By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth
Author: Aikin, Lucy, 1781-1864
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Transcriber's note: A small number of typographical errors found in the
original, printed book have been corrected; neither the language nor the
spelling has been modernized. There are two chapters numbered thirteen;
they have been labeled XIIIa and XIIIb.]

[Illustration: QUEEN ELIZABETH In the dress in which she went to St
Pauls, to return thanks for the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Engraved
by Bond, from the extremely rare print by Crispin de Passe, after a
drawing by Isaac Oliver.]








In the literature of our country, however copious, the eye of the
curious student may still detect important deficiencies.

We possess, for example, many and excellent histories, embracing every
period of our domestic annals;--biographies, general and particular,
which appear to have placed on record the name of every private
individual justly entitled to such commemoration;--and numerous and
extensive collections of original letters, state-papers and other
historical and antiquarian documents;--whilst our comparative penury is
remarkable in royal lives, in court histories, and especially in that
class which forms the glory of French literature,--memoir.

To supply in some degree this want, as it affects the person and reign
of one of the most illustrious of female and of European sovereigns, is
the intention of the work now offered with much diffidence to the

Its plan comprehends a detailed view of the private life of Elizabeth
from the period of her birth; a view of the domestic history of her
reign; memoirs of the principal families of the nobility and
biographical anecdotes of the celebrated characters who composed her
court; besides notices of the manners, opinions and literature of the

Such persons as may have made it their business or their entertainment
to study very much in detail the history of the age of Elizabeth, will
doubtless be aware that in the voluminous collections of Strype, in the
edited Burleigh, Sidney, and Talbot papers, in the Memoirs of Birch, in
various collections of letters, in the chronicles of the times,--so
valuable for those vivid pictures of manners which the pen of a
contemporary unconsciously traces,--in the Annals of Camden, the
Progresses of Nichols, and other large and laborious works which it
would be tedious here to enumerate, a vast repertory existed of curious
and interesting facts seldom recurred to for the composition of books of
lighter literature, and possessing with respect to a great majority of
readers the grace of novelty. Of these and similar works of reference,
as well as of a variety of others, treating directly or indirectly on
the biography, the literature, and the manners of the period, a large
collection has been placed under the eyes of the author, partly by the
liberality of her publishers, partly by the kindness of friends.

In availing herself of their contents, she has had to encounter in full
force the difficulties attendant on such a task; those of weighing and
comparing authorities, of reconciling discordant statements, of bringing
insulated facts to bear upon each other, and of forming out of materials
irregular in their nature and abundant almost to excess, a compact and
well-proportioned structure.

How far her abilities and her diligence may have proved themselves
adequate to the undertaking, it remains with a candid public to decide.
Respecting the selection of topics it seems necessary however to remark,
that it has been the constant endeavour of the writer to preserve to her
work the genuine character of Memoirs, by avoiding as much as possible
all encroachments on the peculiar province of history;--that amusement,
of a not illiberal kind, has been consulted at least equally with
instruction:--and that on subjects of graver moment, a correct sketch
has alone been attempted.

By a still more extensive course of reading and research, an additional
store of anecdotes and observations might unquestionably have been
amassed; but it is hoped that of those assembled in the following pages,
few will be found to rest on dubious or inadequate authority; and that a
copious choice of materials, relatively to the intended compass of the
work, will appear to have superseded the temptation to useless
digression, or to prolix and trivial detail.

The orthography of all extracts from the elder writers has been
modernized, and their punctuation rendered more distinct; in other
respects reliance may be placed on their entire fidelity.




1533 TO 1536.

Birth of Elizabeth.--Circumstances attending the marriage of her
parents.--Public entry of Anne Boleyn into London.--Pageants
exhibited.--Baptism of Elizabeth.--Eminent persons present.--Proposal of
marriage between Elizabeth and a French prince.--Progress of the
reformation.--Henry persecutes both parties.--Death of Catherine of
Arragon.--Disgrace of Anne Boleyn.--Her death.--Confesses an obstacle to
her marriage.--Particulars on this subject.--Elizabeth declared
illegitimate.--Letter of lady Bryan respecting her.--The king marries
Jane Seymour.

On the 7th of September 1533, at the royal palace of Greenwich in Kent,
was born, under circumstances as peculiar as her after-life proved
eventful and illustrious, ELIZABETH daughter of king Henry VIII. and his
queen Anne Boleyn.

Delays and difficulties equally grievous to the impetuous temper of the
man and the despotic habits of the prince, had for years obstructed
Henry in the execution of his favourite project of repudiating, on the
plea of their too near alliance, a wife who had ceased to find favor in
his sight, and substituting on her throne the youthful beauty who had
captivated his imagination. At length his passion and his impatience had
arrived at a pitch capable of bearing down every obstacle. With that
contempt of decorum which he displayed so remarkably in some former, and
many later transactions of his life, he caused his private marriage with
Anne Boleyn to precede the sentence of divorce which he had resolved
that his clergy should pronounce against Catherine of Arragon; and no
sooner had this judicial ceremony taken place, than the new queen was
openly exhibited as such in the face of the court and the nation.

An unusual ostentation of magnificence appears to have attended the
celebration of these august nuptials. The fondness of the king for pomp
and pageantry was at all times excessive, and on this occasion his love
and his pride would equally conspire to prompt an extraordinary display.
Anne, too, a vain, ambitious, and light-minded woman, was probably
greedy of this kind of homage from her princely lover; and the very
consciousness of the dubious, inauspicious, or disgraceful circumstances
attending their union, might secretly augment the anxiety of the royal
pair to dazzle and impose by the magnificence of their public
appearance. Only once before, since the Norman conquest, had a king of
England stooped from his dignity to elevate a private gentlewoman and a
subject to a partnership of his bed and throne; and the bitter
animosities between the queen's relations on one side, and the princes
of the blood and great nobles on the other, which had agitated the reign
of Edward IV., and contributed to bring destruction on the heads of his
helpless orphans, stood as a strong warning against a repetition of the

The unblemished reputation and amiable character of Henry's "some-time
wife," had long procured for her the love and respect of the people; her
late misfortunes had engaged their sympathy, and it might be feared that
several unfavorable points of comparison would suggest themselves
between the high-born and high-minded Catherine and her present
rival--once her humble attendant--whose long-known favor with the king,
whose open association with him at Calais, whither she had attended him,
whose private marriage of uncertain date, and already advanced
pregnancy, afforded so much ground for whispered censures.

On the other hand, the personal qualities of the king gave him great
power over popular opinion. The manly beauty of his countenance, the
strength and agility which in the chivalrous exercises of the time
rendered him victorious over all competitors; the splendor with which he
surrounded himself; his bounty; the popular frankness of his manners,
all conspired to render him, at this period of his life, an object of
admiration rather than of dread to his subjects; while the respect
entertained for his talents and learning, and for the conscientious
scruples respecting his first marriage which he felt or feigned, mingled
so much of deference in their feelings towards him, as to check all
hasty censures of his conduct. The protestant party, now considerable
by zeal and numbers, foresaw too many happy results to their cause from
the circumstances of his present union, to scrutinize with severity the
motives which had produced it. The nation at large, justly dreading a
disputed succession, with all its long-experienced evils, in the event
of Henry's leaving behind him no offspring but a daughter whom he had
lately set aside on the ground of illegitimacy, rejoiced in the prospect
of a male heir to the crown. The populace of London, captivated, as
usual, by the splendors of a coronation, were also delighted with the
youth, beauty, and affability of the new queen.

The solemn entry therefore of Anne into the city of London was greeted
by the applause of the multitude; and it was probably the genuine voice
of public feeling, which, in saluting her queen of England, wished her,
how much in vain! a long and prosperous life.

The pageants displayed in the streets of London on this joyful occasion,
are described with much minuteness by our chroniclers, and afford ample
indications that the barbarism of taste which permitted an incongruous
mixture of classical mythology with scriptural allusions, was at its
height in the learned reign of our eighth Henry. Helicon and Mount
Parnassus appeared on one side; St. Anne, and Mary the wife of Cleophas
with her children, were represented on the other. Here the three Graces
presented the queen with a golden apple by the hands of their orator
Mercury; there the four cardinal Virtues promised, in set speeches, that
they would always be aiding and comforting to her.

On the Sunday after her public entry, a day not at this period regarded
as improper for the performance of such a ceremonial, Henry caused his
queen to be crowned at Westminster with great solemnity; an honor which
he never thought proper to confer on any of her successors.

In the sex of the child born to them a few months afterwards, the hopes
of the royal pair must doubtless have sustained a severe disappointment:
but of this sentiment nothing was suffered to appear in the treatment of
the infant, whom her father was anxious to mark out as his only
legitimate offspring and undoubted heir to the crown.

She was destined to bear the auspicious name of Elizabeth, in memory of
her grandmother, that heiress of the house of York whose marriage with
the earl of Richmond, then Henry VII., had united the roses, and given
lasting peace to a country so long rent by civil discord. The
unfortunate Mary, now in her sixteenth year, was stripped of the title
of princess of Wales, which she had borne from her childhood, that it
might adorn a younger sister; one too whose birth her interest, her
religion, and her filial affection for an injured mother, alike taught
her to regard as base and infamous.

A public and princely christening served still further to attest the
importance attached to this new member of the royal family.

By the king's special command, Cranmer archbishop of Canterbury stood
godfather to the princess; and Shakespeare, by a fiction equally
poetical and courtly, has represented him as breaking forth on this
memorable occasion into an animated vaticination of the glories of the
"maiden reign." Happy was it for the peace of mind of the noble
personages there assembled, that no prophet was empowered at the same
time to declare how few of them should live to share its splendors; how
awfully large a proportion of their number should fall, or behold their
nearest connexions falling, untimely victims of the jealous tyranny of
Henry himself, or of the convulsions and persecutions of the two
troubled reigns destined to intervene before those halcyon days which
they were taught to anticipate!

For the purpose of illustrating the truth of this remark, and at the
same time of introducing to the reader the most distinguished personages
of Henry's court, several of whom will afterwards be found exerting
different degrees of influence on the character or fortunes of the
illustrious subject of this work, it may be worth while to enumerate in
regular order the performers in this august ceremonial. The
circumstantial Holinshed, to whom we are indebted for their names and
offices, will at the same time furnish some of those minute particulars
which serve to bring the whole pompous scene before the eye of fancy.

Early in the afternoon, the lord-mayor and corporation of London, who
had been summoned to attend, took boat for Greenwich, where they found
many lords, knights, and gentlemen assembled. The whole way from the
palace to the friery was strown with green rushes, and the walls were
hung with tapestry, as was the Friers' church in which the ceremony was

A silver font with a crimson canopy was placed in the middle of the
church; and the child being brought into the hall, the long procession
set forward. It began with citizens walking two-and-two, and ended with
barons, bishops, and earls. Then came, bearing the gilt basins, Henry
earl of Essex, the last of the ancient name of Bourchier who bore the
title. He was a splendid nobleman, distinguished in the martial games
and gorgeous pageantries which then amused the court: he also boasted of
a royal lineage, being sprung from Thomas of Woodstock, youngest son of
Edward III.; and perhaps he was apprehensive lest this distinction might
hereafter become as fatal to himself as it had lately proved to the
unfortunate duke of Buckingham. But he perished a few years after by a
fall from his horse; and leaving no male issue, the king, to the disgust
of this great family, conferred the title on the low-bred Cromwel, then
his favorite minister.

The salt was borne by Henry marquis of Dorset, the unfortunate father of
lady Jane Grey; who, after receiving the royal pardon for his share in
the criminal plot for setting the crown on the head of his daughter,
again took up arms in the rebellion of Wyat, and was brought to expiate
this treason on the scaffold.

William Courtney marquis of Exeter followed with the taper of virgin
wax; a nobleman who had the misfortune to be very nearly allied to the
English throne; his mother being a daughter of Edward IV. He was at this
time in high favor with the king his cousin, who, after setting aside
his daughter Mary, had even declared him heir-apparent, to the
prejudice of his own sisters: but three years after he fell a victim to
the jealousy of the king, on a charge of corresponding with his
proscribed kinsman cardinal Pole: his honors and estates were forfeited;
and his son, though still a child, was detained in close custody.

The chrism was borne by lady Mary Howard, the beautiful daughter of the
duke of Norfolk; who lived not only to behold, but, by the evidence
which she gave on his trial, to assist in the most unmerited
condemnation of her brother, the gallant and accomplished earl of Surry.
The king, by a trait of royal arrogance, selected this lady, descended
from our Saxon monarchs and allied to all the first nobility, for the
wife of his base-born son created duke of Richmond; but it does not
appear that the spirit of the Howards was high enough in this reign to
feel the insult as it deserved.

The royal infant, wrapped in a mantle of purple velvet, having a long
train furred with ermine, was carried by one of her godmothers, the
dowager-duchess of Norfolk. Anne Boleyn was this lady's
step-grand-daughter: but in this alliance with royalty she had little
cause to exult; still less in the closer one which was afterwards formed
for her by the elevation of her own grand-daughter Catherine Howard. On
discovery of the ill conduct of this queen, the aged duchess was
overwhelmed with disgrace; she was even declared guilty of misprision of
treason, and committed to custody, but was released by the king after
the blood of Catherine and her paramours had quenched his fury.

The dowager-marchioness of Dorset was the other godmother at the
font:--of the four sons of this lady, three perished on the scaffold;
her grand-daughter lady Jane Grey shared the same fate; and the
surviving son died a prisoner during the reign of Elizabeth, for the
offence of distributing a pamphlet asserting the title of the Suffolk
line to the crown.

The marchioness of Exeter was the godmother at the confirmation, who had
not only the affliction to see her husband brought to an untimely end,
and her only son wasting his youth in captivity, but, being herself
attainted of high treason some time afterwards, underwent a long and
arbitrary imprisonment.

On either hand of the duchess of Norfolk walked the dukes of Norfolk and
Suffolk, the only nobles of that rank then existing in England.

Their names occur in conjunction on every public occasion, and in almost
every important transaction, civil and military, of the reign of Henry
VIII., but the termination of their respective careers was strongly
contrasted. The duke of Suffolk had the extraordinary good fortune never
to lose that favor with his master which he had gained as Charles
Brandon, the partner of his youthful pleasures. What was a still more
extraordinary instance of felicity, his marriage with the king's sister
brought to him neither misfortunes nor perils, and he did not live to
witness those which overtook his grand-daughters. He died in peace,
lamented by a sovereign who knew his worth.

The duke of Norfolk, on the contrary, was powerful enough by birth and
connexions to impress Henry with fears for the tranquillity of his son's
reign. The memory of former services was sacrificed to present alarm.
Almost with his last breath he ordered his old and faithful servant to
the scaffold; but even Henry was no longer absolute on his death-bed.
For once he was disobeyed, and Norfolk survived him; but the long years
of his succeeding captivity were poorly compensated by a brief and tardy
restoration to liberty and honors under Mary.

One of the child's train-bearers was the countess of Kent. This was
probably the widow of the second earl of that title and of the name of
Grey: she must therefore have been the daughter of the earl of Pembroke,
a zealous Yorkist who was slain fighting in the cause of Edward IV.
Henry VIII. was doubtless aware that his best hereditary title to the
crown was derived from his mother, and during his reign the Yorkist
families enjoyed at least an equal share of favor with the Lancastrians,
whom his father had almost exclusively countenanced.

Thomas Boleyn earl of Wiltshire, the proud and happy grandfather of the
princely infant, supported the train on one side. It is not true that he
afterwards, in his capacity of a privy councillor, pronounced sentence
of death on his own son and daughter; even Henry was not inhuman enough
to exact this of him; but he lived to witness their cruel and
disgraceful end, and died long before the prosperous days of his
illustrious grandchild.

On the other side the train was borne by Edward Stanley third earl of
Derby. This young nobleman had been a ward of Wolsey, and was carefully
educated by that splendid patron of learning in his house and under his
own eye. He proved himself a faithful and loyal subject to four
successive sovereigns; stood unshaken by the tempests of the most
turbulent times; and died full of days in the possession of great
riches, high hereditary honors, and universal esteem, in 1574.

A splendid canopy was supported over the infant by four lords, three of
them destined to disastrous fates. One was her uncle, the elegant,
accomplished, viscount Rochford, whom the impartial suffrage of
posterity has fully acquitted of the odious crime for which he suffered
by the mandate of a jealous tyrant.

Another was lord Hussey; whom a rash rebellion brought to the scaffold a
few years afterwards. The two others were brothers of that illustrious
family of Howard, which furnished in this age alone more subjects for
tragedy than "Thebes or Pelops' line" of old. Lord William, uncle to
Catherine Howard, was arbitrarily adjudged to perpetual imprisonment and
forfeiture of goods for concealing her misconduct; but Henry was pleased
soon after to remit the sentence: he lived to be eminent in the state
under the title of lord Howard of Effingham, and died peacefully in a
good old age. Lord Thomas suffered by the ambition so frequent in his
house, of matching with the blood royal. He formed a secret marriage
with the lady Margaret Douglas, niece to the king; on discovery of
which, he was committed to a close imprisonment, whence he was only
released by death.

After the ceremony of baptism had been performed by Stokesly bishop of
London, a solemn benediction was pronounced upon the future queen by
Cranmer, that learned and distinguished prelate, who may indeed be
reproached with some too courtly condescensions to the will of an
imperious master, and what is worse, with several cruel acts of
religious persecution; but whose virtues were many, whose general
character was mild and benevolent, and whose errors and weaknesses were
finally expiated by the flames of martyrdom.

In the return from church, the gifts of the sponsors, consisting of cups
and bowls, some gilded, and others of massy gold, were carried by four
persons of quality: Henry Somerset second earl of Worcester, whose
father, notwithstanding his illegitimacy, had been acknowledged as a
kinsman by Henry VII., and advanced to the peerage; lord Thomas Howard
the younger, a son of the duke of Norfolk who was restored in blood
after his father's attainder, and created lord Howard of Bindon; Thomas
Ratcliffe lord Fitzwalter, afterwards earl of Sussex; and sir John
Dudley, son of the detested associate of Empson, and afterwards the
notorious duke of Northumberland, whose crimes received at length their
due recompense in that ignominious death to which his guilty and
extravagant projects had conducted so many comparatively innocent

We are told, that on the same day and hour which gave birth to the
princess Elizabeth, a son was born to this "bold bad man," who received
the name of Robert, and was known in after-times as earl of Leicester.
It was believed by the superstition of the age, that this coincidence of
their nativities produced a secret and invincible sympathy which secured
to Dudley, during life, the affections of his sovereign lady. It may
without superstition be admitted, that this circumstance, seizing on the
romantic imagination of the princess, might produce a first impression,
which Leicester's personal advantages, his insinuating manners, and
consummate art of feigning, all contributed to render deep and

The personal history of Elizabeth may truly be said to begin with her
birth; for she had scarcely entered her second year when her
marriage--that never-accomplished project, which for half a century
afterwards inspired so many vain hopes and was the subject of so many
fruitless negotiations, was already proposed as an article of a treaty
between France and England.

Henry had caused an act of succession to be passed, by which his divorce
was confirmed, the authority of the pope disclaimed, and the crown
settled on his issue by Anne Boleyn. But, as if half-repenting the
boldness of his measures, he opened a negotiation almost immediately
with Francis I., for the purpose of obtaining a declaration by that king
and his nobility in favor of his present marriage, and the intercession
of Francis for the revocation of the papal censures fulminated against
him. And in consideration of these acts of friendship, he offered to
engage the hand of Elizabeth to the duke d'Angoulême, third son of the
French king. But Francis was unable to prevail upon the new pope to
annul the acts of his predecessor; and probably not wishing to connect
himself more closely with a prince already regarded as a heretic, he
suffered the proposal of marriage to fall to the ground.

The doctrines of Zwingle and of Luther had at this time made
considerable progress among Henry's subjects, and the great work of
reformation was begun in England. Several smaller monasteries had been
suppressed; the pope's supremacy was preached against by public
authority; and the parliament, desirous of widening the breach between
the king and the pontiff, declared the former, head of the English
church. After some hesitation, Henry accepted the office, and wrote a
book in defence of his conduct. The queen was attached, possibly by
principle, and certainly by interest, to the antipapal party, which
alone admitted the validity of the royal divorce, and consequently of
her marriage; and she had already engaged her chaplain Dr. Parker, a
learned and zealous reformist, to keep a watchful eye over the childhood
of her daughter, and early to imbue her mind with the true principles of
religious knowledge.

But Henry, whose passions and interests alone, not his theological
convictions, had set him in opposition to the old church establishment,
to the ceremonies and doctrines of which he was even zealously attached,
began to be apprehensive that the whole fabric would be swept away by
the strong tide of popular opinion which was now turned against it, and
he hastened to interpose in its defence. He brought to the stake several
persons who denied the real presence, as a terror to the reformers;
whilst at the same time he showed his resolution to quell the adherents
of popery, by causing bishop Fisher and sir Thomas More to be attainted
of treason, for refusing such part of the oath of succession as implied
the invalidity of the king's first marriage, and thus, in effect,
disallowed the authority of the papal dispensation in virtue of which it
had been celebrated.

Thus were opened those dismal scenes of religious persecution and
political cruelty from which the mind of Elizabeth was to receive its
early and indelible impressions.

The year 1536, which proved even more fertile than its predecessor in
melancholy incidents and tragical catastrophes, opened with the death of
Catherine of Arragon; an event equally welcome, in all probability, both
to the sufferer herself, whom tedious years of trouble and mortification
must have rendered weary of a world which had no longer a hope to
flatter her; and to the ungenerous woman who still beheld her, discarded
as she was, with the sentiments of an enemy and a rival. It is
impossible to contemplate the life and character of this royal lady,
without feelings of the deepest commiseration. As a wife, the bitter
humiliations which she was doomed to undergo were entirely unmerited;
for not only was her modesty unquestioned, but her whole conduct towards
the king was a perfect model of conjugal love and duty. As a queen and a
mother, her firmness, her dignity, and her tenderness, deserved a far
other recompense than to see herself degraded, on the infamous plea of
incest, from the rank of royalty, and her daughter, so long heiress to
the English throne, branded with illegitimacy, and cast out alike from
the inheritance and the affections of her father. But the memory of this
unhappy princess has been embalmed by the genius of Shakespeare, in the
noble drama of which he has made her the touching and majestic heroine;
and let not the praise of magnanimity be denied to the daughter of Anne
Boleyn, in permitting those wrongs and those sufferings which were the
price of her glory, nay of her very existence, to be thus impressively
offered to the compassion of her people.

Henry was moved to tears on reading the tender and pious letter
addressed to him by the dying hand of Catherine; and he marked by
several small but expressive acts, the respect, or rather the
compunction, with which the recollection of her could not fail to
inspire him. Anne Boleyn paid to the memory of the princess-dowager of
Wales--such was the title now given to Catherine--the unmeaning
compliment of putting on yellow mourning; the color assigned to queens
by the fashion of France: but neither humanity nor discretion restrained
her from open demonstrations of the satisfaction afforded her by the
melancholy event.

Short was her unfeeling triumph. She brought into the world a few days
afterwards, a dead son; and this second disappointment of his hopes
completed that disgust to his queen which satiety, and perhaps also a
growing passion for another object, was already beginning to produce in
the mind of the king.

It is traditionally related, that at Jane Seymour's first coming to
court, the queen, espying a jewel hung round her neck, wished to look at
it; and struck with the young lady's reluctance to submit it to her
inspection, snatched it from her with violence, when she found it to
contain the king's picture, presented by himself to the wearer. From
this day she dated her own decline in the affections of her husband, and
the ascendancy of her rival. However this might be, it is certain that
the king about this time began to regard the conduct of his once
idolized Anne Boleyn with an altered eye. That easy gaiety of manner
which he had once remarked with delight, as an indication of the
innocence of her heart and the artlessness of her disposition, was now
beheld by him as a culpable levity which offended his pride and alarmed
his jealousy. His impetuous temper, with which "once to suspect was once
to be resolved," disdained to investigate proofs or to fathom motives; a
pretext alone was wanting to his rising fury, and this he was not long
in finding.

On May-day, then observed at court as a high festival, solemn justs were
held at Greenwich, before the king and queen, in which viscount
Rochford, the queen's brother, was chief challenger, and Henry Norris
principal defender. In the midst of the entertainment, the king suddenly
rose and quitted the place in anger; but on what particular provocation
is not certainly known. Saunders the Jesuit, the great calumniator of
Anne Boleyn, says that it was on seeing his consort drop her
handkerchief, which Norris picked up and wiped his face with. The queen
immediately retired, and the next day was committed to custody. Her
earnest entreaties to be permitted to see the king were disregarded, and
she was sent to the Tower on a charge of treason and adultery.

Lord Rochford, Norris, one Smeton a musician, and Brereton and another
gentleman of the bed-chamber, were likewise apprehended, and brought to
trial on the accusation of criminal intercourse with the queen. They
were all convicted; but from the few particulars which have come down to
us, it seems to be justly inferred, that the evidence produced against
some at least of these unhappy gentlemen, was slight and inconclusive.
Lord Rochford is universally believed to have fallen a victim to the
atrocious perjuries of his wife, who was very improperly admitted as a
witness against him, and whose infamous conduct was afterwards fully
brought to light. No absolute criminality appears to have been proved
against Weston and Brereton; but Smeton confessed the fact. Norris died
much more generously: he protested that he would rather perish a
thousand times than accuse an innocent person; that he believed the
queen to be perfectly guiltless; he, at least, could accuse her of
nothing; and in this declaration he persisted to the last. His
expressions, if truly reported, seem to imply that he might have saved
himself by criminating the queen: but besides the extreme improbability
that the king would have shown or promised any mercy to such a
delinquent, we know in fact that the confession of Smeton did not obtain
for him even a reprieve: it is therefore absurd to represent Norris as
having died in vindication of the honor of the queen; and the favor
afterwards shown to his son by Elizabeth, had probably little connexion
with any tenderness for the memory of her mother, a sentiment which she
certainly exhibited in no other circumstance.

The trial and condemnation of the queen followed. The process was
conducted with that open disregard of the first principles of justice
and equity then universal in all cases of high treason: no counsel were
assigned her, no witnesses confronted with her, and it does not appear
that she was even informed of Smeton's confession: but whether, after
all, she died innocent, is a problem which there now exist no means of
solving, and which it is somewhat foreign from the purpose of this work
to discuss.

One part of this subject, however, on account of the intimate relation
which it bears to the history of Elizabeth, and the influence which it
may be presumed to have exercised in the formation of her character,
must be treated somewhat at large.

The common law of England, by an anomaly truly barbarous, denounced,
against females only, who should be found guilty of high treason, the
punishment of burning. By menaces of putting into execution this
horrible sentence, instead of commuting it for decapitation, Anne Boleyn
was induced to acknowledge some legal impediment to her marriage with
the king; and on this confession alone, Cranmer, with his usual
subserviency, gratified his royal master by pronouncing that union null
and void, and its offspring illegitimate.

What this impediment, real or pretended, might be, we only learn from a
public declaration made immediately afterwards by the earl of
Northumberland, stating, that whereas it had been pretended, that a
precontract had subsisted between himself and the late queen, he has
declared upon oath before the lords of the council, and taken the
sacrament upon it, that no such contract had ever passed between them.
In explanation of this protest, the noble historian of Henry VIII.[1]
furnishes us with the following particulars. That the earl of
Northumberland, when lord Percy, had made proposals of marriage to Anne
Boleyn, which she had accepted, being yet a stranger to the passion of
the king; that Henry, unable to bear the idea of losing her, but averse
as yet to a declaration of his sentiments, employed Wolsey to dissuade
the father of lord Percy from giving his consent to their union, in
which he succeeded; the earl of Northumberland probably becoming aware
how deeply the personal feelings of the king were concerned: that lord
Percy, however, refused to give up the lady, alleging in the first
instance that he had gone too far to recede with honor; but was
afterwards compelled by his father to form another matrimonial
connexion. It should appear by this statement, that some engagement had
in fact subsisted between Northumberland and Anne; but there is no
necessity for supposing it to have been a contract of that solemn nature
which, according to the law as it then stood, would have rendered null
the subsequent marriage of either party. The protestation of the earl
was confirmed by the most solemn sanctions; which there is no ground for
supposing him capable of violating, especially as on this occasion, so
far from gaining any advantage by it, he was likely to give high offence
to the king. If then, as appears most probable, the confession by which
Anne Boleyn disinherited and illegitimatised her daughter was false; a
perjury so wicked and cowardly must brand her memory with everlasting
infamy:--even should the contrary have been the fact, the transaction
does her little honor; in either case it affords ample justification to
that daughter in leaving, as she did, her remains without a monument and
her conduct without an apology.

[Note 1: Lord Herbert of Chirbury.]

The precarious and equivocal condition to which the little Elizabeth was
reduced by the divorce and death of her mother, will be best illustrated
by the following extracts of a letter addressed soon after the event, by
lady Bryan her governess, to lord Cromwel. It may at the same time amuse
the modern reader to remark the minute details on which, in that day,
the first minister of state was expected to bestow his personal

       *       *       *       *       *

"...My lord, when your lordship was last here, it pleased you to say,
that I should not mistrust the king's grace, nor your lordship. Which
word was more comfort to me than I can write, as God knoweth. And now it
boldeneth me to show you my poor mind. My lord, when my lady Mary's
grace was born, it pleased the king's grace to [appoint] me lady
mistress, and made me a baroness. And so I have been to the children his
grace have had since.

"Now, so it is, my lady Elizabeth is put from that degree she was afore;
and what degree she is at now, I know not but by hearsay. Therefore I
know not how to order her, nor myself, nor none of hers that I have the
rule of; that is, her women and her grooms. Beseeching you to be good
lord to my lady and to all hers; and that she may have some rayment. For
she hath neither gown, nor kirtle, nor petticoat, nor no manner of
linen, nor foresmocks, nor kerchiefs, nor sleeves, nor rails, nor
body-stitchets, nor mufflers, nor biggins. All these, her grace's
_mostake_[2], I have driven off as long as I can, that, by my troth, I
cannot drive it no lenger. Beseeching you, my lord, that you will see
that her grace may have that is needful for her, as my trust is ye will
do--that I may know from you by writing how I shall order myself; and
what is the king's grace's pleasure and yours, that I shall do in every

"My lord, Mr. Shelton saith he is the master of this house: what fashion
that shall be, I cannot tell; for I have not seen it before.--I trust
your lordship will see the house honourably ordered, howsomever it hath
been ordered aforetime.

"My lord, Mr. Shelton would have my lady Elizabeth to dine and sup
every day at the board of estate. Alas! my lord, it is not meet for a
child of her age to keep such rule yet. I promise you, my lord, I dare
not take it upon me to keep her in health and she keep that rule. For
there she shall see divers meats and fruits, and wine: which would be
hard for me to restrain her grace from it. Ye know, my lord, there is no
place of correction there. And she is yet too young to correct greatly.
I know well, and she be there, I shall nother bring her up to the king's
grace's honour, nor hers; nor to her health, nor my poor honesty.
Wherefore I show your lordship this my desire. Beseeching you, my lord,
that my lady may have a mess of meat to her own lodging, with a good
dish or two, that is meet for her grace to eat of.

"God knoweth my lady hath great pain with her great teeth, and they come
very slowly forth: and causeth me to suffer her grace to have her will,
more than I would. I trust to God and her teeth were well graft, to have
her grace after another fashion than she is yet: so as I trust the
king's grace shall have great comfort in her grace. For she is as toward
a child, and as gentle of conditions, as ever I knew any in my life.
Jesu preserve her grace! As for a day or two at a hey time, or
whensomever it shall please the king's grace to have her set abroad, I
trust so to endeavour me, that she shall so do, as shall be to the
king's honour and hers; and then after to take her ease again.

"Good my lord, have my lady's grace, and us that be her poor servants in
your remembrance.

"_From Hunsdon_." (No date of time.)

[Note 2: This is a word which I am utterly unable to explain; but it
is thus printed in Strype's "Memorials," whence the letter is copied.]

       *       *       *       *       *

On the day immediately following the death of the unfortunate Anne
Boleyn, the king was publicly united in marriage to Jane Seymour; and an
act of parliament soon after passed by which the lady Elizabeth was
declared incapable of succeeding to the crown, which was now settled on
the offspring of Henry by his present queen.


1536 TO 1542.

Vague notions of hereditary succession to the English throne.--Henry's
jealousy of the royal family.--Imprisonment of lord T. Howard and lady
M. Douglas.--After-fortunes of this lady.--Princess Mary reconciled with
her father.--Dissolution of monasteries proceeds.--Insurrections in
Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.--Remarkable trait of the power of the
nobles.--Rebellion of T. Fitzgerald.--Romantic adventures of Gerald
Fitzgerald.--Birth of prince Edward.--Death of the queen.--Rise of the
two Seymours.--Henry's views in their advancement.--His enmity to
cardinal Pole.--Causes of it.--Geffrey Pole discloses a plot.--Trial and
death of lord Montacute, the marquis of Exeter, sir Edward Nevil, and
sir N. Carew.--Particulars of these persons.--Attainder of the
marchioness of Exeter and countess of Salisbury.--Application of these
circumstances to the history of Elizabeth.--Decline of the protestant
party.--Its causes.--Cromwel proposes the king's marriage with Anne of
Cleves.--Accomplishments of this lady.--Royal marriage.--Cromwel made
earl of Essex.--Anger of the Bourchier family.--Justs at
Westminster.--The king determines to dissolve his marriage.--Permits the
fall of Cromwel.--Is divorced.--Behaviour of the queen.--Marriage of the
king to Catherine Howard.--Ascendency of the papists.--Execution of the
countess of Salisbury--of lord Leonard Grey.--Discovery of the queen's
ill-conduct.--Attainders passed against her and several others.

Nothing could be more opposite to the strict principles of hereditary
succession than the ideas entertained, even by the first lawyers of the
time of Henry VIII., concerning the manner in which a title to the crown
was to be established and recognised.

When Rich, the king's solicitor, was sent by his master to argue with
sir Thomas More on the lawfulness of acknowledging the royal supremacy;
he inquired in the course of his argument, whether sir Thomas would not
own for king any person whatever,--himself for example,--who should have
been declared so by parliament? He answered, that he would. Rich then
demanded, why he refused to acknowledge a head of the church so
appointed? "Because," replied More, "a parliament can make a king and
depose him, and that every parliament-man may give his consent
thereunto, but a subject cannot be bound so in case of supremacy[3]."
Bold as such doctrine respecting the power of parliaments would now be
thought, it could not well be controverted at a time when examples were
still recent of kings of the line of York or Lancaster alternately
elevated or degraded by a vote of the two houses, and when the father of
the reigning sovereign had occupied the throne in virtue of such a
nomination more than by right of birth.

[Note 3: See Herbert's Henry VIII.]

But the obvious inconveniences and dangers attending the exercise of
this power of choice, had induced the parliaments of Henry VIII. to join
with him in various acts for the regulation of the succession. It was
probably with the concurrence of this body, that in 1532 he had declared
his cousin, the marquis of Exeter, heir to the crown; yet this very
act, by which the king excluded not only his daughter Mary, but his two
sisters and their children, every one of whom had a prior right
according to the rules at present received, must have caused the
sovereignty to be regarded rather as elective in the royal family than
properly hereditary--a fatal idea, which converted every member of that
family possessed of wealth, talents, or popularity, into a formidable
rival, if not to the sovereign on the throne, at least to his next heir,
if a woman or a minor, and which may be regarded as the immediate
occasion of those cruel proscriptions which stained with kindred blood
the closing years of the reign of Henry, and have stamped upon him to
all posterity the odious character of a tyrant.

The first sufferer by the suspicions of the king was lord Thomas Howard,
half-brother to the duke of Norfolk, who was attainted of high treason
in the parliament of 1536, for having secretly entered into a contract
of marriage with lady Margaret Douglas, the king's niece, through which
alliance he was accused of aiming at the crown. For this offence he was
confined in the Tower till his death; but on what evidence of traitorous
designs, or by what law, except the arbitrary mandate of the monarch
confirmed by a subservient parliament, it would be difficult to say.
That his marriage was forbidden by no law, is evident from the passing
of an act immediately afterwards, making it penal to marry any female
standing in the first degree of relationship to the king, without his
knowledge and consent.

The lady Margaret was daughter to Henry's eldest sister, the
queen-dowager of Scotland, by her second husband the earl of Angus. She
was born in England, whither her mother had been compelled to fly for
refuge by the turbulent state of her son's kingdom, and the ill success
of her own and her husband's struggles for the acquisition of political
power. In the English court the lady Margaret had likewise been
educated, and had formed connexions of friendship; whilst her brother
James V. laboured under the antipathy with which the English then
regarded those northern neighbours, with whom they were involved in
almost perpetual hostilities. It might easily therefore have happened,
in case of the king's death without male heirs, that in spite of the
power recently bestowed on him by parliament of disposing of the crown
by will, which it is very uncertain how he would have employed, a
connexion with the potent house of Howard might have given the title of
lady Margaret a preference over that of any other competitor. Henry was
struck with this danger, however distant and contingent: he caused his
niece, as well as her spouse, to be imprisoned; and though he restored
her to liberty in a few months, and the death of Howard, not long
afterwards, set her free from this ill-starred engagement, she ventured
not to form another, till the king himself, at the end of several years,
gave her in marriage to the earl of Lenox; by whom she became the mother
of lord Darnley, and through him the progenitrix of a line of princes
destined to unite another crown to the ancient inheritance of the
Plantagenets and the Tudors.

The princess Mary, after the removal of Anne Boleyn, who had exercised
towards her the utmost insolence and harshness, ventured upon some
overtures towards a reconciliation with her father; but he would accept
them on no other conditions than her adopting his religious creed,
acknowledging his supremacy, denying the authority of the pope, and
confessing the unlawfulness of her mother's marriage. It was long before
motives of expediency, and the persuasion of friends, could wring from
Mary a reluctant assent to these cruel articles: her compliance was
rewarded by the return of her father's affection, but not immediately by
her reinstatement in the order of succession. She saw the child of Anne
Boleyn still a distinguished object of the king's paternal tenderness;
the new queen was likely to give another heir to the crown; and whatever
hopes she, with the catholic party in general, had founded on the
disgrace of his late spouse, became frustrated by succeeding events.

The death of Catherine of Arragon seemed to have removed the principal
obstacles to an agreement between the king and the pope; and the holy
father now deigned to make some advances towards a son whom he hoped to
find disposed to penitence: but they were absolutely rejected by Henry,
who had ceased to dread his spiritual thunders. The parliament and the
convocation showed themselves prepared to adopt, without hesitation, the
numerous changes suggested by the king in the ancient ritual; and
Cromwel, with influence not apparently diminished by the fall of the
late patroness of the protestant party, presided in the latter assembly
with the title of vicegerent, and with powers unlimited.

The suppression of monasteries was now carried on with increasing rigor,
and thousands of their unfortunate inhabitants were mercilessly turned
out to beg or starve. These, dispersing themselves over the country, in
which their former hospitalities had rendered them generally popular,
worked strongly on the passions of the many, already discontented at the
imposition of new taxes, which served to convince them that the king and
his courtiers would be the only gainers by the plunder of the church;
and formidable insurrections were in some counties the result. In
Lincolnshire the commotions were speedily suppressed by the
interposition of the earl of Shrewsbury and other loyal noblemen; but it
was necessary to send into Yorkshire a considerable army under the duke
of Norfolk. Through the dexterous management of this leader, who was
judged to favor the cause of the revolters as much as his duty to his
sovereign and a regard to his own safety would permit, little blood was
shed in the field; but much flowed afterwards on the scaffold, where the
lords Darcy and Hussey, sir Thomas Percy, brother to the earl of
Northumberland, and several private gentlemen, suffered as traitors.

The suppression of these risings strengthened, as usual, the hands of
government, but at the expense of converting into an object of dread, a
monarch who in the earlier and brighter period of his reign had been
regarded with sentiments of admiration and love.

In lord Herbert's narrative of this insurrection, we meet with a passage
too remarkable to be omitted. "But the king, who was informed from
divers parts, but chiefly from Yorkshire, that the people began there
also to take arms, and knowing of what great consequence it might be if
the great persons in those parts, though the rumour were false, should
be said to join with him, had commanded George earl of Shrewsbury,
Thomas Manners earl of Rutland, and George Hastings earl of Huntingdon,
to make a proclamation to the Lincolnshire-men, summoning and commanding
them on their allegiance and peril of their lives to return; which, as
it much disheartened them, so many stole away," &c.

In this potency of the hereditary aristocracy of the country, and
comparative feebleness, on some occasions at least, of the authority of
the most despotic sovereign whom England had yet seen on the throne, we
discern at once the excuse which Henry would make to himself for his
severities against the nobility, and the motive of that extreme
popularity of manners by which Elizabeth aimed at attaching to herself
the affections of the middling and lower orders of her subjects.

Soon after these events, Henry confirmed the new impressions which his
subjects had received of his character, by an act of extraordinary, but
not unprovoked, severity, which involved in destruction one of the most
ancient and powerful houses among the peerage of Ireland, that of
Fitzgerald earl of Kildare. The nobleman who now bore this title had
married for his second wife lady Elizabeth Grey, daughter of the first
marquis of Dorset, and first-cousin to the king by his mother; he had
been favored at court, and was at this time lord deputy of Ireland. But
the country being in a very disturbed state, and the deputy accused of
many acts of violence, he had obeyed with great reluctance a summons to
answer for his conduct before the king in council, leaving his eldest
son to exercise his office during his absence. On his arrival, he was
committed to the Tower, and his son, alarmed by the false report of his
having lost his head, broke out immediately into a furious rebellion.
After a temporary success, Thomas Fitzgerald was reduced to great
difficulties: at the same time a promise of pardon was held out to him;
and confiding in it he surrendered himself to lord Leonard Grey, brother
to the countess his step-mother. His five uncles, also implicated in the
guilt of rebellion, were seized by surprise, or deceived into
submission. The whole six were then conveyed to England in the same
ship; and all, in spite of the entreaties and remonstrances of lord
Leonard Grey, who considered his own honor as pledged for the safety of
their lives, were hanged at Tyburn.

The aged earl had died in the Tower on receiving news of his son's rash
enterprise; and a posthumous attainder being issued against him, his
lands and goods were forfeited. The king however, in pity to the widow,
and as a slight atonement for so cruel an injustice, permitted one of
her daughters to retain some poor remains of the family plate and
valuables; and another of them, coming to England, appears to have
received her education at Hunsdon palace with the princesses Mary and
Elizabeth her relations. Here she was seen by Henry earl of Surry, whose
chaste and elegant muse has handed her down to posterity as the lovely
Geraldine, the object of his fervent but fruitless devotion. She was
married first to sir Anthony Brown, and afterwards became the wife of
the earl of Lincoln, surviving by many years her noble and unfortunate

The countess of Kildare, and the younger of her two sons, likewise
remained in England obscure and unmolested; but the merciless rancour of
Henry against the house of Fitzgerald still pursued its destitute and
unoffending heir, who was struggling through a series of adventures the
most perilous and the most romantic.

This boy, named Gerald, then about twelve years old, had been left by
his father at a house in Kildare, under the care and tuition of Leverous
a priest who was his foster-brother. The child was lying ill of the
small-pox, when the news arrived that his brother and uncles had been
sent prisoners to England: but his affectionate guardian, justly
apprehensive of greater danger to his young charge, wrapped him up as
carefully as he could, and conveyed him away with all speed to the house
of one of his sisters, where he remained till he was quite recovered.
Thence his tutor removed him successively into the territories of two or
three different Irish chieftains, who sheltered him for about three
quarters of a year, after which he carried him to his aunt the lady
Elenor, at that time widow of a chief named Maccarty Reagh.

This lady had long been sought in marriage by O'Donnel lord of
Tyrconnel, to whose suit she had been unpropitious: but wrought upon by
the hope of being able to afford effectual protection to her unfortunate
nephew, she now consented to an immediate union; and taking Gerald along
with her to her new home in the county of Donegal, she there hospitably
entertained him for about a year. But the jealous spirit of the
implacable king seemed to know no rest while this devoted youth still
breathed the air of liberty, and he caused a great reward to be offered
for his apprehension, which the base-minded O'Donnel immediately sought
to appropriate by delivering him up. Fortunately the lady Elenor
discovered his intentions in time, and instantly causing her nephew to
disguise his person, and storing him, like a bountiful aunt, with
"sevenscore portugueses," she put him under the charge of Leverous and
an old servant of his father's, and shipped him on board a vessel bound
for St. Malo's.

Having thus secured his escape, she loftily expostulated with her
husband on his villainy in plotting to betray her kinsman, whom she had
stipulated that he should protect to the utmost of his power; and she
bid him know, that as the danger of the youth had alone induced her to
form any connection with him, so the assurance of his safety should
cause her to sequester herself for ever from the society of so base and
mercenary a wretch: and hereupon, collecting all that belonged to her,
she quitted O'Donnel and returned to her own country.

Gerald, in the mean time, arrived without accident in Bretagne, and was
favorably received by the governor of that province, when the king of
France, being informed of his situation, gave him a place about the
dauphin. Sir John Wallop however, the English embassador, soon demanded
him, in virtue of a treaty between the two countries for the delivering
up of offenders and proscribed persons; and while the king demurred to
the requisition, Gerald consulted his safety by making a speedy retreat
into Flanders. Thither his steps were dogged by an Irish servant of the
embassador's; but the governor of Valenciennes protected him by
imprisoning this man, till the youth himself generously begged his
release; and he reached the emperor's court at Brussels, without further
molestation. But here also the English embassador demanded him; the
emperor however excused himself from giving up a fugitive whose youth
sufficiently attested his innocence, and sent him privately to the
bishop of Liege, with a pension of a hundred crowns a month. The bishop
entertained him very honorably, placing him in a monastery, and watching
carefully over the safety of his person, till, at the end of half a
year, his mother's kinsman, cardinal Pole, sent for him into Italy.

Before he would admit the young Irishman to his presence, the cardinal
required him to learn Italian; and allowing him an annuity, placed him
first with the bishop of Verona, then with a cardinal, and afterwards
with the duke of Mantua. At the end of a year and a half he invited him
to Rome, and soon becoming attached to him, took him into his house, and
for three years had him instructed under his own eye in all the
accomplishments of a finished gentleman. At the end of this time, when
Gerald had nearly attained the age of nineteen, his generous patron gave
him the choice either of pursuing his studies or of travelling to seek
his adventures. The youth preferred the latter; and repairing to Naples,
he fell in with some knights of Rhodes, whom he accompanied to Malta,
and thence to Tripoli, a place at that time possessed by the order,
whence they carried on fierce war against the "Turks and miscreants,"
spoiling and sacking their villages and towns, and taking many prisoners
whom they sold to the Christians for slaves. In these proceedings, the
young adventurer took a strenuous and valiant part, much to his profit;
for in less than a year he returned to Rome laden with a rich booty.
"Proud was the cardinal to hear of his prosperous exploits," and
increased his pension to three hundred pounds a year. Shortly after, he
entered into the service of Cosmo duke of Florence, and remained three
years his master of the horse.

The tidings of Henry's death at length put an end to his exile, and he
hastened to London in the company of some foreign embassadors, and still
attended by his faithful guardian Leverous. Appearing at king Edward's
court in a mask, or ball, he had the good fortune to make a deep
impression on the heart of a young lady, daughter to sir Anthony Brown,
whom he married; and through the intercession of her friends was
restored to a part of his inheritance by the young monarch, who also
knighted him. In the next reign, the interest of cardinal Pole procured
his reinstatement in all the titles and honors of his ancestors. He was
a faithful and affectionate subject to queen Elizabeth, in whose reign
he turned protestant; was by her greatly favored, and finally died in
peace in 1585.[4]

That ill-directed restlessness which formed so striking a feature in the
character of Henry VIII. had already prompted him to interfere, as we
have seen, on more than one occasion, with the order of succession; and
the dangerous consequences of these capricious acts with respect to the
several branches of the royal family have already been observed. To the
people at large also, his instability on so momentous a point was
harassing and alarming, and they became as much at a loss to conjecture
what successor, as what religion, he would at last bequeath them.

Under such circumstances, great indeed must have been the joy in the
court and in the nation on the occurrence of an event calculated to end
all doubts and remove all difficulties--the birth of a prince of Wales.

This auspicious infant seemed to strangle in his cradle the serpents of
civil discord. Every lip hastened to proffer him its homage; every heart
united, or seemed at least to unite, in the general burst of
thankfulness and congratulation.

[Note 4: See Chron. of Ireland in Holinshed, _pass_. Collins's
Peerage, by sir E. Brydges, article _Viscount Leinster_.]

The zealous papists formed the party most to be suspected of insincerity
in their professions of satisfaction; but the princess Mary set them an
excellent example of graceful submission to what was inevitable, by
soliciting the office of godmother. Her sister was happily too young to
be infected with court-jealousies, or to behold in a brother an
unwelcome intruder, who came to snatch from her the inheritance of a
crown: between Elizabeth and Edward an attachment truly fraternal sprung
up with the first dawnings of reason; and notwithstanding the fatal blow
given to her interests by the act of settlement extorted from his dying
hand, this princess never ceased to cherish his memory, and to mention
him in terms of affectionate regret.

The conjugal felicities of Henry were destined to be of short duration,
and before he could receive the felicitations of his subjects on the
birth of his son, the mother was snatched away by death. The queen died
deeply regretted, not only by her husband, but by the whole court, whom
she had attached by the uncommon sweetness of her disposition. To the
princess Mary her behaviour had been the reverse of that by which her
predecessor had disgraced herself; and the little Elizabeth had received
from her marks of a maternal tenderness. Jane Seymour was accounted a
favourer of the protestant cause; but as she was apparently free from
the ambition of interfering in state affairs, her death had no further
political influence than what resulted from the king's marriage thus
becoming once more an object of speculation and court intrigue. It did
not even give a check to the advancement of her two brothers, destined
to act and to suffer so conspicuously in the fierce contentions of the
ensuing minority; for the king seemed to regard it as a point of policy
to elevate those maternal relations of his son, on whose care he relied
to watch over the safety of his person in case of his own demise, to a
dignity and importance which the proudest nobles of the land might view
with respect or fear. Sir Edward Seymour, who had been created lord
Beauchamp the year before, was now made earl of Hertford; and high
places at court and commands in the army attested the favor of his royal
brother-in-law. Thomas Seymour, afterwards lord high-admiral, attained
during this reign no higher dignity than that of knighthood; but
considerable pecuniary grants were bestowed upon him; and whilst he saw
his wealth increase, he was secretly extending his influence, and
feeding his aspiring spirit with fond anticipations of future greatness.

All now seemed tranquil: but a discerning eye might already have beheld
fresh tempests gathering in the changeful atmosphere of the English
court. The jealousies of the king, become too habitual to be discarded,
had in fact only received a new direction from the birth of his son: his
mind was perpetually haunted with the dread of leaving him, a
defenceless minor, in the hands of contending parties in religion, and
of a formidable and factious nobility; and for the sake of obviating the
distant and contingent evils which he apprehended from this source, he
showed himself ready to pour forth whole rivers of the best blood of

The person beyond all comparison most dreaded and detested by Henry at
this juncture was his cousin Reginald Pole, for whom when a youth he had
conceived a warm affection, whose studies he had encouraged by the gift
of a deanery and the hope of further church-preferment, and of whose
ingratitude he always believed himself entitled to complain. It was the
long-contested point of the lawfulness of Henry's marriage with his
brother's widow, which set the kinsmen at variance. Pole had from the
first refused to concur with the university of Paris, in which he was
then residing, in its condemnation of this union: afterwards, alarmed
probably at the king's importunities on the subject, he had obtained the
permission then necessary for leaving England, to which he had returned,
and travelled into Italy. Here he formed friendships with the most
eminent defenders of the papal authority, now incensed to the highest
degree against Henry, on account of his having declared himself head of
the English church; and both his convictions and his passions becoming
still more strongly engaged on the side which he had already espoused,
he published a work on the unity of the church, in which the conduct of
his sovereign and benefactor became the topic of his vehement invective.

The offended king, probably with treacherous intentions, invited Pole to
come to England, and explain to him in person certain difficult passages
of his book: but his kinsman was too wary to trust himself in such
hands; and his refusal to obey this summons, which implied a final
renunciation of his country and all his early prospects, was
immediately rewarded by the pope, through the emperor's concurrence,
with a cardinal's hat and the appointment of legate to Flanders. But
alarmed, as well as enraged, at seeing the man whom he regarded as his
bitterest personal enemy placed in a situation so convenient for
carrying on intrigues with the disaffected papists in England, Henry
addressed so strong a remonstrance to the governess of the Netherlands,
as caused her to send the cardinal out of the country before he had
begun to exercise the functions of his legantine office.

From this time, to maintain any intercourse or correspondence with Pole
was treated by the king as either in itself an act of treason, or at
least as conclusive evidence of traitorous intentions. He believed that
the darkest designs were in agitation against his own government and his
son's succession; and the circumstance of the cardinal's still declining
to take any but deacon's orders, notwithstanding his high dignity in the
church, suggested to him the suspicion that his kinsman aimed at the
crown itself, through a marriage with the princess Mary, of whose
legitimacy he had shown himself so strenuous a champion. What foundation
there might be for such an idea it is difficult to determine.

There is an author who relates that the lady Mary was educated with the
cardinal under his mother, and hints that an early attachment had thus
been formed between them[5]: A statement manifestly inaccurate, since
Pole was sixteen years older than the princess; though it is not
improbable that Mary, during some period of her youth, might be placed
under the care of the countess of Salisbury, and permitted to associate
with her son on easy and affectionate terms. It is well known that after
Mary's accession, Charles V. impeded the journey of Pole into England
till her marriage with his son Philip had been actually solemnized; but
this was probably rather from a persuasion of the inexpediency of the
cardinal's sooner opening his legantine commission in England, than from
any fear of his supplanting in Mary's affections his younger rival,
though some have ascribed to the emperor the latter motive.

[Note 5: See Lloyd's Worthies, article _Pole_.]

When however it is recollected, that in consequence of Henry's having
caused a posthumous judgement of treason to be pronounced against the
papal martyr Becket, his shrine to be destroyed, his bones burned, and
his ashes scattered, the pope had at length, in 1538, fulminated against
him the long-suspended sentence of excommunication, and made a donation
of his kingdom to the king of Scots, and thus impressed the sanction of
religion on any rebellious attempts of his Roman-catholic subjects,--it
would be too much to pronounce the apprehensions of the monarch to have
been altogether chimerical. But his suspicion appears, as usual, to have
gone beyond the truth, and his anger to have availed itself of slight
pretexts to ruin where he feared and hated.

Such was the state of his mind when the treachery or weakness of Geffrey
Pole furnished him with intelligence of a traitorous correspondence
carried on with his brother the cardinal by several persons of
distinction attached to the papal interest, and in which he had himself
been a sharer. On his information, the marquis of Exeter, viscount
Montacute, sir Edward Nevil, and sir Nicholas Carew, were apprehended,
tried and found guilty of high treason. Public opinion was at this time
nothing; and notwithstanding the rank, consequence and popularity of the
men whose lives were sacrificed on this occasion; notwithstanding that
secret consciousness of his own ill-will towards them, which ought to
have rendered Henry more than usually cautious in his proceedings,--not
even an attempt was made to render their guilt clear and notorious to
the nation at large; and posterity scarcely even knows of what designs
they were accused; to overt acts it is quite certain that they had not

Henry lord Montacute was obnoxious on more than one account: he was the
brother of cardinal Pole; and as eldest son of Margaret, sole surviving
child of the duke of Clarence and heiress to her brother the earl of
Warwick, he might be regarded as succeeding to those claims on the crown
which under Henry VII. had proved fatal to the last-mentioned
unfortunate and ill-treated nobleman. During the early part of this
reign, however, he, in common with other members of the family of Pole,
had received marks of the friendship of Henry. In 1514, his mother was
authorized to assume the title of countess of Salisbury, and he that of
viscount Montacute, notwithstanding the attainder formerly passed
against the great house of Nevil, from whom these honors were derived.
In 1521 lord Montacute had been indicted for concealing the treasons,
real or pretended, of the duke of Buckingham; but immediately on his
acquittal he was restored to the good graces of his sovereign, and, two
years after, attended him on an expedition to France.

It is probable that lord Montacute was popular; he was at least a
partisan of the old religion, and heir to the vast possessions which his
mother derived from the king-making earl of Warwick her maternal
grandfather; sufficient motives with Henry for now wishing his removal.
If the plot in which he was charged by his perfidious brother with
participating, had in view the elevation of the cardinal to a
matrimonial crown by his union with the princess Mary, which seems to
have been insinuated, lord Montacute must at least stand acquitted of
all design of asserting his own title; yet it may justly be suspected
that his character of representative of the house of Clarence, was by
Henry placed foremost in the catalogue of his offences.

A similar remark applies still more forcibly to the marquis of Exeter.
Son of Catherine, youngest daughter of Edward IV., and so lately
declared his heir by Henry himself, it is scarcely credible that any
inducement could have drawn this nobleman into a plot for disturbing the
succession in favour of a claim worse founded than his own; and that the
blood which he inherited was the true object of Henry's apprehensions
from him, evidently appeared to all the world by his causing the son of
the unhappy marquis, a child at this period, to be detained a state
prisoner in the Tower during the remainder of his reign.

Sir Edward Nevil was brother to lord Abergavenny and to the wife of lord
Montacute--a connection likely to bring him into suspicion, and perhaps
to involve him in real guilt; but it must not be forgotten that he was a
lineal descendant of the house of Lancaster by Joan daughter of John of
Gaunt. The only person not of royal extraction who suffered on this
occasion was sir Nicholas Carew, master of the horse, and lately a
distinguished favourite of the king; of whom it is traditionally
related, that though accused as an accomplice in the designs of the
other noble delinquents, the real offence for which he died, was the
having retorted, with more spirit than prudence, some opprobrious
language with which his royal master had insulted him as they were
playing at bowls together[6]. The family of Carew was however allied in
blood to that of Courtney, of which the marquis of Exeter was the head.

[Note 6: See Fuller's Worthies in Surry.]

But the attempt to extirpate all who under any future circumstances
might be supposed capable of advancing claims formidable to the house of
Tudor, must have appeared to Henry himself a task almost as hopeless as
cruel. Sons and daughters of the Plantagenet princes had in every
generation freely intermarried with the ancient nobles of the land; and
as fast as those were cut off whose connection with the royal blood was
nearest and most recent, the pedigrees of families pointed out others,
and others still, whose relationship grew into nearness by the removal
of such as had stood before them, and presented to the affrighted eyes
of their persecutor, a hydra with still renewed and multiplying heads.

Not content with these inflictions,--sufficiently severe it might be
thought to intimidate the papal faction,--Henry gratified still further
his stern disposition by the attainder of the marchioness of Exeter and
the aged countess of Salisbury. The marchioness he soon after released;
but the countess was still detained prisoner under a sentence of death,
which a parliament, atrocious in its subserviency, had passed upon her
without form of trial, but which the king did not think proper at
present to carry into execution, either because he chose to keep her as
a kind of hostage for the good behaviour of her son the cardinal, or
because, tyrant as he had become, he had not yet been able to divest
himself of all reverence or pity for the hoary head of a female, a
kinswoman, and the last who was born to the name of Plantagenet.

It is melancholy, it is even disgusting, to dwell upon these acts of
legalized atrocity, but let it be allowed that it is important and
instructive. They form unhappily a leading feature of the administration
of Henry VIII. during the latter years of his reign; they exhibit in the
most striking point of view the sentiments and practices of the age; and
may assist us to form a juster estimate of the character and conduct of
Elizabeth, whose infant mind was formed to the contemplation of these
domestic tragedies, and whose fame has often suffered by inconsiderate
comparisons which have placed her in parallel with the enlightened and
humanized sovereigns of more modern days, rather than with the stern and
arbitrary Tudors, her barbarous predecessors.

It is remarkable that the protestant party at the court of Henry, so far
from gaining strength and influence by the severities exercised against
the adherents of cardinal Pole and the ancient religion, was evidently
in a declining state. The feeble efforts of its two leaders Cromwel and
Cranmer, of whom the first was deficient in zeal, the last in courage,
now experienced irresistible counteraction from the influence of
Gardiner, whose uncommon talents for business, joined to his extreme
obsequiousness, had rendered him at once necessary and acceptable to his
royal master. The law of the Six Articles, which forbade under the
highest penalties the denial of several doctrines of the Romish church
peculiarly obnoxious to the reformers, was probably drawn up by this
minister. It was enacted in the parliament of 1539: a vast number of
persons were soon after imprisoned for transgressing it; and Cranmer
himself was compelled, by the clause which ordained the celibacy of the
clergy, to send away his wife.

Under these circumstances Cromwel began to look on all sides for
support; and recollecting with regret the powerful influence exerted by
Anne Boleyn in favor of the good cause, and even the gentler and more
private aid lent to it by the late queen, he planned a new marriage for
his sovereign, with a lady educated in the very bosom of the protestant
communion. Political considerations favored the design; since a treaty
lately concluded between the emperor and the king of France rendered it
highly expedient that Henry, by way of counterpoise, should strengthen
his alliance with the Smalcaldic league. In short, Cromwel prevailed.
Holbein, whom the king had appointed his painter on the recommendation
of sir Thomas More, and still retained in that capacity, was sent over
to take the portrait of Anne sister of the duke of Cleves; and rashly
trusting in the fidelity of the likeness, Henry soon after solicited her
hand in marriage.

"The lady Anne," says a historian, "understood no language but Dutch, so
that all communication of speech between her and our king was
intercluded. Yet our embassador, Nicholas Wotton doctor of law, employed
in the business, hath it, that she could both read and write in her own
language, and sew very well; only for music, he said, it was not the
manner of the country to learn it[7]." It must be confessed that for a
princess this list of accomplishments appears somewhat scanty; and
Henry, unfortunately for the lady Anne, was a great admirer of learning,
wit and talents, in the female sex, and a passionate lover of music,
which he well understood. What was still worse, he piqued himself
extremely on his taste in beauty, and was much more solicitous
respecting the personal charms of his consorts than is usual with
sovereigns; and when, on the arrival of his destined bride in England,
he hastened to Rochester to gratify his impatience by snatching a
private view of her, he found that in this capital article he had been
grievously imposed upon. The uncourteous comparison by which he
expressed his dislike of her large and clumsy person is well known.
Bitterly did he lament to Cromwel the hard fortune which had allotted
him so unlovely a partner, and he returned to London very melancholy.
But the evil appeared to be now past remedy; it was contrary to all
policy to affront the German princes by sending back their countrywoman
after matters had gone so far, and Henry magnanimously resolved to
sacrifice his own feelings, once in his life, for the good of his
country. Accordingly, he received the princess with great magnificence
and with every outward demonstration of satisfaction, and was married to
her at Greenwich in January 1540.

[Note 7: Herbert.]

Two or three months afterwards, the king, notwithstanding his secret
dissatisfaction, rewarded Cromwel for his pains in concluding this union
by conferring on him the vacant title of earl of Essex;--a fatal gift,
which exasperated to rage the mingled jealousy and disdain which this
low-born and aspiring minister had already provoked from the ancient
nobility, by intruding himself into the order of the garter, and which
served to heap upon his devoted head fresh coals of wrath against the
day of retribution which was fast approaching. The act of transferring
this title to a new family, could in fact be no otherwise regarded by
the great house of Bourchier, which had long enjoyed it, than either as
a marked indignity to itself, or as a fresh result of the general Tudor
system of depressing and discountenancing the blood of the Plantagenets,
from which the Bourchiers, through a daughter of Thomas of Woodstock,
were descended. The late earl had left a married daughter, to whom,
according to the customary courtesy of English sovereigns in similar
circumstances, the title ought to have been continued; and as this lady
had no children, the earl of Bath, as head of the house, felt himself
also aggrieved by the alienation of family honors which he hoped to have
seen continued to himself and his posterity.

In honor, probably, of the recent marriage of the king, unusually
splendid justs were opened at Westminster on May-day; in which the
challengers were headed by sir John Dudley, and the defenders by the
earl of Surry. This entertainment was continued for several successive
days, during which the challengers, according to the costly fashion of
ancient hospitality, kept open house at their common charge, and feasted
the king and queen, the members of both houses, and the lord-mayor and
aldermen with their wives.

But scenes of pomp and festivity had no power to divert the thoughts of
the king from his domestic grievance,--a wife whom he regarded with
disgust: on the contrary, it is probable that this season of courtly
revelry encreased his disquiet, by giving him opportunities of beholding
under the most attractive circumstances the charms of a youthful beauty
whom he was soon seized with the most violent desire of placing beside
him on the throne which he judged her worthy to adorn.

No considerations of rectitude or of policy could longer restrain the
impetuous monarch from casting off the yoke of a detested marriage: and
as a first step towards emancipation, he determined to permit the ruin
of its original adviser, that unpopular minister, but vigorous and
serviceable instrument of arbitrary power, whom he had hitherto defended
with pertinacity against all attacks.

No sooner was the decline of his favor perceived, and what so quickly
perceived at courts? than the ill-fated Cromwel found himself assailed
on every side. His active agency in the suppression of monasteries had
brought upon him, with the imputation of sacrilege, the hatred of all
the papists;--a certain coldness, or timidity, which he had manifested
in the cause of religious reformation in other respects, and
particularly the enactment of the Six Articles during his
administration, had rendered him an object of suspicion or dislike to
the protestants;--in his new and undefined office of royal vicegerent
for the exercise of the supremacy, he had offended the whole body of the
clergy;--and he had just filled up the measure of his offences against
the nobility by procuring a grant of the place of lord high-steward,
long hereditary in the great house of the Veres earls of Oxford. The
only voice raised in his favor was that of Cranmer, who interceded with
Henry in his behalf in a letter eloquent, touching, and even courageous,
times and persons considered. Gardiner and the duke of Norfolk urged on
his accusation; the parliament, with its accustomed subserviency,
proceeded against him by attainder; and having voted him guilty of
heresy and treason, left it in the choice of the king to bring him
either to the block or the stake for whichever he pleased of these
offences; neither of which was proved by evidence, or even supported by
reasonable probabilities. But against this violation in his person of
the chartered rights of Englishmen, however flagrant, the unfortunate
earl of Essex had forfeited all right to appeal, since it was himself
who had first advised the same arbitrary mode of proceeding in the cases
of the marchioness of Exeter, of the countess of Salisbury, and of
several persons of inferior rank connected with them; on whom capital
punishment had already been inflicted.

With many private virtues, Essex, like his great master Wolsey, and like
the disgraced ministers of despotic princes in general, perished
unpitied; and the king and the faction of Gardiner and of the Howards
seemed equally to rejoice in the free course opened by his removal to
their further projects. The parliament was immediately ordered to find
valid a certain frivolous pretext of a prior contract, on which its
master was pleased to demand a divorce from Ann of Cleves; and the
marriage was unanimously declared null, without any opportunity afforded
to the queen of bringing evidence in its support.

The fortitude, or rather phlegm, with which her unmerited degradation
was supported by the lady Anne, has in it something at once
extraordinary and amusing. There is indeed a tradition that she fainted
on first receiving the information that her marriage was likely to be
set aside; but the shock once over, she gave to the divorce, without
hesitation or visible reluctance, that assent which was required of her.
Taking in good part the pension of three thousand pounds per annum, and
the title of his _sister_ which her ex-husband was graciously pleased to
offer her, she wrote to her brother the elector to entreat him still to
live in amity with the king of England, against whom she had no ground
of complaint; and she continued, till the day of her death, to make his
country her abode. Through the whole affair she gave no indication of
wounded pride; unless her refusal to return in the character of a
discarded and rejected damsel, to the home which she had so lately
quitted in all the pomp and triumph of a royal bride, is to be regarded
as such. But even for this part of her conduct a different motive is
with great plausibility assigned by a writer, who supposes her to have
been swayed by the prudent consideration, that the regular payment of
her pension would better be secured by her remaining under the eyes and
within the protection of the English nation.

A very few weeks after this apparently formidable business had been thus
readily and amicably arranged, Catherine Howard niece to the duke of
Norfolk, and first cousin to Anne Boleyn, was declared queen. This lady,
beautiful, insinuating, and more fondly beloved by the king than any of
her predecessors, was a catholic, and almost all the members of the
council who now possessed office or influence were attached, more or
less openly, to the same communion. In consequence, the penalties of the
Six Articles were enforced with great cruelty against the reformers; but
this did not exempt from punishment such as, offending on the other
side, ventured to deny the royal supremacy; the only difference was,
that the former class of culprits were burned as heretics, the latter
hanged as traitors.

The king soon after seized the occasion of a trifling insurrection in
Yorkshire, of which sir John Nevil was the leader, to complete his
vengeance against cardinal Pole, by bringing to a cruel and ignominious
end the days of his venerable and sorrow-stricken mother, who had been
unfortunate enough thus long to survive the ruin of her family. The
strange and shocking scene exhibited on the scaffold by the desperation
of this illustrious and injured lady, is detailed by all our historians:
it seems almost incredible that the surrounding crowd were not urged by
an unanimous impulse of horror and compassion to rush in and rescue from
the murderous hands of the executioner the last miserable representative
of such a line of princes. But the eyes of Henry's subjects were
habituated to these scenes of blood; and they were viewed by some with
indifference, and by the rest with emotions of terror which effectually
repressed the generous movements of a just and manly indignation.

In public causes, to be accused and to suffer death were now the same
thing; and another eminent victim of the policy of the English Tiberius
displayed in a novel and truly portentous manner his utter despair of
the justice of the country and the mercy of his sovereign.

Lord Leonard Grey, late deputy of Ireland, was accused of favouring the
escape of that persecuted child his nephew Gerald Fitzgerald, of
corresponding with cardinal Pole, and of various other offences called
treasonable. Being brought before a jury of knights, "he saved them,"
says lord Herbert, "the labour of condemning him, and without more ado
confessed all. Which, whether this lord, who was of great courage, did
out of desperation or guilt, some circumstances make doubtful; and the
rather, that the articles being so many, he neither denied nor
extenuated any of them, though his continual fighting with the king's
enemies, where occasion was, pleaded much on his part. Howsoever, he had
his head cut off[8]."

[Note 8: Many years after, the earl of Kildare solemnly assured the
author of the "Chronicles of Ireland" in Holinshed, that lord Leonard
Grey had no concern whatever in his escape.]

The queen and her party were daily gaining upon the mind of the king;
and Cranmer himself, notwithstanding the high esteem entertained for him
by Henry, had begun to be endangered by their machinations, when an
unexpected discovery put into his hands the means of baffling all their
designs, and producing a total revolution in the face of the court.

It was towards the close of the year 1541 that private information was
conveyed to the primate of such disorders in the conduct of the queen
before her marriage as could not fail to plunge her in infamy and ruin.
Cranmer, if not exceedingly grieved, was at least greatly perplexed by
the incident:--at first sight there appeared to be equal danger in
concealing or discovering circumstances of a nature so delicate, and
the archbishop was timid by nature, and cautious from the experience of
a court. At length, all things well weighed, he judiciously preferred
the hazard of making the communication at once, without reserve, and
directly, to the person most interested; and, forming into a narrative
facts which his tongue dared not utter to the face of a prince whose
anger was deadly, he presented it to him and entreated him to peruse it
in secret.

Love and pride conspired to persuade the king that his Catherine was
incapable of having imposed upon him thus grossly, and he at once
pronounced the whole story a malicious fabrication; but the strict
inquiry which he caused to be instituted for the purpose of punishing
its authors, not only established the truth of the accusations already
brought, but served also to throw the strongest suspicions on the
conjugal fidelity of the queen.

The agonies of Henry on this occasion were such as in any other husband
would have merited the deepest compassion: with him they were quickly
succeeded by the most violent rage; and his cry for vengeance was, as
usual, echoed with alacrity by a loyal and sympathizing parliament.
Party animosity profited by the occasion and gave additional impulse to
their proceedings. After convicting by attainder the queen and her
paramours, who were soon after put to death, the two houses proceeded
also to attaint her uncle, aunt, grandmother, and about ten other
persons, male and female, accused of being accessary or privy to her
disorders before marriage, and of not revealing them to the king when
they became acquainted with his intention of making her his consort; an
offence declared to be misprision of treason by an ex post facto law.
But this was an excess of barbarity of which Henry himself was ashamed:
the infamous lady Rochford was the only confident who suffered
capitally; the rest were released after imprisonments of longer or
shorter duration; yet a reserve of bitterness appears to have remained
stored up in the heart of the king against the whole race of Howard,
which the enemies of that illustrious house well knew how to cherish and
augment against a future day.


1542 TO 1547.

Rout of Solway and death of James V. of Scotland.--Birth of queen
Mary.--Henry projects to marry her to his son.--Offers the hand of
Elizabeth to the earl of Arran.--Earl of Lenox marries lady M.
Douglas.--Marriage of the king to Catherine Parr.--Her person and
acquirements.--Influence of her conduct on Elizabeth.--Henry joins the
emperor against Francis I.--His campaign in France.--Princess Mary
replaced in order of succession, and Elizabeth also.--Proposals for a
marriage between Elizabeth and Philip of Spain.--The duke of Norfolk and
earl of Hertford heads of the catholic and protestant parties.
Circumstances which give a preponderance to the latter.--Disgrace of the
duke.--Trial of the earl of Surry.--His death and character.--Sentence
against the duke of Norfolk.--Death of Henry.

In the month of December 1542, shortly after the rout of Solway, in
which the English made prisoners the flower of the Scottish nobility,
the same messenger brought to Henry VIII. the tidings that the grief and
shame of this defeat had broken the heart of king James V., and that his
queen had brought into the world a daughter, who had received the name
of Mary, and was now queen of Scotland. Without stopping to deplore the
melancholy fate of a nephew whom he had himself brought to destruction,
Henry instantly formed the project of uniting the whole island under one
crown, by the marriage of this infant sovereign with the prince his
son. All the Scottish prisoners of rank then in London were immediately
offered the liberty of returning to their own country on the condition,
to which they acceded with apparent alacrity, of promoting this union
with all their interest; and so confident was the English monarch in the
success of his measures, that previously to their departure, several of
them were carried to the palace of Enfield, where young Edward then
resided, that they might tender homage to the future husband of their

The regency of Scotland at this critical juncture was claimed by the
earl of Arran, who was generally regarded as next heir to the crown,
though his legitimacy had been disputed; and to this nobleman,--but
whether for himself or his son seems doubtful,--Henry, as a further
means of securing the important object which he had at heart, offered
the hand of his daughter Elizabeth. So early were the concerns and
interests blended, of two princesses whose celebrated rivalry was
destined to endure until the life of one of them had become its
sacrifice! So remarkably, too, in this first transaction was contrasted
the high preeminence from which the Scottish princess was destined to
hurl herself by her own misconduct, with the abasement and comparative
insignificance out of which her genius and her good fortune were to be
employed in elevating the future sovereign of England.

Born in the purple of her hereditary kingdom, the monarchs of France and
England made it an object of eager contention which of them should
succeed in encircling with a second diadem the baby brows of Mary;
while the hand of Elizabeth was tossed as a trivial boon to a Scottish
earl of equivocal birth, despicable abilities, and feeble character. So
little too was even this person flattered by the honor, or aware of the
advantages, of such a connection, that he soon after renounced it by
quitting the English for the French party. Elizabeth in consequence
remained unbetrothed, and her father soon afterwards secured to himself
a more strenuous ally in the earl of Lenox, also of the blood-royal of
Scotland, by bestowing upon this nobleman the hand, not of his daughter,
but of his niece the lady Margaret Douglas.

Undeterred by his late severe disappointment Henry was bent on entering
once more into the marriage state, and his choice now fell on Catherine
Parr, sprung from a knightly family possessed of large estates in
Westmoreland, and widow of lord Latimer, a member of the great house of

A portrait of this lady still in existence, exhibits, with fine and
regular features, a character of intelligence and arch simplicity
extremely captivating. She was indeed a woman of uncommon talent and
address; and her mental accomplishments, besides the honor which they
reflect on herself, inspire us with respect for the enlightened
liberality of an age in which such acquirements could be placed within
the ambition and attainment of a private gentlewoman, born in a remote
county, remarkable even in much later times for a primitive simplicity
of manners and domestic habits. Catherine was both learned herself, and,
after her elevation a zealous patroness of learning and of
protestantism, to which she was become a convert. Nicholas Udal master
of Eton was employed by her to translate Erasmus's paraphrase of the
four gospels; and there is extant a Latin letter of hers to the princess
Mary, whose conversion from popery she seems to have had much at heart,
in which she entreats her to permit this work to appear under her
auspices. She also printed some prayers and meditations, and there was
found among her papers, after her death, a piece entitled "The
lamentations of a sinner bewailing her blind life," in which she
deplores the years that she had passed in popish observances, and which
was afterwards published by secretary Cecil.

It is a striking proof of the address of this queen, that she
conciliated the affection of all the three children of the king, letters
from each of whom have been preserved addressed to her after the death
of their father.

Elizabeth in particular maintained with her a very intimate and frequent
intercourse; which ended however in a manner reflecting little credit on
either party, as will be more fully explained in its proper place.

The adroitness with which Catherine extricated herself from the snare in
which her own religious zeal, the moroseness of the king, and the enmity
of Gardiner had conspired to entangle her, has often been celebrated.
May it not be conjectured, that such an example, given by one of whom
she entertained a high opinion, might exert no inconsiderable influence
on the opening mind of Elizabeth, whose conduct in the many similar
dilemmas to which it was her lot to be reduced, partook so much of the
same character of politic and cautious equivocation?

Henry discovered by experiment that it would prove a much more difficult
matter than he had apprehended to accomplish, either by force or
persuasion, the marriage of young Edward with the queen of Scots; and
learning that it was principally to the intrigues of Francis I., against
whom he had other causes also of complaint, that he was likely to owe
the disappointment of this favourite scheme, he determined on revenge.
With this design he turned his eyes on the emperor; and finding Charles
perfectly well disposed to forget all ancient animosities in sympathy
with his newly-conceived indignation against the French king, he entered
with him into a strict alliance. War was soon declared against France by
the new confederates; and after a campaign in which little was effected,
it was agreed that Charles and Henry, uniting their efforts, should
assail that kingdom with a force which it was judged incapable of
resisting, and without stopping at inferior objects, march straight to
Paris. Accordingly, in July 1544, preceded by a fine army, and attended
by the flower of his nobility splendidly equipped, Henry took his
departure for Calais in a ship the sails of which were made of cloth of

He arrived in safety, and enjoyed the satisfaction of dazzling with his
magnificence the count de Buren whom the emperor sent with a body of
horse to meet him; quarrelled soon after with that potentate, who found
it his interest to make a separate peace; took the towns of Montreuil
and Boulogne, neither of them of any value to him, and returned.

So foolish and expensive a sally of passion, however characteristic of
the disposition of this monarch, would not merit commemoration in this
place, but for the important influence which it unexpectedly exerted on
the fortune and expectations of Elizabeth through the following train of

The emperor, whose long enmity with Henry had taken its rise from what
he justly regarded as the injuries of Catherine of Arragon his aunt, in
whose person the whole royal family of Spain had been insulted, had
required of him as a preliminary to their treaty a formal
acknowledgement of the legitimacy of his daughter Mary. This Henry could
not, with any regard to consistency, grant; but desirous to accede as
far as he conveniently could to the wishes of his new ally, he consented
to stipulate, that without any explanation on this point, his eldest
daughter should by act of parliament be reinstated in the order of
succession. At the same time, glad to relent in behalf of his favorite
child, and unwilling perhaps to give the catholic party the triumph of
asserting that he had virtually declared his first marriage more lawful
than his second, he caused a similar privilege to be extended to
Elizabeth, who was thus happily restored to her original station and
prospects, before she had attained sufficient maturity of age to suffer
by the cruel and mortifying degradation to which she had been for
several years subjected.

Henceforth, though the act which declared null the marriage of the king
with Anne Boleyn remained for ever unrepealed, her daughter appears to
have been universally recognised on the footing of a princess of
England; and so completely were the old disputes concerning the divorce
of Catherine consigned to oblivion, that in 1546, when France, Spain and
England had concluded a treaty of peace, proposals passed between the
courts of London and Madrid for the marriage of Elizabeth with Philip
prince of Spain; that very Philip afterwards her brother-in-law and in
adversity her friend and protector, then a second time her suitor, and
afterwards again to the end of his days the most formidable and
implacable of her enemies. On which side, or on what assigned
objections, this treaty of marriage was relinquished, we do not learn;
but as the demonstrations of friendship between Charles and Henry after
their French campaign were full of insincerity, it may perhaps be
doubted whether either party was ever bent in earnest on the completion
of this extraordinary union.

The popish and protestant factions which now divided the English court,
had for several years acknowledged as their respective leaders the duke
of Norfolk and the earl of Hertford. To the latter of these, the painful
impression left on Henry's mind by the excesses of Catherine Howard, the
religious sentiments embraced by the present queen, the king's
increasing jealousy of the ancient nobility of the country, and above
all the visible decline of his health, which brought into immediate
prospect the accession of young Edward under the tutelage of his uncle,
had now conspired to give a decided preponderancy. The aged duke,
sagacious, politic, and deeply versed in all the secrets and the arts of
courts, saw in a coalition with the Seymours the only expedient for
averting the ruin of his house; and he proposed to bestow his daughter
the duchess of Richmond in marriage on sir Thomas Seymour, while he
exerted all his authority with his son to prevail upon him to address
one of the daughters of the earl of Hertford. But Surry's scorn of the
new nobility of the house of Seymour, and his animosity against the
person of its chief, was not to be overcome by any plea of expedience or
threatening of danger. He could not forget that it was at the instance
of the earl of Hertford that he, with some other nobles and gentlemen,
had suffered the disgrace of imprisonment for eating flesh in Lent; that
when a trifling defeat which he had sustained near Boulogne had caused
him to be removed from the government of that town, it was the earl of
Hertford who ultimately profited by his misfortune, in succeeding to the
command of the army. Other grounds of offence the haughty Surry had also
conceived against him; and choosing rather to fall, than cling for
support to an enemy at once despised and hated, he braved the utmost
displeasure of his father, by an absolute refusal to lend himself to
such a scheme of alliance. Of this circumstance his enemies availed
themselves to instil into the mind of the king a suspicion that the earl
of Surry aspired to the hand of the princess Mary; they also commented
with industrious malice on his bearing the arms of Edward the
Confessor, to which he was clearly entitled in right of his mother, a
daughter of the duke of Buckingham, but which his more cautious father
had ceased to quarter after the attainder of that unfortunate nobleman.

The sick mind of Henry received with eagerness all these suggestions,
and the ruin of the earl was determined[9]. An indictment of high
treason was preferred against him: his proposal of disproving the
charge, according to a mode then legal, by fighting his principal
accuser in his shirt, was overruled; his spirited, strong and eloquent
defence was disregarded--a jury devoted to the crown brought in a
verdict of guilty; and in January 1547, at the early age of
seven-and-twenty, he underwent the fatal sentence of the law.

[Note 9: One extraordinary, and indeed unaccountable, circumstance
in the life of the earl of Surry may here be noticed:--that while his
father urged him to connect himself in marriage with one lady, while the
king was jealous of his designs upon a second, and while he himself, as
may be collected from his poem "To a lady who refused to dance with
him," made proposals of marriage to a third, he had a wife living. To
this lady, who was a sister of the earl of Oxford, he was united at the
age of fifteen, she had borne him five children; and it is pretty plain
that they were never divorced, for we find her, several years after his
death, still bearing the title of countess of Surry, and the guardian of
his orphans. Had the example of Henry instructed his courtiers to find
pretexts for the dissolution of the matrimonial tie whenever interest or
inclination might prompt, and did our courts of law lend themselves to
this abuse? A preacher of Edward the sixth's time brings such an
accusation against the morals of the age, but I find no particular
examples of it in the histories of noble families.]

No one during the whole sanguinary tyranny of Henry VIII. fell more
guiltless, or more generally deplored by all whom personal animosity or
the spirit of party had not hardened against sentiments of compassion,
or blinded to the perception of merit. But much of Surry has survived
the cruelty of his fate. His beautiful songs and sonnets, which served
as a model to the most popular poets of the age of Elizabeth, still
excite the admiration of every student attached to the early literature
of our country. Amongst other frivolous charges brought against him on
his trial, it was mentioned that he kept an Italian jester, thought to
be a spy, and that he loved to converse with foreigners and conform his
behaviour to them. For his personal safety, therefore, it was perhaps
unfortunate that a portion of his youth had been passed in a visit to
Italy, then the focus of literature and fount of inspiration; but for
his surviving fame, and for the progress of English poetry, the
circumstance was eminently propitious; since it is from the return of
this noble traveller that we are to date not only the introduction into
our language of the Petrarchan sonnet, and with it of a tenderness and
refinement of sentiment unknown to the barbarism of our preceding
versifiers; but what is much more, that of heroic blank verse; a noble
measure, of which the earliest example exists in Surry's spirited and
faithful version of one book of the Æneid.

The exalted rank, the splendid talents, the lofty spirit of this
lamented nobleman seemed to destine him to a station second to none
among the public characters of his time; and if, instead of being cut
off by the hand of violence in the morning of life, he had been
permitted to attain a length of days at all approaching to the
fourscore years of his father, it is probable that the votary of letters
would have been lost to us in the statesman or the soldier. Queen Mary,
who sought by her favor and confidence to revive the almost extinguished
energies of his father, and called forth into premature distinction the
aspiring boyhood of his son, would have intrusted to his vigorous years
the highest offices and most weighty affairs of state. Perhaps even the
suspicions of her father might have been verified by the event, and her
own royal hand might itself have become the reward of his virtues and

Elizabeth, whose maternal ancestry closely connected her with the house
of Howard, might have sought and found, in her kinsman the earl of
Surry, a counsellor and friend deserving of all her confidence and
esteem; and it is possible that he, with safety and effect, might have
placed himself as a mediator between the queen and that formidable
catholic party of which his misguided son, fatally for himself, aspired
to be regarded as the leader, and was in fact only the instrument. But
the career of ambition, ere he had well entered it, was closed upon him
for ever; and it is as an accomplished knight, a polished lover, and
above all as a poet, that the name of Surry now lives in the annals of
his country.

Of the five children who survived to feel the want of his paternal
guidance, one daughter, married to the earl of Westmorland, was
honorably distinguished by talents, erudition, and the patronage of
letters; but of the two sons, the elder was that unfortunate duke of
Norfolk who paid on the scaffold the forfeit of an inconsiderate and
guilty enterprise; and the younger, created earl of Northampton by James
I., lived to disgrace his birth and fine talents by every kind of
baseness, and died just in time to escape punishment as an accomplice in
Overbury's murder.

The duke of Norfolk had been declared guilty of high treason on grounds
equally frivolous with his son; but the opportune death of Henry VIII.
on the day that his cruel and unmerited sentence was to have been
carried into execution, saved his life, when his humble submissions and
pathetic supplications for mercy had failed to touch the callous heart
of the expiring despot. The jealousies however, religious and political,
of the council of regency, on which the administration devolved,
prompted them to refuse liberty to the illustrious prisoner after their
weakness or their clemency had granted him his life. During the whole
reign of Edward VI. the duke was detained under close custody in the
Tower; his estates were confiscated, his blood attainted, and for this
period the great name of Howard disappears from the page of English


1547 TO 1549.

Testamentary provisions of Henry VIII.--Exclusion of the Scottish
line.--Discontent of the earl of Arundel.--His character and
intrigues.--Hertford declared protector--becomes duke of
Somerset.--Other titles conferred.--Thomas Seymour made
lord-admiral--marries the queen dowager.--His discontent and
intrigues.--His behaviour to Elizabeth.--Death of the queen.--Seymour
aspires to the hand of Elizabeth--conspires against his brother--is
attainted--put to death.--Particulars of his intercourse with
Elizabeth.--Examinations which she underwent on this subject.--Traits of
her early character.--Verses on admiral Seymour.--The learning of
Elizabeth.--Extracts from Ascham's Letters respecting her, Jane Grey,
and other learned ladies.--Two of her letters to Edward VI.

The death of Henry VIII., which took place on January 28th 1547, opened
a new and busy scene, and affected in several important points the
situation of Elizabeth.

The testament by which the parliament had empowered the king to regulate
the government of the country during his son's minority, and even to
settle the order of succession itself, with as full authority as the
distribution of his private property, was the first object of attention;
and its provisions were found strongly characteristic of the temper and
maxims of its author. He confirmed the act of parliament by which his
two daughters had been rendered capable of inheriting the crown, and
appointed to each of them a pension of three thousand pounds, with a
marriage-portion of ten thousand pounds, but annexed the condition of
their marrying with the consent of such of his executors as should be
living. After them, he placed in order of succession Frances marchioness
of Dorset, and Eleanor countess of Cumberland, daughters of his younger
sister the queen-dowager of France by Charles Brandon duke of Suffolk;
and failing the descendants of these ladies he bequeathed the crown to
the next heir. By this disposition he either totally excluded, or at
least removed from their rightful place, his eldest and still surviving
sister the queen-dowager of Scotland, and all her issue;--a most absurd
and dangerous indulgence of his feelings of enmity against the Scottish
line, which might eventually have involved the nation in all the horrors
of a civil war, and from which in fact the whole calamitous destinies of
the house of Suffolk, which the progress of this work will record, and
in some measure also the long misfortunes of the queen of Scots herself,
will be found to draw their origin. Sixteen executors named in the will
were to exercise in common the royal functions till young Edward should
attain the age of eighteen; and to these, twelve others were added as a
council of regency, invested however with no other privilege than that
of giving their opinions when called upon. The selection of the
executors and counsellors was in perfect unison with the policy of the
Tudors. The great officers of state formed of necessity a considerable
portion of the former body, and four of these, lord Wriothesley the
chancellor, the earl of Hertford lord-chamberlain, lord St. John master
of the household, and lord Russel privy-seal, were decorated with the
peerage; but with the exception of sir John Dudley, who had lately
acquired by marriage the rank of viscount Lisle, these were the only
titled men of the sixteen. Thus it appeared, that not a single
individual amongst the hereditary nobility of the country enjoyed in a
sufficient degree the favor and confidence of the monarch, to be
associated in a charge which he had not hesitated to confer on persons
of no higher importance than the principal gentlemen of the bed-chamber,
the treasurer of Calais, and the dean of Canterbury.

Even the council reckoned among its members only two peers: one of them
the brother of the queen-dowager, on whom, since the fall of Cromwel,
the title of earl of Essex had at length been conferred in right of his
wife, the heiress of the Bourchiers: the other, the earl of Arundel,
premier earl of England and last of the ancient name of Fitzalan; a
distinguished nobleman, whom vast wealth, elegant tastes acquired in
foreign travel, and a spirit of magnificence, combined to render one of
the principal ornaments of the court, while his political talents and
experience of affairs qualified him to assume a leading station in the
cabinet. The loyalty and prudence of the Fitzalans must have been
conspicuous for ages, since no attainder, during so long a period of
greatness, had stained the honor of the race; and the moderation or
subserviency of the present earl had been shown by his perfect
acquiescence in all the measures of Henry, notwithstanding his private
preference of the ancient faith: to crown his merits, his blood appears
to have been unmingled with that of the Plantagenets. Notwithstanding
all this, the king had thought fit to name him only a counsellor, not an
executor. Arundel deeply felt the injury; and impatience of the
insignificance to which he was thus consigned, joined to his
disapprobation of the measures of the regency with respect to religion,
threw him into intrigues which contributed not a little to the
turbulence of this disastrous period.

It was doubtless the intention of Henry, that the religion of the
country, at least during the minority of his son, should be left
vibrating on the same nice balance between protestantism and popery on
which it had cost him so much pains to fix it; and with a view to this
object he had originally composed the regency with a pretty equal
distribution of power between the adherents of the two communions. But
the suspicion, or disgust, which afterwards caused him to erase the name
of Gardiner from the list, destroyed the equipoise, and rendered the
scale of reformation decidedly preponderant. In vain did Wriothesley, a
man of vigorous talents and aspiring mind, struggle with Hertford for
the highest place in the administration; in vain did Tunstal bishop of
Durham,--no bigot, but a firm papist,--check with all the authority that
he could venture to exert, the bold career of innovation on which he
beheld Cranmer full of eagerness to enter; in vain did the catholics
invoke to their aid the active interference of Dudley; he suffered them
to imagine that his heart was with them, and that he watched an
opportunity to interpose with effect in their behalf, whilst, in fact,
he was only waiting till the fall of one of the Seymours by the hand of
the other should enable him to crush the survivor, and rise to
uncontrolled authority on the ruins of both.

The first attempt of the protestant party in the regency showed their
intentions; its success proved their strength, and silenced for the
present all opposition. It was proposed, and carried by a majority of
the executors, that the earl of Hertford should be declared protector of
the realm, and governor of the king's person; and the new dictator soon
after procured the ratification of this appointment, which overturned
some of the most important clauses of the late king's will, by causing a
patent to be drawn and sanctioned by the two houses which invested him,
during the minority, with all the prerogatives ever assumed by the most
arbitrary of the English sovereigns, and many more than were ever
recognised by the constitution.

As if in compensation for any disrespect shown to the memory of the
deceased monarch by these proceedings, the executors next declared their
intention of fulfilling certain promises made by him in his last
illness, and which death alone had prevented him from carrying into
effect. On this plea, they bestowed upon themselves and their adherents
various titles of honor, and a number of valuable church preferments,
now first conferred upon laymen, the protector himself unblushingly
assuming the title of duke of Somerset, and taking possession of
benefices and impropriations to a vast amount. Viscount Lisle was
created earl of Warwick, and Wriothesley became earl of Southampton;--an
empty dignity, which afforded him little consolation for seeing himself
soon after, on pretence of some irregular proceedings in his office,
stripped of the post of chancellor, deprived of his place amongst the
other executors of the king, who now formed a privy council to the
protector, and consigned to obscurity and insignificance for the short
remnant of his days. Sir Thomas Seymour ought to have been consoled by
the share allotted him in this splendid distribution, for the
mortification of having been named a counsellor only, and not an
executor. He was made lord Seymour of Sudley, and soon after, lord
high-admiral--preferments greatly exceeding any expectations which his
birth or his services to the state could properly authorize. But he
measured his claims by his nearness to the king; he compared these
inferior dignities with the state and power usurped by his brother, and
his arrogant spirit disdained as a meanness the thought of resting
satisfied or appeased. Circumstances soon arose which converted this
general feeling of discontent in the mind of Thomas Seymour into a more
rancorous spirit of envy and hostility against his brother, and
gradually involved him in a succession of dark intrigues, which, on
account of the embarrassments and dangers in which they eventually
implicated the princess Elizabeth, it will now become necessary to
unravel. The younger Seymour, still in the prime of life, was endowed in
a striking degree with those graces of person and manner which serve to
captivate the female heart, and his ambition had sought in consequence
to avail itself of a splendid marriage.

It is said that the princess Mary herself was at first the object of his
hopes or wishes: but if this were really the case, she must speedily
have quelled his presumption by the lofty sternness of her repulse; for
it is impossible to discover in the history of his life at what
particular period he could have been occupied with such a design.

Immediately after the death of Henry, he found means to revive with such
energy in the bosom of the queen-dowager, an attachment which she had
entertained for him before her marriage with the king, that she
consented to become his wife with a precipitation highly indecorous and
reprehensible. The connexion proved unfortunate on both sides, and its
first effect was to embroil him with his brother.

The protector, of a temper still weaker than his not very vigorous
understanding, had long allowed himself to be governed both in great and
small concerns by his wife, a woman of little principle and of a
disposition in the highest degree violent, imperious, and insolent.
Nothing could be more insupportable to the spirit of this lady, who
prided herself on her descent from Thomas of Woodstock, and now saw her
husband governing the kingdom with all the prerogatives and almost all
the splendor of royalty, than to find herself compelled to yield
precedency to the wife of his younger brother; and unable to submit
patiently to a mortification from which, after all, there was no escape,
she could not forbear engaging in continual disputes on the subject
with the queen-dowager. Their husbands soon were drawn in to take part
in this senseless quarrel, and a serious difference ensued between them.
The protector and council soon after refused to the lord-admiral certain
grants of land and valuable jewels which he claimed as bequests to his
wife from the late king, and the, perhaps, real injury, thus added to
the slights of which he before complained, gave fresh exasperation to
the pride and turbulence of his character.

Taking advantage of the protector's absence on that campaign in Scotland
which ended with the victory of Pinkey, he formed partisans among the
discontented nobles, won from his brother the affections of the young
king, and believing every thing ripe for an attack on his usurped
authority, he designed to bring forward in the ensuing parliament a
proposal for separating, according to ancient precedent, the office of
guardian of the king's person from that of protector of the realm, and
for conferring upon himself the former. But he discovered too late that
he had greatly miscalculated his forces; his proposal was not even
permitted to come to a hearing. Having rendered himself further
obnoxious to the vengeance of the administration by menaces thrown out
in the rage of disappointment, he saw himself reduced, in order to
escape a committal to the Tower, to make submissions to his brother. An
apparent reconciliation took place; and the admiral was compelled to
change, but not to relinquish, his schemes of ambition.

The princess Elizabeth had been consigned on the death of her father to
the protection and superintendance of the queen-dowager, with whom, at
one or other of her jointure-houses of Chelsea or Hanworth, she usually
made her abode. By this means it happened, that after the queen's
remarriage she found herself domesticated under the roof of the
lord-admiral; and in this situation she had soon the misfortune to
become an object of his marked attention.

What were, at this particular period, Seymour's designs upon the
princess, is uncertain; but it afterwards appeared from the testimony of
eye-witnesses, that neither respect for her exalted rank, nor a sense of
the high responsibility attached to the character of a guardian, with
which circumstances invested him, had proved sufficient to restrain him
from freedoms of behaviour towards her, which no reasonable allowance
for the comparative grossness of the age can reduce within the limits of
propriety or decorum. We learn that, on some occasions at least, she
endeavoured to repel his presumption by such expedients as her youthful
inexperience suggested; but her governess and attendants, gained over or
intimidated, were guilty of a treacherous or cowardly neglect of duty,
and the queen herself appears to have been very deficient in delicacy
and caution till circumstances arose which suddenly excited her
jealousy[10]. A violent scene then took place between the royal
step-mother and step-daughter, which ended, fortunately for the peace
and honor of Elizabeth, in an immediate and final separation.

[Note 10: It seems that on one occasion the queen held the hands of
the princess while the lord-admiral amused himself with cutting her gown
to shreds; and that, on another, she introduced him into the chamber of
Elizabeth before she had left her bed, when a violent romping scene took
place, which was afterwards repeated without the presence of the queen.

Catherine was so unguarded in her own conduct, that the lord-admiral
professed himself jealous of the servant who carried up coals to her

There is no ground whatever to credit the popular rumor that the queen,
who died in childbed soon after this affair, was poisoned by the
admiral; but there is sufficient proof that he was a harsh and jealous
husband; and he did not probably at this juncture regard as unpropitious
on the whole, an event which enabled him to aspire to the hand of
Elizabeth, though other and more intricate designs were at the same time
hatching in his busy brain, to which his state of a widower seemed at
first to oppose some serious obstacles.

Lady Jane Grey, eldest daughter of the marchioness of Dorset, who had
been placed immediately after the two princesses in order of succession,
had also resided in the house of the lord-admiral during the lifetime of
the queen-dowager, and he was anxious still to retain in his hands a
pledge of such importance. To the applications of the marquis and
marchioness for her return, he pleaded that the young lady would be as
secure under the superintendance of his mother, whom he had invited to
reside in his house, as formerly under that of the queen, and that a
mark of the esteem of friends whom he so highly valued, would in this
season of his affliction be doubly precious to him. He caused a secret
agent to insinuate to the weak marquis, that if the lady Jane remained
under his roof, it might eventually be in his power to marry her to the
young king; and finally, as the most satisfactory proof of the sincerity
of his professions of regard, he advanced to this illustrious peer the
sum of five hundred pounds in ready money, requiring no other security
for its repayment than the person of his fair guest, or hostage. Such
eloquence proved irresistible: lady Jane was suffered to remain under
this very singular and improper protection, and report for some time
vibrated between the sister and the cousin of the king as the real
object of the admiral's matrimonial projects. But in his own mind there
appears to have been no hesitation between them. The residence of lady
Jane in his house was no otherwise of importance to him, than as it
contributed to insure to him the support of her father, and as it
enabled him to counteract a favorite scheme of the protector's, or
rather of his duchess's, for marrying her to their eldest son. With
Elizabeth, on the contrary, he certainly aimed at the closest of all
connexions, and he was intent on improving by every means the impression
which his dangerous powers of insinuation had already made on her
inexperienced heart.

