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Title: Cassell's History of England, Vol. II (of 9) - From the Wars of the Roses to the Great Rebellion
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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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.

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Transcriber's note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).



From the Wars of the Roses to the Great Rebellion

With Numerous Illustrations, Including Coloured and Rembrandt Plates


The King's Edition

Cassell and Company, Limited
London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne

All Rights Reserved



     WARS OF THE ROSES.                                            PAGE

     Cade's Rebellion--York comes over from Ireland--His Claims
     and the Unpopularity of the Reigning Line--His First
     Appearance in Arms--Birth of the Prince of Wales--York made
     Protector--Recovery of the King--Battle of St. Albans--York's
     second Protectorate--Brief Reconciliation of Parties--Battle of
     Blore Heath--Flight of the Yorkists--Battle of Northampton--York
     Claims the Crown--The Lords Attempt a Compromise--Death of York
     at Wakefield--Second Battle of St. Albans--The Young Duke of York
     Marches on London--His Triumphant Entry                         1



     The Battle of Towton--Edward's Coronation--Henry escapes to
     Scotland--The Queen seeks aid in France--Battle of Hexham--Henry
     made Prisoner--Confined in the Tower--Edward marries Lady
     Elizabeth Grey--Advancement of her Relations--Attacks on the
     Family of the Nevilles--Warwick negotiates with France--Marriage
     of Margaret, the King's Sister, to the Duke of Burgundy--Marriage
     of the Duke of Clarence with a Daughter of Warwick--Battle of
     Banbury--Rupture between the King and his Brother--Rebellion of
     Clarence and Warwick--Clarence and Warwick flee to France--Warwick
     proposes to restore Henry VI.--Marries Edward, Prince of Wales,
     to his Daughter, Lady Ann Neville--Edward IV.'s reckless
     Dissipation--Warwick and Clarence invade England--Edward
     expelled--His return to England--Battle of Barnet--Battle
     of Tewkesbury, and ruin of the Lancastrian Cause--Rivalry
     of Clarence and Gloucester--Edward's Futile Intervention in
     Foreign Politics--Becomes a Pensioner of France--Death of
     Clarence--Expedition to Scotland--Death and Character of the King



     Edward V. proclaimed--The Two Parties of the Queen and of
     Gloucester--Struggle in the Council--Gloucester's Plans--The Earl
     Rivers and his Friends imprisoned--Gloucester secures the King and
     conducts him to London--Indignities to the young King--Execution
     of Lord Hastings--A Base Sermon at St. Paul's Cross--Gloucester
     pronounces the two young Princes illegitimate--The Farce at
     the Guildhall--Gloucester seizes the Crown--Richard crowned
     in London and again at York--Buckingham revolts against
     him--Murder of the two Princes--Henry of Richmond--Failure
     of Buckingham's Rising--Buckingham beheaded--Richards title
     confirmed by Parliament--Queen Dowager and her Daughters quit the
     Sanctuary--Death of Richard's Son and Heir--Proposes to Marry his
     Niece, Elizabeth of York--Richmond lands at Milford Haven--His
     Progress--The Troubles of Richard--The Battle of Bosworth--The
     Fallen Tyrant--End of the Wars of the Roses                    46



     The Study of Latin and Greek--Invention of Printing--Caxton--New
     Schools and Colleges--Architecture, Military, Ecclesiastical,
     and Domestic--Sculpture, Painting, and Gilding--The Art of
     War--Commerce and Shipping--Coinage                            64



     Henry's Defective Title--Imprisonment of the Earl of Warwick--The
     King's Title to the Throne--His Marriage--Love Rising--Lambert
     Simnel--Henry's prompt Action--Failure of the Rebellion--The
     Queen's Coronation--The Act of Maintenance--Henry's Ingratitude
     to the Duke of Brittany--Discontent in England--Expedition to
     France and its Results--Henry's Second Invasion--Treaty of
     Étaples--Perkin Warbeck--His Adventures in Ireland, France,
     and Burgundy--Henry's Measures--Descent on Kent--Warbeck in
     Scotland--Invasion of England--The Cornish Rising--Warbeck
     quits Scotland--He lands in Cornwall--Failure of the
     Rebellion--Imprisonment of Warbeck and his subsequent
     Execution--European Affairs--Marriages of Henry's Daughter and
     Son--Betrothal of Catherine and Prince Henry--Henry's Matrimonial
     Schemes--Royal Exactions--A Lucky Capture--Henry proposes for
     Joanna--His Death                                              76



     The King's Accession--State of Europe--Henry and Julius
     II.--Treaty between England and Spain--Henry is duped by
     Ferdinand--New Combinations--Execution of Suffolk--Invasion of
     France--Battle of Spurs--Invasion of England by the Scots--Flodden
     Field--Death of James of Scotland--Louis breaks up the Holy
     League--Peace with France--Marriage and Death of Louis XII.--Rise
     of Wolsey--Affairs in Scotland--Francis I. in Italy--Death of
     Maximilian--Henry a Candidate for the Empire--Election of
     Charles--Field of the Cloth of Gold--Wolsey's Diplomacy--Failure
     of his Candidature for the Papacy--The Emperor in London      102


     REIGN OF HENRY VIII. (_continued_).

     The War with France--The Earl of Surrey Invades that Country--Sir
     Thomas More elected Speaker--Henry and Parliament--Revolt
     of the Duke of Bourbon--Pope Adrian VI. dies--Clement VII.
     elected--Francis I. taken Prisoner at the Battle of Pavia--Growing
     Unpopularity of Wolsey--Change of Feeling at the English
     Court--Treaty with France--Francis I. regains his liberty--Italian
     League, including France and England, established against the
     Emperor--Fall of the Duke of Bourbon at the Siege of Rome--Sacking
     of Rome, and Capture of the Pope--Appearance of Luther--Henry
     writes against the German Reformer--Henry receives from the
     Pope the style and Designation of "Defender of the Faith"--Anne
     Boleyn--Henry applies to the Pope for a Divorce from the
     Queen--The Pope's Dilemma--War declared against Spain--Cardinal
     Campeggio arrives in England to decide the Legality of Henry's
     Marriage with Catherine--Trial of the Queen--Henry's Discontent
     with Wolsey--Fall of Wolsey--His Banishment from Court and
     Death--Cranmer's advice regarding the Divorce--Cromwell cuts the
     Gordian Knot--Dismay of the Clergy--The King declared Head of the
     Church in England--The King's Marriage with Anne Boleyn--Cranmer
     made Archbishop--The Pope Reverses the Divorce--Separation of
     England from Rome                                             130


     REIGN OF HENRY VIII. (_continued_).

     The Maid of Kent and Her Accomplices--Act of Supremacy and
     Consequent Persecutions--The "Bloody Statute"--Deaths of Fisher
     and More--Suppression of the Smaller Monasteries--Trial and Death
     of Anne Boleyn--Henry Marries Jane Seymour--Divisions in the
     Church--The Pilgrimage of Grace--Birth of Prince Edward--Death
     of Queen Jane--Suppression of the Larger Monasteries--The
     Six Articles--Judicial Murders--Persecution of Cardinal
     Pole--Cromwell's Marriage Scheme--Its Failure and his Fall    158


     REIGN OF HENRY VIII. (_concluded_).

     Divorce of Anne of Cleves--Catherine Howard's Marriage and
     Death--Fresh Persecutions--Welsh Affairs--The Irish Insurrection
     and its Suppression--Scottish Affairs--Catholic Opposition
     to Henry--Outbreak of War--Battle of Solway Moss--French and
     English Parties in Scotland--Escape of Beaton--Triumph of the
     French Party--Treaty between England and Germany--Henry's Sixth
     Marriage--Campaign in France--Expedition against Scotland--Capture
     of Edinburgh--Fresh Attempt on England--Cardinal Beaton and
     Wishart--Death of the Cardinal--Struggle between the two Parties
     in England--Death of Henry                                    183



     Accession of Edward VI.--Hertford's Intrigues--He becomes Duke
     of Somerset and Lord Protector--War with Scotland--Battle of
     Pinkie--Reversal of Henry's Policy--Religious Reforms--Ambition
     of Lord Seymour of Sudeley--He marries Catherine Parr--His
     Arrest and Death--Popular Discontents--Rebellion in
     Devonshire and Cornwall--Ket's Rebellion in Norfolk--Warwick
     Suppresses it--Opposition to Somerset--His Rapacity--Fall
     of Somerset--Disgraceful Peace with France--Persecution of
     Romanists--Somerset's Efforts to regain Power--His Trial and
     Execution--New Treason Law--Northumberland's Schemes for Changing
     the Succession--Death of Edward                               204



     Proclamation of Lady Jane Grey--Mary's
     Resistance--Northumberland's Failure--Mary is Proclaimed--The
     Advice of Charles V.--Execution of Northumberland--Restoration
     of the Roman Church--Proposed Marriage with Philip of
     Spain--Consequent Risings throughout England--Wyatt's
     Rebellion--Execution of Lady Jane Grey--Imprisonment of
     Elizabeth--Marriage of Philip and Mary--England Accepts the Papal
     Absolution--Persecuting Statutes Re-enacted--Martyrdom of Rogers,
     Hooper, and Taylor--Di Castro's Sermon--Sickness of Mary--Trials
     of Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer--Martyrdom of Ridley and
     Latimer--Confession and Death of Cranmer--Departure of Philip--The
     Dudley Conspiracy--Return of Philip--War with France--Battle of
     St. Quentin--Loss of Calais--Death of Mary                    221



     Accession of Elizabeth--Sir William Cecil--The Coronation--Opening
     of Parliament--Ecclesiastical Legislation--Consecration of
     Parker--Elizabeth and Philip--Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis--Affairs
     in Scotland--The First Covenant--Attitude of Mary of Guise--Riot
     at Perth--Outbreak of Hostilities--The Lords of the Congregation
     apply to England--Elizabeth hesitates--Siege of Leith--Treaty
     of Edinburgh--Return of Mary to Scotland--Murray's Influence
     over her--Beginning of the Religious Wars in France--Elizabeth
     sends Help to the Huguenots--Peace of Amboise--English Disaster
     at Havre--Peace with France--The Earl of Leicester--Project of
     his Marriage with Mary--Lord Darnley--Murder of Rizzio--Birth
     of Mary's Son--Murder of Darnley--Mary and Bothwell--Carberry
     Hill--Mary in Lochleven--Abdicates in favour of her Infant
     Son--Mary's Escape from Lochleven--Defeated at Langside--Her
     Escape into England                                           246


     REIGN OF ELIZABETH (_continued_).

     Elizabeth Determines to Imprison Mary--The Conference at
     York--It is Moved to London--The Casket Letters--Mary is sent
     Southwards--Remonstrances of the European Sovereigns--Affairs
     in the Netherlands--Alva is sent Thither--Elizabeth Aids the
     Insurgents--Proposed Marriage between Mary and Norfolk--The
     Plot is Discovered--Rising in the North--Its Suppression--Death
     of the Regent Murray--Its Consequences in Scotland--Religious
     Persecutions--Execution of Norfolk--Massacre of St.
     Bartholomew--Siege of Edinburgh Castle--War in France--Splendid
     Defence of La Rochelle--Death of Charles IX.--Religious War in the
     Netherlands--Rule of Don John--The Anjou Marriage--Deaths of Anjou
     and of William the Silent                                     274


     REIGN OF ELIZABETH (_continued_).

     Affairs of Ireland: Shane O'Neil's Rebellion--Plantation of
     Ulster--Spanish Descent on Ireland--Desmond's Rebellion--Religious
     Conformity--Campian and Parsons--The Anabaptists--Affairs
     of Scotland--Death of Morton--Success of the Catholics in
     Scotland--The Raid of Ruthven--Elizabeth's Position--Throgmorton's
     Plot--Association to Protect Elizabeth--Mary removed
     to Tutbury--Support of the Protestant Cause on the
     Continent--Leicester in the Netherlands--Babington's Plot--Trial
     of Mary--Her Condemnation--Hesitation of Elizabeth--Execution of
     Mary                                                          295


     REIGN OF ELIZABETH (_concluded_).

     State of Europe on the Death of Mary--Preparations of Philip
     of Spain--Exploits of English Sailors--Drake Singes the King
     of Spain's Beard--Preparations against the Armada--Loyalty of
     the Roman Catholics--Arrival of the Armada in the Channel--Its
     Disastrous Course and Complete Destruction--Elizabeth at
     Tilbury--Death of Leicester--Persecution of the Puritans and
     Catholics--Renewed Expeditions against Spain--Accession of Henry
     of Navarre to the French Throne--He is helped by Elizabeth--Essex
     takes Cadiz--His Quarrels with the Cecils--His Second Expedition
     and Rupture with the Queen--Troubles in Ireland--Essex appointed
     Lord-Deputy--His Failure--The Essex Rising--Execution of
     Essex--Mountjoy in Ireland--The Debate on Monopolies--Victory of
     Mountjoy--Weakness of Elizabeth--Her last Illness and Death   313



     The Tudors and the Nation--The Church--Population and
     Wealth--Royal Prerogative--Legislation of Henry VIII.--The Star
     Chamber--Beneficial Legislation--Treason Laws--Legislation
     of Edward and Mary--Elizabeth's Policy--Religion and
     the Church--Sketch of Ecclesiastical History under the
     Tudors--Literature, Science, and Art--Greatness of the
     Period--Foundation of Colleges and Schools--Revival of
     Learning--Its Temporary Decay--Prose Writers of the Period--The
     Poets--Scottish Bards--Music--Architecture--Painting and
     Sculpture--Furniture and Decorations--Arms and Armour--Costumes,
     Coins, and Coinage--Ships, Commerce, Colonies, and
     Manufactures--Manners and Customs--Condition of the People    342



     The Stuart Dynasty--Hopes and Fears caused by the Accession of
     James--The King enters England--His Progress to London--Lavish
     Creation of Peers and Knights--The Royal Entrance into the
     Metropolis--The Coronation--Popularity of Queen Anne--Ravages
     of the Plague--The King Receives Foreign Embassies--Rivalry
     of the Diplomatists of France and Spain--Discontent of
     Raleigh, Northumberland, and Cobham--Conspiracies against
     James--"The Main" and "The Bye"--Trials of the Conspirators--The
     Sentences--Conference with Puritans--Parliament of
     1604--Persecution of Catholics and Puritans--Gunpowder
     Plot--Admission of Fresh Members--Delays and Devices--The
     Letter to Lord Mounteagle--Discovery of the Plot--Flight of the
     Conspirators--Their Capture and Execution--New Penal Code--James's
     Correspondence with Bellarmine--Cecil's attempts to get
     Money--Project of Union between England and Scotland--The King's
     Collisions with Parliament--Insurrection of the Levellers--Royal
     Extravagance and Impecuniosity--Fresh Disputes with Parliament and
     Assertions of the Prerogative--Death of Cecil--Story of Arabella
     Stuart--Death of Prince Henry                                 404


     REIGN OF JAMES I (_concluded_).

     Reign of Favourites--Robert Carr--His Marriage--Death of
     Overbury--Venality at Court--The Addled Parliament--George
     Villiers--Fall of Somerset--Disgrace of Coke--Bacon becomes
     Lord Chancellor--Position of England Abroad--The Scottish
     Church--Introduction of Episcopacy--Andrew Melville--Visit
     of James to Scotland--The Book of Sports--Persecution of the
     Irish Catholics--Examination into Titles--Rebellion of the
     Chiefs--Plantation of Ulster--Fresh Confiscations--Quarrel
     between Bacon and Coke--Prosperity of Buckingham--Raleigh's
     Last Voyage--His Execution--Beginning of the Thirty Years'
     War--Indecision of James--Despatch of Troops to the
     Palatinate--Parliament of 1621--Impeachment of Bacon--His
     Fall--Floyd's Case--James's Proceedings during the
     Recess--Dissolution of Parliament--Reasons for the Spanish
     Match--Charles and Buckingham go to Spain--The Match is Broken
     Off--Punishment of Bristol--Popularity of Buckingham--Change of
     Foreign Policy--Marriage of Charles and Henrietta Maria--Death
     of James                                                      448



     Accession of Charles--His Marriage--Meeting of Parliament--Loan
     of Ships to Richelieu--Dissolution of Parliament--Failure of
     the Spanish Expedition--Persecution of the Catholics--The
     Second Parliament--It appoints three Committees--Impeachment
     of Buckingham--Parliament dissolved to save him--Illegal
     Government--High Church Doctrines--Rupture with France--Disastrous
     Expedition to Rhé--The Third Parliament--The Petition of
     Right--Resistance and Final Surrender of Charles--Parliament
     Prorogued--Assassination of Buckingham--Fall of La
     Rochelle--Parliament Reassembles and is Dissolved--Imprisonment
     of Offending Members--Government without Parliament--Peace
     with France and Spain--Gustavus Adolphus in Germany--Despotic
     Proceedings of Charles and Laud                               508


     Reign of Charles I (_continued_).

     Visit of Charles to Scotland--Laud and the Papal See--His
     Ecclesiastical Measures--Punishment of Prynne, Bastwick, and
     Burton--Disgrace of Williams--Ship-money--Resistance of John
     Hampden--Wentworth in the North--Recall of Falkland from
     Ireland--Wentworth's Measures--Inquiry into Titles--Prelacy
     Riots in Edinburgh--Jenny Geddes's Stool--The Tables--Renewal
     of the Covenant--Charles makes Concessions--The General
     Assembly--Preparations for War--Charles at York--Leslie at
     Dunse Hill--A Conference held--Treaty of Berwick--Arrest of
     Loudon--Insult from the Dutch--Wentworth in England--The Short
     Parliament--Riots in London--Preparations of the Scots--Mutiny in
     the English Army--Invasion of England--Treaty of Ripon--Meeting of
     the Long Parliament--Impeachment of Strafford--His Trial--He is
     abandoned by Charles--His Execution--The King's Visit to
     Scotland                                                      550


(_From a Broadside, dated 1646._)]



    Dandy of the Time of Charles I.                               IX

    Eltham Palace, from the North-east                             1

    The Duke of York Challenged to Mortal Combat                   5

    View in Lübeck: The Church of St. Ægidius                      9

    Clifford's Tower: York Castle                                 12

    Rutland beseeching Clifford to spare his Life                 13

    The Quarrel in the Temple Gardens                             17

    Edward IV.                                                    20

    Dunstanburgh Castle                                           21

    Great Seal of Edward IV.                                      25

    Gold Rose Noble of Edward IV.                                 28

    Preaching at St. Paul's Cross                                 29

    Battle of Barnet: Death of the King-maker                     33

    Burial of King Henry                                          37

    Louis XI. and the Herald                                      41

    St. Andrews, from the Pier                                    45

    Great Seal of Edward V.                                       48

    Edward V.                                                     49

    The Tower of London: Bloody and Wakefield Towers              52

    Great Seal of Richard III.                                    53

    The Princes in the Tower                                      56

    Richard III.                                                  57

    Richard III. at the Battle of Bosworth                        61

    Facsimile of Caxton's Printing in the "Dictes and Sayings
      of Philosophers," (1477)                                    65

    Earl Rivers Presenting Caxton to Edward IV.                   65

    The Quadrangle, Eton College                                  68

    Interior of King's College Chapel, Cambridge                  69

    Street in London in the Fifteenth Century                     73

    Cannon of the End of the Fifteenth Century                    75

    Great Seal of Henry VII.                                      77

    Henry VII.                                                    80

    The Last Stand of Schwarz and his Germans                     81

    Penny of Henry VII. Angel of Henry VII. Noble of Henry VII.
      Sovereign of Henry VII.                                     85

    Stirling Castle                                               89

    St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall                                 92

    Lady Catherine Gordon before Henry VII.                       93

    The Byward Tower, Tower of London                             97

    King Henry's Departure from Henningham Castle                100

    Henry VII.'s Chapel, Westminster Abbey                       101

    Great Seal of Henry VIII.                                    105

    Meeting of Henry and the Emperor Maximilian                  108

    Henry and the captured French Officers                       109

    Edinburgh after Flodden                                      113

    Archbishop Warham                                            117

    Hampton Court Palace                                         121

    Henry VIII.                                                  125

    Great Ship of Henry VIII.                                    129

    Stirling, from the Abbey Craig                               132

    Cardinal Wolsey                                              133

    Silver Groat of Henry VIII. Gold Crown of Henry VIII.
      George Noble of Henry VIII.                                136

    Pound Sovereign of Henry VIII. Double Sovereign of
      Henry VIII.                                                137

    Surrender of Francis on the Battle-field of Pavia            141

    Martin Luther                                                145

    The Trial of Queen Catherine                                 149

    The Dismissal of Wolsey                                      153

    The Tower of London: Sketch in the Gardens                   157

    Sir Thomas More                                              160

    The Parting of Sir Thomas More and his Daughter              161

    Anne Boleyn                                                  165

    Anne Boleyn's Last Farewell of her Ladies                    168

    St. Peter's Chapel, Tower Green, London, where Anne
      Boleyn was Buried                                          169

    The Pilgrimage of Grace                                      173

    Gateway of Kirkham Priory                                    176

    Beauchamp Tower, and Place of Execution within the
      Tower of London                                            177

    Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex                               181

    Catherine Howard being conveyed to the Tower                 185

    Capture of the Fitzgeralds                                   188

    The First Levee of Mary Queen of Scots                       192

    View in St. Andrews: North Street                            193

    Francis I.                                                   197

    The Assassination of Cardinal Beaton                         201

    Edward VI.                                                   205

    Great Seal of Edward VI.                                     209

    The Royal Herald in Ket's Camp                               212

    Old Somerset House, London                                   213

    The Duke of Somerset                                         217

    Silver Crown of Edward VI.                                   219

    Sixpence of Edward VI. Shilling of Edward VI. Pound
      Sovereign of Edward VI. Triple Sovereign of Edward VI.     220

    Queen Mary and the State Prisoners in the Tower              221

    Great Seal of Philip and Mary                                224

    View from the Constable's Garden, Tower of London            225

    Old London Bridge, with Nonsuch Palace                       229

    Lady Jane Grey on her way to the Scaffold                    233

    Archbishop Cranmer                                           237

    The Place of Martyrdom, Old Smithfield                       240

    Mary I.                                                      241

    The Hôtel de Ville and Old Lighthouse, Calais                244

    Shilling of Philip and Mary. Real of Mary I.                 245

    Elizabeth's Public Entry into London                         249

    Elizabeth                                                    252

    Autograph of Elizabeth                                       253

    Mar's Work, Stirling                                         257

    Great Seal of Elizabeth                                      260

    Mary, Queen of Scots                                         261

    The Murder of Rizzio                                         265

    Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh                                   269

    Mary Signing the Deed of Abdication in Lochleven Castle      273

    Lord Burleigh                                                276

    Farthing of Elizabeth. Halfpenny of Elizabeth. Penny
      of Elizabeth. Twopence of Elizabeth. Half-crown
      of Elizabeth. Half-sovereign of Elizabeth                  277

    The Duke of Norfolk's Interview with Elizabeth               281

    The Regent Murray                                            284

    High Street, Linlithgow                                      285

    Kenilworth Castle                                            289

    The House of the English Ambassador during the Massacre
      of St. Bartholomew                                         293

    Murder of the Earl of Desmond                                297

    The Earl of Arran accusing Morton of the Murder of Darnley   300

    Dumbarton Rock, with view of Castle                          301

    The Earl of Leicester                                        305

    Trial of Mary Queen of Scots in Fotheringay Castle           309

    Mary Queen of Scots receiving Intimation of her Doom         312

    Sir Francis Drake                                            317

    The Hoe, Plymouth                                            320

    The Armada in Sight                                          321

    Philip II.                                                   325

    Beauchamp Tower, Warders' Houses, and Yeoman Gaolers'
      Lodgings: Tower of London                                  329

    The Quarrel between Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex          332

    The Earl of Essex                                            333

    Lord Grey and his Followers Attacking the Earl of
      Southampton                                                337

    Elizabeth's Promenade on Richmond Green                      340

    Richmond Palace                                              341

    Town and Country Folk of Elizabeth's Reign                   345

    State Trial in Westminster Hall in the Time of Elizabeth     349

    John Knox                                                    353

    Reduced Facsimile of the Title-page of the Great Bible,
      also called Cromwell's Bible                               357

    Christ's Hospital, London                                    361

    Latimer Preaching before Edward VI.                          364

    Roger Ascham's Visit to Lady Jane Grey                       365

    Edmund Spenser                                               369

    The House at Stratford-on-Avon in which Shakespeare was Born 373

    Shakespeare                                                  376

    The Acting of one of Shakespeare's Plays in the Time of
      Queen Elizabeth                                            377

    Queen Elizabeth's Cither and Music-book                      379

    Holland House, Kensington                                    380

    The Great Court of Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire              381

    Entrance from the Courtyard of Burleigh House, Stamford      383

    Elizabeth's Drawing-room, Penshurst Place                    384

    Soldiers of the Tudor Period                                 385

    The Wedding of Jack of Newbury: The Bride's Procession       389

    Ships of Elizabeth's Time                                    393

    The First Royal Exchange, London (Founded by Sir Thomas
      Gresham)                                                   396

    Sir Thomas Gresham                                           397

    The Frolic of My Lord of Misrule                             401

    Punishment of the Stocks                                     403

    James I.                                                     405

    St. Thomas's Tower and Traitor's Gate, Tower of London       409

    Sir Walter Raleigh                                           412

    The Dissenting Divines Presenting their Petition to James    413

    The Old Palace, Westminster, in the time of Charles I.       417

    Great Seal of James I.                                       420

    Guy Fawkes's Cellar under Parliament House                   421

    Lord Monteagle and the Warning Letter about the Gunpowder
      Plot                                                       425

    Arrest of Guy Fawkes                                         428

    Pound Sovereign of James I. Unit or Laurel of James I.
      (Gold). Spur Rial of James I. (Gold).
      Thistle Crown of James I. (Gold)                           432

    Sir Robert Cecil, afterwards Earl of Salisbury               433

    Shilling of James I. Crown of James I.                       436

    James and his Courtiers setting out for the Hunt             437

    The Star Chamber                                             441

    Flight of the Lady Arabella Stuart                           444

    Notre Dame, Caudebec                                         445

    Sir Francis Bacon (Viscount St. Albans)                      449

    The Banqueting House, Whitehall                              452

    Greenwich Palace in the time of James I.                     456

    Sir Edward Coke                                              457

    Andrew Melville before the Scottish Privy Council            461

    Keeping Sunday, according to King James's Book of Sports     465

    Parliament House, Dublin, in the Seventeenth Century         469

    Sir Francis Bacon waiting an Audience of Buckingham          472

    Arrest of Sir Walter Raleigh                                 476

    Sir Walter Raleigh before the Judges                         477

    The Franzensring, Vienna                                     481

    Interview between Bacon and the Deputation from the Lords    484

    George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham                          485

    The Fleet Prison                                             489

    Public Reception of Prince Charles in Madrid                 493

    Prince Charles's Farewell of the Infanta                     497

    The Royal Palace, Madrid                                     500

    The Ladies of the French Court and the Portrait of
      Prince Charles                                             504

    Henrietta Maria                                              505

    Great Seal of Charles I.                                     509

    Charles welcoming his Queen to England                       512

    Charles I.                                                   513

    Reception of Viscount Wimbledon at Plymouth                  516

    York House (The Duke of Buckingham's Mansion)                517

    Trial of Buckingham                                          521

    Interior of the Banqueting House, Whitehall                  525

    Sir John Eliot                                               529

    Assassination of the Duke of Buckingham                      533

    Tyburn in the time of Charles I.                             537

    Three Pound Piece of Charles I. Broad of Charles I.
      Briot Shilling of Charles I.                               540

    John Selden                                                  541

    Scene in the House of Commons: The Speaker Coerced           545

    Interior of Old St. Paul's                                   549

    Dunblane                                                     552

    Archbishop Laud                                              553

    John Lilburne on the Pillory                                 557

    The Birmingham Tower, Dublin Castle                          561

    Sir Thomas Wentworth (Earl of Strafford)                     564

    The People Signing the Covenant in St. Giles's Church,
      Edinburgh                                                  568

    St. Giles's Church, Edinburgh, in the 17th Century           569

    The Old College, Glasgow, in the 17th Century                573

    Charles and the Scottish Commissioners                       577

    John Hampden                                                 581

    Guildhall, London, in the time of Charles I.                 585

    Advance of the Covenanters across the Border into England    589

    John Pym                                                     592

    Arrest of the Earl of Strafford                              593

    Westminster Hall and Palace Yard in the time of Charles I.   597

    Charles Signing the Commission of Assent to Strafford's
      Attainder                                                  601

    The Old Parliament House, Edinburgh                          604

    The Marquis of Montrose                                      605


     (_From the Froissart MS. in the British Museum_)     _Frontispiece_

      (_By Sigismund Goetze_)                            _To face p._ 50

      (_By Daniel Maclise, R.A._)                               "     64

      AND FRENCH. (_From the Froissart MS.
      in the British Museum_)                                   "     72

      (_From the Froissart MS. in the British Museum_)          "     74

      (_By Sir John Gilbert, R.A., P.R.W.S._)                   "    118

      R.A., P.R.W.S._)                                          "    154

      FORAY.) (_By S. E. Waller_)                               "    190

      (_By C. R. Leslie, R.A._)                                 "    222

    CRANMER AT TRAITORS' GATE. (_By F. Goodall, R.A._)          "    226

    QUEEN ELIZABETH. (_By F. Zucchero_)                         "    246

      CONGREGATION, 10TH JUNE, 1559. (_By Sir David Wilkie,
      R.A._)                                                    "    256

    THE INVINCIBLE ARMADA. (_By Albert Goodwin, R.W.S._)        "    312

      (_By Seymour Lucas, R.A._)                                "    322

    A STORY OF THE SPANISH MAIN. (_By Seymour Lucas, R.A._)     "    338

    WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. (_From the Painting known as the
      Chandos Portrait, and attributed to Richard Burbage,
      in the National Portrait Gallery_)                        "    374


    THE DEPARTURE OF THE "MAYFLOWER." (_By A. W. Bayes_)        "    474

      in the British Museum_)                                   "    512

      (_By Solomon J. Solomon, R.A._)                           "    582

    STRAFFORD GOING TO EXECUTION. (_By Paul Delaroche_)         "    604


    _From the Froissart MS. in the British Museum._

    _Reproduced by André & Sleigh, Ld., Buskey, Herts._



[Illustration: ELTHAM PALACE, FROM THE NORTH-EAST. (_After an Engraving
published in 1735._)]





     Cade's Rebellion--York comes over from Ireland--His Claims
     and the Unpopularity of the Reigning Line--His First
     Appearance in Arms--Birth of the Prince of Wales--York made
     Protector--Recovery of the King--Battle of St. Albans--York's
     second Protectorate--Brief Reconciliation of Parties--Battle of
     Blore Heath--Flight of the Yorkists--Battle of Northampton--York
     Claims the Crown--The Lords Attempt a Compromise--Death of York
     at Wakefield--Second Battle of St. Albans--The Young Duke of York
     Marches on London--His Triumphant Entry.

Henry the Sixth and his queen were plunged into grief and consternation
at the extraordinary death of Suffolk in 1450. They saw that a powerful
party was engaged in thus defeating their attempt to rescue Suffolk
from his enemies by a slight term of exile; and they strongly suspected
that the Duke of York, though absent in his government of Ireland, was
at the bottom of it. It was more than conjectured that he entertained
serious designs of profiting by the unpopularity of the Government to
assert his claims to the crown. This ought to have made the king and
queen especially circumspect, but, so far from this being the case,
Henry announced his resolve to punish the people of Kent for the murder
of Suffolk, which had been perpetrated on their coast. The queen was
furious in her vows of vengeance. These unwise demonstrations incurred
the anger of the people, and especially irritated the inhabitants of
Kent. To add to the popular discontent, Somerset, who had lost by his
imbecility the French territories, was made minister in the place of
Suffolk, and invested with all the favour of the court. The people in
several counties threatened to rise and reform the Government; and the
opportunity was seized by a bold adventurer of the name of John Cade,
an Irishman, to attempt a revolution. He selected Kent as the quarter
more pre-eminently in a state of excitement against the prevailing
misrule, and declaring that he belonged to the royal line of Mortimer,
and was cousin to the Duke of York, he gave himself out to be the son of
Sir John Mortimer, who, on a charge of high treason, had been executed
in the beginning of this reign, without trial or evidence. The lenity
which Henry V. had always shown to the Mortimers--their title being
superior to his own, their position near the throne was of course an
element of danger--had not been imitated by Bedford and Gloucester, the
infant king's uncles, and their neglect of the forms of a regular trial
had only strengthened the opinions of the people as to the Mortimer
rights. No sooner, therefore, did Jack Cade assume this popular name,
than the people, burning with the anger of the hour against the unlucky
dynasty, flocked, to the number of 20,000, to his standard, and advanced
to Blackheath. Emissaries were sent into London to stir up the people
there, and induce them to open their gates and join the movement. As the
Government, taken by surprise, was destitute of the necessary troops on
the spot to repel so formidable a body of insurgents, it put on the same
air of moderation which Richard II. had done in Tyler's rebellion, and
many messages passed between the king and the pretended Mortimer, or, as
he also called himself, John Amend-all.

In reply to the king's inquiry as to the cause of this assembly, Cade
sent in "The Complaints of the Commons of Kent, and the Causes of the
Assembly on Blackheath." These documents were ably and artfully drawn.
They professed the most affectionate attachment to the king, and demanded
the redress of what were universally known to be real and enormous
grievances. The wrongs were those under which the kingdom had long been
smarting--the loss of the territories in France, and the loss of the
national honour with them, through the treason and mal-administration of
the ministers; the usurpation of the Crown lands by the greedy courtiers,
and the consequent shifting of the royal expenditure to the shoulders of
the people, with the scandals, offences, and robberies of purveyance.
The "Complaints" asserted that the people of Kent had been especially
victimised and ill-used by the sheriffs and tax-gatherers, and that the
free elections of their knights of the shire had been prevented. They
declared, moreover, that corrupt men were employed at court, and the
princes of the blood and honest men kept out of power.

Government undertook to examine into these causes of complaint, and
promised an answer; but the people soon were aware that this was only
a pretence to gain time, and that the answer would be presented at the
point of the sword. Jack Cade, therefore, sent out what he called "The
Requests of the Captain of the Great Assembly in Kent." These "Requests"
were based directly on the previous complaints, and were that the king
should renew the grants of the Crown, and so enable himself to live on
his own income, without fleecing the people; that he should dismiss all
corrupt councillors, and all the progeny of the Duke of Suffolk, and
take into his service his right trusty cousins and noble peers, the
Duke of York, now banished to Ireland, the Dukes of Exeter, Buckingham,
and Norfolk. This looked assuredly as if those who drew up those papers
for Cade were in the interest of the York party, and the more so as the
document went on to denounce the traitors who had compassed the death of
that excellent prince the Duke of Gloucester, and of their holy father
the cardinal, and who had so shamefully caused the loss of Maine, Anjou,
Normandy, and our other lands in France. The assumed murder of the
cardinal, who had died almost in public, and surrounded by the ceremonies
of the Church, was too ridiculous, and was probably thrown in to hide the
actual party at work. The "Requests" then demanded summary execution on
the detested collectors and extortioners, Crowmer, Lisle, Este, and Sleg.

The court had now a force ready equal to that of the insurgents, and
sent it under Sir Humphrey Stafford to answer the "Requests" by cannon
and matchlock. Cade retreated to Sevenoaks, where, taking advantage of
Stafford's too hasty pursuit, with only part of his forces, he fell upon
his troops, put them to flight, killed Stafford, and, arraying himself
in the slain man's armour, advanced again to his former position on

This unexpected success threw the court into a panic. The soldiers
who had gone to Sevenoaks had gone unwillingly; and those left on
Blackheath now declared that they knew not why they should fight their
fellow-countrymen for only asking redress of undoubted grievances.
The nobles, who were at heart adverse to the present ministers, found
this quite reasonable, and the court was obliged to assume an air of
concession. The Lord Say, who had been one of Suffolk's most obsequious
instruments, and was regarded by the people as a prime agent in the
making over of Maine and Anjou, was sent to the Tower with some inferior
officers. The king was advised to disband his army, and retire to
Kenilworth; and Lord Scales, with a thousand men, undertook to defend the
Tower. Cade advanced from Blackheath, took possession of Southwark, and
demanded entrance into the city of London.

The lord mayor summoned a council, in which the proposal was debated;
and it was concluded to offer no resistance. On the 3rd of July Cade
marched over the bridge, and took up his quarters in the heart of the
capital. He took the precaution to cut the ropes of the drawbridge with
his sword as he passed, to prevent his being caught, as in a trap; and,
maintaining strict discipline amongst his followers, he led them back
into the Borough in the evening. The next day he reappeared in the same
circumspect and orderly manner; and, compelling the lord mayor and
the judges to sit in Guildhall, he brought Lord Say before them, and
arraigned him on a charge of high treason. Say demanded to be tried by
his peers; but he was hurried away to the standard in Cheapside, and
beheaded. His son-in-law, Crowmer, sheriff of Kent, was served in the
same manner. The Duchess of Suffolk, the Bishop of Salisbury, Thomas
Daniel, and others, were accused of the like high crimes, but, luckily,
were not to be found. The bishop had already fallen at the hands of his
own tenants at Edington, in Wiltshire.

On the third day Cade's followers plundered some of the houses of the
citizens; and the Londoners, calling in Lord Scales with his 1,000 men to
aid them, resolved that Cade should be prevented from again entering the
city. Cade received notice of this from some of his partisans, and rushed
to the bridge in the night to secure it. He found it already in the
possession of the citizens. There was a bloody battle, which lasted for
six hours, when the insurgents drew off, and left the Londoners masters
of the bridge.

On receiving this news, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, who were
in the Tower, determined to try the ruse which had succeeded with the
followers of Wat Tyler. They therefore sent the Bishop of Winchester to
promise redress of grievances, and a full pardon under the great seal,
for every one who should at once return to their homes. After some demur,
the terms were gratefully accepted; Cade himself embraced the offered
grace, according to the subsequent proclamation against him, dated the
10th of July; but quickly repenting of his credulity, he once more
unfurled his banner, and found a number of men ready to rejoin it. This
mere remnant of the insurgent host, however, was utterly incapable of
effecting anything against the city; they retired to Deptford, and thence
to Rochester, hoping to gather a fresh army. But the people had now
cooled; the rioters began to divide their plunder and to quarrel over it;
and Cade, seeing all was lost, and fearing that he should be seized for
the reward of 1,000 marks offered for his head, fled on horseback towards
Lewes. Disguising himself, he lurked about in secret places, till, being
discovered in a garden at Heathfield, in Kent, by Alexander Iden, the
new sheriff; he was, after a short battle, killed by Iden, and his body
carried to London.

That the party of the Duke of York had some concern in Cade's rebellion,
the Government not only suspected, but several of Cade's followers when
brought to execution, are said to have confessed as much. But stronger
evidence of the fact is, that there was an immediate rumour that the duke
himself was preparing to cross over to England. The court at once issued
orders in the king's name, to forbid his coming, and to oppose any armed
attempt on his part. The duke defeated this scheme by appearing without
any retinue whatever, trusting to the good-will of the people. His
confidence in thus coming at once to the very court put the Government,
which had shown such suspicion of him, completely in the wrong in the eye
of the public.

We are now on the eve of that contest for the possession of the crown,
which figures so eminently in history as the Wars of the Roses. The
accession of Henry IV., productive of very bloody consequences at the
time, had nearly been forgotten through the brilliant successes of his
son, Henry V.; but still the heirs of the true line, according to the
doctrine of lineal descent, were in existence. The Mortimers, Earls of
March, had been spared by the usurping family; and Richard, Duke of
York, was now the representative of that line. To understand clearly
how the Mortimers, and from them Richard, Duke of York, took precedence
of Henry VI., according to lineal descent, we must recollect that Henry
IV. was the son of John of Gaunt, who was the fourth son of Edward III.
On the deposition of Richard II., who was the son of the Black Prince,
the eldest son of Edward III., there was living the Earl of March, the
grandson of Lionel, the _third_ son of Edward III., who had clearly the
right to precede Henry. This right had been, moreover, recognised by
Parliament. But Henry of Lancaster, disregarding this claim, seized on
the crown by force, yet took no care to destroy the true claimant. Now,
the Duke of York, who was paternally descended from Edmund of Langley,
the fifth son of Edward III., was also maternally the lineal descendant
of Lionel, the third son through the daughter and heiress of Mortimer,
the Earl of March. By this descent he preceded the descendants of Henry
IV., and was by right of heirship the undoubted claimant of the English

The Marches had shown no disposition whatever to assert that right, and
this had proved their safety. They had been for several generations a
particularly modest and unambitious race; and so long as the descendants
of Henry IV. had proved able or popular monarchs, their claim would
have lain in abeyance. But they were never forgotten; and now that the
imbecility and long minority of Henry VI. had created strong factions,
and disgusted the people, this claim was zealously revived. Henry IV. had
but one real and indefeasible claim to the throne--namely, that of the
election of the people, had he chosen to accept it; but this he proudly
rejected, and took his stand on his lineal descent from Edward III.,
where the heirs of his uncle Lionel had entirely the advantage of him.

The people who had favoured, and would have adopted Henry IV., had now
become alienated from the house of Lancaster, through the incapacity
of the present king, by which they had lost the whole of their ancient
possessions, as well as their conquests in France. Nothing remained but
heavy taxation and national exhaustion, as the net result of all the
wars in that kingdom. In this respect the very glory of Henry V. became
the ruin of his son. While the people complained of their poverty and
oppression in consequence of those wars, they were doubly harassed by the
factious quarrels of the king's relatives. They had attached themselves
to the Duke of Gloucester, and he had been murdered by these cliques,
and, as was generally believed, at the instigation of the queen. Queen
Margaret, indeed, completed the alienation of the people from the house
of Lancaster. She was not only French--a nation now in the worst odour
with the people of England--but through her they had lost Maine and Anjou.

These circumstances now drew the hearts of the people as strongly
towards the Duke of York, as they had formerly been attracted to the
house of Lancaster. They began to regard him with interest, as a person
whose rights to the throne had been unjustly overlooked. He was a man
who seemed to possess much of the modest and amiable character of the
Marches. He had been recalled from France, where he was ably conducting
himself, by the influence of the queen, as was believed, and sent as
governor into Ireland, as a sort of honourable banishment. But though
treated in a manner calculated to provoke him, he had retained the
unassuming moderation of his demeanour. He had yet made no public
pretensions to the crown, and though circumstances seemed to invite him,
showed no haste to seize it. There were many circumstances, indeed,
which tended to make all parties hesitate to proceed to extremities.
True, the queen was highly unpopular, but Henry, though weak, was so
amiable, pious, and just, that the people, although groaning under the
consequences of his weakness, yet retained much affection for him. There
were also numbers of nobles of great influence who had benefited by the
long minority of the king, and who, much as they disliked the queen's
party, were afraid of being called on, in case another dynasty was
established, to yield up the valuable grants which they had obtained.

Thus the kingdom was divided into three parties: those who took part with
Somerset and the queen, those who inclined to the Duke of York, and those
who, having benefited by the long reign of corruption, were afraid of any
change, and endeavoured to hold the balance betwixt the extreme parties.
Almost all the nobles of the North of England were zealous supporters of
the house of Lancaster, and with them went the Earl of Westmoreland, the
head of the house of Neville, though the Earls of Salisbury and Warwick,
the most influential members of the family, were the chief champions of
the cause of York. With the Duke of Somerset also followed, in support of
the crown, Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter, Stafford, Duke of Buckingham,
the Earl of Shrewsbury, and the Lords Clifford, Dudley, Scales, Audley,
and other noblemen. With the Duke of York, besides the Earls of Salisbury
and Warwick, went many of the southern houses.


Such was the state of public feeling and the position of parties when
the insurrection of Cade occurred. The Duke of York had made himself
additionally popular by his conduct in Ireland. He had shown great
prudence and ability in suppressing the insurrections of the natives;
and thus made fast friends of all the English who had connections in
that island. No doubt the members of his own party used every argument
to incite the duke to assert his right to the throne, and so to free the
country from the dominance of the queen and her favourites. That it was
the general opinion that the Cade conspiracy was a direct feeler on the
part of the Yorkists, is clear from Shakespeare, who wrote so much nearer
to that day. But when York appeared upon the scene, Cade had already paid
the penalty of his outbreak. On his way to town, York, passing through
Northamptonshire, sent for William Tresham, the late Speaker of the House
of Commons, who had taken an active part in the prosecution of Suffolk.
But, on his way to the duke, Tresham was fallen upon by the men of Lord
Grey de Ruthin, and murdered. York proceeded to London, as related, and
appeared before the king, where he demanded of him to summon a Parliament
for the settlement of the disturbed affairs of the realm. Henry promised,
and York meanwhile retired to his castle at Fotheringay.

Scarcely had York retired when Somerset arrived from France, and the
queen and Henry hailed him as a champion sent in the moment of need
to sustain the court party against the power and designs of York. But
Somerset came from the loss of France, and, therefore, loaded with an
awful weight of public odium; and with her vindictive disregard of
appearances, Queen Margaret immediately transferred to him all her old
predilection for Suffolk. When the Parliament met, the temper of the
public mind was very soon apparent. Out of doors the life of Somerset
was threatened by the mob, and his house was pillaged. In the Commons,
Young, one of the representatives of Bristol, moved that, as Henry had
no children, York should be declared his successor. This proposal seemed
to take the house by surprise, and Young was committed to the Tower. But
a bill was carried to attaint the memory of the Duke of Suffolk, and
another to remove from about the king the Duchess of Suffolk, the Duke
of Somerset, and almost all the party in power. Henry refused to accede
to these measures, any further than promising to withdraw a number of
inferior persons from the court for twelve months, during which time
their conduct might be inquired into. On this the Duchess of Suffolk
and the other persons indicted of high treason during the insurrection,
demanded to be heard in their defence, and were acquitted.

The spirit of the opposite factions ran very high; the party of Somerset
accusing that of York of treasonable designs, and that of York declaring
that the court was plotting to destroy the duke as they had destroyed
Gloucester. York retired to his castle of Ludlow, in Shropshire, where
he was in the very centre of the Mortimer interest, and under plea
of securing himself against Somerset, he actively employed himself
in raising forces, at the same time issuing a proclamation of the
most devoted loyalty, and offering to swear fealty to the king on the
sacrament before the Bishop of Hereford and the Earl of Shrewsbury. The
court paid no attention to his professions, but an army was led by the
king against him. York, instead of awaiting the blow, took another road,
and endeavoured to reach and obtain possession of London in the king's
absence. On approaching the capital, he received a message that its gates
would be shut against him, and he then turned aside to Dartford, probably
hoping for support from the same population which had followed Cade.
The king pursued him, and encamping on Blackheath, sent the Bishops of
Ely and Winchester to demand why he was in arms. York replied that he
was in arms from no disloyal design, but merely to protect himself from
his enemies. The king told him his movements had been watched since the
murder of the Bishop of Chichester by men supposed to be in his interest,
and still more since his partisans had openly boasted of his right to
the crown; but for his own part, he himself believed him to be a loyal
subject, and his own well-beloved cousin.

York demanded that all persons "noised or indicted of treason" should be
apprehended, committed to the Tower, and brought to trial. All this the
king, or his advisers, promised, and as Somerset was one of the persons
chiefly aimed at by York, the king gave an instant order for the arrest
and committal of Somerset, and assured York that a new council should
be summoned, in which he himself should be included, and all matters
decided by a majority. At these frank promises York expressed himself
entirely satisfied, disbanded his army, and came bareheaded to the king's
tent. What occurred, however, was by no means in accordance with the
honourable character of the king, and savoured more of the councils of
the queen. No sooner did York present himself before Henry, and begin to
enter upon the causes of complaint, than Somerset stepped from behind a
curtain, denied the assertions of York, and defied him to mortal combat.
So flagrant a breach of faith showed York that he had been betrayed. He
turned to depart in indignant resentment, but he was informed that he was
a prisoner. Somerset was urgent for his trial and execution, as the only
means of securing the permanent peace of the realm. Henry had a horror
of spilling blood; but in this instance York is said to have owed his
safety rather to the fears of the ministers than any act of grace of the
king, who was probably in no condition of mind to be capable of thinking
upon the subject. There was already a report that York's son, the Earl
of March, was on the way towards London with a strong army of Welshmen,
to liberate his father. This so alarmed the queen and council that they
agreed to set free the duke, on condition that he swore to be faithful to
the king, which he did at St. Paul's, Henry and his chief nobility being
present. York then retired to his castle of Wigmore.

In the autumn of 1453 the queen was delivered of a son, who was called
Edward. There was a cry in the country that this was no son of the
king--a cry zealously promoted by the partisans of York--but it did not
prevent the young prince from being recognised as the heir-apparent, and
created Prince of Wales, Earl of Cornwall and Chester. But the king had
now fallen into such a state of imbecility, with periods of absolute
insanity, that those who had denied the legitimacy of his mother, Queen
Catherine, might well change their opinion; for Henry's malady seemed
to be precisely that of his reputed grandfather, Charles VI. of France.
Such was his condition, that Parliament would no longer consent to leave
him in the hands of the queen and Somerset. In the autumn the influence
of Parliament compelled the recall of York to the council; and this, as
might have been expected, was immediately followed by the committal of
Somerset to the Tower. In February Parliament recommenced its sittings,
and York appeared as lieutenant or commissioner for the king, who was
incapable of opening it in person. It had been the policy of the queen to
keep concealed the real condition of the king, but with York at the head
of affairs, this was no longer possible. The House of Lords appointed a
deputation to wait on Henry at Windsor. The Archbishop of Canterbury,
who was also Lord Chancellor, was dead; and the Lords seized upon the
occasion as the plea for a personal interview, according to ancient
custom, with the king. Twelve peers accordingly proceeded to Windsor,
and would not return without seeing the monarch. They found him in such
a state of mental alienation that, though they saw him three times,
they could perceive no mark of attention from him. They reported him
utterly incapable of transacting any business; and the Duke of York was
thereupon appointed protector, with a yearly salary of 2,000 marks. The
Lancastrian party, however, took care to define the duties and the powers
of this office, so as to maintain the rights of the king. The title of
protector was to give no authority, but merely precedence in the council,
and the command of the army in time of rebellion or invasion. It was
to be revocable at the will of the king, should he at any time recover
soundness of mind; and, in case that he remained so long incapacitated
for Government, the protectorate was to pass to the prince Edward on his
coming of age. The command at sea was entrusted to five noblemen, chosen
from the two parties; and the Government of Calais, a most important
post, was taken from Somerset, and given to York.

With all this change, the session of Parliament appears to have been
stormy. The Duke of York had instituted an action for trespass against
Thorpe, the Speaker of the Commons, and one of the Barons of the
Exchequer, and obtained a verdict with damages to the amount of £1,000,
and Thorpe was committed to prison till he gave security for that sum,
and an equal fine to the Crown. In vain did the Commons petition for the
release of the Speaker. The Lords refused; and they were compelled to
elect a new one. Many of the Lords, not feeling themselves safe, absented
themselves from the House, and were compelled to attend only by heavy
fines. The Duke of Exeter was taken into custody, and bound to keep
the peace; and the Earl of Devonshire, a Yorkist, was accused of high
treason and tried, but acquitted. So strong was the opposition of the
court party, that even York himself was compelled to stand up and defend

These angry commotions were but the prelude to a more decisive act.
The king was found something better, and the fact was instantly seized
on by the queen and her party to hurl York from power, and reinstate
Somerset. About Christmas the king demanded from York the resignation
of the protectorate, and immediately liberated Somerset. This was not
done without Somerset being at first held to bail for his appearance
at Westminster to answer the charges against him. But he appealed to
the council, on the ground that he had been committed without any
lawful cause; and the court party being now in the ascendant, he was
at once freed from his recognisances. The king himself seemed anxious
to reconcile the two dukes, a circumstance more convincing of his good
nature than of his sound sense--for it was an impossibility. He would not
restore the government of Calais to the Duke of Somerset, but he took it
from York and retained it in his own hands. York perceived that he had
been regularly defeated by the queen, and he retired again to his castle
of Ludlow to plan more serious measures.

The Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Salisbury and his son, the celebrated
Earl of Warwick, destined to acquire the name of the "King-maker,"
hastened there at his summons, and it was resolved to attempt the
suppression of the court party by force of arms. They were quickly at the
head of a large force, with which they hoped to surprise the royalists.
But no sooner did the news of this approaching force reach the court,
than the king was carried forth at the head of a body of troops equal
to those of York, and a march was commenced against him. The royal army
had reached St. Albans, and on the morning of the 22nd of May, 1455, as
it was about to resume its progress, the hills bordering on the high
road were covered with the troops of York. This army marching under
the banners of the house of York, now for the first time displayed in
resistance to the sovereign, halted in a field near the town, and sent
forward a herald announcing that the three noblemen were come in all
loyalty and attachment to the king; but with a determination to remove
the Duke of Somerset from his councils, and demanding that he and his
pernicious associates should be at once delivered up to them. The
Yorkists declared that they felt this to be so absolutely necessary, that
they were resolved to destroy those enemies to the peace of the country,
or to perish themselves. An answer was returned by or for the king, "that
he would not abandon any of the lords who were faithful to him, but
rather would do battle upon it, at the peril of life and crown."

It would have appeared that the royal army had a most decided advantage
by being in possession of the town, which was well fortified, and where
a stout resistance might have been made in the narrow streets; but,
spite of this, the superior spirit of the commanders on the side of
York triumphed over the royalists. York himself made a desperate attack
on the barriers at the entrance of the town, while Warwick, searching
the outskirts of the place, found, or was directed by some favouring
persons to a weak spot. He made his way across some gardens, burst into
the city, and came upon the royal forces where he was little expected.
Aided by this diversion, York redoubled his attack on the barriers,
and, notwithstanding their resolute defence by Lord Clifford forced an
entrance. Between the cries of "A York! a York!" "A Warwick! a Warwick!"
confusion spread amongst the king's forces, they gave way, and fled out
of the town in utter rout. The slaughter among the leaders of the royal
army was terrible. The Duke of Somerset, the Earl of Northumberland, and
Lord Clifford were slain; the king himself was wounded in the neck, the
Duke of Buckingham and Lord Dudley in the face, and the Earl of Stafford
in the arm. All these were arrow wounds, and it was plain that here again
the archers had won the day. The fall or wounds of the leaders, indeed,
settled the business, and saved the common soldiers; for though Hall
reports that 8,000, Stowe that 5,000 men fell, yet Crane, in a letter to
his cousin, John Paston, written at the time, declares that there were
only six-score, and Sir William Stonor states that only forty-eight were
buried in St. Albans.

The king was found concealed in the house of a tanner; and there York
visited him, on his knees renewed his vows of loyal affection, and
congratulated Henry on the fall of the traitor Somerset. He then led the
king to the shrine of St. Albans, and afterwards to his apartment in the
abbey. It might have been supposed that the fallen king, being now in the
hands of York and his party, the claims of York to the crown would have
been asserted. But at this time York either had not really determined
on seizing the throne, or did not deem the public fully prepared for so
great a change. On the meeting of Parliament it was reported that York
and his friends sought only to free the king from the unpopular ministers
who surrounded him, and to redress the grievances of the nation. That
party complained--with what truth does not appear--that, on the very
morning of the battle, they had sought to explain these views and
intentions in letters, which the Duke of Somerset and Thorpe, the late
Speaker of the Commons, had withheld from his grace. The king acquitted
York, Salisbury, and Warwick of all evil intention, pronounced them good
and loyal subjects, granting them a full pardon. The peers renewed their
fealty, and Parliament was prorogued till the 12th of November. Thus
the first blood in these civil wars had been drawn at the battle of St.
Albans and all appeared restored to peace. But it was a deceitful calm;
rivers of blood were yet to flow.

Scarcely had Parliament reassembled when it was announced that the king
had relapsed into his former condition. Both Lords and Commons refused
to proceed with business till this matter was ascertained and settled.
The Lords then requested York once more to resume the protectorate for
the good of the nation; but this time he was not to be caught in his
former snare. He professed his insufficiency for the onerous office, and
begged of them to lay its responsibilities on some more able person. He
was quite safe in this course, for he had now acquired a majority in the
council, and the office of chancellor and the Governorship of Calais
were in the hands of his two stout friends, Salisbury and Warwick. Of
course, the reply was that no one was so capable or suitable as he; and
then he expressed his willingness to accept the protectorate, but only
on condition that its revocation should not lie in the mere will of
the king, but in the king with the consent of the Lords spiritual and
temporal in Parliament assembled. The protectorate was to devolve, as
before, on the Prince of Wales, in case the malady of the king continued
so long.

York might think that he was now secure from the machinations of the
queen, but he was deceived. This never-resting lady was at that very
moment actively preparing for his defeat; and no sooner did Parliament
meet after the Christmas recess than Henry again presented himself
in person, announcing his restoration to health, and dissolved the
protectorate. The Duke of York resigned his authority with apparent
good-will. Calais and the chancellorship passed from Salisbury and
Warwick to the friends of the queen; the whole Government was again on
its old footing. Two years passed on in apparent peace to the nation, but
in the most bitter party warfare at court. The queen and her associates
could never rest while the Duke of York and his friends were permitted to
escape punishment for the late outbreak. The relatives of Somerset and
the Earl of Northumberland, and of the other nobles slain at St. Albans,
were encouraged to demand with eagerness vengeance on the Yorkists.
Both parties surrounded themselves more and more with armed retainers,
and everything portended fresh acts of bloodshed and discord. The king
endeavoured to avert this by summoning a great council at Coventry in
1457. There the Duke of Buckingham made a formal rehearsal of all the
offences committed by York and his party; at the conclusion of which the
peers fell on their knees and entreated the king to make a declaration
that he would never more show grace to the Duke of York, or any other
person who should oppose the power of the crown or endanger the peace
of the kingdom. To this the king consented; and then the Duke of York,
Salisbury, and Warwick renewed their oaths of fealty, and all the lords
bound themselves never for the future to seek redress by arms, but only
from the justice of the sovereign.


At the close of this council, the Duke of York retired to Wigmore,
Salisbury to Middleham, and Warwick to Calais. It was soon found that,
notwithstanding all these oaths and these royal endeavours, the same
animosity was alive in the two hostile parties, and the king tried still
further the hopeless experiment of reconciliation. He prevailed on the
leaders to meet him in London. On the 26th of January, 1458, the leaders
of the York and Lancaster factions appeared in the metropolis, but they
came attended by armed retainers--the Duke of York with 140 horse, the
now Duke of Somerset with 200, and Salisbury with 400, besides fourscore
knights and esquires. York and his friends were admitted into the city,
probably as being more under the control of the authorities; for the lord
mayor, at the head of 5,000 armed citizens, undertook to maintain the
peace. The Lancastrian lords were lodged in the suburbs. Every day the
Yorkists met at the Blackfriars and the Lancastrians at the Whitefriars,
and after communicating with each other, the result was sent to the king,
who lay at Berkhampstead with several of the judges. The result of their
deliberations was this:--The king, as umpire, awarded that the Duke of
York, and the Earls of Salisbury and Warwick, should, within two years,
found a chantry for the good of the souls of the three lords slain in
battle at St. Albans, that both those who slew, and those who were slain
at that battle should be reputed faithful subjects; that the Duke of York
should pay to the dowager Duchess of Somerset and her children the sum
of 5,000, and the Earl of Warwick to the Lord Clifford 1,000 marks; and
that the Earl of Salisbury should release to Percy Lord Egremont all the
damages he had obtained against him for an assault, on condition that the
said Lord Egremont should bind himself to keep the peace for ten years.

The next day, March 25th, the king came to town, and went to St. Paul's
in procession, followed by the whole court, the queen conducted by the
Duke of York, and the lords of each party walking arm-in-arm before
them, in token of perfect reconciliation. But real reconciliation was as
distant as ever. The causes of contention lay too deep for the efforts
of the simple and well-intentioned king, or even for the subtlest acts
of diplomacy. It was the settled strife for a crown; and swords, not
oaths, could alone decide it. The whole show was a mocking pageant.
The slightest spark might any day light up a flame which would rage
through the whole kingdom; and in a little more than a month such a
spark fell into the combustible mass. News arrived that a large fleet of
merchantmen from Lübeck had been attacked by Warwick as it passed down
the Channel, and five sail of them captured after a severe contest, and
carried into Calais. As Lübeck was a town of the Hanseatic League, that
powerful association--which was in amity with England--speedily sent
commissioners to London demanding redress. Warwick was summoned to appear
before the council; and, whilst in attendance, a quarrel arose betwixt
his followers and those of the court. Warwick believed, or feigned--to
escape out of the scrape into which he had fallen--that there was a
design upon his life. He fled to his father, Salisbury, and York, and
they resolved that their only safety lay in arms. There was a story
circulated, and thoroughly believed in by the Yorkist party, that the
queen, who never forgot or forgave an enemy, kept a register, written in
blood, of all the Yorkist chiefs, and had vowed never to rest till they
were exterminated. In fact, both parties were arrived at that pitch of
rancour which nothing could appease but the blood of their opponents. The
feud was no longer confined to the nobles and their immediate retainers;
the leaven of discord had pervaded the whole mass of the nation. The
conflicting claims had been discussed till they had penetrated into every
village, every family, into the convents of the monks, and the cottages
of the poor. One party asserted that the Duke of York was an injured
prince, driven from his hereditary right by a usurping family, and now
marked to be destroyed by them. The other contended that, though Henry
IV. had deposed Richard II., he had been the choice of the nation; that
his son had made the name of England glorious; that more than sixty
years' possession of the crown was itself sufficient warrant for its
retention; that the Duke of York had, over and over again, sworn eternal
fealty to Henry VI., which was in itself a renunciation of any claim he
might previously possess; and that, in seeking now to deprive the king of
his throne, he was a perjured and worthless man. One party argued that
York owed his life to the clemency of the king; and the other replied
that the king equally owed his to that of York, who had him in his power
at St. Albans.

While the nation was thus heating its blood in these disputes, the heads
of the different factions were busy preparing to meet each other in the
field. The three lords spent the winter in arousing their partisans.
Warwick called around him at Calais the veterans who had fought in
Normandy and Guienne. On the other hand, the court distributed in
profusion collars of white swans, the badge of the young prince; and the
friends of the king were invited by letters, under the privy seal, to
meet him in arms at Leicester. The spring and summer had come and gone,
however, before the rival parties proceeded to actual extremities. The
finances of the court impeded its proceedings; and the Yorkist party
still averred that it had no object but its own defence and the rescue of
the Government from traitors.

At length, on the 23rd of September, 1459, the Earl of Salisbury marched
forth from his castle of Middleham, in Yorkshire, to form a junction with
York on the borders of Wales. Lord Audley, with a force of 10,000 men,
far exceeding that of Salisbury, sought to intercept his progress at
Blore Heath in Staffordshire; but the veteran Salisbury was too subtle
for his antagonist. He pretended to fly at the sight of such unequal
numbers; and having thus seduced Audley to pass a deep glen and torrent,
he fell upon his troops when part only were over, and, throwing them into
confusion, made a dreadful slaughter of them. Some writers contend that
Salisbury had only 500 men with him; but this appears incredible, for
they left Lord Audley with 2,000 of his men dead on the field, and took
prisoner Lord Dudley, with many knights and esquires. The earl pursued
his way unmolested to Ludlow, where York lay, and where they were joined
in a few days by Warwick with his large reinforcement of veterans under
Sir John Blount and Sir Andrew Trollop.

The king, queen, and lords of their party had assembled an army of 60,000
men. With these they advanced to within half a mile of Ludiford, the
camp of York, near Ludlow, on the 10th of October; and Henry, after all
his experience, had the goodness, or the weakness, once more to renew
his offers of pardon and reconciliation on condition that his opponents
should submit within six days. York and his colleagues replied that they
had no reliance on his promises because those about him did not observe
them, and that the Earl of Warwick, trusting to them last year, nearly
lost his life. Yet they still protested that nothing but their own
security caused them to arm, and that they had determined not to draw
the sword against their sovereign unless they were compelled. It was
concluded by the royal party to give battle on the 13th, but they found
York posted with consummate military skill. His camp was defended by
several batteries of cannon, which played effectively on the royal ranks
as they attempted to advance. The royalists, therefore, deferred the
engagement till the next morning, and were relieved from that necessity
by Sir Andrew Trollop, who was marshal of the Yorkist army, going over
in the night with all his Calais auxiliaries to the king. Trollop had
hitherto believed the assurances of the Yorkist leaders that they sought
only Government redress, and not subversion of the throne; but something
had now opened his eyes, and, as he was a staunch royalist, he acted
accordingly. This event struck terror and confusion through the Yorkist
army. Every man was doubtful of his fellow; the confederate lords made a
hasty retreat into Wales, whence York and one of his sons passed over to
Ireland, and the rest followed Warwick, who hastened to Devonshire, and
thence escaped again to Calais.

Nothing shows so strikingly the feeble councils of the royal camp as that
these formidable foes should have been permitted to decamp without any
pursuit. A vigorous blow at the now panic-struck enemy might for ever
have rid the king of his mortal antagonists. But Henry, always averse
from shedding blood, was, no doubt, glad of this unexpected escape from
it, and his generals were weak enough to acquiesce. The court returned
to London, and satisfied themselves with passing an act of attainder
against the Duke and Duchess of York, and their sons, the Earls of March
and Rutland, against the Earl and Countess of Salisbury, and their son
the Earl of Warwick, the Lord Clinton, and various knights and esquires.
Even this was painful to the morbidly tender mind of Henry. He reserved
to himself the right to reverse the attainder, if he thought proper, and
refused to permit the confiscation of the property of Lord Powis, and two
others who had thrown themselves on his clemency.

Meanwhile the insurgent chiefs, though dispersed, were not crushed. York
had great popularity in Ireland; Warwick had a strong retreat in Calais.
To deprive him of this, the Duke of Somerset was appointed governor, and,
encouraged by the conduct of the Calais veterans at Ludiford, set out to
drive Warwick from that city. But he met with a very different reception
to that which he had calculated upon. He was assailed by a severe fire
from the batteries, and compelled to stand out. On making an attempt to
reach Calais from Guisnes, he found himself deserted by his sailors, who
carried his fleet into Calais, and surrendered it to their favourite
commander. Warwick stationed a sufficient force to watch Somerset in
Guisnes, and, so little did he care for him, set out with his fleet,
and dispersed two successive armaments sent to the relief of Somerset
from the ports of Kent. When this had been done, he sailed to Dublin, to
concert measures with York, and returned in safety to Calais, having met
the high-admiral, the Duke of Exeter, who at sight of him escaped into

In the spring of 1460 the Yorkists, who had fled so rapidly from the
royal army at Ludiford, and had seemed to vanish as a mist, were again
on foot, and in a threatening attitude. They had sedulously scattered
proclamations throughout the country, still protesting that they had no
designs on the crown; that the king was so well assured of it that he
refused to ratify the act of attainder, but that he was in the hands
of the enemies of the nation. These documents concluded by saying that
the maligned lords were resolved now to prove their loyalty in the
presence of the sovereign. Following up this, Warwick landed in June, in
Kent--next to the marches of Wales the great stronghold of the house of
York. He had brought only 1,500 men with him, but he was accompanied by
Coppini, the Pope's legate, who had been sent indeed to Henry, but was
gained over by Warwick. In Kent they were joined by the Lord Cobham with
400 men; by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had received his preferment
from York during his protectorate; and by a large number of knights and
gentlemen of the county. As he advanced towards the capital, people
flocked to him from all sides till his army amounted to 30,000, some say
40,000, men. He entered London on the 2nd of July, and, proceeding to the
convocation, prevailed on no less than five bishops to accompany him to
an interview with the king, who was lying at Coventry. The legate issued
a letter to the clergy, informing them that he had laid it before the
king; that the Yorkists demanded nothing but personal security, peaceable
enjoyment of their property, and the removal of evil counsellors. All
this was calculated to turn the credulous, or to prevent them from
swelling the forces of the court.


(_From a photograph by Frith and Co., Reigate._)]

Henry advanced to Northampton, where he entrenched himself in a strong
camp. On arriving before it, Warwick made three successive attempts
to obtain an interview with the king, but finding it unavailing, the
legate excommunicated the royal party, and set up the papal banner in
the Yorkist camp. For this he was afterwards recalled by the Pope,
imprisoned, and degraded; but for the time it had its effect. Warwick
gave the king notice that, as he would not listen to any overtures, he
must prepare for battle at two in the afternoon on the 10th of July,
1460. The royal party made themselves certain of victory, but were this
time confounded by Lord Grey of Ruthin going over to the enemy, as Sir
Andrew Trollop had deserted the other party at Ludlow. Grey introduced
the Yorkists into the very heart of Henry's camp, and the contest was
speedily decided. Warwick ordered his followers to spare the common
soldiers, and direct their attacks against the leaders; and accordingly
of these there were slain 300 knights and gentlemen, including the
Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and the Lords Beaumont and
Egremont. A second time Henry fell into the hands of his rebellious
subjects, but they treated him with all respect. The queen and her son
escaped into Wales, and thence into Scotland, after having been plundered
on the way by their own servants.


The victors then marched back to London, carrying the king along with
them a captive, but with studied appearance of being still at the head of
his loving subjects. He entered the city, as in triumph, Warwick riding
bareheaded before him, carrying the sword. Writs were issued in his name,
applauding the loyalty of the very man who had made war on and seized
his person, and a Parliament was summoned for the redress of grievances,
the chief of these being the acts issued last year in the Parliament
at Coventry, attainting the Yorkist leaders, which, of course, were
abolished. This had scarcely been effected when the Duke of York arrived
from Ireland, at the head of 500 horse. He rode into Westminster, entered
the House of Lords, and advancing to the throne laid his hand on the gold
cloth, and seemed to wait as in expectance that he should be invited to
seat himself there. But no such invitation was given. To do so would
have been to act in opposition, on the part of the peers, to all the
assurances that from first to last had been made by York and his friends,
that he sought no such thing. It was now, however, the intention of York
to throw off the mask, and openly lay claim to the crown. The manner
in which the public, both aristocracy and people, had flocked to the
standard of Warwick, led him to believe that it was now safe to declare
himself; but he had himself defeated, in a great measure, his own object.
His constant assertions that he sought only reform, not the subversion
of the royal authority, his repeated oaths of fealty, had convinced all
parties, except that of his own private friends, that he was sincere in
his declarations, and they esteemed him for his honourable conduct to
the gentle and inoffensive king. When, therefore, he did declare his
intention of seizing the crown, the astonishment and disapprobation were

As all remained silent when he laid his hand on the throne, he turned and
looked, as if for help, towards the assembled nobles. The Archbishop of
Canterbury, to put an end to the embarrassing dilemma, asked him if he
would not pay his respects to the king, who was in the queen's apartment.
York replied that he knew no one to whom he owed that title; that he was
subject to no man in that realm, but, under God, was himself entitled to
the sovereignty. The peers preserved a profound and discouraging silence;
and York, not finding that response which he had hoped, left the house.
It was, however, only to take possession of the palace as his hereditary
right. Thence he sent to the peers a written demand of the crown, tracing
his descent, showing its priority to that of the line of Lancaster, and
that, by every plea of right, law, and custom, the possession of the
throne centred in him. To this he requested an immediate answer. This
demand was carried by the lords to the king, who, on hearing it, said,
"My father was king: his father also was king. I have worn the crown
forty years from my cradle; you have all sworn fealty to me as your
sovereign; and your fathers have done the same to my fathers; how, then,
can my right be disputed?"

The Lords resolved to take the matter into consideration, as if it
were a thing to be decided by evidence, without any heat or violence.
They called upon the judges to defend, to the best of their ability,
the claims of the king. But the judges objected that they were judges,
not advocates; that it was their business not to produce arguments,
but merely to decide on such as were advanced. They declared this to
be a case above the law, and only to be decided by the high court
of Parliament. The Lords then called upon the king's serjeants and
attorneys, who also endeavoured to escape from the dangerous task, but
were not permitted, their office being, in reality, to give advice to the

The Peers then proceeded to the discussion of this great question. They
objected to York's claims, that he had really renounced any right given
him by descent, by repeatedly swearing fealty to Henry; that the many
Acts of Parliament passed to sanction the right of the house of Lancaster
themselves were sufficient, and had authority to defeat any measure of
title; that the duke bore the arms of Edmund, the fifth son of Edward
III., and not those of Lionel, the third son, from whom he claimed,
showing that he himself held that to be his true descent. York replied
to all these arguments, but especially to that wherein he knew the main
force to lie, the effect of his own oaths. This he declared nugatory,
inasmuch as those oaths were of necessity and constraint, and, therefore,
acknowledged by all men in all ages to be utterly void.

The result was that the Lords came to the conclusion which the power
of outward circumstances rather than their real convictions, dictated.
They attempted a compromise, which, had Henry had no issue, might have
succeeded, but which, as it went to disinherit the son of Henry, and much
more the son of Margaret, was certain to produce fresh conflicts. The
queen, whose resolute spirit would have been worthy of all admiration had
it been accompanied by a spirit of liberality and conciliation, was sure
never to acquiesce in the rejection of her own son while she could move a
limb, or raise a soldier. The verdict of the Lords was that York's claim
was just, but should not take effect during the lifetime of the present
king. The decision of the Peers was accepted by York and his two sons,
March and Rutland, who swore not to molest the king, but to maintain him
on his throne; and, on the other hand, Henry gave his assent to the Bill,
declared any attempt on the duke high treason, and settled estates on him
and his sons as the succeeding royal line.

But Margaret of Anjou never for a moment conceded this repudiation of the
rights of her son. She upbraided Henry for his unnatural conduct, and
quitting her retreat in Scotland, appeared in the midst of her northern
friends, calling on them by every argument of loyalty to the throne, and
security to themselves, to take the field against the traitor York. The
Earl of Northumberland, the Lords Dacre, Clifford, and Neville were soon
in arms. They assembled at York; and Margaret, roused to the highest
state of indignation by the disinheriting of her son, put forth all
her powers to attach adherents to her standard. She assumed the most
fascinating affability, and lavished her caresses and her promises on all
whom she came near. She excited the jealousy of the northern barons by
depicting the bold assumption of the southern nobles, who had presumed to
give away the crown as if it were their own; and she promised to every
one unlimited plunder of the estates and property of the people south of
the Trent. These arts and allurements speedily brought 30,000 men to her
standard, which was now joined by the Earls of Somerset and Devon.

York and Salisbury set out in haste from London to oppose this growing
force. They seem not to have been duly informed of its real strength, for
they pushed forward with only 5,000 men. They received a rude admonitory
attack at Worksop, in Nottinghamshire, on the 21st of December; but,
still advancing, York threw himself, before Christmas, into the strong
castle of Sandall. Here it was the evident policy of York to await the
arrival of his son, the Earl of March, who was collecting forces in the
marches of Wales; but either he was straitened for provisions, or was
weak enough to be influenced by the taunts of the queen, who sent him
word that it did not become the future king of England to coop himself
up in a fortress, but to dare to meet those whom he dared to depose. He
issued into the open country, in defiance of the warnings of Salisbury
and Sir David Hall, and gave battle, on the 30th of December, to the
queen's troops near Wakefield. The Duke of Somerset commanded the queen's
army. He led the main body himself, and gave the command of one wing to
the Earl of Wiltshire, and the other to Lord Clifford, ordering them to
keep concealed till the action had commenced, and then to close in upon
York. This was done with such success that York, who fell with great fury
on Somerset, found himself instantly surrounded. Two thousand of his men
were speedily slain, and the greater part of the remainder compelled
to surrender. He himself, with most of his commanders, was left dead
upon the field; the veteran Salisbury was taken, conveyed to Pontefract
Castle, with several knights and gentlemen, and there beheaded.

When the body of York was found, his head was cut off and carried to
Queen Margaret, who rejoiced excessively at the sight, uttered most
unfeminine reproaches upon it, and ordered it to be crowned with a paper
crown in mockery, and placed upon the walls of York. Whethamstede, a
cotemporary, says that the duke was taken alive, and beheaded on the
field. At all events, Lord Clifford brought the head to the queen, stuck
upon a spear; and this ferocious nobleman, whose father was killed at the
battle of St. Albans, not satisfied with this revenge, perpetrated the
murder of York's son, Rutland, with a fell barbarity which has covered
his name with infamy. This youth, who was but about seventeen years of
age, handsome and amiable, was met by Clifford as he was endeavouring
to escape across the bridge of Wakefield in the care of his tutor, Sir
Robert Aspall. The poor boy, seeing the bloody Clifford, fell on his
knees, and entreated for mercy. The savage demanded who he was; and
Aspall, thinking to save him by the avowal, said it was the younger
son of York. Then swore Clifford--"As thy father slew mine, so will I
slay thee, and all thy kin;" and plunging the dagger into his heart,
ruthlessly bade the tutor go and tell his mother what he had done.

The spirit of the "she-wolf of France" seemed to animate all her army
on this occasion. There was nothing but butchery, and exultation in it.
Margaret thought she had now removed the danger in destroying York.
"At this deadly blood-supping," says Hall, "there was much joy and
great rejoicing: but many laughed then that sore lamented after--as the
queen herself and her son; and many were glad of other men's deaths,
not knowing that their own were near at hand, as the Lord Clifford and

The revenge soon came. The Earl of March, York's eldest son, was
advancing to prove that York was still alive in the new possessor of
the title. Yet, before his blow of vengeance fell, Margaret had one
more triumph. She had pursued her march on London after the battle of
Wakefield, and had reached St. Albans. But there she came in contact
with the army of Warwick. Flushed with victory, her forces fell upon the
enemy. Warwick had posted himself on the low hills to the south-east of
the town. The royalists penetrated to the very town cross, where they
were repulsed by a strong body of archers. But they soon made their way
by another street through the town, and the battle raged on the heaths
lying betwixt St. Albans and Barnet. The last troops which made a stand
were a body of Kentish men, who, maintaining the conflict till night,
enabled the Yorkists to retreat from the victorious van, and disperse.
The king was found in his tent, under the care of Lord Montague, his
chamberlain, where he was visited by Margaret and his son, whom he
received with the liveliest joy. The Yorkists in this second battle of
St. Albans, fought February 17th, 1461, lost about 2,000 men. Edward,
called "the late Earl of March," was proclaimed a traitor, and rewards
offered for his apprehension. But the success of this action was defeated
by the insubordination of the troops. They were chiefly borderers, who
had been led on by hopes of plunder, and had been freely promised it by
Margaret and her allies. Nothing could induce them to advance farther.
They were only bent on ravaging the neighbourhood, and the citizens of
London closed their gates against them and held out for York.

Edward was rapidly marching to the capital. He was at Gloucester when the
news of the fall of his father and the atrocious murder of his brother
reached him; and the intelligence arousing the Welsh borderers, they
flocked to his standard, breathing vengeance. His march was harassed
by a party of royalists--consisting chiefly of Welsh and Irish--under
Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, the king's half-brother. To free himself
of them, Edward turned upon them, on the 2nd of February, at Mortimer's
Cross, near Hereford. A dreadful battle ensued, in which Edward gained
a complete victory, slaying nearly 4,000 of the royalists. Jasper Tudor
escaped; but his father Owen Tudor, the second husband of Catherine of
Valois, and ancestor of the Tudor line of sovereigns, was taken prisoner,
and with Throgmorton and seven other captains, was beheaded at Hereford,
in retaliation for those who had been similarly put to death after the
battle of Wakefield. The news of this butchery reaching Margaret before
the battle of St. Albans, instigated her to reply with the execution
of Lord Bonville and Sir Thomas Kyriel, who had so much distinguished
himself in France. The spirit of deadly malice was now raging betwixt the
contending parties, and one deed of cruelty provoked another.

Edward found no further obstacle on his march towards London. The
terrible chastisement of the royalists made a deep impression. His force
grew as he advanced. He soon joined Warwick, and collected his dispersed
troops. Once united, they were more than a match for the royalists. When
Edward approached London, he was welcomed as a deliverer. The lawless
army of the queen had carried terror, wherever they came. The queen
was as impolitic as her soldiers. She sent from Barnet into the city
demanding supplies; and though the lord mayor was inclined to comply, the
people stoutly refused to let any provisions pass. A party of 400 horse
were sent to enforce the demand; they plundered the northern suburbs,
and would have continued their depredations in London itself, but the
people fell upon them, and drove them out. Such was the situation of
affairs when Edward and Warwick appeared. The gates were joyfully thrown
open, and Edward rode in triumph into the city. He was still but in his
nineteenth year, of a remarkably handsome person, of a gay and affable
disposition, and reputed to be highly accomplished. The fate of his
father and brother, and the recent conduct of the queen, added greatly
to the interest which he excited. While Lord Falconbridge reviewed a
body of troops in the fields of Clerkenwell, Neville, the Bishop of
Exeter, seized the opportunity to harangue the crowded spectators. He
drew a miserable picture of the imbecility of the king, of the haughty
and bloody spirit of the queen, and of the calamities which had resulted
from both; and maintained that Henry, by joining the queen's forces, had
forfeited the crown. He then demanded whether they would still have him
for king. They shouted--"No, no!" He then asked whether they would have
Edward for king, and they cried--"Yes, yes! long live King Edward!"

The popular feeling being thus ascertained, a great council was convoked
by the Yorkists, on the 3rd of March, 1461, which confirmed the verdict
of the public, declared Henry to have justly forfeited the crown by
breaking his oath and joining in proceedings against the Duke of York,
who had thus been slain; and on the 4th Edward rode in procession to
Westminster Hall, where he mounted the throne, and made a speech to the
thronging thousands, detailing the just claims of his family, according
to hereditary succession. He then adjourned to the abbey church, where he
repeated the same harangue to the same consenting audience, and was duly
proclaimed by the style and title of King Edward IV.

[Illustration: THE QUARREL IN THE TEMPLE GARDENS. (_See p._ 18.)]



     The Battle of Towton--Edward's Coronation--Henry escapes to
     Scotland--The Queen seeks aid in France--Battle of Hexham--Henry
     made Prisoner--Confined in the Tower--Edward marries Lady
     Elizabeth Grey--Advancement of her Relations--Attacks on the
     Family of the Nevilles--Warwick negotiates with France--Marriage
     of Margaret, the King's Sister, to the Duke of Burgundy--Marriage
     of the Duke of Clarence with a Daughter of Warwick--Battle of
     Banbury--Rupture between the King and his Brother--Rebellion of
     Clarence and Warwick--Clarence and Warwick flee to France--Warwick
     proposes to restore Henry VI.--Marries Edward, Prince of Wales,
     to his Daughter, Lady Ann Neville--Edward IV.'s reckless
     Dissipation--Warwick and Clarence invade England--Edward
     expelled--His return to England--Battle of Barnet--Battle
     of Tewkesbury, and ruin of the Lancastrian Cause--Rivalry
     of Clarence and Gloucester--Edward's Futile Intervention in
     Foreign Politics--Becomes a Pensioner of France--Death of
     Clarence--Expedition to Scotland--Death and Character of the King.

Edward IV., at this period of his great success, and his acknowledgment
by the people of London and the council as king, was only in his
twentieth year. Handsome of person and of popular manners, he was not
restrained by any such conscientious scruples as guided his father, but
was bold and impetuous. He was fond of pleasure, addicted to gallantry,
and at the same time as ready to shed blood as he was to make love
and revel in courtly pageants. The reluctant approaches to sanguinary
measures which had marked the earlier proceedings of his father, had
long since vanished in the heated progress of the strife, and Edward
might be regarded as the representative of the leaders now on both sides,
with the exception of the gentle and forgiving Henry. But on this side
Queen Margaret was as energetic as she was ambitious, and as resolute as
her husband was the contrary. The circumstances into which she had been
thrown had roused in her the spirit of a tigress fighting for its young.

Margaret, on the warm reception of Edward by the Londoners, had retired
northward with her marauding soldiers, who had so fatally damaged her
cause by their outrages. Three days after his reception in London, Edward
despatched Warwick, the chief bulwark of his cause, in pursuit of her,
and on the 12th of March, only five days afterwards, he followed himself.
On reaching the Earl of Warwick, their combined troops amounted to
40,000. The queen was exerting all her activity and eloquence amongst her
northern friends, and lay at York with 60,000 men. Everything denoted the
eve of a bloody conflict.

This civil war was now known all over the world as the War of the Roses,
a name said to be derived from a circumstance which took place in a
dispute in the Temple Gardens betwixt Warwick and Somerset, at an early
period of the rival factions. Somerset, in order to collect the suffrages
of those on the side of Lancaster, is said to have plucked a red rose
from a bush, and called upon every man who held with him to do the like.
Warwick, for York, plucked a white rose, and thus the partisans were
distinguishable by these differing badges.

The vanguard of the two armies met at Ferrybridge, the passage of the
river Aire. The Duke of Somerset was commander-in-chief of the royal
army. The king, queen, and prince remained at York. Lord Clifford led
the vanguard, and was opposed by Lord Fitzwalter on the part of the
Yorkists. The battle at the bridge was furious; Fitzwalter was killed.
Lord Falconbridge was instantly sent forward to replace him, and instead
of opposing Clifford in front in his strong position, allowing the troops
there to hold him in play, he himself crossed the Aire, some miles above
Ferrybridge, and falling unexpectedly on the rear of Clifford, routed his
force, and revenged the death of Fitzwalter by that of Clifford himself.
The Yorkists poured over the bridge, took possession of the town, and
advanced towards Towton. Meantime, Warwick, excited by the temporary
repulse at the bridge under Fitzwalter, had called for his horse, stabbed
him in sight of the whole army, and kissing the hilt of his bloody
sword, swore that he would fight on foot, and share every fatigue and
disadvantage with the common soldiers.

With minds inflamed to the utmost pitch of animosity, the two armies met
on the morning of Palm Sunday, March 29th, in the fields betwixt the
villages of Saxton and Towton, about ten miles south of York. Edward
issued orders that no quarter should be given, no prisoners taken. The
action began at nine o'clock in the morning, under circumstances most
unfortunate for the Lancastrians. A snowstorm was blowing full in their
faces; and Lord Falconbridge seized at once on this circumstance by an
adroit stratagem. He ordered the archers to advance, discharge their
arrows, and again retire out of the reach of those of the enemy. The
Lancastrians, believing themselves within bow-shot of the enemy, whose
arrows did great execution amongst them, returned the compliment without
being able to see where their arrows reached for the snowflakes. The
Yorkist archers were now out of their range, and they fell useless. Again
the Yorkists advanced, and poured in a fresh flight with such effect that
the Lancastrians, probably doubting of the success of their own arrows,
rushed forward and came hand to hand with their opponents. It was now one
terrible clash of swords, battle-axes, and spears, amid the thick-falling
and blinding storm; and thus the two infuriated armies continued fighting
desperately for nearly five hours. Towards evening the Lancastrians,
disheartened by the fall of their principal commanders, broke and fled.
They were pursued as far as Tadcaster with the fiercest impetuosity, and
fearful slaughter. It was one of the bloodiest battles ever fought in
Britain. According to a contemporary historian, those who were employed
to number and bury the dead, declared them to be 38,000.

After celebrating the feast of Easter at York, Edward marched to
Newcastle, and, leaving Warwick there to keep the north in order,
returned to London on the 26th of June.

On reaching Scotland, Margaret placed Henry in a secure retreat at
Kirkcudbright, and then hastened to Edinburgh, to try what could be
done towards renewing the contest, which no dispersion of her friends
and forces could ever teach her to relinquish. There she found a
boy sovereign, a divided court, and a country which had suffered by
factions almost as deadly as her own. James I., who had seemed to
return to his kingdom after his long captivity under such auspicious
circumstances--full of intelligence and plans for the improvement of his
country, married to the woman of his affections, and courted by both
England and France,--was soon murdered by the rude and lawless nobles
whom he endeavoured to reduce to some degree of order and subordination.
His son, James II., when arrived at years of maturity, endeavoured to
recover from distracted England some of the places it had reft from
Scotland formerly, but in besieging Roxburgh in 1460, he was killed by
the bursting of a cannon. His son was at this time a child of only eight
years old, and the kingdom was governed by a council of regency; but the
care of the king's person was committed to the queen-mother, Mary of
Guelders, who was ambitious of engrossing not only that duty, but the
actual powers of the government. In this she was opposed by the powerful
family of Douglas.

Margaret had no willing listeners amongst parties who were occupied with
their own schemes and feuds. She had the difficult task of appealing to
their various interests; and she found no one thing capable of fixing
their attention till she hit on the idea of proposing the surrender of
Berwick as the price of Scotland's assistance. That key of the northern
frontiers of England, for the possession of which so much blood had been
spilled from age to age, was an object the proposed recovery of which at
once gave her the command of the ears of the whole court. In addition to
this, she offered a marriage betwixt her son, Edward, Prince of Wales,
and the eldest sister of the young King of Scotland. These treaties were
carried into effect, and Berwick was put into the hands of the Scots on
the 25th of April, 1461.

Edward, on his return to London, was crowned on the 29th of June. He then
summoned a Parliament to meet at Westminster on the 6th of July, but
an invasion appearing not improbable, he prorogued it till the 4th of
November. The sword and the scaffold had already so thinned the nobility
that only one duke, four earls, one viscount, and twenty-nine barons
were summoned to this Parliament. The great battle of Towton, which had
laid so many of them low, had rendered the rest very submissive. There
was no longer any hesitating betwixt the two families, or seeking of
those compromises which, in the end, only produced more discord. Whatever
Edward dictated was accepted as law and constitution. Of course Henry
IV. was declared to have been an arrant usurper; and his posterity were
held incapable, not only of wearing the crown, but of enjoying any estate
or dignity in any portion of the British dominions for ever. Henry VI.,
Margaret, Edward, called Prince of Wales, the Dukes of Somerset and
Exeter, the Earls of Northumberland, Devonshire, and Pembroke, and a
vast number of lords, knights, and gentlemen, were attainted. Edward IV.
was proclaimed to be the only rightful king; and all those of the York
party who had been declared traitors by the Lancaster party when it was
uppermost, and expelled from honours and estates, were restored.

Meanwhile, nothing daunted, Margaret was exerting her ingenuity to
rouse a party in Scotland. She pleaded to deaf ears. Her surrender of
Berwick brought her no real assistance; and she now sent over Somerset
to endeavour to obtain succour from France. All these efforts were
equally vain. Charles VII. died in 1461, and his successor, Louis
XI., was immovable. Somerset, her ambassador, returned completely
unsuccessful. He and his attendants had, indeed, been arrested by Louis
when they attempted to escape in the guise of merchants, for fear of
the despicable king giving them up to Edward to propitiate his favour.
It was only through the earnest intercession of the Count of Charolais,
the son of the Duke of Burgundy, that they were liberated. Louis XI. was
cousin-german to both Margaret and Henry VI.; but such relationships
weigh nothing with selfish men, in comparison to their own immediate
interests. While this unwelcome news was arriving, Margaret was rendered
the more uneasy and unsafe by the appearance of Warwick at the court
of Scotland, proposing a marriage betwixt the Scottish queen and the
victorious Edward of England. Under these circumstances, neither Margaret
nor Henry was safe. She resolved, therefore, to make one more effort
with Louis of France, and a personal one. By means of a French merchant,
who owed her some kindness for past benefit, she managed to get over to
France, where she threw herself at the feet of Louis, who was at Chinon
in Normandy. She was only able to reach his court by the assistance of
the Duke of Brittany, who gave her 12,000 crowns.

Margaret agreed to surrender the rights of the crown in Calais, and
that Henry should do the same. And what was to be the price of this
sacrifice--this sacrifice of this proud stronghold of England, this
sacrifice of her own honour, and this last remaining fragment of her
good fame in Britain? The paltry sum of 20,000 livres! That was all she
could squeeze from the miserable French king for this intensely desired
object. True, he had it still to win, for it was not in the possession
of Margaret or her husband; but the acknowledged purchase from the
Lancastrian king would give him great weight in any attempts to compel
the surrender, and if Henry did again recover his throne, Calais must be
made over to him at once.

[Illustration: EDWARD IV.]

With her 20,000 livres Margaret was enabled to engage the services
of Pierre de Brézé, the seneschal of Normandy. He had been an old
admirer of Margaret's, and now offered to follow her with 2,000 men.
With this force, after an absence of five months, she set sail for
England, and attempted to land at Tynemouth, in October, 1462, but was
repelled by the garrison. The fleet was now attacked by a terrible
storm; the very elements seemed to fight against her. Many of her
ships ran ashore near Bamborough. Yet, spite of all her difficulties,
Margaret effected a landing, and gained possession of the castles of
Bamborough, Dunstanburgh, and Alnwick. She sent for Henry from his safe
hiding-place at Harlech Castle in Merionethshire, where she had left him
while she went to France, and was gathering some considerable forces
of Scots and French when Warwick drew near with 20,000 men, and news
was received that Edward was approaching with an equal number. Edward
halted at Newcastle, but Warwick advancing, divided his forces into three
bodies, and simultaneously invested the three strongholds. Somerset
surrendered Bamborough on condition that himself and Sir Ralph Percy,
and others, should be allowed to take the oath of fealty to Edward, and
be restored to all their honours and estates; and that the rest of the
two garrisons, with the Earl of Pembroke, and some others, whose lands
had been conferred on Edward's friends, and could not, therefore, be
now restored, should be conveyed in safety to Scotland. This defection
of her chief supporters was a dreadful blow to the queen, and, to add
to her misfortunes, 500 of her French followers, who had established
themselves in Holy Island were attacked and cut to pieces by Sir Robert
Ogle. Alnwick Castle still held out in the hands of the brave De Brézé
and Lord Hungerford; but the Earl of Angus coming up with a party of
relief, the besieged took the opportunity to make a sally and escape from
the castle to their friends. Bamborough and Dunstanburgh were restored by
the king to Lord Percy; but Alnwick he gave to Sir John Ashley, to the
great offence of Sir Ralph Grey, who had formerly won it for Edward, and
now expected to have had it.


It might have been supposed that all hope of ever restoring the
Lancastrian cause was now at an end. But in the soul of Margaret hope
never seemed to die. With an admirable and indomitable resolution, she
again turned her efforts to reconstruct a fresh army. She traversed
Scotland, drew together her scattered friends, joined them to her French
auxiliaries, whom she again mustered on the Continent: and by the spring
of 1464 was in a condition once more to march into England. For some time
her affairs wore a promising aspect. She retook the castles of Alnwick,
Bamborough, and Dunstanburgh. Somerset, Sir Ralph Percy, and the rest who
had made their peace with Edward, hearing of her successes, again flew to
her standard. Sir Ralph Grey, who resented the preference given to Sir
John Ashley by Edward in the disposal of Alnwick, came over to her, and
was made commander of Bamborough.

Edward, on the news of these reverses, dispatched the Lord Montague,
the brother of Warwick, into the north to raise his forces there, and
make head against the never-resting queen. He met with Sir Ralph Percy
on Hedgeley Moor, near Wooler, on the 25th of April, defeated his
forces, and killed Sir Ralph. Having received fresh reinforcements from
the south, he advanced towards Margaret's main army, and encamped on a
plain, called the Levels, near Hexham. There, on the 15th of May, the two
armies came to a general action, and after a long and bloody conflict the
Lancastrians were again completely routed. Poor King Henry fled for his
life, and this time managed not to be left in the hands of his enemies.

Margaret and her son, with a few attendants, were meanwhile flying
wildly through the neighbouring forests from the tender mercies of
this sanguinary young king. She was endeavouring to reach the Scottish
borders, when they were met by a party of marauders, with whom the Border
country abounded. The queen on her knees implored mercy, and avowed who
she was; but the villains who had hold of her, seeing their associates
busy dividing the rich booty, turned to them, and she seized the
opportunity, while they were quarrelling over it, to fly with her son.
The fugitives rushed onward, not knowing whither they were going, till
night overtook them. Nearly fainting with terror, fatigue, and hunger,
as the moon broke through the clouds they beheld a huge man, armed, and
with threatening gestures hastening towards them. Imagining it was one
of the band that had robbed them who had now overtaken her, she expected
nothing but death; but, mustering her characteristic resolution, she bade
the man see that if he hoped for booty it was useless, for she and her
child had been stripped even of their upper garments for their value.
The man appeared to be one of the numerous outlaws harboured in that
locality, and many of whom had seen better days. He was touched by her
appeal, and Margaret, perceiving it, said, "Here, my friend, save the
son of your king! I charge thee to preserve from violence that innocent
royal blood. Take him, and conceal him from those who seek his life. Give
him a refuge in thine obscure hiding-place, and he will one day give
thee free access to his royal chamber, and make thee one of his barons."
The man, struck by the majestic presence of the queen, the pleading
innocence of the prince, and the words of Margaret, knelt, and vowed he
would rather die a thousand deaths than injure or betray them. He carried
the young prince in his arms to his cave, on the south bank of a little
stream which runs at the foot of Blockhill, and, from this circumstance,
still called "Queen Margaret's cave." There the man's wife made them
right welcome, and, after two days' concealment, the outlaw succeeded in
meeting with De Brézé, and his followers soon afterwards discovered the
Duke of Exeter and Edward Beaufort--from the execution of his brother now
Duke of Somerset; and with them Margaret escaped to Scotland, and, after
many adventures, reached France. There Margaret received the melancholy
news of the capture and imprisonment of her husband. For about twelve
months the unfortunate monarch had contrived to elude the eager quest
of his enemies. He went from place to place amongst the friends of the
house of Lancaster in Westmoreland, Lancashire, and Yorkshire. At the
various halls and castles where he sojourned, tradition has to this day
retained the memory of his presence. He was at length betrayed by a monk
of Abingdon, and he was taken by the servants of Sir John Harrington,
as he sat at dinner at Waddington Hall. He was treated with the utmost
indignity on his way to London. He was mounted on a miserable hack, his
legs being tied to his stirrups, and an insulting placard fixed on his
back. At Islington Warwick met the fallen king, and disgraced himself by
commanding the thronging spectators to show no respect to him. To enforce
his command by his own example, he led the unhappy man three times round
the pillory, as if he had been a common felon, crying, "Treason! treason!
Behold the traitor!"

Edward, now freed from his enemies, considered himself as established
on the throne beyond all doubt. He created Lord Montacute Earl of
Northumberland for his services at Hexham, and Lord Herbert Earl of
Pembroke. He issued a long list of attainders to exhaust the resources
of his opponents and increase those of his adherents. He then passed an
Act for the resumption of the Crown lands to supply a royal income; but
this was clogged by so many exceptions that it proved fruitless. He then
gave himself up to mirth and jollity, and in the pursuit of his pleasures
made himself so affable and agreeable, especially with the Londoners,
that, in spite of his free gallantries, he was very popular. So strongly
did he now seem to be grounded in the affections of his subjects, that he
ventured to make known a private marriage, which he had contracted some
time before, though he knew that it would give deep offence in several

It is a curious circumstance that in the early part of the reign of Henry
VI., two ladies of royal lineage, and one of them of royal rank, had
condescended to marry private gentlemen, to the great scandal of their
high-born connections. One of these was Catherine of Valois, the widow of
Henry V., and mother of Henry VI., who married Owen Tudor. The other was
Jacquetta of Luxembourg, the widow of the great Duke of Bedford, Regent
of France, who married Sir Richard Woodville. Both Tudor and Woodville
were men of remarkable beauty; and both were imprisoned and persecuted
for the offence of marrying, without permission of the Crown, princesses
who chose to fall in love with them. Woodville regained his liberty by
the payment of a fine of 1,000 crowns. Tudor's persecutions were more
severe and prolonged. Yet, from these two scandalous _mésalliances_, as
they were regarded by the Court and high nobility, sprang a line of the
most remarkable princes that ever sat upon the English throne. The blood
of both these ladies mingled in the burly body of Henry VIII. and his
descendants. We have seen how Tudor became the grandfather of Henry VII.;
we have now to observe how Woodville became the grandfather of Henry's
wife, Elizabeth of York.

Jacquetta had several children by Sir Richard Woodville, one of whom,
Elizabeth, was a woman of much beauty and great accomplishments. She had
been married to Sir John Grey of Groby, a Lancastrian, who fell at the
second battle of St. Albans. His estate was consequently confiscated;
his widow, with seven children, returned to her father, and was living
at his seat at Grafton, in Northamptonshire. Edward being out on a
hunting party in the neighbourhood, took the opportunity to call on the
Duchess of Bedford. There he saw and was greatly struck with the beauty
of the Lady Grey. She, on her part, seized the occasion to endeavour to
secure some restitution of their property for her children. The whole
of her subsequent life showed that she was not a woman to neglect such
opportunities. She threw herself at the feet of the gay monarch, and
with many tears besought him to restore to her innocent children their
father's patrimony.

Lady Grey made more impression than she probably intended. Edward was
perfectly fascinated by her beauty and spirit. He raised her from her
suppliant posture, and promised her his favour. He soon communicated to
her the terms on which he would grant the restitution of her property;
but he found in Elizabeth Woodville, or Grey, a very different person to
those he had been accustomed to meet. She firmly refused every concession
inconsistent with her honour, and the king, piqued by the resistance he
encountered, became more and more enamoured.

On the 1st of May, 1464, he married her at Grafton, in the presence
only of the priest, the clerk, the Duchess of Bedford, and two female
attendants. Within a few days after the marriage he set out to meet the
Lancastrians in the north; but the battles of Hedgeley Moor and Hexham
were fought before his arrival; and on his return he became anxious to
open the matter to his council, and to obtain its sanction. Accordingly,
at Michaelmas, he summoned a general council of the peers at the abbey
of Reading, where he announced this important event. Amongst the Peers
present were Edward's brother the Duke of Clarence, and the great
king-maker, Warwick. To neither of these individuals was the transaction
agreeable. To Clarence it appeared too inferior a choice for the King of
England, though Elizabeth Grey, by her mother's side, was of princely
blood. But to Warwick there was offence in it, personal and deep. He had
been commissioned by Edward to solicit for him the hand of Bona of Savoy,
the sister of the Queen of France. The proposal had been accepted; the
King of France had given his consent; the treaty of marriage was actually
drawn; and there lacked nothing but the ratification of the terms agreed
upon, and the bringing over of the princess to England. At this moment
came the order to pause in the proceedings, and the mystery was soon
cleared up by the confident rumour of this sudden matrimonial caprice of
the king. Warwick returned in high dudgeon; from Edward he did not try
to conceal it; but the time for revenge of his injured honour was not
yet come; and therefore, after the royal announcement in the council,
Clarence and Warwick took Elizabeth by the hand, and introduced her to
the rest of the peers. A second council was held at Westminster, in
December, and the income of the new queen was settled at 4,000 marks a

It was not to be expected that this sudden elevation of a simple knight's
daughter to the throne would pass without murmuring and discontent,
which was probably the more fully expressed as it was shared by the
all-powerful Warwick and the king's brothers. There were busy rumours
that the politic old duchess, Jacquetta, and her daughter, had practised
magical arts upon the king, and administered philtres; and that,
recovering from their effect, he had grievously repented, and endeavoured
to free himself. But Edward's whole conduct towards the queen showed the
falsity of this jealous gossip; and to make it obvious that she was of no
mean parentage, he invited to the coronation her mother's brother, John
of Luxembourg, with a retinue of a hundred knights and gentlemen.

