his work, and his age ........ 11 

Sospension of the great arUstic works at Rome 12 

Arriiitectare, sculpture, and painting under I..eo 13 

Mitical action. Extravagance, and frivolity. Beginnings of decadence 14 

LiteiatQie under Julius II and Leo X . 15 

XeritB of Leo X. The University of Rome 10 

PtomLsing beginnings. Questionable expenditure of Leo X V . 17 

Defects of Leo as a patron. Effects on his character of the supreme power 18 

rinal estimate of J^io X. Election of Adrian VI, 1522 .... 19 

Character of Adrian VI. His reception at Rome 20 

Fatluze of Adrian as a reformer. His death, 152^i ..... 21 

Election of Clement VII. His previous history. His character . 22 

Giberti and Schomberg. Wavering policy of Hement .... 23 
League of Cognac. 1529. Sack of Rome, 1527. Effects upon literature 

andart 24 

Relations of Clement and Cliarles V. Treaty of Barcelona (1529). C^)n- 

ferencea at Bologna. 1530, 15:^2 25 

Karriage of Catharine de' Medici to Henry of France. Henry VHI. 

The General CounciL Death of Oement VII (1534) . . . 2fi 
Failnre of Julius* ideas. Decadence of Italy and cornxption of the 

Papacy 11 27 

Decline of literafmre and art 28 

Scheme of Reform. Synod of Pisa, 1511 1 29 

The Fifth Lateran CounciL 1512. The Council under Leo * . . . 30 

Proceedinga, and close of the Council (1517) .' 31 

Concordat with Franci.s L 151*5. Election of Pani III, l.>3-l . . Z2 

Paul in and the reform movement in the Clmrch. Paul IV, and r*iu.s V 3:^ 

List daya of Xichelangelo. The fate of Italy 3-i 


viii Contents 



By Stanley Leathes, M.A., Fellow and Lecturer of Trinity College 


The hereditary feud of Burgundy and Valois 36 

Unstable equilibrium in Southern Europe. Resources of Charles V and 

Francis I 37 

Characters of Charles V and Francis I 38 

Nature and reactions of the struggle. Peace of Noyon, 1616 ... 39 

Candidature for election to the Empire 40 

Election of Charles V, 1519. Significance of the contest .... 41 

Negotiations for alliance with Henry VIII and Leo X / . . . 42 

Conclusion of alliance with Henry VIII. Informal outbreak of war, 1521 43 

Occupation of Milan. Death of Leo X, 1521. Election of Adrian VI, 1622 44 
Treaty of Windsor. Second campaign in Lombardy. Battle of the 

Bicocca, 1522 46 

Disaffection of the Duke of Bourbon 46 

Flight of the Duke, 1623. Failure of the invasions of France. Bonnivet 

in Italy 47 

Siege of Milan. Retreat of Bonnivet, 1624. Policy of Clement VII . 48 
Invasion of France under Bourbon. Siege of Marseilles and retreat, 

1524. Francis crosses the Alps 49 

Francis besieges Pavia. Battle of Pavia, 1626 60 

Capture of Francis. Treaty of Madrid, 1626 61 

Conspiracy of Girolamo Morone, 1525. League of Cognac, 1526 . . 52 
Ineffective action of the League in the Milanese. Ugo de Moncada and 

the Colonna 63 

Advance of the Duke of Bourbon, 1627 64 

The Sack of Rome 65 

Results of, and responsibility for the Sack of Rome 66 

Invasion of Italy by Lautrec. Clement VII comes to terms with Charles V 67 

Siege of Naples by Lautreo, 1628. Defection of Andrea Doria . . 68 

Events at Genoa and in the Milanese. Peace of Cambray, 1629 . . 69 

Treaty of Barcelona. Charles in Italy. Settlement of Italian affairs . 60 

Coronation of Charles at Bologi\a. Causes of his success in Italy . . 61 

Special features of the war, 1621-9 62 

liesources of the Netherlands and Spain . ^ 63 

Resources in Italy. Revenues of Francis I 64 

Finance of Europe ^ 65 



By Stanley Leathes, M.A. 

Death of Margaret of Savoy. Maria of Hungary regent in the Nether- 
lands 66 

Difficulties of Charles V in Italy and Germany. Charles in Italy, 1532. 

He leaves for Spain, 1533 67 

Contents ix\ 



Frmncis I and Clement VII at Marseilles. The pirates of Algiers G8 
Expedition against Tunis, 1535. Death of Clement VII, 1534. Election 

of Paul III 69 

Occupation of Savoy by the Fri'uch, 1536. Charles V in Sicily and 

Naples, 1535 70 

Attitude of Paul IIL Invasion of Provence by Charles V . . . 71 

Charles leaves for Spain. Successes of the Turks in the Levant . . 72 

Truce of Nice between Charles V and Fnmcis I. Results of the war 73 

Operations against the Turks. Revolt of Ghent, 1539 .... 74 

Reduction of Ghent. Affairs of Gelders, and of Italy . 75 
Expedition against Algiers, 1541. Outbreak of war between Charles V 

and France, 1542 76 

Barbarossa at Toulon. Reduction of the Duke 6f Cleves, 1543. Battle 

of Cert^le, 1544 77 

Henry VIII and Charles V invade France., Peace of Cr^py, 1544 ^ . 78 

Fresh stage in the settlement of Europe . • . "^ ^. • \ . \ . ^ ! . 79 

League of Charles V and Paul III. Opening of the Council of Trent . 80 

Battle of Milhlberg, 1547. Conspiracy of (lenoa 81 

Death of Henry VIII, and Francis I, 1547 82 

Affairs of l^acenza. Murder of Picrluigi Famese. League of Paul III 

with Fnmce . . . . ^ 83 

Policy of Gon^ga and Mendoza in Italy 84 

Death of PaullII. Accession of Julius III. War of Parma ... 85 

Mirandola. Dragut and the Ottomans. War in Savoy .... 86 
Treaty of Cmimbord, 1552. French invasion of Lorraine. Charles V 

besieges Metz 87 

Revolt and reionquest of Siena, 1552-5 88 

War in the Netherlands. Truce of Vaucelles, 1556. Close of Charles V's 

career. Situation in Europe 89 

Charles* abdication. Accespion of Pope Paul IV. His character and 

action 90 

I^eague with France. War with Philip II, 1556 91 

Death of Paul IV, 1559. France at war with Philip II and England. 

Battle of St Quentin 92 

Capture of Calais. Battle of Graveliues, 1558. Treaty of Cateau- 

Cambr^is, 1559 93 

Resulting settlement of Europe 94 

France. The Church 96 

Revenue. Justice. The army 96 

The chief personages. The Constable de Montmorency .... 97 

The Guises. Catharine de' Medici 98 

Spain. The Cortes. The Church 9J) 

The Councils. Decline of Spain. Industry and trade .... 100 

Internal economy. The Indies 101 

Boi^ndy and the Netherlands. Regents 102 

Hereiy in the Netherlands. Condition of the provinces .... 103 




By the Rev. T. M. Lindsay, D.D., Principal of the Glasgow College 
of the United Free Church of Scotland 


-ppii«>»>/w> ^f rfiliyiff ng and political fo rces in the ^fW^'ntj^ix ■ . 104 

Popnlar r^ ijyf^"" iVfa Vn fioi.twQtiy iw »ho liff^gCTi^ cenfuiy .^ 105 

religious reviyal. The mendicant Orders 106 

Cult of the Virgin and St Anne. Lay interference in the sphere of the 

Church 107 

Mun^ ffjpa^ f^Ar^tv Religious confraternities 108 

Luther's youth at Eisleben, Magdeburg, and Eisenach .... 109 

At the University of Erfurt 110 

Humanism and Scholasticism at Erfurt Ill 

Luther's studies at Erfurt 112 

He takes religious vows, 1505. His doubts 113 

The Augustinian Eremites 114 

Luther's religious difficulties. Staupitz 116 

Luther's ordination. Transfer to Wittenberg, 1508 116 

University of Wittenberg. Luther at Rome 117 

Luther professor of theology at Wittenberg 118 

His teaching at Wittenberg 119 

Gradual change in his position, 1616-17 120 

Tetgel^ d the Indulgence, 1517 121 

i'Ee pra ctice of Indulgences 122 

Ktblication of Luther's Theses, 1517. Theory of Indulgences . . . 123 

Origin of Indulgences. Treasury of merits ^ > . 124 

mUUlg ences and the Sacrament of Penance ' . 125 

""^ ^ttritLo n and Contrition. Papal Indulgences I ^ . 126 

„ buses conne cted. The Scholastics I . 127 

■ IlemiBBt on of guilt. Luther's position \ . 128 

41i« ■" MAimon man." The character of the Theses . • 1 • 120 

Six propositions. The vogue of the Theses / . 130 

Attacks upon and discussion of the Theses 131 

Luther summoned to Rome, to Augsburg, 1518 . ' 132 

Interview with the Cardinal-Legate 183 

Mission of Miltitz to Germany. Interview with Luther .... 134 

Papal Supremacy. Disputation with Eck at Leipzig .... 135 

Luther's writings 136 

The Appeal To the CkrUtian NohUUy of the German Nation ... 137 

Attack on the Roman Church. Luther excommunicated .... 138 

^ The Diet of Wonns, 1521. The papal Nuncio, Aleander .... 139 

Luther at the Diet 140 

Luther's condemnation. The Wartburg 141 






By A. F. Pollard, M.A., Professor of Constitutional History 
in University College, London 


Movement for reform of goverp '^ftTi ^ [ ^ (la rm ftiiy i ■ . i 14i 

Dynasdc aims of dbarles V. Effecteon^^jris^yr y - ,^^ . 143 

His ui liiudux^ . Acnrade iowariSs the Papacy . . " -.•>-.-. - ~ ^^_ 

iTgp ^f th e impertat power ia Habsbur^ Intere sts 146 

Ijnicn oi Wiirltelhberg. The Diet of WormsT iSSfl* T : . '. 14fr- 

JhP rttTff?* "011 '"^ft ^^'*rira] dmnm at^'nn ^ . , _147. 

The fitfltg vt y^^yiilnr f^i^lipg |t\ fiprmauy -*. . . . 148 

B€t&iSfegxment and Heichskammergericht . . . ' .* . . 149 
Partition of Habsburg territories. Territorial ambition of the Princes of . 

Germany 150 

Difficulties of the Reichsregiment 151 

Proposal to tax exports and i mports . •__•_• : i • • ^^^ 

R^jstaiir** ^^ *^9 '*'}*i'^ — ^ ........_*--— . !..' . . . 155" 

"The knights and Sickingen 154 

The Knights' War. Invasion of lYier 155 

Defeat and death of Sickingen. Failure of the Reichsregiment . . 156 

Victory of the territorial principle 157 

X Failure of the Edict of Worms 158 

. ^^^^on?«^Mnn litrratnre in fiormany 150 

Spread of the Reformed doctrines 160 

^.^^ The religious Orders and Reform 161 

^^y Lack ^i^rgaaJwrtton. Theological controversy increases .... 162 

j^niEer and Augustine 163 

Activity of Luther. His Bible 164- 

Carlstadt and Z willing at Wittenberg 165 

The Anabaptists 166 

Lather returns to Wittenberg. The humanists . . . . . 167 

Breach of the humanists with the Reformers. Formation of an opposition 

to the Reformers 168 

Secular Princes won by the Papacy. Converts to the Reformation . . 160 

The Ntbmberg Diets and the papal Nuncios, 1622 170 

Campeggio at Niimberg, 1524 171 

^Demand for a General Council. Catholic Princes at Ratisbon, 1524 172 

Lutheran meetings at Speier 17.'^ 


By A. F. Pollard, M.A. 

Supposed revolutionary tendency of the Reformation 
Element of truth in the allegation. Discontent of the peasants 
The grievaa^^es of the peasants. The Roman Law ... 
Beginnings of the Peasants' Rising, 1524 . . . 

175 • 

xii Contents 


Articles of the peasants. Spread of the movement 178 

Religious element in the rising 179 

Evangelical Brotherhood. Articles of Memmingen 180 

Ulrich in WUrttemberg 181 

Risings in the south and west 182 

Leaders, motives, and aims of the rebels 183 

Utopian schemes 184 

Socialistic and communistic movements in the towns .... 18 

Thomas MUnzer and his teaching 18 

Massacre of Weinsberg, 1626 187 

The rebels in Franconia. Attack on Wtirzburg 188 

Defeats of the rebels. Philip of Uesse and Truchsess .... 189 

Suppression of the rebellion, 1626-6 190 

Results of the Peasants' Revolt 191 

Its nature. Religious reaction 192 

Attitude of Luther towards the revolt 193 

The Reformation in alliance with the Princes 194 

^ Secularisation of Church property. Opposing leagues . . . . 195 

\philip of Hesse. Recess of Speier, 1526 19($ 

Clement VII and Charles V. Battle of Mohdcs, 1526 .... 197 

John Zapolya. Ferdinand, King of Bohemia 198 

Ferdinand, King of Hungary. Effects of these preoccupations . . 199 

The Princes and the Lutheran Church 200 

« Demand for spiritual liberty. Luther's hymns and Catechism . . 201 

Pack's forgeries. Philip of Hesse and the Catholics 202 

\ Charles and Clement VII ; the treaty of Barcelona, 1629. The Diet of 

Speier, 1529. Lutherans and Zwinglians 203 

Decisions of the Diet The ** Protest" 204 

The original Protestants 205 



By A. F. Pollard, M.A. 

Protestant union ; its difiSculties. The Turks invade Hungary . . 206 

Siege of Vienna, 1529. Conference of Marburg 207 

Luther and Zwingli 208 

Doctrine of the Eucharist 209 

Protestant union impossible. Charles V in Germany, 1530 . . . 210 

\ Diet of Augsburg ; Confession of Augsburg 211 

The Tetrapolitana. Position of Charles between the parties . . . 212 

Fruitless negotiations. Catholic proposals ; fresh protest . . . 213 
Ferdinand, King of the Romans. Recess of Augsburg, 1531. Resort to 

legal process 214 

The Protestant Princes at Schmalkalden 215 

Battle of jKappel, 1531. Swiss war proposed by Ferdinand . . . 216 

Inaction 6f Charles. League of Schmalkalden formed, 1531 . . . 217 

Charles conciliates the Protestants. Turkish invasion repelled . . 218 

Charles leaves Germany for Italy. His failure 219 

France ^sists a scheme to restore Ulrich in WUrttemberg . . . 220 
Its succAa. Peace of Cadan, 1534. The Protestants and the Beichskam- 

merhericht 221 

CoHtents xiii 


BrvdntioiLUT moj^Bk&BtM 23d 

Tte AnabapciBCi and oUier fleets SdS 

Srpcre mcMDZCflL ResisUiice. M6o»ter 3dl 

imhircwri in the Netherianda. lUstng at Miiiuter* 16M . . . S^ 

Aoab^XBt rale. Jan ran Leyden i^ 

Anabapcists mppieased, 1535 ^7 

Social fcnneni in North Gennanj. Tlie Hanse Lea|:ue .... ±)8 
AiEaiB in ScandinaTia. War in the Baltic. Wallenwerer, Boigomastcr 

of Lobcck, 1533 299 

Cbrirtopher of CHdenborg. The Gr^eitfehde. Sncceases of Puke 

Chrisnan 830 

fkD of WallenweTer. 1535 HSl 

Dancer of the Protestants. Catholic Lea^e of Halle . . . . i3a 
Extension of the Schmalkaldic League, 1535. Ferdinand compiomlses 

with the Protestants 333 

Wittenberg Concord, 153d. DiTisioiis among the Protestants ... 234 
Thioe of Nice, 1538. Fear of a General Council Mission of Held, 153d. 

Catholic Leagae of KOraberg 335 

Dangers in Hungary, 1538-9. Gelders and Cleves-JiUich ... 23d 

Joadiim 11 of Brandenburg. Death of Duke George of Saxony 237 

Further aoocasions to Protestantism. Conference at Frankfort, 1539 238 

Charles* difficulties with German Catholics. Conferences 239 

Conference of Ratisbon, 1541. Its failure 240 

Bigamy of Philip of HesBe. Philip makes terms with Charles V 241 

Algiers. Hungary, aeves. War with Francis 1 242 

liurtition of Wurzen. The Protestants overrun Brunswick. ConTersion 

of Hermann of Cologne 243 

Conquest of Gelders, 1543. Diet of Speier, 1544 244 

Ftece of Cr^y, 1544 245 



By A. F. Pollard, M.A. 

Religious situation in Germany. Aims of Charles V . . • . 24d 

Dynastic purposes, and opportunism 247 

Reasons for a policy of war 248 

\ Summons of a General Council to Trent 249 

The Protestants reject the General Council. Charles holds out hopes of 

a National Council 250 

Alliance of Paul III and Charles V. Bavaria won to Charles. Divisions 

of the Protestants 251 

Maurice of Saxony, and John Frederick 252 

^Pbilipof Hease. Diet of Ratisbon. Charles V's diplomacy . . . 258 

Weakness of the Protcstanus. The war represented as not religious . 2rA 

Heresy and treason. Position of the Schmalkaldic League . . . 255 

The Schmalkaldic War, 154G 250 

Maurice and Ferdinand invade Ernestine Saxony 267 

Break-up of the Protestant army. Negotiations with the South German 

towns 2r.8 

Hermann of Cologne resigns. Successes of John Frederick . . 2r)0 

Paul in withdraws his troops. Charles in Saxony 2<)0 

BatUe of Milhlberg, 1547. The Elector and the Landgrave prisoners 'JOl 

xiv Contents 


rThe Diet of Augsburg. Proposed new League 262 

Administrative measures of Charles. Tension between him and the Pope 263 

\Tbe General Council. The Augsburg Interim^ 1548 264 

Nature and results of the Interim 266 

The Leipzig htterim. Situation at Augsburg 266 

Question of the imperial succession 267 

Charles* power in Germany undermined. Foreign aftairs . . . 268 

Maurice prepares for desertion. War of Magdeburg .... 269 

Negotiations with France. Successes of Maurice 270 

Hans of CUstrin. Treaty of Chambord, 1562 271 

Flight of Charles V. Conference at Passau 272 

Treaty of Passau. Siege of Metz, 1552 273 

Albrecht Alcibiades. League of Heidelberg 274 

Battle of Sievershausen, 1553. Death of Maurice. Death of John Fred- 
erick, 1564. Albrecht Alcibiades expelled 275 

\Diet of Augsburg 276 

Terms of the Religious Peace of Augsburg 277 

Cvju9 regio ^ts religio. The new despotism 278 

Results of the Reformation period in Germany ...... 279 



By A. A. TiLLBY, M.A., Fellow of King's College 

T he need fo r Refor m in France 280 

"XndepeudeuM uf Ff&uce. The Concordat of 1516 281 

The Renaissance. Lef^vre d*£taples and Brigonnet .... 282 

The Meauz preachers and the Sorbonne 283 

Persecution of Reformers, 1526-32. Berquin executed .... 284 

Vacillating policy of Francis I. Cop's address, 1633 .... 285 
The Placards at Paris, 1534. Persecutions. Milder policy. Proposed 

conference with German Reformers 286 

The moderate party in France. The Christianae religionis institution 1636 287 

Vigorous measures against the Protestants, 1538-44 288 

Peace of Cr^py, 1644. The Waldenses of Provence 289 

Massacre of the Waldenses, 1545. The Fourteen of Meaux, 1546 . . 290 
Results of persecution. Spread of Reform .... .291 
The Universities. The channels for the spread of Reform. Henry II, 

1547 292 

La Ghambre Ardente. Organisation of French Protestantism . . . 293 

Proposed Inquisition. Persecutions . . 294 

Distinguished converts. Protestant Synod, 1559 295 

Death of Henry II, 1559. Accession of Francis II. The Guises . . 290 

The Tumult of Amboise, 1660. Michel de PHOpital, Chancellor . . 29' 
Edict of Romorantin. Assembly of Notables. Protestant conspiracy. 

Arrest of Cond6 . 298 

Death of Francis II, 1560. Accession of Charles IX. Catharine de* 

Medici Regent. Estates at Orleans 299 

Ordinance of Orleans. Disturbances in various towns .... 300 

Edict of July. Estates at Pontoise. Attacks on the Clergy ... 301 

Colloquy of Poissy 302 

The Protestants in power. Conference at St Germain, 1562 . . . 303 

The Edict of January. Religious war 304 

IT '' 

Contents xv 



By the Rev. J. P. Whitney, M.A., King's College, Principal of 
the Bishop's Collie, Lennoxville, Quebec 


Early hisUny of the Swiss communities 305 

Hie SwiflB Confederation. Zurich 800 

Tbe youth of Zwingli. F&risb priest of Glarus, 1506 .... 307 

ffis hnmmnistic and religious studies 306 

Pensions and mercenary service in Switzerland. Removal to Einsiedeln. 

Comparison of Luther, Erasmus, and Zwin^ 309 

Zwtng}i people's priest at Zurich 310 

Zwingli^s ideas. His influence and position at Zurich . ' 311 

Constitution of Zurich. Waldmann 312 

Zwing}i's marriage. Samson and Indulgences 313 

Zwtng}i*s relations with Luther and Erasmus 314 

Mercenary service. Zwingli*8 defection from the Papacy 315 

Fteting in Lent. Zwingli's ArcheteUs 316 

Hie first puhlic Disputation at Zurich, 1523 317 

Social, educational, and religious reform 318 

Doctrine and observances. The AnabapUsts 319 

Effect of the Reform movement on the Swiss Confederation 320 

Abolition of the Mass and the monasteries ..... 321 

Supremacy of Zwingli in Zurich 322 

Hie Swiss Anabaptists 323 

Divisions in the Confederation. The Common Lands .... 324 

League of the Catholic CantonH. Bern 325 

Political schemes of ZwinglL Catholic counter-movement ... 326 

Spcead of the Reformation. Disputation at Bern 327 

Reformation at Bern, Basel, Constance, Strassburg 328 

The Christian Civic League and the Christian Union .... 329 

^Tbe Diet of Speier. Imminence of civil war 330 

St Gallen. The Free Bailiwicks 331 

Hie first Peace of KappeU 1529 332 

The question of the Eucharist. The Conference of Marburg . 333 

Failure of Zwin^^s political schemes 334 

Relations with Germany. Tlie Tetrapolitana 335 

Decline of Zwingli's influence. War of Musso 336 

War in Switzeriand. Battle of Kappel and death of Zwin^i, 1531 . 337 

Second Peace of Kappel 338 

Results of Zwingli's policy. Wittenberg Concord. First Helvetic Con- 
fession 339 

Calvin. The Consengns Tigurinus 340 

Division of the Swiss Confederation 341 


xvi . Contents 



By the Rev. A. M. Fairbairn, D.D., Principal of Mansfield 
College, Oxford 


Wider range of ideas in the modem era 342 

Luther's personal influence and his limitations 343 

Inadequacy of his system and doctrine 344 

Contrast between Luther and Zwingli 345 

The Reformation and the Reformed Church in France .... 346 

Persecution in France 347 

Characteristics of the Reformed Church in France 348 

Influence of Calvin. His youth and antecedents 349 

His family education. University of Paris 350 

His friendSf and his relations with them 351 

Legal studies. The De dementia 352 

Moral attitude of the Commentary 353 

Cop»s address, 1533, the work of Calvin. Flight of Calvin ... 354 

Calvin at Basel. Intellectual conditions there 855 

Calvin's Letter to Francis I 366 

The Christianae Beligionis Institution 1536. Various editions . . 357 

Calvin at Geneva. Situation of the city 358 

The Bishop. The Vicedom. The citizens 359 

Relations between the Church and the city-State 360 

Relations between the Bishop and the House of Savoy .... 361 
Eyguenots^ Mamelukes. Revolt against the Bishop. Alliance with Bern 

and the Reformation 362 

Calvin's spiritual development 363 

His problem as a Reformer and a legislator 364 

His relation to Augustine 365 

Influence of his theology on his legislation 366 

Calvin's flrst period of rule at Geneva, 1536-8 367 

His drastic measures. His expulsion, 1538. His return, 1641 . . . 368 

The relation of the Church to the Churches 369 

The Ordonnances EccUsiastiques 370 

The Reformed ministry 371 

Position of the ministers. System of Education 372 

Calvinist ministers in France. Influence of Calvin 373 

The Consistory 374 

The State and heresy 375 

Some special services of Calvin 376 



By the Rev. W. E. Collins, B.D., Selwyn College, Professor of 
Ecclesiastical History in King's College, London 

Reform movements in southern Europe 377 

Lines of division. The Reformation in Italy. Adrian of Utrecht . . 378 
The Oratory of Divine Love. Paul III. Consilium de emendanda ecclesia 379 

Contents xvii 


Speziale. German influence in Italy 380 

The Reform movement at Venice 381 

Girolamo Galateo and Bartolommeo Fonzio 382 

Giulio della Rovere. Antonio BrociolL Baldo Lupetino. Disciples of 

the Reform 383 

Procesaes for heresy in the Veneto, Court of Rente at Ferrara 384 

Calyin at Ferrara. Correspondence with Rente 385 

The Modenese Academy. Dispersed, 1540 386 

Deaths for religion. Repressive measures in the Modenese . . 387 

Naples. Juan and Alfonso de Valdte 388 

Joan de Valdte at Naples 389 

Followers of Vald63 390 

Pietro Martire Vermigli at Lucca 391 

His subsequent history. Bernardino Ochino of Siena .... 892 

Italian Reformers in Switzerland and Poland 393 

Pietro Paolo Vergerio. Francesco Spiera 394 

Sympathisers with Reform 306 

Aonio Paleario. Pietro Camesecchi 396 

Process of Camesecchi. The Catholic reformers 397 

Sadoleto, Contarini, and Pole 396 

Fate of the Catholic reformers. Reform of the Church in Spain 399 

The Orders. Revival of learning. Influence of Erasmus .... 400 

Erasmi8ta8 and arUi-Erasmistas in Spain 401 

Francisco de Enzinas (Dryander) 402 

Juan Diaz ; his murder. Francisco de San Roman 408 

Reform movements in Spain. Seville 404 

Gil, Constantino, and Vargas 405 

The Inquisition and the Reformers at Seville 406 

ValUdolid. Agustin Cazalla. Carlos de Seso 407 

u4tflo-de-/e at Valladolid 408 

Bartolom^ de Carranza 409 

Trial of Carranza, 1559-76 410 

Miguel Serveto. His death at Geneva, 1553 411 

Social condition of Portugal. Financial embarrassment . . 412 

Establishment of the Inquisition, 1531 413 

Negotiations with the Papacy. DamiSo de Goes 414 

The work of the Inquisition in Portugal. Financial motives . . 415 



By James Gaibdneb, C.B., LL.D. 

Interviews of the King with Charles V and Francis I, 1520 . . 416 

Treaty with Charles V. Execution of Buckingham, 1521 . . 417 

Wolsey at Calais and Bruges 418 

Charles V in England. Treaty of Windsor, 1522. Albany in Scotland . 419 

War with the French and the Scots, 1522 420 

Money for the wars. Suffolk in France, 1523 

Failure of Suffolk. War with Scotland 

Negotiations with Bourbon, with France. Battle of F^Tia, 1 




Arrest of de Praet. Embassy from Flanders 424 

The Amicable Grant. Treaties of the Moor, 1625 425 

Treaty of Madrid. Position of England 426 

League of Cognac, 1526. Embassy of the Bishop of Tarbes . . 427'' 

Treaties with France. Wolsey in France. Sack of Rome 428 

Anne Boleyn. War declared by France and England against the Emperor 429 

The Divorce. Campeggio*s mission to England 430 

The Trial before the Legates 43I 

Fall of Wolsey. New Parliament 482 

Thomas Cranmer. Mission to Bologna 433 

The Divorce. Wolsey's pardon. His College. Arrest of Wolsey . . 434 

His death, 1530. His character. Pressure on the Pope .... 435 

Praemunire. The King Supreme Head of the Church .... 436 

Henry leaves Catharine finally. Annates abolished 437 

Submission of the Clergy. Resignation of Sir Thomas More . . 438 

Alliance of France and England. Marriage with Anne Boleyn, 1533 439 

The King^s marriage annulled, 1583. Excommunication .... 440 

Sir Thomas More and Fisher sent to the Tower 441 

Irish Rebellion. Act of Supremacy 442 

Fisher and More executed. Character of More 443^ 

Visitation and first suppression of monasteries 444 

Anne Boleyn beheaded. Jane Seymour. Act of Succession . 445 

The Ten Articles. Aske*s rebellion 446 

The rebellion suppressed. Reginald Pole's mission 447 

Further suppression of the monasteries 448 

Executions of various noblemen. Intrigues against Henry 449 

Act of Six Articles. Anne of Cleves 450 

Anne of Cleves divorced. Catharine Howard. Cromwell beheaded 451 

His character. The King in Torkshlre 452 

Catharine Howard beheaded. Scotland 458 

Scotland during the youth of James y 454 

James V and Henry Vin 455 

Battle of the Solway Moss. Death of James V 456 

TVeatiea with Scotland. War with France 457 

Maiy Stewart crowned. The treaties repudiated 458 

Sie|:e of Boulogne. The currency 459 

Anoram Moor. Ineffective war with France 460 

Fsaoe with France 461 

Murder of Beton. Death of Henry VIII 462 

Absolutism of Henry vm. Breach with Rome 463 

The new oonditSons of religion. Translation of the Bible . . 464 

Tyndals. Coverdale 465 

The Qroai Bible. Effects of the Act of the Six Articles .... 466 

Anne Askew. Dissolution of the monasteries 467 

Effects of the suppression. Education 468 

Agrarian legislation and poor laws 469 

Taxation. Debasement of the coinage. Wales 470 

Council of the Marches, of the North. Ireland 471 

Irish UUe. The navy 472 

The army 478 




By A. F. Pollard, M.A. 


.^ta |tti9n in England at Ed^ ani ^^*° "^^'Vffi ^n . . .^ ,--^ -^ 47 4 

Tlie King^s will. The new government 476 

Protector Somerset 476 

Destruction of Henry Vlirs absolatism. Impulse to the Reformation 477 

Spirit of the English Reformation 478 

Its character under Edward VI 479 

Proclamations against innovations. Somerset's policy .... 480 

The attitude of Cranmer and the Church 481 

Practical refonns in religion. Chantries Bill 482 

Further reforms. Desire for uniformity of worship 483 

The First Book of Common Prayer. The aims of its authors . 484 

The agitation of Reformers and of Catholics 485 

Religious persecution. Foreign policy 486 

The attempted union with Scotland. Pinkie Cleugh .... 487 

Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral 488' 

The agrarian revolution 480 

Measures against enclosure. The Protector's policy .... 490 

The Enclosure Commissions. Hales. The bills rejected .... 491 

Peasants' revolt. Robert Ket. French aggression 492 

War with France, 1549. Defeat of the peasants 493 

Warwick's plot against the Protector 494 

The Fall of Somerset, 1549 495 

Reaction against his policy. Treason Act 496 

Agrarian repression. Hopes of the Catholics 497 

More stringent policy of Reform 498 

Disgraceful treaty with France, 1550 499 

Religious controversy. Popular violence 500 

Religious persecution 501 

Bishop Hooper. Spoliation of Church property 502 

Progress of the Reformation 503 

Release of Somerset. His rivalry with Warwick 504 

Coi«p<r&a<of Northumberland (Warwick), 1551 505 

Trial of Somerset 506 

His execution. Second Act of Uniformity 507 

Second Book of Common Prayer, 1552. Articles of Religion. Further 

seizure of Church property 508 

Fuiiament of 1553. Dangerous position of Northumberland . . . 509 

Settlement of the Crown on Lady Jane Grey and Guilford Dudley . . 510 

Death of Edward VI, 1553 511 



By James Bass Mullikosr, M.A., Uniyersity Leotuzer in History 
and Lecturer of St John's C^^ 

Position of affairs in England . 
Leading diplomatists of the reign 
Proclamation of Lady Jane Grey. VtifiA 

XX Contents 


Northumberland marches against Mary. Advice of Charles V . 515 

Proclamation of Mary 616 

Failure of Northumberland. Success of Mary 517 

Clemency of Mary. Cardinal Pole 518 

His advice to Mary 519 

Position of Elizabeth. Mary^s difficulties 520 

Her Church policy. The Reformers. Cranmer 521 

Mary's First Parliament Moderate reaction 522 

The suitors for Mary's hand. Edward Courtenay 523 

Acceptance of Philip's offer. The Commons 524 

Marriage Treaty with Philip 525 

Conspiracies against Mary 526 

Sir Thomas Wyatt in Kent 527 

Wyatt in London. Executions of Jane, Dudley, Wyatt, and others 528 

Elizabeth. Michiel. Cardinal Pole 529 

Mary's Second Parliament 530 

The royal wedding. Mary's counsellors 531 

Arrival of Pole. Return of England to the Papal obedience . . 532 

The Reformers. The first martyrs 533 

Election of Caraffa as Pope, 1555. His policy 534 

Elizabeth at Hampton Court. Mary's delusion 535 

Departure of Philip 536 

Abdication of Charles V. Measures against heresy 537 

The martyrs. Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer 538 

Proceedings at Oxford. The disputation 539 

The Reformers petition Parliament. Attitude of Parliament . 540 

The martyrdoms at Oxford. Cranmer 541 

Grants of money. The Death of Gardiner 542 

Increased severity of Mary. Attitude of Pole 543 

The Dudley conspiracy 544 

Relations of the European Powers in 1557 545 

Paul IV and Pole. Rebellion of Stafford 546 

Victories of Spain in Italy and France 547 

Scotland. Mary StewarL Loss of Calais *'548 

Last Days of Queen Mary 549 



By F. W. Maitla^-^d, LL.D., Downing Professor of the 
Laws of England 

Entry of Scotland into the history of Europe 550 

Scotland in the Middle Ages 551 

The Scottish King, Pariiament, and nobles 552 

The backwardness of Scotland. The Church 553 

The Church and the nobles. Heresy 554 

Distrust of England. Death of James V. Regency of Arran . 555 

Murder of Beton. BatUe of Pinkie, 1547 556 

Mary Stewart. War with Eng^dL ^laiy of Lorraine .... 557 

John Knox and the Congregation of Jesus Christ 558 

Accession of Elizabeth 559 

KllEabeth's title. Her religion 560 




Elizabeth and her relations to foreign Powers 661 

ReligioQS condition of England. Elizabeth ^s own faith .... 662 

A retnm to the position of Heniy VIII impossible 663 

Elizabeth and Paul IV. Her First Parliament 664 

Her first acts. Relations with the Continent 666 

Gateau-Cambrteis. Convocation. The Commons 666 

Act of Supremacy 667 

Colloquy of Westminster 668 

Sapreme Governor of the Church. The Act of Uniformity . . 669 

The religious Settlement 670 

The new Bishops. Confirmation and consecration 671 

*'*' All defects supplied.'' The Scottish rebellion 672 

Elizabeth and the Scottish Protestants 673 

England, France, and Scotland 674 

KegotiaUons between England and the Scottish Protestants . 676 

Treaty of Berwick, 1660 676 

Siege of Leith and Treaty of Edinburgh 677 

Elizabeth, Philip II, and Pius IV 678 

The papal Nuncio. The Scottish Reformation Parliament 670 

Saocess of the Scottish Reformation 680 

The Queens of England and Scotland 681 

Elizabeth and Robert Dudley 682 

The invitation to the Council of Trent 683 

England and the First French War of Religion 684 

EUzabeth's Second Parliament The Oath of Supremacy . . 686 

Elizabeth and the Catholics. Position of the Bishops .... 686 

The Articles of Religion 687 

Lutherans and Calvinists 688 

The Thirty-nine Articles. The Canon Law 689 

The Vestiarian controversy 690 

The Churches of England and Scotland 691 

Beginnings of Puritanism 692 

Organisation of the Scottish Church. Presbyterianism .... 693 

** Parity " and prelacy. Superintendents 694 

Questions still unsettled. Erastianism 696 

Belations between State and Church in Scotland 69& 

Elizabeth and the Calvinists. Zurich. Bullmger 697 

Fint yean of Elizabeth 698 



By the Rev. W. E. Collins, B.D. 

The Scandinavian monarchies 699 

The Union of Kalmar, 1397. Defects of the compact .... 600 

Changes in the united kingdoms. The clergy 601 

Abases in the Church. I. Denmark. Accession of Christian II in 

Denmark, 1613 602 

Reconquest of Sweden by Christian ^ **«* 

The Stockholm Bath of Blood, 1620. Christianas Danish vr^ 

His exactions and administrative policy 

Beginnings of ecclesiastical Reform . 

New rules for the clergy. Christian's difBcult 

xxii Contents 


Flight of Christian II. Position of his successor, Frederick I . . 608 

Paul Eliaesen and his followers 609 

Dispute concerning the see of Lund 610 

Lutheran policy of Frederick I and his son Christian . . . . 611 

Frederick I and the Bishops 612 

Progress of the Reform. Death of Frederick 1 613 

Disputed election. The Count's War 614 

Christian III. His successes. Fate of the Bishops 615 

Superintendents. New Church Ordinance 616 

Later history of the Reformation in Denmark. II. Norway . . 617 

Spoliation of the Church in Norway 618 

Invasion of Christian IL Death of Frederick L Archbishop Olaf and 

Christian III 619 

Christian III in possession of the throne. His measures .... 620 
Reformation in Iceland. III. Sweden. Rising under Gustaf Eriksson 

(Gustavus Vasa) 621 

GuRtavus King, 1523. His difficulties 622 

Demands of money from the clergy. Relations with the Pope . . 623 

Reformers in Sweden. Olaus and Laurentius Petri 624 

The Diet of VesterSs, 1627 625 

Gustavus' ultimatum. The Recess of VesterSs 626 

Supremacy and policy of Gustavus 627 

Gradual and progressive changes 628 

The Ordinaries. Erik XlV-Johan III 629 

Further ecclesiastical changes 630 

Negotiations with the Papacy. The Jesuits 631 

Defeat of the Romanising party. King Sigismund, 1592. The Council 

of Upsala 632 

Swedish religious settlement 633 


By Stanley Leathes, M.A. 

The condition of the Church in Poland 634 

Spread of Lutheran and other opinions in Poland 635 

The Bohemian Brethren. Ecclesiastical licence. Divisions among the 

Reformers 636 

The Anti-IYinitarians. Hosius and the Jesuits. Lelio and Fausto Sozzini 637 

The Socinians . 638 



By R. V. Laurence, M.A., Fellow and Assistant-Lecturer of 
Trinity College 

Different parties among the Catholic reformers 630 

The Oratory of Divine Love 040 

Venice, Padua, and Modena. Adrian VI 641 

Clement VII. Fear of a General Council. Paul III .... 642 




Commission of Cardinals, 1637. Their recommendations . . 643 

Contarini and Paul III 644 

Reforms of Paul III. Religious Colloquy at Ratisbon, 1641 . . 646 

Failure of the Colloquy. The religious Orders 646 

Reform of monastic Orders. The Capuchins 647 

The Theatine Order. The Barnabites. CarafFa 648 

Split of the Catholic reformers. The Inquisition 649 

The Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition at Rome 660 

Ignatius Loyola. His early history 661^ 

Foundation of the Society of Jesus 662 

Confirmation by Pope Paul III, 1640 663 

Constitution of the Society. Election of Loyola as General . . . 664 

Relations of the Jesuits to successive Popes 665 

Laynez elected General, 1668. Interference of Paul IV ... . 666 

The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius 667 

Organisation of the Society 668 

Spread of its influence 669 ' 

Failure of Contarini and his associates 660 

Summons of a Council to Trent. Adjournment. Questions to be sub- ■ 1 

milted to the Council 661 -^-1^ 

Negotiations between the Pope and Charles V 662 I 

Legates appointed for the Council. The Council opens, 1646 . . 663 I 

Arrangements for business. Spanish and Italian Bishops . . 664 I 

Consideration of doctrine and of reform. The rule of Faith . 666 

Church discipline. Original Sin. ' Justification 666 

Seripando. The Jesuits at the Council 667 ; 

Justification. Fear of more stringent reform 668 j 

Decrees on Justification. Residence of Bishops 669 .^ 

Removal of the Council to Bologna, 1649. Suspension. Election of Pope 

Julius III 670 

The second meeting of the Council at Trent, 1661. The doctrine of the 

Eucharist 671 

Penance and Extreme Unction. Suspension of the Council, 1662 . . 672 

Pope Paul IV, 1566. His secular and religious policy .... 673 

Pope Pius IV, 1669. Fresh summons of a Council 674 

Division among the Catholic Powers 676 

Third meeting of the Council at Trent, 1662 676 

Divisions in the Council. Residence of Bishops 677 

The question of the continuity of the Council 678 

The question of Communion in both kinds 679 

The Sacrament of Orders. The rights of Bishops 680 

The Cardinal of Lorraine and Ferdinand 681 

The new Legates. Canisius 682 

Dissensions of the French and the Spaniards. Marriage .... 683 

Close of the Council of Trent, 1563 684 

Results of the Council 686 

Acceptance and execution of the decrees 686 

The Index of Prohibited Books 687 

The new Catholicism 688 

End of the movement for Catholic reform 689 


xxiv Contents 



By the Rev. A. M. Faibbairn, D.D. 


The new intellectual movements 690 

Religion and philosophy 691 

Renaissance and Reformation. Latin and Teuton 692 

Characteristics of the two systems of thought 693 

Influence of Lorenzo Valla on the Reformers 694 

Mysticism. Pico della Mirandola and Reuchlin 695 

Occasion of the Epistolae obscurorum virorum 696 

Erasmus and his influence 697 

The letters of Erasmus 698 

His critical work and religious attitude 699 

The spirit of the Latin Renaissance 700 

Gemistus Piethon and the Neo-Platonists 701 

The Platonic Academy. The new Aristotelians 702 

Pomponazzi and his philosophy 703 

The new scholasticism 704 

New attitude of the defenders of the Church . . . . 705 

Bernardino Telesio 706 

Campanella. Giordano Bruno 707 

The life and death of Giordano 708 

His philosophy 709 

The French Renaissance 710 

Rabelais and Montaigne 711 

The Teutonic Renaissance 712 

Characteristics of the movement 713 

Luther. Jakob Boehme 714 

The Anabaptists. The will of God 715 

Heretical views of the Deity 716 

The philosophy of Predestination 717 

^ The new scholarship 718 



U 11, AKD III. Medicean Rome, and Habsburg and 

Valois 719—727 

IV. Luther \ . 728—733 

V— VUI. Germany, 1521—1555 734—764 

IX. The Reformation in Vrance .... 765—768 

X. The Helvetic Reformation .... 769—778 

XI. Calvin 779—783 

XII. The CathoUc South 784—788 

XIII. Henry VIII 789—794 

XIV. The Reformation under Edward VI . . 795—801 
XV. Philip and Mary 802—806 

XVI. The Anglican Settlement and the Scottish 

Reformation 806—813 

XVII. The Scandinavian North 814—817 

XVIII. The Church and Reform 818—824 

XIX. Tendencies of European Thought in the Age 

of the Reformation 825—828 

Chronological Table of Leading Events . . 829—834 

Index 835—857 



p. 4, 1. 8 from bottom. For Pompomuszo read Pomponazzi. 

p. 15, 1. 14 ^rom bottom. For Inghiriami read Inghirami. 

p. 23, 1. 11 from top. For Gaspare read Gasparo. 

p. 48, 1. 18 from bottom. For morale read moral, 

p. 72, 1. 8 from top. For Pica read Pico. 

p. 160, 1. 12 from bottom. For Rhegios read Regius. 

p. 160, 1. 1 from bottom. For von der Dare read van der Dare. 

p. 234, 1. 21 from top. For only stopped but for a while read only 
stopped for a while. 





On the 18th of August, 1503, after a sudden and mysterious 
illness Alexander VI had departed this life — to the unspeakable joy 
of all Rome, as Guicciardini assures us. Crowds thronged to see 
the dead body of the man whose boundless ambition, whose perfidy, 
cruelty, and licentiousness coupled with shameless greed had infected 
and poisoned all the world. On this side the Alps the verdict of 
Luther's time and of the centuries which followed has confirmed the 
judgment of the Florentine historian without extenuation, and so far as 
Borgia himself was concerned doubtless this verdict is just. But to-day if 
we consider Alexander's pontificate objectively we can recognise its better 
sides. Let it pass as personal ambition that he should have been the first 
of all the Popes who definitely attempted to create a modern State from 
the conglomerate of the old Stati pontificii^ and that he should have 
endeavoured, as he undeniably did, step by step to secularise that State 
and to distribute among his friends the remaining possessions of the 
Church. But in two ways his government shows undeniable progress : 
in the midst of constant tumult, during which without interruption 
tyranny succeeded to tyranny in the petty States, when for centuries 
neither life nor property had been secure, Cesare Borgia had established 
in the Romagna an ordered government, just and equal administration 
of the laws ; provided suitable outlets for social forces, and brought 
back peace and security ; and by laying out new streets, canals, and by 
other public works indicated the way to improve agriculture and increase 
manufacture. Guicciardini himself recognises all this and adds the 
important comment, that now the people saw how much better it was 
for the Italians to obey as a united people one powerful master, than 
to have a petty despot in every town, who must needs be a burden on 
the townsfolk without being able to protect and help them. .And here 
Guicciardini touches the second point which marks the pontificate of 
Alexander VI, the appearance, still vague and confused, of the idea of a 
future union of the Italian States, and their independence of foreign rule 
and interference. Alexander played with this great political principle 

O. M. H. II. 1 1 

Early ideas of reformation 

though he did not remain faithful to it ; to what could he have been 
faithful ? Was not his very nature immoral and perfidious to its core ? 
But now and then at least he made as if he would blazon on his banner 
the motto Italia fard da se ; this brought him a popularity which 
nowadays it is hard to understand, and made it possible for him, the 
most unrighteous man in Italy, to gain the victory over the most 
righteous man of his time and to stifle Savonarola's reforming zeal 
among the ashes at the stake. 

The idea of a great reformation of the Church in both head and 
members had arisen since the beginning of the thirteenth century, and 
was the less likely to fade from the mind of nations since complaints of 
the evils of Church government were growing daily more serious and 
well-grounded and one hope of improvement after another had been 
wrecked. No means of bringing about this reform was neglected ; all 
had failed. Francis of Assisi had opposed to the growing materialism 
and worldliness of the Church the idea of renunciation and poverty. 
But Gregory IX had contrived to win over the Order founded by the 
Saint to the cause of the Papacy, and to set in the background the 
Founder's original purpose. Thrust into obscurity in the inner sanc- 
tuary of the Order, this purpose, tinged by a certain schismatic colouring, 
developed in the hands of the Spirituales into the Ecclesia Spiritualis as 
opposed to the Ecclesia Camalis^ which stood for the official Church. 
Traces of this thought are to be found in Dante ; we may even call it 
the starting-point, whence he proceeds to contrast his Monarchia with 
the political Papacy of the fourteenth century, and as a pioneer to 
develop with keen penetration and energy the modern idea of the State. 
The opponents of the Popes of Avignon in reality only fought against 
their politics without paying any attention to the moral regeneration of 
Christendom. Theological science in the fifteenth century raised the 
standard of reform against the dependence of the Papacy, the triple 
Schism, and the disruption of the Church. But she too succumbed, her 
projects foiled, at the great ecclesiastical conferences of Constance and 
Basel. Asceticism, politics, theology had striven in vain ; the close of 
the Middle Ages on both sides of the Alps was marked by outbursts of 
popular discontent and voices which from the heart of the nations cried 
for reform, prophesying the catastrophe of the sixteenth century. None 
of these voices was mightier than Savonarola's, or left a deeper echo. 
He was the contemporary and opponent of the men who were to give 
their name to this epoch in Rome's history. 

The House of the Medici passes for the true and most characteristic 
exponent of the Renaissance movement. We cannot understand the 
nature an"d historical position of the Medicean Papacy without an 
attempt to explain the character and development of this movement. 
The discovery of man since Dante and Giotto, the discovery of Nature 
by the naturalism of Florence, the revival of classical studies, and 



the reawakening of the antique in Art and Literature are its compo- 
nent parts ; but its essence can only be grasped if we regard the Renais- 
sance as the blosaoraing and unfolding of the mind of the Italian people- 
The early Renaissance was indeed the Mta Nuova of the nation. It is 
an error to believe that it was in opposition to the Church, Art and 
the artists of the thirteenth century recognised no such opposition. It 
is the Church who gives the artists employment and sets them their 
tasks. The circle of ideas in whicli they move is stiU entirely religious: 
the breach with the religious allegory and symbolism of the Middle 
Ages did not take place until the sixteenth century. In the fourteenth 
century the spread of naturalistic thought brought about a new con- 
ception of the beauty of the human body ; this phase was in opposition 
to the monastic ideal, yet it had in it no essential antagonism to Chris- 
tianity. It was a necessary stage of the development which w^as to lead 
from realism dominant for a time to a union of the idealist and realist 
stiind points. Many of the Popes were entirely in eympathy with this 
Renaissance ; several of them opposed the pagan and materialistic 
degeneration of Hooianism, but none of them accused the art of the 
Renaissance of being inimical to Christianity. 

Its pagan and materialistic sidcj not content with restoring antique 
knowledge and culture to modern humanity, eagerly laid hold of the 
whole intellectual life of a heathen time, together w^th its ethical 
perceptions, its principles based on sensual pleasure and the joy of 
living ; the^e it sought to bring to life again. This impulse was felt at 
the very beginning of the fifteenth century ; since the middle of the 
century it had ventured forth even more boldly in Florence, Naples, Rome 
in the days of Reggio, Valla, Beccadelli, and despite many a repulse 
had even gained access to the steps of the Papal throne. A literature 
cliaraeterised by the Facefiae, by Lorenzo Valla's Voluptas^md Beceadelli's 
ffermapkroditu9 could not but shuck respectable feeling- Florence was 
the headquarters of this school, and Lorenzo il Mafjnifim its chief sup- 
porter. Scenes that took place there in his day in the streets and 
squares, the extravagances of the youth of the cit}^ lost in sensuality, 
the writings and pictures oflfered to the public, would and must seem 
to earnest-minded Christians a sign of approaching dissolution. A 
reaction was both natural and justifiable. Giovanni Dominici had 
introduced it at the beginning of the century, and Fra Antonino of San 
Marco had supported it, while Archbishop of Florence, w^ith the 
authority of his blameless life devoted to the service of his fellow-men. 
And so Cosimo's foundation became the centre and starting-point of a 
movement destined to attack his own House. At the head of that 
movement stood Era Girolamo Savonarola. Grief over the degradation 
of the Church had driven him into a monastery and now it led him 
forth to the pulpits of San Marco and Santa Maria del Fiore, As a 
youth he had sung his dirge De Ruina Ecclenae in a canzone since gro%s^n 

famous ; as a man he headed the battle against the immorality and 
worldliness of the Curia. He was by no means illiterate, but in the 
pagan and sensual tendency of humanist literature and in the voluptuous 
freedom of art he saw the source of evil, and in Lorenzo and his sons 
pernicious patrons of corruption. Zeal against the immorality of the 
time, the worldliness of prelates and preachers, made him overlook the 
lasting gains that the Renaissance and humanism brought to humanity. 
He had no synipatJiy with this development of culture from the fresh 
young life of his own people. He did not understand the Young Italy 
of his day ; behind this luxuriant growth he could not see the good 
and fruitful germ, and here, as in the province of politics, he lost touch 
with the pulse of national life. His phin of a theocratic State governed 
only by Christ, its invisible Head, was based on momentary enthusiasm 
and therefore untenable. He was too deficient in aesthetic sense to be 
able to rise in inward freedom superior to discords. Like a dead mar 
amongst the living, he left Italy to bear the clash of those contradicttonsJ 
which the great mind of Julius II sought, unhappily in vain, to fuse 
in one conciliatory scheme. m 

Such a scheme of conciliation meantime made its appearance in V 
Florence, not without the co-operation and probably the encouragement 
of the Medici, It was connected with the introduction of Platonism, m 
which since the time of the Council of Florence in 1438 was represented ^ 
in that city by enthusiastic and learned men like Bessarion, and was 
zealously furthered by Cosimo, the Pater Patriae^ in the Academy which j 
he had founded. From the learned societies started for these purposes 
come the first attempts to bring not only Plato's philosophy but the^ 
whole of classical culture into a close and essential connexion with 
Christianity, Flatonism seemed to them the link which joined Chris* 
tianity with antiquity. Bessarion himself had taught the internal 
relationship of both principles, and Marsilio Ficino and Pico della 
Mirandola made the explanation of this theory the work of their lives. 
If both of them went too far in their youthful enthusiasm and mysticism, 
and conceived Christianity ahnost as a continuance of Attic philosophy, > 
this was an extravagance which left untouched the sincerity of theirj 
own belief, and from which Marsilio, when he grew older, attempted' 
to free himself, Giovanni and Giulio de' Medici, son and nephew 
of Lorenzo, were both Marsilio's pupils. Both were destined to wear 
the tiara and took a decided part in the scheme for conciliating these 
contrasts, which Julius II set forth by means of Raffaelle's brush. 

The victory of the Borgia over the monk of San Marco was not 
likely to discourage the sceptic and materialistic tendency, whose vvorstJ 
features were incarnate in Alexander VI and Cesare Borgia. Pietr 
Pomponazzo furthered it by his notorious phrase, that a thing might^ 
be true in philosophy and yet false in theology ; a formula that spread 
its poison far and wide. Even then in Florence a genius was developing, J 




that was to prove the true incarnation of the pagan Renaissance and 
modern realism. The flames which closed over Savonarola had early 
convinced Niceolo Machiavelli that no reform was to be looked for from 

Savonarola's distrust of humanism and his harsh verdict on the 
extreme realism of contemporary art were not extinguished with his life, 
A few years later we find hia thoughts worked out, or rather extended 
and distorted in literature. Castellesi (Adriano di Corueto), formerly 
aecretary to Alexantler VI and created Cardinal May 31, 1503, wrote 
his De vera phiiosophia ex quattuor doctoribus Ecchmae^ in direct oppo- 
sition to the Renaissance and humanism. The author represents every 
scientific pursuit, indeed all human intellectual life, as uselesa for sal- 
vation, and even dangerous. Dialectics, astronomy, geometry, music, 
and poetry are but vainglorious folly. Aristotle has no tiling to do 
with Paul, nor Plato with Peter ; all philosophers <\re damned, their 
wisdom vain, since it recognised but a fragment of the truth ami marred 
even this by misuse. They are the patriarchs of heresy ; what are 
physics^ ethics, logic compared with the Holy Scriptures^ whose au- 
thority is greater than that of all human intellect ? 

The man who wrote these things, and at whose table Alexander VI 
contracted his last illness, was no ascetic and no monkish obscurantist. 
He was the Pope's confidant and quite at home in all those political 
intrigues which later under Leo X brought ruin upon him. His book 
can only be regarded as a blow aimed at Julius II, Alexander's old 
enemy, who now wore the tiara and was preparing to glorify his 
pontificate by the highest effort of which Christian art was capable. 
Providence had granted him for the execution of his plans three of the 
greatest minds the world of art has ever known : never had a monarch 
three such men as Bramante, Michelangelo, and Raflfaelle at once under 
his sway. With their help Julius II resolved to carry out his ideas for 
the glory of his pontificate and the exaltation of the Church. What 
Cardinal Castellesi wanted wfis a downright rebellion against the Pope; 
if he, with his following of obscurantists, were acknowledged to be in the 
right, all the plans of the brilliant and energetic ruler would end in 
failure, or else be hatmed as worldly, and Julius II would lose the glory 
of having united the greatest and noblest achievement of art with the 
memory of his pontificate and the interests of Catholicism. 

The Pope gave Cardinal Castellesi his answer by making the Vatican 
what it is. The alteration and enlargement of the palace howeverpasses 
almost unnoticed in comparison with the rebmldui^iAliiiiiB^lica of 
St Peter's, on which the Pope was resolved since I66I5, ■wi^^ ^^^ 
(1504) Hramante seemed to have set the crown on his i\ ^ 

the plans for the new cathedral, with all the sketchea 
which still survive and have been analysed for ub 
appreciation, show us Bramante not only in the 

power, but as perhaps the most universal and gifted mind that ever use< 
its mastery over architecture* Tlie form of the Greek eroi^s joined with 
the vast central cupola might be taken as a fitting symbol for Catholicism. 
The arms of the cross, stretched out to the four winds, tell us of the 
•doctrine of universality ; the classical forms preferred by the Latin race, 
the elevation with its horizontal lines accentuated throughout, bespeak! 
that principle of rest and persistence, which is the true heritage of the 
Catholic south in contradistinction to the restless striving in search of 
visionary ideal shown in the vertical principle of the north* j St PeterV 
thus, in the €levek>pment planned by Julius, presented the most perfect 
picture of the majestic extension of the Church ; but the paintings 
and decorations of the palace typified the conception of Christianity, 
humanity led to Christ, the evolution and great destiny of His Church, 
and lastly the spiritual empire in which the Pope, along with the greatest. 
thinkers of his time, beheld the goal of the Renaissance and the schema^ 
of a new and glorious future, showing Christianity in itsfulkst realisation? 

His own mausoleum gi%^es proof how deeply Julius II was convinced 
that the chief part in this development fell to the Papacy in general, 
and to himself, Giuliano della Rovere, in particular. The instruction 
which he gave to Michelangelo to represent him as Moses can bear but 
one interpretation : that Julius set himself the mission of leading forth 
Israel (the Church) from its state of degradation and showing it — ^^ 
though he could not grant possession — the Promised Land at least^H 
from afar, that blessed land wliich consists in the enjoyment of the ^^ 
highest intellectual benetits, and the training, and consecration of all 
faculties of man's mind to union with God. I He bade Michelangelo 
depict on the roof of the Sistine Chapel (1508-9), how after the fall 
of our first parents mankind was led from afar towards this high goal ; 
symbolising that shepherding of the soul to Christ, which Clement 
the Alexandrine had already seen and described* When we see the 
Sibyls placed among the Patriarchs and Prophets, we know what this 
meant in the language of the theologians and religious philosophers of 
that time. Not only Judaism, but also Graeco*Ruman paganism, is an 
antechamber to Christianity ; and this antique culture gave not merely 
a negative, but also a positive preparation for Cliriat. For this reason 
it could not be considered as a contradiction of tlie Christian con- 
ception ; there was a positive relationship between classical antiquity 
and Christianity. 

And so at one stroke not only the artist, but the Pope, who doubt- 
less planned and watched these compositions, took up that mediatory 
and conciliating attitude, which some decades earlier had been adopted 
in Florence by Marsilio and Pico. But we see this thought more clear! 
and far more wonderfully expressed in the Camera della Segnatiiri 
(1509). If we consider what place it was that Raffaelle was painting, 
and the character and individuality of the Pope, we cannot doubi 

-1M3] The work of Julius II 7 

tliat in these compositioiis also we are concerned, not with the subjective 
in^Mration of the artist who executed, but with the Pope's own well- 
considered and clearly formulated scheme. In the last few years it has 
been recognised that this scheme is entirely based on the ideas of the 
nniverse represented by the Florentine School. Especially it has been 
proved that the School of AthetiM is drawn after the model which 
Marsilio Ficino left of the Accademi(L, the ancient assembly of philosophers, 
while Parnassus has an echo of that beUa seuola of the great poets of old 
times, whom Dante met in the Limbo of the Inferno. The four pictures 
of the Camera della Se^natura represent the aspirations of the soul of 
man in each of its faculties ; the striving of all humanity towards God 
by means of aesthetic perception (^Panuunui)^ the exercise of reason in 
philosophical enquiry and all scientific research (the School of Athenf)^ 
order in Church and State (^CHft of Ecdesiastical and Secular Law%\ 
and finally theology. The whole may be summed up as a pictorial 
representation of Pico della Mirandola's celebrated phrase, *^ philo9ophia 
veritatem qtuurit, theologia invenit, religio possidet "" ; and it corresponds 
with what Marsilio says in his AccuJemy of Noble Minds when he charac- 
terises our life's work as an ascent to the angels and to God. 

These compositions are the highest to which Christian art has 
attained, and the thoughts which they express are one of the greatest 
achievements of the Papacy. The principle elsewhere laid down is here 
reaffirmed : that the reception of the true Renaissance into the circle 
of ecclesiastical thought points to a widening of the limited medieval 
conception into universality, and indicates a transition to entire and 
actual Catholicity, like the great step taken by Paul, when he turned to 
the Grentiles and released the community from the limits of Judaistic 

This expansion and elevation of the intellectual sphere is the most 
glorious achievement of Julius II and of the Papacy at the beginning of 
modem times. It must not only be remembered, but placed in the most 
prominent position, when history sums up this chapter in human de- 
velopment. Since Luther's time it has been the custom to consider the 
Papacy of the Renaissance almost exclusively as viewed by theologians 
whoemphasised onlymoral defects in therepresentativesof this institution 
and the neglect of ecclesiastical reform. Certainly these are important 
considerations, and our further deductions will prove that we do not 
n^lect them nor underestimate their immense significance for the life of 
the Church and Catholic unity. But from this standpoint we can never 
succeed in grasping the situation. Ranke in his Weltgeschichte could 
write the history of the first hundred years of the Roman Empire, with- 
out giving one word to all the scandalous tales that Suetonius records. 
The course of universal history and the importance of the Empire for 
the wide provinces of the Roman world were little influenced by them. 
Similarly, private faults of the Renaissance Popes were fateful for the 

moral life of the Church, but the question of what the Papacy was and 
meaut for these times, is not sumtned up or determined by them. It is 
the right of these Popes to be judged by the better and happier sides of 
their government j the historian who portrays them should not be less 
skilful than the great nuisters of the Renaissance, who in their portraits 
of the celebrities of their time contrived to bring out the sitter's best 
and most characteristic qualities. Luther was not touched in the least 
degree by the artistic development of his time; brought up amid the 
peasant life of Saxony and Thuringia he had no conception of the whole 
world that lay between Dante and Michelangelo, and coidd not see that 
the eniineoce of the Papacy consisted at that time in its leaderehip of 
Europe in the province of art. But to deny this now would be injustice 
to the past. 

The Medici had not stood aloof from this evolution, which reached its 
highest point under Julius 11. Search has been made for the bridge by 
means of which the ideas of Marsilio and his fellow thinkers were brought 
from Florence to Rome. But there is no real need to guess at definite 
personages. Hundreds of correspondents had long since made all Italy 
familiar with this school of thought* Among those who frequented the 
Court of Home, Castiglione, Bibbiena, Sadoleto, lnghirami,andBeroaldu3 
had been educated in the spirit of Marsilio. His old friend and corre- 
spondent Raffaelle Riario was now, as Cardinal of San Giorgio and the 
Pope's cousin, one of the most influential personages in the Vatican. 
But before all we must remember Giovanni de* Medici and his cousin 
Giulio, the future Popes. They were Marsilio's pupils, and after the 
banishment of their family he remained their friend and corresponded 
wath them, regarding them as tlie true heirs of Lorenzo^s spirit ; Kaffaelle 
has represented the older cousin Giovanni standing near Julius II in the 
Bestowal of Spinfual Law». 

It was a kingdom of intellectual unity, which the brush of the 
greatest of painters was commissioned to paint on the walls of the 
Camera deUa Segnatura; the same idea which Julius caused to be pro- 
claimed in 1512, in the opening speech of Aegidius of Viterbo at the 
Lateran Council, referring to the classical proverb: ^'o-rXoO*? o y^v0o^ r^ 
aX7}$€ia^ €<f>v — simplex sermo treritatis.''^ The world of the beautiful, of 
reason and science, of political and social order, had its place appointed 
in the kingdom of God upon earth* A limit was set to the neglect of 
secular efforts to explore nature and history, to the disregard of poetry 
and art, and its rights were granted to healthy human reason organised 
in the State ; Grratiae et Mu$ae a Deo aunt atque ad Deum referendae^ as 
Marsilio had said. 

The programme laid down by Julius II, had it been carried out, 
might have saved Italy and preserved the Catholic principle, w^hen 
imperilled in the North. The task was to bring modern culture into 
harmony with Christianity, to unite the work of the Renaissance, so far 


^t was really sound and progre^jsive, with ecclesiastical practice and 

ition into one harmonious whole. The recognition of the rights of 

I intellectual activity, of the ideal creations of human fancy, and of the 

conception of the State, were the basis for this union. It remains to be 

giiown why the attempt proved fruitless. 

The reign of Juliua II was one long struggle- The sword never left 
his grasp, which was more used to the handling of weapons than of Holy 
Writ. On the whole, the Pope might at the close of his pontificate be 
contented with the success of his politics. He had driven the French 
from Italy, and the retreat of Louis XII from L<imbardy opened the 
gates of Florence once more to the Medici. The Council of Pisa, for 
which France had used her influence, had come to naught, and its 
remnant was scattered before the anger of the victorious Pontiff. And 
as he had freed Italy from the ascendancy of France so he now lioped to 
throw ofif that of Spain, It may be a legend that as he was dying he 
murmured '" Fuori i barbari^'^ but these words certainly were the expres- 
sion of his political thought. But this second task was not within 
his power. On the 3rd of May, 1512, he had opened the Lateran 
Council to counteract that of Pisa. At first none of the great Powers 
was represented there; 15 Cardinals, 14 Patriarchs, 10 Archbishops^ 
and 57 Bishops, all of them Italians, with a few heads of monastic Orders, 
formed this assembly, which was called the Fifth General Lateran Council. 
Neither Julius nor Leo was ever able to convince the world that this 
was an ecumenical assembly of Christendom. Julius died in the night of 
February 20-1, 1513. Guicciardini calls him a ruler unsurpassed in 
power and endurance, but violent and without moderation. Elsewhere 
he says that he had nothing of a priest but vesture and title. The 
dialogue, Juliug Exdumi%, attributed sometimes to Hutten, sometimes 
to Erasmus, and perhaps written by Faust o Andrelini, is the harshest 
ootidemnation of the Pope and his reign (*' Ophrenetieum^ sed mundanum^ 
ne mtmdanum quidem^ »ed Ethnieunu imo EthnuHtt sceleratiorem : gloriariB 
t€ plurimum potuisse ad discindenda foedera^ ad inflammanda bella^ ad 
Giraffes hominumexcUandas^'), But at bottom the pamphlet is exceedingly 
one-sided and the outcome of French party-spirit. Although in many 
cases the author speaks the truth, and for instance even at that time 
(1513) unfortunately was able to put such words into the Pope's mouth 
II.* " No9 Ecclemam imcamus sacra tf aedes^ sacerdotes^ et praectpue Curiam 
Romanam^ me imprimity qui caput aum Ecclesiae,^^ yet this is more a 
common trait of the otlice tlian a characteristic of Julius IL It almost 
raises a smile to read in Pallavicino, that on his death-bed the mag- 
nanimity of Julius was only equalled by his piety, and that, although 
he had not possessed every priestly perfection — perhaps because of his 
natural inclinations, or because of the age, which had not yet been disci- 
pUned by the Council of Trent — yet his greatest mistake had been made 

with the hest intention anil proved tlisastrous by a mere chance, when^ i 
as Head of the Church, and at the same time as a mighty Prince, he 
undertook a work that for these very reasons exceeded the meaua of his 
treasury — the building of St» Peter's, We see that neither his enemies 
nor his apoIc>gists had the least idea wherein Julius' true greatness con- 1 
sisted. With such divided opinions it cannot surprise us that contem- 
poraries and coming generations alike found it difficult to form a reasoned I 
and final judgment of the pontificate which immediately foUowed- 

Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici came forth from the conclave sum- 
moned on March 4, 1518^ as Pope Leo X. Since Piero had beeuj 
drowned on the 9tli of December, 1503, Giovanni had become the head] 
of the House of Medici. He was only 88 years of age at the election, to 
whicli he had had himself conveyed in a litter from Florence to Rome, 
suffering from fistula. The jest on his shortsightedness, '^ mz</fi caeci\ 
CanUnales creavere caecuni decimum Leonem^^^ by no means expressed! 
public opinion, which rejoiced at his accession. The PaiseMO^ which] 
took place on April 11th, with the great procession to the Lateran, was 
the most brilliant spectacle of its kind that Christian Rome had ever' 
witnessed. What was expected of Leo was proclaimed in the inscription 
which AgostiDo Chigi had attached to his house for the occasion ; 

** Olim habuit C^rls sua tempitra^ tempora Mavf/rs 
Olim fiabuit, sua nunc tempora Pallas kaltet.^ 

But other expectations were not wanting and a certain goldsmit 
gave voice to them in the line t 

" Marsfmi ; esl Paltwt ; Cypria semper era" 

To Leo X the century owed its name- The Saeda Leonh have been] 
called the Saeda Aurea^ and his reign has been compared with that of] 
Augustus* Erasmus, who saw liim in Rome in 15Q7 and 1509; praises ^ 
his kindness and humanity, his magnanimity and his learning, the 
indescribable charm of his speech, his love of peace and of the fine arts, 
which cause no sighs, no tears ; he places him as high above all his 
predecessors as Peter's Chair is above all thrones in the world. Palla- 
vicino says of Leo that he was well*known for his kindness of heart,, 
learned in all sciences, and had passed his youth in the greatest innocence. 
That as Pope he let himself be Winded by appearances, which often I 
confuse the good with the great, and chose rather the applause of the! 
crowd than the prosperity of the nation, and thus was t^smpted toj 
exercise too magnificent a generosity. Such expressions from one who 
is the unconditional apologist of all the Popes cannot make much 
impression, but it is noticeable that even Sarpi says : " Leo, noble by 
birth and education, brought many aptitudes to the Papacy, especially i 
a remarkable knowledge of classical literature, humanity, kindness, the' 
greatest liberality^ an avowed intention of supporting artists and learned 


■ ion 

meii» who for many years had enjoyed no such favour in the Holy See. 
He would have made an ideal Pope had he added to these qualities 
dome knowledge of the things of religion, and a little more inclination 
piety, both of them things for which be cared little/' 
The favourable opinion entertained of Leo X by big contemporaries 
long held the field in history. His reign has been regarded as at once 
the zenith and cause of the greatest period of the Renaissance. His 
wide liberality, his unfeigned enthusiasm for the creations of genius, his 
unprejudiced taste for all that beautifies humanity, and his sympathy 
for all the culture of his time have been the theme of a traditional 
chorus of laudation. More recent criticism has recognised in the reign 
of Leo a period of incipient decline, and has traced that decline to the 
follies and frailties of the Pontiflf. 

With regard to the political methods of Leo some difference of 
opinion may still be entertained. Some have seen in him the single- 
minded and unscrupulous friend of Medicean Florence, prepared to 
sjieritice alike the interests of the Church and of the Papacy to the 
"Ivancement of his family. To others he is the clear-sighted statesman 
ko, perceiving the future changes and ditheulties of the Church, sought 
for the Papacy the firm support of a hereditary alliance. 

Truth may lie midway between these two opinions. H we view Leo 
la man, similar doubts encounter us. Paramount in his character were 
his gentleness and cheerfulness, his good-nature^ his indulgence both for 
himself and others, his love of peace and hatred of war. But these 
amiable qualities were coupled with an insincerity and a love of tortuous 
ways which grew to be a second nature. Nor must we overlook the fact 
that Leo*s policy of peace was a mere illusion; his hopes and intentions 
were quite frustrated by the actual course of affairs. On his personal 
chai'acter the great blot must rest that he passed his life in intellectual 
self-indulgence and took his pleasure in hunting and gaming, while the 
Teutonic North was bursting the bonds of reverence and authority wliich 
bound Europe to Rome. Even for the restoration of the rule of the 
^^ Medici in Florence the Medicean Popes made only futile attempts, 
^B Cosimo I was the first to accomplish it. Leo had absorbed the culture 
^m of his time, but he did not possess the ability to look beyond that time. 
^H A diplomatist rather than a statesman, his creations were only the 
^m feats of a i)olitical virtuoso, who sacrificed the future in order to control 
^^Lthe present. 

^^|p Even the greatness of the Maecenas crumbles before recent criticism. 
The zenith of Renaissance culture falls in the age of Julius IL Ariosto s 
^^ light verses, Bibbiena's prurient La Oalajtdria^ the paintings in the 
^H bath-room of the Vatican, the rejection of the Dante monument planned 
"^ by Michelangelo, the misapplication of funds collected for the Crusade 
to purposes of mere dynastic interest, Leo's political double-dealing, 
which disordered all the affairs of Italy, and indeed of Christendom ; 

all this must shake our faith in hira as protector of the good and 
beautiful in art* His portrait by Raffaelle, with its intelligent but 
cold and sinister face, may assist to destroy any illusions which we may 
have had about his personality. 

The harshness and violence of Leo's greater predecessor, Julius, , 
brought down on him the hatred of his contemporaries and won for 
successor an immense popularity without further effort. The spirituall 
heir of Lorenzo il Magnifico^ Rome and all Italy acclaimed Leo j[7aa#| 
restmtratorem^ felicummum litteraiorum amatorem ; and Erasmus pro-i 
claimed to the world tliat "an age, worse than that of iron, was suddenly ' 
transformed into one of gold." And there can be no doubt that when - 
Leo X was greeted on his accession, like Titus, aa the deliciae (/en^ri^^^ 
humani he made every disposition to respond to these expectation^^ 
and prove himself the most liberal of patrons. The Pope, however, did 
not long keep this resolution ; his weakness of purpose, his inclination 
to luxury, enjoyment, and pleasures, soon quenched his sense of thi 
gravity of life and all his higher perceptions ; so that a swift and sad 
decline followed on the first promise. 

On Leo's accession he found a number of great public buildings 
progress which had been begun under his great predecessor but wer^ 
still unfinished. Among them were the colossal palace planned bj 
Bramunte in the Via Giulia* St Peter's also begun by hira, and his work 
of joining the Vatican with the Belvedere, besides the lotjgie and 
buildings in Loreto. Leo, who was not in the iQUst affected by the, 
passion of building — il mal di pietra — did not carry on these under-J 
takings. He even hindered Michelangelo from finishing the tomb of 
Julius II, so little reverence hud he for the memory of the Pope to 
whom he owed his own position. Only the hggie were finished, 
since they could not remain as Bramaute had left them. Even aftei 
Bramante's death there was no lack of architects who could have' 
finished St Peter's. Besides Raffaelle, who succeeded to Ids post as 
architect, Sangallo and Sansovino, Peruzzi and Giuliano Leno waited 
in vain for commissions. While Raffaelle in a letter relates that the 
Pope bad set aside 60,000 ducats a year for the continuation of the 
building, and talked to Fra Giocondo about it every day, he might J 
soon after have told how Leo went no further, but stopped at the good^B 
intention. As a matter of fact work almost entirely ceased because the ~ 
money was not forthcoming. There is therefore no reason to reproach, 
Raffaelle with the delay in building. On the contrary, by not pressing 
Leo to an energetic prosecution of the work, Raffaelle probably did the 
building the greatest service ; since the Pope^s mind was full of plans^S 
for which Bramante's great ideas would have been entirely forsaken. No 
one could see more clearly than Raffaelle the harm which would have 
thus resulted, 

Leo X not only neglected the undertakings of his predecessor ; he 

-1521 J Architecture, sculptHre, and paintiHg 13 

ciemted nothing new in die wmv of monomentml buildings beyond die 
pordeo of die Navioella, and a few pieces of restoradon in San Cocsimate 
and St John Lateran. The work he had done beyond the walls in his 
Tillas and hunting lodges (in Magliana^ at Palo, Montalto, and Monte- 
fia8Cone)8erTed only the purposes of his pleasure. Of the more important 
palaces built in the city two fall to the account of his relatives Lorenzo 
and Giulio. that of the Lauti (Piazza de* Caprettari) and the beautiful 
Yilla Madama on the Monte Mario, begun by Raffaelle^ Giulio Ro- 
mano, and GioTanni da Udine, but ncTcr finished. Cardinal Giulio de* 
Medici it was who carried on the building of the Sacristy in San Lorenzo 
at Florence, in which Michelangelo was to place the tombs of Giuliano 
and Lorenzo ; but the facade which the Pope had planned for the church 
was never executed. Nor were any of the palaces built by dignitaries 
of the Church under Leo X of importance^ with the exceptions of 
a part of the Palazzo Famese and the Palazzo di Venezia. Even the 
palaces and dwelling-houses built by Andrea Sansovino^ Sangallo^ and 
Raffaelle will not bear comparison with the creations of the previous 
pontificate^ nor with the later parts of the Palazzo Famese at Caprarola. 

Sculpture had flourished under Pius II in the days when Mino of 
Fiesole and Paolo Romano were in Rome ; it could point to very hon- 
ourable achievements under Alexander VI and Julius II (Andrea San- 
sovino's monuments of the Cardinals Basso and Sforza in Santa Maria 
del Popolo) ; but this art also declined under Leo X ; for the work 
done by Andrea Sansovino in Loreto under his orders falls in the time 
of Clement VII, after whose death in 1534 the greater part of the 
plastic ornament of the Santa Casa was executed. The cardinals and 
prelates who died in Rome between 1513 and 1521 received only poor 
and insignificant monuments, and Leo*s colossal statue in Ara Celi, the 
work of Domenico d'Amio, can only be called a soulless monstrosity. 

Painting flourished more under this Pope, who certainly was a 
faithful patron and friend to Raffaelle. The protection he showed to 
this great master is and always will be Leo's best and noblest title to 
fame. But he allowed Leonardo to go to France, when after Bramante's 
death be might easily have won him, had he bestowed on him the post 
of piombat4>re apostolico^ instead of giving it to his mcAtre de plaisirM^ the 
shallow-minded Fra Mariano («annio cucullatu%). He allowed Michel- 
angelo to return to Florence, and, though he loaded Raffaelle with 
honours, it is a fact that he was five years behindhand with the payment 
of his salary as architect of St Peter's. A letter of Messer Baldassare 
Turini da Pescia turns on the ridiculous investiture of the jester Mariano 
with the tonaca of Bramante, performed by the Pope himself when 
Bramante was scarce cold in his grave. This leaves a most painful impres- 
sion, and makes it very doubtful whether Leo ever took his patronage of 
the arts very seriously . In the same way his love of peace is shown in a 
very strange light during the latter half of his reign by the high-handed 


Decadence of art under Leo X 


caitipaign against the Duke of Urbino (1516) ; the menace to Ferrara 
(1519) ; the crafty enticing of Giampaolo Baglione, Lord of Perugia, to 
Rome and his murder despite the safe-conduct promised him ; the war 
against Ludovico Freducci, Lord of Fermo ; the annexation of the towns 
and fortresses in the province of Ancona ; the attempt on the life of the 
Duke of Ferrara ; the betrayal of Francis I and the league with Charles V 
in 152L The senseless extravagance of the Court, the constant succession 
of very mundane festiv^als, hunting-parties, and other amusements, left 
Leo in continual embarrassment for money and led him into debt not 
only to all the bankers but to his own officials. They even drove him 
to unworthy extortion, such as followed on the conspiracy of Cardinal 
Petrueei and the pardon granted to his accomplices, or that which was j 
his motive for the creation of thii*ty-one cardinals in a single day. 

All this taken together brings us to the conclusion that Leo's one 
real merit was his patronage of Raffaelle, Despite the noble and 
generous way in which his reign began the Pope soon fell into an 
effeminate life of self-indulgence spent among players and buffoons, a 
life rich in undignified farce and offensive jests, but poor in every kind 
of positive achievement. The Pope laughed, hunted, and gambled ; he I 
enjoyed the papacy. Had he not said to his brother Giuliano on his 
accession : " Qodiamoei il papato poicke Bio ci V ha datof^^ Though he 
himself has not been accused of sensual excesses the moral sense of thai 
Pope could not be delicate when he found fit to amuse himself with 
indecent comedies like La Oalandria, and on April 30, 1518, attended 
the wedding of Agostino Chigi with his concubine of many years* 
standing, himself placing the ring on the hand of the bride, already 
mother of a large family. 

N<jr can Leo's reign, apart from his own share in it, be regarded as | 
the best period of the Renaissance. The great masters had done their 
best work befoie 1513. Bramante died at the beginning of Leo's i 
pontificate, Michelangelo had painted the Sistine Chapel from 1508 to 
1512^ Leonardo the Oena in 1496, Raffaelle the Stanza delta Segnatura^ 
1508-11. The later Stance are far inferior to that masterpiece ; the 
work of his pupils comes more to the fore in the execution of the 
paintings. And in his own w^ork, as also in that of Michelangelo, 
the germ of decadence is already visible, and a slight tendency to] 
harocco style is to be seen in both. The autumn wind is blowing, and 
the first leaves begin to fall. 

The trutli results that the zenith of Renaissance art falls in the time 
between 1496 and 1512, during which the Last Supper^ the roof of 
the Sistine Chapel, and the Stanza della Se<pmtura were painted, and 
Bramante's plans for St Peter's were drawn up. We can even mark ai 
narrower limit, and say that the four wall paintings uf the Stapiza delta* 
Segnatura mark the point at which medieval and modern thought touch 
one another \ the narrow medieval world ceases, the modern world stands 4 

-I2i] Literatmrt mmter Leo X 15 

befoie OS dereloped in mil its fulness and freedcum. One mav indeed 
doubc whether all the meaning of this contrast was quite clear to the 
Bind of Jolios II ; bot after all that is a matter of secondary importance* 
For it is not the individual who decides in such matters : without being 
aware of it he is borne on bv his time and must execute the task that 
hisUHT has laid upon him. Great men of all times are those who have 
understood the err from the inmost heart of a whole nation or genera- 
tion, and, consciously or unconsciously, have accomplished what the hour 

It has been in like manner represented that literature passed through 
a gcdden age under Leo X ; but considerable deductions must be made 
&om the undiscriminating eulogies of earlier writers. 

Erasmus has reflected in his letters the great impression made by 
BcMne, the true seat and home of all Latin culture. Well might 
Cardinal Raffaelle Riario write to him : ^ Everyone who has a name in 
acience throngs hither. Each has a fatherland of his own, but Rome is 
a c<Hnmon fatherland, a foster-mother, and a comforter to all men of 
learning.'^ It is long since these words were written — far too long for 
the honour of Catholicism and of the Papacy. But at that time, under 
Julius II, they were really true. A circle of highly cultured cardinals 
and nobles, Riario, Grimani, Adriano di Corneto, Farnese, Gio\-anni de* 
Medici himself in his beautiful Palazzo Madama, his brother Giuliano U 
MoffmiJicOy and his cousin Giulio, afterwards Clement VII, gathered 
poets and learned men about them, that dotta eompa^ia of which 
Ariosto spoke; to them they opened their libraries and collections. 
Clubs were formed which met at the houses of Angelo Colooci, Alberto 
Rio di Carpi, Goritz, or Savoja. The poets and pamphleteers, to 
whom Arsilli dedicated his poem De PoetU UrhanU^ g^^ve vent to their 
wit on Pasquino or on Sansovino's statue in Sant' Agostino. They met in 
the salons of the beautiful Imperia, in the banks described by l^mdello, 
among them Beroaldo the younger, who sang the praises of that most 
celebrated of modem courtesans ; Fedro Inghiriami, the friend of Emsmus 
and Raffaelle ; Colooci, and even the serious Sadoleto. It is characteristic 
of this time, which placed wit and beauty above morals, that when 
Imperia died at the age of twenty -six she received an honourable burial 
in the chapel of San Gregorio, and her epitaph praised the ^* CortiMua 
Romana quae^ digna tanto nomine^ rarae inter homines format specimen 
deditJ*'' And although women no longer played so prominent a part at 
the papal Court as they had done under Innocent VIII and Alexander VI, 
yet, as Bibbiena wrote to Giuliano de' Medici, the ai-rival of noble ladies 
was extremely welcome as bringing with it something of a corte de^ donne. 

The activity of the greater number of literary men and wits, whose 
names have most contributed to the glory of Leo's pontifieiite, dates 
back to Giulio's time ; so for instance Molza, Vida, Giovio, Valeriano, 
whose dialogue De Infelicitate Litteratorum tells of the fate of many of 

his friends^ Porzio, Cappella, Bembo, who as Latinist was the chief 
representative of tlie cult of Cicero, and as a writer in the vulgar tongue 
gave Italy her prose, and Sadoleto, who chronicled the discovery of the 
Laocoon group. Pontano too and Sannazaro, Fracaatan, and Navagero 
had already done their best work* 

Nothing could be more unjust than to deny that Giovanni de' Medici 
himself had a highly cultured mind and an excellent knowledge of 
literature. It may be that Lorenzo had destined him for the Papacy 
from his birth; certainly he gave him the most liberal education* He 
gave him Poliziano, Marsilio, Pico della jMirandola, Johannes Argyro- 
poulos. Gentile d* Arezzo for his teachers and constant companions, and, 
to teach him Greek, Demetrius Chalcondylas, and Petrus Aegineta. 
Afterwards Bernardo di Do vizi (Bibbicna) was his best known tutor. 
In belles lettrea Giovanni had made an attempt with Greek verses^ none 
of wliich have survived. Of his Latin poems the only examples handed 
down to us are the hendecasyllables on the statue of Lucrezia and an 
elegant epigram, written during his pontificate, on the death of Celso 
Mellini, weU known for his lawsuit in 1519 and his tragic death by 

Nor can it be denied that the opening years of this pontificate were 
of great promise, and seemed to announce a fresh impetus, or, to speak 
more exactly, the successful continuation of what had long since begun. 
Amongst the men whom the young Pope gathered round him were 
many of excellent understanding and character, such as the Milanese 
Agostino Trivulzio, who later on was to do Clement signal service, 
Alessandro Cesarini, Andrea della Valle. Paolo EniiJio Cesi, Baldassare 
Turini, Tommaso de Vio, Lorenzo Campeggi, the noble Ludovico 
di Canossa, from Verona, most of whom wore the cardinaPs hat. 
Bembo and Sadoleto were the chief ornaments of his literary circle; 
to them was added the celebrated Greek John Lascaris, once under 
the protection of Bessarion, then of Lorenzo il Magnifico and Louis XII, 
in France the teacher of Budaeus, in Venice of Erasmus. Leo X on his 
accession at once summoned him to Rome, and on his account founded 
a school of Greek in tlie palace of the Cardinal of Sion on Monte 
Cavallo. Lascaris' pupil, Marcus Musurus, was also summoned from 
Venice in 1516 to assist in this school. At the same time the Pope com- 
missioned Beroaldus to publish the newly-discovered writings of Tacitus. 
A measure, wliich might have proved of the utmost importance, was 
the foundation of the university of Rome by the Bull Dum Suavimmas 
of November 4, 1513. This was a revival and confirmation of an already 
existing Academj% in which under Alexander VI and Julius II able men 
such as Beroaldo the younger^ Fedro» Casali, and Pio had taught, and 
to which now others were summoned, among them Agostino Nifo, 
Botticella, Cristoforo Aretino, Chalcondyhis, Parrasio, and others, 
Vigerio and Tommaso de Vio (Cardinal of Gaeta) also lectured oa 

-I52i] The University of R(yme 17 

thecdogy, and Giovanni Gozzadini on law. Petrus Sabinus, Antonio 
Fahro of Amitemo, and Raffaelle Brandolini are mentioned among the 
leetorers, and even a Professor of Hebrew, Agacius Guidocerius, was 
appointed. Cardinal Raffaelle Riario acted as Chaneellor. The list of 
the professors given by Renazzi numbers 88 : 11 in canon law, 20 in law, 
15 in medicine, and 5 in philosophy. It was another merit of Leo's that 
he established a Greek printing-press, which printed several books in 
1517 and 1518. Chigi had some years before set up a Greek press in 
his palace, from which came the first Greek book printed in Rome, a 
Pindar, in 1515. The Pope himself kept up his interest in Greek 
studies, and retained as custodian of his private library one of the best 
judges of the Greek idiom, Guarino di Favera, who published the first 
ThtMaunu lingiuie CrraeecLe in 1496, and whom he nominated Bishop of 

Unfortunately these excellent beginnings were for the most part not 
carried on. It was not Leo's fault, but his misfortune, that many of the 
most gifted men he had summoned were soon removed by death. But 
we cannot acquit him of having ceded Lascaris like Leonardo to France 
in 1518, and allowed Bembo to return discontented to Padua ; he did 
not secure Marcantonio Flaminio, and held Sadoleto at a distance for 
a very long time. The continual dearth of money in the papal treasury 
was no doubt the chief cause of this change of policy. Even before 1517 
the salaries of the professors could not be paid, and their number had 
to be diminished. And this was the necessary consequence of Leo's 
ridiculous prodigality on his pleasures and his Court. Well might a Fra 
Mariano exclaim ^^lemamo al hallo $anto^ ehe ogni altra co$a e lurla.^^ 
Serious and respectable men left him and a pack of ^'^'pcuszU luffoni e 
nmU 9arta dipiaeevoli " remained in the Pope's audience chambers, with 
whom he, the Pope himself, gamed and jested day after day " cum ri$u 
et hilaritate.''* Such were the people that he now raised to honour and 
position ; what money he had he spent for their carousals. No wonder 
that this vermin flattered his vanity and sounded his praises as ^^ Leo 
Leus nogter.'' But beside this we must remember, that, as is universally 
admitted, Leo was extremely generous to the poor. The anonymous 
author of the Vita Leonis X, reprinted in Roscoe's Xt/5?, gives express 
evidence as to this, " egenteB pietate ac Uleralitate est proseeutu$y*^ and adds 
that, according to accounts which are, however, not very well attested, he 
supported needy and deserving ecclesiastics of other nationalities. But 
he too remarks, that Leo's chief, if not his only, anxiety was to lead a 
pleasant and untroubled life ; in consequence of which he spent his days 
at music and play, and left the business of government entirely in the 
hands of his cousin Giulio, who was better fitted for the task and an 
industrious worker. Unfortunately he admitted not only bufifoons to his 
games of cards, but also corrupt men like Pietro Aretino, who lived on 
the Pope's generosity as early as 1520, and in return extolled him as the 

C. M. H. II. 2 

pattern of all pontiffs. The appointment of the German Jew Giammaria 
as Castellan and Count of Veirucchio was even in Rome an unusual 
reward for skilled performance on the lute, and even for the third 
successor of Alexander VI it was venturesome to let the poet Querno, 
attired as Venus and supported by two Cupitls, declaim verses to him at 
the Cosmalia in 1519, We have already mentioned the scandalous 
carnival of that year, and the theatre for which Raffaelle w^as forced to 
paint the scenery, A year later an unknown savanU under the mask of 
Pasquino, complained of the sad state of the sciences in Rome, of the 
exile of the Muses, and the starvation of professors and literary men* 

From all this data the conclusion has been drawn that Leo X was by 
no means a llaecenas of the fine arts and sciences ; that the high 
enthusiam for tliera shown in his letters, as edited by Bembo and 
Sadoleto, betrays more of the thoughts of his clever secretary than his 
own ideas ; and that his literary dilettantism was lacking in all artistic 
perce|ition, and all delicate cultivation of taste. Leo has been thought 
to owe his undeserved fame to the circumstance that he waa the son of 
Lorenzo, and that his accession seemed at the time destined to put an end 
to the sad conf usionsand wars of the last decades. Moreover, throughout 
the long pontificate of Clement VII, and cqnally under the pressure of 
the ecclesiastical reaction in the time of Paul IV, no allusion wasallow^ed 
to the wrongdoing of this Leonine period ; till at last the real circum- 
stances w^ere so far forgotten, that the fine flower of art and literature 
in the first twenty years of the sixteenth century was attributed to the 
Medicean Pope* 

But there are points to be noted on the other side. Even if we 
discount much of the praise which Poliziano lavishes on his pupil in 
deference to his father, we cannot question the conspicuous talent of 
Giovanni de' Medici, the exceptionally careful literary education which 
he had enjoyed, and his liberal and wise conduct during his cardinalship. 
We must also esteem it to his credit that as Pope he continued to be 
the friend of Raffaelle, and that in Rome and Italy at least he did not 
oppress freedom of conscience, nor sacrifice the free and noble charac- 
ter of tlie best of tlie Renaissance. Nor can it be overlooked that his 
pontificate made an excellent beginning, though certainly the decline 
soon set in; the Pontiff's good qualities became less apparent, his faults 
more conspicuous, and events proved that, as in so many other instances, 
the man's intrinsic merit was not great enough to bear his exaltation to 
the highest dignity of Christendom without injury to his personality* 

Such a change in outward position, promotion to an absolute sway 
not inherited, intercourse with a host of tlattcrcrs and servants who 
idolised him (there were 2000 dependents at Leo's Court) — all this 
is almost certain to be fatal to the character of the man to whose lot 
it falls. Seldom does the possessor of the highest dignity find this 
enormous burden a source and means of spiritual illumination and 

moral advancement. Mudiocre natures soon develop an immovable 
obstinacy, the despair of any reasonable adviser, and which is none 
the more tolerable for having received the varnish of a piety that 
worships itself. Talented natures too easily fall victims to megalomania^ 
and by extravagant and ill-considered projects and undertakings drag 
their age with them into an abyss of ruin* Weak and sensual natures 
re themselves up to enjoyment, and consider the highest power merely 
licence to make merry. Leo w^as not a coarse voluptuary like 
ader VI, but he certainly was an intellectual Epicurean such as 
seldom been known. Extremes should be avoided in forming 
^Judgment of the pontifieate and character of this prince. Not the 
objective historian, but the flattering politician, spoke in Erasmus when 
belauded the three great benefits which Leo had conferred on humanity: 
the restoration of peace, of the sciences, and of tlie fear of God, It was 
a groundless suspicion that overshot the mark, when Martin Luther 
acxjused Leo of disbelief in the immortality of the soul ; and John Bale 
(1574) spread abroad the supposed remark of the Pope to Hembo : *^ All 
ages can test if ye enough, how profitable that fable of Christ has been 
to us and our compagnie/* Hundreds of writers have copied this from 
Bale without verification. Much of Leo's character can be explained 
by the fact that he was a true son of the South, the personification of 
the soft Florentine temperament This accounts for his childish joy in 
the highest honour of Christendom, *' Qtiesto wi da piacere^ che la mia 
tiara!'* The words of the office which he was reading, when five day* 
before his death news AViis brought to him of the taking of Milan by his 
troops, may well serve as motto for this reign, lacking not sunshine and 
glory, but all serious success and all power : *^ Ut sine timore de manu 
inimicorum nostromm liberati serviamus a/K." This pontificate truly 
• was, as Gregorovius has described it, a revelry of culture, which Ariosto 
accompanied with a poetic obhligato in his many-coloured Orlando. 
This poem was in truth 'Uhe image of Italy revelling in sensual and 
intellectual luxury, the ravishing, seductive, musical, and picturesque 
creation of decadence, just as Dante s poem had been the mirror of the 
manly power of the nation." 


On December 27, 1521, a Conclave assembled, w^hich closed on 
January 9, 1522, by the election of the Bishop of T^rtosa as Adrian VL 
He was born at Utrecht in 1459 and when a professor in Louvain waa 
chosen by the Emperor Maximilian to be tutor to his gnindson Charles. 
Afterwards he was sent as ambassador to Bferdinand the Catliolic, who 
besttiwed on him the Bishopric of Tortosa'Qi Leo X made liim Cardinal 
in 1517- This Conclave, attended by-tliirty-niue cardinals, offered a 
spectacle of the most disgraceful party struggles, but mustered enoii ^ 
unanimity to propose to the possible candidates a capitulation, b\ 
terms of which the towns of the Papal States were divided amongst the 

members of the Conclave, and hardly anything of the temporal power was 
left to the Pope. The Cardinals de' Medici and Cajetan (de Vio) rescued 
the assembly from this confusion of opinions and unruly passions by 
proposing an absent candidate. None of the factions had thought of 
Adrian Dedel ; the astonished populace heaped scorn and epigrams on the 
Cardinals and their choice. Adrian, who was acting as Charles' vicegerent 
in Spain at the time of his election, could not take up his residence at 
Rome till August 29 ; it then looked, as Castiglione says, like a plundered 
abbey ; the Curia was ruined and poverty-stricken, half their number had 
fled before the prevailing pestilence. The simple-minded old man had 
brought his aged housekeeper with him from the Netherlands ; he was 
contented with few servants and spent but a ducat a day for maintenance. 
He would have preferred to live in some simple villa with a garden ; in 
the Vatican among the remains of heathen antiquity he seemed to himself 
to be rather a successor of Constantine than of St Peter. His plan of 
action included the restoration of peace to Italy and Europe, a protective 
war against the invading Turks, the reform of the Curia and the Church, 
and the establishment of peace in the German Church, Not one of these 
tasks was heabletofulfil ; he wasdestinedonly to showhisgood intentions. 
We shall deal presently with his attempts at reformation, which have 
for all time made him worthy of admiration and his sliort pontificate 
memorable. He was not lacking in good intentions to make Rome 
once more the centre of intellectual life ; but Reuchlin had lately died ; 
Erasmus, to whom the Pope had written on December 1, 1522, preferred 
to remain in Germany ; Sadoleto went to Carpentras ; and Bembo, who 
thought Adrian's jjontificate even more unfortunate than Leo's death, 
stayed quietly in northern Italy* Evidently no one had confidence in the 
permanency of a state of things which could not but api>ear abnormal to 
everybody* And indeed, the silent, pedantic Dutchman, with his cold 
nature, his ignorance of Italian, his handful of servants, "Flemings 
stupid as a stone," was the greatest possible contrast to everything that 
the refinement of Italian culture and the well-justified element of Latin 
grace and charm demanded of a prince* The Italiiins would have put 
up for a year or two at least with an austere and pious Pope, if his piety 
had been blended with something of poetry and grace ; but this Dutch 
saint was utterly incomprehensible to them. And in truth this was not 
entirely their fault. As Girolamo Negri wrote, one really could apply 
to him Cicero's remark about Cato : " he behaves as if he had to do with 
Plato's Republic instead of the scum of the earth that Romulus collected/* 
And it must have been unbearable for the Romans that the new Pope 
should have as little comprehension for all the great art of the 
Renaissance as for classical antiquity. He wanted to tlirow Pasquino 
into the Tiber because the jests pasted on the statue irritated him ; at 
the sight of the Laocoon he turned away with the words, ** These are 
heathen idols.'* He closed the Belvedere, and even a man like Negri 


WHS seriously afraid that some day the Pope would follow the supposed 
example of Gregory, and have all the heathen statues broken aud used 
as building stones for St Peter*s. 