Mrs. Ashley, her governess, he had long since secured in his interests;
his next step was to gain one Parry, her cofferer, and through these
agents he proposed to open a direct correspondence with herself. His
designs prospered for some time according to his desires; and though it
seems never to have been exactly known, except to the parties
themselves, what degree of secret intelligence Elizabeth maintained with
her suitor; it cannot be doubted that she betrayed towards him
sentiments sufficiently favorable to render the difficulty of obtaining
that consent of the royal executors which the law required, the
principal obstacle, in his own opinion, to the accomplishment of his
wishes. It was one, however, which appeared absolutely insuperable so
long as his brother continued to preside over the administration with
authority not to be resisted; and despair of gaining his object by fair
and peaceful means, soon suggested to the admiral further measures of a
dark and dangerous character.

By the whole order of nobility the protector, who affected the love of
the commons, was envied and hated; but his brother, on the contrary, had
cultivated their friendship with assiduity and success; and he now took
opportunities of emphatically recommending it to his principal
adherents, the marquis of Northampton (late earl of Essex), the marquis
of Dorset, the earl of Rutland, and others, to go into their counties
and "make all the strength" there which they could. He boasted of the
command of men which he derived from his office of high-admiral;
provided a large quantity of arms for his followers; and gained over the
master of Bristol mint to take measures for supplying him, on any sudden
emergency, with a large sum of money. He likewise opened a secret
correspondence with the young king, and endeavoured by many accusations,
true or false, to render odious the government of his brother. But
happily those turbulent dispositions and inordinate desires which
prompt men to form plots dangerous to the peace and welfare of a
community, are rarely found to co-exist with the sagacity and prudence
necessary to conduct them to a successful issue; and to this remark the
admiral was not destined to afford an exception. Though he ought to have
been perfectly aware that his late attempt had rendered him an object of
the strongest suspicion to his brother, and that he was surrounded by
his spies, such was the violence and presumption of his temper, that he
could not restrain himself from throwing out vaunts and menaces which
served to put his enemies on the track of the most important
discoveries; and in the midst of vain schemes and flattering
anticipations, he was surprised on the sudden by a warrant for his
committal to the Tower. His principal agents were also seized, and
compelled to give evidence before the council. Still the protector
seemed reluctant to proceed to extremities against his brother; but his
own impetuous temper and the ill offices of the earl of Warwick
conspired to urge on his fate.

Far from submitting himself as before to the indulgence of the
protector, and seeking to disarm his indignation by promises and
entreaties, Seymour now stood, as it were, at bay, and boldly demanded a
fair and equal trial,--the birthright of Englishmen. But this was a boon
which it was esteemed on several accounts inexpedient, if not dangerous,
to grant. No overt act of treason could be proved against him:
circumstances might come out which would compromise the young king
himself, whom a strong dislike of the restraint in which he was held by
his elder uncle had thrown pretty decidedly into the party of the
younger. The name of the lady Elizabeth was implicated in the
transaction further than it was delicate to declare. An acquittal, which
the far-extended influence of the lord-admiral over all classes of men
rendered by no means impossible, would probably be the ruin of the
protector;--and in the end it was decided to proceed against him by the
arbitrary and odious method of attainder.

Several of those peers, on whose support he had placed the firmest
reliance, rose voluntarily in their places, and betrayed the designs
which he had confided to them. The depositions before the council were
declared sufficient ground for his condemnation; and in spite of the
opposition of some spirited and upright members of the house of commons,
a sentence was pronounced, in obedience to which, in March 1549, he was
conducted to the scaffold.

The timely removal of this bad and dangerous man, however illegal and
unwarrantable the means by which it was accomplished, deserves to be
regarded as the first of those signal escapes with which the life of
Elizabeth so remarkably abounds. Her attachment for Seymour, certainly
the earliest, was perhaps also the strongest, impression of the tender
kind which her heart was destined to receive; and though there may be a
probability that in this, as in subsequent instances, where her
inclinations seemed most to favor the wishes of her suitors, her
characteristic caution would have interfered to withhold her from an
irrevocable engagement, it might not much longer have been in her power
to recede with honor, or even, if the designs of Seymour had prospered,
with safety.

The original pieces relative to this affair have fortunately been
preserved, and furnish some very remarkable traits of the early
character of Elizabeth, and of the behaviour of those about her.

The confessions of Mrs. Ashley and of Parry before the privy-council,
contain all that is known of the conduct of the admiral towards their
lady during the lifetime of the queen. They seem to cast upon Mrs.
Ashley the double imputation of having suffered such behaviour to pass
before her eyes as she ought not to have endured for a moment, and of
having needlessly disclosed to Parry particulars respecting it which
reflected the utmost disgrace both on herself, the admiral, and her
pupil. Yet we know that Elizabeth, so far from resenting any thing that
Mrs. Ashley had either done or confessed, continued to love and favor
her in the highest degree, and after her accession promoted her husband
to a considerable office:--a circumstance which affords ground for
suspicion that some important secrets were in her possession respecting
later transactions between the princess and Seymour which she had
faithfully kept. It should also be observed in palliation of the
liberties which she accused the admiral of allowing to himself, and the
princess of enduring, that the period of Elizabeth's life to which these
particulars relate was only her fourteenth year.

We are told that she refused permission to the admiral to visit her
after he became a widower, on account of the general report that she was
likely to become his wife; and not the slightest trace was at this time
found of any correspondence between them, though Harrington afterwards
underwent an imprisonment for having delivered to her a letter from the
admiral. Yet it is stated that the partiality of the young princess
betrayed itself by many involuntary tokens to those around her, who were
thus encouraged to entertain her with accounts of the admiral's
attachment, and to inquire whether, if the consent of the council could
be obtained, she would consent to admit his addresses. The admiral is
represented to have proceeded with caution equal to her own. Anxious to
ascertain her sentiments, earnestly desirous to accomplish so splendid
an union, but fully sensible of the inutility as well as danger of a
clandestine connexion, he may be thought rather to have regarded her
hand as the recompense which awaited the success of all his other plans
of ambition, than as the means of obtaining that success; and it seemed
to have been only by distant hints through the agents whom he trusted,
that he had ventured as yet to intimate to her his views and wishes; but
it is probable that much of the truth was by these agents suppressed.

The protector, rather, as it seems, with the desire of criminating his
brother than of clearing the princess, sent sir Robert Tyrwhitt to her
residence at Hatfield, empowered to examine her on the whole matter; and
his letters to his employer inform us of many particulars. When, by the
base expedient of a counterfeit letter, he had brought her to believe
that both Mrs. Ashley and Parry were committed to the Tower, "her grace
was," as he expresses it, "marvellously abashed, and did weep very
tenderly a long time, demanding whether they had confessed any thing or
not." Soon after, sending for him, she related several circumstances
which she said she had forgotten to mention when the master of the
household and master Denny came from the protector to examine her.
"After all this," adds he, "I did require her to consider her honor, and
the peril that might ensue, for she was but a subject; and I further
declared what a woman Mrs. Ashley was, with a long circumstance, saying
that if she would open all things herself, that all the evil and shame
should be ascribed to them, and her youth considered both with the
king's majesty, your grace, and the whole council. But in no way she
will not confess any practice by Mrs. Ashley or the cofferer concerning
my lord-admiral; and yet I do see it in her face that she is guilty, and
do perceive as yet that she will abide the storms or she accuse Mrs.

"Upon sudden news that my lord great-master and master Denny was arrived
at the gate, the cofferer went hastily to his chamber, and said to my
lady his wife, 'I would I had never been born, for I am undone,' and
wrung his hands, and cast away his chain from his neck, and his rings
from his fingers. This is confessed by his own servant, and there is
divers witnesses of the same."

The following day Tyrwhitt writes, that all he has yet gotten from the
princess was by gentle persuasion, whereby he began to grow with her in
credit, "for I do assure your grace she hath a good wit, and nothing is
gotten off her but by great policy."

A few days after, he expresses to the protector his opinion that there
had been some secret promise between the princess, Mrs. Ashley, and the
cofferer, never to confess till death; "and if it be so," he observes,
"it will never be gotten of her but either by the king's majesty or else
by your grace." On another occasion he confirms this idea by stating
that he had tried her with false intelligence of Parry's having
confessed, on which she called him "false wretch," and said that it was
a great matter for him to make such a promise and break it. He notices
the exact agreement between the princess and the other two in all their
statements, but represents it as a proof that "they had set the knot
before." It appears on the whole, that sir Robert with all his pains was
not able to elicit a single fact of decisive importance; but probably
there was somewhat more in the matter than we find acknowledged in a
letter from Elizabeth herself to the protector. She here states, that
she did indeed send her cofferer to speak with the lord-admiral, but on
no other business than to recommend to him one of her chaplains, and to
request him to use his interest that she might have Durham Place for her
town house; that Parry on his return informed her, that the admiral said
she could not have Durham Place, which was wanted for a mint, but
offered her his own house for the time of her being in London; and that
Parry then inquired of her, whether, if the council would consent to her
marrying the admiral, she would herself be willing? That she refused to
answer this question, requiring to know who bade him ask it. He said, No
one; but from the admiral's inquiries what she spent in her house, and
whether she had gotten her patents for certain lands signed, and other
questions of a similar nature, he thought "that he was given that way
rather than otherwise." She explicitly denies that her governess ever
advised her to marry the admiral without the consent of the council; but
relates with great apparent ingenuousness, the hints which Mrs. Ashley
had thrown out of his attachment to her, and the artful attempts which
she had made to discover how her pupil stood affected towards such a

The letter concludes with the following wise and spirited assertion of
herself. "Master Tyrwhitt and others have told me, that there goeth
rumours abroad which be greatly both against my honor and honesty,
(which above all things I esteem) which be these; that I am in the
Tower, and with child by my lord admiral. My lord, these are shameful
slanders, for the which, besides the desire I have to see the king's
majesty, I shall most humbly desire your lordship that I may come to the
court after your first determination, that I may show myself there as I

That the cofferer had repeated his visits to the admiral oftener than
was at first acknowledged either by his lady or himself, a confession
afterwards addressed by Elizabeth to the protector seems to show; but
even with this confession Tyrwhitt declares himself unsatisfied.

Parry, in that part of his confession where he relates what passed
between himself and the lord-admiral when he waited upon him by his
lady's command, takes notice of the earnest manner in which the admiral
had urged her endeavouring to procure, by way of exchange, certain crown
lands which had been the queen's, and seem to have been adjacent to his
own, from which, he says, he inferred, that he wanted to have both them
and his lady for himself. He adds, that the admiral said he wished the
princess to go to the duchess of Somerset, and by her means make suit to
the protector for the lands, and for a town house, and "to entertain her
grace for her furtherance." That when he repeated this to her, Elizabeth
would not at first believe that he had said such words, or could wish
her so to do; but on his declaring that it was true, "she seemed to be
angry that she should be driven to make such suits, and said, 'In faith
I will not come there, nor begin to flatter now.'"

Her spirit broke out, according to Tyrwhitt, with still greater
vehemence, on the removal of Mrs. Ashley, whom lady Tyrwhitt succeeded
in her office:--the following is the account which he gives of her

"Pleaseth it your grace to be advertised, that after my wife's repair
hither, she declared to the lady Elizabeth's grace, that she was called
before your grace and the council and had a rebuke, that she had not
taken upon her the office to see her well governed, in the lieu of Mrs.
Ashley. Her answer was, that Mrs. Ashley was her mistress, and that she
had not so demeaned herself that the council should now need to put any
mo mistresses unto her. Whereunto my wife answered, seeing she did allow
Mrs. Ashley to be her mistress, she need not to be ashamed to have any
honest woman to be in that place. She took the matter so heavily that
she wept all that night and lowered all the next day, till she received
your letter; and then she sent for me and asked me whether she was best
to write to you again or not: I said, if she would make answer that she
would follow the effect of your letter, I thought it well done that she
should write; but in the end of the matter I perceived that she was very
loth to have a governor; and to avoid the same, said the world would
note her to be a great offender, having so hastily a governor appointed
her. And all is no more, she fully hopes to recover her old mistress
again. The love she yet beareth her is to be wondered at. I told her, if
she would consider her honor and the sequel thereof, she would,
considering her years, make suit to your grace to have one, rather than
to make delay to be without one one hour. She cannot digest such advice
in no way; but if I should say my phantasy, it were more meet she should
have two than one. She would in any wise write to your grace, wherein I
offered her my advice, which she would in no wise follow, but write her
own phantasy. She beginneth now a little to droop, by reason she heareth
that my lord-admiral's houses be dispersed. And my wife telleth me now,
that she cannot hear him discommended but she is ready to make answer
therein; and so she hath not been accustomed to do, unless Mrs. Ashley
were touched, whereunto she was very ready to make answer vehemently."

[Note 11: For the original documents relative to this affair see
Burleigh Papers by Haynes, _passim_.]

Parry had probably the same merit of fidelity as Mrs. Ashley; for
though Tyrwhitt says he was found faulty in his accounts, he was not
only continued at this time by his mistress in his office of cofferer,
but raised afterwards to that of comptroller of the royal household,
which he held till his death.

A gentleman of the name of Harrington, then in the admiral's service,
who was much examined respecting his master's intercourse with the
princess, and revealed nothing, was subsequently taken by her into her
own household and highly favored; and so certain did this gentleman, who
was a man of parts, account himself of her tenderness for the memory of
a lover snatched from her by the hand of violence alone, that he
ventured, several years after her accession to the throne, to present
her with a portrait of him, under which was inscribed the following

    "Of person rare, strong limbs and manly shape,
    By nature framed to serve on sea or land;
    In friendship firm in good state or ill hap,
    In peace head-wise, in war, skill great, bold hand.
    On horse or foot, in peril or in play,
    None could excel, though many did essay.
    A subject true to king, a servant great,
    Friend to God's truth, and foe to Rome's deceit.
    Sumptuous abroad for honor of the land,
    Temp'rate at home, yet kept great state with stay,
    And noble house that fed more mouths with meat
    Than some advanced on higher steps to stand;
    Yet against nature, reason, and just laws,
    His blood was spilt, guiltless, without just cause."

The fall of Seymour, and the disgrace and danger in which she had
herself been involved, afforded to Elizabeth a severe but useful
lesson; and the almost total silence of history respecting her during
the remainder of her brother's reign affords satisfactory indication of
the extreme caution with which she now conducted herself.

This silence, however, is agreeably supplied by documents of a more
private nature, which inform us of her studies, her acquirements, the
disposition of her time, and the bent of her youthful mind.

The Latin letters of her learned preceptor Roger Ascham abound with
anecdotes of a pupil in whose proficiency he justly gloried; and the
particulars interspersed respecting other females of high rank, also
distinguished by the cultivation of classical literature, enhance the
interest of the picture, by affording objects of comparison to the
principal figure, and illustrating the taste, almost the rage, for
learning which pervaded the court of Edward VI.

Writing in 1550 to his friend John Sturmius, the worthy and erudite
rector of the protestant university of Strasburgh, Ascham has the
following passages.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Never was the nobility of England more lettered than at present. Our
illustrious king Edward in talent, industry, perseverance, and
erudition, surpasses both his own years and the belief of men.... I
doubt not that France will also yield the just praise of learning to the
duke of Suffolk[12] and the rest of that band of noble youths educated
with the king in Greek and Latin literature, who depart for that
country on this very day.

[Note 12: This was the second duke of the name of Brandon, who died
young of the sweating sickness.]

"Numberless honorable ladies of the present time surpass the daughters
of sir Thomas More in every kind of learning. But amongst them all, my
illustrious mistress the lady Elizabeth shines like a star, excelling
them more by the splendor of her virtues and her learning, than by the
glory of her royal birth. In the variety of her commendable qualities, I
am less perplexed to find matter for the highest panegyric than to
circumscribe that panegyric within just bounds. Yet I shall mention
nothing respecting her but what has come under my own observation.

"For two years she pursued the study of Greek and Latin under my
tuition; but the foundations of her knowledge in both languages were
laid by the diligent instruction of William Grindal, my late beloved
friend and seven years my pupil in classical learning at Cambridge. From
this university he was summoned by John Cheke to court, where he soon
after received the appointment of tutor to this lady. After some years,
when through her native genius, aided by the efforts of so excellent a
master, she had made a great progress in learning, and Grindal, by his
merit and the favor of his mistress, might have aspired to high
dignities, he was snatched away by a sudden illness, leaving a greater
miss of himself in the court, than I remember any other to have done
these many years.

"I was appointed to succeed him in his office; and the work which he had
so happily begun, without my assistance indeed, but not without some
counsels of mine, I diligently labored to complete. Now, however,
released from the throng of a court, and restored to the felicity of my
former learned leisure, I enjoy, through the bounty of the king, an
honorable appointment in this university.

"The lady Elizabeth has accomplished her sixteenth year; and so much
solidity of understanding, such courtesy united with dignity, have never
been observed at so early an age. She has the most ardent love of true
religion and of the best kind of literature. The constitution of her
mind is exempt from female weakness, and she is endued with a masculine
power of application. No apprehension can be quicker than her's, no
memory more retentive. French and Italian she speaks like English;
Latin, with fluency, propriety, and judgement; she also spoke Greek with
me, frequently, willingly, and moderately well. Nothing can be more
elegant than her handwriting, whether in the Greek or Roman character.
In music she is very skilful, but does not greatly delight. With respect
to personal decoration, she greatly prefers a simple elegance to show
and splendor, so despising 'the outward adorning of plaiting the hair
and of wearing of gold,' that in the whole manner of her life she rather
resembles Hippolyta than Phædra.

"She read with me almost the whole of Cicero, and a great part of Livy:
from these two authors, indeed, her knowledge of the Latin language has
been almost exclusively derived. The beginning of the day was always
devoted by her to the New Testament in Greek, after which she read
select orations of Isocrates and the tragedies of Sophocles, which I
judged best adapted to supply her tongue with the purest diction, her
mind with the most excellent precepts, and her exalted station with a
defence against the utmost power of fortune. For her religious
instruction, she drew first from the fountains of Scripture, and
afterwards from St. Cyprian, the 'Common places' of Melancthon, and
similar works which convey pure doctrine in elegant language. In every
kind of writing she easily detected any ill-adapted or far-fetched
expression. She could not bear those feeble imitators of Erasmus who
bind the Latin language in the fetters of miserable proverbs; on the
other hand, she approved a style chaste in its propriety, and beautiful
by perspicuity, and she greatly admired metaphors, when not too violent,
and antitheses when just, and happily opposed. By a diligent attention
to these particulars, her ears became so practised and so nice, that
there was nothing in Greek, Latin, or English, prose or verse, which,
according to its merits or defects, she did not either reject with
disgust, or receive with the highest delight.... Had I more leisure, I
would speak to you at greater length of the king, of the lady Elizabeth,
and of the daughters of the duke of Somerset, whose minds have also been
formed by the best literary instruction. But there are two English
ladies whom I cannot omit to mention; nor would I have you, my Sturmius,
omit them, if you meditate any celebration of your English friends, than
which nothing could be more agreeable to me. One is Jane Grey[13], the
other is Mildred Cecil, who understands and speaks Greek like English,
so that it may be doubted whether she is most happy in the possession of
this surpassing degree of knowledge, or in having had for her preceptor
and father sir Anthony Coke, whose singular erudition caused him to be
joined with John Cheke in the office of tutor to the king, or finally,
in having become the wife of William Cecil, lately appointed secretary
of state; a young man indeed, but mature in wisdom, and so deeply
skilled both in letters and in affairs, and endued with such moderation
in the exercise of public offices, that to him would be awarded by the
consenting voice of Englishmen the four-fold praise attributed to
Pericles by his rival Thucydides--'To know all that is fitting, to be
able to apply what he knows, to be a lover of his country, and superior
to money.'"

[Note 13: This lady is commemorated at greater length in another
place, and therefore a clause is here omitted.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The learned, excellent, and unfortunate Jane Grey is repeatedly
mentioned by this writer with warm and merited eulogium. He relates to
Sturmius, that in the month of August 1550, taking his journey from
Yorkshire to the court, he had deviated from his course to visit the
family of the marquis of Dorset at his seat of Broadgate in
Leicestershire. Lady Jane was alone at his arrival, the rest of the
family being on a hunting party; and gaining admission to her apartment,
he found her reading by herself the Phædo of Plato in the original,
which she understood so perfectly as to excite in him extreme wonder;
for she was at this time under fifteen years of age. She also possessed
the power of speaking and writing Greek, and she willingly promised to
address to him a letter in this language. In his English work 'The
Schoolmaster,' referring again to this interview with Jane Grey, Ascham
adds the following curious and affecting particulars. Having asked her
how at her age she could have attained to such perfection both in
philosophy and Greek, "I will tell you," said she, "and tell you a
truth, which perchance you will marvel at. One of the greatest benefits
that ever God gave me is, that he sent me so sharp and severe parents,
and so gentle a schoolmaster. For when I am in presence either of father
or mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go; eat, drink,
be merry or sad; be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing any thing else, I
must do it, as it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so
perfectly, as God made the world, or else I am so sharply taunted, so
cruelly threatened, yea presently sometimes with pinches, nips, and bobs
and other ways which I will not name, for the honor I bear them, so
without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time come
that I must go to Mr. Elmer, who teacheth me so gently, so pleasantly,
with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all the time
nothing while I am with him. And when I am called from him I fall on
weeping, because whatsoever else I do but learning, is full of grief,
trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book hath been
so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to me more pleasure and more,
that in respect of it, all other pleasures, in very deed, be but trifles
and troubles unto me."

The epistles from which the extracts in the preceding pages are with
some abridgement translated, and which are said to be the first
collection of private letters ever published by any Englishman, were all
written during the year 1550, when Ascham, on some disgust, had quitted
the court and returned to his situation of Greek reader at Cambridge;
and perhaps the eulogiums here bestowed, in epistles which his
correspondent lost no time in committing to the press, were not composed
without the secret hope of their procuring for him a restoration to that
court life which it seems difficult even for the learned to quit without
a sigh. It would be unjust, however, to regard Ascham in the light of a
flatterer; for his praises are in most points corroborated by the
evidence of history, or by other concurring testimonies. His
observations, for instance, on the modest simplicity of Elizabeth's
dress and appearance at this early period of her life, which might be
received with some incredulity by the reader to whom instances are
familiar of her inordinate love of dress at a much more advanced age,
and when the cares of a sovereign ought to have left no room for a
vanity so puerile, receive strong confirmation from another and very
respectable authority.

Dr. Elmer or Aylmer, who was tutor to lady Jane Grey and her sisters,
and became afterwards, during Elizabeth's reign, bishop of London, thus
draws her character when young, in a work entitled "A Harbour for
faithful Subjects." "The king left her rich cloaths and jewels; and I
know it to be true, that in seven years after her father's death, she
never in all that time looked upon that rich attire and precious jewels
but once, and that against her will. And that there never came gold or
stone upon her head, till her sister forced her to lay off her former
soberness, and bear her company in her glittering gayness. And then she
so wore it, as every man might see that her body carried that which her
heart misliked. I am sure that her maidenly apparel which she used in
king Edward's time, made the noblemen's daughters and wives to be
ashamed to be dressed and painted like peacocks; being more moved with
her most virtuous example than with all that ever Paul or Peter wrote
touching that matter. Yea, this I know, that a great man's daughter
(lady Jane Grey) receiving from lady Mary before she was queen good
apparel of tinsel, cloth of gold and velvet, laid on with parchment lace
of gold, when she saw it, said, 'What shall I do with it?' 'Mary,' said
a gentlewoman, 'wear it.' 'Nay,' quoth she, 'that were a shame, to
follow my lady Mary against God's word, and leave my lady Elizabeth
which followeth God's word.' And when all the ladies at the coming of
the Scots queen dowager, Mary of Guise, (she who visited England in
Edward's time,) went with their hair frownsed, curled, and doublecurled,
she altered nothing but kept her old maidenly shamefacedness." This
extract may be regarded as particularly curious, as an exemplification
of the rigid turn of sentiment which prevailed at the court of young
Edward, and of the degree in which Elizabeth conformed herself to it.
There is a print from a portrait of her when young, in which the hair is
without a single ornament and the whole dress remarkably simple.

But to return to Ascham.--The qualifications of this learned man as a
writer of classical Latin recommended him to queen Mary, notwithstanding
his known attachment to the protestant faith, in the capacity of Latin
secretary; and it was in the year 1555, while holding this station, that
he resumed his lessons to his illustrious pupil.

"The lady Elizabeth and I," writes he to Sturmius, "are reading together
in Greek the Orations of Æschines and Demosthenes. She reads before me,
and at first sight she so learnedly comprehends not only the idiom of
the language and the meaning of the orator, but the whole grounds of
contention, the decrees of the people, and the customs and manners of
the Athenians, as you would greatly wonder to hear."

Under the reign of Elizabeth, Ascham retained his post of Latin
secretary, and was admitted to considerable intimacy by his royal
mistress. Addressing Sturmius he says, "I received your last letters on
the 15th of January 1560. Two passages in them, one relative to the
Scotch affairs, the other on the marriage of the queen, induced me to
give them to herself to read. She remarked and graciously acknowledged
in both of them your respectful observance of her. Your judgement in the
affairs of Scotland, as they then stood, she highly approved, and she
loves you for your solicitude respecting us and our concerns. The part
respecting her marriage she read over thrice, as I well remember, and
with somewhat of a gentle smile; but still preserving a modest and
bashful silence.

"Concerning that point indeed, my Sturmius, I have nothing certain to
write to you, nor does any one truly know what to judge. I told you
rightly, in one of my former letters, that in the whole ordinance of her
life she resembled not Phædra but Hippolyta; for by nature, and not by
the counsels of others, she is thus averse and abstinent from marriage.
When I know any thing for certain, I will write it to you as soon as
possible; in the mean time I have no hopes to give you respecting the
king of Sweden."

In the same letter, after enlarging, somewhat too rhetorically perhaps,
on the praises of the queen and her government, Ascham recurs to his
favorite theme,--her learning; and roundly asserts, that there were not
four men in England, distinguished either in the church or the state,
who understood more Greek than her majesty: and as an instance of her
proficiency in other tongues, he mentions that he was once present at
court when she gave answers at the same time to three ambassadors, the
Imperial, the French, and the Swedish, in Italian, in French, and in
Latin; and all this, fluently, without confusion, and to the purpose.

A short epistle from queen Elizabeth to Sturmius, which is inserted in
this collection, appears to refer to that of Sturmius which Ascham
answers above. She addresses him as her beloved friend, expresses in the
handsomest terms her sense of the attachment towards herself and her
country evinced by so eminent a cultivator of genuine learning and true
religion, and promises that her acknowledgements shall not be confined
to words alone; but for a further explanation of her intentions she
refers him to the bearer; consequently we have no data for estimating
the actual pecuniary value of these warm expressions of royal favor and
friendship. But we have good proof, unfortunately, that no munificent
act of Elizabeth's ever interposed to rescue her zealous and admiring
preceptor from the embarrassments into which he was plunged, probably
indeed by his own imprudent habits, but certainly by no faults which
ought to have deprived him of his just claims on the purse of a mistress
whom, he had served with so much ability, and with such distinguished
advantage to herself. The other learned females of this age whom Ascham
has complimented by addressing them in Latin epistles, are, Anne
countess of Pembroke, sister of queen Catherine Parr; a young lady of
the name of Vaughan; Jane Grey; and Mrs. Clark, a grand-daughter of sir
Thomas More, by his favorite daughter Mrs. Roper. In his letter to this
last lady, written during the reign of Mary, after congratulating her on
her cultivation, amid the luxury and dissipation of a court, of studies
worthy the descendant of a man whose high qualities had ennobled England
in the estimation of foreign nations, he proceeds to mention, that he is
the person whom, several years ago, her excellent mother had requested
to undertake the instruction of all her children in Greek and Latin
literature. At that time, he says, no offer could tempt him to quit his
learned retirement at Cambridge, and he was reluctantly compelled to
decline the proposal; but being now once more established at court, he
freely offers to a lady whose accomplishments he so much admires, any
assistance in her laudable pursuits which it may be in his power to

A few more scattered notices may be collected relative to this period of
the life of Elizabeth. Her talents, her vivacity, her proficiency in
those classical studies to which he was himself addicted, and especially
the attachment which she manifested to the reformed religion, endeared
her exceedingly to the young king her brother, who was wont to call
her,--perhaps with reference to the sobriety of dress and manners by
which she was then distinguished,--his sweet sister Temperance. On her
part his affection was met by every demonstration of sisterly
tenderness, joined to those delicate attentions and respectful
observances which his rank required.

It was probably about 1550 that she addressed to him the following
letter on his having desired her picture, which affords perhaps the most
favorable specimen extant of her youthful style.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Like as the rich man that daily gathereth riches to riches, and to one
bag of money layeth a great sort till it come to infinite: so methinks
your majesty, not being sufficed with so many benefits and gentleness
shewed to me afore this time, doth now increase them in asking and
desiring where you may bid and command; requiring a thing not worthy the
desiring for itself, but made worthy for your highness' request. My
picture I mean: in which, if the inward good mind toward your grace
might as well be declared, as the outward face and countenance shall be
seen, I would not have tarried the commandment but prevented it, nor
have been the last to grant but the first to offer it. For the face I
grant I might well blush to offer, but the mind I shall never be
ashamed to present. But though from the grace of the picture the colors
may fade by time, may give by weather, may be spited by chance; yet the
other, nor time with her swift wings shall overtake, nor the misty
clouds with their lowering may darken, nor chance with her slippery foot
may overthrow.

"Of this also yet the proof could not be great, because the occasions
have been so small; notwithstanding, as a dog hath a day, so may I
perchance have time to declare it in deeds, which now I do write them
but in words. And further, I shall humbly beseech your majesty, that
when you shall look on my picture, you will witsafe to think, that as
you have but the outward shadow of the body afore you, so my inward mind
wisheth that the body itself were oftener in your presence. Howbeit
because both my so being I think could do your majesty little pleasure,
though myself great good; and again, because I see not as yet the time
agreeing thereunto, I shall learn to follow this saying of Horace,
'_Feras, non culpes, quod vitari non potest_.' And thus I will
(troubling your majesty I fear) end with my most humble thanks;
beseeching God long to preserve you to his honor, to your comfort, to
the realms profit, and to my joy.

(From Hatfield this 15th day of May.)

Your majesty's most humble sister and servant


       *       *       *       *       *

An exact memorialist[14] has preserved an instance of the high
consideration now enjoyed by Elizabeth in the following passage, which
is further curious as an instance of the state which she already assumed
in her public appearances. "March 17th (1551). The lady Elizabeth, the
king's sister, rode through London unto St. James's, the king's palace,
with a great company of lords, knights, and gentlemen; and after her a
great company of ladies and gentlemen on horseback, about two hundred.
On the 19th she came from St. James's through the park to the court; the
way from the park gate unto the court spread with fine sand. She was
attended with a very honorable confluence of noble and worshipful
persons of both sexes, and received with much ceremony at the court

[Note 14: Strype.]

The ensuing letter, however, seems to intimate that there were those
about the young king who envied her these tokens of favor and credit,
and were sometimes but too successful in estranging her from the royal
presence, and perhaps in exciting prejudices against her:--It is
unfortunately without date of year.

       *       *       *       *       *

"The princess Elizabeth to king Edward VI.

"Like as a shipman in stormy weather plucks down the sails tarrying for
better wind, so did I, most noble king, in my unfortunate chance a
Thursday pluck down the high sails of my joy and comfort; and do trust
one day, that as troublesome waves have repulsed me backward, so a
gentle wind will bring me forward to my haven. Two chief occasions moved
me much and grieved me greatly: the one, for that I doubted your
majesty's health; the other, because for all my long tarrying, I went
without that I came for. Of the first I am relieved in a part, both that
I understood of your health, and also that your majesty's lodging is far
from my lord marques' chamber: of my other grief I am not eased; but the
best is, that whatsoever other folks will suspect, I intend not to fear
your grace's good will, which as I know that I never deserved to faint,
so I trust will still stick by me. For if your grace's advice that I
should return, (whose will is a commandment) had not been, I would not
have made the half of my way the end of my journey.

"And thus as one desirous to hear of your majesty's health, though
unfortunate to see it, I shall pray God to preserve you. (From Hatfield
this present Saturday.)

"Your majesty's humble sister to commandment,


       *       *       *       *       *


1549 TO 1553.

Decline of the protector's authority.--He is imprisoned--accused of
misdemeanors--loses his office--is liberated--reconciled with Dudley,
who succeeds to his authority.--Dudley pushes on the reformation.--The
celebration of mass prohibited.--Princess Mary persecuted.--The emperor
attempts to get her out of the kingdom, but without success--interferes
openly in her behalf.--Effect of persecution on the mind of
Mary.--Marriage proposed for Elizabeth with the prince of Denmark.--She
declines it.--King betrothed to a princess of France.--Sweating
sickness.--Death of the duke of Suffolk.--Dudley procures that title for
the marquis of Dorset, and the dukedom of Northumberland for
himself.--Particulars of the last earl of Northumberland.--Trial,
conviction, and death of the duke of Somerset.--Christmas festivities of
the young king.--Account of George Ferrers master of the king's
pastimes, and his works.--Views of Northumberland.--Decline of the
king's health.--Scheme of Northumberland for lady Jane Grey's
succession.--Three marriages contrived by him for this purpose.--He
procures a settlement of the crown on the lady Jane.--Subserviency of
the council.--Death of Edward concealed by Northumberland.--The
princesses narrowly escape falling into his hands.--Courageous conduct
of Elizabeth.--Northumberland deserted by the council and the
army.--Jane Grey imprisoned.--Northumberland arrested.--Mary mounts the

It was to little purpose that the protector had stained his hands with
the blood of his brother, for the exemption thus purchased from one
kind of fear or danger, was attended by a degree of public odium which
could not fail to render feeble and tottering an authority based, like
his, on plain and open usurpation.

Other causes conspired to undermine his credit and prepare his
overthrow. The hatred of the great nobles, which he augmented by a
somewhat too ostentatious patronage of the lower classes against the
rich and powerful, continually pursued and watched the opportunity to
ruin him. Financial difficulties pressed upon him, occasioned in great
measure by the wars with France and Scotland which he had carried on, in
pursuance of Henry's design of compelling the Scotch to marry their
young queen to his son. An object which had finally been frustrated,
notwithstanding the vigilance of the English fleet, by the safe arrival
of Mary in France, and her solemn betrothment to the dauphin. The great
and glorious work of religious reformation, though followed by Somerset,
under the guidance of Cranmer, with a moderation and prudence which
reflect the highest honor on both, could not be brought to perfection
without exciting the rancorous hostility of thousands, whom various
motives and interests attached to the cause of ancient superstition; and
the abolition, by authority, of the mass, and the destruction of images
and crucifixes, had given birth to serious disturbances in different
parts of the country. The want and oppression under which the lower
orders groaned,--and which they attributed partly to the suppression of
the monasteries to which they had been accustomed to resort for the
supply of their necessities, partly to a general inclosure bill
extremely cruel and arbitrary in its provisions,--excited commotions
still more violent and alarming. In order to suppress the insurrection
in Norfolk, headed by Kett, it had at length been found necessary to
send thither a large body of troops under the earl of Warwick, who had
acquired a very formidable degree of celebrity by the courage and
conduct which he exhibited in bringing this difficult enterprise to a
successful termination.

A party was now formed in the council, of which Warwick, Southampton,
Arundel, and St. John, were the chiefs; and strong resolutions were
entered into against the assumed authority of the protector. This
unfortunate man, whom an inconsiderate ambition, fostered by
circumstances favorable to its success, had pushed forward into a
station equally above his talents and his birth, was now found destitute
of all the resources of courage and genius which might yet have
retrieved his authority and his credit. He suffered himself to be
surprised into acts indicative of weakness and dismay, which soon robbed
him of his remaining partisans, and gave to his enemies all the
advantage which they desired.

His committal to the Tower on several charges, of which his assumption
of the whole authority of the state was the principal, soon followed. A
short time after he was deprived of his high office, which was nominally
vested in six members of the council, but really in the earl of Warwick,
whose private ambition seems to have been the main-spring of the whole
intrigue, and who thus became, almost without a struggle, undisputed
master of the king and kingdom.

That poorness of spirit which had sunk the duke of Somerset into
insignificance, saved him at present from further mischief. In the
beginning of the ensuing year, 1550, having on his knees confessed
himself guilty of all the matters laid to his charge, without
reservation or exception, and humbly submitted himself to the king's
mercy, he was condemned in a heavy fine, on remission of which by the
king he was liberated. Soon after, by the special favor of his royal
nephew, he was readmitted into the council; and a reconciliation was
mediated for him with Warwick, cemented by a marriage between one of his
daughters and the son and heir of this aspiring leader.

The catholic party, which had flattered itself that the earl of Warwick,
from gratitude for the support which some of its leaders had afforded
him, and perhaps also from principle, no less than from opposition to
the duke of Somerset, would be led to embrace its defence, was now
destined to deplore its disappointment.

Determined to rule alone, he soon shook off his able but too aspiring
colleague, the earl of Southampton, and disgraced, by the imposition of
a fine for some alleged embezzlement of public money, the earl of
Arundel, also a known assertor of the ancient faith, finally, having
observed how closely the principles of protestantism, which Edward had
derived from instructors equally learned and zealous, had interwoven
themselves with the whole texture and fabric of his mind, he resolved
to merit the lasting attachment of the royal minor by assisting him to
complete the overthrow of popery in England.

A confession of faith was now drawn up by commissioners appointed for
the purpose, and various alterations were made in the Liturgy, which had
already been translated into the vulgar tongue for church use. Tests
were imposed, which Gardiner, Bonner, and several others of the bishops
felt themselves called upon by conscience, or a regard to their own
reputation, to decline subscribing, even at the price of deprivation;
and prodigious devastations were made by the courtiers on the property
of the church. To perform or assist at the performance of the mass was
also rendered highly penal. But no dread of legal animadversion was
capable of deterring the lady Mary from the observance of this essential
rite of her religion; and finding herself and her household exposed to
serious inconveniences on account of their infraction of the new
statute, she applied for protection to her potent kinsman the emperor
Charles V., who is said to have undertaken her rescue by means which
could scarcely have failed to involve him in a war with England. By his
orders, or connivance, certain ships were prepared in the ports of
Flanders, manned and armed for an attempt to carry off the princess
either by stealth or open force, and land her at Antwerp. In furtherance
of the design, several of her gentlemen had already taken their
departure for that city, and Flemish light vessels were observed to keep
watch on the English coast. But by these appearances the apprehensions
of the council were awakened, and a sudden journey of the princess from
Hunsdon in Hertfordshire towards Norfolk, for which she was unable to
assign a satisfactory reason, served as strong confirmation of their

A violent alarm was immediately sounded through the nation, of foreign
invasion designed to co-operate with seditions at home; bodies of troops
were dispatched to protect different points of the coast; and several
ships of war were equipped for sea; while a communication on the subject
was made by the council to the nobility throughout the kingdom, in terms
calculated to awaken indignation against the persecuted princess, and
all who were suspected, justly or unjustly, of regarding her cause with
favor. A few extracts from this paper will exhibit the fierce and
jealous spirit of that administration of which Dudley formed the soul.

"So it is, that the lady Mary, not many days past, removed from Newhall
in Essex to her house of Hunsdon in Hertfordshire, the cause whereof,
although we knew not, yet did we rather think it likely that her grace
would have come to have seen his majesty; but now upon Tuesday last, she
hath suddenly, without knowledge given either to us here or to the
country there, and without any cause in the world by us to her given,
taken her journey from Hunsdon towards Norfolk" &c. "This her doing we
be sorry for, both for the evil opinion the king's majesty our master
may conceive thereby of her, and for that by the same doth appear
manifestly the malicious rancour of such as provoke her thus to breed
and stir up, as much as in her and them lieth, occasion of disorder and
unquiet in the realm" &c. "It is not unknown to us but some near about
the said lady Mary have very lately in the night seasons had privy
conferences with the emperor's embassador here being, which councils can
no wise tend to the weal of the king's majesty our master or his realm,
nor to the nobility of this realm. And whatsoever the lady Mary shall
upon instigation of these forward practices further do, like to these
her strange beginnings, we doubt not but your lordship will provide that
her proceedings shall not move any disobedience or disorder--The effect
whereof if her counsellors should procure, as it must be to her grace,
and to all other good Englishmen therein seduced, damnable, so shall it
be most hurtful to the good subjects of the country" &c.[15]

[Note 15: Burleigh Papers by Haynes.]

Thus did the fears, the policy, or the party-spirit, of the members of
the council lead them to magnify the peril of the nation from the
enterprises of a young and defenceless female, whose best friend was a
foreign prince, whose person was completely within their power, and who,
at this period of her life "more sinned against than sinning," was not
even suspected of any other design than that of withdrawing herself from
a country in which she was no longer allowed to worship God according to
her conscience. Some slight tumults in Essex and Kent, in which she was
not even charged with any participation, were speedily suppressed; and
after some conference with the chancellor and secretary Petre, Mary
obeyed a summons to attend them to the court, where she was now to be
detained for greater security.

On her arrival she received a reprimand from the council for her
obstinacy respecting the mass, with an injunction to instruct herself,
by reading, in the grounds of protestant belief. To this she replied,
with the inflexible resolution of her character, that as to protestant
books, she thanked God that she never had read any, and never intended
so to do; that for her religion she was ready to lay down her life, and
only feared that she might not be found worthy to become its martyr. One
of her chaplains was soon after thrown into prison; and further
severities seemed to await her, when a message from the emperor,
menacing the country with war in case she should be debarred from the
free exercise of her religion, taught the council the expediency of
relaxing a little the sternness of their intolerance. But the scruples
of the zealous young king on this head could not be brought to yield to
reasons of state, till he had "advised with the archbishop of Canterbury
and the bishops of London and Rochester, who gave their opinion that to
give license to sin was sin, but to connive at sin might be allowed in
case it were neither long, nor without hope of reformation[16]."

[Note 16: Hayward's Life of Edward VI.]

By this prudent and humane but somewhat jesuitical decision this
perplexing affair was set at rest for the present; and during the small
remainder of her brother's reign, a negative kind of persecution,
consisting in disfavor, obloquy, and neglect, was all, apparently, that
the lady Mary was called upon to undergo. But she had already endured
enough to sour her temper, to aggravate with feelings of personal
animosity her systematic abhorrence of what she deemed impious heresy,
and to bind to her heart by fresh and stronger ties that cherished
faith, in defence of which she was proudly conscious of having struggled
and suffered with a lofty and unyielding intrepidity.

In order to counterbalance the threatened hostility of Spain, and impose
an additional check on the catholic party at home, it was now judged
expedient for the king to strengthen himself by an alliance with
Christian III. king of Denmark; an able and enlightened prince, who in
the early part of his reign had opposed with vigor the aggressions of
the emperor Charles V. on the independence of the north of Europe, and
more recently had acquired the respect of the whole protestant body by
establishing the reformation in his dominions. An agent was accordingly
dispatched with a secret commission to sound the inclinations of the
court of Copenhagen towards a marriage between the prince-royal and the
lady Elizabeth.

That this negotiation proved fruitless, was apparently owing to the
reluctance to the connexion manifested by Elizabeth; of whom it is
observable, that she never could be prevailed upon to afford the
smallest encouragement to the addresses of any foreign prince whilst
she herself was still a subject; well aware that to accept of an
alliance which would carry her out of the kingdom, was to hazard the
loss of her succession to the English crown, a splendid reversion never
absent from her aspiring thoughts.

Disappointed in this design, Edward lost no time in pledging his own
hand to the infant daughter of Henry II. of France, which contract he
did not live to complete.

The splendid French embassy which arrived in England during the year
1550 to make arrangements respecting the dower of the princess, and to
confer on her intended spouse the order of St. Michael, was received
with high honors, but found the court-festivities damped by a visitation
of that strange and terrific malady the sweating sickness.

This pestilence, first brought into the island by the foreign
mercenaries who composed the army of the earl of Richmond, afterwards
Henry VII., now made its appearance for the fourth and last time in our
annals. It seized principally, it is said, on males, on such as were in
the prime of their age, and rather on the higher than the lower classes:
within the space of twenty-four hours the fate of the sufferer was
decided for life or death. Its ravages were prodigious; and the general
consternation was augmented by a superstitious idea which went forth,
that Englishmen alone, were the destined victims of this mysterious
minister of fate, which tracked their steps, with the malice and
sagacity of an evil spirit, into every distant country of the earth
whither they might have wandered, whilst it left unassailed all
foreigners in their own.

Two of the king's servants died of this disease, and he in consequence
removed to Hampton Court in haste and with very few attendants. The duke
of Suffolk and his brother, students at Cambridge, were seized with it
at the same time, sleeping in the same bed, and expired within two hours
of each other. They were the children of Charles Brandon by his last
wife, who was in her own right baroness Willoughby of Eresby. This lady
had already made herself conspicuous by that earnest profession of the
protestant faith for which, in the reign of Mary, she underwent many
perils and a long exile. She was a munificent patroness of the learned
and zealous divines of her own persuasion, whether natives or
foreigners; and the untimely loss of these illustrious youths, who seem
to have inherited both her religious principles and her love of letters,
was publicly bewailed by the principal members of the university.

But by the earl of Warwick the melancholy event was rendered doubly
conducive to the purposes of his ambition. In the first place it enabled
him to bind to his interests the marquis of Dorset married to the
half-sister of the young duke of Suffolk, by procuring a renewal of the
ducal title in his behalf, and next authorized him by a kind of
precedent to claim for himself the same exalted dignity.

The circumstances attending Dudley's elevation to the ducal rank are
worthy of particular notice, as connected with a melancholy part of the
story of that old and illustrious family of the Percies, celebrated
through so many ages of English history.

The last of this house who had borne the title of earl of Northumberland
was that ardent and favored suitor of Anne Boleyn, who was compelled by
his father to renounce his pretensions to her hand in deference to the
wishes of a royal competitor.

The disappointment and the injury impressed themselves in indelible
characters on the heart of Percy: in common with the object of his
attachment, he retained against Wolsey, whom he believed to have been
actively instrumental in fostering the king's passion, a deep
resentment, which is said to have rendered peculiarly acceptable to him
the duty afterwards imposed upon him, of arresting that celebrated
minister in order to his being brought to his trial. For the lady to
whom a barbarous exertion of parental authority had compelled him to
give his hand, while his whole heart was devoted to another, he also
conceived an aversion rather to be lamented than wondered at.

Unfortunately, she brought him no living offspring; and after a few
years he separated himself from her to indulge his melancholy alone and
without molestation. In this manner he spun out a suffering existence,
oppressed with sickness of mind and body, disengaged from public life,
and neglectful of his own embarrassed affairs, till the fatal
catastrophe of his brother, brought to the scaffold in 1537 for his
share in the popish rebellion under Aske. By this event, and the
attainder of sir Thomas Percy's children which followed, the earl saw
himself deprived of the only consolation which remained to him,--that of
transmitting to the posterity of a brother whom he loved, the titles and
estates derived to him through a long and splendid ancestry. As a last
resource, he bequeathed all his land to the king, in the hope, which was
not finally frustrated, that a return of royal favor might one day
restore them to the representatives of the Percies.

This done, he yielded his weary spirit on the last day of the same month
which had seen the fatal catastrophe of his misguided brother.

From this time the title had remained dormant, till the earl of Warwick,
untouched by commiseration or respect for the misfortunes of so great a
house, cut off for the present all chance of its restoration, by causing
the young monarch whom he governed to confer upon himself the whole of
the Percy estates, with the new dignity of duke of Northumberland; an
honor undeserved and ill-acquired, which no son of his was ever
permitted to inherit.

But the soaring ambition of Dudley regarded even these splendid
acquisitions of wealth and dignity only as steps to that summit of power
and dominion which he was resolved by all means and at all hazards to
attain; and his next measure was to procure the removal of the only man
capable in any degree of obstructing his further progress. This was the
late protector, by whom some relics of authority were still retained.

At the instigation of Northumberland, a law was passed making it felony
to conspire against the life of a privy-counsellor; and by various
insidious modes of provocation, he was soon enabled to bring within the
danger of this new act an enemy who was rash, little sagacious, by no
means scrupulous, and surrounded with violent or treacherous advisers.
On October 16th 1551, Somerset and several of his relations and
dependants, and on the following day his haughty duchess with certain of
her favorites, were committed to the Tower, charged with treason and
felony. The duke, being put upon his trial, so clearly disproved most of
the accusations brought against him that the peers acquitted him of
treason; but the evidence of his having entertained designs against the
lives of the duke of Northumberland, the marquis of Northampton, and the
earl of Pembroke, appeared so conclusive to his judges,--among whom
these three noblemen themselves did not blush to take their seats,--that
he was found guilty of the felony.

After his condemnation, Somerset acknowledged with contrition that he
had once mentioned to certain persons an intention of assassinating
these lords; but he protested that he had never taken any measures for
carrying this wicked purpose into execution. However this might be, no
act of violence had been committed, and it was hoped by many and
expected by more, that the royal mercy might yet be extended to preserve
his life: but Northumberland spared no efforts to incense the king
against his unhappy uncle; he also contrived by a course of amusements
and festivities to divert him from serious thought; and on January 21st
1552, to the great regret of the common people and the dismay of the
protestant party, the duke of Somerset underwent the fatal stroke on

During the whole interval between the condemnation and death of his
uncle, the king, as we are informed, had been entertained by the nobles
of his court with "stately masques, brave challenges at tilt and at
barriers, and whatsoever exercises or disports they could conjecture to
be pleasing to him. Then also he first began to _keep hall_[17], and the
Christmas-time was passed over with banquetings, plays, and much variety
of mirth[18]."

[Note 17: To keep hall, was to keep "open household with frank
resort to court."]

[Note 18: Hayward's Life of Edward VI.]

We learn that it was an ancient custom, not only with the kings of
England but with noblemen and "great housekeepers who used liberal
feasting in that season," to appoint for the twelve days of the
Christmas festival a lord of misrule, whose office it was to provide
diversions for their numerous guests. Of what nature these
entertainments might be we are not exactly informed; they probably
comprised some rude attempts at dramatic representation: but the taste
of an age rapidly advancing in literature and general refinement,
evidently began to disdain the flat and coarse buffooneries which had
formed the solace of its barbarous predecessors; and it was determined
that devices of superior elegance and ingenuity should distinguish the
festivities of the new court of Edward. Accordingly, George Ferrers, a
gentleman regularly educated at Oxford, and a member of the society of
Lincoln's inn, was chosen to preside over the "merry disports;" "who,"
says Holinshed, "being of better credit and estimation than commonly his
predecessors had been before, received all his commissions and warrants
by the name of master of the king's pastimes. Which gentleman so well
supplied his office, both in show of sundry sights and devices of rare
inventions, and in act of divers interludes and matters of pastime
played by persons, as not only satisfied the common sort, but also were
very well liked and allowed by the council, and other of skill in the
like pastimes; but best of all by the young king himself, as appeared by
his princely liberality in rewarding that service."

"On Monday the fourth day of January," pursues our chronicler, whose
circumstantial detail is sometimes picturesque and amusing, "the said
lord of merry disports came by water to London, and landing at the Tower
wharf entered the Tower, then rode through Tower-street, where he was
received by Vause, lord of misrule to John Mainard, one of the sheriffs
of London, and so conducted through the city with a great company of
young lords and gentlemen to the house of sir George Burne lord-mayor,
where he with the chief of his company dined, and after had a great
banquet, and at his departure the lord-mayor gave him a standing cup
with a cover of silver and gilt, of the value of ten pounds, for a
reward, and also set a hogshead of wine and a barrel of beer at his
gate, for his train that followed him. The residue of his gentlemen and
servants dined at other aldermen's houses and with the sheriffs, and
then departed to the Tower wharf again, and so to the court by water, to
the great commendation of the mayor and aldermen, and highly accepted,
of the king and council."

From this time Ferrers became "a composer almost by profession of
occasional interludes for the diversion of the court[19]." None of these
productions of his have come down to posterity; but their author is
still known to the student of early English poetry, as one of the
contributors to an extensive work entitled "The Mirror for Magistrates,"
which will be mentioned hereafter in speaking of the works of Thomas
Sackville lord Buckhurst. The legends combined in this collection, which
came from the pen of Ferrers, are not distinguished by any high flights
of poetic fancy, nor by a versification extremely correct or melodious.
Their merit is that of narrating after the chronicles, facts in English
history, in a style clear, natural, and energetic, with an intermixture
of political reflections conceived in a spirit of wisdom and moderation,
highly honorable to the author, and well adapted to counteract the
turbulent spirit of an age in which the ambition of the high and the
discontent of the low were alike apt to break forth into outrages
destructive of the public tranquillity.

[Note 19: See Warton's History of English Poetry, vol. iii. p. 213
et seq.]

Happy would it have been for England in more ages than one, had the
sentiment of the following humble stanza been indelibly inscribed on
the hearts of children.

    "Some haply here will move a further doubt,
    And as for York's part allege an elder right:
    O brainless heads that so run in and out!
    When length of time a state hath firmly pight,
    And good accord hath put all strife to flight,
      Were it not better such titles still to sleep
      Than all a realm about the trial weep?"

This estimable writer had been a member of parliament in the time of
Henry VIII., and was imprisoned by that despot in 1542, very probably
without any just cause. He about the same time translated into English
the great charter of Englishmen which had become a dead letter through
the tyranny of the Tudors; and he rendered the same public service
respecting several important statutes which existed only in Latin or
Norman French; proofs of a free and courageous spirit extremely rare in
that servile age!

Ferrers lived far into the reign of Elizabeth, finishing his career at
Flamstead in his native county of Herts in 1579.

From the pleasing contemplation of a life devoted to those honorable
arts by which society is cultivated, enlightened and adorned, we must
now return to tread with Northumberland the maze of dark and crooked
politics. By many a bold and many a crafty step this adept in his art
had wound his way to the highest rank of nobility attainable by a
subject, and to a station of eminence and command scarcely compatible
with that character. But no sooner had he reached it, than a sudden
cloud lowered over the splendid prospect stretched around him, and
threatened to snatch it for ever from his sight. The youthful monarch in
whom, or over whom, he reigned, was seized with a lingering disease
which soon put on appearances indicative of a fatal termination. Under
Mary, the next heir, safety with insignificance was the utmost that
could be hoped by the man who had taken a principal and conspicuous part
in every act of harshness towards herself, and every demonstration of
hostility towards the faith which she cherished, and against whom, when
he should be no longer protected by the power which he wielded, so many
lawless and rapacious acts were ready to rise up in judgement.

One scheme alone suggested itself for the preservation of his authority:
it was dangerous, almost desperate; but loss of power was more dreaded
by Dudley than any degree of hazard to others or himself; and he
resolved at all adventures to make the attempt.

By means of the new honors which he had caused to be conferred on the
marquis of Dorset, now duke of Suffolk, he engaged this weak and
inconsiderate man to give his eldest daughter, the lady Jane Grey, in
marriage to his fourth son Guildford Dudley. At the same time he
procured an union between her sister, the lady Catherine, and the eldest
son of his able but mean-spirited and time-serving associate, the earl
of Pembroke; and a third between his own daughter Catherine and lord
Hastings, son of the earl of Huntingdon by the eldest daughter and
co-heir of Henry Pole lord Montacute; in whom the claims of the line of
Clarence now vested.

These nuptials were all celebrated on one day, and with an ostentation
of magnificence and festivity which the people exclaimed against as
highly indecorous in the present dangerous state of the king's health.
But it was not on _their_ good will that Northumberland founded his
hopes, and their clamors were braved or disregarded.

His next measure was to prevail upon the dying king to dispose of the
crown by will in favor of the lady Jane. The animosity against his
sister Mary, to which their equal bigotry in opposite modes of faith had
given birth in the mind of Edward, would naturally induce him to lend a
willing ear to such specious arguments as might be produced in
justification of her exclusion: but that he could be brought with equal
facility to disinherit also Elizabeth, a sister whom he loved, a
princess judged in all respects worthy of a crown, and one with whose
religious profession he had every reason to be perfectly satisfied,
appears an indication of a character equally cold and feeble. Much
allowance, however, may be made for the extreme youth of Edward; the
weakness of his sinking frame; his affection for the pious and amiable
Jane, his near relation and the frequent companion of his childhood; and
above all, for the importunities, the artifices, of the practised
intriguers by whom his dying couch was surrounded.

The partisans of Northumberland did not fail to urge, that if one of the
princesses were set aside on account of the nullification of her
mother's marriage, the same ground of exclusion was valid against the
other. If, on the contrary, the testamentary dispositions of the late
king were to be adhered to, the lady Mary must necessarily precede her
sister, and the cause of religious reformation was lost, perhaps for

With regard to the other claimants who might still be interposed between
Jane and the English throne, it was pretended that the Scottish branch
of the royal family was put out of the question by that clause of
Henry's will which placed the Suffolk line next in order to his own
immediate descendants; as if an instrument which was set aside as to
several of its most important provisions was necessarily to be held
binding in all the rest. Even admitting this, the duchess of Suffolk
herself stood before her daughter in order of succession; but a
renunciation obtained from this lady by the authority of Northumberland,
not only of her own title but of that of any future son who might be
born to her, was supposed to obviate this objection.

The right of the king, even if he had attained the age of majority, to
dispose of the crown by will without the concurrence of parliament, was
absolutely denied by the first law authorities: but the power and
violence of Northumberland overruled all objections, and in the end the
new settlement received the signature of all the privy council, and the
whole bench of judges, with the exception of justice Hales, and perhaps
of Cecil, then secretary of state, who afterwards affirmed that he put
his name to this instrument only as a witness to the signature of the
king. Cranmer resisted for some time, but was at length won to
compliance by the tears and entreaties of Edward.

Notwithstanding this general concurrence, it is probable that very few
of the council either expected or desired that this act should be
sanctioned by the acquiescence of the nation: they signed it merely as a
protection from the present effects of the anger of Northumberland, whom
most of them hated as well as feared; each privately hoping that he
should find opportunity to disavow the act of the body in time to obtain
the forgiveness of Mary, should her cause be found finally to prevail.
The selfish meanness and political profligacy of such a conduct it is
needless to stigmatize; but this was not the age of public virtue in

A just detestation of the character of Northumberland had rendered very
prevalent an idea, that the constitution of the king was undermined by
slow poisons of his administering; and it was significantly remarked,
that his health had begun to decline from the period of lord Robert
Dudley's being placed about him as gentleman of the bed-chamber.
Nothing, however, could be more destitute both of truth and probability
than such a suspicion. Besides the satisfactory evidence that Edward's
disease was a pulmonary consumption, such as no poison could produce, it
has been well remarked, that if Northumberland were a sound politician,
there could be no man in England more sincerely desirous, for his own
sake, of the continuance of the life and reign of this young prince. By
a change he had every thing to lose, and nothing to gain. Several
circumstances tend also to show that the fatal event, hastened by the
treatment of a female empiric to whom the royal patient had been very
improperly confided, came upon Northumberland at last somewhat by
surprise, and compelled him to act with a precipitation injurious to his
designs. Several preparatory steps were yet wanting; in particular the
important one of securing the persons of the two princesses: but this
omission it seemed still possible to supply; and he ordered the death of
the king to be carefully concealed, while he wrote letters in his name
requiring the immediate attendance of his sisters on his person. With
Mary the stratagem had nearly succeeded: she had reached Hoddesdon on
her journey to London, when secret intelligence of the truth, conveyed
to her by the earl of Arundel, caused her to change her course. It was
probably a similar intimation from some friendly hand, Cecil's perhaps,
which caused Elizabeth to disobey the summons, and remain tranquil at
one of her houses in Hertfordshire.

Here she was soon after waited upon by messengers from Northumberland,
who apprized her of the accession of the lady Jane, and proposed to her
to resign her own title in consideration of a sum of money, and certain
lands which should be assigned her. But Elizabeth wisely and
courageously replied, that her elder sister was first to be agreed with,
during whose lifetime she, for her part, could claim no right at all.
And determined to make common cause with Mary against their common
enemies, she equipped with all speed a body of a thousand horse, at the
head of which she went forth to meet her sister on her approach to

The event quickly proved that she had taken the right part. Though the
council manifested their present subserviency to Northumberland by
proclaiming queen Jane in the metropolis, and by issuing in her name a
summons to Mary to lay aside her pretensions to the crown, this leader
was too well practised in the arts of courts, to be the dupe of their
hollow professions of attachment to a cause unsupported, as he soon
perceived, by the favor of the people.

The march of Northumberland at the head of a small body of troops to
resist the forces levied by Mary in Norfolk and Suffolk, was the signal
for the defection of a great majority of the council. They broke from
the kind of honorable custody in the Tower in which, from a well-founded
distrust of their intentions, Northumberland had hitherto held them; and
ordering Mary to be proclaimed in London, they caused the hapless Jane,
after a nominal reign of ten days, to be detained as a prisoner in that
fortress which she had entered as a sovereign.

Not a hand was raised, not a drop of blood was shed, in defence of this
pageant raised by the ambition of Dudley. Deserted by his partisans, his
soldiers and himself, the guilty wretch sought, as a last feeble
resource, to make a merit of being the first man to throw up his cap in
the market-place of Cambridge, and cry "God save queen Mary!" But on
the following day the earl of Arundel, whom he had disgraced, and who
hated him, though a little before he had professed that he could wish to
spend his blood at his feet, came and arrested him in her majesty's
name, and Mary, proceeding to London, seated herself without opposition
on the throne of her ancestors.


1553 AND 1554.

Mary affects attachment to Elizabeth.--Short duration of her
kindness.--Earl of Devonshire liberated from the Tower.--His
character.--He rejects the love of Mary--shows partiality to
Elizabeth.--Anger of Mary.--Elizabeth retires from court.--Queen's
proposed marriage unpopular.--Character of sir T. Wyat.--His
rebellion.--Earl of Devonshire remanded to the Tower.--Elizabeth
summoned to court--is detained by illness.--Wyat taken--is said to
accuse Elizabeth.--She is brought prisoner to the court--examined by the
council--dismissed--brought again to court--re-examined--committed to
the Tower.--Particulars of her behaviour.--Influence of Mary's
government on various eminent characters.--Reinstatement of the duke of
Norfolk in honor and office.--His retirement and death.--Liberation from
the Tower of Tonstal.--His character and after fortunes.--Of Gardiner
and Bonner.--Their views and characters.--Of the duchess of Somerset and
the marchioness of Exeter.--Imprisonment of the Dudleys--of several
protestant bishops--of judge Hales.--His sufferings and
death.--Characters and fortunes of sir John Cheke, sir Anthony Cook, Dr.
Cox, and other protestant exiles.

The conduct of Elizabeth during the late alarming crisis, earned for her
from Mary, during the first days of her reign, some demonstration of
sisterly affection. She caused her to bear her company in her public
entry into London; kindly detained her for a time near her own person;
and seemed to have consigned for ever to an equitable oblivion all the
mortifications and heartburnings of which the child of Anne Boleyn had
been the innocent occasion to her in times past, and under circumstances
which could never more return.

In the splendid procession which attended her majesty from the Tower to
Whitehall previously to her coronation on October 1st 1553, the royal
chariot, sumptuously covered with cloth of tissue and drawn by six
horses with trappings of the same material, was immediately followed by
another, likewise drawn by six horses and covered with cloth of silver,
in which sat the princess Elizabeth and the lady Anne of Cleves, who
took place in this ceremony as the adopted sister of Henry VIII.

But notwithstanding these fair appearances, the rancorous feelings of
Mary's heart with respect to her sister were only repressed or
disguised, not eradicated; and it was not long before a new subject of
jealousy caused them to revive in all their pristine energy.

Amongst the state prisoners committed to the Tower by Henry VIII., whose
liberation his executors had resisted during the whole reign of Edward,
but whom it was Mary's first act of royalty to release and reinstate in
their offices or honors, was Edward Courtney, son of the unfortunate
marquis of Exeter. From the age of fourteen to that of six-and-twenty,
this victim of tyranny had been doomed to expiate in a captivity which
threatened to be perpetual, the involuntary offence of inheriting
through an attainted father the blood of the fourth Edward. To the
surprise and admiration of the court, he now issued forth a comely and
accomplished gentleman; deeply versed in the literature of the age;
skilled in music, and still more so in the art of painting, which had
formed the chief solace of his long seclusion; and graced with that
polished elegance of manners, the result, in most who possess it, of
early intercourse with the world and an assiduous imitation of the best
examples, but to a few of her favorites the free gift of nature herself.
To all his prepossessing qualities was superadded that deep romantic
kind of interest with which sufferings, long, unmerited, and
extraordinary, never fail to invest a youthful sufferer.

What wonder that Courtney speedily became the favorite of the
nation!--what wonder that even the severe bosom of Mary herself was
touched with tenderness! With the eager zeal of the sentiment just
awakened in her heart, she hastened to restore to her too amiable
kinsman the title of earl of Devonshire, long hereditary in the
illustrious house of Courtney, to which she added the whole of those
patrimonial estates which the forfeiture of his father had vested in the
crown. She went further; she lent a propitious ear to the whispered
suggestion of her people, still secretly partial to the house of York,
that an English prince of the blood was most worthy to share the throne
of an English queen. It is even affirmed that hints were designedly
thrown out to the young man himself of the impression which he had made
upon her heart. But Courtney generously disdained, as it appears, to
barter his affections for a crown. The youth, the talents, the graces
of Elizabeth had inspired him with a preference which he was either
unwilling or unable to conceal; Mary was left to vent her disappointment
in resentment against the ill-fated object of her preference, and in
every demonstration of a malignant jealousy towards her innocent and
unprotected rival.

By the first act of a parliament summoned immediately after the
coronation, Mary's birth had been pronounced legitimate, the marriage of
her father and mother valid, and their divorce null and void. A stigma
was thus unavoidably cast on the offspring of Henry's second marriage;
and no sooner had Elizabeth incurred the displeasure of her sister, than
she was made to feel how far the consequences of this new declaration of
the legislature might be made to extend. Notwithstanding the unrevoked
succession act which rendered her next heir to the crown, she was
forbidden to take place of the countess of Lenox, or the duchess of
Suffolk, in the presence-chamber, and her friends were discountenanced
or affronted obviously on her account. Her merit, her accomplishments,
her insinuating manners, which attracted to her the admiration and
attendance of the young nobility, and the favor of the nation, were so
many crimes in the eyes of a sovereign who already began to feel her own
unpopularity; and Elizabeth, who was not of a spirit to endure public
and unmerited slights with tameness, found it at once the most dignified
and the safest course, to seek, before the end of the year, the peaceful
retirement of her house of Ashridge in Buckinghamshire. It was however
made a condition of the leave of absence from court which she was
obliged to solicit, that she should take with her sir Thomas Pope and
sir John Gage, who were placed about her as inspectors and
superintendants of her conduct, under the name of officers of her

The marriage of Mary to Philip of Spain was now openly talked of. It was
generally and justly unpopular: the protestant party, whom the measures
of the queen had already filled with apprehensions, saw, in her desire
of connecting herself yet more closely with the most bigoted royal
family of Europe, a confirmation of their worst forebodings; and the
tyranny of the Tudors had not yet so entirely crushed the spirit of
Englishmen as to render them tamely acquiescent in the prospect of their
country's becoming a province to Spain, subject to the sway of that
detested people whose rapacity, and violence, and unexampled cruelty,
had filled both hemispheres with groans and execrations.

The house of commons petitioned the queen against marrying a foreign
prince: she replied by dissolving them in anger; and all hope of putting
a stop to the connexion by legal means being thus precluded, measures of
a more dangerous character began to be resorted to.

Sir Thomas Wyat of Allingham Castle in Kent, son of the poet, wit, and
courtier of that name, had hitherto been distinguished by a zealous
loyalty; and he is said to have been also a catholic. Though allied in
blood to the Dudleys, not only had he refused to Northumberland his
concurrence in the nomination of Jane Grey, but, without waiting a
moment to see which party would prevail, he had proclaimed queen Mary in
the market-place at Maidstone, for which instance of attachment he had
received her thanks[20]. But Wyat had been employed during several years
of his life in embassies to Spain; and the intimate acquaintance which
he had thus acquired of the principles and practices of its court,
filled him with such horror of their introduction into his native
country, that, preferring patriotism to loyalty where their claims
appeared incompatible, he incited his neighbours and friends to

[Note 20: See Carte's History of England.]

In the same cause sir Peter Carew, and sir Gawen his uncle, endeavoured
to raise the West, but with small success; and the attempts made by the
duke of Suffolk, lately pardoned and liberated, to arm his tenantry and
retainers in Warwickshire and Leicestershire, proved still more futile.
Notwithstanding however this want of co-operation, Wyat's rebellion wore
for some time a very formidable appearance. The London trained-bands
sent out to oppose him, went over to him in a body under Bret, their
captain; the guards, almost the only regular troops in the kingdom, were
chiefly protestants, and therefore little trusted by the queen; and it
was known that the inhabitants of the metropolis, for which he was in
full march, were in their hearts inclined to his cause.

It was pretty well ascertained that the earl of Devonshire had received
an invitation to join the western insurgents; and though he appeared to
have rejected the proposal, he was arbitrarily remanded to his ancient
abode in the Tower.

Elizabeth was naturally regarded under all these circumstances of alarm
with extreme jealousy and suspicion. It was well known that her present
compliance with the religion of the court was merely prudential; that
she was the only hope of the protestant party, a party equally
formidable by zeal and by numbers, and which it was resolved to crush;
it was more than suspected, that though Wyat himself still professed an
inviolable fidelity to the person of the reigning sovereign, and
strenuously declared the Spanish match to be the sole grievance against
which he had taken arms, many of his partisans had been led by their
religious zeal to entertain the further view of dethroning the queen, in
favor of her sister, whom they desired to marry to the earl of
Devonshire. It was not proved that the princess herself had given any
encouragement to these designs; but sir James Croft, an adherent of
Wyat's, had lately visited Ashridge, and held conferences with some of
her attendants; and it had since been rumored that she was projecting a
removal to her manor of Donnington castle in Berkshire, on the south
side of the Thames, where nothing but a day's march through an open
country would be interposed between her residence and the station of the
Kentish rebels.

Policy seemed now to dictate the precaution of securing her person; and
the queen addressed to her accordingly the following letter.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Right dear and entirely beloved sister,

"We greet you well: And whereas certain evil-disposed persons, minding
more the satisfaction of their own malicious and seditious minds than
their duty of allegiance towards us, have of late foully spread divers
lewd and untrue rumours; and by that means and other devilish practises
do travail to induce our good and loving subjects to an unnatural
rebellion against God, us, and the tranquillity of our realm: We,
tendering the surety of your person, which might chance to be in some
peril if any sudden tumult should arise where you now be, or about
Donnington, whither, as we understand, you are minded shortly to remove,
do therefore think expedient you should put yourself in good readiness,
with all convenient speed, to make your repair hither to us. Which we
pray you fail not to do: Assuring you, that as you may most safely
remain here, so shall you be most heartily welcome to us. And of your
mind herein we pray you to return answer by this messenger.

"Given under our signet at our manor of St. James's the 26th of January
in the 1st year of our reign.

"Your loving sister,

"MARY, the queen."

       *       *       *       *       *

This summons found Elizabeth confined to her bed by sickness; and her
officers sent a formal statement of the fact to the privy-council,
praying that the delay of her appearance at court might not, under such
circumstances, be misconstrued either with respect to her or to
themselves. Monsieur de Noailles, the French ambassador, in some papers
of his, calls this "a favorable illness" to Elizabeth, "since," adds
he, "it seems likely to save Mary from the crime of putting her sister
to death by violence." And true it is, that by detaining her in the
country till the insurrection was effectually suppressed, it preserved
her from any sudden act of cruelty which the violence of the alarm might
have prompted: but other and perhaps greater dangers still awaited her.

A few days after the date of the foregoing letter, Wyat entered
Westminster, but with a force very inadequate to his undertaking: he was
repulsed in an attack on the palace; and afterwards, finding the gates
of London closed against him and seeing his followers slain, taken, or
flying in all directions, he voluntarily surrendered himself to one of
the queen's officers and was conveyed to the Tower. It was immediately
given out, that he had made a full discovery of his accomplices, and
named amongst them the princess and the earl of Devonshire; and on this
pretext, for it was probably no more, three gentlemen were sent,
attended by a troop horse, with peremptory orders to bring Elizabeth
back with them to London.

They reached her abode at ten o'clock at night, and bursting into her
sick chamber, in spite of the remonstrances of her ladies, abruptly
informed her of their errand. Affrighted at the summons, she declared
however her entire willingness to wait upon the queen her sister, to
whom she warmly protested her loyal attachment; but she appealed to
their own observation for the reality of her sickness, and her utter
inability to quit her chamber. The gentlemen pleaded, on the other
side, the urgency of their commission, and said that they had brought
the queen's litter for her conveyance. Two physicians were then called
in, who gave it as their opinion that she might be removed without
danger to her life; and on the morrow her journey commenced.

The departure of Elizabeth from Ashridge was attended by the tears and
passionate lamentations of her afflicted household, who naturally
anticipated from such beginnings the worst that could befal her. So
extreme was her sickness, aggravated doubtless by terror and dejection,
that even these stern conductors found themselves obliged to allow her
no less than four nights' rest in a journey of only twenty-nine miles.

Between Highgate and London her spirits were cheered by the appearance
of a number of gentlemen who rode out to meet her, as a public testimony
of their sympathy and attachment; and as she proceeded, the general
feeling was further manifested by crowds of people lining the waysides,
who flocked anxiously about her litter, weeping and bewailing her aloud.
A manuscript chronicle of the time describes her passage on this
occasion through Smithfield and Fleet-street, in a litter open on both
sides, with a hundred "velvet coats" after her, and a hundred others "in
coats of fine red guarded with velvet;" and with this train she passed
through the queen's garden to the court.

This open countenancing of the princess by a formidable party in the
capital itself, seems to have disconcerted the plans of Mary and her
advisers; and they contented themselves for the present with detaining
her in a kind of honorable custody at Whitehall. Here she underwent a
strict examination by the privy-council respecting Wyat's insurrection,
and the rising in the West under Carew; but she steadfastly protested
her innocence and ignorance of all such designs; and nothing coming out
against her, in about a fortnight she was dismissed, and suffered to
return to her own house. Her troubles, however, were as yet only
beginning. Sir William St. Low, one of her officers, was apprehended as
an adherent of Wyat's; and this leader himself, who had been respited
for the purpose of working on his love of life, and leading him to
betray his confederates, was still reported to accuse the princess. An
idle story was officiously circulated, of his having conveyed to her in
a bracelet the whole scheme of his plot; and on March 15th she was again
taken into custody and brought to Hampton-court.

Soon after her arrival, it was finally announced to her by a deputation
of the council, not without strong expressions of concern from several
of the members, that her majesty had determined on her committal to the
Tower till the matter could be further investigated. Bishop Gardiner,
now a principal counsellor, and two others, came soon after, and,
dismissing the princess's attendants, supplied their place with some of
the queen's, and set a guard round the palace for that night. The next
day, the earl of Sussex and another lord were sent to announce to her
that a barge was in readiness for her immediate conveyance to the Tower.
She entreated first to be permitted to write to the queen; and the earl
of Sussex assenting, in spite of the angry opposition of his companion,
whose name is concealed by the tenderness of his contemporaries, and
undertaking to be himself the bearer of her letter, she took the
opportunity to repeat her protestations of innocence and loyalty,
concluding, with an extraordinary vehemence of asseveration, in these
words: "As for that traitor Wyat, he might peradventure write me a
letter; but on my faith I never received any from him. And as for the
copy of my letter to the French king, I pray God confound me eternally,
if ever I sent him word, message, token, or letter, by any means." With
respect to the last clause of this disavowal, it may be fit to observe,
that there is indeed no proof that Elizabeth ever returned any answer to
the letters or messages of the French king; but that it seems a
well-authenticated fact, that during some period of her adversity Henry
II. made her the offer of an asylum in France. The circumstance of the
dauphin's being betrothed to the queen of Scots, who claimed to precede
Elizabeth in the order of succession, renders the motive of this
invitation somewhat suspicious; at all events, it was one which she was
never tempted to accept.

Her letter did not obtain for the princess what she sought,--an
interview with her sister; and the next day, being Palm Sunday, strict
orders were issued for all people to attend the churches and carry their
palms; and in the mean time she was privately removed to the Tower,
attended by the earl of Sussex and the other lord, three of her own
ladies, three of the queen's, and some of her officers. Several
characteristic traits of her behaviour have been preserved. On reaching
her melancholy place of destination, she long refused to land at
Traitor's gate; and when the uncourteous nobleman declared "that she
should not choose," offering her however, at the same time, his cloak to
protect her from the rain, she retained enough of her high spirit to put
it from her "with a good dash." As she set her foot on the ill-omened
stairs, she said, "Here landeth as true a subject, being a prisoner, as
ever landed at these stairs; and before thee, O God! I speak it, having
no other friends but thee alone."

On seeing a number of warders and other attendants drawn out in order,
she asked, "What meaneth this?" Some one answered that it was customary
on receiving a prisoner. "If it be," said she, "I beseech you that for
my cause they may be dismissed." Immediately the poor men kneeled down
and prayed God to preserve her; for which action they all lost their
places the next day.

Going a little further, she sat down on a stone to rest herself; and the
lieutenant urging her to rise and come in out of the cold and wet, she
answered, "Better sitting here than in a worse place, for God knoweth
whither you bring me." On hearing these words her gentleman-usher wept,
for which she reproved him; telling him he ought rather to be her
comforter, especially since she knew her own truth to be such, that no
man should have cause to weep for her. Then rising, she entered the
prison, and its gloomy doors were locked and bolted on her. Shocked and
dismayed, but still resisting the weakness of unavailing lamentation,
she called for her book, and devoutly prayed that she might build her
house upon the rock.

Meanwhile her conductors retired to concert measures for keeping her
securely; and her firm friend, the earl of Sussex, did not neglect the
occasion of reminding all whom it might concern, that the king their
master's daughter was to be treated in no other manner than they might
be able to justify, whatever should happen hereafter; and that they were
to take heed to do nothing but what their commission would bear out. To
this the others cordially assented; and having performed their office,
the two lords departed.

Having now conducted the heroine of the protestant party to the dismal
abode which she was destined for a time to occupy, it will be proper to
revert to the period of Mary's accession.

Little more than eight months had yet elapsed from the death of Edward;
but this short interval had sufficed to change the whole face of the
English court; to alter the most important relations of the country with
foreign states; and to restore in great measure the ancient religion,
which it had been the grand object of the former reign finally and
totally to overthrow. It is the business of the historian to record the
series of public measures by which this calamitous revolution was
accomplished: the humbler but not uninteresting task, of tracing its
effects on the fortunes of eminent individuals, belongs to the compiler
of memoirs, and forms an appropriate accompaniment to the relation of
the perils, sufferings and obloquy, through which the heiress of the
English crown passed on safely to the accomplishment of her high

The liberation of the state-prisoners confined in the Tower,--an act of
grace usual on the accession of a prince,--was one which the causes of
detention of the greater part of them rendered it peculiarly gratifying
to Mary to perform. The enemies of Henry's or of Edward's government she
regarded with reason as her friends and partisans, and the adherents,
open or concealed, of that church establishment which was to be forced
back on the reluctant consciences of the nation.

The most illustrious of the captives was that aged duke of Norfolk whom
the tyrant Henry had condemned to die without a crime, and who had been
suffered to languish in confinement during the whole reign of Edward;
chiefly, it is probable, because the forfeiture of his vast estates
afforded a welcome supply to the exhausted treasury of the young king;
though the extensive influence of this nobleman, and the attachment for
the old religion which he was believed to cherish, had served as
plausible pretexts for his detention. His high birth, his hereditary
authority, his religious predilections, were so many titles of merit in
the eyes of the new queen, who was also desirous of profiting by his
abilities and long experience in all affairs civil and military. Without
waiting for the concurrence of parliament, she declared by her own
authority his attainder irregular and null, restored to him such of his
lands as remained vested in the crown, and proceeded to reinstate him in
offices and honors. On August 10th he took his seat at the
council-board of the eighth English monarch whose reign he had survived
to witness; on the same day he was solemnly reinvested with the garter,
of which he had been deprived on his attainder; and a few days after, he
sat as lord-high-steward on the trial of that very duke of
Northumberland to whom, not long before, his friends and adherents had
been unsuccessful suitors for his own liberation.

There is extant a remarkable order of council, dated August 27th of this
year, "for a letter to be written to the countess of Surry to send up to
Mountjoy Place in London her youngest son, and the rest of her children,
by the earl of Surry, where they shall be received by the duke of
Norfolk their grandfather[21]." It may be conjectured that these young
people were thus authoritatively consigned to the guardianship of the
duke, for the purpose of correcting the protestant predilections in
which they had been educated; and the circumstance seems also to
indicate, what indeed might be well imagined, that little harmony or
intercourse subsisted between this nobleman and a daughter-in-law whom
he had formerly sought to deprive of her husband in order to form for
him a new and more advantageous connexion.

[Note 21: See Burleigh Papers by Haynes.]

The eldest son of the earl of Surry, now in the seventeenth year of his
age, was honored with the title of his father; and he began his
distinguished though unfortunate career by performing, as deputy to the
duke of Norfolk, the office of earl-marshal at the queen's coronation.
On the first alarm of Wyat's rebellion, the veteran duke was summoned to
march out against him; but his measures, which otherwise promised
success, were completely foiled by the desertion of the London bands to
the insurgents; and the last military expedition of his life was
destined to conclude with a hasty and ignominious flight. He soon after
withdrew entirely from the fatigues of public life, and after all the
vicissitudes of court and camp, palace and prison, with which the lapse
of eighty eventful years had rendered him acquainted, calmly breathed
his last at his own castle of Framlingham in September 1554.

Three deprived bishops were released from the Tower, and restored with
honor to their sees. These were, Tonstal of Durham, Gardiner of
Winchester, and Bonner of London. Tonstal, many of whose younger years
had been spent in diplomatic missions, was distinguished in Europe by
his erudition, which had gained him the friendship and correspondence of
Erasmus; he was also mild, charitable, and of unblemished morals.
Attached by principle to the faith of his forefathers, but loth either
to incur personal hazard, or to sacrifice the almost princely emoluments
of the see of Durham, he had contented himself with regularly opposing
in the house of lords all the ecclesiastical innovations of Edward's
reign, and as regularly giving them his concurrence when once
established. It was not, therefore, professedly on a religious account
that he had suffered deprivation and imprisonment, but on an obscure
charge of having participated in some traitorous or rebellious design: a
charge brought against him, in the opinion of most, falsely, and
through the corrupt procurement of Northumberland, to whose project of
erecting the bishopric of Durham into a county palatine for himself, the
deprivation of Tonstal, and the abolition of the see by act of
parliament, were indispensable preliminaries. This meek and amiable
prelate returned to the exercise of his high functions, without a wish
of revenging on the protestants, in their adversity, the painful acts of
disingenuousness which their late ascendency had forced upon him. During
the whole of Mary's reign, no person is recorded to have suffered for
religion within the limits of his diocess. The mercy which he had shown,
he afterwards most deservedly experienced. Refusing, on the accession of
Elizabeth, to preserve his mitre by a repetition of compliances of which
so many recent examples of conscientious suffering in men of both
persuasions must have rendered him ashamed, he suffered a second
deprivation; but his person was only committed to the honorable custody
of archbishop Parker. By this learned and munificent prelate the
acquirements and virtues of Tonstal were duly appretiated and esteemed.
He found at Lambeth a retirement suited to his age, his tastes, his
favorite pursuits; by the arguments of his friendly host he was brought
to renounce several of the grosser corruptions of popery; and dying in
the year 1560, an honorable monument was erected by the primate to his

With views and sentiments how opposite did Gardiner and Bonner resume
the crosier! A deep-rooted conviction of the truth and vital importance
of the religious opinions which he defends, supplies to the persecutor
the only apology of which his foolish and atrocious barbarity admits;
and to men naturally mild and candid, we feel a consolation in allowing
it in all its force;--but by no particle of such indulgence should
Bonner or Gardiner be permitted to benefit. It would be credulity, not
candor, to yield to either of these bad men the character of sincere,
though over zealous, religionists. True it is that they had subjected
themselves to the loss of their bishoprics, and to a severe
imprisonment, by a refusal to give in their renunciation of certain
doctrines of the Romish church; but they had previously gone much
further in compliance than conscience would allow to any real catholic;
and they appear to have stopped short in this career only because they
perceived in the council such a determination to strip them, under one
pretext or another, of all their preferments, as manifestly rendered
further compliance useless. Both of them had policy enough to restrain
them, under such circumstances, from degrading their characters
gratuitously, and depriving themselves of the merit of having suffered
for a faith which might soon become again predominant. They received
their due reward in the favor of Mary, who recognised them with joy as
the fit instruments of all her bloody and tyrannical designs, to which
Gardiner supplied the crafty and contriving head, Bonner the vigorous
and unsparing arm.

The proud wife of the protector Somerset,--who had been imprisoned, but
never brought to trial, as an accomplice in her husband's plots,--was
now dismissed to a safe insignificance. The marchioness of Exeter,
against whom, in Henry's reign, an attainder had passed too iniquitous
for even him to carry into effect, was also rescued from her long
captivity, and indemnified for the loss of her property by some valuable
grants from the new confiscations of the Dudleys and their adherents.

The only state prisoner to whom the door was not opened on this occasion
was Geffrey Pole, that base betrayer of his brother and his friends by
whose evidence lord Montacute and the marquis of Exeter had been brought
to an untimely end. It is some satisfaction to know, that the
commutation of death for perpetual imprisonment was all the favor which
this wretch obtained from Henry; that neither Edward nor Mary broke his
bonds; and that, as far as appears, his punishment ended only with his
miserable existence.

Not long, however, were these dismal abodes suffered to remain
unpeopled. The failure of the criminal enterprise of Northumberland
first filled the Tower with the associates, or victims, of his guilt.
Nearly the whole of the Dudley family were its tenants for a longer or
shorter time; and it was another remarkable coincidence of their
destinies, which Elizabeth in the after days of her power and glory
might have pleasure in recalling to her favorite Leicester, that during
the whole of her captivity in this fortress he also was included in the
number of its melancholy inmates.

The places of Tonstal, Gardiner, and Bonner, were soon after supplied by
the more zealous of Edward's bishops, Holgate, Coverdale, Ridley, and
Hooper; and it was not long before the vehement Latimer and even the
cautious Cranmer were added to their suffering brethren.

The queen made no difficulty of pardoning and receiving into favor those
noblemen and others, members of the privy-council, whom a base dread of
the resentment of Northumberland had driven into compliance with his
measures in favor of Jane Grey; wisely considering, perhaps, that the
men who had submitted to be the instruments of his violent and illegal
proceedings, would feel little hesitation in lending their concurrence
to hers also. On this principle, the marquis of Winchester and the earls
of Arundel and Pembroke were employed and distinguished; the last of
these experienced courtiers making expiation for his past errors, by
causing his son, lord Herbert, to divorce the lady Catherine Grey, to
whom it had so lately suited his political views to unite him.

Sir James Hales on the contrary, that conscientious and upright judge,
who alone, of all the privy-counsellors and crown-lawyers, had persisted
in refusing his signature to the act by which Mary was disinherited of
the crown, found himself unrewarded and even discountenanced. The queen
well knew, what probably the judge was not inclined to deny, that it was
attachment, not to her person, but to the constitution of his country,
which had prompted his resistance to that violation of the legal order
of succession; and had it even been otherwise, she would have regarded
all her obligations to him as effectually cancelled by his zealous
adherence to the church establishment of the preceding reign. For
daring to urge upon the grand juries whom he addressed in his circuit,
the execution of some of Edward's laws in matter of religion, yet
unrepealed, judge Hales was soon after thrown into prison. He endured
with constancy the sufferings of a long and rigorous confinement,
aggravated by the threats and ill-treatment of a cruel jailor. At length
some persons in authority were sent to propound to him terms of release.
It is suspected that they extorted from him some concessions on the
point of religion; for immediately after their departure, retiring to
his cell, in a fit of despair he stabbed himself with his knife in
different parts of the body, and was only withheld by the sudden
entrance of his servant from inflicting a mortal wound. Bishop Gardiner
had the barbarity to insult over the agony or distraction of a noble
spirit overthrown by persecution; he even converted his solitary act
into a general reflection against protestantism, which he called "the
doctrine of desperation." Some time after, Hales obtained his
enlargement on payment of an arbitrary fine of six thousand pounds. But
he did not with his liberty recover his peace of mind; and after
struggling for a few months with an unconquerable melancholy, he sought
and found its final cure in the waters of a pond in his garden.

No blood except of principals, was shed by Mary on account of the
proclamation of Jane Grey; but she visited with lower degrees of
punishment, secretly proportioned to the zeal which they had displayed
in the reformation of religion, several of the more eminent partisans
of this "meek usurper." The three tutors of king Edward, sir Anthony
Cook, sir John Cheke and Dr. Cox, were sufficiently implicated in this
affair to warrant their imprisonment for some time on suspicion; and all
were eager, on their release, to shelter themselves from the approaching
storm by flight.

Cheke, after confiscation of his estate, obtained permission to travel
for a given time on the continent. Strasburgh was selected by Cook for
his place of exile. The wise moderation of character by which this
excellent person was distinguished, seems to have preserved him from
taking any part in the angry contentions of protestant with protestant,
exile with exile, by which the refugees of Strasburgh and Frankfort
scandalized their brethren and afforded matter of triumph to the church
of Rome. On the accession of Elizabeth he returned with alacrity to
re-occupy and embellish the modest mansion of his forefathers, and
"through the loopholes of retreat" to view with honest exultation the
high career of public fortune run by his two illustrious sons-in-law,
Nicholas Bacon and William Cecil.

The enlightened views of society taken by sir Anthony led him to extend
to his daughters the noblest privileges of the other sex, those which
concern the early and systematic acquisition of solid knowledge. Through
his admirable instructions their minds were stored with learning,
strengthened with principles, and formed to habits of reasoning and
observation, which rendered them the worthy partners of great statesmen,
who knew and felt their value. The fame, too, of these distinguished
females has reflected back additional lustre on the character of a
father, who was wont to say to them in the noble confidence of
unblemished integrity, "My life is your portion, my example your

Dr. Cox was quite another manner of man. Repairing first to Strasburgh,
where the English exiles had formed themselves into a congregation using
the liturgy of the church of England, he went thence to Frankfort,
another city of refuge to his countrymen at this period; where the
intolerance of his zeal against such as more inclined to the form of
worship instituted by the Genevan reformer, embarked him in a violent
quarrel with John Knox, against whom, on pretext of his having libelled
the emperor, he found means to kindle the resentment of the magistrates,
who compelled him to quit the city. After this disgraceful victory over
a brother reformer smarting under the same scourge of persecution with
himself, he returned to Strasburgh, where he more laudably employed
himself in establishing a kind of English university.

His zeal for the church of England, his sufferings in the cause, and his
services to learning, obtained for him from Elizabeth the bishopric of
Ely; but neither party enjoyed from this appointment all the
satisfaction which might have been anticipated. The courage, perhaps the
self opinion, of Dr. Cox, engaged him on several occasions in opposition
to the measures of the queen; and his narrow and persecuting spirit
involved him in perpetual disputes and animosities, which rendered the
close of a long life turbulent and unhappy, and took from his learning
and gray hairs their due reverence. The rapacity of the courtiers, who
obtained grant after grant of the lands belonging to his bishopric, was
another fruitful source to him of vexation; and he had actually tendered
the resignation of his see on very humiliating terms, when death came to
his relief in the year 1581, the eighty-second of his age.

If in this and a few other instances, the polemical zeal natural to men
who had sacrificed their worldly all for the sake of religion, was
observed to degenerate among the refugees into personal quarrels
disgraceful to themselves and injurious to their noble cause, it ought
on the other hand to be observed, that some of the firmest and most
affectionate friendships of the age were formed amongst these companions
in adversity; and that by many who attained under Elizabeth the highest
preferments and distinctions, the title of fellow-exile never ceased to
be regarded as the most sacred and endearing bond of brotherhood.

Other opportunities will arise of commemorating some of the more eminent
of the clergy who renounced their country during the persecutions of
Mary; but respecting the laity, it may here be remarked, that with the
exception of Catherine duchess-dowager of Suffolk, not a single person
of quality was found in this list of conscientious sufferers; though one
peer, probably the earl of Bedford, underwent imprisonment on a
religious account at home. Of the higher gentry, however, there were
considerable numbers who either went and established themselves in the
protestant cities of Germany, or passed away the time in travelling.

Sir Francis Knowles, whose lady was niece to Anne Boleyn, took the
former part, residing with his eldest son at Frankfort; Walsingham
adopted the latter. With the views of a future minister of state, he
visited in succession the principal courts of Europe, where he employed
his diligence and sagacity in laying the foundations of that intimate
knowledge of their policy and resources by which he afterwards rendered
his services so important to his queen and country.


1554 AND 1555.

Arrival of Wyat and his associates at the Tower.--Savage treatment of
them.--Further instances of Mary's severity.--Duke of Suffolk
beheaded.--Death of lady Jane Grey--of Wyat, who clears Elizabeth of all
share in his designs.--Trial of Throgmorton.--Bill for the exclusion of
Elizabeth thrown out.--Parliament protects her rights--is
dissolved.--Rigorous confinement of Elizabeth in the Tower.--She is
removed under guard of Beddingfield--carried to Richmond--offered
liberty with the hand of the duke of Savoy--refuses--is carried
to Ricot, thence prisoner to Woodstock.--Anecdotes of her
behaviour.--Cruelty of Gardiner towards her attendants.--Verses by
Harrington.--Marriage of the queen.--Alarms of the protestants.--Arrival
of cardinal Pole.--Popery restored.--Persecution begun.--King Philip
procures the liberation of state prisoners.--Earl of Devon travels into
Italy--dies.--Obligation of Elizabeth to Philip discussed.--She is
invited to court--keeps her Christmas there--returns to Woodstock--is
brought again to court by Philip's intercession.--Gardiner urges her to
make submissions, but in vain.--She is brought to the queen--permitted
to reside without guards at one of the royal seats--finally settled at
Hatfield.--Character of sir Thomas Pope.--Notice of the
Harringtons.--Philip quits England.--Death of Gardiner.

It is now proper to return to circumstances more closely connected with
the situation of Elizabeth at this eventful period of her life.

Two or three weeks before her arrival in the Tower, Wyat with some of
his principal adherents had been carried thither. Towards these unhappy
persons, none of those decencies of behaviour were observed which the
sex and rank of Elizabeth had commanded from the ministers of her
sister's severity; and Holinshed's circumstantial narrative of the
circumstances attending their committal, may be cited as an instructive
example of the fierce and brutal manners of the age.

"Sir Philip Denny received them at the bulwark, and as Wyat passed by,
he said, 'Go, traitor, there was never such a traitor in England.' To
whom sir Thomas Wyat turned and said, 'I am no traitor; I would thou
shouldest well know that thou art more traitor than I; it is not the
point of an honest man to call me so.' And so went forth. When he came
to the Tower gate, sir Thomas Bridges lieutenant took in through the
wicket first Mantell, and said; 'Ah thou traitor! what hast thou and thy
company wrought?' But he, holding down his head, said nothing. Then came
Thomas Knevet, whom master Chamberlain, gentleman-porter of the Tower,
took in. Then came Alexander Bret, (captain of the white coats,) whom
sir Thomas Pope took by the bosom, saying, 'O traitor! how couldst thou
find in thy heart to work such a villainy as to take wages, and being
trusted over a band of men, to fall to her enemies, returning against
her in battle?' Bret answered, 'Yea, I have offended in that case.' Then
came Thomas Cobham, whom sir Thomas Poins took in, and said; 'Alas,
master Cobham, what wind headed you to work such treason?' And he
answered, 'O sir! I was seduced.' Then came sir Thomas Wyat, whom sir
Thomas Bridges took by the collar, and said; 'O thou villain! how
couldst thou find in thy heart to work such detestable treason to the
queen's majesty, who gave thee thy life and living once already,
although thou didst before this time bear arms in the field against
her?[22]... If it were not (saith he) but that the law must pass upon
thee, I would stick thee through with my dagger.' To the which Wyat,
holding his arms under his sides and looking grievously with a grim look
upon the lieutenant, said, 'It is no mastery now;' and so passed on."

[Note 22: It is plain that Wyat is here accused of having taken arms
for Jane Grey; but most wrongfully, if Carte's account of him is to be
credited, which there seems no reason to disbelieve.]

Other circumstances attending the suppression of this rebellion mark
with equal force the stern and vindictive spirit of Mary's government,
and the remaining barbarity of English customs. The inhabitants of
London being for the most part protestants and well affected, as the
defection of their trained bands had proved, to the cause of Wyat, it
was thought expedient to admonish them of the fruits of rebellion by the
gibbeting of about sixty of his followers in the most public parts of
the city. Neither were the bodies suffered to be removed till the public
entry of king Philip after the royal nuptials; on which festal occasion
the streets were cleared of these noisome objects which had disgraced
them for nearly half a year.

Some hundreds of the meaner rebels, to whom the queen was pleased to
extend her mercy, were ordered to appear before her bound two-and-two
together, with halters about their necks; and kneeling before her in
this guise, they received her _gracious_ pardon of all offences; but no
general amnesty was ever granted.

That the rash attempt of the duke of Suffolk should have been visited
upon himself by capital punishment, is neither to be wondered at nor
censured; but it was a foul act of cruelty to make this the pretext for
taking away the lives of a youthful pair entirely innocent of this last
design, and forgiven, as it was fondly hoped, for the almost involuntary
part which they had taken in a former and more criminal enterprise. But
religious bigotry and political jealousy, each perhaps sufficient for
the effect, combined in this instance to urge on the relentless temper
of Mary; and the lady Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley her husband were
ordered to prepare for the execution of the sentence which had remained
suspended over them.

Every thinking mind must have been shocked at the vengeance taken on
Guildford Dudley,--a youth too insignificant, it might be thought, to
call forth the animadversion of the most apprehensive government, and
guilty of nothing but having accepted, in obedience to his father's
pleasure, the hand of Jane Grey. But the fate of this distinguished lady
herself was calculated to awaken stronger feelings. The fortitude, the
piety, the genuine humility and contrition evinced by her in the last
scene of an unsullied life, furnished the best evidence of her
guiltlessness even of a wish to resume the sceptre which paternal
authority had once forced on her reluctant grasp; and few could witness
the piteous spectacle of her violent and untimely end, without a thrill
of indignant horror, and secret imprecations against the barbarity of
her unnatural kinswoman.

The earl of Devonshire was still detained in the Tower on Wyat's
information, as was pretended, and on other indications of guilt, all of
which were proved in the end equally fallacious: and at the time of
Elizabeth's removal hither this state-prison was thronged with captives
of minor importance implicated in the designs of Wyat. These were
assiduously plied on one hand with offers of liberty and reward, and
subjected on the other to the most rigorous treatment, the closest
interrogatories, and one of them even to the rack, in the hope of
eliciting from them some evidence which might reconcile to Mary's
conscience, or color to the nation, the death or perpetual imprisonment
of a sister whom she feared and hated.

To have brought her to criminate herself would have been better still;
and no pains were spared for this purpose. A few days after her
committal, Gardiner and other privy-councillors came to examine her
respecting the conversation which she had held with sir James Croft
touching her removal to Donnington Castle. She said, after some
recollection, that she had indeed such a place, but that she never
occupied it in her life, and she did not remember that any one had moved
her so to do. Then, "to enforce the matter," they brought forth sir
James Croft, and Gardiner demanded what she had to say to that man? She
answered that she had little to say to him or to the rest that were in
the Tower. "But, my lords," said she, "you do examine every mean
prisoner of me, wherein methinks you do me great injury. If they have
done evil and offended the queen's majesty, let them answer to it
accordingly. I beseech you, my lords, join not me in this sort with any
of these offenders. And concerning my going to Donnington Castle, I do
remember that master Hobby and mine officers and you sir James Croft had
such talk;--but what is that to the purpose, my lords, but that I may go
to mine own houses at all times?" The earl of Arundel kneeling down
said, "Your grace sayeth true, and certainly we are very sorry that we
have troubled you about so vain matter." She then said, "My lords, you
do sift me very narrowly; but I am well assured you shall not do more to
me than God hath appointed, and so God forgive you all."