But if the king had made apparent her noble birth and his continued
affection for her, it became speedily as apparent that the marriage of a
subject was to be followed by all its inconveniences. Elizabeth, though
raised to the throne, might still be said to be on her knees, imploring
the favour of the king. There was nothing which she thought too much for
her numerous relations, and the king displayed a marvellous facility in
complying with her requests. Her father was created Earl Rivers, and soon
after the Lord Mountjoy, a partisan of the Nevilles, was removed to make
way for him as Treasurer of England; and again, on the resignation of
the Earl of Worcester, the office of Lord High Constable was conferred
on him. That was very well for a beginning, but it was nothing to what
followed; every branch of the queen's family must be aggrandised without
delay. She had five sisters, and each of them was married to one of the
highest noblemen in the realm: one to the Duke of Buckingham; one to the
heir of the Earl of Essex; a third to the Earl of Arundel; a fourth to
Lord Grey de Ruthin, who was made Earl of Kent; and the fifth to Lord
William Herbert, created Earl of Huntingdon. Her brother Anthony was
married to the heiress of the late Lord Scales, and endowed with her
estate and title. Her younger brother John, in his twentieth year, was
married to the wealthy old dowager Duchess of Norfolk, in her eightieth
year; such was the shameless greed of this family. The queen's son,
Thomas Grey, was married to the king's niece, the daughter and heiress
of the Duke of Exeter. The Nevilles looked on all these extraordinary
proceedings with ominous gloom.

Fresh cause of disunion arose between the king and Warwick. A marriage
had for some time been in agitation between Margaret, the king's sister,
and the Count of Charolais, son and heir of the Duke of Burgundy. The
count was sprung from the house of Lancaster, and even when his father
showed the most settled coolness towards Henry VI. and Margaret, had
displayed a warm sympathy for them. It was a good stroke of policy,
therefore, to win him over by this marriage to the reigning dynasty.
But Warwick, who in his former intercourse with Burgundy in France had
conceived a deep dislike to him, opposed this match, and represented
one with a son of Louis XI. as far more advantageous. To Warwick's
arguments was opposed the evident policy of maintaining our commercial
intercourse with the Netherlands, and of possessing so efficient an
ally on the borders of France against the deep and selfish schemes of
Louis. But in the end Warwick prevailed. He was sent over to France to
negotiate the affair with Louis. Warwick went attended with a princely
train, and with all the magnificence which distinguished him at home,
more like that of a great sovereign than of a subject. Louis, who never
lost an opportunity of sowing jealousies amongst his enemies, even while
he appeared to be honouring them, met Warwick at Rouen, attended by the
queen and princesses. The inhabitants, obeying royal orders, went out and
escorted Warwick into the city with banners and processions of priests,
who conducted the earl to the cathedral, and then to the lodgings
prepared for him at the Jacobins. There also Louis and the court took up
their quarters, and for twelve days, during which the conference lasted,
Louis used to visit the earl in private, passing through a side door into
his apartments. With all this secret and familiar intercourse, no pains
were taken to conceal its existence; and the consequence was such as the
astute and mischievous Louis intended. Reports were forwarded to Edward
from those whom he had placed in Warwick's train, which roused his ever
uncalculating anger. He hastened to the house of Warwick's brother--the
Archbishop of York and Chancellor of the kingdom--demanded the instant
surrender of the seals; and, enforcing the act of resumption of Crown
lands lately passed, deprived the archbishop of two manors formerly
belonging to the Crown.

Warwick returned, as may be supposed, in no very good humour, but still
with every prospect of success in his mission. The court of France was
agreeable to the match. And on the heels of the earl came the Archbishop
of Narbonne and the Bastard of Bourbon to complete the arrangements. They
were prepared to offer an annual pension to Edward from Louis, and to
pledge the king to submit to the Pope Edward's demand for the restoration
of Normandy and Aquitaine, which should be decided within four years.
But the importance of these propositions, and the evident prudence of at
least appearing to listen to the terms of a monarch like that of France,
had no weight with Edward, who was far more distinguished for petulance
and rashness than for policy. He treated the French ambassadors with the
most insulting coldness; and unceremoniously quitted the capital, leaving
his ministers to deal with the ambassadors, and, in fact, to get rid of
them. His resentment against Warwick made him not only thus forget the
courtesy due to the envoys of a great foreign prince--conduct sure to
create its own punishment,--but he gave all the more favour to the suit
of the Count of Charolais from the same cause.

The count had sent over his relative, the Bastard of Burgundy, ostensibly
to hold a tournament with Lord Scales, the queen's brother, but really to
press forward the match with the English princess. The Duke of Burgundy
dying at this juncture, all difficulties vanished. The princess was
affianced to the new Duke of Burgundy.

This completed the resentment of Warwick. The open insult offered to the
court of France, and the rejection of the alliance which he had effected,
sunk deep into his proud mind. He retired to his castle of Middleham, in
Yorkshire; and occasion was taken of his absence from court to accuse
him, on the evidence of one of Queen Margaret's emissaries taken in
Wales, of being a secret partisan of the Lancastrian faction. The charge
failed; but Edward, resolved to mortify and humiliate the man to whom
he owed his throne, affected still to believe him a secret ally of the
Lancastrians, and that his own safety was threatened by him. He therefore
summoned a body-guard of 200 archers, without whose attendance he never
stirred abroad. He expelled the Nevilles from court, and took every means
to express his dislike and suspicion of that house. On the other hand,
the Nevilles repaid the hatred of the upstart family of Woodville with
interest; and from this moment, whatever might be the outward seeming,
the feud betwixt these rival families was settled, deadly, and never
terminated till it had completed the ruin of all parties.

[Illustration: GREAT SEAL OF EDWARD IV.]

At present the Archbishop of York, though suffering under the immediate
severity of the king, was too wise to give way to his resentment. He
justly feared the influence of the Woodvilles with the king, and that it
might prove most injurious to his own family. He therefore stood forth as
a peacemaker. He volunteered a visit to Earl Rivers, the queen's father;
met him at Nottingham, and agreed on terms of reconciliation between
the families. The king, queen, and court were keeping the Christmas of
1467 at Coventry. The archbishop hastened to his brother at Middleham,
and prevailed upon him to accompany him to Coventry, where he was
graciously received by Edward; all subjects of offence betwixt him and
the relatives of the queen--especially her brothers-in-law, the Lords
Herbert, Stafford, and Audley--were arranged; and the king expressed
himself so much pleased with the conduct of the archbishop, that he
restored to him his two manors. This pacific state of things lasted for
little more than a year. On the 18th of June, 1468, the king's sister set
out on her journey to meet her husband in Flanders. The king accompanied
her to the coast; and, as a proof that Warwick at this moment held his
old position of honour at court, the princess rode behind him through
the streets of London. A conspiracy having been discovered, or supposed,
of several gentlemen with Queen Margaret, Warwick and his brother, the
Earl of Northumberland, were joined with the king's brothers, Clarence
and Gloucester, in a commission to try them; and the two Nevilles
certainly executed their part of the trust with a zeal which looked like
anything but disaffection. Very arbitrary measures were used towards the
prisoners, several of whom were condemned and executed.

This calm was soon broken. The Duke of Clarence had from the first
shown as deep a dislike to the ascendency of the Woodvilles as the
Nevilles themselves. This drew him into closer intimacy with Warwick.
He frequently withdrew for long periods from court, and was generally
to be found at one of the residences of Warwick. It soon came out that
there was a cause still more influential than his dislike of the queen's
relations; it was his admiration of the Earl's eldest daughter, Isabella,
who was co-heiress of his vast estates. Warwick was delighted with the
prospect of this alliance, for as yet the king, having no male heir, and
his only daughter being but four years old, Clarence stood as the next
male heir to his brother. Edward, on the contrary, beheld this proposed
connection with the utmost alarm. The Nevilles were already too powerful;
and should Warwick succeed, through Clarence, in placing his descendants
so near the throne, it might produce the most dangerous consequences
to his own line. He therefore did all in his power to frustrate the
marriage, but in vain. Clarence and Warwick retired to Calais, of which
Warwick remained the governor; and there the marriage was celebrated, in
the Church of St. Nicholas, on the 11th of July, 1469.

With the exception of this annoying event, at this moment Edward appeared
so firmly seated on his throne, and so well secured by foreign treaties
with almost all the European powers, and especially with the Dukes of
Burgundy and Brittany, the latter of whom had recently become his ally,
that he actually contemplated the enterprise of recovering by his arms
the territories which his weak predecessor had lost in France. His hatred
of the cold-blooded Louis XI., who in political cunning was infinitely
Edward's superior, probably urged him to this idea. To draw off the
attention of the different factions at home, and find some common medium
of uniting them in action abroad, might be another. The most remarkable
circumstance of all was, that Parliament, after its experience of the
drain which these French wars had been to the blood and resources of the
nation, received the king's proposal with cordial approbation.

But these dreams of martial glory were very quickly swept from the brain
of the king by domestic troubles. At first these troubles appeared to
originate in private and local causes, but there was such food for
combustion existing throughout the kingdom, that the farther they went,
the wider they opened, and at every step onwards assumed more and more
the aspect of a Warwick and Clarence conspiracy. Nothing could be farther
removed from such an appearance than the opening occurrence.

The hospital of St. Leonard, near York, had possessed, from the reign of
King Athelstan, a right of levying a thrave of corn (twenty-four sheaves)
from every ploughland in the county. There had long been complaints that
this grant was grossly abused, and instead of benefiting the poor, as
it was intended, was converted to the emolument of the managers. During
the last reign many had refused in consequence to yield the stipulated
thrave, and Parliament had passed an act to compel the delivery. Now
again the refusal to pay the demand was become general. The vassals
had their goods distrained, and were themselves thrown into prison.
This raised the peasantry, who were all of the old Lancastrian party,
and regarded the present dynasty as usurpers and oppressors. They flew
to arms, under the leadership of one Robert Hilyard, called by the
insurgents Robin of Redesdale, and vowed that they would march south and
reform the Government. Lord Montague, Earl of Northumberland, brother
of Warwick, marched out against them, forming as they now did a body of
15,000 men, and menacing the city of York. He defeated them, seized their
leader Hilyard, and executed him on the field of battle.

So far there appeared certainly no hand of the Nevilles in this movement.
Northumberland did his best to crush it, and Warwick and Clarence
were away at Calais, thinking, apparently, not of rebellion, but of
matrimonial festivities. But the very next move revealed a startling fact.

The insurgents, though dispersed, were by no means subdued. They had lost
their peasant head, but they reappeared in still greater forces, with two
heads, and those no other than the Lords Fitzhugh and Latimer, the nephew
and the cousin-german of Warwick. Northumberland contented himself with
protecting the city of York. He made no attempt to pursue this still more
menacing body, who, dropping their cry of the hospital and the thrave of
corn, declared that their object was to meet the Earl of Warwick, and by
his aid and advice to remove from the councils of the king the swarm of
Woodvilles, whom they charged with being the authors of the oppressive
taxes, and of all the calamities of the nation. The young noblemen who
headed the insurrection were assisted by the military abilities of an old
and experienced officer, Sir William Conyers. At the name of Warwick,
his tenants came streaming from every quarter, and in a few days, the
insurgent army numbered 60,000 men.

Edward, on the news of this formidable movement, called together what
troops he could, and fixed his headquarters at the castle of Fotheringay.
Towards this place the insurgent army marched, growing, as they
proceeded, in numbers and boldness. The whole outcry resolved itself into
a capital charge against the Woodvilles, and the movement being headed
by the Nevilles, there could not be much mystery about the matter. Yet
Edward, after advancing as far as Newark, and becoming intimidated by the
spirit of disaffection which everywhere prevailed, wrote imploringly to
Warwick and Clarence to hasten from Calais to his assistance. The result
was such as might have been expected. Warwick and Clarence, instead of
complying with the king's urgent entreaty, summoned their friends to meet
them at Canterbury, on the following Sunday, to proceed with them to the
king to lay before him the petitions of the Commons.

In this alarming extremity, Edward looked with impatience for the arrival
of the Earls of Devonshire and Pembroke, who had been mustering forces
for his assistance. Devon was at the head of a strong body of archers,
and Pembroke of 10,000 Welshmen. They met at Banbury, where the demon of
discord divided them in their quest of quarters, and made them forget
the critical situation of their sovereign. Pembroke, leaving Devon in
possession, advanced to Edgecote. There he came in contact with the
insurgents, who, falling upon him, deprived as he was of the assistance
of Devon's archers, easily routed him. In this engagement 2,000 of his
soldiers are said to have perished, and Pembroke and his brother were
taken and put to death, with ten other gentlemen, on the field. Devon
made no attempt to restore the fortunes of his party.

This fatal defeat completely annihilated the hopes of Edward. At the news
of it, all his troops stole away from their colours, and his favourites
fled for concealment. But the queen's father, Earl Rivers, was discovered
in the Forest of Dean, with his son, Sir John Woodville; and the Earl
of Devon, late Earl Stafford, the queen's brother-in-law, abandoned by
his soldiers, was taken at Bridgewater. The whole of them were executed,
Rivers and his son Woodville being conveyed to their own neighbourhood,
and beheaded at Northampton.

Warwick, Clarence, and Northumberland, who had, no doubt, conducted all
these movements from a distance, now appeared as principals on the scene.
They marched forward from Canterbury at the head of a powerful force, and
overtook Edward at Olney, plunged in despair at the sudden ruin which had
surrounded him. They approached him with an air of sympathy and loyal
obeisance; and Edward, imposed upon by this, with his usual unguarded
anger, upbraided them with being the real authors of his troubles. He
very soon perceived his folly, for he found himself, not their commander,
but their captive. Warwick dismissed the insurgent army to their homes,
who retired laden with booty, and sensible that they had executed all
that was expected of them. Under protection of their Kentish troops,
they then conducted Edward to Warwick Castle, and thence, for greater
security, to Middleham.

Thus England had at the same time two kings, and both of them captive;
Henry in the Tower of London, Edward at Middleham, in Yorkshire. Men now
expected nothing less than that Warwick would proclaim Clarence as king,
but probably the measures of Warwick and Clarence were deranged by a
fresh insurrection which broke out. This time it was the Lancastrians,
who seized the opportunity to raise again the banner of Henry. They
appeared in the marches of Scotland, under Sir Humphrey Neville, one of
the fugitives from the battle of Hexham. Warwick advanced against him in
the king's name, but he found that the soldiers refused to fight until
they were assured of the king's safety. Warwick was therefore compelled
to produce Edward to the army at York. After that they followed him
against the Lancastrians, whom they defeated, and taking their leader,
brought him to the king, who ordered his instant execution.

Edward was now permitted to return to London, accompanied by several
leaders of the party. There a council of peers was summoned, and then
it appeared that though Warwick's faction had probably not accomplished
all they had intended, they bound the king to terms which, while they
neutralised the hopes of Clarence in some degree, still were calculated
to add to the greatness of the house of Neville. The king announced that
he had proposed to give his daughter, yet only four years old, to George,
the son of the Earl of Northumberland, and presumptive heir of all the
Nevilles. The council gave its unanimous approbation of the measure,
and the young nobleman, to raise his name to a level with his affianced
bride, was created Duke of Bedford.

Outwardly everything was so harmonious, that not only was a general
pardon granted to all who had been in any way concerned in the late
disturbances, but the king and his reconciled friends were again
proposing to invade France in concert with the Duke of Burgundy. The
French court was so convinced of the reality of this invasion that it
commanded a general muster of troops for the 1st of May, 1470.

But the designs of the Nevilles lay nearer home in reality. The
Archbishop of York invited the king to meet Clarence and Warwick at
his seat--the Moor--in Hertfordshire. As Edward was washing his hands
preparatory to supper, John Ratcliff, afterwards Lord Fitzwalter,
whispered in his ear that 100 armed men were on the watch to seize him
and convey him to prison. Edward, having been once before trepanned by
his loving friends, gave instant credence to the information, stole out,
mounted a horse, and rode off to Windsor. This open confession of his
opinion of the Nevilles produced a fresh scene of discord, which, with
some difficulty, was appeased by the king's mother, the Duchess of York,
and the parties were reconciled with just the same sincerity as before.


The Nevilles were now in too critical a position to pause. They or the
king must fall. At any hour some stratagem might surprise them, and
give the advantage to their injured and deadly enemies, the Woodvilles.
Insurrection, therefore, was not long in showing itself again. This time
it broke out in Lincolnshire, and, as in the case of the hospital of St.
Leonard, appeared to have nothing whatever to do with Warwick or his
party. Its ostensible cause was the old grievance of purveyance, and Sir
Robert Burgh, one of the purveyors, was attacked, his house burnt down,
and himself chased out of the county. Had the cause been really local,
there the mischief would have ended; but now again stepped forward a
partisan of Warwick, Sir Robert Wells, who encouraged the rioters to keep
together, and proceed to redress, not the evils of one county, but of the
nation. He put himself at their head, and they soon amounted to 30,000
men. The king required a number of nobles to raise troops with all speed,
and so well did Warwick and Clarence feign loyalty that they were amongst
this number.

Edward summoned Lord Wells, the father of the insurgent chief, and Sir
Thomas Dymoke, the Champion, both Lincolnshire men, to the council, in
order to obtain information of the extent of the insurrection, and to
engage them to exert their influence to check it. Both these gentlemen,
as if conscious of guilt, fled to sanctuary, but, on a promise of pardon,
repaired to court. Edward insisted that Lord Wells should command his
son to lay down his arms, and disperse his followers, with which order
Lord Wells complied; but Sir Robert Wells received at the same time
letters from Warwick and Clarence, encouraging him to hold out, assuring
him that they were on the march to support him. When Edward reached
Stamford, bearing Lord Wells and Dymoke with him, he found Sir Robert
still in arms, and in his anger he wreaked his vengeance on his father,
Lord Wells, and on Dymoke, beheading them in direct violation of his
promise. He then sent a second order to Sir Robert to lay down his arms,
but he replied that he scorned to surrender to a man destitute of honour,
who had murdered his father. Edward then fell upon the insurgents at
Empingham, in Rutlandshire, and made a terrible slaughter of them. The
leaders, Wells and Sir Thomas Delalaunde, were taken and immediately
executed. The inferior prisoners, as dupes to the designs of others, were

Warwick and Clarence made for Calais. But there Warwick's lieutenant,
Vauclerc, a Gascon knight, to whom he had entrusted the care of the city,
refused to admit them. When they attempted to enter, the batteries were
opened upon them; and when they remonstrated on this strange conduct,
Vauclerc sent secretly to inform Warwick that the garrison, aware of what
had taken place in England, were ill affected, and would certainly seize
him if he entered; that his only chance of preserving the place for him
was to appear at present hostile; and he prayed him to retire till a more
favourable opportunity. To Edward, however, Vauclerc sent word that he
would hold the town for him as his sovereign against all attempts--for
which Edward rewarded him with the government of the place, and the Duke
of Burgundy added a pension of a thousand crowns. Warwick and Clarence,
enraged at this unexpected repulse, sailed along the coast towards
Normandy, seizing every Flemish merchantman that fell in their way in
revenge against Burgundy, and entered Harfleur, where they were received
with all honour by the admiral of France.

[Illustration: PREACHING AT ST. PAUL'S CROSS. (_See p._ 50.)]

Low as were now the fortunes of Warwick and Clarence, decided as had
been the failure of their attempts against Edward IV., Louis of France
thought he had, in the possession of these great leaders, a means of
consolidating a formidable party against Edward, who had treated his
alliance with such contempt, and who entered into the closest relations
with his most formidable opponent, the Duke of Burgundy. He therefore
received them at Amboise, where he was holding his court, with the most
marked honours, and ordered them and their ladies to have the best
accommodations that could be procured in the neighbourhood. He proposed
to these two chiefs to coalesce with the Lancastrian party, by which
means they would be sure to gain the instant support of all that faction.
He sent for Queen Margaret, who was then at Angers, and assured her that
Providence had at length prepared the certain means of the restoration of
King Henry and his family.

Warwick engaged, by the assistance of Louis and of the Lancastrians, to
replace Henry again upon the throne. By this means Warwick was to depose,
and if possible to destroy, Edward of York. But Warwick never forgot the
suggestions of his ambition. He must, if possible, sit on the throne
of England in the persons of his descendants. For this he had married
one daughter to Clarence. When the success of Edward had enfeebled his
chance, he had succeeded in affiancing his nephew to the daughter of
Edward, so that if not a Warwick at least a Neville might reign. He
now sacrificed both these hopes to that of placing another daughter on
the throne, as the queen of Margaret's son, the Prince of Wales. This
alliance was the price of Warwick's assistance, and, however bitter might
be the necessity, Margaret submitted to it, and the young Prince of
Wales was forthwith married to Anne, the daughter of Warwick. Warwick
then acknowledged Henry VI. as the rightful sovereign of England, and at
the same time entered into solemn engagements to exert all his power to
reinstate and maintain him on the throne. Margaret on her part swore on
the holy Gospels never to reproach Warwick with the past, but to esteem
him as a loyal and faithful subject. The French king, on the completion
of this reconciliation, engaged to furnish the means necessary for the

Edward, on hearing of the extraordinary meeting and negotiations of
Warwick and Margaret, of the active agency of the French king, and the
proposed marriage of Edward, Prince of Wales, and Anne of Warwick, sent
off a lady of pre-eminent art and address, who belonged to the train of
the Duchess of Clarence, but who had somehow been left behind. The clever
dame no sooner reached the court of Clarence than she expressed to him
and the duchess her amazement at their permitting such a coalition as
the present; that in every point of view it was destructive to their own
hopes, and even security; that the continued adhesion of Warwick and
Margaret was impossible. Their mutual antipathies were too deeply rooted
ever to be eradicated.

Clarence was only one-and-twenty years of age. He was of a slender
capacity, easily guided or misguided, and he agreed, on the first
favourable opportunity, to abandon Warwick and go over to the king.

On the other hand, Warwick was as actively and secretly engaged in
preparing the defection of partisans of the king in England. His
brother, Montague, though he had not deemed it prudent to join Warwick
and Clarence in their unfortunate attempt to raise the country against
Edward, had been suspected by him, and stripped of the earldom of
Northumberland. He was still an ostensible adherent of the king, but
he was watched. Warwick apprised him of the new and wonderful turn of
affairs, and engaged him to keep up a zealous show of loyalty that his
defection at an important moment might tell with the more disastrous
effect on the Yorkist cause.

Edward, satisfied with having detached Clarence from Warwick's interests,
continued as careless as ever. The Duke of Burgundy, more sagacious
than his brother-in-law, the King of England, did all that he could to
arouse him to a sense of his danger, and to obstruct the progress of the
expedition. He sent ambassadors to Paris to complain of the reception
given to the enemies of his brother and ally. He menaced Louis with
instant war if he did not desist from aiding and protecting the English
traitors. He sent spies to watch the proceedings of Vauclerc, in Calais,
and dispatched a squadron to make reprisals on the French merchantmen for
the seizures made by Warwick, and to blockade the mouth of the Seine.
Edward laughed at the fears and precautions of Burgundy. He bade him take
no pains to guard the Channel, for that he should enjoy nothing better
than to see Warwick venture to set foot in England.

He was not long without that pleasure. A tempest dispersed the Burgundian
fleet, and the fleet of Warwick and Clarence, seizing the opportunity,
put to sea, crossed the Channel, and landed on the 13th of September,
1470, without opposition, at Portsmouth and Dartmouth. Warwick had
prepared his own way very skilfully. Edward was deluded by a ruse on the
part of Lord Fitzwalter, the brother-in-law of Warwick, who appeared
in arms in Northumberland, as if meditating an insurrection; by which
means the unwary king was induced to march towards the north, leaving
the southern counties exposed to the invaders. This was the object of
Warwick, and, as soon as it was effected, Fitzwalter retreated into
Scotland. Meantime, the real danger was growing rapidly in the south. The
men of Kent rose in arms; London was thrown into a ferment by Dr. Goddard
preaching at St. Paul's Cross in favour of Henry VI.; and from every
quarter people hastened to the standard of Warwick with such eagerness
that he speedily found himself at the head of 60,000 men.

As London and the southern counties appeared safe, Warwick proclaimed
Henry, and set out to encounter Edward without delay. He advanced towards
Nottingham. Edward, who had taken up his headquarters at Doncaster, had
issued his orders for all who could bear arms to join his banner. They
came in slowly; and Edward, who had ridiculed the idea of the return
of Warwick, saying Burgundy would take care that he did not cross the
sea, was now rudely aroused from his fancied security. He was compelled
with unequal forces to advance against Warwick. A great battle appeared
imminent in the neighbourhood of Nottingham; but the rapid defection
of Edward's adherents rendered that unnecessary. The speedy movements
of Warwick, and the general demonstration in favour of Henry, had not
permitted Clarence to carry into effect his intended transit from
Warwick to Edward, when a startling act of desertion occurred to the
king's side, which completed Edward's ruin. Before Edward could reach
Nottingham, and while lying near the river Welland, in Lincolnshire,
Montague, Warwick's brother, from whom Edward had taken the earldom of
Northumberland, now revenged himself by suddenly marching from York at
the head of 6,000 men, and in the night, and in full concert with his
officers, advancing upon Edward's quarters, his men wearing the red rose
instead of the white, and with loud cries of "God bless King Henry!"

Edward commanded his troops to be put in array to meet the traitor; but
Lord Hastings told him that he had not a regiment that he could rely
upon; that nothing was to be thought of but his personal safety, and that
on the instant. Accordingly, he took horse with the Duke of Gloucester,
the Earl Rivers, seven or eight other noblemen, and a small troop of the
most reliable followers, with whom he rode away. A guard was posted on a
neighbouring bridge to prevent the crossing of Warwick, for he also was
within a day's march of him; and with all haste Edward and his little
band rode at full speed till he reached Lynn, in Norfolk. It is probable
that the royal party had made for this small port on the Wash, knowing
that some vessels which had brought provisions for the troops still lay
there. They found, indeed, a small English ship, and two Dutch vessels,
on board of which they hurried, and put to sea. Edward, on starting from
his quarters, had recommended his army to declare at once for Warwick, as
the best means of saving themselves, and of again rejoining his standard
when opportunity should offer.

The fugitives made sail for the coast of Holland, but no sooner had the
king escaped from his enemies on land than he fell amongst fresh ones
at sea. These were the Easterlings, or mariners of Ostend, who were now
at war with both France and England. The Easterlings were at this time
as terrible at sea as the pirates of Algiers were afterwards. They had
committed great ravages on the English coast, while the nation was thus
engaged in suicidal intestine warfare, and no sooner did they perceive
this little fleet than they immediately gave chase. There were eight
vessels to Edward's three, and to escape the unequal contest, he ran his
vessels aground on the coast of Friesland, near Alkmaar. To ascertain
how Vauclerc, the Governor of Calais, was disposed, in case Warwick
resolved to attack the duke in his own territories, he sent an envoy
to him to sound him. The envoy found all the garrison wearing the red
rose. This discovery added to the alarm and chagrin of Burgundy, and,
while he conceded to Edward a place of refuge, he publicly declared
himself the ally, not of this power or that, but of England, and avowed
himself adverse to Edward's designs, who was to expect no aid from him in
endeavouring to recover his crown.

On the other hand Louis of France was thrown into ecstasies of delight.
He sent for Queen Margaret and her son, the Prince of Wales, who had
been living for years totally neglected, and almost forgotten in their
poverty, and received her in Paris with the most splendid and expensive
pageants and rejoicings. He at the same time despatched a splendid
embassy to Henry at London, and immediately concluded with him a treaty
of peace and commerce for fifteen years.

Warwick and Clarence made their triumphal entry into London on the 6th
of October, 1470. Warwick proceeded to the Tower, and brought forth
King Henry, who had lain there as a captive for five years. Henry was
proclaimed lawful king, and conducted with great pomp through the streets
of London to the bishop's palace, where he resided till the 13th, when
he walked in solemn procession, with the crown upon his head, attended
by his prelates, nobles, and great officers, to St. Paul's, where solemn
thanksgivings were offered up for his restoration.

All this time Clarence was looking on, an immediate spectator of
proceedings which pushed him farther from the throne. To keep him quiet,
Warwick heaped every favour but the actual possession of the kingdom upon
him. He joined him with himself in the regency which was to continue
till the majority of the Prince of Wales; he made him Lord-Lieutenant of
Ireland, and conferred upon him all the estates of the house of York.
Warwick retained himself the offices of Chamberlain of England, Governor
of Calais, High Admiral of the seas; his brother, the archbishop, was
continued Chancellor; and his other brother, Montague, returned to the
Wardenship of the Marches.

Warwick summoned a Parliament, which, surrounded by his troops and his
partisans, of course passed whatever acts he pleased. The crown was
settled on Edward, the Prince of Wales, and his issue; but that failing,
it was to devolve upon Clarence.

Queen Margaret might have been expected, from her characteristic energy
and rapidity of action, to have been in London nearly as soon as Warwick;
but this was not the case. In the first place, she was in want of the
necessary funds. Louis, who was chary of his money, probably thought he
had done sufficient in enabling the victorious armament of Warwick to
reach England; and poor King Réné, Margaret's father, was in no condition
to assist her. In the meantime all the exiled Lancastrians flocked to
her; and all were destitute. In February, 1471, she set sail to cross
the Channel, but was driven back by tempests. Three times did she make
the daring attempt to cross, though warned against it by the seamen of
Harfleur; and every time she was driven back with such fury and damage,
that many declared it was the will of Heaven she should not pass over;
nor was she able to do so till the following month. Till that time
Warwick held England in the name of Henry, and appeared established, if
not exactly on the throne, in the seat of supreme and settled power.

The mock restoration of Henry VI. was not destined to be of long
continuance. The ups and downs of royalty at this period were as rapid
and strange as the shifting scenes of a theatre. There is no part of
our history where we are left so much in the dark as to the real moving
causes. It is difficult to see how Warwick, with his vast popularity,
should, in the course of a single winter, become so unpopular as to
render his fall and the success of Edward so easy. It must be remembered,
however, that there was a secret schism in his party. Clarence was only
waiting to seize a good opportunity to overthrow his father-in-law,
Warwick, and climb the throne himself. Though he was by no means
high-principled, Clarence was not so weak as to build any hopes on
Warwick's having given him the succession in case of the issue of the
Prince of Wales failing. Warwick had married another of his daughters to
the prince, and it was his strongest interest to maintain that line on
the throne.

All these causes undoubtedly co-operated to produce what soon followed.
Burgundy determined to assist Edward to regain his throne, and thus
destroy the ascendency of Warwick. While, therefore, issuing a
proclamation forbidding any of his subjects to follow Edward in his
expedition, he privately sent to him the cross of St. Andrew; and a gift
of 50,000 florins furnished him with four large ships, which were fitted
up and stored for him at Vere, in Walcheren. Besides these, he hired for
him fourteen ships from the merchants of the Hanse Towns, to transport
his troops from Flushing to England. These transactions could leave no
question in the minds of the subjects of Burgundy which way lay the real
feelings of their sovereign. But the number of troops embarking with
Edward was not such as to give to the enterprise a Burgundian appearance.
The soldiers furnished him were only 2,000. Edward undoubtedly relied on
information sent him from England as to the forces there ready to join

The fleet of Edward steered for the Suffolk coast. It was in the south
that the Yorkist influence lay, and Clarence was posted in that quarter
at the head of a considerable force. But Warwick's preparations were too
strong in that quarter; an active body of troops, under a brother of
the Earl of Oxford, deterred the invaders from any attempt at landing.
They proceeded northward, finding no opportunity of successfully
getting on shore till they reached the little port of Ravenspur, in
Yorkshire--singularly enough, the very place where Henry IV. landed when
he deposed Richard II. From this same port now issued the force which was
to terminate his line.

At first, however, the undertaking wore anything but a promising
aspect. The north was the very stronghold of the Lancastrian faction,
and openly was displayed the hostility of the inhabitants towards the
returned Yorkist monarch. But Edward, with that ready dishonesty which
is considered defensible in the strife for crowns, solemnly declared
that he had abandoned for himself all claims on the throne; that he saw
and acknowledged the right of Henry VI. and his line, and for himself
only desired the happy security of a private station. His real and
most patriotic design, he gave out, was to put down the turbulent and
overbearing power of Warwick, and thus give permanent tranquillity to the
country, which never could exist so long as Warwick lived. He exhibited
a forged safe-conduct from the Earl of Northumberland; he declared that
he sought for himself nothing but the possessions of the Duke of York,
his father; he mounted in his bonnet an ostrich feather, the device of
the Prince of Wales, and ordered his followers to shout "Long live King
Henry!" in every place through which they passed.

These exhibitions of his untruth were too barefaced to deceive any one.
The people still stood aloof, and, on reaching the gates of York, Edward
found them closed against him. But by the boldest use of the same lying
policy, Edward managed to prevail on the mayor and aldermen to admit
him. He swore the most solemn oath that he abjured the crown for ever,
and would do all in his power to maintain Henry and his issue upon it.
Not satisfied with this, the clergy demanded that he should repeat this
oath most emphatically before the high altar in the cathedral. Edward
assented with alacrity, and would undoubtedly have sworn anything and any
number of oaths to the same effect. He then marched in with that bold
precipitance which was the secret of his success, and which, as in the
case of the great Napoleon, always threw his enemies into consternation
and confusion. At Pontefract lay the Marquis of Montague, Warwick's
brother, with a force superior to that of Edward, and all the world
looked to see him throw himself across the path of the invader, and to
set battle against him. Nothing of the kind; Montague lay still in the
fortress, and Edward, marching within four miles of this commander, went
on his way without any check from him.

[Illustration: BATTLE OF BARNET: DEATH OF THE KING-MAKER. (_See p._ 34.)]

As Edward approached the midland counties, and especially when he had
crossed the Trent, the scene changed rapidly in his favour. He had
left the Lancastrian districts behind, and reached those where Yorkism
prevailed. People now flocked to his standard. At Nottingham the Lord
Stanley, Sir Thomas Parr, Sir James Harrington, Sir Thomas Montgomery,
and several other gentlemen, came in with reinforcements. Edward felt
himself strong enough to throw off the mask: he assumed the title of
king, and marched towards Coventry, where lay Warwick and Clarence with a
force sufficient to punish this odious perjury. But a fresh turn of the
royal kaleidoscope was here to astonish the public. Edward challenged
the united army of Warwick and Clarence on the 29th of March, 1471. In
the night, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, paid a visit to his brother
Clarence. The two brothers flew into each other's arms with a transport
which, if not that of genuine affection, was at least that of successful
conspiracy. The morning beheld the army of Clarence, amounting to 12,000
men, arrayed, not on the part of Warwick, but of Edward, the soldiers
wearing, not the red, but the white rose over their gorgets.

Here, then, was fully disclosed the secret which had induced Edward to
march on so confidently through hostile districts, and people standing
aloof from his banners. Clarence, whether in weak simplicity, or under
the influence of others, sent to Warwick to apologise for his breach of
his most solemn oaths, and offered to become mediator betwixt him, his
father-in-law, and Edward his brother. Warwick rejected the offer with
disdain, refusing all further intercourse with the perjured Clarence;
but he was now too weak to engage him and Edward, and the Yorkist king
then boldly advanced towards the capital. The gates of the city, like
those of York, he found closed against him, but he possessed sufficient
means to unlock the one as he had done the other. There were upwards
of 2,000 persons of rank and influence, including no less than 400
knights and gentlemen, crowded into the various sanctuaries of London
and Westminster, who were ready not only to declare, but to act in his
favour. The ladies, who were charmed with the gay and gallant disposition
of Edward, were avowedly his zealous friends; and perhaps still more
persuasive was the fact that the jovial monarch owed large sums to the
merchants, who saw in his return their only chance of payment. Edward
even succeeded in securing the Archbishop of York, who was, in his
brother Warwick's absence, the custodian of the city and the person
of King Henry. All regard to oaths, and all fidelity to principle or
party, seemed to have disappeared at this epoch. By permission of the
archbishop, Edward was admitted on Thursday, April 2nd, by a postern into
the bishop's palace, where he found the poor and helpless King Henry, and
immediately sent him to the Tower.

So confident now was Edward of victory, that he disdained to shelter
himself any longer within the walls of the city, but marched out against
the enemy. It was late on Easter eve when the two armies met on Barnet
Common. Both had made long marches, Edward having left London that day.
The Earl of Warwick, being first on the ground, had chosen his position.
Edward, who came later, had to make his arrangements in the dark, the
consequence of which was, that he committed a great error. His right
wing, instead of confronting the left wing of Warwick, was opposed to his
centre, and the left wing of Edward consequently had no opponents, but
stretched far away to the west. Daylight must have discovered this error,
and most probably fatally for Edward; but day--the 14th of April--came
accompanied by a dense fog, believed to have been raised by a celebrated
magician, Friar Bungy. The left wing of each army, advancing through the
obscurity of the fog, and finding no enemy, wheeled in the direction of
the main body. By this movement the left wing of Warwick trampled down
the right wing of Edward, and defeating it, pursued the flying Yorkists
through Barnet on the way to London.

Meantime, the left wing of the Yorkists, instead of encountering the
right of the Lancastrians, came up so as to strengthen their own centre,
where Edward and Warwick were contending with all their might against
each other. Both chiefs were in the very front of the battle, which was
raging with the utmost fury. Warwick, contrary to his custom, had been
persuaded by his brother Montague to dismount, send away his horse, and
fight on foot.

The battle commenced at four o'clock in the morning, and lasted till
ten. The rage of the combatants was terrible, and the slaughter was
proportionate, for Edward, exasperated at the commons, who had shown such
favour to Warwick on all occasions, had, contrary to his usual custom,
issued orders to spare none of them, and to kill all the leaders if
possible. The conflict was terminated by a singular mistake. The device
of the Earl of Oxford, who was fighting for Warwick, was a star with
rays, emblazoned both on the front and back of his soldiers' coats. The
device of Edward's own soldiers on this occasion was a sun with rays.
Oxford had beaten his opponents in the field, and was returning to assist
Warwick, when Warwick's troops, mistaking through the mist the stars of
Oxford for the sun of Edward, fell upon Oxford's followers, supposing
them to be Yorkists, and put them to flight. Oxford fled with 800 of
his soldiers, supposing himself the object of some fatal treachery,
while, on the other hand, Warwick, weakened by the apparent defection of
Oxford, and his troops thrown into confusion, rushed desperately into the
thickest of the enemy, trusting thus to revive the courage of his troops,
and was thus slain, fighting.

No sooner was the body of Warwick, stripped of its armour and covered
with wounds, discovered on the field, than his forces gave way, and fled
amain. Thus fell the great "king-maker," who so long had kept alive the
spirit of contention, placing the crown first on one head and then on
another. With him perished the power of his faction and the prosperity of
his family. On the field with him lay all the chief lords who fought on
his side, except the Earl of Oxford and the Duke of Somerset, who escaped
into Wales, and joined Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke, who was in
arms for Henry. The Duke of Exeter was taken up for dead, but being found
to be alive, he was conveyed by his servants secretly to the sanctuary
at Westminster; but the holiness of the sanctuary does not appear to
have proved any defence against the lawless vengeance of Edward, for,
some months after, his dead body was found floating in the sea near
Dover. On the side of Edward fell the Lords Say and Cromwell, Sir John
Lisle, the son of Lord Berners, and many other squires and gentlemen.
The soldiers who fell on both sides have been variously stated at from
1,000 to 10,000; the number more commonly credited is about 1,500. The
dead were buried where they fell, and a chapel was erected near the spot
for the repose of their souls. The battle-field is now marked by a stone
obelisk. The bodies of Warwick and Montague were exposed for three days,
naked, on the floor of St. Paul's Church, as a striking warning against
subjects interfering with kings and crowns. They were then conveyed to
the burial-place of their family in the abbey of Bilsam, in Berkshire.

In the fall of Warwick Edward might justly suppose that he saw the only
real obstacle to the permanency of his own power; but Margaret was still
alive. She was no longer, however, the elastic and indomitable Margaret
who had led her forces up to the battles of St. Albans, Northampton,
Wakefield, Towton, and Hexham. On the day that she landed at Weymouth,
imagining she had now nothing to do but to march in triumph to London,
and resume with her husband their vacant throne, the fatal battle of
Barnet was fought. The first news she received was of the total overthrow
of her party and the death of Warwick. The life of the great king-maker
might have caused her future trouble; his fall was her total ruin.
Confounded by the tidings, her once lofty spirit abandoned her, and she
sank on the ground in a swoon.

It was the plan of her generals to hasten to Pembroke; and, having
effected a junction with him, to proceed to Cheshire, to render the army
effective by a good body of archers. But Edward, always rapid in his
movements, allowed them no time for so formidable a combination. He left
London on the 19th of April, and reached Tewkesbury on the 3rd of May.
Margaret and her company set out from Bath, and prepared to cross the
Severn at Gloucester, to join Pembroke and Jasper Tudor. But the people
of Gloucester had fortified the bridge, and neither threats nor bribes
could induce them to let her pass. She then marched on to Tewkesbury,
near which they found Edward already awaiting them.

The troops being worn down by the fatigue of a long and fearful march,
Margaret was in the utmost anxiety to avoid an engagement, and to press
on to their friends in Wales. But Somerset represented that such a thing
was utterly impossible. For a night and a day the foot-soldiers had been
plunging along for six-and-thirty miles through a foul country--all
lanes, and stony ways, betwixt woods, and having no proper refreshment.
To move farther in the face of the enemy was out of the question. He must
pitch his camp in the park, and take such fortune as God should send.

The queen, as well as the most experienced officers of the army, were
much averse from this, but the duke either could not or would not move,
and Edward presented himself in readiness for battle. Thus compelled to
give up the cheering hope of a junction with the Welsh army, Margaret and
her son did all in their power to inspire the soldiers with courage for
this most eventful conflict. The next morning, being the 4th of May, the
forces were drawn out in order. The Duke of Somerset took the charge of
the main body. The Prince of Wales commanded the second division under
the direction of Lord Wenlock and the Prior of St. John's. The Earl of
Devonshire brought up the rear. The Lancastrian army was entrenched
in a particularly strong position on the banks of the Severn; having,
both in front and on the flanks, a country so deeply intersected with
lanes, hedges, and ditches, that there was scarcely any approaching it.
This grand advantage, however, was completely lost by the folly and
impetuosity of the Duke of Somerset, who, not content to defend himself
against the superior forces and heavier artillery of Edward, rushed
out beyond the entrenchments, where he was speedily taken in flank by
a body of 200 spearsmen, and thrown into confusion. The Lancastrians
were utterly defeated, and the Prince of Wales fell on the field, or,
according to other accounts, was put to death immediately after the
battle. Somerset was condemned and beheaded.

No fate can be conceived more consummately wretched than that of
Margaret now--her cause utterly ruined, her only son slain, her husband
and herself the captives of their haughty enemies. They who had thus
barbarously shed the blood of the prince might, with a little cunning,
shed that of her husband and herself. No such good fortune awaited
Margaret. She was doomed to hear of the death of her imprisoned consort,
and to be left to long years of grief over the utter wreck of crown,
husband, child, and friends--a great and distinguished band.

Edward returned to London triumphant over all his enemies, and the next
morning Henry VI. was found dead in the Tower. It was given out that he
died of grief and melancholy, but nobody at that day doubted that he was
murdered, and it was generally attributed to Richard of Gloucester, but
probably without reason. The continuator of the chronicles of Croyland
prays that the doer of the deed, whoever he was, may have time for
repentance, and declares that it was done by "an agent of the tyrant" and
a subject of the murdered king. Who was this? The chronicler in Leland
points it out plainly. "That night," he says, "King Henry was put to
death in the Tower, the Duke of Gloucester and divers of his men being
there." Fabyan, also a contemporary, says, "Divers tales were told, but
the most common fame went that he was sticked with a dagger by the hands
of the Duke Gloucester."

To satisfy the people the same means were resorted to as in the case of
Richard II. The body of the unfortunate king was conveyed on a bier, with
the face exposed, from the Tower through Cheapside to St. Paul's. Four
of the principal chroniclers of the day assert that the fresh blood from
his wounds "welled upon the pavement," giving certain evidence of the
manner of his death; and the same thing occurred when he was removed to
Blackfriars. To get rid of so unsatisfactory a proof of Henry's natural
death the body was the same day put into a barge with a guard of soldiers
from Calais, and thus, says the Croyland chronicler, "without singing or
saying, he was conveyed up the dark waters of the Thames at midnight, to
his silent interment at Chertsey Abbey, where it was long pretended that
miracles were performed at his tomb."

Henry's reputation for holiness during his life, and his tragical death,
occasioned such a resort to his tomb, that Gloucester, on mounting
the throne as Richard III., caused the remains of the poor king to be
removed, it was said, to Windsor. Afterwards, when Henry VII. wished
to convey them to Westminster, they could not be found, having been
carefully concealed from public attention.

Margaret, who was conveyed to the Tower the very night on which her
husband was murdered there, was at first rigorously treated. There
had been an attempt on the part of the Bastard of Falconberg, who was
vice-admiral under Warwick, to liberate Henry, during the absence
of Edward and Gloucester, at the battle of Tewkesbury. He landed at
Blackwall with a body of marines, and, calling on the people of Essex and
Kent to aid him, made two desperate attempts to penetrate to the Tower,
burning Bishopsgate, but was repulsed, and on the approach of Edward,
retreated. To prevent any similar attempt in favour of Margaret she was
successively removed to Windsor, and lastly to Wallingford. She remained
a prisoner for five years, when at the entreaty of King Réné, she was
ransomed by Louis of France, and retired to the castle of Reculé, near
Angers. She died at the château of Dampierre, near Saumur, in 1482, in
the fifty-third year of her age.

The two brothers, Clarence and Gloucester, came now, on the first return
of peace, to quarrel at the very foot of the throne for the vast property
of Warwick. Edward would fain have forgotten everything else in his
pleasures. The blood upon his own hands gave him no concern; he was only
anxious to devote his leisure hours to Jane Shore, the silversmith's
wife, whom he had, like numbers of other ladies, seduced from her duty.
But Clarence and Gloucester broke through his gaieties with their
wranglings and mutual menaces.

The fact was, that Clarence having, as we have seen, married Isabella,
the eldest daughter, was determined, if possible, to monopolise all the
property of Warwick, as if the eldest daughter were sole heiress. But
Gloucester, who was always on the look out for his own aggrandisement,
now cast his eyes on Anne, the other daughter, who had been married to
the Prince of Wales. Clarence, aware that he should have a daring and a
lawless rival in Gloucester, in regard to the property, opposed the match
with all his might. On this point they rose to high words and much heat.
Clarence declared at length that Richard might marry Anne if he pleased,
but that he should have no share whatever in the property; but only let
Richard get the lady, and he would soon possess himself of the lands.
The question was debated by the two brothers with such fury before the
council, that civil war was anticipated.

All this time the property was rightfully that of the widow of Warwick,
the mother of the two young ladies. Anne, the Countess of Warwick,
was the sole heiress of the vast estates of the Despensers and the
Beauchamps, Earls of Warwick. To all the great court party, who had
once been her friends--as the world calls friendship--and many of them
her humble flatterers and admirers, she applied from her sanctuary at
Beaulieu, in the most moving terms, for their kind aid in obtaining a
modicum of freedom and support out of her own lands, the most wealthy
in England. But it was not her that the two princes courted, it was her
property; and nobody dared or cared to move a finger in favour of the
once great Anne of Warwick. The daughter, Anne, so far from desiring to
marry Richard of Gloucester, detested him. Cooperating, therefore, with
the wishes and interests of Clarence, she, by his assistance, escaped
out of the sanctuary of Beaulieu, where she had been with the countess,
her mother, and disappeared. For some time no trace of her could be
discovered; but Gloucester had his spies and emissaries everywhere; and,
at length, the daughter of Warwick, and the future queen of England, was
found in the guise of a cookmaid in London. Gloucester removed her to the
sanctuary of St. Martin's-le-Grand. Afterwards she was allowed to visit
her uncle, the Archbishop of York, before his disgrace, and the Queen
Margaret in the Tower. All this was probably conceded by Gloucester in
order to win Anne's favour; but Anne still repelling with disgust his
addresses, he refused her these solaces, and procuring the removal of her
mother from Beaulieu, sent her, under the escort of Sir John Tyrrell,
into the north, where he is said to have kept her confined till his own
death, even while she was his mother-in-law. Anne was at length compelled
to marry the hated Gloucester; and her hatred appeared to increase from
nearer acquaintance, for she was soon after praying for a divorce.

[Illustration: BURIAL OF KING HENRY. (_See p._ 36.)]

The king was compelled to award to Gloucester a large share of Warwick's
property; and the servile Parliament passed an act in 1474, embodying the
disgraceful commands of these most unnatural and unprincipled princes.
The two daughters were to succeed to the Warwick property, as though
their mother, the possessor in her own right, were dead. If either of
them should die before her husband, he should continue to retain her
estates during his natural life. If a divorce should take place between
Richard and Anne, for which Anne was striving, Richard was still to
retain her property, provided he married or did his best to marry her to
some one else. Thus, by this most iniquitous arrangement, while Richard
kept his wife's property, they made it a motive with her to force her
into some other alliance, if not so hateful, perhaps more degrading. It
is impossible to conceive the tyranny of vice and selfishness carried
farther than in these odious transactions. But this was not all. There
was living a son of the Marquis of Montague, Warwick's brother; and to
prevent any claim from him as next heir male, all such lands as he might
become the claimant of were tied upon Clarence and Gloucester, and their
heirs, so long as there should remain any heirs male of the marquis. By
these means did these amiable brothers imagine that they had stepped into
the full and perpetual possession of the enormous wealth of the great
Warwick. Edward, having rather smoothed over than appeased the jealousies
of his brothers, now turned his ambition to foreign conquest.

In all his contests at home, Edward had shown great military talents.
He had fought ten battles, and never lost one; for at the time of the
treason of Lord Montague in 1470, he had not fought at all, but, deserted
by his army, had fled to Flanders. He had always entertained a flattering
idea that he could emulate the martial glory of the Edwards and of Henry
V., and once more recover the lost territories of France, and the lost
prestige of the British arms on the Continent. His relations with France
and Burgundy were such as encouraged this roseate notion. Louis XI. had
supported the claims of Henry, and accomplishing the alliance of Margaret
and his most formidable enemy Warwick, had sent them to push him from his
throne. The time appeared to be arrived for inflicting full retribution.
Burgundy was his brother-in-law, and had aided him in recovering his
crown. True, the assistance of Burgundy had not been prompted by love to
him, but by enmity to Warwick and Louis; nor had his reception of him in
his distress been such as to merit much gratitude, but he did not care to
probe too deeply into the motives of the prince; the great matter was,
that Burgundy was the antagonist of Louis, and their interests were,
therefore, the same.

The Duke of Burgundy, formerly Count of Charolais--called Charles le
Téméraire, or the Bold--was no match for the cold and politic Louis XI.
He and his ally, the Duke of Brittany, fancied themselves incapable of
standing their ground against Louis, and now made an offer of mutual
alliance to Edward, for the purpose of enforcing their common claims
in France. Nothing could accord more with the desires of Edward than
this proposition. He had employed 1473 in settling his disputes with
the Hanse Towns, in confirming the truce with Scotland, and renewing
his alliances with Portugal and Denmark. His Parliament had granted
him large supplies. They voted him a tenth of rents, or two shillings
in the pound, calculated to produce at that day £31,460, equal to more
than £300,000 of our present money. They then added to this a whole
fifteenth, and three-quarters of another. But when Edward entered into
the scheme of Burgundy and Brittany for the French conquest, they
granted him permission to raise any further moneys by what were called
_benevolences_, or free gifts--a kind of exaction perhaps more irksome
than any other, because it was vague, arbitrary, and put the advances of
the subjects on the basis of loyalty. Such a mode of fleecing the people
had been resorted to under Henry III. and Richard II. Now there was added
a clause to the Act of Parliament, providing that the proceeds of the
fifteenth should be deposited in religious houses, and, if the French
campaign should not take place, should be refunded to the people: as if
any one had ever heard of taxes, once obtained, ever being refunded to
the payers!

All being in readiness, Edward passed over from Sandwich to Calais, where
he landed on the 22nd of June, 1475. He had with him 1,500 men-at-arms,
and 15,000 archers, an army with which the former Edwards would have
made Louis tremble on his throne. He dispatched Garter-king-at-arms with
a letter of defiance to Louis, demanding nothing less than the crown of
France. The position of Louis was to all appearance most critical. If
Burgundy, Brittany, and the Count of St. Pol, the Constable of France,
who had entered into the league against him, had acted wisely and
faithfully together, the war must have been as dreadful, and the losses
of France as severe, as in the past days. But probably Louis was well
satisfied of the crumbling character of the coalition. Comines, who was
at the time in the service of Louis, has left us ample accounts of these
transactions and, according to them, the conduct of the French king was
masterly in the extreme. Instead of firing with resentment at the proud
demands of the letter, he took the herald politely into his private
closet, and there, in the most courteous and familiar manner, told him
he was sorry for this misunderstanding with the King of England; that,
for his part, he had the highest respect for Edward, and desired to be
on amicable terms with him, but that he knew very well that all this was
stirred up by the Duke of Burgundy and the Constable St. Pol, who would
be the very first to abandon Edward, if any difficulty arose, or after
they had got their own turn served. He put it to the herald how much
better it would be for England and France to be on good terms, and gave
the greatest weight to his arguments by smilingly placing in Garter's
hand a purse of 300 crowns, assuring him that if he used his endeavours
effectually to preserve the peace between the two kingdoms, he would add
to it a thousand more.

The herald was so completely captivated by the suavity, the sound
reasons, and the money of Louis, that he promised to do everything in his
power to promote a peace, and advised the king to open a correspondence
with the Lords Howard and Stanley, noblemen not only high in the favour
of Edward, but secretly adverse to this expedition. This being settled,
Louis committed Garter-king-at-arms to the care of Philip de Comines,
telling him to give the herald publicly a piece of crimson velvet thirty
ells in length, as though it were the only present, and to get him away
as soon as he could, with all courtesy, without allowing him to hold any
communication with the courtiers. This being done, Louis summoned his
great barons and the rest of the courtiers around him, and ordered the
letter of defiance to be read aloud, all the time sitting with a look of
the greatest tranquillity, for he was himself much assured by what he had
heard from the herald.

The words of Louis came rapidly to pass as regarded Edward's allies.
Nothing could equal the folly of Burgundy and the treachery of the
others. Charles the Rash, instead of coming up punctually with his
promised forces, and in his usual wild way, led them to avenge some
affront from the Duke of Lorraine, and the princes of Germany, far away
from the really important scene of action. When the duke appeared in
Edward's camp, with only a small retinue instead of a large army, and
there was no prospect of his rendering any effective aid that summer,
Edward was highly chagrined. All his officers were eager for the
campaign, promising themselves a renewal of the fame and booty which
their fathers had won. But when Edward advanced from Péronne, where he
lay, to St. Quentin, on the assurances of Burgundy that St. Pol, who held
it, would open its gates to him, and when, instead of such surrender, St.
Pol fired on his troops from the walls, the king's wrath knew no bounds;
he upbraided the duke with his conduct in thus deceiving and making a
laughing-stock of him, and Burgundy retired in haste from the English
camp. To add to Edward's disgust, Burgundy and his subjects had from the
first landing of the English betrayed the utmost reluctance to admit the
British forces into any of their towns. Artois and Picardy were shut
against them, as if they came, not as allies, but as intending conquerors.

Precisely at this juncture, the herald returned with his narrative of
his kind reception, and the amiable disposition of Louis. This was by
no means unwelcome in the present temper of Edward. It gave him the
most direct prospect of punishing his perfidious allies. On the heels
of Garter-king-at-arms arrived heralds from Louis, confirming all he
had stated, and offering every means of pacification. The king called a
council in the camp of Péronne, in which it was resolved to negotiate a
peace with France on three grounds--the approach of winter, the absence
of all supplies for the army, and the failure of assistance from the
allies. For two months, while the terms of this treaty were being
discussed, the agents and money of Louis were freely circulating amongst
the courtiers and ministers of Edward.

The plenipotentiaries found all their labours wonderfully smoothed by the
desire of Louis to see the soil of France as soon as possible clear of
the English army. The French King agreed to almost everything proposed,
never intending to fulfil a tithe of his contracts. A truce for seven
years was concluded at Amiens. The King of France agreed to pay the
King of England 75,000 crowns within the next fifteen days; and 50,000
crowns a year during their joint lives, to be paid in London. Apparently
prodigal of his money, it was at this time that Louis paid 50,000 crowns
for the ransom of Queen Margaret. To bind the alliance still more firmly,
Edward proposed that the dauphin should marry his eldest daughter,
Elizabeth, which was readily assented to. To testify his great joy in the
termination of this treaty, Louis sent 300 cart-loads of the best wines
of France into the English camp, and proposed, in order to increase the
feeling of friendship between the two monarchs, that they should have a
personal interview before Edward's departure.

The treaty being signed, Gloucester and some others of the chief nobility
who were averse from the peace, and therefore would not attend the
meeting of the kings, now rode into Amiens to pay their court to him, and
Louis received them with that air of pleasure which he could so easily
put on, entertained them luxuriously, and presented them with rich gifts
of plate and horses.

Thus was this singular treaty concluded, and each monarch thought most
advantageously to himself. Edward had paid off the Duke of Burgundy for
neglecting to fulfil his agreement as to the campaign, and he now sent
the duke word, patronisingly, that if he wished, he would get a similar
truce for him; to which Burgundy sent an indignant answer. Edward had,
moreover, got a good round sum of money to pay his army, and a yearly
income of 50,000 crowns for life. Like Charles II. afterwards, he did
not trouble himself about the disgrace and disadvantage of having made
himself a pensioner of France. Besides this, he had arranged to set his
eldest daughter on the French throne after Louis' decease.

The people were very much of the French king's opinion, that their own
monarch had been sadly over-reached. The army, which on its return was
disbanded, promoted this feeling everywhere. The soldiers came back
disappointed of the plunder of France, and accordingly vented their
chagrin on the king and his courtiers, who for their private emolument
had sold, they said, the honour of the nation. As to the general terms of
the peace, the people had good cause to be satisfied. It was much better
for the nation to be left at liberty to pursue its profitable trade than
to be year after year drained of its substance to carry on a useless war.
But the real cause of discontent was the annual bribe, which bound the
king and his court to wink at any proceedings of France on the Continent
against our allies and commercial connections, and even to suffer
intrusions on our own trade, rather than incur the danger of losing the
pay of the French king.

Edward endeavoured to silence these murmurs by severity. He sent amongst
the people spies who reported any obnoxious language, and he punished
offenders without mercy. At the same time, he extended an equally stern
hand towards all disturbers of the peace; the disbanded soldiers having
collected into hordes, and spread murder and rapine through several of
the counties. Seeing, however, that the general discontent was such
that, should some Wat Tyler or Jack Cade arise, the consequences might
be terrible, he determined to ease the burdens of the people at the
expense of the higher classes. He therefore ordered a rigorous exaction
of the customs; laid frequent tenths on the clergy; resumed many of the
estates of the Crown; and compelled the holders of estates to compound by
heavy fines for the omission of any of their duties as feudal tenants.
He moreover entered boldly into trade. Instead of permitting his ships
to lie rotting in port--since he had no occasion for them as transport
vessels,--he sent out in them wool, tin, cloth, and other merchandise,
and brought back from the ports of the Levant the produce of the East.
By these means Edward became the wealthiest monarch of Europe, and while
he soon grew popular with the people, who felt the weight of taxation
annually decreasing, he became equally formidable to those who had more
reason to complain.

But however generally prosperous was the remainder of Edward's reign,
it was to himself filled with the deepest causes of grief and remorse.
The part which his brother Clarence had taken, his allying himself
to Warwick, with the design to depose Edward and secure the crown to
himself, could never be forgotten. He had been named the successor to
the Prince of Wales, the son of Henry VI., and, should anything happen
to Edward, might assert that claim to the prejudice of his own son.
Still further, Clarence had given mortal offence to the queen. Her
father and her brother had been put to death in Clarence's name. Her
brother Anthony, afterwards, had narrowly escaped the same fate from
the orders of Clarence. He had been forward in the charge of sorcery
against her mother, the Duchess Jacquetta. Scarcely less had he incensed
his brother Richard of Gloucester, the vindictive and never forgiving,
by his opposition to his marriage with Anne of Warwick, and to sharing
any of Warwick's property with him. Clarence was immensely rich, from
the possession of the bulk of Warwick's vast estates, and he seems to
have borne himself haughtily, as if he were another Warwick. He was at
the head of a large party of malcontents, those who hated and envied the
queen's family, and those who had been made to yield up their valuable
grants from the crown under Henry VI. Clarence himself was one of the
reluctant parties thus forced to disgorge some of his lands, under the
act of resumption, on Edward's return from France. While brooding over
this offence, his wife Isabella of Warwick died, on the 22nd of December,
1476, just after the birth of her third child. Clarence, who was so
extremely attached to her that he was almost beside himself at the loss,
accused, brought to trial, and procured the condemnation of one of her
attendants, on the charge of having poisoned her.

Directly after this, January 5th, 1477, the Duke of Burgundy fell at
the battle of Nancy, in his vain struggle against the Duke of Lorraine,
backed by the valiant Swiss. His splendid domains fell to his only
daughter, Mary, who immediately became the object of the most eager
desire to numerous princes. Louis of France disdained to sue for her
hand for the Dauphin, but attacked her territories, and hoped to secure
both them and her by conquest. There had been some treaty for her by the
Archduke Maximilian, of Austria, for his son during the late duke's life;
but now Clarence aroused himself from his grief for the loss of his wife,
and made zealous court, on his own account, to this great heiress. Her
mother, Margaret, the sister of Clarence, favoured his suit warmly, but
the idea of such an alliance struck Edward with dismay. Clarence already
was far too powerful. Should he succeed in placing himself at the head
of one of the most powerful states on the Continent, and with his avowed
claims on the English crown, and his undisguised enmity to Edward's queen
and family, the mischief he might do was incalculable.

[Illustration: LOUIS XI. AND THE HERALD. (_See p._ 38.)]

Edward, therefore, lost no time in putting in his most decided
opposition. In this cause he was zealously seconded by Gloucester. But if
ever there was a choice of a rival most unfortunate, and even insulting,
it was that put forward by Edward against Clarence, in the person of
Lord Rivers, the queen's brother. This match was rejected by the court
of Burgundy with disdain, and only heightened the hatred of the queen in
England--an odium which fell heavily on her in after years. She was now
regarded as a woman who, not content with filling all the chief houses of
England with her kin, aimed at filling the highest Continental thrones
with them. The result was that Edward succeeded in defeating Clarence
without gaining his own, or rather his wife's, object.

From this moment Clarence became at deadly feud with Edward and all his
family. The king, the queen, and Gloucester, united in a league against
him, which, where such men were concerned--men never scrupling to destroy
those who opposed them--boded him little good. The conduct of Clarence
was calculated to exasperate this enmity, and to expose him to its
attacks. He vented his wrath against all the parties who had thwarted
him, king, queen, and Gloucester, in the bitterest and most public
manner; and on the other side, occasions were found to stimulate him to
more disloyal conduct. They began with attacking his friends and members
of his household. John Stacey, a priest in his service, was charged with
having practised sorcery to procure the death of Lord Beauchamp, and
being put to the torture was brought to confess that Thomas Burdett,
a gentleman of Arrow, in Warwickshire, also a gentleman of the duke's
household, and greatly beloved by Clarence, was an accomplice. It was
well understood why this confession was wrung from the poor priest.
Thomas Burdett had a fine white stag in his park, on which he set great
value. Edward in hunting had shot this stag, and Burdett, in his anger at
the deed, had been reported to have said that he wished the horns of the
deer were in the stomach of the person who had advised the king to insult
him by killing it. This speech, real or imaginary, had been carefully
conveyed to the king, and he thus took his revenge. Thomas Burdett was
accused of high treason, tried, and, by the servile judges and jury,
condemned, and beheaded at Tyburn.

Clarence had exerted himself to save the lives of both these persons
in vain. They both died protesting their innocence, and the next day
Clarence entered the council, bringing Dr. Goddard, a clergyman, who
appeared on various occasions in those times as a popular agitator.
Goddard attested the dying declarations of the sufferers; and Clarence,
with an honourable but imprudent zeal, warmly denounced the destruction
of his innocent friends. Edward and the court were at Windsor, and these
proceedings were duly carried thither by the enemies of Clarence. Soon
it was reported that, having for many days sat sullenly silent at the
council-board, with folded arms, he had started up and uttered the most
disloyal words, accusing the queen of sorcery, which she had learned of
her mother, and even implicating the king in the accusation.

The fate of Clarence was sealed. The queen and Gloucester were vehement
against him. Edward hurried to Westminster; Clarence was arrested and
conducted by the king himself to the Tower. On the 16th of January a
Parliament was assembled, and Edward himself appeared as the accuser
of his brother at the bar of the Lords. He charged him with a design
to dethrone and destroy him and his family. He retorted upon him the
charge of sorcery, and of dealing with masters of the black art for
this treasonable purpose; that to raise a rebellion he had supplied his
servants with vast quantities of money, wine, venison, and provisions, to
feast the people, and to fill their minds at such feasts with the belief
that Burdett and Stacey had been wrongfully put to death; that Clarence
had engaged numbers of people to swear to stand by him and his heirs as
rightful claimants of the throne--asserting that Edward was, in truth, a
bastard, and had no right whatever to the crown; that to gain the throne,
and support himself upon it, he had had constant application to the arts
for which his queen and her mother were famous, and had not hesitated
to poison and destroy in secret. As for himself--Clarence--he pledged
himself to restore all the lands and honours of the Lancastrians, when he
gained his own royal rights.

To these monstrous charges Clarence made a vehement reply, but posterity
has no means of judging of the truth or force of what he said, for the
whole of his defence was omitted in the rolls of Parliament. Not a soul
dared to say a word on his behalf. Edward brought forward witnesses to
swear to everything he alleged; the duke was condemned to death; and the
Commons being summoned to attend, confirmed the sentence. No attempt was
made to put the sentence into execution, but about ten days later it was
announced that Clarence had died in the Tower. The precise mode of his
death has never been clearly ascertained. The generally received account
is that of Fabyan, a cotemporary, who says that he was drowned in a butt
of Malmsey wine.

Edward now again gave himself up to his pleasures, and would have been
glad, in the midst of his amorous intrigues, to have forgotten public
affairs altogether. But for this the times were too much out of joint.
It was not in England alone that the elements of faction had been in
agitation. Nearly the whole of Europe had witnessed the contentions of
overgrown nobles and vassal princes by which almost every crown had
been endangered, and the regal authority in many cases brought into
contempt. The changes consequent on the accession of Henry IV. we have
fully detailed; those storms which raged around the throne of France we
have partially seen; but similar dissensions betwixt the Electors of
Germany and the Emperor Sigismund prevailed; the Netherlands were divided
against each other; and Spain was equally disturbed by the conspiracies
of the nobles against the crown. Edward of England, as if sensible of the
weakness of his position, strove anxiously to strengthen it by foreign
alliances. Though his children were far too young to contract actual
marriages, he made treaties which should place his daughters on a number
of the chief thrones. Some of these contracts were entered into almost
as soon as those concerned in them were born. Elizabeth, the eldest,
was affianced to the Dauphin of France; Cecilia, the second, to the
eldest son and heir of the King of Scotland; Anne, to the infant son
of Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, and husband of Mary of Burgundy;
Catherine, to the heir of the King of Spain. His eldest son was engaged
to the eldest daughter of the Duke of Brittany. On the other hand, all
these royal negotiators appear to have been equally impressed with the
precarious character of Edward's power, and were ready at the first
moment to annul the contracts.

That subtle monarch, Louis of France, never from the first moment
seriously meant to adhere to his engagement; and in a very few years all
these anxiously-planned marriages were blown away like summer clouds.
Edward was not long in suspecting the hollowness of the conduct of
Louis XI. Though repeatedly reminded that the time was come to fetch
the Princess of England, in order to complete her education in France,
preparatory to her occupying the station assigned to her there, Louis
took no measures for this purpose; and when Edward remonstrated on
the subject, threatened to withdraw the payment of the annual 50,000
crowns. Edward boiled with indignation, and vowed, amongst his immediate
courtiers that he would hunt up the old fox in his own cover if he did
not mind. But that wily prince was not so easily dealt with. He saw
with chagrin the proposed alliances betwixt Edward and his dangerous
neighbours, the Duke of Brittany and Maximilian of Austria, now, through
his wife, the ruler of Burgundy. Edward, in his resentment at the threat
of Louis to withdraw his annual payment, made offers of closer union
with Maximilian and Mary of Burgundy, and engaged, on condition that they
should pay him the 50,000 crowns which he now had from Louis, to assist
them against that monarch. But Louis was not to be out-manoeuvred in
this manner; he was a profounder master in all the arts of diplomatic
stratagem than Edward. He, therefore, made secret and tempting advances
to Maximilian and Mary, one article of which devoted the Dauphin to their
infant daughter, despite of her engagement to the English heir. At the
same time he stirred up sufficient trouble in Scotland to occupy Edward
for some time.

The circumstances of Scotland were at this time very favourable to the
mischievous interference of Louis. James III. was a monarch far beyond
his age. He was of a pacific and philosophic turn. Surrounded by a rude
and ignorant nobility, he conceived an infinite contempt for them, and
was not politic enough to conceal it. They were received at court with
coldness and neglect, while they saw men of science and letters admitted
to the king's most intimate conversation. To avenge their slighted
dignity, they stirred up the king's two brothers, the Duke of Albany,
and the Earl of Mar, to rebellion. James, however, showed that, though
pacifically disposed, he did not lack energy. He seized Mar and Albany,
and confined them--Mar in Craigmillar Castle, and Albany in that of
Edinburgh. Albany managed to escape, and made his way, by means of a
French vessel, to France. Mar, who was of a vehement temper, was seized
in his prison with fever and delirium. He was, therefore, removed from
Craigmillar to a house in the Canongate, at Edinburgh, where, having
been bled, he is said on a return of the paroxysm to have torn off his
bandages while in a warm bath, and died from loss of blood. The incident
was suspicious; but public opinion, for the most part, exonerated the
king from the charge of any criminal intention; and even when he was
afterwards deposed, no such charge was preferred against him by the
hostile faction.

It was at this crisis that Edward--roused to indignation by the conduct
of the French king, who neglected to fetch the Princess of England,
and withdrew his annual payment of the 50,000 crowns, and still more
by tracing Louis' hand in Scottish affairs--invited over Albany from
Paris, promising to set him on the throne of Scotland. Albany, smarting
with his brother's treatment, was but too ready to accept the proposal.
Edward launched reproaches against the King of Scotland for his perfidy
in listening to Louis of France, whilst under the closest engagements
with himself. Three years' payments of the dowry of Edward's daughter,
Cecilia, had already been paid to the Scottish monarch, and yet he had
thrown constant obstacles in the way of a marriage agreed upon between
the sister of James and the Earl Rivers, the brother-in-law of Edward. In
reply to Edward's reproaches, James flung at him the epeithet of reiver,
or robber, alluding to his seizure of the English crown.

Edward despatched an army to the borders of Scotland, under his brother
Gloucester and Albany. He engaged to place Albany on the throne of James,
and, in return, Albany, who was believed already to have two wives, was
to marry one of Edward's daughters. With upwards of 22,000 men Gloucester
and Albany reached Berwick, which speedily surrendered, though the castle
held out.

James, to meet this formidable attack, summoned the whole force of his
kingdom to meet him on the Burghmuir, near Edinburgh, and at the head of
50,000 men advanced first to Soutra, and thence to Lauder. But sedition
was in his camp. Edward and Albany had opened communications with the
discontented nobles. Albany, at the treaty of Fotheringay, where the
Scottish scheme was made matter of compact, had assumed the title of
Alexander, King of Scotland, and the adhesion of the principal chiefs
of Scotland was confirmed by the impolicy of James, who had not only
given to his favourite Cochrane, the architect, the bulk of the estates,
along with the title of the Earl of Mar, but now placed him in command
of the artillery, and permitted him to excite the envy and indignation
of the great barons by the splendour of his appointments. Cochrane was,
therefore, put to death by a band of conspirators, headed by Archibald
Douglas, Earl of Angus, known, therefore, as Archibald "Bell-the-Cat."

Albany and Gloucester quickly followed the conspirators to the Scottish
capital, and there appeared now every prospect of the crown being placed
on the head of Albany; but this was suddenly prevented by a new movement.
The whole body of the Scottish nobles had joined in the destruction of
the favourites, but there was a strong party of them who contemplated
nothing further. The loyalty of this section of the aristocracy being
well known to Angus and his friends, they had not ventured to communicate
to them their design of deposing James. The moment that this became
known to them, they quitted Edinburgh, collected an army, and planted
themselves near Haddington, determined to keep in check any proceedings
against the king. At the head of this loyal party were the Archbishop
of St. Andrews, the Bishop of Dunkeld, the Earl of Argyll, and Lord
Evandale. They called on all loyal Scots to gather to their standard,
and, being posted betwixt Edinburgh and the English border, threw
Gloucester and his adherents into considerable anxiety as to their
position. Albany, Gloucester, and the insurgent lords were glad to come
to an accommodation. It was agreed that James should retain the crown;
that Albany should receive a pardon and the restoration of his rank and
estates; that the money paid by Edward as part of the dowry of Cecilia
should be repaid by the citizens of Edinburgh, and that Berwick and its
castle should be ceded to England. Gloucester thereupon marched homeward,
and Albany laid siege to the castle of Edinburgh, where the Earls of
Atholl and Buchan still detained the king. He soon compelled them to
capitulate, and James being now in the hands of Albany, the two brothers,
in sign of perfect reconciliation, rode together on the same horse to the
palace of Holyrood, and slept together in the same bed. The treason of
Albany, however, only hid itself in his bosom for a season.

The Scottish difficulty being settled, Edward now turned his attention
to Louis of France. Whilst the Scottish campaign had been proceeding,
an occurrence had taken place which raised Edward's wrath to its pitch.
Mary of Burgundy had one day gone out hawking in the neighbourhood of
Bruges, when her horse, in leaping a dyke, broke his girths, and threw
her violently against a tree. She died in consequence, leaving three
infant children, one of whom, Margaret, was a little girl two years
old. Mary herself was only twenty-five at the time of her death. No
sooner did Louis hear of this, than he immediately demanded the infant
Margaret for his son the Dauphin, totally regardless of the long-standing
engagement with Edward for the Princess Elizabeth. Maximilian of Austria,
the father of Margaret, was strongly opposed to the match, seeing too
well that Louis only wanted to make himself master of the territories of
the children. Louis, however, had intrigued with the people of Ghent,
and they would insist upon the alliance. Margaret was delivered to the
commissioners of Louis, who settled on her the provinces which he had
taken from her mother. The French, who regarded this event as bringing to
the kingdom some very fine territories, without the trouble and expense
of a conquest, received the infant princess with great rejoicings.

[Illustration: ST. ANDREWS FROM THE PIER.]

The rage of Edward knew no bounds. He had been so often warned, both
by his courtiers and by Parliament, that the crafty Louis would play
him false, that he now vowed to take the most consummate vengeance
upon him. The best means of inflicting the severest punishment on the
King of France engrossed his whole soul, and occupied him day and
night. This violent excitement, operating upon a constitution ruined
by sensual indulgence, brought on an illness, which, not attended to
at first, soon terminated his existence. He died on the 9th of April,
1483, in the twenty-third year of his reign and the forty-first of his
age. The approach of death awoke in him feelings of deep repentance. He
ordered full restitution to be made to all whom he had wronged, or from
whom he had extorted benevolences. But such orders were not likely to
receive much attention from Gloucester, who became the source of power.
Immediately after his death he was exposed on a board, naked from the
waist upwards, for ten hours, so that the lords spiritual and temporal,
and the Lord Mayor and aldermen of London, might see that he had received
no violence. He was then buried in Westminster Abbey, with great pomp and

Edward IV. was a man calculated to make a great figure in rude and
martial times. He was handsome, lively of disposition, affable, and
brave. So long as circumstances demanded daring and exertion in the
field, he was triumphant and prosperous. Rapid in his resolves and in his
movements, undaunted in his attacks, he was uniformly victorious; but
peace at once unmanned him. With the last stroke of the sword and the
last sound of the trumpet he flung down his arms, and flew to riot and
debauchery. Ever the conqueror in the field, he was always defeated in
the city. He never could become conqueror over himself. By unrestrained
indulgence he destroyed his constitution, and hurried on to early death.
Whether in the battle-field or in the hour of peace, he was unrestrained
by principle, and sullied his most brilliant laurels with the blood of
the young, the innocent, and the victim incapable of resistance. He was
magnificent in his costume, luxurious at table, and most licentious in
his amours. As he advanced in years he grew corpulent and unhealthy.
He had the faculty of never forgetting the face of any one whom he had
once seen, or the name of any one who had done him an injury. There was
no person of any prominence of whom he did not know the whole history;
and he had a spy in almost every officer of his government, even to the
extremities of his kingdom. By this means he was early informed of the
slightest hostile movement, and by a rapid dash into the enemy's quarters
he soon extinguished opposition. Such a man might be a brilliant, but
could never be a good monarch. He attached no one to his fortunes;
therefore all his attempts to knit up alliances and his other projects
failed; and his sons, left young and unprotected, speedily perished.

His children were Edward, his eldest son and successor, born in the
Sanctuary in 1470; Richard, Duke of York; Elizabeth, who was contracted
to the Dauphin, but who became the queen of Henry VII.; Cecilia,
contracted to James, afterwards IV. of Scotland, but married to John,
Viscount Wells; Anne, contracted to the son of Maximilian of Austria, but
married to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk; Bridget, who became a nun at
Dartford; and Catherine, contracted to the Prince of Spain, but married
to William Courtney, Earl of Devonshire.



     Edward V. Proclaimed--The Two Parties of the Queen and of
     Gloucester--Struggle in the Council--Gloucester's Plans--The Earl
     Rivers and his Friends imprisoned--Gloucester secures the King and
     conducts him to London--Indignities to the young King--Execution
     of Lord Hastings--A Base Sermon at St. Paul's Cross--Gloucester
     pronounces the two young Princes illegitimate--The Farce at
     the Guildhall--Gloucester seizes the Crown--Richard crowned
     in London and again at York--Buckingham revolts against
     him--Murder of the Two Princes--Henry of Richmond--Failure
     of Buckingham's Rising--Buckingham beheaded--Richard's Title
     confirmed by Parliament--Queen Dowager and her Daughters quit the
     Sanctuary--Death of Richard's Son and Heir--Proposes to marry his
     Niece, Elizabeth of York--Richmond lands at Milford Haven--His
     Progress--The Troubles of Richard--The Battle of Bosworth--The
     Fallen Tyrant--End of the Wars of the Roses.

By the death of Edward IV. England was destined once more to witness all
the inconveniences which attend the minority of a king. Edward V. was a
boy of only thirteen. His mother and her family had made themselves many
enemies and few friends by their undisguised ambition and cupidity. The
Greys and Woodvilles had been lifted above the heads of the greatest
members of the aristocracy, enriched with the estates, and clothed with
the honours of ancient houses. They had been posted round the throne as
if to keep aloof all other candidates for favour and promotion. At the
time of the death of Edward IV., Richard of Gloucester was in the North,
attending to his duties as commander against the army in the Scottish
marches. He immediately commenced his proceedings with that consummate
and hypocritical art of which he was a first-rate master. He at once
put his retinue into deep mourning, and marched to York attended by 600
knights and esquires. There he ordered the obsequies of the departed king
to be performed with all solemnity in the cathedral. He then summoned
the nobility and gentry of the country to take the oath of allegiance to
his nephew, Edward V., and he led the way by first taking it himself.
He wrote to the queen-mother to condole with her on her loss, and to
assure her of his zealous support of the rights of his beloved nephew.
He expressed his ardent desire for the close friendship of the queen,
of Earl Rivers, her brother, and of all her family. He announced his
intention of proceeding towards London to attend the coronation, and if
Elizabeth had not already known the man, she might have congratulated
herself on the enjoyment of so affectionate a brother-in-law, and so
brave and faithful a guardian of her son.

But there is every reason to believe that the same messenger who carried
these letters of condolence and professed friendship to the queen,
carried others of a different tone to a hostile section of her council.
The Lords Howard, Hastings, and Stanley, though personal friends of
the late king, and Hastings, the chosen confidant and associate of his
pleasures, were at heart bitter enemies of the queen's family. It was
only the authority of Edward which had maintained peace between them, and
now they showed an undisguised hostility to them at the council-board.
The Earl Rivers, the queen's brother, and the Marquis of Dorset, her
son by her former marriage, occupied the chief seats at that board, and
Edward was no stranger to their real sentiments. This knowledge had led
him, on perceiving his health failing, to bring these rivals together,
and to state to them how much it concerned his son's peace and security
that they should forget all past causes of difference, and unite for
that loyal purpose. This they promised, but only with the tongue. No
sooner was the king dead, than all the old animosity and jealousy showed
themselves in aggravated form.

Elizabeth now proposed that the young king should be brought up to town
in order to be crowned, and that he should be attended by a strong body
of soldiery for the safety of his person. At this, Hastings, who, in
common with three-fourths of the nobility, was jealous of the design of
the queen and her party to make themselves masters of the government
during the king's minority, no longer concealed his real feelings. Edward
had been kept on the borders of Wales, where the power of the Mortimers
and the Yorkists lay. It was believed that the object was to give a
preponderance to the royal family through the Welsh and the borderers;
and now to march up to London, attended by a Welsh army, appeared
a direct attempt to control the capital by these means. Hastings,
therefore, warmly demanded--"What need of an army? Who were the enemies
they had to dread? Was it the king's own uncle, Gloucester? Was it Lord
Stanley, or himself? Was this force meant by the Woodvilles to put an end
to all liberty in the council and the government, and thus to break the
very union the king, on his death-bed, had pledged them to?" Hastings
concluded his speech by hotly declaring that if the king was brought to
London by an army, he would quit the council and the kingdom.

Deterred by this open opposition, Elizabeth yielded, and reduced the
proposed guard to 2,000 cavalry. But she did it with deep and too
well-founded anxiety. She had had too much opportunity of studying the
character of Gloucester to trust him, and the event very soon justified
her conviction. Secret messages had, during this interval, been passing
between Gloucester and Hastings and the Duke of Buckingham, a weak
man, descended from Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of Edward
III. No doubt he had instructed them to defeat any measures of the
Woodville family, which could leave the king in their hands. The moment
was accurately calculated; and, accordingly, when the Lords Rivers and
Grey, on their way to London with the young king, arrived at Stony
Stratford, they found Gloucester had already reached Northampton, only
ten miles from them. Gloucester had increased his forces on the way to
a formidable body, and he was there joined by the Duke of Buckingham
with 500 horse. The Lords Rivers and Grey, on learning the presence of
Gloucester at Northampton, immediately rode over to him to welcome him
in the king's name, and to consult with him on the plan of their united
entrance into London. Gloucester received them with all the marks of
that friendship which he had written to avow. They were invited to dine
and spend the night, the Dukes of Gloucester and Buckingham promising
to ride with them in the morning to pay their respects to the king.
Morning appeared, and Gloucester and Buckingham set out with them in the
best of humours. They rode in pleasant converse till, arriving at the
entrance of Stony Stratford, Gloucester suddenly accused Rivers and Grey
of having estranged the affections of the king from him. They denied the
charge with as much vehemence as astonishment; but they were immediately
arrested and conducted to the rear. Gloucester and Buckingham rode on
to the king, where the two dukes humbly on their knees professed their
loyalty and attachment. This they proceeded to make manifest by arresting
also the king's faithful servants, Sir Thomas Vaughan and Sir Richard
Hawse. In spite of the poor young king's entreaties, he led him away with
him to Northampton, his relatives and friends, Rivers, Grey, Vaughan,
and Hawse, following in the rear as prisoners. These prisoners of State
were sent off by Gloucester, under a strong guard, to his castle of
Pontefract--that blood-stained fortress, the very entrance to which, in
bondage, was equivalent to a death-warrant.

At midnight following the very day of these transactions, being the 1st
of May, the appalling tidings reached the court that Gloucester, followed
by a large army, had seized the king, and sent prisoners the queen's
brother and son no one knew whither. Struck with consternation, and
deeply rueing her weakness in giving up her own plans of caution, the
queen, hastily seizing her younger son by the hand, and followed by her
daughters, rushed from the palace of Westminster to the Sanctuary, which
had protected her before; but not against a person so base and deadly
in his ruthless ambition as this her brother-in-law of Gloucester. She
knew the man, and she dreaded everything. Her eldest son, Dorset, who
was Keeper of the Tower, in his turn weakly abandoned that important
stronghold, and also fled to the Sanctuary. Rotherham, the Archbishop
of York and Chancellor of the realm, hastening thither, found the queen
seated on the rushes with which the floors at that time were strewn, an
image of abandonment and woe.

[Illustration: GREAT SEAL OF EDWARD V.]

Meanwhile, London was thrown into the utmost dismay and confusion. Many
of the nobles and citizens flew to arms, and some flocked to the queen at
Westminster, and others to Lord Hastings in London. Hastings continued to
assure them that there was no cause of alarm; that Gloucester was a true
man; and he was most likely the more ready to believe this himself from
his own dislike of the queen's family.

On the 4th of May Gloucester conducted his royal captive into the
capital. At Hornsey Park, the lord mayor and corporation, in scarlet, met
the royal procession, followed by 400 citizens, all in violet. The Duke
of Gloucester, habited, like his followers, in mourning, rode into the
city before the king, with his cap in hand, bowing low to the people, and
pointing out to their notice the king, who rode in a mantle of purple
velvet. Edward V. was first conducted to Ely Place, to the bishop's
palace; but he was soon removed to the Tower, on the motion of the Duke
of Buckingham, on pretence that it was the proper place in which to await
his coronation. That ceremony Elizabeth and her council had ordered to
take place this very day, but the crafty Gloucester prevented that by not
arriving in time. He took up his quarters in Crosby Place, Bishopsgate,
where one part of the council constantly sat, while another, but lesser
portion of it, assembled with Lord Hastings and others in the Tower.
The day of the coronation was then fixed for the 22nd of June, leaving
an interval of nearly seven weeks in which the schemes of Gloucester
might be perfected. The first object of this man had been to impress the
queen and her party with his friendly disposition, till he had secured
their persons; this being, in a great measure, effected, the next was
to persuade the public of his loyalty to his nephew. For this purpose
he conducted him with such state into the capital, and so assiduously
pointed him out as their king to the people. To have openly proclaimed
his designs upon the crown would have united all parties against him. He
averted that by his calling on all men to swear fealty to his nephew,
and by first swearing it himself. Having now procured full possession
of the king's person, the next step was to secure that of his younger
brother, without which his plans would all be vain. He was surrendered by
the queen, and also placed in the Tower.

[Illustration: EDWARD V.]

The victims were secured. Gloucester had feigned himself a kind relation
till he had got them into prison; now he yearned to put forth his claws
and devour them. But for this it required that the public should be duly
prepared. His followers, and especially his imbecile tool, Buckingham,
busily spread through town and country reports of the most terrible
plots on the part of the queen and her friends to destroy Gloucester,
Buckingham, and other great lords, in order that she and her family might
have the king, and through him, the whole government, in their power.
They exhibited quantities of arms, which they declared the queen's party
had secreted in order to destroy Gloucester and the other patriotic
lords, as they pleased to represent them. This did not fail to produce
its effect on the people without, and it was promptly followed up by a
picture of treason in the very council.

Lord Stanley, who was sincerely attached to Edward IV.'s family, had
often expressed his suspicions of what was going on at Crosby Hall; but
Hastings had replied, that he had a trusty agent there who informed him
of all that passed. But Hastings, who had been completely duped by
Gloucester, had been unconsciously playing into his hands, till his own
turn came. While he imagined that Richard was punishing the assumption
of the queen and her relations, the latter was preparing the bloody acts
of one of the most daring dramas of historic crime ever acted before the
world. Richard, no doubt, had thought Hastings ready to go the whole way
with him. At this crisis, however, he became aware that he was an honest
though misguided man, who would stand staunchly by his young sovereign,
and must therefore be removed. The tyrant was now beginning to feel
secure of his object, and prepared to seize it at whatever cost of crime
and infamy. Accordingly, on the 13th of June, says Sir Thomas More, he
came into the council about nine in the morning, "in a very merry humour.
After a little talking with them, he said to the Bishop of Ely, 'My lord,
you have very good strawberries in your garden in Holborn: I request
you let us have a mess of them.' 'Gladly, my lord,' quoth he; 'would to
God I had some better things as ready to your pleasure as that!' and
then, with all haste, he sent his servant for a mess of strawberries.
The protector set the lords fast in communing, and thereupon praying
them to spare him a little while, departed thence, and, soon after one
hour, between ten and eleven, he returned into the chamber amongst them
all, changed, with a wonderful sour, angry countenance, knitting his
brows, frowning and fretting, gnawing on his lips, and so sat him down
in his place. Soon after he asked, 'What those persons deserved who had
compassed and imagined his destruction.' Lord Hastings answered that they
deserved death, whoever they might be; and then Richard affirmed that
they were that sorceress, his brother's wife (meaning the queen), with
others with her; 'and,' said the protector, 'we shall see in what wise
that sorceress, and that other witch of her councils, Shore's wife, with
their affinity, have by their sorcery and witchcraft wasted my body.'
So saying, he plucked up his doublet sleeve to his elbow upon his left
arm, where the arm appeared to be withered and small, as it was never
other." He then included Hastings in the charge. The unfortunate man was
hurried out by the armed ruffians of the tyrant, and scarcely allowing
him time to confess to the first priest that came to hand, they made
use of a log which accidentally lay on the green at the door of the
chapel, and beheaded him at once. Lord Stanley, the Archbishop of York,
and the Bishop of Ely, were kept close prisoners in the Tower. Shortly
afterwards the queen's brother and son, Earl Rivers and Lord Grey, were
executed at Pontefract.

The united troops of Gloucester and Buckingham, to the amount of 20,000,
now held the metropolis in subjection; the terror of the protector's
deeds enchained it still more. On the following Sunday, June 22nd, the
day which had been fixed for the coronation, instead of that ceremony
taking place, a priest was found base enough--tyrants never fail of such
tools--to ascend St. Paul's Cross, and preach from this text, from the
Book of Wisdom, "Bastard slips shall not strike deep root."

This despicable man was one Dr. Shaw, brother of the Lord Mayor. He
drew a broad picture of the licentious life of Edward IV., and asserted
that his mode of destroying such ladies as he found unwilling to incur
dishonour was to promise them marriage, and occasionally to go through
a mock or real ceremony with them. He declared that Edward had thus, in
the commencement of his reign, really contracted a marriage with the
Lady Eleanor Butler, the widow of Lord Butler, of Sudeley, and daughter
of the Earl of Shrewsbury; that he afterwards contracted a private and
illegal marriage with Elizabeth Woodville, which, however it might be
real and legal in other respects, was altogether invalid and impossible,
from the fact that Edward was already married to Lady Butler. Hence he
contended that Elizabeth Woodville, though acknowledged by Parliament,
was, in reality, nothing more than a concubine; that she and the king had
been living in open and scandalous adultery; and that, of consequence,
the whole of their children were illegitimate, and the sons incapable of
wearing the crown.

But the preacher went further. Determined to destroy the claims of
the young Edward V. to the crown, he boldly asserted not only his
illegitimacy, but that of his father, Edward IV. This could only be done
at the expense of the honour of the proud Cicely, Duchess of York, the
mother of Gloucester, as well as of Edward. But the man who was wading
his way to the throne through the blood of his own nephews, and of the
best men in the country, was not likely to be stopped by the honour of
his mother. The son of Clarence was living, and in case of the deaths of
Edward's sons had a prior right to Gloucester. That right was at present
in abeyance, through Clarence's attainder, but would revive on reversion
of the attainder, and the possibility of this must be destroyed.



The preacher, therefore, stoutly maintained that both Edward IV. and
Clarence were the children of other men, not of the late Duke of York;
that it was notorious, and that their striking likeness to their reputed
fathers fully confirmed it. Gloucester, he contended, was alone the son
of the Duke of York; and this vile prostitutor of the pulpit exclaimed,
"Behold this excellent prince, the express image of his noble father--the
genuine descendant of the house of York; bearing no less in the virtues
of his mind than in the features of his countenance the character of the
gallant Richard!" At this moment Gloucester, by concert, was to have
passed, as if accidentally, through the audience to his place, and the
preacher exclaimed, "Behold the man entitled to your allegiance! He must
deliver you from the dominion of all intruders!--he alone can restore the
lost glory and honour of the nation!"

Here it was expected that the people would cry out "Long live King
Richard!" but they stared at one another in amazement, and the more
so that Gloucester did not appear at the nick of time, but after the
preacher's apostrophe was concluded; so that, when Gloucester did appear,
he was obliged to repeat his lesson, which threw such an air of ridicule
upon the whole, that Gloucester could not conceal his chagrin, and the
preacher--perceiving that the odium of the attempt, as it had failed,
would fall upon him--stole away home, and, it is said, never again
recovered his standing. Gloucester, of course, would be the first to
fling him by as a worthless tool, and he received that reward of public
contempt which it would be better for the world if it always measured out
to such vile subserviency.

But Gloucester was now fully prepared to complete his necessary amount
of crime for the attainment of the throne, and was not to be daunted by
one failure. The preacher, having broken the ice, he renewed his attempt
in another quarter--the council chamber of the city. The Lord Mayor--as
great a sycophant as his brother the preacher--lent himself, as he had
probably done before, to the scheme. On the next Tuesday, the 24th of
June, the Duke of Buckingham appeared upon the hustings at Guildhall, and
harangued the citizens. He called upon them to recollect the dissolute
life of the late king; his frequent violation of the sanctity of their
homes; the seduction of most respectable ladies; the extent of his
extortions of their money under the name of benevolences. In fact, he
repeated, in another form, the whole sermon of Shaw, and went through the
whole story of the marriage of Lady Butler, by the king, previous to that
with Lady Grey, of which he assured them Stillington, Bishop of Bath, was
a witness. Stillington, however, was never called to give such evidence.
He then asked whether they would have the illegitimate progeny of such
a man to rule over them. He assured them that he would never submit to
the rule of a bastard, and that both the aristocracy and the people of
the northern counties had sworn the same. But there, he observed, was
the Duke of Gloucester, a man calculated to rescue England from such a
stigma, and from all its losses--a man valiant, wise, patriotic, and
of true blood, the genuine descendant of the great Edward III. On this
the servants of Buckingham and Gloucester incited some of the meanest
apprentices to cry out, and there was a feeble voice raised of "God save
King Richard!" That was enough. Buckingham returned the people thanks
for their hearty assent, and invited them to attend him the next morning
to the duke's residence of Baynard's Castle, near Blackfriars Bridge, to
tender him the crown. After a show of refusal Gloucester accepted it.

Thus ended this scene, which Hume calls a ridiculous farce, but which
was, in fact, a most diabolical one, to be followed by as revolting a
tragedy. The next day this monster in human form went to Westminster
in state. There he entered the great hall, and seated himself on the
marble seat, with Lord Howard, afterwards Duke of Norfolk, on his right
hand, and the Duke of Suffolk on his left. He stated to the persons
present that he chose to commence his reign in that place, because the
administration of justice was the first duty of a king. Every one who
heard this must have felt that if there were any justice in him he could
not be there. It is clear that the spirit of the nation was with the poor
boy Edward, but there was no man who dared to lift up his voice for him.
The axe of Gloucester had already lopped off heads enough to render the
others dumb, and London was invested by his myrmidons. He was already
a dictator, and could do for a while what he pleased. He proclaimed
an amnesty to all offenders against him up to that hour, and he then
proceeded to St. Paul's, to return thanks to God. Thus, on the 26th of
June, 1483, successful villainy sat enthroned in the heart of London.


On the 6th of July, not a fortnight after his acceptance of the crown at
Baynard's Castle Richard was crowned with all splendour. The terror of
the blood-stained despot was all-potent, and was evidenced in the fact
that few of the peers or peeresses ventured to absent themselves. With
consummate tact Richard, the Yorkist usurper, appointed the heads of the
Lancastrian line to bear the most prominent part in the ceremony, next to
royalty itself. Buckingham bore his train, and the Countess of Richmond
bore that of his queen. Both these persons were descendants of John of
Gaunt, and the countess was the wife of that Lord Stanley who had been
wounded at the very council board by Richard's ruffian guards, at the
time of the seizure of Hastings. There can be little doubt but that it
was the intention of Gloucester to have thus got rid, as by accident,
of that respectable and powerful nobleman, who had great influence in
the north; but having failed in that, he now made a merit of liberating
him and his fellows, the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Ely, from
the Tower. On Stanley he conferred the stewardship of the household, and
soon after made him Constable of England. Probably, it not only entered
the mind of Richard that it would be politic to secure the favour of
a nobleman so much esteemed in Cheshire and Lancashire, but that, by
ingratiating himself with the Countess of Richmond, the wife of Stanley,
and the mother of the young Earl of Richmond, who, during the reign of
Edward IV., had been a cause of anxiety, as a probable aspirant to the
throne, he might succeed in beguiling Richmond into his hands; and this
is the more probable because he was, at the very time, negotiating some
private matters with the Duke of Brittany, at whose court Richmond was.


Besides the promotion of Stanley, the Lord Howard was made Earl Marshal
and Duke of Norfolk, his son was created Earl of Surrey, Lord Lovel was
made a viscount, and many others of the nobility now received higher
rank. The vast wealth which Edward IV. had left he distributed lavishly
amongst those who had done his work, and those whom he sought to win
over. The troops who had come from the north, and were seen with wonder
and ridicule by the Londoners from their mean and dirty appearance, and
called a rascal rabble, but who were ready at a word to do desperate
things, he amply rewarded, and sent home again, as soon as the coronation
was over.

This great display over, Richard called no Parliament, but merely
assembled the nobility before their returning to their respective
counties, and enjoined them to maintain the peace there, and to assist
his officers in putting down all offenders and disturbers. But he did
not satisfy himself with injunctions. He set out to make a wide circuit
through his kingdom, in order to awe all malcontents by his presence.
He proceeded by slow journeys to Oxford, Woodstock, Gloucester, and
Worcester. At Warwick he was joined by the queen; and as she was the
daughter of the late Earl of Warwick, she might be considered as
presiding in her ancestral home; and there, therefore, a considerable
court was held for the space of a week, the Spanish ambassadors and
members of the English nobility coming there. Thence the royal pair
advanced by Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, and Pontefract to York. The
inhabitants of that stronghold of Lancastrian feeling had been warned to
receive the king "with every mark of joy;" and to conciliate the northern
population, Richard sent for the royal wardrobe from London, and once
more repeated the coronation in York, as if to intimate that he scarcely
felt himself sovereign till he had their sanction and homage.

But after all the crimes perpetrated by Richard, the public had been
terrified into silence, not into approval. No sooner was the south
relieved from his presence than it at once recovered breath and language.
As if the oppression of a nightmare were withdrawn, people began to utter
their true feelings. Some were for marching in thousands upon the Tower,
and forcibly liberating the innocent victims; others suggested that it
were wise to enable the daughters of Edward to escape to the Continent,
so that Richard should never be free from the fear of legitimate
claimants to the crown. All the foreign potentates had shrunk from
entering into alliance with so blood-stained a character, and would be
ready to cherish these princesses as a means of annoying or controlling

But Richard had thought of all these things long before the public, and
had taken such measures to prevent them as would soon make the ears of
all England tingle at their discovery. On attempting to communicate with
Elizabeth and her daughters in the sanctuary, they found that asylum
invested by a strong body of soldiers under one John Nesfield, and that
there was no approaching the royal family. The only alternative was to
endeavour to liberate the young princes.

For this purpose private meetings were held in nearly all the counties
of the south and west. The nobility and gentry bound themselves by
oath to take arms and unite for the restoration of Edward V. In the
midst of these movements the agitators were agreeably astonished to
find themselves in possession of a most unexpected and powerful ally.
This was no other than the Duke of Buckingham, the man who had so
unscrupulously taken the lead in putting down all who were formidable
obstacles to Richard's plans, and in bringing London to declare for him.
The circumstances which produced this marvellous change have rather been
guessed at than ever satisfactorily known.

Buckingham was descended from Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, sixth son of
Edward III. His claims to the throne were far superior to those of the
Earl of Richmond, who was of an exactly parallel descent from John of
Gaunt, but with a flaw of illegitimacy through that prince's connection
with Catherine Swynford. Buckingham not only stood higher amongst the
princes of the Lancastrian blood than Richmond, but he was married to
the sister of Queen Elizabeth, and was thus closely connected with the
imprisoned prince. Yet he had at once supported the most unscrupulous of
the Yorkists, and helped more than any other man to dethrone his near
relative. If this were strange, his sudden conversion was stranger.
For his signal services to Richard he had received signal rewards.
The Earl of Gloucester, Buckingham's ancestor, had married one of the
daughters and co-heiresses of Humphrey Bohun, Earl of Hereford. Their
property, on the Yorkist family ascending the throne, had been seized by
it. Buckingham had probably made it his bargain for what he was to do
for Richard, that these estates should be restored to him. They were,
accordingly, restored, and beyond that he was made Constable of England,
Justiciary of Wales, and many other honours were heaped upon him. Why,
then, this sudden revolt? The real causes were most likely those which
have ever separated successful villains--distrust of each other, and the
desire of the principal to be rid of his too knowing and, therefore,
dangerous accessory. Buckingham was the confidant in many and terrible
State secrets. He knew why Hastings was suddenly hurried to his death,
and all the dark work by which the true prince had been thrust down to a
dungeon, and the false one set up.

He resolved, therefore, to reinstate Edward V.; and circular letters
were addressed to all those chiefs who were likely to unite in the
enterprise. In Kent, Essex, Sussex, Berkshire, Hants, Wilts, and
Devonshire, preparations were made for the purpose; and Buckingham was
about to move forward to put himself at their head, when the confederates
were thunderstruck with the news that the king and his brother had been
already murdered in the Tower.