In a word, despite the best iutentions, despite clear insight, Adrian 
was not adequate to his task, Tiie moment demanded a Pojje who could 
reconcile and unite all the great and valuable elements of the Italian 
Renaissance, the ripened fruit of the modern thought sprung from Dante 
and Petrarch, with the conceptions and conscience of the Germanic world. 
Both the German professors who now posed as leaders of Christendom* 
Adrian Dedel and Martin Luther, were lacking in the historic and 
aesthetic culture which would have enabled them to understand the 
value of Roman civilisation. Erasmus saw further than either of them, 
but the discriminating critic lacked the unselfish nobility of soul and the 
impulse which can only be given by a powerful religious excitement, an 
unswerving conviction, the firm faith in a {jersonal mission confided by 
Providence, He too, despite his immense erudition, his deep insight, left 
the world to its own devices when it required a mediator; for a gentle 
~ negative criticism of human folly is, taken by itself, of little value. 
Adrian could neither gain the mastery over Luther's Refonnation, 
nor succeed in reforming even the Roman Curia, to say nothing of the 
whole Church. The luxurious Cardinals went on with their pleasant 
life; when he came to die they demanded his money ami treated him, 
as the Duke of Sessa expressed it, like a criminal on the rack. The 
threat of war between France and the German Empire lay all the while 
like an incubus on his pontificate. With heavy heart the most peace- 
loving of all the Popes, reminded by Francis I of the days of Philip the 
Fair, was at last obliged to enter into a treaty with England and 
Germany, Adrian survived to see war break out in Lombardy ; he died 
on the day when the French crossed the Tieino, September 14, 1523. 
Giovio and Guicciardini reLate that some wag wrote on the door of his 
physician, "To the deliverer of the Fatherland, from the senate and 
people of Rome/* I/ittle as the people were delighted with the pontifi- 
cate of this last German Pope, he was no better pleased with it himself. 
He spoke of his throne as the chair of misery, and said in his first 
epitaph, that it was his greatest misfortune to have attained to power. 
The epitaph written for his tomb in Santa Maria dell* Anima by his 
faithful servant, the Datary and Cardinal Enckenvoert, was certainly 
the best motto for this man and his pontificate: ""^ Pr oh dolor ! qiiantum 
refert in qu4ie ternporavel optimi cult/sque virtus incidat.'^ 

A Conclave of thirty-three electors assembled on the first of October, 
1523* Some sided with the Emperor, some with the French, but the 
imperial party was also divided. Pompeo Colonna made an of 

the future Pope by opposing his candidature, and Cardinal ;\ \\x 

Farnese in vain oflfered the ambassadors of both sides 200,000 ducatet 

Cardinal AVolsey once again made all kinds of offers, but there was now 
a feeling against all foreigners. During the night of the 18th-liHh of 
November Giulio de* Medici was elected. He was the son of Giuliano, 
who fell in the Pazzi conspiracy, A certain Fioretta, daughter of 
Antonia, is mentioned aa his mother ; little or nothing was known in 
Florence about her and her child. Lorenzo tCM>k the orphan into 
his house and had him brought up with his sons. In 1494 Giulio, 
then sixteen years of age, followed them into exile. Living for some 
time in Lombardy, but mostly with Giovanni, on his cousin's rise in 
power he too was quickly promoted. Leo nominated him Archbishop of 
Florence, having special!}^ dispensed him from the canonical hindrance 
of his illegitimate birth. At his verj^ first creation of Cardinals on 
September 23, 1513, the Pope bestowed on him the title of Cardinal of 
Santa Maria in Dominica and made him Legate of Bologna, witnesses 
having first sworn to the virtual marriage of his father Giuliano with 
Fioretta. During Leo's reign, as we have already seen. Cardinal Giulio 
had almost all the business of government in his own hands. He seciired 
the election of Adrian, but left Rome and the Pope on October 13, 1522, 
in the company of MatmeU the imperial envoy, in order to retire to 
Florence. A difference with Francesco Soderini brought him back in 
the following April to the Eternal City. He entered it with two thousand 
horse, and already greeted as the future Pope kept great state in his 
palace. A few days later Francesco Soderini, accused of high treason, 
disappeared into the Castle of St Angelo; he was released during the 
next Council. With the new reign a return of happier times was 
expected — una Corte jlorida e un huon Ponfefice ; the restoration of 
literature, fled before the barbarians ; " eat enim Mediceae familiae 
deeus favere Mims.^* And indeed many things seemed to point to a 
fortunate pontificate. The new Pope was respected and rich, and now 
of a staid and sober life. He had ruled Rome well in Leo's day, and 
as Archbishop of Florence had used his power succeasfully. lie was 
cautious, economical, but not avaricious ; though not an author himself, 
an admirer of art and science ; a lover of beautiful buildings, as his 
Villa Madama gave proof, and free from his cousin's unfortunate liking 
for the company of worthless buffoons. He did not hunt, but he was 
fond of good instrumental music, and liked to amuse himself at table 
with the conversation of learned men. 

Very soon it became clear that Clement VH was one of those men, 
who, though excellent in a subordinate position, prove unsatisfactory 
wlien placed at the head. The characters of both Mediei Popes are 
wonderfully conceived in Raffaelle\s portraits : in Leo's otherwisa intel- 
lectual face there is a vulgarity that almost degenerates into coarseness 
and sensuality, and with Clement the cold soul, lacking all strong feeling, 
distrustful, never unfolding itself. " In spite of all his talents,'* said 
Francesco Vettori, *^ he brought the greatest misery on Rome and on 



himself ; he lost courage at once and let go the ruddor." Guicciardini 
too complains of GiuUo's faintheartedness, vacillatiou, and indecision as 
the chief source of his misfortune- This indecision kept him wavering 
between the counsels of the two men, in whr»m from the beginning of hia 
reign he pilaced his confidence ; one belonging to the French faction^ 
the other to that of the Em|3eror. One w|is like himself a bastard, 
Giamraatteo Giberti, rightly valued by all his contemporaries for his 
piety, honesty, and insight. He took an active part in the foundation 
of the Order of the Theatines (1524) by the pious Gaetano da Thiene, 
afterwards canonised, in company with Caraflfa. He was appointed Da- 
tary by Clement, and afterwards Bishop of Verona. Gaspare Contarini, 
writing in 1530, says that he was on more intimate terms with the Pope 
than were any of his other counsellors, and tliat in politics he worked in 
the French interest. He left the Court in 1527 to retire to his bisbopric, 
which he made a model of good goveriunent. In Verona he founded 
a learned society and a Greek print iug-press, which published good 
editions of the Fathers of the Church. Paul III summoned him to 
Rome several times ; it was on his way back that he died in 1543. The 
Emperor's interests were represented by Clemen t*s other counsellor, 
Nikolaus von Schomberg, of Meissen, in Saxony. On the occasion of 
a journey to Italy in 1497, carried away by the preaching of Savonarola 
in Pisa, he had joined the same monastery- Later, scorned by the 
populace as a Judas, he had gone over to the party of the Medici, was 
summoned to Rome as Professor of Theology by Leo X, created Arch- 
bishop of Capua in 1520, and often entrusted with diplomatic missions, 
in which capacity Giulio came to know and value him. Contarini speaks 
well of him, but evidently only half trusted Iiim. Schomberg received 
the Cardinal's hat from Paul III in 1534, and died in 1537. 

Clement's accessinn had at once brought about a political change in 
favour of France. The Pope's policy wavered long between the King 
and the Emperor ; weak towards both of them, undecided, and on 
occasion faithless enough. On January 5, 1525, he himself announced 
to the Emi>eror the conclusion of liis treaty with Francis L The 
Battle of Pavia, tlie greatest military event of the sixteenth century 
(February 24, 1525), made Charles V master of Italy and Francis I his 
prisoner. By April I Clement had made his peace with the Emperor, 
but soon began to intrigue and tried to fonn a league against him with 
Venice, Savo3^ Ferrara, Scotland, Hungary, Portugal, and other States ; 
this was mainly the work of Giberti, At this time the bold plan of 
a League of Freedom, which was to claim the independence of Italy from 
foreign Powers, was formed by Girolamo Morone ; Pescara, the husbantl 
of Vittoria Colonna, the real victor at Pavia, was to stand at its 
head. The conspiracy in which Clement on his own confessinr ^ ^ ! 
letter to Charles V of June 23, 152t») had taken part, was K : 
Pescara himself ; at his instigation Morone named the Pope wb 

originator of the offers made to Pescara. The veil of secrecy still covers 
both Pescara'a action — Giiiceiardini cliaracterised it as eterna infamia — 
and hia early death, which occurred on March 30, 1525* The Emperor 
freely expressed his opinion of the Pope*s faithlessness (September 17» 
1526). On May 22, 1526, Clement concluded the Holy League of 
Cognac with Francis, wh<j had returned to France at the beginning of 
March, his captivity over. This brought on open war with the Eraperor, 
the attack on Rome by the Colonna (September 20), the plundering of 
the Borgo, the march of the Imperial troops against Rome under the 
command of Bourbon^ the storming of the part of the city named after 
Leo in which Bourbon fell (May 6, 1527), the flight of the i*ope to 
the Castle of St Angelo, and tinally the storming of Rome and the sack 
which followed it ; cruel and revolting to all Christian feeling, it remains 
to this day a memory of terror for all Italians, No Guiscard appeared 
this time, as in the days of Gregory VII, to save the beleaguered Pope, 
On June 5, 1527, he was forced to capitulate, yield the fortress and give 
himself up to the mercy of the Emperor. When a prisoner and deprived 
of all his means, Cleruent bade Cellini melt down his tiara, a symbol of 
liis own position ; for the whole temporal power of the Papacy lay at the 
feet of the Emperor, who could abolish it if he chose. We know that 
this policy w^as suggested to him : we know- also that Charles had serious 
thoughts of utilising the position of the Pope for an ecclesiastical refor- 
mation, and forcing him to summon the General Council, which all sides 
demanded. But France and England declared they would recognise no 
Council until the Pope was set free again, and the Spanish clergy also 
petitioned for the release of the Head of the Church. Once more the 
Imperial troops returned to Rome from their summer quarters, and in 
September, 1527, the city was once more sacked, Veyre arrived as the 
Emperor's agent to offer Clement freedom on condition of neutrality, 
a general peace, and the promotion of reform by means of a Council. 
The agreement was signed on November 2G ; but on December 8 the 
Pope escaped to Orvieto, ivhence on June 1, 1528, he removed to Viterbo. 
The war proved disastrous for France ; Lautrec's defeats, his death by 
plague (August 15), the terrible state of Italy, which was now but one 
vast battletield strewn wuth corpses, induced Clement at last to side with 
the Emperor. On October 8, 1528, he returned horror-stricken to half- 
burnt, starving Rome. Harried by the pkgue, her population diminished 
by one-half ; her importance for the literary and artistic life of humanity 
had been for ever marred by the awful events of the year 1527. Those 
of her artists and learned men who had not fled were maltreated and 
robbed during the Sack : those that were left were beggars and had to 
seek their bread elsewhere. Erasmus wrote to Sadoleto (October 1, 
1528) that not the city, but the world had perished, and that the 
present sufferings of Rome were more cruel than those brought on her 
by the Goths and the Gauls, From Carpentras in 1529 Sadoleto wrote 

a mournful letter to Colocci, in which he speaks of past glories — a letter 
aptly called by Gregorovius the swan's song, the farewell to the cheerful 
world of humanist times. 

Clement's participation in the league against Charles and the Empire 
had favoured the spread of the Lutheran Reformation in Germany. 
Unwittingly the Pope had become Luther's beat ally at the very 
moment when for Catholicism everything depended on strengthening 
the Emperor's opposition to the Keformation, winch had the hour in its 
lavour. Even after the Sack tlie Pope was not chiefly concerned for the 
preservation and improvement of the Church, or for the reparation of 
the evil done to Home. What absorbed his attention were the dynastic 
interests* of his own House, which had once more been expelled from 
Florence, and the restoration of the Papal State. The Emperor could have 
ended the Temporal Power with a stroke of the pen had he not feaieil the 
immense influence of the clergy and the threatening voice of the Inquisi- 
tion, which did not hesitate to cross the threshold even of the most mighty, 
Charles needed the Pope, since a lasting enmity with him would have 
cut the ground from under his feet both in Spain and Germany. He 
needed him in order to keep his hold on Italy, and by his influence to 
divide the League. And so the Treaty of Barcelona was brought about 
(June 29, 1529), whereby the Emperor acknowledged the power of 
Sforza in Milan, gave the Papal State back to the Pope, undertook to 
restore Florence to the Medici by force of arms, and as a pledge of 
friendship to give his illegitimate daughter Margaret to Alessandro de' 
Medici. The Imperial coronation was moreover to take place in Italy. 
The "Ladies' Peace" of Cambray (August 5, 1529) confirmed Simn- 
ish rule in Italy. Clement crowned Charles Enaperor on February 24, 
1530, in Bologna, having come thither with sixteen Cardinals. The 
Emperor left for the diet at Augsburg on June 15. The Pope returned 
to Rome on April 9 ; and on August 12 Florence fell after a heroic 
death-struggle, burying the honour of the Pope in its fall, since he had 
not hesitated to hand over the freedom of hLs native town to his family. 
The republican constitution of the town was formally annulled on April 
27, 1532, and Alessandro de' I^Iedici was proclaimed Duke of Florence- 
Clement VII is said t4> have sighed during the siege: *' Oh that 
Florence had never existed!" The Papacy itself, as well as its repre- 
sentative in that time, had good reason to utter this cry ; for the fall of 
the Republic brought about by the Pope and accomplished by the 
Emperor and his bands of foreign mercenaries, joined the Papacy hence- 
forth to all movements inimical to the freedom and unity of Italy. It 
delivered over Italy and the Church to the idea of an ecclesiastico-politieal 
despotism native to Spain ; it severed the bond which in the Middle 
Ages had kept Rome in touch with the national aims of the Italian 
people. In December, 1532, Emperor and Pope met once more in 
Bologna in order to conclude an Itelian league. At the same moment 

Clement was negotintiiig with France, who did her utmost to draw thai 
Papacy from the embrace of Spain, Francis I proposed the marriage of 
his second son Henry with Catharine, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici 1 
the younger, and did his very betit to help Clement to prevent an 
assemblage of the Council, as we now know from the disclosures of 
Antonio Soriano. The marriage of Catharine de' Medici, through f 
whom her House attanied to royal honour, was celebrated with great | 
solemnity at Marseilles in October, 1533, Clement himself had come to | 
witness the triumph of his family in the person of his great-niece. The ^ 
young girl, scarcely more than a child, whom he handed over to the 
royal House of France, proved a terrible gift to the hind; for some 
thirty-eight years later she contrived the Massacre of St Bartholomew. 
The jewels which Filippo Strozzi counted over to the French as forming | 
part of the down*y of the little princess, — Genoa, Milan, Naples, — never 
came into the possession of France, and Henry was forced in the Treaty 
of Catean-Cambresis to yield all the gains of the French policy of 
annexation in Italy. 

Clement was back in Rome by December 10, 1533, and in the ^ 
following March annulled Thomas Cranmer's declaration that the 
marriage of Henry VHI with his cousin Catharine of Aragon w^as void. 
The Pope threatened the King with excommunication if he did not | 
re-establish the marriage. The King\s answer was the separation of 
England from the obedience of Rome. Shortly before this the articles of 
tlie League of Sehmalkalden had recorded the desertion of a consider- 
able part of South Germany to the Reformation. The Council which 
was to have restored unity to the Church had not come into being. 
Clement certainly raised hopes of it in the near future at Bologna 
(January 10, 1583), but only for the sake of appearances. In reality he j 
liad every reason to prevent all discussion by a Council of his personal! 
and dynastic policy, and he attained his end by excuses and means] 
which led the Emperor's confessor. Cardinal Garcia de Loaysa (May,! 
1630), to write to Charles V that this Pope was the most mysterious of 1 
beings, that he knew more ciphers than anyone else on earth, and that] 
he would not hear of a Council at any price. 

Even the last act of the dying Pope leaves a painful impression. 
On September 23, 1534, he wrote a long letter to the Emperor, to! 
recommeiul to his care, not the welfare of the Church or of Italy, but 
the preservation of the rule of the Medici in Florence, and the protection , 
of his two beloved nephews, the Cardinal Ippolito and Alessandro, whom] 
Clement had appointed to be his heirs. 

After a painful illness Clement VII died on September 25, 1634 J 
His friend Francesco Vettori gives testimony that for a century iic 
better man had occupied Peter^s Chair than Clement, who was neither] 
cruel nor proud, neither venal, nor avaricious, nor luxurious. And] 
despite of this, he continues, the catastrophe came in his time, whilej 



others stained with crime lived and died bappily. And indeed many 
mn excellent quality seemed to promise this Medici a happier reign ; 
but he had to atone for his dynastic egotism and for the sins t»f Im 
predecessors. A fatal confusion of politics and religion bore its bitterest 
fruits in las pontificate. Rome was ruined, Italy from Milan to Naples 
was turned into a field of slaughter bathed in blood and tears ; the 
unity of the Church was destroyed, and half Europe fell away from 
the centre of Christianity. All this was a painful commentary on the 
theories of political Catholicism and the esteem of that temporal sway 
over the world which some still affirm to be useful or even necessary to 
the cause of Christ. 

The harmonious union of medieval with modern thought^ the organic 
arrangement of the ideas brought by the Renaissance in the system of 
Christian Ethics, the inner development of Catholicism on the basis of 
this harmony as planned in the scheme of the Camera della St'iftiatum ; 
all this miscarried, and w<as bound to do so, since the acting powei's, on 
whom devolved the accomplishment of this great scheme, conceived in 
the true spirit of the Apostle Paul, lacked the ability and enthusiasm 
necessary for the execution of so enormous a task. The preceding 
paragraphs have shown to what extent these acting powers were in* 
capable of fulfilling the mission set before them. 

The powers at work were two in chief, the Papacy and the Italian 
nation. We have seen the Papacy of Medicean Rome swayed by 
Ijolitical, by worldly considerations, guided in all its actions luul de- 
cisions by the dynastic interests of its rulers* The religious and moral 
point of view was ignored in this domain of worldly ainrs and ideas. 
The pontificate of Adrian YL that came as an interlude between tliose 
of Leo X and Clement VII, certainly was representative of religious 
Catholicism,' — honourable, wise, sincere. But on the one hand it was 
of too short a duration to ripen any of its fruits, and on the other it 
failed, not only because of Italian corruption, and the general dislike to 
foreigners, but also because the last Teutonic Pope could nut coinpreheml 
the development of Italian culture, the right of the Latin world to its 
own characteristics, and the aesthetic interests swaying all minds soutlj 
of the Alps. The predominance of the woridly and sensuoun eleinenta 
in life, in science, and even in art came into play ; they did their part 
in preventing the victory of idealistic views. 

Although the Curia was not equal to its task, liad Italy been still in 
a healthy state the nation and public opinion could have forced the 
Papacy into right courses- But here also corruption had long sin* 
in. Strong moral force, such as proclaims itself in Dante, in ih 
of Siena, was gone from the people ; they had but lately ■ 
prophet to the flames in the Piazza dcUa Signoria at F. 
nation can sin thus against its best men without pm 


The Mediri and reform 

people of Italy could not put new blood and fresh life into the Curia, 
because in them the law of the body had triumphed over the law of the 
spirit. The same observation has to be made in the province of literature. 
We liave spoken of Ariosto ; the other productions of the Medicean 
period in the domain of literature are for the most part trifling and 
frivolous in their contents. As Gregorovius says, their poets sang the 
praises of Maecenas and Phryne, they wrote pastorals and epics of 
chivalry, while the freedom of Italy perished. The theatre, still more 
early and markedly than pictorial art, cut itself adrift from ecclesiastical 
subjects and from the whole world of religions ideas. It became not 
merely worldly, but distinctly pagan, and at the same time incapable 
of any great creation of lasting value which could touch the heart of 
the nation. Serious theological literature was almost entirely lacking 
at Leo's Court and during his pontificate, with the exception of two or 
three names, such as Sadoleto, EgicHo of Viterbo, and Tommasode Vio, 
After the death of Raflfaelle and Leonardo painting and sculpture at 
once took a downward path. Michelangelo upheld for himself the great 
traditions of the best time of the Renaissance for almost another quarter 
of a century ; but he was soon a very lonely man. Decadence showed 
itself directly after Rafifaelle*s death, when Marcantonio engraved Giulio 
Romano's indecent pictures, and Fietro Aretino wrote a commentary on 
them of still more indecent sonnets. Clement VII, who had at one time 
received this most worthless of all men of letters as a guest in his Villa 
Careggi, repulsed him after this. But Aretino was characteristic of his 
time ; what other would Iiave borne with him ? 

After Raffaelle's death ideas were no longer made the subject of 
paintings ; the world of enjoyment, sweet, earthly, sensual enjoymenti 
was now depicted before art declined into a chilly mannerism and the 
composite falseness of eclecticism. A time which is no longer able to 
give an artistic rendering of ideas is incapable of resolution and of great 
actions. Not only the Muses and the Graces wept by Raflfaelle's grave, 
tlie whole Julian epoch was buried with him. During Leo's reign he 
had undertaken with feverish activity to conjure up not only ancient 
Rome but the antique ideals. In vain. His unaided force was not 
enough for the task, and he saw himself deserted by those whom he 
most needed and on whom he relied. And then came the Sack of 
Rome ; it was the tomb of all this ideal world of the Renaissance 
period. From the smoking ruins of the Eternal City rose a dense, 
grey fog, a gloomy, spiritless despotism, utterly out of touch with the 
joyous spring of the mind of the Italian people whose harbinger was 
Dante* Under its oppression the intellectual life of the nation soon 
sank asphyxiated. 

The Guelf movement of the Middle Ages, which had its home 
in the free States of Tuscany and North Italy, was dead and gone ; 
it could no longer give life or withhold it. And the old Ghibelline 

principle was dead too. No German Emperor arose in whom the 
I dreams of Henry VII coixld live again. What Charles V sought and 
attained in the two conferences at Bologna and during his subsequent 
visit to Konie (April 5, 1536) had nothing whatever to do with the 
plans of the Emperors before him. The restoration of the Medici in 
Hurenee and the Emperor's dealings with the doomed Republic in- 
augurated that unhappy policy which down to 1866 continued to 
make the Germans enemies of the Italians. This it was that, after the 
tribulations of Metternich's government, brought on the catastrophe of 
Solferino and Sadowa, 



The programme of 1510 demanded in the first place a reformation 
of the Church, both in its head and its members. Let us consider the 
attitude of Rome under the Medici with regard to this question. 

The reformations attempted by the Councils of Constance and Basel 
had utterly failed. Since Martin V had returned to Rome the Pa2>acy 
could consider nothuig beyond the governing of the Papal State, and 
since Calixtus III it was involved in dynastic intrigue. Aeneas Silvius 
had stated with the utmost clearness thirteen years before he became 
Pope that no one in the Curia any longer thought of reformatioo. Then 
Savouax'ola appeared ; France and Germany cried out for reform. At 
the synods of Orleans and Tours (1510) the French decided on the 
assembling of an Ecumenical CounciL In view of the decree Frequena 
of the Council of Constance, the dilatoriness of the Pope, and the 
breaking of the oath he had sworn in conclave, the Second Synod of 
Pisa was convoked (May 16, 1511). It was first and foremost a check 
offered to Julius II by French politicians, but was also intended to 
obtain a general recognition by the Church of the principles of the 
Pragmatic Sanction of 1438 drawn from the articles of the Basel and 
Constance conventions. This pseudo-synod was attended only by a few 
French prelates and savants. Meantime the Emperor Maximilian had 
conferred with the leading theologians of his Empire, such as Geiler von 
Kaisersberg, Wirapheling, Tritliemius, Johaun Eck, Matthaus Lang, 
and Conrad Pentinger, about the state of the Church* In 1510 he 
commissioned the Schlettstadt professor, Jakob Winipheling, to draw up 
a plan of reform, which the latter published in his Gravamina Oermanicae 
Nationis cum remedih et aifisaimntis ad Gaemream Malestatem* It is 
composed of an extract from the Pragmatic Sanction, an essay on the 
machinations of courtiers, another on the ten grievances, with their 
remedies, notifications for the Emperor, and an excursus concerning 
legates. The ten gravamina are the same which Martin Mayr had 
mentioned as early as 1457 in his epistle to Aeneas Silvius. 

The Emperor, who since 1507 cherished the wild plan of procuring 
his own election to the Papacy on the death of Julius, at first gave 
his protection to the Council of Pisa. Afterwards he withdrewik and 

the German Bishops also refused to have anything to do with the 
flchiamatic tendencies of the French. On July 18, 1511, Julius II 
summoned an Ecumenical Council to Rome; it assembled there on 
April 19, 1512, with a very small attendance composed entirely of Italian 
prelates. The Spaniards also showed an interest in the work of reforma- 
tion, as 18 proved by the noteworthy anonymous Brevis Memorla^ 
published by Dtillinger ; but they took no part in the Council. Before 
the opening of the Lateranense Fa controversy hud arisen on the powers 
witbin the scope of Councils, The Milanese jurist Deciuti had upheld 
the side of the Pisan Council, so had the anonymous author of the 
Status Romani Imperii^ published in Nardouin, and Zaccaria Ferreni of 
Vicenza ; the chief disputant on the side of the Curia was Tommaso de 
Vio (Cajetan)* 

It was a good omen for the Council that the best and most pious 
man of intellect then in Rome made the opening speech, Aegidius of 
Viterbo as Principal of the Augustiuian Order had worked energetically 
at the reform of his own Order ever since 1508, Bembo and Sadoleto 
praised his intellect and his learning, and the latter wrote to the former 
that, though luunanity and the aries humanitatid had been lost to man- 
kind, yet Aegidius alone and unaided could have restored them to us- 
In bis opening speech Aegidius uttered some earnest truths and deep 
thoughts* He touched on the real source of decadence in the Church, 
when, perhaps in allusion to Dante's words about the donation of 
Constantine, he said, ^^ Ita ferme post ConBtantini tempora^ qiiae ut sacrh 
in rebus multum adieeere splendorls et ornamentin ita marum et vitae 
severitatem non parmn enervarunt ; rpioties a St/nodis habendis cessatum 
est, toties vidimus sponsam a sponso dereUctatn/' 

Unfortunately the Council did not fulfil the expectations which might 
have been based on this inaugural address. When Leo X opened the 
sixth sitting (April 27, 1513) the assembly numbered^ besides 22 cardinah* 
and 91 abbots, only 02 hisliops* Bishop Simon, of Modena, appealed to 
the prelates to begin by reforming themselves. At the seventh sitting 
the preacher, Rio, revived the theory of the twoswords. Co Decemberl9» 
1513, France was officially represented, and at the eighth sitting tlie 
Council condemned the heresies taken from the Arabs concerning the 
human soul, which was explained as humani corporis forma ~ These had 
already been denounced at Vienne* Then the theologians were called on 
to prune *'the infected roots of philosophy and poetry." Philosophers 
were to uphold the truth of Christianity* Bishop Nicholas of Bergamo 
and Cardinal Cajetan opposed this measure; the first did not wish 
restrictions to be imposed on philosophers and theologians, the second 
did not agree that philosophers should be called upon to uphold the 
truth of the Faitli, since in this way a confusion might arise between 
theology and philosophy, which would damage the freedom of philosophy. 
At the ninth sitting the curialist, Antonio Fucci, spoke on reform, and 

lid that the clergy had fallen away from love; that the tyranny of 

inordinate desire had taken its place ; that tlieir lives were in opposition 

the teaching and canons of the Church. The bull of reformation 

published after this, Supertiae didpontlonU arhitrio^ was concerned 

pfc^th the hi^^her appointmentis in the Church, elections, postulations, 

provisions^ the deposing and translation of prelates, commendam^^ unions^ 

ispensations, reservations ; with Cardinals and the Curia ; reform in the 

ife of priests and laity ; the incomes and immunities of clerics ; the wide 

Bpread of superstition and false Christianity. The reform of the Calen- 

Idar was also debated, but at the tenth sitting (May, 1515) proved still 

iripe for discussion ; the sitting w^as then devoted to the contentions 

lef the bishops and the regular clergy ; resolutions were passed concerning 

Itnoney -lenders ; and Leu*s bull pointed out the duty of furthering bene- 

Bcial modern institutions* Of great interest is the bull concerning the 

printing and publishing of books ; it attributes the invention of printing 

Ito the favour of Heaven, but adds that what was made for the glory of 

[God ought not to be used against llim, for which reason all new books 

Jwere to be subjected to the censorship of the Bishops and Inquisitors. 

The eleventh sitting was occupied with the complaints of the Bishops 
[against the Regulars, whom Aegidius of Viterbo defended (December \% 
1 1516). It w^as declared unlawful to foretell coming misfortunes from 
the pulpit with any reference to a definite date; thia was probably a 
retarded censure on Savonarola. The bull Pmtor Aeternus was issued, 
[ which proclaimed the abolition of the Pragmatic Sanction, Leo declared 
Hnull and void, and confirmed the decision of the bull Unam Sanctam 
imned by Boniface VIII, that all Christians are subject to the Pope, 
I At this point the ordinances for the clergy and their privileges were 
read. At the twelfth sitting Giovanni Francesco Pico d«lla Mirandc»ki 
presented his Oratio de ReformandiM Mortbus to the Pope. In it he 
announces to Leo that should the Pope tlelay healing the wounds of 
uociety* He whose representative the Pope was, would cut off the cor- 
rupted members with fire and sword, and scatter them abroad, sending 
a terrible judgment on the Church. Christ, he said, had cast out the 
doves anJ pigeons that were sold in the Temple ; wiiy should not Leo 
exile the worshippers of the many Golden Calves, who had not only 
a place, but a place of command in Rome? This again was a remi- 
niscence of Savonarola's sermons. Pico had constituted himself his 
biographer and apologist. It was strange that the flaming wortls of the 
prophet should rise once more from the grave at the moment when their 
terrible prophecy w^as to be fulfilled in Germany. 

On March 16, 1517, the Council closed with its 
had made many useful orders, and shown good i 
various abuses. But the carrying out of the comi 
the Curia was entirely neglected. The Couii 
a dead letter^ and, even had it gained effect 

catastrophe in the north would not have been averted. For tht?re an 
inward alienation from Rome had long been going on, ever since the 
days of Ludwig the Bavarian ; little was needed to make it externally 
also an accomplished fact. Neither Leo nor his Lateran Council had 
the slightest conception of this state of affairs north of the Alps, 

The government of the Church was entirely in the hands of Italians ; 
the Curia could count scarcely more than one or two Germans or Eng- 
lish in their number. Terrible retribution was at hand. Leo X had 
seen no trace of the coming religious crisis, although its forerunners, 
Reuchlin and Erasmus, Wimpheling and Hutten, and the appearance of 
Obscurorum Virorum Ephtolae might well have opened his eyes. Hia 
announcement in the midst of all this ferment of the great Absolution 
for the benefit of St Peter's was a stupendous miscalculation, due to 
the thoughtless and contemptuous treatment vouchsafed to German 
affairs in Rome. Instead of directing his most serious attention to 
them Leo had meantiuie made his covenant with Francis I at Bologna 
(December, 1615), on which followed directly the French treaty of 1516. 
At Bologna the King had renounced the Pragmatic Sanction, in return 
for which the Pope granted him the right of nomination to bishoprics, 
abbeys, and conventual priories. It was the most immoral covenant 
that Church history had hitherto recorded, for the parties presented 
each other with things that did not belong to them. The French 
Church fell a victim to an agreement which delivered over her freedom 
to royal despotism \ in return Francis 1 undertook that the Pope's 
family should rule in Florence, and as a pledge of the treaty gave a 
French Princess fo the Pope's nephew Lorenzo in marriage. 

The hour in which this compact was made was the darkest in Leo's 
pontificate. North of the Alps this act undermined all confidence in 
him or in his cousin Clement VIL No further reform of the Church 
was expected of two Popes who cared more for their dynasty than for 
the welfare of Christendom. The short interregnum of Adrian VI was, 
as we have seen, not equal to the task of carrying out the re for ma ti on . 
But it must be remembered that in his reign the worthiest representative 
of the Cluirch*s conscience during the Medicean era came forward once 
more with a plea for reform. The great document, laid before the Pope 
at his command^ by Aegidius of Viterbo, revealed the disease, when it 
pointed to the misuse of papal power as the cause of all the harm, and 
demanded a limitation to the absolutism of the Head of the Church. 
This tallied with the Pope's ideas, and the celebrated instruction issued 
to the Nuncio Chieregato (1522), which announced that the disease had 
come from the liead to the members, from the Pope to the prelates, and 
confessed, ** We have all sinned, and there is not one that doeth good." 

Alessandrn Farnese came forth from the Conclave of 1534 on 
October 12 as Paul III. A pupil of Pomponio Leto, and at the age of 


twenty-five^ in 1493, invested with the purple by Alexander VI, he had 
Uken part in all phases of the humanistic movement, and shared its 

ies and its sins. Now the sky had become overcast, but a clear 

ny gleam from the best time of the Renaissance still lay over him, 
though his pontificate was to witness the inroad of Lutheran ism on 
Italy^ the appearance of the doctrine of justification by faith, and on 
the other hand the foundation of the Society of Jesus (September 3, 
1539), the convocation of the long wiahed-for Ecumenical Council 
of Trent (1542), and also the reorganisation of the Inquisition 

The last Pope of the Renaissance, as we must call Famese, left as 
the brightest memory of his reign the record of an effort, which proved 
fruitless, to unite the last and noblest supporters of the Renaissance 
who still survived in the service of the C-hureh, for an attempt at 
reformation* This is celebrated as the Conmiltum delectorum Cardina- 
Hum et alionim prelatorum de emendanda Ecde%ia^ and bears the signa- 
tures of Contarini, Caraffa, Sadoleto, Reginald Pole, Federigo Fregoso, 
Giberti, and Cortese. Contarini must be acknowledged to have been 
the real soul of the movement, which aimed at an inward reconciliation 
h the German party of reform. All these ideas had root in the 

reption represented by the scheme of Julius II . The greater number 
of those who worked at the ConsuUum of 1538 must be regarded as the 
last direct heirs of this great inheritance. The Religious Conference of 
Ratisbon in 1541 forms the crisis in the history of this movement : it 
was wrecked, not, as Reumont states, by the incompatibility of the 
principle of subjective opinion with that of authority, but quite as 
much, if not more so, by the private aims of Bavaria and Fnince. So 
ended the movement towards reconciliation, and another came into force 
and obtained sole dominion. This regarded the most marked opposition 
to Protestantism as the salvation of the Church, and to combat it 
summoned not only the counter-reformation of the Tridentinunh, but 
every means in its power, even the extremest measures of material 
force, to its assistance. The representatives of the conciliatory reform 
movement, Contanni, Sadoleto, Pole, Morone, became suspect and, 
despite their dignity of Cardinal, were subject to persecution. Even 
noble ladies like Vittoria Colonna and Giulia Gonzaga were not secure 
from this 8us]>icion and persecution, 

Paul IV (lo55-9) and Pius V (1566-72) carried out the Counter- 
Reformation in Italy. While the pagan elements of humanism merged 
in the Antitrinitarian and Socinian sects, the Inquisition was stamping 
out the %ola fides belief, but its terrorism at the same time crushed 
culture and intellectual life out of Italy* The city of Rome recover 
from the Sack of 1527 ; but from the ruin wrought by Caraffa, the natioi 
or at any rate Papa! Rome, never recovered. Whatever intellectual lif 
still remained was forced in the days of Paul III to shrink more 

more from publicity. The sonnets which Vittoria Colonna and Miohel- 
luigelo exchanged, the converse these two great minds held in the 
garden of tlie Villa Colonna, of which Francesco d' Ollanda has left us 
an account, were the last flickerings of a spirit which had once controlled 
and enriched the Renuissance- 

WJiat comparisons must have forced themselves on Michelangelo as 
all the events since the days of Lorenzo il Magnijico^ his first patron» 
whom he never forgot, passed in review before his great and lonely 
spirit, now sunk in gloom. We know from Condivi that the impressions 
Buonarotte had received in his youth exercised a renewed power over 
his old age. Dante and Savonarola were once his leaders, they had 
never entirely forsaken him. Now the favole del mondo^ as his last 
poems bear witness, fell entirely into the background before the earnest 
thoughts that hail once filled his mind at the foot of the pulpit in 
San Marco, His Griudizio Universale sums up the account for his whole 
existence, and is at the same time the most terrible reckoning, made in 
the spirit of Dante, with his own nation and its rulers. All that Italy 
might have become, liad she followed the dictates of Dante and Savonarola, 
floated before his eyes as his brush created that Judge of all the world 
whose curse falls on those that have exiled and murdered His prophets, 
neglected the Church, and bartered away the freedom of the nation. His 
Last Judgment was painted at the bidding of the Pope, Paul III can 
scarcely have guessed how the artist was searching into the consciences 
of that whole generation, which was called to execute what Julius 
had bidden Rafifaelle and Michelangelo depict for all Christendom, and 
which liad ignored and neglected its high office. 

Since 1541 the Schism was an accomplished fact, a misfortune alike 
for North and South. The defection of the Germanic world deprived 
the Catholic Church of an element to whicli the future belonged after 
the exhaustion of tlie Latin races* Perhaps the greatest misfortune lay 
and still lies, as Newman has said, in the fact that the Latin races 
never realised, and do not even yet realise, what the}^ have lost in the 
Germanic races. From the time of Paul HI, and still more from that 
of Paul IV onwards, the old Catholicism changes into an Italianism 
which adopts more and more the forms of the Roman Curialism. The 
idea of Catholicity, once so comprehensive, was sinking more and more 
into a one-sided, often despotic insistence on unity, rendered almost 
inevitable by the continual struggle with opponents. And this was due, 
not to the doctrines of the Church, but to her practice. Romanism 
alone could no longer carry out a scheme such as that of which Julius II 
had dreamed. It is now clear to all minds what intellectual, moral, 
and social forces the seliism had drawn away ; this is manifest even in 
the fate of Italy* The last remnant of Italian idealism took refuge in 
the idea of national unity and freedom which had been shadowed forth 
in the policy of Alexander VI and Julius II, and which Machiavelli had 

The fate of Italy 35 

written on the last wonderful page of hi^ Principe as the guiding principle 
for the future. This vision it was which rose dimly in Dante's mind ; 
for its sake the Italian people had forgiven the sins of the Borgia and 
of della Rovere ; it had appeared to Machiavelli as the highest of aims ; 
after another three hundred years of spiritual and temporal despotism it 
burst forth once more in the minds of Rosmini, Cesare Balbo, Gioberti, 
and Cavour, and roused the dishonoured soul of the nation. 


The secular struggle between the Houses of Burgundy and Valois 
reaches a new stage in the era of the Reformation. The murder of the 
Duke of Orleans in the streets of Paris in 1407 involved at first only a 
junior branch of the French royal House in the blood feud with Burgundy. 
The alliance of Orleans and Armagnac in 1410, and of both with 
Charles the Dauphin in 1418, swept in the senior branch, and led to the 
retributive murder of John of Burgundy at Montereau in 1419. Steadily 
the area of infection widens. A relentless Ate dominates all the early 
years of Philip the Good, and then, laid for a while to sleep at Arras 
(1485), reappears in the days of Charles the Bold. Not only political 
and national aims, but an hereditary dynastic hatred might have inspired 
Louis XI in his campaigns of war and intrigue until the crushing blow 
at Nancy. The grandson of Charles the Bold, Philip the Fair, seemed, 
in his jealousy of Ferdinand and his devotion to the interests of the 
Netherlands, to have forgotten the ancestral feud. But his son and 
heir, whom we know best as Charles the Fifth, inherited, together with 
the inconsequent rivalries of Maximilian, and the more enduring and 
successful antagonism of Ferdinand, the old Burgundian duty of revenge. 
Thus the chronic hostility between the Kings of Valois- Angouleme and 
the united line of Burgundy, Austria, Castile, and Aragon has a dramatic 
touch of predestined doom, which might find a fitting counterpart in a 
Norse Saga or the Nibelungenlied. 

But greater forces than hereditary hate drove Europe to the gulf in 
which the joy of the Renaissance was for ever extinguished. The terri- 
torial consolidation of the previous age in Europe, though striking, had 
been incomplete. The union of the French and Spanish kingdoms had 
gone on natural lines. But Italy had been less fortunate. At the death 
of Ferdinand her fate was still uncertain. The Spaniards stood firm in 
Sicily and Naples, the French seemed to stand secure in Milan. Venice 
had withstood the shock of united Europe. Florence seemed strengthened 
by the personal protection of the Holy Father. But so long as two 
rival foreign Powers held their ground in Italy, consolidation had gone 






too far or not far enough. Italy must be either Italian or Spanish or 
French, The equilibrium was unstable. No amicable arrangement 
could permanently preserve the status quo. The issue could only be 
flolved by the arbitrament of arms. 

In Germany the case was different. Their consolidation seemed to 
be out of the question. Neither the preponderance of any single Power^ 
nor that of any combination of Powers, held out hopes of successful con- 
quest. And the German nation, inured to arms, could oflfer a very different 
resistance to that which any of the Italian States could maintain. Thus 
the history of Europe in this period falls into two well marked sections^ 
The Teutonic lands work out their own development under the influence 
of the new religious thought, unaffected as a whole by the competition 
for supremacy in Europe. Tliey had their own dangers from the Turk 
and in civil strife. But the struggle, although ostensibly between tha 
Emperor and the King of France, was in reality between Spain and 
France for hegemony in western Europe, supremacy in Italy. The 
struggle was dynastic, but dynasties are the threads about which nations 

At the outset the forces were not ill-matched. On the death 
of Ferdinand in 1516 the Archduke Charles succeeded by hereditary 
right to the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and their dependencies, to 
the kingdoms of the two Sicilies, to the Franche-Comte of Burgundy, 
and to the provinces of the Netherlands. On the death of Maximilian 
in 1519, he added to these the Habsburg inheritance in eastern Europe, 
which he wisely resigned before long to his brother Ferdinand. For 
soldiers he could rely on his Spanish dominions, on the regular forces 
organised by Charles tlie Bold in the Netherlands, on the less trust- 
worthy levies of Germany and Italy. The Netherlands and Spain gave 
him a considerable revenue, which exceeded in gross the revenue of the 
French King, but was not equally available for common dynastic pur- 
poses, owing to the ditEculty of exporting and transporting treasure, and 
the cogent necessities of internal government. The Sicilies might pay 
for their own government, and provide an occasional supplement, but 
the resources of these kingdoms hardly compensated for the needs of 
their defence. The maritime resources of Spain were considerable, but 
ill-organised and therefore not readily available. 

The French King on the other hand, though his dominions were less 
extensive, had manifest advantages both for attack and defence. His 
territory was compact, and almost all capacity for internal resistance had 
been crushed out by the vigorous policy of Louis XI and Anne of 
Beaujeu. His subjects were rich and flourishing, and far more indus- 
trious than those of Spain. All their resources were absolutely at his 
control* Even the clergy could be relied upon for ample subsidies. 
His financial system was superior to that of any other existing State. 
He could make such laws and impose such taxes as suited his sovereign 


Characters of Francis and Charles [1516^21 

pleasure. Since the Concordat of 1516 all important clerical patronage 
was in his hands ; and the great ecclesiastical revenues served him as a 
convenient means for rewarding ministers, and attaching to himself tlie 
great families whose cadets were greedy of spiritual promotion* His 
cavalry and artillery were excellent and well organised. His infantry 
had not yet been satisfactorily developed, but his resources permitted 
him to engage mercenaries, and Germans and Swiss were still ready to 
serve the highest bidder. In defence he could fight upon interior 
lines- For attack he had a ready road to Italy through the friendly 
territories of Savoy- The possession of Milan secured to him the 
maritime power of Genoa, a very valuable addition to his own. 

In character the two potentates were less equally matched. Francis 
was bold, and vigorous upon occasion, but inconsequent Lu action ; bis 
choice of men was directed by favouritism ; his attention was divert^ 
from business by the pursuit of every kind of pleasure, the more as well 
as the less refined. His extravagance was such as to hamper his public 
activity. To the last he never showed any increasing sense of royal 
responsibility, and preserved in premature old age the frivolous and 
vicious habits of his youth. 

At the death of Ferdinand Charles was still a boy, and, until the 
death of Guillaume de Croy, Sire de Chievres (1521), his own individual- 
ity did not make itself clearly felt. Chievres, his old tutor, now liis prin- ^J 
eipal minister, dominated his action. Yet at the election to the Empire^H 
it WHS his own pertinacity that secured for him the victory when othei^s 
would have been content to obtain the prize for his brother Ferdinand. 
Throughout his life this pre-eminent trait of manly perseverance marks 
him with a certain stamp of greatness. Slow in action, deliberate in 
council to the point of irresolution, he yet pursued his ends with 
unfailing obstinacy until by sheer endurance he prevailed. Extreme 
tenacity in the maintenance of his just rights, moderation in victory, 
and abstinence from all chimerical enterprise, are the other qualities to 
which he owes such success as he 6btained. Fortune served him well on 
more than one conspicuous occasion ; but he merited her favours by 
indefatigable patience ; and he never made on her exorbitant demands. 
Of his two grandfathers he resembles Ferdinand far more than Maxi- 
milian* In the course of his career these characteristic's were developed 
and became more notable ; unlike his rival he learnt from life ; but from 
his youth he was serious, persistent, sober. In his choice of minist'ers 
and judgment of men he showed himself greatly superior to Francis. 
He was well served throughout his life ; and never allowed a minister to 
become his master. Unsympathetic, unimaginative, he lacked the en- 
dearing graces of a popular sovereign ; he lacked the gifts that achieve 
greatness. But, born to greatness, he maintained unimpaired the 
heritage he had received ; and, at whatever price of personal and 
national exhaustion, he left the House of Habsburg greater than he 




had found it. When we consider the ineluctable burden of his several 
and discrete realms, the perplexing and multifarious dangei"s to which 
he was exposed, the mere mechanical friction occasioned by distance and 
boundaries and intervening hostile lands, the inefficient organisation, po- 
UticaL financial, and military, of his countries at that time, the obstacles 
opposed by institutions guarding extinct and impossible local privilege, 
the world -shaking problems which broke up all previous settled order, 
then the conscientious sincerity with which he addressed his mediocre 
talente to the allot ted work must earn for him at least a place in our esteem. 

On neither side was the struggle for world-empire* Charles would 
have been content to recover Milan in self-defence, aud the duchy of 
Burgundy as his hereditary and indefeasible right. France has good 
grounds for claiming Milan and Naples. But it is doubtful w^hether 
Francis would have lieen as moderate after victory as C*harles» 

The struggle can be considered apart from developments in Germany. 
But it has its reaction on German fortunes. Had Charles not been 
hampered throughout his cai^eer by the contest with France he would 
not have been forced to temporise with the Reforming movement until 
it was too late for effective action. The Most Christian King wsls an 
unconscious ally of Luther, as he was a deliberate ally of the Turk. 
Immediately the conflict concerned the fate of Italy. Indirectly it 
weakened tlie resistance of Europe to the Reformed opinions, and to the 
Muslim in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. 

After Marignano (1515) and the Peace of Noyon (1516), which pro- 
fessed to shelve all outstanding questions and secure perpetual friendship 
between Spain and France, Euro}>e had peace for a while. It was 
arranged at Noyon tliat Charles should take Louise, the daughter of the 
King of France, to wife, and that tlie rights over the kingdom of Naples 
should go with her. Until this babe-in-arms should become his wife, 
Charles was to pay 100,000 crowns a year as rent for Naples, and 50,000 
mitil she bore Iiim a son. If Louise died, some daughter of a later birth 
was to be substituted as his afBuneed bride, and this clause actually took 
effect, Charles promii^ed satisfaction wnth regard to Spanish Navarre, 
conquered by Ferdinand in 1512 ; perhaps he even secretly engaged 
himself to restore it to Catharine, its hiwful queen, within six months* 
The treaty was concluded under the influence of Flemish counsellors, who 
liad surrounded Charles, since he had taken up the government of the 
Netherlands in the previous year. It was inspired by a desire for peace 
with France in interests exclusively Rurgundian ' il also its 

value for Spain, for it gave Charles a It- 
the affairs of his new kingdoms. M 
forced to come to terms with France an»i 
and peace was secured in Italy for a whi 
at Cambray in 1517 the partition oi 

■ il. 

t''> settle 
1, was 


was discussed, but nothing was definitely settled, English diplomatists 
looked on askance at the apparent reconciliation, but their hopes of 
fishing in troubled waters were soon revived. 

Charles utilised the respite for his visit to Spain in 1517. While 
here he was not only occupied with the troublesome affairs of his new 
kingdoms, but with the question of the Empire. Maximilitin, who, 
Edthough not yet sixty years of age, was worn out by his tumultuous 
life, was anxious to secure the succession to his grandson. At the Diet 
of Augsburg, 1518, he received the promise of the Electors of Mainz, 
Cologne, the Pulatinate, Brandenburg^ and Bohemia for the election of 
Charles as Roman King, The French King was already in the field, but 
the promises and influence of Maximilian, and the money which Charles 
was able to supply, overl)nre for the moment this powerful antagonism. 
On the receipt of this news Pope Leo X, who had already been 
attracted to the side of France, was seriously alarmed. The union of 
the imperial power with the throne of Naples was contrary to the time- 
honoured doctrines of papal |ioliey. Thenceforward he declared himself 
more openly a suppoHer of the French claims. Meanwhile, if Charles 
was to be elected before Maximilian's death, the latter must first receive 
from the Pope the imperial crown. This Leo refused to facilitate. la 
all this the Pope showed himself as ever more mindful of the temporal 
interests of the Roman See and of his own dynastic profit, than of the 
good of Europe or religion* Both in the coming struggle with victorious 
Islam, and against the impending religious danger, an intimate alliance 
with Charles was of far more value than the support of France, But 
the meaner motives prevailed. 

On January 19, 1519, Maximilian died, and the struggle broke out 
in a new form. The promises of the Electors proved to be of no 
account. All had to be done over again. The zeal of his agents, his 
more abundant supplies of ready cash, the support of the Pope, at first 
gave Francis the advantage. Troubles broke out in the Austrian 
dominions. Tilings looked black in Spain. Even the wise Margaret 
of Savoy lost hope, and recommended that Fenlinand sliould be put 
forward in place of Charles, Charles showed himself more resolute and 
a better judge of the situation. He had friends in Germany, Germans, 
who understood German politics better than the emiijisaries of Francis, 
The influence of England on either side was discounted by Henry VII !'» 
own candidature. German opinion was decidedly in favour of a German 
election, and although Charles was by birth, education, and 8)Tnpathy a 
Netherlander, yet the interests of his House in Germany were important, 
and it may not have been generally known how little German were his 
predilections. The great house of Fugger came courageously to his aid 
and advanced no less than 500,000 florins. The advantage of this 
support lay not only in the sum supplied, but in the preference of the 
Electors for Augsburg bills* The Elector of Mainz refused to acoept 




any paper other than the obligations of well-known German merchants. 
At the critical moment Francis could not get credit. The Swabiau 
League forbade the merchants of Augsburg to accept his bills* He 
endesavoured in vain to raise money in Genoa and in Lyons. 

It is needless to pursue the base intrigues and tergiversations of the 
several Electors. The Elector of Saxony played the most honourable 
part^ for he refused to be a candidate himself, and declined all personal 
gratification. The Elector of Mainz showed himself perhaps the most 
greedy and unfaithfuL He received 100,000 florins from Charles alone 
and the promise of a pension of 10,000* which it is satisfactory to note 
was not regularly paid. Money on the one hand, and popular pressure 
on the other decided the issue. The Rhinelands, where the possessions 
of four Electors lay and where the election was to take place, were 
enthusiastic for the Hababarg candidature. It was here that the 
national idea was strongest^ and the humanists were eloquent in their 
support of Maximilian's grandson. The army of the Swabian League, 
under Franz von Sickingen, the great German condottiere^ was ready 
to act on behalf of Charles ; it had been recently engaged in evicting 
the Duke Ulrich of Wiirttembergf from his dominions, and was now 
secured by Charles for three months for his own service. Here also 
money had its value. Sickingen and the Swabian League received 
171,000 florins. At the end the Po|>e gave way and withdrew his 
opposition. On June 28, 1519, the Electors at Frankfort voted 
ananimously for the election of Charles. The election cost him 
850,000 florins. 

It is a commonplace of historians to exclaim at the fruitless waste of 
energy involved in this electoral struggle, and to point out that Charles 
was not richer or more powerful as Emperor than he was before ; while 
on the other hand his obligations and anxieties were considerably in- 
creased. But so long as prestige plays its part in human affairs, so 
long a reasonable judgment will justify the ambition of Charles. He 
was still perhaps in the youthful frame of mind which willingly and 
ignorantly courts responsibility antl faces risks, the frame of mind in 
which he entered on his first war with Francis, saying, *' Soon he 
will be a poor King or I shall be a poor Emperor," But the imperial 
Crown was in some sort hereditary in liis race. Had he pusillanimously 
refused it, his prestige must have suffered severely. As a German prince 
he could not brook the interference of a foreign and a hostile power in 
tlie affairs of Germany. The imperial contest was inevitable, and was 
in fact the i>eaceful overture to another contest, equally inevil 
more enduring, waged over half a continent, through nearly fa 

War was in fact inevitable, and Charles was ill-prepared 
His affairs in Spain went slowly, and it was not until May, If 
Charles was able to sail for the north* leaving open re^'^H ^^ ^ 
and discontent in his other dominions. The fortuna 


TegotiatmiB for alliance 


complications has been related in the first volume of this HUtoryJ^fL 

Diplojuacy had already paved the way for an understanding with '" 
Henry VIII, which took more promising shape at Gravelines, after a^ 
visit to Henry at Dover and Canterbury, and the famous interview c 
Hemy VIII and Francis I at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Wolsey' 
skilful diplomacy Lad brought it about that botli the greatest monarcl 
of Europe were bidding eagerly for his and his master's favour, 
pension and a bishopric for the Cardinal, a renewal for England of the^ 
commercial treaty with the Netherlands were the preliminary price* At 
Gravelines it was agreed that Charles and Henry should have the same 
friends and the same enemies ; and that neither Power should conclude^ 
an alliance with any other without the consent of both. If war brokd^H 
out between Charles and Francis, Henry was to act against the aggressor*" 
For two years the agreements for the marriage of the Dauphin with the^ 
English Princess Mary, and of Charles with Charlotte the daughter * 
Francis (Louise having died) were to receive no further confirmationj 
Towards the end of this period another meeting was to take place 
which another agreement sliould be concluded. Each Power was 
maintain a regular ambassador at the Court of the other. The paina 
taken by Wolsey to reassure Francis and to show that Henry had re- 
jected propositions from Charles for a joint attack on France provf 
that he was stil! anxious to prevent the Roman King from drawing 
near to France ; but the nett result of the interviews was to guarante 
Charles against any immediate adhesion of England to his rival. 

Fortified by this belief, and leaving his aunt Margaret of Savoj 
to govern the Netherlands with extensive powei's, Charles proceeded 
to his coronation, which took place at Aachen on October 23, 1520, 
Meanwhile in Castile and Valencia the troubles continued, until the 
rising of the Cotnunerog was definitely crushed at the battle of Villalar, 
April 24, 1521, Charles was thus relieved from one of his worstj 
anxieties, though the condition of his finances was so bad that he coul< 
only look with alarm on the prospect of war. All his Spanish revenues 
were pledged and nothing could be expected from that souixe. Still" 
the outbreak of war was delayed, and he was able to bring the Diet 
of Worms to a close before any decisive step was needed. And more 
important still, in the eager hunt for alliances on both sides, Charles ! 
proved the more successful. On May 29, 1521, a secret alliance had 
been concluded on Iiis behalf with the Pope. ji 

From the time of the imperial election Leo had foreseen the 000-*^! 
sequences, and had turned his shallow statecraft to the task of considering 
what could be got for the Papal See and his own family from the im^ 
pending war. At first he had urged a prompt and miited attack upoii 
Charles, in which France, Venice, and England were to join* This migb^ 
well have succeeded while Charles was still embroiled in Castile. Thel 
while negotiations with France and England flagged and each Power wa 


mancBUvring for the weather-gauge, Leo began to see that France and 
Venice could never consent to hU favourite scheme for the annexation 
of Ferrara, the one part of Julius' design vp'hich yet remained un- 
executed, France was closely linked with Alfonso d* Este^ and Venice 
preferred him as a neighbour to the Pope. Then Leo turned to Charles, 
and Charles was read}^ to promise all that he could ask — Parma, 
Piaceuza, Ferrara, imperial protection for the Medici, the restoration of 
Francesco Sforza in Milan and the Adorni in Genoa, and the suppression 
of tlje enemies of the Catholic faith. In return the Pope promised the 
investiture of Naples, and a defensive alliance, Leo would have been 
glad to make the alliance offensive, but the Emperor was in no hurry 
for war, and still hoped that it might be averted. 

The alliance with Leo was valuable to Charles for the resources, 
material and spiritual, which the Pope and the Medici controlled, for 
the protection which the Papal States afforded against attacks on 
Naples from the north, and for the access they gave to Lonibardy 
from the south* Still more valuable appeared the . alliance with 
England, as securing the Netherlands against a joint attack, Wolsey 
at first was anxious to play the part of mediator or arbitrator between 
the hostile powers. At length at Bruges the agreement was reached 
on August 25, Chievres was dead (May 18, 1521), and Charles took 
himself the leading part in these negotiations. Charles was to marry 
Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII. The Emperor and King entered 
the most solemn alliance not only for the defence of their present 
possessions, but for the recovery of all that they could severally claim. 
The Emperor, who was meditating a visit to Spain, was to \asit 
England on the way. War was to be openly declared in March, 
1623, But if no suspension of hostilities came about between Charles 
and France, the declaration of war was to take jJace on the occasion 
of Charles* visit to England. All this was to be secured by the most 
solemn and public declaratinns within four months. 

The treaty of alliance, solemn as it professed to be, left something 
to be desired. France was already effectively at war wuth Charles. 
Robert de la Marck, Lord of Bouillon and Sedan, early in the year 
had invaded the southern Netherlands, and Duke Charles of fielders, an 
old ally of France and enemy of tlie Burgundian rulers, had attacked the 
north* Henri d' Albret had marched into Navarre, and at first had met 
with considerable success. These attacks were manifestly supported by 
France, and Charles could therefore claim the aid of England by %drtue 
of earlier treaties as the victim of unprovoked aggression. But for the 
time being it must suffice that England was neutralised. In the border 
warfare which succeeded Charles could hold his own. Sickingen chastised 
the Lord of Bouillon. Henri d' Albret was driven from Navarre by local 
levies. And although on the frontier of the Netherlands things looked 

k for a while, though Mezieres under Baj^ard held out againat 

and the Emperor himself risked a serious defeatoear Valenciennes, though 
the Admiral Bonnivet succeeded in occupying Fuenterrabia, the most 
important position on the western Pyrenees, all was compensated and 
more than compensated by the seizure of Mikin on November 19, 1521^ 
by the joint forces of the Emperor and the Pope. Lombardy with"' 
tlie exception of a few fortresses was easily occupied, and in the north 
Tournay capitulated. After these astonishing successes the death of Lee 
on December 1, came as an unexpected blow to the imperial hopes-l 
But his aid had done its work. His support had been the chief instru- 
ment in preventing the Swiss from assisting Francis with their full force ;] 
papal and Florentine money Iiad supplied the needs of the joint expedi- 
tion. In return he received before his death the news that Parma and 
Piacenza had been recovered for the Holy See. 

The campaign in Lombardy had been conducted by Prospero Colonna 
in command of the papal and imperial forces, among wliich were 16,00(] 
German infantry, brought by way of Trent. The French army wa 
commanded by Odet de Foix, Vicomte de Lautrec, who owed his positior 
to his sister's favour with the French King, They were joined by a 
considerable contingent from Venice. The Spanish troops under An-^ 
tonio de Ley va and the Marquis of Pescara came up slowly from Naples ; 
operations began badly ; no plan of campaign commanded approval ; and" 
when at length the siege of Parma was undertaken, it had to he abandoned 
owing to danger from Ferrara. In October, however, on the news of the 
approach of a body of Swiss, whom the Pope had induced to serve for 
the protection of the Holy See, Colonna crossed tlie Po. Giovanni delj 
Medici defeated a Venetian force, and the Marquis of Ferrara suffered a| 
defeat. Lautrec failed to prevent the junction of Colonna with the 
Swiss. There were now Swiss in both armies, and the orders of the Swis 
Diet came to both armies that they were to return. But the papal con^ 
tin gent held firm, while those in the pay of the French deserted in greao 
numbers. Colonna forced the passage of the Adda, and Lautrec retired 
on Milan, where the exactions and repressive measures of the Frencfc 
provoked a Ghibelline rising, as soon as the enemy appeared before th«s 
walls. The Venetians led the flight, and Lautrec abandoned the citj 
for Como, whence he passed to winter in the Venetian territory. 

The strange election of Adrian of Utreclit to the papal throne^j 
which followed on the death of Leo, appeared at first to favour the 
imperial side. Adrian had been the Emperor's tutor and was left by 
him as regent in Castile in 1520. But Adrian's visionary and un- 
worldly character unfitted him to take the traditional part of the Pope 
in Italian politics. It was long before he appeared in Italy, and afte< 
his arrival he long endeavoured to maintain neutrality. At last, aboutj 
a month before his death in September, 1523, Adrian was forced to tak^ 
a side, and joined the Emperor. 

The news of the successes in Lombardy put an end to the exertions 


of Wolsey to conclude au armistice between the Powers, and to secure 
Ills own acceptance as arbitrator. The alliance with England was 
confirmed, and Charles was free to sail for Spain (May 26, 1522). 
On his way he landed at Dover and visited Henry; and on June 19 the 
treat3^ of Windsor was concluded, according to which both sovereigns 
were bound to invade France each with a force of 30,000 foot, and 
10,000 horse ; the date named for this great effort was May, 1524. 

In July, 1522, Charles reached Spain and the last remnants of 
rebellion were stamped out. Meanwiiile his armies in Italy had been 
left almost to their own resources* The ample supplies voted by the 
Netherlands in 1521 had been all expended in the war of that yean 
No more money w^as forthcoming from the Pope or Florence* A great 
part of the imperial army had to be disbanded. The death of Leo 
threw the Swiss entirely on to the side of France. The French King 
moreover found no more difficulty in hiring German Landskneehte than 
did the Emperor himself. In the Papal State the forces of disorder 
reigned unchecked, and the old tyrant a reafipeared in Urbino, Camerino, 
Rimini^ and Perugia. Early in March, 1522, Lau tree moved across the 
Adda to join the Swiss who were coming to the number of 10,000 from 
the passes of the Alps. The junction was effected at Monza. But the 
defensive works of Colonna executed during the winter rendered Mihiu 
impregnable to assault. The enthusiastic support of the Milanese 
provided garrisons for the principal towns of the duchy. Francesco 
Sforza entered Milan on the 4th of April, and tlie Jlilanese were now 
fighting for a duke of their own, Laufcrec, although reinforced by a 
French force under his brotlier Thomas de Lescun^ could achieve nothing 
against the defensive strategy of Colonna. At length the impatience of 
the Swiss, who demanded battle or pay, forced the French to attack the 
enemy in a strong position of their own choosing, called the Bicocca, 
three miles from Mihm (April 27). Here they were repulsed with con- 
siderable loss, the Milanese militia doing good service side by side with 
the Spaniards and the Germans. The Swiss then returned to their 
bomes, discontented and humiliated, and the French army shortly 
afterwards evacuated Lombardy, excepting the three castles of Novara, 
Milan^ and Cremona. Genoa was stormed and pillaged by the 
Imperialists on May 30. A new government was set up in Milan under 
Francesco Sforza, though the unpaid Spanish and German soldiers recom- 
pensed themselves for their arrears by pillage and exactions. In Florence 
the imperial success restored the Medici authority which had been 
seriously threatened by malcontents from the Papal Stiites, supported 
by hopes of French assistance. 

The treaty of Windsor led to an immediate declaration of w^ar by 
Henry VIII, and during the summer of 1522 the English and Spanish 
fleets raided the coasts of Britanny and Normandy. Later an invading 
force under the Earl of Surrey and the Count van Buren entered Picardy, 

but little was achieved against the defensive opposition of the Frencl 
A systematic devastation of hostile country took place in this region. 

In spite of their ill-success in two campaigns the French did not givfl 
up their hope of reconquering Milan. Financial distress had agal 
forced the Emperor to reduce his forces, and the necessary means wer6 
with difficulty collected from the Italian towns and princes. The 
Netherlands had up to this time been the only trustworthy source of 
revenue, and the expenditure of Charles* Court had made great in-^ 
roads upon his treasury. Money w^as now coming in to the Castiluii] 
exchequer, but these funds had been pledged in advance* The Italiai: 
army was a year in arrear, Ferdinand was begging for money fo| 
measures against the Turks, The desperate appeal of Rhodes for aid in* 
1522 had to pass unregarded^ and this outlying bulwark of Christendora 
capitulated at the close of 1522. Although Charles w^as in Spain to 
stimulate operations, Fuenterrabia was successfully defended by the 
French against all att^icks until February, 1524, 

On the other hand, since the autumn of 1522 the allies had been 
counting on powerful aid in France itself . The Duke of Bourbon, with 
his extended possessions in the centre of France, was almost the only 
remaining representative of the great appanaged princes of the fifteenth 
century. Although his wings had been clipped by legislative and even 
more by administrative changes, he still commanded a princely revenue 
and considerable local support* His position in the kingdom had 
been recognised by the gift of the highest of Crown offices, the posts 
and dignity of Constable of France, But his title to the vast possessions 
which he held was not beyond question. The duchy of Bourbon had 
been preserved from reunion with the Crown under Louis XII by the in- 
fluence of Anne, Duchess of Bourbon, better laiown as Anne of Beaujeu, 
who first procured for her daughter ♦Susanne the right to succeed her 
father intheduchy (1498), and then (1505) married her to Count Charles 
of Montpensier, her cousin, who represented the rights of a youngerJ 
brancli of the Bourbon House. By this marriage Charles of Montpensiei 
was elevated to the duchy of Bourbon, but when his wife Susanne died 
without issue in 1521 his title became questionable at law. From' 
motives probably of cupidity, and of cupidity alone, a double claim wa8_ 
now advanced against him. The Queen Mother, Duchess of Angouleme 
claimed the female fiefs as being more closely related to the main line of 
the Bourbon House, and the King claimed the mala fiefs as escheating 
to the Crown. Against claimants so powerful Charles of Bourboi] 
felt himself unable to litigate before the Parliament of Paris, Th€ 
points of law were nice and the tribunal amenable to royal influenceJ 
He turned therefore to the enemies of his country. He approached' 
Charles V and boldly asked for his sister Eleouora (widow of the King 
of Portugal) in marriage, offering in return to raise 600 men-at-arm^ 
and 8000 foot-soldiers and to co-operate with an invasion from the east 





But the intrigues became known, and although the King hesitated to 
arrest hiis Constable when he Iiad him nt Paris in his power, and though 
again in August, 1523, when the King passed through Mouhns to take 
part in the great expedition to lUily, the Constable was allowed to stay 
behind on a plea of sickness, at length a peremptory summons was sent 
ordering him to join the King at Lyons. On this the Duke, w*ho had 
been looking in vain for the approach of aid from the east, took to 
flight and, after attempting to escape to Spain by way of Roussillon^ 
succeeded at length in reaching the frontier of Franche-Comte. 

The elaborate plans of tlie allies, which included the despatch of 
a force of 10,000 LandBknechte to Bourbon, an invasion of Pieardy by 
a joint army of 21,000 men, and an attack on Languedoc with 34,000 
men from Spain, were thua defeated. The Constable brought with him 
only his name and his sword. But the danger w^as judged sufficiently 
real to prevent Francis from leading his army in person into tlie Milanese, 
as had been intended. Great preparations had been made for an 
expedition on a royal scale, but the Admiral Bonnivet w^as appointed 
to take eomraan4 instead of the King. While Bonnivet was advancing 
on Italy some attempt was made by the allies to execute the other parts 
of the plan. The Duke of Suffolk and the Count van Buren advanced 
by Pieardy to the neighbourhood of Compiegne and Seolis, the German 
force threatened the frontier from tlie side of Bresse, while a Spanish 
force crossed the Pyrenees in October and threatened Bayonne. The 
delays had shattered the effect of the combination, but the kingdom 
was almost undefended, and even Paris was thought to be insecure* Yet 
Uttle came of all these efforts* The Germans from Bresse made an 
ineffectual attempt to join with Suffolk and Buren, but were hunted 
back across the frontier by the Count of Guise. The leaders of the 
northern expedition showed little enterprise, and money as usual was 
deficient. The Spanish army advanced upon Biiyoime, but was repulsed 
by the vigorous defence of Lautrec, and retired ineffective. In spitA 
of a liberal subsidy in August from the Cortes of Castile, and the 
seizure in October of gold coming ou private account from the 
Indies, the great design for the partition of France proved entirely 

Meanwhile Bonnivet had pursued his path to Lombardy. His army 
consisted of 1500 men-at-arms and some 25,000 foot, Swiss, Germaiifs, 
French, and Italians* On the 14th of September he reached the Tieino. 
Prospero Colonna, who was in command of the imperial troops, had no 
adequate resources with which to resist so powerful a foe in the fielil* 
Adrian VI, it is true, had recently announced his reluctant adhesion to 
the imperial party, and about the same time Venice had renounced her 
French alliance and concluded a league with Charles. But the value 
of theae accessions had not begun to be felt wiien Adrian's death 
(September 14) introduced uncertainty afresh at the very moment when 

Bonnivet appeared in Italy, Coloima wjis no longer supported bj 
Pescara, bat he had at his disposition Giovanni de* Medici, the celebrate^ 
leatler of the Black Italian Bands, and Antonio de Leyva* The imperia 
leaders abandoned the western part of the duchy to the French aud 
retired oq Milan. If Bonnivet had pressed on he would have found tl: 
capital unready for defence. But his delay gave time to improvise" 
protection : and when he arrived an assault appeared impracticable. H^ 
determined to endeavour to reduce the city by famine. 

Besides Milan, Colonna still held Pavia, Lodi, and Cremona, an^ 
wisely confined his efforts to the retention of these important posts,^ 
Bonnivet divided his forces and sent Bayard to attack Lodi an^ 
Cremona. Lodi fell, but Cremona held out, and Bayard had to b^ 
recalled. The election of Clement VII on November 19 gave for the 
moment strength to the imperial side. Money was sent and the Marquis 
of Mantua brought aid. Bonnivet was forced to abandon the siege of 
Milan, and retire upon the Ticino. On December 28 Prospero Colonna 
died, but Charles de Lannoy, the viceroy of Naples, with the Marquis of 
Pescara, arrived to take his place, bringing with him a small supply of 
money and troops. Reinforcements came from Germany, and the Im- 
perialists, now supported more effectively by Venice, were able to take 
the offensive* They drove Bonnivet from Ahbiate-Grasso, then from 
Vigevano to Novara. The reinforcements which he was eagerly expecting 
from the Grisons at length arrived at Chiavenna, but found neither men 
nor money to meet them. Giovanni de' Medici hung upon their flanks 
and drove the Grisons levies back over the mountains. At length Bon- 
nivet was forced to leave Novara and endcavourtoeffecta junction with 
a force of 8000 Swiss, whom lie met upon the Sesia. But this relief was 
too late. The morale of the army was destroyed. The remnants could 
only be saved by retreat, Bonnivet himself was wounded at this 
juncture, and the task of conducting the wearied and dispirited troops 
across the mountains fell upon Bayard* Bayard took command of the 
rear-guard, and, in protecting the movements of his cunirades, fell 
mortally wounded by the ball of an arquebus (April 30, 1524). With 
him perished the tinest flower of the French professional army in that age 
the knight who had raised tlie ideal of a warrior's life to the highest point 
But his last task wassuccessfully acccmiplished. The Swiss effected thet 
retreat by Aosta, the French by Susa and Brian^on. The last garrisoij 
of the French in Lombardy capitulated. 

Adrian^s successor, Giulio de' Medici, Clement VII, had been su| 
ported in his election by the imperial influence, in spile of Charles 
promises to Wolsey, Giulio had long controlled the papal policy 
under Leo, and it was assumed that he would tread the same path. But 
Clement had all the defects of his qualities. Supremely subtle and 
acute, he had not the constancy to follow up what he had once come 
regard as a mistake. He relied upon his own ingenuity and duplicity^ 



and endeavoured to sail with every wind. Thus he failed alike to serve 
his owTi interests and those of his allies, 

Clement began almost at once to detach himself from the imperial 
alliance, dangerous in defeat, oppressive in the event of success- His 
efforts however to conclude a truce proved unsuccessful, and on May 25^ 
1524, a new compact was accepted by the allies. The Duke of Bourbon 
was to invade France at the head of the victorious array of Italy. A 
joint expedition was to invade Picardy, and a Spanish array was to 
attack by way of Roussillon, Henry VIII seemed to see a chance of 
making good the pretensions of his ancestors to the French throne, and 
exacted from the unwilling Duke of Bourbon an oath of fidelity to 
himself as King of France. 

In July the first point of this agreement was carried into effect. 
The Duke of Bourbon crossed the Alps in company with Pescara and 
invaded France (July 1)» His artillery joined him by sea at Monaco. 
Provence offered little resistance. The Duke entered Aix on August 9. 
But the other movements were delayed, and it was thought dangerous 
to advance on Lyons without this support. Accordingly it was deter- 
mined to lay siege to Marseilles, which was surrounded on August 19, 
Francis had here shown unusual foresight, and the town was prepared 
for defence imder the command of the Orsini captain, Renzo da Ceri, 
who had shown himself throughout a passionate friend of France* The 
breaches in the walls were immediately protected by earthworks, and the 
besiegers could not venture an assault. The French navy, reinforced 
by Andrea Doria with his galleys, was superior to the invaders oij 
the sea. Meanwhile Francis was collecting with great energy an army 
of relief at Avignon, Unexampled tallies were imposed ; the clergy 
were taxed, the cities gave subsidies, and the nobles forced loans* Time 
pressed and the assault of Marseilles was ordered for September 4, but 
the troops recoiled before the danger; the Marquis of Pescara, hostile 
throughout to the enterprise and its leader, did not conceal his dis- 
approval ; and the project was abandoned. The promised aid from 
Roussillon was not sent, and the diversion in Picardy was not made. 
On September 29, much against his will, the Duke of Bourbon ordered 
the retreat. The troops, ill-clothed, ill -provided, ill -shod, made their 
way across the mountains, closely pursued by Montmorency. Francis 
followed with his whole army and reached Vercelli on the same day 
that the retreating army arrived at Alba, about sixteen miles S.S.W. 
of Asti. 

With troops humiliated, discontented, exhausted, resistance in the 
field was impossible. The Imperialists adopted the same strategy that 
had succeeded so well against Bonnivet. They determined to hold 
Alessandria, Pa via, Lodi, Pizzighettone, Cremona. The citadel of Milan 
was garrisoned, and it was hoped that the city might be held ; but 
it had suffered terribly from the plague, and on the approach of Francis 


Campaiijn of Pavia 


with his whole array, the attempt was given up> Bourbon, Lannoy, an^H 
Pescara retired to Lodi ; and the defence of Pavia was entrusted t^" 
Antonio de Leyva. Instead of following up the remnants of the impe- 
rial army to Lodi, and crusldng them or driving them east into the 
arms of their uncertam Venetian allies, Francis turned aside to make 
himself master of Pavia. The siege artillery opened lire on November 6. 
An early assault having failed, Francis attempted to divert the course of 
the Ticino, and by this means to obtain access to the south side of the 
town, which relied niairdy on the protection of the river. But the win- 
ter rains rendered the work impossible, Francis determined to reduce 
the city by blockade. Meanwhile he called up reinforcements from the 
Swiss, and took Giovanni de' Medici into his pay. 

Italy prepared to take tlie side which appeared for the moment 
stronger, Venice hesitated in her alliance. Clement, while endeavouring 
to reassure the Emperor as to his fidelity, and ostensibly negotiating foi 
an impossible peace, concluded, on December 12, 1524, a secret treatj 
with France, in which Florence and Venice were included. This treat 
led both Clement and Francis to their ruin. Clement paid for his" 
cowardly betrayal at the Sack of Rome, and Francis was encouraged 
to detach a part of his army under the Duke of Albany to inyadl 
Naples, an enterprise winch w^eakened his main force without securing 
any corresponding advantage. The Duke, after holding to ransom t\ii 
towns of Italy through which he passed, reached the south of tlie papal 
territory, where he was attacked by the Colonna and driven back to 
Jlome. It was hoped however that this diversiou would induce the 
imperial generals to leave Lombardy to it^ fate and hurry to the protec 
tion of Naples. But reinforcements were coming in from CtermanJ 
under Frundsberg, and it was Naples that was left to fortune. Onl 
January 24, 1525, the imperial forces moved from Lodi. After a 
feint on Milan, they approached Pavia, and encamped towards the 
east to wait their opportunity. Thence they succeeded in introducing 
powder and other most necessary supplies into the famished city. 
The seizure of Chiavenna oji behalf of Charles recalled the Orisons 
levies to the defence of their own territory. Reinforcements coming 
to Francis from the Alps were cut off and destroyed. Giovanni de' 
Medici was incapacitated by a w^ound. But the condition of the 
beleaguered city and lack of pay and provision did not permit of 
further delay. It was decided to attack Francis in his camp and risk -. 
the issue. ■ 

On the night of February 24-25 the imperial army broke into the 
walled enclosure of the park of Miral>ello. Delays were caused by the 
solid walls and day broke before the actual encounter. The news of 
the attack induced Francis to leave his entrenclnnents and to mua 
Ids army, which consisted of 8000 Swiss, 5000 (Jermans, 7000 Frencl 
infiintry, and 6000 Italians. He was not much superior in actual 


nambers, but stronger in artillery and cavalry. An attempt of the 
Imperialists to join bamis with the garrison of Pa via, by marching past 
the French army, which had liad time to adopt a perfect order of battle 
in the park, proved impossible under a flanking artillery fire. Nor was 
it possible to throw up earthworks and await assault, as Lannoy had 
hoped. A direct attack upon the French army was necessary. In the 
milie which ensued it is ahnost impossible to disentangle the several 
causes of the issue^ but it seems clear that the complete victory of the 
Imperialists was due to the admirable fire-discipline and tactics of the 
veteran Spanish arquebusiers, to the attack of Antonio de Leyva with 
his garrison from the rear, to an inopportune movement of the German 
troops of the French which masked their artillery fire, and perhaps in 
some measure to the cowardly example of flight set by the Duke of 
Alengon, The French army was destroyed, the French King was 
captured, and all his most illustrious commanders were taken prisoners 
or killed. As Ravenna marks the advent of artillery as a deciding 
factor in great battles, so perhaps Pavia may be said to mark the 
superiority attained by hand firearms over the pike. The Swiss pike- 
men were unable to stand against the Spanish bullets* 

Gnce more the duchy had been reconquered, and it seemed lost for 
ever to France. Francis was sent as a prisoner first to Pizzighettone 
and then to Spain. Here the un won tod restraint acting on a man so 
passionately devoted to field-sports shook his health \ he thought at one 
time of resigning the crown of France in favour of the Dauphin, in 
order to discount the advantage ijossessed by Charles in the custody of 
his royal person ; but he was at length constrained to accept the 
Emperor's terms. The result was the treaty of Madrid, signed by 
Francis on January 14, 1526, and confirmed by the most solemn 
oaths^ and by the pledge of the King's kniglitly honour, but with the 
deliberate and secretly expressed intention of repudiating its obligations, 
Francis was to marry Eleonora, the Emperor's sister and the widow of 
the King of Portugal. He renounced all his rights over Milan, Naples* 
Genoa, Asti, together with the suzerainty of Flanders, Artois, and 
Tournay, He ceded to Charles the duchy of Burgundy, in which how- 
ever the traditional dependencies of the duchy were not included. The 
Duke of Bourbon was to be pardoned and resl^^red to his hereditary 
possessions* Francis aliandoned the Duke of G elders, and gave up all 
claims of d'All>ret to Navarre. As a guarantee for the execution of 
the treaty the King's two eldest sons were to be surrendered to the 
Em£>eror'8 keeping j and Francis was to return as a prisoner in the 
event of non-fulfilment. 

In spite of the outcries of historians, the terms of this treaty must 
be regarded as moderate. Chai'les exacted nothing, after his extra- 
ordinary success, except what he must have considered to be his own by 
right. But how far his moderation was dictated by policy, and how far 

by natural feelings of justice, may remain undecided. The Duke of 
Bourbon and Henry VIII had pressed upon him the pursuit of the war* 
the invasion and dismemberment of France. Had Charles really aimec 
at European supremacy this course was open to him. But he did noij 
take it, whether from a prudent distrust of his English ally, or from an 
honest dislike for unjust and perilous schemes of aggrandisement. That he 
took no pains to use his own victory for the furtherance of the ends of 
England, may appear at first sight surprising. But Henry VIII had 
had no part in the victory of Pavia, and almost none in any of CharleaJ^B 
successes, English subsidies had been a factor, though not a decisive^^ 
factor, in the war, but English armed assistance had been uniformly . 
Ineffective. Even before the battle of Pa via Charles had known o^^M 
Henry's contemplated change of side. Moreover, since the rejection o^^ 
Henry's plans for tlie dismemberment of France, the English King had 
concluded an alliance with Louise of Savoy, the regent of France, and 
profited by his desertion to the extent of two millions of crowns, Chai'les 
owed nothing to Henry at the time of the treaty of Madrid. 

Other considerations of a politic nature may have inclined Charle 
to moderation. The Pope, appalled by the disaster of Payia, had beei 
preparing against the Emperor an Italian league. Francesco Sforza 
had been approached and had lent an ear to proposals of infidelity^ 
Venice was secured. Even Pescara, Charles' own servant, had beei 
sounded by Girolanio Morone, the Cliancellor of Milan, with the offe| 
of the Kingdom of Naples. Pescara was discontented with the favouT 
and good fortune of Lannoy, with his own position, the conditions of ^ 
his service, and his rewards. He seems to have hesitated for a moment,^H 
but eventually disclosed all to Charles, and threw Morone into prison^^ 
(July — October, 1525). Sforza w^as deprived of the chief places in the 
Milanese, retaining only the citadels of Milan and Cremona ; but all this 
meant further trouble in Italy, and pointed to an understanding with 
France, although Mercurino Gattinara throughout had urged that ni 
reliance should be placed on French promises. Charles deserves credi^ 
for his prudence, if not for his generosity. The notion that Francial 
permanent friendship could have been won by any greater liberality caH 
be at once dismissed. 

i'rancis 1 wiis liberated at the French frontier on March 17, 1526j( 
leaving his two little sons in his place. Ue at once made known his in-" 
tentions by delaying and finally refusing the ratification of the treaty of 
Madrid ; and on May 22, at Cognac, a League was concluded against th^ 
Emperor, in which Francesco Sforza, the Pope, Florence, and Venice' 
joined with France. Sforza was to receive the duchy of Milan unim-^j 
paired, the States of Italy were to be restored to all their rights, am^^J 
the French Princes were to be released for a ransom of 2,000,000 crowns.^^ 
Henry VIII gave fair w^ords and encouragement in abundance, but did 
not join the League. The aid of France was equaUy illusory. The 



allies talked of peace, but in reality they courted war, and with it 
all the disasters which followed. 

The adhesion, however vacillating, of Henry VIJI to the party of 
his enemies, set Charles free from any obligations towards Mary of 
England, and in March, 1526, he concluded his inarriage with Isabella 
of Portugal, a union which he had long desired, securing to him an 
ample dowry, and promising peace between the two Iberian kingdoms. 
The affairs of Italy still occupied his attention, Francesco Sforza 
received the first blow. Pescara was dead, but Charles still had able and 
devoted servants in Italy* With the troops at their disposal Antonio 
de Leyva and Alfonso del Guasto besieged Francesco Sforza in the 
citadel of Milan. After the League of Cognac had been concluded 
ies advanced to his relief. The imperialists were in piteous 
Left without means of support, they were obliged to live upon 
the country and to levy money from the citizens of Milan. In conse- 
quence they had to deal with an actual revolt of the inhabitants which 
was with ditliculty repressed, while the siege of the citadel was still vigor- 
ouslj^ maintained. Francesco Maria,Duke of Urbino, moving deliberately 
and cautiously at the head of the united Venetian and papal army, after 
seizing Lodi, advanced to the relief of Sforza, and was only at a short 
distance from the town when the Duke of Bourbon opportunely arrived 
with a small force (July 5). Bourbon had been named as Duke of 
Milan to compensate him for the loss of his French possessions which 
Francis had refused to restore. The Duke of Urbino then commenced 
an attack, which if vigorously pushed might have resulted in the de- 
struction of the imperialist forces, between the invaders and the citadel, 
and among a hostile population. But he showed neither resolution 
nor activity, and on July 25 the citadel surrendered. The Duke of 
Urbino, now reinforced by some six thousand Swiss, the only aid which 
Francis supplied, turned to the siege of Cremona, in which he consiuued 
his resources and two months of valuable time. The final capture of 
the city (September 23) was an inadequate compensation. 

The attitude of Charles towards Clement VII at this juncture was 
expressed in his letter of September 17, 1526, in which the misdeeds of 
the Pope were systematically set forth. This letter was afterwards 
printed in Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands as a manifesto to all 
Christendom. The arraignment was severe but not on the whole unjust. 
In view of his wrongs, real and supposed, the means used by the Emperor 
are not surprising. His eniis.sary, Ugo de Moncada, after vainly en- 
deavouring to win back Clement, had turned to the still powerful family 
of Colonna. These nobles, Gliibellines by tradition, soldiers by pro- 
fession, and raiders by inclination, after terrifying the Pope by forays in 
the south and by the capture of Anagni, concluded with him a treacherous 
peace (August 22). The Pope, already overburdened by his efforts in 
the north, was thus induced to disarm at home^ and on September 20 


Tnaction of the Duke of Urbino 


the Colonua struck at Rome. They }>enetrated first into the southei 
part of the town, and then into the Leonine city, where they sacked ti 
papal pakce, and the dwellings of several Cardinals* Clement too 
refuge in the Castle of St Angelo, where he was shortly forced to coij 
elude a truce of four months with the Emperor, promising to witlidra'j 
his troops from Lomburdy and liis galleys from before Genoa, and giving 
hostages for hi« good faiili. The Emperor disavowed the actions of the 
allies but profited by tlie result, which w^as indeed only partial, sine 
Giovanni de' Medici, with the best of the papal troops, continued 
fight for the League, in the name of tlie King of France, An amnesty" 
promised to the Colonna was disregarded, and in full Consistory thei 
lands were declared to be confiscated, and a force was sent to esecuf 
this sentence. 

Inert liS ever, after the capture of Cremona, the Duke of Urbino 
allowed three w^eeks to pass before, strengthened by the arrival of 40(1 
French, he moved upon Milan, not to assault but to blockade. The 
delays were invaluable to Charles, They allowed him to win the adhesic 
of Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara, which was facilitated by the papal hostilit 
They allowed him to send troops from Spain to Naples (Decemberl 
and to collect German levies, who arrived in Italy under Frundsberg \ 
November. Their presence in the duchy of Mantua forced the Duke' 
Urbino to abandon the siege of Milan. He divided his army, leaving] 
part at Vauri, on the Adda, and advanced mth the remainder agaii 
Frundsberg, whom he found at Borgoforte near tlie Po. In the skirmhiE 
which followed Giovanni de/ Medici was wounded, and he died shortlv 
afterwards at Mantua, The Duke of Urbino gave up all further 
attempt to prevent the junction of the imperialists, and returned to 
Mantua. The want of energy displayed by the Duke of Urbiuo_ 
throughout this campaign is not wholly to be attributed to his characte 
He had a well-groimded mistrust of the troops of which his army wa 
composed, and doubted their competence to face the Spaniards. More- 
over the Venetians w^ere uncertain as to the Pope's real intentions ai 
were reluctant to push matters to an extreme. The success of Charl€ 
however was principally due to this policy of inaction. The Duke 
of Bourbon now extorted by the extremest measures the money nee 
sary to enable him to move, requiring, for instance, 20,000 ducats 
Morone as the price of his life and pardon, and at length the forces nil 
at Fiorenzuola in the territory of Piacenza (February, 1527). Tl 
united army then moved towards the Papal States, watched at a distant 
by the Duke of Urbino, wliile garrisons were sent to save Bologna and 
Piacenza, The Pope, in extreme alarm, threatened by Bourbon from 
the north and Lannoy wnth the Colonna from the south, implored Francis 
to act, and showed himself willing to make whatever terms he could with 
the Emperor. Then on hearing of a small success of his troops in tt 
south at Frosinone (January^ 1527), he determined to pursue the wa 





A sudden raid Ijy Renzo da Ceri on tlie Abruzzi seemed at first to 
promise a welcome diversion, but very soon tbe invasions of Naples 
proved as unprofitable as the campaigns in the north. The project of 
conferring the kingdom on Loois, Count of Vaudemont, the brother of 
the Duke of Lorraine, whicli Clement had put forward, faded into* 
the visionary. The Pope shifted his ground again, and on March 15 
concluded a truce of eight months for himself and r'lorence. 

Meanwhile the imperial army had been hjng inactive at San Gio- 
vanni, N,W, of Bologna. Destitute of everything, it was mit likely 
that they would accept a truce which brought them only 60,000 ducats. 
A meeting had in fact already taken place, and Frundsberg, while 
endeavouring to pacify his Lnndskfiechte^ was struck by apoplexy ; his 
days of activity were over. Hereupon came the news of the truce, with 
its impossible proposals, prolonging the intolerable condition of inaction 
and want. The army chimoured to go forward and Bourbon decided to 
lead them. The Count del Guasto, Pescara's nephew, whose Italian 
patriotism always competed vnth his duty to his master, protested and 
withdrew, but on March 30 the others set forth, scantily provided with 
transport and provisions by the Duke of Ferrara. Clement, on the con- 
clusion of the truce, had disbanded his troops, and while Lannoy was 
endeavouring on his behalf to raise the money at Florence to appease 
the imperialists, the tumultuous advance continued. On April 21 
Lannoy met Bourlxm with 100,000 ducats, but lie now demanded more 
than twice that sum^ and the march proceeded dnwn the valley of the 
Arno, threatening Florence. But the army of the League was near 
enough to protect that city, and the only result was a futile rising of the 
citizens, and the accession of Florence to the League, Bourbon then 
determined to move on Rome, a resolution acceptable above all to his 
Lutheran followers. The Pope proclaimed his adhesion to the con- 
federates, and clamoured for aid. But it was too late. On May 5 the 
mutinous army appeared before Rome on the Monte Mario. They had 
left their artillery on the road, but the city was almost undefended, 
except for such measures as Renzo da Ceri had been able to take on 
orders given at the last moment. The next day the Leonine city wiis 
assaulted and eaptiired, the Duke of Bourbon being killed at the 
moment of escalading the wall, Philibert, Prince of Orange, took the 
command. Clement had only just time to seek refuge in St Angelo. 

In the main city Renzo da Ceri endeavoured to persuade the Romans 
to protect themselves by breaking down the bridges, and preventing the 
entry of the Colonna from the srmth. But he failed. The Trastevere 
was easily captured, and the imperialists advanced without opposition 
across the bridge of Sixtus. For eight days the Sack continued, among 
horrors almost unexampled in the history of w^ar. The Lutlierans re- 
joiced to burn and to defile what all the world had adored. Churches w^ere 
desecrated, women, even the religious, violated, ambassadors pillaged* 

cardinals put to ransom, ecclesiastical dignitaries and ceremonies made 
a mockery, and the soldiers fought among themselves for the spoil, ^ 
The population of Rome had been much reduced by the plague of 152!^ 
and a rough census taken shortly before the capture gives the number^ 
as about 55,000, of whom 4000 are estimated to have perished in the 
Sack. All who were able took to flight, and the deserted city was left 
to the soldiers. 

The Duke of Urbino came and looked at the city from without, bu^ 
decided to do nothings though the disorder of the imperial troops gav< 
good hopes for an attack^ and the Pope at least might have been rescued. 
In default of all aid Clement made terms: the payment of 400,000 
ducats, and the surrender of Ostia, Civita Vecchia, Piacenza, and Modenjj 
being stipulated. The Pope was chisely guarded in the Castle of Sfcl 
Angelo. While he was helpless there the Imperialists occupied Ostia 
and Civita Vecchia, but were not able to obtain possession of the other 
places. The Duke of Ferrara seized Modenaand Keggio : the Venetians,^ 
in spite of their alliance, Ravenna and Cervia» The Papal State was 
crumbling. Prom Florence also the Medici nephews were expelled witlij 
their guardian, the Cardinal of Cortona* A Kepoblic was established^ 
though the city still adhered to the League. Meanwhile in Rome the 
Prince of Orange had been forced to relinquish his command, and 
Lannoy, who took his place soon afterwards, died of the plague, which 
w^as raging in the array. For nine months the city and its neighbour- 
hood were at the mercy of the lawless and leaderless troops. 

The responsibility of Charles for the Sack of Rome cannot be accu- 
rately weighed. That he who wills the act wills also the consequences 
of the act is a principle that applies to both sides. Charles willed the ad- 
vance of Bourbon and the armed coercion of the Pope ; he wiUed that the 
Pope should be deceived by truces, which he did not intend to honour. j 
He could not foresee that Bourbon's army would have been completelj 
out of control, hut sooner or later such must have been the case with 
these Italian armies, among w^hom destitution was chronic. On the;, 
other hand, Clement brought his fate upon himself. He who observe 
faith with none cannot expect that faith will be observed witli him.1 
Jle who takes the sword must accept what the sword brings. And* 
although an honourable motive, the desire to liberate Italy, and a 
nattiral motive, the desire to preserve the real independence of Florence 
and the papal power, may have partly influenced his actions, it id] 
impossible to acquit Clement of a desire for personal and pontifical 
aggrandiseuient, while in the use of means for the accomplishment of 
these ends he showed neither rectitude nor practical T^asdom. Even in 
his own game of Italian duplicity he allowed himself to be outwitted. 

The Pope and the Papacy were crushed into the dust, but the 
struggle was not yet over* Before the Sack of Rome, Henry VIII and 
Francis had concluded a new and offensive alliance at Westminster 

1527-8] Invasion of Italy hy Lautrec 57 

(Apnl 30, 1527); and after the news bad spread through Europe this 
was confirmed on May 29, and strengthened still further by the interview 
of Amiens (August 4). One more great eflFort was to be made in Italy 
to force the Emperor to accept two million crowns in lieu of Burgundy, 
and to release the sons of the French King. The King of England was 
to give support with money and with men. His zeal was quickened 
by a desire to liberate the Pope from imperial control, and to bring 
influence to bear on him for the divorce of Catharine. 

In July Lautrec set forth once more from Lyons for the Milanese 
with an army of 20,000 foot and 900 men-at-arms, to which Italian 
additions were expected. Advancing by the usual route of Susa, he 
easily made himself master of the western districts, including Ales- 
sandria, and took Pavia by assault. Andrea Doria, the great Genoese 
sea-captain, who was in himself almost a European Power, came again 
into the King's service, leaving the Pope, and by his aid the Imperialist 
Adomi were driven from Genoa, and the Fregoso party set up in their 
place. Teodoro Trivulzio was appointed to govern the city for France. 
Francesco Sforza was re-established in the chief part of the Milanese. 
Milan alone under Leyva resisted. 

Butwithout completing the conquest of the duchy, Lautrec determine4 
to go south to deliver the Pope. Prospects were favourable, for Ferrara 
had changed sides again, and Federigo da Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua^ 
abandoning his policy of neutrality, joined the League. But while Lautred 
was still approaching, the Pope was forced on November 26 to accept the 
Emperor's terms, which, except for the promise to convoke a General 
Council to deal with the Lutheran heresy, chiefly concerned the payment 
of money, and the grant of ecclesiastical privileges of pecuniary value ; 
but provided against future hostility by the guarantee of Ostia, Civita 
Vecchia, and Citta Castellana, and the surrender of notable Cardinals as 
hostages. Indeed the Pope, though unlikely to turn again to Francis, 
who had deserted him in his need, expelled his family from Florence, and 
was now allied with the Duke of Ferrara. Before the day appointed for 
his release the Pope was allowed to escape to Orvieto (December 6), his 
original hostages having been also liberated by the intervention of the 
Cardinal Pompeo Colonna. He at once set his influence to work to 
establish a permanent peace. Both monarchs were prepared for peace, 
but the terms were diflScult to arrange. In view of the great expenditure 
required, whether for the ransom of Burgundy, or for the alternative of 
war, Francis called together an assembly of Notables (December 16, 1527) 
to justify the levy of an extraordinary imposition. The Church offered 
1,300,000 livres, nobles promised unlimited aid, an offer which they after- 
wards unwillingly and grudgingly translated into prose ; and those who 
spoke for the towns guaranteed 1,200,000 crowns. 

But the terms which were offered to Charles were rejected by him in 
January, 1528, and war was solemnly declared on behalf of France and 


Siege of Naples. Defection of Doria [i528 

England. Cliarles in reply reproached Francis with having cowardly 
broken his knightly word, and offered to sustain his contention with his 
body. Francis took up the challenge, and asked that time and place 
should be named* But for one reason or another, this fantastic and 
frivolous proposal never came to its accomplishment, and it may be 
doubted if either monarch desired to be taken at hia word. 

Lautrec was at Bologna when he heard of the liberation of the Pope, 
and he continued his march through the Koniagna, favoured by the 
secret friendship of Clement, Thence he penetrated through the 
Abruzzi and advanced upon Apulia. This move drew the imperial 
army out of Home, February IT, 16i28, which they had sacked once 
more, and left deserted. Of the forces wliich had sacked Rome some 
11,000 were left; the Prince of Orange had resumed the command, and 
taken up his position at Troja to protect Naples. Lautrec refused to 
attack him in this strong position, professing to be waiting for reinforce*- 
ments, but wlien the Florentine troops arrived, the Prince of Orange 
retired towards Naples. Meanwhile the Venetians, as in previous wars, 
occupied the cities on the Adriatic seaboard. The Prince saw that the 
utmost he could accomplish was to save Naples* But it was with 
difficulty that he could collect sufficient provisions for the immediate 
needs of the troops and city, while Filippino Doria, cruising off the 
coast, intercepted supplies from Sicily- An attempt made by Moncada 
to surprise and crush the Genoese commander ended in disaster, with 
the loss of four galle3's, the death of Moncada and of other c-aptains 
(April 28, 1528), and almost immediately afterwards Lautrec appeared 
before the walls. Naples was now completely blockaded by the Cfcnoese 
fleet, soon reinforced by the Venetians, while Lautrec established a siege 
on land. Meanwhile Henry the younger, Duke of Brunswick, crossed the 
Alps with a German force, and on June 9 joined Leyva on the Adda, 
unopposed by the Duke of Urbino ; but instead of marching to Naples, 
Leyva at once proceeded to the reconquest of the duchy, a part of which, 
including Pavia, he had previously recovered, and Lodi was besieged- 
But the country was bare of all sustenance, and even when bills arrived 
there was no one to cash them: so after three weeks the Germans refused 
to continue the thankless task, and the chief part of them went home. 
The imperial government in Milan about this time was reduced to such 
straits that they were driven to impose a ruinous tax on bread to meet 
their most necesvsary expenses* French reinforcements were collecting at 
Asti under the Count of Saint Pol. Never had the prospects of Spain 
in the Peninsula looked so black. Suddenly, July 4, orders came to 
Filippino Doria from his uncle Andrea, to withdraw his blockading 
force from Naples. 

Francis had made the great mistake of offending the powerful sea- 
captain. In addition to private slights, Andrea Doria was incensed at the 
apparent intention of Francis to develop Savona for war and commerce 

at the expense of Genoa, and, when he expostulated with the King, 
Francis formed the dangerous design of arresting the captain in his own 
city, and put a French commander, without experience, Barbesieux, over 
his head. Charles saw his opportunity and, l>y the advice of the Prince 
of Orange, he won Doria for his own service, on favourable terms of 
engagement, and wath the promise of liberty for Genoa under imperial 
protection. In vain, wlien Francis learnt his danger, he conceded too 
late everything that Doria had asked. The AdmiraFs suspicion and 
resentment had been aroused, and he joined the Emperor once and 
for all. 

This defection changed the whole position of affairs. While the 
prench camp before Naples was ravaged by the plague, abundance suc- 
eded to famine in the city. The French fleet under liiubesieux arrived 
on July 17 bringing a few men, but little real assistance. Lautrec clung 
desperately to his siege, and endeavoured to collect fresh troops. The 
sieged became more and more audacious in their attacks ; Doria 
speared at Naples Mith his galleys ; and, when on August 16 Lautrec 
"died, the situation was hopeless. On August 28 the remnants under 
the Marquis of Saluzzo retired to Aversa, where they were obliged to 
capitulate shortly after. On September 12 Doria entered Genoa, and 
established a new oligarchical Republic, the French taking refuge in the 
Castelletto. The form of government then set up persisted, with some 
modification in 1576, until 1796, and Genoa had internal peace at lastl 
In the Nortli Pa via had been retaken by Saint PoL The French com- 
mander made an eflbrt to recover Genoa, bufc without success. The 
Genoese soon after occupied Savona, and tire Castelletto surrendered 
(October 28). Finally in the spring of 1529 the combined armies of 
Saint Pol and the Duke of Urbino determioed to reduce Milan, not by 
a siege, but by a combination of posts of observation. This plan, 
unpromising enough in itself, was frustrated by the conduct of Saint 
Pol, who attempted to surprise Genoa, but allowed himself to be waylaid 
and defeated on his march by Leyva at Landriano (June 20). 