Before their departure sir James Croft kneeled down before her,
declaring that he was sorry to see the day in which he should be brought
as a witness against her grace. But he added, that he had been
"marvellously tossed and examined touching her grace;" and ended by
protesting his innocence of the crime laid to his charge[23].

[Note 23: Fox's narrative in Holinshed.]

Wyat was at length, on April 11th, brought to his death; when he
confounded all the hopes and expectations of Elizabeth's enemies, by
strenuously and publicly asserting her entire innocence of any
participation in his designs.

Sir Nicholas Throgmorton was brought to the bar immediately afterwards.
His trial at length, as it has come down to us in Holinshed's Chronicle,
is one of the most interesting documents of that nature extant. He was
esteemed "a deep conspirator, whose post was thought to be at London as
a factor, to give intelligence as well to them in the West, as to Wyat
and the rest in Kent. It was believed that he gave notice to Wyat to
come forward with his power, and that the Londoners would be ready to
take his part. And that he sent a post to sir Peter Carew also, to
advance with as much speed as might be, and to bring his forces with

"He was said moreover to be the man that excited the earl of Devon to go
down into the West, and that sir James Croft and he had many times
consulted about the whole matter[24]."

[Note 24: Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials.]

To these political offences, sir Nicholas added religious principles
still more heinous in the eyes of Mary. He, with two other gentlemen of
his family, had been of the number of those who attended to the stake
that noble martyr Anne Askew, burned for heresy in the latter end of
Henry's reign; when they were bid to take care of their lives, for they
were all marked men. Since the accession of Mary also he had "bemoaned
to his friend sir Edward Warner, late lieutenant of the Tower, his own
estate and the tyranny of the times, extending upon divers honest
persons for religion, and wished it were lawful for all of each
religion to live safely according to their conscience. For the law
_ex-officio_ he said would be intolerable, and the clergy discipline now
might rather be resembled to the Turkish tyranny than the teaching of
the Christian religion. Which words he was not afraid at his trial
openly to acknowledge that he had said to the said Warner[25]."

[Note 25: Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials.]

The prosecution was conducted with all the iniquity which the corrupt
practice of that age admitted. Not only was the prisoner debarred the
assistance of counsel on his trial, he was even refused the privilege of
calling a single witness in his favor. He defended himself however under
all these disadvantages, with surprising skill, boldness and presence of
mind; and he retorted with becoming spirit the brutal taunts of the
crown lawyers and judges, who disgraced themselves on the occasion by
all the excesses of an unprincipled servility. Fortunately for
Throgmorton, the additional clauses to the treason laws added under
Henry VIII. had been abolished under his successor and were not yet
re-enacted. Only the clear and equitable statute of Edward III. remained
therefore in force; and the lawyers were reduced to endeavour at such an
explanation of it as should comprehend a kind of constructive treason.
"If," said they, "it be proved that the prisoner was connected with
Wyat, and of his counsel, the overt acts of Wyat are to be taken as his,
and visited accordingly." But besides that no participation with Wyat
after he had taken up arms, was proved upon Throgmorton, the jury were
moved by his solemn protest against so unwarrantable a principle as that
the overt acts of one man might be charged as overt acts upon another.
They acquitted him therefore with little hesitation, to the
inexpressible disappointment and indignation of the queen and her
ministers, who then possessed the power of making their displeasure on
such an occasion deeply felt. The jury were immediately committed to
custody, and eight of them, who refused to confess themselves in fault,
were further imprisoned for several months and heavily fined.

The acquitted person himself, in defiance of all law and justice, was
remanded to the Tower, and did not regain his liberty till the
commencement of the following year, when the intercession of king Philip
obtained the liberation of almost all the prisoners there detained.

Throgmorton, like all the others called in question for the late
insurrections, was closely questioned respecting Elizabeth and the earl
of Devon; "and very fain," we are told, "the privy-councillors employed
in this work would have got out of him something against them. For when
at Throgmorton's trial, his writing containing his confession was read
in open court, he prayed the queen's serjeant that was reading it to
read further, 'that hereafter,' said he, 'whatsoever become of me, my
words may not be perverted and abused to the hurt of some others, and
especially against the great personages of whom I have been sundry
times, as appears by my answers, examined. For I perceive the net was
not cast only for little fishes but for great ones[26]."

[Note 26: Strype's Memorials.]

This generous concern for the safety of Elizabeth in the midst of his
own perils appears not to have been lost upon her; and under the ensuing
reign we shall have the satisfaction of seeing the abilities of sir
Nicholas displayed in other scenes and under happier auspices.

All manifestations of popular favor towards those whom the court had
proscribed and sought to ruin, were at this juncture visited with the
extreme of arbitrary severity. Two merchants of London, for words
injurious to the queen, but principally for having affirmed that Wyat at
his death had cleared the lady Elizabeth and the earl of Devonshire,
were set in the pillory, to which their ears were fastened with large

It was in fact an object of great importance to the catholic party to
keep up the opinion, so industriously inculcated, of the princess being
implicated in the late disturbances; since it was only on this false
pretext that she could be detained close prisoner in the Tower while a
fatal stroke was aimed against her rights and interests.

Gardiner, now chancellor and prime minister, the most inveterate of
Elizabeth's enemies and the most devoted partisan of the Spanish
interest, thinking that all was subdued to the wishes of the court,
brought before the new parliament a bill for declaring the princess
illegitimate and incapable of succeeding:--it was indignantly rejected,
however, by a great majority; but the failure only admonished him to
renew the attack in a more indirect and covert manner. Accordingly, the
articles of the marriage treaty between Mary and the prince of Spain,
artfully drawn with great seeming advantage to England, had no sooner
received the assent of the two houses, than he proposed a law for
conferring upon the queen the same power enjoyed by her father; that of
naming a successor. But neither could this be obtained from a house of
commons attached for the most part to the protestant cause and the
person of the rightful heir, and justly apprehensive of the extinction
of their few remaining privileges under the yoke of a detested foreign
tyrant. Nobody doubted that it was the purpose of the queen, in default
of immediate issue of her own, to bequeath the crown to her husband,
whose descent from a daughter of John of Gaunt had been already much
insisted on by his adherents. The bill was therefore thrown out; and the
alarm excited by its introduction had caused the house to pass several
spirited resolutions, one of which declared that her majesty should
reign as a sole queen without any participation of her authority, while
the rest guarded in various points against the anticipated encroachments
of Philip, when Mary thought good to put a stop to the further
discussion of the subject by a prorogation of parliament.

After these manifold disappointments, the court party was compelled to
give up, with whatever reluctance, its deep-laid plots against the
unoffending princess. Her own prudence had protected her life; and the
independent spirit of a house of commons conscious of speaking the sense
of the nation guarantied her succession. One only resource remained to
Gardiner and his faction:--they judged that a long-continued absence,
while it gradually loosened her hold upon the affections of the people,
would afford many facilities for injuring or supplanting her; and it was
determined soon to provide for her a kind of honorable banishment.

The confinement of the princess in the Tower had purposely been rendered
as irksome and comfortless as possible. It was not till after a month's
close imprisonment, by which her health had suffered severely, that she
obtained, after many difficulties, permission to walk in the royal
apartments; and this under the constant inspection of the constable of
the Tower and the lord-chamberlain, with the attendance of three of the
queen's women; the windows also being shut, and she not permitted to
look out at them. Afterwards she had liberty to walk in a small garden,
the gates and doors being carefully closed; and the prisoners whose
rooms looked into it being at such times closely watched by their
keepers, to prevent the interchange of any word or sign with the
princess. Even a child of five years old belonging to some inferior
officer in the Tower, who was wont to cheer her by his daily visits, and
to bring her flowers, was suspected of being employed as a messenger
between her and the earl of Devonshire; and notwithstanding the innocent
simplicity of his answers to the lord-chamberlain by whom he was
strictly examined, was ordered to visit her no more. The next day the
child peeped in through a hole of the door as she walked in the garden,
crying out, "Mistress, I can bring you no more flowers!" for which, it
seems, his father was severely chidden and ordered to keep his boy out
of the way.

From the beginning of her imprisonment orders had been given that the
princess should have mass regularly said in her apartment. It is
probable that Elizabeth did not feel any great repugnance to this
rite:--however this might be, she at least expressed none; and by this
compliance deprived her sister of all pretext for persecuting her on a
religious ground. But some of her household were found less submissive
on this head, and she had the mortification of seeing Mrs. Sands, one of
her ladies, carried forcibly away from her under an accusation of heresy
and her place supplied by another.

All these severities failed however of their intended effect: neither
sufferings nor menaces could bring the princess to acknowledge herself
guilty of offending even in thought against her sovereign and sister;
and as the dying asseverations of Wyat had fully acquitted her in the
eyes of the country, it became evident that her detention in the Tower
could not much longer be persisted in. Yet the habitual jealousy of
Mary's government, and the apparent danger of furnishing a head to the
protestants rendered desperate by her cruelties, forbade the entire
liberation of the princess; and it was resolved to adopt as a middle
course the expedient sanctioned by many examples in that age, of
committing her to the care of certain persons who should be answerable
for her safe keeping, either in their own houses, or at some one of the
royal seats. Lord Williams of Thame, and sir Henry Beddingfield captain
of the guard, were accordingly joined in commission for the execution of
this delicate and important trust.

The unfortunate prisoner conceived neither hope nor comfort from this
approaching change in her situation, nor probably was it designed that
she should; for intimidation seems still to have formed an essential
feature in the policy of her relentless enemies. Sir Henry Beddingfield
entered the Tower at the head of a hundred of his men; and Elizabeth,
struck with the unexpected sight, could not forbear inquiring with
dismay, whether the lady Jane's scaffold were removed? On being informed
that it was, she received some comfort, but this was not of long
duration; for soon a frightful rumor reached her, that she was to be
carried away by this captain and his soldiers no one knew whither. She
sent immediately for lord Chandos, constable of the Tower, whose
humanity and courtesy had led him to soften as much as possible the
hardships of her situation, though at the hazard of incurring the
indignation of the court; and closely questioning him, he at length
plainly told her that there was no help for it, orders were given, and
she must be consigned to Beddingfield's care to be carried, as he
believed, to Woodstock. Anxious and alarmed, she now asked of her
attendants what kind of man this Beddingfield was; and whether, if the
murdering of her were secretly committed to him, his conscience would
allow him to see it executed? None about her could give a satisfactory
answer, for he was a stranger to them all; but they bade her trust in
God that such wickedness should not be perpetrated against her.

At length, on May 19th, after a close imprisonment of three months, she
was brought out of the Tower under the conduct of Beddingfield and his
troop; and on the evening of the same day found herself at Richmond
Palace, where her sister then kept her court. She was still treated in
all respects like a captive: the manners of Beddingfield were harsh and
insolent; and such terror did she conceive from the appearances around
her, that sending for her gentleman-usher, she desired him and the rest
of her officers to pray for her; "For this night," said she, "I think to
die." The gentleman, much affected by her distress, encouraged her as
well as he was able: then going down to lord Williams, who was walking
with Beddingfield, he called him aside and implored him to tell him
sincerely, whether any mischief were designed against his mistress that
night or no; "that he and his men might take such part as God should
please to appoint." "For certainly," added this faithful servant, "we
will rather die than she should secretly and innocently miscarry."
"Marry, God forbid," answered Williams, "that any such wicked purpose
should be wrought; and rather than it should be so, I with my men are
ready to die at her feet also."

In the midst of her gloomy apprehensions, the princess was surprised by
an offer from the highest quarter, of immediate liberty on condition of
her accepting the hand of the duke of Savoy in marriage.

Oppressed, persecuted, and a prisoner, sequestered from every friend and
counsellor, guarded day and night by soldiers, and in hourly dread of
some attempt upon her life, it must have been confidently expected that
the young princess would embrace as a most joyful and fortunate
deliverance this unhoped-for proposal; and by few women, certainly,
under all the circumstances, would such expectations have been
frustrated. But the firm mind of Elizabeth was not thus to be shaken,
nor her penetration deceived. She saw that it was banishment which was
held out to her in the guise of marriage; she knew that it was her
reversion of an independent English crown which she was required to
barter for the matrimonial coronet of a foreign dukedom; and she felt
the proposal as what in truth it was;--an injury in disguise.
Fortunately for herself and her country, she had the magnanimity to
disdain the purchase of present ease and safety at a price so
disproportionate; and returning to the overture a modest but decided
negative, she prepared herself to endure with patience and resolution
the worst that her enraged and baffled enemies might dare against her.

No sooner was her refusal of the offered marriage made known, than
orders were given for her immediate removal into Oxfordshire. On
crossing the river at Richmond on this melancholy journey, she descried
on the other side "certain of her poor servants," who had been
restrained from giving their attendance during her imprisonment, and
were anxiously desirous of seeing her again. "Go to them," said she to
one of her men, "and say these words from me, _Tanquam ovis_" (Like a
sheep to the slaughter).

As she travelled on horseback the journey occupied four days, and the
slowness of her progress gave opportunity for some striking displays of
popular feeling. In one place, numbers of people were seen standing by
the way-side who presented to her various little gifts; for which
Beddingfield did not scruple, in his anger, to call them traitors and
rebels. The bells were every where rung as she passed through the
villages, in token of joy for her liberation; but the people were soon
admonished that she was still a prisoner and in disgrace, by the orders
of Beddingfield to set the ringers in the stocks.

On the third evening she arrived at Ricot, the house of lord Williams,
where its owner, gracefully sinking the character of a watchful
superintendant in that of a host who felt himself honored by her visit,
introduced her to a large circle of nobility and gentry whom he had
invited to bid her welcome. The severe or suspicious temper of
Beddingfield took violent umbrage at the sight of such an assemblage: he
caused his soldiers to keep strict watch; insisted that none of the
guests should be permitted to pass the night in the house; and asked
lord Williams if he were aware of the consequences of thus entertaining
the queen's prisoner? But he made answer, that he well knew what he did,
and that "her grace might and should in his house be merry."
Intelligence however had no sooner reached the court of the reception
afforded to the princess at Ricot, than directions arrived for her
immediate removal to Woodstock. Here, under the harsher inspection of
Beddingfield, she found herself once more a prisoner. No visitant was
permitted to approach; the doors were closed upon her as in the Tower;
and a military guard again kept watch around the walls both day and

We possess many particulars relative to the captivity of Elizabeth at
Woodstock. In some of them we may recognise that spirit of exaggeration
which the anxious sympathy excited by her sufferings at the time, and
the unbounded adulation paid to her afterwards, were certain to produce;
others bear all the characters of truth and nature.

It is certain that her present residence, though less painful and
especially less opprobrious than imprisonment in the Tower, was yet a
state of rigorous constraint and jealous inspection, in which she was
haunted with cares and fears which robbed her youth of its bloom and
vivacity, and her constitution of its vigor. On June 8th such was the
state of her health that two physicians were sent from the court who
remained for several days in attendance on her. On their return, they
performed for their patient the friendly office of making a favorable
report of her behaviour and of the dutiful humility of her sentiments
towards her majesty, which was received, we are told, with more
complacency by Mary than by her bishops. Soon after, she was advised by
some friend to make her peace with the queen by submissions and
acknowledgements, which, with her usual constancy, she absolutely
refused, though apparently the only terms on which she could hope for

Under such circumstances we may give easy belief to the touching
anecdote, that "she, hearing upon a time out of her garden at Woodstock,
a milkmaid singing pleasantly, wished herself a milkmaid too; saying
that her case was better, and her life merrier than hers."

The instances related of the severity and insolence of sir Henry
Beddingfield are to be received with more distrust. We are told, that
observing a chair of state prepared for the princess in an upper chamber
at lord Williams's house, he seized upon it for himself and insolently
ordered his boots to be pulled off in that apartment. Yet we learn from
the same authority that afterwards at Woodstock, when she seems to have
been in his sole custody, Elizabeth having called him her jailor, on
observing him lock the gate of the garden while she was walking in it,
he fell on his knees and entreated her grace not to give him that name,
for he was appointed to be one of her officers. It has also been
asserted, that on her accession to the throne she dismissed him from her
presence with the speech, that she prayed God to forgive him, as she
did, and that when she had a prisoner whom she would have straitly kept
and hardly used, she would send for him. But if she ever used to him
words like these, it must have been in jest; for it is known from the
best authority, that Beddingfield was frequently at the court of
Elizabeth, and that she once visited him on a progress. If there is any
truth in the stories told of persons of suspicious appearance lurking
about the walls of the palace, who sought to gain admittance for the
purpose of taking away her life, the exact vigilance of her keeper, by
which all access was barred, might more deserve her thanks than her

During the period that the princess was thus industriously secluded from
conversation with any but the few attendants who had been allowed to
remain about her person, her correspondence was not less watchfully
restricted. We are told, that when, after urgent application to the
council, she had at length been permitted to write to the queen,
Beddingfield looked over her as she wrote, took the paper into his own
keeping when she paused, and brought it back to her when she chose to
resume her task.

Yet could not his utmost precaution entirely cut off her communications
with the large and zealous party who rested upon her all their hopes of
better times for themselves or for the country. Through the medium of a
visitor to one of her ladies, she received the satisfactory assurance
that none of the prisoners for Wyat's business had been brought to utter
any thing by which she could be endangered. Perhaps it was with
immediate reference to this intelligence that she wrote with a diamond
on her window the homely but expressive distich,

    "Much suspected by me
    Nothing proved can be,
    Quoth Elizabeth prisoner."

But these secret intelligencers were not always fortunate enough to
escape detection, of which the consequences were rendered very grievous
through the arbitrary severity of Mary's government, and the peculiar
malice exercised by Gardiner against the adherents of the princess.

Sir John Harrington, son to the gentleman of the same name formerly
mentioned as a follower of admiral Seymour, thus, in his _Brief View of
the Church_, sums up the character of this celebrated bishop of
Winchester, with reference to this part of his conduct.

"Lastly, the plots he laid to entrap the lady Elizabeth, and his
terrible hard usage of all her followers, I cannot yet scarce think of
with charity, nor write of with patience. My father, for only carrying a
letter to the lady Elizabeth, and professing to wish her well, he kept
in the Tower twelve months, and made him spend a thousand pounds ere he
could be free of that trouble. My mother, that then served the lady
Elizabeth, he caused to be sequestered from her as an heretic, insomuch
that her own father durst not take her into his house, but she was glad
to sojourn with one Mr. Topcliff; so as I may say in some sort, this
bishop persecuted me before I was born."

In the twelfth month of his imprisonment, this unfortunate Harrington,
having previously sent to the bishop many letters and petitions for
liberty without effect, had the courage to address to him a "Sonnet,"
which his son has cited as "no ill verse for those unrefined times;" a
modest commendation of lines so spirited, which the taste of the more
modern reader, however fastidious, need not hesitate to confirm.


    "At least withdraw your cruelty,
    Or force the time to work your will;
    It is too much extremity
    To keep me pent in prison still,
    Free from all fault, void of all cause,
    Without all right, against all laws.
      How can you do more cruel spite
      Than proffer wrong and promise right?
      Nor can accuse, nor will acquight.

    Eleven months past and longer space
    I have abode your dev'lish drifts,
    While you have sought both man and place,
    And set your snares, with all your shifts,
    The faultless foot to wrap in wile
    With any guilt, by any guile:
      And now you see that will not be,
      How can you thus for shame agree
      To keep him bound you should set free?

    Your chance was once as mine is now,
    To keep this hold against your will,
    And then you sware you well know how,
    Though now you swerve, I know how ill.
    But thus this world his course doth pass,
    The priest forgets a clerk he was,
      And you that have cried justice still,
      And now have justice at your will,
      Wrest justice wrong against all skill.

    But why do I thus coldly plain
    As if it were my cause alone?
    When cause doth each man so constrain
    As England through hath cause to moan,
    To see your bloody search of such
    As all the earth can no way touch.
       And better were that all your kind
       Like hounds in hell with shame were shrined,
       Than you add might unto your mind.

    But as the stone that strikes the wall
    Sometimes bounds back on th' hurler's head,
    So your foul fetch, to your foul fall
    May turn, and 'noy the breast that bred.
    And then, such measure as you gave
    Of right and justice look to have,
       If good or ill, if short or long;
       If false or true, if right or wrong;
       And thus, till then, I end my song."

Such were the trials and sufferings which exercised the fortitude of
Elizabeth and her faithful followers during her deplorable abode at
Woodstock. Mary, meanwhile, was rapt in fond anticipations of the
felicity of her married life with a prince for whom, on the sight of his
picture, she is said to have conceived the most violent passion. The
more strongly her people expressed their aversion and dread of the
Spanish match, the more vehemently did she show herself bent on its
conclusion; and having succeeded in suppressing by force the formidable
rebellion to which the first report of such an union had given birth,
she judged it unnecessary to employ any of those arts of popularity to
which her disposition was naturally adverse, for conciliating to herself
or her destined spouse the good will of her subjects. After many delays
which severely tried her temper, the arrival of the prince of Spain at
Southampton was announced to the expecting queen, who went as far as
Winchester to meet him, in which city Gardiner blessed their nuptials on
July the 27th, 1554.

The royal pair passed in state through London a few days after, and the
city exhibited by command the outward tokens of rejoicing customary in
that age. Bonfires were kindled in the open places, tables spread in the
streets at which all passers-by might freely regale themselves with
liquor: every parish sent forth its procession singing _Te Deum_; the
fine cross in Cheapside was beautified and newly gilt, and pageants were
set up in the principal streets. But there was little gladness of heart
among the people; and one of these festal devices gave occasion to a
manifestation of the dispositions of the court respecting religion,
which filled the citizens with grief and horror. A large picture had
been hung over the conduit in Gracechurch street representing the nine
Worthies, and among them king Henry VIII. made his appearance, according
to former draughts of him, holding in his hand a book on which was
inscribed "_Verbum Dei_." This accompaniment gave so much offence, that
Gardiner sent for the painter; and after chiding him severely, ordered
that a pair of gloves should be substituted for the bible.

Religion had already been restored to the state in which it remained at
the death of Henry; but this was by no means sufficient to satisfy the
conscience of the queen, which required the entire restoration in all
its parts, of the ancient church-establishment. It had been, in fact,
one of the first acts of her reign to forward to Rome a respectful
embassy which conveyed to the sovereign pontiff her recognition of the
supremacy of the holy see, and a petition that he would be pleased to
invest with the character of his legate for England Cardinal Pole,--that
earnest champion of her own legitimacy and the church's unity, who had
been for so many years the object of her father's bitterest animosity.

Mary's precipitate zeal had received some check in this instance from
the worldly policy of the emperor Charles V., who, either entertaining
some jealousy of the influence of Pole with the queen, or at least
judging it fit to secure the great point of his son's marriage before
the patience of the people of England should be proved by the arrival of
a papal legate, had impeded the journey of the cardinal by a detention
of several weeks in his court at Brussels. But no sooner was Philip in
secure possession of his bride, than Pole was suffered to proceed on his
mission. The parliament, which met early in November 1554, reversed the
attainder which had laid him under sentence of death, and on the 24th of
the same month he was received at court with great solemnity, and with
every demonstration of affection on the part of his royal cousin.

From this period the cause of popery proceeded triumphantly: a reign of
terror commenced; and the government gained fresh strength and courage
by every exertion of the tyrannic power which it had assumed. After the
married clergy had been reduced to give up either their wives or their
benefices, and the protestant bishops deprived, and many of them
imprisoned, without exciting any popular commotion in their behalf, the
court became emboldened to propose in parliament a solemn reconciliation
of the country to the papal see. A house of commons more obsequious than
the former acceded to the motion, and on November 29th the legate
formally absolved the nation from all ecclesiastical censures, and
readmitted it within the pale of the church.

The ancient statutes against heretics were next revived; and the violent
counsels of Gardiner proving more acceptable to the queen than the
milder ones of Pole, a furious persecution was immediately set on foot.
Bishops Hooper and Rogers were the first victims; Saunders and Taylor,
two eminent divines, succeeded; upon all of whom Gardiner pronounced
sentence in person; after which he resigned to Bonner, his more brutal
but not more merciless colleague, the inglorious task of dragging forth
to punishment the heretics of inferior note and humbler station. In the
midst however of his barbarous proceedings, of which London was the
principal theatre, the bench of bishops thought proper in solemn
assembly to declare that they had no part in such severities; and
Philip, who shrank from the odium of the very deeds most grateful to his
savage soul, caused a Spanish friar his confessor to preach before him
in praise of toleration, and to show that Christians could bring no
warrant from Scripture for shedding the blood of their brethren on
account of religious differences. But justly apprehensive that so
extraordinary a declaration of opinion from such a person might not of
itself suffice to establish in the minds of the English that character
of lenity and moderation which he found it his interest to acquire, he
determined to add some few deeds to words.

About the close of the year 1554, sir Nicholas Throgmorton, Robert
Dudley, and all the other prisoners on account of the usurpation of Jane
Grey or the insurrection of Wyat, were liberated, at the intercession,
as was publicly declared, of king Philip; and he soon after employed his
good offices in the cause of two personages still more interesting to
the feelings of the nation,--the princess Elizabeth and the earl of

It is worth while to estimate the value of these boasted acts of
generosity. With regard to Courtney it may be sufficient to observe,
that a close investigation of facts had proved him to have been grateful
for the liberation extended to him by Mary on her accession, and averse
from all schemes for disturbing her government, and that the queen's
marriage had served to banish from her mind some former grounds of
displeasure against him. Nothing but an union with Elizabeth could at
this time have rendered him formidable; and it was easy to guard
effectually against the accomplishment of any such design, without the
odious measure of detaining the earl in perpetual imprisonment at
Fotheringay Castle, whither he had been already removed from the Tower.
After all, it was but the shadow of liberty which he was permitted to
enjoy; and he found himself so beset with spies and suspicion, that a
very few months after his release he requested and obtained the royal
license to travel. Proceeding into Italy, he shortly after ended at
Padua his blameless and unfortunate career. Popular fame attributed his
early death to poison administered by the Imperialists, but probably, as
in a multitude of similar cases, on no sufficient authority.

As to Elizabeth, certain writers have ascribed Philip's protection of
her at this juncture to the following deduction of consequences;--that
if she were taken off, and if the queen should die childless, England
would become the inheritance of the queen of Scots, now betrothed to the
dauphin, and thus go to augment the power of France, already the most
formidable rival of the Spanish monarchy. Admitting however that such a
calculation of remote contingencies might not be too refined to act upon
the politic brain of Philip, it is yet plainly absurd to suppose that
the life or death of Elizabeth was at this time at all the matter in
question. Secret assassination does not appear to have been so much as
dreamed of, and Mary and her council, even supposing them to have been
sufficiently wicked, were certainly not audacious enough to think of
bringing to the scaffold, without form of trial, without even a
plausible accusation, the immediate heiress of the crown, and the hope
and favorite of the nation. The only question must now have been, what
degree of liberty it would be advisable to allow her; and a due
consideration of the facts, that she had already been removed from the
Tower, and that after her second release, (that, namely, from
Woodstock), she was never, to the end of the reign, permitted to reside
in a house of her own without an inspector of her conduct, will reduce
within very moderate limits the vaunted claims of Philip to her lasting

The project of marrying the princess to the duke of Savoy had doubtless
originated with the Spanish court; and it was still persisted in by
Philip, from the double motive of providing for the head of the
protestant party in England a kind of honorable exile, and of attaching
to himself by the gift of her hand, a young prince whom he favored and
destined to high employments in his service. But as severity had already
been tried in vain to bring Elizabeth to compliance on this point, it
seems now to have been determined to make experiment of opposite
measures. The duke of Savoy, who had attended Philip to England, was
still in the country; and as he was in the prime of life and a man of
merit and talents, it appeared not unreasonable to hope that a personal
interview might incline the princess to lend a more propitious ear to
his suit. To this consideration then we are probably to ascribe the
invitation which admitted Elizabeth to share in the festivals of a
Christmas celebrated by Philip and Mary at Hampton Court with great
magnificence, and which must have been that of the year 1554, because
this is well known to have been the only one passed by the Spanish
prince in England.

A contemporary chronicle still preserved amongst the MSS of the British
Museum, furnishes several particulars of her entertainment. On Christmas
eve, the great hall of the palace being illuminated with a thousand
lamps artificially disposed, the king and queen supped in it; the
princess being seated at the same table, next to the cloth of estate.
After supper she was served with a perfumed napkin and a plate of
"comfects" by lord Paget, but retired to her ladies before the revels,
masking, and disguisings began. On St. Stephen's day she heard mattins
in the queen's closet adjoining to the chapel, where she was attired in
a robe of white satin, strung all over with large pearls; and on
December the 29th she sat with their majesties and the nobility at a
grand spectacle of justing, when two hundred spears were broken by
combatants of whom half were accoutered in the Almaine and half in the
Spanish fashion.

How soon the princess again exchanged the splendors of a court for the
melancholy monotony of Woodstock does not appear from this document, nor
from any other with which I am acquainted; but several circumstances
make it clear that we ought to place about this period an incident
recorded by Holinshed, and vaguely stated to have occurred soon after
"the stir of Wyat" and the troubles of Elizabeth for that cause. A
servant of the princess's had summoned a person before the magistrates
for having mentioned his lady by the contumelious appellation of a
_jill_, and having made use of other disparaging language respecting
her. Was it to be endured, asked the accuser, that a low fellow like
this should speak of her grace thus insolently, when the greatest
personages in the land treated her with every mark of respect? He added,
"I saw yesterday in the court that my lord cardinal Pole, meeting her in
the chamber of presence, kneeled down on his knee and kissed her hand;
and I saw also, that king Philip meeting her made her such obeisance
that his knee touched the ground."

If this story be correct, which is not indeed vouched by the chronicler,
but which seems to bear internal evidence of genuineness, it will go far
to prove that the situation of Elizabeth during her abode at Woodstock
was by no means that opprobrious captivity which it has usually been
represented. She visited the court, it appears, occasionally, perhaps
frequently; and was greeted in public by the king himself with every
demonstration of civility and respect;--demonstrations which, whether
accompanied or not by the corresponding sentiments, would surely suffice
to protect her from all harsh or insolent treatment on the part of those
to whom the immediate superintendance of her actions was committed.

Her enemies however were still numerous and powerful; and it is certain
that she found no advocate in the heart of her sister. That able, but
thoroughly profligate politician lord Paget, notwithstanding his serving
the princess with "comfects," is reported to have said, that the queen
would never have peace in the country till her head were smitten off;
and Gardiner never ceased to look upon her with an evil eye. Lord
Williams, it seems, had made suit that he might be permitted to take her
from Woodstock to his own home, giving large bail for her safe keeping;
and as he was a known catholic and much in favor, it was supposed at
first that his petition would be heard; but by some secret influence the
mind of Mary was indisposed to the granting of this indulgence and the
proposal was dropped. But the Spanish counsellors who attended their
prince never ceased, we are told, to persuade him "that the like honor
he should never obtain as he should in delivering the lady Elizabeth"
out of her confinement: and Philip, who was now labouring earnestly at
the design, which he had entertained ever since his marriage, of
procuring himself to be crowned king of England, was himself aware of
the necessity of previously softening the prejudices of the nation by
some act of conspicuous popularity: he renewed therefore his
solicitations on this point with a zeal which rendered them effectual.
The moment indeed was favorable;--Mary, who now believed herself far
advanced in pregnancy, was too happy in her hopes to remain inflexible
to the entreaties of her husband; and the privy-council, in their
sanguine expectations of an heir, viewed the princess as less than
formerly an object of political jealousy. And thus, by a contrariety of
cause and effect by no means rare in the complicated system of human
affairs, Elizabeth became indebted for present tranquillity and
comparative freedom to the concurrence of projects and expectations the
most fatal to all her hopes of future greatness.

About the end of April, 1555, the princess took at length her final
departure from Woodstock, and proceeded,--but still under the escort of
Beddingfield and his men,--to Hampton Court. At Colnbrook she was met by
her own gentlemen and yeomen to the number of sixty, "much," says John
Fox, "to all their comforts, which had not seen her of long season
before, notwithstanding they were immediately commanded in the queen's
name to depart the town, and she not suffered once to speak to them."

The next day she reached Hampton Court, and was ushered into the
prince's lodgings; but the doors were closed upon her and guarded as at
Woodstock, and it was a fortnight, according to the martyrologist,
before any one had recourse to her.

At the end of this time she was solaced by a visit from lord William
Howard, son of the old duke of Norfolk, and first-cousin to her mother,
who "very honorably used her," and through whom she requested to speak
to some of the privy-council. Several of its members waited upon her in
consequence, and Gardiner among the rest, who "humbled himself before
her with all humility," but nevertheless seized the opportunity to urge
her once more to make submission to the queen, as a necessary
preliminary to the obtaining of her favor. Elizabeth, with that firmness
and wisdom which had never, in her severest trials, forsaken her,
declared that rather than do so, she would lie in prison all the days of
her life; adding, that she craved no mercy at her majesty's hand, but
rather the law, if ever she did offend her in thought, word, or deed.
"And besides this," said she, "in yielding I should speak against
myself, and confess myself an offender, by occasion of which the king
and queen might ever after conceive of me an ill opinion; and it were
better for me to lie in prison for the truth, than to be abroad and
suspected of my prince." The councillors now departed, promising to
deliver her message to the queen. The next day Gardiner waited upon her
again and told her that her majesty "marvelled she would so stoutly
carry herself, denying to have offended; so that it should seem the
queen had wrongfully imprisoned her grace:" and that she must tell
another tale ere she had her liberty. The lady Elizabeth declared she
would stand to her former resolution, for she would never belie herself.
"Then," said the bishop, "your grace hath the 'vantage of me and the
other councillors for your long and wrong imprisonment." She took God to
witness that she sought no 'vantage against them for their so dealing
with her. Gardiner and the rest then kneeled, desiring that all might be
forgotten, and so departed; she being locked up again.

About a week after the failure of this last effort of her crafty enemy
to extort some concession which might afterwards be employed to
criminate her or justify himself, she received a sudden summons from the
queen, and was conducted by torch-light to the royal apartments.

Mary received her in her chamber, to which she had now confined herself
in expectation of that joyful event which was destined never to arrive.
The princess on entering kneeled down, and protested herself a true and
loyal subject, adding, that she did not doubt that her majesty would one
day find her to be such, whatever different report had gone of her. The
queen expressed at first some dissatisfaction at her still persisting so
strongly in her assertions of innocence, thinking that she might take
occasion to inveigh against her imprisonment as the act of injustice and
oppression which in truth it was; but on her sister's replying in a
submissive manner, that it was her business to bear what the queen was
pleased to inflict and that she should make no complaints, she appears
to have been appeased. Fox's account however is, that they parted with
few comfortable words of the queen in English, but what she said in
Spanish was not known: that it was thought that king Philip was there
behind a cloth, and not seen, and that he showed himself "a very friend"
in this business. From other accounts we learn, that Elizabeth scrupled
not the attempt to ingratiate herself with Mary at this interview by
requesting that her majesty would be pleased to send her some catholic
tractates for confirmation of her faith and to counteract the doctrines
which she had imbibed from the works of the reformers. Mary showed
herself somewhat distrustful of her professions on this point, but
dismissed her at length with tokens of kindness. She put upon her
finger, as a pledge of amity, a ring worth seven hundred
crowns;--mentioned that sir Thomas Pope was again appointed to reside
with her, and observing that he was already well known to her sister
commended him as a person whose prudence, humanity, and other estimable
qualities, were calculated to render her new situation perfectly

To what place the princess was first conveyed from this audience does
not appear, but it must have been to one of the royal seats in the
neighbourhood of London, to several of which she was successively
removed during some time; after which she was permitted to establish
herself permanently at the palace of Hatfield in Hertfordshire.

From this auspicious interview the termination of her prisoner-state may
be dated. Henceforth she was released from the formidable parade of
guards and keepers; no doors were closed, no locks were turned upon her;
and though her place of residence was still prescribed, and could not,
apparently, be changed by her at pleasure, she was treated in all
respects as at home and mistress of her actions.

Sir Thomas Pope was a man of worth and a gentleman; and such were the
tenderness and discretion with which he exercised the delicate trust
reposed in him, that the princess must soon have learned to regard him
in the light of a real friend. It is not a little remarkable at the same
time, that the person selected by Mary to receive so distinguished a
proof of her confidence, should have made his first appearance in public
life as the active assistant of Cromwel in the great work of the
destruction of monasteries; and that from grants of abbey lands, which
the queen esteemed it sacrilege to touch, he had derived the whole of
that wealth of which he was now employing a considerable portion in the
foundation of Trinity college Oxford.

But sir Thomas Pope, even in the execution of the arbitrary and
rapacious mandates of Henry, had been advantageously distinguished
amongst his colleagues by the qualities of mildness and integrity; and
the circumstance of his having obtained a seat at the council-board of
Mary from the very commencement of her reign, proves him to have
acquired some peculiar merits in her eyes. Certain it is, however, that
a furious zeal, whether real or pretended, for the Romish faith, was not
amongst his courtly arts; for though strictly enjoined to watch over the
due performance and attendance of mass in the family of the princess, he
connived at her retaining about her person many servants who were
earnest protestants.

This circumstance unfortunately reached the vigilant ears of Gardiner;
and it was to a last expiring effort of his indefatigable malice that
Elizabeth owed the mortification of seeing two gentlemen from the queen
arrive at Lamer, a house in Hertfordshire which she then occupied, who
carried away her favorite Mrs. Ashley and three of her maids of honor,
and lodged them in the Tower.

Isabella Markham, afterwards the wife of that sir John Harrington whose
sufferings in the princess's service have been already adverted to, was
doubtless one of these unfortunate ladies. Elizabeth, highly to her
honor, never dismissed from remembrance the claims of such as had been
faithful to her in her adversity; she distinguished this worthy pair by
many tokens of her royal favor; stood godfather to their son, and
admitted him from his tenderest youth to a degree of affectionate
intimacy little inferior to that in which she indulged the best beloved
of her own relations.

In the beginning of September 1555 king Philip, mortified by the refusal
of his coronation, in which the parliament with steady patriotism
persisted; disappointed in his hopes of an heir; and disgusted by the
fondness and the jealousy of a spouse devoid of every attraction
personal and mental, quitted England for the continent, and deigned not
to revisit it during a year and a half. Elizabeth might regret his
absence, as depriving her of the personal attentions of a powerful
protector; but late events had so firmly established her as next heir to
the crown, that she was now perfectly secure against the recurrence of
any attempt to degrade her from her proper station; and her
reconciliation with the queen, whether cordial or not, obtained for her
occasional admission to the courtly circle.

A few days after the king's departure we find it mentioned that "the
queen's grace, the lady Elizabeth, and all the court, did fast from
flesh to qualify them to take the Pope's jubilee and pardon granted to
all out of his abundant clemency[27];" a trait which makes it probable
that Mary was now in the habit of exacting her sister's attendance at
court, for the purpose of witnessing with her own eyes her punctual
observance of the rites of that church to which she still believed her a
reluctant conformist.

[Note 27: Strype's Ecclesiastical Memorials.]

A few weeks afterwards, the death of her capital enemy, Gardiner,
removed the worst of the ill instruments who had interposed to aggravate
the suspicions of the queen, and there is reason to believe that the
princess found in various ways the beneficial effects of this event.


1555 TO 1558.

Elizabeth applies herself to classical literature.--Its neglected
state.--Progress of English poetry.--Account of Sackville and his
works.--Plan of his Mirror for Magistrates.--Extracts.--Notice of the
contributors to this collection.--Its popularity and literary
merits.--Entertainment given to Elizabeth by sir Thomas Pope.--Dudley
Ashton's attempt.--Elizabeth acknowledged innocent of his designs.--Her
letter to the queen.--She returns to London--quits it in some disgrace
after again refusing the duke of Savoy.--Violence of Philip respecting
this match.--Mary protects her sister.--Festivities at Hatfield,
Enfield, and Richmond.--King of Sweden's addresses to Elizabeth
rejected.--Letter of sir T. Pope respecting her dislike of
marriage.--Proceedings of the ecclesiastical commission.--Cruel
treatment of sir John Cheke.--General decay of national
prosperity.--Loss of Calais.--Death of Mary.

Notwithstanding the late fortunate change in her situation, Elizabeth
must have entertained an anxious sense of its remaining difficulties, if
not dangers; and the prudent circumspection of her character again, as
in the latter years of her brother, dictated the expediency of shrouding
herself in all the obscurity compatible with her rank and expectations.
To literature, the never failing resource of its votaries, she turned
again for solace and occupation; and claiming the assistance which
Ascham was proud and happy to afford her, she resumed the diligent
perusal of the Greek and Latin classics.

The concerns of the college of which sir Thomas Pope was the founder
likewise engaged a portion of her thoughts; and this gentleman, in a
letter to a friend, mentions that the lady Elizabeth, whom he served,
and who was "not only gracious but right learned," often asked him of
the course which he had devised for his scholars.

Classical literature was now daily declining from the eminence on which
the two preceding sovereigns had labored to place it. The destruction of
monastic institutions, and the dispersion of libraries, with the
impoverishment of public schools and colleges through the rapacity of
Edward's courtiers, had inflicted far deeper injury on the cause of
learning than the studious example of the young monarch and his chosen
companions was able to compensate. The persecuting spirit of Mary, by
driving into exile or suspending from the exercise of their functions
the able and enlightened professors of the protestant doctrine, had
robbed the church and the universities of their brightest luminaries;
and it was not under the auspices of her fierce and ignorant bigotry
that the cultivators of the elegant and humanizing arts would seek
encouragement or protection. Gardiner indeed, where particular
prejudices did not interfere, was inclined to favor the learned; and
Ascham owed to him the place of Latin secretary. Cardinal Pole also,
himself a scholar, was desirous to support, as much as present
circumstances would permit, his ancient character of a patron of
scholars, and he earnestly pleaded with sir Thomas Pope to provide for
the teaching of Greek as well as Latin in his college; but sir Thomas
persisted in his opinion that a Latin professorship was sufficient,
considering the general decay of erudition in the country, which had
caused an almost total cessation of the study of the Greek language.

It was in the department of English poetry alone that any perceptible
advance was effected or prepared during this deplorable æra; and it was
to the vigorous genius of one man, whose vivid personifications of
abstract beings were then quite unrivalled, and have since been rarely
excelled in our language, and whose clear, copious, and forcible style
of poetic narrative interested all readers, and inspired a whole school
of writers who worked upon his model, that this advance is chiefly to be
attributed. This benefactor to our literature was Thomas Sackville, son
of sir Richard Sackville, an eminent member of queen Mary's council, and
second-cousin to the lady Elizabeth by his paternal grandmother, who was
a Boleyn. The time of his birth is doubtful, some placing it in 1536,
others as early as 1527. He studied first at Oxford and afterwards at
Cambridge, distinguishing himself at both universities by the vivacity
of his parts and the excellence of his compositions both in verse and
prose. According to the custom of that age, which required that an
English gentleman should acquaint himself intimately with the laws of
his country before he took a seat amongst her legislators, he next
entered himself of the Inner Temple, and about the last year of Mary's
reign he served in parliament. But at this early period of life poetry
had more charms for Sackville than law or politics; and following the
bent of his genius, he first produced "Gorboduc," confessedly the
earliest specimen of regular tragedy in our language; but which will be
noticed with more propriety when we reach the period of its
representation before queen Elizabeth. He then, about the year 1557 as
is supposed, laid the plan of an extensive work to be called "A Mirror
for Magistrates;" of which the design is thus unfolded in a highly
poetical "Induction."

The poet wandering forth on a winter's evening, and taking occasion from
the various objects which "told the cruel season," to muse on the
melancholy changes of human affairs, and especially on the reverses
incident to greatness, suddenly encounters a "piteous wight," clad all
in black, who was weeping, sighing, and wringing her hands, in such
lamentable guise, that

    "----never man did see
    A wight but half so woe-begone as she."

Struck with grief and horror at the view, he earnestly requires her to
"unwrap" her woes, and inform him who and whence she is, since her
anguish, if not relieved, must soon put an end to her life. She answers,

    "Sorrow am I, in endless torments pained
    Among the furies in th' infernal lake:"

from these dismal regions she is come, she says, to bemoan the luckless
lot of those

    "Whom Fortune in this maze of misery,
    Of wretched chance most woful Mirrors chose:"

and she ends by inviting him to accompany her in her return:

    "Come, come, quoth she, and see what I shall show,
    Come hear the plaining and the bitter bale
    Of worthy men by Fortune's overthrow:
    Come thou and see them ruing all in row.
    They were but shades that erst in mind thou rolled,
    Come, come with me, thine eyes shall then behold."

He accepts the invitation, having first done homage to Sorrow as to a
goddess, since she had been able to read his thought. The scenery and
personages are now chiefly copied from the sixth book of the Æneid; but
with the addition of many highly picturesque and original touches.

The companions enter, hand in hand, a gloomy wood, through which Sorrow
only could have found the way.

    "But lo, while thus amid the desert dark
    We passed on with steps and pace unmeet,
    A rumbling roar, confused with howl and bark
    Of dogs, shook all the ground beneath our feet,
    And struck the din within our ears so deep,
    As half distraught unto the ground I fell;
    Besought return, and not to visit hell."

His guide however encourages him, and they proceed by the "lothly lake"

    "In dreadful fear amid the dreadful place."

    "And first within the porch and jaws of hell
    Sat deep Remorse of Conscience, all besprent
    With tears; and to herself oft would she tell
    Her wretchedness, and cursing never stent
    To sob and sigh: but ever thus lament
    With thoughtful care, as she that all in vain
    Should wear and waste continually in pain.

    Her eyes, unsteadfast rolling here and there,
    Whirled on each place as place that vengeance brought,
    So was her mind continually in fear,
    Tossed and tormented with tedious thought
    Of those detested crimes that she had wrought:
    With dreadful cheer and looks thrown to the sky,
    Longing for death, and yet she could not die.

    Next saw we Dread, all trembling how he shook
    With foot uncertain proffered here and there,
    Benumbed of speech, and with a ghastly look
    Searched every place, all pale and dead with fear,
    His cap borne up with staring of his hair." &c.

All the other allegorical personages named, and only named, by Virgil,
as well as a few additional ones, are pourtrayed in succession, and with
the same strength and fullness of delineation; but with the exception of
War, who appears in the attributes of Mars, they are represented simply
as _examples_ of Old age, Malady, &c., not as the _agents_ by whom these
evils are inflicted upon others. Cerberus and Charon occur in their
appropriate offices, but the monstrous forms Gorgon, Chimæra, &c., are
judiciously suppressed; and the poet is speedily conducted to the banks
of that "main broad flood"

    "Which parts the gladsome fields from place of woe."

    "With Sorrow for my guide, as there I stood,
    A troop of men the most in arms bedight,
    In tumult clustered 'bout both sides the flood:
    'Mongst whom, who were ordained t' eternal night,
    Or who to blissful peace and sweet delight,
    I wot not well, it seemed that they were all
    Such as by death's untimely stroke did fall."

Sorrow acquaints him that these are all illustrious examples of the
reverses which he was lately deploring, who will themselves relate to
him their misfortunes; and that he must afterwards

    "Recount the same to Kesar, king and peer."

The first whom he sees advancing towards him from the throng of ghosts
is Henry duke of Buckingham, put to death under Richard III.: and his
"Legend," or story, is unfortunately the only one which its author ever
found leisure to complete; the favor of his illustrious kinswoman on her
accession causing him to sink the poet in the courtier, the ambassador,
and finally the minister of state. But he had already done enough to
earn himself a lasting name amongst the improvers of poetry in England.
In tragedy he gave the first regular model; in personification he
advanced far beyond all his predecessors, and furnished a prototype to
that master of allegory, Spenser. A greater than Spenser has also been
indebted to him; as will be evident, I think, to all who compare the
description of the figures on the shield of war in his Induction, and
especially those of them which relate to the siege of Troy, with the
exquisitely rich and vivid description of a picture on that subject in
Shakespeare's early poem on Tarquin and Lucretia.

The legend of the duke of Buckingham is composed in a style rich, free
and forcible; the examples brought from ancient history, of the
suspicion and inward wretchedness to which tyrants have ever been a
prey, and afterwards, of the instability of popular favor, might in this
age be accounted tedious and pedantic; they are however pertinent, well
recited, and doubtless possessed the charm of novelty with respect to
the majority of contemporary readers. The curses which the unhappy duke
pours forth against the dependent who had betrayed him, may almost
compare, in the energy and inventiveness of malice, with those of
Shakespeare's queen Margaret; but they lose their effect by being thrown
into the form of monologue and ascribed to a departed spirit, whose
agonies of grief and rage in reciting his own death have something in
them bordering on the burlesque.

The mind of Sackville was deeply fraught, as we have seen, with classic
stores; and at a time when England possessed as yet no complete
translation of Virgil, he might justly regard it as a considerable
service to the cause of national taste to transplant into our vernacular
poetry some scattered flowers from his rich garden of poetic sweets.
Thus he has embellished his legend with an imitation or rather
paraphrase of the celebrated description of night in the fourth book of
the Æneid. The lines well merit transcription.

    "Midnight was come, when ev'ry vital thing
    With sweet sound sleep their weary limbs did rest;
    The beasts were still, the little birds that sing
    Now sweetly slept besides their mother's breast,
    The old and all were shrowded in their nest;
    The waters calm, the cruel seas did cease;
    The woods, the fields, and all things held their peace.

    The golden stars were whirled amid their race,
    And on the earth did laugh with twinkling light,
    When each thing nestled in his resting place
    Forgat day's pain with pleasure of the night:
    The hare had not the greedy hounds in sight;
    The fearful deer had not the dogs in doubt,
    The partridge dreamt not of the falcon's foot.

    The ugly bear now minded not the stake,
    Nor how the cruel mastives do him tear;
    The stag lay still unroused from the brake;
    The foamy boar feared not the hunter's spear:
    All things were still in desert, bush and breer.
    With quiet heart now from their travails ceast
    Soundly they slept in midst of all their rest."

The allusion to bear-bating in the concluding stanza may offend the
delicacy of a modern reader; but let it be remembered that in the days
of Mary, and even of Elizabeth, this amusement was accounted "sport for

The "Mirror for Magistrates" was not lost to the world by the desertion
of Sackville from the service of the muses; for a similar or rather
perhaps the same design was entertained, and soon after carried into
execution, by other and able though certainly inferior hands.

During the reign of Mary,--but whether before or after the composition
of Sackville's Induction does not appear,--a certain printer, having
communicated to several "worshipful and honorable persons" his
intention of republishing Lydgate's translation in verse of Boccacio's
"Fall of Princes," was by them advised to procure a continuation of the
work, chiefly in English examples; and he applied in consequence to
Baldwyne, an ecclesiastic and graduate of Oxford. Baldwyne declined to
embark alone in so vast a design, and one, as he thought, so little
likely to prove profitable; but seven other contemporary poets, of whom
George Ferrers has already been mentioned as one, having promised their
assistance, he consented to assume the editorship of the work. The
general frame agreed upon by these associates was that employed in the
original work of Boccacio, who feigned, that a party of friends being
assembled, it was determined that each of them should contribute to the
pleasure of the company by personating some illustrious and unfortunate
character, and relating his adventures in the first person. A
contrivance so tame and meagre compared with the descent to the regions
of the dead sketched with so much spirit by Sackville, that it must have
preceded, in all probability, their knowledge at least of his
performance. The first part of the work, almost entirely by Baldwyne,
was written, and partly printed, in Mary's time, but its publication was
prevented by the interference of the lord-chancellor,--a trait of the
mean and cowardly jealousy of the administration, which speaks volumes.
In the first year of Elizabeth lord Stafford, an enlightened patron of
letters, procured a licence for its appearance. A second part soon
followed, in which Sackville's Induction and Legend were inserted. The
success of this collection was prodigious; edition after edition was
given to the public under the inspection of different poetical revisers,
by each of whom copious additions were made to the original work. Its
favor and reputation continued during all the reign of Elizabeth, and
far into that of James; for Mr. Warton tells us that in Chapman's
"May-day," printed in 1611, "a gentleman of the most elegant taste for
reading and highly accomplished in the current books of the times, is
called 'one that has read Marcus Aurelius, Gesta Romanorum, and the
Mirror of Magistrates.'[28]"

[Note 28: History of English Poetry, vol. iii.]

The greater part of the contributors to this work were lawyers; an order
of men who, in most ages and nations, have accounted it a part of
professional duty to stand in opposition to popular seditions on one
hand, and to the violent and illegal exertion of arbitrary power on the
other. Accordingly, many of the legends are made to exemplify the evils
of both these excesses; and though, in more places than one, the
unlawfulness, on any provocation, of lifting a hand against "the Lord's
anointed" is in strong terms asserted, the deposition of tyrants is
often recorded with applause; and no mercy is shown to the corrupt judge
or minister who wrests law and justice in compliance with the wicked
will of his prince.

The newly published chronicles of the wars of York and Lancaster by
Hall, a writer who made some approach to the character of a genuine
historian, furnished facts to the first composers of the Mirror; the
later ones might draw also from Holinshed and Stow. There is some
probability that the idea of forming plays on English history was
suggested to Shakespeare by the earlier of these legends; and it is
certain that his plays, in their turn, furnished some of their brightest
ornaments of sentiment and diction to the legends added by later

To a modern reader, the greater part of these once admired pieces will
appear trite, prosaic, and tedious; but an uncultivated age--like the
children and the common people of all ages--is most attracted and
impressed by that mode of narration which leaves the least to be
supplied by the imagination of the hearer or reader; and when this
collection of history in verse is compared, not with the finished labors
of a Hume or a Robertson, but with the prolix and vulgar narratives of
the chroniclers, the admiration and delight with which it was received
will no longer surprise.

One circumstance more respecting a work so important by the quantity of
historical knowledge which it diffused among the mass of readers, and
the influence which it exerted over the public mind during half a
century, deserves to be here adverted to. Baldwyne and his
fellow-laborers began their series from the Norman conquest, and the
same starting-point had been judiciously chosen by Sackville; but the
fabulous history of Geffrey of Monmouth still found such powerful
advocates in national vanity, ignorance and credulity, that succeeding
editors found it convenient to embellish their work with moral examples
drawn from his fictitious series of British kings before the invasion of
the Romans. Accordingly they have brought forward a long line of
worthies, beginning with king Albanact, son of Brute the Trojan, and
ending with Cadwallader the last king of the Britons, scarcely one of
whom, excepting the renowned prince Arthur, is known even by name to the
present race of students in English history; though amongst poetical
readers, the immortal verse of Spenser preserves some recollection that
such characters once were fabled. In return for this superfluity, our
Saxon line of kings is passed over with very little notice, only three
legends, and those of very obscure personages, being interposed between
Cadwallader and king Harold. The descent of the royal race of Britain
from the Trojans was at this period more than an article of poetical
faith; it was maintained, or rather taken for granted, by the gravest
and most learned writers. One Kelston, who dedicated a versified
chronicle of the Brutes to Edward VI., went further still, and traced up
the pedigree of his majesty through two-and-thirty generations, to
Osiris king of Egypt. Troynovant, the name said to have been given to
London by Brute its founder, was frequently employed in verse. A song
addressed to Elizabeth entitles her the "beauteous queen of second
Troy;" and in describing the pageants which celebrated her entrance into
the provincial capitals which she visited in her progresses, it will
frequently be necessary to introduce to the reader personages of the
ancient race of this fabled conqueror of our island, who claimed for
his direct ancestor,--but whether in the third or fourth degree authors
differ,--no less a hero than the pious Æneas himself.

But to return to the personal circumstances of Elizabeth.

The public and splendid celebration of the festivals of the church was
the least reprehensible of the measures employed by Mary for restoring
the ascendancy of her religion over the minds of her subjects. She had
been profuse in her donations of sacred vestments and ornaments to the
churches and the monasteries, of which she had restored several; and
these gaudy trappings of a ceremonial worship were exhibited, rather
indeed to the scandal than the edification of a dejected people, in
frequent processions conducted with the utmost solemnity and
magnificence. Court entertainments always accompanied these devotional
ceremonies, and Elizabeth seems by assisting at the latter to have
purchased admission to the former. The Christmas festivities in which
she shared have already been described in the words of a contemporary
chronicler; and from the same source we derive the following account of
the "antique pageantries" with which another season of rejoicing was
celebrated for her recreation, by the munificence of the indulgent
superintendent of her conduct and affairs. "In Shrove-tide 1556, sir
Thomas Pope made for the lady Elizabeth, all at his own costs, a great
and rich masking in the great hall at Hatfield, where the pageants were
marvellously furnished. There were there twelve minstrels anticly
disguised; with forty six or more gentlemen and ladies, many of them
knights or nobles, and ladies of honor, apparelled in crimson sattin,
embroidered upon with wreaths of gold, and garnished with borders of
hanging pearl. And the devise of a castle of cloth of gold, set with
pomegranates about the battlements, with shields of knights hanging
therefrom; and six knights in rich harness tourneyed. At night the
cupboard in the hall was of twelve stages mainly furnished with garnish
of gold and silver vessul, and a banquet of seventy dishes, and after a
voidee of spices and suttleties with thirty six spice-plates; all at the
charges of sir Thomas Pope. And the next day the play of Holophernes.
But the queen percase misliked these folleries as by her letters to sir
Thomas it did appear; and so their disguisings ceased[29]."

[Note 29: See Nichols's "Progresses," vol. i. p. 19.]

A circumstance soon afterwards occurred calculated to recall past
dangers to the mind of the princess, and perhaps to disturb her with
apprehensions of their recurrence.

Dudley Ashton, formerly a partisan of Wyat, had escaped into France,
after the defeat and capture of his leader, whence he was still plotting
the overthrow of Mary's government. By the connivance or assistance of
that court, now on the brink of war with England, he was at length
enabled to send over one Cleberry, a condemned person, whom he
instructed to counterfeit the earl of Devonshire, and endeavour to raise
the country in his cause. Letters and proclamations were at the same
time dispersed by Ashton, in which the name of Elizabeth was employed
without scruple. The party had even the slanderous audacity to pretend,
that between Courtney and the heiress of the crown the closest of all
intimacies, if not an actual marriage, subsisted; and the matter went so
far that at Ipswich, one of the strong holds of protestantism, Cleberry
proclaimed the earl of Devonshire and the princess, king and queen. But
the times were past when any advantage could be taken of this
circumstance against Elizabeth, whose perfect innocence was well known
to the government; and the council immediately wrote in handsome terms
to sir Thomas Pope, directing him to acquaint her, in whatever manner he
should judge best, with the abominable falsehoods circulated respecting
her. A few days after, the queen herself wrote also to her sister in
terms fitted to assure her of perfect safety. The princess replied, says
Strype, "in a well penned letter," "utterly detesting and disclaiming
all concern in the enterprise, and declaiming against the actors in it."
Of the epistle thus commended, a single paragraph will probably be
esteemed a sufficient specimen.... "And among earthly things I chiefly
wish this one; that there were as good surgeons for making anatomies of
hearts, that might show my thoughts to your majesty, as there are expert
physicians of the bodies, able to express the inward griefs of their
maladies to the patient. For then I doubt not, but know well, that
whatsoever others should suggest by malice, yet your majesty should be
sure by knowledge; so that the more such misty clouds offuscate the
clear light of my truth, the more my tried thoughts should glister to
the dimming of their hidden malice." &c. It must be confessed that this
erudite princess had not perfectly succeeded in transplanting into her
own language the epistolary graces of her favorite Cicero;--but to how
many much superior classical scholars might a similar remark be applied!

The frustration of Mary's hope of becoming a mother, her subsequent ill
state of health, and the resolute refusal of the parliament to permit
the coronation of her husband, who had quitted England in disgust to
attend his affairs on the continent, conferred, in spite of all the
efforts of the catholic party, a daily augmenting importance on
Elizabeth. When therefore in November 1556 she had come in state to
Somerset Place, her town-residence, to take up her abode for the winter,
a kind of court was immediately formed around her; and she might hope to
be richly indemnified for any late anxieties or privations, by the
brilliant festivities, the respectful observances, and the still more
welcome flatteries, of which she found herself the distinguished
object:--But disappointment awaited her.

She had been invited to court for the purpose of receiving a second and
more solemn offer of the hand of the duke of Savoy, whose suit was
enforced by the king her brother-in-law with the whole weight of his
influence or authority. This alliance had been the subject of earnest
correspondence between Philip and the English council; the Imperial
ambassadors were waiting in England for her answer; and the
disappointment of the high-raised hopes of the royal party, by her
reiteration of a decided negative, was followed by her quitting London
in a kind of disgrace early in the month of December.

But Philip would not suffer the business to end here. Indignant at the
resistance opposed by the princess to his measures, he seems to have
urged the queen to interfere in a manner authoritative enough to compel
obedience; but, by a remarkable exchange of characters, Mary now
appeared as the protectress of her sister from the violence of Philip.

In a letter still preserved, she tells him, that unless the consent of
parliament were first obtained, she fears that the accomplishment of the
marriage would fail to procure for him the advantages which he expected;
but that, however this might be, her conscience would not allow her to
press the matter further. That the friar Alphonso, Philip's confessor,
whom he had sent to argue the point with her, had entirely failed of
convincing her; that in fact she could not comprehend the drift of his
arguments. Philip, it is manifest, must already have made use of very
harsh language towards the queen respecting her conduct in this affair,
for she deprecates his further displeasure in very abject terms; but yet
persists in her resolution with laudable firmness. Her husband was so
far, however, from yielding with a good grace a point on which he had
certainly no right to dictate either to Mary or to her sister, that soon
afterwards he sent into England the duchesses of Parma and Lorrain for
the purpose of conducting the princess into Flanders:--but this step was
ill-judged. His coldness and neglect had by this time nearly
extinguished the fond passion of the queen, who is said to have torn his
picture in a fit of rage, on report of some disrespectful language which
he had used concerning her since his departure for the continent.
Resentment and jealousy now divided her gloomy soul; and Philip's
behaviour, on which she had doubtless her spies, caused her to regard
the duchess of Lorrain as the usurper of his heart. The extraordinary
circumstances of pomp and parade with which this lady, notwithstanding
the smallness of her revenues, now appeared in England, confirmed and
aggravated her most painful suspicions; and so far from favoring the
suit urged by such an ambassadress, Mary became more than ever
determined on thwarting it. She would not permit the duchesses to pay
the princess a single visit at Hatfield; and her reception gave them so
little encouragement to persevere, that they speedily returned to report
their failure to him who sent them.

These circumstances seem to have produced a cordiality of feeling and
frequency of intercourse between the sisters which had never before
existed. In February 1557 the princess arrived with a great retinue at
Somerset Place, and went thence to wait upon the queen at Whitehall; and
when the spring was somewhat further advanced, her majesty honored her
by returning the visit at Hatfield. The royal guest was, of course, to
be entertained with every species of courtly and elegant delight; and
accordingly, on the morning after her arrival, she and the princess,
after attending mass, went to witness a grand exhibition of
_bear-bating_, "with which their highnesses were right well content." In
the evening the chamber was adorned with a sumptuous suit of tapestry,
called, but from what circumstance does not appear, "the hangings of
Antioch." After supper a play was represented by the choristers of St.
Paul's, then the most applauded actors in London; and after it was over,
one of the children accompanied with his voice the performance of the
princess on the virginals.

Sir Thomas Pope could now without offence gratify his lady with another
show, devised by him in that spirit of romantic magnificence equally
agreeable to the taste of the age and the temper of Elizabeth herself.
She was invited to repair to Enfield Chase to take the amusement of
hunting the hart. Twelve ladies in white satin attended her on their
"ambling palfreys," and twenty yeomen clad in green. At the entrance of
the forest she was met by fifty archers in scarlet boots and yellow
caps, armed with gilded bows, one of whom presented to her a
silver-headed arrow winged with peacock's feathers. The splendid show
concluded, according to the established laws of the chase, by the
offering of the knife to the princess, as first lady on the field; and
her _taking 'say_ of the buck with her own fair and royal hand.

During the summer of the same year the queen was pleased to invite her
sister to an entertainment at Richmond, of which we have received some
rather interesting particulars. The princess was brought from Somerset
Place in the queen's barge, which was richly hung with garlands of
artificial flowers and covered with a canopy of green sarcenet, wrought
with branches of eglantine in embroidery and powdered with blossoms of
gold. In the barge she was accompanied by sir Thomas Pope and four
ladies of her chamber. Six boats attended filled with her retinue,
habited in russet damask and blue embroidered satin, tasseled and
spangled with silver; their bonnets cloth of silver with green feathers.
The queen received her in a sumptuous pavilion in the labyrinth of the
gardens. This pavilion, which was of cloth of gold and purple velvet,
was made in the form of a castle, probably in allusion to the kingdom of
Castile; its sides were divided in compartments, which bore alternately
the fleur de lis in silver, and the pomegranate, the bearing of Granada,
in gold. A sumptuous banquet was here served up to the royal ladies, in
which there was introduced a pomegranate-tree in confectionary work,
bearing the arms of Spain:--so offensively glaring was the preference
given by Mary to the country of her husband and of her maternal ancestry
over that of which she was a native and in her own right queen! There
was no masking or dancing, but a great number of minstrels performed.
The princess returned to Somerset Place the same evening, and the next
day to Hatfield.

The addresses of a new suitor soon after furnished Elizabeth with an
occasion of gratifying the queen by fresh demonstrations of respect and
duty. The king of Sweden was earnestly desirous of obtaining for Eric
his eldest son the hand of a lady whose reversionary prospects, added to
her merit and accomplishments, rendered her without dispute the first
match in Europe. He had denied his son's request to be permitted to
visit her in person, fearing that those violences of temper and
eccentricities of conduct of which this ill-fated prince had already
given strong indications, might injure his cause in the judgement of so
discerning a princess. The business was therefore to be transacted
through the Swedish ambassador; but he was directed by his sovereign to
make his application by a message to Elizabeth herself, in which the
queen and council were not for the present to participate. The princess
took hold of this circumstance as a convenient pretext for rejecting a
proposal which she felt no disposition to encourage; and she declared
that she could never listen to any overtures of this nature which had
not first received the sanction of her majesty. The ambassador pleaded
in answer, that as a gentleman his master had judged it becoming that
his first application should be made to herself; but that should he be
so happy as to obtain her concurrence, he would then, as a king, make
his demand in form to the queen her sister. The princess replied, that
if it were to depend on herself, a single life would ever be her choice;
and she finally dismissed the suit with a negative.

On receiving some hint of this transaction, Mary sent for sir Thomas
Pope, and having learned from him all the particulars, she directed him
to express to her sister her high approbation of her proper and dutiful
conduct on this occasion; and also to make himself acquainted with her
sentiments on the subject of matrimony in general. He soon after
transmitted to her majesty all the information she could desire, in the
following letter:

"First after I had declared to her grace how well the queen's majesty
liked of her prudent and honorable answer made to the same messenger; I
then opened unto her grace the effects of the said messenger's credence;
which after her grace had heard, I said, the queen's highness had sent
me to her grace, not only to declare the same, but also to understand
how her grace liked the said motion. Whereunto, after a little pause
taken, her grace answered in form following: 'Master Pope, I require
you, after my most humble commendations to the queen's majesty, to
render unto the same like thanks that it pleased her highness, of her
goodness, to conceive so well of my answer made to the same messenger;
and herewithal, of her princely consideration, with such speed to
command you by your letters to signify the same unto me: who before
remained wonderfully perplexed, fearing that her majesty might mistake
the same: for which her goodness, I acknowledge myself bound to honor,
serve, love, and obey her highness during my life. Requiring you also to
say unto her majesty, that in the king my brother's time there was
offered me a very honorable marriage, or two; and ambassadors sent to
treat with me touching the same; whereupon I made my humble suit unto
his highness, as some of honor yet living can be testimonies, that it
would like the same to give me leave, with his grace's favor, to remain
in that estate I was, which of all others best liked me, or pleased me.
And, in good faith, I pray you say unto her highness, I am even at this
present of the same mind, and so intend to continue, with her majesty's
favor: and assuring her highness I so well like this estate, as I
persuade myself there is not any kind of life comparable unto it. And as
concerning my liking the said motion made by the said messenger, I
beseech you say unto her majesty, that to my remembrance I never heard
of his master before this time; and that I so well like both the message
and the messenger, as I shall most humbly pray God upon my knees, that
from henceforth I never hear of the one nor the other: assure you that
if he should eftsoons repair unto me, I would forbear to speak to him.
And were there nothing else to move me to mislike the motion, other than
that his master would attempt the same without making the queen's
majesty privy thereunto, it were cause sufficient.'

"And when her grace had thus ended, I was so bold as of myself to say
unto her grace, her pardon first required, that I thought few or none
would believe but that her grace could be right well contented to marry;
so that there were some honorable marriage offered her by the queen's
highness, or by her majesty's assent. Whereunto her grace answered,
'What I shall do hereafter I know not; but I assure you, upon my truth
and fidelity, and as God be merciful unto me, I am not at this time
otherwise minded than I have declared unto you; no, though I were
offered the greatest prince in all Europe.' And yet percase, the queen's
majesty may conceive this rather to proceed of a maidenly
shamefacedness, than upon any such certain determination[30]."

[Note 30: The hint of "some honorable marriage" in the above letter,
has been supposed to refer to the duke of Savoy; but if the date
inscribed upon the copy which is found among the Harleian MSS. be
correct (April 26th 1558), this could not well be; since the queen,
early in the preceding year, had declined to interfere further in his

This letter appears to have been the last transaction which occurred
between Mary and Elizabeth: from it, and from the whole of the notices
relative to the situation of the latter thrown together in the preceding
pages, it may be collected, that during the three last years of her
sister's reign,--the period, namely, of her residence at Hatfield,--she
had few privations, and no personal hardships to endure: but for
individuals whom she esteemed, for principles to which her conscience
secretly inclined, for her country which she truly loved, her
apprehensions must have been continually excited, and too often
justified by events the most cruel and disastrous.

The reestablishment, by solemn acts of the legislature, of the Romish
ritual and the papal authority, though attended with the entire
prohibition of all protestant worship, was not sufficient for the
bigotry of Mary. Aware that the new doctrines still found harbour in the
bosoms of her subjects, she sought to drag them by her violence from
this last asylum; for to her, as to all tyrants, it appeared both
desirable and possible to subject the liberty of thinking to the
regulation and control of human laws.

By virtue of her authority as head of the English church,--a title
which the murmurs of her parliament had compelled her against her
conscience to resume after laying it aside for some time,--she issued an
ecclesiastical commission, which wanted nothing of the Spanish
inquisition but the name. The commissioners were empowered to call
before them the leading men in every parish of the kingdom, and to
compel them to bind themselves by oath to give information against such
of their neighbours as, by abstaining from attendance at church or other
symptoms of disaffection to the present order of things, afforded room
to doubt the soundness of their belief. Articles of faith were then
offered to the suspected persons for their signature, and on their
simple refusal they were handed over to the civil power, and fire and
faggot awaited them. By this barbarous species of punishment, about two
hundred and eighty persons are stated to have perished during the reign
of Mary; but, to the disgrace of the learned, the rich, and the noble,
these martyrs, with the exception of a few distinguished ecclesiastics,
were almost all from the middling or lower, some from the very lowest
classes of society.

Amongst these glorious sufferers, therefore, the princess could have few
personal friends to regret; but in the much larger number of the
disgraced, the suspected, the imprisoned, the fugitive, she saw the
greater part of the public characters, whether statesmen or divines, on
whose support and attachment she had learned to place reliance.

The extraordinary cruelties exercised upon sir John Cheke, who whilst he
held the post of preceptor to her brother had also assisted in her own
education, must have been viewed by Elizabeth with strong emotion of
indignation and grief.

It has been already mentioned, that after his release from imprisonment
incurred in the cause of lady Jane Grey,--a release, by the way, which
was purchased by the sacrifice of his landed property and all his
appointments,--this learned and estimable person obtained permission to
travel for a limited period. This was regarded as a special favor; for
it was one of Mary's earliest acts of tyranny to prohibit the escape of
her destined victims, and it was only by joining themselves to the
foreign congregations of the reformed, who had license to depart the
kingdom, or by eluding with much hazard the vigilance of the officers by
whom the seaports were watched, that any of her protestant subjects had
been enabled to secure liberty of conscience in a voluntary exile. It is
a little remarkable that Rome should have been Cheke's first city of
pilgrimage; but classical associations in this instance overcame the
force of protestant antipathies. He took the opportunity however of
visiting Basil in his way, where an English congregation was
established, and where he had the pleasure of introducing himself to
several learned characters, once perhaps the chosen associates of

In the beginning of 1556 he had reached Strasburgh, for it was thence
that he addressed a letter to his dear friend and brother-in-law sir
William Cecil, who appears to have made some compliances with the times
which alarmed and grieved him. It is in a strain of the most
affectionate earnestness that he entreats him to hold fast his faith,
and "to take heed how he did in the least warp or strain his conscience
by any compliance for his worldly security." But such exhortations,
however salutary in themselves, did not come with the best grace from
those who had found in flight a refuge from the terrors of that
persecution which was raging in all its fierceness before the eyes of
such of their unfortunate brethren as had found themselves necessitated
to abide the fiery trial. A remark by no means foreign to the case
before us! Sir John Cheke's leave of absence seems now to have expired;
and it was probably with the design of making interest for its renewal
that he privately repaired, soon after the date of his letter, to
Brussels, on a visit to his two learned friends, lord Paget and sir John
Mason, then residing in that city as Mary's ambassadors. These men were
recent converts, or more likely conformists, to the court religion; and
Paget's furious councils against Elizabeth have been already mentioned.
It is to be hoped that they did not add to the guilt of self-interested
compliances in matters of faith the blacker crime of a barbarous act of
perfidy against a former associate and brother-protestant who had
scarcely ceased to be their guest;--but certain it is, that on some
secret intimation of his having entered his territories, king Philip
issued special orders for the seizure of Cheke. On his return, between
Brussels and Antwerp, the unhappy man, with sir Peter Carew his
companion, was apprehended by a provost-marshal, bound hand and foot,
thrown into a cart, and so conveyed on board a vessel sailing for
England. He is said to have been brought to the Tower muffled, according
to an odious practice of Spanish despotism introduced into the country
during the reign of Mary. Under the terror of such a surprise the awful
alternative "Comply or burn" was laid before him. Human frailty under
these trying circumstances prevailed; and in an evil hour this champion
of light and learning was tempted to subscribe his false assent to the
doctrine of the real presence and the whole list of Romish articles.
This was but the beginning of humiliations: he was now required to
pronounce two ample recantations, one before the queen in person, the
other before cardinal Pole, who also imposed upon him various acts of
penance. Even this did not immediately procure his liberation from
prison; and while he was obliged in public to applaud the mercy of his
enemies in terms of the most abject submission, he bewailed in private,
with abundance of bitter tears, their cruelty, and still more his own
criminal compliance. The savage zealots knew not how to set bounds to
their triumph over a man whom learning and acknowledged talents and
honorable employments had rendered so considerable.

Even when at length he was set free, and flattered himself that he had
drained to the dregs his cup of bitterness, he discovered that the
masterpiece of barbarity, the refinement of insult, was yet in store. He
was required, as evidence of the sincerity of his conversion and a token
of his complete restoration to royal favor, to take his seat on the
bench by the side of the savage Bonner, and assist at the condemnation
of his brother-protestants. The unhappy man did not refuse,--so
thoroughly was his spirit subdued within him,--but it broke his heart;
and retiring at last to the house of an old and learned friend, whose
door was opened to him in Christian charity, he there ended within a few
months, his miserable life, a prey to shame, remorse and melancholy. A
sadder tale the annals of persecution do not furnish, or one more
humbling to the pride and confidence of human virtue. Many have failed
under lighter trials; few have expiated a failure by sufferings so
severe. How often must this victim of a wounded spirit have dwelt with
envy, amid his slower torments, on the brief agonies and lasting crown
of a courageous martyrdom!

It is happily not possible for a kingdom to flourish under the crushing
weight of such a tyranny as that of Mary. The retreat of the foreign
protestants had robbed the country of hundreds of industrious and
skilful artificers; the arbitrary exactions of the queen impoverished
and discouraged the trading classes, against whom they principally
operated; tumults and insurrections were frequent, and afforded a
pretext for the introduction of Spanish troops; the treasury was
exhausted in efforts for maintaining the power of the sovereign,
restoring the church to opulence and splendor, and re-edifying the
fallen monasteries. To add to these evils, a foreign marriage rendered
both the queen and country subservient to the interested or ambitious
projects of the Spanish sovereign. For his sake a needless war was
declared against France, which, after draining entirely an already
failing treasury, ended in the loss of Calais, the last remaining trophy
of the victories by which the Edwards and the Henrys had humbled in the
dust the pride and power of France.

This last stroke completed the dejection of the nation; and Mary
herself, who was by no means destitute of sensibility where the honor of
her crown was concerned, sunk into an incurable melancholy. "When I
die," said she to her attendants who sought to discover the cause of her
despondency, "Calais will be found at my heart."

The unfeeling desertion of her husband, the consciousness of having
incurred the hatred of her subjects, the unprosperous state of her
affairs, and the well founded apprehension that her successor would once
more overthrow the whole edifice of papal power which she had labored
with such indefatigable ardor to restore, may each be supposed to have
infused its own drop of bitterness into the soul of this unhappy
princess. The long and severe mortifications of her youth, while they
soured her temper, had also undermined her constitution, and contributed
to bring upon her a premature old age; dropsical symptoms began to
appear, and after a lingering illness of nearly half a year she sunk
into the grave on the 17th day of November 1558, in the forty-fourth
year of her age.


1558 AND 1559.

General joy on the accession of Elizabeth.--Views of the nobility--of
the middling and lower classes.--Flattery with which she is
addressed.--Descriptions of her person.--Her first privy-council.--Parry
and Cecil brought into office.--Notices of each.--Death of cardinal
Pole.--The queen enters London--passes to the Tower.--Lord Robert Dudley
her master of the horse.--Notices respecting him.--The queen's treatment
of her relations.--The Howard family.--Sir Richard Sackville.--Henry
Cary.--The last, created lord Hunsdon.--Preparations in London against
the queen's coronation.--Splendid costume of the age.--She passes by
water from Westminster to the Tower.--The procession described.--Her
passage through the city.--Pageants exhibited.--The bishops refuse to
crown her.--Bishop of Carlisle prevailed on.--Religious sentiments of
the queen.--Prohibition of preaching--of theatrical exhibitions.

Never perhaps was the accession of any prince the subject of such keen
and lively interest to a whole people as that of Elizabeth.

Both in the religious establishments and political relations of the
country, the most important changes were anticipated; changes in which
the humblest individual found himself concerned, and to which a vast
majority of the nation looked forward with hope and joy.

With the courtiers and great nobles, whose mutability of faith had so
happily corresponded with every ecclesiastical vicissitude of the last
three reigns, political and personal considerations may well be supposed
to have held the first place; and though the old religion might still be
endeared to them by many cherished associations and by early prejudice,
there were few among them who did not regard the liberation of the
country from Spanish influence as ample compensation for the probable
restoration of the religious establishment of Henry or of Edward.
Besides, there was scarcely an individual belonging to these classes who
had not in some manner partaken of the plunder of the church, and whom
the avowed principles of Mary had not disquieted with apprehensions that
some plan of compulsory restitution would sooner or later be attempted
by an union of royal and papal authority.

With the middling and lower classes religious views and feelings were
predominant The doctrines of the new and better system of faith and
worship had now become more precious and important than ever in the eyes
of its adherents from the hardships which many of them had encountered
for its sake, and from the interest which each disciple vindicated to
himself in the glory and merit of the holy martyrs whose triumphant exit
they had witnessed. With all the fervor of pious gratitude they offered
up their thanksgivings for the signal deliverance by which their prayers
had been answered. The bloody tyranny of Mary was at an end; and though
the known conformity of Elizabeth to Romish rites might apparently give
room for doubts and suspicions, it should seem that neither catholics
nor protestants were willing to believe that the daughter of Anne
Boleyn could in her heart be a papist. Under this impression the
citizens of London, who spoke the sense of their own class throughout
the kingdom, welcomed the new queen as a protectress sent by Heaven
itself: but even in the first transports of their joy, and amid the
pompous pageantries by which their loyal congratulations were expressed,
they took care to intimate, in a manner not to be misunderstood, their
hopes and expectations on the great concern now nearest to their hearts.

Prudence confined within their own bosoms the regrets and murmurs of the
popish clergy; submission and a simulated loyalty were at present
obviously their only policy: thus not a whisper breathed abroad but of
joy and gratulation and happy presage of the days to come.

The sex, the youth, the accomplishments, the graces, the past
misfortunes of the princess, all served to heighten the interest with
which she was beheld: the age of chivalry had not yet expired; and in
spite of the late unfortunate experience of a female reign, the romantic
image of a maiden queen dazzled all eyes, subdued all hearts, inflamed
the imaginations of the brave and courtly youth with visions of love and
glory, exalted into a passionate homage the principle of loyalty, and
urged adulation to the very brink of idolatry.

The fulsome compliments on her beauty which Elizabeth, almost to the
latest period of her life, not only permitted but required and delighted
in, have been adverted to by all the writers who have made her reign and
character their theme: and those of the number whom admiration and pity
of the fair queen of Scots have rendered hostile to her memory, have
taken a malicious pleasure in exaggerating the extravagance of this
weakness, by denying her, even in her freshest years, all pretensions to
those personal charms by which her rival was so eminently,
distinguished. Others however have been more favorable, and probably
more just, to her on this point; and it would be an injury to her memory
to withhold from the reader the following portraitures which authorize
us to form a pleasing as well as majestic image of this illustrious
female at the period of her accession and at the age of five-and-twenty.

"She was a lady of great beauty, of decent stature, and of an excellent
shape. In her youth she was adorned with a more than usual maiden
modesty; her skin was of pure white, and her hair of a yellow colour;
her eyes were beautiful and lively. In short, her whole body was well
made, and her face was adorned with a wonderful and sweet beauty and
majesty. This beauty lasted till her middle age, though it
declined[31]." &c.

[Note 31: Bohun's "Character of Queen Elizabeth."]

"She was of personage tall, of hair and complexion fair, and therewith
well favored, but high-nosed; of limbs and feature neat, and, which
added to the lustre of those exterior graces, of stately and majestic
comportment; participating in this more of her father than her mother,
who was of an inferior allay, plausible, or, as the French hath it, more
debonaire and affable, virtues which might suit well with majesty, and
which descending as hereditary to the daughter, did render her of a more
sweeter temper and endeared her more to the love and liking of her
people, who gave her the name and fame of a most gracious and popular

[Note 32: Naunton's "Fragmenta Regalia."]

The death of Mary was announced to the two houses, which were then
sitting, by Heath bishop of Ely, the lord-chancellor. In both
assemblies, after the decorum of a short pause, the notification was
followed by joyful shouts of "God save queen Elizabeth! long and happily
may she reign!" and with great alacrity the members issued out to
proclaim the new sovereign before the palace in Westminster and again at
the great cross in Cheapside.

The Londoners knew not how to contain their joy on this happy
occasion:--the bells of all the churches were set ringing, bonfires were
kindled, and tables were spread in the streets according to the
bountiful and hospitable custom of that day, "where was plentiful
eating, drinking, and making merry." On the following Sunday _Te Deum_
was sung in the churches; probably an unexampled, however merited,
expression of disrespect to the memory of the former sovereign.

Elizabeth received the news of her own accession at Hatfield. We are not
told that she affected any great concern for the loss of her sister,
much less did any unbecoming sign of exultation escape her; but,
"falling on her knees, after a good time of respiration she uttered this
verse of the Psalms; _A Domino factum est istud, et est mirabile oculis
nostris_[33]: which to this day we find on the stamp of her gold; with
this on her silver, _Posui Deum adjutorem meum_[34]."[35]

[Note 33: It is the Lord's doing, it is marvellous in our eyes.]

[Note 34: I have chosen God for my helper.]

[Note 35: "Fragmenta Regalia."]

Several noblemen of the late queen's council now repairing to her, she
held at Hatfield on November the 20th her first privy-council; at which
she declared sir Thomas Parry comptroller of her household, sir Edward
Rogers captain of the guard, and sir William Cecil principal secretary
of state, all three being at the same time admitted to the
council-board. From these appointments, the first of her reign, some
presages might be drawn of her future government favorable to her own
character and correspondent to the wishes of her people.

Parry was the person who had filled for many years the office of her
cofferer, who was perfectly in the secret of whatever confidential
intercourse she might formerly have held with the lord-admiral, and
whose fidelity to her in that business had stood firm against all the
threats of the protector and council, and the artifices of those by whom
his examination had been conducted. That mindfulness of former services,
of which the advancement of this man formed by no means a solitary
instance in the conduct of Elizabeth, appeared the more commendable in
her, because she accompanied it with a generous oblivion of the many
slights and injuries to which her defenceless and persecuted condition
had so long exposed her from others.

The merit of Cecil was already in part known to the public; and his
promotion to an office of such importance was a happy omen for the
protestant cause, his attachment to which had been judged the sole
impediment to his advancement under the late reign to situations of
power and trust corresponding with the opinion entertained of his
integrity and political wisdom. A brief retrospect of the scenes of
public life in which he had already been an actor will best explain the
character and sentiments of this eminent person, destined to wield for
more than forty years with unparalleled skill and felicity, under a
mistress who knew his value, the energies of the English state.

Born, in 1520, the son of the master of the royal wardrobe, Cecil early
engaged the notice of Henry VIII. by the fame of a religious dispute
which he had held in Latin with two popish priests attached to the Irish
chieftain O'Neal. A place in reversion freely bestowed on him by the
king at once rewarded the zeal of the young polemic, and encouraged him
to desert the profession of the law, in which he had embarked, for the
political career.

His marriage with the sister of sir John Cheke strengthened his interest
at court by procuring him an introduction to the earl of Hertford, and
early in the reign of Edward this powerful patronage obtained for him
the office of secretary of state. In the first disgrace of the protector
he lost his place, and was for a short time a prisoner in the Tower; but
his compliant conduct soon restored him to favor: he scrupled not to
draw the articles of impeachment against the protector; and
Northumberland, finding him both able in business and highly acceptable
to the young monarch, procured, or permitted, his reinstatement in
office in September 1550.

Cecil, however, was both too wary and too honest to regard himself as
pledged to the support of Northumberland's inordinate schemes of
ambition; and scarcely any public man of the day, attached to the
protestant cause, escaped better in the affair of lady Jane Grey. It is
true that one writer accuses him of having drawn all the papers in her
favor: but this appears to be, in part at least, either a mistake or a
calumny; and it seems, on the contrary, that he refused to
Northumberland some services of this nature. It has been already
mentioned that his name appeared with those of the other
privy-councillors to Edward's settlement of the crown; and his plea of
having signed it merely as a witness to the king's signature, deserves
to be regarded as a kind of subterfuge. But he was early in paying his
respects to Mary, and he took advantage of the graciousness with which
she received his explanations to obtain a general pardon, which
protected him from all personal danger. He lost however his place of
secretary, which some have affirmed that he might have retained by
further compliances in religion. This however is the more doubtful,
because it cannot be questioned that he must have yielded a good deal on
this point, without which he neither could nor would have made one of a
deputation sent to conduct to England cardinal Pole the papal legate,
nor probably would he have been joined in commission with the cardinal
and other persons sent to treat of a peace with France.

But admitting, as we must, that this eminent statesman was far from
aspiring to the praise of a confessor, he will still be found to deserve
high commendation for the zeal and courage with which, as a member of
parliament, he defended the interests of his oppressed and suffering
fellow-protestants. At considerable hazard to himself, he opposed with
great freedom of speech a bill for confiscating the property of exiles
for religion; and he appears to have escaped committal to the Tower on
this account, solely by the presence of mind which he exhibited before
the council and the friendship of some of its members.

He is known to have maintained a secret and intimate correspondence with
Elizabeth during the time of her adversity, and to have assisted her on
various trying occasions with his salutary counsels; and nothing could
be more interesting than to trace the origin and progress of that
confidential relation between these eminent and in many respects
congenial characters, which after a long course of years was only
terminated by the hand of death;--but materials for this purpose are
unfortunately wanting.

The letters on both sides were probably sacrificed by the parties
themselves to the caution which their situation required; and among the
published extracts from the Burleigh papers, only a single document is
found relative to the connexion subsisting between them during the reign
of Mary. This is a short and uninteresting letter addressed to Cecil by
sir Thomas Benger, one of the princess's officers, in which, after some
mention of accounts, not now intelligible, he promises that he and sir
Thomas Parry will move the princess to grant his correspondent's
request, which is not particularized, and assures him that as his coming
thither would be thankfully received, so he wishes that all the friends
of the princess entertained the same sense of that matter as he does.
The letter seems to point at some official concern of Cecil in the
affairs of Elizabeth. It is dated October 24th 1556.

The private character of Cecil was in every respect exemplary, and his
disposition truly amiable. His second marriage with one of the learned
daughters of sir Anthony Cook conferred upon him that exalted species of
domestic happiness which a sympathy in mental endowments can alone
bestow; whilst it had the further advantage of connecting him with the
excellent man her father, with sir Nicholas Bacon and sir Thomas Hobby,
the husbands of two of her sisters, and generally with the wisest and
most conscientious supporters of the protestant interest. This great
minister was honorably distinguished through life by an ardor and
constancy of friendship rare in all classes of men, but esteemed
peculiarly so in those whose lives are occupied amid the heartless
ceremonial of courts and the political intrigues of princes. His
attachments, as they never degenerated into the weakness of favoritism,
were as much a source of benefit to his country as of enjoyment to
himself; for his friends were those of virtue and the state. And there
were few among the more estimable public men of this reign who were not
indebted either for their first introduction to the notice of Elizabeth,
their continuance in her favor, or their restoration to it when
undeservedly lost, to the generous patronage or powerful intercession of

On appointing him a member of her council, the queen addressed her
secretary in the following gracious words:

"I give you this charge, that you shall be of my privy-council, and
content yourself to take pains for me and my realm. This judgement I
have of you, that you will not be corrupted with any gift, and that you
will be faithful to the state, and that, without respect of my private
will, you will give me that counsel that you think best: And that if you
shall know any thing necessary to be declared to me of secrecy, you
shall show it to myself only, and assure yourself I will not fail to
keep taciturnity therein. And therefore herewith I charge you[36]."

[Note 36: "Nugæ Antiquæ."]

Cardinal Pole was not doomed to be an eye-witness of the relapse of the
nation into what he must have regarded as heresy of the most aggravated
nature; he expired a few hours after his royal kinswoman: and Elizabeth,
with due consideration for the illustrious ancestry, the learning, the
moderation, and the blameless manners of the man, authorized his
honorable interment at Canterbury among the archbishops his
predecessors, with the attendance of two bishops, his ancient friends
and the faithful companions of his long exile.

On November 23d the queen set forward for her capital, attended by a
train of about a thousand nobles, knights, gentlemen, and ladies, and
took up her abode for the present at the dissolved monastery of the
Chartreux, or Charterhouse, then the residence of lord North; a splendid
pile which offered ample accommodation for a royal retinue. Her next
remove, in compliance with ancient custom, was to the Tower. On this
occasion all the streets from the Charterhouse were spread with fine
gravel; singers and musicians were stationed by the way, and a vast
concourse of people freely lent their joyful and admiring acclamations,
as preceded by her heralds and great officers, and richly attired in
purple velvet, she passed along mounted on her palfrey, and returning
the salutations of the humblest of her subjects with graceful and
winning affability.

With what vivid and what affecting impressions of the vicissitudes
attending on the great must she have passed again within the antique
walls of that fortress once her dungeon, now her palace! She had entered
it by the Traitor's gate, a terrified and defenceless prisoner, smarting
under many wrongs, hopeless of deliverance, and apprehending nothing
less than an ignominious death. She had quitted it, still a captive,
under the guard of armed men, to be conducted she knew not whither. She
returned to it in all the pomp of royalty, surrounded by the ministers
of her power, ushered by the applauses of her people; the cherished
object of every eye, the idol of every heart.

Devotion alone could supply becoming language to the emotions which
swelled her bosom; and no sooner had she reached the royal apartments,
than falling on her knees she returned humble and fervent thanks to that
Providence which had brought her in safety, like Daniel from the den of
lions, to behold this day of exaltation.

Elizabeth was attended on her passage to the Tower by one who like
herself returned with honor to that place of his former captivity; but
not, like herself, with a mind disciplined by adversity to receive with
moderation and wisdom "the good vicissitude of joy." This person was
lord Robert Dudley, whom the queen had thus early encouraged to aspire
to her future favors by appointing him to the office of master of the

We are totally uninformed of the circumstances which had recommended to
her peculiar patronage this bad son of a bad father; whose enterprises,
if successful, would have disinherited of a kingdom Elizabeth herself no
less than Mary. But it is remarkable, that even under the reign of the
latter, the surviving members of the Dudley family had been able to
recover in great measure from the effects of their late signal reverses.
Lord Robert, soon after his release from the Tower, contrived to make
himself so acceptable to king Philip by his courtier-like attentions,
and to Mary by his diligence in posting backwards and forwards to bring
her intelligence of her husband during his long visits to the continent,
that he earned from the latter several marks of favor. Two of his
brothers fought, and one fell, in the battle of St. Quintin's; and
immediately afterwards the duchess their mother found means, through
some Spanish interests and connexions, to procure the restoration in
blood of all her surviving children. The appointment of Robert to the
place of master of the ordnance soon followed; so that even before the
accession of Elizabeth he might be regarded as a rising man in the
state. His personal graces and elegant accomplishments are on all hands
acknowledged to have been sufficiently striking to dazzle the eyes and
charm the heart of a young princess of a lively imagination and absolute
mistress of her own actions. The circumstance of his being already
married, blinded her perhaps to the nature of her sentiments towards
him, or at least it was regarded by her as a sufficient sanction in the
eyes of the public for those manifestations of favor and esteem with
which she was pleased to honor him. But whether the affection which she
entertained for him best deserved the name of friendship or a still
tenderer one, seems after all a question of too subtile and obscure a
nature for sober discussion; though in a French "_cour d'amour_" it
might have furnished pleas and counterpleas of exquisite ingenuity,
prodigious sentimental interest, and length interminable. What is
unfortunately too certain is, that he was a favorite, and in the common
judgement of the court, of the nation, and of posterity, an unworthy
one; but calumny and prejudice alone have dared to attack the
reputation of the queen.

Elizabeth had no propensity to exalt immoderately her relations by the
mother's side;--for she neither loved nor honored that mother's memory;
but several of the number may be mentioned, whose merits towards
herself, or whose qualifications for the public service, justly entitled
them to share in her distribution of offices and honors, and whom she
always treated with distinction. The whole illustrious family of the
Howards were her relations; and in the first year of her reign she
conferred on the duke of Norfolk, her second-cousin, the order of the
garter. Her great-uncle lord William Howard, created baron of Effingham
by Mary, was continued by her in the high office of lord-chamberlain,
and soon after appointed one of the commissioners for concluding a peace
with France. Lord Thomas Howard, her mother's first-cousin, who had
treated her with distinguished respect and kindness on her arrival at
Hampton Court from Woodstock, and had the further merit of being
indulgent to protestants during the persecutions of Mary, received from
her the title of viscount Bindon, and continued much in her favor to the
end of his days.

Sir Richard Sackville, also her mother's first-cousin, had filled
different fiscal offices under the three last reigns; he was a man of
abilities, and derived from a long line of ancestors great estates and
extensive influence in the county of Sussex. The people, who marked his
growing wealth, and to whom he was perhaps officially obnoxious,
nicknamed him Fill-sack: in Mary's time he was a catholic, a
privy-councillor, and chancellor of the court of Augmentations; under
her successor he changed the first designation and retained the two
last, which he probably valued more. He is chiefly memorable as the
father of Sackville the poet, afterwards lord Buckhurst and progenitor
of the dukes of Dorset.

Sir Francis Knolles, whose lady was one of the queen's nearest
kinswomen, was deservedly called to the privy-council on his return from
his voluntary banishment for conscience' sake; his sons gained
considerable influence in the court of Elizabeth; his daughter, the
mother of Essex, and afterwards the wife of Leicester, was for various
reasons long an object of the queen's particular aversion.

But of all her relations, the one who had deserved most at her hands was
Henry Carey, brother to lady Knolles, and son to Mary Boleyn, her
majesty's aunt. This gentleman had expended several thousand pounds of
his own patrimony in her service and relief during the time of her
imprisonment, and she liberally requited his friendship at her first
creation of peers, by conferring upon him, with the title of baron
Hunsdon, the royal residence of that name, with its surrounding park and
several beneficial leases of crown lands. He was afterwards joined in
various commissions and offices of trust: but his remuneration was, on
the whole, by no means exorbitant; for he was not rapacious, and
consequently not importunate; and the queen, in the employments which
she assigned him, seemed rather to consult her own advantage and that of
her country, by availing herself of the abilities of a diligent and
faithful servant, than to please herself by granting rewards to an
affectionate and generous kinsman. In fact, lord Hunsdon was skilled as
little in the ceremonious and sentimental gallantry which she required
from her courtiers, as in the circumspect and winding policy which she
approved in her statesmen. "As he lived in a ruffling time," says
Naunton, "so he loved sword and buckler men, and such as our fathers
wont to call men of their hands, of which sort he had many brave
gentlemen that followed him; yet not taken for a popular or dangerous
person." Though extremely choleric, he was honest, and not at all
malicious. It was said of him that "his Latin and his dissimulation were
both alike," equally bad, and that "his custom in swearing and obscenity
in speech made him seem a worse Christian than he was."

Fuller relates of him the following characteristic anecdote. "Once, one
Mr. Colt chanced to meet him coming from Hunsdon to London, in the
equipage of a lord of those days. The lord, on some former grudge, gave
him a box on the ear: Colt presently returned the principal with
interest; and thereupon his servants drawing their swords, swarmed about
him. 'You rogues,' said my lord, 'may not I and my neighbour change a
blow but you must interpose?' Thus the quarrel was begun and ended in
the same minute[37]."

[Note 37: "Worthies" in Herts.]

The queen's attachment to such of her family as she was pleased to
honor with her notice, was probably the more constant because there was
nothing in it of excess or of blindness:--even Leicester in the height
of his favor felt that he must hold sacred their claims to her regard:
according to Naunton's phrase, he used to say of Sackville and Hunsdon,
"that they were of the tribe of Dan, and were Noli me tangere's."

After a few days spent in the Tower, Elizabeth passed by water to
Somerset Place; and thence, about a fortnight after, when the funeral of
her predecessor was over, to the palace of Westminster, where she kept
her Christmas.

Busy preparation was now making in her good city of London against the
solemn day of her passage in state from the Tower to her coronation at
Westminster. The usages and sentiments of that age conferred upon these
public ceremonials a character of earnest and dignified importance now
lost; and on this memorable occasion, when the mingled sense of
deliverance received and of future favor to be conciliated had opened
the hearts of all men, it was resolved to lavish in honor of the new
sovereign every possible demonstration of loyal affection, and every
known device of festal magnificence.

The costume of the age was splendid. Gowns of velvet or satin, richly
trimmed with silk, furs, or gold lace, costly gold chains, and caps or
hoods of rich materials adorned with feathers or ouches, decorated on
all occasions of display the persons not of nobles or courtiers alone,
but of their crowds of retainers and higher menials, and even of the
plain substantial citizens. Female attire was proportionally sumptuous.
Hangings, of cloth, of silk, of velvet, cloth of gold or silver, or
"needlework sublime," clothed on days of family-festivity the _upper
chamber_[38] of every house of respectable appearance; these on public
festivals were suspended from the balconies, and uniting with the
banners and pennons floating overhead, gave to the streets almost the
appearance of a suit of long and gayly-dressed saloons. Every
circumstance thus conspired to render the public entry of queen
Elizabeth the most gorgeous and at the same time the most interesting
spectacle of the kind ever exhibited in the English metropolis.