The account which has been generally followed of this horrid event, is
that of Sir Thomas More. According to the learned chancellor, Richard,
while making his holiday progress through the country, was plotting the
death of the young princes in the Tower. From Gloucester he despatched
one of his pages to Sir Robert Brackenbury, the Governor of the Tower,
commanding him to get them quietly made away with. Sir Robert refused the
office of assassin. Richard, however, from Warwick sent Sir James Tyrell,
with orders to command the Tower for one night. This Tyrell had been
vice-Constable under Edward IV., and always employed by him to execute
illegal commissions, like Tristan, the tool of Louis XI. Tradition holds
that the Portcullis Tower was the one in which the young princes were
confined, and it is stated that they were under the constant surveillance
of four keepers, and waited on by a fellow called Black Will, or Will

The murderer Richard is said to have roused Tyrell from his bed at
midnight, and sent him off; and Brackenbury, though he would not stain
his own hands with innocent blood, had to give the keys by the king's
command to the man who would. "Then," says Sir Thomas More, "Sir James
Tyrell desired that the princes should be murdered in bed, to the
execution whereof he appropriated Miles Forest, one of their keepers,
a fellow flesh-bred in murder, and to him he joined one John Dighton,
his own horse-keeper, a big, broad, square knave. The young king had
certainly a clear apprehension of his fate, for he was heard sighingly to
say, 'I would mine uncle would let me have my life, though he taketh my
crown.' After which time the prince never tied his points nor anything
attended to himself, but with that young babe his brother, lingered in
thought and heaviness, till the traitorous deed delivered them from their

"All their other attendants being removed from them, and the harmless
children in bed, these men came into their chamber, and suddenly lapping
them in the clothes, smothered and stifled them till thoroughly dead.
Then laying out their bodies on the bed, they fetched Sir James to see
them, who caused the murderers to bury them at the stairfoot, deep in
the ground under a heap of stones. Then rode Sir James in great haste
to King Richard, and showed him the manner of the murder, who gave him
great thanks, but allowed not their bodies in so vile a corner, but would
have them buried in consecrated ground. Sir Robert Brackenbury's priest
then took them up, and where he buried them was never known, for he died
shortly afterwards. But when the news was brought to the unfortunate
mother, yet being in sanctuary, that her two sons were murdered, it
struck to her heart like the sharp dart of death; she was so suddenly
amazed that she swooned and fell to the ground, and there lay in great
agony, yet like to a dead corpse."

This dismal news, however, probably did not reach the unhappy queen till
some time after the perpetration of the murder, for the tyrant kept the
deed close till it suited his purpose to disclose it.

The whole of this circumstantial account has been called in question
by some modern historians, on the plea that the history of Richard
was written by men after his death, who invented half the crimes and
repulsive features of Richard to please the court of Henry VII. But
perhaps two more highly credible historians could not be found than
Sir Thomas More and the continuator of the Croyland Chronicle, the
latter of whom wrote immediately after the death of Richard; and every
circumstance known confirms their accounts. We shall see that the younger
of these princes was supposed to reappear in the reign of Henry VII. as
Perkin Warbeck. But, unfortunately for this story, the bodies of the
two murdered children were discovered buried in one coffin or box. This
occurred so late as 1674, when workmen were digging down the stairs which
led from the king's lodgings to the chapel in the Tower, where, about ten
feet deep, they came upon this chest containing the bones of two youths
"proportionable to the ages of the two brothers; namely, about thirteen
and eleven years."

What is more, all those said to be concerned in this diabolical deed
were afterwards specially patronised by Richard. Greene, the messenger,
was made receiver of the lordships of the Isle of Wight and Porchester
Castle; Tyrell and Brackenbury received numerous grants of lucrative
offices, money, and lands, as may be seen in Strype's notes to Bucke's
history, in Kennet. Dighton, one of the murderers, was made bailiff
for life of the manor of Aiton, in Staffordshire; and Forest dying in
possession of a lucrative post in Bernard Castle, his widow and son
received an annuity of five marks. Still, further, Sir Thomas More says,
"Very truth it is, and well known, that at such times as Sir James Tyrell
was in the Tower for treason against King Henry VII., both Dighton and
him were examined, and confessed the murder in manner above written."
Henry, in consequence, sought for the bodies, but at that time they could
not be found, the chaplain, the depositary of the secret, being dead.

When, in addition to this, it shall be seen that Richard was anxious
to marry Elizabeth of York, the sister of these young princes, and to
prevent Richmond from marrying her, nothing can be more conclusive of the
death of the boys as described--for, otherwise, the issue of Elizabeth
could not succeed rightfully to the throne. Moreover, Richard is himself
stated to have allowed the fact of the murder to come out, in order to
crush the rising of Buckingham and his confederates in their behalf.
Under all these circumstances, we conceive no event of history stands
more strongly authenticated.

It is said to have been in the midst of the gaieties of the coronation
at York that Richard received the news of Buckingham's movement, and of
the confederation of the southern counties. The circumstances were so
alarming that, notwithstanding the execration which he was conscious such
an avowal would bring down upon him, he permitted the account of the
princes' death to be published. One universal burst of horror, both from
friend and foe, went through the kingdom; and from that hour, instead of
saving him, the knowledge of that cruel deed repelled all hearts from him.

For the moment, the nobles, marching forward to rescue the young king,
were taken aback: the tyrant had anticipated them; the king they would
restore had perished. But the astute Bishop of Ely reminded them that
there was Henry of Richmond, descended from John of Gaunt, who might
marry Elizabeth of York, and thus, uniting the two rival houses, put
an end to the divisions of the nation. This uniting all parties would
annihilate the murderer. The idea was seized upon with avidity. Reginald
Bray, the steward to the Countess of Richmond, was instructed to open
the project to her, who immediately embraced it in favour of her son.
Dr. Lewis, a Welsh physician, who attended the queen-dowager in the
sanctuary, was made the bearer of the scheme to her. Elizabeth was well
prepared by the wrongs heaped upon her, the murder of her brother and
her three sons, and her own confinement and degradation, to forget her
opposition to the house of Lancaster. She fully agreed to the project, on
the condition of Richmond swearing to marry her daughter Elizabeth on his
arriving in England. She even borrowed a sum of money and sent it to him,
to aid his enterprise. A messenger was despatched to Henry in Brittany
to inform him of the agreement, and to hasten his arrival, the 18th of
October being fixed for the general rising in his favour.

[Illustration: THE PRINCES IN THE TOWER. (_See p._ 54.)

(_After the picture by Paul Delaroche._)]

But it was not to be supposed that all these arrangements could
escape the suspicious vigilance of Richard. He proceeded from York to
Lincolnshire as if he were only attending to the ordinary affairs of the
kingdom. But on the 11th of October--a week before the day appointed for
the rising of the confederates--he summoned all his adherents to meet him
at Leicester. Four days afterwards he proclaimed Buckingham a traitor,
and set a reward of £1,000, or of £100 a year in land, on his head. For
those of the Marquis of Dorset and of the two bishops he offered 1,000
marks, or 100 marks a year in land each; and for the head of any hostile
knight half that sum. He sent at the same time to London for the great
seal to authenticate these and similar acts.

On the day fixed, the rising, notwithstanding, took place. The Marquis
of Dorset proclaimed Henry VII. at Exeter; the Bishop Of Salisbury
proclaimed him in that city; the men of Kent at Maidstone; those of
Berkshire at Newbury, and the Duke of Buckingham raised his standard
at Brecon. Few revolutions ever opened with more favourable auspices.
But untoward events made wholly abortive this well-planned popular
attempt. The Duke of Richmond set sail from St. Malo on the 12th of
October for England, with a fleet of forty sail, carrying 5,000 men; but
tempestuous weather prevented him from reaching the coast of Devonshire
till the dispersion of his unfortunate allies. He therefore put back.
In the meantime Richard had joined his army at Leicester, and issued a
proclamation which reads nowadays like the ravings of a madman.

[Illustration: RICHARD III.]

To draw off the followers of the confederates, while he offered rewards
for the heads of their leaders, he granted free pardons to all who
would abandon them. And the elements at this moment fought for Richard.
Buckingham set out on his march to unite his forces to those of the other
leaders, but there fell such heavy and continuous rains during the whole
of his march from Brecon through the Forest of Dean to the Severn, that
the bridges were carried away, and all the fords rendered impassable.
Such rains and floods had not been known in the memory of man; and the
inundation of the Severn was long after remembered as _Buckingham's

The Welsh, struck with a superstitious dread from this circumstance, and
pressed by famine, dispersed, and Buckingham turned back to Weobly, the
seat of Lord Ferrers. The news of Buckingham's failure confounded all
the other confederates, and every man made the best of his way towards
a place of safety. Merton, Dorset, Courtenay the Bishop of Exeter, and
others, escaped to Flanders and Brittany. Weobly was closely watched,
on one side by Sir Humphrey Stafford, and on the other by the clan of
the Vaughans, who were promised the plunder of Brecon if they secured
the duke. Buckingham, in disguise, escaped from Weobly, and hid himself
near Shrewsbury, in the hut of a fellow of the name of Bannister, an old
servant of the duke's family. This wretch, to secure the reward, betrayed
his master to John Mitton, the sheriff of Shropshire, who conducted him
to Richard at Salisbury, who ordered his head to be instantly struck off
in the market-place. Amongst others who shared the same fate, Richard
had the satisfaction of thus silencing a witty rhymester, William
Collingbourne, who had dared to say that,

    "The rat, the cat, and Lovel the dog,
    Ruled all England under the hog."

That is, Ratcliffe, Catesby, and Lord Lovel; the hog being in allusion to
Richard's crest, the boar.

Richard, thus relieved, marched into Devonshire, where he put to
death, amongst others, Sir Thomas St. Leger, a knight who had married
the Duchess of Exeter, his own sister. He then traversed the southern
counties in triumph, and, arriving in London, he ventured to do what
hitherto he had not dared, that is, call a Parliament. This assembly,
prostrate at the feet of the prosperous despot, did whatever he proposed.
They pronounced him "the undoubted king of England, as well by right
of consanguinity and inheritance, as by lawful election, consecration,
and coronation;" and they entailed the crown on his issue; the Lords,
spiritual and temporal, binding themselves to uphold the succession of
his son, the Prince of Wales. They attainted his enemies by wholesale,
and beyond all precedent. One duke, one marquis, three earls, three
bishops, with a whole host of knights and gentlemen, were thus deprived
of honour, title, and estate; and their lands, forfeited to the Crown,
were bestowed by Richard liberally on his northern adherents, who were
thus planted in the south to act as spies on the southern nobles and
gentry. The Countess of Richmond, though attainted, was permitted to hold
her estates for life, or rather, they were thus conceded for that term to
her husband, Lord Stanley, to bind him to the usurper.

To avenge himself on the queen-dowager for her acceptance of the proposal
to bring over Henry of Richmond and unite him to her daughter, Richard
now deprived her and her daughters of all title, property, and honour. He
treated them, not as the legitimate wife and children of Edward IV., but
as what he had before proclaimed them. He had ordered the late murdered
king to be called officially "Edward the bastard, lately called Edward
V." The queen-dowager was styled "Elizabeth, late wife of Sir John Gray,"
and her daughters were treated and addressed as simple gentlewomen.

But the design of placing Henry of Richmond on the throne, Richard knew
well, though for the moment defeated, was not abandoned. At the last
festival of Christmas Henry had met the English exiles, to the number of
500, at Rhedon, in Brittany, and had there sworn to marry Elizabeth of
York as soon as he should subdue the usurper; and thereupon the exiles
had unanimously sworn to support him as their sovereign. Henry was, as
we have observed, descended on the father's side merely from Owen Tudor,
a yeoman of the royal guard, and Catherine, the widow of Henry V. On
the mother's side he was descended from Edward III. through John of
Gaunt, but from an illegitimate branch. The bar of illegitimacy, though
legally removed, would always have operated against his claim to the
crown; but, independent of this, there were still various princes and
princesses of Spain and Portugal, descendants of John of Gaunt, whose
titles to the English crown were much superior to his. Yet, from his very
infancy, there seems to have been a singular feeling that one day he
would mount the throne of this kingdom. Henry VI. is said to have laid
his hand on his head as a child, and declared that one day the crown
would sit there. Edward IV. had evinced a perpetual fear of him, and had
not only bargained for his secure detention at the court of Brittany,
but on one occasion he had bribed the Duke of Brittany to give him up on
the pretence of his intending to marry him to his eldest daughter--that
daughter, in fact, he was destined eventually to marry. The duke,
however, at the last moment, feeling a strong misgiving, had followed
Henry to St. Malo, and there stopped him from embarking. Richard, on
succeeding to the throne, had tried to purchase the surrender of Henry
from the Duke of Brittany. In short, Henry assured the historian,
Comines, that from the age of five years he had either been a captive or
a fugitive. With this long traditionary presentiment that he was to reign
in England attached to him, his marriage to Elizabeth of York would at
once obviate all scruples as to his complete title. He would come in on
the strength of her title, as William of Orange afterwards did on that of
his queen, Mary Stuart.

As the prospect of this event became more imminent--as Richard felt more
deeply that the heart of the nation was not with him, but that all men
were looking to this alliance as the hope of better times, he set himself
to defeat it. Though he had so lately robbed, degraded, and insulted
Queen Elizabeth and her family--though he had murdered her children and
usurped their throne, he now suddenly turned round, and fawned on them.
He began to smile most kindly on Elizabeth, and wished her to quit the
sanctuary and come to court--a court dyed in the blood of her sons and
brothers. He made her the most flattering promises; and, when they failed
to draw her forth, he followed them by the most deadly threats. Elizabeth
Woodville had never been found insensible to prospects of advantage for
herself and family; but to put herself into the power of so lawless
a butcher, and to unite her daughter with the son of the murderer of
her children, was by no means reconcilable to her feelings. She stood
out stoutly; but fear of worse consequences at length compelled her to
succumb, and a private contract was concluded. Richard, in the presence
of a number of the nobles and prelates, as well as of the Lord Mayor and
aldermen, swore that the lives of Elizabeth and her daughters should be
safe; that the mother should receive an annuity of 700 marks for life,
and each of the daughters lands to the value of 200 marks on their
marriage, which should be to none but gentlemen.

When this bitter draught was swallowed, she had to endure another not
the less sorrowful--that was, to appear at the court of the usurper,
and behold him sitting in the seat of her murdered son, and receiving
that homage which was his right. But this strange patron now smiled
sunnily upon her. She and her daughters were received with every mark of
distinction, and especially Elizabeth, the eldest, whom he was intending
to pluck from the hopes of Richmond, by wedding her to his own son. But
these views were suddenly destroyed by the death of this, Richard's only
legitimate, son. He died at Middleham, where Richard was often residing,
but was then with his queen absent at Nottingham. His death, which took
place about the 9th of April, had something so remarkable about it, that
Rous, the family chronicler, calls it "an unhappy death." Both Richard
and his queen were so overwhelmed by this unexpected blow, that the
continuator of the Croyland Chronicle says that they almost went mad.

It was indeed a fatal stroke. The son on whom Richard had built the
hopes of his family's succession, and for whom he killed his nephews,
was now gone, and he was left without an heir, and without any prospect
of one. It might be supposed that this event would raise the confidence
of the Richmond party; and Richard, appearing to entertain the same
idea, conceived the design of securing Richmond, and, no doubt, dealing
with him as effectually as he had done with all others who stood in his
way. For this purpose he opened secret communications with Francis, Duke
of Brittany. That prince, who had been so long the generous protector
of Richmond, was now in a feeble and failing state of health, and his
minister, Peter Landois, administered his affairs pretty much at his
own will. The interest of Landois was purchased by heavy sums, and he
agreed to deliver Richmond into the hands of Richard. But the sagacious
Morton, Bishop of Ely, gave him timely warning, and Richmond fled for
his life. He reached France with only five attendants, and went at once
to the French court at Angers, where he was cordially received by the
sister of Charles VIII., then acting as regent. He accompanied the French
court to Paris, where he again repeated his oath to marry Elizabeth of
York, in case of deposing the tyrant, and he was immediately hailed by
the students of Paris as King of England. He was promised assistance
by the princess regent for his enterprise, and while these things were
proceeding, Francis of Brittany, who had recovered his health, and was
made acquainted with the villainy of Landois, sent a messenger to offer
him aid in his design.

Thus Richard had driven his enemy into a more safe and formidable
position, instead of capturing him, and he taxed his subtle genius to
thwart this dangerous rival by other means. To prepare for any serious
attack from France, he put an end to a miserable state of plunder and
reprisal betwixt Scotland and his subjects. He concluded an armistice
with James of Scotland; and having since his son's death nominated John
Earl of Lincoln the son of his sister the Duchess of Suffolk heir to the
crown, he now contracted Anne de la Pole, the sister of the young earl,
to the eldest son of the King of Scotland.

But Richard had designs more profound than this. He determined, as
he could not marry Elizabeth of York to his son, he would snatch her
from Richmond by wedding her himself. True, he had already a wife;
but monarchs have frequently shown how soon such an obstacle to a
fresh alliance can be removed. Richard now held a magnificent court at
Westminster. There was a constant succession of balls, feastings, and
gaieties. In the midst of these no one was so conspicuous as Elizabeth of
York; and what very soon excited the attention and the speculations of
the court, she always appeared in precisely the same dress as the queen.

The poor queen, Anne of Warwick, who began with hating Richard most
cordially, and even disguised herself as a cookmaid to escape him,
since the death of her son, had never recovered from her melancholy
and depression. Probably, knowing the real character of her ruthless
Bluebeard, she foresaw what must take place, and was too weary of life to
care to retain it. Though she penetrated the designs of the king, these
never influenced her in her conduct to Elizabeth, to whom she was kind as
became an aunt. And now she fell ill, and Richard is said to have assured
Elizabeth that the queen would "die in February," and that she should
succeed her.

Anne of Warwick, the last queen of the Plantagenet line, did not die in
February, but she did not survive through March. Yet that event did not
in any degree contribute to Richard's marriage with Elizabeth. Whether we
are to suppose with Sir Thomas More, and others, that Elizabeth herself
manifested a steady repugnance to so abhorrent a union, or whether
Richard deemed her in greater security there, he sent her under close
guard to the castle of Sheriff-Hutton, in Yorkshire, and no sooner did
he permit it to be whispered that such a marriage was probable, than
the rumour was received with universal horror. No persons were more
resolutely opposed to it than Ratcliffe and Catesby, Richard's great
confidants in his crimes. They naturally dreaded the idea of Elizabeth,
the sister of the murdered princes and the representative of a family on
which they had heaped such injuries, becoming queen, and in a position
to wreak her vengeance upon them. But they also saw, quite as clearly,
the ruin which the king would certainly bring down upon himself by such
a measure, in which they must also be inevitably involved.

The instinct of self-preservation in these men led them to remind the
king that a marriage with his own niece would be regarded as incestuous,
would be reprobated by the clergy, and abhorred by the people; that
there was a general persuasion abroad that he had poisoned his wife, and
this union would convert that persuasion into absolute conviction; that
the men of the northern counties, on whom he chiefly depended, and who
adhered to him, more than for any other cause, through their attachment
to the late queen, as the daughter of the great Earl of Warwick, would be
totally lost, and nothing but ruin could await him.

This strong and undisguised feeling, displayed thus both in public and
private, drove Richard from this design. Just before Easter, he called
a meeting of the city authorities in the great hall of St John's,
Clerkenwell, and there declared that he had no such intention as that of
marrying his niece, and that the report was "false and scandalous in a
high degree." He also sent a letter to the citizens of York, dated the
11th of April, contradicting such slanderous tales, and commanding them
to apprehend and punish all who should be found guilty of propagating

But the time was fast drawing near which must decide whether Richard or
Henry of Richmond should wear the crown. Richard was informed by his
agents on the Continent that Charles of France had permitted the Earl
of Richmond to raise an army in that country. They amounted to 3,000
men, consisting of English refugees and Norman adventurers. Richard
pretended to be delighted at the news, as confident that now he should
speedily annihilate his enemy. He was, however, so impoverished by his
lavish gifts and grants to secure the faith of his adherents, that he
was unprovided with the means of maintaining an army; neither had he
a fleet to intercept that of Henry. He dared not call a Parliament to
ask for supplies, for he had expended those granted by the only one he
had called. In that Parliament, to cast odium upon the memory of his
brother Edward, he had called on his subjects to remember his tyranny in
extorting benevolences; yet now he resorted to the very same thing; and
the people, in ridicule of his pretended denunciation of benevolences,
called them _malevolences_. By these arbitrary exactions he destroyed
the last trace of adhesion to his Government. On all sides he felt
coldness--on all sides he saw defection. The brave old Earl of Oxford,
John De Vere, who had been a prisoner twelve years in the prison of
Ham, in Picardy, was set at liberty by Sir James Blount, the governor
of the castle, and they fled together to Henry. Sir John Fortescue, the
Porter of Calais, followed their example, and numbers of young English
gentlemen, students of the University of Paris, flocked to his standard.
The same process was going on in England. Several sheriffs of counties
abandoned their charge, and hastened over to France; and numerous parties
put off from time to time from the coast. But no nobleman occasioned,
however, so much anxiety as Lord Stanley. His connection with Richmond,
having married his mother, made Richard always suspicious. He had
lavished favours upon him to attach him, and had made him steward of
the household to retain him under his eye. Stanley had always appeared
sincere in his service, but it was a sincerity that Richard could not
comprehend. This nobleman now demanded permission to visit his estates
in Cheshire and Lancashire, to raise forces for the king; but Richard so
little trusted him that he detained his son, Lord Strange, as a hostage
for his fidelity. We have already seen that Stanley had long secretly
pledged himself to Elizabeth of York in her cause, and only waited the
proper occasion to go over.

[Illustration: RICHARD III. AT THE BATTLE OF BOSWORTH. (_See p._ 63.)]

On the 1st of August, 1485, Henry of Richmond set sail from Harfleur,
with the united fleet of France and Brittany, and an army of 3,000 men,
on that memorable expedition which was to terminate the fatal wars of
the Roses, and introduce into England a new dynasty, and a new era of
civilisation. On the seventh of that month he landed at Milford Haven. He
himself and his uncle, Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, went on shore at
a place called Dale, while his army was disembarking. The Welsh accosted
the old earl with this significant welcome on his setting foot on his
native shore, "Welcome! for thou hast taken good care of _thy_ nephew!"

Having refreshed his forces, Henry marched on through Haverfordwest and
Pembroke to Cardigan. Everywhere he was received with manifest delight;
but his forces did not increase till he reached Cardigan, where Richard
Griffith and Richard Thomas, two Welsh gentlemen, joined his standard
with their friends. His old friend Sir Walter Herbert, who had been
expressly sent by Richard into that quarter with Rice ap Thomas to raise
the country in his behalf, though he did not join him, suffered him to
pass unmolested. Rice ap Thomas, on receiving a promise of the Government
of Wales, went over at once to Henry. When the army reached Newport Sir
Gilbert Talbot, with a decision of character in keeping with the account
of him by Brereton, came at the head of the tenantry of his nephew, the
Earl of Shrewsbury, 2,000 in number, and there, too, he was followed by
Sir John Savage. The invading force now amounted to more than 6,000 men.

Henry crossed the Severn at Shrewsbury. Richard now advanced to
Leicester, whence he issued despatches to all his subjects to join him
on the instant, accompanied by the most deadly menaces against all
defaulters. The Duke of Norfolk was there with the levies of the eastern
counties; the Earl of Northumberland with those from the north; Lord
Lovel commanded those from London; and Brackenbury those from Hampshire.
Stanley alone held aloof, and sent word, in reply to Richard's summons,
that he was ill in bed with the sweating sickness. Richard received this
ominous message with the utmost rage; and, as he had vowed that, on the
first symptom of disaffection on his part, he would cut off the head of
Lord Strange, his son, Strange made an instant attempt at flight. He was
brought back, and frankly confessed that he and his uncle, Sir William
Stanley, chamberlain of North Wales, had agreed to join the invaders;
but protested that his father knew nothing of their intention, but was
loyal, and his forces were already on the way to the royal camp. Richard
compelled him to write to his father, bidding him come up at once, or
that his son was a dead man.

On the 21st of August Richard rode forward from Leicester, and encamped
about two miles from Bosworth. He was mounted in the march on a
magnificent white courser, and clad in the same rich suit of burnished
steel which he wore at his victorious field of Tewkesbury. On his helmet
blazed a regal crown, which he had displayed there since he took up his
headquarters at Nottingham. His countenance is represented as stern and
frowning; his manner haughty, and as if putting on an air of bravado,
rather than of calm confidence; for, though his troops amounted to
30,000, and his cavalry was the finest in Europe, he well knew that there
was secret and wide-spread disaffection under all that martial show.
Were his followers true to him, the little army of Richmond would be
shivered in the first shock, and trodden under foot. But, perhaps, not
a man except the Duke of Norfolk was really stanch in his devotion; and
that night Norfolk's followers found pinned upon his tent this ominous

    "Jocky of Norfolk, be not too bold,
    For Dickon thy master is bought and sold."

That night Henry, who had reached Tamworth, marched to Atherstone. His
army did not amount to half that of Richard: yet all were earnest in the
cause, and the number of men of rank and character in it gave it a very
imposing air in the eyes of the soldiers. On the contrary, Richard's
soldiers, if we are to believe "Twelve Strange Prophecies"--still in
the British Museum--had been discouraged, not only by the warning to
John, or--as he was familiarly called--Jocky of Norfolk, but by the
following singular incident. As the king rode out of Leicester by the
south gate, at the head of his cavalry, a blind old man, well known as
a superannuated wheelwright, sat begging at the foot of the bridge. In
reply to the remarks of the soldiers as to the weather, the old man cried
out just as the king was at hand--"If the moon change again to-day, which
has changed once in the course of nature, King Richard will lose life
and crown." This was supposed to allude to Lord Percy, whose crest was a
crescent, and of whose faith Richard was sorely in doubt. When Richard
passed, his foot struck against a low post placed to defend the corner
of the bridge, and the beggar said, "His head will strike there as he
returns at night."

The night before the battle, Henry of Richmond had a secret meeting near
Atherstone with Lord Stanley, who assured him of his adherence, but
showed him how impossible it was that he could join him till Richard was
engaged in arraying the battle, or his son's life would immediately be
sacrificed. Stanley had 5,000 men, and engaged to appear for Richard till
the moment for battle, when his defection would do Henry the most signal

On the evening of the 21st of August, the two armies lay encamped
near the little town of Bosworth, opposite to each other. Richard
is represented by the chroniclers as passing that night in the most
agonising state of restlessness and uncertainty. The deeply-rooted
disaffection of his troops destroyed his confidence, though his 30,000
were only opposed by Richmond's 6,000. He went through the camp examining
secretly the state of his outposts, and finding at one of them a sentinel
asleep, he stabbed him to the heart, saying, "I find him asleep, and I
leave him so." His own slumbers are said to have been broken, and the
chroniclers express his state by saying he "was most terribly pulled and
haled by devils."

But other agents than those thus troubling the tyrant's mind were active
throughout the camp. Many of his soldiers stole away to Richmond, and
probably some of these left the warning to Jocky of Norfolk. These
desertions produced dismay in Richard's ranks, and confidence in those of
his rival.

When morning broke, Richmond's little army was discovered already drawn
up. The van, consisting of archers, was led by the Earl of Oxford; the
right wing by Sir Gilbert Talbot; the left by Sir John Savage. In the
main body Henry posted himself, accompanied by the Earl of Pembroke.
Richard confronted the foe with his numerous lines, taking his place also
in the main body, opposite to Richmond, but giving the command of the van
to the Duke of Norfolk. Lord Stanley took his station on one wing, and
Sir William on the other, so that, thus disposed, they could flank either
their own side or the opposed one. The battle was begun by the archers
of both armies, and soon became furious. No sooner was this the case,
than the Stanleys, seizing the critical moment, wheeling round, joined
the enemy, and fell on Richard's flanks. This masterly manoeuvre struck
dismay through the lines of Richard; the men who stood their ground
appeared to fight without heart, and to be ready to fly. Richard, who saw
this, and beheld the Duke of Northumberland, sitting at the head of his
division, and never striking a single stroke, became transported with
fury. His only hope appeared to be to make a desperate assault on Henry's
van, and, if possible, to reach and kill him on the spot. With this
object he made three furious charges of cavalry; and, at the third, but
not before he had seen his chief companion, the Duke of Norfolk, slain,
he broke into the midst of Henry's main body, and, catching sight of
him, dashed forward, crying frantically, "Treason! treason! treason!" He
killed Sir William Brandon, Henry's standard-bearer, with his own hand;
struck Sir John Cheyney from his horse; and, springing forward on Henry,
aimed a desperate blow at him; but Sir William Stanley, breaking in at
that moment, surrounded Richard with his brave followers, who bore him to
the ground by their numbers, and slew him, as he continued to fight with
a bravery as heroic as his political career had been--in the words of
Hume--"dishonourable for his multiplied and detestable enormities." The
blood of Richard tinged a small brook which ran where he fell, and the
people are said to this day never to drink of its water.

The body of the fallen tyrant was speedily stripped of his valuable
armour and ornaments, and the soldier who laid hands upon the crown hid
it in a hawthorn bush. But strict quest being made after it, it was
soon discovered and carried to Lord Stanley, who placed it upon the
head of Henry, and the victor was immediately saluted by the general
acclamations of the army with "Long live King Henry!" and they sang
_Te Deum_, in grand chorus, on the bloody heath of Bosworth. From the
poetical circumstance of the hawthorn bush, the Tudors assumed as their
device a crown in a bush of fruited hawthorn. Lord Strange, the son of
Lord Stanley, being deserted by his guards, as soon as the defeat was
known, made his way to the field, and joined his father and the king at
the close of the battle.

King Henry VII. advanced from the decisive field of Bosworth, at the head
of his victorious troops, to Leicester, which he entered with the same
royal state that Richard had quitted it. The statements of the numbers
who fell on this field vary from 1,000 to 4,000, but of the leaders, the
Duke of Norfolk, and Lord Ferrars of Chartley, Sir Richard Ratcliffe, Sir
Robert Percy, and Sir Robert Brackenbury, fell with the king. On the side
of Henry fell no leaders of note.

Henry used his victory mildly; he shed no blood of the vanquished, except
that of the notorious Catesby, and two persons of the name of Brecher,
who were probably men of like character and crimes. Thus, in one day,
the world was relieved of the presence of Richard and of his two base
commissioners of murder, Catesby and Ratcliffe.

Richard's naked body, covered with mud and gore, was, according to the
local traditions of Leicester, flung carelessly across a horse, and thus
carried into that town; his head, say these historic memories, striking
against the very post which the blind beggar had said it should, and the
rude populace following it with shouts of mockery. The corpse was begged
by the nuns of the Grey Friars, to whom Richard had been a benefactor,
and was decently interred in their church.



     The Study of Latin and Greek--Invention of Printing--Caxton--New
     Schools and Colleges--Architecture, Military, Ecclesiastical,
     and Domestic--Sculpture, Painting, and Gilding--The Art of
     War--Commerce and Shipping--Coinage.

It might be very reasonably supposed that during a century spent almost
entirely in war, and during the second half of it in the most rancorous
intestine strife, there could not be much national progress. There is no
doubt but that the population was greatly decreased. It was calculated
that at the beginning of the century the population of England and Wales
amounted to about 2,700,000. At the end of it, it is supposed that there
were not 2,500,000.

In these depopulating wars, there can be no question that, besides
the actual destruction of so many men, there must have been terrible
sufferings inflicted, and an immense interruption of all those peaceful
transactions by which nations become wealthy and powerful.

During this century, two events of the highest importance to art and
learning took place--the introduction of the knowledge of Greek and the
invention of printing.



If the knowledge of Greek had not entirely died out in western Europe,
it had nearly so till this century. The crusades, leading the Christians
of western Europe to the east, had opened up an acquaintance betwixt the
people of the Greek empire and those of the West. The destruction of that
empire in this century drove a number of learned men into Italy, where
they taught their language and literature. Amongst these were Theodore
Gaza, Cardinal Bessarion, George of Trebizond, Demetrius Chalcondyles,
John Argyropulus, and Johannes Lascaris. Before that time some knowledge
of the Greek philosophy had reached us through the Arabians, but till
the fourteenth century very little of the literature of Greece was known
in the western nations, not even the "Iliad" and "Odyssey" of Homer.
In Italy Petrarch and Boccaccio learned the language and studied the
writings of Greece, and an enthusiasm for Greek literature spread over
all Europe. Grocyn studied it in Italy in 1488, under Chalcondyles, and
came and taught it in England.


At the same moment that Greek began to be studied, Latin in Europe was
in the lowest and most degraded state. Though it still continued the
language of divines, lawyers, philosophers, historians, and even poets,
it had lost almost every trace of its original idiom and elegance. Latin
words were used, but in the English order, and where words were wanting,
they Anglicised them.

the Library of Lambeth Palace._)]

But that wonderful art which was destined to chase this darkness like a
new sun was already on its way from Germany to this country. The Chinese
had printed from engraved wooden blocks for many centuries, when the same
idea suggested itself to a citizen of Haarlem, named Laurent Janszoon
Coster. Coster, who was keeper of the cathedral, first cut his letters in
wood, then made separate wooden letters, and employed them in printing
books by tying them together with strings. From wood he proceeded to cut
his letters in metal, and finally to cast them in the present fashion.
Coster concealed his secret with great care, and was anxious to transmit
it to his children; but in this he was disappointed, for at his death
one of his assistants, John Gensfleisch, the Gutenberger, went off to
Mayence, carrying with him movable types of Coster's casting.

That is the Dutch story, but the Germans insist on Gutenberg being the
originator of printing. They contend that Coster's were only the wooden
blocks which had long been in use for the printing of playing cards, and
manuals of devotion. They even insinuate that all that the Dutch claim
had probably been brought from China by Marco Polo in the thirteenth
century, who had seen the paper-money thus printed there in letters of
vermilion, and that Holland had no share in the invention at all. But we
know that the Germans have a vast capacity for claiming. It is notorious
that all the earliest block-printing, the Bibliæ Pauperum, the Bibles of
the Poor, the Speculum Humanæ Salvationis, with its fifty pictures, and
other block works, were all done in the Low Countries in the century we
are reviewing.

Taking a broad view, however, it is certain that Gutenberg, Fust, and
Schoeffer, were the men who first printed any known works in movable
types, and from Mayence, in 1445, diffused very soon the knowledge of
the present art of printing over the whole world. The first work which
they are supposed to have printed was the Bible, an edition of the Latin
Vulgate, known by the name of the Mazarin Bible, of which various copies
remain, though without date or printer's name.

Printing was introduced into England in 1474, according to all the chief
authorities of or near that time, by William Caxton. Caxton was a native
of the weald of Kent. He served his apprenticeship to a mercer of London,
and left England in 1441 to transact business in the Low Countries. There
he was greatly regarded by Margaret, the Duchess of Burgundy, Edward
IV.'s sister, who retained him as long as she could at her court. Caxton
was now upwards of fifty years of age, but his inquisitive and active
temperament led him to learn, amongst other things, the whole art of
printing from one Colard Manson. He saw its immense importance, and he
translated Raoul le Feure's "Recueil des Histoires de Troye," and printed
it in folio. This great work he says himself that he began in Bruges,
and finished in Cologne in 1471. The first work which he printed in
England was the "Game and Playe of Chesse," which was published in 1475.
From this time till 1490, or till nearly the date of his death in 1491
or 1492, a period of sixteen years, the list of the works which Caxton
passed through his press is quite wonderful. Thomas Milling, the Abbot
of Westminster, was his most zealous patron; and at Westminster, in the
Almonry, he commenced his business. Earl Rivers, brother to the queen of
Edward IV., another of his friends and patrons, translated the "Dictes
and Sayings of the Philosophers" for his nephew, the Prince of Wales, and
introduced Caxton, when it was printed, to present it to the king and
royal family.

But while Caxton was thus busy he saw others around him also as hard at
work with their presses: Theodore Rood, John Lettow, William Machelina,
and Wynkyn de Worde, foreigners, and Thomas Hunt, an Englishman. A
schoolmaster of St. Albans set up a press there, and several books were
printed at Oxford in 1478, and to the end of the century. There is
no direct evidence of any work being printed in Scotland during this
century, though such may have been the case, and all traces of the fact
obliterated in the almost universal destruction of the cathedral and
conventual libraries at the Reformation. James III. was known to collect
the most superb specimens of typography, and Dr. Henry mentions seeing
a magnificent edition of "Speculum Moralitatis," which had been in that
king's possession, and contained his autograph.

Not less meritorious benefactors of their country, next to the writers
and printers of books, were those who collected them into libraries, and
the most munificent patron and encourager of learning in this manner was
the unfortunate Duke Humphrey of Gloucester. He gave to the University
of Oxford a library of 600 volumes in 1440, valued at £1,000. Some of
these very volumes yet remain in different collections. Duke Humphrey
not only bought books, but he employed men of science and learning to
translate and transcribe. He kept celebrated writers from France and
Italy, as well as Englishmen, to translate from the Greek and other
languages; and is said to have written himself on astronomy, a scheme of
astronomical calculations under his name still remaining in the library
of Gresham College. The great Duke of Bedford, likewise, when master of
Paris, purchased and sent to this country the royal library, containing
853 volumes, valued at 2,223 livres.

The schools and colleges founded during this century were the
following:--Lincoln College, Oxford, founded in 1427, by Richard Fleming,
Bishop of Lincoln, and completed by Thomas Scott, of Rotherham, Bishop of
Lincoln, in 1475. All Souls' College, Oxford, was founded by Chicheley,
Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1437. He expended upon its erection £4,545,
and procured considerable revenues for it out of lands of the alien
priories dissolved just before that time. Magdalene College, Oxford, was
founded by William of Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, in 1458, and soon
became one of the richest colleges in Europe. King's College, Cambridge,
was founded by Henry VI. in 1441. Queens' College, Cambridge, was
founded by Margaret of Anjou, in 1448; and Catherine Hall, Cambridge, was
founded by Robert Woodlark, third provost of King's College, in 1473.

Besides these, Henry VI. founded Eton College, and Thomas Hokenorton,
Abbot of Osney, founded the schools in Oxford, in 1439. Before that
time the professors of several sciences in both universities read
their lectures in private houses, at very inconvenient distances from
each other. To remedy this inconvenience, schools were erected in
both universities at this period. Hokenorton's schools comprehended
the teaching of divinity, metaphysics, natural and moral philosophy,
astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, music, logic, rhetoric, and grammar.
They required liberal aid from other benefactors, and they found these
in the noble Humphrey of Gloucester, and the two brothers Kemp, the one
Archbishop of York and the other Bishop of London. They were completed
in 1480, including Duke Humphrey's noble library, the nucleus of the
present Bodleian, which was refounded by Sir Thomas Bodley in 1597. The
quadrangle, containing the schools of Cambridge, was completed in 1475.

Up to this period Scotland had possessed no university whatever, and
its youth had been obliged to travel to foreign universities for their
education. But now the University of St. Andrews was founded in 1410,
and obtained a charter in 1411 from Bishop Wardlaw, which was confirmed
by the Pope in 1412, and by James I. in 1431. The great need of such an
institution was soon evidenced by the university becoming famous. In 1456
Kennedy, the successor of Wardlaw, founded the College of St. Salvator in
that city; and in 1450 William Turnbull, the Bishop of Glasgow, founded
the University of that city; and in the same year was founded the college
or faculty of arts in Glasgow, King James II. taking both college and
university under his especial patronage and protection. This college
received a handsome endowment from James, Lord Hamilton, and his lady,
Euphemia, Countess of Douglas, in 1459.

The castles erected during this period are few. The wars of the
Roses brought the force of cannon and gunpowder against the massive
erections of the barons of past ages, and many a terrible stronghold
was demolished. But there was, from the beginning of these wars, little
leisure for repairing, or for building new castles. The proprietors, for
the most part, were killed or reduced to ruin, and the workmen shared
the same fate, so that labour became too scarce and dear for such great
undertakings. Scotland was affected by similar circumstances.

The castles of this period bear unmistakable traces of the Perpendicular
style, which was prevalent in the ecclesiastical architecture of the
age. That portion of Windsor built by William of Wykeham, though much
altered, retains some marked and good features of this age. The exterior
of Tattershall Castle, in Lincolnshire, remains nearly unaltered. All the
castles of this time blend more or less of the domestic character, and
tended towards that style which prevailed in the next century under the
name of Tudor. Another great change in the castellated architecture of
this period was the use of brick in their construction. Bricks, though
introduced into Britain by the Romans, had gone almost out of use till
the reign of Richard II.; now they were in such favour that the castles
of Tattershall, Hurstmonceux, and Caistor were built chiefly of them, as
Thornbury Castle was in the next century. Hurstmonceux, in Sussex, was
erected in 1448 on the plan of Porchester Castle. It was a stupendous
building, of which the ruins now remain, forming a regular parallelogram
of 180 feet square, flanked by seventeen octagon towers, and with a fine
machicolated gateway forming the keep. Tattershall, in Lincolnshire,
built in 1455, is erected in the style of the ancient keep, a huge square
tower with polygonal turrets at the angles. Caistor, in Norfolk, erected
about 1450, was remarkable for two very large circular brick towers at
the northern angle, one of which remains.

But the castles and the mansions of this period possessed frequently
so many features and qualities in common, that some of them are actual
hybrids, the uniting links of the two kinds of houses. They had alike
towers, battlements, and moats, and the chief apartments looked into the
interior quadrangle as the safest. Oxburgh Hall, in Norfolk, is one of
this mixed class. Though called a hall, it is moated, and has a massive
gateway of a remarkable altitude. Raglan Castle, built in the reign of
Edward IV., has more of the true castellated style; Warwick and Windsor,
more of the union of the two styles. At the same time such castles as
had their gateways battered down, and rebuilt at this period, present
in them all the older characteristics of castellated buildings. Such is
the gateway of Carisbrooke Castle, built in the reign of Edward IV., and
the west gate of Canterbury, built towards the close of the fourteenth
century, which retain the stem old circular towers, lighted only by mere
loopholes and _oeillets_.

The style of ecclesiastical architecture prevailing through this century,
and to the middle of the next, is that called the Perpendicular. It
appears to have commenced about 1377, or at the commencement of the
reign of Richard II., just twenty years prior to this century, and
it terminated at the Reformation, in the reign of Henry VIII. The
Reformation was anything but a reformation in architecture. That great
convulsion broke up the period of a thousand years, during which, from
the first introduction of Christianity into this island, this peculiar
character of architecture, often called Gothic, but more properly
Christian, had been progressing and perfecting itself. The Western
princes and prelates, evidently copying the Grecian in their columns,
but adding curves and ornaments unknown to the Greeks, and introducing
principles of pliancy, and of long and lofty aisles, from the suggestions
of the forests, in which they were accustomed to wander, and the linden
groves which they planted, originated a new school of architecture, in
many particulars far exceeding that of the classic nations. No church
took up and perpetuated this noble Christian architecture more cordially
and more inspiredly than the Catholic. Over the whole of Europe, wherever
the Roman Church prevailed, it erected its churches and monasteries in
a spirit of unrivalled grandeur and beauty. In architecture, in music,
and in painting, it acquitted itself royally towards the public, however
it might fail in spirit, in doctrine, or in discipline. The remains
of painted windows, to say nothing of the productions of such men as
Raphael, Michael Angelo, Guido, and a host of others, who drew their
inspiration from the devotions of that church, are sufficient to excite
our highest admiration; and the sublime anthems which resounded through
their august and poetical temples, through what are called "the Dark
Ages," were well calculated to enchain the imagination of minds not
deeply reflective or profoundly informed.


In every country we find, moreover, a different style in all these
arts--music, painting, and architecture; demonstrating the exuberance
of genius turned into these channels during long centuries, when all
others, except warfare, seemed closed. England had its distinctive style
in these matters, and in architecture this Perpendicular style was the
last. During its later period it considerably deteriorated, and with
the Reformation it went out. In England sufficient power and property
were left to the Anglican Church to enable it to preserve the majority
of its churches, and many of its conventual buildings: in Scotland the
destruction was more terrible. There public opinion took a great leap
from Catholicism to the simplicity and sternness of the school of John
Knox; and in consequence of his celebrated sermon at Perth, in which he
told his congregation that to effectually drive away the rooks they must
pull out their nests, almost every convent and cathedral, except that of
Glasgow, was reduced to a ruin.


Of the Perpendicular style we have many churches throughout the country,
and still more into which it has been more or less introduced into
those of earlier date in repairs and restorations. Every county, and
almost every parish, can show us specimens of this style, if it be only
in a window, a porch, or a buttress. Rickman is of opinion that half
the windows in English edifices over the kingdom are of this style.
Whilst our neighbours on the Continent were indulging themselves in the
_flamboyant_ style, and loading their churches with the most exuberant
ornament, as in the splendid cathedrals of Normandy and Brittany, our
ancestors were enamoured of this new and more chaste style. There are
writers who regard the perpendicular lines of this style as an evidence
of a decline in the art. We cannot agree with that opinion. The straight,
continuous mullions of the Perpendicular are--combined with the rich and
abundant ornaments of other portions of the buildings, as the spandrils
enriched with shields, the finely-wrought and soaring canopies, and
crocketed finials, the canopied buttresses, the groined roofs and
fan-tracery of ceilings--a pleasure to the eye, when chastely and richly

The windows of this style at once catch the observation of the spectator.
The mullions, running through from bottom to top, give you, instead of
the flowing tracery of the Decorated style, a simple and somewhat stiff
heading; but the stiffness is in most instances relieved by the heading
of each individual section being cuspated, and the upper portions of
the window presenting frequent variations, as in the grand western
window of Winchester Cathedral. Some of these windows, with their
cinquefoils and quatrefoils, approach even to the Decorative. Amongst
the finest windows of this kind are those of St. George's, Windsor, of
four lights; the clerestory windows of Henry the Seventh's Chapel, of
five. The east window of York Cathedral is of superb proportions. The
window of the Beauchamp Chapel, Warwick, is extremely rich and peculiar
in its character. Those of the Abbey Church of Bath have the mullions
alternating, by the perpendicular line being continued from the centre of
each arch beneath it.

The mullions in this style are crossed at right angles by transoms,
converting the whole window into a series of panels; for panelling in the
Perpendicular style is one of its chief characteristics, being carried
out on walls, doors, and, in many cases, even roofs and ceilings. Take
away the arched head of a window, and you convert it at once into an
Elizabethan one.

Every portion of a Perpendicular building has its essential
characteristics: its piers, its buttresses, its niches, its roofs,
porches, battlements, and ornaments, which we cannot enumerate here.
They must be studied for themselves. We can only point out one or two
prominent examples.

Many of the buildings of this style are adorned with flying buttresses,
which are often pierced, and rich in tracery, as those of Henry VII.'s
Chapel. The projection of the buttresses in King's College Chapel,
Cambridge, is so great that chapels are built between them. Many of these
buttresses are very rich with statuary niches and wrought canopies.
Pinnacles are used profusely in this style; but in St. George's,
Windsor, and the Beauchamp Chapel, Warwick, the buttresses run up, and
finish square.

Panelling, as we have said, is one of the most striking features of the
Perpendicular style. This is carried to such an extent in most of the
richly-ornamented buildings, that it covers walls, windows, roofs; for
the doors and windows are only pierced panels. St. George's, Windsor, is
a fine example of this; but still finer is Henry VII.'s Chapel, which,
within and without, is almost covered with panelling. King's College
Chapel, Cambridge, is another remarkable example, which is all panelled,
except the floor. The roof of this chapel is one of the richest specimens
of the fan-tracery in the kingdom. Amongst the most graceful ornaments of
this style are the angels introduced into cornices, and as supporters of
shields and corbels for roof-beams, rich foliated crockets, and flowers
exquisitely worked, conspicuous amongst them being the Tudor flower.

Some of the finest steeples in the country belong to this style. First
and foremost stands the unrivalled open-work tower of St. Nicholas,
Newcastle-on-Tyne. This forms a splendid crown in the air, composed of
four flying buttresses, springing from the base of octagonal turrets, and
bearing at their intersection an elegant lantern, crowned with a spire.
From this have been copied that of St. Giles's, Edinburgh, that of the
church of Linlithgow, and the college tower of Aberdeen. Boston, Derby,
Taunton, Doncaster, Coventry, York, and Canterbury boast noble steeples
of this style.

The arches of the Perpendicular are various; but none are so common
as the flat, four-centred arch. This in doors, and in windows also,
is generally enclosed by a square plane of decoration, appearing as a
frame, and this mostly surmounted by a dripstone; the spandrels formed
betwixt the arch and frame being generally filled by armorial shields,
or ornamental tracery. In some doorways there is an excess of ornament.
The Decorative style in this country, or the florid abroad, has nothing
richer. Every part is covered with canopy-work, flowers, heraldic
emblems, and emblazoned shields. Such is the doorway of King's College
Chapel, Cambridge; and such are the chapels of Henry V. and Henry VII. at

The groined roofs of the Perpendicular style are noble, and often
profusely ornamented. The intersections of the ribs of these groined
roofs are often shields richly emblazoned in their proper colours. The
vaulted roof of the cloisters of Canterbury Cathedral is studded with
above 800 shields, of kings and other benefactors; and the whole presents
a perfect blaze of splendour. Some of these groined roofs are adorned
with a ramification of ribs, running out in a fan-shape, circumscribed by
a quarter or half-circle rib, the intervals filled up with ornament. The
cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral present, perhaps, the first specimen of
the fan-tracery roof; and after that King's College Chapel, Cambridge,
Henry VII.'s Chapel, and the Abbey Church at Bath. The Red Mount Chapel,
at Lynn, in Norfolk, is a unique and very beautiful specimen of the
Perpendicular, not only having a richly ornamental roof of this kind,
but though much injured by time, displaying in every part of it design
and workmanship equally exquisite. Henry VII.'s Chapel and the Divinity
School at Oxford have pendants which come down as low as the springing
line of the fans.

A simpler roof, but quaint and impressive in its appearance, is the open
one--that is, open to the roof framing. Here, as all is bare to the eye,
the whole framework of beams and rafters has been constructed for effect.
The wood-work forms arches, pendants, and pierced panels of various form
and ornament. Such are the roofs of Westminster Hall, Crosby Hall (just
removed), Eltham Palace, the College of Christ Church, Oxford, and many
an old baronial hall and church throughout the country.

Specimens of this style of architecture in whole or in part will meet
the reader in every part of England, Wales, and Scotland; and it should
be remembered that it is an especial and exclusively English style, no
other country possessing it. In Scotland Melrose Abbey and Roslin Chapel
present fine specimens of the Perpendicular, the latter one displaying
some singular variations, the work of foreign artists.

When we descend from the military castle to more domestic architecture,
we find the large houses of the gentry, or nobility, though totally
incapable of resisting cannon, yet frequently battlemented, flanked
with turrets, and surrounded by the flooded moat. The large houses of
this period were generally built round one or two quadrangles. These
buildings often possessed much variety of exterior detail: a great
arched gateway with the armorial escutcheon above it; projections,
recesses, tall chimneys, flanking buttresses, handsome oriel windows, and
pointed gables, terminated by some animal belonging to the emblazonry
of the family. They were commonly adorned with fanes, in the form of
the military banner of the chief, duly emblazoned in proper colours.
Within, the great hall, with its open groined roof, the kitchen, and
the buttery, cut the principal figure. At the upper end of the hall was
the daïs or raised part, on which stood the table of the lord and his
immediate family or particular guests; and below the great salt-cellar
sat the remainder of the establishment. At the lower end was commonly a
music gallery. The fire was still frequently in the centre of the hall,
and there was a hole in the roof to permit the smoke to escape, as at
Penshurst, where the front of the music gallery is true Perpendicular. In
other houses there were large open fireplaces, the mantelpieces of which
were frequently richly carved with the armorial shields of the family.

The floors were still strewn with fresh rushes instead of a carpet, and
the walls were hung with arras, which clothed them, and at the same
time kept out cold draughts. Plaster ceilings were yet unknown. The
greater portion of these houses, however, was required for the sleeping
apartments of the numerous retainers.

In the humbler halls, granges, and farmhouses, the same plan of building
round a quadrangle was mostly adhered to, and a large number of such
houses were of framed timber, with ornamental gables and porches, and
displaying much carving. Great Chatfield manor-house in Wiltshire,
Harlaxton in Lincolnshire, Helmingham Hall, Norfolk, Moreton Hall in
Cheshire, and probably some of the framed timber houses of Lancashire, as
the Hall-in-the-Wood, Smithell's, Speke Hall, &c., in whole or in part,
date from this period. Ockwells, in Berkshire, is another of the fine old
timber houses of this century.

In the towns the houses were also chiefly of wood. The streets were
extremely narrow, and the upper storeys of the houses projected over
the lower ones, so that you might almost shake hands out of the third
or fourth storey windows. This was the cause of such frequent fires as
occurred in London. Many of the small houses in these narrow streets
were adorned with abundance of carving. The houses or inns of the great
barons, prelates, and abbots were extensive, and surrounded inner courts.
Here, during Parliament, and on other grand occasions, the owners came
with their vast retinues. We are told that the Duke of York lodged with
400 men in Baynard's Castle, in 1457. The Earl of Warwick had his house
in Warwick Lane, still called after it, where he could lodge 800 men.
At another house of his called the Herber, meaning an inn, the Earl of
Salisbury, his father, lodged with 500 men. Still more extensive must
have been the abodes of the Earls of Exeter and Northumberland, who
occasionally brought retinues of from 800 to 1,500 men. The sites of
these great houses are yet known, and bear the names of their ancient
owners, but the buildings themselves have long vanished. The great houses
of Scotland still kept up the show of feudal strength and capability of
defence. The peels, or Border towers, yet bear evidence of the necessity
of stout fortification in those times. We may form some idea of the
devastation made amongst private dwellings in the Wars of the Roses,
from the statement of John Rous, the Warwick antiquary, who says that
no fewer than sixty villages, some of them large and populous, with
churches and manor-houses, had been destroyed within twelve miles of that
town. From all that we can learn, the common people of this age were but
indifferently lodged, and the mansions of the great were more stately
than comfortable.

Though such extensive destruction of the statuary which adorned both the
exterior and interior of our churches took place at the Reformation,
sufficient yet remains to warrant us in the belief that the fifteenth
surpassed every prior century in its sculpture. The very opposition
which the Wycliffites had raised to the worship and even existence of
images, seems to have stimulated the Church only the more to put forth
its strength in this direction. Sculptors, both foreign and English,
therefore received the highest encouragement, and were in the fullest
employ. The few statues which yet remain in niches, on the outside of our
cathedrals, especially those on the west end of the Cathedral of Wells,
though probably not the best work of the artists, are decided proofs
of their ability. The effigies of knights and ladies extended on their
altar tombs received grave damage, with the rest of the ecclesiastical
art, from the misguided zeal of the reformers, yet many such remain of
undoubted beauty, and the chantries, which were in this century erected
over the tombs of great prelates, are of the most exquisite design and
workmanship. Such are those in Winchester Cathedral of Bishops Wykeham,
Beaufort, and Waynflete. The shrine of Bishop Beaufort, in particular,
is a mass of Portland stone, carved like the finest ivory, and is a most
gorgeous specimen of a tomb of the Perpendicular period. Henry V.'s
chantry, in Westminster Abbey, is the only one erected in this period to
royalty, and it is a monument of high honour to the age.

The names of some of the artists of this era are preserved. Thomas Colyn,
Thomas Holewell, and Thomas Poppehowe, executed, carried over, and
erected in Nantes, in 1408, the alabaster tomb of the Duke of Brittany.
Of the five artists who executed the celebrated tomb of Richard, Earl
of Warwick, in the Beauchamp Chapel, four were English, and the fifth
was a Dutch goldsmith. Besides the great image of the earl, there were
thirty-two images on this monument. These were all cast by William
Austin, a founder of London, clearly a great genius, on the finest latten
(brass), and gilded by Bartholomew Lambespring the Dutch goldsmith. The
monument and the superb chapel in which it stands cost £2,481 4s. 7d.,
equivalent to £24,800 now.

Most of the monumental brasses which abound in our churches were the
work of this period. There are some of much older date, but, during this
century they were multiplied everywhere, and afforded great scope for the
talents of founders, engravers, and enamellers.

In painting, the age does not appear to have equally excelled. There
was, unquestionably, abundance of religious pictures on the walls of our
churches, and the images themselves were painted and gilt; but there
do not seem to have existed artists who had a true conception of the
sublimity of their pursuit. The painting of such works was undertaken by
the job, by painters and stainers. John Prudde, glazier in Westminster,
undertook to "import from beyond seas glass of the finest colours, blue,
yellow red, purple, sanguine, and violet," and with it glaze the windows
of the Beauchamp Chapel. Brentwood, a stainer of London, was to paint
the west wall of the chapel "with all manner of devices and imagery;"
and Christian Coliburne, painter, of London, was to "paint the images in
the finest oil colours." The great Earl of Warwick bargained with his
tailor to paint the scenes of his embassy to France, for which he was to
receive £1 8s. 6d. The "Dance of Death," so common on the Continent in
churches and churchyards, made also so famous by Holbein, was copied from
the cloister of the Innocents in Paris, and painted on the walls of the
cloister of St. Paul's. It was a specimen of the portrait painting of the
age, for it contained the portraits of actual persons, in different ranks
of life, in their proper dresses. The portraits of our kings, queens, and
celebrated characters, done at this time, are of inferior merit.

[Illustration: _From the Froissart MS. in the British Museum._

    _Reproduced by André & Sleigh, Ltd., Bushey, Herts._



Gilding was in great request, not only for ornamenting churches and their
monuments, but for domestic use, the precious metals being very scarce,
and therefore copper and brass articles were commonly silvered or gilt.
But it was in the illumination of manuscripts that the artistic genius
of the time was, more than almost in any other department, displayed.
The colours used are deemed inferior in splendour to those of the
fourteenth century, but the illuminations are superior in drawing and
power of expression. The terror depicted in the faces of the Earl of
Warwick's sailors in expectation of shipwreck, and the grief in those who
witnessed his death, are evidences of the hand of a master. Many of the
portraits of the leading characters of the age are to be found in these
illuminations; and they afford us the most lively views of the persons
and dresses of our ancestors of that day--their arms, ships, houses,
furniture, manners, and employments. But the art of printing was already
in existence, and before it the beautiful art of illumination fell and
died out.


The deadly arts of destruction were more practised during this century
than all others. First the English turned their arms against the French,
and then against each other, and though many of their armies were hastily
raised, and therefore ill-disciplined, they not only showed their
accustomed bravery, but many advances were made in the manner of raising,
forming, paying, and disciplining troops, as well as in the modes of
attacking fortifications and towns. Henry V. was a consummate master in
this, his favourite art, and was, perhaps, the first of our kings who
introduced a scheme of superior discipline, teaching his troops to march
in straight lines at proper distances, with a steady, measured pace; to
advance, attack, halt, or fall back without breaking, or getting into
confusion. This, combined with his mode of employing his archers, which
we have described in the account of his battles, gave him an invincible
superiority over his enemies.

As the feudal system decayed, the kings of England no longer depended
on their barons appearing in the field with their vassals, but they
bargained with different leaders to furnish men at stated prices,
which, as we have shown, were high. It was only in cases of rebellion
and intestine struggle that they summoned all their military tenants
to raise the people in mass, and the same summonses were issued to the
archbishops, bishops, and all the principal clergy, to arm all their
followers, lay and clerical, and march to the royal standard.

The pictures of battles and sieges at this period give us an odd medley
of bows and arrows, crossbows, spears, cannon, and hand-guns. The old
weapons were not left off, because the new ones were too imperfect and
too difficult of locomotion to supersede them. The cannons, though
often of immense bore and weight, throwing balls of from one to five
hundredweight, were, for the most part, without carriages, and therefore
difficult and tardy in their operations. The Scots were the first to
anticipate the modern gun-carriage, by what they called their "carts of
war," which carried two guns each, while many of the guns of the English
required fifty horses to drag them. They had, however, smaller guns; as
culverins, serpentines, basilisks, fowlers, scorpions, &c. The culverins
were a species of hand-gun in general, fired from a rest, or from the
shoulder. The Swiss had 10,000 culverins at the famous battle of Morat.
These hand-guns are said to have been first brought into England by
Edward IV. on his return from Flanders in 1471. Ships were also supplied
with small guns.

The trade of England continued to flourish and extend itself through
this century, in spite of the obstacles and ruinous effects of almost
perpetual war. Our kings, however warlike they might be, were yet very
sensible of the advantages of commerce, and during this century made
numerous treaties in its favour. At the same time, it is curious that,
even when two countries were at war, such was the spirit of trade, that
the merchants went on trading whenever they could, just as if there
was no war at all. This was the case, especially between England and
Flanders. Our monarchs were already ambitious of reigning supreme masters
of the seas, and this doctrine was as jealously urged upon them by the
nation. In a rhyming pamphlet, written about 1433, and to be found in
Hakluyt (Vol. I., p. 167), the writer says, that "if the English keep the
seas, especially the main seas, they will compell all the world to be at
peace with them, and to court their friendship."

Henry IV., though harassed by the difficulties of a usurped crown,
strenuously set himself to promote commerce, and to put an end to the
continual depredations committed upon each other by the English and the
merchants of the Hanse Towns, as well as those of Prussia and Livonia,
subject to the grand master of the Teutonic order of knights.

Henry V. was as victorious at sea as on land; and by his fleet, under his
brother, the great Duke of Bedford, in 1416, and again in 1417, the Earl
of Huntingdon being his admiral, swept the seas of the united fleets of
France and Genoa, and made himself complete master of the ocean during
his time. This ascendency was lost under the disastrous reign of Henry
VI., but was regained by Edward IV., a monarch who, notwithstanding his
voluptuous character, was fully alive to the vast benefits accruing to
a nation from foreign trade, and thought it no dishonour to be, if not
a merchant-prince, a prince-merchant. He had ships of his own, and in
time of peace he did not suffer them to remain useless in harbour, but
freighted them with goods on his own account, and grew rich by traffic.

Notwithstanding all this, the nation was not yet much more enlightened
as to the real principles of trade than it was in the previous century.
The same absurd restrictions were in force against foreign merchants.
Such foreign merchants were required to lay out all the money received
for goods imported in English merchandise. No gold or silver coin, plate
or bullion, was, on any account, to be carried out of the kingdom. Banks
were now established in most countries, and bills of exchange had been
in use since the thirteenth century--so that these remedied, to a large
extent, this evil; but it is clear that where the exports of a country
exceeded its imports, the balance must be remitted in cash; and the
commercial men were clever enough to evade all the laws of this kind. No
fact was so notorious as that the coinage of England abounded in all the
countries to which she traded.

Besides the prohibition of carrying out any English coin or even bullion,
foreign merchants were to sell all the goods they brought within
three months, but they were not to sell any of them to other merchant
strangers, and when they arrived in any English town they were assigned
to particular hosts, and were to lodge nowhere else. Yet, under all these
obstacles, our commerce grew, and our merchants extended their voyages to
ports and countries which they had not hitherto frequented. In 1413 they
fitted out ships in the port of London for Morocco, having a cargo of
wool and other merchandise valued at £24,000, or £240,000 of our money.
This raised the ire of the Genoese, who seized these precious ships; but
Henry IV. soon made ample reprisals by granting to his subjects letters
of marque to seize the ships and goods of the Genoese wherever they could
be found. And so well did the English kings follow this up, that we find
them in Richard III.'s reign not only successfully competing with the
Genoese, but obtaining a footing in Italy itself, and establishing a
consul at Pisa. Consuls, or, as they were then called, governors, of the
English traders abroad, were also employed during this period in Germany,
Prussia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Holland, and Flanders.

[Illustration: _From the Froissart MS. in the British Museum._



[Illustration: _From the Froissart MS. in the British Museum._



Wool, woollens, tin, hides, and corn, were still our chief exports.
Slaves, says the historian, were no longer an article of commerce; but
the conveyance of pilgrims to foreign shrines was a source of great
emolument to merchants. A curious pamphlet of the middle of this century,
called "The Prologue of English Policy," gives us a complete view of
our imports:--The commodities of Spain were figs, raisins, wines, oils,
soap, dates, liquorice, wax, iron, wool, wadmote, goatfell, redfell,
saffron, and quicksilver--a valuable importation. Those of Portugal were
very much the same. Brittany sent wine, salt, crest-cloth or linen, and
canvas; Germany, Scandinavia, and Flanders, iron, steel, copper, osmond,
bowstaves, boards, wax, corn, pitch, tar, flax, hemp, felting, thread,
fustian, buckram, canvas, and wool-cards; Genoa, gold, cloth of gold,
silk, cotton, oil, black pepper, rockalum, and wood; Venice, Florence,
and other Italian states, all kinds of spices and grocery wares, sweet
wines, sugar, dates.

The age abounded with great merchants. The Medici of Florence; Jacques
le Coeur, the greatest merchant that France ever produced, who had
more wealth and trade than all the other merchants of that country
together, and who supplied Charles VII. with money by which he recovered
his country from the English. In our own country John Norbury, John
Hende, and Richard Whittington, were the leading merchants of London,
the last of whom was so far from a poor boy making his fortune by a cat
that he was the son of Sir William Whittington, knight. In Bristol
also flourished at this time William Cannynge, who was five times mayor
of that city, and who had, for some cause not explained, 2,470 tons of
shipping taken from him at once by Edward IV., including one ship of 400
tons, one of 500, and one of 900. The name of this Cannynge is familiar
to readers of Chatterton's ingenious Rowley poems.

Of the ships and shipping of the age we need not say more than that, with
all the characteristics of the past age, there was an attempt to build
larger vessels in rivalry of the Genoese. John Taverner, of Hull, had a
royal licence granted him in 1449, conferring on him great privileges
and exemptions as a merchant, for building one as large as a Venetian
carrack, one of their first-class ships, or even larger. And Bishop
Kennedy, of St. Andrews, was as much celebrated for building a ship of
unusual size, called the _Bishop's Berge_, as for building and endowing
a college.

In Scotland the state of the shipping interest was much the same as in
England. James I. displayed enlightened views of trade. He made various
laws to ascertain the rate of duty on all exports and imports, to secure
the effects of any traders dying abroad, and permitted his subjects to
trade in foreign ships when they had no vessels of their own. In both
countries great care was taken to protect and promote their fisheries.

The coin of those times in England was chiefly of gold and silver.
The gold coin consisted of nobles, half-nobles, and quarter-nobles,
originally equivalent to guineas (the exact value of a noble in Henry
IV.'s reign was 21s. 1-1/2d.), half-guineas, and quarter-guineas, or
dollars of 5s. 3d. The silver coins were groats, half-groats, and
pennies. But it must be remembered that all these coins were of ten times
the intrinsic value of our present money; so that the labourer who in the
fifteenth century received 1-1/2d. per day, received as much as fifteen
pence of the present money. But the great historical fact regarding
the money of this age was its continual adulteration, and consequent

Engraving by I. van Mechlin._)]



     Henry's Defective Title--Imprisonment of the Earl of Warwick--The
     King's Title to the Throne--His Marriage--Lovel's Rising--Lambert
     Simnel--Henry's prompt Action--Failure of the Rebellion--The
     Queen's Coronation--The Act of Maintenance--Henry's Ingratitude
     to the Duke of Brittany--Discontent in England--Expedition to
     France and its Results--Henry's Second Invasion--Treaty of
     Étaples--Perkin Warbeck--His Adventures in Ireland, France,
     and Burgundy--Henry's Measures--Descent on Kent--Warbeck in
     Scotland--Invasion of England--The Cornish Rising--Warbeck
     quits Scotland--He lands in Cornwall--Failure of the
     Rebellion--Imprisonment of Warbeck and his subsequent
     Execution--European Affairs--Marriages of Henry's Daughter and
     Son--Betrothal of Catherine and Prince Henry--Henry's Matrimonial
     Schemes--Royal Exactions--A Lucky Capture--Henry proposes for
     Joanna--His Death.

Though Henry Tudor had conquered Richard III. on the field of Bosworth,
he had no title whatever to the crown of England, except such as the
people, by their own free choice, should give him. He was descended, it
is true, from Edward III., through John of Gaunt, but from the offspring
of not only an illicit, but an adulterous connection. When the natural
children of John of Gaunt, therefore, were legitimatised by Act of
Parliament, that Act expressly declared them incapable of inheriting the
crown. Still more, the true hereditary claim lay in the house of York;
and had that line been totally extinct, and had the bar against his line
not existed, the royal house of Portugal at least had a superior title in
point of descent from John of Gaunt. Further still, he stood attainted
as a traitor by Act of Parliament, and could not, therefore, assert a
Parliamentary right. Yet, as we have said, for years public expectation,
overlooking the claims of all others of both the contending lines, had
turned towards him, as the individual destined by Providence to put an
end to the sanguinary broils of York and Lancaster, and unite them in

The only son of the late Duke of Clarence, who, next to the children
of Edward IV., was the heir apparent of the line of York, had been
confined by his uncle, Richard III., in the castle of Sheriff Hutton,
in Yorkshire. Richard had at first treated this poor boy with kindness;
he had created him Earl of Warwick, the title of his illustrious
grandfather, the king-maker. On the death of his own son, he had at first
proposed to nominate him his heir; but, fearing that he might be too
dangerous a competitor, he had omitted that favour, and conferred it on
the Earl of Lincoln, John de la Pole, the son of his sister the Duchess
of Suffolk, and therefore nephew both of himself and Edward IV. Henry,
the very first day after the battle of Bosworth, despatched Sir Robert
Willoughby to take the young earl from Sheriff Hutton, and convey him to
the Tower of London. Henry then put himself at the head of his victorious
troops, and commenced his march towards the capital. Everywhere he was
received, not as a conqueror, but a deliverer.

He arrived safely at Kennington, and after dining with Thomas Bourchier,
Archbishop of Canterbury, he proceeded with a splendid attendance of
lords, both spiritual and temporal, towards the city. The nobles,
imitating the absurd custom of France, rode two together on one horse,
to show how completely the rival parties had amalgamated, and in this
ridiculous style they passed through the city to the Tower, where Henry
for the present took up his residence. On the 30th of October he was
crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he immediately appointed a
body-guard of fifty archers to attend upon him. This was an indication of
distrust in his subjects or of the state of a conqueror, which astonished
and dismayed the public; but Henry assured them that it was merely the
state which, on the Continent, was now deemed essential to a king.

The Parliament assembled on the 7th of November, to settle the new order
of things. Before proceeding to business they found themselves in a great
dilemma. No less than 107 of the members were persons attainted during
the last two reigns, and were therefore disqualified for acting. They
were the most zealous partisans of the house of Lancaster, and immediate
application was made to the judges for their decision on this new and
singular case. They came to the conclusion that the attainted members
could not take their seats till their attainders were reversed, and a
bill was passed by the remaining members accordingly.

When Henry met his duly qualified Parliament, he informed them that
"he had come to the throne by just title of inheritance, and by the
sure judgment of God, who had given him the victory over his enemies in
the field." In this declaration he was careful, while he asserted what
was not true, to avoid what would alarm the pride and the fears of the
nation. He had no just title of inheritance, as we have shown, and he
dared not use the words "right of conquest," for such right was held
to imply a lapse of all the lands in the nation to the Crown, since
they had been held of the prince who had been conquered. Lest he had,
even in speaking of victory, gone too far, he immediately added, that
"every man should continue to enjoy his rights and hereditaments, except
such persons as in the present Parliament should be punished for their
offences against his royal majesty."

[Illustration: GREAT SEAL OF HENRY VII.]

Another claim to the crown, which Henry was still more careful to ignore,
though it was one on which he secretly placed confidence, was the right
of Elizabeth of York, whom he had pledged himself to marry, and who was
the undoubted owner of the throne. But as Henry would not owe his throne
to his people, so he would not owe it to his wife. He therefore used
every means to establish his own title to the throne before he in any
way alluded to hers, or took any steps towards fulfilling his pledge
of marriage. He renewed that pledge, indeed, on arriving in London, to
satisfy the York party; but he proceeded to have his claims to the throne
acknowledged by Parliament without any reference to hers. If he had
mentioned the right of Elizabeth of York, his extreme caution suggested
that he would be held to possess the throne, not by his own claims, but
by hers, an idea which equally offended his pride, and alarmed him for
the security of the succession in his offspring. Should Elizabeth die
without children, in that case the right would die with her; and any
issue of his by another marriage might be accounted intruders in the
succession, and they might be removed for the next heirs of Edward IV.
If she should die childless, and even before him, even his own retention
of the throne might be disputed. All these points the mind of Henry saw
clearly; and in a moment, and as if no such person as Elizabeth existed,
and as if no pledge to marry her had helped him to his success, he
procured an Act of Parliament, which provided that "the inheritance of
the crown should be, rest, remain, and abide in the most royal person
of the then sovereign lord, King Henry VII., and the heirs of his body
lawfully coming, perpetually with the grace of God so to endure, and in
none other."

But this excess of caution and this nicely balanced policy had not been
carried through without alarming all parties, and greatly disgusting
that of York. The whole country looked to the union of the houses by
the marriage of Henry and Elizabeth as the only means of putting an
end to the civil wars which had so long rent the nation. Still Henry,
though now securely seated on the throne, evinced no haste to fulfil
his pledge of placing Elizabeth of York upon it. It was not, therefore,
till the feeling of the public became strongly manifested at his neglect
of the princess, and till the Commons presented him a petition praying
him "to take to wife the Princess Elizabeth, which marriage they hoped
God would bless with a progeny of the race of kings;" and till the
Lords, spiritual and temporal, had testified their participation in this
wish, by rising simultaneously and bowing as it was uttered, that Henry
consented to the celebration of the marriage.

The marriage took place on the 18th of January, 1486, and the rejoicings
in London, Westminster, and other cities were of the most lively kind.
They were heartfelt, for now all parties concluded that there was hope
of peace and comfort. They were far more ardent than at the king's
accession or coronation, and the mean-souled monarch saw it with sullen
displeasure, for it seemed to imply that though he had taken such pains
to place foremost his right to the throne, the people recognised,
spontaneously, the superior title of the house of York, and that of
his beautiful, and by him superciliously treated wife. Lord Bacon,
who is the great historian of this period, and who may be supposed to
be sufficiently informed, does not hesitate to add that the manifest
affection of the people for the queen produced in him towards her
additional coldness and dislike.

Henry, before dismissing his Parliament, conferred favours and promotions
on many of his friends. The two persons, however, whose counsels and
administrative services he chiefly valued, were Bishops Morton and Fox,
the latter of whom he raised to the see of Exeter. They had shared in
all his adversities, and were now admitted to participate in his high
fortune. Morton was, on the death of Bourchier, made Primate of England;
and Fox was entrusted with the Privy Seal, and successively made Bishop
of Bath and Wells, Durham, and finally, Winchester. These two able
prelates were Henry's ministers and constant advisers. "He loved," says
the historian of the time, "to have a convenient number of right grave
and wise priests to be of his council; because," adds Bacon, "having rich
bishoprics to bestow, it was easy to reward their services."

Having dismissed his Parliament, and left all in order, Henry set out
on a progress through the kingdom. The people of the northern counties
had been the most devoted to Richard, and he sought, by spending some
time amongst them, to remove their prejudices and attach them to his
interests. He had advanced as far as Lincoln, and was there keeping
his Easter, on the 2nd day of April, when he learned that Lord Lovel,
formerly chamberlain to Richard, with Humphrey and Thomas Stafford,
had left the sanctuary at Colchester, and were gone with dangerous
intentions, no man knew whither. The news did not seem to give him much
concern, and he proceeded towards York. At Nottingham, more pressing and
alarming intelligence reached him, that Lord Lovel was advancing towards
York with 4,000 men, and that the two Staffords were besieging Worcester
with another army.

At Nottingham, Henry received an embassy from the King of the Scots;
and despatching his uncle, the Duke of Bedford, with about 3,000 men
in pursuit of Lord Lovel, on the 6th of April he quitted Northampton
in the same direction. At Pontefract he was met, on the 17th, by the
news that Lovel had passed him on the road, had raised a force in the
neighbourhood of Ripon and Middleham, and was preparing to surprise him
on his entrance into York. Henry's courage did not fail him; he was
now surrounded by most of the northern and southern nobility, who had
brought up considerable forces. But the man who always trusted more to
his shrewd knowledge of human nature than to arms, now hit on a means
of dispersing the insurgent army without a blow. He sent on his uncle,
Jasper of Bedford, to offer a free pardon to all who would desert Lovel's
standard, and the whole host dispersed as by magic. It was, in fact, the
magic of the right incentive applied at the right moment. Lovel, who was
as much affected by the proclamation of pardon as his followers--for it
instantly struck him with the fear of universal desertion--fled at once
to the house of his friend, Sir Thomas Broughton, in Lancashire; and,
after lying concealed there some days, contrived to escape to the court
of the Duchess of Burgundy, in Flanders. Some of his followers, as it
would seem, in defiance of the king's offer of pardon, were seized and
executed by the Earl of Northumberland.

On the 30th of September the queen was prematurely delivered of a
son, who, however, was pronounced a strong and healthy child, and was
christened by the name of Arthur, after Prince Arthur of the ancient
Britons, from whom Henry pretended to derive his descent. But the birth
of an heir-apparent tried too severely the temper of the numerous
malcontents who still existed. Though Henry had put himself to much
trouble, and to some cost, to win over the people of the northern
counties, his conduct in general had not been such as to conciliate the
enemies of the Lancastrian line.

However, the Yorkist party, though roused to disturb the quiet of the
king, prepared their measures of annoyance with a lack of acumen which
was more likely to irritate than overturn. Perhaps they did not want to
dethrone him, because that would overturn also the head, and most popular
representative of their own party--Elizabeth; especially as she was now
the mother of a legitimate prince, capable of uniting all interests.
Perhaps they wished rather to show the cold and unforgiving monarch
that he was more at their mercy than he supposed, and that they could
embitter, if they did not proceed to terminate, his reign. Such, in fact,
whether this was their purpose or not, were the character and tendency of
the plots and impostures which, for so many years, kept Henry in disquiet
and anxiety.

The first attempt was to bring forward a youth as the Earl of Warwick,
the son of Clarence, whom Henry was keeping confined in the Tower. So
little depth was there in this plot, that at first it was evidently the
plan to bring the impostor forward as the Duke of York, the younger of
the two princes supposed to be murdered in the Tower. It was given out
that though his elder brother had been murdered, the younger had been
allowed to escape. Had this story been adhered to, and well acted, it
might have raised a most formidable rebellion; but, for some unknown
reason, it was as speedily abandoned as adopted, and the Earl of Warwick
pitched upon as the preferable impersonation. Nothing, however, could be
more absurd, for the true earl being really alive, Henry could at any
moment bring him forward.

Towards the close of the year 1486, there appeared at the castle of
Dublin a priest of Oxford named Richard Simon, attended by a boy of
about fifteen years of age. The boy was of a peculiarly handsome and
interesting appearance; and Simon, who was a total stranger in Ireland,
presented him to the lord-deputy, the Earl of Kildare, as Edward
Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, who, he represented, had fortunately
escaped from his dungeon in the Tower of London, and had come to throw
himself under the protection of the earl and his friends. Thomas
Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, was a zealous Yorkist; his brother was
chancellor, and almost all the bishops and officers in the Irish
Government had been appointed by Edward IV. or Richard. It is most likely
that the lord-deputy and the party were already cognisant of the whole
scheme of this agitation; for it is neither likely that Simon the priest
should have originated so daring and arduous an enterprise as that of
presenting a new claimant for the throne in opposition to the astute
and determined Henry Tudor, nor that he should have so particularly
singled out Ireland as the opening ground of his operations, and the
lord-deputy as his patron and coadjutor. What sufficiently proved this
was, that simultaneously the Earl of Lincoln, of whom we have lately made
mention, son to the eldest sister of the two late kings, had disappeared
from England and gone over to his aunt Margaret, Duchess-Dowager of
Burgundy, Henry's most inveterate enemy. This satisfied the king that
the plot which showed itself in Ireland was produced in England, and was
fomented by the Yorkist party at large. It was soon found that Simon had
been diligently instructing the young pretender, whose name was Lambert
Simnel, before he produced him in public, in all the arcana of the
character he had to support.

The loyalty of the lord-deputy had been already questionable. Henry had
sent him a summons to attend in London, but he evaded that by a petition
from the spiritual and temporal peers of Ireland, stating strongly the
absolute necessity of his presence there. No sooner did Simon present
his _protégé_ to Kildare, than that nobleman received him without any
apparent reluctance to put faith in his story.

When Henry received this news, he hastened to do what he ought to have
done long before. He took the Earl of Warwick out of the Tower, conducted
him publicly to St. Paul's, so that all might see him, and all who
desired it were allowed to approach him, and converse with him. The
nobility and gentry were personally introduced to him, and the king then
took him with him to Sheen, where he held his court, and gave familiar
access to all those who had seen or known him before. By this politic
act he completely satisfied the people of England, who laughed at the
impostor in Ireland; but the Irish, on the contrary, declared that
Henry's Warwick was the impostor, and theirs the real one. To consult on
the best measures for defeating this plot, Henry called a great council
at Sheen; but at its breaking up, the public were thrown into still
greater surprise and perplexity by the king, who, instead of offering to
crown the queen, seized her mother, the queen-dowager, confiscated her
property, and consigned her to the custody of the monks of Bermondsey.
The reason assigned was, that the queen-dowager, in the last reign,
had promised her daughter to Henry, and then put her into the hands of
Richard. Such a reason, if really put forward, was a simple absurdity,
because since then Elizabeth Woodville had been living at court as
the queen-mother, in all public honour. The real cause was presumably
connected with the business in hand--the Simnel conspiracy. This is the
opinion of Lord Bacon, who, living a hundred years later, nevertheless
had access to sources of information not available to the modern student,
though his authority may easily be overrated. Speaking of Simon, he
says:--"It cannot be but that some great person, that knew particularly
and familiarly Edward Plantagenet, had a hand in the business, from whom
the priest might take his aim. That which is most probable out of the
preceding and subsequent acts is, that it was the queen-dowager from whom
this action had the principal source and motion; for certain it is that
she was a busy, negotiating woman, and in her withdrawing-chamber had
the fortunate conspiracy for the king against Richard III. been hatched,
which the king knew, and remembered, perhaps, but too well; and was at
this time extremely discontented with the king, thinking her daughter--as
the king handled the matter--not advanced but depressed; and none could
hold the book so well to prompt and instruct this stage play as she

[Illustration: HENRY VII.]

But the most formidable and unwearied enemy of Henry VII. was Margaret,
the Dowager-Duchess of Burgundy. As the sister of Edward IV. and of
Richard, no circumstance could induce her to tolerate Henry Tudor, in her
eyes a low-born man, who had thrust the Yorkist line from the throne. To
her Lord Lovel had fled, and to her also fled the Earl of Lincoln. To her
the Irish party sent emissaries for aid; and she despatched 2,000 veteran
German troops, under a brave and experienced general, Martin Schwarz,
accompanied by the Earl of Lincoln.

The moment that Henry Tudor learned the flight of the Earl of Lincoln,
he set out on a progress through the counties of Essex, Suffolk,
and Norfolk, in which the chief interest of the earl lay. He was at
Kenilworth when news was brought him that the Earl of Lincoln and Lord
Lovel had landed with the pretended Edward VI., supported by Martin
Schwarz and his German legion, at the pile of Foudray, an old keep in the
southern extremity of Furness. Henry advanced by Coventry and Leicester
to Nottingham; Lincoln had already approached Newark. The royal army
advancing to oppose the whole force lost its way between Nottingham and
Newark, and there was such confusion in consequence, and such rumours
of the enemy being upon them, that numbers deserted. But five guides
were procured from Ratcliff-on-Trent, and soon afterwards the vanguard
of Henry's army, led by the Earl of Oxford, encountered the forces of
Lincoln at Stoke, a village near Newark. The battle lasted for three
hours, and was obstinately contested. The veteran Germans, under Schwarz,
fought till they were exterminated almost to a man. The Irish displayed
not the less valour; but, being only armed with darts and skeans--for
the English settlers had adopted the arms of the natives--were no match
for the royal cavalry. The whole of the troops of the insurgents,
expecting no mercy if they were taken, seemed prepared to perish rather
than to yield. Four thousand of the insurgents and 2,000 of the king's
best troops are said to have fallen in this desperate engagement; but
nearly all the leaders of the rebel army, the Earl of Lincoln, Sir
Thomas Broughton, the brave Schwarz, and the Lords Thomas and Maurice
Fitzgerald, having fallen, the victory on Henry's part became complete.


The pretender Lambert Simnel and the priest Simon were captured by Sir
Robert Bellingham, one of the king's esquires; but nothing was seen
of Lord Lovel. He was believed to have escaped, but no traces of him
were discoverable; many thought that he had perished in attempting to
swim his horse across the Trent. But nearly two centuries afterwards
a subterranean chamber was discovered accidentally by some workmen at
Minster Lovel, in Oxfordshire, the ancient seat of his family. In this
chamber was seated a skeleton in a chair, with its head resting on a
table; and this was supposed to be the remains of this same Lord Lovel,
who had reached his house, and secreted himself in this apartment, where
he had perished by some unknown cause.

After the battle, Henry travelled northward to ascertain that all was
secure in the tract through which the insurgents had passed, and to
punish such as had aided the rebels, and those who just before the battle
had spread the rumour of his defeat. The royal punishments did not
consist in putting his enemies to death, but in fining them severely, for
Henry Tudor much preferred making a profit of a man to killing him. The
late insurrection had taught him that if he did not wish for a repetition
of it, he must concede something to the Yorkist party, and must pay
some respect to the queen. Accordingly, on the 25th of November, 1487,
Elizabeth was crowned with much state at Westminster.

Having thus made this _amende_ to public opinion, Henry, instead of
giving Simnel consequence by putting him to death, or making a State
prisoner of him in the Tower, turned him into his kitchen as a scullion,
thus showing his contempt of him. "He would not take his life," says Lord
Bacon, "taking him but as an image of wax that others had tempered and
moulded;" and considering that if he was made a continual spectacle, he
would be "a kind of remedy against the like enchantments of people in
time to come." The priest Simon he shut up in a secret prison, saying
he was but a tool, and did not know the depths of the plot. He even
professed to regret the death of the Earl of Lincoln, who, had his life
been spared, he said, "might have revealed to him the bottom of his
danger." In his peculiar way he threw much mystery over the matter, for
mystery was one of his greatest pleasures.

Having settled these matters, which he did on his own authority, Henry
summoned a Parliament to grant him supplies, and to increase those
supplies by bill of attainder against all those who had been engaged in
the late conspiracy. To prevent similar risings, he demanded that the law
should be rigorously put in force against the practice of maintenance.
This maintenance was the association of numbers of persons under a
particular chief or nobleman, whose badge or livery they wore, and to
whom they were bound by oath to support him in his private quarrels
against other noblemen. But the instrument was too convenient not to
be turned on occasion against the Crown, whenever rich chiefs took
up the opposite party, and by this means it was that such numbers of
troops could be brought at the shortest notice into the field against
the monarch. Various laws had been passed on this subject, and heavy
penalties decreed; but now it was ordained that, instead of calling
such offenders before the royal council, as had been the custom, a
particular Court should be established for the purpose. The chancellor,
the treasurer, the keeper of the privy seal, or two of them, one bishop,
one lay peer, and the judges of the King's Bench and Common Pleas, were
empowered to summon all such persons before them, and to punish the
guilty just as if they had been convicted by ordinary course of law. This
was the origin of what came to be called the Court of the Star Chamber,
from the walls or ceiling of the room where it met being decorated with

The affairs on the Continent were now in a state which demanded the most
serious attention, but which were by no means likely to be settled to the
honour of the country by a monarch of the penurious character of Henry
VII. If ever a monarch was bound by gratitude to succour another prince,
it was Henry VII. He had been protected in Brittany from all the attempts
of the Yorkist monarch for years. The Duke Francis, who had been his
host and friend during his long exile, was now growing old. He appears
never to have been of a very vigorous mind, and now mind and body were
failing together. He had two daughters, and the hope of securing the
patrimony of the eldest, Anne, drew the attention of many suitors, the
chief of whom were Maximilian, King of the Romans; the Duke of Orleans,
the first prince of the blood in France; and the Count D'Albret, a
powerful chieftain, at the foot of the Pyrenees. But hostile alike to
all these wooers was Charles VIII. of France, who, though he was under
engagement to marry the daughter of Maximilian, and therefore apparently
debarred from the hand of Anne of Brittany, was resolved, if possible, to
secure her territory. In this dilemma, Francis sent repeated importunate
entreaties to Henry to come to his rescue. France, at the same time, sent
to him, praying him to be neutral, alleging that Charles was only seeking
to drive his revolted subjects out of Brittany. Henry was bound by honour
to give prompt succour to his old friend; he had received from Parliament
two-fifteenths for the purpose, and was urged by it to send efficient
aid to prevent France from seizing this important province. But Henry
could not find it in his heart to spend the money in active service; he
proposed to mediate between the parties. This suited the views of France
exactly, because while Henry was negotiating they could continue to press
on their victories. The poor Duke Francis was compelled to submit to a
treaty, in August, at Verger, by which he surrendered to the French all
the territory they had conquered, and was bound never again to call in
assistance from England or any other country, nor to marry either of
his daughters without the consent of the King of France. Having signed
this humiliating treaty, the duke died of a broken heart, on the 7th of
September, 1488, only three weeks afterwards.

The people of England received these tidings with undisguised
indignation. Twice had they voted large sums to enable their ungrateful
and pusillanimous king to aid his old benefactor and the ally of
England; twice had he put the money in his coffers, and sold the
honour of the country and the fortunes of the unfortunate ally to the
French, wholly insensible to honour or shame. But whilst the public
were foaming in wrath over this despicable conduct, the indefatigable
French were pressing on. Anne, the young orphan duchess, was a mere
child of only twelve years of age. Around her were contending rivals and
their adherents. But all this time the French were seizing town after
town. The news of this awoke such a fermentation in England, and Henry
was upbraided in such vehement terms for thus, as the sovereign of a
great people, sacrificing the honour of the nation, and permitting the
helpless orphan of his benefactor to become the prey of France, that he
was compelled to rouse himself. He determined to send ambassadors to
Maximilian, to his son, the Archduke Philip, to the Kings of Spain and
Portugal, inviting them to act in concert with him for the repression of
French ambition. Having taken this magnanimous, and, if it had really
been intended to follow it up vigorously, most admirable step, Henry
called a Parliament, and demanded more money to carry on the war.

The pretences of this huckstering king were now become too transparent
to deceive any one. All the money hitherto voted for a war that never
took place was still in Henry's coffers. The people thought that he ought
first to bring out that before he asked for more. Parliament, therefore,
made strong opposition, and finally reduced his demand of £100,000 to
£75,000. But, when they had voted, the indignant people refused to pay
it, considering that the selfish monarch had their cash already in hand.
Great disturbances arose in the endeavour to enforce the collection of
the tax. This manifested itself especially in the north, where Henry had
used such endeavours to soothe and win the inhabitants.

The Earl of Northumberland directed the collection to be enforced,
accompanying the command with such menaces as he deemed necessary to
procure obedience. But these had a contrary effect. The people flew
to arms, and, turning their vengeance first against the earl, as the
rigorous instrument of an imperious monarch, they stormed his house and
put him to death. They then declared war against the tyrant, as they
termed Henry, himself. Their leader was a fiery fellow of the common
order, named John à Chambre, but, as they assumed a formidable aspect,
Sir John Egremont, one of the Yorkist faction, put himself at their head.
Henry lost no time in despatching Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, who
soon suppressed the insurrection, and hanged John à Chambre and some of
his accomplices. Sir John Egremont escaped to Flanders to the Duchess of

Henry now sent over to Brittany a body of 6,000 men under Lord Willoughby
de Broke; but he limited their service to six months, which was, in fact,
to render them nearly useless, especially when they had instructions not
to fight, and he would not even afford that aid until he had exacted from
the poor orphan girl, the young duchess, the surrender of her two best
sea-ports in security of payment. He moreover compelled the duchess to
bind herself by the like oath to him as she had taken to the French king,
not to marry without his consent. Before the end of the year Anne found
herself invested by the French army in Rennes; and rather than fall a
helpless and humiliated captive into the hands of Charles, she consented
to marry him, having not a single soul left to stand by her in her
resolute opposition. She was married to Charles on the 13th of December,
1491, at Rennes, was crowned in the abbey church of St. Denis, and made
her entrance into Paris amid the acclamations of a vast multitude, who
regarded this event as one of the most auspicious which had ever happened
to France.

The rage of Maximilian may be imagined. He had lost Brittany, his
daughter had lost the throne of France, and he was duped and insulted in
the most egregious manner before all Europe. He made his complaints ring
far and wide, but they were only echoed by the laughter of his enemies,
and he proceeded to vow revenge by the assistance of Spain and England.

Henry was now bent, according to all appearance, on war. He was too
clear-sighted not to perceive the immense advantage France had obtained
over him in securing Brittany, and how the political foresight and
sagacity on which he prided himself had suffered from the paltry
promptings of his avarice. He therefore put on a most belligerent
attitude. He summoned a Parliament at Westminster, and addressed it in
the most heroic strain. He commented on the insolence of France, elated
with the success of her late perfidy, and on--what he no doubt felt more
deeply than anything else--her refusal to pay what he called the tribute
agreed by Louis XI. to be paid to Edward IV., and hitherto continued
to himself. Two-fifteenths were at once granted him, and the nobility
were on fire with the anticipation of realising all the glories and the
plunder of the past ages.

He availed himself of the paroxysm of the moment, not only to gather
in and garner the two-fifteenths newly granted, but the remains of the
benevolence voted last session. Whilst the fresh tax fell on the nation
generally, this fell on the monied and commercial capitalists. London
alone furnished £10,000 of it or £100,000 of our money. The wily old
archbishop, Morton, instructed the commissioners to employ this dilemma,
which was called "Morton's fork." They were to urge upon people who lived
in a modest and careful way, that they _must_ be rich in consequence of
their parsimony; on those who indulged in expensive abodes and styles of
living, that they _must_ be opulent, because they had so much to expend.
To afford ample time for harvesting these riches, Henry found perpetual
causes for delaying his expedition. The nobles were already crowding to
his standard with their vassals, and impatient to set out, but Henry
had always some plausible excuse for lingering. At one time it was the
unsafe state of Scotland, and four months were occupied in negotiating
an extension of the truce; then it was the necessity of contracting for
fresh levies of troops. These troops, however, were ready in June and
July, but still they were not allowed to move. "The truth was," says
Bacon, "that though the king showed great forwardness for a war, not
only to his Parliament and Court, but to his Privy Council, except the
two bishops (Fox and Morton), and a few more, yet, nevertheless, in his
secret intentions, he had no purpose to go through with any war upon
France. But the truth was, that he did but traffic with that war to make

At length, in the beginning of October, 1492, he landed at Calais, with
a fine army of 25,000 foot, and 1,600 horse, which he gave in command
to the Duke of Bedford and the Earl of Oxford. This was a force capable
of striking an alarming blow, but the whole affair was a sham. In fact,
Henry had entered into a treaty of peace before he had set out, and the
only difficulty now was how to get out of the war without incurring too
much resentment at home. To guard against this, the odium of the abortive
expedient must be carefully removed from himself to other parties. The
machinery for this was already prepared. His ambassadors appeared in the
camp at Boulogne, informing them that their visit to his previous ally
Maximilian had been useless; he was incapable of joining him. These were
followed by others from Spain, bringing the intelligence that Ferdinand
had concluded a peace with France, Roussillon and Cerdagne being ceded to
him by Charles. But with Henry's fine army, and the defenceless state of
France, the defection of these allies, from whom little or nothing had
been expected, would have scarcely cost him a thought had he been a Henry
V. As it was, after all his boasts, it was not even for him to propose
an abandonment of the enterprise, and therefore, the Marquis of Dorset
and twenty-three other persons of distinction were employed to present to
him a request that he would also make a peace with France. They urged,
as they were instructed for this purpose, the defection of these allies,
the approach of winter, the difficulty of obtaining supplies at Calais at
that season, and the obstinacy of the siege of Boulogne. All these were
circumstances that had been foreseen from the first, and treated with
indifference, as they deserved to be; but now Henry affected to listen
to the desires of his army, and sent off the Bishop of Exeter and the
Lord Daubeney to confer with the Marshal de Cordes, who had been sent as
plenipotentiary on the part of Charles to Étaples. They soon returned,
bringing the rough draft of a treaty, by which peace and amity were to
be maintained betwixt the two sovereigns during their lives, and a year
afterwards. Even this Henry affected to decline, and only consented to
give way at the earnest entreaty of his already-mentioned four-and-twenty

After having thus assumed all this pretence to exonerate himself from
censure, Henry signed a peace on the following terms:--Charles was to
retain Brittany for ever, and he was to pay Henry 620,000 crowns in gold
for the money advanced by Henry on account of Brittany and his present
expenses, and 125,000 crowns in gold as arrears of the pension paid to
Edward IV. by Louis XI. He was also to continue this pension of 25,000
crowns to Henry and his heirs. The whole amount which Henry sacked was
745,000 crowns, equal to £400,000 of our present money. The members of
his council, who openly acted the part of petitioners of this peace, are
said not only to have been instructed by Henry to perform this obnoxious
duty, but to have been gained by the bribes of the French king, who was
anxious to make short work of it, that he might proceed on an expedition
which he had set his mind upon against Naples. They went about declaring
that it was the most glorious peace that any king of England ever made
with France, and that if Henry's subjects presumed to censure it, they
were ready to take the blame upon themselves.

[Illustration: PENNY OF HENRY VII.]

[Illustration: ANGEL OF HENRY VII.]

Having used these precautions to ward off the reproaches of his subjects,
Henry ratified the peace on the 6th of November, and led back his army
to England. There, though he had the money safely in his chests, the
disappointment and indignation of the people were extreme, and tended
to diminish his sordid satisfaction. The people protested that he had
been trading on the honour of the nation, and had sold its interests and
reputation for his own vile gain, and his enemies did not neglect to
avail themselves of his unpopularity. During the past year, a young man
had landed in Cork, of a singularly fascinating exterior and insinuating
address. He represented himself to be no other than the Duke of York,
the younger of the two princes who were supposed to have been murdered
in the Tower. He was a fine young man, apparently exactly of the age of
the Duke of York, and bearing a striking likeness to Edward IV. "Such
a mercurial," says Bacon, "as the like hath seldom been known; and he
had such a crafty and bewitching fashion, both to move pity and induce
belief, as was like a kind of fascination or enchantment." What would
appear to have been the real story of this remarkable pretender, so far
as we can gather from the records of the time, is this:--

Margaret, the Duchess-Dowager of Burgundy, having played off Lambert
Simnel, devised this scheme, or was supplied with it by the Yorkist
refugees at her Court, who had immediate and constant communion with
the heads of the York faction in England. A young man was industriously
sought after who should well represent the Duke of York, though she knew
him to be dead. Such a youth was found in the son, or reputed son, of
one John Osbeck, or Warbeck, a renegade Jew of Tournay. This Warbeck
had lived and carried on business in the time of Edward IV., and had
dealings with the king, who was so free with him that the Jew prevailed
on him to become godfather to his child, who was called Peter, and whose
name became converted into the diminutive Peterkin or Perkin. Others
assert that Warbeck's wife had been amongst the numerous favourites of
Edward, and that this Perkin was really his son--whence the striking
resemblance, the cleverness and liveliness of his character. Warbeck had
returned to Flanders, and there, in course of time, his son had attracted
the attention of the Yorkist conspirators as the very youth, in all
respects, for their purpose. He was introduced to the duchess, who found
him already familiar with the whole story of Edward's Court from the past
affairs and position there of his parents.

[Illustration: NOBLE OF HENRY VII.]


The scheme being now matured and the chief actor ready, they only waited
for the true moment for his appearance. That came in the prospect
of Henry being involved in war with France. As soon as this seemed
inevitable, the pretended Duke of York landed in Ireland. The York
faction was still strong in that country, and, despite the failure of
the former pretender, Simnel, the Irish were ready, to a certain extent,
to embrace another claimant of Henry's crown. He landed at Cork, where
the mayor and others of that city received him as the true Richard
Plantagenet, as, no doubt, they had previously agreed to do. Many of the
credulous people flocked after him, but the more prudent stood aloof.
He wrote to the Earls of Desmond and Kildare, inviting them to join his
standard, but those powerful noblemen kept a cautious distance. Kildare
had been disgraced by Henry for his reception of Simnel, and dreaded
his more deadly vengeance in case of a second failure. But Warbeck,
undismayed, spread everywhere the exciting story of his escape from the
cruelty of his uncle Richard, and was gradually making an impression on
the imaginative mind of Ireland, when a summons came to a new scene.

Charles VIII. of France was now menaced by Henry with invasion. He knew
the man too well to doubt the real object of his menace, and the power of
money to avert it, but it was of consequence to reduce the bribe as much
as possible; and every instrument which promised to assist in effecting
that was most valuable. Such an instrument was this self-styled Duke
of York, who had suddenly appeared in Ireland. The watchful Duchess of
Burgundy is said to have adroitly turned Charles's attention to this
mysterious individual through the agency of one Frion, a man who had been
a Secretary of Henry, but who had been won over by his enemies. Charles
caught at the idea; an invitation was instantly despatched to Perkin
Warbeck to hasten to the French Court, where he was "to hear of something
to his advantage," and he was received by the king as the undoubted
Duke of York and true monarch of England. Perkin's person, talents, and
address, being worthy of a real prince, won him the admiration of all
who approached him; and not only the Court and capital, but the whole of
France, soon rang with praise of the accomplishments, the adventures,
and the unmerited misfortunes of this last of the Plantagenets. The king
settled upon him a princely income; a magnificent abode was assigned him,
and a body-guard befitting a royal personage was conferred upon him, of
which the Lord of Concressault was made captain.

The news of this cordial reception of the reputed Duke of York by the
French Court flew to England, and Sir George Neville, Sir John Taylor,
and above a hundred gentlemen hastened to Paris, and offered to him
their devoted services. This decided and rapidly-growing demonstration
had the effect which Charles contemplated. Henry was greatly alarmed,
and hastened to close the negotiations for peace. These once signed,
the puppet had done its work in France. Henry made earnest demands to
have Warbeck handed over to him, but Charles, who, no doubt, was bound
by agreement with the Duchess of Burgundy to refuse any such surrender,
declared that to do so would be contrary to his honour; but he gave the
pretender a hint to quit the kingdom, and he retired to the Court of

The duchess now heaped on Perkin all the marks of affection and the
honours which she would have deemed due to her own nephew. She ordered
every one to give him the homage belonging to a real king; she appointed
him a guard of thirty halberdiers, and styled him the "White Rose of
England." On all occasions her conduct towards him was that of an
affectionate aunt, who regarded him as the head of her family, and the
heir of the brightest crown in Europe.