Francis and his allies still held some places in the Milanese, and 
acme outlying posts in the kingdom, as well as the cities of the Adriatic 
littoral, Bnt negotiations begun in the winter between Louise of Savoy 
and Margaret, the ruler of the Netherlands, had resulted in a project of 
peace, which was vehemently desired in the interests of all countries, but 
especially of tlie Netherlands, where public opinion made itself perhaps 
most felt. Charles was meditating a great expedition to Italy under his 
personal command, but lie consented to treat. He sent fnll powers and 
instructions, elastic though precise, to Margaret, who was visited by the 
King's motlier, Louise, at Oambray, July 5. Here the terms of peace 
were definitely concluded, and the treaty was signed on August 3, 1529, 
The compact of marriage between Francis and Eleonora was renewetl. 
Francis resigned all pretensions to Italy, left his allies in the hirch, 

renounced his suzerainty over Flanders and Artois, and all the frontier 
places on the north-east remained in the hands of the occupant. Robert 
de la Miirck and the Duke of Gelders were abandoned- Two millions 
of crowTis w^ere to be paid as ransom for the young French princes, and 
in lieu of the present cession of Burgundy, to which Charles reserved 
Ills right ; while the possessions of Bourbon and of the Prince of 
Orange were left to the French King. 

With this treaty the first stage in the settlement of the affairs of 
Western Europe was reached. To Spain waa surrendered the un* 
questioned supremacy in Italy, while the territory of France remained 
practically undiminished. The agreement seemed stable. Both Powers 
were thoroughly tired of war. The minor Italian potentates had begun 
to learn that nothing could be gained by war except a change of 
masters, accompanied by devastation, exaction, plague, and famine. 
The Pope had made his choice at last. The influence of Giberti, which 
had alway^ been on the French side, was removed. The moderation 
which Charles showed in the use of his success confirmed them in this 
frame of mind. It wtxa his policy, while changuag as little as possible in 
the government of the smaller States, to make such order as should 
secure to hiin in each effective supervision and controL 

Tl*e expedition wiiich Charles had prepared for w^ar in Italy set 
forth from Barcelona, after a treaty had been concluded with the Pope 
(June 29), and in the hope of peace from the negotiations at Cambray. 
Charles may have received the news of peace on his arrival at Genoa, 
August 12, With the troops that he brought with him, with the 
victorious force from Naples, the army of Leyva, and fresh German 
levies from the Tyrol, he was absolute master of Itiily, and coulrl shape 
it at his wilL His dii^positions were made at Bologna, whither Clement 
came to confer on him the imperial crown. 

Peace was made with Venice, who restored all her conquests and 
paid a w^ar indemnity. Francesco Sforza w^as restored to Milan : but 
Charles reserved the right to garrison the citadel of Milan, and the town 
of Como, and a Spanish force was left in the Duchy. Florence was 
restored to the Medici, an operation w^hich required a ten months' siege 
(October, 1529 — August, 1530), Alessandro de' Medici was appointed 
as head of the government of the city by the decree of October 28, 1530, 
The claim of the Duke of Ferrara to Keggio and Modena was reserved 
for the future decision of Charles. Id all other respects the Pope was 
restored to his full rights, and re-entered on the possession of his 
temporal power, though his status now resembled that of an inferior and 
protected prince. Malta and Tripoli were given to the Knights of 
St John* A league of the powers of Italy w^as formed, to which finally 
not only the Pope, Venice, Florence, the Manjuis of Mantua now created 
Duke, but also the Duke of Savoy^ and all the minor States adhered. 




The Duke of Ferrara was to join when he had been reconciled to the 
Pope. After all was concluded Charles received at the hands of the 
Pope the iron crown of Lombardy and the imperial crown^ February 
23-24. and left Italy for Germany (April, 1530). All the years of war 
he had spent in Spain, and this was the first time he had visited the 
ill-fated peninsula, \vhere so much of all that is precious had been 
expended in supporting and combating his claims. How much had 
been sacriiiced to these ends may best be indicated by noting that the 
battle of Mohacs was fought in 1526, that Ferdinand was elected to 
the thrones of Bohemia and Hungary in the same year, and that the 
Diet of Speier and the Siege of Vienna are dated in 1529. 

The success of Charles appeared complete and permanent. Far 
other and even more difficult tasks awaited him beyond the Alps, but 
80 far lis Italy was concerned he might sleep secure. He seemed to have 
brought for once in her troubled history unity to Italy. That so much 
had been acliieved appears at tirst sight due more to good fortune than 
good management. Again and again, above all at Pavia and Naples, 
luck had declared in his favour when everything seemed to promise 
disaster. But good fortune seldom comes where it is wholly unmerited. 
Though always unequal in intellect and resources to the gigantic tasks 
that w^ere imposed upon him, Charles had shown perseverance almost 
adequate to his needs. Moreover, the brilliant work of his servants, 
of Pescara, of Leyva, of Lannoy, of the Prince of Orange, even of the 
Duke of Bourbon, seems to argue something in this King which enabled 
him to choose the right men and retain their permanent and devoted 
service. The fidelity of his Spanisli and to a less degree of his German 
soldiers compares very favourably with the conduct of other ill*paid 
mercenaries during tliis period. The Emperor's name might count for 
much, but men may also well have felt that in serving Charles they 
were serving one who could always be trusted to do his best, who 
would never forget or neglect his duties, even though sheer physical 
incapacity might often leave him far below the level of his conscientious 
aspiration . 

But, not less than the inexhaustible persistency of Charles, the defects 
of his rivals had contributed to the result. Francis' choice of men was 
persistently unlucky. Lautrec and Bonnivet compare ill with the leaders 
of the imperial army. French support was never forthcoming at t!ie 
crisis. When it came it was ineffectively employed. On the Italian 
side the leaders and the policy were similarly deficient. After all excuses 
have been made for the Duke of Urbino he most be judged an un- 
enterprising commander. Giovanni de* Medici, though brilliant as a 
subordinate, never had a chance to show if he had the capacity to 
conduct a campaign. The Venetians never dared to push home the 
resolution on which they had for the moment decided, Clement showed 
all the characteristics of a man of thought involved in the uncongenial 

necessity of prompt, continuous, and definite action. The shadowy . 
figure of Francesco Sforza Bit^ upon the stage and leaves no clear] 

Some features of the war deserve particular notice. It followed the 
path of least resistance, and was therefore concentrated on Italy, The 
invasion of France, of the Netherlands, of Spain, though occasionally 
attempted, was always fruitless. Germany was never touched, though 
an attack might liave been directed upon Wiirt tern berg, and the 
Habsbiirg possessions in Alsace* In each of these countries national 
resistance would be real and vigorous, the population was warlike. 
Spain was further protected by its inhospitable country, north-eiistj 
France and the Netherlands by the numerous defensible towns. Italy 
had no effective feeling of nationality, its inhabitants could fight for J 
others but not for themselves. The immunity of the county andl 
duchy of Burgundy from attack is surprising, but their security was 
mainly due to the guarantee which the Swiss exacted for their Bur-j 
gundian friends and neighbours in their French treaty of 1522. Except 
on this occasion the national action of the Swiss, which for a brief period 
had decided the fortunes of Italy, 1512-15, does not reappear. They' 
fought as mercenaries, rarely for any national interest, and even as mer- 
cenaries their unquestioned military supremacy was passed away. The 
best Spanish foot was probably better ; good Germans equally good. 
Moreover religious differences were beginning to paralyse the Con- 
federation, and the Reformers discouraged foreign service. Savoy , 
and Piedmont were the highway of the French armies, exposed on! 
the otlier hand to the incursions and requisitions of the Imperialists, j 
when they had for the moment the upper hand in Milan. German j 
assistance in men was more than might have been expected, considering] 
the dilliciilties with which Ferdinand had to contend in the hereditary | 
Habsburg lands. When the war was against the Pope, Lutheran 
ardour facilitated recruiting. Tlie English alliance, though eagerly] 
sought for, proved of little advantage on any occasion. But the out-1 
come of events in Italy decided the question of Henry's divorce, and j 
with it the defection of England from the papal obedience. 

The possession of Milan, on which the struggle chiefly turned, 
was a luxury to France, a point of vital unportance to Charles, so long 
as he held the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily together with the Nether- 
lands, The continued presence of two first-class Powers in the peninsula 
was an impossibility. On the other hand, without the defence afforded! 
by the territory and fortresses of Lombardy, Italy was constantly open 
to invasion, and the value of this barbican was shown in the fact that 
only once in all these campaigns the kingdom of Naples was seriously 
threatened, by the invasion of Lautrec. The other consideration, that 
Milan was the door by which the Spanish forces through Genoa and the 
Italian forces from the South, could come to the rescue of the Netherlands 


in event of civil war or foreign attack, was not overlooked by Charles 
and his advisers, hut its full significance was not in fact disclosed until 
the reign of Philip IL On the question of right Charles professed to 
be fighting for a vassal of the Empire wrongfully deforced ; ttien for an 
imperial Hef forfeited by Sforza's treason ; and the restitution of Milan 
to Sforza shows that the plea of right was not wholly insincere. 

We can see that the whole issue of the struggle centred in 
the question of finance, but uufortunatel}'' we are unable to follow 
the details or draw up any budget of expenses or receipts either for 
France or the Spanish possessions. During the years from the election 
to the Empire until the Conference of Bologna, the Netherlands were 
the cliief resource of Charles. Year after year the Estates voted unheard- 
of subsidies ; the total contributions of the Low Countries are estimated 
for 1520-30 at no less than 15,000^000 Uvrt^ft tournois ; and though a 
considerable part of this wiis consumed in the defence of the provinces, 
for the necessities of their government, and the maintenance of the 
Court of the Regent* it was to the Netherlands that Charles looked 
m the moments of his greatest des|uih'. Castile came next, so soon as 
the revolt of the Cormmeros had been crushed. The annual income 
of Spain maybe estimated at about l,r500,000 ducats, in the first years 
uf Charles' reign, The Empire and the hereditary Habsburg lands may 
for this i>urpose be neglected. 

Money was raised in Castile by pledging the taxes in advance, by 
issuing Juro9 or bonds at fixed interest charged upon the national 
revenues, by mortgaging to fmaneial houses every possible source of 
profit. In this way the great House of Fugger took over in 1524 the 
estates (maf.Hlrazffos^ belonging to the masterships of the three military 
orders, and later the quicksilver mines of Almaden, and the silver mines 
of Guadalcanal. The enaada^ or revenue from indulgences granted on 
pretext of a fictitious crusade, became a regular source of revenue, and 
when, as in the time of Clement, the papal sanction was refused, the 
King did not scruple to raise it on his own authority, and to pledge 
it for many years in advance. The fifth on ail treasures imported from 
the Indies was since the conquest of Mexico becoming a valuable supple- 
ment, and as an exceptional measure the treasure could be seized and 
juroH issued in recompense. But the objection of the Spaniards to tlie 
export of treasure from the peninsula made the use of these resources 
at a distance a very difficult operation, which could only be negotiated 
by the aid of the most powerful financial houses. From his early years 
Charles relied greatly on tlie Fuggers ; Genoa from the first, except when 
it was in French hands, and in the later years of his reign Antwerp, were 
mainstays of his financial power. Cliarles was very punctilious in defray- 
mg at least the interest if not the capital of his debts, and thus he was 
at all times able to borrow upon terms. Mi^juros were sometimes issued 
at a price equivalent to a rate of 7^ per cent. : but in times of great 


Italian 7*esources. — Revenues of Francia 

need and danger, when time was the dominant factor, he was obliged 
to pay as much as 12 and even 16 per cent, for loans. As time went on 
the revenues of the Netherlands were similarly pledged in advance. 

The revenues of the Duchy of Milan in time of peace might have 
been considerable. In time of war they were whatever the army coul 
raise from the impoverished inhabitants ; and before the war was ovi 
the state of the country was such tliat not only was there no superttuou" 
wealth, but the army and the inhabitants alike seemed in a fair way t^ 
perish of starvation. The case of Naples and of Sicily was not quite 
desperate, in spite of two rather serious risings in Sicily which we hai 
not had occasion ^to mention. But here a considerable army of occi 
pation had to be kept up and a fleet, if possible, for the protection 
the coast, if not from the French and the Genoese, at any rate from thj 
pirates of Algiers. The surplus revenues of the southern kingdoms 
cannot have been large, and although very often in an emergency Lannoy 
pro< bleed money to content some starving troops or to move some 
paralysed army, the sums which are mentioned are almost always small, 
and give but a poor idea of the capacity of the kingdoms to assist their 
King, Here also the same ruinous policy was pursued as in Castile, 
pledging everything in advance, of selling everything that could be sold 
and years of peace would be required before the kingdoms could recove^ 

In Italy another valuable source of occasional revenue was tl 
subsidies raised from the lesser Italian States, which, iinless actually 
war with the Emperor, could generally be coerced into payment, and, 
in his alliance, were expected to contribute handsomel}' . The Pope was 
the largest giver, but Venice could sometimes be bled, and Florence, 
Lucca, Siena, Ferrara, Mantua, were often in a condition which made 
refusal difficult. 

The King of France had a better financial sj^stem and was not 
troubled like the Spanish King by the necessity of consulting hi 
Estates. His entire revenue was somewhat less than the joint revenue 
of Spain and the Netherlands, but on the other hand he could incren 
it more rapidly by raising the taiUey and it was entirely at his dispostil 
nor was he troubled like Charles by the necessity of diflicult financial 
operations l>efore he could fit out an army. On the other hand, when 
his array was abroad these obstacles confronted him also. His financial 
ministers were not conspicuous for honesty, and the institution of the 
TrSior de VEpargne in 1523, to receive all casual and unexpected sums 
of revenue and to build up a reserve fund to be at the King's absolute 
disposal, was not so great a success as was hoped. The deficits during 
the years of war reached an alarming figure, and it is difficult to see 
how they were met. For the credit system in France was not developed 
as it was in Augsburg, Genoa, and Antwerp. The first public loans ii 
France were raised on the security of the revenues of particular towns j 
and it was not until 1542 that the King began to build up Lyons aa i 

Finance of Uurope 65 

financial centre to perform for him the same functions that the bourses 
of Genoa and Antwerp were fulfilling for Charles. The attempt had 
some success, and similar bourses were started at Toulouse (1556) and 
at Rouen (1563). Henry II on his accession acknowledged the 
debts of his father, and the royal credit sensibly improved. At the 
outset the King was obliged to pay 16 per cent, for advances, but by 
1550 the rate had fallen to 12 per cent. But confidence was rudely 
shaken when in 1567 the King suspended the payment of interest on 
the debt, which at that time amounted perhaps to five million crowns. 

We can thus get a glimpse of the methods by which the enormous 
expenses of these and subsequent wars were liquidated. All the spare 
cash of Europe, withdrawn from commerce and industry, flowed at a 
crisis into the King's coffers ; the road was opened to national bankruptcy, 
which was general soon after the treaty of Cateau-Cambresis. Princes 
had learnt to borrow, but they had not learnt to pay. The sources of 
wealth were diverted from profitable and useful enterprise to destructive 
war ; and in the long run not even the financiers profited, though in the 
interval some capitalists built up fortunes, which are almost comparable 
with those of our own day. 

C. M. H. II. 



After the Treaty of Cambray and the Conference of Bologna the 
interest of European history shifts its centre to Germany. Charles' 
efforts in the South were chiefly devoted to the preservation of the 
existing equilibrium in Italy, to resisting the continuous advance of 
Muslim power in the Mediterranean, and to the restoration of some 
degree of prosperity to the shattered homes of Italy. His main atten- 
tion was centred on the religious question in Germany, and the main- 
tenance of Habsburg power on the Danube. France was still a chronic 
menace, but the wars were neither so frequent nor so dangerous as 
they had been from 1522-9. The death of Margaret of Savoy 
(December 1, 1530) who had governed the Netherlands during Charles' 
minority (1507-15), and again with intervals from 1517 until her 
death, made another break with the past. Margaret had been the 
confidante and intimate adviser of her father Maximilian and, although 
for a time after his accession in the Netherlands Charles had been 
estranged from her, he soon discovered her worth, and relied on her as 
on another self. She was perhaps the most capable woman of her time, 
well versed in all the arts of politics and diplomacy, a friend of letters 
and of art, and under her rule the authority of her nephew over the 
Burgundian States had sensibly increased, though the prosperity of the 
provinces had not shown a corresponding advance. He was fortunate in 
finding in the circle of his own family another woman, perhaps less 
gifted, but well competent to take her place and carry on her policy. 
His sister Maria, the widow of the unfortunate King of Hungary who 
fell at Mohacz, was persuaded to undertake the task, for which she had 
shown her capacity in the troubles which followed the death of her 
liusband Louis, and she entered upon the duties of her oflSce in 1531. 
Her government was strengthened by the new ordinance establishing 
three Councils in the Netherlands for foreign affairs, justice, and finance. 
Shortly before Charles had procured the election of his brother, the 
Archduke Ferdinand, to the dignity of King of the Romans, and he 
could therefore regard the relations of his House to Germany and the 
Netherlands as satisfactorily established. 

But his other European concerns gave him grave cause for anxiety* 
Henry VIII had been brought into marked hostility with Cbarlea by tha 
affair of the divorce. Francis was ever on the look-out for opportunities 
of reversing the decisions of Carabray. Clement was perplexed by the 
demand for a General Council; irritated by the appointment of the 
Cardinal of Colonna, his enemy, as Governor of Naples ; and aggrieved 
by the award of Reggio and Modena to the Duke of Ferrara (April 21, 
1531). Charles' earnest desire for joint action against the Turks was 
thwarted by the scarcely concealed hostility of Francis, and the moro 
secret manomvring of the Pope. On June 9, 1531, Clement concluded 
an agreement for the marriage of Catharine de' Medici to Henry, Duke of 
Weans, second son of Francis, with secret articles binding the Pope to 
aist France in the recovery of Milan and Genoa. The German antago- 
nists of Ferdinand were allied with Francis. The formation of the 
League of Schmalkaldcn and the renewed advance of Solyman upon 
Vienna (July, 1532) added further complications, and Charles was in 
consequence obliged to temporise with the Protestant Powers of Germany 
(August, 1532), Aid was sent to Ferdinand not only from Germany 
but from Italy, which for once enabled Ferdinand to meet the enemy in 
>rce ; Solyman retired and Charles had a respite. 

In the autumn of 1532 Charles was again able to visit Italy* Here 
he found all the States wavering. Venice watched the situation with a 
cautious eye, well informed of all that was moving in e%'ery Court, and 
ready to take any advantage that offered. Milan groaned under the 
foreign occupation, Mantua and Ferrara were of doul>tf ul fidelity. In 
Florence, where the old constitution had been aboliRhed in 1532 in 
favour of an unniiiskcd autocracy, and in Genoa, where the party of 
Spinola and Fiesco still were strong, there were powerful political forces 
working for change. Armed inter%^enlion had been necessary at Siena, 
After a long visit to Mantua, where the famous meeting with Titian 
took place, Charles met the Pope once more at Bologna (December, 
1532). Clement managed to avoid tlie General Council by imposing 
impossible conditions ; and Charles failed to induce him to give up the 
projected marriage of Catiiarine with the Duke of Orleans, All that he 
fcould secure was the renewal of a defensive League in which Clement, 
Jlilan, Ferrara, Mantua, Genoa, Lucca, Siena, were all included. Venice 
alone refused to join even tliis deceptive League, On April 9 Charles 
left Italy for Spain, where his presence had long been eagerly desired. 

The marriage of Henry with Anne Boleyu, which was solemnised 

on May 23, 1533, now threatened a change in the political situation. 

But Henry was in close alliance with Francis ; and Charles was obliged 

to accept the insult. And although on July 11 the Pope launched 

r against Henry the Bull of Excommunication, which was not however 

come into force until October, he was at the same time arranging 
for a meeting with Francis, and preparing to hand over in person hia 

niece to tlie Duke of Orleans. The n><^eting took place at Marseilles in 
October, 1533. What matters may have been discussed between theae 
rulers, whether Francis disclosed to the Head of Christendom bis pro- 
jected alliance mth the Turks, is unknown, and inatterH little, for 
Clement did not live to see any of their plans carried into execution* 
But the marriage sets the stamp on his policy and marks it as 
essentially dynastic, not Italian or ecclesiasticaL In order to win a 
doubtful Milan for his niece, he was ready to expose the peninsula 
once more to the terrors of war, terrors of which ho had earned bitter 
and personal experience. 

The death of the Marquis of Montferrat in 1533 and the enfeoff- 
ment by Charles of the Duke of Mantua %vith this frontier State led to 
hostilities between Saluzzo and Mantua which shook the unstable 
equipoise of Italy. The news of the conquest of Peru (1532), and the 
welcome arrival of its treasures, were items to set on the other side. 
But the relations between the German Protestants and Francis assumed 
a more dangerous phase in 1534 w^hen the Habsburgs were driven out 
of Wiirttemberg. In September Francis made proposals to Charles 
which showed that he was meditating the disturbance of peace. A 
double marriage was to unite the royal Houses ; but Milan, Asti, and 
Genoa were to return to France, and the Emperor was to give satis- 
faction to Francis' allies in Germany. The last condition showed that 
war was inevitable ; but Charles determined to gain time by negotiationa 
until a needful piece of work had been accomplished. 

For years the western waters of the Mediterranean had been rendered 
unsafe by a settlement of Muslim pirates on the north coast of Africa, 
whose headquarters were at Algiers. In 1518 an expedition from Spain 
had succeeded in defeating and killing Harbarossa, the founder of this 
power, but his younger brother, Khair Eddin, who is known as Barba- 
rossa II, had tlien taken up the command, under the protection of the 
Porte, and had still further extanded the strength and activity of his 
robber fleets. The settlement by Charles of the Knights of St John at 
Tripoli and Malta (1530) had been intended to afford a counterpoise to 
tlie Muslim, and war had been \vaged on both sides with piracy and 
rapine. The dangers of this situation concerned Charles above all 
others. Not only had Spain a number of possessions dotted along the 
African coast, but the coasts of Spain, Naples, and Sicily w^ere especially 
exposed to the raids of the pirate fleets, and their active commerce 
was endangered. During the Italian wars Charles had neither leisure 
nor spare energy to attend to this peril ; but now immediate measures 
w^ere not only desirable but possible. The Barbaresques had recently 
extended their power to Tunis, and in July, 1534, emboldened by the 
unconcealed favour of Francis, who had concluded with them a com- 
mercial truce, tliey had made a raid of unusual extent upon the Italian 
coast, Barbarossa had also been named by Solyman as admiral of the 

Turkish fleet ; and though still a pirate he was the representative of a 
great Power. 

Charles considered that there might just he time for a blow before 
he was once more paralysed by hostilities with France, The winter of 
1534 was spent in preparations, and on May 30, 1535, Charles sailed 
from Barcelona, and was joined by Doria from Genoa ami the galleys 
of Italy and Sicily. Assistjince came from Portugal, from the Knights 
of Malta, from Venice, and other Italian States, and especiallj^ from the 
new Pope Paul III. The force amounted to 74 galleys, 30 smaller war- 
lips, and 300 «hips of burdon. The attack was directed against Tunis 
id proved completely HuccessfnL Landing at Carthage, the army first 
won its way into the fortress of Goletta, taking 84 ships and 200 guns, 
ad then after some hesitation advanced upon Tunis, defeated the 
roops of Barbarossa, and, assisted by the rising of some 5000 Christian 
slaves, captured the town. The former ruler of Tunis, Muley Hassan, 
was restored there, the Spaniards retaining Goletta, Bona, and Biserta. 
Charles returned in triumph to Sicily, though he had not ventured 
to attack Algiers. The blow was opportune, for a few months later 
(February, 1536) Francis concluded a treaty with Soiyman, with whom 
he had previously entered into relations in 1525 and 1528. It had 
another significance, for the Moors of Valencia, after their forcible con- 
version to Christianity ordered in 1525 and executed in the following 
years, had been in relations with the Muslim in Africa, and many of 
them had escaped to swell the bands of Barbarossa. 

Meanwhile^ on September 25, 1534, Clement had died, nowhere 
regretted, unless in France* To him more than to any other man is 
due the success of the Reformation, as a movement antagonistic to 
Rome. Intent upon dynastic and political interests, he had not only 
refused persistently to face the question of religion, but he had done as 
much as any to fetter the only force, except his own, that could have 
attempted its solution. At his death all England, Denmark, Sweden, 
part of Switzerland, and tlie half of Germany, were in revolt ; but up to 
the last the possession of Florence or Milan was of more account in 
his eyes than the religious interests of all Christendom. The College of 
Cardinals, immediately on their meeting, came to the almost unanimous 
choice of Alessandro Faniese, %vho took the name of Paul III. He soon 
showed his proclivities by attempting to take Canierino from Francesco 
Maria della Rovere, the Duke of Urbino, to give it to his own son 
Pierluigi. But the choice of the Cardinals was grateful to the Emperor, 
who hoped better things from Farnese than he had ever obtained from 
Clement, and in particular the summons of a General Council. 

The death of Francesco Sforza (November 1, 1535), to whom the 
Emperor had in 1534 given his niece Christina of Denmark, disturbed 
the settlement of Milan and threatened the early outbreak of war. 
Charles seems to have made up his mind to this, for the demands now 

made by him on France were provocative rather than conciliatory. He 
offered the Duchy of Milan not to the Duke of Orleans but to Charles, 
Duke of Angouleme, with the hand of Christina of Denmark, ret|uiriug 
in return the support of France in the matter of the General Council, 
against the Turks, and in particular against Barbarossa, for the recogni- 
tion of Ferdinand's election, for the subjection of Hungary, agjvinst 
Henry VIII, and even in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden* Even Milan 
was not to be unconditionally given^ for tlie Emperor was to retain the 
chief places under his own captains and the Duke of AngoulSme was to 
be deposited in his hands. The poyition of Charles was strengtliened 
on the one hand by the death of his aunt, Queen Catharine, January 7, 
1536, and on the other hand by the attitude of the Bavarian Dukes, 
who for dynastic reasons now turned more definitely to the imperial side. 
The Pope maintained neutrality, and his help could only be expected 
for France if the guilt of aggression could be fastened on the Emperor. 

The Duchy of Savoy, during the campaigns of the first war, had 
been at the disposal of the French, and opened for them the easiest path 
to Italy* But the settlement after the peace of Cambray had brought 
the weak Duke Charles III into the bnperial defensive league, and his 
marriage with Beatrice of Portugal, in 1521, followed by the marriage 
of the Emperor with her sister in 1526, formed a permanent link. The 
tirst step therefore towards Italy required the subjection or adhesion of 
Savoy, and the somewhat fanciful claims which the King of France put 
forward to a part of the ducal inheritance can only be regarded as a 
cover for attack or a pretext for coercion, Charles III was the weaker 
at this moment since he had been at war since 1530 with his city of 
Geneva ; and early in the year 1536 his hopes of recovering the 
town were shattered by an expedition of Bern and the Swiss Pro- 
testants, w^hich relieved Geneva and overran the territory of Lausanne 
and the Pays de Vaud. In March, 15116, the French invaded Savoy, 
and, in spite of the obstinate resistance of its inhabitants, conquered the 
whole of Savoy, and occupied Turin. The remainder of the fortified 
places in Piedmont were seized by order of de Leyva from Milan, to 
prevent their falling into the hands of the French* 

Meanwliile since his landing in Sicily, August 17, 1535, Charles had 
been devoting his attention to his southern kingdoms- Sicily he now 
visited for the first time, and he spent ten weeks in considering pro|)osi- 
tions of reform laid before him by the Parliament, and in inspecting the 
country. Thence he passed into Italy, leaving Ferraute da Gonzaga as 
Viceroy in Sicily, and reached Naples on November 25. Here Pedro 
di Toledo had been Viceroy since 1532, and had given himself to the 
restoration of order, the improvement of the city, and the re-establish- 
ment and extension of the ro^^al power. An attempt which was made 
to induce Charles to remove him only resulted in strengthening his 
position, for it soon appeared that the charges against him arose from 



the stern impartiality of his adniinistration. At Naples Charles remained 
four months aod a subsidy of a million ducats was voted to him, after a 
larger ofifer made in a vainglorious spirit had been wisely refused. That 
so large a sum could be raised proves the excellent results of Toledo's 
three years' rule. From Naples Charles proceeded to Rome, learning on 
his way that the French had attacked Savoy, He had alread}' begun his 
preparations for defence in Navarre and Roussillon, and now sent urgent 
orders to assemble troops and collect money. 

His presence in Italy, however, was worth an army to his cause. 
While still in Naples he had succeeded in securing Venice once more for 
the defensive league, and after his magnificent entry intoRome on April 5, 
1536, he could hope that personal influence and concessions to the l*ope'B 
family ambitions would secure for him at least the neutrality of Rome. 
Kager^ however, to vindicate his honour, he made before the Consistorj' 
and Ambassadors in solemn session a detailed exposition of his ease against 
France and called upon the Pope to decide between them* Paul III 
declared his intention of remaining neutral, and, yielding at length to 
long-cchi tinned pressure, he issued on May 29 a Bull summoning a 
General Council to Mantua for May, 1537. The Pope had promised to 
do his best to reconcile the parties; but as France was determined to 
accept nothing less than Milan for the Duke of Orleans, and Charles 
could not, in view of the Dauphin's precarious life, accept his second 
brother, Henry, whose marriage alliance with the Medici family was 
another bar, the prospects of successful mediation were poor. But the 
position in Italy seemed fairly secure; and Henry of England, though 
an impossible ally for the Emperor, was too busy at home to cause 
much anxiety. The contest thus confined itself to France, and Charles, 
who liad collected a great army of 50,000 or 00,000 men, was unwilling 
to consume it in the unpretending task of reconquering Savoy. 

The invasion of Provence seemed likely to secure the evacuation of 
Savoy, besides the promise of further gain* Accordingly on July 25, 
1536, the imperial army, taking advantage of the accession of the 
Marquis of Saluzzo to the Emperor's side, crossed the French border. 
But Montmorency, to whom Francis had entrusted the chief command, 
maintained the strictest defensive. His army was lodged in two fortified 
camps at Avignon and Valence ; the country was systematically devas- 
tated ; and Ciiarles, though he was able to advance to Aix, found an 
attack on Marseilles or Aries impracticable* Nothing coidd be less 
French and nothing could be more effective than the strategy of Mont- 
morency. On September 1p3 Charles was obliged to order the retreat. 

Meanwhile in the north the Count of Nassau had conquered Guise 
and undertaken the siege of Feronne. But the war was unpopular in 
the Netherlands; subsidies were unwillingly granted and the money 
came in slowly ; Peronne held out under the vigorous command of 
Fleuranges ; and at the end of September Nassau also was forced to 

retire. In Italy Leyva was dead, and the prospects of the imperial cause 
were not promising. The little place of Miraudola, whose ruler* Galeotto 
Pica, had put himself under the protection of France, was a valuable 
outpotit for tlae French, a base where their troops could find harbour and 
issue forth to attack the confines of Lombardy, On August 10 the 
Dauphin had died, and the offer of Mihan to Charles of Angouleme 
assumed a different aspect, Charles while negotiating for peace pre- 
pared for war* 

For this purpose it was necessary that he should visit Spain to raise 
the necessary funds, leaving many Italian questions unsettled. The 
Duke of Mantua received the investiture of Montferrat, Del Guasto 
was appointed to the command in Milan in place of Leyva. But the 
attitude of the Pope aroused suspicion ; and Charles was obliged to 
depart without having contented him. On November 17 he left Genoa ; 
but his journey was repeatedly interrupted by storms, while a hostile 
fleet of French and Turkish gidleys lay at Marseilles. At length the fleet 
was able to make the coast of Catalonia. In Spain many mouths and 
continuous efforts resulted in the raising of sums quite insutliciont to 
meet the pressing needs. Francis meanwliile had proclaimed the re- 
sumption of the suzerainty over Flanders and Artois, which he had 
renounced at the Peace of Cambray ; and on ^larch 16, 1537, a consider- 
able army invaded Artois. Hesdin surrendered, and Charles of Gelders 
was once more in arms. But Francis soon grew weary and drew away a 
large part of his army to the south ; the Estates of the Netherlands 
granted for self-defence the sums which they had refused for genehil 
purposes; the attack was driven back; and on July 30 a ten montns* 
armistice was concluded for the Netherlands and north-eastern Fran<ie. 

Meanwhile del Guasto )iad held his own in Lorahardy and even won 
back some places of Piedmont from the enemy. The Turkish assistance 
had been worth little to the French, Even in the kingdom of Sicily, 
owing to the energetic measures of defence, Barbarossa had been able 
to effect little. The Mediterranean war deviated into a contest between 
Venice and the Muslim. The remaining islands of the Aegean fell into 
the hands of the Barbaresques. Nauplia and Monembasia, the sole 
strongholds of Venice in the Morea, were besieged by the Turks. 
The murder of Alessandro de' Medici in Florence, January 7, 1537* 
strengthened rather than weakened the position of Charles in Italy. 
In spite of the efforts of French agents the imperial vicegerents had 
their way; the attacks of il^e fuorusciti nndej Filippo Strozzi, though 
aided by the French, were driven off; and the cool and competent 
Cosirao became Duke of Florence in the imperial interests, and was 
married to a daughter of Toledo. Filippo Strozzi was put to torture 
and died in prison. Paul was won over by the gift of Alessandro^s 
widow Margaret, the Emperor's natural daughter, to his grandson* 
Ottavio Farnese, and Pierluigi, the Pope's son, was invested with 

Novara. On February 8, 1538, a defensive league against the Turk 
was concluded between the Pope, the Emperor, Ferdinand, and Venice, 
irhich prepared the way for a favourable intervention of the Pope 
Btween the two great Powers. 

However, in October, 1537, ilontmoreney with a new army had 
appeared in Savoy, and the imperial troops were obliged to evacuate 
Pinerolo and Turin. But these successes led to nothing further. 
Both monarchs were ready for peace ; an armistice was concluded 
(November, 1537) ; negotiatious began in earnest, but were long pro- 
longed, 80 many were the questions at issue between the rivals. After 
the conclusion of tlie League against the Turks the Pope left Rome, and 
journeyed to Nice, to mediate between Francis and Charles. Here some 
ill-feeling was aroused because the Duke of Savoy refused to put the 
fortress of Nice, his last remaining possession, in Charles' hand for the 
meetings. In a neighbouring monastery therefore the Emperor and 
King negotiated personally and separately with the Pope, and a truce 
was arranged for ten years (June 17, 1538), on the basis of nti possidetiB, 
The Pope and Emperor set forth at once for Genoa to concert operations 
against the Turk. 

Although at Nice the King and the Emperor had refused to meet, it 
soon became known that a future int^jrview had been arranged, perhaps 
through the mediatu>n of Queen Eleonora. At Aigues-Mortes the visits 
took place on July 14-16, with the most surprising demonstrations of 
good feeling. Nothing definite was arranged, but hopes of agreement 
succeeded to something like despair. And Charles was anxious to make 
the most of the apparent friendship* 

For the Emperor the war of 1536—7 had been on the whole far less 
successful than those of 1522—9. Francis had overrun almost the whole 
of Savoy and Piedmont, he had invaded Artois, and successfully repelled 
two invasions of France. He was content for the present to rest upon 
his conquests, to hold Savoy, an outpost for defence, a ready road fur 
attack, and to defer the settlement of other outstanding questions for 
a season. Charles was the more willing to leave Savoy in Francis* 
possession because the Duke had offended him deeply in the matter of 
Nice. On the other hand he needed peace above all for his affairs in 
Germany, and to meet the Turkish danger. A long truce with the 
appearance of durability suited him as well or better than a peace, 
which could only have been secured at the price of hnniiliating and 
i_damaging concessions. In fact the two Powers, after violent oscillations 
and fro, had reached a position of comparatively stable equilibrium. 
They had learnt their own limitations, and the strength of their atlver- 
saries* A stage was reached on the road to the more permanent settle- 
ment of Cateau-Cambresis. 

The truce between the great Powers and the League of 1538 led to 

the hope that soraething serious would now be undertaken against the 
Turks. But exhaustion, the mutiny of soldiers at Goletta, in Sicily, in 
Lombardy, a thousand reasoos made it impossible for Charles to put out 
his full strength in 1538. The force that was sent under Andrea Doria 
to the Levant from Sicily, Naples, Genoa, and Barcelona, to co-operate 
with the Venetians and a papal squadron, had no orders to undertake 
any great enterprise. The Venetians desired to attack Prevesa, at the 
mouth of the Gulf of Arta, where the Turkish fleet was lying, but Doria 
was unwilling to risk so nnieli on a single encounter; national, urban, 
and personal jealousies were at work ; the League, like other leagues* 
soon showed its inherent weakness ; futile skirmishes were the only 
result; and the allies soon began to talk of peace. Charles had 
important business elsewhere, in the Netherlands, in Germany, and the 
enterprise was put off. After long negotiations, delays, and disappoint- 
ments, the Venetians made peace with the Turks (October, 1540), sur- 
rendering Nauplia and MoMembasia. 

Not only tlte affairs of Germiuiy, becoming more and more com- 
plicated, but a serious difficulty in the Netlierlands contributed to this 
result, Tlie war of 1536 hud necessitated application to the States- 
General of the Netherlands for a heavy subsidy. All the provinces 
consented (1537), and in Flanders the three Members Ypres, Bruges, 
and ie Franc gave their vote, but Ghent refused ; and when Mary 
declared that the grant of three Members out of four bound also the 
fourth, and tonk measures to levy the city's quota, the citizens appealed 
to Charles, who gave his full support to his vicegerent. After prolonged 
discontent, at length in 1539 Ghent broke into open rebellion. The 
government of the town gave way to the pressure of the mob, forti- 
ficaiitms were repaired, militia was levied, the subject-cities of Ghent, 
Alost, Oudenarde, and Courtrai were drawn into the rising, and Mary 
was obliged to recognise the revolutionary movement- 

At this juomeut tlie friendly relations of Charles with France stood 
him in good stead. Charles had recently lost his beloved wife, Isabella 
of Portugal, and the French King hoped to engage him in some profit- 
able marriage alliance* He offered a free passage through his States, 
and C'harles, though he refused to hear of any marriage propositions, 
accepted the offer. Leaving instructions to his son Philip for the event 
of his death, which show that he would have been willing to allow the 
whole Burgundian dominions to jniss to a French prince as the price of 
a permanent accommodation, he ptissed through France, met Francis at 
Loches (December 12, 1539), and was accompanied by him to Paria. 
Here he was royally received, and set on his way to Valenciennes, where 
he met Mary, January 21, 1540, Thence he proceeded to Brussels* 
The news of his coming, with the assembling of German troops* had 
quelled the rebellious, irresolute spirits of Ghent, and on February 14 
he entered the city without resistance. Its punishment was stern though 


Gelders and Julkh'Ckves 


not excessive. Nine of tlie ringleaders were executed. The town, by 
tearing up the famous calfskin, liad declared its own sentence ; the 
constitution was forfeited and an oligarchical government set up. The 
disputed subsidy and a money indemnity in addition were exacted. 
The city was deprived of its rights over the surrounding territory and 
neighbouring towns. A fortress was to be built to prevent rebellion in 
the future. Solemn submission and humiliation were required. Finally, 
on these terms the city was pardoned, at the price of all its remaining 

This rapid collapse of a formidable rebellion increased the prestige 
of Charles very opportunely, for the death of Charles of Gelders in 1538, 
instead of diminishing his difficulties, had increased them. The Estates 
of the duchy had at once proceeded to the election of William de la 
JIarck, the heir of Cleves, Berg, and Jiilich. The death of his father, 
Duke «Iohn,soon followed (1539), and the union of the four duchies under 
a prince whose leanings were Protestant was a serious menace to the 
Habsburg power in the north, Francis I gave Jeanne d'Albret to 
William of Cleves (treaty of July 17, 1540) ; which compensated for the 
rejection of his sister by Henry VIII, announced about the same time. 
The project of settling matters between Charles and France by one of 
Beveral alternative marriage schemes had again proved impracticable ; 
and this French alliance with a German prince, an enemy of the 
Ilabsburgs, showed a renewal of French hostility ; the more so that 
Charles had hoped that, by a different disposal of Jeanne's hand, the 
• question of Navarre at least might be settled for ever. Charles replied 
by investing his son Philip (October 11, 1540) with the duchy of Milan. 
Affairs in Italy were fairly quiet. The reduction of Camerino by 
the papal forces (1539), the revolt of Perugia (1540), the refusal of 
I the Viceroy of Naples to allow his forces to co-operate in its repression, 
[ and quarrels between Ottavio Farnese and his bride, were not sufficient to 
\ disturb the firm foundations on which the Spanish supremacy was built. 
[ The rebellion and chastisement of the Colon na were allowed to pass as of 
purely local importance. It was tliought that some of these movements 
tad been instigated to induce the Pope to give effect to the long- 
promised Council, but the Council, which had been put off time after 
time, seemed as far distant as ever. The conference at Katisbon 
(1541) and the benevolent intervention of Contarini proved of no avail, 
except to show that the Luthemns would not accept even the decisions 
of a General Council. 

Secure for the time in Italy, and temporising as usual in Germany, 
Charles thought the moment propitious for another attack on the power 
of the Barbaresques. When war with France once more became in- 
evitable, the control of the western seas would be valuable ; and 
meanwhile commerce and coast towns urgently required relief. Since 
1538 an attempt had been made to win over Barbarossa by way of 

negotiation. Cliiirletj hoped to secure the corsair for his own service, to 
create for him a vassal kingdom including Tunis, and to turn his arms 
against the Porte. But at the last moment Barbarossa declined the 
proposals, and Charles determined if possible to destroy his power. In 
July, 1541, two French envoys^ Antonio Rincon, on his way to Con- 
stantinople, and Cesare Fregoso, accredited to Venice, were set upon 
near Pavia and killed by Spanish soldiers. Their papers were not 
secured, but the general nature of their errand was notorious. This 
delayed the conclusion of a new alliance between France and the Porte, 
and before it could be formed it was necessary if possible to take 
Algiers* The knowledge of the warlike preparations of the French 
King seemed to make postponement till the new year impossiljle, and 
although the Diet of Ratisbon, the journey through Italy, and a 
hurried interview with the Pope had brought Charles to September, and 
his most experienced advisers declared that the season was too late, he 
determined to push on his expedition. 

It was October 20, 1541, before the fleet which had collected at 
Majorca met the Spanish contingent oflf Algiers, Hea\^ weather 
prevented them from landing for two days, and when at length they were 
able to put the men on shore the artillery, the supplies, the tents were 
left on board, A tempest then smote the armjs who were at the same 
time attacked by the Barbaresques ; fourteen galleys and a hundred 
sliips were driven ashore ; and Doria was obliged to draw off. The army 
had to go now to Cape Matifii, where they took ship again at Bugia, 
and with difficulty set sail for their homes, after severe losses, and 
without any comi>en sating success (November, 1541). 

This failure encouraged the French in their long-determined scheme 
of attack. New agents had concluded the arrangements with the Sultan, 
and although the Venetians and Lorraine refused to join, the alliance of 
Clevea, with the support of Denmark and Sweden, promised results, 
though not in Italy, The main objective this time was the Netherlands, 
Antoine, Duke of VendSme (Jiily, 1542), marched upon Artois and 
Flanders, hoping for a rising in Ghent and Antwerp. From the side of 
Cleves Martin van Rossem advanced Avith 18,000 men, and the Duke of 
Orleans with a third army entered Luxemburg. A fourth army entered 
Roussillon under Francis and invested Perpignan, but the defence of 
Perpignan, under the Uuke of Alva, checked any further advance on 
this side. Van Rossem, after devastating Brabant, and threatening 
Antwerp, joined the Duke of Orleans in Luxemburg, where before long 
no place of importance held out excepting Thionville. But the capri- 
cious withdrawal of the Duke of Orleans from Luxemburg with the 
intention of sharing in the great victory expected for the King in the 
South, took the heart out of this attack, and the Netherland troops 
soon recovered Luxemburg except Ivoy and Damvillers. In Roussillon 
instead of a victory an ignominious retreat followed. 

1S43-4] War with Cleves. Battle of Ceresole 


The following year was threatening for Charles. The Sultan was 
advancing in force upon Vienna. Barbarossa after devastating the 
coasts of Italy joined the French fleet under the Duke of Enghien, and 
laid siege to Nice (August 5, 154*3). The city surrendered before long ; 
but the citadel held out, until it was relieved by the approach of 
del Guasto by land and of Andrea Doria by sea (Septeniljer 8). 
Barbarossa returned to winter at Toulon, where throughout the winter 
Christian slaves were openly sold. Francis on his part invaded Hainault. 
But Charles, leaving Barcelona for Genoa with the fleet of Doria, arrived 
in Italy (May, 1543), and, after a hurried interview witlithe Pope, wliose 
desire for Milan or Siena he was not able to content, continued his 
journey towards Germany, with a small force of Spaniards and Italians. 
The Council, already suniinoued (1542) to Trent, had to be postponed; 
other things for the moment were more pressing. Ferdinand was left to 
manage as best he could in the East. At Speier Charles picked up a 
considerable force of Germans who had assembled to bring aid against 
the Turks. But Charles led them on with him to Cleves, and attacked 
Duren. In two days the city was captured by assault. In a fortnight 
the Duke was at his feet imploring pardon, and on September 7, 1543, 
a treaty was signed by which the Duke broke off all alliance with 
France, Denmark, and Sweden, and ceded the duchy of Gelders with 
the county of Zutphen. 

This success fully compensated for the reoccupation of Luxemburg 
by the French which was completed about the middle of September. 
Charles moved into Hainault to effect a juncture with the troiips which 
Henry, his ally in this war as he had been in his tirst, had sent to Calais, 
and advanced (October 20) to the siege of Landrecies. Francis was in 
the neighbourhood with a superior army; Charles was anxious to meet 
him in the held, and advanced m hopes of tempting him to battle. In 
this he did not succeed, but the retreat of the French army left him with 
the honours of the campaign. 

But the war was not over, and Charles needed all the aid that could 
be by any means procured. Henry was induced to promise to invade 
France in the coming spring with an army of 35,000 men. Peace was 
made with Christian III of Denmark, At the Diet of Speier, 1544, 
Charles met the German Princes and by extensive concessions secured 
the neutrality or support of the Protestant Estates. Francois, Count 
d*Enghien, had invaded Italy, and advanced to recover Carignano near 
Turin, which del Guasto had occupied. Del Guasto hurried from Milan 
to relieve it ; and d'Enghien, having received permission to risk a battle, 
attacked him at Ceresole on April 14, 1544, and completely defeated 
him, with the los^s of some 8000 killed and 2000 prisoners. All Italy 
began to consider the di\asion of the spoil, but their hopes were 
vain. The Spanish, holding all the strong places of Lombardy, were 
enabled to prevent d'Enghien from any further success. Piero Strozzi, 

78 Peace of Cr6py [1544 

wlu) had collected 10,000 foot at Mirandola, advanced boldly to 
Milan, in the hopes of joining d'Enghien there, but the Swiss refused 
to move for want of pay, and Strozzi had to extricate himself as 
boHt ho could, and the brilliant victory of Ceresole had no results. 
Still the news of this defeat rendered his success at Speier the more 
wolconio to Charles. 

His army under Count William von Fiirstenberg now advanced upon 
Luxemburg and recovered his duchy. The siege of St Dizier was 
thon undort4iken ; and on July 18 Charles arrived, with 10,000 foot, 
2300 hi>rst\ and 1600 sappers, to take part in the siege. Here the 
Prince of Oniuge was struck by a bullet, and died on the following day, 
leaving i\s liis heir his more famous cousin. Count William of Nassau. 
Tlio siege dnigfgod on, while tlie Dauphin and the Admiral Annebaut 
with a strong army of observation lay at J&lons, between Epemay and 
Chfelons, and outposts at Vitry harassed the besiegers. But on July 23 
those outposts were crushed with considerable loss to the French. On 
A\igU8t 17 Sancerre, the captain, surrendered St Dizier with all the 
honours of w^r. Charles now ad>-anced on Chfilons and, declining to 
attack the Dauphin's army, pressed on to Ch&teau-Thierry and to 
Soissons (^Sopteml>er 12"). 

If Henry's army had shown equal enterprise the case of France would 
hav«^ l>een desin^mte. He arrived on July 15 at Calais with the bulk of 
his army* and was joined by the Count van Buren with a small force 
fn>m the Netherlands- Leaving the Duke of Norfolk to beside 
MoiUr^uiK he pmxveded with his main force to besiege Boulogne. 
Without aid from him Charles had reached the end of his tether. His 
T^lalii>ns with the Pope were becoming more and more uncomfortaUe. 
l^iul had allo\i"ed Kero Stn>rti to raise troops in his State ; the Orani 
had been suffercil to join him : and the Pope was ecMisidering the gift 
of his grandchild Vittoria to the Duke of Orleans with Paima and 
IHacenra as her dv^wry. On the other hand Charles* position for con- 
cluvliui: iH\*oe was faw^urable and he seiied it- The result was the Peace 
\xf OTe;n\ Scp:ember IS^ 1>I4. Henry was informed of the terms which 
Oharietji was wilUag to accept : he di5appro\-ed of the eoQ«litions : bat 
was tcrce\l to cv>ntent himself with Boulv^giie, which surrendered on 
Sej^eruber 14. 

V>r: K<h siviet? the terrttory cvvupied since the trtwe vX Nice w:» to 
be ret^:ocx\i. Fraacis was to rerivxtis^e all claioks to Naples^ FLaadeis^ 
artd Ar^v^ : ti^e Er2ixvrv>r did tsov iriSist vvi the restitutioa of the dTjAr 
s>£ lvur^::r:dT. Tbe rlxals were to cv^^-wrate tor tise resj^ocaiioc ct ositx 
xa th* Chxirch. ar>i apdsss the T^Jirks. Charles was to c^ve to ti^ 
r^x:? c»e vVIetifcr5:> et:ber iis ^M:ft!C ca::^ier with the BaLrgT3L:>:^^ laasd^ 
oc the ^ecv'^rd diuichter ."i F:?ri— >t:^i with Mllazr* If the Ne-ther irnink 
wec>f ri^f^:^ Ohirve^ w^fc> ro re^ai* the ^:l^i^^35e docsiiicc f.^r hi> life.aad 
Fraaicas w^fc? tc r-2»:czj.v i:2S rights to Mijarr asid Asci. wiii wiece. 

1544-5] Fresh stage in the settlement of Europe 79 

however, to revive in case there was no issue of the marriage. If Milan 
were given the Emperor was to retain effective hold on the duchy untU 
a son was bom ; and the gift was declared to be a new fief, not 
dependent on hereditary rights of the House of Orleans. The King in 
return was to give a handsome appanage to his son in France. As soon 
as either of these transfers took place Savoy was to be evacuated, and 
the questions of right between the King and the Duke were to be decided 
by arbitration. These public conditions were supplemented by a secret 
treaty, by which the King was required to aid in procuring a General 
Council, to give help against the German Protestants, and to assist the 
Emperor to a peace or durable truce with the Turks. The Dauphin 
shortly afterwards made a solemn protest before witnesses against the 
treaty as contrary to the fundamental interests of the kingdom. The 
Pope was left out in the negotiations, although the religious motive is 
prominent in the conditions. But Paul was obliged to accommodate 
himself, and to avoid worse he issued a fresh summons to the Council to 
meet at Trent on March 15 of 1545. 

Thus another stage is reached in the settlement of Europe. The 
war of 1543-5 differs from preceding wars in that the principal effort 
was directed on the Netherlands, that an attempt was made on both 
sides to win substantial support in Germany, that Italy was neglected as 
no longer offering a favourable ground for attack in spite of the 
possession of Savoy. It resembles the second war in proving that 
offensive operations on either side, though in this war more extensive 
and determined, could not lead to any permanent result. The solidity 
of the several countries was more abundantly demonstrated. The ugly 
features of this episode are on the one hand the alliance of Francis with 
the Turk and the corsairs of Barbary, on the other hand the concessions 
of Charles to the Protestants of Germany, which involved either treason 
to the Church or the betrayal of his dupes. But some excuse must be 
made on the ground of the extremity of his need. Charles was a zealous 
Churchman, but he could not master fate. So long as he was opposed 
by France and the Ottomans, ill seconded, even thwarted, by the Popes, 
he could not in addition take upon himself the task of coercing 
Protestants in Germany. He and he alone of the Princes in Europe 
formed a just opinion of the religious danger, and did his best to 
meet it. His desire for ecclesiastical reform was frustrated by the blind 
opposition of the Popes. Toleration was forced upon him as a political 
necessity. But to sacrifice the material to the spiritual was a virtue 
that lay beyond his ken, and one moreover ill suited to the spirit of the 
age. After all Charles was a temporal prince, and as such his first duty 
was to the State which he governed. 

The Peace of Crepy set Charles free for the first time in his life to 
intervene effectually in the affairs of Germany. His religious zeal is 

attested by the stringent repressive measures which followed in the 
Netherlands, and the Edict (1544) which called upon all his subjects in 
thehereditarv^ Habsburg lands tocouformto the Confession of Louvain — 
the acts of a bigot perhaps, but a good man cannot do more than follow 
his conscience, and Charles was a conscientious Catholic. His first need 
was to come to an understanding with the Pope. Charles proposed to 
Lim detinitely the use of the great sums accumulated for a crusade 
against the Turks in a war against the Protestants, and in support of 
the Council. At the Diet of Worms (March, 1545) the refusal of the 
Protestants to be satisfied with a General Council in which the Pope 
w^ould be both party and judge w^as openly declared. Charles held himself 
released from his obligations to the Protestants by this attitude, though 
indeed the proposed Council at Trent was very different from that which 
he had promised. But the Pope still hung in the wind. To win him 
the material must be sacrificed to the spiritual ; and the exact nature 
of the sacrifice was made clear when Paul invested his son Pierluigi with 
Parma and Piacenza (August, 1545) in spite of the claims of Milan to 
these districts, and without the imperial sanction. Still the General 
Council was actually opened at Trent in December, 1545, after many 
delays and proposals for a removal to an Italian city, which the 
Emperor emphatically rejected. The choice of Trent was a compromise/ 
Italian cities would attract only Italian clergy, who were too much inter- 
ested in the abuses of the Curia. German cities would be acceptable 
only to the Germans. A truce was concluded w^ith the Turks in October, 
1545, on very unfavourable terms. The decision of Charles between 
Milan and the Netherlands as the marriage gift of the Duke of Orleans 
had at leugth been made in March, 1545. Milan was to be given 
with the second daughter of Ferdinand, but the death of the Duke of 
Orleans in September relieved Charles of this necessity* 

Charles was thus free to act in Germany, and, after the futile Religious 
Conference of Katisbon (1546) and the so-called Diet which followed, 
he signed a treaty with the Pope, \vho pledged himself to send 
12,000 men to the support of the Emperor, with a substantial subsidy, 
and to allow considerable levies from the ecclesiastical resources of Spain 
(June 22)* The Emperor wiis anxious to keep the terms of the League 
secret, but the Pope was eager that it should be known, and in letters 
to the several States he published it at once, exhorting them to join. 
But the course of the German war aroused once more his fear and sus- 
picions. Only the obstinate resistance of the Emperor had prevented 
the Pope from removing the Council from Trent to some town where he 
could more effectively control all its proceedings. Many differences had 
arisen over the policy to be observed with reference to the Council; the 
Pope sent his troops, though not the foil number, and the 200,000 crowns 
which he had promiseddid not arrive ; difficulties were raised with regard 
to the pledging of Church lands in Spain. The Emperor was obliged to 

raise money by an agreement with the southern citiea of Germany, 
promising them religions liberty. In January, 1547, the Pope withdrew 
his contingent, the six months for which he had promised it having 
expired. He was intriguing with the French, In March, 1647, the 
Council was removed to Bologna, and the Spanish Bishops refused to 
follow, while Charles refused to recognise a Council at Bologna. The 
victory of MUhlberg, April 23, 1547, made Charles' position still more 
formidable. An actual rupture between the Pope ami the Emperor 
seemed probable, suggested not only by fear of Charles' exorbitant 
position in Europe, but by minor Italian interests. 

The soliditj^ of Spanish power in the Italian peninsula was apparent 
especially at tills juncture* Kerrante de Gonzaga, who had been named 
as Governor of Milan in 1546, though the appointment proved 
unfortunate, secured at least the support of Mantua. The Venetian 
pohcy grew more and more cautious, and the greater this caution the 
greater the difficulty of disturbing existing arrangements. The policy 
of Ercole II of Ferrara was almost equally prudent, Cosirao de' Medici 
showed himself the faithful servant. of Charles, and in view of his 
watchful guardianship troubles at Lucca and Siena might pass almost 
unnoticed- Naples was in tlie firm hands of Toledo. Doria seemed 
safe at Genoa, and could be absolutely trusted. Only the Pope showed 
inclinations to disturb the settled order, in the interests of his greedy 
Farnese family* And t^o long as the other factors remained unchanged 
he was powerless for serious harm. But in Italy revolutions were 
always possible. 

The remarkable enterprise of Francesco Burlamacchi directed from 
Lucca against Florence with the aid of the Strozzi failed miserably 
(1546), A more dangerous conspiracy was set on foot in Genoa by 
Gianluigi Fiesco. Gianluigi, moved by the loss of his own property, 
jealous of the power of the Doria, and taking advantage of the dis- 
content of the people with the constitution of 1528, which gave all 
the power to the old nobility, had long since entered into relations with 
France for the overthrow of the Doria, ami the Spanish power resting 
upon them. The possession of Genoa was the key to tlie peninsula, and 
the wealth of the Genoese capitalists a mainstay of Charles. On the 
other hand the immense debts owed by Charles to the Ligurian 
financiers secured for him the support of the moneyed interest, but could 
hardly prevent a sudden stroke of force. The Pope allowed Fiesco to 
arrange for the purcliase of four of hia own galleys, at that time lying 
in Civita Vecchia (154*3). The Pope's relations with Doria were far 
from friendly, apart from any animus against the Emperor. . 

The time fixed for the attempt was the night of January 2, 1547. 
At ten o'clock the conspirators, who had a galley and 300 foot-soldiers 
at their disposal, issued from the palace of Fiesco in three bands. ^^i^B 
himself with one made for Doria's galleys, seized them, and in' 

C* M« H. II, 

82 Deaths of Henry VIII and of Francis I [1547 

attempt to prevent the liberation of the galley-slaves fell overboard and 
was drowned. The two other bands made for two of the gates of the city, 
and at the noise of the tumult, Giannettino, the adopted son of Andrea 
Doria, came up and was promptly killed. Andrea, however, escaped with 
his life, and when the conspirators looked upon their work in the morning 
they discovered that their own chief was missing. Left thus without unity 
or direction they wavered ; the Senators oflfered them an amnesty on 
condition that they left the city ; and the formidable plot resulted in 
nothing but the re-establishment of Doria and his master. The amnesty 
was revoked ; the possessions of the conspirators were confiscated ; but 
Doria succeeded in repelling proposals for the reduction of Genoa under 
direct Spanish rule, and for the erection of a fortress. Certain alterations 
were made in the constitution for the purpose of securing authority to the 
partisans of Doria, but Genoa retained at least the forms of liberty. The 
Castle of Montobbio, the sole remaining possession of the Fieschi, became 
a danger for a while ; but surrendered to the forces of the Republic on 
June 11, 1547; and Doria succeeded in suppressing other plots instigated 
by Francesco and Pierluigi Farn^se. 

The removal of the Council from Trent came a little too soon for 
Charles, and it would have been impossible for him at that moment 
to follow the radical counsel of Cosimo de' Medici (February 6, 1547), 
who advised him to use his power for a complete reform of the Church 
through the Council, taking away the tyranny of priests, reducing the 
power of the Pope to its proper spiritual limits, and restoring the pure 
faith of Christ without the abuses that had grown up about it. Charles 
was powerless to prevent the removal of the Council, though its subse- 
quent adjournment was a concession to him. The gulf between Emperor 
and Pope widened ; but neither of them was anxious for an open rupture. 
Henry VIII had died on January 28, and Francis I on March 31, 1547; 
and the whole scheme of European policy wa^.likely to undergo revision. 
The Pope would not move until he was sure ©1 support ; and Charles was 
too busy in Germany to wish to provoke complications in the peninsula. 
Henry II of France showed .fjsiendly inclinations towards Paul, but gave 
him no more definite assurance of friendship than a promise of the hand 
of his natural daughter for Orazio Farnese. From England under 
Somerset nothing was to be hoped. The negotiations of the Pope with 
Charles still turned on the investiture of Parma and Piacenza, and the 
addition of Siena, as much as upon the question of the Council. Charles 
was determined that no session should be held at Bologna; and although 
the Pope had set out to preside over a solemn session intended as pre- 
paratory to the close of the Council, Diego de Mendoza, the Emperor's 
envoy, had succeeded in procuring a further postponement, when a series 
of unexpected events changed the whole situation. The aspect of Naples 
and Siena was threatening, but the cloud burst in Piacenza. 

The progress of heretical opinions in Naples was notorious; and in 

May Paul bud sent a commissury to the kingdoin, with a brief which 
hiJiied at the eataldishinent of the Inquisition. A rebellion at once 
followed ; and the small Spanish garrison was in difficidties. But the 
prompt and judicious measures of Toledo, and the assurance of Charles 
himself that he had no intention of introducing the Inquisition or of 
allowing it to be introduced, soon restored order ; yet an uneasy feeling 
remained that the brief had been sent with the secret intention of 
provoking revolt. Siena had already in 1545 risen in arms against the 
imperial commissioner, Juan de Luna, aed the Monte dei Nove^ whom he 
supported, and had driven out the Spanish garrison^ Cosimo succeeded 
in preventing any great excesses, but Francesco Grassi, whom Charles 
ent from Milan to appease discontent, failed to effect a compromise* 
le citizens took up arms again and accepted the protection of the 
Pope, protesting against any foreign garrison, and excluding the Novesehi 
from any share in the government. Co.simo, however, succeeded in 
procuring the acceptance of his own mediation, and on September 28 
a garrison of Spaniards was admitted. Mendoza arrived in October, 
restored the Novetfchi, and set up as before a governing body of forty, 
ten from each 3Ionte^ but insisted on naming the half of them himself 
(November, 1548). 

In Piacenza the rule of Pierluigi Farnese was hated. His measures 
for reducing the nobility to obedience, by depriving them of their 
privileges and forcing them to live in the city, though sahitary, made 
him many enemies. Private wrongs increased their number. Gonzaga, 
who represented the forward policy in Italy, wavS anxious to take advantage 
of the troubles at Genoa and Siena to establish direct Spanish rule 
over those cities, and the discontent at Piacenza was much to his mind, 
Awitre of the liostile movements directed against him, and of the support 
given by Gonzaga from Mihtn to his assailants, Pierluigi prepared to 
defend himself by the building of a fortress at Piacenza. This accelerated 
the blow which had been long prepared by Gonzaga. On September 10, 
1547, the conspirators took up arms ; Pierluigi was'killed in his palace ; 
and the city was in the power of the rebels* Gonzaga*s promptitude is a 
sufficient proof of his complicity. On the 12th he entered the city, and 
occupied it in the name of Spain. Of the projects of his minister 
Charles had been suiHciently informed, and, although he had counselled 
prudence, he had not discouraged the enterprise. It was an act of 
open war against the Pope, wounding him where he was most sensitive. 
Charles de Guise, the newly elected Cardinal, appeared at Uuhh m 
October, and this seemed to give the Pope his opportunity 
Conditions for a league with France were drawn up ; Parma a 
were to be given to Orazio Farnese, not to Ottavio, Ust 
»on*in-law; the King was to supply troops for tli* ^ '' 
States; French bishops were to attend the Coi; 
Pope was to contribute 7000 men, if the King waa t^ ' 

own States. The projected league like many others, though ostensibly 
defensive, was really intended for offence. 

The Diet of Augsburg (1547) gave Charles a lever in his negotiations. 
He was able to offer the submission of all Germany to the Council 
as a price for its return to Trent. But the Pope referred the decision 
to the Fathers at Bologna, who decided in favour of that city- Charles 
could do nothing but enter a solemn protest before the assembly at 
Bologna and in the Consistory (January, 1548) ; and the Spanish Bishops 
remained at Trent. Negotiations continued while the Council remained 
in effect suspended. Threats made by the Pope of an attack upon 
Naples came to nothing, and a fresh plot conducted by Giulio Cibo 
against Genoa failed. On the other hand Henry II wtis not satisfied 
with the terms of the league offered by the Pope. Meanwhile France 
was arming ; the Pope was arming ; and Charles put his possessions in 
a state of defence, Cosimo de* Medici occupied Elba and Piombino 
for the farther defence of his coasts in the imperial interest. The 
remonstrances, however, of the Genoese, who feared an attack upon 
Corsica, led Charles to take these places into his own hands. The \isit 
of Henry II to Savoy and Piedmont (May, 1548) proved to be no more 
than a reconnaissance in force an€l led only to the seizure of the 
Marquisate of Saluzzo. Further delay was caused by the French war 
with England which broke out in 1548 over the Scottish question, and 
the Pope's revenge had to be postponed. The Interim (May, 1548) 
agrees with the tone of general European politics at the time. Every 
Power was seeking to enjoy the benefits of time, and in such a policy 
Charles was a master. 

And so the stormy year 1547 passed into the sullen peace of 
1548, while the Pope was still offering ecclesiastical concessions as the 
price for the restitution of Piacenza, and Charles replied by asserting 
his right not only to Piacenza but to Parma also. Gonzaga continued 
to push his adventurous plans upon the Emperor^ and hoped to take 
advantage of the passage of the Archduke Philip through Northern 
Italy in the autumn of 1548, at least to secure the building of a castle 
in Genoa ; but nothing could b« done except by force, and the Emperor 
was above all anxious to preserve tlie existing equipoise, as is shown by 
his instructions to Philip, written in February, 1548* With Gonzaga 
was co-operating Mendoza; he hicreased his personal authority over 
Siena, disarmed the citizens, and finally proposed the erection of a castle. 
The Pope proceeded with his negotiations with France, and although 
he allowed certain ecclesiastical concessions to be extorted from him, 
nothing certain resulted. The affairs of the Council became more and 
more desperate; and ^finally, in September, 1549, the order came to 
suspend it* The proposal to give Parma to Orazio Farnese or to 
incorporate it with the domains of the Ciiurch had alienated Ottavio ; 
who, after a futile attempt to seize the city, took refuge with Gonzaga. 

Paul III died on November 10, 1549, his last days embittered by dis- 
sension with his family, whose advancement had been his chief thought, 
and for whom he had sacrificed the friendship of tlie Emperor and the 
interests of the Church. His last act was to sign an order to place 
Parma in Ottavio's hands ; but the Orsini, who were holding the town, 
refused compliance. 

The Conclave which followed was unusually prolonged. The imperial 
party, with whom the Farnese party made common cause in the hopes 
of winning Parma at least, if not Piacenza, for the family, were in a 
majority, and aimed at the election of Pole or the Cardinal Juan de 
Toledo, both known to be well disposed towards ecclesiastical reform. 
But the French party, though not able to elect any of their own can- 
didates, were fully able to prevent the election of any ottier ; and, after 
the Conclave had lasted more than two months, the two parties agreed 
to elect the Cardinal del Mont6, who took the name of Julius III 
(February 7, 1550). Although his sympathies on the whole had been 
French, although he had been associated with the removal of the Council 
to Bologna, although he had the reputation of frivolity and vice, the 
imperial party accepted him as likely to choose tranquillity rather than 
war and intrigue. Tranquillity meant the continued domination of 
Spain. His good disposition towards tlie Emperor soon became evident 
in a number of matters, trifling in theniselves, but important in the 
aggregate. More important still was the intention which he soon 
announced of reopening tlie Council at Trent. In fact, on November 14, 
1550, he published a Bull summoning the Council to meet at Trent in 
the following May, notwithstanding the opposition of France, and the im- 
possibility of settling the conditions in accordance with the wishes of the 
Emperor, the demands of the German Diets, and the interests of the Curia. 

Julius had restored Ottavio Farnese to Parma in falfilment of 
promises made in the Conclave, but he could not effectually protect 
him against the hostilities of Gonzaga from Milan. Nor could he 
persuade Charles to restore to Ills son-in-law Piacenza also. On the 
contrary the pressure of Gonzaga on the borders of Parma and his 
intrigues within the Duchy drove Farnese to apply for aid from 
France (December, 1550). Terms were arranged A\^th France, and 
Ottavio passed into the service of Henry, The King assembled troops 
at Mirandola. The Emperor pressed for a sentence of confiscation 
against Ottavio, and offered a loan to enable Julius to carry it out. 
Gonzaga seized Brescello (to the north-east of Parma) from the Cardinal 
d'Este. The Pope hesitated, but finally decided that it was more 
dangerous to offend the Emperor, and (May, 1551) declared Ottavio 
deprived of his fief. It then became necessary to resort to force, and 
Giambattista del Monte, the Pope's nephew in command of the papal 
troops, received orders to co-operate with Gonzaga in the occupation 
of the Parmesan (June)t 

The war opened badly. On hia way to join Gonzaga Giambattista 
Buffered a slight reverse. Bolognese territory was attacked by the 
Farnesi, and the safety of Bologna itself was doubtfuL The Pope was 
anxious to protect Bologna and called off the chief part of his troops for 
its defence. Reinforcements reached Parma from Miraiidola. Although 
Mirandola Wiis under French protection it became necessary to attack 
it, and the double enterprise against Parma and Mirandola proved too 
much for the scanty forces. The country was ruined but nothing was 
effected. War had not yet opened between the French King and the 
Emperor, but the peace concluded with England by Henry II (March 24, 
1550) by vvliich Boulogne was restored for a money payment, left him free 
on that side ; and he could choose his own moment for overt hostilities. 

Meanwhile the truce between Charles and the Sultan had been 
broken. A new corsair, Dragut, had estabUshed himself on the Tiinisian 
coast of Africa at Mehedia, known as the Port of Africa. His ravages 
on the neighbouring littoral of Sicily and further aiield had rendered 
action imperative; and in September, 1550, the united fleet of Charles' 
dominions had attacked and captured his headquarters, thougli his fleet 
escaped on this occasion, and again from Doria's blockade in the 
following spring. Charles could represent that this act of reprisal Inid 
been abundantly provoked, but the Sultan had made Dragut his com- 
missioner to rule over the whole of Barbary, and regarded the attack 
upon him as an attack upon liimself. (Jn his return from an expedition 
against the Sophy of Persia, which the truce with Charles had permitted, 
the Sultan prepared for war. In July, 1551, a great Turkish fleet 
appeared in Sicilian waters, and after vainly demanding the restoration 
of Mehedia, tlie Ottomans turned upon the Knights of St John, and 
captured Tripoli (August 11). In September of the same year the 
Turkish war began afresh in Hungary* Once more Charles had to 
withstand the simultaneous hostility of the Most Christian King and 
of the infidels. In the course of 1551 Heiiry was submitting plans for 
common action to tlie Porte, and the use of the Turkish fleet was 
recommended ; war in Hungary being calculated to unite the Germans 
in defence. The King of France was also in relations with Magdeburg 
and with Maurice of Saxony. 

Under these auspices the Council met once more at Trent in Jlay^ 
1551, though it was autumn before formal proceedings could be begun. 
Its prospects were not rosy, for in September, 1551, war opened on the 
side of Savoy. Although Francois de Brissac, the French commander, 
did not push bis attack, the necessity of action in two distant fields 
completely disorganised the imperial finances in Italy. Tlie blockades 
of Parma and Mirandola were in consequence slackly pursued ; the Pope 
saw little prospect of gain from the war ; his debts were burdensome ; 
French hostility threatened him with the failure of French funds; he 
began to ihhik whether an arrangement with France was not possible. 




In April, 155!2» he concluded a truce wath France, which allowed Ottavio 
Farnese to hold Parina unmolested for two years. About the same time 
the Pope's nephew, Giambattista, died in action, Charles was fain to 
accept the truce, for the same reason wliieh mainly influenced tlie final 
decision of the Pope ; the rising of Maurice of Saxony in alliance with 
the French, and the news of a F'rench invasion, A fresh advance of the 
Turks in September, 1551, was anotlier of the intolerable burdens which 
Charles had to bear at thin, tlie darkest moment of his life. 

The alliance between Henry II of France and tlie Protestant Princes 
of Germany was concluded at Cliambord on January 15, 1552. It 
opened the way for a new development of French policy, the acquisition 
of territory, not Burgundiau, at the expense of the Empire. On 
March 13, 1552, Henry invaded Lorraine, took the government from 
the Duchess and her infant son, and, in accordance with his agreement 
with the Protestant princes, occupied the principal towns of the three 
great bishoprics of Toul, Metz, and Verdun. 

Since the accession of Rene de Vaudemont the power of the Dukes 
had been consolidated in tlie Duchy of Lorraine, by the extension of 
their influence over the Bishopries, and the election of relations or 
partisans to the several Sees. But the policy of the duchy in the wars 
between France and Burgundy had been to preserve neutrality as far as 
possible ; and thus up to this time immunity had been secured. The 
marriage of Christina, the Emperor's niece, to the heir of Lorraine in 
1540 had not duruig the life of her husband disturbed this neutrality ; 
but Cliristina had been recently left a widow, and her regency in the 
duchy gave a plausible excuse for French intervention. Lorraine was 
easily subdued, but an attempt to seize Strassburg failed. The Nether- 
land forces created a diversion by invading France and devastating 
Champagne ; and Henry replied by marching on Luxemburg and occu- 
pying the southern part of the duchy. 

The Emperor had hoped before the crisis arrived in Germany to 
reach the NetherUmds, but his way was barred by the confederates ; in 
Innsbruck he was not safe, and he was a fugitive at Villaclj in Carinthia, 
while the French worked their will in Lorraine and Luxemburg. But 
in August, 1552, after the confederates had been brought to terms, he 
issued once more with an army, and passing tlirough Southern Germany, 
was well received at Strassburg, which had refused to admit the French, 
Thence notwithstanding the lateness of the season he proceeded to the 
siege of Metz, which meanwhile had been strongly fortihed by Francois, 
Due de Guise, and was ready to hold out. In spite of Charles* dis- 
creditable alliance witli Margrave Albert Alcibiades of Brandenburg. 
Culmbach, tlie siege, which did not begin until October, proved a complete 
failure, and on January 1, 1553, Charles had to order a retreat. Those 
events had their reaction on the Council of Trent, which was suspended 
in April, 1652, for two years or until the troubles should be overpast. 

88 Revolt and conquest of Siena [1552-5 

That no more general rising took place in Italy during the months 
when Charles was suflfering the invasion of Lorraine, and afterwards 
flying from Innsbruck before his enemies, is a remarkable testimony to 
the solidity of the edifice which he had built up. Charles contributed 
indeed to this result by abandoning the forward policy and its agents. 
Mendoza was recalled, and Gonzaga was removed from the government 
of Milan. There were not wanting centres of disaffection. Ferrara 
was French, even Cosimo wavered, Siena, irritated by the castle which 
Charles was building outside the walls by the advice of Mendoza, burst 
into open rebellion (July 17, 1552) ; but Cosimo was able to isolate the 
conflagration, and although the Spanish garrison was driven out and 
the fortress levelled the rebellion did not spread. It was agreed that 
Siena should remain free under imperial protection, and foreign forces 
should be excluded. Nevertheless French troops garrisoned the city, the 
fortifications were strengthened, and the Cardinal of Ferrara assumed 
the government in the French interest. The Spanish government had 
to acquiesce for the present and wait for its time to come. An attempt 
in January, 1553, to subdue the city by force from Naples failed owing 
to the death of Toledo, and the recall of his son, who was commanding 
the army. 

In 1554, however, Cosimo gave the word for more energetic action. 
Piero Strozzi, the ubiquitous opponent of Medici and Habsburg, had 
entered the city in January. During his temporary absence Florentine 
troops surprised a gate of the city. Nevertheless Siena held out for fif- 
teen months, the besieging army being commanded by that successful ad- 
venturer, Gian Giacomo Medichino, Marquis of Marignano; while Blaise 
de Montluc governed the city for the French King and Strozzi showed 
great ability and resource in frequent raids and sallies. But Strozzi's 
total defeat at Marciano on August 2, 1554, rendered it possible to 
complete the blockade, and in April, 1555, the city surrendered to famine. 
The irreconcilables held out for four years longer at Montalcino, but 
the issue was no longer doubtful. The city was given up by Philip to 
Cosimo (1557), and incorporated in his duch}'^ of Tuscany. The 
Spaniards retained, however, the coast towns (the Presidi}. Piombino 
and Elba Cosimo had already received. So ended the last of the old- 
fashioned revolutions of Italy, and one more single and independent city 
was incorporated in the larger system. Cosimo was a main link in the 
Italian scheme of Charles, and the accessions of territory which he 
received were well earned by his services to the Habsburg cause. 

Meanwhile the French and Turkish fleets had been co-operating in 
the Mediterranean, raiding the Italian coasts. They then provoked a 
rebellion in Corsica, which at first had considerable success, but ultimately 
with Spanish and German aid the Genoese recovered the principal fort- 
resses, and the Treaty of Cateau-Cambr^sis restored the island to Genoa. 

The war on the French frontier continued its indecisive course. In 



June, 1553, Chaiies had his first success. Terouanne was attacked in 
April, and after two months capitulated with its garrison of 3000 men, 
and Montmorency's eldest son» Emmanuel Philibert^ who in this same 
year succeeded his father as Duke of Savoy, took and destroyed I iesdin. 
Robert de la Marck, whose hostilities had first involved the Emperor in 
war (152'2), was a captive. An attack on Cambray by the French King 
iled. In the following year the B'rench changed their objective to the 

ley of the Meiise, capturing Marienburg, Dinant, and Bouvines. To 
resist them two new fortresses, Charlemont and Philippeville, were built 
on the territory of Liege. The defence of Namur by Charles in person 
ended his fighting days with credit. Almost his last act of authority 
was to conclude the short-lived Truce of Vaucelles (Februar^^ 5, 1556)- 

The close of Charles' career is characteristic. A long campaign 
against odds in which reverses were fully compensated by success; the 
marriage of Philip with Mary of England (July 25, 1554), conceived in 
the true Habsburg spirit; the completion and final consolidation of his 
work in Italy; the Religious Peace of Augsburg, in which Charles was 
forced by political necessity to acquiesce, against his will and against his 
con\dctions. His work was done. During forty years he hatl striven 
to discharge the impossible tasks imposed upon him by accident and a 
mistaken dynastic policy. Ho had now accomplished what he could 
perform. The duchy of Milan and preponderance in Italy was a set-off 
for the lost duchy of Burgundy. Tlie conquest of Lorraine he could 
regard as a wrong done not to himself but to others. The acquisition 
of this duchy would have tempted him had he resembled his ancestor 
Charles the BohL It does not however appear that he ever contemplated 
such a conquest, a proof of his essentially conservative policy. He had 
given peace to Italy and Germany; at the price of much that was 
valuable, much that could never be restored, but still he had given 
peace. The accession of Paul IV (May 23, 1555 ) gave reason to believe 
that this peace might be disturbed; but its ultimate restoration could 
be confidently expected. The late war had shown the strong defensive 
position in Italy and the Netlierlands; a position so strong that the main 
French attack had been diverted fromCliarles' hereditary possessions to 
the neighbouring independent and weaker powers. Spain as usual was 
regarded as inexpugnable* With tlie Reformation alone he had proved 
unable to cope. It was an accomplished fact, but ho had given it 
bounds, and extinguished in Germany religious war. 

The question of Savoy still remained unsolved, but tliis he could 
leave to his son to settle. So long as France still held Savoy and 
Piedmont she held the gates of Italy ; and Spanish garrisons in Milan 
had to be maintained almost at war-strength. But something must be 
left undone ; and Charles had the right to demand his release. Although 
he was still young, as we measui^e youth, his incessant labours had 
destroyed his health. He was racked with gout, the penalty of his 

90 Election of Pope Paul IV [1566-6 

voracious appetite and unsparing industry. His abdication, although 
it has often been regarded with surprise, was the most natural act, and 
the moment for it well chosen. In the Netherlands it was accompanied 
by a touching and impressive ceremony (October 25, 1565), when, in 
the midst of a splendid assembly at Brussels, the Emperor with tears 
explained his reasons, recounted his labours, and gave his last ex- 
hortation ; and then solemnly invested his son with his Northern 
provinces. Milan and Naples had been previously handed over. On 
January 16, 1556, Charles resigned his Spanish kingdoms and Sicily. 
Shortly afterwards he gave up the Franche-Comte. He made over to 
his brother all his imperial authority, though his formal renunciation of 
the Empire was not accomplished until 1558. Free at last he set sail 
for Spain (September 17, 1556) and made his way to the monastery at 
Yuste. Here he took a constant interest in the political affairs of the 
time, and occasionally intervened by way of advice and influence. After 
two years of rest, broken by increasing infirmity, he closed his life in 
1558 ; too soon to see the seal set upon his labours by the Treaty of 

Julius III had concluded on March 24, 1555, his insignificant career ; 
Marcellus II, his successor, died on April 30 ; and on May 23 Giampiero 
Caraffa was elected, and took the title of Paul IV. The ecclesiastical 
activity of Caraffa, his share in the endeavour to restore pontifical and 
hierarchical authority in the years previous to his election as Pope, his 
religious attitude and tendencies, do not concern us here. But the spirit 
shown by Caraffa in the treatment of heretics, and the affairs of the 
Church, promised little peace if it were to be applied to the complicated 
political relations of the papal see. What all expected to see was an 
uncompromising postponement of political expediency to the single 
object of restoring papal supremacy and ecclesiastical unity. What 
none could have foreseen was that not only the political interests of the 
Holy See but also all chances of an effective Catholic reaction were to be 
sacrificed to the demands of intense personal hatred. 

It was known that Caraffa was an enemy of Spain. As a Neapolitan, 
he detested the alien masters of his native country. In 1547 he had 
urged upon Paul III an attack on Naples in support of the rising which 
had then occurred in the kingdom ; and it had subsequently required all 
the influence of Julius to procure his admission to the Archbishopric of 
Naples. But the overmastering nature of his hatred was not known, and 
is even now not completely to be explained. If we assume that personal 
grounds of animosity co-operated witli intense hatred of foreign rule, a 
despairing sense that one last blow must be struck to free the Papacy 
once and for all from Spanish domination, and a stern conscientious 
antipathy to those methods of compromise with heretics which had been 
the chief mark of Charles' action in religious matters — if we assume that 
all these feelings worked together, each intensifying and exacerbating 

1666-t] War between Paul IV and Philip I J 


the other, then we can perhaps begin to understand tlie attitude of Paul. 
In addition his advanced age (he was 79 years old at the time of his 
election) admitted of no delay; what wa« to be done must be done 
quickly; and the history of the Papacy can prove that old age exercises 
no mitigating influence over the passions of anger and hatred. 

The forces with which Paul entered on this struggle were in 
themselves insigniiicant. The total gross revenues of the Papal Statu 
about this time are estimated at 1,000,000 crowns; from which sum 
400,000 crowns must be at once deducted for taxation remitted by 
Caraffa and necessary current expenses. The ecclesiastical revenues had 
been reduced by the apostasy of Germany, the practical independence 
of Spain^ the condition of England, and by the austere refusal of 
the Pope himself to allow money to be raised by questioiiable means 
employed in the past. The papal troops were inefficient even if judged 
by an Italian standard; the population was neither prosperous nor 
devoted; and there w^ere permanent centres of sedition and opposition^ 

Paul set himself at once to gain external help. Ferrara joined; a 
league w^as concluded at Rome wdth France, wbieh was represented by 
Charles de Guise, the Cardinal of Lorraine, December 16, 1555; but 
Venice as usual maintained a watchful neutrality. But his poiiey of 
enriching his nephews by confiscation of tiie goods of Roman nobles, 
while it agreed ill with the zeal for re form and justice hitherto professed 
by the Pope, gained him many enemies at home. The conclusion of the 
Truce of VauccUes (February, 1556) was a disappointment to Paul; but 
his able and unscrupulous nephew, C'ardinal Carlo Caraffa, suececded 
during the summer in persuading Henry II to renew the league for 
defensive purposes. The seizure and imprisonment of Garcilasso della 
Vega, the secretary of the Spanish embassy at Rome, was a measure 
of open hostility; and the Duke of Alva, wdio had succeeded Toledo at 
Naples, was forced to address a remonstrance, almost an ultimatum, to 
the Pope in August, 1556, No satisfaction was to be expected ; and in 
September the Spanish troops crossed the frontier and began to occupy 
the Carapagna, The Pope, ill prepared for w^ar, w^as forced to beg for 
an armistice, which was granted (December 2, 1556), He used the 
interval to call on his ally for help ; and before the month w^as out the 
Duke of Guise crossed the Alps. Instead of allowing him to proceed to 
the reduction of Milan, Paul insisted on his pressing on through papal 
territory to Naples. The passage of the French troops increased the 
discontent of the papal subjects in Roraagna and the Marches, wdach 
had already been aroused by the extraordinary subsidies required for the 
war. The pajnil troops were melting away for want of pay; and when 
the allied armies crossed the Neapolitan frontier and laid siege to 
Civitella, they were soon compelled to withdraw. In August, 1557, the 
news of the battle of St Quentin caused the recall of Guise, and the Pope 
was left without defence. 

Alva could easily have taken Rome if he had wished, but neither he 
nor his master wisiied to reduce the Pope to extremities. The Pope was 
forced to beg for peace, which was granted on easy terms. The only 
serious concession required was the restoration to the Colonna and other 
friends of Spain of the property which had been taken from them and 
conferred upon the papal nephews. The Spanish hegemony in the 
peninsula stood firmer than ever, but the Papal State was not curtailed. 
Alva visited Paul at Rome, and was reconciled to the Pope (September, 

After this brief and friiitless exposition of hatred, Paul returned 
rebuked to his work of ecclesiastical reformation and the stimulation of 
the Inquisition. That action of the Inquisition was frequently directed 
by political motives was generally believed at the time, and is not in 
itself improbable. Partly to quell the resentment caused by this and 
other measures, partly perhaps to indicate the recognition and abandon- 
ment of a mistaken policy, Paul (January, 1559) deprived his nephews 
of all their offices and banished them from Rome, This act of justice 
was however only the preliminary to the enforcement of still sterner 
measures of religious repression ; and when the Pope expired in August, 
1559, it was amid scenes of wild disorder; the headquarters of the Holy 
Office at Rome were stormed and wrecked; the Pope's statue was 
destroyed and dragged with ignominy through the streets. His 
ecclesiastical policy appeared to be as complete a failure as his attack 
upon the power of Spain. 

But indirectly the action of Paul had a permanent effect on the 
history of Europe. It led to the rupture of the Truce of Vaucelles. The 
conclusion of this truce had seemed to be a triumph for Montmorency ; 
but Cardinal Caraffa and the influence of Guise secured the real tri- 
umph for the party of Lorraine. Soon after the expedition of Guise to 
the peninsula war broke out in the North of France, but both sides con- 
fined themselves for some time to preparations and defensive measures. 
On June 7, 1557, Mary of England declared war on France. At length, 
in July the army of the Netherlands under Emmanuel Philibert began 
to move, and laid siege first to Guise and then to St Quentin* Coligny 
succeeded in throwing himself into this place, and animated its defence; 
but when Montmorency attempted to relieve the fortress (August 10) ho 
was attacked and severely defeated. The Constable himself, with many of 
the greatest men of France, was taken prisoner. The only French army 
in the north was scattered, and the way lay open to Paris. But Philip 
refused to allow the advance, and the French were given time to assemble 
troops and put their defences in order. Coligny's obstinate defence in 
St Quentin gave seventeen days of respite after the battle; and Guise 
was recalled from Italy. Philip occupied a few trifling fortresses and 
then disbanded his army. 

In November Guise, whose authority with the King was now no 

longer contested by the conflicting influence of Montmorency, had 
brought together an army ; and on January 1^ 15»58, the siege of Calais 
was undertaken ; in eight days the town surrendered, and the Enghsh 
were expelled. Guines was captured shortl}' afterwards, and this gate 
of B" ranee was closed for ever to the English- But the French need 
was extreme. While the siege of Calais was proceeding the notables of 
[France assembled in Paris at the King's command, and Henry demanded 
*©f them a loan of 3*000,000 crowns, one-third from the clergy, two- 
thirds from the towns, The news of the capture of Calais caused the 
proposition to be accepted with acclamation. In April the marriage of 
the Dauphin to Mary of Scothind, %vith the secret agreements concluded 
previously, opened other prospects to French foreign policy. 

In May, however^ negotiations for peace were begun by the Cardinal 
of Lorraine, and Antoine de Granvelle, Bishop of Arras, suggested the 
alliance of France and Spain for the suppression of heresy, pointing 
out that persons in the highest positions in France, such as Coligny, 
d*Andelot,and the Bourbon family, were infected by the new doctrines* 
Religion was beginning in France to intensify party rivalries and serve 
as an excuse for partisan revenge. But before negotiation could lead to 
its full result war had once more to play its part. 

The French plan of campaign for 1558 was directed to the capture 
of Thionville, and, as a sequel, to a double invasion of Flanders. But 
the dehiys caused by the long resistance of Thionville, wliick did not 
fall until June 22, prevented the simultaneous execution of the two 
attacks. The Marechal de Termes from Calais was first in the field, 
and after sacking Dunkirk and ravaging the country he found himself 
forced by the Flemish army untler Egmont to give battle near Grave- 
lines. Here he suffered a complete defeat (July 13) to which the guns 
of the English fleet contributed. After this the French armies were 
compelled to confine themselves to the defensive. 

In October peace negotiations were resumed on the north-eastern 
frontier in tlie county of Saint FoL During the course of the discus- 
sions Mary Tudor died (November 17). Her death facilitated an agree- 
ment in two ways* In the first place it reduced the iniportaoce of 
the question of Calais. Philip had no longer any need to insist on the 
restitution of this town for the benefit of Elizabeth. In the second 
place it allowed marriage proposals to weigh in the scales, and, although 
Philip sued for the hand of Elizabeth of England, there was little to be 
expected in that quarter. After the conference had been removed to 
Cateau-Cambresis (February, 1559), Elizabeth, finding that Spain was 
not supporting her demands for restitution, agreed that France slioold 
[retain Calais for eight years, and the way was cleared for the main 
[compact. The peace was signed on April 2* The last point decided 
[was that Philip should marry Elizabeth of France. 

France restored Marienburg, Thionville, Damvillers, and Montmedy, 

9.4 The resulting settlement in Europe [1668 

receiving in return Saint Quentin, Ham, le Catelet, and Terouanne ; 
Bouvines and Bouillon were given back to the Bishop of Liege ; Philip 
retained Hesdin. Montferrat, the Milanese, Corsica, Savoy, Bresse, and 
Piedmont were abandoned by the French ; except for the places of 
Turin, Pinerolo, Chieri, Chivasso, and Villanuova in the territory of 
Asti. Montalcino was tc^ be given up to the Duke of Tuscany. France 
did not press for the restitution of Navarre, but retained Saluzzo. 

Thus the contest of sixty years reached its close, never to revive 
in the same form. The boundaries of the Netherlands were restored 
with slight alterations. Italy was left as Charles had fixed her system. 
Savoy was re-established as a buflfer-State between France and Italy ; a 
position which the genius of her Dukes would use to good advantage. 
No treaty marks a more definite stage in the development of the 
European state system. It involved the acceptance of Spanish supremacy 
in Italy, and the recognition of the organic unity of France, of Spain, 
and of the Netherlands. For all her concessions France received com- 
pensation in the debateable land which lies between the southern 
boundaries of the Netherlands and the northern slopes of the Alps. 
Here the international struggles of the next century would be fought 
out, until French ambition returned once more to attempt the conquest 
of the Netherlands, and the obliteration of the Pyrenees. The death of 
Henry II, and the accession of Elizabeth in England, the death of 
Paul IV, the marriage of Philip with Elizabeth of France, and the death 
of Charles V, all occurring within twelve months contributed to em- 
phasise the close of an old epoch, the beginning of a new one. The 
policy of Montmorency had triumphed over that of the Guises ; the 
obstinate persistence of Charles V had received its posthumous reward ; 
and the outbreak of the wars of religion in France on the one hand, the 
revolt of the Netherlands on the other, were before long to paralyse all 
those remaining forces and ambitions which might have reversed the 
decisions recorded at Cateau-Cambresis. The Reformation had hitherto 
run its course almost without opposition ; henceforward the energies, 
which had been absorbed in the long dynastic struggle, would be occu- 
pied by the still greater contests arising out of the Counter-Reformation 
movement. In these contests the resumption of the Council of Trent, 
and its policy and conclusions, furnished the dogmatic basis, and defined 
the controversial issues. 

Throughout this period there have been two main plots in Euro{>ean 
history, the one centring in Germany and concerned with the questions of 
religious reform, the other centring in Italy, and leading to the permanent 
settlement of territorial questions in Europe. The plots are interwoven, 
and it has been only possible in the foregoing pages occasionally to 
indicate important points of contact. But each can be to some extent 
isolated. The German plot is reserved for full treatment in later 

Royal authority in the French Church 95 

chapters. The Italian plot has for its chief actors, on the one side 
Spain and the Netherlands, on the other side France, while Savoy and 
the lesser States of Italy each contribute their share to the action. The 
internal affairs of Italy have received in the description of the main plot 
such attention as space permitted, and as was necessary to explain the 
forces at work. But the internal affairs of France, Spain, and the 
Netherlands have been left aside. Yet some knowledge of these is 
required if we are to understand the power exerted by each in the 
forcible settlement of European questions. 

The course of the reform movement in France is related below; 
the institutions of France are described in the first volume of this 
History. It remains only to give some account of those internal de- 
velopments and changes that affected the activity of France as a 
European power. 

In the institutions of France there is little change to record. The 
absolute monarchy had been already established, and was further 
developed by the school of legists, who had their headquarters in the 
University of Toulouse. At their head was the Chancellor Duprat. 
Their principles and their action aimed at the continuous extension of 
the royal power. From the King they received their employment and 
their reward ; to his strength they owed everything. All their efforts 
were directed to its increase both in State and in Church. In the 
Church especially the Concordat of 1516 proved a valuable instrument 
in their hands. The absolute authority of the Crown over the Church 
is proved by the lavish grants frequently made by the clergy to the 
King, enforced at need by the seizure of property : and by the proposals 
to sell clerical lands for the King's benefit put forward in 1561 at St 
Germain. The clergy then offered willingly 16,600,000 livres to avoid 
this danger, so real did it appear. The old Gallicanism of the Pragmatic 
died hard, finding its last strongholds in the Parliaments and the Uni- 
versities ; and was not finally defeated until the lit de justice of 1527, 
which removed all jurisdiction relative to high ecclesiastical office from 
the ParlemenU and gave it to the Grand Conseil, The old Gallicanism 
was replaced by a new royal Gallicanism, which resented interference 
with the ecclesiastical affairs of France from beyond the Alps, but placed 
the Church at the mercy of the King. In consequence of this subjection 
of the French Church to the King the clergy of France fell into two 
well-marked divisions : those who held or hoped for rich ecclesiastical 
promotion from the King, and the poor parochial clergy, who thought 
and suffered, and whose importance as a political factor will be seen in 
the Wars of Religion. 

Though the general lines remain unaltered, administrative changes 
can be perceived. The elevation of Jacques de Beaune de Semblan9ay 
(1618) to the cognisance of all the King's finances, extraordinary as well 
as ordinary, shows the desire for some unification ; but his fall in 1527 

96 Revenue^ justice^ and army in France 

proves that the new arrangements were not supposed to have worked well. 
The establishment of the TrSsor de VSpargne in 1523 shows the same 
effort for centralisation; this measure weakened the Tr^soriers and 
0-SnSraux^ and brought the whole question of finance under the eyes of 
the King's Council. The scope of the TrSsor de VSpargne was gradually 
widened, and in 1542 a more radical reform was introduced ; the old 
financial districts were abolished, and 16 new centres were established 
for the receipt of all funds arising from the areas assigned to them. 
These reforms were in the right direction, but did not go far enough. 

The sources of revenue were unchanged. The taille was still the 
mainstay of the government, and was increased at will. In 1543 it 
reached a figure higher than in the time of Louis XI. Extraordinary 
supplies were raised by the sale of domain lands, and by the creation of 
new ofl&ces, intended to be sold. The consequent multiplication of 
unnecessary officials, each anxious to recoup his expenditure, was the 
gravest abuse of the time. Under Francis I the system of aideB was 
gradually extended to the provinces which had hitherto enjoyed im- 
munity ; and, in spite of solemn engagements, the quart du sel of 
Guyenne was first (1541) raised to three-eighths; and then in 1545 the 
gahelle du sel^ with its system of compulsory purchase, was put in full 
force in all the south-western provinces. The revolt of La Rochelle 
(1542) and of Guyenne in general (1548) did not prevent the execution 
of these decrees. 

Similarly in the department of justice changes are rather administra- 
tive than constitutional. The introduction of the prSsidiaux, a board of 
judges appointed for each hailliage or sSnSchaiiasSe^ and intermediate 
between the Parlements and the Courts of first instance, was probably 
advantageous to the people, though its immediate object was the raising 
of money by the sale of the new ofl&ces. The Edict of Villers-Cotterets 
(1539) was a great landmark in the administration of justice and in the 
history of legal procedure in France ; it instituted the use of the French 
language in the Courts, and superseded ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the 
great majority of cases by the lay tribunals. The clergy in 1552 paid 
three millions of crowns to recover these rights of jurisdiction; but 
apparently the King did not fulfil his share in the bargain. 

The old military system changed slowly. The mounted archers were 
gradually being separated from the gend d'armes, whose following they 
had originally constituted. As the importance of hand firearms increased 
the number of archers was diminished ; and some attempt was made so 
to strengthen the defensive armour of horse and man as to meet this 
new weapon of offence. Chevau-Ugers^ trained after the Stradiot fashion, 
and other varieties of cavalry begin to appear. But in infantry France 
was still deficient. The attempt of Francis I (1543) to form seven 
provincial legions, each of 6000 foot, alarmed the gentry by placing 
arms in the hands of the peasantry, and for this reason or because of 

7%e Constable de Montmorency 97 

Francis' habitTial inconseqaence it was abandoned* and only served as a 
pretext for leyying the additional impost for which this measure was 
made an excuse. 

Thns the chief interest of the time for France consisted in the 
persons who conducted the goYcrnment. The system might not change, 
but the spirit in which it was administered depended on the King and 
the persons in whom he had trust. Inattentive as he was to business, 
the character of Francis I had a marked effect upon the history of his 
reign. The profuse expenditure on his Court must have reacted on his 
foreign policy. The cost of the Court is estimated by a Venetian 
ambassador as amounting to 1,500,000 crowns a year, i.e. about three 
millions of livreM toumou. Of this sum 600,000 crowns went in pensions. 
The King's buildings, important as they are in the history of art, 
weighed heavily upon his people. The influence of the King's mistresses, 
Madame de Chateaubriand and Madame d'Etampes, and of his son's 
mistress, Diane de Poitiers, decided the fate of ministers if not of nations. 
In the early years of the King's reign, and particularly during his cap- 
tivity, the influence of the Queen-Mother, Louise of Savoy, was pre- 
dominant. Her powerful will and vigorous though narrow intellect 
were not without their value for France ; but her rapacity was unlimited, 
and led to the treason of the Duke of Bourbon, the most important 
domestic incident of the reign. During his early years Francis was 
dominated by Bonnivet, and to a less degree by Lautrec and Lescun ; 
during his later life (1541-7) Admiral Annebaut (de Retz) and the Car- 
dinal de Toumon came to the front. The Due d'Enghien also enjoyed 
so much favour that his accidental death was ascribed by Court gossip to 
the act of the Dauphin himself. In the King's middle life Philippe de 
Brion had considerable power. But none of these courtiers can be said 
to have possessed a definite scheme of policy or to have worked for 
any definite end. More important was the part played by Anne de 

So early as 1522 Montmorency became a Marshal of France. In the 
negotiations for the King's freedom after Pavia he took a prominent 
part, and was shortly afterwards appointed grand maitre (1526), and 
from that time until 1541 he was the most conspicuous person at the 
King's Court. He was Governor of Languedoc, a post previously held 
by the Constable de Bourbon, the duties of which he executed as a rule 
by deputy. The tendencies of his policy were favourable to the Emperor. 
He was unwilling to break the peace, to form alliances with the Pro- 
testant Princes or with the Sultan. Thus the period of his influence 
shows a certain touch of moderation. Montmorency was not always 
able to make his counsels prevail ; but their weight was always on the 
side of compromise. In the conclusion of the Treaty of Cambray his 
influence is especially to be seen. On the other hand there is little 
reason to believe that the grand maitre contributed anything masterly 

C. M. H. II. 7 

98 The Guises and Diane de Poitiers 

to the inconsequent foreign policy of Francis ; any notable ideas of 
strategy to his army. His intellect was mediocre, and his most brilliant 
achievement was the devastation of Provence in 1636, which frustrated 
the invasion of Charles. 