[Note 38: As long as that style of domestic architecture prevailed
in which every story was made to project considerably beyond the one
beneath it, the upper room, from its superior size and lightsomeness,
appears to have been that dedicated to the entertainment of guests.]

Her majesty was first to be conducted from her palace in Westminster to
the royal apartments in the Tower; and a splendid water procession was
appointed for the purpose. At this period, when the streets were narrow
and ill-paved, the roads bad, and the luxury of close carriages unknown,
the Thames was the great thoroughfare of the metropolis. The old palace
of Westminster, as well as those of Richmond and Greenwich, the favorite
summer residences of the Tudor princes, stood on its banks, and the
court passed from one to the other in barges. The nobility were
beginning to occupy with their mansions and gardens the space between
the Strand and the water, and it had become a reigning folly amongst
them to vie with each other in the splendor of their barges and of the
liveries of the rowers, who were all distinguished by the crests or
badges of their lords.

The corporation and trading companies of London possessed, as now, their
state-barges enriched with carved and gilded figures and "decked and
trimmed with targets and banners of their misteries."

On the 12th of January 1559 these were all drawn forth in grand array;
and to enliven the pomp, "the bachelor's barge of the lord-mayor's
company, to wit the mercers, had their barge with a _foist_ trimmed with
three tops and artillery aboard, gallantly appointed to wait upon them,
shooting off lustily as they went, with great and pleasant melody of
instruments, which played in most sweet and heavenly manner." In this
state they rowed up to Westminster and attended her majesty with the
royal barges back to the Tower.

Her passage through the city took place two days after.

She issued forth drawn in a sumptuous chariot, preceded by trumpeters
and heralds in their coat-armour and "most honorably accompanied as well
with gentlemen, barons, and other the nobility of this realm, as also
with a notable train of goodly and beautiful ladies, richly appointed."
The ladies were on horseback, and both they and the lords were habited
in crimson velvet, with which their horses were also trapped. Let it be
remarked by the way, that the retinue of fair equestrians constantly
attendant on the person of the maiden queen in all her public
appearances, was a circumstance of prodigious effect; the gorgeousness
of royal pomp was thus heightened, and at the same time rendered more
amiable and attractive by the alliance of grace and beauty; and a
romantic kind of charm, comparable to that which seizes the imagination
in the splendid fictions of chivalry, was cast over the heartless parade
of courtly ceremonial.

It was a very different spirit, however, from that of romance or of
knight-errantry which inspired the bosoms of the citizens whose
acclamations now rent the air on her approach. They beheld in the
princess whom they welcomed the daughter of that Henry who had redeemed
the land from papal tyranny and extortion; the sister of that young and
godly Edward,--the Josiah of English story,--whose pious hand had reared
again the altars of pure and primitive religion; and they had bodied
forth for her instruction and admonition, in a series of solemn
pageants, the maxims by which they hoped to see her equal or surpass
these deep-felt merits of her predecessors.

These pageants were erections placed across the principal streets in the
manner of triumphal arches: illustrative sentences in English and Latin
were inscribed upon them; and a child was stationed in each, who
explained to the queen in English verse the meaning of the whole. The
first was of three stories, and represented by living figures: first,
Henry VII. and his royal spouse Elizabeth of York, from whom her majesty
derived her name; secondly, Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn; and lastly, her
majesty in person; all in royal robes. The verses described the
felicity of that union of the houses to which she owed her existence,
and of concord in general. The second pageant was styled "The seat of
worthy governance," on the summit of which sat another representative of
the queen; beneath were the cardinal virtues trampling under their feet
the opposite vices, among whom Ignorance and Superstition were not
forgotten. The third exhibited the eight Beatitudes, all ascribed with
some ingenuity of application to her majesty. The fourth ventured upon a
more trying topic: its opposite sides represented in lively contrast the
images of a decayed and of a flourishing commonwealth; and from a cave
below issued Time leading forth his daughter Truth, who held in her hand
an English bible, which she offered to the queen's acceptance. Elizabeth
received the volume, and reverently pressing it with both hands to her
heart and to her lips, declared aloud, amid the tears and grateful
benedictions of her people, that she thanked the city more for that gift
than for all the cost they had bestowed upon her, and that she would
often read over that book. The last pageant exhibited "a seemly and mete
personage, richly apparelled in parliament robes, with a sceptre in her
hand, over whose head was written 'Deborah, the judge and restorer of
the house of Israel.'"

To render more palatable these grave moralities, the recorder of London,
approaching her majesty's chariot near the further end of Cheapside,
where ended the long array of the city companies, which had lined the
streets all the way from Fenchurch, presented her with a splendid and
ample purse, containing one thousand marks in gold. The queen graciously
received it with both hands, and answered his harangue "marvellous

To crown the whole, those two griesly personages vulgarly called Gog and
Magog, but described by the learned as Gogmagog the Albion and Corineus
the Briton, deserted on this memorable day that accustomed station in
Guildhall where they appear as the tutelary genii of the city, and were
seen rearing up their stately height on each side of Temple-bar. With
joined hands they supported above the gate a copy of Latin verses, in
which they obligingly expounded to her majesty the sense of all the
pageants which had been offered to her view, concluding with compliments
and felicitations suitable to the happy occasion. The queen, in few but
cordial words, thanked the citizens for all their cost and pains,
assured them that she would "stand their good queen," and passed the
gate amid a thunder of applause.

Elizabeth possessed in a higher degree than any other English prince who
ever reigned, the innocent and honest arts of popularity; and the
following traits of her behaviour on this day are recorded by our
chroniclers with affectionate delight. "'Yonder is an ancient citizen,'
said one of the knights attending on her person, 'which weepeth and
turneth his face backward: How may it be interpreted? that he doth so
for sorrow or for gladness?' With a just and pleasing confidence, the
queen replied, 'I warrant you it is for gladness,'" "How many nosegays
did her grace receive at poor women's hands! How many times staid she
her chariot when she saw any simple body offer to speak to her grace! A
branch of rosemary given her grace with a supplication by a poor woman
about Fleet-bridge was seen in her chariot till her grace came to

[Note 39: Holinshed's Chronicles.]

The reader may here be reminded, that five-and-twenty years before, when
the mother of this queen passed through London to her coronation, the
pageants exhibited derived their personages and allusions chiefly from
pagan mythology or classical fiction. But all was now changed; the
earnestness of religious controversy in Edward's time, and the fury of
persecution since, had put to flight Apollo, the Muses, and the Graces:
Learning indeed had kept her station and her honors, but she had lent
her lamp to other studies, and whether in the tongue of ancient Rome or
modern England, Elizabeth was hailed in Christian strains, and as the
sovereign of a Christian country. A people filled with earnest zeal in
the best of causes implored her to free them once again from popery; to
overthrow the tyranny of error and of superstition; to establish gospel
truth; and to accept at their hands, as the standard of her faith and
the rule of her conduct, that holy book of which they regarded the free
and undisturbed possession as their brightest privilege.

How tame, how puerile, in the midst of sentiments serious and profound
as these, would have appeared the intrusion of classical imagery,
however graceful in itself or ingenious in its application! Frigid must
have been the spectator who could even have remarked its absence, while
shouts of patriotic ardor and of religious joy were bursting from the
lips of the whole assembled population.

The august ceremonies of the coronation, which took place on the
following day, merit no particular description; regulated in every thing
by ancient custom, they afforded little scope for that display of
popular sentiment which had given so intense an interest to the
procession of the day before. Great perplexity was occasioned by the
refusal of the whole bench of bishops to perform the coronation service;
but at length, to the displeasure of his brethren, Ogelthorp bishop of
Carlisle suffered himself to be gained over, and the rite was duly
celebrated. This refractoriness of the episcopal order was wisely
overlooked for the present by the new government; but it proceeded no
doubt from the principle, that, the marriage of Henry VIII. with
Catherine of Arragon having been declared lawful and valid, the child of
Anne Boleyn must be regarded as illegitimate and incapable of the
succession. The compliance of Ogelthorp could indeed be censured by the
other bishops on no other ground than their disallowance of the title of
the sovereign; in the office itself, as he performed it, there was
nothing to which the most rigid catholic could object, for the ancient
ritual is said to have been followed without the slightest modification.
This circumstance has been adduced among others, to show that it was
rather by the political necessities of her situation, than by her
private judgement and conscience in religious matters, that Elizabeth
was impelled finally to abjure the Roman catholic system, and to declare
herself the general protectress of the protestant cause.

Probably, had she found herself free to follow entirely the dictates of
her own inclinations, she would have established in the church of which
she found herself the head, a kind of middle scheme like that devised by
her father, for whose authority she was impressed with the highest
veneration. To the end of her days she could never be reconciled to
married bishops; indeed with respect to the clergy generally, a
sagacious writer of her own time observes, that "_cæteris paribus_, and
sometimes _imparibus_ too, she preferred the single man before the

[Note 40: Harrington's "Brief View."]

She would allow no one "to speak irreverently of the sacrament of the
altar;" that is, to enter into discussions respecting the real presence;
she enjoined the like respectful silence concerning the intercession of
saints; and we learn that one Patch, who had been Wolsey's fool, and had
contrived, like some others, to keep in favor through all the changes of
four successive reigns, was employed by sir Francis Knolles to break
down a crucifix which she still retained in her private chapel to the
scandal of all good protestants.

A remarkable incident soon served to intimate the coolness and caution
with which it was her intention to proceed in re-establishing the
maxims of the reformers. Lord Bacon thus relates the anecdote: "Queen
Elizabeth on the morrow of her coronation (it being the custom to
release prisoners at the inauguration of a prince) went to the chapel;
and in the great chamber one of her courtiers, who was well known to
her, either out of his own motion, or by the instigation of a wiser man,
presented her with a petition, and before a great number of courtiers
besought her with a loud voice that now this good time there might be
four or five more principal prisoners released: these were the four
evangelists, and the apostle St. Paul, who had been long shut up in an
unknown tongue, as it were in prison; so as they could not converse with
the common people. The queen answered very gravely, that it was best
first to inquire of themselves whether they would be released or

[Note 41: Bacon's "Apophthegms."]

It was not long, however, ere this happy deliverance was fully effected.
Before her coronation, Elizabeth had taken the important step of
authorizing the reading of the liturgy in English; but she forbade
preaching on controverted topics generally, and all preaching at Paul's
Cross in particular, till the completion of that revision of the service
used in the time of Edward VI. which she had intrusted to Parker
archbishop-elect of Canterbury, with several of her wisest counsellors.
It was the zeal of the ministers lately returned from exile, many of
whom had imbibed at Geneva or Zurich ideas of a primitive simplicity in
Christian worship widely remote from the views and sentiments of the
queen, which gave occasion to this prohibition. The learning, the piety,
the past sufferings of the men gave them great power over the minds and
opinions of the people, who ran in crowds to listen to their sermons;
and Elizabeth began already to apprehend that the hierarchy which she
desired to establish would stand as much in need of protection from the
disciples of Calvin and Zwingle on one hand, as from the adherents of
popery on the other.

There is good reason to believe, that a royal proclamation issued some
time after, by which all manner of plays and interludes were forbidden
to be represented till after the ensuing hallowmass, was dictated by
similar reasons of state with the prohibition of popular and unlicensed

From the earliest beginnings of the reformation under Henry VIII. the
stage had come in aid of the pulpit; not, according to the practice of
its purer ages, as the "teacher best of moral wisdom, with delight
received," but as the vehicle of religious controversy, and not seldom
of polemical scurrility. Several times already had this dangerous
novelty attracted the jealous eyes of authority, and measures had in
vain been taken for its suppression.

In 1542 Henry added to an edict for the destruction of Tyndale's English
bible, with all the controversial works on both sides of which it had
been the fertile parent, an injunction that "the kingdom should be
purged and cleansed of all religious plays, interludes, rhymes, ballads,
and songs, which are equally pestiferous and noisome to the peace of
the church." During the reign of Edward, when the papists had availed
themselves of the license of the theatre to attack Cranmer and the
protector, a similar prohibition was issued against all dramatic
performances, as tending to the growth of "disquiet, division, tumults
and uproars." Mary's privy-council, on the other hand, found it
necessary to address a remonstrance to the president of the North,
respecting certain players, servants to sir Francis Lake, who had gone
about the country representing pieces in ridicule of the king and queen
and the formalities of the mass; and the design of the proclamation of
Elizabeth was rendered evident by a solemn enactment of heavy penalties
against such as should abuse the Common-prayer in any interludes, songs,
or rhymes[42].

[Note 42: Warton's "History of English Poetry," vol. iii. p. 202 _et



Meeting of parliament.--Prudent counsel of sir N. Bacon.--Act
declaratory of the queen's title.--Her answer to an address praying her
to marry.--Philip II. offers her his hand.--Motives of her
refusal.--Proposes to her the archduke Charles.--The king of Sweden
renews his addresses by the duke of Finland.--Honorable reception of the
duke.--Addresses of the duke of Holstein.--The duke of Norfolk, lord R.
Dudley, the marquis of Northampton, the earl of Rutland, made knights of
the garter.--Notices of the two last.--Queen visits the earl of
Pembroke.--His life and character.--Arrival and entertainment of a
French embassy.--Review of the London trained-bands.--Tilt in Greenwich
park.--Band of gentlemen-pensioners.--Royal progress to Dartford, Cobham
Hall, Eltham, and Nonsuch.--The earl of Arundel entertains her at the
latter place.--Obsequies for the king of France.--Death of Frances
duchess of Suffolk.--Sumptuary law respecting apparel.--Fashions of
dress.--Law against witchcraft.

In the parliament which met in January 1559, two matters personally
interesting to the queen were agitated; her title to the crown, and her
marriage; and both were disposed of in a manner calculated to afford a
just presage of the maxims by which the whole tenor of her future life
and reign was to be guided. By the eminently prudent and judicious
counsels of sir Nicholas Bacon keeper of the seals, she omitted to
require of parliament the repeal of those acts of her father's reign
which had declared his marriage with her mother null, and herself
illegitimate; and reposing on the acknowledged maxim of law, that the
crown once worn takes away all defects in blood, she contented herself
with an act declaratory in general terms of her right of succession.
Thus the whole perplexing subject of her mother's character and conduct
was consigned to an oblivion equally safe and decent; and the memory of
her father, which, in spite of all his acts of violence and injustice,
was popular in the nation and respected by herself, was saved from the
stigma which the vindication of Anne Boleyn must have impressed
indelibly upon it.

On the other topic she explained herself with an earnest sincerity which
might have freed her from all further importunity in any concern less
interesting to the wishes of her people. To a deputation from the house
of commons with an address, "the special matter whereof was to move her
grace to marriage," after a gracious reception, she delivered an answer
in which the following passages are remarkable.

"...From my years of understanding, sith I first had consideration of my
life, to be born a servitor of almighty God, I happily chose this kind
of life, in the which I yet live; which I assure you for mine own part
hath hitherto best contented myself, and I trust hath been most
acceptable unto God. From the which, if either ambition of high estate,
offered to me in marriage by the pleasure and appointment of my prince,
whereof I have some records in this presence (as you our treasurer well
know); or if eschewing the danger of mine enemies, or the avoiding of
the peril of death, whose messenger, or rather a continual watchman, the
prince's indignation, was no little time daily before mine eyes, (by
whose means although I know, or justly may suspect, yet I will not now
utter, or if the whole cause were in my sister herself, I will not now
burden her therewith, because I will not charge the dead): if any of
these, I say, could have drawn or dissuaded me from this kind of life, I
had not now remained in this estate wherein you see me; but so constant
have I always continued in this determination, although my youth and
words may seem to some hardly to agree together; yet it is most true
that at this day I stand free from any other meaning that either I have
had in times past, or have at this present."

After a somewhat haughty assurance that she takes the recommendation of
the parliament in good part, because it contains no limitation of place
or person, which she should have regarded as great presumption in them,
"whose duties are to obey," and "not to require them that may command;"
having declared that should she change her resolution, she will choose
one for her husband who shall, if possible, be as careful for the realm
as herself, she thus concludes: "And in the end, this shall be for me
sufficient, that a marble stone shall declare, that a queen, having
reigned such a time, lived and died a virgin."

One matrimonial proposal her majesty had already received, and that at
once the most splendid and the least suitable which Europe could afford.
Philip of Spain, loth to relinquish his hold upon England, but long
since aware of the impracticability of establishing any claims of his
own in opposition to the title of Elizabeth, now sought to reign by her;
and to the formal announcement which she conveyed to him of the death of
his late wife, accompanied with expressions of her anxiety to preserve
his friendship, he had replied by an offer of his hand.

The objections to this union were so peculiarly forcible, and so obvious
to every eye, that it appears at first view almost incredible that the
proposal should have been made, as it yet undoubtedly was, seriously and
with strong expectations of success. But Philip, himself a politician,
believed Elizabeth to be one also; and he flattered himself that he
should be able to point out such advantages in the connexion as might
over-balance in her mind any scruples of patriotism, of feeling, or of
conscience. She stood alone, the last of her father's house, unsupported
at home by the authority of a powerful royal family, or abroad by great
alliances. The queen of Scots, whom few of the subjects of Elizabeth
denied to be next heir to the crown, and whose claim was by most of the
catholics held preferable to her own, was married to the dauphin of
France, consequently her title would be upheld by the whole force of
that country, with which, as well as with Scotland, Elizabeth at her
accession had found the nation involved in an unsuccessful war. The loss
of Calais, the decay of trade, the failure of the exchequer, and the
recent visitations of famine and pestilence, had infected the minds of
the English with despondency, and paralysed all their efforts.

In religion they were confessedly a divided people; but it is probable
that Philip, misled by his own zeal and that of the catholic clergy,
confidently anticipated the extirpation of heresy and the final triumph
of the papal system, if the measures of _salutary rigor_ which had
distinguished the reign of Mary should be persisted in by her successor;
and that he actually supposed the majority of the nation to be at this
time sincerely and cordially catholic. In offering therefore his hand to
Elizabeth, he seemed to lend her that powerful aid against her foreign
foe and rival without which her possession of the throne could not be
secure, and that support against domestic faction without which it could
not be tranquil. He readily undertook to procure from the pope the
necessary dispensation for the marriage, which he was certain would be
granted with alacrity; and before the answer of Elizabeth could reach
him, he had actually dispatched envoys to Rome for this purpose.

A princess, in fact, of a character less firm and less sagacious than
Elizabeth, might have found in these seeming benefits temptations not to
be resisted; the splendor of Philip's rank and power would have dazzled
and overawed, the difficulties of her own situation would have
affrighted her, and between ambition and alarm she would probably have
thrown herself into the arms, and abandoned her country to the mercy, of
a gloomy, calculating, relentless tyrant.

But Elizabeth was neither to be deceived nor intimidated. She well knew
how odious this very marriage had rendered her unhappy sister; she
understood and sympathized in the religious sentiments of the great
mass of her subjects; she felt too all the pride, as well as the
felicity, of independence; and looking around with a cheerful confidence
on a people who adored her, she formed at once the patriotic resolution
to wear her English diadem by the suffrage of the English nation alone,
unindebted to the protection and free from the participation of any
brother-monarch living, even of him who held the highest place among the
potentates of Europe.

Her best and wisest counsellors applauded her decision, but they
unanimously advised that no means consistent with the rejection of his
suit should be omitted, by which the friendship of the king of Spain
might be preserved and cultivated. Expedients were accordingly found,
without actually encouraging his hopes, for protracting the negotiation
till a peace was concluded with France and with Scotland, and finally of
declining the marriage without a breach of amity. Yet the duke de Feria,
the Spanish ambassador, had not failed to represent to the queen, that
as the addresses of his master were founded on personal acquaintance and
high admiration of her charms and merit, a negative could not be
returned without wounding equally his pride and his feelings. Philip,
however, soon consoled himself for this disappointment by taking to wife
the daughter of the king of France; and before the end of the year we
find him recommending to Elizabeth as a husband his cousin the archduke
Charles, son of the emperor Ferdinand. The overture was at this time
declined by the queen without hesitation; but some time afterwards,
circumstances arose which caused the negotiation to be resumed with
prospect of success, and the pretensions and qualifications of the
Austrian prince became, as we shall see, an object of serious

Eric, who had now ascended the throne of Sweden, sent his brother the
duke of Finland to plead once more with the English princess in his
behalf; and the king of Denmark, unwilling that his neighbour should
bear off without a contest so glorious a prize, lost no time in sending
forth on the same high adventure his nephew the duke of Holstein. It is
more than probable that Shakespear, in his description of the wooers of
all countries who contend for the possession of the fair and wealthy
Portia[43], satirically alludes to several of these royal suitors, whose
departure would often be accounted by his sovereign "a gentle ridance,"
since she might well exclaim with the Italian heiress, "while we shut
the gate on one wooer, another knocks at the door."

[Note 43: See "The Merchant of Venice."]

The duke of Finland was received with high honors. The earl of Oxford
and lord Robert Dudley repaired to him at Colchester and conducted him
into London. At the corner of Gracechurch-street he was received by the
marquis of Northampton and lord Ambrose Dudley, attended by many
gentlemen, and, what seems remarkable, by ladies also; and thence,
followed by a great troop of gentlemen in gold chains and yeomen of the
guard, he proceeded to the bishop of Winchester's palace in Southwark,
"which was hung with rich cloth of arras, and wrought with gold and
silver and silks. And there he remained."

On the last circumstance it may be remarked, that it appears at this
time to have been the invariable custom for ambassadors and other royal
visitants to be lodged at some private house, where they were
entertained, nominally perhaps at the expense of the sovereign, but
really to the great cost as well as inconvenience of the selected host.
The practice discovers a kind of feudal right of ownership still claimed
by the prince in the mansions of his barons, some of which indeed were
royal castles or manor-houses and held perhaps under peculiar
obligations: at the same time it gives us a magnificent idea of the size
and accommodation of these mansions and of the style of house-keeping
used in them. It further intimates that an habitual distrust of these
foreign guests caused it to be regarded as a point of prudence to place
them under the secret inspection of some native of approved loyalty and
discretion. Prisoners of state, as well as ambassadors and royal
strangers, were thus committed to the private custody of peers or

The duke of Holstein on his arrival was lodged at Somerset Place, of
which the queen had granted the use to lord Hunsdon. He came, it seems,
with sanguine expectations of success in his suit; but the royal fair
one deemed it sufficient to acknowledge his pains by an honorable
reception, the order of the garter, and the grant of a yearly pension.

Meantime the queen herself, with equal assiduity and better success than
awaited these princely wooers, was applying her cares to gain the
affections of her subjects of every class, and if possible of both
religious denominations.

On her young kinsman the duke of Norfolk, the first peer of the realm by
rank, property, and great alliances, and the most popular by his known
attachment to the protestant faith, she now conferred the distinction of
the garter, decorating with it at the same time the marquis of
Northampton, the earl of Rutland, and lord Robert Dudley.

The marquis, a brother of queen Catherine Parr, whom he resembled in the
turn of his religious opinions, had been for these opinions a great
sufferer under the last reign. On pretext of his adherence to the cause
of Jane Grey, in which he had certainly not partaken more deeply than
many others who found nothing but favor in the sight of Mary, he was
attainted of high treason, and though his life was spared, his estates
were forfeited and he had remained ever since in disgrace and suspicion.
A divorce which he had obtained from an unfaithful wife under the
ecclesiastical law of Henry VIII. was also called in question, and an
after marriage which he had contracted declared null, but it appears to
have been confirmed under Elizabeth. He was accounted a modest and
upright character, endowed with no great talents for military command,
in which he had been unsuccessful, nor yet for civil business; but
distinguished by a fine taste in music and poetry, which formed his
chief delight. From the new sovereign substantial benefits as well as
flattering distinctions awaited him, being reinstated by her in the
possession of his confiscated estates and appointed a privy-councillor.

Henry second earl of Rutland of the surname of Manners, was the
representative of a knightly family seated during many generations at
Ettal in Northumberland, and known in border history amongst the
stoutest champions on the English side. But Ettal, a place of strength,
was more than once laid in ruins, and the lands devastated and rendered
"nothing worth," by incursions of the Scots; and though successive kings
rewarded the services and compensated the losses of these valiant
knights, by grants of land and appointments to honorable offices in the
north, it was many an age before they attained to such a degree of
wealth as would enable them to appear with distinction amongst the great
families of the kingdom. At length sir Robert Manners, high sheriff of
Northumberland, having recommended himself to the favor of the
king-making Warwick and of Richard duke of Gloucester, was fortunate
enough by a judicious marriage with the daughter of lord Roos, heiress
of the Tiptofts earls of Worcester, to add the noble castle and fertile
vale of Belvoir to the battered towers and wasted fields of his paternal

A second splendid alliance completed the aggrandizement of the house of
Manners. The son of sir Robert, bearing in right of his mother the title
of lord Roos, and knighted by the earl of Surry for his distinguished
bravery in the Scottish wars, was honored with the hand of Anne sole
heiress of sir Thomas St. Leger by the duchess-dowager of Exeter, a
sister of king Edward IV. The heir of this marriage, in consideration
of his maternal ancestry, was advanced by Henry VIII. to the title of
earl of Rutland, never borne but by princes of the blood. His successor,
whom the queen was pleased to honor on this occasion, had suffered a
short imprisonment in the cause of Jane Grey, but was afterwards
intrusted by Mary with a military command. Under Elizabeth he was lord
lieutenant of the counties of Nottingham and Rutland, and one of the
commissioners for enforcing the oath of supremacy on all persons in
offices of trust or profit suspected of adherence to the old religion.
He died in 1563.

Of lord Robert Dudley it is only necessary here to observe, that his
favor with the queen became daily more apparent, and began to give fears
and jealousies to her best friends and wisest counsellors.

The hearts of the common people, as this wise princess well knew, were
easily and cheaply to be won by gratifying their eyes with the frequent
view of her royal person, and she neglected no opportunity of offering
herself, all smiles and affability, to their ready acclamations.

On one occasion she passed publicly through the city to visit the mint
and inspect the new coinage, which she had the great merit of restoring
to its just standard from the extremely depreciated state to which it
had been brought by the successive encroachments of her immediate
predecessors. Another time she visited the dissolved priory of St. Mary
Spittle in Bishopsgate-street, which was noted for its pulpit-cross,
where, on set days, the lord-mayor and aldermen attended to hear
sermons. It is conjectured that the queen went thither for the same
purpose; but if this were the case, her equipage was somewhat whimsical.
She was attended, as Stow informs us, by a thousand men in harness with
shirts of mail and corselets and morice-pikes, and ten great pieces
carried through the city unto the court, with drums and trumpets
sounding, and two morice dancings, and in a cart two white bears.

Having supped one afternoon with the earl of Pembroke at Baynard's
castle in Thames-street, she afterwards took boat and was rowed up and
down the river, "hundreds of boats and barges rowing about her, and
thousands of people thronging at the water side to look upon her
majesty; rejoicing to see her, and partaking of the music and sights
upon the Thames."

This peer was the offspring of a base-born son of William Herbert earl
of Pembroke, and coming early to court to push his fortune, became an
esquire of the body to Henry VIII. Soon ingratiating himself with this
monarch, he obtained from his customary profusion towards his favorites,
several offices in Wales and enormous grants of abbey-lands in some of
the southern counties. In the year 1554, the 37th of his age, we find
him considerable enough to procure the king's license "to retain thirty
persons at his will and pleasure, over and above such persons as
attended on him, and to give them his livery, badges, and cognizance."
The king's marriage with Catherine Parr, his wife's sister, increased
his consequence, and Henry on his death-bed appointed him one of his
executors and a member of the young king's council. He was actively
useful in the beginning of Edward's reign in keeping down commotions in
Wales and suppressing some which had arisen in Wiltshire and
Somersetshire. This service obtained for him the office of master of the
horse; and that more important service which he afterwards performed at
the head of one thousand Welshmen, with whom he took the field against
the Cornish rebels, was rewarded by the garter, the presidency of the
council for Wales, and a valuable wardship. He figured next as commander
of part of the forces in Picardy and governor of Calais, and found
himself strong enough to claim of the feeble protector as his reward the
titles of baron Herbert and earl of Pembroke, become extinct by the
failure of legitimate heirs. As soon as his sagacity prognosticated the
fall of Somerset, he judiciously attached himself to the rising fortunes
of Northumberland. With this aspiring leader it was an object of prime
importance to purchase the support of a nobleman who now appeared at the
head of three hundred retainers, and whose authority in Wales and the
southern counties was equal, or superior, to the hereditary influence of
the most powerful and ancient houses. To engage him therefore the more
firmly in his interest, Northumberland proposed a marriage between
Pembroke's son lord Herbert and lady Catherine Grey, which was
solemnized at the same time with that between lord Guildford Dudley and
the lady Jane her eldest sister.

But no ties of friendship or alliance could permanently engage Pembroke
on the losing side; and though he concurred in the first measures of the
privy-council in behalf of lady Jane's title, it was he who devised a
pretext for extricating its members from the Tower, where Northumberland
had detained them in order to secure their fidelity, and, assembling
them in Baynard's castle, procured their concurrence in the proclamation
of Mary. By this act he secured the favor of the new queen, whom he
further propitiated by compelling his son to repudiate the innocent and
ill-fated lady Catherine, whose birth caused her to be regarded at court
with jealous eyes. Mary soon confided to him the charge of effectually
suppressing Wyat's rebellion, and afterwards constituted him her
captain-general beyond the seas, in which capacity he commanded the
English forces at the battle of St. Quintin's. Such was the respect
entertained for his experience and capacity, that Elizabeth admitted him
to her privy-council immediately after her accession, and as a still
higher mark of her confidence named him,--with the marquis of
Northampton, the earl of Bedford, and lord John Grey, leading men of the
protestant party,--to assist at the meetings of divines and men of
learning by whom the religious establishment of the country was to be
settled. He was likewise appointed a commissioner for administering the
oath of supremacy. In short, he retained to his death, which occurred in
1570, in the 63d year of his age, the same high station among the
confidential servants of the crown which he had held unmoved through all
the mutations of the eventful period of his public life.

Naunton, in his "Fragmenta Regalia," speaking of Paulet marquis of
Winchester and lord-treasurer, who, he says, had then served four
princes "in as various and changeable season that well I may say,
neither time nor age hath yielded the like precedent," thus proceeds:
"This man being noted to grow high in her" (queen Elizabeth's) "favor,
as his place and experience required, was questioned by an intimate
friend of his, how he stood up for thirty years together amidst the
changes and reigns of so many chancellors and great personages. 'Why,'
quoth the marquis, 'ortus sum ex salice, non ex quercu.' (By being a
willow and not an oak). And truly the old man hath taught them all,
especially William earl of Pembroke, for they two were ever of the
king's religion, and over-zealous professors. Of these it is said, that
both younger brothers, yet of noble houses, they spent what was left
them and came on trust to the court; where, upon the bare stock of their
wits, they began to traffic for themselves, and prospered so well, that
they got, spent, and left, more than any subjects from the Norman
conquest to their own times: whereunto it hath been prettily replied,
that they lived in a time of dissolution.--Of any of the former reign,
it is said that these two lived and died chiefly in the queen's favor."

Among the means employed by Pembroke for preserving the good graces of
the new queen, the obvious one of paying court to her prime favorite
Robert Dudley was not neglected; and lord Herbert, whose first marriage
had been contracted in compliance with the views of the father, now
formed a third in obedience to the wishes of the son. The lady to whom
he was thus united by motives in which inclination had probably no share
on either side, was the niece of Dudley and sister of sir Philip Sidney,
one of the most accomplished women of her age, celebrated during her
life by the wits and poets whom she patronized, and preserved in the
memory of posterity by an epitaph from the pen of Ben Jonson which will
not be forgotten whilst English poetry remains.

The arrival of ambassadors of high rank from France, on occasion of the
peace recently concluded with that country, afforded the queen an
opportunity of displaying all the magnificence of her court; and their
entertainment has furnished for the curious inquirer in later times some
amusing traits of the half-barbarous manners of the age. The duke de
Montmorenci, the head of the embassy, was lodged at the bishop of
London's, and the houses of the dean and canons of St. Paul's were
entirely filled with his numerous retinue. The gorgeousness of the
ambassador's dress was thought remarkable even in those gorgeous times.
The day after their arrival they were conducted in state to court, where
they supped with the queen, and afterwards partook of a "goodly
banquet," with all manner of entertainment till midnight. The next day
her majesty gave them a sumptuous dinner, followed by a baiting of bulls
and bears. "The queen's grace herself" stood with them in a gallery,
looking on the pastime, till six o'clock, when they returned by water to
sup with the bishop their host. On the following day they were
conducted to the Paris Garden, then a favorite place of amusement on the
Surry side of the Thames, and there regaled with another exhibition of
bull and bear baiting. Two days afterwards they departed, "taking their
barge towards Gravesend," highly delighted, it is to be hoped, with the
elegant taste of the English in public diversions, and carrying with
them a number of mastiffs, given them to hunt wolves in their own

But notwithstanding all outward shows of amity with France, Elizabeth
had great cause to apprehend that the pretensions of the queen of Scots
and her husband the dauphin, who had openly assumed the royal arms of
England, might soon reinvolve her in hostilities with that country and
with Scotland; and it consequently became a point of policy with her to
animate by means of military spectacles, graced with her royal presence
and encouragement, the warlike preparations of her subjects. She was now
established for a time in her favorite summer-palace of Greenwich, and
the London companies were ordered to make a muster of their men at arms
in the adjoining park.

The employment of fire-arms had not as yet consigned to disuse either
the defensive armour or the weapons of offence of the middle ages; and
the military arrays of that time amused the eye of the spectator with a
rich variety of accoutrement far more picturesque in its details, and
probably more striking even in its general effect, than that magnificent
uniformity which, at a modern review, dazzles but soon satiates the

Of the fourteen hundred men whom the metropolis sent forth on this
occasion, eight hundred, armed in fine corselets, bore the long Moorish
pike; two hundred were halberdiers wearing a different kind of armour,
called Almain rivets; and the gunners, or musketeers, were equipped in
shirts of mail, with morions or steel caps. Her majesty, surrounded by a
splendid court, beheld all their evolutions from a gallery over the park
gate, and finally dismissed them, confirmed in loyalty and valor by
praises, thanks, and smiles of graciousness.

A few days afterwards the queen's pensioners were appointed "to run with
the spear," and this chivalrous exhibition was accompanied with such
circumstances of romantic decoration as peculiarly delighted the fancy
of Elizabeth. She caused to be erected for her in Greenwich park a
banqueting-house "made with fir poles and decked with birch branches and
all manner of flowers both of the field and the garden, as roses,
julyflowers, lavender, marygolds, and all manner of strewing-herbs and
rushes." Tents were also set up for her household, and a place was
prepared for the tilters. After the exercises were over, the queen gave
a supper in the banqueting-house, succeeded by a masque, and that by a
splendid banquet. "And then followed great casting of fire and shooting
of guns till midnight."

This band of gentlemen pensioners, the boast and ornament of the court
of Elizabeth, was probably the most splendid establishment of the kind
in Europe. It was entirely composed of the flower of the nobility and
gentry, and to be admitted to serve in its ranks was during the whole of
the reign regarded as a distinction worthy the ambition of young men of
the highest families and most brilliant prospects. Sir John Holles,
afterwards earl of Clare, was accustomed to say, that while he was a
pensioner to queen Elizabeth, he did not know _a worse man_ in the whole
band than himself; yet he was then in possession of an inheritance of
four thousand a year. "It was the constant custom of that queen,"
pursues the earl's biographer, "to call out of all counties of the
kingdom, the gentlemen of the greatest hopes and the best fortunes and
families, and with them to fill the more honorable rooms of her
household servants, by which she honored them, obliged their kindred and
alliance, and fortified herself[44]."

[Note 44: Collins's "Historical Collections."]

On this point of policy it deserves to be remarked, that however it
might strengthen the personal influence of the sovereign to enroll
amongst the menial servants of the crown gentlemen of influence and
property, it is chiefly perhaps to this practice that we ought to impute
that baseness of servility which infected, with scarcely one honorable
exception, the public characters of the reign of Elizabeth.

On July 17th the queen set out on the first of those royal _progresses_
which form so striking a feature in the domestic history of her reign.
In them, as in most of the recreations in which she at any time indulged
herself, Elizabeth sought to unite political utilities with the
gratification of her taste for magnificence, and especially for
admiration. It has also been surmised, that she was not inattentive to
the savings occasioned to her privy purse by maintaining her household
for several weeks in every year at the expense of her nobles, or of the
towns through which she passed; and it must be admitted that more than
one disgraceful instance might be pointed out, of a great man obliged to
purchase the continuance or restoration of her favor by soliciting the
almost ruinous honor of a royal visit. On the whole, however, her
deportment on these occasions warrants the conclusion, that an earnest
and constant desire of popularity was her principal motive for
persevering to the latest period of her life to encounter the fatigue of
these frequent journeys, and of the acts of public representation which
they imposed upon her.

"In her progress," says an acute and lively delineator of her character,
"she was most easy to be approached; private persons and magistrates,
men and women, country-people and children, came joyfully and without
any fear to wait upon her and see her. Her ears were then open to the
complaints of the afflicted and of those that had been any way injured.
She would not suffer the meanest of her people to be shut out from the
places where she resided, but the greatest and the least were then in a
manner levelled. She took with her own hand, and read with the greatest
goodness, the petitions of the meanest rustics. And she would frequently
assure them that she would take a particular care of their affairs, and
she would ever be as good as her word. She was never seen angry with
the most unseasonable or uncourtly approach; she was never offended with
the most impudent or importunate petitioner. Nor was there any thing in
the whole course of her reign that more won the hearts of the people
than this her wonderful facility, condescension, and the sweetness and
pleasantness with which she entertained all that came to her[45]."

[Note 45: Bohun's "Character of Queen Elizabeth."]

The first stage of the queen's progress was to Dartford in Kent, where
Henry VIII., whose profusion in the article of royal residences was
extreme, had fitted up a dissolved priory as a palace for himself and
his successors. Elizabeth kept this mansion in her own hands during the
whole of her reign, and once more, after an interval of several years,
is recorded to have passed two days under its roof. James I. granted it
to the earl of Salisbury: the lords Darcy were afterwards its owners.
The embattled gatehouse with an adjoining wing, all that remains in
habitable condition, are at the present time occupied as a farm house;
while foundations of walls running along the neighbouring fields to a
considerable distance, alone attest the magnitude, and leave to be
imagined the splendor, of the ancient edifice. Such is at this day the
common fate of the castles of our ancient barons, the mansions of our
nobles of a following age, and the palaces of the Plantagenets, the
Tudors, and the Stuarts!

From Dartford she proceeded to Cobham Hall,--an exception to the general
rule,--for this venerable mansion is at present the noble seat of the
earl of Darnley; and though the centre has been rebuilt in a more modern
style, the wings remain untouched, and in one of them the apartment
occupied by the queen on this visit is still pointed out to the
stranger. She was here sumptuously entertained by William lord Cobham, a
nobleman who enjoyed a considerable share of her favor, and who, after
acquitting himself to her satisfaction in an embassy to the
Low-Countries, was rewarded with the garter and the place of a
privy-councillor. He was however a person of no conspicuous ability, and
his wealth and his loyalty appear to have been his principal titles of

Eltham was her next stage; an ancient palace frequently commemorated in
the history of our early kings as the scene of rude magnificence and
boundless hospitality. In 1270 Henry III. kept a grand Christmas at
Ealdham palace,--so it was then called. A son of Edward II. was named
John of Eltham, from its being the place of his birth.

Edward III. twice held his parliament in its capacious hall. It was
repaired at great cost by Edward IV., who made it a frequent place of
residence; but Henry VIII. began to neglect it for Greenwich, and
Elizabeth was the last sovereign by whom it was visited.

Its hall, 100 feet in length, with a beautifully carved roof resembling
that of Westminster-hall and windows adorned with all the elegance of
gothic tracery, is still in being, and admirably serves the purposes of
a barn and granary.

Elizabeth soon quitted this seat of antique grandeur to contemplate the
gay magnificence of Nonsuch, regarded as the triumph of her father's
taste and the masterpiece of all the decorative arts. This stately
edifice, of which not a vestige now remains, was situated near Ewel in
Surry, and commanded from its lofty turrets extensive views of the
surrounding country.

It was built round two courts, an outer and an inner one, both very
spacious; and the entrance to each was by a square gatehouse highly
ornamented, embattled, and having turrets at the four corners. These
gatehouses were of stone, as was the lower story of the palace itself;
but the upper one was of wood, "richly adorned and set forth and
garnished with variety of statues, pictures, and other antic forms of
excellent art and workmanship, and of no small cost:" all which
ornaments, it seems, were made of _rye dough_. In modern language the
"pictures" would probably be called basso-relievos. From the eastern and
western angles of the inner court rose two slender turrets five stories
high, with lanthorns on the top, which were leaded and surrounded with
wooden balustrades. These towers of observation, from which the two
parks attached to the palace and a wide expanse of champaign country
beyond might be surveyed as in a map, were celebrated as the peculiar
boast of Nonsuch.

Henry was prevented by death from beholding the completion of this gaudy
structure, and queen Mary had it in contemplation to pull it down to
save further charges; but the earl of Arundel, "for the love and honor
he bare to his old master," purchased the place, and finished it
according to the original design. It was to this splendid nobleman that
the visit of the queen was paid. He received her with the utmost
magnificence. On Sunday night a banquet, a mask, and a concert were the
entertainments: the next day she witnessed a course from a standing made
for her in the park, and "the children of Paul's" performed a play;
after which a costly banquet was served up in gilt dishes. On her
majesty's departure her noble host further presented her with a cupboard
of plate. The earl of Arundel was wealthy, munificent, and one of the
finest courtiers of his day: but it must not be imagined that even by
him such extraordinary cost and pains would have been lavished upon his
illustrious guest as a pure and simple homage of that sentimental
loyalty which feels its utmost efforts overpaid by their acceptance. He
looked in fact to a high and splendid recompense,--one which as yet
perhaps he dared not name, but which the sagacity of his royal mistress
would, as he flattered himself, be neither tardy nor reluctant to

The death of Henry II. of France, which occurred during the summer of
this year, gave occasion to a splendid ceremony in St. Paul's cathedral,
which was rendered remarkable by some circumstances connected with the
late change of religion. This was the performance of his obsequies, then
a customary tribute among the princes of Europe to the memory of each
other; which Elizabeth therefore would by no means omit, though the
custom was so intimately connected with doctrines and practices
characteristic of the Romish church, that it was difficult to divest it,
in the judgement of a protestant people, of the character of a
superstitious observance. A hearse magnificently adorned with the
banners and scutcheons of the deceased was placed in the church; a great
train of lords and gentlemen attended as mourners; and all the
ceremonies of a real funeral were duly performed, not excepting the
offering at the altar of money, originally designed, without doubt, for
the purchase of masses for the dead. The herald, however, was ordered to
substitute other words in place of the ancient request to all present to
pray for the soul of the departed; and several reformations were made in
the service, and in the communion with which this stately piece of
pageantry concluded.

In the month of December was interred with much ceremony in Westminster
Abbey Frances duchess-dowager of Suffolk, grandaughter to Henry VII.
After the tragical catastrophe of her misguided husband and of lady Jane
Grey her eldest daughter, the duchess was suffered to remain in
unmolested privacy, and she had since rendered herself utterly
insignificant, not to say contemptible, by an obscure marriage with one
Stoke, a young man who was her master of the horse. There is a
tradition, that on Elizabeth's exclaiming with surprise and indignation
when the news of this connexion reached her ears, "What, hath she
married her horse keeper?" Cecil replied, "Yes, madam, and she says
your majesty would like to do so too;" lord Robert Dudley then filling
the office of master of the horse to the queen.

The impolicy or inutility of sumptuary laws was not in this age
acknowledged. A proclamation therefore was issued in October 1559 to
check that prevalent excess in apparel which was felt as a serious evil
at this period, when the manufactures of England were in so rude a state
that almost every article for the use of the higher classes was imported
from Flanders, France, or Italy, in exchange for the raw commodities of
the country, or perhaps for money.

The invectives of divines, in various ages of the Christian church, have
placed upon lasting record some transient follies which would otherwise
have sunk into oblivion, and the sermons of bishop Pilkington, a warm
polemic of this time, may be quoted as a kind of commentary on the
proclamation. He reproves "fine-fingered rufflers, with their sables
about their necks, corked slippers, trimmed buskins, and warm
mittons."--"These tender Parnels," he says, "must have one gown for the
day, another for the night; one long, another short; one for winter,
another for summer. One furred through, another but faced: one for the
work-day, another for the holiday. One of this color, another of that.
One of cloth, another of silk, or damask. Change of apparel; one afore
dinner, another at after: one of Spanish fashion, another of Turkey. And
to be brief, never content with enough, but always devising new fashions
and strange. Yea a ruffian will have more in his ruff and his hose than
he should spend in a year. He which ought to go in a russet coat,
spends as much on apparel for him and his wife, as his father would have
kept a good house with."

The costly furs here mentioned had probably become fashionable since a
direct intercourse had been opened in the last reign with Russia, from
which country ambassadors had arrived, whose barbaric splendor
astonished the eyes of the good people of London. The affectation of
wearing by turns the costume of all the nations of Europe, with which
the queen herself was not a little infected, may be traced partly to the
practice of importing articles of dress from those nations, and that of
employing foreign tailors in preference to native ones, and partly to
the taste for travelling, which since the revival of letters had become
laudably prevalent among the young nobility and gentry of England. That
more in proportion was expended on the elegant luxuries of dress, and
less on the coarser indulgences of the table, ought rather to have been
considered as a desirable approach to refinement of manners than a
legitimate subject of censure.

An act of parliament was passed in this year subjecting the use of
enchantment and witchcraft to the pains of felony. The malcontent
catholics, it seems, were accused of employing practices of this nature;
their predictions of her majesty's death had given uneasiness to
government by encouraging plots against her government; and it was
feared, "by many good and sober men," that these dealers in the black
art might even bewitch the queen herself. That it was the learned bishop
Jewel who had led the way in inspiring these superstitious terrors, to
which religious animosities lent additional violence, may fairly be
inferred from the following passage of a discourse which was delivered
by him in the queen's presence the year before.... "Witches and
sorcerers within these last few years are marvellously increased within
your grace's realm. These eyes have seen most evident and manifest marks
of their wickedness. Your grace's subjects pine away even unto the
death; their color fadeth, their flesh rotteth, their speech is
benumbed, their senses are bereft. Wherefore your poor subjects' most
humble petition to your highness is, that the laws touching such
malefactors may be put in due execution. For the shoal of them is great,
their doing horrible, their malice intolerable, the examples most
miserable. And I pray God they never practise further than upon the



Successful campaign in Scotland.--Embassy of viscount Montacute to
Spain--of sir T. Chaloner to the Emperor.--Account of Chaloner.--Letter
of his respecting Dudley and the queen.--Dudley loses his
wife.--Mysterious manner of her death.--Suspicion cast upon her
husband.--Dudley and several other courtiers aspire to the hand of their
sovereign.--Tournaments in her honor.--Impresses.--Sir W.
Pickering.--Rivalry of Arundel and Dudley.

The accession of Francis II., husband to the queen of Scots, to the
French throne had renewed the dangers of Elizabeth from the hostility of
France and of Scotland; and in the politic resolution of removing from
her own territory to that of her enemies the seat of a war which she saw
to be inevitable, she levied a strong army and sent it under the command
of the duke of Norfolk and lord Grey de Wilton to the frontiers of
Scotland. She also entered into a close connexion with the protestant
party in that country, who were already in arms against the queen-regent
and her French auxiliaries. Success attended this well-planned
expedition, and at the end of a single campaign Elizabeth was able to
terminate the war by the treaty of Edinburgh; a convention the terms of
which were such as effectually to secure her from all fear of future
molestation in this quarter.

During the period of these hostilities, however, her situation was an
anxious one. It was greatly to be feared that the emperor and the king
of Spain, forgetting in their zeal for the catholic church the habitual
enmity of the house of Austria against that of Bourbon, would make
common cause with France against a sovereign who now stood forth the
avowed protectress of protestantism; and such a combination of the great
powers of Europe, seconded by a large catholic party at home, England
was by no means in a condition to withstand. By skilful negotiation it
seemed possible to avert these evils; and Elizabeth, by her selection of
diplomatic agents on this important occasion, gave striking evidence of
her superior judgement.

To plead her cause with the king of Spain, she dispatched Anthony Browne
viscount Montacute; a nobleman who, to the general recommendation of
wisdom and experience in public affairs, added the peculiar one, for
this service, of a zealous attachment to the Romish faith, proved by his
determined opposition in the house of lords to the bill of uniformity
lately carried by a great majority. The explanations and arguments of
the viscount prevailed so far with Philip, that he ordered his
ambassador at Rome to oppose the endeavours of the French court to
prevail on the pope to fulminate his ecclesiastical censures against
Elizabeth. It was found impracticable, however, to bring him to terms of
cordial amity with a heretic sovereign whose principles he both detested
and dreaded; and by returning, some time after, the decorations of the
order of the garter, he distinctly intimated to the queen, that motives
of policy alone restrained him from becoming her open enemy.

For ambassador to the emperor she made choice, at the recommendation
probably of Cecil, of his relation and beloved friend sir Thomas
Chaloner the elder, a statesman, a soldier, and a man of letters; and in
these three characters, so rarely united, one of the distinguished
ornaments of his age. He was born in 1515 of a good family in Wales,
and, being early sent to Cambridge, became known as a very elegant Latin
poet, and generally as a young man of the most promising talents. After
a short residence at court, his merit caused him to be selected to
attend into Germany sir Henry Knevet the English ambassador, with a view
to his qualifying himself for future diplomatic employment. At the court
of Charles V. he was received with extraordinary favor; and after
waiting upon that monarch, in several of his journeys, he was at length
induced, by admiration of his character, to accompany him as a volunteer
in his rash expedition against Algiers. He was shipwrecked in the storm
which almost destroyed the fleet, and only escaped drowning by catching
in his mouth, as he was struggling with the waves, a cable, by which he
was drawn up into a ship with the loss of several of his teeth.

Returning home, he was made clerk of the council, which office he held
during the remainder of Henry's reign. Early in the next he was
distinguished by the protector, and, having signalized his valor in the
battle of Pinkey, was knighted by him on the field. The fall of his
patron put a stop to his advancement; but he solaced himself under this
reverse by the cultivation of literature, and of friendship with such
men as Cook, Smith, Cheke, and Cecil. The strictness of his protestant
principles rendered his situation under the reign of Mary both
disagreeable and hazardous, and he generously added to its perils by his
strenuous exertions in behalf of the unfortunate Cheke; but the services
which he had rendered in Edward's time to many of the oppressed
catholics now interested their gratitude in his protection, and were
thus the means of preserving him unhurt for better times.

Soon after his return from his embassy to the emperor Ferdinand, we find
him engaged in a very perplexing and disagreeable mission to the
unfriendly court of Philip II., where the mortifications which he
encountered, joined to the insalubrity of the climate, so impaired his
health that he found himself obliged to solicit his recall, which he did
in an Ovidian elegy addressed to the queen. The petition of the poet was
granted, but too late; he sunk under a lingering malady in October 1565,
a few months after his return.

The poignant grief of Cecil for his loss found its best alleviation in
the exemplary performance of all the duties of surviving friendship. He
officiated as chief mourner at his funeral, and superintended with
solicitude truly paternal the education of his son, Thomas Chaloner the
younger, afterwards a distinguished character. By his encouragement, the
Latin poems of his friend, chiefly consisting of epitaphs and panegyrics
on his most celebrated contemporaries, were collected and published;
and it was under his patronage, and prefaced by a Latin poem from his
pen in praise of the author, that a new and complete edition appeared of
the principal work of this accomplished person;--a tractate "on the
right ordering of the English republic," also in Latin.

Sir Thomas Chaloner was the first ambassador named by Elizabeth; a
distinction of which he proved himself highly deserving. Wisdom and
integrity he was already known to possess; and in his negotiations with
the imperial court, where it was his business to draw the bonds of amity
as close as should be found practicable without pledging his mistress to
the acceptance of the hand of the archduke Charles, he also manifested a
degree of skill and dexterity which drew forth the warmest commendations
from Elizabeth herself. His conduct, she said, had far exceeded all her
expectations of his prudence and abilities.

This testimony may be allowed to give additional weight to his opinion
on a point of great delicacy in the personal conduct of her majesty, as
well as on some more general questions of policy, expressed in a
postscript to one of his official letters to secretary Cecil. The
letter, it should be observed, was written near the close of the year
1559, when the favor of the queen to Dudley had first become a subject
of general remark, and before all hopes were lost of her finally closing
with the proposals of the archduke.

"I assure you, sir, these folks are broad-mouthed where I spake of one
too much in favor, as they esteem. I think ye guess whom they named; if
ye do not, I will upon my next letters write further. To tell you what
I conceive; as I count the slander most false, so a young princess
cannot be too wary what countenance or familiar demonstration she
maketh, more to one than another. I judge no man's service in the realm
worth the entertainment with such a tale of obloquy, or occasion of
speech to such men as of evil will are ready to find faults. This delay
of ripe time for marriage, besides the loss of the realm (for without
posterity of her highness what hope is left unto us?) ministereth matter
to these leud tongues to descant upon, and breedeth contempt. I would I
had but one hour's talk with you. Think if I trusted not your good
nature, I would not write thus much; which nevertheless I humbly pray
you to reserve as written to yourself.

"Consider how ye deal now in the emperor's matter: much dependeth on it.
Here they hang in expectation as men desirous it should go forward, but
yet they have small hope: In mine opinion (be it said to you only) the
affinity is great and honorable: The amity necessary to stop and cool
many enterprises. Ye need not fear his greatness should overrule you; he
is not a Philip, but better for us than a Philip. Let the time work for
Scotland as God will, for sure the French, I believe, shall never long
enjoy them: and when we be stronger and more ready, we may proceed with
that, that is yet unripe. The time itself will work, when our great
neighbours fall out next. In the mean time settle we things begun; and
let us arm and fortify our frontiers." &c.[46]

[Note 46: "Burleigh Papers," by Haynes, p. 212.]

Sufficient evidence remains that the sentiments of Cecil respecting the
queen's behaviour to Dudley coincided with those of his friend, and that
fears for her reputation gave additional urgency about this period to
those pleadings in favor of matrimony which her council were doomed to
press upon her attention so often and so much in vain. But a
circumstance occurred soon after which totally changed the nature of
their apprehensions respecting her future conduct, and rendered her
anticipated choice of a husband no longer an object of hope and joy, but
of general dissatisfaction and alarm.

Just when the whispered scandal of the court had apprized him how
obvious to all beholders the partiality of his sovereign had
become,--just when her rejection of the proposals of so many foreign
princes had confirmed the suspicion that her heart had given itself at
home,--just, in short, when every thing conspired to sanction hopes
which under any other circumstances would have appeared no less
visionary than presumptuous,--at the very juncture most favorable to his
ambition, but most perilous to his reputation, lord Robert Dudley lost
his wife, and by a fate equally sudden and mysterious.

This unfortunate lady had been sent by her husband, under the conduct of
sir Richard Verney, one of his retainers,--but for what reason or under
what pretext does not appear,--to Cumnor House in Berkshire, a solitary
mansion inhabited by Anthony Foster, also a dependent of Dudley's and
bound to him by particular obligations. Here she soon after met with her
death; and Verney and Foster, who appear to have been alone in the
house with her, gave out that it happened by an accidental fall down
stairs. But this account, from various causes, gained so little credit
in the neighbourhood, that reports of the most sinister import were
quickly propagated. These discourses soon reached the ears of Thomas
Lever, a prebendary of Coventry and a very conscientious person, who
immediately addressed to the secretaries of state an earnest letter,
still extant, beseeching them to cause strict inquiry to be made into
the case, as it was commonly believed that the lady had been murdered:
but he mentioned no particular grounds of this belief, and it cannot now
be ascertained whether any steps were taken in consequence of his
application. If there were, they certainly produced no satisfactory
explanation of the circumstance; for not only the popular voice, which
was ever hostile to Dudley, continued to accuse him as the contriver of
her fate, but Cecil himself, in a memorandum drawn up some years after
of reasons against the queen's making him her husband, mentions among
other objections, "that he is infamed by the death of his wife."

Whether the thorough investigation of this matter was evaded by the
artifices of Dudley, or whether his enemies, finding it impracticable to
bring the crime home to him, found it more advisable voluntarily to drop
the inquiry, certain it is, that the queen was never brought in any
manner to take cognisance of the affair, and that the credit of Dudley
continued as high with her as ever. But in the opinion of the country
the favorite passed ever after for a dark designer, capable of
perpetrating any secret villainy in furtherance of his designs, and
skilful enough to conceal his atrocity under a cloak of artifice and
hypocrisy impervious to the partial eyes of his royal mistress, though
penetrated by all the world besides. This idea of his character caused
him afterwards to be accused of practising against the lives of several
other persons who were observed to perish opportunely for his purposes.
Each of these charges will be particularly examined in its proper place;
but it ought here to be observed, that not one of them appears to be
supported by so many circumstances of probability as the first; and even
in support of this, no direct evidence has ever been adduced.

Under all the circumstances of his situation, Dudley could not venture
as yet openly to declare himself the suitor of his sovereign; but she
doubtless knew how to interpret both the vehemence of his opposition to
the pretensions of the archduke, and the equal vehemence with which
those pretensions were supported by an opposite party in her council, of
which the earl of Sussex was the head.

Few could yet be persuaded that the avowed determination of the queen in
favor of the single state would prove unalterable: most therefore who
observed her averseness to a foreign connexion believed that she was
secretly meditating to honor with her hand some subject of her own, who
could never have a separate interest from that of his country, and whose
gratitude for the splendid distinction would secure to her the
possession of his lasting attachment.

This idea long served to animate the assiduities of her nobles and
courtiers, and two or three besides Dudley were bold enough to publish
their pretensions. Secret hopes or wishes were cherished in the bosoms
of others; and it thus became a fashion to accost her in language where
the passionate homage of the lover mingled with the base adulation of
the menial. Her personal vanity, triumphant over her good sense and her
perceptions of regal dignity, forbade her to discourage a style of
address equally disgraceful to those who employed and to her who
permitted it; and it was this unfortunate habit of receiving, and at
length requiring, a species of flattery which became every year more
grossly preposterous, which depraved by degrees her taste, infected her
whole disposition, and frequently lent to the wisest sovereign of Europe
the disgusting affectation of a heroine of French romance.

Tilts and tournaments were still the favorite amusements of all the
courts of Europe; and it was in these splendid exhibitions that the
rival courtiers of Elizabeth found the happiest occasions of displaying
their magnificence, giving proof of their courage and agility, and at
the same time insinuating, by a variety of ingenious devices, their
hopes and fears, their amorous pains, and their profound devotedness to
her service.

In the purer ages of chivalry, no other cognisances on shields were
adopted, either in war or in these games which were its image, than the
armorial bearings which each warrior had derived from his ancestors, or
solemnly received at the hands of the heralds before he entered on his
first campaign. But as the spirit of the original institution declined,
and the French fashion of gallantry began to be engrafted upon it, an
innovation had taken place in this matter, which is thus commemorated
and deplored by the worthy Camden, Clarencieux king-at-arms, who treats
the subject with a minuteness and solemnity truly professional.
"Whoever," says he, "would note the manners of our progenitors,--in
wearing their coat-armour over their harness, and bearing their arms in
their shields, their banners and pennons, and in what formal manner they
were made bannerets, and had license to rear their banner of arms, which
they presented rolled up, unto the prince, who unfolded and re-delivered
it with happy wishes; I doubt not but he will judge that our ancestors
were as valiant and gallant as they have been since they left off their
arms and used the colors and curtains of their mistress' bed instead of
them." The same author afterwards observes, that these fopperies, as
well as the adoption of _impresses_, first prevailed in the expedition
of Charles VIII. against Naples in 1494, and that it was about the
beginning of the reign of Henry VIII. that the English wits first
thought of imitating the French and Italians in the invention of these

An _impress_, it seems, was an emblematical device assumed at the will
of the bearer, and illustrated by a suitable motto; whereas the coat of
arms had either no motto, or none appropriate. Of this nature therefore
was the representation of an English archer, with the words "Cui adhæreo
præest" (He prevails to whom I adhere), used by Henry VIII. at his
meeting with Charles and Francis.

Elizabeth delighted in these whimsical inventions. Camden says that she
"used upon different occasions so many heroical devices as would require
a volume," but most commonly a sieve without a word. Her favorite mottos
were "Video taceo" (I see and am silent), and "Semper eadem" (Always the
same). Thus patronized, the use of impresses became general. Scarcely a
public character of that age, whether statesman, courtier, scholar, or
soldier, was unprovided with some distinction of this nature; and at
tournaments in particular, the combatants all vied with each other in
the invention of occasional devices, sometimes quaintly, sometimes
elegantly, expressive of their situation or sentiments, and for the most
part conveying some allusion at once gallant and loyal.

It may be worth while to cite a few of the most remarkable of these out
of a considerable number preserved by Camden. The prevalence amongst
them of astronomical emblems is worthy of observation, as indicative of
that general belief of the age in the delusions of judicial astrology,
which rendered its terms familiar alike to the learned, the great, and
the fair.

A dial with the sun setting, "Occasu desines esse" (Thy being ceases
with its setting). The sun shining on a bush, "Si deseris pereo"
(Forsake me, and I perish). The sun reflecting his rays from the bearer,
"Quousque avertes" (How long wilt thou avert thy face)? Venus in a
cloud, "Salva me, Domina" (Mistress, save me). The letter I, "Omnia ex
uno" (All things from one). A fallow field, "At quando messis" (When
will be the harvest)? The full moon in heaven, "Quid sine te coelum"
(What is heaven without thee)? Cynthia, it should be observed, was a
favorite fancy-name of the queen's; she was also designated occasionally
by that of Astræa, whence the following devices. A man hovering in the
air, "Feror ad Astræam" (I am borne to Astræa). The zodiac with Virgo
rising, "Jam redit et Virgo" (The Maid returns); and a zodiac with no
characters but those of Leo and Virgo, "His ego præsidiis" (With these
to friend). A star, "Mihi vita Spica Virginis" (My life is in Spica
Virginis)--a star in the left hand of Virgo so called: here the allusion
was probably double; to the queen, and to the horoscope of the bearer.
The twelve houses of heaven with neither sign nor planet therein,
"Dispone" (Dispose). A white shield, "Fatum inscribat Eliza" (Eliza
writes my fate). An eye in a heart, "Vulnus alo" (I feed the wound). A
ship sinking and the rainbow appearing, "Quid tu si pereo" (To what
avail if I perish)? As the rainbow is an emblem seen in several
portraits of the queen, this device probably reproaches some tardy and
ineffectual token of her favor. The sun shining on a withered tree which
blooms again, "His radiis rediviva viresco" (These rays revive me). A
pair of scales, fire in one, smoke in the other, "Ponderare errare" (To
weigh is to err).

At one tilt were borne all the following devices, which Camden
particularly recommends to the notice and interpretation of the reader.
Many flies about a candle, "Sic splendidiora petuntur" ("Thus brighter
things are sought). Drops falling into a fire, "Tamen non extinguenda"
(Yet not to be extinguished). The sun, partly clouded over, casting its
rays upon a star, "Tantum quantum" (As much as is vouchsafed). A folded
letter, "Lege et relege"[47] (Read and reread).

[Note 47: See Camden's "Remains."]

It would have increased our interest in these very significant
impresses, if our author could have informed us who were the respective
bearers. Perhaps conjecture would not err in ascribing one of the most
expressive to sir William Pickering, a gentleman whose name has been
handed down to posterity as an avowed pretender to the royal marriage.
That a person illustrious neither by rank nor ancestry, and so little
known to fame that no other mention of him occurs in the history of the
age, should ever have been named amongst the suitors of his sovereign,
is a circumstance which must excite more curiosity than the scanty
biographical records of the time will be found capable of satisfying. A
single paragraph of Camden's Annals seems to contain nearly all that can
now be learned of a man once so remarkable.

"Nor were lovers wanting at home, who deluded themselves with vain hopes
of obtaining her in marriage. Namely sir William Pickering, a man of
good family though little wealth, and who had obtained reputation by the
cultivation of letters, by the elegance of his manners, and by his
embassies to France and Germany." &c.

Rapin speaks of him as one who was encouraged to hope by some
distinguished mark of the queen's favor, which he does not however
particularize. Lloyd in his "Worthies" adds nothing to Camden's
information but the epithet "comely" applied to his person, the vague
statement that "his embassies in France and Germany were so well
managed, that in king Edward's days he was by the council pitched upon
as the oracle whereby our agents were to be guided abroad," and a hint
that he soon retired from the court of Elizabeth to devote himself to
his studies.

The earl of Arundel might be the bearer of another of these devices. We
have already seen with what magnificence of homage this nobleman had
endeavoured to bespeak the favorable sentiments of his youthful
sovereign; and if illustrious ancestry, vast possessions, established
consequence in the state, and long experience in public affairs, might
have sufficed to recommend a subject to her choice, none could have
advanced fairer pretensions than the representative of the ancient house
of Fitzalan. The advanced age of the earl was indeed an objection of
considerable and daily increasing weight; he persevered however in his
suit, notwithstanding the queen's visible preference of Dudley and every
other circumstance of discouragement, till the year 1566. Losing then
all hopes of success, and becoming sensible at length of pecuniary
difficulties from the vast expense which he had lavished on this
splendid courtship, he solicited the permission of his royal mistress to
retire for a time into Italy.

While it lasted, however, the rivalry of Arundel and Dudley, or rather,
in the heraldic phraseology of the day, that of the White Horse and the
Bear, divided the court, inflamed the passions of the numerous retainers
of the respective candidates, and but for the impartial vigilance of
Cecil might have ended in deeds of blood.

In the Burleigh Papers is a confession of one Guntor, a servant or
retainer of the earl of Arundel, who was punished for certain rash
speeches relative to this competition, from which we learn some curious
particulars. He says, that he once fell in talk with a gentleman named
Cotton, who told him, that the queen, having supped one evening at lord
Robert Dudley's, it was dark before she could get away; and some
servants of the house were sent with torches to light her home. That by
the way her highness was pleased to enter into conversation with the
torch-bearers, and was reported to have said, that she would make their
lord the best that ever was of his name. As the father of lord Robert
was a duke, this promise was understood to imply nothing less than her
design of marrying him. On this Guntor answered, that he prayed all men
might take it well, and that no trouble might arise thereof; afterwards
he said, that he thought if a parliament were held, some men would
recommend lord Robert, and some his own master to the queen for a
husband; and so it might fortune there would rise trouble among the
noblemen, adding, "I trust the White Horse will be in quiet, and so
shall we be out of trouble; it is well known _his_ blood as yet was
never attaint, nor was he ever man of war, wherefore it is likely that
we shall sit still; but if he should stomach it, he were able to make a
great power." In his zeal for the cause of his lord, he also wished that
his rival had been put to death with his father, "or that some ruffian
would have dispatched him by the way as he hath gone, with some dag
(pistol) or gun."

So high did words run on occasion of this great contest.



On the conduct of Elizabeth as head of the church.--Sketch of the
history of the reformation in England.--Notices of Parker, Grindal, and

There was no part of the regal office the exercise of which appeared so
likely to expose Elizabeth to invidious reflections, as that which
comprehended the management of ecclesiastical affairs. Few divines,
though protestant, could behold without a certain feeling of mingled
jealousy and disdain, a female placed at the head of the religion of the
country, and by the whole papal party such a supremacy was regarded
perhaps as the most horrible, certainly as the most preposterous, of all
the prodigies which heresy had yet brought forth. "I have seen the head
of the English church dancing!" exclaimed, it is said, with a sarcastic
air, an ambassador from one of the catholic courts of Europe.

A more striking incongruity indeed could scarcely be imagined, than
between the winning manners and sprightly disposition of this youthful
princess, as they displayed themselves amid the festivities of her court
and the homage of her suitors, and the grave and awful character of
Governess of the church, with which she had been solemnly invested.

In virtue of this office, it was the right and duty of the queen to
choose a religion for the country; to ordain its rites and ceremonies,
discipline, and form of church government; and to fix the rank, offices
and emoluments of its ministers. She was also to exercise this power
entirely at her own discretion, free from the control of parliament or
the interference of the clerical body, and assisted only by such
commissioners, lay or ecclesiastical, as it should please herself to

This exorbitant authority was first assumed by her arbitrary father when
it became his will that his people should acknowledge no other pope than
himself; and the servile spirit of the age, joined to the ignorance and
indifference on religious subjects then general, had caused it to be
submitted to without difficulty. In consequence, the title of Head of
the Church had quietly devolved upon Edward VI. as part of his regal
style; and while the duties of the office were exercised by Cranmer and
the Protector, the nation, now generally favorable to the cause of
reform, was more inclined to rejoice in its existence than to dispute
the authority by which it had been instituted. Mary abhorred the title,
as a badge of heresy and a guilty usurpation on the rights of the
sovereign pontiff, and in the beginning of her reign she laid it aside,
but was afterwards prevailed upon to resume it, because there was a
convenience in the legal sanction which it afforded to her acts of
tyranny over the consciences of men.

The first parliament of Elizabeth, in the fervor of its loyalty, decreed
to her, as if by acclamation, all the honors or prerogatives ever
enjoyed by her predecessors, and it was solely at her own request that
the appellation of Head, was now exchanged for the less assuming one of
Governess, of the English church. The power remained the same; it was,
as we have seen, of the most absolute nature possible; since, unlimited
by law, it was also, owing to its recent establishment, equally
uncontrolled by custom. It remains to the delineator of the character of
Elizabeth to inquire in what manner she acquitted herself, to her
country and to posterity, of the awful responsibility imposed upon her
by its possession.

A slight sketch of the circumstances attending the introduction of the
reformation into England, will serve to illustrate this important branch
of her policy.

On comparing the march of this mighty revolution in our own country with
its mode of progress amongst the other nations of Europe, one of the
first remarks which suggests itself is, that in no other country was its
course so immediately or effectually subjected to the guidance and
control of the civil power.

In Switzerland, the system of Zwingle, the earliest of the reformers,
had fully established itself in the hearts of his fellow-citizens before
the magistracies of Zurich and its neighbouring republics thought proper
to interfere. They then gave the sanction of law to the religion which
had become that of the majority, but abstained from all dictation on
points of which they felt themselves incompetent judges.

In Germany, the impulse originating in the daring mind of Luther, was
first communicated to the universities, to the lower orders of the
clergy, and through them to the people. The princes of the empire
afterwards took their part as patrons or persecutors of the new
opinions; but in either case they acted under the influence of
ecclesiastics, and no where arrogated to themselves the character of
lawgivers in matters of faith.

At Geneva, the vigor and dexterity of Calvin's measures brought the
magistracy under a complete subjection to the church, of which he had
made himself the head, and restricted its agency in religious concerns
to the execution of such decrees as the spiritual ruler saw good to

The system of the same reformer had recently been introduced into
Scotland by the exertions of John Knox, a disciple who equalled his
master in the fierceness of his bigotry, in self-opinion, and in the
love of power, whilst he exceeded him in turbulence of temper and
ferocity of manners: and here the independence of the church on the
state, or rather its paramount legislative authority in all matters of
faith, discipline and worship, was held in the loftiest terms. The
opposition which this doctrine, so formed for popularity, experienced
from the government in the outset, was overborne or disregarded, and it
was in despite of the utmost efforts of regal authority that the new
religion was established by an act of the Scottish parliament.

In England, on the contrary, the passions of Henry VIII. had prompted
him to disclaim submission to the papal decrees before the spirit of the
people demanded such a step,--before any apostle of reformation had
arisen in the land capable of inspiring the multitude with that zeal
which makes its will omnipotent, and leaves to rulers no other
alternative than to comply or fall,--yet not before the attachment of
men to the ancient religion was so far weakened, that the majority could
witness its overthrow with patience if not with complacency.

To have timed this momentous step so fortunately for the cause of
prerogative might in some princes have been esteemed the result of
profound combinations,--the triumph of political sagacity; in Henry it
was the pure effect of accident: but the advantages which he derived
from the quiescent state of the public mind were not on this account the
less real or the less important, nor did he suffer them to go
unimproved. On one hand, no considerable opposition was made to his
assumption of the supremacy; on the other, the spoil of the monasteries
was not intercepted in its passage to the royal coffers by the more
rapid movements of a populace intoxicated with fanatical rage or fired
with hopes of plunder. What appeared still more extraordinary, he found
it practicable, to the end of his reign, to keep the nation suspended,
as to doctrine and the forms of worship, in that nice equilibrium
between protestant and papist which happened best to accord with his
individual views or prejudices.

Cranmer, who has a better title than any other to be revered as the
father of the Anglican church, showed himself during the life of Henry
the most cautious and complaisant of reformers. Aware that any rashness
or precipitation on the part of the favorers of new opinions might
expose them to all the fury of persecution from a prince so dogmatical
and violent, he constantly refrained from every alarming appeal to the
sense of the people on theological questions, and was content to proceed
in his great work step by step, with a slow, uncertain, and interrupted
progress, at the will of that capricious master whose vacillations of
humor or opinion he watched with the patience, and improved with the
skill, of a finished courtier.

Administered in so qualified and mitigated a form, the spirit of
reformation exhibited in this country little of its stronger and more
turbulent workings. No sect at that time arose purely and peculiarly
English: our native divines did not embrace exclusively, or with
vehemence, the tenets of any one of the great leaders of reform on the
continent, and a kind of eclectic system became that of the Anglican
church from its earliest institution.

The respective contributions to this system of the most celebrated
theologians of the age may be thus stated. It was chiefly from
Zwingle,--the first, in point of time, of all the reformers of the
sixteenth century, and the one whose doctrine on the eucharist and on
several other points diverged most widely from the tenets of the church
of Rome,--that our principal opponents of popery in the reign of Henry
VIII. derived their notions. Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer himself, were
essentially his disciples.

By others, the system of Luther was in the whole or in part adopted.
But this reformer was personally so obnoxious to Henry, on account of
the disrespectful and acrimonious style of his answer to the book in
which that royal polemic had formerly attacked his doctrine, that no
English subject thought proper openly to profess himself his follower,
or to open any direct communication with him. Thus the Confession of
Augsburg, though more consonant to the notions of the English monarch
than any other scheme of protestant doctrine, failed to obtain the
sanction of that authority which might have rendered it predominant in
this country.

A long and vehement controversy on the subject of the eucharist had been
maintained between the German and Swiss divines during the later years
of Henry; but at the period of Edward's accession, when Cranmer first
undertook the formation of a national church according to his own ideas
of gospel truth and political expediency, this dispute was in great
measure appeased, and sanguine hopes were entertained that a
disagreement regarded as dangerous in a high degree to the common cause
of religious reform might soon be entirely reconciled.

Luther, the last survivor of the original disputants, was lately dead;
and to the post which he had held in the university of Wittemberg, as
well as to the station of head of the protestant church, Melancthon had
succeeded. This truly excellent person, who carried into all theological
debates a spirit of conciliation equally rare and admirable, was
earnestly laboring at a scheme of comprehension. His laudable
endeavours were met by the zealous co-operation of Calvin, who had by
this time extended his influence from Geneva over most of the Helvetic
congregations, and was diligent in persuading them to recede from the
unambiguous plainness of Zwingle's doctrine,--which reduced the Lord's
supper to a simple commemoration,--and to admit so much of a mystical
though spiritual presence of Christ in that rite, as might bring them to
some seeming agreement with the less rigid of the followers of the
Lutheran opinion. At the same time Bucer, who presided over the
flourishing church of Strasburg, was engaged in framing yet another
explication of this important rite, by which he vainly hoped to
accommodate the consciences of all these zealous and acute polemics.

Bucer was remarkable among the theologians of his time by a subtility in
distinction resembling that of the schoolmen, and by a peculiar art of
expressing himself on doctrinal points in terms so nicely balanced, and
in a style of such labored intricacy, that it was scarcely possible to
discover his true meaning, or pronounce to which extreme of opinion he
most inclined. These dubious qualifications, by which he disgusted
alternately both Calvin and the more zealous Lutherans, were however
accompanied and redeemed by great learning and diligence; by a
remarkable talent for public business, which rendered him eminently
useful in all the various negotiations with temporal authorities, or
with each other, in which the leaders of the reformation found it
necessary to engage; by a mild and candid spirit, and by as much of
sincerity and probity as could co-exist with the open defence of pious

The whole character of the man appeared to Cranmer admirably fitted for
co-operation in the work which he had in hand. On the difficult question
of the eucharist Bucer would preserve the wariness and moderation which
appeared essential in the divided state of protestant opinion: on
justification and good works he held a middle doctrine, which might
conciliate the catholics, and was capable of being so interpreted as not
greatly to offend the moderate Lutherans: on the subject of church
government he had not yet committed himself, and there was little doubt
that he would cheerfully submit to the natural predilection of the
archbishop for prelacy. His erudition and his morals could not fail to
prove serviceable and creditable to the great cause of national
instruction and reformed religion. Accordingly an invitation was sent to
him, in the name of the young king, to come and occupy the theological
chair in the university of Cambridge; and in the year 1549 he reached
England, and began to discharge with much assiduity the duties of his

The name and influence of Bucer became very considerable in this
country, though his career was terminated by death within two years
after his arrival. A public funeral, attended by all the members of the
university and many other persons of eminence, attested the
consideration in which he was held by Edward's ministers; the subsequent
disinterment of his remains by order of cardinal Pole, for the purpose
of committing his bones to the flames, gave further evidence of his
merits in the protestant cause; and in the composition of our national
Articles, it has been said that no hand has left more distinguishable
traces of itself than that of Bucer.

From Strasburg also the university of Oxford was destined to receive a
professor of divinity in the person of the celebrated Peter Martyr. This
good and learned man, a Florentine by birth and during some years
principal of a college of Augustines at Naples, having gradually become
a convert to the doctrines of the reformers, and afterwards proceeding
openly to preach them, was compelled to quit his country in order to
avoid persecution. Passing into Switzerland, he was received with
affectionate hospitality by the disciples of Zwingle at Zurich; and
after making some abode there he repaired to Basil, whence Bucer caused
him to be invited to fill the station of theological professor at
Strasburg. He was also appointed the colleague of this divine in the
ministry, and their connexion had subsisted about five years in perfect
harmony when the offers of Cranmer induced the two friends to remove
into England.

It is to be presumed that no considerable differences of opinion on
points deemed by themselves essential could exist between associates so
united; but a greater simplicity of character and of views, and superior
boldness in the enunciation of new doctrines, strikingly distinguished
the proceedings of Peter Martyr from those of his friend. With respect
to church government, he, like Bucer, was willing to conform to the
regulations of Cranmer and the English council; but he preached at
Oxford on the eucharist with so Zwinglian a cast of sentiment, that the
popish party raised a popular commotion against him, by which his life
was endangered, and he was compelled for a time to withdraw from the
city. Tranquillity was soon however restored by the interference of the
public authority, and the council proceeded vigorously in obliterating
the last vestiges of Romish superstition. Ridley throughout his own
diocese now caused the altars to be removed from the churches, and
communion-tables to be placed in their room; and, as if by way of
comment on this alteration, Martyr and others procured a public
recognition of the Genevan as a sister church, and the admission into
the English service-book of the articles of faith drawn up by Calvin.

During the remainder of Edward's reign the tide of public opinion
continued running with still augmenting velocity towards Geneva. Calvin
took upon him openly to expostulate with Bucer on the preference of
state expediency to Scripture truth, betrayed, as he asserted, by the
obstinate adherence of this divine to certain doctrines and observances
which savoured too much of popery; and it is probable that a still
nearer approach might have been made to his simpler ritual, but for the
untimely death of the zealous young king, and the total ruin of the new
establishment which ensued.

Just before the persecutions of Mary drove into exile so many of the
most zealous and conscientious of her protestant subjects, the discord
between the Lutherans and those whom they styled Sacramentarians had
burst out afresh in Germany with more fury than ever. The incendiary on
this occasion was Westphal, superintendant of the Lutheran church of
Hamburgh, who published a violent book on the subject of the eucharist;
and through the influence of this man, and of the outrageous spirit of
intolerance which his work had raised, Latimer and Ridley were
stigmatized by fellow protestants as "the devil's martyrs," and the
Lutheran cities drove from their gates as dangerous and detestable
heretics the English refugees who fled to them for shelter. By those
cities or congregations, on the contrary,--whether in Germany, France,
or Switzerland,--in which the tenets either of Zwingle or Calvin were
professed, these pious exiles were received with open arms, venerated as
confessors, cherished as brethren in distress, and admitted with perfect
confidence into the communion of the respective churches.

Treatment so opposite from the two contending parties, between which
they had supposed themselves to occupy neutral ground, failed not to
produce corresponding effects on the minds of the exiles. At Frankfort,
where the largest body of them was assembled, and where they had formed
an English congregation using king Edward's liturgy, this form of
worship became the occasion of a division amongst themselves, and a
strong party soon declared itself in favor of discarding all of popish
forms or doctrine which the English establishment, in common with the
Lutheran, had retained, and of adopting in their place the simpler
creed and ritual of the Genevan church.

It was found impracticable to compromise this difference; a considerable
number finally seceded from the congregation, and it was from this
division at Frankfort that English nonconformity took its birth. No
equally strong manifestation of opinion occurred amongst the exiles in
other cities; but on the whole it may be affirmed, that the majority of
these persons returned from their wanderings with their previous
predilection for the Calvinistic model confirmed and augmented by the
united influence of the reasonings and persuasions of its ablest
apostles, and of those sentiments of love and hatred from which the
speculative opinions of most men receive an irresistible though secret

Their more unfortunate brethren, in the mean time, who, unwilling to
resign their country, or unable to escape from it, had been compelled to
look persecution in the face and deliberately acquaint themselves with
all its horrors, were undergoing other and in some respects opposite

An overpowering dread and abhorrence of the doctrines of the church of
Rome must so have absorbed all other thoughts and feelings in the minds
of this dispersed and affrighted remnant of the English church, as to
leave them little attention to bestow upon the comparatively trifling
objects of dispute between protestant and protestant. They might even be
disposed to regard such squabbles with emotions of indignation and
disgust, and to ask how brethren in affliction could have the heart to
nourish animosities against each other. The memory of Edward VI. was
deservedly dear to them, and they would contemplate the restoration of
his ritual by the successor of Mary as an event in which they ought to
regard all their prayers as fulfilled:--yet the practice, forced upon
them by the vigilance of persecution, of holding their assemblies for
divine worship in places unconsecrated, with the omission of every
customary ceremonial and under the guidance frequently of men whom zeal
and piety alone had ordained to the office of teachers and ministers of
religion, must amongst them also have been producing a secret alienation
from established forms and rituals, and a propensity to those
extemporaneous effusions of devotion, or urgencies of supplication,
which seem best adapted to satisfy the wants of the pious soul under the
fiery trial of persecution and distress. The Calvinistic model
therefore, as the freest of all, and that which most industriously
avoided any resemblance of popish forms, might be the one most likely to
obtain their suffrage also.

Such being the state of religious opinion in England at the accession of
Elizabeth, it will not appear wonderful that the Genevan reformer should
have begun to indulge the flattering expectation of seeing his own
scheme established in England as in Scotland, and himself revered
throughout the island as a spiritual director from whose decisions there
could be no appeal. Emboldened at once by zeal and ambition, he hastened
to open a communication with the new government, in the shape of an
exhortation to the queen to call a protestant council for establishing
uniformity of doctrine and of church government; but his dream of
supremacy was quickly dissipated on receiving for answer, that England
was determined to preserve her episcopacy.

This decisive rejection of the presbyterian form was followed up by
other acts on the part of the queen which gave offence to all the real
friends of reformed religion, and went far to prove that Elizabeth was
at heart little more of a protestant than her father. The general
prohibition of preaching, which was strictly enforced during the first
months of her reign, was understood as a measure of repression levelled
full as much against the indiscreet zeal of the returned exiles, as
against the disaffection of the catholics. An order that until the next
meeting of parliament no change should be made in the order of worship
established by the late queen, except the reading of the creed and
commandments in English, implied, at least, a determination in the civil
power to take the management of religion entirely out of the hands of a
clergy whose influence over the minds of the people it viewed with a
jealous eye. It was soon also discovered, to the increasing horror of
all true protestants, that the queen was strongly disposed to insist on
the celibacy of the clergy; and even when the strenuous efforts of Cecil
and others had brought her to yield with reluctance this capital point,
she still pertinaciously refused to authorize their marrying by an
express law. She would not even declare valid the marriages contracted
by them during the reign of her brother; so that it became necessary to
procure private bills of legitimation in behalf of the offspring of
these unions, though formed under the express sanction of then existing
laws. The son of Cranmer himself, and the son of archbishop Parker, were
of the number of those who found it necessary to resort to this
disagreeable and degrading expedient.

Other things which offended the reformists were, the queen's
predilection, already mentioned, for crucifixes, which she did not cause
to be removed from the churches till after considerable delay and
difficulty, and retained in her private chapel for many years
longer,--and her wish to continue the use of altars. This being regarded
as a dangerous compliance with the Romish doctrine, since an _altar_
could only suit with the notion of a _sacrifice_ of Christ in the mass,
earnest expostulations on the subject were addressed to her by several
of the leading divines; and in the end the queen found it expedient,
with whatever reluctance, to ordain the substitution of

She was also bent upon retaining in the church of which she was the head
the use of vestments similar to those worn by the different orders of
popish priests in the celebration of the various offices of their
religion. A very natural association of ideas caused the protestant
clergy to regard with suspicion and abhorrence such an approximation in
externals to that worship which was in their eyes the abomination of
idolatry; and several of the returned exiles, to whom bishoprics were
now offered, scrupled to accept of them under the obligation of wearing
the appointed habits. Repeated and earnest representations were made to
the queen against them, but she remained inflexible. In this dilemma,
the divines requested the advice of Peter Martyr, who had quitted
England on the accession of Mary and was now professor of theology at
Zurich. He persuaded compliance, representing to them that it was better
that high offices in the church should be occupied by persons like
themselves, though with the condition of submitting to some things which
they did not approve, than that such posts should be given to Lutherans
or concealed catholics, who, instead of promoting any further
reformation, would labor continually to bring back more and more of the
ancient ceremonies and superstitions. This argument was deemed
conclusive, and the bishoprics were accepted. But such a plea, though it
might suffice certain men for a time, could not long satisfy
universally; and we shall soon have occasion to take notice of scruples
on this point, as the source of the first intestine divisions by which
the Anglican church was disturbed, and of the first persecutions of her
own children by which she disgraced herself.

On the whole, it must be admitted that the personal conduct of Elizabeth
in this momentous business exhibited neither enlargement of mind nor
elevation of soul. Considerably attached to ceremonial observances, and
superior to none of the superstitions which she might have imbibed in
her childhood, she was however more attached to her own power and
authority than to these. Little under the influence of any individual
amongst her clergy, and somewhat inclined to treat that order in general
with harshness, if not cruelty,--as in the article of their marriages,
in the unmitigated rigor with which she exacted from them her first
fruits, and in the rapacity which she permitted her courtiers to
exercise upon the temporalities of the bishoprics,--the only view which
she took of the subject was that of the sovereign and the politician.
Aware on one hand of the manner in which her title to the crown was
connected with the renunciation of papal authority, of the
irreconcileable enmity borne her by the catholic powers, and of the
general attachment of her subjects to the cause of the reformation, she
felt herself called upon to assume the protection of the protestant
interest of Europe, and to re-establish that worship in her own
dominions. On the other hand, she remarked with secret dread and
aversion the popular spirit and republican tendency of the institutions
of Calvin, and she resolved at all hazards to check the growth of his
opinions in England. Accordingly, it was the scope of every alteration
made by her in the service-book of Edward, to give it more of a Lutheran
aspect, and it was for some time apprehended that she would cause the
entire Confession of Augsburg to be received into it.

Of toleration, of the rights of conscience, she had as little feeling or
understanding as any prince or polemic of her age. Her establishment was
formed throughout in the spirit of compromise and political expediency;
she took no pains to ascertain, either by the assembling of a national
synod or by the submission of the articles to free discussion in
parliament, whether or not they were likely to prove agreeable to the
opinions of the majority; it sufficed that she had decreed their
reception, and she prepared, by means of penal statutes strictly
executed, to prevent the propagation of any doctrines, or the observance
of any rites, capable of interfering with the exact uniformity in
religion then regarded as essential to the peace and stability of every
well constituted state.

To Cecil her chief secretary of state and to Nicholas Bacon her keeper
of the seals, assisted by a select number of divines, the management of
this great affair was chiefly intrusted by the queen: and much might be
said of the sagacity displayed by her in this appointment, and of the
wisdom and moderation exercised by them in the discharge of their
office; much also might be, much has been said, of the excellencies of
the form of worship by them established;--but little, alas! of moral or
of religious merit can be awarded by the verdict of impartial history to
the motives or conduct of the heroine of protestantism in a transaction
so momentous and so memorable.

Three acts of the parliament of 1559 gave the sanction of law to the new
ecclesiastical establishment; they were those of Supremacy, of
Uniformity, and a third empowering the queen to appoint bishops. By the
first, the authority of the pope was solemnly renounced, and the whole
government of the church vested in the queen, her heirs and successors;
and an important clause further enabled her and them to delegate their
authority to commissioners of their own appointment, who amongst other
extraordinary powers were to be invested with the cognisance of all
errors and heresies whatsoever. On this foundation was erected the
famous High Commission Court, which grew into one of the principal
grievances of this and the two following reigns, and of which, from the
moment of its formation, the proceedings assumed a character of
arbitrary violence utterly incompatible with the security and happiness
of the subject, and hostile to the whole tenor of the ancient charters.

The act of Uniformity ordained an exact compliance in all points with
the established form of worship and a punctual attendance on its
offices; it also rendered highly penal the exercise, public or private,
of any other; and of this law it was not long before several unfortunate
catholics were doomed to experience the utmost rigor.

Many parish priests who had been open and violent papists in the last
reign, permitted themselves to take the oath of supremacy and retain
their cures under the new order of things, a kind of compliance with the
times which the court of Rome is said sometimes to have permitted,
sometimes even to have privately enjoined,--on the principle of Peter
Martyr, that it was better that its secret adherents should continue to
occupy the churches, on whatever conditions, than that they should be
surrendered entirely into the hands of an opposite party. The bishops,
on the contrary, considered themselves as called upon by the dignity of
their character and office to bear a public testimony against the
defection of England from the holy see; and those of them who had not
previously been deprived on other grounds, now in a body refused the
oaths and submitted themselves to the consequences. All were deprived, a
few imprisoned, several committed to honorable custody. The policy of
Elizabeth, unlike the genuine bigotry of her sister, contented itself
with a kind of negative intolerance; and as long as the degraded bishops
abstained from all manifestations, by words or deeds, of hostility
against her government and ecclesiastical establishment, and all
celebration of the peculiar rites of their religion, they were secure
from molestation; and never to them, as to their unfortunate protestant
predecessors, were articles of religion offered for signature under the
fearful alternative of compliance or martyrdom.

To supply the vacancies of the episcopal bench became one of the
earliest cares of the queen and her ministers; and their choice, which
fell on the most eminent of the confessors and exiles, was generally
approved by the nation.

Dr. Parker, formerly her mother's chaplain and the religious instructor
of her own childhood, was designated by Elizabeth for the primacy. This
eminent divine had likewise been one of the chaplains of Edward VI., and
enjoyed under his reign considerable church preferments. He had been the
friend of Cranmer, Bucer, Latimer, and Ridley; of Cook, Cheke, and
Cecil; and was the ardent coadjutor of these meritorious public
characters in the promotion of reformed religion, and the advancement
of general learning,--two grand objects, which were regarded by them as
inseparable and almost identical.

On the accession of Mary, being stripped of all his benefices as a
married priest, Parker with his family was reduced to poverty and
distress; and it was only by a careful concealment of his person, by
frequent changes of place, and in some instances by the timely
advertisements of watchful friends, that he was enabled to avoid a still
severer trial of his constancy. During this period of distress he found
support and solace from the pious task of translating into English metre
the whole of the Psalms. The version still exists in manuscript, and is
executed with some spirit, and not inelegantly, in the old measure of
fourteen syllables.

Parker's "_Nolo episcopari_" is supposed to have been more than
ordinarily sincere: in fact, the station of metropolitan must at this
juncture have been felt as one of considerable difficulty, perhaps even
of danger; and the stormy temper of the queen afterwards prepared for
the prelate so much of contradiction and humiliation as caused him more
than once to bewail his final acceptance of the highest dignity of the
English church.

With all her personal regard for the primate, Elizabeth could not always
refrain in his presence from reflections against married priests, which
gave him great pain.

During a progress which she made in 1561 into Essex and Suffolk, she
expressed high displeasure at finding so many of the clergy married,
and the cathedrals and colleges so filled with women and children; and
in consequence she addressed to the archbishop a royal injunction, "that
no head or member of any college or cathedral should bring a wife or any
other woman into the precincts of it, to abide in the same, on pain of
forfeiture of all ecclesiastical promotion." Parker regarded it as his
duty to remonstrate with her in person against so popish a prohibition;
on which, after declaring to him that she repented of having made any
married bishops, she went on to treat the institution of matrimony
itself with a satire and contempt which filled him with horror.

It was to his wife that her majesty, in returning acknowledgements for
the magnificent hospitality with which she had been received at the
archiepiscopal palace, made use of the well-known ungracious address;
"Madam I may not call you, mistress I am ashamed to call you, and so I
know not what to call you; but howsoever I thank you."

But these fits of ill-humor were transient; for Parker learned the art
of dispelling them by submissions, or soothing them by the frequent and
respectful tender of splendid entertainments and costly gifts. He did
not long remain insensible to the charms of rank and fortune; and it
must not be concealed that an inordinate love of power, and a haughty
intolerance of all opposition, gradually superseded that candor and
Christian meekness of which he had formerly been cited as an edifying
example. Against that sect amongst the clergy who refused to adopt the
appointed habits and scrupled some of the ceremonies, soon after
distinguished by the appellation of Puritans, he exercised his authority
with unsparing rigor; and even stretched it by degrees so far beyond all
legal bounds, that the queen herself, little as she was inclined to
tolerate this sect or to resent any arbitrary conduct in her
commissioners, was moved at length to interpose and reverse some of his
proceedings. The archbishop, now become incapable of yielding his own
will even to that of his sovereign, complained and remonstrated instead
of submitting: reproaches ensued on the part of Elizabeth; and in May
1575 the learned prelate ended in a kind of disgrace the career which he
had long pursued amid the warmest testimonies of royal approbation.

The fairest, at least the most undisputed, claim of this eminent prelate
to the gratitude of his contemporaries and the respect of posterity, is
founded on the character which his high station enabled him to assume
and maintain, of the most munificent patron of letters of his age and
country. The study which he particularly encouraged, and to which his
own leisure was almost exclusively devoted, was that of English
antiquities; and he formed and presented to Corpus Christi college a
large and valuable collection of the manuscripts relative to these
objects which had been scattered abroad at the dissolution of the
monasteries, and must have been irretrievably lost but for his diligence
in inquiring after them and the liberality with which he rewarded their
discovery. He edited four of our monkish historians; was the first
publisher of that interesting specimen of early English satire and
versification, Pierce Plowman's Visions; composed a history in Latin of
his predecessors in the see of Canterbury, and encouraged the labors of
many private scholars by acts of generosity and kindness.

Grindal, a divine of eminence, who during his voluntary exile at
Frankfort had taken a strong part in favor of king Edward's
Service-book, was named as the successor of Bonner in the bishopric of
London; but a considerable time was spent in overcoming his objections
to the habits and ceremonies, before he could be prevailed upon to
assume a charge of which he deeply felt the importance and

To the reputation of learning and piety which this prelate enjoyed in
common with so many of his clerical contemporaries, he added an
extraordinary earnestness in the promotion of Christian knowledge, and a
courageous inflexibility on points of professional duty, imitated by few
and excelled by none. His manly spirit disdained that slavish
obsequiousness by which too many of his episcopal brethren paid homage
to the narrow prejudices and state-jealousies of an imperious mistress,
and it soon became evident that strife and opposition awaited him.

His first difference was with archbishop Parker, whom he highly offended
by his backwardness in proceeding to extremities against the puritans, a
sect many of whose scruples Grindal himself had formerly entertained,
and was still inclined to view with respect or pity rather than with
indignation. Cecil, who was his chief friend and patron, apprehensive of
his involving himself in trouble, gladly seized an occasion of
withdrawing him from the contest, by procuring his appointment in 1570
to the vacant archbishopric of York; a hitherto neglected province, in
which his efforts for the instruction of the people and the reformation
of the state of the church were peculiarly required and eminently

For his own repose, Grindal ought never to have quitted this sphere of
unmolested usefulness; but when, on the death of Parker in 1575, the
primacy was offered to him, ambition, or perhaps the hope of rendering
his plans more extensively beneficial, unfortunately prompted its
acceptance. Thus was he brought once more within the uncongenial
atmosphere of a court, and subjected to the immediate control of his
sovereign in matters on which he regarded it as a duty, on the double
ground of conscience and the rights of his office, to resist the fiat of
a temporal head of the church.

The queen, whose dread and hatred of the puritans augmented with the
severities which she exercised against them, had conceived a violent
aversion to certain meetings called prophesyings, at this time held by
the clergy for the purpose of exercising their younger members in
expounding the Scriptures, and at which the laity had begun to attend as
auditors in great numbers and with much interest. Such assemblies, her
majesty declared, were nothing else than so many schools of puritanism,
where the people learned to be so inquisitive that their spiritual
superiors would soon lose all influence over them, and she issued
positive commands to Grindal for their suppression. At the same time
she expressed to him her extreme displeasure at the number of preachers
licensed in his province, and required that it should be very
considerably lessened, "urging that it was good for the world to have
few preachers, that three or four might suffice for a county; and that
the reading of the homilies to the people was enough." But the venerable
primate, so far from consenting to abridge the means of that religious
instruction which he regarded it as the most sacred duty of a protestant
church to afford, took the freedom of addressing to her majesty a very
plain and earnest letter of expostulation. In this piece, after showing
the great necessity which existed for multiplying, rather than
diminishing, opportunities of edification both to the clergy and the
people, and protesting that he could not in conscience be instrumental
to the suppression either of preaching or prophesyings, he proceeded to
remonstrate with her majesty on the arbitrary, imperious, and as it were
papal manner, in which she took upon herself to decide points better
left to the management of her bishops. He ended by exhorting her to
remember that she also was a mortal creature, and accountable to God for
the exercise of her power, and that she ought above all things to be
desirous of employing it piously for the promotion of true religion.

The event showed this remonstrance to be rather well-intended than
well-judged. Indignation was the only sentiment which it awakened in the
haughty mind of Elizabeth, and she answered it by an order of the
Star-chamber, in virtue of which the archbishop was suspended from his
functions for six months, and confined during the same period to his
house. At the end of this time he was urged by Burleigh to acknowledge
himself in fault and beg the queen's forgiveness but he steadily refused
to compromise thus a good cause, and his sequestration was continued. It
even appears that nothing but the honest indignation of some of her
ministers and courtiers restrained the queen from proceeding to deprive

At the end of four or five years, her anger being somewhat abated, it
pleased her to take off the sequestration, but without restoring the
primate to her favor; and as he was now old and blind, he willingly
consented to resign the primacy and retire on a pension: but in 1583,
before the matter could be finally arranged, he died.

Archbishop Grindal was a great contributor to Fox's "Acts and
Monuments," for which he collected many materials; but he was the author
of no considerable work, and on the whole he seems to have been less
admirable by the display of any extraordinary talents than revered and
exemplary for the primitive virtues of probity, sincerity, and godly
zeal. These were the qualities which obtained for him the celebration of
Spenser in his "Shepherd's Calendar," where he is designated by the name
of Algrind, and described as a true teacher of the Gospel and a severe
reprover of the pride and worldliness of the popish clergy. The lines
were written during the period of the prelate's disgrace, which is
allegorically related and bewailed by the poet.

Another distinguished ornament of the episcopal bench was Jewel,
consecrated to the see of Salisbury in 1560. It is remarkable that this
learned apologist of the church of England had expressed at first a
stronger repugnance to the habits than most of his colleagues; but
having once brought himself to compliance, he thenceforth became noted
for the rigor with which he exacted it of others.