It is not to be supposed that the tempest which was gathering around
Henry had escaped his attention. On the contrary, he was aware of all
that was passing, and with the caution and concealment of his character,
he was at work to counteract the operations of his enemies. The first
object with him was to convince the public that the real Duke of York
had perished at the same time as his brother, Edward V. Nothing, he
concluded, would be so effectual for this purpose as the evidence of
those who had always been held to be concerned in the death of the young
princes. Of five implicated, according to universal belief, two only
now survived, namely, Sir James Tyrell--who had taken the place of Sir
Robert Brackenbury, Lieutenant of the Tower, during the night of the
murder--and John Dighton, one of the actual assassins. These two were
secured and interrogated, and their evidence was precisely that which
we have stated when relating the murder of the princes. The bodies,
therefore, were sought for, but as the chaplain was dead who was supposed
to have witnessed their removal, according to the order of Richard III.,
they could not then be found and produced. The testimony of Tyrell and
Dighton, however, was published and circulated as widely as possible,
and these two miscreants, after their full and frank avowal of the
perpetration of this diabolical murder, were, to the disgrace of the
king and of public justice, again allowed to go free. Everyone, however,
must perceive at once how important it was to Henry that the real
witnesses of that murder should exist, and be forthcoming to confound any
one pretending to be either of these princes.

Henry next applied to the Archduke Philip, the son of Maximilian and
Mary of Burgundy, and now sovereign of the Netherlands in his own
right, to deliver up to him the impostor, Warbeck, who, he contended,
was entertained in his dominions contrary to the existing treaties, and
the amity betwixt the two sovereigns. But Margaret had the influence to
render his application abortive. Philip professed to have every desire
to oblige his great ally, Henry of England, but he pleaded that Margaret
was sole ruler in her own states, and, though he might advise her in
this matter, he could not control her. Henry resented the polite evasion
by stopping all commercial intercourse between England and the Low
Countries, by banishing all Flemings from his dominions, and recalling
his own subjects from Flanders; and Philip retaliated by issuing similar

In 1494, several Yorkist lords were arrested and executed, but there
remained a conspirator far higher than any who had yet been unveiled--a
conspirator where it was least expected, in the immediate vicinity of
the throne, and in the person who more than all others, perhaps, had
contributed to place Henry upon it. His name stood in the secret list of
traitors furnished by spies, but he had been left for a more striking
and dramatic discovery, for a dénouement calculated to produce the most
startling and profound impression.

After the festivities of Christmas the king took up his residence in the
Tower, where he held his council on the 7th of January, 1495. If there
was one man more distinguished than another by the royal favour in that
august circle, he was Stanley, Lord Chamberlain. Sir William Stanley
had burst upon Richard III. at Bosworth Field, at the critical moment,
slain his standard-bearer, and, by his followers, killed the tyrant. His
brother, Lord Stanley, had put the crown of the fallen monarch on Henry's
head. For this he had been created Earl of Derby, and had been allowed
to ally himself to the throne by the marriage of Henry's mother, the
Countess of Richmond. Sir William had been made Lord Chamberlain, and
both brothers had been glutted, as it were, with the wealth and estates
of proscribed families. There were no men--not even Fox and Morton--who
were supposed to stand so high, not merely in the favour, but in the
friendship of Henry. He was suddenly arrested at the council chamber and
executed, his vast wealth passing to the Crown.

The fall of Stanley was a paralysing blow to the partisans of Warbeck.
They saw that even that great nobleman, while apparently living in the
very centre and blaze of royal favour, had been surrounded by spies
who watched all his actions, heard his most secret communications, and
carried them all to the king. No man who was in any degree implicated
felt himself safe. Henry's cautious and severe temper, while it made him
hated, made him proportionately feared. Assured by the success which had
attended all his measures, Henry every day displayed more and more the
grasping avarice of his disposition, and accusations and heavy fines fell
thickly around. He fined Sir William Capel, Alderman of London, for some
offence, £2,743; and, though he failed to secure the whole, he obtained
£1,615. Encouraged by this, he repeated the like attempts; and, while he
depressed the nobility, he especially countenanced unprincipled lawyers,
as the ready tools of his rapacity. Whilst this conduct, however, kept
alive the rancour of many influential people, it rendered the common
people passive; for they escaped the oppressions of many petty tyrants,
who were kept in check by the one great one. Warbeck's party, therefore,
was much disabled. It was now three years since he made his appearance,
but, with the exception of his brief visit to Ireland, he had attempted
nothing in Henry's dominions. But the Flemings, who were smarting under
the restrictions put upon their trade with England, began to murmur
loudly, and the Archduke Philip to remonstrate warmly with Margaret on
account of the countenance given to the English insurgents.

Under these circumstances it was necessary for Warbeck and his adherents
to make an effort of some kind. Taking advantage, therefore, of the
absence of Henry on a visit to his mother at Latham House, in Lancashire,
Warbeck and a few hundred followers made a descent in July on the
coast of Kent, near Deal. It was hoped that Henry's severity would
have made numbers ready to join them. The people, indeed, assembled
under the guidance of some gentlemen of property, and, professing to
favour Warbeck, invited him to come on shore. But he, or those about
him, observing that the forces collected had nothing of that tumultuous
impetuosity about them which usually characterises insurgents in earnest,
kept aloof, and the men of Kent perceiving that they could not draw
Warbeck into the snare, fell on his followers already on land, and,
besides killing many of them, took 169 prisoners. The rest managed to
get on board again, and Warbeck, seeing what sort of a reception England
gave him, sailed back with all speed to Flanders. The prisoners were tied
together like teams of cattle, and driven to London, where they were all
condemned and executed to a man, in various places, some at London and
Wapping, some on the coasts of Kent, Sussex, Essex, and Norfolk, where
they were gibbeted, as a warning to any fresh adventurers who might
appear on those shores.

Flanders was now become no durable place of sojourn for Perkin and his
party. The Flemings would no longer submit to the interruption of their
trade; and the archduke entered into a treaty with Henry, which contained
a stipulation that Philip should restrain the Duchess Margaret from
harbouring any of the king's enemies, and that the two princes should
expel from their territories all the enemies of each other. This treaty
was ratified on the 24th of February, 1496, and thereupon Warbeck betook
himself to Ireland. But there he found a sensible change had taken place
since his former visit. The king had sent over Sir Edward Poynings as
lord-deputy, who had taken such measures that the people were much
satisfied. On landing at Cork, therefore, the Irish refused to recognise
their late idol, and from Cork he sailed away to Scotland. There a new
and surprising turn of fortune awaited him. For a long time his interest
had been on the decline. In Flanders the public had grown weary of him;
in England they had endeavoured to entrap him; from Ireland they had
repulsed him. He is said to have presented letters of recommendation from
Charles VIII. of France, and from his great patroness the Duchess-Dowager
of Burgundy; and James IV. of Scotland received him with open arms.

James IV. of Scotland was a brave, generous, and patriotic monarch. When
Henry offered him his daughter Margaret, he, therefore, unceremoniously
rejected the offer. The disposition which Henry was said to have shown
to encourage his subjects, during the truce, to molest the Scottish
merchantmen at the very mouth of the Forth, was highly resented by
James, who supported his admiral--Wood of Largo--in severely chastising
the pirates, and did not fail to warn Henry that such practices must
not be repeated. The dislike which James entertained for the insidious
character of Henry--who began that system of bribing the nobles around
the throne of Scotland which was never discontinued so long as a Tudor
reigned, and which ended in the destruction of Mary, Queen of Scots--was
violently aggravated by a base attempt of Henry in 1490. This was no
other than a scheme to seize and carry off James to England, which failed

In this temper of the Scottish King, nothing could come more opportunely
than such a person as Perkin Warbeck. James had, from the first moment
of mounting his throne, been careful to strengthen his alliances with
the whole European continent. With France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and
Flanders, his intercourse, both official and mercantile, was active and
constant. Of course, James was kept in full information of all that was
agitating England. With the Duchess of Burgundy, the inveterate enemy of
Henry, it is clearly provable that James was in secret correspondence
only five months after his accession. In 1488, even, there were busy
messengers and heralds passing to and fro betwixt Flanders, Ireland, and

From these circumstances, which are attested by the "Treasurer's
Accounts," and other records of Scotland, it is manifest that James was
intimately informed of everything which could be known about Warbeck.
There could be no mistake made by James in his reception of that
personage, when, in November, 1495, he presented himself at the palace of
Stirling. Whatever James did he did with his eyes wide open and his mind
fully made up. Yet from the very first he received him apparently with
the most undoubting faith as to his being the true Plantagenet.

Warbeck was welcomed into Scotland with much state and rejoicing as the
veritable Duke of York. James addressed him as "cousin," and celebrated
tournaments and other courtly gaieties in his honour. The reputed
prince, by his noble appearance, the simple dignity of his manners, and
the romance of his story and supposed misfortunes, everywhere excited
the highest admiration. James made a grand progress with him through
his dominions, and beheld him wherever he appeared produce the most
favourable impression. If James did not himself really believe Warbeck
to be the Duke of York before he came to Scotland, his conduct during
his abode there seems to have convinced him of it. At no time was he
known to express a doubt of it, and on all occasions he spoke and acted
as if morally certain of it. Nothing could be more convincing than his
giving him to wife one of the most beautiful and high-born women of
Scotland, Lady Catherine Gordon, daughter of the Earl of Huntly, and
grand-daughter of James I. James now mustered his forces for the grand
expedition which he hoped would drive Henry from the throne of England,
and establish there the son of Edward IV., in the person of Warbeck.

[Illustration: STIRLING CASTLE.

(_From a Photograph by G. W. Wilson & Co., Aberdeen._)]

Meantime, Henry VII. was diligently at work at his favourite plans of
bribing and undermining. He had an active agent in Lord Bothwell, whom
James had weakly forgiven for his numerous conspiracies. By his means
Henry had won over the king's brothers, the Duke of Ross, the Earl of
Buchan, and the Bishop of Moray. These traitors engaged to do everything
in their power to defeat the expedition. The Duke of Ross promised to
put himself under the protection of the King of England the moment his
brother crossed the borders. Nor did the plot stop there. Again there was
a scheme to seize James at night in his tent, suggested by Henry, and
entered into by Bothwell, Buchan, and Wyat, an English emissary. This
disgraceful plot was defeated by the vigilance of the royal guard, but
not the less actively did the paid spies of Henry Tudor, including some
of the most powerful barons in Scotland, labour to defeat the success of
the enterprise. They accompanied the army only with the hope of betraying
it, while their efforts were essentially aided by the remonstrances of
more honest counsellors, who doubted the wisdom of the expedition, and
did all they could to dissuade James from it.

Burning with resentment at the base and insidious attempts of Henry to
disturb the security of his government, and to seize upon his person,
and coveting the glory of restoring the last noble scion of a great
race to the throne of his ancestors, James was deaf alike to warnings
of secret treason or more public danger. He made his last muster of his
forces at Ellam Kirk, near the English border and, proclaiming war on
Henry, marched forward. Warbeck, as Richard Duke of York, at the same
time issued a proclamation calling upon all true Englishmen to assemble
beneath the banner of the true inheritor of the crown. He denounced Henry
Tudor as a usurper, and as the murderer of Sir William Stanley, Sir Simon
Montfort, and others of the ancient nobility; he charged him with having
invaded the liberties and the franchises of both Church and people; and
with having plundered the subjects by heavy and illegal impositions. He
pledged himself to remedy all these abuses; to restore and defend the
rights and privileges of the Church, the nobles, the corporations, and
the commerce and manufactures of the country. He related the dangers
through which he had passed since his escape from the Tower to this
moment, and he set a price of a thousand pounds in money, and land to the
value of a hundred marks per annum, for the capture or destruction of
Henry Tudor.

But however judiciously the proclamation was drawn up, James was
confounded as he advanced to see that it produced not the slightest
effect. In vain had it been protested in the proclamation that James came
only as the friend of the rightful King of England; that he sought no
advantage to himself--though he had really bargained for the restoration
of Berwick, and was to be paid 1,000 marks for the expenses of the
war--and that he would retire the moment a sufficient English force
appeared in the field. No such force was likely to present itself. If
Warbeck had met with no success when supported by Englishmen, it was
not to be expected when followed by an army of the hereditary foes of
the kingdom--Scots and French, backed by Germans, Flemings, and other

When James saw that, instead of being welcomed as deliverers, they were
avoided, and that the expedition was altogether hopeless, he gave way to
his wrath, and began to plunder the country, or to permit his troops to
do it. Warbeck remonstrated against the devastations committed on the
English with all the ardour of a true prince, declaring that he would
rather lose the throne than gain it by the sufferings of his people. But
James replied that his cousin of York was too considerate of the welfare
of a nation that hesitated to acknowledge him either as king or subject.
All this time the diligent Bothwell was duly informing Henry of the state
of the Scottish camp, and of everything said and done in it. He now
assured him that the Scottish army would soon beat a retreat, for that
the inhabitants, in expectation of the visit, had driven off all their
cattle, and removed their stores; so that the army was on the point of
starvation. This was soon verified. The Scots, finding no supporters,
about the end of the year retreated into their own country.

The invasion from Scotland afforded Henry another pretext for raising
more money. He summoned a Parliament in the February of 1497, to which he
uttered bitter complaints of the inroad and devastations of the Scots;
of the troubles created by the impostor, and the manifold insults to the
crown and nation. All this was now apparently blown over; but Parliament
gratified the king by voting £120,000, together with two-fifteenths.
Happy in the prospect of such supplies, Henry recked little of Warbeck or
the Scots; but the tax roused the especial wrath of the Cornish people,
who, knowing that the king only wanted to add their money to his already
immense and useless hoards, wanted to know what they had to do with
inroads of the Scots, who were never likely to come near them, and who
had retired of themselves without so much as waiting for the sight of
an army. This excitement of the brave and industrious, but hard-living
Cornish men was fanned into a flame by Michael Joseph, a farrier of
Bodmin, and one Thomas Flammock, an attorney, who assured the people that
the tax was totally illegal, though voted by Parliament; for that the
northern counties were bound by the tenures of their estates to defend
that frontier; and that if they submitted to the avarice of Henry and his
ministers there would be no end to it.

Flammock told them that they must deliver the king a petition, seconded
by such numbers as to give it authority; but at the same time he assured
them that to procure the concurrence of the rest of the kingdom they
must conduct themselves with all order, and refrain from committing any
injuries to person or property, demonstrating that they had only the
public good in view. Armed with bills, bows, axes, and other country
weapons that they could command, they marched into Devonshire 16,000
strong, and called on the people to accompany them, and demand the heads
of Archbishop Morton and Sir Reginald Bray, who were declared to be the
advisers of the obnoxious impost. At Taunton they made an example of an
insolent and overbearing commissioner of the tax of the name of Perin. At
Wells they were joined by Lord Audley, a man of an ancient family, but
said to be of a vain and ambitious character.

Proud of having a nobleman at their head, they marched through Salisbury
and Winchester into Surrey, and thence to Kent, the people of which,
Flammock told them, had in all ages been noted for their independence
and patriotism, and were sure to join them. They pitched their camp on
Blackheath, near Eltham, but not a man joined them. The people of Kent
had their causes of complaint; but they had lately shown what was their
spirit by repelling Perkin Warbeck, and they were too enlightened to join
in the expedition.

Henry had now received the new levies raised to oppose any further motion
of the Scots, and he sent them forward to attack and disperse the rebels.
He always regarded Saturday as his fortunate day; therefore, on Saturday,
the 22nd of June, 1497, he gave the order for the attack. He divided
his forces into three divisions. The first, under Lord Daubeney, pushed
forward to attack the insurgents in front; the second, under the Earl
of Oxford, was to take a compass, and assail them in the rear; and the
king himself took post with the third division in St. George's Fields,
to secure the city. To throw the insurgents off their guard, he had
given out that he should not take the field for some days; and to give
probability to this notion, he did not send out his advanced forces till
the latter part of the day. Lord Daubeney beat an advanced guard of the
rebels from Deptford Bridge, and before the main body was prepared to
receive him, he charged them with fury. Though they were brave men, and
16,000 strong, thus taken at advantage, and naturally ill-disciplined,
ill-armed, and destitute of cavalry and artillery, they were soon broken
and compelled to fly. Two thousand of them were slain, and 1,500 made
prisoners. The prisoners Henry gave up to the captors, who allowed them
to ransom themselves for a few shillings each.

Lord Audley, Flammock, and Joseph only were executed. The peer was
beheaded, the commoners were hanged; and Joseph seemed to glory in the
distinction, saying he should figure in history. Henry on this occasion
displayed great clemency, which some have ascribed to his desire to
make a good impression on the Cornish people; others for joy that Lord
Daubeney had escaped, for at one time he was surrounded by the enemy
but was soon rescued. But the most probable reason was that assigned by
Lord Bacon:--"That the harmless behaviour of this people that came from
the west of England to the east, without mischief almost, or spoil of
the country, did somewhat mollify him, and move him to compassion; or,
lastly, that he made a great difference between people that did rebel
upon wantonness, and them that did rebel upon want."

James of Scotland seized on the opportunity created by the Cornish
insurrection to make a fresh inroad into England. He laid siege to the
castle of Norham, and plundered the country round. Henry despatched the
Earl of Surrey, with an army of 20,000 men, to drive back the Scots,
and punish them by carrying the war of devastation into their country.
As Surrey advanced, James retired, and Surrey, following him across
the Tweed, took and demolished the little castle of Ayton, ravaged the
borders, and returned to Berwick. These useless and worse than useless
raids, with no hope of permanent advantage on either side, but only of
mischief to the unoffending inhabitants on both, were worthy only of the
most savage and unenlightened times. The spies of Henry, however, soon
informed him that James was really sick of the war, and he repeated the
offer made before of the hand of his daughter Margaret. This he made
through the Spanish ambassador, Don Pedro d'Ayala, who came forward
as a friendly mediator, thus sparing both kings the humiliation of
making the first move. D'Ayala found James quite disposed for peace,
but in a somewhat cavalier humour as to the terms. By the advice of
D'Ayala, commissioners were appointed to meet at Ayton, where, under the
management of Fox, Bishop of Durham, on the part of England, a truce was
agreed upon to last for the lives of the two kings, and a year after the
death of the longer liver. Though agreed upon, this important truce was
not ratified for some years afterwards.

Meantime, James privately admonished Warbeck to quit the kingdom, as he
could no longer assist him, and his presence would only tend to endanger
the truce. Warbeck is said to have received this intimation with much
true dignity and good feeling. He thanked the king for the great effort
he had made on his account, for all the honours and favours that he had
conferred upon him, and for which he declared he should ever remain
deeply grateful. A vessel was prepared for his departure at Ayr, and
every comfort was provided for his accommodation which James could have
offered to the true prince. His beautiful and accomplished wife would not
be left behind--a proof that she was really attached to him, whatever
she might think of his pretensions. She quitted rank, fortune, a high
position in the Scottish Court, to embrace with him a homeless life and a
dark prospect. Flanders was closed to Perkin by the fresh league betwixt
that country and England. Ireland was a more than dubious resort, yet
thither he turned his prow, and landed at Cork on the 30th of July, 1497,
with about 100 followers. The attempt to rouse again the enthusiasm of
Ireland was vain; but at this juncture the last gleam of Warbeck's waning
fortune seemed to fall upon him.

The Cornish rebels, let off so easily by Henry, had returned to their
own county, proclaiming by the way that the king had not dared to put
them to death because the whole of his subjects were in the same state
of discontent. The people of Cornwall and Devon, reassured by this,
again took up arms against the commissioners, who were still collecting
the tax with great severity, and, it is said, despatched a message to
Warbeck to come over and head them. On the 7th of September, 1497, he
accordingly landed at Whitsand Bay, with four or five small barques, and
his 100 fighting men. Being joined by 3,000 of the insurgents at Bodmin,
he issued a proclamation similar to his former one. Bodmin was the native
place of Michael Joseph, their great orator and leader, and the people
there were burning to revenge his death. Warbeck set out on his march
towards Devonshire, and thousands of those who had lost friends and
relations in the bloody battle of Blackheath joined him on the way. He
sent his wife to Mount St. Michael for security, and directing his course
towards Exeter, he invested that city on the 17th of September with a
rude, wild force of about 10,000 men. He announced himself as Richard IV.
of England, and called on the inhabitants to surrender; but, having sent
notification of his approach to King Henry, they determined to defend
themselves, if needful, till succour arrived.


Warbeck had no artillery or engines of any kind to carry on a siege, he
therefore attempted to break down the gates. At the one he was repulsed
with considerable loss, the other he managed to burn down, but the
citizens availed themselves of the fire, feeding it as it failed, till
they had dug a deep trench behind the flames. When, the next morning,
Warbeck returned to force a passage by that gate, the citizens received
him with such spirit that they slew 200 of his men, and daunted the rest.
Assistance was now also flowing in from the country to the city, and
Warbeck was in danger of being attacked both in front and rear. Seeing
this, he demanded a suspension of hostilities, and, depressed by this
failure, his Devonshire followers began rapidly to fall away, and steal
home as quickly as they could. His Cornish adherents, however, more
intrepid, encouraged him to persevere, and vowed that they would perish
in his cause. In this state of desperation the pretender marched on
towards Taunton, where he arrived on the 20th of September. The country
people on their way, smarting under the infliction of the hated tax,
wished them success, but did not attempt to help them.

[Illustration: LADY CATHERINE GORDON BEFORE HENRY VII. (_See p._ 94.)]

At Taunton, instead of any encouragement, they met the vanguard of the
royal army, under the command of Lord Daubeney, the lord chamberlain, and
Lord Broke, the steward of the household. The Duke of Buckingham was just
behind with a second division, and Henry was declared to be following
with a still larger force. The brave Cornish men, scarcely clothed, and
still worse armed, shrank not a moment from the hopeless combat. They
vowed to perish to a man in behalf of their newly-adopted king, and
Warbeck, with an air as if he would lead them into battle in the morning,
rode along their lines encouraging them, and made all ready for the

But Warbeck, who had never shown any want of courage, perceived the
utter madness of contending with his undisciplined followers against
such overwhelming odds, and in the night he mounted a fleet steed and
rode off. In the morning the Cornish men, seeing themselves without a
leader, submitted to the king, and, with the exception of a few of the
ringleaders, they were dismissed and returned homewards as best they
might. Meanwhile, Lord Daubeney despatched 500 horsemen in pursuit of
Warbeck, to prevent, if possible, his entrance into sanctuary; but the
fugitive succeeded in reaching the monastery of Beaulieu, in the New

Henry sent a number of horsemen, in all haste, to St. Michael's Mount, in
Cornwall, to obtain possession of the Lady Catherine Gordon, the wife of
Warbeck. This they easily accomplished, and brought her to the king, on
entering whose presence she blushed and burst into tears. Henry received
her kindly--touched, for once in his life, with tenderness, by beauty
in distress; or, probably, bearing in mind that the lady was the near
kinswoman of the King of Scots, with whom he was desirous to stand well.
He sent her to the queen, by whom she was most cordially received, and in
whose court she remained attached to her service. She was still called
the White Rose of Scotland, on account of her beauty. Lady Gordon was
afterwards, it appears, three times married, but lies buried by the side
of her second husband, Sir Matthew Cradock, in Swansea church.

Henry proceeded to Exeter, where he had the ringleaders of the Cornish
insurrection brought in procession before him, with halters round their
necks. Some of them he hanged, the rest he pardoned; but he, at the
same time, appointed commissioners to proceed into the country through
which Perkin had passed, and to fine all such people of property as
had furnished him with aid or refreshment. They did not confine their
scrutiny to those who had assisted Perkin in his march, but extended it
to all who had relieved the famishing fugitives; "so that," says Bacon,
"their severity did much obscure the king's mercy in sparing of blood,
with the bleeding of so much treasure." They extorted altogether £10,000.

The next business was to get Warbeck out of his sanctuary and into the
hands of the king. Beaulieu was surrounded by an armed force, and all
attempts at escape made impossible. Some of Henry's council urged him to
omit all ceremony, and take the pretender from the sanctuary by force;
but this he declined, preferring to lure him thence by fair promises.
After hesitating for some time, Warbeck at length threw himself upon the
king's mercy. Henry then set out to London with his captive in his train.
Warbeck rode in the king's suite through the city, along Cheapside,
Cornhill, and to the Tower, and thence to Westminster. As the king had
promised him his life, he kept his word. He was repeatedly examined by
the Privy Council, but it seems as if something had transpired there
which Henry deemed better concealed, for a profound silence was preserved
on the subject of these disclosures. So far from even being degraded,
like Lambert Simnel, to some menial occupation, Warbeck was suffered to
enjoy a certain degree of liberty, and was treated as a gentleman. The
probability is, that the king satisfied himself that this mysterious
personage was in reality a son of Edward IV., by the handsome Jewess,
Catherine de Faro, his birth being in Flanders, and agreeing exactly with
the time of Edward's exile there. This might account for his admirable
support of the character of a prince, for his confidence in his assertion
of it for so many years, and the power he had of winning the strong
attachment of persons of the highest rank and education. If this were
true, he was, moreover, the queen's brother, though an illegitimate one,
and might win the interest of herself and sisters by his resemblance in
person, and in spirit and ambition, to her father.

But however this might be, he was too dangerous a person to be allowed
to get loose again. He lived at Court under a strict surveillance, and
he grew so weary of it, that he contrived to make his escape on the
8th of June, 1498. The alarm was instantly given; numbers of persons
were out in pursuit of him; every road by which he might escape to sea
was vigilantly beset, and the unhappy man, finding himself pressed on
all sides, surrendered himself to the Prior of Sheen, near Richmond.
The prior exercised the right of sanctuary possessed by the house, and
refused to give him up to the king, except under pledge that his life
should be spared. Henry agreed, but he confirmed the public opinion,
which, excited by the mystery of the Court, fully believed Warbeck a son
of Edward's, by now endeavouring to degrade him, and to fix upon him the
old story. For this purpose he compelled him to sit in the stocks two
whole days, on the 14th of June at Westminster Hall, and on the 15th
in Cheapside, and there to read aloud to the people a confession made
up of the account of him published in Henry's former proclamation, but
with some very contradictory additions. This confession was then printed
and circulated amongst the people, but failed entirely to satisfy any
one. When this bitter purgatory had been passed through, the bitterest
conceivable to a man of Warbeck's character, pretensions, and superior
mind, he was committed to the Tower.

Warbeck had not been long in the Tower when there was an attempt to
liberate the Earl of Warwick, who was still in confinement there; and
it failed only through the conspirators not having properly informed
themselves of the real quarter in which he was kept. Soon after that
a fresh plot was set on foot for the same object. In this the King of
France was said to be concerned. It was said that he had declared his
regret for ever having countenanced the usurpation of Henry Tudor, and
that he offered money, ships, and even troops, to the friends of Warwick
to enable them to release him, and place him on the throne. The Yorkist
malcontents were once more active. They wrote to the retainers of the
late Duke of Clarence, the father of Warwick, and to Lady Warwick,
to come forward and see justice done to the oppressed prince; and an
invitation was sent from the Court of France to a distinguished leader
of the house of York to go over to that country and assume the command
of the expedition. This also failing, a report was then spread of the
death of the Earl of Warwick: then it was said that he had escaped, and a
person of the name of Ralph Wulford, or Wilford, the son of a shoemaker
in Sussex, was taught by one Patrick, an Augustinian friar, to personate
the earl.

Whether the Yorkists were determined to give Henry no repose, but to
haunt and harass him with a perpetual succession of impostors, or
whether Henry himself planned this latter improbable scheme as a pretext
for getting rid of the Earl of Warwick altogether, seems never to have
been satisfactorily cleared up. All that is known is, that Wulford and
the friar were speedily arrested, whereupon Wulford was put to death, and
the friar consigned to prison for life.

Scarcely had this blown over, when it was reported that Warbeck and
Warwick had endeavoured to escape from the Tower together. Warbeck must
have been allowed to have free access to Warwick after he was sent to the
Tower--a circumstance not likely to have been permitted by the cautious
and vigilant Henry VII. had he not had some ulterior purpose in it. Once
together, however, Warbeck won the favour of the simple and inexperienced
Warwick, who was as ignorant of the world as a child, having passed
nearly all his life in prison. Warbeck, however, exercised the same
fascination over the highest and most intelligent persons whenever he had
access to them. To the Tower he carried his active spirit of intrigue
and adventure, and we soon find him in the enjoyment, for so dangerous
a character, of extraordinary liberty and range in that State prison.
He had not only completely won over the Earl of Warwick, but their
keepers, Strangways, Astwood, Long Roger, and Blewet. These men engaged
to murder their master, Sir John Digby, the Governor of the Tower, to get
possession of the keys, and to conduct Warbeck and Warwick to the Yorkist
partisans, by whom Warbeck was to be proclaimed King Richard IV., and
Warwick to be restored to his titles and estates.

This plot, it is said, was discovered in time; and this was another
circumstance which caused the public to suspect that the whole thing had
been of the contriving, or, at least, of the permission of Henry, to rid
him of these troublesome aspirants. The two offenders were immediately
confined in separate cells. The servants of the Governor were brought
to trial, and Blewet and Astwood were condemned and hanged. On the 16th
of November, Warbeck was arraigned in Westminster Hall for sundry acts
of high treason, since as a foreigner he had come into these kingdoms.
They were, in fact, the attempts on the crown which we have related. He
was condemned and hanged at Tyburn on the 23rd of November, 1499. On the
scaffold his confession was read, and he declared it, on the word of a
dying man, to be wholly true. Such was the end of this extraordinary
adventurer. Bacon describes his enterprise as "one of the largest
plays of the kind that hath been in memory; and might, perhaps, have
had another end if he had not met with a king both wise, stout, and

On the 21st of November, the Earl of Warwick was brought to trial before
the peers, though he had been attainted from his birth, and had never
taken his oath and seat as a peer of the realm. The charge against
him was his conspiracy with Warbeck to dethrone the king. The poor
youth pleaded guilty, either as weary of a life which had been but one
long injury and wrong, in consequence of his birth, or because he was
destitute, from his perpetual confinement, of the activity of mind to
comprehend his situation. Probably he imagined that if he confessed
himself guilty, he would be pardoned, and sent back to his cell. But
Henry had no such intention. The Earl of Oxford, as Lord Steward,
pronounced judgment, and three days afterwards he was beheaded on Tower
Hill. Thus perished the last legitimate descendant of the Plantagenets
who could alarm the fears of Henry Tudor.

A few months after these tragic events, a plague broke out in London,
which the people considered as a direct judgment from Heaven for such
wicked bloodshed. Henry got out of town, but not feeling himself safe,
after several changes of residence, he went over to Calais, and whilst
there he had an interview with the Archduke Philip of Burgundy. Henry
invited the archduke to take up his quarters in Calais, but it is a proof
of the distrust which even his own allies entertained of the politic
Henry, that the archduke declined putting himself into his power, and
agreed to meet him at St. Pierre, near that city. What the archduke was
particularly anxious to see Henry for, was to excite his jealousy of
France, and secure his co-operation in counteracting its ambition.

Charles VIII. of France, an ambitious youth, had made a grand expedition
into Italy to seize on the two Sicilies, having contrived to make out a
claim upon them, which, though empty in itself, was good enough for an
excuse for conquest. He had passed over the Alps with an army of upwards
of 30,000 men. At first all gave way before him, but an extensive league
was soon formed against the French encroachment, including Ferdinand of
Spain, Maximilian, the King of the Romans, the father of Philip, the Duke
of Milan, and the Doge of Venice. Charles, who had led a most dissipated
life, died suddenly in 1498 at the castle of Amboise, and the Duke of
Orleans succeeded as Louis XII. Louis was as fully bent as Charles had
been on prosecuting the conquest of Naples and Sicily, and in 1499
marched with a fresh army into the south of Italy.

It was to secure Henry's assistance in the league against the aggression
of France, which alarmed all Europe, that Philip used his most eloquent
persuasives, but the only persuasives with Henry were moneys, and these
Louis had already extended. He renewed the peace of Étaples, paid up
the arrears of Henry's pension, and secured the interest of the Pope,
with whom Henry was desirous to stand well, by paying him 20,000 ducats
for a dispensation enabling him to divorce his wife, and marry Anne of
Brittany, the widow of Charles VIII., and an old flame of his. He had
also made over the Valentinois, in Dauphiné, with a pension of 20,000
livres, to the Pope's son, the vile Cæsar Borgia. The Pope, moreover,
was coquetting with Henry, inviting him, by an express nuncio, to join a
league for an imaginary crusade to the Holy Land, which Henry was ready
to do for the cession of some real ports in Italy as places for the
retreat and security of his fleet in those seas.

It was not likely that Philip of Burgundy would make much progress with
Henry, except so far as he could serve him by keeping certain matters,
well known at the Courts of Burgundy and Flanders, concerning the real
history of Perkin Warbeck, secret; and his anxiety on this head more and
more convinced people that Warbeck had been something more than the son
of a Jew.

Henry VII. having succeeded in ridding himself of all the pretenders to
his crown, now set himself to complete the marriages of his children,
and to make money with redoubled ardour. Negotiations had been going
on with James of Scotland for the marriage of Henry's eldest daughter,
Margaret. In 1496 James, who had previously declined the match, now in
communication with Fox, Bishop of Durham, offered to enter into that
contract. Henry gladly assented, and, when some of his council suggested
that in case of the failure of the male line in England, a Scottish
prince, born of this marriage, would become the heir, and England a mere
appendage of Scotland, "No," replied Henry, "Scotland will become an
appendage of England, for the smaller must follow the larger kingdom."
And, no doubt, this idea had from the first actuated the calculating mind
of the Tudor. On the 29th of January, 1502, the parties were solemnly
affianced in the queen's chamber, the Earl of Bothwell having come to
London as proxy for James. Margaret, at the time of this affiancing, was
but just turned twelve years of age, and it was agreed that she should
remain twenty months longer under the roof of her parents. Accordingly,
it was not till the 8th of July, 1503, that she set out on her journey to


Simultaneously had been proceeding the negotiations with the Spanish
Court for the marriage between Henry's eldest son, Arthur, and Catherine,
the daughter of Ferdinand, King of Aragon. The negotiations for this
marriage had commenced so early as 1489, when the young prince was not
yet three years old, and Catherine but four. In 1496 a further step was
taken; and Ferdinand then promised to give the princess a portion of
200,000 crowns, and Henry engaged that his son should endow her with
one-third of his present income, and the same of the income of the Crown,
if he should live to be king. It was stipulated that so soon as Prince
Arthur reached his twelfth year, a dispensation should be obtained to
empower him to make the contract; and, accordingly, the marriage was
performed by proxy, the Spanish ambassador assuming this part, in the
chapel of the prince's manor of Bewdley. These two children, who were
at this period, the one ten, and the other eleven years of age, were
educated in the highest possible degree by their respective parents; and
at the time of their actual marriage, in 1501, when Arthur was fifteen,
and Catherine nearly sixteen, they were perhaps the two most learned
persons of their years in the two kingdoms of Spain and England. The
festivities over, Arthur retired to his castle of Ludlow with his bride,
and there kept a Court modelled on that of the king. Great hopes and
auguries were drawn from this marriage, and wonderful futures to them
and their descendants were promised them by the astrologers. But little
more than five months sufficed to falsify all the earthly predictions;
for the young prince fell suddenly ill and died. Various reasons for his
death are assigned by different authorities. Some assert that he died of
consumption; others declare that he was perfectly sound and robust, and
that he died of some epidemic--the sweating sickness, or, as the Spanish
historian says, the plague. Great sickness of some kind was prevailing
in the neighbourhood, so that at Worcester the funeral, according to the
Spanish herald, was but thinly attended. Prince Arthur died on the 2nd
of April, 1502. He was a prince of great promise, and the beauty of his
person, the sweetness of his manner, and his brilliant accomplishments,
won him universal favour, which was equally shared by his young bride.

The death of Arthur was a shock to the political arrangements, as well
as to the affections of the royal parties on both sides. Ferdinand was
anxious to retain a close alliance with England, as a counterpoise to
the ascendency of France. He therefore proposed to Henry that Catherine
should be affianced to Henry Duke of York, Prince Arthur's younger
brother. This was a very legitimate project according to the Jewish
law, but not so much in accordance with the practice of the Christian
world. Henry VII. appeared to hesitate--it may safely be surmised with
no intention of allowing the young princess, and her dowry of 200,000
crowns, to escape him; but rather, it may be supposed, with a design
to exact something more. To hasten his decision, however, the Spanish
monarch announced as the alternative that Catherine must be at once
restored to her parents, with half of the marriage portion already paid.
This had immediate effect on the deliberations of Henry. He showed
himself ready to assent, if there were an additional incentive in the
shape of another sum. Ferdinand and Isabella were firm. They declared
themselves ready to pay the remaining 100,000 crowns on the contract of
the marriage, which should take effect two months after the receipt of
a dispensation from the Pope. Henry tried every art to extort a larger
sum, and it was not till June, 1503, that this proposition was finally
accepted. The solemnisation of the marriage was to take place on the
young Prince Henry completing his fourteenth year. But the difficulties
were not yet over. The two monarchs continued, like two skilful players,
to try every move which might delay the payment of the money, or compel
it with an augmentation. In this state the matter remained till 1504,
when Henry and Catherine, on the 25th of June, were betrothed, but still
not married, at the house of the Bishop of Salisbury, in Fleet Street.

Scarcely had the eyes of Elizabeth of York closed (she died in 1503), at
the early age of thirty-seven, than Henry was on the look-out for another
wife, for it was another opportunity of making a profit. His eyes glanced
over the courts and courtly dames of Europe; and the lady who struck him
as the most attractive in the world was the widow of the late King of
Naples--for the deceased monarch had bequeathed her an immense property.
Her ducats were charms that told on the gold-loving heart of Henry most
ravishingly. He posted off three private gentlemen, well skilled in such
delicate inquiries, to Naples, to learn from real sources whether all
was safe as to this grand dowry. Poor Catherine was even made to play a
part in this notable scheme of courtship, by furnishing the emissaries
with a letter to her relative, the queen-dowager. The gentlemen reported
in the most glowing terms the charms of the queen-dowager's person, the
sweetness of her disposition, and the brilliant endowments of her mind,
but they were obliged to add that, though the lady's fortune was in
justice as large as fame reported it, the present king refused to carry
out the will by which it was conferred. This one unlucky fact at once
blotted out all the rest, and Henry, giving not another thought to the
dowager-queen of Naples, turned his attention to the dowager-duchess of
Savoy, who was also reported to be rich.

While Henry, however, was traversing Europe with the design of adding to
his ever-growing hoards, he was equally diligent at home in prosecuting
every art by which he could add another mark to his heap. He sought
out and kept in his pay clever and unprincipled lawyers to search the
old statute-books for laws grown obsolete, but which had never been
formally repealed; and he had another set of spies in correspondence
with them, who went to and fro throughout the whole kingdom to mark out
all such persons of property as had transgressed these slumbering laws.
Such a state of things could never have been tolerated in any former
reign; but the wars of the Roses had cut off all the chief nobility,
and the House of Commons, terrified by the summary proceedings against
offenders, had become utterly cowed, and trembled at the mere word of
this imperious monarch. Never, therefore, was the English people at any
time so completely prostrated beneath the talons of a royal vampire as at
this period. The rich merchants of London found themselves accused of
malpractices in the discharge of their civic offices, and were subjected
to the same process of squeezing in Henry's universal press.

To drain the coffers of the landed aristocracy, Henry's agents brought
up against them all the old obsolete feudal charges of wardships, aids,
liveries, premier seizins, and scutages. Their estates had long been
held under a different tenure, obtained from former monarchs. No matter:
all those marked out for legal bleeding were brought into the private
inquisition of the king's commissioners, and compelled to pay whatever
was demanded, or to suffer worse inconveniences. Even his own friends
were not exempted from the ever-watchful eyes and schemes of this
money-making king. The law which he had enacted against the practice of
"maintenance" was a prolific source of emolument. A striking example of
this species of royal sharp practice was given in the case of John de
Vere, Earl of Oxford. This nobleman having entertained the king on one
occasion for several days magnificently at his castle of Henningham, to
do the utmost honour to him at his departure, summoned all his friends
and retainers, arrayed in all their livery coats and cognisances, and
ranged them in two rows leading from the reception rooms to the royal
carriage. Henry's eye was instantly struck with this prodigious display
of wealth and of men, and his mind as suddenly leapt to a felicitous
conclusion. There was money to be made out of it. The king said: "By my
faith, my lord, I thank you for your good cheer, but I may not endure to
have my laws thus broken in my sight: my attorney must speak to you." The
earl was prosecuted for thus seeking to flatter the vanity of his master,
and compelled to gratify Henry's avarice by a fine of 15,000 marks.

Whilst the king himself set so notable an example of extortion, we may
be sure that his commissioners, spies, and tools of all sorts were not
slack in this abominable business of ferreting out and putting through
the cruel torture of their secret courts, the unhappy subjects of
every corner of the kingdom who had any substance to prey upon. "The
king," says Bacon, "had gotten for his purpose, or beyond his purpose,
two instruments, Empson and Dudley, whom the people esteemed as his
horse-leeches and shearers: bold men, and careless of fame, and that took
toll of their master's grist. Dudley was of a good family, eloquent,
and one that could put hateful business into good language. But Empson,
that was the son of a sieve-maker, triumphed always upon the deed done,
putting off all other respects whatsoever."

The tempestuous weather of January, 1506, which brought to others the
disastrous news of vessels wrecked and lives lost, brought to Henry VII.
tidings of a most exciting and elating kind. It was no other than that
amongst the foreign vessels driven into the port of Weymouth, were some
containing the Archduke Philip of Flanders and his wife Joanna, the
elder sister of Catherine of Aragon, his daughter-in-law, and daughter
of his friend and ally Ferdinand of Spain. The Archduke Philip knew his
man; and at their meeting near Calais, in 1500, though he attempted to
hold Henry's stirrup, and heaped upon him the titles of his father and
protector, he took good care to keep out of his clutches; nothing would
induce him to enter the city. But now circumstances were greatly changed;
and the archduke and his wife Joanna would be a much more valuable prize.
The mother of Joanna, the Queen Isabella of Spain, was dead, and Joanna
was, in her own right, Queen of Castile, and Philip, by hers, king. There
was a number of things, any one of which Henry would have been only too
happy to extort from Philip.

The prince soon found himself received with much magnificence at the
castle of Windsor; but he was not suffered to remain long without feeling
that he was in the hands of a man who would have his full advantage
out of him. The insatiable old miser went to work and propounded his
demands, and there was nothing for it but for Philip to comply, if he
ever meant to see Spain. First, Henry informed him that he was intending
to marry, and that Philip's sister, the dowager-duchess of Savoy, was
the woman of his choice. He demanded with her the sum of 300,000 crowns,
of which 100,000 should be paid in August--it was already the 10th of
March--and the remainder in six years by equal instalments. Besides
this, Margaret, the duchess, was in the annual receipt of two dowries;
one as the widow of John, Prince of Spain, and the other as widow of
Philibert, Duke of Savoy, for she had been twice married already. This
income Henry stipulated should be settled upon himself, and the princess
was to receive instead an income as queen of England. That meant that
Henry would have an income certain, and give her one most uncertain, for
at this very time Catherine, the widow of his son Arthur, and betrothed
bride of his son Henry, was kept by him in a condition of the most
shameful destitution.

Philip consented--for what could he do?--and that point settled, Henry
informed Philip that he had also a son, whom he, Henry, proposed to
marry to his youngest daughter, Mary. This must have been a still more
bitter draught for the poor Spanish monarch than the former. Henry had
already made this very proposal, and it had been at once rejected. This
son of Philip, the future celebrated Emperor Charles V., was now a child
of six years of age, and the little Princess Mary was just three! Philip,
however much he might inwardly rebel, and however differently he had
planned the destiny of his son, was in the miser's vice, and the thing
was done.


Soon there came about fresh complications. Philip of Flanders, or, as
he was oftener called, Philip the Fair of Austria, was but an invalid
when he set out on his unlucky voyage to Spain. His detention in England
during the three most trying months of its trying climate, January,
February, and March, added to the vexation of the engagement forced
upon him by the relentless Henry, is said to have completely broken
his constitution; he sank and died in about six months. No sooner did
King Henry hear this news, than, throwing aside all further thoughts of
the Duchess of Savoy, he applied for the hand of Joanna, the widow of
Philip. With Joanna, Queen of Castile, married to himself, and Charles,
her son, the heir of all Spain, the Netherlands, and Austria, married
to his daughter Mary, what visions of greatness and empire must have
swum before the keen eyes of Henry, and excited his intense passion of
acquisitiveness! Ferdinand returned for answer, that the proposal would
have been well pleasing to him, but that Queen Joanna, from violent grief
for the loss of her husband, was become permanently insane. This answer,
which would have been all-sufficient for most men, was treated as a mere
trifle by Henry, who replied that he knew the queen, having seen her in
England; that her derangement of mind was not the effect of grief, but of
the harsh treatment of Philip; that she would soon be all right, and that
he was quite ready to marry her. Ferdinand reiterated the certainty of
the lady's fixed madness, and Henry rejoined that if he was not allowed
to marry her, the king's other daughter, Catherine, should never marry
his son.

There is no doubt that, could Henry have secured the hand of
Joanna--"the Mad Queen," as she came to be called--he would have broken
off the contract between Henry, his son, and Catherine, and kept her and
her dower in England nevertheless. But the marriage of Henry VII. with
Joanna being an impossibility, Ferdinand promised to send the remaining
half of Catherine's dower by instalments, and Henry consented that the
marriage of the two young people should take place as soon as the money
was paid. Catherine, whose letters to her father had, for the most part,
been intercepted and detained by Henry, at length gave up her opposition
also to the wedding, declaring, in one of these letters, that it was
better for her to marry the prince than remain in the woful condition
of destitution and dependence in which her father-in-law kept her. The
remainder of the dower, however, was never paid up during Henry's time,
and therefore the marriage did not take place till after his death.


In the midst of his grasping, his hoarding, and his scheming, the king's
end was drawing on, though he was far from an old man. The gout had
long visited him with its periodical attacks. He was liable, during the
cold and variable weather of spring, to complaints of the chest, which
assumed the appearance of consumption, and occasionally reduced him very
low. When the sickness was strong upon him he ordered Empson and Dudley
to cease their villainies; as he got worse he commanded them even to
make restitution to those whom they had pillaged and imprisoned; but as
he grew better again, he instructed them that it was only necessary to
recompense such as had not been dealt with according to the regular forms
of law--so that as these vultures generally tore their victims in a legal
fashion, and as they themselves were made the judges of the necessary
restitution, very little was done. Henry VII. died at his palace of
Richmond on the 21st of April, 1509, in the fifty-fourth year of his age
and the twenty-fourth of his reign.



     The King's Accession--State of Europe--Henry and Julius
     II.--Treaty between England and Spain--Henry is duped by
     Ferdinand--New Combinations--Execution of Suffolk--Invasion of
     France--Battle of Spurs--Invasion of England by the Scots--Flodden
     Field--Death of James of Scotland--Louis breaks up the Holy
     League--Peace with France--Marriage and Death of Louis XII.--Rise
     of Wolsey--Affairs in Scotland--Francis I. in Italy--Death
     of Maximilian--Henry a Candidate for the Empire--Election of
     Charles--Field of the Cloth of Gold--Wolsey's Diplomacy--Failure
     of his Candidature for the Papacy--The Emperor in London.

No prince ever ascended a throne under more auspicious circumstances
than Henry VIII. While his father had strengthened the throne, he had
made himself extremely unpopular. The longer he lived, the more the
selfish meanness and the avarice of his character had become conspicuous,
and excited the disgust of his subjects. Henry was young, handsome,
accomplished, and gay. He was in many respects the very opposite of
his father, and the people always give to a young prince every virtue
under the sun. Accordingly, Henry, who was only eighteen, was regarded
as a fine, buxom young fellow; frank, affable, generous, capable of
everything, and disposed to the best.

Fox was grown old, and under Henry VII. had grown habitually
parsimonious. He, therefore, attempted to keep a tight reign on the young
monarch, and discouraged all mere schemes of pleasure which necessarily
brought expense. But the old proverb that a miser is sure to be succeeded
by a spendthrift, was not likely to be falsified in Henry. He was full
of health, youth, vigour, and affluence. He was disposed to enjoy all
the gaieties and enjoyments which a brilliant Court and the resources of
a great kingdom spread around him, and in this tendency he found in the
Earl of Surrey a far more facile counsellor than in Fox.

All this made deep inroads into his parental treasures, but it augmented
his popularity, which he vastly extended by bringing to justice the
two hated extortioners of Henry VII.'s reign. To prepare for this, he
appointed commissioners to hear the complaints of those who had suffered
from the grievous exactions of the late reign; but these complaints
were so loud and so universal that he was soon convinced that it would
be impossible to make full restitution; and he therefore resolved to
appease the injured in some degree by punishing the injurers. A number of
the most notorious informers were therefore seized, set on horses, and
paraded through the streets of London, on the 6th of June, with their
faces to the horses' tails. This done, they were set in the pillory, and
left to the vengeance of the people, who so maltreated them that they all
died soon after in prison. The fate of Dudley and Empson--the two main
instruments of popular oppression--was suspended by the coronation, which
took place on the 24th of the same month. After it was over they were
tried and beheaded.

Henry had been married to Catherine of Aragon on the 3rd of the month at
Greenwich. Whatever pretences Henry made in after years of his scruples
about this marriage--Catherine having been the wife of his elder brother
Prince Arthur--he seems to have felt or expressed none now. Archbishop
Warham had protested against it on that ground in Henry VII.'s time; but
though the princess was six years older than himself, there is every
reason to believe that Henry was now anxious for the match. Catherine
was at this time very agreeable in person, and was distinguished for the
excellence of her disposition and the spotless purity and modesty of her
life. She was the daughter of one of the most powerful sovereigns of
Europe; and the alliance of Spain was held to be essentially desirable
to counteract the power of France. Besides this, the princess had a
large dower, which must be restored if she were allowed to return home.
The majority of his council, therefore, zealously concurred with him in
his wish to complete this marriage; and his grandmother, the sagacious
Countess of Richmond, was one of its warmest advocates. "There were
few women," says Lord Herbert, "who could compete with Queen Catherine
when in her prime;" and Henry himself, writing to her father a short
time after the marriage, sufficiently expresses his satisfaction at the
union:--"As regards that sincere love which we have to the most serene
queen, our consort, her eminent virtues daily more shine forth, blossom,
and increase so much, that if we were still free, her would we yet
choose for our wife before all others." The conduct of Henry for many
years bore out this profession.

To make the general satisfaction complete, Henry summoned a Parliament,
in which the chief topic was the prevention in future of the abominable
exactions of the past; and the obsolete penal statutes on which the
extortioners had acted were formally repealed. The whole number
of temporal peers who were summoned to this Parliament was only
thirty-six--one duke, one marquis, eight earls, and twenty-six barons.

Henry was now at peace with all the world. At home and abroad, so far as
he was concerned, everything was tranquil. No English monarch had ever
been more popular, powerful, and prosperous. Nothing could show more the
advance which England had made of late in strength and importance than
the deference paid to Henry by the greatest princes on the Continent, and
their anxiety to cultivate his alliance. The balance of power in Europe
appeared more widely established than at any former period. England had
freed herself of her intestine divisions, and stood compact and vigorous
from united political power and the active spirit of commerce. The people
were thriving; the Crown, owing to the care of Henry VII., was rich.
Spain had joined its several provinces into one potent state, which was
ruled by the crafty but able Ferdinand. France had begun the same work of
consolidation under Louis XII., by his marriage with Anne of Brittany,
and the union of Brittany with the Crown. Maximilian, the Emperor of
Germany, with his hereditary dominions of Austria, possessed the weight
given him by his Imperial office over all Germany; and his grandson
Charles, heir at once of Austria, Spain, and the Netherlands, was at this
time the ruler of Burgundy and the Netherlands, under the guardianship
of his aunt Margaret of Savoy, a princess of high character for sense
and virtue. Henry had taken the earliest opportunity of renewing the
treaties made by his father with all these princes, and with Scotland,
and declared that he was resolved to maintain peace with them, and to
cultivate the interests of his subjects at home. But this promise he
speedily broke.

The first means of exciting him to mingle in the distraction of the
Continent were found in the fact that Louis XII. of France was reluctant
to continue the annual payment of £80,000 which he made to his father.
Henry had made a considerable vacuum in the paternal treasury chests, and
was not willing to forego this convenient subsidy. There were those on
the watch ready to stimulate him to hostile action. Pope Julius II. and
Ferdinand of Spain had their own reasons for fomenting ill-will between
Louis of France and Henry. Louis had added Milan and part of the north
of Italy to the French crown. Ferdinand had become possessed of Naples
and Sicily, first, by aiding the French in conquering them, and then by
driving out the French. Julius II. was equally averse from the presence
of the French and Spaniards in Italy, but he was, at the same time,
jealous of the spreading power of Venice, and therefore concealed his
ultimate designs against France and Spain, so that he might engage Louis
and Ferdinand to aid him in humbling Venice. For this purpose he engaged
Louis, Ferdinand, and Maximilian of Austria to enter into a league at
Cambray, as early as December, 1508, by which they engaged to assist him
in regaining the dominions of the church from the Venetians. Henry, who
had no interest in the matter, was induced, in course of time, to add his
name to this League, as a faithful son of the Church.

No sooner had Julius driven back the Venetians and reduced them to seek
for peace, than he found occasion to quarrel with the French, and a new
league was formed to protect the Pope from what he termed the ambitious
designs of the French, into which Ferdinand, Maximilian, and Henry
entered. Louis XII., seeing this powerful alliance arrayed against him,
determined to carry a war of another nature into the camp of the militant
Pope Julius. He induced a number of the cardinals to declare against the
violence and aggressive spirit of the pontiff, as totally unbecoming his
sacred character. But Julius, who, though now old, had all the resolution
and the ambition of youth, set this schismatic conclave at defiance.
He declared Pisa, where the opposing cardinals had summoned a council,
and every other place to which they transferred themselves, under an
interdict. He excommunicated all cardinals and prelates who should attend
any such council, and not only they, but any temporal prince or chief who
should receive, shelter, or countenance them.

At the same time that Julius launched his thunders thus liberally at
his disobedient cardinals, he made every court in Europe ring with his
outcries against the perfidy and lawless ambition of Louis, who, not
content with seizing on Milan, he now asserted, was striving to make
himself master of the domains of the holy Mother Church. Henry was
prompt in responding to this appeal. He regarded the claims of the
Church as sacred and binding on all Christian princes; he had his own
demands on Louis, and he was naturally disposed to co-operate with his
father-in-law, Ferdinand. But beyond this, he was greatly flattered by
the politic Pope declaring him "the head of the Italian league;" and
assuring him that Louis by his hostility to the Church, having forfeited
the title of the "Most Christian King," he would transfer it to him.

Henry was perfectly intoxicated by these skilful addresses to his vanity,
and condescended to a piece of deception which, though often practised
by potentates and statesmen, is at all times unworthy of any Englishman;
he joined the Kings of Scotland and Spain, in recommending Louis to make
peace with the Pope, on condition that Bologna should be restored to the
Church, the council of cardinals at Pisa dissolved, and the cause of
Alphonso, the Duke of Ferrara--whose territories Julius, the fighting
Pope, had invaded--referred to impartial judges. These propositions
on the part of Henry were made by Young, the English ambassador; but
Louis, on his part, was perfectly aware at this very time that Henry was
not only in alliance with the Pope and Spain, but had engaged to join
Ferdinand in an invasion of France in the spring. He therefore treated
the hollow overture with just contempt.

Henry was at this time in profound peace with Louis. He had but a few
months before renewed his treaty with him, yet he was at the very time
that he sent his hypocritical proposal of arbitration, diligently, though
secretly, preparing for war with him. He sent a commission to gentlemen
in each county on June 20th, 1511, to array and exercise all the
men-at-arms and archers in their county, and to make a return of their
names, and the quality of their arms, before the 1st of August.

On opening his plans to his council, he there met with strong dissuasion
from war against France, and on very rational grounds. It was contended
that "the natural situation of islands seems not to consort with
conquests on the Continent. If we will enlarge ourselves, let it be in
the way for which Providence hath fitted us, which is by sea." Never
was sounder or more enlightened counsel given to an English king. But
such language was in vain addressed to the ears of Henry, which had been
assiduously tickled by the emissaries of Pope Julius and Ferdinand the
Catholic, who assured him that nothing would be more easy, while they
attacked France in other quarters, than to recover all the provinces
once possessed there. He hastened to form a separate treaty with his
cunning father-in-law, who had his own scheme in it, and this treaty was
signed on the 10th of November, 1511. The preamble of this treaty was a
fine specimen of the solemn pretences with which men attempt to varnish
over their unprincipled designs. It represented Louis as an enemy to God
and religion, a cruel and unrelenting persecutor of the Church, one who
despised all admonition, and had rejected the generous offer of the Pope
to pardon his sins.

And what was this pious scheme, so greatly to the glory of God and of
heaven? It was professedly to seize on the French province of Guienne, in
which Ferdinand promised to help Henry, but in reality to seize Navarre,
in which Ferdinand meant Henry to help him, but took care not to say so.
The old man, long practised in every art of royal treachery, was far too
knowing for the vainglorious young man, his son-in-law.

Things being put into this train, Henry sent a herald to Louis, to
command him not to make war upon the Pope, whom he styled "the father
of all Christians." Louis, who was well acquainted with what was going
on, knew that Pope Julius was as much a soldier and a politician as a
Pope. He was the most busy, scheming, restless, and ambitious old man
of his time. He not only made war on his neighbours, but attended the
field in person, watched the progress of sieges, saw his attendants
fall by his very side, and inspected his outposts with the watchful
diligence of a prudent general. Louis knew that he was at the bottom of
all these leagues against him, and he only smiled at Henry's message.
This herald was therefore speedily followed by another demanding the
surrender of Anjou, Maine, Normandy, and Guienne, as Henry's lawful
inheritance. This, of course, was tantamount to a declaration of war, and
the formal declaration only awaited the sanction of Henry by Parliament.
Parliament was therefore summoned by him on the 4th of February, 1512,
and was opened by Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, with a sermon, the
extraordinary text of which was--"Righteousness and peace have kissed
each other" (Psalm lxxxv. 10). Two-tenths and two-fifteenths were
cheerfully granted Henry for prosecuting the war, and the clergy in
convocation voted a subsidy of £23,000.

Thus zealously supported and encouraged, Henry despatched a declaration
of war, and sent an army of 10,000 men, chiefly archers, with a train of
artillery, under command of the Marquis of Dorset, to co-operate with
the Spaniards for the reduction of Guienne. These troops embarked at
Southampton, May 16th, 1512, and soon landed safely at Guipuscoa, whilst
the fleet under the Lord Admiral, Sir Edward Howard, cruised during the
summer off the coast. But Ferdinand's real object was a very different
one; his intention, as we have seen, was not to secure Guienne for his
duped son-in-law, but Navarre for himself.


Navarre was a separate kingdom in possession of John d'Albret, who had
married its heiress, the Infanta Catherine; and, justly suspicious of
the covetous intentions of the King of Spain, he had sought to fortify
himself by a secret treaty with the King of France. While, therefore, the
Marquis of Dorset, the English general, and his army were impatiently
waiting for the Spanish reinforcements, they received from Ferdinand a
message that it would not be safe for them to quit the Spanish frontiers
until they had secured the neutrality of the King of Navarre, who was
also Lord of Béarn, on the French side of the Pyrenees. The English had
thus to wait while Ferdinand demanded of D'Albret a pledge of strict
neutrality during the present war. D'Albret readily assented to this;
but Ferdinand then demanded security for his keeping this neutrality. To
this also John of Navarre freely acceded; which was again followed by a
demand from Ferdinand that this security should consist of the surrender
of six of the most considerable places in his dominions into the hands
of the Spaniards, and of his son as a hostage. The King of Navarre
was compelled to refuse so unreasonable a requisition, and therefore
Ferdinand, professing to believe that D'Albret meant to cut off the
communication of the Spanish army with Spain if it ventured into France,
and showing that he had obtained a copy of the secret treaty of D'Albret
with Louis, immediately ordered the Duke of Alva to invade Navarre. The
Duke soon made himself master of the smaller towns and the open country,
and then summoned, to their profound astonishment, the English to march
into Navarre, and assist him in reducing Pampeluna.

Dorset now perceived the real game that was being played. Having no
orders, however, to do anything but attack Guienne, he refused to move a
foot for the reduction of Navarre, and demanded afresh the supplies of
artillery and horse which had been guaranteed for the former enterprise.
But Ferdinand replied that it was quite out of the question to furnish
him with any till Navarre was made secure; that was the first necessary
step, and that effected, he should be prepared to march with him to
Bayonne, Bordeaux, and to the conquest of all Guienne.

These representations only increased the disgust of Dorset and his army:
but they could do nothing but await the event, and saw themselves thus
most adroitly posted by Ferdinand, as the necessary guard of his position
against the French, whilst he accomplished his long-desired acquisition
of Navarre. So Alva went on leisurely reducing Pampeluna, Ferdinand
still calling on Dorset to accelerate the business by marching to Alva's

Henry did not yet perceive how grossly he had been deluded by his loving
father-in-law, who had only used him to secure a kingdom for himself
most essential to the compactness and power of Spain; and he would have
been led by him to assist in his still contemplated aggressions. In the
meantime Louis, more cognisant of the game, marched his troops into
Béarn, and left them, professedly for his ally, whilst the remnant of
the English army reached home, shorn of its anticipated honours, reduced
in numbers, in rags, and more than half-famished. Henry was disposed to
charge upon Dorset the disasters and disappointments of the expedition,
but the officers succeeded in convincing him that they could not have
done differently, consistent with their orders; but the time was yet far
off when the vainglorious young king was to have his eyes opened to the
selfish deceptions which his Machiavelian father-in-law was practising
upon him.

At sea, the fleet under Sir Edward Howard had not been more successful
than the forces on land. Sir Edward harassed the coasts of Brittany
during the spring and summer, and on the 10th of August fell in with
a fleet of thirty-nine sail. Sir Charles Brandon, afterwards the Duke
of Suffolk, bore down upon the _Cordelier_, of Brest, a vessel of huge
bulk, and carrying 900 men. Brandon's vessel was soon dismasted, and fell
astern, giving place to the _Regent_, the largest vessel in the English
navy, a ship of 1,000 tons. The _Regent_ was commanded by Sir Thomas
Knevet, a young officer of a daring character. He continued the contest
for more than an hour, when another ship coming to his aid, the French
commander set fire to the _Cordelier_, the flames of which soon catching
the _Regent_, which lay alongside of her in full action, both vessels
were wrapt in fire, amid which the crews continued their desperate fight
till the French admiral's ship blew up, destroying with it the _Regent_;
and all the crews went down with the commanders, amid the horror of the
spectators. The rest of the French fleet then escaped into Brest; and Sir
Edward Howard made a vow to God that he would never see the king's face
again till he had avenged the death of the valiant Knevet.

But though Henry had been duped by the wily Ferdinand, and had suffered
at sea, his efforts had inflicted serious evil on the King of France. The
menace of Louis' dominions in the south, and the English fleet hovering
upon his coasts, had prevented him from sending into Italy the necessary
force to ensure lasting advantage there. Before Christmas Julius had
fulfilled his boast that he would drive the barbarians beyond the Alps.
He had done it, says Muratori, without stopping a moment to ask himself
whether this was the precise function of the chief pastor of the Church.

Louis, convinced that the Holy League, as it was called, was proving
too strong for him, employed the ensuing winter in devising means to
break it up, or to corrupt some of its members. Julius, the soul of the
League, died--a grand advantage to Louis--in February, 1513, and the new
pontiff, Leo X., who was Cardinal John de Medici, though he prosecuted
the same object of clearing Italy of the foreigner, did not possess the
same belligerent temperament as his predecessor. Leo laboured to keep
the League together, but at the same time he was engaged in schemes for
the aggrandisement of his own family, and especially of securing to it
the sovereignty of Florence. In pursuing this object, Venice felt itself
neglected in its claims of support against the emperor, and went over
to the alliance with France. Yet the plan of a renewed league between
the Pope, the emperor, the kings of Spain and England, against Louis,
which had long been secretly concocting at Mechlin, was signed by the
plenipotentiaries on the 5th of April, 1513. By this league Leo engaged
to invade France in Provence or Dauphiné, and to launch the thunders of
the Church at Louis. He had managed to detach the emperor from the French
king, and engaged him to attack France from his own side, but not in
Italy. To enable him to take the field, Henry of England was to advance
him 100,000 crowns of gold. Ferdinand engaged to invade Béarn, for which
he particularly yearned, or Languedoc; Henry to attack Normandy, Picardy,
or Guienne. The invading armies were to be strong and well appointed, and
none of the confederates were to make a peace without the consent of all
the rest.

Henry, in his self-confident ardour, blinded by his vanity, little read
as yet in the wiles and selfish cunning of men, was delighted with this
accomplished league. To him it appeared that Louis of France, encompassed
on every side, was certain of utter defeat, and thus as certain to
be compelled to restore all the rich provinces which his fathers had
wrested from England. But little did he dream that at the very moment
he was empowering his plenipotentiary to sign this league, his Spanish
father-in-law was signing another with Louis himself, in conjunction
with James of Scotland and the Duke of Gueldres. By this Ferdinand
engaged to be quiet, and do Louis no harm. In fact, none of the parties
in that league meant to fight at all. Their only object was to obtain
Henry's money, or to derive some other advantage from him, and they would
enjoy the pleasure of seeing him expending his wealth and his energies
in the war on France, and thus reducing his too formidable ascendency in
Europe. Ferdinand's intention was to spend the summer in strengthening
his position in the newly acquired kingdom of Navarre, and Maximilian,
the emperor, having got the subsidy from Henry, would be ready to reap
further benefits whilst he idly amused the young king with his pretences
of service. Henry alone was all on fire to wipe away the disgrace of
his troops and the disasters of his navy; to win martial renown, and to
restore the ancient Continental possessions of the Crown.

The war commenced first at sea. Sir Edward Howard, burning to discharge
his vow by taking vengeance for the death of Admiral Knevet, blockaded
the harbour of Brest. On the 23rd of April he attempted to cut away a
squadron of six galleys, moored in the bay of Conquêt, a few leagues
from Brest, and commanded by Admiral Prejeant. With two galleys, one
of which he gave into the command of Lord Ferrers, and four boats, he
rowed up to the admiral's galley, leaped upon its deck, and was followed
by one Carroz, a Spanish cavalier, and sixteen Englishmen. But the
cable which bound the vessel to that of Prejeant being cut, his ship,
instead of lying alongside, fell astern, and left him unsupported. He
was forced overboard, with all his gallant followers, by the pikes of
an overwhelming weight of the enemy, and perished. Sir Thomas Cheney,
Sir John Wallop, and Sir William Sidney, seeing the danger of Sir Edward
Howard, pressed forward to his rescue, but in vain, and the English
fleet, discouraged by the loss of their gallant commander, put back
to port. Prejeant sailed out of harbour after it, and gave chase, but
failing in overtaking it, he made a descent on the coast of Sussex, where
he was repulsed, and lost an eye, being struck by an arrow. Henry, on
hearing the unfortunate affair of Brest, appointed Lord Thomas Howard to
his brother's post, and bade him go out and avenge his death; whereupon
the French fleet again made sail for Brest, and left the English masters
of the Channel.

In June, Henry deemed himself fully prepared to cross with his army to
Calais. Lord Howard was ordered to bring his fleet into the Channel, to
cover the passage, and on the 6th of June, 1513, the vanguard of the army
passed over, under the command of the Earl of Shrewsbury, accompanied by
the Earl of Derby, the Lords Fitzwalter, Hastings, Cobham, and Sir Rice
ap Thomas. A second division followed on the 16th, under Lord Herbert,
the Chamberlain, accompanied by the Earls of Northumberland and Kent; the
Lords Audley and Delawar, with Carew, Curson, and many other gentlemen.
Henry himself followed on the 30th, with the main body and the rear of
the army. The whole force consisted of 25,000 men, the majority of which
was composed of the old victorious arm of archers.

Before leaving Dover, to which place the queen attended him, Henry
appointed her regent during his absence, and constituted Archbishop
Warham and Sir Thomas Lovel her chief counsellors and ministers. On
the plea of leaving no cause of disturbance behind him to trouble her
Majesty, he cut off the head of the Earl of Suffolk. Henry VII. had
inveigled this nobleman into his hands at the time of the visit of the
Archduke Philip, on the assurance that he would not take his life; but
he seems to have repented of this show of clemency, for on his death-bed
the king left an order that his son should put him to death. The earl
had remained till now prisoner in the Tower, and Henry had been fatally
reminded of him and of his father's dying injunction by the imprudence of
Richard de la Pole, the brother of Suffolk, who had not only attempted to
revive the York faction, but had taken a high command in the French army.

Henry himself, instead of crossing direct to Calais, ran down the coast
as far as Boulogne, firing continually his artillery to terrify the
French, and then returning, entered Calais amid a tremendous uproar of
cannon from ships and batteries, announcing rather prematurely that
another English monarch was come to conquer France. In order to effect
this conquest, however, he found none of his allies fulfilling their
agreements, except the Swiss, who, always alive at the touch of money,
and having fingered that of Henry, were in full descent on the south of
France, elated, moreover, with their victory over the French in the last
Italian campaign. Maximilian, who had received 120,000 crowns, was not
yet visible. But Henry's own officers had shown no remissness. Before
his arrival, Lord Herbert and the Earl of Shrewsbury had laid siege to
Terouenne, a town situate on the borders of Picardy, where they found a
stout resistance from the two commanders, Teligni and Crequi. The siege
had been continued a month, and Henry, engaged in a round of pleasures
and gaieties in Calais amongst his courtiers, seemed to have forgotten
the great business before him, of rivalling the Edwards and the fifth of
his own name. But news from the scene of action at length roused him. The
besieged people of Terouenne, on the point of starvation, contrived to
send word of their situation to Louis, who despatched Fontrailles with
800 Albanian horses, each soldier carrying behind him a sack of gunpowder
and two quarters of bacon. Coming unawares upon the English camp, they
made a sudden dash through it, up to the town fosse, where, flinging
down their load, which was as quickly snatched up by the famishing
inhabitants, they returned at full gallop, and so great was the surprise
of the English that they again cut their way out and got clear off.


On arriving before Terouenne, on the 4th of August, Henry was soon
joined by Maximilian, the emperor. This strange ally, who had received
120,000 crowns to raise and bring with him an army, appeared with only
a miserable complement of 4,000 horse. Henry had taken up his quarters
in a magnificent tent, blazing in silks, blue damask, and cloth of gold,
but the bad weather had driven him out of it into a wooden house. To
do honour to his German ally--who, by rank, was the first prince in
Christendom--Henry arrayed himself and his nobles in all their bravery of
attire. They and their horses were loaded with gold and silver tissue;
the camp glittered with the display of golden ornaments and utensils;
and, in this royal splendour, he rode at the head of his Court and
commanders to meet and escort his guest. They encountered the emperor and
his attendants clad in simple black, mourning for the recent death of
the empress. But there was little opportunity for comparisons--for the
weather was terrible; and they exchanged their greetings amid tempests
of wind and deluges of rain. Maximilian, to prevent any too-well founded
complaints as to the smallness of his force compared with the greatness
of his position, his promises in the alliance, and his princely pay,
declared himself only the king's volunteer, ready to serve under him as
his own soldier, for the payment of 100 crowns a day. He adopted Henry's
badge of the red rose, was adorned with the cross of St. George, and, by
flattering Henry's vanity, made him forget all his deficiencies.

The pleasure of receiving his great ally was somewhat dashed with bitter
by the arrival of the Scottish Lion king-at-arms with the declaration of
war from James IV., accompanied by the information that his master was
already in the field, and had sent a fleet to the succour of the French
king. Henry proudly replied that he left the Earl of Surrey to entertain
James, who would know very well how to do it.

[Illustration: HENRY AND THE CAPTURED FRENCH OFFICERS. (_See p._ 110.)]

The French still continued to throw succours into Terouenne, in spite of
the vigilance of the English. In this service no one was more active than
the Duke of Angoulême, the heir-apparent to the crown, and afterwards
Francis I. When the siege had lasted about six weeks, and the whole
energy of the British army was roused to cut off these supplies of
provisions and ammunition, the French advanced in great force to effect
a diversion in favour of the place. A formidable display of cavalry
issued from Blangy, and marched along the opposite bank of the Lis.
As they approached Terouenne they divided into two bodies, one under
Longueville, the other under the Duke of Alençon. Henry wisely followed
the advice of Maximilian, who knew the country well, and had before this
won two victories over the French in that very quarter. The troops were
drawn out, and Maximilian crossed the river with his German horse and
the English archers, also mounted on horseback. Henry followed with the

The French cavalry, who had won a high reputation for bravery and address
in the Italian campaigns, charged the united army brilliantly; but
speedily gave way and rode off. The English archers and German horse gave
chase; the French fled faster and faster, till in hot pursuit they were
driven upon the lines of the main body, and threw them into confusion.
This was, no doubt, more than was intended; for the probable solution
of the mystery is, that the retreat of the advanced body of cavalry was
a feint, to enable the Duke of Alençon to seize the opportunity of the
pursuit by the English to throw the necessary supplies into the town.
This he attempted. Dashing across the river, he made for the gates of the
town, whence simultaneously was made an impetuous sally. But Lord Herbert
met and beat back Alençon; and the Earl of Shrewsbury chased back the
sallying party. In the meantime the feigned retreat of the decoy cavalry,
by the brisk pursuit of the German and English horse, had become a real
one. After galloping almost four miles before their enemies, they rushed
upon their own main body with such fiery haste that they communicated
a panic. All wheeled about to fly; the English came on with vehement
shouts of "St. George!" "St. George!" The French commanders called in
vain to their terror-stricken men to halt, and face the enemy; every
man dashed his spurs into the flanks of his steed, and the huge army,
in irretrievable confusion, galloped away, without striking a single
blow. The officers, while using every endeavour to bring the terrified
soldiers to a stand, soon found themselves abandoned and in the hands of
the enemy. The Duke de Longueville, the famous Chevalier Bayard, Bussy
d'Amboise, the Marquis of Rotelin, Clermont, and La Fayette, men of the
highest reputation in the French army, were instantly surrounded and
taken, with many other distinguished officers. La Palice and Imbrecourt
were also taken, but effected their escape.

When these commanders, confounded by the unaccountable flight of their
whole army, were presented to Henry and Maximilian, who had witnessed
the sudden rout with equal amazement, Henry, laughing, complimented them
ironically on the speed of their men, when the light-hearted Frenchmen,
entering into the monarch's humour, declared that it was only a battle
of spurs, for they were the only weapons that had been used. The Battle
of Spurs has ever since been the name of this singular action, though it
is sometimes called the Battle of Guinegate, from the place where the
officers were met with. This event took place on the 16th of August.

The garrison of Terouenne, seeing that all hope of relief was now over,
surrendered; but, instead of leaving a sufficient force in the place to
hold it, Henry, at the artful suggestion of the emperor, who was anxious
to destroy such a stronghold on the frontiers of his grandson Charles,
Duke of Burgundy, first wasted his time in demolishing the fortifications
of the town, and then, under the same mischievous counsel, perpetrated a
still grosser error. Instead of marching on Paris, he sat down before
Tournay, which Maximilian wished to secure for his grandson Charles. It
fell after eight days' siege.

Here ended this extraordinary campaign, where so much had been
prognosticated, and what was done should have only been the
stepping-stones to infinitely greater advantages. But Henry entered
the city of Tournay with as much pomp as if he had really entered into
Paris instead. Wolsey received the promised wealthy bishopric, and
Henry gratified his overweening vanity by his favourite tournaments and
revelries. Charles, the young Duke of Burgundy, accompanied by his aunt
Margaret, the Duchess-Dowager of Savoy, and Regent of the Netherlands,
hastened to pay his respects to the English monarch, who had been so
successfully fighting for his advantage.

During the reign of Henry VII., Charles had been affianced to Mary, the
daughter of Henry, and sister of the present King of England. As he was
then only four years of age, oaths had been plighted, and bonds to a
heavy amount entered into by Henry and Maximilian for the preservation
of the contract. The marriage was to take place on Charles reaching his
fourteenth year. That time was now approaching; and, therefore, a new
treaty was now subscribed, by which Maximilian, Margaret, and Charles
were bound to meet Henry, Catherine, and Mary in the following spring to
complete this union.

Meantime, the Swiss, discovering what sort of an ally they had got,
entered into a negotiation with Tremouille, the Governor of Burgundy,
who paid them handsomely in money, promised them much more, and saw
them march off again to their mountains. Relieved from those dangerous
visitants, Louis once more breathed freely. He concentrated his forces
in the north, watched the movements of Henry VIII. with increasing
satisfaction, and at length saw him embark for England with a secret
resolve to accumulate a serious amount of difficulties in the way of his
return. France had escaped from one of the most imminent perils of its
history by the folly of the vainglorious English king. Yet he returned
with all the assumption of a great conqueror, and utterly unconscious
that he had been a laughing-stock and a dupe.

We have seen that James IV. of Scotland sent his declaration of war to
Henry whilst he was engaged at the siege of Terouenne. Among the causes
of complaint which James deemed he had against Henry was the refusal to
deliver up the jewels left by Henry's father to the Queen Margaret of
Scotland--a truly dishonest act on the part of the English monarch, who,
with all the wasteful prodigality peculiar to himself, inherited the
avaricious disposition of his father. No sooner, therefore, did Henry
set out for France, than James despatched a fleet with a body of 3,000
men to the aid of Louis, and by his herald at Terouenne, after detailing
the catalogue of his own grievances, demanded that Henry should evacuate
France. This haughty message received as haughty a reply, but James did
not live to receive it.

In August, whilst Henry still lay before Terouenne, on the very same
day that the Scottish herald left that place with his answer, the peace
between England and Scotland was broken by Lord Home, chamberlain to
King James, who crossed the Border, and made a devastating raid on the
defenceless inhabitants. His band of marauders, on their return, loaded
with plunder, was met by Sir William Bulmer, who slew 500 of them upon
the spot, and took 400 prisoners. Called to action by this disaster,
James collected on the Burghmuir, to the south of Edinburgh, such an army
as, say the writers of the time, never gathered round a king of Scotland.
Some state it at 100,000 men; the lowest calculation is 80,000.

James passed the Tweed on the 22nd of August, and on that and the
following day encamped at Twizel-haugh. On the 24th, with the consent
of his nobles, he issued a declaration that the heirs of all who were
killed or who died in that expedition, should be exempt from all charges
for wardship, relief, or marriage, without regard to their age. He
then advanced up the right bank of the Tweed, and attacked the Border
castle of Norham. This strong fortress was expected to detain the army
some time, but the governor, rashly improvident of his ammunition, was
compelled to surrender on the fifth day, August 29th. Wark, Etall,
Heaton, and Ford Castles, places of no great consequence, soon followed
the example of Norham. That accomplished, James fixed his camp on Flodden
Hill, the east spur of the Cheviot Mountains, with the deep river Till
flowing at his feet to join the neighbouring Tweed. In that strong
position he awaited the approach of the English army.

The Earl of Surrey, commissioned by Henry on his departure expressly to
arm the northern counties and defend the frontiers from an irruption
of the Scots, no sooner heard of the muster of James on the Burghmuir,
than he despatched messages to all the noblemen and gentlemen of those
counties to assemble their forces, and meet him on the 1st of September
at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He marched out of York on the 27th of August,
and, though the weather was wet and stormy, and the roads consequently
very bad, he marched day and night till he reached Durham. There he
received the news that the Scots had taken Norham, which the commander
had bragged he would hold against all comers till Henry returned from
France. Receiving the banner of St. Cuthbert from the Prior of Durham,
Surrey marched to Newcastle, where a council of war was held, and the
troops from all parts were appointed to assemble on the 4th of September
at Bolton, in Glendale, about twenty miles from Ford, where the Scots
were said to be lying.

On the 4th of September, before Surrey had left Alnwick, which he had
reached the evening before, he was joined, to his great encouragement,
by his gallant son, Lord Thomas Howard, the Admiral of England, with a
choice body of 5,000 men, whom Henry had despatched from France. From
Alnwick the earl sent a herald to the Scottish king to reproach him with
his breach of faith to his brother, the King of England, and to offer him
battle on Friday, the 9th, if he dared to wait so long for his arrival.

On the 6th of September, the Earl of Surrey had reached Wooler-haugh,
within three miles of the Scottish camp.

When Surrey came in sight, he was greatly struck with the formidable
nature of James's position, and sent a messenger to him charging him
with having shifted his ground after having accepted the challenge, and
calling upon him to come down into the spacious plain of Millfield,
where both armies could contend on more equal terms, the army of Surrey
amounting to only 25,000 men. James, resenting this accusation, refused
to admit the herald to his presence, but sent him word that he had sought
no undue advantage, should seek none, and that it did not become an earl
to send such a message to a king.

This endeavour to induce James by his high and often imprudent sense
of honour to weaken his position not succeeding, on the 8th Surrey at
the suggestion of his son the Lord Admiral adopted a fresh stratagem.
He marched northward, sweeping round the hill of Flodden, crossed the
Till near Twizel Castle, and thus placed the whole of his army between
James and Scotland. From that point they directed their march as if
intending to cross the Tweed, and enter Scotland. On the morning of
Friday, the 9th, leaving their night halt at Barmoor Wood, they continued
this course, till the Scots were greatly alarmed lest the English
should plunder the fertile country of the Merse, and they implored the
king to descend and fight in defence of his country. Moved by these
representations, and this being the day on which Surrey had promised to
fight him, he ordered his army to set fire to their tents with all the
litter and refuse of the camp, so as to make a great smoke, under which
they might descend, unnoticed, on the English. But no sooner did the
English perceive this, than also availing themselves of the obscurity
of the smoke, they wheeled about, and made once more for the Till. As
the reek blew aside, they were observed in the very act of crossing the
narrow bridge of Twizel, and Robert Borthwick, the commander of James's
artillery, fell on his knees and implored his sovereign to allow him
to turn the fire of his cannon on the bridge, which he would destroy,
and prevent the passage of Surrey's host. But James, with that romantic
spirit of chivalry which seems to have possessed him to a degree of
insanity, is said to have replied, "Fire one shot on the bridge, and I
will command you to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. I will have all my
enemies before me, and fight them fairly."

Thus the English host defiled over the bridge at leisure, and drew up in
a long double line, consisting of a centre and two wings, with a strong
body of cavalry, under Lord Dacre, in the rear. They beheld the Scots,
in like form, descending the hill in solemn silence. The two conflicting
armies came into action about four o'clock in the afternoon by the mutual
discharge of their artillery. The thunder and concussion were terrific,
but it was soon seen that the guns of the Scots being placed too high,
their balls passed over the heads of their opponents, whilst those of
the English, sweeping up the hill, did hideous execution, and made the
Scots impatient to come to closer fight. The master gunner of Scotland
was soon slain, his men were driven from their guns, whilst the shot of
the English continued to strike into the heart of the battle. The left
wing of the Scots, under the Earl of Huntly and Lord Home, came first
into contact with the right wing of the English, and fighting on foot
with long spears, they charged the enemy with such impetuosity, that Sir
Edmund Howard, the commander of that wing, was borne down, his banner
flung to the earth, and his lines broken into utter confusion. But at
this moment Sir Edmund and his division were suddenly succoured by the
Bastard Heron. This movement was supported by the advance of the second
division of the English right wing, under the Lord Admiral, who attacked
Home and Huntly, and these again were followed by the cavalry of Lord
Dacre's reserve.

The Highlanders, under Home and Huntly, when they overthrew Sir Edmund
Howard, imagined that they had won the victory, and fell eagerly to
stripping and plundering the slain; but they soon found enough to do to
defend themselves, and the battle then raged with desperate energy. At
length the Scottish left gave way, and the Lord Admiral and the cavalry
of Dacre next fell on the division under the Earls of Crawford and
Montrose, both of whom were slain.

On the extreme right wing of the Scottish army fought the clans of the
Macleans, the Mackenzies, the Campbells, and Macleods, under the Earls
of Lennox and Argyle. These encountered the stout bowmen of Lancashire
and Cheshire, under Sir Edward Stanley, who galled the half-naked
Highlanders so intolerably with their arrows, that they flung down their
targets, and dashed forward with claymore and axe pell-mell amongst the
enemy. The French commissioner, De la Motte, who was present, astounded
at this display of wild passion and savage insubordination, assisted
by other French officers, shouted, stormed, and gesticulated to check
the disorderly rabble, and restrain them in their ranks. In vain! The
English, for a moment surprised by this sudden furious onslaught, yet
kept their ranks unbroken, and, advancing like a solid wall, flung back
their disintegrated assailants, swept them before them, and despatched
them piece-meal. The Earls of Argyle and Lennox perished in the midst of
their unmanageable men.

The two main bodies of the armies only were now left where James and
Surrey were contending at the head of their troops, but with this
difference, that the Scottish right and left were now unprotected, and
those of James's centre were attacked on each side by the victorious
right and left wings of the English. On one side Sir Edward Stanley
charged with archers and pikemen, on the other Lord Howard, Sir Edmund
Howard, and Lord Dacre were threatening with both horse and foot.

[Illustration: EDINBURGH AFTER FLODDEN. (_See p._ 114.)]

James and all his nobility about him in the main body were fighting on
foot, and being clad in splendid armour, they suffered less from the
English archers, who were opposed to them in the ranks of Surrey. On
James's right hand fought his natural son, the accomplished Archbishop of
St. Andrews. Soon the combatants became engaged hand to hand in deadly
struggle with their swords, spears, pikes, and other instruments of
death. Whilst hewing and cutting each other down in furious strife, face
to face, life for life, showers of English arrows fell amid the Scottish
ranks, and dealt terrible destruction to the less stoutly protected. When
the Earls of Bothwell and Huntly rushed to the support of the main body
on the one side, and Stanley, the Howards, and Dacre came to the aid of
Surrey on the other, the strife became terrible beyond description, and
the slaughter awful on every side of the environed Scots. Before the
arrival of the reserves the Scots appeared at one time to have the best
of it, and to be on the very edge of victory; and even after that James
and the gallant band around him seemed to make a stupendous effort, as if
they thought their sole hope was to force their way to Surrey and cut him
down. James is said to have reached within a spear's length of him, when,
after being twice wounded with arrows, he was despatched by a bill. This
decided the day; the Scots, after suffering fearful losses, retreated
next morning from the field, after holding Flodden Hill during the night.

When the news of the Scottish overthrow reached Edinburgh, it plunged
the inhabitants into terrible grief and dismay. Women, weeping and
seeking for tidings of their friends, thronged the streets. But the
civic authorities kept their heads in the crisis. They ordered all the
inhabitants capable of bearing arms to assemble for the defence at the
tolling of a bell. Women and strangers were required to remain at their
work and not to frequent the streets "clamorand and cryand;" while women
of higher station were to repair to church, to offer up prayers "for our
Sovereign Lord and his army, and the townsmen who are with the army." The
crisis soon passed. No invasion was ever likely in view of the serious
losses which the English themselves had suffered, and the city in due
course regained its wonted aspect.

James IV., who fell at Flodden in the forty-first year of his age,
and the twenty-fifth of his reign, was a prince of quick, generous,
and chivalric character. Like his father, he had a taste for the
arts, particularly those of civil and naval architecture; he built
the great ship _St. Michael_, and several churches, and maintained a
Court far superior in its elegance and refinement to that of any of his
predecessors. On such a nature, Henry, by kind and even just treatment,
might have operated so as to excite the most devoted friendship. As it
was, a neighbouring nation, instead of a firm ally, had been made a
more embittered enemy; its prince had been slain, and his kingdom left
exposed, in the peculiar weakness of a long minority, to the ambitious
cupidity of his royal uncle, whose overbearing designs only tended to
defeat that union of the crowns which he was most anxious to ensure,
and to perpetuate crimes, heartburnings, and troubles between the two
governments, for two eventful generations yet to come. Henry, however,
overlooking all these things, on returning home elate with his own
useless campaign, and this brilliant but cruel victory, rewarded Surrey
by restoring to him the title of Duke of Norfolk, forfeited by his father
for his adherence to Richard III., and Lord Thomas Howard, his son,
succeeded, for his part, to the title of Earl of Surrey, which had been
his father's. Lord Herbert was made Earl of Somerset; and Sir Edward
Stanley, Lord Monteagle. At the same time, his favourite, Sir Charles
Brandon, Lord Lisle, the king elevated to the dignity of Duke of Suffolk.
Wolsey, his growing clerical favourite, he made Bishop of Lincoln, in
addition to his French bishopric of Tournay.

Henry VIII. had returned from the Continent as much inflated with the
idea of his military greatness as if he had been Henry V.; his allies, in
the meantime, were laughing in their sleeves at the success with which
they had duped him. It was true that he had seriously distressed Louis,
but it was for the benefit of those allies, who had all reaped singular
advantages from Henry's campaign and heavy outlay. The Pope had got Italy
freed from the French; Ferdinand of Spain had got Navarre, and leisure
to fortify and make it safe; and Maximilian had got Terouenne, Tournay,
and command of the French frontiers on the side of Flanders, with a fine
pension from England. It was now time to see what acknowledgment those
allies were likely to make him for his expensive services, and they did
not permit him to wait long. While he had been so essentially obliging
to the Pope, his Holiness had sent four bulls into his kingdom, by every
one of which he had violated the statutes of the realm, especially that
of Provisors, taking upon himself to nominate bishops and to command the
persecution of heretics. The pontiff now went farther, and made a secret
treaty with Louis of France, by which he removed the excommunication from
Louis, and the interdict from his kingdom, on condition that Louis should
withdraw his countenance from the schismatic council of cardinals; but
knowing Henry's vain character, the Pope, to prevent him from expressing
any anger, sent him a consecrated sword and banner, with many fulsome
compliments on his valour and royal greatness.

Henry's father-in-law, Ferdinand, was growing old, and having obtained
all that he wanted--Navarre--was most ready to listen to Louis' proposals
for peace. Louis tempted him by offering to marry his second daughter,
Rénée, to his grandson Charles, and to give her as her portion his claim
on the duchy of Milan. Ferdinand not only accepted with alacrity these
terms, without troubling himself about what Henry might think of such
treachery, but engaged to bring over Maximilian, Henry's ally and paid
agent, but still the grandfather of Charles. When the news of these
transactions, on the part of his trusty confederates, reached Henry,
he was for a while incredulous, and then broke into a fury of rage. He
complained that his father-in-law had been the first to involve him with
France by his great promises and professions, not one of which he had
kept, and now, without a moment's warning, had not only sacrificed his
interests for his own selfish purposes, but had drawn over the Emperor
of Germany, who lay under such signal obligations to him. He vowed the
most determined revenge. Here was Maximilian, for whom he had conquered
Terouenne and Tournay, whom he had subsidised to the amount of 200,000
crowns, and whose grandson Charles was affianced to his sister Mary, who
had in a moment forgotten all these benefits and his engagement. As the
time was come for the marriage of Charles and the Princess Mary, Henry
sent a demand for its completion; Maximilian, who had already agreed to
Louis' offer of his daughter Rénée, sent an evasive answer, and Henry's
wrath knew no bounds. It was impossible for even his egregious vanity to
blind him any longer to the extent to which he had been duped all round.

Louis, having thus destroyed Henry's confederacy of broken reeds, next
took measures to secure a peace with him. The Duke of Longueville, who
was one of the prisoners taken at the Battle of Spurs, was in London, and
instructed by Louis, kept his ears open to Henry's angry denunciations
of his perfidious allies. He represented to him that Anne, the Queen of
France, being dead, there was a noble opportunity of avenging himself on
these ungrateful princes, and of forming an alliance with Louis which
would make them all tremble. Mary, the Princess of England, might become
Queen of France, and thus a league be established between England and
France which would decide the fate of Europe.

Henry's resentment and wounded honour would of themselves have made him
close eagerly with this proposal; but he saw in it the most substantial
advantages, and in a moment made up his mind. He had the policy, however,
to appear to demur, and said his people would never consent for him to
renounce his hereditary claims on France, which must be the case if such
an alliance took place. They would ask themselves what equivalent they
should obtain for so great a surrender. The shrewd Frenchman understood
the suggestion; he communicated what passed to his Government, and
proposals were quickly sent to meet Henry's views. Louis agreed to pay
Henry a million crowns in discharge of all arrears due to Henry VII.
from Charles VIII., &c.; and Henry engaged to give his sister a dower
of 200,000 crowns, to pay the expenses of her journey, and to supply
her with jewels--probably those of which he had defrauded the Scottish
queen. The two kings agreed to assist each other, in case of any attack,
by a force of 14,000 men, or, in case of any attack by either of them on
another power, by half that number. This treaty was to continue for the
lives of the two kings, and a year longer.

Thus was the Holy League, as it had been called, for the defence of the
Pope and the Church against the King of France entirely done away with;
and this great pretence was not so much as mentioned in any one of these
treaties which put an end to it. The King of France strove hard to obtain
Tournay again; but, though it was evidently Henry's interest to restore
it, his favourite Wolsey, apprehensive of losing the profits of the
bishopric, successfully opposed its restoration. Wolsey and Fox of Durham
were Henry's plenipotentiaries for the management of the treaty, which
was signed on the 7th of August, 1514.

By this treaty, Mary Tudor, Princess Royal of England, a remarkably
beautiful young woman of sixteen, and passionately attached to Charles
Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, the handsomest and most accomplished man of
Henry's Court, was handed over to the worn-out Louis of France, who was
fifty-three in years, and much older in constitution.

But this unnatural political _mésalliance_ was not destined to be of long
duration. Louis wrote in the course of December to Henry, expressing his
happiness in possessing so excellent and amiable a wife, and on the
1st of January he expired. The dissipation at Court, consequent on his
marriage, is stated in the "Life of Bayard" to have precipitated his end.
"For the good king, on account of his wife, had changed the whole manner
of his life. He had been accustomed to dine at eight o'clock, now he had
to dine at noon; he had been accustomed to retire to rest at six in the
evening, and now he had often to sit up till midnight." Louis was greatly
beloved by his subjects, who regarded him as a brave, upright, and wise
prince, and gave him the honourable title of "the Father of his People."
Mary promptly married her old lover, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.
Henry was angry at first, but the storm soon lulled. Wolsey is said
to have been in the secret from the first, and such was his influence
now, that a much more difficult matter would have given way before it.
The young couple were received into favour, and ordered by Henry to be
re-married before him at Greenwich--an event which took place on the 13th
of May, 1515. So far was the part which Francis I. had taken in this
matter from being resented, that he and Henry renewed all the engagements
which existed between Louis and Henry, and so satisfactorily that they
boasted that they had made a peace which would last for ever.

We have had frequent occasion already to introduce the name of Wolsey;
we shall have still more frequent and more surprising occasion to repeat
that name: and it is therefore necessary to take a complete view of the
man who was now rapidly rising into a prominence before Europe and the
world, such as has few examples in history, in one whose origin was as
mean as his ascent was dazzling, and his fall sudden and irrevocable.

In the reign of Henry VII. we find first the name of Thomas Wolsey coming
to public view as the private secretary of the king at the time of the
forced visit of the Archduke Philip to the English Court. This originally
obscure clergyman was born in 1471 at Ipswich, where his father was
a wealthy butcher, and, therefore, could afford to give his son an
education at the university. Probably the worthy butcher was induced to
this step by a perception of the lad's uncommon cleverness, for at Oxford
he displayed so much talent that he was soon distinguished by the title
of the "Boy Bachelor." He became teacher of the grammar-school adjoining
Magdalen College, and among his pupils were the sons of the Marquis of
Dorset, on whom he so far won that he gave him the somewhat valuable
living of Lymington, in Somersetshire. This might seem substantial
promotion for the butcher's son, but an eagle, though hatched in the nest
of a barn-door fowl, is sure to soar up towards the sun. Thomas Wolsey
was not destined to the obscurity of a country parish. The same abilities
and address which won him the favour of the marquis were capable of
attracting far higher patrons.

Leaving his country parish, he seems to have been introduced to Fox, the
Bishop of Winchester, and minister to Henry VII., who introduced him to
the king, who was so much satisfied with him that he made him one of the
royal chaplains. In this position the extraordinary talents and Court
aptitude of Wolsey soon became apparent to the cautious old king. He
employed him in sundry matters requiring secrecy and address. He was soon
advanced to the deanery of Lincoln, and office of the king's almoner.
Wolsey was Henry VII.'s envoy to the Duchess of Savoy when that amorous
monarch had fallen in love with her fortune.

On the accession of Henry VIII., Wolsey rose still higher in the favour
of the youthful monarch. Henry was but nineteen. Wolsey was forty; yet
not a young gallant about the Court could so completely adapt himself
to the fancy of the young pleasure-loving and power-loving king. In
a very few months he was Henry's bosom friend--the associate in all
his gaieties, the repository of all his secrets, the dispenser of all
his favours, and, in reality, his only confidential minister. Henry
seemed wrapped in admiration at the union of intellect and courtly
accomplishment in the wonderful man. He gave him a grant of all
deodands and forfeitures of felony, and went on continually adding to
these other offices, benefices, and grants. In November, 1510, he was
admitted a member of the Privy Council, and from that time he was really
Prime Minister. Henry could move nowhere without his great friend and
counsellor. He took him with him on his expedition to France in 1513,
there conferred on him the wealthy bishopric of Tournay, and on his
return made him Bishop of Lincoln, and gave him the opulent Abbey of St.
Albans _in commendam_.

The ascent of Wolsey was now rapid. From the very commencement of his
career at Court no man had been able to stand before him. Bishop Fox
had first recommended his introduction into the Privy Council because,
growing old himself, he perceived that the Earl of Surrey, afterwards
conqueror of Flodden, and Duke of Norfolk, was winning higher favour
with the king than the ancient bishop; because his martial tastes and
more courtly character were more attractive to Henry. Wolsey soon showed
himself so successful that he not only cast Surrey, but his own patron,
into the shade. In everything Wolsey could participate in the monarch's
pursuits and amusements. Henry had already an ambition of literary and
polemic distinction. He had studied the school divinity, and was an
ardent admirer of Thomas Aquinas. Here Wolsey was quite at home; for he
was a widely read man, and would, as a matter of course, soon refresh
himself on any learned topic which was his master's hobby. While he
flattered the young king's vanity, he was ready to contribute to his
whims and his pleasures.

[Illustration: ARCHBISHOP WARHAM. (_From the Portrait by Holbein._)]

On the 14th of July, 1514, Leo X. addressed a letter to Henry, informing
him that his ambassador, Cardinal Bambridge, the Archbishop of York,
had died that day; and that, at the request of the deceased, he had
promised not to appoint a successor till he had learnt the pleasure of
his Majesty. This pleasure, there can be no doubt, was already known;
and that the Pope, like every one now, perceiving the power of the
favourite, was ready to conciliate him. The king at once named Wolsey
to his Holiness, and showed that he was quite satisfied that that
nomination would be confirmed by at once placing the archbishopric and
all its revenues in the custody of the favourite. Thus was this great
son of fortune at once possessed of the Archbishopric of York, the
Bishoprics of Tournay and Lincoln, the administration of the Bishoprics
of Worcester, Hereford, and Bath, the possessors of which were Italians,
who resided abroad, and were glad to secure a portion of their revenues
by resigning to the native prelate the rest. Henry even allowed Wolsey,
with the See of York, to unite that of Durham, as he afterwards did that
of Winchester. The Pope, seeing more and more the marvellous influence
of the man, before this year was out made him a cardinal. "For," says
Hall, "when he was once archbishop, he studied day and night how to be
a cardinal, and caused the king and the French king to write to Rome
for him." Leo found a strong opposition amongst the cardinals to this
promotion; but, desirous to oblige both Henry and Francis, he declared
him a cardinal in full consistory, on September 11th.

My Lord Cardinal Wolsey almost immediately received a fresh favour
from the Pope, who appointed him legate in England. This commission
was originally limited to two years, but Wolsey never relinquished the
office. He obtained from succeeding Popes a continuation of the post,
asking from time to time even fresh powers, till he at length exercised
within the realm almost all the prerogatives of the Pontiff. The only
step above him now was the Papacy itself, and on that dignity he had
already fixed his ambitious eye.

From the moment that Wolsey saw himself a cardinal and Papal legate,
as well as chief favourite of the king, his ambition displayed itself
without restraint, and we shall have to paint, in his career, one of the
most amazing instances of the pride, power, and grandeur of a subject.
When his cardinal's hat was brought to England, he sent a splendid
deputation to meet the bearer of it at Blackheath, and to conduct him
through London, as if he had been the Pope himself. He gave a reception
of the hat in Westminster Hall, which more resembled a coronation than
the official investiture of a subject and a clergyman. His arrogance and
ostentation disgusted the king's old ministers and courtiers. The Duke of
Norfolk, with all his military glory, found himself completely eclipsed,
and absented himself from Court as much as possible, though he still held
the office of Treasurer. Fox, the venerable Bishop of Winchester, who
had been the means of introducing Wolsey, found himself superseded by
him, and, resigning his office of Keeper of the Privy Seal, retired to
his diocese. On taking his leave, the aged minister was bold enough to
caution Henry not to make any of his subjects greater than himself, to
which the bluff king replied that he knew how to keep his subjects in
order. The resignation of Fox was followed by that of Archbishop Warham,
who delivered the Great Seal on the 22nd of December, 1515, resigning his
office of Chancellor. Henry immediately handed over the seal to Wolsey,
who now stood on the pinnacle of power, almost alone. He was like a great
tree which withered up every other tree which came within its shade, and
even the kingly power itself seemed centred in his hands. For the next
ten years he may be said to have reigned in England, and Henry himself
to have been the nominal, and Wolsey the real king. Well might he, in
addressing a foreign power, say, "_Ego et rex meus_:" "I and my king."

Whilst the great looked on all this grandeur in obsequious but resentful
silence, the people settled it in their own minds that the wonderful
power of the priest over the fiery nature of the monarch was the effect
of sorcery. But Wolsey was no mean or ordinary man. His talents and his
consummate address were what influenced the king, who was proud of the
magnificence which was at once his creation and his representative; and
Wolsey had a grasp, an expanse, and an elevation in his ambition, which
had something sublime in them. Though he was in the receipt of enormous
revenues, he had no paltry desire to hoard them. He employed them in this
august state and mode of living, which he regarded as reflecting honour
on the monarch whose chief minister he was, and on the Church in which
he held all but the highest rank. He devoted his funds liberally to the
promoting of literature. He sent learned men to foreign courts to copy
valuable manuscripts, which were made accessible by his vast influence.
He built Hampton Court Palace, a residence fit only for a monarch, and
presented it to Henry as a gift worthy such a subject to such a king. He
built a college at Ipswich, his native place, and was in the course of
erecting Christ Church at Oxford when his career was so abruptly closed.
Besides that, he endowed seven lectureships in Oxford.