In 1538 he reached the culmination of his fortunes under Francis, 
when he was created Constable of France. The interview at Aigues- 
Mortes belongs to this period, when his influence was perhaps at its 
height. He must have the responsibility of the policy which allowed 
Charles a free hand in the chastisement of Ghent (1540). The failure 
of this policy left France isolated, unable to rely either upon England 
or upon the German Protestants. His fall, however, in 1541 was rather 
due to a Court intrigue, to the fear of Francis of his heir-apparent, 
to the jealousy of Madame d'Etampes and of Diane de Poitiers, than to 
the actual failure of his schemes. The party of Madame d'Etampes 
won the day, and the Constable retired into private life. 

Francis retained so much animosity against him that he is said to 
have warned his son before his death not to admit Montmorency to 
his favour. But the advice, if given, had little effect, and inmiediately 
on his accession Henry recalled the Constable to the royal Councils, 
and even paid the arrears of his pensions for the years of his suspension. 
The alliance between the Constable and Diane was intimate, but she 
perceived the danger of having him all-powerful. The Princes of the 
House of Guise, cadets of the sovereign House of Lorraine, and nearly 
related to the Houses of Anjou and Bourbon, were the instruments 
whom she found. Their father, Claude, Due de Guise, a contemporary 
of Francis I, had not succeeded in pushing his own fortunes at Court, 
but had nevertheless found opportunities to serve the King by levying 
troops for him and otherwise, so that he was able to secure dignities for 
himself, with offices and benefices for his relations. His brother, Jean, 
Cardinal of Lorraine, was not inconspicuous at the Court of Francis and 
in the history of the French Renaissance. But the high fortunes of the 
family begin with the sons of Claude ; among whom are pre-eminent, 
Francis, the soldier, afterwards Due de Guise, and Charles, Archbishop 
of Reims, and afterwards Cardinal. Under Henry II the places of power 
and profit, the spoils of discarded favourites, the determination of the 
King's policy, are divided between Montmorency and the Guises ; while 
Diane de Poitiers secured through their rivalry the decisive intermediate 
position. The Guise policy was aggressive, enterprising, provocative. 
Montmorency was more cautious, and favourable to peace. To the 
former were due the League of Rome and the rupture of the Truce of 
Vaucelles ; to the latter the Truce of Vaucelles, and above all, the Peace 
of Cateau-Cambresis. All alike were zealous Catholics ; all alike ra- 
pacious and greedy. In view of the powerful elements disputing the 
supremacy over her husband Catharine de'Medici wisely kept in the back- 
ground. Her capacities for rule and intrigue were not seen until a later age. 

Montmorency bad the advantage through his powerful character, 
his industry, and will ; the Guises through their skill in winning 
the people and the interests to their side; in the Church, in tha 
army, in the Parhment^ their influence was great and was carefully 
developed. On the other hand, the immense ransoms exacted from 
Montmorency in 1559 for himself and his relatives impoverished his 
estate, and the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis was unpopular and diminished 
his credit. Thus, after the death of Henry II the advantage lay with 
the younger rivals of the Constable. 

The changes in the system of the Spanish monarchy during the period 
are even less significant than those in France. The Cortes of Castile 
continued to meet and to retain their hold upon finance. The servicio 
became a regular impost, voted every three years. On the other hand, 
the alcabala was a ground for frequent bargaining between the King 
and the Cortes, and the advantage fell to the latter; for the total nett 
income raised from this source did not increase during the reign, while 
fthe purchasing power of money was diminished by at least one half. 
The real limitation of the royal power in Spain is seen in the refusal 
of all three Estates, exceptionally summoned to the Cortes of 1538, to 
[agree to Charles* proposal to raise money by a new excise on meat. The 
power of the Crown over the Cortes, if it was increasing, was increasing 
alowly, and it-s increase Avas due to the extension of royal authority in 
the towns, where the royal corregidor was becoming more autocratic, 
and the reffidores themselves were ai>pointed by the Crown. The pressure 
of the hidalgos for admission to municipal office, which is a notable 
.feature of the time, would tend also gradually to divorce the ruling 
olass in the towns from those who carried on its business and felt the 
real pinch of tyranny or maladministration. 

In Spain more than elsewdiere the interests of tlie Church and the 

Crown were cloaely linked. The Church looked to royal protection 

against heresy and against the Cortes. The King looked to tlie Church 

for supplies in time of need ; he had its good government thoroughly 

at heart ; he supported and moderated the action of the Inquisition so 

far as he could, for the Inquisition, though based on royal authority, 

was not entirely under his control. The forcible conversion of the 

Moriscos of Valencia in 1525 and following years attests the zeal, 

rather than the wisdom, of Charles, The flight of a large part of this 

industrious class, and the discontent and apprehensions of those who 

I remained, living as they did in constant fear of the Holy Office, was a 

I snain cause of the impoverishment of a considerable part of Spain. Charles 

|«eems himself to have perceived his error, and the severity of the decrees 

J against the Moriscos was considerably relaxed during his later years. 

In Spain also tlie administrative developments are more conspicuous 
than the constitutional. The business of government was becoming 
more and more complicated. Under Ferdinand and Isabella we have 

already the Councils of State, of Finance, and of Castile, besides the 
Council of Aragon ; and iu addition the Councils of the Inquisition, of 
the Military Orders, and of the Cruzada, Under Charles we have in 
addition the Chamber, tlie Council of War, the Council of the Indies, 
the Council of Flanders, and the Council of Italy. The several fields 
of these Councils, with a monarch who was absent from Spain for one- 
half of the total period of his reign, required to be carefully limited and 
circumscribed. This led in its turn to the transaction of more and more 
business by writing, and that to red-tape and it-s accompanying delays j 
so that the excessive elaboration of bureaucratic methods tended to 
hamper and impede the despatch of business. This became even more 
conspicuous in the time of Philip. 

The problem of the decline of Spain has often occupied the minds of 
historians, who are at a loss to discover why the country which fills so 
large a place on the European canvas daring the sixteenth century after- 
wards fell into impotence and decay. But the contrast has generally 
been exaggerated. Spain was never very rich and never very powerful. 
Individual Spaniards showed great enterprise and great talents. Fer- 
dinand, and after him Charles V, obtained from their country all the 
energy of which it was capable. The Spanish foot -soldier had admirable 
qualities. But the work of Charles V depended as much upon the 
Netherlands as upon Spain ; Italian enterprise was supported as much 
from the Low Countries as from Spain; and from both together support 
was always insufiicient, and had to be eked out hy local oppression. No 
great national impulse raised the Habsburgs to the head of Europe; 
the conquest of the Indies was due more to good fortune and the 
enterprise of a few men than to the greatness of the Spanish nation. 
When Spain lost the stimulus of great rulers, when she was deprived of 
the efficient support of the Netherland commercial wealth, when she was 
thrown upon her own resources^ then the true weakness of the national 
character disclosed itself. The Spaniards could never be a great nation 
because they were never industrious. 

Nevertheless, if Spain ever had an age of industry, it was in the time 
of Charles V, From the time of the conquest of Mexico an immense 
opening was offered to Spanish trade. Cliarles was anxious to encourage 
this trade. In 1529 he opened the export trade to a number of cities of 
the East and the North, and broke dovni to some extent the monopoly 
of Seville. As a consequence many industries increased by leaps and 
bounds. The silk industry in Toledo and Seville, the cloth industry in 
Toledo, Cordova, Cuenca and Segoviii, reached considerable dimensions. 
The same stimulus reacted upon agriculture and the wool-growing 
industry. For a time the new discoveries seemetl to have opened an 
industrial era in Spain. But before long the influx of precious metals, 
rapid after the conquest of Mexico, more rapid after the conquest of 
Peru, and immense after the discovery of the silver mines of Potosi, 

began to raiae the prices of commodities in Spain, far above the level 
current hx other eonntries. This made Spain a bad seller and it 
profitable market. In spite of all the laws against export of treasure 
the merchants managed to exchange their wares of foreign manufacture 
for Spanish bullion, and to transport it beyond the border. The trade 
with the Spanish colonies stimulated competition. The legislation of 
1552 encouraged import and discouraged export in the interests of the 
inhabitants of Spain. The industries that had flourished began once 
more to shrink; the influx of treasure, with the appearance of wealth 
wliich it brought to so many, discouraged exertion, always distastefid to 
the Spaniards, and by the end of the reign of Charles V the period of 
industrial activity was alreaily in its decline. This was not due to the 
severity of taxation — having regard to the rise of prices the taxes of 
Spain probably became lighter during the period — but to the natural 
* action of the circumstances upon the national temperament, aided by 
bad laws and a misconceived economic policy. But the worst results 
of these forces and methods fall outside our period, 

The returns from the colonies enriched the government and individuals 
rather than the nation. The fifth share of the treasury in all treasure 
imported and other profits from c^jlonial trade brouglit the revenue 
from this source in 1551 to 400,000 and in 1556 to 700,000 ducats. 
The whole treasure of the Indian fleet was seized for the first time in 
1535 by way of loan; and the evil precedent was followed in later years, 
until forbidden by a law of Philip in 1567. 

In the government of the Indies Charles took a lively interest, and 
his belief in their future was not to be shaken. His relations w^ith Ins 
great adventurers were not always happy* Cortes ended Ids days in a 
maze of litigation. Fernando Pizarro was imprisoned iu 1539 for a long 
period. Francisco was killed by the insurgents, against whom the home 
government gave him insufficient support. Gonzalo Pizarro was executed 
for rebellion in 1548. But the difficulties of controlling these autocratic 
soldiers at a distance of 4000 miles accounts for many misunderstandings; 
and the natural tendency to local despotism and virtual independence 
required constant supervision and suggested suspicion. In regard to the 
treatment of the natives and the question of the encomiendtis Charles' 
policy was humane ; though his measures w^ere oidy in part successful. 
He lent a ready ear to the representations of Las Casas, and supported 
the missionaries against the colonists. On the whole his colonial policy 
achieved its objects ; the natives were preserved from extermination 
or universal slavery ; while the provinces of Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, 
Northern Chili, with Venezuela, New Granada, and Central America, 
were in his reign reduced to order and tolerable government. The 
spice trade with the Moluccas he endeavoured at one time to secure for 
the Spaniards ; but in 1529 he was content to leave the monopoly to 
the Portuguese in return for an ample money compensation. 

The provinces of the Netherlands inherited by Charles were sub- 
stantially increased before his death. The French enclave of Toiirnay 
was conquered in 1521. After a long period of civil war Friesland was 
finally annexed in 1523. The expulsion of the Bishop of Utrecht by 
the Duke of Gelders was the excuse for the acquisition of the temporal 
sovereignty of this important diocese by Charles in 1527 ; and the city 
of Utrecht was reconquered in 1528* The endless struggle with the 
Duke of Gelders did not end with the death of Charles of Egniont in 
1538 ; but the rapid campaign of Charles against the Duke of Cleves 
resulted in the final incorporation of Gelders with the Burgundian 
possessions in 1543. Groniiigen and the neighbouring territory had 
been acquired in 1536, In 1543 Charles forced also Cambray to 
accept a garrison. Liege, though still in nominal independence, was 
brought more and more under Burgundian influence* Its Bishop, 
Evrard de la Marck, maintiiined with Charles almost unbroken friendship 
until his death in 1538. Then Charles procured the election of his 
uncle George, the bastard son of Maximilian, Charles used the territory 
of Liege as his own» building on it the fortress of Marienburg (1546), 
and after the capture of this town Charlemont and Philippe viUe in 1554, 

Thus the area of Burgundian supremacy was widened and its 
boundaries rectified ; and in 1548 the status of the Provinces with 
reference to the Empire was revised. The whole of them was included 
in the Burgundian Circle ; tliey were declared not to be subject to the 
laws of the Empire ; tliey were bound however to contribute to imperial 
subsidies, and received in return the protection of the Empire, The 
effect of this measure was to sever the connexion between the Empire 
and the Netherlands ; for the protection was a figment, and the con- 
tribution remained unpaid. The suzerainty of France over Flanders and 
Artois had been renounced in 1529, and thus the Burgundian possessions 
became a single and independent whole. The Pragmatic Sanction of 
1548 further declared that the law of succession for all the Provinces 
should be henceforth the same, and prevented the danger of a divided 

The regency of Margaret of Savoy » which ended in 1530, and that 
of Maria of Hungary, which terminated in 1552, were both directed by 
the supreme will of Charles, though much discretion was left to these 
able and faithful vicegerents. The centralisation of the government 
was carried further. Councils of State and of Finance for the whole 
aggregate were established. A central Court of Appeal was set up at 
Malines, though its authority was not universally accepted. The States- 
General for all the principalities were frequently summoned; and, 
although their decisions were not legally binding on the several States, 
every effort was made to enforce the wiU of the majority upon every 
district. Here as elsewhere Charles respected the constitution and did 
not attempt to enforce his will against the vote of the States, Many 

instances are on record in which he was obliged to give way. The newly 
acquired provinceB were not immediately incorporated in the assemhly 

of States-GeneniL 

In the Netherlands, as in his other dominions, Charles endeavoured 
to enforce his will ui>ou the Church. But the rival interests of tbe 
reat alien sees, possessing ecclesiastical authority over the chief part of 
lis territory, rendered this difficult ; and his plan for the creation of six 

^national dioceses failed owing to the opposition of the existing prelates 
and the Roman See, But in the matter of heresy he succeeded in 
holding his own for his lifetime. Early in 1521 before the Diet of 
Worms he issued his first edict in the Netherlands against Luther. By 
repeated laws, increasing in stringency, he kept if not the Reformed 
opinions at any rate their public expression within bounds ; and the 
only serious danger of an outbreak in the Netlierhinds under Charles was 
at the time of the Anabaptist movement at Miinster (15B5), when the 
attempted seizure of Amsterdam by those sectaries led to a more rigorous 
persecution of them in various parts of the Netherlands. Tlie Inquisition 
was established un a secular basis, for Charles could not afford to give 
this powerful instrument into the hands of alien Bishops or the Holy 
See. But under the surface the forces were growing; the movement was 
amorphous and heterogeneous ; Lutheranism in the North, Zwinglian 
views in the South, Anabaptist doctrine among the more violent, and 
towards the end of the reign the more methodical and better organised 
Calvinistic system were spreading in spite of the Inquisition, The 
persecution of Charles, which, although vigorous in appearance, was 
in effect not especially severe, succeeded in concealing rather than in 
preventing the spread of heresy. This legacy he left to his son. 

Indeed, though tlie Netherlands flourished under Charles, though 
their trade prospered through the connexion with Spain and tlie Indies, 
though the wealth of Antwerp and Amsterdam increased year by year, 
though peace was preserved and apparent obedience, though territory 
was rounded off and hostile province incorporated, the seeds were being 
sown which bore fruit in the days of Philip. The pressure of taxation 
was severe. The Spanish garrisons introduced in the early years of 
Charles' reign were hated here as elsewhere. Religious causes of discord 
were constantly growing. Charles spent but a small part of his reign 
the Netherlands, but his early years were passed there, and he was 

'^never a stranger, nor out of sympathy. His son was a Spaniard, and his 
home in Spain. The days of Margaret and Maria were to be fullnwed 
by the rule of a different class of proconsuls, with a different kind of 
instructions. Then the accumulated discontent, the weariness of long- 
continued burdens borne in a cause that was not their own, the strain 
of the prolonged strife with Franee, tlieir natural friend, all the errors 
and mistaken policy of Charles, would make themselves felt j the issue of 
these things will be seen in a later volume. 



The Reformation of the sixteenth century had its birth and growth 
in a union of spiritual antl secular forces such as the world has seldom 
seen at any other period of its history. On the secular side, the times 
were full of new movements, intellectual and moral, politieal, social, and 
economic ; and spiritual forces were everywhere at work, which aimed 
at making religion the birthright and possession of the common man — » 
whether king» noble, burgher, artisan, or peasant — as well as of the 
ecclesiastic, a possession which should directly promote a ^vorthy life 
within the famil}^ and the State. These religious impulses had all a 
peculiar democratic element and were able to impregnate with passion 
and, for a time, to fuse together tlie secular forces of the period. Hence 
their importance historically. If the main defect iu the earlier histories 
of the Reformation has been to neglect tlie secular sides of the movement, 
it is possible that more recent historians have been too apt to ignore the 
religious element which was a real power. 

It may be an exaggeration to say, as is sometimes done, that this 
religious side of the Ueformation began in tlie inward religious growth 
of a single personality — the river comes from a thousand nameless rills 
and not only from one selected fountain-head ; yet Luther was so 
prominent a figure that the impulses in his religious life may be taken as 
the type of forces which were at work over a wide area, and the history 
of these forces may be fitly described in tracing the genesis and growth 
of his religious opinions from his early years to his struggle against 

The real roots of the religious life of Luther must be sought for in 
the family and in the popular religious life of the times. What had 
Luther and Myconius and hundreds of other boys of the peasant and 
burgher classes been taught by their parents within the family, and 
wdiat religious influences met them in the high-school and University ? 
Fortunately the writings of the leaders of new religious movement 
abound in biographical details ; and the recent labours of German 
historians enable us to form some idea of the discordant elements 
the religious life at the close of the fifteenth century, 



Popular reU<jious life in Germany 


The fi taught by parents to children in pious German families 

seems tu nn v v ueen si tuple, unaffected and evant^elical. Myconius relates 
how his father, a burgher, was accustomed to expound the Apostles' 
Creed to the boy and to tell him tliat Jesus Christ was the Saviour from 
all sins ; that the one thing needed to obtain God's pardon for sins was 
to pray and to trust; and how he insisted above all that the forgiveness 
of God was a free gift, bestowed without fee by God on man for the 
sake of what Christ had done. Little books suitable for family instruc- 
tion were in circulation in which were printed the Creed, the Lord's 
Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and sometimes one or two Psalms in 
the German tongue. Simple catechisms and other small books of 
devotion seem to have been in circulation which were full of very simple 
evangelical teaching. It is probable that Luther repeated a great deal 
of what was commonly taught to clii Id ren in his own earliest years, vvheui 
in later days, he himself wrote little books for the young. Traces of 
this simple family piety, which insisted that all holiness came from 
** trusting in tlie holy passion of Christ," and that nothing which the 
sinner could do for himself availed anything, may be found all down 
the stream of medieval ©eligious life in the most jjopular hymns and 
in the sermons of the great revival preachers. 

The latter half of the fifteenth century saw the growth of a form of 
piety very different from that simple household religion, A strange 
terror seemed to brood over the people. The plague came periodically 
into the crowded and badly drained towns ; new diseases made their 
appearance and added to the prevailing fear ; the dread of a Turkish 
invasion seemed to be previilent — mothers scared their children by 
naming the Turks, and in hundreds of German parishes the bells tolled 
in the village steeples calling the people to pray to God to deliver them 
from Turkish raids* This prevailing fear bred a strange restlessness. 
Crowds of pilgrims thronged the highways, trudging from shrine to i 
ehrine, hoping to get deliverance from fear and assurance of pardon for ^ 
sins. Princes who could afford a sufficiently large armed guard visited 
the holy places in Palestine and brought back relics which they stored in 
their private chapels j the leaser nobility and the richer burghers made 
pilgrimages to Rome, especially during the Jubilee years, which became 
somewhat frequent in the later Middle Ages, and secured indulgences by 
visiting and praying before the several shrines in the Holy City, For 
the common folk of Germany, in the last decades of the fifteenth century, 
the favourite place of pilgrimage was Compostella in Spain, and, in the 
second degree, Einsiedeln in Switzerland. It was said that the bones of 
St James the Brother of our Lord had been brought from Palestine to 
Compostella; and the shrine numbered its pilgrims by the hundred 
thousand a year. So famous and frequent was this place of pilgrimage 
that a special, one miglit almost say a professional, class of pilgrims came 
into existence, the Jacohabriider^ who were continually on the roads 

106 Religixms revival 

coming to or from Compostella, seeking to win pardon for themselves 
or others by their wandering devotion. 

Sometimes the desire to go on pilgrimage became almost an epidemic. 
Bands of children thronged the roads, bareheaded and clad in nothing 
but their shirts ; women left their families and men deserted their work. 
In vain preachers of morals like Geiler von Kaisersberg denounced the 
practice and said that on pilgrimages more sinners were created than 
sins pardoned. The terror swayed men and they fled to shrines where 
they believed they could find forgiveness ; the pilgrimage songs make a 
small literature ; and pilgrim guide-books, like the Mirabilia Momae and 
Die Waif art und Strasse zu Sant Jacobs appeared in many languages. 

This revival of religion had its special effect on men destined to a 
religious life. The secular clergy seem to have been the least affected. 
Chronicles, whether of^owns or of families, bear witness to the degrada- 
tion of morals among The parish priests and the superior clergy. The 
Benedictines and their dependent Orders of monks do not appear to 
have shared largely in the religious movement. It was different however 
with the Dominicans, the Franciscans, and the mendicant Augfustinians. 
These begging friars reformed themselves strenuously, in the medieval 
sense of reformation. They went back to their old lives of mortifying 
the flesh, of devoting themselves to works of practical benevolence and 
of self-denying activity. As a consequence, they, and not the parish 
clergy, had become the trusted religious leaders of the people. Their 
chapels were thronged by the common folk, and the better disposed 
nobles and burghers took them for their confessors and spiritual directors. 
It was in vain that the Roman Curia proclaimed, by its Legates in 
Germany, the old doctrine that the benefits of religious acts do not de- 
pend upon the personal character of the administrators; that it published 
regulations binding all parishioners to confess at least once a year to 
their parish priests. The people, high and low, felt that Bishops who 
rode to the Diet accompanied by their concubines disguised in men's 
clothing, and parish priests who were tavern-keepers or the most 
frequent customers at the village public-house, were not true spiritual 
guides. They turned for the consolations of religion to the poor- living, 
hard-working Franciscans and Augustinian Eremites who listened to 
their confessions and spoke comfortingly to their souls, who taught the 
children and said masses without taking fees. The last decades of the 
fifteenth century were the time of a revival in the spiritual power and 
devotion of the mendicant Orders. 

One result of the underlying fear which inspired this religious 
revival was the way in which the personality of Christ was constantly 
regarded in the common Christian thought of the time as it iSj revealed 
to us in autobiographies, in sermons, and in pictorial representations. 
The Saviour was concealed behind the Judge, who, was to come to 
punish the wicked. Luther tells us that when he was a boy in the 

parish cliurch his childish imaginittion was inflamed by the stained -glass 
picture of Jesus, not the Saviour, but the Judge, of a fierce countenance, 
seated on a rainbow, and carrying a flaming a word in His hand. This 
idea prevented pious people who held it from approaching Jesus as an 
intercessor. He Himself needed to be interceded with on behalf of the 
poor sinners He was coming to judge. And this thought in turn gave 
to the adoration of the Virgin Mother a strength and intensity hitherto 
unknown in medieval religion. The doctrine of the Immaculate Con- 
ception had strenuous advocates ; men and women formed themselves 
into confraternities that they might beseech her intercession with the 
strength that numbers give ; and these confraternities spread all over 
Germany. The intercessory powers of the Virgin Mother became a 
more and more important element in the popular religion, and little 
books of devotion were in i-irculation — the Little Gospel^ the Pearl of 
the Passion — which related with many a comment the words of Christ 
un the Cross to St John and to the Virgin, Then the idea grew up 
tliat the Virgin herself had to be interceded with in order to become an 
intercessor ; and her mother, St Anne, became the object of a cult which 
may almost be called new. This '' Cult of the Blessed Anna " rapidly 
extended itself in ever- widening circles imtil there were few districts in 
Germany which had not their confraternities devoted to her service. 
Such was the prevailing enthusiastic popular religion of the last decades 
of the fifteenth century — the religion which met and surrounded a 
sensitive boy wlien he left his quiet home and entered the world. It 
had small connexion, save in the one point of the increased reverence 
paid to the Virgin, with the theology of the Schools, but it was the 
religious force among the people. 

Side by side with this flamboyant popular religion can be discerned 
another spiritual movement so unlike it, so utterly di%^ergent from it in 
character and in aim, that it is surprising to detect its presence within 
the same areas and at tlie same period, and that we need scarcely wonder 
that it has been so largely overlooked. Its great characteristic was that 
lajTuen liegan to take into tlieir own hands matters which had hitherto 
been supposed to be the exclusive property of churchmen. We can 
discern the impulse setting in motion at the same time princes, 
burghers, and artisans, each class in its own way. 

The Great Council of Constance had pledged the Church to a large 
number of practical reforms, aiming at the reinvigoration of the various 
local ecclesiastical institutions. These pledges had never been fulfilled, 
and their non-fulfilment accounts for one side of the German opposition 
to Rome, During the last decades of tlie lifteentli century some of the 
German Princes assumed the right to see that within their lands proper 
discipline was exercised over the clergy as well as over the laity. To 
give instances would need more apace than this chapter affords. It is 
enough to say that the jus episcopale which Luther claimed in later 

108 Secular control of religion and charity 

days for the civil power had been exercised, and that for the good of 
the people, in the lands of Brandenburg and of Saxony before the close 
of the fifteenth century. We have therefore this new thing, that the 
laity in power had begun to set q uiet ly aside the immunities and privi- 
leges of the Church, to this extent at least, that the civil authorities 
compelled the local ecclesiastical institutions within their dominions to 
live under the rule of reform laid down by an ecumenical council, and 
that they did this despite the remonstrances of the superior ecclesiastical 

The same assertion of the rights of laymen to do Christian work in 
their own way appears when the records of the boroughs are examined. 
The whole charitable system of the Middle Ages had been administered 
by the Church ; all bequests for the relief of the poor had been placed 
in the hands of the clergy ; and all donations for the relief of the poor 
were given to clerical managers. The burghers saw the charitable be- 
quests of their forefathers grossly perverted from their original purposes, 
and it began to dawn upon them that, although the law of charity was 
part of the law of Christ, it did not necessarily follow that all charities 
must be under ecclesiastical administration. Hence cases appear, and 
that more frequently as the years pass, where burghers leave their 
charitable bequests to be managed by the town council or other secular 
authority ; and this particular portion of Christian work ceased to be 
the exclusive possession of the clergy. 

Another feature of the times was the growth of an immense numl)er 
of novel religious associations or confraternities. They were not, like 
the praying circles of the Mystics or of the Grottesfreunde^ strictly non- 
clerical or anti-clerical ; they had no objection to the protection of the 
Church, but they had a distinctively lay character. Some of them were 
associations of artisans ; and these were commonly called Kalands^ be- 
cause it was one of their rules to meet once a month for divine service, 
usually in a chapel belonging to one of the mendicant Orders. Others 
bore curious names, such as St Ursula' % Schifflein^ and enforced a rule that 
all the members must pray a certain number of times a week. Pious 
people frequently belonged to a number of these associations. The mem- 
bers united for religious purposes, generally under the auspices of the 
Church ; but they were confraternities of laymen and women who had 
marked out for themselves their own course of religious duties quite 
independently of the Church and of its traditional ideals. Perhaps no 
greater contribution could be made to our knowledge of the quiet reli- 
gious life at the close of the fifteenth century than to gather together in 
a monograph what can be known about these religious confraternities. \/ \ 

Such was the religious atmosphere into which Luther was born and ^ 
which he breathed from his earliest days. His mother taught him tpeM / 
simple evangelical hymns which had fed her own spiritual growth ; his 
father had that sturdy common-sense piety which belonged to so 

many of the better disposed uobles, burghers^ and artisans of the time ; 
while the fear of Jesus the Judge, who was coming to judge and pun- 
ish the wicked, branded itself on his child's soul when he gazed up at 
the vengeful picture of our LonL He was taught at home the Ten 
Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, words of Jesus from the Gospels, 
the Creed, such simple hymns as Chrint ut er»tanden^ Ein kindeiein 
so Idbelich^ and Nun bitten wir den heiUgen Geut — all' that went to 
make what he long afterwards culled '** the faith of the children/* His 
father's strong dislike to monks and friars ; the Hussite propaganda, 
which, in spite of all attempts at repression, had penetrated the Harz 
and Tlmiingia ; the Mansfeld police regulations, with other evidence 
from the local chronicles, show how much the lay religion had made its 
way among the people. The popular revival displayed itself in the 
great processions and pilgrimages made to holy places in his neighbour- 
hood — to Kyffhiiuser, w^here there was a miraculous wooden cross, to the 
Bruno Chapel of Quernfurt, to the old chapel at WelfesholZj and to the 
cloister church at Wimraelberg* 

Martin I^uther was born on November 10, 1483, at Eisleben, and 
spent Ids childliood in Mansfeld. His father, Hans, was a miner in the 
Mansfeld district, where the policy of tlie counts of Mansfeld, to build 
and let out on hire small smelting furnaces, enabled thrifty and skilled 
workmen to rise in the worltl. 

The boy grew up amidst the toilsome, grimy, often coarse surroundings 
of the German peasant life — protected from much that w^as evil by the 
wiseseverityof his parents, but sharing in its hardness, its superstitions, 
jmd its simple political and ecclesiastical ideas ; as that the Emperor 
was God's ruler on the earth who w^ould protect poor people from the 
Turk ; that the Church was the '^ Pope's house," in which the Bishop of 
Rome was the house-father; and that obedience and reverence were due 
to the lords of the 8L»il, He went to the village school in Mansfeld and 
endured the cruelties of a merciless pedagogue ; he was sent later to a 
school at Magdeburg, and then to St George's High School at Eisenach, 
In these boyish days he w^as a '^poor student/* Le» one who got Ids 
education and lodging free, was obliged to sing in the church choir, 
and was permitted to sing in the streets, begging for bread. His 
later writings abound in references to these early school-days and to 
his own quiet thoughta ; and they make it plain that the religion of 
fear was laying hold on him and driving out the earlier simple family 
faith. Two pictures branded themselves on -his childish mind at Mag- 
deburg. He saw a young Prince of Anhalt, who had forsaken rank ami 
inheritance and, to save his soul, had become a barefooted friar, carryiiu 
the huge begging-sack, and w^orn to skin and bone by his scoi '^ 

fastings and prayers. The other was an altar-piece in a 
picture of a ship in which was no layman, not even a King c* 
in it were the Pope with his Cardinals and BishopSf and tb 

110 Life at Eisenach [i483-l60l 

hovered over them directing their course, while priests and monks 
managed the oars and the sails, and thus they went sailing heavenwards. 
The laymen were swimming in the water beside the ship ; some were 
drowning, others were holding on by ropes which the monks and priests 
cast out to them to aid them. No layman was in the ship and no 
ecclesiastic was in the water. The picture haunted him for years. At 
Eisenach he had some glimpses of the old simple family life, this time 
accompanied by a new refinement, in the house of the lady whom most 
biographers identify with Frau Cotta. But the religious atmosphere 
of the town which the boy inhaled and enjoyed was new. The town 
was under the spell of St Elizabeth, the pious Landgravine who had 
given up family life, children, and all earthly comforts, to earn a 
medieval saintship. Her good deeds were blazoned on the windows of 
the church in which Luther sang as choir-boy, and he had long conver- 
sations with some of the monks who belonged to her foundations. The 
novel surroundings tended to lead him far from the homely piety of his 
parents and from the more cultured family religion of his new friends, and 
he confesses that it was with incredulous surprise that he heard Frau 
Cotta say that there was nothing on earth more lovely than the love 
of husband and wife when it is in the fear of the Lord. He had 
surrendered himself to that revival of crude medieval religion which 
was based on fear, and which found an outlet in fastings, scourgings, 
pilgrimages, saint-worship, and in general in the thought that salvation 
demanded the abandonment of family, friends, and the activities and 
enjoyments of life in the world. 

After three happy years at Eisenach Luther was sent to Erfurt and 
entered his name on the matriculation roll in letters which can still be 
read, Martinus Ludher ex Mansf eldt. Hans Luther had been prospering ; 
he was able to pay for his son's college expenses ; Luther was no longer 
a "poor student," but was able to give undivided attention to his 
studies. The father meant the son to become a trained lawyer ; and the 
lad of seventeen seems to have accepted without question the career 
marked out for him. 

The University of Erfurt was in Luther's days the most famous in 
Germany. It had been founded in 1392 by the burghers, and academic 
and burgher life mingled there as nowhere else. The graduation days 
were town holidays, and the graduation ceremonies always included 
a procession of the University authorities, the gilds and the town 
oflBicials, with all the attendant medieval pomp, and concluded with 
a torchlight march at night. But if the University was strictly allied 
to the town it was as strongly upited to the Church. It had been 
enriched with numerous papal privileges ; its chancellor was the Arch- 
bishop of Mainz ; many of its theological professo/s held ecclesiastical 
prebends, and others were monks of different Orders and notably of the 
Augustinian Eremites. The whole teaching staff ^i^ent solemnly to hear 

at the beginning of every term ; each faculty was under the 
protection of a patron Saint — St George presiding over the faculty of 
Philosophy ; the professors had to swear to teach nothing opposed to the 
ioctrine of the Roman Church ; and care was taken to prevent the 
eginnings and spread of heretical opinions. 

The University teaching was medieval in all essentials, but represented 
the new, as Cologne championed the old, scholasticism. Gabriel Biel, 
the disciple of Williiun of Occam, had been one of the teachers. 
Humanism of the German type, which was very different from the 
Italian, had found an entrance as early as 1400 in the persons of 
Peter Luder and Jacob Publicius, and in the following years there was 
good deal of intercourse between Erfurt scholars and lUilian humanists. 
'Maternus Pistoris was lecturing on the Latin classics in 1494 and had 
for his colleague Nicholas Marschalk, who was the first to establish a 
printing-press in Germany for Greek books. They had speedily gathered 
round t]jem a band of enthusiastic scholars, Johannes Jager of Drontheim 
(Crotus Rubeanus), Henry and Peter Eberach, George Burkhardt of 
Spelt (Spalatinus), John Lange, and others knouTi afterwards in the earlier 
stages of the Reformation movement. Conrad Mutti (Mutianus Rufus), 
who had studied in Italy, was one of the leaders ; Eobtm of Hesse 
(Helius Eobanus Hessus), perhaps the most gifted of them all, joined 
the circle in 1494, These humanists did not attack openly the 
older course of study at Erfurt. They wrote complimentary Latin 
poems in praise of their older colleagues ; they formed a select circle 
who were called the '' Poets '' ; they affected to correspond with each 
■•other after the manner of the ancients. In private, Mutianus and Crotus 
ffieera to have delighted to reveal their eclectic theosophy to a band of 
half-terrified, half-admiring youths ; to say that there was but on© 
God, who had the various names of Jupiter, Mars, Hercules, Jesus, and 
one Goddess, who was called Juoo, Diana, or Mary as the worshippers 
chose ; but these things were not supposed to be for the public ear. 

The University of Erfurt in the beginning of the sixteenth century 
was the recognised meeting-place of the two opposing tendencies of 
scholasticism and humanism ; and it wiis also, perhaps in a higher 
degree than any other university, a place where the student was exposed 
to many other diverse influences. The system of biblical exegesis 
first stimulated by Nicholas de Lyra, which cannot be classed under 
scholasticism or humanism, had found a succession of able teachers in 
Erfurt. The strong anti-clerical teaching of Jacob of Juterbogk and of 
John Wessel, who had taught in Erfui*t for fifteen years, had left its 
mark on the University and was not forgotten* Low mutterings of the 
Hussite propaganda itself, Luther tells us, could be heard from time to 
time, urging a strange Christian socialism which was at the same time 
thorougldy anti-clerical. Then over against all this opportunities were 
ecaaionaUy given, at the visits of papal Legates, for seeing the 


112 Luther* 8 studies at Erfurt [1601-5 

magnificence and might of the Roman Church and of the Pope its head. 
In 1502 and again in 1504, during Luther's student days, Cardinal 
Raimund, sent to proclaim in Germany new and unheard-of Indulgences, 
visited the university town. The civic dignitaries, the Rector Magnificus 
with the whole University, all the clergy, the monks and the school 
children, accompanied by crowds of the townsfolk, went out in procession 
to meet him and escort him with due ceremony into the city. Add to 
this the gross dissipation existing among many of the student sets, and 
the whisperings of foul living on the part of many of the higher clergy 
in the town, and some idea can be formed of the sea of trouble, doubt, 
questioning, and anxiety into which a bright, sensitive, imaginative, and 
piously disposed lad of seventeen was thrown when he had begun his 
student life in Erfurt. 

When we piece together references in correspondence to Luther's 
student life, recollections of his fellow-students, and scattered sayings 
of his own in after-life, we get upon the whole the idea of a very level- 
headed youth, with a strong sense of the practical side of his studies, 
thoroughly respected by his professors, refusing to be carried away into 
any excess of humanist enthusiasm on the one hand or of physical 
dissipation on the other; intent only to profit by the educational 
advantages within his reach and to justify the sacrifices which his 
father was making on his behalf. He had been sent to Erfurt to 
become a jurist, and the faculty of Philosophy afforded the preparation 
for the faculty of Law as well as of Theology. Luther accordingly 
began the course of study prescribed in the faculty of Philosophy — 
Logic, Dialectic, and Rhetoric, followed by Physics and Astronomy, the 
teaching in all cases consisting of abstract classification and distinctions 
without any real study of life or of fact. The teacher he most esteemed 
was John Trutvetter, the famed "Erfurt Doctor" whose fame and 
genius, as all good Germans thought, had made Erfurt as well known as 
Paris. Scholasticism, he said, left him little time for poetry and classical 
studies. He does not seem to have attended any of the humanist lec- 
tures. But he read privately a large number of the Latin classical 
authors. Virgil, whose pages he opened with some dread, — for was he 
not in medieval popular legend a combination of wizard and prophet of 
Christ ? — became his favourite author. His peasant upbringing made him 
take great delight in the Bucolics and Q-eorgics — books, he said, that 
only a herd and a countryman can rightly understand. Cicero charmed 
him ; he delighted in his public labours for his country and in his versa- 
tility, and believed him to be a much better philosopher than Aristotle. 
He read Livy, Terence, and Plautus. He prized the pathetic portions of 
Horace but esteemed him inferior to Prudentius. He seems also to have 
read from a volume of selections portions of Propertius, Persius, Lucretius, 
Tibullus, Silvius Italicus, Statins, and Claudian. We hear of him 
studying Greek privately with John Lange. But he was never a member 


Lxdher takes religwus vows 


[ of the humariist circle, and in his student days was personally un- 
ftcquainted with its leading members. He had none of the humanist 
enthusiasm for the language and the spirit of the past; what he cared 
for was the knowledge of human life which classical authors gave him. 
Besides, the '" epicurean '" life and ideas of the young humanist circle 
displeased him. They, on their part, woidd evidently have received him 

u gladly. They called him ^Hhe philosopher," they spoke about his gifts 
ol singing and lute-playing, and of his frank, engaging character. In 

I later days he could make use of humanism^ but he never was a humanist 
in spirit or in aim. He was too much in earnest about religious matters, 

^ and of too practical a turn of mind. 

Luther's course of study flowed on regularly. He was a bright, 
sociable, hard-working student and toc^k his various degrees in an 
exceptionally short time. He was Bachelor in 1502, and master in 1505, 
when he stood second among the seventeen successful candidates* He 

' had attained what he had once thought the summit of eartlily felicity 
and found himself marching in a procession of University magnates and 
civic dignitaries, clothed in his new robes. His father, proud of his son's 
success, sent him the costly present of a Corpus Juris. He may have 
begun to attend lectures in the faculty of Law, when he suddenly 
retired into a convent and became a monk. 

This action was so unexpected that his student friends made all 
sorts of conjectures about his reasons, and these have been woven 
into stories which are pure legends. Little or nothing is known about 
Luther's religious convictions during his stay at Erfurt. This is the 
more surprising since Luther was the least reticent of men. His 
correspondence, his sermons, his commentaries, all his books are full of 
little autobiographical details. He tells wliat he felt when a child, what 
his religious thoughts were during his school-days; but he is silent about 

' his thoughts and feelings during his years at Erfurt, and especially 
during the months which preceded his plunge into the convent. He 

^.has himself made two statements about his resolve to become a monk, 
id they comprise the only accurate information obtainable. He says 
that the resolve was sudden, and that he left the world and entered the 
cloister because *'he doubted of himself'*; that in his case the proverb 

I was true*^ *' doubt makes a monk." 

What was tlie doubting? The modern mind is tempted to imagine 
intellectual difficulties, to think of the rents in tlie Church's theology 
which the criticisms of Occam and of Biel had produced, of the complete 
antagonism between the whole ecclesiastical mode of think' MIh^ 

enlightenment from ancient culture that humanism Wf d 

Luther's doubtings are frequently set down to the self-fl 
his contact with humanism in Erfurt had produc* * 
not foreign to tlie age, was strange to Luther, 
oould ever do what he thought had to be done 1 

C. M. tU IK 

114 The Augustinian Eremites [i506 

if he remained in the world. That was what compelled him to enter the 
convent. The lurid fires of Hell and the pale shades of purgatory 
which are the constant background of Dante's Paradise were always 
present to the mind of Luther from boyhood. Could he escape the 
one and win the other if he remained in the world ? He doubted it and 
entered the convent. 

The Order of monks which Luther selected was the Augustinian 
Eremites. Their history was somewhat curious. Originally they had 
been formed out of the numerous heimits who lived solitary religious 
lives throughout Italy and Germany. Several Popes had desired to 
bring them together into convents; and this was at last effected by 
Alexander IV, who had enjoined them to frame their constitution 
according to the Rule of St. Augustine. No other order of monks 
shared so largely in the religious revival of the fifteenth century. The 
convents which had reformed associated themselves together into what 
was called the Congregation. The reformed Augustinian Eremites strictly 
observed their vows of poverty and obedience; they led self-denying 
lives; they represented the best type of later medieval piety. Their 
convents were for the most part in the larger towns of Germany, 
and the monks were generally held in high esteem by the citizens who 
took them for confessors and spiritual directors. The Brethren were 
encouraged to study, and this was done so successfully that professor- 
ships in theology and in philosophy in most of the Universities of 
Germany in the fifteenth century were filled by Augustinian Eremites. 
They also cultivated the art of preaching; most of the larger convents 
had a special preacher attached; and the townspeople flocked to hear 

Their theology had little to do with Augustine; nor does Luther 
appear to have studied Augustine until he had removed to Wittenberg. 
Their views belonged to the opposite pole of medieval thought and 
closely resembled those of the Franciscans. No Order paid more rever- 
ence to the Blessed Virgin. Her image stood in the Chapter-house of 
every convent; their theologians were strenuous defenders of the Im- 
maculate Conception; they aided to spread the "cult of the Blessed 
Anna. " They were strong advocates of papal supremacy. In the person 
of John von Palz, the professor of theology in the Erfurt convent and 
the teacher of Luther himself, they furnished the most outspoken 
defender of papal Indulgences. This was the Order into which Luther 
so suddenly threw himself in 1505. 

He spent the usual year as a novice, then took the vows, and was 
set to study theology. His text-books were the writings of Occam, 
Biel, and D'Ailly. His aptness for study, his vigour and precision in 
debate, his acumen, excited the admiration of his teachers. But Luther 
had not come to the convent to study theology; he had entered to save 
his soul. These studies were but pastin\e; his serious and dominating 

1505-8] Influence of Staupitz 115 

task was to win the sense of pardon of sin and to see his body a temple 
of the Holy Ghost. He fasted and prayed and scourged himself 
according to rule, and invented additional methods of maceration. He 
edified his brethren ; they spoke of him as a model of monastic piety ; 
but the young man — he was only twenty-three — felt no relief and was 
no nearer God. He was still tormented by the sense of sin which urged 
him to repeated confession. God was always the implacable judge 
inexorably threatening punishment for the guilt of breaking a law which 
it seemed impossible to keep. For it was the righteousness of God that 
terrified him ; the thought that all his actions were tested by the standard 
of that righteousness of God. His superiors could not understand him. 
Staupitz, Vicar-General of the Order, saw him on one of his visitations 
and was attracted by him. He saw his sincerity, his deep trouble, his 
hopeless despair. He advised him to study the Bible, St Augustine, 
and Tauler. An old monk helped him fpr a short time by explaining 
that the Creed taught the forgiveness of sin as a promise of God, and 
that what the sinner had to do was to trust in the promise. But the 
thought would come : Pardon follows contrition and confession ; how 
can I know that my contrition has gone deep enough ; how can I be 
sure that my confession has been complete ? At last Staupitz began 
to see where the difficulty lay, and made suggestions which helped him. 
The true mission of the medieval Church had been to be a stern preacher 
of righteousness. It taught, and elevated its rude converts, by placing 
before them ideals of saintly piety and of ineffable purity, and by 
teaching them that sin was sin in spite of extenuating circumstances. 
Luther was a true son of that medieval Church. Her message had sunk 
deeply into his soul ; it had been enforced by his experience of the 
popular revival of the decades which had preceded and followed his 
birth. He felt more deeply than most the point where it failed. It 
contrasted the Divine righteousness and man's sin and weakness. It 
insisted on the inexorable demands of the law of God and at the same 
time pronounced despairingly that man could never fulfil them. Staupitz 
showed Luther that the antinomy had been created by setting over 
against each other the righteousness of God and the sin and helplessness 
of man, and by keeping these two thoughts in opposition ; then he 
explained that the righteousness of God, according to God's promise^ 
might become the possession of man in and through Christ. Fellowship 
of man with God solved the antinomy ; all fellowship is founded on 
personal trust ; and faith gives man that fellowship with God through 
which all things that belong to God can become his. These thoughts, 
acted upon, helped Luther gradually to win his way to peace of heart. 
Penitence and confession, which had been the occasions of despair when 
extorted by fear, became natural and spontaneous when suggested by a 
sense of the greatness and intimacy of the redeeming love of God in 

116 Religious views. Ordination [i505-8 

The intensity and sincerity of this protracted struggle marked Luther 
for life. It gave him a strength of character and a living power which 
never left him. The end of the long inner fight had freed him from the 
burden which had oppressed him, and his naturally frank, joyous nature 
found a free outlet. It gave him a sense of freedom, and the feeling 
that life was something given by God to be enjoyed, — the same feeling 
that humanism, from its lower level, had given to so many of its dis- 
ciples. For the moment however nothing seemed questionable. He 
was a faithful son of the Medieval Church, " the Pope's house," with 
its Cardinals and its Bishops, its priests, monks, and nuns, its masses 
and its relics, its Indulgences and its pilgrimages. All these external 
things remained unchanged. The one thing that was changed was the 
relation in which one human soul stood to God. He was still a monk 
who believed in his vocation. The very fact that his conversion had 
come to him within the convent made him the more sure that he had 
done right to take the monastic vow. 

Soon after he had attained inward peace Luther was ordained, 
and Hans Luther came from Mansfeld for the ceremony, not that he 
took any pleasure in it, but because he did not wish to shame his eldest 
son. The sturdy peasant adhered to his anti-clerical Christianity, and 
when his son told him that he had a clear call from God to the monastic 
life, the father suggested that it might have been a prompting from the 
devil. Once ordained, it was Luther's duty to say mass and to hear 
confessions, impose penance and pronounce absolution. He had no 
difficulties about the doctrines and usages of the Church ; but he put his 
own meaning into the duties and position of a confessor. His own 
experience had taught him that man could never forgive sin ; that 
belonged to God alone. But the human confessor could be the spiritual 
guide of those who came to confess to him ; he could warn them against 
false grounds of confidence, and show them the pardoning grace of God. 

Luther's theological studies were continued. He devoted himself to 
Augustine, to Bernard, to men who might be called " experimental " 
theologians. He began to show himself a good man of business, with 
an eye for the heart of things. Staupitz and his chiefs entrusted him 
with some delicate commissions on behalf of the Order, and made quiet 
preparation for his advancement. In 1508 he, with a few other brother 
monks, was transferred from the convent at Erfurt to that at Wittenberg, 
to assist the small University there. 

Some years before this the Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony, 
the head of the Ernestine branch of his House, had resolved to provide 
a university for his own dominions. He had been much drawn to the 
Augustinian Eremites since his first acquaintance with them at Grimma 
when he was a boy at school. Naturally Staupitz became his chief 
adviser in his new scheme ; indeed the University from the first might 
almost be called an educational establishment belonging to the 

The UniversUy of Wittenberg 


Augastinian Eremites. There was not much money to spare at the 
Electoral Court. A sum got from the sale of Indulgences some years 
before, which Frederick had not allowed to leave the country, served 
to make a beginning. Prebends attached to the Castle Church — the 
Church of All Saints w^as its ecclesiastical name — furnished the salaries 
of some of the professors ; the other teachers were to be supplied from 
the monks of the convent of the Augustinian Eremites in the town. 
The Emperor Maximilian granted the usual imperial ivrivileges, and the 
Univei-sity was opened October 18, 1502. Staupitz himself was one of 
the professors and dean of the faculty of Theology ; another Augustinian 
Eremite was dean of the faculty of Arts, The patron Saints of the 
Order, the Blessed Virgin and St Augustine, were the patron Saints of 
the University. Some distingoished teachers, outside the Augustinian 
Eremites, were induced to come, among others Jerome Schurf from 
Tubingen ; Staupitz collected promising young monks from convents of 
his Order and enrolled them as students ; other youths were attracted 

■by the teachers and came from various parts of Germany. The Uni- 
versity enrolled 41G students during its first year. This success, how- 
ever, appears to have been artificial ; the numbers gradually declined to 
5G in the summer session of 1505. Tlie first teachers left it for more 
promising places. Still Staupitz encouraged Frederick to persevere. 
New teachers w^ere secured — among them Nicliolas Amsdorf, who had 
then a great reputation as a teacher of the old-fashioned scholasticism, 
and Andi-ew Bodenstein of Carlstadt, The University began to grow 

Luther was sent to Wittenberg in 1508. He w^as made to teach 
the Dialectic and Physics of Aristotle, a task which he disliked, but 
whether in the University or to the young monks in the convent it is 
impossible to say. He also began to preach. His work was interrupted 
by a command to go to Home on the business of his Order. The 
Augustinian Eremites, as has been already said, were divided into the 
unreformed and the reformed convents — the latter being united in an 
association which w^as called the Congregation. Staupitz was anxious 
to heal this schism and to bring all the convents in Germany within the 
reformation. Difficulties arose, and the interests of peace demanded 
that both the General of the Order and the Curia should be informed 
on all the circumstances. A messenger was needed, one whom he could 
trust and who would also be trusted by the stricter party among his 

■monks. No one seemed more suitable than the young monk Martin 

Luther saw Rome, and the impressions made upon him by his visit 
remained with him all his life. He and his companion approached the 
imperial city with the liveliest expectations ; but they were the longings 
of the pious pilgrim, not those of the scholar of the Renaissance — so 
little impression had humanism made opon him. When he first oau£bt 


Luthm* at Rovie 


sight of the city Luther raised his hands in an ecstasy, exclaiming, 
** I greet thee, thou Holy Rome, thrice holy from the blood of the 
Martyrs/' That wag his mood of mind — so little had lus convent 
struggles and the peace he had fonnd in the thought that the just live 
by faith separated Mm from the religious ideas of his time* 

His ofificial business did not cost much time ; he seems to have had 
no complaints to make against the Curia ; indeed the business on which 
he had been sent seems to have been settled in Germany by an amicable 
compromise. His official work done, he set himself to see the Holy 
City with the devotion of a pilgrim and the thoroughness of a German. 
He visited all the shrines, especially those to which Indulgences were 
attached. He climbed the thirty-eight steps which led to the vestibule 
of St Peter's — every step counting seven years' remission of penance ; 
he knelt before all the altars ; he listened reverently to all the accounts 
given him of the various relics and believed them all ; he thought 
that if his parents had been dead, he could, by saying masses in certain 
chapels, secure them against purgatory. He visited the remains of 
antiquity which could tell him something of the life of the old Romans 
— the Pantheon, tho Coliseum, and the Baths of Diocletian, 

But if Luther was still unemancipated from his belief in relics, in the 
effect of pilgrimages, and in the validity of Indulgences for the remission 
of imposed penance, his sturdy German piety and liis plaiu Christian 
morality turned his reverence of Rome into a loathing. The city he 
had greeted as holy, he found to be a sink of iniquity ; its very priests 
were infidel, and openly scoffed at the sacred services they performed ; 
the papal courtiers were men of depraved lives ; the Cardinals of the 
Church lived in open sin \ he had frequent cause to repeat the Italian 
proverb, first spread abroad by Machiavelli and by Bembo, " The nearer 
Rome the worse Christian.'* It meant much for him in after-days that 
he had seen Rome for himself. 

Luther was back in Wittenberg early in the summer of 1512» 
Staupitz sent him to Erfurt to complete the steps necessary for the 
higher graduation in Theology, preparatory to succeeding Staupitz in 
the Chair of Theology in Wittenberg, He graduated as Doctor of the 
Holy Scripture, took the Wittenberg doctor's oath to defend evangelical 
truth vigorously (yiriliter)^ w^as made a meml>er of the Senate three 
days later, and a few weeks after he succeeded Staupitz as Professor of 

From the first Luther's lectures differed from what were then expected 
from a professor of theology. It was not that he criticised the theology 
then current in the Church ; he had an entirely different idea of what 
theology ought to be, and of what it ought to make known. His whole 
habit of mind was practical, and theology for him was an " experimental *' 
discipline. It ought to be» he thought, a study which would teach how 
a man could find the grace of God, and, having found it, how he could 

persevere in a life of joyous obedience to God and His commandments. 
He had, himself, sought, and that with deadly earnest, an answer to this 
question in all the material which the Church of the time had accumu- 
lated to aid men in the task. He had tried to find it in the penitential 
system, in the means of grace, in theology professedly based on Holy 
Scripture expounded by the later Schoolmen and Mystics, and his search 
had been in vain. But theologians like Bernard and Augustine had 
helped him, and as they had taught him he could teach others. That 
was the work he set himself to do. It was a task to which contemporary 
theology had not given any special prominence, and which, in Luther's 
opinion, it had ignored. His theology was new, because in his opinion 
it ought to be occupied with a new task, not because the conclusions 
reached by contemporary theology occupied with other tasks w^ere neces- 
sarily wrong, 

Luther ne%^er knew much Hebrew, and he used the Vulgate in his 
prelections. He had a huge, widely printed volume on his desk, and 
wrote the heads of his lectures between the printed lines. The pages 
still exist and can be studied. We can trace the gradual growth of his 
theology. In the years 1513-15 there is no sign of any attack upon 
the contemporary Scholastic teaching, no thought but that the monastic 
life is the flower of Christian piety. He expounded the Psalms ; his aids 
are what are called the mystical passages in St Augustine and in Bernard, 
but what may be more properly termed those portions of their teaching 
in which they insist upon and describe personal religion. These thoughts 
simply push aside the ordinary theology of the day without staying to 
criticise it. We can discern in the germ what grew to be tlie main 
thoughts in the later Lutherantheology. Me nare, redeem ed apart from 
any merits of their own; mati s laith is trust in the verity of God and l 
in the historical work of Christ, These thoughts were for the most part * 
expressed in the formulae common to the Scholastic philosophy of the 
time; but they grew in clearness of expression, and took shape as a 
series of propositions which formed the basis of his teaching — that man 
wins pardon through the free grace of God, that when man lays hold 
on God's promise of pardon he becomes a new creature, that this sense 
of pardon is the beginning of a new life of sanctification. To these 
may be added the thoughts that the life of faith is Christianity on its 
inward side; that the contrast between the economy of law and that 
of grace is something fimdamental ; and that there is a real distinction 
to be drawn between the outward and visible Church and the ideal 
Church, w^hich is to be described by its spiritual and moral relations 
to God after the manner of Augustine. The years 1515 and 1516 
give traces of a more thorough study of Augustine and of the Gew 
Mystics, This comes out in the college lectures on the Epistle tOf 
Romans and in some minor publications* His language loBe0 
scholastic colouring and adopts many of the well-known mystical phn 

120 Gradual change in Luther^ s position [i5l5-7 

especially when he describes the natural incapacity of men for what is 
good. Along with this change in language, and evidently related to it, 
we find evidence that Luther was beginning to think less highly of the 
monastic life and its external renunciations. Predestination, meaning 
by that not an abstract metaphysical dogma, but the thought that the 
whole of the believer's life and what it involved depended in the last 
resort on God and not on man, came more and more into the foreground. 
Still there did not appear any disposition to criticise or repudiate the 
current theology of the day. 

But about the middle of 1516 Luther had reached the parting of 
the ways, and the divergence appeared on the practical and not on 
the speculative side of theology. It began in a sermon he preached on the 
theory of Indulgences in July, 1516, and increased month by month — the 
widening divergence can be clearly traced step by step — until he could 
contrast " our theology," the theology taught by Luther and his colleagues 
at Wittenberg, with what was taught elsewhere and notably at Erfurt. 
The former represented Augustine and the Bible; the latter was founded 
on Aristotle. In September, 1517, his position had become so clear that 
he wrote against the scholastic theology, declaring that it was at heart 
Pelagian and that it obscured and buried out of sight the Augustinian 
doctrines of grace. He bewailed the fact that the current theology 
neglected to teach the supreme value of faith and of inward righteous- 
ness, that it encouraged men to seek to escape the due reward of sin by 
means of Indulgences, instead of exhorting them to practise that inward 
repentance which belongs to every genuine Christian life. It was at this 
stage of his own inward religious development that Luther felt himself 
forced to stand forth in public in opposition to the sale of Indulgences 
in Germany. 

Luther had become much more than a professor of theology, by this 
time. He had become a power in Wittenberg. His lectures seemed 
like a revelation of the Scriptures to the Wittenberg students ; grave 
burghers from the town matriculated at the University in order to attend 
his classes ; his fame gradually spread, and students began to flock from 
all parts of Germany to the small, poor, and remote town ; and the 
Elector grew proud of his University and of the man who had given it 
such a position. In these earlier years of his professoriate Luther under- 
took the duties of the preacher in the town church in Wittenberg. 
He became a great preacher, able to touch the conscience and bring 
men to amend their lives. Like all great preachers of the day who 
were in earnest he denounced prevalent sins ; he deplored the low 
standard set by the leaders of the Church in principle and in practice ; 
he declared that religion was not an easy thing ; that it did not consist 
in externals ; that both sin and true repentance had their roots in the 
heart ; and that until the heart had been made pure all kinds of external 
purifications were useless. Such a man, occupying the position he had 

won, could not keep silent wliee he saw what lie believed to be a great 
fiource of raoi^l corruption gathering round him and infecting the pecjple 
whom he taught daily, and who had selected him us their confessor and 
the religious guide of their lives. 

Luther began his work as a Reformer in an attack on what was called 
an Indulgence proclaimed in 1513 by Pope Leo X, farmed by Albert of 
Brandenburg, Archbisliop of Mainz, and preached by John Tetzel, a 
Dominican raonk who !iad been commissioned by Albert to sell for him 
the '* papal letters,"' as the Indulgence tickets were called. The money 
raised was to be devoted to the building of St Peter's Church in Rome, 
und to raise a tomb worthy of the great Apostle who* it was said, lay 
in a Roman grave. People had come to be rather sceptical about the 
destination of moneys raised by Indulgences ; but the buyers hatl their 
** papal letters/' and it flid not much matter to them where the money 
went after it had left tlieir pockets. The seller of Indulgences liad 
generally a magnificent welcome when he entered a German town. lie 
drew near it in the centre of a procession with the Boll announcing the 
Indulgence, carried before him on a cloth of gold and velvet, and all the 
priests and monks of the town, the Burgomaster and Town Council, the 
teachers and the school-children and a crowd of citizens went out to 
meet him with banners and lighted candles, and escorted liim into the 
town singing hymns. When tlie gates were reached all the bells began 
to ring, the church-organs were phiyed, the crowd, with the commissary 
in their midst, streamed into tlie principal church, where a great red 
cross was erected and the Pope's banner displayed* Then followed 
sermons and speeches by the conimissary and his attendants extolling 
the Indulgence, narrating its wonderful virtues, and inviting the people 
to buy. The Elector of Saxony had refused to allow the commissary to 
enter his territories: but the commissary could approach most parts 
of the Elector 8 dominions withont actually crossing tlie boundaries. 
Tetzel had come to »Iiiterbogk in Magdeburg territory and Zerbst in 
Anhalt, and had opened the sale of Indulgences there: and people from 
Wittenberg had gone to these places and made purchases. They had 
brought their ** papal letters " to Luther and had demanded that he 
should acknowledge their efficacy. He had refused ; the buyers had 
complained to Tetzel and the commissary had uttered threats ; Luther 
felt liimself in great perplexity. The Indulgence, and the addresses by 
which it was commended, he knew, were doing harm to poor souls ; he 
got the letter of instructions given to Tetzel by his employer, the 
Archbishop of Mainz, and Mb heart waxed wroth against it. Still at 
the basis of the Indulgence, bad as it was, Lutlier thought that there 
was a great truth ; that it is the business of the Chnrch to declare the 
free and sovereign grace of God apart from all human satisfactions. - 

The practice of Indulgences was, in his days, universal and perme- 
, ated the whole Church life of the times. A large number of the pious 

122 The practice of Indulgences [i6l7 

associations among laymen, which formed so marked a feature of the 
fifteenth century piety, were founded on ideas that lay at the basis of 
the practice of granting Indulgences. Pious Christians of the fifteenth 
century accepted the religious machinery of their Church as unquestion- 
ingly and as quietly as they did the laws of nature. That machinery 
included among other things an inexhaustible treasury of good works — 
of prayers, fastings, mortifications of all kinds — which holy men and 
women had done, and which might be of service to others, if the Pope 
could only be persuaded to transfer them. When a pious confraternity 
was formed, the Pope, it was believed, could transfer to the credit of the 
community a mass of prayers, almsgivings, and other ecclesiastical good 
deeds, all of which became for the members of the confraternity what a 
bank advance is to a man starting in business. Some of these associ- 
ations bought their spiritual treasure from the Pope for so much cash, 
but there was not always any buying or selling. There was none in 
the celebrated association of St Ursuia's Schifflein^ to which so many 
devout people, the Elector himself included, belonged. Probably 
little paying of cash took place in the thirty-two pious confraternities 
of which Dr PfeflBnger, the trusted Councillor of the Elector Frederick, 
was a member. The machinery of the Church, however, secured this 
advantage, that if by any accident the members of the association failed 
in praying as they had promised, they had always this transferred 
treasure to fall back upon. There could be little difference in principle 
between the Pope transferring a mass of spiritual benefits to a pious 
brotherhood, and his handing over an indefinite amount to the Arch- 
bishop of Mainz to be disposed of, as the prelate thought fit, through 
Tetzel or others. 

Moreover, it must be remembered that in the course of Luther's re- 
ligious life down to 1517 there are no traces of anything quixotic ; and 
that is a wonderful proof of the simplicity and strength of his character. 
He had something of a contempt for men who believe ,that they are 
born to set the world right ; he compared them to a player at ninepins 
who imagines he can knock down twelve pins when there are only 
nine standing. It was only after much hesitation and deep distress of 
mind that he felt compelled to interfere, and it was his intense earnest- 
ness in the practical moral life of his townsmen that compelled him to 
step forward. When he did intervene he went about the matter with 
a mixture of prudence and courage which were eminently characteristic 
of the man. 

The Castle Church of Wittenberg had always been closely connected 
with the University, and its doors had been used for publication of 
important academic documents ; notices of public disputations on 
theological matters, common enough at the time, had doubtless often 
been seen figuring there. The day of the year which drew the largest 
concourse of townsmen and strangers to the church was the first of 

November, All Saints* Day, It was the anniversary of the consecration 
of the Church, was commemorated by a prolonged series of services, 
and the benefits of an Indulgence were secured to all who took part 
in them. At noon on All Saints' Day, Luther nailed his Ninety-five 
Theses to the door of the church. It was an academic proceeding* A 
doctor in theology offered to hold a disputation, such was the usual 
term, for the purpose of explaining the efficacy of the Indulgence. 
The explanation had ninety-live heads or propositions, all of which 
*^ Doctor Martin Luther, theologian," offered to make good against all 
comers. The subject, judged by the numberless books which had been 
written upon it, was eminently suitable for debate ; the prupobiitions 
offered were to be matters of discussion ; and the author was not sup- 
posed, according to the usage of the times, to be definitely committed 
to the opinions he had expressed ; they were simply heads of debate. 
The document differed however from most academic disputations in this, 
that everyone wished to read it. A duplicate was made in German. 
Copies of the Latin original and of the German translation were sent to 
the University printing-house and the presses there could not throw 
them off fast enough to meet the demand which came from all parts 
of Germany. 

The question which Luther raised in his theses was a difficult one ; 
the theological doctrine of Indulgences was one of the most complicated 
of the times, and ecclesiastical opinion on many of the points involved 
was doubtful. It was part of the penitential system of the medieval 
Church, and had changed from time to time according to the changes 
in that system* Indeed it may be said that in the matter of Indulgences 
doctrine had always been framed to justify practices and changes in prac- 
tice. The beginnings go back a thousand years before the time of Luther. 

In the ancient Church serious sins involved separation from the 
fellowship of Christians, and readraission to the communion was de- 
pendent nofc merely on public confession but also on the manifestation 
of a true repentance by the performance of certain sathfactwns, such as 
the manumission of slaves, prolonged fastings, extensive almsgiving ; 
which were supposed to be well-pleasing in God's sight, and were also' 
the warrant for the community that the penitent might be again re- 
ceived within their midst* It often happened that these satisfactions were 
mitigated ; penitents might fall sick and the prescribed fasting could 
not be insisted upon without danger of death ^ — in which case the impos- 
sible satisfaction could be exchanged for an easier one, or the community 
might be convinced of the sincerity of the repentance without insisting 
that the prescribed satisfaction should he fully performed. These ex- 
changes and mitigations are the germs out of which Indulgences grew. 

In course of time the public confessions became private confessions 
made to a priest, and the satisfactions private satisfactions imposed by 
the confessor. This change involved among other things a wider circle 

124 Changes in the character of Indulgences 

of sins to be confessed — sins of thought, the sources of sinful actions, 
brought to light by the confessor's questions ; and different satisfactions 
were imposed at the discretion of the priest corresponding to the sins 
confessed. This led to the construction of penitentiaries containing lists 
of penances supposed to be proportionate to the sins. In many cases 
the penances were very severe and extended over a long course of years. 
From the seventh century there arose a system of commutations of 
penances. A penance of several years' practice of fasting might be 
commuted into saying so many prayers or psalms, giving prescribed alms 
or even into a money fine — and in this last case the analogy of the 
Wergeld of the Germanic codes was frequently followed. This new 
custom commonly took the form that anyone who visited a prescribed 
church on a day that was named and gave a contribution to the funds 
of the church had his penance shortened by one-seventh, one-third, 
one-half, as the case might be. This was in every case a commutation 
of a penance which had been imposed according to the regulations of 
the Church (relaxatio de injunctapoenitentid^. This power of commut- 
ing imposed penance was usually supposed to be in the hands of Bishops 
and was used by them to provide funds for the building of their great 
churches. But priests for a time also thought themselves entitled to 
follow the episcopal example ; and did so until the great abuse of the 
system made the Church insist that the power should be strictly kept 
in episcopal hands. Thus the real origin of Indulgences is to be found 
V in the relaxation by the Church of a portion of the ecclesiastical penal- 
ties, imposed according to regular custom. 
^^Three conceptions, however, combined to effect a series of changes 
/in the character of Indulgences, all of which were in operation in the 
beginning of the thirteenth century. These were the formulation of 
the thought of a Treasury of merits, the change of the institution of 
penance into the Sacrament of Penance, and the distinction between 
attrition and contrition. The two former led to the belief that the 
Pope alone had the power to grant Indulgences — the treasure needed a 
guardian to prevent its being squandered ; and, when Indulgences were 
judged to be extra-sacramental and a matter of jurisdiction and not of • 
Orders, they belonged to the Pope, whose jurisdiction was supreme. 

The conception of a Treasury of merits was first formulated by 
"Alexander of Hales in the thirteenth century, and his ideas were accepted 
and stated with more precision by the great Schoolmen who followed him. 
Starting with the existing practice in the Church that some penances, 
such for example as pilgrimages, might be performed vicariously, and 
bringing together the conceptions that all the faithful are one community, 
that the good deeds of all the members are the common property of all, 
that sinners may benefit by the good deeds of their fellows, that the 
sacrifice of Christ is sufficient to wipe out the sins of all, theologians 
gradually formulated the doctrine that there was a common storehouse 

containing the good deeds of living men, of the saints in heaven^ 
and the inexhaustible merits of Christ, and that the merits there 
accmnulated had been placed in the charge of the Pope and could be 
ispensed by him to the faithful. The doctrine was not thoroughly 
efined in the fifteenth century, but it was generally accepted and 
increased the power and resources of the Pope. It had one immediate 
consequence on the theory of Indulgences. They were no longer re- 
garded as the substitution of some enjoined work for a canonical 
penance ; they could be looked upon as an absolute equivalent of 
what was due to God, paid over to Him out of tliis Treasury of 
merits. ^^^ 

When the institution became the Sacrament of Penance it was 
Wlivided into three parts — Contrition, Confession, and Satisfaction; and 
Absolution was made to accompany Confession and therefore to precede 
Satisfaction, which it had formerly followed. Satisfaction lost its old 
meaning. It was not the outward sign of inward sorrow, the test of 
fitness for pardon, and the necessary precedent of Absolution. According 
to the new theory, Absolution, which followed Confession and preceded 
Satisfaction, had the effect of removing the whole guilt of the sins 
confessed, and, with the guilt, the whole of the eternal punishment due ; 
but this cancelling of guilt and of eternal punishment did not open 
straightway the gates of Heaven. It wa8 thought that the Divine 
righteousness could not permit the baptised sinner to escape all punish- 
ment ; so the idea of temporal punishment w^as introduced, and these 
poenae Umporales, strictly disimgiimhed from the eternal, included punish- 
ment in Purgatory. The pains of Purgatory therefore were not included 
in the Absolution, and everyone must suffer these had not God in His 
mercy provided an alternative in temporal Satisfactions. This gave 
rise to a great uncertainty ; for who could have the assurance tliat the 
priest in imposing the Satisfaction or penance had calculated rightly 
and had assigned the equivalent which the righteousness of (iod de- 
raamled ? It was here that the new idea of Indulgences came in to aid 
the faithfid. Indulgences in the sense of relaxations of imposed penance 
/ went into the background, and the valuable Indulgence was what would 
I secure against the pains of Purgatory. Thus in the opinion of Alexander 
I of HaJes, of Bonaventura, and above all of Thomas Aquinas, the real 
value of Indulgences is that they procure the remission of penalties after 
Contrition, Confession, and Absolution, whether tliese penalties have 
been imposed by the priest or not ; and when the uncertainty of the 
imposed penalties is considered* Indulgences are most valuable with 
regard to the unimposed penalties ; the priest might make a mistake, 
but God does not. 

While, as has been seen. Indulgences were always related to Satis- 
factions and changed in character with the changes introduced into the 
meaning of these, they were not less closely affected by the distinction 

which came to be drawn between Attrition and Contrition. Until the 
thirteenth century it wa^ always held that Contrition or a condition of 
real sorrow for sin was the one thing taken into account in the according 
of pardon to the sinner. The theologians of that century however began 
to make a distinction between Contrition, or godly 8orrov\% and Attrition, 
a certain amount of sorrow which might arise from a variety of causes of 
a more or less unworthy nature. It was held that this Attrition, though 
of itself too imperfect to win the pardon of God, could become perfected 
through the Confession heard by the priest and the Absolution ad- 
ministered by him. When this idea was placed in line with the 
thoughts developed as to the nature of the Sacrament of Penance, it 
followed that the weaker the form of sorrow and the greater the sins con- j 
fessed and absolved, the heavier were the temporal penalties demanded^ 
by the righteousness of God, Indulgences appealed strongly to the indif- 
ferent Christian who knew that he had sinned, and who knew at the same 
time that his sorrow did not amount to Contrition. His conscience, 
however weak, told him that he could not sin with perfect impunity and 
that something more was needed than his perfunctory confession and the 
absolution of the priest He felt that he must make some amends ; that 
he must perform some satisfying act, or obtain an Indulgence at some 
cost to himself. Hence, for the ordinary indifferent Christian, Attrition, 
Confession, and Indulgence stood forth as ttiB^ three great heads of the 
scheme of the Church for his salvation. 

This doctrine of Attrition and its applications had not the undivided 
support of the Church of the later Middle Ages, but it was the doctrine 
which was taoglit by most of the Scotist divines who took the lead in 
theological thinking during these times. It was taught in its most 
pronounced form by such a representative man as John von Pak, who 
was professor of theology in the Erfurt monastery when Luther entered 
upon his monastic career ; it was preached by the Indulgence sellers ; 
it was specially valuable in securing good sales of Indulgences and 
therefore in increasing the papal profits. It lay at the basis of that 
whole doctrine and practice of Indidgences which confronted Luther 
when he felt liimself compelled to attack them. 

The practice of Indulgences, on whatever theory they were upheld, 
had enmeshed the whole penitentiarj^ system of the Church in the 
thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries. The papal power was at 
first sparingly used. It is true that in 1095 Pope Urban II promised 
an Indulgence to the Crusadei^a such as had never before been heard 
of — namely, a plenary Indulgence or a complete remission of all 
imposed canonical penances — ^ but it was not until the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries that Indulgences were lavished by the Pope even 
more unsparingly than they had been previously by the Bishops. From 
the beginning of the thirteenth century they were promised in order to 
find recruits for wars against heretics, such as the Albigenses, against 

opponents of papal political schemes — in short to recruit the papal 
armies for wars of all kinds. Thej were granted freely to the religious 
Orders^ either for the benefits of the members or as rewards to the 
faithful who visited their churches and made contributions to their 
funds. They were bestowed on special churches or catliedrals, or on 
altars in churches, and had the effect of endowments. They were 
given to hospitals, and for the rebuilding, repair, and upkeep of 
bridges — the Elector had one attached to his bridge at Torgau and had 
employed Tetzel to preach its benefits. They were attached to special 
collections of relics to be earned by the faithful who visited the shrines. 
In short^ it is difficult to say to what they were not given and for what 
money-getting purpose they had not been employed. The Fuggers 
amassed much of their wealth from commissions received in managing 
these Indulgences. But perhaps it may be said that the Indulgence 
system reached its height in the great Jubilee Indulgences which were 
granted by successive Popes beginning with Boniface VIIL They were 
first bestowed on pilgrims w^ho actually visited Rome and prayed at 
prescribed times w^ithin certain churches ; then, the same Indulgence 
came to be bestowed on persons who were walling to give at least %vhat 
a journey to Rome w^oiild have cost them ; and in the end they could 
be had on much easier terms. Wherever Indulgences are met with 
they are siirrounded with a sordid system of money-getting ; and, as 
Luther said in a sermon which he preached on the subject before he 
ihad prepared his Theses, they were a very grievous instrument to be 
placed in the hands of avarice. 

The theories of theologians had always followed tlie custom of the 
Church ; Indulgences existed and had to be explained. This is the 
attitude of the two great Schoolmen, Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas, 
who did more than any other theologians to provide a theological basis 
for the practice. The practice itself had altered and new explanations 
had been made to suit the alterations. It is needless to say that the 
theological explanations did not always agree, and that sometimes the 
terms of the proclamation of an Indulgence went beyozid the theories 
of many of the theological defenders of the system. To take one 
instance. Did an Indulgence give remission for the guilt of sin or only 
for certain penalties attached to sinful deeds ? This is a matter still 
keenly debated. The theory adopted by all defenders of Indulgences 
who have written on the subject since the Council of Trent is that guilt 
(culpa) and eternal punishment are dealt with in the Sacrament of 
Penance ; and that Indulgences have to do with temporal punishments 
only, including under that phrase the penalties of Purgatory. It iflLAifiQ 
to be admitted that this modern opinion is confirmed by the mo^ 
medieval theologians before the Council of Trent. Those W 
however, do not settle the question. Medieval theologj' did 
Indulgences ; it only followed and tried to justify the ' 

and the Roman Curia ^ — a confessedly difficult task. The question still 
remains whether the official documents did not assert that Indulgences 
did remove guilt as well as penalty of the temporal kind. If documents 
granting Indulgences, puhlished after the Sacrament of Penance had 
been formulated, be examined, it \sHll be found that many of them, 
w^iile proclaiming the Indulgence and its benefits, make no mention 
of the necessity of previous confession and priestly absolution ; that 
others expressly assert that the Indulgence confers a remission of 
guilt (^eidpa) as well as penalty ; and that very many, especially in the 
Jubilee times, use language which inevitably led intelligent laymen 
(Dante for example) to believe that the Indulgence remitted the guilt 
as well as the penalties of actual sins ; and when all due allowance has 
been made it is very difficult to avoid the conclusion that Indulgences 
had been declared on the highest authority to be efficacious for the 
removal of the guilt of sins in the presence of God. 

Luther however approached the w^bole question not from the side o^ 
theological theory but from its practical moral effect on the minds 
of the common people, who were not theologians and on wliom refined 
distinctions were thrown away ; and the evidence that the people believed 
that the Indulgence remitted the guilt as well as the penalties of sins is 
overwhelming. Putting aside the statements or views of Hus, Wiclif, 
and the Pier^ Ploivman series of poems, contemporary chroniclers are 
found describing Indulgences given for crusades or in times of Jubilee as 
remissions of guilt as well as of penalty ; contemporary preachers dwelt 
on the distinction between the partial and the plenary Indulgence, 
asserted tliat the latter meant remission of guilt as well as of penalty, 
and explained their statements by insisting that the plenary Indulgence 
included within it the Sacrament of Penance ; tlie popular guide-books 
written for pilgrims to Rome and Compostella spread the popular ideas 
about Indulgences, and this without any interference from the ecclesi- 
iistical authorities. The Mirahilia Romeae, a very celebrated guide-book 
for pilgrims to Rome, wdiich had gone through nineteen Latin and 
twelve German editions before the year 1500, says expressly that every 
pilgrim who visits the Lateran has forgiveness of all sins, of guilt as well 
as of penalty, and makes the same statement about the virtues of the 
Indulgences given to other shrines. The popular belief was so well 
acknowledged that even Councils had to excuse themselves from having 
fostered it, and did so by laying the blame on the preachers and sellers 
of Indulgences, or, like the Council of Constance, impeached the Pope 
and compelled him to confess that he had granted Indulgences for the 
remission of guilt as well as of penalty. This widespread popular belief 
justified the attitude taken up by Luther. 

I\ut if it be granted that the intelligent belief of the Church as 
found in the writings of its most respected theologians was that the 
Indulgence remitted the penalty and not the guilt of sin, it is well to 

lotice what this meant. Shice the formulation of the doctrine of the 
Sacrament of Penance, the theory had been that all guilt of sin and all 
eternal punishment were remitted in the priestly Absolution which 
followed the confession of the penitent. The Sacrament of Penance hud 
abolished guilt and hell. But there remained actual sins to be punished 
because the righteousness of God demanded it, and this was done in the 
temporal \mus of Purgatory, The ** common man," if he thought at all 
on the matter, might be excused if he considered that guilt and hell, if 
taken away by the one hand, were restored by the other, and that tlie 
whole series of questions discussed by the theologians amounted to 
little more than dialectical fencing with phrases. He was taught and he 
believed that punishment awaited him for his sins — and a temporal 
punishment whicli might last thousands of years was not very different 
from an eternal one in his eyes. With these thoughts the Indulgence 
was oflfered to him as a sure way of easing his conscience and avoiding 
the punishment wliich he knew to be deserved. He had only to pay a 
sura of money and perform the canonical good deed enjoinefl, whatever 
it might be, and he had the remission of his punishment and the sense 
that God's justice was satisfied. It was this practical ethical effect of 

I the Indulgences, and not the theological explanations about them, which 

l^tirred Lutlier to make his protest. 

Luther's Theses, in their lack of precise theological definition and of 
logical arrangement,are singularly unlike what might have been expected 
from a professional theologian ; and they contain repetitions which might 

[easily have been avoided. They are not a clearly reasoned statement of 
a theological doctrine ; still less are they the programme of a scheme of 
reformation* They are simply ninety-five sledge-hammer blows directed 
against the most flagrant ecclesiastical abuse of the age. They look 
like tlie utterance of a man who was in close contact with the people, 
who had been shocked at statements made b}^ the preachers of the Indul- 
gence, who had read a good deal of the current theological opinions 
published in defence of Indulgences, and had noted several views which 
he longed to contradict as publicly as possible. They are prefaced with 
the expression of love and desire to elucidate the truth. They read as 
if they were addressed to the *-' common man ■' and appealed to his 

[common sense of spiritual things. Luther had told the assembly of 
clergy, who met at Leitzkau in 1512 to discuss the affairs of the Church, 
that every true reformation must begin with individual men, and that it 
must have for its centre the regenerate heart, for its being an awakening 
faith, and for its inspiration the preaching of a pure Gospel. 

The note which he sounded in this, his earliest utterance which 
has come down to us, is re*ccbned in the Theses* It is heard in the 
opening sentences. The penitence which Christ requires is somet 
more than a momentary expression of sorrow ; it is an habitual tl 
which lasts continuously during the whole of the believer's life ; outv 

130 The character of the Theses 

deeds of penitence are necessary to manifest the real penitence which is 
inward and which is the source of a continuous mortification of the flesh ; 
confession is also a necessary thing because the true penitent must be 
prepared to humble himself ; but the one thing needful is the godly 
contrition of the heart. In the Theses Luther makes six distinct 
assertions about Indulgences and their efficacy : — (1) Indulgence is and 
can only be the remission of a canonical penalty ; the Church can remit 
what the Church has imposed ; it cannot remit what God Ras imposed. 
(2) An Indulgence can never remit guilt ; the Pope-himself is unable to 
do this. (3) It cannot remit the divine punishment for sin — God keeps 
that in His own hands. (4) It has no application to souls in Purgatory ; 
for penalties imposed by the Church can only refer to the living ; death 
dissolves them ; all that the Pope can do for souls in Purgatory is by 
prayer and not by any power of keys. (5) The Christian who has true 
repentance has already received pardon from God altogether apart from 
an Indulgence and does not need it; and Christ demands this true 
repentance from everyone. (6) The Treasure of Merits has never been 
properly defined, and is not understood by the people ; it cannot be the 
merits of Christ and the Saints, because these act without any intervention 
from the Pope ; it can mean nothing more than that the Pope, having 
the power of the keys, can remit Satisfactions imposed by the Church ; 
the true treasure of merits is the holy Gospel of the grace of God. 

The Theses had a circulation which for the times was unprecedented. 
They were known all over Germany, Myconius assures us, within a 
fortnight. This popularity was no doubt partly due to the growing 
dislike of papal methods of gaining money ; but there must have been 
more than that in it ; Luther was only uttering aloud what thousands 
of pious Germans had been thinking. The lack of all theological 
treatment must have increased their popularity. The sentences were 
plain and easily understood. They kept within the field of simple 
religious and moral truth. Their effect was so immediate that the sales 
of Indulgences began to decline. The Theses appealed to all those who 
had been brought up in the simple evangelical family piety and who 
had not forsaken it ; and they appealed also to all who shared that non- 
ecclesiastical piety which had been rising and spreading during the last 
decades of the fifteenth century. Both these forces, purely religious, 
at once rallied round the author. 

Theologians were provokingly silent about the Theses. Luther's 
intimate friends, who agreed with his opinions, thought that he had 
acted with great rashness. His Bishop had told him that he saw nothing 
to object to in his declarations, but advised him to write no more on the 
subject. Before the end of the year Tetzel published Counter-Theses, 
written for him by Conrad Wimpina, of Frankfort on the Oder. John 
Eck (Maier), by far the ablest of Luther's opponents, had in circulation, 
though probably unpublished, an answer entitled Obelisks^ which was in 

Ijnther's hands as early as I\Iarch 4, 1518, and was probably answered 
by Luther on March 2-4, although the answer was not published until 
August. The Theses had been sent to Rome by the Archbishop of 
Mainz. The Pope, Leo X, thinking that they represented a merely 
monkish tjuarrel, contented himself with asking the General of the 
Augustinian Eremites to keep things quiet among his monks. But at 
lome, Silvester Muzzolini, called Prieriiia (from his birthplace, Prierio), 
Dominican, Papal Censor for theTlomaii Province and an Inquisitor, 
was profoundly dissatisfied with Lutlier's declarations, and answered 
them in a book entitled A IMalotjue about the power of the Pope^ against 
the Presumptuous Conchmoiu of 31<trtin Luther, In April, 1518, the 
Augustinian Eremites held their usual annual chapter at Heidelberg, 
and Luther went there in spite of many warnings that his life was not 
safe out of Wittenberg. At these general chapters some time was 
always spent in theological discussion, and Luther at lust heard his- 
Theses temperately discussed. He found the opposition to his view? 
much stronger than he had expected, but the real discussion so pleased 
him that he returned to Wittenberg much strengthened and c*jmforted. 
On his return he began a general ansvt'er to his opponents. The book, 
Jiesolutiones^ was probably the most carefully pre par eel of aD Luther's 
writings* It was meditated over long and rewritten several times. It 
contains an interesting and partly biographical dedication to St4iupit2 ; 
it is addressed to the Pope ; it sets forth a detailed defence of the 
author*s ninety-five conclusions on the subject of Indulgences. 

If we concern ourselves with the central position in the attacks made 
on Luther's Theses it will be found that they amount to this ; that 
Indulgences are simply a particular case of the use of the ordinary power 
placed in the hands of the Pope and are whatever the Pope means 
tliem to be, and that no discussion about the precise kind of efficacy 
which may be in their use is to be tolerated. The Roman Church 
is virtually the Universal Church, and the Pope is practically the Roman 
Church, Hence as the Representative of the Roman Church, which in 
turn represents the Universal Church, the Pope, when he acts officially, 
cannot err. Official decisions are given in actions as well as in words, 
and custom has the force of law. Therefore whoever objects to such 
long-established customs as Indulgences is a heretic and does not deserve 
to be heaiHi. Luther, in his Theses and still more in his Rfsoluttones^ 
had repudiated all tlie additions made to the theory and practice of 
Indulgences founded on papal action during the three centuries past, 
and all the scholastic subtleties which had attempted to justify those 
practices* The answers of his opponents, and especially of Prierias, had 
barred all such discussion by declaring that ecclesiastical usages were 
matters of faith, and by interposing the official infallibility of the Bishop 
of Rome. Had the question been one of intellectual speculation only, 
it is probable that the Pope would not have placed himself behind his 

too zealous supjjorters. The Church was accustomed to the presence of 
various schools of theology with differing opinions ; but the Curia had 
always been extremely sensitive about Indulgences ; they were the source 
of an enormous revenue, and anything which checked their sale would 
have caused financial embarrassment. Hence it is scarcely to be won- 
dered at that Pope Leo summoned Luther to Kome to answer for his 
attack on the system of Indulgences, 

This sudden summons (July, 1518) to appear before the Inquisitorial 
Office could be represented as an affront to Wittenberg ; and Luther 
wrote to Spalatin, the Elector's chaplain, and the chief link between his 
Court and the University, suggesting that German princes ought to 
defend the riglits of German universities attacked in his person. 
Spalatin immediately wrote to the Elector Frederick and to the 
Emperor Maximilian, both of whom were at Augsburg at the time. 
The Elector was jealous of the rights of his University, and he had a 
liigh regard for Luther, who had done so much to make his University 
the flourishing seat of learning it had become. The Emperor's keen 
political vision discerned a useful if obscure ally in the young German 
theologian. " Luther is sure to begin a game with the priests/' he said ; 
*' the Elector should take good care of that monk, for he will be useful to 
us some day/* 80 the Pope was urged to suspend the summons and 
grant Luther a trial on German soil. The matter was left in the hands 
of the Pope's Legate in Germany, Cajetan (Thomas de Vio ), and Luther 
was ordered to present himself before that official at Augsburg. 

When Luther had nailed his Theses to the door of the Castle Church 
at Wittenberg he had been a solitary monk driven imperiously by his 
conscience to act alone and afraid to compromise any of his friends. It 
must have been with verj^ different feelings that he started on his journey 
to meet the Cardinal-Legate at Augsburg. He knew that the Theses 
had won for him numberless sympathisers. His correspondence shows 
that his University was with him to a man* The students were en- 
thusiastic and thronged his class-room. His theology — theology based 
on the Holy Scriptures and on Augustine and Bernard — was spreading 
rapidly through the convents of his Order in Germany and even in the 
Netherlands. Melanchthon had come to Wittenberg on the 25th of 
August J he had begun to lecture on Homer and on the Epistle to Titus ; 
and Luther was exulting in the thought that Ids University would soon 
show German scholarship able to match itself against the Italian. The 
days were fast disappearing, he wrote, when the Romans could cheat 
the Germans with their intrigues, trickeries, and treacheries ; treat them 
as blockheads and boors ; and gull them continuously and shamelessly. 
As for tlie Pope, he was not to be moved by what pleased or displeased 
his Holiness. The Pope was a man as Luther himself was ; and many 
a Pope had been guilty not merely of errors but of crimes. At quieter 
moments, however, he was oppressed with the thought that it had been 

laid on him who hated publicity, who loved to keep quiet and teach his 
students and preach to his people, to stand forth as he had felt ecimpelled 
to do. The patriot, the prophet of a new era, the humhk% almost 
shrinking Christian monk — all these characters appear in his correspond- 
ence with his intimates in the autumn of 1518, 

The Diet, which had just closed when Luther reached Augsburg, had 
witnessed some brilliant scenes. A Cardinars hat had been bestowed 
on the Archbishop of Mainz with all gorgeous solcranities ; the aged 
Emperor Maximilian had been solemnly presented with the pilgrimage 
symbols of a hat and a dagger, both blessed by the Pope. His Holiness 
invited Germany to unite in a crusade against the Turks, and the Emperor 
would have willingly api>earGd as the champion of Christendom* But 
the German Princes, spiritual and secular, were in no mood to fulfil any 
demands made from Rome. The spirit of revolt had not yet taken 
active shape, hut it could be expressed in a somewhat sullen refusal to 
agree to the Pope*s proposals. The Emperor recognised the symptoms, 
and wrote to Rome advising the Pope to be cautious how he dealt with 
Luther. His ad vice was thrown away. When, after wearying delays, the 
monk had his first interview with the Cardinal-Legate, he was told that 
no discussion could be permitted, private or public, until Luther had 
recanted his heresies, had promised not to repeat them, and had given 
assurance that he would not trouble the peace of the Church in the future. 
Being pressed to name the heresies, the adroit theologian named two 
opinions wldch had wide-reaching consequences — the 58th conclusion 
of the Theses and the statement in the Rt^BolutioneB that the sacraments 
were not efficacious apart fnim faith in the recipient. Tliere was some 
discussion notwithstanding the Cardinal's declaration ; but in tlie end 
Luther was ordered to recant or depart. He departed ; and, after an 
appeal from tlie Pope ill-informed to the Pope to he well-informed, and 
also an appeal to a General Council, he returned to Wittenberg. There 
he wrote out an account of his interview with the Legate — the Acta 
AmiuHiina — ^ which was published and read all over Germany. 

The interview between tlie Cardinal-Legate and Luther at Augsburg 
ahnost dates the union between the new religious movement, the 
growing national restlessness under Roman domination, and the 
humanist intellectual revolt. A well-known and pious monk, an 
esteemed teacher in a University which he w^as making famous 
throughout Germany, an earnest moralist who had proposed to discuss 
the efficacy of a system of Indulgences which manifestly had some 
detrimental sides, had been told, in the most peremptory way, that he 
must recant, and that without explanation or discussion* German 
patriots saw in the proceeding another instance of the contemptuous 
way in which Rome aUvays treated Germany ; humanists believed it 
to be tyrannical stifling of tlie truth even worse than the dealings with 
Ueucldin ; and both humanist and patriot believed it to be another 

134 Mission of Miltitz to Germany [i5l8-9 

instance of the Roman greed for German gold. As for Luther 
imself he daily expected a Bull from Rome excommunicating him 
as a heretic. 

But the political condition of affairs in Germany was too delicate — 
the country was on the eve of the choice of a King of the Romans, and 
possibly of an imperial election — and the support of the Elector of 
Saxony too important, for the Pope to proceed rashly in the con- 
demnation of Luther which had been pronounced by his Legate at 
Augsburg. It was resolved to send a special delegate to Germany 
to report upon the condition of affairs there. Care was taken to 
select a man who would be acceptable to the Elector. Charles von 
Miltitz belonged to a noble Saxon family ; he was one of the Pope's 
chamberlains, and for some years had been the Elector's agent at 
Rome. His Holiness did more to gain over Luther's protector. 
Frederick had long wished for that mark of the Pope's friendship, the 
Golden Rose, and had privately asked for it through Miltitz himself. 
The Golden Rose was now sent to him with a gracious letter. 
Miltitz was also furnished with formal papal letters to the Elector, 
to his councillors, to the magistrates of Wittenberg, and to several 
others — letters in which Luther figured as " a child of Satan." The 
phrase was probably forgotten when Leo wrote to Luther some time 
later and addressed him as his dear son. 

Miltitz had no sooner reached Germany than he saw that the 
state of affairs there was utterly unknown to the Roman Curia. It 
^ was not a man that had to be dealt with, but the slowly increasing 
movement of a nation. He felt this during the progress of his journey. 
When he reached Augsburg and Niirnberg, and found himself among 
his old friends and kinsmen, three out of five were strongly in favour 
of Luther. So impressed was he with the state of feeling in the country 
that before he entered Saxony he " put the Golden Rose in a sack with 
the Indulgences," to use the words of his friend, the jurist Scheurl, laid 
aside all indications of the papal Commissioner, and travelled like a 
private nobleman. Tetzel was summoned to meet him, but the unhappy 
man declared that his life was not safe if he left his convent. Miltitz 
felt that it would be better to have private interviews before producing 
his official credentials. He had one with Luther, where he set himself 
to discover how much Luther would really yield, and found that the 
Reformer was not the obstinate man he had been led to suppose. 
Luther was prepared to yield much. He would write a submissive 
letter to the Pope ; he would publish an advice to the people to 
honour the Roman Church ; and he would say that Indulgences were 
useful in remitting canonical Satisfactions. All of which Luther did. 
But the Roman Curia did not support Miltitz, and the Commissioner 
had to reckon with John Eck of Ingolstadt, who wished to silence 
his old friend by scholastic dialectic and procure his condemnation 

1619] Disputation vrith Eck at Leipzig 135 

as a heretic. Nor was Luther quite convinced of Miltitz' honesty. 
When the Commissioner dismissed him with a kiss, he could not help 
asking himself, he tells us, whether it was a Judas-kiss. He had 
been re-examining his convictions about the faith which justifies, and 
trying to see their consequences ; and he had been studying the Papal 
Dtecretals, and discovering to his amazement and indignation the frauds 
that many of them contained and the slender foundation which they 
really gave for the pretensions of the Papacy. He had been driven 
to these studies. The papal theologians had confronted him with 
the absolute authority of the Pope. Luther was forced to investigate 
the evidence for this authority. His conclusion was that the papal 
supremacy had been forced on Germany on the strength of a collection 
of decretals; and that many of these decretals would not bear in- 
vestigation. It is hard to say, judging from his correspondence, 
whether this discovery brought joy or sorrow to Luther. He had 
accepted the Pope's supremacy; it was one of the strongest of his 
inherited beliefs, and now under the combined influence of historical 
study, of the opinions of the early Fathers, and of Scripture, it was 
slowly dissolving. He hardly knew where he stood. He was half- 
terrified, half-exultant, at the results of his studies, and the ebb and 
flow of his own feelings were answered by the anxieties of his imme- 
diate circle of friends. A public disputation might clear the air, and 
he almost feverishly welcomed Eck's challenge to dispute publicly with 
him at Leipzig on the primacy and supremacy of the Pope. 

Contemporary witnesses describe the common country carts which 
conveyed the Wittenberg theologians to the capital of Ducal Saxony, 
the two hundred students with their halberts and helmets who escorted 
their honoured professors into what was an enemy's country, the 
crowded inns and lodging-houses where the master of the house kept 
a man with a halbert standing beside every table to prevent disputes 
becoming bloody quarrels, the densely packed hall in Duke George's 
palace, the citizens' guard, the platform with its two chairs for the 
disputants and seats for academic and secular dignitaries, and the two 
theologians, both sons of peasants, met to protect the old or to cleave 
a way for the new. Eck's intention was to force Luther to make such 
a declaration as would justify him in denouncing his opponent as a 
partisan of the Bohemian heresy. The audience swayed with a wave 
of excitement, and Duke George placed his arms akimbo, wagged his 
long beard, and said aloud, " God help us ! the plague ! " when Luther 
was forced, in spite of protestations, to acknowledge that not all the 
opinions of Wiclif and Hus were wrong. 

So far as the fight in dialectic had gone Eck was victorious ; he 
had compelled Luther, as he thought, to declare himself, and there 
remained only the Bull of Excommunication, and to rid Germany of 
a pestilent heretic. He was triumphant. Luther was correspondingly 

136 Luther^ s writings [i620 

downcast and returned to Wittenberg full of melancholy forebodings. 
But some victories are worse than defeats. Eck had done what the 
/more politic Miltitz had wished to avoid. He had made Luther a 
/ central figure round wliich all the smouldering discontent of Germany 
I with Rome could rally, and had made it possible for the political move- 
ment to become impregnated with the passion of religious convictio^,^ 
I The ^eipzigDisputation was perhaps the most important episode in 
\ the whole" cou'rae^UT'Luther's career. It made him see clearly for 
\the first time what lay in his opposition to Indulgences ; and it made 
others see it also. It was after Leipzig that the younger Gei-man 
humanists rallied round Luther to a man ; the burghers saw that 
religion and liberty were not opposing but allied forces ; that there 
was room for a common effort to create a Germany for the Germans. 
The feeling awakened gave new life to Luther ; sermons, pamphlets, 
controversial writings from his tireless pen flooded the land and were 
read eagerly by all classes of the population. 

Three of these writings stand forth pre-eminently : The Liberty 
of a Christian Man; To the Christian Nobility of the Q-erman Nation 
concerning the reformation of the Christian Commonwealth ; and On the 
Babylonish Captivity of the Church. They were all written during the 
year 1620, after three years spent in controversy, and at a time when 
Luther felt that he had completely broken with Rome. They are 
known in Germany as the three great Reformation treatises. The 
tract on Christian liberty was probably the last published (October, 
1620), but it contains the principles which underlie the two others. 
It is a brief statement, free from all theological subtleties, of the 
priesthood of all believers, which is a consequence of the fact of 
justification by faith alone. The first part shows that everything 
which a Christian has can be traced back to his faith ; if he has faith, 
he has all: if he has not faith, he has nothing. The second part 
shows that everything which a Christian man does must come from 
his faith ; it is necessary to use all the ceremonies of divine service 
which have been found helpful for spiritual education; perhaps to 
fast and practise mortifications ; but these are not good things in the 
sense that they make a man good; they are all signs of faith and 
are to be practised with joy, because they are done to the God to 
Whom faith unites man. 