In the time of Henry VIII. Jewel had become suspected of opinions which
he openly embraced on the accession of Edward, and he was sufficiently
distinguished amongst the reformers of this reign to be marked out as
one of the first objects of persecution under Mary. As a preliminary
step, on which proceedings might be founded, the Romish articles were
offered for his signature, when he disappointed alike his enemies and
his friends by subscribing them without apparent reluctance. But his
insincerity in this act was notorious, and it was in contemplation to
subject him to the fierce interrogatories of Bonner, when timely warning
enabled him, through many perils, to escape out of the country. Safe
arrived at Frankfort, he made a public confession, before the English
congregation, of his guilt in signing articles which his conscience
abhorred, and humbly entreated forgiveness of God and the church. After
this, he repaired to Strasburgh and passed away the time with his friend
Peter Martyr.

The erudition of Jewel was profound and extensive, his private life
amiable, his performance of his episcopal duties sedulous; and such was
the esteem in which his celebrated "Apology" was held, that Elizabeth,
and afterwards James I., ordained that a copy of it should be kept in
every parish-church in England.

Of Dr. Cox, elevated to the see of Ely, mention has already been made;
and it would be superfluous here to enter more largely into the
ecclesiastical history of the reign.

A careful consideration of the behaviour of Elizabeth towards the two
successive primates Parker and Grindal, will furnish a sufficiently
accurate notion of the spirit of her religious policy, besides affording
a valuable addition to the characteristic traits illustrative of her
temper and opinions.



Tragedy of Ferrex and Porrex.--Translations of ancient tragedies.--Death
of Francis II.--Mary refuses to ratify the treaty of Edinburgh--returns
to Scotland.--Enmity between Mary and Elizabeth.--Philip II. secretly
encourages the English papists.--Measures of rigor adopted against them
by Elizabeth.--Anecdote of the queen and Dr. Sampson.--St. Paul's struck
by lightning.--Bishop Pilkington's sermon on the occasion.--Paul's
Walk.--Precautions against the queen's being poisoned.--The king of
Sweden proposes to visit her.--Steps taken in this matter.

The eighteenth of January 1561 ought to be celebrated as the birthday of
the English drama; for it was on this day that Thomas Sackville caused
to be represented at Whitehall, for the entertainment of Elizabeth and
her court, the tragedy of Ferrex and Porrex, otherwise called Gorboduc,
the joint production of himself and Thomas Norton. From the unrivalled
force of imagination, the vigor and purity of diction, and the intimate
knowledge and tasteful adaptation of the beauties of the Latin poets
displayed in the contributions of Sackville to the Mirror of
Magistrates, a lettered audience would conceive high expectations from
his attempt in a new walk of poetry; but in the then barbarous state of
our Theatre, such a performance as Gorboduc must have been hailed as
not only a novelty but a wonder. It was the first piece composed in
English on the ancient tragic model, with a regular division into five
acts, closed by lyric choruses.

It offered the first example of a story from British history, or what
passed for history, completely dramatized and represented with an
attempt at theatrical illusion; for the earlier pieces published under
the title of tragedies were either ballads or monologues, which might
indeed be sung or recited, but were incapable of being acted. The plot
of the play was fraught with those circumstances of the deepest horror
by which the dormant sensibilities of an inexperienced audience require
and delight to be awakened. An unwonted force of thought and dignity of
language claimed the patience, if not the admiration, of the hearers,
for the long political disquisitions by which the business of the piece
was somewhat painfully retarded.

The curiosity of the public respecting a drama which had been performed
with general applause both at court and before the society of the Middle
Temple, encouraged its surreptitious appearance in print in 1565, and a
second stolen edition was followed, some years after, by a corrected one
published under the inspection of the authors themselves. The taste for
the legitimate drama thus awakened, may be supposed to have led to the
naturalization amongst us of several of its best ancient models. The
Phoenissæ of Euripides appeared under the title of Jocasta, having
received an English dress from Gascoigne and Kinwelmershe, two students
of Gray's Inn. The ten tragedies of Seneca, englished by different
hands, succeeded. It is worthy of note, however, that none of these
translators had the good taste to imitate the authors of Ferrex and
Porrex in the adoption of blank verse, and that one only amongst them
made use of the heroic rhymed couplet; the others employing the old
alexandrine measure, excepting in the choruses, which were given in
various kinds of stanza. Her majesty alone seems to have perceived the
superior advantages, or to have been tempted by the greater facility of
Sackville's verse; and amongst the MSS. of the Bodleian library there is
found a translation by her own hand of part of Seneca's Hercules Oetæus,
which is in this measure. Warton however adds, that this specimen "has
no other recommendation than its royalty."

The propensity of Elizabeth, amid all the serious cares of government
and all the pettinesses of that political intrigue to which she was
addicted, to occupy herself with attempts in polite literature, for
which she possessed no manner of talent, is not the least remarkable
among the features of her extraordinary and complicated character.

At the period of her reign however which we are now considering, public
affairs must have required from her an almost undivided attention. By
the death of Francis II. about the end of the year 1560, the queen of
Scots had become a widow, and the relations of England with France and
Scotland had immediately assumed an entirely novel aspect.

The change was in one respect highly to the advantage of Elizabeth. By
the loss of her royal husband, Mary was deprived of that command over
the resources of the French monarchy by which she had hoped to render
effective her claim to the English crown, and she found it expedient to
discontinue for the present the use of the royal arms of England. The
enmity of the queen-mother had even chased her from that court where she
had reigned so lately, and obliged her to retire to her uncle, the
cardinal of Lorrain at Rheims. But from the age and temper of the
beautiful and aspiring Mary, it was to be expected that she would ere
long be induced to re-enter the matrimonial state with some one of the
princes of Europe; and neither as a sovereign nor a woman could
Elizabeth regard without jealousy the plans for her reestablishment
already agitated by her ambitious uncles of the house of Guise. Under
these circumstances, it was the first object of Elizabeth to obtain from
her rival the formal ratification, which had hitherto been withheld, of
the treaty of Edinburgh, by one article of which Mary was pledged never
to resume the English arms; and Throgmorton, then ambassador to France,
was instructed to urge strongly her immediate compliance with this
certainly not inequitable demand. The queen of Scots, however, persisted
in evading its fulfilment, and on pleas so forced and futile as justly
to confirm all previous suspicions of her sincerity.

Matters were in this state between the two sovereigns, when Mary came to
the resolution of acceding to the unanimous entreaties of her subjects
of both religions, by returning to govern in person the kingdom of her
ancestors; and she sent to request of Elizabeth a safe-conduct. The
English princess promptly replied, that the queen had only to ratify the
treaty of Edinburgh, and she should obtain not merely a safe-conduct but
free permission to shorten the fatigues of her voyage by passing through
England, where she should be received with all the marks of affection
due to a beloved sister. By this answer Mary chose to regard herself as
insulted; and declaring to the English ambassador in great heat that
nothing vexed her so much as to have exposed herself without necessity
to such a refusal, and that she doubted not that she should be able to
return to her country without the permission of Elizabeth, as she had
quitted it in spite of all the vigilance of her brother, she abruptly
broke off the conference.

Henceforth the breach between these illustrious kinswomen became
irreparable. In vain did Mary, after her arrival in Scotland, endeavour
to remedy the imprudence which she was conscious of having committed, by
professions of respect and friendship; for with these hollow compliments
she had the further indiscretion to mingle the demand that Elizabeth
should publicly declare her next heir to the English throne; a proposal
which this high-spirited princess could never hear without rage. Neither
of the queens was a novice in the arts of dissimulation, and as often as
it suited the interest or caprice of the moment, each would lavish upon
the other, without scruple, every demonstration of amity, every pledge
of affection; but jealousy, suspicion, and hatred dwelt irremoveably in
the inmost recesses of their hearts. The protestant party in Scotland
was powerfully protected by Elizabeth, the catholic party in England was
secretly incited by Mary; and it became scarcely less the care and
occupation of each to disturb the administration of her rival than to
fix her own on a solid basis.

Mary had been attended on her return to Scotland by her three uncles,
the duke of Aumale, the grand prior and the marquis of Elbeuf, with a
numerous retinue of French nobility; and when after a short visit the
duke and the grand prior took their leave of her, they with their
company consisting of more than a hundred returned through England,
visiting in their way the court of Elizabeth. Brantome, who was of the
party, has given incidentally the following particulars of their
entertainment in the short memoir which he has devoted to the
celebration of Henry II. of France.

"Bref, c'estoit un roy tres accomply & fort aymable. J'ay ouy conter a
la reigne d'Angleterre qui est aujourd'huy, que c'estoit le roy & le
prince du monde qu'elle avoit plus desiré de voir, pour le beau rapport
qu'on luy en avoit fait, & pour sa grande renommée qui en voloit par
tout. Monsieur le connestable qui vit aujourd'huy s'en pourra bien
ressouvenir, ce fut lorsque retournant d'Escosse M. le grand prieur de
France, de la maison de Lorreine, & luy, la reigne leur donna un soir a
soupper, où après se fit un ballet de ses filles, qu'elle avoit ordonné
& dressé, representant les vierges de l'evangile, desquelles les unes
avoient leurs lampes allumées & les autres n'avoient ny huile ny feu &
en demandoient. Ces lampes estoient d'argent fort gentiment faites &
elabourées, & les dames étoient tres-belles & honnestes & bien apprises,
qui prirent nous autres François pour danser, mesme la reigne dansa, &
de fort bonne grace & belle majesté royale, car elle l'avoit & estoit
lors en sa grande beauté & belle grace. Rien ne l'a gastée que
l'execution de la pauvre reigne d'Escosse, sans cela c'estoit une
tres-rare princesse.

"...Estant ainsi à table devisant familierement avec ces seigneurs, elle
dit ces mots, (après avoir fort loüé le roy): C'estoit le prince du
monde que j'avois plus desiré de voir, & luy avois deja mandé que
bientost je le verrois, & pour ce j'avois commandé de me faire bien
appareiller mes galeres (usant de ces mots) pour passer en France exprès
pour le voir. Monsieur le connestable, d'aujourd'huy, qui estoit lors
Monsieur d'Amville, respondit, Madame, je m'asseure que vous eussiez
esté tres-contente de le voir, car son humeur & sa façon vous eussent
pleu; aussi lui eust il esté tres-content de vous voir, car il eust fort
aimé vôtre belle humeur & vos agreables façons, & vous eust fait un
honorable accueil & tres-bonne chere, & vous eust bien fait passer le
temps. Je le croy & m'en asseure, dit elle." &c.

By the death of the king of France, and the increasing distractions of
that unhappy country under the feeble minority of Charles IX., the
politics of the king of Spain also were affected. He had not now to fear
the union of the crowns of England France and Scotland under the joint
rule of Francis and Mary, which he had once regarded as a not
improbable event; consequently his strongest inducement for keeping
measures with Elizabeth ceased to operate, and he began daily to
disclose more and more of that animosity with which he could not fail to
regard a princess who was at once the heroine and patroness of
protestantism. From this time he began to furnish secret aids which
added hope and courage to the English partisans of popery and of Mary;
and Elizabeth judged it a necessary policy to place her catholic
subjects under a more rigid system of restraint. It was contrary to her
private inclinations to treat this sect with severity, and she was the
more reluctant to do so as she thus gratified in an especial manner the
wishes of the puritanical or Calvinistic party in the church, their
inveterate enemies; and by identifying in some measure her cause with
theirs, saw herself obliged to conform in several points to their views
rather than her own wishes.

The law which rendered it penal to hear mass was first put in force
against several persons of rank, that the example might strike the more
terror. Sir Edward Waldegrave, in Mary's reign a privy-councillor, was
on this account committed to the Tower, with his lady and some others;
and lord Loughborough, also a privy-councillor much favored and trusted
by the late queen, was brought into trouble on the same ground. Against
Waldegrave it is to be feared that much cruelty was exercised during his
imprisonment; for it is said to have occasioned his death, which
occurred in the Tower a few months afterwards. The High Commission
court now began to take cognisance of what was called recusancy, or the
refusal to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy; it also
encouraged informations against such as refrained from joining in the
established worship; and numerous professors of the old religion, both
ecclesiastics and laity, were summoned on one account or other before
this tribunal. Of these, some were committed to prison, others
restricted from entering certain places, as the two universities, or
circumscribed within the limits of some town or county; and most were
bound in great penalties to be forthcoming whenever it should be

As a further demonstration of zeal against popery, the queen caused all
the altars in Westminster abbey to be pulled down; and about the same
time a remarkable scene occurred between her majesty and Dr. Thomas
Sampson dean of Christ-church.

It happened that the queen had appointed to go to St. Paul's on New
Year's day to hear the dean preach; and he, thinking to gratify her on
that day with an elegant and appropriate present, had procured some
prints illustrative of the histories of the saints and martyrs, which he
caused to be inserted in a richly bound prayer-book and laid on the
queen's cushion for her use. Her majesty opened the volume; but no
sooner did the prints meet her eye, than she frowned, blushed, and
called to the verger to bring her the book she was accustomed to use. As
soon as the service was ended, she went into the vestry and inquired of
the dean who had brought that book? and when he explained that he had
meant it as a present to her majesty, she chid him severely, inquired if
he was ignorant of her proclamation against images, pictures, and Romish
reliques in the churches, and of her aversion to all idolatry, and
strictly ordered that no similar mistake should be made in future. What
renders this circumstance the more curious is, that Elizabeth at this
very time kept a crucifix in her private chapel, and that Sampson was so
far from being popishly inclined, that he had refused the bishopric of
Norwich the year before, on account of the habits and ceremonies, and
was afterwards deprived of his deanery by archbishop Parker for

Never did parties in religion run higher than about this period of the
reign of Elizabeth; and we may remark as symptomatic of the temper of
the times, the manner in which a trivial accident was commented upon by
adverse disputants. The beautiful steeple of St. Paul's cathedral, the
loftiest in the kingdom, had been stricken by lightning and utterly
destroyed, together with the bells and roof. A papist immediately
dispersed a paper representing this accident as a judgement of Heaven
for the discontinuance of the matins and other services which had used
to be performed in the church at different hours of the day and night.
Pilkington bishop of Durham, who preached at Paul's cross after the
accident, was equally disposed to regard it as a judgement, but on the
sins of London in general, and particularly on certain abuses by which
the church had formerly been polluted. In a tract published in answer to
that of the papist he afterwards gave an animated description of the
practices of which this cathedral had been the theatre; curious at the
present day as a record of forgotten customs. He said that "no place had
been more abused than Paul's had been, nor more against the receiving of
Christ's Gospel; wherefore it was more wonder that God had spared it so
long, than that he overthrew it now.... From the top of the spire, at
coronations or other solemn triumphs, some for vain glory had used to
throw themselves down by a rope, and so killed themselves, vainly to
please other men's eyes. At the battlements of the steeple, sundry times
were used their popish anthems, to call upon their Gods, with torch and
taper, in the evenings. In the top of one of the pinnacles was Lollards'
Tower, where many an innocent soul had been by them cruelly tormented
and murdered. In the middest alley was their long censer, reaching from
the roof to the ground; as though the Holy Ghost came down in their
censing, in likeness of a dove. In the arches, men commonly complained
of wrong and delayed judgments in ecclesiastical causes: and divers had
been condemned there by Annas and Caiaphas for Christ's cause. Their
images hung on every wall, pillar and door, with their pilgrimages and
worshipings of them: passing over their massing and many altars, and the
rest of their popish service. The south alley was for usury and popery,
the north for simony; and the horse fair in the midst for all kind of
bargains, meetings, brawlings, murders, conspiracies. The font for
ordinary payments of money as well known to all men as the beggar knows
his dish.... So that without and within, above the ground and under,
over the roof and beneath, from the top of the steeple and spire down to
the low floor, not one spot was free from wickedness."

The practice here alluded to, of making the nave of St. Paul's a kind of
exchange for the transaction of all kinds of business, and a place of
meeting for idlers of every sort, is frequently referred to by the
writers of this and the two succeeding reigns; and when or by what means
the custom was put an end to, does not appear. It was here that sir
Nicholas Throgmorton held a conference with an emissary of Wyat's; it
was here that one of the bravoes engaged in the noted murder of Arden of
Feversham was hired. It was in Paul's that Falstaff is made to say he
"bought" Bardolph.

In bishop Earl's admirable little book called Micro-cosmography the
scene is described with all the wit of the author and somewhat of the
quaintness of his age, which was that of James I.

"_Paul's walk_ is the land's epitome, or you may call it the lesser isle
of Great Britain. It is, more than this, the whole world's map, which
you may here discern in its perfectest motion, justling, and turning. It
is the great exchange of all discourse, and no business whatsoever but
is here stirring and afoot. It is the synod of all pates politic, joined
and laid together in most serious posture, and they are not half so busy
at the parliament.... It is the market of young lecturers, whom you may
cheapen here at all rates and sizes. It is the general mint of all
famous lies, which are here, like the legends of popery, first coined
and stamped in the church. All inventions are emptied here, and not a
few pockets. The best sign of a temple in it is, that it is the thieves
sanctuary.... The visitants are, all men without exception, but the
principal inhabitants and possessors are, stale knights, and captains
out of service, men of long rapiers and breeches which, after all, turn
merchants here, and traffic for news. Some make it a preface to their
dinner, but thriftier men make it their ordinary, and board here very

The vigilant ministers of Elizabeth had now begun to alarm themselves
and her with apprehensions of plots against her life from the malice of
the papists; and it would be rash to pronounce that such fears were
entirely void of foundation; but we may be permitted to smile at the
ignorant credulity on the subject of poisons,--universal indeed in that
age,--which dictated the following minute of council, extant in the
handwriting of Cecil. "We think it very convenient that your majesty's
apparel, and specially all manner of things that shall touch any part of
your majesty's body bare, be circumspectly looked unto; and that no
person be permitted to come near it, but such as have the trust and
charge thereof.

"Item. That no manner of perfume either in apparel or sleeves, gloves or
such like, or otherwise that shall be appointed for your majesty's
savor, be presented by any stranger or other person, but that the same
be corrected by some other fume.

"Item. That no foreign meat or dishes being dressed out of your
majesty's court, be brought to your food, without assured knowledge from
whom the same cometh; and that no use be had hereof.

"Item. That it may please your majesty to take the advice of your
physician for the receiving weekly twice some preservative 'contra
pestem et venena,' as there be many good things 'et salutaria.'

"Item. It may please your majesty to give order who shall take the
charge of the back doors to your chamberers chambers, where landresses,
tailors, wardrobers, and the like, use to come; and that the same doors
be duly attended upon, as becometh, and not to stand open but upon

"Item. That the privy chamber may be better ordered, with an attendance
of an usher, and the gentlemen and grooms[48]."

[Note 48: "Burleigh Papers" by Haynes, p. 368.]

It was fortunate that the same exaggerated notions of the power of
poisons prevailed amongst papists as protestants. Against the ill
effects of a drug applied by direction of a Spanish friar to the arms of
a chair and the pommel of a saddle, the antidotes received twice a week
might be depended upon as an effectual preservative.

From these perils, real and imaginary,--none of which however appear to
have taken strong hold of the cheerful and courageous temper of the
queen,--her attention and that of her council was for some time diverted
by the expectation of a royal suitor.

Eric king of Sweden,--whose hopes of final success in his addresses were
kept up in spite of the repeated denials of the queen, by the artifice
of some Englishmen at his court who deluded him by pretended secret
intelligence,--had sent to her majesty a royal present, and declared his
intention of following in person. The present consisted of eighteen
large piebald horses, and two ship-loads of precious articles which are
not particularized. It does not appear that this offering was
ill-received; but as Elizabeth was determined not to relent in favor of
the sender, she caused him to be apprized of the impositions passed upon
him by the English to whom he had given ear, at the same time expressing
her anxious hope that he would spare himself the fatigues of a fruitless
voyage. Fearing however that he might be already on his way, she
occupied herself in preparations for receiving him with all the
hospitality and splendor due to his errand, his rank and her own honor.
It was at the same time a business of some perplexity so to regulate all
these matters of ceremony that neither Eric himself nor others might
conclude that he was a favored suitor. Among the state papers of the
time we find, first a letter of council to the lord mayor, setting
forth, that, "Whereas certain bookbinders and stationers did utter
certain papers wherein were printed the face of her majesty and the king
of Sweden; although her majesty was not miscontented that either her own
face or that of this king should be pourtrayed; yet to be joined in the
same paper with him or any other prince who was known to have made
request for marriage to her, was what she could not allow. Accordingly
it was her pleasure that the lord mayor should seize all such papers,
and pack them up so that none of them should get abroad. Otherwise she
might seem to authorize this joining of herself in marriage to him,
which might seem to touch her in honor." Next we have a letter to the
duke of Norfolk directing the manner in which he should go to meet the
king, if he landed at any part of Norfolk or Suffolk: and lastly, we
have the solemn judgement of the lord-treasurer, the lord-steward, and
the lord-chamberlain, on the ceremonial to be observed towards him on
his arrival by the queen herself.

One paragraph is conceived with all the prudery and the deep policy
about trifles, which marked the character of Elizabeth herself. "Bycause
the queen's majesty is a maid, in this case would many things be omitted
of honor and courtesy, which otherwise were mete to be showed to him, as
in like cases hath been of kings of this land to others, and therefore
it shall be necessary that the gravest of her council do, as of their
own judgement, excuse the lack thereof to the king; and yet on their own
parts offer the supplement thereof with reverence."

After all, the king of Sweden never came.


1561 TO 1565.

Difficulties respecting the succession.--Lady C. Grey marries the earl
of Hertford.--Cruel treatment of them by Elizabeth.--Conspiracy of the
Poles.--Law against prophecies.--Sir H. Sidney ambassador to
France.--Some account of him.--Defence of Havre under the earl of
Warwick.--Its surrender.--Proposed interview between Elizabeth and
Mary.--Plague in London.--Studies of the queen.--Proclamation respecting
portraits of her.--Negotiations concerning the marriage of
Mary.--Elizabeth proposes to her lord R. Dudley.--Hales punished for
defending the title of the Suffolk line.--Sir N. Bacon and lord J. Grey
in some disgrace on the same account.--Queen's visit to
Cambridge.--Dudley created earl of Leicester.--Notice of sir James
Melvil and extracts from his memoirs.--Marriage of Mary with
Darnley.--Conduct of Elizabeth respecting it.--She encourages, then
disavows the Scotch malcontent lords.--Behaviour of sir N.
Throgmorton.--The puritans treated with greater lenity.

The situation of Elizabeth, amid its many difficulties, presented none
so perplexing, none which the opinions of her most prudent counsellors
were so much divided on the best mode of obviating, as those arising out
of the doubt and confusion in which the right of succession was still
involved. Her avowed repugnance to marriage, which was now feared to be
insurmountable, kept the minds of men continually busy on this
dangerous topic, and she was already incurring the blame of many by the
backwardness which she discovered in designating a successor and causing
her choice to be confirmed, as it would readily have been, by the

But this censure must be regarded as unjust. Even though the jealousy of
power had found no entrance into the bosom of Elizabeth, sound policy
required her long to deliberate before she formed a decision, and
perhaps, whatever that decision might be, forbade her, under present
circumstances, to announce it to the world.

The title of the queen of Scots, otherwise unquestionable, was barred by
the will of Henry VIII., ratified by an unrepealed act of parliament,
and nothing less solemn than a fresh act of the whole legislature would
have been sufficient to render it perfectly free from objection: and
could Elizabeth be in reason expected to take such a step in behalf of a
foreign and rival sovereign, professing a religion hostile to her own
and that of her people; of one, above all, who had openly pretended a
right to the crown preferable to her own, and who was even now
exhausting the whole art of intrigue to undermine and supplant her?

On the other hand, to confirm the exclusion of the Scottish line, and
adopt as her successor the representative of that of Suffolk, appeared
neither safe nor equitable.

The testamentary disposition of Henry had evidently been dictated by
caprice and resentment, and the title of Mary was nevertheless held
sacred and indisputable not only by all the catholics, but by the
partisans of strict hereditary right in general, and by all who duly
appretiated the benefits which must flow from an union of the English
and Scottish sceptres. To inflict a mortal injury on Mary might be as
dangerous as to give her importance by an express law establishing her
claims, and against any perils in which Elizabeth might thus involve
herself the house of Suffolk could afford her no accession of strength,
since their allegiance,--all they had to offer,--was hers already.

The lady Catherine Grey, the heiress of this house, might indeed have
been united in marriage to some protestant prince, whose power would
have acted as a counterpoise to that of Scotland. But a secret and
reluctant persuasion that the real right was with the Scottish line,
constantly operated on the mind of Elizabeth so far as to prevent her
from taking any step towards the advancement of the rival family; and
the unfortunate lady Catherine was doomed to undergo all the restraints,
the persecutions and the sufferings, which in that age formed the
melancholy appanage of the younger branches of the royal race, with
little participation of the homage or the hopes which some minds would
have accepted as an adequate compensation.

It will be remembered, that the hand of this high-born lady was given to
lord Herbert, son of the earl of Pembroke, on the same day that
Guildford Dudley fatally received that of her elder sister the lady
Jane; and that on the accession of Mary this short-lived and perhaps
uncompleted union had been dissolved at the instance of the politic
father of lord Herbert. From this time lady Catherine had remained in
neglect and obscurity till the year 1560, when information of her having
formed a private connexion with the earl of Hertford, son of the
Protector Somerset, reached the ears of Elizabeth. The lady, on being
questioned, confessed her pregnancy, declaring herself at the same time
to be the lawful wife of the earl: her degree of relationship to the
queen was not so near as to render her marriage without the royal
consent illegal, yet by a stretch of authority familiar to the Tudors
she was immediately sent prisoner to the Tower. Hertford, in the mean
time, was summoned to produce evidence of the marriage, by a certain
day, before special commissioners named by her majesty, from whose
decision no appeal was to lie. He was at this time in France, and so
early a day was designedly fixed for his answer, that he found it
impracticable to collect his proofs in time, and to the Tower he also
was committed, as the seducer of a maiden of royal blood.

By this iniquitous sentence, a color was given for treating the
unfortunate lady and those who had been in her confidence with every
species of harshness and indignity, and the following extract from a
warrant addressed in the name of her majesty to Mr. Warner, lieutenant
of the Tower, sufficiently indicates the cruel advantage taken of her

..."Our pleasure is, that ye shall, as by our commandment, examine the
lady Catherine very straightly, how many hath been privy to the love
between her and the earl of Hertford from the beginning; and let her
certainly understand that she shall have no manner of favor except she
will show the truth, not only what ladies or gentlewomen of this court
were thereto privy, but also what lords and gentlemen: For it doth now
appear that sundry personages have dealt herein, and when it shall
appear more manifestly, it shall increase our indignation against her,
if she will forbear to utter it.

"We earnestly require you to use your diligence in this. Ye shall also
send to alderman Lodge secretly for St. Low, and shall put her in awe of
divers matters confessed by the lady Catherine; and so also deal with
her that she may confess to you all her knowledge in the same matters.
It is certain that there hath been great practices and purposes; and
since the death of the lady Jane she hath been most privy. And as ye
shall see occasion so ye may keep St. Low two or three nights more or
less, and let her be returned to Lodge's or kept still with you as ye
shall think meet[49]." &c.

[Note 49: "Burleigh Papers" by Haynes.]

The child of which the countess of Hertford was delivered soon after her
committal, was regarded as illegitimate, and she was doomed to expiate
her pretended misconduct by a further imprisonment at the arbitrary
pleasure of the queen. The birth of a second child, the fruit of stolen
meetings between the captive pair, aggravated in the jealous eyes of
Elizabeth their common guilt. Warner lost his place for permitting or
conniving at their interviews, and Hertford was sentenced in the
Star-chamber to a fine of fifteen thousand pounds for the double offence
of vitiating a female of the royal blood, and of breaking his prison to
renew his offence.

It might somewhat console this persecuted pair under all their
sufferings, to learn how unanimously the public voice was in their
favor. No one doubted that they were lawfully married,--a fact which was
afterwards fully established,--and it was asked, by what right, or on
what principle, her majesty presumed to keep asunder those whom God had
joined? Words ran so high on this subject after the sentence of the
Star-chamber, that some alarmists in the privy-council urged the
necessity of inflicting still severer punishment on the earl, and of
intimidating the talkers by strong measures. The further consequences of
this affair to persons high in her majesty's confidence will be related
hereafter: meantime it must be recorded, to the eternal disgrace of
Elizabeth's character and government, that she barbarously and illegally
detained her ill-fated kinswoman, first in the Tower and afterwards in
private custody, till the day of her death in January 1567; and that the
earl her husband, having added to the original offence of marrying a
princess, the further presumption of placing upon legal record the
proofs of his children's legitimacy, was punished, besides his fine,
with an imprisonment of nine whole years. So much of the jealous spirit
of her grandfather still survived in the bosom of this last of the

On another occasion, however, she exercised towards a family whose
pretensions had been viewed by her father with peculiar dread and
hostility, a degree of forbearance which had in it somewhat of

Arthur and Edmund Pole, two nephews of the cardinal, with sir Anthony
Fortescue their sister's husband, and other accomplices, had been led,
either by private ambition, by a vehement zeal for the Romish faith, or
both together, to meditate the subversion of the existing state of
things, and to plan the following wild and desperate scheme.

Having first repaired to France, where they expected to receive aid and
counsels from the Guises, the conspirators were to return at the head of
an army and make a landing in Wales. Here Arthur Pole, assuming at the
same time the title of duke of Clarence, was to proclaim the queen of
Scots, and the new sovereign was soon after to give her hand to his
brother Edmund. This absurd plot was detected before any steps were
taken towards its execution: the Poles were apprehended, and made a full
disclosure on their trial of all its circumstances; pleading however in
excuse, that they had no thought of putting their design in practice
till the death of the queen, an event which certain diviners in whom
they placed reliance had confidently predicted within the year.

In consideration of this confession, and probably of the insignificance
of the offenders, the royal pardon was extended to their lives, and the
illustrious name of Pole was thus preserved from extinction. It is
probable, however, that they were kept for some time prisoners in the
Tower; and thither was also sent the countess of Lenox, on discovery of
the secret correspondence which she carried on with the queen of Scots.

The confession of the Poles seems to have given occasion to the renewal,
by the parliament of 1562, of a law against "fond and fantastical
prophecies," promulgated with design to disturb the queen's government;
by which act also it was especially forbidden to make prognostications
on or by occasion of any coats of arms, crests, or badges; a clause
added, it is believed, for the particular protection of the favorite,
Dudley, whose _bear and ragged staff_ was the continual subject of open
derision or emblematical satire.

A legend in the "Mirror for Magistrates," relating the unhappy
catastrophe of George duke of Clarence, occasioned by a prophecy against
one whose name began with a G, appears to have been composed in aid of
the operation of this law. The author takes great pains to impress his
readers with the futility as well as wickedness of such predictions, and
concludes with the remark, that no one ought to imagine the foolish and
malicious inventors of modern prophecies inspired, though

    ..."learned _Merlin_ whom God gave the sprite
    To know and utter princes' acts to come,
    Like to the Jewish prophets did recite
    In shade of beasts their doings all and some;
    Expressing plain by manners of the doom
    That kings and lords such properties should have
    As have the beasts whose name he to them gave!"

In France every thing now wore the aspect of an approaching civil war
between the partisans of the two religions, under the conduct on one
side of the Guises, on the other of the princes of the house of Condé.
Elizabeth judged it her duty, or her policy, to make a last effort for
the reconciliation of these angry factions, and she dispatched an
ambassador to Charles IX. charged with her earnest representations on
the subject. They were however ineffectual, and produced apparently no
other valuable result than that of rendering her majesty better
acquainted with the talents and merit of the eminent person whom she had
honored with this delicate commission.

This person was sir Henry Sidney, one of the most upright as well as
able of the ministers of Elizabeth:--that he was the father of sir
Philip Sidney was the least of his praises; and it may be cited as one
of the caprices of fame, that he should be remembered by his son, rather
than his son by him. Those qualities which in sir Philip could afford
little but the promise of active virtue, were brought in sir Henry to
the test of actual performance; and lasting monuments of his wisdom and
his goodness remain in the institutions by which he softened the
barbarism of Wales, and appeased the more dangerous turbulence of
Ireland by promoting its civilization.

Sir Henry was the son of sir William Sidney, a gentleman of good
parentage in Kent, whose mother was of the family of Brandon and nearly
related to the duke of Suffolk of that name, the favorite and
brother-in-law of Henry VIII. Sir William in his youth had made one of a
band of gentlemen of figure, who, with their sovereign's approbation,
travelled into Spain and other countries of Europe to study the manners
and customs of their respective courts. He likewise distinguished
himself in the field of Flodden. The king stood godfather to his son
Henry, born in 1529, and caused him to be educated with the prince of
Wales, to whom sir William was appointed tutor, chamberlain, and

The excellent qualities and agreeable talents of young Sidney soon
endeared him to Edward, who made him his inseparable companion and often
his bed-fellow; kept him in close attendance on his person during his
long decline, and sealed his friendship by breathing his last in his

During the short reign of this lamented prince Sidney had received the
honor of knighthood, and had been intrusted, at the early age of one or
two and twenty, with an embassy to the French king, in which he
acquitted himself so ably that he was soon afterwards sent in a
diplomatic character to Scotland. He had likewise formed connexions
which exerted important influence on his after fortunes. Sir John Cheke
held him in particular esteem, and through his means he had contracted a
cordial friendship with Cecil, of which in various ways he found the
benefit to the end of his life. A daughter of the all-powerful duke of
Northumberland had also honored him with her hand,--a dangerous gift,
which was likely to have involved him in the ruin which the guilty
projects of that audacious man drew down upon the heads of himself and
his family. But the prudence or loyalty of Sidney preserved him from
the snare. No sooner had his royal master breathed his last, than,
relinquishing all concern in public affairs, he withdrew to the safe
retirement of his own seat at Penshurst, where he afterwards afforded a
generous asylum to such of the Dudleys as had escaped death or

Queen Mary seems to have held out an earnest of future favor to Sidney,
by naming him amongst the noblemen and knights appointed to attend
Philip of Spain to England for the completion of his nuptials; and this
prince further honored him by becoming sponsor to his afterwards
celebrated son and giving him his own name. But Sidney soon quitted a
court in which a man of protestant principles could no longer reside
with satisfaction, if with safety, and accompanied to Ireland his
brother-in-law viscount Fitzwalter, then lord-deputy. In that kingdom he
at first bore the office of vice-treasurer, and afterwards, during the
frequent absences of the lord-deputy, the high one of sole lord-justice.

The accession of Elizabeth enabled lord Robert Dudley to make a large
return for the former kindness of his brother-in-law; and supported by
the influence of this distinguished favorite, in addition to his
personal claims, sir Henry Sidney rose in a few years to the dignities
of privy-councillor and knight of the garter. After his embassy to
France he was appointed to the post of lord-president of Wales, to
which, in 1565, the still more important one of lord-deputy of Ireland
was added;--an union of two not very compatible offices, unexampled in
our annals before or since. Some particulars of sir Henry Sidney's
government of Ireland may come under review hereafter: it is sufficient
here to observe, that ample testimony to his merit was furnished by
Elizabeth herself, in the steadiness with which she persisted in
appointing and re-appointing him to this most perplexing department of
public service, in spite of all the cabals, of English or Irish growth,
by which, though his favor with her was sometimes shaken, her rooted
opinion of his probity and sufficiency could never be overthrown.

The failure of Elizabeth's negotiations with the French court was
followed by her taking up arms in support of the oppressed Hugonots; and
Ambrose Dudley earl of Warwick, the elder brother of lord Robert, was
sent to Normandy at the head of three thousand men. Of the two Dudleys
it was said by their contemporaries, that the elder inherited the money,
and the younger the wit, of his father. If this remark were well
founded, which seems doubtful, the appointment of Warwick to an
important command must probably be set down to the account of
favoritism. It was not however the wish of the queen that her troops
should often be led into battle. It was her main object to obtain
lasting possession of the town of Havre, as an indemnification for the
loss of Calais, so much deplored by the nation; and into this place
Warwick threw himself with his chief force. In the next campaign, when
it was assailed with the whole power of France, he prepared, according
to the orders of Elizabeth, for a desperate defence, and no blame was
ever imputed to him for a surrender, which became unavoidable through
the ravages of the plague, and the delay of reinforcements by contrary
winds[50]. Warwick appears to have preserved through life the character
of a man of honor and a brave soldier.

[Note 50: It was by no remissness on the part of the queen that this
town was lost; the preservation of which was an object very near her
heart, as appears from a letter of encouragement addressed by the
privy-council to Warwick, which has the following postscript in her own

"My dear Warwick; If your honor and my desire could accord with the loss
of the needfullest finger I keep, God so help me in my utmost need as I
would gladly lose that one joint for your safe abode with me; but since
I cannot that I would, I will do that I may, and will rather drink in an
ashen cup than you or yours should not be succoured both by sea and
land, yea, and that with all speed possible, and let this my scribbling
hand witness it to them all.

"Yours as my own,


See "Archæologia," vol. xiii. p. 201.]

A project which had been for some time under discussion, of a personal
interview at York between the English and Scottish queens, was now
finally given up. Elizabeth, it is surmised, was unwilling to afford her
beautiful and captivating enemy such an opportunity of winning upon the
affections of the English people, and Mary was fearful of offending her
uncles the princes of Guise by so public an advance towards a good
understanding with a princess now engaged in open hostilities against
their country and faction. The failure of this design deserves not to be
regretted. The meetings of princes have never, under any circumstances,
been known to produce a valuable political result; and an interview
between these jealous and exasperated rivals could only have exhibited
disgusting scenes of forced civility and exaggerated profession, thinly
veiling the inveterate animosity which neither party could hope
effectually to hide from the intuitive perception of the other.

A terrible plague, introduced by the return of the sickly garrison of
Havre, raged in London during the year 1563, and for some time carried
off about a thousand persons weekly. The sittings of parliament were
held on this account at Hertford Castle; and the queen, retiring to
Windsor, kept herself in unusual privacy, and took advantage of the
opportunity to pursue her literary occupations with more than common
assiduity. Without entirely deserting her favorite Greek classics, she
at this time applied herself principally to the study of the Christian
fathers, with the laudable purpose, doubtless, of making herself
mistress of those questions respecting the doctrine and discipline of
the primitive church now so fiercely agitated between the divines of
different communions, and on which, as head of the English church, she
was often called upon to decide in the last resort.

Cecil had mentioned these pursuits of her majesty in a letter to Cox
bishop of Ely, and certainly as matter of high commendation; but the
bishop answered, perhaps with better judgement, that after all,
Scripture was "that which pierced;" that of the fathers, one was
inclined to Pelagianism, another to Monachism, and he hoped that her
majesty only occupied herself with them at idle hours.

Even studies so solemn could not however preserve the royal theologian,
now in her thirtieth year, from serious disturbance on account of
certain ill-favored likenesses of her gracious countenance which had
obtained a general circulation among her loving subjects. So provoking
an abuse was thought to justify and require the special exertion of the
royal prerogative for its correction, and Cecil was directed to draw up
an energetic proclamation on the subject.

This curious document sets forth, that "forasmuch as through the natural
desire that all sorts of subjects had to procure the portrait and
likeness of the queen's majesty, great numbers of painters, and some
printers and gravers, had and did daily attempt in divers manners to
make portraitures of her, wherein none hitherto had sufficiently
expressed the natural representation of her majesty's person, favor, or
grace; but had for the most part erred therein, whereof daily complaints
were made amongst her loving subjects,--that for the redress hereof her
majesty had been so importunately sued unto by the lords of her council
and other of her nobility, not only to be content that some special
cunning painter might be permitted by access to her majesty to take the
natural representation of her, whereof she had been always of her own
right disposition very unwilling, but also to prohibit all manner of
other persons to draw, paint, grave, or portrait her personage or visage
for a time, until there were some perfect pattern or example to be

"Therefore her majesty, being herein as it were overcome with the
continual requests of so many of her nobility and lords, whom she could
not well deny, was pleased that some cunning person should shortly make
a portrait of her person or visage to be participated to others for the
comfort of her loving subjects; and furthermore commanded, that till
this should be finished, all other persons should abstain from making
any representations of her; that afterwards her majesty would be content
that all other painters, printers, or gravers, that should be known men
of understanding, and so therein licensed by the head officers of the
places where they should dwell (as reason it was that every person
should not without consideration attempt the same), might at their
pleasure follow the said pattern or first portraiture. And for that her
majesty perceived a great number of her loving subjects to be much
grieved with the errors and deformities herein committed, she straitly
charged her officers and ministers to see to the observation of this
proclamation, and in the meantime to forbid the showing or publication
of such as were apparently deformed, until they should be reformed which
were reformable[51]."

[Note 51: "Archæologia," vol. ii. p. 169.]

On the subject of marriage, so perpetually moved to her both by her
parliament and by foreign princes, Elizabeth still preserved a cautious
ambiguity of language, well exemplified in the following passage: "The
duke of Wirtemburg, a German protestant prince, had lately friendly
offered his service to the queen, in case she were minded to marry. To
which, January 27th she gave him this courteous and princely answer:
'That although she never yet were weary of single and maiden life, yet
indeed she was the last issue of her father left, and the only of her
house; the care of her kingdom and the love of posterity did counsel her
to alter this course of life. But in consideration of the leave that her
subjects had given her in ampler manner to make her choice than they did
to any prince afore, she was even in courtesy bound to make that choice
so as should be for the best of her state and subjects. And for that he
offered therein his assistance, she graciously acknowledged the same,
promising to deserve it hereafter[52].'"

[Note 52: Strype's "Annals," vol. i. p. 398.]

It might be curious to inquire of what nature the _assistance_ politely
proffered by the duke in this matter, and thus favorably received by her
majesty, could be; it does not appear that he tendered his own hand to
her acceptance.

The French court became solicitous about this time to draw closer its
bond of amity with the queen of Scots, who, partly on account of some
wrong which had been done her respecting the payment of her dower,
partly in consequence of various affronts put upon her subjects, had
begun to estrange herself from her old connexions, and to seek in
preference the alliance of Elizabeth. French agents were now sent over
to Scotland to urge upon her the claims of former friendship, and to
tempt her by brilliant promises to listen to proposals of marriage from
the duke of Anjou, preferably to those made her by the archduke Charles
or by don Carlos.

Intelligence of these negotiations awakened all the jealousies,
political and personal, of Elizabeth. She ordered her agent Randolph, a
practised intriguer, to devise means for crossing the matrimonial
project. Meantime, by way of intimidation, she appointed the earl of
Bedford to the lieutenancy of the four northern counties, and the
powerful earl of Shrewsbury to that of several adjoining ones, and
ordered a considerable levy of troops in these parts for the
reinforcement of the garrison of Berwick and the protection of the
English border, on which she affected to dread an attack by an united
French and Scottish force.

Randolph soon after received instructions to express openly to Mary his
sovereign's dislike of her matching either with the archduke or with any
other foreign prince, and her wish that she would choose a husband
within the island; and he was next empowered to add, that if the
Scottish queen would gratify his mistress in this point, she need not
doubt of obtaining a public recognition of her right of succession to
the English crown. Elizabeth afterwards came nearer to the point; she
designated lord Robert Dudley as the individual on whom she desired that
the choice of her royal kinswoman should fall. By a queen-dowager of
France, and a queen-regnant of Scotland, the proposal of so inferior an
alliance might almost be regarded as an insult, and Mary was naturally
haughty; but her hopes and fears compelled her to dissemble her
indignation, and even to affect to take the matter into consideration.
She trusted that pretexts might be found hereafter for evading the
completion of the marriage, even if the queen of England were sincere in
desiring such an advancement for her favorite, which was much doubted,
and she determined for the present to show herself docile to all the
suggestions of her royal sister, and to preserve the good understanding
on her part unbroken.

It was during the continuance of this state of apparent amity between
the rival queens, that Elizabeth thought proper to visit with tokens of
her displeasure the leaders in an attempt to establish the title of the
Suffolk line, which still found adherents of some importance.

John Hales, clerk of the hanaper, a learned and able man, and, like all
who espoused this party, a zealous protestant, had written, and secretly
circulated, a book in defence of the claims of the lady Catherine, and
he had also procured opinions of foreign lawyers in favor of the
validity of her marriage. For one or both of these offences he was
committed to the Fleet prison, and the secretary was soon after
commanded to examine thoroughly into the business, and learn to whom
Hales had communicated his work. A more disagreeable task could scarcely
have been imposed upon Cecil; for, besides that he must probably have
been aware that his friend and brother-in-law sir Nicholas Bacon was
implicated, it seems that he himself was not entirely free from
suspicion of some participation in the affair. But he readily
acknowledged his duty to the queen to be a paramount obligation to all
others, and he wrote to a friend that he was determined to proceed with
perfect impartiality.

In conclusion, Hales was liberated after half a year's imprisonment.
Bacon, the lord keeper, who appeared to have seen the book, and either
to have approved it, or at least to have taken no measures for its
suppression or the punishment of its author, was not removed from his
office; but he was ordered to confine himself strictly to its duties,
and to abstain henceforth from taking any part in political business.
But by this prohibition Cecil affirmed that public business suffered
essentially, for Bacon had previously discharged with distinguished
ability the functions of a minister of state; and he never desisted from
intercession with her majesty till he saw his friend fully reinstated in
her favor. Lord John Grey of Pyrgo, uncle to lady Catherine, had been a
principal agent in this business, and after several examinations by
members of the privy-council, he was committed to a kind of honorable
custody, in which he appears to have remained till his death, which took
place a few months afterwards. These punishments were slight compared
with the customary severity of the age; and it has plausibly been
conjectured that the anger of Elizabeth on this occasion was rather
feigned than real, and that although she thought proper openly to resent
any attempt injurious to the title of the queen of Scots, she was
secretly not displeased to let this princess perceive that she must
still depend on her friendship for its authentic and unanimous

Her anger against the earl of Hertford for the steps taken by him in
confirmation of his marriage was certainly sincere, however unjust. She
was provoked, perhaps alarmed, to find that he had been advised to
appeal against the decision of her commissioners: on better
consideration, however, he refrained from making this experiment; but by
a process in the ecclesiastical courts, with which the queen could not
or would not interfere, he finally succeeded in establishing the
legitimacy of his sons.

Of the progresses of her majesty, during several years, nothing
remarkable appears on record; they seem to have had no other object than
the gratification of her love of popular applause, and her taste for
magnificent entertainments which cost her nothing; and the trivial
details of her reception at the different towns or mansions which she
honored with her presence, are equally barren of amusement and
instruction. But her visit to the university of Cambridge in the summer
of 1564 presents too many characteristic traits to be passed over in

Her gracious intention of honoring this seat of learning with her royal
presence was no sooner disclosed to the secretary, who was chancellor of
the university, than it was notified by him to the vice-chancellor, with
a request that proper persons might be sent to receive his instructions
on the subject. It appears to have been part of these instructions, that
the university should prepare an extremely respectful letter to lord
Robert Dudley, who was its high-steward, entreating him in such manner
to commend to her majesty their good intentions, and to excuse any
their failure in the performance, that she might be inclined to receive
in good part all their efforts for her entertainment. So notorious was
at this time the pre-eminent favor of this courtier with his sovereign,
and so humble was the style of address to him required from a body so
venerable and so illustrious!

Cecil arrived at Cambridge the day before the queen to set all things in
order, and received from the university a customary offering of two
pairs of gloves, two sugarloaves, and a marchpane. Lord Robert and the
duke of Norfolk were complimented with the same gift, and finer gloves
and more elaborate confectionary were presented to the queen herself.

When she reached the door of King's college chapel, the chancellor
kneeled down and bade her welcome; and the orator, kneeling on the
church steps, made her an harangue of nearly half an hour. "First he
praised and commended many and singular virtues planted and set in her
majesty, which her highness not acknowledging of shaked her head, bit
her lips and her fingers, and sometimes broke forth into passion and
these words; 'Non est veritas, et utinam'--On his praising virginity,
she said to the orator, 'God's blessing of thy heart, there continue.'
After that he showed what joy the university had of her presence" &c.
"When he had done she commended him, and much marvelled that his memory
did so well serve him, repeating such diverse and sundry matters; saying
that she would answer him again in Latin, but for fear she should speak
false Latin, and then they would laugh at her."

This concluded, she entered the chapel in great state; lady Strange, a
princess of the Suffolk line, bearing her train, and her ladies
following in their degrees. _Te Deum_ was sung and the evening service
performed, with all the pomp that protestant worship admits, in that
magnificent temple, of which she highly extolled the beauty. The next
morning, which was Sunday, she went thither again to hear a Latin sermon
_ad clerum_, and in the evening, the body of this solemn edifice being
converted into a temporary theatre, she was there gratified with a
representation of the Aulularia of Plautus. Offensive as such an
application of a sacred building would be to modern feelings, it
probably shocked no one in an age when the practice of performing
dramatic entertainments in churches, introduced with the mysteries and
moralities of the middle ages, was scarcely obsolete, and certainly not
forgotten. Neither was the representation of plays on Sundays at this
time regarded as an indecorum.

A public disputation in the morning and a Latin play on the story of
Dido in the evening formed the entertainment of her majesty on the third
day. On the fourth, an English play called Ezechias was performed before
her. The next morning she visited the different colleges,--at each of
which a Latin oration awaited her and a parting present of gloves and
confectionary, besides a volume richly bound, containing the verses in
English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Chaldee, composed by the members of
each learned society in honor of her visit.

Afterwards she repaired to St. Mary's church, where a very long and very
learned disputation by doctors in divinity was prepared for her
amusement and edification. When it was ended, "the lords, and especially
the duke of Norfolk and lord Robert Dudley, kneeling down, humbly
desired her majesty to speak something to the university, and in Latin.
Her highness at the first refused, saying, that if she might speak her
mind in English, she would not stick at the matter. But understanding by
Mr. Secretary that nothing might be said openly to the university in
English, she required him the rather to speak; because he was
chancellor, and the chancellor is the queen's mouth. Whereunto he
answered, that he was chancellor of the university, and not hers. Then
the bishop of Ely kneeling said, that three words of her mouth were
enough." By entreaties so urgent, she appeared to suffer herself to be
prevailed upon to deliver a speech which had doubtless been prepared for
the occasion, and very probably by Cecil himself. This harangue is not
worth transcribing at length: it contained some disqualifying phrases
respecting her own proficiency in learning, and a pretty profession of
feminine bashfulness in delivering an unstudied speech before so erudite
an auditory:--her attachment to the cause of learning was then set
forth, and a paragraph followed which may thus be translated: "I saw
this morning your sumptuous edifices founded by illustrious princes my
predecessors for the benefit of learning; but while I viewed them my
mind was affected with sorrow, and I sighed like Alexander the Great,
when having perused the records of the deeds of other princes, turning
to his friends or counsellors, he lamented that any one should have
preceded him either in time or in actions. When I beheld your edifices,
I grieved that I had done nothing in this kind. Yet did the vulgar
proverb somewhat lessen, though it could not entirely remove my
concern;--that 'Rome was not built in a day.' For my age is not yet so
far advanced, neither is it yet so long since I began to reign, but that
before I pay my debt to nature,--unless Atropos should prematurely cut
my thread,--I may still be able to execute some distinguished
undertaking: and never will I be diverted from the intention while life
shall animate this frame. Should it however happen, as it may, I know
not how soon, that I should be overtaken by death before I have been
able to perform this my promise, I will not fail to leave some great
work to be executed after my decease, by which my memory may be rendered
famous, others excited by my example, and all of you animated to greater
ardor in your studies."

After such a speech, it might naturally be inquired, which college did
she endow? But, alas! the prevailing disposition of Elizabeth was the
reverse of liberal; and her revenues, it may be added, were narrow.
During the whole course of her long reign, not a single conspicuous act
of public munificence sheds its splendor on her name, and the pledge
thus solemnly and publicly given, was never redeemed by her, living or
dying. An annuity of twenty pounds bestowed, with the title of _her
scholar_, on a pretty young man of the name of Preston, whose graceful
performance in a public disputation and in the Latin play of Dido had
particularly caught her fancy, appears to have been the only solid
benefit bestowed by her majesty in return for all the cost and all the
learned incense lavished on her reception by this loyal and splendid

[Note 53: A seeming contradiction to the assertions in the text may
be discovered in the circumstance that Elizabeth is the nominal
foundress of Jesus College Oxford. But it was at the expense, as well as
at the suggestion, of Dr. Price, a patriotic Welshman, that this
seminary of learning, designed for the reception of his
fellow-countrymen, was instituted. Her name, a charter of incorporation
dated June 27th 1571, and some timber from her forests of Stow and
Shotover, were the only contributions of her majesty towards an object
so laudable, and of which the inadequate funds of the real founder long
delayed the accomplishment.]

Soon after her return from her progress, the queen determined to gratify
her feelings by conferring on her beloved Dudley some signal testimonies
of her royal regard; and she invested him with the dignities of baron of
Denbigh and earl of Leicester, accompanying these honors with the
splendid gift of Kennelworth Castle, park and manor:--for in behalf of
Dudley, and afterwards of Essex, she could even forget for a time her
darling virtue,--frugality. The chronicles of the time describe with
extraordinary care and minuteness the whole pompous ceremonial of this
creation; but a much more lively and interesting description of this
scene, as well as of several others of which he was an eye-witness in
the court of Elizabeth, has been handed down to us in the entertaining
memoirs of sir James Melvil; a Scotch gentleman noted among the
political agents, or diplomatists of second rank, whom that age of
intrigue brought forth so abundantly.

A few particulars of the history of this person, curious in themselves,
will also form a proper introduction to his narrative.

Melvil was born in Fifeshire in the year 1530, of a family patronized by
the queen regent, Mary of Guise, who having taken into her own service
his brothers Robert and Andrew, both afterwards noted in public life,
determined to send James to France to be brought up as page to the queen
her daughter, then dauphiness. He was accordingly placed under the care
of the crafty Monluc bishop of Valence, then on his return from his
Scotch embassy; and previously to his embarkation for the continent he
had the advantage of accompanying this master of intrigue on a secret
mission to O'Neil, then the head of the Irish rebels. The youth was
apparently not much delighted with his visit to this barbarous
chieftain, whose dwelling was "a great dark tower, where," says he, "we
had cold cheer, such as herrings and biscuit, for it was Lent." Arriving
at Paris, the bishop caused him to be carefully instructed in all the
requisite accomplishments of a page,--the French tongue, dancing,
fencing, and playing on the lute: and after nine years spent under his
protection, Melvil passed into the service of the constable Montmorenci,
by whose interest he obtained a pension from the king of France. Whilst
in this situation, he was dispatched on a secret mission to Scotland,
to learn the real designs of the prior of St. Andrews, and to inform
himself of the state of parties in that country.

In the year 1560 he obtained permission from his own sovereign to
travel, and gained admission into the service of the elector palatine.
This prince employed him in an embassy of condolence on the death of
Francis II. Some time after his return he received a commission from the
queen of Scots to make himself personally acquainted with the archduke
Charles, who was proposed to her for a husband.

This done, he made a tour in Italy, and then returned to the elector
palatine at Heidelberg. He was next employed by Maximilian king of the
Romans to carry to France the portrait of one of his daughters, to whom
proposals of marriage had been made on the part of Charles IX. At this
court Catherine dei Medici would gladly have detained him; but a summons
from his own queen determined him to repair again to Scotland.

Duke Casimir, son of the elector palatine, having some time before made
an offer of his hand to queen Elizabeth, to which a dubious answer had
been returned, requested Melvil, in passing through England, to convey
his picture to that princess. The envoy, secretly despairing of the
suit, desired that he might also be furnished with portraits of the
other members of the electoral family, and with some nominal commission
by means of which he might gain more easy access to the queen, and
produce the picture as if without design. He was accordingly instructed
to press for a more explicit answer than had yet been given to the
proposal of an alliance offensive and defensive between England and the
protestant princes of Germany; and thus prepared he reached London early
in the year 1564.

After some discourse with the queen on the ostensible object of his
mission, Melvil found occasion to break forth into earnest commendations
of the elector, whose service nothing, he said, but this duty to his own
sovereign could have induced him to quit; and he added, that for the
remembrance of so good a master, he had desired to carry home with him
his portrait, as well as those of all his sons and daughters. "So soon
as she heard me mention the pictures," continues he, "she enquired if I
had the picture of duke Casimir, desiring to see it. And when I alleged
that I had left the pictures in London, she being then at Hampton Court,
and that I was ready to go forward on my journey, she said I should not
part till she had seen the pictures. So the next day I delivered them
all to her majesty, and she desired to keep them all night; and she
called upon my lord Robert Dudley to be judge of duke Casimir's picture,
and appointed me to meet her the next morning in her garden, where she
caused to deliver them all unto me, giving me thanks for the sight of
them. I then offered unto her majesty all the pictures, so she would
permit me to retain the elector's and his lady's, but she would have
none of them. I had also sure information that first and last she
despised the said duke Casimir."

It was a little before this time that Elizabeth had been consulted by
Mary on the proposal of the archduke, and had declared by Randolph her
strong disapprobation of it.

She now told Melvil, with whom she conversed on this and other subjects
very familiarly and with apparent openness, that she intended soon to
mention as fit matches for his queen two noblemen, one or other of whom
she hoped to see her accept. These two, according to Melvil, were Dudley
and lord Darnley, eldest son of the earl of Lenox by the lady Margaret
Douglas. It must however be remarked, that Melvil appears to be the only
writer who asserts that the first suggestion of an union between Mary
and Darnley came from the English queen, who afterwards so vehemently
opposed this step. But be this as it may, it is probable that Elizabeth
was more sincere in her desire to impede the Austrian match than to
promote any other for the queen of Scots; and with the former view
Melvil accuses her of throwing out hints by which the archduke was
encouraged to renew his suit to herself. Provoked, as he asserts, by
this duplicity, of which she soon received certain information, Mary
returned a sharp answer to a letter from her kinswoman of seemingly
friendly advice, and hence had ensued a coldness and a cessation of
intercourse between them. But Mary, "fearing that if their discord
continued it would cut off all correspondence between her and her
friends in England," thought good, a few weeks after Melvil had returned
to Scotland, to dispatch him again towards London, "to deal with the
queen of England, with the Spanish ambassador, and with my lady
Margaret Douglas, and with sundry friends she had in England of
different opinions."

It was the interest of neither sovereign at this time to be on bad terms
with the other; and their respective ministers and secretaries being
also agreed among themselves to maintain harmony between the countries,
the excuses and explanations of Melvil were allowed to pass current, and
the demonstrations of amity were resumed between the hostile queens.

Some particulars of the reception of this envoy at the English court are
curious, and may probably be relied on. "Being arrived at London I
lodged near the court, which was at Westminster. My host immediately
gave advertisement of my coming, and that same night her majesty sent
Mr. Hatton, afterwards governor of the isle of Wight, to welcome me, and
to show me that the next morning she would give me audience in her
garden at eight of the clock." "The next morning Mr. Hatton and Mr.
Randolph, late agent for the queen of England in Scotland, came to my
lodging to convey me to her majesty, who was, as they said, already in
the garden. With them came a servant of my lord Robert's with a horse
and foot-mantle of velvet, laced with gold, for me to ride upon. Which
servant, with the said horse, waited upon me all the time that I
remained there."

At a subsequent interview, "the old friendship being renewed, Elizabeth
inquired if the queen had sent any answer to the proposition of marriage
made to her by Mr. Randolph. I answered, as I had been instructed, that
my mistress thought little or nothing thereof, but attended the meeting
of some commissioners upon the borders... to confer and treat upon all
such matters of greatest importance, as should be judged to concern the
quiet of both countries, and the satisfaction of both their majesties'
minds." Adding, "the queen my mistress is minded, as I have said, to
send for her part my lord of Murray, and the secretary Lidingtoun, and
expects your majesty will send my lord of Bedford and my lord Robert
Dudley." She answered, "it appeared I made but small account of my lord
Robert, seeing I named the earl of Bedford before him, but that erelong
she would make him a far greater earl, and that I should see it done
before my returning home. For she esteemed him as her brother and best
friend, whom she would have herself married had she ever minded to have
taken a husband. But being determined to end her life in virginity, she
wished the queen her sister might marry him, as meetest of all other
with whom she could find in her heart to declare her second person. For
being matched with him, it would remove out of her mind all fears and
suspicions, to be offended by any usurpation before her death. Being
assured that he was so loving and trusty that he would never suffer any
such thing to be attempted during her time. And that the queen my
mistress might have the higher esteem of him, I was required to stay
till I should see him made earl of Leicester and baron of Denbigh; which
was done at Westminster with great solemnity, the queen herself helping
to put on his ceremonial (mantle), he sitting upon his knees before her
with a great gravity. But she could not refrain from putting her hand
in his neck, smilingly tickling him, the French ambassador and I
standing by. Then she turned, asking at me how I liked him? I answered,
that as he was a worthy servant, so he was happy, who had a princess who
could discern and reward good service. Yet, says she, you like better of
yonder long lad, pointing towards my lord Darnley, who, as nearest
prince of the blood, did bear the sword of honor that day before her."

"She appeared to be so affectionate to the queen her good sister, that
she expressed a great desire to see her. And because their so much by
her desired meeting could not so hastily be brought to pass, she
appeared with great delight to look upon her majesty's picture. She took
me to her bed-chamber, and opened a little cabinet, wherein were divers
little pictures wrapped within paper, and their names written with her
own hand upon the papers. Upon the first that she took up was written
'My lord's picture.' I held the candle, and pressed to see that picture
so named; she appeared loath to let me see it, yet my importunity
prevailed for a sight thereof, and I found it to be the earl of
Leicester's picture. I desired that I might have it to carry home to my
queen, which she refused, alleging that she had but that one picture of
his. I said, 'Your majesty hath here the original, for I perceived him
at the furthest part of the chamber, speaking with secretary Cecil.'
Then she took out the queen's picture, and kissed it, and I adventured
to kiss her hand, for the great love evidenced therein to my mistress.
She showed me also a fair ruby, as great as a tennis-ball; I desired
that she would send either it, or my lord of Leicester's picture, as a
token to my queen. She said, that if the queen would follow her counsel,
she would in process of time get all that she had; that in the meantime
she was resolved in a token to send her with me a fair diamond. It was
at this time late after supper; she appointed me to be with her the next
morning by eight of the clock, at which time she used to walk in her

"She enquired of me many things relating to this kingdom (Scotland) and
other countries wherein I had travelled. She caused me to dine with her
dame of honor, my lady Strafford (an honorable and godly lady, who had
been at Geneva banished during the reign of queen Mary), that I might be
always near her, that she might confer with me."

..."At divers meetings we had divers purposes. The queen my mistress had
instructed me to leave matters of gravity sometimes, and cast in merry
purposes, lest otherwise she should be wearied; she being well informed
of that queen's natural temper. Therefore in declaring my observations
of the customs of Dutchland, Poland, and Italy; the buskins of the women
was not forgot, and what country weed I thought best becoming
gentlewomen. The queen said she had clothes of every sort, which every
day thereafter, so long as I was there, she changed. One day she had the
English weed, another the French, and another the Italian, and so forth.
She asked me, which of them became her best? I answered, in my
judgement the Italian dress; which answer I found pleased her well, for
she delighted to show her golden coloured hair, wearing a caul and
bonnet as they do in Italy. Her hair was rather reddish than yellow,
curled in appearance naturally.

"She desired to know of me what colour of hair was reputed best, and
whether my queen's hair or hers was best, and which of them two was
fairest? I answered, the fairness of them both was not their worst
faults. But she was earnest with me to declare which of them I judged
fairest? I said, she was the fairest queen in England, and mine in
Scotland. Yet she appeared earnest. I answered, they were both the
fairest ladies in their countries; that her majesty was whiter, but my
queen was very lovely. She enquired, which of them was of highest
stature? I said, my queen. Then, saith she, she is too high, for I
myself am neither too high nor too low. Then she asked, what exercises
she used? I answered, that when I received my dispatch, the queen was
lately come from the Highland hunting. That when her more serious
affairs permitted, she was taken up with reading of histories: that
sometimes she recreated herself in playing upon the lute and virginals.
She asked if she played well? I said reasonably, for a queen."

"That same day after dinner, my lord of Hunsdon drew me up to a quiet
gallery that I might hear some music, but he said he durst not avow it,
where I might hear the queen play upon the virginals. After I had
harkened awhile, I took by the tapestry that hung before the door of the
chamber, and seeing her back was toward the door, I ventured within the
chamber, and stood a pretty space hearing her play excellently well; but
she left off immediately, so soon as she turned about and saw me. She
appeared to be surprised to see me, and came forward, seeming to strike
me with her hand, alleging that she used not to play before men, but
when she was solitary, to shun melancholy. She asked how I came there? I
answered, as I was walking with my lord of Hunsdon, as we passed by the
chamber door, I heard such melody as ravished me, whereby I was drawn in
ere I knew how, excusing my fault of homeliness as being brought up in
the court of France, where such freedom was allowed; declaring myself
willing to endure what kind of punishment her majesty should be pleased
to inflict upon me, for so great an offence. Then she sat down low upon
a cushion, and I upon my knees by her, but with her own hand she gave me
a cushion to lay under my knee, which at first I refused, but she
compelled me to take it. She then called for my lady Strafford out of
the next chamber, for the queen was alone. She enquired whether my queen
or she played best? In that I found myself obliged to give her the
praise. She said my French was very good, and asked if I could speak
Italian, which she spoke reasonably well. I told her majesty I had no
time to learn the language, not having been above two months in Italy.
Then she spake to me in Dutch, which was not good; and would know what
kind of books I most delighted in, whether theology, history, or love
matters? I said I liked well of all the sorts. Here I took occasion to
press earnestly my dispatch: she said I was sooner weary of her company
than she was of mine. I told her majesty, that though I had no reason of
being weary, I knew my mistress her affairs called me home; yet I was
stayed two days longer, that I might see her dance, as I was afterward
informed. Which being over, she enquired of me whether she or my queen
danced best? I answered, the queen danced not so high or disposedly as
she did. Then again she wished that she might see the queen at some
convenient place of meeting. I offered to convey her secretly to
Scotland by post, cloathed like a page, that under this disguise she
might see the queen, as James V. had gone in disguise with his own
ambassador to see the duke of Vendome's sister, who should have been his
wife. Telling her that her chamber might be kept in her absence, as
though she were sick; that none need be privy thereto except lady
Strafford, and one of the grooms of her chamber. She appeared to like
that kind of language, only answered it with a sigh, saying, Alas, if I
might do it thus!"

Respecting Leicester, Melvil says, that he was conveyed by him in his
barge from Hampton Court to London, and that, by the way, he inquired of
him what the queen of Scots thought of him and of the marriage proposed
by Randolph. "Whereunto," says he, "I answered very coldly, as I had
been by my queen commanded." Then he began to purge himself of so proud
a pretence as to marry so great a queen, declaring that he did not
esteem himself worthy to wipe her shoes, and that the invention of that
proposition of marriage proceeded from Mr. Cecil, his secret enemy:
"For if I," said he, "should have appeared desirous of that marriage, I
should have offended both the queens, and lost their favor[54]."

[Note 54: Melvil's "Memoirs," _passim_.]

If we are to receive as sincere this declaration of his sentiments by
Leicester,--confessedly one of the deepest dissemblers of the age,--what
a curious view does it afford of the windings and intricacies of the
character of Elizabeth, of the tissue of ingenious snares which she
delighted to weave around the foot-steps even of the man whom she most
favored, loved, and trusted! Perhaps she encouraged, if she did not
originally devise, this matrimonial project purely as a romantic trial
of his attachment to herself, and pleased her fancy with the idea of his
rejecting for her a younger and a fairer queen;--perhaps she entertained
a transient thought of making him her own husband, and wished previously
to give him consequence by this proposal;--perhaps she meant nothing
more than to perplex Mary by a variety of suitors, and thus delay her
marriage; an event which she could not anticipate without vexation.

That she was not sincere in her recommendation of Leicester is certain
from the circumstance, that when the queen of Scots, appearing to
incline to a speedy conclusion of the business, pressed to know on what
conditions Elizabeth would give her approbation to the union, the
earnestness in the cause which she had before displayed immediately

Her conduct with respect to Darnley is equally involved in perplexity
and double-dealing. Melvil, as we have seen, asserts that it was
Elizabeth herself who first mentioned him as a suitable match for the
queen of Scots: and if his relation be correct, which his partiality
towards his own sovereign makes indeed somewhat doubtful, the English
princess must have been well aware, when she conversed with him, of the
favor with which the addresses of this young nobleman were likely to be
received, though the envoy says that he forbore openly to express the
sentiments of his court on this topic. It was after Melvil's departure
that Elizabeth, not indeed without reluctance and hesitation, permitted
Darnley to accompany the earl his father into Scotland, ostensibly for
the purpose of witnessing the reversal of the attainder formerly passed
against him, and his solemn restoration in blood; but really, as she
must well have known, with the object of pushing his suit with the

Mary no sooner beheld the handsome youth than she was seized with a
passion for him, which she determined to gratify: but apprehensive, with
reason, of the interference of Elizabeth, she disguised for the present
her inclinations, and engaged with a feigned earnestness in negotiations
preparatory to an union with Leicester. Meanwhile she was secretly
soliciting at Rome the necessary dispensation for marrying within the
prohibited degrees of the church; and it was not till the arrival of
this instrument was speedily expected, and all her other preparations
were complete, that, taking off the mask, she requested her good
sister's approbation of her approaching nuptials with lord Darnley.

It is scarcely credible that a person of Elizabeth's sagacity, with her
means of gaining intelligence and after all that had passed, could have
been surprised by this notification of the intentions of the queen of
Scots, and it is even problematical how far she was really displeased at
the occurrence. Except by imitating her perpetual celibacy,--a
compliment to her envy and her example which could not in reason be
expected,--it might seem impossible for the queen of Scots better to
consult the views and wishes of her kinswoman than by uniting herself to
Darnley;--a subject, and an English subject, a near relation both of her
own and Elizabeth's, and a man on whom nature had bestowed not a single
quality calculated to render him either formidable or respectable. The
queen of England, however, frowardly bent on opposing the match to the
utmost, directed sir Nicholas Throgmorton, her ambassador, to set before
the eyes of Mary a long array of objections and impediments; and he was
further authorized secretly to promise support to such of the Scottish
nobles as would undertake to oppose it. She ordered, in the most
imperious terms, the earl of Lenox and his son to return immediately
into England; threw the countess of Lenox into the Tower by way of
intimidation; and caused her privy-council to exercise their ingenuity
in discovering the manifold inconveniences and dangers likely to arise
to herself and to her country from the alliance of the queen of Scots
with a house so nearly connected with the English crown.

Mary, however, persisted in accomplishing the union on which her mind
was set: Darnley and his father neglected Elizabeth's order of recall;
and her privy-council vexed her by drawing from the melancholy
forebodings which she had urged them to promulgate two unwelcome
inferences;--that the queen ought to lose no time in forming a connexion
which might cut off the hopes of others by giving to the nation
posterity of her own;--and that as the Lenox family were known papists,
it would now be expedient to exercise against all of that persuasion the
utmost severity of the penal laws. The earl of Murray and some other
malcontent lords in Scotland were the only persons who entered with
warmth and sincerity into the measures of Elizabeth against the
marriage; for they alone had any personal interest in impeding the
advancement of the Lenox family. Rashly relying on the assurances which
they had received of aid from England, they took up arms against their
sovereign; but finding no support from any quarter, they were soon
compelled to make their escape across the border and seek refuge with
the earl of Bedford, lord warden of the marches. On their arrival in
London, the royal dissembler insisted on their declaring, in presence of
the French and Spanish ambassadors, that their rebellious attempts had
received no encouragement from her; but after this open disavowal, she
permitted them to remain unmolested in her dominions, secretly
supplying them with money and interceding with their offended sovereign
in their behalf.

Melvil acquaints us that when sir Nicholas Throgmorton, on returning
from his embassy, found that the promises which he had made to these
malcontents had been disclaimed both by her majesty and by Randolph, he
"stood in awe neither of queen nor council to declare the verity, that
he had made such promises in her name, whereof the councillors and
craftiest courtiers thought strange, and were resolving to punish him
for avowing the same promise to be made in his mistress' name, had not
he wisely and circumspectly obtained an act of council for his warrant,
which he offered to produce. And the said sir Nicholas was so angry that
he had been made an instrument to deceive the said banished lords, that
he advised them to sue humbly for pardon at their own queen's hand, and
to engage never again to offend her for satisfaction of any prince
alive. And because, as they were then stated, they had no interest, he
penned for them a persuasive letter and sent to her majesty." On this
occasion Throgmorton showed himself a warm friend to Mary's succession
in England, and advised clemency to the banished lords as one mean to
secure it. Mary, highly esteeming him and convinced by his reasons,
resolved to follow his counsels.

Elizabeth never willingly remitted any thing of that rigor against the
puritans which she loved to believe it politic to exercise; but they
were fortunate enough to find an almost avowed patron in Leicester, and
secret favorers in several of her ministers and counsellors; and during
the persecutions of the catholics which followed the marriage of Mary,
she was compelled to press upon them with a less heavy hand.

Archbishop Parker, who was proceeding with much self-satisfaction and
success in the task of silencing by the pains of suspension and
deprivation all scruples of conscience among the clergy respecting
habits and ceremonies, was now mortified to find his zeal restrained by
the interference of the queen herself, while the exulting puritans
studied to improve to the utmost the temporary connivance of the ruling


1565 AND 1566.

Renewal of the archduke's proposal.--Disappointment of
Leicester.--Anecdote concerning him.--Disgrace of the earl of
Arundel.--Situation of the duke of Norfolk.--Leicester his secret
enemy.--Notice of the earl of Sussex.--Proclamation respecting fencing
schools.--Marriage of lady Mary Grey.--Sir H. Sidney deputy of
Ireland.--Queen's letter to him.--Prince of Scotland born.--Melvil sent
with the news to Elizabeth.--His account of his reception.--Motion in
the house of commons for naming a successor.--Discord between the house
and the queen on this ground.--She refuses a subsidy--dissolves
parliament--visits Oxford.--Particulars of her reception.

Whether or not it was with a view of impeding the marriage of the queen
of Scots that Elizabeth had originally encouraged the renewal of the
proposals of the archduke to herself, certain it is that the treaty was
still carried on, and even with increased earnestness, long after this
motive had ceased to operate.

It was subsequently to Mary's announcement of her approaching nuptials,
that to the instances of the imperial ambassador Elizabeth had replied,
that she desired to keep herself free till she had finally decided
on the answer to be given to the king of France, who had also offered
her his hand[55]. After breaking off this negotiation with Charles IX.,
she declared to the same ambassador, that she would never engage to
marry a person whom she had not seen;--an answer which seemed to hint to
the archduke that a visit would be well received. It was accordingly
reported with confidence that this prince would soon commence his
journey to England; and Cecil himself ventured to write to a friend,
that if he would accede to the national religion, and if his person
proved acceptable to her majesty, "except God should please to continue
his displeasure against us, we should see some success." But he thought
that the archduke would never explain himself on religion to any one
except the queen, and not to her until he should see hopes of speeding.

[Note 55: It is on the authority of Strype's "Annals" that this
offer of Charles IX. to Elizabeth is recorded. Hume, Camden, Rapin, are
all silent respecting it; but as it seems that Catherine dei Medici was
at the time desirous of the appearance of a closer connexion with
Elizabeth, it is not improbable that she might throw out some hint of
this nature without any real wish of bringing about an union in all
respects so unsuitable.]

The splendid dream of Leicester's ambition was dissipated for ever by
these negotiations; and a diminution of the queen's partiality towards
him, distinctly visible to the observant eyes of her courtiers, either
preceded or accompanied her entertaining so long, and with such an air
of serious deliberation, the proposals of a foreign prince. The enemies
of Leicester,--a large and formidable party, comprehending almost all
the highest names among the nobility and the greater part of the
ministers,--openly and zealously espoused the interest of the archduke.
Leicester at first with equal warmth and equal openness opposed his
pretensions; but he was soon admonished by the frowns of his royal
mistress, that if he would preserve or recover his influence, he must
now be content to take a humbler tone, and disguise a disappointment
which there was arrogance in avowing.

The disposition of Elizabeth partook so much more of the haughty than
the tender, that the slightest appearances of presumption would always
provoke her to take a pleasure in mortifying the most distinguished of
her favorites; and it might be no improbable guess, that almost the
whole of the encouragement given by her to the addresses of the archduke
was prompted by the desire of humbling the pride of Leicester, and
showing him that his ascendency over her was not so complete or so
secure as he imagined.

A circumstance is related which we may conjecture to have occurred about
this time, and which sets in a strong light this part of the character
of Elizabeth. "Bowyer, a gentleman of the Black Rod, being charged by
her express command to look precisely into all admissions into the
privy-chamber, one day stayed a very gay captain, and a follower of my
lord of Leicester's, from entrance; for that he was neither well known,
nor a sworn servant to the queen: at which repulse, the gentleman,
bearing high on my lord's favor, told him, he might perchance procure
him a discharge. Leicester coming into the contestation, said publicly
(which was none of his wont) that he was a knave, and should not
continue long in his office; and so turning about to go in to the queen,
Bowyer, who was a bold gentleman and well beloved, stepped before him
and fell at her majesty's feet, related the story, and humbly craves her
grace's pleasure; and whether my lord of Leicester was king, or her
majesty queen? Whereunto she replied with her wonted oath, 'God's death,
my lord, I have wished you well; but my favor is not so locked up for
you, that others shall not partake thereof; for I have many servants, to
whom I have, and will at my pleasure, bequeath my favor, and likewise
resume the same: and if you think to rule here, I will take a course to
see you forthcoming. I will have here but one mistress, and no master;
and look that no ill happen to him, lest it be required at your hands.'
Which words so quelled my lord of Leicester, that his feigned humility
was long after one of his best virtues[56]."

[Note 56: Naunton's "Fragmenta Regalia."]

It might be some consolation to Leicester, under his own mortifications,
to behold his ancient rival the earl of Arundel subjected to far severer
ones. This nobleman had resigned in disgust his office of
lord-chamberlain; subsequently, the queen, on some ground of displeasure
now unknown, had commanded him to confine himself to his own house; and
at the end of several months passed under this kind of restraint, she
still denied him for a further term the consolation and privilege of
approaching her royal presence. Disgraces so public and so lasting
determined him to throw up the desperate game on which he had hazarded
so deep a stake: he obtained leave to travel, and hastened to conceal or
forget in foreign lands the bitterness of his disappointment and the
embarrassment of his circumstances.

It is probable that from this time Elizabeth found no more serious
suitors amongst her courtiers, though they flattered her by continuing,
almost to the end of her life, to address her in the language of love,
or rather of gallantry. With all her coquetry, her head was clear, her
passions were cool; and men began to perceive that there was little
chance of prevailing with her to gratify her heart or her fancy at the
expense of that independence on which her lofty temper led her to set so
high a value. Some were still uncharitable, unjust enough to believe
that Leicester was, or had been, a fortunate lover; but few now expected
to see him her husband, and none found encouragement sufficient to renew
the experiment in which he had failed. Notwithstanding her short and
capricious fits of pride and anger, it was manifest that Leicester still
exercised over her mind an influence superior on the whole to that of
any other person; and the high distinction with which she continued to
treat him, both in public and private, alarmed the jealousy and provoked
the hostility of all who thought themselves entitled by rank, by
relationship, or by merit, to a larger share of her esteem and favor, or
a more intimate participation in her councils.

One nobleman there was, who had peculiar pretensions to supersede
Leicester in his popular appellation of "Heart of the Court," and on
whom he had already fixed in secret the watchful eye of a rival. This
was Thomas duke of Norfolk. Inheriting through several channels the
blood of the Plantagenets,--nearly related to the queen by her maternal
ancestry, and connected by descent or alliance with the whole body of
the ancient nobility; endeared also to the people by many shining
qualities, and still more by his unfeigned zeal for reformed
religion,--his grace stood first amongst the peers of England, not in
degree alone or in wealth, but in power, in influence, and in public

He was in the prime of manhood and lately a widower; and when, in the
parliament of 1566, certain members did not scruple to maintain that the
queen ought to be compelled to marry for the good of her country, the
duke was named by some, as the earl of Pembroke was by others and the
earl of Leicester by a third party, as the person whom she ought to
accept as a husband. It does not however appear that the duke himself
had aspired, openly at least, to these august but unattainable nuptials.

Elizabeth seems to have entertained for him at this period a real
regard: he could be to her no object of distrust or danger, and the
example which she was ever careful to set of a scrupulous observance of
the gradations of rank, led her on all occasions to prefer him to the
post of honor. Thus, after the peace with France in 1564, when Charles
IX. in return for the Garter, which the queen of England had sent him,
offered to confer the order of St. Michael on two English nobles of her
appointment, she named without hesitation the duke of Norfolk and the
earl of Leicester.

The arrogance of Dudley seldom escaped from the control of policy; and
as he had the sagacity to perceive that the duke was a competitor over
whom treachery alone could render him finally triumphant, he cautiously
avoided with him any open collision of interests, any offensive rivalry
in matters of place and dignity. He even went further; he compelled
himself, by a feigned deference, to administer food to that exaggerated
self-consequence,--the cherished foible of the house of Howard in
general and of this duke in particular,--out of which he perhaps already
hoped that matter would arise to work his ruin. The chronicles of the
year 1565 give a striking instance of this part of his behaviour, in the
information, that the duke of Norfolk, going to keep his Christmas in
his own county, was attended out of London by the earls of Leicester and
Warwick, the lord-chamberlain and other lords and gentlemen, who brought
him on his journey, "doing him all the honor in their power."

The duke was not gifted with any great degree of penetration, and the
generosity of his disposition combined with his vanity to render him
generally the dupe of outward homage and fair professions. He repaid the
insidious complaisance of Leicester with good will and even with
confidence; and it was not till all was lost that he appears to have
recognised this fatal and irreparable error.

Thomas earl of Sussex was an antagonist of a different nature,--an enemy
rather than a rival,--and one who sought the overthrow of Leicester
with as much zeal and industry as Leicester himself sought his, or that
of the duke; but by means as open and courageous as those of his
opponent were ever secret, base, and cowardly. This nobleman, the third
earl of the surname of Radcliffe, and son of him who had interfered with
effect to procure more humane and respectful treatment of Elizabeth
during the period of her adversity, had been first known by the title of
lord Fitzwalter, which he derived from a powerful line of barons well
known in English history from the days of Henry I. By his mother, a
daughter of Thomas second duke of Norfolk, he was first-cousin to queen
Anne Boleyn; and friendship, still more than the ties of blood, closely
connected him with the head of the Howards. Several circumstances render
it probable that he was not a zealous protestant, though it is no where
hinted that he was even secretly attached to the catholic party. During
the reign of Mary, his high character and approved loyalty had caused
him to be employed, first in an embassy to the emperor Charles V. to
settle the queen's marriage-articles; and afterwards in the arduous post
of lord-deputy of Ireland. Elizabeth continued him for some time in this
situation; but wishing to avail herself of his counsels and service at
home, she recalled him in 1565, conferred upon him the high dignity of
lord-chamberlain, vacant by the resignation of the earl of Arundel, and
appointed as his successor in Ireland his excellent second in office sir
Henry Sidney, who stood in the same relation, that of brother-in-law, to
Sussex and to Leicester, and whose singular merit and good fortune it
was to preserve to the end the esteem and friendship of both.

The ostensible cause of quarrel between these two earls seems to have
been their difference of opinion respecting the Austrian match; but this
was rather the pretext than the motive of an animosity deeply rooted in
the natures and situation of each, and probably called into action by
particular provocations now unknown. The disposition of Sussex was
courageous and sincere; his spirit high, his judgement clear and strong,
his whole character honorable and upright. In the arts of a courtier,
which he despised, he was confessedly inferior to his wily adversary; in
all the qualifications of a statesman and a soldier he vastly excelled

Sussex was endowed with penetration sufficient to detect, beneath the
thick folds of hypocrisy and artifice in which he had involved them, the
monstrous vices of Leicester's disposition; and he could not without
indignation and disgust behold a princess whose blood he shared, whose
character he honored, and whose service he had himself embraced with
pure devotion, the dupe of an impostor so despicable and so pernicious.
That influence which he saw Leicester abuse to the dishonor of the queen
and the detriment of the country, he undertook to overthrow by fair and
public means, and, so far as appears, without motives of personal
interest or ambition:--thus far all was well, and for the effort,
whether successful or not, he merited the public thanks. But there
mingled in the bosom of the high-born Sussex an illiberal disdain of
the origin of Dudley, with a just abhorrence of his character and

He was wont to say of him, that two ancestors were all that he could
number, his father and grandfather; both traitors and enemies to their
country. His sarcasms roused in Leicester an animosity which he did not
attempt to disguise: with the exception of Cecil and his friends, who
stood neuter, the whole court divided into factions upon the quarrel of
these two powerful peers; and to such extremity were matters carried,
that for some time neither of them would stir abroad without a numerous
train armed, according to the fashion of the day, with daggers and
spiked bucklers.

Scarcely could the queen herself restrain these "angry opposites" from
breaking out into acts of violence: at length however, summoning them
both into her presence, she forced them to a reconciliation neither more
nor less sincere than such pacifications by authority have usually

The open and unmeasured enmity of Sussex seems to have been productive
in the end of more injury to his own friends than to Leicester. The
storm under which the favorite had bowed for an instant was quickly
overpast, and he once more reared his head erect and lofty as before. To
revenge himself by the ruin or disgrace of Sussex was however beyond his
power: the well-founded confidence of Elizabeth in his abilities and his
attachment to her person, he found to be immovable; but against his
friends and adherents, against the duke of Norfolk himself, his
malignant arts succeeded but too well; and it seems not improbable that
Leicester, for the purpose of carrying on without molestation his
practices against them, concurred in procuring for his adversary an
honorable exile in the shape of an embassy to the imperial court, on
which he departed in the year 1567.

After his return from this mission the queen named the earl of Sussex
lord-president of the North, an appointment which equally removed him
from the immediate theatre of court intrigue. Not long after, the hand
of death put a final close to his honorable career, and to an enmity
destined to know no other termination. As he lay upon his death-bed,
this eminent person is recorded to have thus addressed his surrounding
friends: "I am now passing into another world, and must leave you to
your fortunes and to the queen's grace and goodness; but beware of the
_Gipsy_ (meaning Leicester), for he will be too hard for you all; you
know not the beast so well as I do[57]."

[Note 57: Naunton's "Fragmenta Regalia."]

This earl left no children, and his widow became the munificent
foundress of Sidney Sussex college, Cambridge. Of his negotiations with
the court of Vienna respecting the royal marriage which he had so much
at heart, particulars will be given in due time; but the miscellaneous
transactions of two or three preceding years claim a priority of

By a proclamation of February 1566, the queen revived some former
sumptuary laws respecting apparel; chiefly, it should appear, from an
apprehension that a dangerous confusion of ranks would be the
consequence of indulging to her subjects the liberty of private
judgement in a matter so important. The following clause concerning
fencing schools is appended to this instrument.

"Because it is daily seen what disorders do grow and are likely to
increase in the realm, by the increase of numbers of persons taking upon
them to teach the multitude of common people to play at all kind of
weapons; and for that purpose set up schools called schools of fence, in
places inconvenient; tending to the great disorder of such people as
properly ought to apply to their labours and handy works: Therefore her
majesty ordereth and commandeth, that no teacher of fence shall keep any
school or common place of resort in any place of the realm, but within
the liberties of some city of the realm. Where also they shall be
obedient to such orders as the governors of the cities shall appoint to
them, for the better keeping of the peace, and for prohibition of resort
of such people to the same schools as are not mete for that purpose."

On these restrictions, which would seem to imply an unworthy jealousy of
putting arms and the skill to use them into the hands of the common
people, it is equitable to remark, that the custom of constantly wearing
weapons, at this time almost universal, though prohibited by the laws of
some of our early kings, had been found productive of those frequent
acts of violence and outrage which have uniformly resulted from this
truly barbarous practice in all the countries where it has been suffered
to prevail.

From the description of England prefixed to Holinshed's Chronicles, we
learn several particulars on this subject. Few men, even of the gravest
and most pacific characters, such as ancient burgesses and city
magistrates, went without a dagger at their side or back. The nobility
commonly wore swords or rapiers as well as daggers, as did every common
serving-man following his master. Some "desperate cutters" carried two
daggers, or two rapiers in a sheath, always about them, with which in
every drunken fray they worked much mischief; their swords and daggers
also were of an extraordinary length (an abuse which was provided
against by a clause of the proclamation above quoted); some "suspicious
fellows" also would carry on the highways staves of twelve or thirteen
feet long, with pikes of twelve inches at the end, wherefore the honest
traveller was compelled to ride with a case of _dags_ (pistols) at his
saddle-bow, and none travelled without sword, or dagger, or hanger.

About this time occurred what a contemporary reporter called "an unhappy
chance and monstrous;" the marriage of lady Mary Grey to the
serjeant-porter: a circumstance thus recorded by Fuller, with his
accustomed quaintness. "Mary Grey... frighted with the infelicity of her
two elder sisters, Jane and this Catherine, forgot her honor to remember
her safety, and married one whom she could love and none need fear,
Martin Kays, of Kent esquire, who was a judge at court, (but only of
doubtful casts at dice, being serjeant-porter,) and died without issue
the 20th of April 1578[58]."

[Note 58: "Worthies in Leicestershire."]

The queen, according to her usual practice in similar cases, sent both
husband and wife to prison. What became further of the husband I do not
find; but respecting the wife, sir Thomas Gresham the eminent merchant,
in a letter to lord Burleigh dated in April 1572, mentions, that the
lady Mary Grey had been kept in his house nearly three years, and begs
of his lordship that he will make interest for her removal. Thus it
should appear that this unfortunate lady did not sufficiently "remember
her safety" in forming this connexion, obscure and humble as it was; for
all matrimony had now become offensive to the austerity or the secret
envy of the maiden queen.

Sir Henry Sidney, on arriving to take the government of Ireland, found
that unhappy country in a state of more than ordinary turbulence,
distraction, and misery. Petty insurrections of perpetual recurrence
harassed the English pale; and the native chieftains, disdaining to
accept the laws of a foreign sovereign as the umpire of their disputes,
were waging innumerable private wars, which at once impoverished,
afflicted, and barbarized their country. The most important of these
feuds was one between the earls of Ormond and Desmond, which so
disquieted the queen that, in addition to all official instructions, she
deemed it necessary to address her deputy on the subject in a private
letter written with her own hand. This document, printed in the Sidney
papers, is too valuable, as a specimen of her extraordinary style and
her manner of thinking, to be omitted. It is without date, but must have
been written in 1565.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Letter of Queen Elizabeth to Sir Henry Sidney, on the Quarrel between
Thomas Earl of Ormond and the Earl of Desmond, _anno_ 1565.


"If our partial slender managing of the contentious quarrel between the
two Irish earls did not make the way to cause these lines to pass my
hand, this gibberish should hardly have cumbered your eyes; but warned
by my former fault, and dreading worser hap to come, I rede you take
good heed that the good subjects lost state be so revenged that I hear
not the rest be won to a right bye way to breed more traitor's stocks,
and so the goal is gone. Make some difference between tried, just, and
false friend. Let the good service of well-deservers be never rewarded
with loss. Let their thank be such as may encourage no strivers for the
like. Suffer not that Desmond's denying deeds, far wide from promised
works, make you to trust to other pledge than either himself or John for
gage: he hath so well performed his English vows, that I warn you trust
him no longer than you see one of them. Prometheus let me be,
_Epimetheus_[59] hath been mine too long. I pray God your old strange
sheep late (as you say) returned into the fold, wore not her wooly
garment upon her wolvy back. You know a kingdom knows no kindred, _si
violandum jus regnandi causa_. A strength to harm is perilous in the
hand of an ambitious head. Where might is mixed with wit, there is too
good an accord in a government. Essays be oft dangerous, specially when
the cup-bearer hath received such a preservative as, what might so ever
betide the drinker's draught, the carrier takes no bane thereby.

[Note 59: In the original, "and Prometheus," but evidently by a mere
slip of the pen.]

"Believe not, though they swear, that they can be full sound, whose
parents sought the rule that they full fain would have. I warrant you
they will never be accused of bastardy; you were to blame to lay it to
their charge, they will trace the steps that others have passed before.
If I had not espied, though very late, legerdemain, used in these cases,
I had never played my part. No, if I did not see the balances held awry,
I had never myself come into the weigh house. I hope I shall have so
good a customer of you, that all other officers shall do their duty
among you. If aught have been amiss at home, I will patch though I
cannot whole it. Let us not, nor no more do you, consult so long as till
advice come too late to the givers: where then shall we wish the deeds
while all was spent in words; a fool too late bewares when all the peril
is past. If we still advise, we shall never do, thus are we still
knitting a knot never tied; yea, and if our _web_[60] be framed with
rotten hurdles, when our _loom_ is welny done, our work is new to
begin. God send the weaver true prentices again, and let them be
denizens I pray you if they be not citizens; and such too as your
ancientest aldermen, that have or now dwell in your official place, have
had best cause to commend their good behaviour.

[Note 60: The words _web_ and _loom_ in this sentence ought
certainly to be transposed.]

"Let this memorial be only committed to Vulcan's base keeping, without
any longer abode than the reading thereof, yea, and with no mention made
thereof to any other wight. I charge you as I may command you. Seem not
to have had but secretary's letter from me.

"Your loving mistress


       *       *       *       *       *

In the month of June 1566, the queen of Scots was delivered of a son.
James Melvil was immediately dispatched with the happy intelligence to
her good sister of England: and he has fortunately left us a narrative
of this mission, which equals in vivacity the relation of his former
visit. "By twelve of the clock I took horse, and was that night at
Berwick. The fourth day after, I was at London, and did first meet with
my brother sir Robert (then ambassador to England), who that same night
sent and advertised secretary Cecil of my arrival, and of the birth of
the prince, desiring him to keep it quiet till my coming to court to
show it myself unto her majesty, who was for the time at Greenwich,
where her majesty was in great mirth, dancing after supper. But so soon
as the secretary Cecil whispered in her ear the news of the prince's
birth, all her mirth was laid aside for that night. All present
marvelling whence proceeded such a change; for the queen did sit down,
putting her hand under her cheek, bursting out to some of her ladies,
that the queen of Scots was mother of a fair son, while she was but a
barren stock.

"The next morning was appointed for me to get audience, at what time my
brother and I went by water to Greenwich, and were met by some friends
who told us how sorrowful her majesty was at my news, but that she had
been advised to show a glad and cheerful countenance; which she did in
her best apparel, saying, that the joyful news of the queen her sister's
delivery of a fair son, which I had sent her by secretary Cecil, had
recovered her out of a heavy sickness which she had lain under for
fifteen days. Therefore she welcomed me with a merry volt, and thanked
me for the diligence I had used in hasting to give her that welcome
intelligence." &c. "The next day her majesty sent unto me her letter,
with the present of a fair chain."

Resolved to perform with a good grace the part which she had assumed,
Elizabeth accepted with alacrity the office of sponsor to the prince of
Scotland, sending thither as her proxies the earl of Bedford, Mr. Carey
son of lord Hunsdon, and other knights and gentlemen; who met with so
cordial a reception from Mary,--now at open variance with her husband,
and therefore desirous of support from England,--as to provoke the
jealousy of the French ambassadors. The present of the royal godmother
was a font of pure gold worth above one thousand pounds; in return for
which, rings, rich chains of diamond and pearl, and other jewels were
liberally bestowed upon her substitutes.

The birth of her son lent a vast accession of strength to the party of
the queen of Scots in England; and Melvil was commissioned to convey
back to her from several of the principal personages of the court, warm
professions of an attachment to her person and interests, which the
jealousy of their mistress compelled them to dissemble. Elizabeth, on
her part, was more than ever disturbed by suspicions on this head, which
were kept in constant activity by the secret informations of the armies
of spies whom it was her self-tormenting policy to set over the words
and actions of the Scottish queen and her English partisans. The more
she learned of the influence privately acquired by Mary amongst her
subjects, the more, of course, she feared and hated her, and the
stronger became her determination never to give her additional
consequence by an open recognition of her right of succession. At the
same time she was fully sensible that no other person could be thought
of as the inheritrix of her crown; and she resolved, perhaps wisely, to
maintain on this subject an inflexible silence: this policy, however,
connected with her perseverance in a state of celibacy, began to awaken
in her people an anxiety respecting their future destinies, which, being
artfully fomented by Scottish emissaries, produced, in 1566, the first
symptoms of discord between the queen and her faithful commons.

A motion was made in the lower house for reviving the suit to her
majesty touching the naming of a successor in case of her death without
posterity; and in spite of the strenuous opposition of the court party,
and the efforts of the ministers to procure a delay by declaring "that
the queen was moved to marriage and inclined to prosecute the same," it
was carried, and a committee appointed to confer with the lords. The
business was not very agreeable to the upper house: a committee however
was named, and the queen soon after required some members of both houses
to wait upon her respecting this matter; when the lord-keeper explained
their sentiments in a long speech, to which her majesty was pleased to
reply after her darkest and most ambiguous manner. "As to her marriage,"
she said, "a silent thought might serve. She thought it had been so
desired that none other trees blossom should have been minded or ever
any hope of fruit had been denied them. But that if any doubted that she
was by vow or determination never bent to trade in that kind of life,
she bade them put out that kind of heresy, for their belief was therein
awry. And though she could think it best for a private woman, yet she
strove with herself to think it not meet for a prince. As to the
succession, she bade them not think that they had needed this desire, if
she had seen a time so fit; and it so ripe to be denounced. That the
greatness of the cause, and the need of their return, made her say that
a short time for so long a continuance ought not to pass by rote. That
as cause by conference with the learned should show her matter worth
utterance for their behoof, so she would more gladly pursue their good
after her days, than with all her prayers while she lived be a means to
linger out her living thread. That for their comfort, she had good
record in that place that other means than they mentioned had been
thought of perchance for their good, as much as for her own surety:
which, if they could have been presently or conveniently executed, it
had not been now deferred or over-slipped. That she hoped to die in
quiet with _Nunc dimittis_, which could not be without she saw some
glimpse of their following surety after her graved bones."

These vague sentences tended little to the satisfaction of the house;
and a motion was made, and strongly supported by the speeches of several
members, for reiteration of the suit. At this her majesty was so
incensed, that she communicated by sir Francis Knowles her positive
command to the house to proceed no further in this business, satisfying
themselves with the promise of marriage which she had made on the word
of a prince. But that truly independent member Paul Wentworth could not
be brought to acquiesce with tameness in this prohibition, and he moved
the house on the question, whether the late command of her majesty was
not a breach of its privileges? The queen hereupon issued an injunction
that there should be no debates on this point; but the spirit of
resistance rose so high in the house of commons against this her
arbitrary interference, that she found it expedient, a few days after,
to rescind both orders, making a great favor however of her compliance,
and insisting on the condition, that the subject should not at this time
be further pursued.

In her speech on adjourning parliament she did not omit to acquaint both
houses with her extreme displeasure at their interference touching the
naming of a successor; a matter which she always chose to regard as
belonging exclusively to her prerogative;--and she ended by telling
them, "that though perhaps they might have after her one better learned
or wiser, yet she assured them none more careful over them. And
therefore henceforth she bade them beware how they proved their prince's
patience as they had now done hers. And notwithstanding, not meaning,
she said, to make a Lent of Christmas, the most part of them might
assure themselves that they departed in their prince's grace[61]."

[Note 61: Strype's "Annals."]

She utterly refused an extraordinary subsidy which the commons had
offered on condition of her naming her successor, and even of the
ordinary supplies which she accepted, she remitted a fourth, popularly
observing, that it was as well for her to have money in the coffers of
her subjects as in her own. By such an alternation of menaces and
flatteries did Elizabeth contrive to preserve her ascendency over the
hearts and minds of her people!

The earl of Leicester had lately been elected chancellor of the
university of Oxford, and in the autumn of 1566 the queen consented to
honor with her presence this seat of learning, long ambitious of such a
distinction. She was received with the same ceremonies as at Cambridge:
learned exhibitions of the same nature awaited her; and she made a
similar parade of her bashfulness, and a still greater of her erudition;
addressing this university not in Latin, but in Greek.