The peace which Henry had made with the young monarch of France was not
destined to be of long continuance. Francis I. soon had the misfortune to
offend both Henry and Wolsey, and in their separate interests. James IV.
of Scotland had left by his will the regency of his kingdom to his widow.
The Convention of the States confirmed this arrangement, but on condition
that the queen remained unmarried. James V., her son, of whom she was
to retain the guardianship, was on his father's death an infant of only
a year-and-a-half old. In less than seven months after the death of her
husband, Margaret was delivered of a second son, Alexander, Duke of Ross;
and in less than three months after that she married, in defiance of the
Convention of the States, Douglas, Earl of Angus, a young man of handsome
person, but of an ambitious and headstrong character. This marriage gave
great offence to a large number of the nobility, especially those who had
a leaning to France. They asserted that Henry of England, the queen's
brother, notwithstanding that he had deprived her of her husband, and
notwithstanding her difficult position as the widowed mother of an infant
king, so far from supporting her, took every opportunity to attack her
borders. They therefore recommended that they should recall from France
John, Duke of Albany, the son of Alexander, who had been banished by his
brother James III., and place the regency in his hands. Albany, though of
Scottish origin, was a Frenchman by birth, education, and taste. He had
not a foot of land in Scotland, but in France he had extensive demesnes,
and stood high in favour of the monarch.

[Illustration: _By permission, from the Painting in the City of London
Corporation Art Gallery._


_By Sir John Gilbert_, R.A., P.R.W.S.]

At the head of the party in opposition to the queen was Lord Home, on
whose conduct at Flodden aspersions had been cast. By him and his party
it was that Albany was invited to Scotland. Henry was greatly alarmed at
this proposition, and for some time the fear of a breach induced Francis
I. to restrain Albany from accepting the offer. Yet in May, 1515, Albany
made his appearance in Scotland. He found that kingdom in a condition
which required a firm and determined hand to govern it. The nobility,
always turbulent, and kept in order with difficulty by the strongest
monarchs, were now divided into two factions, for and against the queen
and her party. Lord Home, by whom Albany had chiefly been invited, had
the ill-fortune to be represented to Albany, immediately on his arrival,
as, so far from a friend, one of the most dangerous enemies of legitimate
authority in the kingdom. Home, apprised of this representation, and of
its having taken full effect on the mind of Albany, threw himself into
the party of the queen, and urged her to avoid the danger of allowing
the young princes to fall into the hands of Albany, who was the next
heir to the crown after them, and was, according to his statement, a
most dangerous and ambitious man. Moved by these statements, Margaret
determined to escape to England with her sons, and put them under the
powerful protection of their uncle Henry.

Henry had himself made similar representations to her, for nothing would
suit his views on the crown of Scotland so well as to have possession
of the infant heirs. But Albany was quickly informed of the queen's
intentions; he besieged the castle of Stirling, where she resided with
the infant princes, compelled her to surrender, and obtaining possession
of the princes, placed them in the keeping of three lords appointed by
Parliament. Margaret herself, accompanied by her husband Angus, and Lord
Home, succeeded in escaping to England, where she was delivered of a

The part which Francis I. evidently had in permitting the passage of
Albany to Scotland, and in supporting his party there, had given great
offence to Henry. He sent strong remonstrances through his ambassador
to Francis, complaining that Albany had been permitted to leave France
and usurp the government of Scotland, contrary to the treaty; and that
by this means the Queen of Scotland, the sister of the King of England,
had been driven from the regency of the kingdom and the guardianship of
her children. Francis I. endeavoured to pacify Henry by assurances that
Albany's conduct had received no countenance from him, but that he had
stolen away at the urgent solicitation of a strong body of nobles in
Scotland. Henry was not convinced, but there was nothing to be obtained
by further remonstrances, for Francis was at this moment at the head of a
powerful army, while Henry, having spent his father's hoards, was not in
a condition for a fresh war without the sanction of Parliament.

Francis was bent on prosecuting the vain scheme of the conquest of
Milan, which had already cost his predecessors and France so much. He
had entered into alliance with Venice and Genoa, and trusted to be able
easily to overcome Maximilian Sforza the native Prince; Sforza, on his
part, depended upon the support of the Pope and the Swiss. Francis
professed, in the first place, that his design was to chastise the
hostile Swiss. These hardy people had fortified those passes in the Alps
by which they calculated that the French would attempt to pass towards
Milan, but Francis made his way with 60,000 troops over the mountains
in another direction, a large part of his army taking the way to the
left of Mount Genèvre, a route never essayed by any army before. The
Swiss mercenaries in the service of Sforza, thus taken by surprise, were
rapidly defeated by the French, and were on the point of capitulation,
when their countrymen, who had been watching to intercept Francis and his
army, seeing that he had stolen a march upon them, descended from their
mountains, 20,000 strong, and came to the relief of their countrymen
under the walls of Milan. At Marignano, Francis won a great victory over
them on September 13th, 1515.

The effect at the English Court of this brilliant success was to heighten
extremely that discontent with Francis which Henry had shown at the very
moment that the chivalric young French king had set out for Italy. Henry,
who was ambitious of military renown, was stung to the quick by it, and
his envious mood was artfully aggravated by the suggestions of Wolsey.

On the 12th of November, 1515, Parliament was summoned to meet. Henry
had caught a very discouraging glimpse of the iron at the bottom of his
father's money-chests, and was, therefore, obliged to ask supplies from
his subjects. His application does not appear to have been successful,
and Parliament was therefore dissolved on the 22nd of December, and was
never called again till the 31st of July, 1523, an interval of eight
years. A Parliament which would not grant money was not likely to be a
very favourite instrument with Henry, and this still less so, because it
had involved him in a contention with the Convocation. The Convocation
had dared to claim exemption for the clergy from the jurisdiction of
the secular courts. The clergy in Henry's interest resisted this claim;
it was brought before Parliament, and both the Lords and Commons, as
well as the judges, decided against the Convocation. Henry, who was at
once as fond of power and as bigoted as the Church, found himself in
a most embarrassing dilemma, but declared that he would maintain the
prerogatives of the Crown, and was glad to get rid of the dispute by the
dismissal of Parliament.

On the 8th of February, 1516, Queen Catherine gave birth to a daughter,
who was named Mary, and who survived to wear the crown of England. In
the previous month died the queen's father, Ferdinand of Spain, one of
the most cunning, grasping, and unprincipled monarchs that ever lived,
but who had by his Machiavelian schemes united Spain into one great
and compact kingdom, and whose sceptre Providence had extended, by the
discovery of Columbus, over new and wonderful worlds. His grandson
Charles, already in possession of the territories of the house of
Burgundy, and heir to those of Austria, succeeded him, as Charles V.
Henry had just entered into a commercial treaty with Charles, as regarded
the Netherlands, and perceiving the vast power and greatness which must
centre in Charles--for on the death of Maximilian, who was now old, he
would also become Emperor of Germany--he was anxious to unite himself
with him in close bonds of interest and intimacy. To this end, he gave
a commission to Wolsey, assisted by the Duke of Norfolk and the Bishop
of Durham, to cement and conclude a league with the Emperor Maximilian
and Charles, the avowed object of which was to combine for the defence
of the Church, and to restrain the unbridled ambition of certain
princes--meaning Francis.

The sordid Emperor Maximilian, who had so often and so successfully made
his profit out of the vanity of Henry, seeing him so urgent to cultivate
the favour of his grandson Charles, thought it a good opportunity to
draw fresh sums from him. Maximilian was now tottering towards his
grave, but he was not the less desirous to pave his way to it with gold.
In a confidential conversation, therefore, with Sir Robert Wingfield,
the English ambassador at his Court, he delicately dropped a hint
that he was grown weary of the toils and cares attending the Imperial
office. Pursuing the theme, he pretended great admiration for the King
of England; he declared that amongst all the princes of Christendom,
he could see none who was so fitted to succeed him in his high office,
and at the same time become the champion and protector of Holy Church
against its enemies. He therefore proposed to adopt Henry as his son,
for a proper consideration. According to his plan, Henry was to cross
the Channel with an army. From Tournay he was to march to Trèves, where
Maximilian was to meet him, and resign the empire to him, with all the
necessary formalities. Then the united army of English and Germans was to
invade France, and, whilst they thus sufficiently occupied the attention
of Francis, Henry and Maximilian, with another division, were to march
upon Italy, crossing the Alps at Coire, to take Milan, and, having
secured that city, make an easy journey to Rome, where Henry was to be
crowned emperor by the Pope.

In this wild-goose scheme--which equally ignored the fact that Charles
V. was the grandson of Maximilian, heir of his kingdom, and therefore
neither by the natural affection of the emperor, nor by the will of
his subjects, likely to be set aside for a King of England; and the
difficulty, the impossibility almost, of the accomplishment of the
enterprise by two such monarchs as Maximilian and Henry--only one thing
was palpable, that Maximilian would give his blessing to the stipulated
son for these impossible honours, and then would as quickly find a reason
for abandoning the extravagant scheme as he had already done that of
taking Milan. Yet it is certain that, for the moment, it seized on the
imagination of Henry, and he despatched the Earl of Worcester and Dr.
Tunstall, afterwards Bishop of Durham, to the Imperial Court, to settle
the conditions of this notable scheme. Tunstall, who was not only an
accomplished scholar, but a solid and shrewd thinker, no sooner reached
the Court of Maximilian than he saw at a glance the hollowness of the
plot and of the Imperial plotter. He, as well as Dr. Richard Pace, the
ambassador at Maximilian's Court, quickly and honestly informed Henry
that it was a mere scheme to get money.


These honest and patriotic statements perfectly unmasked the wily old
Maximilian, and Henry escaped the snare. Francis I., having also now
secured the duchy of Milan, set himself to conciliate two persons whose
amity was necessary to his future peace and security. These were the
Pope and Henry of England. The balance of power on the Continent, it was
clear, would lie between Francis and Charles V., the King of Spain. On
the death of Maximilian, Charles would be ruler of Austria, and, in all
probability, Emperor of Germany. It would be quite enough for Francis
to contend with the interests of Charles, whose dominions would then
stretch from Austria, with the Imperial power of Germany, through the
Netherlands to France, and reappear on the other boundary of France, in
Spain, without having that gigantic dominion backed by the co-operation
of England. Francis had seen with alarm the cultivation of friendship
recently between these two formidable neighbours. To counteract these
influences, the French king whilst in Italy had an interview with the
Pope at Bologna, where he so won upon his regard that the Pontiff agreed
to drop all opposition to the possession of Milan by the French.

Having secured himself in this quarter, Francis returned to France, and
knowing well that the only way to the good graces of Henry was through
the all-powerful Cardinal Wolsey, he caused his ambassador in England
to endeavour to win the favour of the great minister. This was not to
be done otherwise than by substantial contributions to his avarice, and
promises of service in that greatest project of Wolsey's ambition, the
succession to the Popedom. Wolsey was at this time in the possession of
the most extraordinary power in England. His word was law with both king
and subject. To him all men bowed down, and while he conferred favours
with regal hand, he did not forget those who had offended him in the days
of his littleness. Not only English subjects, but foreign monarchs sought
his favour with equal anxiety. The young King of Spain, to secure him to
his views, and knowing his grudge against the King of France, conferred
on him a pension of 3,000 livres a year, styling him, in the written
grant, "his most dear and especial friend."

Thus were the kings of Spain and France paying humble homage to this
proud churchman and absolute minister of England at the same moment.
But Francis felt that he must outbid the King of Spain, and he resolved
to do it. He commenced, then, by reminding him how sincerely he had
rejoiced at his elevation to the cardinalate, and how greatly he
desired the continuance and increase of their friendship, and promised
him whatever it was in his power to do for him. These were mighty and
significant words for the man who could signally aid him in his designs
on the Popedom, and who could settle all difficulties and doubts about
the bishopric of Tournay, hitherto such a stumbling-block between them.
The letters of Francis were spread with the most skilful, if not the
most delicate flatteries; he called him his lord, his father, and his
guardian, told him he regarded his counsels as oracles; and whilst they
increased the vanity of the cardinal most profusely, he accompanied his
flatteries by presents of many extremely valuable and curious things.

Being assured by Villeroi, his resident ambassador at London, that the
cardinal lent a willing ear to all these things, Francis instructed the
ambassador to enter at once into private negotiation with Wolsey for the
restoration of Tournay, and an alliance between the two crowns. This
alliance was to be cemented by the affiancing of Henry's daughter, Mary,
then about a year-and-a-half old, to the infant dauphin of France, but
recently born! The price which Wolsey was to receive for these services
being satisfactorily settled between himself and Francis, the great
minister broke the matter to his master in a manner which marks the
genius of the man, and his profound knowledge of Henry's character. He
presented some of the superb articles which Francis had sent him to the
king, saying, "With these things hath the King of France attempted to
corrupt me. Many servants would have concealed this from their masters,
but I am resolved to deal openly with your grace on all occasions. This
attempt, however," added he, "to corrupt a servant is a certain proof
of his sincere desire for the friendship of the master." Oh! faithful
servant! Oh! open and incorruptible man! Henry's vanity was so flattered
that he took in every word, and looked on himself as so much the greater
prince to have a minister thus admired and courted by the most powerful

The way to negotiation was now entirely open. Francis appointed William
Gouffier, Lord of Bonivet, Admiral of France; Stephen Ponchier, Bishop
of Paris; Sir Francis de Rupecavarde and Sir Nicholas de Neuville his
plenipotentiaries. They set out with a splendid train of the greatest
lords and ladies of France, attended by a retinue of 1,200 officers
and servants. Francis knew that the way to ensure Henry's favourable
attention was to compliment him by the pomp and splendour of his embassy.
The French plenipotentiaries were introduced to Henry at Greenwich,
on the 22nd of September, 1518, and Wolsey was appointed to conduct
the business on the part of the King of England. When they went to
business the ambassadors of Francis prepared the way for the greater
matters by producing a grant, already prepared, and, therefore, clearly
agreed upon beforehand, which they presented to Wolsey, securing him a
pension of 12,000 livres a year, in compensation for the cession of the
bishopric of Tournay. This was a direct and palpable bribe; but there
was no troublesome and meddlesome Opposition in the House of Commons in
those days to demand the production of papers, and the impeachment of
corrupt ministers. With such a beginning the terms of treaty were soon
settled. They embraced four articles:--A general contract of peace and
amity betwixt the two kings and their successors, _for ever_; a treaty
of marriage betwixt the two little babies, the Dauphin and Mary Tudor;
the restitution of Tournay to France for 600,000 crowns; and, lastly, an
agreement for a personal interview between the two monarchs, which was to
take place on neutral ground between Calais and Ardres, before the last
day of July, 1519.

But while Wolsey was deeply occupied in his plans and preparations for
the royal meeting, an event occurred which for a time arrested the
attention of Europe. This was the death of the Emperor Maximilian, and
the vacancy in the Imperial office. Francis I. and Charles of Spain
were the two candidates for its occupation, and the rivalry of these two
monarchs seems to have again awakened in Henry the same wish, though
the plain statements of Bishop Tunstall had for a time suppressed it.
He despatched a man of great learning, Dr. Richard Pace, to Germany, to
see whether there were in reality any chance for him. The reports of
Pace soon extinguished all hope of such event, and Henry, with a strange
duplicity, then sent off his "sincere longings for success" to both of
the rival candidates, Francis and Charles!

Francis declared to Henry's ambassador, Sir Thomas Boleyn, that he would
spend three millions of gold, but he would win the Imperial crown; but
though the German electors were notoriously corrupt, and ready to hold
out plausible pretences to secure as much of any one's money as they
could, from the outset there could be no question as to who would prove
the successful candidate. The first and indispensable requisite for
election was, that the candidate must be a native of Germany, and subject
of the Empire, neither of which Francis was, and both of which Charles
was. Charles was not only grandson of Maximilian, and his successor to
the throne of Austria, and therefore of a German royal house, but he was
sovereign of the Netherlands, which were included in the universal German

Even where Francis placed his great strength--the power of bribing the
corrupt German electors, the petty princes of Germany, for the _people_
had no voice in the matter--Charles was infinitely beyond him in the
power of bribery. He was now monarch of Spain, of the Netherlands,
of Naples and Sicily, of the Indies, and of the gold regions of the
newly-discovered America. Nor was Francis at all a match for Charles in
the other power which usually determines so much in these contests--that
of intrigue. Francis was open, generous, and ardent; Charles cool,
cautious, and, though young, surrounded by ministers educated in the
school of the crafty Ferdinand and the able Ximenes to every artifice
of diplomatic cunning. Still more, the vulpine Maximilian, at the very
time that he was attempting to wheedle Henry of England out of his money,
on pretence of securing the Imperial dignity for him, had paved the way
for his own grandson, by assiduous exertions and promises amongst the
electors--promises which Charles was amply able to fulfil. Accordingly,
after a lavish distribution of both French and Spanish gold amongst the
elector-princes of Germany, Charles was declared emperor on the 28th of
June, 1519. Francis, though he professed to carry off his disappointment
with all the gaiety of a Frenchman, was deeply and lastingly chagrined by
the event; and though he and Charles must, under any circumstances, have
been rivals for the place of supremacy on the Continent of Europe, there
is no doubt that this circumstance struck much deeper the feeling which
led to that gigantic struggle between them, which, during their lives,
kept Europe in a constant state of warfare and agitation.

Both Charles and Francis were intensely anxious to secure the preference
of Henry, because his weight thrown into either balance must give it a
dangerous preponderance. Both, therefore, paid assiduous court to him,
and still more, though covertly, to his all-powerful minister, Wolsey.
Francis, aware of the impulsive temperament of Henry, prayed for an early
fulfilment of the visit agreed upon of Henry to France. It was decided
that the interview should take place in May. The news of this immediately
excited the jealousy of Charles, and his ambassadors in London expressed
great dissatisfaction at the proposal. Wolsey found he had a difficult
part to play, for he had great expectations from both monarchs, and he
took care to make such representations to each prince in private, as to
persuade him that the real affection of England lay towards him, the
public favour shown to the rival monarch being only a matter of political
expedience. When the Spanish ambassadors found they could not put off
the intended interview, they proposed a visit of their master to the
King of England previously, on his way from Spain to Germany. This was
secretly arranged with the cardinal, but was to be made to appear quite
an unpremeditated occurrence.

Accordingly, before the king set out for Calais, Charles, according to
the secret treaty with Wolsey, sent that minister a grant under his privy
seal, from the revenue of the two bishoprics of Badajoz and Placentia,
of 7,000 ducats. Henry set forward from London to Canterbury, on his
way towards Dover and Calais, attended by his queen and court, with a
surprising degree of splendour. Whilst lying there, he was surprised, as
it was made to appear, by the news that the emperor had been induced by
his regard for the king to turn aside on his voyage towards his German
dominions, and had anchored in the port of Hythe, on the 26th of May,
1520. As soon as this news reached Henry, he despatched Wolsey to receive
the emperor and conduct him to the castle of Dover, and Henry himself
set out and rode by torchlight to Dover, where he arrived in the middle
of the night. It must have been a hospitably inconvenient visit at that
hour, for Charles, fatigued by his voyage, had gone to bed, and was awoke
from a sound sleep by the noise and bustle of the king's arrival. He
arose, however, and met Henry at the top of the stairs, where the two
monarchs embraced, and Henry bade his august relative welcome. The next
day, being Whitsunday, they went together to Canterbury, the king riding
with the emperor on his right hand, the Earl of Derby carrying before
them the sword of State.

From the cathedral the emperor was conducted by his royal host to the
palace of the archbishop, where he was for the time quartered. For three
days the archiepiscopal palace was a scene of the gayest festivities;
nothing was omitted by Henry to do honour to his august relative; and
nothing on the part of Charles to win upon Henry, and detach him from the
interests of France. Nor the less assiduously did the politic emperor
exert himself to secure the services of Wolsey. He saw that ambition was
the great passion of the cardinal, and he adroitly infused into his mind
the hope of reaching the Popedom through his influence and assistance.
Nothing could bind Wolsey like this fascinating anticipation. Leo X.
was a much younger man than himself; but this did not seem to occur to
the sanguine spirit of the cardinal, for "all men think all men mortal
but themselves;" whilst to Charles the circumstance made his promise
peculiarly easy, as he could scarcely expect to be called upon to fulfil

On the fourth day Charles embarked at Sandwich for the Netherlands,
less anxious regarding the approaching interview of Henry and Francis,
for he had made an ardent impression on the king, and had put a strong
hook into the nose of his great leviathan--the hope of the triple crown.
Simultaneously with the departure of Charles, Henry, his queen and court,
embarked at Dover for Calais; and on the 4th of June, 1520, Henry, with
his queen, the Queen Dowager of France, and all his court, rode on to
Guines, where 2,000 workmen, most of them clever artificers from Holland
and Flanders, had been busily engaged for several months in erecting a
palace of wood for their reception.

The meeting-place was called, from the splendour of the retinues of the
two monarchs, the "Field of the Cloth of Gold," but it did little to
cement the alliance between England and France.

On the 25th of June the English Court returned to Calais; half the
followers of the nobles were sent home, and then preparations were made
for visiting the emperor at Gravelines, and receiving a visit from him
at Calais. By the 10th of July all was ready, and Henry set out with a
splendid retinue. He was met on the way, and conducted into Gravelines by
Charles, with every circumstance of honour and display. Charles, whose
object was avowedly to efface any impression which Francis and the French
might have made on the mind of Henry at the late interview, had given
orders to receive the English with every demonstration of friendship and
hospitality, and his orders were so well executed that the English were
enchanted with their visit.

On the departure of Charles, Henry and his court embarked for Dover,
returning proud of his sham prowess and mock battles, and of all his
finery, but both himself and his followers loaded with a fearful amount
of debt for this useless and hypocritical display. When the nobles
and gentlemen got home, and began to reflect coolly on the heavy
responsibilities they had incurred for their late showy but worthless
follies, they could not help grumbling amongst themselves, and even
blaming Wolsey, as loudly as they dared, as being at the bottom of the
whole affair. One amongst them was neither nice nor cautious in his
expressions of chagrin at the ruinous and foolish expense incurred, and
denounced the proud cardinal's ambition as the cause of it all. This was
the Duke of Buckingham. He was executed in 1521 on the absurd charge of
having intercourse with astrologers.

The various causes of antipathy between Francis I. and Charles V., which
had been long fomenting, now reached that degree of activity when they
must burst all restraint. War was inevitable. The first breach was made
by Francis. At this crisis Charles appealed to Henry to act as mediator,
according to the provisions of the treaty of 1518. Henry at once accepted
the office, and entered upon it with high professions of impartiality and
of his sincere desire to promote justice and amity, but really with about
the same amount of sincerity as was displayed by each of the contending
parties. Francis had certainly been the aggressor, and Charles, having
intercepted some of his letters, had already convinced Henry, to whom he
had shown them, that the invasion of both Spain and Flanders was planned
in the French cabinet. Henry's mind, therefore, was already made up
before he assumed the duty of deciding; and Charles, from being aware of
this, proposed his arbitration. Henry, moreover, was anxious to invade
France on his own account, spite of treaties and the dallyings of the
Field of the Cloth of Gold, but he had not yet the funds necessary. With
these feelings and secrets in his own heart, Henry opened his proposal
of arbitration to Francis by declarations of the extraordinary affection
which he had contracted for him at the late interview.

[Illustration: HENRY VIII. (_After the Portrait by Holbein._)]

There was no alternative for the French king but to acquiesce in the
proposal; the place of negotiations was appointed to be Calais, and,
of course, Wolsey was named as the only man able and fitting to decide
between two such great monarchs--Wolsey, who was bound hand and foot to
the emperor by the hope of the Popedom. It was a clear case that Francis
must be victimised, or the negotiation must prove abortive. Wolsey set
out with something more than regal state to decide between the kings.
In addition to his dignity of Papal legate _a latere_, he received the
extraordinary powers of creating fifty counts-palatine, fifty knights,
fifty chaplains, and fifty notaries; of legitimising bastards, and
conferring the degree of doctor in medicine, law, and divinity. By
another bull, he was empowered to grant licences to such as he thought
proper to read the heretical works of Martin Luther, in order that some
able man, having read them, might refute them. This was to pave the
way for a royal champion of the Catholic Church against Luther and the
devil, and that such a champion was already at work we shall shortly have
occasion to show. Such were the pomp and splendour of the cardinal, that
when he continued his journey into the Netherlands, with his troops of
gentlemen attending him, clad in scarlet coats, with borders of velvet
of a full hand's breadth, and with massive gold chains: when they saw
him served on the knee by these attendants, and expending money with
the most marvellous profusion, Christian, King of Denmark, and other
princes then at the Court of the Emperor at Bruges, were overwhelmed with
astonishment, for such slavish homage was not known in Germany.

Wolsey landed at Calais on the 2nd of July, 1521, and was received
with great reverence. The ambassadors of the emperor had taken care to
be there first, that they might secretly settle with Wolsey all the
points to be insisted on. The French embassy arrived the next day, and
the discussions were at once entered upon with all that air of solemn
impartiality and careful weighing of propositions which such conferences
assume, when the real points at issue have been determined upon privately
beforehand by the parties who mean to carry out their own views. The
French plenipotentiaries alleged that the emperor had broken the treaty
of Noyon of 1516, by retaining possession of Navarre, and by neglecting
to do homage for Flanders and Artois, fiefs of the French crown. On
the other hand, the Imperial representatives retorted on the French
the breach of the treaty of Noyon, and denounced in strong terms the
late invasion of Spain and the clandestine support given to the Duke of
Bouillon. The cardinal laboured to bring the fiery litigants to terms,
but the demands of the emperor were purposely pitched so high that it was
impossible. The differences became only the more inflamed; and on the
Imperial chancellor, Gattinara, declaring that he could not concede a
single demand made by his master, and that he came there to obtain them
through the aid of the King of England, who was bound to afford it by the
late treaty, Wolsey said that there, of necessity, his endeavours must
end, unless the emperor could be induced to modify his expectations; and
that, as his ambassador had no power to grant such modification, rather
than all hope of accommodation should fail, he would himself take the
trouble to make a journey to the Imperial Court, and endeavour to procure
better terms. Nothing could appear more disinterested on the part of
the cardinal, but the French ambassadors were struck with consternation
at the proposal. They were too well aware of the cardinal's leaning
towards Charles; they did not forget the coquetting of the English and
the emperor both before and after the meeting at the Field of the Cloth
of Gold; and they opposed this proposal of Wolsey with all their power.
But their opposition was useless. There can be no doubt that the prime
object of Wolsey in his embassy was to make this visit to Charles for his
own purpose, and that it had been agreed upon between himself and Charles
before he left London. In vain the French protested that such a visit,
made by the umpire in the midst of the conference to one of the parties
concerned, was contrary to all ideas of the impartiality essential to a
mediator; and they declared that, if the thing was persisted in, they
would break off the negotiation and retire. But Wolsey told them that if
they did not remain at Calais till his return, he would pronounce them in
the wrong, as the real aggressors in the war, and the enemies to peace
and to the King of England. There was nothing for it but to submit.

The cardinal set out on his progress to Bruges on the 12th of August,
attended by the Imperial ambassadors and a splendid retinue of prelates,
nobles, knights, and gentlemen, amounting altogether to 400 horsemen.
The emperor met him a mile out of Bruges, and conducted him into the
city in a kind of triumph. Thirteen days--a greater number than had been
occupied at Calais--were spent in the pretended conferences for reducing
the emperor's demands on France, but in reality in strengthening Wolsey's
interest with Charles for the Popedom, and in settling the actual
terms of a treaty between Charles, the Pope, and the King of England
for a war against France. So deep was the hypocrisy of these parties,
that before Wolsey had quitted the shores of England he had received a
commission from Henry investing him with full authority to make a treaty
of confederacy with the Pope, the emperor, the King of France, or any
other potentate, offensive or defensive, which the king bound himself
to ratify; the words "King of France, or other king, prince, or state,"
being clearly inserted to cover with an air of generality the particular
design. The proposed marriage between the Dauphin and the Princess Mary
was secretly determined to be set aside, and a marriage between Charles
and that princess was agreed upon; and, moreover, it was settled that
Charles should pay another visit to England on his voyage to Spain.
Writing from Bruges to Henry, Wolsey told him all this, and added that
it was to be kept a profound secret till Charles came to England, so
that, adds Wolsey, "convenient time may be had to put yourself in good
readiness for war."

After all this scandalous treachery--called in State language
diplomacy--Wolsey returned to Calais, and resumed the conferences, as
if he were the most honest man in the world, and was serving two kings
about as honest as himself. He proposed to the plenipotentiaries a plan
of a pacification, the conditions of which he knew the French would never
accept. All this time hostilities were going on between Francis and the
emperor. The emperor had taken Mouzon and laid siege to Mézières, and
Francis, advancing, raised the siege, but was checked in his further
pursuit of the enemy by the Count of Nassau. At this crisis Wolsey
interposed, insisting that the belligerents should lay down their arms,
and abide the award of King Henry; but this proposal was by no means
likely to be met with favour on the part of the French, after what had
been going on at Bruges, and therefore Wolsey pronounced that Francis was
the aggressor, and that Henry was bound by the treaty to aid the emperor.

This was but a very thin varnish for the proceedings which immediately
took place at Calais, and revealed the result of the interview at Bruges,
in an avowed treaty between the Pope, the emperor, and Henry, by which
they arranged--in order to promote an intended demonstration against the
Turks, and to restrain the ambition of Francis--that the three combined
powers should, in the spring of 1523, invade France simultaneously from
as many different quarters; that, if Francis would not conclude a peace
with the emperor on the arrival of Charles in England, Henry should
declare war against France, and should break off the proposed marriage
between the Dauphin and the Princess Mary.

In the meantime, the united forces of the Pope and Charles had prevailed
in Italy, and expelled the French from Milan; the emperor had made
himself master of Tournay, for which Francis had lately paid so heavy
a price, and all the advantages that the French could boast of in
the campaign to balance these losses were the capture of the little
fortresses of Hesdin and Bouchain. Wolsey landed at Dover on the 27th
of November, after the discharge of these important functions, having
laid the foundation of much trouble to Europe, by destroying the balance
of power between France, the Empire, and Spain, which it was the real
interest of Henry to have maintained; and having equally inconvenienced
the Government at home by carrying the Great Seal with him, so that those
who had any business with it were obliged to go over to Calais, and so
that there could be no nomination of sheriffs that year. But his power
at this period was unlimited, and nothing could open Henry's eyes to his
mischievous and inflated pride--not even his placing himself wholly on
a par with the king in the treaty just signed, when he made himself a
joint-guarantee, as if he had been a crowned head.

Wolsey had laboured assiduously and unscrupulously for Charles V. in
furtherance of his own ambitious views. What convulsions disorganised
Europe, what nations suffered or triumphed, troubled him not, so long
as he could pave the way to the Papal chair. The time which was to test
the gratitude of Charles came much sooner than any one had anticipated.
Leo X., who was in the prime of life, elated with the expulsion of the
French from Italy, was occupied in celebrating the triumph with every
kind of public rejoicing. The moment he heard of the fall of Milan he
ordered a _Te Deum_, and set off from his villa of Magliana to Rome,
which he entered in triumph; but that very night he was seized with a
sudden illness, and on the 1st of December, but a few days afterwards,
it was announced that he was dead, at the age of only forty-six. Strong
suspicions of poison were entertained, and it was believed that it had
been administered by his favourite valet, Bernabo Malaspina, who was
supposed to have been bribed to it by the French party.

The news of Leo's death travelled with speed to England, and Wolsey, who,
amid all his secret exertions to attain the Papal tiara, had declared
with mock humility that he was too unworthy for so great and sacred a
station, now threw off his garb of indifference, and despatched Dr. Pace
to Rome, with the utmost celerity, to promote his election; and he sent
to put the emperor in mind of his promises. On the 27th of December the
conclave commenced its sittings. Another of the Medici family, Cardinal
Giulio, appeared to have the majority of votes, but for twenty-three days
the election remained undecided. The French cardinals opposed Giulio with
all the persevering virulence of enemies smarting under national defeat.
Numbers of others were opposed to electing a second member of the same
family, and Giulio, growing impatient of the stormy and interminable
debates which kept him from attending to pressing affairs out of doors,
suddenly nominated Cardinal Adrian, a Belgian. This extraordinary stroke
was supposed to be intended merely to prolong the time, till Giulio
could throw more force into his own party; but Cardinal Cajetan, a
man of great art and eloquence, who knew and admired the writings of
Adrian, and had probably suggested his name to Giulio, advocated his
election with such persuasive power, that Adrian, though a foreigner,
and personally unknown, was carried almost by acclamation. And thus, as
Lingard observes, within nine years from the time when Julius drove the
barbarians out of Italy, a barbarian was seated as his successor on the
Papal throne.

The cardinals had no sooner elected the new Pope than they appeared to
wake from a dream, and wondered at their own work. The act appeared to be
one of those sudden impulses which seize bodies of people in a condition
of great and prolonged excitement, and they declared that it must have
been the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. As for Wolsey, it does not appear
that his sincere friend the emperor, who had protested that he would have
him elected if it were at the head of his army, moved a finger in his
behalf. The proud cardinal, however, was obliged to swallow his chagrin,
and wait for the next change, Adrian being already an old man; and Dr.
Pace remained at Rome to congratulate the new Pontiff on his arrival, and
solicit a renewal of his legatine authority.

Francis at this crisis made strenuous efforts to regain the friendship of
Henry. Probably he thought that the disappointment of Wolsey might cool
his friendship for the emperor, or, which was the same thing, diminish
his confidence in his promises; whilst Charles was very well aware that
Wolsey was much more serviceable to him as minister of England than he
could be or would be as Pope. Francis attacked Henry on his weakest
side--his vanity. He heaped compliments upon him, and entreated that if
he could not be his fast and avowed friend, he would, at least, abstain
from being his enemy. To give force to his flatteries, he held out hopes
of increasing his annual payments to England; and when that did not
produce the due effect, he stopped the disbursements of that which he had
been wont to remit. Finding that even this did not influence Henry, who
was kept steady by Wolsey, he laid an embargo on the English shipping in
his ports, and seized the property of the English merchants.

At this act of decided hostility Henry was transported with one of those
fits of rage which became habitual in after years. As if he had not long
been plotting against Francis, and preparing to make war upon him--as
if he had not coolly and even insolently repulsed all his advances and
offers of advantage and alliance--he regarded Francis as an aggressor
without any cause, ordered the French ambassador to be confined to his
house, all Frenchmen in London to be arrested, and despatched an envoy to
Paris with a mortal defiance. What particularly exasperated Henry was the
news that a whole fleet, loaded with wine, had been seized at Bordeaux,
and the merchants and seamen thrown into prison. The English were ordered
to make reprisals, and this was the actual state of things when Sir
Thomas Cheney, his ambassador, announced by dispatch that the envoy had
declared war on the 21st of May at Lyons; to which the king had replied,
"_I_ looked for this a great while ago; for, since the cardinal was at
Bruges, I looked for nothing else." The wily manoeuvres of Wolsey had
deceived nobody.

On the 26th of May, only five days after the declaration of war with
France, the Emperor Charles V. landed at Dover. The passion of Henry had
precipitated the outbreak of hostilities, for it was not intended that
war should be declared till Charles was on the eve of departure from
England, so that he might continue his voyage in safety to Spain. The
king, however, received his illustrious guest with as much gaiety and
splendour as if nothing but peace were in prospect. Wolsey waited on
Charles at the landing-place, and, after embracing him, led him by the
arm to the castle, where Henry soon welcomed him with great cordiality.
Charles calculated much, in the approaching war, on the fleet of Henry;
and, to show him its extent and equipment, Henry conducted him to the
Downs, and led him over all his ships, especially his great ship, _Henri,
Grâce à Dieu_, which was considered one of the wonders of the world. He
then conducted his Imperial guest by easy journeys to Greenwich, where
the Court was then residing, and introduced him to his aunt, the queen,
and her infant daughter, whom it was arranged that he should marry.

[Illustration: GREAT SHIP OF HENRY VIII. (_From the Drawing by Holbein._)]

On the 6th of June Henry conducted the emperor with great state into
London, where the inhabitants received him with a variety of shows and
pageants. Sir Thomas More spoke the emperor's welcome in a learned
oration, and there was a profusion of Latin verses in honour of the
occasion. The two monarchs feasted, hunted, and rode at tournaments,
whilst their ministers were busily employed in carrying out the terms
agreed upon at Bruges into a treaty, which was signed on the 19th at
Windsor. The subject of this treaty was the marriage of Charles with
the infant Princess Mary, which the two monarchs bound themselves to
see completed, under a penalty, in case of breach of engagement, of
400,000 crowns. Charles also engaged to indemnify Henry for the sums of
money due to him from Francis; and, what was most extraordinary, both
monarchs bound themselves to appear before Cardinal Wolsey in case of
any dispute, and submit absolutely to his decision, thus making a subject
the arbiter of monarchs.

The emperor also engaged to indemnify the cardinal for _his_ losses
in breaking with Francis, by a grant of 9,000 crowns annually; thus
paying this proud priest for being the author of the war. Yet, after
all his courting and flattering of Wolsey, after again assuring him of
his determination to set him in the Papal chair, it is certain that he
hated the man, and used him only as a tool. His aunt, Queen Catherine,
had deeply resented the cardinal's pursuit of the Duke of Buckingham to
death, for whom she entertained a high regard; and Wolsey was aware of
it, and never forgave her. It was, probably, in reply to Catherine's
relation of this tragic event that Charles, whilst on this visit, was
overheard to say, "Then the butcher's dog has pulled down the fairest
buck in Christendom"--a witticism which flew all over the Court, and was
not forgotten by the vindictive Wolsey.

Having agreed that each was to bring 40,000 men into the field, that
France was to be attacked simultaneously on the north and the south, and
that Charles was to co-operate with the English for the re-conquest of
Guienne, the emperor embarked on the 6th of July, and pursued his voyage
to Spain.


THE REIGN OF HENRY VIII. (_continued_).

     The War with France--The Earl of Surrey Invades that Country--More
     elected Speaker--Henry and Parliament--Revolt of the Duke of
     Bourbon--Pope Adrian VI. dies--Clement VII. elected--Francis
     I. taken Prisoner at the Battle of Pavia--Wolsey grows
     unpopular--Change of Feeling at the English Court--Treaty with
     France--Francis I. regains his Liberty--Italian League, including
     France and England, against the Emperor--Fall of the Duke of
     Bourbon at the Siege of Rome--Sacking of Rome, and Capture of the
     Pope--Appearance of Luther--Henry writes against him--Is styled
     by the Pope "Defender of the Faith"--Anne Boleyn--Henry applies
     to the Pope for a Divorce from the Queen--The Pope's Dilemma--War
     declared against Spain--Cardinal Campeggio arrives in England to
     decide the Legality of Henry's Marriage with Catherine--Trial of
     the Queen--Henry's Discontent with Wolsey--Fall of Wolsey--His
     Banishment from Court, and Death--Cranmer's Advice regarding the
     Divorce--Cromwell cuts the Gordian Knot--Dismay of the Clergy--The
     King declared Head of the Church of England--The King's Marriage
     with Anne Boleyn--Cranmer made Archbishop--The Pope Reverses the
     Divorce--Separation of England from Rome.

On the departure of the emperor, Henry commanded the Earl of Surrey to
scour the Channel before him; and Charles, out of compliment to Henry,
named Surrey, who was Lord Admiral of England, also admiral of his own
fleet of one hundred and eighty sail. Surrey, having seen Charles safely
landed in Spain, returned along the coast of France, ravaging it on all
accessible points. He landed at Cherbourg, in Normandy, burnt the town
of Morlaix, in Brittany, and many other maritime villages, houses of
the people, and castles of the aristocracy. This was preparatory to the
great invasion which Henry contemplated. For this purpose he had recalled
Surrey from Ireland, where he had conducted himself with much ability,
repressed the disorders of the natives, and won the esteem of the chief
population. Henry now gave him the command of the army destined to invade
France. That army, Henry boasted, should consist of forty thousand men;
but the question was, whence the money was to come for its assembly and
payment. The Field of the Cloth of Gold, and the entertainment of the
emperor, following on many other extravagances, had entirely dissipated
the treasures which his father had left him; and, as he was now
endeavouring to rule without a parliament, he was compelled to resort to
those unconstitutional measures of forced loans, which had always covered
with odium the monarchs who used them.

In this unpopular attempt Wolsey was his instrument, and the work he
had now to do ensured him a plentiful growth of dislike. In the first
place, he exacted a loan of £20,000 from the merchants of London, and
scarcely had he obtained possession of it, when he summoned the leading
citizens before him, and demanded fresh advances. On the 20th of August,
1522, the lord mayor, aldermen, and the most substantial merchants
of London appeared before him, to whom he announced that the king had
sent commissioners into the whole realm, to inquire into the actual
rents of the lands in each township, what were the names of the owners
and occupiers, and what was the value of each man's movable property.
According to his account, a new Domesday Book was in preparation; and
he, moreover, informed them that his Majesty had ordered a muster in the
maritime counties of all the men betwixt the ages of sixteen and sixty,
to enrol their names, and the names of the lords of whom they held their

The deputation returned to the city in deep dejection, and made out their
lists of such as were merchants and dealers and reputed men of substance.
These men, then, themselves waited on the cardinal, and besought him not
to put them to their oath as to their real amount of property, for that
it was difficult for themselves to make a correct estimate of it, and
that, in fact, many an honest man's credit was more than his substance.
Wolsey replied that he "dare swear that the substance of London was
no less than two millions of gold." From this it was obvious that the
cardinal expected from them at least £200,000. But the citizens replied,
"Would to God the city were so rich, but it is sore afflicted by the
occupying of strangers!" The cardinal promised to see that that should be
rectified, and that their loans should be repaid them out of the first
subsidy voted by Parliament, which it was intended to call. But the
victims did not appear much cheered by these assurances: they knew that
Henry was not fond of calling parliaments. If he meant it, why borrow
money when it could be voted? And they went away, saying that for the
last loan some lent a fifth, and now to ask a tenth again was too much.

By these means, however, money enough was raised to put an army in
motion. About the middle of August the Earl of Surrey landed at Calais
with 12,000 men, paid by the king, and 3,000 volunteers. There he was
joined by a body of German, Flemish, and Spanish horse, making a total
force of 16,000. At the head of these he advanced through Picardy and
Artois, desolating the country as he went, burning the defenceless towns,
the castles of the nobles, and the huts of the peasants, and destroying
whatever they could not carry off as spoil. They left the fortified
cities, making no attempt except against Hesdin, which they soon quitted,
finding their artillery not of weight enough. The French, under the
Duke de Vendôme, avoided a general engagement, but they harassed the
outskirts of the army, cut off the supplies, and occasionally a number
of stragglers. The weather was the great ally of the French, for it was
extremely rainy and cold, and occasioned dysentery to break out in the
camp. On the appearance of this fatal foe, the foreign troops hastily
retired into Béthune, and Surrey soon after led back his main body to
Calais, having done the French much mischief, but obtained no single
advantage except the seizure of a quantity of booty.

Francis, meantime, had not only kept his army hovering in front of the
invaders, but he had sent active emissaries to rouse the Irish and Scots,
and thus to distract the attention of the English. In Ireland he turned
his attention to the Earl of Desmond, who still maintained in a great
measure his independence of the English Crown. Francis offered him an
annual pension, on condition that he should take up arms in Ireland
against the English power, and the earl, moreover, seduced by the promise
that a French army would be sent over, engaged to join it, and never
to lay down his arms till he had won for himself a strong dominion in
the island, and the remainder for Richard de la Pole, the heir of the
house of York. But Francis, having obtained his object by the very alarm
created by this negotiation, never sent any troops, never paid the Earl
of Desmond any annuity, and the unfortunate chieftain was left to pay the
penalty of his rash credulity in the vengeance of the English Government.

In Scotland affairs assumed a more formidable aspect. After the return of
Margaret, the queen-mother, from England, she quarrelled with her weak
but headstrong husband, the Earl of Angus, and in 1521 sent and invited
her old antagonist, the Duke of Albany, to return to Scotland from
France, promising to support him at the head of the Government. Nothing
could suit the views of France better than this, for it was already
menaced by Henry of England. Albany landed at Gairloch on the 19th of
November, and thence hastened to the queen at Stirling. This strange,
bold, and dissimulating woman, who had all the imperiousness and the
sensuality of a Tudor, received him with open arms, and entered at once
on such terms of familiarity with him as scandalised all Scotland.

Her husband and his relatives, the Douglases, being summoned by the
regent before Parliament, fled towards the Borders, and took refuge in
the kirk of Steyle. By means of the celebrated Gawin Douglas, the Bishop
of Dunkeld, and one of Scotland's finest poets, who was the uncle of
Angus, the fugitives opened a communication with Henry of England. The
bishop represented the conduct of Margaret as of the most flagitious
kind, attributing to her the design of marrying Albany, and setting aside
her own son. It was even asserted, and Lord Dacre, warden of the Western
Marches, joined in the assertion, that the life of the young king was
in danger, and as much from his own mother as from Albany. There is no
question that the conduct of Margaret was most disgraceful; and though
Albany was anxious to establish quietness and order in Scotland, and to
obtain peace with England, the emissaries of Henry took care to foment
strife between the nobles and the Government. Lord Dacre was--according
to the system introduced by Henry VII., and continued so long as there
was a Tudor on the throne of England--plentifully supplied with money
to bribe the most powerful nobles, especially the Homes, to harass the
Government by their factions.


(_From a 'photograph by G. W. Wilson and Co., Aberdeen._)]

It was in vain, therefore, that Queen Margaret wrote to her brother, the
King of England, protesting that the accusations against her were base
and abominable calumnies, that the Duke of Albany ruled by the choice
and advice of Parliament, and that without him there would be no peace
in Scotland, nor safety for the king or herself. Henry only replied by
upbraiding her with living in shameful adultery, and insisting that
Albany should quit Scotland, or that he would make war upon it. He did
not stop there--he made the same demand of Parliament, and hearing that
Margaret was applying to the Pope for a divorce from Angus, in order to
marry Albany, he exerted all his influence with the Church to prevent it.
The Scottish Parliament, notwithstanding it contained many traitors, made
such by Henry's gold, yet rejected his proposition for the dismissal of
Albany; whereupon Henry ordered all Scottish subjects found in England
to be driven with insult over the Borders, having a white cross marked
upon their backs. And at the same time that he sent Surrey to France,
in the spring of 1522, he also bade the Earl of Shrewsbury march across
the Tweed to punish the Scots. Shrewsbury obeyed the order with great
celerity, and speedily laid waste the fine pastoral country round Kelso,
but was met by a superior force and driven back, not however before he
had aroused great indignation among the people at the wantonness of his
attack and the outrages upon innocent folk and their property with which
it was accompanied.

[Illustration: CARDINAL WOLSEY. (_From the Portrait by Holbein_).]

Instead, therefore, of an invasion of Scotland by the English, Henry was
threatened with a descent of the Scots on his own kingdom, whilst the
gallant Surrey was absent in France. The Duke of Albany, incensed at the
reproaches of Henry regarding his connection with Queen Margaret, at the
demands for his extradition, and at the ferocious inroad of the Earl of
Shrewsbury, declared war against England, with the consent of Parliament.
He called for the muster of all the feudal force of the kingdom, and the
call was answered with such promptness that he beheld himself at the head
of 80,000 men. With such a force, nothing would have been easier to all
appearance than to have overrun the north of England, left almost wholly
destitute of defence. But though the Scottish people were in earnest,
there was treason not only in the camp, but in the very tent of Albany.
The money of Dacre was in the pockets of the most powerful nobles, who
silently but actively spread disunion through his host; and worst of
all, Margaret, who, like her brother, was continually roving in her
affections from one person to another, was already weary of Albany, and
was in covert communication with Lord Dacre, and betraying the secrets
and plans of Albany to him. It is said that Henry, through Lord Dacre,
had completely corrupted the queen, probably by assisting her with money,
but still more by offering to receive her again to his favour, and to
secure her interests by marrying Mary, the Princess of England, to her
son, the young King of Scots. Influenced by these hopes, the unprincipled
queen exerted herself to weaken the measures of Albany, and to diminish
the influence of France in the country as much as possible.

Albany, therefore, though he advanced to the banks of the Tweed, and even
reached within a few miles of Carlisle, found the spirit of his host
continually on the decline. On the other hand, Lord Dacre had expended
his money in extensive bribery, and was almost destitute of soldiers; yet
he pretended that a great army was on the march to him, which would show
the Scots another Flodden Field, and so imposed on Albany that he was
willing to treat instead of being ready to fight. He engaged to disband
his forces if Dacre would engage to keep back the imaginary advancing
troops of England. Wolsey, who was watching in the northern counties with
deep anxiety the result of this contest between military multitudes and
political cunning, could not sufficiently express his astonishment, as
he saw the stupendous armament of Scotland melt away before the empty
bugbears of Lord Dacre's creation. "By the great wisdom and policy of my
Lord Dacre, and by means of the safe-conduct lately sent at the desire
and contemplation of the Queen of Scots, the said Duke of Albany hath,
our Lord be praised, not only forborne his invasion, but also dissolved
his army; which, being dispersed, neither shall nor can, for this year,
be gathered or assembled again." And the cardinal proceeds to give us a
specimen of the easy nature of his political morality, in saying, "And
yet the said abstinence [armistice] concluded by my Lord Dacre, _he_ not
having your authority for the same, _nothing bindeth your grace_; but,
at your liberty, ye may pursue your wars against the said Scots, if it
shall be thought to your highness convenable." On the 11th of September,
1522, the treaty between Albany and Dacre was concluded, and Albany went
over to France for fresh supplies of men and money, leaving the Earls of
Huntly, Arran, and Argyle to administer affairs during his absence. Thus,
about the same time, Henry saw his French and his Scottish campaign for
that year terminated.

His great and difficult business was now to raise the necessary funds for
prosecuting his further designs against France. For eight years he had
forborne to call a Parliament, but to postpone longer a summons of this
engine of supply was not possible. He had pushed to the extreme point
all the modes, legal and illegal, of extracting funds from his subjects;
and the reluctance with which his last forced loan had been conceded,
and the solemn promises which he had made to call a Parliament, left
him no alternative. No king who ever reigned had a higher notion of the
royal prerogative, and the hearty commendation he afterwards bestowed on
Charles V. for destroying the last vestiges of free institutions in Spain
showed plainly what he would fain have carried out in England. But sturdy
as was his Tudor soul, he found that the English people had an equally
stubborn will, and on the 15th of April, 1523, he summoned a Parliament
at Blackfriars, London, where Wolsey sat at his feet as Chancellor.

The Commons chose, as was supposed through the influence of the Court,
Sir Thomas More as Speaker. Sir Thomas was not only a man of profound
learning, but a felicitous genius, and extremely witty. His conversation
was greatly relished by the queen, who had introduced him to the private
suppers with the king, who became as much fascinated by his society. Sir
Thomas was evidently well aware of the difficult part which he would
have to sustain in such a post, for he hung back from it, declaring
how unfit he was for it. But Wolsey, who calculated greatly on his
genius, protested that he was qualified for it by his great abilities
and judgment more than almost any man. After a few days' session of
Parliament, Wolsey went down to the House, contrary to all custom and
privilege, and presented a royal message, to the effect that Francis,
by his conduct, had made a war absolutely necessary, that the honour of
the country was deeply concerned, and that it was a fine opportunity for
England to recover all that it had lost in that country. He concluded his
address by recommending them to vote immediately a property-tax of twenty
per cent., which would raise the sum of £800,000.

Such a sum had never before been asked by any English king in his wildest
dreams of foreign conquest. The House sat as if thunderstruck, and in
profound silence. Wolsey had imagined that his presence, surrounded by
all the symbols of his grandeur, would completely overawe the House; and
that with a Court favourite of such distinction as Sir Thomas More, he
should carry the monstrous demand by surprise. He had, therefore, come
environed by his pompous retinue of prelates and nobles, and with his
silver pillars and crosses, his maces, his poleaxes, his hat and Great
Seal borne before him. But not all his magnificence moved the Commons
where its privileges had been thus grossly invaded, and its money was
thus boldly demanded. The whole House sat as silent as the senate of
Rome when Brennus and his savage Gauls burst in upon it. Wolsey gazed
upon them in amazement, looking from one to another. The proud cardinal
then addressed a member by name. The member arose, bowed, and sat down
again without uttering a word. Still more surprised at this dumb show,
Wolsey called upon another member for an explanation, but obtained none.
Growing wrathful, for he was not accustomed to such treatment, he broke
out:--"Masters, as I am sent here by the king, it is not unreasonable to
expect an answer. Yet, unless it be the manner of your House, as very
likely it may, by your Speaker only in such cases to express your mind,
here is, without doubt, a most marvellous silence."

Whilst he said this, he looked fixedly and angrily at Sir Thomas More,
unquestionably expecting different conduct from him. But Sir Thomas,
dropping on his knee, said that the House felt abashed in the presence of
so great a personage--which, he added, was enough to amaze the wisest and
most learned men of the realm; that the House, according to its ancient
privileges, was not bound to return any answer; and as for himself,
unless all the members present could put their several thoughts into his
head, he was unable to give his grace an answer on so weighty a matter.
The cardinal then retired, much displeased with the House, and still more
with the Speaker.

After the great minister had retired, the House went into a warm debate.
Some of the members affirmed that there was not above £800,000 of cash
in the kingdom; and if the money were gathered into the king's hands,
no trade could be carried on except by barter. The courtiers urged all
the ingenious arguments that they could invent, or with which they were
supplied, to show the necessity of the grant; and the king was in such
a rage that he is said to have even threatened some of the members with
death. It was, in fact, a stout resistance to oppression of the people,
and one of the most determined stands for privilege of Parliament ever
made in this country.

The contest grew to such a pitch that the cardinal, fearful of the
result, determined to go to the House a second time, notwithstanding the
clear intimation given him that his presence was considered a breach of
privilege. He made them a speech, going over all the arguments which had
been advanced by the opposition, and then begged them to tell him what
they had to object; but they only returned him the answer, through the
Speaker, that they would hear his grace with humility, but could only
reason amongst themselves; and he was obliged to go away as he came.

When he had departed, they resumed the debate; and at length, at the
earnest entreaty of the Speaker, they voted two shillings in the pound
on all who enjoyed twenty pounds a year or upwards; one shilling on all
who possessed from two pounds to twenty; and on all subjects with incomes
below that scale, a groat a head. This was not a moiety of what the king
had demanded, and the payment was spread over four years, so that it did
not really amount to above sixpence in the pound. The lesson which Henry
here received did not incline him to call another Parliament speedily.
He had summoned none for eight years before; and there is no doubt that
he asked for this extravagant sum that he might dispense with Parliament
for another term as long. He did not, as it was, call another for seven

The king, in his anger at the Commons, boasted to the mayor and aldermen
of London that he should find a very different spirit amongst the
clergy; but even these he tried beyond their patience. He demanded no
less than fifty per cent. of the incomes of their benefices, to make up
the deficiency from the laity. But the clergy were not disposed to be
mulcted of half their incomes at a blow; they made as stout a resistance
as the House of Commons. Wolsey, to make sure of them, summoned the
convocations of the two provinces, which had met in their usual manner,
by his legatine authority, to assemble in a national synod in Westminster
Abbey. But there the proctors declared that they had only power to grant
money in regular convocation, not in synod; and he was obliged to permit
them to depart, and vote in their ordinary way. The convocation of the
cardinal's own province of York waited to see what Canterbury would
first do, which was more independent of Wolsey's power. In the Lower
House the resistance was resolute, and was kept alive by the eloquence
of a preacher of the name of Philips, till he was won over to the Court
by substantial promotion. In the Upper House, the Bishops of Winchester
and Rochester animated the prelates to such opposition, that the grant
was not carried for four months, and then, being spread over five years,
amounted, not to fifty, but only to ten per cent.


The money obtained at all this cost of difficulty in Parliament, and
of unpopularity with the people, was lavishly expended in repelling
the attempts of the Scots, in furnishing aid to the allies in Italy,
and in preparing for another expedition into France. It was of the
first importance, before sending the army across the Channel, to obtain
security on the side of Scotland. To this end Henry made fresh overtures
to his sister, Queen Margaret, offering to place her at the head of
the Government, and to enable her to put down the party of Albany, who
was now absent in France collecting fresh means for maintaining the
war. He sent the Earl of Surrey, son of the victor of Flodden Field, to
co-operate with her, to win over as many as possible of the nobles with
money, and to lay waste the Borders, so that they should be incapable of
furnishing supplies to an invading army.


Margaret now had every opportunity which a woman of spirit and reputation
could wish. She was strongly supported by the power of England, and her
great opponent was for ever defeated. She proclaimed her son, and assumed
the regency; but her worst enemy was herself. She fell into her old
habits; and her scandalous attachment to Henry Stuart, the son of Lord
Evandale, soon ruined her prospects. Henry once more abandoned her, and
raised her husband, the Earl of Angus, to the chief power. It was in
vain that Margaret applied for assistance to Francis I., and humiliated
herself so far as to solicit the return of Albany. From this moment there
was more tranquillity in Scotland. The French faction, seeing support
from France hopeless, were compelled to remain quiet. Truce after truce
was established with England; and for eighteen years the Borders rested
from hostilities.


The position of the King of France was, at this crisis, becoming more
and more critical. His kingdom was environed with perils, and menaced
with ruin, which could only be averted by singular courage and address.
Against him was arrayed a most formidable confederacy of the Pope, the
emperor, the King of England, and the various states of Italy. He had
not a single ally, except the King of Scotland, a minor, and without
authority. The internal condition of France was extremely discouraging.
The wars of Francis in Italy and at home, his gay life and expensive
pleasures, with his extravagant grants to his favourites, had exhausted
his treasury, and involved him in grave embarrassment. The troops were
ill-paid, and, as is usual in such cases, became disorderly and infested
the highways, plundered the peasantry, and filled the whole kingdom with
alarm and discontent. The Court partook of the licence and distraction
of the nation; it was rent by faction, and the most dangerous secret
conspiracy was at work in it. This was the doing of the Duke of Bourbon,
Constable of France, who had been wronged in a lawsuit with the king.

Charles V. and Henry of England thereupon entered into a secret treaty
with the disaffected prince to betray his sovereign and his native
country. The transaction was a disgraceful one to all parties concerned.
In Bourbon, notwithstanding his grievous wrongs, it was a base as well as
an impolitic deed; in Henry and Charles, it was one destructive of the
security of the throne, and of every principle of honour which should
guide the counsels of kings. Henry felt the vileness of the proceeding,
but endeavoured to justify it as a fair retaliation, for that Francis had
tampered with his Irish subject, the Earl of Desmond.


The Lord of Beaurain had been employed as the secret agent of the
emperor; and Sir John Russell--this being one of the first public notices
of the Russells in history--as that of Henry. A private treaty was
concluded, of which the substance was as follows:--The emperor and the
King of England were to invade France simultaneously, the one in the
north, the other in the south, while Bourbon himself was to excite a
rebellion in the heart of the kingdom, supported by all the connections
of his family, whom he calculated at 200 knights and gentlemen, with
their retainers. The attempt was to be made the moment Francis had
crossed the Alps; and when the conquest of France was complete, Bourbon,
in addition to his appanage of the Bourbonnais and Auvergne, was to
receive Provence and Dauphiné, which together were to constitute a
kingdom for him. He was, moreover, to receive the hand of the emperor's
sister, Eleanor, Queen-Dowager of Portugal. The emperor was to have, as
his share of the spoil, Languedoc, Burgundy, Champagne, and Picardy, and
Henry VIII. the rest of France.

Such was the traitorous scheme which was now opened up to the astonished
gaze of Francis. Had he crossed the Alps before he received the
intelligence, it might have been fatal. He had received some dark hints
of mischief to be apprehended from Bourbon previously; and on his way
south, he had suddenly presented himself at the duke's castle, and called
upon him to accompany the expedition to Italy; but the duke made it
appear that the state of his health rendered that impossible. Francis,
not by any means satisfied, set a strict but secret guard upon his
castle, and proceeded to Lyons; but there the news reached him that the
pretended sick man had managed to escape in disguise, and was on his way,
through the intricacies of the mountains of Auvergne and Dauphiné, to
join the emperor's army in Italy.


The Powers of England and the Netherlands appeared, in pursuance of the
secret treaty with Bourbon, on the soil of France about the same time.
The Duke of Suffolk, Charles Brandon, the commander of the English army,
landed at Calais on the 24th of August, and, joining to his troops those
collected from the garrisons of Calais, Ham, and Guines, found himself
at the head of 13,000 men. He marched on the 19th of September, and the
next day fell in with the Imperial troops from the Netherlands, under
Van Buren. The allies now amounted to 20,000; but instead of marching
to join the Imperial forces coming from Germany, they remained under
the walls of St. Omer, debating whether they should do this or invest
Boulogne. After having wasted a precious month, they decided to leave
Boulogne, and endeavour to form a junction with the Germans. But they
had now allowed Francis ample time to thwart all their objects. He had
sent a strong detachment, under the Duke of Guise, to throw themselves
in the way of the Germans; whilst the Dukes of Vendôme and Tremouille
kept a sharp watch over the movements of the allied army. Suffolk and Van
Buren traversed Artois and Picardy, crossed the Somme and the Oise, and
alarmed Paris by pitching their tents near Laon, within twenty miles of
the capital. They had stopped by the way to invest Bray, Montdidier, and
some other small places, and now confidently expected the arrival of the
German army.

But the Germans by this time were in full flight before the Duke of
Guise, and Vendôme and Tremouille manoeuvred more menacingly on the
front and flank of the Allies. Tremouille, in particular, grew more and
more audacious, beat up their quarters with his cavalry, harassed them by
frequent skirmishes, and intercepted their convoys. The position of the
allied troops became every day more critical. They were threatened with
a growing force in their rear, drawn from the garrisons of Picardy, and
there was danger of their supplies, which were all derived from Calais,
being cut off. The troops were become sickly, and discontented with their
situation. It was high time to retrace their steps, and they commenced
their march by way of Valenciennes. But the weather was very rainy, the
roads were almost impassable, cold and frost succeeded, and the sickness
and murmurs of the troops augmented every day. Numbers perished on the
march; all were eager to reach their homes; and, as the Flemings drew
near their frontiers, they deserted in shoals. The armies then separated,
and Suffolk reached Calais in December, with his forces greatly reduced,
and all in miserable condition.

On the 14th of September, whilst the Duke of Suffolk was advancing on
Paris, an event occurred which arrested the attention of Cardinal Wolsey
even more than the engrossing moves on the great chess-board of war. This
was the death of the Pope Adrian. He had occupied the papal chair only
about twenty months; and so impatient were the Italians of the Flemish
pope and his strict economy, that they styled the doctor who attended him
in his last sickness the "saviour of his country." Wolsey lost no time in
putting in his claim; and wrote to Dr. Clark, the English ambassador at
Rome, telling him to spare neither money nor promises, for that it was
by command of the king, who would undoubtedly see all his engagements
performed. This time Wolsey was put in nomination, and obtained a
considerable number of votes; but there was no real chance for him, for
the Italians were clamorous to have no more ultramontane, or, as they
styled them, barbarian popes. Charles V., despite his promises to Wolsey,
not only did not move a finger in his favour, but threw all his influence
into the scale to carry the election of Julius de Medici; whilst the
French cardinals, to a man, were opposed to Wolsey as the most dangerous
enemy to their sovereign. The conclave met in October, and the discussion
was continued through six stormy weeks. The election at length was seen
to lie between Jacovaccio Romano and Julius de Medici. Cardinal Pompeo
Colonna, who held the most decisive influence in the conclave, threw his
weight into the scale for Romano, and the balance hung undecided; but all
at once it gave way. Colonna, although he hated the Medici, gave up his
opposition, and Julius was unanimously elected.

Wolsey, to all appearance, bore this second disappointment with the
equanimity of a philosopher; yet we may justly imagine that it produced
a deep change in his feelings towards the emperor, and led to a hostile
policy against his interests and those of Queen Catherine, his aunt,
in England. But Wolsey had prepared for either event, his election
or rejection; and the moment the latter became certain, the whole of
the influence of the English Government was employed in favour of the
election of Julius de Medici. On the strength of this, the English
ambassadors congratulated Julius on his elevation, and solicited the
continuance of the legatine commission to Wolsey. The Pope, who assumed
the name of Clement VII., not only renewed the commission, but granted
it for life, with augmented powers; and added to it a commission to
reform or suppress certain religious houses in England. This was a
dangerous power, and as Wolsey, in 1525--only two years afterwards--by
this authority suppressed a number of monasteries, it is by no means
improbable that it led Henry to think of those more sweeping changes of
the same kind which he afterwards effected. The money thus procured was
devoted, notwithstanding the necessities of the State, to the erection of
colleges, where both Wolsey and his master declared they were anxious to
educate able men in order to oppose effectually the fast-growing heresies
of Martin Luther.

The campaign in Italy opened in the spring of 1524, with wonderfully
increased difficulties for the French. Charles V. had appointed the
renegade Duke of Bourbon his generalissimo in that country against his
own sovereign and compatriots. Henry of England engaged to furnish
100,000 crowns for the first month's pay of the duke's army, and to make
a diversion by invading Picardy in July. The emperor promised to defray
the cost of the Italian army for the remainder of the campaign, and to
invade Languedoc at the same time. Thus supported, Bourbon took the field
early in the spring; and by the end of May the duke had completely freed
Italy of his countrymen, and driven them across the Alps. The losses
of the French in this retreat were dreadful, and perhaps the greatest
calamity was the death of the famous Chevalier Bayard, the knight "sans
peur et sans reproche," who was killed as he was protecting the rear of
the army, on the banks of the Sesia (April 30, 1524.)

Bourbon, ardent and impatient to secure the kingdom which had been
promised him in France, as well as thirsting with desire to take the
utmost vengeance on Francis I., entreated the emperor to allow him
to quit Italy and enter France with his victorious army. The emperor
consented, and the Imperial forces soon found themselves descending
from the Alps. Unfortunately, Charles had divided the command of this
expedition between Bourbon and the Marquis of Pescara, and the certain
result was divided councils. Bourbon urged to push forward to Lyons,
calculating on his friends and dependants in France flocking to him
there; but Pescara had probably different instructions, and accordingly
advised that they should descend on Provence, and lay siege to
Marseilles. This was palpably the suggestion of the emperor, for he was
ambitious of securing Marseilles, and holding it as a key to the south of
France, as Calais was to the north, in the hands of the English. Thither,
therefore, they marched, entered Provence on the 2nd of July, and on the
19th of August they sat down before Marseilles with an army of 16,000 men.

But the situation of the Imperial troops soon became extremely hazardous
there. The place was strongly fortified; it contained a garrison of 3,200
men, and these were zealously supported by 9,000 of the inhabitants,
who, detesting the Spaniards, took up arms and fought most gallantly.
Bourbon and Pescara spent forty days in mining and bombarding the place,
when they became aware of a tempest gathering which boded their utter
destruction. This was Francis marching from Avignon at the head of 40,000
men. Neither Henry nor the emperor had made those diversions in Languedoc
and Picardy which they had promised, and thus the whole weight of the
army of France was at liberty to descend upon them. Bourbon and Pescara
precipitately abandoned the siege, made for the Alps, and regained Italy.

At this moment Francis committed a military error, which probably
deprived him of the triumph of thoroughly routing his enemies. To
have continued the pursuit was almost certain to have destroyed the
Imperialist force, for it was worn down by its severe marches, and the
road to Lodi by which Pescara retreated was actually strewn with his
exhausted horses. The army of Pescara was the sole Imperial force now
in Italy, and its defeat would have been the immediate recovery of the
Milanese territory. But Francis was beguiled into the delay of besieging
Pavia, in which Pescara had left a strong garrison, under Antonio da
Leyva. Pavia was a well-fortified city, situated on the deep and rapid
Ticino, in a peculiarly strong position, and had repeatedly defied
armies for a long time together, particularly those of the Lombards
and of Charlemagne. The moment Pescara heard of Francis sitting down
before it, he exclaimed that he was saved! Every exertion was made by
the Imperialists to profit by the time thus given them. The Duke of
Bourbon hastened over the Alps to Germany to raise 12,000 men, for which
purpose he had pawned his jewels. Lannoy, the viceroy of Naples, pledged
the regular revenues of that kingdom for ready cash for the hiring of
troops, and great activity was displayed in raising an army and posting
it betwixt the Adda and the Ticino.

For three months Francis continued lying before Pavia, and committed the
further error of weakening his forces, by detaching 6,000 of them, under
Albany, the late regent of Scotland, to menace the kingdom of Naples.

In the beginning of February, 1525, the Imperialist generals thought
themselves strong enough to attack the French in their entrenchments.
These entrenchments were very formidable. The rear-guard was posted in
the beautiful castle of Mirabello, in the midst of an extensive park,
enclosed by high and solid walls. But Leyva, who commanded the garrison,
found means to communicate with the Imperial generals outside, and
he sent them word that they must either relieve him or that he must
attempt to cut his way out, for famine was urgent amongst his troops.
The generals themselves were suffering from want of provisions and pay
for their troops. In the French camp the wisest commanders counselled
Francis to raise the siege and retire to Milan, confident that the enemy
must soon disband from want of pay. But Bonivet treated this counsel as
mean and dastardly; and, unfortunately, this was the tone most likely to
captivate the chivalrous mind of the French king. He resolved to stand
his ground.

On the 24th of February, Bourbon, Pescara, and Lannoy, having distracted
the attention of the French for several days previously by false
attacks, at midnight led out their troops silently to the park. A body
of pioneers commenced operations on the wall, and before daylight they
had effected a breach of a hundred paces in length, and at dawn they
carried the castle by surprise. Francis drew his troops out of their
entrenchments and made a push across the Ticino, but he found the bridge
demolished, and a strong body of the Spaniards closely drawn up on the
banks. Attacked fiercely by the garrison in the rear, and hemmed in by
the Imperial army in front, the battle became desperate. Francis had
his horse killed under him; the Swiss, contrary to their wont, turned
and fled at the first charge; and the Germans, who fought with singular
valour, were annihilated to a man. The Spanish musketeers then broke the
French ranks; and the king, being already wounded twice in the face, and
once in the hand, refused to surrender to the Spaniards who environed
him. Fortunately, Pomperant, a French gentleman in the service of the
Duke of Bourbon, recognised him, and called Lannoy, to whom the king
resigned his sword. Lannoy, kneeling, kissed the king's hand, took the
sword, and gave him his own in return, saying it did not become a monarch
to appear unarmed in the presence of a subject. The king was relieved of
his helmet by James D'Avila; and the Spanish soldiers, who admired his
valour, came crowding around him, and snatched the feathers from it, and,
when they were all gone, even cut pieces from his clothes, to keep as
memorials that they had fought hand to hand with him. Francis was soon
left standing in his jerkin and hose, and, despite his misfortune, could
not help laughing at his situation, and at the eagerness of the soldiers
for something belonging to him.

The amazement and consternation which fell on France at the news of this
terrible disaster are scarcely to be imagined. Nothing, indeed, could be
more melancholy than the situation of that kingdom. Her king was captive,
her most distinguished generals and the flower of the army were taken or
slain; powerful and triumphant enemies on all sides were ready to seize
her as a spoil, and she was equally destitute of allies, of money, of
troops, or wise counsel. Scarcely less was the terror of the princes and
the states of Italy, for their only safety--the balance of power--was
destroyed, and there appeared no defence against the predominant power of
the emperor.

Charles himself assumed an air of singular composure and moderation on
the receipt of this brilliant news. He had been daily expecting to hear
of the defeat of his army, when, on the 10th of March, came the tidings
of this great victory. We may imagine, therefore, his real joy. But
such was his command of his feelings that nothing of this appeared in
his manner. He perused the dispatches with the most perfect composure,
affected even to commiserate the fall of his rival, and moralised
sagely on the uncertainty of human greatness. A little time, however,
was sufficient to show that this was dissimulation, and his conduct to
Francis was ample proof that he had neither pity nor generosity.

Henry of England, on the contrary, gave freedom to his expressions of
joy. Though he was actually on his way to coalesce with Francis against
Charles, he saw at once the immense advantages this defeat and capture
offered for aggressions on his kingdom, and he therefore ordered the most
public rejoicings in London and other cities, and rode himself in state
to St. Paul's, where Wolsey performed mass, assisted by eleven bishops,
in presence of the Court and all the foreign ambassadors; and afterwards
_Te Deum_ was sung. Henry then posted off Tunstall, Bishop of London, and
Sir Richard Wingfield, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, into Spain
to congratulate the emperor on his splendid triumph, and modestly to
propose that they should divide France between them.

To induce Charles to consent to this improbable arrangement, Henry
proposed at once to put the Princess Mary, who was betrothed to Charles,
into his hands--in fact, to make the exchange of her person for that of
Francis. Henry was the more buoyed up in these wild notions by the fact
that the ambassador of Charles had just been applying for the delivery of
the princess.

p._ 140.)]

So confident was Henry of the cession of his claims by the emperor,
that he instantly took measures to raise the money necessary for the
invasion of France. As he had resolved to rule without the interference
of parliaments, he sent out commissioners to every part of the country to
levy the sixth part of the goods of the laity and a fourth of those of
the clergy. The scheme was entirely unconstitutional, the commissioners
performed their part in a harsh and overbearing manner, trusting thus to
intimidate the people into compliance, and the consequence was universal
resentment and resistance. Clergy and laity, rich and poor, all alike
denounced the arbitrary and illegal impost. "How the great men took it,"
says Hall, "was a marvel: the poor cursed, the rich repugned, the lighter
sort railed, and, in conclusion, all men execrated the cardinal as the
subverter of the laws and liberties of England. For, said they, if men
should give their goods by a commission, then were it worse than the
taxes of France, and so England would be bond, and not free." This was
the more just because the cardinal in person acted as commissioner in
London, and lent all the weight of his office and position to sanction
the oppression. He used all his arts to prevail on the citizens to
comply, but neither threats nor blandishments moved them. The resistance
was obstinate and universal.

In London the excitement became excessive; the people placarded the walls
with their complaints, and the clergy preached against the arbitrary
tax, and declared that for themselves they would pay no money which
was not voted in Convocation. From London the fire spread through the
other towns, the people began to take up arms, the clergy to encourage
them, and Henry, who was soon terrified, with all his bluster, took the
alarm, and declared that he wanted nothing from his loving subjects but
as a benevolence. But the very word benevolence awoke a host of hateful
recollections. The tumult was only increased by it; and a lawyer in
the city published the passage from the Act of Richard III., by which
benevolences were abolished for ever. This seemed to arouse the lion
spirit in Henry. The prospect of the crown of France was too fascinating
to be lightly surrendered; he therefore called together the judges,
and demanded their opinion on his power to tax his subjects without
Parliament. The venal judges reminded the king that Richard III. was a
usurper, and that his Parliament was a factious Parliament, the acts
of which were illegal and void, and could in no wise bind a legitimate
and _absolute_ king, who, like him, held the Crown by hereditary right.
This bold and base doctrine was loudly echoed by the Privy Council, but
vain were such authorities with the people. On hearing this decision,
they again flew to arms. In Kent they speedily drove the commissioners
and tax-gatherers out of the county; in Suffolk they marched in an armed
body of 4,000 or 5,000 men, and even threatened the duke of the county,
Brandon, the king's brother-in-law, who was the chief commissioner there,
with death. Surrey, who stood high in the estimation of the people,
interfered to calm them, and to prevent mischief; and Henry saw that the
contest was hopeless, and by proclamation retracted his demand. Wolsey,
who had been extremely prominent in endeavouring to enforce the detested
tax, now caused a report to be industriously circulated, that he had, in
truth, never been favourable to it, but the people only replied when they
heard it, "God save the king! we know the cardinal well enough."

But Henry might have spared himself this tumult and unpopularity. The
emperor was never less likely than now to concede such favours and
advantages to him. He was a deep and subtle prince; no man could see more
intuitively and instantly the wonderful change in his power and position
which the battle of Pavia created. Charles had calculated upon Henry
for large subsidies during the war, but instead of receiving these, he
had found Henry as much straitened for money as he was himself. It was
now discovered that the emperor had already made a truce of six months
with France, and he coolly advised the ambassadors to seek from their
sovereign power, not negotiations for the invasion of France, but the
terms on which the French king should be liberated. To crown all, and
leave no question of the feeling which Henry's late conduct had produced
in Charles's Court, he wrote to Henry, no longer styling himself his
loving uncle and penning the grossest flatteries with his own hand, but
he simply and curtly signed himself Charles to official communications
duly and officially prepared.

This was a rebuff not to be received complacently by a man of Henry's
vain and volcanic spirit. He read the astounding dispatches with an
amazement which burst into a tempest of rage. At once a tide of impetuous
revulsion flowed over his whole soul. He abandoned in a moment all ideas
of conquests, invasions, and the crown of France, and determined to do
everything in his power to procure the liberation of Francis, and to
unite with him against the perfidious and insulting Spaniard. He had
dismissed the French envoys, who were residing privately in London, on
the news of the capture of Francis, but he now let it be understood
that their presence would be heartily welcome. Louise, the mother of
Francis, accepted the hint, and John Brenon, president of the council
of Normandy, and her favourite envoy, Giovanni Joacchino, were again
despatched to London. A truce for four months was immediately concluded,
and Wolsey, who fanned the new flame in Henry's bosom for objects and
resentments of his own, soon arranged the terms of a treaty with them.
These terms were extremely acceptable to Henry, as they furnished him
with a prospect of a considerable addition to his income, without the
disagreeable necessity of having to go to Parliament for it. The treaty
consisted of six articles. By the first, the contracting parties engaged
to guarantee the integrity of each other's territories against all
the princes in the world. The object of this was to prevent Francis
from bartering any of his provinces with Charles for his liberty. By
the second, Francis and his heirs were made to guarantee to Henry the
payment of 2,000,000 crowns, by half-yearly instalments, and 100,000
crowns for life, after the payment of that amount. Nine of the chief
noblemen of France, and nine of the richest cities also, gave up their
bonds for the security of these payments. By the third article, the
King of France engaged to pay up all the arrears of the dowry of Mary,
the Queen-Dowager of France. The rest of the articles were for the
prevention of depredations at sea, for comprehending the King of Scots in
the treaty, and for the prevention of the return of the Duke of Albany
to Scotland during the minority of James V. This treaty was signed at
the king's house in Hertfordshire, on the 30th of August. The cardinal,
who never forgot himself on these occasions, was well rewarded for his
trouble in promoting and arranging this alliance. He received a grant of
100,000 crowns for his good offices in the affair, and the arrears of his
pension in lieu of his surrender of the bishopric of Tournay, the whole
to be paid in equal instalments in the course of seven years and a half.

But whilst the French regent, Louise, made these liberal concessions
for the friendship of Henry, and showed every apparent disposition to
guarantee the conditions, Louise swearing to them, and Francis ratifying
them, care was taken to leave a loophole of escape at any future period.
The attorney and solicitor-general entered a secret protest against the
whole treaty, so that Francis might, if occasion required, plead the
illegality of the whole transaction.

But it was not so easy to procure the liberation of the captive King
of France. Moderate as Charles had professed to be, and sympathetic
regarding the misfortunes of Francis, he soon showed that he was
determined to extort every possible advantage from having the royal
captive in his hands. He had been detained in the strong castle of
Pizzighettone, near Cremona; but, thinking that he should be able to
influence the emperor by his presence, he petitioned to be removed to the
Alcazar of Madrid. At length, however, on the 14th of January, 1526, was
signed the famous treaty called the Concord of Madrid, one of the most
grasping and impudent pieces of extortion which one prince ever forced
from another in his necessity. By this treaty Francis gave up all that he
had offered before--namely, all claims of superiority over Flanders and
Artois, and the possession of Naples, Milan, Genoa, and the other Italian
territories, for which France had spent so much blood and treasure. But
besides this, Francis was to deliver to the emperor his two sons, the
Dauphin and the Duke of Orleans, as hostages, and also bind himself, if
he did not, or could not, fulfil his engagements within four months,
to return and yield himself once more prisoner. He was to marry Queen
Eleanora of Portugal, the sister of Charles, and the Dauphin was to marry
the Princess Maria, the daughter of Eleanora. But these were but a small
part of the demands. Francis was bound to persuade the King of Navarre
to surrender his rights in that kingdom to Charles, and the Duke of
Gueldres to appoint Charles the heir to his dominions; and if he failed
to persuade them, he was to give them no aid when the emperor invaded
their states. Next, Francis was to lend his whole navy, 500 men-at-arms,
and 6,000 foot-soldiers, to put down the princes of Italy, who were
uniting to effect his own freedom! Then, Francis was to pay to the King
of England all those sums which the emperor himself had engaged to pay.
Still more, he was to restore Bourbon and the rest of the rebels to their
estates and honours. The whole of the conditions were so monstrous,
that they cannot be read without astonishment at the rapacity of this
triumphant prince. But to gain his liberty Francis signed the Treaty.

Henry VIII. was one of the first amongst princes to send ambassadors to
congratulate Francis on his restoration to freedom, and to urge him to
break every article of the infamous terms which had been forced upon him.
Sir Thomas Cheney was sent from England to meet Dr. Taylor, the English
ambassador at Paris; and together they proceeded to Bayonne, and were
introduced to Francis, who told them he greatly felt the friendship of
Henry, who had, indeed, remonstrated with Charles on his behalf, though
Charles had not paid much respect to the intercession. There was no need
of any arguments from the two English casuists to induce Francis to break
the engagements he had entered into. He had never meant to keep them.
Before signing the document, he had protested, before two notaries and a
few confidential friends, that he had acted under restraint, and that he
should hold himself bound to observe none of the conditions which were
not just and reasonable.

Two ambassadors had attended him from Spain to take his signature of
the Treaty, when he was free and on his own soil, as a ratification of
it, which he had engaged to give; but when the ambassadors presented
themselves for this purpose, Francis declined, affirming that he could
not enter into any such engagements without the advice of his council and
the approbation of his subjects. He assured them, however, that he would
immediately summon an assembly of the notables at Cognac, and requested
them to attend him thither, to learn the decision of the assembly. This
body met at that place in June, and declared, with one voice, that the
king had no right or power to sever Burgundy from the kingdom without
their consent, and such consent they would never give. The Spanish
ambassadors were present when this decision was pronounced, and they said
that the king, not being able to fulfil his contract, was bound to return
to his captivity, and they called upon him to obey. Instead of a direct
answer to this demand, a treaty betwixt the King of France, the Pope,
the Venetians, and the Duke of Milan, which had been secretly concluded
a few days before, was produced, and published in their hearing. As this
was tantamount to a declaration of war, the ambassadors demanded their
passports, and returned to Spain. The Pope, on entering into this league,
absolved Francis from all the forced oaths that he had sworn.

This confederacy of Francis and the Italian princes and states against
the emperor, bound the Allies to raise and pay an army of 30,000 foot
and 3,000 horse, with a certain number of ships and galleys. The King of
France was to be put in possession of the county of Asti and the lordship
of Genoa; and Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, engaged to pay him 50,000
crowns annually. Naples was to be wrested from Charles, and its crown
placed at the disposal of the Pope; but the king whom he appointed was to
pay an annuity of 75,000 crowns to the King of France. Henry of England,
though he declined to take any active part in the league, but consented
merely to be nominated its protector, was to have a principality in
Naples, with 36,000 ducats a year; and the cardinal, who always came in
for his share of spoil, was to have a lordship worth 10,000 ducats.

So closed the year 1526; and the new year opened with preparations
for still more terrors for devoted Italy. The Emperor Charles had no
money to maintain the troops necessary for the extensive domination
that he aimed at, and he therefore allowed the mercenary troops in his
employment, rather than in his pay, to indemnify themselves by the
plunder of the wretched inhabitants of the countries where they were
collected. These troops consisted of a mob of vagabonds, outlaws, and
marauders, from every country in Europe, who, by their long course of
licentious freedom, were become utterly callous to the sufferings which
they inflicted. Freundsberg, a German soldier of fortune, was at the head
of 15,000 of these adventurers, consisting of Germans, Spaniards, and
Swiss; and Bourbon, at the head of 10,000 more half-starved and half-clad
mercenaries, was in possession of the whole duchy of Milan, but with
no means of supporting his position. These two ferocious hordes having
formed a junction under his banner, clamoured for their pay; Bourbon told
them he had no money, and that Milan had been so repeatedly overrun and
ravaged, that it was destitute of all means of supporting them; but that
he would lead them into the enemy's country--into the richest cities
of Italy--where they might amply indemnify themselves for all their
past sufferings. Animated by these assurances, they swore to follow him
whithersoever he might lead them. They marched on Rome, and sacked it,
losing, however, their leader, who fell in the attack.

The news of the sacking of Rome, and the imprisonment of the Pope,
excited the most lively sensations of horror and indignation throughout
the Christian, and especially the Catholic, world. None appeared more
affected than the emperor, by whose troops the sacrilegious deed had been
perpetrated. He put himself and his Court into the deepest mourning,
forbade rejoicing for the birth of his son, and commanded prayers to
be offered in the churches throughout Spain for the liberation of His
Holiness. No one could play off a piece of solemn hypocrisy more solemnly
than Charles V. Francis and Henry, who were making a fresh treaty of
alliance, were at once affected with real or pretended horror. They
agreed immediately to invade Italy with 30,000 foot, and 1,000 horse, to
join the confederate army there, and drive out the troops of Spain, and
liberate the Pope from the Castle of St. Angelo.

[Illustration: MARTIN LUTHER.

(_After the Portrait by Lucas Cranach, at Florence._)]

But the time was now approaching which was to interrupt the friendship
of Henry with the head of the Church of Rome. The Reformation in Germany
had made an immense progress, and produced the most astonishing events.
The whole mind and intellect of that country had been convulsed by the
preaching of the doctrines of Luther. State had been set against state,
prince against prince; and the bold monk of Wittenberg had only escaped
the vengeance of the Church of Rome by the undaunted championship of the
Elector of Saxony. Henry, fond of school divinity from his youth, and a
great reader and admirer of Thomas Aquinas, had looked across to Germany
with a grim and truculent glance, which seemed to rest on the blunt and
unconventional Reformer with an expression of one who longed to strike
down the daring heretic, and rid the world of him. As this was out of
his power, he determined to annihilate him by his pen; and for this
purpose he had written a book against him, with the title of "A Treatise
on the Seven Sacraments, against Martin Luther, the Heresiarch, by the
Illustrious Prince Henry VIII." This he had caused to be presented to the
Pope by the English ambassador, beautifully written and magnificently
bound, and Leo X. received it with the most extravagant laudations, and
conferred on Henry in 1521 the title of "Defender of the Faith," in a
bull signed by himself and twenty-seven cardinals. Henry really believed
that he had crushed Luther and all his sect; but the free-mouthed
Reformer, who paid no flatteries to king or Pope, soon convinced the
literary monarch that he was as much alive as ever. He wrote a reply to
Henry, in which, giving him commendation for writing in elegant language,
he abused him and his work as broadly as he would have done that of the
obscurest mortal. Henry, in his estimation, was "fool," "liar," "ass,"
"blasphemer." The correspondence which ensued was acrimonious.

The great defender of the faith, at the time at which we are now arrived,
was growing dissatisfied with his wife, and was about to seek a divorce
from her, which must necessarily involve the Pope in difficulties with
the queen's nephew, the Emperor. Henry was married to Catherine when she
was in her twenty-fifth year. So long as the disparity of their ages did
not appear, for he was six years younger, and so long as she was pleasing
in her person, he seemed not only satisfied with, but really attached to
her. But she was now forty-two years of age, had undergone much anxiety
in her earlier years in England, had borne the king five children, three
sons and two daughters, all of whom died in their infancy, except the
Princess Mary, who lived to mount the throne. Catherine, of late years,
had suffered much in her health, and we may judge from the best-known
portrait of her that she had now lost her good looks, and had a
bowed-down and sorrow-stricken air.

Anne Boleyn had been living in France, at first as attendant on Mary,
King Henry's sister, the queen of Louis XII., and afterwards in the
family of the Duke of Alençon. She returned to England on the breaking
out of the war with Francis I., in 1522; and seems, by her beauty, wit,
and accomplishments, to have created a great sensation in the English
Court, where she was soon attached to the service of Queen Catherine.
Henry is said to have first met her by accident, in her father's garden,
at Hever Castle, in Kent; and was so charmed with her that he told Wolsey
that he had been "discoursing with a young lady who had the wit of an
angel, and was worthy of a crown." She is supposed at that time to have
been about one-and-twenty, a brunette of tall and most graceful figure,
and extremely accomplished.

The understanding between Henry and Anne Boleyn soon became obvious
to the whole Court. The queen saw it as clearly as any one else, and
upbraided Henry with it, but does not seem to have used any harshness
to Anne on that account, though she occasionally gave her some sharp
rubs. For instance, once when the queen was playing at cards with Anne
Boleyn she thus addressed her, "My Lady Anne, you have the good hap ever
to stop at a king; but you are like others, you will have all or none."
Cavendish, Wolsey's secretary, says the queen at this trying crisis
"behaved like a very patient Grissel."

Henry now having resolved to marry Anne Boleyn, as he found he could
obtain her on no other terms, felt himself suddenly afflicted with
lamentable scruples of conscience for being married to his brother's
widow, and entertaining equally afflicting doubts of the power of the
Pope to grant a dispensation for such a marriage. For eighteen years
these scruples had rested in his bosom without disturbing a moment of his
repose. It is true that these doubts had been started before the marriage
by Archbishop Warham, but they had no weight with Henry or his father.
Henry had gone into the marriage at the age of eighteen with his eyes
open, having some time before, by his father's order, made a protest
against it for State purposes, and had been ever since, till he saw Anne
Boleyn, not only contented but jovial. Now, however, he soon ceased to
be merely scrupulous--he became positive that his marriage was unlawful,
and set to work to write a book to prove it. The king communicated to
Wolsey fully his views regarding the divorce, and Wolsey, who had now
his decided quarrel with Charles for deceiving him in the matter of the
Papacy, and who was equally the enemy of Catherine, she having openly
expressed her resentment of his procuring the destruction of the Duke
of Buckingham, readily fell into the scheme. Wolsey was undoubtedly as
well aware as any one of the love affair going on between Henry and
Anne Boleyn; nothing that was moving at Court could escape him; but he
supposed this affair was only of the same kind as the rest of Henry's
gallantries, and his notion was that some foreign princess would be
selected for Henry's second queen.

But during the discussions on the marriage between the English princess
and the French prince, a circumstance had taken place which showed that
Henry was resolved to let slip no opportunity of carrying his divorce
at all costs. The Bishop of Tarbes suddenly asked the question whether
the legitimacy of the Princess Mary was beyond every legal and canonical
doubt, considering the nature of the king's marriage with her mother, the
queen. Henry and Wolsey affected to be much astonished and agitated at
the question; and the King afterwards made it an argument that the idea
of the illegality of his marriage, though it had originated with himself,
had been greatly strengthened by the question of the bishop, as it showed
how apparent the fact was to strangers and even foreigners. Yet the
suggestion had undoubtedly been made to the bishop by Wolsey on Henry's
behalf. The meaning of the question was quite obvious--it was to serve
the cause of the divorce, which was an object highly pleasing to Francis
I., in his resentment of the treatment of himself by the Emperor; but it
was not believed for a moment to indicate real doubt even on the part of
the French king, or he would not have proceeded to confirm the choice of
an illegitimate maiden for the Queen of France, or the wife of his son.

At the close of this treaty, Wolsey was sent over to France, rather to
show to Europe, and particularly to the King of Spain, the intimate
footing between France and England, than for any real use. It was
believed that Anne Boleyn and her friends were at the bottom of Wolsey's
being sent abroad for a time, that the affairs regarding "the king's
secret" might proceed without his cognisance; and, indeed, before his
return, it had ceased to be a secret to any one. Anne had become openly
acknowledged as the king's favourite, and had assumed an air and style
of magnificence and consequence on account of it. Meantime, Wolsey,
misled by his idea that the king meant to marry a foreign princess, had
committed himself deeply, and supplied fresh and serious materials for
his own destruction. He had given hints of the divorce of Henry, and of
his probable marriage with a princess of the Court of France. He told
Louise, the French king's mother, that "if she lived another year, she
should see as great union on one side, and disunion on the other, as she
would ask or wish for. These," he added, "were not idle words. Let her
treasure them up in her memory; time would explain them."

The cardinal had, in fact, been looking round him at the French Court for
a wife for Henry, and had selected the Princess Renée, sister of the late
Queen Claude, while Henry himself had settled his choice nearer home. On
the return of Wolsey, all being now prepared, Henry communicated to the
astonished man the secret of his intended marriage with Anne. Confounded
at the disclosure, the proud cardinal dropped on his knees, and, it is
said, remained there for some hours pleading with the king against this
infatuation, as he deemed it, and which he saw compromised himself with
the Court of France, and menaced him darkly in the future, from the
deep enmity of her who would thus become his queen. His pleadings and
arguments were vain. His fair enemy had made her ground wholly secure in
his absence, and Wolsey withdrew with gloomy forebodings.

The communication of the king's secret to Wolsey was immediately followed
by more active measures, in which Wolsey, however averse, was obliged to
co-operate. The king's treatise was now submitted to Sir Thomas More,
who at once saw the peril of acting as a judge in so delicate a matter,
declared that he was no theologian, and therefore unqualified to decide.
It was next laid before the Bishop of Rochester, who decided against it.
Henry then directed Sir Thomas to apply to some other of the bishops;
but as he was hostile to the treatise himself, he was not likely to be
a very persuasive pleader for it with others. None of the bishops would
commit themselves, and Sir Thomas advised Henry to see what St. Jerome,
St. Augustine, and the other fathers of the Church said upon it. Henry
then employed the more unscrupulous agency of Wolsey with the prelates,
who plied them with all his eloquence; but the most that he could
obtain from them was that the arguments of the king's book furnished a
reasonable ground for a scruple, and that he had better apply to the Holy
See, and abide by its decision.

With the nation at large, the proposal of the amorous king was still
less popular than with the bishops. They had a great veneration for the
insulted Catherine, who had maintained for so many years the most fair
and estimable character on the throne, and against whose virtue not a
word had ever been breathed. They attributed this scheme to the acts
of the cardinal, who was the enemy of the Emperor and the warm ally of
France; and they dreaded that the divorce might lead to war and the
suppression of the profitable trade with the Netherlands.

Unable to obtain much sanction at home, Henry at length referred the
cause to the Pope; and Stephen Gardiner--then known by the humble name
of Mr. Stephen--and Bishop Fox went in 1528 to Italy with the Royal
instructions. The grand difficulty was to effect the divorce in so
legal and complete a manner that no plea might be able to be brought
against the legitimacy of the proposed marriage. For three months fresh
instructions were issued and revoked, and issued in amended form again,
which were laid before Dr. Knight, the king's agent at the Papal Court,
and the three brothers Casali, Wolsey's agents, and before Staphilaeo,
Dean of the Rota, who had been gained over whilst lately in London.

But the Emperor had not been idle. The Pope, as we have seen, had been
shut up by the Imperial troops in the Castle of St. Angelo; and, in
negotiation for his liberation, Charles had made it one of the principal
stipulations of his release that he should not consent to act preparatory
to a divorce without the previous knowledge of Charles himself. Scarcely
had the Pope made his escape to Orvieto, when the English emissaries
appeared before him. Poor Clement was thrown into a terrible dilemma.
The Imperialists were still in possession of Rome, and if he consented
to the request of Henry, he had nothing to expect but vengeance from the
Emperor. To make the matter worse, a French army, under the command
of Lautrec, and accompanied by Sir Robert Jerningham as the English
commissary, which had been sent over the Alps to his assistance, and to
enable him to recover his capital, loitered at Piacenza, and delayed the
chance of the restoration and defence of Rome.

The English envoys presented to him two instruments, which had been
prepared by the learned agents above named, by the first of which he
was to empower Wolsey, or in case of any objection to him, Staphilaeo,
to hear and decide the case of the divorce; and by the second he was to
grant Henry a dispensation to marry, in the place of Catherine, any other
woman soever, even if she were already promised to another, or related
to him in the first degree of affinity. This was a most extraordinary
proceeding, an acknowledgment by Henry of the very power in the Pope
which he affected to doubt and deny. The objection to the marriage of
Henry with Catherine was that she was within the proscribed degree of
affinity, having been his brother's wife. Moreover, as Henry was accused,
and this instrument appeared to admit the charge, of having established
the same degree of relationship, though illicitly, with Mary Boleyn, the
_sister_ of Anne, as had existed between Catherine and his _brother_
legally, this document was to prevent any objections to the marriage with

The Pope signed both instruments, but recommended that Henry should keep
them secret till the French army, under Lautrec, should arrive, and free
him from fears, even for his life, of the vengeance of the Emperor. When
this should have taken place, he promised to issue a second commission of
the same import, which might at once be publicly proceeded with.

Scarcely, however, had Dr. Knight left Orvieto, when Gregorio da Casali
brought a request from the English Court that a legate from Rome might be
joined in the commission with Wolsey. To this Clement observed that the
King of England was pursuing a very circuitous course. If the king was
really convinced in his conscience that his present marriage was null, he
had better marry again, and then he himself or a legate could decide the
question at once. But if a legate were to sit in jurisdiction, there must
be appeals to himself in Rome, exceptions, and adjournments, which would
make it an affair of years. But, after saying this, the Pope signed the

At the instigation of Wolsey, who was anxious that the treaty which
he had signed with France should be carried into effect, war was now
declared formally against the Emperor. The news of the war was received
in England with the utmost disgust and discontent. The people denounced
the cardinal as the troubler of the kingdom and the interrupter of its
commerce. The merchants refused to frequent the new marts in France,
which were appointed instead of their accustomed ones in the Netherlands.
The wool-combers, spinners, and clothiers were stopped in their sales
by this resolve on the part of the merchants; their people were all
thrown out of work; and the spirit of commotion grew so strong that there
were serious fears of open outbreaks. In the council, the cardinal had
as little support in his policy as he did elsewhere. There was not a
member, except himself, who was an advocate of the French alliance; but
all his colleagues at the council-table were eagerly watching for some
chance which should hasten his downfall. Even the king himself was averse
from the war with his nephew; and especially as he was aware that the
fear of Charles's resentment deterred Clement from cordially proceeding
with the divorce; and Henry hinted that if peace were restored, Charles
might be induced to withdraw his opposition. Fortunately, the Flemings
were as much incommoded by the breach of commercial relations as the
English; and the Archduchess Margaret, the Governess of the Netherlands,
had the prudence to make a proposition that peace should be restored.
Negotiations commenced, and were carried on for some time for a general
pacification; but this being proved unattainable, a peace was concluded
with the Netherlands, and the state of war was allowed to remain between
England and Spain.

But the fact was, the war, so far as regarded these two countries,
was merely nominal; it raged only in Italy, between the French and
the Imperialists. Henry had no money for war, and, besides, his whole
thoughts and energies were occupied in carrying through the divorce,
which he now found a most formidable affair, fresh difficulties starting
up at every step. Had Catherine been only an English subject, instead
of the aunt of the great monarch of Germany, Flanders, and Spain, Henry
would have made short work of his conscience and of the poor woman who
was in the way. He would have charged her with some heinous and revolting
crime, and severed her head from her shoulders at a blow, and all his
difficulties with it. But he had not only royal blood to deal with, but
all the ancient prejudices that surrounded it, and which would have
made him execrated over the whole world had he spilled it. He knew that
Charles was watching intently to catch him at a disadvantage, and he
never felt himself safe in his proceedings.

[Illustration: THE TRIAL OF QUEEN CATHERINE. (_See p._ 151.)

(_After the Picture by Laslett J. Pott._)]

It now occurred to him that, though the Pope had granted permission for
Wolsey and the legate to decide this momentous question, yet he might be
induced, by the influence of Charles, to revise and reverse the sentence
pronounced by his delegates: and this might involve him in inextricable
dilemmas, especially should he have acted on the sentence of divorce, and
married again.

Clement was placed in a very trying situation. He was anxious to oblige
Henry, but to grant the bull confirming the sentence to be pronounced
by Wolsey and the Legate, was to annihilate the dogma of Papal
infallibility, for Julius II. had granted the Church's dispensation,
notwithstanding the fact of Catherine's union with Henry's brother.
Clement had been also informed that Henry's object was only to gratify
the wish of a woman who was already living in adultery with him. But
this was rebutted by a letter already received from Wolsey, assuring
the Pope that Anne Boleyn was a lady of unimpeachable character. Driven
from this point, Clement still demurred as to the formidable bull; and
only consented, after consultation with a convocation of cardinals and
theologians, to issue an order for a commission to inquire into the
validity of the dispensation granted by Pope Julius, and to revoke it, if
it was found to have been by any means surreptitiously obtained.

Campeggio, who had most reluctantly undertaken the appointment of
commissioner in this case, was all this time slowly, very slowly,
progressing towards England. He was an eminent professor of the canon
law, and an experienced statesman. He had been a married man, and had a
family; but, on the death of his wife, in 1509, he had taken orders, was
made cardinal in 1517, and had been employed by Leo and his successors in
various arduous cases to their highest satisfaction. Campeggio arrived in
London at last, on the 7th of October, 1528, but in such exhaustion, from
violent and long attacks of the gout, that he was carried in a litter to
his lodgings, and remained for some time confined to his bed. Henry, with
his characteristic hypocrisy, on the approach of the legate, again sent
away his mistress, and recalled his obliging wife, with whom he appeared
to be living on the most affectionate terms. They had the same bed and
board, and went regularly through the same devotions. The arrival of
the legate raised the courage of the people, who were unanimous in the
favour of the queen, and, though Wolsey made every exertion to silence
and restrain them, they loudly declared that, let the king marry whom he
pleased, they would acknowledge no successor in prejudice to Mary.

It was a fortnight before the legate was ready to see the king. On the
22nd of October he made his visit, and was, of course, most graciously
received by Henry and the cardinal, but they could extract from him no
opinion as to the probable result of the inquiry which was at hand.
Henry and Wolsey exerted all their arts to win over the great man. The
king paid him constant visits; and to mollify and draw him out heaped
all sorts of flatteries upon him, and made him the most brilliant
promises. He had already made him Bishop of Salisbury, and presented
him with a splendid palace in Rome; and he now offered to confer on him
the rich bishopric of Durham, and knighted his son Ridolfo, by whom
he was accompanied. But nothing moved the impenetrable ecclesiastic;
for if favours were heaped on him here, terrors awaited him at Rome
if he betrayed the trust of his master, the Pope. He replied to all
solicitations that he had every disposition to serve the king, so far
as his conscience would permit him. To produce a favourable bias in the
opinions of the inexorable man, the judgments of eminent divines and
doctors of the canon law on the king's case were laid before him. These
he read, but still kept his own ideas locked in his breast.