Luther applied those principles to the reformation of the Christian 
Church in his book on its "Babylonish Captivity." The elaborate 
sacramental system of the Roman Church is subjected to a searching 
criticism, in which Luther shows that the Roman Curia has held the 
Church of God in bondage to human traditions which run counter 
to plain messages and promises in the Word of God. He declares 
himself in favour of the marriage of the clergy, and asserts that divorce 
is in some cases lawful. 

The Appeal To the ChrUtian Nobility of the German Nation made 
the greatest iinmeiliate inipretSsioiK Contemporaries cjilled it a trumpet 
blast. It was a call to all (termuiiy to unite against Rome, It was 
written in haste, but must have been long meditated upon. Luther 
wrote the introduction on the 2Brd of June (1520); the printers 
worked as he wrote ; it was finislied and published about tlie middle of 
August, and by the 18th of the month 4000 copies had gone into all 
parts of Germany and the printers could not supply the demand* This 
Appeal was the manifesto of a revolution sopt forth by a true leader 
of men, able to concentrate the attack and direct it to the enemy's 
one vital spot. It grasped the whole situation ; it summed up with 
vigour and directness all the grievances which had hitherto been stated 
separately and weakly; it embodied every proposal of reform, however 
incomplete, and set it in its proper place in one combined scheme. 
All the parts were welded together by a simple and direct religious 
faitli, and made living by the moral earnestness which pervaded the 

Keforra had been impossible, the appeal says, because the walls 
behind which Rome lay entrenched had been left standing- — walls of 
straw and paper, but in appearance formidable fortifications. If the 
temporal Powers demanded reforms, they were told that the Spiritual 
Power was superior and controlling. If the Spiritual Power itself was 
attacked from the side of Scripture, it was affirmed that no one could 
say what Scripture really meant but the Pope. If a Council was called 
for to make the reform, men were informed that it was impossible to 
summon a Council without the leave of the Pope. Now this pretended 
Spiritual Power which made reform impossible was a delusion. The 
only real spiritual power existing belonged to the whole body of 
believers in virtue of the spiritual priesthood bestowed upon them by 
Christ Himself. Tlie clergy were distinguished from the laity, not by 
an indelible character imposed upon them in a divine mystery called 
ordination, but because they were set in the commonwealth to do a 
particular work. If they neglected the work they were there to do, 
the clergy were accountable to the same temporal Powers which ruled 
the land* The statement that the Pope alone can interpret Scripture 
is a foolish one ; tlie Holy Scripture is open to all, and can be inter- 
preted by all true bt^lievers who have the mind of Christ and come to 
the Word of God humbly and really seeking enlightenment. Wlien 
a Council is needed, eveTj individual Christian has a right to do his 
best to get it summoned, and the temporal Powers are there to repre- 
sent and enforce his wishes. 

The straw walls having been cleared away, the Appeal proceeds 
with an indictment against Rome. There is in Rome one who calls 
himself the Vicar of Christ and whose life has small resemblance to 
that of our Lord and St Peter j for this man wears a triple crown 

138 Attack upon the Roman Church [1520 

(a single one does not content him), and keeps up such a state that he 
requires a larger personal revenue than the Emperor. He has surrounding 
him a number of men called Cardinals, whose only apparent use is to 
draw to themselves the revenues of the richest convents and benefices 
and to spend this money in keeping up the state of a wealthy monarch in 
Rome. In this way, and through other holders of German benefices 
who live as hangers-on at the papal court, Rome takes from Germany 
a sum of 300,000 gulden annually, — more than is paid to the Emperor. 
Rome robs Germany in many other ways, most of them fraudulent — 
annates^ absolution money, &c. The chicanery used to get possession 
of German benefices ; the exactions on the bestowal of the pallium; 
the trafficking in exemptions and permissions to evade laws ecclesiasti- 
cal and moral, are all trenchantly described. The plan of reform 
sketched includes the complete abolition of the supremacy of the Pope 
over the State; the creation of a national German Church with an 
ecclesiastical national Council, to be the final court of appeal for Ger- 
many and to represent the German Church as the Diet did the German 
State; some internal religious reforms, such as the limitation of the 
number of pilgrimages, which are destroying morality and creating in 
men a distaste for honest work ; reductions in the mendicant Orders, 
which are mere incentives to a life of beggary; the inspection of all 
convents and nunneries and permission given to those who are dissatis- 
fied with their monastic lives to return to the world ; the limitation of 
ecclesiastical festivals which are too often nothing but scenes of glut- 
tony, drunkenness, and debauchery ; a married priesthood and an end 
put to the universal and degrading concubinage of the German parish 
priests. The Appeal closes with some solemn words addressed to the 
luxury and licensed immorality of the cities. 

None of Luther's writings produced such an instantaneous, wide- 
spread, and powerful effect as did this Appeal. It went circulating all 
over Germany, imiting all classes of society in a way hitherto unknown. 
It was an effectual antidote, so far as the majority of the German people 
was concerned, to the Bull of Excommunication which had been prepared 
in Rome by Cajetan, Prierias, and Eck, and had been published there in 
June, 1620. Eck was entrusted with the publication of the Bull in 
Germany, where it did not command much respect. It had been drafted 
by men who had been Luther's opponents, and suggested the gratification 
of private animosity rather than calm judicial examination and rejection 
of heretical opinion. The feeling grew stronger when it was discovered 
that Eck, having received the power to do so, had inserted the names of 
Adelmann, Pirkheimer, Spengler, and Carlstadt along with that of 
Luther — all five personal enemies. The German Bishops seemed to be 
unwilling to allow the publication of the Bull within their districts. 
Later the publication became dangerous, so threatening was the attitude 
of the crowds. Luther, on his part, burnt the Bull publicly; and 

electrified Germany by the deed. Rome had now done its utmost to get 
rid of Luther by way of ecclesiastical repression* If he was to be over- 
thrown, if the new religious movement and the national uprising which 
enclosed it, were to be stifled, this could only be done by the aid of the 
highest secular power. The Roman Curia turned to the Emperor- 
Maximilian had died suddenly on tlie 12th of January, 1519. After 
some months of intriguing^ the papal diplomacy being very tortuous, 
his grandson, Charles V, the young King of Spain, was tnianimously 
chosen to be his successor (June 28). Troubles in Spain prevented 
him from leaving that country at once to take possession of his new 
dignities. He was crowned at Aachen on the 23rd of October, 1520, 
and opened his first German Diet on January 22, 1521< 

The proceedings of this Diet were of great importance apart from its 
relation to Luther ; but to the common people of Germany, to the papal 
Nuncios, Aleander and Caraccioli, and to the foreign envoys, the issues 
raised by Luther's revolt against Rome were the matters of absorbing 
interest. Girolamo Aleander had been specially selected by Pope Leo X 
to secure Luther's condemnation by the Emperor. He was a cultivated 
Churchman, who knew German}^ well, and had been in intimate relations 
with many of the German humanists. His despatches and those of the 
envoys of England, Spain, and Venice witness to the extraordinary 
excitement among tfie people of all classes. Aleander had been in 
Germany ten years earlier, and liad found no people so devoted to the 
Papacy as the Germans. Now all things were changed. The legion 
of poor nobles, the German lawyers and canonists, the professors and 
students, the men of learning and the poets, were all on Luther^s side. 
Most of the monks, a large portion of the clergy^ many of tlie Bishops, 
supported Luther. His friends had the audacity to establish a printing- 
press in Worms, whence issued quantities of the forbidden writings, 
which were hawked about in the market-place, on the streets, and even 
within the Emperor's palace. These books were eagerly bought and 
read with avidity ; large jiriees were sometimes given for them. 

Aleander could not induce the Emperor to consent to Luther's 
immediate condemnation. Charles must have felt the difficulties of the 
situation. His position as head of the Holy Roman Empire, the 
traditional policy of the Habsburg family, his own deeply rooted 
personal convictions, which found outcome in the brief statement read 
to the Princes on the day after Luther's appearance, all go to prove that 
he liad not the slightest sympathy with the Reformer and that he had 
resolved that he should be condemned. But tlie Diet's consent was 
necessary before the imperial ban could be issued; and besides Cltarles 
had his own bargain to make with the Pope, and tliis matter of Luther 
might help him to make a good one. The Diet resolved that Luther 
should be heard; a safe-conduct was sent along with the summons to 
attend; Luther travelled to Worms in what seemed like a triumphal 

procession to the angry partisans of the Pope; and on April 16th he 
appeared before Charles and the Diet. He entered smiling* says 
Aleander ; he looked slowly round the avSsembly and his^ face became 
grave. On a table near where he w^as placed there was a pile of bookn. 
Twenty-tive of Luther's writingfH had been hastily collected by command 
of the Emperor and placed there. The procedure was entrusted to 
Jolm Eek» the Official of Trier (to be distinguished from John Eck 
of Ingolstadt), a man in w4iom Aleander had much confidence and who 
was lodged, he says significantly, in the chamber next his. Luther was 
asked whether the books before him were of his authorslup (the names 
were read over to him), and whether he would retract what he had 
written in them. He answered, acknowledging the books, but asked for 
time to consider how to reply to the second question. He w^as granted 
delay till the following day; and retired to his lodging. 

The evening and the night were a time of terrible depression, conflict-, 
despair, and prayer. Before tlie daw^n came, the victory had been won 
and he felt in a great calm. He was sent for in the evening (April 18); 
the streets were so thronged that his conductors had to take him by 
obscure passages to the Diet. There wiis the same table with the same 
pile of books. This time Luther was ready \vith his answer, and his 
voice had recovered its clear musical note. \¥hen asked whether, 
having acknowledged the books to be bis, he was prepared to defend 
them or to w^ithdraw them, he replied at some length. In substance, 
it was, that his books were not all of the same kind; in some he had 
written on faith and morals in a w^ay approved by all, and that it was 
needless to retract what friends and foes alike ap{»rovedof; others were 
written against the Papacy, a system which by teaching and example 
was ruining Christendom, and that he could not retract these writings; 
as for the rest, he was prepared to admit that he might have been more 
violent in his charges than became a Christian, but still he was not 
prepared to retract them either ; but he was ready to listen to anyone 
who could show that he had erred. The speech was repeated in Latin 
forthe benefit of the Emperor. Then Charles told him tlirougli Eck that 
he was not there to question matters %vhichhad been long ago decided and 
settled by General Councils, and that he must answer plainly whether 
he meant to retract w^iat he had said contradicting the decisions of the 
Council of Constance. Luther answered that he must be convinced by 
Holy Scripture, for he knew that both Pope and Councils had erred ; his 
conscience was fast bound to Holy Scripture, and it was neither safe nor 
honest to act against conscience. This was said in German and in 
Latin. The Emperor asked him, tlirough Eck, whether he actually 
believed that a General Council could err. Luther replied that he did, 
and could prove it. Eck was about to begin a discussion, but Charles 
interposed. His interest w^as evidently confined to tlie one point of a 
General Council. Luther was dismissed, tlie crowd followed him, and a 

1521] Condemnation of Luther 141 

number of the followers of the Elector of Saxony accompanied him. 
Aleander tells us that as he left the audience hall he raised his hand in 
the fashion of the German soldier who had struck a good stroke. He 
had struck his stroke, and left the hall. 

Next day Charles met the princes, and read them a paper in which 
he had written his own opinion of what ought to be done. The Ger- 
mans pleaded for delay and negotiations with Luther. This was agreed 
to, and meetings were held in hopes of arriving at a conference. 
A commission of eight, representing the Electors, the nobles, and the 
cities, was appointed to meet with Luther. They were all sincerely 
anxious to arrive at a working compromise ; but the negotiations were 
in vain. The Emperor's assertion of the infallibility of a General 
Council, and Luther's phrase, a conscience fast bound to the Holy J 
Scripture, could not be welded together by any diplomacy however 
sincere. The Word of God was to Luther a living voice speaking to 
his own soul, it was not to be stifled by the decisions of any Council ; 
Luther was ready to lay down his life, rather than accept any com- 
promise which endangered the Christian liberty which came to men by 
justifying faith. 

The negotiations having failed, the Ban of the Empire was pro- 
nounced against Luther. It was dated on the day on which Charles 
concluded his secret treaty with Pope Leo X, as if to make clear to the 
Pope the price which he paid for the condemnation of the Reformer. 
Luther was ordered to quit Worms on April 26th, and his safe-conduct 
protected him for twenty days, and no longer. At their expiration he 
was liable to be seized and destroyed as a pestilent heretic. On his 
journey homewards he was captured by a band of soldiers and taken 
to the Castle of the Wartburg by order of the Elector of Saxony. 
This was his " Patmos," where he was to be kept in safety until the 
troubles were over. His disappearance did not mean that he was no 
longer a great leader of men ; but it marks the time when the Lutheran 
revolt merges into national opposition to Rome. 



Thkough all the political and religious confusion, which distracted 
Germany during the period from the Diet of Worms to the Peasants' 
War, there runs one thread which gives to the story at least a semblance 
of unity ; and that is the attempt and failure of a central government to 
keep the nation together on the path towards a practical reform in 
Church and in State. The reform was no less imperative than the 
obstacles to it were formidable. Germany was little more than a 
geographical expression, and a vague one withal ; it was not a State, 
it could hardly be called a nation, so deep were its class divisions. 
Horizontal as well as vertical lines traversed it in every part, and 
its social strata were no more fused into one nation than its political 
sections were welded into one organised State. Rival ambitions and 
conflicting interests might set Prince against Prince, knight against 
knight, and town against town, but deeper antagonisms ranged knights 
against Princes and cities, or cities against Princes and knights ; they 
might all conspire against Caesar, or the peasant might rise up against 
them. Imperial authority was an ineffective shadow brooding over the 
troubled waters and unable to still the storm. Separatism in every 
variety of permutation and combination was erected into a principle, 
and on it was based the Germanic political system. 

Yet this warring concourse of atoms felt once and again a common 
impulse, and adopted on rare occasions a common line of action. With 
few exceptions the German people were bent on reform of the Church, 
and with one voice they welcomed the election of Charles V. Nor for 
the moment was the hope of political salvation entirely quenched. The 
efforts of Berthold of Mainz and Frederick of Saxony to evolve order out 
of the chaos had been foiled by the skill of the Emperor Maximilian, 
and the advent of Luther had been the signal for a fresh eruption of 
discord. But the urgency of the need produced a correspondingly 
strong demand for national unity ; and at his election Charles was 
pledged to renew the attempt to create a national government, to 
maintain a national judicature, and to pursue a national policy. Un- 


ippily vague aspiratiouB and imperial promises were poor fiiibstitutes for 
^litical forces, and tlie forms in which the commuu feelings of the 
nation found vent added strength to centrifugal tendencies, and con- 
tributed their share to the ruin of unity. The attempt to remodel the 
Church divided the realm into two persistently hostile camps, and the 
suecession of Charles V secured the throne of the Caesars to a family 
which was too often ready to sacrifice its national imperial duties to 
the claims of dynastic ambition. 

Seldom has a nation had better cause to repent a fit of enthusiasm 
than Germany had when it realised the effects of the election of 
Charles V. Of his rivals Francis I would no doubt have made a worse 
imperor, but the choice of Ferdiuand — a suggestion made by Margaret 
Df Savoy and pereriiptorily rejected by Charles himself — or of Frederick 
of Saxony, would probably have been attended with less disastrous 
consequences to the German national cause. In personal tastes and 
sympathies, in the aims he pursued witldn his German kingdom, and 
in his foreign policy Charles V was an alien ; his ways were not those 
of his subjects, nor were his thoughts their thoughts; he could neither 
speak the German language, nor read the German mind. Nurtured 
from birth in tlie Burgundian lands of his father, he at first regarded 
the world from a purely Burgundian point of view and sorely offended 
his Spanish subjects by his neglect of their interests in concluding 
the Treaty of Noyon (1.516). But the Flemish aspect of his Court and 
his pohcy rapidly changed under southern influence, and the ten years of 
his youth (1517-20 and ir>22-9) which he spent in Spain developed the 
Spanish tastes and feelings which he derived from his mother Juana. 
His mind grew ever more Spanish in sympathy, and this mental evolution 
ras more and more clearly reflected in CLarles' d^'nastic policy. So far 
\ it was afl'ected by national considerations, those considerations became 
Bver more Spanish ; the Colossus which bestrode the world gradually 
turned its face southwards, and it was to Spain and not to the land 
of his birth that Charles retired to die- 

From this development Germany could not fail to suffer, German 
soldiers lielped to win Pavia and to desecrate Rome, but their blood was 
shed in vain so far as the fatlierlaud was concerned. Charles' conquests 
in Italy, made in the name of the German Empire and supported by 
German imperial claims, went to swell the growing bulk of the Spanish 
monarchy, and when he was crowned by Pope Clement VII at Bologna 
it was noted that functions which belonged of right to Princes of the 
Empire were performed by Spanish Grandees. His promise to the 
German nation to restore to the Empire its pristine extent and glory 
was interpreted in practice as an undertaking to enhance at all costs •] 
prestige of the Habsburg family. The loss of its theoretical rights < 
such States^ as Milan and Genoa was, however, rather a sentimi 
than a real grievance to the nation. It had better cause for compTaT 

144 Charles and the Papacy 

when Charles (1543) in effect severed the Netherlands from the Empire 
and transferred them to Spain. He sacrificed German interests in 
Holstein to those of his brother-in-law Christian II of Denmark ; and, 
although he was not primarily responsible for the loss of Metz, Toul, 
and Verdun in 1662, his neglect of German interests along the Slavonic 
coasts of the Baltic was not without effect upon the eventual incor- 
poration of Esthonia, Livonia, and Courland, in the Russian domains of 
the Czar. German troops had been wont to march on Rome; but 
Charles brought Italian troops to the banks of the Elbe. He introduced 
into Germany that Spanish taint which was only washed out in the 
Thirty Years' War ; and he then sought to turn that tide of northern 
influence, which has been flowing ever since the decline of the Roman 

In religion as well as in politics Charles' increasingly Spanish ten- 
dencies had an evil effect on the Empire. He was no theologian, and 
he could never comprehend the Reformers' objections to Roman dogma ; 
but that did not make him less hostile to their cause. His attitude 
towards religion was half way between the genial orthodoxy of his 
grandfather Maximilian and the gloomy fanaticism of his son Philip II, 
but his mind was always travelling away from the former and towards 
the latter position ; and the transition enhanced the diflSculty of coming 
to an accommodation with Lutheran heretics. 

This orthodoxy, however, implied no blindness to the abuses of the 
Pope's temporal power, and was always conditioned by regard for the 
Emperor's material interests. The fervid declaration of zeal against 
Luther which Charles read at the Diet of Worms has been described 
as the most genuine expression of his religious feelings. No doubt it 
was sincere, but it is well to note that the Emperor's main desire was 
then to wean Leo X from his alliance with Francis I, and to prove to 
the papal Nuncio that, whatever the Diet might do, Charles' heart was 
in the right place. If he often assumed the r6le of papal champion, he 
could on occasion remember that he was the successor of Henry IV, and 
to some at least the Sack of Rome must have seemed a revenge for the 
scene at Canossa. He could tell Clement that that outrage was the just 
judgment of God, he could seize the temporalities of the bishopric of 
Utrecht, and speak disrespectfully of papal excommunications. He could 
discuss proposals for deposing the Pope and destroying his temporal 
power, and was even tempted to think that Luther might one day 
become of importance if Clement continued to thwart the imperial plans. 

With Charles, as with every prince of the age, including the Pope, 
political far outweighed religious motives. Chivalry and the crusading 
spirit were both dead. His religious faith and family pride might both 
have impelled him to avenge upon Henry VIII the wrongs of Catharine 
of Aragon ; but these, he said, were private griefs ; they njust not be 
allowed to interfere with the public considerations which compelled him 

conciliate the English King ; and hi^ one aim throughout the affair 
"was to provide for the succession of his cousin to the throne of England, 
That was a clear dynastic issue which ap|)ealed to Charles with a force 
which no other motive could rival. One simple principle pervaded the 
whole of Charles' actions, and one object he pursued %rith unswerving 
fidelity throughout his public career. It was neither the conversion of 
heretics nor the overthrow of the Turks ; it was not even a national 
object, for Charles was too cosmopcditan and his lands too heterogeneous 
for him to become such an exponent of national aspirations as Francis I 
and Henry II were in France, or Henry VIII and Elizabeth in England, 
f But he was deeply imbued with pride in the Habsburg race and faith 
in the famUy star. To the service of the Habsburgs he devoted his 
industry, his patience, his tenacity of purpose, and his gi*eat diplomatic 
abilities. Therein lay the reason of his ultimate failure ; in the end the 
] e of natic»naUty defied the Habsburg power, and not a foot of 

i conquered by Charles remains to the Spaniard to-day* 
The imperial throne of Germany was thus a possession which Charles 
fht to use in the Habsburg interest ; and this idea dominated not 
ely his foreign policy but the course he pursued with regard to 
domestic affairs. He was told by his minister, Maximilian von Zeven- 
bergen, that the only means to prevent the Empire from becoming a 
democratic republic like Smtzerhmd was the extension within it^ borders 
of the absolutist Habsburg power* and t^ this d\Tiastic use the Emperor 
turned, so far as he could, his prerogative as national sovereign. The 
great enemy of irai>erial unity was the territorial principle, and Charles 
elf regarded it as such, yet he never hesitated toextend his territorial 
ions at the exj)ense of the national government. Everj^ element 
in the German State tended towards separation, but the greatest separatist 
of all was tlie Emperor. Besides \'irttially severing the Netherlands 
from the Empire, he sought to exempt his hereditary possessions from 
the jurisdiction of the national Courts of law, from contributing to the 
national taxes, and from sliaring the burden of national government. 
He was to be as absolute as he could in the Empire at large, but while 
he controlled the national government, the national government was to 
have no control over his hereditary lands. It mattered little how much 
the imperial authority diminished provided the Habsburg power grew ; 
ao one should henceforth be Emperor unless he came of the Habsburg 
The extent of his heritage was greater than that of the German 
Jteitk, and he thought that his allegiance to his family transcended his 
bligations to any one of the realms over which ^ ruled. But 
I Germany was concerned, the Emperor Charles V never ] 

aw dynastic to a br«>ad national conception of his 
fiport unities as ruler of GeiTnany, Both the exterr*" ' 
authority of the central government dwindled 
narrowed the German Reich and weakened Uie Ra 

146 Diet of Wor^ns [i5l9-2i 

While German national interests were thus subordinated to those 
of a family, while the nominal control of the Empire's foreign policy 
was vested in the hands of one who regarded Germany as only a piece 
in the game of dynastic ambitions, the German people reaped no 
corresponding advantage from increased security. The endless roll of 
principalities and powers which adorned Charles V's style and dazzled 
the eyes of the Electors proved no more than a paper wall of defence. 
The Emperor's strength was also his weakness ; it was dissipated all over 
Europe, and though Germans turned the scale in Italy, few troops came 
from Spain or Burgundy to defend the Empire against the Turks or the 
French. While Francis I and Solyman wielded swords, Charles V 
seemed to brandish an armoury of cumbrous weapons, which were only 
of use if used all together, and were frequently unavailable at the 
critical moment. Germany had to look to itself for defence, and a 
further element of separatism was fostered by the consequent tendency 
of individual Princes to make arrangements with Charles' enemies behind 
the Emperor's back. 

The nation was not long left in doubt as to the character of the ruler 
whom it had chosen or the objects he meant to pursue. German envoys 
to Spain were not well pleased with their youthful sovereign's obvious 
devotion to priestly rites, or with the intimation that they must negotiate 
in the Flemish tongue because Charles could speak neither German nor 
Latin. Nor was his first act as Emperor calculated to reassure his 
people. Amid the confusion of the interregnum Ulrich, the dispossessed 
Duke of Wiirttemberg, attempted to recover his duchy ; he was easily 
defeated by the Swabian League, which ceded its conquest to Charles 
on repayment of the cost of the campaign. Ulrich was a ruffian who 
deserved no consideration, but his vices did not abrogate the rights of 
his heirs, and it was utterly repugnant to German custom and sentiment 
for the Emperor to confer a fief upon himself. No territory, however, 
was so convenient for the extension of Austria's influence as Wiirttem- 
berg ; with it in Habsburg hands, Zevenbergen thought that Charles 
and his brother would dominate Germany, and so Wiirttemberg passed 
into Habsburg possession, with Zevenbergen as its governor. 

Troubles in Spain and adverse winds delayed Charles' departure 
from the shores of Galicia until May, 1520, and his two interviews with 
Henry VIII further postponed his coronation at Aachen until October 23. 
There he swore to observe the promises made before his election, and on 
November 1 he summoned a Diet to meet in the following January. 
He then made his way up the Rhine to Worms, where, on January 28, 
the day sacred to Charles the Great, he opened perhaps the most famous 
of all the Diets in German history (1521). 

The dramatic episode of Luther's appearance and condemnation by 
the Edict of Worms has, however, been allowed to obscure the more 
important business of the Diet and to convey a somewhat misleading 

1521] Revolt against clerical domination 147 

impression. The devils on the roofs of the houses at Worms were really 
rather friendly to Luther than otherwise, and the renowned Edict itself 
was not so much an expression of settled national policy as an expedient, 
recommended by the temporary exigencies of the Emperor's foreign 
relations, and only extorted from him by Leo's promise to cease from 
supporting Charles' foes. Probably Charles himself had no expectation 
of seeing the Edict executed, and certainly the Princes who passed it had 
no such desire. They were much more intent on securing redress of 
their grievances against the Church than on chastising the man who 
had attacked their common enemy ; and the fact that the Diet which 
condemned Luther's heresy also solemnly formulated a comprehensive 
indictment against the Roman Church throws a vivid liglit upon the 
twofold aspect which the Reformation assumed in Germany as elsewhere. 
J The origin of the whole movement was a natural attempt on the 
part of man, with the progress of enlightenment, to emancipate himself 
from the clerical tutelage under which he had laboured for centuries, 
and to remedy the abuses which were an inevitable outcome of the 
exclusive privileges and authority of the Church. These abuses were 
traced directly or indirectly to the exemption of the Church and its 
possessions from secular control, and to the dominion which it exercised 
over the laity ; and the revolt against this position of immunity and 
privilege was one of the most permanently and universally successful 
movements of modern history. It was in the beginning quite indepen- 
dent of dogma, and it has pervaded Catholic as well as Protestant 
countries. The State all over the world has completely deposed the 
Church from the position it held in the Middle Ages ; and the existence 
of Churches, whether Catholic or Protestant, in the various political 
systems, is due not to their own intrinsic authority but to the fact that 
they are tolerated or encouraged by the State. No ecclesiastic has any 
appeal from the temporal laws of the land in which he lives. In 1521 
clerical ministers ruled the greater part of Europe, Wolsey in England, 
Adrian in Spain, Du Prat in France, and Matthew Lang to no small 
extent in Germany ; to-day there is not a clerical prime minister in 
the world, and the temporal States of the Catholic Church have shrunk 
to the few acres covered by the Vatican. The Church has ceased to 
trespass on secular territory and returned to her original spiritual 

This was, roug hly speaking, the maiaJssue of the Reformation.; it 
was practically^ universal, while the d ogmaticquestionTwere subsidiary 
a nd took different for ms in different legalities. It was on this principle 
that the German nation was almost unanimous in its opposition to 
Rome, and its feelings were accurately reflected in the Diet at Worms. 
Even Frederick of Saxony was averse from Luther's repudiation of 
Catholic doctrine, but, if the Reformer had confined himself to an attack 
on the Church in its temporal aspect, Pope and Emperor together would 

have been powerless to secure his condemnation. The whole nation, 
\iTote a canon of Worms, was of one mind with regard to clerical 
immorality, from Em23eror down through all classes to the last man. 
Nine-tenths of Germany, declared the papal Nuncio, cried '" Long live 
Luther," and the other tenth shouted ** Death to the Clxurch/' Duke 
George of Saxcmy, the stauachest of Catholics, was calling for a General 
Council to reform abuses, and Gattinara, Charles* shrewdest adviser, 
echoed the recommendation. Even Jean (ilapion, the Emperor's con- 
fessor, was believed to be not averse from an accommodation with 
Luther, provided that he would disavow the Bahi/lonhh Captivity^ and 
in Worms itself the papal emissaries went about in fear of assassination. 
The Germans, wrote Tunstall to Wolsey from Worms, were everywhere 
so addicted to Luther that a hundred thousand of them would lay 
down their lives to save him from the penalties pronounced by the 

( This popular enthusiasm for Luther led Na4ioleon to fixp^ress the 
^belief that, had C harl es adopted his cause, he could have conquered 
^Europe at the head of a united German^* But an imperial sanction 
of Lutheran ism would not have killed the separatist tendencies of 
German politics, nor was it Lutheran doctrine which had captivated the 
hearts of the German people* He was the hero of the hour solely 
because he stood for the national opposition to Rome. The circum- 
stances in Germany in 1521 were not very dissimilar from those in 
England in 1529. There was an almost universal repugnance to clerical 
privilege and to the Roman Curia, Imt the section of the nation which 
was prepared to repudiate Catholic dogma wa^ still insignificant ; and a 
really national government, which regarded national unity as of more 
importance than the immediate triumph of any religious party, would 
have pursued a policy something like that of Henry VIII in his later 
years. It woukl have kept the party of doctrinal revolution in due 
subordination to the national movement against the abuses of a corrupt 
clerical caste and an Italian domination ; it would have endeavoured to 
satisfy the popular demand for practical refornu witliout alienating the 
majority by surrendering to a sectional agitation against Catholic 
dogma. But both the man and the forces were wanting, Charles 
often dallied with the idea of a limited practical reform, and he had 
already slighted the Papacy by allowing Luther to be heard at the I liet 
of Worms after his condemnation by the Pope, as if an imperial edict 
were of more effect in matters of faith than a papal Bull. He could 
hardly, however, be Reformer in Germany and reactionary in Spain, and 
the necessities of his dynastic position as well as his personal feelings 
tied him to the Catholic cause. His frequent and prolonged periods of 
absence and his absorption in other affairs prevented liim from bestowing 
upon the government of Germany that vigilant and concentrated at- 
tention which alone enabled Henry VIII to effect his aims in England ; 

and the Uisk of dealing with the religions, and with the no lefl« trouble- 
some political and social discord in Germany, was left to the Council of 
Regency and practically, for live years, to Ferdhiand. 

The composition and powert* of this* body were among the chief 
questions which came before the Diet of Worms. When the electors 
extorted from Charles a promise to re-establish the Beich^regimenU they 
had in their mind a natitmal administration like that suggested by 
Berthold of Mainz ; when Charles gave his pledge, he was thinking of 
a Council which should be, like Maximilian's, Aulic rather than national ; 
and he imagined that he was redeeming his pledge when be proposed to 
the Diet the fornration of a government which was to Iiave no control 
over foreign affairs, and a control, limited by his own assent, over do- 
mestic administration. The Regent or head of the Council and six of 
its twenty members were to be nominated by the Emperor; these were 
to be permanent, but the other fourteen, representing the Empire, were 
to change every quarter. This body was to have no power over Charles* 
hereditary dominions* nor over the newly-won Wiirttemberg. The 
Emperor, in short, was to control the national government, but the writs 
of tlie national government were not to run in the Habsburg territories. 
On the other hand, the Princes demanded a form of government which 
would have practically eliminated the imjierial factor from the Empire ; 
the governing Council was to have the same authority whether Charles 
himself were present or not, it was to decide foreign as well as domestic 
questions, and in it the Emperor should be represented only in the same 
way as other Princes, namely, by a proportionate number of members 
chosen from his hereditary lands. 

In the ct»m promise which followed Charles secured the decisive 
point. The government which was formed was ttio weak to weld 
Germany into a political whole, able to withstand the disintegrating 
influence of its own particularism and of the Habsburg dynastic in- 
terest ; and Charles was left free to pursue throughout his reign the 
old imperial maxim, divide et impera. The Reich^ref/iment was to have 
independent power only during the Emperor s absence ; at other times 
it was to sink into an advisory body^ and important decisions niuat 
always have his assent* He was to nominate the president and four out 
of the Councirs twenty-two me raters ; Imt his own dominions were to be 
subject to its authority, the determination of religious questions was left 
largely in the hands of the Estates, and Charles undertook to form no 
leagues or alliances affecting the Empire without the ConnciFs consent. 
The reconstitntion of the supreme national court of justice or Itf^ichs- 
.Jkammergericht presented few variations from the form adopted at Con- 
stance in 1507, and the ordinance establishing it is almost word for 
word the same as the original proposal of Berthold of Mainz in 1495 ; 
the imperial influence was slightly increased by the provision permitting 
him to nominate two additional assessors to the Court, but, being paid 

150 Growth of the power of the Princes 

by the Empire and not by the Emperor, its members retained their 

A measure which ultimately proved to be of more importance than 
the reorganisation of these two institutions was the partition of the Habs- 
burg inheritance. One of the most cherished projects of Ferdinand of 
Aragon had been the creation in northern Italy of a kingdom for the 
benefit of the younger of his two grandsons, which would have left 
Charles free to retain his Austrian lands. That scheme had failed ; but 
the younger Ferdinand, especially when he became betrothed to the 
heiress of Hungary and Bohemia, could not decently remain unendowed 
while his brother possessed so much ; and on April 28, 1521, a contract 
was ratified transferring to Ferdinand the five Austrian duchies, of 
Austria, Carinthia, Carniola, Styria, and Tyrol. This grant formed the 
nucleus of the present so-called Dual Monarchy ; it was gradually ex- 
tended by the transference to Ferdinand of all Charles V's possessions 
and claims in Germany, and the success with which the younger brother 
governed his German subjects made them regret that Ferdinand had 

\ not been elected Emperor in 1519 instead of having to wait thirty-seven 
years for the prize. 

Soon after the conclusion of the Diet of Worms Charles left Ger- 
many, which he was not to see again until nine years later ; and long 
before then the attempt of the central government to control the 
disruptive forces of political and religious separatism had hopelessly 
broken down. A pathetic interest attaches to the intervening struggles 
of the Reichiregimentas being the last efforts to create a modern German 
national State co-extensive with Ihe medieval Empire, a State which 
would have included not only the present German Empire, but Austria 
and the Netherlands, and which, stretching from the shores of the Baltic 
to those of the Adriatic sea, and from the Straits of Dover to the 
Niemen or the Vistula, would have dominated modern Europe ; and a 
good deal of angry criticism has been directed against the particularist 
bodies which one after another repudiiated the authority of the gov- 
ernment and brought its work to nought. But particularism had so 
completely permeated Germany that the very efforts at unity were 
themselves tainted with particularist motives ; and one reason alike for 
the favour with which Princes like Frederick of Saxony regarded the 
Reichsregiment, and for its ultimate failure, was that, with its ostensible 
unifying purpose, the government combined aims which served the 
interests of Princes against those of other classes. 

The great Princes of the Empire present a double aspect, varjnng 
with the point of view from which they are regarded. To Charles they 
were collectively an oligarchy which threatened to destroy the monarch- 
ical principle embodied in the person of the Emperor ; but individually 
and from the point of view of their own dominions they represented a 
monarchical principle similar to that which gave unity and strength to 

1521-2] Difficulties of the Reichsregiment 151 

France, to England, and to Spain, a territorial principle more youthful 
and more vigorous than the effete Kaisertum. The force of political 
gravitation had already modified profoundly the internal constitution of 
the Empire ; States like Saxony, Brandenburg, and Bavaria had acquired 
consistency and weight, and began to exercise an attraction over 
the numberless molecules of the Empire which the more distant and 
nebulous luminary of the Kaisertum could not counteract. The petty 
knight, the cities and towns, found it ever more difficult to resist 
the encroachments of neighbouring Princes; and princely influence 
over municipal elections and control over municipal finance went on 
increasing throughout the sixteenth century, till towards its end the 
former autonomy of all but a select number of cities had well-nigh 
disappeared. It was not from the Emperor but from the Princes that 
knights and burgesses feared attacks on their liberties, and their danger 
threw them into an attitude of hostility to the Reichsregiment^ a body 
by means of which the Princes sought to exercise in their own interests 
the national power. They could also appeal to the higher motive of 
imperial unity ; the strength of individual Princes meant the weakness 
of the Emperor, and unity in parts might seem to be fatal to the unity 
of the whole. 

The Diet of Worms had in fact been a struggle between Emperor 
and Princes, in which neither had paid much regard to inferior classes, 
and the spoils were divided exclusively between the two combatants. 
The knightly order was denied all share in the government of the 
Empire ; they could expect no more consideration than before in their 
endless disputes over territory with their more powerful neighbours, 
and the Reichskammergericht with its Roman law they regarded as an 
insufferable infringement of their own feudal franchises. The cities 
were not less discontented. They had been refused any representation 
in the Reichsregiment^ subsidies had been voted without their concurrence, 
and they anticipated with reason fresh taxation which would fall mainly 
on their shoulders. 

The new government was established at Niirnberg in November, 
1521, and in the following February it met the Diet. The first business 
was to raise forces to serve against the Turks before whose advance 
Belgrade had just fallen ; and with Charles' consent a portion of the 
supplies voted for the Emperor's abandoned journey to Rome was 
applied to this purpose. Greater difficulty was experienced in finding 
means to defray the expenses of the imperial council and court of 
justice. It was proposed to revert to the Common Penny, to tax the 
Jews, and to apply the annates of the German Church, which supported 
the Roman Curia, to the purposes of the national government. But all 
these suggestions were rejected in favour of a scheme which offered the 
threefold advantage of promoting German unity, of relieving German 
capitalists of some of their superfluous wealth, and of sparing the 

152 Proposal to tax exports and imports [1522 

pockets of those who voted the tax. All classes had soon perceived 
that there could be no peace and no justice unless somebody paid for its 
maintenance and administration, and with one voice they began to 
excuse themselves from the honour of providing the funds. It was 
necessary, however, to select a victim, and the choice of the mercantile 
interest was received with acclamation by every other class in Germany. 

The commercial revolution which marked the end of the fifteenth 
and beginning of the sixteenth century had led, as such revolutions • 
always do, to the rapid and disproportionate accumulation of wealth in 
the hands of the few who knew how to exploit it ; and the consequent 
growth of luxury and increase of the power of mercantile magnates were 
a constant theme of denunciation in the mouths of less fortunate men. 
The canonist doctrine of usury, based on the Scriptural prohibition, still 
held sway in all but commercial circles, and the forestalling and regrating, 
against which the English statute-book is so eloquent, excited no less 
odium in Germany. Theologians united with lawyers in denouncing 
the Fuggerd of the great trading companies; Luther and Zwingli, 
Hutten and Erasmus were of one mind on the question. Erasmus 
described the merchants as the basest of all mankind, and it was partly 
due to this feeling that the lawless robbery of traders at the hands 
of roving knights went on openly without an attempt to check it; 
the humanist, Heinrich Bebel, even declared that the victims owed their 
captors a debt of gratitude because the seizure of their ill-gotten goods 
smoothed their path to heaven. 

This moral antipathy to the evil effects of wealth, as exhibited in 
other people, was reinforced by the prevalent idea that money and 
riches were synonymous terms, and that the German nation was being 
steadily impoverished by the export of precious metals to pay for the 
imports it received from other countries, and especially English cloth 
and Portuguese spices. It was felt that some check must be put upon 
the process, and a national tax on imports and exports would, it was 
thought, cure this evil, satisfy at once the moral indignation of people 
and Princes against capitalists and their selfish desire for fiscal immunity, 
and provide a stable financial basis for the national executive and judicial 
system, for the defence of the realm against foreign foes, and for the 
maintenance of peace within its borders. The measure as passed by the 
Diet of Niirnberg in 1622 exempted all the necessaries of life, but imposed 
a duty of four per cent, on all other merchandise, to be paid on exports 
as well as on imports. Custom-houses were to be erected along the whole 
frontier of the Empire, which was defined for the purpose. Switzerland 
refused its consent and was excluded, and so were Bohemia and Prussia, 
the latter as being a fief of Poland, but the Netherlands were reckoned as 
an integral part of the Empire ; and, had the project been carried out, 
it would have provided not only the revenues which were its immediate 
object, but an invaluable lever for the unification of Germany. 

Not content, however, with this victory over the moneyed classes 
obtained through the co-operation of their own particular interests with 
a national sentiment* nor with the further prohibition of all trading 
companies possessint^ a capital of more than fifty thousand crowns, the 
Princes proceeded at the Diet held at Niirnberg in November, 1522, 
to strike at the imperial cities which bad hitherto refrained from 
making common cause with the capitalists. In language which reminds 
English readers of James I, they alBrmed that the participation of the 
cities in the affairs of the Empire was not a matter of right, but of 
grace and a privilege which might be withdrawn at pleasure ; when 
the Electors and Princes had agreed on a measure, the cities, they 
said, had nothing to do but consent, and they were now required to 
levy a contribution towards the Turkish war which had been voted 
without their concurrence. 

The golden age of the towns had passed away in Germany as well as 
in Italy, their brilliant part in history had been played out, and they 
were already yielding place to greater political organisations; but they 
were not yet prepared to surrender to the Princes without a struggle. 
At a congress of cities held at Speier in March, 1523, it was resolved to 
appeal from the Reichareffiment to the Emperor, and an embassy was sent 
to lay their case before Charles at Valladolid in August. At first the 
imperial Court took up an attitude of real or feigned hostility to their 
demands, and there seems to be no conclusive evidence that this revolt 
against the national government had been encouraged by Charles* Yet 
the partioularist interest of the cities appealed to the particularist interest 
of the Emperor with a force which ho could not resist. The opposition 
had licen engineered by the Fuggers; and Charles' chronic insolvency 
rendered him peculiarly susceptible to the arguments which they could 
best apply; Jacob Fugger had even boasted that to liim and his house 
Charles owed his election as Emperor. So now the deputies undertook 
that Charles should not lose financially by granting their request, and 
they also promised his councillors a grateful return for their trouble. 
Other grounds were alleged ; it was hinted that the Princes would use 
the proceeds of the tax in a way that boded no good to the imperial 
power in Germany ; there was a scheme in hand for the appointment of 
a King of the Rfunans who with adequate financial support might 
reduce the Emperor to a cipher; moreover the Reick^regiment which 
required this revenue was itself superfluous ; if Charles would select a 
trustworthy Regent and maintain the Kammertjerirht, that would meet 
all the exigencies of the case, and his own position in the Empire would 
be materially strengthened. Finally, to remove Charles' suspicions of 
the cities based on their alleged countenance of Lutheran ism, they 
made the somewhat confident assertion that not a syllable of Luther's 
works had been printed in their jurisdiction for years, and that it 
was not with them that Luther and his followers found protection. 

154 The knightly order and Sickingen [1522 

Satisfied with these assurances Charles intimated that he would take the 
government into his own hands, appoint a Regent and a fresh Kammer- 
gericht^ forbid the imposition of the obnoxious tax, and prohibit the 
Regiment from dealing with monopolies without again asking his con- 
sent. The first great blow at the national government had been struck 
by the Emperor at the instigation of the German cities ; another was 
at the moment being struck by the German nobility and a section of 
the German Princes. 

Of all the disorderly elements in the German Empire the most 
dangerous was the Bitterschaft^ a class whose characteristics are not 
adequately denoted by the nearest English equivalent, "knights." 
Their bearing towards the government and towards the other Estates 
of the realm recalls that of the English baronage under Stephen and 
Henry II, and another parallel to their position may be found in the 
Polish nobles or "gentlemen" whose success in reducing the other 
elective monarchy in Europe to anarchy would probably have been 
repeated by the German Ritterschaft but for the restraining force of 
the territorial Princes. Like the English barons and the Polish nobles 
they recognised no superior but their monarch, enjoyed no occupation 
so much as private war, and resisted every attempt to establish orderly 
government. They had special grievances in the early part of the 
sixteenth century ; the development of commerce was accompanied by 
a corresponding agricultural depression ; and while wealth in the towns 
increased and prices rose, the return from rents and services remained 
stationary unless they were exploited on commercial principles. In 
France and in England under strong monarchies the lords of the land 
saved their financial position by sheep-farming, enclosures, and other 
businesslike pursuits, but in Germany pride, or inadaptability, or special 
facilities for private war kept the knights from resorting to such ex- 
pedients, and their main support was wholesale brigandage. They took 
to robbery as to a trade and considered it rather an honour to be 
likened to wolves. Like wolves, however, they were generally hungry ; 
the organisation of territorial States and the better preservation of peace 
had, moreover, rendered their trade at once more dangerous and unprofit- 
able ; and in 1522 there were knights who lived in peasants' cottages, and 
possessed incomes of no more than fourteen crowns a year. 

To their poverty fresh burdens were added by the reforms of the 
national government ; the prohibition of private war, the supersession 
of their ancient feudal customs by the newly-received Roman law, the 
constant pressure of their powerful neighbours the Princes, drove them 
into a position of chronic discontent ; and in the summer of 1522 the 
knights of the middle and upper Rhine provinces assembled at Landau 
and resolved to repudiate the authority of the Meichskammergericht on 
the ground that it was dominated by the influence of their natural foes, 
the Princes. They found a leader in the notorious Franz von Sickingen, 

1522-5] The knights^ war 155 

who has been regarded both as the champion of the (poorer classes and 
as a Gospel pioneer. Probably his motives were mainly personal and 
he adopted the canse of his fellow-knights only because that r6U suited 
his private purposes. Charles V had taken him into his service and 
employed him in the war with France^ but Sickingen^s success and 
rewards had not been commensurate with his hopes* and he sought other 
means to satisfy the extravagant ambition of becoming Elector of Trier 
or even a King. 

A decent cloak for his private ends and for the class interests of the 
knights was found in the religious situation. Sickingen was apimrent ly a 
genuine Lutheran ; Bucer lived in his castle, the El>ernburg* Oecolamjvi- 
dius preached to his followers, and four hundred knights had undert4iken 
Luther's defence at the Diet of Worms. The Reformer was grateful 
and addressed Sickingen as his especial lord and patron. He k>oked to 
the Bitter as a sword of the Gospel, and openly incited them to rise 
and spoil the unregenerate priests and prelates ; while Hutten, whose 
sympathies were naturally on the knightly side, urged Sickingen to 
emulate Ziska, and endeavoured to enlist the towns in the service of 
the opposition to their common foe, the territorial Princes. Some 
of these Princes were, however, already half Lutherans ; the Elector 
of Saxony was Luther's great patron, the Elector Palatine \^'as full of 
doubts, and in any ease was no friend to the Bishops, and prudence 
forbade open war in the ranks of the Reformers. An ingenious method 
of avoiding it, and of combining secular and religious interests under 
Sickingeu's banner, was found in the proposal to limit the attack to the 
ecclesiastical Princes whose worldly goods were an offence to Luthernn 
divines, whose jurisdiction was a perpetual grievance to the cities, and 
whose territorial powers infringed knightly liberties. 

And so, when in August, 1522, Sickingen revived his feud with the 
Archbishop-Elector of Trier and entered his territory at the head of 
an army which he had levied nominally for the Emperor's service, he had 
some hopes of success. The government put hi^n under the ban of the 
Empire, but Sickingen laughed at threats and proceeded to carry on the 
controversy with fire and sword. Unfortunately these arguments were 
double-edged, and Trier to which he laid siege offered an unexpected 
resistance. The Archbishop himself evinced a martial valoin* at least 
equal to his spiritual zeal, and the knightly emissaries met with no 
response to their appeals from the people of the city ; the traders had 
suffered too much from the wolves outside to wish to see them, even 
though they came in sheep's clothing, encamped within their walls. The 
allies whom Sickingen expected from Franconia were intercepted, and on 
September 14 he was forced to raise the siege and to retreat to his 
stronghold at Landstuhl. Here he thought himself secMiro acfainst any 
attack ; but his elaborate fortifications were not proof against the new 
and powerful artillery which the Princes brought into the field. In 

April, 15:235 his walls crumbled before it, he was himself mortally 
wounded by a splinter of stone, and died soon after his surrender. He 
was the last of the German Ritter^ and the cannon which battered his 
castle were symbolical of the forces which proved fatal to the inde- 
pendence of his class. 

This victory over one of the most formidable disruptive forces 
in the Empire might have been expected to strengthen the national 
government, but it was won in spite of, and nut by, the ReichBreifimrfiL 
That body had been unable to keep the peace even in the immediate 
vicinity of Niirnberg where it sat, and whither its members came in 
disguise to avoid molestation at the hands of knightly robbers. Still 
less could it cope with a force like that at Sickingen's disposal, and the 
rebellion had been put down by three Princes, the Elector Palatine, the 
Archbishop of Trier, and the young Landgrave, Philip of Hesse, who ha<l 
acted on their own responsibility and in conjunction with the Sw^abiau 
League, an organisation embodying within itself prelates. Princes, lesser 
nobility, and towns, but working in its external relations for the 
furtherance of the particuhirist interests of the House of Austria. This 
alliance had early in the course of the revolt taken matters into its own 
hands and treated the government with as much contempt as Sickingen 
had done liiraselL As a natural result the Beichgreffhm^nt began to 
incline to the knightly side, and Frederick of Saxony came to an 
agreement with the rebels. Neither event had any effect upon the 
result of the struggle. After the fall of Landstiihl the three Princes 
and the Swabian League proceeded to crush the Franconian knights. 
This was clone with little difficulty, their power was broken for ever, and 
IJlrieh von Hutten fled to Switzerland, where he <lied soon afterw^irds 
in the midst of a controversy with his former friend Erasmus. The 
victors then punished the offenders and divided their spoils without 
the least reference to the wishes or commands of the government ; and 
the main result of the episode was to exhibit in startling contrast the 
impotence of the Reicl^sregiment and the vigour of the territorial power 
of individual Princes. 

The Mefjiment was visibly tottering to its fall, and in January^ 
1524, it met the Diet for the last time at Niirnherg, Frederick of 
Saxony came prepared with a sheaf of reforms, but it was a question of 
ending and not of mending, and with that determination in their minds 
the various sections of the opposition gathered in force. The deputies 
of the towns had returned from Spain bringing the Emperor's veto on 
the one practicable means of financing the administration- Charles' 
chancellor, Franz Hannart, followed to fan the discontent. The wealth 
of Germany was ranged against the government which had endeavoured 
to abolish monopolies, to tax trade, an*l to restrict the operations of 
capital. Duke George of Saxony had already declined to support an 
authority which had shown itself so powerless to enforce respect for its 

deoreea, and the three Princes of the Palatmate, of Trier, and of Hesse 
had withdrawn their representatives from the Heicksreffirnent. The 
Swabian League was encouraged to resist encroaehnientB on its autonomy, 
and the two main supports of the administration, the Electors of Mainz 
and Saxony, were engaged in personal quarrels* When the Diet opened, 
one after another of the representatives of the vested interests rose to 
denounce the government, and a practical vote of censure was carried by 
the refusal of the Diet to consider any scheme for raising revenue until 
the administration was changed. 

So ended the last attempt to create a national government for the 
medieval German Empire. Tlie Meichsret/iment was indeed continued, 
(but it was removed to Esslingen, where it sat under the eliadow of 
^Austrian domination, and was shorn of the little independent authority 
lit bad wielded before. Germany was submerged under a flood of con- 
stitutional chaos and personal rivalry, Ferdiuand M'as plotting against 
the Elector of Saxony ; many Princes were alienated from Charles by his 
failure to pay their pensions ; and Francis I was seeking to fish in the 
troubled waters. The experiment of the lieichsrcf/iment had, in fact, 
been foredoomed to failure from the first ; the government contained 
within itself the seeds of its 9wn disruption because its aims had not 
been single or disinterested. It %vas an attempt at national unity 
dominated by particularist interests. The opposition of the towns and 
of the knights had not been evoked because the government sought 
national unity but because it administered the national authority in the 
interests of territorial Princes ; the single city of Niirnberg had for 
instance been taxed liigher than any one of the Electors. Nor would 
national unity have been secured if the oligarchy of Princes had per- 
petuated its control of the government, for the individual members 
would soon have quarrelled among themselves. Their dissensions were, 
indeed, patent even when their collective authority was threatened by 
common enemies* Each, \vrote Hannart to his master, wanted to have^ 
the affaii:^ of tlie Empire regulated according to his individual taste ; y 
they all demanded a national government and a national system of I 
judicature, but no one would tolerate the interference of these institu- j 
tions in his own household and jurisdiction ; everyone in short wished I 
to be master himself. ^ 

In such circumstances Charles was perhaps justified in preferring, 
like the rest, the extension of his own territorial power to every 
other object. He may have perceived the impossibility of founding 
national unity on a discredited imperial system. Unity did not come 
through any of the metliods suggested by the reforming Diets ; it only 
came when the imperial decay, which they tried to check, had run ita 
full course and the Emperor's supremaoy had succumbed to the principle 
of territorial monarchy. To the extension of that principle by methods 
of blood and iron Germany owes her modern unity as England, France, 

158 Failure of the Edict of Worms [1521-5 

and Spain owed their unity in the sixteenth century. It was the most 
potent political principle then fermenting in Europe ; destroying the 
old, it led to the construction of the new. 

The failure of the attempt at political reform involved the ruin of 
all hopes of a religious settlement which should be either peaceful or 
national, for the only instrument by which such an object could have 
been achieved was broken in pieces. Each political organism within 
the Empire was left to work out its own salvation at its own option 
without the stimulus or control of a central government ; and the 
contrast between the course of the Reformation in Germany and 
its development in England affords some facilities for comparing the 
relative advantages and disadvantages of a strong national monarchy. 
In Germany at all events there can be no pretence that the whole 
movement was due to the arbitrary caprice of an absolute King. To 
whatever extent it may have had its roots in the baser passions of 
mankind, it was at least a popular manifestation. It came from 
below, and not from above. Charles V was hostile from conviction and 
from the exigencies of his personal position ; the ecclesiastical Princes 
were hostile from interest if not from conviction ; of the temporal 
Princes only one could be described as friendly, and even Frederick of 
Saxony was not yet a Lutheran. He was still treasuring a collection 
of relics and he had spoken severely of Luther's Babylonish Captivity, 
His attitude towards all religious movements, however extravagant, was 
rather that of Gamaliel, on whose advice to the Sanhedrim he seems to 
have modelled his action ; if they were of men they would come 
to nought of themselves, and rather than be found fighting against 
God he would take his staff in his hand and quit his dominions for 

But whatever animosity the authorities may have entertained against 

the movement was neutralised by their impotence. The Edict of Worms 

/ left nothing to be desired in the comprehensiveness of its condepinations 

f or in the severity of its penalties, and the Roman hierarchy was particu- 

\ larly gratified by the subjection of the press to rigid censorship and by 

I the relegation of its exercise to the Church. But, while the Edict had 

been sanctioned by the national Diet, its execution depended entirely 

upon local authorities who were reluctant to enforce it in face of the 

almost universal disapproval. The Primate himself, the Archbishop of 

Mainz, for fear of riots refused his clergy licence even to preach against 

the outlawed monk ; and at Constance, for instance, not only was the 

publication of the Edict refused, but the imperial commissioners who 

came to secure its execution were driven out of the city with threats. 

l^oth the Edict of Charles and the Bull of Leo remained dead letters in 

Germany outside the private domains of the House of Habsburg ; and 

the chief effect of the campaign of the allied Pope, Emperor, and King 


of England against Luther was a bonfire of the heretic's works in 
London and another at Ghent. 

Tlie censorship of the press was never more ludicrously ineffective 
to stop a revolution. In spite of it the number of books issued from 
German printing-presses in 1523 was more than twelve times as great as 
the number issued ten years before, and of these four-fifths were devoted 
to the cause of the Reformation. It was only with great diflieulty that 
printers could be induced to publish works in defence of the Catholic 
Church, and they had often to be repaid for the loss in which the 
limited circulation of such books involved them. On the other 
hand Luther's own writings, violent satires like the Karsthans and 
Ntmkarstkatis^ and Hans Saehs' Wittenleripsche N'/ichfu/all, enjoyed an 
immense popularity, Tlie effervescence of the national miud evoked a 
literature vigorous but rude in form and coarse in expression, the 
common burden of which was invective against the Church, and especially 
the monastic orders ; and this indigenous literature stirred to passion 
the mass of the lower middle 'classes which the alien and esoteric 
ideals of the Humanists had failed to touclh The pe^ndl was scarcely 
less effective than the pen ; Albrecht Dlirer and Lucas Crauaeh were 
almost as zealous champions of the new ideas as Luther and Ilutten, 
and probably few pictures have had a greater popular influence than 
Diirers portrayal of St John taking precedence of St Peter, and of 
St Paul as the protector of tlic (iospel. An English nobleman 
travelling in Germany in 1523 was amazed by the number of 
"abominable pictures " ridiculiug the friars, though he sent to his King 
some similar specimens satirising Murner, on whom Henry had bestowed 
a liundred piounds for his attack on Luther and for his translation of 
Henry *s own book. 

The motive of all this literature was as yet practical rather than 
doctrinal, to eradicate the abuses of tlie ecclesiastical organisation ratlier 
than to establish any fresh dogmatic system ; and the revolutionary ten- 
dencies were strongest in the middle classes, which dominated the town 
life in Germany. Though su]>porled by the knights the Kef<vrmation 
was in the main a hourfjeois movement ; it was the religious aspect 
of the advent of the middle classes. They had already emancipated 
themselves from the medieval feudal system, and they had long been 
fretting against the tram nj els which the Church imposed upon their 
individual and corporate autonomy. Clerical imnnmities from municipal 
taxation^ episcopal jurisdiction over otherwise free towns produced a 
never-ceasing source of irritation. To these commercial classes Eherlin 
of Giinzburg's assertions tliat the papal Curia cost Germany three 
hundred thousand crowns a year, and that the friars extracted another 
million, were irresistible arguments for the elimination of papal control 
over the German Church and for the dissolution of the friars* Orders. 
This predisposition to attack the Church was reinforced by the lingering 

rem Hants of the Hussite movement. Some members of tlmt sect had 
settled on the borders of Silesia and Jlomvia in the middle of the 
fifteenth century ; and they are claimed as the founders of the later 
Bohemian Brethren, Wimpheling and Pirkheimer had remarked the 
recrude.scence of the Hussite heresy; and Wolfgang Capito declares 
that in his youth he had often heard his elders read the writings of the 
Bohemian He formers. Luther's words were not entirely novel accents, 
but the echoes of half- forgotten sounds repeated with a novel force. 

So while the Princes held aloof from the movement it progressed 
with rapid strides in the cities. At Nurnberg under the eyes of the 
national government the churches of St Lawrence and St Sebald 
resounded with the new doctrines, and Osiander under the protection 
of the city authorities began to proselytise not only among the citizens 
but among the numbers of public officials, from clerks to Princes, 
who were brought to Niirnberg by the business of the Empire. The 
Austrian administration of Wiirttemberg closed its churches to the 
Reformers, but almost all the small imperial cities of Swabia favoured 
the Reformation. Eherlin of Giinzburg was the most popular of the 
Swabian preachers, but Hall, Nordlingen, Keutlingen, EssUngen, and 
Heilbronn listened to the precepts of Brenz, Billicanus, Alber, Styfel, 
and Lachmann. Strassborg and the southern cities of the Swabian 
circle were powerfully influenced by the example of their Swiss neigh- 
bours ; and in ir>24, the year in which Zwingli established control over 
Zurich, Bucer and Capito effected a similar change in Strassburg, which 
had alrejidy shown its sympathies by committing Murner's works to the 
flames, by protecting Matthew Zell from the Bishop, and by exercising 
the censorship over the press in a way that inflicted no hardship on the 
Reformers. Elsewhere in Upper Swabia Zwingli's influence was strong ; 
his friend Schajypeler, who was to play an important part in the 
Peasants' Revolt, preached at Memmingen, and Hummelberg in Ravens- 
burg, while the dispusition of Constance had been proved in 1521 by its 
refusal to publish the Edict of Worms. In Bavaria and Austria the 
Reformers were naturally less successful, and one was martyred at 
Rat ten berg. But Jacob Strauss and Urbanua Rhegius preached in the 
valley of the Inn, Speratus at Salzburg and Vienna, and traces of the 
Reformed doctrines were found as far south as Tyrol. 

In the north the Reformers were not less active. Heinrich Moller 
of Zutphen, an Augustinian from the Netherlands, prevailed in Bremen 
against its Archbishop. Hamburg and Liibeck, Stralsund and Greifs- 
wald, other cities of the Hanseatic League, followed its example, 
Bugenhagen, the historian of Pomerania, was also its evangelist. Konigs- 
berg became Lutheran under the auspices of Bishop Poleme of Samland^ 
and beyond the limits of the Empire the new doctrines spread to the 
German colonies at Danzig and Dorpat, Riga and RevaL Hermann 
Tast laboured in Sehleswig* Jurien von der Dare (Georgius Aportanus) 

in east Friesland ; and smaller towns in Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, 
Liineburg felt the impulse. Magdeburg and Breslau were in close coiu- 
iimication with Witteuberg, and at Breslau the object at which the 
reforming cities were aiming was first achieved when the City Council 
claimed control over religious instruction on the ground that it built 
and maintained ecclesiastical edifices* In many cities the result of the 
struggle between the old faith and the new was indecisive ; at Ulm, for 
instance, the Council determined to maintain a religious neutrality ; 
elsewhere the Catholic clergy retained control of the churches, while 
Lutheran divines preached to large audiences in the open air. 

At first sight it may seem strange that an anti-ecclesiastical move- 
lent should have been led by ecclesiastics, but the greatest enemies of a 

'class or order generally come from within it ; the most successful leaders 
of democratic revolutions have usually been aristocrats, and the over- 
throw of Churches has often been the work of Churchmen. So promi- 
nent were members of Luther's own order in the agitation against 
religious Orders that the whole thing was thought at first to be only a 
squabble between August in ians and Dominicans, like many another 
which had already brojven out and been suppressed. The movement 
had been hatched in an Augustinian monaster}^ at Wittenberg, and the 
first to imitate the Wittenberg monks were their Augustinian brethren 
at Erfurt. In 1522 a Chapter of the Order declared monastic vows to 
be no longer binding, and a few months later its vicar abandoned his 
dignity and took a wife. The Augustinians of Eisleben, Magdeburg, 
Gotha,and Niirnberg soon followed the example of those of Wittenberg 
and Erfurt, and left their cloisters to become evangelical preachers or to 

■ adopt some secular trade. Two members of the Order were the pioneers 
of Lutheran ism in the Netherlands, and two others were there its 
pro to martyrs. 

The German Augustinians in fact adopted Luther's cause as a body ; 
no other Order followed their example, but that of St Francis produced 
at least as many leaders of Reform. From Franciscan cloisters came 

[Myconius, the Reformer of Weimar, who in after years travelled to 
England in the vain hope of strengthening the Anglican Church in the 
Lutheran faith ; John Eberlin of Giinzburg, and Henry of Kettenbach, 
who worked together at Ulm ; Stephen Kempen, the evangelist of 
Hamburg ; John Breismann, the reformer of Kottbos ; Gabriel Zwilling^ 
the agitator of Wittenberg ; and Conrad Pellican, who translated the 
Talmud into Latin and impressed with his learning the Englisli Re- 
formers, Whitgift and Jewel, Bradford and Latimer. From among the 
Dominicans there arose Martin Bucer, a notable name in the history of 
the German, the Swiss, and the English Reformations ; the Brigettines 
produced Oecolampadius, whose name, like Bucer*s, was familiar on 
both sides of the English ChanneL Otto Brunfels was a Carthusian* 
and Ambrose Blarer a Benedictine. The Carmelite house at Augsburg 

C. M, U* II, 



was a Lutheran seminary, and Bugenhagen, the Apostle of northern 
Germany, had been Rector of the Premonstratensian school at Treptow, 

From the ranks of the secular priesthood there came few Reformers 
of eminence, a circumstance which shows that even in their worst days 
the monastic Orders attracted most of the promising youth, George von 
Folenz was the only Bishop who openly espoused the Lutheran cause in 
its early years, though the Bishops of Basel and Breslau, Bamberg and 
Merseburg were more or less friendly* The halting attitude of the 
Archbishop of Mainz was due partly to fear and partly to the design he 
cherished of following the example of Albrecht of Brandenburg and 
converting liis clerical principality into a secular fief. 

But the movement, although led by Churchmen, was not the worlA 
of the Church or of any other organisation. It was a well-nigh universal \ 
spontaneous ebullition of lay and clerical discontent with the social, J 
political, and moral condition of the established Catholic Church, / 
There was no one to organise and guide this vohime of passion, for 
Luther, although the mightici^t voice that ever spoke the German 
language, was vox et praeterea nikiL He had none of the prac tical 
genius which characterised Calvin or Loyola ; aqdtho lack of statesman- 
like direction caused the Reforming impulse to break in vain against 
many of the Catholic strongholds in Germany. Where it succeeded, it 
owed its success mainly to the fact that its control fell into the hands of 
a middle^class laity which had already learnt to administer such compre- 
hensive affairs as those of the Hanseatic League. This participation of 
the laity made the towns the bulwark of the German Reformed faith A 
and the value of their co-operation was theologically expressed by the I 
enunciation of tlie doctrine of the universal priesthood of man against the I 
exclusive claims of the Church. Indeed not only were all men priests, butt 
women as well — so declared Matthew Zeli, in grateful recognition of thai 
effective aid which women occasionally rendered to the cause of Reform. 

That cause had until 1522 been identified with the attempt to 
remedy those national grievances against worldly priests, high-handed 
prelates, and a corrupt Italian Papacy, which had been variously ex- 
pressed in the list of gravamina drawn up by the Diet of Worms and in 
the furious diatribes of popular literature. But gradually and almost 
imperceptibly this campaign assumed a theological aspect ; Luther and 
his colleagues began to seek a speculative basis for their practical 
propaganda, and to trace the evil customs of the time to a polluted 
doctrinal source. Religion in that theological age consisted largely in 
belief and very slightly in conduct, and the conversion of a movement for 
practical reform into a war of creeds was inevitable* But it hindered 
the practical Reforraiition and helped to destroy the national unity of 
Germany, There was scarcely a conservative who did not see and admit 
the need for a purification of the Church ; Mui-ner and Eck and, most 
notably, Erasmus felt it as much as Luther, Melanchthon, and Hutten ; 

and Duke George of Saxony and diaries V as nmch as the Elector 
Frederick. But there was a vast difference between such a recognitioa 
and the acknowledgement of Luther's doctrine of the unfree will, 
between the admission that the theory of good works had been grossly 
abused and the assertion that all good works were vain. The division 
thus initiated was deep and permanent, and whereas the practical aims 
of the Reformation have commanded a universal assent in theory and 
an ever-widening assent in practice, Luther's theology commanded only 
a sectional allegiance even among Reformers of his century and a 
decreasing allegiance in subsequent generations. 

But Luther in spite of his repudiation of scholastic theology never 
got rid of the results of his scholastic training ; he must have a complete 
and logical theory of the universe, and he sought it in the works of the 
great Father of the Church on whose precepts Luther's own Order had 
been professedly founded. St Augustine's views on the impotence of the 
human will had been adopted by the Church in preference to those of 
his antagonist Pelagius ; but in practice their rigour had been mitigated 
by a host of beneficent dispensations invented to shield mankind from 
the inevitable effects of its helplessness in the face of original sin. These 
medieval accretions Lutherswept away; he accepted with all its appalling 
consequences the doctrine of predestination and of the thraldom of 
mankind to sin, and did not hesitate to make God directly responsible 
for the evil as well as the good existing in the world. It is a singular 
phenomenon that a fervent belief in the impotence of t!ie human will 
should have stimulated one of the most masterful wills which ever 
affected the destinies of mankind. 

The evolution of this doctrine had been but one of the mental 
activities which occupied Luther during his enforced seclusion at the 
castle of Wartburg. His abduction had been preconcerted between 
himself and his friends at the Elector Frederick's Court on the eve of 
his departure from Worms ; and the secret was so well kept that his 
followers commonly thought that he had been murdered by papal 
emissaries. Here in hia solitude he was subjected to a repetition of 
those assaults of the devil wliich he liad experienced in the Augustinian 
cloister. What assurance had he tliat he was right and the rest of 
the Church was wrong? But the faith that was in him saved him 
from his doubts of himself, and hard work prevented him from be- 
coming a visionary. The news that Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz 
was intent on a fresh recourse to Indulgences provoked a remarkable 
illustration of Luther s influence ; in spite of the efforts of well-wishers 
at the Saxon Court to keep him quiet, he presented an ultimatum to 
the Archbishop granting a respite of fourteen days within which 
Albrecht might retract and escape the perils of the Reformer's fulmi- 
uations. The Primate of Germany replied with an abject submission, 

It was difficult to silence a man who wielded such an authority. 

and commentaries on the Psalms nod the MagjiificaU sermons on the 
Gospels and Epistles for the year, a book on Confession, and an 
elaborate treatise condemning the validity of monastic vows, flowed 
with amazing rapidity from his pen. More important M^as his trans- 
lation of the New Testament, on which he was engaged during the 
greater part of his captivity. The old error that versions of the 
Scriptures in the vernacular tongues were almost unkno\\TL before the 
Reformation has been often exposed, but it ia not so often pointed 
out that these earlier translations were based on the Vulgate and thus 
reflected the misconceptions of the Church against which the Reformers 
protested. It was almost as important that translations into the ver- 
nacular should be l>ased on original texts as that there should be 
translations at all, and from a critical point of view the chief merit 
of Luther's version is that he sought to embody in it the best results 
of Qyee k and Ilebrew scholarship. But its success was due not so 
much to the soumTness of its scholarsliip as to the literary form of 
the translation, and Luther's Bible is as much a classic as the English 
Authorized Version. If he did not create the Neuhochdeutseh which 
Grimm calls the ** Protestant dialect," he first gave it extensive popular 
currency, and the language of his version, which was based on the Saxon 
Kanzhupracke^ superseded alike the old Ilochdeutsch and Plattdeut%ck^ 
which were then the prevalent German diiUects. The first edition of 
the New Testament was issued in September, 1522, and a second two 
months later ; the whole Bible was completed in 1534, and in spite 
of the facts that a Basel printer translated Luther*s *' outlandish 
words '' into South German and that a Plattdeut%ch version was also 
published, the victory of Luther s dialect was soon assured. 

Luther's Bible became the most effective weapon in the armoury 
of the German Reformers, and to the infallibility of the Church they 
and later Protestants opposed the infallibility of Holy Scripture, But 
this was a claim which Luther himself never asserted for the Bible, 
and still less for his own translation. His often-quoted remark that 
the Epistle of St James was an ^^ epistle of straw," should not be 
separated from Luther's own qualification that it was such only in 
comparison with the Gospel of St John, the Pauline Epistles, and some 
other books of the New Testament, But his references to that Epistle 
and to the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Book of Revelation show a 
very independent attitude towards the Scriptures. Wherever the words 
of the Canonical Books seemed to conflict with those of Christ, he 
preferred the latter as an authority, and further difliculties he left to 
individual interpretation. Let each man, he writes, hold to what his spirit 
yields him ; and he confessed that he could not reconcile himself to 
the Book of Revelation* He was in fact supremely eclectic in respect to 
"^the Scriptures and to the doctrines he deduced from them ; he gave the 
greatest weight to those Books and to those passages which appealed 

most strongly to liis own individuality, while he neglected those which, 
like St James' Epistle, did not suit his doctrines. But he conld hardly 
refuse a like liberty to others, and was thus soon involved in a struggle 
with Reformers who like himself started from the denial of the authority 
of the Roman Church, but pressed further tlian he did his own arguments 
on the freedom of the will and the weight attaching to Scripture. 

Luther's seclusion at the Wartburg did not allay the intellectual 
ferment at Wittenberg or impair the influence it exercised over the 
rest of Germany. At Wittenberg both the University and the town 
defied alike the papal Bull and the imperial Edict, Scholars tlocked 
to the University from all quarters, and it became the metropolis of 
the reforming movement. Melanchthon forsook the Clouds of Aristo- 
phanes to devote himself to the Epistles of St Paul; and his Lttci 
Communei formed one of the most effective of Lutheran handbooks. But 
he lacked the force and decision of character to lead or control the 
revolutionary tendencies which were gathering strength, and Luther's 
place was taken by his old ally Carlstadt, Carlstadt's was one of those 
acute int^rllects which earn for their possessors the reputation of being 
reckless agitators because I hey a re too far in advance of their age j 
and the doubts wdiich he entertained of the Mosaic authorship of the 
Pentateuch and of the identity of the Gospels, as they then existed, with 
their original form, were considered to be evidence of the instability of 
his character rather than of the soundness of his reasoning faculties. 
He was not, however, free from personal vanity or jealousy of Luther, 
and his rival's absence afforded him the opportunity of appearing as 
the leader of the movement. Declining an invitation from Christian II 
to Denmark, he united with Gabriel Zwilling in an attempt to destroy 
what Luther had left of the papal system. He attacked clerical celibacy 
in a voluminous treatise, Remanding that marriage should be made com- 
pulsory for secular priests and optional for monastics* He denounced 
the whole institution of monachism, and pronounced the adoration of 
the Eucharist aud private masses to he sinfuL On December 3, 1521, 
there w^as a riot against the Mass, and the University demanded its 
abolition throughout the country. The Town Council refused its con- 
currence in tliis request, but on Christmas*Day Carlstadt administered 
the Sacrament of the Altar in both elements, omitting tlie preparatory 
confession, the elevation of the Host, and the 'Mibominable canon," 
which implied that the celebration was a sacrifice. Zwilling next 
inveighed against the viaticum and extreme unction as being a financial 
trick on the part of the priests, and entered upon an iconoclastic 
campaign, inviting his hearers to burn the pictures in churches and to 
destroy the altars. 

Reminiscences of Hussite doctrine may have predisposed the Saxon 
population living on the borders of Bohemia in favour of Carlstadt's 
proceedings, and he was now reinforced by the influx from Zwickau of 

Nicolaus S torch, Thomas Miinzer, Marcus Stiibner, and their followers, 
whose views were of a distinctively Hussite, or rather Taljorite, tendency. 
These prophets believed themselves to be under the direct influence of 
the Holy Spirit, aod their immediate intercourse with the source of all 
truth rendered them independent of any other guidance, even that 
of the Scriptures* The free interpretation of the Bible which seemed 
a priceless boon to Luther, was a poor thing to men who believed 
themselves to be at least as much inspired as its writers. From their 
repudiation of infant baptism, on the grounds that a sacrament w^as void 
without faith, and that infanta could not have faith, they were after- 
wards called Anabaptists, but they also held the tenets of the later Fifth 
Monarchy men in England. Like Luther they believed in the unfree 
w^ill, but they carried the doctrine to greater lengths, and unlike him 
they found inspiration in the Apocalypse. They asserted the imminence 
of a bloody purification of the Church, and they endeavoured to verify 
their prophecy by beginning with the slaughter of their opponents at 
Zwickau, The plot was, however, discovered, and Storch, Miinzer, and 
Stiibner fled to Wittenberg. 

Here they joined hands with Qfljjjgt*4t and Zwilling. Even 
Melanclithon w^as impressed by their arguments, antr Uie Elector 
Frederick, mindful of Gamaliers advice, refused to move against them. 
Early in 1522 iconoclastic riots broke out; priestly garments and 
auricular confei^ion were disused ; the abolition of the mendicant Orders 
was demanded, together with the distribution of the property of the reli- 
gious corporations among the poor. The influence of Taborite dogma 
was shown by the agitation for closing all places of amusement and the 
denunciation of schools* universities, and all forms of learning as 
superfluous in a generation directly informed by the Holy Ghost. The 
Wittenberg schoolmaster, Mohr, himself beqjmght parents to remove 
their children from school ; students began to desert t!ie University, 
and the New Learning seemed doomed to end in the domination 
► of fanatical ignorance based on the brute force of the mob- 
In the Edict of Worms Luther had been branded rather as a 
revolutionary than as a heretic, and the burden of the complaints pre- 
ferred against him by the Catholic humanists was that his methods of 
seeking a reformation would Ije fatal to all order, political or eculesiasti* 
cah They painted him as the apostle of revolution, a second Catiline ; 
and the excesses at Wittenberg might well make them think themselves 
prophets. The moment was a crucial one ; it was to decide whether 
or not the German Reformation was to follow the usual course of 
revolutions, devour its own children, and go on adopting ever extremer 
views till the day of reaction came. Of all the elements in revolt from 
Rome, Luther and his school were the most conservative, and upon the 
question whether he would prevail against the extreme faction depended 
tlie success or failm-e of the German Reformation. 

The initial proceedings of Carlstiidt had vexed Luther's soul, but he 
was violently antipathetic to the Zwickau enthusiasts. He vehemently 
repudiated their appeal to force in order to regenerate the Church. He 
recalled the fact that by spiritual methods alone he had routed Tetzel 
and his minions and defied with impunity both Emperor and Pope. He 
probably foresaw that the Reformation would be ruined by its association 
with the crude social democracy of Miinzer and Storch, but in any case 
his personal instincts would alone have been sufficient to make him 

^hostile ; and when he had made up his mind to a course, no consider- 
ations of prudence or of his own safety could deter him from pursuing it. 
Braving the ban of the Empire and disregarding the Elector's stringent 
commands he left the Wartburg and reappeared at Wittenberg on 
March 6, 1522. His action required at least as much courage as his 
journey to Worms, and tl»e denionst ration of his influence was far more 
striking. In a course of eight sermons he rallied almost the whole of 
the town to bis side. Zwilling confessed his errors ; Carlstadt, Miinzer, 
and Stiibner soon departed to labour in other fields, and most of the 
work of destruction wtis repaired. Luther himself retained bis cowl and 

Uived in the Augustinian monastery, and scope was afforded for every 
man's scruples regarding the Mass ; in one church it was celebrated with 
all the old Catholic rites, in another tlie Eucharist was administered in 
one or in both forms according to individual taste, and in a third the 
bread and the wine were always given to the laity. 

Luther had vindicated the conservative character of the Reformation 
as he conceived it ; be had checked the swing of the pendulum in one 
direction, and bad thereby moderated the force of its recoil ; but be could 
not prevent it from swinging back altogether. It had gone too far for 
that under the impetus supplied by himself, and a reaction based upon 
real conviction was slowly developing itself and coming to the rescue of 
the storm-tossed Catholic Church, The first force to react under the 
antagonism produced by the rejection of Catholic dogma was the 
humanist movement. The body was shattered, and some of its members 
joined the doctrinal Reformers ; but the majority, including the great 
leader of the movement, took up a more and more hostile position. 
Wlien Luther was thought to have been killed, many turned to Erasmus 
as Luthers successor. **Give ear, thou knight-errant of Christ," wrote 
Diirer, " ride on by the Lord Christ's side ; defend the truth, reach forth 
to the martyr's crown/' But that was a crown which Erasmus never 
desired ; still less would he seek it in a cause which threatened to ruin 
his most cherished designs. Theology, be complained, bade fair to absorb 
all the humanities; and the theology of Luther was as hateful to bim as 
that of Louvain. The dogmas, which appealed to men of the iron cast 
of Lutlier and Calvin, repelled cultured men of the world like Erasmus ; 
for scholars and artists are essentially aristocratic in temperament and 
firmly attached to that doctrine of individual merit which Luther and 

Calvin denied. While Luther adopted the teaching of St Augustine, 
Erasmus was regarded at Wittenberg as little better than a Pelagian, 
and his personal conflict with Hiitten was soon followed by a more 
important enecmnter with Luther* Urged by Catholics to attack the 
new theology, Erasmus with intuitive skill selected the doctrine of free 
will, which he asserted in a treatise of great moderation. Luther s reply 
was remarkable for the unflinching way in which he accepted the logical 
consequences of his favourite dogma. But that did not make it more 
palatable, and Erasmus' book confirmed not a few in their antipathy to 
the Lutheran cause. 

These were by no means blind partisans of the Papacy. Murner, 
the scholar and poet ; Jerome Emser, the secretary to Duke George of 
Saxony; Cochlaeus, Heynlin von Stein, Alexander Hegius, Lutlier's 
old master Staupitz, Karl von Miltitz, Johann Faber, Pirkheimer, and 
many another had long desired a reformation of the Church, but they 
looked to a General Council and legal methods. Revolution and dis- 
ruj>tion they considered too great a price to pay for reform^ and therefore 
sadly threw in their lot with the forces wliieh were preparing to do 
battle for the Catholic Church, purified or corrupt. Slowly also a 
section of the German laity began to range itself on the same side, and 
from the confused rnelSe of public opinion two organised parties gradu- 
ally emerged. Here and there this or tlmt form of religious belief ob- 
tained a decisive predominance and began to control the organisation of 
a city or principality in the interests of one or the other party. An 
infinity of local circumstances contributed to each local decision; 
dynastic conditions might assist a Prince to determine with which 
religious party to side, and relations with a neighbouring Bishop or 
even trading interests might exert a similar influence over the corporate 
conscience of cities. liut with regard to Germany as a whole, and 
with a few significant exceptions, tlie frontiers of the Latin Church 
ultimately coincided to a remarkable extent with those of the old 
Roman Empire. Where the legions of the Caesars had planted their 
standards and founded their colonies, where the Latin speech and Latin 
civilisation had permeated the peqple, there in the sixteenth century the 
Roman Churcli retained its hold. The limits of the Roman Empire are 
in the main the boundaries between Teutonic and Latin Christianity. 

But Latin Christianity saved itself in southern Germany only by 
borrowing some of the vreapons of the original opponents of Rome, and 
the CounteF'Reformation owed its success to its adoption of many of the 
practical proposals and some of the doctrinal ideas of the Reformation, 
The confiscation of Church property and the limitation of clerical 
prerogative went on apace in Catholic as well as in Protestant countries, 
and, while the spiritual prerogatives of the Papacy were magnified at 
the Council of Trent, its practical power declined. It secured secular 
aid by making concessions to the secular power. The earliest example 


Concessions to the Seculur Powers 


of this process was seen in Bavaria, Originally Bavaria had been as 
hostile to the Church as any other part of Germany, and no attempt 
was there made to execute the Edict of Worms, But what others 
sought by hostility to the Papacy, the Dukes <jf Bavaria won by its 
conciliation, and between 1521 and 1525 a firm alliance was built 
up between the Pope and the Dukes on the basis of papal support 
for the Duke?^ even against their Bishops. Adrian VI granted them 
a fifth of all ecclesiastical revenues within their dominions, a source 
of income which henceforth remained one of the chief pillars of the 
Bavarian financial system ; and another Boll empowered the temporal 
tribunals to deal with heretics without the concurrence of the Bavarian 
Bishops, who resented the ducal intrusion into their jurisdictions. The 
territorial ambition of the Dukes was thus gratified; and the grievances 
of the hiity against the Church were to some extent satisfied by the 
adoption of measures intended to reform clerical morals ; and they both 
were thus inclined to defend Catholic dogma against Lutheran heresy. 
A similar grant of Church revenues to the Archduke Ferdinand for use 
against the Turk facilitated a like result; and Austria and Bavaria L 
became the bulwarks of the Catholic Church in Germany, Other \ 
Catholic Princes, like Duke George of Saxony, maintained the faith 
with more disinterested motives but witii less permanent success ; while 
the ecclesiastical Electors of Mainz, Trier, and Cologne, were prevented 
by Lutheran sympathies in the chapters or in the cities of their dioceses 
from playing the vigorous part in opposition to the national movement 
which might otherwise have been expected from tliem. 

A like process of crystallisation pervaded the Reforming party. In 
1524 Luther efifected the final conversion of the Elector Frederick of 
Saxony, and his brother John who succeeded him in the following year 
was already a Lutheran. In the same year the youthful and warlike 
Landgrave Philip of Hesse was won over by Melauchthon and enjoined 
the preacliing of the Gospel throughout his territories. Margrave 
Casimir of Brandenburg took a similarly decisive step in concurrence 
with his Estates at Bayreuth iu October, The banished Duke Ulricli of 
Wiirttemberg was also a convert, and Duke Ernest of Liineburg, a 
nephew of the Elector Frederick, began a reformation at Celle in 1524. 
Charles V's sister Isabella listened to Osiander's exhortations atNiirnberg 
and adopted the new ideas, and her husband. Christian II of Denmark, 
invited Luther and Carlstadt to preach in his kingdom- He was soon 
deprived of his throne, but his successor Frederick I adopted a similar 
religious attitude and promoted the spread of reforming principles in 
Denmark and in his duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. The Grand- 
roaster of the Teutonic Order, Albrecht of Brandenburg, had also been 
influenced by Osiander, and, turning his new faith to practical account, 
he converted the possessions of the Order into the hereditary duchy of 
Prussia, a fief of the Polish Crown, which received at once a purified 

170 The Niirnherg Diets and the Papal Nuncios [l523^ 

religion and a new constitution* In the neighbouring duchy of 
Pomerania the Catholic Bogislav X was succeeded in 1523 by his two 
sons George and Barnim, of whom the latter was a Lutheran* 

The feeble govern inent established at the Diet of Worms in 1521 
was quite unable to control this growing cleavage of the nation into 
two religious parties ; but it made some efforts to steer a middle course 
and it reflected with some fidelity the national hostility to the papal 
Curia. It had met the Diet for the first time in February^ 1522» and it 
entertained some hopes that the new Pope, Adrian VI, would do some- 
thing to meet the long list of gravamina which had been drawn up in 
the previous year and sent to Rome for consideration ; but it was late 
in the summer before Adrian reached the Vatican, and his policy could 
not be announced to the Diet until its next meeting in November, The 
papal Nuncio was Francesi!0 Chieregati, an experienced diplomatist, and 
he came with a conciliatory message. He said nothing about Luther 
in his first speech to the Diet^ and in an interview with Planitz, the 
Elector FrederickVOhitncellor, he admitted the existence of grave abuses 
in the Papacy, and the partial responsibility of Leo X for tliem ; nor 
did he deny that lAither had done good work in bringing these abuses 
to light; though of course the monk's attacks on the sacraments, on the 
Fathers of the Church, and on Councils could not be tolerated. But 
this peaceful atmosphere did not endure, Adrian seems to have come to 
the conclusion that his instructions to Cliieregati did not lay sufficient 
emphasis on papal dignity, and a brief which he addressed to his 
Nuncio on November 25 was much more minatory* His threats were 
conveyed to the Diet by Chieregati's speech on January 3, 1523 ; Luther 
was denounced as worse than the Turk, and was accused of not merely 
polluting Germany with his heresy but of aiming at the destruction of 
all order and property. The Estates wei-e reminded of the end of 
Dathan and Abiram, of Ananias and Sapphira, of Jerome and Hua ; 
if they separated themselves from God's Holy Church they might incur 
a similar fate. 

Yet the Pope did not deny the abuses of which complaint had been 
made, and his frank acknowledgement of them supplied the Diet with 
a cue for their answer. They refused the Nuncio's demand that the 
Lutheran preachers of Niirnberg should be seized and sent to Rome, and 
appointed a committee to deal with the question. This body reported 
that the Pope^^s acknowledgement of the existence of abuses made it 
impossible to proceed against Luther for pointing them out ; and it 
carried war into the enemy's territory by demanding that the Pope 
should surrender German annates to be appropriated to German 
national purposes, and summon a Council, in which the laity were to 
be represented, to sit in some German town and deal with the ecclesi- 
astical situation. This report met with some opposition from the 
Elector Joachim of Brandenburg, Duke George of Saxony, and the 

Archduke Ferdinand ; but the moditications adopted by the Diet did 
not seriously alter its import. The Elector Frederick was to be asked 
to restrain Luther, but probably no one anticipated that his efforts, if 
he made any, would be successful ; no steps were to be taken to execute 
the Edict of Worms or to silence the Reformers ; the Diet reiterated 
its hundred gravamina, and^ although no approbation was expressed of 
Luther and his cause, the outlawed monk had as much reason to be 
pleased with the results of the Diet as Chieregati had to be discontented. 

Before the Diet assembled again the reforming Adrian had gone the 
way of his predecessors, and popular feeling at Rome towards reform 
was expressed by the legend inscribed on the door of the dead Pope's 
physician Liheratori jyatriae. Another Medici sat on the throne of 
Leo X, and religious reform was exchanged for family politics. But 
even Clement VII felt the necessity of grappling with the German 
problem, and Lorenzo Campeggio was sent to the Diet which again met 
at Niirnberg in January, 1524. As he entered Augsburg and gave his 
benediction to the crowd, he was met with jeers and insults. At Niirn- 
berg, which he reached on March 16, the Princes advised him to make 
a private entry for fear of hostile demonstrations, and on Maundy 
Thursday under his very eyes three thousand people, including the 
Emperor s sister, received the communion in both forms. His mission 
seemed a forlorn hope, but there were a few breaks in the gloom. The 
ReichsregimenU which had on the whole been more advanced in religious 
opinion than the Diets, had lost the respect of the people. The repudi- 
ation of its authority by the towns, the knights, and several of the 
Princes, with the encouragement of the Emperor, indicated the speedy 
removal of this shield of Lutheranism, and the vote of censure carried 
against the government seemed to open the door to reaction* 

Campeggio accordingly again demanded the execution of the Edict 
of Worms, and he was supported by Charles V's Chancellor, Haanart, 
who had been sent from Spain to aid the cities in their resistance to 
the financial proposals of the Reichsreffhnent. But the cities, in spite 
of their repudiation of Lutheranisni in Spain, were now^ indignant at 
the idea of enforcing the Edict of Worms, and the Diet itself was angry 
because Campeggio brought no other answer to its repeated complaints 
than the statement that the Holy Father could not believe such a 
document to be the work of the Estates of the Holy Roman Empire. 
So the old struggle was fought over again, and the inevitable compro- 
mise differed only in shades of meaning from tliat of the previous year. 
The Edict should, indeed, be executed " as well as they were able, and 
as far as w^as possible" ; but the Estates did not profess any greater 
ability than before. A General Council wm again demanded, and pend- 
ing its not very probable or speedy assemblage, a national Synod was 
to be summoned to meet at Speier in November, and there make an 
interim settlement of all the practical and doctrinal questions at issue* 

The prospect of such a meeting alarmed both Pope and Emperor 
more than all the demands for a General Council ; for in a General 
Council the Germans would be a minority, and General Councils 
afforded unlimited scope for delay, liut a German Synod would mean 
business, and its business was not likely to please either Clement or 
Charles. It would probably organise a German national Church with 
slight dependence ou Rome ; it might establish a national government 
with no more dependence on Charles* Both these threatened interests 
took action ; the Pope instigated Henry VIII to take away from the 
German merchants of the Steelyard their commercial privileges, and to 
urge upon Charles the prohibition of the meeting at Speier; he also 
suggested the deposition of the Elector Frederick as a warning to other 
rebellious Princes. The Emperor was nothing loth ; on July 15 he for- 
bade the proposed assembly at Speier, and, although there is no evidence 
that he woukl have proceeded to so dangerous and violent a measure as 
the deposition of Frederick, he broke off former friemUy relations and 
insulted the whole Saxon House by marrying his sister Catharine to 
King John of Portugal instead of to Frederick's nephew, JoJm Fred- 
erick, to whom she had been be trot lied as the price of the Elector^s 
support of Charles* candidature for the Empire in 1519» 

Before the news of these steps had reached Germany both sides had 
begun preparations for the struggle. Campeggio had been empowered, 
in case of the failure of his mission to the Diet, to organise a sectional 
gathering of Catholic Princes in order to frustrate the threatened 
national CounciL This assembly, the first indication of the permanent 
religious disruption of Germany, met at Ratisbon towards the end of 
June. Its principal members were the Archduke Ferdinand, the two 
Dukes of Bavaria, and nine bishops of southern Germany; and the 
anti-national character of tlie meeting was emphasised by the abstinence 
of every elector, lay or clerical. It was, however, something more than 
a particularist gathering ; it sought to take the wind out of the sails of 
the Reformation by reforming the Church from within, and it was in 
fact a Counter-Reformation in miniature. The spiritual lords consented 
to pay a fifth of their revenues to the temporal authority as the price of 
the suppression of Lutheran doctrine. The grievances of the laity with 
respect to clerical fees and clerical morals were to some extent redressed ; 
the excessive number of saints* da^'s and holy days was curtailed. The 
use of excommunication and interdict for trivial matters was forbidden ; 
and while the reading of Lutheran books was prohibited, preachers were 
enjoined to expound the Scriptures according to the teaching, not of 
medieval schoolmen, but of the great Fathers of the Church, Cyprian, 
Chrysostom, Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, and Gregory. Eck published 
a collection of Loci Cammunes to counteract Melanchthon's, and Eniser a 
version of the Bible to correct Luther's, and a systematic persecution of 
heretics was commenced in the territories of the parties to the conference. 

1624] Party Meetings at Ratishon and Speier 173 

Meanwhile, in ignorance of the impending blow, the greater part of 
Germany was preparing for the national Council or Synod at Speier. 
The news of the convention at Ratisbon stimulated the Reformers' 
zeal. The cities held meetings first at Speier and then at Ulm, where 
they were joined by representatives of the nobles of the Rhine districts, 
the Eifel, Wetterau, and Westerwald. They bound themselves to act 
together, and ordered preachers to confine themselves to the Gospel and 
the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures. These gatherings represented but 
a fraction of the strength of the party of doctrinal reform. The almost 
simultaneous adoption of Lutheranism by Prussia, Silesia, and part of 
Pomerania, by Brandenburg-Culmbach, and by Hesse, Brunswick-Lune- 
burg, Schleswig, and Holstein proves that the proposed national Council 
at Speier would have commanded the allegiance of the greater part of 
north Germany, and might, through its adherents in great cities like 
Strassburg, Augsburg, and Ulm, have swept even the south within the 
net of a national revolt from Rome. That consummation was post- 
poned by the united action of Charles, of Clement, and of the Princes 
and Bishops at Ratisbon; but the Empire was riven in twain, and 
while the rival parties were debating each other's destruction, the first 
rumblings were heard of a storm which threatened to overwhelm them 
both in a common ruin. The peasant, to whom scores of ballads and 
satires had lightly appealed as the arbiter of the situation, was coming 
to claim his own, and the social revolution was at hand. 



The most frequent and damaging charge levelled at Luther between 
1520 and 1525 reproached him with being the apostle of revolution and 
anarchy, and predicted that his attacks on spiritual authority would 
develop into a campaign against civil order unless he were promptly 
suppressed. The indictment had been preferred in the Edict of Worms, 
it was echoed by the Nuncio two years later at Niirnberg, and it was 
the ground of the humanist revolt from his ranks. By his denunciations 
of Princes in 1523 and 1524 as being for the most part the greatest fools 
or the greatest rogues on earth, by his application of the text "He 
hath put down the mighty from their seats," and by his assertion of 
the principle that human authority might be resisted when its mandates 
conflicted with the Word of God, Luther had confirmed the suspicion. 
There was enough truth in it to give point to Murner's satire of 
Luther as the champion of the Bundschuhy the leader of those who 
proclaimed that, as Christ had freed them all, and all were children and 
heirs of one father, all should share alike, all be priests and gentlemen, 
and pay rents and respect to no man. The outbreak of the Peasants' 
War appeared to be an invincible corroboration of the charge, and 
from that day to this it has been almost a commonplace with Catholic 
historians that the Reformation was the parent of the revolt. 

It has been no less a point of honour with Protestant writers, and 
especially with Germans, to vindicate both the man and the movement 
from the taint of revolution. The fact that the peasants adopted the 
Lutheran phrases about brotherly love and Christian liberty proves 
little, for in a theological age it is diflScult to express any movement 
except in theological terms, and behind these common phrases there 
lay a radical divergence of aims and methods. The Gospel according 
to Luther may have contained a message for villeins and serfs, but it 
did not proclaim the worldly redemption they sought ; and the motives 
of the peasants in 1525 were similar to those which had precipitated 
half-a-dozen local revolts before Luther appeared on the scene. Even 


in 1524 the earliest sets of articles propounded by the peasants con- 
tained no mention of religious reform. 

And yet the assertion that there was no connection between the 
Reformation and the Peasants' Revolt is as far from the truth as the 
statement tliat the one produced the other. The frequent association of 
religious and social movements excludes the theory of mere coincidence. 
Wat Tyler trod on the heels of Wiclif, and Ziska on those of Hus; 
Ivett appeared at the dawn of English Puritanism, and the Levellers at 
its zenith. When one house is blown up, its neighbour is sure to be 
shaken, especially if both stand on the same foundation; and all govern- 
ment, whether civil or ecclosiiistical, rests ultimately on the same basis. 
It is not reason, it is not law, still less is it force; it is mainly custom 
and habit. Without a voluntary and unreasoning adherence to custom 
and deference to authority all society and all government would be 
impossible; and the disturbance of this habit in any one respect weakens 
the forces of law and order in all. When habit is broken, reason and 
passion are called into play, and it would be hard to say which is 
more fatal to human institutions. The Reformation had by an appeal 
to reason and passion destroyed the habit of unreasoning obedience to 
the Papacy, and less venerable institutions inevitably felt the shock. 

This appeal against habit and custom was made to the peasant more 
directly than to any other class* Popular literature and popular art 
erected him into a sort of saviour of society* In scores of dialogues 
he intervenes and confounds with his common sense the learning of 
doctors of law and theology; he knows as much of the Scriptures as 
thi'ee parsons and more; and in his typical embodiment as Karsthans he 
demolishes the arguments of Luther's antagonist, Murner. He is the 
hero of nearly all contemporary pamphlets; with his hoe and his flail 
he will defend the Gospel if it comes to fighting; and even Luther 
himself, when Sickingen liad failed, sought k) frighten Princes and 
Prelates with the peasant's sceptre. The peasant was the unknown 
factor of the situation ; his power was incalculable, but it would not be 
exerted in favour of existing institutions^ and wlieu hard pressed the 
religious Reformers were prepared, like Frankenstein, to call into 
existence a being over which their control was imperfect. 

The discontent of the peasantry in Germany, as in other countries 
of Europe, had been a painfully obvious fact for more than a 
generation, and since 1490 it had broken out in revolts in Elsass, in 
the Netherlands, in Wiirttemberg, at Kempten, at Bruchsal, and in 
Hungary. The device of the peasant's shoe, whence their league acquired 
the name of Bundaehuh^ had been adopted as early as 14H3, and again 
in 1502; and the electoral Princes themselves had admitted that the 
common people were burdened with feudal services, taxes, ecclesiastical 
Courts, and other exactions, which would eventually prove intolerable. 
Hans Rosonbliit complained before the end of the fifteenth century that 

the nobles were cons tan tly demanding more and more from tlie peasant; 
and the process of extortion did not shicken in the succeeding years. 
The noble himself was feeling the weight of the economic revolution, of 
the increase in prices, and depression in agriculture; and he naturally 
sought to shift it from his own shoulders to those of his villeins and 
serfs, that lowest substratum of society on which all burdens ultimately 
rest. He endeavoured to redress the relative depreciation in the value 
of land by increasing the amount of rent and services which he received 
from its tillers. 

Nor was this tlie only trouble in which the peasants were involved. 
The evil of enclosures, although it was felt in Germany, was not so 
prominent among their complaints as it was in England; but their 
general distress produced two other symptoms, one of which seems to 
have been peculiar to those districts of Germany in which the revolt 
raged with the greatest fury. In the south-west, in the valleys of the 
Tauber and the Neekar, in the Moselle and middle Rhine districts, the 
practice of subdividing hind had proceeded so far that the ordinary 
holding of the peasant had shrunk t» the quarter of a ploughlaud; and 
the effort to check this ruinous development only resulted in the creation 
of a landless agrarian proletariat. The other process, which was not 
confined to Germany, was the conversion of land into a speculative 
market for money. The financial embarrassments of the peasant rendered 
him an easy prey to the burgher-capitalist who lent him money on tho 
security of his holding, the interest on which was often not forthcoming 
if the harvest faded or the plague attacked his cattle ; and the traffic 
in rents, whicli inevitably bore hardly on the tenant, was one of the 
somewhat numerous evils which Luther at one time or another declared 
to be the ruin of the German nation. 