Of the dramatic exhibitions prepared for her recreation, an elegant
writer has recorded the following particulars[62]. "In the magnificent
hall of Christ-church, she was entertained with a Latin comedy called
Marcus Geminus, the Latin tragedy of Progne, and an English comedy on
the story of Palamon and Arcite, (by Richard Edwards gentleman of the
queen's chapel, and master of the choristers,) all acted by the students
of the university. When the last play was over, the queen summoned the
poet into her presence, whom she loaded with thanks and compliments: and
at the same time, turning to her levee, remarked, that Palamon was so
justly drawn as a lover, that he must have been in love indeed; that
Arcite was a right martial knight, having a swart and manly countenance,
yet with the aspect of a Venus clad in armour: that the lovely Emilia
was a virgin of uncorrupted purity and unblemished simplicity; and that
though she sung so sweetly, and gathered flowers alone in the garden,
she preserved her chastity undeflowered. The part of Emilia, the only
female part in the play, was acted by a boy of fourteen, whose
performance so captivated her majesty, that she made him a present of
eight guineas[63]. During the exhibition, a cry of hounds belonging to
Theseus was counterfeited without in the great square of the college;
the young students thought it a real chase, and were seized with a
sudden transport to join the hunters: at which the queen cried out from
her box, "O excellent! these boys, in very troth, are ready to leap out
of the windows to follow the hounds!"

[Note 62: Warton's "History of English Poetry."]

[Note 63: Mr. Warton apparently forgets that _guineas_ were first
coined by Charles II.]

Dr. Lawrence Humphreys, who had lately been distinguished by his
strenuous opposition to the injunctions of the queen and archbishop
Parker respecting the habits and ceremonies, was at this time
vice-chancellor of Oxford; and when he came forth in procession to meet
the queen, she could not forbear saying with a smile, as she gave him
her hand to kiss--"That loose gown, Mr. Doctor, becomes you mighty well;
I wonder your notions should be so narrow."


1567 AND 1568.

Terms on which Elizabeth offers to acknowledge Mary as her
successor,--rejected by the Scots.--Death of Darnley.--Conduct of
Elizabeth towards his mother.--Letter of Cecil.--Letter of Elizabeth to
Mary.--Mary marries Bothwell--is defeated at Langside--committed to Loch
Leven castle.--Interference of Elizabeth in her behalf.--Earl of Sussex
ambassador to Vienna.--Letters from him to Elizabeth respecting the
archduke.--Causes of the failure of the marriage treaty with this
prince.--Notice of lord Buckhurst.--Visit of the queen to Fotheringay
castle.--Mary escapes from prison--raises an army--is defeated--flies
into England.--Conduct of Elizabeth.--Mary submits her cause to
her--is detained prisoner.--Russian embassy.--Chancellor's voyage
to Archangel.--Trade opened with Russia.--Treaty with the
Czar.--Negotiations between Elizabeth and the French court.--Marriage
proposed with the duke of Anjou.--Privy-council hostile to
France.--Queen on bad terms with Spain.

Notwithstanding the uniform success and general applause which had
hitherto crowned her administration, at no point perhaps of her whole
reign was the path of Elizabeth more beset with perplexities and
difficulties than at the commencement of the year 1567.

The prevalence of the Scottish faction had compelled her to give a
pledge to her parliament respecting matrimony, which must either be
redeemed by the sacrifice of her darling independence, or forfeited
with the loss of her credit and popularity. Her favorite
state-mystery,--the choice of a successor,--had also been invaded by
rude and daring hands; and to such extremity was she reduced on this
point, that she had found it necessary to empower the commissioners whom
she sent into Scotland for the baptism of the prince, distinctly to
propound the following offer. That on a simple ratification by Mary of
only so much of the treaty of Edinburgh as engaged her to advance no
claim upon the English crown during the lifetime of Elizabeth or any
posterity of hers, a solemn recognition of her right of succession
should be made by the queen and parliament of England.

The Scottish ministry, instead of closing instantly with so advantageous
a proposal, were imprudent enough to insist upon a previous examination
of the will of Henry VIII., which they fondly believed that they could
show to be a forgery: and the delay which the refusal of Elizabeth
occasioned, gave time for the interposition of circumstances which
ruined for ever the character and authority of Mary, and rescued her
sister-queen from this dilemma.

On February the 9th 1567, lord Darnley, then called king of Scots,
perished by a violent and mysterious death. Bothwell, the queen's new
favorite, was universally accused of the murder; and the open discord
which had subsisted, even before the assassination of Rizzio, between
the royal pair, gave strong ground of suspicion that Mary herself was a
participator in the crime.

Elizabeth behaved on this tragical occurrence with the utmost decorum
and moderation; she expressed no opinion hostile to the fame of the
queen of Scots, and took no immediate measures of a public nature
respecting it. It can scarcely be doubted however, that, in common with
all Europe, she secretly believed in the guilt of Mary; and even though
at the bottom of her heart she may have desired rather to see her
condemned than acquitted in the general verdict, such a feeling ought
not, under all the circumstances, to be imputed to her as indicative of
any extraordinary malignity of disposition. To announce to the countess
of Lenox, still her prisoner, the frightful catastrophe which had closed
the history of her rash misguided son, was the first step taken by
Elizabeth: it was a proper, and even an indispensable one; but the
respectful and considerate manner of the communication, contrasted with
former harsh treatment, might be designed to intimate to the house of
Lenox that it should now find in her a protectress, and perhaps an

We possess a letter addressed by Cecil to sir Henry Norris ambassador in
France, in which are found some particulars on this subject, oddly
prefaced by a commission on which it is amusing to a modern reader to
contemplate a prime minister at such a time, and with so much gravity,
engaged. But the division of labor in public offices seems to have been
in this age very imperfect: Elizabeth employed her secretary of state to
procure her a mantua-maker; James I. occupied his in transcribing
sonnets of his own composition.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Sir William Cecil to sir Henry Norris. February 20th 1566-7.

"...The queen's majesty would fain have a taylor that had skill to make
her apparel both after the French and Italian manner; and she thinketh
that you might use some means to obtain some one such there as serveth
that queen, without mentioning any manner of request in the queen's
majesty's name. First, to cause my lady your wife to use some such means
to get one as thereof knowledge might not come to the queen mother's
ears, of whom the queen's majesty thinketh thus: That if she did
understand it were a matter wherein her majesty might be pleasured, she
would offer to send one to the queen's majesty. Nevertheless, if it
cannot be so obtained by this indirect means, then her majesty would
have you devise some other good means to obtain one that were skilful.

"I have stayed your son from going hence now these two days, upon the
queen's commandment, for that she would have him to have as much of the
truth of the circumstances of the murder of the king of Scots as might
be; and hitherto the same is hard to come by, other than in a
generality.... The queen's majesty sent yesterday my lady Howard and my
wife to the lady Lenox to the Tower, to open this matter unto her, who
could not by any means be kept from such passions of mind as the
horribleness of the fact did require. And this last night were with her
the said lady, the dean of Westminster, and Dr. Huick, and I hope her
majesty will show some favorable compassion of the said lady, whom any
humane nature must needs pity[64]."

[Note 64: "Scrinia Ceciliana."]

       *       *       *       *       *

The liberation of the countess followed; and the earl her husband soon
after gratified Elizabeth's desire to interfere, by invoking her
assistance to procure, by representations to Mary, some extension of the
unusually short time within which he was required to bring forward his
proofs against Bothwell, whom he had accused of the assassination of his

This petition produced a very earnest letter from one queen to the
other; in which Elizabeth plainly represented to her royal sister, that
the refusal of such a request to the father of her husband would bring
her into greater suspicion than, as she hoped, she was aware, or would
be willing to hear; adding, "For the love of God, madam, use such
sincerity and prudence in this case, which touches you so nearly, that
all the world may have reason to judge you innocent of so enormous a
crime; a thing which unless you do, you will be worthily blotted out
from the rank of princesses, and rendered, not undeservedly, the
opprobrium of the vulgar; rather than which fate should befal you, I
should wish you an honorable sepulture instead of a stained life[65]."

[Note 65: See the French original in Robertson's "Hist. of
Scotland," vol. iii. Append. xix.]

But to these and all other representations which could be made to her,
this criminal and infatuated woman replied by marrying Bothwell three
months after the death of her husband. She now attempted by the most
artful sophistries to justify her conduct to the courts of France and
England: but vain was the endeavour to excuse or explain away facts
which the common sense and common feelings of mankind told them could
admit of neither explanation nor apology. The nobles conspired, the
people rose in arms against her; and within a single month after her
ill-omened nuptials, she saw her guilty partner compelled to tear
himself from her arms and seek his safety in flight, and herself reduced
to surrender her person into the power of her rebellious subjects.

The battle of Langside put all the power of the country into the hands
of the insurgent nobles; but they were much divided in opinion as to the
use to be made of their victory. Some wished to restore Mary to regal
authority under certain limitations;--others wanted to depose her and
proclaim her infant son in her place;--some proposed to detain her in
perpetual imprisonment;--others threatened to bring her to trial and
capital punishment as an accessary to the death of the king. Meantime
she was detained a prisoner in Loch Leven castle, subjected to various
indignities, and a prey to the most frightful apprehensions. But there
was an eye which watched over her for her safety; and it was that of

Fears and rivalries, ancient offences and recent provocations,--all the
imprudence which she had censured, and all the guilt which she had
imputed, vanished from the thought of this princess the moment that she
beheld a woman, a kinswoman, and, what was much more, a sister-queen,
reduced to this extremity of distress, and exposed to the menaces and
insults of her own subjects. For a short time the cause of Mary seemed
to her as her own; she interposed in her behalf in a tone of such
imperative earnestness, that the Scotch nobles, who feared her power and
sought her friendship, did not dare to withstand her; and in all
probability Mary at this juncture owed no less than her life to the good
offices of her who was destined finally to bring her, with more
injustice and after many years of sorrow, to an ignominious death.

It was not however within the power, if indeed it were the wish, of
Elizabeth to restore the queen of Scots to the enjoyment either of
authority or of freedom. All Scotland seemed at this period united
against her; she was compelled to sign a deed of abdication in favor of
her son, who was crowned king in July 1567. The earl of Murray was
declared regent: and a parliament assembled about the close of the year
confirmed all these acts of the confederate lords, and sanctioned the
detention of the deposed queen in a captivity of which none could then
foresee the termination. Elizabeth ordered her ambassador to abstain
from countenancing by his presence the coronation of the king of Scots,
and she continued to negotiate for the restoration of Mary: but her
ministers strongly represented to her the danger of driving the lords,
by a further display of her indignation at their proceedings, into a
confederacy with France; and Throgmorton, her ambassador in Scotland,
urged her to treat with them to deliver their young king into her
hands, in order to his being educated in England.

Some proposal of this nature she accordingly made: but the lords, whom
former experience had rendered suspicious of her dealings, absolutely
refused to give up their prince without the pledge of a recognition of
his right of succession to the English throne; and Elizabeth, reluctant
as ever to come to a declaration on this point, reluctant also to desert
entirely the interests of Mary, with whose remaining adherents she still
maintained a secret intercourse, seems to have abstained for some time
from any very active interference in the perplexed affairs of the
neighbour kingdom.

The recent occurrences in Scotland had procured Elizabeth some respite
from the importunities of her subjects relative to the succession; but
it was not the less necessary for her to take some steps in discharge of
her promise respecting marriage. Accordingly the earl of Sussex, in this
cause a negotiator no less zealous than able, was dispatched in solemn
embassy to Vienna, to congratulate the emperor Maximilian on his
coronation, and at the same time to treat with his brother the archduke
Charles respecting his long agitated marriage with the queen. Two
obstacles were to be surmounted,--the attachment of the archduke to the
catholic faith, and the repugnance of Elizabeth to enter into
engagements with a prince whose person was unknown to her. Both are
attempted to be obviated in two extant letters from the ambassador to
the queen, which at the same time so well display the manly spirit of
the writer, and present details so interesting, that it would be an
injury to give their more important passages in other language than his

In the first (dated Vienna, October 1567,) the earl of Sussex acquaints
her majesty with the arrival of the archduke in that city, and his
admission to a first audience, which was one of ceremony only; after
which he thus proceeds:--

"On Michaelmas day in the afternoon, the emperor rode in his coach to
see the archduke run at the ring; who commanded me to run at his side,
and my lord North, Mr. Cobham, and Mr. Powel on the other side: And
after the running was done, he rode on a courser of Naples: and surely
his highness, in the order of his running, the managing of his horse and
the manner of his seat, governed himself exceedingly well, and so as, in
my judgement, it was not to be amended. Since which time I have had
diverse conferences with the emperor, and with his highness apart, as
well in times of appointed audience as in several huntings; wherein I
have viewed, observed, and considered of his person and qualities as
much as by any means I might; and have also by good diligence enquired
of his state; and so have thought fit to advertise your majesty what I
conceive of myself, or understand by others, which I trust your majesty
shall find to be true in all respects.

"His highness is of a person higher surely a good deal than my lord
marquis; his hair and beard of a light auburn; his face well
proportioned, amiable, and of a good complexion, without show of
redness, or over paleness; his countenance and speech cheerful, very
courteous, and not without some state; his body well shaped, without
deformity or blemish: his hands very good and fair; his legs clean, well
proportioned, and of sufficient bigness for his stature; his foot as
good as may be.

"So as, upon my duty to your majesty, I find not one deformity,
mis-shape, or any thing to be noted worthy disliking in his whole
person; but contrariwise, I find his whole shape to be good, worthy
commendation and liking in all respects, and such as is rarely to be
found in such a prince.

"His highness, besides his natural language of Dutch, speaketh very well
Spanish and Italian, and, as I hear, Latin. His dealings with me be very
wise; his conversation such as much contenteth me; and, as I hear, none
returneth discontented from his company. He is greatly beloved here of
all men: the chiefest gallants of these parts be his men, and follow his
court; the most of them have travelled other countries, speak many
languages, and behave themselves thereafter; and truly we cannot be so
glad there to have him come to us, as they will be sad here to have him
go from them. He is reported to be wise, liberal, valiant, and of great
courage, which in the last wars he well showed, in defending all his
countries free from the Turk with his own force only, and giving them
divers overthrows when they attempted any thing against his rules; and
he is universally (which I most weigh) noted to be of such virtue as he
was never spotted or touched with any notable vice of crime, which is
much in a prince of his years, endued with such qualities. He
delighteth much in hunting, riding, hawking, exercise of feats of arms,
and hearing of music, whereof he hath very good. He hath, as I hear,
some understanding in astronomy and cosmography, and taketh pleasure in
clocks that set forth the course of the planets.

"He hath for his portion the countries of Styria, Carinthia, Friola,
Treiste, and Histria, and hath the government of that is left in
Croatia, wherein, as I hear, he may ride without entering into any other
man's territories, near three hundred miles... surely he is a great
prince in subjects, territories, and revenues; and liveth in great honor
and state, with such a court as he that seeth it will say is fit for a
great prince." &c. On October 26th he writes thus:--"Since the writing
of my other letters, upon the resolution of the emperor and the
archduke, I took occasion to go to the archduke, meaning to sound him to
the bottom in all causes, and to feel whether such matter as he had
uttered to me before (contained in my other letters) proceeded from him
_bona fide_, or were but words of form.... After some ordinary speech,
used to minister occasion, I began after this sort. 'Sir, I see it is a
great matter to deal in the marriage of princes; and therefore it is
convenient for me, that by the queen my mistress' order intermeddle in
this negotiation, to foresee that I neither deceive you, be deceived
myself, nor, by my ignorance, be the cause that she be deceived; in
respect whereof, I beseech your highness to give me leave to treat as
frankly with you in all things, now I am here, as it pleased her
majesty to give me leave to deal with her before my coming from thence;
whereby I may be as well assured of your disposition, upon your assured
word, as I was of hers upon her word, and so proceed in all things
thereafter:' Whereunto his highness answered me that he thanked me for
that kind of dealing, and he would truly utter to me what he thought and
meant in all things that I should demand; which upon his word he willed
me to credit, and I should not be abused myself, nor abuse your majesty.
I then said that (your licence granted) I was bold humbly to beseech
your majesty to let me understand your inward disposition in this cause;
and whether you meant a lingering entertaining of the matter, or a
direct proceeding to bring it to a good end, with a determination to
consummate the marriage if conveniently you might; whereupon your
majesty not only used such speeches to me as did satisfy me of your
plain and good meaning to proceed in this matter without delay, if by
convenient means you might, but also gave me in commission to affirm,
upon your word, to the emperor, that ye had resolved to marry. Ye were
free to marry where God should put it in your heart to like; and you had
given no grateful ear to any motion of marriage but to this, although
you had received sundry great offers from others; and therefore your
majesty by your letters, and I by your commandment, had desired of his
majesty some determinate resolution whereby the matter might one ways or
another grow to an end with both your honors; the like whereof I had
also said to his highness before, and did now repeat it. And for that
his highness had given me the like licence. I would be as bold with him
as I had been with your majesty; and therefore beseeched him to let me,
upon his honor, understand whether he earnestly desired, for love of
your person, the good success and end of this cause, and had determined
in his heart upon this marriage; or else, to satisfy others that
procured him thereto, was content to entertain the matter, and cared not
what became thereof; that I also might deal thereafter; for in the one I
would serve your majesty and him truly, and in the other, I was no
person of quality to be a convenient minister.

"His highness answered, 'Count, I have heard by the emperor of the order
of your dealing with him, and I have had dealings with you myself,
wherewith he and I rest very well contented; but truly I never rested
more contented of any thing than I do of this dealing, wherein, besides
your duty to her that hath trusted you, you show what you be yourself,
for the which I honor you as you be worthy;' (pardon me, I beseech your
majesty, in writing the words he spake of myself, for they serve to
utter his natural disposition and inclination.) 'and although I have
always had a good hope of the queen's honorable dealing in this matter,
yet I have heard so much of her not meaning to marry, as might give me
cause to suspect the worst; but understanding by the emperor of your
manner of dealing with him, perceiving that I do presently by your
words, I think myself bound' (wherewith he put off his cap) 'to honor,
love, and serve her majesty while I live, and will firmly credit that
you on her majesty's behalf have said: and therefore, so I might hope
her majesty would bear with me for my conscience, I know not that thing
in the world that I would refuse to do at her commandment: And surely I
have from the beginning of this matter settled my heart upon her, and
never thought of other wife, if she would think me worthy to be her
husband; and therefore be bold to inform her majesty truly herein, for I
will not fail of my part in any thing, as I trust sufficiently appeareth
to you by that I have heretofore said.'

"I thanked his highness of his frank dealing, wherein I would believe
him and deal thereafter, 'And now I am satisfied in this, I beseech your
highness satisfy me also in another matter, and bear with me though I be
somewhat busy, for I mean it for the best. I have many times heard of
men of good judgement and friends to this cause, that as the emperor's
majesty, being in disposition of the Augustan confession, hath been
forced in these great wars of the Turk to temporise in respect of
Christendom; so your highness, being of his mind inwardly, hath also
upon good policy forborne to discover yourself until you might see some
end of your own causes; and expecting, by marriage or other means, a
settling of yourself in further advancement of state than your own
patrimony, you temporise until you see on which side your lot will fall;
and if you find you shall settle in this marriage, ye will, when ye are
sure thereof, discover what ye be. If this be true, trust me, sir, I
beseech you, and I will not betray you, and let me know the secret of
your heart, whereby you may grow to a shorter end of your desire; and as
I will upon my oath assure you, I will never utter your counsel to any
person living but to the queen my mistress, so do I deliver unto you her
promise upon her honor not to utter it to any person without your
consent; and if you will not trust me herein, commit it to her majesty's
trust by your own letters or messenger of trust, and she will not
deceive you.'

"'Surely,' said his highness, 'whoever hath said this of me to the
queen's majesty, or to you, or to any other, hath said more than he
knoweth, God grant he meant well therein. My ancestors have always
holden this religion that I hold, and I never knew other, and therefore
I never could have mind hitherto to change; and I trust, when her
majesty shall consider my case well, my determination herein shall not
hurt me towards her in this cause. For, count,' said he, 'how could you
with reason give me counsel to be the first of my race that so suddenly
should change the religion that all my ancestors have so long holden
when I know no other; or how can the queen like of me in any other
thing, that should be so light in changing of my conscience? Where on
the other side, in knowing my duty constantly to God for conscience, I
have great hope that her majesty, with good reason, will conceive that I
will be the more faithful and constant to her in all that honor and
conscience bindeth. And therefore I will myself crave of her majesty, by
my letters, her granting of this my only request; and I pray you with
all my heart to further it in all you may; and shrink not to assure her
majesty, that if she satisfy me in this, I will never slack to serve and
satisfy her, while I live, in all the rest.'

"In such like talk, to this effect, his highness spent almost two hours
with me, which I thought my duty to advertise your majesty; and hereupon
I gather that reputation ruleth him much for the present in this case of
religion, and that if God couple you together in liking, you shall have
of him a true husband, a loving companion, a wise counsellor and a
faithful servant; and we shall have as virtuous a prince as ever ruled:
God grant (though you be worthy a great deal better than he, if he were
to be found) that our wickedness be not such as we be unworthy of him,
or of such as he is.[66]" &c.

[Note 66: Lodge's "Illustrations," vol. i.]

It may be matter as much of surprise as regret to the reader of these
letters, that a negotiation should have failed of success, which the
manly plainness of the envoy on one hand and the honourable unreserve of
the prince on the other had so quickly freed from the customary
intricacies of diplomatic transactions. Religion furnished, to
appearance, the only objection which could be urged against the union;
and on this head the archduke would have been satisfied with terms the
least favorable to himself that could be devised. He only stipulated for
the performance of Catholic worship in a private room of the palace, at
which none but himself and such servants of his own persuasion as he
should bring with him should have permission to attend. He consented
regularly to accompany the queen to the services of the church of
England, and for a time to intermit the exercise of his own religion
should any disputes arise; and he engaged that neither he nor his
attendants should in any manner contravene, or give countenance to such
as contravened, the established religion of the country. In short, he
asked no greater indulgence on this head than what was granted without
scruple to the ambassadors of Catholic powers. But even this, it was
affirmed, was more than the queen could with safety concede; and on this
ground the treaty was finally closed.

There is great room, however, to suspect that the real and the
ostensible reasons of the failure of this marriage were by no means the
same. It could scarcely have been expected or hoped that a prince of the
house of Austria would consent to desert the religion of his ancestors,
which he must have regarded himself as pledged by the honor of his birth
to maintain; and without deserting it he could not go beyond the terms
which Charles actually offered. This religion, as a system of faith and
worship, was by no means regarded by Elizabeth with such abhorrence as
would render it irksome to her to grant it toleration in a husband,
though on political grounds she forbade under heavy penalties its
exercise to her subjects. It is true that to the puritans the smallest
degree of indulgence to its idolatrous rites appeared a heinous sin, and
from them the Austrian match would have had to encounter all the
opposition that could prudently be made by a sect itself obnoxious to
the rod of persecution. The duke of Norfolk is said to have given great
offence to this party, with which he was usually disposed to act, by the
cordial approbation which he was induced, probably by his friendship for
the earl of Sussex, to bestow on this measure. Leicester is believed to
have thwarted the negotiations by means of one of his creatures, for
whom he had procured the second rank in the embassy of the earl of
Sussex; he also labored in person to fill the mind of the queen with
fears and scruples respecting it. But it is probable that, after all,
the chief difficulty lay in Elizabeth's settled aversion to the married
state; and notwithstanding all her professions to her ambassador, the
known dissimulation of her character permits us to believe, not only
that small obstacles were found sufficient to divert her from
accomplishing the union which she pretended to have at heart; but that
from the very beginning she was insincere, and that not even the total
sacrifice of his religion would have exempted her suitor from final

The decease of sir Richard Sackville in 1566 called his son, the
accomplished poet, to the inheritance of a noble fortune, and opened to
him the career of public life. At the time of his father's death he was
pursuing his travels through France and Italy, and had been subjected to
a short imprisonment in Rome, "which trouble," says his eulogist, "was
brought upon him by some who hated him for his love to religion and his
duty to his sovereign."

Immediately on his return to his native country the duke of Norfolk, by
the queen's command, conferred upon him the honor of knighthood, and on
the same day he was advanced by her to the degree of a baron by the
style of lord Buckhurst. The new peer immediately shone forth one of the
brightest ornaments of the court: but carried away by the ardor of his
imagination, he plunged so deeply into the expensive pleasures of the
age as seriously to injure his fortune, and in part his credit: timely
reflection however, added, it is said, to the counsels of his royal
kinswoman, cured him of the foible of profusion, and he lived not only
to retrieve, but to augment his patrimony to a vast amount.

Amid the factions of the court, lord Buckhurst, almost alone, preserved
a dignified neutrality, resting his claims to consideration and
influence not on the arts of intrigue, but on his talents, his merit,
his extensive possessions, and his interest in his royal kinswoman.
Leicester was jealous of his approach, as of that of every man of honor
who affected an independence on his support; but it was not till many
years afterwards, and on an occasion in which his own reputation and
safety were at stake, that the wily favorite ventured a direct attack
upon the credit of lord Buckhurst. At present they preserved towards
each other those exteriors of consideration and respect which in the
world, and especially at courts, are found so perfectly compatible with
fear, hatred, or contempt.

It was about this time, that in one of her majesty's summer progresses
an incident occurred which the painter or the poet might seize and

Passing through Northamptonshire, she stopped to visit her royal castle
of Fotheringay, then, or soon after, committed by her to the keeping of
sir William Fitzwilliam several times lord-deputy of Ireland. The castle
was at this time entire and magnificent, and must have been viewed by
Elizabeth with sentiments of family pride. It was erected by her remote
progenitor Edmund of Langley, son of king Edward III. and founder of the
house of York. By his directions the keep was built in the likeness of a
fetter-lock, the well known cognisance of that line, and in the windows
the same symbol with its attendant falcon was repeatedly and
conspicuously emblazoned. From Edmund of Langley it descended to his son
Edward duke of York, slain in the field of Agincourt, and next to the
son of his unfortunate brother the decapitated earl of Cambridge; to
that Richard who fell at Wakefield in the attempt to assert his title to
the crown, which the victorious arms of his son Edward IV. afterwards
vindicated to himself and his posterity.

In a collegiate church adjoining were deposited the remains of Edward
and Richard dukes of York, and of Cecily wife to the latter, who
survived to behold so many bloody deeds of which her children were the
perpetrators or the victims. Elizabeth, attended by all the pomp of
royalty, proceeded to visit the spot of her ancestors' interment: but
what was her indignation and surprise on discovering, that the splendid
tombs which had once risen to their memory, had been involved in the
same destruction with the college itself, of which the rapacious
Northumberland had obtained a grant from Edward VI., and that scarcely
a stone remained to protect the dust of these descendants and
progenitors of kings! She instantly gave orders for the erection of
suitable monuments to their honor: but her commands were ill obeyed, and
a few miserable plaster figures were all that the illustrious dead
obtained at last from her pride or her piety. These monuments however,
such as they are, remain to posterity, whilst of the magnificent castle,
the only adequate commemoration of the power and greatness of its
possessors, one stone is not left upon another:--it was levelled with
the ground by order of James I., that not a vestige might remain of the
last prison of his unhappy mother, the fatal scene of her trial,
condemnation, and ignominious death.

The close of the year 1567 had left the queen of Scots a prisoner in
Lochleven-castle, her infant son declared king, and the regent
Murray,--a man of vigor, prudence, and in the main of virtue,--holding
the reins with a firm hand. For the peace and welfare of Scotland, for
the security of reformed religion, and for the ends of that moral
retribution from which the crimes and vices of the rulers of mankind
ought least of all to be exempt, nothing could be more desirable than
that such a state of things should become permanent, by the acquiescence
of the potentates of Europe, and of that powerful aristocracy which in
Scotland was unhappily superior to the whole force of the laws and the
constitution. But for its destruction many interests, many passions and
prejudices conspired. It was rather against Bothwell than against the
queen that many of the nobles had taken arms; and more favorable terms
would at first have been granted her, could she have been brought to
consent as a preliminary to divorce and banish him for ever from her
presence. The flight of Bothwell and the prolongation of her own
captivity had subdued her obstinacy on this point: it was understood
that she was now willing that her marriage should be dissolved, and this
concession alone sufficed to bring her many partisans. Sentiments of
pity began to arise in favor of an unfortunate queen and beauty, and to
cause her crimes to be extenuated or forgotten. All the catholics in
Scotland were her earnest friends, and the foreign princes of the same
persuasion were unceasingly stimulating them to act openly in her
behalf. With these Elizabeth, either by her zeal for the common cause of
sovereigns, or by some treacherous designs of her own, was brought into
most preposterous conjunction, and she had actually proposed to the
court of France that they should by joint consent cut off all
communication with Scotland till the queen should be reinstated. The
haughty and unconciliating temper of Murray had embittered the animosity
entertained against him by several nobles of the blood-royal, each of
whom regarded himself as the person best entitled to the office of
regent; and an insurrection against his authority was already in
contemplation, when Mary, having by her promises and blandishments
bribed an unthinking youth to effect her liberation, suddenly reappeared
in readiness to put herself at the head of such of her countrymen as
still owned her allegiance.

Several leading nobles flocked hastily to her standard; a bond was
entered into for her defence, and in a few days she saw herself at the
head of six thousand men. Elizabeth made her an immediate offer of
troops and succour, stipulating however, from a prudent jealousy of the
French, that no foreign forces should be admitted into Scotland; and
further, that all disputes between Mary and her subjects should be
submitted to her arbitration.

Fortunately for Scotland, though disastrously for the future days of
Mary and the fame of Elizabeth, this formidable rising in favor of the
deposed sovereign was crushed at a single blow. Murray, with inferior
forces, marched courageously against the queen, gained a complete and
easy victory, and compelled her to a hasty flight.

Accompanied only by a few attendants, the defeated princess reached the
English border. What should she do? Behind her was the hostile army,
acting in the name of her son to whom she had signed an abdication of
the throne, in virtue of which her late attempt to reinstate herself
might lawfully be visited with the rigors of perpetual imprisonment, or
even with death itself.

Before her lay the dominions of a princess whose titles she had once
usurped, and whose government she had never ceased to molest by her
intrigues,--of one who had hated her as a competitor in power and in
beauty,--as an enemy in religion, and most of all as the heiress of her
crown. But this very princess had interfered, generously interfered, to
save her life; she had shown herself touched by her situation; she had
offered her, under certain conditions, succours and protection. Perhaps
she would no longer remember in the suppliant who embraced her knees,
the haughty rival who had laid claim to her crown;--perhaps she would
show herself a real friend. The English people too,--could they behold
unmoved "a queen, a beauty," hurled from her throne, chased from her
country by the rude hands of her rebellious subjects, and driven to
implore their aid? No surely,--ten thousand swords would spring from
their scabbards to avenge her injuries;--so she hoped, so she reasoned;
for merited misfortune had not yet impaired her courage or abated her
confidence, nor had the sense of guilt impressed upon her mind one
lesson of humility. Her situation, also, admitted of no other
alternative than to confide herself to Elizabeth or surrender to
Murray,--a step not to be thought of. Time pressed; fear urged; and
resolved to throw herself at the feet of her kinswoman, she crossed,
never to return, the Rubicon of her destiny. A common fishing-boat, the
only vessel that could be procured, landed her on May 16th 1568, with
about twenty attendants, at Workington in Cumberland, whence she was
conducted with every mark of respect to Carlisle-castle; and from this
asylum she instantly addressed to Elizabeth a long letter, relating her
fresh reverse of fortune, complaining of the injuries which she had
received at the hands of her subjects, and earnestly imploring her favor
and protection.

With what feelings this important letter was received it would be
deeply interesting to inquire, were there any possibility of arriving at
the knowledge of a thing so secret. If indeed the professions of
friendship and offers of effectual aid lavished by Elizabeth upon Mary
during the period of her captivity, were nothing else than a series of
stratagems by which she sought to draw an unwary victim within her
toils, and to wreak on her the vengeance of an envious temper and
unpitying heart, we might now imagine her exulting in the success of her
wiles, and smiling over the atrocious perfidy which she was about to
commit. If, on the other hand, we judge these demonstrations to have
been at the time sincere, and believe that Elizabeth, though profoundly
sensible of Mary's misconduct, was yet anxious to save her from the
severe retribution which her exasperated subjects had taken upon them to
exact, we must imagine her whole soul agitated at this crisis by a crowd
of conflicting thoughts and adverse passions.

In the first moments, sympathy for an unhappy queen, and the intuitive
sense of generosity and honor, would urge her to fulfil every promise,
to satisfy or surpass every hope which her conduct had excited. But soon
the mingled suggestions of female honor, of policy, of caution, uniting
with the sentiment of habitual enmity, would arise, first to moderate,
then to extinguish, her ardor in the cause of her supplicant. Further
reflection, enforced perhaps by the reasonings of her most trusted
counsellors, would serve to display in tempting colors the advantages to
be taken of the now defenceless condition of a competitor once
formidable and always odious; and gradually, but not easily, not without
reluctance and shame and secret pangs of compunction, she would suffer
the temptation,--one, it must be confessed, of no common force and aided
by pleas of public utility not a little plausible,--to become victorious
over her first thoughts, her better feelings, her more virtuous
resolves. For the honor of human nature, it may be believed that the
latter state of feeling must have been that experienced by a princess
whose life had been as yet unsullied by any considerable violations of
faith, justice, or humanity: but it must not escape remark, that the
first steps taken by her in this business were strong, decided in their
character, and almost irretrievable.

Lady Scrope, sister of the duke of Norfolk, was indeed sent to attend
the illustrious stranger at Carlisle, and lord Scrope warden of the west
marches and sir Francis Knolles the vice-chamberlain were soon after
dispatched thither with letters for her of kind condolence: but when
Mary applied to these persons for permission to visit their queen, they
replied, that, until she should have cleared herself of the shocking
imputation of her husband's murder, public decorum and her own
reputation must preclude a princess so nearly related to the late king
of Scots from receiving her into her presence. That it was however with
regret that their mistress admitted this delay; and as soon as the queen
of Scots should have vindicated herself on this point, they were
empowered to promise her a reception suited at once to a sovereign and a
kinswoman in distress.

Had not Elizabeth previously committed herself in some degree by
interference in behalf of Mary, and by promises to her of support, no
one could reasonably have blamed the caution or the coldness of this
reply to a request, which, under all the circumstances, might justly be
taxed with effrontery. But in the judgement of Mary and her friends, and
perhaps even of more impartial judges, the part already taken by
Elizabeth had deprived her of the right of recurring to former events as
a plea for the exclusion of the queen of Scots from her presence and

Tears of grief and anger burst from the eyes of Mary on this unexpected
check, which struck her heart with the most melancholy forebodings; but
aware of the necessity of disguising fears which would pass for an
evidence of guilt, she hastily replied, that she was willing to submit
her whole conduct to the judgement of the queen her sister, and did not
doubt of being able to produce such proofs of her innocence as would
satisfy her and confound her enemies.

This was enough for Elizabeth: she was now constituted umpire between
the queen of Scots and her subjects, and the future fate of both might
be said to lie in her hands; in the mean time she had gained a pretext
for treating as a culprit the party who had appealed to her tribunal. We
learn that lord Scrope and sir Francis Knolles had from the first
received secret instructions not only to watch the motions of Mary, but
to prevent her departure; her person had also been surrounded with
sentinels under the semblance of a guard of honor. But hitherto these
measures of precaution had probably remained concealed from their
object; they were now gradually replaced by others of a more open and
decided character, and it was not much longer permitted to the hapless
fugitive to doubt the dismal truth, that she was once more a prisoner.

Alarmed at her situation, and secretly conscious how ill her conduct
would stand the test of judicial inquiry, Mary no sooner learned that
Elizabeth had actually named commissioners to hear the pleadings on both
sides, and written to summon the regent to produce before them whatever
he could bring in justification of his conduct towards his sovereign,
than she hastened to retract her former unwary concession.

In a letter full of impotent indignation, assumed majesty and real
dismay, she now sought to explain away or evade her late appeal. She
repeated her demand of admission to the presence of Elizabeth, refused
to compromise her royal dignity by submitting to a trial in which her
own subjects were to appear as parties against her, and ended by
requiring that the queen would either furnish her with that assistance
which it behoved her more than any one to grant, or would suffer her to
seek the aid of other princes whose delicacy on this head would be less,
or their resentment of her wrongs greater. This last proposal might have
suggested to Elizabeth the safest, easiest, and most honorable mode of
extricating herself from the dilemma in which, by further intermeddling
in the concerns of Scotland, she was likely to become involved. Happy
would it have been for her credit and her peace of mind, had she
suffered her perplexing guest to depart and seek for partisans and
avengers elsewhere! But her pride of superiority and love of sway were
flattered by the idea of arbitrating in so great a cause; her secret
malignity enjoyed the humiliation of her enemy; and her characteristic
caution represented to her in formidable colors the danger of restoring
to liberty one whom she had already offended beyond forgiveness. She
laid Mary's letter before her privy-council; and these confidential
advisers, after wisely and uprightly deciding that it would be
inconsistent with the honor and safety of the queen and her government
to undertake the restoration of the queen of Scots, were induced to add,
that it would also be unsafe to permit her departure out of the kingdom,
and that the inquiry into her conduct ought to be pursued.

In spite of her remonstrances, Mary was immediately removed to
Bolton-castle in Yorkshire, a seat of lord Scrope's; her communications
with her own country were cut off; her confinement was rendered more
strict; and by secret promises from Elizabeth of finally causing her to
be restored to her throne under certain limitations, she was led to
renew her consent to the trial of her cause in England, and to engage
herself to name commissioners to confer with those of the regent and of
Elizabeth at York.

It would be foreign from the purpose of the present work to engage in a
regular narrative of the celebrated proceedings begun soon after at the
city last mentioned, and ended at Westminster: some remarkable
circumstances illustrative of the character of the English princess, or
connected with the fate of her principal noble, will however be related
hereafter, as well as their final result;--at present other subjects
claim attention.

An embassy arrived in London in 1567, from Ivan Basilowitz czar of
Muscovy, the second which had been addressed to an English sovereign
from that country, plunged as yet in barbarous ignorance, and far from
anticipating the day when it should assume a distinguished station in
the system of civilized Europe.

It was by a bold and extraordinary enterprise that the barrier of the
Frozen Sea had been burst, and a channel of communication opened between
this country and Russia by means of which an intercourse highly
beneficial to both nations was now begun: the leading circumstances were
the following.

During the reign of Henry VII., just after the unparalleled achievement
of Columbus had rendered voyages of discovery the ruling passion of
Europe, a Venetian pilot, named Cabot, who had resided long in Bristol,
obtained from this monarch for himself and his sons a patent for making
discoveries and conquests in unknown regions. By this navigator and his
son Sebastian, Newfoundland was soon after discovered; and by Sebastian
after his father's death a long series of maritime enterprises were
subsequently undertaken with various success. For many years he was in
the service of Spain; but returning to England at the close of Henry the
eighth's reign, he was received with merited favor at court. Young king
Edward listened with eagerness to the relations of the aged navigator;
and touched by the unquenchable ardor of discovery which still burned in
the bosom of this contemporary and rival of Columbus, granted with
alacrity his royal license for the fitting out of three ships to explore
a north passage to the East Indies. The instructions for this voyage
were drawn up in a masterly manner by Cabot himself, and the command of
the expedition was given to sir Hugh Willoughby, and under him to
Richard Chancellor, a gentleman who had long been attached to the
service of the excellent sir Henry Sidney, by whom he was recommended to
this appointment in the warmest terms of affection and esteem.

The ships were separated by a tempest off the Norwegian coast; and
Willoughby, having encountered much foul weather and judging the season
too far advanced to proceed on so hazardous a voyage, laid up his vessel
in a bay on the shore of Lapland, with the purpose of awaiting the
return of spring. But such was the rigor of the season on this bleak and
inhospitable coast, that the admiral and his whole crew were frozen to
death in their cabin. Chancellor in the mean time, by dint of superior
sailing, was enabled to surmount the perils of the way. He doubled the
North Cape, a limit never passed by English keel before, and still
proceeding eastward, found entrance into an unknown gulf, which proved
to be the White Sea, and dropped anchor at length in the port of

The rude natives were surprised and terrified by the appearance of a
strange vessel much superior in size to any which they had before
beheld; but after a time, venturing on an intercourse with the
navigators, they acquainted them, that they were subjects of the czar of
Muscovy, and that they had sent to apprize him of so extraordinary an
arrival. On the return of the messenger, Chancellor received an
invitation to visit the court of Moscow. The czar, barbarian as he was
in manners and habits, possessed however strong sense and an inquiring
mind; he had formed great projects for the improvement of his empire,
and he was immediately and fully aware of the advantages to be derived
from a direct communication by sea with a people capable of supplying
his country with most of the commodities which it now received from the
southern nations of Europe by a tedious and expensive land-carriage. He
accordingly welcomed the Englishmen with distinguished honors; returned
a favorable answer to the letter from king Edward of which they were the
bearers, and expressed his willingness to enter into commercial
relations with their country, and to receive an ambassador from their
sovereign. Edward did not live to learn the prosperous success of this
part of the expedition, but fortunately his successor extended equal
encouragement to the enterprise. A Russia company was formed, of which
the veteran Sebastian Cabot was made governor, and Chancellor was
dispatched on a second voyage, charged with further instructions for the
settlement of a commercial treaty. His voyage was again safe and
prosperous, and he was accompanied on his return by a Russian
ambassador; but off the coast of Scotland the ship was unhappily
wrecked, and Chancellor with several other persons was drowned; the
ambassador himself reaching the land with much difficulty. The vessel
was plundered of her whole cargo by the neighbouring peasantry; but the
ambassador and his train were hospitably entertained by the queen-regent
of Scotland, and forwarded on their way to London, where their grotesque
figures and the barbaric pomp of their dress and equipage astonished the
court and city.

The present embassy, which reached its destination without accident, was
one of greater importance, and appeared with superior dignity. It
conveyed to the queen, besides all verbal assurances of the friendship
of the czar, a magnificent present of the richest furs, and other
articles of great rarity; and the ambassadors had it in charge to
conclude a treaty of amity and commerce, of which the terms proved
highly advantageous for England. They were accompanied by an Englishman
named Jenkinson, who had been sent out several years before, by the
Russia company, to explore the southern and eastern limits of that vast
empire, and to endeavour to open an overland trade with Persia. By the
assistance of the czar he had succeeded in this object, and was the
first Englishman who ever sailed upon the Caspian, or travelled over the
wild region which lies beyond. In return for all favors, he had now
undertaken on behalf of the czar to propose to his own sovereign certain
secret articles in which this prince was more deeply interested than in
any commercial matters, and which he deemed it unsafe to commit to the
fidelity or discretion of his own ambassadors.

Ivan, partly by a marked preference shown to foreigners, which his own
barbarians could not forgive, partly by his many acts of violence and
cruelty, had highly incensed his subjects against him. In the preceding
year, a violent insurrection had nearly hurled him from the throne; and
still apprehensive of some impending disaster, he now proposed to the
queen of England a league offensive and defensive, of which he was
anxious to make it an article, that she should bind herself by oath to
grant a kind and honorable reception in her dominions to himself, his
wife and children, should any untoward event compel them to quit their
country. But that never-failing caution which, in all the complication
and diversity of her connexions with foreign powers, withheld Elizabeth
from ever, in a single instance, committing herself beyond the power of
retreat, caused her to waive compliance with the extraordinary proposal
of Ivan. She entertained his ambassadors however with the utmost
cordiality, gratified his wishes in every point where prudence would
permit, and finally succeeded, by the adroitness of her management, in
securing for her country, without sacrifice or hazard on her own part,
every real benefit which an intercourse with such a people and such a
sovereign appeared capable of affording. To have come off with advantage
in a trial of diplomatic skill with a barbarous czar of Muscovy, was
however an exploit of which a civilized politician would be ashamed to
boast,--on him no glory could be won,--and we may imagine Elizabeth
turning from him with a kind of disdain to an antagonist more worthy of
her talents.

The king and court of France were at this time subjected to the guidance
of the execrable Catherine dei Medici. To this woman the religious
differences which then agitated Europe were in themselves perfectly
indifferent, and on more than one occasion she had allowed it to be
perceived that they were so: but a close and dispassionate study of the
state of parties in her son's kingdom, had at length convinced her that
it was necessary to the establishment of his authority and her own
consequence, that the Hugonot faction should be crushed, and she stood
secretly prepared and resolved to procure the accomplishment of this
object by measures of perfidy and atrocity from which bigotry itself, in
a mind not totally depraved, must have revolted.

By the secret league of Bayonne, the courts of France and Spain had
pledged themselves to pursue in concert the great work of the
extirpation of heresy; and while Catherine was laying hidden trains for
the destruction of the Hugonots, Philip II., by measures of open force
and relentless cruelty, was striving to annihilate the protestants of
the Low Countries, and to impose upon those devoted provinces the
detested yoke of the inquisition.

Elizabeth was aware of all that was going on; and she well knew that
when once these worthy associates had succeeded in crushing the
reformation in their own dominions, Scotland and England would become
the immediate theatre of their operations. Already were the catholics of
the two countries privately encouraged to rely on them for support, and
incited to aid the common cause by giving all the disturbance in their
power to their respective governments.

Considerations of policy therefore, no less than of religion, moved her
to afford such succours, first to the French protestants and afterwards
to the Flemings, as might enable them to prolong at least the contest;
but her caution and her frugality conspired to restrain her from
involving herself in actual warfare for the defence of either. At the
very time therefore that she was secretly supplying the Hugonots with
money and giving them assurances of her support, she was more than ever
attentive to preserve all the exteriors of friendship with the court of

It suited the views of the queen-mother to receive with complacency and
encouragement the dissembling professions of Elizabeth; by which she was
not herself deceived, but which served to deceive and to alarm her
enemies the protestants, and in some measure to mask her designs against
them. We have seen what high civilities had passed between the courts on
occasion of the admission of the French king into the order of the
garter,--but this is little to what followed.

In 1568, after the remonstrances and intercession of Elizabeth, the
succours lent by the German protestants, and the strenuous resistance
made by the Hugonots themselves, had procured for this persecuted sect a
short and treacherous peace, Catherine, in proof and confirmation of her
entire friendship with the queen of England, began to drop hints to her
ambassador of a marriage between his mistress and her third son the
duke of Anjou, then only seventeen years of age. Elizabeth was assuredly
not so much of a dupe as to believe the queen-mother sincere in this
strange proposal; yet it was entertained by her with the utmost apparent
seriousness. She even thought proper to give it a certain degree of
cautious encouragement, which Catherine was doubtless well able rightly
to interpret; and with this extraordinary kind of mutual understanding,
these two ingenious females continued for months, nay years, to amuse
themselves and one another with the representation of carrying on of
negotiations for a treaty of marriage. Elizabeth, with the most candid
and natural air in the world, remarked that difference of religion would
present the most serious obstacle to so desirable an union: Catherine,
with equal plausibility, hoped that on this point terms of agreement
might be found satisfactory to both parties; and warming as they
proceeded, one began to imagine the conditions to which a catholic
prince could with honor accede, and the other to invent the objections
which ought to be made to them by a protestant princess.

The philosophical inquirer, who has learned from the study of history
how much more the high destinies of nations are governed by the
permanent circumstances of geographical position and relative force, and
the great moral causes which act upon whole ages and peoples, than by
negotiations, intrigues, schemes of politicians and tricks of state,
will be apt to regard as equally futile and base the petty manoeuvres
of dissimulation and artifice employed by each queen to incline in her
own favor the political balance. But in justice to the memories of
Catherine and Elizabeth,--women whom neither their own nor any
after-times have taxed with folly,--it ought at least to be observed,
that in mistaking the excess of falsehood for the perfection of address,
the triumphs of cunning for the masterpieces of public wisdom, they did
but partake the error of the ablest male politicians of that age of
statesmen. The same narrow views of the interest of princes and of
states governed them all: they seem to have believed that the right and
the expedient were constantly opposed to each other; in the intercourses
of public men they thought that nothing was more carefully to be shunned
than plain speaking and direct dealings, and in these functionaries they
regarded the use of every kind of "indirection" as allowable, because
absolutely essential to the great end of serving their country.

Amongst the wiser and better part of Elizabeth's council however, such a
profound abhorrence of the measures of the French court at this time
prevailed, and such an honest eagerness to join heart and hand with the
oppressed Hugonots for the redress of their intolerable grievances, that
it required all her vigilance and address to keep them within the limits
of that temporizing moderation which she herself was bent on preserving.

In the correspondence of Cecil with sir Henry Norris, then ambassador in
France, the bitterness of his feelings is perpetually breaking out, and
he cannot refrain from relating with extreme complacency such words of
displeasure as her majesty was at any time moved to let fall against
her high allies. In November 1567, when civil war had again broken out
in France, he acquaints the ambassador that the queen dislikes to give
assistance to Condé and his party against their sovereign, but
recommends it to him to do it occasionally notwithstanding, as the
council are their friends.

In September 1568 he writes thus: "The French ambassador has sent his
nephew to require audience, and that it might be ordered to have her
majesty's council present at the bishop's missado. Her majesty's answer
was, that they forgot themselves, in coming from a king that was but
young, to think her not able to conceive an answer without her council:
and although she could use the advice of her council, as was meet, yet
she saw no cause why they should thus deal with her, being of full
years, and governing her realm in better sort than France was. So the
audience, being demanded on Saturday, was put off till Tuesday,
wherewith I think they are not contented." Again: "Monsieur de
Montausier... was brought to the queen's presence to report the victory
which God had given the French king by a battle, as he termed it,
wherein was slain the prince of Condé; whereunto, as I could conceive,
her majesty answered, that of any good fortune happening to the king she
was glad; but that she thought it also to be condoled with the king,
that it should be counted a victory to have a prince of his blood slain;
and so with like speech, not fully to their contentation[67]."

[Note 67: Scrinia Ceciliana.]

With the Spanish court the queen was on the worst possible terms short
of open hostilities. Her ambassador at Madrid had been banished from the
city to a little village in the neighbourhood; the Spanish ambassador at
London had been placed under guard for dispersing libels against her
person and government; and in consequence of her adroit seizure of a sum
of money belonging to some Genoese merchants designed as a loan to the
duke of Alva, to enable him to carry on the war against the protestants
in Flanders, the king of Spain had ordered all commerce to be broken off
between those provinces and England.

In the midst of these menaces of foreign war, cabals were forming
against Elizabeth in her own kingdom and court which threatened her with
nearer dangers. Of all these plots, the Scottish queen was, directly or
indirectly, the cause or the pretext; and in order to place them in a
clear light, it will now be necessary to return to the conferences at


1568 TO 1570.

Proceedings of the commissioners at York in the cause of
Mary.--Intrigues of the duke of Norfolk with the regent Murray.--The
conferences transferred to Westminster.--Mary's guilt disclosed.--Fresh
intrigues of Norfolk.--Conspiracy for procuring his marriage with
Mary.--Conduct of Throgmorton.--Attempt to ruin Cecil baffled by the
queen.--Endeavour of Sussex to reconcile Norfolk and Cecil.--Norfolk
betrayed by Leicester--his plot revealed--committed to the Tower.--Mary
given in charge to the earl of Huntingdon.--Remarks on this
subject.--Notice of Leonard Dacre--of the earls of Westmorland and
Northumberland.--Their rebellion.--Particulars of the Norton
family.--Severities exercised against the rebels.--Conduct of the earl
of Sussex.--Rising under Leonard Dacre.--His after-fortunes and those of
his family.--Expedition of the earl of Sussex into Scotland.--Murder of
regent Murray.--Influence of this event on the affairs of
Elizabeth.--Campaign in Scotland.--Papal bull against the
queen.--Trifling effect produced by it.--Attachment of the people to her

The three commissioners named by Elizabeth to sit as judges in the great
cause between Mary and her subjects, of which she had been named the
umpire, were the duke of Norfolk, the earl of Sussex, and sir Ralph
Sadler, a very able negotiator and man of business. On the part of the
Scottish nation, the regent Murray, fearing to trust the cause in other
hands, appeared in person, attended by several men of talent and
consequence. The situation of Mary herself was not more critical or more
unprecedented, and scarcely more humiliating, than that in which Murray
was placed by her appeal to Elizabeth. Acting on behalf of the infant
king his nephew, he saw himself called upon to submit to the tribunal of
a foreign sovereign such proofs of the atrocious guilt of the queen his
sister; as should justify in the eyes of this sovereign, and in those of
Europe, the degradation of Mary from the exalted station which she was
born to fill, her imprisonment, her violent expulsion from the kingdom,
and her future banishment or captivity for life:--an attempt in which,
though successful, there was both disgrace to himself and detriment to
the honor and independence of his country; and from which, if
unsuccessful, he could contemplate nothing but certain ruin. Struck with
all the evils of this dilemma; with the danger of provoking beyond
forgiveness his own queen, whose restoration he still regarded as no
improbable event, and with the imprudence of relying implicitly on the
dubious protection of Elizabeth, Murray long hesitated to bring forward
the only charge dreaded by the illustrious prisoner,--that of having
conspired with Bothwell the murder of her husband.

In the mean time Maitland, a Scottish commissioner secretly attached to
Mary, found means to open a private communication with the duke of
Norfolk, and to suggest to this nobleman, now a widower for the third
time, the project of obtaining for himself the hand of Mary, and of
replacing her by force on the throne of her ancestors. The vanity of
Norfolk, artfully worked upon by the bishop of Ross, Mary's prime
agent, caused him to listen with complacency to this rash proposal; and
having once consented to entertain it, he naturally became earnest to
prevent Murray from preferring that heinous accusation which he had at
length apprized the English commissioners that he was provided with
ample means of substantiating. After some deliberation on the means of
effecting this object, he accordingly resolved upon the step of
discovering his views to the regent himself, and endeavouring to obtain
his concurrence. Murray, who seems to have felt little confidence in the
stability of the government of which he was the present head, and who
judged perhaps that the return of the queen as the wife of an English
protestant nobleman would afford the best prospect of safety to himself
and his party, readily acceded to the proposal, and consented still to
withhold the "damning proofs" of Mary's guilt which he held in his hand.

But neither the Scottish associates of Murray nor the English cabinet
were disposed to rest satisfied with this feeble and temporizing
conduct. Mary's commissioners too, emboldened by his apparent timidity,
of which the motives were probably not known to them all, began to push
their advantage in a manner which threatened final defeat to his party:
the queen of England artfuly incited him to proceed; and in spite of his
secret engagements with the duke and his own reluctance, he at length
saw himself compelled to let fall the long suspended stroke on the head
of Mary. He applied to the English court for encouragement and
protection in his perilous enterprise; and Elizabeth, being at length
suspicious of the intrigue which had hitherto baffled all her
expectations from the conferences at York, suddenly gave orders for the
removal of the queen of Scots from Bolton-castle and the superintendence
of lord Scrope, the duke's brother-in-law, to the more secure situation
of Tutbury-castle in Staffordshire and the vigilant custody of the earl
of Shrewsbury. At the same time she found pretexts for transferring the
conferences from York to Westminster, and added to the number of her
commissioners sir Nicholas Bacon, lord-keeper, the earls of Arundel and
Leicester, lord Clinton, and Cecil.

Anxious to preserve an air of impartiality, Elizabeth declined giving to
the regent all the assurances for his future security which he required;
but on his arrival in London she extended to him a reception equally
kind and respectful, and by alternate caresses and hints of intimidation
she gradually led him on to the production of the fatal casket
containing the letters of Mary to Bothwell, by which her participation
in the murder of her husband was clearly proved.

After steps on the part of his sovereign from which the duke might have
inferred her knowledge of his secret machinations; after discoveries
respecting the conduct of Mary which impeached her of guilt so heinous,
and covered her with infamy so indelible; prudence and honor alike
required that he should abandon for ever the thought of linking his
destiny with hers. But in the light and unbalanced mind of Norfolk, the
ambition of matching with royalty unfortunately preponderated over all
other considerations: he speedily began to weave anew the tissue of
intrigue which the removal of the conferences had broken off; and
turning once more with fond credulity to Murray, by whom his cause had
been before deserted, he again put confidence in his assurances that the
marriage-project had his hearty approbation, and should receive his
effectual support. Melvil informs us that this fresh compact was brought
about by sir Nicholas Throgmorton, "being a man of a deep reach and
great prudence and discretion, who had ever travelled for the union of
this isle." But notwithstanding his "deep reach," he was certainly
imposed upon in this affair; for the regent, insincere perhaps from the
beginning, had now no other object than to secure his present personal
safety by lavishing promises which he had no intention to fulfil.
Melvil, who attended him on his return to Scotland, thus explains the
secret of his conduct: "At that time the duke commanded over all the
north parts of England, where our mistress was kept, and so might have
taken her out when he pleased. And when he was angry at the regent, he
had appointed the earl of Westmorland to lie in his way, and cut off
himself and so many of his company as were most bent upon the queen's
accusation. But after the last agreement, the duke sent and discharged
the said earl from doing us any harm; yet upon our return the earl came
in our way with a great company of horse, to signify to us that we were
at his mercy."

It is difficult to believe, notwithstanding this positive testimony,
that the duke of Norfolk, a man of mild dispositions and guided in the
main by religion and conscience, would have hazarded, or would not have
scrupled, so atrocious, so inexpiable an act of violence, as that of
cutting off the regent of Scotland returning to his own country under
sanction of the public faith and the express protection of the queen:
but he may have indulged himself in vague menaces, which Westmorland, a
bigoted papist, ripe for rebellion against the government of Elizabeth,
would have felt little reluctance to carry into effect, and thus the
regent's duplicity might in fact be prompted and excused to himself by a
principle of self-defence.

Whatever degree of confidence Norfolk and his advisers might place in
Murray's sincerity, they were well aware that other steps must be taken,
and other confederates engaged, before the grand affair of the marriage
could be put in a train to ensure its final success. There was no
immediate prospect of Mary's regaining her liberty by means of the queen
of England, or with her concurrence; for since the production of the
great charge against her, to which she had instructed her commissioners
to decline making any answer, Elizabeth had regarded her as one who had
suffered judgement to go against her by default, and began to treat her
accordingly. Her confinement was rendered more rigorous, and henceforth
the still pending negotiations respecting her return to her own country
were carried on with a slackness which evidently proceeded from the
dread of Mary, and the reluctance of Elizabeth, to bring to a decided
determination a business which could not now be ended either with credit
or advantage to the deposed queen.

Elizabeth had dismissed the regent to his government without open
approbation of his conduct as without censure; but he had received from
her in private an important supply of money, and such other effectual
aids as not only served to establish the present preponderance of his
authority, but would enable him, it was thought, successfully to
withstand all future attempts for the restoration of Mary. Evidently
then it was only by the raising of a formidable party in the English
court that any thing could be effected in behalf of the royal captive;
but her agents and those of the duke assured themselves that ample means
were in their hands for setting this machine in action.

Elizabeth, it was now thought, would not marry: the queen of Scots was
generally admitted to be her legal heir; and it appeared highly
important to the welfare of England that she should not transfer her
claims, with her hand, to any of the more powerful princes of Europe;
consequently the duke entertained little doubt of uniting in favor of
his suit the suffrages of all those leading characters in the English
court who had formerly conveyed to Mary assurances of their attachment
to her title and interests. His own influence amongst the nobility was
very considerable, and he readily obtained the concurrence of the earl
of Pembroke, the earl of Arundel (his first wife's father), and lord
Lumley (a catholic peer closely connected with the house of Howard). The
design was now imparted to Leicester, who entered into it with an
ostentation of affectionate zeal which ought perhaps to have alarmed the
too credulous duke. As if impatient to give an undeniable pledge of his
sincerity, he undertook to draw up with his own hand a letter to the
queen of Scots, warmly recommending the duke to her matrimonial choice,
which immediately received the signatures of the three nobles above
mentioned and the rest of the confederates. By these subscribers it was
distinctly stipulated, that the union should not take place without the
knowledge and approbation of the queen of England, and that the reformed
religion should be maintained in both the British kingdoms;--conditions
by which they at first perhaps believed that they had provided
sufficiently for the interests of Elizabeth and of protestantism: it was
however immediately obvious that the duke and his agents had the design
of concealing carefully all their measures from their sovereign, till
the party should have gained such strength that it would no longer be
safe for her to refuse a consent which it was well known that she would
always be unwilling to grant.

But when, on encouragement being given by Mary to the hopes of her
suitor, the kings of France and Spain, and even the Pope himself, were
made privy to the scheme and pledged to give it their assistance, all
its English, and especially all its protestant supporters, ought to have
been aware that their undertaking was assuming the form of a conspiracy
with the enemies of their queen and country against her government and
personal safety; against the public peace, and the religion by law
established; and nothing can excuse the blindness, or palliate the
guilt, of their perseverance in a course so perilous and so crooked.

Private interests were doubtless at the bottom with most or all of the
participators in this affair who were not papists; and those,--they were
not a few,--who envied or who feared the influence and authority of
Cecil, eagerly seized the occasion to array against him a body of
hostility by which they trusted to work his final and irretrievable

It seems to have been by an ambitious rivalry with the secretary, that
sir Nicholas Throgmorton, whose early life had exhibited so bold a
spirit of resistance to tyranny and popery when triumphant and
enthroned, had been carried into a faction which all his principles
ought to have rendered odious to him. In his intercourses with the queen
of Scots as ambassador from Elizabeth, he had already shown himself her
zealous partisan. In advising her to sign for her safety the deed of
abdication tendered to her at Loch-Leven, he had basely suggested that
the compulsion under which she acted would excuse her from regarding it
as binding: to the English crown he also regarded her future title as
incontrovertible. He now represented to his party, that Cecil was
secretly inclined to the house of Suffolk; and that no measure favorable
to the reputation or authority of the queen of Scots could be carried
whilst he enjoyed the confidence of his mistress. By these suggestions,
the duke, unfortunately for himself, was led to sanction an attempt
against the power and reputation of this great minister.

Leicester, who had long hated his virtues; the old corrupt statesmen
Winchester, Pembroke, and Arundel; and the discontented catholic peers
Northumberland and Westmorland, eagerly joined in the plot. It was
agreed to attack the secretary in the privy-council, on the ground of
his having advised the detention of the money going into the Low
Countries for the service of the king of Spain, and thus exposing the
nation to the danger of a war with this potentate; and Throgmorton is
said to have advised that, whatever he answered, they should find some
pretext for sending him to the Tower; after which, he said, it would be
easy to compass his overthrow.

But the penetration of Elizabeth enabled her to appretiate justly, with
a single exception, the principles, characters, and motives of all her
servants; and she knew that, while his enemies were exclusively attached
to their own interests, Cecil was attached also to the interests of his
prince, his country, and his religion; that while others,--with that
far-sighted selfishness which involves men in so many intrigues, usually
rendered fruitless or needless by the after-course of events,--were bent
on securing to themselves the good graces of her successor, he was
content to depend on her alone; that while others were the courtiers,
the flatterers, or the ministers, of the queen, he, and perhaps he only,
was the friend of Elizabeth. All the rest she knew that she could
replace at a moment;--him never. Secret information was carried to her
of all that her council were contriving, and had almost executed,
against the secretary: full of indignation she hurried to their meeting,
where she was not expected, and by her peremptory mandate put an instant
stop to their proceedings; making Leicester himself sensible, by a
warmth which did her honor, that the man who held the first place in her
esteem was by no one to be injured with impunity.

The earl of Sussex, the true friend of Norfolk, and never his abettor in
designs of which his sober judgement could discern all the criminality
and all the rashness, was grieved to the soul that the artifices of his
followers should have set him at variance with Cecil. He was doubtless
aware of the advantage which their disagreement would minister against
them both to the malignant Leicester, his and their common enemy; and
trembling for the safety of the duke and the welfare of both, he
addressed to the secretary, from the north, where he was then occupied
in the queen's service, a letter on the subject, eloquent by its
uncommon earnestness.

He tells him that he knows not the occasion of the coldness between him
and the duke, of which he had acknowledged the existence; but that he
cannot believe other, esteeming both parties as he does, than that it
must have had its origin in misrepresentation and the ill offices of
their enemies; and he implores him, as the general remedy of all such
differences, to resort to a full and fair explanation with the duke
himself, in whom he will find "honor, truth, wisdom and plainness."

These excellent exhortations were not without effect: it is probable
that the incautious duke had either been led inadvertently or dragged
unwillingly, by his faction, into the plot against the secretary, whose
ruin he was not likely to have sought from any personal motive of
enmity; and accordingly a few weeks after (June 1569) we find Sussex
congratulating Cecil, in a second letter, on a reconciliation between
them which he trusts will prove entire and permanent[68].

[Note 68: "Illustrations" &c. by Lodge, vol. ii.]

Hitherto the queen had preserved so profound a silence respecting the
intrigues of the duke, that he flattered himself she was without a
suspicion of their existence; but this illusion was soon to vanish. In
August 1569, the queen being at Farnham in her progress and the duke in
attendance on her, she took him to dine with her, and in the course of
conversation found occasion, "without any show of displeasure," but with
sufficient significance of manner, to give him the advice, "to be very
careful on what pillow he rested his head." Afterwards she cautioned him
in plain terms against entering into any marriage treaty with the queen
of Scots. The duke, in his first surprise, made no scruple to promise on
his allegiance that he would entertain no thoughts of her; he even
affected to speak of such a connexion with disdain, declaring that he
esteemed his lands in England worth nearly as much as the whole kingdom
of Scotland, wasted as it was by wars and tumults, and that in his
tennis-court at Norwich he reckoned himself equal to many a
prince.--These demonstrations were all insincere; the duke remained
steady to his purpose, and his correspondence with the queen of Scots
was not for a single day intermitted in submission to his Sovereign. But
he felt that it was now time to take off the mask; and fully confiding
in the strength of his party, he requested the earl of Leicester
immediately to open the marriage proposal to her majesty, and solicit
her consent. This the favorite promised, but for his own ends continued
to defer the business from day to day.

Cecil, who had recently been taken into the consultations of the duke,
urged upon him with great force the expediency of being himself the
first to name his wishes to the queen; but Norfolk, either from
timidity, or, more probably, from an ill-founded reliance on Leicester's
sincerity, and a distrust, equally misplaced, of that of Cecil, whom he
was conscious of having ill treated, neglected to avail himself of this
wise and friendly counsel, by which he might yet have been preserved.
Leicester, who watched all his motions, was at length satisfied that his
purpose was effected,--the victim was inveigled beyond the power of
retreat or escape, and it was time for the decoy-bird to slip out of the

He summoned to his aid a fit of sickness, the never-failing resource of
the courtiers of Elizabeth in case of need. His pitying mistress, as he
had doubtless anticipated, hastened to pay him a charitable visit at his
own house, and he then suffered her to discover that his malady was
occasioned by some momentous secret which weighed upon his spirits; and
after due ostentation of penitence and concern, at length revealed to
her the whole of the negotiations for the marriage of the duke with the
queen of Scots, including the part which he had himself taken in that

Elizabeth, who seems by no means to have suspected that matters had gone
so far, or that so many of her nobles were implicated in this
transaction, was moved with indignation, and commanded the immediate
attendance of the duke, who, conscious of his delinquency, and
disquieted by the change which he thought he had observed in the
countenance of her majesty and the carriage towards him of his brother
peers, had sometime before quitted the court, and retired first to his
house in London, and afterwards to his seat of Kenninghall in Norfolk.
The duke delayed to appear, not daring to trust himself in the hands of
his offended sovereign; and after a short delay, procured for him by the
compassion of Cecil, who persisted in assuring the queen that he would
doubtless come shortly of his own accord, a messenger was sent to bring
him up to London. This messenger, on his arrival, found the duke
apparently, and perhaps really, laboring under a violent ague; and he
suffered himself to be prevailed upon to accept his solemn promise of
appearing at court as soon as he should be able to travel, and to return
without him.

Meanwhile the queen, now bent upon sifting this matter to the bottom,
had written to require the Scottish regent to inform her of the share
which he had taken in the intrigue, and whatever else he knew respecting
it. Murray had become fully aware how much more important it was to his
interests to preserve the favor and friendship of Elizabeth than to aim
at keeping any measures with Mary, by whom he was now hated with extreme
bitterness; and learning that the confidence of the duke had already
been betrayed by the earl of Leicester, he made no scruple of
acquainting her with all the particulars in which he was immediately

It thus became known to Elizabeth, that as early as the conferences at
York, the regent had been compelled, by threats of personal violence on
his return to Scotland, to close with the proposals of the duke relative
to his marriage;--that it was with a view to this union that Mary had
solicited from the states of Scotland a sentence of divorce from
Bothwell, which Murray by the exertion of his influence had induced them
to refuse, and thus delayed the completion of the contract: but it
appeared from other evidence, that written promises of marriage had
actually been exchanged between the duke and Mary, and committed to the
safe keeping of the French ambassador. It was also found to be a part of
the scheme to betroth the infant king of Scots to a daughter of the duke
of Norfolk.

The anger of Elizabeth disdained to be longer trifled with; and she
dispatched a messenger with peremptory orders to bring up the duke, "his
ague notwithstanding," who found him already preparing to set out on his
journey. Cecil in one of his letters to sir Henry Norris, dated October
1569, relates these circumstances at length, and expresses his
satisfaction in the last, both for the sake of the state and of the
duke himself, whom, of all subjects, he declares he most loved and
honored. He then proceeds thus: "The queen's majesty hath willed the
earl of Arundel and my lord of Pembroke to keep their lodgings here, for
that they were privy of this marriage intended, and did not reveal it to
her majesty; but I think none of them did so with any evil meaning, and
of my lord of Pembroke's intent herein I can witness, that he meant
nothing but well to the queen's majesty; my lord Lumley is also
restrained: the queen's majesty hath also been grievously offended with
my lord of Leicester; but considering that he hath revealed all that he
saith he knoweth of himself, her majesty spareth her displeasure the
more towards him. Some disquiets must arise, but I trust not hurtful;
for her majesty saith she will know the truth, so as every one shall see
his own fault, and so stay.... My lord of Huntingdon is joined with the
earl of Shrewsbury for the Scots queen's safety. Whilst this matter was
in passing, you must not think but the queen of Scots was nearer looked
to than before."

The duke on his arrival was committed to the Tower; but neither against
him nor any of his adherents did the queen think proper to proceed by
course of law, and they were all liberated after a restraint of longer
or shorter duration.

It is proper to mention, that the adherents of Mary in her own time, and
various writers since, have conspired to cast severe reflections upon
Elizabeth for committing her to the joint custody of the earl of
Huntingdon, because this nobleman, being descended by his mother, a
daughter of Henry Pole lord Montacute, from the house of Clarence, was
supposed to put his right of succession to the crown in competition with
hers, and therefore to entertain against her peculiar animosity. But on
the part of Elizabeth it may be observed, First, that there is not the
slightest ground to suspect that this nobleman, who was childless,
entertained the most distant idea of reviving the obsolete claims of his
family; and certainly if Elizabeth had suspected him of it, he would
never have held so high a place in her confidence. Secondly, nothing
less than the death of Mary would have served any designs that he might
have formed; and by joining him in commission with others for her safe
keeping, Elizabeth will scarcely be said to have put it in his power to
make away with her. Thirdly, the very writers who complain of the
vigilance and strictness with which the queen of Scots was now guarded,
all acknowledge that nothing less could have baffled the plans of escape
which the zeal of her partisans was continually setting on foot. Amongst
the warmest of these partisans was Leonard Dacre, a gentleman whose
personal qualities, whose errors, injuries and misfortunes, all conspire
to render him an object of attention, illustrative as they also are of
the practices and sentiments of his age.

Leonard was the second son of William lord Dacre of Gilsland, descended
from the ancient barons Vaux who had held lordships in Cumberland from
the days of the Conqueror.

In 1568, on the death without issue of his nephew, a minor in wardship
to the duke of Norfolk, Leonard as heir male laid claim to the title and
family estates, but the three sisters of the last lord disputed with him
this valuable succession; and being supported by the interest of the
duke of Norfolk their step-father, to whose three sons they were
married, they found means to defeat the claims of their uncle, though
indisputably good in law;--one instance in a thousand of the scandalous
partiality towards the rich and powerful exhibited in the legal
decisions of that age.

Stung with resentment against the government and the queen herself, by
whom justice had been denied him, Leonard Dacre threw himself, with all
the impetuosity of his character, into the measures of the malcontents
and the interests of the queen of Scots, and he laid a daring plan for
her deliverance from Tutbury-castle. This plan the duke on its being
communicated to him had vehemently opposed, partly from his repugnance
to measures of violence, partly from the apprehension that Mary, when at
liberty, might fall into the hands of a foreign and catholic party, and
desert her engagements with him for a marriage with the king of Spain.
Dacre, however, was not to be diverted from his design, especially by
the man with whom he was at open enmity, and he assembled a troop of
horse for its execution; but suspicions had probably been excited, and
the sudden removal of the prisoner to Wingfield frustrated all his

This was not the only attempt of that turbulent and dangerous faction of
which the inconsiderate ambition of the duke had rendered him nominally
the head but really the tool and victim, which he had now the grief to
find himself utterly unable to guide or restrain.

The earls of Northumberland and Westmorland, heads of the ancient and
warlike families of Percy and Nevil, were the first to break that
internal tranquillity which the kingdom had hitherto enjoyed, without
the slightest interruption, under the wise and vigorous rule of
Elizabeth. The remoteness of these noblemen from the court and capital,
with the poverty and consequent simplicity, almost barbarism, of the
vassals over whom they bore sway, and whose homage they received like
native and independent princes, appears to have nourished in their minds
ideas of their own importance better suited to the period of the wars of
the Roses than to the happier age of peace and order which had

The offended pride of the earl of Westmorland, a man destitute in fact
of every kind of talent, seems on some occasion to have conducted him to
the discovery that at the court of Elizabeth the representative of the
king-making Warwick was a person of very slender consideration. The
failure of the grand attack upon the secretary, in which he had taken
part, confirmed this mortifying impression; and the committal of his
brother-in-law, the great and powerful duke of Norfolk himself, must
subsequently have carried home to the bottom of his heart unwilling
conviction that the preponderance of the ancient aristocracy of the
country was subverted, and its proudest chieftains fast sinking to the
common level of subjects. His attachment to the religion, with the
other practices and prejudices of former ages, gave additional
exasperation to his discontent against the established order of things:
the incessant invectives of Romish priests against a princess whom the
pope was on the point of anathematizing, represented the cause of her
enemies as that of Heaven itself; and the spirit of the earl was roused
at length to seek full vengeance for all the injuries sustained by his
pride, his interests, or his principles.

Every motive of disaffection which wrought upon the mind of Westmorland,
affected equally the earl of Northumberland; and to the cause of popery
the latter was still further pledged by the example and fate of his
father, that sir Thomas Percy who had perished on the scaffold for his
share in Aske's rebellion. The attainder of sir Thomas had debarred his
son from succeeding to the titles and estates of the last unhappy earl
his uncle, and he had suffered the mortification of seeing them go to
raise the fortunes of the house of Dudley; but on the accession of Mary,
by whom his father was regarded as a martyr, he had been restored to all
the honors of his birth, and treated with a degree of favor which could
not but strengthen his predilection for the faith of which she was the
patroness. It appears, however, that the attachment of the earl to the
cause of popery had not on all occasions been proof against immediate
personal interest. Soon after the marriage of the queen of Scots with
Darnley, that rash and ill-judging pair esteeming their authority in the
country sufficiently established to enable them to venture on an
attempt for the restoration of the old religion, the pope, in
furtherance of their pious designs, had remitted the sum of eight
thousand crowns. "But the ship wherein the said gold was," says James
Melvil in his memoirs, "did shipwrack upon the coast of England, within
the earl of Northumberland's bounds, who alleged the whole to appertain
to him by just law, which he caused his advocate to read unto me, when I
was directed to him for the demanding restitution of the said sum, in
the old Norman language, which neither he nor I understood well, it was
so corrupt. But all my entreaties were ineffectual, he altogether
refusing to give any part thereof to the queen, albeit he was himself a
catholic, and professed secretly to be her friend." And through this
disappointment Mary was compelled to give up her design.

An additional trait of the earl's character is furnished by the same
author, in transcribing the instructions which he carried home from his
brother sir Robert Melvil, then ambassador to England, on his return
from that country, after announcing the birth of the prince of Scotland.
"_Item_, that her majesty cast not off the earl of Northumberland,
albeit as a fearful and facile man he delivered her letter to the queen
of England; neither appear to find fault with sir Henry Percy as yet for
his dealing with Mr. Ruxbie," (an English spy in Scotland) "which he
doth to gain favor at court, being upon a contrary faction to his
brother the earl."

The machinations of the two earls, however cautiously carried on, did
not entirely escape the penetration of the earl of Sussex, lord
president of the north, who sent for them both and subjected them to
some kind of examination; but no sufficient cause for their detention
then appearing, he dismissed them, hoping probably that the warning
would prove efficacious in securing their peaceable behaviour. In this
idea, however, he was deceived: on their return they instantly resumed
their mischievous designs; and they were actually preparing for an
insurrection, which was to be supported by troops from Flanders promised
by the duke of Alva, when a summons from the queen for their immediate
attendance at court disconcerted all their measures.

To comply with the command seemed madness in men who were conscious that
their proceedings had already amounted to high treason;--but to refuse
obedience, and thus set at defiance a power to which they were as yet
unprepared to oppose any effectual resistance, seemed equally desperate.
They hesitated; and it is said that the irresolution of Northumberland
was only ended by the stratagem of some of his dependents, who waked him
one night with a false alarm that his enemies were upon him, and thus
hurried him into the irretrievable step of quitting his home and joining
Westmorland, on which the country flocked in for their defence, and they
found themselves compelled to raise their standard.

The enterprise immediately assumed the aspect of a Holy War, or crusade
against heresy: on the banners of the insurgents were displayed the
cross, the five wounds of Christ, and the cup of the eucharist: mass
was regularly performed in their camp; and on reaching Durham, they
carried off from the cathedral and committed to the flames the bible and
the English service books.

The want of money to purchase provisions compelled the earls to
relinquish their first idea of marching to London; they took however a
neighbouring castle, and remained masters of the country as long as no
army appeared to oppose them; but on the approach of the earl of Sussex
and lord Hunsdon from York, with a large body of troops, they gradually
retreated to the Scotch borders; and there disbanded their men without a
blow. The earl of Westmorland finally made his escape to Flanders, where
he dragged out a tedious existence in poverty and obscurity, barely
supplied with the necessaries of life by a slender pension from the king
of Spain. Northumberland, being betrayed for a reward by a Scottish
borderer to whom, as to a friend, he had fled for refuge, was at length
delivered up by the regent Morton to the English government, and was
beheaded at York.

Posterity is not called upon to respect the memory of these rebellious
earls as martyrs even to a mistaken zeal for the good of their country,
or to any other generous principle of action. The objects of their
enterprise, as assigned by themselves, were the restoration of the old
religion, the removal of evil counsellors, and the liberation of the
duke of Norfolk and other imprisoned nobles. But even their attachment
to popery appears to have been entirely subservient to their views of
personal interest; and so little was the duke inclined to blend his
cause with theirs, that he exerted himself in every mode that his
situation would permit to strengthen the hands of government for their
overthrow; and it was in consideration of the loyal spirit manifested by
him on occasion of this rebellion, and of a subsequent rising in
Norfolk, that he soon after obtained his liberty on a solemn promise to
renounce all connexion with the queen of Scots.

In the northern counties, however, the cause and the persons of the two
earls, who had well maintained the hospitable fame of their great
ancestors, were alike the objects of popular attachment: the miserable
destiny of the outlawed and ruined Westmorland, and the untimely end of
Northumberland through the perfidy of the false friend in whom he had
put his trust, were long remembered with pity and indignation, and many
a minstrel "tuned his rude harp of border frame" to the fall of the
Percy or the wanderings of the Nevil. There was also an ancient
gentleman named Norton, of Norton in Yorkshire, who bore the banner of
the cross and the five wounds before the rebel army, whose tragic fall,
with that of his eight sons, has received such commemoration and
embellishment as the pathetic strains of a nameless but probably
contemporary bard could bestow. The excellent ballad entitled "The
Rising in the North[69]" impressively describes the mission of Percy's
"little foot page" to Norton, to pray that he will "ride in his
company;" the council held by Richard Norton with his nine sons, when

    "Eight of them did answer make,
    Eight of them spake hastily,
    O father! till the day we die
    We'll stand by that good earl and thee;"

while Francis, the eldest, seeks to dissuade his father from rebellion,
but finding him resolved, offers to accompany him "unarmed and naked."
Their standard is then mentioned: and after recording the flight of the
two earls, the minstrel adds,

    "Thee Norton with thine eight good sons
    They doomed to die, alas for ruth!
    Thy reverend locks thee could not save,
    Nor them their fair and blooming youth!"

[Note 69: See Percy's "Reliques," vol. ii.]

But how slender is the authority of a poet in matters of history! It is
quite certain that Richard Norton did not perish by the hands of the
executioner, and it is uncertain whether any one of his sons did. It is
true that the old man with three more of the family was attainted, that
his great estates were confiscated, and that he ended his days a
miserable exile in Flanders. We also know that two gentlemen of the name
of Norton were hanged at London: but some authorities make them brothers
of the head of the family; and two of the sons of Richard Norton,
Francis, and Edmund ancestor of the present lord Grantley, certainly
lived and died in peace on their estates in Yorkshire.

It is little to the honor of Elizabeth's clemency, that a rebellion
suppressed almost without bloodshed should have been judged by her to
justify and require the unmitigated exercise of martial law over the
whole of the disaffected country. Sir John Bowes, marshal of the army,
made it his boast, that in a tract sixty miles in length and forty in
breadth, there was scarcely a town or village where he had not put some
to death; and at Durham the earl of Sussex caused sixty-three constables
to be hanged at once;--a severity of which it should appear that he was
the unwilling instrument; for in a letter written soon after to Cecil he
complains, that during part of the time of his command in the north he
had nothing left to him "but to direct hanging matters." But the
situation of this nobleman at the time was such as would by no means
permit him at his own peril to suspend or evade the execution of such
orders as he received from court. Egremond Ratcliffe his half-brother
was one of about forty noblemen and gentlemen attainted for their
concern in this rebellion; he had in the earl of Leicester an enemy
equally vindictive and powerful; and some secret informations had
infused into the mind of the queen a suspicion that there had been some
wilful slackness in his proceedings against the insurgents. There was
however at the bottom of Elizabeth's heart a conviction of the truth and
loyalty of her kinsman which could not be eradicated, and he soon after
took a spirited step which disconcerted entirely the measures of his
enemies, and placed him higher than ever in her confidence and esteem.
Cecil thus relates the circumstance in one of his letters to Norris,
dated February 1570.

"The earl of Sussex... upon desire to see her majesty, came hither
unlooked for; and although, in the beginning of this northern rebellion,
her majesty sometimes uttered some misliking of the earl, yet this day
she, meaning to deal very princely with him, in presence of her council,
charged him with such things as she had heard to cause her misliking,
without any note of mistrust towards him for his fidelity; whereupon he
did with such humbleness, wisdom, plainness and dexterity, answer her
majesty, as both she and all the rest were fully satisfied, and he
adjudged by good proofs to have served in all this time faithfully, and
so circumspectly, as it manifestly appeareth that if he had not so used
himself in the beginning, the whole north part had entered into the

A formidable mass of discontent did in fact subsist among the catholics
of the north, and it was not long before a new and more daring leader
found means to set it again in fierce and violent action.

Leonard Dacre had found no opportunity to take part in the enterprise of
the two earls, though a deep participator in their counsels; for knowing
that their design could not yet be ripe for execution, and foreseeing as
little as the rest of the faction those measures of the queen by which
their affairs were prematurely brought to a crisis, he had proceeded to
court on his private concerns, and was there amusing her majesty with
protestations of his unalterable fidelity and attachment, while his
associates in the north were placing their lands and lives on the hazard
of rebellion. Learning on his journey homewards the total discomfiture
of the earls, he carefully preserved the semblance of a zealous
loyalty, till, having armed the retainers of his family on pretence of
preserving the country in the queen's obedience, and having strongly
garrisoned its hereditary castles of Naworth and Greystock, which he
wrested from the custody of the Howards, he declared himself, and broke
out into violent rebellion.

The late severities had rather exasperated than subdued the spirit of
disaffection in this neighbourhood, and three thousand men ranged
themselves under the scallop-shells of Dacre;--a well known ensign which
from age to age had marshalled the hardy borderers to deeds of warlike
prowess. Lord Hunsdon, the governor of Berwick, marched promptly forth
with all the force he could muster to disperse the rebels; but this time
they stood firmly on the banks of the little river Gelt, to give him
battle. Such indeed was the height of fanaticism or despair to which
these unhappy people were wrought up, that the phrensy gained the softer
sex; and there were seen in their ranks, says the chronicler, "many
desperate women that gave the adventure of their lives, and fought right
stoutly." After a sharp action in which about three hundred were left
dead on the field, victory at length declared for the queen's troops;
and Leonard Dacre, who had bravely sustained, notwithstanding the
deformity of his person, the part of soldier as well as general, seeing
that all was lost, turned his horse's head and rode off full speed for
Scotland, whence he passed into Flanders and took up at Lovain his
melancholy abode.

The treason of this unfortunate gentleman was, it must be confessed,
both notorious and heinous; and had he been intercepted in making his
escape, no blame could have attached to Elizabeth in exacting the full
penalty of his offence. But when, five-and-twenty years after this time,
we find his aged mother at court "an earnest suitor" for the pardon of
her two sons[70]; obtaining, probably by costly bribes, a promise of
admission to the queen's presence, and at length gaining nothing
more,--it is impossible not to blame or lament that relentless severity
of temper which rendered Elizabeth so much a stranger to the fairest
attribute of sovereign power. The case of Francis Dacre indeed was one
which ought to have appealed to her sense of justice rather than to her
feelings of mercy. This gentleman, after the expatriation and attainder
of his elder brother, had prosecuted at law the claims to the honors and
lands of the barony of Gilsland which had thus devolved upon him; but
being baffled in all his appeals to the equity of the courts, he had
withdrawn in disgust to Flanders, and on this account suffered a
sentence of outlawry. He lived and died in exile, leaving a son, named
Ranulph, heir only to poverty and misfortunes, to noble blood, and to
rights which he was destitute of the power of rendering available. Lord
Dacre of the south, as he was usually called, settled on this poor man,
his very distant relation, a small annuity; and on his death the
following lord Dacre, becoming the heir male of the family, received by
way of compromise from the Howards no less than thirteen manors which
they had enjoyed to the prejudice of Leonard Dacre, of his brother and
of his nephew.

[Note 70: Letter of R. Whyte in "Sidney Papers."]

On the suppression of this second rising in the north, the queen, better
advised or instructed by experience, granted a general pardon to all but
its leader; and such was the effect of this lenity, or of the example of
repeated failure on the part of the insurgents, that the internal
tranquillity of her kingdom was never more disturbed from this quarter,
the most dangerous of all from the vicinity of Scotland.

The earl of Sussex had been kept for some time in a state of
dissatisfaction, as appears from one of his letters to Cecil, by her
majesty's dilatoriness in conferring upon him such a mark of her special
favor as she had graciously promised at the conclusion of his
satisfactory defence of himself before the council; but she appeased at
length his wounded feelings, by admitting him to the council-board and
giving him the command of a strong force appointed to act on the
Scottish border.

The occasion for this military movement arose out of the tragical
incident of the assassination of the regent Murray, which had proved the
signal for a furious inroad upon the English limits by some of the
southern clans, who found themselves immediately released from the
restraints of an administration vigorous enough to make the lawless
tremble. Sussex was ordered to chastize their insolence; and he
performed the task thoroughly and pitilessly, laying waste with fire and
sword the whole obnoxious district.

Besides recognising in Murray a valuable coadjutor, neighbour and ally,
Elizabeth appears to have loved and esteemed him as a man and a friend,
and she bewailed his death with an excess of dejection honorable surely
to her feelings, though regarded by some as derogatory from the dignity
of her station. It was indeed an event which broke all her measures, and
which, at a period when difficulties and dangers were besetting her on
all hands, added fresh embarrassment to her perplexity and presented new
chances of evil to her fears. What degree of compunction she felt for
her unjustifiable detention of Mary may be doubtful; but it is certain
that her mind was now shaken with perpetual terrors and anxieties for
the consequences of that irrevocable step, and that there was nothing
which she more earnestly desired than to transfer to other hands the
custody of so dangerous a prisoner.

She had nearly concluded an agreement for this purpose with Murray, to
whom she was to have surrendered the person of the captive queen,
receiving six Scottish noblemen as hostages for her safe keeping; and
though the interference of the French and Spanish ambassadors had
obliged her to suspend its execution, there is no reason to suppose that
the design was relinquished, when this unexpected stroke rendered it for
ever impracticable. The regency of Scotland, too, was now to be
contested by the enraged factions of that distracted country, and it was
of great importance to Elizabeth that the victory should fall to the
party of the young king; yet such were the perplexities of her political
situation, that it was some time before she could satisfy herself that
there would not be too great a hazard in supporting by arms the
election of the earl of Lenox, to whom she gave her interest.

Her first recourse was to her favorite arts of intrigue; and she sent
Randolph, her chosen instrument for these occasions, to tamper with
various party-leaders, while Sussex, whose character inclined him more
to measures of coercion, exhorted her to put an end to her irresolution
and throw the sword into the scale of Lenox. She at length found reason
to adopt this counsel; and the earl, re-entering Scotland with his army,
laid waste the lands and took or destroyed the castles of Mary's

Sir William Drury, marshal of the army, was afterwards sent further into
the country to chastize the Hamiltons, of which clan was the assassin of

The contemporary accounts of this expedition, amid many lamentable
particulars of ravages committed, afford one amusing trait of manners.
Lord Fleming, who held out Dumbarton castle for the queen of Scots, had
demanded a parley with sir William Drury, during which he treacherously
caused him to be fired upon; happily without effect. Sir George Cary,
burning to avenge the injury offered to his commander, sent immediately
a letter of defiance to lord Fleming, challenging him to meet him in
single combat on this quarrel, when, where and how he dares; concluding
thus: "Otherwise I will baffle your good name, sound with the trumpet
your dishonor, and paint your picture with the heels upward and bear it
in despite of yourself." That this was not the only species of affront
to which portraits were in these days exposed, we learn from an
expression of Ben Jonson's:--"Take as unpardonable offence as if he had
torn your mistress's colors, or _breathed on her picture_[71]."

[Note 71: See "Every Man out of his Humour."]

The Scotch war was terminated a few months after, by an agreement
between Elizabeth and Mary, by virtue of which the former consented to
withdraw her troops from the country on the engagement of the latter
that no French forces should enter it in support of her title. After
this settlement, Elizabeth returned to her usual ambiguous dealing in
the affairs of Scotland; and so far from insisting that Lenox should be
named regent, she sent a request to the heads of the king's party that
they would refrain for a time from the nomination of any person to that
office. In consequence of this mandate, which they dared not disobey,
Lenox was only chosen lieutenant for a time; an appointment which served
equally well the purposes of the English queen.

Connected with all the other measures adopted by the zeal of the great
catholic combination for the destruction of Elizabeth and the ruin of
the protestant cause, was one from which their own narrow prejudices or
sanguine wishes, rather than any just views of the state of public
opinion in England, led them to anticipate important results. This was
the publication of a papal bull solemnly anathematizing the queen, and
dispensing her subjects from their oath of allegiance. A fanatic named
Fulton was found willing to earn the crown of martyrdom by affixing this
instrument to the gate of the bishop of London's palace. He was taken
in the fact, and suffered the penalty of treason without exciting a
murmur among the people. A trifling insurrection in Norfolk ensued, of
which however the papal bull was not openly assigned as the motive, and
which was speedily suppressed with the punishment of a few of the
offenders according to law. Even the catholic subjects of Elizabeth for
the most part abhorred the idea of lifting their hands against her
government and the peace of their native land; and several of them were
now found among the foremost and most sincere in their offers of service
against the disaffected.

On the whole, the result of the great trial of the hearts of her people
afforded to the queen by the alarms of this anxious period, was
satisfactory beyond all example. Henceforth she knew, and the world
knew, the firmness of that rock on which her throne was planted;--based
on religion, supported by wisdom and fortitude and adorned by every
attractive art, it stood dear and venerable to her people, defying the
assaults of her baffled and malignant enemies. The anniversary of her
accession began this year to be celebrated by popular festivals all over
the country;--a practice which was retained not only to the end of the
reign, but for many years afterwards, during which the 17th of November
continued to be solemnly observed under designation of the Birthday of
the Gospel.


_Printed by R. and A. Taylor, Shoe-Lane._

       *       *       *       *       *




1571 TO 1573.

Notice of sir T. Gresham.--Building of his exchange.--The queen's visit
to it.--Cecil created lord Burleigh and lord-treasurer.--Justs at
Westminster.--Notices of the earl of Oxford, Charles Howard, sir H. Lee,
sir Chr. Hatton.--Fresh negotiations for the marriage of Elizabeth with
the duke of Anjou.--Renewal of the intrigues of Norfolk.--His
re-committal, trial, and conviction.--Death of Throgmorton.--Sonnet
by Elizabeth.--Norfolk beheaded.--His character and
descendants.--Hostility of Spain.--Wylson's translation of
Demosthenes.--Walsingham ambassador to France.--Treaty with
that country.--Massacre of Paris.--Temporizing conduct of
Elizabeth.--Burleigh's calculation of the queen's nativity.--Notice of
Philip Sidney.

From the intrigues and violences of crafty politicians and discontented
nobles, we shall now turn to trace the prosperous and honorable career
of a private English merchant, whose abilities and integrity introduced
him to the notice of his sovereign, and whose patriotic munificence
still preserves to him the respectful remembrance of posterity. This
merchant was Thomas Gresham. Born of a family at once enlightened,
wealthy and commercial, he had shared the advantage of an education at
the university of Cambridge previously to his entrance on the walk of
life to which he was destined, and which, fortunately for himself, his
superior acquirements did not tempt him to desert or to despise.

His father, sir Richard Gresham, had been agent to Henry VIII. for the
negotiation of loans with the merchants of Antwerp, and in 1552 he
himself was nominated to act in a similar capacity to Edward VI., when
he was eminently serviceable in redeeming the credit of the king, sunk
to the lowest ebb by the mismanagement of his father's immediate
successor in the agency. Under Elizabeth he enjoyed the same
appointment, to which was added that of queen's merchant; and it appears
by the official letters of the time, that political as well as pecuniary
affairs were often intrusted to his discreet and able management. He was
also a spirited promoter of the infant manufactures of his country,
several of which owed to him their first establishment. By his diligence
and commercial talents he at length rendered himself the most opulent
subject in the kingdom, and the queen showed her sense of his merit and
consequence by bestowing on him the honor of knighthood.

Gresham had always made a liberal and patriotic use of his wealth; but
after the death of his only son, in 1564, he formed the resolution of
making his country his principal heir. The merchants of London had
hitherto been unprovided with any building in the nature of a burse or
exchange, such as Gresham had seen in the great commercial cities of
Flanders; and he now munificently offered, if the city would give him a
piece of ground, to build them one at his own expense. The edifice was
begun accordingly in 1566, and finished within three years. It was a
quadrangle of brick, with walks on the ground floor for the merchants,
(who now ceased to transact their business in the middle aisle of St.
Paul's cathedral,) with vaults for warehouses beneath and a range of
shops above, from the rent of which the proprietor sought some
remuneration for his great charges. But the shops did not immediately
find occupants; and it seems to have been partly with the view of
bringing them into vogue that the queen promised her countenance to the
undertaking. In January 1571, attended by a splendid train, she entered
the city; and after dining with sir Thomas at his spacious mansion in
Bishopsgate-street (still remaining), she repaired to the burse, visited
every part of it, and caused proclamation to be made by sound of trumpet
that henceforth it should bear the name of the Royal Exchange. Gresham
offered the shops rent-free for a year to such as would furnish them
with wares and wax lights against the coming of the queen; and a most
sumptuous display was made of the richest commodities and manufactures
of every quarter of the globe.

Afterwards the shops of the exchange became the favorite resort of
fashionable customers of both sexes: much money was squandered here,
and, if we are to trust the representations of satirists and comic
writers, many reputations lost. The building was destroyed in the fire
of London; and the divines of that day, according to their custom,
pronounced this catastrophe a judgement on the avarice and unfair
dealing of the merchants and shopkeepers, and the pride, prodigality and
luxury of the purchasers and idlers by whom it was frequented and

Elizabeth soon after paid homage to merit in another form, by conferring
on her invaluable servant Cecil,--whose wisdom, firmness and vigilance
had most contributed to preserve her unhurt amid the machinations of her
implacable enemies,--the dignity of baron of Burleigh; an elevation
which might provoke the envy or resentment of some of the courtiers his
opponents, but which was hailed by the applauses of the people.

Before the close of the year, the death, at a great but not venerable
age, of that corrupt and selfish statesman the marquis of Winchester,
afforded her an opportunity of apportioning to the new dignity of her
secretary a suitable advance in office and emolument, by conferring on
him the post of lord-high-treasurer, which he continued to enjoy to the
end of his life.

On the first of May and the two following days solemn justs were held
before the queen at Westminster; in which the challengers were the earl
of Oxford, Charles Howard, sir Henry Lee and sir Christopher
Hatton,--all four deserving of biographical commemoration.

Edward earl of Oxford was the seventeenth of the illustrious family of
Vere who had borne that title, and his character presented an
extraordinary union of the haughtiness, violence and impetuosity of the
feudal baron, with many of the elegant propensities and mental
accomplishments which adorn the nobleman of a happier age. It was
probably to his travels in Italy that he owed his more refined tastes
both in literature and in luxury, and it was thence that he brought
those perfumed and embroidered gloves which he was the first to
introduce into England. A superb pair which he presented to her majesty
were so much approved by her, that she sat for her portrait with them on
her hands. These gloves became of course highly fashionable, but those
prepared in Spain were soon found to excel in scent all others; and the
importance attached to this discovery may be estimated by the following
commission given by sir Nicholas Throgmorton, then in France, to sir
Thomas Chaloner ambassador in Spain:--"I pray you, good my lord
ambassador, send me two pair of perfumed gloves, perfumed with
orange-flowers and jasmin, the one for my wife's hand, the other for
mine own; and wherein soever I can pleasure you with any thing in this
country, you shall have it in recompense thereof, or else so much money
as they shall cost you; provided always that they be of the best choice,
wherein your judgement is inferior to none[72]."

[Note 72: "Burleigh Papers" by Haynes.]

The earl of Oxford enjoyed in his own times a high poetical reputation;
but his once celebrated comedies have perished, and two or three
fugitive pieces inserted in collections are the only legacy bequeathed
to posterity by his muse. Of these, "The complaint of a lover wearing
black and tawny" has ceased, in the change of manners and fashions, to
interest or affect the reader. "Fancy and Desire" may still lay claim to
the praise of ingenuity, though the idea is perhaps not original even
here, and has since been exhibited with very considerable improvements
both in French and English, especially in Ben Jonson's celebrated song,
"Tell me where was Fancy bred?" Two or three stanzas may bear quotation.

    "Where wert thou born Desire?"
    "In pomp and pride of May."
    "By whom sweet boy wert thou begot?"
    "By Fond Conceit men say."

    "Tell me who was thy nurse?"
    "Fresh Youth in sugred joy."
    "What was thy meat and daily food?"
    "Sad sighs with great annoy."

    "What had'st thou then to drink?"
    "Unsavoury lovers' tears."
    "What cradle wert thou rocked in?"
    "In hope devoid of fears." &c.

In the chivalrous exercises of the tilt and tournament the earl of
Oxford had few superiors: he was victor in the justs both of this year
and of the year 1580, and on the latter occasion he was led by two
ladies into the presence-chamber, all armed as he was, to receive a
prize from her majesty's own hand. Afterwards, by gross misconduct, he
incurred from his sovereign a disgrace equally marked and public, being
committed to the Tower for an attempt on one of her maids of honor. On
other occasions his lawless propensities broke out with a violence which
Elizabeth herself was scarcely able to restrain.