Henry next endeavoured to obtain from Campeggio the publication of
the decretal bull, or, at least, that it should be shown to the Privy
Council, but the legate remained firm to his instructions. The king's
agents at the same time plied Clement with persuasives to the same end,
but with the same result. So far from giving way, the agents informed
Henry that the Emperor had given back to the Pope Civita Vecchia and
all the fortresses which he had taken from the Holy See, and that it
was to be feared that there was a secret understanding between the Pope
and Charles. At this news Henry despatched Sir Francis Bryan, Master of
the Henchmen, and Peter Vannes, his secretary of the Latin tongue, to
Francis I., upbraiding him with his neglect in permitting this to go
on; and they then proceeded to Italy, and requested the Pope to cite all
Christian princes to meet in Avignon and settle their differences. In
the meantime these agents were to consult the most celebrated canonists
at Rome on the following extraordinary points:--"1. Whether, if a wife
were to make a vow of chastity, and enter a convent, the Pope could not,
in the plenitude of his power, authorise the husband to marry again. 2.
Whether, if the husband were to enter into a religious order, that he
might induce the wife to do the same, he might not afterwards be released
from his vow, and have liberty to marry. 3. Whether, for reasons of
State, the Pope could not license a prince to have, like the ancient
patriarchs, two wives, of whom one only should be publicly acknowledged,
and enjoy the honours of royalty."

On the 6th of February, 1529, the intelligence arrived that Clement
was dying, and by that time was probably dead. Now was the time to
place Wolsey in the Papal chair, and thus end all difficulties. Francis
promised cordially to aid in the attempt; but, to their dismay, Clement
revived, and dashed their hopes to the ground. Made desperate by these
chances, Henry now gave the invalid Pope no rest from his solicitations.
His agents forced themselves into his very sick chamber, and demanded
that the fatal mandate of dispensation granted by Julius II.--a copy
of which Catherine had obtained from Spain--should be revoked, or that
Charles should be compelled to exhibit the original. But the Pope
remained firm. He declared that he could not depart from the course
already prescribed, that Catherine had even entered a protest in his
Court against the persons of her judges, and he recommended Henry to lose
no time, but to try to determine the matter in his own realm.

The Court which was to try the cause met in the Parliament chamber in
the Blackfriars, and summoned the king and queen to appear before it on
the 18th of June. Henry appeared by proxy; Catherine obeyed the summons
in person, but only to protest against the judges as the subjects of
Henry, her accuser, and to appeal to the Pope. This appeal was overruled,
and the Court adjourned to the 21st of June. On this day both Henry and
Catherine appeared, the king sitting in state on the right hand of the
cardinal and legate, and Catherine sat on their left, attended by four
friendly bishops. On their names being called, Henry answered "Here!" but
Catherine was unable to reply. On being again cited, however, she rose
and repeated her protest on three grounds,--first, as being a stranger;
secondly, because the judges were subjects, and held benefices, the
gift of her adversary; and last, because from such a Court she could
not expect impartiality. This protest being held inadmissible, she rose
again, crossed herself, and, leaning on her maids, approached the king,
threw herself at his feet, and addressed him in a pathetic speech.

On the 25th of June Catherine was summoned before the Court again, but
she refused to appear, sending in, however, and causing to be read,
her appeal to the Pope. On this she was declared contumacious; and the
king's counsellors asserted that the following points had been clearly
proved:--That her marriage with Prince Arthur had been consummated, and,
therefore, her marriage with Henry was unlawful; that the dispensation
of Julius II. had been obtained under false pretences and a concealment
of facts; and that the Papal brief which had been sent from Spain was
a forgery. They therefore called on the judges to pronounce for the
divorce. But even had all this been proved, which it had not, Campeggio
was not intending to do anything of the kind. The peace which had been
rumoured between the Pope and the Emperor had been signed on the 29th
of June, and Clement was now much at his ease. On the 23rd of July, no
progress being made, Henry summoned the Court, and demanded judgment in
imperious terms. But Campeggio replied with unmoved dignity:--"I have
not come so far to please any man for fear, meed, or favour, be he king
or any other potentate. I am an old man, sick, decayed, looking daily
for death; what should it then avail me to put my soul in the danger of
God's displeasure, to my utter damnation, for the favour of any prince
or high estate in this world? Forasmuch, then, that I perceive that the
truth in this case is very difficult to be known; that the defendant
will make no answer thereunto, but hath appealed from our judgment;
therefore, to avoid all injustice and obscure doubts, I intend to proceed
no further in this matter until I have the opinion of the Pope and such
others of his council as have more experience and learning. I, for this
purpose, adjourn this Court till the commencement of the next term, in
the beginning of October."

It would be difficult to conceive the state of agitation into which the
Court of Henry was now thrown. Instead of receiving a decision, it was
put off till October; and this was not the worst, for in a few days
news arrived that the commission of the cardinals had been revoked by
the Pope on the 15th of July, or eight days previous to the adjournment,
and that the Papal Court had entertained the appeal of Queen Catherine,
and recalled Campeggio. Thus, not even in October was there any chance
of a decision, and had such been arrived at now it would have been null,
the commission having previously expired. Still worse, while Henry was
in the highest state of irritation, there came an instrument from Rome,
forbidding him to pursue his cause by the legates, but citing him to
appear by attorney in the Papal Court, under a penalty of 10,000 ducats.
Campeggio departed from England at the commencement of Michaelmas term.
At the interview in which he took his leave of the king, Henry behaved
with much politeness to the Italian legate, but treated Wolsey with
marked coldness. Showing a disposition to relent later on in the same
day, Henry was at once so worked upon by the Boleyn faction that he
undertook never more to see the cardinal, whose fall was now certain.

Indeed, on account of his failure to obtain the divorce, Wolsey was
doomed to destruction. On the 9th of October, the same month as he opened
the Court of Chancery, he perceived a deadly coldness as of winter frost
around him. No one did him honour--the sun of Royal favour had set to
him for ever. On the same day Hales, the attorney-general, filed two
bills against him in the King's Bench, charging him with having incurred
the penalty of Præmunire by acting in the kingdom as the Pope's legate.
This was a most barefaced accusation, for he had accepted the legatine
authority by Henry's express permission; had exercised it for many years
with his full knowledge and approbation, and, in the affairs of the
divorce, at the earnest request of the king. But Henry VIII. had no law
but his own will, and never wanted reasons for punishing those who had
offended him.

Of Wolsey, as he appeared at this moment, scathed and stunned by the
thunderbolt of the royal wrath, we have a striking picture. The Bishop
of Bayonne, the French ambassador, says in a letter:--"I have been
to visit the cardinal in his distress, and I have witnessed the most
striking change of fortune. He explained to me his hard case in the worst
rhetoric that was ever heard. Both his tongue and his heart failed him.
He recommended himself to the pity of the king and madame [Francis I. and
his mother] with sighs and tears; and at last left me, without having
said anything near so moving as his appearance. His face is dwindled to
one-half its natural size. In truth, his misery is such that his enemies,
Englishmen as they are, cannot help pitying him. Still, they will carry
things to extremities. As for his legation, the seals, his authority,
etc., he thinks no more of them. He is willing to give up everything,
even the shirt from his back, and live in a hermitage, if the king would
but desist from his displeasure."

On the 17th of October Henry sent the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk to
demand the Great Seal; and they are said to have done that duty with
some ungenerous triumph. But Wolsey delivered up his authority without
complaint, and only sent in an offer surrendering all his personal estate
to his gracious master, on condition that he might retire to his diocese
on his church property. But the property of Wolsey had long been riveting
the greedy eye of Henry, and, next to Anne Boleyn, that was, probably,
the "weight which pulled him down." A message was soon brought him by
the same noblemen that the king expected an entire and unconditional
submission, whereupon he granted to the king the yearly profits of his
benefices, and threw himself on his mercy. It was then intimated that His
Majesty meant to reside at York Place (Whitehall) during the Parliament,
and that Wolsey might retire to Esher Place, in Surrey, a house belonging
to his bishopric of Winchester.

On the 3rd of November, after the long intermission of seven years,
a Parliament was called together. The main object of this unusual
occurrence was to complete the ruin of Wolsey, and place it beyond the
power of the king to restore him to favour--a circumstance of which the
courtiers were in constant dread. The committee of the House of Lords
presented to the king a string of no less than forty-four articles
against the fallen minister, enumerating and exaggerating all his
offences, and calling upon the monarch to take such order with him "that
he should never have any power, jurisdiction, or authority hereafter,
to trouble, vex, and impoverish the commonwealth of this your realm, as
he hath done heretofore, to the great hurt and damage of almost every
man, high or low." This address was carried to the Commons for their
concurrence; but there Thomas Cromwell, who by the favour of Wolsey had
risen from the very lowest condition to be his friend and steward, and
was now advanced to the king's service by the particular recommendation
of the cardinal, attacked the articles manfully, and caused the Commons
to reject them, as the members were persuaded that Cromwell was acting
by suggestion of the king; which is very probable, for so far from Henry
showing Cromwell any dislike for this proceeding, he continued to promote
him, till he became his prime minister, and was created Earl of Essex.

[Illustration: THE DISMISSAL OF WOLSEY. (_See p._ 152.)]

Henry, having now seized upon all the cardinal's property, the incomes
of his bishoprics, abbeys, and other benefices, his colleges at Ipswich
and Oxford, with all their furniture and revenues, his pensions, clothes,
and even his very tomb, seemed contented to leave him his life. He,
therefore, on the 12th of February, 1530, granted him a full pardon for
all his real and pretended crimes. He allowed him, moreover, to retain
the revenues of York. He gave him also a pension of 1,000 marks a year
out of the bishopric of Winchester, and soon after sent him a present of
£3,000 in money; and in plate, furniture, &c., the value of £3,374 3s.
7d., and gave him leave to reside at Richmond.

This new flow of royal favour wonderfully revived the cardinal's hopes,
and as vividly excited the fears of the Boleyn party. To have this
formidable man residing so near them as Richmond was too perilous to be
thought of. Some fine morning the king might suddenly ride over there,
and all be undone. Henry was, therefore, besieged with entreaties to
remove him farther from the Court, and to such a distance as should
prevent the possibility of an interview. They prevailed, and Wolsey
received an order through his friend Cromwell to go and reside in his
archbishopric of York. To the cardinal, who felt a strong persuasion
that if he could but obtain an interview with the king all would be set
right, this was next to a death-warrant. He entreated Cromwell to obtain
leave for him to reside at Winchester, but this was refused, and the Duke
of Norfolk, Anne's uncle, sent Wolsey word that if he did not get away
immediately into the North he would come and tear him in pieces with his
teeth. "Then," said Wolsey, "it is time for me to be gone."

Delighted with their metropolitan, the clergy of York waited upon him in
a body, and begged that he would allow himself to be installed in his
cathedral, according to the custom of his predecessors. Wolsey, after
taking time to consider of it, consented, on condition that it should be
done with as little splendour as possible. No sooner, however, was this
news divulged than the noblemen, gentlemen, and clergy of the county
sent into York great quantities of provisions, and made preparations
for a most magnificent feast. But this was suddenly prevented by a
very unexpected event. On the 4th of November, only three days before
the grand installation was to come off, the Earl of Northumberland,
accompanied by Sir William Walsh and a number of horsemen, arrived at
Cawood. Wolsey, believing in good news, went out to receive the Earl with
a cheerful countenance; and, observing his numerous retinue, he said,
"Ah! my lord, I perceive that you observe the precepts and instructions
which I gave you, when you were abiding with me in your youth, to cherish
your father's old servants." He then took the earl affectionately by the
hand, and led him into a bed-chamber. There he no doubt expected to hear
good tidings; but the earl, though greatly affected and embarrassed, laid
his hand on the old man's shoulder, and said, "My lord, I arrest you of
high treason." Wolsey was struck dumb, and stood motionless as a statue.
He then bowed to the order, and prepared for his journey. On his way to
London he was seized with dysentery at Sheffield Park, the mansion of
the Earl of Shrewsbury. The attack left him so weak that he was glad to
accept the hospitality of Leicester Abbey, where the abbot, at the head
of a procession of the monks, with lighted torches, received him. He was
completely worn out, and being lifted from his mule, said, "I am come,
my brethren, to lay my bones amongst you." The monks carried him to his
bed, where he swooned repeatedly; and the second morning his servants,
who had watched him with anxious affection, saw that he was dying. He
called to his bedside Sir William Kingston, and amongst others, addressed
to him these remarkable words:--"Had I but served God as diligently as I
have served the king, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs.
But this is the just reward that I must receive for my diligent pains
and study, not regarding my service to God, but only to my prince. Let
me advise you to take care what you put in the king's head, for you can
never put it out again. I have often kneeled before him, sometimes three
hours together, to persuade him from his will and appetite, but could not
prevail. He is a prince of most royal courage, and hath a princely heart;
for, rather than miss or want any part of his will, he will endanger one
half of his kingdom." On the 29th of November, 1530, thus died Thomas,
Lord Cardinal Wolsey, one of the most extraordinary characters that was
ever raised up and again overthrown by the mere will of a king, and who
unconsciously contributed to one of the most extensive revolutions of
human mind and government which the world has known.

In following the story of Wolsey to its close, we have a little
overstepped the progress of affairs. As soon as the great man was
out of the way, a ministry was formed of the leading persons of the
Boleyn party. The Duke of Norfolk, Anne's uncle, was made President of
the Council, Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, Lord Marshal, and the Earl of
Wiltshire, the father of Anne Boleyn, had a principal place. Sir Thomas
More, unfortunately for him as it proved, was made Lord Chancellor
instead of Wolsey, a promotion which he reluctantly accepted. Amongst
the king's servants, Stephen Gardiner, who had been introduced and
much employed by Wolsey, still remained high in the king's favour, and
occupied the post of his secretary. Gardiner, a bigoted Catholic, and
afterwards one of the most bloody persecutors of the Reformers, now,
however, in trying to promote the wishes of the king for the divorce,
unconsciously promoted the Reformation.



The king, returning from the progress which he had made to Moore Park,
and to Grafton, remained one night at Waltham. Gardiner and Fox were
lodged in the house of a Mr. Cressy, a gentleman of good family. After
supper the conversation turned on the grand topic of the day--the king's
divorce, and Gardiner and Fox detailed the difficulties that surrounded
it, and the apparent impossibility of getting the Pope to move in it. A
grave clergyman, the tutor of the family, of the name of Thomas Cranmer,
after listening to the discourse, was asked by Fox and Gardiner what
he thought of the matter. At first he declined to give his opinion on
so high a matter, but being pressed, he said, he thought they were
wrong altogether in the way they were seeking the divorce. As the Pope
evidently would not commit himself upon the subject, his opinion was
that they should not waste any more time in fruitless solicitations at
Rome, but submit this plain question to the most learned men and chief
universities of Europe: "Do the laws of God permit a man to marry his
brother's widow?" If, as he imagined, the answers were in the negative,
the Pope would not dare to pronounce a sentence in opposition to the
opinions of all these learned men and learned bodies.

On the return of the Court to Greenwich, Fox and Gardiner related this
conversation to the king, who instantly swore that "the man had got
the right sow by the ear," and ordered him instantly to be sent for to
Court. Cranmer, on his arrival, maintained his opinion in a manner which
wonderfully delighted Henry, and raised his hope of having at length hit
on the true mode of solving the difficulty.

Agents were despatched to obtain the required opinion from the different
universities, both in England and on the Continent, well provided with
that most persuasive of rhetoricians--money. At his own universities,
however, Henry found no little opposition. On the Continent, where
Henry's menaces had no weight, his purse was freely opened; and the
universities of Bologna, Padua, and Ferrara, as well as many learned
men, were prevailed on to take the view that Henry wished. In Germany
his agents were far less successful. Both Protestants and Catholics
in general condemned his proposed divorce; and Luther and Melanchthon
said he had much better follow the example of the patriarchs, and take
a second wife, than put away the first without any crime on her part.
From France and its fourteen universities Henry expected much more
compliance, but he was disappointed. From Orleans, Toulouse, and Bourges,
and from the civilians of Angers, doubtful decisions were procured, but
the theologians of the last city maintained the validity of the existing
marriage. The answers from other universities were either not received or
were suppressed.

The scheme of Cranmer had not worked particularly well; the opinions of
the universities were for the most part either adverse, or were forced,
and those of learned men more opposed than coinciding. There needed a
more determined spirit than that of Cranmer to break the way through the
wood of embarrassments in which they were involved, and the right man
now stepped forward in Thomas Cromwell, the former secretary of Wolsey.
He sought an interview with Henry, and determined, according to his own
phrase, "to make or mar," thus addressed him:--"It was not," he observed,
"for him to affect to give advice where so many wise and abler men had
failed, but when he saw the anxiety of his sovereign, he could no longer
be silent, whatever might be the result. There was a clear and obvious
course to pursue. Let the king do just what the princes of Germany
had done, throw off the yoke of Rome; and let him, by the authority,
declare himself, as he should be, the head of the Church within his own
dominions. At present England was a monster with two heads. But let the
king assume the authority now usurped by a foreign pontiff, an authority
from which so many evils and confusions to this realm had flowed, and
the monstrosity would be at an end; all would be simple, harmonious, and
devoid of difficulty. The clergy, sensible that their lives and fortunes
were in the hands of their own monarch--hands which could be no longer
paralysed by alien interference--from haughty antagonists would instantly
become the obsequious ministers of his will."

Henry listened to this new doctrine with equal wonder and delight, and
he thanked Cromwell heartily, and had him instantly sworn of his privy

No time was lost in trying the efficacy of Cromwell's daring scheme.
To sever that ancient union, which had existed so many ages, and was
hallowed in the eyes of the world by so many proud recollections was a
task at which the stoutest heart and most iron resolution might have
trembled; but Cromwell had taken a profound survey of the region he was
about to invade, and had learned its weakest places. He relied on the
unscrupulous impetuosity of the king's passion to bear him through;
he relied far more on the finesse of his own genius. With the calmest
resolution, he laid his finger on one single page of the statute-book,
and knew that he was master of the Church. The law which rendered any
one who received favours direct from the Pope guilty of a breach of the
Statute of Præmunire, permitted the monarch to suspend the action of
this Statute at his discretion. This he had done in the case of Wolsey.
When he accepted the legatine authority, the cardinal took care to obtain
a patent under the Great Seal, authorising the exercise of this foreign
power. But Wolsey, when he was called in question for the administration
of an office thus especially sanctioned by the Crown, neglected to
produce this deed of indemnity, hoping still to be restored to the royal
favour, and unwilling to irritate the king by any show of self-defence.
There lay the concealed weapon which the shrewd eye of Cromwell had
detected, and by which he could overturn the ecclesiastical fabric of
ages. He declared, to the consternation of the whole hierarchy, that not
only had Wolsey involved himself in all the penalties of Præmunire, but
the whole of the clergy with him. They had admitted his exercise of the
Papal authority, and thereby were become, in the language of the Statute,
his "fautors and abettors."

Dire was the dismay which at this charge seized on the whole body of the
clergy. The council ordered the Attorney-General to file an information
against the entire ecclesiastical body. Convocation assembled in haste,
and offered, as the price of a full pardon, £100,000. But still greater
were the amazement and dismay of the clergy, when they found that this
magnificent sum was rejected unless Convocation consented to declare,
in the preamble to the grant, that the king was "the protector and
only supreme head of the Church of England." By the king's permission,
however, the venerable Archbishop Warham introduced and carried an
amendment in Convocation, by which the grant was voted with this clause
in the preamble:--"Of which church and clergy we acknowledge His Majesty
to be the chief protector, the only and supreme lord, and, _as far as
the law of God will allow_, the supreme head." The wedge was introduced;
the severance was certain: the perfect accomplishment of it only awaited
another opportunity for an easier issue. The northern convocation adopted
the same language, and voted a grant of £18,840.

Henry, under the guidance of Cromwell, now procured an act to be passed
by Parliament, abolishing the annates, or first-fruits, which furnished
a considerable annual income to the Pope, and another abrogating the
authority of the clergy in Convocation, and attaching that authority to
the Crown. Feeling that in this struggle he should need the friendship
of Francis, he proposed a new treaty with France, which was signed in
London on the 23rd of June, 1532; and the more to strengthen the alliance
the two monarchs met between Calais and Boulogne. Great preparations
were made on both sides, and Henry begged Francis to bring his favourite
mistress with him. This was as an excuse for Henry to bring Anne Boleyn,
who was now created the Marchioness of Pembroke, and without whom he
could go nowhere. It is said that Francis, during the interview, had
urged Henry to wait no longer for the permission of the Pope, but to
marry the Marchioness of Pembroke without further delay; but it is quite
certain that another counsellor was more urgent, and that was--Time.
It was high time, indeed, that the marriage should take place if they
meant to legitimatise her offspring, for Anne Boleyn was with child.
Accordingly, the marriage took place on the 25th of January, 1533. The
ceremony, however, was strictly private. In fact the marriage was kept
so secret that it was not even communicated to Cranmer, who had just
returned from Germany, and taken up his abode in the family of Anne
Boleyn. Cranmer, whilst in Germany, had married, Catholic priest as he
was, the niece of Osiander, the Protestant minister of Nuremberg. This
lady he had brought secretly to England, and was now living a married
priest, in direct violation of the Church that he belonged to.

Archbishop Warham was now dead, and Henry nominated Cranmer to the vacant
primacy. He was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on the 30th of
March, 1533, and he was immediately ordered to proceed with the divorces.
The new primate, therefore, wrote on the 11th of April, a formal letter
to the king, soliciting the issue of a commission to try that cause, and
pronounce a definite sentence. This was immediately done; and Cranmer,
as the head of this commission, accompanied by Gardiner, now Bishop of
Winchester, the Bishops of London, Lincoln, Bath, and Wells, with many
other divines and canonists, opened their court at Dunstable, in the
monastery of St. Peter, six miles from Ampthill, where the queen resided.
On the 12th of May Cranmer pronounced Catherine contumacious, and on the
23rd, he declared her marriage was null and invalid from the beginning.
On the 28th, in a court held at Lambeth, the archbishop pronounced the
king's marriage with Anne Boleyn to be good and valid. On the 1st of
June, being Whit Sunday, Anne was crowned with every possible degree of
pomp and display.

Henry, notwithstanding his separation from Rome, was anxious to obtain
the sanction of his marriage by the Pope; but, instead of that, Clement
fulminated his denunciations against him over Europe. He annulled
Cranmer's sentence on Henry's first marriage, and published a bull
excommunicating Henry and Anne, unless they separated before the next
September, when the new queen expected her confinement. Henry despatched
ambassadors to the different foreign courts to announce his marriage, and
the reasons which had led him to it; but from no quarter did he receive
much congratulation.


However sincere and earnest the two principals in this contest, the Pope
and Henry, might be, there were at work in the Court of England and the
Court of Rome parties really more powerful than their principals, who
were resolved that the two desiderata to this pacification never should
be yielded. Cromwell and his party commenced an active campaign in
Parliament for breaking beyond remedy the tie with Rome, and establishing
an independent church in this country. This able man, who for his past
services was now made Chancellor of the Exchequer for life, framed a
series of bills, and introduced them to Parliament, soon after the
Christmas holidays. These included an act establishing the title of the
king as supreme head of the English Church, and vesting in him the right
to appoint to all bishoprics, and to decide all ecclesiastical causes.
Payments or appeals to Rome were strictly forbidden by the confirmation
of the Annates Act, the Act against "Peter Pence," and that "in
Restraint of appeals" whereby the whole Roman jurisdiction in England was
decisively repudiated.

By a further bill, the marriage of Catherine--strangely enough at the
very moment that Henry had conceded its final decision at Rome--was
declared unlawful, and that of Anne Boleyn confirmed. The issue by
the first marriage was declared illegitimate, and excluded from the
succession, and the issue of the marriage of Anne was made inheritable
of the crown, and that only, and any one casting any slander on this
marriage, or endeavouring to prejudice the succession of its issue, was
declared guilty of high treason, if by writing, printing, or deed, and
misprision of treason if by word. Thus was a new power established by
the Crown; every person of full age, or on hereafter coming to full age,
was to be sworn to obey this act. Not only new powers were thus created,
but a new crime was invented; and though this statute was swept away in
the course of a few years, yet it is a remarkable one, for it became the
precedent for many a succeeding and despotic government.


REIGN OF HENRY VIII. (_continued_).

     The Maid of Kent and Her Accomplices--Act of Supremacy and
     Consequent Persecutions--The "Bloody Statute"--Deaths of Fisher
     and More--Suppression of the Smaller Monasteries--Trial and Death
     of Anne Boleyn--Henry Marries Jane Seymour--Divisions in the
     Church--The Pilgrimage of Grace--Birth of Prince Edward--Death
     of Queen Jane--Suppression of the Larger Monasteries--The
     Six Articles--Judicial Murders--Persecution of Cardinal
     Pole--Cromwell's Marriage Scheme--Its Failure and his Fall.

The discontent aroused in the country amongst those attached to the
church of Rome, by the separation, and by the seizure of church property,
with the fear of still greater spoliation, excited many murmurings.
The king, aware that his proceedings were regarded with disapprobation
by a vast body of people both at home and abroad, grew suspicious of
every rumour, jealous, and vindictive. Amongst the singular conspiracies
against the royal transactions, one of the earliest arose out of the
visions of a young woman of Addington, in Surrey, of the name of
Elizabeth Barton, who was of a nervous temperament, and whose mind
was greatly excited by the sufferings of Queen Catherine. The rector
of the parish, struck by many of the words which fell from her in her
trances, regarded her as a religiously inspired person, and recommended
her to quit the village, and enter the convent of St. Sepulchre at
Canterbury. There her ecstacies and revelations, probably strengthened
by the atmosphere of the place, became more frequent and strong. The
nuns regarded her declarations as prophecies, and the fame of her soon
spread round the country, where she acquired the name of the "Holy Maid
of Kent." It was observed that her visions had all a tendency to exalt
the power of the Pope and the clergy, and to denounce the vengeance of
Heaven on all who disobeyed or attempted to injure them. At length Henry
considered that the words of the maid, which were sedulously taken down
and circulated through the press, were a powerful means of stirring up
the popular feeling against him, and he therefore ordered the arrest of
herself and the chief of her accomplices.

In November they were brought into the Star Chamber and carefully
examined by Cranmer, the archbishop, Cromwell, and Hugh Latimer, who
soon after was made Bishop of Worcester. This tribunal appears to have
intimidated both the maid and her abettors into a confession of the
imposture, and they were condemned to stand during the sermon on Sunday
at St. Paul's Cross, and there acknowledge the fraud. After that they
were remanded to prison, and it was thought that, having disarmed these
people by this exposure, he would be satisfied with the punishment they
had received. But Henry was now become every day more and more addicted
to blood, and ready to shed it for any infringement of those almost
Divine rights which the supremacy of the Church had conferred on him. On
the 21st of February, 1534, therefore, a bill of attainder was brought
into the House of Lords against the maid and her abettors, on the plea
that their conspiracy tended to bring into peril the king's life and
crown. The bill, notwithstanding that it was regarded with horror by the
public as a strange and cruel stretch of authority, was passed by the
slavish Parliament; and on the 21st of April, 1534, the seven accused
were drawn to Tyburn and hanged. Besides the persons who suffered
immediately with her, there were also accused of corresponding with her,
Edward Thwaites, gentleman, Thomas Lawrence, registrar to the Archdeacon
of Canterbury, the venerable Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and Sir Thomas

Fisher, who was in his seventy-sixth year, confessed that he had seen
and conversed with Elizabeth Barton; that he had heard her utter her
prophecies concerning the king; and that he had not mentioned them to the
sovereign, because her declarations did not refer to any violence against
him, but merely to a visitation of Providence; and because, also, he knew
that the king had received the communication of the prophecies from the
maid herself, who had had for that purpose a private audience with Henry.
He was, therefore, he said, guiltless of any conspiracy, and as he would
answer it before the throne of Christ, knew not of any malice or evil
that was intended by her or by any other earthly creature unto the king's

The name of Sir Thomas More was erased from this bill, though he could
not be more innocent than Fisher, but not more than a fortnight passed
before the bloodthirsty tyrant had contrived a more deadly snare for
them both. He had them summoned, and commanded to take the new oath of
allegiance. They were both of them ready to swear to the king's full
temporal authority, and to the succession of his children, but they could
not conscientiously take the oath which declared Henry the supreme head
of the English Church, and the marriage with Anne Boleyn lawful. Cranmer,
who on this occasion showed more mildness and liberality than he had
shown honest principles in his elevation, would fain have admitted these
illustrious men to take the oath so far as it applied to temporal, and to
dispense with it as regarded spiritual matters. But he pleaded in vain,
and they were both committed to the Tower.

Henry, having got the Acts of Parliament for the Supremacy and the
Succession, was not of a temper to let them become a dead letter.
Whether it was owing to the carelessness of Parliament or the
carefulness of the Crown, the oath of the Succession had not been
verbally defined, and Henry now availed himself of this emission to
alter and add to it so as to please himself. From the clergy he took
care to obtain an oath including the full recognition of his supremacy
in the Church, omitting the qualifying clause in the former one; and an
assertion that the Bishop of Rome had no more authority within the realm
than any other bishop. He spent the summer in administering this oath to
the monks, friars, and nuns, also to all clergymen and clerical bodies
whatever, and in obtaining decisions against the papal authority from
the two convocations and the universities. The oath to the laity was
administered to men and women alike. Remembering the mental reservation
of Cranmer when he swore obedience to the Pope, he now demanded from
every prelate an oath of renunciation of every protest previously or
secretly made contrary to the oath of supremacy. He ordered that the very
word Pope should be obliterated carefully out of all books used in public

If Henry had been a zealous Reformer, a disciple of the new creed, we
might have attributed his proceedings to an arbitrary and uncharitable
earnestness for what he deemed the truth; but he was just as bigoted
in the old faith as ever. His Bloody Statute, as it was called, the
Statute of Six Articles, maintained that the actual presence was in
the sacramental bread and wine; that priests were forbidden to marry;
that vows of chastity were to be observed; and that mass and auricular
confession were indispensable. Those who opposed any of these dogmas
were to suffer death; no doctrine was to be believed contrary to the Six
Articles; no persons were to sing or rhyme contrary to them; no book was
to be possessed by any one against the Holy Sacrament; no annotations or
preambles were to exist in Bibles or Testaments in English; and nothing
was to be taught contrary to the king's command. In fact, the country had
only got rid of an Italian Pope and got an English one in his stead--Pope
Henry VIII.

The first-fruits of this awful concession to a vain and selfish
man of the usurpation of God's own dominion in the soul, were an
indiscriminating mass of Lollards, Lutherans, Anabaptists, and Roman
Catholics committed to the flames. On the 22nd of July, during the
prorogation of Parliament, Firth, a young man of singular learning,
who had written a book against purgatory, transubstantiation, and
consubstantiation, was burnt in Smithfield; and a poor tailor, Andrew
Hewett, who simply affirmed that he thought Firth was right, was burnt
with him. Several Anabaptists underwent the same fate.

[Illustration: SIR THOMAS MORE. (_After the Portrait by Holbein._)]

As that year closed in blood, so the next opened. The priors of the
then Charterhouses of London, Axholm, and Belleval, waited on Cromwell
to explain their conscientious scruples; but Cromwell, who was become
the harsh and unhesitating instrument of Henry's despotism, instead
of listening to them, committed them to the Tower on a charge of high
treason, for refusing the king "the dignity, style, and name of his
Royal estate." When he brought them to trial the jury shrank from giving
such a verdict against men of their acknowledged virtue and character.
Cromwell hastened to the court in person, and threatened to hang them
instead of the prisoners, if they did not without further delay pronounce
them guilty. Five days later these three dignitaries were executed at
Tyburn, with Richard Reynolds, a doctor of divinity and monk of Sion, and
John Hailes, Vicar of Thistleworth. They were all treated with savage
barbarity, being hanged, cut down alive, embowelled, and dismembered. On
the 18th of June, nearly a fortnight afterwards, Exmew, Middlemore, and
Newdigate, three Carthusian monks from the Charterhouse, were executed,
with the same atrocities.


Whilst these horrors struck with consternation all at home, Henry
proceeded to a deed which extended the feeling of abhorrence all over
Europe. He shed the blood of Fisher and More. We have stated that
Parliament had not enacted the precise oath for the refusal of which
Fisher and More were arraigned. But this made no difference: the king
willed it, and the submissive legislature passed a bill of attainder for
misprision of treason against them both. On this they and their families
were stripped of everything they had. The poor old bishop was left in
a complete state of destitution, and had not even clothes to cover his
nakedness. Sir Thomas More was dependent wholly for the support of his
life on his married daughter, Margaret Roper. They were repeatedly
called up after their attainder, and treacherously examined as to any
act or word that they might have done or uttered contrary to the king's
supremacy, as if to aggravate their crime and justify a more rigorous
sentence. The Pope Clement was dead, and was succeeded by Paul III.,
who, hearing of the sad condition of the venerable Fisher, sent him a
cardinal's hat, thinking it might make Henry less willing to proceed
to extremities with him. But the effect on the tyrant was quite the
contrary. On hearing of the Pope's intention, he exclaimed, "Ha! Paul may
send him a hat, but I will take care that he have never a head to wear it

Accordingly, the aged prelate was brought out of the Tower on the 22nd of
June, 1535, and beheaded. His head was stuck upon London Bridge, with his
face turned towards the Kentish hills, amid which he had spent so many
pleasant years. The body of the old bishop was stripped, and left naked
on the spot till evening, when it was carried away by the guards, and
buried in Allhallows churchyard at Barking. Such was the manner in which
this supreme head of the Church treated his former tutor, and one of the
most accomplished and pious men in Christendom.

More, the scholar, the wit, the genius, raised reluctantly to the
chancellorship, had there so far deteriorated from the noble mood in
which he had written his "Utopia" as to have become, contrary to all its
doctrines and spirit, a persecutor. On the 14th of June he was visited in
the Tower by Doctors Aldridge, Layton, Curwen, and Mr. Bedle, and there
strictly interrogated in the presence of Pelstede, Whalley, and Rice, as
to whether he had held any correspondence since he came into the Tower
with Bishop Fisher, or others, and what had become of the letters he
had received. He replied that George, the lieutenant's servant, had put
them into the fire, against his wish, saying there was no better keeper
than the fire. He was then asked whether he would not acknowledge the
lawfulness of the king's marriage, and his headship of the Church. He
declined to give an answer.

At length, on the 1st of July, he was brought out of the Tower, and
was conducted on foot through the streets of London to Westminster. He
was wrapped only in a coarse woollen garment, his hair had grown grey,
his face was pale and emaciated, for he had been nearly a year a close
prisoner. This was thought well calculated to teach a lesson of obedience
to the people; when they saw how the king handled even ex-chancellors and
cardinals. When he arrived, bowed with suffering, and supporting himself
on a staff, in that hall where he had presided with so much dignity, all
who saw him were struck with astonishment. In order to confound him, and
prevent the dreaded effect of his eloquence, his enemies had caused the
indictment against him to be drawn out an immense length, and the charges
to be grossly exaggerated and enveloped in clouds of words. Sentence
of death was pronounced upon him, and he rose to address the Court. In
the rudest manner they attempted to silence him, and twice, by their
clamour, they succeeded; but the firmness of the noble victim at length
triumphed, and he told them that he could now openly avow what he had
before concealed from every human being, that the oath of supremacy was
contrary to English law. He declared that he had no enmity against his
judges. There would, he observed, have always been a scene of contention,
and he prayed that as Paul had consented to the death of Stephen, and
yet was afterwards called to tread in the same path, and ascend to the
same heaven, so might he and they yet meet there. "And so," he added, in
conclusion, "may God preserve you all, and especially my lord the king,
and send him good counsel."

As he turned from the bar, his son rushed through the hall, fell upon
his knees, and implored his blessing; and, on approaching the Tower
Wharf, his daughter, Margaret Roper, forced her way through the guard
which surrounded him, and, clasping him round the neck, wept and sobbed
aloud. The noble man, now clothed with all the calm dignity of the
Christian philosopher, summoned fortitude enough to take a loving and a
final farewell of her; but as he was moved on, the distracted daughter
turned back, and, flying once more through the crowd, hung on his neck
in the abandonment of grief. This was too much for his stoicism; he shed
tears, whilst with deep emotion he repeated his blessing, and uttered
words of Christian consolation. The people and the guards were so deeply
affected, that they too burst into tears, and it was some time before the
officers could summon resolution to part the father and his child.

On the 6th of July he was summoned to execution, and informed that the
king, as an especial favour, had commuted his punishment from hanging,
drawing, and quartering, to decapitation. On this Sir Thomas, who had now
taken his leave of the world, and met death with the cheerful humour of a
man who is well assured that he is on the threshold of a better, replied
with his wonted promptitude of wit, "God preserve all my friends from
such favour." As he was about to ascend the scaffold, some one expressed
a fear lest it should break down, for it appeared weak. "Mr. Lieutenant,"
said More, smiling, "see me safe up, and for my coming down let me shift
for myself." The executioner then approached, and asked his forgiveness.
More embraced him, and said, "Friend, thou wilt render me the greatest
service in the power of any mortal; but," putting an angel into his hand,
"my neck is so short, that I fear thou wilt gain little credit in the way
of thy profession." The same fear of the eloquence of the illustrious
victim which had attempted to stop his mouth on the trial, now forbade
him to address the multitude; he therefore contented himself with
saying that he died a faithful subject to the king, and a true Catholic
before God. He then prayed, and, laying his head upon the block, bade
the executioner stay his hand a moment while he put back his beard. For
"that," said he, "has never committed any treason." His head was severed
at a single blow, and was, like Fisher's, fixed on London Bridge.

But it was not merely in lopping off the heads of honest statesmen and
prelates that Henry VIII. now displayed the powers of supreme head
over the Church. There was a more tempting prey which allured his
avaricious soul, and promised to recruit his exhausted treasury. These
were the monasteries, convents, and abbeys. These institutions had grown
excessively corrupt through time. Without depending on the reports of
Henry's commissioners, whose business it was to make out a case for him
against them, there is abundant evidence in contemporary writings that
the monks, nuns, and friars were grown extremely sensual and corrupt.
Rage and cupidity alike urged Henry to imitate the Reformers of Germany,
and seize the spoils of this wealthy body. Cromwell--whom he had
appointed Vicar-General, a strange office for a layman--went the whole
length with him in those views; nay, he was the man who first turned his
eyes on this great attractive mass of wealth, and hallooed him to the
spoil. He had told him that, if once he was established by Parliament as
head of the Church, all that opulence was his. There can be no doubt that
it was to carry out this seizure that Cromwell was put into that very
office of Vicar-General, as the only man to do the business, and he went
to work upon it with right good will.

The first thing was to appoint a commission, and to obtain such a
report as should induce Parliament to pass an act of suppression of the
religious houses, and the forfeiture of all their property to the Crown.
The Archbishop of Paris, years before, had confidently affirmed, that
whenever Wolsey should fall, the spoliation of the Church would quickly
follow. To expedite this matter as much as possible, the whole kingdom
was divided into districts, and to each district was appointed a couple
of commissioners, who were armed with eighty-six questions to propound to
the monastic orders. As acknowledgment of the supremacy of the king and
approbation of his marriage were made requisites of compliance, there was
little chance of escape for any monastery, be its morals what they might.

The visitors had secret instructions to seek, in the first place, the
lesser houses, and to exhort the inmates voluntarily to surrender them
to the king, and, where they did not succeed, to collect such a body of
evidence as should warrant the suppression of those houses; but after
zealously labouring at this object through the winter, they could only
prevail on seven small houses to surrender. A report was then prepared,
which considerably surprised the public by stating that the lesser houses
were abandoned to the most shameful sloth and immorality, but that the
large and more opulent ones, contrary to all human experience, were more
orderly. The secret of this representation was, that the abbots and
priors of the great houses were lords of Parliament, and were, therefore,
present to expose any false statement.

On the 4th of March, 1536, a bill was passed hastily through both Houses,
transferring to the king and his heirs all monastic establishments the
clear value of which did not exceed £200 per annum. It was calculated
that this bill--which, however, did not pass the Commons till Henry had
sent for them, and told them that he would apply his favourite remedy
for stiff necks--would dissolve no less than 380 communities, and add
£32,000 to the annual income of the Crown, besides the presents received
of £100,000 in money, plate, and jewels. The cause of these presents
was a clause in the Act of Parliament, which left it to the discretion
of the king to found any of these houses anew; a clause which was
actively worked by Cromwell and his commissioners, and, by the hopes
they inspired, drew large sums from the menaced brethren, part of which
lodged in the pockets of the minister and his agents, and part reached
the Crown. Cromwell amassed a large fortune from such sources.

The Parliament, which had now sat seven years, and which was one of the
most slavish and base bodies that ever were brought together--having
yielded every popular right and privilege which the imperious monarch
demanded, and augmented the Royal prerogative to a pitch of actual
absolutism; having altered the succession, changed the system of
ecclesiastical government, abolished a great number of the ancient
religious houses without thereby much benefiting the Crown--was now
dismissed, having done that for this worthless king which should cost
some of his successors their thrones or their heads, and a braver and
more honourable generation the blood of its best men to undo again.

Anne Boleyn, on hearing of Catherine's death, which occurred in January,
1536, was so rejoiced that she could not help crying out, "Now I am
indeed a queen!" And yet, in truth, never had she less cause for triumph.
Already the lecherous eye of her worthless husband had fallen on one of
_her_ maids, as it had formerly fallen on one of Catherine's in her own
person. This was Jane Seymour, a daughter of a knight of Wiltshire, who
was not only of great beauty, but was distinguished for a gentle and
sportive manner, equally removed from the Spanish gravity of Catherine
and the French levity of Anne Boleyn. Before the death of Catherine,
this fresh amour of Henry's was well known in the palace to all but
the reigning queen; and, according to Wyatt, Anne only became aware
of it by entering a room one day, and beholding Jane Seymour seated
on Henry's knee, in a manner the most familiar, and as if accustomed
to that indulgence. She saw at once that not only was Henry ready to
bestow his regards on another, but that other was still more willing to
step into her place than she had been to usurp that of Catherine. Anne
was far advanced in pregnancy, and was in great hopes of riveting the
king's affections to her by the birth of a prince; but the shock which
she now received threw her into such agitation that she was prematurely
delivered--of a boy, indeed, but dead. Henry, the moment that he heard of
this unlucky accident, rushed into the queen's chamber, and upbraided her
savagely "with the loss of his boy." Anne, stung by this cruelty, replied
that he had to thank himself and "that wench Jane Seymour" for it. The
fell tyrant retired, muttering his vengeance, and the die was now cast
irrevocably for Anne Boleyn, if it were not before.

It was a great misfortune for Anne that she had never been able to lay
aside that levity of manner which she had acquired by spending her
juvenile years at the French Court. After her elevation to the throne,
she was too apt to forget, with those about her, the sober dignity which
belonged to the queen, and to converse with the officers about her more
in the familiar manner of the maid-of-honour which she had once been.
This freedom and gaiety had been caught at by the Court gossips, and now
scandals were whispered abroad, and, as soon as the way was open by the
anger and fresh love affair of the king, carried to him. Such accusations
were precisely what he wanted, as a means to rid himself of her. A plot
was speedily concocted, in which she was to be charged with criminal
conduct towards not only three officers of the Royal household--Brereton,
Weston, and Norris--but also with Mark Smeaton, the king's musician,
and, still more horrible, with her own brother, the Viscount Rochford. A
court of inquiry was at once appointed, in which presided Cromwell, the
Lord Chancellor, and the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, Anne's determined
enemies. On the 28th of April they began with Brereton, and committed
him to the Tower. On Sunday, the 31st, they examined Smeaton, and sent
him also to the same prison. The following day, being the 1st of May,
the court was suspended to celebrate the gaieties usual on that day; and
these were used for the purpose of obtaining a public cause of accusation
against Sir Henry Norris. There was to be held a tournament at Greenwich
that day, in which the Viscount Rochford was to be opposed by Norris as
the principal defendant.

In the midst of the tournament, Henry, who, no doubt, was watching for
some opportunity to entrap his victims, suddenly found one. The queen,
leaning over the balcony, witnessing the tournament, accidentally
let fall her handkerchief. Norris took it up, and, it was said,
presumptuously wiped his face with it, and then handed it to the queen on
his spear. The thing is wholly improbable, the true version most likely
being that the courtly Norris kissed the handkerchief on taking it up--an
ordinary knightly usage--and that this was seized upon as a pretended
charge against him. Henry, however, suddenly frowned, rose abruptly from
his seat, and, black as a thunder-cloud, marched out of the gallery,
followed by his six attendants. Every one was amazed; the queen appeared
terror-stricken, and immediately retired. Sir Henry Norris, and not only
Norris but Lord Rochford, who had had nothing whatever to do with the
handkerchief (showing, therefore, that the matter was preconcerted), was
arrested at the barriers on a charge of high treason. The queen herself
was taken to her lodgings in the Tower.

[Illustration: ANNE BOLEYN. (_After the Portrait by Holbein._)]

Left alone in her prison, Anne's affliction seemed to actually disturb
her intellect. She would sit for hours plunged in a stupor of melancholy,
shedding torrents of tears, and then she would abruptly burst into wild
laughter. To her attendants she would say that she should be a saint in
heaven; that no rain would fall on the earth till she was delivered from
prison; and that the most grievous calamities would oppress the nation in
punishment for her death. At other times she became calm and devotional,
and requested that a consecrated host might be placed in her closet.

But the unhappy queen was not suffered to enjoy much retirement. It
was necessary for Henry to establish a charge against her sufficiently
strong to turn the feeling of the nation against her, and from him; and
for this purpose no means were neglected which tyranny and harshness
of the intensest kind could suggest. Whilst the accused gentlemen were
interrogated, threatened, cajoled, and even put to the torture in their
cells, to force a confession of guilt from them, two women were set over
Anne to watch her every word, look, and act, to draw from her in her
unguarded conversation everything they could to implicate her, and, no
doubt, to invent and colour where the facts did not sufficiently answer
the purpose required. These were Lady Boleyn, the wife of Anne's uncle,
Sir Edward Boleyn, a determined enemy of hers, and Mrs. Cosyns, the
wife of Anne's master of the horse, a creature of the most unprincipled

Mrs. Cosyns asked her why Norris had told his almoner on the preceding
Saturday "that he could swear the queen was a good woman?" "Marry,"
replied Anne, "I bade him do so, for I asked him why he did not go on
with his marriage, and he made answer that he would tarry awhile. 'Then,'
said I, 'you look for dead men's shoes. If aught but good should come to
the king [who was then afflicted with a dangerous ulcer], you would look
to have me.' He denied it, and I told him I could undo him if I would."
Again, the queen expressed some apprehension of what Weston might say
in his examination, for he had told her on Whit Monday last that Norris
came into her chamber more for her sake than for Madge, one of her maids
of honour. She had told him he did love her kinswoman, Mrs. Skelton,
and that he loved not his wife; and he answered again that he loved one
in his house better than them both. She asked him who, and he said,
"Yourself," on which she defied him. Such was the stuff which Kingston
gathered at the hands of these wretched spies, to be used against the
queen, who was to be got rid of.

Anne exhorted Kingston to convey a letter from her to Cromwell, but he
declined such a responsibility; she contrived, however, by some means, on
the fourth day of her imprisonment, to forward a letter, which conveys a
very different impression from the conversation reported by the female
spies, through Cromwell to the king.

"Never," she wrote, "did I at any time so far forget myself in my
exaltation or received queenship, but that I always looked for such
alteration as I now find; for the ground of my preferment being on no
surer foundation than your grace's fancy, the least alteration was fit
and sufficient (I knew) to draw that fancy to some other object.

"Try me, good king, but let me have a lawful trial, and let not my sworn
enemies sit as my accusers and as my judges; yea, let me receive an open
trial, for my truth shall fear no open shame. Then shall you see either
mine innocency cleared, your suspicions and conscience satisfied, the
ignominy and slander of the world stopped, or my guilt openly declared."

This letter, a copy of which was found amongst the papers of Cromwell,
when his turn came to pay the penalty of serving that remorseless tyrant,
is the letter of an innocent woman, and forms a strange contrast to the
dubious language put into her mouth by those who reported her speech on
the scaffold.

On the 10th of May an indictment for high treason was found by the grand
jury of Westminster against Anne and the five gentlemen accused; and on
the same day the four commoners were put upon their trial in Westminster
Hall, for the alleged offences against the honour and life of their
sovereign lord. A true bill was also found against them by the grand
juries of Kent and Middlesex, some of the offences being laid in those
counties, at Greenwich, Hampton Court, &c. Smeaton, the musician, was the
only one who could be brought to confess his guilt; and it is declared by
Constantyne, who was in attendance on the trials, and wrote an account
of the proceedings, that he "had been grievously racked" to bring him to
that confession. According to Grafton's chronicle, he was beguiled into
signing the deposition which criminated the queen as well as himself,
by an offer of pardon like that so repeatedly made to Norris. The weak
man fell into the snare; the rest of the accused stood firmly by their
innocence, and neither threats nor promises could move them from it.
Norris was a great favourite with the king, who still appeared anxious
to save his life, and sent to him, offering him again full pardon if he
would confess his guilt. But Norris nobly declared that he believed in
his conscience that the queen was wholly innocent of the crimes charged
upon her; but whether she were so or not, he could not accuse her of
anything, and that he would rather die a thousand deaths than falsely
accuse the innocent. On this being told to Henry, he exclaimed, "Let him
hang then! hang him up then!" All the four were condemned to death.

On the 16th of May Queen Anne and her brother, Lord Rochford, were
brought to trial in the great hall in the Tower, a temporary court
being erected within it for the purpose. The Duke of Norfolk, a known
and notorious enemy of the accused, was created Lord High Steward for
the occasion, and presided--a sufficient proof, if any were needed,
that no justice was intended. His son, the Earl of Surrey, sat as
Deputy Earl-Marshal beneath him. Twenty-six peers, as "lords-triers,"
constituted the court, and amongst these appeared the Duke of Suffolk, a
nobleman still more inveterate in his hatred of the queen than the chief
judge himself. The Earl of Northumberland, Anne's old lover, was one
of the lords-triers; but he was seized with such a disorder, no doubt
resulting from his memory of the past, that he was obliged to quit the
court before the arraignment of Lord Rochford, and did not live many
months. Henry, by his tyranny, had forcibly rent asunder his engagement
with Anne; had embittered his life; and tired of the treasure which would
have made Northumberland happy, he now called upon that injured man to
assist in destroying one whom he had already lost.

Lord Rochford defended himself with such courage and ability that even
in that packed court there were many who, by their sense of justice,
were led to brave the vengeance of the terrible king, and voted for his
acquittal. The chief witness against him was his own wife, who had hated
Anne Boleyn from the moment that she became the king's favourite; and
now with a most monstrous violation of all nature and decency, strove to
destroy her queen and her own husband together. Spite of the impression
which the young viscount made on some of his judges, he was condemned,
for Henry willed it, and that was enough.

When he was removed Anne, Queen of England, was summoned into court, and
appeared attended by her ladies and Lady Kingston, and was conducted to
the bar by the Constable and Lieutenant of the Tower. She stood alone,
without counsel or adviser; yet in that trying moment she displayed a
dignified composure worthy of her station and of the character of an
innocent woman. Crispin, Lord of Milherve, who was present, says that
"she presented herself at the bar with the true dignity of a queen, and
curtsied to her judges, looking round upon them all without any signs of
fear." When the indictment against her, charging her with adultery and
incest, had been read, she held up her hand and pleaded not guilty.

Anne seems to have shown great ability and address on the occasion. She
is said to have spoken with extraordinary force, wit, and eloquence,
and so completely scattered all the vile tissue of lies that was brought
against her, that the spectators imagined that there was nothing for it
but to acquit her. "It was reported without doors," says Wyatt, "that
she had cleared herself in a most wise and noble speech." But, alas! it
was neither wisdom, wit, truth, innocence, eloquence, nor all the powers
and virtues which could be assembled in one soul, which could draw an
acquittal from that assembly of slaves bound by selfish terror to the
yoke of the remorseless despot who now disgraced the throne. "Had the
peers given their verdict, according to the expectation of the assembly,"
says Bishop Godwin, "she had been acquitted." But they knew they must
give it according to the expectation of their implacable master, and she
was condemned.

Henry lost no time in getting rid of the woman, to obtain whom he had
moved heaven and earth for years--threatening the peace of kingdoms, and
rending the ancient bonds of the Church. The very day on which she was
condemned, he signed her death-warrant, and sent Cranmer to confess her.
There is something rather hinted at than proved in this part of these
strange proceedings. Anne, when she was conveyed from Greenwich to the
Tower, told her enemies proudly that nothing could prevent her dying
their queen; and now, when she had seen Cranmer, she was in high spirits,
and said to her attendants that she believed she should be spared after
all, and that she understood that she was to be sent to Antwerp. The
meaning of this the event of next day sufficiently explained. In the
morning, on a summons from Archbishop Cranmer, she was conveyed privately
from the Tower to Lambeth, where she voluntarily submitted to a judgment
that her marriage with the king had been invalid, and was, therefore,
from the first null and void. Thus she consented to dethrone herself,
to unwife herself, and to bastardise her only child. Why? Undoubtedly
from the promise of life, and from fear of the horrid death by fire. As
she had received the confident idea of escape with life from the visit
of Cranmer, there can be no rational doubt that he had been employed by
the king to tamper with her fears of death and the stake, and draw this
concession from her. Does any one think this impossible or improbable in
Cranmer--the great Reformer of the Church? Let him weigh his very next

Cranmer had formerly examined the marriage of Henry and Anne carefully
by the canon law, and had pronounced it good and valid. He now
proceeded to contradict every one of his former arguments and decisions,
and pronounced the same marriage null and void. A solemn mockery of
everything true, serious, and Divine was now gone through. Henry
appointed Dr. Sampson his proctor in the case; Anne had assigned her
the Drs. Wotton and Barbour. The objections to the marriage were read
over to them in the presence of the queen. The king's proctor could
not dispute them; the queen's were, with pretended reluctance, obliged
to admit them, and both united in demanding a judgment. Then the great
Archbishop and Reformer, "having previously invoked the name of Christ,
and having God alone before his eyes," pronounced definitively that the
marriage formally contracted, solemnised, and consummated between Henry
and Anne was from the first illegal, and, therefore, no marriage at all;
and the poor woman, who had been induced to submit to this deed of shame
and of infamous deception, was sent back, not to life, not to exile at
Antwerp--but to the block!

[Illustration: ANNE BOLEYN'S LAST FAREWELL OF HER LADIES. (_See p._ 168.)]

Friday, the 19th of May, was the day fixed for her execution, and on
that morning she rose at two o'clock and resumed her devotions with
her almoner. She sent for Sir William Kingston to be witness to her
last solemn protest of her innocence before taking the sacrament. A few
minutes before twelve o'clock she was led forth by the Lieutenant of the
Tower to the scaffold. "Never," said a foreign gentleman present, "had
the queen looked so beautiful before." Her composure was equal to her
beauty. She removed her hat and collar herself, and put a small linen cap
upon her head, saying, "Alas! poor head, in a very brief space thou wilt
roll in the dust on the scaffold; and as in life thou didst not merit to
wear a crown, so in death thou deserved not better doom than this." She
then took a very affectionate farewell of her ladies. Having given to
Mary Wyatt, the sister of Sir Thomas Wyatt, who attended her through all
her trouble, the little book of devotions which she held in her hand, and
whispered to her some parting words, she laid her head on the block. One
of the ladies then covered her eyes with a bandage, and as the poor queen
was saying, "O Lord, have mercy on my soul," the executioner, who had
been sent for from Calais, severed her head from her body at one stroke
of the sword. Her body was thrust into a chest used for keeping arrows
in, and buried in the same grave with that of her brother, Lord Rochford,
no coffin being provided.


Henry now repealed the late act of settlement, and passed a new one
through the compliant Parliament, entailing the crown on the issue by
Jane Seymour, whom he married on the morning after Anne's execution.
He obtained, moreover, a power to bequeath the succession by letters
patent, or by his last will, in case of having no fresh issue of his own,
on any person whom he thought proper. In life and in death he demanded
absolute power over every principle of the Constitution, and this
Parliament, which would have granted him anything, conceded it. It was
well understood that he meant to cut off his daughters, and to confer the
crown on his illegitimate son, the Duke of Richmond. But as if Providence
would punish him in the very act, this son died before he could give his
Royal assent to the bill.

But if Henry had found a very submissive body in the Parliament, there
was much discontent amongst the people, who were encouraged in their
murmurs by the monks who had been dispossessed of their monasteries
or who feared the approach of their fall, and by the clergy, who were
equally alarmed at the progress of the opinions of the Reformers in the
nation. There were two great factions in the Church and the Government,
the opposed members of which were denominated the men of the Old and
the New learning. At the head of the Old or Romanist faction were Lee,
Archbishop of York; Stokesley, Bishop of London; Tunstal, Bishop of
Durham; Gardiner, of Winchester; Sherbourne, of Chichester; Nix, of
Norwich; and Kite, of Carlisle. These received the countenance and
support of the Duke of Norfolk and of Wriothesley, the premier secretary.
The leaders of the Reforming faction were Cranmer, the Primate; Latimer,
Bishop of Worcester; Shaxton, of Salisbury; Hilsey, of Rochester; Fox, of
Hereford; and Barlow, of St. David's. These were especially patronised by
Cromwell, whose power as Vicar-General was great, and who was now made
Lord Cromwell by the king.

Each of these parties, supported by a large body in the nation,
endeavoured to make their way by flattering the vanity or the love of
power of the capricious king. The Papist party swayed him to their side
by his love of the old doctrines and rites; the Reformers, by his pride
in opposing the Pope, and the gratification of his love of power as the
independent head of the Church. In this transition state of things, the
doctrines of the English Church, as settled by Convocation, exhibited
a singular medley, and were liable at any moment to be disturbed by
the momentary bias of the king, whose word was the only law of both
Church and State. The Reformers succeeded in having the standard of
faith recognised as existing in the Scriptures and the three creeds--the
Apostolic, Nicene, and Athanasian; but then the Romanists had secured the
retention of auricular confession and penance. As to marriage, extreme
unction, confirmation, or holy orders, it was found that there could
be no agreement in the belief in them as sacraments, and, therefore,
they remained unmentioned, every one following his own fancy. The
Real Presence was admitted in the sacrament of the Supper. The Roman
Catholics asserted the warrant of Scripture for the use of images; but
the Protestants denied this, and warned the people against idolatry in
praying to them. The use of holy water, the ceremonies practised on Ash
Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and other Festivals, were still
maintained, but Convocation, yielding to the Reformers, admitted that
they had no power to remit sin.

The Church being in this divided state, each party pushed its own
opinions and practice where it could, with the certain consequence
that there was much feud and heart-burning, and the people were pulled
hither and thither. In those places where the Reformers prevailed, they
saw the images thrown down or removed, the ancient rites neglected or
despised; and they felt themselves aggrieved, but more especially with
the ordinances of Cromwell as Vicar-General, who retrenched many of their
ancient holidays. He also incensed the clergy, by prohibiting the resort
to places of pilgrimage, and the exhibition of relics. These greatly
reduced the emoluments of the clergy, whom he on the other hand compelled
to lay aside a considerable portion of their revenues for the repairs of
the churches, and the assistance of the poor. This caused them to foment
the discontents of the people, and the thousands of monks now wandering
over the country, without home or subsistence, found ready listeners
in the vast population which had been accustomed to draw their main
support from the daily alms of the convents and monasteries. The people,
seeing all these ancient sources of a lazy support suddenly cut off by
Government, grew furious; and their disaffection was strengthened by
observing that many of the nobility and gentry were equally malcontent,
whose ancestry had founded monasteries, and who, therefore, looked upon
them with feelings of family pride, and, moreover, regarded them as a
certain provision for some of their younger children. There were many
of all classes who thought with horror of the souls of their ancestors
and friends, who, they believed, would now remain for ages in all the
torments of purgatory, for want of masses to relieve them.

All these causes operating together produced formidable insurrections,
both in the north and south. The first rising was in Lincolnshire. It
was headed by Dr. Mackrel, the Prior of Barlings, who was disguised like
a mechanic, and by another man in disguise, calling himself Captain
Cobbler. The first attack was occasioned by the demand of a subsidy for
the king, but the public mind was already in a state of high excitement,
and this was only the spark that produced the explosion. Twenty thousand
men quickly rose in arms, and forced several lords and gentlemen to
be their leaders. Such as refused, they either threw into prison or
killed on the spot. Amongst the latter was the Chancellor of Longland,
an ecclesiastic by no means popular. The king sent a force against them
under the Duke of Suffolk, attended by the Earls of Shrewsbury, Kent,
Rutland, and Huntingdon.

Suffolk found the insurgents in such force that he thought it best to
temporise, and demanded of them what they had to complain of. Thereupon
the men of Lincolnshire drew up and presented to him a list of six
articles of grievance. These consisted, first and foremost, of the
suppression of the monasteries, by which they said great numbers of
persons were put from their livings, and the poor of the realm were
left unrelieved. Another complaint was of the fifteenth voted by
Parliament, and of having to pay fourpence for a beast, and twelvepence
for every twenty sheep. They affirmed that the king had taken into his
councils personages of low birth and small reputation, who had got the
forfeited lands into their hands, "most especial for their singular
lucre and advantage." This was aimed by name, and with only too much
justice, at Cromwell and Lord Rich, who had grown wealthy on the spoils
of the abbeys. To these men they added the names of the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the Bishops of Rochester, Salisbury, St. David's, and Dublin,
whom they accused of having perverted the faith of the realm; and they
especially attributed the severe exactions on the people to the Bishop of
Lincoln and the officers of Cromwell, of whom it was rumoured that they
meant to take the plate, jewels, and ornaments of the parish churches, as
they had taken those of the religious houses.

The king answered by flatly refusing their petition, bidding them
meddle no more in the affairs of their undoubted prince, but deliver up
their ringleaders, and leave governing to him and his counsellors and
noblemen. This bluster appears to have frightened the simple clodhoppers
of the Fens; for we have, a few days later, another letter from the same
swelling hand, telling them that he has heard from the Earl of Shrewsbury
that they have shown a fitting repentance and sorrow for their folly
and their heinous crimes; and assuring them that in any other Christian
country they, their wives and children, would have been exterminated with
fire and sword. He orders them to pile their arms in the market-place of
Lincoln, and get away to their proper habitations and business, or, if
they remain a day longer in arms, he will execute on them, their wives
and children, the most terrible judgments that the world had ever known.

On the 30th of October, this frightened rabble, which seems to have been
led on and then deserted by the clergy and gentry, dispersed, having
first delivered up to the king's general fifteen of their ringleaders,
amongst whom were Dr. Mackrel, the Prior of Barlings, and Captain
Cobbler, said to have been a man of the name of Melton. These prisoners
were afterwards executed as traitors, with all the barbarities of the

Scarcely, however, was the disturbance in Lincolnshire suppressed, when
a far more formidable one broke out in the north. The people there were
much more accustomed to arms, and their vicinity to the Scots created
alarm at Court, lest the latter should take advantage of the rising to
make an inroad into the country. The insurrection quickly spread over
Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, Westmoreland, and Lancashire. The Lord
Darcy was conspicuous in it on the Borders, and there were calculated
to be not less than 40,000 men in arms. Henry was this time seriously
aroused, and sent Cromwell to the Jewel-house in the Tower to take as
much plate as he thought could possibly be spared, and have it coined to
pay troops, for he had no money in his coffers, notwithstanding all the
monasteries which he had seized. Wriothesley, the Secretary of State,
wrote from Windsor to Cromwell to expedite this business, superscribing
his letter, "_In haste--haste for thy life_;" and telling him that the
king appeared to fear much this matter, especially if he should want
money, "for on the Lord Darcy his Grace had no great trust."

As soon as money could be coined, a good sum was sent to the Duke
of Suffolk, who was posted at Newark, and who made free use of it
in buying over some of the ringleaders, and in sowing dissensions
among the insurgents. Meanwhile the Earl of Shrewsbury was made the
king's Lord-Lieutenant north of the Trent, and the Duke of Norfolk was
despatched into Yorkshire, to command there with 5,000 men. Robert Aske,
a gentleman of ability, was at the head of the rebel forces, and he had
given a religious character to the movement by styling it "The Pilgrimage
of Grace." Priests marched in the van, in the habits of their various
orders, carrying crosses and banners, on which were emblazoned the figure
of Christ on the cross, the sacred chalice, and the five wounds of the
Saviour. On their sleeves, too, were embroidered the five wounds, and
the name of Christ on their centre. They had all sworn an oath that they
had entered into the pilgrimage from no other motive than the love of
God, the care of the king's person and issue, the desire of purifying the
nobility, of driving base persons from the king, of restoring the Church,
and suppressing heresy.

Wherever they came, they compelled the people to join their ranks,
as they would answer it at the day of judgment, as they would bear
the pulling down of their houses, and the loss of their goods and of
their lives. They restored the monks and nuns to their houses as
they went along. The cities of York, Hull, and Pontefract had opened
their gates, and taken the prescribed oaths. The Archbishop of York,
the Lords Darcy, Lumley, Latimer, and Neville, with a vast number of
knights and gentlemen, gathered to their standard, either by free will
or compulsion, and the army presented a formidable aspect. But there
was already disunion in the host. The money of the Duke of Suffolk was
doing its work, and Wriothesley soon wrote that the insurgents were
falling to talking amongst themselves, and, if that went on, a pair of
light heels would soon be worth five pairs of hands to them. The Earl
of Cumberland repulsed them from his castle of Skipton; Sir Ralph Evers
defended Scarborough against them; Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, the
Earls of Huntingdon, Derby, and Rutland, took the field against them; and
they only managed to take Pomfret Castle, because the Lord Darcy and the
Archbishop of York, lying there, were supposed to be secretly in league
with them, and only made a show of force, which they might plead in case
of failure.

The insurgents, quite aware that the Government, which was attempting
to sow dissension among them by pretended negotiations, was but waiting
to seize and crush the leaders, again took the field in the very midst
of winter. On the 23rd of January, 1537, bills were stuck on the church
doors by night, calling on the commoners to come forth and to be true
to one another, for the gentlemen had deceived them, yet they should
not want for captains. There was great distrust lest the gentlemen had
been won over by the pardon and by money. The rebels, however, marched
out under two leaders of the name of Musgrave and Tilby, and, 8,000
strong, they laid siege to Carlisle, where they were repulsed; and, being
encountered in their retreat by Norfolk, they were defeated and put to
flight. All their officers, except Musgrave, were taken and put to death,
to the number of seventy. Sir Francis Bigot and one Hallam attempted to
surprise Hull, but failed; and other risings in the north proving equally
abortive, the king now bade Norfolk spread his banner, march through the
northern counties with martial law, and, regardless of the pardon he had
issued, punish the rebels without mercy.

As the monks had obviously been at the bottom of this commotion, Henry
let loose his vengeance especially upon them. He ordered Norfolk to go
to Sawley, Hexham, Newminster, Lanercost, St. Agatha, and all other
places that had made resistance, and there seize certain priors and
canons and send them up to him, and immediately to hang up "all monks and
canons that be in any wise faulty, without further delay or ceremony."
He ordered the Earl of Surrey and other officers in the north to charge
the monks there with grievous offences, to try their minds, and see
whether they would not submit themselves gladly to his will. Under these
sanguinary orders the whole of England north of the Trent became a scene
of horror and butchery, and ghastly heads and mangled bodies, or corpses
swinging from the trees. Nor did this admirable reformer of religion
neglect to look after the property of his victims. Their lands and goods
were all to be forfeited and taken possession of; "for we are informed,"
he says, "that there were amongst them divers freeholders and rich men,
whose lands and goods, well looked unto, will reward others that with
their truth have deserved the same."

Besides Aske, Sir Thomas Constable, Sir John Bulmer, Sir Thomas Percy,
Sir Stephen Hamilton, Nicholas Tempest, William Lumley, and others,
though they had taken the benefit of the pardon, were found guilty,
and most of them were executed. Lord Hussey was found guilty of being
an accomplice in the Lincolnshire rising, and was executed at Lincoln.
Lord Darcy, though he pleaded compulsion, and a long life spent in the
service of the Crown, was executed on Tower Hill. Lady Bulmer, the wife
of Sir John Bulmer, was burnt in Smithfield; and Robert Aske was hung in
chains on one of the towers of York. Having thus satiated his vengeance,
and struck a profound terror into all the disaffected, Henry once more
published a general pardon, to which he adhered; and even complied with
one of the demands which the insurgents had made, that of erecting by
patent a court of justice at York, for deciding lawsuits in the northern

On the 12th of October, 1537, Jane Seymour gave birth to the long-desired
prince, so well known afterwards as King Edward VI. This event took
place at the palace of Hampton Court, and the infant was immediately
proclaimed Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester. The
joy on so greatly desired an occurrence may be imagined, though it
was somewhat dashed by the death of the queen, which took place only
twelve days afterwards. During the confinement there was some question
whether the life of the mother or of the child should be sacrificed,
and on the question being put to the king, which should be spared, he
characteristically replied, "The child by all means, for other wives
can be easily found." The queen's death, however, was occasioned by
the absurd exposure which the pompous christening necessitated. Henry
appeared to be grieved when her death really took place, and put on
mourning, which he had never done for his wives before, and never did
again. He wore it three months.

[Illustration: THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE. (_See p._ 171.)]

By the accession of Queen Jane a new family, greedy and insatiable of
advancement, was brought forward, whom we shall soon find figuring on
the scene. The queen's brothers, sisters, uncles, and cousins presently
filled every great and lucrative office at Court; closely imitating the
unpopular precedent of the relations of Elizabeth Woodville. Her eldest
brother, Edward Seymour, was immediately made Lord Beauchamp and Earl of
Hertford; and, in the joy of having an heir, Henry created Sir William
Paulet Lord St. John and Sir John Russell Lord Russell. Sir William
Fitzwilliam was made Earl of Southampton, and High-Admiral. Russell and
Paulet were sworn of the Privy Council; and John Russell, now in high
favour with the king, attended the wedding, flattered the bride, and
became, in the next reign, Earl of Bedford. Queen Jane received all
the rites of the Roman Catholic Church on her death-bed; thus clearly
denoting that neither she nor her husband was of the Protestant faith.

Any grief which might have affected Henry for his wife's death did
not prevent him from prosecuting his favourite design of seizing rich
monasteries and destroying heretics. The great amount of property
which Henry had obtained from the dissolution of monastic houses
only stimulated him and his courtiers to invade the remainder. The
insurrections laid the inmates of these houses open to a general charge
that they had everywhere fomented, and in many places taken public part
in, these attempts to resist Government. Prosecutions for high treason
and menaces of martial law induced many of the more timid abbots and
priors to resign their trusts into the hands of the king and his heirs
for ever. Others--like the prior of Henton, in Somersetshire--resisted,
declaring that it did not become them "to be light and hasty in giving up
those things which were not theirs to give, being dedicated to Almighty
God, for service to be done unto His honour continually, with many other
good deeds of charity which be daily done in their houses to their
Christian brethren."

To grapple the more effectually with these sturdy remonstrants, a new
visitation was appointed of all the monasteries in England; and, as a
pretence only was wanted for their suppression, it was not difficult to
find one where so many great men were eager to share in the spoils. But,
while the destruction of the monasteries found many advocates, there
were not wanting some who recommended the retention of those convents
for women which had maintained order and a good reputation. But the king
would hear of nothing but that all should be swept away together; and
the better to prepare the public mind for so complete a revolution in
social life, every means was employed to represent these establishments
as abodes of infamy, and to expose the relics preserved in their shrines
to ridicule, as impostures which deluded the ignorant people.

The work of suppressing the monasteries and convents went on briskly,
for, says Bishop Godwin, "the king continued much prone to reformation,
especially if anything might be gotten by it." The Earl of Sussex and
a body of Commissioners were despatched to the north, to inquire into
the conduct of the religious houses there, and great stress was laid on
the participation of the monks in the insurrection of the Pilgrimage of
Grace. The abbeys of Furness and Whalley were particularly rich; and
though little concern with the rebellion could be traced to the inmates,
yet the Commissioners never rested till, by persuasion and intimidation,
they had induced the abbots to surrender these houses into their hands.
The success of the Earl of Sussex and his associates led to similar
Commissions in the south, and for four years the process was going on
without an Act of Parliament.

The system generally adopted was this:--First, tempting offers of
pensions were held out to the superiors and the monks or nuns, and
in proportion to the obstinacy in complying was the smallness of the
pension. The pensions to superiors varied, according to the wealth and
rank of their houses, from £266 to £6 per annum. The priors of cells
received generally £13. A few, whose services merited the distinction,
£20. The monks received from £2 to £6 per annum, with a small sum in hand
for immediate need. Nuns got about £4. That was the first and persuasive
process; but, if this failed, intimidation was resorted to. The superior
and his monks, tenants, servants, and neighbours, were subjected to a
rigorous and vexatious examination. The accounts of the house were called
for, and were scrutinised minutely, and all moneys, plate, and jewels
ordered to be produced. There was a severe inquiry into the morals of
the members, and one was encouraged to accuse another. Obstinate and
refractory members were thrown into prison, and many died there--amongst
them, the monks of the Charterhouse, London.

In 1539 a bill was brought into Parliament, vesting in the Crown all the
property, movable and immovable, of the monastic establishments which
were already, or which should be hereafter, suppressed, abolished, or
surrendered, and, by 1540, the whole of this branch of the ecclesiastical
property was in the hands of the king, or of the courtiers and parasites
who surrounded him, like vultures, gorging themselves with the fallen
carcase. The total number of such establishments suppressed from first
to last by Henry was 655 monasteries--of which 28 had abbots enjoying a
seat in Parliament--90 colleges, 2,374 chantries and free chapels, and
110 hospitals. The whole of the revenue of this property, as paid to
superiors of these houses, was £161,000. The whole income of the kingdom
at that period was rated at £4,000,000, so that the monastic property was
apparently one twenty-fifth of the national estate; but as the monastic
lands were let on long leases, and at very low rents, in the hands of the
new proprietors it would prove of vastly higher value.

Henry distributed the property among his greedy courtiers as fast as it
came, and never was so magnificent a property so speedily dissipated.
What did not go amongst the Seymours, the Essexes, the Howards, the
Russells, and the like, went in the most lavish manner on the king's
pleasures and follies. He is said to have given a woman who introduced a
pudding to his liking the revenue of a whole convent. Pauperism, instead
of being extinguished, was increased to a degree which astonished every
one. Such crowds had been supported by the monks and nuns as the public
had no adequate idea of, till they were thrown destitute and desperate
into the streets and the highways, and at length became such a national
burden and nuisance as in the reigns of Edward VI. and Elizabeth to
cause the introduction of the poor-law system. The aristocracy, in fact,
usurped the fund for the support of the poor, and threw them on the
nation at large.

Education received an equal shock. The schools supported by the
monasteries fell with them. The new race of noblemen who got the funds
did nothing to continue them. Religion suffered also, for the wealth
which might have founded efficient incomes for good preachers was gone
into private hands, and such miserable stipends were paid to the working
clergy, that none but poor and unlettered men would accept them.

It is only justice to Cranmer to say that he saw this waste of public
property with concern, and would have had it appropriated to the
purposes of education and religion, and the relief of the poor; but
he was too timid to lay the matter before the Royal prodigal. Yet the
murmurs of the people induced Henry to think of establishing a number
of bishoprics, deaneries, and colleges, with a portion of the lands of
the suppressed monasteries. He had an act passed through Parliament
for the establishment of eighteen bishoprics, but it was found that
the property intended for these was cleverly grasped by some of his
courtiers, and only six out of the eighteen could be erected, namely,
Westminster, Oxford, Peterborough, Bristol, Chester, and Gloucester; and
some of these were so meagrely endowed that the new prelates had much
ado for a considerable time to live. At the same time Henry converted
fourteen abbeys and priories into cathedral and collegiate churches,
attaching to each a deanery and a certain number of prebendaries. These
were Canterbury, Rochester, Westminster, Winchester, Bristol, Gloucester,
Worcester, Chester, Burton-upon-Trent, Carlisle, Durham, Thornton,
Peterborough, and Ely. But he retained a good slice of the property
belonging to them, and, at the same time, imposed on the chapters the
obligations of paying a considerable sum to the repair of the highways,
and another sum to the maintenance of the poor.

At the same time that Henry had been squandering the monastic property,
and had falsified his promises of making the Crown independent of
taxation, by coming to Parliament within twelve months for a subsidy
of two-tenths and two-fifteenths, he had all along been riveting the
doctrines of the Church of Rome faster on the nation, and persecuting
those who questioned them. The Lower House of Convocation drew up a list
of fifty-nine propositions, which it denounced as heresies, extracted
from the publications of different Reformers, and presented it to the
Upper House. On this, Henry, who believed himself a greater theologian
than any in either house of Convocation, drew up, with the aid of some
of the prelates, a book of "Articles" which was presented by Cromwell
to Convocation, and there subscribed. This was then carried through
Parliament, and became termed too justly the "Bloody Statute," for a more
terrible engine of persecution never existed.

No sooner had the statute of the Six Articles passed, than Latimer and
Shaxton, the Bishops of Worcester and Salisbury, resigned their sees; and
Cranmer, who had been living openly with his wife and children, seeing
the king's determination to enforce the celibacy of the clergy, sent off
his family to Germany, and made himself outwardly conformable to the
law. At the end of the year 1539, the king put to death, in Smithfield,
three victims of his intolerance. The first two were a man and a woman
who were Anabaptists. The third was John Lambert, formerly a priest, who
had become a schoolmaster in London. He was a Reformer, and denied the
doctrine which Henry was now enforcing under the penalty of death, that
the Real Presence existed in the bread and wine.

During the whole of the years 1538 and 1539 Henry was, nevertheless, not
only grown suspicious of his subjects, but greatly alarmed at the rumours
of a combination between the Pope, the Emperor, and the King of France
against him. It was rumoured that Cardinal Pole, his relative, who had
rigorously opposed the divorce, was assisting in this scheme, and as
Henry could not reach him, on account of Pole's flight to the Continent,
he determined to take vengeance on his relatives and friends in England.
A truce for ten years was concluded under the Papal mediation, between
Charles and Francis, at Nice, in June, 1538. The two monarchs urged Paul
to publish his bull of excommunication against Henry, which had been
reserved so long, and Henry, whose spies soon conveyed to him these
tidings, immediately ordered his fleet to be put in a state of activity,
his harbours of defence strengthened, and the whole population to be
called under arms, in expectation of a combined attack.

But at this conference Cardinal Pole had been present, and Henry directly
attributed the scheme of invasion to him. At once, therefore, he let
loose his fury on his relatives and friends in England. Becket, the
usher, and Wrothe, server of the Royal chamber, were despatched into
Cornwall to collect some colour of accusation against Henry Courtenay,
the Marquis of Exeter, and his adherents and dependents. The marquis and
marchioness were soon arrested, as well as Sir Geoffrey Pole and Lord
Montagu, brothers of the cardinal, and Sir Edward Neville, a brother of
Lord Abergavenny. Two priests, Croft and Collins, and Holland, a mariner,
were also arrested, and lodged in the Tower. On the last day of 1538 the
marquis and Lord Montagu were tried before some of the peers, but not
before their peers in Parliament, for Parliament was not sitting. The
commoners were brought to trial before juries; and all on a charge of
having conspired to place Reginald Pole, late Dean of Exeter, the king's
enemy, on the throne. The king's ministers declared that the charge was
well proved, but no such proofs were ever published, which, we may be
sure, would have been had they existed.


The fact was, those noblemen were descended directly from the old
Royal line of England: Courtenay was grandson to Edward IV., through
his daughter Catherine, and the Poles were grandsons to George, Duke
of Clarence, the brother of Edward. All had a better title to the
throne than Henry, and this, combined with their connection with the
cardinal, was the cause of the tyrant's enmity. If these prisoners
had been inclined to treason, they had had the fairest opportunity of
showing it during the northern insurrection, but they had taken no part
in it whatever. But Henry had determined to wreak his vengeance, which
could not reach the cardinal, on them; and the servile peers and courts
condemned them. It was said that Sir Geoffrey Pole, to save his own life,
consented to give evidence against the rest--secretly it must have been,
for it was never produced. His life, therefore, was spared, but the
rest were executed. Lord Montagu, the Marquis of Exeter, and Sir Edward
Neville were beheaded on Tower Hill on the 9th of January, 1539, and Sir
Nicholas Carew, master of the king's horse, was also beheaded on the 3rd
of March, on a charge of being privy to the conspiracy. The two priests
and the mariner were hanged and quartered at Tyburn. A commission was
then sent down into Cornwall, which arraigned, condemned, and put to
death two gentlemen of the names of Kendall and Quintrell, for having
said, some years before, that Exeter was the heir apparent, and should be
king, if Henry married Anne Boleyn, or it should cost a thousand lives.


But the sanguinary fury of Henry was not yet sated. The cardinal was sent
by the Pope to the Spanish and French courts to concert the carrying out
of the scheme of policy against England. Henry defeated this by means
of his agents, and neither Charles nor Francis would move: but not the
less did Henry determine further to punish the hostile cardinal. Judgment
of treason was pronounced against him; the Continental sovereigns were
called upon to deliver him up; and he was constantly surrounded by spies,
and, as he believed, ruffians hired to assassinate him. Meanwhile it was
said that a French vessel had been driven by stress of weather into South
Shields, and in it had been taken three emissaries--an English priest of
the name of Moore, and two Irishmen, a monk and a friar, who were said to
be carrying treasonable letters to the Pope and to Pole. The Irish monks
were sent up to London, and tortured in the Tower--a very unnecessary
measure, if they really possessed the treasonable letters alleged. On
the 28th of April Parliament was called upon to pass bills of attainder
against Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, the mother of Cardinal Pole;
Gertrude, the widow of the Marquis of Exeter; the son of Lord Montagu,
a boy of tender years; Sir Adam Fortescue, and Sir Thomas Dingley. This
was a device of Cromwell's, who demanded of the judges whether persons
accused of treason might not be attainted and condemned by Parliament
without any trial! The judges--who, like every one else under this
monster of a king, had lost all sense of honour and justice in fears for
their own safety--replied that it was a nice question, and one that no
inferior tribunal could entertain, but that Parliament was supreme, and
that an attainder by Parliament would be good in law! Such a bill was
accordingly passed through the servile Parliament, condemning the whole
to death without any form of trial whatever.

The two knights were beheaded on the 10th of July; the Marchioness of
Exeter was kept in prison for six months, and then dismissed; the son of
Lord Montagu, the grandson of the countess, was probably, too, allowed to
escape, for no record of his death appears; but the venerable old lady
herself, the near relative of the king, and the last direct descendant
of the Plantagenets, after having been kept in prison for nearly two
years, was brought out, and on the 27th of May, 1541, was condemned to
the scaffold. There she still showed the determination of her character.
Unlike many who had fallen there before her, so far from making any
ambiguous speech, or giving any hypocritical professions of reverence for
the king, she refused to do anything which appeared consenting to her
own death. When told to lay her head on the block, she replied, "No, my
head never committed treason; if you will have it, you must take it as
you can." The executioner tried to seize her, but she moved swiftly round
the scaffold, tossing her head from side to side. At last, covered with
blood, for the guards struck her with their weapons, she was seized, and
forcibly held down, and whilst exclaiming, "Blessed are they who suffer
persecution for righteousness' sake," the axe descended, and her head

But, the time of Cromwell himself was coming. The block was the pretty
certain goal of Henry's ministers. The more he caressed and favoured
them, the more certain was that result. Reflecting anxiously on the
critical nature of his position, the deep and unprincipled minister came
to the conclusion that the only mode of regaining his influence with the
king was to promote a Protestant marriage. For a time at least Henry
allowed himself to be governed by a new wife, and that time gained might
prove everything to Cromwell. Circumstances seemed to favour him at this
moment. The king was in constant alarm at the combination between France
and Spain; and a new alliance with the Protestant princes of Germany,
if accomplished, would equally serve the purposes of the king and of
Cromwell. Now was the time for Cromwell, while Henry was chagrined by
these difficulties. He informed him that Anne, daughter of John III.,
Duke of Cleves, Count of Mark, and Lord of Ravenstein, was greatly
extolled for her beauty and good sense; that her sister Sybilla, the wife
of Frederick, Duke of Saxony, the head of the Protestant confederation
of Germany, called the Schmalkaldic League, was famed for her beauty,
talents, and virtues, and universally regarded as one of the most
distinguished ladies of the time. He pointed out to Henry the advantages
of thus, by this alliance, acquiring the firm friendship of the princes
of Germany, in counterpoise to the designs of France and Spain; and he
assured him that he heard that the sisters of the Electress of Saxony,
educated under the same wise mother, were equally attractive in person
and in mind, and waited only a higher position to give them greater
lustre, especially the Princess Anne.

The Duke of Cleves died on the 6th of February, 1539, and Henry
despatched Hans Holbein to take the lady's portrait. Being delighted
with the portrait--which agreed so well with the many praises written
of the lady by his agents--he acceded to the match; and in the month
of September the count palatine and ambassadors from Cleves arrived in
London, where Cromwell received them with real delight, and the king bade
them right welcome. The treaty was soon concluded; and Henry, impatient
for the arrival of his wife, despatched the Lord Admiral Fitzwilliam,
Earl of Southampton, to receive her at Calais, and conduct her to England.

On the 27th of December, 1539, Anne landed at Deal, having been escorted
across the Channel by a fleet of fifty ships. She was a thorough
Protestant, going into the midst of as thoroughly Papist a faction, and
to consort with a monarch the most fickle and dogmatic in the world. She
could speak no language but German, and of that Henry did not understand
a word. It would have required a world of charms to have reconciled all
this to Henry, even for a time, and of these poor Anne of Cleves was
destitute. That she was not ugly, many contemporaries testify; but she
was at least plain in person, and still plainer in manners. Both she and
her maidens, of whom she brought a great train, are said to have been
as homely and as awkward a bevy as ever came to England in the cause of
royal matrimony.

The impatient though unwieldy lover, accompanied by eight gentlemen of
his privy chamber, rode to Rochester to meet the bride. They were all
clad alike, in coats "of marble colour;" for Henry, with a spice of his
old romance, was going incognito, to get a peep at his queen without
her being aware which was he. He told Cromwell that "he intended to
visit her privily, to nourish love." On his arrival, he sent Sir Anthony
Browne, his master of the horse, to inform Anne that he had brought
her a new year's gift, if she would please to accept it. Sir Anthony,
on being introduced to the lady who was to occupy the place of the two
most celebrated beauties of the day, the Boleyn and the Seymour, was,
he afterwards confessed, "never so much dismayed in his life," but of
course said nothing. So now the enamoured king, whose eyes were dazzled
with the recollection of what his queens had been, and what Holbein and
his ambassadors had promised him should again be, entered the presence of
Anne of Cleves, and was thunderstruck at the first sight of the reality.
Lord John Russell, who was present, declared "that he had never seen his
highness so marvellously astonished and abashed as on that occasion."

Instead of presenting himself the new year's gift which he had brought--a
muff and tippet of rich sables--he sent them to her with a very cold
message, and rode back to Greenwich in high dudgeon. There, the moment
that he saw Cromwell, he burst out upon him for being the means of
bringing him, not a wife, but "a great Flanders mare." Cromwell excused
himself by not having seen her, and threw the blame on Fitzwilliam, the
lord admiral, who, he said, when he found the princess at Calais so
different from the pictures and reports, should have detained her there
till he knew the king's pleasure; but the admiral replied brusquely
that he had not had the choosing of her, but had simply executed his
commission; and if he had in his dispatches spoken of her beauty, it was
because she was reckoned beautiful, and it was not for him to judge of
his queen.

No way out of the marriage being found, orders were given for the lady to
proceed from Dartford, and at Greenwich she was received outwardly with
all the pomp and rejoicings the most welcome beauty could have elicited.
But still the mind of the mortified king revolted at the completion of
the wedding, and once more he summoned his council, and declared himself
unsatisfied about the contract, and required that Anne should make a
solemn protestation that she was free from all pre-contracts. Probably
Henry hoped that, seeing that she was far from pleasing him, she might be
willing to give him up; but though her just pride as a woman must have
been wounded by his treatment, and her fears excited by the recollection
of the fates of Catherine and Anne Boleyn, the princess could be no free
agent in the matter. The ambassadors would urge the impossibility of her
going back, thus insulting all Protestant Germany, and her own pride
would second their arguments on that side too. The ignominy of being sent
back, rejected as unattractive and unwelcome, was not to be thought of.
She made a most clear and positive declaration of her freedom from all
pre-contracts. On hearing this, the surly monarch fell into such a humour
that Cromwell got away from his presence as quickly as he could. Seeing
no way out of it, the marriage was celebrated on the 6th of January,
1540, but nothing could reconcile Henry to his German queen. He loathed
her person, he could not even talk with her without an interpreter; and
he soon fell in love with Catherine Howard, niece to the Duke of Norfolk,
a young lady who was much handsomer than Anne, but not well educated, and
greatly wanting in principle. From the moment that Henry cast his eyes
on this new favourite, the little remains of outward courtesy towards
the queen vanished. He ceased to appear with her in public. He began to
express scruples about having a Lutheran wife. He did not hesitate to
propagate the most shameful calumnies against her, declaring that she had
not been virtuous before her marriage.

Anne, in need of counsel, could find none in those who ought to have
stood by her. Cranmer, the Reformer, and Cromwell, the advocate of
Protestantism, and who had, in fact, brought about the marriage, kept
aloof from her. She sent expressly to Cromwell, and repeatedly, but in
vain; he refused to see her, for he knew that he stood on the edge of a
precipice already; that he had deeply offended the choleric monarch by
promoting this match; and that he was surrounded by spies and enemies,
who were watching for occasion for his ruin. There is no doubt whatever
that his ruin was already determined, but Cromwell was an unhesitating
tool of the quality which Henry needed; for it was just at this time
that Henry executed the relatives of Cardinal Pole, and probably it was
an object of his to load that minister with as much of the odium of
that measure as he could before he cast him down. Cromwell still, then,
apparently retained the full favour of the king, notwithstanding this
unfortunate marriage, but the conduct of his friends precipitated his

Bishop Gardiner, a bigoted Papist, and one who saw the signs of the
times as quickly as any man living, did not hear Henry's scruples about
a Lutheran wife with unheeding ears. On the 14th of February, 1540, he
preached a sermon at St. Paul's Cross, in which he unsparingly denounced
as a damnable doctrine the Lutheran tenet of justification by faith
without works. Dr. Barnes, a dependent of Cromwell's, but clearly a most
imprudent one, on the 28th of February, just a fortnight afterwards,
mounted the same pulpit, and made a violent attack on Gardiner and his
creed. Barnes could never have intimated to Cromwell his intention to
make this assault on a creed which was as much the king's as Gardiner's,
or he would have shown him the fatality of it. But Barnes, like a rash
and unreflecting zealot, not only attacked Gardiner's sermon, but got
quite excited, and declared that he himself was a fighting-cock, and
Gardiner was another fighting-cock, but that the _garden_-cock lacked
good spurs. As was inevitable, Henry, who never let slip an opportunity
to champion his own religious views, summoned Barnes forthwith before a
commission of divines, compelled him to recant his opinion, and ordered
him to preach another sermon, in the same place, on the first Sunday
after Easter, and there to read his recantation, and beg pardon of
Gardiner. Barnes obeyed. He read his recantation, publicly asked pardon
of Gardiner, and then, getting warm in his sermon, reiterated in stronger
terms than ever the very doctrine he had recanted.

The man must have made up his mind to punishment for his religious faith,
for no such daring conduct was ever tolerated for a moment by Henry. He
threw the offender into the Tower, together with Garret and Jerome, two
preachers of the same belief, who followed his example.

The enemies of Cromwell rejoiced in this event, believing that his
connection with Barnes would not fail to influence the king. So
confidently did they entertain this notion, that they already talked
of the transfer of his two chief offices, those of Vicar-General and
Keeper of the Privy Seal, to Tunstal, Bishop of Durham, and Clarke,
Bishop of Bath. But the king had not yet come to his own point of
action. Cromwell's opponents were, therefore, astonished to see him open
Parliament on the 12th of April, as usual, when he announced the king's
sorrow and displeasure at the religious dissensions which appeared in the
nation, his subjects branding each other with the opprobrious epithets
of Papists and heretics, and abusing the indulgence which the king
had granted them of reading the Scriptures in their native tongue. To
remedy these evils his Majesty had appointed two committees of prelates
and doctors--one to set forth a system of pure doctrine, and the other
to decide what ceremonies and rites should be retained in the Church or
abandoned; and, in the meantime, he called on both houses to assist him
in enacting penalties against all who treated with irreverence, or rashly
and presumptuously explained, the Holy Scriptures.

Never did Cromwell appear so fully to possess the favour of his
sovereign. He had obtained a grant of thirty manors belonging to
suppressed monasteries; the title of Earl of Essex was revived in his
favour, and the office of Lord-Chamberlain was added to his other
appointments. He was the performer of all the great acts of the State. He
brought in two bills, vesting the property of the Knights Hospitallers
in the king, and settling an adequate jointure on the queen. He obtained
from the laity the enormous subsidy of four-tenths and fifteenths,
besides ten per cent. of their income from lands, and five per cent. on
their goods; and from the clergy two-tenths, and twenty per cent. of
their incomes for two years. So little did there appear any prospect of
the fall of Cromwell, that his own conduct augured that he never felt
himself stronger in his monarch's esteem. He dealt about his blows on all
who had offended himself or the king, however high. He committed to the
Tower the Bishop of Chichester and Dr. Wilson, for relieving prisoners
confined for refusing to take the oath of supremacy; and menaced with
the royal displeasure his chief opponents, the Duke of Norfolk, and the
Bishops of Durham, Winchester, and Bath.

Yet all this time Henry had determined, and was preparing for his fall.
He appointed Wriothesley and Ralph Sadler Secretaries of State, and
divided the business between them. The king had met Catherine Howard, it
is said, at dinner at Gardiner's, who was Bishop of Winchester. As she
was a strict Papist, and niece to Norfolk, it was believed that this had
been concerted by the Catholic party; and they were not mistaken. She at
once caught the fancy of Henry. Every opportunity was afforded the king
of meeting her at Gardiner's; and no sooner did that worldly prelate
perceive the impression she had made, than he informed Henry that Barnes,
whom neither Gardiner nor Henry could forget, had been Cromwell's agent
in bringing about the marriage of Anne of Cleves; that Cromwell and
Barnes had done this, without regard to the feelings of the king, merely
to bring in a queen pledged to German Protestantism; and that, instead of
submitting to the king's religious views, they were bent on establishing
in the country the detestable heresies of Luther.

[Illustration: THOMAS CROMWELL, EARL OF ESSEX. (_After the Portrait by

Henry, whose jealousy was now excited, recollected that when he proposed
to send Anne of Cleves back, Cromwell had strongly dissuaded him, and as
Anne had now changed her insubordinate behaviour to him, he immediately
suspected that it was at the suggestion of Cromwell. No sooner had this
idea taken full possession, than down came the thunderbolt on the head
of the great minister. The time was come, all was prepared, and, without
a single note of warning--without the change of look or manner in the
king--Cromwell was arrested at the council-board on a charge of high
treason. In the morning he was in his place in the House of Lords, with
every evidence of power about him; in the evening he was in the Tower.

In his career, from the shop of the fuller to the supreme power in the
State, next to the king, Cromwell had totally forgotten the wise counsel
of Wolsey. He had not avoided, but courted, ambition. He had leaned to
the Reformed doctrines secretly, but he had taken care to enrich himself
with the spoils of the suppressed monasteries, and many suspected that
these spoils were the true incentives to his system of reformation. The
wealth he had accumulated was, no doubt, a strong temptation to Henry,
as it was in all such cases, and thus Cromwell's avarice brought its own
punishment. In his treatment of the unfortunate Romanists whom he had to
eject from their ancient houses and lands, his conduct had been harsh
and unsparing; and by that party, now in power, he was consequently hated
with an intense hatred; and this was a second means of self-punishment.
But above all, in the days of his power, he had been perfectly reckless
of the liberties and securities of the subject. He had broken down the
bulwarks of the Constitution, and advised the king to make his own
will the sole law, carrying for him through Parliament the monstrous
doctrine embodied in the enactment that the royal proclamation superseded
Parliamentary decrees, and that the Crown could put men to death without
any form of trial. Under the monstrous despotism which he had thus
erected, he now fell himself, and had no right whatever to complain.
Yet he did complain most lamentably. The men who never feel for others,
concentrate all their commiseration on themselves; and Cromwell, so
ruthless and immovable to the pleadings of his own victims, now sent the
most abject and imploring letters to Henry, crying, "Mercy, mercy!"

His experience might have assured him that, when once Henry seized his
victim, he never relented; and there was no one except Cranmer who
dared to raise a voice in his favour, and Cranmer's interference was so
much in his own timid style, that it availed nothing. His papers were
seized, his servants interrogated, and out of their statements, whatever
they were--for they were never produced in any court--the accusations
were framed against him. These consisted in the charges of his having,
as minister, received bribes, and encroached on the royal authority
by issuing commissions, discharging prisoners, pardoning convicts,
and granting licences for the exportation of prohibited merchandise.
As Vicar-General, he was charged with having not only held heretical
opinions himself, but also with protecting heretical preachers, and
promoting the circulation of heretical books. Lastly, there was added
one of those absurd, gratuitous assertions, which Henry always threw
in to make the charge amount to high treason, namely, that Cromwell had
expressed his resolve to fight against the king himself, if necessary, in
support of his religious opinions; and Mount was instructed to inform the
German princes that Cromwell had threatened to strike a dagger into the
heart of the man who should oppose the Reformation, which, he said, meant
the king. He demanded a public trial, but was refused, being only allowed
to face his accusers before the Commissioners. Government then proceeded
against him by bill of attainder, and thus, on the principle that he had
himself established, he was condemned without trial, even Cranmer voting
in favour of the attainder. His fate was delayed for more than a month,
during which time he continued to protest his innocence, with a violence
which stood in strong contrast to his callousness to the protestations of
others, wishing that God might confound him, that the vengeance of God
might light upon him, that all the devils in hell might confront him,
if he were guilty. He drew the most lamentable picture of his forlorn
and miserable condition, and offered to make any disclosures demanded of
him; but though nothing would have saved him, unluckily for him, Henry
discovered among his papers his secret correspondence with the princes
of Germany. He gave the royal assent to the bill of attainder, and in
five days--namely, on the 28th of July--Cromwell was led to the scaffold,
where he confessed that he had been in error, but had now returned to
the truth, and died a good Catholic. He fell detested by every man of
his own party, exulted over by the Papist section of the community, and
unregretted by the people, who were just then smarting under the enormous
subsidy he had imposed. As if to render his execution the more degrading,
Lord Hungerford, a nobleman charged with revolting crimes, was beheaded
with him.


REIGN OF HENRY VIII. (_concluded_).

     Divorce of Anne of Cleves--Catherine Howard's Marriage and
     Death--Fresh Persecutions--Welsh Affairs--The Irish Insurrection
     and its Suppression--Scottish Affairs--Catholic Opposition
     to Henry--Outbreak of War--Battle of Solway Moss--French and
     English Parties in Scotland--Escape of Beaton--Triumph of the
     French Party--Treaty between England and Germany--Henry's Sixth
     Marriage--Campaign in France--Expedition against Scotland--Capture
     of Edinburgh--Fresh Attempt on England--Cardinal Beaton and
     Wishart--Death of the Cardinal--Struggle between the Two Parties
     in England--Death of Henry.

The death of Cromwell was quickly followed by the divorce of Anne of
Cleves. The queen was ordered to retire to Richmond, on pretence that the
plague was in London. Marillac, the French ambassador, writing to Francis
I., said that the reason assigned was not the true one, for if there had
been the slightest rumour of the plague, nothing would have induced Henry
to remain; "for the king is the most timid person in the world in such
cases." It was the preliminary step to the divorce, and as soon as she
was gone, Henry put in motion all his established machinery for getting
rid of wives. The Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Duke
of Norfolk, and others of the king's ministers, procured a petition to be
got up and presented to his Majesty, stating that the House had doubts
of the validity of the king's marriage, and consequently were uneasy
as to the succession, and prayed the king to submit the question to
Convocation. Of course, Henry could refuse nothing to his faithful peers,
and Convocation, accordingly, took the matter into consideration. The
marriage was declared--like his two former ones with Catherine and Anne
Boleyn--to be null and void; and the same judgment of high treason was
pronounced on any one who should say or write to the contrary. The queen
being a stranger to the English laws and customs, was not called upon to
appear personally, or even by her advocates, before Convocation.

All this being settled, the Duke of Suffolk, the Earl of Southampton, and
Wriothesley proceeded to Richmond, to announce the decision to the queen.
On the sight of these ministers, and on hearing their communication, that
the marriage was annulled by Parliament, the poor woman, supposing that
she was going to be treated like Anne Boleyn, fainted, and fell on the
floor. On her return to consciousness, the messengers hastened to assure
her that there was no cause of alarm; that the king had the kindest and
best intentions towards her; that, if she would consent to resign the
title of queen, he proposed to give her the title of his sister; to grant
her precedence of every lady except the future queen and his daughters,
and to endow her with estates to the value of £3,000 per annum.

Anne received some of the spoils of the fallen Cromwell in different
estates which were made over to her for life, including Denham Hall, in
Essex. She resided principally at her palace of Richmond, and at Ham
House; but we find her living at different times at Bletchingley, Hever
Castle, Penshurst, and Dartford. Though she was queen only about six
months, she continued to live in England for seventeen years--seeing two
queens after her, and Edward VI. and Queen Mary on the throne--greatly
honoured by all who knew her, and much beloved by both the princesses
Mary and Elizabeth. Not in seventeen years, but in sixteen months, she
saw the fall and tragedy of the queen who supplanted her; so that one
of her maids of honour, Elizabeth Bassett, could not help exclaiming
at the news, "What a man the king is! how many wives _will_ he have?"
For which very natural expression the poor girl was very near getting
into trouble. As for Anne herself, she appeared quite a new woman when
she had got clear of her terrible and coarse-minded tyrant, so that the
French ambassador, Marillac, wrote to his master that "Madame of Cleves
has a more joyous countenance than ever. She wears a great variety of
dresses, and passes all her time in sports and recreations." No sooner
was she divorced than Henry paid her a visit, and was so delighted by
her pleasant and respectful reception of him, that he supped with her
merrily, and not only went often again to see her, but invited her to
Hampton, whither she went, not at all troubling herself that another was
acting the queen.