Besides these economic causes, the growing influence of Roman law 
affected the peasant even more than it had done the barons. By it* 
said tlie Emperor Maximilian, the poor man either got no justice at 
all against the rich, or it was so sharp and line-pointed that it availed 
him notlnng. Ignoring the fine distinctions of feudal law with respect 
to service it regarded the rendering of service as proof of servitude, 
and everyone who was not entirely free sank in its eyes to a serf. The 
policy of reducing tenants to this position was systematically pursued 
in many district^^ ; the Abbots of Kempten resorted not merely to the 
falsification of charters but to such abuse of their clerical powers as 
refusing the Sacrament to those who denied their servitude ; and one of 
them defended his conduct on the ground that he was only doing as 
other lords. It was in fact the lords and not the peasants who were 
the revolutionists ; the revolt was essentially reactionary* The peasants 
demanded the restoration of their old Haingerkhte and other Courts, 
the abolition of novel jurisdictions and new exactions of rent and service. 
The movement was an attempt to revive the worn-out communal system 

of the Middle Ages« and m socudbtio piv4iKl a^minsl iW iudividu<idi$lio 
tendencies of the time* 

The peasant *s condition iras fruitful soil for the seeils of a $^^¥^1 
of discontent. The aristocratic humanist revival avr\>ki^ no tvh\H^ in 
his breast, bat he found balm of Gilead in lumber's denunciali\>n« of 
merchants as usurers^ of lawyers as robborss and in his as;s^>rlioi\ of tb<^ 
worthlessness of all things comi^reil with the Wont of InxU which 
peasants could understand better than priests* More radical preachers 
supplied whatever was lacking in Luther s doctrine to cinnpU^tc their 
exaltation. Carlstadt improved on Luther's declaration thut [HHisants 
knew more of the Scriptures than learncil diH^tors by aftirming that 
they certainly knew more than Luther. IVast^nts adoptinl with fervour 
the doctrine of imiversiU priesthixxL and Wgiin thomst^lvt^ to preach 
and baptise. Schappeler announcetl at Mommiugcn that heaven was 
open to peasants, but closed to nobles and clergy • But wliilo this wiw 
heresy, it was hardly sedition ; most of the preachers iH^liovcd as Luther 
did, in the efficacy of the Word, and repudiatcil Mi\niRcr*s apiH^l to the 
sword ; and the promise of heaven hereafter might Ih> exptH'ted to 
reconcile rather than to exasi>en\te the (le^uuiut witli his lot on earth% 
Yet it exerted an indirect stimulus, for men do not rt*lH»l in des)mir, 
but in hope ; and the spiritual hoi>ea hold out by the (lospcl pnuluinnl 
that quickening of his mind, without which the peasant would never 
have risen to end his temporal ills. 

The outbreak in 1524 can only have caused surprise by it^ oxttuit, 
for that the peasants would rise was a common expectation. Alnumaoks 
and astrologers predicted the storm with remarkable uoouraoy ; indeed 
its mutterings had been heard for years, and in 1522 frionds of the oxiUni 
Ulrich of Wiirttemberg had discussed a plan for his restoration to the 
duchy by means of a peasant revolt. But the first step in the groat 
movement was not due to Ulrich or to any other extraneous impulse. 
It was taken in June, 1524, on the estates of Count Siegnunul von Lupfen 
at Stiihlingen, some miles to the north-west of S(OuifThiiUHnn. Thtu'o 
had already been a number of local disturbancos elHowhi^ns and the 
peasantry round Niirnberg had burnt their tithes on the Held ; but they 
had all been suppressed without difliculty. T\h) rising at KtiUilingen is 
traditionally reported to have been provoked by a wiiim of the ( -ountcmH 
von Lupfen, who insisted upon the Count's tenants spending a lioliduy 
in collecting snail-shells on which she might wind her wool ; and this 
trivial reason has been remembered, to the oblivion of tluj more weighty 
causes alleged by the peasants in their list of grievances. Tliey (!onipliiinnd 
of the enclosure of woods, the alienation of conunon limdH, and the 
denial of their right to fish in streams ; they were (!on)p()lle<l, tlmy stiid, 
to do all kinds of field-work for their lord and his Htcjwivrd, to iiMMJMt at 
himts, to draw ponds and streams without any regard to tlnj iuh'vhhII'wh 
of their own avocations ; the lord's streams were div(jit<?d across tlu^ir 

C. M. H. II. \2 

fields, while water necessary for irrigating their meadows and turjiing 
their mills was cut off, and their crops were ruined bj huntsmen 
trampling them down* They accused their lord of abusing his juris- 
diction, of inflicting intolerable punishments, and of appropriating 
stolen goods ; and in short they deelared that they could no longer 
look for justice at his hands, or support their wives and families in face 
of his exactions. 

These articles, which number sixty-two in all, are as remarkable for 
w4iat they omit as for what they include. There is no trace of a religious 
element in them, no indication that their authors had ever heard of 
Luther or of the Gospeh They are purely agrarian in character, their 
language is moderate, and, if the facts are stated correctly, their demanfls 
are extremely reasonable. In its origin tlie Peasants' Revolt bore few 
traces of the intellectual and physical violence which marked its later 
course. It began like a trickling stream in the highlands ; as it floAved 
downwards it was joined first by one and then by another revolutionary 
current, till it united in one torrent all elemeats of disorder and 
threatened to inundate the whole of Germany. 

When once the movement had started, it ciuickly gathered momentum, 
A thousand tenants from the Stuhlingen district assembled with such 
arms as they could collect, and chose as their captain Hans Miiiler of 
Bulgenbach, an old lanchkneeht who showed more talent for organisation 
than most of the peasants' leaders. In August he made his way south 
to Waldshut, probably with the object of obtaining the eo-operation 
of the discontented proletariate in the towns. The towns had been 
permeated with new religious ideas to an extent which w^as almost 
unknown in the country, the upper classes by Lutheranism, the lower 
by notions of which Carlstadt and Mlinzer Avere the chief exponents. 
Waldshut itself was in revolt against its Austrian government, which 
had initiated a savage persecution of heretics in the neighbourhood and 
demanded from the citizens the surrender of their preacher, Balthasar 
Hubmaier. It w^as thus predisposed to favour the peasants' cause, but 
the often repeated statement that Miiiler, in August, 1524, succeeded in 
establishing an Evangelical Brotherhood is incorrect. That scheme, w^hich 
probably emanated from the towns, was not effected until the meeting 
at Meramingen in the following February ; and the intervening vrinter 
elapsed without open conflict between the peasants and the authorities. 
The Archduke Ferdinand's attention w^as absorbed by the momentous 
struggle then being waged in North It^tly, and every available lands- 
kneckt had been Bcnt to swell the armies of Charles V. Tlie Swabian 
League, the only effective organisation in South Germany, could muster 
but two thousand troops, and recourse was had to negotiations at 
Stockach which were not seriously meant on the part of the lords. 
Many of the peasants, however, returned home on the understanding 
that none but ancient services should be exacted ; but the lords. 

thinking that the storm had blown orev^ resorted to their usual prac- 
tices and made little endeavour to conclude the pourparlers at Stockach. 
As a result the insurrection broke out afresh^ and was extended into a 
wider area. 

In October and November, 1524, there were risings of the peasants 
all round the Lake of Constance, in the Allgau, the Klettgau, the Hegao^ 
the Thurgau, and north-west of Stiihlingen at Villingen, Further to 
the east, on the Iller in Upper Swabia, the tenants of the abbey of 
Kempten, who had long nursed grievances against their lords, rose, and 
in February, 1525, assembled at Sonthofen ; they declared that they 
would have no more lords, a revolutionary demand which indicates that 
their treatment by the abbota had been worse than that of the Lupfen 
tenants. The peasants of the Donauried (N. W. of Augsburg) had been 
agitating throughout the winter, and by the first week in February 
four thousand of them met at Baltringen, some miles to the north of 
Biberach ; before the end of the month their numbers ha<l risen to 
thirty thousand. They were also joined by bands called the Seehaufeit, 
from the northern shores of Lake Constance, while Hans Miiller made 
an incursion into the Breisgau and raised the peasants of the Black 

As the rebellion extended its area the scope of its objects grew 
wider, and it assimilated revolutionary ideas distinct from the agrarian 
grievances which had originally prompted the rising. A religious ele- 
ment began to obtrude, and its presence was probably due to the fact 
that it supplied a convenient banner under which heterogeneous forces 
might fight ; Sickingen had adopted a similar expedient to cloak the 
sectional aims of the knights, and men now began to regard the revolt as a 
rising on behalf of the Gospel. In this light it w^as viewed by the neigh- 
bouring city of Zurich, where Zwingli's influence was now aU*powerful ; 
and the Zurich government exhorted the Klettgau peasants to adopt 
the Word of God as their banner. In conformity with this advice they 
gave a religious colour to their demands^ and in January, 1525, offered 
to grant their lord whatever was reasonable, godly, and Christian, if he 
on his side would undertake to abide by the Word of God and righteous- 
ness. So, too, the Baltringen bands declared that they wished to create 
no disturbance, but only desired that their grievances should be re- 
dressed in accord %vith godly justice ; and in the Allgau, where the 
peasant Hiiberlin had preached and baptised, the peasants formed them- 
selves into a •'godly union/' On the other hand the Lake bands, with 
whom served some remnants of Sickingeus host, appear to ha\ 
more intent upon a political attack on lords and cities. 

In March all these bodices held a sort of parliament at Me 
the chief town of Upper Swabia* to concert a comm -^ ^ - — - 
and here the Zurich influence carried the day. S«. J 
friend, had been preaching at ^lemmingen on the inin 


if he did not actually pen the famous Twelve Articles there formulated, 
tliey were at least drawn up undec^Ms inspiration and that of his 
colleague Lotzer. They embody ideas of wider import than are likely 
to have occurred to bands of peasants concerned with specific local 
grievances ; and throughout the movement it is obvious that, while the 
peasants supplied the physical force and their hardships the real motive* 
the intellectual inspiration came from the radical element in the towns. 
This element was not so obvious at Memmingen as it became later on, 
and its chief effect there was to give a religious aspect to the revolt and 
to merge its local character in a universal appeal to the peasant, based 
on ideas of fraternal love and Christian liberty drawn from the Gospel, 

This programme was not adopted without some difiference of opinion, 
in which the Lake bands led the opposition. But the proposal of an 
Evangelical Brotlierhood was accepted on March 7 ; and the Twelve 
Articles, founded apparently upon a memorial previously presented by 
the people of Memmingen to their town Council, were then drawn up. 
The preamble reputliated the idea that the insui'gents' " new Gospel " 
implied the extirpation of spiritual and temporal authority ; on the con- 
trary, they quoted texts to show that its essence was love, peace, patience^ 
and unity, and that the aim of the peasants was that all men should live 
in accord with its precepts* As means thereto they demanded that 
the choice of pastors should be vested in each community, which should 
also have power to remove such as behaved unseemly. The great tithes 
they are willing to pay, and they proposed measures for their collection 
and for the application of the surplus to the relief of the poor, and, in 
case of necessity, to the expenses of war or to meet the demands of the 
tax-gatherer ; but the small tithes they would not pay, because God 
had created the beasts of the field as a free gift for the use of mankind. 
They would no longer be villeins, because Clmst had made all men 
free ; huu they would gladly obey such authority as was elected and set 
over them, so it be by God appointed* They claimed the right to take 
ground game^ fowls, and fish in flowing water j they demanded the 
restoration of woods, meadows, and ploughlands to the community, the 
renunciation of new-fangled services, and payment of peasants for those 
which they rendered^ the establishment of judicial rents, the even 
administration of justice, and the abolition of death-dues, which ruined 
widows and orphans. Finally, they required that all their grievances 
should be tested by the Word of God; it aught wliicli they had demanded 
were proved to be contrary to Scripture, they agreed to give it up, even 
though the demand had been gmnted ; and on the other hand they 
asked that their lords should submit to the same test and relinquish 
any privileges which might hereafter be sho\m to be inconsistent with 
the Scriptures, although they were not included in the present list of 

On the basis of these demands negotiations were reopened with 



the Swabian League at Ulm, but they were not more successful or 
sincere than those at Stockach. The League rejected an offer of 
mediation made by the Council of Regency which now sat with diminished 
prestige at Esslingen ; and, though the discussions were continued, they 
were only designed to give Tnichsess, the general of the League, time 
to gather his forces : even during the progress of the negotiations 
he had attacked and masisacred unsuspecting bands of Hegau peas- 
ants, till his victorious progress was cheeked by the advent of a dif* 
ferent foe. 

Ulrich, the exiled Duke of Wiirtteniberg, and his party constituted 
one of the discontented elements which were certain to rally to any 
revolutionary standard, lie had announced his intention of regaining 
his dncliy with the help of *^spur or shoe," of knights or peasants* The 
former hope w^as quenched by Siekingen*s fall, but as soon as the peasants 
rose Ulrich began to cultivate their friendship; in the autumn of 1524, 
from Hdhentwiel, of wliich he had recovered ptjssession, on the confines 
of the territory of liis Swiss protectors and of the disturbed Hegau, he 
established relations with the insurgents, and took to signing his name 
" Utz the Peasant." In February, 1525, he resolved to tempt his fate ; 
supported by ten thousand hired Swiss infantry he crossed the border 
and invaded Wiirttemberg. The civil and religious oppression of the 
Austrian rule had to some extent wiped out the memory of Ulrich\s own 
harsh government, and he was able to occufiy Ballingen, Herrenberg, 
and Sindelfmgen without serimisoiiposition, and to lay siege to Stuttgart 
on March 9. The news brought Trachsess into Wiirttomberg j but 
Ulrich was on the eve of success when the tidings came of the battle of 
Pavia (February 24)* Switzerhtnd might need all her troops for her 
own defence, and those serving under Ulrich's Itanner w^ere promptly 
summoned home. There was nothing left for Ulrich but flight so soon 
as Truchsess appeared upon the scene; and the restoration of Austrian 
authority in Wiirttemberg enabled the general of the Swaliian League 
once more to turn his arms against the peasants. 

But the respite, short as it was, had given the revolt time to spread 
in all directions, and before the end of April almost the whole of Germany, 
except the north and east and Bavaria in t!ie soutli, was in an uproar. 
From Upper Swabia the movement spread in March to the lower districts 
of the cii'cle. Round Leipheim on the Danube to the north-east of Ulm 
the peasants rose under a priest named Jacob Wehe, attacked Leipheim 
and Weissenhorn, and stormed the castle of Roggcnburg, while a con- 
siderable portion of Truchsess^ troops sympathised with their cause and 
refused to serve against them. Even so, the remainder, consisting 
mostly of veterans returned from Pavia, were sufficient to crush the 
Leipheim contingent, whose incompetence and cowardice contmsted 
strongly with the behaviour of the Swiss and Bohemian peasants in 
previcms wars. They fled into Leipheim almost as soon as Trucb* 

appeared, losing a third of their numbers in the retreat; the town 
thereupon tiurrendered at discretion ; and Jacob Wehe was discovered 
lading, and executed outside the walla. Truchseas now turned back 
to crush the contingents from the Lake and the Hegau and the 
Baltringen band, which had captured Waldsee and was threatening 
his own castle at Waldhurg. He defeated the latter near Wurzach on 
April 13, Ijut was less successful with the fonner, who were entrenched 
near Weingarteu, They were double the number of Truchsesa' troops, 
and after a distant cannonade the Swabian general cousented to negotiate ; 
the peasants, alarmed perhaps by the fate of their allies, were induced to 
disband on the concession of some of their demands and the promise of 
an inquiry into the rest. 

Truchsess had every reason to be satisfied with this rcvsult, for from 
all sides appeals were pouring in for help. In t)ie I legau Radolfzell 
was besieged ; to the south-east the cardinal archbishop of Salzburg, 
Matthew Lang, was soon shut up in his castle by his subjects of the 
city and neighbouring country, wliile the Archduke Ferdinand himself 
would not venture outside the walls of Lmsbruck. Forty thousand 
peasants had risen in the Vorarlberg ; Tyrol was in ferment from end to 
end; and in Styria Dietrichstein's Bohemian troops could not save him 
from defeat at the hands of the peasants. In the south-west Hans Midler, 
the leader of the Stiihlingen force, moved through the Black Forest, 
and raising the Breisgau villagers appeared before Freiburg, The 
fortress on the neighbouring Schlossberg was unable to protect the city, 
which admitted the peasants on May 24* Across the Rhine in Elsass 
twenty thousand insurgents captured Zabern on May 13, and made 
themselves masters of Weissenburg and most of the other towns in the 
province ; Colmar alone withstood their progress. Further north in the 
west Rhine districts of the Palatinate, Lauterburg, Landau, and Neusta.dt 
fell into the rebels* hands, and on the east side of the river they carried 
all before them. In the Odenwald George Metzler, an innkeeper, had 
raised the standurd of revolt hefore the end of March, and Jiicklein 
Rohrbach followed his example in the Neckarthal on the first of A]>riL 
Florian Geyer headed the Franconian rebels who gathered in the valley 
of the Tauber, and the Austrian government in Wiirttemberg liad 
barely got rid of Ulricli when it was threat-ened by a more dangerous 
enemy in the peasants under Matern Feuerbacher. Further north still, 
the Thuringian commons brr*ke out under the lead of Thomas Miinzer. 

So widespread a movement inevitably gathered into its net perso- 
nalities and forces of every description. The bidk of the insurgents and 
some of their leaders were peasants ; but willingly or unwillingly they 
received into their ranks crimimils, priests, ex-officials, barons^ and even 
some ruling Princes. Florian Geyer was a knight more or less of Sickingen's 
t}^e, who threw himself heart and soul into the peasants* cause. Gotz von 
Berlichingen, the hero of Goethe's drama known as Gotz of the Iron 

Hand — he had lost one hand in battle — came from the same class* In 
his memoirs he represents his complicity in the revolt as the result of 
compulsion, but before there was any question of force he had given 
vent to such sentiments as that the knights suffered as much from the 
Princes' oppression as did the peasants, and his action was probably more 
voluntary than he afterwards cared to admit. The lower clergy, many 
of them drawn from the peasants, naturally sympathised with the chvss 
from which they sprang, and they had no cause to dislike a movement 
which aimed at a redistribution of the wealth of Princes and Bishops; 
in some cases all the inmates of a monastery except the abbot willingly 
joined the insurgents. Some of the leaders were resiJectable innkeepers 
like Matern Feuerbacher, but others were roysterers such as Jacklein 
Rohrbach, and among their followers were many recruits from the 
criminal classes* Tliese baser elements often thrust aside the better, 
and by their violence brought odium upon the whole movement. The 
peasants had indeed contemphited the use of force from the beginning, 
and those who refused to join the Evangelical Brotherhood were to be put 
under a ban, or in modern phraseology, subjected to a boycott ; but the 
burning of castles and monasteries seems hrst to have been adopted in 
retaliation for Truehsess' destruction of peasants' dwellings, and for the 
most part the insurgents' misdeeds arose from a natural inability to 
resist tlie temptations of seigneurial tishponds and wine-cellars. 

No less heterogeneous than the factors of which the revolutionary 
horde wa.s composed were the ideas and motives by which it was movecl^ 
There was many a private and local grudge as well as class and common 
grievances- In Salzburg the Archbishop had retained feudal privileges 
from which most German cities were free ; in the Austrian duchies there 
was a German national feeling against the repressive rule of Ferdinand's 
Spanish ministers ; religions iiersecution helped the revolt at Brixen^ for 
Strauss and Urbanus Regius had there made many converts to Luther's 
Gospel; others complained of the tyranny of mine-owners like the 
Fuggers and other capitalist rings ; and in not a few districts the rising 
. assumed the character of iiJudenhetze. The peasants all over Germany 

Fere animated mainly by the desire to redress agrarian grievances, 
"but hatred of prelatical wealth and privilege and of the voracious 
territorial power of Princes was a boud which united merchants and 
knights, peasants and artisans, in a common hostility. 

Gradually, too, the development of the movement led to the pro- 

luction of various manifestoes or riither crude suggestions for the 
establishment of a new political and social organisation. Some of them 
were foreshadowed in a scheme put forward by Eherlin in 1521, which 
may not, however, have been more seriously intended than Sir Thomas 

lore^ B Utopia, Its pervading principle was that of popular election; 
F:each village was to choose a gentleman as its magistrate ; two hundred 
chief places were to select a knight for their bailiff ; each tea bailiwicks 

were to be organisod under a city, and each ten cities under a Duke or 
Prince, One of the Princes was to be elected King, but he, like every 
subordinate officer, was to be guided by an elected Council. In this 
scheme town was throughout subortlinate to country; half the members 
of the Councils were to be peasants and half nobles, and agriculture was 
pronounced the noblest means of sustenance. Capitalist organisations 
were abolished; the importation of wine and cloth was forbidden, and 
that of corn only conceded in time of scarcity; and the price of wiue and 
bread was to be fixed. Only articles of real utility were to be manu- 
factured, and every form of luxury was to be suppressed. Drastic 
measures were proposed against vice, and drunkards and adulterers were 
to be punished with deatli* All children were to be taught Latin, Greeks 
Hebrew, astronomy, and medicine. 

This Utopian scheme was too fanciful even for the most imaginative 
peasant leaders, but their proposals grew rapidly more extravagant* 
The local demand for the abolition of seigneurial rights gave place to 
universal ideas of liberty, fraternity, equality; and it is scarcely an 
exaggeration to say that the German peasants in 1525 anticipated most 
of the French ideas of 1789. The Twelve Articles of the Elsass peasants 
went beyond the originals of Memmingen in demanding not only the 
popular election of pastors but of all officials, and the right of the 
people to repudiate or recognise princely authority. So, too, the peasants' 
parliament at Meran in the Tyrol insisted that all jurisdictions sliould be 
(|xercised by persons chosen by the community. It was perhaps hostility 
to the Princes rather than perception of national needs that prompted 
the agitation for the reduction of all Princes to the status of heutenants 
of the Emperor, who was to be recognised as the one and only sovereign 
ruler ; but the conception of a democratic Empire had taken strong 
hold of the popular imagination. Hipler and Weigant, two of the 
clearest thinkers of the revolution, suggested writing to Charles and 
representing the movement as aimed at two objects dear to his heart* 
the reformation of his Church and the subjection of the Princes to 
obedience to the Empire. They, no less than the English, preferred a 
popular despotism to feudal anarchy. Even the conservative Swabians 
desired the abolition uf a number of petty intermediate jurisdictions; 
and in more radical districts the proposed \dndication of the Emperor's 
power was coupled with the condition that it was to be wielded in the 
people's interest. The Kaiser was to be the minister, and his subjects 
the sovereign authority. 

Between this ruler and his people there were to be no intervening 
grades of society. Equality was an essential condition of the new order 
of things. Nobles like the counts of Hohenlohe and Henneberg, who 
swore through fear the oath imposed by the rebels, were required 
to dismantle their castles, to live in houses like peasants and burghers, to 
eat the same food and wear the same dress ; they were even forbidden to 

ride on horseback, because it raised tliem above their fellows. Except he 
became as a peasant the noble could not enter the kingdom of brotherly 
love. Who, it wa^ asked, made the first noble, and had not a peasant 
five fingers to his hand like a prince ? Still more attractive than the 
proposed equality of social standing was the suggested equality of 
worldly goods ; and, though in the latter case the ideal no doubt was 
that of levelling up and not of levelling down, it was declared enough 
for any man to possess two thousand crowns. 

It might well be inferred, even if it had not been stated by the 
peasants themselves, that they derived these ideas from teachers in 
towns ; and it was the co-operation of the town proletariate which made 
the revolt so formidable, especially in Franconia and Thuringia. A 
civic counterpart of Eberlin's peasant Utopia was supplied by a political 
pamphlet entitled TJie^ Needs of the Qerman Nation^ or The Refor- 
niation of Frederick III, As in the case of the Twelve Articles of 
Memmlngen, tlie principle of Christian liberty was to be the basis of the 
new organisation ; but it was here applied specifically to the conditions 
of the poorer classes in towns. Tolls, ducK, and especially indirect taxes 
should be abolished ; the capital of individual merchants and of 
companies was to be limited to ten thousand crowns ; the coinage, 
weights, and measures were to be reduced to a uniform standard ; the 
Roman civil and canon law to be abolished, ecclesiastical property to be 
confiscated, and clerical participation in secular trades — against which 
several Acts of the English Reformation parliament were directed — to 
be prohibited. 

Some of these grievances, especially those against the Churchy were 
common to rich and poor alike, but socialistic and communistic ideas 
naturally tended to divide every town and city into two parties, and the 
struggle resolved itself into one between the commune, representing the 
poor, and the Council, representing the well-to-do. This contest was 
fought out in most of the towns in Qgrmany ; and it^ result determined 
the amount of sympathy with which each individual town regarded the 
peasants' cause. But nowhere do the cities appear to have taken an 
active part against the revolution, for they all felt that the Princes 
threatened them as much as they did the peasants. Waldsliut and 
Memmingen from tlie fii'st were friendly ; Zurich rendered active 
assistance ; and there was a prevalent fear that the towns of Switzerland 
and Swabia would unite in support of the movement. The strength 
shown by the peasants exercised a powerful influence over the intra- 
mural struggles of commune and Council, and in many of the smaller 
towns and cities the commune gained the upper hand. Such was the 
case at Heilbronn, at Rothenburg, where Carlstadt Iiadbeen active, and at 
Wiirzburg. At Frankfort the proletariate formed an organisation which 
they declared to be Council, Burgomaster, Pope, and Emperor all rolled 
into one ; and most of the small cities opened their gates to the peasants. 

either because they felt unable to stand a siege or because the commune 
was relatively stronger in the smaller than in the bigger cities. The 
latter were by no means unaffected by the general ferment, but their 
agitations were less directly favourable to the peasants. In several, such 
as Strassburg, there were iconoclastic riots ; in Catholic cities like 
Mainz, Cologne, and Ratisbon the citizens demanded the abolition of 
the Councirs financial control, the suppression of indirect taxation, and 
the extirpation of clerical privilege ; in others again their object was 
merely to free themselves from the feudal control of their lords ; while 
in Bamberg and Speier they were willing to admit the lordship of the 
Bishops, but demanded the secularisation of their property. In one 
form or another the spirit of rebellion pervaded the cities from Brixen 
to Miinster and Osnabriick, and from Strassburg to Stralsund and 

The most extreme embodiment of the revolutionary spirit was found 
in Thomas Miinzer, to whose influence the whole movement has some- 
times been ascribed* After his expulsion from Zwickau he fled to 
Prague, where he announced Ida intention of following the example of 
Hus. His views, however, resembled more closely those of the extreme 
Hussite sect known as Taborites, and their proximity to Bohemia 
may explain the reception which the Thuringian cities of AUstedt and 
Miihlhausen accorded to Miinzer's ideas. At AUstedt his success was 
great bothamong the townsfolk and the peasants ; here he was established 
as a preacher and married a wife ; here he preached his theocratic 
doctrines, which culminated in the assertion that the godless had no 
right to live, but should he exterminated by the sword of the elect. He 
also developed communistic views, and maintained that lords who with- 
held from the community the fish in the water, fowl of the air, and 
produce of the soil were breaking the commandment not to steal. 
Property in fact, though it was left to a more modern communist to 
point the epigram, was theft. The Elector Frederick would have 
tolerated even this doctrine ; but his brother Duke John and his cousin 
Duke George secured in July, 1524, Miinzers expulsion from AUstedt. 
He found an asylum in the imperial city of Miihlhausen, where a runaway 
monk, Heinrich Pfeiffer, had already raised the small trades against the 
aristocratic Council ; but two months later the Council expelled them 
both, and in September Miinzer began a missionary tour through south- 
western Germany. 

Its effects were probably much slighter than has usually been 
supposed, for the revolt in Stiihlingen had begun before Miinzer started, 
and his extreme views were not adopted anywhere except at Miihlhausen 
and in its vicinity. He returned thither about February, 1525, and by 
March 17 he and Pfeiffer had overthrown the Council and established a 
communistic theocracy, an experiment which allured the peasantry of 
the adjacent districts into attempts at imitation* Even Erfurt was for 

a time in the hands o£ insurgents, and the Counts of Hohenstein were 
forced to join their ranks. Miinzer failed^ however, to raise the people 
of Mansfehi, and there was considerable friction between him and 
Pfeiffer, whose objects seem to have been contined to consolidating the 
power of the gilds witliin the walls of Miihlhausen. Miinzer'a strength 
lay in the peasants outside, and, when Philip of Hesse with the Dukes 
of Brunswick and Saxony advc^nced to crush the revolt, he established 
Jus camp at Frankenhausen, some mtles from Muldliausen, wdiile Pfeiffer 
remained within the city. 

Divisions were also rife in the other insurgent bands ; the more 
statesmanlike of the leaders endeavoured to restrain the peasants' 
excesses and to secure co-operation from other classes, while the extremists, 

leither following the bent of their nature or deliberately counting on the 
affects of terror, had recourse to violent measures. The worst of their 

fdeeds was the ^^ massacre of Weiusberg," which took place on April 17, 
and for which the rufiSan Jiicklein Rohrbach was mainly responsible. 
In an attempt to join hands with the Swabian peasants, a contingent 
of the Franconian army commanded by Metzler attacked Weinsberg, a 
town not far from lleilbronn held by Count Ludwig von Hclfenstein. 
Helfenstein had distinguished himself by his defence of Stuttgart against 
Duke Ulrich of Wtirttemberg, and by his rigorous measures against such 
rebels as fell into his power. When a handful of peasants appeared 

I before Weinsberg and demanded admission the Count made a sortie and 
cut thera all down. This roused their comrades to fury j Weinsberg 
was stormed by Rohrbach, and no (quarter was given until Metzler 
arrived on the scene and stopped the slaughter* He granted Rohrbach, 

I however, custody of theprisoners, consisting of Ilelfensteinand seventeen 

**other knights ; and, against Metzler s orders and without his knowledge, 
the Count and his fellow-prisoners w^ere early next morning made to run 
the gauntlet of peasants* daggers before the eyes of the Countess, a 
natural daughter of the Emperor Maximilian. 

These bloody reprisals were not typical of the revolt ; they were 
the work of an extreme section led by a man wlio w^as little better 

I'than a criminal, and they were generally repudiated by the other 
insurgent bands* The Wiirttemberg peasants under Feuerbacher dis- 
claimed all connexion with the '*■ Weinsbergers,"' as the perpetrators of 
tiie massacre came to be called, and the deed hastened, if it did not 
cause, a division among the revolutionary ranks. Gotz von Berlichingeo, 
Wendel Hipler, and Metzler, all men of comparative moderation, were 
chosen leaders of the insurgents from the Odenwald and the surrounding 
districts; and they endeavoured on the one hand to introduce more 
discipline among the peasants and on the other to moderate their 
demands. It was proposed that the Twelve Articles should be reduced 
to a declaration that the peasants would be satisfied with the immediate 
abolition of serfdom, of the lesser tithes, and of death-dues, and would 

concede the performance of other services pending a definite settlement 
which was to be reached at a congress at Heilbronn. By these con- 
cessions and the proposal that temporal Princes should be compensated 
out of the wealth of the clergy for their loss of feudal dues, Hipler and 
Weigant hoped to conciEate some at least of tlie Princes ; and it was 
probably with this end in view that the main attack of the rebels was 
directed against the Bishop of Wiirzburg, 

A violent opposition to these suggestions was offered by the 
extremists; their supporters were threatened vnth death, and Fener- 
bacher was deposed from the command of the Wlirttemberg contingent- 
A like difficulty was experienced in the effort to induce military sub- 
ordination. Believers in the equality of men held it as an axiom that 
no one was better than another, and they demanded that no military 
measures should be taken without the previous consent of the whole 
force. Rohrbachand hisfriends separated from the main body probably on 
account of the selection of Berlicliingen as commander and of the moder- 
ate proposals of Hipler, and pursued an independent career of useless 
pillage. But wlule this violence disgusted many sympatliisers with the 
movement, its immediate effect was to terrorise the Franconian nobles* 
Scores of them joined the Evangelical Brotherhood, and handed over 
their artillery and munitions of war. Count William of Henneberg 
followed their example, and the Abbots of Hersfeld and Fulda, the 
Bishops of Bamberg and Speier, the coadjutor of the Bishop of 
Wurzburg, and Margrave Casimir of Brandenburg were compelled to 
sign the niodilied Twelve Articles, or to make similar concessions. 

Nearly the whole of Franconia was now in the rebels' hands, and 
towards the end of April they began to concentrate on Wiirzburg, whose 
lUshop was also Duke of Franconia and the most powerful Prince in tl^e 
circle. The city offered little resistance, and the Bishop fled to his 
castle on the neighbouring Frauenberg. This was an almost impregnable 
fortress ; and the attempt to capture it locked up the greatest mass of 
the peasants' forces during the crucial month of the revolution. It 
might have been taken or induced to surrender but for defects in the 
organisation of the besieging army. There was little subordination to 
the leaders or unity in their councils. Some were in favour of offering 
terms, but Geyer opposed so lukewarm a measure. The peasants 
obtained a fresh accession of strength by the formal entry of Rothenburg 
into the Evangelical Brotherhood on May 14, but on the following night, 
during the absence of theii* ablest commanders, the besiegers made an 
attempt to storm the castle whicli was repulsed with considerable loss. 

Irretrievable disasters were meanwhile overtaking the peasants in 
other quarters of Germany. On the day after the failure to storm the 
Frauenberg was fought the battle of Frankenhausen, which put an end 
to the revolt in Thuringia. The dominions of Philip of Hesse had 
been less affected by the movement than those of Ms neighbours, mainly 

I because Iiis government had been less oppressive ; and, though there 
were disturbances, his readiness to make concessions soon pacified them, 
and he was able to come to the assistance of less fortunate Princes. 
Joining forces with the Dukes of Brunswick and Duke John of Saxony, 
who succeeded his brother Frederick as Elector of Saxon}^ on May 5, 
Philip attacked Mtinzer at Fninkenhausen on the 15th* According to 
Melanchtlion, whose diatribe against Miinzer has been usually accepted 
as the chief authority for tJie battle, the prophet guaranteed bis followers 
immunity from the enemy's bullets, and they stood still singing bymns 
as the Princes' onslaught commenced, lint their inaction seems also to 
have been due in part at least to the agitation of some of the insurgents 
for surrender. In any case there w^as scarcely a show of resistance ; a 
brief cannonade demolished the line of waggons wdiich they had, after 
the fasluon of the Hussites, drawn up for their defence, and a few 
minutes later the whole force was in flight. Miinzer himself was cap- 
tured, and after torture antl imprisonment wrote a letter, the genuine- 
ness of which has been doubted, admitting his errors and the justice of 

'his condemnation to death* Pfeiffer and his party in Miiblhausen were 
now helpless, and their appeals to tlie Franconian insurgents, wiiich 
fell upon deaf ears, would in any case have been nnavaih ng. On the 
24th Pfeiffer escaped from the city, which thereupon surrendered : he 
was overtaken near Eisenach, and met his inevitable fate with more 
Bourage than Miinzer had shown, A like measure was meted out to 

Ptlie Burgomaster, Miililbausen itself wvls deprived of its privileges as a 
free imperial city, and the revolt was easily suppressed at Erfurt and in 

LOtber Thuringian districts* 

The peasants had been crushed in the North, and they fared as ill in 
the South, Truchsess, after his truce with the Donauried, the Allgau, 
and the Lake contingents, had turned in the last %veek in April against 
the Black Forest bauds, when he was ordered by the Swabian League to 
march to the relief of Wtirttemberg, and so prevent a junction between 
the Franconian and Swabian rebels. On May 12 he came upon the 
peasants strongly entrenched on marshy groinid near Boblingen. By 
means of an understanding with some of the leading burghers the gates 
of the town were opened, and Truchsess was enabled to plant artillery 
on the castle -walls, whence it commanded the peasants' entrenchments. 
Compelled thus to come out into the open, they were cut to pieces by 
cavalry, though, with a courage w^hicli the peasants had not hitherto 
displayed, the Wtirttemberg band prolonged its resistance for nearly 
four hours. Weinsberg next fell into Truchsess' hands and was burned 
to the ground, and Rohrbach was slowly roasted to death. 

Truchsess* approach spread consternation in the camp at Wiirzburg, 
After the failure to storm the Frauenl>erg, Gotz von Berlichingen 
deserted the peasants' cause, and about a fourth of his men returned to 
their homes. The remainder were detached from the camp at Wiirzburg 

to intercept Truchsess ; they met him on J une 2 at Konigshofen and 
suffered a defeat almost as disastrous as that at Boblingen. Truchsess 
next fell upon Florian Geyer and his '* Black Band," who made a 
stubborn defence at Ingolstadt, but were outnumbered and most of them 
slain. Geyer escaped for the time, but met his death by fair means 
or foul shortly afterwards at the hands of WiLhelm von Grnmbach* 
Truchsess could now march on Wiirzburg without fear of molestation; 
the outskirts were reached on June 5, and the leaders of the old city 
Council entered into communication with the approaching enemy. 
They conceded practically .all the reactionary demands, but represented 
to the citizens that they liad made the best terms they could ; and on 
June 8 Truchsess and the Princes rode into the city without opposition. 

The surrender of Wiirzburg carried with it the reUef of the hard- 
pressed castle of Frauenberg, and, the neck of the rebellion being thns 
broken, its life in other parts gradually flickered out. Rothenburg was 
captured by Margrave Casimir on June 28^ but Carlstadt and several 
other revolutionary leaders escaped, Menimingen was taken by strata- 
gem, and few of the cities showed any disposition to resist. The move- 
ment in Elsass had been suppressetl by Duke Anthony of Lorraine with 
the help of foreign mercenaries before the end of May, and by July the 
only districts in which large forces of tlie peasants remained in arms 
were the Allgau, Salzburg, and Ferdinand's duchies. Truchsess, having 
crushed the revolt in Franconia, returned to complete the work which 
had been interrupted in Upper Swabia. With the aid of George von 
Fruntisberg, who had returned irom Italy, and by means of treachery in 
the peasants* ranks, he dispersed two of the Allgau bands on Jtdy 22, and 
compelled a third to surrender on the banks of the Luibas. A week before 
Count Felix von Werdenberg had defeated the Hegau contingent at Hil- 
zingen, relieved Radolfzell, and beheaded Hans Miiller of Bulgenbaeh. 

In the Austrian territories and in Salzburg, however, the revolution 
continued active throughout the winter and following spring. Waldshut, 
which had risen against Ferdinand's religious persecution before the 
outbreak of the Peasants' War, held out until December 12, 152f5, The 
revolt in Salzburg was indirectly encouraged by the jealousy existing 
between its Archbishop and the Dokes of Bavaria, and by a scheme which 
Ferdinand entertained of dividing the archbishop's lands between the 
two Dukes and himself. The Archduke had in June, 1525, temporarily 
pacified the Tyrolese peasantry by promising a complete amnesty and 
granting some substantial redress of their agrarian, and even of their 
ecclesiastical, grievances. But Michael Gaismayr and others, who aimed 
at a political revolution, were not satisfied, and Gaismayr fled to 
Switzerland, where he received promises of support from Francis I and 
other enemies of the Habsburgs. Early in 152G he returned to the 
attack and in May laid siege to Radstadt. At Schladming, some fifteen 
miles to the east of Radstadt, the peasants defeated DietrichBtein and 

for some mouths defied the Austrian government. Gaismayr inflicted 
two reverses upon the forces sent to relieve Kadstadt, but was unable 
permanently to resist the increasing contingents despatched against him * 
by the Swabian League and the Austrian government. In July he was 
compelled to raise the siege, and fled to Italy, where he was murdered 
in 1528 by two Spaniards, who received for their deed the price put by 
the government on Gaismayr's head. 

The Austrian duchies were one of the few districts in which the re- 
volt resulted in an amelioration of tlie lot of the peasants* Margrave 
Philip of Baden, whose humanity was recognised on all sides, pursued a 
similar policy, and the Landgrave of Hesse also made some concessions. 
But as a rule the suppression of the movement was marked by appal- 
ling atrocities. On JLiy 27 Leonard von Eek, tiie Bavarian chancellor, 
reports that Duke Anthony of Lorraine alone had already destroyed 
twenty thousand peasants in Elsass ; and for the whole of Germany a 
moderate estimate puts the number of victims at a hundred thousand. 
The only consideration that restrained the victors appears to have been 
the fear that, unless they held their hand, they would have no one left to 
render them service. ^' If all the peasants are killed," wrote Margrave 
George to his brother Casimir, 'Mvhere shall we get other peasants to 
make provision for us ? '* Casimir stood in need of the exhortation ; at 
Kitzingen, near Wiirzburg, he put out the eyes of fifty-nine townsfolk, 
and forbade the rest under severe penalties to offer them medical or 
other assistance. When the massacre of eighteen knights? at Weinsberg 
is adduced as proof that the peasants were savages, one may well ask 
what stage of civilisation had been reached by German Princes. 

The effects of this failure to deal with the peasants' grievances extept 
by methods of brutal oppression cannot be estimated with any exacti- 
tude ; but its effects were no doubt enduring and disastrous. The Diet 
of Augsburg ifi 1525 attempted to mitigate the ferocity of the lords 
towards their subjects, but the effort did not produce much result, and 
to the end of the eighteenth century the German peasantry remained 
the most wretched in Europe, Serfdom lingered there longer than in 
any other ci\"ilised country save Russia, and the mass of the people 
were effectively shut out from the sphere of political action. Tlie begin- 
nings of democracy were crushed in the cities ; the knights and then 
the peasants were beaten down. And only the territorial power of the 
Princes profited. The misery of the mass of her people must be reck- 
oned as one of the causes of the national weakness and intellectual 
sterility which marked Germany during the latter part of the sixteenth 
century. The religious lead which she had given to Europe passed into 
other hands, and the literary awakening which preceded and accompa- 
nied the Reformation was followed by slumbers at least as profound as 
those which had gone before. 

The difficulty of assigning reasons for the failure of the revolt itself 

is eiiliaiiced hy tliat of determining how far it was really a revolutionary 
movement and how far reactionary. Was it the h^st and greatest of 
the medieval peasant revolts, or was it a premature birth of modern 
democracy? It was probably a combination of both* The hardships 
of the peasants and town proletariate were undoubtedly aggravated by 
the economic revolution, the substitution of a world-market for local 
markets, the consequent growth of capitalism and of the relative poverty 
of the poorest classes ; and, in so far aa they saw no remedy except in a 
return to the worn-out medieval system, their objects were reactionary, 
and would have failed ultimately, even if they had achieved a temporary 
success. On the other hand, the ideas which their leaders developed 
during the course of the movement, such as the abolition of serfdom, 
the participation of peasants in politics, the universal application of 
the principle of election, were undeniably revolutionary and premature. 
Many of these ideas have been since successfully put into practice, but 
in 1525 the classes which formulated them had not acquired the faculties 
necessary for the proper exercise of political power ; and the movement 
was an abortion. 

The effect of its suppression upon the religious development of 
Germany was none the less disastrous* In its religious aspect the 
Peasants' Revolt was an appeal of the poor and oppressed to ^* divine 
justice "' against the oppressor. They had eagerly applied to their lords 
the biblical anathemas against the rich, and interpreted the beatitudes 
as a promise of redress for the wrongs of the poor. They were naturally 
unconvinced by Luther's declarations that the Gospel only guaranteed a 
spiritual and not a temporal emancipation, and that spiritual Uberty was 
the only kind of freedom to which they had a right. They felt that 
such a doctrine might suit Luther and his knightly and boitrgeoiM sup- 
porters, who already enjoyed an excessive temporal franchise, but 
that in certain depths of material misery tlie cultivation of spiritual and 
moral welfare was impossible. It was a counsel of perfection to advise 
them to be content with spiritual solace when they complained that they 
could not feed their bodies. They did not regard poverty as compatible 
with the *^ divine justice '' to which they appealed ; and when their ap- 
peal was met by the slaughter of a hundred thousand of their numbers 
their faith in the new Gospel received a fatal blow. Their aspirations, 
which had been so vividly expressed in the popular literature of the last 
five years, were turned into despair, and they rela{:>sed into a state of 
mind which was not far removed from materialistic atheism. Who 
knows, they asked, what God is, or whether there is a God ? And the 
minor questions at issue between Luther and the Pope they viewed with 
profound indifference. 

Such was the result of the Peasants' Revolt and of Luther's inter- 
vention. His conduct will always remain a matter of controversy, 
because its interpretation depends not so much upon what he said or 

left unsaid, as upon the respective emphasis to be laid on the various 
things he said, and on the meaning his words were likely to convey to 
his readers. His first tract on the subject, written and published in the 
early days of the m(jvement, distributed blame with an impartial but 
lavish hand, He could not countenance the use of force, but many of 
the peasants* demands were undeniably just, and their revolt was the 
vengeance of God for the Princes' sins. Both parties could, and no 
doubt did, interpret this as a pronouncement in their favour ; and, 
indeed, stripped of its theology, violence, and rhetoric, the tract was a 
sensible and accurate diagnosis of the case. But, although the Princes 
may have deserved his strictures, a prudent man who really believed 
the revolt to be evil would have refrained from such attacks at that 
moment, Luther, however, could not resist the temptation to attribute 
the ruin which threatened the Princes to their stiff necked rejection of 
Lutheran dogma ; and his invectives poured oil on the flames of revolt. 
Its rapid progress filled him with genuine terror, and it is probably 
unjust to ascribe his second tract merely to a desire to be found on the 
side of the big battalions. . It appeared in the middle of May, 1525, 
possibly before the news of any great defeat inflicted on the insurgent 
bands had reached him, and when it would have required more than 
Luther's foresight to predict their speedy collapse. 

Yet terror and his proximity to Thuringia, the scene of the most 
violent and dangerous form of the revolt, while they may palliate, 
cannot excuse Luther's efforts to rival the brutal ferocity of Miinzer's 
doctrines, \IIc must have known that the Princes' victory, if it came at 
all, would be bloody enough without his exhortations to kill and slay 
the peasants like inad dgigpi, and without his promise of heaven to those 
who fell in the holy work. His sympathy with the masses seems to haje 
been limited to those occasions when he saw in tliem a useful weapon 
to hold over the heads of his enemies. J He once lamented that refractory 
servants cuuld nu longer be treated^like " other cattle '* as in the days of 
the Patriarclis ; and he joined with Melancbthon and Spalatin in 
removing the scruples of a Saxon noble with regard to the burdens his 
tenants bore, "The ass will have blows," he said, ^'and the people will 
be ruled by force " ; and he was not free from the upstarts contempt 
for the class from which he sprang. His followers echoed his sentiments ; 
Melancbthon thought even serfdom too mild for stubborn folk like the 
Germans, and maintained that the master's right of punishment and the 
servant's duty of submission should both be unlimited. It was little 
wonder that the organisers of the Lutheran Church afterwards found the 
peasants deaf to their exhortations, or that Melancbthon was once 
constrained to admit that the people abhorred himself and hia fellow- 


It is almost a commonplace with Lutheran writers to justify Luther's 
action on the ground that the Peasants^ Revolt was revolutionary, 

O. M, tl. 11. 13 

unlawfu!, immoral, while the religious movement was reforming, lawful, 
and moral ; but tlie hard and fast line whicli is thus drawn vanishes 
on a closer investigation. The peasants had no constitutional means 
wherewitli to attain their ends, and there is no reason to suppose that 
they would have resorted to force unless force had been prepared to 
resist them ; if, as Luther maintained, it was the Christian's duty to 
tolerate worldly ills, it was incmnbent on Christian Princes as well as on 
Christian peasants ; and if, as he said, the Peasants' Revolt was a punish- 
ment divint;ly ordained for the Princes, what right had they to resist? 
Moreover, the Lutherans themselves were only content with constitutional 
means so long as they proved successful ; when they failed Lutherans 
also resorted to arms against their lawful Emperor, Nor was there 
anything in the peasants' demands more essentiallyrevolutionary than the 
repudiation of the Pope's authority and the wholesale appropriation of 
ecclesiastical property. The distinction between the two movements has 
for its basis the fact that the one was successful, the other was not ; 
while tlie Peasants' Revolt failed, the Reformation triumphed, and then 
discarded its revolutionary guise and assumed the respectable garb of 
law and order. 

Luther in fact saved the Reformation by cutting it adrift from the 
failing cause of the peasants and tying it to the chariot wheels of the 
triumphant Princes, If he had not been the apostle of revolution-^ he 
had at least commanded the army in which all the revolutionaries 
fought. He had now repudiated his left wing and was forced to depend 
on his right. The movement from 1521 to 1525 had been national, and 
Luther had been its hero ; from the position of national hero he now 
sank to be the prophet of a sect, and a sect which depended for existence 
upon the support of political powers. Melanchthon admitted that the 
decrees of the Lutheran Church were merely platonie conclusions without 
the support of the Princes, and Luther suddenly abandoned his views on 
the freedom of conscience and the independence of the Church. In 1523 
he had proclaimed the duty of obeying God before men ; at the end of 
1524 he was invoking the secular arm against the remnant of papists at 
Wittenberg ; it was to punish the ungodly, he said, that the sword had 
been placed in the hands of authority, and it was in vain that the 
Elector Frederick reminded him of his previous teaching, that men 
"simuld let only the Word fight for them. Separated from tlie Western 
Clmrch and alienated from the bulk of the German people, Lutheran 
di^nes leant upon territorial Princes, and repaid their support with 
undue servility ; even Henry VI H extorted from his bishops no more 
degrading comi>liance than the condoning by Melanchthon and others 
of Philip of Hesse's bigamy. Melanchthon came to regard the com- 
mands of princes as the ordinances of God, while Luther looked upon 
them as Bishoj^s of the Church, and has been claasod by Treitschke 
with Machiavelli as a champion of the indefeasible rights of the State. 

Erastus, like most political philosophers, only reduced to theory what 
had lomg been the practice of Princes. 

Thh alliance of Lutheran State and Lutheran Church was based on 
mutual interest. Some of the peasant leadei-s had offered the Princes 
compensation for the loss of their feudal dues out of the revenues of the 
Church, The Lutherans offered thera both ; they favoured the retention 
of feudal dues and the confiscation of ecclesiastical property ; and the 
latter could only be satisfactorily effected through the intervention of the 
territorial principle, for neither religious party would have tolerated 
the acquisition by the Emperor of the ecclesiastical territories within 
the Empire. Apart from the alleged evils inherent in the wealth of the 
clergy, secularisation of Church property was recommended bn the 
ground that many of the duties attached to it had already passed to 
some extent under State or municipal supervision, such as the regulation 
of poor relief and of education ; and the history of the fifteenth century 
had shown that the defence of Christendom depended solely upon the 
exertions of individual States, and that the Church could no longer, as 
in the days of the Crusades, excite any independent enthusiasm against 
the infidel. It was on the plea of the necessities of tiiis defence that 
Catholic as well as Lutheran princes made large demands upon 
ecclesiastical revenues. With the diminution of clerical goods went a 
decline in tlie independence of the clergy and a corresponding increase 
in the authority of territorial Princes ; and it was by tlie prospect of 
reducing his IMshops and priests to subjection that sovereigns like 
Margrave Casimirof Brandenburg were induced to adopt the Lutheran 

The Lutherans had need of every recruit, for the reaction which 
crushed the peasants threatened to involve them in a similar ruin* 
Duke Anthony of Lorraine regarded the suppression of the revolt in the 
light of a crusade against Luther, and many a Gospel preacher was 
summarily executed on a charge of sedition for which there was slender 
ground. Catholic Princes felt that they would never be secure against a 
recurrence of rebellion until tliey had extirpated the root of the evil ; 
and the embers of social strife were scarcely stamped out when they 
began to discuss schemes for extinguishing heresy. In July, 1525, 
Duke George of Saxony, who may have entertained hopes of seizing his 
cousin's electorate, the Electors Joachim of Brandeiiburg and Albrecht of 
Mainz, Duke Henry of Brunswick-Wolfenbiittel, and other Catholic 
Princes met at Dessau to consider a Catholic League, and Henry of 
Brunswick was sent to Charles to obtain the imperial support. The 
danger produced a like combination of Lutherans^ and in October, 1525» 
Philip of Hesse proposed a defensive alliance between himself and Elector 
John at Torgau ; it was comi^leted at Gotha in the following March, i 
at Magdeburg it was joined h}^ that city, the Brunswick-Liinebur 
Otto, Eniest, and Francis, Duke Philip of Brunswick-Grub 

Duke Henry of Mecklenburg, Prince Wolfgang of Anbalt-Kothen, and 
Counts Gebhard and Albrecht of Manafeld. 

Tbis league was the work of Philip of Hesse, the statesman to whom 
the Reformation in Germany largely owed its success ; his genuine 
adoption of its doctrines bad little eflect on his personal morality, yet he 
risked bis all in the canse and devoted to it abilities of a very high order* 
But for bis slender means and narrow domains be might have played a 
great part in history ; as it was, bis courage, fertility of resource, wide 
outlook, and independence of formulas enabled him to exert a i>owerful 
influence on the fortunes of his cixed and liis country. He already 
meditated a scheme, which he afterwards carried into effect, of restoring 
Duke Ulricb of Wiirttembcrg ; and the skill with wbicb he played on 
Bavarian jealousy of the Habsburgs more than once saved the Reformers 
from a Catholic combination. He wished to include in the league the 
half-Zwinglian cities of South Germany, and although bis far-reaching 
scheme for a union between Zwinglian Switzerland and Lutheran 
Germany was baulked by Lutlier*s obstinacy and Zwingli's defeat at 
Kappel, be looked as early as 1626 for belp to the Northern Powers 
which eventually saved the Reformation in the course of the Thirty 
Years' War, 

Meanwhile a Diet summoned to meet at Augsburg in December, 1525, 
was scantily attended and proved abortive. Another met at Speier in 
the following June, and its conduct induced a Reformer to describe it as 
the boldest and freest Diet that ever assembled. The old complaints 
against Rome were revived, and the recent revolt was attributed to 
clerical abuses, A committee of Princes reported in favour of the 
marriage of priests, communion in both kinds, the abolition of private 
masses, a reduction in the number of fasts, the joint use of Latin and 
German in baptismal services and in the celebration of the Eucharist, 
and the interpretation of Scripture by Scripture. To prevent the 
adoption of these resolutions Fertliimnd produced instructions from the 
Emperor, dated the 23rd of March, 1526, in which he forbade innovations, 
promised to discuss the question of a General Council with the Pope^ 
and demanded the execution of the Edict of Worms, The cities, how- 
ever, again declared the last to be impracticable, and called attention 
to the fact that, whereas at the date of Charles* letter he bad been at 
peace with the Pope, they were now at open enmity. They declined to 
believe that the Emperors intentions remained the same under these 
altered conditions ; and they proposed sending a deputation to Spain to 
demand the suspension of the Edict of Worms, and the immediate 
convocation of a General or at least a National Council, ifeanwhile the 
Princes suggested that as regarded matters of faith each Prince should so 
conduct himself as be could answer for his behaviour to God and to the 
Emperor ; and this proposal was adopted, was promulgated in the Diet's 
Recess, and thus became the law of the Empire. Both the Emperor and 

the national government seemed to have abdicated their control over 

ecclesiasticalpoliej in favourof the territorial Princes ; and the separatist 
principle, which had long dominated secular politics, appeared to hava 
legally established itself within the domain of religion. 

The Diet had presumed too moch upon Charles' hostility to the 
Pope, but there were grounds for tliis assumption. Although his letter 
arrived too lat-e to aflfect the Diet's decision, the Emperor had actually 
written on July 27, suggesting the abolition of the penal clauses in the 
Edict of Worms, and the submission of evangelical doctrines to the 
consideration of a General Council. Rut this change of attitude was 
entirely due to the momentary exigencies of his foreign relations, 
Clement VII was hand in glove with the I^eague of Cognac, formed to 
wrest from Charles the fruits of Pavia* The Emperor, threatened with 
excommunication, replied by remarking that Luther might be made a nmn 
of importance ; while Charles' lieutenant, Moncada, captured the castle 
of St Angelo, and told the Pope that God himself could not withstand 
the victorious imperial arms. Other Spaniards were urging Charles to 
abolish the temporal power of the Papacy, as the root of all the Italian 
wars ; and he hoped to find in the Lutherans a weapon against the Pupe, 
a hope which was signally fulfilled when Frundsberg led eleven thousand 
troops, four thous^md of whom served without pay, to the sack of Rome- 

Moreover Ferdinand was in no position to coerce the Lutheran 
princes. The peasant revolts in his Austrian duchies were not yet 
subdued, and he was toying with the idea of an extensive secularisation of 
ecclesiastical property. He had seized the bishopric of Rrixen, meditated 
a partition of Salzburg, and told his Estates at Innsbruck that the 
common people objected altogether to the exercise of clerical jurisdiction 
in temporal concerns. And before long considerations of the utmost 
importance for the future of his House and of Europe further diverted 
his energies from the prosecution of either religious or political objects 
in Germany; for 1526 was the birth-year of the Austro-IIungarian 
State which now holds in its straining bond all that remains of Habsbnrg 

The ruin which overtook the kingdom of Hungary at Mobacs 
(August 30, 1526) has been ascribed to various causes. The simplest 
is that Hungary, and no other State, barred the path of tlie Turks, and 
felt the full force of their onslaught at a time when the Ottoman Power 
was in the first flush of its vigour, and was wielded by perhaps the greatest 
of Sultans* Hungary, though divided, was at least as united as Germany 
or Italy; it was to some extent isolated from the rest of Europe, but it 
effected no such breach with Western Christendom as Rohemia had done 
in the Hussite wars, and Rohemia escaped the heel of the Turk. The 
foreign policy of Hungary was ill-directed and inconsequent ; but if the 
marriage of its King with the Emperor's sister and that of its Princess 


John Zapolya in Himgary 


with his brother could not protect it, the weaving of diplomatic webs 
would not have impeded the Turkish advance. No Hungarian wizard 
could have revived the Crusades ; and Hungary fell a victim not so much 
to faults of her own, as to the misfortune of her geographical position, 
and to the absorption of Christian Europe in its internecine warfare. 

But Hungary's necessity was the Habsburgs' opportunity. For at 
least a century that ambitious race had dreamt of the union of Austria, 
Bohemia, and Hungary under its sway. Under Alhrecht H and his son 
Wladislav the dream enjoyed a twenty years' realisation (1437-57) ; 
hut after the latter's death Bohemia found a national King in Podiebrad 
jind Hungary in Corvinus. On the extinction of these two lines the 
realms were again united, but not under Austrian rule ; and for more 
than a generation two Polish princes of the House of Jagello successively 
sat on the Cech and Magyar thrones. The Emperor Maximilian, 
however, never ceased to grasp at the chance which his feeble father had 
missed ; and before his death two of his grandchildi-en were betrothed to 
Louis II and his sister Anna, while the Austrian succession, in default of 
issue to Louis, was secured by solemn engagements on the part of both 
the kingdoms. 

The death of Louis at Mohacs hastened the crucial hour. Both 
kingdoms prided themselves on their independence and right to elect 
their monarclis, and in both there was national antagonism to German 
encroachment. In Hungary, where the Xiefoniiation had made some 
slight progress, the Catholic national party was led by John Zapolya, 
who had earned a reputation by his cruel suppression of a Hungarian 
peasant revolt in 1514, and had eagerly sought the hand of the Princess 
Anna, His object throughout had been the throne, and the marriage 
of Anna to Ferdinand enraged him to such an extent that he stood idly 
by while the Turk triumphed over his country at Mohacs, He would 
rather lie King by the grace of Solyraan than see Hungary free under 
Ferdinand. The nobles' hatred of German rule came to Zapolya's aid, 
and on November 10, 1526, disregarding alike Ferdinand's claims through 
his wife and their previous treaty-engagements, they chose Zapolya 
King at Stulilweissenburg, and crowned him the following day. 

Had Ferdinand had only one rival to fear in Bohemia the restdt might 
have been similar, but a multitude of candiJates divided the opposition. 
Sigismund of Poland, Joachim of Brandenburg, Albrecht of Prussia, 
three iSaxon Princes, and two Bavarian Dukes, all thought of entering the 
lists, but Ferdinand's most serious competitors were his Wittelsbaeh 
rivals, who had long intrigued for the Boliemian throne. But if the 
Oechswere to electa German King, a Wittelsbaeh possessed no advantages 
over a Habsburg, and Ferdinand carried the day at Prague on October 23, 
1526. The theory that he owed his success to a Catholicism which was 
moderate compared with that of the Bavarian Dukes ignores the Catholic 
reaction which had followed the Hussite movement ; and the Articles 

submitted to Ferdinand by bis future subjects expressly demanded the 
prohibition of clerical marriages, the maintenance of fasts, and the 
veneration of Saints. Of course, like his predecessors, he had to sign 
the eompactata extorted by the Bohemians from the Council of Basel and 
Btill uncoutirmed by the Pope, but this was no great concession to heresy, 
and Ferdinand showed much firmness in refusing stipulations which 
would have weakened his royal authority. In spite of the hopes which 
his adversaries built on this attitude he was crowned with acclamation 
at Prague on February 24, 1527, the anniversary of Pavia and of 
Charles V's birth. 

He then turned his attention to Hungary; his widowed sister's 
exertions had resulted in an assemblage of nobles which elected 
Ferdinand King at Pressburg on December 17, 1526; and the eft'orts 
of Francis I and the Pope, of England and Venice, to strengthen 
Zapolya's party proved vain. During the following summer Ferdinand 
was recognised as King by another Diet at Buda, defeated Zapolya at 
Tokay, and on November 3 was crowned at Stublweissenburg, the scene 
of his rivaFs election in the previous year. This rapid success led hira 
to indulge in dreams which later Habsburgs succeeded in fulfilling. 
Besides the prospect of election as King of the Romans, he hoped to 
secure the ducliy of Milan and to regain for Hungary its lost province 
of Bosnia. Ferdinand might also be thought to have foreseen the 
future importance of the events of 1526-7, and the part which his 
Pconglomerate kingdom was to play in the history of Europe. 

These diversions of Ferdinand* and the absorption of Charles V in his 
wars in Italy and with England and France, aflforded the Lutherans an 
opportunity of turning the Recess of Speier to an account which the 
Habsburgs and the Catholic Princes had certainly never contemplated. In 
tiieir anxiety to tUscover a constitutional and legal plea wliicli should re- 
move from the Reformation the reproach of being a revolution, Lutheran 
historians have attempted to differentiate this Recess from otlier laws of 
the Etnpire, and to regard it rather as a treaty between two independent 
Powers, which neither could break without the other^s consent, than aaa 
law which might be repealed by a simple majority of the testates. It was 
represented as a fundamental part of the constitution beyond the reach 
>f ordinary constitutional weapons ; and the neglect of the Emperor and 
le Catholic majority to adopt this view is urged as a legal justification 
of that final resort to arms, on the successful issue of which the existence 
of Protestantism within the Empire was really based- 
It is safe to affirm that no such idea had occurred to the majority of 
the Diet which passed the Recess. The Emperor and the Catholic 
Princes had admitted the inexpediency and impracticability of reducing 
Germany at that juncture to religious conformity ; but they had by no 
means forsworn an attempt in the future when circumstances might 

prove more propitious. Low as tlie central authority bad fallen before 
the onslaughts of territorial separatists, it was not yet prepared to admit 
that the question of the nation s religion had for ever escaped its control- 
But for the moment it was compelled to look on while individual Princes 
organised Churches at will ; and the majority had to content themselves 
with replying to Lutheran expulsion of Catholic doctrine by enforcing 
it still more rigorously in their several spheres of influence. 

The right to make ecclesiastical ordinances, which the Empire had 
exercised at Worms in 1521 and at Niirnberg in 1523 and 1524, but had 
temporarily abandoned at Speier, was not restored to the Chuix'h^ but 
passed to the territorial Princes, in whose hostility to clerical privileges 
and property Luther found his most effective support. Hence the 
democratic form of Church government, which had been elaborated by 
Francois Lambert and adopted by a synod summoned to Homberg by 
Philip of Hesse in October, 1526, failed to take root in Germany. It was 
based on the theory that every Christian participates in the priesthood, 
that the Church consists only of the faithful, and that each religious 
community should have complete independence and full powers of 
ecclesiastical discipline. It was on similar lines that " Free '' Churches 
were subsequently developed in Scotland, England, France, and America. 
But such ideas were alien to the absolute monarchic principle with 
which Luther had cast in his lot, and the German Reformers, like 
the Anglican, preferred a Church in which the sovereign and not the 
congregation was the summui^ episcopu^* In his hands were vested the 
powers of punishment for religious opinion, and in Germany as in 
England religious persecutions %vere organised by the State. It was 
perhaps as well that the State and not the Lutheran Church exercised 
coercive functions, for the rigour applied by Lutheran Princes to dissi- 
dent Catliolics fell short of Luther's terrible imprecations, and of the 
cruelties inflicted on heretics in orthodox territories. 

The breach between the Lutheran Church and the Church of Rome 
was, with regard to both ritual and doctrine, slight compared with that 
effected by Zwingli or Calvin* Latin Christianity was tlie groundwork 
of the Lutheran Church, antl its divines sought only to repair the old 
foundation and not to lay down a new, Luther would tolerate no 
figurative interpretation of the words of institution of the Eucharist, 
and he stoutly maintained the doctrine of a real presence, in his own 
sense. With the exception of the *' abominable canon,'' which implied a 
sacrifice, the Catholic Mass was retained in the Lutheran Service ; and 
on this question every attempt at union with the '* Reformed" Churches 
broke down. The changes introduced during the ecclesitistical visitations 
of Lutheran Germany in 152t>-T were at least as much concessions to 
secular dislike of clerical privilege as to religious antipathy to Catholic 
doctrine. The abolition of episcopal jurisdiction increased the in- 
dependence of parish priests, but it enhanced even more the princely 





authority. The confiscation of monastic property enriched pariah 
churches and schools, and in Hesse facilitated the foundation of the 
University of Marburg, but it also swelled the State exchequer ; and the 
marriage of priests tended to destroy their privileges as a caste and 
merge them in the mass of their fellow-citizens. 

It was not these questions of ecclesiastical government or ritual 
Trhicli evoked enthusiasm for the Lutheran cause. Its strength lay in its 
appeal to the conscieuce» in its emancipation of tlie individual from the 
restrictions of an ancient but somewhat oppressive system, in its 
declaration that the means of salvation were open to all, and that neither 
priest nor Pope could take them away ; that individual faith was 
sufficient and the whole apparatus of clerical mediation cumbrous and 
nugatory. The absolute, immediate dependeuce on God, on w^hieh 
Luther insisted so strongly, excluded dependence on man ; and the 
individualistic_egJitism ami quickening conscience of the age w^ere alike 
exalted by the sense of a new-born spiritual liberty. To this moral 
elation Luther's hymns contributed as much as his translation of the 
New Testament, and liis musical ear made them national songs. The 
first collection was published in 1524, and Luther's Ein feste Burg tst 
umer Gott^ written in 1527, has been described by Heine as the 
Maruillaue of the Reformation \ it was equally popular as a song of 
triumph in the hour of victory and as a solace in persecution. Luther was 
still at work on his translation of the Bible, and his third great literary 
contribution to the edification of the Lutheran Church was his Catechimh 
wliich appeared in a longer and a shorter form (1529), and in the latter 
became the norm for German Churches. The w^ay for it had been 
prepared by two of Luther's disciples, Johann Agricola and Justus 
Jonas ; and other colleagues in the organisation of the Lutheran Church 
were Amsdorf, Luther s Elisha, ^lelanchthon, whose theological learning, 
intellectual acuteness, and forbearance towards the Catholics were marred 
by a lack of moral strength, and Bugenhagen. The practical genius of 
the last-named reformer was responsible for the evangelisation of the 
greater part of North Germany » wliich, with the exceptitm of the 
territories of the Elector of Brandenburg, of Duke George of Saxony, 
and of Duke Henry of Brunswiek-Wolfcnbiittel, had by 1529 broken 
away from the Catholic Church. 

But the respite afforded by the Diet of Speier, invaluable though 
it proved, was not of long duration, and the Lutheran Princes were 
soon threatened with attacks from their fellow-Princes and from the 
Emperor liimself . A meeting lietween Elector Joachim of Brandenburg, 
Duke George of Saxony, and the Archduke Ferdinand, now King of 
Hungary and Bohemia, at Breslau in May, 1527, gave rise to rumours of 
a Catholic conspiracy ; and these suspicions, to which the Landgrave's 
hasty temperament led him to attach too ready a credence, were turn* 
to account by one Otto von Pack, who had acted as Vice-Chancellor 


Duke George of Saxon3^ Pack forged a document purporting to be an 
authentic copy of an oflfensive league between Ferdinand, the Electors of 
Mainz and Brandenburg, Duke George of Saxony, the Dukes of Bavaria, 
and the Bishops of Salzburg, Wiirzburg, and Bamberg, the object of 
which was first to drive Zapolya from Hungary, and then to make war 
on the Elector of Saxony unless he surrendered Luther, For this 
information the Landgrave paid Pack four thousand crowns, aud 
despatched him to Hungary to warn Zapolya and to concert measures 
of defence. Another envoy was sent to Francis I ; and at Weimar in 
March, 1528, Philip concluded a treaty with the Elector of Saxony in 
which they agreed to anticipate the attack. The Landgrave at once 
began to mobilise his forces, but Luther persuaded the Elector to halt. 
All the parties concerned denied the alleged conspiracy, and eventually 
Philip himself admitted that he had been deceived, lllogieally, however, 
he demanded that the Bishops should pay the cost of his mobilisation ; 
and iis they liad no force wherewith to resist, they were compelled to find 
a hundred thousand crowns between them. 

The violence of this proceeding naturally embittered the Catholics, 
aud Philip was charged with having concocted the whole plot and 
instigated Pack*s forgeries. These accusations have been satisfactorily 
disproved, but the Landgrave*s conduct must be held partially respon- 
sible for the incre^^ised persecution of Lutherans which followed in 
1528, ami for the hostile attitude of the Diet of Speier in 1529. The 
Catholic States began to organise visitations for the extirpation of 
heresy; in Austria printers and vendors of heretical Imoks were con- 
demned to be drowned as poisoners of the minds of the people. In 
Bavaria in 1528 thirty-eight persons were burnt or drowned, and the 
victims included men of distinction such as Leonhard Kiiser, Heuglin, 
Adolf Clarenbach, and Peter Flysteden, while the historian Aventinus 
suffered prolonged imprisonment. In Brandenburg the most illustrious 
victim was the Elector's wife, the Danish Princess Elizabeth, who only 
escaped death or lifelong incarceration by flight to her cousin, the 
Elector of Saxony. 

Meanwhile the Emperor's attitude grew ever more menacing, for a 
fresh revolution had reversed the imperial policy. The idea of playing 
off Luther against the Pope had probably never been serious, and the 
protests in Spain against Charles' treatment of Clement would alone 
have convinced him of the dangers of such an adventure. Between 
1527 and 1529 he gradually reached the conclusion that a Pope was 
indispensable. Immediately after the Sack of Rome one of his agents 
had warned him of the danger lest England and France should establish 
patriarchates of their own ; and a Pope of the universal Church under 
the control of Charles as master of Italy was too useful an instrument to 
be lightly abandoned, if for no other reason than that an insular Pope 
in England would grant the divorce of Henry VIII from Catharine of 

f Aragon. The Emperor also wanted Catholic help to restore Lis brother- 
in-law, Christian II of Denmark, deposed by his Lutheran subjeets ; he 
desired papal recognition for Ferdinand's new kingdoms ; and hia own 
imperial authority in Germany could not have survived the secularisation 
of the ecclesiastical electorates. Empire and Papacy, said Zwingli, both 
femanated from Rome ; neither could stand if the other felL At the 
same time the issue of the war in Italy in 1628-9 convinced Clement 
that he could not stand without Charles, and paved the way for the 
mutual undei-s tan ding which was sealed by the Treaty of Barcelona 
(June 29, 1529). It was almost a family compact; the Pope's nephew 
was to marry the Emperors illegitimato daughter, the Medici tyranny 
{•was to be re-established in Florence, the divorce of Catharine to be 
prefused, the papal countenance to be withdrawn from Zapolya, and 
^Emperor and Pope were to unite against Turks and heretics. The 
Treaty of Cambray (August 3) soon afterwards released Charles from 
his w^ar with France and left him free for a while to turn his attention 
to Germany. 

The growing intimacy between the Emperor and Pope had already 

smoothed the path of reaction, and reinforced the antagonism of the 

Catholic majority to the Lutheran princes. In 1528 Charles sent the 

Provost of Waklkirch to Germany to strengthen the Catholic cause ; 

Duke Henry of Mecklenburg returned to the Catholic fold ; the waver- 

[ing Elector Palatine forbade his subjects to attend the preaching of 

Lutherans ; and at the Diet of Speier, which met on February 21, 1529, 

the Evangelicals found themselves a divided and hopeless minority 

opposed to a determined and solid majority of Catholics* Only three 

of their number were chosen to sit on the committee appointed to 

diBcuss the religious question, Charles had sent instructions denouncing 

1 the Recess of 1526 and praetically dictating the terms of a new one. 

The Catholics were not prepared to admit this reduction of the Diet 

to the status of a machine for registering imperial rescripts ; but their 

L modifications were intended rather to show their independence than to 

'alter the purport of Charles^ proposals, and their resolutions amounted 

to this : tliere was to be complete toleration for Catholics in Lutheran 

States, but no toleration for Lutherans in Catholic States* and no 

[toleration anywhere for Zwinglians and Anabaptists; the Lutherans 

f were to make no farther innovations in their own dominions, and clerical 

jurisdictions and property were to be inviolate. 

The differentiation between Lutherans and Zwinglians was a skilful 
attempt to drive a wedge between the tw^o sections of the anti-Catholic 
party, — an attempt which Melanchthon's pusillanimity nearly brought to 
a successful issue. The Zwinglian party included the principal towns of 
South Germany; but Melanchthon was ready to a- ' m tbi 
price of peace for the Lutheran Church. Philip of i i- 

aone of the theoloc^ical narrowness which character 

Melanchthon, and, in a less degree, even Zwingli ; he was not so blind 
as the divines to the political necessities of the situation, and he managed 
to avert a breach for the time ; it was due to him that Strassburg and 
Ulm, Niirnberg and Meinmingen, and other towns added their weight to 
the protest against the decree of the Diet. Jacob Sturm of Strassburg 
and Tetzel of Niirnborg were, indeed, the most zealous champions of the 
Recess of 152G during the debates of the Diet ; but their arguments and 
the mediation of moderate Catholics remained without effect upon the 
majority. The complaint of the Lutherans that the proposed Recess 
would tie their hands and open the door to Catholic reaction naturally 
made no impression, for such was precisely its object. The Catholics 
saw that their opportunity had come, and they were determined to take 
at its flood the tide of reaction. The plea that the unanimous decision 
of 1526 could not be repealed by one party, though plausible enough as 
logic and in harmony with the particularism of the time, rested u[>on 
the unconstitutional assumption that the parties were independent of the 
Empire's authority ; and it was not reasonable to expect any Diet to 
countenance so suicidal a theory. 

A revolution is necessarily weak in its legal aspect, and must depend 
on its moral strength ; and to revolution the Lutheran Princes in spite of 
themselves were now brought. They were di'iven back on to ground on 
which any revolution may be based ; and a secret understanding to 
witlistand every attack made on them on account of God's Word, whether 
it proceeded from the Swabian League or the national government, was 
adopted by Electoral Saxony, Hesse, Strassburg, Ulm, and Niirnberg. 
We fear the Emperor*s ban, wrote one of his party, but we fear still 
more God's curse ; and God, tliey proclaimed, must be obeyed before 
man. This was an appeal to God and to conscience which transcended 
legal considerations. It wjis the very essence of the Reformation, 
though it was often denied by Reformers themselves ; and it explains 
the fact that from the Protest, in which the Lutherans embodied this 
principle, is derived the name which, for want of a better term, is loosely 
applied to all the Churches which renounced the obedience of Rome. 

A formal Protest against the impending Recess of the Diet had been 
discussed at Niirnberg in March, and adopted at Speier in April. When, 
on the 19t]j, Ferdinand and the other imperial commissioners refused all 
concessions and confirmed the Acts of the Diet, the Protest was publicly 
read. The Protestants affirmed that the Diet's decree was not binding 
on them because they were not consenting parties ; they proclaimed their 
intention to abide by the Recess of 1526, and so to fulfil their religious 
duties as they could answer for it to God and the Emperor. They 
demanded that their Protest should be incorporated in the Recess, and 
on Ferdinand*s refusal, they published a few days later an appeal from 
the Diet to the Emperor, to the next General Council of Christendom, 
or to a congress of the German nation. The Princes who signed 

1629] The original Protestants 205 

the Protest were the Elector John of Saxony, Margrave George of 
Brandenburg, Dukes Ernest and Francis of Brunswick-Liineburg, 
Landgrave Philip of Hesse, and Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt ; and the 
fourteen cities which adhered to it were Strassburg, Ulm, Niirnberg, 
Constance, Lindau, Memmingen, Kempten, Nordlingen, Heilbronn, 
Reutlingen, Isny, St Gallen, Wissenberg, and Windsheim. Of such 
slender dimensions was the original Protestant Church ; small as it 
was, it was only held together by the negative character of its Protest ; 
dissensions between its two sections increased the conflict of creeds 
and parties which rent the whole of Germany for the following twenty- 
five years. 



The threats of the victorious Catholic majority at Speier and the 
diplomacy of Philip of Hesse had, despite the forebodings of Luther 
and the imprecations of Melanchthon, produced a temporary alliance 
between the Lutheran north and the Zwinglian south ; and the summer 
and autumn of 1529 were spent in attempts to make the union perma- 
nent and to cement it by means of religious agreement. In the secret 
understanding concluded between Electoral Saxony, Hesse, Niirnberg, 
Ulm, and Strassburg at Speier on April 22, it was arranged that a con- 
ference should be held at Rodach, near Coburg, in the following June.- 
But this coalition between Lutheran Princes and Zwinglian towns had 
been concealed from the divines, and as soon as it came to their ears 
they raised a vehement protest. Melanchthon lamented that his friends 
had not made even greater concessions at Speier; if they had only 
repudiated Zwingli and all his works, the Catholics, he thought, might 
not have hardened their hearts against Luther ; and he did his best to 
dissuade his friends in Niirnberg from participating in the coming con- 
gress at Rodach. Luther not only denounced the idea of defending by 
force what Melanchthon described as " the godless opinions " of Zwingli, 
but denied the right of Lutherans to defend themselves. Resort to arms 
he considered both wicked and needless ; " Be ye still," he quoted from 
Isaiah, " and ye shall be holpen " ; and, while the conference at Rodach 
succumbed to his opposition, a vast army of Turks was swarming up the 
banks of the Danube and directing its march on Vienna. Solyman 
brandished the sword which Luther refused to grasp. 

Hungary had failed to resist the Turks by herself ; but the Austrian 
shield, under which she took shelter, afforded^ letter protection, and 
Ferdinand only escaped the fate of Louis II ifliause he kept out of the 
way. Absorbed in the Lutheran conflict, he made no attempt to secure 
his conquests of 1527, and, when the Turkish invasion began, Zapolya 
descended from his stronghold in the Carpathians, defeated a handful of 
Ferdinand's friends, and surrendered the crown of St Stephen on the 


scene of MoLfics to tlie Sultan. Unresisted, the Turkish forces swept 
over the plains of Hungary, crossed the imperial frontier, and on Sep- 
tember 20 planted their standards before the walls of Vienna, But over 
these the Crescent was never destined to w^ave, and the brilliant defence 
of Vienna in 1529 stopped the firsts as a still more famous defence a 
hundred and fifty yeai's later foiled the last, Turkish onslaught on 
Germany- The valour of the citizens^ the excellence of the artillery, 
with which the hite Emperor Maximilian had furnished the city, and 
the early rigour of winter supplied the defects of the Habsburg power, 
and on October 15 Solyman raised the siege. Ferdinand failed to make 
adequate use of the Sultan's retreat ; lack of pay caused a mutiny of 
land$knechte ; and though Gran fell into his hands he could not recap- 
ture Buda, and the greater part of Hungary remained under the nomi- 
nal rule of Zapolya, but real control of the Turk* 

The relief of Vienna was received \vith nnngled feelings in Germany. 
Luther, who had once denied the duty of Christians to fight the infidel 
as involving resistance to God's ordinance, had been induced to recant 
by the imminence of danger and the pressure of popular feeling. In 
1529 he exhorted his countrymen to withstand the Turk, in language 
as vigorous as that in which he had urged them to crush the peasants ; 
and the retreat of the Ottoman was generally hailed as a national deliv- 
erance. But the joy w^as not universal, even in Germany. Secular and 
religious foes of the Ilabsburgs had offered their aid to Zapolya; while 
Philip of Hesse lamented the Turkish failure and hoped for another 
attack- The Turk was in fact the ally of the Reformation, which might 
have been crushed without his assistance ; and to a clear-sighted states- 
man like Pliilip no other issue than ruin seemed possible from the 
mutual enmity of the two Protestant Churches. 

The abortive result of the meeting at Kodach in June and the aban- 
donment of the adjourned congress at Schwabach in August only stirred 
the Landgrave to fresh efforts in the cause of Protestant union. On 
the last day in September he assembled the leading divines of the two 
communions at his castle of Marburg with a view to smoothing over 
the religious dissensions which had proved fatal to their political 
co-operation* The conference was not likely to fail for want of eminent 
disputants. The two heresiarchs themselves, Luther and Zwingli, were 
present, and their two chief supporters, Melanchthon and Oecolampa- 
dius. The Zwinglian cities of Germany w^ere represented by Bucer and 
Hedio of Strassburg; thj^^therans by Justus Jonas and Casi>ar Cruci- 

bs from Gotha, Brenz from HalU Osiander 
Kgricula from Augsburg. But they came 
Luther prophesied failure from the first, 
Ktest difficulty that Melanchthon could be 
induced even to discuss accommodation with such impious doctrines 
as ZwiJigli's. On the other hand the Zurich Reformer started with 

ger from Wittenberg^ 
from Niirnberg, and 
in different frames of 
and it was with the 

sanguine hopes and with a predisposition to make every possible cou- 
cession, in order to pave the way for the religious and political objects 
which he and the Landgrave cherished. But these objects were viewed 
with dislike and suspicion by the Lutheran delegates. Public con- 
troversy between Luther and Zwingli had already waxed tierce. Zwingli 
had first crossed Luther's mental horizon as the ally of Carlstadt, a 
sinister conjunction the effects of which were not allayed by Zwingli'a 
later developments. The Swiss Reformer was a combination of the 
humanist, the theologian, and the radical; while Luther was a pure 
theologian, Zwingli's dogmas were softened alike by his classical 
sympatliies and by his contact with practical government. Thus he 
would not deny tlie hope of salvation to moral teachers like Socrates ; 
while Luther thought that the extension of the benefits of the Gos- 
pel to the heathen, who liad never been taught it^ deprived it of all its 
efficacy. The same broad humanity led Zwingli to limit the damning 
effects of original sin; he shrank from consigning the vast mass of 
mankind to eternal perdition, believed that God's grace might possibly 
work through more cliannels than the one selected by Luther, and was 
inclined to circumscribe that diabolic agency which pla3^ed so large a 
part in Luther's theological system and personal experience. 

Zwingli was in fact the most modern in mind of all the Reformers, 
while Luther was the most medieval. Luther's conception of truth 
was theological, and not scientific ; to him it was something simple and 
absolute, not complex and relative. A man either had or had not the 
Spirit of God; there was nothing between heaven and hell. One or 
the other of us, he wrote with regard to Zwingli, must be the devil's 
minister; and the idea that both parties might have perceived some dif- 
ferent aspect of truth was beyond his comprehension. This dilemma w^as 
his favourite dialectical device ; it reduced argument to anathema and 
excluded from the first all chance of agreement. He applied it to political 
as well as religious discussions, and his inability to grasp the conception 
of compromise determined his views on the question of non-resistance. 
If we resist the Emperor, he said, we must expel him and become Em- 
peror ourselves ; then the Emperor will resist, and there will be no end 
until one party is crushed. Tolerance was not in his nature, and con- 
cession in Church or in State was to him evidence of indifference or 
weakness. Truth and falsehood, right and wrong, were both absolute. 
The Papacy embodied abuses, therefore the Pope was Antichrist; Cae- 
sar^s authority was recognised by Christ, th^^A|re all resistance was sin. 

Between Luther*s political doctrines ai^^^^Bpf ZwingU there was 
as ranch antipathy as between their theolot^^^^^Popriately, the statue 
of Luther at Worms represents him armed 
of Zwingli at Zurich bears a Bible in one ban 
Zwingli had first been stirred to public protest by a secular evil, the 
corruption of his country by foreign gold; and political aims were 

h a Bible, while that 
II d a sword in the othen 

inextricably interwoven ^\dt!i religious ol>JL»cts throiigliout his career. 
He hoped for a uuion both spiritual and temporal between Zurich and 
Bern and the cities of South Germany, by means of which Emperor and 
Pope should alike be eliminated, and a democratic republic established ; 
aristocracy, lie declared, had always been the ruin of States. Under 
the influence of this idea a civic affiliation had been arranged between 
Constance and Zurich in 1527, and extended to St Gallen, Basel, 
Miilhausen in Elsass, and Biel in 1629; and it was partly to further 
this organisation and to counteract the alliance of Austria with the five 
Catnolic cantons that Zwingli journeyed to Marburg. 

But the primary objects of tlie conference were theological, and it 
was on a dispute over tlie Eucharist that the tlifferences between the two 
parties came to a head. On all other points Zwingli went to the limit 
of concession, but he could not accept the doctrine of consubstantiation- 
Luther chalked on the table round which tliey sat, the~{ext " "Tliis is 
my Body,'* and nothing could move hiui from its literal interpretation. 
Zwingli, on the other hand, explained the plirase by referring to the 
sixth chapter of St John, and declared that **• is " meant only '' repre- 
sents" ; the bread and the wine represented the body and blood, as a 
portrait represents a real person. Christ was only figuratively *'the 
door " and the " true vine '* ; and the Eucharist instead of being a 
miracle was, in his eyes, only a feast of commemoration. This doctrine 
was anathema to Luther; at the end of the debate Zwingli offered him 
his hantl, but Luther rejected it, saying ** Your spirit is not our spirit." 
As a final effort at compromise Luther was induced to draw up the 
fifteen Marburg Articles, of which the Zwinglians signed all but the one 
on the Eucharist ; and it was agreed that each party sliouhl moderate 
the asperity of its language towards the other. But this did not 
prevent the Lutheran divines from denying that Zwinglians could be 
members of the Cliurch of Clirist, or Luther himself from writing a few 
days afterwards that they were *^not only liars, but the very incarnation 
of lying, deceit, and hypocrisy, asCarlstadt and Zwingli show by their 
very deeds and words/* Tlie hand which had pulled down the Roman 
Church in Germany made the first rent in the Church which was 
beginning to grow up in its place. Zwingli went back to Zurich to 
meet his death two years later at Kappel, and the Lutherans returned 
home to ponder on the fate which the approach of Charles V had 
in store, 

^ion to sacrifice everything on the altar of 
their internal defence as it had been to 
J few weeks after the Marburg Conference 
Palmch to consider the basis of common 
?rman Princes and the South German cities. 
As a preparation for this attempt at concord Luther drew up another 
series of seventeen articles in which he emphasised the points at issue 

Their stubborn dcterni 
dogma was as fatal to^ 
their alliance with Z\ 
a meeting was held 
action between the Nc 

c. M. n. II. 


210 Charles Vin Gernmny, Diet of Augsburg [i53a 

between him and Zwingli, and persuaded the Lutheran Princes to admit 
no one to their alliance who would not subscribe to every single dogma 
in this formulary. As a natural result Strassburg and Ulm refused to 
sign the articles at Schwabach, and in this refusal they %vere joined by 
the other South German cities at a further conference held at Schraal- 
kalden in December. Luther even managed to shake the defensive 
understanding between Hesse and Saxony by persuading the Elector of 
the unlaw^f ulness of any resistance to the Emperor. The Reformer was 
fortified in tliis attitude by a child-like faith — which Ferdinand was 
sagacious enough to encourage — in Charles' pacific designs, although 
the Emperor had denounced the I^rotest from Spain, Avas pledged by 
his treaty Avitli the Pope to the extirpation of heresy, and arrested the 
Protestant envoys who appeared before him in Italy. So the far-reach- 
ing designs of Philip of Hesse and Zwingli for the defence of the Refor- 
mation were brought to naught at the moment when the horizon was 
clouding in every quarter. 

In May, 1530, having in conjunction with Clement VII regulated 
the affairs of Italy and discussed schemes for regulating those of the 
world, Charles V crossed the Alps on his second visit to his German 
dominions. The auspices in 1530 were very dififerent from those of 1521. 
Then he had left Spain in open rebellion, he was threatened with war 
by the most powerful State in Europe, and the attitude of the Papacy 
was still doubtfuh Now Spain was reduced to obedience and the 
Pope to impotence ; France had suffered the greatest defeat of the cen* 
tury ; Italy lay at his feet ; and Ferdinand had added two kingdoms 
to the family estate. Over every obstacle Charles seemed to have tri- 
umphed. But in (iermany the universal agitation against Rome had 
resolved itself into two organised parties which threatened to plunge the 
nation into civil war. Here indeed was the scene of the last of Hercules' 
labours ; would his good fortune or skill yield him a final triumph ? 

It is doubtful whether Charles had formed any clear idea of the 
policy he must adopt, and it is certain that his ignorance of German 
methods of thought and character and his incapacity to understand 
religious enthusiasm led him to underrate the stubbornness of the 
forces with which he had to deal. But his inveterate habit of silence 
stood him in good stead ; Luther regarded with awe the monarch who 
said less in a year than he himself said in a day- Campeggi, w^ho 
accompanied Charles on his march, daily instilled in his ear the counsels 
of prompt coercion ; and the death of the poMic Gattinara at Innsbruck 
was so opportune a removal of a restrai 
ascribed his end to Italian poison. It wasJ 
Emperor*a nature to resort to force before 
tion had been tried and failed* In 1521 17 
Bull against Luther without a personal attempt at mediation ; in 1530 
he would not proceed against the Protestants by force of arms until he 

rluence that Lutherans 
, inconsistent with the 
iiethod of acconumoda- 
used to act on the papal 

1530] Confession of Augshurg 211 

had tried the effect of moral suasion, and there is no need to regard the 
friendly terms in which he summoned the Lutheran Princes to the Diet 
of Augsburg as merely a cloak to conceal his hostile designs. 

The Diet opened on June 20, 1530, and was very fully attended. 
Luther, who was still under the ban of the Empire, could come no 
nearer than Coburg ; his place as preceptor of the Protestant Princes 
was taken by Melanchthon ; and the celebrated Confession of Augsburg, 
though it was based on Luther's Schwabach Articles, was exclusively 
Melanchthon's work. The attitude of the Lutheran divines is well 
expressed by the tone of this document ; they were clearly on the 
defensive, and the truculent Luther himself, who had dictated terms to 
the Archbishop of Mainz, was now reduced to craving his favour. 
Melanchthon was almost prostrated by the fear of religious war ; and 
he thought it could best be averted by an alliance between Catholic* 
and Lutherans against the Zwinglians, whom he regarded as no better 
than Anabaptists. His object in framing the Confession was therefore 
twofold, to minimise the differences between Lutherans and Catholics, 
and to exaggerate those between Lutherans and Zwinglians ; he hoped 
thus to heal the breach with the former and complete it with the 

In form the Confession is an apologia^ and not a creed ; it does not 
assert expressly the truth of any dogma, but merely states the fact that 
such doctrines are taught in Lutheran churches, and justifies that 
teaching on the ground that it varies little if at all from that of the 
Church of Rome. It does not deny the divine right of the Papacy, 
the character indelehilis of the priesthood, or the existence of seven 
Sacraments ; it does not assert the doctrine of predestination, which 
had brought Luther into conflict with Erasmus ; and the doctrine 
of the Eucharist is so ambiguously expressed that the only fault the 
Catholics found was its failure to assert categorically the fact of transub- 
stantiation. In view of the substantial agreement which it endeavoured 
to establish between Catholic and Lutheran dogma, it was represented 
as unjustifiable to exclude the Reformers from the Catholic Church ; 
their only quarrel with their opponents was about traditions and abuses, 
and their object was not polemic or propaganda, but merely toleration 
for themselves. 

This Confession was to have been read at a public session of the Diet 
on June 24 ; but, apparently through Ferdinand's intervention, the plan 
was changed to a private recitation in the Emperor's apartments, and 
there it was read on the 25th by the Saxon Chancellor, Bayer. Philip 
of Hesse was loth to subscribe so mild a pronouncement, but eventually 
it was signed by all the original Protestant Princes, with the addition of 
the Elector's son, John Frederick, and by two cities, Niirnberg and 
Reutlingen. But the door was completely shut on the Zwinglians; in 
vain Bucer and Capito sought an arrangement ^vith Melanchthon. He 

would not even consent to see tliem lest he should be compromised^ and 
Lutlieraii pulpits resounded with denunciations of the Sacramentariaiia, 
as Zwingli and his supporters now began to be called. Zwingli himself, 
so soon as he read the Confession, addressed to Charles a statement of his 
own belief, in which he threw prudence and fear to the winds* He 
retracted the concessions he had made to Lutheran views at Marburg, 
a-nd asserted his differences from the Catholic Church in such plain terms 
that Melanchthonsaid he was mad* The cities of Upper Germany were 
not prepared for such extremities ; but, cut off from the Lutheran com- 
munion, they were compelled to draw up a confession of their own, wdiich 
was named the TetrapoUtana from the four cities, Strassburg, Constance, 
Lindau, and Meminingen, which signed it. It was mainly the work of 
Bucer, was completed on July 11, and, while Zwinglian in essence, made 
a serious attempt to approach the doctrines of Wittenberg, 

It appears to have been the hope of the Protestants, and probably of 
Charles also^ that the Emperor would be able to make himself the 
mediator between the Lutherans and Catholics, and to effect an agreement 
by inducing each side to make concessions. But for the moment the 
Catholics distrusted Charles more than the Protestants did. They had 
secular as well as ecclesiastical grievances. They denounced the treaties 
concluded in Italy as wanting their concurrence ; they were horrified at 
the example set by Charles in secularising the see of Utrecht, and they 
refused to confirm the Pope's grant of ecclesiastical revenues to Ferdinand; 
while the orthodox Wittelsbachs were moving heaven and earth to 
prevent the election of Charles' brother as King of the Romans. They 
were thus by no means disposed to place themselves in the Emperor's 
hands ; they insisted rather that they should determine the Empire's 
policy, and that Charles should merely execute their decrees ; and, 
lacking the Emperors broader outlook, the}^ were less inclined to make 
concessions to peace. It was the growing conviction that Charles was 
a helpless tool in the hands of their enemies which caused a revulsion of 
the Protestant feeling in his favour. 

Yet the Catholics were not all in favour of extreme courses, and 
either Mehmchthon'a moderation or the effect of twelve years' criticism 
pi^duced some modification of Catholic dogma, as expressed in the Con- 
futation of the Confession drawn up by Eck,Valjer, Cochlaeus, and others, 
and presented on August 3, The doctrine of good works w^as so defined 
as to guard against the previous popular abuses of it ; and in other 
respects there were signs of the processof purifying Catholic dogma which 
had commenced at the Congress of Ratisbon in 1524 and was completed 
at the Council of Trent. But these concessions were too slight to satisfy 
even Melanchthon ; and the Protestant Princes were not frightened into 
submission by the threats of Charles that unless they returned to the 
Catholic fold he would proceed against them as became the protector 
And steward of the Church. 

Neither side was, however, prepared for religious war ; and, when 
the Confutation and Charles' menaces failed to precipitate unity, a series 
of confused and lengthy negotiations between the various parties, the 
Emperor, the Pope^ the Catholic majority, and the Lutherans, was initi- 
ated. In tlie course of these Melanchthon receded still further from 
the Protestant standpoint. He offered on behalf of the Lutherans to 
recognise episcopal authority, auricular confession and fasts, and under- 
took to regard the Communion in hoth kinds and the marriage of priests, 
which he had before demanded, as merely temporary concessions pending 
the convocation of a General Council, He even went so far as to assert 
that the Lutherans admitted papal authority, adhered to papal doctrine^ 
and that this was the reason for their unpopularity in (tcrmany. On 
the other hand, the Catholic member's of the commission apivointed to 
di&cuss the question were ready to concede a communion sub utrdque^ 
on condition that the Lutherans would acknowledge communion in one 
kind to be equally valid, and declare the adoption of either form to be 
a matter of indifference. 

Melanchthon was prepared to make these admissionsi but his party 
refused to follow him any further. Lutlior grew restive at Coburg, 
and began to talk of tlie impossibility of reconciling Christ with 
Belial, and Luther with the Pope ; to restore episcopal jurisdiction was, 
he thought, equivalent to putting their necks in the hangman's rope^ 
and on September 20 he expressed a preference for risking war to making 
further concessions. If the Catholics would not receive the Confession 
or the Gospel, he wrote to Melanchthon with a characteristic allusion to 
Judas, *^ let them go to their own place,'* The Princes had never been so 
timorous as the d i v ines. They were not so much concerned for the un ity of 
the Empire as Melanchthon was for that of the Church* Philip of Hesse 
told the Emperor he would sacrifice life and limb for his faith, and long 
before the Diet had reached its conclusion he rode off without asking 
the Emperor*8 leave. The Elector*s fortitude was such that Luther 
declared the Diet of Augsburg had made him into a hero, and lesser 
Princes were not less constant. Tlieir steadfastness and the uncom- 
promising attitude of the Catholics stiffened the backs of the Lutheran 
divines ; and, in reply to a taunt tliat the Confutation had demolished 
the Confession, they presented an Apology for the hitter, the tone of 
which was much less humble. No agreement being now expected, the 
Catholic majority of tlie Estates drew up a proposal for the Recess on 
Sept^ember 22. Tlie Protestants were given till April 15 to decide 
whether they would conform or not, and meanwlnle they were ordered 
to make no innovations on their own account, to put no constraint on 
Catholics in their territories, and to assist the Emperor to eradicate 
Zwinglians and Anabaptists, Against this proposal the Protestant 
Princes again protested ; fourteen cities, including Augsburg itself, 
followed their example ; and they then departed, leaving the Catholic 

majority to pursue its own devices, and to discover within itself oppor- 
tunities for division. 

The failure of MelancLthon's plan of attaining peace with Catholics 
by breach with the Zwinglians prudueed a certain reaction of feeling 
and policy. Luthur was, partially at any rate, disabused of his faith 
in Charles' intentions, and the pressure of common danger facilitated 
a renewed attempt at union. With this object in view, Bucer, the chief 
author of the TetrapoUtana^ called on Luther at Coburg on September 25, 
and was received with surprising favour, Lutlier even expressed a will- 
ingness to lay down his life three times if only the dissensions among 
the Reformers might be healed, and Bucer liimself bad a genius for 
accommodation. Under these favourable circumstances he contrived to 
evolve a plausible harmonisation of the Wittenberg and Tetrapolitan 
doctrines of the Eucharist which was sufficient for the day and led to 
an invitation of the South German cities to the meeting of Protestant 
Powers to be held in December at Scbmalkalden. 

Meanwhile the Catholic majority of the Diet continued its delibera- 
tions at Augsburg. The aid against the Turks which Charles desired 
had not yet been voted, and before he olitained it the Emperor had to 
drop his demand for Ferdinand's ecclesiastical endowment, and promise 
to press upon the Pope the redress of the hundred gravamina which 
were once more revived. Substantial concessions to individual Electors 
secured the prospect of Ferdinand's election as King of the Romans, 
which took place at Cologne on January 5, 1531; and the Diet con- 
<;luded with the adoption of the Recess on November 19. The Edict 
of Worms was to be put into execution, episcopal jurisdictions were to 
be maintained, and Church property to be restored. Of more practical 
importance than these resolutions was the reconstitution of the Reichti' 
kammergericM^ which henceforward began to play an important part in 
imperial politics. It was now organised so as to be an ellicient instru- 
ment in carrying out the will of the majority, and was solemnly pledged to 
the suppression of Lutheranisni. Tlie campaign was to open, not on a field 
of battle, but in the Courts of law ; and the attack was to be directed, 
not against the persons of Lutheran Princes, but against their seculari- 
sation of Church property. Countless suits were ah-eady pending before 
the KammergericJtt ; and, however inconsistent such a policy may have 
been in the Habsburgs who had themselves prohted largely by seculari- 
sation, the law of the Empire gave the Kammergericht no option but to 
decide against the Lutheruns, and its decisions would have completely 
undermined the foundations of the rising Lutheran Church. 