He had openly begun to muster his friends, retainers and servants, to
take vengeance on sir Thomas Knevet, by whom he had been wounded in a
duel; and the queen, who interfered to prevent the execution of this
savage design, was obliged for some time to appoint Knevet a guard in
order to secure his life. He also publicly insulted sir Philip Sidney in
the tennis-court of the palace; and her majesty could discover no other
means of preventing fatal consequences than compelling sir Philip
Sidney, as the inferior in rank, to compromise the quarrel on terms
which he regarded as so inequitable and degrading, that after
transmitting to her majesty a spirited remonstrance against encouraging
the insolence of the great nobles, he retired to Penshurst in disgust.
The duke of Norfolk was the nephew of this earl of Oxford, who was very
strongly attached to him, and used the utmost urgency of entreaty with
Burleigh, whose daughter he had married, to prevail on him to procure
his pardon: "but not succeeding," says lord Orford, "he was so incensed
against that minister, that in most absurd and unjust revenge (though
the cause was amiable) he swore he would do all he could to ruin his
daughter; and accordingly not only forsook her bed, but sold and
consumed great part of the vast inheritance descended to him from his

[Note 73: "Royal and Noble Authors."]

This remarkable person died very aged early in the reign of James I.

Sir Charles Howard, eldest son of lord Howard of Effingham, was at this
period of his life chiefly remarkable for the uncommon beauty of his
person,--a species of merit never overlooked by her majesty,--for grace
and agility in his exercises, and for the manners of an accomplished
courtier. At no time was he regarded as a person of profound judgement,
and of vanity and self-consequence he is said to have possessed an
abundant share. He was however brave, courteous, liberal, and diligent
in affairs; and the favor of the queen admitted him in 1585 to succeed
his father in the office of lord-high-admiral. His intrepid bearing, in
the year 1588, encouraged his sailors to meet the terrible Armada with
stout hearts and cheerful countenances, and the glory of its defeat was
as much his own as the participation of winds and waves would allow. In
consideration of this distinguished piece of service he was created earl
of Nottingham; and the queen's partiality towards her relations
increasing with her years, he became towards the end of the reign one of
the most considerable persons at her court, where his hostility to Essex
grew equally notorious with the better grounded antipathy entertained by
Sussex, also a royal kinsman, against Leicester, the earlier favorite of
her majesty.

The earl of Nottingham survived to the year 1624, the 88th of his age.

Sir Henry Lee was one of the finest courtiers and certainly the most
complete knight-errant of his time. He was now in the fortieth year of
his age, had travelled, and had seen some military service; but the
tilt-yard was ever the scene of his most conspicuous exploits and those
in which he placed his highest glory. He had declared himself the
queen's own knight and champion, and having inscribed upon his shield
the constellation of Ariadne's Crown, culminant in her majesty's
nativity, bound himself by a solemn vow to appear armed in the tilt-yard
on every anniversary of her happy accession till disabled by age. This
vow gave origin to the annual exercises of the Knights-Tilters, a
society consisting of twenty-five of the most gallant and favored of the
courtiers of Elizabeth. The modern reader may wonder to find included in
this number so grave an officer as Bromley lord chancellor; but under
the maiden reign neither the deepest statesman, the most studious
lawyer, nor the rudest soldier was exempted from the humiliating
obligation of accepting, and even soliciting, those household and menial
offices usually discharged by mere courtiers, nor from the irksome one
of assuming, for the sake of their sovereign lady, the romantic disguise
of armed champions and enamoured knights. Sir Henry Lee, however,
appears to have devoted his life to these chivalrous pageantries rather
from a quixotical imagination than with any serious views of ambition or
interest. He was a gentleman of ancient family and plentiful fortune,
little connected, as far as appears, with any court faction or
political, party, and neither capable nor ambitious of any public
station of importance. It is an amiable and generous trait of his
character, that he attended the unfortunate duke of Norfolk even to the
scaffold, received his last embrace, and repeated to the assembled
multitude his request that they would assist him with their prayers in
his final agony. His royal Dulcinea rewarded his fatigues and his
adoration by the lieutenancy of Woodstock manor, the office of keeper of
the armoury, and especially by the appropriate meed of admission into
the most noble order of the Garter. He resigned the championship at the
approach of old age with a solemn ceremony hereafter to be described,
died at his mansion of Quarendon in Bucks, in 1611, in his 81st year,
and was interred in the parish church under a splendid tomb hung round
with military trophies, and inscribed with a very long, very quaint and
very tumid epitaph.

Christopher Hatton, the last of this undaunted band of challengers, was
a new competitor for the smiles of royalty, and bright was the dawn of
fortune and of favor which already broke upon him. He was of a decayed
family of Northamptonshire gentry, and had just commenced the study of
the law at one of the inns of court, when hope or curiosity stimulated
him to gain admittance at some court-festival, where he had an
opportunity of dancing before the queen in a mask. His figure and his
performance so captivated her fancy, that she immediately bestowed upon
him some flattering marks of attention, which encouraged him to quit his
profession and turn courtier.

This showy outside and these gay accomplishments were unexpectedly found
in union with a moderate and cautious temper, enlightened views, and a
solid understanding; and after due deliberation, Elizabeth, that
penetrating judge of men, decided, in spite of ridicule, that she could
not do better than make this superlatively-excellent dancer of galliards
her lord-chancellor.

The enemies of Hatton are said to have promoted this appointment in
expectation of his disgracing himself by ignorance and incapacity; but
their malice was disappointed; whatever he did not know, he was able to
learn and willing to be taught; he discharged the duties of his high
office with prudence first and afterwards with ability, and died in 1591
in possession of it and of the public esteem. It is remarkable,
considering the general predilection of the queen in favor of celibacy,
that Hatton was the only one of her ministers who lived and died a

Early in this year the king of France married a daughter of the emperor
Maximilian; and Elizabeth, desirous at this time of being on the best
terms both with the French and Imperial courts, sent lord Buckhurst to
Paris on a splendid embassy of congratulation.

Catherine de' Medici took this opportunity of renewing proposals of
marriage to the queen of England on the part of her son the duke of
Anjou, and they were listened to with an apparent complacency which
perplexed the politicians. It is certainly to this negotiation, and to
the intrigues of the duke of Norfolk and other nobles with the queen of
Scots, that Shakespear alludes in the following ingenious and exquisite

    ..."Once I sat upon a promontory,
    And heard a _Mermaid_ on a _Dolphin_'s back
    Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
    That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
    And _certain stars shot madly from their spheres_,
    To hear the sea-maid's music.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    That very time I saw, but thou could'st not,
    Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
    Cupid all-arm'd: a certain aim he took
    At _a fair Vestal throned by the West_,
    And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
    As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
    But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
    Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watry moon,
    And the Imperial Votress passed on,
    In maiden meditation, fancy-free."

    _Midsummer Night's Dream._

Unfortunately for himself, the duke of Norfolk had not acquired, even
from the severe admonition of a long imprisonment, resolution sufficient
to turn a deaf ear to the enchantments of this syren. His situation was
indeed perplexing: He had entered into the most serious engagements with
his sovereign to abstain from all further intercourse with the queen of
Scots: at the same time the right of Elizabeth to interdict him an
alliance so flattering to his vanity might plausibly be questioned, and
the previous interchange between himself and Mary of solemn promises of
marriage, seemed to have brought him under obligations to her too
sacred to be dissolved by any subsequent stipulation of his, though one
to which Mary herself had been compelled to become a party. Neither had
chivalrous ideas by any means lost their force in this age; and as a
knight and a gentleman the duke must have esteemed himself bound in
honor to procure the release of the captive princess, and to claim
through all perils the fair hand which had been plighted to him.
Impressed by such sentiments, he returned to a letter of eloquent
complaint which she found means to convey to him, an answer filled with
assurances of his inviolable constancy; and the intrigues of the party
were soon renewed with as much activity as ever.

But the vigilance of the ministry of Elizabeth could not long be eluded.
An important packet of letters written by Ridolfi, a Florentine who had
been sent abroad by the party to confer with the pope and with the duke
of Alva, was intercepted; and in consequence of the plots thus unfolded,
the bishop of Ross, who bore the character of Mary's ambassador in
England, was given into private custody. Soon after, a servant of the
duke's, intrusted by him with the conveyance of a sum of money from the
French ambassador to Mary's adherents in Scotland, carried the parcel
containing it to the secretary of state. The duke's secretary was then
sent for and examined. This man, who was probably in the pay of
government, not only confessed with readiness all that he knew, but
produced some letters from the queen of Scots which his lord had
commanded him to burn after decyphering them. Other concurring
indications of the duke's guilt appearing, he was recommitted to the
Tower in September 1571.

After various consultations of civilians on the extent of an
ambassador's privilege, and the title which the agent of a deposed
sovereign might have to avail himself of that sacred character, it was
determined that the laws of nations did not protect the bishop of Ross,
and he was carried to the Tower, where, in fear of death, he made full
confession of all his machinations against the person and state of
Elizabeth. In the most guilty parts of these designs he affirmed that
the duke had constantly refused his concurrence;--and in fact, weak and
infatuated as he was, the agents of Mary seem to have found it
impracticable, by all their artifices, to bring this unfortunate
nobleman entirely to forget that he was a protestant and an Englishman.
He would never consent directly to procure the death or dethronement of
Elizabeth; though it must have been perfectly evident to any man of
clear and unbiassed judgement, that, under all the circumstances, the
accomplishment of his wishes could by no other means be attained.

This affair was regarded in so very serious a light, that the queen
thought it necessary, before the duke was put on his trial, to lay all
the circumstances of his case before the court of France; and the
parliament, which was again assembled after an interval of five years,
passed some new laws for the protection of the queen's person from the
imminent perils by which they saw her environed.

The illustrious prisoner was now brought before the tribunal of his
brother-peers; and a perfectly fair and regular trial, according to the
practices of that age, was accorded him. Whatever his intentions might
have been, his actions appear to have come clearly within the limits of
treason; and the earl of Shrewsbury, as lord-high-steward for the day,
pronounced upon him, with tears, a verdict of Guilty. But the queen
hesitated or deferred, from clemency or caution, to sign his death
warrant, and he was remanded to the Tower under some uncertainty whether
or not the last rigor of the offended laws awaited him.

The name of sir Nicholas Throgmorton was so mixed up in the confessions
of the bishop of Ross, that it was perhaps an indulgent fate which had
removed him some months previously from the sphere of human action. He
died at the house of the earl of Leicester, and certainly of a pleurisy;
but the malevolent credulity of that age seldom allowed a person of any
eminence to quit the world without imputing the occurrence in some
manner, direct or indirect, to the malice of his enemies. It was rumored
that Throgmorton had fallen a victim to the hostility of Leicester,
which he was thought to have provoked by quitting the party of the earl
to reconcile himself with Burleigh, his secret enemy; and the suspicion
of proficiency in the art of poisoning, which had so long rested upon
the favorite, obtained credit to this absurd report. Possibly there
might be more truth in the general opinion, that it was in some measure
owing to the enmity of Burleigh that a person of such acknowledged
abilities in public affairs, and one who had conducted himself so
skilfully in various important negotiations, should never have been
advanced to any considerable office of trust or profit. But the lofty
and somewhat turbulent spirit of Throgmorton himself, ought probably to
bear the chief blame both of this enmity, and of his want of success at
the court of a princess who exacted from her servants the exercise of
the most refined and cautious policy, as well as an entire and implicit
submission to all her views and wishes. It is highly probable that she
never entirely pardoned Throgmorton for giving the lie to her
declarations respecting the promises made to the earl of Murray and his
party, by the open production of his own diplomatic instructions.

The hostility of Leicester extended, as we shall see hereafter, to other
branches of the unfortunate family of Throgmorton, whom an imprudent or
criminal zeal in the cause of popery exposed without defence to the
whole weight of his vengeance. On some slight pretext he procured the
dismissal of sir John Throgmorton, the brother of sir Nicholas; from his
office of chief justice of Chester, who did not long survive the
disgrace though apparently unmerited. Puttenham, author of the "Art of
English Poesie," ventured, though a professed courtier, to compose an
epitaph on this victim of oppression, of which he has preserved to us
the following lines in the work above mentioned:

    "Whom Virtue reared Envy hath overthrown,
    And lodged full low under this marble stone:
    Ne never were his values so well known
    Whilst he lived here, as now that he is gone.

    No sun by day that ever saw him rest
    Free from the toils of his so busy charge,
    No night that harboured rancour in his breast,
    Nor merry mood made Reason run at large.

    His head a source of gravity and sense,
    His memory a shop of civil art:
    His tongue a stream of sugred eloquence,
    Wisdom and meekness lay mingled in his heart." &c.

The literary propensities of Elizabeth have already come under our
notice: they had frequently served to divert her mind from the cares of
government; but in the state of unremitted anxiety occasioned by her
dread of the machinations relative to the queen of Scots, in which she
had found the first peer of her realm a principal actor, her thoughts,
even in the few leisure hours which she found means to bestow on these
soothing recreations, still hovered about the objects from which she
most sought to withdraw them.

The following sonnet of her composition will illustrate this remark: it
was published during her lifetime in Puttenham's "Arte of English
Poesie," and its authenticity, its principal merit, has never been
called in question.

    SONNET _by Queen Elizabeth_.

       The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
    And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy.
       For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects' faith doth ebb;
    Which would not be if Reason ruled, or Wisdom weaved the web.
       But clouds of toys untried do cloak aspiring minds,
    Which turn to rain of late repent by course of changed winds.
       The top of hope supposed the root of ruth will be;
    And fruitless all their graffed guiles, as shortly ye shall see.
       Those dazzled eves with pride, which great ambition blinds,
    Shall be unseal'd by worthy wights whose foresight falsehood finds.
       The Daughter of Debate that eke discord doth sow,
    Shall reap no gain where former rule hath taught still peace to grow.
       No foreign banish'd wight shall anchor in this port;
    Our realm it brooks no strangers' force, let them elsewhere resort.
       Our rusty sword with rest shall first his edge employ,
       To poll their tops that seek such change, and gape for joy.

The house of commons, in which great dread and hatred of the queen of
Scots and her adherents now prevailed, showed itself strongly disposed
to pass an act by which Mary should be declared for ever unworthy and
incapable of the English succession: but Elizabeth, with her usual
averseness to all unqualified declarations and irrevocable decisions,
interfered to prevent the completion of a measure which most sovereigns,
under all the circumstances, would have been eager to embrace. To the
unanimous expression of the opinion of the house, that the execution of
the sentence against the duke of Norfolk ought not to be longer delayed,
she was however prevailed upon to lend a more favorable ear; and on June
2d, 1572, this nobleman received his death on Tower-hill.

Norfolk was a man of many amiable and several estimable qualities, and
much too good for the faction with which he had been enticed to act and
the cause in which he suffered. On the scaffold he acknowledged, with
great apparent sincerity, the justice of his sentence, and his peculiar
guiltiness in breaking the solemn promise which he had pledged to his
sovereign. He declared himself to have been an earnest protestant ever
since he had had any taste for religion, and in this faith he died very
devoutly. He bequeathed by his will his best George to his kinsman and
true friend the earl of Sussex, whose faithful counsels he too late
reproached himself with neglecting. By his attainder the dukedom was
lost to the family of Howard; but Philip, his eldest son, succeeded his
maternal grandfather in the earldom of Arundel; lord Thomas, his second
son, (whose mother was the daughter and heiress of lord Audley,) was
created lord Howard of Walden by Elizabeth and earl of Suffolk by James;
and lord William, the youngest, who possessed Naworth-castle in right of
Elizabeth Dacre his wife, and was known upon the West Border (of which
he was warden) by the appellation of "Belted Will," was ancestor to the
earls of Carlisle[74].

[Note 74:

    "His Bilboa blade, by marchmen felt,
    Hung in a broad and studded belt;
    Hence in rude phrase the Borderers still
    Call noble Howard Belted Will."

    Lay of the Last Minstrel.]

The king of Spain had long been regarded in England as the most
implacable and formidable of the enemies of Elizabeth; and on good
grounds. It was believed to be through his procurement that Sixtus V.
had been led to fulminate his anathema against her;--it was well known
that the pope had made a donation to him of the kingdom of Ireland, of
which he was anxious to avail himself;--there was strong ground to
suspect that he had sent one of his ablest generals in embassy to
England with no other view than to have taken the command of the
northern rebels, had their enterprise prospered;--and the intimate
participation of his agents in all the intrigues of the queen of Scots
was notorious. Dr. Wylson, a learned civilian, an accomplished scholar,
and one of the first refiners of English prose, had published in 1571,
with the express view of rousing the spirit of his readers against this
formidable tyrant, a version of the Orations of Demosthenes against the
king Philip of his day, and had been at the pains of pointing out in the
notes coincidences in the situation of Athens and of England. The
author, who was an earnest protestant, had the further motive in this
work of paying a tribute to the memory of the learned and unfortunate
Cheke, who during his voluntary exile had read gratuitous lectures to
his countrymen at Padua on the works of the great Grecian orator, of
which Wylson had been an auditor, and who had also made a Latin version
of them, of which the English translator freely availed himself.

It was principally her dread of the Spaniards which led Elizabeth into
those perpetual reciprocations of deceitful professions and empty
negotiations with the profligate and perfidious court of France, which
in the judgement of posterity have redounded so little to her honor, but
which appeared to her of so much importance that she now thought herself
peculiarly fortunate in having discovered an agent capable of conducting
with all the wariness, penetration and profound address so peculiarly
requisite where sincerity and good faith are wanting. This agent was sir
Francis Walsingham, whose rare acquisitions of political knowledge, made
principally during the period of his voluntary exile for religion, and
still rarer talents for public business, had induced lord Burleigh to
recommend him to the service and confidence of his mistress. For several
years from this time he resided as the queen's ambassador at the court
of France, at first as coadjutor to sir Thomas Smith,--a learned and
able man, who afterwards became a principal secretary of state,--the
rest of the time alone. There was not in England a man who was regarded
as a more sincere and earnest protestant than Walsingham; yet such was
at this time his sense of the importance to the country of the French
alliance, that he expressed himself strongly in favor of the match
between Elizabeth and the duke of Anjou, and, as a minister, spared no
pains to promote it.

Similar language was held on this subject both by Leicester and
Burleigh; but the former was perhaps no more in earnest on the subject
than his mistress; and finally all parties, except the French
protestants, who looked to the conclusion of these nuptials as their
best security, seem to have been not ill pleased when, the marriage
treaty being at length laid aside, a strict league of amity between the
two countries was agreed upon in its stead.

Splendid embassies were reciprocally sent to receive the ratifications
of this treaty; and Burleigh writes to a friend, between jest and
earnest, that an unexpected delay of the French ambassador was cursed by
all the husbands whose ladies had been detained at great expense and
inconvenience in London, to contribute to the splendor of the court on
his reception. On the 9th of June 1572 the duke de Montmorenci and his
suite at length arrived. His entertainment was magnificent; all seemed
peace and harmony between the rival nations; and Elizabeth even
instructed her ambassadors to give favorable ear to a hint which the
queen-mother had dropped of a matrimonial treaty between the queen of
England and her youngest son, the duke d'Alençon, who had then scarcely
attained the age of seventeen.

Lulled by these flattering appearances of tranquillity, her majesty set
out on her summer progress, and she was enjoying the festivities
prepared by Leicester for her reception at his splendid castle of
Kennelworth, when news arrived of the execrable massacre of Paris;--an
atrocity not to be paralleled in history! Troops of affrighted Hugonots,
who had escaped through a thousand perils with life, and life alone,
from the hands of their pitiless assassins, arrived on the English
coast, imploring the commiseration of their brother protestants, and
relating in accents of despair their tale of horrors. After such a
stroke, no one knew what to expect; the German protestants flew to
arms; even the subjects of Elizabeth trembled for their countrymen
travelling on the continent and for themselves in their island-home. The
pope applauded openly the savage deed; the court of Spain showed itself
united hand and heart with that of France,--to the astonishment of
Elizabeth, who had been taught to believe them at enmity;--and it seemed
as if the signal had been given of a general crusade against the
reformed churches of Europe.

For several days fears were entertained for the safety of Walsingham
himself, who had not dared to transmit any account of the event except
one by a servant of his own, whose passage had been by some accident
delayed. Even this minister, cautious and crafty and sagacious as he
was, assisted by all the spies whom he constantly kept in pay, had been
unable to penetrate any part of the bloody secret;--he was completely
taken by surprise. But of his personal safety the perfidious young king
and his detestable mother were, for their own sakes, careful; and not
only were himself and his servants protected from injury, but every
Englishman who had the presence of mind to take shelter in his house
found it an inviolable sanctuary. Two persons only of this nation fell
victims to the fury of that direful night, but the property of many was
plundered. The afflicted remnant of the French protestants prepared to
stand upon their defence with all the intrepidity of despair. They
closed the gates of Rochelle, their strong hold, against the king's
troops, casting at the same time an imploring eye towards England,
where thousands of brave and generous spirits were burning with
impatience to hasten to their succour.

No act would have been hailed with such loud and general applause of her
people as an instant renunciation by Elizabeth of all friendship and
intercourse with the perjured and blood-stained Charles, the midnight
assassin of his own subjects; and it is impossible to contemplate
without disdain the coldness and littleness of that character which, in
such a case, could consent to measure its demonstrations of indignation
and abhorrence by the narrow rules of a self-interested caution. But
that early experience of peril and adversity which had formed the mind
of this princess to penetration, wariness, and passive courage, and
given her a perfect command of the whole art of simulation and
dissimulation, had at the same time robbed her of some of the noblest
impulses of our nature; of generosity, of ardor, of enterprise, of
magnanimity. Where more exalted spirits would only have felt, she
calculated; where bolder ones would have flown to action, she contented
herself with words.

Charles and his mother, while still in uncertainty how far their
master-stroke of policy,--so they regarded it,--would be successful in
crushing entirely the Hugonots, prudently resolved to spare no efforts
to preserve Elizabeth their friend, or to prevent her at least from
becoming an open enemy. Instructions had therefore been in the first
instance dispatched to La Mothe Fenelon, the French ambassador in
England, to communicate such an account of the massacre and its motives
as suited these views, and to solicit a confirmation of the late treaty
of amity. His reception at court on this occasion was extremely solemn:
the courtiers and ladies who lined the rooms leading to the
presence-chamber were all habited in deep mourning, and not one of them
would vouchsafe a word or a smile to the ambassador, though himself a
man of honor, and one whom they had formerly received on the footing of
cordial intimacy. The queen herself, in listening to his message,
assumed an aspect more composed, but extremely cold and serious. She
expressed her horror at the idea that a sovereign could imagine himself
under a necessity of taking such vengeance on his own subjects;
represented the practicability of proceeding with them according to law,
and desired to be better informed of the reality of the treasonable
designs imputed to the Hugonots. She also declared that it would be
difficult for her to place reliance hereafter on the friendship of a
prince who had shown himself so deadly a foe to those who professed her
religion; but, at the suit of the ambassador, she consented to suspend
in some degree her judgement of the deed till further information.

Even these feeble demonstrations of sensibility to crime so enormous
were speedily laid aside. In spite of Walsingham's declared opinion,
that the demonstrations of the French court towards her were so
evidently treacherous that its open enmity was less to be dreaded than
its feigned friendship, Elizabeth suffered her indignation to evaporate
in a few severe speeches, restrained her subjects from carrying such aid
to the defenders of Rochelle as could be made a ground of serious
quarrel, and even permitted a renewal of the shocking and monstrous
overtures for her marriage with the youngest son of Catherine de' Medici
herself. By this shameless woman various proposals were now made for
bringing about a personal interview between herself and Elizabeth. She
first named England as the place of meeting, then the sea between Dover
and Calais, and afterwards the isle of Jersey; but from the first plan
she herself departed, and the others were rejected in anger by the
English council, who remarked, with a proper and laudable spirit, that
they who had ventured upon such propositions must imagine them strangely
careless of the personal safety of their sovereign.

Charles IX. was particularly anxious that Elizabeth, as a pledge of
friendship, should consent to stand sponsor to his new-born daughter;
and with this request, after some difficulties and a few declarations of
horror at his conduct, she had the baseness to comply. She refused
however to indulge that king in his further desire, that she would
appoint either the earl of Leicester or lord Burleigh as her proxy;--not
choosing apparently to trust these pillars of state and of the
protestant cause within his reach; and she sent instead her cousin the
earl of Worcester, "a good simple gentleman," as Leicester called him,
and a catholic.

All this time Elizabeth was in her heart as hostile to the court of
France as the most zealous of her protestant subjects; for she well knew
that it was and ever must be essentially hostile to her and her
government; and in the midst of her civilities she took care to supply
to the Hugonots such secret aids as should enable them still to
persevere in a formidable resistance.

It is worth recording, on the subject of these negotiations between
Elizabeth and the royal family of France, that Burleigh seems to have
been encouraged to expect a successful issue by a calculation of the
queen's nativity, seen by Strype in his own handwriting, from which it
was foretold that she should marry, in middle life, a foreign prince
younger than herself; and probably be the mother of a son, who should be
prosperous in his middle age. Catherine de' Medici also, to whom some
female fortune-teller had predicted that all her sons should be kings,
hoped, after the election of her second son to the throne of Poland, to
find the full accomplishment of the prophecy in the advancement of the
youngest to the matrimonial crown of England. So serious was the belief
of that age in the lying oracles of judicial astrology!

Among the English travellers doomed to be eye-witnesses of the horrors
of the massacre of St. Bartholomew was the celebrated Philip Sidney,
then a youth of eighteen. He was the eldest son of sir Henry Sidney,
lord-deputy of Ireland, and from this excellent man and parent he had
received, amongst his earliest and strongest impressions, those elevated
principles of honor, veracity and moral purity which regulated and
adorned the whole tenor of his after-life. An extraordinary solidity of
character with great vivacity of parts had distinguished him from a
child, and fortune conspired with genius to bring him early before the
public eye.

He was nephew and presumptive heir to the earl of Leicester, by whom he
was in a manner adopted; and thus patronized, his rapid advancement was
anticipated as a matter of course.

It was the practice of that day for parents in higher life to dispose of
their children in marriage at an age now justly accounted immature[75];
and no sooner had young Sidney completed his fourteenth year than
arrangements were made for his union with Anne Cecil, daughter of the
secretary. Why the connexion never took place we do not learn: sir Henry
Sidney in a letter to Cecil says, with reference to this affair; "I am
sorry that you find coldness any where in proceeding, where such good
liking appeared in the beginning; but, for my part, I was never more
ready to perfect that affair than presently I am." &c. Shortly after,
the lady, unfortunately for herself, became the wife of the earl of
Oxford; and Sidney, still unfettered by matrimonial engagements,
obtained license to travel, and reached Paris in May 1572. Charles IX.,
in consideration no doubt of the influence of his uncle at the English
court, gave him the appointment of a gentleman of his bed-chamber, a
fortnight only before the massacre. On that night of horrors Sidney
took shelter in the house of Walsingham, and thus escaped all personal
danger; but his after-conduct fully proved how indelible was the
impression left upon his mind of the monstrous wickedness of the French
royal family, and the disgrace and misery which an alliance with it must
entail on his queen and country.

[Note 75: Thus we find sir George Manners, ancestor of the dukes of
Rutland, who died in 1513, bequeathing to each of his unmarried
daughters a portion of three hundred marks to be paid at the time of
their marriage, or within _four_ years after if the husband be not
twenty-one years of age; or at such time as the husband came of age.

Collins's "Peerage," by sir E. Brydges.]

He readily obeyed his uncle's directions to quit France without delay;
and, proceeding to Frankfort, there formed a highly honorable and
beneficial friendship with the virtuous Hubert Languet, who opened to
him at once his heart and his purse. The remonstrances of this patron,
who dreaded to excess for his youthful friend the artifices of the papal
court, deterred him from extending his travels to Rome, an omission
which he afterwards deeply regretted; but a leisurely survey of the
northern cities of Italy, during which he became advantageously known to
many eminent characters, occupied him profitably and delightfully till
his return to his native country in 1575, after which he will again
occur to our notice as the pride and wonder of the English court.


1573 TO 1577.

Letters of lord Talbot to his father.--Connexion of Leicester with lady
Sheffield.--Anecdote of the queen and Mr. Dyer.--Queen suspicions of
Burleigh.--Countesses of Lenox and Shrewsbury imprisoned.--Queen refuses
the sovereignty of Holland.--Her remarkable speech to the
deputies.--Alchemy.--Notice of Dr. Dee--of Frobisher.--Family of
Love.--Burning of two Anabaptists.--Entertainment of the queen at
Kennelworth.--Notice of Walter earl of Essex.--General favor towards his
son Robert.--Letter of the queen to the earl of Shrewsbury respecting

Great as had been the injustice committed by Elizabeth in the detention
of the queen of Scots, it must be confessed that the offence brought
with it its own sufficient punishment in the fears, jealousies and
disquiets which it entailed upon her.

Where Mary was concerned, the most approved loyalty, the longest course
of faithful service, and the truest attachment to the protestant cause,
were insufficient pledges to her oppressor of the fidelity of her nobles
or ministers. The earl of Shrewsbury, whom she had deliberately selected
from all others to be the keeper of the captive queen, and whose
vigilance had now for so long a period baffled all attempts for her
deliverance, was, to the last, unable so to establish himself in the
confidence of his sovereign as to be exempt from such starts of
suspicion and fits of displeasure as kept him in a state of continual
apprehension. Feeling with acuteness all the difficulties of his
situation, this nobleman judged it expedient to cause Gilbert lord
Talbot, his eldest son, to remain in close attendance on the motions of
the queen; charging him to study with unremitting attention all the
intrigues of the court, on which in that day so much depended, and to
acquaint him with them frequently and minutely. To this precaution of
the earl's we owe several extant letters of lord Talbot, which throw
considerable light on the minor incidents of the time.

In May 1573, this diligent news-gatherer acquaints his father, that the
earl of Leicester was much with her majesty, that he was more than
formerly solicitous to please her, and that he was as high in favor as
ever: but that two sisters, lady Sheffield and lady Frances Howard, were
deeply in love with him and at great variance with each other; that the
queen was on this account very angry with them, and not well pleased
with him, and that spies were set upon him. To such open demonstrations
of feminine jealousy did this great queen condescend to have recourse!
Yet she remained all her life in ignorance of the true state of this
affair, which, in fact, is not perfectly cleared up at the present day.

It appears that a criminal intimacy was known to subsist between
Leicester and lady Sheffield even before the death of her lord, in
consequence of which, this event, which was sudden, and preceded it is
said by violent symptoms, was popularly attributed to the Italian arts
of Leicester. During this year, lady Sheffield bore him a son, whose
birth was carefully concealed for fear of giving offence to the queen,
though many believed that a private marriage had taken place. Afterwards
he forsook the mother of his child to marry the countess of Essex, and
the deserted lady became the wife of another. In the reign of James I.,
many years after the death of Leicester, sir Robert Dudley his son, to
whom he had left a great part of his fortune, laid claim to the family
honors, bringing several witnesses to prove his mother's marriage, and
among others his mother herself. This lady declared on oath that
Leicester, in order to compel her to form that subsequent marriage in
his lifetime which must deprive her of the power of claiming him as her
husband, had employed the most violent menaces, and had even attempted
her life by a poisonous potion which had thrown her into an illness by
which she lost her hair and nails. After the production of all this
evidence, the heirs of Leicester exerted all their interest to stop
proceedings;--no great argument of the goodness of their cause;--and sir
Robert Dudley died without having been able to bring the matter to a
legal decision. In the next reign the evidence formerly given was
reviewed, and the title of duchess Dudley conferred on the widow of sir
Robert, the patent setting forth that the marriage of the earl of
Leicester with lady Sheffield had been satisfactorily proved.

So close were the contrivances, so deep, as it appears, the villanies of
this celebrated favorite! But his consummate art was successful in
throwing over these and other transactions of his life, a veil of doubt
and mystery which time itself has proved unable entirely to remove.

Hatton was at this time ill, and lord Talbot mentions that the queen
went daily to visit him, but that a party with which Leicester was
thought to co-operate, was endeavouring to bring forwards Mr. Edward
Dyer to supplant him in her majesty's favor. This gentleman, it seems,
had been for two years in disgrace; and as he had suffered during the
same period from a bad state of health, the queen was made to believe
that the continuance of her displeasure was the cause of his malady, and
that his recovery was without her pardon hopeless. This was taking her
by her weak side; she loved to imagine herself the dispenser of life and
death to her devoted servants, and she immediately dispatched to the
sick gentleman a comfortable message, on receipt of which he was made
whole. The letter-writer observes, to the honor of lord Burleigh, that
he concerned himself as usual only in state affairs, and suffered all
these love-matters and petty intrigues to pass without notice before his

All the caution, however, and all the devotedness of this great minister
were insufficient to preserve him, on the following occasion, from the
unworthy suspicions of his mistress. The queen of Scots had this year
with difficulty obtained permission to resort to the baths of Buxton for
the recovery of her health; and a similar motive led thither at the same
time the lord-treasurer. Elizabeth marked the coincidence; and when, a
year or two afterwards, it occurred for the second time, her displeasure
broke forth: she openly accused her minister of seeking occasions of
entering into intelligence with Mary by means of the earl of Shrewsbury
and his lady, and it was not without difficulty that he was able to
appease her. This striking fact is thus related by Burleigh himself in a
remarkable letter to the earl of Shrewsbury.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Lord Burleigh to the earl of Shrewsbury._

"My very good lord,

"My most hearty and due commendations done, I cannot sufficiently
express in words the inward hearty affection that I conceive by your
lordship's friendly offer of the marriage of your younger son; and that
in such a friendly sort, by your own letter, and, as your lordship
writeth, the same proceeding of yourself. Now, my lord, as I think
myself much beholding to you for this your lordship's kindness, and
manifest argument of a faithful good will, so must I pray your lordship
to accept mine answer, with assured opinion of my continuance in the
same towards your lordship. There are specially two causes why I do not
in plain terms consent by way of conclusion hereto; the one for that my
daughter is but young in years; and upon some reasonable respects I have
determined, notwithstanding I have been very honorably offered matches,
not to treat of marrying of her, if I may live so long, until she shall
be above fifteen or sixteen; and if I were of more likelihood myself to
live longer than I look to do, she should not, with my liking, be
married before she were near eighteen or twenty.

"The second cause why I defer to yield to conclusion with your
lordship, is grounded upon such a consideration as, if it were not truly
to satisfy your lordship, and to avoid a just offence which your
lordship might conceive of my forbearing, I would not by writing or
message utter, but only by speech to your lordship's self. My lord, it
is over true and over much against reason, that upon my being at
Buckstones last, advantage was sought by some that loved me not, to
confirm in her majesty a former conceit which had been labored to be put
into her head, that I was of late time become friendly to the queen of
Scots, and that I had no disposition to encounter her practises; and
now, at my being at Buckstones, her majesty did directly conceive that
my being there was, by means of your lordship and my lady, to enter into
intelligence with the queen of Scots; and hereof at my return to her
majesty's presence I had very sharp reproofs for my going to Buckstones,
with plain charging of me for favoring the queen of Scots, and that in
so earnest a sort as I never looked for, knowing my integrity to her
majesty; but, specially, knowing how contrariously the queen of Scots
conceived of me for many things past to the offence of the said queen of
Scots. And yet, true it is, I never indeed gave just cause by any
private affection of my own, or for myself, to offend the queen of
Scots; but whatsoever I did was for the service of mine own lady and
queen, which if it were yet again to be done I would do. And though I
know myself subject to contrary workings of displeasure, yet I will not,
for remedy of any of them both, decline from the duty I owe to God and
my sovereign queen; for I know, and do understand, that I am in this
contrary sort maliciously depraved, and yet in secret sort; on the one
part, and that of long time, that I am the most dangerous enemy and evil
willer to the queen of Scots; on the other side, that I am also a secret
well willer to her and her title; and that I have made my party good
with her. Now, my lord, no man can make both these true together; but it
sufficeth for such as like not me in doing my duty to deprave me, and
yet in such sort is done in darkness as I cannot get opportunity to
convince them in the light. In all these crossings, my good lord, I
appeal to God, who knoweth, yea, I thank him infinitely, who directeth
my thoughts to intend principally the service and honor of God, and,
jointly with that, the surety and greatness of my sovereign lady the
queen's majesty; and for any other respect but that may tend to those
two, I appeal to God to punish me if I have any. As for the queen of
Scots, truly I have no spot of evil meaning to her; neither do I mean to
deal with any titles to the crown. If she shall intend any evil to the
queen's majesty my sovereign, for her sake I must and will mean to
impeach her; and therein I may be her unfriend or worse.

"Well now, my good lord, your lordship seeth I have made a long
digression from my answer, but I trust your lordship can consider what
moveth me thus to digress: Surely it behoveth me not only to live
uprightly, but to avoid all probable arguments that may be gathered to
render me suspected to her majesty, whom I serve with all dutifulness
and sincerity; and therefore I gather this, that if it were understood
that there were a communication, or a purpose of a marriage between your
lordship's son and my daughter, I am sure there would be an advantage
sought to increase these former suspicions [word missing] purpose.
Considering the young years of our two children [word missing] as if the
matter were fully agreed betwixt us, the parents, the marriage could not
take effect, I think it best to refer the motion in silence, and yet so
to order it with ourselves, that, when time shall hereafter be more
convenient, we may, and then also with less cause of vain suspicion,
renew it. And, in the meantime, I must confess myself much bounden to
your lordship for your goodness; wishing your lordship's son all the
good education that may be mete to teach him to fear God, love your
lordship his natural father, and to know his friends; without any
curiosity of human learning, which, without the fear of God, I see doth
much hurt to all youth in this time and age. My lord, I pray you bear
with my scribbling, which I think your lordship shall hardly read, and
yet I would not use my man's hand in such a matter as this is. [From
Hampton Court, 25th Dec. 1575.]

"Your lordship's most assured at command

"W. BURLEIGH[76]."

[Note 76: "Illustrations" by Lodge.]

       *       *       *       *       *

A similar caution to that of lord Burleigh was not observed in the
disposal of her daughters by the countess of Shrewsbury; a woman
remarkable above all her contemporaries for a violent, restless and
intriguing spirit, and an inordinate thirst of money and of sway. She
brought to effect in 1574 a marriage between Elizabeth Cavendish, her
daughter by a former husband, and Charles Stuart, brother of Darnley and
next to the king of Scots in the order of succession to the crowns both
of England and Scotland. Notwithstanding the rooted enmity between Mary
and the house of Lenox, this union was supposed to be the result of some
private intrigue between lady Shrewsbury and the captive queen; and in
consequence of it Elizabeth committed to custody for some time, both the
mother of the bride and the unfortunate countess of Lenox, doomed to
expiate by such a variety of sufferings the unpardonable offence, in the
eyes of Elizabeth, of having given heirs to the British sceptres.

A signal occasion presented itself to the queen in 1575 of demonstrating
to all neighbouring powers, that whatever suspicions her close and
somewhat crooked system of policy might now and then have excited,
self-defence was in reality its genuine principle and single object; and
that the clear and comprehensive view which she had taken of her own
true interests, joined to the habitual caution of her character, would
ever restrain her from availing herself of the most tempting
opportunities of aggrandizement at their expense.

The provinces of Holland and Zealand, goaded into revolt by the bigotry
and barbarity of Philip of Spain, had from the first experienced in the
English nation, and even in Elizabeth herself, a disposition to
encourage and shelter them; and despairing of being able longer to
maintain alone the unequal contest which they had provoked, yet resolute
to return no more under the tyranny of a detested master, they now
embraced the resolution of throwing themselves entirely upon her
protection. It was urged that Elizabeth,--as descended from Philippa
wife of Edward III., a daughter of that count of Hainalt and Holland
from one of whose co-heiresses the king of Spain derived the Flemish
part of his dominions,--might claim somewhat of a hereditary title to
their allegiance, and a solemn deputation was appointed to offer to her
the sovereignty of the provinces on condition of defending them from the

There was much in the proposal to flatter the pride and tempt the
ambition of a prince; much also to gratify that desire of retaliation
which the encouragement given by Philip to the Northern rebellion and to
certain movements in Ireland, as well as to all the machinations of the
queen of Scots, may reasonably be supposed to have excited in the bosom
of Elizabeth. Zeal for the protestant cause, had she ever entertained it
separately from considerations of personal interest and safety, might
have proved a further inducement with her to accept the patronage of
these afflicted provinces:--but not all the motives which could be urged
were of force to divert her from her settled plan of policy; and after a
short interval of anxious hesitation, she resolved to dismiss the envoys
with an absolute refusal. The speech which she addressed to them on this
occasion was highly characteristic, and in one point extremely

She reprobated, doubtless with great sincerity, the principle, that
there were cases in which subjects might be justified in throwing off
allegiance to their lawful prince; and protested that, for herself,
nothing could ever tempt her to usurp upon the dominions either of her
good brother of Spain or any other prince. Finally, she took upon her to
advert to the religious scruples which had produced the revolt of the
Hollanders, in a tone of levity which it is difficult to understand her
motive for assuming: since it could not fail, from her lips especially,
to give extreme scandal to the deputies and to all other serious men.
She said, that it was unreasonable in the Dutch to have stirred up so
great a commotion merely on account of the celebration of mass; and that
so contumacious a resistance to their king could never redound to their
honor, since they were not compelled to believe in the divinity of the
mass, but only to be spectators of its performance,--as at a public
spectacle. "What!" said she, "if I were to begin to act some scene in a
dress like this," (for she was clad in white like a priest,) "should you
regard it as a crime to behold it?[77]" Was the queen here making the
apology of her own compliances under the reign of her sister, or was she
generously furnishing a salvo for others? In any case, the sentiment, as
coming from the heroine of protestantism, is extraordinary.

[Note 77: Reidani "Annal." Vide Bayle's "Dictionary," art.

An ineffectual remonstrance, addressed by Elizabeth to the king of
Spain, was the only immediate result of this attempt of the Provinces
to engage her in their concerns. She kept a watchful eye, however, upon
their great and glorious struggle; and the time at length came, when she
found it expedient to unite more closely her interest with theirs.

England now enjoyed profound tranquillity, internal and external, and
our annalists find leisure to advert to various circumstances of
domestic history. They mention a corporation formed for the
transmutation of iron into copper by the method of one Medley an
alchemist, of which the learned but credulous sir Thomas Smith,
secretary of state, was a principal promoter, and in which both
Leicester and Burleigh embarked some capital. The master of the Mint
ventured to express a doubt of the success of the experiment, because
the adept had engaged that the weight of copper procured should exceed
that of all the substances employed in its production; but nobody seems
to have felt the force of this simple objection, and great was the
disappointment of all concerned when at length the bubble burst.

About the same time the famous Dr. Dee, mathematician, astrologer, and
professor of the occult sciences, being pressed by poverty, supplicated
Burleigh to procure her majesty's patronage for his infallible method of
discovering hidden treasures. This person, who stood at the head of his
class, had been early protected by Leicester, who employed him to fix a
lucky day for the queen's coronation. He had since been patronized by
her majesty, who once visited him at his house at Mortlake, took lessons
of him in astronomy, and occasionally supplied him with money to defray
the expenses of his experiment. She likewise presented him to some
ecclesiastical benefices; but he often complained of the delay or
non-performance of her promises of pensions and preferment. On one
occasion he was sent to the continent, ostensibly for the purpose of
consulting physicians and philosophers on the state of her majesty's
health; but probably not without some secret political commission. After
a variety of wild adventures in different countries of Europe, in which
he and his associate Kelly discovered still more knavery than credulity
in the exercise of their various false sciences and fallacious arts, Dee
was invited home by her majesty in 1589, and was afterwards presented by
her with the wardenship of Manchester-college. But he was hated and
sometimes insulted by the people as a conjurer; quarrelled with the
fellows of his college, quitted Manchester in disgust, and failing to
obtain the countenance of king James died at length in poverty and
neglect;--the ordinary fate of his class of projectors. Elizabeth
performed a more laudable part in lending her support to the enterprise
of that able and spirited navigator Martin Frobisher, who had long been
soliciting in vain among the merchants the means of attempting a
northwest passage to the Indies, and was finally supplied by the queen
with two small vessels. With these he set sail in June 1576, and though
unsuccessful in the prime object of his voyage, extended considerably
the previous acquaintance of navigators with the coasts of Greenland,
and became the discoverer of the straits which still bear his name.

A sect called "The family of Love" had lately sprung up in England. Its
doctrines, notwithstanding the frightful reports raised of them, were
probably dangerous neither to the established church, with the rites of
which the brethren willingly complied, nor yet to the state; and it may
be doubted whether they were in any respect incompatible with private
morals; but no innovations in religion were regarded as tolerable or
venial under the rigid administration of Elizabeth; and the leaders of
the new heresy were taken into custody, and compelled to recant. Some
anabaptists were apprehended about the same time, who acknowledged their
error at Paul's Cross, bearing faggots,--the tremendous symbol of the
fate from which their recantation had rescued them. Two of these unhappy
men, however, repented of the disingenuous act into which human frailty
had betrayed them; and returning to the open profession of their
opinions were burned in Smithfield, to the eternal opprobrium of
protestant principles and the deep disgrace of the governess and
institutress of the Anglican Church.

The observation of lord Talbot, that the earl of Leicester showed
himself more than ever solicitous to improve the favor of his sovereign,
received confirmation from the unparalleled magnificence of the
reception which he provided for her when, during her progress in the
summer of 1575, she honored him with a visit in Warwickshire.

The "princely pleasures of Kennelworth," were famed in their day as the
quintessence of all courtly delight, and very long and very pompous
descriptions of these festive devices have come down to our times. They
were conducted on a scale of grandeur and expense which may still
surprise; but taste as yet was in its infancy, and the whole was
characterized by the unmerciful tediousness, the ludicrous
incongruities, and the operose pedantry of a semi-barbarous age.

A temporary bridge 70 feet in length was thrown across a valley to the
great gate of the castle, and its posts were hung with the offerings of
seven of the Grecian deities to her majesty; displaying in grotesque
assemblage, cages of various large birds, fruits, corn, fishes, grapes,
and wine in silver vessels, musical instruments of many kinds and
weapons and armour hung trophy-wise on two ragged staves. A poet
standing at the end of the bridge explained in Latin verse the meaning
of all. The Lady of the Lake, invisible since the disappearance of the
renowned prince Arthur, approached on a floating island along the moat
to recite adulatory verses. Arion, being summoned for the like purpose,
appeared on a dolphin four-and-twenty feet long, which carried in its
belly a whole orchestra. A Sibyl, a "Salvage man" and an Echo posted in
the park, all harangued in the same strain. Music and dancing enlivened
the Sunday evening. Splendid fireworks were displayed both on land and
water;--a play was performed;--an Italian tumbler exhibited his
feats;--thirteen bears were baited;--there were three stag-hunts, and a
representation of a country bridal, followed by running at the quintin:
finally, the men of Coventry exhibited, by express permission, their
annual mock fight in commemoration of a signal defeat of the Danes.

Nineteen days did the earl of Leicester sustain the overwhelming honor
of this royal visit;--a demonstration of her majesty's satisfaction in
her entertainment quite unexampled, but which probably awakened less
envy than any other token of her peculiar grace by which she might have
been pleased to distinguish her favorite.

No domestic incident had for a long time excited so strong a sensation
as the death of Walter Devereux earl of Essex, which took place at
Dublin in the autumn of the year 1576. This nobleman is celebrated for
his talents, his virtues, his unfortunate and untimely death, and also
as the father of a son still more distinguished and destined to a fate
yet more disastrous. He was of illustrious descent, deriving a part of
his hereditary honors from the lords Ferrers of Chartley, and the rest
from the noble family of Bourchier, through a daughter of Thomas of
Woodstock youngest son of Edward III. In his nineteenth year he
succeeded his grandfather as viscount Hereford, and coming to court
attracted the merited commendations of her majesty by his learning, his
abilities, and his ingenuous modesty.

During a short period the viscount was joined in commission with the
earls of Huntingdon and Shrewsbury for the safe keeping of the queen of
Scots. On the breaking out of the northern rebellion, he joined the
royal army with all the forces he could raise; and in reward of this
forwardness in her service her majesty conferred on him the garter, and
subsequently invested him, after the most solemn and honorable form of
creation, with the dignity of earl of Essex, long hereditary in the
house of Bourchier.

By these marks of favor the jealousy of Leicester and of other courtiers
was strongly excited; but with little cause. The spirit of the earl had
too much of boldness, of enterprise, of a high-souled generosity, to
permit him to take root and flourish in that scene of treachery and
intrigue--a court; it quickly prompted him to seek occupation at a
distance, in the attempt to subdue and civilize a turbulent Irish

He solicited and obtained from the queen, by a kind of agreement then
not unusual, a grant to himself and the adventurers under him of half of
the district of Clandeboy in Ulster, on condition of his rescuing and
defending the whole of it from the rebels and defraying half the
expenses of the service. Great things were expected from his expedition,
on which he embarked in August 1573: but sir William Fitzwilliams,
deputy of Ireland, viewed the arrival of the earl with sentiments which
led him to oppose every possible obstacle to his success. Probably, too,
Essex himself found, on trial, the task of subduing the _Irishry_ (as
the natives of the island were then called) a more difficult one than he
had anticipated. Some brilliant service, however, amid many delays and
disappointments, he performed in various parts of the country; and
having returned to England in 1575 to lay all his grievances before the
queen, and face the court faction which injured him in his absence, he
was sent back with the title of Marshal of Ireland, an appointment
which Leicester, for his own purposes, is said to have been active in
procuring him.

Sir Henry Sidney had now succeeded Fitzwilliams as lord-deputy; and from
him it does not appear that Essex had the same systematic opposition to
encounter: on the contrary, having been applied to by the queen for his
opinion of the expediency of granting several requests of the earl
relative to this service, sir Henry advised her majesty to comply with
most of them, prefacing his counsel with the following sentence: "Of the
earl I must say, that he is so noble and worthy a personage, and so
forward in all his actions, and so complete a gentleman wherein he may
either advance your honor or service, as you may take comfort to have in
store so rare a subject, who hath nothing in greater regard than to show
himself such an one indeed as the common fame reporteth him; which hath
been no more, in troth, than his due deserts and painful travels in the
worst parts of this miserable country have deserved[78]."

[Note 78: "Sidney Papers," vol. i.]

Such in fact was the apparent cordiality between the deputy and the
marshal, that a proposal passed for the marriage of Philip Sidney to the
lady Penelope Devereux daughter of the earl: but if this friendship were
ever sincere on the part of sir Henry, it was at least short-lived; for,
writing a few months after Essex's death to Leicester respecting the
earl of Ormond, whom the favorite regarded as his enemy, he says.... "In
fine, my lord, I am ready to accord with him; but, my most dear lord
and brother, be you upon your keeping for him; for, if Essex had lived,
you should have found him as violent an enemy as his heart, power and
cunning would have served him to have been; and for that their malice, I
take God to record, I could brook neither of them both[79]."

[Note 79: "Sidney Papers," vol. i.]

Ireland was, during the whole of Elizabeth's reign, that part of her
dominions which it cost her most trouble to govern, and with which her
system of policy prospered the least. Without a considerable military
force it was impossible to bring into subjection those parts of the
country which still remained in a state of barbarism under the sway of
native chieftains, or even to preserve in safety and civility such
districts as were already reclaimed and brought within the English pale.
But the queen's parsimony, or, more truly, the narrowness of her income,
caused her perpetually to repine at the great expenses to which she was
put for this service, and frequently to run the risk of losing all that
had been slowly gained, by a sudden withdrawment, or long delay, of the
necessary supplies. Her suspicious temper caused her likewise to lend
ready ear to the complaints, whether founded or not, brought by the
disaffected Irish against her officers. Sir Henry Sidney himself, the
deputy whom she most favored and trusted, and continued longer in office
than any other, supported as he was at court by the potent influence of
Leicester and the steady friendship of Burleigh, had many causes offered
him of vexation and discontent; and those who held inferior commands,
and were less ably protected from the attacks of their enemies,
experienced almost insupportable anxieties from counteractions,
difficulties and hardships of every kind. Of these the unfortunate earl
of Essex had his full share.

The hopes of improving his fortune, with which he had entered upon the
service, were so far from being realized that he found himself sinking
continually deeper in debt. His efforts against the rebels were by no
means uniformly successful. His court enemies contrived to divert most
of the succours designed him by his sovereign, and the perplexities of
his situation went on accumulating instead of diminishing. The bodily
fatigue which he endured in the prosecution of his designs, joined to
the anguish of a wounded spirit, undermined at length the powers of his
constitution, and after repeated attacks he was carried off by a
dysentery in September 1576.

Essex was liberal, affable, brave and eloquent, and generally beloved
both in England and Ireland. The symptoms of his disease, though such as
exposure alone to the pestilential damps of the climate might well have
produced, were also susceptible of being ascribed to poison; and one of
his attendants, a divine who likewise professed medicine, seeing him in
great pain, suddenly exclaimed, "By the mass, my lord, you are
poisoned!" The report spread like wild-fire. To common minds it is a
relief under irremediable misfortune to find an object for blame; and
accordingly, though no direct evidence of the fact was produced, it was
universally believed that some villain had administered to him "an ill

As Leicester was known to be his enemy, strongly suspected of an
intrigue with his wife, and believed capable of any enormity, the
friends and partisans of Essex seem immediately to have pointed at him
as the contriver of his death; yet I find no contemporary evidence of
the imputation, except in the conduct of sir Henry Sidney on this
occasion, which indicates great anxiety for the reputation of his patron
and brother-in-law.

The lord-deputy was unfortunately absent from Dublin at the time of the
earl of Essex's death, and before he could institute a regular
examination into the manner of it, a thousand false tales had been
circulated which were greedily received by the public. On his return,
however, he entered into the investigation with great zeal and
diligence:--the decisive test of an examination of the body was not
indeed applied, for it was one with which that age seems to have been
unacquainted; but many witnesses were called, reports were traced to
their source and in some instances disproved, and the result of the
whole was transmitted by the deputy to the privy-council in a letter
which appears satisfactorily to prove that there was no solid ground to
ascribe the event to any but natural causes. That the deputy himself was
convinced of the correctness of this representation is seen from one of
his private letters to Leicester, published long after in the "Sidney

In all probability, posterity would scarcely have heard of this
imputation on the character of Leicester, had not his marriage with the
widow of Essex served as corroboration of the charge, and given occasion
to the malicious comments of the author of "Leicester's Commonwealth."
This union, however, was not publicly celebrated till two years
afterwards; and we have no certain authority for the fact of the
criminal connexion of the parties during the life of the earl of Essex,
nor for the private marriage said to have been huddled up with indecent
precipitation on his decease.

Walter earl of Essex left Robert his son and successor, then in the
tenth year of his age, to the care and protection of the earl of Sussex
and lord Burleigh; but Mr. Edward Waterhouse, a person of great merit
and abilities, then employed in Ireland and distinguished by the favor
both of lord Burleigh and sir Henry Sidney, had the immediate management
of the fortune and affairs of the minor. Of this friend Essex is related
to have taken leave in his last moments with many kisses, exclaiming, "O
my Ned, my Ned, farewell! thou art the faithfulest and friendliest
gentleman that ever I knew." He proved the fidelity of his attachment by
attending the body of the earl to Wales, whither it was conveyed for
interment, and it was thence that he immediately afterwards addressed to
sir Henry Sidney a letter, of which the following is an extract.

"The state of the earl of Essex, being best known to myself, doth
require my travel for a time in his causes; but my burden cannot be
great when every man putteth to his helping hand. Her majesty hath
bestowed upon the young earl his marriage, and all his father's rules in
Wales, and promiseth the remission of his debt. The lords do generally
favor and further him; some for the trust reposed, some for love to the
father, other for affinity with the child, and some for other causes.
All these lords that wish well to the children, and, I suppose, all the
best sort of the English lords besides, do expect what will become of
the treaty between Mr. Philip and my lady Penelope.

"Truly, my lord, I must say to your lordship, as I have said to my lord
of Leicester and Mr. Philip, the breaking off of this match, if the
default be on your parts, will turn to more dishonor than can be
repaired with any other marriage in England. And I protest unto your
lordship, I do not think that there is at this day so strong a man in
England of friends as the little earl of Essex; nor any man more
lamented than his father since the death of king Edward[80]."

[Note 80: "Sidney Papers."]

Under such high auspices, and with such a general consent of men's minds
in his favor, did the celebrated, the rash, the lamented Essex commence
his brief and ill-starred course! The match between Philip Sidney and
lady Penelope Devereux was finally broken off, as Waterhouse seems to
have apprehended. She married lord Rich, and afterwards Charles Blount
earl of Devonshire, on whose account she had been divorced from her
first husband.

How little all the dark suspicions and sinister reports to which the
death of the earl of Essex had given occasion, were able to influence
the mind of Elizabeth against the man of her heart, may appear by the
tenor of an extraordinary letter written by her in June 1577 to the earl
and countess of Shrewsbury.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Our very good cousins;

"Being given to understand from our cousin of Leicester how honorably he
was not only lately received by you our cousin the countess at
Chatsworth, and his diet by you both discharged at Buxtons, but also
presented with a very rare present, we should do him great wrong
(holding him in that place of favor we do) in case we should not let you
understand in how thankful sort we accept the same at both your hands,
not as done unto him but to our own self; reputing him as another self;
and therefore ye may assure yourselves that we, taking upon us the debt,
not as his but our own, will take care accordingly to discharge the same
in such honorable sort as so well deserving creditors as ye shall never
have cause to think ye have met with an ungrateful debtor." &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lord Talbot, on another occasion, urged upon his father the policy of
ingratiating himself with Leicester by a pressing invitation to
Chatsworth, adding moreover, that he did not believe it would greatly
either further or hinder his going into that part of the country.


1577 TO 1582.

Relations of the queen with France and Spain.--She sends succours to the
Dutch--is entertained by Leicester, and celebrated in verse by P.
Sidney.--Her visit to Norwich.--Letter of Topcliffe.--Notice of sir T.
Smith.--Magical practices against the queen.--Duke Casimir's visit to
England.--Duke of Anjou urges his suit with the queen.--Simier's
mission.--Leicester's marriage.--Behaviour of the queen.--A shot fired
at her barge.--Her memorable speech.--First visit of Anjou in
England.--Opinions of privy-councillors on the match.--Letter of Philip
Sidney.--Stubbs's book.--Punishment inflicted on him.--Notice of sir N.
Bacon.--Drake's return from his circumnavigation.--Jesuit
seminaries.--Arrival of a French embassy.--A triumph.--Notice of Fulk
Greville.--Marriage-treaty with Anjou.--His second visit.--His return
and death.

About the middle of the year 1576, Walsingham in a letter to sir Henry
Sidney thus writes: "Here at home we live in security as we were wont,
grounding our quietness upon other harms." The harms here alluded
to,--the religious wars of France, and the revolt of the Dutch provinces
from Spain,--had proved indeed, in more ways than one, the safeguard of
the peace of England. They furnished so much domestic occupation to the
two catholic sovereigns of Europe, most formidable by their power, their
bigotry, and their unprincipled ambition, as effectually to preclude
them from uniting their forces to put in execution against Elizabeth the
papal sentence of deprivation; and by the opportunity which they
afforded her of causing incalculable mischiefs to these princes through
the succours which she might afford to their rebellious subjects, they
long enabled her to restrain both Philip and Charles within the bounds
of respect and amity. But circumstances were now tending with increased
velocity towards a rupture with Spain, clearly become inevitable; and in
1577 the queen of England saw herself compelled to take steps in the
affairs of the Low Countries equally offensive to that power and to

The states of Holland, after the rejection of their sovereignty by
Elizabeth, cast their eyes around in search of another protector: and
Charles IX., suffering his ambition and his rivalry with Philip II. to
overpower all the vehemence of his zeal for the catholic religion,
showed himself eager to become their patron. His brother the duke
d'Alençon, doubtless with his concurrence, offered on certain terms to
bring a French army for the expulsion of don John of Austria, governor
of the Low Countries; and this proposal he urged with so much
importunity, that the Hollanders, notwithstanding their utter antipathy
to the royal family of France, seemed likely to accede to it, as the
lightest of that variety of evils of which their present situation
offered them the choice. But Elizabeth could not view with indifference
the progress of a negotiation which might eventually procure to France
the annexation of these important provinces; and she encouraged the
states to refuse the offers of Alençon by immediately transmitting for
their service liberal supplies of arms and money to duke Casimir, son of
the Elector Palatine, then at the head of a large body of German
protestants in the Low Countries.

At the same time she endeavoured to repress the catholics in her own
dominions by a stricter enforcement of the penal laws, and two or three
persons in this year suffered capitally for their denial of the queen's

[Note 81: Dr. Whitgift, then bishop of Worcester and vice-president
of the marches of Wales under sir Henry Sidney, peculiarly distinguished
himself by his activity in detecting secret meetings of catholics for
the purpose of hearing mass and practising other rites of their
religion. The privy-council, in reward of his zeal, promised to direct
to him and to some of the Welsh bishops a special commission for the
trial of these delinquents. They further instructed him, in the case of
one Morice who had declined answering directly to certain
interrogatories tending to criminate himself in these matters, that if
he remained obstinate, and the commissioners saw cause, they might at
their discretion cause some kind of torture to be used upon him. The
same means he was also desired to take with others; in order to come to
a full knowledge of all reconcilements to the church of Rome, and other
practices of the papists in these parts. See Strype's "Whitgift," p.

These steps on the part of Elizabeth threatened to disconcert entirely
the plans of the French court; but it still seemed practicable, to the
king and to his brother, to produce a change in her measures; and two or
three successive embassies arrived in London during the spring and
summer of 1578, to renew with fresh earnestness the proposals of
marriage on the part of the duke d'Alençon. The earl of Sussex and his
party favored this match, Leicester and all the zealous protestants in
the court and the nation opposed it. The queen "sat arbitress," and
perhaps prolonged her deliberations on the question, for the pleasure of
receiving homage more than usually assiduous from both factions.

The favorite, anxious to secure his ascendency by fresh efforts of
gallantry and instances of devotedness, entreated to be indulged in the
privilege of entertaining her majesty for several days at his seat of
Wanstead-house; a recent and expensive purchase, which he had been
occupied in adorning with a magnificence suited to the ostentatious
prodigality of his disposition.

It was for the entertainment of her majesty on this occasion that Philip
Sidney condescended to task a genius worthy of better things with the
composition of a mask in celebration of her surpassing beauties and
royal virtues, entitled "The Lady of May." In defence of this public act
of adulation, the young poet had probably the particular request of his
uncle and patron to plead, as well as the common practice of the age;
but it must still be mortifying under any circumstances, to record the
abasement of such a spirit to a level with the vulgar herd of
Elizabethan flatterers.

Unsatiated with festivities and homage, the queen continued her progress
from Wanstead through the counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk,
receiving the attendance of numerous troops of gentry, and making visits
in her way to all who felt themselves entitled, or called, to solicit
with due humility the costly honor of entertaining her. Her train was
numerous and brilliant, and the French ambassadors constantly attended
her motions. About the middle of August she arrived at Norwich.

This ancient city, then one of the most considerable in the kingdom,
yielded to none in a zealous attachment to protestant principles and to
the queen's person; and as its remote situation had rendered the arrival
of a royal visitant within its walls an extremely rare occurrence, the
magistrates resolved to spare nothing which could contribute to the
splendor of her reception.

At the furthest limits of the city she was met by the mayor, who
addressed her in a long and very abject Latin oration, in which he was
not ashamed to pronounce that the city enjoyed its charters and
privileges "by her only clemency." At the conclusion he produced a large
silver cup filled with gold pieces, saying, "Sunt hic centum libræ puri
auri:" Welcome sounds, which failed not to reach the ear of her gracious
majesty, who, lifting up the cover with alacrity, said audibly to the
footman to whose care it was delivered, "Look to it, there is a hundred
pound." Pageants were set up in the principal streets, of which one had
at least the merit of appropriateness, since it accurately represented
the various processes employed in those woollen manufactures for which
Norwich was already famous.

Two days after her majesty's arrival, Mercury, in a blue satin doublet
lined with cloth of gold, with a hat of the same garnished with wings,
and wings at his feet, appeared under her chamber window in an
extraordinarily fine painted coach, and invited her to go abroad and
see more shows; and a kind of mask, in which Venus and Cupid with
Wantonness and Riot were discomfited by the Goddess of Chastity and her
attendants, was performed in the open air. A troop of nymphs and fairies
lay in ambush for her return from dining with the earl of Surry; and in
the midst of these Heathenish exhibitions, the minister of the Dutch
church watched his opportunity to offer to her the grateful homage of
his flock. To these deserving strangers, protestant refugees from
Spanish oppression, the policy of Elizabeth, in this instance equally
generous and discerning, had granted every privilege capable of inducing
them to make her kingdom their permanent abode. At Norwich, where the
greater number had settled, a church was given them for the performance
of public worship in their own tongue, and according to the form which
they preferred; and encouragement was held out to them to establish here
several branches of manufacture which they had previously carried on to
great advantage at home. This accession of skill and industry soon
raised the woollen fabrics of England to a pitch of excellence unknown
in former ages, and repaid with usury to the country this exercise of
public hospitality.

It appears that the inventing of masks, pageants and devices for the
recreation of the queen on her progresses had become a distinct
profession. George Ferrers, formerly commemorated as master of the
pastimes to Edward VI., one Goldingham, and Churchyard, author of "the
Worthiness of Wales," of some legends in the "Mirror for Magistrates,"
and of a prodigious quantity of verse on various subjects, were the
most celebrated proficients in this branch; all three are handed down to
posterity as contributors to "the princely pleasures of Kennelworth,"
and the two latter as managers of the Norwich entertainments. They vied
with each other in the gorgeousness, the pedantry and the surprisingness
of their devices; but the palm was surely due to him of the number who
had the glory of contriving a battle between certain allegorical
personages, in the midst of which, "legs and arms of men, well and
lively wrought, were to be let fall in numbers on the ground as bloody
as might be." The combat was to be exhibited in the open air; but the
skies were unpropitious, and a violent shower of rain unfortunately
deprived her majesty of the satisfaction of witnessing the effect of so
extraordinary and elegant a device.

Richard Topcliffe, a Lincolnshire gentleman employed by government to
collect informations against the papists, and so much distinguished in
the employment, that _Topcliffizare_ became the cant term of the day for
_hunting a recusant_, was at this time a follower of the court; and a
letter addressed by him to the earl of Shrewsbury contains some
particulars of this progress worth preserving.... "I did never see her
majesty better received by two counties in one journey than Suffolk and
Norfolk now; Suffolk of gentlemen and Norfolk of the meaner sort, with
exceeding joy to themselves and well liking to her majesty. Great
entertainment at the master of the Rolls'; greater at Kenninghall, and
exceeding of all sorts at Norwich.

"The next good news, (but in account the highest) her majesty hath
served God with great zeal and comfortable examples; for by her council
two notorious papists, young Rookwood (the master of Euston-hall, where
her majesty did lie upon Sunday now a fortnight) and one Downes, a
gentleman, were both committed, the one to the town prison at Norwich,
the other to the county prison there, for obstinate papistry; and seven
more gentlemen of worship were committed to several houses in Norwich as
prisoners....for badness of belief. This Rookwood is a papist of kind,
newly crept out of his late wardship. Her majesty, by some means I know
not, was lodged at his house, Euston, far unmeet for her highness, but
fitter for the black guard; nevertheless, (the gentleman brought into
her majesty's presence by like device) her excellent majesty gave to
Rookwood ordinary thanks for his bad house, and her fair hand to kiss;
after which it was braved at. But my lord chamberlain, nobly and
gravely, understanding that Rookwood was excommunicated for papistry,
called him before him; demanded of him how he durst to attempt her royal
presence, he, unfit to accompany any Christian person? Forthwith said he
was fitter for a pair of stocks; commanded him out of the court, and yet
to attend her council's pleasure, and at Norwich he was committed. And,
to decypher the gentleman to the full; a piece of plate being missed in
the court and searched for in his hay-house, in the hayrick such an
image of our lady was there found, as for greatness, for gayness, and
workmanship, I did never see a match; and after a sort of country
dances ended, in her majesty's sight the idol was set behind the people,
who avoided. She rather seemed a beast raised upon a sudden from hell by
conjuring, than the picture for whom it had been so often and so long
abused. Her majesty commanded it to the fire, which in her sight by the
country folks was quickly done, to her content, and unspeakable joy of
every one, but some one or two who had sucked of the idol's poisoned

"Shortly after, a great sort of good preachers, who had been commanded
to silence for a little niceness, were licensed, and again commanded to
preach; a greater and more universal joy to the counties, and the most
of the court, than the disgrace of the papists; and the gentlemen of
those parts, being great and hot protestants (almost before by policy
discredited and disgraced), were greatly countenanced." The letter
writer afterwards mentions in a splenetic style the envoy from Monsieur,
one Baqueville a Norman, "with four or five of Monsieur's youths," who
attended the queen and were "well entertained and regarded." After them,
he says, came M. Rambouillet from the French king, brother of the
cardinal, who had not long before written vilely against the queen, and
whose entertainment, it seemed to him, was not so good as that of the

[Note 82: "Illustrations," by Lodge, vol. ii. p. 187.]

The queen was about this time deprived by death of an old and faithful
counsellor, in the person of sir Thomas Smith one of the principal
secretaries of state. This eminent person, the author of a work "on the
Commonwealth of England," still occasionally consulted, and in various
ways a great benefactor to letters in his day, was one of the few who
had passed at once with safety and credit through all the perils and
revolutions of the three preceding reigns. His early proficiency at
college obtained for Smith the patronage of Henry VIII., at whose
expense he was sent to complete his studies in Italy; and he took at
Padua the degree of Doctor of Laws. Resuming on his return his residence
at Cambridge, he united his efforts with those of Cheke for reforming
the pronunciation of the Greek language. Afterwards he furnished an
example of attachment to his mother-tongue which among classical
scholars has found too few imitators, by giving to the public a work on
English orthography and pronunciation; objects as yet almost totally
neglected by his countrymen, and respecting which, down to a much later
period, no approach to system or uniformity prevailed, but, on the
contrary, a vagueness, a rudeness and an ignorance disgraceful to a
lettered people.

Though educated in the civil law, Smith now took deacon's orders and
accepted a rectory, and the deanery of Carlisle. His principles secretly
began to incline towards the reformers, and he lent such protection as
he was able to those who in the latter years of Henry VIII. underwent
persecution for the avowal of similar sentiments.

Protector Somerset patronized him: under his administration he was
knighted notwithstanding his deacon's orders, and became the colleague
of Cecil as secretary of state. On the accession of Mary he was stripped
of the lucrative offices which he held, but a small pension was assigned
him on condition of his remaining in the kingdom; and he contrived to
pass away those days of horror in an unmolested obscurity.

He was among the first whom Mary's illustrious successor recalled to
public usefulness; being summoned to take his place at her earliest
privy-council. In the important measures of the beginning of the reign
for the settlement of religion, he took a distinguished part: afterwards
he was employed with advantage to his country in several difficult
embassies; he was then appointed assistant and finally successor to
Burleigh in the same high post which they had occupied together so many
years before under the reign of Edward, and in this station he died at
the age of sixty-three.

No statesman of the age bore a higher character than sir Thomas Smith
for rectitude and benevolence, and nothing of the wiliness and craft
conspicuous in most of his coadjutors is discernible in him. There was
one foible of his day, however, from which he was by no means exempt: on
certain points he was superstitious beyond the ordinary measure of
learned credulity in the sixteenth century. Of his faith in alchemical
experiments a striking instance has already occurred; he was likewise a
great astrologer, and gave himself much concern in conjecturing what
direful events might be portended by the appearance of a comet which
became visible in the last year of his life. During a temporary
retirement from court, he had also distinguished himself as a magistrate
by his extraordinary diligence in the prosecution of suspected witches.
But the date of these and similar delusions had not yet expired. Great
alarms were excited in the country during the year 1577 by the
prevalence of certain magical practices, which were supposed to strike
at the life of her majesty. There were found at Islington, concealed in
the house of a catholic priest who was a reputed sorcerer, three waxen
images, formed to represent the queen and two of her chief counsellors;
other dealings also of professors of the occult sciences were from time
to time discovered. "Whether it were the effect of this magic," says
Strype, who wrote in the beginning of the eighteenth century, "or
proceeded from some natural cause, but the queen was in some part of
this year under excessive anguish by pains of her teeth: Insomuch that
she took no rest for divers nights, and endured very great torment night
and day." In this extremity, a certain "outlandish" physician was
consulted, who composed on the case, with much solemnity of style, a
long Latin letter, in which, after observing with due humility that it
was a perilous attempt in a person of his slender abilities to prescribe
for a disease which had caused perplexity and diversity of opinion among
the skilful and eminent physicians ordinarily employed by her majesty,
he ventured however to suggest various applications as worthy of trial;
finally hinting at the expediency of having recourse to extraction on
the possible failure of all other means to afford relief. How this
weighty matter terminated we are not here informed; but it is upon
record that Aylmer bishop of London once submitted to have a tooth
drawn, in order to encourage her majesty to undergo that operation; and
as the promotion of the learned prelate was at this time recent, and his
gratitude, it may be presumed, still lively, we may perhaps be permitted
to conjecture that it was the bishop who on this occasion performed the
part of exorcist.

The efforts of duke Casimir for the defence of the United Provinces had
hitherto proved eminently unfortunate; and in the autumn of 1578 he
judged it necessary to come over to England to apologize in person to
Elizabeth for the ill success of his arms, and to make arrangements for
the future.

He was very honorably received by her majesty, who recollected perhaps
with some little complacency that he had formerly been her suitor.
Justings, tilts, and runnings at the ring were exhibited for his
entertainment, and he was engaged in hunting-parties, in which he
greatly delighted. Leicester loaded him with presents; the earl of
Pembroke also complimented him with a valuable jewel. The earl of
Huntingdon, a nobleman whose religious zeal, which had rendered him the
peculiar patron of the puritan divines, interested him also in the cause
of Holland, escorted him on his return as far as Gravesend; and sir
Henry Sidney attended him to Dover. The queen willingly bestowed on her
princely guest the cheap distinction of the garter; but her parting
present of two golden cups, worth three hundred pounds a-piece, was
extorted from her, after much murmuring and long reluctance, by the
urgency of Walsingham, who was anxious, with the rest of his party, that
towards this champion of the protestant cause, though unfortunate, no
mark of respect should be omitted.

The Spanish and French ambassadors repined at the favors heaped on
Casimir; but in the mean time the French faction was not inactive. The
earl of Sussex, whose generally sound judgement seems to have been
warped in this instance by his habitual contrariety to Leicester, wrote
in August 1578 a long letter to the queen, in which, after stating the
arguments for and against the French match, he summed up pretty
decidedly in its favor. What was of more avail, Monsieur sent over to
plead his cause an agent named Simier, a person of great dexterity, who
well knew how to ingratiate himself by a thousand amusing arts; by a
sprightly style of conversation peculiarly suited to the taste of the
queen; and by that ingenious flattery, the talent of his nation, which
is seldom entirely thrown away even upon the sternest and most
impenetrable natures. Elizabeth could not summon resolution to dismiss
abruptly a suit which was so agreeably urged, and in February 1579 lord
Talbot sends the following information to his father: "Her majesty
continueth her very good usage of M. Simier and all his company, and he
hath conference with her three or four times a week, and she is the best
disposed and pleasantest when she talketh with him (as by her gestures
appeareth) that is possible." He adds, "The opinion of Monsieur's
coming still holdeth, and yet it is secretly bruited that he cannot take
up so much money as he would on such a sudden, and therefore will not
come so soon[83]."

[Note 83: "Illustrations," &c. vol. ii.]

The influence of Simier over the queen became on a sudden so potent,
that Leicester and his party reported, and perhaps believed, that he had
employed philters and other unlawful means to inspire her with love for
his master. Simier on his side amply retaliated these hostilities by
carrying to her majesty the first tidings of the secret marriage of her
favorite with the countess of Essex;--a fact which none of her courtiers
had found courage to communicate to her, though it must have been by
this time widely known, as sir Francis Knowles, the countess's father,
had insisted, for the sake of his daughter's reputation, that the
celebration of the nuptials should take place in presence of a
considerable number of witnesses.

The rage of the queen on this disclosure transported her beyond all the
bounds of justice, reason, and decorum. It has been already remarked
that she was habitually, or systematically, an open enemy to matrimony
in general; and the higher any persons stood in her good graces and the
more intimate their access to her, the greater was her resentment at
detecting in them any aspirations after this state; because a kind of
jealousy was in these cases superadded to her malignity, and it offended
her pride that those who were honored with her favor should find
themselves at leisure to covet another kind of happiness of which she
was not the dispenser. But that Leicester, the dearest of her friends,
the first of her favorites, after all the devotedness to her charms
which he had so long professed, and which she had requited by a
preference so marked and benefits so signal,--that he,--her opinion
unconsulted, her sanction unimplored, should have formed,--and with her
own near relation,--this indissoluble tie, and having formed it should
have attempted to conceal the fact from her when known to so many
others,--appeared to her the acme of ingratitude, perfidy, and insult.
She felt the injury like a weak disappointed woman, she resented it like
a queen and a Tudor.

She instantly ordered Leicester into confinement in a small fort then
standing in Greenwich park, and she threw out the menace, nay actually
entertained the design, of sending him to the Tower. But the lofty and
honorable mind of the earl of Sussex revolted against proceedings so
violent, so lawless, and so disgraceful in every point of view to his
royal kinswoman. He plainly represented to her, that it was contrary to
all right and all decorum that any man should be punished for lawful
matrimony, which was held in honor by all; and his known hostility to
the favorite giving weight to his remonstrance, the queen curbed her
anger, gave up all thoughts of the Tower, and soon restored the earl to
liberty. In no long time afterwards, he was readmitted to her presence;
and so necessary had he made himself to her majesty, or so powerful in
the state, that she found it expedient insensibly to restore him to the
same place of trust and intimacy as before; though it is probable that
he never entirely regained her affections; and his countess, for whom
indeed she had never entertained any affection, remained the avowed
object of her utter antipathy even after the death of Leicester, and in
spite of all the intercessions in her behalf with which her son Essex,
in the meridian of his favor, never ceased to importune his sovereign.

The quarrel of Leicester against Simier proceeded to such extremity
after this affair, that the latter believed his life in danger from his
attempts. It was even said that the earl had actually hired one of the
queen's guard to assassinate the envoy, and that the design had only
miscarried by chance. However this might be, her majesty, on account of
the spirit of enmity displayed towards him by the people, to whom the
idea of the French match was ever odious, found it necessary, by a
proclamation, to take Simier under her special protection. It was about
this time that as the queen was taking the air on the Thames, attended
by this Frenchman and by several of her courtiers, a shot was fired into
her barge, by which one of the rowers was severely wounded. Some
supposed that it was aimed at Simier, others at the queen herself; but
the last opinion was immediately silenced by the wise and gracious
declaration of her majesty, "that she would believe nothing of her
subjects that parents would not believe of their children."

After due inquiry the shot was found to have been accidental, and the
person who had been the cause of the mischief, though condemned to
death, was pardoned. Such at least is the account of the affair
transmitted to us by contemporary writers; but it still remains a
mystery how the man came to be capitally condemned if innocent, or to be
pardoned if guilty.

Leicester, from all these circumstances, had incurred so much obloquy at
court, and found himself so coldly treated by the queen herself, that in
a letter to Burleigh he offered, or threatened, to banish himself; well
knowing, perhaps, that the proposal would not be accepted; while the
French prince, now created duke of Anjou, adroitly seized the moment of
the earl's disgrace to try the effect of personal solicitations on the
heart of Elizabeth. He arrived quite unexpectedly, and almost without
attendants, at the gate of her palace at Greenwich; experienced a very
gracious reception; and after several long conferences with the queen
alone, of which the particulars never transpired, took his leave and
returned home, re-committing his cause to the skilful management of his
own agent, and the discussion of his brother's ambassadors.

Long and frequent meetings of the privy-council were now held, by
command of her majesty, for the discussion of the question of marriage;
from the minutes of which some interesting details may be recovered.

The earl of Sussex was still, as ever, strongly in favor of the match;
and chiefly, as it appears, from an apprehension that France and Spain
might otherwise join to dethrone the queen and set up another in her
place. Lord Hunsdon was on the same side, as was also the lord-admiral
(the earl of Lincoln), but less warmly. Burleigh labored to find
arguments in support of the measure, but evidently against his judgement
and to please the queen. Leicester openly professed to have changed his
opinion, "for her majesty was to be followed." Sir Walter Mildmay
reasoned freely and forcibly against the measure, on the ground of the
too advanced age of the queen, and the religion, the previous public
conduct and the family connexions of Anjou. Sir Ralph Sadler subscribed
to most of the objections of Mildmay, and brought forward additional
ones. Sir Henry Sidney approved all these, and subjoined, "that the
marriage could not be made good by all the counsel between England and
Rome; a mass might not be suffered in the court;" meaning, probably,
that the marriage rite could not by any expedient be accommodated to the
consciences of both parties and the law of England.

On the whole, with the single exception perhaps of the earl of Sussex,
those counsellors who pronounced in favor of the marriage in this
debate, did so, almost avowedly, in compliance with the wishes of the
queen, whose inclination to the alliance had become very evident since
the visit of her youthful suitor; while such as opposed it were moved by
strong and earnest convictions of the gross impropriety and thorough
unsuitableness of the match, with respect to Elizabeth herself, and the
dreadful evils which it was likely to entail on the nation. How entirely
the real sentiments of this body were adverse to the step, became
further evident when the council, instead of immediately obeying her
majesty's command, that they should come to a formal decision on the
question and acquaint her with the same, hesitated, temporized, assured
her of their readiness to be entirely guided on a matter so personal to
herself, by her feelings and wishes; requested to be further informed
what these might be, and inquired whether, under all the circumstances,
she was desirous of their coming to a full determination. "This message
was reported to her majesty in the forenoon," (October 7th 1579) "and
she allowed very well of the dutiful offer of their services.
Nevertheless, she uttered many speeches, and that not without shedding
of many tears, that she should find in her councillors, by their long
disputations, any disposition to make it doubtful, whether there could
be any more surety for her and her realm than to have her marry and have
a child of her own body to inherit, and so to continue the line of king
Henry the eighth; and she said she condemned herself of simplicity in
committing this matter to be argued by them, for that she thought, to
have rather had an universal request made to her to proceed in this
marriage, than to have made doubt of it; and being much troubled
herewith she requested" the bearers of this message "to forbear her till
the afternoon."

On their return, she repeated her former expressions of displeasure;
then endeavoured at some length to refute the objections brought against
the match; and finally, her "great misliking" of all opposition, and her
earnest desire for the marriage, being reported to her faithful council,
they agreed, after long consultations, to offer her their services in
furtherance of it, should such really be her pleasure[84].

[Note 84: "Burleigh Papers," by Murdin, _passim._]

But the country possessed some men less obsequious than
privy-councillors, who could not endure to stand by in silence and
behold the great public interests here at stake surrendered in slavish
deference to the fond fancy of a romantic woman, caught by the image of
a passion which she was no longer of an age to inspire, and which she
ought to have felt it an indecorum to entertain. Of this number, to his
immortal honor, was Philip Sidney. This young gentleman bore at the time
the courtly office of cup-bearer to the queen, and was looking for
further advancement at her hands; and as on a former occasion he had not
scrupled to administer some food to her preposterous desire of personal
admiration, Elizabeth, when she applied to him for his opinion on her
marriage, assuredly did so in the hope and expectation of hearing from
him something more graceful to her ears than the language of truth and
wisdom. But Sidney had beheld with his own eyes the horrors of the Paris
massacre; he had imbibed with all the eagerness of a youthful and
generous mind the principles of his friend the excellent Hubert Languet,
one of the ablest advocates of the protestant cause; and he had since,
on his embassy to Germany and Holland, enjoyed the favor and
contemplated the illustrious virtues of William prince of Orange its
heroic champion.

To this sacred cause the purposed marriage must prove, as he well knew,
deeply injurious, and to the reputation of his sovereign fatal:--this
was enough to decide his judgement and his conduct; and magnanimously
disdaining the suggestions of a selfish and servile policy, he replied
to the demand of her majesty, by a letter of dissuasion, almost of
remonstrance, at once the most eloquent and the most courageous piece of
that nature which the age can boast. Every important view of the subject
is comprised in this letter, which is long, but at the same time so
condensed in style, and so skilfully compacted as to matter, that it
well deserves to be read entire, and must lose materially either by
abridgement or omission. Yet it may be permitted to detach from
political reasonings, foreign to the nature and object of this work, a
few sentences referring more immediately to the personal character of
Anjou, and displaying in a strong light the enormous unfitness of the
connexion; and also the animated and affectionate conclusion by which
the writer seems desirous to atone for the enunciation of so many
unwelcome truths.

"These," speaking of her majesty's protestant subjects... "These, how
will their hearts be galled, if not aliened, when they shall see you
take a husband, a Frenchman and a papist, in whom (howsoever fine wits
may find further dealings or painted excuses) the very common people
well know this, that he is the son of a Jezabel of our age; that his
brother made oblation of his own sister's marriage, the easier to make
massacres of our brethren in belief: That he himself, contrary to his
promise and all gratefulness, having his liberty and principal estate
by the Hugonots' means, did sack La Charité, and utterly spoil them with
fire and sword! This, I say, even at first sight, gives occasion to all
truly religious to abhor such a master, and consequently to diminish
much of the hopeful love they have long held to you."

"Now the agent party, which is Monsieur. Whether he be not apt to work
on the disadvantage of your estate, he is to be judged by his will and
power: his will to be as full of light ambition as is possible, besides
the French disposition and his own education, his inconstant temper
against his brother, his thrusting himself into the Low Country matters,
his sometimes seeking the king of Spain's daughter, sometimes your
majesty, are evident testimonies of his being carried away with every
wind of hope; taught to love greatness any way gotten; and having for
the motioners and ministers of the mind only such young men as have
showed they think evil contentment a ground of any rebellion; who have
seen no commonwealth but in faction, and divers of which have defiled
their hands in odious murders. With such fancies and favorites what is
to be hoped for? or that he will contain himself within the limits of
your conditions?"

...."Against contempt, if there be any, which I will never believe, let
your excellent virtues of piety, justice and liberality, daily, if it be
possible, more and more shine. Let such particular actions be found out
(which be easy, as I think, to be done) by which you may gratify all the
hearts of your people. Let those in whom you find trust, and to whom you
have committed trust, in your weighty affairs, be held up in the eyes
of your subjects: Lastly, doing as you do, you shall be as you be, the
example of princes, the ornament of this age, and the most excellent
fruit of your progenitors, and the perfect mirror of your posterity."

Such had ever been the devoted loyalty of Philip Sidney towards
Elizabeth, and so high was the place which he held in her esteem, that
she appears to have imputed the boldness of this letter to no motives
but good ones; and instead of resenting his interference in so delicate
a matter, she is thought to have been deeply moved by his eloquence, and
even to have been influenced by it in the formation of her final
resolve. But far other success attended the efforts of a different
character, who labored with equal zeal, equal reason, and probably not
inferior purity of intention, though for less courtliness of address, to
deter rather than dissuade her from the match, on grounds much more
offensive to her feelings, and by means of what was then accounted a
seditious appeal to the passions and prejudices of the nation.

The work alluded to was entitled "The discovery of a gaping gulf wherein
England is like to be swallowed by another French marriage, if the Lord
forbid not the banns by letting her see the sin and punishment thereof."
Its author was a gentleman named Stubbs, then of Lincoln's Inn, and
previously of Bene't College Cambridge, where we are told that his
intimacies had been formed among the more learned and ingenious class of
students, and where the poet Spenser had become his friend. He was
known as a zealous puritan, and had given his sister in marriage to the
celebrated Edmund Cartwright the leader of the sect. It is probable that
neither his religious principles nor this connexion were forgotten by
the queen in her estimate of his offence. A furious proclamation was
issued against the book, all the copies of which were ordered to be
seized and burned; and the author and publisher, being proceeded against
on a severe statute of Philip and Mary, which many lawyers held to be no
longer in force, were found guilty, and condemned to the barbarous
punishment of amputation of the right hand.

The words of Stubbs on being brought to the scaffold to undergo his
sentence have been preserved, and well merit transcription. "What a
grief it is to the body to lose one of his members you all know. I am
come hither to receive my punishment according to the law. I am sorry
for the loss of my hand, and more sorry to lose it by judgement; but
most of all with her majesty's indignation and evil opinion, whom I have
so highly displeased. Before I was condemned, I might speak for my
innocency; but now my mouth is stopped by judgement, to the which I
submit myself, and am content patiently to endure whatsoever it pleaseth
God, of his secret providence, to lay upon me, and take it justly
deserved for my sins; and I pray God it may be an example to you all,
that it being so dangerous to offend the laws, without an evil meaning,
as breedeth the loss of a hand, you may use your hands holily, and pray
to God for the long preservation of her majesty over you, whom God hath
used as an instrument for a long peace and many blessings over us; and
specially for his Gospel, whereby she hath made a way for us to rest and
quietness to our consciences. For the French I force not; but my
greatest grief is, in so many weeks and days of imprisonment, her
majesty hath not once thought me worthy of her mercy, which she hath
often times extended to divers persons in greater offences. For my hand,
I esteem it not so much, for I think I could have saved it, and might do
yet; but I will not have a guiltless heart and an infamous hand. I pray
you all to pray with me, that God will strengthen me to endure and abide
the pain that I am to suffer, and grant me this grace, that the loss of
my hand do not withdraw any part of my duty and affection toward her
majesty, and because, when so many veins of blood are opened, it is
uncertain how they may be stayed, and what wilt be the event
thereof.".... The hand ready on the block to be stricken off, he said
often to the people: "Pray for me now my calamity is at hand." And so,
with these words, it was smitten off, whereof he swoonded[85]."

[Note 85: "Nugæ."]

In this speech, the language of which is so remarkably contrasted with
those abject submissions which fear extorted from the high-born victims
of the tyranny of Henry VIII., the attentive reader will discern
somewhat of the same spirit which combated popery and despotism under
the Stuarts, though tempered by that loyal attachment towards the
restorer and protectress of reformed religion which dwelt in the hearts
of all the protestant subjects of Elizabeth without exception.

After the execution of the more painful part of his sentence, Stubbs was
further punished by an imprisonment of several months in the Tower: but
under all these inflictions, his courage and his cheerfulness were
supported by a firm persuasion of the goodness of the cause in which he
suffered. He wrote many letters to his friends with the left hand,
signing them Scævola; a surname which it was his pleasure to adopt in
memory of a circumstance by which he did not feel himself to be the
person dishonored. Such was the opinion entertained by Burleigh of the
theological learning of this eminent person and the soundness of his
principles, that he engaged him in 1587 to answer Cardinal Allen's
violent book entitled "The English Justice;" a task which he is said to
have performed with distinguished ability.

During the whole of the year 1580, the important question of the queen's
marriage remained in an undecided state. The court of France appears to
have suffered the treaty to languish, and Elizabeth, conscious no doubt
that her fond inclination could only be gratified at the expense of that
popularity which it had been the leading object of her policy to
cherish, sought not to revive it. Various circumstances occurred to
occupy public attention during the interval.

Sir Nicholas Bacon, who under the humbler title of lord keeper had
exercised from the beginning of the reign the office of lord high
chancellor, died generally regretted in 1579. No one is recorded to have
filled this important post with superior assiduity or a greater
reputation for uprightness and ability than sir Nicholas, and several
well-known traits afford a highly pleasing image of the general
character of his mind. Of this number are his motto, "_Mediocria
firma_," and his handsome reply to the remark of her majesty that his
house was too little for him;--"No, madam; but you have made me too big
for my house." Even when, upon this royal hint, he erected his elegant
mansion of Gorhambury, he was still careful not to lose sight of that
idea of lettered privacy in which he loved to indulge; and the
accomplishments of his mind were reflected in the decorations of his
home. In the gardens, on which his chief care and cost were bestowed,
arose a banqueting-house consecrated to the seven Sciences, whose
figures adorned the walls, each subscribed with a Latin distich and
surrounded with portraits of her most celebrated votaries; a temple in
which we may imagine the youthful mind of that illustrious son of his,
who "took all learning to be" his "province," receiving with delight its
earliest inspiration! In his second wife,--one of the learned daughters
of sir Anthony Cook, a woman of a keen and penetrating intellect, and
much distinguished by her zeal for reformed religion in its austerer
forms,--sir Nicholas found a partner capable of sharing his views and
appreciating his character. By her he became the father of two sons;
that remarkable man Anthony Bacon, and Francis, the light of science,
the interpreter of nature; the admiration of his own age, and the wonder
of succeeding ones; the splendid dawn of whose unrivalled genius his
father was happy enough to behold; more happy still in not surviving to
witness the calamitous eclipse which overshadowed his reputation at its
highest noon.

The lord keeper was esteemed the second pillar of that state of which
Burleigh was the prime support. In all public measures of importance
they acted together; and similar speculative opinions, with coinciding
views of national policy, united these two eminent statesmen in a
brotherhood dearer than that of alliance; but in their motives of
action, and in the character of their minds, a diversity was observable
which it may be useful to point out.

Of Burleigh it has formerly been remarked, that with his own interest he
considered also, and perhaps equally, that of his queen and his country:
but the patriotism of Bacon seems to have risen higher; and his
conformity with the wishes and sentiments of his sovereign was less
obsequiously exact. In the affair of lady Catherine Grey's title, he did
not hesitate to risk the favor of the queen and his own continuance in
office, for the sake of what appeared to him the cause of religion and
his country. On the whole, however, moderation and prudence were the
governing principles of his mind and actions. The intellect of Burleigh
was more versatile and acute, that of Bacon more profound; and their
parts in the great drama of public life were cast accordingly: Burleigh
had most of the alertness of observation, the fertility of expedient,
the rapid calculation of contingencies, required in the minister of
state; Bacon, of the gravity and steadfastness which clothe with
reverence and authority the counsellor and judge. "He was a plain man,"
says Francis Bacon of his father, "direct and constant, without all
finesse and doubleness, and one that was of a mind that a man in his
private proceedings and estate, and in the proceedings of state, should
rest upon the soundness and strength of his own courses, and not upon
practice to circumvent others."

After Elizabeth had forgiven his interference respecting the succession,
no one was held by her in greater honor and esteem than her lord keeper;
she visited him frequently, conversed with him familiarly; took pleasure
in the flashes of wit which often relieved the seriousness of his
wisdom; and flattered with kind condescension his parental feelings by
the extraordinary notice which she bestowed on his son Francis, whose
brightness and solidity of parts early manifested themselves to her
discerning eye, and caused her to predict that her "little lord keeper"
would one day prove an eminent man.

Great interest was excited by the arrival in Plymouth harbour, in
November 1580, of the celebrated Francis Drake from his circumnavigation
of the globe. National vanity was flattered by the idea that this
Englishman should have been the first commander-in-chief by whom this
great and novel enterprise had been successfully achieved; and both
himself and his ship became in an eminent degree the objects of public
curiosity and wonder. The courage, skill and perseverance of this great
navigator were deservedly extolled; the wealth which he had brought
home, from the plunder of the Spanish settlements, awakened the cupidity
which in that age was a constant attendant on the daring spirit of
maritime adventure, and half the youth of the country were on fire to
embark in expeditions of pillage and discovery.

But the court was not so easily induced to second the ardor of the
nation. Drake's captures from the Spaniards had been made, under some
vague notion of reprisals, whilst no open war was subsisting between the
nations; and the Spanish ambassador, not, it must be confessed, without
some reason, branded his proceedings with the reproach of piracy, and
loudly demanded restitution of the booty. Elizabeth wavered for some
time between admiration of the valiant Drake, mixed with a desire of
sharing in the profits of his expedition, and a dread of incensing the
king of Spain; but she at length decided on the part most acceptable to
her people,--that of giving a public sanction to his acts. During the
spring of 1581 she accepted of a banquet on board his ship off Deptford,
conferred on him the order of knighthood, and received him into favor.

Much anxiety and alarm was about this time occasioned to the queen and
her protestant subjects by the clandestine arrival in the country of a
considerable number of catholic priests, mostly English by birth, but
educated at the seminaries respectively founded at Douay, Rheims, and
Rome, by the king of Spain, cardinal Lorrain, and the pope, for the
express purpose of furnishing means for the disturbance of the queen's
government. Monks of the new order of Jesuits presided over these
establishments, who made it their business to inspire the pupils with
the most frightful excess of bigotry and fanaticism; and two of these
friars, fathers Parsons and Campion, coming over to England to guide and
regulate the efforts of their party, were detected in treasonable
practices; on account of which Campion, with some accomplices, underwent
capital punishment, or, in the language of his church, received the
crown of martyrdom.

In order to check the diffusion among the rising generation of doctrines
so destructive of the peace and good government of the country, a
proclamation was issued in June 1580, requiring that all persons who had
any children, wards, or kinsmen, in any parts beyond seas, should within
ten days give in their names to the ordinaries, and within four months
send for them home again.

Circular letters were also dispatched by the privy-council to the
bishops, setting forth, that whereas her majesty found daily
inconvenience to the realm by the education of numbers of young
gentlemen and others her subjects in parts beyond the seas;--where for
the most part they were "nourselled and nourished in papistry," with
such instructions as "made them to mislike the government of their
country, and thus tended to render them undutiful subjects;" &c. and
intending to "take some present order therein;" as well by prohibiting
that any but such as were known to be well affected in religion, and
would undertake for the good education of their children, should send
them abroad; and they not without her majesty's special license;--as
also, by recalling such as were at present, in Spain, France, or Italy,
without such license;--had commanded that the bishops should call before
them, in their respective dioceses, certain parents or guardians whose
names were annexed, and bind them in good sums of money for the recall
of their sons or wards within three months[86]. Many other indications
of a jealousy of the abode of English youth in catholic countries, which
at such a juncture will scarcely appear unreasonable, might be collected
from various sources.

[Note 86: Strype's "Whitgift."]

A friend of Anthony Bacon's sends him this warning to Bordeaux in 1583:
"I can no longer abstain from telling you plainly that the injury is
great, you do to yourself, and your best friends, in this your voluntary
banishment (for so it is already termed).... The times are not as
heretofore for the best disposed travellers: but in one word, sir,
believe me, they are not the best thought of where they would be that
take any delight to absent themselves in foreign parts, especially such
as are of quality, and known to have no other cause than their private
contentment; which also is not allowable, or to be for any long time, as
you will shortly hear further; touching these limitations. In the mean
time I could wish you looked well to yourself, and to think, that
whilst you live there, perhaps in no great security, you are within the
compass of some sinister conceits or hard speeches here, if not of that
jealousy which is now had even of the best, that in these doubtful days,
wherein our country hath need to be furnished of the soundest members
and truest hearts to God and prince, do yet take delight to live in
those parts where our utter ruin is threatened[87]: &c."

[Note 87: Birch's "Memoirs."]

"The old lord Burleigh," says a contemporary, "if any one came to the
lords of the council for a license to travel, would first examine him of
England. And if he found him ignorant, would bid him stay at home and
know his own country first[88]." A plausible evasion, doubtless, of
requests with which that cautious minister judged it inexpedient to

[Note 88: "Complete Gentleman," by H. Peacham.]

These machinations of the papists afforded a plea to the puritans in the
house of commons for the enactment of still severer laws against this
already persecuted sect; and Elizabeth judged it expedient to accord a
ready assent to these statutes, for the purpose of tranquillizing the
minds of her protestant subjects on the score of religion, previously to
the renewal of negotiations with the court of France.

Simier, who still remained in England, had been but too successful in
continuing or reviving the tender impressions created in the heart of
the queen by the personal attentions of his master; and the French
king, finding leisure to turn his attention once more to this object,
from which he had been apparently diverted by the civil wars which had
broken out afresh in his country, was encouraged to send in 1581 a
splendid embassy, headed by a prince of the blood, to settle the terms
of this august alliance, of which every one now expected to see the
completion. A magnificent reception was prepared by Elizabeth for these
noble strangers; but she had the weakness to choose to appear before
them in the borrowed character of a heroine of romance, rather than in
that of a great princess whose vigorous yet cautious politics had
rendered her for more than twenty years the admiration of all the
statesmen of Europe. She caused to be erected on the south side of her
palace of Whitehall, a vast banqueting-house framed of timber and
covered with painted canvass, which was decorated internally in a style
of the most fantastic gaudiness. Pendants of fruits of various kinds
(amongst which cucumbers and carrots are enumerated) were hung from
festoons of ivy, bay, rosemary, and different flowers, the whole
lavishly sprinkled with gold spangles: the ceiling was painted like a
sky, with stars, sunbeams, and clouds, intermixed with scutcheons of the
royal arms; and a profusion of glass lustres illuminated the whole. In
this enchanted palace the French ambassadors were entertained by the
maiden queen at several splendid banquets, while her ministers were
engaged by her command in drawing up the marriage articles. Meantime
several of her youthful courtiers, anxious to complete the gay illusion
in the imagination of their sovereign, prepared for the exhibition of
what was called _a triumph_,--of which the following was the plan.