Anne's marriage was annulled by Parliament on the 9th of July, and on the
8th of August Catherine Howard appeared at Court as the acknowledged
queen. For twelve months all went on well, and the king repeatedly
declared that he had never been happy in love or matrimony till now;
that the queen was the most perfect of women, and the most affectionate
of wives. To gratify his new queen, and to accomplish some objects of
importance, Henry this summer made a progress into the north, and took
Catherine with him. One object was to judge for himself of the state of
the northern counties, where the late insurrections in favour of the old
religion had broken out. He promised himself that his presence would
intimidate the disaffected; that he should be able to punish those who
remained troublesome, and make all quiet; but still more was he anxious
for an interview with his nephew, James V. of Scotland. The principles
of the Reformation had been making rapid progress in that country, and
the fires of persecution had been lit up by the clergy. Patrick Hamilton,
a young man of noble family, who had imbibed the new doctrines abroad,
and Friar Forrest, a zealous preacher of the same, had suffered at the
stake. But far more dangerous to the stability of the Catholic Church,
was the fact that the Scottish nobility, poor and ambitious, had learnt
a significant lesson from what had been going on in England. The seizure
of the monastic estates there by the king, and their liberal distribution
amongst the nobility, excited their cupidity, and they strongly urged
James to follow the example of his royal uncle. In this counsel they
found a staunch coadjutor in Henry, who never ceased exciting James to
follow his example, and, to make sure of his doing so, invited him to an
interview at York, to which he consented.

Notwithstanding great preparations had been made, the King of Scots
excused his coming. The very first announcement of such a project had
struck the clergy of Scotland with consternation. They hastened to
point out to James the dangers of innovation--the certain mischief of
aggrandising the nobility, already too powerful, with the spoils of the
Church--the jeopardy of putting himself into the hands of Henry and the
English, and the loss of the friendship of all foreign powers, if he was
induced by Henry to attack the Church, which would render him almost
wholly dependent on England. They added force to these arguments by
presenting him with a gratuity of £50,000; promised him a continuance
of their liberality, and pointed out to him a certain source of income
of at least £100,000 per annum in the confiscations of heretics. These
representations and gifts had the desired effect. James sent an excuse
to Henry for not being able to meet him at York; and the disappointed
king turned homeward in great disgust. The fascinations of the young
queen, however, soon restored his good humour, and they arrived at
Windsor, on the 26th of October, in high spirits.

Little did the uxorious monarch dream that he was at this moment standing
on a mine that would blow all his imagined happiness into the air and
send his idolised wife to the block. But at the very time that he and
Catherine had been showing themselves as so beautifully conjugal a couple
to the good people of the north, the mine had been preparing. It was the
misfortune of all the queens of Henry VIII. that they had not only to
deal with one of the most vindictive and capricious tyrants that ever
existed, but that they were invariably, and necessarily, the objects of
the hatred of a powerful and merciless party, which was ready to destroy
its antagonist, and, as the first and telling stroke in that progress, to
pull down the queen. Catherine Howard was now the hope of the Romanists.
She was the niece of the Duke of Norfolk, the most resolute lay-Papist in
the kingdom, and the political head of that party. The public evidences
of the growing influence of Catherine with the king in the northern
progress, had been marked by the Catholics with exultation, and by the
Protestants with proportionate alarm. Both Rapin and Burnet assert that
Cranmer felt convinced, from what he saw passing, that unless some means
were found to lessen the influence of the queen, and thus dash the hopes
of the Catholics, he must soon follow Cromwell to the block. A most
ominous circumstance which reached him was, that the royal party took up
their quarters for a night at the house of Sir John Gorstwick, who, but
in the preceding spring, had denounced Cranmer in open Parliament, as
"the root of all heresies," and that at Gorstwick's there had been held a
select meeting of the Privy Council, at which Gardiner, the unhesitating
leader of the Romanists, presided. It was the signal for the Protestants
to bring means of counter-action into play, and such means, unfortunately
for the queen, were already stored up and at hand.

It was discovered that the queen had been guilty of numerous
improprieties before marriage, chiefly with a man called Derham, and it
was now alleged that an intrigue had been going on between Catherine
and her cousin, Thomas Culpepper, in the northern progress, at Lincoln
and York, and that one night Culpepper was in the same room with the
queen and Lady Rochford for three hours. But when it was attempted to
establish this fact on the evidence of women in attendance, Catherine
Tylney and Margaret Morton, this evidence dwindled to mere surmise.
Tylney deposed that on two nights at Lincoln, the queen went to the
room of Lady Rochford, and stayed late, but affirmed "on her peril that
she never saw who came unto the queen and my Lady Rochford, nor heard
what was said between them." Morton's evidence amounted only to this,
that, at Pontefract, Lady Rochford conveyed letters between the queen
and Culpepper, _as was supposed_; and one night when the king went to
the queen's chamber, the door was bolted, and it was some time before
he could be admitted. This circumstance must have been satisfactorily
accounted for to Henry at the time, jealous person as he was, yet on such
paltry grounds was it necessary to build the charge of criminal conduct
in the queen.


On the 21st of January, 1542, a bill of attainder of Catherine Howard,
late Queen of England, and of Jane, Lady Rochford, for high treason; of
Agnes, Duchess of Norfolk, Lord William Howard, the Lady Bridgewater,
and four men and five women, including Derham and Culpepper, already
executed, was read in the Lords. On the 28th, the Lord Chancellor,
impressed with a laudable sense of justice, proposed that a deputation of
Lords and Commons should be allowed to wait on the queen to hear what she
had to say for herself. He said it was but just that a queen, who was no
mean or private person, but a public and illustrious one, should be tried
by equal laws like themselves and thought it would be acceptable to the
king himself if his consort could thus clear herself. But that did not
suit Henry: he was resolved to be rid of his lately beloved model queen;
and as there was no evidence whatever of any crime on her part against
him, he did not mean that she should have any opportunity of being heard
in her defence. The bill was, therefore, passed through Parliament,
passing the Lords in three and the Commons in two days. On the 10th of
February the queen was conveyed by water to the Tower, and the next
day Henry gave his assent to the bill of attainder. The persons sent
to receive the queen's confession were Suffolk, Cranmer, Southampton,
Audley, and Thirlby. "How much she confessed to them," Burnet says, "is
not very clear, neither by the journal nor the Act of Parliament, which
only say she confessed." If she had confessed the crime alleged after
marriage, that would have been made fully and officially known. Two days
afterwards, February 12th, she was brought to the block.

Thus fell Catherine Howard in the bloom of her youth and beauty, being
declared by an eye-witness to be the handsomest woman of her time, paying
for youthful indiscretions the forfeit of her life to the king, though
some think she had not sinned against him. So conscious was Henry of
this, that he made it high treason, in the Act of Attainder, for any one
to conceal any such previous misconduct in a woman whom the sovereign was
about to marry. With Catherine fell the odious Lady Rochford, who had
long deserved her fate, for her false and murderous evidence against her
own husband and Anne Boleyn.

Having thus destroyed his fifth wife, Henry now turned his attention
to the regulation of religious affairs and opinions. In 1539 he had
attempted to set up a standard of orthodoxy by the publication of "The
Institution of a Christian Man," or "The Bishops' Book," as it was
called, because compiled by the bishops under his direction. After that
he published his "Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian
Man," which was called "The King's Book." In this it was observable that,
instead of approaching nearer to the Protestant creed, he was going fast
back into the strictest principles of Romanism. He had allowed the people
to read the Bible, but he now declared that, though the reading of it was
necessary to the teachers of religion, it was not so necessary for the
learners; and he decreed, by Act of Parliament, that the Bible should
not be read in public, or be seen in any private families but such as
were of noble or gentle birth. It was not to be read privately by any but
householders and women who were well-born. If any woman of the ordinary
class, any artificer, apprentice, journeyman, servant, or labourer dared
to read the Bible, he or she was to be imprisoned for one month.

Gardiner and the Papist party were more and more in the ascendant,
and the timid Cranmer and the more liberal bishops were compelled not
only to wink at these bigoted rules, but to order "The King's Book,"
containing all the dogmas which they held to be false and pernicious, to
be published in every diocese, and to be the guide of every preacher.
By this means it was hoped to quash the numerous new sects which were
springing from the reading of the Bible, and the earnest discussions
consequent upon it. Such a flood of new light had poured suddenly into
the human mind, that it was completely dazzled by it. Opinion becoming
in some degree free, ran into strange forms. There were Anabaptists,
who held that every man ought to be guided by the direct inspiration
of the Holy Ghost, and that, consequently, there was no need of king,
judge, magistrate, or civil law, or war, or capital punishment. There
were Antinomians, who contended that all things were free and allowable
to the saints without sin. There were Fifth-Monarchy men; members of
the Family of Love, or Davidians, from one David George, their leader;
Arians, Unitarians, Predestinarians, Libertines, and other denominations,
whom we shall find abundant in the time of the Commonwealth. What was
strangest of all was to see King Henry, who would allow no man's opinion
to be right but his own, and who burnt men for daring to differ from
him, lecturing these contending sects on their animosities in his speech
in Parliament, and bidding them "behold what love and charity there
was amongst them, when one called another heretic and Anabaptist, and
he called him again Papist, hypocrite, and pharisee;" and the royal
peacemaker threatened to put an end to their quarrellings by punishing
them all. During the four remaining years of his reign, he burnt or
hanged twenty-four persons for religion--that is, six annually--fourteen
of them being Protestants. During these years "The King's Book" was the
only authorised standard of English orthodoxy.

It is now necessary to take a brief glance at the proceedings of
Henry's government in Ireland and Wales, and towards Scotland. In the
Principality of Wales the measures of the king were marked by a far
wiser spirit than those which predominated in religion. Being descended
from the natives of that country, it was natural that it should claim
his particular attention. Wales at that time might be divided into two
parts, one of which had been subjected by the English monarchs, and
divided into shires, the other which had been conquered by different
knights and barons, thence called the lords-marchers. The shires were
under the royal will, but the hundred and forty-one small districts or
lordships which had been granted to the petty conquerors, excluded the
officers and writs of the king altogether. The lords, like so many counts
palatine, exercised all sovereign rights within their own districts, had
their own courts, appointed their own judges, and punished or pardoned
offenders at pleasure. This opened up a source of the grossest confusion
and impunity from justice; for criminals perpetrating offences in one
district had only to move into another, and set the law at defiance.
Henry, by enacting, in 1536, that the whole of Wales should thenceforth
be incorporated with England, should obey the same laws and enjoy the
same rights and privileges, did a great work. The Welsh shires, with one
borough in each, were empowered to send members to Parliament, the judges
were appointed solely by the Crown, and no lord was any longer allowed to
pardon any treason, murder, or felony in his lordship, or to protect the
perpetrators of such crimes. The same regulations were extended to the
county palatine of Chester.

The proceedings of Henry in Ireland were equally energetic, if they were
not always as just; and in the end they produced an equally improved
condition of things there. Quiet and law came to prevail, though they
prevailed with severity. On the accession of Henry to the throne, the
portion of the island over which the English authority really extended
was very limited indeed. It included merely the chief sea-ports, with
the five counties of Louth, Westmeath, Dublin, Kildare, and Wexford.
The rest of the country was almost independent of England, being in the
hands of no less than ninety chieftains--thirty of English origin, and
the rest native--who exercised a wild and lawless kind of sway, and
made war on each other at will. Wolsey, in the height of his power,
determined to reduce this Irish chaos to order. He saw that the main
causes of the decay of the English authority lay in the perpetual feuds
and jealousies of the families of Fitzgerald and Butler, at the head
of which were the Earls of Kildare and of Ormond. The young Earl of
Kildare, the chief of the Fitzgeralds, who succeeded his father in 1520,
was replaced by the Earl of Surrey, afterwards the Duke of Norfolk, whom
we have seen so disgracefully figuring in the affairs of Anne Boleyn
and Catherine Howard, his nieces. During the two years that he held
the Irish government, he did himself great credit by the vigour of his
administration, repressing the turbulence of the chiefs, and winning the
esteem of the people by his hospitality and munificence.

Unfortunately for Ireland, Surrey had acquired great renown by his
conduct under his father at Flodden, and when Henry, in 1522, declared
war against France, he was deemed the only man fitted to take command of
the army. The government of Ireland, on his departure, was placed in the
hands of Butler, Earl of Ormond. In the course of ten years it passed
successively from Ormond again to Kildare, from Kildare to Sir William
Skeffington, and back for the third time to Kildare.

Kildare, relieved from the fear of Wolsey, who had now fallen, gave
way to the exercise of such acts of extravagance, that his own friends
attributed them to insanity. At the earnest recommendations, therefore,
of his hereditary rivals, the Butlers, he was called to London in
1534, and sent to the Tower. Still, he had left his Irish government
in the hands of his son, Lord Thomas Fitzgerald--a young man of only
one-and-twenty, brave, generous, but with all the impetuosity of Irish
blood. Hearing a false report that his father was beheaded in the Tower,
young Fitzgerald flew to arms. He appeared at the head of 140 followers
before the council, resigned the sword of State, and demanded war against
Henry of England.

Cromer, the Archbishop of Armagh, earnestly entreated him not to plunge
himself into a quarrel so hopeless as that with England; but in vain.
The strains of an Irish minstrel, uttered in his native tongue, had more
influence with him, for they called on him to revenge his father, to free
Ireland; and the incensed youth flew to arms. For a time success attended
him. He overran the rich district of Fingal; the natives flocked to his
standard; the Irish minstrels, in wild songs, stirred the people to
frenzy; and surprising Allen, the Archbishop of Dublin, on the very point
of escaping to England, and supposed to be one of the accusers of the
Earl of Kildare, they murdered him in presence of the young chief and his
brothers. He then sent a deputation to Rome, offering, on condition that
the Pope should give him the support of his sanction, to defend Ireland
against an apostate prince, and to pay a handsome annual tribute to the
Holy See. He sent ambassadors also to the Emperor, demanding assistance
against the prince who had so grossly insulted him by divorcing his aunt,
Queen Catherine. Five of his uncles joined him, but he was repulsed
from the walls of Dublin. The strong castle of Maynooth was carried by
assault by the new deputy, Sir William Skeffington; and in the month of
October Lord Leonard Gray, the son of the Marquis of Dorset, arriving
from England at the head of fresh forces, chased him into the fastnesses
of Munster and Connaught. On hearing of this ill-advised rebellion, the
poor Earl of Kildare, already stricken with palsy, sickened and died in
the Tower.

Lord Gray did not trust simply to his arms in the difficult country into
which the Fitzgeralds had retired; he employed money freely to bribe
the natives, who led him through the defiles of the mountains, and the
passable tracks of the morasses, into the retreats of the enemy. He
found the county of Kildare almost entirely desolated. Six out of the
eight baronies were burnt; and where this was not the case, the people
had fled, leaving the corn in the fields. Meath also was ravaged; and
the towns throughout the south of Ireland, besides the horrors of civil
war, found fever and pestilence prevailing, Dublin itself being more
frightfully decimated than the provincial towns. The English Government
sent very little money to the troops, and left them to subsist by
plunder; and they first seized all the cattle, corn, and provisions,
and then laid waste the country by fire. By March, 1535, Lord Thomas
Fitzgerald was reduced to such extremity that he wrote to Lord Gray,
begging him to become intercessor between the king and himself. Lord
Gray, there can be little doubt, promised Fitzgerald a full pardon, on
which he surrendered. But Skeffington wrote to the king that, finding
that O'Connor, his principal supporter, had come in and yielded, "the
young traitor, Thomas Fitzgerald, had done the same, without condition of
pardon of life, lands, and goods."

[Illustration: CAPTURE OF THE FITZGERALDS. (_See p._ 189.)]

But this assertion is clearly contradicted by the council in Dublin, who
wrote entreating the king to be merciful to the said Thomas, to whom they
had given comfortable promises. O'Connor had been too wise to put himself
into the power of Henry on the strength of any promises: he delivered
only certain hostages as security for his good behaviour; but Lord
Thomas was carried over to England by Lord Gray, where he was committed
to the Tower. Gray was immediately sent back to Ireland, with the full
command of the army there, and he was instructed above all things to
secure the persons of the five uncles of Lord Fitzgerald. Accordingly,
on the 14th of February, 1536, the council of Ireland sent to Cromwell,
then minister, an exulting message, that Lord Gray, the chief justice,
and others, had captured the five brethren, which they pronounced to
be the "first deed that ever was done for the weal of the king's poor
subjects of that land." They added, "We assure your mastership that the
said lord justice, the treasurer of the king's wars, and such others as
his grace put in trust in this behalf, have highly deserved his most
gracious thanks for the politic and secret conveying of the matter."
But the truth was, that this politic and secret management was one of
the most disgraceful pieces of treachery which ever was transacted--the
Fitzgeralds being seized at a banquet to which both parties had proceeded
under the most solemn pledges of mutual faith. They were conveyed at once
to London, and in February, 1537, the young earl and his five uncles
were beheaded, after a long and cruel imprisonment in the Tower. Their
unprincipled betrayer, however, did not long enjoy the fruits of his
treachery. He was made Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland as a reward for his
dishonourable service, but was soon removed on charges of misconduct,
committed to one of the very cells which his victims had occupied, and
was beheaded on Tower Hill, as a traitor, on the 28th of June, 1541,
ending his life, according to Godwin, very quietly and godlily. Gray
certainly deserved better treatment from Henry; for, though his conduct
was infamous to the Fitzgeralds, it was most useful to the English king.
The rival factions of Fitzgeralds and Butlers continuing to resist the
English power, Gray contended against them till, by his brilliant victory
at Bellahoe, he broke the power of O'Neill, the northern chieftain, and
confirmed the power of England. Yet, being uncle, by his sister, to the
last surviving male heir of the Fitzgeralds--Gerald, the youngest brother
of the unfortunate Lord Thomas, a boy of only twelve years of age--he
was accused of favouring his escape, and all his services were forgotten
by his ungrateful sovereign. The young Gerald Fitzgerald escaped to the
Continent by the aid of a sea captain of St. Malo, and ultimately to
Italy, where he lived under the patronage and protection of his kinsman,
Cardinal Pole, till he eventually recovered the honours and estates of
his ancestors, in the reign of Queen Mary, at the suggestion of the

After the recall of Lord Gray, O'Connor, O'Neill, M'Murdo, and the
O'Tooles excited fresh insurrections, but they were speedily put down,
and in 1541 Anthony St. Leger found both the Irish chiefs and the lords
of the pale eagerly outstripping each other in professions of loyalty.
In 1541 Henry raised Ireland from the rank of a lordship to that of a
kingdom, and granted letters patent to the Irish chiefs, by the advice
of Sir Thomas Cusake, though unwillingly. Thus, by securing them in
possession of their lands, and raising them to new honours, he gained
their devoted attachment. Henry gave them houses in Dublin, which they
were to inhabit when summoned as peers of the Irish Parliament. Ulick
Burke was made Earl of Clanricarde, Murroch O'Brien Earl of Thomond,
and the great O'Neill became henceforth known by his new title of
Earl of Tyrone. The Irish council was instructed to proceed with the
suppression of the monasteries, though cautiously, not urging the monks
too rigorously, lest they stirred up opposition, but desirably persuading
them that "the lands of the Church were his proper inheritance." These
matters were so well carried out, that the ascendency of England had
never appeared so firmly established since the first invasion of the
island by Henry II.

In Scotland the French and Catholic party was all powerful. James V.
married a French wife, Mary of Guise, in 1538, and in 1539 David Beaton
succeeded his uncle, James Beaton, in the primacy, when the Pope, to
add additional honours to so devoted a servant, presented him with a
cardinal's hat. It was at this crisis that the Pope, acting in concert
with France and Spain, sent Cardinal Pole to co-operate with the Scots in
annoying Henry, and James being applied to by the Pontiff Paul, declared
himself willing to unite with Francis I. and the Emperor in the endeavour
to convert or punish the heretical English king. As if to show Henry
that there was no prospect of any co-operation of James with him, the
fires of persecution were kindled by Beaton and his coadjutors against
the Protestants in that kingdom, and this again drove the Reformers
to make common cause with the Earl of Angus and other Scottish exiles
in England. Henry, to encourage the Protestants, and to warn James if
possible, sent to him his rising diplomatist, Sir Ralph Sadler, who
represented to James that Henry was much nearer related to him than were
any of the Continental sovereigns, and who endeavoured to prevent there
the publication of the bill of excommunication.

But it became necessarily a pitched battle between the Papist party in
Scotland and Henry. They beheld with natural alarm his destruction of
the Papal Church in England, an example of the most terrible kind to
all other national churches of the same creed; and Henry, on the other
hand, knew that so long as that faith was in the ascendant in Scotland,
there would be no assured quiet in his own kingdom. It was the one
proximate and exposed quarter through which the Pope and his abettors on
the Continent could perpetually assail him. From this moment, therefore,
Henry spared no money, no negotiation, no pains to break down the Roman
Catholic ascendency in Scotland.

In the spring of 1541 Cardinal Beaton, and Panter, the Royal secretary,
were despatched to Rome with secret instructions. This alarmed Henry, and
yet afforded him a hope of making an impression on his nephew whilst the
cardinal was away. Once more, therefore, he invited James to meet him at
York. Lord William Howard, who was his envoy on the occasion, induced
James to promise to meet Henry there, and we have seen him on his way
accompanied by his bride, Catherine Howard, to the place of rendezvous.
But James came not; and Henry, enraged, vowed that he would compel James
by force to do that which he would not concede to persuasion.

The Romanist party in Scotland were better pleased with a hostile than
a pacific position, for they greatly dreaded that Henry might at length
warp the king's mind towards his own views. The leaders on both sides
were, in fact, never at peace. On the one side, the exiled Douglases
were always on the watch to recover their estates by their swords, and
the fugitives in Scotland, on account of the Pilgrimage of Grace, were
equally ready to fight their way back to their homes and fortunes. In the
August of 1542, accordingly, there were sharp forays, first from one side
of the Border, and then from the other. Sir James Bowes, the warden of
the east marches, accompanied by Sir George Douglas, the Earl of Angus,
and other Scottish exiles, and 3,000 horsemen, rushed into Teviotdale,
when they were met at Haddenrig by the Earl of Huntly and Lord Home, who
defeated them, and took 600 prisoners.

Henry, having issued a proclamation declaring the Scots the aggressors,
ordered a levy of 40,000 men, and appointed the Duke of Norfolk the
commander of this army. He was attended by the Earls of Shrewsbury,
Derby, Cumberland, Surrey, Hertford, Rutland, with many others of the
nobility. This imposing force was joined by the Earl of Angus and
the rest of the banished Douglases who had escaped the slaughter at
Haddenrig. After some delay at York the royal army, issuing a fresh
proclamation, in which Henry claimed the crown of Scotland, advanced
to Berwick, where it crossed into Scotland, and, advancing along the
northern bank of the Tweed as far as Kelso, burned two towns and twenty
villages. Norfolk did not venture to advance farther into the country, as
he heard that James had assembled a powerful force, whilst Huntly, Home,
and Seton were hovering on his flanks. He therefore contented himself
with ravaging the neighbourhood, and then crossed again at Kelso into

James, indignant at the invasion and the injuries inflicted on his
subjects, marched from the Burghmuir at Edinburgh, where he was encamped
at the head of 30,000 men, in pursuit of the English. But he soon found
that different causes paralysed his intended chastisement. Many of the
nobles were in favour of the Reformation, and held this martial movement
as a direct attempt to maintain the Papal power and the influence of
Beaton and his party. Others were in secret league with the banished
Douglases, who were on the English side; and there were not wanting those
who sincerely advised a merely defensive warfare, and pointed out the
evils which had always followed the pursuit of the English into their
own country. They urged the fact that Norfolk and his army, destitute of
provisions and suffering from the inclemency of the weather, were already
in full retreat homewards. But James would not listen to these arguments;
he burned to take vengeance on the English, and after halting on Fala
Muir, and reviewing his troops, he gave the order to march in pursuit of
Norfolk; but, to his consternation, he found that nearly every nobleman
refused to cross the Border. They pleaded the lateness of the season,
the want of provisions for the army, and the rashness of following the
English into the midst of their own country, where another Flodden Field
might await them.

James was highly exasperated at this defection, and denounced the
leaders as traitors and cowards, pointing out to them their unpatriotic
conduct, when they saw all around them the towns and villages burnt,
the farms ravaged, and the people expelled or exterminated along the
line of Norfolk's march. It was in vain that he exhorted or reproved
them; they stole away from his standard, and the indignant king found
himself abandoned by the chief body of his army. For himself, however,
he disdained to give up the enterprise. He despatched Lord Maxwell with
a force of 10,000 men to burst into the western marches, ordering him
to remain in England laying waste the country as long as Norfolk had
remained in Scotland. James himself awaited the event at Caerlaverock
Castle; but, discontented with the movements of Lord Maxwell, whom he
suspected of being infected by the spirit of the other insubordinate
nobles, he sent his favourite, Oliver Sinclair, to supersede Lord Maxwell
in the command.


Moss-troopers returning from a Foray.


This was an imprudent step, calculated to excite fresh discontent, as
it very effectually did. The proud nobles who surrounded Maxwell threw
down their arms, swearing that they would not serve under any such royal
minion; the troops broke out into open mutiny; and in the midst of this
confusion, a body of 500 English horse riding up under the Lords Dacre
and Musgrave, the Scots believed it to be the vanguard of Norfolk's army,
and fled in precipitate confusion. The English, charging furiously at
this unexpected advantage, surrounded great numbers of the fugitives, and
took 1,000 of them prisoners. All these were sent to London, and given
into the custody of different English noblemen. Many of the prisoners
were believed to surrender willingly, as disaffected men who were ready
to sell their country to England; and others are said to have been seized
by border freebooters, and sold to the enemy. This was the battle of
Solway Moss.

The king was so overwhelmed with grief and resentment at this disgraceful
defeat, through the disloyalty of his nobility, that he returned to
Edinburgh in deep dejection. From Edinburgh he proceeded to the palace of
Falkland, where he shut himself up, brooding on his misfortunes; and such
hold did this take upon him, that he began to sink rapidly in health. He
was in the prime of his life, being only in his thirty-first year; of a
constitution hitherto vigorous, having scarcely known any sickness; but
his agonised mind producing fever of body, he seemed hastening rapidly to
the grave. At this crisis his wife was confined. She had already borne
him two sons, who had died in their infancy, and an heir might now have
given a check to his melancholy; but it proved a daughter--the afterwards
celebrated and unfortunate Queen of Scots. On hearing that it was a
daughter, he turned himself in his bed, saying, "The crown came with a
woman, and it will go with one. Many miseries await this poor kingdom.
Henry will make it his own, either by force of arms or by marriage." On
the seventh day after the birth of Mary, he expired, December 14th, 1542.

No sooner did Cardinal Beaton and his party learn that the king had
expired than, guessing all that Henry and his party in Scotland would
attempt, they took measures to secure the young queen and the sovereign
power. Beaton produced a will as that of James, appointing him regent
and guardian of the young queen, assisted by a council of the Earls of
Argyll, Huntly, and Murray. The Earl of Arran, James Hamilton, on the
other hand, declared this will to be a forgery, and being himself the
next heir to the throne, after the infant queen, he assumed the right to
make himself her guardian, and to order the kingdom for her. By means
of the Protestant nobles, as well as the vassals of his own house, and
the prevailing opinion that Beaton had forged the will, Arran succeeded
in establishing himself as regent on the 22nd of December, 1542, and
the Protestant influence was in the ascendant. It was now conceded that
Angus and the Douglases should be recalled from their exile, and they
quitted England in the following January, the Earl of Arran giving them
a safe-conduct.

It was a deadly warfare between the Protestant and Papal parties. A list
of 360 of the nobles and gentry was produced by Arran, which was said to
have been found on the person of the king, all of whom were proscribed
as heretics, and doomed to confiscation of their estates and other
punishments. This list, which the Romanists in their turn denounced as
forged, was vehemently charged on Beaton, who was said to have drawn it
up when the heads of the army refused to march into England. The Earl
of Arran himself stood at the head of the list. The cardinal, who saw
the imminent danger of his cause and party, despatched trusty agents
to France to solicit instant aid in money and troops, to defend the
interests and guard the persons of the queen-dowager, Mary of Guise,
and the royal infant. To hasten the movements of the house of Guise, he
represented the certain dependence of Scotland on England if the king of
England succeeded in accomplishing the marriage of the infant queen with
his son.

To silence the cardinal, he was seized and incarcerated in the castle of
Blackness, under the care of Lord Seton; and a negotiation was actively
carried on through Sir Ralph Sadler for the marriage of the infant
queen and the Prince of Wales. It was agreed that Mary should remain in
Scotland till she was ten years of age; that she should then be sent to
England to be educated; that six Scottish noblemen should be at once
delivered to Henry as hostages for the fulfilment of the contract; and
when the union of the two kingdoms should take place, Scotland should
retain all its own laws and privileges.

But though Beaton was in prison, his spirit was abroad. The clergy had
the highest faith in the talents and influence of the cardinal. They
considered his liberation as necessary to avert the ruin of their party,
and they put in motion all their machinery for rousing the people.
They shut up the churches, and refused to administer the sacraments or
bury the dead; and the priests and monks were thus set at liberty from
all other duties to harangue and influence the passions of the people.
Everywhere it was declared that Arran, the regent, had formed a league
with Angus and the Douglases, who had been so long in England, to sell
the country and the queen to England under the pretence of a marriage;
that this was what the English monarchs had long been seeking; and that
not only the Douglases, but Arran himself, were pensioned by Henry for
the purpose. That this was but too true, the State Papers amply prove.
Henry and his successors spared no money for this end; and the traitorous
bargaining of a great number of the Scottish nobles with the English
monarchs stands too well evidenced under their own hands.

[Illustration: THE FIRST LEVEE OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. (_See p._ 191.)

(_After the Picture by W. B. Hole, R.S.A._)]

At this juncture Cardinal Beaton managed to escape from his prison, from
which he had never ceased to correspond with and inspirit his party. How
he came to escape has been considered a mystery; but perhaps that mystery
is not very deep when we reflect that Lord Seton, in whose custody he
was, was a man, though related to the Hamiltons, yet of a most loyal
temper, and a decided Romanist. Seton negotiated with Beaton to give up
his castle of St. Andrews; and, as if this could not be accomplished
without the cardinal's presence on the spot, Seton allowed him to
accompany him, but with so small a force, that the moment the cardinal
stood in his own castle he declared himself at liberty, and Seton had
no power to say nay had he wished it. As no punishment or even censure
befell Lord Seton on this account, it is most probable that Arran
himself was cognisant of the scheme. What makes this more likely is that
Hamilton, the abbot of Paisley, the natural brother of Arran, the Regent,
had returned just before from France; and that he was at the bottom of
the plot may not unreasonably be supposed, from the fact that he very
soon exercised a powerful influence over the weaker mind of the Regent.
Through the means of the abbot, Beaton even attempted to accommodate
matters with Henry. He declared that he was sincerely desirous of the
union of the young queen and the Prince of Wales, so that there should be
peace between the countries, yet a peace preserving the independence of
each. But this independence of Scotland was the very thing which Henry
was determined to annihilate, and he pressed his desires for it with such
violence that all hopes of an amicable arrangement vanished.

[Illustration: VIEW IN ST. ANDREWS.]

Arran, alienated from the English Government by the imperious demands
of Henry, and alarmed at the progress of the Papist faction, took care
to proclaim his resolute resolve to oppose the aims of Henry, even to
the extremity of war, and he dismissed his Protestant chaplains, friar
Williams and John Rough; and such was the spirit of the people that
Glencairn and Cassillis, the most devoted partisans of England, declared
that they would sooner die than agree to the surrender of the French
alliance. Such, in fact, was the popular exasperation that Sadler dared
not appear in the streets; and the peers in the interest of Henry were
equally the objects of the public resentment.

To induce Henry to pause in his fatal career, Sir George Douglas
hastened to London, and prevailed on him to abate the extravagance of
his demands. The immediate delivery of the infant queen, the surrender
of the fortresses and of the Government into the hands of Henry, were
waived, and Douglas returned to Scotland, bearing proposals of marriage
of a more reasonable kind. Henry, however, did not abandon his schemes
in secret. In the Public Record office there is a memorandum in the hand
of Wriothesley, saying that "the articles be so reasonable, that if the
ambassadors of Scotland will not agree to them, then it shall be mete
the king's majesty follow out his purpose by force." Sir George Douglas
renewed the offer formerly made by Henry to Arran, of marrying the
Princess Elizabeth and his eldest son, and Sir George and Glencairn were
sent to London to assist the ambassadors in bringing the negotiation to
a close.

But Arran was assailed as vehemently on the other side by the cardinal,
and the queen-dowager, who was the real head of the party. They sent
Lennox to endeavour to win him over to their side, so that all Scotland
might unite against Henry. Lennox delivered a very flattering message
from Francis I. to the Regent, offering him both men and money to
resist any attempt of invasion by the English; but this failing, the
queen-dowager and Beaton prosecuted the negotiation with France, and it
was agreed that 2,000 men, under Montgomerie, Sieur de Lorges, should
be sent to Scotland. The queen and cardinal called on their partisans
to assemble their followers and garrison their castles, whilst Grimani,
the Pope's legate, was entreated to hasten to Scotland with a formidable
store of anathemas and excommunications. The clergy assembled in
convention at St. Andrews, and so ardent were they in the cause which
they believed to be that of the very existence of the Church, that
they pledged themselves to raise the sum required for the war against
England, and, if necessary, not only to melt down the church plate, and
to sacrifice their private fortunes, but to fight in person.

Whilst public opinion was in this state of fermentation, Henry VIII.,
irritated at the conduct of the cardinal and a large body of the nobles,
committed one of those rash and foolish acts, into which the wild fury
of his temper often precipitated him. After the proclamation of peace,
a fleet of Scottish merchant vessels, driven by a storm, took refuge in
an English port, where, under the recent treaty, they deemed themselves
safe. But Henry had just proclaimed war on France and, making that a
pretence, he accused them of carrying provisions to his enemies, and
detained them. At this outrage the people of Edinburgh surrounded the
house of Sadler the English ambassador, and threatened to burn him in
it if the ships were not restored. Arran, the governor, came in for
his share of the odium as the staunch ally of Henry; and the common
friends of Arran and Henry, the traitorous faction of Angus, Cassillis,
Glencairn, and the other barons under secret bond to England, proposed
to call out their forces for immediate war. These base sons of a brave
country asserted that the time was come for Henry to send a great army
into Scotland, with which they would co-operate, "for the conquest of the

Everything boded the immediate outbreak of a bloody war, when a
surprising revolution took place. On the 3rd of September, Arran declared
to Sir Ralph Sadler that he was devotedly attached to the interests of
Henry, and within a week afterwards he met the cardinal at Callender
House, the seat of Lord Livingston, and entered into a complete
reconciliation with him. A short time before Beaton had refused to hold
any intercourse with him for fear of his life, and now he was seen
riding amicably with him towards Stirling. This singular exhibition was
followed by Arran's renunciation of Protestantism; his return, with full
absolution, into communion with the Roman Church; his surrender of the
treaties with England, and the delivery of his son as a pledge of his
sincerity. So marvellous a conversion must have had powerful causes, and
they are only to be explained by the weakness of Arran's character, and
the artful and alarming representations of his more able brother, the
abbot of Paisley. This zealous partisan of both France and the cardinal
is said to have persuaded him that by renouncing the Papal supremacy,
and allying himself with the arch-enemy of Rome, Henry of England, he
was running imminent danger of the total loss of his titles, estates,
and claim to the Regency, which could only be maintained by the Pope
declaring valid the divorce of his father from his former wife. All
Scotland was now united in its enmity to England.

The year 1544 found Henry bent on war both with Scotland and France.
Francis had deeply offended him by disapproving of his divorce and murder
of Anne Boleyn, and by his refusal to follow his advice in repudiating
his allegiance to the Pope. Francis had declared that he was Henry's
friend, but only as far as the altar. Charles V., aggravated as had been
the conduct of Henry towards him, by his divorce of his aunt Catherine,
and the stigma of illegitimacy which he had cast on her daughter the
Princess Mary, was yet by no means displeased to observe the growing
differences between Henry and his rival Francis. He, therefore, like
a genuine politician, dropped his resentment on account of Catherine,
and professed to believe that it was time to bury these remembrances
in oblivion. The only obstacle to peace between them was the declared
illegitimacy and exclusion from the succession of Mary. Henry lost no
time in getting over this point. He had no need to confess himself
wrong; he had a staunch Parliament who would do anything he required.
Parliament, therefore, passed an Act restoring both Mary and Elizabeth
to their political rights. Nothing was said of their illegitimacy, but
they were restored to their place in the succession. Thus the Parliament
had gone backward and forward at Henry's bidding to such an extent that
now it was treason to assert the legitimacy of the princesses, and it was
treason to deny it; for if they were illegitimate they could not claim
the throne. It was treason to be silent, according to the former Act on
this head, and it was now treason to refuse to take an oath on it when
required. To such infamy did honourable members of Parliament stoop under
this extraordinary despot.

This sorry compromise having been accepted by the necessities rather than
the will of the Emperor, Henry and he now made a treaty on these terms:
1st, That they should jointly require the French king to renounce his
alliance with the Turks, and to make reparation to the Christians for
all the losses which they had sustained in consequence of that alliance;
2nd, That Francis should be compelled to pay up to the King of England
the arrears of his pension, and give security for a more punctual payment
in future; 3rd, That if Francis did not comply with these terms within
forty days, the Emperor should seize the duchy of Burgundy, Henry all
the territories of France which had belonged to his ancestors, and that
both monarchs should be ready to enforce their claims at the head of a
competent army.

As Francis refused to listen to these terms, and would not even permit
the messengers of the newly allied sovereigns to cross his frontiers, the
Emperor, who was now desirous of recovering the towns which he had lost
in Flanders, obtained from Henry a reinforcement of 6,000 men under Sir
John Wallop, who laid siege to Landrecies; whilst Charles himself, with a
still greater force, overran the duchy of Cleves, and compelled the duke,
the devoted partisan of France, to acknowledge the Imperial allegiance.
Charles then marched to the siege of Landrecies, and Francis approached
at the head of a large army. A great battle now appeared inevitable; but
Francis, manoeuvring as for a fight, contrived to throw provisions into
the town and withdrew. Imperialists and English pursued the retiring
army; and the English, by too much impetuosity, suffered considerable
loss. Henry promised himself more decided advantage in the next campaign,
which he intended to conduct in person. This he had not been able to make
illustrious by his presence; for he had been busily engaged with his
approaching marriage to a sixth wife.

The lady who had this time been elevated to this perilous eminence was
the Lady Catherine Latimer, the widow of Lord Latimer, already mentioned
for his concern in the Pilgrimage of Grace. She was born Catherine Parr,
a daughter of Sir Thomas Parr. She was fourth cousin to Henry himself,
and had been twice married previous to his wedding her. She was the
widow of Lord Borough, of Gainsborough, at fifteen, and was about thirty
when Henry married her, only a few months after the death of her second
husband, Lord Latimer.

Catherine Parr, as she still continues to be called, was educated
under the care of her mother at Kendal Castle, and received a very
learned education for a woman of those times. She read and wrote Latin
fluently, had some knowledge of Greek, and was mistress of several modern
languages. She is said to have been handsome, but of very small and
delicate features. At all times she appears to have been of remarkable
thoughtfulness and prudence, extremely amiable, and became thoroughly
devoted to Protestantism; and she may, indeed, justly be styled the first
Protestant Queen of England, for Anne of Cleves, though educated in the
Protestant faith, became a decided Papist in this country. It was not
till after the death of Lord Latimer that her Protestant tendencies,
however, were known; yet then, she seems to have made no secret of them,
for her house became the resort of Coverdale, Latimer, Parkhurst, and
other eminent Reformers, and sermons were frequently preached in her
chamber of state, which it is surprising did not attract the attention
of the king. The marriage took place on the 12th of July, 1543, in the
queen's closet at Hampton Court.

The spring of 1544 opened with active preparations for Henry's campaign
in France. During the winter, Gonzaga, the viceroy of Sicily, was
despatched to London by Charles, to arrange the plan of operations. An
admirable one was devised, had Henry been the man to assist in carrying
it out. The emperor was to enter France by Champagne, and Henry by
Picardy, and, instead of staying to besiege the towns on the route, they
were to dash on to Paris where, their forces uniting, they might consider
themselves masters of the French capital, or in a position to dictate
terms to Francis. In May the Imperialists were in the field, and Henry
landed at Calais in June, and by the middle of July he was within the
bounds of France, at the head of 20,000 English and 15,000 Imperialists.

But neither of the invaders kept to the original plan. Charles stopped by
the way to reduce Luxembourg, Ligne, and St. Didier. Had Henry, however,
pushed on with his imposing army to Paris, Francis would have been at the
mercy of the allies. But Henry, ambitious to rival the military successes
of Charles, and take towns too, instead of making the capital his object,
turned aside to besiege Boulogne and Montreuil. The Imperial ambassador,
sensible of the fatality of this proceeding, urged Henry with all his
eloquence during eleven days to push on: and Charles, to take from him
any further excuse for delay, hastened forward along the right bank of
the Marne, avoiding all the fortified towns. But when once Henry had
undertaken an object, opposition only increased his resolution, and he
lost all consciousness of everything but the one idea of asserting his
mastery. In vain, therefore, did Charles send messengers imploring him to
advance; for more than two months he continued besieging Boulogne, and
the golden opportunity was lost.

Francis seized on the delay to make terms with Charles. He sent to him
a Spanish monk of the name of Guzman, and a near relative of Charles's
confessor, proposing terms of accommodation. Charles readily listened
to them, and sent to Henry to learn his demands. These demands were
something enormous, and whilst Francis demurred, Charles continued his
march, and arrived at Château-Thierry, almost in the vicinity of Paris.
The circumstances of both Francis and Charles now mutually inclined them
to open separate negotiations. Francis saw a foreign army menacing his
capital, but Charles, on the other hand, saw the French army constantly
increasing between him and his strange ally, whom nothing could induce
to move from the walls of Boulogne. Under these circumstances Charles
consented to offer Francis the terms which he had demanded before the
war, and which he had refused; but now came the news that the English
had taken Boulogne, and the French king at once accepted them. The Treaty
of Crépy, as this was called, bound the two sovereigns to unite for the
defence of Christendom against the Turks, and to unite their families by
the marriage of the second son of Francis with a daughter of Charles.
Henry, on his part, having placed a strong garrison in Boulogne, raised
the siege of Montreuil, and returned to England, like a great conqueror,
as he always did, from his distant campaigns.

By the end of April a scheme to assassinate Cardinal Beaton, of which
Henry was cognisant, having failed, he was prepared to pour on Scotland
the vial of his murderous wrath. A fleet of a hundred sail, under the
command of Lord Lisle, the High Admiral of England, appeared suddenly
in the Forth. The Scots seem to have by no means been dreaming of such
a visitant, and it threw the capital into the greatest consternation.
In four days, such was the absence of preparation, such the public
paralysis, that Hertford was permitted to land his troops and his
artillery without the sight of a single soldier. He had advanced from
Granton to Leith when Arran and the cardinal threw themselves in his way
with a miserable handful of followers, who were instantly dispersed and
Leith was given up to plunder.

The citizens of Edinburgh, finding themselves deserted by the governor,
flew to arms, under the command of Otterburn of Redhall, the provost
of the city. Otterburn proceeded to the English camp and, obtaining an
interview with Lord Hertford, complained of this unlooked-for invasion,
and offered to accommodate all differences. But Hertford returned a
haughty answer that he was not come to negotiate, for which he had no
power, but to lay waste town and country with fire and sword unless the
young queen were delivered to him. The people of Edinburgh, on hearing
this insolent message, vowed to perish to a man rather than condescend
to such baseness. They set about to defend their walls and sustain the
attack of the enemy; but they found that Otterburn, who had tampered
secretly with the English before this, had stolen unobserved away. They
appointed a new provost, and manned their walls so stoutly that they
compelled Hertford to fetch up his battering ordnance from Leith. Seeing
very soon that it was impossible to defend their gates from this heavy
ordnance, they silently collected as much of their property as they could
carry, and abandoned the town. Hertford took possession of it; and then
sought to reduce the castle. But finding this useless, he set fire to
the city; and, reinforced by 4,000 horse, under Lord Eure, he employed
himself in devastating the surrounding country with a savage ferocity,
which no doubt had been commanded by the bitter malice of the English

[Illustration: FRANCIS I.

(_From the Portrait in the Louvre, attributed to the Elder Clouet._)]

On the 15th of May, Arran, having assembled a considerable force, and
liberated Angus and his brother, Sir George Douglas, in the hope of
winning them over by such clemency, marched rapidly towards Edinburgh.
The English, however, did not wait for his arrival. Lord Lisle embarked
a portion of the troops at Leith again, and Lord Hertford led away
the remainder by land. Both by land and water the English commanders
continued their buccaneering outrages, doing all the mischief and
inflicting all the misery they could. Lord Lisle seized the two largest
Scottish vessels in the harbour of Leith, and burnt the rest; he then
sailed along the coast, plundering and destroying all the villages and
country within reach. Lord Hertford, on his part, laid Port Seaton,
Haddington, Renton, and Dunbar in ashes, and returned into England,
leaving behind him a trail of desolation. Such was the insane and
ridiculous manner in which Henry VIII. wooed the little Queen of Scotland
for his son. A border war ensued, and Scotland was mercilessly ravaged.

Francis I. could not rest satisfied so long as Boulogne was in the hands
of the English, and he resolved in 1545, to make a grand effort to
recover not only that town but Calais, which had been for centuries in
the possession of England. Large galleys were built at Rouen, and as many
vessels were collected as possible from Marseilles and other ports in the
Mediterranean for this enterprise. He hired soldiers from the Venetian
and other Italian States, and he determined to send a body of troops to
Scotland to assist in making a diversion in that country. But he was
not contented with endeavouring to regain his own towns; his coasts
had often been harassed by the English vessels, and he now ventured to
carry the war to Henry's own shores. Henry, aware of his intentions,
raised fortifications on the banks of the Thames, and along the shores
of Kent, Sussex, and Hampshire. The French fleet, consisting of 130
ships, set sail on the 16th of July, and fell down the Channel. Francis
flattered himself that he could seize the Isle of Wight, and perhaps
maintain garrisons there, if he should not be able to get possession
of Portsmouth. Henry had himself proceeded to Portsmouth, where he had
sixty ships lying, under the command of Lord Lisle. The French fleet
sailed into the Solent, and anchored at St. Helen's. The sea being very
calm, the French admiral put out his flat-bottomed boats and galleys that
drew little water, and sailed into the very mouth of Portsmouth Harbour,
daring the English admiral to come out. But Henry commanded Lord Lisle to
lie still. The French admiral, firing into the port, sank the _Mary Rose_
with her commander, Sir George Carew, and 700 men. On the turn of the
tide Lord Lisle bore down on the enemy, and sank a galley with its men,
and the French vessels then bore away to the main fleet.

As the French could not provoke the English to come out of harbour,
though they burned the villages and farmhouses along the coast, they held
a council of war, and resolved to attempt the conquest of the Isle of
Wight. The invasion of the island was essayed in three places, but the
inhabitants repulsed with great spirit the soldiers as they landed; and,
after committing some ravages, the French thought it best to retire. They
then sailed along the coast of Sussex, making occasional descents, and
finally anchored before Boulogne, to prevent the entrance of supplies
for the army there. Another object was to hinder reinforcements of ships
from the Thames reaching Portsmouth, but in both these endeavours the
superior vigilance of the English prevailed; provisions were conveyed
into Boulogne, and a reinforcement of thirty ships arrived at Portsmouth.
At length Lord Lisle received orders from Henry to put to sea and attack
the enemy; he expressed himself highly delighted, but nothing came of it,
for the two fleets manoeuvred for some time in the face of each other,
exchanged a few shots, and then retired to their respective ports. And
thus ended the boastful enterprise of Francis. Henry, as we have seen,
had only succeeded in capturing Boulogne, and was accordingly glad to
make peace with Francis in 1546, on terms fairly advantageous to England.

As Scotland was included in the peace with France, the French party
appeared to be entirely triumphant. But Beaton's end was near, and it was
hastened on by his religious persecutions. Notwithstanding the endeavours
of Cardinal Beaton, and the apostacy of Arran, the Reformation had now
made great progress in Scotland, and it was while the struggle was going
on between the party of Angus and the party of the cardinal, backed by
the money and the arms of England, that there came upon the scene the
remarkable preacher, George Wishart. Wishart is supposed to have been
the son of James Wishart of Pitarro, justice-clerk to James V., and he
was patronised by John Erskine, Provost of Montrose. In Montrose he
became master of a school, and was expelled for teaching Greek to his
boys, avowedly as the original tongue of the New Testament. He fled to
England, and in Bristol was condemned as a heretic for preaching against
the offering of prayers to the Virgin. He then recanted to avoid death,
but remained some years in England, returning to all and more than the
opinions he had renounced in sight of the fagot. He boldly preached
the insufficiency of outward ceremonies when the heart itself was not
touched. He admitted only the sacraments recorded in the Scriptures;
derided auricular confession; condemned the invocation of saints and the
doctrine of purgatory, though he approved of fasting, and maintained
that the Lord's Supper was a Divine and comfortable institution. The
doctrines, conduct, and corruptions of his opponents he denounced with
unsparing severity.

These traits had made him a welcome agent of opposition to the cardinal
with the lords of the English party; and Beaton, at once hostile to his
religious views and to him personally, as the ally of those who were
seeking his life by the most abominable means, soon turned his resentment
upon him. Twice he is said to have escaped from the emissaries of the
cardinal lying in wait to seize him. How far he was aware of the plots
and mercenary villainy of those about him is uncertain; but living in the
very midst of the traitor lords, and often under the very roof of the
busy agent of Beaton's proposed murder, Brunston, he was so far cognisant
of the preparations for the invasion of Scotland and the destruction of
the cardinal's party, that he frequently announced in his sermons the
approach of the horrors which at length arrived, and thus acquired the
reputation of a prophet. Under the protection of the Angus party, he
preached in the towns of Montrose, Dundee, Perth, and Ayr, and produced
such a spirit of hostility to the old religion, that at Dundee the houses
of the Black and Grey Friars were destroyed, and similar attempts were
made in Edinburgh.

While the friends of Wishart were seeking the life of Beaton, Beaton,
aware of this, was seeking the life of Wishart, and Wishart in his
addresses to the people repeatedly declared that he should perish a
martyr to the cause of truth. At length Cassillis and the gentlemen of
Kyle and Cunningham sent for him to meet them at Edinburgh, where they
proposed that he should have an opportunity for public disputation with
the bishop. Wishart proceeded to the capital where, Cassillis and the
confederates not having arrived, he soon began to preach to the people,
under the protection of the barons of Lothian. At Leith, Sir George
Douglas bore public testimony to the truth of his doctrine, and declared
his resolution to protect the preacher. There, too, he converted John
Knox, who was destined to establish the Reformation in Scotland.

In the midst of these proceedings arrived the cardinal and the governor
in Edinburgh, and Beaton lost no time in endeavouring to secure the
person of the popular apostle. Brunston removed Wishart to West Lothian
to be out of the way till the arrival of Cassillis, who was the chief
conspirator against the cardinal; but Wishart was not a man to lie
concealed. He preached in the very face of danger, though a two-handed
sword was constantly borne before him on these occasions; and at length,
after a remarkable sermon at Haddington, where he prognosticated deep
miseries about to fall upon the country, he took leave affectionately
of his audience, and set out for the house of Ormiston, accompanied by
Brunston, Sandilands of Calder, and Ormiston. That night the house of
Ormiston was surrounded by a party of horse under the command of the Earl
of Bothwell. Wishart, Sandilands, and Cockburn were seized. Cockburn and
Sandilands were conducted to the castle of Edinburgh, Wishart to Hailes,
the house of Bothwell, who for some time refused to give him up to the
cardinal, but at length did so under promise of a great reward. Brunston
had managed to escape.

Beaton was anxious to have Wishart tried and condemned on a civil charge;
but to this Arran would not consent, and the cardinal was therefore
obliged to forego his vengeance, or arraign him as a heretic. He was
sentenced to be burnt, and this sentence was carried out at St. Andrews,
on the 28th of March, 1546. In this execution the cardinal's malice
far outran his usually sound policy. Nothing could be more mischievous
to his own cause than the murder of Wishart. Till then, the people,
whatever their religious opinions, regarded the political views of Beaton
as patriotic, and they supported him as the great bulwark against the
power and designs of England. But now they regarded him as a horrible
persecutor, and they shrank from him and his power fell. The meekness
and patience with which Wishart, whom they now honoured with the name of
martyr, bore his horrible fate, made a lasting impression on the public

While the people thus unequivocally condemned this barbarous deed, and
only the more eagerly inquired into the principles of the sufferer, the
immediate confederates against the cardinal found in this event a grand
warrant for carrying out their own murderous intentions. Cassillis,
Glencairn, and the rest of the nobles had delayed the desperate deed,
because they could not extract from Henry a distinct statement of the pay
they were to receive for it. But now Norman Leslie, the Earl of Rothes,
and John Leslie, his uncle, began to vow publicly that they would have
the blood of Beaton as an atonement for that of the martyred Wishart.
They opened anew an active correspondence with England, and associated
themselves with a number of others who were exasperated at the cardinal's

On the other hand, the partisans of Beaton lauded him to the skies as the
saviour of the Church in Scotland, and strong in the alliance of France
and the late ill-success of the English party, the cardinal appeared
to enjoy a season of triumph; but it was a triumph quickly quenched in
blood. Elated with his temporary success, the cardinal made a progress
into Angus, and celebrated the marriage of one of his natural daughters,
Margaret Béthune, to David Lindsay, Master of Crawford, at Finhaven
Castle, bestowing upon her a dowry worthy of a princess. The cardinal was
disturbed in his festivities by the news that Henry VIII. was pushing
on his preparations for a new invasion, and he hastened to St. Andrews
to put his castle into a perfect state of defence. On his arrival he
summoned the barons of the neighbouring coast to consult on the best
means of fortifying it against any attack of the enemy. But while thus
busily engaged in warding off the assault of a foreign enemy, a domestic
foe was eagerly at work close at hand for his destruction. The Laird
of Brunston was stimulating Henry to give the necessary assurance to
those who were ready at a word to plunge the sword into the body of the
cardinal. A quarrel arising between Beaton and the Leslies brought the
matter to a crisis. Norman Leslie, the Master of Rothes, had given up to
Beaton the estate of Easter Wemyss and, at a meeting in St. Andrews, had
found the cardinal indisposed to make the promised equivalent for it.
High words arose, and Leslie hastened to his uncle John; and both of them
deeming that there was no longer any safety after the words Norman Leslie
in his rage had let fall, they immediately summoned their confederates,
and resolved to put the cardinal to death without delay.

On the evening of the 28th of May, Norman Leslie, attended by five
followers, entered the city of St. Andrews, and rode, without exciting
any suspicion, in his usual manner to his inn. Kirkaldy of Grange was
awaiting him there, and after nightfall, John Leslie, whose enmity
to Beaton was most notorious, stole quietly in and joined them. At
daybreak the next morning, Norman Leslie and three of his attendants
entered the gates of the castle court, the porter having lowered the
drawbridge to admit the workmen who were employed on the cardinal's fresh
fortifications. Norman inquired if the cardinal were yet up, as if he had
business with him; and while he held the porter in conversation, Kirkaldy
of Grange, James Melville, and their followers entered unobserved; but
presently the porter, catching sight of John Leslie crossing the bridge,
instantly suspected treason, and attempted to raise the drawbridge;
but Leslie was too nimble for him; he leaped across the gap, and the
conspirators, closing round the porter, despatched him with their
daggers, seized the keys, and threw the body into the fosse, without any
noise or alarm. They then proceeded to dismiss the workmen as quietly
from the castle, and Kirkaldy, who was well acquainted with the castle,
stationed himself at the only postern through which an escape could be
made. The conspirators then went to the apartments of the different
gentlemen composing the household of the cardinal, awoke them, and, under
menace of instant death if they made any noise, conducted them silently
out of the castle and dismissed them. Thus were 150 workmen and fifty
household servants removed without any commotion by this little band of
sixteen determined men, and, the portcullis being dropped, they remained
masters of the castle.

The cardinal, who had slept through the greater part of this time, at
length awoke at the unusual bustle, threw open his chamber window and
demanded the cause of it. The reply was that Norman Leslie had taken
the castle, on which the cardinal rushed to the postern to escape; but
finding it in possession of Kirkaldy, he returned as rapidly to his
chamber and, assisted by a page, pushed the heaviest furniture against
the door to defend the entrance till an alarm could be given. But the
conspirators did not allow him time for that. They called for fire to
burn down the door, and Beaton, finding resistance useless, threw open
the door, when John Leslie and Carmichael rushed upon him, as he cried
for mercy, and stabbed him in several places. Melville, however, with a
mockery of justice, bade them desist, saying that though the deed was
done in secret, it was an act of national justice not that of mercenary
assassins, and must be executed with all due decorum. Then, turning
the point of the sword towards the wretched cardinal, he said, with
formal gravity, "Repent thee, thou wicked cardinal, of all thy sins and
iniquities, especially of the murder of Wishart, that instrument of God
for the conversion of these lands. It is his death which now cries for
vengeance on thee. We are sent by God to inflict the deserved punishment.
For here, before the Almighty, I protest that it is neither hatred of thy
person, nor love of thy riches, nor fear of thy power, which moves me to
seek thy death; but only because thou hast been, and still remainest,
an obstinate enemy to Christ Jesus and His holy Gospel." With that he
plunged his sword repeatedly into the prelate's body, and laid him dead
at his feet.

The death of Cardinal Beaton was at the same time the death-blow to the
Church in Scotland. Though he was a man of corrupt moral life and of a
persecuting disposition, he was one of the most able men of his time, and
resisted the designs of Henry for the subjugation of his native country,
with a vigour and perseverance which made Henry feel that whilst he lived
Scotland was independent. The death of Beaton, so ardently desired, and
so highly paid for by Henry, did not, however, bring him nearer to the
reduction of the country, or the accomplishment of his son's marriage
with the queen. On the contrary, so intense was the hatred of him and
of England, which his tyrannic and detestable conduct had created in
every rank and class of the Scottish people, that these objects were now
farther off than ever. Henry's own embarrassments were, in consequence
of his Scottish and French wars, become so intolerable, that he was
compelled, as we have already seen (p. 198), to make peace with France
in the month of June, by a treaty called the Treaty of Boulogne, and
to agree to deliver up Boulogne, on condition that Francis paid up the
arrears of his pension, and to submit a claim of 500,000 crowns upon him
to arbitration. Francis took care to have Scotland included in the peace,
and Henry bound himself not to interfere with it except on receiving some
fresh provocation.

[Illustration: THE ASSASSINATION OF CARDINAL BEATON. (_See p._ 200.)]

Henry was now drawing to a close of that life which might have been so
splendid, and which he had made so horrible. To the last moment he was
employed in base endeavours to elude the peace which he had submitted to
with Scotland; in the struggles between the two great religious factions,
and in still further shocking executions for treason and heresy. Henry
himself was become in mind and person a most loathsome object. A life
of vile pleasures, and furious and unrestrained passions, succeeded, as
other appetites decayed, by a brutal habit of gormandising, had swollen
him to an enormous size, and made his body one huge mass of corruption.
The ulcer in his leg had become revoltingly offensive; his weight and
helplessness were such that he could not pass through any ordinary door,
nor be removed from one part of the house to another, except by the
aid of machinery and by the help of numerous attendants. The constant
irritation of his festering legs made his terrible temper still more

Of those about him, his queen, Catherine Parr, had the most miraculous
escape. With wonderful patience, she had borne his whims, his rages,
and his offensive person. She had shown an affectionate regard for his
children, and had assisted with great wisdom in the progress of their
education, living all the time as with a sword suspended over her head
by a hair. She was devotedly attached to the Reformed principles, and
loved to converse with sincere Protestants. She had made Miles Coverdale
her almoner, and rendered him every assistance in his translation of the
Bible. She employed the learned Nicholas Udal, Master of Eton, to edit
the translations of Erasmus's "Paraphrases on the Four Gospels," which,
according to Strype, she published at her own cost. Stimulated by her
example, many ladies of rank pursued the study of the learned languages
and of Scriptural knowledge.

Of this school, and one of Catherine's own pupils, was Lady Jane Grey;
and another lovely and noble victim, Anne Askew, whose turn it was to
fall under the destroying hand of Henry VIII. at this moment, was highly
esteemed and encouraged by her. She was tortured and then burnt (July 6,
1546) for denying the Real Presence, and it is said that the Chancellor
Wriothesley assisted in the application of the rack in the hope of
wringing a confession from her.

An attempt to involve the Queen in similar charges was a complete
failure, and Henry never forgave Gardiner for this attempt to deprive him
of his true wife and unrivalled nurse. Catherine is said to have treated
these her deadly enemies with great magnanimity; but she seems to have
become quite aware that Gardiner's was the daring hand that was lifted
to ruin her with the king, and it was probably this clear understanding
between the king and queen which destroyed Gardiner's influence with
Henry for ever. Henry struck Gardiner's name out of the list of his
council, and on perceiving him one day on the terrace at Windsor amongst
the other courtiers, he turned fiercely on Wriothesley, and said, "Did
I not command you that _he_ should come no more amongst you?" "My Lord
of Winchester," replied the chancellor, "has come to wait upon your
highness with the offer of a benevolence from his clergy." That was a
deeply politic stroke of Gardiner's; he knew that if anything could
redeem the lost favour of Henry, it was a sacrifice to his avarice next
to his vanity. Henry took the money, but turned away from the bishop
without a word or a look, and immediately struck his name from amongst
his executors, as well as that of Thirlby, Bishop of Westminster, who, he
said, was schooled by Gardiner. A deadly feud had grown up between the
house of Seymour and the house of Howard. The house of Howard was old,
and proud, not only of its ancient lineage, but of its grand deeds. The
glory of Flodden lay like a great splendour on their name. Two queens had
been selected from this house during the present reign, and the Princess
Elizabeth was a partaker of its blood. The Seymours, on the other hand,
were of no great lineage; but the two heads of it, Sir Thomas Seymour
and Edward, who had been created Earl of Hertford, and whom we have seen
executing the king's sanguinary pleasure more than once in Scotland,
were the uncles to the heir-apparent, Prince Edward. They had been lifted
into greatness entirely through the marriage of their sister with Henry
and the birth of the prince; they had no natural connection, therefore,
amongst the old nobility, and were regarded by them with jealousy as
fortunate upstarts. But there was a circumstance which gave them power
besides the alliance with the Crown and the heir to it, and this was
the Protestant faith which they held, and which, therefore, bound the
Protestant party in England to their cause, and in hope, through their
nephew, the future king. The Howards, on the other hand, held by the
ancient faith, and were among its most positive assertors. Thus the feud
between these rival houses was not only the feud of the old and new
aristocracy, but that of the old and new faith; and the rival factions
looked up to them as their natural lords and leaders.

The question, therefore, which of these families should become the
guardians and ministers of the new king was every day acquiring a more
intense interest. The Howards, from their old standing, and their great
employments under the Crown, naturally regarded themselves as entitled
to that distinction, and in this view they were, of course, supported by
the whole Papist party most anxiously. But the Seymours, as the uncles
of the prince, were equally bent on securing the preference. They had
little connection, as we have stated, amongst the aristocracy, but had
the whole Protestant party in their interest. They therefore regarded the
Howards with the deepest jealousy and alarm, and they lost no time or
opportunity in securing their ruin during the present king's life. There
were many things which they could so bring before Henry's mind as to
excite his most deadly fear. The Howards were the determined supporters
of the Roman faith. What chance, therefore, was there under them of the
preservation of the supremacy? What chance was there that they would
leave the young king to his own unbiassed choice in matters of religion
and of Church government? But still more, the Howards had not escaped
his secret dislike through the conduct of Catherine Howard, the queen.
A little thing could stimulate this dislike into something fearful.
Again, the Duke of Norfolk was rich, and never were the riches of a
subject overlooked or unlonged for by Henry Tudor. All these motives were
brought successfully into play. Bishop Gardiner was the man most to be
feared in the Howard interest, as it regarded the Church, and this had,
unquestionably, much to do with his disgrace and banishment from Court.

A few days after that event, namely, on the 12th of December, the Duke
of Norfolk and his son the Earl of Surrey, were, unknown to each other,
arrested on a charge of high treason, and sent to the Tower, the one
by water and the other by land. Surrey had never forgiven the Earl of
Hertford for having superseded him in command of the army at Boulogne; he
had in his irritation spoken with biting contempt of the parvenu Seymour,
and declared that after the king's death he would take his revenge. But
Henry was soon persuaded that the designs of Surrey went further. His
fears, in his morbid and sinking state, were easily excited, and he was
made to believe that there was a conspiracy of the Howards to seize the
reins of government during his illness, and make themselves masters of
the person of the prince. Surrey, with all the rash and lofty spirit of
the poet, denied every charge of disloyalty or treason with the utmost
vehemence, and offered to fight his accuser in his shirt.

The Duke of Norfolk wrote to the king from the Tower, expressing his
astonishment at the sudden arrest, and saying, "Sir, God doth know that
in all my life I never thought one untrue thought against you, or your
succession; nor can no more judge nor cast in my mind what should be
laid to my charge, than the child that was born this night." The only
thing which he thought his enemies might bring against him was for "being
quick against such as had been accused for sacramentaries," that is,
Protestants. He prayed earnestly to have a fair hearing before the king
or his council, face to face with his accusers. His gifted son, one of
the finest poets of the age, and whose fame still makes part of England's
glory, was brought to trial first, for he was young and full of talent,
and, therefore, more dreaded than his father. On the 13th of December
he was arraigned for treason in Guildhall, before the Lord Chancellor,
the Lord Mayor, and other Commissioners, and a jury of commoners, and
beheaded on the 19th of January. The Seymours pursued Norfolk with
relentless ferocity. The king was rapidly sinking, there was no time to
lose; a bill of attainder was passed through the Peers on the 26th of
January, 1547; on the 27th the Royal assent was given in due form, and an
order was despatched to the Tower to execute the Duke at an early hour
next morning. Before that morning the soul of the tyrant was called to
its dread account, and the life of the old nobleman was saved as by a

Henry VIII. was fifty-five years and seven months old at his death, and
had reigned thirty-seven years, nine months, and six days. His will
was dated December 30th, 1546. He was authorised by Act of Parliament
to settle the succession by his will, and he now named his son Prince
Edward, as his lawful successor, then, in default of heirs, the Princess
Mary and her heirs; these failing, the Princess Elizabeth, and her heirs.
After Elizabeth, was named the Lady Frances, the eldest daughter of
his sister, the Queen of France, and her heirs; and such failing, the
Lady Eleanor, the youngest daughter of the late Queen of France. On the
failure of all these, then the succession was to be to his heirs-at-law;
but no particular mention was made in the succession of his sister
Margaret, Queen of Scotland, and of her issue.



     Accession of Edward VI.--Hertford's Intrigues--He becomes Duke
     of Somerset and Lord Protector--War with Scotland--Battle of
     Pinkie--Reversal of Henry's Policy--Religious Reforms--Ambition
     of Lord Seymour of Sudeley--He marries Catherine Parr--His
     Arrest and Death--Popular Discontents--Rebellion in
     Devonshire and Cornwall--Ket's Rebellion in Norfolk--Warwick
     Suppresses it--Opposition to Somerset--His Rapacity--Fall
     of Somerset--Disgraceful Peace with France--Persecution of
     Romanists--Somerset's Efforts to regain Power--His Trial and
     Execution--New Treason Law--Northumberland's Schemes for Changing
     the Succession--Death of Edward.

The country was doomed once more to experience the inconveniences of
a regal minority, to witness the struggles and manifold mischiefs of
ambitious nobles, while the hand of the king was too feeble to keep
them in restraint. The execution of Surrey, and the imprisonment and
attainder of the great Duke of Norfolk, left the Seymours completely
in the ascendant; and having recently risen into note and power, they
very soon showed all the inflated ambition of such parvenus. The Earl of
Hertford, as uncle of the king, was in reality the man now in possession
of the chief power. The king was but a few months more than nine years
of age. Henry, his father, acting on the discretion given him by an
Act of Parliament of the twenty-eighth year of his reign, had by will
settled the crown on Edward, and had appointed sixteen individuals as his
executors, who should constitute also the Privy Council, and exercise
the authority of the Crown till the young monarch was eighteen years of
age. To enable these executors, or rather, to enable Hertford, to secure
the person of the king, and take other measures for the establishment
of their position, the death of Henry was kept secret for four days.
Parliament, which was virtually dissolved by his death, met on the 29th
of January, and proceeded to business as usual, so that any acts passed
under these circumstances would have clearly become null. On the 31st
Edward entered London amid the applause of the people.

On the day after his arrival at the Tower, that is, on February 1st,
1547, the greater part of the nobility and the prelates were summoned,
and assembled there about three o'clock in the afternoon, in the
presence-chamber, where they all successively knelt and kissed his
majesty's hands, saying every one of them, "God save your grace!" Then
Wriothesley, the Chancellor, produced Henry's will, and announced from it
that sixteen persons were appointed to be his late majesty's executors,
and to hold the office of governors of the present king and of the
kingdom till he was eighteen years of age. To these were added twelve
others, who were to aid them in any case of difficulty by their advice.
Yet, although these formed a second council, it was totally destitute of
any real authority and could only tender advice when asked.

The announcement of these names excited much animadversion and some
censure. It was remarked that the greater part of them were new men; and
the chief council consisted of those who had been about Henry in his
last illness. But what next was disclosed was more extraordinary. The
executors, when assembled in the Tower on the day of the young king's
proclamation, declared that "they were resolved not only to stand to and
maintain the last will and testament of their master, the late king, and
every part and parcel of the same, to the uttermost of their powers,
wits, and cunning, but also that every one of them present should
take a corporal oath upon a book, for the more assured and effectual
accomplishment of the same." And now it was announced that the Privy
Council, for the better despatch of business, had resolved to place
the Earl of Hertford at their head. This was so directly in opposition
to the will, which had invested every member of the council with equal
power, that it was received with no little wonder. The fact was that
Hertford--who, before the old king's death, had determined to seize the
supreme power during the minority of his nephew--had secured a majority
in the council, who, as we shall soon find, had their object to attain.
Wriothesley was the only one who stood out. He assured them that such
an act invalidated the whole will. But he argued in vain and, finding
it useless, he gave way; and thus Hertford was now proclaimed Protector
of the realm and guardian of the king's person, with the understood but
empty condition, that he should attempt nothing which had not the assent
of a majority of the council. His triumph was completed by the titles of
Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector of England.

[Illustration: EDWARD VI.]

Essex, that is Parr, brother of the late queen, became Marquis of
Northampton; Lisle, Earl of Warwick; Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton;
Sir Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour of Sudeley, and Lord High Admiral;
Rich became Baron Rich; Willoughby, Baron Willoughby; Sheffield, Baron
Sheffield. Southampton was, however, soon compelled to resign office on
the charge of having illegally put the Great Seal in commission.

Having thus seized and secured the actual sovereign power in England,
Somerset began to turn his attention to foreign affairs. Henry VIII. had
left it as a strict injunction to his council to secure the marriage of
the Queen of Scots with his son Edward. Somerset, therefore, addressed
a letter to the Scottish nobility, calling upon them to complete an
arrangement which he recommended as equally advantageous with that to
which they were bound by oaths, promises, and seals. The Scots took
little notice of this communication from the man who had carried the
commands of the late king through their land with fire and sword. The
castle of St. Andrews, which the murderers of Cardinal Beaton held out
against Arran, had in the course of this summer been surrendered to a
French force, and the conspirators were conveyed to France. Some of them
were confined in fortresses on the coast of Brittany, and others, amongst
whom was John Knox, were sent to work in the galleys, whence they were
not released till 1550. By the month of August, Somerset was once more
prepared to invade Scotland, and to force, if possible, the young queen
from the hands of Arran and the queen-mother. The forces were reviewed,
and on the 29th they commenced their march. On the 2nd of September they
were at Berwick, where they found Lord Clinton with the fleet, and from
that point the army marched along the shore, supported by the ships at
sea. Somerset took Douglas Castle, the property of Sir George Douglas,
without resistance. The castle being rifled, was then blown up with
gunpowder, as were also the peels of Thornton and Anderwick. Passing
by Dunbar and the castle of Tantallon, the army, on Friday, the 8th of
September, sat down near Prestonpans, the fleet being stationed opposite
the town of Musselburgh.

To meet this invasion, Arran had sent the Fiery Cross from clan to clan
through the Highlands, and had ordered every Scot capable of bearing arms
to meet at Musselburgh. The two armies now lay at Pinkie, not much more
than a couple of miles from each other. On the 9th the Scottish horse
were seen parading themselves boldly on the height which lay between the
hosts, called Falside, or Fawside Brae. The two armies had the sea to
the north, while Falside rose facing the west, and having on its summit
a castellated keep and a few huts.

Somerset and Warwick resolved to occupy the height on which stood St.
Michael's Church, and for this purpose, early on the morning of the 10th,
long called "Black Saturday" in Scotland, they advanced upon it about
eight o'clock. But the Scots had also concluded to advance, and on the
English approaching the first height, they were astonished to find that
the Scots had quitted their strong position beyond the river, and were
occupying the ground they had intended for themselves. It seems that the
Scots had somehow got the idea that the English meant to retreat and
escape them, and to prevent this they determined to surprise them in
their camp, and were on the way for this purpose. At the sight of the
English, the Scots pushed forward impetuously, hoping to get possession
of Fawside Brae, but they were checked by a sharp discharge of artillery
from the admiral's galley, which mowed down about thirty of them, as they
defiled over the bridge near the sea. Seeing the English posted on the
height with several pieces of artillery, the Scots halted in a fallow
field, having in their front a deep ditch. The English, however, reckless
of this obstacle, dashed on and, with Lord Grey at their head, made
their way up to them. Standing in an almost impenetrable mass, the Scots
kept crying, "Come here, loons! come here, tykes! come here, heretics!"
and the like, and the English charging upon them, seemed for a moment
to have disconcerted them, but soon were fain to turn and retreat. The
flight became general, and the Scots rushing on expected to reap an easy
victory. Lord Grey himself was severely wounded in the mouth, and the
Scottish soldiers pressing on seized the Royal standard, when a desperate
struggle ensued and, the staff of the standard being broken, part of it
remained in the hands of the enemy, but the standard itself was rescued.

The fight now became general and fierce, and there was a hand-to-hand
contest in which many fell on both sides; but the English commanders were
men proved in many a great battle, and exerted themselves to restore
order amongst their troops. Warwick was seen everywhere encouraging,
ordering, and ranking his men afresh; while the artillery from the
height, directed over the heads of their own regiments, mowed down the
assailing Scots. The ardour of the soldiers restored, advantage was taken
of the position of a large body of the enemy who in their impetuosity had
rushed forward beyond the support of the main army. They were surrounded
and attacked on all sides. Confounded by this unexpected occurrence, the
Scots were thrown into confusion, and began to take to flight. Arran
himself soon put spurs to his horse; Angus followed, and the Highland
clans--who had never been engaged--fled _en masse_. The rout was general
and the slaughter terrible, some making for Leith, some direct for
Edinburgh, by fields or woods as they could, and others endeavoured to
cross the marsh and reach Dalkeith.

Now was the time to push the object for which this expedition had been
undertaken--the securing the young queen for the king. Somerset had
attained a commanding position. He held the capital, as it were, under
his hand, and fresh forces brought up, and judiciously employed, must
have put the country so far into his power as to enable him to treat
on the most advantageous terms for the accomplishment of this great
national object; or if he could not obtain it by treaty, he might make
himself master of her person by arms. But all this demonstration, this
signal victory, this sanguinary butchery, which must add finally to the
antipathy of the Scottish people if no real gain followed it, was cast
aside with a strange recklessness which shewed that though Somerset
could conquer in the field, he was totally destitute of the qualities
of a statesman. Instead of making his success the platform of wise
negotiation, and of a great national union, he converted it into a
fresh aggravation of the ill-will of the Scots, by depriving it of all
rational result. Being, it is supposed, apprised of some machinations
of his brother, the admiral, in his absence, he commenced an instant
march homeward, like a man that was beaten rather than a victor. On the
17th of September, only a week from the battle of Pinkie, he took his
departure southwards. On entering England, he made the best of his way to
London, the whole term of his absence having been only some six weeks.
A Parliament was then summoned, and the Protector proceeded to carry
out the contemplated reform in the Church. Already an ecclesiastical
commission had been busily engaged in visitation of dioceses. For this
purpose, the kingdom was divided into six circuits, to each of which was
appointed a certain number of visitors, partly laymen partly clergymen,
who, the moment they arrived in a diocese, became the only ecclesiastical
authority there. They were empowered to call before them the bishop,
the clergy, and five, six, or eight of the principal inhabitants of
each parish, and put into their hands a body of royal injunctions,
seven-and-thirty in number. These injunctions regarded religious
doctrines and practice, and the visitors required an answer upon oath to
every question which they chose to put concerning them. The injunctions
were similar to those which had been framed and used by Cromwell, but the
present practice of joining the laity with the clergy was an innovation
of a more sweeping character. The commission promptly imprisoned Bonner
and Gardiner, the leaders of the Roman Catholic party.

Parliament assembled on the 4th of November, and proceeded to mitigate
some of the severities of the last reign. It repealed those monstrous
acts of Henry VIII., which gave to Royal proclamations all the force of
Acts of Parliament; likewise all the penal statutes against the Lollards,
and all the new felonies created in the last reign, including the statute
of the Six Articles. It admitted the laity as well as the clergy to
receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper in both kinds. It determined
that the old fiction of electing bishops by "congé d'élire" should cease,
and that all such appointments should proceed directly by nomination of
the Crown; that all processes in the episcopal courts should be carried
on in the king's name, and all documents issuing thence should be sealed,
not with the bishop's seal, but with that of the Crown. The claim of
spiritual supremacy was placed on the same level as the other rights of
the Crown, and it was made a capital offence to deny that the king was
supreme head of the Church; but with this distinction, that what was
printed of that nature was direct high treason--what was merely spoken
only became so by repetition. A bill for legalising the marriages of the
clergy was brought into the Commons, and carried by a large majority;
but, from some cause, was not carried to the Lords during the present

Parliament terminated its sitting on the 24th of December, and the
council, carrying forward its measures for the advancement of the
Reformation, issued an order prohibiting the burning of candles on
Candlemas-Day, and the use of ashes on Ash Wednesday, and of palms on
Palm Sunday. The order against images was repeated, and the clothes
covering them were directed to be given to the poor. The people, however,
who delighted in religious ceremonies, processions, and spectacles,
and thought the sermons very dull, were by no means pleased with these
innovations. There was to be no elevation of the Host, and the whole
service was to be in English.

Cranmer employed himself in composing a catechism, which was published
"for the singular profit and instruction of children and young people;"
and a committee of bishops and divines sat to compile a new liturgy
for the use of the English Church. They took the Latin missals and
breviaries for the groundwork, omitting whatever they deemed superfluous
or superstitious, and adding fresh matter. Before Christmas they had
compiled a book of common prayer, differing in various particulars from
the one now in use, and all ministers were ordered to make use of that
book, under penalty, on refusal, of forfeiture of a year's income, and
six months' imprisonment for the first offence; for the second, loss of
all preferments, with twelve months' imprisonment; and for the third,
imprisonment for life. Any one taking upon him to preach, except in his
own house, without licence from the king's visitors, the Archbishop of
Canterbury, or the bishop of the diocese, was liable to imprisonment.
Latimer, who had resigned his bishopric in 1539, was now called forward
again, and appointed to preach at St. Paul's Cross, and also in the
king's privy garden, where Edward, attended by his court, used to listen
to his bold and quaint eloquence for an hour together.

Towards the close of 1547, as we have seen, a bill passed the Commons
authorising the marriage of the clergy, but on the 9th of February, 1548,
a different bill for the same object was carried in the House of Lords,
and accepted by the Commons.

While these events had been taking place in England, the war had been
steadily prosecuted against Scotland, and led to the result which
might naturally be expected, but which was least expected by the
Protector--that of the passing of the young queen of Scotland into the
hands of the French. Very soon after the battle of Pinkie, a council was
summoned at Stirling, where the queen-dowager proposed that, to put an
end to those barbarous inroads of the English on pretence of seeking the
hand of the queen, they should apply to France for its assistance; that
as a means of engaging it in effectual aid, they should offer the young
queen in marriage to the Dauphin; and that for her better security she
should be educated in the French court. There, in August, 1548, she was
solemnly contracted to the Dauphin, afterwards Francis II.

But during the session of Parliament commencing on the 24th of November,
a question of most serious import was brought forward concerning the
Protector's brother. The lord high admiral, Thomas Seymour, had all
the ambition of his elder brother, the Protector, but from some cause
he had failed to acquire the same position at court. Henry VIII. had
not only employed Somerset in great commissions, but had given him such
marks of his confidence that, on his death, he easily engrossed all
the power of the State under his son. The admiral did not witness this
with indifference. The Protector, to satisfy him, got him created Baron
Seymour of Sudeley, and with this title he received in August, 1548,
the lordship of Sudeley in Gloucestershire, together with other lands
and tenements in no less than eighteen counties. He made him, moreover,
high admiral, a post which had been held by the Earl of Warwick, who
received instead of it that of lord great chamberlain. These honours
and estates might have well contented a man of even high ambition, but
the aspiring of the Seymours brooked no limits. As he did not seem to
succeed in his desire of rising to a station as lofty as that of his
brother the Protector, through the Council and political alliance, he
sought to achieve this by means of marriage. There were several ladies
on whom he cast his eyes for this purpose. The Princesses Mary and
Elizabeth were the next in succession, and he did not hesitate to aim at
securing the hand of one of them, which would have realised his soaring
wishes, or plunged him down at once to destruction. He seems then to have
weighed the chances which a union with Lady Jane Grey might give him;
but, as if not satisfied with the prospect, he suddenly determined on
the queen-dowager. He had, indeed, paid his addresses to Catherine Parr
before her marriage with Henry VIII., and Catherine was so much attached
to him that she at first listened with obvious reluctance to Henry's
proposal. No sooner was Henry dead than Seymour seems to have renewed
his addresses to Catherine, and, with all her piety and prudence, the
queen-dowager seems to have listened to him as promptly and readily.
Though Henry only died at the end of January, 1547, in a single month,
according to Leti, she had consented to a private contract of marriage,
and she and Seymour had exchanged rings of betrothal. According to King
Edward's journal, their marriage took place in May, but the courtship
had been going on long before, and was only revealed to him when it
was become dangerous to conceal it any longer, and they were privately
married long before that. The marriage was publicly announced in June--a
rapidity for such a transaction as strange as it was indecorous.
Catherine Parr gave birth to a daughter on the 30th of August, 1548, and
on the 7th of September, only eight days after, she died of puerperal
fever. Rumours that her husband had poisoned her to enable him to aspire
to the hand of the Princess Elizabeth, were spread by his enemies, but
there does not appear the slightest foundation for the horrible charge.

[Illustration: GREAT SEAL OF EDWARD VI.]

The lord admiral, who had found it difficult to keep out of danger
during the life of his wife, partly through his own rash ambition, and
partly through the malice of his near relatives, soon fell into it
after her death. In July of 1548, he had been called before the Council
on the charge of having endeavoured to prevail on the king to write a
letter, complaining of the arbitrary conduct of the Protector and of the
restraint in which he was kept by him. Seymour was seeking, in fact, to
supersede the Protector, and was threatened with imprisonment in the
Tower; but the matter for that time was made up, and the Protector added
£800 per annum to his income, by way of conciliating him.

But with Catherine departed his good genius. He gave a free play to his
ambitious desires, and renewed his endeavours to compass a clandestine
marriage with the Princess Elizabeth, as he had done with Catherine.
Finding, however, that such a marriage would annul the claims of
Elizabeth to the throne, he next devised means to extort from the Council
a consent, which he was well aware it would never yield voluntarily.
For this purpose he is said to have courted the friendship of the
discontented section of the nobility, and made such a display of his
wealth and retainers as was calculated to alarm the Protector and his
party. The Protector now resolved to get rid of so dangerous an enemy,
though he was his own brother. Sharrington, master of the mint at
Bristol being accused of gross peculation by clipping the coin, issuing
testoons, or shilling pieces, of a false value, and making fraudulent
entries in his books, was boldly defended by the admiral, who owed him
£3,000. But Sharrington, to save his life, ungratefully betrayed that of
his advocate. He confessed that he had promised to coin money for the
admiral, who could reckon on the services of 10,000 men, with whose aid
he meant to carry off the king and change the government. This charge,
made, no doubt, solely to save his own life, was enough for Somerset.
Seymour was arrested on the 16th of January, 1549, on a charge of high
treason, and committed to the Tower.

There was no lack of charges against him, true or false. It was stated
that he had resolved to seize the king's person, and carry him to his
castle of Holt, in Denbighshire, which had come to him in one of the
royal grants; that he had confederated for this purpose with various
noblemen and others, and had laid in large stores of provisions and a
mass of money at that castle. He was also charged with having abused his
authority as lord admiral, and encouraged piracy and smuggling, and with
having circulated reports against the Lord Protector and Council too vile
to be repeated. But the most remarkable were the charges against him of
endeavouring, both before and after his marriage with the queen-dowager,
to compass a marriage with the king's sister, the Lady Elizabeth, second
inheritor to the Crown, to the peril of the king's person and danger
to the throne. A Bill of Attainder was brought in against him; he was
condemned without a hearing and executed on the 27th of March.

The Protector no sooner had put his brother out of his path into a bloody
grave, than he was called upon to contend with a whole host of enemies.
A variety of causes had reduced the common people to a condition of
deep distress and discontent. The depreciation of the coinage by Henry
VIII. had produced its certain consequence--the proportionate advance
of the price of all purchasable articles. But with the rise in price of
food and clothing, there had been no rise in the price of labour. The
dissolution of the monasteries had thrown a vast number of people on the
public without any resource. Besides the large number of monks and nuns
who, instead of affording alms, were now obliged to seek a subsistence of
some kind, the hundreds of thousands who had received daily assistance
at the doors of convents and monasteries were obliged to beg, work, or
starve. But the new proprietors who had obtained the abbey and chantry
lands, found wool so much in demand, that instead of cultivating the
land, and thus at once employing the people and growing corn for them,
they threw their fields out of tillage, and made great enclosures where
their profitable flocks could range without even the superintendence of
a shepherd.

The people thus driven to starvation were still more exasperated by
the change in the religion of the country, by the destruction of their
images, and the desecration of the shrines of their saints. Their
whole public life had been changed by the change of their religion.
Their oldest and most sacred associations were broken. Their pageants,
their processions, their pilgrimages were all rudely swept away as
superstitious rubbish; their gay holidays had become a gloomy blank. What
their fathers and their pastors had taught them as peculiarly holy and
essential to their spiritual well-being, their rulers had now pronounced
to be damnable doctrines and the delusions of priest-craft; and whilst
smarting under this abrupt privation of their bodily and spiritual
support, they beheld the new lords of the ancient church lands greedily
cutting off not only the old streams of benevolence, but the means of
livelihood by labour, and showing not the slightest regard for their
sufferings. The priests, the monks, the remaining heads of the Papist
party did not fail to point assiduously at all these things, and to fan
the fires of the popular discontent.

The timidity of the Protector forced the ferment to a climax by the
very means which he resorted to in order to mitigate it. He ordered
all the new enclosures to be thrown open by a certain day. The people
rejoiced at this, believing that now they had the Government on their
side. But they waited in vain to see the Protector's order obeyed. The
Royal proclamation fully bore out the complaints of the populace. It
declared that many villages, in which from one hundred to two hundred
people had lived, were entirely destroyed; that one shepherd now dwelt
where numerous industrious families dwelt before; and that the realm
was injured by turning arable land into pasture, and letting houses and
families decay and lie waste. Hales, the commissioner, stated that the
laws which forbade any one to keep more than 2,000 sheep, and which
commanded the owners of church lands to keep household on the same,
were disobeyed, the result being that numbers of the king's subjects
had diminished. But though the Government admitted all this, it took no
measures to make its proclamation effective; the landowners disregarded
it, and the people, believing that they were only seconding the law,
assembled in great numbers, chose their captains or leaders, broke down
the enclosures, killed the deer in the parks, and began to spoil and
waste, according to Holinshed, after the manner of an open rebellion.
The day approached when the use of the old liturgy was to cease, and
instead of the music, the spectacle, and all the imposing ceremonies of
high Mass, they would be called on to listen to a plain sermon. Goaded to
desperation by these grievances, the people rose in almost every part of
the country.

In Wiltshire, Sir William Herbert raised a body of troops and dispersed
the insurgents, killing some, and executing others according to martial
law. The same was done in other quarters by the resident gentry. The
Protector, alarmed, sent out commissioners to hear and decide all causes
about enclosures, highways, and cottages. These commissioners were armed
with great powers, the exercise of which produced as much dissatisfaction
amongst the nobility and gentry as the enclosures had done amongst the
people. The spirit of remonstrance entered into the very Council, and
the Protector was checked in his proceedings; whereupon the people, not
finding the redress they expected, again rose in rebellion.

In Devonshire the religious phase of the movement appeared first, and
rapidly assumed a very formidable air. The new liturgy was read for the
first time in the church of Sampford Courtenay, on Whit Sunday, and
the next day the people compelled the clergyman to perform the ancient
service. Having once resisted the law, the insurgents rapidly spread.
Humphrey Arundel, the governor of St. Michael's Mount, took the lead,
and a few days brought ten thousand men to his standard. As the other
risings had been easily dispersed, the Government were rather dilatory in
dealing with this; but finding that it steadily increased, Lord Russell
was despatched with a small force against the malcontents, accompanied by
three preachers, Gregory, Reynolds, and Coverdale, who were licensed to
preach in such public places as Lord Russell should appoint.

The rebels had sat down before Exeter when Russell came up with them;
but conscious of the great inferiority of his force, and expecting no
miracles from the eloquence of his preachers, he adopted the plan of the
Duke of Norfolk in the late reign, and offered to negotiate. Upon this,
Arundel and his adherents drew up and presented fifteen articles, which
went, indeed, to restore everything of the old faith and ritual that
had been taken away. The Statute of the Six Articles was to be put in
force, the Mass to be in Latin, the Sacrament to be again hung up and
worshipped, all such as refused it homage were to be treated as heretics,
souls in purgatory should be prayed for, images again be set up, the
Bible be called in, and Cardinal Pole was to be of the king's Council.
Half of the Church lands were to be restored to two of the chief abbeys
in each county; in a word, Popery was to be restored and Protestantism

All this time Lord Russell lay at Honiton, not venturing to attack, the
Government sending him instead of troops only proclamations, by one of
which a free pardon was offered to all who would submit; by another, the
lands, goods, and chattels of the insurgents were given to any who chose
to take them; by a third, punishment of death by martial law was ordered
for all taken in arms; and by a fourth, the commissioners were commanded
to break down all illegal enclosures. None of these produced the least
effect. Lord Russell had sent Sir Peter Carew to urge the Protector and
Council to expedite reinforcements; but the Protector and Rich charged
Sir Peter with having been the original cause of the outbreak. The
bold baronet resented this imputation so stoutly, and charged home the
Protector in a style so unaccustomed in courts, with his own neglect,
that men and money were promised. Nothing, however, but the proclamations
just mentioned arrived, and at length the rebels despatched a force
to dislodge Russell from his position at Honiton. To prevent this, he
advanced to Feniton Bridge, where he encountered the rebel detachment and
defeated it. Soon after Lord Grey arrived with 300 German and Italian
infantry, with which assistance he marched on Exeter, and again defeated
the rebels. They rallied on Clifton Downs, and Lord Grey coming suddenly
upon them and fearing they might overpower him, he ordered his men to
despatch all the prisoners they had in their hands, and a sanguinary
slaughter took place. A third and last encounter at Bridgewater completed
the reduction of the Rising of the West.

But the most formidable demonstration was made by the rebels in Norfolk.
It commenced at Aldborough, and appeared at first too insignificant for
notice. But the rumours of what had been done in Kent, where the new
enclosures had been broken down, gradually infected the people far and
wide. They did not trouble themselves about the religious questions,
but they expressed a particular rancour against gentlemen, for their
insatiable avarice and their grasping at all land, their extortionate
rents, and oppressions of the people. They declared that it was high time
that not only the enclosure mania should be put a stop to, but abundance
of other evils should be reformed.

On the 6th of July, at Wymondham, a few miles from Norwich, on occasion
of a play which was annually performed there, the people, stimulated by
what was being done elsewhere, began to throw down the dykes, as they
were called, or fences round enclosures, and they found a leader in one
Robert Ket, a tanner. Under an oak tree, called the Tree of Reformation,
which stood on Mousehold Hill, near Norwich, Ket erected his throne, and
established courts of chancery, king's bench, and common pleas, as in
Westminster Hall; and, with a liberality which shamed the Government of
that and of most succeeding times, he allowed not only the orators of his
own but of the opposite party to harangue them from this tree. Ket, it is
clear, was a man far beyond his times, sincerely seeking the reform of
abuses, and not destruction of the constituted authority. The tree was
used as a rostrum, and all who had anything to say climbed into it. Into
the tree mounted frequently Master Aldrich, the mayor of Norwich, and
others, who used all possible persuasions to the insurgents to desist
from spoliation and disorderly courses. Clergymen of both persuasions
preached to them from the oak, and Matthew Parker, afterwards Archbishop
of Canterbury, one day ascended it, and addressed them in the plainest
possible terms on the unwisdom of their attempt, and the ruin it was
certain to bring upon them.

[Illustration: THE ROYAL HERALD IN KET'S CAMP. (_See p._ 212.)]

At length on the 31st of July, a Royal herald appeared in the camp, "and,
standing before the Tree of Reformation, apparelled in his coat-of-arms,
pronounced there, before all the multitude, with loud voice, a free
pardon to all that would depart to their houses and, laying aside their
armour, give over their traitorous enterprise." Some of the insurgents,
who were already weary of the affair, and only wanted a good excuse for
drawing off safely, took the offered pardon and disappeared; but Ket and
the chief part of the people held their ground, saying they wanted no
pardon, for they had done nothing but what was incumbent on true subjects.

Expecting that now some attack would soon be made upon them, they marched
into Norwich to seize on all the artillery and ammunition they could, and
carry it to their camp. The herald made another proclamation to them in
the market-place, repeating the offer of pardon, but threatening death
to all who did not immediately accept it. They bade him begone, for
they wanted no such manner of mercy. From that day the number of Ket's
followers grew again rapidly, for he seemed above the Government; and
the herald returning to town, dissipated at Court any hope of the rebels
dispersing of themselves. A troop of 1,500 horse, under the Marquis of
Northampton, accompanied by a small force of mounted Italians, under
Malatesta, were, therefore, sent down to Norwich, of which they took
possession. But the next day Ket and his host descended from their hill,
found their way into the city, engaged, defeated, and drove out the
king's troops, killing Lord Sheffield and many gentlemen, and, their
blood being up, set fire to the town, and plundered it as it burnt.

Northampton retreated ignominiously to town, where the Protector now saw
that the affair was of a character that demanded vigorous suppression.
An army of 8,000 men, 2,000 of whom were Germans, under the Earl of
Warwick, about to proceed against Scotland, was directed to march to
Norwich and disperse the rebels. Warwick arriving, made an entrance,
after some resistance, into the city. But there he was assailed on every
side with such impetuosity, that he found it all that he could do to
defend himself, being deficient in ammunition. On the 26th of August,
however, arrived a reinforcement of 1,400 lansquenets, with store of
powder and ball, and the next day he marched out, and the enemy having
imprudently left their strong position on the hill, he attacked them in
the valley of Dussingdale, and at the first charge broke their ranks.
They fled, their leader, Ket, galloping off before them. They were
pursued for three or four miles, and the troopers cut them down all the
way with such ruthless vengeance, that 3,500 of them were said to have
perished. The rest, however, managed to surround themselves by a line of
waggons, and, hastily forming a rampart of a trench and a bank fortified
with stakes, resolved to stand their ground. Warwick, perceiving the
strength of the place, and apprehensive of a great slaughter of his men,
offered them a pardon; but they replied that they did not trust to the
offer; they knew the fate that awaited them, and they preferred to die
with arms in their hands rather than on the gallows. Warwick renewed his
offer, and went himself to assure them of his sincerity, on which they
laid down their arms, or retired with them in their hands. Ket alone was
hanged on the walls of Norwich Castle, his brother on the steeple of
Wymondham Church, and nine of the ringleaders on the Oak of Reformation.


Circumstances were now fast environing the Protector with danger. The
feebleness of his government, his total want of success, both in Scotland
and France, with which country he had become involved in an undeclared
war, emboldened his enemies, who had become numerous and determined from
the arrogance of his manners and his endeavours to check the enclosures
of the aristocracy. Henry VIII. had never drawn any signal advantages
from his hostile expeditions; but the forces which he collected and
the determined character of the man impressed his foreign foes with a
dread of him. It was evident that the neighbouring nations had learned
Somerset's weakness, and therefore despised him. He had driven the Queen
of Scots into the hands of the French, and they had driven him out of
the country. He was on the very verge of losing Boulogne, which Henry
had prided himself so much on conquering. At home the whole country had
been thrown into a state of anarchy and insubordination by the reforms in
religion, of which he was the avowed patron, and in the meantime he had
allowed another to reap the honour of restoring order.

It was intended that the Protector himself should have proceeded against
the rebels; but probably he thought that the man who had encouraged them
to pull down the enclosures would appear with a very bad grace to punish
them for doing it. Dudley, Earl of Warwick, was, therefore, selected
for this office--a man quite as ambitious, quite as unprincipled, and
far more daring than Somerset. He returned from Norfolk like a victor,
and his reputation rose remarkably from that moment. He was looked up
to as the able and successful man, and his ambitious views were warmly
seconded by the wily old ex-Chancellor, Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton,
who hated Somerset for having dismissed him from office, and for having
banished him from the Council. He now took up Warwick as a promising
instrument for his revenge. He flattered him with the idea that he was
the only man to restore the credit and peace of the nation.

Nor was it Warwick only whom Southampton stimulated to enmity against
Somerset. He had arguments adapted to all; and where he found any
seemingly resolved to stand by the Protector, he would significantly ask
what friendship they hoped from a man who had murdered his own brother.
Little art was needed to influence the old nobility against Somerset,
and his hostility to the enclosures had raised up a host of enemies
amongst the new, who should have been his natural friends. The people
he had lost favour with, from his total want of success against the
enemies of the country, and if there were any whom all these causes had
not alienated, these were disgusted with his insolence and rapacity.
He had bargained for large slices from the manors of bishoprics and
cathedrals as the price of promotion to the clergy. He had obtained from
the puppet king in his hands, grants of extensive Church lands for his
services in Scotland, services which now were worse than null; and in
the patent which invested him with these lands, drawn up under his own
eye, he had himself styled "Duke of Somerset, _by the grace of God_,"
as if he were a king. He was accused of having sold many of the chantry
lands to his friends at nominal prices, because he obtained a heavy
premium upon the transaction; but what more than all shocked the public
sense of religious decorum was that he had erected for himself a splendid
palace in the Strand, where the one called from him Somerset House now
stands, and had spared no outrage upon public rights and decencies in
its erection. Not only private houses, but public buildings, and those
of the most sacred character, had been displaced to make room for his
proud mansion. To clear the ground for its site and to procure materials
for its building, he pulled down three episcopal houses and two churches
on the spot, St. Mary's and a church of St. John of Jerusalem, also a
chapel, a cloister, and a charnel-house in St. Paul's Churchyard, and
he carted away the remains of the dead by whole loads, and threw them
into a pit in Bloomsbury. When he attempted to pull down St. Margaret's
Church in Westminster, for the stones, the parishioners rose in tumult
and drove his men away. Whatever profession of Reformed religion he might
make, such proceedings as these stamped it as a pretence, hollow and even
impious, in the minds of the public.

The feeling (which originated out of doors) had now made its way into
the heart of the Council. Somerset's friends were silenced. His enemies
spoke out boldly. During September there were great contentions in the
Council; and by the beginning of October the two parties were ranged in
hostile attitudes under their chiefs. Warwick and his followers met at
Ely Place; the Protector was at Hampton Court, where he had the king.
On the 5th of October, Somerset, in the king's name, sent the Secretary
of the Council to know why the lords were assembling themselves in that
manner, and commanding them, if they had anything to lay before him, to
come before him peaceably and loyally. When this message was despatched,
Somerset, fearful of the spirit in which this summons might be complied
with, ordered the armour to be brought down out of the armoury at
Hampton Court, sufficient for 500 men, to arm his followers, and had the
doors barricaded, and people fetched in for the defence. But, instead
of coming, Warwick and his party ordered the Lieutenant of the Tower,
and the Lord Mayor and aldermen, to be summoned, who duly attended and
proffered their obedience. They then despatched letters to the nobility
and gentry in different parts of the kingdom, informing them of their
doings and the motives for them. Alarmed at the aspect of affairs,
Somerset conveyed the king to Windsor, under escort of 500 men; Cranmer
and Sir William Paget alone, of all the Council, accompanying them.
Finding himself rapidly deserted by his friends, Somerset judiciously
submitted and signed a confession of his guilt, his presumption, and
incapacity. Having signed this, he was promised his life, on condition
that he should forfeit all his appointments, his goods and chattels,
and so much of his estates as amounted to £2,000 a year. A bill to this
effect passed both Houses of Parliament in January, 1550. Somerset
remonstrated against the extent of this forfeiture, but the Council
replied to him with so much sternness that the abject-spirited man shrank
in terror, and on the 2nd of February signed a still more ignominious
submission, disclaiming all idea of justifying himself, and expressing
his gratitude to the king and Council for sparing his life and being
content with a fine. On the 6th of February he was discharged from the
Tower, and ten days after received a formal pardon. His officers and
servants, who had been imprisoned, also recovered their liberty, but were
heavily fined.

Warwick had humbled Somerset, but he could not prevent the country from
being humbled with him. His party had blamed the Protector for proposing
to surrender Boulogne, but they were now compelled, by the exhausted and
disordered state of the nation, to accept even more disgraceful terms.
During the winter the French had cut off all communication between
Boulogne and Calais, and the Earl of Huntingdon found himself unable to
re-open it, though he led against the enemy all his bands of mercenaries
and 3,000 English veterans. His treasury and his storehouses were empty,
and the French calculated confidently on taking the place at spring.
Unable to send the necessary aid, a fresh proposal was made to the
Emperor to occupy it, and this not tempting him, the Council next offered
to cede it to him in full sovereignty, on condition that it should never
be surrendered to France. Charles declined, and as a last resource a
Florentine merchant, Antonio Guidotti, was employed to make the French
aware that England was not averse from a peace. The French embraced the
offer, but under such circumstances they were not likely to be very
modest in their terms of accommodation.