This resort to law instead of to arms is characteristic of Charles' 
caution. Backed as he was by an overwhelming majority of the Diet, 
it might seem that the Emperor would make short work of the dissident 
Princes and towns. But in German imperial politics there was usually 
many a slip between judgment and execution ; and of the Princes who 



voted for the Recess of Augsburg there were only two, the Elector 
Joachim of Brandenburg and Duke George of Saxony, who were ready 
to face a civil war for the sake of their convictions. In Germany were 
reproduced on a smaller scale all those elements of disunion whieh Itad 
made the attempted crusades of the previous century ridiculous tinscos. 
Each Catholic Prince desired the suppression of heresy, but no one would 
set his face against the enemy for fear of being stabbed in the back by 
a friend. The rulers of Ba%'aria and Austria were both uninipeachably 
orthodox, but Bavaria was again intriguing with Hesse against the 
House of Habsburg. Tlie Emperor himself had few troops and no 
money. The multiplicity of interests pressing upon his attention pre- 
vented his concentration upon any one object, and increased his natural 
indecision of character. Never was his policy more hesitating and cir- 
cumspect than in IS^O-^l, when fortune seemed to have placed the ball^ 
at his feet. 

His inactivity enabled the Protestants to mature their plans and 
organise an effective bond of resistance. The doctrine of implicit 
obedience to the Emperor broke down as danger approached ; the 
divines naively admitted tliat they had not before realised that the 
sovereign power was subject to law ; and Luther, acknowledging that he 
was a child in temporal matters, allowed himself to be persuaded that 
Charles was not the Caesar of the New Testament, but a governor whose 
powers were limited by the Electors in the same way as the Roman 
Consul's by the Senate, the Doge's by the Venetian Council, and a Bishop's 
by his Chapter. The Protestants, having already denied that a minority 
could be bound by a majority of the Diet, now carried the separatist 
principle a step further by declaring that the Empire was a federated 
aristocracy of independent sovereigns, who were themselves to judge 
when and to what extent they would yield obedience to their elected 
president* It is not, however, fair to charge them with adopting 
Protestantism in order to further their claims to political indepen* 
dencc ; it is more correct to say that they extended their particularist 
ideas in order to protect tlieir religious principles. 

The first care of the Princes and burghers who deliberated at 
Sclimalkalden from December 22 to 31, 1530, was to arrange for common 
action with regard to the litigation before the ReicMkainmerg^'rwhL 
But the decision wliich gave their meeting its real importance was their 
agreement to form a league for mutual defence against all attacks on 
account of their faith, from whatever quarter these might proceed. 
This, the first sketch of the Schmalkaldic League, was subscribed by the 
Elector of Saxony, the Landgrave of Hesse, the Brunswick-Liineburg 
Dukes, Prince Wolfgang of Anhalt, the two Counts of Mansfeld, and the 
cities of Magdeburg and Bremen, Margrave George of Brandenburg and 
the city uf Niirnberg were not yet prepared to take the decisive step ; and, 
although the Tetrapolitan cities, reinforced by Ulm, Biberach^ Isny, 

216 Battle ofKappel. Swiss war proposed hy Ferdinand [i53l 

and Reutlingen, expressed their concurrence in the League at a second 
meeting in February, 1531, and three Dukes of Brunswick, Philip, Otto, 
and Francis, and the city of Liibeck also acceded to it, its full and final 
development depended upon the result of the contest then raging 
between Lutherans and Zwinglians for control of the South German 

Bucer, after his partial success with Luther at Coburg, proceeded to 
Zurich in the hope of bringing Zwingli to the point of concession where 
Luther had come to meet him. But as the German Reformer grew 
more conciliatory, the Swiss became more uncompromising. In Feb- 
ruary, 1581, the Swiss cities refused to join the Schmalkaldic League, 
and in the same month a Congress of Zwinglian divines at Memmingen 
attacked tlie Catholic ceremonial observed in Lutheran churches. This 
aggressive attitude may be traced to the rapid progress which Zwinglian 
doctrines were making in South Germany at the expense of the Augsburg 
Confession. At Augsburg itself the Tetrapolitan or Bucerian creed 
defeated its Lutheran rival ; and in other German cities more violent 
manifestations of the Zwinglian spirit prevailed. Under the influence of 
Bucer, Blarer, and Oecolampadius, Ulm, Reutlingen, Biberach, and 
other hitherto Lutheran cities destroyed pictures, images, and organs in 
their churches, and selected pastors who looked for inspiration to Zurich 
and not to Wittenberg ; those cities which had already joined the 
Schmalkaldic League refused at its meeting at Frankfort in June to 
subscribe to the League's project for military defence. South Germany 
seemed in fact to be about to fall like ripe fruit into Zwingli's lap, 
when his power suddenly waned at home, and the defeat of Kappel 
(October 11, 1531) cut short his life, and ruined his cause in Germany ; 
it was left for Calvin to gather up the fragments of Zwingli's German 
party; and to establish an ultra- Protestant opposition to the Lutheran 

This unexpected disaster to the Reformation in Switzerland appeared 
to Ferdinand to offer a magnificent opportunity for crushing the 
movement in Germany. He was thoroughly convinced that Swiss 
political and religious radicalism was the most formidable of the enemies 
of German Catholicism and the Habsburg monarchy, and that deprived of 
this stimulant the milder Lutheran disease would soon yield to vigorous 
treatment. He proposed to his brother an armed support of the Five 
Catholic cantons, and the forcible restoration of Catholicism in Zurich 
and Bern. But the Emperor declined to involve himself in a Swiss 
campaign. His intervention in Switzerland would, he feared, precipitate 
war with Francis I, who was already beginning again to cast longing 
eyes on Milan, and feeling his way to an understanding with Clement VIL 
The Pope's fear of a General Council, which Catholics no less than 
Protestants were demanding fiDm Charles V, was a powerful weapon in 
the hands of Francis I. Clement was haunted by the suspicion that a 

Council niiglit be as fatal to him as that of Basel had threatened to be 
to his predecessors ; and the Emperor's enemies suggested that if it met 
Charles would propose the restoration of the Papal States to the Empire 
from which they had been wrung. Rather than risk such a fate, some at 
least of his friends urged Clement to accede to the Lutheran demand for 
communion in both kinds and clerical marriage, and maintained that tlie 
Augsburg Confession was not repugnant to the Catholic faith, AVithout 
the help of the heretics it seemed impossible for Charles to resist the 
approaching Turkish onslaught ; and the Emperors confessor, Loaysa, 
urged him not to trouble if their souls went to hell, so long as they 
served him on earth. And so the term of grace accorded to the 
Lutherans by the Kecess of Augsburg expired in April, 1531, without 
a thought of resort to compulsion ; and instead of this, the Emperor 
suspended, on July 8, the action of the Reiclmkammergericht. He had 
missed the golden opportunity ; it did not recur for fifteen years, during 
which two wars with the Turk in Europe, two wars in Africa, and two 
wars with France distracted Ids attention from German affairs. 

This inaction on Charles* part cooled the martial ardour of the 
Schmalkaldic League ; and Zwiiiglian aggression in South Ciermany 
increased their disinclination to help the Swiss in their domestic troubles. 
In reality the battle of Kappel was of greater ad%^antage to Luther than 
to the Emperor- For a second time the Reformation was freed from 
the embarrassment of a mutinous left wing ; and Luther, although he 
professed to lament Zwingli's fate, regarded ilie battle a« the judgment 
of God, and Zwingli as damned unless the Almighty made an irregular 
exception in his favour. The cities of Upper Germany, deprived of 
their mainstay at Zurich, gravitated in the direction of Wittenberg ; 
while the defeat of one section of the Reformers convinced the rest of 
the need for common defence* Under the pressure of these circum- 
stances the Schmalkaldic League completed its organisation, and of 
necessity assumed a predominantly Lutheran and territorial character. 
At two conferences held at Nordhausen and Frankfort (November- 
December, 1531) the military details of the League were settled, and 
the respective contributions of its various meml>ers fixed ; the Princes 
obtained a large majority of votes in its council of war and exclusive 
command of its armies. Saxony and Hesse were treated as equal ; if 
the seat of war w^as in Saxony or Westphalia the supreme command 
was to fall to the Elector, if in Hesse or Upper Germany to the 

The accession of Gottuigen, Goslar, and Eimbeck to the League, 
and the success of the Reformation at Hamburg, at Rostock, and in 
Denmark) where Christian's return to Catholicism brought no nearer 
his restoration to the throne, left the Schmalkaldic League in almost 
undisputed possession of North Germany ; and it became a veritable 
imperium in imperio with a foreign policy of its own. It might now be 

reckoned one of the anti-Iiabsburg powers in Europe ; its agents sought 
alliance with BVance, England, Denmark, and Venice ; and it began to 
regard itself as a League not merely for self-defence within the Empire, 
but for tlie furtherance of the Protestant cause all over Europe. Nor 
were its aims exclusively religious ; theology merged into politics, and 
Protestantism sometimes laboured under the suspicion of being merely 
anti'imperialism. France ami Venice had few points in common with 
Luther ; and Philip of Hesse's plan to utilise a Turkish invasion for the 
restoration of Ulrich of Wiirttemberg outraged patriotic sentiment. 
On the Catholic side Bavarian objects were no leas selfish; and the 
Wittelsbaclis endtmvoured to undermine Ferdinand's supports against 
the Turk in Germany, Bohemia, and Hungary. In both professedly 
religious camps there was political double-dealing ; Hesse was ready to 
aide with either Austria or Bavaria ; while the Wittelsbachs fomented 
Charles* hostility to the Lutherans and denounced his concessions as 
treason to the faith, at the same time that they were hand in glove with 
Hesse for an attack on the Habsburg jiower. 

These extreme and unpatriotic schemes were defeated by a tacit un- 
derstanding between Catholic and Protestant moderates ; and Germany 
presented a fairly united front to its infidel foe. Saxony and cities like 
Ulm and Niirnberg convinced Charles that the coming of the Turk 
would be used for no sectional purposes ; and the Emperor in return 
promised the Lutherans at least a temporary peace. He turned a deaf 
ear to the demands at the Diet of Rati^sbou (April, 15*32) for the 
execution of the Augsburg Recess, while Luther denounced the claims of 
hia forward friends to toleration for all future Protestants even in 
Catholic territories as impossible and unreasonable. At Niirnberg 
(July 23,15S2) an agreement was reached by which all suits against the 
Protestants before the Beichskammerf/ericht were quashed and they were 
guaranteed peace until the next Diet or a General Council. Tlie under- 
standing was to be kept secret for fear of offending t!ie Catholics, but it 
sufficed to open to Charles the armouries of the Protestant cities, and 
Niirnberg sent double its quota to serve in the Turkish campaign. 

Ferdinand had in vain sought to stave otf the attack by which 
Solyman hoped to revenge his defeat at Vienna. He offered first to 
pay tribute for Hungary, and then to cede it to Zapolya on condition 
that it return to the Habsburgs on Zapolya's death* These terms were 
rejected with scorn, and on April 26 tlte Sultan commenced his march* 
His army was reckoned at a quarter of a million men, the stereotyped 
estimate of Turkish invading forces, but luilf of these were non-combat- 
ants; the Emperor's troops did not exceed eighty thousand, but they 
were well equipped and eager for the fray. The same enthusiasm was 
not conspicuous in the Turkish ranks \ they were foiled by the heroic 
resistance of Giins (August 7— 28) and made no serious attempt either to 
take Vienna or to come to close quarters with the imperial forces ; in 

Septemter they commenced their retreat through Carinthia and Croatia, 
which they ravaged on their way. 

The precipitate withdrawal of the Turks was followed by an equally 
sudden abandonment of the campaign by Charles V. After all his brave 
words it wa.s a shock to his friends and admirers when he made no efFort 
to seize the fruits of victory and recover Hungary for his brother ; for a 
vigorous prosecution of the war in 1532 might have restored to Christen- 
dom lands which remained under Turkish rule for nearly two centuries 
longer- There are explanations enough for his course ; the German levies 
refused to pass the imperial frontiers, regarding self-defence as the limit 
of their duty ; the Spaniards and Italians confined their efforts mainly 
to pillaging German villages ; and Cranmer, who accompanied Charles' 
Court, describes how they spread greater desolation than the Turks 
themselves and how the peasants in revenge fell upon and slew the 
Emperors troops whenever opportunity offered ; so tliat delay in dis- 
Ixinding his army might liave fanned the enmity between Charles' 
German and Spanish subjects into war. But other reasons accounted 
for the Emperor's departure from Germany, which was once more sacri- 
ficed to the exigencies of Charles' cosmopolitan interests. The Pope, 
irritated alike by the Emperor's bestowal of Modena and Keggio on the 
Duke of Ferrara, antl by his persistence in demanding a General 
Council, was proposing to marry his niece Catharine de' Medici to 
Henry, Duke of Orleans; and a union between Clement and Francis I 
would again have threatened Charles' position in Italy. He regarded 
two olijects as then of transcendent importance, the reconciliation of 
the Pope and the convocation of a General Councih They were quite 
incompatible, yet to them Charles sacrificed the chance of regaining 

Tlie result can only be described as a comprehensive failure. The 
Emperor's interviews with Clement in February, 1533, did not prevent the 
Pope's alliance with France, nor his sanction of Cranmer's appointment 
to the see of Canterbury, which enabled Henry VI H to complete his 
divorce from Catharine of Aragon. Charles' two years' stay in Germany 
had effected little; Ferdinand, indeed, was King of the Romans but 
his influence was less than before, while the power of the Protestants 
had been greatly increased. The Emiieror had crossed the Alps in the 
spring of 1530 with a record of almost unbroken success ; he recrossed 
them in the autumn of 1532 having added a list of failures ; the German 
labour had proved herculean, but Charles had proved no Hercules. For 
another decade Germany was left to fight out its own political and 
religious quarrels with little help or hindrance from it^ sovereign. His 
intervention in 1530-2 had brought peace to no one ; the Protestants 
had little security against the attacks of the ReicJiEkammergericht ; the 
Catholics were unable to prevent the progress of heresy ; and while 
Charles was journeying farther and farther away from Germany the 

220 Scheme^to restore Ulrich in Wiirttemberg [i532-4 

Habsburg authority in the Empire was threatened with one of the most 
serious checks it experienced. 

The restoration of Duke Ulrich of Wiirttemberg was not merely a 
favourite design of the Protestants for the extension of the Reformation 
in South Germany ; it was regarded by German Catholic Princes and by 
the Emperor's foreign foes as an invaluable means of undermining the 
Habsburg power. It is even believed that Clement VII himself in 
his anger at Charles' persistent demand for a General Council, discussed 
the execution of this plan at his interview with Francis I at Marseilles in 
the autumn of 1533. At any rate the French King went from Marseilles 
to Bar-le-duc, where in January, 1534, he agreed with Philip of Hesse to 
give the enterprise extensive financial support, cloaked under a fictitious 
sale of Montbeliard (the property of Ulrich) to the French King. The 
moment was opportune. Ferdinand was busy in Bohemia and Hungary ; 
the outbreak of the Anabaptist revolution gave Philip of Hesse an 
excuse for arming ; and the decrepitude of the Swabian League neutral- 
ised the force by which Wiirttemberg had been won and maintained 
for the Austrian House. Religious divisions had impaired the harmony 
of the League, and political jealousies had transformed it from a 
willing tool of the Habsburgs into an almost hostile power. In 
November, 1532, the Electors of Trier and the Palatinate and Philip of 
Hesse had agreed to refuse a renewal of the League ; and in May, 1533, 
some of its most important city members, Ulm, Niirnberg, and Augsburg, 
formed a separate alliance for the defence of freedom of conscience. The 
strictly defensive Catholic confederation established at Halle in ducal 
Saxony in the following November between the Elector Joachim of 
Brandenburg, Dukes George of Saxony, Eric and Henry of Brunswick, 
was neither a match for the SchmaJkaldic League, nor had it any 
interest in the perpetuation of Austrian rule in Wiirttemberg. Joachim 
told Philip that Ferdinand would get no help from the Electors ; and his 
words proved true indeed. The Archbishops of Mainz and Trier observed 
a strict neutrality ; the Elector Palatine's promise of aid was delusive ; 
while the Catholic bishop of Miinster and Duke Henry of Brunswick, 
possibly on the understanding that Philip would assist them to put down 
the Miinster Anabaptists, consented to help him in Wiirttemberg, 
and assurances of support were also forthcoming from Henry VIII, 
Christian III of Denmark, and Zapolya. 

In 1532 Ulrich's son Christopher, alarmed at the prospect of being 
carried ofif to Spain, escaped from the Emperor's Court during the 
Turkish campaign, and in the following year appeared at a meeting of 
the Swabian League at Augsburg. His cause was warmly advocated 
by a French envoy and almost unanimously approved by the League. 
Bavaria, indeed, wished to restore Christopher, who had been educated 
as a Catholic, instead of his father, a strenuous Protestant, and on this 
score quarrelled with Philip of Hesse. But French aid enabled Philip 

1534] Peace of Cadan 221 

to dispense with Bavarian assistance. In April, 1534, he mustered a 
well-eqnipped army of 20,000 foot and 4000 horse, and on the 12th a 
manifesto was issued to the people of Wiirttemberg, who, disgusted with 
Ferdinand's rule, were eager to rise on Ulrieh's behalf. It was in 
vain that Luther and Melanchthon prophesied woe for this contempt 
of their doctrine of passive obedience. Philip knew the feebleness of the 
foe ; Ferdinand's appeals to Charles had met with a cold response, and 
his lieutenant in Wiirttemberg, Count Philip of the Palatinate, could 
hardly raise 9000 foot and 400 horse. With this little army he waited 
at Lauffen, where on May 12-13 an encounter, which can scarcely be 
called a battle, was decided against him, mainly by the excellence of 
the Hessian horse and artillery. Before the end of June the whole of 
Wiirttemberg had been overrun by the invaders, and Luther had dis- 
cerned the hand of God in the victors' triumph. 

Nor was there any hope of retrieving the disaster ; rather, Ferdinand 
dreaded lest Philip should with the help of the Anabaptists raise a 
general insurrection against the Habsburgs, and seize the imperial crown 
for himself, the Dauphin of France, or Duke William of Bavaria. 
Francis I regarded Wiirttemberg as only a beginning, and was urging 
Philip on to fresh conquests, which would have helped him in his 
impending war with Charles. But tlie German Princes were content 
with securing their immediate objects without becoming the cat's-paw 
of France, and peace was made with Ferdinand at Cadan on June 29. 
Ulrich was restored to Wiirttemberg, but Ferdinand's pride ^vas to some 
extent saved by the provision that the duchy was to be held as a fief of 
Austria — without however impairing its imperial status — and should 
pass to the Habsburgs in the default of male heirs in Ulrieh's line ; at 
the same time Ferdinand withdrew his original stipulation that the 
Reformation should not be established in Wiirttemberg. 

The Protestants, however, were bent upon more than a local victory 
for their faith, and they employed their advantage over Ferdinand to 
render more secure their general position in Germany. The great defect 
in the Niirnberg Peace of 1532 was the absence of any definition of the 
** religious cases " with wliich the Reichskammergericht was prohibited 
from dealing. When the Court appealed to Charles on the point, he 
replied that it was their business to determine what was, and what was 
not, a ** religious " suit ; and as the Court was composed of Catliolics it 
naturally asserted its jurisdiction in all suits about ecclesiastical property. 
But secularisation of Church property was the financial basis of the 
reformed Churches, and by this time was also one of the main financial 
supports of Lutheran States. If they could be attacked on this ground 
the Peace of Niirnberg was of little value to them ; and they grew more 
and more exasperated as the Kammergericht proceeded to condemn cities 
and Princes such as Strassburg, and Niirnberg, Duke Ernest of Liineburg 
and Margrave George of Brandenburg. Eventually, on January 30, 1534, 


Revolutiomiry movements 

the Protectants formally repudiated the Kammergericht as a partisan 
body, thus rejecting the last existing national institution, for the 
Iteichireffiment was already dissolved. This however afforded them no 
protection^ and in the Peace of Cadan they insisted that Ferdinand should 
quash all such proceedings of the Chamber as were directed against the 
members of the Schmalkaldic League. With this demand the King was 
forced to comply ; the only compensation he received was the withdrawal 
of the Elector of Saxony's opposition to his recognition as King of the 
Romans. It was no wonder that men declared that Philip of Hesse had 
done more for the Reformation by his Wiirttemberg enterprise than 
Luther could do in a thousand books. 

Other causes than the weakness of Ferdinand and the disinclination 
of Lutherans to promote the ends of Francis I moved Catholic and 
Protestant Princes to the Peace of Cadan. Both alike were threatened 
by their common foe, the spirit of revolution, which in two different 
forms had now submerged Catholic Miinster and Protestant Liibeck, 
Of the two phenomena the Anabaptist reign at Miinster was the more to 
be feared and the harder to be explained, for the term by which it is 
known represents a mere accident of the movement as being its essence. 
It was not essentially theological, nor is "anabaptist*' an adequate or 
accurate expression of its theological peculiarities. The doctrines of 
second baptism and adult baptism are iiioffensive enough, but attempts 
to realise the millennium, if successful, would be fatal to most forms of 
government, and a familiar parallel to the Miinster revolutionists may 
be found in the English Fifth-moaarchy men of the seventeenth century* 
In both cases millenary doctrines were only the outward form in which 
the revolutionary spirit was matle manifest, and the spirit of revolution 
is always at bottom the same because it has its roots in the depths of 
human nature. The motive force which roused the English peasants in 
1381 was essentially the same as that which dominated Miinster in 1534 
and lined the barricades of Paris in 1848. The revolutionist becomes a 
believer in the brotherhood of man, in the perfectibility of the race, 
and in the practicability of the millennium. The narrower his experience 
of men and affairs, the wider his flights of fancy ; and revolutionary 
principles commonly lind their 'most fruitful soil among hand-workers 
of sedentary occupation and straitened circumstances. In those sub- 
merged classes materials for discontent ever abound, awaiting the coin- 
cidence of two events to set them free, the flash of vision into better 
things and the disturbance of the repressive force of law and order. 
The Reformation produced them both ; and the new gospel of Divine 
justice for the oppressed set the volcanic flood in motion, and strife 
between Catholic and Protestant authorities gave it a vent. 

It was not to be expected that the rigid, respectable condition into 
which Lutheranism had sunk under the aegis of territorial Princes or 
even the more elastic religion of ZwingU would satisfy all of those 

who had revoltetl from Rome. Extreme opinions soon became heard. 
Sebastian Franck declared that in the new Lutheran Church there was 
less freedom of speech and belief than among the Turks and heathen ; 
and Leo Jud described Luther as anotlier Pope who consigned at will 
some to the devil, and rewarded others with heaven. Luther had found 
his original strength in the spirit of revolutionary enthusiasm and reli- 
gious exaltation ; but as soon as the way was clear he exchanged the 
support of popular agitation for that of seen lar authority, and left the 
revolutionists to follow their own devices. Their ranks were swollen by 
a general feeling of disappointment at the meagre results of the Reforma- 
tion. The moral regeneration which had been anticipated, the ameliora- 
tion of social ills, and the reform of political abuses seemed as far off as 
ever. " The longer we preach the Gospel,'' declared Luther, *^' the deeper 
the people plunge into greed, pride, and luxury " ; and, acting on a princi- 
ple enunciated by the Reformers tliemselves, men began to ascribe the evil 
practice in Lutheran spheres to the errors in Lutheran doctrine. Hence 
arose a number of theological ideas, which were anathema alike to 
Catholics and Protestants, but appealed with irresistible force to multi- 
tudes who found no solace in either of the more orthodox creeds. The 
mass of tlie peasantry had been put out of the pale of hope in 1525, 
and their complete indifference to ideas of any kind prevented a general 
rising ten years later ; but in some of the towns the lower classes retained 
enough mental Imoyancy to seek consolation in dreams for the burdens 
they bore in real life* 

The Anabaptist doctrine was but one of an endless variety of ideas, 
ifinny of which had lt*ng been current. All such opinions gained fresh 
vugtie in tlie decade following tlie Peasants' Revolt ; but most of the 
**tectarie8" agreed in repudiating Lutlier's views on predestination and 
the unfree will, and denounced the dependence of the Lutheran 
ChiU'ch upon the State. They denied the right of the secular 
iBlgistrate to interfere in religious matters, and themselves withdrew 
in varying degrees from concern in tlie affairs of this world. Some, 
mticipating the Quakers, refused to bear arms ; the Gttrtnerbruder of 
Salzburg endeavoured to live on the pattern of primitive simplicity. 
Oni^ >i*M t denied the humanity of Christ ; another^ of whom Luduig 
: as the chief, began by regarding Jesos as a leader and t-eacher 

ratiiLU than an object of worship, and ended by denying His divinity. 
Many thoughtful people, repelled by the harshness of Lu therms dogmas, 
insisted upon mercy as the pre-eminent attribute of God, and extended 

ren to the devil the hope of salvation ; while the idea that the flesh 
one sinned leaving the spirit undefiled pro%^ed attractive to the lower 
»ort and opened the door to a variety of antinoraian speculations and 


Most of these dreamers indulged in Apocalyptic visions of an imme- 
Rte purification of the world ; but this at worst was only a species of 


quietspiritual dram-drinking, and probably it would liavegone no further 
but for the ruthless persecution which their doctrines called down upon 
them, Zwingli himself was hostile to them, and repressive measures 
were taken agaiust their Swiss adherents ; but in most parts of Germany 
they were condemned to wholesale death. Six hundred executions are 
said to have taken place at Ensisheim in Upper Elsass, a thousand in 
Tyrol and Gorz, and the Swabian League butchered whole bands of 
them without trial or sentence. Many were beheaded in Saxony with 
the express approbation of Luther^ who regarded their heroism in the 
face of death as proof of diabolic possession. Duke William of Bavaria 
made a distinction between those who recanted and those who re- 
mained obdurate ; the latter were burnt, the former were only beheaded, 
Bucer at Strassbui'g was less truculent than Luther ; but Philip of Hesse 
was the only Prince of sufficient moderation to be content with the 
heretics' incarceration. 

The doctrine of passive resistance broke down under treatment like 
this, and men's sufferings began to set their hands as well as their minds 
in motion ; a conviction developed that it w;is their duty to assist in 
eflfecting the purification which they believed to be imminent. In 
Augsburg, Hans Hut proclaimed the necessity incumbent upon the 
saints to purify the world witlx a double-edged sword, and his disciple, 
Augustin Bader, prepared a crowTi, insignia, and jewels for his future 
kingdom in Israel. Melchior Hofmann told Frederick I of Denmark 
that he was one of the two sovereigns at whose hands all the firstborn 
of Egypt should be slain. Not till the vials of wrath had been out- 
poured could the kingdom of heaven come. Hofmann, who had preached 
" the true gospel '* in Livonia and then Jiad combated Luther's magical 
doctrine of the Eucharist at Stockholm, Kiel, and Strassburg, had by his 
voice and his pen acquired great influence over the artisans of northern 
Germany ; and here, where men's dreams had not been rudely dispelled by 
the ravages of peasants and reprisals of Princes, revolutionary ideas took 
their deepest root and revolutionary projects appeared most feasible. 
From 1529 onwards there were outbreaks in not a few North (lerman 
towns, at Minden, Herford, Lippstadt, and Soest ; but it was at Miinster 
and Liibeck tliat the revolution in two different forms assumed a world- 
wide importance. 

Miinster liad long been a scene of strife between Catholic and 
Protestant The Lutlieran attack Avas at iirat repelled by the Catholics, 
and Bernard Rottman, the most prominent of the Reforming divines, was 
expelled from the city. But he soon returned and established himself in 
the suburbs, where his preaching produced such an effect on the populace 
that the Reformers became a majority on the Council and secured control 
of the city churches. In 1532 the Chapter and the rest of the Catholic 
clergy, with the minority of the Council, left Miinster to concert measures 
of retaliation with Count Franz von Waldeck, the newly-elected Bishop \ 

l5a3-4] The Netherlands and Munster 225 

of Munster, and with the neighbouring gentry, who for the most part 
adhered to the old religion. By their action all communication between 
the city and the external world was cut off ; but, threatened with the 
loss of their rents and commerce, the citizens made a sally on December 26, 
surprised the Bishop and the chiefs of the Catholic party in their head- 
quarters at Telgte (east of Miinster), and carried off a number of prisoners 
as hostages. Alarm induced the Catholics to accept a compromise in 
February, by which Lutheranism was to be tolerated in the six parish 
churches, and Catholicism in the Cathedral and the centre of the city. 
Lutheranism, however, while acceptable to the wealthier members of 
the reforming party, no longer satisfied Rottman and the artisans. 
Rottman gradually adopted the Zwinglian view of the Eucharist and 
repudiated infant baptism ; and, although condemned by the University 
of Marburg and the Council of Miinster, he was not expelled from the 
city, but continued to propagate his doctrines among the lower orders, 
and eventually in 1533 determined to strengthen his position by intro- 
ducing into Miinster some Anabaptists from Holland. 

In the Netherlands Charles V was enabled by the strength of his 
position as territorial prince and by means of the Inquisition to exer- 
cise an authority in religious matters which was denied him in Ger- 
many, but his repression had the effect of stimulating the growth of 
extremer doctrines. Schismatic movements had long been endemic in 
the Netherlands, and nowhere else did Melchior Hofmann find so many 
disciples. Chief among them were Jan Matthys, a baker of Haarlem, 
and Jan Beuckelssen or Bockelsohn, popularly known as Jan of Leyden. 
Matthys declared himself to be the Enoch of the new dispensation, and 
chose twelve apostles to proselytise the six neighbouring provinces. 
Beuckelssen was one of them; though not yet thirty years of age he had 
seen much of the world ; as a journeyman tailor he had travelled over 
Europe from Liibeck to Lisbon; abandoning his trade he opened an inn 
at Leyden, became a leading member of the local Rederijker%^ and 
wrote verses and dramas, in which he himself played a part. Finally he 
fell under the influence of the Scriptural teaching of Hofmann and 
Matthys, as whose forerunner he journeyed to Miinster in January, 
1534, and joined forces with Rottman and the Miinster Anabaptists. 

The arrival of Beuckelssen and his colleagues precipitated the conflict 
for which the Catholics and Lutherans had armed as early as the previous 
autumn. After a few days of ominous silence the insurrection broke 
out on February 9. It was premature ; the Conservatives were still 
the stronger party, but in a moment of hesitation they consented to 
mutual toleration. The concession was fatal ; in a fortnight the fanatical 
zeal of the revolutionists made thousands of fresh converts, especially 
among the women ; and the legal security they had won in Miinster 
attracted crowds of their fellow sectaries from Holland and the neigh- 
bouring German towns. Matthys himself appeared on the scene; at 

C. M. H. II. 16 

226 Character of the Anabaptist rule [1534 

the municipal election of the 2l8t the Anabaptists secured a majority 
on the Council ; and KnipperdoUinck, the executioner of the sect, became 
Burgomaster. Six days later there was a great prayer-meeting of armed 
Anabaptists in the town-hall. Matthys roused himself from an apparent 
trance to demand in the name of God the expulsion of all who refused 
conversion. Old and young, mothers with infants in arms, and bare- 
footed children, were driven out into the snow to perish, while the reign 
of the saints began. 

Like the earliest Christians they sought to have all things in 
common, and as a commencement they confiscated the goods of the 
exiles. To ensure primitive simplicity of worship they next destroyed 
all images, pictures, manuscripts, and musical instruments on which they 
could lay their hands. Tailors and shoemakers were enjoined to intro- 
duce no new fashions in wearing apparel ; gold and silver and jewels 
were surrendered to the common use ; and there was an idea of pushing 
the communistic principle to its logical extreme by repudiating indi- 
vidual property in wives. The last was apparently offensive to public 
opinion even in purified Miinster, and the nearest approach to it effected 
in practice was polygamy, which was not introduced without some san- 
guinary opposition, and did not probably extend far beyond the circle 
of Beuckelssen and the leaders of the movement. These eccentricities 
were regarded by their authors as a necessary preparation for the second 
coming of Christ. That the end of the world was at hand was a common 
idea of the day. No one was more thoroughly possessed by it than 
Luther; but while he set little store on the Book of Revelation, the 
Anabaptists of Miinster found in it their chief inspiration. They 
conceived that they were making straight the path of the Lord by 
abolishing all human ordinances such as property, marriage, and social 
distinctions. The notion was not entirely new; at one end of the 
religious scale the Taborites had held somewhat similar views, and at 
the other, monastic life was also based on renunciation of private 
property, of marriage, and of the privilege of rank. The idea of 
preparing for the Second Advent gave the movement its strength, and 
stimulated the revolutionists of Miinster to resist for a year and a half 
the miseries of a siege and all the forces which Germany could bring 
against them. 

The rule of Matthys the prophet was brought to a sudden end by 
his death in a sortie at Easter, and his mantle fell upon Jan of Leyden, 
probably a worse but certainly an abler man. His introduction of 
polygamy provoked resistance from the respectable section led by 
Mollenbeck, but they were mercilessly butchered after surrender. "He 
who fires the first shot," cried Jan, in words which might have been 
borrowed from Luther's attack on the peasants, "does God a service." 
After his victory he dispensed with the twelve elders who had nominally 
ruled the new Israel, and by the mouth of his prophet Dusentschur 

aanounceci it as the will of fiotl that he should be king of all the world 
and establish the Fifth ilonarchy of the Apocalypse. He assumed the 
pomp and circumstance of royalty, easily crushed an attempt of Knip- 
perdoUinck to supplant him, defeated the besiegers with much slaughter 
on August 30, 1534, when they tried to take the city by storm, and in 
October sent out twenty-eight apostles to preach the new kingdom to 
the neighbouring cities. They were armed with Dusentschur's proph- 
ecy of ruin for such as did them harm ; but almost all were seized and 
executed, and a young woman, who attempt-ed to play the part of Judith 
to the Holofernes of the Bishop of Miinster, met with a similar fate- 

These misfortunes probably dimmed the faith of tlie besieged in 
Miinster. Althougli there were thousands of Anabaptists scattered 
throughout the north of Germany and the Netherlands, their sporadic 
risings were all suppressed, and no town but Warendorf accepted 
Miinster's proposals of peace. The Wurttemberg war, which had dis- 
tracted the Princes of Germany, Wiis over; and the Liibeck war prevented 
Hanseatic democrats from assisting the people of Miinster as effectually 
as it kept North German Princes from joining the siege. But it was 
April, 1535, before the nuitual jealousies of the various Princes* the 
dissensions between Catholics and Protestants, the inefficiency of the 
national military organisation, and the common fear lest Charles V should 
seize the occasion to extend his Burgundian patrimony at the expense 
of Germany by appropriating Miinster to himself, permitted a joint 
expedition in aid of the Bishop of Mibister, who had hitherto carried on 
the siege with the help of some Hessian troops. After tliat the result 

F could not long remain doubtful ; but the city offered a stubborn resist- 
ance, and it was only by means of treachery that it was taken by assault 

ton the night of June 24* The usual slaughter followed ; Jan of Leyden 
and KnipperdolHnck were tortured to death in the market-place with 
red-hot pincers. Miinster was deprived of its privileges as an imperial 
city ; the Bishop's authority and Catholicism were re-established, and a 
fortress was built to support them. The Anabaptists were dispersed 
into many lands, and their views exercised a potent influence in England 
and America in the following century ; but the visionary and revo- 
lutionary spirit which gave Anabaptism its importance during the 
German Reformation passed out of it to assume other forms, and 
Anabaptism slowly became a respectable creed. 

Two of the three revolutions which disturbed Germany in 1534-5, 
the Wiirttemberg war and the Miinster insurrection, were thus ended ; 
there remained a third, the attempt of commercial democracy to establish 
an empire over the shores of the Baltic* The cities of tlie Hanseatic 
League had long enjoyed the most complete autonomy, and whatever 

.authority neighbouring Princes and Prelates could claim within the wallii 
of any of them was a mere shadow. Hence the Lutheran Reformation, 
appealing as it did most powerfully to the burgher class, won an easy 

and an early victory in most of these trading communities- But thia 
victory was the beginning rather than the end of strife, for the social 
ferment whicli followed on the religious revolt inevitably produced a 
division between the richer and poorer classes. It bore little relation 
to differences on religious questions, though here as elsewhere in the 
sixteenth century every movement tended to assume a theological garb» 
and the rich naturally favoured conservative forms of religion, while the 
poor adopted novel doctrines. Thus risings at Hanover in 1533, at 
Bremen in 1530-2, and at Brunswick in 1528 were directed partly 
against the old Church and partly against the aristocratic Town Councils, 
The chief of these municipal revolutions occurred at Liibeck and Stral- 
sund, but, although the triumph of the democracy was accompanied by 
a good deal of iconoclasm, and Wullenwever, the leader of the Liibeck 
populace, was accused of Anabaptism, the struggle was really social 
and political, or, according to Sastrow, the burgomaster of Greifswald, 
between the respectable and the disreputable classes. In both cities the 
oligarchic character of the Town Council -was abolished, and power was 
transferred to demagogues depending on the support of the artisans ; 
but the importance of these changes consists not so much in their con- 
stitutional aspect, though this w^as of considerable significance, as in the 
effect they produced upon the external policy of the Hanseatic League. 

That famous organisation had lost much of the power it wielded in 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Its position was based on a 
union between the so-called Wendic cities of the Baltic and the towns 
of Westphalia and the Netherlands, and upon the control which they 
exercised over the united Scandinavian kingdoms, and thus over the 
whole trade of the Baltic and the North Sea. The most potent voice 
in the confederation had hitherto been that of Liibeck, but the develop- 
ment of Bruges and Antwerp under the fostering care of their Burgundian 
rulers provoked a bitter rivalry between the Flemings and the League ; 
Liibeck insisted upon the exclusion of Dutch trade from the Baltic, and 
the Dutch naturally resented this limitation of their commerce. At the 
same time this loosening of the bond between the eastern and western 
cities weakened the League's hold on the Scandinavian kingdoms ; and 
Christian II, who had married Charles V's sister, conceived the idea of 
utilising his Burgundian allies for the purpose of breaking the domina- 
tion of the Baltic cities. The plan was ruined by Christian's vices, which 
gained him the hatred of all his subjects and enabled the Liibeckers, 
by timely assistance to Christian's uncle, Frederick, Duke of Holstein, 
to evict their enemy from the throne of Denmark and Norway ; similar 
aid was rendered to Guatavus Vasa, who in the same year (1523) drove 
Christian out of Sweden ; and thus the union of the three Scandinavian 
kingdoms which had lasted since the Peace of Kalmar (1397) was 
permanently broken up. 

Christian, however, was not content with his defeat, and with a 

view to securing the assistance of his Habsburg brothers-in-law and 
of Catholic Europe, lie abjured liis Lutberanism and represented his 
attempt to regain his thi*ones as a crusade against heresy. In 1531^2 
he overran Norway, but Liibeck blockaded the coast, forced him to 
capitulate, and procured his lifelong imprisonment at Sonderburg. 
This outrage on royal majesty, coupled with the mercantile hostility 
between Lubeck and the Netherlands, precipitated naval war between 
the Dutch and Baltic cities ; and the situation was complicated by the 
death of Frederick I in April, 1533. Several claimants for his vacant 
throne appeared. Frederick left two sons, Christian 1 1 1 , a l^u theran, and 
John, who seems to have entertained some hopes of maintainiog his 
pretensions by the help of the Catholic party. The old Ki ng. Christian 1 1, 
was regarded as impossible, and the liabsburgs put forward as their 
candidate Count Frederick of the Palatinate (afterwards the Elector 
Palatine Frederick II), who married old Christian's daughter. Such 
wasthe situation witli which the democrats of Liibeck, who had obtained 
control of the Council in February and elected Jiirgen Wullenwever 
Burgomaster in March, 1538, had to deal. 

The distrust with which the revolutionists of Liibeck were viewed 
by both Protestant and Catholic Princes made Wullcnwever's course a 
difficult one. He started for Copenhagen to conclude an alliance between 
the two cities, but Copenbagen looked on him askance, and he tlien 
offered his friendship to the young Christian MI with no better result* 
Liibeck, however, found an unexpected ally in Henry VJII, who was tlien 
trying every means to reduce the Habsburg power, and regarded with 
alarm the prospect of a Habsburg victory in Denmark. Marx Meyer, 
a military adventurer who had taken service under Liibeek, had been 
sent to sea in comraand of a fleet against the Dutch. Landing in 
England without a passport, he had been lodged in the Tower of 
London ; but Henry saw in him a convenient instrument against the 
Habsburgs. He conferred on Meyer a knighthood, and promised Liibeck 
assistance ; while the Liibeekers undertook to tolerate no Prince ujjon 
the Danish throne of %vhom the English King did not approve. But 
Henry's promises were not very serious, and the Liibeekers were wise in 
not putting too much trust in them. They were better advised in 
concluding a four years' truce with the Netherlands at the price of free 
trade through the Sound in order to concentrate their efforts upon 
establishing their control over Denmark. 

The element on which they relied was the democratic spirit in the 
Scandinavian kingdoms and particularly in the towns. Melchior Hofnumn 
had preached at Stockholm, where Gustavus Vasa declared that the 
populace aimed at his assassination. At Malmci and Copenhagen the 
Burgomasters eventually adopted W ullen wever's views, and both peasants 
and artisans in Denmark were excited and discontented. The expulsion 
of the old King Christian had been in the main an aristocratic revolution, 

abLUttitl by Liibeck in revenge for Christianas attacks on ber mercantile 
monopoly ; and the rale of Frederick I had been marked by aristocratic 
infring'ements of the commercial privileges of the townsfolk and by 
oppression of the peasants* Both classes were ready to rise for their old 
Bamrnkonig ; and Liibeck, aware that Christian would be a pnppet in 
her hands, determined to restore the sovereign whom ten years before 
she had deposed, TJie town took into its service Count Christopher of 
Oldenburg, a competent soldier, albeit a canon of Cologne^ and stipulatetl 
in case of success for the cession of Gotldand, Helsingborg, and Helsingor* 
In May, 1534, Christopher arrived at Liibeck, and, ha\ing won a few 
trifling successes over Duke Chinstian, he put to sea with a powerful 
fleet and appeared off Copenhagen in June* Everywhere almost popular 
insurrections broke out in favour of the old King or against the ruling 
nobility. This war was called the Crrafenfehde^ and it was in the name 
of the " Feasant King " that Christopher summoned the town and county 
proletariate to rise against their lords. Seeland, Copenhagen, Laaland, 
Langeland, and Falster once more recognised him as their sovereign ; 
revolts of the peasants in Fiinen and Jutland led to a similar recognition, 
while Oldendorp, whom Wullenwever describes as the originator of the 
movement, roused some of the Swedish cities. The Liibeck revolu- 
tionists seemed to be carrying all before them ; democratic factions 
triumphed at Stralsund, Rostock, Riga, and Reval, and sent contribu- 
tions in men or money to the common cause. In Liibeck itself Wullen- 
wever strengthened his position by expelling the hostile minority from 
the Council, and Bonnus, the Lutheran superintendent, resigned his 
charge- ** Had the cities succeeded as they hoped,'" wrote a Pomeranian 
chronicler, "not a Prince or a noble w^ould have been left.^' 

The revolution at Miinster was now at its height, and the Princes 
and nobles were aware of their peril ; but the Wiirttemberg w^ar also was 
raging, and they were compelled to content themselves with denounciMg 
the action of Liibeck, leaving to Duke Christian the task of effective 
resistance. He proved equal to the occasion. In September he com- 
pletely blockaded the mouth of the Trave and cut off Liibeck from 
communication with the sea. The city was compelled to restore all the 
territory it had taken from Holstein, but both parties were left free to 
carry on hostilities in Denmark. There the Estates, threatened by 
iBternal revolts and external foes, had elected Duke Christian King, and 
in December he captured Aalborg and pacified Jutland. He was helped 
by contingents from three Princes connected with him by marriage, the 
Dukes of Prussia and Pome ran ia and Gustavus of Sweden, whose throne 
had been offered by Liibeck to Albrecht of Mecklenburg. Near Assens 
in Fiinen on June 11, 1535, Christian's general, Johann Rantzau, 
defeated the Lill^eck allies under Count Johann von Hoya, and almost 
simultaneously his fleet, commanded by the Danish admiral Skram, w^on 
a less decisive victory over the ships of Liibeck off Bornholm* Fiinen 

and Seelaiid submitted, and id August Copenhagen and Malmo alone 
held ont» 

These disasters were fatal to Wuilenwever's power in Liibeck ; during 
his absence in Mecklenburg the restoration of the conservatives was 
effected in August. WuUenwever eventually fell into the liands of 
the Archbishop of Bremen, wa^s delivered to the Archbisliop's brother, 
Duke Henry of Brunswick, and put to death in Septenil>er, 1537* Witli 
the ruin of his party the prosecution of his war began to languish, and 
in 1530 Christian took possession of Copenhagen and made himself 
master of the two kingdoms of Denmark and Norway. He was crowned 
by the Lutheran apostle Bugeidiagen, under whose auspices religion 
according to the straitest sect of Wittenberg was established in Denmark. 
Christian's triumph was no doubt hirgely due to national antipathy to 
the domiueering interference of an alien State, but the national feeling 
was exploited by class prejudice, and the aristocracy in Denmark turned 
their victory to the same use as the German Princes did theirs in the 
Peasants' War. In both eases Lutheranism matle common cause witli 
the upper classes ; the proclamation of the Gospel and the enforcemeut 
of serfdom went hand in hand, but the landlord was the predominant 
partner, and even the children of preachers remained in the status of serfs. 

To Liibeck itself it is possible that the soccess of Wullenwevers 
grandiose ideas of mereantile empire might have been more fatal 
than their failure. According to Baltic nautical ballads Liibeck long 
regretted its turbulent Burgouiiister, and his name is surrouniled in 
popular legend with Home thing of the halo of a van Artevelde, but his 
attempt to clothe the new democratic spirit in the worn-out garb of 
the city-empire was doomed from the first to end in disaster. He could 
not have permanently averted the decay of the Hanse towns or pre- 
vented the absorption of most of them in the growing territorial States ; 
temporary success would only have prolonged the struggle witliout 
affecting the last result. Besides the local circumstances which would 
have rendered ineffectual the endeavour of Liibeck, under wliatever form 
of municipal government it might have been made, to establish an im- 
jjerial State, there was no element of stability in the revolutionary spirit 
of which that endeavour was the last manifestation. The future of 
Germany was bound up with the fortunes of the territorial principle, and 
it is impossible to determine exactly in what degree the Lutheran 
Reformation owed its salvation to its own inherent vitality, and 
in what to its alliance with the prevailing political organisation. 
Together Lutheranism and territorialism had crushed the revolutionary 
movement, wliether it took the form of agrarian socialism, Miinster 
Anabaptism, or urban democracy. From the conflict of creeds all but 
two had now been eliminated, Catholicism and Lutheranism ; both were 
equally linked with the territorial principle, and, whichever prevailed, 
the political texture of Germany would still be the same. The subsidence 

of the revolutionary spirit narrowed the field of contention, and the 
question became merely one of fixing the limits of this or that territorial 
State and of locating the frontier between the two established forms of 

Yet peace was not any nearer because the rivals had beaten a common 
foe. Theagreement of Niirnberg in 1532 had guaranteed to the members 
of the Scluoalkaldic League immunity for their religion, but it did not 
define religion or provide security for future Protestants. At the Peace 
of Cadan in 1534 the first point was settled by Ferdinand's quashing 
all the processes in the Reichskammergericht against the Schmalkaldic 
allies ; but the protection did not extend beyond the members of the 
League, and numerous other Protestant States were liable to practical 
ruin as the result of the Supreme Court's verdicts. This w^as a particularly 
dangerous cause of friction, because Catholic Princes had other than 
religious motives for executing the judgments of the Court against their 
Protestant neighbours ; as executors of the Court's decrees they could 
legally seize the lands of recalcitrant cities or lords, and under the guise 
of religion extend their territoritil power. Thus, Duke Erie of Brunswick- 
Calenberg w^as anxious to execute sentence on his chief town^ Hanover, 
where a revolutionary movement had taken place ; the Duke of Bavaria 
cast longing eyes on Augsburg ; and the specific object of the Catholic 
League of Halle (1533) was to secure the execution of verdicts against 
all cities and Princes who were not among the Schmalkaldic confederates. 
The Catholics umloulitedly had the law on their side, but necessity 
drove their opponents to break it. They could hardly stand by while 
their fellow-countrymen were punished for holding the faith they held 
themselves ; had they done so they would only have prepared the w^ay 
for their own destruction. The obvious method of protecting their 
co-religionists was to admit them to the Schmalkaldic League ; but this 
was an infraction of the terms of the Niirnberg Peace which would 
endanger their own security, and they would not have ventured on the 
step unless circumstances had tied the hands of the Austrian government. 

Throughout the greater part of 1535 Charles V was engaged in the 
conquest of Tunis, and he was hoping to follow up his success in this 
direction with an attack on the Turks, who were embroiled in a war with 
Persia, wdien his plana were disconcerted by the hostile attitude of 
France. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, died in 1535 without issue^ 
and Francis I» fearing with good reason that Charles would seize 
the duchy himself, revived his claims to Milan, Genoa, and Asti. In the 
spring of 1536 he overran Savoy, which had become the Emperor's alh% 
entered into negotiations with the Turks and with Henry VIII for a 
joint action against the Habsburgs, and approached the Lutheran 
Princes with a similar object. The Lutherans were reluctant to side 
with the Emperor's enemies, but they had no hesitation in putting a 
high price on their friendship, and in turning Charles' necessities to 



account by demanding security for the threatened members of their 
Church. In December, 15?J5, at a diet of the Schnmlkaldic League, 
they undertook to admit all who would subscribe to the Confession 
of Augsburg ; and Wiirttemberg, Fomerania, Anhalt^ and the cities of 
Augsburg, Frankfort, Hanover, and Kempten became thus entitled to 
its protection. They renewed their repudiation of the Reich»kammer- 
gericht as a partisan body, anil declared that conscience would not allow 
them to res|>ect its verdicts* They refused in fact to yield to the 
national and imperial authorities that obedience in religious matters 
which they rigorously exacted from the subjects of their own territorial 
jurisdiction j and at the moment when they were pleading conscience as 
a justification of their own conduct they declined to admit its validity 
when urged by their Catholic brethren. 

The Lutherans had not remained untainted by the pride of power 
and the arrogance of success. In Ferdinand's own dominions at this 
time Faber declared that but for him and the King all Vienna would 
have turned Lutheran, and tliat it needed but a sign to arm all Germany 
against the Roman Church, Ferdinand himself was urging such con- 
cessions as the marriage of the clergy and communion under both kinds, 
and complained to the Papal Nuncio that he could not find a confessor 
who w^as not a fornicator, a drunkard, or an ignoramus. In England 
Lutheranism had reached its higljest water-mark in Henry's reign; 
Mehmchthon had dedicated an edition of his Loci Commnnegio the Tudor 
King, and wiis willing to undertake a voyage to England to reform tlie 
English Clairch* Francis I had invited Melanclithon and liucer to 
France to discuss the religious situation. The new Pope, Paul III, who 
had succeeded Clement VII in 1534, began his pontificate by creating 
a number of reforming Cardinals, and nent Vergerio to Germany to 
investigate the possibilities of a concordat with the heretics and to 
ascertain the terms upon which they would support a General CounciL 
In all the Scandinavian kingdoms the triumpli of the new faith was 
complete, and the Protestant seemed to be the winning cause in Europe. 
Now, when Charles was threatened with a joint attack by Turks and 
French^ it was no time to throw the Lutheran Princes into the enemy's 
arms. For the m€»ment temporal security was a more urgent need than 
the maintenance of the Catholic Church, and the suspension of all the 
ecclesiastical cases in the Reichdkammerfferi&ht was the price which 
Ferdinand paid for the Lutheran rejection of alliance with Henry VI 11 
and Francis I. 

One of Ferdinand's motives was fear lest Bavaria should, by executing 
the judicial sentence against Augsburg, acquire predominant influence in 
that important city ; and he was by no means averse from the plan, 
proposed by the Elector John Frederick of Saxony, of persuading 
Zwinglian Augsburg to adopt the Lutheran Confession and of then 
admitting it to the Schmalkaldic League. Augsburg was thus saved 

from what Ferdinand regarded as a more pernicious form of heresy 
than Liitheranism, and also from the clutches of the rival House of 
Wittelsbach. The way for this conversion was prepared by the Witten- 
berg Concord of 1536. The hostility between the Zwinglian and 
Lutheran sects had to some extent sul)sided since Zwingli's death, 
Melanchthon had modified hia attitude towards predestination, and had 
been much impressed by Oecolampadiua' treatise on the use of the 
Eucharist during the first three centuries. Luther even brought himself 
to entertain a friendly feeling for Zwingli's successor Bullinger. After 
various preliminary negotiations, in which Bucer was as usual the leading 
spirit, a conference between Luther and representatives of the modified 
Zwinglianisra which prevailed in the cities of Upper Germany was held 
in Lutl)er*s house at Wittenberg in May, 1536. The two parties agreed 
on a form of words which covered their differences about the real presence 
in the Eucharist ; they were not so successful with regard to the other 
disputed point, the reception of the body of Christ by unworthy com- 
municants* but they agreed to differ* Luther expressed himself willing 
to bury the past and roll the stone upon it, and extended to Bucer and 
the Upper (lerraan cities that *'■ brotherly love " which he had refused to 
Zwingli at Marburg in 15*29. 

The Concord of Wittenberg only stopped but for a while the rifts 
which had begun to api>ear in the Schmalkaldic Union. The mere fact (»f 
security would have tended to relax the bonds, and there were personal 
as wellas religious dififerencesbetween John Frederick and Philipof Hesse. 
Philip expressed contempt for the dull but honest Elector, while John 
Frederick had grave doubts about Philip's orthodoxy and the morality of 
his policy, Pliilip liad always inclined to Zwinglian views and resented 
dictation from Wittenberg; and the two religious parties had nearly 
come to an open breach over the reformation of Wiirttemberg. Ulrich 
himself was more Zwinglian than Lutheran, and his duchy was partitioned 
into two spheres of influence, in one of which the Lutheran Schnepf 
laboured and in the other the Zwinglian Bhirer. The latter proved the 
stronger, and in 15^17 Blarer procured the abolition of images in spite of 
the opposition of Schnepf and Brenz, while Ulrich devoted the confiscated 
Cliurch revenues to exclusively secular purposes. It seemed as though 
Hesse, Wiirttemberg, and tlxe Oberland cities miglit form a strong 
Zwinglian Union independent of the Lutheran League of Schmalkalden, 
Both the Eloi-tor and the Landgrave were hesitating whether to renew 
that League, and both were pursuing indejxmdent negotiations at the 
Court of Vienna, where Ferdinand by his conciliatory demeanour and 
concessions induced them both to turn a deaf ear to the persuasions of 
the Habsburgs' foreign enemies. 

The necessity for this pacific diplomacy on Ferdinand's part was 
amply demonstrated by the course of the war with the French and the 
Tiirks from 1536 to 1538. In spite of the neutrality of Henry VIII 



and the Lutheran PrinceH Francis I more than held his own, and the ten 
years' truce negotiated by Paul III at Nice in 1538 marked a considerable 
recovery from the humiliation of 1525-9. The real import of the agree* 
sent between the two great Catholic Powers, w^hich follo%ved at Aigues- 
lortes, Wiis and is a matter of doubt. Ostensibly the alliance Avas to 
be directed against infidels and heretics ; and Henry VI 11^ tlxe Lutlieran 
Princes, and the Turks had all some ground for alarm. Even if war was 
not intended the Lutherans dreaded the General Council which peace 
brought perceptibly nearer. They had brusquely declined to concur in 
the assembly vainly summoned by Paul to meet at Mantua in May, 1537^ 
because the terms of the summons implied that its object was the extirpa- 
tion of Lutherans and not of abuses. They justified their refusal to the 
Emperor by arguing that the proposed Papal Council was very different 
from that General Council contemplated by the Diets of 1523 and 1524; 
and the Elector John Frederick suggested a counter ecumenical council 
to be held at Augsburg under the protection of the Schmalkaldic League. 
One and all tliey denied the Pope*s authority to summon a Council and 
read with delight Henry VIlTs manifesto to that effect. 

Apart from the General Council wducli the union of Paul, Charles, 
and Francis seemed to portend, the Lutherans had been thrown into 
alarm by the mission to Germany of the Emperor's Vice-Chancellor, 
Held, who had received his instructions in October, 1586. Held had 
been a zealous member of the Iteiekskammerffericht^ and he was burning 
to avenge the contumely with which Protestants had treated the verdicts 
of that Court. He interpreted Charles' cautious and somewhat 
ambiguous language as an order to form a Catholic League with the 
object of restraining, if not of attacking, the Lutheran Princes- He 
ignored the Treaty of Cadan and Ferdinand's later concessions, required 
that the Protestants should promise submission to the proposed Council 
and to the Kammergerichty and, when they refused, proceeded to build up 
his Catholic alliance. The Habsburg rulers, Ferdinand and the Queen- 
Regent of the Netherlands, were alarmed at Held's proceedings ; but the 
King could not afford to break with the ultra-Catholics wdiose tool Htld 
was; and on June 10, 1538, the League of Niirnberg was formed under 
the nominal patronage of Charles V. Its organisation was a faithful 
copy of that of the Schmalkaldic League, and its members were the 
Emperor, the King, the Archbishops of Mainz and Salzburg, and the 
Dukes of Bavaria, George of Saxony, and Eric and Henry of B^unsw^ck- 
The League was professedly defensive, but its determination to execute 
the decrees of the Kamvurgeriekt, which the Schmalkaldic League had 
repudiated, really threatened war ; and the occasion for it w^as almost 
provided by Duke Henry of Brunswick, He was chafing at the support 
given by the Schmalkaldic League to his two towns of Brunswick and 
Goslar, which had been condemned by the Kammergerieht to restore the 
confiscated goods of the Church ; and with a view to consolidating his 

territorial power he was eager to carry out the verdict of the Court, 
Personal animosity between him and his neighbour the Landgrave added 
fuel to the flames ; Philip was believed to be arming for %var in the 
spring of 1539, and Held and Duke Henry were bent upon anticipating 
his attack. 

Such a development was, however, repugnant to responsible people 
on both sides. The Emperor had not in fact been so truculent as Held 
represented ; Ms real intention in sending his Vice-Chaneellor to Germany 
seems to have been to provide safeguards for his imperial authority* 
which in 1536-7 was threatened at least as much by Catholic as it was 
by Protestant enmities. The Pope appeared to be indifferent to the 
fate of the Church and Empire in Germany, and regarded with apparent 
unconcern the alliance between France and the infidels against the 
Christian Emperor. If Charles was to make head against them he must 
feel more secure in Germany, and the only means feasible were a Council 
summoned without the concurrence of Francis or Paul, a national synod 
of the German people, or a perpetual compromise on the basis of the 
Niirnberg peace of 1532* Tlie ten years' truce with France concluded at 
Nice relieved Charles of his more pressing anxieties, but in spite of 
appearances, brought him no nearer to the position from which he could 
dictate terras to the Lutlierans, He was doubtless aware that Francis 
had given, both before and after the truce, satisfactory assurances to tlie 
German Princes to the effect that the concord was merely defensive and 
that he would not allow Charles to destroy them. And other dangers 
arose on the imperial horizon. In February, 1538, Ferdinand closed his 
long rivalry with Zapolya by a treaty which gtiaranteed to that potentate, 
who was then childless, a lifelong tenure of his Hungarian throne on 
condition that Ferdinand should be his successor* But this only enraged 
the really formidable foe, the Sultan, who regarded Hungary as his and 
Zapolya as only his viceroy ; and in 1539 war was once more threatened 
on the banks of the Danube. 

A still greater trouble menaced the Habsburgs in Flanders, and the 
revolt of Ghent, extending though it did to Alost, Oudenaarde, and 
Courtrai, was only a part of the peril, Gelders, which had constantly 
been to the Burgundian House what Scotland was to England, passed 
in 1539 into the hands of a ruler who dreamt of uniting with the 
Schmalkaldic League on the east^ with Henry VIII on the west, and 
possibly with Francis I on the south, and of thus surrounding Charles' 
dominions in the Netherlands with an impenetrable hostile fence. John, 
Duke of Cleves, had married Mary, the only child of William of Jiilich 
and Berg ; hisson William, heir to the united duchy of Cleves-Jiilich-Bergt 
had also claims on the neighbouring duchy of Gelders, whose Duke died 
without issue in 1538, The Estates of Gelders admitted William's 
claims, and in February, 1539, he also succeeded his father in Cleves. 
He had been educated by Erasmus' friend Conrad Heresbach, and the 

form of religion obtaining in Cleves was a curious Erasmmn compromise 
between Popery and Protestantism, which erected the Duke into a sort 
of territorial Pope and bore some resemblance to the via media pursued 
by Henry VIII in England and by Joachim II in Brandenburg. Cleves 
\va8 thus a convenient political and theological link between England 
and the Schinalkaldlc League ; and by means of it Cromwell in 1531) 
thought of forging a chain to bind the Emperor. Duke William'a 
sister Sibylla was already married to the Elector Frederick of Saxony, 
and at the end of 1.539 another sister Anne was wedded to Henry VIII. 

Over and above these foreign complications the ever-increasing 
strength of the Lutheran party in Germany rendered an attack upon 
them a foulhardy enterprise on the Emperor's part unless his hands 
were completely free in oilier directions. In 1539 two of the chief 
pillars of the Catholic Church in the Empire were removed, the Elector 
of Brandenburg and Duke George of Saxony. Joachim I of Brandenburg 
had died in 1535, but it was four years later before his son and successor 
definitely seceded from the ancient Church. On his accession he joined 
the Catholic League of Halle and retained the old Church ritual, but 
in 1538 he refused adherence to the extended Catholic confederation of 
Niirnberg. In February, 1539, his capital Berlin with Kcilln demanded 
the administration of the Sacrament in both kinds, and the Bishop of 
Brandenburg himself advocated a Reformation. Joachim II, liowever, 
taking Henry VIII as his exemplar, resolved to be as independent of 
Wittenberg as he was of Rome ; and probably the chief motive in his 
Reformation was the facility it afforded him of self-aggrandisement by 
appropriating the wealth of the monasteries and establishing an absolute 
control over his Bishops. He became, in fact, though not in title, 
Biimmud episcapus and supreme head of the Church within his dominions. 
Like the Tudor King he was fond of splendour and ritual, made few 
changes in Catholic use, and maintained an intermediate attitude 
between the two great religious parties. 

The revolution in Albertine Saxony was more complete, Duke 
George, one of the most estimable Princes of his age, had kept intact 
his faith in Catholic dogma, though he had spoken with candour of the 
necessity for practical reforms. On his death in 1539 the Duchy passed 
to his brother Henry, who had preferred the religion of his Ernestine 
cousin the Elector to that of his brother the Duke. In order to avert 
the impending conversion of his duchy, George had made his brother's 
succession conditional upon his renouncing Lutheranism and joining the 
League of Niirnberg ; if he rejected these terms the duchy was to pass to 
the Emperor or to Ferdinand. For this violent expedient there was 
no legal justification and no practical support within or without the 
duchy. The people had long resented the repressive measiires with 
which Duke George had been compelled to support Catholicism, and 
they accepted with little demur the new Duke and the new religion. 

One Bishop, John of Meissen, petitioned Charles to be freed from his 
allegiance to the Duke ; but even the Catholic members of the Estates 
repudiated his action, and in 154(> the Estates sanctioned the Lutheran 
Reformation which Duke Henry had begun without their concurrence* 

Besides the Elector of Brandenburg and the Duke of Saxony, minor 
Princes and many towns threw in their lot with the Protestant cause. 
Jonchim IPs brother. Margrave John of Brandenburg, who ruled in 
Cottbus and Peitz, joined the Schmalkaldic League in 1537. Ratisbon, 
long a Catholic stronghold, relinquished its ancient faith ; its monas- 
teries had only one or two inmates apiece ; and only some twenty 
people gathered to worship in its cathedral. In other Catholic States 
there were said to be more mimasteries than monks, and tlie number of 
candidates for ordination sank to five in four years in the see of Passau, 
and to seventeen in eight years in that of Laihach. Heidelberg, the 
Elector Palatine's capital, was described as the most Lutheran city 
in Germany ; and the Elector himself was, in the few moments he spared 
from the hunt and his cups, wavering between liuther and the Pope. 
Albrechtof Brandenburg, Luther*s *^ devil of Mainz,'' was the only member 
of his family who remained Catholic, and he was compelled to flee from 
his palace at Halle. Mecklenburg-Schwerin was reformed by its 
episcopiil Doke, and Brunswick-Calenberg by its Dowager- Duchess, 
Elizabeth of Brandenburg, 

So the golden opportunity which the alliance with Paul and Francis 
at Nice appeared to afford to Charles for the reduction of German heresy 
passed away through no fault of the Emperor's. The zealous Held was 
suppressed ; the negotiations with the Lutherans were entrusted to the 
moderate Archbishop of Lund, who had contrived the agreement 
between Zapolyaand Ferdioaiul ; and Charles accepted the mediation of 
the doubtful Catholic, the Elector Palatine Ludwig V, and the doubtful 
Protestaot, Joachim II of Brandenburg. The parties met at Frankfort 
in April, 1539. Henry VIII sent envoys to stiffen the Lutheran demands 
and prevent an agreement if possible. The Protestant terms were high; 
they wanted a permanent peace wdiich no Council and no assembly of 
Estates should have the power to break j the Niirnberg League was to 
receive no fresh accessions, its Protestant rival of Schmalkalden as many 
as chose to join it ; and all processes in the Reichskammergertcht were to 
be suspended for eighteen months. All that Charles ultiuiately conceded 
was a suspension for six months, and he quietly gave his consent to 
the Niirnberg League. But its inmiediate object of enforcing the 
decrees of the Supreme Court was baulked ; and for half a year even 
the latest recruits to Protestantism were to enjoy complete immunity* 
Beyond that nothing was settled, and the peace of the Lutherans 
depended upon the extent of the Emperor*s troubles in other directions. 

At first the Emperor prospered. Ghent was crushed with ease in 
February, 1540, As soon as Henry YIII realised that the Catholic 

alliance of France, tlie Pope, and the Emperor, involved no attack upon 
him, he repudiated his Low German connexioDs and liis plain wife from 
Cleves, and Charles' ministei's mur veiled at the ways of Providence. 
The3^ succeeded also in keeping Philip of Hesse in good humour and in 
preventing Duke William's admission into the Schmalkaldic League. 
The clear-sighted Bucer deplored the Emperor's good fortune, and 
augured the same treatment for Protestant Germany which Charles had 
meted out to Ghent. But the hour was not yet come. In July, 1540, 
Francis I rejected the Euiperor's conditions for the settlemeut of their 
disputes, betrothed his niece, Jeanne of Navarre, to Duke William of 
Cleves, and refused to surrender his claims on Milan and Savoy, or to 
join in action against Turk or heretic. Parties in Germany were more 
confounded than ever. The spread of Lutheranism produced no union 
in the Catholic ranks, and at Frankfort Catholics as well as Lutherans 
had refused to serve against the Turks. Charles appears to have reached 
the not unreasonable conclusion that Catholicism, especially in the 
ecclesiastical principalities, would only be safe under the shadow of 
his territorial power. The Electors of Trier, Cologne, and Mainz, and 
other great Bishops, were ever being tempted to follow the example of 
Albrecht of Prussia and turn the lands of their sees into secular hereditary 
fiefs. Bucer bad suggested this measure as necessary for the tirm founda- 
tion of Protestantism, and the Elector of Cologne was beginning to 
waver. But these non-heritable ecclesiastical fiefs were the chief bulwark 
of Habsburg imperialism against the encroaching territorial tide ; ant! it 
was natural that Charles sliould dream of extending his influence from 
Burgundy over Cologne, Mlinster, Bremen, and Osnabrlick, so that if 
they were to be secularised at all, he might do the work and deal 
with them as he had dealt with Utrecht. This, of course, was not 
the view of the ecclesiastical Princes, who wished at least to choose 
between the advantages of their independent spiritual rule and those 
of an equally independent territorial authority ; and there was actually 
talk of an alliance between them, backed by the Bavarian Dukes, and 
the Schmalkaldic League, for the defence of national freedom against 
the Habsburgs. Yet at the same time ultra-Catholics were denouncing 
Charles for his concessions at Frankfort. The Pope censured the Ilegent 
Maria and the Archbishop of Lund, and required the Emperor to aniiul 
the agreement with the Protestants on pain of being pronounced schis- 
matic ; while Cardinal Pole hinted that the Church had more to fear 
from Charles V than it had from Henry VI I L 

For a while the Emperor had to tread delicately, and he took refuge 
in a series of religious conferences. The first was held at Hagenau in 
June, 1540, but produced no result. Another met at Worms in 
November ; there were present eleven Catholics and eleven Protestants, 
but the former included Ludwig of the Palatinate, Joachim of Branden- 
burg, and William of Cleves, whose Catholicism was not of the Roman 

type. For ouce the Protestants were united, the Catholics divided, and 
Granvelle, who represented the Emperor, was an astute politician, 
Morone, the papal Nuncio, was reduced to attempts to create Protestant 
dissensions over the Eucharist, and to gain time by substituting an 
interchange of writings for oral debate. The discussions began on 
January 14, 1541, between Eck and Melanehthon, but the meeting was 
soon adjourned to the Diet at Ratisbon, where Charles would attend 
in person. It opened on April 5, and during its course the two parties 
made their nearest approach to unity. The Keforunng movement in Italy 
had somewhat modified the Catholic view of justification, and Morone's 
place was taken by the broad-minded Contarini ; while on the other 
side Bucer had drawn up an alluring scheme of comprehension* He, 
Melanchthon,and Pistorius represented the Protestants ; Eck, Pflug, and 
Gropper the Catholics, Of the latter Eck was the only fighting divinet 
and both the marriage of priests and the use of the cup were conceded, 
while an agreement was reached on the doctrine of justification. 

Yet the most pertinent comment on Bucer s scheme was Melanch- 
thon's, who compared it to Plato's Repiiblk, He and Luther and John 
Frederick on one side, and Aleander and tlie Roman theologians on the 
other, were convinced that no concord was possible between Rome and 
evangelical Germany. It has been found possible to elaborate formu- 
laries which will bear both a Catholic and a Protestant interpretation, 
hut it requires a strong hand and an effective government to compel 
their acceptance ; Charles could not coerce either Wittenberg or Rome ; 
he had neither the will nor the means of Henry VIH and Elizabeth, 
Bavaria organised an extreme faction among the Bishops and non- 
Electoral Princes, who revealed their double motives by threatening to 
seek another Emperor unless Charles afforded them better protection 
and obtained restitution of their secularised lands. This intrigue proved 
fatal to the attempt at comprehension and the result of the Diet was to 
leave parties in much the same state as before. In July, 1541, Charles 
made a declaration to the Protestants, suggested by Brandenburg, that 
the Augsburg Confession should be no ground for proceeding against 
any Prince ; that the Reickskammergericht should not exclude questions 
of ecclesiastical property from this guarantee; and that, although for the 
future monasteries must not be dissolved, they might adopt a ** Christian 
reformation." But this declaration was to remain secret, and at the 
same time Charles renewed the Catholic League of Nuruberg* He was 
forced to ignore both Protestant and Catholic disobedience and to 
conciliate rebels in both the camps. 

If this was a defeat for the Emperor, he found compensation else- 
where, and skilfully turned to his own advantage the most discreditable 
episode in the history of German Protestantism. Philip of Hesse, like 
most of the Princes and many of the Prelates of his age, was a 
debauchee ; but with his moral laxity he combined, like Henry VI 11, 

some curious scruples of conscience, and he could not bring himself to 
take the sacrament while he was unfaithful to his wife. Insuperable 
antipathy prevented marital relations ; continence was out of the ques- 
tion ; debauchery endangered his souL He put his hard case before the 
heads of the Lutheran Cimrch. They disbelieved in divorce ; so did 
Henry VIII, but they did not possess Henry's talent for discovering 
proofs that he had never been married to the wife he wished to repudiate ; 
and bigamy, from which the Tudor abstained, appeared the only 
solution. The same idea had occurred before to Clement VII ; a previous 
Pope had licensed bigamy in the case of Henry IV of Caiitile ; and the 
Old Testament precedents were familiar to all. Luther, Melanchthon, 
and Bucer all concurred in approving Philip s second marriage on con- 
dition that it remained a secret. The ceremony took phice at Rotlien- 
burg on March 4, 1540, and the news soon leaked out. Melanchthou 
quailed before the public odium and nearly died of shame, but Luther 
wished to brazen the matter out with a lie, '*The secret "yea,"'' he 
wrote, *'must for the sake of Christ's Church remain a public *nay/^' 
By denying the truth of the rumours he would, he argued, be doing no 
more than Clirist Himself did when He said He knew not the day and 
the hour of His sectrnd coming, and he also alleged the analogy of the 
confessional ; a good confessor must deny in Court all knowledge of 
what he lias learnt in confession* 

The moral effect of this revelation upon the Lutheran cause was 
incalculable. Cranmer wrote from England to his uncle-indaw Osiander 
of the pain which it caused to the friends of the Reformation and the 
handle it gave to the enemy, Ferdinand avowed that he had long been 
inclined to evangelical doctrines, but that this affair had produced a 
revulsion of feeling. John Frederick and Ulrich of Wiirttemberg 
refused to guarantee Philip immunity for his crime, the legal penalty 
for which was death ; and tfxe Landgrave, seriously alarmed, sought to 
make his peace with the Habslmrgs, and possibly witli Home ; as a last 
resort he felt he could obtain a dispensation from the Pope, who would 
willingly pay the price for a prodigal son. In the autumn of 1540 he 
began his negotiations with Granvelle, and on June 13, 1541, concluded 
his bargain with Charles ; he abandoned ids relations with England, 
France, and Cleves, undertook to exclude them all from the Schmalkaldic 
League, to side with Charles on all political questions, and to recognise 
Ferdinand as Charles' successor in the Empire. In return he only 
obtained security against personal attacks ; he would not be exempt 
from the consequences of a general war against Protestants, PhiUp's 
80U-in*law, Maurice, who succeeded his father Henry as Duke of Albertijie 
Saxony in that year, was included in the arrangement ; and Joachim of 
Brandenburg was induced to promise help against Cleves in return for 
the confirmation of his church establishment. As the Elector John 
Frederick could not be induced to abandon his brother-in-law of Cleves, 

c. M. u. ir. 16 

242 Leagiie against Charles V [1540-2 

the Schmalkaldic League was split into two parties pledged to take 
opposite sides in that all-important question ; and the anger of German 
historians at this " treason " of Philip of Hesse is due not merely to its 
disastrous effect on Protestantism, but to the fact that it materially 
contributed to the conquest of Gelders by Charles and to its eventual 
separation from the Empire. But for Philip of Hesse's bigamy Gelders 
might to-day be part of Germany and not of Holland. \ 

The pressure of other dangers, however, gave Gelders a two years* 
respite. The Emperor hurried from the Diet of Ratisbon to attempt 
the conquest of Algiers, a nest of pirates which was a perpetual menace 
to his Spanish and Italian possessions ; and the disastrous failure of that 
expedition encouraged Francis I and Solyman to renew their war on 
the Habsburgs. Zapolya had died on July 23, 1540, but before his 
death he had been unexpectedly, blessed with a son, John Sigismund. 
His widow and her minister George Martinuzzi, Bishop of Grosswardein, 
thereupon repudiated the treaty of Grosswardein (1538), by which Ferdi- 
nand was to succeed Zapolya, and crowned the infant John Sigismund. 
Their only hope lay in Solyman, and the Turk had determined to end 
the nominal independence which Hungary enjoyed under Zapolya. In 
August, 1541, he captured Buda, turned its church of St. Mary into a 
mosque, and Hungary into a Turkish province. The Diet of Speier 
(January, 1542) offered substantial levies for the war, but they were 
ill-equipped and worse commanded by Joachim of Brandenburg. In 
September the army sat down before Pesth ; on the 5th a breach was 
made, but the storming party failed ; and afterwards, wrote Sir Thomas 
Seymour, who was present, " the soldiers for lack of wages refused to 
keep watch and ward or to make assault." Two days later the siege was 
raised ; Joachim and his troops returned in disgrace to Germany ; and 
next year Solyman extended his sway over Fiinfkirchen, Stuhlweissen- 
burg, and Gran. 

Misfortune attended the Emperor in the west as well as in the east. 
Cleves had definitely thrown in its lot with France, and the anti-imperial 
league was joined by Sweden, Denmark, and Scotland. The French 
alliance with Turkey was once more brought into play, the Pope was 
hostile to both the Habsburg brothers, and Henry VIII was still 
haggling over the price of his friendship. Francis I declared war in 
1542; and, although he failed before Perpignan, a Danish-Clevish 
army under Martin van Rossem defeated the imperialists at Sittard 
(March 24, 1543), Luxemburg was overrun, and a Franco-Turkish fleet 
captured Nice. 

The Lutheran Princes meanwhile were making the best of their 
opportunities. In 1541 the Erasmian Pflug was elected Bishop of 
Naumburg, but John Frederick feared he would join the Niirnberg 
League ; and in spite of Luther's warnings against the violence of his 
action he forced Amsdorf into the see. Pflug's cause was adopted by 



I Tin 

' the 
^ aut 
■ Th 



some of the nobles of Meissen, a part of Saxonj which was mainly 
Albert Ine but to some extent under Ernestine influence. The Catholic 
Bishop of Meissen naturally sided with Maurice, who had succeeded 
to his father in 1541, rather than with John Frederiek. In 1542 
he demurred to the Elector's demand for levies for the Turkish war, 
and John Frederick without consulting Ida cousin marched his troops 
into Wurzen, the property of a collegiate chapter founded by the 
Bishops of Meissen, and conveniently situated for incorporation in the 
Elector's dominions. This inflamed the Albertine nobility, and Maurice 
began to arm. The Landgrave and Lutlier intervened; a convpromiae 
was patched up, and Wurzen wfis partitioned ; but a root of bitterness 
remained between the cfmsins, which bore fruit in later years. 

One aggression was promptly fc^llowed by another. Among the tem- 
poral Catholic Princes none of note were left except the Dukes of liavaria 
and Duke Henry of Brunswick, Duke Henry (Lutlier's '^hd'ner ffc{m''y 
was described as the ''great<?st Papist in all Germany/' and he was left 
alone in the north to face the Schmalkaldic League. He had long been 
at enmity with Philip of Hesse, and liis cruelty towards his wife was 
almost as great a scandal as tlie Landgrave's bigamy. In his zeal for 
his faith or for his house he pronounced Charles' suspension of the 
verdicts of the Reichskammergerieht against Brunswick and Goslar to 
be contrary to the laws of the Em]>ire, and despite the disapprobation 
of Ferdinand, Granvelle, and Albrecht of Mainz, he proceeded to attack 
the two towns. The Sclunalkahlic League at once armed in their defence ; 
but not satisfied with this the Elector and the Landgrave overran Henry's 
duchy, Wolfenbiittel alone offering serious resistance (August, 1542), 
The Duke*s territories were sequestered by the League and evangelised 
by Bugenhagen. Ferdinand had to content himself with the League's 
uranoe that it would carry the war no farther, and with the pretence 
t it had been waged in defence of Charles' suspending powers. But 
the sort of respect the Lutherans were willing to pay the imperial 
authorities was shown by their attitude towards the Kammergericht. 
They obtained admittiince to it early in 1542, and thereupon declined to 
ierate the presence of any clerical colleagues ; but, failing to secure 
majority on it, they declared in December that it had no jurisdiction 
over them or their allies. Encouraged i>erhaps by the result of the 
Brunswick war, Duke William of Cleves now abandoned his Erasmian 
compromise and adopted Lutheninism undcfiled. Even more inipoftant 
was the simultaneous conversion of Hermann von Wied, Archbishop 
and Elector of Cologne, whose territories were surrounded on all sides by 
the composite duchy of Cleves-Jiilich-Berg. Bishop Hermann had held 
the see since 1515 j he had corresponded with Erasmus, and after 1536 
had endeavoured to reform the worst practical abuses in his dioeese- 
Gropper's treatise, written to reconcile justification by faith with Catholic? 
doctrine, probably indicates the direction in which the Archbishop's mind 

was moving. He next began to correspond with Bucer, who with his 
connivance commenced preaching at Bonn in 1542. Bucer was followed 
by Melanchthon, who completed the work of conversion. Franz von 
Waldeck, Bishop of Miinster, Minden, and Osuabriick, was inclined to 
follow his metropolitan's leaiL, and another important convert was Count 
Otto Henry, nephew, and eventually successor, of the Elector Palatine. 

The Emperor's fate trembled in the balance. Arrayed against him 
were France, Turkey, tho Pope, Sweden, Deinnark, Scotland, Geldei*s, 
and Cleves ; he could only look for assistance from Henry VIII and the 
Lutherans. Henry became his ally in hope of reducing Scotland, but 
into which scale would the German sword be cast? Francis I was 
holding out all sorts of inducements, and his proposals were backed by 
Strassburg and Calvin. But the Princes were perhaps not boUl enough, 
perhaps not bad enough, to seize the opportunity of effecting their 
sovereign's ruin, Francis was allied to both Turks and Pope; Charles 
was for once maintaining the national cause* To motives of patriotism 
was added the private agreement between Charles and the Landgrave. 
The Habsburgs were lavishing all their wiles on Philip ; antl Philip, in 
spite of Bucer's warnings and in spite of his own real convictions, allowed 
himself to be duped. He opposed the admission of Denmark, Sweden, 
and Cleves into the Schmalkaldic League, and Duke William was thus 
left to his fate. With genuine insight Charles made the reduction of 
Gelders his first (^ject. On August 22, 1543, he arrived before Duren, 
the principal stronghold in Gelders; on the 24th it was battered from 
break of day till 2 p.m., and then his Spanish and Italian troops took it 
by storm. JiOich, Roermonde, and Orkelen fell in the next few days, 
and on September 6 Duke William knelt before Charles at Venloo. 
Gelders and Zutphen were annexed to the Emperors hereditary States^ 
passed from him to Philip H, and thus were in effect severed from the 
Empire ; Duke William repudiated his French bride and his heresy, and 
later (1546) was married to Maria, Ferdinand's daughter. The Refor- 
mation in neighbouring Cologne was checked, and during the winter 
Bucer declared that the subjection of Germany was inevitable aud 

Such was not the view taken by German Princes, Charles still 
needed their help to deal with France and the Turks, and they allowed 
themselves to be bought* Their price was lieavy, but the Emperor was 
willing to pay it, knowing that if he succeeded he would get his money 
back with plenty of interest. At the Diet of Speier in February, 1544, 
his words were smooth and his promises ample. In fact he almost 
abandoned the Catholic position by committing himself to the pledge 
of a national settlement of the religious question whether the Pope liked 
it or not,-and by confirming the suspension of all processes against the 
Protestants and their possession of the goods of the Church. In return 
the Lutheran Princes contributed some meagre levies for the French 

1644] Peace of CrSpy 245 

and Turkish wars. Their real concession was abstention from taking part 
with the Emperor's enemies, while Charles and Henry VIII invaded the 
French King's dominions. This time it was John Frederick who made 
private terms with the Habsburgs without his colleagues' knowledge. 
In return for an imperial guarantee of the Cleves succession to his wife, 
the sister of Duke William, in case William's line died out, the Elector 
of Saxony recognised Ferdinand as Roman King ; and the compact was to 
be sealed by the marriage of John Frederick's son to one of Ferdinand's 
daughters. Other members of the hostile coalition were detached by 
the same skilful play upon particularist interests. Gustavus of Sweden 
and Frederick of Denmark had joined it from fear lest Charles should 
enforce the claims of his niece Dorothea (daughter of Christian II and 
Isabella), and her husband, Count Frederick of the Palatinate, to both 
those kingdoms. These were now abandoned and Francis I was left 
without allies except the Pope and the Sultan. 

The campaign opened in 1544 with a French victory at Ceresole, but 
the tables were turned in the north. Aided by Lutheran troops Charles 
captured St Dizier while Henry VIII laid siege to Boulogne. In 
September the Emperor was almost within sight of the walls of Paris, 
when suddenly on the 18th lie signed the preliminaries of the Peace of 
Crepy. Many and ingenious were the reasons alleged before the world 
and to his ally of England. In reality there had been a race between 
the two as to which should make peace first and leave the other in the 
grip of the enemy. Had Henry won he might have conquered Scotland, 
and there might have been no Schmalkaldic war. But Charles had 
proved the nimbler ; it was he and not Henry who was left free to 
deliver his blows in another direction. At the cost of liberal terms to 
his foe he had duped one of the allies who had helped him to victory ; 
it remains to recount the fate which befell the other. 



Charles V achieved a masterpiece of unscrupulous statecraft when 
he extricated himself from his war with France and left his English ally- 
entangled in its toils. Cogent military reasons for the peace concluded 
at Crepy could doubtless be alleged ; the position of the imperial army 
in the heart of France was more imposing than secure, and the disasters 
of the retreat from Marseilles in 1524 might have been repeated in 
Champagne or Picardy. But there were deeper motives at work ; how- 
ever promising the military situation might have been, no prosecution 
of the war could have been attended with greater advantages than was 
its conclusion at that juncture. Charles was left with a freer hand to 
deal with Germany than he had ever had before. He had been more 
brilliantly victorious in 1530, but England and France were then at 
peace, and at liberty to harass him with underhand intrigues. Now, 
they were anxious suitors for his favour, ready, instead of reluctant, to 
purchase his support against each other by furthering the Emperor's 
efforts to cope with his remaining difficulties. These were now three, 
Turkish, Lutheran, and papal ; with the two latter he must deal to 
some extent simultaneously ; the Turkish problem he was enabled by 
the friendly offices of Francis I to postpone. 

Few historical points are so hard to determine as Charles' real 
intentions with respect to the religious situation in Germany in 1545. 
Was it to be peace or was it to be war? We havlB much of the 
Emperor's correspondence to guide us, but its help is by no means 
decisive. Charles was constitutionally hesitating ; it was his habit to 
dally with rival schemes until circumstances compelled a choice. On 
the eve of war he was still weighing the merits of peace, and it was 
always possible that an unexpected development in any one of his 
heterogeneous realms might disturb all past calculations. Yet there 
can be little doubt as to Charles' ultimate aim in 1545 or at any other 
date. The original dynastic objects of his policy had been achieved 
with wonderful success, and the subordinate but still powerful motive 
of religion came more prominently into action. His religious ideas 


were comparatively simple ; he adhered to medieval Catholicism because 
he could comprehend no other creed and conceive of no other form of 
ecclesiastical polity. As well let there be two Emperors as two inde- 
pendent standards of faith* The Chorch like the Empire must be 
one and indivisible, and he must be the sovereign of the one and the 
protector of the other. 

With these ideas it was impossible for Charles even to contemplate 
' a permanent toleration of schism or heresy. His concessions to the 
Lutherans from 1526 to 1544 were not made with any such intention ; 
they were simply payments extorted from Charles by necessity for 
indispensable services to be rendered against the Turks and the French ; 
they were all provisional and were limited in time to the meeting of 
a General Council. That they sprang from necessity and not from any 
reluctance of Charles to persecute is proved by his conduct in other 
lands than Germany. He did not attempt a policy of toleration or 
comprehension in Spain or in the Netherlands ; there his methods were 
the Inquisition and the stake. Wherever heJiad the power to persecute 
he persecuted ; he abstained in Germany only because he had no other 
choice and because he thought his abstention was not for ever ; and in 
the end the most powerful motive for his abdication was his desire to 
escape the necessity of countenancing permanent schism. 

Throughout, Charles was steadfast to the idea of Catholic unity ; but 
his determination to enforce it at the cost of war %vas the growth of 
time and the result of the gradual course of events. He is credited with 
a desire to effect his end by the method of comprehension ; but room for 
the Lutherans in the Catholic Church was to be found not so much by 
widening the portals of the Church as by narrowing Lutheran doctrine^ 
by the partial submission of the Lutherans and not by the surrender of 
current Catholicism. It soon became obvious that the Lutherans would 
never be brought to the point of voluntary submission ; and so early as 
1531 the Knii>eror w^ould have resorted to persecution if he had had 
the means. But from persecution to war was a long step, and he 
would have shrunk from war at that date even if it had been in his 
power to wage it. Before 1545, however, this reluctance had been 
removed. The logic of facts had proved that it wa.s a death-struggle in 
Germany between the medieval Church and Empire on the one hand 
and Protestant territnrialisra on the other. The faidt was partly the 
Emperor's ; by making himself the champion of the old religion he had 
forced an alliance between the anti-Catholic Reformers and the anti- 
imperial Princes ; and from 1532 onwards territorial and Protestant 
principles had made vast strides at the expense of Catliolicism and the 
Empire. It is not necessary, nor is it possible, to determine wliich 
advance alarmed Charles most \ both were equally fatal to the position 
which he had adopted. The threatened secularisation of the ecclesiastical 
electorates would have converted Germany from a Catholic monarchy 

into a Protestant oligarchy ; and such was the meaning of tlie projiosal 
of the Lutheran Princes in 1545 to re\nve the dignity of the Electorate, 
when by the evangelisation of Cologne and of the Pahitinate they had 
acquired a majority of votes in the Electoral College. Nor was that 
the only danger, A portion of the Netherlands would naturally follow 
the religious lead of its metropolitan city, Cologne ; the accession of the 
Palatinate to the Lutheran cause threatened the Habsburg lands in 
Elsass ; and a majority of Protestant Electors might mean a Protestant 
Emperor at the next vacancy. 

These perils, and the persistency with which the Lutherans turned 
the Enipire's necessities to their own advantage, convinced Charles that 
the issues at stake were worth the risks of war. He was sure that there 
was no remedy but force, without perhaps being certain that force 
was any remedy. At the same time his experience in Germany from 
1541 to 1544 had shown him how those risks might be minimised. 
The Landgrave's bigamy had driven a wedge into the Protestant ranks ; 
and the success witli whicli the Emperor had widened the breach between 
Electoral Saxony and Hesse had opened the prospect of further 
divisions among the Lutheran Princes. Charles declares in his Com- 
mentaries that his success in isolating Cleves proved to him the lack of 
coherence among his enemies, and made him hope for victory in case of 
war ; and that he intended in 1544 if not earlier to make war on the 
Lutherans is hardly a matter of doubt. lie would not have made such 
great concessions at the Diet of Speier in 1544, had he not foreseen that 
a final settlement of accounts with France would enable him to render 
those concessions nugatory ; and the fact thi|t the Lutherans fell so 
easily into the trap has been considered the most conclusive proof of 
their political incapacity. Within three months from the date of the 
truce with France Charles was discussing with the Pope details of a war 
against the Lutherans. People would be glad, he wrote, if the Pope 
devoted to that ol)ject the vast sums he had amassed for a war against 
the Turks, " especially if the undertaking against the Turk had ceased to 
be a pressing necessity '' ; he declared that one of his chief objects in 
concluding peace with France was to be able to conduct these two 
wars against Turks and Lutherans successfully ; and there was a secret 
stipulation that Francis I should assist in his endeavours. The war 
against the Turks had been one of the pretexts for requiring Lutheran 
aid at the Diet of Speier ; but Charles was taking care that it should 
" cease to be a pressing necessity '* or to stand in the way of the other 
war he had in his mind. 

Yet it would be a mistake to represent a religious war as the 
Emperors prime object. It would in any case be only the means to an 
end, and he was still seeking if not hoping to attain that end by other 
means* He had moreover greater schemes in view than a mere conquest 
of the Lutherans* He was, though to a less extent than his grandfather 

Maximilian, subject to dreams, and Ms dream from 1545 to the disasters 
of 1552 was to ai>serable a General Council by means of wliicb he would 
reduce the Lutheraus to Catholicism and the Pope to reform ; then 
having united and purified Western Christendom he would march 
at its head against the Infidel, regain the East for the orthodox faith, 
and be crowned in Jerusalem. Maximilian had contemplatetl all these 
achievements, and had also hoped to encircle liis brow with the tiara of 
a Pope and the halo of a saint ; but Charles would have been content to 
crown his life with monastic retirement* The object immediatelj" under 
consideration in 1545 was the General Council for whicli he had 
laboured so long in vain. By this means he hoped to work his will both 
with the Pope and with the Protestants. The Lutherans had for many 
yearsexpressed a desire for a General Council ; if it met and tliey accepted 
its decrees, unity would be achieved : if they refused to be bound by them, 
the refusal would be a justification for war and a good ground on wliich 
to appeal for help to the Catholic Powers, Secondly, the mere fact of 
its meeting would annul the concessions which Charles had made ; and 
thirdly^ the demand of a free General Council from an obstructive 
Pope would enhance the illusion under which the Lutherans laboured 
that Charles was their ally against the Papacy. In August, 1544, 
Paul III had denounced the Emperor's compliance at Speier, had re- 
minded him of the fate of his predecessors, from Nero to Frederick II, 
who had persecuted the Church, and had threatened him mth an even 
more terrible doom ; and Luther and Calvin had thereupon seized their 
pens in his defence. The Pope in fact was the chief obstacle to the 
Council ; but the peace between Charles and Francis destroyed all chance 
of successful resistance; and Paul III made a \drtue of necessity by 
summoning a Council to meet at Trent in December. As the Edict of 
Worms had been dated the same day as Charles' alliance with Leo X, 
so the summons to the Council of Trent was dated the same day as the 
Peace of Cr^py (November 19, 1544). 

If Charles hoped for Protestant submission to the Council of Trent 
he was speedily imdeceived* The choice of Trent was a concession to 
German sentiment, but was nevertheless a Si^pov aBa>poif. Trent was 
only nominally a German city ; in feeling it was almost purely Italian, 
and, on account of its proximity to Italy, Italian Bishops would swamp 
the Council almost as completely as if it had met within Italian borders. 
The practical exclusion of deputies made the adequate representation of 
non-Italian sees impossible ; and the choice of monastic theologians 
ruined the prospect of an accommodation with Lutheran doctrine. The 

authority of the universal Church was a 
and Spanish Bishops, who would unite \ 
theology, and would only be divided by 
or imperial predominance. Even in tb« 
prevailing, the Protestants had Y 

■} h- - 

nf Italian 



' I Uises 


Temporising measures 


might be removed, but the medieval Church would remain in essence 
the same, and an attempt would be made to force them within its pale- 
Hence they repudiated the Council from the beginning ; they denied 
that it was free, Christian, or General, the three conditionn upon which 
alone they would recognise its authority ; and at the Diet of Worms, 
which met in the spring of 1545, they demanded from Charles a perma- 
nent religious security quite independent of what the Council might 
decree. Nothing would ever have induced the Emperor to grant such 
terms ; they would have involved him in the sin of schism and cut away 
the ground on whicli his whole position and policy were based ; the one 
weapon with whieli he now hoped to effect his aims would have broken 
in his hands. So Ferdinand, who represented Charles, unhesitatingly 
rejected the petition ; there was nothing, he truly said, in the decisions 
of Speier in the previous year to justify it. 

War thus became inevitable, but Charles still sought to postpone it. 
He was not yet sure of peace with the Turks, of the Pope, or of the 
allies he hoped to win from the Lutheran side. Although the Spaniards 
at his Court spoke openly of tlieapproachingextirpationof Protestantism, 
and although his coafessor, Domenico de Soto, reinforced by the 
influence of Peter Canisius and other early missionaries of the Company 
of Jesus in Germany, was constantly urging him to take the decisive 
step, Granvelle and even Alva were still for peace, and the Emperor 
halted between the two opinions. To bring the Pope to terms he 
again made shoAV of listening to the Lutherans, He expressed his 
intention of carrying out the decisions of the Diet of Speier, and 
annoyed the Catholics by again holding out the prospect of a national 
Council on religion, in case the General Council at Trent proved 
abortive. To this national assembly was also postponed the consideration 
of the various projects of reform which had been drawn up as a result of 
the Diet of Speier. The most notable of them was the '"Wittenberg 
Reformation,"' which was drawn up by the Elector John Frederick, and 
signed by Luther, Bugenhagen, Crociger, and Melanchthon, although it 
contains few traces of Luther's spirit. It recommended the establish* 
ment of a Protestant episcopacy on the ground that Princes were too 
much immersed in secular affaii*a to exert a proper supervision over 
those of tlie Church ; possibly also it was intenrled to reconcile the 
great Catholic Bishops to a change of faith. 

During 1545, however, the last reasons for hesitation vanished. The 
Turks, tlireatened with war in Persia and with a dynastic dispute 
between Roxolana and Mustapha, listened to the mediation of Francis I, 
and concluded a truce with Charles and Ferdinand in October. The 
Emperor had nothing to fear from the Kings of France and England, 
who were then engaged in a bitter war ; and Christian III of Denmark 
had been alienated by the Sehmalkaldic League's refusal to assist him 
in 1544, and alarmed by the admission into it of the Elector Palatine, 

who had claims to the Danish throne through his wife Dorothea, 
Christian ITs daughter. The Council of Trent actually met in 
December, and Paul III oflfered 12,000 foot^ 500 horse, a loan of 
200,000 crowns and half-a-year's ecclesiastical revenues in Spain for the 
purposes of the war. At the same time the Emperor's personal efforts 
to check the Reformation in Cologne had failed ; Hermann von Wied 
defied both the imperial Ban and the papal Bull, and was taken under 
the wing of the Schmalkaldic League. The primate, Albrecht of Mainz, 
died in September ; Charles* candidate for the vacant Archbishopric 
received not a single vote ; and Sebastian von Heusenstaram was an 
Erasmian Catholic who owed his election to Philip of Hesse's aid 
rendered in return for Heusenstamm's promise to purify his see- Dnke 
Henry of Brunswick was defeated in an attempt in September to regain 
his duchy with the help of mercenaries under Christopher von Wrisberg; 
the sequestration of his territories arranged at Speier and Worms was 
set aside ; and they were appropriated by the Schmalkaldic League, 
an act of violence wliich Charles expressed his intention of using as a 
pretext for a religious war. 

In these circumstances the doctrinal discussions wliich the Emperor 
renewed in the winter can be regarded as little more than a blind to 
delude the Protestants or a screen behind which he made his prepara- 
tions for war. His representatives at the conference, Coclilaeus, Eber- 
hard Billick, and Malvenda all held extreme views, and their arguments 
were principally aimed against the compromise of 1541. They revived 
the scholastic dogmas which had tlieu been abandoned ; and the interest 
of their discussions consists, for English readers at any rate, mainly in 
the fact that Malvenda based his defence on the teaching of a forgotten 
English Dominican, Robert Holcot (d. 1349), Charles' real efforts were 
directed towards the more useful work of consolidating the Catholic 
and disintegi-ating the Protestant party. The leading Catholic opponent 
of the Habsbnrgs, Duke William III of Bavaria, who ruled tlic whole 
duchy since the death of his younger brother Ludwig, was won over to 
something more than benevolent neutrality by the alliance between Pope 
and Emperor, by the marriage of his son with Ferdinand's eldest 
daughter, and a promise of the throne of Bohemia for their descendants 
if Ferdinand's male issue failed, and by the offer of the coveted hat of 
the Elector Palatine, if the latter sided openly with Charles^ enemies* 

Still more important were the divisions among the Protestants. 
The imprisonnent of Duke Henry of Brunswick-Wolfenbiittel and the 
seizure of his duchy had alienated his Protestant as well as his Catholic 
kinsfolk, incUuUng the Duchess Elizabeth of Brunswick-Calenberg, her 
son Duke Eric, and Duke Henry's son-in-law Margrave Hans of Brauden- 
burg-Clistrin, who were detached from the Schmalkaldic League by the 
promise of Henry's restoration. Margrave Hans' elder brother^ 
Elector Joachim of Brandenburg, was already pledged to neutrality. 

his cousin Margrave Albrecht Alcibiades of Braiidenburg-Culmbach was 
also brought iato the Emperor's net. But these accessions of strength 
were trifling compared wilh the advantages secured by Cbarles through 
the reconciliation of Duke I^Iaurice of Saxony. 