The young earl of Arundel, lord Windsor, Philip Sidney, and Fulke
Greville, the four challengers, styled themselves the foster-children of
Desire, and to that end of the tilt-yard where her majesty was seated,
their adulation gave the name of the Castle of Perfect Beauty. This
castle the queen was summoned to surrender in a very courtly message
delivered by a boy dressed in red and white, the colours of Desire. On
her refusal, a mount placed on wheels was rolled into the tilt-yard, and
the four cavaliers rode in superbly armed and accoutred, and each at the
head of a splendid troop; and when they had passed in military order
before the queen, the boy who had delivered the former message thus
again addressed her:--

"If the message lately delivered unto you had been believed and
followed, O queen! in whom the whole story of virtue is written with the
language of beauty; nothing should this violence have needed in your
inviolate presence. Your eyes, which till now have been wont to discern
only the bowed knees of kneeling hearts, and, inwardly turned, found
always the heavenly peace of a sweet mind, should not now have their
fair beams reflected with the shining of armour, should not now be
driven to see the fury of desire, nor the fiery force of fury. But sith
so it is (alas that it is so!) that in the defence of obstinate refusal
there never groweth victory but by compassion, they are come:--what need
I say more? You see them, ready in heart as you know, and able with
hands, as they hope, not only to assailing, but to prevailing.
Perchance you despise the smallness of number. I say unto you, the force
of Desire goeth not by fulness of company. Nay, rather view with what
irresistible determination themselves approach, and how not only the
heavens send their invisible instruments to aid them, (_music within the
mount_) but also the very earth, the dullest of all the elements, which
with natural heaviness still strives to the sleepy centre, yet, for
advancing this enterprise, is content actively (as you shall see) to
move itself upon itself to rise up in height, that it may the better
command the high and high-minded fortresses.

"(_Here the mount rose up in height._) Many words, when deeds are in the
field, are tedious both unto the speaker and hearer. You see their
forces, but know not their fortunes: if you be resolved, it boots not,
and threats dread not. I have discharged my charge, which was even when
all things were ready for the assault, then to offer parley, a thing not
so much used as gracious in besiegers. You shall now be summoned to
yield, which if it be rejected, then look for the affectionate alarm to
be followed with desirous assault. The time approacheth for their
approaches, but no time shall stay me from wishing, that however this
succeed the world may long enjoy its chiefest ornament, which decks it
with herself, and herself with the love of goodness."

The rolling mount was now moved close to the queen, the music sounded,
and one of the boys accompanied with cornets sung a fresh summons to the

When this was ended, another boy, turning to the challengers and their
retinue, sung an alarm, which ended, the two canons were shot off, 'the
one with sweet powder and the other with sweet water, very odoriferous
and pleasant, and the noise of the shooting was very excellent consent
of melody within the mount. And after that, was store of pretty
scaling-ladders, and the footmen threw flowers and such fancies against
the walls, with all such devices as might seem fit shot for Desire. All
which did continue till time the defendants came in.' These were above
twenty in number, and each accompanied by his servants, pages, and
trumpeters. Speeches were delivered to the queen on the part of these
knights, several of whom appeared in some assumed character; sir Thomas
Perrot and Anthony Cook thought proper to personate Adam and Eve; the
latter having 'hair hung all down his helmet.' The messenger sent on the
part of Thomas Ratcliff described his master as a forlorn knight, whom
despair of achieving the favor of his peerless and sunlike mistress had
driven out of the haunts of men into a cave of the desert, where moss
was his couch, and moss, moistened by tears, his only food. Even here
however the report of this assault upon the castle of Perfect Beauty had
reached his ears, and roused him from his slumber of despondency; and in
token of his devoted loyalty and inviolable fidelity to his divine lady,
he sent his shield, which he in treated her to accept as the ensign of
her fame, and the instrument of his glory, prostrating himself at her
feet as one ready to undertake any adventures in hope of her gracious
favor.--Of this romantic picture of devoted and despairing passion the
description of Amadis de Gaul at the Poor Rock seems to have been the

On the part of the four sons of sir Francis Knolles, Mercury appeared,
and described them as 'legitimate sons of Despair, brethren to hard
mishap, suckled with sighs, and swathed up in sorrow, weaned in woe, and
dry nursed by Desire, longtime fostered with favorable countenance, and
fed with sweet fancies, but now of late (alas) wholly given over to
grief and disgraced by disdain.' &c. The speeches being ended, probably
to the relief of the hearers, the tilting commenced and lasted till
night. It was resumed the next day with some fresh circumstances of
magnificence and a few more harangues:--at length the challengers
presented to the queen an olive bough in token of their humble
submission, and both parties were dismissed by her with thanks and

[Note 89: Holinshed.]

By whom the speeches for this triumph were composed does not appear; but
their style appears to correspond very exactly with that of John Lilly,
a dramatic poet who in this year gave to the public a romance in two
parts; the first entitled "Euphues the Anatomy of Wit," the second
"Euphues and his England." A work which in despite, or rather perhaps by
favor, of the new and singular affectations with which it was overrun,
obtained extraordinary popularity, and communicated its infection for a
time to the style of polite writing and fashionable speech.

An author of the present day, whose elegant taste and whose profound
acquaintance with the writers of this and the following reign entitle
him to be heard with deference, has favored us with his opinion of
Euphues in these words. "This production is a tissue of antithesis and
alliteration, and therefore justly entitled to the appellation of
_affected_; but we cannot with Berkenhout consider it as a most
_contemptible piece of nonsense_[90]. The moral is uniformly good; the
vices and follies of the day are attacked with much force and keenness;
there is in it much display of the manners of the times; and though as a
composition it is very meretricious and sometimes absurd in point of
ornament, yet the construction of its sentences is frequently turned
with peculiar neatness and spirit, though with much monotony of
cadence." "So greatly," adds the same writer, "was the style of Euphues
admired in the court of Elizabeth, and, indeed, throughout the kingdom,
that it became a proof of refined manners to adopt its phraseology.
Edward Blount, who republished six of Lilly's plays in 1632, under the
title of _Sixe Court Comedies_, declares that 'Our nation are in his
debt for a new English which he taught them. '_Euphues_ and his
_England_,' he adds, 'began first that language. All our ladies were
then his scholars; and that beauty in court who could not parley
Euphuesme, was as little regarded as she which now there speaks not
French:' a representation certainly not exaggerated; for Ben Jonson,
describing a fashionable lady, makes her address her gallant in the
following terms;--'O master Brisk, (as it is in Euphues,) hard is the
choice when one is compelled, either by silence to die with grief, or by
speaking, to live with shame:' upon which Mr. Whalley observes, that
'the court ladies in Elizabeth's time had all the phrases of Euphues by

[Note 90: Berkenhout's "Biographia Literaria," p. 377, note _a_.]

[Note 91: "Shakspeare and his Times:" &c. by Nathan Drake, M.D.]

Shakespeare is believed to have satirized the affectations of Lilly,
amongst other prevailing modes of pedantry and bad taste, under the
character of the schoolmaster Holophernes; and to Sidney is ascribed by
Drayton the merit, that he

    ..."did first reduce
    Our tongue from Lilly's writing then in use,
    Talking of stones, stars, plants, of fishes, flies,
    Playing with words and idle similies."

But in this statement there is an inaccuracy, if it refers to the better
model of style furnished by him in his Arcadia, since that work, though
not published till after the death of its author, is known to have been
composed previously to the appearance of Euphues. Possibly however the
lines of Drayton may be explained as alluding to the critical precepts
contained in Sidney's Defence of Poetry, which was written in 1582 or

It may appear extraordinary that this accomplished person, after his
noble letter of remonstrance against the French marriage, should have
consented to take so conspicuous a part in festivities designed to
celebrate the arrival of the commissioners by whom its terms were to be
concluded. But the actions of every man, it may be pleaded, belong to
such an age, or such a station, as well as to such a school of
philosophy, religious sect, political party, or natural class of
character; and the spirit which prompted this eminent person to aspire
after all praise and every kind of glory, compelled him, at the court of
Elizabeth, to unite, with whatever incongruity, the quaint personage of
a knight errant of romance and a devotee of the beauties and perfections
of his liege lady, with the manly attributes of an English patriot and a
champion of reformed religion.

Fulke Greville furnishes another instance of a respectable character
strangely disguised by the affectations and servilities of a courtier of
this "Queen of Faery." He was the cousin, school-fellow, and inseparable
companion of Sidney, and so devoted to him that, in the inscription
which he composed long after for his own tomb, he entitled himself
"servant to queen Elizabeth, councillor to king James, and friend to sir
Philip Sidney." Born to a fortune so ample as to render him entirely
independent of the emoluments of office or the favors of a sovereign,
and early smitten with a passion for the gentle muse which rendered him
nearly insensible to the enticements of ambition, Greville was yet
contented to devote himself, as a volunteer, to that court-life the
irksomeness of which has often been treated as insupportable by men who
have embraced it from interest or from necessity.

A devotedness so signal was not indeed suffered to go without its
reward. Besides that it obtained for him a lucrative place, Naunton says
of Greville, "He had no mean place in queen Elizabeth's favor, neither
did he hold it for any short time or term; for, if I be not deceived, he
had the longest lease, the smoothest time without rubs, of any of her
favorites." Lord Bacon also testifies that he "had much and private
access to her, which he used honorably and did many men good: yet he
would say merrily of himself, that he was like Robin Goodfellow; for
when the maids spilt the milk-pans or kept any racket, they would lay it
upon Robin: so what tales the ladies about the queen told her, or other
bad offices that they did, they would put it upon him." The poems of
Fulke Greville, celebrated and fashionable in his own time, but now
known only to the more curious students of our early literature, consist
of two tragedies in interwoven rhyme, with choruses on the Greek model;
a hundred love sonnets, in one of which he styles his mistress "Fair
dog:" and "Treaties" "on Human learning," "on Fame and Honor," and "of
Wars." Of these pieces the last three, as well as the tragedies, contain
many noble, free, and virtuous sentiments; many fine and ingenious
thoughts, and some elegant lines; but the harshness and pedantry of the
style render their perusal on the whole more of a fatigue than a
pleasure, and they have gradually sunk into that neglect which
constantly awaits the verse of which it has been the aim to instruct
rather than to delight. Among the English patrons of letters however,
Fulke Greville, afterwards lord Brook, will ever deserve a conspicuous
station; and Speed and Camden have gratefully recorded their obligations
both to his liberality and to his honorable exertion of court interest.

The articles of the marriage-treaty were at length concluded between the
commissioners of France and England, and it was stipulated that the
nuptials should take place six weeks after their ratification: but
Elizabeth, whose uncertainties were not yet at an end, had insisted on a
separate article purporting, that she should not however be obliged to
complete the marriage until further matters, not specified, should have
been settled between herself and the duke of Anjou; by which stipulation
it still remained in her power to render the whole negotiation vain.

The moment that all opposition on the part of her privy-council was
over, and every external obstacle surmounted, Elizabeth seems to have
begun to recover her sound discretion, and to see in their true
magnitude all the objections to which she had hitherto been anxious to
blind her own eyes and those of others. She sent Walsingham to open new
negotiations at Paris, and to try whether the league offensive and
defensive, stipulated by the late articles, could not be brought to
effect before the marriage, which she now discovered that it was not a
convenient season to complete. The French court, after some hesitation,
had just been brought to agree to this proposal, when she inclined again
to go on with the marriage; but no sooner had it resumed with alacrity
this part of the discussion, than she again declared for the alliance.
Walsingham, puzzled and vexed by such a series of capricious changes,
proceeding from motives in which state-expediency had no share, remained
uncertain how to act; and at length all the politicians English and
French, equally disconcerted, seem to have acquiesced in the conviction
that this strange strife must end where it began, in the bosom of
Elizabeth herself, while nothing was left to them but to await the
result in anxious silence. But the duke of Anjou, aware that from a
youthful lover some unequivocal symptoms of impatience would be
required, and that upon a skilful display of this kind his final success
might depend, brought to a speedy conclusion his campaign in the
Netherlands, which a liberal supply of money from the English queen, who
now concurred in his views, had rendered uniformly successful, and
putting his army into winter-quarters, hurried over to England to throw
himself at her feet.

He was welcomed with all the demonstrations of satisfaction which could
revive or confirm the hopes of a suitor; every mark of honor, every
pledge of affection, was publicly conferred upon him; and the queen, at
the conclusion of a splendid festival on the anniversary of her
coronation, even went so far as to place on his finger a ring drawn from
her own. This passed in sight of the whole assembled court, who
naturally regarded the action as a kind of betrothment; and the long
suspense being apparently ended, the feelings of every party broke forth
without restraint or disguise.

Some rejoiced; more grieved or wondered; Leicester, Hatton and
Walsingham loudly exclaimed that ruin impended over the church, the
country, and the queen. The ladies of the court alarmed and agitated
their mistress by tears, cries, and lamentations. A sleepless and
miserable night was passed by the queen amid her disconsolate handmaids:
the next morning she sent for Anjou, and held with him a long private
conversation; after which he retired to his chamber, and hastily
throwing from him, but as quickly resuming, the ring which she had given
him, uttered many reproaches against the levity of women and the
fickleness of islanders.

Such is the account given by the annalist Camden; our only authority for
circumstances some of them so public in their nature that it is
surprising they should not be recorded by others, the rest so secret
that we are at a loss to conceive how they should have become known to
him. What is certain in the matter is,--that the French prince remained
in England above two months after this festival;--that no diminution of
the queen's attentions to him became apparent during that time;--that
when his affairs imperiously demanded his return to the Netherlands,
Elizabeth still detained him that she might herself conduct him on his
way as far as Canterbury;--that she then dismissed him with a large
supply of money and a splendid retinue of English lords and gentlemen,
and that he promised a quick return.

Let us hear on the subject lord Talbot's report to his father.

..."Monsieur hath taken shipping into Flanders...there is gone over
with him my lord of Leicester, my lord Hunsdon, my lord Charles Howard,
my lord Thomas Howard, my lord Windsor, my lord Sheffield, my lord
Willoughby, and a number of young gentlemen besides. As soon as he is at
Antwerp all the Englishmen return, which is thought will be about a
fortnight hence.... The departure was mournful between her majesty and
Monsieur; she loth to let him go, and he as loth to depart. Her majesty
on her return will be long in no place in which she lodged as she went,
neither will she come to Whitehall, because the places shall not give
cause of remembrance to her of him with whom she so unwillingly parted.
Monsieur promised his return in March, but how his Low Country causes
will permit him is uncertain. Her highness went no further but
Canterbury, Monsieur took shipping at Sandwich[92]."

[Note 92: "Illustrations," vol. ii. p. 258.]

It is, after all, extremely difficult to decide whether the
circumstances here related ought to invalidate any part of Camden's
narrative. There can be no doubt that Elizabeth had at times been
violently tempted to accept this young prince for a husband; and even
when she sent Walsingham to France instructed to conclude, if possible,
the league without the marriage, she evidently had not in her own mind
absolutely concluded against the latter measure, because she
particularly charged him to examine whether the duke, who had lately
recovered from the small pox, still retained enough of his good looks to
engage a lady's affections. It is probable that his second visit
revived her love; and the truth of the circumstance of her publicly
presenting to him a ring, is confirmed by Camden's further statement,
that St. Aldegond, minister in England for the United Provinces, wrote
word of it to the States, who, regarding the match as now concluded,
caused public rejoicings to be celebrated at Antwerp. After this the
duke would undoubtedly press for a speedy solemnization, and he cannot
but have experienced some degree of disappointment in at length quitting
the country, _re infecta_. But it was still greatly and obviously his
interest to remain on the best possible terms with Elizabeth, in order
to secure from her that co-operation, and those pecuniary aids, on which
the success of his affairs in the Netherlands must mainly depend. It is
even possible that a further acquaintance with the state of public
opinion in England, and with the temper, maxims, and personal qualities
of the queen herself, might very much abate the poignancy of his
mortification, or even incline him secretly to prefer the character of
her ally to that of her husband. Be this as it may, the favorite son of
Catherine de' Medici was a sufficient adept in the dissimulation of
courts to assume with ease all the demonstrations of complacency and
good understanding that the case required, whatever portion of
indignation or malice he might conceal in his heart. Neither was
Elizabeth a novice in the arts of feigning; and even without the
promptings of those tender regrets which accompany a sacrifice extorted
by reason from inclination, she would have been careful, by every
manifestation of friendship and esteem, to smooth over the affront which
her change of purpose had compelled her to put upon the brother and heir
of so potent a monarch as the king of France.

Shortly after his return to the continent, the duke of Anjou lost at
once his reputation, and his hopes of an independent principality, in an
unprincipled and abortive attempt on the liberties of the provinces
which had chosen him as their protector; and his death, which soon
followed, brings to a conclusion this long and mortifying chapter,
occupied with the follies of the wise. It is worth observing, that
appearances in this affair were kept up to the last: the English
ambassador refrained from giving in his official letters any particulars
of the last illness of Monsieur, lest he should aggravate the grief of
her majesty; and the king of France, in defiance of some established
rules of court precedence and etiquette, admitted this minister to pay
his compliments of condolence before all others, professedly because he
represented that princess who best loved his brother.

Bohun ends his minute description of "the habit of queen Elizabeth in
public and private" with a passage proper to complete this portion of
her history. "The coming of the duke d'Alençon opened a way to a more
free way of living, and relaxed very much the old severe form of
discipline. The queen danced often then, and omitted no sort of
recreation, pleasing conversation, or variety of delights for his
satisfaction. At the same time, the plenty of good dishes, pleasant
wines, fragrant ointments and perfumes, dances, masks, and variety of
rich attire, were all taken up and used to show him how much he was
honored. There were then acted comedies and tragedies with much cost and
splendor. When these things had once been entertained, the courtiers
were never more to be reclaimed from them, and they could not be
satiated or wearied with them. But when Alençon was once dismissed and
gone, the queen herself left off these diversions, and betook herself as
before to the care of her kingdom, and both by example and severe
corrections endeavoured to reduce her nobility to their old severe way
of life."


1582 TO 1587.

Traits of the queen.--Brown and his sect.--Promotion of
Whitgift.--Severities exercised against the puritans.--Embassy of
Walsingham to Scotland.--Particulars of lord Willoughby.--Transactions
with the Czar.--Death of Sussex.--Adventures of Egremond Ratcliffe--of
the earl of Desmond.--Account of Raleigh--of Spenser.--Prosecutions of
catholics.--Burleigh's apology for the government.--Leicester's
Commonwealth.--Loyal association.--Transactions with the queen of
Scots.--Account of Parry.--Case of the earl of Arundel--of the
earl of Northumberland.--Transactions of Leicester in Holland.--Death
and character of P. Sidney--of sir H. Sidney.--Return of
Leicester.--Approaching war with Spain.--Babington's conspiracy.--Trial
and condemnation of the queen of Scots.--Rejoicings of the
people.--Artful conduct of the queen.--Reception of the Scotch
embassy.--Conduct of Davison.--Death of Mary.--Behaviour of
Elizabeth.--Davison's case.--Conduct of Leicester.--Reflections.

The disposition of Elizabeth was originally deficient in benevolence and
sympathy, and prone to suspicion, pride and anger; and we observe with
pain in the progress of her history, how much the influences to which
her high station and the peculiar circumstances of her reign inevitably
exposed her, tended in various modes to exasperate these radical evils
of her nature.

The extravagant flattery administered to her daily and hourly, was of
most pernicious effect; it not only fostered in her an absurd excess of
personal vanity, but, what was worse, by filling her with exaggerated
notions both of her own wisdom and of her sovereign power and
prerogative, it contributed to render her rule more stern and despotic,
and her mind on many points incapable of sober counsel. This effect was
remarked by one of her clergy, who, in a sermon preached in her
presence, had the boldness to tell her, that she who had been meek as
lamb was become an untameable heifer; for which reproof he was in his
turn reprehended by her majesty on his quitting the pulpit, as "an over
confident man who dishonored his sovereign."

The decay of her beauty was an unwelcome truth which all the artifices
of adulation were unable to hide from her secret consciousness; since
she could never behold her image in a mirror, during the latter years of
her life, without transports of impotent anger; and this circumstance
contributed not a little to sour her temper, while it rendered the young
and lovely the chosen objects of her malignity.

On this head the following striking anecdote is furnished by sir John
Harrington.... "She did oft ask the ladies around her chamber, if they
loved to think of marriage? And the wise ones did conceal well their
liking hereto, as knowing the queen's judgement in this matter. Sir
Matthew Arundel's fair cousin, not knowing so deeply as her fellows, was
asked one day hereof, and simply said, she had thought much about
marriage, if her father did consent to the man she loved. 'You seem
honest, i'faith,' said the queen; 'I will sue for you to your
father.'... The damsel was not displeased hereat; and when sir Robert
came to court, the queen asked him hereon, and pressed his consenting,
if the match was discreet. Sir Robert, much astonied at this news, said
he never heard his daughter had liking to any man, and wanted to gain
knowledge of her affection; but would give free consent to what was most
pleasing to her highness will and advice. 'Then I will do the rest,'
saith the queen. The lady was called in, and the queen told her that her
father had given his free consent. 'Then,' replied the lady, 'I shall be
happy, and please your grace'. 'So thou shalt, but not to be a fool and
marry; I have his consent given to me, and I vow thou shalt never get it
into thy possession. So go to thy business, I see thou art a bold one to
own thy foolishness so readily[93].'"

[Note 93: "Nugæ."]

The perils of many kinds, from open and secret enemies, by which
Elizabeth had found herself environed since her unwise and unauthorized
detention of the queen of Scots, aggravated the mistrustfulness of her
nature; and the severities which fear and anger led her to exercise
against that portion of her subjects who still adhered to the ancient
faith, increased its harshness. It is true that, since the fulmination
of the papal anathema, the zealots of this church had kept no measures
with respect to her either in their words, their writings, or their
actions. Plans of insurrection and even of assassination were
frequently revolved in their councils, but as often disappointed by the
extraordinary vigilance and sagacity of her ministers; while the courage
evinced by herself under these circumstances of severe probation was
truly admirable. Bacon relates that "the council once represented to her
the danger in which she stood by the continual conspiracies against her
life, and acquainted her that a man was lately taken who stood ready in
a very dangerous and suspicious manner to do the deed; and they showed
her the weapon wherewith he thought to have acted it. And therefore they
advised her that she should go less abroad to take the air, weakly
attended, as she used. But the queen answered, 'that she had rather be
dead than put in custody.'"

"Ireland," says Naunton, "cost her more vexation than any thing else;
the expense of it pinched her, the ill success of her officers wearied
her, and in that service she grew hard to please." She also arrived at a
settled persuasion that the extreme of severity was safer than that of
indulgence; an opinion which, being communicated to her officers and
ministers, was the occasion, especially in Ireland, of many a cruel and
arbitrary act.

When angry, she observed little moderation in the expression of her
feelings. In the private letters even of Cecil, whom she treated on the
whole with more consideration than any other person, we find not
unfrequent mention of the harsh words which he had to endure from her,
sometimes, as he says, on occasions when he appeared to himself
deserving rather of thanks than of censure. The earl of Shrewsbury
often complains to his correspondents of her captious and irascible
temper; and we find Walsingham taking pains to console sir Henry Sidney
under some manifestations of her displeasure, by the assurance that they
had proceeded only from one of those transient gusts of passion for
which she was accustomed to make sudden amends to her faithful servants
by new and extraordinary tokens of her favor.

There was no branch of prerogative of which Elizabeth was more tenacious
than that which invested her with the sole and supreme direction of
ecclesiastical affairs. The persevering efforts therefore of the
puritans, to obtain various relaxations or alterations of the laws which
she in her wisdom had laid down for the government of the church,--on
failure of which they scrupled not to recall to her memory the strong
denunciations of the Jewish prophets against wicked and irreligious
princes,--at once exasperated and alarmed her, and led her to assume
continually more and more of the incongruous and odious character of a
protestant persecutor of protestants. But the puritans themselves must
have seemed guiltless in her eyes compared with a new sect, the
principles of which, tending directly to the abrogation of all authority
of the civil magistrate in spiritual concerns, called forth about this
time her indignation manifested by the utmost severity of penal

It was in the year 1580 that Robert Brown, having completed his studies
in divinity at Cambridge, began to preach at Norwich against the
discipline and ceremonies of the church of England, and to promulgate a
scheme which he affirmed to be more conformable to the apostolical
model. According to his system, each congregation of believers was to be
regarded as a separate church, possessing in itself full jurisdiction
over its own concerns; the _liberty of prophesying_ was to be indulged
to all the brethren equally, and pastors were to be elected and
dismissed at the pleasure of the majority, in whom he held that all
power ought of right to reside. On account of these opinions Brown was
called before certain ecclesiastical commissioners, who imprisoned him
for contumacy; but the interference of his relation lord Burleigh
procured his release, after which he repaired to Holland, where he
founded several churches and published a book in defence of his system,
in which he strongly inculcated upon his disciples the duty of
separating themselves from what he stated antichristian churches. For
the sole offence of distributing this work, two men were hanged in
Suffolk in 1583; to which extremity of punishment they were subjected as
having impugned the queen's supremacy, which was declared felony by a
late statute now for the first time put in force against protestants.
Brown himself, after his return from Holland, was repeatedly imprisoned,
and, but for the protection of his powerful kinsman might probably have
shared the fate of his two disciples. At length, the terror of a
sentence of excommunication drove him to recant, and joining the
established church he soon obtained preferment. But the Brownist sect
suffered little by the desertion of its founder, whose private
character was far from exemplary: in spite of penal laws, of
persecution, and even of ridicule and contempt, it survived, increased,
and eventually became the model on which the churches not only of the
sect of Independents but also of the two other denominations of English
protestant dissenters remain at the present day constituted.

The death of archbishop Grindal in 1583 afforded the queen the long
desired opportunity of elevating to the primacy a prelate not inclined
to offend her, like his predecessor, by any remissness in putting in
force the laws against puritans and other nonconformists. She nominated
to this high dignity Whitgift bishop of Worcester, known to polemics as
the zealous antagonist of Cartwright the puritan, and further
recommended to her majesty by his single life, his talents for business,
whether secular or ecclesiastical, his liberal and hospitable style of
living, and the numerous train of attendants which swelled the pomp of
his appearance on occasions of state and ceremony, when he even claimed
to be served on the knee.

This promotion forms an important æra in the ecclesiastical history of
the reign of Elizabeth: but only a few circumstances more peculiarly
illustrative of the sentiments and disposition of Whitgift, of the queen
herself, and of some of her principal counsellors, can with propriety
find a place in a work like the present.

To bring back the clergy to that exact uniformity with respect to
doctrines, rites, and ceremonies, from which the lenity of his
predecessor had suffered them in many instances to recede, appeared to
the new primate the first and most essential duty of his office; and
the better to enforce obedience, he eagerly demanded to be armed with
that plenitude of power which her majesty as head of the church was
authorized to delegate at her pleasure. His request was granted with
alacrity, and the work of intolerance began. Subscriptions were now
required of the whole clerical body to the supremacy; to the book of
Common-prayer; and to the articles of religion settled by the
convocation of 1560. In consequence of this first step alone, so large a
number of zealous preachers and able divines attached to the Calvinistic
model were suspended from their functions for non-compliance, that the
privy-council took alarm, and addressed a letter to the archbishop
requesting a conference; but he loftily reproved their interference in
matters of this nature, declaring himself amenable in the discharge of
his functions to his sovereign alone. In the following year he prevailed
upon her majesty to appoint a second high-commission court, the members
of which were authorized, _ex officio_, to administer interrogatories on
oath in matters of faith;--an assumption of power not merely cruel and
oppressive, but absolutely illegal, if we are to rely on Beal, clerk of
the council, an able and learned but somewhat intemperate partisan of
the puritans, who published on this occasion a work against the
archbishop. To enter into controversy was now no part of the plan of
Whitgift; he held it as a maxim, that it was safer and better for an
established church to silence than to confute; and a book of Calvinistic
discipline having issued from the Cambridge press, he procured a
Star-chamber decree for lessening and limiting the number of presses;
for restraining any man from exercising the trade of a printer without a
special license; and for subjecting all works to the censorship, of the
archbishop or the bishop of London. At the same time he vehemently
declared that he would rather lie in prison all his life, or die, than
grant any indulgence to puritans; and he expressed his wonder, as well
as indignation, that men high in place should countenance the factious
portion of the clergy, low and obscure individuals and not even
considerable by their numbers, against him the second person of the
state. The earl of Leicester was not however to be intimidated from
extending to these conscientious sufferers a protection which was in
many instances effectual: Walsingham occasionally interceded in behalf
of Calvinistic preachers of eminence; and sir Francis Knolles, whose
influence with the queen was considerable, never failed to encounter the
measures of the primate with warm, courageous, and persevering
opposition. Even Burleigh, whom Whitgift had regarded as a friend and
patron and hoped to number among his partisans, could not forbear
expressing to him on various occasions his serious disapprobation of the
rigors now resorted to; nor was he to be silenced by the plea of the
archbishop, that he acted entirely by the command of her majesty. On the
contrary, as instances multiplied daily before his eyes of the tyranny
and persecution exercised, through the extraordinary powers of the
ecclesiastical commission, on ministers of unblemished piety and often
of exemplary usefulness, his remonstrances assumed a bolder tone and
more indignant character: as in the following instance. "But when the
said lord treasurer understood, that two of these ministers, living in
Cambridgeshire, whom for the good report of their modesty and
peaceableness he had a little before recommended unto the archbishop's
favor, were by the archbishop in commission sent to a register in
London, to be strictly examined upon those four and twenty articles
before mentioned, he was displeased. And reading over the articles
himself, disliked them as running in a Romish style, and making no
distinction of persons. Which caused him to write in some earnestness to
the archbishop, and in his letter he told him, that he found these
articles so curiously penned, so full of branches and circumstances, as
he thought the inquisitors of Spain used not so many questions to
comprehend and to trap their preys. And that this juridical and
canonical sifting of poor ministers was not to edify and reform. And
that in charity he thought, they ought not to answer to all these nice
points, except they were very notorious offenders in papistry or heresy:
Begging his grace to bear with that one fault, if it were so, that he
had willed these ministers not to answer those articles, except their
consciences might suffer them[94]."

[Note 94: "Life of Whitgift" by Strype.]

The archbishop, in a long and labored answer, expressed his surprise at
his lordship's "vehement speeches" against the administering of
interrogatories, "seeing it was the ordinary course in other courts: as
in the star-chamber, in the courts of the marches, and in other places:"
and he advanced many arguments, or assertions, in defence of his
proceedings, none of which proved satisfactory to the lord treasurer, as
appeared by his reply. In the end, the archbishop found himself obliged
to compromise this dispute by engaging that in future the twenty-four
articles should only be administered to students in divinity previously
to their ordination; and not to ministers already settled in cures,
unless they should have openly declared themselves against the
church-government by law established. But this instance of concession
extorted by the urgency of Walsingham appears to have been a solitary
one; the high commission, with the archbishop at its head, proceeded
unrelentingly in the work of establishing conformity, and crushing with
a strong hand all appeals to the sense of the public on controverted
points of discipline or doctrine. The queen, vehemently prepossessed
with the idea that the opposers of episcopacy must ever be ill affected
also to monarchy, made no scruple of declaring, after some years
experience of the untameable spirit of the sect, that the puritans were
greater enemies of hers than the papists; and in the midst of her
greatest perils from the machinations of the latter sect, she seldom
judged it necessary to conciliate by indulgence the attachment of the
former. Several Calvinistic ministers, during the course of the reign,
were subjected even to capital punishment on account of the scruples
which they entertained respecting the lawfulness of acknowledging the
queen's supremacy: on the other hand, the attempts of sir Francis
Knowles to inspire her majesty with jealousy of the designs of the
archbishop, by whom some advances were made towards claiming for the
episcopal order an authority by divine right, independently of the
appointment of the head of the church, failed entirely of success. No
ecclesiastic had ever been able to acquire so great an ascendency over
the mind of Elizabeth as Whitgift; there was a conformity in their
views, and in some points a sympathy in their characters; which seem to
have secured to the primate in all his undertakings the sanction and
approval of his sovereign: his favor continued unimpaired to the latest
hour of her life: it was from his lips that she desired to receive the
final consolations of religion; and regret for her loss, from the
apprehension of unwelcome changes in the ecclesiastical establishment
under the auspices of her successor, is believed to have contributed to
the attack which carried off the archbishop within a year after the
decease of his gracious and lamented mistress.

Elizabeth took an important though secret part in the struggles for
power among the Scottish nobles of opposite factions by which that
kingdom was now agitated during several years. It has been suspected,
but seems scarcely probable, that she was concerned in the conspiracy of
the earl of Gowry for seizing the person of the young king; she
certainly however interposed afterwards to mitigate his just anger
against the participators in that dark design. On the whole, she was
generally enabled to gain all the influence in the court of Scotland
which she found necessary to her ends; for James could always be
intimidated, and his minions most frequently bribed or cajoled. She
regarded it however as an object of some consequence to gain an accurate
knowledge of the character and capacity of her young kinsman, from one
on whom she could rely; and for this purpose she prevailed on
Walsingham, notwithstanding his age and infirmities, to undertake an
embassy into Scotland, of which the ostensible objects were so trifling
that its real purpose became perfectly evident to the more sagacious of
James's counsellors. Melvil confesses, that it cost him prodigious pains
to equip the king, at short notice, with so much of artificial dignity
and borrowed wisdom as might enable him to pass successfully through the
ordeal of Walsingham's examination. But his labor was not thrown away;
for James, who really possessed considerable quickness of parts and a
competent share of book learning, played with such plausibility the part
assigned him, that even this sagacious statesman is believed to have
returned impressed with a higher opinion of his abilities than any part
of his after conduct was found to warrant.

Her increasing apprehensions from the hostility of the king of Spain,
caused Elizabeth to cultivate with added zeal the friendship of the
northern powers of Europe, and in 1582 she sent the garter to the king
of Denmark as a pledge of amity; making at the same time a fruitless
endeavour to obtain for English merchant ships some remission of the
duties newly levied by the Danish sovereign on the passage of the Sound.
It was the prudent practice of her majesty to intrust these embassies of
compliment to young noblemen lately come into possession of their
estates, who, for her favor and their own honor, were willing to
discharge them in a splendid manner at their private expense. The Danish
mission was the price which she exacted from Peregrine Bertie, lately
called up to the house of peers as lord Willoughby of Eresby in right of
his mother, for her reluctant and ungracious recognition of his
undeniable title to this dignity. On the occurrence of this first
mention of a high-spirited nobleman, afterwards celebrated for a
brilliant valor which rendered him the idol of popular fame, the
remarkable circumstances of his birth and parentage must not be omitted.
His mother, only daughter and heir of the ninth lord Willoughby by a
Spanish lady of high birth who had been maid of honor to queen Catherine
of Arragon, was first the ward and afterwards the third wife of Charles
Brandon duke of Suffolk, by whom she had two sons, formerly mentioned as
victims to the sweating-sickness.

Few ladies of that age chose long to continue in the unprotected state
of widowhood; and the duchess had already re-entered the matrimonial
state with Richard Bertie, a person of obscure birth but liberal
education, when the accession of Mary exposed her to all the cruelties
and oppressions exercised without remorse by the popish persecutors of
that reign upon such of their private enemies as they could accuse of
being also the enemies of the catholic church. The duchess, during the
former reign, had drawn upon herself the bitter enmity of Gardiner by
some imprudent and insulting manifestations of her abhorrence of his
character and contempt for his religion; and she now learned with dismay
that it was his intention to subject her to a strict interrogatory on
the subject of her faith.

Except apostasy, there was no other resource than the hazardous and
painful one of voluntary banishment, and this she without hesitation
adopted. Bertie first obtained license for quitting the country on some
pretended business; and soon after, the duchess, attended only by two or
three domestics, escaped by night with her infant daughter from her
house in Barbican, and taking boat on the Thames arrived at a port in
Kent. Here she embarked; and through many perils,--for stress of weather
compelled her to put back into an English port, and the search was every
where very strict,--she reached at length a more hospitable shore, and
rejoined her husband at Santon in the duchy of Cleves. From this town,
however, they were soon chased by the imminent apprehension of
molestation from the bishop of Arras. It was on an October evening that,
followed only by two maid-servants, on foot, through rain and mire and
darkness, Bertie carrying a bundle and the duchess her child, the
forlorn wanderers began their march for Wesel one of the Hanse-towns,
about four miles distant. On their arrival, their wild and wretched
appearance, with the sword which Bertie carried, gave them in the eyes
of the inhabitants so suspicious an appearance, that no one would
harbour them; and while her husband ran from inn to inn vainly imploring
admittance, the afflicted duchess was compelled to betake herself to the
shelter of a church porch; and there, in that misery and desolation and
want of every thing, was delivered of a child, to whom, in memory of the
circumstance, she gave the name of Peregrine. Bertie meantime,
addressing himself in Latin to two young scholars whom he overheard
speaking together in that language, obtained a direction to a Walloon
minister, to whom the duchess had formerly shown kindness in England. By
his means such prompt and affectionate succour was administered as
served to restore her to health; and here for some time they found rest
for the sole of their foot. A fresh alarm then obliged them to remove
into the dominions of the Palsgrave, where they had remained till the
supplies which they had brought with them in money and jewels were
nearly exhausted; when a friend of the duchess's having interested the
king of Poland in their behalf, they fortunately received an invitation
from this sovereign. Arriving in his country, after great hardships and
imminent danger of their lives from the brutality of some soldiers on
their way, a large demesne was assigned them by their princely
protector, on which they lived in great honor and tranquillity till the
happy accession of Elizabeth recalled them to their native land.

Peregrine lord Willoughby found many occasions of distinguishing
himself in the wars of Flanders, where he rose to the rank of
lieutenant-general. He was not less magnanimous than brave; and
disdaining the servility of a court life, is thought to have enjoyed on
this account less of the queen's favor than her admiration of military
merit would otherwise have prompted her to bestow upon him. He died
governor of Berwick in 1601; his son was afterwards created earl of
Lindsey, and the title of duke of Ancaster is now borne by his

The king of Sweden, conducted to the brink of ruin by an unequal contest
with the arms of Russia, sent in 1583 a solemn embassy to the queen of
England to entreat her to mediate a peace for him. This good work, in
which she cheerfully engaged, was speedily brought to a happy issue; and
the Czar seized the opportunity of the negotiations to press for the
conclusion of that league offensive and defensive with England, which he
had formerly proposed in vain. The objection that such an alliance was
inconsistent with the laws of nations, since it might engage the queen
to commit hostilities on princes against whom she had never declared
war, made, as might be expected, little impression on this barbarian;
and Elizabeth had considerable difficulty in escaping from the intimate
embrace of his proffered friendship, to the cool civilities of a
commercial treaty. Another perplexing circumstance occurred. The Czar
had set his heart upon an English wife; some say he ventured to address
the queen herself; but however this might be, she was about to gratify
his wish by sending him for a bride a lady of royal blood, sister of the
earl of Huntingdon, when the information which she received of the
unlimited privilege of divorce exercised by his Muscovite majesty,
deterred her from completing her project. She was in consequence obliged
to excuse the failure on the ground of the delicate health of the young
lady, the reluctance of her brother to part with her, and, what must
have filled the despot with astonishment, her own inability to dispose
of her female subjects in marriage against the consent of their own

About this time died the earl of Sussex. In him the queen was deprived
of a faithful and honorable counsellor and an affectionate kinsman;
Leicester lost the antagonist whom he most dreaded, and the nobility one
of its principal ornaments. Dying childless, his next brother succeeded
him, in whom the race ended; for Egremond Ratcliffe, his youngest
brother, had already completed his disastrous destiny. This unfortunate
gentleman, it will be remembered, was rendered a fugitive and an outlaw
by the part which he had taken, at a very early age, in the Northern
rebellion. For several years he led a forlorn and rambling life,
sometimes in Flanders, sometimes in Spain, deriving his sole support
from an ill paid pension and occasional donations of Philip II., and
often enduring extremities of poverty and hardship.

Wearied with so many sufferings in a desperate cause, he then employed
all his endeavours to make his peace at home; and impatient at length of
the suspense which he endured, he took the step of returning to England
at all hazards and throwing himself on the compassion of lord Burleigh.
The treasurer, touched with his misery and his expressions of
penitence, interceded with the queen for his pardon; but she, on some
fresh occasion of suspicion, caused him to be advised to steal out of
the kingdom again; and neglecting this intimation, he was committed to
the Tower. After some months he was released, possibly under a promise
of attempting some extraordinary piece of service to his country, and
was sent back to Flanders, where he was soon after apprehended on a
charge of conspiring against the life of don John of Austria: some say,
and some deny, that he confessed his guilt, and accused the English
ministry of a participation in the design: however this might be, he
perished by the hand of public justice, a lamentable victim to the
guilty violence of the popish faction which first beguiled his
inexperience; to the relentless policy of Elizabeth, which forbade the
return of offenders perhaps not incorrigible; and to the desperation
which gaining dominion over his mind had subverted all its moral

Ireland had been as usual the scene of much danger and disturbance. In
1582 an attempt was made by the king of Spain to incite the catholic
inhabitants to a general rebellion, by throwing on the coast a small
body of troops seconded by a very considerable sum of money, and
attended by a number of priests prepared to preach up his title to the
sovereignty of the island in virtue of the papal donation. But the
vigorous measures of Arthur lord Grey the deputy, by holding the Irish
in check, rendered this effort abortive. The Spaniards, unable to
penetrate into the country, raised a fort near the place of their
landing, which they hoped to be able to hold out till the arrival of
reinforcements. They obstinately refused the terms of surrender first
offered them by the deputy; and the fort being afterwards taken by
assault, the whole garrison, with the exception of the officers, was put
to the sword: an act of cruelty which the deputy is said to have
commanded with tears, in obedience to the decision of a court-martial
from which he could not venture to depart; and which Elizabeth publicly
reprobated, perhaps without internally condemning.

The earl of Desmond, who on the arrival of the Spanish troops had risen
in arms against the government with all the power he could muster, was
excepted from the general pardon granted to other Irish insurgents, and
thus remaining by necessity in a state of rebellion, gave for some time
considerable disquiet, if not alarm, to the English government. But his
resources of every kind gradually falling off, he was hunted about
through bogs and forests, from one fastness or lurking-place to another,
enduring every kind of privation and hardship, and often foiling his
pursuers by hair-breadth scapes. It is even related that he and his
countess on one occasion being roused from their bed in the middle of
the night, found no other mode of concealment than that of wading up to
their necks in the river which bathed the walls of their retreat. At
length, a small party of soldiers having entered by surprise a solitary
cabin, they there found one old man sitting alone, to whom their brutal
leader gave a blow with his sword, which nearly cut off his arm, and
another on the side of his head; on which he cried out, "I am the earl
of Desmond." The name was no protection; for perceiving that he bled
fast and was unable to march, the ruthless soldier, bidding him prepare
for instant death, struck off his head and brought it away as a trophy;
leaving the mangled trunk to the chance of interment by any faithful
follower of the house of Fitzgerald who might venture from his
hiding-place to explore the fate of his chief. The head was sent to
England as a present to the queen, and placed by her command on London

From this time, the beginning of 1583, Ireland enjoyed a short respite
from scenes of violence and blood under the vigorous yet humane
administration of sir John Perrot, the new deputy.

The petty warfare of this turbulent province, amid the many and great
evils of various kinds which it brought forth, was productive however of
some contingent advantage to the queen's affairs, by serving as a school
of military discipline to many an officer of merit whose abilities she
afterwards found occasion to employ in more important enterprises to
check the power of Spain. Ireland was, in particular, the scene of
several of the early exploits of that brilliant and extraordinary genius
Walter Raleigh; and it was out of his service in this country that an
occasion arose for his appearing before her majesty, which he had the
talent and dexterity so to improve as to make it the origin of all his
favor and advancement. Raleigh was the poor younger brother of a
decayed but ancient family in Devonshire. His education at Oxford was
yet incomplete, when the ardor of his disposition impelled him to join a
gallant band of one hundred volunteers led by his relation Henry
Champernon, in 1569, to the aid of the French protestants. Here he
served a six-years apprenticeship to the art of war, after which,
returning to his own country, he gave himself for a while to the more
tranquil pursuits of literature; for "both Minervas" claimed him as
their own. In 1578 he resumed his arms under general Norris, commander
of the English forces in the Netherlands; the next year, ambitious of a
new kind of glory, he accompanied that gallant navigator sir Humphrey
Gilbert, his half brother, in a voyage to Newfoundland. This expedition
proving unfortunate, he obtained in 1580 a captain's commission in the
Irish service; and recommended by his vigor and capacity, rose to be
governor of Cork. He was the officer appointed to carry into effect the
bloody sentence passed upon the Spanish garrison; a cruel service, but
one which the military duty of obedience rendered matter of
indispensable obligation. A quarrel with lord Grey put a stop to his
promotion in Ireland; and on his following this nobleman to England,
their difference was brought to a hearing before the privy-council, when
the great talents and uncommon flow of eloquence exhibited by Raleigh in
pleading his own cause, by raising the admiration of all present, proved
the means of introducing him to the presence of the queen. His comely
person, fine address, and prompt proficiency in the arts of a courtier,
did all the rest; and he rapidly rose to such a height of royal favor as
to inspire with jealousy even him who had long stood foremost in the
good graces of his sovereign.

It is recorded of Raleigh during the early days of his court attendance,
when a few handsome suits of clothes formed almost the sum total of his
worldly wealth, that as he was accompanying the queen in one of her
daily walks,--during which she was fond of giving audience, because she
imagined that the open air produced a favorable effect on her
complexion,--she arrived at a miry spot, and stood in perplexity how to
pass. With an adroit presence of mind, the courtier pulled off his rich
plush cloak and threw it on the ground to serve her for a footcloth. She
accepted with pleasure an attention which flattered her, and it was
afterwards quaintly said that the spoiling of a cloak had gained him
many _good suits_.

It was in Ireland too that Edmund Spenser, one of our first genuine
poets, whose rich and melodious strains will find delighted audience as
long as inexhaustible fertility of invention, truth, fluency and
vivacity of description, copious learning, and a pure, amiable and
heart-ennobling morality shall be prized among the students of English
verse, was now tuning his enchanting lyre; and the ear of Raleigh was
the first to catch its strains. This eminent person was probably of
obscure parentage and slender means, for it was as a sizer, the lowest
order of students, that he was entered at Cambridge; but that his humble
merit early attracted the notice of men of learning and virtue is
apparent from his intimacy with Stubbs, already commemorated, and from
his friendship with that noted literary character Gabriel Hervey, by
whom he was introduced to the acquaintance of Philip Sidney. His leaning
towards puritanical principles, clearly manifested by various passages
in the Shepherd's Calendar, had probably betrayed itself to his
superiors at the university, by his choice of associates, or other
circumstances, previously to the publication of that piece; and possibly
might have some share in the disappointment of his hopes of a fellowship
which occurred in 1576. Quitting college on this occurrence, he retired
for some time into the north of England; but the friendship of Sidney
drew him again from his solitude, and it was at Penshurst that he
composed much of his Shepherd's Calendar, published in 1579 under the
signature of Immerito, and dedicated to this generous patron of his
muse. The earl of Leicester, probably at his nephew's request, sent
Spenser the same year on some commission to France; and in the next he
obtained the post of secretary to lord Grey, and attended him to

Though the child of fancy and the muse, Spenser now showed that business
was not "the contradiction of his fate;" he drew up an excellent
discourse on the state of Ireland, still read and valued, and received
as his reward the Grant of a considerable tract of land out of the
forfeited Desmond estates, and of the castle of Kilcolman, which
henceforth became his residence, and where he had soon the satisfaction
of receiving a first visit from Raleigh. Both pupils of classical
antiquity, both poets and aspirants after immortal fame, they met in
this land of ignorance and barbarity as brothers; and so strong was the
impression made on the mind of Raleigh, that even on becoming a
successful courtier he dismissed not from his memory or his affection
the tuneful shepherd whom he had left behind tending his flocks "under
the foot of Mole, that mountain hoar." He spoke of him to the queen with
all the enthusiasm of kindred genius; obtained for him some favors, or
promises of favors; and on a second visit which he made to Ireland,
probably for the purpose of inspecting the large grants which he had
himself obtained, he dragged his friend from his obscure retreat,
carried him over with him to England, and hastened to initiate him in
those arts of pushing a fortune at court which with himself had
succeeded so prosperously. But bitterly did the disappointed poet learn
to deprecate the mistaken kindness which had taught him to exchange
leisure and independence, though in a solitude so barbarous and remote,
for the servility, the intrigues and the treacheries of this
heart-sickening scene. He put upon lasting record his grief and his
repentance, in a few lines of energetic warning to the inexperienced in
the ways of courts, and hastened back to earn in obscurity his title to
immortal fame by the composition of the Faery Queen. This great work
appeared in 1589, with a preface addressed to Raleigh and a considerable
apparatus of recommendatory poems; one of which, a sonnet of great
elegance, is marked with initials which assign it to the same
patronizing friend.

The proceedings of the administration against papists accused of
treasonable designs or practices, began about this time to excite
considerable perturbation in the public mind; for though circumstances
were brought to light which seemed to justify in some degree the worst
suspicions entertained of this faction, a system of conduct on the part
of the government also became apparent which no true Englishman could
without indignation and horror contemplate. The earl of Leicester,
besides partaking with the other confidential advisers of her majesty in
the blame attached to the general character of the measures now pursued,
lay under the popular imputation of making these acts of power
subservient, in many atrocious instances, to his private purposes of
rapacity or vengeance, and a cloud of odium was raised against him which
the breath of his indulgent sovereign was in vain exerted to disperse.

There was in Warwickshire a catholic gentleman named Somerville, a
person of violent temper and somewhat disordered in mind, who had been
worked up, by the instigations of one Hall his confessor, to such a
pitch of fanatical phrensy, that he set out for London with the fixed
purpose of killing the queen; but falling furiously upon some of her
protestant subjects by the way, he was apprehended, and readily
confessed the object of his journey. Being closely questioned, perhaps
with torture, he is said to have dropped something which touched Mr.
Arden his father-in-law; and Hall on examination positively declared
that this gentleman had been made privy to the bloody purpose of
Somerville. On this bare assertion of the priest, unconfirmed, as
appears, by any collateral evidence, Arden was indicted, found guilty,
and underwent the whole sentence of the law. It happened to be publicly
known that Arden was the personal enemy of Leicester, for he had refused
to wear his livery;--a base kind of homage which was paid him without
scruple, as it seems, by other neighbouring gentlemen;--and he was also
in the habit of reproaching him with the murder of his first wife. The
wife also of Arden was the sister of sir Nicholas Throgmorton, whom
Leicester was vulgarly supposed to have poisoned, and of the chief
justice of Chester lately displaced. When therefore, in addition to
these circumstances of suspicion, it was further observed that
Somerville, instead of being produced to deny or confirm on the scaffold
the evidence which he was said to have given against Arden, died
strangled in prison, by his own hand as was affirmed;--when it was seen
that Hall, who was confessedly the instigator of the whole, and further
obnoxious to the laws as a catholic priest, was quietly sent out of the
kingdom by Leicester's means, in spite of the opposition of sir
Christopher Hatton;--and finally, when it appeared that the forfeited
lands of Arden went to enrich a creature of the same great man,--this
victim of law was regarded as a martyr, and it was found impossible to
tie up the tongues of men from crying shame and vengeance on his cruel
and insidious destroyer.

The plot thickened when Francis Throgmorton, son of the degraded judge
of Chester, was next singled out. Some intercepted letters to the queen
of Scots formed the first ground of this gentleman's arrest; but being
carried to the Tower, he was there racked to extort further discoveries,
and lord Paget and Charles Arundel, a courtier, quitted the kingdom in
haste as soon as they knew him to be in custody. After this many of the
leading catholics fell into suspicion, particularly the earls of
Northumberland and Arundel, who were ordered to confine themselves to
their houses; lord William Howard, brother to the latter nobleman, and
his uncle lord Henry Howard, were likewise subjected to several long and
rigorous examinations, but were dismissed at length on full proof of
their perfect innocence. The confessions of Throgmorton further
implicated the Spanish ambassador; who replied in so high a tone to the
representations made him on the subject, that her majesty commanded him
to quit the kingdom.

Francis Throgmorton was condemned, and suffered as a traitor, and, it is
probable, not undeservedly: there was reason also to believe that a
dangerous activity was exercised by the queen of Scots and her agents,
and that the letters which she was continually finding means of
conveying not only to the heads of the popish party, but to all whose
connexions led her to imagine them in any degree favorable to the cause,
had shaken the allegiance of numbers. On the other hand, the catholics
complained, and certainly not without reason, of dark and detestable
means employed by the ministry to betray and ensnare them.
Counterfeited letters, it seems, were often addressed to gentlemen of
this persuasion, purporting to come either from the queen of Scots or
from certain English exiles, and soliciting concurrence in some scheme
for her deliverance, or some design against the government. If the
unwary receivers either answered the letters, or simply forbore to
deliver them up to the secretary of state, their houses were entered;
search was made for these papers by the emissaries of government, who
were themselves the fabricators of them; the unfortunate owners were
dragged to prison as suspected persons; and interrogated, and perhaps
tortured, till they discovered all that they knew of the secrets of the
party. Spies were planted upon them, every unguarded word was caught up
and interpreted in the worst sense, and false or frivolous accusations
were greedily entertained.

Walsingham, next to Leicester, bore the chief odium of these
proceedings; but to him no corrupt motives or private ends ever appear
to have been imputed in particular cases, though an anxiety to preserve
his place, and to recommend himself to the queen his mistress by an
extraordinary manifestation of care for her safety and zeal in her
service, may not unfairly be supposed to have influenced the general
character of his policy.

The loud complaints of the catholics had excited so strong and so widely
diffused a sentiment of compassion for them and indignation against
their oppressors, that it was judged expedient to publish an apology for
the measures of government, written either by lord Burleigh himself or
under his direction, which bore the title of "A declaration of the
favorable dealing of her majesty's commissioners appointed for the
examination of certain traitors, and of tortures unjustly reported to be
done upon them for matters of religion."

It thus begins: "Good reader, although her majesty's most mild and
gracious government be sufficient to defend itself against those most
slanderous reports of heathenish and unnatural tyranny and cruel
tortures pretended to have been exercised upon certain traitors who
lately suffered for their treason, and others; as well as spread abroad
by rungates, Jesuits, and seminary men in their seditious books, letters
and libels, in foreign countries and princes courts, as also intimated
into the hearts of some of our own countrymen and her majesty's
subjects.... I have conferred with a very honest gentleman whom I knew
to have good and sufficient means to deliver the truth." &c. And the
following are the heads of this "honest gentleman's" testimony. "It is
affirmed for truth, and is offered upon due examination to be proved,"
"that the forms of torture in their severity or rigor of execution have
not been such as is slanderously represented"... "that even the
principal offender Campion himself"... "before the conference had with
him by learned men in the Tower, wherein he was charitably used, was
never so racked but that he was presently able to walk and to write, and
did presently write and subscribe all his confessions." That Briant, a
man said to, have been reduced to such extremities of hunger and thirst
in prison, that he ate the clay out of the walls and drank the droppings
of the roof, was kept in that state by his own fault; for certain
treasonable writings being found upon him, he was required to give a
specimen of his handwriting; which refusing, he was told he should have
no food till he wrote for what he wanted, and after fasting nearly two
days and nights he complied. Also, that both with respect to these two
and others, it might be affirmed, that the warders, whose office it is
to use the rack, "were ever by those that attended the examinations
specially charged to use it in as charitable a manner as such a thing
might be."

Secondly, that none of those catholics who have been racked during her
majesty's reign were, "upon the rack or in any other torture," demanded
of any points of faith and doctrine merely, "but only with what persons,
at home or abroad, and touching what plots and practises they had
dealt... about attempts against her majesty's estate or person, or to
alter the laws of the realm for matters of religion, by treason or by
force; and how they were persuaded themselves and did persuade others,
touching the pope's pretence of authority to depose kings and princes;
and namely for deprivation of her majesty, and to discharge subjects
from their allegiance." &c.

"Thirdly, that none of them have been put to the rack or torture, no not
for the matters of treason, or partnership of treason, or such like, but
where it was first known and evidently probable, by former detections,
confessions, and otherwise, that the party was guilty, and could
deliver truth of the things wherewith he was charged; so as it was first
assured that no innocent was at any time tormented, and the rack was
never used to wring out confessions at adventure upon uncertainties."

"Fourthly, that none of them hath been racked or tortured unless he had
first said expressly, or amounting to as much, that he will not tell the
truth though the queen did command him." &c.

"Fifthly, that the proceeding to torture was always so slowly, so
unwillingly, and with so many preparations of persuasions to spare
themselves, and so many means to let them know that the truth was by
them to be uttered, both in duty to her majesty, and in wisdom for
themselves, as whosoever was present at those actions must needs
acknowledge in her majesty's ministers a full purpose to follow the
example of her own gracious disposition."... "Thus it appeareth, that
albeit, by the more general laws of nations, torture hath been and is
lawfully judged to be used in lesser cases, and in sharper manner, for
inquisition of truth in crimes not so near extending to public danger as
these ungracious persons have committed, whose conspiracies, and the
particularities thereof, it did so much import and behove to have
disclosed; yet even in that necessary use of such proceeding, enforced
by the offenders notorious obstinacy, is nevertheless to be acknowledged
the sweet temperature of her majesty's mild and gracious clemency, and
their slanderous lewdness to be the more condemned, that have in favor
of heinous malefactors and stubborn traitors spread untrue rumours and
slanders, to make her merciful government disliked, under false pretence
and rumors of sharpness and cruelty to those against whom nothing can be
cruel, and yet upon whom nothing hath been done but gentle and

This is a document which speaks sufficiently for itself. Torture, in any
shape, was even at this time absolutely contrary to the law of the land;
and happily, there was enough of true English feeling in the country,
even under the rule of a Tudor, to render it expedient for Elizabeth,
soon after the exposition of these "favorable dealings" of her
commissioners, to issue an order that no species of it should in future
be applied to state-prisoners on any pretext whatsoever.

Parsons the Jesuit, who had been fortunate enough to make his escape
when his associate Campion was apprehended, is believed to have been the
papist who sought to avenge his party on its capital enemy by the
composition of that virulent invective called "Leicester's
Commonwealth:" a pamphlet which was printed in Flanders in 1584, and of
which a vast number of copies were imported into England, where it
obtained, from the color of the leaves and the supposed author, the
familiar title of "Father Parsons' Green-coat." In this work all the
current stories against the unpopular favorite were collected and set
forth as well attested facts; and they were related with that
circumstantiality and minuteness of detail which are too apt to pass
upon the common reader as the certain and authentic characters of truth.
The success of this book was prodigious; it was read universally and
with the utmost avidity. All who envied Leicester's power and grandeur;
all who had smarted under his insolence, or felt the gripe of his
rapacity; all who had been scandalized, or wounded in family honor, by
his unbridled licentiousness; all who still cherished in their hearts
the image of the unfortunate duke of Norfolk, whom he was believed to
have entangled in a deadly snare; all who knew him for the foe and
suspected him for the murderer of the gallant and lamented earl of
Essex;--finally, all, and they were nearly the whole of the nation, who
looked upon him as a base and treacherous miscreant, shielded by the
affection of his sovereign and wrapped in an impenetrable cloud of
hypocrisy and artifice, who aimed in the dark his envenomed weapons
against the bosom of innocence;--exulted in this exposure of his secret
crimes, and eagerly received and propagated for truth even the grossest
of the exaggerations and falsehoods with which the narrative was

Elizabeth, incensed to the last degree at so furious an attack upon the
man in whom her confidence was irremoveably fixed, caused her council to
write letters to all persons in authority for the suppression of these
books, and punishment of such as were concerned in their dispersion;
adding at the same time the declaration, that her majesty "testified in
her conscience before God, that she knew in assured certainty the books
and libels against the earl to be most malicious, false and scandalous,
and such as none but an incarnate devil himself could dream to be true."
The letters further stated, that her majesty regarded this publication
as an attempt to discredit her own government, "as though she should
have failed in good judgement and discretion in the choice of so
principal a councillor about her, or to be without taste or care of all
justice or conscience, in suffering such heinous and monstrous crimes,
as by the said books and libels be infamously imputed, to pass
unpunished; or finally, at the least, to want either good will, ability
or courage, if she knew these enormities were true, to call any subject
of hers whatsoever to render sharp account of them, according to the
force of her laws." The councillors in their own persons afterwards went
on to declare, that they, "to do his lordship but right, of their
sincere consciences must needs affirm these strange and abominable
crimes to be raised of a wicked and venomous malice against the said
earl, of whose good service, sincerity of religion, and all other
faithful dealings towards her majesty and the realm, they had had long
and true experience."

These letters said too much; it was not credible that either her majesty
or her privy-councillors should each individually know to be false all
the imputations thrown upon Leicester in the libels written against him;
there was even good reason to believe that many of them were firmly
believed to be well founded by several, and perhaps most, of the
privy-councillors; at all events nothing like exculpatory evidence was
brought, or attempted to be brought, on the subject, consequently no
effect was produced on public opinion; the whole was regarded as an
_ex-parte_ proceeding. Philip Sidney, who probably set out with a
sincere disbelief of these shocking accusations brought against any
uncle who had shown for him an affection next to parental, eagerly took
up the pen in his defence. But the only point on which his refutation
appears to have been triumphant, was unfortunately one of no moral
moment,--the antiquity and nobility of the Dudley family, falsely, as it
seems, impugned by the libeller. Some inconsistencies and contradictions
he indeed pointed out in other matters; but, on the whole, the answer
was miserably deficient in every thing but invective, of which there was
far too much; and either from a gradual perception of the badness of his
cause or the weakness of his performance, or perhaps for other reasons
with which we are unacquainted, he abandoned his design; and the
fragment never saw the light till the publication of the Sidney Papers
about sixty years ago. But whatever might be the private judgements of
men concerning the character and conduct of the earl of Leicester; the
support of the queen, and the strength of the party which the long
possession of power, and a remarkable fidelity in the observance of his
engagements towards his own adherents, had enabled him to form,
effectually protected him from experiencing any decline of his political
influence. Of this a proof appeared soon after, when in consequence of
further disclosures of the dangerous designs of the catholics, a form of
association, by which the subscribers bound themselves to pursue, to the
utmost of their power, even to the death, all who should attempt any
thing against the queen in favor of any pretender to the crown, was
drawn up by this nobleman and obtained the signatures of all orders of

This was a measure which the queen of Scots perceived to be aimed
expressly against herself, and of which she sought to divert the ill
effects by all the means still within her power. She desired to be one
of the first to whom the association should be offered for subscription;
and she begged that this act might form the basis of a treaty by which
all differences between herself and Elizabeth might be finally composed,
and her long captivity exchanged at length, if not for absolute freedom,
at least for a state of comparative independence under articles
guarantied by the principal powers of Europe. These articles, far
different from the former claims of Mary, appeared to Walsingham so
advantageous to his mistress, by the exemption which they seemed to
promise her from future machinations on the part of the queen of Scots,
that he strenuously urged their acceptance; but it was in vain. Mutual
injuries, dissimulation on both sides, and causes of jealousy on the
part of Elizabeth from which all her advantages over her captive enemy
had not served to set her free, now, as ever, opposed the conclusion of
any terms of agreement; and the imprudent and violent conduct of Mary
served to confirm Elizabeth in her unrelentingness. Even while the terms
were under discussion, a letter was intercepted addressed by the queen
of Scots to sir Francis Englefield, an English exile and pensioner in
Spain, in which she thus wrote: "Of the treaty between the queen of
England and me, I may neither hope nor look for good issue. Whatsoever
shall become of me, by whatsoever change of my state and condition, let
the execution of the _Great Plot_ go forward, without any respect of
peril or danger to me. For I will account my life very happily bestowed,
if I may with the same help and relieve so great a number of the
oppressed children of the Church.... And further, I pray you, use all
possible diligence and endeavour to pursue and promote, at the pope's
and other kings' hand, such a speedy execution of their former
designments, that the same may be effectuated sometime this next
spring." &c. It must be confessed, that after such a letter Mary had
little right to complain of the failure of these negotiations. The
countess of Shrewsbury, now at open variance with her husband, had
employed every art to infuse into the queen suspicions of a too great
intimacy subsisting between the earl and his prisoner; and Elizabeth,
either from a jealousy which the long fidelity of Shrewsbury to his
arduous trust was unable to counteract, or, as was believed, at the
instigation of some who meant further mischief to Mary, ordered about
this time her removal to the custody of sir Amias Paulet and sir Drugo

This change filled the mind of the captive queen with terror, which
prepared her to listen with avidity to any schemes, however desperate,
for her own deliverance and the destruction of her enemy; and proved the
prelude to that tragical castastrophe which was now advancing fast upon

A violent quarrel between Mary and the countess of Shrewsbury had
naturally resulted from the conduct of this furious woman; and Mary,
whose passions, whether fierce or tender, easily hurried her beyond the
bounds of decency and of prudence, gratified her resentment at once
against the countess and the queen by addressing to Elizabeth a letter
which could never be forgiven or forgotten. In this piece, much too
gross for insertion in the present work, she professes to comply with
the request of her royal sister, by acquainting her very exactly with
all the evil of every kind that the countess of Shrewsbury had ever
spoken of her majesty in her hearing. She then proceeds to repeat or
invent all that the most venomous malice could devise against the
character of Elizabeth: as, that she had conferred her favors on a
nameless person (probably Leicester) to whom she had promised marriage;
on the duke of Anjou, on Simier, on Hatton and others; that the latter
was quite disgusted with her fondness; that she was generous to none but
these favorites, &c. That her conceit of her beauty was such, that no
flattery could be too gross for her to swallow; and that this folly was
the theme of ridicule to all her courtiers, who would often pretend that
their eyes were unable to sustain the radiance of her countenance,--a
trait, by the way, which stands on other and better authority than this
infamous letter. That her temper was so furious that it was dreadful to
attend upon her;--that she had broken the finger of one lady, and
afterwards pretended to the courtiers that it was done by the fall of a
chandelier, and that she had cut another across the hand with a
knife;--stories very probably not entirely unfounded in fact, since we
find the earl of Huntingdon complaining, in a letter still preserved in
the British Museum, that the queen, on some quarrel, had pinched his
wife "very sorely." That she interfered in an arbitrary manner with the
marriage of one of the countess of Shrewsbury's daughters, and wanted to
engross the disposal of all the heiresses in the kingdom;--in which
charge there was also some truth. This insulting epistle concluded with
assurances of the extreme anxiety of the writer to see a good
understanding restored between herself and Elizabeth.

Meantime, the most alarming manifestations of the inveterate hostility
of the persecuted papists against the queen, continued to agitate the
minds of a people who loved and honored her; and who anticipated with
well founded horror the succession of another Mary, which seemed
inevitable in the event of her death. A book was written by a Romish
priest, exhorting the female attendants of her majesty to emulate the
merit and glory of Judith by inflicting on her the fate of Holophernes.
Dr. Allen, afterwards cardinal, published a work to justify and
recommend the murder of a heretic prince; and by this piece a gentleman
of the name of Parry was confirmed, it is said, in the black design
which he had several times revolved in his mind, but relinquished as
often from misgivings of conscience.

In the history of this person there are some circumstances very
remarkable. He was a man of considerable learning, but, being vicious
and needy, had some years before this time committed a robbery, for
which he had received the royal pardon. Afterwards he went abroad, and
was reconciled to the Romish church, though employed at the same time by
the ministers of Elizabeth to give intelligence respecting the English
exiles, whom he often recommended to pardon or favor, and sometimes
apparently with success. Returning home, he gained access to the queen,
who admitted him to several private interviews; and he afterwards
declared, that fearing he might be tempted to put in act the bloody
purpose which perpetually haunted his mind, he always left his dagger at
home when he went to wait upon her. On these occasions he apprized her
majesty of the existence of many designs against her life, and
endeavoured, with great earnestness and plainness of speech, to convince
her of the cruelty and impolicy of those laws against the papists which
had rendered them her deadly foes: but finding his arguments thrown away
upon the queen, he afterwards procured a seat in parliament, where he
was the sole opponent of a severe act passed against the Jesuits. On
account of the freedom with which he expressed himself on this occasion,
he was for a few days imprisoned.

Soon after a gentleman of the family of Nevil, induced it is said by the
hope of obtaining as his reward the honors and lands of the rebel earl
of Westmorland lately dead, disclosed to the government a plot for
assassinating the queen, in which he affirmed that Parry had engaged his
concurrence. Parry confessed in prison that he had long deliberated on
the means of effectually serving his church, and it appeared that he
had come to the decision that the assassination of the queen's greatest
subject might be lawful: a letter was also found upon him from cardinal
Como, expressing approbation of some design which he had communicated to
him. On this evidence he was capitally condemned; but to the last he
strongly denied that the cardinal's letter, couched in general terms,
referred to any attempt on the queen's person, or that he had ever
entertained the design charged upon him. Unlike all the other martyrs of
popery at this time, he died,--not avowing and glorying in the crime
charged upon him,--but earnestly protesting his innocence, his loyalty,
his warm attachment to her majesty. An account of his life was published
immediately afterwards by the queen's printer, written in a style of the
utmost virulence, and filled with tales of his monstrous wickedness
which have much the air of violent calumnies.

Parry was well known to lord Burleigh, with whom he had corresponded for
several years; and the circumstance of his being brought by him to the
presence of the queen, proves that this minister was far from regarding
him either as the low, the infamous, or the desperate wretch that he is
here represented. That he had sometimes _imagined_ the death of the
queen, he seems to have acknowledged; but most probably he had never so
far conquered the dictates of loyalty and conscience as to have laid any
plan for her destruction, or even to have resolved upon hazarding the
attempt. The case therefore was one in which mercy and even justice seem
to have required the remission of a harsh and hasty sentence; but the
panic terror which had now seized the queen, the ministry, the
parliament, and the nation, would have sufficed to overpower the
pleadings of the generous virtues in hearts of nobler mould than those
of Elizabeth, of Leicester, or of Walsingham.

Nevil, the accuser of Parry, far from gaining any reward, was detained
prisoner in the Tower certainly till the year 1588, and whether he even
then obtained his liberation does not appear.

The severe enactments of the new parliament against papists, which
included a total prohibition of every exercise of the rites of their
religion, so affected the mind of Philip Howard earl of Arundel, already
exasperated by the personal hardships to which the suspicions of her
majesty and the hostility of her ministers had exposed him, that he
formed the resolution of banishing himself for ever from his native
land. Having secretly prepared every thing for his departure, he put his
whole case upon record in a letter addressed to her majesty, and left
behind at his house in London. This piece ought, as it appears, to have
excited in the breast of his sovereign sentiments of regret and
compunction rather than of indignation. The writer complains, that
without any offence given on his part, or even objected against him by
her majesty, he had long since fallen into her disfavor, as by her
"bitter speeches" had become publicly known; so that he was generally
accounted, "nay in a manner pointed at," as one whom her majesty least
favored, and in most disgrace as a person whom she did deeply suspect
and especially mislike." That after he had continued for some months
under this cloud, he had been called sundry times by her command before
the council, where charges had been brought against him, some of them
ridiculously trifling, others incredible, all so untrue, that even his
greatest enemies could not, after his answers were made, reproach him
with any disloyal thought;--yet was he in the end ordered to keep his
house. That his enemies still continued to pursue him with
interrogatories, and continued his restraint; and that even after the
last examination had failed to produce any thing against him, he was
still kept fifteen weeks longer in the same state, though accused of
nothing. That when, either his enemies being ashamed to pursue these
proceedings further, or her majesty being prevailed upon by his friends
to put an end to them, he had at length recovered his liberty, he had
been led to meditate on the fates of his three unfortunate ancestors,
all circumvented by their enemies, and two of them (the earl of Surry
his grandfather and the duke of Norfolk his father) brought for slight
causes to an untimely end. And having weighed their cases with what had
just befallen himself, he concluded that it might well be his lot to
succeed them in fortune as in place. His foes were strong to overthrow,
he weak to defend himself, since innocence, he had found, was no
protection; her majesty being "easily drawn to an ill opinion of" his
"ancestry;" and moreover, he had been "charged by the council to be of
the religion which was accounted odious and dangerous to her estate."
"Lastly," he adds, "but principally, I weighed in what miserable
doubtful case my soul had remained if my life had been taken, as it was
not unlikely, in my former troubles. For I protest, the greatest burden
that rested on my conscience at that time was, because I had not lived
according to the prescript rule of that which I undoubtedly believed."

The earl had actually embarked at a small port in Sussex, when, his
project having been betrayed to the government by the mercenary villany
of the master of the vessel and of one of his own servants, orders were
issued for his detention, and he was brought back in custody and
committed to the Tower. The letter just quoted was then produced against
him; it was declared to reflect on the justice of the country; and for
the double offence of having written it and of attempting to quit the
kingdom without license, he underwent a long imprisonment, and was
arbitrarily sentenced to a fine of one thousand pounds, which he proved
his inability to pay. The barbarous tyranny which held his body in
thraldom, served at the same time to rivet more strongly upon his mind
the fetters of that stern superstition which had gained dominion over
him. The more he endured for his religion, the more awful and important
did it appear in his eyes; while in proportion to the severity and
tediousness of his sufferings from without, the scenery within became
continually more cheerless and terrific; and learning to dread in a
future world the prolonged operation of that principle of cruelty under
which he groaned in this, he sought to avert its everlasting action by
practising upon himself the expiatory rigors of asceticism. The sequel
of his melancholy history we shall have occasion to contemplate

Thomas Percy earl of Northumberland, brother to that earl who had
suffered death on account of the Northern rebellion,--by his
participation in which he had himself also incurred a fine, though
afterwards remitted,--was naturally exposed at this juncture to vehement
suspicions. After some examinations before the council, cause was found
for his committal to the Tower; and here, according to the iniquitous
practice of the age, he remained for a considerable time without being
brought to trial. At length the public was informed that another
prisoner on a like account having been put to the torture to force
disclosures, had revealed matters against the earl of Northumberland
amounting to treason, on which account he had thought fit to anticipate
the sentence of the law by shooting himself through the heart. That the
earl was really the author of his own death was indeed proved before a
coroner's jury by abundant and unexceptionable testimony, as well as by
his deliberate precautions for making his lands descend to his son, and
his indignant declaration that the queen, on whom he bestowed a most
opprobrious epithet, should never have his estate; though it may still
bear a doubt whether a consciousness of guilt, despair of obtaining
justice, or merely the misery of an indefinite captivity, were the
motive of the rash act: but the catholics, actuated by the true spirit
of party, added without scruple the death of this nobleman to the "foul
and midnight murders" perpetrated within these gloomy walls.

Meantime the opposition to popery, which had now become the reigning
principle of English policy, was to be maintained on other ground, and
with other weapons than those with which an inquisitorial
high-commission, or a fierce system of penal enactments, had armed the
hands of religious intolerance, political jealousy, or private
animosity; and all the more generous and adventurous spirits prepared
with alacrity to draw the sword in the noble cause of Belgian
independence, against the united tyranny and bigotry of the detestable
Philip II.

The death of that patriot hero William prince of Orange by the hand of a
fanatical assassin, had plunged his country in distress and dismay, and
the States-general had again made an earnest tender of their sovereignty
to Elizabeth. She once more declined it, from the same motives of
caution and anxiety to avoid the imputation of ambitious encroachment on
the rights of neighbouring princes, which had formerly determined her.
But more than ever aware how closely her own safety and welfare were
connected with the successful resistance of these provinces, she now
consented to send over an army to their succour, and to grant them
supplies of money; in consideration of which several cautionary towns
were put into her hands. Of these, Flushing was one; and Elizabeth
gratified at once the protestant zeal of Philip Sidney and his
aspirations after military glory, by appointing him its governor. It was
in November 1585 that he took possession of his charge.

Meanwhile the earl of Leicester, whose haughty and grasping spirit led
him to covet distinction and authority in every line, was eagerly
soliciting the supreme command of this important armament; and in spite
of the general mediocrity of his talents and his very slight experience
in the art of war, his partial mistress had the weakness to indulge him
in this unreasonable and ill-advised pretension. The title of general of
the queen's auxiliaries in Holland was conferred upon him, and with it a
command over the whole English navy paramount to that of the
lord-high-admiral himself.

He landed at Flushing, and was received first by its governor and
afterwards by the States of Holland and Zealand with the highest honors,
and with the most magnificent festivities which it was in their power to
exhibit. A splendid band of youthful nobility followed in his
train:--the foremost of them all was his stepson Robert earl of Essex,
now in his 19th year, who had already made his appearance at court, and
experienced from her majesty a reception which clearly prognosticated,
to such as were conversant in the ways of the court, the height of favor
to which he was predestined.

It was highly characteristic of the jealous haughtiness of Elizabeth's
temper, that the extraordinary honors lavished by the States upon
Leicester instantly awakened her utmost indignation. She regarded them
as too high for any subject, even for him who enjoyed the first place in
her royal favor, whom she had invested with an amplitude of authority
quite unexampled, and who represented herself in the council of the
States-general. She expressed her anger in a tone which made both
Leicester and the Belgians tremble; and the explanations and humble
submissions of both parties were found scarcely sufficient to appease
her. At the same time, the incapacity and misconduct of Leicester as a
commander were daily becoming more conspicuous and offensive in the eyes
of the Dutch authorities; and the most serious evils would immediately
have ensued, but for the prudence, the magnanimity, the conciliating
behaviour, and the strenuous exertions, by which his admirable nephew
labored unceasingly to remedy his vices and cover his deficiencies.

The brilliant valor of the English troops, and particularly of the young
nobility and gentry who led them on, was conspicuous in every encounter;
but the want of a chief able to cope with that accomplished general the
prince of Parma, precluded them from effecting any important object.
Philip Sidney distinguished himself by a well-conducted surprise of the
town of Axel, and received in reward among a number of others the honor
of knighthood from the hands of his uncle. Afterwards, having made an
attack with the horse under his command on a reinforcement which the
enemy was attempting to throw into Zutphen, a hot action ensued, in
which though the advantage remained with the English, it was dearly
purchased by the blood of their gallant leader, who received a shot
above the knee, which after sixteen days of acute suffering brought his
valuable life to its termination.

Thus perished at the early age of thirty-two sir Philip Sidney, the
pride and pattern of his time, the theme of song, the favorite of
English story. The beautiful anecdote of his resigning to the dying
soldier the draught of water with which he was about to quench his
thirst as he rode faint and bleeding from the fatal field, is told to
every child, and inspires a love and reverence for his name which never
ceases to cling about the hearts of his countrymen. He is regarded as
the most perfect example which English history affords of the _preux
Chevalier_; and is named in parallel with the spotless and fearless
Bayard the glory of Frenchmen, whom he excelled in all the
accomplishments of peace as much as the other exceeded him in the number
and splendor of his military achievements.

The demonstrations of grief for his loss, and the honors paid to his
memory, went far beyond all former example, and appeared to exceed what
belonged to a private citizen. The court went into mourning for him, and
his remains received a magnificent funeral in St. Paul's, the United
Provinces having in vain requested permission to inter him at their own
expense, with the promise that he should have as fair a tomb as any
prince in Christendom. Elizabeth always remembered him with affection
and regret. Cambridge and Oxford published three volumes of "_Lachrymæ_"
on the melancholy event. Spenser in verse, and Camden in prose,
commemorated and deplored their friend and patron. A crowd of humbler
contemporaries pressed emulously forward to offer up their mite of
panegyric and lamentation; and it would be endless to enumerate the
poets and other writers of later times, who have celebrated in various
forms the name of Sidney. Foreigners of the highest distinction claimed
a share in the general sentiment. Du Plessis Mornay condoled with
Walsingham on the loss of his incomparable son-in-law in terms of the
deepest sorrow. Count Hohenlo passionately bewailed his friend and
fellow-soldier, to whose representations and intercessions he had
sacrificed his just indignation against the proceedings of Leicester.
Even the hard heart of Philip II. was touched by the untimely fate of
his godson, though slain in bearing arms against him.

We are told that on the next tilt-day after the last wife of the earl of
Leicester had borne him a son, Sidney appeared with a shield on which
was the word "_Speravi_" dashed through. This anecdote,--if indeed the
allusion of the motto be rightly explained, which it is difficult to
believe,--would serve to show how publicly he had been regarded, both by
himself and others, as the heir of his all-powerful uncle. The death of
this child, on which occasion adulatory verses were produced by the
university of Cambridge, restored Sidney, the year before his death, to
this brilliant expectancy; and it cannot reasonably be doubted, that the
academic honors paid to his memory were, like the court-mourning, a
homage to the power of the living rather than the virtues of the dead.
But though he should be judged to have owed to his connexion with a
royal favorite much of his contemporary celebrity, and even in some
measure his enduring fame, no candid estimator will suffer himself to
be hurried, under an idea of correcting the former partiality of
fortune, into the clear injustice of denying to this accomplished
character a just title to the esteem and admiration of posterity. On the
contrary, it will be considered, that the very circumstances which
rendered him so early conspicuous, would also expose him to the shafts
of malice and envy; and that if his spirit had not been in reality
noble, and his conduct irreproachable, it would have exceeded all the
power of Leicester to shield the reputation of his nephew against
attacks similar to those from which he had found it impracticable to
defend his own.

Philip Sidney was educated, by the cares of a wise and excellent father,
in the purest and most elevated moral principles and in the best
learning of the age. A letter of advice addressed to him by this
exemplary parent at the age of twelve, fully exemplifies both the
laudable solicitude of sir Henry respecting his future character, and
the soundness of his views and maxims: in the character of his son, as
advancing to manhood, he saw his hopes exceeded and his prayers
fulfilled. Nothing could be more correct than his conduct, more laudable
than his pursuits, while on his travels; young as he was, he merited the
friendship of Hubert Languet. He also gained just and high reputation
for the manner in which he acquitted himself of an embassy to the
protestant princes of Germany, though somewhat of the ostentation and
family pride of a Dudley was apparent in the port which he thought it
necessary to assume on the occasion. After his return, he commenced the
life of a courtier; and that indiscriminate thirst for glory which was
in some measure the foible of his character, led him into an
ostentatious profusion, which, by involving his affairs, rendered it
necessary for him to solicit the pecuniary favors of her majesty, and to
earn them by some acts of adulation unworthy of his spirit: for all
these, however, he made large amends by his noble letter against the
French marriage. He afterwards took up, with a zeal and ability highly
honorable to his heart and his head, the defence of his father, accused,
but finally acquitted, of some stretches of power as lord-deputy of
Ireland. This business involved him in disputes with the earl of Ormond,
his father's enemy, who seems to have generously overlooked provocations
which might have led to more serious consequences, in consideration of
the filial feelings of his youthful adversary.

These indications of a bold and forward spirit appear however to have
somewhat injured him in the mind of her majesty; his advancement by no
means kept pace either with his wishes or his wants; and a subsequent
quarrel with the earl of Oxford,--in which he refused to make the
concessions required by the queen, reminding her at the same time that
it had been her father's policy, and ought to be hers, rather to
countenance the gentry against the arrogance of the great nobles than
the contrary,--sent him in disgust from court. Retiring to Wilton, the
seat of his brother-in-law the earl of Pembroke, he composed the
Arcadia. This work he never revised or completed; it was published
after his death, probably contrary to his orders; and it is of a kind
long since obsolete. Under all these disadvantages, however, though
faulty in plan and as a whole tedious, this romance has been found to
exhibit extensive learning, a poetical cast of imagination, nice
discrimination of character, and, what is far more, a fervor of
eloquence in the cause of virtue, a heroism of sentiment and purity of
thought, which stamp it for the offspring of a noble mind,--which evince
that the workman was superior to his work.

But the world re-absorbed him; and baffled at court he meditated, in
correspondence with one of his favorite mottoes,--"_Aut viam inveniam
aut faciam_,"--to join one of the almost piratical expeditions of Drake
against the Spanish settlements. Perhaps he might then be diverted from
his design by the strong and kind warning of his true friend Languet,
"to beware lest the thirst of lucre should creep into a mind which had
hitherto admitted nothing but the love of truth and an anxiety to
deserve well of all men." After the death of this monitor, however, he
engaged in a second scheme of this very questionable nature, and was
only prevented from embarking by the arrival of the queen's peremptory
orders for his return to court and that of Fulke Greville who
accompanied him.

It would certainly be difficult to defend in point of dignity and
consistency his conspicuous appearance, as formerly recorded, at the
triumph held in honor of the French embassy, or his attendance upon the
duke of Anjou on his return to the Netherlands.

The story of his nomination to the throne of Poland deserves little
regard; it is certain that such an elevation was never within his
possibilities of attainment. His reputation on the continent was however
extremely high; Don John of Austria himself esteemed him; the great
prince of Orange corresponded with him as a real friend; and Du Plessis
Mornay solicited his good offices on behalf of the French protestants.
Nothing but the highest praise is due to his conduct in Holland; to the
valor of a knight-errant he added the best virtues of a commander and
counsellor. Leicester himself apprehended that it would be scarcely
possible for him to sustain his high post without the countenance and
assistance of his beloved nephew; and the event showed that he was

His death was worthy of the best parts of his life; he showed himself to
the last devout, courageous, and serene. His wife, the beautiful
daughter of Walsingham; his brother Robert, to whom he had performed the
part rather of an anxious and indulgent parent than of a brother; and
many sorrowing friends, surrounded his bed. Their grief was beyond a
doubt sincere and poignant, as well as that of the many persons of
letters and of worth who gloried in his friendship and flourished by his
bountiful patronage.

On the whole, though justice claims the admission that the character of
Sidney was not entirely free from the faults most incident to his age
and station, and that neither as a writer, a scholar, a soldier, or a
statesman,--in all which characters during the course of his short life
he appeared, and appeared with distinction,--is he yet entitled to the
highest rank; it may however be firmly maintained that, as a _man_, an
accomplished and high-souled man, he had among his contemporary
countrymen neither equal nor competitor. Such was the verdict in his own
times not of flatterers only, or friends, but of England, of Europe;
such is the title of merit under which the historian may enroll him,
with confidence and with complacency, among the illustrious few whose
name and example still serve to kindle in the bosom of youth the
animating glow of virtuous emulation.

Leicester never appears in an amiable light except in connexion with his
nephew, for whom his affection was not only sincere but ardent. A few
extracts from a letter written by him to sir Thomas Heneage, captain of
the queen's guards, giving an account of the action in which Sidney
received his mortal wound, will illustrate this remark, while it records
the gallant exploits of several of his companions in arms.

After relating that sir Philip had gone out with a party to intercept a
convoy of the enemy's, he adds, "Many of our horses were hurt and
killed, among which was my nephew's own. He went and changed to another,
and would needs to the charge again, and once passed those musqueteers,
where he received a sore wound upon his thigh, three fingers above his
knee, the bone broken quite in pieces; but for which chance, God did
send such a day as I think was never many years seen, so few against so
many." The earl then enumerates the other commanders and distinguished
persons engaged in the action. Colonel Norris, the earl of Essex, sir
Thomas Perrot; "and my unfortunate Philip, with sir William Russell, and
divers gentlemen; and not one hurt but only my nephew. They killed four
of their enemy's chief leaders, and carried the valiant count Hannibal
Gonzaga away with them upon a horse; also took captain George Cressier,
the principal soldier of the camp, and captain of all the Albanese. My
lord Willoughby overthrew him at the first encounter, man and horse. The
gentleman did acknowledge it himself. There is not a properer gentleman
in the world towards than this lord Willoughby is; but I can hardly
praise one more than another, they all did so well; yet every one had
his horse killed or hurt. And it was thought very strange that sir
William Stanley with three hundred of his men should pass, in spite of
so many musquets, such troops of horse three several times, making them
remove their ground, and to return with no more loss than he did.
Albeit, I must say it, it was too much loss for me; for this young man,
he was my greatest comfort, next her majesty, of all the world; and if I
could buy his life with all I have, to my shirt I would give it. How God
will dispose of him I know not, but fear I must needs, greatly, the
worst; the blow in so dangerous a place and so great; yet did I never
hear of any man that did abide the dressing and setting of his bones
better than he did; and he was carried afterwards in my barge to
Arnheim, and I hear this day, he is still of good heart, and comforteth
all about him as much as may be. God of his mercy grant me his life!
which I cannot but doubt of greatly. I was abroad that time in the
field giving some order to supply that business, which did endure almost
two hours in continual fight; and meeting Philip coming upon his
horseback, not a little to my grief. But I would you had stood by to
hear his most loyal speeches to her majesty; his constant mind to the
cause; his loving care over me, and his most resolute determination for
death, not one jot appalled for his blow; which is the most grievous I
ever saw with such a bullet; riding so a long mile and a half upon his
horse, ere he came to the camp; not ceasing to speak still of her
majesty, being glad if his hurt and death might any way honor her
majesty; for hers he was whilst he lived, and God's he was sure to be if
he died. Prayed all men to think the cause was as well her majesty's as
the country's; and not to be discouraged; for you have seen such success
as may encourage us all; and this my hurt is the ordinance of God by the
hap of the war. Well, I pray God, if it be his will, save me his life;
even as well for her majesty's service sake, as for mine own

[Note 95: "Sidney Papers."]

Sir Henry Sidney was spared the anguish of following such a son to the
grave, having himself quitted the scene a few months before. It was in
1578 that he received orders to resign the government of Ireland, having
become obnoxious to the gentlemen of the English pale by his rigor in
levying certain assessments for the maintenance of troops and the
expenses of his own household, which they affirmed to be illegally
imposed. There is every reason to believe that their complaint was well
founded; but Elizabeth, refusing as usual to allow her prerogative to be
touched, imprisoned several Irish lawyers, who came to England to appeal
against the tax; and sir Henry, being able to prove that he had royal
warrant for what he had done, was finally exonerated by the
privy-council from all the charges which had been preferred against him,
and retained to the last his office of lord-president of Wales.

The sound judgement of sir Henry Sidney taught him, that his near
connexion with the earl of Leicester had its dangers as well as its
advantages; and observing the turn for show and expense with which it
served to inspire the younger members of his family, he would frequently
enjoin them "to consider more whose sons than whose nephews they were."
In fact, he was not able to lay up fortunes for them;--the offices he
held were higher in dignity than emolument; his spirit was noble and
munificent; and the following, among other anecdotes, may serve to show
that he himself was not averse to a certain degree of parade; at least
on particular occasions. The queen, standing once at a window of her
palace at Hampton-court, saw a gentleman approach escorted by two
hundred attendants on horseback; and turning to her courtiers, she asked
with some surprise, who this might be? But on being informed that it was
sir Henry Sidney, her lord deputy of Ireland and president of Wales, she
answered, "And he may well do it, for he has two of the best offices in
my kingdom."

The following letter, addressed to sir Henry as lord-president of
Wales, discloses an additional trait of his character, which cannot fail
to recommend him still more to the esteem of a humane and enlightened
age;--his reluctance, namely, to lend his concurrence to the measures of
religious persecution which the queen and her bishops now urged upon all
persons in authority as their incumbent duty.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Sir Francis Walsingham to sir H. Sidney lord president of Wales_.

"My very good lord;

"My lords of late calling here to remembrance the commission that was
more than a year ago given out to your lordship and certain others for
the reformation of the recusants and obstinate persons in religion,
within Wales and the marches thereof, marvelled very much that in all
this time they have heard of nothing done by you and the rest; and
truly, my lord, the necessity of this time requiring so greatly to have
these kind of men diligently and sharply proceeded against, there will
here a very hard construction be made, I fear me, of you, to retain with
you the said commission so long, doing no good therein. Of late now I
received your lordship's letter touching such persons as you think meet
to have the custody and oversight of Montgomery Castle, by which it
appeareth you have begun, in your present journeys in Wales, to do
somewhat in causes of religion; but having a special commission for that
purpose, in which are named special and very apt persons to join with
you in those matters, it will be thought strange to my lords to hear of
your proceeding in those causes without their assistance; and therefore,
to the end their lordships should conceive no otherwise than well of
your dealing without them, I have forborne to acquaint them with our
late letter, wishing your lordship, for the better handling and success
of those matters in religion, you called unto you the bishop of
Worcester, Mr. Philips, and certain others specially named in the
commission. They will, I am sure, be glad to wait on you in so good a
service, and your proceeding together with them in these matters will be
better allowed of here, &c.

"P.S. Your lordship had need to walk warily, for your doings are
narrowly observed, and her majesty is apt to give ear to any that shall
ill you. Great hold is taken by your enemies for neglecting the
execution of this commission.

"Oatlands, August 9th 1580[96]."

[Note 96: "Sidney Papers," vol. i. p. 276.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Leicester, soon after the death of his nephew, placed his army in
winter-quarters, having effected no one object of importance. The States
remonstrated with him in strong terms on the various and grievous abuses
of his administration; he answered them in the tone of graciousness and
conciliation which it suited his purpose to assume; and publicly
surrendering up to them the whole apparent authority of the provinces,
whilst by a secret act of restriction he in fact retained for himself
full command over all the governors of towns and provinces, he set sail
for England.

Elizabeth received her favorite with her usual complacency, either
because his abject submissions had in reality succeeded in banishing
from her mind all resentment of his conduct in Holland, or because she
required the support of his long-tried counsels under the awful
responsibilities of that impending conflict with the whole collected
force of the Spanish monarchy for which she felt herself summoned to
prepare. The king of Denmark, astonished to behold a princess of
Elizabeth's experienced caution involving herself with seeming
indifference in peril so great and so apparent, exclaimed, that she had
now taken the diadem from her brow to place it on the doubtful cast of
war; and trembling for the fate of his friend and ally, he dispatched an
ambassador in haste to offer her his mediation for the adjustment of all
differences arising out of the revolt of the Netherlands. But Elizabeth
firmly, though with thanks, declined all overtures towards a
reconciliation with a sovereign whom she now recognised as her
implacable and determined foe.

She was far, however, from despising the danger which she braved; and
with a prudence and diligence equal to her fortitude, she had begun to
assemble and put in action all her means, internal and external, of
defence and annoyance. She linked herself still more closely, by
benefits and promises, with the prince of Condé, chief of the Hugonots
now in arms against the League, or Catholic association, formed in
France under the auspices of the king of Spain. With the king of Scots
also she entered into an intimate alliance; and she had previously
secured the friendship of all the protestant princes of Germany and the
northern powers of Europe. She now openly avowed the enterprises of
Drake, which she had hitherto only encouraged underhand, or on certain
pretexts of retaliation; and she sent him with a fleet of twenty-one
ships, carrying above eleven thousand soldiers, to make war upon the
Spanish settlements in the West Indies.

But if all these measures seemed likely to afford her kingdom sufficient
means of protection against the attacks of a foreign enemy, it was
difficult for her to regard her own person as equally well secured
against the dark conspiracies of her catholic subjects, instigated as
they were by the sanguinary maxims of the Romish see, fostered by the
atrocious activity of the emissaries of Philip, and sanctioned by the
authority of the queen of Scots, to whom homage was rendered by her
party as rightful sovereign of the British isles.

During the festival of Easter 1586, some English priests of the seminary
at Rheims had encouraged a fanatical soldier named Savage to vow the
death of the queen. About the same time Ballard, also a priest of this
seminary, was concerting in France, with Mendoça and the fugitive lord
Paget, the means of procuring an invasion of the country during the
absence of its best troops in Flanders. Repairing to England, Ballard
communicated both these schemes to Anthony Babington, a gentleman who
had been gained over on a visit to France by the bishop of Glasgow,
Mary's ambassador there, and whose vehement attachment to her cause had
rendered him capable of any enterprise, however criminal or desperate,
for her deliverance. Babington entered into both plots with eagerness;
but he suggested, that so essential a part of the action as the
assassination of the queen ought not to be intrusted to one adventurer;
and he lost no time in associating five others in the vow of Savage,
himself undertaking the part of setting free the captive Mary. With her
he had previously been in correspondence, having frequently taken the
charge of transmitting to her by secret channels her letters from
France; and he immediately imparted to her this new design for her
restoration to liberty and advancement to the English throne. There is
full evidence that Mary approved it in all its parts; that in several
successive letters she gave Babington counsels or directions relative to
its execution; and that she promised to the perpetrators of the murder
of Elizabeth every reward which it should hereafter be in her power to

All this time the vigilant eye of Walsingham was secretly fixed on the
secure conspirators. He held a thread which vibrated to their every
motion, and he was patiently awaiting the moment of their complete
entanglement to spring forth and seize his victims.

To the queen, and to her only, he communicated the daily intelligence
which he received from a spy who had introduced himself into all their
secrets; and Elizabeth had the firmness to hasten nothing, though a
picture was actually shown her, in which the six assassins had absurdly
caused themselves to be represented with a motto underneath intimating
their common design. These dreadful visages remained however so
perfectly impressed on her memory, that she immediately recognised one
of the conspirators who had approached very near her person as she was
one day walking in her garden. She had the intrepidity to fix him with a
look which daunted him; and afterwards, turning to her captain of the
guards, she remarked that she was well guarded, not having a single
armed man at the time about her.

At length Walsingham judged it time to interpose and rescue his
sovereign from her perilous situation. Ballard was first seized, and
soon after Babington and his associates. All, overcome by terror or
allured by vain hopes, severally and voluntarily confessed their guilt
and accused their accomplices. The nation was justly exasperated against
the partakers in a plot which comprised foreign invasion, domestic
insurrection, the assassination of a beloved sovereign, the elevation to
the throne of her feared and hated rival, and the restoration of popery.
The traitors suffered, notwithstanding the interest which the extreme
youth and good moral characters of most or all of them were formed to
inspire, amid the execrations of the protestant spectators. But what was
to be the fate of that "pretender to the crown," on whose behalf and
with whose privity this foul conspiracy had been entered into, and who
was by the late statute, passed with a view to this very case, liable to
condign punishment?

This was now the important question which awaited the decision of
Elizabeth, and divided the judgements of her most confidential
counsellors. Some advised that the royal captive should be spared the
ignominy of any public proceeding; but that her attendants should be
removed, and her custody rendered so severe as to preclude all
possibility of her renewing her pestilent intrigues. Leicester, in
conformity with the baseness and atrocity of his character, is related
to have suggested the employment of treachery against the life of a
prisoner whom it appeared equally dangerous to spare or to punish; and
to have sent a divine to convince Walsingham of the lawfulness of taking
her off by poison. But that minister rejected the proposal with
abhorrence, and concurred with the majority of the council in urging the
queen to bring her without fear or scruple to an open trial. In favor of
this measure Elizabeth at length decided, and steps were taken

By means of well concerted precautions, Mary had been kept in total
ignorance of the apprehension of the conspirators, till their
confessions had been made and their fates decided:--a gentleman was then
sent to her from the court to announce that all was discovered.

It was just as she had mounted her horse to take her usual exercise with
her keepers, that this alarming message was delivered to her; and for
obvious reasons she was compelled to proceed on her excursion, instead
of returning, as she desired, to her chamber. Meantime all her papers
were seized, sealed up, and conveyed to the queen. Amongst them were
letters from a large proportion of the nobility and other leading
characters of the English court, filled with expressions of attachment
to the person of the queen of Scots and sympathy in her misfortunes, not
unmixed, in all probability, with severe reflections on the conduct of
her rival and oppressor. All these Elizabeth perused, and no doubt
stored up in her memory; but her good sense and prudence supplied on
this occasion the place of magnanimity; and well knowing that the
conscious fears of the writers would be ample security for their future
conduct, she buried in lasting silence and apparent oblivion all the
discoveries which had reached her through this channel.

The principal domestics of Mary were now apprehended, and committed to