The conference between the ambassadors was opened on the 21st of
January, and the English proposed that, as an equivalent for the
surrender of Boulogne, Mary of Scotland should be contracted to Edward.
To this the French bluntly replied that that was impossible, as Henry had
already agreed to marry her to the Dauphin. The next proposition was that
the arrears of money due from the Crown of France should be paid up, and
the payment of the fixed pension continued. To this the ambassadors of
Henry replied, in a very different tone to that which English monarchs
had been accustomed to hear from those of France, that their king would
never condescend to pay tribute to any foreign Crown; that Henry VIII.
had been enabled by the necessities of France to extort a pension
from Francis; and that they would now avail themselves of the present
difficulties of England to compel Edward to renounce it. The English
envoys appeared, on this bold declaration, highly indignant, and as if
they would break off the conference; but every day they receded more and
more from their pretensions, and they ended by subscribing, on the 24th
of March, to all the demands of their opponents.

These conditions were that there should be peace and union between the
two countries, not merely for the lives of the present monarchs, but
to the end of time; that Boulogne should be surrendered to the King of
France with all its stores and ordnance; and that, in return for the
money expended on the fortifications, they should pay to Edward 200,000
crowns on the delivery of the place, and 200,000 more in five months. But
the English were previously to surrender Douglas and Lauder to the Queen
of Scots, or, if they were already in the hands of the Scots, to raze
the fortresses of Eyemouth and Roxburgh to the ground. Scotland was to
be comprehended in the treaty if the queen desired it, and Edward bound
himself not to make war on Scotland unless some new provocation were

So disgraceful was this treaty, such a surrender was it of the nation's
dignity, that the people regarded it as an eternal opprobrium to the
country; and from that hour the boastful claims of England on the French
Crown were no more heard of, except in the ridiculous retention of the
title of King of France by our sovereigns.

Freed from the embarrassments of foreign politics, the Council now
proceeded with the work of Church reform; and during 1550 and part of
1551 was busily engaged checking on the one hand the opposition of the
Romanist clergy, and on the other the latitudinarian tendencies of the
Protestants. Bonner and Gardiner were the most considerable of the
uncomplying prelates, and they were first brought under notice. Bonner
had been called before the Council in August of 1549, for not complying
with the requisitions of the Court in matters of religion; and in
April, 1550, he was deprived of his see of London, and remanded to the
Marshalsea, where he remained till the king's death. Ridley was appointed
to the bishopric of London. Gardiner and Heath, Bishop of Worcester, were
also imprisoned.

From the bishops, the reforming Council proceeded to higher game. The
Princess Mary, the king's eldest sister, from the first had expressed
her firm resolution of not adopting the new faith or ritual. She had,
moreover, declared to Somerset, that during Edward's minority things
ought to remain as the king her father had left them. Somerset replied
that, on the contrary, he was only carrying out the plans which Henry
had already settled in his own mind, but had not had time to complete.
On the introduction of the new liturgy, she received in June, 1549, an
intimation that she must conform to the provisions of the statute. Mary
replied with spirit, that her conscience would not permit her to lay
aside the practice of the religion that she believed in, and reminded
the lords of the Council that they were bound by their oaths to maintain
the Church as left by her father; adding, that they could not, with
any decency, refuse liberty of worship to the daughter of the king who
had raised them to what they were. The appeal to the liberality, the
consciences, or the gratitude of these statesmen producing no effect,
she next applied to a more influential person, the Emperor, Charles V.,
her great relative. He intervened on her behalf with such vigour that
war between England and Germany seemed at one time inevitable, and the
Council gave way. The persecutions were shortly afterwards renewed, but
Mary remained firm, and finally was completely victorious.

The ungenerous conduct of the Warwick party towards Mary, and the
disgraceful conditions of the peace with France, naturally caused a
considerable revival of Somerset's influence at Court, and the remainder
of the summer was spent by him in intriguing for the increase of his
favour. He surrounded himself with a strong body of armed men; there
were secret debates among his friends on the possibility of raising
the City in his behalf, and he did not hesitate to drop hints that
assassination only could free him from his implacable enemies. But
whilst the irresolute Somerset plotted, Warwick acted. He secured for
himself the appointment of warden of the Scottish marches, thus cutting
off the danger which had lately appeared of Somerset's retreat thither.
Armed with the preponderating influence which that office conferred in
the northern districts, on the 27th of September or the 17th of October
he was announced as Duke of Northumberland, a title venerated by the
Border people, and which had been extinct since the attainder of Earl
Percy in 1527. In this formidable position of power and dignity he was
strengthened by his friends and partisans being at the same time elevated
in the peerage. The Marquis of Dorset was created Duke of Suffolk, the
Earl of Wiltshire, Marquis of Winchester, and Sir William Herbert, Baron
of Cardiff and Earl of Pembroke. Cecil, Cheke, Sidney, and Nevil received
the honour of knighthood.

This movement in favour of Warwick was followed by consequences of still
more startling character to the Duke of Somerset. His enemies now felt
safe, and on the 16th of October, 1551, the news flew through London that
he was arrested on a charge of conspiracy and high treason, and committed
to the Tower. He had been apprised that depositions of a serious
character had been made against him by Sir Thomas Palmer, a partisan
of Warwick's, whereupon he sent for Palmer, and strictly interrogated
him, but on his positive denial, let him go. Not satisfied, however, he
wrote to Cecil, telling him that he suspected something was in agitation
against him. Cecil replied with his characteristic astuteness, that if
he were innocent he could have nothing to fear; if he were guilty, he
could only lament his misfortune. Piqued at this reply, he sent a letter
of defiance, but took no means for the security of his person. Palmer,
notwithstanding his denial, had, however, it seems, really lodged this
charge against him on the 7th of the month with Warwick:--That in a
conference with Somerset in April last, in his garden, the duke assured
him that at the time that the solemn declaration of Sir William Herbert
had prevented him from going northward, he had sent Lord Grey to raise
their friends there; that after that he had formed the design of inviting
Warwick, Northampton, and the chiefs of that party, and of assassinating
them, either there, or on their return home; that at this very moment he
was planning to raise an insurrection in London, to destroy his enemy,
and to seize the direction of Government; that Sir Miles Partridge was
to call out the apprentices of the City, kill the City guard, and get
possession of the Great Seal; and that Sir Thomas Arundel had secured
the Tower, and Sir Ralph Vane had a force of 2,000 men ready to support

[Illustration: THE DUKE OF SOMERSET. (_After the Portrait by Holbein._)]

Probably this was a mixture of some truth with a much larger portion of
convenient falsehood. The duke was accordingly arrested, and the next
day the duchess, with her favourites, Mr. and Mrs. Crane, Sir Miles
Partridge, Sir Thomas Arundel, Sir Thomas Holcroft, Sir Michael Stanhope,
and others of the duke's friends, were also arrested, and committed
to the Tower. The king was already brought up from Hampton Court to
Westminster for greater security and convenience during the trials of the
conspirators. A message was sent in the king's name to the Lord Mayor and
Corporation, informing them that the conspirators had agreed to seize the
Tower, kill the guards of the City, seize the Great Seal, set fire to the
town, and depart for the Isle of Wight; and they were, therefore, ordered
to keep the gates well, and maintain a strong patrol in the streets.

The trial of the duke, such as it was, took place on the 1st of December,
in Westminster Hall. Twenty-seven peers were summoned to sit as his
judges, the Marquis of Winchester being appointed Lord High Steward,
to preside. On that morning Somerset was brought from the Tower, with
the axe borne before him; whilst a great number of men carrying bills,
glaives, halberds, and poll-axes, guarded him. A new platform was raised
in the hall, on which the lords, his judges, sat; and above them was the
Lord High Steward, on a raised seat ascended by three steps, and over
it a canopy of State. The judges consisted almost wholly of the duke's
enemies, and conspicuous amongst them were Northumberland, Northampton,
and Pembroke. The witnesses against him were not produced, but merely
their depositions read. Somerset denied the whole of the charges
respecting his intention to raise the City of London, declaring that the
idea of killing the City guard was worthy only of a madman. As to the
accusation of proposing to assassinate the Duke of Northumberland and
others, he admitted that he had thought of it, and even talked of it, but
on mature consideration had abandoned it for ever.

On this confession the judges declared him guilty of felony without
benefit of clergy. They were desirous to adjudge it treason, but this
Northumberland himself overruled. When this sentence was pronounced,
Somerset fell on his knees, and thanked the lords for the fair trial they
had given him, and implored pardon from Northumberland, Northampton, and
Pembroke, for his design against their lives, entreating them to pray
the king's mercy to him and his grace towards his wife, his children,
and his servants. On the sentence being pronounced only felony, the
axe of the Tower was withdrawn; and the people, seeing him returning
without that fatal instrument, imagined that he was acquitted, and
gave such shouts, that they were heard from Charing Cross to the hall.
According to Holinshed, the Duke of Somerset landed from the river "at
the crane of the Vine-tree, and so passed through London, where were both
acclamations--the one cried for joy that he was acquitted, the other
cried that he was condemned."

Six weeks after his sentence, the warrant for his execution was signed.
The chronicler quaintly remarks that "Christmas being thus passed and
spent with much mirth and pastime, it was thought now good to proceed to
the execution of the judgment against the Duke of Somerset." The day of
execution was the 22nd of January, 1552. To prevent the vast concourse
which, from the popularity of his character among the common people, from
his opposition to enclosures during his Protectorship, was sure to take
place, the Council had issued a precept to the Lord Mayor, commanding him
to take all necessary measures for restraining the rush towards Tower
Hill. The constables in every ward had, therefore, strictly charged
every one not to leave their houses before ten o'clock that morning.
But, by the very dawn, Tower Hill was one mass of heads, assembled more
in expectation of the duke's reprieve than of his execution. At eight
o'clock he was delivered to the sheriffs of London, who led him out to
the scaffold on Tower Hill. He died calmly and nobly.

Parliament met the day after the execution of Somerset; and as it had
been originally summoned by him, it appeared to act as inspired with a
spirit which resented his treatment and his death; and this spirit tended
greatly during this session to revive that ancient independence which
Henry VIII. had so completely quelled during his life. Most deserving
of notice was the enactment which ordered the churchwardens in every
parish to collect contributions for the support of the poor. This, though
it appeared at first sight a voluntary contribution under the sanction
of Government, was in reality a compulsory one, for the bishop of the
diocese had authority to proceed against such as refused to subscribe.
From this germ grew the English poor-law, with all its machinery and

The Crown attempted to re-enact some of the most arbitrary and oppressive
laws of Henry VIII., though they had been repealed in the first
Parliament of this reign. A bill was sent to the Lords, making it treason
to call the king, or any of his heirs, a heretic, schismatic, tyrant, or
usurper. The Lords passed it without hesitation, for it most probably
proceeded from Warwick, and the Lords were strongly devoted to him; but
the Commons drew the same line which had been drawn regarding the deniers
of the supremacy. They would admit the offence to be treason only when
it was done by "writing, printing, carving, or graving," which indicated
deliberate purpose; but what was spoken, as it might result from
indiscretion or sudden passion, they decreed to be only a minor offence,
punishable by fine or forfeiture, and only rendered treasonable by a
third repetition. The Commons also added a most invaluable clause, the
necessity of which had been constantly pressing on the public attention,
and had just been strikingly demonstrated by the trial of Somerset.
It was now enacted that no person should be arraigned, indicted,
convicted, or attainted of any manner of treason unless on the oath of
two lawful accusers, who should be brought before him at the time of his
arraignment, and there should openly maintain their charges against him.

But in prosecuting the reforms of the Church, the Parliament proceeded
with a far more arbitrary spirit. The Common Prayer Book underwent much
revision, and an Act was passed by which the bishops were empowered to
compel attendance on the amended form of service by spiritual censures,
and the magistrates to punish corporally all who used any other. Any one
daring to attend any other form of worship was liable to six months'
imprisonment for the first offence, twelve months for the second, and
confinement for life for the third. So little did our Church reformers
of that day understand of the rights of conscience. In the same spirit
Cranmer proceeded to frame a collection of the articles of religion, and
a code of ecclesiastical constitutions.

Parliament, proving too independent, was dissolved, and in preparing for
a new Parliament, Northumberland took such measures as showed that his
own power and aggrandisement were the first things in his thoughts, the
Constitution of the kingdom the last. Letters were sent in the king's
name to all the sheriffs, directing them, in the most straightforward
manner, to abuse their powers in order to return a Parliament completely
subservient to the Government.


The only object which the Duke of Northumberland had in view in calling
the new Parliament together was to procure liberal supplies. The
appropriation of the monastic and chartered lands had left the Crown
nearly as poor as it had found it. Such portions of these lands as
still remained in its possession were totally inadequate to meet the
annual demands of the Government. Northumberland, therefore, asked for
two-tenths and two-fifteenths; but even with his care to pack the Commons
he found it no easy task to obtain supplies, and the friends of Somerset
again assembled in considerable force in the House, resenting in strong
terms the pretence thrown out in the preamble to the bill that it was
owing to the extravagance and improvidence of the late Duke of Somerset,
to his involving the country in needless wars, debasing the coin, and
occasioning a terrible rebellion.

But the king's health was fast failing, and it was high time for
Northumberland to make sure his position and fortune. The constitution
of Edward had long betrayed symptoms of frailty. In the early spring of
the past year he was successively attacked by measles and small-pox.
In the autumn, through incautious exposure to cold, he was attacked by
inflammation of the lungs, and so enfeebled was he become by the meeting
of Parliament on the 1st of March, 1553, that he was obliged to receive
the two Houses at his palace of Whitehall. He was greatly exhausted by
the exertion, being evidently far gone in a consumption, and harassed
with a troublesome cough.

Northumberland, from the day on which he rose into the ascendant
at Court, had shown that he was the true son of the old licensed
extortioner. He had laboured assiduously not only to surround himself by
interested adherents, but to add estate to estate. He inherited a large
property, the accumulations of oppression and crimes of the blackest
dye. But during the three years in which he had enjoyed all but kingly
power, he had been diligently at work creating a kingly demesne. He was
become the Steward of the East Riding of Yorkshire, and likewise of all
the Royal manors in the five northern counties. He had obtained Tynemouth
and Alnwick in Northumberland, Barnard Castle in Durham, and immense
estates in Warwick, Worcester, and Somerset shires. The more he saw the
king fail, the more anxious he was to place his brother, his sons, his
relatives, and most devoted partisans in places of honour and profit
around him at Court. This done, he advanced to bolder measures, to which
these were only the stepping-stones. Lady Jane Grey was the daughter
of Frances, Duchess of Suffolk, whose mother was Mary, the sister of
Henry VIII. Mary first married Louis XII. of France, by whom she had no
children, and next, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, by whom she had two
daughters. The younger of these married Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, but
the elder, Frances, whose claim came first, had by the Marquis of Dorset
(afterwards Duke of Suffolk) three daughters, Jane, Catherine, and Mary.

Northumberland, casting his eye over the descendants of Henry VIII.,
saw the only son, King Edward, dying, and the two daughters, Mary
and Elizabeth, bastardised by Acts of Parliament still unrepealed. A
daring scheme seized his ambitious mind--a scheme to set aside these
two princesses, the elder of whom, and immediate heir to the throne,
was especially dangerous to the permanence of the newly-established
Protestantism. It was true that Margaret of Scotland, the sister of Henry
VIII., was older than his sister Mary, and her grand-daughter, Mary Queen
of Scots, would have taken precedence of the descendants of Mary, but
she and her issue had been entirely passed over in the will of Henry.
Leaving out, then, this line, and setting aside the Princesses Mary and
Elizabeth as legally illegitimate, Lady Jane Grey would become heir to
the throne. Northumberland resolved, therefore, to secure Lady Jane in
marriage for his son Lord Guilford Dudley; to obtain Lady Jane's sister,
Catherine, for Lord Herbert, son of the Earl of Pembroke, who owed title,
estates, and everything to the favour of Northumberland; and to marry his
own daughter Catherine to the eldest son of the Earl of Huntingdon. The
marriages were celebrated at Durham House, the Duke of Northumberland's
new residence in the Strand.

[Illustration: SIXPENCE OF EDWARD VI.]

[Illustration: SHILLING OF EDWARD VI.]

Northumberland's next step was to induce the king to bequeath the crown
to Lady Jane. The dying prince listened with a mind which had long been
under the influence of the more powerful will of Dudley, and saw nothing
but the most patriotic objects in his recommendations. He no doubt
considered it a great kingly duty to decide the succession by will as his
father had done; and that the whole responsibility might rest on himself,
and not on Northumberland, who had so much at stake, he was easily
induced to sketch the form of his devise of the Crown with his own pen.
In this rough draft he entailed the succession on "the Lady Frances's
heirs masles," next on "Lady Jane's heirs masles," and then on the heirs
male of her sisters. This, however, did not accord with the plans of
Northumberland, for none of the ladies named had any heirs male; and,
therefore, on the death of Edward, the Crown would have passed over the
whole family, and would go to the next of kin. A slight alteration was
accordingly made. The letter "s" at the end of "Jane's" was scored out,
the words "and her" inserted, and thus the bequest stood "to the Lady
Jane and her heirs masles." Northumberland then compelled the judges to
draw out letters patent under the Great Seal confirming the disposition
of the Crown.



But Northumberland, not satisfied with the will of the king and the act
of the Crown lawyer, produced another document, to which he required the
signatures of the members of the Council and of the legal advisers of the
Crown, who pledged, to the number of four-and-twenty, their oaths and
honour to support this arrangement. The legal instrument, being prepared,
was engrossed on parchment, and was authenticated by the Great Seal.
Northumberland was preparing to secure his position by force of arms,
when the poor young king, whose mind had been overtaxed by his advisers,
died on the 6th of July, 1553.




     Proclamation of Lady Jane Grey--Mary's
     Resistance--Northumberland's Failure--Mary is Proclaimed--The
     Advice of Charles V.--Execution of Northumberland--Restoration
     of the Roman Church--Proposed Marriage with Philip of
     Spain--Consequent Risings throughout England--Wyatt's
     Rebellion--Execution of Lady Jane Grey--Imprisonment of
     Elizabeth--Marriage of Philip and Mary--England Accepts the Papal
     Absolution--Persecuting Statutes Re-enacted--Martyrdom of Rogers,
     Hooper, and Taylor--Di Castro's Sermon--Sickness of Mary--Trials
     of Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer--Martyrdom of Ridley and
     Latimer--Confession and Death of Cranmer--Departure of Philip--The
     Dudley Conspiracy--Return of Philip--War with France--Battle of
     St. Quentin--Loss of Calais--Death of Mary.

As Mary fled from the emissaries of Northumberland on the 7th of July,
after learning the death of her brother, she arrived on the ensuing
evening at Sawston Hall, near Cambridge, the seat of Mr. Huddlestone, a
zealous Romanist, one of whose kinsmen was a gentleman of Mary's retinue.
There she passed the night, but was compelled to resume her journey early
in the morning, the Protestant party in Cambridge having heard of her
arrival, and being on the march to attack her. She and her followers were
obliged to make the best of their way thence in different disguises,
and turning on the Gogmagog Hills to take a look at the hall, she saw
it in flames: her night's sojourn had cost her entertainer the home of
his ancestors. On seeing this, she exclaimed, as quite certain of her
fortunes, "Well, let it burn, I will build him a better;" and she kept
her word. She passed through Bury St. Edmunds, and the next night reached
the seat of Kenninghall, in Norfolk. Thence without delay she despatched
a messenger to the Privy Council, commanding them to desist from the
treasonable scheme which she knew that they were attempting, and ordering
them to proclaim her their rightful sovereign, in which case all that was
past should be pardoned. The messenger arrived just in time to see the
rival queen proclaimed on the 10th, and to bring back a reply peculiarly
insulting for its gross language, asserting her illegitimacy, and calling
upon her to submit to her sovereign, Queen Jane.

Mary on this occasion displayed the strong spirit of the Tudor. Though
Northumberland had all the powers of the Government, the military
strength, the influence of party, and the support of the nobility of the
nation apparently under his hand, and possessed the reputation of being
an able and most successful general, and though she had nobody with her
but Sir Thomas Warton, the steward of her household, Andrew Huddlestone,
and her ladies; though she had neither troops nor money, Mary did not
hesitate. Kenninghall was but a defenceless house in an open country;
she, therefore, rode forward to Framlingham Castle, not far from the
Suffolk coast, where, in a strong fortress, she could await the result
of an appeal to her subjects and, were she forced to fly, could easily
escape across to Holland, and put herself under the protection of her
Imperial kinsman.

Once within the lofty walls of Framlingham, she commanded the standard
of England to be cast loose to the winds, and caused herself to be
proclaimed Queen-regnant of England and Ireland. The effect was soon
seen. Sir Henry Jerningham and Sir Henry Bedingfeld had joined her with
a few followers before she quitted Kenninghall, and had served her as
a guard in her ride of twenty miles to Framlingham. Sir John Sulyard
now arrived, and was appointed captain of her guard. He was speedily
followed by the tenants of Sir Henry Bedingfeld, to the number of 140.
By the influence of Sir Henry Jerningham, Yarmouth declared for her;
and soon after flocked in, with more or less of followers, Lord Thomas
Howard, a grandson of the old Duke of Norfolk; Sir William Drury; Sir
Thomas Cornwallis, High Sheriff of Suffolk; Sir John Skelton; and
Sir John Tyrrel. These were all zealous Papists; and the people of
Norfolk and Suffolk hurried to her standard, impelled by the memory of
Northumberland's sanguinary extinction of Ket's rebellion, the horrors
of which still kept alive a deep detestation of the unprincipled duke in
those counties. In a very short time Mary beheld herself surrounded by an
army of 13,000 men, all serving without pay, but confidently calculating
on the certain recompense which, as queen, she would soon be able to
award them. Lord Derby rose for her in Cheshire, and Carew proclaimed her
in Devonshire.

Northumberland saw that no time was to be lost. It was necessary that
forces should be instantly despatched to check the growth of Mary's
army, and to disperse it altogether. But who should command it? There
was no one so proper as himself; but he suspected the fidelity of the
Council, and was unwilling to remove himself to a distance from them; he
therefore recommended the Duke of Suffolk, the father of Lady Jane, to
the command of the expedition. The Council, who were anxious to get rid
of Northumberland in order that they might themselves escape to Mary's
camp, represented privately that Suffolk was a general of no reputation,
that everything depended on decisive proceedings in the outset, and that
he alone was the man for the purpose. They, moreover, so excited the
fears of Lady Jane that she entreated in tears that her father might
remain with her.

Northumberland consented, though with many misgivings. He equally
distrusted the Council and the citizens. On the 13th of July he set out,
urging on the Council at his departure fidelity to the trust reposed in
them, and receiving from them the most earnest protestations of zeal
and attachment. At every step some expectation was falsified, or some
disastrous news met him. The promised reinforcements did not arrive, but
he heard of them taking the way to the camp of Mary instead of to his
own. He heard of the defection of the fleet; and lastly, a prostrating
blow, of the Council having gone over to Queen Mary. Struck with dismay
at this accumulation of evil tidings, he retreated from Bury St.
Edmunds, which he had reached, to Cambridge, and there betrayed pitiable

Scarcely had he left London before the Council, whilst outwardly
professing much activity for the interests of Queen Jane, set to work
to terminate as soon as possible the perilous farce of her royalty. On
the evening of Sunday, the 16th, the Lord Treasurer left the Tower,
and made a visit to his own house, contrary to the positive order of
Northumberland, who had strictly enjoined Suffolk to keep the whole
Council within its walls. On the 19th the Lord Treasurer and Lord Privy
Seal, the Earls of Arundel, Shrewsbury, and Pembroke, Sir Thomas Cheney,
and Sir John Mason, left the Tower, on the plea that it was necessary to
levy forces, and to receive the French ambassador, and that Baynard's
Castle, the residence of the Earl of Pembroke, was a much more convenient
place for these purposes. As they professed to be actuated by zeal for
the cause of his daughter, Suffolk, a very weak person, was easily
duped. No sooner had they reached Baynard's Castle than they unanimously
declared for Queen Mary.



Immediately after proclaiming the new queen, the Council sent to summon
the Duke of Suffolk to surrender the Tower, which he did with all
alacrity, and, proceeding to Baynard's Castle, signed the proclamations
which the Council were issuing. Poor Lady Jane resigned her uneasy and
unblessed crown of nine days with unfeigned joy, and the next morning
returned to Sion House. This brief period of queenship, which had been
thrust upon her against her own wishes and better judgment, had been
embittered not only by her own sense of injustice towards her kinswoman,
the Princess Mary, and by apprehension of the consequences to herself and
all her friends, but still more by the harshness and insatiate ambition
of her husband and his mother.

The Council despatched a letter to Northumberland by Richard Rose, the
herald, commanding him to disband his army, and return to his allegiance
to Queen Mary, under penalty of being declared a traitor. But before
this reached him he had submitted himself, and in a manner the least
heroic and dignified possible. On the Sunday he had induced Dr. Sandys,
the vice-chancellor of the university, to preach a sermon against the
title and religion of Mary. The very next day the news of the revolution
at London arrived, and Northumberland, proceeding to the market-place,
proclaimed the woman he had thus denounced, and flung up his cap as if
in joy at the event, whilst the tears of grief and chagrin streamed
down his face. Turning to Doctor Sandys, who was again with him, he
said, "Queen Mary was a merciful woman, and that, doubtless, all would
receive the benefit of her general pardon." But Sandys, who could not
help despising him, bade him "not flatter himself with that; for if the
queen were ever so inclined to pardon, those who ruled her would destroy
him, whoever else were spared." Immediately after, Sir John Gates, one
of his oldest and most obsequious instruments, arrested him, when he had
his boots half-drawn on, so that he could not help himself; and, on the
following morning, the Earl of Arundel, arriving with a body of troops,
took possession of Northumberland, his captor, Gates, and Dr. Sandys, and
sent them off to the Tower.

Mary dismissed her army, which had never exceeded 15,000, and which had
had no occasion to draw a sword, before quitting Wanstead, except 3,000
horsemen in uniforms of green and white, red and white, and blue and
white. These, too, she sent back before entering the City gate, thus
showing her perfect confidence in the attachment of her capital. From
that point her only guard was that of the City, which brought up the rear
with bows and javelins. As Mary and her sister Elizabeth rode through
the crowded streets, they were accompanied by a continuous roar of
acclamation; and on entering the court of the Tower they beheld, kneeling
on the green before St. Peter's Church, the State prisoners who had been
detained there during the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. These were
Courtenay, the son of the Marquis of Exeter, who was executed in 1538;
the old Duke of Norfolk, still under sentence of death; and the Bishops
of Durham and Winchester, Tunstall and Gardiner. Gardiner pronounced a
congratulation on behalf of the others; and Mary, bursting into tears at
the sight, called them to her, exclaiming, "Ye are all my prisoners!"
raised them one by one, kissed them, and set them at liberty. To extend
the joy of her safe establishment upon the throne of her ancestors, she
ordered eighteen pence to be distributed to every poor householder in the

It was Mary's misfortune that she had been educated to place so much
reliance on the wisdom and friendship of her great relative, the Emperor
Charles V. He had been her champion, as he had been that of her mother.
When pressed on the subject of her religion during the last reign, he
had menaced the country with war if the freedom of her conscience were
violated. It was natural, therefore, that she should now look to him for
counsel, seeing that almost all those whom she was obliged to employ
or to have around her had been her enemies during her brother's reign.
Charles communicated his opinions through Simon Renard, his ambassador,
who was to be the medium of their correspondence, and to advise her in
matters not of sufficient importance to require the Emperor's judgment,
or not allowing of sufficient time to obtain it. Renard was ordered to
act warily, and to show himself little at Court, so as to avoid suspicion.

Charles advised her to make examples of the chief conspirators, and to
punish the subordinates more mildly, so as to obtain a character of
moderation. He insisted upon it as necessary, however, that Lady Jane
Grey should be included in the list for capital punishment, and to
this Mary would by no means consent. She replied that "she could not
find in her heart or conscience to put her unfortunate kinswoman to
death, who had not been an accomplice of Northumberland, but merely an
unresisting instrument in his hands. If there were any crime in being
his daughter-in-law, even of that her cousin Jane was not guilty, for she
had been legally contracted to another, and, therefore, her marriage with
Lord Guilford Dudley was not valid. As to the danger existing from her
pretensions, it was but imaginary, and every requisite precaution should
be taken before she was set at liberty."


Mary's selection of prisoners was remarkably small considering the
number in her hands, and the character of their offence against her. She
contented herself with putting only seven of them on their trial--namely,
Northumberland, his son the Earl of Warwick, the Marquis of Northampton,
Sir John Gates, Sir Henry Gates, Sir Andrew Dudley, and Sir Thomas
Palmer--his chief councillors and his associates. Northumberland
submitted to the court whether a man could be guilty of treason who acted
on the authority of Council, and under warrant of the Great Seal; or
could they, who had been his chief advisers and accomplices during the
whole time, sit as his judges? The Duke of Norfolk, who presided at the
trial as High Steward, replied that the Council and Great Seal which he
spoke of were those of a usurper, and, therefore, so far from availing
him, only aggravated the offence, and that the lords in question could
sit as his judges, because they were under no attainder.

Finding that his appeal had done him no service, Northumberland and his
fellow-prisoners pleaded guilty. The duke prayed that his sentence might
be commuted into decapitation, as became a peer of the realm, and he
prayed the queen that she would be merciful to his children on account
of their youth. He desired also that an able divine might be sent to
him for the settling of his conscience, thereby intimating that he was
at heart a Romanist, in hopes, no doubt, of winning upon the mind of
the queen, for he was very anxious to save his life. He professed, too,
that he was in possession of certain State secrets of vital importance
to her Majesty, and entreated that two members of the Council might be
sent to him to receive these matters from him. What his object was became
manifest from the result, for Gardiner and another member of the Council
being sent to him in consequence, he implored Gardiner passionately to
intercede for his life. Gardiner gave him little hope, but promised
to do what he could, and on returning to the queen so much moved her,
that she was inclined to grant the request; but others of the Council
wrote through Renard to the Emperor, who strenuously warned her, if
she valued her safety, or the peace of her reign, not to listen to the
arch-traitor. On Tuesday, the 22nd of August, Northumberland, Gates,
and Palmer were brought from the Tower for execution on Tower Hill. Of
the eleven condemned, only these three were executed--an instance of
clemency, in so gross a conspiracy to deprive a sovereign of a throne,
which is without parallel. When the Duke of Northumberland and Gates
met on the scaffold, they each accused the other of being the author
of the treason. Northumberland charged the whole design on Gates and
the Council; Gates laid it more truly on Northumberland and his high
authority. They protested, however, that they entirely forgave each
other, and Northumberland, stepping to the rail, made a speech, praying
for a long and happy reign to the queen, and calling on the people to
bear witness that he died in the true Catholic faith. Though he condemned
it, he said, in his heart, ambition had led him to conform to the new
faith, the adoption of which had filled both England and Germany with
constant dissensions, troubles, and civil wars. After repeating the
"Miserere," "De Profundis," and the "Paternoster," with some portion
of another psalm, concluding with the words, "Into thy hands, O Lord,
I commend my spirit," he laid his head on the block, saying that he
deserved a thousand deaths, and it was severed at a stroke. Gates and
Palmer died professing much penitence.


The accession of Mary was a joyful event to the Papal Court. Julius III.
appointed Cardinal Pole his legate to the queen; but Pole was by no means
in haste, without obtaining further information, to fill this office in
a country where the people, whose sturdy character he well knew, had to
so great an extent imbibed the doctrines of the Reformation. Dandino,
the Papal legate at Brussels, therefore despatched a gentleman of his
suite to proceed to London and cautiously spy out the land. Before making
himself known, this emissary, Gianfrancesco Commendone, went about
London for some days gathering up all evidences of the public feeling on
the question of the Church. He then procured a private interview with
Mary, and was delighted to hear from her own lips that she was fully
resolved on reconciling her kingdom to the Papal See, and meant to obtain
the repeal of all laws restricting the doctrines or discipline of the
Roman Church; but that it required caution, and that no trace of any
correspondence with Rome must come to light.

Mary was, however, inclined to go faster and farther than some of her
advisers, and Gardiner, though so staunch a Papist, was too much of an
Englishman to wish to see the supremacy restored to the Pontiff. But
others were not so patriotic. Throughout the kingdom the Protestant
preachers were silenced. The great bell at Christ Church, Oxford, was
just recast, and the first use of it was to call the people to Mass.
"That bell then rung," says Fuller, "the knell of Gospel truth in the
city of Oxford, afterwards filled with Protestant tears."

Four days after her coronation, on October 1st, Mary opened her first
Parliament; and she opened it in a manner which showed plainly what
was to come. Both peers and commoners were called upon to attend her
majesty at a solemn Mass of the Holy Ghost. This was an immediate test
of what degree of compliance was to be expected in the attempt to return
to the ancient order of things; and the success of the experiment was
most encouraging. With the exception of Taylor Bishop of Lincoln, and
Harley Bishop of Hereford, the whole Parliament--peers, prelates,
and commoners--fell on their knees at the elevation of the Host, and
participated with an air of devotion in that which in the last reign
they had declared an abomination. But such was the zeal now for the
lately abhorred Mass, that the two noncomplying bishops were thrust out
of the queen's presence, and out of the abbey altogether. There were
those who insinuated that the Emperor furnished Mary with funds to bribe
her Parliament on this occasion; but, besides that Charles was not so
lavish of his money, events soon showed that the Parliament, though
so exceedingly pliant in the matter of religion, was stubborn enough
regarding the estates obtained from the Church, and also concerning
Mary's scheme of a Spanish marriage.

The first act of legislation was to restore the securities to life and
property which had been granted in the twenty-fifth year of Edward III.,
and which had been so completely prostrated by the acts of Henry VIII.
Such an Act had been passed at the commencement of the last reign, but
had been again violated in the cases of the two Seymours. The Parliament,
looking back on the sanguinary lawlessness of that monarch, did not
think the country sufficiently safe from charges of constructive treason
and felony without a fresh enactment. It next passed an Act annulling
the divorce of Queen Catherine of Aragon, by Cranmer, and declaring the
present queen legitimate. This Act indeed tacitly declared Elizabeth
illegitimate, but there was no getting altogether out of the difficulties
which the licentious proceedings of Henry VIII. had created, and it was
deemed best to pass that point over in silence, leaving the queen to
treat her sister as if born in genuine wedlock.

The next Act went to restore the Papal Church in England, stopping short,
however, of the supremacy. This received no opposition in the House of
Lords, but occasioned a debate of two days in the Commons. It passed,
however, eventually without a division, and by it was swept away at once
the whole system of Protestantism established by Cranmer during the reign
of Edward VI. The Reformed liturgy, which the Parliament of that monarch
had declared was framed by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, was now
pronounced to be "a new thing, imagined and devised by a few of singular
opinions." This abolished the marriages of priests and illegitimatised
their children. From the 20th day of November divine worship was to be
performed, and the sacraments were to be administered, as in the last
year of Henry VIII. Thus were the tyrannic Six Articles restored, and all
but the Papal supremacy. Even the discussion of the ritual and doctrines
of Edward VI. became so warm, that the queen prorogued Parliament
for three days. On calling the House of Commons together again, and
proceeding with the Bill, no mention was made of the restoration of the
Church property, though the queen was anxious to restore all that was in
the hands of the Crown; for the Lords, and gentlemen even of the House
of Commons, who were in possession of those lands, would have raised
a far different opposition to that which was manifested regarding the
State religion. No sooner were these Bills passed than the clergy met in
Convocation, and passed decrees for the speedy enforcement of all the new

[Illustration: _By permission, from the Painting in the Victoria and
Albert Museum, South Kensington._



The persecution of the Reformed clergy who had stood firm became
vehement. The married clergy were called upon to abandon their wives, and
there was a rush of the expelled priests again to fill their pulpits. In
the cities there was considerable opposition, for there the people had
read and reflected, but generally throughout the agricultural districts
the change took place with the ease and rapidity of the scene-shifting at
a theatre. Many of the married priests, however, would not abandon their
wives and children, and were turned adrift into the highways, or were
thrust into prison. Many fled abroad, hoping for more Christian treatment
from the Reformed churches there, but in vain, for their doctrines did
not accord with those of the foreign Reformers, who deemed them heretical.

About half the English bishops conformed; the rest were ejected from
their sees, and several of them were imprisoned. Soon after Cranmer,
Latimer, and Ridley were sent to the Tower, Holgate, Archbishop of York,
was sent thither also. Poynet, who was Bishop of Winchester during
Gardiner's expulsion, was imprisoned for having married. Taylor of
Lincoln and Harley of Hereford, for refusing to kneel on the elevation
of the Host at the queen's coronation, and for other heresies, were
committed to prison. On the 13th of October Cranmer was brought to
trial in the Guildhall, on a charge of treason, with Lady Jane Grey,
her husband Lord Guilford Dudley, and Lord Ambrose Dudley, his brother.
They were all condemned to death as traitors, and a bill of attainder
was passed through Parliament against them. Lady Jane's sentence was to
be beheaded or burnt at the queen's pleasure, which was then the law
of England in all cases where women committed high treason, or petty
treason by the murder of their husbands. The fate of Lady Jane, who
pleaded guilty, and exhibited the most mild and amiable demeanour on
the occasion, excited deep sympathy, and crowds followed her as she was
reconducted to the Tower, weeping and lamenting her hard fate. It was
well understood, however, that the queen had no intention of carrying
the sentence into effect against any of the prisoners; but she deemed
it a means of keeping quiet her partisans to hold them in prison under
sentence of death. She gave orders that they should receive every
indulgence consistent with their security, and Lady Jane was permitted to
walk in the queen's garden at the Tower, and even on Tower Hill.

The subject which created the greatest difficulty to this Parliament was
that of the queen's marriage. The wily Renard suggested to Mary as a
possible husband Philip the heir of Charles V., and she eagerly seized
on the idea though she knew that it would be very unpopular. The first
to remonstrate with Mary on the subject was Gardiner, her Chancellor,
who boldly pointed out to her the repugnance of the nation to a Spanish
marriage; that she would be the paramount authority if she married a
subject, but that it would be difficult to maintain that rank with a
Spanish king; that the arrogance of the Spanish had made them odious to
all nations, and that this quality had shown itself conspicuously in
Philip. He was greatly disliked by his own people, and it was not likely
that he would be tolerated by the English; moreover, alliance with Spain
meant perpetual war with France, which would never suffer the Netherlands
to be annexed to the crown of England. The rest of Mary's Council took
up the same strain, with the exception of the old Duke of Norfolk, and
the Lords Arundel and Paget. The Protestant party out of doors were
furious against the match, declaring that it would bring the Inquisition
into the country, to rivet Popery upon it, and to make England the slave
of taxation to the Spaniards. The Parliament took up the subject with
equal hostility, and the Commons sent their Speaker to her, attended
by a deputation of twenty members, praying her Majesty not to marry a

Noailles, the French ambassador, was delighted with this movement, and
took much credit to himself for inciting influential parties to it; but
Mary believed it to originate with Gardiner, and the lion spirit of her
father coming over her, she vowed that she would prove a match for the
cunning of the Chancellor. That very night she sent for the Spanish
ambassador, and bidding him follow her into her private oratory, she
there knelt down before the altar, and after chanting the hymn, "Veni
Creator Spiritus," she made a vow to God that she would marry Philip
of Spain, and whilst she lived, no other man but him. Thus she put it
out of her power, if she kept her vow, to marry any other person should
she outlive Philip, showing the force of the paroxysm of determination
which was upon her. The effort would seem to have been very violent, for
immediately after she was taken ill, and continued so for some days.

It was on the last day of October that this curious circumstance took
place, and on the 17th of November she sent for the House of Commons,
when the Speaker read the address giving her their advice regarding her
marriage. Instead of the Chancellor returning the answer, as was the
custom, Mary replied herself, thanking them for their care that she
should have a succession in her own children, but rebuking them for
presuming to dictate to her the choice of a husband. She declared that
the marriages of her predecessors had always been free, a privilege
which, she assured them, she was resolved to maintain. At the same time,
she added, she should be careful to make such a selection as should
contribute both to her own happiness and to that of her people.

The plain declaration of the queen to her Parliament was not necessary
to inform those about her who were interested in the question; they had
speedy information of her having favoured the Spanish suit, and Noailles
was certainly mixed up in conspiracies to defeat it. It was proposed to
place Courtenay, the young Earl of Devon, who had long been a prisoner
in the Tower, at the head of the Reformed party, and if Mary would not
consent to marry him, to assassinate Arundel and Paget, the advocates
of the Spanish match; to marry Elizabeth to Courtenay, and raise the
standard of rebellion in Devonshire. It appears from the despatches of
Noailles that the Duke of Suffolk, the father of Lady Jane Grey, was in
this conspiracy. But the folly and the unstable character of their hero,
Courtenay, was fatal to their design, and of that Noailles very soon
became sensible. It was suggested by some of the parties that Courtenay
should steal away from Court, get across to France, and thence join the
conspirators in Devonshire; but Noailles opposed this plan, declaring
that the moment Courtenay quitted the coast of England his chance was
utterly lost; and he wrote to his own government, saying that the scheme
would fall to nothing; for although Courtenay and Elizabeth were fitting
persons to cause a rising, such was the want of decision of Courtenay, he
would let himself be taken before he would act--the thing which actually
came to pass.

On the 2nd of January, 1554, a splendid embassy, sent by the Emperor,
headed by the Counts Egmont and Lalain, the Lord of Courrieres, and the
Sieur de Nigry, landed in Kent, to arrange the marriage between Mary and
Philip. The unpopularity of this measure was immediately manifested,
for the men of Kent, taking Egmont for Philip, rose in fury, and would
have torn him to pieces if they could have got hold of him. Having,
however, reached Westminster in safety, on the 14th of January, a
numerous assembly of nobles, prelates, and courtiers was summoned to the
queen's presence-chamber, where Gardiner, who had found it necessary to
relinquish his opposition, stated to them the proposed conditions of
the treaty. The greatest care was evidently taken to disarm the fears of
the English, and nothing could appear more moderate than the terms of
this alliance. Philip and Mary were to confer on each other the titles
of their respective kingdoms, but each kingdom was still to be governed
by its own laws and constitution. None but English subjects were to hold
office in this country, not even in the king's private service. If the
queen had an heir, it was to be her successor in her own dominions, and
also in all Philip's dominions of Burgundy, Holland, and Flanders, which
were for ever to become part and parcel of England. This certainly, on
the face of it, was a most advantageous condition for England, but had
it taken effect, it would undoubtedly have proved a most disastrous one,
involving us perpetually in the wars and struggles of the Continent, and
draining these islands to defend those foreign territories.

Another condition of the treaty was that Mary was not to be carried
out of the kingdom except at her own request, nor any of her children,
except by the consent of the peers. The Commons were totally ignored in
the matter. Philip was not to entangle England in the Continental wars
of his father, nor to appropriate any of the naval or military resources
of this country, or the property or jewels of the Crown, to any foreign
purposes. If there was no issue of the marriage, all the conditions of
the treaty at once became void, and Philip ceased to be king even in
name. If he died first, which was not very probable, Mary was to enjoy a
dower of 60,000 ducats per annum, secured on lands in Spain and Flanders.
No mention was made of any payment to Philip if he happened to be the
survivor. But there was one little clause which stipulated that Philip
should _aid_ Mary in governing her kingdom--an ominous word, which might
be made of vast significance.

Within five days came the startling news that three insurrections had
broken out in different quarters of the kingdom. One was a-foot in the
midland counties, where the Duke of Suffolk and the Grey family had
property and influence. There the cry was for the Lady Jane. Mary had
been completely deceived by the Duke of Suffolk, whom she had pardoned
and liberated from the Tower. In return for her leniency he affected so
hearty an approval of her marriage, that she instantly thought of him as
the man to put down the other rebellions, and sending for him, found
that he and his brothers, Lord Thomas and Lord John Grey, had ridden off
with a strong body of horse to Leicestershire, proclaiming Lady Jane in
every town through which they passed. They found no response to their
cry, a fact which any but the most rash speculators might have been
certain of. The Earl of Huntingdon, a relative of the queen's, took the
field against the Greys, who by their folly brought certain death to Lady
Jane, and defeated them near Coventry, upon which they fled for their


(_From the View of London, made by Van der Wyngarde, for Philip II._)]

The second insurrection was in the west, under Sir Peter Carew, whose
project was to place Elizabeth and Courtenay, Earl of Devon, on the
throne, and restore the Protestant religion. These parties, as well as
the third under Sir Thomas Wyatt, had consented to act together, and
thus paralyse the efforts of Mary, by the simultaneous outbreak in so
many quarters. But the miserable folly of their plans became evident at
once. They did not even unite in the choice of the same person as their
future monarch, and had they put down Mary, must then have come to blows
amongst themselves. Carew found Devonshire as indifferent to his call as
the Greys had found Leicestershire. Courtenay was to have put himself at
their head, but never went; and Carew, Gibbs, and Champernham called on
the people of Exeter to sign an address to the queen, stating that they
would have no Spanish despot. The people of Devon gave no support to the
movement. The Earl of Bedford appeared at the head of the queen's troops.
A number of the conspirators were seized, and Carew with others fled to

But the most formidable section of this tripartite rebellion was that
under Sir Thomas Wyatt. He fixed his headquarters at Rochester, having
a fleet of five sail, under his associate Winter, which brought him
ordnance and ammunition. Wyatt was only a youth of twenty-three, but
he was full of both courage and enthusiasm, and endeavoured to rouse
the people of Canterbury to follow him. There, however, he was not
successful, and this cast a damp upon his adherents. Sir Robert Southwell
defeated a party of the insurgents under Knevet, and the Lord Abergavenny
another party under Isley, and the spirits of Wyatt's troops began to
sink rapidly. Many of his supporters sent to the Council, offering to
surrender on promise of full pardon, and a little delay would probably
have witnessed the total dispersion of his force.

But on the 29th of January, the Duke of Norfolk marched from London
with a detachment of the guards under Sir Henry Jerningham. On reaching
Rochester they found Wyatt encamped in the ruins of the old castle,
and the bridge bristling with cannon, and with well-armed Kentishmen.
Norfolk endeavoured to dissolve the hostile force by sending a herald
to proclaim a pardon to all that would lay down their arms, but Wyatt
would not permit him to read the paper. Norfolk then ordered his troops
to force the bridge; but this duty falling to a detachment of 500 of the
train-bands of the city under Captain Brett, the moment they reached the
bridge Brett turned round, and addressed his followers thus:--"Masters,
we go about to fight against our native countrymen of England, and our
friends, in a quarrel unrightful and wicked; for they, considering the
great miseries that are like to fall upon us, if we shall be under the
rule of the proud Spaniards, or strangers, are here assembled to make
resistance to their coming, for the avoiding the great mischiefs likely
to alight not only upon themselves, but upon every of us and the whole
realm; wherefore I think no English heart ought to say against them. I
and others will spend our blood in their quarrel."

On hearing this, his men shouted, one and all, "A Wyatt! a Wyatt!" and
turned their guns not against the bridge, but against Norfolk's forces.
At this sight Norfolk and his officers, imagining a universal treason,
turned their horses and fled at full speed, leaving behind them their
cannon and ammunition. The train-bands crossed the bridge and joined
Wyatt's soldiers, followed by three-fourths of the queen's troops,
and some companies of the guard. Norfolk and his fugitive officers
galloping into London carried with them the direst consternation. In
City and Court alike the most terrible panic prevailed. The lawyers in
Westminster Hall pleaded in suits of armour hidden under their robes, and
Dr. Weston preached before the queen in Whitehall Chapel, on Candlemas
Day, in armour under his clerical vestments. Mary alone seemed calm and
self-possessed. She mounted her horse, and, attended by her ladies and
her Council, rode into the City, where, summoning Sir Thomas White, Lord
Mayor and tailor, and the aldermen to meet, who all came clad in armour
under their civic livery, she ascended a chair of State, and with her
sceptre in hand addressed them, declaring she would never marry except
with leave of Parliament.

Her courage gained the day. From some cause the insurgents had not pushed
forward with the celerity which the flight of Norfolk appeared to make
easy. Instead of marching on the City and taking advantage of its panic,
Wyatt was three days in reaching Deptford and Greenwich, and he then lay
three more days there, though his success was said to have raised his
forces to 15,000 men. Meantime the City had recovered its courage by the
valiant bearing of the queen, and the news of the dispersion of the other
two divisions of the rebels. The golden opportunity was irrevocably lost.
On the 3rd of February Wyatt marched along the river side to Southwark.
Coming to the end of London Bridge, he found the drawbridge raised, the
gates closed, and the citizens, headed by the Lord Mayor and aldermen in
armour, in strong force ready to resist his entrance. He was surprised
to find the Londoners determined not to admit him, for he had been led
to believe that they were as hostile to the marriage as himself. He
planted two pieces of artillery at the foot of the bridge, but this was
evidently with the view of defending his own position, and not of forcing
the gates, for he cut a deep ditch between the bridge and the fort which
he occupied, and then protected his flanks from attack by other guns,
one pointing down Bermondsey Street, one by St. George's Church, and the
third towards the Bishop of Winchester's house. He must still have hoped
for a demonstration in the City in his favour, for he remained stationary
two whole days, without making an attack on the bridge. On the third
morning this inaction was broken by the garrison in the Tower opening a
brisk cannonade against him with all their heavy ordnance, doing immense
damage to the houses in the vicinity of the bridge fort, and to the
towers of St. Olave's and St. Mary Overy's.

The people of Southwark, seeing the inaction of Wyatt and the mischief
done to their property, now cried out amain, and desired him to take
himself away, which he did. He told the people that he would not have
them hurt on his account, and forthwith commenced a march towards
Kingston, hoping to be able to cross the bridge there, which he supposed
would be unguarded, and that so he might fall on Westminster and London
on the side where they were but indifferently fortified. He reached
Kingston about four o'clock in the afternoon of the 6th of February,
where he found a part of the bridge broken down, and an armed force
ready to oppose his passage. His object being to cross here, and not,
as at London Bridge, to await a voluntary admission, he brought up his
artillery, swept the enemy from the opposite bank, and by the help of
some sailors, who brought up boats and barges, he had the bridge made
passable, and his troops crossed over. By this time it was eleven o'clock
at night; his troops were extremely fatigued by their march and their
labours here, but he now deemed it absolutely necessary to push on, and
allow the Government no more time than he could help to collect forces
into his path, and strengthen their position. He marched on, therefore,
through a miserable winter night, and staying most imprudently to
re-mount a heavy gun which had broken down, it was broad daylight when he
arrived at what is now Hyde Park, where the Earl of Pembroke was posted
with the royal forces to receive him.

Lord Clinton headed the cavalry, and took his station with a battery of
cannon on the rising ground opposite to the palace of St. James's, at the
top of the present St. James's Street, and his cavalry extended from that
spot to the present Jermyn Street. All that quarter of dense building,
including Piccadilly, Pall Mall, and St. James's Square, was then open
and called St. James's Fields. About nine o'clock appeared the advance
guard of Wyatt's army. The morning was dismal, gloomy, and rainy, and his
troops, who had been wading through muddy roads all night, were in no
condition to face a fresh army. Many had deserted at Kingston, many more
had dropped off since, and seeing the strength of the force placed to
obstruct him, he divided his own into three parts. One of these, led by
Captain Cobham, took the way through St. James's Park at the back of the
palace, which was barricaded at all points, guards being stationed at the
windows, even those of the queen's bed-chamber and with drawing-rooms.
Cobham's division fired on the palace as it passed, whilst another
division under Captain Knevet, holding more to the right, assaulted the
palaces of Westminster and Whitehall.

But Wyatt, at the head of the main division, charged Clinton's cavalry;
the cannon were brought up, and a general engagement took place between
the rebel army and the troops under Clinton and the infantry under
Pembroke. Wyatt's charge seemed to make the cavalry give way, but it was
only a stratagem on the part of Clinton, who opened his ranks to let
Wyatt and about four hundred of his followers pass, when he closed and
cut off the main body from their commander. In all Wyatt's proceedings he
displayed great bravery, but little military experience or caution.

His main forces, now deprived of their leader, wavered and gave way, but
instead of breaking took another course to reach the City. Wyatt, as if
unconscious that he had left the bulk of his army behind him, and had now
the enemy between it and himself, rushed along past Charing Cross and
through the Strand to Ludgate, in the fond hope still that the citizens
would admit him and join him. In the passages of the Strand were posted
bodies of soldiers under the Earl of Worcester and the contemptible
Courtenay, who, on the sight of Wyatt, fled.

On reaching Ludgate, Wyatt found the gates closed, and instead of the
citizens who had promised to receive him, Lord William Howard appeared
over the gate, crying sternly, "Avaunt, traitor! avaunt; you enter not
here!" Finding no access there, the unhappy man turned to rejoin and
assist his troops, but he was met by those of Pembroke, who had poured
after him like a flood. With the energy of despair he fought his way back
as far as the Temple, where he found only twenty-four of his followers
surviving. At Temple Bar he threw away his sword, which was broken, and
surrendered himself to Sir Maurice Berkeley, who immediately mounted him
behind him and carried him off to Court.

Mary had displayed the most extraordinary clemency on the termination
of the former conspiracy, for which not only the Emperor but her
own Ministers had blamed her. Her Council now urged her to make a
more salutary example of these offenders, to prevent a repetition
of rebellion. On the previous occasion she had permitted only three
of the ringleaders to be put to death. On this occasion five of the
chief conspirators were condemned, and four of them were executed,
Croft being pardoned. Suffolk fell without any commiseration. It was
difficult to decide whether his folly or his ingratitude had been the
greater. He had twice been a traitor to the queen, the second time
after being most mercifully pardoned. He had twice put his amiable and
excellent daughter's life in jeopardy; the second time after seeing how
hopeless was the attempt to place her on the throne, and therefore,
to a certainty, by the second revolt, involving her death; and to add
to his infamy, he endeavoured to win escape for himself by betraying
others. He was beheaded on the 23rd of February. Wyatt was kept in the
Tower till the 11th of April, when he was executed. Unlike Suffolk, he
tried to exculpate others, declaring in his last moments that neither
the Princess Elizabeth nor Courtenay, who were suspected of being privy
to his designs, knew anything of them. Wyatt seems to have been a brave
and honest man, who believed himself acting the part of a patriot in
endeavouring to preserve the country from the Spanish yoke, and who,
in the sincerity of his own heart, had too confidently trusted to the
assurances of faithless men. Had he succeeded, and placed the Protestant
Princess Elizabeth on the throne, his name, instead of remaining that of
a traitor, would have stood side by side with that of Hampden. His body
was quartered and exposed in different places. His head was stuck on a
pole at Hay Hill, near Hyde Park, whence it was stolen by some of his

Sir Nicholas Throgmorton was the sixth, who was tried at Guildhall on the
17th of April, the very day of Lord Grey's execution. His condemnation
and death were regarded as certain; but on being brought to the bar he
adroitly pleaded that the recent statute abolishing all treasons since
the reign of Edward III., covered anything which he could possibly have
done, and that his offence being only words, were by the same statute
declared to be no overt act at all. He stated this with so much skill and
eloquence, at the same time contending that there was not a particle of
evidence of his having been an active accomplice of the rebels, that the
jury acquitted him.

The execution which caused and still causes the deepest interest,
and which always appears as a shadow on the character of Queen Mary,
was that of her cousin, Lady Jane Grey. Till this second unfortunate
insurrection, Mary steadily refused to listen to any persuasions to shed
the blood of Lady Jane. She had had her tried and condemned to death,
but she still permitted her to live, gave her a considerable degree of
liberty and unusual indulgences, and it was generally understood that
she meant eventually to pardon her. The ambassadors of Charles V. had
strenuously urged her to prevent future danger by executing her rival,
but she had replied that she could not find it in her conscience to
put her unfortunate kinswoman to death, who had not been an accomplice
of Northumberland, but merely an instrument in his hands; but now that
the very mischief had taken place which the Emperor and her own Council
had prognosticated; she was importuned on all sides to take what they
described as the only prudent course. Poynet, the Bishop of Winchester,
says that those lords of the Council who had been the most instrumental
at the death of Edward VI. in thrusting royalty on Lady Jane--namely,
Pembroke and Winchester--and who had been amongst the first to denounce
Mary as illegitimate, were now the most remorseless advocates for Lady
Jane's death.

Accordingly, the day after the fall of Wyatt, Mary signed the warrant
for the execution of "Guilford Dudley and his wife," to take place
within three days. On the morning of the execution the queen sent Lady
Jane permission to have an interview with her husband, but she declined
the favour as too trying, saying she should meet him within a few hours
in heaven. She saw her husband go to execution from the window of the
lodging in Master Partridge's house, and beheld the headless trunk borne
back to be buried in the chapel. Lord Guilford Dudley was executed on
Tower Hill in sight of a vast concourse, but a scaffold was erected for
her on the Tower green. Immediately after his corpse had passed she was
led forth by the Lieutenant of the Tower, and appeared to go to her
fate without any discomposing fear, but in a serious frame, not a tear
dimming her eye, though her gentlewomen, Elizabeth Tilney and Mistress
Helen, were weeping greatly. She continued engaged in prayer, which she
read from a book, till she came to the scaffold; there she made a short
speech to the spectators, declaring that she deserved her punishment for
allowing herself to be made the instrument of the ambition of others.
"That device, however," she said, "was never of my seeking, but by the
counsel of those who appeared to have better understanding of such things
than I. As for the procurement or desire of such dignity by me, I wash
my hands thereof before God and all you Christian people this day."
She caused her gentlewomen to disrobe her, bandaged her own eyes with
a handkerchief, and laying her head on the block, at one stroke it was
severed from the body (February 12, 1554).

But this conspiracy had approached the queen much more nearly than in
the person of Wyatt or the friends of Lady Jane Grey. It was discovered
by intercepted letters of Wyatt, of Noailles, the French ambassador, and
by one supposed to have been written by Elizabeth herself to the French
king; that she was deeply implicated, and that the design of marrying
her and Courtenay and placing them on the throne was well known, and
apparently quite agreeable to her.


The refusal of Elizabeth to join her sister at the outbreak of the
insurrection, and the flight of Courtenay at the moment of Wyatt's entry
of London, excited suspicion, and this suspicion was soon converted into
something very like fact by the three despatches of Noailles, written in
cipher, and dated January 26th, 28th, and 30th. These despatches detailed
the steps taken in her favour. Besides these there were two notes sent
by Wyatt to Elizabeth, the first advising her to remove to Donington,
the next informing her of his successful entry into Southwark. Then came
what appeared clearly a letter of Elizabeth to the King of France. The
Duke of Suffolk's confession was again corroborative of these details,
namely, that the object of the insurrection was to depose Mary and place
Elizabeth on the throne. William Thomas supported this, adding that it
was intended to put the queen immediately to death. Croft confessed that
he had solicited Elizabeth to return to Donington; Lord Russell said
he had conveyed letters from Wyatt to Elizabeth, and another witness
deposed to his knowledge of a correspondence between Courtenay and Carew
respecting Courtenay's marriage with the princess.

With all these startling facts in her possession, Mary wrote to Elizabeth
with an air of unsuspicious kindness, requesting her to come to her from
Ashridge, informing her that malicious and ill-disposed persons accused
her of favouring the late insurrection; but appearing not to believe
it, and giving as a reason for her wishing her to be nearer, that the
times were so unsettled that she would be in greater security with her.
Elizabeth pleaded illness for not complying; but the queen sent Hastings,
Southwell, and Cornwallis, members of Council, whom she received in
her bed, and complained of being afflicted with a severe and dangerous
malady. Mary, well acquainted with the deep dissimulation of her
sister's character, then sent three of her own physicians, accompanied
by Lord William Howard; and the physicians having given their opinion
that she was quite able to travel, she was obliged to accompany them by
short stages, borne in a litter. She appeared pale and bloated. It was
said that she had been poisoned; but in a week she was quite well, and
demanded an audience of the queen; but Mary had so much evidence in her
hands of Elizabeth's proceedings, that she sent her word that it was
necessary first to prove her innocence.

Courtenay had been arrested on the 12th of February, at the house of the
Earl of Essex, and committed to the Tower. Mary was averse from sending
her sister there, and asked each of the lords of the Council in rotation
to admit Elizabeth to their houses, and take charge of her. All declined
the dangerous office; she was, therefore, compelled to sign the warrant
for her committal, and Elizabeth was conducted to the Tower by the
Earl of Sussex and another nobleman on the 18th of March. Even whilst
performing this duty, it appears that Elizabeth had influence enough with
these noblemen to make them dilatory in the execution of their office, to
the great anger of the queen, who upbraided them with their remissness,
telling them they dared not have done such a thing in her father's time,
and wishing that "he were alive for a month." Elizabeth on entering the
Tower was dreadfully afraid that she was doomed to leave it as so many
princes and nobles had done, without a head. She inquired whether Lady
Jane's scaffold were removed, and was greatly relieved to hear that it
was. But what alarmed Elizabeth still more, was that the Constable of
the Tower was discharged from his office, and Sir Henry Bedingfield,
a zealous Romanist, appointed in his place. The fact of Sir Robert
Brackenbury having been seventy years before, in like manner, removed,
and Sir James Tyrell put in, when the princes were murdered, appeared an
ominous precedent, but there was no real cause for apprehension; Mary
had no wish to shed her sister's blood. Elizabeth, spite of the evidence
against her, protested vehemently her innocence, and wished "that God
might confound her eternally if she was in any manner implicated with

The Court of Spain, through Renard the ambassador, urged perseveringly
the execution of Elizabeth and Courtenay. Renard represented from his
sovereign that there could be no security for her throne so long as
Elizabeth and Courtenay were suffered to live. But Mary replied that
though they had both of them, no doubt, listened willingly to the
conspirators, and would have been ready had they succeeded to step into
her throne, yet they had been guilty of no overt act, and, therefore, by
the constitutional law of England which had been enacted in her first
Parliament, they could not be put to death, but could only be imprisoned,
or suffer forfeiture of their goods.

In spite of the many warnings and the most universal expression of
dislike to the match, Mary persisted in her engagement of marriage with
Philip of Spain, though he himself showed no unequivocal reluctance to
the completion of it; never writing to her, but submitting to his fate,
as it were, in obedience to the parental command. At the end of May the
unwilling bridegroom resigned his government of Castile--which he held
for his insane grandmother, Juana--into the hands of his sister, the
Princess-Dowager of Portugal, and bade adieu to his family. He embarked
at Corunna on the 13th of July for England, and landed at Southampton on
the 20th, after a week's voyage. He married his wife, who was much older
than himself, and whose importunate love soon began to annoy him, at

On the 11th of November the third Parliament of Mary's reign was
summoned, and she and her Royal husband rode from Hampton Court to
Whitehall to open the session. The king and queen rode side by side,
a sword of State being borne before each to betoken their independent
sovereignties. The queen was extremely anxious to restore the lands
reft from the Church by her father and brother to their ancient uses,
but she must have known little of the men into whose hands those lands
had fallen, if she could seriously hope for such a sacrifice. The Earl
of Bedford, than whom no one had more deeply gorged himself with Church
plunder, on hearing the proposition, tore his rosary from his girdle
and flung it into the fire, saying he valued the abbey of Woborn more
than any fatherly counsel that could come from Rome. All the rest of the
Council were of the same way of thinking as Bedford, and Mary saw that
it was a hopeless case to move them on that point, though she set them a
very honourable example by surrendering the lands which still remained in
the hands of the Crown, to the value of £60,000 a year.

Though Mary could not recover the property for the Church, she resolved
to restore that Church to unity with Rome. She expressed her earnest
desire to have the presence of her kinsman, Cardinal Pole, in her
kingdom, and he now set out for England, from which he had been banished
so many years. He rendered this return the more easy, by bringing with
him from the Pope a bull which confirmed the nobles in their possession
of the Church property, on condition that the Papal supremacy was
restored. The queen despatched Sir Edward Hastings to accompany the
cardinal; and Sir William Cecil, who had been Edward's unhesitating
minister in stripping the Church, set out of his own accord to pay homage
to the Papal representative. Cecil's only real religion was ambition, and
Mary knew that so well that, in spite of all his time-serving, she never
would place any confidence in him, whence his bitter hostility to her

Pole, on his arrival, ascended the Thames from Greenwich in a splendid
State barge, at the prow of which he fixed a large silver cross, thus
marking the entrance of the legatine and Papal authority into the
country, as it were, in a triumphal manner. On the 24th of November the
king and queen met the united Parliament in the presence-chamber of the
palace of Whitehall: this was owing to the indisposition of the queen.
Gardiner introduced the business, which, he told them, was the weightiest
that ever happened in this realm, and begged their utmost attention to
Cardinal Pole. Pole then made a long speech, reverting to his own history
as well as that of the nation. All listened in solemn seriousness and
yet apprehension when he announced to them the fact that the Pope was
ready to absolve the English from their crimes of heresy and contumacy.
But when he added that this was to be done without any reclamation
of the Church lands, there was a unanimous vote of both Houses for
reconciliation with Rome.

The next morning, the king, queen, and Parliament met again in the
presence-chamber, when, Pole presenting himself, Philip and Mary
rose, and, bowing profoundly to him, presented him with the vote of
Parliament. The cardinal, on receiving it, offered up thanks to God for
this auspicious event, and then ordered his commission to be read. The
Peers and Commons then fell on their knees and received absolution and
benediction from the hands of the cardinal, and thus for a time again was
the great breach between England and the Papacy healed.

Parliament proceeded to pass Acts confirming all that was now done,
and repealing all the statutes which had been passed against the Roman
Church since the 20th of Henry VIII., while the clergy in Convocation
made formal resignation of the possessions which had passed into
the hands of laymen. The legate also issued decrees authorising all
cathedral churches, hospitals, and schools founded since the schism, to
be preserved, and that all persons who had contracted marriage within
prescribed degrees should remain married notwithstanding.

The year 1555 opened with dark and threatening features. The queen's
health was failing; and, under the idea that she was merely suffering
maternal inconvenience, she was rapidly advancing in a dropsy which,
in less than four years, was destined to sink her to the tomb. The
king, gloomy, despotic, and, consequently, unpopular, though he often
endeavoured to act against his nature, and assume a popular character,
still hoping for an heir to the English crown, had obtained from
Parliament an Act constituting him regent, in case Mary should die after
the birth of a child, during the minority of that child. Thus, whether
the queen lived or died, he appeared to possess a reasonable prospect of
obtaining the supreme power in this country; and how he would have used
it, we may judge from his government of Spain and the Netherlands. If the
child was a female, he was made governor till her fifteenth year; if a
male, till his eighteenth year. Philip protested on his honour that he
would give up the government faithfully when the child came of age; but
Lord Paget asked "who was to sue the bond if he did not?"--a suggestion
never forgiven. With this flattering but illusive prospect before
him, the tempest of persecution soon burst forth; and, had Providence
permitted, England would soon have exhibited the same scene of tyranny,
bloodshed, and insult which Flanders did under his rule. As it was, for a
short period, terrible war for conscience' sake burst forth, the prisons
were thronged, and the fires of death blazed out in every quarter of the
island. Mary, with failing health, and doting absurdly on her husband,
was easily drawn to acquiesce in deeds and measures which made her name
a byword to all future times.

We are now called upon to pass through a reign of terror, a time of
fire and blood, such as has no parallel in the history of England. The
statutes against the Lollards enacted in the reigns of Richard II.,
Henry IV., and Henry V., were revived and were to come into force on the
20th of January. Bonner, accompanied by eight bishops and 160 priests,
made a grand procession through the streets of London, and held services
of public thanksgiving for the happy restoration of Catholicism. A
commission was then held in the Church of St. Mary Overy, in Southwark,
for the trial of heretics. The first man brought before this court, over
which Gardiner presided, was John Rogers, a prebendary of St. Paul's,
who had nobly distinguished himself by defending the first priest sent
by Mary to preach Papacy at St. Paul's Cross. The Court condemned him to
be burnt, and on the 4th of February this horrible sentence was executed
in the most barbarous manner. The day of his death was kept a profound
secret from him, and early that morning he was suddenly awakened out of a
sound sleep and informed that he was to be burnt that day. The condemned
man, so far from sinking under the appalling announcement, only calmly
observed, "Then I need not truss my points." He requested to be permitted
to take leave of his wife and children, of whom he had eleven--one still
at the breast--but this Bonner refused. As he was led by the sheriffs
towards Smithfield, where he was to suffer, he sang the "Miserere." His
wife and children were placed where he would have a full view of them
at the stake, and it was expected that this would induce him to recant
and save his life, and thus induce others to follow his example; but
outwardly unmoved, he maintained the most sublime fortitude.

Bishop Hooper, Ferrar, Bishop of St. David's, Dr. Rowland Taylor of
Hadleigh, in Suffolk, and Lawrence Saunders, Rector of Allhallows,
Coventry, were all condemned to the same death, and, like Rogers,
were offered their lives on recantation, which one and all refused.
The treatment of the pious Bishop Hooper was a most glaring case of
ingratitude. Decided Protestant as he was, and of the most primitive
simplicity of faith, he had from the first manifested the most staunch
loyalty to Mary. In his own account of himself he says, "When Mary's
fortunes were at the worst, I rode myself from place to place, as is well
known, to win and stay the people to her party. And whereas when another
was proclaimed [Lady Jane Grey] I preferred our queen, notwithstanding
the proclamations. I sent horses in both shires [Gloucestershire and
Worcester] to serve her in great danger, as Sir John Talbot and William
Lygon, Esq., can testify." Hooper was sent down to Gloucester, his own
diocese, to suffer, where he was burnt on the 9th of February, in a slow
fire, to increase and prolong his agonies to the utmost. On the same day
Dr. Taylor was burnt at Hadleigh.

This shocking state of things was interrupted for some time by the sudden
and extraordinary outbreak of Alphonso di Castro, the confessor of King
Philip, a Spanish friar, who preached before the Court a sermon in which
he most vehemently and eloquently inveighed against the wickedness and
inhumanity of burning people for their opinions. He declared that the
practice was not learned in the Scriptures, but the contrary; for it was
decidedly opposed to both the letter and the spirit of the New Testament;
that it was the duty of the Government and the clergy to win men to the
Gospel by mildness, and not to kill but to instruct the ignorant. A
mystery has always hung over this singular demonstration. Some thought
Philip, some that Mary, had ordered him to preach this sermon, but it
is far more probable that it was the spontaneous act of zeal in a man
who was enlightened beyond his age and his country. It is not probable
that it proceeded from Philip, for he could at once have commanded this
change; it is besides contrary to his life-long policy. Had it been the
will of the sovereigns it would have produced a permanent effect. As it
was, it took the Court and country by surprise. The impression on the
Court was so powerful that all further burnings ceased for five weeks, by
which time the good friar's sermon had lost its effect; and the religious
butcheries went on as fiercely as ever, till more than two hundred
persons had been slaughtered on account of their faith in this short
reign. Miles Coverdale, the venerable translator of the Bible, was saved
from this death by the King of Denmark writing to Mary and claiming him
as his subject.


(_From the Portrait in the Collection at Lambeth Palace._)]

Mary had now, according to the custom of English queens, formally taken
to her chamber in expectation of giving birth to an heir to the throne.
She chose Hampton Court as the scene of this vainly-hoped-for event, and
went there on the 3rd of April, where she continued secluded from her
subjects, only being seen on one occasion, till the 21st of July, after
she had again returned to St. James's. This occasion was on the 23rd of
May, St. George's Day, when she stood at a window of the palace to see
the procession of the Knights of the Garter with Philip at their head,
attended by Gardiner the Lord Chancellor, and a crowd of priests with
crosses, march round the courts and cloisters of Hampton Court. A few
days afterwards there was a report that a prince was born, and there
was much ringing of bells and singing _Te Deum_ in the City and other
places. But it soon became known, that there was no hope of an heir, but
that the queen was suffering under a mortal disease, and that such was
her condition, "that she sat whole days together on the ground crouched
together with her knees higher than her head." On the 21st of July she
removed for her health from London to Eltham Palace.

Gardiner took advantage of the pause in persecution caused by the sermon
of Di Castro to withdraw from his odious office of chief inquisitor.
Might _he_ not have instigated the friar to express his opinion so
boldly, for it is obvious that he wanted to be clear of the dreadful
work of murdering his fellow-subjects for their faith? He therefore
withdrew from the office, and a more sanguinary man took it up. This
was Bonner, Bishop of London. He opened his inquisitorial court in the
consistory court of St. Paul's, and compelled the Lord Mayor and aldermen
to attend and countenance his proceedings. Burnet gives a letter written
in the name of Philip and Mary exhorting him to increased activity; but
from what we have seen of Mary's condition we may safely attribute the
spur to Philip. Cardinal Pole did all in his power to put an end to the
persecutions, but in vain.

It was now resolved to proceed to extremities with the three eminent
prelates, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer. But the charge of high treason
was dropped, undoubtedly because it was hoped that they might, by the
prospect of the flames, be brought as heretics to recantation. On the
15th of April, 1554, they were led from their prisons to St. Mary's
Church, Oxford, where the doctors of the university sat in judgment upon
them. They were promised a free and fair discussion of their tenets,
and the still more vain assurance was given that if they could convince
their opponents they should be set free. The so-called disputation
continued three days, but it more truly represented a bear-baiting than
the discussion of men in quest of the truth.

On the 16th of April, the day appointed, Cranmer appeared before
this disorderly assembly in the divinity school. He was treated with
peculiar indignity, for they had a deep hatred of him from the long and
conspicuous part which he had enacted in the work of Reformation. It was
in vain that he attempted to state his views, for he was interrupted at
every moment by half a dozen persons at once; and whenever he advanced
anything particularly difficult of answer, the doctors denounced him as
ignorant and unlearned, and the students hissed and clapped their hands
outrageously. The next day Ridley experienced the same treatment, but
he was a man of a much more bold and determined character, of profound
learning, and ready address, and, in spite of the most disreputable
clamour and riot, he made himself heard above all the storm, and with
telling effect. When his adversaries shouted at him five or six at a
time, he calmly observed, "I have but one tongue, I cannot answer all at

Latimer was not only oppressed by age but by sickness, and he was
scarcely able to stand. He appealed to his base judges to pity his
weakness and give him a fair hearing. "Ha! good master," he said to
Weston, the moderator, "I pray ye be good to an old man; ye may be once
as old as I am: ye may come to this age and this debility." But he
appealed in vain; his judges and hearers were lost to all sense of what
was due to truth and religion, of what was due to the age and spirit of a
veteran servant of God, whatever might have been his errors or failings.
The rude students only laughed, hissed, clapped their hands, and mocked
the old man the more. Seeing that all hopes of a hearing were vain, he
told the rabble of his judges and spectators, for such they truly were,
"that he had spoken before attentive kings for two and three hours at
a time, but that he could not declare his mind there for a quarter of
an hour for mockings, revilings, checks, rebukes, and taunts, such as
he had not felt the like in such an audience all his life long." The
three insulted and unheard prisoners wrote to the queen that they had
been silenced by the noise, not by the arguments of their opponents, and
Cranmer in his letter said, "I never knew nor heard of a more confused
disputation in all my life; for albeit there was one appointed to dispute
against me, yet every man spake his mind, and brought forth what him
liked without order; and such haste was made that no answer could be
suffered to be given."

On the 28th of April they were all three brought again into St. Mary's
Church, and asked by Weston whether they were willing to conform, and
on replying in the negative, were condemned as obstinate heretics,
and returned to their prison. There they lay till the October of the
following year (1555), when Ridley and Latimer were ordered to prepare
for the stake. On the 16th of that month a stake was erected in the town
ditch opposite to Balliol College. Soto, a Spanish priest, had been sent
to them in person to try to convert them, but in vain; Latimer would not
even listen to him; and now at the stake a Dr. Smith, who had renounced
Popery in King Edward's time, and was again a pervert, preached a sermon
on the text, "Though I give my body to be burned and have not charity, it
profiteth me nothing." The two martyrs cheered each other, and exhorted
one another to be courageous. Ridley, on approaching the pile, turned to
Latimer who was following him, embraced and kissed him, saying, "Be of
good heart, brother, for God will either assuage the fury of the flame,
or strengthen us to bear it;" and when Latimer was tied to the stake
back to back with his fellow-sufferer, he returned the consolation,
exclaiming, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we
shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I
trust shall never be put out." A lighted faggot was placed at the feet
of Ridley, and matches were applied to the pile. Bags of gunpowder were
hung round their necks to shorten their sufferings, and as the flames
ascended Latimer quickly died, probably through suffocation in the smoke;
but Ridley suffered long. His brother-in-law had piled the faggots high
about him to hasten his death, but the flames did not readily find their
way amongst them from their closeness, and a spectator hearing him cry
out that he could not burn opened the pile, and an explosion of gunpowder
almost instantly terminated his existence.

Cranmer was reserved for a future day. The punctilios of ecclesiastical
form were strictly observed, and as he enjoyed the dignity of Primate
of England, it required higher authority to decide his fate than that
which had pronounced judgment on his companions. Latimer and Ridley had
been sentenced by the commissioners of the legate, Cranmer must only be
doomed by the Pontiff himself. He was therefore waited on in his cell
by Brooks, Bishop of Gloucester, as Papal sub-delegate, and two Royal
commissioners, and there cited to appear before him at Rome within
eighty days, and answer for his heresies. As this was impossible, the
citation was a mockery and an insult. When the archbishop saw his two
friends led forth to their horrible death, his resolution, which never
was very great, began to fail, and he now presented a woful image of
terror and irresolution, very different to the bravery of his departed
friends. He expressed a possibility of conversion to Rome, and desired
a conference with Cardinal Pole. But soon he became ashamed of his own
weakness, and wrote to the queen defending his own doctrines, which she
commissioned the cardinal to answer. When the eighty days had expired,
and the Pope had pronounced his sentence, and had appointed Bonner, and
Thirlby, Bishop of Ely, to degrade him, and see his sentence executed,
he once more trembled with apprehension, and gave out that he was ready
to submit to the judgment of the queen; that he believed in the creed of
the Catholic Church, and deplored and condemned his past apostacy. He
forwarded this submission to the Council, which they found too vague, and
required a more full and distinct confession, which he supplied. When the
Bishops of London and Ely arrived to degrade him, he appealed from the
judgment of the Pope to that of a general Council, but that not being
listened to, he sent two other papers to the commissioners before they
left Oxford, again fully and explicitly submitting to all the statutes of
the realm regarding the supremacy, and professing his faith in all the
doctrines and rites of the Romish Church.

On the 21st of March, 1556, Cranmer was conducted to St. Mary's Church,
Oxford, where Dr. Cole, provost of Eton College, preached a sermon, in
which he stated that notwithstanding Cranmer's repentance, he had done
the Church so much mischief that he must die. That morning Garcina, a
Spanish friar, had waited on him before leaving his cell, and presented
him with a paper making a complete statement of his recantation and
repentance, which he requested him to copy and sign. It seems that his
enemies calculated that, having so fully committed himself, the fallen
Primate would not, at the last hour, depart from his confession; but they
were mistaken. Cranmer now saw nothing but death before him, and he most
bitterly repented of his weakness and the renunciation of what he felt
to be the holy truth. He therefore transcribed once more the paper which
had been brought to him, but in place of the latter part of it he wrote
in a very different conclusion. Accordingly, when he read his paper at
the conclusion of the sermon, there was a profound silence till he came
to the fifth article of it, which went on to declare that through fear of
death, and beguiled by hopes of pardon, he had been led to renounce his
genuine faith, but that he now declared that all his recantations were
false; that he recalled them every one, rejected the Papal authority, and
confirmed the whole doctrine contained in his book. The amazement was
intense, the audience became agitated by various passions, there were
mingled murmurings and approbation. The Lord Williams of Thame called to
him to "remember himself and play the Christian." That was touching a
string which woke the response of the hero and the martyr in the Primate.
He replied that he did remember; that it was now too late to dissemble,
and he must now speak the truth.


When the first astonishment at this unlooked-for declaration had passed,
there was a rush to drag down Cranmer, and hurry him to the stake in
the same spot where his friends Ridley and Latimer had suffered. There
he was speedily stripped to the shirt and tied to the stake; through it
all he was firm and calm. He no longer trembled at his fate; he declared
that he had never changed his belief; hope of life only had wrung from
him his recantation; and the moment that the flames burst out he thrust
his right hand into them, saying, "This hath offended." The writers of
those times say that he stood by the stake whilst the fire raged round
him, as immovable as the stake itself, and lifting up his eyes to heaven,
exclaimed, "Lord, receive my spirit," and very soon expired.

The day after the death of Cranmer, Cardinal Pole, who had now taken
priest's orders, was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury; and showed his
anxiety to check this fierce and impolitic persecution, but, as we shall
find, with no great result.

While these terrible transactions had been taking place King Philip
had quitted the kingdom. With all his endeavours to become popular
with the English, Philip never could win their regard. He conformed to
many national customs, and affected to enjoy the national amusements;
threw off much of his hauteur, especially in his intercourse with the
nobles, and conferred pensions on them on the plea that they had stood
by the queen during the insurrection. But nothing could inspire the
English with confidence in him. They had always an idea that the object
of the Spaniards was to introduce the Spanish rule and dominance here.
They had always the persuasion that it was no longer their own queen,
but the future King of Spain and the Netherlands who ruled. It was
clearly seen that Philip never had any real affection for Mary; it was
the public opinion that he had now less than ever, whilst the poor
invalid Mary doated on him, and was ready to yield up everything but the
actual sovereignty to him. And now came a very sufficient cause for the
departure of Philip from England. His father, Charles V., wearied of
governing his vast empire, was anxious to abdicate in favour of his son.
Philip embarked at Dover on the 4th of September, 1555. Mary accompanied
him from Hampton to Greenwich, riding through London in a litter, in
order, as the French ambassador states, "that her people might see that
she was not dead." The queen was anxious to proceed as far as Dover, and
see him embark, but her health did not permit this; and after parting
from him with passionate grief, she endeavoured to console herself by
having daily prayers offered for his safety and speedy return.

[Illustration: MARY I.]

Charles V., at the age of only fifty-five, had now resigned his vast
empire to his son and his brother Ferdinand; and Spain, the Netherlands,
Naples, Sicily, Milan, and the new lands of South America, owned Philip
as their lord. On the 25th of October, 1555, Charles, in an assembly of
the States of the Netherlands, resigned these countries to Philip, and
in a few months later he also put him in possession of the government
of other parts of his dominions, Ferdinand succeeding to the Imperial
crown. Charles then retired to the monastery of St. Just, near Placentia,
on the borders of Spain and Portugal, where this great king, who had
so long exercised so strong an influence on the destinies of Europe,
lived as a simple private gentleman, retaining only a few servants and a
single horse for his own use, and employing his now abundant leisure in
religious exercises, in gardening, and clock-making.

During Philip's absence, a series of insurrections took place which
disturbed the quiet of the queen, and in which the King of France seems
to have borne no inconsiderable part. His assiduous minister, Noailles,
disseminated reports that Mary, hopeless of issue, had resolved to settle
the Crown on her husband. This having produced its effect, a conspiracy
was set on foot to put Elizabeth on the throne, and depose Mary. Sir
Henry Dudley, a relative of the late Duke of Northumberland, was to head
it and the French king, to secure his interest, had settled a pension
on him. The worthless Courtenay, who was at this moment on his way to
Italy, whence he never returned, was still to play the part of husband
to Elizabeth, though the management of the plot was to be consigned to
Dudley. Elizabeth had again, it is said, fully consented to this plot,
though the health of Mary was such as must have promised her the throne
at no distant day. Dudley was already on the coast of Normandy with some
of his fellow-conspirators, making preparations, when the King of France
unexpectedly concluded a truce for five years with Philip. He therefore
advised Dudley and his accomplices to lie quiet for a more favourable
opportunity. This was a paralysing blow to the scheme of insurrection,
and the coadjutors in England had gone so far that they did not think
it safe to stop. Kingston, Uedale, Throgmorton, Staunton, and others of
the league determined to seize the treasure in the Tower, and, once in
possession of that, to raise forces and drive the queen from the throne.
But one of them revealed the design; several of them were seized and
executed, and others escaped to France. Mary applied by her ambassador,
Lord Clinton, to Henry II. to have them delivered up, and received a
polite promise of endeavour to secure them, which there was in reality
no intention to fulfil. Amongst the conspirators arrested were two
officers of the household of Elizabeth, Peckham and Werne, who made very
awkward confessions; but again the princess escaped, it is said at the
intercession of Philip, who was apprehensive, if Elizabeth was removed
from the succession, of the claims of the French king on behalf of his
daughter-in-law, the Queen of Scots. Elizabeth at all events escaped,
protesting her innocence as stoutly as ever, but receiving from the
Council in place of those two officers executed, two other trusty ones,
Sir Thomas Pope and Robert Cage.

But if Elizabeth was uneasy, Mary was still more so. The disquiets
which surrounded her, and the wretched state of her health, made her
very anxious for the return of her husband. She had lost her able
minister, Gardiner, who died in November, 1555, and his successor, Heath,
Archbishop of York, by no means supplied his place. Mary, therefore,
wrote long and repeated letters to urge the return of Philip, and,
finding them unavailing, she despatched Lord Paget to represent the
urgent need of his presence in the kingdom. At last his difficulties
with France and the Pope brought Philip home to his wife when all
conjugal persuasions on her part had failed. He sent over, to announce
his approach, Robert Dudley, son of the late Duke of Northumberland,
whom Mary had liberated from the Tower, and who already, it seems, had
contrived to win so much favour as to be taken into the royal service,
in which he continued to mount till, in the next reign, he became the
notorious Earl of Leicester and favourite of Queen Elizabeth. On the 20th
of March, 1556, Philip himself arrived at Greenwich. As he wanted to win
the English to join him in the war against France, he paid particular
respect to the City of London. During this visit there appeared at Court
the novel sight of a Duke of Muscovy, in the character of ambassador from
Russia, who astonished the public by the enormous size of the pearls and
jewels that he wore, and the richness of his dress.

Philip used all his influence to induce the queen and her Council to
declare war against Henry of France, who had broken that five years'
truce into which he had so recently entered. But the finances of the
country were not such as to render either the queen or her Council
willing to go to war with France, which, connected as France was now with
Scotland, was sure to occasion a war also with that country. Cardinal
Pole and nearly the whole Council were strongly opposed to it. They
assured her that to engage lightly in Philip's wars was to make England
a dependency of Spain, and Philip, on the other hand, protested to the
queen that if she did not aid him against France he would take his leave
of her for ever.

While matters were in this position a circumstance occurred which
turned the scale in Philip's favour. Henry II. of France, on deciding
to accept the Pope's invitation, and to make war on Philip, called on
Dudley and his adherents to renew their attempts on England. Dudley
and his coadjutors opened a communication with the families of the
Reformers in Calais and the surrounding district, who had suffered from
the persecution of the English Government, or who were indignant at the
cruelties practised on their fellow professors, and they concurred in a
plan to betray Hammes and Guines to the French. This scheme was defeated
by the means of an English spy who became cognisant of the secret. The
mischief, though stopped there, soon showed itself in another quarter.
Thomas Stafford, the second son of Lord Stafford, and grandson of the
late Duke of Buckingham, mustered a small army of English, French, and
Scots, and, sailing from Dieppe, landed at Scarborough in Yorkshire, and
surprised the castle there. But he soon found that, however much the
public might dislike the Spanish match, they were not at all inclined to
rebel against their queen. Wotton, the English ambassador in France, had
duly warned his court of the designs of Stafford, and on the fourth day
the Earl of Westmoreland appeared with a strong body of troops before
the castle, and compelled Stafford to surrender at discretion. Stafford,
Saunders, and three or four others were sent to London, and committed
to the Tower, where, under torture, they were made to confess that the
King of France had instigated and assisted their enterprise. Stafford was
beheaded on Tower Hill on the 28th of May, 1557, and the next day three
of his confederates were hanged at Tyburn.

The Council had been averse from the war, and had advised that, instead
of appearing as principals, we should merely confine ourselves to the
furnishing that aid which we were bound to by our ancient treaties
with the House of Burgundy. Now, however, it felt itself justified in
proclaiming open war against the King of France, as the violator of the
treaty between the nations, in having harboured the traitors against the
queen, and in having sent them over in French ships to Scarborough with
arms, ammunition, and money. Philip, having obtained what he wanted,
hastened over to Flanders, and neither Mary nor England ever saw him

The Earl of Pembroke, accompanied by Lord Robert Dudley as his master of
ordnance, followed Philip at the end of July with 7,000 men. They joined
the army of Philip, consisting of men of many nations--Germans, Italians,
Flemings, Dalmatians, Croats, Illyrians, and others--making altogether
a force of 40,000 men, the supreme command of which was given to the
rejected suitor of the Princess Elizabeth, Philibert Duke of Savoy.
The duke successfully threatened an attack upon Marienberg, Rocroi, and
Guise, but he finally drew up before St. Quentin, on the right bank
of the Somme. There he won a great victory. The English fleet made
descents upon France at various points, menaced Bordeaux and Bayonne, and
plundered the defenceless inhabitants of the coasts. This was all that
was achieved, except what Philip probably most looked for, the drawing
of the Duke of Guise out of Italy. But this, while it removed all danger
from Philip's Transalpine possessions, led to a loss on the part of his
English ally which might be termed the crowning mischief of his union
with Mary.

The Duke of Guise, disappointed of his laurels in Italy, was now
planning an attack on Calais. The English were never less prepared for
the invasion. The fleet which had ravaged the coasts of France, and the
troops sent to Flanders, had totally exhausted the exchequer of Mary,
which at no time was well supplied. To victual that navy the queen had
seized all the corn she could find in Norfolk without paying for it,
and to equip the army sent to aid Philip, she had made a forced loan on
London, and on people of property in different places; she had levied
the second year's subsidy voted by Parliament before its time, and now
was helpless at the critical moment. Lord Wentworth, the Governor of
Calais, foreseeing the approaching storm, sent repeated entreaties for
reinforcements for its defence. They were wholly unattended to.

The Duke of Guise, after entering the English pale, sent a detachment
of his army along the downs to Rysbank, and led the other himself, with
a very heavy train of artillery, towards Newnham Bridge. He forced
the outwork at the village of St. Agatha, at the commencement of the
causeway, drove the garrison into Newnham, and took possession of the
outwork. The bulwarks of Froyton and Nesle were abandoned, for the
lord-deputy could send no forces to defend them. At Newnham Bridge
the garrison withdrew so silently that the French continued firing
upon the fort when the men were already in Calais; but at Rysbank the
garrison surrendered with the fort. Thus, in a couple of days, the Duke
of Guise was in possession of two most important forts, one commanding
the harbour, the other the causeway across the marshes from Flanders. A
battery on the heath of St. Pierre played on the wall to create a false
alarm, whilst another in real earnest played on the castle. A breach
was made in the wall near the water-gate, and, while the garrison
was busy in repairing it, Guise cannonaded the castle (which was in a
scandalous state of neglect) with fifteen double cannons. A wide breach
was speedily made. Lord Wentworth, well aware that the castle could
not be maintained, had ordered mines to be prepared, and calculated on
blowing the castle and the Frenchmen into the air together as soon as
they were in. Guise, seeing no garrison defending the breach, ordered one
detachment to occupy the quay, and another, under Strozzi, to take up
a position on the other side of the harbour. Strozzi was repulsed; but
at ebb-tide in the evening, Grammont, at the head of 100 arquebusiers,
marched up to the ditch opposite to the breach. No one being seen in the
castle, Guise ordered plenty of hurdles to be thrown into the ditch, and,
putting himself at the head of his men, forded the ditch, finding it not
deeper than his girdle. The lord-deputy, seeing the French in the castle,
ordered the train to be fired; but there was no explosion. The soldiers
crossing from the ditch to the breach, with their clothes deluging the
ground with water, had wet the train, and defeated Wentworth's design.
The next morning Guise sent his troops to assault the town, calculating
on as easy a conquest of it; but Sir Anthony Agar, with a handful of
men, not only repulsed the French, but chased them back into the castle.
The brave Sir Anthony, with a larger force, would have driven the French
from the decayed old castle too, but he had the merest little knot of
followers, and in the vain attempt to force the enemy out of the castle,
he fell at the gate with his son, and eighty of his chief officers.
Lord Wentworth perceiving the impossibility of continuing the defence,
destitute of a garrison, and having waited in vain for reinforcements
from Dover, that night demanded a parley, and surrendered.


The fall of Calais necessitated, as a matter of course, the loss of
the whole Calais district. Having put Calais into a state of defence,
Guise marched on the 13th of January, 1558, to Guines, about five miles
distant, to reduce the town and fort there. These were defended stoutly
by Lord Grey de Wilton, who had received about 400 Spanish and Burgundian
soldiers from King Philip, but they were in too miserable a state of
repair to be long held. The walls in a few days were knocked to pieces;
the Spanish soldiers were nearly all killed, and the remaining force
compelled their officers to surrender. The little castle of Hammes now
only remained, and situated in the midst of extensive marshes, it might
have given the enemy some trouble; but its governor, Lord Edward Dudley,
the moment he heard of the surrender of Guines, abandoned it, and fled
with his few soldiers into Flanders. The French were as elated at their
success as the English were mortified with it, and the poor queen felt
the loss so deeply, that she declared that if her body were opened after
her death, the name of Calais would be found graven on her heart.


In England, during the spring, preparations were made for the invasion
of France. Seven thousand troops were raised and diligently drilled.
One hundred and forty ships were hired, which the Lord-Admiral Clinton
collected in the harbour of Portsmouth, to be ready to join the fleet
of Philip, and, in conjunction, to ravage the coasts of France; whilst
Philip, with an army of Spanish, French, and English, should enter the
country by land. But this fleet and the English army, instead of aiming
to recover Calais, sailed to make an attack on Brest. But their progress
had been so dilatory that the French had made ample preparations to
receive them, and despairing of effecting any impression on Brest, they
fell on the little port of Le Conquêt, which they took and pillaged,
with a large church and several hamlets in its immediate neighbourhood.
They then marched some miles up the country, burning and plundering, and
the Flemings, in the eager quest of booty, going too far ahead, were
surrounded, and 400 of them cut off.

[Illustration: REAL OF MARY I.]

It appeared as if the war would be brought to a conclusion by a pitched
battle between the sovereigns of France and Spain. Philip had joined
his general, the Duke of Savoy, and they lay near Dourlens with an army
of 45,000 men. Henry had come into the camp of the Duke of Guise near
Amiens, who had an army of nearly equal strength. All the world looked
now for a great and decisive conflict. But Philip, though superior in
numbers, as well as crowned with the prestige of victory, listened to
offers of accommodation from Henry, and dismissing their armies into
winter quarters, they betook themselves to negotiation. From the first no
agreement appeared probable. Philip demanded the restoration of Calais,
Henry that of Navarre, and they were still pursuing the hopeless phantom
of accommodation, when the news of Queen Mary's death changed totally the
position of Philip, and put an end to the attempt. She died, desolate and
broken-hearted, on the 17th of November, 1558.

With all her bigotry, Mary had many excellent and amiable qualities.
No English monarch ever maintained a less expensive and less corrupt
court. She avoided all unnecessary taxation, and treated the cost of
her war with France as largely a private charge of her own. She lived
unostentatiously, went about amongst the poor with her maids, inquiring
into their wants and relieving them. She was an enlightened patron of
learning, and was the first to propose a hospital for old and invalid
soldiers, leaving a legacy for this purpose, which was, however, never
appropriated. Except in the matter of religious toleration, she showed a
scrupulous regard for the maintenance of the Constitution and the law.
Under her the administration of justice was pure and without respect of
person. Nor were the interests of trade neglected. She was the first to
make a commercial treaty with Russia, and she revoked the privileges of
the Hanse Town merchants, who had exercised them to the hurt of her own
people. By nature she was mild, but the persecution of her own faith in
the persons of her mother and herself, and, above everything, the fatal
Spanish marriage, produced a reaction which entailed all the calamities
of her short and miserable reign.



     Accession of Elizabeth--Sir William Cecil--The Coronation--Opening
     of Parliament--Ecclesiastical Legislation--Consecration of
     Parker--Elizabeth and Philip--Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis--Affairs
     in Scotland--The First Covenant--Attitude of Mary of Guise--Riot
     at Perth--Outbreak of Hostilities--The Lords of the Congregation
     apply to England--Elizabeth hesitates--Siege of Leith--Treaty
     of Edinburgh--Return of Mary to Scotland--Murray's Influence
     over her--Beginning of the Religious Wars in France--Elizabeth
     sends Help to the Huguenots--Peace of Amboise--English Disaster
     at Havre--Peace with France--The Earl of Leicester--Project of
     his Marriage with Mary--Lord Darnley--Murder of Rizzio--Birth
     of Mary's Son--Murder of Darnley--Mary and Bothwell--Carberry
     Hill--Mary in Lochleven--Abdicates in favour of Her Infant
     Son--Mary's Escape from Lochleven--Defeated at Langside--Her
     Escape into England.

Parliament had met on the morning of the 17th of November, 1558, unaware
of the decease of the queen; but before noon, Dr. Heath, the Archbishop
of York and Lord Chancellor of England, sent a message to the House of
Commons, requesting the Speaker, with the knights and burgesses of the
Lower House, to attend in the Lords to give their assent in a matter of
the utmost importance. On being there assembled, the Lord Chancellor
announced to the united Parliament the demise of Mary, and, though by
that event the Commons were dissolved by the law as it remained till
the reign of William III., he called upon them to combine with the
Lords, before taking their departure, for the safety of the country, by
proclaiming the Lady Elizabeth queen of the realm. Whatever might have
been the fears of any portion of the community as to the recognition of
the title of Elizabeth on the plea of illegitimacy, or from suspicion of
her religion, that question had long been settled by the flocking of the
courtiers of all creeds and characters to Hatfield, where she resided;
and now on this announcement there was a loud acclamation from the
members of both Houses of "God save Queen Elizabeth! Long may she reign
over us!"

For two days Elizabeth, as if from due respect to her deceased sister and
sovereign, remained quiescent at Hatfield; but thousands of people of all
ranks were flocking thither; and on the 19th her Privy Council proceeded
thither also, and, after announcing to her her joyful and undisputed
accession, they proclaimed her with all state before the gates of
Hatfield House. They then sat in council with her, and she appointed her
own ministers, having, no doubt, made all these arrangements with the man
whom she had long marked out for her prime minister, Sir William Cecil.
He had for years been her confidential counsellor. By his shrewd and
worldly guidance, she had shaped her future course; and in appointing her
ministers now, she showed by her address to Cecil that it was for him
that she designed the chief post.

Besides Cecil, she named Sir Thomas Parry, her cofferer, Cave, and
Rogers of her Privy Council. Cecil immediately entered on his duties as
her Secretary of State, and submitted to her a programme of what was
immediately necessary to be done, which she accepted; and thus began that
union between Elizabeth and her great minister, which only terminated
with his life.

On the 23rd the new queen commenced her progress towards the metropolis,
attended by a magnificent throng of nobles, ladies, and gentlemen, and
a vast concourse of people from London and from the country round. At
Highgate she was met by the bishops, who kneeled by the wayside, and
offered their allegiance. She received them graciously, and gave them
all her hand to kiss, except to Bonner, whom she treated with a marked
coldness, on account of his atrocious cruelties: an intimation of her own
intentions on the score of religion which must have given satisfaction
to the people. At the foot of Highgate Hill, the Lord Mayor and his
aldermanic brethren, in their scarlet gowns, were waiting to receive her,
and conducted her to the Charter House, then the residence of Lord North,
where Heath, the Lord Chancellor, and the Earls of Derby and Shrewsbury
received her. There she remained five days to give time for the necessary
preparations, when she proceeded to take up her residence in the Tower,
prior to her coronation, which took place on the 15th of January, 1559.

[Illustration: QUEEN ELIZABETH.

(_From the painting by Zucchero at Hatfield House._)]

On the 25th of January Elizabeth proceeded to open her first Parliament.
She had prepared to carry the decisive measures of religious reform which
she contemplated, by adding five new peers of the Protestant faith to the
Upper House, and by sending to the sheriffs a list of Court candidates
out of which they were to choose the members. Like all other public
proceedings, this was a strange medley of Romanism and Protestantism.
High mass was performed at the altar in Westminster Abbey before the
queen and the assembled Houses, and this was followed by a sermon
preached by Dr. Cox, the Calvinistic schoolmaster of Edward VI., who had
just returned from Geneva. The Lord Keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon, then
opened the session by a speech, the queen being present, in which he held
very high prerogative language, assuring both Lords and Commons that they
might take measures for a uniform order of religion, and for the safety
of the State against both foreign and domestic enemies; not that it was
absolutely necessary, for she could do everything of her own authority,
but she preferred having the advice and counsel of her loving subjects.

The first thing which the Commons proposed was the very last thing
which she would have wished them to meddle with--that is, an address
recommending her to marry, so as to secure a legitimate heir to the
throne. Elizabeth, as we have seen, had had many suitors, none of whom,
if we except the unfortunate Lord Admiral Seymour, or the handsome
but imbecile Courtenay, Earl of Devon, had she shown any willingness
to marry. There have been many theories regarding the refusal of
Elizabeth to enter into wedlock. The only one which will bear a moment's
examination is, that her love of power was so strong as to absorb every
other feeling and consideration. She made a long speech in reply to the
address, glancing towards the close of it at her coronation ring, and
then saying that when she received that ring, she became solemnly bound
in marriage to the realm, and that she took their address in good part,
but more for their good will than for their message.

Without referring to the questionable marriage of her mother, Anne
Boleyn, an Act was passed restoring Elizabeth in blood, and rendering her
heritable to her mother and all her mother's line. She was declared to be
lawful and rightful queen, lineally and lawfully descended of the blood
royal, and fully capable of holding, and transmitting to her posterity,
the possession of the crown and throne.

Next came the regulations for the government of the Church, which
Elizabeth had so prudently avoided making upon her own responsibility,
but left to the authority of Parliament. By it the tenths and
first-fruits resigned by Mary were again restored to her. The statutes
passed in Mary's reign for the maintenance of strict Romanism were
repealed, and those of Henry VIII. for the rejection of the Papal
authority, and of Edward VI. for the reformation of the Church ritual
were revived. The Book of Common Prayer, considerably modified, was to
be in uniform and exclusive use. The old penalties against seeking any
ecclesiastical authority or ordination from abroad were re-enacted,
and the queen was declared absolute head of the Church by a new Act of

Notwithstanding the softening of the parts and expressions in the liturgy
most offensive to the Papists, such as the prayer "to deliver us from the
Bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities," and the modification
of the terms in administration of the sacrament, to avoid offence to
other Protestant churches, the bishops opposed these measures most
resolutely. Convocation presented to the House of Lords a declaration
of its belief in the Real Presence, transubstantiation, the sacrifice
of the Mass, and the supremacy of the Pope. On the other hand, the
Protestants were grievously disappointed in other particulars, especially
as to restoration of the married clergy, and of the restoration to their
sees of Bishops Barlow, Scorey, and Coverdale. Both these petitions
failed on the question of marriage, for Elizabeth never could tolerate
married priests or bishops, and t