Maurice's uncle Duke George (1500-39), the main repreisentative of 
the Albertine branch of the House of Wettin, had been the staunehest 
Catholic in the north of Germany ; but his father Duke Henry (1539-41) 
had been a no less zealous Protestant. Maurice, who succeeded to the 
duchy in lr541, when twenty-one years of age, was neither. The 
hereditary jealousy between the Albertine and Ernestine Houses of 
Saxony was neutralised to some extent by Duke Henry's adoption of 
the Protestant cause and by Maurice's marriage with Agnes, the daughter 
of Philip of Hesse, liut Maurice %vas less influenced perhaps by religious 
motives than any other Prince of the age ; and he poured scorn on those 
who thought that the interests of the State should be subordinate to 
theological dogma. His Protestant education at the Elector John 
Frederick's Court did not prevent his recalHng the Catholic counsellors 
of his uncle Duke George. He readily followed his father-in-law, 
Philip of Hesse, in making a compact with Charles in 1541, though he 
had not Philip^s personal motive of fear ; and he assisted the Emperor to 
reduce John Frederick's brother-in-law, Duke William of Cleves. This 
first aroused enmity between him and the Elector ; the dispute concern- 
ing the bishoprics of Meissen and Merseburg increased it ; and a fresh 
source of discord arose in tlie question of the protectorate of the sees of 
Magdeburg and Halherstadt, which Maurice wanted for himself and 
declared that John Frederick coveted. Carlowitz, an old adviser of 
Duke George and a member of one of the noble families of Meissen, 
which had sided against John Frederick as to the question of the 
bishopric, was untiring in his efforts to win over Maurice from the 
Elector's side to that of the Emperor ; and the attempts of the Arch- 
bishop of Cologne to reconcile the cousins in the summer of 1546 proved 
futile. Luther had succeeded in allaying their quarrels about Meissen ; 
but Luther was now no more. He piissed away on February 18, 1546, 
full of forebodings of evil to come, and more dominated than ever by 
wrath against Sacramentaries on the one hand and the Pope on the 
other; and revenge was taken for his diatribes against Rome by the 
invention of a legend that the great reformer died by his own hand, 

Luther had ample justification for gloomy vaticinations, and the 
internal weakness of the Sehmalkaldic League was doubtless one of 
Maurice's most powerful motives for refusing to trust his fortunes in so 
iU-found a vessel. Bucer proposed a dictatorship as the only cure, and 
Pliilip of Hesse would naturally be his choice for the office. Maurice, on 
the other hand, who could not expect to rank above Philip or John 
Frederick, suggested a triumvirate, and refused Philip's invitation to 
ent^r the League as it was then constituted. A prolonged diet of the 

League was held at Frankfort from December, 1545, to February, 154G, 
without resulting in harmony between Philip and Johu Frederick or in 
the adoption of satisfactory financial or military preparations for war. 
Philip had been alarmed early in 1545 by rumours of the approaching 
peace with the Turks, and wished to send embassies to Eiighmd, France, 
and Denmark, to form an alliance with the Swiss and with Holland, 
and to take the offensive before Charles' measures were complete. But 
John Frederick believed in peace to the last. He was deluded by 
Charles* assurances that he meant no war on the Lutherans, but rather 
another expedition against Algiers, and by the Emperor's apparent 
confidence in peace, evinced by his crossing Germany almost unattended 
from the Netherlands to Katisbon, which base it was in fact essential 
for Charles to reach. 

So the time passed until the opening of the Diet at Ratisbon in 
June, 1546, Eric of Brunswick, Margrave Hans of Ciistrin, and some 
other Protestants whom Charles had won over were present ; but Philip 
and John Frederick were absent. Maurice, who was still ostensibly on 
the best of terms with his cousin and his fiither-in-law, was told by 
Granvelle that lie must come to Ratisbon to conclude his agreement 
with the Emperor. Maurice came, but he was determined not to sell 
himself too cheaply. Besides the grant of the practical administration 
of Magdeburg and Ilalberstadt, a demand which ran counter to all 
the principles Charles was bent on enforcing, he required the transference 
to himself of his cousin's electoral dignity and ^ — ^what cost Charles a 
greater effort to concede — immunity from the decrees of the Council of 
Trent, so far as they might toucli the doctrine of justification by faith, 
clericiil marriages, and communion in both elements. Without these 
concessions Maurice despaired of maintaining his position in Protestant 
Saxony, and with some modifications they were all granted by Charles. 
The Emperor's confessor had advised him to tempt some of the Protes- 
tant Princes with the bait of their neighbours* vineyards ; but it was a 
sore test f^>r Charles when, in order to attain his purpose, he had to 
grant in [private to particular Princes terms which he refused to them all 
in public, and to surrender that principle of submission to the Church 
on which the whole war was based. 

Somewhat similar verbal assurances were made to Hans of Ciistrin, 
Albrecht of Culmbacli, and Erie of Brunswick, On June 7 the treaty 
with Bavaria was formally signed, and two days later that with the 
Pope, But the Diet still continued ; and on the 13th the Protestants 
repudiated the Council of Trent and denuinded instead a national Council, 
Pending its decisions the compromise of Speier should remain in 
force. Charles laughed ; he had already given orders for mobilisation. 
Encouraged by the success of his diplomacy in dividing the Protestants 
and by the singularly favourable aspect of foreign affairs, urged on by the 
exhortation of his Spanish subjects, possibly carried away to some extent 

254 Wds the war religious or political f [i546 

by the rising theological temper, of which the murder of an unfortunate 
Protestant, Juan Diaz, and its official approval, were signs, Charles had 
taken the plunge, and on May 24 he had announced to his sister Maria 
his resolve to begin the war of religion. 

The Elector of Saxony must have been the only leading Protestant 
who was surprised by the decision. Philip of Hesse had long been 
seeking in vain to awake the Schmalkaldic League from its lethargy. 
But, expected or not, the war certainly found the Protestants unfitted if 
not unprepared to cope with the crisis. Long immunity had created a 
false sense of security ; and the League, whose military strength appeared 
imposing, was honeycombed with disaffection. It had not escaped the 
workings of that particularism which had proved fatal to the Swabian 
League and to the Reichsregiment ; and its members were discontented 
because it could not grind all their private axes. The cities, and still more 
the knights, were hostile as ever to the encroaching territorial power of 
the Princes, among whom Philip of Hesse was considered the protagonist. 
At his door was laid the ruin of Sickingen, and Sickingen's son mustered 
many a knight to Charles' standard. Charles moreover could appeal to 
public opinion as the champion of the imperial constitution, which the 
Lutheran Princes attacked without suggesting a substitute. They had 
repudiated the Eammergericht^ protested against the Diet's recesses 
whenever they pleased, and denied the authority of General Councils 
and of the Emperor himself ; he was no longer Emperor, they said, but 
a bailiflf of the Pope. But if authority were denied to all these 
institutions, where was the bulwark against anarchy ? They might seem 
to have resolved that the Empire should not exist at all unless it 
served their particular purpose. 

It was this aspect of lawlessness which enabled Charles to pretend that 
the war was waged, not against any form of religion, but against rebel- 
lion. When Hans of Ciistrin's chaplains were preaching the purest word 
of Lutheranism within the lines of the Emperor's camp, who could say 
that Charles was warring on Lutheran doctrine ? Henry VIII told the 
Schmalkaldic envoys that if they were threatened on account of religion 
he would come to their aid, but he could not see that such was the case 
when so many Protestant Princes were fighting on Charles' side. The 
Emperor spared no pains to foster this public impression. On this 
ground he persuaded the Swiss to remain neutral, and endeavoured to 
detach the south German towns from the cause of the Princes. He 
sought, in fact, to isolate Philip and John Frederick as he had isolated 
William of Cleves in 1543, and to represent his offence and theirs as 
the same. In the ban which was proclaimed against them on July 20 
he recalled the Pack conspiracy of 1528, the invasion of Wiirttemberg 
in 1534, and the two wars in Brunswick ; and held up the Princes to 
reprobation as contemners of public authority and disturbers of the 
peace of the Empire. 

And yet Paul III was declaring at the same moment that the war 
was due to injuries done to the Church and to the Princes* refusal to 
acknowledge the Council of Trent. He sent the cross to his Legate 
Alessandro Farnese, and offered indulgences to all who assisted in the 
extirpation of heresy. In his eyes at least the war was a crusade, and as 
such he commended it to the Catholic Swiss. The Emperor himself in 
his private utterances confirmed this view. To his sister he admitted that 
the charges against Philip and Ji»hn Frederick w^ere a pretext intended 
to disguise the real issue of the war. To his son he wrote that his ijiten- 
tion had been and w^as to wage war in defence of religion, and that the 
public declarations about punishing disobedience were only made for the 
.sake of expediency ; and when tlie war was over he told the Diet of 
[Augsburg that the disturbance had originated in religious schism. 

There was no irreconcihible contradiction between the two con- 
t-entions. To repudiate Charles' religion was a civil as well as an 
ecclesiastical offence, because it was impossible to distinguish in Charles 
the person of the Emperor from the person of the protector of the 
Churcli, just as Henry VIII made it impossible for men to distinguish 
in him the Supreme Head from the sovereign, Henry utilised the 
divinity which hedged a king to combat the divinity of Rome ; Charles 
employed the remnants of respect for the imperial authority to ex- 
tinguish Lutheran doctrine. It was always possible to represent heresy 
as treason so long us Church and State were but two aspects of one 
body politic ; it was always expedient to do so because the State in 
tlie sixteenth century was a more popular institution than the Church ; 
numbers confessed to heresy^ but few would confess to treason. % 

To all these advantages the Schmalkaldic League could oppose in 
July, 1546, an undoubted superiority of military force* Charles would 
depend mainly upon troops from the Netherlands, and his own and the 
papal levies froju Spain and Italy. But the whole breadth of Germany 
separated him from the one and the Alps from the oilier ; and prompt 
offensive action on the part of the League would have ended the war 
in a month. Promptness and boldness were, ho%vever, the last qualities 
to be expected from the League. Every question had to he referred by 
the commanders in the field to the League's council of war, where 
it was generally made the subject of acrimonious discussion between 
representatives of the south German cities and the Princes, or between 
the adherents of the adventurous Philip of Hesfise and the sluggish 
Elector of Saxony. They were afraid to take the offensive lest it should 
damage their cause in public opinion. In particular they w^ould not 
violate Bavarian territory, wherein Charles was established at Ratisbon, 
lest Bavaria should be driven into the Emperor's arms, where as a matter 
of fact it was already reposing. This timidity ruined their best chance 
of success. Schartlin, the ablest of the League's commanders, who led 
the forces of Ulm and Augsburg, Iiad conceived the bold plan of 

marcliing south-west, aud closing the Tyrolese passes against Charles' 
Spanish and Italian levies. This could probably have been effected 
without much difficulty, and the Emperor would thus have been 
rendered powerless in Germany ; for the Tyrolese peasantry had sympa- 
thies with the Protestant cause, and their experience of Spanish and 
Italian mercenaries in 1532 made them anxious to keep them at a distance. 
Schartlin actually crossed the Danube, seized Fiassen and the Ehrenberg 
pass ; but the League based fond hopes upon Ferdinand's conciliatory 
attitude, and its reluctance to offend him spoilt Schartlin's plan, as its 
fear of Bavaria had prevented the proposed seizure of Ingolstadt and 
march on Ratisbon, 

Recalled from the south, Schartlin occupied Donau worth, a city where 
the Catholic Fuggers were strong ; and here he was joined by the Elector 
and the Landgrave. The total force now amounted to fifty thousand 
foot and seven thousand horse, but this formidable army wasted the 
whole month of August, while Charles advanced to Landshut with little 
more than six thousand men, and effected a junction with liis Italian 
and Spanish troops. He then moved on to Ingolstadt and threatened 
to cut the Protestant ctmimunications with Upper Swabia, whence they 
drew their supplies. On the last day of August the two armies were 
only separated by a few miles of swamp. Philip of Hesso succeeded in 
planting a hundred and ten guns within range of the imperial camp ; 
but the bombardment failed to compel Charles either to attack or 
to evacuate^ while the Protestants, for reasons which were afterwards 
disputed between Philip and Schartlin, declined to risk an assault on 
Charles' entrenchments. The only result was a series of indecisive 
skirmishes between the light horse of either party ; but the Emperor 
gradually extended his control up the banks of the Danube in the direc- 
tion of the forces from the Netherlands under van Buren, who crowned 
a brilliant march across Germany by eluding the main Protestant army 
and uniting %vith Charles at Ingolstadt on September 17. 

The Emperor could now assume the offensive. The Neumark terri- 
tories of the Count Palatine Otto Henry, a zealous Protestant, were 
overrun, and tlie imperial army made for Nordlingen. The Protestants, 
however, keeping to the high ground and resisting all Alva's tempta- 
tions to come down and iiglit, headed Charles off, and he thereupon 
turned south-west towards Illm. Again he ^vas anticipated ; Ulm was 
too strong to be taken by the eamimdo which Charles proposed, and 
the climate and lack of money began to tell heavily upon his southern 
troops. Three thousand Italians deserted in one day. and death thinned 
the Emperor's ranks as fast as desertion. The term during which the 
papal auxiliaries were bound to serve would expire in the winter, and 
the Protestants thought the imperial cause would collapse without a 
battle. Out their own dilBculties were hardly less than those of Cliarles* 
Their German troops were more inured to the climate, but money and 

food were equally scarce ; and it has been contended that the League's 
abandonment of southern Germany was due to financial straits, and not 
to Maurice's att-ack on John Frederick. The cities were frightened by 
the loss of their trade ; the Protestant lands of the Baltic, the French, 
and the Swiss showed no disposition to intervene. The Leaguers there- 
fore made proposals of peace ; but Charles rejected their terms, refusing 
to regard them as aught but rebellious vassals. 

He had reasons for confidence unknown to the enemy. His diplo- 
macy had in fact made victory certain almost before the war began. On 
October 27, in his camp at Sontheim, he signed the formal transference 
of the Saxon Electorate from John Frederick to Maurice, and a few days 
later Maurice and Ferdinand entered upon the conquest of Ernestine 
Saxony. The partnership was the result of mutual distrust. Maurice 
would have held aloof, could he have obtained his ends by peaceful 
means. But he could not hop€ for the Electorate unless he won it by 
arms. Ferdinand was preparing for war in Saxony ; and if Maurice 
remained inactive, he might find himself in as evil a plight as John 
Frederick^ and at the mercy of a victorious Habsburg army. His desire 
to remain neutral was overcome by force of circumstances ; and the most 
favourable view of his conduct is that in self-defence he was driven to 
attack his still more defenceless cousin. 

However this may be, Maurice had experienced great difficulty in 
inducing his Lutheran Estates to concur in an attack on his cousin's 
lands. His preachers had declared that Charles was warring on the 
Gospel, and that whoever abetted him would incur everlasting dam- 
nation. To discount these denunciations Maurice produced a declara- 
tion from the Emperor that religion should remain untouched where 
it was established ; he represented to his Estates that if he did not 
execute the ban against John Frederick, Ferdinand would, and that 
it would be much safer for them politically and theologically that 
Electoral Saxony should fall into his Protestant hands than into the 
Catholic hands of Ferdinand. The counterpart of the argument was 
employed by Ferdinand to secure the co-operation of his Bohemian 
nobles ; it would, he said, be fatal to Bohemia's claims on Saxon lands 
if AL^urice were to execute the ban alone. So each Prince joined to 
execute the ban ostensibly as a check upon the other, and they agreed 
on a partition of the spoils. On October 30 Bohemian troops crossed 
the Saxon frontier and terrified the neighbouring towns. Maurice under- 
took to defend them on condition that they did him homage* while he 
promised to protect their religion and to treat the Elector with every 
respect consistent with his own obligations to the Emperor. Zwickau, 
Borna, Altenburg, and Torgau all accepted these terms, and the greater 
part of the Electorate paased into Maurice's possession. 

The news of these events reached the armies on the Danube early in 
November and exercised a decisive influence over the campaign in southern 

c. X. H< n. 


258 The League hegins to dissolve [1546-7 

Germany. On the 23rd the Protestant army broke up, and John 
Frederick hastened to the defence of his Electorate. The League's plan 
was to leave an army of observation in the south to protect the Protestant 
cities if attacked, and to occupy the Franconian bishoprics while the 
Elector reconquered Saxony. Only the last part of the programme was 
carried out. The departure northwards of the main army was followed 
by a stampede among the south German cities. The Protestant light 
horse went home for want of pay, and the army of observation came to 
nothing. Philip of Hesse failed to raise the peasants and artisans in 
Franconia and practically retired from the contest ; while Giengen, 
Nordlingen, and Rothenburg rapidly fell into the Emperor's power. 
The moment had come for breaking up the disjointed League. The 
southern cities had never forgotten their Zwinglian leanings or been 
happy in their political and religious relations with the north German 
princes. They at least had no territorial ambitions to gratify, and, if 
Charles could give them security for their religion, there was no reason 
for them to continue the struggle. Niirnberg, in spite of its strong 
Lutheranism, had from the first refused to fight. Granvelle, always 
peaceably inclined, pressed on Charles the dangers of war, and the 
Emperor himself had not the personal feeling against the cities which 
he exhibited towards the Landgrave and the Elector. 

Negotiations were first opened with Ulm, which stood out strongly 
for a religious guarantee, but was ultimately satisfied with a verbal 
promise that it should enjoy the same advantages in that respect as 
Maurice of Saxony and the HohenzoUerns. The agreement was concluded 
on December 23, and similar terms were soon arranged with Memmingen, 
Biberach, Heilbronn, Esslingen, and Reutlingen — all of them among the 
original fourteen Protestant cities of 1529. Frankfort submitted two 
days before the end of the year, and Augsburg and Strassburg in 
January, 1547. Augsburg was moved by the influence of the big trading 
families ; Anton Fugger conducted the negotiations ; and the city con- 
tented itself with Granvelle's oral promise of religious toleration. Next 
came Strassburg, the surrender of which caused Bucer and Jacob Sturm 
some bitter pangs ; but the dangerous proximity of the city to France 
and Switzerland induced Charles to offer exceptionally liberal terms. 
The others were all compelled to contribute as much to the Emperor's 
war expenses as they had paid to his opponents. By February all the 
south German cities had yielded with the exception of Constance ; and 
the Protestant Princes of the south could no longer hold out. Charles' 
old friend the Elector Palatine, Frederick II, the lover of his sister and 
the husband of his niece, and his old enemy, Ulrich of Wiirttemberg, 
both came to crave his forgiveness. The Elector suffered nothing beyond 
reproaches ; but Ulrich was forced to pay an indemnity of three hundred 
thousand crowns, to surrender some of his strongest fortresses to perma- 
nent imperial garrisons, and to engage in service against his former 

allies. He was fortunate to escape so lightly ; he had Dot learnt wisdom 
with years, and his people detested his rule. Ferdinand pressed for the 
abrogation of the Treaty of Cadan and the restitution of the duchy, but 
Charles was afraid tliat such a step would revive Bavarian and other 
jealousies of the Habsburg power. 

In the north-west, too, the imperial cause made strides. At the end 
of January imperial commissioners were sent to enforce the long-threat- 
ened Catholic restoration in Cologne, The Protestant Archbishop, 
Hermann von Wied^ had been suspended by the Pope, and his offer to 

rabdicate in return for a guarantee for the maintenance of Protestantism 

pwas rejected ; Count Adolf of Sehauinbiirg was elected coadjutor ; on 
February 25 Hermann resigned and Catholicism was forcibly re-estab- 
lished. In the Slime month Duke Henry of Brunswick captured Mindeii 
and regained his duchy. For these successes the inactivity of Landgrava 
Philip wiis largely responsible. At the critical moment his former vigour 
was lost in vacillation. His son-in-law Maurice was seeking to separate 
hira from tlie Elector, and Philip gave Maurice warning when John 
Frederick marched against him* But he could not make up his mind to 
accept the terms that were offered, and the linal catastrophe, wliich he 
did nothing to avert, left him at Charles' uncovenanted mercy. 

The Landgrave and the Elector seemed to have exchanged tlieir 
accustomed [larts, for while Philip was wasting tlie precioos moments 
John Frederick was exerting himself with unwonted resolution and 
success. Maurice's treachery had alienated the whole of Saxony ; and 
John F^'rederick's appearance at the beginning of December, 1546, was 
the signal for a great outburst of enthusiasm for Iiis cause. He rapidly 

, jecovered the whole of his own territories, extended his influence over the 
lesof Merseburg, Halljerstadt, and Magdeburg, and invaded Albertine 
Saxony. He defeated and captured IMargrave Albreclit of Culmbach at 
Rochlitz, and overran all Maurice's lands witli the exception of Leipzig* 
His cousin complained that most of his subjects favoured John Frederick^ 
and thought of fleeing to Ktinigsberg. The Lutherans of Lnsatia and 
Silesia and tlie Iltraqnists of Bohemia refused to follow Ferdinand in 

[support of Maurice. They were much more anxious to preserve their 
own lands from Spanish troops; they entered into negotiations with 
John Frederick, threatened to withdraw their allegiance from Ferdinandt 
whose hold on the Bohemian throne was at that moment weakened by 
the death of his wife, the daughter of Wladislav II, and received John 
Frederick with open arms when he crossed the frontier. North Germany 
seemed at la^st to be roused to a sense of danger; a league was in 
course of formation including Magdeburg, Bremen, Brunswick, and 
Hamburg, and Christopher of Oldenburg and Albrecht of Mansfeld 
were prepared to support it* 

At this moment, when the fortune of war seemed to be turning, 
tide began to set against Charles in other quarters. The spiritnal 

260 The campaign of Muhlberg [i547 

the temporal head of Christendom could never agree long together even 
when fighting a common foe, and Charles V and Paul III were now at 
enmity. The Emperor had demanded the Council of Trent because a 
Council was essential to his policy ; the Pope had summoned the Council 
because he could not help it. Charles wanted to reform the Papacy, 
Paul did not. Paul desired an emphatic restatement of dogma ; Charles, 
with his eye on wavering Lutherans, required a discreet silence ; and this 
fundamental difference between the imperial and papal parties soon 
provoked a breach. So early as July, 1546, there were rumours that the 
Pope would remove the Council to an Italian city where it would be 
Tinder his exclusive control, and against this proposal Charles protested 
in October. His concessions to his Lutheran allies and to the south- 
western cities offended papal orthodoxy, while his success in the field 
alarmed a Pope who dreaded nothing so much as a drastic reform of the 
Ohurch at the hands of a militant Emperor. In January, 1547, the 
publication of the decrees of the Council on the question of Justification 
by Faith extinguished Charles' chances of conciliating the Lutherans ; 
and at the same moment Paul did what he could to prevent their 
subjection by recalling the papal contingent. To such a pass had 
things come that the Pope was rejoicing at the Elector's successes ; and 
in March the Council of Trent, on the pretext of the plague, removed 
to Bologna. The Emperor now joined the Lutherans in refusing to 
recognise the Council's authority ; while papal agents stirred up plots 
against the imperialists in Siena and Venice, Genoa and Naples. Charles 
overwhelmed the Pope and his legate with abuse, and his threats to find 
a remedy for this evil again turned men's thoughts back to 1527. 

But first he must deal with the successful rebel in northern Germany. 
John Frederick, however, was not really dangerous, and the successive 
deaths of Henry VIII (January 28) and Francis I (March 31) guaran- 
teed Charles immunity from external complications. Charles rose to 
the crisis and wisely determined, in spite of Granvelle's protests, to 
march north himself. He spent Easter at Eger, and on April 13 
crossed the Saxon frontier. The Elector had formed a prudent plan 
of avoiding pitched battles, retiring to Magdeburg, and leaving Charles 
to fritter away his strength in sieges ; but unfortunately for himself 
John Frederick could not resist the temptation to keep in touch with 
Bohemia, whence he expected material help. So he stationed part 
of his forces on the Bohemian frontier, and with the rest occupied 
Meissen on the right bank of the Elbe. Charles advanced by rapid 
marches through Plauen, Altenburg, and Kolditz, cut off the Elector 
from Thuringia, and threatened his communications with the north, 
where he trusted, in case of defeat, to find refuge. Alarmed by this 
movement John Frederick broke up his camp at Meissen and made 
his way down the Elbe towards Wittenberg. He hoped that Charles 
would march on Meissen and thus give him time to escape; but tlie 


Emperor went straight for Miihlberg, where he found the Elector at 
nine a.m. on April 24. A bridge of boats was moored to the right 
bank of the Elbe, but some Spaniards swam the river with swords in 
their mouths, cut down the guards, and secured the bridge. By it the 
bulk of the infantry crossed, while the cavalry found a ford higher up. 
Without attempting to defend his position the Elector commenced a 
retreat to the north. A boot sunset the imperialists overtook him and 
routed his slender forces with great slaughter. John Frederick fought 
with conspicuous courage, and was brought into the Emperor's presence 
with blood streaming from a wound in liis cheek. Charles was not 
generous in the hour of victory ; he taunted the Elector witli his previous 
disobedience, while Ferdinand demanded his execution. A sentence of 
death was actually passed, but it was only used to extort the surrender 
of Wittenberg^ which the Spanish troops were afraid to storm. By 
the capitulation of Wittenberg Maurice received his cousin's electoral 
dignity, and a consideralile slice of his territories, while Sagan and 
the Voigtland fell to tlie share of Ferdinand, John Frederick wa» 

^carried about a prisoner in the Emperor's suite ; but no threats could 
shake his steadfast adherence to the Lutheran faith, and three years 
iter Charles secretly decreed that his detention should last as long as 

' Ms life. 

From the Elector he turned to the Landgrave, whose submission was 
delayed by the successful resistance of Bremen to Eric of Brunswick and 
Christopher von Wrisberg, and by the defeat, much more sanguinary than 
the battle of Miililberg, which Christopher of Oldenburg and Albreclit 
of Mansfeld inHicted upon the imperialists near the Dnikensberg, But 
these victories only siived the Baltic lands ; in the west Philip could 
find no support, and after much hesitation he was induced to surrender 
by Maurice and Joachim of Brandenburg, The two Princes pledged 
their word to Philip that he should not be imprisoned, but for this they 
apparently had no warrant. The popular legend that the term akne 
einigen GefUngnu (without any imprisonment) was altered by a secretary 
to ohjie ewigen OefUngnu (without perpetual imprisonment) has no 
satisfactory basis \ but it is clear that both Philip and the two Princes 
understood that the Landgrave should <^o free, and there were higli words 
between them and Alva, when, after Philip had made his siibmiBsion 
(June 20), the Duke placed him under arrest. Such had been Charles' 
intention throughout ; he does not appear to have encouraged any de- 
ception, and subsequently the two Princes admitted that the mistake 
had been theirs. It was an unfortunate mistake for Charles' reputation ; 
but for the rest Philip escaped more lightly tlian John Frederick, a 
circumstance which he owed to Maurice, and not to his deserts. In 1550 
his term of detention was fixed at fifteen years ; he was to dismantle all 
his fortresses save one, and to give up his artillery ; his territories were 
to remain intact and his people unmolested on account of their religion ; 

though subsequently half of Darmstadt was transferred from Hesse to 
the House of Nassau. 

In the north-east of Germany the Dukes of Pomerania made peace 
with Charles through their agent Bartholomew Sastrow, whose memoirs 
present a gloomy picture of the condition of Germany during the war. 
Bremen held out, but more important was the resistance of Magdeburg, 
which ultimately defied all the force which Maurice was able or willing to 
bring against it, A proposal to bring Albrecht of Prussia to terms was 
rejected lest warlike measures should precipitate a conflict with hia 
suzerain Sigismund of Poland ; but in Bohemia Ferdinand used his 
opportunity to crush its remaining constitutional liberties^ and to reduce 
it to a footing more nearly resembling that of his own hereditary lands. 

Except for Constance and these outlying regions on the Baltic, 
Charles was now dictator in Germany. No Emperor since Frederick II 
had wielded such power, and at the Diet of Augsburg wliich was opened 
on September 1, 1647, he endeavoured to reap the fruits of his victory. 
He never had a greater opportunity, but the inherent antagonism 
between the aims of the Habsburg dynasty and those of the German 
nation was too fundamental to be eradicated by the defeat of a section 
of Lutheran Princes, The constitutional reforms which he laid before 
the Diet were inspired by the same family motives which actuated 
Charles in 1521, and tliey provoked the same kind of national and 
territorial opposition. Bavaria reverted to its natural attitude, partly 
because Charles had quarrelled with the Pope, but more because he had 
not repaid Bavaria for her exertions in the war by an increase of terri- 
tory, nor shown any inclination to transfer the Electoral dignity of 
the Palatinate from his old friend, the Elector Frederick II, to Duke 
William. Maurice was not Siitislled with the partial ruin of his cousin, 
and felt that Charles had purposely left his position insecure. 

The Emperor*s first object was to strengthen the executive with a 
view to preventing such outbreaks as the Peasants' War, the Anabaptist 
revolt, the lawless enterprises of Liibeck, and Philip of Hesse*s conquests 
of Wiirttemberg and Brunswick. A proposal for the preservation of 
peace woukl naturally meet with much support ; but that support was 
neutralised by the conviction that the League, which Charles proposed to 
establish on the model of the old Swabian League, was really designed to 
strengthen the Hahsburgs against other Princes and against the nation 
itself. The League was to embrace the whole of Germany, to be di- 
rected by a number of pernmfient officials who although representative 
of the various orders would tend to fall under government influence^ and 
to have at its disposal an efficient military force. This League and its 
organisation was to lie entirely outside the ordinary constitution of the 
Empire ; and the Electors discovered tl^e chief motive for it in the fact 
that the Habsburgs would command a far greater share of influence 
in it than they did in the three Councils which constituted the Diet, 

1547-J5] Protest against the Council at Bologna 263 

However, the real flaw in the Emjieror's plan Wiia that he did not seek 
reform the Diet, but left it standing, while a new organisation 
introduced which was bound to come into conflict with existing 
institutions and could only supersede them after a long and wearisome 
constitutional struggle. Both its good points and its defects excited 
discontent. The territorial Princes feared to lose their hold over 
mediate lords when the latter would look not to them but to the 
League for protection ; the cities dreaded the expense of having to keep 
internal and external peace in outljring lands like Burgundy and the 
Austrian Ducliies. Bavaria had resolved to refuse, even if all the other 
Estates agreed ; the College of Electors was unanimously hostile ; the 
Diet as a whole disliked a measure which would bring its own authority 
into dispute, and Charles dropped the proposal without a struggle. 

He was more fortunate in his reconstitution of the Meiehskmnmer' 
gericht ; he arrogated to himself the immediate nomination of its judges, 
reserved to his own Hofgericht questions of Church property and 
episcopal jurisdiction, and persuaded the Diet to adopt a codification of 
the principles by which the acti^m of the Court should be governed, and 
to promise contributions for the Court's support. He was able to defy 
the remonstrances addressed to him on account of the Spanish troops, 
which, contrary to his election pledges, he had quartered in the Empire. 
He secured the establishment of a fund for the maintenEmee of internal 
and external peace, which was not, however, to be used without the 
Diet's consent ; and obtained preferential treatment for the Netherlands 
by means of a perpetual treaty between them and the Empire. They 
were to contribute to national taxation but to be exempt from the 
national jurisdiction ; they were thus partly removed from impeiual 
control, though Germany was perpetually bound to the arduous task of 
their defence ; the transfer of Utrecht and Gelders to the Burgundian 
circle was a mark of their incorporation in the Halisburg inheritance. 

Meanwhile religion naturally occupied much of the attention of 
Charles and the Diet, The Emperor vowed that even when in the field 
against his enemies he had thought more about the Church than the 
war ; and it was incumbent upon him to attempt some sort of solution at 
the Diet of Augsburg. The problem, difficult in any case, was rendered 
infinitely more so by his strained relations with the Pope ; which the 
murder of Paul's son, Pierluigi Farnese, on September 10, 1547, with 
the suspected connivance of Ferrante di Gonzaga, the governor of Milan, 
of Granvelle, and even of Charles himself, did nothing to improve* The 
Pope was hardened in his determination not to let the Council leave 
Bologna. The Emperor obtained a unanimous recognition from the 
Estates to the effect that the prelates remaining at Trent constituted the 
only true Council. They also approved of Charles' refusal to publish 
the Tridentine decrees ; and, going further than he desired, they 
demanded that Scripture should be the test applied to all doctriTi** 

264 The Interim [i548 

and that the members of the Conncil should be released from their oaths 
to the Pope, in order that they might more effectually reform the 
Papacy. In the name of the Grerman nation Charles formally required 
the return of the Coimcil to Trent ; and when this was refused, his two 
representatives, Vargas and Velasco, solemnly protested on January 18, 
1548, against all future acts of the Council at Bologpia, declaring them 
null and void. 

Was Charles alsoamong the prophets ? He, evenas Philipof Hesse and 
John Frederick of Saxony, had protested against a GreneraJ Council and 
refused to be bound by its decrees. Had he been as deyoid of religious 
scruples as Maurice of Saxony or Henry of Navarre, and had he had only 
German feelings to consult, he would in 1548 have become an ostensible 
Protestant. But Charles would never have bought a kingdom with a 
Mass ; he preferred to lose a kingdom for a Mass, and, in spite of his 
enmity with the Papacy, he was bent on making Germany Catholic, and 
on using his victory to decide questions upon which he had declared the 
struggle would not be fought. At the same time his refusal to accept 
the Tridentine decrees as the standard of faith made it necessary for him 
to evolve some criterion of his own which should serve its purpose during 
the interval until a German Council should formulate conclusions accept- 
able both to him and the Pope. With this object in view, after a 
fruitless discussion by a committee consisting of representative laymen 
as well as ecclesiastics, he took into consultation Michael Helding, the 
suffragan Bishop of Mainz, who represented the high Catholic point of 
view, the Erasmian Julius von Pflug, whom the result of the Schmal- 
kaldic War had at last established as Bishop of Naumburg, and John 
Agricola, whose views were Lutheran, of a moderate type. The compro- 
mise, known as the Interim^ which this commission drew up, conceded 
clerical marriages, the use of the cup by the laity, and accepted a 
modification of the doctrine of justification by faith. Pflug also explained 
away enough of the sacrificial character of the Mass to satisfy some of 
the Lutherans, and denied some of the prerogatives claimed by the Pope. 
On the other hand the Interim retained all the seven Sacraments, the 
worship of the Virgin and the Saints, fasts, processions, and other 
Catholic ceremonies, and reaffirmed the dogma of transubstantiation. 

The reception of the Interim by the College of Electors was on the 
whole favourable. Joachim of Brandenburg rejoiced to see included in 
it the three concessions which formed the basis of his compact with 
Charles in 1541 ; the Elector Palatine concurred. Maurice wanted to 
consult his Estates, but Charles represented to him that no provincial 
assembly could override the decisions of a Diet. The Emperor had 
more to fear from the College of Princes, where the Bishops and Bavaria 
were preponderant on the Catholic side. The Count Palatine Wolfgang 
of Neimiark and Margrave Hans of Ciistrin, as zealous Lutherans, of- 
fered a strenuous opposition. Duke William of Bavaria had Catholic 

and other scruples, and referred them to the Pope. Paul III had also 
conscientious scruples and remembered Pierluigi, He replied that the 
Emperor had nothing to do with matters of doctrine, wliich must be 
reserved for the Council at Bologna ; points on which the Council had 
already decided should be adopted without alteration by the Diet ; and 
on questions, which the Council had not yet settled, the Interim con- 
tained several assertions repugnant to the Catholic faith. Armed with 
this opinion the College of Princes resolved that all Church property 
must be restored, that the concession of the Cup to t!ie laity and of 
clerical marriages could only he made effective by papal dispensation, 
and above all that the Interim must not apply to Catholic territories* 
In other words, the compromise was to bind one party but not the 
other, and Lutherans were to accept such concessions as they had ob- 
tained subject to the Pope's grace and favour. Charles was incensed 
at this attempt to spoil the concordat, and told the Princes that they 
must accept the articles as they stood. This they refused to do* The 
Emperor was compelled to give an assurance that the Interim liad no 
other object than the conversion of backsliders from the faith ; and 

^ several alterations were made in its wording witliout the knowledge of 
the Protestants. In this form the Literim was proclaimed as an edict 
on May 15, 1548 ; but the vague terms in which the Elector of Mainz 
expressed the Diet's concurrence did not imply that unanimous con- 
currence which Charles read into its declaration* 

It needed more than sleight of hand to compel the edict's observance, 
but Charles was resolved to stick at no measures, however violent. He 
disregarded the oral assurances given to the cities before their surrender^ 
and his councillor Hiise averred that Spanish troops should teach thera 
Catholic truth* At Augsburg and Ulm the city franchises were violated, 
the democratic Councils purged of refractory members, and their places 
supplied by rich Catholic merchants like the Fuggers and Welsers* 
Constance yielded after a brilEant defence of its bridge which re- 
called the exploit of Iloratius Codes, and surrendered it« privileges as 
an imperial city to be merged in the Habsbnrg domains. Divines who 
refused to submit became exiles. Osiander left Nurnbcrg, Brenz left 
Swabian Hall, and Blarer Constance ; Schnepf was driven from Tubin- 
gen, and Bueer and Fagius from Strassburg. The last two found a 
iiome in Cambridge, and many others came to spread the doctrines of 
reform in England ; over four hundred divines are said to have left 
Bouthern Germany. \ 

In northern Germany the rulers who had submitted to Charles 
generally accepted the Interinh but Maurice was compelled to pay 
tribute to Lutheran sentiment, and employed for this purpose Bishop 
Pflug of Naumbnrg, the most conciliatory of Catholic divines. 

• waa met in the same spirit by Melanchthon, who, much i 
Emperor's annoyance, still enjoyed safety and power in Wi^* 

Melanehtlion's attitude was similar to that of 1530, and aroused much 
discontent among the bolder Lutherans ; his criticisms of Luther and 
John Frederick seemed oblivious of his fonxier relations with them 
and of the facts that one was dead and the other in prison. At 
a conference with the Catholics at Pegau he gave away much of the 
Lutheran case ; but the Interim met with greater resistance at a second 
debate at Torgau in October, 1548, and was likened to the forbidden 
fruit with which Eve tempted Adam* At Celle, however, in tlie follow* 
ing month its advocates once more prevailed, and the formulary which 
they drew up was adopted at a Saxon Diet at Leipzig ; thence it took 
the name of the Leipzig Interim and became the rule for Saxon lands. 

Over almost the whole of Germany the Interim w^as now enforced, 
and Charles was so elated by his success that he thought of pressing ita 
acceptance upon the Scandinavian kingdoms, upon England, and even 
upon Russia. Yet his triumph was illusory and short-lived ; even 
Melanchtlion, who conformed, secretly counselled resistance, and people 
followed his private precept rather than his public example. Three 
years later two English ambassadors at Charles* court gave a description 
of the situation in Augsburg. An imperial commission had charged the 
ministers of that city with preaching against the Interim and refusing 
to say Mass in their churches. The divines replied that they durst say 
none, being more loth to offend God than willing to please man ; the 
Apostles had neither said nor heard Ma^s; and for themselves if they 
were in fault the fault was no new one, for they had said no masses for 
fourteen years. They were then compelled to leave the city, which 
remained diaeonsolate ; there were few shops in which people might not 
be seen in tears ; a hundred women besieged the Emperors gates 
** howling and asking in their outcries where they should christen their 
ehiklren," and where they shouhl marry. " For all this the Papist 
churches have no mure customers than they had ; not ten of the towns- 
men in some of their greatest synagogues. The churches where the 
Protestants did by thousands at once communicate are locked up, and 
the people, being robbed of all their godly exercises, sit weeping and 
wailing at home.*' Strassburg and Niimberg were in no better mood ; 
when Charles required the young Duke Christopher of Wiirttemberg 
to expel John Brenz, he replied that he was as willing as the Emperor 
to do so, but it was not in his power unless he could expel all his 
subjects w^ith him. 

Against a spirit like this the Emperor laboured in vain. It availed 
him little that Paul III in his dying days recognised the Interim and 
dissolved the Council at Bologna; that Julius III repaired his prede- 
cessor's error and sent his prelates to Trent where Charles' Bishops still 
kept up the continuity of the Council ; or that in January, 1552, some 
Protestant delegates appeared there and reinforced the opposition to the 
Pope. The reunion did not assuage the struggle between papal and 

imperial influence. In the demand that the points already decided must 
be reconsidered, Vargas, Charles V's representative, concurred with the 
Protestants, and wrote to the Emperor a series of letters exposing the 
papal intrigues at the previous sessions of the Council, which has been 
used with effect by Protestant historians. He even welcomed tlie 
proposal of Maurice's commissioners that doctrines should be tested by 
the Scriptures, and pressed hotly for a practical reformation of the 
Papacy. It was Charles' view that if the Lutherans would come within 
the pale of the Church as he defined it, they would be useful allies 
against the P(jpe. But his definition was the htterhn, and the effort 
to force that definition on his subjects electrified the atmosphere and 
prepared it for the storm which Charles* dynastic and absolutist projects 
brought down upon his head. 

Notliing illustrates more vividly Charles* incurable want of sympathy 
with his German subjects or the incompatibility of his family ambitions 
with the national tendencies of the age than his attempt to force his son 
Philip into the seat of the German Emperors. National antipathy to 
France had contributed more than anything else to his own election, 3"et 
he thought he could defy a far deeper hostility to the Spaniards. The 
foreign character of his own aims had been responsible for much of 
the opposition he experienced in Germany, though he had at least been 
brouglit up in nominally imperial territory. Yet he imagined that 
Philip could succeed who had lived all his life in Spain and was purely 
Spanish in feeling. No Spaniard had hitherto ruled in Germany — 
for Alfonso of Castile can scarcely Ije cited as an exception — and the 
Reformation, added to other causes, made it impossible that a Spaniard 
should ever rule there in the future. Spain and Germany represented 
opposite poles of religious and political ideals, and the attempt to 
unite them under one rule would inevitably have proved as disastrous in 
Germany as a similar attempt did in the Netherlands. Charles in fact 
was a hybrid physically, politically, and to some extent ecclesiastically ; 
and the parts of his cosmopolitan Empire necessarily reverted to their 
original national types. 

In his endeavour to perform the impossible Charles nearly produced 
a rupture in the Ilabsburg family, and alienated all tlie German Princes. 
His plan was that Philip should be elected King of the Romans when 
Ferdinand became Emperor, and tliat thus after Ferdinand's death the 
Empire sliould remain with the elder line of the family, Ferdinand was 
led to believe, however, that the design extended to Philip's immediate 
succession and his own exclusion from the throne, and this was the 
current suspicion in Germany. He long and strenuously opposed his 
brother's plan ; and the quarrel between tlieni was only patched up by 
the intervention of their sister Maria from the Netherlands. Eventually 
it was agreed (1551) that Philip should succeed Ferdinand, but that 
Ferdinand's son Maximilian should succeed Philip. This healed the 

family breach but had no effect on the other German Princes ; and the 
Electors, with wise regard for their own interests and national liberties, 
unanimously refused even to consider the scheme. 

The whole nation in fact was growing day by day more hostile to 
Charles and his Spanish troops. The garrisons scattered throughout 
the Empire, few though they were in numbers, created the impression 
that Germany was a conquered country ; and Spanish arrogance lost no 
opportunity of bringing this sense home to the German mind. Granvelle 
was suspected of harbouring a design for the partition of Germany. 
Hatred, which was at first limited to the Spaniards themselves, began 
to embrace the Emperor as he repeatedly refused to listen to the Diet's 
complaints of their conduct and of his infraction of his engagements- 
He also wounded military feelings by forbidding the service of German 
mercenaries in foreign armies — a practice which he had often licensed 
himself — and by summarily hanging Sebastian Vogelsberger for defy- 
ing his commands. Discontent was expressed with Charles* proposal 
to invest his son with the Netherlands on terras which rendered those 
provinces an hereditary appanage of the Habsburg family, independent 
of the Empire and transmissible to female heirs ; and even Catholics 
were offended at the persecution to which Philip of Hesse and John 
Frederick were subjected. The former believed that the Emperor 
intended to carry him off to Spain, and when he attempted to escape 
his German guards were exchanged for Spaniards. The three lay 
Electors, most of the Princes, and even Ferdinand, petitioned for Philip's 
release ; but Charles turned a deaf ear and decided that his detention 
ehoidd last for fifteen years, though he was afraid to publish tlie sentence. 

While Charles' popularity in Germany was being thus undermined* 
his prestige abroad was rapidly waning. His power in Germany from 
1547 to 1550 had really rested upon a fortunate coincidence of external 
circumstances, the absorption of England and France in their mutual 
struggles and the diversion of the Turks to the East. But such a 
combination of propitious conditions could not last. By 1550 France 
had recovered Buulogne, established her influence in Scotland, and 
compelled England to make peace ; and it was generally anticipated 
that this peace would be followetl by war with the Emperor. The naval 
warfare in the Mediterranean between Dragut and Charles' admirals 
began to go against the imperialists ; and the loss of Tripoli (August^ 
1551) more than counterbalanced the previous gain of Mehedia. The 
Turk again turned his attention towards Hungary, where the remnants 
of Zapolya's kingdom acknowledged the nominal sway of his son but the 
real rule of George Martinuzzi. His domination proving intolerable to 
Zapolya's widow, she appealed to the Sultan, whOe Martinuzxi sought 
to maketerms with Ferdinand. Ferdinand*8 request for assistance from 
the Diet was coldly received by Charles, and his envoy in Transylva- 
nia, Castaldo, suspecting that Martinuzzi intended treachery, had him 

murdered with Ferdinand's conniv"ince (December, 1551), The Turks 
thereupon began to advance, while the disputes of the Farnese in Italy, 
where France supported Orazio and the Emperor Ottavio, brought 
Henry II and Charles to the verge of war. 

Under these circumstances men began to desert the Emperor's failing 
cause, Maurice, who bad betrayed bis cousin, would not adhere too 
scrupulously to Charles ; he was highly unpopular in Saxony on account 
of his religious backsliding and his political treachery, and unless he 
found independent means of support he would go down with the 
Emperors ruin ; his own subjects were already thinking of placing his 
brother Augustus in his place, and his nobles declined to assist him in 
the siege of Magdeburg. So gradually he began to dissociate himself 
from the Emperor's fortunes ; he supported Maximilian in his opposition 
to Philip's succession, and the Landgrave*s sons in their attempt to secure 
some mitigation of tlieir father^s lot. He obtained in the autumn of 
1550 a useful basis of operations^ being entrusted by the Diet, in spite 
of the reluctance of Charles, who already suspected his intentions, with 
the conduct of the siege of Magdeburg, That city had been placed 
under the ban of the Empire for its continued resistance to Charles and 
to his religious measures ; on September 22, 1550, its troops had been 
defeated by Duke George of Mecklenburg, but the citizens spurned all 
proposals for submission. Their indomitable resistance had stirred a 
fever of enthusiasm in Lutheran Germany ; and the acceptance of the 
task of subduing tliera evoked renewed taunts of '^ Judas " against the 
Saxon usurper. 

But it Wiis not Protestantism wliich Maurice intended to betray this 
time. His character remains to this day an enigma ; elaborate attempts 
have been made to represent him not merely as the ablest statesman of 
his age but as the champion of German Protestantism, consistently 
working in its interest. According to this theory his original desertion 
of the Schmalkaldic League was only a necessary step towards his ulti- 
mate victory over Charles and the forces of reaction. To others his 
career appears to be a masterpiece of treachery, and Maurice himself 
a subtle intriguer comparal>le only with his contemporary the Duke of 
Northumberland, who like him played an unscrupulous and selfish part 
under the mask of religion. In Maurice the territorial ambition of 
German Princes found its most skilful exponent : his religious creed was 
but an accident of circumstanees. No pronounced Catholic could have 
maintained himself in tlucal Saxony or held the Ernestine electorate ; 
but Charles' help was indispensable for the overthrow of John Frederick, 
and Charles' help could not be purchased without some concessions to 
orthodoxy. This object having been achieved Maurice proceeded to rid 
himself of a dangerously unpopular ally ; and he was as successful in 
choosing the right moment for leaving Charles as he had been when he 
deserted the Schmalkaldic League, 

The pop!ilar antipatby to Charles and his Spaniards, the genuine 
devotion of tiie middle classes to Lutheranisra, were the levers which 
Maurice and his fellow-Princes used for their own ends. They rehelled 
neither to free the German nation, nor to redeem the true religion. 
Their real motive was fear lest Charles should establish a strong monarchy, 
and reducetheiroligarchy to the impotence to which they had endeavoured 
to reduce his sovereignty. This apprehension had begun to work soon 
after the battle of Miihlberg. As early as 1548 Otto of Brunswick- 
Harbnrg was intriguing in France with Henry II, who suggested a 
North-German*Polish league, the germ of the later alliance between 
France and Poland against the House of Habsburg, Negotiations were 
soon in train between the young Landgrave William of Hesse, Margrave 
Hans of Ciistrin, Dnke Albrecht of Prussia, and his suzerain Sigismund 
Augustus* the King of Poland, The soul of the movement was Hans 
of Ciistrin, whose refusal to acknowledge the Interim had provoked 
the wrath of Charles V, and \vhosc dominions in (bttbus and Crossen* 
the one surrounded and the other bounded by Ferdinand's lands, excited 
that King's desires. In February, 1550, a defensive league was formed 
between Hans of Ciistrin, Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg, and Duke 
Albrecht of Prussia at Konigsberg ; and secret agents were busy in 
foreign lands, Schartlin in Switzerland and George von Heideck, a cadet 
of the House of Wiirttemberg, in England and the Hause towns. 

Maurice had early information of these movements, but his advances 
were viewed with suspicion. Hans of Ciistrin wished to exclude him 
and tliC young Margrave Albrecht Alcibiades of Brandeuburg-Cuhnbach 
from the league on account of their religious iu difference ; but the threats 
of the Emperor against Hans and Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg, 
and Maurice's success in enticing to his banners the military forces of 
northern Germany induced them to listen to his overtures. For this 
purpose his command gave Maurice every opportunity ; in September, 

1550, he won over the troops of Duke George of Mecklenburg ; in 
January, 1551, he secured the Protestant levies of George von Heideek; 
and in the following month Hans came to terms at Dresden. The 
deposed and imprisoned Elector was the cliief difliculty in Maurice's path. 
John Frederick vowed he would rather end his days in captivity than 
owe freedom to his godless and traitorous cousin ; but Maurice carried 
his point with his allies ; and in IMay Hans of Ciistrin, Johann Albrecht 
of Mecklenburg, and Landgrave William of Hesse consented to threaten 
the young Ernestines with open hostility unless they would join the 
league or at least undertake to remain neutral. Maurice also secured 
Duke Albrecht of Prussia, and an envoy was sent to France to request 
a monthly contribution of a hundred thousand crowns. In August, 

1551, the Bishop of Bayonne came to Hesse, and in the autumn the 
terms of an alliance between Henry II and the German Princes were 
outlined. On November 3 Magdeburg capitulated. To Charles Maurice 






represented the surrender as a complete imperial victory; but in reality 
the terms of the capitulation guaranteed to the townsfolk the religion 
they desired, and secured to Maurice control of the city and a basis of 

The appeal to France involved a radical alteration of Hans of 
Ciistrin^s original plan. His object had been merely defence against 
the threatening aspect assumed by Charles V, but mere defence was 
of no use to Henry 11. French support could only be bought by 
making the league offensive, and offence was also M;mrice*s plan. 
Chagrined at having to yield the first place in the league to Maurice, 
and alarmed, perhaps, by the terms which Henry H demanded, Hans 
broke away from the league. A German who was both a patriot and a 
Protestant could indeed have been offered no more painful choice. The 
French stipulations were that the Princes should undertake to vote as 
Henry wished at the next imperial election, and connive at his conquest 
and administration as imperial vicar of the bishoprics of Metz, Toul, 
Verdun, and Cambray, The imperial lands were to be sacrificed as 
the price of religious security, or rather of princely privilege. Particu- 
larism was at least as strong a motive with the Princes as Protestant 
or patriotic feeling. They had not crushed the knight, the peasant, 
and the Anabaptist in order to smooth Charles' path to absolu- 
tism, but their own. The Emperor was the last obstacle to the full 
development of territorial despotism, and the real inwardness of the 
struggle is illustrated by the fact that the cities, Protestant though tiiey 
were, for the most part stood aloof or sided with the Emperor* The 
Lutheran North remained pasaive, and the so-called war of liberation 
presents many of the features of an oligarchic plot. 

The treaty between the German Princes and the King of France 
was signed at Chambord and at Friedwald in January, 1552, Henry 
intervened in Germany, as he did in Italy, as the chamiiion of national 
liberties against the Emperor; and while in March he threw thirty-five 
thousand men into Lorraine he hardened his heart against the heretics in 
France. In fact his devotion to German freedom although more specious 
was no more real than his love of toleration; and the German lands winch 
fell into his power fared at least as ill as ever they would have done 
under Charles V. The double face w^hich France showed from 1532 
to 1648, Catholic at home and Protestant abroad, was a religious guise 
adopted to help her in her secular rivalry with the House of Austria, 
and never did it stand her in better stead than in 1552, In that year 
Henry II avenged the defeats and imprisonment infiicbed on his father 
by Charles V and thus embittered the close of the Emperor's life with 
failure and humiliation. 

As the French troops crossed the frontier, Maurice, William of Hesse 
and Margrave Albreeht Alcibiades concentrated thirty thousand men in 
Franconia. The Emperor was not so ignorant of Maurice's designs aa 

has often btien supposed. His commissioner, Lazarus Schwendi, had 
sonnded warning notes from the camp at Magdeburg ; but success had 
made Charles confident and careless, and he failed to realise the danger 
until it was too late to organise resistance. On April 6 he was thinking 
of flight to the Netherlands, but the way was bU^cked already. He 
suspected Ferdinand *s loyalty, and others have believed that the King of 
the Romans had a secret understanding with Maurice* Ferdinand had 
ample grounds for discontent, but there seems to be no proof of treason 
on his part. Maurice, who had outwitted the keenest diplomats at 
Charles' Court, may well have duped his brother ; he had promised to 
meet the King at Linz on April 4, but Ferdinand was not prepared for 
the guise in which he came. On that day Augsburg fell before the 
Princes ; the resistance of Niirnberg, Ulni, and Sti^assburg alone marred 
the completeness of their victory, for Bavaria and Wiirttemberg were 
their secret allies. On the 18th Maurice was at Linz, Ferdinand sought 
to negotiate an armistice, but Maurice refused to date it earlier than 
May 26, and used the interval to draw his net round Charles- In spite 
of the words attributed to him, that he had no cage big enough for such 
a bird, Maurice did not slirink from pressing his illustrious fugitive, and 
hoped, as he said, to run the fox to earth. On the nights of May 18-19 
he seized the pass of Ehrenberg. Twelve days earlier Charles bad been 
foiled in an attempt to escape to Constance and to pass on thence to the 
Netherlands. He had no troops to withstand Maurice ; but a mutiny in 
the Elector's forces gave him a few hours* respite, and towards evening, 
with a few attendants, he fled amid rain and snow across the Brenner. 
The victor of Middberg %va8 an almost solitary fugitive in his Empire; 
the assembled Fathers at Trent bi'oke up in dismay, having, it was said, 
no mind to argue points of doctrine wath soldiers in arms; and the 
Emperor's soaring plans dissolved like castles in Spain. 

It was the darkest hour in Charles' career, but soon the twilight 
began to glimmer. The Emperor found a refuge at Villach in Carinthia, 
while Maurice went to the conference at Passau, where his own troubles 
began to gather. He demanded as the price of peace security against 
Habsburg aggression in Germany, restoration of princely privilege, and 
a guarantee of the Lutheran religion irrespective of the decrees of the 
Council of Trent. The Catholic Princes assembled at Passau were 
disposed to concede these terms, but to connive at permanent schism 
was incompatible with Charles' rigid Catholic conscience. Nothing 
coukl bend his iron will, not the advance of the Turk nor the success of 
the French in Italy nor his own personal periL He insisted that the 
question of religious peace must be referred to a Diet, On that point he 
refused to yield an inch ; and among the circumstances which preserved 
so large a portion of Germany to the Roman Catholic faith not the 
least is the unshaken constancy wdiich Charles V evinced at the sorest 
crisis of the Catholic cause in Germany. 


His courage had its reward. Margrave Albrecht had separated 
from his allies and \vas pursuing a wild career of murder and sacrilege 
in Franconia, where he dreamt of carving a secular duchy out of the 
Bishops' spiritualities ; in six weeks he extorted nearlja million crowns by 
way of ransom. Maurice failed in his attack on Frankfort, where he lost 
one of his ablest lieutenants by the death of George of Mecklenburg, 
The advance of Henry II had been checked by the valour of Strassburg ; 
Charles had released JcJiii Frederick, and with a little help the Ernestine 
Wettin could raise a storm which would drive his cousin from Saxony ; 
while Hans of Ciistrin would willingly join in the fray io return for a 
share of the Albertine lands* Conscious that the nation was not really 
behind him and that he would lose his all by defeat, Maurice reluctantly 
yielded to Cliarlcs' demand that the religious question should be left 
to a Diet. Margrave Albrecht roughly refused to accept the peace ; 
and when Maurice marched to help Ferdinand against the Turks, 
many of his troops mutimed and took service with Albrecht. The 
Margrave's disgust was not due to zeal for the Protestant faith, but to 
the fact that Maurice had played both hands in the game and reduced 
his partner to a dummy. Fortune seemed to be tnriiing and Charles 
thought of refusing to ratify the treaty, delayed the liberation of Philip 
of Hesse, and returned to his schemes for creating a friendly league and 
seeming the Empire for his son. He appeared to have learnt and 
forgotten nothing, but his advisers were more amenable. Queen Maria 
opposed these plans, Ferdinand denounced them^ and the fear lest his 
obstinacy should drive his brother into Maurice's arms induced Charles 
to submit and sign the Treaty of Passau. 

Reluctantly the Emperor surrendered for the moment his dynastic 
projects and assumed the part of the champion of Germany against the 
French invader. Emerging from Villach and journeying by way of 
Augsburg, where he could not refrain from once more overthrowing 
the democratic government and expelling some of the more obnoxious 
preachers who had returned in Maurice'^ train, Charles appeared on the 
Rhine determined to wrest Metz, Toul, and Verdun from the French. 
Metz was the key of the situation, and it had been amply provisioned 
and skilfully fortified by the Duke of Guise. On the last day of 
October, 1552» the siege was formally opened, Charles strengthened 
his forces by an unscrupulous alliance with Albrecht Alcibiades. The 
Margrave's brutalities had roused all Franconia against him and he had 
been forced to flee to the Court of Henry II ; but Court life had no 
attractions for him, and the French King hesitated to entrust so doubtful 
an ally with important commands. So Albrecht escaped, captured the 
Duke of Aumale, and w^th this peace-offering came into Charles' camp. 
His terms were the imperial sanction of his spoliation of the Bishops 
of Wiirzburg and Bamberg. " Necessity knows no law," wrote Charles 
to his sister, as he struck his bargain with the worst law-breaker in 


C, M. 11* II, 

274 Siege of Metz. — League of Heidelberg [i562-3 

Germany and sanctioned his sacrilegious plunder of Bamberg and Wiirz- 
burg. But Albrecht could not remedy the defects of Alva's generalship, 
produce harmony between Germans and Spaniards in the Emperor's 
army, or make any impression on Metz. For a month after his generals 
had recognised that success was impossible Charles refused to admit his 
defeat. But at length the havoc wrought among his Italian and Spanish 
troops by a mid-winter siege conquered even his obstinacy. With a 
grumble at the fickleness of Fortune who preferred a young King to an 
old Emperor, he raised the siege on January 1, 1553, and turned his 
back on his German dominions for ever. Success in the war with France 
would have meant a renewed effort to divide and crush the Lutheran 
Princes, to rivet the Spanish succession on Germany, and to restore 
the Catholic faith. Charles' failure left Germany free to settle these 
questions herself. Already meditating abdication and retirement from 
^e world, the Emperor journeyed to Brussels ; he was cheered by the 
capture of Terouanne from the French and the triumph of Mary in 
England, but German affairs were resigned into the hands of the King 
of the Romans. 

The evil which Charles had done by his bargain with Albrecht 
survived his departure, and it is a lurid comment upon the Emperor's 
reign that its last days were characterised by as wild an anarchy as 
Germany had known in all her turbulent history. The Margrave, having 
performed a last service to Charles by saving his guns during the retreat 
from Metz, proceeded once more to trouble his foes in Germany ; and, 
as nearly all Germany hated the Emperor, Albrecht was free to turn his 
arms in whatever direction he chose. The League of Heidelberg, formed 
in March, 1553, for the preservation of the peace and prevention of 
Philip's election, cons'isted of Catholics and Protestants and was too 
general to be very effective. Moreover Albrecht's onslaughts on Bish- 
ops and priests won him a good deal of secret sympathy. The situation 
was full of confusion ; the Emperor, the extreme Protestants, and the 
Ernestine Wettins and Margrave Albrecht, were all in more or less open 
opposition to the Albertine Maurice, King Ferdinand, and the Heidelberg 
League. Charles had more than once divided the Lutherans ; he had 
now divided the House of Habsburg. 

Maurice alone could restore peace to the Empire. His campaign in 
Hungary had not been successful, and Zapolya's widow with Solyman's 
help retained control of Transylvania. But Persia once more diverted 
the Turk's attention from west to east, and gave Maurice and Ferdinand 
respite to deal with Albrecht and his notorious lieutenant, Wilhelm von 
Grumbach. Maurice, who had posed as the liberator of Germany 
from Spanish tyranny, was now to play the part of saviour of society 
from princely anarchy. Charles had left the Empire to its fate, the 
Heidelberg League was powerless, and a decree of the Reichskam- 
mergericht against Albrecht would be a mere form of words. Could 


Maurice succeed amid this maze of iiupoteuce, no prize might be beyond 
hin reach. At Eger he concerted measures with Ferdinand and de- 
Hpatched his brother for Danish aid. Albrecht, after winning another 
victory at Pommersfelden on April 11, renewed his ravages in Francotiia, 
and his excesses were worse than tliose of the Peasants' War, He then 
turned against the Catholic Duke Henry of Brunswick-WolfenbiitteU 
and thought of utilising John Frederick'i^ hatred of Maurice and Elector 
Joachim's friendship with Charles to draw them both to his side ; even 
Landgrave Philip of Hesse was loth to a^isist his son-in-law against so 
good an enemy of the priests. On July 9, 1553, at Sievershausen, the 
forces of Albrecht and Maurice met. It was the fiercest battle fought 
in German lands for many a day ; beside it Mulillierg was the merest 
skirmish, Maurice won the day, but lost his life ; a wound from a mus- 
ket-ball proved fatal on the 11th, and one of the most extraordinary 
careers in history was cut short at the age of thirty-two years. 

The death of Maurice brought no redress to his injured and aged 
cousin. The Saxon Electorate continued in the Albertine branch of the 
family, passijig to Maurice's brother Augustus, a man of conciliatory 
temper, who had incurred none of the odium attaching to Maurice and 
coiUd look for support to his Danish father-in-law Christian IIL 
Charles V had no longer a private grudge to revenge by restoring his 
former captive, John Frederick did notsurvi%^e the disappointment by 
many months. He died on March 3, 1554, a classic instance of fortune's 
perversity. He suffered more severely than any Prince of bis age, and 
Ids coveted electoral dignity passed into a rival House, never to be 
restored ; and the only solace voueltsafed to the Ernestine branch was 
the restitution of Altenliurg, Neustadt, and some other districts ceded 
to Maurice in 1547. Yet John Frederick was the most blameless of 
men, *' the example of constancy and very mirror of troe magnanimity 
in these our days to all Princes," Such is the verdict of one con- 
temporary ; better known is the glowing description by Roger Ascham : 
"one in all fortunes desired of his friends, reverenced of his foes, 
favoured of the Emperor, loved of alL" 

With the disappearance of Maurice the Emperor*s interest in Albrecht 
Alcibiades waned. It was in vain that the Margrave beat the anti-eccle- 
siastical drum more furiously than ever, or that many a north German 
Prince and city came to secret terms. Duke Henry of Brunswick 
displayed unwonted vigour and defeated Albrecht at Steterburg on 
September 12, 1553, On December 1 the long-delayed ban was pro- 
claimed, and a second victory won by Duke Henry at Schwarzach on 
June 13, 1554, drove Albrecht again as a fugitive to the French Court. 
Peace was at length restored, and Germany prepared for that Diet which 
was to settle its religious affairs for two generations. Permanent tolera- 
tion of heresy was inevitable in the existing condition of German jxolitics, 
and the prospect of such unwelcome violence to his conscience de*^ '»ied 

the Emperor definitely to withdraw from his imperial responsibilities* 
His formal abdication of the Empire was not made till three years 
later ; his relinquishment of the Netherlands only took place in 
1555, and that of his Spanish kingdoms in 1556 ; but the end of his 
reign in Germany may be dated from the summer of 1554, when he 
empowered Ferdinand to settle the question of religion %vith the Diet, 
but not in his name. 

The city which had witnessed the birth of the Lutheran Faith was 
also to see its legitimation, and on February 5, 1555, Ferdinand opened 
another great Diet at Augsburg. No Elector was present in person ; 
of the ecclesiastical Princes only two, the Bishops of Ausburg and 
Eichstadt, attended, and of temporal Princes only four, the young Arch- 
duke Charles, the Dukes of Bavaria and Wiirttemberg, and the Margrave 
of Baden* The Catholics still had a majority in the Diet, and it cost 
them a severe mental struggle to relinquish the fundamental position of 
Catholicism, the seamless unity of the Christian Church. But common 
action with Protestants in opposition to the Spanish Succession, in de- 
fence of princely privilege against Charles and of public peace against 
Albrecht, had paved the way, not to an agreement in religious matters, 
but to an agreement to differ about them. Yet even this compromise was 
not reached till Ferdinand had made one more effort to save ecclesiastical 
unity. He proposed that the Diet should first deal with the question of 
public peace and refer religion to a Council or to a conference. Duke 
Christopher of Wiirttemberg and the Elector of Brandenburg were not 
adverse to the idea, and the latter even suggested the Interim as the 
basis of an agreement. But the hand of the Diet was forced by the 
Lutheran convention at Nanmburg, which was attended by more German 
Princes than the Diet itself. Here it was determined to abide by the 
Confession of Augsburg, and this decision was upheld by the Elector 
Augustus, the sons of John Frederick, and the Landgraves of Hesse, 
while the Elector Joachim hastily withdrew his ill-ad\d9ed suggestion 
with regard to the Interim, 

Thereupon the Electoral College at Augsburg decided to deal with 
the religious question at once and demanded religious peace at any price. 
The Catholic Princes, led by the Cardinal ArchbiQhojj of Augsburg, pro- 
tested; but Cln*istopher of Wiirttemberg came over to the Protestant 
side, and presently the Bishop of Augsburg was summoned to Conclaves 
at Rome, necessitated by the successive deaths of Julius HI and Mar- 
cellus n. The Protestants now put forward their full demands. They 
required security not merely for all present but all future subscribers to 
the Confession of Augsburg, and liberty to enjoy not only such ecclesi- 
astical property as had already been secularised but all that might be 
confiscated hereafter ; Lutlierans in Catholic States were to have com- 
plete toleration, while no such privilege was to be accorded to Catholics 
in Lutheran territories. They sought in fact to reduce the Catholics to 


the position to which they had themselves been reduced by the Recess of 
Speier ie 1529 ; every legal obstacle to the Luthemu development was 
to be removed, while Catholics were deprived of their meaiin of defence* 

The Catholics Avere not yet brought so low as to submit to such 
terms ; for months the struggle of parties went on, and it seemed possible 
that another religious war might ensue. Eventually a compromise was 
arranged mainly by Ferdinand and Augustus of Saxony. Security was 
granted to all Lutheran Princes ; episcopal jurisdiction in their lands was 
to cease ; and they might retain all ecclesiastical property secularised 
before the Treaty of Passau (1552), provided it was not immediately 
subject to the Empire. For the future each territorial secuhir Prince 
might choose between the Catholic and Lutheran faith, and his decision 
was to bind all his subjects. If a subject rejected his sovereign's religion 
the only privilege he could claim was liberty to migrate In ta other lands^ 
There remained two all-important points in dispute. The Lutherans 
still required toleration for the adherents of their confession in Catholic 
States ; and the Catholics demanded that any ecclesiastical Prince, who 
abjured Catholicism, should forfeit his lands and dignities- The Catholic 
objections to the first demand were insuperable j and the Lutherans were 
compelled to content themselves with an assurance by Ferdinand, which 
was not incorporated in the Recess, did not become law of the Empire, 
and of which tlie Itdckskammergerieht could therefore take no cognisance. 
The Catholic requirement about spiritual Princes was met by the famous 
"ecclesiastical reservation'' which imposed forfeiture of lands and digni- 
ties on Bishops who forsook the Catholic faith. This was incorporated 
in the Recess j but the Lutherans made their own reservation, and 
declared that they did not consider themselves bound by the proviso. 

The so-called Peace of Augsburg, embodied in the Recess which was 
published on September 25, 1555, thus rested upon a double equivocation, 
and contained in itself the seeds of the Thirty Years' War. It was in 
fact no more than a truce concluded, not because the two parties had 
decided the issues upon which they fought, but because they were for 
the moment tired of fighting ; and no half- measure was ever pursued 
by a more relentless Nemesis. The *^ ecclesiastical reservation " has been 
condemned as the worst sin of omission of which Protestant Germany 
was guilty, as a criminal and cowardly evasion of a vital decision, which 
delay could only make more difficult. The artificial perpetuation of 
spiritual principalities only served to buttress the Habsburg power and 
postpone the achievement of national unity. In the other scale a Catholic 
would place the fact that to the rescue of the ecclesiastical Electorates 
from the rising tide of Protestantism must be attributed in no small 
measure the hold which Catholicism still retains on western Germany- 

This lame and halting conclusion of nearly forty years' strife has been 
hailed as the birth of religious liberty ; but it is mockery to describe 
the principle which underlay the Peace of Augsburg as one of toleration. 

278 Cujus regio ejus religio 

(}uQu% regio ejus religio is a maxim as fatal to true religion as it is to 
freedom of conscience ; it is the creed of Erastian despotism, the formula 
in which the German territorial Princes expressed the fact that they had 
mastered the Church as well as the State. Even for Princes religious 
liberty was limited to the choice of one out of two alternativeSf the 
dogmas of Rome or those of Wittenberg. The door of Germany was 
barred against Zwingli, Calvin, and Socinus ; and in neither the Lutheran 
nor the Roman Church was there the same latitude that there was in the 
Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. The onslaughts of her enemies 
compelled Rome to define her doctrines and to narrow her communion ; 
if the Catholic Church was purified in the process, it was also rendered 
more Puritan ; it became exclusive rather than comprehensive, Roman 
rather than Catholic. To define the faith is to limit the faithful ; the 
age was one of definitions, and it destroyed for ever the hope of a real 

But even this meagre liberty of choice between two exclusive com- 
munions was denied to the mass of the German people. For them the 
change consisted in this, that instead of having their faith determined 
for them by the Church, it was settled by their territorial Princes ; 
instead of a clerical, there was a lay persecution ; instead of a remote 
prospect of being burnt, the German dissenter, after 1555, enjoyed a 
much more imminent prospect of being banished ; for the tyranny of 
Wittenberg, if it was less than that of Rome after the Council of Trent, 
was certainly greater than that of the Catholic Church before the appear- 
ance of Luther. Luther enunciated the principle of religious liberty, 
of individual priesthood. But he and his followers imposed anotlier 
bondage, which went far to render this declaration ineffectual. The chief 
actual contribution of the Lutheran Reformation to religious liberty was 
thus indirect, almost undesigned. It produced the first Church inde- 
pendent of Rome, and prepared the way for countless other religious 
communities, which, however narrowly they may define their individual 
formularies, tend by their number to enforce mutual toleration. Private 
morality has been evolved out of the conflicting interests of an infinite 
mass of individuals ; international law depends upon the multiplicity 
of independent States ; and the best guarantee for the freedom of 
conscience consists in the multitude and relative impotence of the 

There is no more disappointing epoch in German history than the 
reign of Charles V; if in its course it shattered some idols, it also 
shattered ideals. It began full of hope, and the nation seemed young. 
There were plans for reforming the Church and renewing the Empire ; 
no one dreamt of dividing the one and destroying the other. Yet such 
was the result. The Reformation began with ideas and ended in force. 
In the Germany of the sixteenth, as in that of the nineteenth century, an 
era of liberal thought closed in a fever of war ; the persuasions of sweetness 

Results of the Reformation in Germany 279 

and light were drowned by the beat of the drum and the blare of the 
trumpet ; and methods of blood and iron supplanted the forces of rea^cm^ 
No ideas, it was found, in religion or politics, could survive unleM they 
were cast in the hard material mould of German territorialism. 

The triumph of this principle is really the dominant note of the peririd, 
Territorialism ruined the Empire, captured the Reformation, crushed 
the municipal independence of the cities, and lowered the status of 
the peasant. The fall of the imperial power was perhaps inevitable, 
but it was hastened by Charles Y. In the first place, his dynastic and 
Spanish policy weakened his authority as a national monarch ; in the 
second, his adoption of the cause of the Church threw the Reformem 
into the arms of the territorial Princes. The success of the Reforma- 
tion thus meant that of the oligarchic principle and the ruin of German 
monarchy. The Reformation of the Empire became incompatible with 
the Reformation of the Church ; and the seal on Charles' failure was set 
by the Diet of Augsburg, which, besides concluding a truce of religion, 
removed the ReicTukammergericht^ the organisation of the Circles, and 
the preservation of the peace from the sphere of imperial influence. 
Henceforward Germany was not a kingdom, but a collection of petty 
States, whose rulers were dominated by mutual jealousies. From the 
time of Charles V to that of Frederick the Great, Germany ceased to 
be an international force ; it was rather the arena in which the other 
nations of Europe, the Spaniard, the Frenchman, the Swede, the Pole, 
and the Turk, fought out their diplomatic and military struggles. 

The KaiBertum was but one of the Princes' victims ; the BUrgertum 
also fell before them. The vigorous city life of the Middle Ages was 
a thing of the past ; in many a German town the representative of 
the territorial sovereign domineered over the elect of the burghers, 
interfered in their administration, and even controlled their finances. 
On the shores of the Baltic the destruction of town independence in- 
volved the loss of Germany's maritime power, and not till our own 
day has this eclipse begun to pass. With the decay of civic life went 
also the ruin of municipal arts and civilisation, and in its stead there 
was only the mainly formal culture of the petty German Court. No 
age in Germany was more barren of intellectual inspiration than that 
which succeeded the Peace of Augsburg. The internecine struggles 
of the reig^ of Charles V had exhausted all classes in the nation, and 
an era of universal lassitude followed : intellectually, morally, and politi- 
cally> Germany was a desert, and it was called Religious Peace. 



Thb Ref onnation in France never developed into a national move- 
ment. Though the Protestants under the stress of persecution con- 
solidated themselves into a powerful and well-organised party, they 
never formed more than a minority of the nation. The majority, 
whose attachment to the Catholic Church was stronger than their desire 
for her reformation, detested the Reformers as schismatics and separatists 
even more than as heretics. When the Protestant ranks were recruited 
by the accession of numerous political malcontents, a more worldly 
leaven pervaded the whole cause ; the principle of passive resistance 
was abandoned, and an appeal to armed force became inevitable. The 
result was a succession of religious wars, which lasted, though not con- 
tinuously, for more than thirty years. It was not till the beginning of 
the seventeenth century that France, once more at peace with herself, 
was able to work out on her own lines a Counter- Reformation. 

Yet at the beginning of the sixteenth century nearly all enlightened 
men were agreed as to the necessity for Reform. The evils imder which 
the Church in France laboured were those which prevailed elsewhere ; 
rapacity and worldliness among the Bishops and abbots, ignorance 
in the inferior clergy, great relaxation of discipline, and, in some 
cases, positive immorality in the monasteries and nunneries ; and as the 
result an ever- widening separation between religion and morality. The 
first of these evils was a favourite topic with the popular preachers of 
Paris, the Franciscans, Michel Menot and Olivier MaiUard, and the 
Dominican, Guillaume Pepin. On the other hand, the everyday story of 
the period has more to say about the ignorance of the parish priests and 
the immorality of the friars. The Franciscans seem to have been espe- 
cially impopular. All ranks of the Church alike fell under the lash of 
Sebastian Brant's Ship of Fools and Erasmus' Praise of Folly^ both of 
which were translated into French and widely read. 

But Frenchmen can relish satire even of what they love, and the 
people were none the less sincere in their attachment to the Church 
because they applauded the sallies of the jester. This attachment was 


all the stronger because it sprang as much from a national as from 
a religious feeling. Ever since the days of Philip the Fair France had 
maintained an independent attitude towards the Papacy, During the 
Avignon Captivity the Popes had been her obedient servants* At 
the Council of Constance it was two Frenchmen, Jean Gerson and 
Pierre d'Ailly, who were chiefly instrumental in bringing about the 
declaration that Councils are superior to Popes* The Pragmatic 
Sanction (1438), as has been related in the first volume, gave definite 
shape to the liberties of the Gallican Churcli, and, though during the 
reigns of Louis XI and Charles VIII it was more or less in abeyance, 
the position of the French Church towards the Papacy remained 
practically unaltered. Louis XII formally restored the Pragmatic ; and 
in his contest with Pope Julius II skilfully made use of the popular 
poet, Pierre Gringo re, to influence public opinion. In his famous 
tetralogy of Le Jen du Prince des Sots et Mere Sotte^ played at Paris 
on Shrove-Tuesday, 1511, tlie Pope was held up to open ridicule. Thus 
in France there were no motives of personal interest at work to make a 
revolt from Rome desirable. The eflfect of the Concordat, the sub- 
stitution of which for the Pragmatic (1516) was the only reform that 
the Fifth Lateran Council gave to France, was to put the French Church 
under the authority, not of the Pope, but of the King* 

But the change in the method of appointing Bishops and Abbots 
from canonical election to nomination by the Crown, which was the chief 
feature of the Concordat, w^hile it put an end to the noisier forms of 
scandal in the elections, greatly increased what many regarded as the 
root of the whole evil, the non-residence and worldly character of the 
superior clergy. For Francis I found that the patronage of some six 
hundred bishoprics and abbeys furnished him with a convenient and 
inexpensive method of providing for his diplomatic service, and of 
rewarding literary merit, A large number of abbeys were held by 
laymen, and even Bishops were not always in orders ; pluralism in an 
aggravated form was common ; the case of Cardinal Jean of Lorraine 
has been noticed in an earlier chapter ; his brother Cardinal, Jean du 
Bellay, at one time enjoyed the revenues of five sees and fourteen 
abbeys. Italians shared largely in the royal patronage, and in 1560 
it was estimated that they held one-third of all the benefices in the 
kingdom. It was this new method of patronage which more than any- 
thing paralysed all attempts at reform. It was idle to talk of reform at 
the bottom when at the top every personal interest was bound up with 
the existing corruption. 

An impulse to reform was clearly needed from without. This was 
fumiahed by the Renaissance, For it was inevitable that the spirit of 
free enquiry, which was the main characteristic of that movement, should 
also invade the domain of religious dogma and Church institutions, and 
that, penetrating here as elsewhere to the sources, it should apply itself 

282 Lefevre d^ Staples and Brigonnet [151^20 

to the first-hand study of the book upon which dogma and institutions 
were ultimately based. It was inevitable also that the spirit of individu- 
alism which was another marked characteristic of the Renaissance should 
end in questioning the right of the Church to be the sole interpreter of 
that book, and in asserting boldly that the final test of all religion is 
its power to satisfy the needs of the individual soul. 

The connexion between the two movements, the Renaissance and the 
Reformation, was especially close in France. In both alike the same 
man occupied an almost identical position, standing on a threshold 
which he never actually crossed. This was Jacques Lefevre, a native of 
Etaples in Picardy (Faber Stapulensis). After taking his degree in Arts 
in the University of Paris, he studied for some time in Italy and then 
devoted himself to the teaching of Aristotle and mathematics. He was 
also a busy writer and edited various works, including Latin translations 
of most of Aristotle's works. Though his Latin was somewhat bar- 
barous and his knowledge of Greek imperfect, his services were warmly 
recognised by younger scholars, many of whom were his pupils. In the 
year 1507, when he was about fifty, he abandoned secular learning 
entirely for theology, and in 1512 published a Latin translation of St 
Paul's Epistles, with a commentary. The book was remarkable in two 
ways ; first because a revised version of the Vulgate was printed by the 
side of the traditional text, and secondly because it anticipated two of the 
cardinal doctrines of the Lutheran theology. Thus in the commentary on 
the First Epistle to the Corinthians Lefevre asserts that there is no merit 
in human works without the grace of God ; in that on the Epistle to 
the Hebrews he denies, though in somewhat less precise language, the 
doctrine of Transubstantiation, while admitting the Real Presence. 

Lefevre remained some years after the publication of this book in 
the seclusion of the abbey of St Germain-des-Pres at Paris, where his 
former pupil, Guillaume Bri^onnet, was Abbot. His book, though it 
attracted the attention of the learned, passed otherwise unnoticed. It 
was not till 1519 that the spark which he had kindled was fanned into 
a fiame by the dissemination of Luther's Latin writings, which were read 
eagerly at Paris. But it was Brigonnet who first put his hand to the 
practical work of reforming the Church in France. Appointed to the 
' see of Meaux in 1516 he had, after an absence of two years at Rome on 
a special mission, returned full of zeal for the reformation of his diocese. 
It was in the prosecution of this design that towards the close of the 
year 1620 he summoned to Meaux his old tutor Lefevre and certain of 
his friends and pupils, all noted for their learning and piety, and all 
sharing more or less in his theological views. Among them were 
Francois Vatable, eminent as an Hebrew scholar, Guillaume Farel, and 
Gerard Roussel. Another member of the group, Michel d'Arande, was 
already at Meaux. They met with great favour from the Bishop, and 
throughout his diocese carried on the work of " preaching Christ from 

1520-5] The Memix preachers and the Sorbonne 


the sources " with vigour and success. The movement was watched with 
eager sympathy by the King's sister, Margaret, Duchess of Alengon, 
wiio had chosen the Bishop for her sjiiritual director and was at this 
time carrying on with him a voluminous correspondence. 

In June, 1523, Lefevre published a revised French trfinslation of the 
four Gospels, the lirst instalment of a new translation of the whole 
Bible, which he had been urged to undertake by Margaret and her 
mother. The rest of tlie New Testament followed before the end of the 
year. Except in a few passages it was nothing more than a revision of 
Jean de Rcly's Bible, itself almost ao exact reproduction of the old 
thirteenth century translation ; but it^publication did much to spread the 
knowledge of the New Testament, Thongli the effect of Luther's writings 
in France was considerable, the French Reformers showed almost from 
the first a tendency to base tlieir theology ratlier on the literary inter- 
pretation of the Scriptures than on the specially Lutheran doctrine of I 
Justification by Faith* Moreover, the geographical position of France 
brouglit them naturally into closer relations with Bucer and Capito 
at Strassburg, and with CEcolampadius at Basel, than with Luther at 

For two and a half years the preaching at Meaux went on without 
molestation and then the storm-clouds began to gather. Already on 
April 15, 1521» the Faculty of Theology of the Paris University, com- 
monly called the Sorbonne, had formally condemned Luther's writings, 
and on August 3 of the same year the Parliament of Paris had issued 
a proclamation that all those who had any of these writings in theii* 
possession should deliver them up under penalty of a fine or imprison- 
ment. It was by virtue of this order that on June 16, 1523, the books 
of Louis de Berquiu, a gentleman of Picardy, noted for his learning, were 
seized, examined, and censured as heretical. On October 15 the Bishops 
of Meaux, whose sole desire was to reform the Church from within, and I 
who consequently had no sympathy with Luther s attitude of open revolt, j 
issued two synodal decrees : one against the doctrines and books of 
Luther, and the other against certain heretical opinions which had been 
preached in his diocese touching prayers for the dead and the invocation 
of the Saints, The latter decree was probably aimed at Farel, whose 
fiery and logical mind had carried him further than his companions^ and 
who had left Meaux after only a short sojourn to become the leader of 
an advanced section of the movement which denied tlie Real Presence 
and shewed generally an iconoclastic and uneompromising spirit. The 
other preachers were still protected by the Bishop in spite of the Paris 
Parliament. However, in March, 1525, an example was made in the 
person of a wool-carder, named Jean Leclerc, who having committed a 
fanatical outrage was whipped and branded, first at Paris and then at 
Meaux. A few months later he was burnt at Metz for a similar offence. 

While Francis was a prisoner at Madrid the Queen*Mothcr, urged 


Berqiiin jyut to death 


by her first miaister, Cardinal Antoine Duprat, and by her own anxiety 
to gain the support of the Pope, induced the Parliament to appoint a 
commission for the trial of Lutherans. Many persons were imprisoned j 
Lef evre's translation of the New Testament was condemned to be burned ; 
and proceedings were instituted against the Meaux preachers. They 
saved themselves by flight, finding a refuge at Strassburg in the house of 
Capito (October, 1525), In January, 1526, Berquin was imprisoned, 
and on February 17 a young bachelor of arts named Joubert was burnt 
at Paris for holding Lutheran doctrines* 

On March 17 Francis returned from captivity ; and on the very day 
of his arrival in France he sent an order for the Parliament to suspend 
all action against Berquin, who after considerable delay was set at 
liberty. Lefevre, Roussel, and Arande, who still called themselves 
members of the Catholic Church, were recalled from exile, and Lefevre 
was appointed tutor to the King's third son. In spite of the execution 
of Jacques Pauvan, one of the Meaux preachers against whom proceedings 
had been taken with the full approval of the King (August 28, 1526)* 
tlie hopes of the Reformers began to rise ; and, on the whole, up to the 
end of 1527 things seemed to be taking a turn in their favour. But on 
December 16 of that year the King, being in straits for money for the 
iransom of his sons, simiraoned an Assembly of Notables ; and, when 
representatives of the clergy accompanied their vote of 1,300,000 livre% 
with a request that he would take measures for the repression of 
.Lutheranism, he gave a ready assent- 

An outrage on a statue of the Virgin at Paris (May 31, 1528) 
furnished him with an opportunity of proving his sincerity, and he took 
part in a magnificent expiatory procession. Not long afterwards Berquin 
was again brought to trial and found guilty of heresy. Francis left him 
to his fate, and he was burnt on April 17, 1529, ** He might have 
been the Luther of France/' says Theodore Beza, "had Francis been a 
Frederick of Saxony/* Meanwhile an important provincial synod, that 
of Sens, had been sitting at Paris from February to October of 1528 
under the presidency of Cardinal Duprat, the Archbishop of Sens, for 
the purpose of devising measures for the repression of heresy. Similar 
synods were held for the pro^dnces of Bonrges and Lyons. 

For two and a half years after Berquin's death the King showed no 
favour to the Reformers. But in the autumn of 1532 another change 
in his religious policy began to make itself felt. The ever shifting 
course of his diplomacy had now brought him into a closer alliance with 

ilenry VIII and into relations with the Protestant Princes of Germany. 
t was perhaps significant of this change that Jean du Bellay who, like 
iis brother Gnillaume, was in favour of a moderate reform of the 
Church, was at this time appointed Bishop of Paris. During the whole 
of Lent, 1533, Gerard Roussel, at the instigation of Margaret, now 
Queen of Navarre, and of her husband, preached daily in the Louvre to 

^^^ ■ ' 

^■large congregations ; and when Noel Beda and some other doctors of the 

^Sorbonne ventured to accuse the King and Queen of heresy, and to 8tir 

up the people to sedition, Francis, on the matter being reported to him, 

P issued from Melun an edict banishing the doctors from the city. The 
Queen of Navarre became in consequence highly unpopular with the 
orthodox, and, in a comedy played by the students of the College of 
Navarre on October 1, 15B3, was with Roussel held up to ridicule under 

I a thin disguise. 
The desire of the King for the Pope's friendship led however to a 
fresh change of religious policy ; and, as the result of the conference with 
Clement at Marseilles (October 1 — November 12, 1533), Francis, while 
declining to join in a general crusade against the followers of Luther and 
Zwingli, agreed to take steps for the suppression of heresy in his own 
kingdom and received from the Pope a Bull for that purpose. An 
opportunity at once occurred for putting it into force. On November 1 
r the new Rector of the University of Paris, Nicolas Cop, in his customary 
[Latin oration, enveloped in unmistakable terms the doctrine of Justiii- 
ition by Faith, It soon became known that this discourse had been 
[written for him by a young scholar of Picardy, named Jean Cauvin, or, 
las he called himself, Calviif. The scandal was great ; and the King on 
[hearing of it immediately w^rote to the Parliament enjoining it to 
[proceed diligently against the " accursed heretic Lutheran sect/* Within 
ta week fifty Lutherans were in prison i and an edict was issued that 
[anyone convicted by two witnesses of being a Lutheran should be burned 
' forthwith, '* It wall be like the Spanish Inquisition '' wrote Martin 

But the King's Catholic fever quickly cooled down. On January 24, 
1534, he entered into a secret treaty with the German Protestant 
Princes ; and when he returned to Paris in the first w^eek of February the 
persecutions ceased. Evangelical doctrines w*ere again preached in the 
Louvre, " I see no one round me but old women,'' was the complaint of 
a Sorbonne doctor from his pulpit; ^'all the men go to the Louvre." 

kin the spring Guillaume du Bellay was sent for the second time on a 
mission to Germany, with the object of concerting with the German 
I theologians some via media whicli should effect a reconciliation between 
the two reUgious parties. Accordingly he sent a request to Melanchthon 
to draw up a paper embodying suggestions which might serve as the 
basis for an oral conference. Melanchthon complied, and du Bellay 
returned to France with a paper, dated August 1, 1534, in which 
the various points in dispute were separately discussed and means of 
^arranging them were suggestetL 

^M But these hopes of reconciliation were suddenly scattered to the 

^ winds by the rash act of some of the more fanatical Reformers* On the 

morning of October 18, 1534i the inhabitants of Paris awoke to find 

the walls of all the principal thoroughfares placarded with a broadside 

286 The Placards [1534-5 

in which the Mass and its celebrants were attacked in the coarsest and 
most offensive terms. Copies were also pasted up in Orleans and other 
towns, and one was even affixed to the door of the royal bedchamber at 
Amboise, where Francis was at the time residing. The people of Paris 
were thoroughly roused and frightened by what seemed to them a 
blasphemous outrage. The King was furious. A persecution began in 
Paris which far exceeded all its predecessors in rigour. 

By the middle of November two hundred heretics were said to be in 
prison ; before the end of the year this number was nearly doubled. 
By Christmas eight persons had been burned. Early in the following 
year (1535) the King returned to Paris, and on January 21 took part in 
a grand expiatory procession. This was followed by a public banquet, 
at which he made a long speech announcing once more his intention of 
exterminating heresy from his kingdom. The day of expiation closed 
with the burning of six more heretics. On January 25 seventy-three 
Lutherans, who had fled from Paris, were summoned by the town crier 
to appear before the Courts, or in default to suffer attainder and con- 
fiscation of their goods. Among these was the educational reformer, 
Mathurin Cordier, and the poet, Clement Marot. By May 5 there 
were nine more executions, making in all twenty-three. But the King 
was beginning to relent. On the death of the Chancellor, Cardinal 
Duprat (July 9), Francis appointed in his place Antoine du Bourg, 
who was favourable to the Reformers. On July 16 he issued an Edict 
from Coucy announcing that there were to be no further prosecutions 
except in the case of Sacramentarians and relapsed persons, and that all 
fugitives who returned and abjured their errors within six months should 
receive pardon. The reason for this milder attitude was that Francis 
was still angling for an alliance with the German Protestant Princes, 
and had renewed the negotiations with Melanchthon. By the direction 
of Guillaume du Bellay, John Sturm, who held at this time a professorship 
at Paris, wrote both to Melanchthon and Bucer urging them to come to 
France for the purpose of a conference with tlie Paris theologians. 
Melanchthon consented ; but the Elector John Frederick of Saxony 
refused to let him go, and the proposed conference had to be abandoned 
(August, 1535). At the same time the Sorbonne, to whom Melanch- 
thon's paper of the preceding year had been submitted, expressed its 
entire disapproval of the project. 

Bucer, however, still worked indefatigably on behalf of a reconcilia- 
tion ; and at the close of the year du Bellay was again in Germany, first 
assuring the diet of Protestant Princes assembled at Schmalkalden that 
his royal master had not burnt his Lutheran subjects from any dislike of 
their religious opinions, and then holding interviews with Melanchthon, 
Sturm, and others, in which he represented his master's theological views 
as differing not greatly from their own. It was all to no purpose. Princes 
and theologians alike had ceased to believe in the French King's sincerity. 


Neither the Edict of Coucy, nor a similar Edict, somewhat more 
liberal, which was issued in May, 15S6» had much effect in bringing back 
the exiles to France- The great majority perferred exile to abjuration. 
Thus while the cause of Protestantism in France lost in this way many of 
its most ardent supporters, on the other hand there fell away from it the 
timid and the interested^ those who had no wish *^ to be burned like red 
herrings, '* and those who basked in the sunshine of the royal favour* 
Moreover the sympathies of moderate men, of men like Guillaume and 
Jean du Bellay, of Guillaume Bude and Frangois Rabelais^ were alienated 
by the iconoclastic outbursts of the Reformers. They were favourable 
to a reform of the Church by moderate means, but they ^vere statesmen 
or humanists, and not theologians. Rabelais' Gargantua^ which he 
must have finished just before the affair of the placards, contains several 
passages of a distinctly evangelical character. But in his kter books we 
find him "throwing stones into the Protestant garden.'' Lastly, there 
was a small group who followed the example of the Qoeen of Navarre 
and her ally Gerard Roussel, now Bishop of Olorou, and, while still 
holding the chief evangelical doctrines, continued members of the 
Catholic Cliurch and conformed to most of its ceremonial. Though 
this seemed to Calvin an unworthy compromise, it fairly represented the 
half- practical, half-mystical character of Margaret's religion and her 
adherence to a certain phase of the Renaissance* 

Thus the affair of the placards and the resulting persecution had 
made too wide a breach between the two religious parties to admit of 
its being healed. Partly from the timidity of the leaders and partly 
from the rashness of the rank and file, the first or Evangelical pliase 
of Protestantism in France had failed to bring about a reform of the 
Church. In the early part of the 3^ear lt536 the man, who had ini- 
tiated the movement, the agdtl Lefevre d'Etaples, died at N^rac. Almost 
simultaneously tliere appeared a w^ork which was to inaugurate the 
second or Calvinistic phase of French Protestantism, Calvin 's Chrktianae 
reliffionis institiitlo (March, 1536). Though little more than a sketch as 
compared with tJie form which it finally took, it was in essential points 
complete. It gave the French Reformers what they so greatly needed^ a 
definite theological system in place of the undogmatic and mainly practical 
teaching of Lefevre and Roussel. It gave them a profession of faith 
which might serve at once to unite their own forces and to prove to their 
persecutors the righteousness of their cause. 

It is true that French Protestantism, in thus becoming Calvinistic, in 
a large measure abandoned the two leading principles of the movement 
out of which it had sprung, the spirit of free enquiry, and the spirit of 
individualism. But without this surrender it must in the long run have 
yielded to persecution. It was only by cohesion that it could build up 
the necessary strength for resistance. Thus the French Protestants 
hailed the author of the Institutio as their natural leader, as the organiser 

of their scattered forces. Little wonder if during the next twenty-five 
years of their direst need they looked for consolation and sujiport to 
the free city among the Alps and to the strong man who ruled it. 

The new war with Charles V, which broke out in April, 1536, left the 
French King no leisure for the suppression of heresy. But after the truce 
at Nice and the interview with the Emperor at Aigues-Mortes (July 14» 
1538) Francis began to address himself in earnest to his task. Aftar two 
partial Edicts, the first addressed to the Parliament of Toulouse 
(December 16, 1538), and the second to the Parliaments of Toulouse, 
Bordeaux, and Rouen (June 24,1539), he issued from Fontainebleau on 
June 1, 1540, a general Edict of great severity* It introduced a more 
efficient and rapid procedure for the trial of heretics, which, with a 
slight modification made by the Edict of Paris (July 23, 1543), enlarging 
the powers of the ecclesiastical Courts, remained in force for the next 
nine years. On August 20, 1542, another Edict was addressed to the 
Parliament of Toulouse, followed on the next day by a mandamus to 
those of Paris, Bordeaux, Dijon, Grenoble, and Rouen. The Parliament 
of Aix required no such stimulus. Meanwhile the Sorbonne had been 
engaged in drawing up twenty-six articles in which the true Catholic 
faith on all the disputed points was set forth. It was their answer to 
the French translation of the LiBtitiUio which CaKHn had completed in 
1541 from the second and greatly enlarged Latin edition. The articles 
were ratified by a royal Ordinance of July 23, 1543, The answer of the 
Parliament of Paris had been of a more material character. On July 1, 
1542, it issued a long Edict concerning the supervision of the press, of 
which the first clause ordered all copies of the Institutio to be given up 
within twenty -four hours. On February 14, 1544, these^were solemnly 
burnt, with other books, including several printed by Etienne Dolet. 
This was shortly followed by the publication of the first Index Expurga- 
torhid issued by the Sorbonne, which was registered by the Parliament ten 
months later. 

In this policy of repression the King had the active support of four 
men ; the Inquisitor-General, Matthieu Ory ; the first President of the 
Parliament of Paris, Pierre Lizet, soon to become even more notorious 
as the President of the Chainhre Ardente ; the Chancellor, Guillaume 
Poyet, who had succeeded the moderate Antoine du Boiirg on November 
12, 1538 ; and foremost among them, the Cardinal de Tournou, now all 
powerful with the King, and practically his first minister. Though the 
Cardinal was a liberal patron of learning and letters, he was a relentless 
and untiring foe to the new religious doctrines. ** He Ls worth to France 
an Inquisition in himself, '' said a contemporary. It is significant also that 
just at this time Francis lost one of his ablest and most enlightened 
ministers, and the French Reformers one of their best friends in 
Guillaume du Bellay, who died in January, 1543. 

With such a man in power as the Cardinal de Tournon there was not 


likely to be any slackness in the execution of the Edicts. The earlier 
^ half of the year 1541 was a period of special distress for the French 

Reformers ; and throughout the years 1540 to 1544 constant additions 
[li^rere raade to the roll of their martyrs* It is chiefly of isolated cases 
'that we hear, at most of three or four at a time ; there were no autos-de-fS. 

The stress of persecution had compelled the Reformers to practise 

prudence and secrecy, but each fresh execution added strength to the 

I cause. One martyr made many converts. 
The Peace of Crepy, September 18, 1544, with its vague provisions 
for the reunion of religion, and '* for the prevention of the extreme 
danger'' which threatened it, boded evil to the Reformers. The next 
year, 1545, memorable as the year in which the Council of Trent held 
its first sitting, is also memorable for an act which has left a dark stain 
on the history of France and the Church, the massacre of the Waldenses 
of Provence. In 1530 these peaceful followers of Peter Waldo, who 
dwelt in about thirty villages along the Durauce, having heard of 
the religious doctrines that were being preached in (jcrmany and 
Switzerland, sent two en%'oys to some of the leading Reformers to lay 

I before them their own tenets, and to submit to them forty-seven questions 
on which they were desirous of instruction. They received long answers 
from CEcolampadius and Bucer, and in consequence held in September, 
1532, a conference of their ministers at Angrogne in Piedmont, at